Andrea Mitchell’s Interview with DNI Coats

Andrea Mitchell interviewed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats this afternoon at the Aspen Institute. Some news was made.

This is very, very important information that the DNI decided to share. Specifically, he is not in the loop, at least in regard to matters pertaining to Russia, in regard to what the President is and is not doing! That’s astounding. And it reinforces Susan Glasser’s reporting in The New Yorker (emphasis mine):

Days after the Helsinki summit, Trump’s advisers have offered no information—literally zero—about any such agreements. His own government apparently remains unaware of any deals that Trump made with Putin, or any plans for a second meeting, and public briefings from the State Department and Pentagon have offered no elaboration except to make clear that they are embarrassingly uninformed days after the summit.

Unlike Putin, Trump did not brief his own diplomats on the Helsinki meeting. The American Secretary of State, national-security adviser, and Ambassador to Moscow, who attended the lunch after Trump and Putin’s private session, have been publicly silent on the substance of the meetings, leaving it to the Russians, for now, to make claims about what was actually said and done behind closed doors between the two Presidents.

The information provided to America’s top diplomats, those whose job it is to deal with Russia, was just as sparse and potentially incomplete. The Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Russia, Wess Mitchell, on Tuesday briefed the State Department group that has been pulled together to discuss Russia policy before and after the summit. There was no mention of any agreements. “There is no word on agreements,” a senior U.S. official told me. “There is no information on the U.S. side about any agreements.” So was Putin lying? Was Trump? Was it possible there was a misunderstanding, and that Trump thinks he made no commitments and Putin thinks he did? “It is terribly disturbing,” the senior official said. “The point is that we don’t know.”

A U.S. Ambassador in Europe, who has extensive experience dealing with Russia, told me that he and other State Department officials who would need to know have received no post-summit briefings, or even talking points about what happened, both of which would be standard practice after such an important encounter. “Nothing,” he told me. “We are completely in the dark. Completely.”

I’ve twice written about how, because the President is considered to be a security risk when it comes to intelligence/information by US, allied, and partnered intelligence officials, the US was going to be at a disadvantage in regard to intelligence matters. What we know from both Andrea Mitchell’s interview with DNI Coats and Susan Glasser’s reporting, is that the President is compounding this problem by not telling his own senior appointees what they need to know to actually do their jobs effectively.

Here’s the video of the interview. Since I wasn’t around to see the whole thing, I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but the parts of the interview I saw were very informative.

We are off the map and through the looking glass!

Open thread.

184 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Sally Yates is coming up on the dreaded Rachel show!

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    That’s astounding.

    is that what we’re calling holy shit terrifying these days?

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    is that Trump is compounding this problem by not telling his own senior appointees what they need to know to actually do their jobs effectively.

    And this is a surprise, how? He told us exactly who he was.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: Rachel got dreads? Cool!

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m trying to bring more understatement to my writing.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: It is not surprising. But to have the DNI confirm it, publicly, on air, is.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven: Yea! Just got home and am watching online now.

    WRT Trump: through the looking glass and looking at rabbits’ asses. And really weird tea.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You made me look. Bad Adam.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: Sorry.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Spy Girl’s Sugar Daddy got KT McFarland on the National Security Council😒😒😒

  12. 12
    Platonailedit says:

    So many things to impeach the mofo for and so little will.

  13. 13
    Mike in NC says:

    Um, most of us realized a couple of years ago that Trump doesn’t do traditional management. It’s all chaos, all the time. The DNI, SecDef, SoS, and all of Congress are kept in the dark, the way he likes it.

    Except when fawning over his master.

  14. 14
    TS (the original) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: With or without dreads, she is close to, if not the only pundit who does the work to explain what is going on in the trump russian white house.

    trump either knows what he is doing or is so dumb the russians can lead him anywhere.

  15. 15


    And really weird tea

    Hope it’s not Russian tea, that stuff’s a killer.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Saw that yesterday. Does not surprise me.

  17. 17
    Mart says:

    @raven: Sometimes Rachel wears me out. Especially when gleefully extolling the problems with a wandering Republican penis for two weeks, twenty minutes a night. Expect this Russian Spyslutgate will result in her hyperventilating and having to breath into a brown paper bag.

  18. 18

    @TS (the original):

    trump either knows what he is doing or is so dumb the russians can lead him anywhere.

    I’ll take what’s behind door #2.

  19. 19

    I feel more hopeful today. All this shit coming so fucking fast over the last week seems to have really shaken a whole lot of people. People who never before would have even let themselves think about whether the president is working for Putin are beginning to ask that kind of thing. People have woken up to the truth that they can’t lie to themselves about this any longer. The hangup is, I think, that most of the Republicans in Congress already know the truth, and have been trying to hide it, so we can’t count on any help from them. But I think the pressure is building.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TS (the original): What am I, chopped liver?//

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: you ain’t no pundit. . . well, maybe you are

  22. 22
  23. 23

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, you’re not on the TV machine.

  24. 24
    Procopius says:

    Was it possible there was a misunderstanding, and that Trump thinks he made no commitments and Putin thinks he did?

    Absolutely possible. This was the most common form of interaction through the entire Cold War I. Classic is the case of Harry Truman. Secretary of State Dean Acheson persuaded him that the Soviets had promised to do a set of things, when the Soviets believed they had promised a slightly different set of things. As a result Truman angrily upbraided Gromyko as a bare-faced liar, giving him no chance to explain his side, and Gromyko was furious. Acheson, a hawk, was satisfied.

  25. 25
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But you are not on teevee!!!

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:


    Hope it’s not Russian tea, that stuff’s a killer.

    And the portions are too small.

  27. 27
    mike in dc says:

    We’re going to need to add a “High Treason” subject tag, aren’t we?

  28. 28
    Platonailedit says:

    Shite, so many got ahead of me.

  29. 29
    Timurid says:

    I’m guessing Coats won’t be DNI much longer…

  30. 30
    Gary K says:

    45:40 for those who want to see the moment.

  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What am I, chopped liver?//

    Do you go well with a nice chianti?

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I sent this to someone earlier this evening who had emailed me asking about the Helsinki stuff:

    The wheels are starting to come loose. As exemplified by McConnell having to pull that judicial nominee this afternoon, the ongoing fall out from Monday, and the President deciding to take the hole he dug on Monday, and expanded on Tuesday and Wednesday, and just keep on digging today. Not saying the wheels are coming off, but the lug nuts are coming loose. And on the Senate side, the GOP will need a scapegoat. And McConnell has led them into this mess. So…

  33. 33
    Timurid says:


    He’s going to have to start whatabouting much harder if he is…

  34. 34
    jl says:

    Just occurred to me that we haven’t heard the ‘he’s just a sorry ass rich old white businessman, and it takes a while for him to learn this stuff, so give him a break’ excuse for a while.
    What happened to that, and why?

    The GOP probably has focus groups for their BS. Maybe that is not flying any more, except with the hardest of hard core bigots.

  35. 35
    TenguPhule says:

    @TS (the original):

    trump either knows what he is doing or is so dumb the russians can lead him anywhere.

    Porque los dos?

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: This is true.

  37. 37
    Platonailedit says:


    You are comparing Truman to this 24×7 lying pos of a traitorous thug? Really?

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: There’s a reason for that: they don’t keep multiple teams of paramedics available on the cable news sets for when the guest subject matter expert gets frustrated with the talking heads and decides to take programming matters into his own hands.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:


    Sometimes Rachel wears me out. Especially when gleefully extolling the problems with a wandering Republican penis for two weeks, twenty minutes a night.

    I was not aware she’d castrated one of them and taken a trophy.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: No, nor fava beans.

  41. 41
    Platonailedit says:


    The traitorous thug said this just yesterday: I am inexperienced in this. And the ass kissing racist base will swallow that.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: Doubtful.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Just as well, I don’t like beans.

  44. 44
    jl says:

    @Platonailedit: So, only Trump himself is stupid and shameless enough to try it now. I guess that is progress.

  45. 45
    Mart says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I interact with a Trump nut a half dozen or so times a year at work. I questioned him right after the Republican Convention why is Trump surrounded by Russian friendlies and Nazi lights (named many of ’em). Why was the Republican platform changed to anti NATO and pro Russia in Crimea if the Putin fix was not in. I kept bringing it up over the years and he would respond by spouting the latest Hannity nonsense. This week he did not defend, just refused to discuss. Progress!

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It’s for the best.

  47. 47
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There’s a reason for that: they don’t keep multiple teams of paramedics available…

    Kind of like I was wondering overnight; how did Trump get through a military academy without being beaten to within an inch of his mortality? Those places typically shape you up fast if you want to survive.

  48. 48
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Klannity brought a gun on his ‘show’. Jus’ sayin’.

  49. 49

    @jl: He’s been in office for a year and a half and purports to be a stable genius.

  50. 50
    Mart says:

    @TenguPhule: @Mart: Why are you being a prick…

  51. 51
    Ken says:

    I can totally buy Trump thinking he can order the US government to follow through on his secret one-on-one deals with Putin – the man’s ignorance is limitless – but I don’t think Putin would believe that.

    So I’m left with speculating that Putin has decided he can’t use Trump to get the sanctions lifted, and is going to maximally humiliate Trump before broadcasting the kompromat pour encourager les autres.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman: It wasn’t a military academy; it was a military themed prep school.

  53. 53

    @TenguPhule: Most lesbians that I know don’t want anything to do with that stuff.

  54. 54
    Ken says:

    @The Dangerman: My understanding is that there are military academies, and there are places for rich kids to cosplay military.

  55. 55
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Philip Rucker @ PhilipRucker
    Inside White House, there’s anger and frustration with Dan Coats over @mitchellreports interview. “Coats has gone rogue,” a senior official told me. Trump, who nurses grudges, is unlikely to be pleased with the headlines about his DNI’s performance

    Tick, tock, motherfu… I mean, welcome, fellow member of the resist….. I mean, you’re gonna spill now, right ?


  56. 56
    debbie says:

    Making deals is not how democracy works. Trump cannot be doing this. Doesn’t Congress at least need to be consulted?

  57. 57

    @The Dangerman: Fred Trump had enough money to keep that from happening.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Is it possible that only three days have passed since the Stinky in Helsinki? Feels like weeks and weeks ago.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Face for radio, voice for newsprint!

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Admitting he didn’t know is going rogue?

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Platonailedit: If you had 144 Hannitys, you’d have gross stupidity.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mart: other than the Alabama governor thing, which seemed to fascinate her, we watch different shows

  63. 63
    Platonailedit says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “Coats has gone rogue,”

    It’s always fucking projection with these lying assholes.

  64. 64
    The Dangerman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It wasn’t a military academy…

    Well, no, not like West Point or similar; fine, a prep school. Same thing applies. Typically, those places beat the asshole out of you one way or another.

  65. 65
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: IKR? Does anybody else feel like they’ve been on a merry-go-round that just keeps going faster…and faster…and faster…and no way of getting off?

    Or maybe a Tilt-a-Whirl is a better analogy.

  66. 66

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: They might want to have given DNI Coats a heads up. He didn’t go rogue, he was just surprised. Proof once more that Trump doesn’t hire the “Best People”.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: nside the White House, Trump’s advisers were in an uproar over Coats’s interview in Aspen, Colo. They said the optics were especially damaging, noting that at moments Coats appeared to be laughing at the president, playing to his audience of the intellectual elite in a manner that was sure to infuriate Trump.

    oh yeah, laughing at the Beast. He’s done.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Typically, those places beat the asshole out of you one way or another.

    Have you ever been to any kind of military or military-themed school?

  69. 69
    The Dangerman says:


    …and there are places for rich kids to cosplay military.

    OK, but I thought Papa Fred wanted to teach his son some discipline; I don’t think it was a Summer Camp.

  70. 70
    Platonailedit says:

    The federal government billed taxpayers nearly $70,000 in expenses at the Trump hotel in Turnberry, Scotland, during Trump's visit last weekend, federal spending records show.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 20, 2018

  71. 71

    @Miss Bianca:

    Or maybe a Tilt-a-Whirl is a better analogy.

    I thought you’d gone with “Tied to a bunking bronco”.

  72. 72
    seaboogie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Are you delicious? Then yes, you may indeed be chopped liver!

  73. 73

    The good side of Trump’s not telling his people what he agreed is that it won’t happen. He’s got to put the bureaucracy in motion to make anything happen. If he doesn’t tell them, nothing happens.

  74. 74
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, Adam, please, please, please…I am practically hyperventilating at the thought of McConnell taking a fall. Hoist by his own fucking petard, i’ faith. Please, let it be so!

  75. 75
  76. 76
    The Dangerman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Have you ever been to any kind of military or military-themed school?

    Inside? No. We have multiple in my area; my only experience is seeing the students in town. Now, to be clear, these aren’t schools as much as places for kids to go to “grow up” (at risk youth or whatever you want to call them). Polite and well mannered as can be.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: LOL!

    completely o/t: Come out to my neck of the woods in Colorado sometime and shoot the Milky Way from an *incredibly* dark sky! ‘T would be awesome!

  79. 79
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    People who never before would have even let themselves think about whether the president is working for Putin are beginning to ask that kind of thing. People have woken up to the truth that they can’t lie to themselves about this any longer.

    …and a lot of them have immediately come to the conclusion that DAMN STRAIGHT, Trump is working for Putin and that’s a great thing!

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @seaboogie: I’m not sure that sort of language is appropriate before the 11 O
    ‘Clock hour…

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman: The only military course I went to that wasn’t asshole dominated was Airborne School – probably because I was an officer and above the shit. And even then, it surfaced.

  82. 82
    Platonailedit says:


    On one hand, evade paying millions of tax dollars to the govt. On the other hand, rip off the same tax dollars from the govt. A twofer grift which he has got pat down. And his rubes totally love him for it.

  83. 83
    Mike in NC says:

    @Ken: No doubt there are private “military” schools where the rich kids each have a personal servant.

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    I’m sure someone mentioned this already, but the “House” republicans today voted down a Democratic measure to subpoena trump’s interpreter — the ONLY person other than Putin who knows what the fuck the moron said/agreed to.

    Please, please, spare me any further Lucy/football idiocy to the effect that maybe now the republicans are FINALLY gonna do something.

  85. 85
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    New York Daily News
    ‏Verified account @NYDailyNews
    14h14 hours ago

    Mark Zuckerberg says Holocaust deniers deserve “a voice”

  86. 86
    H.E.Wolf says:


    [ETA: I should have made a more explicit connection to Procopius’s comment at #24, to which Platonailedit was replying. Apologies for any confusion.]

    I’ll put in a good word for Acheson. His memoirs make for great reading, and his integrity was indisputable (well, okay, Sen McCarthy and his toadies disputed it).

    He apparently had a good sense of humor, and was willing to tell a joke on himself. Not a man to be trifled with, though. I think he would have appreciated that photo of President Obama staring down Pres. Putin.

  87. 87

    @Miss Bianca: I’m still working on places in southern CA(Lone Pine, Trona Pinnacles and Amboy Crater). I’m using the Dark Sky Finder as my guide.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Dangerman: A long, long time ago, in a galaxy bar far, far, away, I, um, relieved some Citadel cadets of some of their excess cash. There may have been games of skill involved. They were not as skillful as they thought.

  89. 89
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yum! That one’s a bit obscure to me – and I thought I was knowledgeable about The Boss’s catalog!

    But my favorite carnival themed-song would, of course, be this one – and maybe this one is a fine analogy as well: Wall of Death

  90. 90
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: One is, of course, prejudiced in favor of one’s own country… ; )

  91. 91
    Jeffro says:

    @Mike in NC:

    most of us realized a couple of years ago that Trump doesn’t do traditional management. It’s all chaos, all the time.




  92. 92
    Miss Bianca says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Dear Mark Zuckerberg – are you OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?

    Holocaust deniers don’t deserve a ‘voice’ – they *deserve* to have their heads handed to them on a pike. But that option wouldn’t be nearly as good for your bottom line, I suppose.

  93. 93

    @Miss Bianca: Well there’s also finances and I have the hungry dogs.

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    @TS (the original):
    drumpf doesn’t fucking know. Anyfuckingthing.

  95. 95
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Reacting with surprised humor after being blindsided in a live interview is ‘going rogue’, eh ? Still, Trump will want a scalp and his minions a scapegoat.

  96. 96

    @Miss Bianca: Zuckerberg is young, he probably never saw old ladies with numbers tattooed on their arms.

  97. 97
    Jeffro says:

    @Miss Bianca: It really is the ultimate expression of the “both sides” mentality, isn’t it? “Some say Holocaust; others say sure there were a lot of deaths in camps specifically set up to cause, um, death, but not like part of a plan or anything. Film at 11”

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    More like marble halvah.


  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep.

  100. 100
    Fair Economist says:

    There were no deals at the Stinky in Helsinki other than Trump saying “Yes boss, I’ll do as told”. Trump is the subordinate so he is taking orders not making deals. Besides that, Trump couldn’t remember any details anyway because his mind is shot. So the point is that now Putin can say Trump agreed to anything he wants and Trump will just have to agree.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Fine, he can go talk to them. Maybe invite them over for shabbat dinner. Or a Passover seder.

  102. 102
    NotMax says:

    O’Donnell reporting rumors that Coats is toast.

  103. 103
    Calouste says:

    @Miss Bianca: Facebook is apparently not really interested in the German market (where Holocaust denial is a crime).

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I love that stuff. One of my native Iraqi interpreters and translators in Iraq brought me a bunch back from his village when he came back from leave. He went home before his wife went into labor. We, on the team, got a bunch of stuff for the new baby, including a ton of stuff my brother and sister in law had left over from my twin nephews, before he went and sent it home with him. He came back with small gifts for everyone. Really wonderful guy.

  105. 105
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Oh, dear, I was talking about *me*, not you!

  106. 106
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It seemed to me he was chuckling at the ridiculousness of the situation. I can’t imagine the WH doesn’t acknowledge at least some of the ridiculousness.

  107. 107
    B.B.A. says:

    @debbie: A man in his position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous!

  108. 108
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When I was young one of the boys from school whose parentsq were better off than most got sent to a military prep school. The working class boys who behaved the same way got sent to juvenile detention.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: self-awareness is not trump’s strongest trait, and being laughed at– by the Davos Jr crowd in Aspen no less!– is his greatest fear

  110. 110
    Ken says:

    @debbie: My impression is that people working at the White House don’t do or say anything that gets the amoral man-child angry. If someone does they all turn on that person so they don’t get wished into the cornfield too.

    (Though in the story, they couldn’t go anywhere else. I have no idea what keeps people working at the White House.)

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Seems like you have gross stupidity with just the one.

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’ve been saying for the last year and half or so that McConnell was part of this. He will pay. He knows it to a certain extent to. His face when he faced the cameras for his first words about the Putin summit said it all.

  113. 113
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mart: Well, it is a story which involves Russians, sex, older men and a pretty redhead. The movie script writes itself.

  114. 114
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Armando Iannucci, we have your sequel to The Death of Stalin— which I heartily recommend to one and all

  115. 115
    debbie says:


    Like Sean Spicer, they write a book and go off on a book tour.

  116. 116
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: I thought Sean Spicer wasn’t doing all that well with his post-WH career.

  117. 117
    Platonailedit says:

    @B.B.A.: Don’t be ridiculous.

  118. 118
    Ken says:


    A man in his position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous!

    If only we could identify the person that keeps making him look ridiculous…

  119. 119
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Also read today that Zuckerberg called to congratulate Trump after the election. I guess that’s to be expected since he’s a businessman but bleh.

  120. 120
    Teddys Person says:

    @Yarrow: I believe he was on the Today show this morning promoting his book-like project.

  121. 121
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Have to look that up.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Teddys Person: I think I caught a few minutes of some interview with him on my local NPR station. No idea which program it was. The interviewer was questioning him about lying up at the press secretary podium. He didn’t take that all that well.

    I don’t think this past week is going to help his book sales. His book is going to be sunk by breaking news, plus he’s yet another liar in the Trump administration. Who fucking cares what he has to say? Let Mueller interview him and sort him out.

  123. 123
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Earlier in the day, when DHS Secretary Nielsen said Trump liked hearing diverse opinions, the entire audience laughed out loud. They were laughing at Trump before the Coats interview.

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: Ah, but will he *pay*? I mean…will he pay…*enough*?

    The world waits in wonder…

  125. 125
    hueyplong says:

    Not sure I’m ready for NSI Director Sean Hannity, the only person Trump can be sure will not make him the subject of scornful laughter.

    One thing is for sure: Trump’s most hated thing is to be laughed at (think Obama saying that whether or not to fire Gary Busey would be the kind of thing that would keep him up at night).

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: you think Putin has the dirt on McConnell’s soap party and military discharge?

  127. 127
    NotMax says:

    @Teddys Person

    the Today show

    Bring back J. Fred Muggs and Phoebe B. Beebe!


  128. 128
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yes. Traitors will pay. He knows it, too. December, 2016 he knew it. Monday or Tuesday this week (whichever day they asked all the Congressmembers to comment on the summit) he knew it. He knows he’s in trouble.

  129. 129
    chris says:

    I got nothin.

    Amid the controversy over President Trump’s recent summit with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the neo-Confederate League of the South announced this week that it will soon be introducing a Russian language section to its website.“To our Russian friends,” a missive on the League’s website, is signed by Michael Hill, the group’s president.


  130. 130
    Calouste says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The shitgibbon so desperately wants to be accepted by the power players. And that’s what Putin gives him. At the moment anyway.

  131. 131
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Sandy (4th of July, Asbury Park). That song is in my DNA.

  132. 132
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t know if he has that, but it’s possible. I’m certain he has more current dirt on McConnell.

  133. 133
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Hill Dweller:
    How did Nielsen react? Like Oliver Stone’s “Why are you laughing?”?

  134. 134
    The Ancient Randonneur says:


    Zuck is is a clueless, backstabbing white boy. Full stop. The Book of Faces wasn’t even his idea.

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Happy to help.

  136. 136
    Amir Khalid says:

    Leave Spanish alone. Your English is bad enough.

  137. 137
    Amir Khalid says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    It features the most beautiful accordion solo in rock music. RIP Diamond Danny Federici.

  138. 138
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Amir Khalid: .

    Thank you. It had to be written.

  139. 139
    Wapiti says:


    So I’m left with speculating that Putin has decided he can’t use Trump to get the sanctions lifted, and is going to maximally humiliate Trump before broadcasting the kompromat pour encourager les autres.

    Agreed. My prediction as of today: Putin is going to let his spy-woman get convicted, so he can request/require Donald to pardon her. Then boast about it publicly.

  140. 140

    @Miss Bianca: I linked to the dark sky map.

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    It has struck me that this Donald J. Trump person might not be the most attentive-to-detail POTUS ever.

  142. 142
    different-church-lady says:

    Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi, weighing in on her brother’s controversial comments about Holocaust deniers, forcefully denounced such people and “their hateful, disgusting rhetoric.” But she said banning them from social media “will not make them go away,”

    It will make them go away from your social media platform.

    It’s a little like saying, “Hey, if I don’t sell guns to psychotic people, they’ll just get them somewhere else.”

    What the fuck is it with this family where they just can’t grock personal responsibility?

  143. 143
    Steeplejack says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    I have found myself starting to perk up a bit since the Helsinki fiasco. It dawned on me that Trump’s “shit Midas” effect might be so cosmically awful that it is starting to affect not just innocent victims but the evildoers themselves: Republicans in Congress, Cabinet members and executive-branch minions, even Putin and Trump himself.

    At some level still to become clear, Putin appears to have perhaps overplayed his Helsinki hand, and he might be in a “dog that caught the car” situation—now what do you do?

    I can’t imagine that a second summit in Washington right before the election would be good for Putin or Trump, but they seem determined to do it. Please proceed, gentlemen.

  144. 144
    Platonailedit says:



  145. 145
    Amir Khalid says:

    I agree. It’s a respectable argument that no one has a right to silence anybody, even Holocaust deniers. But no one owes them a voice or a platform, either. If Facebook kicks them out, they can still express themselves by other means, and their right of free speech is not violated.

    By the way, Heinlein spelled it grok.

  146. 146
    Adrift says:

    Completely OT but I am unlurking thru my tears to direct attention to this:–488636961.html
    Will this madness ever end? The violence, the anger. I don’t know how much more i will be able to take. Jeezus.

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m not a violent person, I oppose violence in almost all cases. But boy, do I want to punch Jeremy Peters in the face. Over and over again.

  148. 148
    different-church-lady says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well no wonder I could never find the definition on-line. A friend of mine used to say it, and I was never quite certain I was using it right, but my attempts to find a definition always came up empty.

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Citadel, eh? Good for you, those guys appear to be close to 100% bully, and there’s nothing I hate more.

  150. 150
    Yarrow says:


    At some level still to become clear, Putin appears to have perhaps overplayed his Helsinki hand, and he might be in a “dog that caught the car” situation—now what do you do?

    Putin overplayed his hand when Trump won. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

  151. 151
    andy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Cosplay Academy!

  152. 152
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: IMHO that use of “elite” is the tell that the source is Stephen Miller.

  153. 153
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s a respectable argument that no one has a right to silence anybody, even Holocaust deniers.

    I humbly disagree. No private individual should be required to promote views that they hold to be abhorrent. If private religious beliefs are to be held to be inviolable, why not private moral beliefs?

    Nobody has a right to a megaphone that belongs to someone else.

  154. 154
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Or to put it more clearly:
    Zuckerberg has an obligation, as we all do, to respect the free-speech rights even of those who say vile and hateful things. He has no obligation to invite them to his rooftop and hand them a bullhorn — which, by letting them stay on Facebook, is what he’s doing. Indeed, common decency says his obligation is to not abet hate speech.

  155. 155
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Saw your query in a defunct thread about being WoW-curious.

    They used to have a free trial period, which was for a somewhat stripped down version of the original game only. Since the change this week which made everything else included without additional purchase, I *think* that has gone bye-bye. So it will cost the usual $15 per month fee to get everything in one package to try out. If you don’t care for it, can just stop the subscription from renewing the next month.

    Three things:

    1) The initial download will be a lengthy one.
    2) Before you sign up, give a heads-up here, please. There are some ‘only way to get them’ perqs given as a bonus to already existing players through the Add-a-Friend program for WoW, which have no affect on your subscription but which someone here might want to take advantage of.
    3) When you sign up and begin creating characters, you also have to choose what is called a realm (in computer terms, think of it as – roughly speaking – a separate server where all the characters who were assigned there live). There still exist some in-game advantages to being in the same realm as other players you know, so might consider asking beforehand what realms the WoW players here use.

  156. 156
    B.B.A. says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: The problem is, if Zuck orders Holocaust deniers thrown off Facebook, and a large swath of Palestinian nationalists (among whom denialism is unfortunately common) get caught up in the crackdown, it looks an awful lot like a Jew banning opposition to the Israeli regime. Which I, as a Jew, find even more abhorrent.

  157. 157
    L85NJGT says:


    He’ll pivot to his useful idiots on the left to ramp up the anti-Democratic Party & anti-status quo rhetoric.The goal was never Trump – it was to create an internal splitcrisis in the US. His goal is expansion of the Russian Empire. He perceives a distracted and divided US giving him the strategic maneuvering room he needs.

  158. 158
    Amir Khalid says:

    I say this as someone sympathetic to their cause: Palestinian nationalists have the same obligation as everyone else to respect the truth about the Holocaust. Those who deny it have given in to anti-Jewish bigotry, and if it gets them kicked out of a social-media platform they do not get my sympathy.

  159. 159
    Another lurker says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You are correct that rich boy Z is too young to see those tattoos .
    I, on the other hand, am old and I had a Polish woman as my next door neighbor. She never said much, English being recently learned, after WWII. I must have been 10 or 11 when I really noticed her tattoo. I was a curious kid, so I asked Mrs. M what the numbers on her wrist meant? She looked at me and shook her head sadly. She looked away.
    It was kinda of chilling at first, as I read up on Poland during The War, the brief encounter with an old woman who lost everything grew sadder for me, as time went on. It is now turning into a real dread of history repeating itself.

  160. 160

    @Steeplejack: I think that, no matter what, Putin wins. The minute he created doubts in our mind about the integrity of our elections and the minute he had any control over the president of the United States, Putin won. So his coming here in the fall throws us into more chaos and distraction and all of that is just bonus for him. WARNING:
    Gratuitous Game of Thrones reference–As Littlefingerr said “chaos is a ladder” and Putin will climb it wherever it takes him because no matter what, the ladder helps him move up and forces us to slide backwards.

  161. 161
    Doug R says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You should spend some time in British Columbia in clear weather. There is a free campsite run by BC Hydro-it has drinking water but ironically no electric power- just outside Lillooet, mere miles from the darkest skies. If you’re from California, you should be able to handle the summer weather.

  162. 162

    @L85NJGT: Totally agree. A fractious and distracted US is his goal and he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

  163. 163
    Doug R says:


    Putin overplayed his hand when Trump won. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

    Well, then they shouldn’t have made trump win all those precincts by the exact same margins then.

  164. 164
    Doug R says:

    @Amir Khalid: Denying history is NOT the same as having unpopular views.

  165. 165
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @different-church-lady: What happened to Randi? Her brother got rich, and she sure doesn’t wanna get cut off. What happened to Zuck? He got rich, and it is WELL DOCUMENTED that rich people are significantly less empathetic and more sociopathic than us normals. One could speculate that it comes from having an army of obsequious servitors who basically cannot say “no” to you, but whatevs, that’s how they -are-.

    Zuck is Jewish. I have a very close Jewish friend whom I can ask about these things, and he told me once (when I was shivering after the Nov 2016 Apocalypse, and wondering about planning for expatriation) that all Jewish children are taught about the lesson that you might have to flee, b/c it’s happened so many times in the history of the Jewish people. No, Zuck KNEW. Hell, at some point he probably even fucking CARED. But then he got rich. End of story.

    Steeply progressive confiscatory taxation would be a moral boon to the rich. It would redeem their benighted souls.

  166. 166
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Chetan Murthy: to the extent that the Facebook movie can be believed, he wasn’t overflowing with empathy and people skills even before they started the company

  167. 167
    Platonailedit says:

    @Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ:

    putin succeeded because of eagerly willing citizenry blinded by white supremacy. He is not the only reason for the current affairs.

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: Putin didn’t see Comey coming

  169. 169
  170. 170
    Platonailedit says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    I am with you. Other western democracies have banned/restricted hate speech and they have not collapsed and the US is the one now lost to the so called free speech.

  171. 171
    Jay says:

    @Doug R:

    Probably not the mosquito’s or forest fires.

    $50 get’s you a Forest Service Campsite pass, which gives you access to 598 different campsites across the Province for a year. Otherwise FSC’s cost $15 a night for the curated sites, free for the backwoods ones.

  172. 172
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I can believe it — just from the enormous amount of obvious don’t-give-a-shit about PII (personally identifying information) they spray around like a firehose. But that is still different from “don’t give a shit about Holocaust denial”. I mean, if I founded a company and my company were giving a platform to people who spewed racist vitriol about people of South Asian descent, I’d have serious problems with that. That he doesn’t see this as a matter of self-interest, tells me a lot about how he views himself: above and beyond mere normals like you, me, and all the Jewish people we know in real life.

    It’s disgusting.

    P.S. I realize that he should also feel this way about those spewing racist rhetoric against black people, misogynist rhetoric, etc. But the *absolute* *minimum* you could expect from him, would be that he would ban racist and eliminationist rhetoric directed at people of his own ethnicity. It’s what boggles the mind about Stephen “Goebbels” Miller, too.

  173. 173
    cwmoss says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I ain’t a diplomat or a Nat Sec pro, but it occurs to me that in behaving this way, Ttump is essentially acting on his own behalf, personally, rather than on behalf of the nation. WTF???

  174. 174
    Dan B says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Friends saw The Death of Stalin and loved it, political junkies and masters of mass communication. It was fascinating to witness the pretzels bend and contort in hopes of surviving.

  175. 175
    Jay says:

    @Dan B:

    The Death of Trump script was rejected as being too implausible.

  176. 176
    Dan B says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Wasn’t Louis quatorze a billionaire? He was richer than fork and then there were two pieces.

  177. 177
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Dan B: Uh, are you referring to Louis Seize (16th)? !4th died in his bed, of old age, didn’t he? He was the Sun-King, right? And 15th too (though Damiens did try to assassinate him — wow, the description of his punishment in the introduction to Foucault’s _Discipline and Punish_ is ….. worth the trip, if you can stomach it). Louis 16th was guillotined (which, I guess, is what you mean by “two pieces”).

  178. 178
    cwmoss says:

    @Ken: See Josh Marshall’s article “In the Abuser’s House.”

  179. 179
    Dan B says:

    This seems clear as day to me. We’ve got a malign president who loves to play world manipulation games and he’s found a playmate. Now he’s invited his playmate to his house. They’ve got cherry bombs to put in rabbit holes and can light cats taila on fire, then they’ve got a servant who’s got some dynamite and you know about my neighbor who got me in trouble and wouldn’t it be fun to blow ip his garage!?

    I get it but it’s all hypothetical and a bit in the weeds until the Ruskies are parachuting into Wichita. How do we get this across to middle America? How do we even get across to black and brown people who are focused on Jeff Sessions? We’ve got women and gays who know creeps when thy see them but how do we awaken people who have a tangential comprehension of the threat?

  180. 180
    cwmoss says:

    @Amir Khalid: They may market to those who find their ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to their newsletters.

  181. 181
    J R in WV says:


    Thanks for the tips. I had a pair of minor surgeries this afternoon, no big deal, but going to be annoying for the next 2-3 weeks. Since I will need to be less active,and should be still until the sutures aren’t holding things together, learning a game seemed like an option.

    But I don’t operate Windows computers, we’ve been various strains of Linux since we retired, and my internet connection is a sat link, with lots of latency and variable band-width. So there’s that.

    I have wanted to get a windows box to use for photo editing, so the standard references would apply, and thinking that learning new trix with editing on one platform would help editing on another Linux platform.

    Maybe I’ll just continue to keep informed enough to make wise and productive contributions to various campaigns… and volunteer some.

  182. 182
    cwmoss says:

    @Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ: I think your time horizon is too narrow.

  183. 183
    Dan B says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Are you still a billionaire if there are two pieces of you? How to divvy up the francs?

    The 16th. Does it get divided 10/6, 12/4 based on weight. Apologies for the guillotine humor.

  184. 184
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Found this about WoW and Linux. No idea whether it will be helpful to you.

Comments are closed.