Late Night Lying Liars Open Thread

Ronan Farrow comes out with more info about the ratfvking deal that the Trumpies contracted out to try to defeat the Iran deal.

The campaign is strikingly similar to an operation that Black Cube ran on behalf of Harvey Weinstein, which was reported in The New Yorker last fall… In a statement, Black Cube said, “It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work.” The statement also read, “It is important to note that Black Cube always operates in full compliance of the law in every jurisdiction in which it conducts its work, following legal advice from the world’s leading law firms.”

I suspect there is more to come.

A while back, in a comment thread, I pointed out that part of the problem with the New York Times’s reporting on Donald Trump is that they are immersed in the New York culture that permitted his rise. I didn’t realize how true and how ugly that culture is. Frank Rich does. I know it’s a great hate-read, but there’s a lot there that helps with analysis.

Have a good night before the full force of the week hits.

93 replies
  1. 1
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    There are too many Jays in this blog

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    It is all seeping out.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    As I said yesterday shortly after the Observer reporting broke: it’s Black Cube.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Better put down some plastic sheeting!

  5. 5
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @rikyrah: I prefer a threads unraveling theme.

  6. 6
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    “It is important to note that Black Cube always operates in full compliance of the law in every jurisdiction in which it conducts its work, following legal advice from the world’s leading law firms.”

    Oh, well, as long as it doesn’t break any laws, potentially paving the way for a devastating war against Iran that kils millions is a-ok.

    Fuck them

    Good news, though:

    Roseanne ain’t doing so hot in the 18-49 yo demographic.

    It’s shed over 8 million viewers since it premiered.

    Where’s your god now, ABC?

  7. 7
    ruemara says:

    1. I cannot take these fuckers being in power.

    2. In the interest of fostering good will & peace on earth, here’s a cat. On a human-shaped mat.

  8. 8
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the operation was carried out by Black Cube—a firm that was also employed by Harvey Weinstein and that offers its clients access to operatives from “Israel’s élite military and governmental intelligence units,” including the Mossad.

    Surely they mean ex-operatives?

    Otherwise that would imply that Mossad has been privatised.

  9. 9
    randy khan says:

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

    So you’re saying her ratings are coming from the Fox demo (that is, olds)?

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I think it is likely a phrasing issue. What most people don’t realize is that Mossad does a good job identifying psychopaths, then training them to be operatives, and then using them till they decide to quit or retire. Then these guys and gals go into business for themselves. Ever wonder how the South American drug cartels got operationally effective so quickly? They hired former Mossad bubbas.

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Where’s your god now, ABC?

    Very good and apt Ten Commandments reference.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    It still seems senseless as to why this would be necessary after the deal is in place and Twitler is president. Isn’t it beside the point? Or is it just a personal vendetta for people like the Mercers or Adelson who have more money than brains and a terminal case of Obama Derangement Syndrome?

    Did they also go after junior staffers in Britain, France, and the other three countries who were also signatories to the deal?

    What was this supposed to accomplish?

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: On second read that is a terribly written sentence. Israel has three intelligence organizations: military intelligence (Aman), foreign intelligence (Mossad), and internal security and intelligence (Shabak/Shin Bet). Aman is the largest of the three with the most resources. It includes Israel’s signals and electronic intelligence units, the Israeli equivalents to the NSA and GCHQ.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: The idea was to have well publicized dirt on publicly known Obama administration personnel involved with conceptualizing and/or working on the JCPOA. By doing so they would make it appear that the deal was about those folks enriching themselves while placing the US in danger. This would provide the President with sufficient cover to end the agreement.

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): I’m okay with a ripping off the band-aid theme. It’s about time it’s all exposed. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, dang it. I was too slow.

  17. 17
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Mary G: It seems to be an attempt to discredit the Iran deal and give Trump some justification (in his and his staffers’ little minds) for breaking the deal. Also probably motivated by a continuing animus on the part of some Trump staffers, including Sebastian Gorka. Kahl just sent out a tweetstorm on the subject. Here are relevant selections:

  18. 18
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    Huh. I thought it was just a stock phrase

  19. 19
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That is just stupid. But I guess they are stupid.

    @ruemara: I love it, am currently also serving as a pillow.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: I’m not following.

  21. 21
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @randy khan:
    Must be. From what I’ve read it sounds awful.

  22. 22
    Mary G says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Gorka. That explains a lot. I had seen some earlier tweets by Kahl, but not those. I suppose they used tax dollars to pay Black Cube, who don’t seem to be that good at their job.

  23. 23
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian-American Council, was also targeted.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    Look forward to reading the Frank Rich piece.

    Also, the Colin Kahl messages suggest a White House in a permanent state of near collapse between all the paranoia and finger pointing.

    Also kind of reminds me of Dubya’s White House, when they were manufacturing excuses to attack Iraq.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Gorka is one seriously weird dude. If Gorka was pushing this, then the line of argument started up the chain with Bannon and probably Flynn. What is the most amazing is that when they were pushing this stuff on Fox and through Breitbart and these other extreme right publications – the Free Beacon and the Federalist – is that they believed that the vast majority of readers would know who Kahl and Rhodes were.

  26. 26
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    Can we get to the part where they collapse already?

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: We’re not going to war with anyone any time soon.

  28. 28
    TS (the original) says:

    @randy khan:

    So you’re saying her ratings are coming from the Fox demo (that is, olds)?

    From the link – the 18-49 is down 50%, the total is down 40% – so everyone is leaving, the youngs a bit quicker than the olds.

    @ruemara: Luv that pic

  29. 29

    @Adam L Silverman: Interesting observation from Josh Marshall:

    Laura Rozen confirmed with Kahl that the purported firm which reached out to the Kahls was ‘Reuben Capital Partners’. That’s the same name used by Black Cube in the Weinstein operations, first reported in The New Yorker by Ronan Farrow last year.

    Black Cube is now vehemently denying it was hired to spy on or run dirty tricks against Rhodes or Kahl. It’s not clear to me whether that denial came before or after Rozen uncovered the apparent link between the two cases. The denial seems to be unambiguous. But it is very hard to believe that two separate operations would stumble on the same name for a front operation. Conceivably, two different firms worked in concert with yet another firm that was running this front operation. But that’s a very far-fetched hypothetical in contrast to a very straightforward explanations. It was Black Cube working for Weinstein and the Trump aides and they’re simply lying about their involvement.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I guess I will have to deduct 5 points. ;)

    The line is from a movie, the work of a screenwriter. I guess in a few more years dialog from Star Wars will become stock phrases disconnected from the movie. In any event, the phrase works in context here.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    @ruemara:
    Looking good. And the mat is nice too.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The Trump effect. Winning!

  33. 33
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It looks like the people pushing the ratfvcking are gone from the White House now. But that doesn’t mean that these measures are no longer active. Others might have taken them over. How and why did the leak take place now?

    Laura Rozen did a long thread this afternoon in which she brought in some similar operations, including that the Fusion contract that led to the Steele dossier originated with Republicans at the Washington Free Beacon. I urged her to write up the thread as an article. She wasn’t clear if she would or not.

    I’ve wondered about the back story on the Fusion contract and the Free Beacon. Maybe that will come out now too.

  34. 34
    Mandalay says:

    So it seems like Black Cube might have tried to find dirt on a couple of Obama officials, and apparently couldn’t deliver. Black Cube are also quoted as saying they operate within the law, and Farrow hasn’t really revealed much more than the original Observer story which provided no evidence to back up its rhetoric.

    Nobody should be too surprised that Trump’s Administration may have resorted to dirty tricks. But how is this qualitatively different to every election campaign, where the candidates routinely and openly pay people to find dirt on their opponents?

    I’m more willing than most here to be outraged, but I’m struggling to see much in this story beyond a sleazy operation that came up with nothing. Maybe I have become too jaded by Trump’s antics, but what am I missing?

  35. 35
    hitchhiker says:

    Lordy, I want the no-drama folks back so bad.

    I just spent an hour of my evening tracking back to the origin of the obsession with Ben Rhodes; seems he was the subject of a NY Mag profile in May, 2016 that painted him as a contemptuous, manipulative, dishonest young dude with way too much power.

    That led to a big ol’ pushback, which resulted in a 2800 word rebuttal to the pushback in the same magazine by the original author.

    Today the right goes reliably bonkers at the mention of Rhodes’ name, because he had the bloody nerve to work hard for Obama & because … just because.

  36. 36
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: And Black Cube was recommended to Weinstein by Benjamin Netanyahu.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I saw that earlier. It is not unheard of that this would be the case. Mossad’s had several spectacular failures over the past 15 years or so. Not least of which was an op in the emirates that went sideways really badly. In that op they’d reused identities that they’d stolen from British and Irish citizens. Caused no end of bad publicity. So it is possible that a different company, also run by former Mossad bubbas, decided to add an extra layer of obfuscation by trying to make themselves look like Black Cube. However, I doubt that’s the case. Apparently the woman involved in trying to get to Rose McGowan is the same woman involved with trying to get to Kahl’s wife. And her bogus profiles have now disappeared from LinkedIn. There’s simply far too much coincidence here for it to not be Black Cube.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: No doubt that someone else could have picked it up. Or the same folks could still be working it now that they’re on the outside. Gorka’s security company is getting paid a lot of mine by a pro Trump PAC for some reason that’s not clear. And we still have no idea who actually funds the Federalist. So…

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay:

    Nobody should be too surprised that Trump’s Administration may have resorted to dirty tricks. But how is this qualitatively different to every election campaign, where the candidates routinely and openly pay people to find dirt on their opponents?

    From the reporting this was not done as part of a campaign. Rather it has been reported that this was done by members of the administration with the intention of coming up with material that could be used to allow the President to abrogate what the rest of the world and international law calls a treaty and we call an agreement.

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We’re not going to war with anyone any time soon.

    Hope not. I noted that as far as I could see, and as far as I think I understand your observations, no general has been hot to say amen to all these reckless hints about regime change in Iran.

    However, I wonder why Trump and his people are so hot to telegraph their thoughts.

    It also appears that people in the government are stepping up leaks, or rather leaking like a mother fucker, to get information about Black Cube into the media.

    Also, how much does the Mossad respect or trust Black Cube? And is use by Trump another indication that this president does not trust US intelligence agencies? How does a man as ignorant as Trump even know to reach out to Black Cube? Do they have a web site?

  41. 41
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @hitchhiker: What the New York Times didn’t make clear on that Rhodes profile was that the guy who wrote it was a big opponent of the Iran Deal. The opponents of the Iran Deal, working off that profile, love to characterize supporters as dupes of Rhodes’s “echo chamber.” I now use that phrase pre-emptively against them, and it drives them crazy. Did it this afternoon again.

    Would be interesting if the author of that profile turned out to have connections with this latest bunch.

    @Mandalay: There’s quite a bit more in the Farrow article than in the Observer article, in particular the way that Black Cube targeted Rhodes’s and Kahl’s wives. And a confirmation that it was indeed Black Cube. I love it that they couldn’t get anything, means that Obama’s operation was clean, unlike what we see with Trump.

    Another difference is that this was done in the course of governing, by the governing party. There is a common sleazy ground among candidates in finding dirt on each other, but trying to set up previous government workers from the position of power begins to look like what authoritarian governments do.

  42. 42
    hitchhiker says:

    @Mandalay:

    how is this qualitatively different to every election campaign, where the candidates routinely and openly pay people to find dirt on their opponents?

    The targets aren’t running for anything; there’s no campaign. They’re nobody’s opponents.

    The targets were staffers who helped put together the Iran deal 4 or 5 years ago. The work they did was legit in the sense that it went through a normal political/foreign policy process. Are we going to say it’s okay now to expose personal issues for former White House staffers as a way to argue against their work product?

    Would it have been cool for Obama to hire Mossad to help him discredit a couple of people who drove the marriage amendment policy under W?

    No, because Obama would argue the policy. Trump doesn’t want to argue the Iran policy too much because his options are going to be to make a new, better policy or start a war — at least if we’re supposed to take seriously that he thinks he can force Iran to abandon its nuclear agenda outside the framework these staffers helped to craft and sell.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Good God. Using the wrong finger and the wrong eye? Who taught that poor child?

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hitchhiker: A lot of the issue with Rhodes are professional jealousy. He worked for President Obama on the campaign, including writing the speeches on foreign policy. Prior to his work on this, and then in the administration, he had no real background or experience in national security and/or foreign policy. As he continued to work in the White House, and as he gained more experience from doing so, President Obama increased his responsibilities until he was made, among his other duties, Deputy National Security Advisor. There was also an initial, though not unheard of, hold up with the adjudication of his clearance when he first went to work in the White House. It was eventually resolved, his clearance was adjudicated, and he was given access to what he needed to do his job.

    I, and a number of other folks, have the qualifications, credentials, and experience that would qualify us to serve as a senior official on the National Security Staff. What almost all of us don’t have are the political connections to get that type of political appointment. A lot of those with these qualifications, credentials, and experience look in the mirror and think they should have those jobs, not the people that are in them. What they forget is that the people in those political appointments are there because of what they did on the campaign or who they know that were involved with the campaign regardless of their qualifications, credentials, and/or experience. It is unfortunate and sad, but it is an all too human reaction.

  45. 45
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    What continues to be striking to me, and it came through again in a Twitter conversation with an opponent this afternoon, is that the opponents have very little substance to their opposition. As I said earlier, this is the kind of thing you do when you don’t have a substantive case.

    Anyhow, good night! I leave you in Adam’s capable hands.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator:

    However, I wonder why Trump and his people are so hot to telegraph their thoughts.

    They’ve learned the wrong lessons from what is going on with the DPRK and Kim. The President, as well as his supporters, are convinced that his bellicose and hyperbolic campaign of maximum pressure is what has caused the change in Kim’s behavior. I don’t think that we know enough to determine that. Regardless, because they are sure it worked on Kim, it will work on Ayatullah Uzma Khameini. It will not.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Today the right goes reliably bonkers at the mention of Rhodes’ name, because he had the bloody nerve to work hard for Obama & because … just because.

    See also: John Schindler

  48. 48
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mandalay:

    “Somebody’s grasping at straws to start a monstrously evil war for no reason, what’s the problem LOL?”

  49. 49
    J R in WV says:

    @Mandalay:

    Maybe I have become too jaded by Trump’s antics, but what am I missing?

    Maybe that this ratfucking isn’t to win an election, it’s to start WW III !!! ???

  50. 50
    hitchhiker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Would be interesting if the author of that profile turned out to have connections with this latest bunch.

    I get that there are people who legit think the Iran deal was bad. I really don’t get what they want instead. The “echo chamber” comment was the reason I went back to read the article — in the context of Trump’s mobs of trolls and Fox adviser/publicists, it’s hard to feel upset at the idea that someone in Rhodes’ job made sure at least some press was going to deliver the story in the terms he preferred.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:

    However, I wonder why Trump and his people are so hot to telegraph their thoughts.

    They aren’t hot, they are idiots.
    They don’t know any better than to attempt to bully everyone. They think it will work just fine. Of course it’s never worked before and none of them were in anywhere near this much limelight so when it didn’t work their fixers did what they maybe got paid for and every body wandered away ready to do the same thing again. It’s all they know and it doesn’t and can’t work in this situation. So they seem exactly like the buffoons that they are.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I’d say his idiot dad right behind him. Or pervert, whichever you prefer.

  53. 53
    Mandalay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Maybe that this ratfucking isn’t to win an election, it’s to start WW III !!! ???

    Calm down. I’m not trivializing the ending of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, but that hardly hinges on whether Black Cube did or did not unearth some dirt on a couple of officials in the Obama Administration.

    Trump’s going to do whatever the fuck he wants regardless of Black Cube’s efforts.

  54. 54
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No offense, but if you think a shortage of boots on the ground is going to quell the republicans’ thirst for war you have a short memory; does the phrase “the army we have” ring any bells?

    Also, I find Israel’s willingness to hop into bed with the Trump regime fascinating; do they not believe the concentration camps are coming? Or are they certain American Jews will be smart enough to repatriate long before the inevitable Final Solution?

    Property prices in Tel Aviv are going to go through the roof;)

  55. 55
    hitchhiker says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That makes sense. According to that NY Mag article, Rhodes was one of those guys who could listen well and articulate issues later. That skill, plus having been in the room for the long after action review of the Iraq mess & authoring the report, were kind of all he brought to the table.

    Except a reported ability to lock on to Obama’s thinking.

    That actually seems kind of dangerous to me, in the sense that Obama might have been “amplified” in times when he should have been challenged. But lol, what do I know? I just think it’s nuts that Trump’s people would think they’d gain anything by finding out that Rhodes cheated on his wife or something.

    ffs, no one cares that Trump paid all that $$$ to make his sex actress friends with benefits keep quiet; who’s going to get riled about skeletons in the closets of old Obama hands that only DC has ever heard of anyway?

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    That’s pretty much how a good three or four hours out of every one of my weekends is spent. G calls it “spending the day as warm-blooded furniture.”

  57. 57
    jl says:

    IIRC a high ranking British national security researcher, or maybe scientist committed suicide in the run up to the Iraq war. I’ve long wondered whether something similar happened with him. From what I know of this so far, these oppo outfits go for personal issues first, for blackmail, then if not enough there they start fishing to see if they can draw you into a trap to say something incriminating. And then if that doesn’t work, they just make up stuff and run a smear campaign, or claim you said or wrote something that you didn’t.

    Edit: and for the ex-Obama officials mentioned, looks like they were squeaky clean (as I guess by now should be expected) and too smart to get caught in a trap, so the oppo outfit just started telling lies.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also, how much does the Mossad respect or trust Black Cube? And is use by Trump another indication that this president does not trust US intelligence agencies? How does a man as ignorant as Trump even know to reach out to Black Cube? Do they have a web site?

    In order:
    I have no idea.

    I doubt it. The US intelligence community has not been, fortunately, politicized so you couldn’t have used them for something like this.

    People around the President would know or have the connections to know. My guess is that the connection came through either Jared or Greenblatt (the Special Envoy/formerly the President’s bankruptcy attorney) or Friedman (US ambassador to Israel/formerly the President’s attorney) via Bibi. Or Adelson or Wynne via Bibi.

  59. 59
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): Are you suggesting that the Black Cube may be leaking Black Water? I would totally believe that.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Kid could be left eye dominant. Or left handed and left eye dominant. I’m left eye dominant. I shoot long guns left handed, though I’m also proficient with them right handed. I shoot side arms right handed, though I’m also proficient with them left handed. But this way the default is sidearm right side, long gun left side.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: TMI, dude. Almost top 10,000 family blog.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And when I get my hands on that guy he’s in a lot of trouble for making me look bad!!!//

    More seriously, the opponents also don’t seem to have a clue about what it would take militarily to actually reduce the Iranians ability to produce nuclear weapons. So not only are their arguments about the agreement not in good faith, their arguments for war are based on a combination of ignorance and bullshit.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If he’s left eye dominant this would be a different picture. And he may be and his asshole dad doesn’t know what to do about it. Plus using the middle finger combo makes for pulling and not squeezing.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    When ignorance and bullshit is all you’ve got……..

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    No offense, but if you think a shortage of boots on the ground is going to quell the republicans’ thirst for war you have a short memory; does the phrase “the army we have” ring any bells?

    I’m aware. The difference is that Mattis is the Secretary of Defense. And you’ll notice he’s done a 180 on the JCPOA.

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ruemara:
    Kitteh! Better than any pictiure of Trump of the truly dethpicable Roy Cohn.

    Right now I’m working on The Who’s version of Summertime Blues, which is louder (of course) and angrier than Eddie Cochran’s original. It also calls for Sister’s darker Les Paul tone whereas Eddie’s jangly version works better with The Girl’s Telecaster voice.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    do they not believe the concentration camps are coming? Or are they certain American Jews will be smart enough to repatriate long before the inevitable Final Solution?

    Concentration camps aren’t coming. Get a grip.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m not trivializing the ending of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, but that hardly hinges on whether Black Cube did or did not unearth some dirt on a couple of officials in the Obama Administration.

    Only because Black Cube failed to come up with any useful information. Does it really not bother you at all that random bureaucrats can be targets of an investigation to benefit the president? I know we’re all supposed to believe that Obama did the same thing to Republicans, but he did not.

  69. 69
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I sense another Black Cube contract.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hitchhiker: I don’t know him. I don’t begrudge him the opportunities he’s had. It’s not a zero sum game. Just because he had his didn’t mean I didn’t have mine. Or that I won’t have future ones. And don’t underestimate the ability to listen well and articulate things later. Or to be able to intuit what that Boss wants. As someone who has served as a senior civilian advisor to a bunch of senior leaders, these are invaluable traits or skills.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Also what is a 7-8 yr old kid doing attempting to shoot a semi auto assault rifle? It looks like he can’t even put it up to his shoulder, he’s laying on the stock.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    Luvvie has written on Donald Glover’s new video

    This Is America

    https://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2018/05/this-is-america-donald-glover.html

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    Sometimes a cigar.

  74. 74
    Joey Maloney says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    Property prices in Tel Aviv are going to go through the roof;)

    Trust me, that fucking ship has fucking sailed and is well beyond the fucking horizon.

    Just like London, New York, Miami, etc., Tel Aviv is awash in laundered money from overseas. Rents were always high relative to Israeli salaries – now they’re high relative to US salaries. And still rising.

    (Jerusalem is the same, except it tends to be the more religious criminals who buy there.)

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Does it really not bother you at all that random bureaucrats can be targets of an investigation to benefit the president?

    I didn’t say it didn’t bother me, and I’m not claiming that the story isn’t true, but there are plenty of references to anonymous sources, and documents which are discussed but not shown.

    I just refuse to get excited about this story (and any other story) until there is reasonably strong evidence that it is true.

    Is this story plausible? Sure. Is it true? Maybe, or maybe someone is emulating James O’Keefe. Does it have any impact on what Trump is going to do about the Iran Nuclear Agreement? No.

    ETA: The alleged targets were definitely not “random bureaucrats”.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    I’m really enjoying the Frank Rich piece on Roy Cohn and Trump. It’s odd to note how long Cohn had been a power broker. I remember reading history about the McCarthy era, so it’s odd to read that Cohn was only 52 in 1979.

    Also did not know that Cohn’s father was a New York State Supreme Court justice.

    Also Interesting to read that Barbara Walters was Cohn’s “fiance.” She was also friends with Trump and more often defended him when he and View co-host Rosie O’Donnell had their public fight over Trump’s insults.

  77. 77
    Jay says:

    @hitchhiker:

    “who’s going to get riled about skeletons in the closets of old Obama hands that only DC has ever heard of anyway?”

    Ever been to America?

    Ever heard of E-mails?

  78. 78
    TS (the original) says:

    @hitchhiker:

    who’s going to get riled about skeletons in the closets of old Obama hands that only DC has ever heard of anyway?

    Every republican in congress, the administration, the red states and anywhere else.

  79. 79
    Aleta says:

    “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” 1999 study by Kruger and Dunning.

  80. 80
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yeah, the alt-right (Nazis) has pretty much collapsed as movement in the US due to intense opposition, internal fighting, lackluster recruiting, and most importantly, their ideals (“blood and soil”; neo-fascist nationalism) are fundamentally incompatible with our civil society; our history, as rotten as it is, just doesn’t allow for an explicit fascist ethnostate, like Richard Spencer want.

  81. 81
    Jay says:

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

    Other than all the Nazi’s running for office,…….

    They are all still around, still recruiting, still killing people,

    They arn’t “done” yet.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: It’s not the alt-right to be worried about in this regard. If there were to be concentration camps that would be the government’s doing. There may be a lot of warping and derangement going on, especially among ICE and C&BP, but I think concentration camps are unlikely. They’ve got phase one of the ethnic cleansing in place by rescinding the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs all sunsetting. The question is what will Stephen Miller design for Phase 2? And will their be a GOP majority in one or both chambers of Congress come January to go along with it?

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  84. 84
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Um, somebody might better tell that to all those illegal immigrants locked up in gulags in the southwest that are being run by private prison companies that put inmates in solitary confinement as a punishment for not being willing to do slave labor.

  85. 85
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also Interesting to read that Barbara Walters was Cohn’s “fiance.” She was also friends with Trump and more often defended him when he and View co-host Rosie O’Donnell had their public fight over Trump’s insults.

    Ms. Walters’ father was a ‘booking agent’ working for the money men financing Broadway in the 1930s and Las Vegas in the 1940s. There’s always been rumors that the Mob guys who remembered him might’ve had something to do with her unprecedented success in television media. Yes, she was in the right time and place for a hard-working young woman to break those glass ceilings… but it didn’t hurt that she was also Roy Cohn’s “fiance”, etc etc.

  86. 86
    opiejeanne says:

    @ruemara: Hi you! And that’s a beautiful cat.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: @Citizen Alan: Should a Democrat win the Presidency in 2020, one of the first things he or she does is to decertify, for reasons of national security, both the ICE and the C&BP Unions, terminate the entire work forces at both agencies, then disband ICE, and create a separate from DHS immigration and naturalization service focused on handling immigration and naturalization, not policing immigrants – authorized or unauthorized. C&BP should have a top to bottom scrub with the abusive agents and personnel also immediately terminated. Unauthorized immigrants – either unauthorized entry or overstay of entry – can be policed by agents from the DOJ. Private prisons should also be outlawed.

  88. 88
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    . . . disband ICE . . . create a separate…service focused on handling immigration and naturalization . . . C&BP should have a top to bottom scrub . . . Private prisons should also be outlawed.

    Thank you for this comment. It was like a ray of sunshine. It gives a plan and a way forward to make an “immigration and naturalization service” reflect what we want to be as a nation. And we need plans, not despair. Even at four in the morning. [Maybe the counterpart to Obama’s “don’t boo — vote!” should be the 2020 candidate’s “don’t despair — plan!”]

    Mrs BC’s comment on the present moment is “There’s so much to un-do!” And in many, many areas, we need the plans in place to specifically undo what has been done.

    Let the sunshine in.

  89. 89
    gene108 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The question is what will Stephen Miller design for Phase 2?

    Make sure anyone on a temporary visa gets kicked out of the country.

    You have tens of thousands of people on student visas. They get temporary work permits after graduation. Make these harder to get, so they leave the country after college. Given the cost of US education, not earning US salary after graduation, will make it hard for people to decide to attend in the first place.

    Second, there hundreds of thousands of employer based Green Card applicants from India, who are stuck in a 10-12 year backlog (ie if you applied in 2006 or 2008, depending on the category, you will be eligible to get your GC now) to get the final steps of their process adjusted and get their GC’s. The H1-b visa most of these applicants are on is valid to stay in the for only six years. USCIS issued a ruling years ago that allows people, who have applied for GC’s and have all stages approved, but are not able to get their GC, because of their country quota backlog, to continue extending their visas indefinitely until they get the GC. Doing away with this rule will cause hundreds of thousands of Indians to leave this country and probably result in employers rescinding their employment based GC petitions.

    Phase three will be to deport Green Card holders.

    Phase four is to stop allowing immigrants to become US citizens.

    Phase five is to rescind citizenship for immigrants already naturalized.

  90. 90
    BC in Illinois says:

    @BC in Illinois:
    @Adam L Silverman:

    . . . disband ICE . . . create a separate…service focused on handling immigration and naturalization . . . C&BP should have a top to bottom scrub . . . Private prisons should also be outlawed.

    I should note that this is a fairly radical plan and will create an explosive reaction on the right, but I do not see that as a bad thing. Lay out a vision, in accord with the best ideals of our past.

    The other side can lay out their vision, in accord with the worst of our past. The white nationalists with their “white nation” fantasies are rejecting the actual nation we have and rebelling against the nation we want to be. Maybe there will be a rock someplace where the white nationalists can gather and sit and . . . (I guess) . . . be white.

    ETA – – In the meantime gene 108 has given us a summary of what the other side has to offer. [“shudder”] This is something to resist.

    Don’t despair. Plan!

  91. 91
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I do wonder if the ICE agents will become a massive terrorist insurgency after they’re fired, kind of like the de-Baathification of the Iraqi army.

  92. 92
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @gene108: Phase six is rescinding the citizenship of native-born Americans with the wrong parents, starting with children of undocumented immigrants. These guys–and it’s not just Trump, it’s basically all the Republicans–have stated explicit contempt for the relevant sentence in the 14th Amendment and will repeal or nullify it somehow if they ever get the chance.

    Then they do wrong grandparents, then wrong great-grandparents, then political dissidents and so on. Meanwhile, establish that non-citizens lack all constitutional rights, something they’ve already managed to get into the minds of much of the population and into practice to some degree.

    Get all these people into massively expanded ICE detention facilities. And if you can’t deport them, find some other way to dispose of them.

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

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Jesus Christ, get a grip

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