Tonight’s News Dump And Another Long Ago

Tonight’s New York Times news dump on two FBI investigations, for counterintelligence and criminal activity, is strangely parallel to that October 31, 2016, news dump that said the FBI was not investigating Donald Trump. Let’s look at a timeline for the material reported in the two. I’m taking dates from the articles rather than looking up the precise dates in order to get this out quickly.

DateOctober 2016 articleJanuary 2019 article
July 2016Trump calls on Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails
July 2016Trump campaign softens Republican platform plank on Ukraine
“mid-2016”Christopher Steele compiles memos
“months before 2016 election”Timing described as “much of the summer” Investigation into “some of Trump’s aides,” but “Mr. Trump himself has not become a target”FBI was investigating four Trump associates
timing unclearCommunications between Trump and Alfa Bank computers
October 2016Harry Reid letter: “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Mr. Reid wrote. “The public has a right to know this information.”


Obviously, material after October 31, 2016, could not be included in the earlier article. But it’s informative to put it into a timeline.

January 2017Trump asks Comey for loyalty pledge
January 2017Trump asks Comey to end investigation into Michael Flynn
May 2017Trump fires Comey
May 2017Trump, in NBC interview, appears to say he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation
May 2017Trump tells Russians in Oval Office he fired Comey – “pressure taken off because of Russia”
“days after firing”Investigation begins


It’s worthwhile reading both articles. I find it clarifying to put things in timelines, though.

Update: Benjamin Wittes has also written a post, and he tweeted a baby cannon “BOOM!”

Further Update: The Wittes article gives a very careful explanation of the interplay between the criminal and counterintelligence sides of the investigation. I can also read between the lines why the FBI may have said in October 2016 that the investigation was not into Donald Trump. The investigation was about Russia’s role in the election. So it could be that the reporters on the October 2016 article didn’t ask the right questions of their informants or wink-wink nudge-nudge let them get away with giving a particular impression.

175 replies
  1. 1
    tybee says:


    he’s guilty as hell.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    Cheryl, Do you have any ideas about what is happening? This seems really big .
    I posted this below
    : Since we know that Mueller’s report can be buried by the AG director, maybe this is assurance that won’t happen. I have no idea though because at this point nixon is looking like a saint.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Has the Times ever lived up to their oh-so-pious exhortations and published the names of the FBI “sources” who lied to them in 2016? That’s supposedly the deal, right, anonymity in exchange for accuracy or at least honesty. Only, I’ve never heard of a news organization try to live up to that.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    No emails?

    No big deal.

  5. 5

    @JPL: I have seen a couple of articles today saying that there is no way Mueller’s report can be buried. Haven’t read them, though. My sense is that Mueller is determined to get the story out. He has done part of it in his court filings, and getting the various cases into other jurisdictions also gets the information out.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Right. It’ll leak one way or the other.

  7. 7
    gwangung says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Gilding the lily, as it were…

    That fits the M.O. of Mueller, though….belts and suspenders, and making triply sure that you close the case.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    Cheryl: the timeline is very helpful. Thank you.

    Value added.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    Benedict Arnold
    John Wilks Booth
    Donald Trump

  10. 10
    Kent says:

    If Mueller wants the report to get out for certain, all he has to do is indict Trump. Then, as I understand it, all of his report and background information is automatically forwarded BY LAW to the House of Representatives, bypassing the Justice Department. I don’t have a source but I remember reading about this process

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Mueller is a patriot and he knows these people are traitors. He’s doing everything he can to assure they will be brought to justice.

    Tick tock, motherfuckers.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    But… but her emails!

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    (CNN)Two years after she signed with the network amid much fanfare, Megyn Kelly and NBC have officially parted ways.
    Kelly is halfway through a three-year contract worth a total of $69 million — an eye-popping sum even by the inflated standards of television news.

    Bowing to the terms of the contract, NBC will pay Kelly the remaining sum of money, believed to total about $30 million, two of the sources said.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:


    Mueller can also be subpoenaed to testify before Congress to present his findings.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:


    Agreed. And anyone besides me suspect this came out because FBI agents aren’t being paid? Or am I crazy?

  16. 16
    guachi says:

    I mentioned last thread I was polled by Quinnipiac. The lady who called was very nice and left a message earlier that she would call back. When the Connecticut area code popped up I knew it was them.

    I answered as you would expect. My answer to the “how is the economy doing” was “good” compared to the “excellent” I would have said before the market’s went haywire in December and the shutdown hit. So I answered “worse” for how Donald Trump’s policies were affecting the country.

  17. 17
    hilts says:


    Trump has been taking numerous dumps on the Constitution since taking office, so I appreciate the title of your post. Your timeline is extremely helpful!

  18. 18
  19. 19
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Didn’t take rocket science or a Friday news dump to figure this one out. Everyone knows Donnie is a puppet for his master Vlad.

  20. 20
    Baud says:


    I’m assuming the story had to be in the works for much longer. But I’m no journalist.

  21. 21
    B.B.A. says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I expect Trump to walk. Impunity at the highest levels is as American as apple pie and slavery.

    But I want the truth to be known, even if it doesn’t matter.

  22. 22
    dr. bloor says:

    @dmsilev: IDing the guys in the NY office who leaked the emails info to Rudy Giuliani would be a good place to start your investigation.

    America’s Mayor has a nonzero chance of ending his reign in a Federal penitentiary.

  23. 23
    Randalms says:

    Props for having this display well on iPhone

  24. 24
    dr. bloor says:

    @B.B.A.: He’ll walk on the federal charges. New Yorkers hold grudges.

  25. 25
    hilts says:


    Megyn Kelly is a profoundly clueless tool and I hope she stays off the air for as long as possible.

  26. 26
    A Ghost To Most says:

    John Wilkes Booth, but yes. Trump will become synonymous with traitor.

  27. 27
    geg6 says:


    Oh, I think this is something new, especially after seeing Michael Schmidt interviewed by Joy Reid. He intimated that this was new info to him even though he’d been on the obstruction of justice beat for a year and a half.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    In all truth, I had totally forgotten her existence.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    @B.B.A.: I do not expect Trump to walk. And I detest people who will say stuff like that so early.

    You have exhibited many trollish facets here. Over time. I usually ignore you.

    But I find it interesting to have you here, saying that, on this day.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    I like this Jim Hines guy.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Heh. Hadn’t thought of that, but I like it.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @geg6: Interesting.

    @SiubhanDuinne: You are blessed.

  33. 33
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @dr. bloor:

    America’s Mayor has a nonzero chance of ending his reign in a Federal penitentiary.

    Yup. My theory is he’s spouting such bullshit because he knows his part in this is going to be revealed.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    I could have saved NBC $69 million back in the day, had they only listened. They should send me a 10% consultant stipend as penance for not listening.

    Just because Karl Rove stalks her doesn’t mean anybody else will stalk her to another channel.

  35. 35
    geg6 says:


    Me too. Good thing they’re paying her, though. She’ll need the cash. Because at this point, no major network will have her due to her lack of chops and her racism and neither will FOX because Trump hates her. Put a fork in her, she’s done.

  36. 36
    Jay says:


    Eeore’s gotta eeore.

  37. 37
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @B.B.A.: People said the same thing about Noxin. This fucking guy is way worse.

  38. 38
    geg6 says:


    For real. They chase me away from BJ some days.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: I think some executives at NBC, several, should lose their jobs over the Megyn Kelly debacle.

    She was a terrible hire, and gets to walk away with so much money. They got pantsed. They should be punished further.

    I think something is really wrong at NBC, I really do.

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6: BBA is a jackass, unlike Pooh’s Eeyore, who was merely a melancholic donkey character.

  41. 41
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I am guessing McConnell and fucking Ryan knew about this and still refused the bipartisan statement Obama wanted. Those two should be facing prison time like their co-conspirator in treason, Trumpov.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Rudy going DOWN.

  43. 43
    hilts says:


    Nixon is looking like a saint.

    I’ve seen John Dean on CNN several times over the past few months saying that Trump has far less respect for the rule of law than Nixon did. Nixon also had a functioning brain which is more than I can say for Trump. He may have cotton candy or sawdust between his ears, but certainly precious few brain cells.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: I am hopeful that they will.

    Clean out the stable. Hard. We are not safe while any of these bad actors are in place, or unpunished.

    And get their media enablers too.

  45. 45
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I think I’ve asked this before, but I wonder if Mueller still considers himself a Republican these days, considering how much the rot seems to pervade the GOP party apparatus these days. How much of a right-winger is Mueller personally? For example, I wonder what his positions on the 2nd Amendment and gun control are.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle: Yeah, NBC seems like the most dysfunctional of the bunch.

  47. 47
    randy khan says:

    Well, obviously at least some people in the FBI weren’t on Team Trump.

  48. 48
    geg6 says:

    Frank Figliuzzi pretty much has his hair on fire, talking to Joy Reid. Wow. This might be really big shit.

    Oooo, I do hope this is special agent retaliation for fucking them over financially. That would be almost poetic. Or Shakespearean.

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: I also expect that Trump will never be tried, let alone convicted.

    So which am I, troll or detestable?

  50. 50
    hilts says:


    Rudy going DOWN.

    That runs directly contrary to what I heard from The Clash

    As a lawyer, Rudy is an epic fail but he’s a good performance artist.

  51. 51
    sukabi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: here’s one from yesterday. The author of the rules for special counsels explains the rules he wrote 20 years ago and why there will be a public report.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:


    True. Piglet was always my favorite but I always had a soft spot for Eeyore. Probably because we are both pessimists.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    sukabi says:

    @Baud: they’ve had 20 days to work on it, it’s probably been in the pipeline for a good bit of that.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

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

    I don’t think he’s ever let anyone in the media know his personal beliefs, other than he has been a registered Republican. My guess is he is one of those dinosaurs, a Rockefeller Republican.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I just hope you are mistaken, very honestly.

    I do not see how our democracy survives if he is not. And Mitch McConnell may find himself facing serious legal charges too.

  57. 57
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announces run for president in 2020


    TwoBroadsTalkingPolitics Podcast
    ‏ @TwoBroadsTalk
    51m51 minutes ago

    Tulsi Gabbard says she’s running for president & now Assad is trending. That should tell you pretty much all you need to know.

    3 replies 8 retweets 9 likes

    The Manchurian Assad Candidate.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Yeah, fuck her. Isn’t she a member of some kind of cult? I thought I read about that somewhere.

  59. 59
    hilts says:


    Frank Figliuzzi pretty much has his hair on fire

    Every sentient human being in America should have his or her fucking hair on fire because Trump is a malignant cancer and has proven his unfitness for office multiple times every single day since being sworn in.

  60. 60
    Mike in NC says:

    @PsiFighter37: “No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!”

  61. 61

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    Next the FTFNYT political reporters will tell us that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell sided with Trump to prevent Obama from telling the country about Russian interference in the 2016 US Election.

    Timely news!!


    In other news, GovExec: The federal government shut-down is illegal as of Saturday:

    The federal government is poised to drag into its longest ever closure on Saturday, when the partial shutdown will enter its 22nd day.

    The shutdown is set to exceed the previous record-holder, the 21-day shutdown in 1995-1996. It also marked a key day for the more than 800,000 federal employees impacted by the appropriations lapse. On Friday, most of them did not receive their scheduled paychecks for the first time.

    The missed pay brought the shutdown further into new territory: it is now illegal. That is according to a precedent set by a federal court after the 16-day 2013 shutdown, in reference to many of the “excepted” or “exempted” employees who are forced to work during the lapse with only the promise of retroactive pay once their agencies reopen. A group of those workers sued the government after that lapse; 25,000 workers ultimately signed onto that lawsuit.

    » Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

    In 2014, Patricia Campbell-Brown, a judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, ruled the government violated the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act when employees worked without receiving immediate pay. While the government sought to argue the delay in payment was not “egregious,” the judge said a violation occurred under the FLSA as soon as the checks were not delivered on time. She also rejected the government’s argument that any financial hardship occurred only because of federal workers’ “poor financial management decisions.”

    “The court notes that at least some government employees, who may be plaintiffs herein, were working at the GS-04 or GS-05 levels, and had annual salaries starting around $28,000 in 2013,” Campbell-Brown wrote in her ruling. “Such salaries leave families a narrow margin, particularly when—as plaintiffs in this action have described—child care expenses continue and unexpected health-related expenses arise.”

    Based on that precedent, the government again violated the law on Friday when it did not pay the roughly 500,000 employees who are working during the current shutdown. That has led to multiple groups again suing the government, making the same allegations of FLSA violations. Zachary Henige, an attorney with Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch, which is representing the plaintiffs in one of those cases, predicted a “great likelihood of success” given the precedent from the 2013 suit. He expected a much quicker decision this time around, noting the suit was filed in the same court and has initially been assigned to the same judge.

    In 2017, Campbell-Smith issued a follow-up ruling that the employees that joined the collective action lawsuit were entitled to liquidated damages from the government. On top of the back pay they have already received, the government will have to pay out additional compensation to those 25,000 individuals. The plaintiffs will receive an amount in the neighborhood of $7.25—the federal minimum wage—times the number of hours worked between Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, 2013, the period in which paychecks were delayed. This amounts to $290 for employees who worked eight-hour days, plus any overtime they are due.

    Those individuals are still waiting for those payments, a process that has been further slowed because many of the Justice Department attorneys and human resources professionals working on the case are currently furloughed. Impacted employees will likely be in line for a bigger payout this time around, depending how much longer the shutdown lasts.

    Not all feds working during the shutdown will be entitled to damages. FLSA-exempt workers, such as teachers, nurses and high-level managers are not eligible to join the case.

    The system has mechanisms to deal with Donnie’s attempt to king himself and ignore the Constitution. But the people serving in the system must be willing to stand up and do their jobs. And if they refuse to do so, then we must be willing to petition for redress of grievances, demonstrate in the streets, and refuse to let these illegal actions continue.

    It’s good to see that Donnie backed down on his “emergency” declaration after realizing that it would invite lawsuits against his Precious. McConnell and the rest of the Teabaggers should be encouraged to come to the same realization…


  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: They’re grade schoolers, aren’t they? Middle schoolers, at most.

    Fun to think on what a shit night Trump is probably having. Shit coming down for him.

  64. 64
    geg6 says:


    True but a former high level FBI official having a hair on fire 🔥 moment on tv is sobering. Nothing here surprises me because I believed this back in the fall of 2016. But few people in the FBI or the media would admit any of this.

  65. 65
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    LOL wut? Obama let America be pushed around? Because he acknowledged past failures/mistakes?

    Also, it should be “his deputy, Andrew McCabe, ….”. It’s like they were saying it as his full name + his title. The WH press shop needs to brush up on its grammar.

  66. 66
    dr. bloor says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The resolute words of a woman who knows her options are (a) jail or (b) unemployment benefits.

  67. 67
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @geg6: I forgot about that. Yesh!

  68. 68

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Someone on Twitter speculated that Trump dictated the statement.

  69. 69
    Mary G says:

    This dismissal of Wilmer is hilarious:

    Oh. My. God. This woman literally scalped Bernie Sanders and then made him choke to death on his own Tommy Pickles wig. 💀 I had to log off for a second to catch my— Chris Evans (@notcapnamerica) January 12, 2019

  70. 70
    Sebastian says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    As I keep saying, it’s time to ask “what did you know and when did you know it?” And start handing out inductments for accessory after the fact.

    Personally, I am for hanging from lamp posts but that’s not going to happen. A boy can dream.

  71. 71
    Yutsano says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m going with wrong, hopefully. But I also think making predictions right now is premature. We still don’t know what all Bobby Three Sticks has in his possession. Let’s see where this eventually goes.

  72. 72
    Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    In some regards, the World is changing.

    Previous White House criminals were “protected” to “preserve American Democracy”,

    Now, for a large number of American’s and Democrats, the ReThug Party needs to be burned to the ground, and the ground salted to “preserve American Democracy”.

    The “look forward, not back” crowd ain’t what it used to be.

    If, post Treason Twitler, the norms are merely restored, the American experiment with democracy is done.

    Some people outside the pundit class are aware of that.

  73. 73
    Jinchi says:

    January 26 and 27th: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates makes an “urgent” request to meet at the White House to inform them that Flynn is compromised by the Russians.

    January 27th: Trump asks Comey for a “loyalty pledge”.

    January 30th: Sally Yates is fired for insubordination.

    February 13th: Flynn finally resigns as National Security Advisor.

    February 14th: Trump tells Comey that Flynn is a “good guy” and asks him to drop the investigation.

    May 3rd: Comey testifies that Russia is Americas “greatest threat”.

    May 9th: Comey is fired.

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It sounds like Trump dictated it.

    Because it is so damned juvenile.

  75. 75

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

    Because he acknowledged past failures/mistakes?

    If you acknowledge failures/mistakes, that means you’ve failed or made mistakes; the US never makes mistakes(unless a Democrat is President). It’s called American Exceptionalism.

  76. 76
    ruemara says:

    I wonder what tomorrow’s twitter storm will be about? And can our dumb 4th estate do even marginally better than they have. Also, I have no hot water. And also, I got my biometrics done for citizenship, so I guess it’s just the test. Boy, I sure hope I know who the pres is and what branches of government we have.

  77. 77
    Mike in NC says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: My wife has a cousin, about 75 years old or so, a West Point graduate, retired FBI agent, retired private investigator and security consultant. He told us a few years ago that while he considered himself to be a lifelong Republican, he had no clue about what had happened to that party.

  78. 78
    plato says:

    Failed Bureau of Ineptitude.

    Yeah the book @craigunger wrote with @olgaNYC1211 about Trump and Russia is extraordinarily detailed and damning.

    It could have been subtitled: "All the shit the FBI should have investigated for decades but did not — with irreparable national security damage as the result!

    "— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 12, 2019

  79. 79
    B.B.A. says:

    Forgive my cynicism. I haven’t been able to think anything positive in 2 years, 2 months and 3 days.

  80. 80
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:
    Hey Scott, I was looking at this credit union and you were right; they do have better interest rates for a lot of things than my current bank and a lot of other banks I’ve been looking at. Now, I’m considering moving to the credit union. Low minimum balances to open an interest-bearing checking account. It’s like 2.00 % APY as long as meet some pretty simple criteria, like at least 15 debit card transactions or $200 in direct deposits a month.

    Thanks again!

  81. 81
    Sebastian says:

    Idictments. But I’ll take inductments if they encompass rusty chainsaws

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: All the Schoolhouse Rock. All of it.

    With some bonus Animaniacs to round out the Presidential knowledge.

  83. 83
    hilts says:


    “And Mitch McConnell may find himself facing serious legal charges too”

    The best thumbnail description I’ve heard or seen of Mitch McConnell came from historian Christopher R. Browning in the New York Review of Books

    If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could.

    h/t The Suffocation of Democracy

  84. 84
    Another Scott says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Haven’t you realized yet that I’m right about everything!!11


    Credit unions are one of the great things about America. Good luck with your financial stuff. Glad to help.


  85. 85

    While we try to get people to calm down, using various flavors of jackalness, your depression is understandable. Relentless negativity destroys, and it’s a battle many of us here have been fighting since Trump’s election, so try to fight it.

  86. 86
    Mike in NC says:

    @Another Scott: Since Fat Bastard lies about everything, let’s plan on hearing about a National Emergency Declaration around midnight on Saturday.

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

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

    Now, I’m considering moving to the credit union.

    DOO EET! Especially for your personal banking. The amount you’ll save on fees alone is worth it. Plus you get a (admittedly small ) say in how the credit union is run.

    Disclosure: I have had the same credit union account since I was a child. Has always been reliable and secure.

  88. 88

    I don’t think Mitch McConnell will turn out to have committed any prosecutable crimes, but he will certainly go down in history as one of the country’s most destructive and evil racists.

  89. 89
    trollhattan says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    Learned over at LGM that Gabbard is lauded by Richard Spencer, David Duke and Russia Times. Also, too, lurves herself some Assad. She’s our new all-inclusive Democrat!

  90. 90
    ruemara says:

    @Yutsano: I found myself singing the preamble based on the question. TV raised me well.

  91. 91
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    Mueller has not let his personal politics intrude on the investigation so far, and shows no sign that he ever will. I don’t see how his current party affiliation matters at all.

  92. 92
    trollhattan says:

    And…Kentucky will reelect him anyway. Thanks, Kentucky.

  93. 93
    Elizabelle says:

    @hilts: Thanks. Will check that out.

    I hope we soon find out why McConnell looked so rattled in late 2016. I think he is dirty with foreign money and treason. Bring it on.

    This is not just Trump. It’s the whole leadership of that horrible party. They do not work for their constituents. They work for their donors.

  94. 94
    The Dangerman says:


    But I also think making predictions right now is premature.

    This. There is no frame of reference here; we are way beyond the looking glass.

    This dropping on Payday Missed #1 is a nice touch, however.

  95. 95
    Elizabelle says:

    @trollhattan: Not if McConnell’s under criminal indictment.

    A lot can happen before Election Day 2020.

  96. 96
    Sebastian says:

    I know it’s something that is mindboggling and difficult to wrap your head around but follow me on this:

    Russia’s GDP is $1.5 trillion per year. If you assume that Putin and his gang “only” stole, siphoned, embezzled 10% of that over the past 20 years we are talking about $2-3 trillion.

    The question we have to ask is not who is compromised or bought but who IS NOT. And I do not mean this in the sarcastic haha way of this saying but we have to start to understand and internalize that ANYONE and EVERYONE who does not have the character to refuse bribes or shady practices is in on this.

    Scary as fuck.

  97. 97
    hilts says:


    How much longer do we have to wait for the Democrats to get their hands on Trumpenstein’s tax returns?

  98. 98
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Mike in NC:
    I had a Spanish teacher for two years in HS. She was the same way. Around 2012-2014, when I had her, she always said the GOP had left her.

  99. 99
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: Annnd it’s now stuck in my head. Could have worse ones although 3 Ring Circus is in there too. Because you mentioned the branches.

  100. 100
    ruemara says:

    @Sebastian: You’re probably correct. Which would explain that the alt-right have remained funded despite losses until that money could be funneled into buying media and refining social media until they win.

    Edited to reflect I mean world wide. Who keeps Le Pen afloat?

  101. 101
    B.B.A. says:


    I don’t think Mitch McConnell will turn out to have committed any prosecutable crimes

    This is the only downside to Lawrence v. Texas.

  102. 102
    Jay says:


    Sad to be you.

  103. 103
    Sebastian says:


    The alt-right in Europe (esp Austria) was basically broke at some point and suddenly they were awash in money.

  104. 104
    hilts says:


    I don’t think Mitch McConnell will turn out to have committed any prosecutable crimes

    i agree with you on that point but McConnell’s epic scumbaggery is beyond dispute and the same holds true for Paul Ryan. These guys need to burn in Hell for eternity right alongside Trump and his whole fucking family.

  105. 105
    Mike in NC says:

    @Sebastian: Putin is the richest, most powerful man in the world and he’s not even started to screw with the West.

  106. 106
    Chetan Murthy says:


    Boy, I sure hope I know who the pres is and what branches of government we have.

    “If anything, she was overprepared.”

    [but seriously, I”m glad you’re doing this!]

  107. 107
    Jeffro says:


    I hope we soon find out why McConnell looked so rattled in late 2016. I think he is dirty with foreign money and treason. Bring it on.

    This is not just Trump. It’s the whole leadership of that horrible party. They do not work for their constituents. They work for their donors.

    Donors both domestic AND foreign!

    Hey Trumpublicans! Anyone feel like abandoning ship YET??!!1? Jesus, you’ve had every fucking opportunity in the world for the past 30 months to find some excuse, ANY excuse, to disavow this incompetent, treasonous, un-American moron. Ya ready yet???

  108. 108
    Sebastian says:


    I also think that the Russians have so much money that they can buy a lot of folks relatively cheaply. A billion or two per year buys A LOT of influencers.

    That’s like a constant US presidential campaign under the radar.

  109. 109
    Another Scott says:

    @Mike in NC: Good point, but he’ll probably recycle the threat in 2-4 weeks – when he’ll think it’s a brilliant new idea – if the past is any guide. His dementia seems to go in cycles.

    But of course, since he supposedly got full marks on the MoCA test (1 page .pdf), that means he’s actually brilliant. Kinda like a former Mastermind (6:55)…



  110. 110
    Sebastian says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Yes and it’s not just him, it’s the entire wealth and fortune of Russia they command.

  111. 111
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    American exceptionalism is a thing that right-wingers seem to be the most obsessed with, as opposed to liberals.

    I’m preaching to the choir, but that version of American exceptionalism is indistinguishable from delusion.

  112. 112
    Jackie says:

    @Yutsano: I concur. School House still Rocks!

  113. 113
    Jeffro says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Putin is the richest, most powerful man in the world and he’s not even started to screw with the West.

    Yeah but you know what? For some reason, he still needs that Magnitsky Act lifted, and he’s still facing growing dissension at home.

    Dirty money needs places to hide and people to buy. And illegitimate power only holds on for so long.

    I have a feeling that part of the time that has been bought over the past two years isn’t just to accumulate evidence on trumpov & co. It may just well have been to learn how to put the screws back to Putin’s goons, triage our infrastructure’s vulnerabilities, and figure out exactly who in the US government (besides the trumpov RICO family) is working for Putie.

  114. 114
    Sebastian says:


    I have this dream, this picture in my head, whenever I read Yarrow’s Tick Tock Motherfuckers:

    A gigantic clock pendulum swinging and chopping off traitors’ heads as it goes back and forth

  115. 115
  116. 116
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: How about the relentless desire to run up the black flag?

  117. 117
    Jeffro says:

    @Sebastian: I’m good with that! Keep dreamin’!

  118. 118
    misterpuff says:

    @Elizabelle: Kabletown is no liberal hotbed.

  119. 119
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    My guess is he is one of those dinosaurs, a Rockefeller Republican.

    That seems likely.

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Like talking aloud and somebody else copying it down?

  120. 120
  121. 121
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Boy, does Edgar Allen Poe have a story for you.

  122. 122
    Jay says:

    @Mike in NC: @Sebastian:

    Probably not.

    The same “journomentalism” rumours that claim Putin is immnsely weathy, had the Orange Bloat in the top 50.

    The ugly reality is, American and Nazi’s whores are cheap. You can “buy” 100 of them for $100k, and after that, they are owned, not rented.

    The guy who stole the first Mig 21 got $1.5 million and US Citizenship.

    Walker got $300k and a life sentence.

  123. 123
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    A gigantic clock pendulum swinging and chopping off traitors’ heads as it goes back and forth

    You have a sick mind. I like it : )

  124. 124
    Sebastian says:


    Yeah, I am wonderin if Russia doesn’t turn into an embargoed pariah state. All foreign assets frozen, oligarchs arrested, and their only refuge is in Russia or in friendly dictatorships in Central Asia.

    No more fancy parties in Monaco or Kitzbühel, no yachting in Croatia or the Seychelles, nothing.

    I think that’s what they are fearing and that’s what looks more and more likely.

  125. 125
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: There are a lot of Credit Unions and they vary from one to the next. You should check out several before you pick one. The really big deal is the free accounts. No monthly fees for checking or savings, so little Johnny who is saving up for a bike doesn’t look at his account balance one day and see that it’s all been eaten by the bank’s fees. and they offer CDs.

  126. 126
    Sebastian says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    He does? Please tell

  127. 127
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yutsano: Over the years we have been with four before the current one. Some were better than others, they were all better than the bank. We’re with BECU now and it’s really very, very good.

  128. 128
    sukabi says:

    @Mary G: lol. She burnt him down.

  129. 129
    A Ghost To Most says:

    “The Pit and the Pendulum”.

    Sometimes, the old ways are appropriate.

  130. 130
    Sebastian says:


    You are probably right. I remember a story back about this asshole Alaskan senator and he was bribed with a snow blower or something and $25k if I remember (probably in-)correctly. I read it here and remember us all talking about how laughable petty it all was. A US senator bought for fucking pocket change. So yes, like the banality of evil we will be surprised for how little we were sold out.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    misterpuff says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: WH having Nathan Thurm levels of flopsweat.

  133. 133
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Baud: “I Don’t Care. Do You?”

  134. 134
    Sebastian says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Thanks, going to check it out. Oldies are Goldies. But I am all for these motherfuckers be on the receiving end of very creative forms of punishment, old and fashionably new ones.

  135. 135
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Sebastian: Whole lotta shitty http traffic coming out of mother Russia.

  136. 136

    @misterpuff: Heh, I doubt they can pull off the ash not falling off the cig.

  137. 137
    zhena gogolia says:


    While you’re at it, check out “The Telltale Heart” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” Poe had stories for many aspects of our current dilemma.

  138. 138
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Sebastian: If you read about the sums thrown around in European (well, at least, French & UK) elections, they’re even *smaller*. E.g.

    the National Front (in France) got a 9.4m euro loan from a Czech (Russian-owned though) bank. I mean, a -loan-, not even a straight-up bribe.

  139. 139
    debbie says:

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

    I’ve started opening CDs at a credit union. I think they are a great alternative.

  140. 140
    Sebastian says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    Jesus Christ, that’s it? These motherfucking motherfuckers, they sold us out for pennies, not a fortune.

  141. 141
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    DOO EET! Especially for your personal banking. The amount you’ll save on fees alone is worth it.

    TBH, I don’t pay any fees for my checking now, but I don’t earn any interest on it either. One of the best parts of my current bank.

    Plus you get a (admittedly small ) say in how the credit union is run.

    Cool. Much better than traditional banks

  142. 142
    Jay says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    Loans have leverage, and are an “infamous” money laundering angle.

    Political donations are covered under “different” laws.

  143. 143
    Sebastian says:


    Yeah, donations to politicians and parties are prohibited in Europe. The German chancelor Kohl had to famously resign because of a few hundred grand donation to his party. I know, such a foreign concept.

  144. 144
    plato says:

    Because of the Trump shutdown, the Census Bureau may run out of funding in February to continue preparations for the 2020 Census. Decisions affecting every American are made with Census data, including making sure communities get their fair share of federal funds. #EndTheShutdown

    — Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) January 11, 2019

    Pay attention to the long-term, cumulative damage of the shutdown, including the effect on the census.

    The Trump admin has long sought to manipulate the census in an effort to reallocate resources and annihilate rights. This isn't just a shutdown — it's a hostile restructuring.

    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 11, 2019

  145. 145
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Sebastian: Heh. And Arron Banks gave a grand total of 8m pounds to Brexit, and that was, like, the largest single donation ever (IIRC).

    Now it’s true that he got bribed to do it, to the tune (almost certainly) a lot more. But still,UK pols were -cheap- to buy.

  146. 146
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    The one credit union I was looking at had 0.40% APY for 6 month CDs and a $500 minimum. My bank has 0.10% with $1000 minimum for the same length of time. A way bigger improvement.


    I’ve noticed ; )


    I’ll check around, thanks. The one I’m looking does have free accounts, though.

  147. 147
    PJ says:

    @Sebastian: Wait, are you saying that the parties and political campaigns are funded by the taxpayers? But that’s Socialamism! Thank FSM we’ve we’ve kept our freedom by having our campaigns and parties funded by anonymous donations from huge corporations, billionaires, and foreign oligarchs!

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:


    They work for their donors.

    Sorry, no. They work for their paymasters.
    Donors have expectations, paymasters have demands.

  149. 149
    Sebastian says:


    I know for certain that’s the case in Germany and Austria. Not entirely sure about UK and not sure about referendums either.

    But yea, taxpayer funded. Or as I call it, funded by the boss.

  150. 150
    misterpuff says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That was impressive.

  151. 151
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    It wasn’t always this way in America, AFAIK. Wasn’t Buckley v Valero in 1976 that started the influence of money in American politics?

  152. 152
    Elizabelle says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I think so. That was a horrible decision.

  153. 153
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ruckus: Hey there.

    Donors, paymasters. They don’t work for their constituents.

  154. 154
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I think most do. The difference will be in how may branches they have and how close to you they are, and the interest they offer on various accounts. Also, how do they handle an accidental overdraft. Ours just moves the money from savings to checking if we are over. We rarely need that but this Christmas I made a big math error when I was making up our contributions to various charities and forgotten that I’d written a check to a different one that hadn’t been cashed yet. And then they all hit the same day. It was fine.

    Our bank gave us free checking and savings accounts too, because we had direct deposit. Until they kept forgetting that they weren’t supposed to charge us for our accounts. They’d fix it, it was just that we were under a program that had a new name and supposedly their computer kept tripping over the name. $15/mo. And I wouldn’t catch it right away, always about 3 months later, and they’d cheerfully refund the money and everything was fine for a few months. So I just moved everything over to the credit union where we already had a savings account. It took about 6 months for every automatic deposit and payment to get straightened out. Social Security and our retirement had a lot of trouble with it, but we also have automatic payments for insurance and several other things, and it took them all a while. The one thing the bank had was a great online bill paying program, but when we moved to the CU they were just setting theirs up and it was a bit wonky. It works pretty well now, but the one thing I can’t do is search by the name of a vendor when I have a question about a payment. I am going to suggest they add that feature, since you can search by date or amount now.

  155. 155
    GregB says:

    McConnell had a moment on camera, walking in Congress and I think he was informed that Mueller was appointed to look into the Trump/Russia matter and he looked shook as Hell.

    Does anyone remember that? Does anyone have the clip?

  156. 156
    debbie says:

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

    oppiejeanne is right. Keep researching. I am with Kemba, and they pay close to double what you’ve quoted for a 6-month CD.

  157. 157
    The Dangerman says:

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

    I’ll check around, thanks.

    Any chance you are in CA? I got a great CD rate with Bank of the Sierra; don’t recall the minimum tonight on +?

  158. 158
    The Lodger says:

    @hilts: Nixon always tried to make his actions look legal. Trump never cared.

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    Very True.
    But it’s a difference with a distinction. Have you ever donated to a political party or candidate? I have. That would make both of us donors. Given that you are a democrat it’s very highly likely that you didn’t need to demand that money was used only for legal purposes, and not for illegal purposes like going in their personal funds. After all there is a reason foreign payments for elections are illegal. The person is supposed to represent the needs of the people in their country, not an enemy of their country. Paymasters in this context don’t give a damn about borders or laws. They are not helping a person win a political office to be a better politician for the country, they are purchasing a politician to do whatever they want them to further their goals, which in this case is directly opposite your and my goals.
    I’m sure there are other, possibly better descriptions than paymaster. Boss. Owner.
    And besides these guys sold out so cheap that second rate dictators could have done it with walking around money. Vlad is laughing his ass off at how cheap this was. He normally has to kill a few to get his ideas across. This was pocket change, what he found under the couch cushions.

  160. 160
    Mike in DC says:

    The worst case scenario is that Trump cut a quid pro quo deal with Russia: help my campaign win and give me a lucrative licensing deal, and I will change US policy and get sanctions lifted, plus other favors on request. The Russians cemented the deal with some kompromat on Trump.
    If the worst case scenario is true, and Mueller makes out a strong case for it, I think the public outrage and pressure to get rid of Trump is going to put the Senate GOP up against it. If Mitch McConnell fights it, his opponent should be the best funded Senate candidate in history.

  161. 161
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Mike in DC:

    If Mitch McConnell fights it, his opponent should be the best funded Senate candidate in history.

    Well, y’know, except it requires that that ten-tooth daughter-rapers of Kentucky are willing to turf the old turtle out. And that isn’t at all clear. I mean, it took credible charges of child molestation to beat Roy Moore in Alabama.

  162. 162
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I have some BernieBro friends (who buy into a LOT of weird conspiracy theories) who are really excited about Tulsi Gabbard. I’m not really sure why, other than that she was vocally anti-Hillary and has occasionally been non-interventionist. I mean, she’s:

    * From a reliably liberal district but votes more conservatively than the average Democrat.
    * Was angry at Obama for not bombing “Al-Qaeda” in Syria, but the group she was angry about was actually the rebels.
    * Approved of Putin going after Assad’s enemies.
    * Has a long history of anti-gay statements. Much better now, but still refers to it as a “lifestyle”.

    So far as I can tell, her policies should make her a target for the Bernie folks, not a hero. But she constantly shits on Democrats (even the liberal ones) so that makes her awesome, I guess.

  163. 163
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Nope. I live in Ohellno (Ohio).


    I just saw online local credit unions that do offer higher CD rates for a 6 month, but they have higher minimum opening balances. What I most want are checking and savings accounts that offer higher interest rates. I could always invest in CDs at another credit union/bank for that purpose.

    The two I’ve narrowed it down to do have multiple branches in my area nearby. I’m eligible for membership in both, and they offer overdraft protection, although one has an 8 dollar fee for each transaction to cover the overdraft

  164. 164
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    SPIDER-MAN 2’s Web-Swing Designer Plays Spider-Man PS4 for the First Time (Documentary)

    I remember you mentioned playing Spider-Man 2 and really enjoying it. I have a treat for you. It’s only 15 minutes or so. Enjoy!

  165. 165
    MoxieM says:

    @Sebastian: You mean like this

    (Alfred Kubin, Die Todeßtunde)

  166. 166
    RedDirtGirl says:

    From the Times article.
    “Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, sought to play down the significance of the investigation. “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Mr. Giuliani said on Friday, though he acknowledged that he had no insight into the inquiry.
    Oh, fer fuck’s sake.
    How is that journalism? Asking for a friend…

  167. 167
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @plato: I’ve wondered for a while what happens if they just don’t do the census (to hell with the law). Or, say, report blatantly, obviously false results like “there are 3 people in California”. Do we just run with it and eliminate California’s House seats and electoral votes, because the census is the census? Stick with old results? Have a delayed do-over? I don’t think there’s any Constitutional guidance.

  168. 168
    danielx says:

    Can’t say that I’m familiar with all seven names, but some of them are notorious assholes, Glenn Grothman and Justin Amash in particular. Probably safe to say they all are, actually.

    Here Are the Names of the 7 Republicans Who Voted No to Back Pay for Federal Workers

  169. 169
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Look! It’s an oddly stylized, experimental Spider-Man film referencing the look of lo-fi animation! He squares off against the Kingpin in it!

    (the date is wrong, it’s actually from 1980)

  170. 170
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Amazing! I’d totally want to see a series like that on Netflix or something.

  171. 171
    sukabi says:


    The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it I’ve not been charged or arrested that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,”

    Corrected it to reflect what guiliani really means.

  172. 172
    Citizen Alan says:


    While Credit Unions have a lot of good benefits, be very cautious about what loans you take out from one. Bankruptcy law treats credit unions in some weird ways that give them advantages over other lenders. Like the ability to unilaterally cross-collateralize all your debt so that if you file for bankruptcy, they can seize all the money in your checking and savings account to pay off what you owe on the car you bought through them.

  173. 173
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: There’s no overdraft fee at my CU, and I have noticed that they don’t mind sitting on a withdrawal on our paydays, don’t post the withdrawal ahead of the automatic deposit, so they’re slow to pull the trigger on covering an overdraft.

  174. 174
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Thanks! I’ll have to check that out when I can. :)

  175. 175
    Yutsano says:

    @danielx: The writer of that piece should have been more optimistic. The backpay bill cleared the Senate easily. I think there were only three nos.

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