Russiagate Open Thread: “GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!”

And on a Sunday in August! It’s not like the man does anything resembling work on any day of the week, but can’t someone remind him that the little people need time off from this shite-geyser?

Strong lede from Adam Davidson, at the New Yorker“The Day Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia”:

August 5, 1974, was the day the Nixon Presidency ended. On that day, Nixon heeded a Supreme Court ruling and released the so-called smoking-gun tape, a recording of a meeting, held two years earlier, with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. Many of Nixon’s most damaging statements came in the form of short, monosyllabic answers and near-grunts—“um huh,” the official transcript reads, at one point—as he responds to Haldeman’s idea of asking the C.I.A. to tell the F.B.I. to “stay the hell out of” the Watergate investigation. The coverup is clearly of Haldeman’s design. Nixon’s words are simple: “All right. Fine.” Then, “Right, fine.”…

On August 5, 2018, precisely forty-four years after the collapse of the Nixon Presidency, another President, Donald Trump, made his own public admission. In one of a series of early-morning tweets, Trump addressed a meeting that his son Donald, Jr., held with a Russian lawyer affiliated with the Russian government. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere,” he wrote. “I did not know about it!”…

The tweet contains several crucial pieces of information. First, it is a clear admission that Donald Trump, Jr.,’s original statement about the case was inaccurate enough to be considered a lie. He had said the meeting was with an unknown person who “might have information helpful to the campaign,” and that this person “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” This false statement was, according to his legal team, dictated by the President himself. There was good reason to mislead the American people about that meeting. Based on reporting—at the time and now—of the President’s admission, it was a conscious effort by the President’s son and two of his closest advisers to work with affiliates of the Russian government to obtain information that might sway the U.S. election in Trump’s favor. In short, it was, at minimum, a case of attempted collusion. The tweet indicates that Trump’s defense will continue to be that this attempt at collusion failed—“it went nowhere”—and that, even if it had succeeded, it would have been “totally legal and done all the time.” It is unclear why, if the meeting was entirely proper, it was important for the President to declare “I did not know about it!” or to tell the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”…

It was possible, just days ago, to believe—with an abundance of generosity toward the President and his team—that the meeting was about adoption, went nowhere, and was overblown by the Administration’s enemies. No longer. The open questions are now far more narrow: Was this a case of successful or only attempted collusion? Is attempted collusion a crime? What legal and moral responsibilities did the President and his team have when they realized that the proposed collusion was underway when the D.N.C. e-mails were leaked and published? And, crucially, what did the President know before the election, after it, and when he instructed his son to lie?

123 replies
  1. 1
    John Cole says:

    Well played Anne Laurie.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I hate to admit it, but Putin deserves better than this.

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Cole: I guess that explains why the comment I made on your personal garden thread hung forever and then when I tried to reopen the thread I was told it didn’t exist….

  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    and now FYWP ate my comment here. grrr. Luckily, I no longer trust FYWP and copy my comment before posting.

    @John Cole: I guess that explains why the comment I made on your personal garden thread hung forever and then when I tried to reopen the thread I was told it didn’t exist….

    edit: never mind. BJ was just super slow in posting my comment.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @John Cole: I left you a comment also on how lovely your yard is. If you didn’t have so many pets, you could run through it barefoot.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    We do love Anne though.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    “I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement … over time facts develop”

    I’d just like to admire the sheer utter shamelessness on display here.

  8. 8
    lollipopguild says:

    I keep waiting for the tweet where trump admits to being owned by the Russians but explains it away with “it’s just business”.

  9. 9
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: I thought that was lawyer-eise for my client lied to me.

    Can an attorney come out and say clearly that their client lied to them?

  10. 10

    I am melting it 90F with what feels like 100% humidity. Do. Not. Want.
    I finished watching Sacred Games. It ends at a cliffhanger. Now I must go and find the book.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I was just talking to Alain, he’s working on it.

  12. 12
    Platonailedit says:

    @dmsilev:

    These are scums that peddled alternative fact from day one.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The Brahmin did it.

  14. 14
    eric says:

    @schrodingers_cat: there is going to be a season 2.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    If Hicks did not 1) first consult with her own attorney and 2) is not cooperating with the Special Counsel’s Office before getting on Air Force One yesterday, then she has increased her own legal jeopardy.

  16. 16

    Too hot in Bedminster to play golf. And it’s gonna get worse the next few days. Better buckle your safety belts!!

  17. 17

    @Adam L Silverman: Which one? Trivedi is the middle man. Guruji is Khanna and that is not a Brahmin name AFAIK

  18. 18
  19. 19
    aarrgghh says:

    donald sr: “junior, just wait right there. no, over there. good boy. perfect.”
    donald jr: “you sure, dad? this is the bus lane.”

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    Trump has gotten away with so much crap in his lifetime that he thinks say “But everybody does it” is an excuse for breaking the law.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    “over time facts develop”

    No. Over time, knowledge of or understanding of or interpretation of facts may develop, but not the facts themselves. Jesus.

  22. 22
    Immanentize says:

    I love that Roger Stone is writing this screenplay — he has Sekulow as Ziegler.

    The president refers to the fact that there is new material; therefore, this is the operative statement. The others are inoperative.

    Brilliant adaptation.

  23. 23

    @eric: I know but that won’t be for at least another year. Actually the who-done-it part is not as interesting as Gaitonde’s narrative. Did you watch it in the original Hindi or the English dubbed version?

  24. 24
    Timurid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It’s definitely worth the read. I read most of it on a train ride across India (albeit nowhere near Mumbai), so it really made an impression…

  25. 25
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Trump tweeted what? (Jen Rubin)

    The political implications of Trump’s latest confession are quite stunning. Will the rest of the GOP go along with the position that it was perfectly fine for Russia to help Trump? That would sure be a change from “No collusion” (to “Collusion, so what?!”). I don’t know how a major political party can maintain the view that hostile powers have carte blanche to influence our elections. Every Republican in elected office or on the ballot should be asked his or her view on the matter.

    The notion that collusion with a hostile power is no big deal is so preposterous and unpalatable, you would think Republicans would not dare try to defend Trump on this point. But this crowd? They might just try it.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: But is Guruji adopted and, as a result, has the non-Brahmin name of the adoptive parents?

    Honestly, I haven’t watched the show, I was just teasing you.

  27. 27

    @Timurid: The series has not been brave enough to name names of the Hindu right politicians responsible for demolition of Babur’s mosque and the riots that followed. Does the book do that?

    ETA: You recommend it, then.
    ETA2: I know almost nothing about the rest of India, but Mumbai is my jaan. There will be always a soft spot for Mumbai not matter where I live. Its my janmabhoomi.

  28. 28

    @Adam L Silverman:Guruji is a mystery we know almost nothing about him at this point.

  29. 29
    Millard Filmore says:

    @aarrgghh: I don’t laugh out loud very often … you got me on that one. Thanks.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: He’s adopted. Using the adoptive parents name as cover.//

  31. 31
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Bet the mortgage when she boarded the plane she smacked into the Shitgibbon hisownself – because the first words out of her piehole were Pardon me!

  32. 32
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Had a lovely day out today but since I’ve been back I have been following the shit storm on twitter. I may be over stating it, but the flood gates really are opening after that tweet. I haven’t seen one “it could be interpreted” spin, they are all basically saying this is flat out Twitler admitting that he and his campaign colluded with the Russians in order to damage Hillary. Flat out collusion. Even the FYNYT.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Special envoy Steven?
    I just can’t even.

    Steven Seagal Appointed by Russia as Special Envoy to the U.S.

    (Link is to FTFNYT)

    EDIT: Nym and email auto fill are gone again. Dammit.

  34. 34
    James E Powell says:

    @lollipopguild:

    Their final line of defense will be “We didn’t want to work with the Russians, but we had to. We couldn’t let Hillary win.” Around 40% of Americans will agree that Trump had no choice and we should all just be thankful. Sound far-fetched? It would take FOX and RW radio about a week to bring their people around.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Apparently he needed his pants steamed by someone wearing 6 inch stiletto heels.

  36. 36
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Immanentize: Just for clarity let us note that’s Ron Ziegler, a real-life WH staffer, as opposed to Toby Ziegler, a creation of Aaron Sorkin in The Left Wing

  37. 37
    West of the Rockies says:

    Has anyone ventured over to see how this is playing on Fox? I know the usual potato heads will downplay or “whatabout” it, but how about the actual journalists?

  38. 38
    low-tech cyclist says:

    The thread title requires this link: https://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/1973/05/29

    You’re welcome.

  39. 39
    James E Powell says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m a lawyer, but totally unfamiliar with criminal proceedings. What jeopardy would Hicks be in? Hasn’t she already testified?

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Every Republican in elected office or on the ballot should be asked his or her view on the matter.

    And especially the ones who have recenly visited Russia, or who will soon be going to meet with officials in Russia..

  41. 41
    Timurid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I do. It’s been a while, but I don’t think the book names specific individuals (Thackeray, Advani, Modi, etc.). It is very clear, however that Shiv Sena/Sangh Paravar types are deeply involved in the plot, both the real world violence in Mumbai and the fictional terrorist conspiracy. Now that I think about it, my train ride (Agra to Kolkata) had a Mumbai connection. This was October 2008, and the Shiv Sena was blockading the civil service exams being given in the city, trying to keep out Biharis and other people from north India. One kid didn’t get the message and they threw him under a subway train. There were protests all over Bihar in response to this, including attempts to block the railroads. My train had a bunch of soldiers on it, and nothing scary happened… but it was still delayed by a good bit. More time to spend with that book…

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @James E Powell: They’re already there. Though it is really about 20% or so. Basically the majority GOP base.

  43. 43
    Timurid says:

    I just had a post straight up vaporized. No moderation message.

  44. 44
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Immanentize: FTR we note that this is Ron Ziegler, who was real (though lame), not Toby Ziegler, who was a creation of Aaron Sorkin’s.

  45. 45
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @low-tech cyclist: No one really cherishes the classics any more… It’s all Cardi-o and Taylor Perry and Katie Swift now.

  46. 46
    Doug R says:

    @Baud:

    I hate to admit it, but Putin deserves better than this.

    Couldn’t happen to a better a$$hole, IMHO

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @James E Powell: She’s a material witness to the President dictating his son’s statement about the June 2016 meeting. In her role as spokeswoman she initially publicly lied about it. From the reporting, it is unclear whether her testimony to both the Senate intel committee and the Special Counsel was also dishonest. It is unclear if she is cooperating or is herself a subject of the investigation. Reporting also indicates that she has been advised to stay away and out of contact with the President and other’s who are subjects of the investigation and that the President has been advised to stay away from and out of contact with her. She was intimately involved with attempting to cover up a conspiracy against the US involving a hostile foreign power. I cannot imagine that traveling and spending time with the President is a good idea from a legal standpoint.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Okay don’t kick me in the butt again, but I did tell a friend and trump supporter how would you feel if they just brought down the electrical grid. It might take that for them to understand that Putin is not our friend.

  49. 49
    Timurid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I do recommend it.* It’s been a while, but I don’t think major figures (Thackeray, Advani, etc.) are mentioned by name. The book does, however, make it very clear how the Shiv Sena, Sangh Parivar and friends were central to the plot… both the real life violence in Mumbai and the fictional terrorist conspiracy. Now that I think about it, my train ride (Agra to Kolkata) did have a Mumbai connection. This was October 2008, and there were anti-bhaiyya protests/riots ongoing in the city (led by Shiv Sena, natch). In response there were protests in Bihar, including attempts to block the railroads. My train had a bunch of soldiers onboard for security and was delayed several times moving through that area. More time to spend with that book…

    *I have never been to, much less lived in, Mumbai, so there could be any number of things he got wrong. It was still a good read.

  50. 50
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Apparently he needed his pants steamed by someone wearing 6 inch stiletto heels.

    I read someplace she was needed to calm him down; I just hope she washed her hand afterwards.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: I wrote a report on the ongoing Russian active measures and cyberwar campaign for someone back in January. Remember, this is before the reporting about how Russian intel hacked into air gapped systems at a variety of electrical plants, including nuclear ones. It included this:

    Putin’s cyberwarfare has also targeted actual American infrastructure. Russian for cover officials have been tracked mapping US critical physical infrastructure, such as the communication and power transmission grid. This was in support of a cyberwarfare campaign to infiltrate and compromise another important American center of gravity: the US power generation and transmission grid. Putin’s ability to weaponize information and the platforms where American’s get their information combined with his ability to bring down all or portions of the US power grid should have every national security professional very, very, very worried. Putin’s cyberwarriors have already tried to create a response through planting false social media stories of actual fake news reports about a foreign terrorist attack on the US energy sector, an ebola outbreak, and a riot in response to a police shooting. All of which never happened. Imagine what happens when Putin starts turning parts of the US power grid off during extreme weather events while at the same time he’s spreading disinformation made to look like actual news reports or official municipal, state, and/or Federal responses to the disaster he’s created. This is the threat we face.

    As such the second domestic policy objective needs to be updating and hardening US infrastructure, especially the power generation and transmission grids, against cyberwarfare and conventional threats. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the US power generation and transmission grids a grade of D+ while stating the simple truth that it is aging and built to 1950s and 1960s code with an estimated 50 year life span at the time of its completion. The American Society of Civil Engineers also grades all US infrastructure with the same D+ as they awarded America’s energy infrastructure. This is itself concerning from a national security perspective. We learned on 9-11 that if America cannot fly people and goods around the country, then the US economy shuts down because our roads and rails are not designed to be alternate means of quickly and efficiently moving people and goods around the country. Now imagine a Russian cyberwarfare attack that brings down just two or three of the US’s air travel hubs by targeting the electrical systems that supply them. The damage to the US economy would be significant. It is of vital national security interest that a policy to upgrade, update, and harden the US energy generation and transmission infrastructure against cyberwarfare attack must be undertaken. Moreover, it would make sense to do the same to all of the US’s infrastructure so that American infrastructure becomes a series of overlapping systems – a system of systems – that create redundancy across different types of infrastructure in case there is a natural or man made failure of one type. Doing so removes these critical systems from Putin’s targeting list.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: There are things that I neither need to know, nor want to know.

  53. 53
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    @low-tech cyclist: No one really cherishes the classics any more… It’s all Cardi-o and Taylor Perry and Katie Swift now.

    Yeah, but those of us of a certain age can still keep the faith. Remember this one?

    “Los Angeles is a lonely town to grow up in, especially if you’re a small boy named H.R. Haldeman.”

  54. 54
    chris says:

    Probably OT but does anyone know if this reporting on Tulsi Gabbard is accurate? I’ve always found her a little odd and cult membership would explain a lot.

  55. 55
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Apparently he needed his pants steamed by someone wearing 6 inch stiletto heels.

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Am I crazy to think Hope Hicks is now working with Mueller? And that she was wired? Otherwise, what she did is totally nuts.

  57. 57
    James E Powell says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Should we expect the press/media who went crazy about the Lynch/Clinton tarmac encounter to do the same for this?

    Or should we just wait to see what Maggie Haberman says we should think about this?

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    Trump 2020, 20 years for Colusion! Not Colusion!, 20 years for treason.

  60. 60
    mike in dc says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    That’s why I think we need a 3 pronged strategy vis a vis Russia going forward:
    1. Defense(including cyber defense) and containment
    2. Overt countermeasures and punitive action(sanctions, diplomatic isolation, shifting to renewables to weaken Russian economic outlook)
    3. Covert measures of various kinds, including cyber as appropriate(finding various ways to destabilize and undermine Putin)

  61. 61
    debbie says:

    This won’t end well.

    On #AMJoy I discussed dangers we face in the midterms: hacking, claims of hacking used by the GOP to delegitimize Dem wins, and the GOP simply refusing to concede. pic.twitter.com/Uc9cOjCUAe— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) August 4, 2018

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: They literally don’t care if they burn it all down. That’s what makes it so scary.

  63. 63
    moops says:

    @WaterGirl: I think she is making a pitch for a pardon. She is accepting huge legal jeopardy in the hope that Trump will grant her a pardon. That’s my guess. She has likely perjured herself in multiple testimonies. Trump can be charged and arrested and jailed but he will remain the President, since the GOP will never accept impeachment. So, Trump will be able to grant pardons all through his trial. The prosecution might then charge Trump with additional counts of witness tampering, but the pardons will stand.

    Trump might not grant Hicks a pardon. There is nothing in it for him unless she is sitting on much more troubling information than what she overheard on AF1.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @chris: I don’t know if she’s a member of ISKON or one of its offshoots, but this was the definitive investigative write up:
    https://www.amazon.com/Monkey-Stick-Murder-Madness-Krishnas/dp/0151620865/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533510190&sr=8-1&keywords=monkey+on+a+stick+book

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I think it’s nuts, but I’m not working for the Special Counsel.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mike in dc: Among other things.

  67. 67
    moops says:

    It will be weird if Trump’s trial completes before his term is finished and we have a POTUS sitting in jail.

  68. 68
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Hey now, no need to accuse me of anything.

  69. 69
    Cermet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But we have no issue spending over a trillion dollars for a fighter that offers little we need. Yet, in a way, putin ass-wipe is making our intel aware of his capabilities, at least. I’m sure the F-35, after it bankrupts the US, will enable us to handle lost of the power grid.

  70. 70
    Ken says:

    If you witness tamper out in the open it doesn’t count.

    And: You’d have to be an idiot to commit a crime and show the evidence to other people.

  71. 71
    Cermet says:

    @moops: Arrest the potus!? LOL – that is impossible both in principle and in fact.

  72. 72
    Ken says:

    Steven Seagal Appointed by Russia as Special Envoy to the U.S.

    Did he change his citizenship, or does this mean he has to register as an agent of a foreign government?

  73. 73
    hueyplong says:

    If Hicks perjured herself, she could be cooperating or they could be at an impasse over the terms of a deal.

    If she is cooperating, uh-oh for Trump. If she wasn’t, she just made it fairly clear she won’t, and Mueller could indict her pretty soon.

    It is weird and kind of dramatic for her to show up on Trump’s plane, that’s for sure.

    (I continue to believe his two scoops ice cream obsession is a sign that his pants can’t be steamed anymore, which is probably good news for Melania.)

  74. 74
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Josh Marshall brings up à commenters interesting thoughts. Maybe the collusion went exactly as they planned.
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/assume-nothing

  75. 75
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @lollipopguild:

    I keep waiting for the tweet where trump admits to being owned by the Russians but explains it away with “it’s just business”.

    One can see the tweet now.

    Donald Trump (# @ theReadDonaldTrump, a proud member The Russian Federation group of companies)
    “People buy people all the time. Look at the Hotel service workers. Get over it. Sad”

  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    @Ken: Putin made him a Russian citizen in 2016. I can’t find anything about him renouncing his US citizenship, so dunno if he’s a dual-national or not.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  77. 77

    @John Cole: Im sure that Anne is quite pleasant as a person. But as a politico, she’s a shark. She catches every nuance of a political situation. I think she’s the hardest worker on this blog. Her perspective on events is amazing. Yeah, I kinda like her.

  78. 78
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Didn’t Donny Jr. testify about the meeting before a closed committee meeting? Under Oath?

  79. 79
    Bex says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We need to remember that Sekulow once worked for Pat Robertson. After Jesus get through throwing up in the corner there’ll be hell to pay.

  80. 80
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @A Ghost To Most: It is only a matter of time before we hear this before this is over “Yes we conspired with Russia, but the Democrats are the real traitors”

  81. 81
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Gelfling 545: It also doesn’t matter if you conspired to collude, but failed. Just because you went into the bank but got run out without the money doesn’t get you off the hook.
    And in this case it’s treason, too.

  82. 82
    L85NJGT says:

    @Another Scott:

    A brutal review of “Contract to Kill”.

    “Overall, he gives the kind of performance traditionally associated with stars who died during filming.”

    Also….mobbed up assclown.

  83. 83

    @Timurid: Shiv Sena is pretty thuggish and has no redeeming virtues but I think the real danger to independent India is the Sangh and its various branches. They are insidious.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cermet: Well the President has declassified that its invisible!

  85. 85
    RandomMonster says:

    @James E Powell: There are already photos of Trumpists at a recent rally sporting tshirts that say “Better Russian than Democrat”.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ken: He was awarded Russian citizenship in November 2016.

  87. 87
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Gelfling 545: This is basically what I always thought. At a minimum, Trump showed the Russians he’d take their help and not turn them in or let the Feds know about it.

    Even the Trump’s own story says that they kept talking about the Magnitsky Act after they found out the Russians didn’t have any info on them. And the Trump Campaign removed the anti-russian sections of the platform shortly thereafter.

    Theres no reason to think they didn’t cut a deal. Not reporting it and then lying about the meeting is the act of collusion right there.

  88. 88
    Bill Arnold says:

    @JPL:

    but I did tell a friend and trump supporter how would you feel if they just brought down the electrical grid to keep DJ Trump and the Republicans in power (because they asked nicely),

    FTFY

  89. 89
    moops says:

    @Cermet: I’m not sure where it says you can’t arrest a President. For any lower office being arrested is accompanied by your higher-ups also firing you, the GOP won’t let us fire him.

    I think a Trump conspiracy trial is likely and Trump will deny he did anything wrong and nobody will make him step down, he will post bail and work on his defense, and that’s where things will stand at the end of his term.

  90. 90
    Ken says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Am I crazy to think Hope Hicks is now working with Mueller?

    I think someone everyone on Mueller’s team has figured out that if Trump is told not to mention a topic he’ll immediately blurt it out, and they’re sending in people to prime him.

    (Possibly this trope. Or this one.)

  91. 91
    chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks, Adam. Sounds like the Hawaii people weren’t much better although no murders happened. Whether or not Gabbard is a cult member, being raised by cult members puts her thinking mechanism into question. IMHO

  92. 92
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MobileForkbeard: it’s more than an act of collusion; it’s an act of conspiracy.

  93. 93
    hueyplong says:

    @RandomMonster: Surely I’m not the only one creeping out over the parallel to the 1930s French Right’s “Better Hitler than Blum” trope.

  94. 94
    moops says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Criminally those are the same thing. It is pointless spin for people to have glommed onto collusion. For a prosecutor its all conspiracy.

  95. 95
    Honus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:New Vrindinban, West Virginia, just south of our blog host.

  96. 96
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Two clowns wore “I’d rather be a Russian than a democrat” t-shirts to the Nuremberg rally last night.

  97. 97
    Ken says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I’m old enough to remember when Republicans said “If you like Russia so much, why don’t you go live there?”

    Come to think of it, a six-year-old is old enough to remember that.

  98. 98
    Platonailedit says:

    This mornin’, Trump publicly implicated his eldest son and son-in-law in a felony conspiracy. Any man that would sell out his own son would gladly sell out his own country.

    — Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) August 5, 2018

  99. 99
    Platonailedit says:

    @Baud:

    Putin spent dimes to dollar and won big. He is not the loser.

  100. 100
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @L85NJGT: I have tried really hard to like Seagal, mainly because his martial art is Aikido, and you just don’t see Aikido in martial arts movies. I don’t expect great acting in martial arts movies. I don’t even expect mediocre acting. His Aikido was the real thing, his Japanese was real (one early movie opens with an Aikido demonstration entirely in unsubtitled Japanese) and I liked that his characters usually speak dialog in other languages.

    “Under Siege” is still one of my favorite action movies. I also liked his role in “Executive Decision” (joke: he has about 10 seconds on screen, then dies).

    But I can’t escape the continuing reports on what a terrible person he is, and just how bad he is on set. Aside from the rape charge, I’ve heard he has a rep for hurting stuntmen. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be alone in the Aikido world for that kind of crap. When I was studying Aikido, at least one popular sensei had a reputation for no-mercy throws in seminars, and even the black belts would get hurt sometimes.

    Also, I don’t expect great plots or character arcs in martial arts movies. There are only a couple basic plots. But usually, you do expect a satisfying story where your hero is the good guy. Last Seagal movie I watched was plotless, his character was a terrible person, everybody died but him for no good reason. It was not at all satisfying. And not a whole lot of Aikido either.

    So I guess I kind of give up on this asshole. Maybe I’ll just go back and watch “Under Siege” when I get the hankering for some actual Aikido in film.

  101. 101
    RandomMonster says:

    @hueyplong: Right there with you

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Is that the one where he’s the chef on the submarine? I thought that was a fun movie. Before he turned out to be such an asshole.

  103. 103
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: True that being an Aikido sensi does not make you a good person.
    eg Bruce Klickstein, who was my sensi back in the 80’s – and the accusations about him are true, even from back then.

  104. 104
    MoCA Ace says:

    @dmsilev:

    “I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement … over time facts develop”

    I’d just like to admire the sheer utter shamelessness on display here.

    If you assume they are talking about “alternative facts” then this is a factual statement! Or will be??

  105. 105
    Jay says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    We never “sparred” at my Aikido Dojo and our sensei was a lovely 72 year old woman.

    It was one of the gentlest, most supportive and relaxing MA training of my life.

    Only used my Aikido training twice in my life. First time, late at night, downtown, 2 muggers, one with a knife. I just walked through them, and despite their best attempts, they couldn’t touch me.

    The second time I stepped in and took a filetting knife away from a disturbed and distraught woman, gently took her down to the ground, and gently restrained her. I kept talking her down until the Police and the EMT’s arrived.

  106. 106
    J R in WV says:

    The Krishna Temple is only 26 miles from Bethany, WV, where Cole lives. That’s on slow country roads, so Google estimates it’s about an hour’s drive. Pretty country, and yes, there were a ton of criminal conspiracies revolving around the Krishna temple and it’s leadership many years ago.

  107. 107
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ken: Actually, I said just that to a old racist family friend who sent me an anti-Obama email in JAN. I also told him to GFY.

  108. 108
    Jay says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    We never sparred at my Aikido dojo, and my Sensei was a lovely, 72 year old Japanese woman,

    It was the most supportive, relaxing and intensive training in my life.

    I only used the training twice in my life. Once, when I ran into two muggers, one with a knife, on a downtown street late at night. Injust walked through the two of them with neither of them, despite their best efforts, to lay a hand on me.

    The other time, to take a filleting knife away from a distraught and agitated woman, take her gently down to the ground, restrain her, and calm her down until the EMT’s and Police arrived.

  109. 109
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    But I don’t think they do any martial arts, just chanting, mostly. and Begging. Big time begging.

  110. 110
    Mothra says:

    So that statement about the meeting is now inoperative? 2018 really is the year of the reboot.

  111. 111
    Jeffro says:

    @low-tech cyclist: oh hell yeah!!

    /Doonesbury fanboi

  112. 112
    Doug R says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Under was directed by Andrew Davis who also directed Chuck Norris in Code of Silence, arguably one of Chuck’s best pictures. He had also directed Segal in Above The Law. After Under Siege he directed The Fugitive.
    I’m guessing that and the fact that it also starred peak Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones just before his Fugitive peak and also Erika Eleniak was beautiful and charming and not a terrible actress.

  113. 113
    mike in dc says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: The Gene LeBell story is endlessly amusing to me. Gene, an elderly gentlemen who is a master judoka, was working as a stunt person on a set that Seagal was working on. Seagal challenged anyone to try to choke him out. LeBell, decades older than Seagal, took up the challenge. Most versions of the story have Seagal soiling himself before passing out. The perfect humbling experience for an arrogant jerk.

  114. 114
    Jeffro says:

    Btw the Cult and a newly-reinvigorated STP absolutely RAWKED tonight…sorry/not sorry, eardrums!! 😎🎤🎸🥁🤘🏼

  115. 115
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Platonailedit:
    He ultimately will be the loser. He will die and his regime will collapse without him at the helm.

  116. 116
    mad citizen says:

    Regarding comment 51 and “The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the US power generation and transmission grids a grade of D+” and built to 1950s standards and all that. This report and grade is crap. Of course the elements of the grid were not built once and forgot about–billions of dollars are spent each and every year to upgrade it, including physical and cybersecurity measures. The US has had such standards for several years, and they are continually revised.

    What I see in this industry is the homeland security mania and overspending that occurred after 9/11 coming to the electric industry. For example, the whole concept of “resilience”. Not only is it generally a buzzword, but people are trying to promote it as something that needs defined and met, when in some form or fashion the existing obligation to serve and meeting reliability standards also means you are meeting “resilience”, however defined.

  117. 117
    PST says:

    @mike in dc:

    That’s why I think we need a 3 pronged strategy vis a vis Russia going forward:
    1. Defense(including cyber defense) and containment
    2. Overt countermeasures and punitive action(sanctions, diplomatic isolation, shifting to renewables to weaken Russian economic outlook)
    3. Covert measures of various kinds, including cyber as appropriate(finding various ways to destabilize and undermine Putin)

    There should also be a plan in place for the ultimate sanction should Russia escalate instead of pulling back: expulsion of all Russian nationals and sequestration of their assets.

  118. 118
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Unless she was wearing a wire, why would she have done the AF1 trip?
    What infects the minds of these people that they think continued allegiance to the Orange menace will go well for them? It boggles the mind how insulated from reality these people are. Or what they think they get from a man so chaotic and self-involved that he’ll casually throw his son under the bus on a Sunday morning on twitter?

  119. 119
    Raoul says:

    @West of the Rockies: The only actual journalist left there is probably Shep Smith. He does weekdays I think

  120. 120
    James E Powell says:

    @Raoul: @Raoul:

    Trump has two kinds of people in his circle: corrupt scum who are in on one or more of his scams and fully committed cult members. Hope Hicks is in the latter group. This is her right after her trip on AF1.

  121. 121
    Bess says:

    @Raoul:

    Maybe the folks around Trump are afraid he’s going off the deep end and they leaned on her to come back and help settle him down.

    Donnie needs a Nanny.

  122. 122
    otmar says:

    @mike in dc: in other words: all we do to fight climate change also reduces the west’s exposure towards Russia.

  123. 123
    stan says:

    Please please please Hope Hicks was wearing a wire please please……

    if you’re thinking “that’s crazy” well, yeah, it is, but what ISN’T crazy about this entire story?

Comments are closed.