Who Is Sam Clovis?

This is a small point in the larger Russia investigation. But in my science, I have found that small points that don’t seem to make sense can be important. I am not putting forth a theory here. I want to raise questions that I think reporters should be looking at. The overarching question is Who is Sam Clovis and how did he develop his contacts?

When Donald Trump announced his foreign policy advisors in March 2016, a great many of us said “Who?” The five people announced were Joseph E. Schmitz, Gen. Keith Kellogg, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Walid Phares. Three had policy experience. Two didn’t. None were obvious choices.

Page was off to Russia that June. He had meetings with at least one high-level official, although his answers to congressional committees on that subject are evasive. A few years earlier, two Russian agents attempted to recruit Page as an informant.

Papadopoulos was convicted of lying to the FBI earlier this year. His wife worked for Joseph Mifsud, who had Russian connections and a job that looks like a cover. Mifsud has disappeared.

Who recommended Page and Papadopoulos? Eventually it came out that Sam Clovis, the national co-chair of the Trump campaign, had brought them into the campaign.

Clovis was in the Air Force for 25 years, through 1996. For about a decade, he had several jobs with defense contractors. In 2005, he became a professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He started hosting a radio talk show in 2010. In 2014, he ran for the post of Iowa State Treasurer. Rick Perry hired Clovis to chair his presidential campaign in Iowa. Clovis quit that campaign over not being paid his salary and endorsed Trump. He was made national co-chair of Trump’s campaign in August 2015. [This info from Wikipedia.]

Now we learn that Matthew Whitaker, appointed by Trump to be acting Attorney General, was campaign chair for Clovis’s bid for state treasurer, and, further, that Clovis counseled Whitaker to get a commentary gig on cable television to get Trump’s attention. It appears that Whitaker was counseling Trump on how to prosecute his political adversaries. He has maintained that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia and has been a strong critic of the Mueller investigation.

Whitaker was Sessions’s chief of staff, a position that is usually out of the line for promotions. Sessions took him on under White House urging. He seens to have been angling for Sessions’s job all along.

Page and Papadopoulos had (have?) more and different types of connections to Russia than might be expected for foreign policy advisors to a presidential candidate. It’s not clear how either of them came into contact with Clovis. It would be good to know more about that. As an Iowa attorney and politiican, Whitaker’s relationship to Clovis is more obvious. But why has Clovis been influential in placing people in the Trump administration? Why was the relatively obscure Clovis chosen as co-chair for Trump’s campaign?  And we still need to know more about Page’s and Papadopoulos’s Russian connections.

 

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner.

 






152 replies
  1. 1

    […] Cross-posted at Balloon Juice. […]

  2. 2
    Jay says:

    Conversation
    NowThis
    NowThis
    @nowthisnews
    ‘Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism’ — Watch Emmanuel Macron rebuke Trump’s tough talk right to his face
    0:47
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    Emmanuel Macron Rebukes Trump’s Nationalist Rhetoric
    ‘Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism’ — Watch Emmanuel Macron rebuke Trump’s tough talk right to his face
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    https://mobile.twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1061661013945270273

  3. 3
    Jay says:

    ” It to prosecute his political adversaries. He has maintained that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia and has been a strong critic of the Mueller investigation.”

    Whittaker right, not Clovis?

    The paragraph is unclear.

  4. 4
    germy says:

    Rick Perry hired Clovis to chair his presidential campaign in Iowa. Clovis quit that campaign over not being paid his salary and endorsed Trump.

    Hope springs eternal.

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    These are all good questions. And the answer is, even if not proved/provable in any way, that Clovis is working for what might be called the dark conservative party. The people who want to create as much mayhem as possible because they can profit off of it. All of the people you see are the fronts for the operation. People like Clovis are the ones who make things happen, because most of the front group couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag. Those like Clovis are the people that the wealthy, like the Mercers depend on to get things done, to get people in place to be the fall guys, to put their names on things so there is a blame point that leaves them clean.
    Now all of this may be a dream/nightmare, but look at how it actually works and you tell me, is it plausible or even possible?

  6. 6

    Rick Perry didn’t pay him so he went to work for Trump?

  7. 7
    germy says:

    Who is Sam Clovis? A cooperating witness.

  8. 8

    @Jay: It’s evidently clear enough that you got that right. I’ve clarified it even more.

  9. 9

    @Ruckus: I don’t like to posit “dark organizations” of that kind, because you can make a case for pretty much anything that way. I’d rather stick with the questions until they’re answered.

  10. 10
    Jay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ve been following Whittaker for a while now, so I’d already heard that about him, but not all Jackals and lurkers are quite up to speed.

    Thanks for updating the paragraph.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    Ballotpedia goes into some detail

    According to Politico, “Clovis brought Papadopoulos into the campaign in March 2016, when he was asked to put together a foreign-policy advisory committee. Clovis knew that Papadopoulos was talking to Russian officials and, in at least one exchange, encouraged Papadopoulos to pursue a meeting with Kremlin-linked contacts.”

  12. 12
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I understand.
    It sounds like a kid in his mom’s basement, saving his pennies, surviving on chips, reading right wing websites. Who pays someone to write those right wing websites, to coordinate the continuous streams of bullshit?
    When do you think that might be that we have any answers, without posing the questions, even the uncomfortable ones or the ones we have a pretty good idea that we may never have answers to?

  13. 13

    @germy: Thanks. Here’s the Politico article that Ballotopedia got that from, which in turn got it from “court documents” and other sources. It doesn’t add much, except that Clovis knew Papadopoulos had Russian contacts. I’ve seen other sources (don’t have them at hand) that say that Clovis was pushing better relations with Russia on his radio program.

  14. 14
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Cheryl, thank you for this post, and for your previous (and future) measured and careful posts about these political and world-historical subjects. Lots of commenters here are pretty rabid (me too!) and, well, you and Adam both post with care and restraint. It’s good to be reminded of what “normal” is.

  15. 15
    lgerard says:

    Clovis is just another Iowa “christian” selling his influence every 4 years to presidential candidates. Since trump could not get the better known Bob Vander Plaats (who sold himself to Cruz) he was stuck with Clovis. He is the republican version of an Instagram influencer..

    Since trumpworld was a giant vacuum, he just took up space until he reached the point of incompetence. That was his nomination to be the USDA chief scientist despite zero experience.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Add another whose tax returns we need to see.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    I suppose that Clovis has a White House ‘friend’. One wonders who it is.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    @lgerard:

    He is the republican version of an Instagram influencer…

    He’s been described as a “rockstar” in tea party circles, which demonstrates how desperate they are.

  19. 19

    @lgerard:

    Clovis is just another Iowa “christian” selling his influence every 4 years to presidential candidates. Since trump could not get the better known Bob Vander Plaats (who sold himself to Cruz) he was stuck with Clovis. He is the republican version of an Instagram influencer..

    This kind of thing is why it’s a terrible mistake to have the same states lead off the presidential nomination process every 4 years. Having a whole array of political influencers for sale because they’re essential to win the nomination is a deep corruption of the whole nomination process.

  20. 20
    Haroldo says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Cheryl, I’d like to second what Chetan wrote. For a lot of this stuff, what wins the day is the slow, methodical asking (and eventually answering) of questions. Thanks.

  21. 21
    lgerard says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You would have a hard time getting the system changed. The diners in Iowa and New Hampshire would go out of business

  22. 22

    @lgerard: That is certainly one possibility. But I keep wondering how he knew those folks with Russian connections.

  23. 23

    @Chetan Murthy:
    @Haroldo:
    I’m glad you find my posts helpful. They are often as much help to me in making me think things out closely!

  24. 24
    WateGirl says:

    I had company starting on Friday at lunchtime. At that point, there were 3 senate races where the end result was not known. Now it looks like there are two — did we win another senate race while I was away from the news?

  25. 25
    WateGirl says:

    I leave for 3 days and suddenly mu comments I go into moderation?

  26. 26
    Yarrow says:

    @lgerard: Since there are so many connections to Iowa with all this stuff, I’ll re-post this interesting article about the rise and fall of Kent Sorenson, a Tea Party star in Iowa who ended up in prison. Link. If you want to learn a little more about how the behind the scenes stuff works in GOP circles, there’s a lot there.

    The Ron Paul organization has a lot of influence, and he’s got plenty of connections to Russia. Seems like there are a lot of Iowa politicians with connections to Russia like Chuck Grassley, Steve King and now these two guys. What’s going on there?

  27. 27
    germy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Your posts are always helpful. As the Mueller investigation progresses, we look forward to your analysis.

  28. 28
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Some humor for all, esp those with ties to MO. My mom (1913-2005) was raised by her grandparents, lived in Pine Lawn, and graduated from Normandy High. She was the first in her family to attend college. She went to the U of MO, where she met my dad (from Tulsa OK).

    A favorite tale of her time at the U in the 30s–The students would laugh about MO legislators telling scare stories about the goings on of the U students–‘Why, do you realize what they do there?! They matriculate there, maticulate! Boys and girls together! They matriculate together!!’

  29. 29

    @lgerard:

    You would have a hard time getting the system changed.

    I realize that a serious reform is unlikely, but I still think we should try. The first step of trying is building a case against the current system, which includes pointing out all the problems with it.

  30. 30
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @germy:

    He’s been described as a “rockstar” in tea party circles

    Someone misspelled “oxter”.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    @sm*t cl*de: I had to look that one up. And now I know a new word. Well played.

  32. 32
    efgoldman says:

    @germy:

    What story is this quote from?

    Speaking of Iowa, what happened to racist pig Pigmuck?

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    I will confess that most all the several colleges I attended or visited had much matriculation going on. In both senses of that word, its real definition and the MO legislative assumption of what it might mean.

  34. 34
    Haroldo says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    It’s good to see you here, sm*t cl*de! And thanks for the one Phew Scotsman.

  35. 35
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WateGirl: I released your comment(s), but check the nu spelling of your nym…

  36. 36
    efgoldman says:

    @J R in WV:

    I will confess that most all the several colleges I attended or visited had much matriculation going on.

    Mastication, too

  37. 37
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    They are much appreciated. Your posts are edifying, meaningful, and consistently professional.

  38. 38
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @efgoldman: Micturation.

  39. 39

    @efgoldman: He was reelected and has recently referred to Central Americans as “dirt.”

  40. 40
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman: Tragically, Steve King is still a Rep. On the other hand, as of yesterday, he’s feuding with the right-wing Weekly Standard after they called him a racist, so the sharks smell blood…

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    @efgoldman: Dare I say, knowing the young men at such schools (can’t speak for the women!!) the “master-” word related to self-help?

  42. 42
    Immanentize says:

    @Anne Laurie: High school football cheer:

    “Blood, Blood, Blood makes the grass grow.”

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WateGirl: Democrats took Nevada — did you know about that one? I feel like on Election Day there was just nothing, nothing, nothing about that race, and then late in the week when I remembered and got curious, Rosen had beaten Heller and it wasn’t that close. Maybe your experience was similar?

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I will confess that most all the several colleges I attended or visited had much matriculation going on.

    Heller was predicted to be toast months ago

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: I had always heard the opposite, that Rosen was having difficulty gaining traction. Her win was a nice surprise for me.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we are both right. Reporting on polling is something the media both obsesses over and is exceedingly dishonest about.

  46. 46
    cain says:

    @germy:

    Hope springs eternal.

    Right? Looks like he’s not going to get paid under Trump either. Dumbass.

  47. 47
    efgoldman says:

    @efgoldman: Any later word from AZ?

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: Last I heard, Sinema’s lead was now pretty solid.

  49. 49
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    Sinema’s lead was now pretty solid.

    So that’s D++1

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud: @efgoldman:
    This is surprising the hell out of me. Nevada did too, not so much the D win as the speed and margin. Inside view is the state may become reliably blue with the Dems in place to prevent Republican redistricting shenanigans.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @trollhattan:

    This is surprising the hell out of me. Nevada did too, not as much the D win as the speed and margin

    Suposedly it’s the mostly Latino gmibg unions
    Heller realloff y pissed them

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @efgoldman: IMO Nelson won’t be able to pull out this election because of signature match absentee ballot questions. Former rep and Nelson voter Patrick Murphy had his ballot tossed because the signature didn’t match. Anyway I think the repubs gain two but what does it matte,r since they already had the majority.
    Also the Falcons and the Pats lost.. .

  53. 53
    Turner Hedenkoff says:

    Early in the administration, Clovis was Trump’s pick for chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture, even though he’s not a scientist.

  54. 54
    Barbara says:

    @efgoldman: Heller underperformed in the non-Las Vegas parts of the state as well. Heller voted to repeal the ACA even though the governor was one of the few Republicans who really supported it. A significant number of people moving into Nevada are from California, whereas, the political foundation of the state was built on Mormons. Needless to say, things are changing.

  55. 55
    Yarrow says:

    @JPL: Speaking of Florida:

    BREAKING: In Florida Gov Scott's campaign has now filed a motion to seize (impound) the voting equipment in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. https://t.co/SYNkgyZN9s I suppose his last stunt–to send in state law enforcement didn't work out as expected (hint: they found no fraud).— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 11, 2018

  56. 56
    M31 says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    oxter is my go-to scrabble word

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @Barbara: Heller lost Washoe County, but won Carson City and Douglas County by increasingly large margins. California influence all through there. More south you go, richer the CA refugees get in that area. From my Reno connections, lot of middle income professionals sick of GOP BS and Heller in particular (they might be harder to lie to and get away with it), and there is University of Nevada, Reno (that is the egghead U Nev campus Edit: well that is what Reno-ites tell me).

  58. 58
    M31 says:

    by the way, unless you know in advance that you’re into that sort of thing, don’t try to read Victorian pornography for, uh, enjoyment.

    I had a friend try to do a ‘sexy’ reading of it once (don’t ask the circumstances) but she hadn’t previewed it in advance, and right there on page one was a lovingly-described scene of a man plucking out a long armpit hair of his beloved HAHAHAHAHA

  59. 59
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Yarrow:
    Rick Scott tampered with the voting equipment and is trying to cover it up? Weird, what exactly is his camp suggesting?
    Need independent audits.

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Aways back when, I heard/read a rumor that Animal House was modeled on a SEMO fraternity. I rather suspect that every small college/university had the same rumor bandied about.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    Jig’s up guys. Show’s over. Cover blown. We need to clear out. I got a basement hideout dug under a granite slab in the Stockholm Archipelago. They’ll never find me. Thank gawd I have a guy who knows a guy launder my Soros money clean as a whistle.

    Daniel Dale
    Conspiracymongering via FOI: via @brahmresnik, the Arizona Republican Party has filed a freedom of information request for any interactions between the Maricopa County elections office and…George Soros.
    https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1061684270626992130

    Mixed signals. Maybe this is all to kick up dust and distract from GOP election fraud in Florida, as some commenters suggest. But also evidence it is all just a desperate attempt to rile their base and hope for another Brooks Brother Riot, SCOTUS fix. Though every day that goes by, and more I see that law enforcement and election officials are on a careful watch out to avoid getting played again, that seems more and more like a desperate Hail Mary pass when team down by more than 7 points.

    Looks like GOP has given up on McSally damaging her own political career, and will get in there and do it for her.

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Yarrow: If I understood the story correctly, Scott is seeking the voting machines AFTER the recount. Not sure why but it doesn’t appear that he’s trying to stop the recount with this tactic.

  63. 63
    JMG says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Animal House was written by National Lampoon writer Chris Miller and is VERY loosely based on his fraternity at Dartmouth in the early ’60s.

  64. 64
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I have zero problems with Nancy Pelosi maintaining her position as House Speaker. I have huge problems with Chuck Schumer maintaining the position of Minority Leader in the Senate though since he has proved to be weak so far.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    O/T Woohoo, in the last hour our air quality (PM 2.5) went from “Very unhealthy” to “Unhealthy”–smoke from the Camp Fire. I should go to an outdoor spin class or something.

    Last night it (AQI) exceeded 400, which got no extra special adjectives but is the highest I’ve ever seen and will speculate the historic record. IIUC the scale only goes to 500.

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @JMG:
    Chris Miller did an appearance at my college and was screamingly funny and very, very, very naughty. Couple years before “Animal House.”

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @Patricia Kayden: The tweet I posted is from Nelson’s election lawyer so if it was after the whole thing was over I doubt he’d be all that concerned about it. From the filing linked in tweet above:

    3. As a result of the Supervisor of Elections’ continuing violations of Florida law, Plaintiff seeks (i) an Order from this Court requiring the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), to impound and secure all voting machines, tallying devices, and ballots when not in use until such time as any recounts, election contests, or litigation related to the 2018 general election for the office of United States Senator are complete; a

    “Impound voting machines, tallying devices and ballots when not in use.” How’s that defined? At night if they don’t work around the clock? When someone takes a break? Until recounts etc. are completed. So…take them now until recount is complete? That doesn’t sound like after the recount.

  68. 68
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Independent forensic audits of voting equipment needed.
    Seriously.

  69. 69
    efgoldman says:

    @Yarrow:

    So…take them now until recount is complete? That doesn’t sound like after the recount.

    What they can’t win they steal

  70. 70
    efgoldman says:

    @Yarrow: How about a tick tock

  71. 71
    jl says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I think Pelosi will be Speaker for time being. Besides potential opposition being split between her left and right, I don’t think either side has a credible candidate, I don’t know who could replace Pelosi right now in terms of tactical maneuver political warfare, which is what it will be. She is increasingly behind the times, I think, in electoral politics but that is not on the agenda for a while.

    I wouldn’t mind a challenge to Schumer from the left.

    It will be very nice to see Congress look more like my neighborhood: more women, more people of color, more religious diversity. younger people, older people who have lived real lives rather that beg for donor money in DC for decades. Sooner or later the leadership need to follow that trend. I think Schumer good place to start. Plenty of time to see if any political talent pops up that might be improvement on Pelosi.

  72. 72
    japa21 says:

    @jl:

    She is increasingly behind the times, I think, in electoral politics but that is not on the agenda for a while.

    Considering that the candidates she endorsed and campaigned for did extremely well, not sure exactly what you mean.

  73. 73
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: How’s it hangin? I’ve been missing you dissin my Dawgs!

  74. 74
    eemom says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    What’s a MINORITY leader supposed to do to not be perceived as weak? Honest question.

  75. 75
    Jay says:

    @japa21:

    Speaker Pelosi was not as “left”, as “attack dog”, etc as some want during the Midterms.

    It’s part and parcel of being in a big tent. You can’t be all things to all people.

    Speaker Pelosi knows what to do, how to do it, and whom she is dealing with.

    Schumer still believes he’s dealing with reasonable Republicans. Those went extinct in 1994.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @japa21: There are more dimensions to electoral politics than success of people you back, especially in a tidal wave election. There are a lot factions of Democratic party who are claiming great success in backing winners right now. And I think the results are so mixed in terms of who won, who barely lost and who did much more poorly than expected, it is hard to figure out.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Pelosi > Schumer, but I don’t know why people have become obsessed with him. If his caucus supports him, I’m not giving him a second thought.

  78. 78
    Jay says:

    “The Le Monde report concerned events in Washington in early April this year, when the leaders of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia visited the White House for a meeting and a joint press conference. At the press conference, Trump praised his visitors and their countries for being good members of Nato and for not producing “fake news”.

    But Le Monde perhaps risked provoking a presidential tweet on the latter subject when it reported that at the private meeting, “Trump opened by attributing to [the Baltic leaders] the responsibility for the war in Yugoslavia”.

    Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania, Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia and Raimonds Vējonis of Latvia, the paper said, took “a moment to realise that ‘Baltics’ and ‘Balkan’ were getting mixed up in the mind of the American president”.

    Trump, Le Monde said, remained “apparently uneducated in the matter by his wife, Melania, originally from the former Yugoslavia”.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/10/trump-baltics-balkans-mixup-le-monde-belleau-cemetery-paris?fbclid=IwAR2SCUN62C5Q16RF1gBhiTf8lUk8f9v4jNl25GGWMwQxVW7eKyiOFdJM4sk

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @Bill Arnold: True. There appears to be lots of folks who didn’t cast ballots for senator. Even with a screwy ballot wouldn’t you notice if you missed voting for the senator?

  80. 80
  81. 81
    jl says:

    @Baud: OK, be all ‘reasonable’ if you want to. If I read about some Senator who can make a good case for being better than Schumer, then I’ll gripe some more about it. But you have a good point. The caucus members know more about the situation and the candidates than we do, so absent a strong case for someone else I can point to, I won’t fuss about it.

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    @Jay: You can disagree with that judgment, but it’s hardly a reason to obsess over getting rid of him IMHO. And it doesn’t sound like something he would do unless his caucus wanted it.

  83. 83
    Emma says:

    @jl: Increasingly behind the times? What planet are you living in ? She’s a hardass and isn’t afraid to bite back. And she can corral the democrats to vote in the right direction. What else do we need?

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JMG: As I suspected.

  85. 85
    jl says:

    And I admit there is a problem with 20-20 hindsight criticism of Schumer (or Pelosi) for making deals that seem now to have backfired. The GOP leadership in both chambers recognize no rules, no norms, no nothing, that get in the way of getting what they want right now. If Schumer had made another kind of deal, or tried to make a stand some other place, can make a case the GOP would have broken some other rule or norm, betrayed some other promise to get whatever they wanted.

    The Congressional Democrats have a very hard road to travel until elections give them a majority in both chambers. At that point, I do think the Democrats should remember what happened when Obama tried to keep old norms going, and what the Democrats got for their trouble. Nothing, maybe worse than nothing, and they should do what needs to be done to get good policy, old norms and civility are dead. Not saying that the Dems should stoop to GOP levels, but they need to forge a new way forward that will keep their support strong going forward, rather than bringing on a backlash GOP wave in a couple of cycles.

  86. 86
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d say “look at you in the daylight” but it’s dark already!

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Emma: She is an old woman.

  88. 88
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Happy Vets day Lt.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @Emma: I’m not in the mood to squabble with people just because we don’t agree on absolutely 100% on everything. Everyone have a good day.

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ll assume that is cheap bargain basement snark.

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    a new way forward that will keep their support strong going forward

    Ain’t no one knows what that is, absent having the Republicans in power.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Backatcha, Soldier.

  92. 92
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Thew House and the Senate are beasts of entirely different colors. While I am not overly enamored of Schumer, like you, if he is who his caucus chooses, they have their reasons.

  93. 93
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How does Purdue kill Ohio State, Illinois kill Minnesota, and Minnesota kill Purdue???

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Not necessarily. When cutting wood or swinging a hammer I quite often went on Autopilot.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: I am a Packer fan.

  96. 96
    MomSense says:

    @Baud:

    We are also going to DC with the media we have not the media we wish we had. I’m old enough to remember night after night even the liberal MSNBC complaining that if Obama just had drinks with McConnell or did some Tip O’Neill Ronald Reagan re-enactment they could break gridlock. We desperately need a media revolution for many reasons, but especially for their fixation on both sidesing or Democrat blaming in every situation.

  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven:

    In the mornin’
    In the mornin’
    In the mornin’ Clementine….

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    In a cavern
    In a canyon!

  99. 99
    efgoldman says:

    @MomSense: We

    desperately need a media revolution for many reasons, but especially for their fixation on both sidesing or Democrat blaming in every situation.,

    UncleWalter is not coming thru that door

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You got me. This is the first time I just went straight Dem without checking, so it is possible . I still feel guilty about it though.

  101. 101
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And I have to say, I’m an old (60 yo) man. I have reached the point where I am going to put on my truck, “Stop letting old fucks like me decide your future”. But until the yutes vote like the olds, that is, sadly, exactly what is happening.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If the youngs want to get power, they should step up and take it.

  103. 103
    MomSense says:

    @efgoldman:

    fuckem 😉

  104. 104
    debbie says:

    @jl:

    While Pelosi runs circles around the GOP leadership and willingly takes hits from her detractors, others can be learning how to whip and organize and become as effective a public speaker as Nancy. I don’t see anyone else that is ready and able and is interested in replacing her. Losing Pelosi now would destroy what we gained last week.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I thought you were having a bad day cuz Bucky was getting trucked?

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: I lasted voted for a republican in ’00 (no, I did not vote for Bush, if IIRC the GOP I voted for was a judge who had treated me/my sons fairly in a protective order case). But after the Iraq vote, I knew the GOP had gone over the edge and certain DEMs had followed them (sorry Jeanne, you pissed me off).

  107. 107
    sukabi says:

    @lgerard: if he’s an evangelical and pushing that, it might be how he comes to into contact with so many folks who just happen to have lots if Russian friends… How closely is he tied to the NRA? That’s another point of contact

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: I went to a tiny, fancy LAC. We are now up to 1500 students.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Dawg, I wish they would.

  110. 110

    @jl:

    Jig’s up guys. Show’s over. Cover blown. We need to clear out. I got a basement hideout dug under a granite slab in the Stockholm Archipelago. They’ll never find me. Thank gawd I have a guy who knows a guy launder my Soros money clean as a whistle.

    I hope you’re laundering those Soros Bucks to GOLD, that’s the only good thing.

  111. 111
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jay:

    Is this a “I have no idea what the Democratic senate minority could do to stop Republicans from winning simple majority votes, but I assume there must be something they could be doing which they’re not because Democrats bad” thing or a “MUH OPTICS” thing?

  112. 112
    trnc says:

    @jl: Fun tidbit – at this time, the republican in the AZ District 17 State Rep is ahead of the dem by 4 points, and the dem pulled ahead for Corporate Commissioner (utility regulators).

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: And now that I think about it, that had to be the ’02 election.

  114. 114
    Ken says:

    @raven: Rock, paper, scissors. Can you find a set of five that matches the lizard-Spock version?

  115. 115
    Bill Arnold says:

    @JPL:

    True. There appears to be lots of folks who didn’t cast ballots for senator. Even with a screwy ballot wouldn’t you notice if you missed voting for the senator?

    That too. I was also speaking about the behavior of Florida Republicans; odd behavior that smells a bit like fear of getting caught having committed actual large-scale voting fraud. There are other explanations, like being high on their own propaganda supply, but if there is actual fraud (by Rs) then that whole collection of narratives about Democratic voting fraud might be a smokescreen. And where there’s smoke, there’s mirrors.

  116. 116
    trnc says:

    @jl:

    Dem just pulled ahead for secretary of state.
    https://results.arizona.vote/#/featured/4/0

  117. 117
    opiejeanne says:

    Joseph Schmitz is the son of this guy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Schmitz

  118. 118
    cain says:

    @Barbara:

    @efgoldman: Heller underperformed in the non-Las Vegas parts of the state as well. Heller voted to repeal the ACA even though the governor was one of the few Republicans who really supported it. A significant number of people moving into Nevada are from California, whereas, the political foundation of the state was built on Mormons. Needless to say, things are changing.

    So basically California drought is causing californians to move to all the cool cities and californicate them? Maybe if republicans listened to all the news about climate change these folks wouldn’t have gotten out of California like an angry red ant angry.

  119. 119
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @cain: I, uh, doubt that *drought* is causing Californians to move to NV/AZ. I mean, they’re even *drier*. IIRC it’s usually cost-of-living and taxes. And for some, “those brown people”.

  120. 120
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @cain:

    causing californians to move to all the cool cities and californicate them?

    Also: “shots fired!”

    Dude, I only -dream- that California could californicate all the cities of the “Heartland”, so I could be happier living there. There’s nothing wrong with Dallas/Fort Worth, that a hefty dose of Californication couldn’t fix.

  121. 121
    cain says:

    @jl:

    It will be very nice to see Congress look more like my neighborhood: more women, more people of color, more religious diversity. younger people, older people who have lived real lives rather that beg for donor money in DC for decades. Sooner or later the leadership need to follow that trend. I think Schumer good place to start. Plenty of time to see if any political talent pops up that might be improvement on Pelosi.

    The senate seems to be abound with strong possible leaders that could take the helm. I hope Schumer isn’t planning on being the gentleman senator because he’s going to get played over and over again. He’s got two years to prove that can figure it out. If we flip the senate, I for one will be telling my two very democratic lefty senators from Oregon that I have no confidence in Schumer. I wouldn’t volunteer the two senators from Oregon though because they have passion plenty, but they are policy wonks/nerds. What we need is our own McConnell.

    I know, let’s send Bernie! ::snort::

  122. 122
    cain says:

    @jl:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ll assume that is cheap bargain basement snark.

    Very much so. :-) He let me have it with both barrels a couple threads ago. :D

  123. 123
    Jay says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Nope, it’s a Schumer’s playing chess while the ReThug’s are playing MMA Cage Fighting.

    It’s also a “leftie policy/procedure wonk” thing noticing that while Speaker Pelosi has been attacked by the far left, the MSM and the Reich Wing for a variety of reasons,

    She’s been highly effective in opposition while Schumer has not.

    The latest specific complaint is that he traded pre-approval for 15 Trumpist judges for 5 days off for incumbent Dems to campaign back home.

    All he needed to continue to “slow walk” the Judgeships through the process was having 1 Democratic Party Senator on the floor, and he had 31.

    Schumer made a “trade” he didn’t have to make, to get “something” he could have simply “made happen”, and the ReThug’s got 15 appointments with no vetting.

  124. 124
    cain says:

    @Jay:

    Schumer is why The Insane Clown POSus is Court Stacking with little resistence.

    I’m not sure that’s right. I don’t think Schumer could have done much there. He might as well let the Dems get back and campaign. We’re also two less than we were so it’s going to be even harder. Plus with all the senate rules pretty much gone.. dunno. McConnell is probably going to change the rules again come next session.

    I think it’s less about political maneuvering and more about perception at least to the base. Get them energized to vote for Democrats in two years. The Republicans are going to be having a lot of seat sup for grabs and we definitely should continue to talk about healthcare and what not and highlight all the shitty judges that got elected.

  125. 125
    Yarrow says:

    The Fox News Twitter account hasn’t tweeted since November 8. Nothing about the California fires, Trump’s trip to France, Veteran’s Day. Nothing at all. This account usually has about 200 tweets a day. Weird. Wonder what’s up with that? Something having to do with Rupert Murdoch’s visit to Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday, November 8th, perhaps? Same day the account stopped tweeting in the middle of the day.

  126. 126
    cain says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    @cain: I, uh, doubt that *drought* is causing Californians to move to NV/AZ. I mean, they’re even *drier*. IIRC it’s usually cost-of-living and taxes. And for some, “those brown people”.

    That’s true. I just thought that whatever they were doing that now they get to go to those other places and cause the same problems. Nothing like watching conservative resentment when the free market fucks with their life and they can’t afford to stay where they are because high tech has moved in.

  127. 127
    cain says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Fox News Twitter account hasn’t tweeted since November 8. Nothing about the California fires, Trump’s trip to France, Veteran’s Day. Nothing at all. This account usually has about 200 tweets a day. Weird. Wonder what’s up with that? Something having to do with Rupert Murdoch’s visit to Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday, November 8th, perhaps? Same day the account stopped tweeting in the middle of the day.

    Think there might be a sex tape?

  128. 128
    Jay says:

    @cain:

    All Schumer needed to keep the hearings going, was having 1 Democratic Senator on the floor to ask questions.

    He had 31 who weren’t up for election this cycle.

    There was no need for the incumbent Senator’s to be in Washington at all.

  129. 129
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    fancy?

  130. 130
    Yarrow says:

    @cain: I think there are treason tapes.

  131. 131
    NotMax says:

    @Yarrow

    No news tweets is good news tweets?

    ;)

    Probably just the long holiday weekend with a skeleton crew, most if not all of whom are not senior enough to be authorized to press the publish button.

  132. 132
    dexwood says:

    @cain:
    Featuring Rupert and Mitch? Oh. man, what a horrible image I need to erase from my head. Must consider the possibility, however…

  133. 133
    Procopius says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I agree, but have a quibble about Schumer. I don’t think he’s weak, I think he honestly believes that he has to promote conservatives because America is a center-right country. That’s why he and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel are so committed to the Red to Blue program. He has to go.

  134. 134
    piratedan says:

    @Yarrow: would you be shocked?

    I can’t say that I would be… although I would suspect that these two would have been smart enough to not have anything on video or audio but you could make an argument that perhaps they would be drunk enough on their own power to be incautious…..

  135. 135
    Big Jim Slade says:

    This Clovis point? Archaeologists everywhere are repulsed.

  136. 136
    Yarrow says:

    @piratedan: Shocked about what? Treason tapes? No.

  137. 137
    Quinerly says:

    @JMG: I had always heard Animal House was loosely based on Washington University in St. Louis. From Wikipedia: “The stories were based on Ramis’s experience in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, Miller’s Alpha Delta Phi experiences at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and producer Reitman’s at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. ” Learn something everyday!

  138. 138
    Procopius says:

    @Emma: I would say Pelosi is behind the times in that she is a sincere believer in Paygo and austerity. In other words, a New Democrat. On the other hand she has sure demonstrated competence and an ability to herd cats Democrats. I’d certainly vote for keeping her if I was allowed to.

  139. 139
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @efgoldman: Sinema is ahead 32K votes. About 200K left to count statewide. Vast majority of votes left are from Maricopa County(~160K) but the these last batches are supposed to be from McSally favorable areas. Some of the non Maricopa ones are from Sinema strong areas. Cook Report has called it for Sinema. The Dem SOS is ahead by 150(!) votes . I am not counting on that holding but,oh, that would be awesome. The SOS in AZ is essentially the lieutenant governor and there’s a decent chance that Gov. Ducey will resign for bigger things in the next 4 years. Also the GOP SOS candidate is a bidnessman with zero govt experience. Sound familiar?

  140. 140
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    Nevada is an example that Dems need to pay attention to. The House that Reid built produced a trifecta this year and both Senators are female Dems. Depending on the outcome of a couple of races, the legislature will have a majority of female legislators. The AG is AA. 3 out of 4 Congress Reps are Dems. The DNC better be looking at Vegas seriously to host the 2020 nominating convention.

  141. 141
    Procopius says:

    @MomSense: I believe the only way we can hope to get a slightly honest media is if we break them up. Go back to the old rules. Not only before the Consolidate Media law that Clinton passed, but back to the ’70s, pre-Carter. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Bring back the rule that no one can own both a newspaper, radio station, and tv station in the same town. Create a rule that no person (in order to include corporations) can own more than one of either radio station, tv station, or newspaper. No one can be on the board of directors of more than one corporation that owns a radio station, tv station, or newspaper. For National Security reasons! The five corporations that own all the media will never allow it, of course.

  142. 142
    J R in WV says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My grandma was old, but tough. Nancy Pelosi is as tough as politicians get.

  143. 143
    sdhays says:

    @lgerard: This was the line back in 2016, but the further information we now have (that Cheryl has summarized here) suggests something a bit deeper. And of course, these two points aren’t mutually exclusive.

  144. 144
    J R in WV says:

    @Procopius:

    Your recommendations are spot on, I agree 100%~!

  145. 145
    sdhays says:

    @Procopius: I’ve never really understood that accusation. She got her Democrats to pony up billions in deficit spending in response to the 2008 financial crisis, and for those who say it was too small (and I’m receptive to this argument), look to the Senate for an explanation there, not Pelosi’s House. She was adamant about instituting pay-go rules for new legislation, but I see that as not “pro-austerity” but being strategic and responsible.

    Legislation that is paid for is more robust over the long term. Pelosi is interested in creating programs, like Obamacare, that will be there for people for decades into the future. I see her as fiscally prudent, which is what people think “fiscally conservative” is supposed to mean, but it doesn’t.

  146. 146
    joel hanes says:

    @lgerard:

    Bob Vander Plaats

    [spit]

  147. 147
    joel hanes says:

    @Yarrow:

    I think the impoundment is being done so that the Rs can cover their tracks, so that when the recount comes up with a suspicious variance, all evidence of the shenanigan will have been wiped from the disk. In short, I think it’s destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice.

  148. 148
    boatboy_srq says:

    Wait.

    Rick Perry hired Clovis to chair his presidential campaign in Iowa. Clovis quit that campaign over not being paid his salary and endorsed Trump.

    So, Clovis bailed on ANOTHER campaign over not being paid to jump on the tRump bandwagon, and this despite Lord Dampnut’s notorious habit of not paying his employees and contractors?

    Makes you wonder what other payday Clovis saw coming, or whether he was as gullible as tRump’s other victims.

  149. 149
    mad citizen says:

    Cheryl,

    Catching up on posts and I know there is a new one or two–cat blogging!–but just want to say this one is interesting. It’s hopefully an appetizer for what some new House investigations will be doing in 2019. I just finished an audio book on the Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s, and even though the major crimes were committed by the Republicans in 1920 (oil barons and others installing their man Harding as President) and 1921-22, there were two investigations, the first in 1923-24 before being supplanted by two joint Special Counsels, then another investigation circa 1927-1928. They were Senate investigations lead by a Dem Senator Walsh from Montana.

    Anyway, what I came away with is that it might be a long road, and it’s very possible many criminals will never face justice.

  150. 150
    JGabriel says:

    @MattF:

    I suppose that Clovis has a White House ‘friend’.

    It sounds like maybe Clovis has a Kremlin friend – going back at least to the days of his radio show.

  151. 151
    JGabriel says:

    J R in WV:

    I will confess that most all the several colleges I attended or visited had much matriculation going on. In both senses of that word, its real definition and the MO legislative assumption.

    Every college I ever saw was filled to the brim with matriculators and homo sapiens!

    Damn liberals!

  152. 152
    JGabriel says:

    @Baud:

    Reporting on polling is something the media both obsesses over and is exceedingly dishonest about.

    Some media outlets are exceedingly dishonest about polling, but, to be fair, most of them are just exceedingly incompetent about it.

    Statistix iz hard!

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