What Comes After?

It is looking more and more like the President of the United States is a Russian asset. I use the word “asset” deliberately, because it leaves open the degree to which Donald Trump may knowingly be acting for the Russians. That is the connection that still is lacking in publicly available information. We can surmise a financial connection, and we know that people around Trump worked with Russians in very suspicious ways, some demonstrably illegal. But we don’t have a record of Trump directing them or taking phonecalls from Vladimir Putin with his instructions.

But Adam’s question is a good one: How would Trump act differently if he were a Russian asset? And I can’t come up with anything to the contrary. Nor, to extend Adam’s post, can I think of another scenario that so well fits Trump’s actions and what has been revealed in criminal cases so far.

I’ve struggled with this for months. I just don’t want to believe that we, as a country, were stupid enough to get scammed this way. I don’t want to believe that there is a large possibility that Republican refusal to act may mean that much of that party has been compromised. That’s not my America!

I think this is difficult for everyone, but we have to start thinking about what we do if we learn that Trump is owned by the Russians, whether stupidly or happy to work with them. Elected officials who are not owned need to start thinking about this. Those in the government bureaucracy need to start thinking about this.

We will need truth and reconciliation commissions. We will need trials. We will need to look at the governance of the last few years.

Dana Houle has been a Democratic congressional chief of staff and campaign manager. Last night he tweeted some of the questions we are likely to face. I’ve put them in narrative form.

  • Are laws signed by an asset of a foreign adversary legitimate? Do we abrogate those laws?
  • What do we do about judges & other officials, appointed to long or even lifetime positions, by an asset of a foreign adversary?
  • Why did a Repub-only contingent of US Senators travel to Russia last year?
  • Why did Paul Ryan tell Kevin McCarthy to not talk about Trump being paid by Russia?
  • What do other countries’ intel agencies know RE Trump that congress doesn’t?
  • Has Trump revealed codes/specs to Putin?
  • Why was one of Trump’s first acts upon entering the WH to fire the WH cyber security staff?
  • Who else in our gov’t and national leadership is compromised by Russians or allied foreign powers?
  • Has Trump been given info to compromise other political actors?
  • Have any of Trump’s attacks on corporations come from goading or directives by the Russians?
  • Who has been placed in the administration bc of the Russians?
  • Is anyone in the US press compromised by Russians?
  • Does Trump’s legal team include co-conspirators?
  • What does the military know about Trump & Russia?
  • How intertwined is Russian influence/control over Trump w Russian use of DC/Wall St law firms/financial orgs/lobbying firms?

I’m sure you can think of others. I know I can, starting with what happened at the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, after which Trump looked whipped.

 

326 replies
  1. 1

    I just don’t want to believe that we, as a country, were stupid enough to get scammed this way.

    We weren’t. However, a little less than half the country are white supremacists and they don’t mind doing Putin’s bidding, because it’s a trade that’s easily worth it to stop the brown hordes. They don’t deny it because they don’t believe it, they deny it because How Dare You Question Us. That same problem makes the answers to all the other questions very difficult, indeed.

    The only real solution I can see is for liberals to realize we are fighting for our lives and the Republican Party will never stop trying to kill us. There are signs that’s happening. We do outnumber them, and every cheat of theirs we break, they’re unlikely to get back.

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  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Thank you for this post, Cheryl. These are very important issues we need to address. I am quite interested in Trump’s Supreme Court appointments and whether or not they can stand.

    I’ve struggled with this for months. I just don’t want to believe that we, as a country, were stupid enough to get scammed this way. I don’t want to believe that there is a large possibility that Republican refusal to act may mean that much of that party has been compromised. That’s not my America!

    I haven’t struggled with this at all. It’s been clear to me for the last several years. It’s not about “believing.” It’s about what happened and is happening. The Republican party is compromised to the very top. It is our America. This is our reality.

    Along those lines, we are at war to save our country. We need to deal with this situation accordingly.

    We will need truth and reconciliation commissions. We will need trials. We will need to look at the governance of the last few years.

    In his thread late last night, Adam outlined how he thinks we could get a truth and reconciliation commission, if anyone is interested in reading his take.

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  3. 3
    germy says:

    I wonder if trump doesn’t really think of himself as an “asset” but merely a man doing favors for someone who has done him favors.

    Isn’t that how he sees the world? Divided into two types of people: those who have helped him and those who haven’t.

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  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    We were warned, weren’t we?

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  5. 5

    @Yarrow:

    I haven’t struggled with this at all. It’s been clear to me for the last several years. It’s not about “believing.” It’s about what happened and is happening. The Republican party is compromised to the very top. It is our America. This is our reality.

    Agreed completely. America, and the ideals it stands for are at peril, that is one of the reason I decided to become a citizen. Because despite its faults as a nation the American ideal is worth fighting for.

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  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    What Comes After?

    Pelosi 2019.

    Sure, RWNJ heads will explode, but that’s OK, we can hose down the mess. Maybe it will be good fertilizer.

    The cleanup list is staggering, though. Seems to me one of the first things is to find out what’s up with all these cute little coincidences. How is it that Kennedy’s son was in Deutsche Bank? How are Hannity and Cohen connected?

    Oh, and No Tax Returns, no ballot access. That’s an easy one.

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  7. 7

    @germy:
    I think Trump sees himself as trying to get into the Cool Kids Gang of brutal dictators with Putin as the coolest. That matches his body language and non-scripted statements.

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  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    Well, there is no question that he is an ass.

    And an asset too, it would seem. This is popcorn and anxiety weekend and months ahead. Too much coming out, and it fits with observed behavior.

    I look forward to when they widen the investigation and look at the Putin-humping Republican party too. That did not happen by accident.

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  9. 9
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Why did a Repub-only contingent of US Senators travel to Russia last year?

    That one bugged the hell out of me at the time and has gnawed at me since. I assumed it was collusion about election fixing. It appalled me that it was so open and so blatant and that it went down the memory hole immediately.

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  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Dangerman: I hope every day for Pelosi 2019 too.

    Let those heads explode. They aren’t using them, anyway.

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  11. 11

    @Elizabelle: RWNJ blogs started idolizing Putin soon after Obama won his second term. Coincidence? I think not.

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  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: As I noted last night, one of Kennedy’s sons worked for Deutsche Bank, the other is buddies with Peter Thiel. Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy. The whole thing is far too cozy and will not withstand scrutiny. Where did Kavanaugh’s money come from again? Oh, we didn’t even look? Hmmm…

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  13. 13
    cain says:

    I think we need to face the possibility that Trump is very much a Russian asset, a real life manchurian candidate and that the right has been completely been usurped by Russian money. The right has corrupted every institution with the driving need to grift. Their sense of patriotism is simply superficial with money coming first. It’s a sad set of affairs that we have come to this. The cancer must be stopped and we as a nation must make hard driving decisions.

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  14. 14

    @The Dangerman:

    what’s up with all these cute little coincidences.

    I don’t think this is all that weird. The rich, the political world, and especially Republicans are deeply wedded to nepotism and patronage. When you build your system and your philosophy on running it based on ‘who you know’, you end up with a ludicrous seeming number of cross-connections.

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  15. 15
    germy says:

    @Yarrow:

    Where did Kavanaugh’s money come from again? Oh, we didn’t even look? Hmmm…

    I really think that money came from his wealthy parents bailing him out. “Gifts” from family don’t have to be reported, IIRC.

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  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: On the 4th of July, no less! They must be owned and Vlad decided to make examples of them by calling them for their annual performance review on our Independence Day.

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  17. 17
    Jeffro says:

    This is the only logical conclusion for folks willing and able to follow the facts wherever they lead. I’m glad that the past two years have bought time for Mueller to do as full an investigation as possible, and to get a Democratic House in there, but the year ahead is the real test. Brace yourselves.

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  18. 18

    @germy: There is a limit per year. $14000 IIRC. Wasn’t the size of his debts much larger than that.

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  19. 19

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    …I’ll add ‘And boy, is it easy to corrupt a system like that. Everyone you need is already in arm’s reach and ready to help you corrupt the next person.’

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  20. 20

    @Yarrow: What I am talking about is the size and extent of dealing with this. Emotionally, it’s very difficult to look at what has to be done. And we simply don’t have mechanisms for dealing with it all. Adam outlined how we might get truth and reconciliation commissions. That’s relatively easy in procedure, but politically it will be harder, with the Trumpies screaming and whining.

    Not to mention removing a President and Vice President. Pence is in it up to his furrowed eyebrows, whatever he likes to project. Fortunately, the next in succession is Nancy Pelosi, whom we can trust to want the best for America. But then there is also the problem of some significant number of Republicans in Congress – I would guess about a third of them – who are compromised. What do we do about them? That will likely be up to the individual states. Also, more screaming and whining from Trumpies.

    It’s going to be very bad. We have to be emotionally prepared for something we’ve never envisioned.

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  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Obama even made a joke at a WHPC Correspondents Dinner about the number of topless photos and videos of Putin on Fox. He then followed up his joke with a ‘no really, it’s weird’. That was a first term WH correspondents dinner.

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  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Also, more screaming and whining from Trumpies.

    Good. It would be a case of self-identifying and will save us the trouble of rooting them out.

    The hardcore Trumpies need to be shunned by society. Just above pedophiles in how they are treated.

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  23. 23
    germy says:

    [Kavanaugh] acknowledged that in 2014, he received a lump-sum payment—which Whitehouse estimated at $150,000—as part of a settlement in a class action filed by federal judges seeking back pay for cost-of-living increases denied by Congress. The payment wasn’t included on his financial disclosure form because, he wrote, the instructions exempt reporting pay from the federal government. Kavanaugh also indicated that his income had increased from teaching gigs at Harvard, his wife’s return to the workforce after many years at home, and a pay raise.

    But reading between the lines of his answers to Whitehouse, it’s clear that Kavanaugh has gotten a substantial amount of financial help from his parents, in-laws, or other family members. (Kavanaugh had a privileged, private-school upbringing as the son of a Washington lobbyist for the cosmetics industry and a state prosecutor.) “We have not received financial gifts other than from our family which are excluded from disclosure in judicial financial disclosure reports,” he wrote.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/09/the-many-mysteries-of-brett-kavanaughs-finances/

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  24. 24
    PenandKey says:

    Are laws signed by an asset of a foreign adversary legitimate? Do we abrogate those laws?
    What do we do about judges & other officials, appointed to long or even lifetime positions, by an asset of a foreign adversary?

    As far as I’m concerned the answer is that neither the laws they’ve passed, nor the judges they’ve appointed are legitimate. The question, though, is what can or should be done about them when the politicians responsible are finally/hopefully ousted? This truly is uncharted territory.

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  25. 25
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I appreciate your assessment but I personally disagree with you on a few points.

    What I am talking about is the size and extent of dealing with this. Emotionally, it’s very difficult to look at what has to be done.

    It is a very large problem but it is not “emotionally very difficult to look at’ it for me. It is what it is. I guess other people will find it “emotionally difficult.”

    We have to be emotionally prepared for something we’ve never envisioned.

    I’ve been prepared for years now. I’ve envisioned it for years now. I have been laughed at and told I was wrong and it wasn’t as bad as I was saying. Even here. It’s kind of nice to see others waking up to just how bad it is. They’ll need to get up to speed quickly. Those of us who have been here for several years can help because we’re already further down the road.

    And yes, Pence is in it up to his eyeballs. Brought in by Manafort. Co-chair of the transition team with Michael Flynn. That furrowed brow isn’t going to protect him. As I’ve said multiple times here, Pence will go first because he can’t be trusted to become President and then appoint a VP.

    Also, let’s talking about RICO the RNC.

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  26. 26
    patrick II says:

    I agree and have been saying for some time that Trump is functionally a Russian asset regardless of whether he officially knelt before Putin and swore an oath. You are what you do, and Trump works in Putin’s interest in matters both legal and illegal.
    My own decision about Trump being not just a colluder, but an actual asset was when, near the end of the presidential election, he said he would not accept the election results if he lost. Disrupting the trust in democratic process is a core Putin value, and Trump would have kept up harming our country by claiming three million illegals voted for Hillary even if he lost. The Republicans have opened the door for this sort of tactic with their phony voter id legal cases and voter suppression, but their purpose is to win at all costs, a losing Trump’s purpose would have been to create havoc at all costs exactly as Putin wants.
    As Adam and Cheryl have pointed out, there are plenty of other reasons, but that was why I thought he had crossed that line early on — as if he had any idea there are lines.

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  27. 27
    Waldo says:

    Is it possible other Republicans are compromised? Sure. Rorabacher is just the most comically obvious example. But you don’t need to believe that to explain the GOPers’ behavior. If Trump is exposed as a Russian agent/asset/useful idiot, it won’t be the end of Trump alone. It will destroy the party and the careers of everyone associated with it. That’s not something Mitch McConnell is going to allow, whether he’s on Putin’s payroll or not.

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  28. 28
    Barbara says:

    All I can say is that it feels like the dam is starting to crack. You never know which crack will finally unleash the torrents and I do not expect that we will be made whole in a way that would comport with justice. There are too many people like Susan Collins (and Anthony Kennedy) who prioritize something they call civility over truth and courage. And I am sure many of them are absolutely enraged that their own sinecures are being jeopardized by such a crass and squalid actor.

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  29. 29
    Karen says:

    But can the compromise be proven?

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  30. 30
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: Exactly. I’m with Nancy SMASH! They’ll be toddlers having a temper tantrum. Don’t give in.

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  31. 31
    Vhh says:

    @germy: Family gifts >20k/yr are subject to gift tax. SEE IRS

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  32. 32
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    Also, let’s talking about RICO the RNC.

    Add the NRA into that mix, too.

    Also, an Estate Tax that prevents some of these “too influential” Families like the Kochs, Mercers, and, yes, the Trumps.

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  33. 33

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It’s going to be very bad. We have to be emotionally prepared for something we’ve never envisioned.

    You’re usually so unflappable, Cheryl, that this is very disturbing.

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  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Waldo:

    That’s not something Mitch McConnell is going to allow, whether he’s on Putin’s payroll or not.

    Maybe it isn’t something that Mitch McConnell can control. This is shaping up to be something unlike anything we have ever been through before. Politically. Maybe the Civil War.

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  35. 35
    MattF says:

    Yeah. When the Russkies stopped doing all that silly ‘Communism’ stuff… they just went back to their classic Imperial Russian behavior. They are still poor and backward, though– but good at chess.

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  36. 36

    @Yarrow: I’m glad you’ve got it all wrapped up. I hope you can have some empathy for those of us who are frailer.

    It’s important to think about the emotional disjunction between what we’ve expected our country to be and what we are finding has happened. That will be an enormous political hill to climb. It won’t be just the Trumpies who resist, but others who can’t deal with that disjunction. It’s part of what we have to think about.

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  37. 37
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: We’re already there with the NRA. The RNC will be new to many people. And we’re just at the beginning points of looking at money-laundering through evangelical organizations. Not churches but the organizations.

    So many evangelical leaders are all in for Trump and buddies with Russia. I know there are similar ideological and religious beliefs but that’s not all. Follow the money.

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  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: They’re not. They’re interesting in looking for whether I made a typo, changed a word out from the beginning to the end of the post, or, at 2 AM, decided to use a non-technical language shorthand and take a short cut in explaining one part of an empirical theory that I’m recognized as a subject matter expert in. Because clearly those are the important things that arise from what I write.

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  39. 39
    sukabi says:

    Marshall has up this from October 19, 2016…. And I see, Pete beat me to it.

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  40. 40
    Barbara says:

    @Elizabelle: There will be a lot of people working overtime to minimize the seriousness of individual actions. As we have seen over the last year, however, a lot of people will simply be retiring and fading away.

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  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: For Independence Day no less. Followed by a solo trip by Putin’s new favorite member of Congress: Senator Rand Paul.

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  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    I’ve struggled with this for months. I just don’t want to believe that we, as a country, were stupid enough to get scammed this way.

    American’s have always overestimated their ability to recognize and avoid a scam. Especially in the diplomatic, political and foreign policy arena. But other countries have often viewed us as naive fools who had to be approached with caution only because of our economic and military power. It may be that Putin found a way to neutralize our advantages by finding the perfect stooge, an egotistical fool too arrogant to ever realize that he has been played, but who was able to con the GOP and clumps of voters into elevating him into the presidency.

    I don’t want to believe that there is a large possibility that Republican refusal to act may mean that much of that party has been compromised. That’s not my America!

    I once cautioned a friend that an investment deal was probably a fraud, and that past and current “investors” were being paid with the money of new suckers. My otherwise honest friend and his wife decided that they would stay in just long enough to make a little profit, and of course lost all their money.

    The Republican leadership think that they can get their agenda passed with Trump in play. They have already changed the tax code to benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. They may get three conservative justices onto the Supreme Court. They have turned federal agencies into fiefdoms of incompetence.

    And the Republicans foolishly believe that they can do this without destroying democracy. Or they don’t care and truly believe in a benign white supremacy. But they could never imagine that their dreams might be influenced or manipulated by outside agents.

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  43. 43
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m interested! And I know others might be too! Not everyone catches up on the overnight threads so I thought I’d mention it. That being said, there was a typo….. lol. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    Can’t believe all of this is breaking when I have a family member in the hospital and have to be involved in his discharge to a rehab facility, my dad is sick, and I’m dealing with a complete disaster at home. Ugh. I want to be able to follow the news!

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  44. 44
    Waldo says:

    @Elizabelle: Agreed. At some point the lid will come off, whether Mitch likes it or not. Just saying he doesn’t have to be compromised to want to avoid that.

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  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We have to be emotionally prepared for significant amounts of violence.

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  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Understanding spatial and other patterns, and connecting unconnected items, are something that I have always excelled at (unlike social skills).

    I’ve had a pretty good mental map of this for awhile. The scale of the effort, and how far it goes back, and how many right wing orgs and people are involved, is indeed a vast right-wing conspiracy.

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  47. 47
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: I’m with you, Yarrow. I haven’t struggled *at all* with the belief that we are, as a country, racist and stupid enough to fall for a Russian agent’s con. If I’ve struggled with anything, it’s the thought that my worst suspicions, which are extreme enough to sound like conspiracy theory ranting to my own ears, aren’t even as extreme as the actual situation will turn out to be.

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  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The he hardcore Trumpies need to be shunned by society. Just above pedophiles in how they are treated.

    That Venn diagram probably has a fair amount of overlap.

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  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    All this talk about what people choose to believe, regardless of what the facts are, reminds me of something my sister texted yesterday.

    This is the low information voter sister who pays attention for 45 minutes before the election and decides based on the commercials. She voted for Trump. At Christmas she brought up Trump and his stupid wall. She said she had heard that a Nazi had purposely driven into a crowd of people and killed someone. (okay, 18 months late, but still)

    Then yesterday in a text to me and my right-wing religious sister, she volunteered: “I can’t believe people don’t believe in global warming.”

    If all of that is suddenly filtering down to people who pay absolutely no attention to current events or politics, something is definitely happening.

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  50. 50
    Barbara says:

    @MattF: It is one of the saddest things. My kids had teachers from Russia and Ukraine who were among the best they had in high school. They had clear command of their material and were rigorous, as well as genuinely wanting their students to master the material. It brought home to me how many talented Russians there must be who have been ground down by Putin’s malevolent and paranoid mediocrity.

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  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:
    I haven’t struggled with shyt either.Obvious that there were traitors in our midst.😠😠

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  52. 52
    Plato says:

    Republicans have been a party of corruption and secret collusion with enemies since pre nixon days. The totus thug is their evolution into open collusion and corruption. One has to try really hard not to believe this open evidence.

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  53. 53
    Nelle says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: One of them was my senator and it isn’t down the memory hole for me. I call and still bring it up. But I’m one of “those People” and lately, no one is answering the phone in his office. It all goes to voice mail (I call multiple offices, multiple days in a row).

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  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    I am not inclined to be that understanding or “merciful.” If it is all proven. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. Same with the federal judges rammed through. Long prison sentences, fines, and loss of government benefits for the criminals. Death penalty on the table for treason.

    And yes, would not be surprised at some political violence. I am assuming that would occur on the right.

    But the correction has to come. And make it all painful enough that no one is tempted to pull this again. For generations upon generations.

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  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: White it’s from The Young Turks, they link to and cite the actual financial disclosures:
    https://tyt.com/

    Christian Group Reported Expenses for Having Russians at National Prayer Breakfast
    By: Jonathan Larsen, with additional research by Dylan DigelJan 11, 2019

    A Christian charity with ties to the National Prayer Breakfast reported unspecified expenses associated with having Russian guests attend the event in 2017 and possibly other years, federal tax documents show.

    The guests may have included people picked by convicted Russian agent Maria Butina as part of a plan to create back-channel connections with U.S. policy-makers, many of whom attend the breakfast. One leader of the charity appears to match details the FBI has given about an unnamed breakfast organizer who aided Butina.

    In her plea agreement, Butina admitted to acting as an agent of the Russian government without registering with the Justice Department.

    The FBI says that Butina and her handler — widely reported to be Alexander Torshin, a Russian official said to be close to President Vladimir Putin — attended the breakfast to influence U.S politics. The tax records reviewed by TYT represent the first indication they may have received direct financial support in their efforts.

    “[I]n furtherance of the conspiracy,” Butina’s plea deal says, “Butina helped [Torshin] organize a Russian delegation to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast… [Torshin] directed Butina to include certain people.”

    Butina wrote in 2015 that the best way to influence U.S. policy toward Russia was not through official channels. “As an alternative,” her plea deal says, “Butina suggested that Russia could use unofficial channels of communication to the same end.”

    The National Prayer Breakfast, an annual ritual for Washington’s elite, was targeted by the two Russians to build those channels, according to the FBI. For decades the event has drawn every president from each party, as well as top members of Congress. In 2003, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) called the breakfast’s patriarch, Doug Coe, “a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith.”

    The breakfast is run by the Fellowship Foundation, sometimes known as The Family, a secretive Christian group led by Coe for decades before his death in 2017.

    Much more at the link.

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  56. 56
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So Rand Paul traveled to Canada for his hernia surgery.

    That came out because he’s suing his neighbor (the one who pushed him off his riding mower) for the Canadian medical fee, which is a small fraction of what a U.S. doctor’s bill would be.

    Rand has insurance, of course. Doesn’t he trust the docs in Kentucky?

    Off topic, but interesting.

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  57. 57
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We have to be emotionally prepared for significant amounts of violence.

    FTFY.

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  58. 58
    JanieM says:

    @Yarrow: @Adam L Silverman:

    Adam — I’m interested too! I starting reading BJ regularly because of your Malheur posts, and am forever citing you in conversations with friends. I myself tend to quibble at minor things, and I’m sorry if any of my comments have contributed to what sounds like discouragement on your part. In the big picture, I have no standing to even be in a conversation with you on these topics, I come to learn. But on the smaller stuff, I will try to keep my OCD under better control. :-)

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  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: I’m with you 110%, Yarrow. It’s not even close to acceptable for Trumpov to resign/be dragged out of the WH and Pence take over. Same thing with the judges that Trumpov put into office. No “fruit” for the GOP from this poisoned tree

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: We’re continuing to keep good thoughts for your dad.

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  61. 61
    Nelle says:

    @germy: And I think he needed to prove it. Nothing on trust with these fools. But no questions asked of one of “their own.”

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  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    Help moderators, plz?

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  63. 63

    @Adam L Silverman: I tend to doubt that there will be violence beyond demonstrations gone wrong, but I agree that it’s one of the possibilities we have to think about.

    The Trumpies have always favored violent rhetoric and occasionally acted out at his campaign events. They have guns and think a lot about how they might use them, although the evidence is that they are neither brave nor organized to use them.

    But yes, we have to be prepared.

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  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    Help moderators plz? I mis-typed my email address in the two comments above

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  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: It isn’t that he has insurance, he has the best insurance he possibly could get as a member of Congress and, because he’s a senator, he most likely could have had it done by the military docs at Bethesda Medical Center.

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  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: To be very blunt, if you’re not emotionally prepared for it, you’re not going to be prepared for it.

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  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JanieM: I’m just being obnoxious and smartassy. Pay it no mind.

    Also, without planning to, I misspelled typo as type and had to go back and fix it.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Michael Cain says:

    Re the first two bullet points, the constitution is clear. If the laws should be changed, then Congress must change them. If the judges should be removed, Congress must impeach them. I’m just as glad that’s the case. If all it took to toss laws and judges was law enforcement announcing that there was some problem with the President, it would become a routine practice.

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  69. 69
    oldgold says:

    If Mueller has had credible and compelling evidence that the POTUS is a Russian asset, it is difficult for me to understand the process he has followed in terms of time and opacity.

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  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I do have sympathy and empathy. I did not mean to imply that I do not. I just don’t think it’s right or correct to lump everyone in with the blanket statements that it will be emotionally difficult. Some people will struggle with it. Some will not. I do not at all mean to imply that others are “frail.” Apologies if what I said came across that way.

    I think it’s good that there are people who have understood what was happening earlier and who have had the time to process it. Those people will be essential in helping others along. i know in my RL I’ve been that person for friends and family. When news breaks they reach out, I help them understand, put it in context and talk about what’s likely to come next. I consistently get feedback from them that I’m helping them to stay calm about the whole thing. I think that’s a valuable role as we move into this next stage.

    I agree we have to think about how to deal with this situation politically and there will be a lot of people who just want it to go away. It’s important to recognize that issue as we go forward.

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  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I saw that and cracked up. I thought you’d done it on purpose.

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  73. 73
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: *timidly raises a paw*

    I read your thoughts on the truth and reconciliation process and found it way more significant than the pedantic BS about negative conditioning that followed.

    Just for the record.

    In fact, so significant that I thought we ahould be having a BJ discussion on how we make it part of a national standard for Democratic candidates in 2020 – from President on down.

    But that’s just me.

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  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    They have guns and think a lot about how they might use them, although the evidence is that they are neither brave nor organized to use them.

    This and the fact that the President is functionally incompetent and largely surrounds himself with people who are themselves crooks and more interested in stealing anything not tied down, are the only saving graces in all of this. Imagine where we’d be with a Tom Cotton, who is competent, instead of Donald Trump.

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  75. 75
    Sam says:

    I doubt that smoking gun evidence of treason exists. Step one Is impeachment. I have always thought conviction is quite possible. That is different from invalidating actions that are very popular among Republicans, or somehow treating Trump’s entire tenure as illegitimate. The healing and undoing will take the leadership of a new President and some level of compromise with the large constituency that likes his court appointments, etc.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: You’re free.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, I haven’t gotten to any of the threads from last night, but I’d still like to say something in response to what you wrote just now.

    For every pedant who brings up a typo or a misuse of a word, there are probably a hundred readers who tune out inconsequential stuff like that and completely appreciate what you bring to the table.

    When a few people are jumping on you, it’s easy to feel like everyone is doing it, or to feel like everyone feels the same way as the people who are being critical. That’s just human nature. But I feel confident in saying that a great number of us here feel that Balloon Juice is lucky to have you.

    If and when I ever achieve perfection in everything I say and do, maybe I’ll get back to you with a different answer.

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  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oldgold: You do much counterintelligence work?

    I understand the impatience and the frustration, but this stuff often takes decades. They started the VENONA counterintelligence investigation during WW II. It was finally completed in the late 80s/early 90s.

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  79. 79

    I’m trying to swear off Trump’s tweets, but he’s apparently already tweeted 13 times this morning. He must be coming apart. Assuming he was ever together.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. My dad is okay but it’s my uncle who is in the hospital now and his wife was also but is now home. And their mom is not well either, so they are absolutely stretched beyond belief. I’m helping because for some reason his hospital is close to me (but not where he lives or the kids live).

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  81. 81
  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Apparently I can’t even typo correctly. Please update the bill of offenses.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Ohio Mom says:

    The only way I can think of this all is that we are at war with Russia. It’s a new kind of war, it snuck up on us. Like a silent, invisible Pearl Harbor.

    We haven’t yet figured out how to gear up, it’s not as easy as switching car factories over to tank factories. We don’t know how to measure the progress of the war either. It’s not like there are territories captured or body counts to total up.

    Or maybe another metaphor is the sort of disease that has a extremely long latency period. First one non-specific symptom, then another. Our doctors are just now piecing the pattern together. They have the beginning of a diagnosis but no known treatment protocol to start, and no clear prognosis.

    At the moment, I am appreciating that there are so many layers of government. For now, even as large cracks appear in the Federal government, my little municipality is busy doing its job of clearing the snow. If and when the garbage stops being collected — well, I don’t want to think about that.

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  84. 84
    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6: Yup.

    I wonder if the foreign influences noted what nutters some Republicans were susceptible to being.

    I think of the vast rightwing conspiracy in Arkansas. And yes, there was one with an eye towards bringing Bill and Hillary Clinton down. It’s proveable.**

    Did foreign influences see that and take it larger? Because Democrats and Republicans are somewhat different cats, psychologically. More so now.

    ** I have to say, it sounded weird to me when HRC first alleged that, years and years ago. But it was true. Congressman Tommy Robinson. Jerry Jones?? Shefford or Sheffield something? Anyway, it was there.

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  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Again, I’m just being obnoxious and smartassy. Pay me no mind.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Nelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My time overseas and looking at the States from across the Pacific showed me how much the American public is babied. We have to be swaddled in myths of exceptionalism and “the greatest nation” ever. Talk about a participation trophy. All the while ignoring that the nation was founded on genocide and slavery and that they systematic oppression of those two groups, along with others, has continued for centuries and continues still. Obama played the game too, saying right after the 2016 election that Russians had tried to influence the election but not changed the results. Really? How could he know so soon? He didn’t. He was offering the bromide that we always have peaceful transfers of power. Transferred that power right into the hands of Putin. Our leaders patronize us, thinking we can’t handle the truth. Well, now, we may not be able to escape the truth.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Again, pay me no mind, I’m just being obnoxious and smartassy.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: he knows it’s all about to break wide open

    He really thought that he was going to get away with it all.

    It’s interesting- the past couple of years have been overall bad for Trumpov’s businesses, with the exception of the obvious Saudi emoluments/bribery going on. But not one tweet about how the “Angry Dems” are hurting his wallet in their “fake “ investigations of him. Have to assume he’s receiving payments somehow, from somewhere, that make up the difference…

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  89. 89
    randy khan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Also, without planning to, I misspelled typo as type and had to go back and fix it.

    Some days, the world just wants to laugh at you. Nothing you can do about it.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: We’ll add them to the good thoughts list!

    But I draw the line at 3rd cousins by marriage, twice removed!//

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: De nada.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Jeffro says:

    @Ohio Mom: a “silent Pearl Harbor “ is the way to think of it, absolutely

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @randy khan:

    Some days, the world just wants to laugh at you.

    Day #1536 in a row.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    @Nelle: I think Obama is going to have a lot of regrets to write about. In addition to his many successes.

    It seemed to me that that election should never have been certified. We were talking about it here, at the time.

    Kay has had some great comments about believing in institutions after the actual institution has crumbled and rotted from within. They did not protect us.

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  95. 95
    randy khan says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Re the first two bullet points, the constitution is clear. If the laws should be changed, then Congress must change them. If the judges should be removed, Congress must impeach them. I’m just as glad that’s the case. If all it took to toss laws and judges was law enforcement announcing that there was some problem with the President, it would become a routine practice.

    I totally agree, on both points. The laws Nixon signed (heck, even his executive orders) did not become void once we knew about Watergate.

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  96. 96
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Pay you no mind”?! Oh, great, *now* you tell me!//

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Imagine where we’d be with a Tom Cotton, who is competent,

    I’ve always maintained he has every intention of running for president. He’ll wait until 2024, probably, but he’ll do it.

    What worries me is that he’ll win.

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  98. 98
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yep. I’m with you. It’s as bad as I can imagine and probably worse. But I’m okay with that! Really! I am glad we’re getting it out now and will find out just how bad it is so we can fix it. The Republican party has been compromised for a long time and things have been bad. You could see it but you couldn’t quite figure out how. Trump has been a catalyst for finding it out. Good. We go forward from here.

    The cure is going to be rough, though. I know that and am prepared for it. I want others to get there too. I know it’s going to be challenging for some but that’s where the rest of us can help. We need to help others who aren’t as far along as we are. Some people will never get there but some will and just need help understanding it.

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  99. 99

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: What I am finding remarkable about Trump’s tweets this morning is how many people on my Twitter feed are ignoring them. I hardly see any retweeted or quote-tweeted. I think people are discounting them – what he’s saying this morning is not different than he’s been saying.

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  100. 100
    MattF says:

    @Barbara: Agree. And I shouldn’t be so dismissive or jokey about the trials that the Russians have experienced. I’ve just finished volume 2 of Stephen Kotkin’s epic biography of Stalin– the book ends on the eve of Hitler’s invasion.

    Kotkin’s view is that Stalin was a serious theoretician of Marxism-Leninism– and that he put the theory into practice, with the dreadful results we all know about. None of this excuses Russian behavior, but having thugs at the top of the greasy pole is the historic norm in Russia– and it’s arguably preferable to having someone like Stalin.

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  101. 101
    A Ghost To Most says:

    The vast majority of MAGAts have turned out to be the gutless cowards most here predicted. I thought more would act up than actually have so far.

    On a related note, if I see one more interview with a MAGAt saying “I support him, but he’s screwing me – not those people!”, I might try to procure a face-eating leopard.

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  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s not up to the president to certify an election. It’s 50 different elections that are all certified by the Secretaries of State in the 50 states. The fail safe is supposed to be the Electoral College but they are all just partisans now.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You’re being hard on us. I was asleep at the time! I always love your posts, but I missed out on that one.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: “Ignore what he says; watch what he does” might be catching on.

    And, as always, stay on the road.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Yarrow says:

    @zhena gogolia: That’s why I mentioned it. It was a great post and the comments about the Truth and reconciliation commission were interesting. I thought people would want to read it.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    zhena gogolia says:

    @sukabi:

    My God, Hillary looks so calm and well-groomed and sane. What the hell has happened to us?

    I’m used to feeling this way about pictures of Obama, but Hillary — WHY ISN’T SHE PRESIDENT?

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  107. 107
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @schrodingers_cat: 2 groups to investigate–Evangelicals idolizing Putin and media’s ‘willful blindness’.

    I actually think most of the Evangelical leaders can be easily won by anyone who says the’right’ words. Putin got them with the viscious attacks on homosexuals. Also his being leader of a super duper pure white nation. Though I think most Evangelicals have buried that so deeply they are unable to see or admit how deeply that’s embedded in their very essence.

    The media? Mostly money; just buy them off.

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  108. 108
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Barbara:

    TRUTH!

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  109. 109
    Kelly says:

    Count me amongst the WTF? this is worse than I imagined group. I read a comment from a historian a couple days ago, I think it was on Kevin Kruse’s twitter, that went something like “How these events change the way we think about the past is more interesting than what historians in the future will think about these events”. Boy Howdy have I rethought my views on the pervasive bigotry of a much bigger slice of our fellow Americans and plutocratic undermining of our society. 1999 me would laugh at current me as a loony conspiracy theorist.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The present regime is ignoring the Constitution. So the remedy does not seem to lie there entirely.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Yarrow says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: The evangelical leaders are just fine with money. Look how wealthy many of them area. The “prosperity gospel” crap works just fine for them. They have used it to justify their massive wealth. Not all that money is from dumb rubes handing over their pittance.

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  112. 112
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: I am, personally, an enormous coward, so yeah, I am afraid of what will come when we finally start chopping at the Hydra’s head. However, I am even more afraid of what will come if we don’t. Hence, my interest in taking Adam’s ideas about the truth and reconciliation council to a national level, through our involvement in local Democratic party organizations. I want to feel like we have a plan for dealing with that Republican Hydra.

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  113. 113
    Elizabelle says:

    @MomSense: Thank you. All that said, I think we got an illegitimate result.

    Perhaps one of the good things that will come out of this will be a federal set of standards for federal elections. Right down to paper ballots, easy access for voters (early and mail in voting), and nationwide standards. Too important to be left to the states.

    Although, I think, Kay might have said that it was the patchwork of different state procedures that might have made large-scale tampering harder.

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  114. 114
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’ve noticed that for a while now. The novelty has worn off. And so has the fear. All that’s left is anger and resolve.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jeffro:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking first thing this morning! God grant that we can recover from this.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Adam L Silverman: True. The reverse is also true. You can be emotionally prepared, and yet not have the proper tools at hand. But I repeat myself.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No.

    So much will seem clearer with a look back.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: The hydra’s head is Putin. I’ll probably sound like a kooky conspiracy theorist but I would not be surprised if he’s not in power all that much longer. That’s a whole different area we’re not really looking at.

    As for our more local (national) hydra, the Republican party, I think they’re a bunch of cowards. The Russian money drying up will hurt them–already has– and they are so coddled I don’t think they’ll be able to live in the real world. There will be violence, yes, and people will be hurt, but I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as some people think.

    @Baud: I’m past anger on it. I don’t have the energy to spare being angry. I am filled with resolve, however. These traitors will not take our country. We are at war. We are on the side of our nation’s values and we will win.

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  119. 119
    MattF says:

    @Elizabelle: I think it’s true that a decentralized voting system is more robust. There was only one Kris Kobach, and most of his efforts were confined to single states. Also, the Federal judiciary repeatedly stopped Kobach in his tracks.

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  120. 120
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    What? I always am interested in what you write and grateful to have access to your knowledge and POV.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Some months ago i ran across a blog comment suggesting that we think of this as a “global crime operation/organization”..maybe it was here… Which left me quite stunned and nauseated but as this all spins out, seems thats exactly what it is. I’m over the “stunned” part.

    Adam, when you write, I’m looking at your information and your point. I pretty much edit out the folks who feel the need to lose sight of the forest for the trees

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  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Exactly. Same revanchism. Same nativism and xenophobia. Same herrenvolkism. Same stupid 19th century economic policies (horse and sparrow, now DBA as supply side economics). But well educated, coherent, and competent.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: @NotoriousJRT: @MagdaInBlack: Again, I’m being obnoxious and smartassy. Please disregard.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    Elizabelle says:

    WaPost:
    Justice officials were briefed months ago on allegations against McCrae Dowless, operative at center of N.C. election fraud scandal

    Nine months before allegations of absentee ballot fraud tainted a congressional race in North Carolina, the state elections board gave officials from the Justice Department’s main office evidence that the political operative at the center of the scandal had used similar tactics in 2016.

    On Jan. 31, 2018, the chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, which oversees prosecutions of election crimes, met in Raleigh with state officials and U.S. attorney Robert Higdon, according to an elections board spokesman.

    …. The meeting and follow-up email, obtained by The Washington Post under a public records request, are the first public indications that officials with the Justice Department in Washington were made aware of the allegations against Dowless. Dowless has emerged in recent weeks as a key figure in the absentee ballot scandal in Republican Mark Harris’s 2018 congressional bid. State elections officials and some voters have expressed frustration that federal prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in North Carolina did not act more aggressively to pursue earlier complaints against Dowless and potentially stop him from working on campaigns.

    …. The Jan. 31 meeting in Raleigh included a broad discussion of campaign practices in North Carolina, including the 2016 allegations in Bladen County, state elections board spokesman Pat Gannon said. The elections board initially referred those allegations to the U.S. attorney’s office a year earlier, warning that those activities “if not addressed will likely continue for future elections.”

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  125. 125
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I agree that it was illegitimate – until the electors and the Congress made it legitimate. And now we are also realizing the consequences of having a constitution that assumes good faith and of so many of our institutions functioning on norms and not laws.

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  126. 126
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Miss Bianca: As a tiny human growing up, I was constantly called a coward. Then I grew and went in the service, and figured out that it wasn’t me who was the coward; it was them. I made my life happen; they let life happen to them. Judging by your stories I remember, you’ve made your life happen.

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  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MagdaInBlack:

    Some months ago i ran across a blog comment suggesting that we think of this as a “global crime operation/organization”..maybe it was here…

    That was most likely me. In fact I used it in a conference call yesterday afternoon.

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  128. 128
    MomSense says:

    @Yarrow:

    It sounds like we play the same roles in our respective families. And now that I’m both the closest and the one without young children at home, I’m the relative on call even when I’m not next of kin.

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  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Julian Castro has just officially announced he’s running for president. Unless, of course, it’s Joaquin Castro playing a practical joke and pretending to be Julian.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @germy: No one knows. I remember when we were supposed to be afraid of Scott Walker going somewhere in the GOP primary.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They should both run.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    ….I was thinking it was you.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @cain: But how do we do what must be done when between 30 to 40% of the US people think Trump and all his deeds and minions are just ‘what the country needs’?

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  134. 134
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Yarrow:

    I am filled with resolve, however. These traitors will not take our country. We are at war. We are on the side of our nation’s values and we will win.

    This works for me.

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  135. 135
    cmorenc says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    However, a little less than half the country are white supremacists and they don’t mind doing Putin’s bidding, because it’s a trade that’s easily worth it to stop the brown hordes. They don’t deny it because they don’t believe it, they deny it because How Dare You Question Us.

    They aren’t consciously making accpting a tradoff between traitorous coziness with Russians as a means of stopping the brown hoardes – they take at face value that Trump is solidly behind their cause, both in practical policy and sharing their angry resentment, and their minds are epistemologically closed to giving any credibility to any dissonant information about Trump, or information sources outside Fox. Allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia are regarded as a disinformation campign by the hostile “deep-state” factions embedded in our intelligence services & the FBI to undermine Trump- something hammered home most nights by Fox commentators they give the most credibility to, like Hannity and Ingraham.

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  136. 136

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ll take either one.

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  137. 137
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Not to mention asshole auto-corrections.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    Yarrow says:

    @MagdaInBlack: @Adam L Silverman: I may have mentioned it in a comment, too. I talk about it that way, but people really push back. We need to be looking at the 1MDB scandal and how it’s involved and we aren’t even talking about China. There’s plenty more there. And that’s not even considering some in Europe, but I digress…

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  139. 139
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Baud:
    As president-veep combo. Think of the fun.

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  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: This is WaPo catching up with the local reporting. The problem is that the sone of Pastor Harris, the apparent congressman-elect, works as an assistant US attorney in the US Attorney’s office that this was reported to. Which has led the local reporters and commenters to conclude that the reason the US Attorney with jurisdiction did nothing is because of Harris’s son.

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  141. 141
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: Yeah, it’s an exhausting role. I’m not even talking about the other caregiving I have to do, which came online again today. Fun! (Not). And the ongoing disaster at my home, but I’ll leave that aside because at least there’s progress there.

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  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Again, I’m being obnoxious and smartassy. Please disregard.

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  143. 143
    Archon says:

    I never really thought about the huge gamble Putin made by interfering in our election system to get an asset elected President. If this ends the way it’s looking likely to end, the next administration will have no choice but to be absolutely hostile to Putin’s Russia.

    I think this period will been seen as a huge backfire to Russia’s long term interests.

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  144. 144

    As an IT professional can I suggest something? One thing that needs to happen after Trumpov leaves office (however and whenever that occurs) is a deep cleansing of the building for bugs, a complete rebuild of White House networks and a review and improvement of policies and protocols. Furthermore, same must be done for any network that could have been compromised as a result of a connection with the WH. Assume that it’s been compromise.

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  145. 145
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Yep.

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  146. 146
    sukabi says:

    @germy: maybe he was afraid that the good Dr.s in KY followed his example and self-certified their credentials.

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  147. 147
    Jeffro says:

    Cotton doesn’t worry me – he has less-than-zero charisma. He also doesn’t have decades of fake ‘branding’ as some sort of successful billionaire businessman, nor reality TV star.

    Having said that…that was ‘the last war’, so to speak, and we don’t want to try and prepare ourselves for the next Trumpov, or worry about specific GOP politicians…we want to prepare for the next authoritarian in general and work to get our citizens and our media to recognize those traits, and recognize them early.

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  148. 148
    Elizabelle says:

    The NY Times finally opened up reader comments on its blockbuster story from last night. Go to it.

    F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

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  149. 149
    mad citizen says:

    Oldgold, I think you make an excellent point Re: Mueller and the time elapsing while/if the Russian asset does damage.

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  150. 150
    germy says:

    @sukabi:

    maybe he was afraid that the good Dr.s in KY followed his example and self-certified their credentials.

    good point.

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  151. 151
    smintheus says:

    No obvious reason why the Justice Dept. can’t indict a sitting Vice President. The real question is whether Pence will flip, and if so then what happens to Trump and the entire superstructure built upon his treasonous administration.

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  152. 152
    zhena gogolia says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    A friend of mine needed to use the name “David Remnick” yesterday in an e-mail to me, and he said autocorrect changed it to “David Redneck.”

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  153. 153
    Thoughtful David says:

    I will say this again: You have to assume that every Republican is compromised and either an active agent or an asset or a potential asset. Right down to your local state representative. Includes Trump & everyone he has appointed, all of his campaign workers, RNC, all Republicans in the House and Senate, everyone at the NRA, state Republicans, etc. Why? Because they haven’t said anything.
    Now, I don’t mean that they support Putin or are active, but they’re compromised and can do nothing against Putin’s wishes.
    So, for example, we have some congressman who actually doesn’t support Putin and has never done anything for Putin before. All Putin has to do is come to him and say, “Jump this high.”
    Congressman says, “Why should I do that? I don’t owe you anything and you don’t have anything on me.”
    Putin says, “You have never spoken out about my owning Trump.”
    Congressman says, “So?”
    Putin says,”If you don’t jump, I’ll let it leak that you knew I own Trump but did nothing about it.”
    Congressman says, “But I didn’t know you own Trump.”
    Putin says, “And do you think anyone will believe you? You have never spoken out against anything I’ve done. So jump.”
    In other words, by not speaking out, they’re now open to being blackmailed and otherwise compromised.
    Every one is a traitor.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Responding to Trump tweeting, “Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!”, [Tom] Nichols said it had a certain ring to it.

    “This is the kind of speech you give in Spanish in the early 1950s into a tinny microphone with the crackle and static of a fading kerosene generator and the sound of shouting and gunfire in the background approaching the presidential palace,” he tweeted.


    Tbogg on rawstory

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    AThornton says:

    I’m going to note the last time the Russians tried to order the world to their liking by playing around with the domestic politics of foreign countries the Wehrmacht was (barely) stopped 12 kilometers from Moscow 8 years later. As the US found, to its cost in Iran, when things go Ker-plooy they spin out of control very, very, quickly.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yarrow:
    Najib’s coming to trial soon. And it looks like they have him dead to rights. Once he is convicted and in jail, it might be worth the FBI’s while to visit him there. And maybe Jho Low will turn up somewhere.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    Gelfling 545 says:

    The thing that makes this difficult to sort is that Trump is sich a jackass that his mere ineptitude is an asset to Russia and others so it’s hard to tell if it’s intentional or mere serendipity. I do think, though, it would not have been hard to convince him thst ONLY HE truly understood the Russian situation, rtc.

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Some good ones.

    Red Sox, ’04, ’07, ’13, ‘18,
    Boston1h ago
    We won’t know, definitively, whether citizen-candidate Donald Trump was “secretly working for Russia” until Congress unearths his tax returns. His refusal to do so is a mighty clue.

    Millions of American citizens have, perhaps, come to suspect that Trump, “beggared” by a failure to enlist U.S. banks to loan him money for his various business enterprises, and becoming desperate, may have put out feelers to unsavory international business syndicates. Whether or not he was used to launder, say, Russian organized crime money in exchange for funds is, perhaps, the kernel of the dynamic that may have resulted in his candidacy and continues to this day in his embattled, dung hill presidency. If these questions are ever answered in the affirmative, then he is one of history’s greatest criminals.

    The headline over this story is extraordinary, even for a president whose personal failures have long been likened to those of a Mafia don than a president. We have long known of this man’s unfitness for the title—but it’s his.

    One cannot imagine any other president’s name as the subject of this inquiry. We have reached a perilous point in our history. We may have a man who was and still may be a traitor and secret agent as our president who controls the nuclear codes.

    Was this part of Vladimir Putin’s plan to corrode Western alliances? Was this a Trumpian give-back to Mother Russia to destabilize us and our allies? Has an American president betrayed his sworn oath to protect his country?

    Reply231 RecommendedShare

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  159. 159
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Uh, it would be rather a strange coincidence that this inept jackass somehow had opinions on the Russian invasion of Afghanistan or the belligerence of Montenegro.

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    germy says:

    Imagine you're on an airplane next to an inebriated stranger who keeps reading over your shoulder and shouting the wrong words — the inventor of autocorrect

    — Elizabeth Hackett (@LizHackett) December 12, 2018

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    zhena gogolia says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Can’t stand Tom Nichols, but when he’s on, he’s on.

    ReplyReply
  162. 162
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Pay me no mind.

    I’m confused: were we ever supposed to?

    ReplyReply
  163. 163
    debbie says:

    I’ve struggled with this for months. I just don’t want to believe that we, as a country, were stupid enough to get scammed this way.

    The country should have listened to NYCers. Anyone who lived there from the mid-70s on would have gladly told the country that Trump was a craven, venal whore who would have betrayed his own in a heartbeat if it earned him a shiny new nickel.

    ReplyReply
  164. 164
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @zhena gogolia: As someone who generally knows how to spell, auto-correct is a big nuisance. For a writer, it must be excruciating.

    ReplyReply
  165. 165
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: Wow, Jan. 31. That’s not just months; that’s basically a year ago, well in advance of the elections.

    I am starting to see how much crime and malfeasance is completely ignored, as long as the “right people” are doing it. Trump was right about one thing. It’s all sad.

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    SFAW says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Maybe the Civil War.

    Which reminds me: I don’t recall seeing TenguPhule posting here recently. Did he quit, or was he banned? Or are my observational skill just shitty regarding this particular issue?

    ReplyReply
  167. 167
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: I think you’re probably quite right. But up to now I don’t believe anyone is investigating this.

    Don’t forget–some yrs ago Grassley (yes, THAT Grassley) asked 6 ministries for financial info because some donors were having difficulty getting info about how their money was being spent. IIRC only 3 or so complied. Kenneth Copeland (I believe he is the wealthiest televangelist by far) basically said ‘f**k off’! IIRC Grassley just gave up pursuing the matter. No reason was given why he gave up; it seems that he could have pushed harder for the info.

    Many megachurches don’t even let their members know how much money they receive or how it is spent. In many churches they can’t even find out how much the minister or the rest of the staff is paid.

    IIRC recently there was a major problem in the SoBapt Convention because many missionaries were let go and not replaced. It came out later that there was no money to pay the ones let go or ones to replace them. This info had NOT been available to the people in the pews who had continued to give $$ but had no idea that it was not going where they thought.

    ReplyReply
  168. 168
    MattF says:

    @zhena gogolia: That struck me as well. Under what circumstances did Trump ever form an opinion on the Russian invasion of Afghanistan? It’s an anomaly.

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Gelfling 545: Yep. If your goal was to cause widespread chaos and damage, turning arrogant incompetents loose with no oversight is the way to go.

    ReplyReply
  170. 170
    Elizabelle says:

    @zhena gogolia: I saw that one. The “dung hill presidency.”

    Will be fascinating to cruise through those reader comments.

    ReplyReply
  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @oldgold: He doesn’t work at your prescribed schedule. Deal with it.

    ReplyReply
  172. 172
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @SFAW: I haven’t seen him for a bit. No idea why.

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I can’t wait until they swap places so the President can get out of the white house for awhile.

    Being president really is a job for two people nowadays, so it could be elect one, get one free. Hmm, I guess that didn’t play very well when Bill Clinton was running.

    Still, I can’t wait for the disney movie all about how the Castro brothers are switching places.

    ReplyReply
  174. 174
    sukabi says:

    @oldgold: perhaps his plan is to roll up the entire rotten bunch without burning intel assets and methods.

    Trump had a LOT of help getting his fat ass in the oval office, and I’m not just talking about the mechanics of the election.

    News orgs provided him free constant coverage and failed to do basic investigative work*.

    After noting how horrible he was the GOP and none of their candidates even really tried to expose how utterly unfit for office he was, unusual behavior for a party that likes to kneecap their competitors early in the process.

    Anyway, Mueller’s probably as interested in the HOW and WHO made drumpfs journey to the WH to see how deep the rot goes.

    *Farenholt and a couple others are the exception.

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    joel hanes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    As a frequent pedant, I offer the possibly-weak defense that my pedantry is in no way intended to criticize nor diminish the substance of comments. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything like ‘you wrote “tow the line”, so your opinion is junk’. I’m most likely to go pedantic on otherwise-superb comments from commenters I admire and wish to help.

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    Fair Economist says:

    @Yarrow: If you are talking about removing Putim, the question is “how?”. What is the method? Given nukes, war seems a poor choice. Internal politics are not under our control. Assassination is possible, but workd leaders are reluctant to uncork that genie.

    My personal desire is a formal declaration of war so there’s no more of this namby-pamby whinging about “not technically treason” followed by asset freezing, disconnecting internet connections, and an embargo, but I don’t expect even that will get Putin removed. It will provide a measure of protection against him though.

    ReplyReply
  177. 177
    joel hanes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    the vast rightwing conspiracy in Arkansas. And yes, there was one

    Just as there was (and is) the Rove/Canary/Martin conspiracy in Alabama that imprisoned Don Siegelman for being a popular Democratic governor.

    ReplyReply
  178. 178
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: they were both on Colbert a week or so ago and Joaquin announced for Julian then. Nothing like having a built-in body double.

    ReplyReply
  179. 179
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @germy: That made me laugh hard. I wrote a metric shit ton of programs over the years, including an XWindows/Motif full screen editor called MrEd for Unix systems, but I can never be accused of writing any autocorrect logic.
    Fucking word nazis.

    ReplyReply
  180. 180
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I think Yarrow means that internal forces are going to remove Putin, not that we are.

    I haven’t the slightest idea. That seems farfetched to me.

    ReplyReply
  181. 181
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do not get me started on that shit.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: what does it say about a persons level of competency when they align themselves with a bunch as visibly incompetent as this admin?

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    zhena gogolia says:

    @SFAW:

    You’re right. I hope he’s okay.

    ReplyReply
  184. 184
    joel hanes says:

    @debbie:

    The country should have listened to NYCers

    They were drowned out by FTFNYT.

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    To be very blunt, if you’re not emotionally prepared for it, you’re not going to be prepared for it.

    True. OK, that is Step 1.

    Step 2 is actual preparation; if one hasn’t prepared for at least a minimal level of actual violence, one isn’t paying attention. And I’d start by making sure I don’t self-identify; cover up those Lefty bumper stickers and I never engage in public debate (i mean, 1 on 1, in a cafe or store or something of that nature).

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    randy khan says:

    It’s interesting reading the commentary about being emotionally prepared for what’s to come. I think I am among the people who are (coming of age during Watergate helps), but the truth is that we don’t know. If you think you’re emotionally prepared, you really should consider the possibility that you’re wrong about that.

    ReplyReply
  187. 187
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes: Different points of view, I guess.

    It’s like how I cringe on some of the threads where people post photos, and other people chime in and say “nice enough photo, but you should do x and y” and it would be better. I think that’s only okay when the person posting the photos has asked for suggestions on how to be better.

    For instance, I suck at “who” and “whom”. If I acknowledge that and indicate that I’m making an effort to get that right, then it’s great if someone says “oops you used the wrong one”. Otherwise, I don’t get the need to correct other people’s spelling or grammar. On the other hand, if a wrong word is used and it changes what I discern as the intended meaning, then I’ll speak right up.

    Everybody’s different, but that’s how I was raised and I’m sticking to it.

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    Elizabelle says:

    @joel hanes: That’s true. Emails, emails, emails.

    A really good look at the FTF NYTimes is in order. It is possible it has both very good reporters, editors, and management, and some turned ones. Wouldn’t take that many.

    ETA: Owners too.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @randy khan: Maybe some people. Some of us have been ready for quite awhile.

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @zhena gogolia: It would be easy for Putin -or practically anybody for that matter- to convince him that he was the world’s greatest geopolitical mind because only he could really understand. I’m sure he’s being fed this stuff. I’m not sure if he’s being coerced or if he’s being led to believe he really knows things. It’s a problem with an idiot like him. Asking what he knew and when is futile because does he really know anything in the usually accepted sense? Sometimes he knows a thing and knows its opposite a few minutes later. I’d like to think he’s a conscious participant because the other thing is just too ghastly: that we have a president so mentally incapable. But I’m very afraid it could be just that.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @joel hanes: When the opinion side colors the reporting, how do we know that what the excellent reporter wrote is what we read?

    ReplyReply
  192. 192
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Apparently this guy has been doing this for Republican candidates for years. Including the county sheriff in the congressional district where the most recent crimes have been alleged.

    ReplyReply
  193. 193
    J R in WV says:

    Adam outlined how he thinks we could get a truth and reconciliation commission…

    I’m thinking we need more Grand Juries and fewer reconciliation committees. But that’s just me, and I have atavistic urges some days.

    ReplyReply
  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Did you get my emails about the rugby?

    ReplyReply
  195. 195
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: @A Ghost To Most: Official time out.

    ReplyReply
  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: Gonna make the Secret Service’s life both more difficult and easier at the same time.

    ReplyReply
  197. 197

    We will need truth and reconciliation commissions.

    We’ve needed Truth and Reconciliation commissions since 2009… and 1991… and 1974… and 1955… and 1920… and 1866…

    ReplyReply
  198. 198
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: All the Republicans want, they’ve been clear for years on this, is GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress and a Republican president who will sign whatever they send him and nominate who they tell him to to the Federal courts and Federal agencies. That’s it. The problem that McConnell, Cotton, Ryan, Meadows, Gym Jordan, et al have is that this dynamic doesn’t work all that well with the Republican president they got. They thought they could control him, they can’t. So now they’re just trying to achieve what they can, while working the refs so that they’re never held to account when the Trump interregnum comes to an end.

    ReplyReply
  199. 199
    B.B.A. says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Since 1492.

    ReplyReply
  200. 200
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @B.B.A.: Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

    What are we talking about again?

    ReplyReply
  201. 201
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    We haven’t yet figured out how to gear up,

    A lot of the shit in this world springs from despots having access to enormous money streams from oil production. Russia, the ME, Nigeria, and other small countries that have oil that provides their only hard currency. If oil could be replaced or at least have competition as a fuel for transportation these pustules would be popped. Since that is not feasible at this time the only other option is to devise transportation of shale POL to keep the world price under 40 and squeeze the bastards until their own people string them up. Or we could implement harsh and punitive money laundering laws globally, enforced with the death penalty. And watch SW, UK and associated isles, HK etc go under. SA and the AE wouldn’t be affected right away, but it’ll get the ball rolling. Hammer them all with RICO charges

    ReplyReply
  202. 202
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, I did. Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  203. 203
    B.B.A. says:

    @J R in WV: There’s 60 million Trump voters out there. We can’t just throw all of them in prison, there wouldn’t be enough people left over willing to run the prisons.

    ReplyReply
  204. 204
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @The Dangerman: Sharlet had an article maybe in 03 about HRC’s involvement with the Fami,y (in Atlantic? in Harpers?)

    Sharlet had access to the Family’s records when he did his research for his book. When he tried to access these records later to answer some questions that had come up, Sharlet discovered that the records had been closed to any research.

    IIRC the Famiy wanted to deal only with political and business leaders around the world. Not interested in ‘the little people.’ And their goal was to convert them to very conservative christianity to fight the (all considered to be communists or communist dupes)people wanting to change or modify the status quo–I think defined as capitalism with only the ‘right people’s running things.

    ReplyReply
  205. 205
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    There should be a breaking point. How far out of control does Trump have to get before the Republicans decide he’s not worth the trouble? Or are they truly stuck with him while he’s there?

    ReplyReply
  206. 206
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Nelle:

    We have to be swaddled in myths of exceptionalism and “the greatest nation”

    It’s an Anglo thing apparently, see ex. UK

    ReplyReply
  207. 207
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Again, I’m just being obnoxious and smartassy. Pay me no mind.

    We all know you whimper in order to provoke we who support you to speak up and say so. That’s OK too, with most of us.

    ;-)

    ReplyReply
  208. 208
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: In its first story, the FTF NY Times was very explicit that McDowless has worked for Democrats too. More of a mercenary.

    Both sides, Adam. Both sides.

    ReplyReply
  209. 209
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Pale Scot: That’s true; France, Germany, Japan, and China seem completely immune to the tendency.

    ReplyReply
  210. 210
    JPL says:

    @zhena gogolia: He only cares about the USA when it benefits him. Russia helped him out, while the American banks left him out in the cold. That was a great comment, and if you see others worth highlighting please do.
    thank you

    ReplyReply
  211. 211
    joel hanes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Owners too

    Owners especially

    To be clear, I don’t think the Sulzbergers are willing tools of the Russians; I think they’re blinkered wealthy Republican dilettantes who are blind to their own bias and to the damage they’ve done to the nation — typical Republicans of an earlier age of the nation, who cannot allow themselves to see what the Republican Party has become.

    ReplyReply
  212. 212
    Aleta says:

    @smintheus: Can he flip without implicating himself, ruining the godly minded schtick he’s wed his image to and his career?

    ReplyReply
  213. 213
    scav says:

    @J R in WV: Nah, you’ve got company. Definitely stronger for Truth than Reconciliation.

    Especially as the only reconciliation they’d likely insist on is a universal mandatory “there there” soothing stroke on their financially anxious lily-white brows. Essentially indistinguisable from their definition of bipartisanship in other words.

    ReplyReply
  214. 214
    Brachiator says:

    @randy khan:

    It’s interesting reading the commentary about being emotionally prepared for what’s to come. I think I am among the people who are (coming of age during Watergate helps), but the truth is that we don’t know.

    Nobody knows how this will play out. A good chunk of the people happily and eagerly voted for an incompetent authoritarian and may not easily give him up. They may demand a successor. Hell, I think the Democrats will win big in 2020, but the anger and resentment of the Trumpites will continue to fester and the Republicans will continue to fight for their narrow, bigoted interests.

    Or all will be better and happiness restored.

    The only thing I’m sure of is that there are a lot of people willing to fight for real justice and democracy. You can see it in the new House members. And hopefully this is just the beginning.

    ReplyReply
  215. 215
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What are we talking about again?

    Crimes that merit truth and reconciliation commisions.

    The Taino would have understood BBA perfectly, if there were any more Taino.

    ReplyReply
  216. 216
    Elizabelle says:

    Whoa. Excellent recent NY Times reader comment on the blockbuster story. From “Justin” in Seattle.

    Our national security is further compromised with every day that passes under a disloyal or compromised president. There is NO EXCUSE for not focusing every available asset on that question until it can either be confirmed or ruled out.

    The excuse proffered by the FBI, that it didn’t know how to proceed with an investigation of such magnitude, is not acceptable. They had no trouble investigating Hillary. And even if they hadn’t, their mission is our security. That’s what we pay them for.

    They finally took up the investigation, obviously, when it was too late. Significant damage has been done. Let’s hope that they can clean it up–we don’t have many other options.

    But a law enforcement community dominated by Republicans and conservatives unwilling to investigate their own is what led to this mess.

    I think there is a lot of truth there.

    ReplyReply
  217. 217
    debbie says:

    @joel hanes:

    What it is, is rude. You may not intend it as such, but there it is. Do you walk around, correcting total strangers on their word choices or inflections?

    Someone who puts as much thought into his posts as Adam does deserves better. He deserves gratitude and thanks far more than nit-picking. Were he sharing one of his articles that was going to be published in a prestigious journal, I am sure he would appreciate the input. This is not that situation.

    Do you know how hard it is to self-proofread after working on long-form prose? I write all day, every day. After spending a couple hours to really hone a piece, acknowledged by others to be “excellent,” I get a “fail” because of a single missed comma. Forget the 1,500+ words! There is nothing more counterproductive than this. Believe me.

    Back to apartment cleaning, goddammit.

    ReplyReply
  218. 218
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I am, personally, an enormous coward…

    Yeh, right, that’s why you ride horses cross country in the Rocky Mountains, isn’t it?!!

    ReplyReply
  219. 219
    joel hanes says:

    @B.B.A.:

    There’s 60 million Trump voters out there. We can’t just throw all of them in prison, there wouldn’t be enough people left over willing to run the prisons.

    We have to find a way to combat Fox and Sinclair, without which these fools would be much less potent and toxic.

    ReplyReply
  220. 220
    Elizabelle says:

    @joel hanes:

    Yeah. I would like to punch Pinch Sulzberger. Wanker.

    ReplyReply
  221. 221
    Elizabelle says:

    You all find me very stupid and naive, I know, but I do not see how a functioning democracy co-exists with Fox News (and Sinclair). Fox News is brainwashing. You cannot combat it with “better” information if its viewers have been taught (relentlessly) that they cannot accept any other source of information.

    Fox News (and Rush, etc) paved the way for Trump. We are not safe with having such a large segment of our voters brainwashed and angry all the time.

    They say that about us, but it is actually projection.

    ReplyReply
  222. 222
    The Pale Scot says:

    @MagdaInBlack:

    that we think of this as a “global crime operation/organization”.

    SPECTRE?

    Does Putin have a white cat?

    ReplyReply
  223. 223
    Elizabelle says:

    Fox News folks are disinformed.

    Roger Ailes was a dreadful man, and dreadfully effective.

    ReplyReply
  224. 224
    joel hanes says:

    @debbie:

    Do you know how hard it is to self-proofread after working on long-form prose?

    Yes.

    And when people find solecisms in what I write, and bring them to my attention, I thank them, and I’m sincere.

    Nevertheless, I’m listening. And I have no great emotional investment in the pedant schtick.
    I’ll give it a rest.

    However, should your inner copy editor see such mistakes in my own comments, I’d appreciate it if you’d bring them to my attention. Any tone of voice will do: I have a thick skin.

    ReplyReply
  225. 225
    Sebastian says:

    @germy:

    How about we verify that.

    ReplyReply
  226. 226
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Fair Economist:

    My personal desire is a formal declaration of war so there’s no more of this namby-pamby whinging about “not technically treason” followed by asset freezing, disconnecting internet connections, and an embargo,

    I am starting to come more and more round to that way of thinking.

    ReplyReply
  227. 227
  228. 228
    Sebastian says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Bullshit. Of ALL the possible banks and financial institutions it just happens to be the one that’s laundering money for the Russkies and Donny Dollhands.

    I am done with presumption of coincidence. The one good thing about all this is that we get to nuke every fucker who called for the end of Mueller’s investigation.

    ReplyReply
  229. 229
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Heh, indeed.

    ReplyReply
  230. 230
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @MomSense: Our real failsafe is federalism and the separation of powers. The founders knew. Trump can’t make a city (or even county) cop do things that are illegal to do in that jurisdiction. That means Trump can’t have somebody arbitrarily arrested for insulting him and his baby ego. Separation of powers is a legislature whose tenure isn’t dependent on him. So Congress can, if it wishes defy him.. Another rail is what President Garfield died for-a nonpartisan civil service.

    ReplyReply
  231. 231
    Sebastian says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Come sit by me. I’ve been here for two years already. Let’s see how a oligarch yacht withstands a Tomahawk cruise missile or a private jet holds up against a F-18.

    ReplyReply
  232. 232

    @J R in WV: I think we’ll need both.

    ReplyReply
  233. 233
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Jeffro: Wall demands and govt shutdown are Trump’s and GOP’s way to yell and scream and divert attn from the ever more public info about T’s and GOP’s treasonous dealings with Putin.

    Yell loud enuff and hopefully media will allow themselves to be diverted. Helped along by their own kompromat by Putin.

    It’s all so in-your-face obvious it’s sickening!!!

    ReplyReply
  234. 234
    Miss Bianca says:

    @J R in WV: Oh! Well…as to that…I *am* a coward, but when it comes to something that I really want or need to do, my motto is, as the title of an old self-help book has it, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” ; )

    ReplyReply
  235. 235
    Sebastian says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It’s a pattern for crying out loud. The only thing preventing us all of accepting the truth, is the sheer horror of the implications. So we are trapped in the childish hope it isn’t true and the monster will go away.

    Hold on tight.

    ReplyReply
  236. 236
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: What about the 30 to 40% true-believers who will never accept the ongoing revelations??

    ReplyReply
  237. 237
    J R in WV says:

    @debbie:

    Do you walk around, correcting total strangers on their word choices or inflections?

    But we aren’t total strangers, well, except for the paid Russian trolls and bots, the rest of us are are self-selected associates working together to better understand the coup going on around us.

    I’ve given up on correstions for the most part, as i have a harad time spelling conspireacy, er, uh, colludaracey, uh, you know what I mean~!!~

    ReplyReply
  238. 238
    Brachiator says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    Or we could implement harsh and punitive money laundering laws globally, enforced with the death penalty. And watch SW, UK and associated isles, HK etc go under.

    Are you advocating this, or saying that this might happen if your Plan A is not implemented?

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  239. 239

    @Elizabelle: I haven’t come to any good answers about Fox News and Sinclair, but it’s clear that having propaganda networks hasn’t done us any good. This is where truth and reconciliation commissions can come in. Someone who has been injured by them brings a case. That could be any of us, but there are a number of people who have been particularly damaged and who would be the best for a commission. Or multiple cases – the specific and the pollution of discourse in more general ways.

    The Fairness Doctrine would be more difficult to enforce with all the media we have now. But I think we need to come back to something like that. For sure, if we used the existing antitrust laws, we could put brakes on Sinclair.

    ReplyReply
  240. 240

    @J R in WV: I don’t exactly want to reconcile with treasonous Putin minions.

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  241. 241
    germy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This is a start:

    Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims win legal victory in lawsuit against InfoWars and Alex Jones, after judge grants families’ discovery requests, allowing access to InfoWars’ internal marketing and financial documents. https://t.co/aKqPnSrfwZ pic.twitter.com/Iidnvo97pP
    — ABC News (@ABC) January 11, 2019

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  242. 242
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The Republican problem is that the Presidency isn’t built that way. The Presidency is America’s executive and quarterback, designed that way by Jefferson and Washington. A functional U.S government relies on active leadership. The President McConnell wants isn’t possible with an executive that is elected rather than appointed with an independent power base. What McConnell wanted requires a monarchy, which isn’t in the script. A figurehead dependent upon the body that appointed him/that allowed him hereditary power, whose responsibilities were limited to being a ceremonial figure who signed bills they barely understood.

    ReplyReply
  243. 243

    @Elizabelle: @Cheryl Rofer: In addition to Fox and Sinclair we need to put regulatory teeth in dealing Google (YouTube), Facebook and Twitter. They should be regulated as if they were media organizations.

    ReplyReply
  244. 244
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @debbie:
    It tends to derail the discussion and lose sight of the point….I’m not going to be terribly concerned about a missed comma etc, when the discussion concerns the assault on democracy.
    But that’s just me. 😊

    ReplyReply
  245. 245
  246. 246
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Not just anti-trust, but it’s time for Steyer and Bloomberg to start buying stations and web streams and create a true partisan, liberal media that can reach into millions of homes and compete with Sinclair and Fox for eyeballs and earspace. Anti-trust can break up monopolies, but unless there is an alternative, all it does is make the networks smaller (and even meaner, feeling under threat).

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  247. 247
    Sebastian says:

    @Yarrow:

    You are not the only one. I stopped commenting (was sporadic at best anyway) because of the concerned pooh poohing. It’s ok, it wasn’t mean but it was frustrating nevertheless.

    I am with you, this needs to be nullified and the traitors rooted out with vengeance and every conspirator punished so the lesson echoes into eternity (to paraphrase Gladiator) and it becomes enshrined for all future generations.

    I personally am for mass executions as you probably know but more sane minds will probably prevail.

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  248. 248
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Excellent and you’re welcome. You see the Tongan that plays for Racing 92 in France? He’s about an inch or so taller than me, but outweighs me by over 60 lbs. He plays tighthead prop.

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  249. 249

    @Sebastian: Oh and don’t forget the obeisance paid to the T’s generals. They could not even save their own jobs, forget saving us. And ex-military men like Zinke, Pompeo etc. Joining T willingly does not show great judgement of character or intelligence. I would check on their Russian ties as well.
    My working hypothesis for all T’s political appointees is either they are racist or crooked or both. And not too smart. Unless proven otherwise.

    ReplyReply
  250. 250
    Sebastian says:

    @The Dangerman:

    If you want to start drinking early check out what Warren Buffet’s dipshit son is up to:

    https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/howard-buffetts-warren-buffet-son-border-war-cochise-county-11103225

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  251. 251
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: One would think they would reach a breaking point, but I’ve seen no evidence that that is the case.

    ReplyReply
  252. 252

    @Amir Khalid: They are cowards, they are afraid of his base.

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  253. 253
    debbie says:

    @joel hanes:

    You’re more gracious than I likely would have been, so I thank you.

    ReplyReply
  254. 254
    Sebastian says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Come sit by me.

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  255. 255
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    You all find me very stupid and naive

    Nope. Never.

    Fox News is brainwashing. You cannot combat it with “better” information if its viewers have been taught (relentlessly) that they cannot accept any other source of information.

    Many people rush to Fox News precisely because it gives them what they want. They aren’t brainwashed. They desperately want to be fooled.

    Sinclair and other right wing groups want to subvert and control other media outlets. I don’t know the best way to prevent this. I don’t think you can simply have a government law. And ultimately you have to hope that there are enough people who refuse to accept lies and distortion and who will fight back.

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  256. 256
    Sebastian says:

    @Yarrow:

    Don’t disregard blackmail. The outlook of publishing info about pool boys or wetsuits will do wonders.

    ReplyReply
  257. 257
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Every one of his appointments is illegitimate, to include Gorsuch and Boof. If they do not voluntarily resign, out of patriotism, they must be impeached and removed.

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  258. 258
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle: Yes. HELL yes. FUCK yes.

    All that needs to happen. The traitors need to be purged.

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  259. 259

    @Elizabelle:

    You all find me very stupid and naive, I know, but I do not see how a functioning democracy co-exists with Fox News (and Sinclair).

    No i don’t. At all.

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  260. 260
    WereBear says:

    When this first started to break, I had like – five? – minutes of astonishment, and then a giant wave of connections that started with this explains so much.

    All the money, the deep pockets, the army of trolls, the inexplicability, everything.

    So I find it easy to believe.

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  261. 261

    My sympathies to you. It is horrible hard to find the world slipping away around you. I am glad to see you are thinking of after; few people, even people who opposed our home-grown fascist movement from the beginning, are doing.

    I do have some thoughts on this. So far, not happy ones, but then I am still thinking through them. I think I will darken the day with them when they are more developed.

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  262. 262
    joel hanes says:

    @debbie:

    gracious
    Shucks.
    It would have been grace had I taken offense and then dismissed it, but the truth is that

    1. I have a life-long deficiency in social skills, and need and appreciate advice about how to get along with other people, even at my advanced age. O wad some Powr the giftie gie us is a prayer about which I could be sincere

    2. I have a thick skin (internet flame wars since 1986), and didn’t take any offense.

    Thanks for helping me see your viewpoint.

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  263. 263
    Another Scott says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: What?!? No tumbrels??!!? No “Up against the wall, MFer!!11”

    I am disappoint.

    ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  264. 264
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tameifuna? He weighs more than 10 stone more than I do and is less than 2″ taller than me. A monster.

    ReplyReply
  265. 265
    PJ says:

    @Brachiator:

    But they could never imagine that their dreams might be influenced or manipulated by outside agents.

    This is contrary to reality. Republicans can follow the news, and, for the ones who are political or business actors working with the Russians, they have known about it for a long time. I mean, Christ, we’ve all known about it since Iran/Contra. They just don’t care where the “help” comes from, as long as it keeps them in power and to advance their agenda, it’s all good.

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  266. 266
    Martin says:

    Someone on twitter suggested that the Russian goal was to get a puppet who would obstruct justice enough to allow the Russians to continue to operate to undermine the US. After all, it’s one thing to get a Russian asset in the WH, it’s another thing to undermine the US political process to such a degree that the Russians can operate in a fairly unfettered way. That Trump continues to have the degree of support that he does, despite all of these revelations, suggests that it’s working. All Trump is needed to do is keep the sanctions off, keep Russia assets out of prison, ensure that the US doesn’t back broad military and economic action against Russia, and basically just fuck up Congress enough to that they don’t force any of these things to happen.

    So far, it doesn’t seem we’ve don’t very much to slow this process. Yes, a Democratic House will help quite a bit, but really we’re about 100% dependent on Mueller to reveal this. The House is still dependent on testimony from the dipshits like Pompeo that Trump have put in charge of these agencies, but Mueller is basically inside of these agencies, where it’s MUCH harder to hide. I feel pretty good that it’s Mueller in there over literally anyone else, but still, that’s a pretty fucking fragile state of being.

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  267. 267
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    This is where truth and reconciliation commissions can come in.

    These commissions seem to me to be unconstitutional.

    They also have a whiff of a majority getting even with a defeated minority, under the mask of government authority.

    The Fairness Doctrine would be more difficult to enforce with all the media we have now.

    And perhaps even less necessary. There is a ton of points of view and alternatives, wild and uncontrolled. And that’s how it should be.

    I don’t remember the Fairness Doctrine with any great fondness. It served more as the gatekeeper of the status quo than as the guarantor of diversity. And of course there were fewer broadcast networks and PBS.

    For sure, if we used the existing antitrust laws, we could put brakes on Sinclair.

    Yeah, I think this might be necessary.

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  268. 268
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: We need truth and retribution commissions. Fuck reconciliation. That failed after the Civil War.

    ReplyReply
  269. 269
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well now and days Japan is totally off the hook and China is engaged in a project to retake their history from the Round Eyes. Germany has worked for years to confront and dissect the causes of it’s past actions. In France De Gaulle is still dead but the French still think highly of themselves. IMHO the US (Reagan, Bush, Trump) and the UK (Blair, BoJo, the entire DUP) are unique in electing morons that rise to power specifically by declaring “we are so fucking cool, aren’t we certain kinds of white people who were born in this country”. The US has manifest destiny Evangelicals that think they’re going to meet Jeebus before they die. The UK’s TV is rampant with Churchill documentaries and shows like Foyle’s War. A good chunk of all the people who ever lived have lived and died after the end of WW2 and now. Yet the UK tabloid comment sections are filled with twits calling the EU bloody ungrateful for ignoring how England saved them in WW2 with apparently absolutely no help from the USSR or the USA, and people like Tory MP Priti Patel suggesting the UK should blockade food deliveries to Ireland becuase Éire is being uppity about Brexit

    Now that’s not to say that there aren’t great gobs of similar people everywhere. If I was polylingual I’m sure I’d be aware of other countries that have allowed these kind of gits to rise to power but I’m limited to DW, Spiegel and France24.

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  270. 270
    B.B.A. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We need gulags and guillotines. We’re not going to get them (as I said before, there’s just too damn many who were complicit), which is a pity.

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  271. 271
    Sebastian says:

    @joel hanes:

    I don’t care. For all I care he can shout “But her emails!” when the trap door opens and the noose breaks his neck.

    We are past the point of looking for and allowing excuses. They should have known better.

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  272. 272
    Ruckus says:

    @Elizabelle:
    From the numbers that have been thrown about since the election it doesn’t appear that they needed large scale interference. What have we been told, 80,000 votes over 3 states was what tipped the electoral college? Out of over 120 million votes? If you were vlad then you probably wouldn’t have been secure that would be enough but if you knew that you could get a few states votes changed without real notice, it would be.
    I believe that there was hanky and panky with the election. I have no proof, nothing concrete in the least, but it’s just too convenient, especially given everything we know/suspect now. And it’s convenient that not being able to be recounted using a different method is the norm in too many states.

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  273. 273
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Elizabelle:

    “…If it is all proven…the correction has to come. And make it all painful enough that no one is tempted to pull this again. For generations upon generations.”

    I like the way you start with due process. I can’t help but think that a hysterical purge would make Putin smile and the thought of him and his Arab prince BFF high-fiving the further decimation of our institutions is more than I can bear….see what I did there? Russia ….bear…… ( I can’t help it, I cope via snark and bad humor). And yes, there should be severe consequences. Then start the reconciliation.

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  274. 274

    @Brachiator: You might look into what has actually been done with truth and reconciliation commissions. They are intended to be the opposite of “rough law” or the “truth and retribution commissions” Villago Delenda Est advocates.

    South Africa
    Canada

    South Africa addressed human rights abuses during apartheid. Canada addressed residential schools for First Nations people.

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  275. 275
    PJ says:

    @Nelle: @Cheryl Rofer: I think one reason that the behavior of post-WWII Americans and their political decisions appears childlike, and, frankly, often developmentally disabled (Afghanistan, Iraq) is that, unless they are minorities, most Americans are not subject to systematic or random acts of violence or tragedy, and live in a cocoon of bromides and bullshit where everything will turn out right and, at an appropriate old age, you will die peacefully in your bed surrounded by loved ones. Most other countries around the world have memories of horrific violence visited on them in living memory, but until 9/11, we hadn’t. And the way many Americans, and particularly the media, responded to those attacks as if they were incomprehensible (despite the fact that the WTC had been attacked before and a plane had crashed into the White House grounds under Clinton, and Clinton was castigated by Republicans for trying to take out OBL), and responded with prolonged hysteria and a desire to harm Arabs and people who they thought looked like them (but not ones from our wealthy friends in Saudi Arabia, where the attackers come from), to have them “suck on this”, as Tom Friedman put it, was because they could not imagine anything bad happening to them here in the bestest, safest, freest country ever.

    I am hopeful this common delusion is ending but many people will not give it up without a fight because it means giving up notions that they are superior to people in those shithole countries, as our President has put it.

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  276. 276
    Immanentize says:

    @Sebastian: I left an answer to your question about acts before laws near the end of the morning thread….

    ReplyReply
  277. 277
    t says:

    @joel hanes: yeah, i’d prefer someone point out my issues, too.

    ReplyReply
  278. 278
    Yarrow says:

    @Fair Economist: The “how” Putin will be removed is yet to be seen. The oligarchs being shut out of their money might do it. I’m not saying the US will nuke Moscow or something like that. As zhena gogolia said, it could be internal forces. I don’t know. I just see it heading that way.

    I see it like a Jenga tower. The Putin jenga tower is way unbalanced since Trump became president. One or two more blocks removed and the whole thing collapses. I don’t know what those blocks will be, but when it goes it’ll go quickly.

    ReplyReply
  279. 279
    Brachiator says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    and people like Tory MP Priti Patel suggesting the UK should blockade food deliveries to Ireland becuase Éire is being uppity about Brexit

    Do you understand how many ironies are compounded in this observation?

    ReplyReply
  280. 280
    WereBear says:

    @Yarrow: Also, let’s talking about RICO the RNC.

    Hells to the yeah.

    ReplyReply
  281. 281
    PJ says:

    @Elizabelle: Institutions did not protect us because Republicans in those institutions were in favor of the criminal and treasonous acts. I’m not defending Obama here, but if he had tried to stop the elections or to prevent Trump from taking office without Republican support (which was never going to happen), Republicans would have begun unprecedented attacks (including possibly actual violence) on the White House, and they would have been fully supported by the media (which had mostly failed to report on Trump’s collusion with Russia and general criminal activity) in doing so. Query whether that would have been a better situation vis a vis where we are now.

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  282. 282
    Yarrow says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: The 27% will always be with us. As always, we work on margins and we open people’s eyes.

    The other thing is, people don’t like to be made to look stupid. Trump and the Republicans have taken advantage of Americans and sold us out to a foreign enemy. Even people you didn’t expect to be angry about this will be. When the scales fall from the eyes, people will be angry. Again, not everyone, but enough.

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  283. 283
    Yarrow says:

    @Sebastian: Never disregard blackmail. It will be at the heart of the reasons lots of these people were able to be bought.

    ReplyReply
  284. 284
    PJ says:

    @MattF: Tell that to the kulaks and Ukrainians. They weren’t slaughtered by the tsars. (And Jews would probably have been next on the list if Stalin hadn’t died.)

    ReplyReply
  285. 285
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What?! There were emails about rugby and I didn’t get one? Boo…..

    ReplyReply
  286. 286
    Ruckus says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:
    Look at the other side. Yes 30-40% are gone, but 60-70% are not.
    I knew people who left Russia in the 70s and 80s for a better life and a better way of life. A large part of the Russian people didn’t believe in communism but they had no power. The smaller part of our nation, the bigoted republicans, are in power now. But even there they don’t have total control. We’ve shown what we can do in the midterms, let’s make it a far bigger win in 2 yrs and then we can root out the issues and make this a better place.

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  287. 287
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: not sure I buy that alone as the reason for the continued alliance between repubs and drumpf. And it certainly doesn’t speak to their competency, unless we don’t share the same definition.

    The thing they (men you named) have in common is they’ve got a racist authoritarian streak and on their own have very questionable ethics and hinky things in their pasts.

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  288. 288
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Brachiator:

    Are you advocating this, or saying that this might happen if your Plan A is not implemented?

    Little girl looks up and smiles, “why can’t we have both? Option A would put us at 3C+ in a shorter amount of time, I’m open to suggestions. I see the unrecorded movement of huge amounts of dark money as a threat to technological civilization. The kind of actions that Goldman Sacks etc have taken need to be defined as economic terrorism, and players sent to Guantanamo and rigorously interrogated.

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  289. 289
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @oldmold: You don’t understand because you’re a Whiny-Ass Titty Baby & A Fucking Imbecile. Now STFU. Why you haven’t been banhammered into a universe that doesn’t support intelligent life is beyond me.

    ReplyReply
  290. 290
    Fair Economist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Because Facebook, Google, Twitter ARE media organizations. “Social media” is a disingenuous term. What shows up in “social” media feeds is picked by the corporations’ algorithms, not the users likes etc. User actions are just one piece of data that they use in the process of trying to hook people.

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  291. 291
    Ruckus says:

    @debbie:
    I’m pretty far away from NYC here in LA and could have told you that long before he ran for office. It wasn’t that difficult to see, and to me somewhat difficult to avoid knowing.

    ReplyReply
  292. 292
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @debbie: Anyone who ever read Spy would have known that as well.

    ReplyReply
  293. 293
    Ruckus says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    I turn off auto correct but do let it give me suggestions for my spelling errors. For dyslexics it is an amazing thing. Yes I do have to reject a lot of what it shows and look up the word, but that makes it easier for me to fix most of my typing and dyslexic errors.

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  294. 294
    Immanentize says:

    Have you smart people already noted that Trump seems to have dropped his “NO COLLUSION” refrain on his recent tweets. I don’t follow them closely, but does anyone know when the last time was he yelled, no collusion, tweet or otherwise?

    ReplyReply
  295. 295
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. He’s a big guy.

    ReplyReply
  296. 296
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @The Pale Scot: In 91 while I was in Germany there was an ongoing discussion about what to do about the bad economy in the former East Germany. Many West Germans were demanding that they finally start to work because everyone just knew that ‘workers in communist countries do the bare minimum and get supported anyway.’

    People had to constantly remind the self-righteous westerners about how much the US Marshall plan helped West Germany recover. They did NOT do it all on their own through superior self-reliance and fabulous hard work.

    It was interesting to see how much the westerners had rewritten their post WWII history. A sort of West (capitalist) German exceptionalism??

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  297. 297
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Just sent you an email with the details!

    ReplyReply
  298. 298
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Brachiator:

    Do you understand how many ironies are compounded in this observation?

    Oh Yea, and so did most of the people in the Isles, I mean Patel is a refugee from Bangladesh. You could hear the WTF?s from Calais

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  299. 299
    Fair Economist says:

    @Yarrow: I think the tower in Russia is at least as balanced as it was before Trump’s election but neither of us can really know what goes on in private conversations between oligarchs. Generally dictators last longer than you would expect although their fall is usually surprising (Mugabe, for example).

    ReplyReply
  300. 300
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. Just replied. As I said in the email, if you want to know how to watch one of the Internationals, I’ll probably know. I watch some of the European matches and occasional southern hemisphere, but keep up with Internationals, mostly. I like the occasional Sevens match too.

    ReplyReply
  301. 301
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    If the R’s as a whole were to turn on drumpf then they would be admitting that they were 100% wrong, as they 100% backed him. That would open up a huge can of worms for them and they know it as well as anyone. I’d bet there are a lot of current republican pols who are, even if unwittingly, dirty with offshore money. The NRA, superpacs, and who knows who else had tons of money to back drumpf and to get elected themselves. Where did all of that money come from? Oxy addicts? Those wealthy republican donors, some of whom seem to be a lot less wealthy than they first appeared? Yeah they doubled down on an absolutely stupid bet at their local gambling/political fundraiser parties and if they admit it a lot of their voting support will dry up. Not as much as we’d like but enough to render them useless. A bit of that is already happening, slowly, but if they admit they screwed the pouch here…….

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  302. 302
    JR says:

    @Elizabelle: Notice the disparity between the NYT picks and the reader picks?

    According to the public editor:

    The (NYT) picks are made by a staff of about 13 mostly part-time moderators, all of whom are journalists, he said, and reviewed by a supervisor to make sure that “there is a good mix of views.”

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  303. 303
    Ohio Mom says:

    @PJ: “Developmentally disabled?” Um no, that’s just a ten dollar way of saying “retarded,” and that is very bad manners.

    How about “naive”? Or “unsophisticated”? I get what you are saying. When I moved to Cincinnati from NYC in my early twenties, I was taken with how sheltered many Midwesterners were.

    They’d say things like, “the Russians are people just like us,” and I’d think to myself, “But not their government.”

    Growing up in New York, I was always surrounded by immigrants, many of who left very miserable places. My new neighbors in Ohio, had no basis of comparison, everyone they came in contact with knew as little about the rest of the world as they did.

    Sign me,
    Mom of a DD son

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  304. 304
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It’s going to be very bad. We have to be emotionally prepared for something we’ve never envisioned.

    I would be blunter: Our friends, family and neighbors may try to kill us.

    ReplyReply
  305. 305

    @joel hanes: You need a semicolon between yer two independent clauses at the end there.

    ReplyReply
  306. 306
    Sebastian says:

    @Immanentize:

    I saw it. But you know, if it turns out we are at war and were at war for years and a group of our own cutizens were collaborating with the enemy … what comes next is everyone’s best guess.

    Treason, espionage, sabotage. You could classify them as enemy combatants, if they worked in any kind of government function they would have broken a whole host of laws, first and foremost their oath.

    As I said, Americans don’t do nuance. A quick death will be fortunate for many.

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  307. 307
    Seanly says:

    When I was in college, maybe my sophomore year IIRC, I read a terrible Tom Clancy rip off novel where a subplot was that the President was a Soviet agent. This was around 87 or 88 so just a little after The Hunt for Red October so the main plot had something to do with ships (I want to say bringing icebergs from Antartica). I remember at the time thinking that the Prez being a Soviet spy was preposterous. Hmmm, shows what an idiot I am…

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  308. 308
    sukabi says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned here, and don’t think it has been, apparently Obama expanded the FBIs access to and use of NSA intel as one of his last acts

    ReplyReply
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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @B.B.A.: They need to be driven back under the rocks from which they oozed.

    ReplyReply
  310. 310
    PJ says:

    @Ohio Mom: It wasn’t naivete or lack of sophistication that caused the disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq – there was plenty of advice and factual information available from people who had some familiarity with those countries and what it takes to occupy and stabilize a country lacking basic civil institutions, but the Bush administration, military, CIA, and the citizens who supported them didn’t want to hear it and didn’t care. It’s an unwillingness to learn and very slow uptake when the casualties start to make an impact.

    ReplyReply
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  312. 312
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: Way to miss the point OM was making.

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  313. 313
    dimmsdale says:

    To Adam and Cheryl: Thanks for your consistent realism and knowledge of how law and government stuff works; it’s always nice to have an informed corrective when one wants to fume “WHY can’t they just [blah blah blah]!!! That’ll do it!!” Also agree there MUST be a truth & reconciliation commission of some sorts; it’s hard to peer too far into the future, but the final word on Trump and the Trumpkins will perhaps be so bad that even the scummiest Republicans will have to distance themselves. (‘Fat chance,’ I hear you cry. Well, one can dream.) But we’re still looking at parts of the elephant in isolation. When Mueller and SDNY start issuing reports, on the other hand….

    As to coming violence, I’m not sure what you envision happening, but the first thing that occurred to me was, the media and Trump apologists will band together to insist that actual hearings, an actual impeachment, are ‘too divisive’ and are causing violence and need to be stopped or truncated immediately before more Trumpkins are moved to do stupid stuff. I don’t know yet how strong the country will stand against that sort of BS argument; I sense there is a tidal wave of outrage building that will sweep all that aside but again, too soon to tell.

    And yes, something needs to be done about Sinclair and Fox. In this regard the First Amendment and the current Supreme Court are kind of a problem; I’ve said before that Fox is a mental health menace (similar to Typhoid Mary in another time) but to implement commonsense remedies to Fox requires a more robust sense of the Public Good than we have right now, I’m afraid.

    Thanks again, Adam and Cheryl and commenters.

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    A Ghost To Most says:

    James Comey, responding to today’s twitstorm:

    I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made – FDR

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    Elizabelle says:

    @JR:

    Always. The readers are way savvier and more accurate. The Times pick might be some lunatic because — objectivity and balance.

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  317. 317
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PJ:

    It’s an unwillingness to learn and very slow uptake when the casualties start to make an impact.

    Which describes exactly zero of the actual developmentally disabled people I’ve known. They’ve usually been eager to learn and experience new things, even if it takes them a little or a lot longer to learn them.

    Willful ignorance is general reserved to people of normal intelligence and above.

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  318. 318
    jimmiraybob says:

    Any idea if the Trump/Putin secret-meeting interpreters have met with the Muller investigators (assuming they haven’t contracted polonium poisoning or accidentally thrown themselves off of 5th floor balconies)?

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  319. 319
    randal m sexton says:

    @Brachiator: The 1996 Telecomunications law changed the allowed concentration of media. Prior to that there could not have been a Sinclair, or the kinds of domination we see today. I think we have to undo some parts of that. This is a summary – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership#United_States

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  320. 320
    RAM says:

    @germy: That’s what I think. Trump is too stupid and ignorant to be a knowing agent. He still thinks of himself as Trump the real estate scammer doing favors for people who control his company’s money supply. I’m sure he figures that acting against the best interests of the U.S. is no big deal since it has no effect on him personally. In fact, NOT acting against the best interests of the country–if he even looks at what the Russians are telling him to do that way–would be bad for him, personally. Now Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham, are two very different cases. I’m really interested to find out what the Russians have on them.

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  321. 321
    Denali says:

    Lamar Alexander, the Senator from Tennessee, has continued to support Trump. He is much respected at home and I do not believe he is compromised or an asset. Tennesseans have succumbed to Fox news and Bible belt platitudes. I kept hoping he would follow the example of Howard Baker, a Senator from Tennessee during Watergate who put his country before his Party and help bring about Nixon’s resignation. But I have not yet seen any sign of it.

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    joel hanes says:

    @John Revolta:

    thanks.

    I had thought that the rule was
    if the second clause explains or justifies the claim in the first, or provides an example, colon; otherwise, semicolon

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @joel hanes:

    I thought you could use either a colon or semicolon in your sentence. The colon is fine.

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    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @debbie: Sorry but you’re 120% wrong. If you don’t want what you post judged, don’t post it. To put anything (writing, image, soundbite, etc.) into the public view is to invite critique. Which is not to say the criticism has to be nasty, petty, personally insulting, etc. – but I would risk being any of those things if the only alternative was to shut my mouth & allow something I consider (for valid reasons) incompetent to be accepted as if it were competent.

    Reminds me of the days when I was actively writing (or attempting to write) poetry, from the late 70s to the mid-90s. I would go to “open readings” where “poets” would get up & read stuff so awful that a sensitive 5th-grader would tear it up & toss in the trash – & expect to be praised for it. And young folks in the audience would get the impression that that’s what “poetry” was supposed to be like – & most of them would start imitating the crap-writers – because no one had the hoot’s-paw to point out to the crowd that it was, in fact, crap.

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    dopey-o says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    If I’ve struggled with anything, it’s the thought that my worst suspicions, which are extreme enough to sound like conspiracy theory ranting to my own ears, aren’t even as extreme as the actual situation will turn out to be.

    Penn Gillette wrote “No matter how bad you think Trump is, he’s even worse.”

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    vertalio says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Sorry. The NRA, or at least the lower rungs of it, won’t go down without watering the Tree of Liberty. Rhetoric of the last few years has prepared them to act out, and they’re immune to logic.
    But in a way that’s okay…this is truly a struggle for the lives of those we love and hold dear, and if you or I are the eggs that get broken for the omelette, well, it’ll still be worth it.

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