Sing, Little Songbird, Sing

Oh:

Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist, is poised to plead guilty in a case involving accusations that she was working as an agent for the Kremlin in the United States, according to a new court filing.

Attorneys for Butina and federal prosecutors jointly requested in court documents Monday that U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan set a time for Butina to withdraw her previous plea of not guilty. They said they could be available for her to enter her plea as early as Tuesday.

“The parties have resolved this matter,” Butina’s lawyers and D.C.-based prosecutors wrote in their joint filing.

A plea is not final until it is entered in court and accepted by a judge. Monday’s filing did not indicate to what charge she will plead.

Butina was accused of working to push the Kremlin’s agenda by forming bonds with National Rifle Association officials and other conservative leaders and making outreach to 2016 presidential candidates.

I wonder how most gun owners feel about their NRA dollars being spent to please the KGB?






195 replies
  1. 1
    Yarrow says:

    They’re probably fine with it. Remember those “I’d rather be a Russian than Democrat” t-shirts?

  2. 2
    scav says:

    hee hee hee. (dedicated to the most ardent self-described gun-nut I know, who’s also a MD so should be charmingly occupited attempting to resolve contradictions, probably with the aid of much drinking.)

  3. 3
    Death Panel Truck says:

    As long as it benefited Republicans, I don’t think they fucking care.

  4. 4
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m curious why she wants to cooperate when cooperation is going to have her deported to Russia. I wouldn’t want to bet on her having a long life in Putin’s Russia. Polonium tea in a Novichok cup, anyone?

  5. 5

    @Yarrow:

    Remember those “I’d rather be a Russian than Democrat” t-shirts?

    Yep. They’re going to revise the old “better dead than red” into “better red than brown”.

  6. 6
    LuciaMia says:

    Cole, did you get much snow out your way?

  7. 7

    Putin no longer needs Butina, his asset is in the WH now.

  8. 8
    PST says:

    @Fair Economist: Maybe she gets asylum and witness protection.

  9. 9
    Aleta says:

    Remember how she stood up like a regular reporter to ask Trump a question that he was, I believe, prepared for. (2016 during campaign iirc)

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    So, what’s wrong with the KGB doing money laundering for the NRA?

  11. 11
    cain says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Putin no longer needs Butina, his asset is in the WH now.

    A very flawed asset. In terms of effectiveness, Butina is the better asset.

  12. 12
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta:
    Video here https://twitter.com/riotwomennn/status/972715732185309184

    (March this year)
    RiotWomenn @riotwomennn
    Trump answering Russian Maria Butina at FreedomFest 2015 about ending sanctions—just weeks after Trump launches his campaign.

    Butina is a Torshin operative & they have infiltrated the @NRA

  13. 13
    matt says:

    Committing treason to own the libs! Sounds like mainstream conservatism to me.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    @Aleta:

    Remember how she stood up like a regular reporter to ask Trump a question that he was, I believe, prepared for. (2016 during campaign iirc)

    Yes. It was almost like the whole thing had been rehearsed.

  15. 15

    Here’s an interesting thread of speculation.

    tl;dr: The chaos she can cause this way is more valuable to Putin than other considerations right now. It gives him space to invade Ukraine.

    OTOH, Butina could be like a lot of others in this clown show: not too bright and hoping for the best.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    I wonder how most gun owners feel about their NRA dollars being spent to please the KGB?

    I believe their shirts saying “I’d rather be Russian then a Democrat” says it all.

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @Fair Economist: ” I’m curious why she wants to cooperate when cooperation is going to have her deported to Russia. ”

    Josh Marshall speculated that the deal might not amount to anything very big, but didn’t say why. I don’t think we know enough.

    What struck me is that after news stories made some of the info public, Butina’s legal team cancelled everything and signaled they were going to deal, within seemed like a few hours. They totally reversed course in less than a day.

    So, could be there is really not much important hanging on her individual contribution. Like maybe she set up the connections, without much knowledge or interest in how the big $ flows would work, and everyone is interested in the people who actually handed the $. Or,, maybe she is a crucial link, but was so so so very very busted, she really has no choice and needs to do all the dealing she can to avoid all sorts of bad things. Who knows?

  18. 18
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Isn’t it macabre that when the Russians were communist they were an existential threat? And now that they’re an authoritarian oligarchy still exporting their ideology through nefarious means, the republicans are embracing them. Plus, who knows how many took their $$$ and are compromised.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    @MattF:

    So, what’s wrong with the KGB doing money laundering for the NRA?

    Besides everything?

  20. 20
    germy says:

    If Butina tells all about how that sanctions question moment was prearranged, Trump’s smocking gun denial would make sense.

    — Schooley (@Rschooley) December 10, 2018

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This case is not being handled by the Special Prosecutor. That said, Osborne’s theory is not unrealistic or implausible.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    This live action remake of Red Dawn is terrible and the surprise twist that the villains are all local crazy people is unbelievable.

  23. 23
    Archon says:

    @Fair Economist:

    She helped contribute to the destabilization of the United States. They might throw her a parade when she gets home.

  24. 24

    @Adam L Silverman: Good point. Hard to keep track these days.

  25. 25
    germy says:

    If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.

    — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 3, 2016

  26. 26
    jl says:

    @Archon: Yeah, that is an issue. If Putin’s Trump operation is winding down, maybe Uncle Vlad has authorized Butina to reveal whatever will make the biggest mess over here, and she gets a medal and nice dacha and fat pension if her deal is that she goes back.

    Must be some competent people who did their job well involved in this mess. Sure isn’t anyone from this side of the Atlantic.

  27. 27
    Aleta says:

    Not linking to Tow nHall where this appeared, but it can be found by searching for Tow nhall and the author and April 6 2014.

    Part 1: Meet the Woman Working With the NRA and Fighting For Gun Rights in Russia
    Katie Pavlich
    Editors note: This is part one of a two part series.
    During the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the founder and president of The Right to Bear Arms, a pro-gun rights organization in Russia. After finally being approved for a visa just days before the meetings started, Maria Butina attended the annual NRA Women’s Leadership Luncheon as a guest of former NRA President Sandy Froman and participated in general meetings over the weekend as a guest of former NRA President David Keene. I had to opportunity to sit down with Maria to talk about why she was there and to discuss her goals for the gun rights movement in Russia. She’s working on everything from castle doctrine, gun safety programs for kids and shifting public opinion in a pro-gun direction.

    (via @riotwomennn twitter last March)

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    As they say..
    She HAD TIME TODAY 👏👏 👏

    This thread is fabulous 🤗

    https://twitter.com/queerBengali/status/1072145289769832448

  29. 29
    Archon says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    An authoritarian oligarchy with the facade of Democratic legitimacy is EXACTLY the ideology of the Republican Party. In that sense Russia and the GOP are natural ideological allies.

  30. 30
    germy says:

    This is a big deal folks! Butina and her handler Torshin had dinner with Donald Jr. on May 19 at a NRA convention in Kentucky -weeks before the June 9 meeting. She will also know about Russian money being funneled to Trump thru the NRA. https://t.co/MIRHPhJc17

    — Amy Siskind 🏳️‍🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) December 10, 2018

  31. 31
    gratuitous says:

    Ms. Butina is “a Russian gun rights activist”? Then why isn’t she advocating for gun rights in Russia? Or did I read that wrong?

  32. 32

    @cain:

    A very flawed asset. In terms of effectiveness, Butina is the better asset.

    Butina was a very useful asset, but she’s useless now that she’s lost her cover.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    Citing a source who CNN says has read a transcript of the audio recording of Khashoggi’s final moments at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Khashoggi’s final words were: “I can’t breathe” before the sounds of a saw can be heard.

    The transcript notes the noises that can be heard on the tape, almost in the manner that subtitles describe moments in movies where there is no dialogue.

    “Scream.”

    “Scream.”

    “Gasping.”

    Then, the transcript notes other descriptions.

    “Saw.”

    “Cutting.”

    [Dr. Salah Muhammad] al-Tubaiqi [the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, who has been linked with Khashoggi’s murder] is noted giving some advice to other people in the room, apparently to help them deal with the appalling task.

    Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me.”

    Via the guardian, CNN knows.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Do you smell it?
    I smell it..

    R-I-C-O

    🤗🤗🤗

  35. 35

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d put one twist on Osborne’s theory. Even if she is acting under Putin’s instructions, she still could meet an “accident” back in Russia. Putin doesn’t like loose ends.

    I keep wondering why people sign up for stuff like this. That would include Manafort too. I guess they think they’re smart and have made the right friends who will take care of them. They don’t seem to have evaluated the downside if things go wrong.

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @gratuitous:

    Ms. Butina is “a Russian gun rights activist”? Then why isn’t she advocating for gun rights in Russia? Or did I read that wrong?

    She’s a Russian who advocates for Americans to kill each other more efficiently.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    but she’s useless now that she’s lost her cover.

    There must be a brothel in Moscow that has an opening or two.

  38. 38
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    They’re probably fine with it. Remember those “I’d rather be a Russian than Democrat” t-shirts?

    Yup. As long as they think it means they keep their guns, Putin could move into the Oval Office and make the Lincoln Bedroom a pee pee room and they could give a shit.

  39. 39
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @germy:
    germy, we need a letter/email/tweet campaign where we send this quote to Lindsey.

  40. 40
    Sab says:

    @Archon: “Democratic”? Why is that D capitalized?

  41. 41

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    OTOH, Butina could be like a lot of others in this clown show: not too bright and hoping for the best.

    I sincerely doubt it. She’s undoubtedly been briefed like every other covert agent. If they’re arrested, they’re supposed to clam up, go to prison, and wait to be exchanged.

  42. 42
    germy says:

    Superbeets has identified the real villains:

    Florida schools cover up crimes: Rapes, guns and more https://t.co/nilIlitUXh

    — Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 10, 2018

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Dangerman:

    As long as they think it means they keep their guns, Putin could move into the Oval Office

    You’d think they’d actually look at the private gun ownership in Russia and connect the dots.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Superbeets has identified the real villain:

    Betsy Devos and her Educational Commandos should sort it all out.

  45. 45
    p.a. says:

    Is it still KGB? New acronyms for the organs of state security?

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If they’re arrested, they’re supposed to clam up, go to prison, and wait to be exchanged.

    Since Putin has pretty much killed all our undercover agents in Russia, I believe any exchange is going to be of coffins.

  47. 47

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I keep wondering why people sign up for stuff like this.

    They don’t sign up for this, or at least they don’t think that’s what they’re signing up for. They think they’re signing up for something much less, but once they’ve done one or two things they have a very hard time backing out.

  48. 48
    zhena gogolia says:

    @p.a.:

    FSB

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    John Harwood Retweeted
    Anna Massoglia
    ‏Verified account
    @annalecta
    1h1 hour ago
    More
    Virginia’s consumer affairs office found that Pat Robertson “willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements” secretly using funds for cargo planes to aid refugees from Rwanda to transport diamond-mining equipment for his business venture.

    They’re like comic book bad people. He robbed donor funds intended for refugees to fund his diamond mine.

  50. 50
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Archon:
    Absolutely! It’s becoming more and more evident than republicans are willing to jettison our democracy for staying in power. OTOH, I think their power grabs are becoming more and more blatant: I think we’ll see more traditional republican voters join in a temporary coalition to protect our democracy,

  51. 51

    Please. It’s NOT the KGB.

    It’s the GRU.

    Keep your facts straight. Sheesh.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It gives him space to invade Ukraine.

    2014 called to tell you that that horse left the barn some time ago.

  53. 53
    Gbbalto says:

    Interesting article in Guardian. A Russian imprisoned for spying for the US appeals for an exchange deal. Wonder how that passed the prison censors?
    Yevgeny Chistov, sorry, dont have link fu on phone. Timing is interesting.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: One of my favorite party games: Guess the US Attorney…

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Aleta: Remember the guy who had a press pass from the GWBush white house.
    Jeff Gannon also Guckert.

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Is it a clip or a magazine? I never can keep that straight.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I’ve read the transcript. It is unclear from it whether Kashoggi was actually dead when the forensic pathologist began dismembering him.

  58. 58

    @Gin & Tonic:

    2014 called to tell you that that horse left the barn some time ago.

    The latest reports show Russia is again massing tanks on the Ukrainian border. It’s not 100% clear if they’re massing tank units or just moving their tanks there as a cheap show of force, but Putin’s attacks on Ukraine are unlikely to be finished.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    I saw a bumper sticker today on a car that had Hillary 2016 and I heart Obamacare stickers, and one more of the same vein that I can’t recall. This one said:

    Any Functioning Adult
    2012

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    The CDC keeps warning people not to eat raw cookie dough — even though it’s delicious

    The Christmas cookies are in the oven; the mixing bowl, which is still coated with the sugary sweet dough, is calling your name.

    Don’t listen to it, health experts warn.

    With holiday baking season underway, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is once again urging people not to eat unbaked cookie dough — not even a tiny taste — because “unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick.”

    “Say No to Raw Dough!” the CDC warns.

    Once again, worst possible timeline.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Or an accident here. It’s one of the reasons Manafort is in solitary.

    As for sign up for it, she basically had two choices. She could spend her whole life trying to eke out an existing in a small, impoverished village in Siberia or she could make a lot of money and live very comfortably as an operative. And, provided she was successful, that would be a long and comfortable life. She wasn’t able to get out and back to Russia in time, so not it is likely that it was a short and comfortable life that will come to an unfortunate end.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It is unclear from it whether Kashoggi was actually dead when the forensic pathologist began dismembering him.

    At least mostly dead. //

    /I should probably refrain from Princess Bride jokes here.

  63. 63
    SenyorDave says:

    @Aleta: I think Katie Pavlich reserved her place in hell with that story.

  64. 64
    Aleta says:

    NYT Dec ’17 (after these documents had been turned over to Congress)

    A May 2016 email to the campaign adviser, Rick Dearborn, bore the subject line “Kremlin Connection.” In it, the N.R.A. member said he wanted the advice of Mr. Dearborn and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, then a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump and Mr. Dearborn’s longtime boss, about how to proceed in connecting the two leaders.

    Russia, he wrote, was “quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.” and would attempt to use the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., to make “ ‘first contact.’ ” The email, which was among a trove of campaign-related documents turned over to investigators on Capitol Hill, was described in detail to The New York Times.

    The emailed outreach from the conservative operative to Mr. Dearborn came [well before before Flynn’s contacts with the R ambassador Kislyak, post-election] around the same time that Russians were trying to make other connections to the Trump campaign. Another contact came through an American advocate for Christian and veterans causes, and together, the outreach shows how, as Mr. Trump closed in on the nomination, Russians were using three foundational pillars of the Republican Party — guns, veterans and Christian conservatives — to try to make contact with his … campaign.

    Both efforts, made within days of each other, centered on the N.R.A.’s annual meeting and appear to involve Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of the Russian central bank and key figure in Mr. Putin’s United Russia party, who was instructed to make contact with the campaign.

    “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” the N.R.A. member and conservative activist, Paul Erickson, wrote. “He wants to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump to visit him in the Kremlin before the election. Let’s talk through what has transpired and Senator Sessions’s advice on how to proceed.”
    … …

    Lately I wonder if the NRA is not broke (as they told the press), but doing what they can to have no assets on paper.

  65. 65
    Mandalay says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I wouldn’t want to bet on her having a long life in Putin’s Russia. Polonium tea in a Novichok cup, anyone?

    The smart money is on death by falling. Off a balcony, out of a window, slipping on the floor,..

  66. 66
    zhena gogolia says:

    @PaulWartenberg:

    The successor to the KGB is the FSB. GRU is military.

  67. 67
    cain says:

    @Kay:

    They’re like comic book bad people. He robbed donor funds intended for refugees to fund his diamond mine.

    And you can bet a lot of that is also used to get child soldiers and all other shit that ultimately oppresses the local people. Can’t believe he runs a goddam Christian ministry.

  68. 68
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I recall reading a longish piece, maybe in the Grauniad? after the Skripal hit team was ID’d, about how military and/or intelligence were really the only way out for young men in all those dipshit little towns in the East.

  69. 69
    Gravenstone says:

    @TenguPhule: In college, my roommate and I would make two batches of choc chip cookies. Eating the first raw, as the second baked. Those were the days (I guess).

  70. 70

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: I know.

  72. 72
    catclub says:

    @germy: So with that reported, does Don Jr have to revise his security clearance form? yet again.

  73. 73

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s the “provided she was successful” part where she should have evaluated the downside.

  74. 74

    @Gin & Tonic: Oh, okay. I didn’t realize there was a rule he couldn’t do it again.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: It is indeed.

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gravenstone: I still eat the bits clinging to the bowl after baking brownies.

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Ukraine is a five-bone standing rib roast and Crimea was just one rib. Vlad hungry!

  78. 78
    gvg says:

    why would her cooperation result in her deportation? Seems to me she would go to prison just like other spies have in the past.
    I also don’t know that Putin would kill her. Seems to me they already have her and anything she might reveal is either Trump and associates are doing us favors (which they can probably prove with or without her) or Russian methods and assets which I think the Russians would have closed down and changed as soon as she was arrested (from reading spy fiction, I have no actual experience). I don’t think he would kill her for being caught as that would cause loyalty problems in the rest of his crew (I think). It’s not like killing her would actually keep it secret now. It’s too late.
    Actually I think this reveals the problems with “controlling” a democratic leader. Trump can’t actually change a lot all by himself. It takes Congress too, and a lot of them. Even then, if it’s too conspicuously not in our best interests, its hard to make us go along. I suspect Putin and the Russians didn’t predict all the protests, letter writing to Congress, and sabotage by various agencies. And then there are things like the investigations that trump hasn’t actually been able to stop.

  79. 79
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    He never left, did he?

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @gvg:

    I don’t think he would kill her for being caught as that would cause loyalty problems in the rest of his crew (I think).

    Putin is a notorious bad boss and she has obviously failed him for the last time.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Ursine Lives Matter!!!!

  82. 82

    @zhena gogolia: Not from Donbas, not from Crimea. What he may be looking for this time around is a land route to Crimea.

  83. 83
    gene108 says:

    True gun rights activists know the NRA is nothing but a bunch of liberal squishes, so this is just in line with their limp wristed bullshit activity on gun lobbying. The NRA’s responsible for the 1934 and 1968 gun laws. They probably work harder to strip us of our gun rights than protect them. Fuck the NRA.

    /gun nut

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @gvg:

    Trump can’t actually change a lot all by himself. It takes Congress too, and a lot of them.

    53 Republicans in the Senate, 5 in the Supreme Court, to be precise. All of Putin’s longshot bets are paying off by the numbers.

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @p.a.: Currently it is FSB. Though about a year or so ago Putin ordered a reorg that reverted the FSB’s structure to that of the KGB prior to it being converted to the FSB post Soviet Union. So it’s FSB on the sign, KGB on the inside.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The right to arm bears will not be denied!

  87. 87
    BC in Illinois says:

    @The Dangerman:
    @Yarrow:

    Remember those “I’d rather be a Russian than Democrat” t-shirts?

    They’re still available on Amazon, marketed as a “Funny T-Shirt.”

  88. 88
    hueyplong says:

    @Mandalay: So she would have a Gravity Incident.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: I saw a documentary about this a while back:

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @hueyplong:

    So she would have a Gravity Incident.

    That’s just a theory.

  91. 91
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Yeah, you definitely should. Jesus.

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    So it’s FSB on the sign, KGB on the inside.

    I can’t believe its not Russian.

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If you had written “invade more of” I’d have kept my yap shut.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Pretty much. If I understand correctly a lot of those young men sign up as what translates as contract soldiers. Not career, not conscripts, something sort of approximating a combination of an all volunteer force and mercenaries.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    Politico reports that Pelosi would accept term limits for committee chairs and party leaders. A number of Democrats opposed to Pelosi in the caucus have called for “new leadership.” Term limits are strongly opposed by many congressional Democrats, specifically in the Congressional Black Caucus.

    They see term limits as an attempt to weaken the importance of seniority which a number of African American members have accumulated and represents a key opportunity for black elected officials to exercise power at a national level when there are only three African Americans in the United States Senate and no African Americans currently serving as governors.

    Nice Job breaking it, Conservadems. Just what we need going into 2019, infighting between two factions in the big tent.

    PISS OUT, you wankers.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Pretty much.

  98. 98
    Burnspbesq says:

    @MattF

    So, what’s wrong with the KGB doing money laundering for the NRA?

    I think you may have that backwards.

  99. 99

    @catclub:

    I’ve always thought it was significant that “Gannon’s” falsity — his background in journalism was basically attending a two-day seminar put on by a wingnut promoter, and his pseudonym turned out to lead directly to websites advertising him as a sex worker — wasn’t discovered by his WHPC colleagues during his two years or so among them. “Our nation’s greatest journalists” seem to have blithely accepted him as one of their own.

    Media Whores Online had it right.

    (Edit : spellinngg.)

  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois: I saw that but they’re not the same ones in the original picture.

  101. 101
    David Hunt says:

    @cain:

    Can’t believe he runs a goddam Christian ministry.

    I think you’ve accidentally happened on the correct adjective.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    US starts to withdraw troops from Trump border mission

    About 2,200 of the active duty troops will be pulled out before the holidays, the officials said, shrinking an unusual domestic deployment that was viewed by critics as a political stunt and a waste of military resources.

    That will leave about 3,000 active duty troops in Texas, Arizona and California, mainly comprised of military police and helicopter transport crews who are assisting border patrol agents. There also will still be about 2,300 members of the National Guard who were sent to the border region as part of a separate deployment that started in April.

    The active duty troops, numbering about 5,200 as of Monday, were initially scheduled to stay until Dec. 15. Late last month, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis extended the mission to the end of January at the request of the Department of Homeland Security. It’s unclear if it will be extended again.

    The U.S. forces have installed vast amounts of razor wire and provided transportation and protection for the Border Patrol. The troops are not there to directly deal with the Central American migrants, many of whom eventually made their way to Tijuana, just south of California.

    One of the officials said that some of the military police and helicopter crews will stay in the border region so they can quickly respond if they are needed by border agents. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans not yet made public.

    This stinks to high heaven. The ones being left behind are the skill set I’d worry most about being involved in an illegal operation.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: My understanding is that she’s agreed to 6 terms as chair as the term limit. That’s 12 years as the chair once one is named chair. While I’m not a huge fan of the idea, she’s not talking about the 3 terms as chair limit the GOP has for when they’re in the majority.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Pelosi, Schumer to meet with Trump, offer $1.3 billion for border as shutdown looms

    Democratic leaders plan to offer Trump $1.3 billion in funding for a border fence when they meet Tuesday at the White House, a bid that falls far short of the $5 billion Trump is demanding to fund a border wall.

    Democrats, Republicans and the White House have until Dec. 21 reach a budget deal if they are to avert a partial government shutdown, but talks are deadlocked over funding for the wall.

    As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) prepare for the Tuesday morning, Democrats and Trump are, if anything, moving further apart.

    Schumer had previously suggested Trump accept $1.6 billion in border funding, the funding level included in a Senate bill with bipartisan support. But that $1.6 billion would struggle to pass the House, where Democrats won’t support it because they say it’s too much and Republicans because it’s not enough.

    If no deal is reached by the end of next week, funding will run out for the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies. Those agencies, making up about 25 percent of the federal government, are operating on a short-term spending bill Congress passed last week to move the shutdown deadline.

    Tuesday’s late-morning meeting will be the first gathering of Trump, Schumer and Pelosi ahead of the shutdown deadline. In recent weeks the two sides have increasingly dug in, and it’s not clear where compromise might lie.

    Would Trump play the Grinch right before Christmas?

  105. 105
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ghost of Joe Lieblings Dog:

    Could someone bring back Media Whores Online? Or buy out the site? Like, us, even?

    I missed it in its heyday, but something like it is sorely needed. We need accountability in our media. Not just these careerist knob polishers, hair braiders, and access jackalopes.

    The free press was not meant to be “the corporate press.”

  106. 106
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Yarrow:

    Ah. So I happened upon an imitation “I’d Rather Be a Russian Than a Democrat” Funny T-Shirt. Thanks for the warning.

    People! Accept no substitutes!!

  107. 107
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois: Just wondering where the original ones came from. I mean, who makes that? I think the Amazon one is a copycat of the original. I’m more curious about how the first ones came to be.

  108. 108
    Mandalay says:

    Not sure whether I am reading too much into this, but is this the start of a real response to Trump starting a trade war?….

    Apple has filed an appeal to overturn a broad iPhone sales ban in China, the company told CNBC on Monday.

    The two preliminary injunctions were granted Monday by the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China. Apple said that it did not violate these patents and that the ban goes beyond the scope of the injunction itself.

    Trump imposes a few tariffs on China, so China head stomps the American economy, disembowels it, and sets fire to the corpse. Simple tit for tat retaliation.

  109. 109
    BC in Illinois says:

    What I really want is an NRRRA funny t-shirt.
    National Russian/Republican “Rifle” Association.

    Anything that takes down the NRA is fine with me.
    I even resent their logo. With its color scheme, when you see it on the back of the car in front of you, It can look like the Marine Corps logo. More than once, I have been tricked into thinking well of the driver in front of me.

  110. 110
    NY Robbin says:

    @rikyrah:

    I wanna marry that thread!

  111. 111
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    What I really want is an NRRRA funny t-shirt.
    National Russian/Republican “Rifle” Association.

    Like this one?

  112. 112
    geg6 says:

    @LuciaMia:

    He’s way too far north to be hit by that, I’m pretty sure. He’s close enough to the PA line that his weather is generally the same as mine. And we haven’t gotten anything since early last week and that was just a dusting.

  113. 113

    I think I saw something about a key NRA figure getting fired today. I wonder if there’s correlation.

  114. 114
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Betty, I learned from the New Yorker puzzle today that the Boston Terrier is known as The American Gentleman breed. Or maybe I’m a little off, I’ve already forgotten the exact wording.

  115. 115
    VeniceRiley says:

    And here’s another deal done AFTER la Orange submitted his written answers. I bet he would have loved to know she was cooperating! ha!

  116. 116
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Yarrow:
    There it is!
    And it’s 30% off!

  117. 117
    Mike in DC says:

    If there’s a 3rd branch of Russian interference–laundering money into Republican coffers–then this is the most likely path to uncovering it.

  118. 118
    Mandalay says:

    @rikyrah: Here’s another good thread…Glenn Greenwald makes the mistake of picking a fight with her:

    https://twitter.com/queerBengali/status/1067515030067978242

    ETA: …and here she’s going after Bernie Sanders:

    https://twitter.com/queerbengali/status/1007609649745530880

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: The NRA and GOP aligned SuperPACs. Including those of McConnell and Ryan.

  120. 120
    J R in WV says:

    @cain:

    @Kay:

    They’re like comic book bad people. He robbed donor funds intended for refugees to fund his [blood] diamond mine.

    And you can bet a lot of that is also used to get child soldiers and all other shit that ultimately oppresses the local people. Can’t believe he runs a goddam Christian ministry.

    That’s because he doesn’t run a Christian Ministry, he pretends to run a Christian Ministry which is actually a money machine for his wealthy, private jets and blood diamond mine lifestyle! There’s nothing in the least bit Christian in anything Jerry Falwell (Jr), Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, any of those scoundrels are doing!

  121. 121
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Use pasteurized eggs if you want to eat raw cookie dough, but there’s precious little dough left in the bowl when I bake cookies. I try to use every last scrap.

    And I do taste the dough to make sure it’s right because sugar cookie recipes call for it, but I’ve had food poisoning and hope to never have it again. People die from that crap.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois: Winning!

    Changing the subject, this is hilarious:

    Pardon Gen. Flynn and make him Chief of Staff.

    I'd be all in for that.

    Idea sparked by @SebGorka.

    — John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 10, 2018

    Cardillo! Flynn! Gorka! It’s a trifecta of traitorous wingnuts!

  123. 123
    Betty Cracker says:

    @zhena gogolia: Yep, they’re called the American Gentleman because of the dapper little tux, gloves and spats. Mind lacks the spats, but he has the tux and gloves!

  124. 124
    ellie says:

    @rikyrah: It really is. Thank you for posting this!

  125. 125
    BC in Illinois says:

    @J R in WV:

    I remember reading somewhere that the Lord really doesn’t like people taking up his name in order to misuse it. Something about “he will not hold them guiltless.” Really strong language. Exodus 20something.

  126. 126
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Yarrow:

    Cardillo isn’t totally committed to Flynn as CoS.

    He also says that Mark Meadows would be a fine choice.

    As someone has said, it’s the search for the 2nd most amoral man in Washington DC.

  127. 127
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois: Didn’t Mark Meadows say no already?

  128. 128
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kay: That info has been around for yrs! They’ve JUST learned this?!?!

  129. 129
    A Ghost To Most says:

    wonder how most gun owners feel about their NRA dollars being spent to please the KGB

    Probably already covered, but the vast majority of gun owners are not NRA. AS I’ve said before, I turned down a free NRA Lifetime membership 35 years ago.

  130. 130
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @catclub: A gay stripper with his own webpage? Impossible to keep up.

  131. 131
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    @MattF: Maybe nothing! NRA laundering money for the Russians, now…

  132. 132
    Yarrow says:

    Even more hilarious:

    A source close to the WH says former NJ gov Chris Christie is also under consideration for Chief of Staff. The source said Christie is considered a "strong option" a this point, adding Trump wants "a functioning White House." @Acosta— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) December 10, 2018

    I just don’t see that happening.

  133. 133
    The Moar You Know says:

    I wonder how most gun owners feel about their NRA dollars being spent to please the KGB?

    Better than Hillary.

    Dig right down to it, the fucking Trumpanistas would be totes OK with genocide, so long as we didn’t have President Hillary.

    Short of a full rescinding of the First Amendment, and an immediate ban on all cable news, I don’t see how this gets fixed.

  134. 134
    J R in WV says:

    @Yarrow:

    Cardillo! Flynn! Gorka! It’s a trifecta of traitorous wingnuts!

    Gorka is Hungarian, or somewhat close to that, who can be sure in Eastern Europe.

    Anyway, he isn’t American, so, while he can be a spy or an agent of a foreign and hostile power, he can’t be a traitor until he swears an oath to defend the Constitution, which no one in their right mind would expect him to really support.

    @BC in Illinois:

    Yes, true. Jesus even tells us to pray in secret, in a closet, lest someone think we might be hypocrites praying to be seen praying. Evidently there were hucksters working the religious vein of money even back in his day!!!

    Not that I’m an actual Christian at all, far from it, but I do find many words of wisdom in the words of the Christ. Most if not all of that is of course ignored by today’s most popular Christian Preachers! And as an honest man, I feel free to use pronouns like “we” and “us” when I quote the Scripture’s words of Jesus.

  135. 135
    Yarrow says:

    @J R in WV: Gorka is a naturalized American citizen, as of 2012.

  136. 136
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    And he’s dapper as all get-out!

  137. 137
    Mike in NC says:

    @BC in Illinois: There appear to be a lot of NRA members who are also Marines (active, reserve, retired, etc.). Seen many rear windows with both decals. Navy Exchanges don’t sell guns or ammo, but Marine Corps Exchanges sell a lot of both.

  138. 138
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: @NY Robbin:
    I don’t want to marry that thread, but I did want a cigarette after reading it.

  139. 139
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Yarrow:

    Didn’t Mark Meadows say no already?

    You may be right, and there are other people who have taken themselves out of the running, but they haven’t come face-to-face with the persuasive powers of Individual-1. I hear that he’s quite the negotiator.

    On the other hand, people are overlooking the fact that there are positive aspects to taking this job. You might have the chance to meet Robert Mueller and maybe even get his autograph. That would be valuable!

  140. 140
    jamey says:

    @TenguPhule: Does she have any known bladder control issues?

  141. 141
    Yarrow says:

    @BC in Illinois: Your own court document signed by Robert Mueller. A real keepsake!

  142. 142

    @Yarrow: I wonder if the WH has mentioned this to Christie.

  143. 143

    @Yarrow: The guy who put Jared’s father away? What could go wrong?

  144. 144
    J R in WV says:

    @Yarrow:

    @J R in WV: Gorka is a naturalized American citizen, as of 2012.

    Ok, not the first time I’ve made a factual error like that. So S. Gorka DID take an oath to support and defend the US Constitution.

    Treason happening right in his head, then~!!!~ Do they still hang those folks, or is it a firing squad? Asking for a friend!

  145. 145
    eemom says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    Why is it even a thing who Dump’s next CoS is gonna be? Talk about deck chairs on the Titanic…..

  146. 146
    Keith P says:

    @Yarrow: Mark Sanchez is starting again, so you never know

  147. 147
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: If he wants a functioning white house he should just resign immediately.

  148. 148
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @cain: IIRC his dad was a congressman, saw that he stayed in Japan when Pat was in military during Korean War (read this yrs ago).

    Pat made big deal about how god promised he Pat would start the 1st Xn tv channel. So it was ‘fulfillmet of god’s promise’ when he started CBN(Christian Broadcasting Network).

    When Orai Roberts U and the Oral Roberts Ministries got into terrific financial difficulties after
    Oral died (son Richard was prez of U and he and his wife mixed up finances of both entities), Pat bailed out the U temporarily. The Green family of Hobby Lobby bailed the U out permanently; in partial return the family got a permant seat on the ORU Board of Regents.

    Note 1: Pat has Regents U, Falwell Liberty U, and Oral ORU.

    Note 2: Michelle Bachman got her law degree from ORU Law School (now closed). David Barton the ‘historian’ who pushes ‘America is a christian nation’ and is a majpr GOP power is an ORU grad–in PE!! IIRC. Kenneth Copeland, one of US’ wealthiest televangelists, attended ORU and was Oral’s pilot forma time in the 60s

  149. 149
    Mandalay says:

    @Yarrow:

    I just don’t see that happening.

    I do. Since Trump lost Papadopoulos he has been looking for a new coffee boy, and Christie will put up with any amount of shit and humiliation.

    The only obstacle to the beautiful union is the opposition of Trump’s son-in-law, Bone Saw, who hates Christie like poison.

  150. 150
    J R in WV says:

    @Keith P:

    Mark Sanchez is starting again, so you never know

    I watched some of that… they should’a called that guy who took the ’49ers to the Superbowl… what was his name? Colin Kaepernick, or something like that, wasn’t it?

    I wonder if you can still get one of his jerseys from his Superb Owl days?

  151. 151
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:
    Off on the topic of Pat Robertson running for President, 1988, well known theologian Johnny Carson said

    Pat Robertson says that God has told him to run for President.
    And when God tells ME to vote for Pat Robertson, then I will.

  152. 152
    OldDave says:

    @J R in WV:

    here’s nothing in the least bit Christian in anything Jerry Falwell (Jr), Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, any of those scoundrels are doing!

    ^ ^ ^ ^ THIS ^ ^ ^ ^

  153. 153
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Elizabelle: Ig was so incredible!! IIRC bartcop often linked to it.

  154. 154
    The Moar You Know says:

    True gun rights activists know the NRA is nothing but a bunch of liberal squishes, so this is just in line with their limp wristed bullshit activity on gun lobbying. The NRA’s responsible for the 1934 and 1968 gun laws. They probably work harder to strip us of our gun rights than protect them.

    @gene108: I have heard this verbatim (I assume you have too) minus the “probably”, from GOA/other gun org members. It has the added bonus of being mostly accurate. The only saving grace of the NRA is that, while spending all their time and money to get Republicans into office (and furthering Russian interests, looks like) they really haven’t done jack shit to defend any gun “rights” (like they need defending in a nation with as many guns as citizens) at all.

  155. 155
    Elizabelle says:

    @zhena gogolia: Had not realized The New Yorker had a puzzle. Just worked it. Thank you for the tip on one of the clues; would not have gotten it without. What fun.

  156. 156
    Millard Filmore says:

    @John Revolta:

    The guy who put Jared’s father away? What could go wrong?

    Trump says: I’m gonna take you down with me!

  157. 157
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I missed the whole thing.

    But we need it back. Why don’t we have such a resource now?

  158. 158
    burnspbesq says:

    @John Revolta:

    The guy who put Jared’s father away? What could go wrong?

    None of us can count all the ways that could go wrong.

  159. 159
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @BC in Illinois: Totally freaked out when I learned jn 90s that one of my new colleagues had been on Pat’s national campaign staff in 88. As far as I know, until then I didn’t know anyone who even voted for Pat!

  160. 160
    MomSense says:

    @J R in WV:

    I think Ivanka should be hanged by her giraffe neck. Jared a firing squad. Same for Don jr. Whatever happens to trump senior, I hope they rip that wig off his head first.

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Jared? Is that you?

  162. 162
    raven says:

    @MomSense: Asshole to earlobe with a dull deer antler!

  163. 163
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Sorry for the spoiler! I wasn’t thinking! I was just excited to tell Betty.

  164. 164
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Yarrow: You don’t see Christie getting the job, or don’t see them ever having a “functioning White House”?

    Because both of those sound pretty far-fetched.

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    I wonder how most gun owners feel about their NRA dollars being spent to please the KGB?

    I’d bet the number is some. Which is more than a few and less than most. IOW most of them might not even know what KGB stands for.

  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    @pamelabrown53:
    Communists didn’t have money to pay off republicans, Vlad does.

  167. 167
    Elizabelle says:

    @zhena gogolia: No apologies, please. I honestly didn’t know The New Yorker had a crossword, and I am even a subscriber. It was kind of challenging, but fair.

  168. 168
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They just started it a couple of months ago. It’s every Monday. I like it a lot — the clues are more literate and unexpected than the NYT or WaPo (except Evan Birnholz).

  169. 169
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yep, GOA are worse than NRA, but represent an even smaller % than the NRA. It’s like saying the Nation of Islam represents all black Americans.

  170. 170
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: Christie was repeatedly humiliated during the campaign and transition. He’ll never join the never trump camp because he thinks he’s not done in politics, but I doubt he’d take a job in this White House. I could be overestimating him, I think he’s a corrupt bully, but I don’t think he’s stupid

    I also wonder if he’s been interviewed by Mueller

  171. 171
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    He’ll never join the never trump camp because he thinks he’s not done in politics, but I doubt he’d take a job in this White House. I could be overestimating him, I think he’s a corrupt bully, but I don’t think he’s stupid

    It’s not really “stupid”, but more that he believes he really is smarter than everyone else around him. Remember the whole, “I worked the cones” comedy routine? But I agree Christie has a keen sense of getting the F away from legal jeopardy.

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith P:

    Mark Sanchez is starting again, so you never know

    The Sanchize!

  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    If anyone could take me out of moderation for having dyslexia I’d appreciate it.

  174. 174
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense:

    I think Ivanka should be hanged by her giraffe neck. Jared a firing squad. Same for Don jr. Whatever happens to trump senior, I hope they rip that wig off his head first.

    God damn. Co-sign.

  175. 175
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Corner Stone:
    A keen sense is not required. This clusterfuck is visible from space.

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @MomSense:

    Whatever happens to trump senior, I hope they rip that wig off his head first.

    So beheading it is then.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Yeah, getting forklifted away from the clusterfuck that is this WH legal scene isn’t that hard to predict. I would give even odds that Trump can’t find someone to fill the CoS role and just doesn’t fill it. Pretty soon it’s going to be just him and Kelly Ann Conway.

  178. 178
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    As transition chair, Christie warned Trump not to give Flynn, a retired general who was ousted as director of the Defence Intelligence Agency by President Barack Obama, a high-level job. The New Yorker reported that Flynn was not on any of the Christie-led transition team’s lists for government appointments, as Christie considered him too risky.
    During a November 11 meeting Christie was chairing, four sources told the New Yorker that Ivanka invited Flynn, who attended with Gen. Keith Kellogg.
    “Gentlemen, can I help you?” Christie reportedly asked.
    Ivanka, then a member of the transition’s executive council and now an assistant to the president, announced that she invited the pair. Then, as Christie tried to reclaim control of the meeting, Ivanka took over, the publication reported. She cited Flynn’s “amazing loyalty” to her father and asked, “General, what job do you want?”

    The Kushners have long memories, and I suspect Christie knows how to carry a grudge, too.

  179. 179
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Hang them all together, like the Lincoln conspirators.

    My small suggestion to promote hemp cultivation.

  180. 180
    Redshift says:

    @A Ghost To Most: GOA’s views may be worse, but I don’t get any sense they own the GOP or can effectively move their base the way the NRA does. And my impression is that they’re an actual membership organization, unlike the NRA, which long ago became a lobbying org for gun manufacturers whose membership claims are almost entirely fictional.

  181. 181
    TS (the original) says:

    @Barbara: winner!

  182. 182
    TenguPhule says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Hang them all together, like the Lincoln conspirators.

    i’m not sure even hemp is strong enough to keep Donald Doughfingers aloft long enough to do the job properly.

  183. 183
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: kinda surprised we haven’t heard Kellyanne floated as CoS. Maybe George’s tweets aren’t 100% forgiven.

  184. 184
    lurker dean says:

    roid rage anger clown dan bongino wasn’t renewed at nra tv. he’s claiming he received a generous renewal offer but turned it down. yeah, right, lol. :o)

    thanks for posting monjula ray, i’ve never run across her posts on twitter, i like her style :o)

  185. 185
  186. 186
  187. 187
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @TenguPhule:
    It’s all in how much slack is in the rope. In Saddam’s case, too much slack. Shit happens.

  188. 188
    TenguPhule says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I’ll defer to the experts on that. My specialty is garrottes.

  189. 189
    divF says:

    @Yarrow: Now that Virginia’s 10th congressional district bounced Barbara Comstock, Christie’s first act as CoS would be to start major repair projects on all the bridges across the Potomac.

  190. 190
    misterpuff says:

    @TenguPhule: Wolverines!

    Only shoot the brown ones (Cubanos)!

  191. 191
    Scamp Dog says:

    @PaulWartenberg: GRU is Military Intelligence, the KGB was the Soviet Union’s independent spy service. The FSB is the current Russian government’s security service, with the SVR as its foreign intelligence component.

  192. 192
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    Now that is wicked! I like it.

  193. 193
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Immanentize: Yuuup. Adding a bourbon 🥃 to that….

  194. 194
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It is unclear from it whether Kashoggi was actually dead when the forensic pathologist began dismembering him.

    Que Python’s Death of Mary Queen of the Scots

  195. 195
    Mainmata says:

    Fun Fact, Butina is a Lithuanian word meaning “necessary”. Maria was a necessary part of the Kremlin 2016 strategy if only to thoroughly blackmail the GOP via the NRA.

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