Russiagate Sidebar Open Thread: Oh Please… Please

Have said it before, will no doubt say it again: There are few arrests that would make me happier than that of Roger Stone, foundational Repub ratfvcker going back to Nixon’s maladministration. And for the unsubtle scripting of Murphy the Trickster God, few incidents that would make a better story arc…

Stone appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee last September and denied allegations of collusion between the president’s associates and Russia during the election. “I am aware of no evidence whatsoever of collusion by the Russian state or anyone in the Trump campaign,” Stone told reporters at the time.

According to sources familiar with the ongoing investigation, Mueller also has been probing whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign may have helped Assange or the Russians time or target the release of hacked emails and other social media promoting Trump or critical of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton…

Sullivan told Reuters that he heads Cyphoon.com, a social media firm, and “worked on the Trump campaign serving as Chief Strategist directly to Roger J. Stone Jr.”

“Welcome To The Age of Weaponized Social Media,” said a strategy document Sullivan prepared for Stone and seen by Reuters. He described a “system” he devised for creating Twitter “swarms” as “an army of sophisticated, hyper-targeted direct tweet automation systems driven by outcomes-based strategies derived from REAL-TIME actionable insights.”

For example, at 6:43 a.m. local time on Election Day in 2016, Trump tweeted, “TODAY WE MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN”. Trump’s message soon was retweeted more than 343,000 times, and in an interview last year, Sullivan told Reuters that the swarm helped overcome a surge in pro-Clinton social media postings and boost voter turnout for Trump…

And, yes, Stone has always denied being anything more than “an old friend of Donald’s”…

Politico helpfully adds:

Mueller’s office, which declined to comment about the grand jury subpoenas to Sullivan, has signaled interest in Stone through its questioning of several of his longtime associates. Two former Trump campaign aides, Michael Caputo and Sam Nunberg, have said they were asked about Stone during their interviews with the special counsel’s team. The president’s personal lawyers also included Stone among a long list of potential topics that Trump should prepare to be asked about if he sits with Mueller’s team for an interview, according to a New York Times report last month.

In an email to POLITICO, Stone called Sullivan “a great salesman who worked for me for a couple of months as a social media consultant. As far as I know all of his social media activities work was perfectly legal.” He added that Sullivan had access to his Twitter feed while working for his super PAC…

Stone, one of the youngest members of President Richard Nixon’s infamous 1972 reelection bid, formed his super PAC in fall 2015 just a few months after he left Trump’s presidential campaign. (Trump at the time said he fired his longtime political adviser, though Stone insisted he quit.) The group faced immediate controversy when Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager at the time, told The Hill newspaper that he’d sent a cease-and-desist letter and slammed the super PAC’s work as a “big-league scam.”

But Stone persisted, spending nearly all of the $587,000 the super PAC raised during the 2016 election cycle, according to FEC campaign data compiled by OpenSecrets.org…

Some people say that Roger has managed to stay out of jail all these years due to a preternatural talent for being the first in every criminal conspiracy to turn state’s evidence. Be a certain poetic justice if he ends up in a cell because his most recent totally-not-a-fellow-conspirator Assange sells Stone done the river, deliberately or not.

85 replies
  1. 1
    Cermet says:

    Guess one can dream. Hope handcuff’s are waiting for the orange fart cloud when he is voted out in 2020.

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    The Trump campaign and eventual stolen election was the culmination of large scale, long range information war on the American people waged by a globalized crime syndicate of plutocrats, oligarchs and mobsters.

  3. 3
    catclub says:

    Some people say that Roger has managed to stay out of jail all these years due to a preternatural talent for being the first in every criminal conspiracy to turn state’s evidence.

    I was thinking of him when there was a report that Page and another guy had met with an FBI informant.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    catclub says:

    @GregB:

    culmination of

    continuation of

  6. 6
    otmar says:

    Not quite on topic but important: the EU will not accept the effect of the renewed US sanctions on EU companies. Instead, the EU will use the same process they used a few years back to fight similar sanctions against Cuba.

    Basically, the EU will make following the US sanctions illegal for European companies. See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-eu-business/in-1990s-redux-eu-to-consider-blocking-u-s-sanctions-over-iran-idUSKBN1IA2PV

  7. 7
    Libraryguy says:

    Help!

    My absentee landlord is a nice person. Hasn’t kept up with bills for our place (and others). :( And they’re “A little short right now”.

    Anybody feel like some shopping (early Father’s Day?) to help us out, the link is here. A portion of purchases go to help animal rescues and sanctuaries.

    We need to raise about $500 over the next few days.

    Thanks for any help you can throw our way!

  8. 8
    danielx says:

    There are few arrests that would make me happier than that of Roger Stone, foundational Repub ratfvcker going back to Nixon’s maladministration.

    Seconded, with a hearty A-MEN. Miserable little bastard has been evading justice for more than four decades, and I’d purely love to live long enough to see him wearing orange all over. Just keeping in solidarity with his old friend, of course.

    OT: I have concluded that I really do not understand golfers at all, at all. Never played the game, never been interested in it except as low volume background noise for a Sunday nap, nope, nada, nothing. If I saw something like this anywhere nearby, my reaction would be to move rapidly in the other direction until I was, say, OFF THE ISLAND.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    Meanwhile, according to TPM, Lying Littledick is, yet again, trying to blame the last President, saying that Obama’s FBI was spying on Shitgibbon’s campaign.

    I was unaware that reporting on (probable) criminal activities is now called “spying.” You kids with your new definitions for everything, I can’t keep up.

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    @danielx:
    Re: golfing near Kilauea
    I think it would be good fun if enough people called Shitgibbon a candy-ass for not playing 72 holes there. “Obama did it, why can’t YOU? Are ya CHICKEN???”

  11. 11
    danielx says:

    @SFAW:

    I agree. Next thing you know they’ll be calling things like “bribery” and “treason” a simple quid pro quo.

  12. 12
    danielx says:

    @SFAW:

    Be nice if he took them up on it and one of those refrigerator-size rocks they’ve been talking about landed on him.

  13. 13
    Steve in the SFO says:

    “This suggests that Robert Mueller is honing in on Roger Stone

    Homing, not honing! Jeez.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    @Steve in the SFO: I was wondering about that myself, so I looked it up.

    Apparently both usages are acceptable nowadays. “Honing” implies sharpening his inquiry towards its objective.

  15. 15
    the Conster says:

    @GregB:

    Exactly. The Steele dossier has been a very useful roadmap. What I haven’t heard anything about, is the part of the dossier that explains how one of the 3 prongs of the attack against Clinton involves Russian agents and facilitators INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY INFRASTRUCTURE. No one on MSNBC like Maddow or Reid (forget Berniebro Chris Hayes) or anyone else ever gets around to poking that turd, that I’m aware of.

  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Apparently both usages are acceptable nowadays

    Kind of like how “bemused” has become equivalent to “amused”? However, that “honing in” is just wrong. The only time you can “hone in” is when you’re sharpening a knife IN some particular space.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @SFAW: If he wants to start babbling about a current-day Watergate, well I for one am not going to object.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    Goldstone is an interesting cat.

    Senate Russia investigators released 2500 pages of documents. This is the most fascinating email exchange.https://t.co/f3BPsm2KBG pic.twitter.com/CyZovUxT4b— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 16, 2018

  19. 19
    JR says:

    @Steve in the SFO: he’s honing his axe, a la Sanson.

  20. 20
    germy says:

    @SFAW: Yes, I see “bemused” like that all the time. I’ve given up. It’s come to mean a sort of troubled or worried amusement.

    I still bitch about “I could care less” which means I’m a crank. I see it everywhere.

    One thing I noticed over the past few years: People beginning sentences with the word “So” (usually in answer to a question): “When did you begin this project?” “So I began working on it a year ago”

  21. 21
    LAO says:

    I love TBogg:

    “ARE YOU THE ATTORNEY WHO SCREAMED AT SPANISH-SPEAKING PEOPLE IN MANHATTAN AND THREATENED TO CALL ICE? YOU WANT TO BE MY NEW LAWYER? I’LL LET YOU KILL RUDY.” pic.twitter.com/N4VSaS85bV— TBogg – Totally King of New New California (@tbogg) May 16, 2018

  22. 22
    Yarrow says:

    Tick tock, motherfuckers. Tick fucking tock.

  23. 23
    Humdog says:

    I surely am not the only one figuring, after Rudy tells Shitstain that a sitting president cannot be indicted, Shitstain will not leave office even if he is voted out? I will amuse myself with imaging how the secret service will physically remove him from the White House, like will they grab him by his arms and legs or will they tase him and cart his ass out on a dolly? Yep, that’s the ticket, think of that instead of shrieking we will never be rid of this Shitstain and his garbage party.

  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    @GregB:

    The Trump campaign and eventual stolen election was the culmination of large scale, long range information war on the American people waged by a globalized crime syndicate of plutocrats, oligarchs and mobsters.

    Indeed it was. And they will pay.

  25. 25
    Humdog says:

    @LAO: Since the name of the guy who ranted aga8nst speak8ng Spanish in one of your regular lunch spots has come out, and he is a lawyer even, do you know him?

  26. 26
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    After Mueller makes his report I think it’s going to take a while for the magnitude of what Trump has done to settle in with folks.

  27. 27
    afanasia says:

    @germy: Agree on “could care less”. Because a moment spent thinking about context makes it clear that “couldn’t care less” is the only way the phrase makes sense. Have stopped explaining this, though, because I like having friends…

  28. 28
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Has the guy made any statement yet?

  29. 29

    One of the great things about languages is that they change.

  30. 30
    LAO says:

    @Humdog: No. I checked out his website and he’s a small time civil lawyer (not that there is anything wrong with that). I am, however, embarrassed as a (1) New Yorker (2) lawyer and (3) Jew, that he exists. As far as I know, he hasn’t responded to the slagging and dragging he received, I’m trying to keep an eye out for that though. It has the potential to be amusing in, I expect, a horrible way.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    One of the great things about languages is that they change.

    I predict in 50 years words like “rough” “though” etc. will seem like Chaucer’s Middle English to most people.

    Entire novels will be written in txt, with emojis.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Did you see another video someone posted of him yelling at protesters? I think the group was a Jewish group protesting something Israel did and he was yelling at them saying they weren’t real Jews. He’s got problems.

  33. 33
    germy says:

    @Yarrow:

    He’s got problems.

    He’s being divebombed on yelp and google reviews.
    Maybe he’ll land a job writing a column for the NYT or Atlantic.

  34. 34
    Jeffro says:

    Twitler sure is panicked this morning…wassamatter, Orange One, you worried about what Roger Stone might do to save himself?

  35. 35
    LAO says:

    @Yarrow: It’s like that old joke: Civil lawyers, aren’t. (Which sounds better out loud, then written).

    I expect he’ll pop up on Fox News, crying about the liberals and the general persecution Trumpers feel in liberal hellholes like Manhattan. Should be good for a laugh or two.

  36. 36
    N says:

    Some people say that Roger has managed to stay out of jail all these years due to a preternatural talent for being the first in every criminal conspiracy to turn state’s evidence.

    Some others say it’s because he has hidden cameras in his bondage basement. White Rose Society in the ’80s.

  37. 37
    Humdog says:

    @LAO: maybe you will hear the mariachi band that is to play outside his office if/when he returns to work!

  38. 38
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @germy: I share all of the above grammar-Nazi peeves mentioned above. But I am especially appalled at that kind of thing when done by professionals such as print journalists (who presumably have editors). In this category are “snuck”, seen frequently in print, and “could of” also seen more than once but thankfully less often.

  39. 39
    Peale says:

    While I’d like to see him in a orange suit, fertilizing corn in some farm would be fine as well.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I always see people who get paid to write saying “He was hung for his crime” rather than “He was hanged.”

    (who presumably have editors)

    Nowadays? Probably not.

  41. 41
    LAO says:

    Remember all those pundits who thought Trump would pivot after election, somehow become “presidential.” They can fuck themselves:

    .@ByBrianBennett reports that Trump doesn’t think he needs to prepare for summit with Kim Jong Un. https://t.co/Lnc3XBDJT2— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) May 17, 2018

  42. 42
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: He’ll end up on Fox News, if anywhere.

    @N: Would not at all surprise me if Stone has blackmail material on everyone else. Unfortunately for him, that won’t work with Mueller.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    @JR: did Sanson carry Samsonite luggage?

  44. 44

    @GregB:

    The Trump campaign and eventual stolen election was the culmination of large scale, long range information war on the American people waged by a globalized crime syndicate of plutocrats, oligarchs and mobsters.

    The Trump campaign and eventual stolen election was the culmination of white America losing its fucking shit because they see a future where they share power with minorities getting close. This has been heating up for decades, and itself is a continuation of hundreds of years of racism being one of if not the most important issue in American politics. The nastiest rich people jumped on the train for their own purposes, that’s all. It was headed in their general direction anyway. In 2016, they had just enough sway to push Trump into a victory on technicalities, but not as much effect as, say, the modern Jim Crow voter suppression terrified whites were already leaping into with both feet. Those same white racists who’ve been with us for three hundred years welcomed the Russians and kleptocrats with open arms, and are still delighted with the assistance.

    @LAO:
    The pundits are pretty sure that if a black man could do it, any white man can be a good president. But not a woman, of course.

  45. 45
    Steve in the SFO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: tell that to l’Académie Française!

  46. 46

    @germy: you know who else was into orthographic reform.

    English spelling is a disaster but I don’t think it’s going to go the way of the dodo quite that quickly.

  47. 47
    Lapassionara says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: “Could of” gives me the creeps. I know language changes, but, please, not that far!

    I also have noticed the “homing”/“honing” issue. When I was young, we were taught to use “honing,” so I have been wondering where the other usage came from.

    As for our current political nightmare, I am keeping my fingers crossed that justice will be done. 🙁

  48. 48
    Bruce K says:

    @germy: For some reason, I flashed back to a bit out of Blazing Saddles there:

    “Bart? They said you were hung!”
    “And they were right!”

  49. 49
    Steve in the SFO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: is a few years, that will be spelled “d’oh!d’oh!”

  50. 50
    Leto says:

    @otmar: Another tick in the “trade wars are easy to win” column:


    Japan plans $400m hit on US goods in response to Trump tariffs

    As US-China talks begin aimed at averting a trade war, Tokyo jockeys for leverage with Trump administration

    I really wish the winning would stop.

    @LAO: If he won’t properly prepare for the orange spray tan, why does anyone think he’d prepare for something important? /continualboggle

  51. 51
    K488 says:

    @catclub: Sansomite luggage. On his trip hone.

  52. 52

    @Steve in the SFO: In Simpsons scripts it’s “(annoyed grunt)”

  53. 53
    K488 says:

    @Lapassionara: Re homing vs honing, I’m surprised people have been taught “honing” rather than “homing.” Homing in on something was an expression in my youth (long time ago), and had its roots in the use of radio beacons, both by air and sea.

  54. 54
    Steve in the SFO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: the Germans were trying to simplify spelling a few years (couple of decades? I lose track) ago, such as changing “photo” to “foto”. Whatever came of that?

  55. 55

    Can we increase the number of Asian loan-words a skosh? Chop-chop.

    …ketchup.

    @Steve in the SFO: they abandoned the project after WW2 (gosh wonder why) but standardized it in the 80’s? 90’s? So it’s Foto now, and ß is standardized, and you always use umlauts unless your keyboard can’t support them, and they got rid of that goddamned gothic font.

  56. 56
    Steve in the SFO says:

    @K488: remember honing pigeons? They were handy when you needed help sharpening knives

  57. 57
    K488 says:

    @Steve in the SFO: Yup; that’s still another (and earlier, and better) example.

  58. 58
    janeform says:

    @Steve in the SFO: A couple of egregious errors quoted in the MSNBC tweet:
    “advanced knowledge”
    “Russian’s had hacked”

    Oy gevalt!

    And, every time someone uses I as a direct object (which is all the time) it feels like someone punched me in the stomach. I think I’ll have to get over it.

  59. 59
    lowtechcyclist says:

    “Mueller’s office, which declined to comment about the grand jury subpoenas to Sullivan…”

    Mueller has a spokesperson, a guy named Peter Carr. I envision him looking like the Maytag repairman from the old ads, just sitting around with nothing to do besides occasionally say “no comment” when someone calls.

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Humdog:
    A former POTUS was once pardoned. If you can be pardoned, doesn’t that imply you can also be tried and convicted, and are thus not immune from indictment? There is, I have read, no language in the US Constitution that actually prohibits indicting or trying POTUS in a court. The DoJ says POTUS can’t be indicted, but I think it really means that POTUS mustn’t be indicted lest all hell break loose.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the SFO:
    I think they review die Rechtschreibung der Deutsche Sprache around the turn of every century. People are still arguing over the 2006 revisions, I’m told.

  62. 62
    LAO says:

    @Yarrow: Daily news update on the dumbfuck racist shithead lawyer. LINK.

    Barred from his office building. hehehehehe.

  63. 63
    glory b says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Don’t forget “ginormous.”

  64. 64
    Libraryguy says:

    Help!

    We have an short-term financial emergency, brought on by an absentminded landlord.

    Anybody feel like some shopping (early Father’s Day?), you can do it here. We need to raise about $500 over the next few days.

    Every little bit helps. Thank you!

  65. 65
    Mike in NC says:

    I was doing errands yesterday and some ad came on the car radio and a person promoting their business used the fake word “irregardless”, but these days that must happen thousands of times a day. Trump himself has probably tweeted it many times.

  66. 66
    Barbara says:

    @Amir Khalid: He was pardoned by his successor after he left office. He was never indicted as a sitting president. But I agree, the underlying need for the pardon was occasioned by the belief that he could have been indicted for crimes committed while he was in office. It might also have been difficult to view the actions he took as carrying out official duties because they were bound up with his efforts to be re-elected to office.

  67. 67
    Humdog says:

    @Amir Khalid: IANAL or a constitutional scholar. With that caveat, it seems that since the constitution says a prez can be impeached for high crimes, such a bribery which is criminal, that leads me to think that they would have to had put in the constitution “or brought before a court of law” if a sitting prez can be charged criminally. I don’t like it, and I would like to see it tried here, but I also fear that this Supreme Court would not prosecute or convict and then the rule of law is seen to be completely shot. Back to contemplating secret service dragging him out of the Oval Office by his heels and his stupid long tie getting stuck under his back and choking him silly.

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Thanks for the link! LOL. He’s running away. Brave!

  69. 69
    MCA1 says:

    @Lapassionara: The reason that one (“could of”) bugs me so much is because it’s not a change of the phrase’s meaning or usage over time. I’m OK with the meanings of words evolving or expanding. “Could of” is just ignorance, possibly combined with mishearing the spoken phrase. We often pronounce it like “could’ve” so way too many people think the phrase is actually “could of” and they don’t stop and think how fucking ludicrous and meaningless that construction would be.

    Same thing with “bemused” for “amused.” Enough people don’t actually know the meaning of the word “bemused” but they think it sounds nice or it accidentally slips out in place of the correct word. It’s not an attempt to expand the definition of a particular word.

    Don’t get me started on “could care less.” It’s again not some evolution of the language. It’s just illogical, mistaken usage. I used to always respond with fake confusion when I heard that phrase, like “Wait, so you do care, then?” “No, I just said I totally don’t care.” “No, you said you could care less. That implies you care at least to some degree.” [Internal] “??? Fucking grammar nazi.”

    I feel the same way about “x times more than” instead of “x times as many,” but that battle is lost.

  70. 70
    germy says:

    @MCA1:

    Don’t get me started on “could care less.”

    I recall that “could care less” started as a spoof of ethnic accents. An old person with a thick accent saying “I could care less!” “He could care less!” Scriptwriters used it to demonstrate an immigrant who hadn’t fully assimilated.

  71. 71

    @MCA1: “Could of” makes me hyperventilate.

  72. 72
    Fair Economist says:

    @germy:

    I predict in 50 years words like “rough” “though” etc. will seem like Chaucer’s Middle English to most people.

    Meaning those extremely archaic spellings – about half a millennium out of date IIRC – will be altered? Ruff to accomplish, tho it seems to be happening some already.

  73. 73
    Fair Economist says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    “Could of” makes me hyperventilate.

    Although it has moved from flat wrong to a substandard idiom. An interesting example of the interplay between written and spoken forms.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    Have said it before, will no doubt say it again: There are few arrests that would make me happier than that of Roger Stone

    So true.
    So true.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Re: being a crank: you’re my kind of crank. If that helps.

    Re: the “So, I …” crap. Yeah, it drives me crazy.

  76. 76
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Libraryguy:
    Your begging bowl looks familiar. Are you Jurassicpork?

  77. 77
    The Lodger says:

    @Humdog: MOAR ACCORDIONZ!

  78. 78
    Steve in the SFO says:

    @germy: I saw a sign yesterday for the photographer Leigh Wiener and I immediately thought of how crazy our pronunciations are, as “ei” and “ie” are both pronounced “ee” in that name.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That damned Gothic font is called Fraktur. Apparently one day, der Führer decided he didn’t fancy it anymore, so he started saying it was Jewish. This happened only a couple of years before the end of the war, so there wasn’t enough time to paint over all the signage in tne country.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the SFO:
    Wiener’s deutschsprechende ancestors would have pronounced that name “vee-ener”.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MCA1:
    Actually, “x times more than” does have a proper meaning: “(x + 1) times as many”.

  82. 82
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Your begging bowl looks familiar. Are you Jurassicpork?

    So I believe another commenter reached that conclusion last knight. Or, rather, he/she could of “honed in” on that conclusion, but there may be some doubt.
    @Amir Khalid:

    “x times more than” does have a proper meaning: “(x + 1) times as many”.

    I always like the “it’s FIVE TIMES LESS than X!!!!” (whatever “X” may be)

  83. 83
    kattails says:

    Seems to me that the BJ crowd likes to keep its verbal skills and witty repartee well-honed.

  84. 84
    dexwood says:

    @Libraryguy:
    Quite the approach you have. Yesterday morning you were bragging about all the contributions you make to animal welfare organizations. Admirable, if true. I do the same unless I can’t afford it for some reason. A few hours later yesterday, you were here asking for help again. Something you’ve done with some regularity since late last summer. Now, I don’t think you are JPork, but you do seem to dip into the Balloon Juice Bank frequently. Perhaps adjusting your priorities would be helpful. If you are having cash issues stop sending money to animal rescue groups, take care of your issues first. If your landlord’s actions cause you financial problems, have a serious talk with him about his end of the rental agreement. You have become annoying.

  85. 85
    BroD says:

    There are few arrests that would make me happier than that of Roger Stone, foundational Repub ratfvcker

    Me too–but I try to stay focused.

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