NRA Treason-Assisting Open Thread: Red Sparrowhawk

Maria Butina, leaning in! Per Buzzfeed:

A 29-year-old Russian graduate student who worked for years as a gun rights activist was arrested and charged as a spy on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Monday.

Maria Butina, a protégé of Alexander Torshin, a powerful Russian banking official and close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was charged with “conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government” without registering, as required under US law.

According to court documents, which spell her first name as Mariia, Butina worked “at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government” from 2015 through at least February 2017 to cultivate relationships with US politicians and activists friendly to Russia. Descriptions in the document match Torshin, though he is unnamed…

Butina had become a familiar face in conservative political circles. She founded a Russian gun rights group, Right to Bear Arms, in 2011 and repeatedly claimed on social media that she was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. In 2013, her gun rights group got John Bolton, now Trump’s national security adviser, to appear in a video that was used in the group’s lobbying…

Torshin was enthusiastically pro-Trump on social media during the campaign. He also sat with Donald Trump Jr. at the 2016 NRA convention, an event at which he reportedly tried to meet with high-level Trump campaign officials, including Jared Kushner. Don Jr.’s lawyer later told McClatchy his exchange with Torshin “was all gun-related small talk.”

A few days before Trump announced his presidential bid, Butina wrote an op-ed about the impact the 2016 election could have on the relationship between the two countries.

“It may take the election of a Republican to the White House in 2016 to improve relations between the Russian Federation and the United States,” she wrote in The National Interest magazine. She had sent the article to Torshin in advance for his approval.

A month after Trump began his presidential run, Butina was among the questioners at a town hall in Las Vegas, where she asked him to describe his foreign policy “especially in relations with my country.”

Trump said that if elected he would improve relations between the US and Russia, adding, “I know Putin and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin.”…

Her social media posts reveal just how extensively she and Torshin worked to meet politicians and others they thought would be influential for years. Her LiveJournal shows them both meeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when he was a Republican presidential candidate. Photos of her with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindhal are available on the internet.

Butina connected with Paul Erickson, a longtime conservative Republican operative from South Dakota and NRA activist, as early as 2013. He attended an event for her organization — which she described as “a Russian version of the NRA” — in Moscow the following year. In May 2016, Erickson reached out to Rick Dearborn, a senior Trump campaign official and longtime advisor to the[n] Sen. Jeff Sessions presenting himself as an intermediary. Sessions is now Trump’s attorney general…

Butina also used the annual National Prayer Breakfast as a way to make contacts with influential people, according to the court filings. On Nov. 30, 2016, Butina emailed “US Person 1,” saying the Russian delegation attending the National Prayer Breakfast had been “handpicked” by a senior Russian official and were “VERY influential in Russia.”…

On Grover Norquist’s radio show, Feb. 2016 — “Meet the Woman Leading the Gun Rights Movement in Russia”

Kicker, because of course

173 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    I speculated about Butina being present at the Oval Office meeting with Trump earlier:

    But I was wrong:

    Damn! That would have been perfect!

  2. 2
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, my spidey sense told me that is not a Russian woman. Je ne sais quoi . . . .

  3. 3
    Waldo says:

    Just when you think the car cannot hold any more, yet another clown emerges.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    Jesu Christe. Just fucking kill the division of the IRS that administers the tax exemptions (yes I know the name but most people don’t) and tax everyone. Even if the tax is minimal. Yes that includes churches.

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    One of those tweets:

    Brad Heath @bradheath

    This shouldn’t get lost: The FBI has obtained the emails of a U.S. person, claiming to have participated in a “VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin and key [Republican] leaders” a month before the 2016 election.

    Top Republican leaders and many lower level Republican officials are traitors. RICO the RNC. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

  6. 6
    oldster says:

    Don’t feel bad, Betty–a lot of us jumped at that photo.

    Thanks for retracting the error and publicizing the truth.

    That’s one of the reasons that I prefer our side to theirs.

    (David Frum pushed the photo this morning on his twitter feed (as part of his laudable anti-Trump campaign), but now he has deleted the tweets with no indication that he ever posted them. It’s better, I think, to at least acknowledge that you got something wrong, instead of pretending you never made the mistake.)

  7. 7
    Mike in DC says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/us/politics/01cyber.html
    18 USC 115 ○ 2381

    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

    We really need to try this one out when the time comes.

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    Jon Swaine @jonswaine
    On the day a Russian agent is charged with infiltrating the NRA, the Trump administration announces the NRA and similar groups can keep the identity of their donors totally secret

    Seems like sunlight would be a good thing for Dems to include in their campaigns. Why should the NRA be able to keep their donors’ names secret? How does that help our democracy?

  9. 9
    different-church-lady says:

    The thing that’s really blowing my mind here is that you can go ahead and be an agent of a meddlesome foreign government as long as you register for it.

  10. 10
    Princess says:

    I’ve got to admit, even at the time I was surprised Trump embraced the NRA so, so tightly, especially after the primary was over. I guess we know why now. Most GOP presidential candidates are a tiny bit cooler to them.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    NYT: Donald Trump Jr. DID meet Maria Butina, along with Alexander Torshin, at the 2016 NRA convention, and "congressional investigators have obtained a photograph of the three at the event". https://t.co/AHO1tUaGOK— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) July 17, 2018

    Junior is so inept. All Trump’s kids with Ivana are traitors. They won’t do well in prison.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Tim Miller
    Not in the Oval but she did get a rare Q at a Trump event that POTUS seemed unusually prepared for!
    — Had missed/forgotten that the Russian spy Maria Butina asked Trump a q at a campaign event where he volunteered ending sanctions and lavished praise on Putin (as usual). Maybe just another coincidence

    trump is even more incoherent than usual. He starts out like he’s going to call Obama Putin’s puppet, then switches to the “Obama can’t get along with anybody tack. Trying to remember now how that message stumbled along back in early 2016
    (I tried to clean up the formatting of Miller retweeting himself with a youtube link)

  13. 13
    cynthia ackerman says:

    Would really like it if this aids Mueller in roping in the NRA as a key — knowing and willing — element in Russian interference.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @oldster: I can sorta see why people delete errant tweets since, in isolation, tweets with false info can still be retweeted and spread misinformation even after you’ve appended a correction, and it’s possible people won’t read the threaded correction. But I’d rather err on the side of transparency. Easier for me than Frum since he tweets under his real name and has a humongous following, and I’m just an anonymous nobody.

  15. 15
    oldster says:

    @Betty–

    I don’t know how the Twitter machine works–I don’t have an account, just read it as another web-site.

    That said: can’t you leave a Tweet in place, and replace the contents? So Frum could delete the photo, and put a note in its place saying “I have deleted the original contents of this tweet because I made a mistake in it.” Or any other explanation you want, that will not spread the original falsehood.

    Is that possible on Twitter?

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I saw that. Shannon Watts has a long list of prominent Republicans photographed with Butina here, including the Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, a bunch of NRA bigwigs, that lunatic Sheriff Clarke character, etc.

  17. 17
    clay says:

    @Betty Cracker: You could do both… delete the erroneous tweet, and issue a new one acknowledging the correction.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @oldster: Unfortunately not. You can’t even edit spelling errors. Once posted, you can only delete a tweet or thread a correction under it by replying to yourself.

  19. 19
    MobileForkbeard says:

    That Molllie Hemingway tweet is a real trip. Especially her twitter followers who kep saying “anyone who believes the NRA and the Russians worked together are basically 9/11 Truthers.”

    Whoops.

  20. 20
    bjacques says:

    They misspelled “comrades” in that picture up there…

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @clay: Good point, but it feels kinda cowardly to me somehow, especially if others have retweeted it or replied.

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    Matthew Yglesias

    Verified account

    @mattyglesias
    2h2 hours ago
    More Matthew Yglesias Retweeted Karen Tumulty
    All these takes, which are bad, ignore two key points:
    1) Trump avoids *any* standard criticism of Putin not just election-related.
    2) The trend long predates Election Day.

    I saw Dana Bash was promoting this defense of Trump yesterday. “Whatever Republican leadership told Dana Bash” about Trump’s motives is not fact. It’s just not. It’s a defense from people who have a personal and professional interest in defending Donald Trump. It should be treated as such.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @clay: Dan Drezner and a few others are doing that– deleting and acknowledging it. And for the Big Picture: Isn’t that the meeting where trump burned an Israeli source to the Russians? IIRC during trump’s first trip to Israel (post Suadi Orb), reporters could hear McMaster et al being screamed at by their Israeli counterparts while BiBi and the Beast posed for “we both hate Obama!” portraits, and some MSNBC bot told me that was a sign of a very successful foreign policy trip for trump.

  24. 24
    texasboyshaun says:

    Who’d ever thought that Rocky and Bullwinkle was a documentary and not a fun cartoon?

  25. 25
    maya says:

    On my abbreviated local news station this AM (not FOX) the Moochi was being quoted as saying that the quisling kumquat needs to clarify that he “mis-spoke” everything he said at the Hellissinking presser yesterday. That should fix it all up. So, the Mooch is a thing in the trotski admin again?
    Not sure about the origins of that “mis-spoke” word but I distinctly remember Timmeh Russert using it when he had Dick Cheney back on MTP to backtrack on his earlier story about the yellow cake from Niger BS . “So you mis-spoke Mr Vice President?”
    “Yeah, yeah, Timmy I mis-spoke .” “Thank you Mr Vice President, the most powerful Vice President since the dawn of man BTW, for clearing that up..” OK last two lines were made up but essentially what happened. Anybody know (or care) what Luke is doing these days?

  26. 26

    From the previous thread.
    How many major newspapers/media houses were compromised? T had scandals galore, yet all they focused on was the EMAILZ, and not the far more clickbaity scandals involving sex, money and mafia of the R candidate, why?
    When you measure everything in terms money, everything is up for sale and has a price. Including democracy. Thanks Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman.
    I also want to know the financial set up of The Apprentice. That show gave T a new lease of life in public life and burnished his image as that of a successful businessman.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @MobileForkbeard:

    The funniest part to me is they arrested her. They’ve been aware of the connections for a while. The people who are paid by the NRA to promote and defend the NRA had no idea what was going on. They were duped. Played by Putin.

    Scott Walker greeted her in Russian, she said on her blog. Whoever prepares him told him she was a grass roots pro-gun organizer from Russia. Somewhere on Scott Walker’s schedule is “1:30 – meet with Russian spy, greet in Russian”

    No one knows who backs these Right wing causes and the paid propagandists don’t know either, apparently. How would they? It’s all dark money.

  28. 28
    johncarter says:

    So, when trunp resigns or is impeached and Pence or maybe even Ryan become president, as was asked elsewhere, does trump get a full, free and absolute pardon?

  29. 29
    Platonailedit says:

    We tried to fact-check PUTIN's claim that @BillBrowder's associates donated $400M in un-taxed Russian $ to @HillaryClinton's campaign, but it was so completely without evidence that there were no pants to light on fire, so I hereby deem it "WITHOUT PANTS." https://t.co/js3XprGK1T

    — Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 16, 2018

    Two lying pos in a pod.

  30. 30
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow:

    RICO the RNC

    Love this – it fits on a bumper sticker, t-shirt, coffee mug (and in about 5 minutes via Cafe Press, it just well might, too)

    My 17 and 12-year olds both understand what RICO stands for (have for about a year now, actually). It must be odd, at such an early age, knowing much more about the president’s* and GOP’s treason than their FOX-watching grandfather and uncle.

  31. 31
    D58826 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Isn’t that the meeting where trump burned an Israeli source to the Russians

    YES That is the meeting. Dr Fuhrer had only been in the WH a few days at that point

  32. 32
    Platonailedit says:

    For BC

    We really should study whether that's Russian spy Mariia Butina in that White House photo.

    Luckily, for comparison, there's a picture of her with every major Republican of the last five years.

    — Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 17, 2018

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    Manu Raju
    ‏Sen. Feinstein told me Dems on the panel requested docs and intvw in December from indicted Russian national Maria Butina to determine whether she used the NRA to create a backchannel to the Trump campaign. But she did not comply, citing the lack of support from GOP senators.

    They have blocked transparency and oversight at every turn. It’s the executive AND the legislative branch and by extension it’s the judicial branch, because executive and legislative are choosing and appointing the judges.

    I honestly do not know what constitutes a crisis if this doesn’t. It’s a soft coup. Russia succeeded beyond their WILDEST dreams.

  34. 34
    jimmiraybob says:

    Is it time to table all trump appointees until they can be fully vetted for Russian contacts and/or sentiments? Or merely because the head Putinist in the White House appointed them?

    Also, does anyone know who chose the translators and/or what their backgrounds are?

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I also want to know the financial set up of The Apprentice. That show gave T a new lease of life in public life and burnished his image as that of a successful businessman.

    Take a look at Mark Burnett. He’s the producer and the key player in that set up. He’s married to Roma Downey and they are big Christianists. I’ve been banging away at the evangelical Christian involvement in Russian treason as well. As Adam says, Russia has long cultivated ties with evangelical Christian groups. Plenty of photos and data there as well. It’s pretty easy to donate to some of those Christian organizations and would be just as easy for Russia to launder money through them as it is the NRA.

    So the question is, why did Mark Burnett pick Trump to be the face of The Apprentice? Doubt it was an accident.

  36. 36
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jimmiraybob: US interpreters (not “translators”) are career State Dept employees, not political.

  37. 37

    @Kay: GoPutin party is complicit. Orange One is just the front man.

  38. 38
    MobileForkbeard says:

    I know we’re all some combination of aghast at Trump but perhaps relieved others are finally acknowledging the obvious, but… Obama is making a high profile speech at an even celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday right now.

    Watch it. It’s a real balm to see Obama speak and defend liberty and American values.

  39. 39
    jimmiraybob says:

    @bjacques:

    “They misspelled “comrades” in that picture up there…”

    Dumbing it down for the special guests?

  40. 40
    Dev Null says:

    Not sure that this is on-thread, but that photo … kinda a dominatrix look? (Well, not the guns, necessarily.)

    Shortly after Manafort’s initial indictments, one of the Brit papers (Telegraph? Daily Mirror?) was widely quoted as saying that Manafort’s Russian moll was a dominatrix …

    … but when I went looking for the reference a few months later, the article had been scrubbed. A few oblique references in the quick search I just ran, sufficient to convince me that I’m not hallucinating, but … ~shrugs~

    I wonder what that’s about.

    No particular point, it just seems odd that the flamboyance of this individual wouldn’t have put off Republicans. (uh, no, I mean: “flamboyance” isn’t part of the brand, and if nothing else flamboyance is a YUUUGE risk in power politics. I get the “moth to flame” idea.)

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    If it weren’t for TE/GE, we wouldn’t know the salaries of college basketball and handegg coaches.

  42. 42
    lamh36 says:

    DAFUQ!!

    Breaking: Russian MoD says in statement that it’s ready to implement agreement on international security Putin and Trump reached in Helsinki.

    Russian MoD says it’s “ready to activate contacts with US colleagues via general staffs and other existing communication channels to discuss extending Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, cooperation in Syria, other current issues of ensuring military security.”

    https://twitter.com/lucian_kim/status/1019223013110272001?s=21

    https://twitter.com/lucian_kim/status/1019225105409376258?s=21

  43. 43
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Kay: Right? I dont give them a pass on it. They deliberately constructed a system in which they couldn’t identify who was working with outside malicious sources. And then blocked investigation of it when people like Feinstein or the media raised questions.

    Now they’re going to act and that mean Democrats and the media are going to attack them over an unfortunate coincidence.

  44. 44
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @lamh36: Oh, look who’s pouring gasoline on the fire and trying to get concessions at the same time. Win-win, for Russia.

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    Don Jr.’s lawyer later told McClatchy his exchange with Torshin “was all gun-related small talk.”

    Now, who could argue with that?

    Because who among us *hasn’t* exchanged “gun-related small talk” with Russian agents, amirite?

  46. 46
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay: I wondered about that. The timing, I mean.

    She was arrested on a criminal complaint, which is to say, not an indictment.

    Was she about to vamoose? Why not wait for the indictment? Why now?

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    If you’re a dirtbag straight white male, eventually you’ll get around to wondering who Butina slept with in pursuit of her mission. That line of inquiry gets disgusting in a great big hurry.

  48. 48
    Waldo says:

    @Kay: Props to Putin for exploiting the GOPers’ craven obedience to the gun lobby. He was years ahead of that Borat guy.

  49. 49

    BTW where is the DoD secretary Mattis on the effort to deport army recruits promised a path to citizenship?
    https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1019219781571014662

  50. 50
    rp says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Why was the media completely obsessed with Ebola in the fall of 2014, and the promptly lost interest in the story as soon as the election was over (an election in which the GOP picked up 8-9 Senate seats IIRC).

  51. 51
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay: Gotta say, if Dems don’t take the House in the midterms, I’m not sure American democracy will make it to 2020.

    Fortunately Трамп seems to be working hard to subvert the GOP. Stan Collender is forecasting a government shutdown in September when Congress doesn’t fully fund the Beautiful Wall.

  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    Of course it was Rohrbacher. Was there ever any doubt?

  53. 53
    germy says:

    New: a top voting machine vendor admits it installed remote-access software on systems sold to states. Senator Wyden said this “is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”https://t.co/V692ouXMlY— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) July 17, 2018

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: That’s a great idea! Love it! Maybe we could co-brand it with Balloon-Juice as a fundraiser.

  55. 55
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yes, interpreters.

    Were the two at the private meeting from the State Department then? If so, is their work at the meeting (work product) discoverable by US intelligence?

  56. 56
    Mike R says:

    @maya: Cleaning urinals and eating the cakes if the world was just.

  57. 57
    Yarrow says:

    @burnspbesq: Oh, for the halcyon days of fishing trips with Nigel Farage.

  58. 58
    Dev Null says:

    @germy: ZOMG. Words fail.

  59. 59
    maya says:

    @Miss Bianca: “Don Jr.’s lawyer later told McClatchy his exchange with Torshin ‘was all gun-related small talk.’ ”
    Now known as : Gun-locker Room talk.

  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    Good to see our president is focusing on important things.

    Trump says Air Force One will get a red, white and blue paint job https://t.co/eDrk4lbQmR pic.twitter.com/4ahLRtP7FS— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) July 17, 2018

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    @maya: Not sure what Luke is doing but went to check out his Twitter feed. Looks like he was at the World Cup. Check out this tweet and be sure to click through for the photo.

    Seems like an appropriate time to tweet out a picture of the serving board I picked up at a Moscow souvenir shop during the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/w4NpKa1Mj8— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) July 16, 2018

  62. 62
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @zhena gogolia: It’s an easy mistake to make, Betty, in a room full of traitors to misidentify one. Trust no one.

  63. 63
    L85NJGT says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Good point – there were always reporters and publishers willing to go along with pay for play editorial slants, but this was more systemic; an opportunist infection that was a function of the print media’s implosion over the last decade – firing newsrooms, replacing local content with wire copy, snipe hunting for likes on social media, putting up click bait on the website.

  64. 64
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jimmiraybob: Typically there’s one from each side. So I’d expect one to have been from the US State Department and the other from the Russian Foreign Ministry. But I’m speculating about the Helsinki meeting (which I’ll bet the farm was recorded by the Finns and is already in the hands of the US IC.) “Work product” is the interpretation as it happens – they don’t have time to take notes as they are doing it.

  65. 65
    Marcopolo says:

    Good morning BJers,

    I took yesterday off from the internets but here is some good elections related news to start your day:

    Neck and Neck in CD48

    The race for California’s 48th Congressional District between Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher and Democratic challenger Harley Rouda is virtually tied according to the Monmouth University Poll. Although Republicans have a natural registration advantage in this Orange County district, higher Democratic enthusiasm and divided voter opinion on Rohrabacher are making this a competitive race. Democrats are slightly more satisfied than Republicans with the person who emerged from the June primary as their party’s nominee.

    edit: link didn’t take so https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_ca_071718/

    And

    7 Texas Republicans in Congress just got outraised by their Democratic rivals

    There are few bigger warning signs for a member of Congress that their re-election may be in doubt than when a challenger outraises them. In Texas, it just happened to seven incumbents, all Republicans.

    Since last week, when U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, revealed that he had raised a stunning $10.4 million between April and June in his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a wave of Texas Democrats running for U.S. House seats similarly blasted out their own unusually strong fundraising numbers.

    The numbers only became more striking when compared to their rivals: Some Democratic challengers raised two, three or even four times what their Republican incumbent rivals posted. All congressional candidates were required to file their second-quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission by Sunday.

    Have good day everyone.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    The images the far Right uses to promote their cause always look like video games. Like older video games, before the images got more sophisticated and life-like and diverse. I think it’s a direct appeal to white working class men who are not “young” but instead middle aged. It’s the games they played.

  67. 67
    Marcopolo says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Former US Ambassador to Russia McFaul said on something I was watching that he knew, respected & had worked prior with Trump’s US translator & he hoped they had been immediately debriefed post meeting.

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    How many major newspapers/media houses were compromised? T had scandals galore, yet all they focused on was the EMAILZ, and not the far more clickbaity scandals involving sex, money and mafia of the R candidate, why?

    Plenty of individuals who work in media are compromised. Some are obvious, like Hannity, and some seem like they have to be part of it like Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers who wrote that NYT “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” story days before the election.

    If there is compromising material on someone it’s easy to convince them to not run a story, not investigate something, shade a story a certain way.

  69. 69
    MattF says:

    The Russian ‘thing’ has degenerated into a cross between cosplay and murder-for-hire. I just… can’t.

    FWIW, I (finally) downloaded and read Harry Frankfurt’s ‘On Bullshit’. A good read.

  70. 70

    @Yarrow: What about MAGA Habs. NYT’s coverage in particular has been awful. As Kay points out, the R president was in their fucking backyard. Talk about dereliction of journalistic duty.

  71. 71
    tobie says:

    @Kay: Chuck Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was at the infamous 2017 National Prayer Breakfast meeting and boasted on twitter about sitting next to Mr. Markov, Russian oligarch and chair of the Budget and Finance Committee in the Duma. I’m calling my senators to urge them to demand that Grassley step down from the leadership of the committee until this matter is cleared up. I bet DiFi would gain a lot of good press in CA if she made this call. She showed extraordinary courage in releasing Glenn Simpson’s testimony. Do it one more time, DiFi!

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @Dev Null:

    It’s funny but what keeps me from despair and checking out is just that- wondering. I want to see how it plays out.

    Why an arrest? I don’t know but we might find out… eventually! :)

    I’m patient. It’s my only real good quality.

    From the beginning of this I have had one objective. I want to know what happened.

  73. 73
    feebog says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Of course it was Rohrbacher. Was there ever any doubt?

    I don’t think it’s our boy from Orange County. Dana is a backbencher, not really a senior member of the leadership. Read the complaint, I’m thinking the moron from Bakersfield.

  74. 74
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Marcopolo: Thanks for the followup.

    ETA: I’m kind of pedantic about this, but those people are interpreters, not translators. Translators work with text, like a book or article. Interpreters work with speech. Different skill sets.

  75. 75

    @Kay: Older white women on the other hand were sold on paranoia, of how scary Ebola infected central American kids were ISIS agents coming to get them.*
    * A conspiracy theory propounded by my formerly sane friend.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yarrow:
    My gut feeling is that the media people you really ought to be looking at are editors and publishers, not reporters. Get one reporter on your side, and you can plant or spike the occasional article. Get one publisher on your side and you can completely change the outlook of the operation.

  77. 77
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, but were are the Flames, spray painted barbarian chick and 20 foot tall bald eagle shooting friking laze beems from it’s eyes on the side of Airforce One Dream Machine Trump?

    Weak, low energy beta. Sad.

  78. 78

    @Roger Moore: New York fucking Times for leading the charge on EMAILZ and CNN for giving Orange tons of free media.

  79. 79
    L85NJGT says:

    @Yarrow:

    Raymond Loewy was a giant of the industrial age, Trump is an idiot coloring his Homermobile.

  80. 80
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Thanks. I am, of course, hoping that there’s an independent record even if it’s if it’s someone asking on the record, “according to your best recollection….”

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    @Dev Null:

    Along with anti-abortion (Russia is worried about their birth rate) I’m also curious to see if we find a solid connection to the anti-feminist agenda of the far Right in the US. Russia is cracking down on women’s rights. This really is an ideological alliance. They just plain AGREE on a lot, these people. Their interests align in all kinds of ways.

    Hard Righties here fret about the birth rate for white people. Ordinary people. This is a concern of the far Right in the US- that white women might not have enough babies to replace old white people. It just blows me away – I feel like saying “hey you and Putin! Him too!” It’s straight up white supremacy. When they say “birth rate” they mean WHITE birth rate. They take it further! They blame young white people, who are “too selfish” to keep white population margins up.

  82. 82
    Barbara says:

    Rachel Maddow was pretty funny last night on the issue of gun rights in Russia — there is no movement for mass gun ownership in Russia and if there were Putin would exterminate it in its infancy. The last thing Russian oligarchs want is an armed populace. This organization was intended to flatter the vanity of gun nuts in the U.S., and the fact that so many — John Bolton FFS! — bought it is a testament to their stupidity or willingness to be used to get illicit cash to distribute to Republican candidates.

    ETA: It’s pretty funny, actually, that instead of seducing them with the promise of sex, they seduced them over their practically sexual attraction to guns.

  83. 83
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: MAGAHabs has plenty of connections to Trumpworld via her mom. She’s also buddies with Roger Stone. She’s an obvious one for sure.

  84. 84
    tobie says:

    @germy: I hope this story gets picked up by a bigger outlet than Motherboard. It looks like Pennsylvania and Michigan were still using the remote access software in 2016. Two critical states, ripe for vote tampering. I will never understand why the Democratic PA governor has not been screaming from the rafters about his state’s voting infrastructure.

  85. 85
    Platonailedit says:

    Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and referred to the police after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law.

    The watchdog said it exceeded its £7m spending limit by funnelling £675,315 through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.

    The founder of BeLeave, Darren Grimes, has been fined £20,000 and referred to the police, along with Vote Leave official David Halsall.

    Vote Leave said the “wholly inaccurate” report was politically motivated.

    The Vote Leave campaign, which was fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, won the contest to be the official Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union.

    At least, brits seem to be doing something about rw corruption and electoral malpractices.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    THREAD

    Tell me how you REALLY FEEL 😄😄😄

    Mitch Benn (@MitchBenn) Tweeted:
    HEY ASSHOLES.
    He’s a fucking Russian spy. You put a RUSSIAN SPY in the White House. Because he said he’d shit on the Mexicans.
    Go fuck yourselves and KEEP fucking yourselves with increasingly large objects, you fucking MORONS. https://twitter.com/MitchBenn/status/1018924225334214656?s=17

  87. 87

    @Yarrow: This reeks of desperation.

  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    US media shamefully fear-mongered on Ebola. That was gross. But what also caused panic among white people was that study that came out that said non-white would be a majority in 2030 (or whatever). Regular Right wing voters were chattering about that. That’s where the “invading hordes” theme came from.

    It’s interesting to watch when it actually starts to happen in communities. We have a county here that was always a football powerhouse. The school system sort of sucks but they won football games. Something happened, immigration, cronyism, who knows, but MOST of the football team are Latino now, partly because 30% of the school district are Latino. They still win but white parents are all disgruntled and pissed off. They say things like “I liked it when the school was MORE RURAL” :)

    The school is in the same place. It’s still rural. It’s just rural brown instead of rural white.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Roger Moore: I completely agree. But it’s not just editors and publishers. There are people all up the down the ladder who are compromised. Some are obvious and some we don’t see and can’t really name so we don’t know about them. I have a lot of questions, as I know many here do, about the NYT and their publishers (past and present).

  90. 90
    gwangung says:

    @Kay:

    Along with anti-abortion (Russia is worried about their birth rate) I’m also curious to see if we find a solid connection to the anti-feminist agenda of the far Right in the US. Russia is cracking down on women’s rights. This really is an ideological alliance. They just plain AGREE on a lot, these people. Their interests align in all kinds of ways.

    Yeah. The evangelical connections would seem to be a natural for them. The Russkies are homophobic, anti-abortion and white supremacist. No wonder Republicans are hot to ally with them.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    Shut your trap….you’re MAGA, Bytches.
    Do your patriotic duty

    ………………………………………………

    Texas shrimp industry to lose $1M per day due to immigrant visa cap

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-.....grant-visa

  92. 92

    @Kay: My bottle blonde and blue eyed ex-friend is afraid of that too. She was lamenting that fewer people will have blue eyes in the future.

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    BREAKING REPORT: Putin claims Trump gave him an “Interesting Offer” on Ukraine and indirectly spoke about ending sanctions.

    — TAP ALERTS (@TAPAlerts) July 17, 2018

  94. 94

    @rikyrah: Hey they don’t have enough ob-gyns in rural America, but T’s jihad against immigrants (including immigrant doctors) continues.

  95. 95
    rikyrah says:

    The silver lining

    There’s really not much left to be said about Donald Trump’s supine surrender to Vladimir Putin at Helsinki. It was an act that even the worst of our previous presidents wouldn’t have committed. The kompromat which Putin has on Trump must be of a nature even we can’t imagine.

    But there is a silver lining to this.

    The treason is now out in the open. There’s no longer room for doubt or equivocation. We now know Trump to be a traitor to his office and his country. And this is something being realized across the entire political spectrum, from us liberals to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

    What the non-rabid Trump supporters now have to ask themselves is this: Is this what you signed up for? You voted out of habit, or aggrievement, You voted to “own the libs”, or to revenge yourself on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But did you vote for treason? Did you vote for our country to be handed over to the Kremlin? And if you didn’t, if this isn’t what you expected, then what are you going to do about it?

    The eruption of resistance yesterday to Trump’s cowardly surrender is heartening. Media which tries to couch every topic into false equivalence suddenly saw that there was no “both sides” to this. Citizens gathered outside the White House to make it clear to Trump that they would not bow the neck to Putin. And, by all accounts, Trump is apoplectic that no one recognizes the awesome deal he made with Putin. Talk about living in a bubble.

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I think you’re missing the obvious ones: InfoWars, Breitbart, Fox, etc. I also think it’s important not to go crazy and assume that there’s Russian control everywhere. One of the big things about our media is that they’re incredibly herd-like in their behavior, and you don’t need to control the whole herd to cause a stampede. If you can get two or three news outlets chasing after a story, you can often get the rest of the industry to chase after them in fear of missing out on the big story. That’s the logic of the Puke Funnel in a nutshell, and the right wing has built an entire apparatus dedicated to taking advantage. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Russia had taken control of it.

  97. 97
    JWL says:

    If Trump had a sense of humor, today he would parrot GW by telling Americans he “looked into Putin’s soul, too”, and that they should simpley ignore Russia and “go shopping” instead.

  98. 98
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: Thanks, Rikyrah. I needed something to cheer me up.

    Trump is a Russian asset, and anyone who assists him is aiding and abetting a conspiracy against the US.

  99. 99

    @Roger Moore: Brietbart, Infowars are a given but the relentless focus on emailz against Hillary perpetrated by the respectable media was something else, especially when her opponent was a walking compendium of scandal. Does that not strike you as odd?

    ETA: Treason times relentless shilling for T and softening his message. MAGA Habs shilling for SHS not once but twice now. Its fishy. Their stories about how Neo-Nazis are just like us, disgusting. I could go on..

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @rikyrah: Last night Ukrainian President Poroshenko tweeted “We are ready and willing to defend our country even if we are left alone, without international assistance. We are continuing to build up our army, which remains a priority.”

    ETA: The unmitigated fucking gall of these guys “deciding” on the fate of a sovereign nation without consulting said nation. I thought that kind of colonialism was last century’s news.

  101. 101
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: The Texas shrimp industry is dominated by Vietnamese immigrants and their kids and grandkids since Vietnamese refugees started arriving in the 1970’s. Similar in Louisiana. They used to vote Republican but that has changed in recent years.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    They still win but white parents are all disgruntled and pissed off. They say things like “I liked it when the school was MORE RURAL” :)

    The school is in the same place. It’s still rural. It’s just rural brown instead of rural white.

    UH HUH
    UH HUH
    But, ‘economic anxiety’, though.

  103. 103

    @Gin & Tonic: Why did they stop co-operating with Mueller’s investigation?

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    President Obama: “Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly…those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.” pic.twitter.com/CePIQHGiQO

    — Axios (@axios) July 17, 2018

  105. 105
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I think they were pressured/frightened.

  106. 106
    L85NJGT says:

    @Kay:

    Industrial age jobs were once framed as aspirational – “I work at the plant so my kids can go to college“, now they are framed by old white folks as an end goal for the hard workin’ white volk, and get pissed when they are staffed by immigrants. News flash – the pay and hours suck, safety is an issue, and there aren’t enough young white males to staff with anyway.

    Change is hard, and nostalgia is a false consciousness.

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Genetics doesn’t work that way, and there are more than enough blue eyed blondes (and every other human phenotype) on the planet. The Strange Death Of Europe seems to be ground zero for the latest round of this racist bullshit.

  107. 107
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Dev Null: Grat minds think alike, last nite over at Adam’s place I posted

    Why am I getting a dominatrix vibe from that photo? Le Phew looks exhilarated..

  108. 108
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    It’s maddening.

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    Top Republican leaders and many lower level Republican officials are traitors. RICO the RNC. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

    TRAITORS, ALL!!!

  110. 110
    MomSense says:

    @germy:

    Before I even clicked on the article I knew it would be ES&S. Sure enough, it was. The Russians hacked that company before the election. They handled the voting systems for FLORIDA!

    Remember we kept getting such good news about Florida turnout in Dem areas and then the results showed something totally different?

    The election is rigged, believe me. When trump said that constantly before the election, we all took it the wrong way.

  111. 111
    Sanjeevs says:

    @Yarrow: Mark Burnett and Roma Downey were keynote speakers at the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast.

    Also present Maria Butina:

    An affidavit filed in federal court in Washington details the accusations. On Nov. 30, 2016, Butina emailed someone identified as “U.S. Person 1” about the Russian delegation to the National Prayer Breakfast, the affidavit says. Butina wrote that members of the delegation had been “handpicked” by a senior Russian official and were “VERY influential in Russia.” She said that the delegation was coming to “establish a back channel of communication” and asked if another person, identified as “U.S. Person 2,” would want to meet with them.

  112. 112
    scav says:

    @rikyrah: Mitch Benn!! Damn I wish we had the old Now Show lineup: there would be songs! (well, maybe once we calmed him down a little so he wouldn’t smash the guitar.)

  113. 113
  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    They were duped. Played by Putin.

    They were not duped. They knew what they were doing, and didn’t care.
    DO.NOT.EVER.GIVE.THEM.THE.BENEFIT.OF.THE.DOUBT.

  115. 115

    @L85NJGT: I told my ex-friend that she was fucking nuts.

  116. 116

    @rikyrah: Bingo. They went in with eyes open.

  117. 117
    Platonailedit says:

    @MomSense:

    With the rethugs and especially the traitorous thug, it always projection.

  118. 118
    The Other Chuck says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    MAGA Habs

    Just curious, what does “Hab” derive from?

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Other Chuck: Referring, I suspect, to Maggie Haberman as opposed to the Montreal NHL team.

  120. 120
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @MomSense:

    Remember we kept getting such good news about Florida turnout in Dem areas and then the results showed something totally different?

    There would have to come a point where so many people voted that to see the opposite of the expected outcome happen would raise doubts about the legitimacy of the election in question.

  121. 121

    @The Other Chuck: Short for Maggie’s last name, Haberman.

  122. 122
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Yes, so few American people knew that Trump was a dishonest sexual predator at the time of the election.

    That was a great secret for which the NYT is to blame.

  123. 123

    @Brickley Paiste: They are to blame for their relentless focus on the faux EMAILZ scandal but you knew that.

  124. 124
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Kay: I think that’s all window dressing, likely the Russians use it to sell the scam to our Wingtards. The real think the Russians get out of this breaking the strategic isolation the US had Russia under since the cold war, and Putin is using the almost the very people who built that to break it.

  125. 125
    ruemara says:

    I can’t get over how stupid this coup is.

  126. 126
    Dev Null says:

    @tobie: Taegen Goddard’s PoliticalWire has picked it up. And Wyden’s not likely to let it drop.

  127. 127
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    Hard Righties here fret about the birth rate for white people. Ordinary people. This is a concern of the far Right in the US- that white women might not have enough babies to replace old white people.

    The moment has already arrived.

    In 2016, more non-Hispanic whites died than were born nationally, for the first time in the history of the republic. And on the state level, it is occurring in more than half the states now.

  128. 128
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    I’ve been banging away at the evangelical Christian involvement in Russian treason as well.

    Yes, you have. And, you are correct.

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    @MobileForkbeard:

    Now they’re going to act and that mean Democrats and the media are going to attack them over an unfortunate coincidence.

    NOT.ENOUGH.COINCIDENCE.IN.THE.WESTERN.WORLD.

  130. 130
    Dev Null says:

    @rikyrah: +1

    forwarded to my private lists.

  131. 131
    Spanky says:

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

    There would have to come a point where so many people voted that to see the opposite of the expected outcome happen would raise doubts about the legitimacy of the election in question.

    Just wait until 2018.

  132. 132
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    But what good is that going to do Russia when Putin either dies or loses his grip on power? The future is not bright for the Russian Federation, no matter what happens to the US.

  133. 133
    Tokyokie says:

    @Roger Moore: Every evening, the NYT sends out on its wire service its front-page budget for the next morning’s paper. I have worked at newspapers where the night editor would wait until he saw The Times’ budget before he finalized the front-page lineup, just to be sure his news judgment matched that of The Times. Sometimes this would lead to nine stories gracing the front page, basically because those in charge were scared to exercise their authority for fear of being second-guessed. But I’ve also known a couple of irascible newsroom supervisors who not only didn’t give a crap about what NYT was doing, they were offended by editors who would yield their responsibilities to somebody in Manhattan.

    What’s important in NYC is not necessarily that important in Texas (or elsewhere), even when one gets beyond local and state news. Anything about out of the Washington bureau about funding for the Joint Strike Fighter would be big news in Texas, as the plane’s primary production line is in Fort Worth. And similarly, any stories concerning the carried interest deduction are lot more relevant to a market with lots of investment advisers than they are in North Texas.

    Of course, pretty much all of those positions have disappeared with the clear-cutting of newspaper staffs. Front-page decisions are now being made on consolidated copy desks by people who don’t even live in the places whose newspapers they edit.

  134. 134
    Teddys Person says:

    There really didn’t need to be much direct infiltration of the media. The Republicans spent years grooming the media to use their framing of issues by constantly accusing the media of liberal bias. So, the media has been trained for a couple of decades to reflexively follow the GOP lead.

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    The funniest part to me is they arrested her. They’ve been aware of the connections for a while. The people who are paid by the NRA to promote and defend the NRA had no idea what was going on. They were duped. Played by Putin.

    They thought that she was going to go back to Moscow? She’s in school now, and about to graduate.

  136. 136
    Dev Null says:

    @rikyrah: That brightened my day!

    I am totes stealing “stop whining and do your patriotic duty” …

    Think of Great Britain the UK EnglandDonald J. Trump, beeeyotches! ~snark~

  137. 137
    Tokyokie says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Their eyes might have been open, but they’re still dupes. But like most victims of con men, they are loath to admit that they weren’t savvy enough to not be conned.

  138. 138
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @rikyrah:

    That kind of “incivility” is damned refreshing =-)

  139. 139
    Dev Null says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: With this voting machine revelation, we might have that opportunity come November. ~grimly~

    I think the article said “other vendors too”. If not, I saw the comment in some related article.

  140. 140
    Ohio Mom says:

    @ruemara: Like Pinky and the Brain level of stupid?

    I can’t wait for the party here celebrating your citizenship.

    On another note, yesterday, as I was bouncing around the internet, I found a video of a call-in show in which an extremely addled old lady said she thanked Russia for interfering in the election because they spared us from a Hillary presidency.

    So everybody knows and everybody agrees it was all rigged. But we can’t get agreement on whether this is good or bad?!

  141. 141
    Dev Null says:

    @The Pale Scot: Thank you for that!

    I was beginning to wonder whether I might, uh, have, ahem, issues.

    The deafening silence, I mean.

    I feel much better wondering whether you and I have issues. /snark

  142. 142
    Dev Null says:

    @Ohio Mom: I saw that too.

    And wondered whether the caller might be my deranged far-right prepper sister calling in under an assumed name.

  143. 143
    scott (the other one) says:

    @schrodingers_cat: YES. Thank you. The MSM—maybe especially including the FTFNYT—has been so bad for years (Whitewater, Judith Miller) but especially when it comes to Trump. This can be explained by many things, including the need to seem objective even when one of the two parties has gone insane, working the refs, wanting to keep sources happy, and so on. But for fuck’s sake, not only the NRA but even the fucking President of the United States has been compromised by the billionaire tyrant who runs Russia. Isn’t it obvious that he’d go after our media as well? Why wouldn’t he? And would it really be that hard?

  144. 144
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Yarrow:

    Wasn’t sure if you’ve seen this yet. It’s from last night’s protest at Lafayette Park

    https://twitter.com/MarthaPlimpton/status/1019056658390159361?s=20

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:

    @tobie:

    I will never understand why the Democratic PA governor has not been screaming from the rafters about his state’s voting infrastructure.

    You mean the very vote infrastructure by which he himself was elected?

  146. 146
    Immanentize says:

    @Platonailedit:
    On the day Boris quit May’s cabinet, I surmised this was more the reason than upset about soft Brexit.

    Meanwhile, some are already calling for the vote to be nullified because of all the cheating. And possible foreign interference….

  147. 147
    lowtechcyclist says:

    @rikyrah:

    She’s in school now, and about to graduate.

    Ever since seeing this pic, Julie Brown’s “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun” has been going through my head.

  148. 148
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Along with anti-abortion (Russia is worried about their birth rate) I’m also curious to see if we find a solid connection to the anti-feminist agenda of the far Right in the US. Russia is cracking down on women’s rights. This really is an ideological alliance.

    WRAPPED IN WHITE SUPREMACY.

    Never forget: wrapped in White Supremacy.

  149. 149
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay: Yep, the same here.

    This spy novel has me on the edge of my chair, even when I’m not in my chair.

    Someone downthread (rikyrah?) proposed “graduating and going back to Russia”, but “student” is a small fraction of her portfolio. She’s a sufficiently valuable nexus (to Russia) thanks to her connections with various Republicans and Republican interest groups that I wouldn’t think they’d pull her out without reason to suspect she was at risk.

    I suppose it’s possible that Mueller didn’t want to chance losing her.

    Again, one of those mysteries I hope I live long enough to see explained. (And no, not referring to health issues, saying we might not know for decades.)

  150. 150
    Teddys Person says:

    @Dev Null: Or maybe Frank Luntz testing out some new talking points.

  151. 151
    rikyrah says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    @rikyrah: Hey they don’t have enough ob-gyns in rural America, but T’s jihad against immigrants (including immigrant doctors) continues.

    I’ve told the story before – I had absolutely no clue that the majority of doctors who are foreign born in this country, are serving in rural areas – because this was the quickest way for them to get their VISA.

    And, those rural bumblephucks are so damn racist that they don’t care that they voted to send their doctors away from them.

  152. 152
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah:
    I 💓 44

  153. 153
    The Other Chuck says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Ah, wasn’t even aware that it was referring to a specific person, I was thinking “hab” was just some weird insulting term for folks in the MAGA crowd.

    My news reading habits plummeted in 2016, so I’m given to gloss over the various names in the rogues gallery nowadays. Honestly, my newly acquired ignorance would make me ripe pickings for a Fox News type outfit except for a) me not being a blood-gargling psychopath, and b) still having actual facts on my side supported by the indictments that keep rolling in.

  154. 154
    Yarrow says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Ha! No, I hadn’t seen it. Thanks for linking. That is awesome! Good to see it’s growing in popularity!

  155. 155
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Jeffro: @Jeffro: That’s going on one of my buttons!

  156. 156

    @rikyrah: They probably don’t know about the visa waivers that let you get a GC without going back to your country of origin to apply if you agree to practice in under served areas.

  157. 157
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay:

    Along with anti-abortion (Russia is worried about their birth rate) I’m also curious to see if we find a solid connection to the anti-feminist agenda of the far Right in the US. Russia is cracking down on women’s rights.

    hunh. Didn’t know about the anti-abortion campaign, but now that you mention it, well … why wouldn’t they? I’m too lazy to look up the numbers, but IIRC Russia had a net negative population growth rate in the decade or so after the Soviet Union collapsed. Not only is Russia’s economy tiny (as many here have noted), Russia doesn’t have the warm bodies to launch wars of aggression and then to hold the conquered territories. (Well, OK … I just made that up, but it seems plausible. Experts are invited to correct me, should a correction be worth the trouble. Hi, Adam! Hi, Cheryl!)

    This really is an ideological alliance. They just plain AGREE on a lot, these people. Their interests align in all kinds of ways.

    Absolutely. Racism and conservative evangelicalism are closely aligned in practice [1], and Christian(ist) theory is being invented to justify the association.

    Russia under Putin has re-invented itself as the Comintern of white supremacism, and American bigots, feeling (ahem) discriminated against [2], look to the white supremacist nation as a model.

    Which leads me to tee up another mystery: what Russia connection does Pence have? There’s Manafort, who manipulated Pence onto the ticket, in itself a curiosity. Then there’s Pence’s meeting with the Russian Orthodox patriarch last year. Then there’s the “Flynn lied to Pence” narrative, which seems suspect. Could be coincidences…

    Hard Righties here fret about the birth rate for white people. Ordinary people. This is a concern of the far Right in the US- that white women might not have enough babies to replace old white people. It just blows me away – I feel like saying “hey you and Putin! Him too!” It’s straight up white supremacy. When they say “birth rate” they mean WHITE birth rate.

    One of my first recollections is of a white shopkeeper in Louisiana cheating a couple of black kids out of nickels. Nickels! I must have been about 8; they were probably around 6.

    And I remember “white” and “colored” drinking fountains and restrooms.

    These people are always about race, first and foremost.

    [1] Referring to statistical correlation – if you’re one, with high probability you’re the other – not referring to “practices of”.

    [2] I am NOT saying that whites are discriminated against. That’s absolutely bonkers mad. I AM saying that that’s how they feel. It’s a form of confirmation bias (I think). Making the point because I’ve been criticized so often for describing “how they feel about themselves” that it’s apparently necessary to make clear that I’m not agreeing with their self-view, I’m describing their self-view.

  158. 158
    Teddys Person says:

    @Dev Null: Pence brought the evangelical connection to the ticket. Plus, I suspect his reputation for being dense meant that it would be easier to pull his strings.

  159. 159

    @schrodingers_cat: * Apply, getting is another story.

  160. 160
    Shana says:

    @maya: I don’t watch a lot of cable news, but I don’t recall seeing Luke Russert anywhere for a year or so. Did he get canned or move somewhere else?

  161. 161
    Dev Null says:

    @Dev Null: Just so there’s no misunderstanding: “why wouldn’t they?” isn’t an endorsement, it’s an observation that many authoritarian / national-greatness regimes put limits on abortion, for precisely these reasons: to bulk up the stock of the Master Race and provide cannon fodder.

    I wonder (but am too lazy to look up the answer) whether Russia is encouraging women to join the military – that being an immediate way to mitigate the cannon fodder shortfall.

    Wouldn’t seem to mesh well with an anti-feminist campaign … but maybe that’s just my myopia.

  162. 162
    Dev Null says:

    @Teddys Person: heh. :-)

  163. 163
    J R in WV says:

    @rp:

    Freedom of speech (by Russians) and of the press (owned and or operated by Russians) may be the death of the Republic, if we don’t do something about foreign owned news outlets. And allowing Murdoch to become a citizen was a huge mistake, he’s working like a beaver to destroy the foundations of liberty.

  164. 164
    Dev Null says:

    @Teddys Person: It’s an explanation, but it doesn’t explain the Flynn lie narrative.

    Manafort? Well, Manafort is and was and eternally will be about Manafort. Perhaps it suffices that Pence was at hand and Manafort was desperate to prevent Трамп from picking Cristie Creme, who might not have been quite so pliable v-a-v Russia.

  165. 165
    Yarrow says:

    @Shana: Luke Russert left NBC News and apparently the TV business in 2016. He posted about how he joined MSNBC after his dad died and threw himself into his work. It sounded like as he was approaching 30 he decided he needed to take some time away to find out what he wanted to do. He posted that statement at the top of his Twitter feed if you are interested.

    @Dev Null: Flynn didn’t lie to Pence. Mike Pence knew full well what was going on.

  166. 166
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Yarrow: I doubt Hannity is compromised. This is who he is: a guy who went from painting houses to making tens of millions of dollars per year for being an obstreperous ass.

  167. 167
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    …I’m patient. It’s my only real good quality. …

    I’m stubborn, very stubborn. It’s my best feature. ;-) It runs in my family, too. Big time!

  168. 168
    Dev Null says:

    @J R in WV: Every $ sacred!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

    Every dollar sacred.
    Every dollar great.
    If a dollar’s restricted,
    God gets quite irate!

    (commenters invited to suggest a better 3rd line. I whiffed.)

  169. 169
    Dev Null says:

    @J R in WV: This would make a good Трамп parody thread. E.g.:

    I’m modest. Very modest. The most modest person you’ve ever met. Why, I’m not the one to say this about myself, but my friend Jim – you know, the guy who used to go to Paris, before it was overrun by Muslims – Jim told me that I’m the most modest person he’s ever known.

    Modesty runs in my family, too! Big time!

    Because we have the biggest and bestest and whitest genes!

    /snark

    (Sorry, Kay … not ribbing you … I couldn’t resist responding to JR…)

  170. 170
    Dev Null says:

    Alexandra Petri nails it.

  171. 171
    Yarrow says:

    @Apocalipstick: He’s compromised and it will come out. It’s easy to compromise people when they are someone like Hannity.

  172. 172
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Dev Null: Russia had a birth rate problem and alcoholism problems back in the 1960s-1970s as well. Heinlein had a chapter/section in Expanded Universe on it. And I also remember reading The Women’s Decameron by a woman who was a Soviet dissident (which might have been written late 1970s or so – I remember reading it in grade school so early 1980s was when I got my hands on it) and all the abortions that the characters had had because there was no real birth control available in the USSR

  173. 173
    Dev Null says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Interesting. I knew about Soviet alcoholism, but not about birth rate … although I do remember a non-fiction Heinlein short recounting a visit to Moscow, and noting surprisingly fewchildren. I’ll have to look up the book you mention… I thought I’d read everything Heinlein, but apparently not.

    Thanks!

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