What Shutdown?

I’m sitting in O’Hare after having arrived early, waiting for my on-time connection. The departure board is showing almost every flight on time, and TSA at the Rochester airport was a breeze. I believe the TSA agents at our airport are employed by a contractor, so I think they’re getting paid.

Most off-season early morning flights out of Rochester are full of frequent flyer business travelers. For example, the majority of people boarding this morning had some kind of AA status, which generally means you fly a couple of times a month. Almost everyone who flies for business is TSA Pre. If you want this shutdown to end quickly, just close the TSA Pre lanes at every airport.

In other news, Trumpovich sharted all over himself with extra vigor last night, so the shutdown polling plus the latest Russia stuff must be getting to him. Good.

Setting aside Trump, what did Mitch McConnell know and when did he know it? What do the Russians have on Lindsey Graham? These and other questions come to mind when it’s clear they’ve been protecting a Russian asset in the White House.






213 replies
  1. 1
    SFAW says:

    The Traitor-in-Chief is such a fucking asshole.

    I didn’t really think much of Andrew Dice Clay’s “humor,” but he’s a regular laff-riot compared to this moron.

    If someone had a popular enough Twitter platform, they should spend every day tweeting about Trump’s minuscule dick, his off-the-charts Dunning-Kruger score, his walrus-like girth, his baldness, and his low-value financials (i.e., broke before he started shaking down foreign governments).

    Fuck him. I just want to wake up ONE FUCKING DAY where I don’t get bombarded by his crassness, his stupidity, his bullying, and his destruction of this country. I also want the Jets to win the Super Bowl, so I expect I’ll be waiting a while.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    😡😡😡

    V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care

    https://nyti.ms/2HbKyQe

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    I was worried that shutdown news would drown out the recent revelations about the Russia scandal, but that doesn’t seem to be happening, thank dog. Trump sure does sound panicky about the whole thing, and it’s more about the Russia issue than the shutdown polling, IMO.

    The Russia scandal goes directly to his insecurities as a toxic narcissist, implying that he is a witless dupe who could not have won the EC without the assistance of a hostile foreign power. As more evidence of conspiracy comes to light, it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts.

    If the story were framed in a way that suggested Trump was a master-mind, along with Putin, of a global white nationalist movement, he’d probably embrace that narrative. The alternative — that he’s an idiot who was used by men far more wealthy, powerful and wily than he — is unbearable to a person with his pathologies.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    What did McConnell know & when did he know it deserves popcorn. But it’s too early and I have to go to work. Still, nice premise.

  5. 5
    A Ghost To Most says:

    It’s 18 degrees here in Golden now, but the sun is coming up, and it is expected to be a beautiful day in the 40s. Enjoy.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts.

    As the (apocryphal) curse goes, clearly we live in interesting times.

  7. 7
    Thoughtful David says:

    I think that air travel in general is way down, so TSA can still get you through with fewer officers. And that they’ve started giving everyone who’s ever flown before precheck, which is faster to process.
    So while it still looks good, it really means the economy is going to shit.

  8. 8
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    OT:

    Denver meetup with PsiFighter37 tomorrow (Tuesday, 15 Jan). He proposed meeting at Jagged Mountain Brewery. That’s roughly 10 minutes from my house so I’m game.

    Anybody else interested, shoot me an email, scott (at) dauphinehotel.com

    For that matter, Psi, shoot me an email as well to confirm a time. I’d suggest 7pm.

    I now return everybody to their regularly scheduled outrage.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev: Truth! Personally, I find it unfair that I’ve had to live through Nixon, GWB and Trump (my fuzzy memories of Nixon due to childhood notwithstanding). I feel I am owed Obama-caliber presidents for the rest of my life in recompense.

  10. 10
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Ol’ Mitch is up to his waddle in this Russia mess. I don’t recall having read anything about Graham being directly involved, but he sure did jump on the Trump bandwagon after the two of them went ‘golfing’ and ‘talked’.

  11. 11
    SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I feel I am owed Obama-caliber presidents for the rest of my life in recompense.

    Not that I’m disagreeing, but: let me/us know how that works out for you (and us).

  12. 12
    SFAW says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    but he sure did jump on the Trump bandwagon after the two of them went ‘golfing’ and ‘talked’.

    Jerry Falwell Jr. can relate, I imagine.

  13. 13
    Face says:

    @SFAW: Simply jarring to see a man in such ostensibly high position and regard conduct himself–literally–like a fourth grader might. Personal, racial/ethnic bombs coming from the mouth of a world leader. Hard to process that this is actually happening.

    If anyone said this vile shit about a co-worker, it’d be 5 minutes with HR before the pink slip and a security walk-out. Apparently there’s no HR in the WH.

  14. 14
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: Shot you an email. If anyone else is interested let us know!

  15. 15
    Stephanie says:

    Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson Airport, busiest in the US, had two hour waits in the security lines. Clear lines were closed and there was only one pre-check line open.

  16. 16
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Stephanie: I’m guessing ATL has federally paid TSA agents. Some of them must be staying home.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW:

    I just want to wake up ONE FUCKING DAY where I don’t get bombarded by his crassness, his stupidity, his bullying, and his destruction of this country.

    Unplug your clock radio.

  18. 18
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @SFAW: Hey, I wanted the Jets to win the Super Bowl too, and it happened!

    Of course, that was fifty years and two days ago…

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Unplug your clock radio.

    My what? What’s that?

    My body clock is more-or-less set for somewhere between 5 AM and 6 AM. Maybe I should reset it for the day after tomorrow (so to speak)?

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    Houston Airport (IAH) has closed one terminal’s TSA security checkpoint due to staffing shortage. Flights are still going out of that terminal but you have to go through security at another terminal and then walk or take the train back to that terminal to get to your gate. Link.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Hey, I wanted the Jets to win the Super Bowl too, and it happened!

    I saw that game (on TV). My father got us a hotel room in Hartford, because NYC was blacked out. [I expect there are some youngs here reading the “blacked out” and saying “WTF is he talking about?” Well, kiddies, back in the day …. ]

  22. 22
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Personally, I find it unfair that I’ve had to live through Nixon, GWB and Trump (my fuzzy memories of Nixon due to childhood notwithstanding). I feel I am owed Obama-caliber presidents for the rest of my life in recompense.

    I was 20 when Nixon resigned, so I remember the Trickster all too well. And I second your sentiment.

    But what I keep coming back to when I think of Nixon is that, for nearly three decades after Nixon resigned, I felt secure in the belief that we’d never have a worse President than Nixon during my lifetime. Now we’ve had two. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. And thank you, GOP, for foisting these disasters on us.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF: But contractors have access to lines of credit and don’t need a House and a Senate to authorize the use of them.

    If you want to stay in business, always pay your employees.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    But contractors have access to lines of credit and don’t need a House and a Senate to authorize the use of them.

    Friend of mine is a security guard for a federal building. Apparently they got their payment for January so he’s still working, but for February no money has come from DHS so he’ll be out of work. His company is very debt averse (which he said was common for the guard contractors so it might apply all over) so I wouldn’t count on the contractors taking on debt just to keep employees.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Yutsano:

    Friend of mine is a security guard for a federal building.

    Same here. Originally a Fed employee, but since the contractor took over he’s been fucked over on a # of occasions. I would bet he is in a similar bind. Probably the same contractor.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    Reminder to call your Senators, especially if Republican, and tell them to make a deal and reopen the government.

  28. 28
    Barbara says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think the truth will turn out somewhere in between — definitely not a master mind, but in my view, unlikely to have been a complete dupe. Instead, he invited assistance when it was offered and, likely through third parties like Manafort, Parscale, and Kushner, facilitated interference by providing tactical data and information. The question is at what point did he directly or through third parties discuss a quid pro quo involving sanctions. The fact that Kushner tried to establish back channel communications to the Russian ambassador more or less suggests that the quid pro quo discussions had been held before the election. Flynn was doing the same thing. The question is how much coordination was involved and at what level.

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    Has any reporter flat out asked the GOP leadership why they continue to give Trump aid and comfort?

    Where are the progressive gadflies like Glenn Greenwald on this?

    Have any historians or political science professors spoken out about this?

    The establishment and even the supposed anti-establishment doesn’t seem to know how to deal with Trump’s treason.

    I remember early on in an interview Speaker Ryan claimed that constitutional checks and balances could restrain Trump if necessary. Of course, Ryan is gone now and was useless while he was in office.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator:

    Where are the progressive gadflies like Glenn Greenwald on this?

    Greenwald is giving aid and comfort to Vlad.

  31. 31
    Mike in NC says:

    How many Republican senators raced to Moscow on July 4th? Ten maybe? I believe at least half of the entire GOP senate is on Putin’s payroll, including McConnell and Graham.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Barbara: Agreed — Trump is controlling and vicious enough to limit what his flunkies are willing to do behind his back. That might not apply to a desperate and broke grifter like Manafort, but it certainly applies to minions like Kushner and Don Jr.

    Even Trump isn’t dumb enough to have been a completely unwitting asset, in the “babe in the woods” sense. But I suspect his malignant narcissism truly hinders his ability to tell right from wrong. I don’t mean that in a LEGAL sense, but ethics just don’t come into play for someone like Trump. He defines “good” as “helps me” and “bad” as “opposes me” and is probably genuinely shocked that anyone could see it any other way. On that note, here’s Trump just moments ago, responding to reporters’ questions about whether he was working for Russia:

    “I never worked for Russia. You know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it’s a disgrace that you even ask that question because it’s a whole big fat hoax. It’s just a hoax.”

    Uh-huh.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator:

    Have any historians or political science professors spoken out about this?

    Steven Taylor at OTB has spoken out about it at considerable length. (for one example)

  34. 34
    MattF says:

    @Barbara: There’s also the business about destroying translator’s notes and ordering the translator to keep mum. It’s hard to think of an innocent explanation for that. And, tbh, why bother trying to explain it when the explanation is simple and obvious?

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    Rev. Dr. Barber (@RevDrBarber) Tweeted:
    Obama suggested affordable healthcare & GOP declared him a socialist. Trump conceals notes of private conversations w/ foreign adversary he is credibly accused of cooperating with & GOP defends him. This is the definition of white privilege.

    https://twitter.com/RevDrBarber/status/1084624553274458112?s=17

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Greenwald seems to be evolving from skepticism about Russia’s interference in the election to expressing alarm that the latest revelations will make neoliberal security hawks even more beholden to the ultimate villains: the US intelligence and law enforcement communities.

  37. 37
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @Face: If I understand correctly, during the Middle Class Values {TM} have only been for the middle class.

    It’s just a hoax.

    My Ass.

    And a certain large Northern California utility has signaled intent to file for chapter 11 today. The TV crews are already lining up. The extra security would be comforting, if I thought they actually were there to protect employees.

  38. 38
  39. 39

    @A Ghost To Most: Pretty frost, too. Unfortunately my thermostat has decided to act up. They are sending me a replacement, but that ain’t gonna heat the house. Luckily, not the new furnace.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Elizabelle says:

    Mistermix: have a wonderful trip. Glad to hear you are jetting out, visiting some National Parks on they way back. No time like the present, and I hope they are open for you.

    @MattF: Remember when the meeting first happened, and professional translators were up in a huff about possibly having to disclose the conversations? Saying it would be unprofessional. I really, really wondered about that at the time.

    In most cases, yes. But this was one of the most extreme of extreme examples, and that translator, very honestly, works for the US people.

  42. 42
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Certainly not a babe in the woods. Just a guy who thinks he’s smarter than he is and with no moral sense at all. As a lovely elderly teacher’s aide at my school used to put it, NO HOME TRAINING!

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Greenwald seems to be evolving from skepticism about Russia’s interference in the election to expressing alarm that the latest revelations will make neoliberal security hawks even more beholden to the ultimate villains: the US intelligence and law enforcement communities.

    Wow. What a weirdly narrow viewpoint. And utterly useless.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    I think we give Greenwald too much oxygen on this blog. He is a traitor and tool, very honestly.

  45. 45

    @Betty Cracker: Any comments from GG about the Brazilian dictator?

  46. 46
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know one of my favorite Holiday light providers is avoiding doing a pre-holiday sale because of the uncertainty with tariffs, and several people looking to pick up new equipment are now looking at other options. A small bit of anecdata, but that’s just another chunk of the economy getting mucked with.

    I feel worse for the company than the people looking to pick up a deal — the company used the pre-sale to keep their people busy throughout the year. I suspect the work will become ‘seasonal’ again.

  47. 47

    @Betty Cracker:
    Shorter: Greenwald is worried more people are going to start asking how he’s beholden to Putin.

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    @Elizabelle: Just another one of those so-called ‘norms’. If you don’t want one to be broken, you need to keep it off the train tracks when the runaway train barrels through.

  49. 49
    hueyplong says:

    @Elizabelle: Totally agree. Too much concern over what Greenwald thinks. Now that he has been exposed for all to see, it’s time to move on from what has become an irrelevant internet troll.

  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @Gelfling 545: Oh, he had plenty of home training from his criminal dad. Just like he’s trained his traitor tots.

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Steven Taylor at OTB has spoken out about it at considerable length. (for one example)

    Thanks. I will look at more of Taylor’s commentary.

  52. 52
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @hueyplong: In an earlier time, he was just another crank with a fax machine.

  53. 53
    Barbara says:

    @mapaghimagsik: I am not defending that certain utility, but if they don’t have the money they don’t have the money. That’s what bankruptcy is for. I don’t know enough about California’s regulation of utilities to know what options the state has, but creative minds should be working overtime to figure it out, including trying to get the petition with the court in bankruptcy dismissed as premature. I will endorse pitchforks when the board starts voting for bonuses and giant severance packages for executives on the way out.

  54. 54
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I avoid GG, but from discussions here I heard GG is and has been aggressively against the Brazilian right wing guy. Make of that what you will.

  55. 55
    Yarrow says:

    @hueyplong: Agree.

    @schrodingers_cat: He spoke out against him before the election, apparently. I don’t read him so that was second hand. I’d guess he’s feeling much less safe at this point, although perhaps their shared love of Putin will keep him protected for awhile.

  56. 56
    germy says:

    @hueyplong: His parodist is often more glenn than glenn:

    Many Democrats, to this very day, hold you responsible for Trump's win – while also making you a hero of the #resistance for investigating Trump – and love/hate you for it. Since you asked us to judge you by your enemies, what then? I forget what my point was. https://t.co/DHfjLTWtbd

    — Glem (@GlemGreenwald) January 12, 2019

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think we give Greenwald too much oxygen on this blog. He is a traitor and tool, very honestly.

    I don’t particularly care about what he thinks. I have never been an admirer. He was just a random pick of someone who is supposed to be a relatively well-known progressive gadfly.

  58. 58
    Steve in the ATL says:

    OMFG the security lines at ATL this morning…fuck trump and McConnell and all their enablers.

  59. 59
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    progressive gadflies like Glenn Greenwald

    You forgot to use the “snark” font.

  60. 60
    The Moar You Know says:

    Greenwald seems to be evolving from skepticism about Russia’s interference in the election to expressing alarm that the latest revelations will make neoliberal security hawks even more beholden to the ultimate villains: the US intelligence and law enforcement communities.

    @Betty Cracker: He should be alarmed. If I gotta pick between the GRU, Russian mob and Donald Trump, or the NSA/FBI/CIA and Hillary/BushCo, well, I’m going with the American operation and the “neoliberals”.

    I could make a credible argument that Griftwald is, more than quite a few people, responsible for that binary choice being the only two I have.

  61. 61
    germy says:

    @Yarrow: Whenever I think about leaving this country, I remember that it’s impossible to predict whether a “safe place” could go bad.

    Look at Glenn. He thought he was fine in sunny Brazil, in his gated community, and now his adopted country is being run by a strongman who wants people like him eradicated.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: I realize you’re not saying that he is, but it’s been clear for ages that Greenwald is not a progressive, and is an enemy of voters who want to elect Democrats.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  63. 63
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: I confess I read him at salon, back in 2003 during the height of the W insanity. At the time I didn’t know his backstory or the other views he held, other than being a critic of W.

  64. 64
    Barry says:

    @schrodingers_cat: “Any comments from GG about the Brazilian dictator?”

    That would gore his ox, and by that I mean put him in personal jeopardy. If he was lucky, they’d kick him out of the country; unlucky, they’d deport him to the US, where there might be some DoJ unpleasantness for him.

  65. 65
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Stephanie: @[Individual 1] mistermix: as much as I hate waiting in these ridiculous lines, I don’t blame the “sick” TSA agents at all.

  66. 66
    germy says:

    @Another Scott: That video! “Punish the dems” Jeez.

    How horrible he was (and is).

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Holy Christ, I just read some of Glem’s tweets. I haven’t read GG enough to know if Glem is “spot on,” but it sure seems like it. I guess I’ll have to start reading him more often.

  68. 68
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Brachiator:

    Where are the progressive gadflies like Glenn Greenwald on this?

    Greenie has problems of his own right now. He’s probably pretty high on Bolsonaro’s list of people whose lives he’s going to fuck with because he can. Homophobia is the flavor of the month in Brazil.

    Shit. I’m defending Greenie. What the ever-loving fuck is the world coming to?

  69. 69

    @Elizabelle: I am so old that I remember when he was a big hero on this blog. When JGC wrote approvingly of GG for his involvement with Manning and Snowden. And metadata and dronez were the biggest problems we had.

    ETA: Forgot to add Wikileaks to that list. Thankfully and that’s why I love Balloon Juice. The blog (and blogmaster too) has evolved from that position.
    But some of us recognized GG for the blowhard he was and were not taken by Wikileaks or Assange. Way back in the era of bad Obama with dronez and metadata.

  70. 70
    MattF says:

    @SFAW: Hmm. I don’t see that as the correct response.

  71. 71
    SFAW says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    Shit. I’m defending Greenie. What the ever-loving fuck is the world coming to?

    Doesn’t make you a bad person. You (and I and others) would probably also defend Bernie, were a more-obvious wave of anti-Semitism to rear its head.

    And besides, it’s Hitlary’s fault.

  72. 72
    germy says:

    @SFAW: There have been times when Glem has tweeted a parody, and then a few minutes later the real Glenn says something very close to the parody.

    Glem is a talented humorist, but it helps that Glenn is incredibly predictable.

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    @hueyplong:
    He will be out with 2,500 words to point out why if you don’t like him you’re a poopypants.

    Speaking of Brazil’s new president, what’s Portuguese for “Fuhrer”?

  74. 74
    SFAW says:

    @MattF:

    Hmm. I don’t see that as the correct response.

    I was talking about reading Glem, not GG. And reading semi-dark humor like that is not necessarily a bad thing.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Thoughts and prayers to you for reading GG as frequently as you seem to. I could not handle it.

  76. 76
    germy says:

    @SFAW: Glem captures Glenn’s tone perfectly.

  77. 77
    Barbara says:

    I will say again, I don’t know what happened to Greenwald. Occam’s razor, and consistent with much of what he said as he seemed to turn from being reasonable to being paranoid and punitive, Greenwald hated Obama. Whether it was because “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” made him blame Obama specifically for what has been 70 years of often misguided police state creep, or whether, really, Greenwald is just using “deep state paranoia” as a cover for underlying racism and sexism that I have no doubt many professed libertarians do — he has no constructive ideas, no personal stake, and no useful engagement with anyone that makes him add anything of value to anyone’s discussion about anything.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Moar You Know: I’m pretty sure you’re joking about the binary choice, but I may have a post later about that very topic, if I can find the time.

  79. 79

    @trollhattan: I don’t know how bad the the Portuguese were in Brazil but they were so awful in Goa that they made their British and French colonial counterparts almost seem cuddly in comparison.
    1. They were religious zealots, first and foremost.

  80. 80
    catclub says:

    I believe the TSA agents at our airport are employed by a contractor, so I think they’re getting paid.

    This is what I do not understand about other contractors for shutdown agencies that are not being paid. What contracts are they on that end whenever the agency shuts down???, rather than have some known period of performance that does NOT coincide with Federal government fiscal event dates?

  81. 81
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t particularly care about what he thinks. I have never been an admirer.

    my memory is that GG was very good on torture and in opposing legalistic torture memos that the GWBush admin was pushing to justify
    torture. Am I wrong on that memory?

    My guess is that legalistic opposition is what he gets off on. Progressive or practical does not register for him.

  82. 82
    Barbara says:

    @catclub: If you have the kind of contract that cannot be performed during the shutdown (e.g., janitorial services) you are not going to get paid and your employees are not getting paid unless you can divert them to other customers. If you have the kind of contract that requires your continued performance then you will most likely (but not certainly) get paid eventually, and you will imperil what is likely your largest tranche of business if you insist on getting paid on a timely basis. Unlike the federal government, you are bound by law to pay the employees who are showing up for work in the meantime. It just depends on what your situation is.

  83. 83
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Barbara: I think Greenwald only ever seemed reasonable because he first came to attention in a situation that his preoccupations fit extraordinarily well (the total clusterfuck period of Bush’s Iraq invasion). People assumed he was some sort of liberal, which he never was.

  84. 84

    @catclub: I remember the same. Also remember that Andrew Sullivan was a big fan.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    New Orleans radio stations pointed out Trump’s longish tweet saying he was coming to Nashville TN for the Farmers convention and he loved the farmers and tennessee. The convention is in New Orleans ( that is where the farmers go to get away from Tennessee) and the tweet was deleted.

  86. 86
    Betty Cracker says:

    The rightful president weighs in:

    @catclub: You are not wrong in that memory. He was verbose and thin-skinned and self-important even then, but it was easier to overlook those flaws when free access to better writers wasn’t as wide and the people he was targeting were undermining liberal values rather than opposing a would-be tyrant.

  87. 87
    catclub says:

    @Barbara:

    If you have the kind of contract that cannot be performed during the shutdown (e.g., janitorial services)

    this is amusing to me because my building is opened, but the site is run by NASA. I work for a funded agency, so I am working, but the NASA contract janitors are not here. So our janitors COULD be working, but aren’t.

    Makes perfect sense.

  88. 88
    Barbara says:

    @catclub: There are some agencies that are trying to extend their budget by choosing not to spend money on things that they can do without. It’s brutally unfair to the janitors.

  89. 89
    jeffreyw says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    thermostat – raise the temperature 3°
    I’m afraid I can’t do that TaMara.

  90. 90
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve watched that clip from that debate so many times since the election. She knew. She warned us. The media ignored it or covered it up and refused to investigate it. Too many people didn’t listen, didn’t believe her or didn’t care because of 25 years of a vast right conspiracy (she was right again) against her and of course Her Emails!

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    my memory is that GG was very good on torture and in opposing legalistic torture memos that the GWBush admin was pushing to justify
    torture. Am I wrong on that memory?

    My guess is that legalistic opposition is what he gets off on. Progressive or practical does not register for him.

    I think you nailed it.

  92. 92
    Ken says:

    @catclub: Nothing is ever deleted on the internet, and often the attempt backfires.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: Pet peeve (one of them, anyway) – she is an interpreter, not a translator. A translator is someone who works with written text, an interpreter handles speech in real-time. Different skill sets and training.

  95. 95
    randy khan says:

    @Brachiator:

    I used to read GG when he was at Salon (which was way different back then). To give him credit where it’s due, he was really strongly against torture and other abuses in Iraq and the general war on terror, and really could marshall his arguments on those things.

    But I stopped reading him because he (a) he really, really needed an editor, and Salon’s budget apparently did not include one, or at least one who could convince him to cut his pieces to about half their original length; and (b) he was, even then, incredibly thin skinned, to the point that he would post 4, 5, or even more updates/postscripts to respond in detail and with great vitriol to anyone who had the temerity to disagree with him. (Now, on the torture stuff, a lot of those people deserved his scorn, but it never helped move the arguments forward.) He just got too tiring to read, so I moved on the Ask the Pilot.

  96. 96
    Mandalay says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    I think that air travel in general is way down…

    Link? Given that the economy is chugging along and (world wide) air travel increases every year, I find that claim surprising.

  97. 97
    catclub says:

    I think it was Jennifer Rubin (I read) who pointed out that Trump’s proposed budget for 2019 did not include $5.7B for a wall, only $1.6B for border security. Some emergency.

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    I think they’re always seeking a politician who isn’t part of a political party and they were hoping Trump was that person.

    It’s akin to how they all loved Ron Paul, even though Ron Paul voted with the GOP 99.9% of the time. They love Bernie BECAUSE he’s not a Democrat- that adds value.

    Political parties aren’t cool and sophisticated. Party politics are the dumb stuff the masses fall for- the real savvy consumers of political news transcend party ID. Andrew Sullivan is also in this group.

  99. 99
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: Shitgibbon will fucking explode over being explicitly called out like this from her. A threat to “investigate” some imagined wrong doing, or even arrest and imprison her wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility of how he responds.

  100. 100
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I agree completely. It’s a waste of our time to chase the too cool for school folks.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Classiest “I told you so” ever.

  102. 102
    chopper says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    i just love how he’s getting his just desserts here, after humping the honest-to-god hoax of birtherism for years to attack a previous president. but when he’s catching hell it’s just the worst thing in the country’s history.

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    Greenie has problems of his own right now. He’s probably pretty high on Bolsonaro’s list of people whose lives he’s going to fuck with because he can. Homophobia is the flavor of the month in Brazil.

    Bolsonaro has been called the Trump of the Tropics. He revels not only in homophobia, but in racism and sexism as well.

    If people like Greenie can’t connect the dots, they have got bigger problems than they can imagine.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    You meet people when you’re canvassing who say “oh, I just vote straight Democrat” – because it’s easier. They agree generally with the Democrats so odds are they can back one and get a lot of what they want.

    This actually to me makes more sense than the “I vote the man” people, because voting straight ticket recognizes that the process requires a majority. Yet one is considered “dumb partisanship” and the other is considered wily sophistication. Dumb partisanship actually makes a lot of sense, if you’re not a political junkie. You’re voting Democrat as proxy for a set of ideas.

  105. 105
    Ksmiami says:

    @Betty Cracker: implying?…

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: Well, they sure “weren’t gonna vote for the lying bitch!” (quote courtesy of my BIL)

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    The “establishment” version of this is loving Michael Bloomberg :)

    He’s of no party or clique!

  108. 108
    chopper says:

    @Barbara:

    that’s my agency. we’re trying to squeeze another week out of our funding. luckily we had some leftover appropriations from previous fiscal years so we can go a couple weeks during a shutdown, but right now we’re running on fumes.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Trump is at 43/55 according to a tracking poll.

    Rasmussen. He’s twelve points under water with Rasmussen.

  110. 110
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Brazil ceased being a Portuguese colony in 1822. Portugal had lost effective control of the country during the Napoleonic Wars when the Portuguese Royal Family re-located there when it was thought Napoleon would invade. When the government of Portugal tried to re-establish it as a colony, Prince Pedro of Portugal stood with the Brazilians and supported their independence. He became the first Emperor of the Brazilian Empire and his descendants ruled Brazil until 1889 when they were overthrown in a military coup supported by the wealthy planters. According to Wikipedia, from whom I got this information, this coup did not have popular support and was caused, at least in part, by the Princess Imperial Isabel’s decision to end slavery in 1888, making Brazil the last last country in the Western Hemisphere to do so.

    The Imperial Family were relatively liberal in their outlook (for the time) so during their rule Brazil seems to have been a relatively democratic country (at least as much so as the US during the same period) but the coup led to a military dictatorship that did all the things military dictatorships usually do.

  111. 111
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Agreed again. It’s funny how the left and center have the same attitude toward Dems.

  112. 112
    Martin says:

    @Stephanie: After the firearm fiasco, ATL is going to double down on the checklists. Even at full staff they’d be longer lines today. With the shutdown, I’m surprised it’s not faster to walk to your destination.

  113. 113
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    You meet people when you’re canvassing who say “oh, I just vote straight Democrat” – because it’s easier.

    I used to do that, but when you read up on some of the Democrats running in the lower tier elections there are some real sleaze bags.

    It’s unlikely that I’d ever vote for a Republican for any office, but I’m also not voting for anyone who is clearly unfit for office just because they have a “D” against their name. When that happens, and it’s not that rare (at least in south Florida), I don’t vote for any of them.

  114. 114

    @Sloane Ranger: Thanks for the brief history lesson.

  115. 115
    Baud says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    The Imperial Family were relatively liberal in their outlook (for the time) so during their rule Brazil seems to have been a relatively democratic country (at least as much so as the US during the same period)

    Except for slavery. Brazil didn’t get rid of it until the 1880s.

  116. 116
    Martin says:

    BTW, as of today my kids are all adults. The biggest item on our life checklist was keeping the children alive and we succeeded. Somehow we did one better though, as they are genuinely good people, caring of others, not prejudiced, smart. I can’t help but feel that they make the world a slightly better place to be for everyone. Y’all would love them.

  117. 117
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    You meet people when you’re canvassing who say “oh, I just vote straight Democrat” – because it’s easier.

    The ability to vote straight ticket is going away. Only nine states currently have straight ticket voting and one of those (Texas) will lose it in 2020. Indiana’s is slightly limited. You can go through the ballot and just pick the D candidates but that’s more complicated and takes more time. Link.

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The Portuguese started African American slavery in the New World even before the British caught on to it. They started the massive deforestation of the Amazon in the name of “progress”. They destroyed Native tribes without abandon. The Portuguese weren’t nice in Brazil at all.

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I think Bloomberg is bad, generally, because he sort of makes the same argument Trump did- that being rich means you won’t be subject to the temptation of self-interest. That’s a ridiculous argument and is really proven untrue more often than true.

    As we all know people can be rich and greedy and corrupt :)

  120. 120
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Well, certainly, that has been me my whole life. On the few occasions when I considered the opposing Republican to be at least worthy of investigation or consideration, I have always concluded that it was never enough to risk putting another brick in the wall for the opposition. Looking at Susan Collins should tell you everything you need to know about why that is such a bad idea.

  121. 121
    psycholinguist says:

    I’m ready for Nancy and Chuck to turn the spotlight full on McConnell. How is that asshole getting a pass on the shutdown? To me, the message would be that the senate passed a veto-proof funding measure a month ago, why won’t they pass the same thing again? It is sitting on McConnell’s desk. I don’t see any other way this thing ends, and that would actually be a win for everybody – show the senates independence from Trump, Trump can claim he never gave in on the wall, Dems didn’t capitulate, and we can get 800,000 people back to work.

  122. 122
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    The whole thing makes me cranky because I can’t reconcile it with our actual system. “I vote for the person, not the Party”. Okay, but won’t you need more than one person? Your artisanal hand-crafted candidate is great but that’s not how this works.

    It”s more of an assembly line idea, really. Volume. You need a peck or a gross :)

  123. 123

    @Baud: They seem nice! Not.
    In the Indian context, Vasco Da Gama arrived in India via a sea route in 1498, he landed in Calicut. The Portuguese tried to establish a toehold in India. Initially they controlled Goa, Vasai and the islands of Mumbai. The seven islands of Mumbai were given to the British King as a part of the dowry. Portuguese were defeated at the battle of Vasai in 1739 by Bajirao Peshwa’s brother Chimaji. After that the Portuguese were confined to Goa.
    They were unpopular because they tried to forcibly convert the original inhabitants (Hindus, Muslims and some Jews) into Christians.
    ETA: They had to be kicked out of Goa, kicking and screaming in 1962.

  124. 124
    joel hanes says:

    @hueyplong:

    Greenwald

    Back in the day, the emanations of Mickey Kaus, Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, Ann Althouse, and John Hinderaker used to get a lot of play.
    I look forward to the day when GG joins them in obscurity.

  125. 125
    Sebastian says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    I don’t give a shit about GG. Actually, no, I am going to point and laugh and wish him a slow and painful death as he is being hoisted on his own petard.

    I have zero compassion with Capos who were tortured and killed by Nazis after they were no longer useful.

    GG actively contributed to the global rise of GRU & Putin assisted right wing. And now I should feel sorry for him because he is gay? Of all people he should have known better. If anything, his punishment should be worse.

  126. 126
    Miss Bianca says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Well, they sure “weren’t gonna vote for the lying bitch!” (quote courtesy of my BIL)

    So they voted for the lying bastard instead?

  127. 127

    @Yutsano: I suspected as much.

    ETA: On a positive note, they did introduce tomatoes and potatoes to the Indian cuisine.

  128. 128
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes. Interpreter is the word.

  129. 129
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sebastian: You seem nice.

  130. 130
    Martin says:

    @Kay: I dislike straight ticket voting because it incentivizes tribalism and being ignorant of candidates. Not that it makes a huge difference. In an ideal world, the party affiliation would be in all of the materials sent to voters, but not on the actual ballot. You’d have to learn who the candidates are in order to get the same result as a straight ticket.

  131. 131
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: There were two conversion models. The first was typified by MesoAmerica, which was forcible, sometimes brutal conversion to western belief and often dress. The technological advantage of the Europeans made this feasible against indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Jesuits like Francis Xavier, typified the second model, which relied more on assimilation of native customs and dress along with initiation into Christian belief. The Jesuits lost the internal Catholic power struggle sometime in the second half of the 16th century, except that the “forcible model” could not be imposed on countries that had if not equal then more advanced weaponry than Europeans encountered in the Americas. This led to the loss of Christian influence in Asia, for instance, Japan expelled all Christians and made conversion illegal. Prior to the expulsion, there actually were a significant number of Japanese who had converted. I think the competing branch of Catholics were the Dominicans, long the most conservative, anti-reform faction among those loyal to Rome.

    ETA: The vulnerability to disease also probably made forcible conversion easier to accomplish. Asians didn’t have the same vulnerability to diseases brought from Europe.

  132. 132

    @psycholinguist:

    McConnell. How is that asshole getting a pass on the shutdown?

    For some damn reason, McConnell and Boehner got passes on almost everything. Garland was the only issue where it at all stuck what insane obstructionists they were. All they had to do was say ‘Tisk tisk, tea party, my hands are tied’ and everyone would sigh and say that they had no choice. Which is, in my humble opinion, total bullshit. The Teabaggers got their power because leadership gave it to them. My best guess to why McConnell gets treated as reasonable is that it’s because the media really, really does not like admitting racism or sexism are common, and is emotionally invested to the depths of their souls in pretending that the Republican Party is legitimate. McConnell, who speaks quietly, has a decent vocabulary, and never comes anywhere using the n-word is obviously just a reasonable guy playing political hardball, which is awesome because it’s just a game anyway, right?

  133. 133
    joel hanes says:

    They were unpopular because they tried to forcibly convert the original inhabitants (Hindus, Muslims and some Jews) into Christians.

    There’s a great scene in Firesign Theater’s “Temporarily Humboldt County” that depicts Columbus landing on Hispaniola.

    PRIEST: Domini Domini Domini. You’re all Catholic now!

    Perhaps the indigenous Taino would find it bitterly funny, if there were any remaining Taino.

  134. 134
    BobS says:

    @Betty Cracker: Were you in a coma from 1981-1989?

  135. 135
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: It’s almost comical that Bloomberg thinks with his record– switching parties to suck up to Giuliani and support Bush’s war, then switching back– and his positions– cut Social Security and Medicare– he can win the Dem nomination. But he’s the Village incarnate in a lot of ways, so a lot of the people he listens to (and who work for him) share his delusion.

    If he wants to go all Andrew Carnegie with his money to benefit the fight against climate change, good on him. But he needs to let go of the presidential fantasy.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Miss Bianca: Not just nice, but misunderstands the “hoist by his own petard” usage.

  137. 137
    Elizabelle says:

    @Martin: Well done, Martin. Congrats to you and their mom (and them)!

  138. 138
    joel hanes says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The Teabaggers got their power because leadership gave it to them.

    Can’t buy this one.
    The Teabaggers got their power because
    1. They refused to vote for deals made in good faith by their leadership, and could not be whipped.
    2. The base backed the Teabaggers instead of the leadership (having been conditioned by Fox to regard compromise as unacceptable)

  139. 139
    Fair Economist says:

    @Barbara: Greenwald, most likely, has been working for Putin all along. It’s just that under Bush Putin’s interests in cutting Bush down largely coincided with ours, and Greenwald is smart and can turn out convincing arguments when he chooses and he’s working for some defensible goal. At first under Obama he then became partially disagreeable because Putin (and thus Greenwald) wanted to cut down Obama (bad) but rein in the US security state (largely good). With Trump’s election the full monstrosity of what Putin is up to has been revealed and Greenwald is still full in for it, but the difference is what Putin has been working for and how obviously bad it is.

  140. 140
    Barbara says:

    @joel hanes: No, I think that Frankensteinbeck is mostly right if you accept that leadership could have avoided Teabagger boycotts by dropping the so-called Hastert rule. Playing by that rule gave rise to and significantly curtailed their ability to control power blocking within their own faction. But they chose to allow it 99 times out of 100. When Boehner began looking across the aisle, he was gone within months.

  141. 141
    Kay says:

    CNN
    ‏Verified account
    @CNN
    5h5 hours ago
    More
    “Stop, stop, just stop — What are you doing? You’re f—ing it all up, Mick”: President Trump lashed out at acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney during a Situation Room meeting with Democrats earlier this month, a White House official says

    The funniest part of this story is how Trump, the master negotiator, actually fucked it all up. Trump quadrupled his demand. He told the Democrats he needed 1-billion something for his dumb wall, he didn’t get that and he came back with 5.

    He’s a terrible negotiator. What this was about was dumbo was trying to “reset” the ask having fucked it all up months ago. Mulvaney was actually following norms of negotiation, where Trump was desperately attempting to start over.

    You don’t get to “start over” at a higher number. That’s not how it works.

  142. 142
    Barbara says:

    @Fair Economist: In the Le Carre book “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” the traitor refuses to reveal the original recruitment relationship — whether it was a Russian person in England, or an English person who had already turned — except that it was “lifelong.” We are never to going to know.

  143. 143

    @Kay: In a two party system that makes zero sense, the voting for the person not the party, conceit.

  144. 144

    @Barbara: They did try the first method in India, when it didn’t work, switched to the second.

  145. 145
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Especially when you simultaneously start at a higher number AND take everything you had previously signaled as “gives” off the table altogether. This kind of style can work when it is unexpected, which is probably why Trump had trouble keeping up business relationships with the same parties, and instead, had to constantly find new vendors, new banks, new financiers, etc. Once people know what to expect they either refuse to deal with you or are prepared for the chaos.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    We all have to stop worshiping rich people. It’s appalling and embarrassing and bad for national character development.

  147. 147
    Fair Economist says:

    @Baud:

    Except for slavery. Brazil didn’t get rid of it until the 1880s.

    FWIW, slavery was abolished by the Princess Imperial Isabel without clear legislative support. The Brazilian monarchy was overthrown largely because of that. She opined later it was worth it. Good on her.

  148. 148
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: There were competing factions. The religious orders hated each other as much as they hated so-called pagans and heretics.

  149. 149
    WaterGirl says:

    @Miss Bianca: Pretty much what I said when he said that to me this summer, only I added words like sociopath.

    I was never the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton, but this hatred of her is simply not rational.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    I think Pelosi probably watched him for two years and knows the pattern. If he was smart he would have learned something about her, but he’s not, so he didn’t. She’s good at this! The chance that she would be so befuddled by his stupid tricks that she would mistakenly give away the store is slim to none. He’s not dealing with ripping off small painting contractors anymore. She’s a pro.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:
    Congratulations on reaching your parental milestone.

  152. 152
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Good luck with that. The Kardashians say hello.

  153. 153
    Kelly says:

    @Kay:

    The whole thing makes me cranky because I can’t reconcile it with our actual system. “I vote for the person, not the Party”. Okay, but won’t you need more than one person? Your artisanal hand-crafted candidate is great but that’s not how this works.

    It”s more of an assembly line idea, really. Volume. You need a peck or a gross :)

    I got into it with my brother and sister when they complained that as independants they couldn’t vote in the Oregon primary. First off I said why should you pick the captain of my team if you won’t join, never mind that the only requirement is to check a box on your registration. That didn’t go over well but I had good success with my brother describing politics as a team sport. He was captain of the HS football and wrestling teams his senior year. He had dealt with guys that wouldn’t (or couldn’t) stick to the playbook. My sister alas has sunk into the politics is a useless morass viewpoint.

  154. 154
    Nicole says:

    @Kay:

    I think Bloomberg is bad, generally, because he sort of makes the same argument Trump did- that being rich means you won’t be subject to the temptation of self-interest. That’s a ridiculous argument and is really proven untrue more often than true.

    Wow. That is some kind of stupid from Bloomberg. From what I’ve seen of rich folk, they reach a point where they have so much money, the only thing that gives them any pleasure to acquire is more money. They’ll hoover as much cash as they can right out of the economy and hoard it, just so they feel like they’re accomplishing something.

    Then again, this is coming from the guy who thought a sports stadium on the west side of midtown was a good idea for NYC. So, not all that surprising.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kay: Abstractly straight ticket is lazy and at least partially counterproductive. In practice the Republicans are so far gone now there’s almost never any harm in voting straight ticket D. The last Republicans I even considered voting for in a meaningful election was Swearengin for State Controller because I liked her actions on housing policy in Fresno – but in the end I decided I just couldn’t trust any Republican at this point. Her D opponent Betty Yee has been great anyway.

    (Okay, I do vote for the R County Recorder who signed my (gay) marriage certificate. Yeah, I know it’s the law and he couldn’t have refused but I still get all mushy about that. The clerk who married us was the absolute best, too!)

  157. 157
    lurker dean says:

    NYT again on the poor trump-loving farmers and how the shutdown will make it impossible for them to get their welfare checks. boo-fucking-hoo.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/opinion/trump-shutdown-government-farmers-aid.html

  158. 158
    laura says:

    @Barbara: re PGE not having the money. They DO have it, it’s just that they wont spend it on claims, it’s for the shareholders and execs.
    I expect they will “ring fence” the profitable sectors and spin off the costly one/s as they did during the ENRON manufactured crisis. It was as clean a getaway as it was an obscenity. Why wouldn’t they do it again?

  159. 159
    Punchy says:

    Real question: Why is Trump calling Senator Schumer “Crying Chuck”? What’s the basis for the pejorative nicky? Just wondering if it’s actually rooted in a real event, or just something alliterative that Dumpy dreamed up?

  160. 160
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kay: Pelosi in her job has to deal with 200+ different negotiators, probably mostly having some kind of ego issue. She knows all the different tactics and can handle them all. Trump undoubtedly believed he could outnegotiate her, which is yet another case of Republicans believing their own nonsense propaganda. Plus some misogyny, of course.

    The ironic thing is that Pelosi is a forgiving opponent and is always looking for win-win solutions. If Trump weren’t such an awful negotiator, he could have gotten something at least face-saving from her. But no…he can’t do even that…

  161. 161
    WaterGirl says:

    PG&E to file for bankruptcy following devastating California wildfires
    “Company blames liabilities, reconstruction costs and “increase in wildfire risk resulting from climate change”

  162. 162

    @joel hanes:
    The Teabaggers had, what, 30 guys in the House? If Boehner had been willing to take Democratic votes, the House would have sailed along laughing at those useless whining idiots. Boehner exploited the rules in a way that no one – not even Hastert – had ever considered before, to obstruct a black president. That was the only reason the Teabaggers had power. What were they going to do, kick him out? They never did, no matter how much they bitched and whined and threatened. Who would they replace him with? Nobody. They had no alternatives to offer, exactly like the dipsticks going after Nancy. And ‘afraid of the voters’ is bullshit. By 2010 it was crystal clear that the Teabaggers would primary everybody, and had already either won or lost. Playing to them didn’t matter, because they were never satisfied anyway. The Teabaggers had no power that Boehner didn’t give them, by being the most extreme obstructionist in the history of the House.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    dmsilev says:

    @Punchy: Schumer teared up while describing family members who died in the Holocaust. Yes, that’s why Trump chose that nickname.

  165. 165
    Fair Economist says:

    @Punchy:

    Real question: Why is Trump calling Senator Schumer “Crying Chuck”? What’s the basis for the pejorative nicky? Just wondering if it’s actually rooted in a real event, or just something alliterative that Dumpy dreamed up?

    Nothing I ever heard of. I take it as Trump losing and lashing out with his usual tactics – even more incompetently than usual, because it’s not even phonetically alliterative. To the barricades, Juicer poetry pedants!

  166. 166
    japa21 says:

    So Trump has now come out and denied working for Russia. The next question is “Is he working for Putin?”

    Anyway, he denied it strongly, just like Putin denied Russian involvement in election meddling strongly. He appears to have accepted Putin’s denial so of course we should accept his, because it was done strongly.

  167. 167
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Baud:

    IIRC, Pedro II opposed slavery for most of his reign but lacked the political support to end it, a fact confirmed by the coup that ended his reign almost immediately after Isabel (who was his regent while he was abroad) forced emancipation through despite the opposition of wealthy planters.

  168. 168
    rp says:

    @Fair Economist: I’m not sure I agree with this. He was a nobody in the early 2000s, so how would he have come to Putin’s attention? I think he wrote about Bush and torture and wiretapping because (a) he genuinely cared about these issues, and (b) he’s an attention whore who saw a good opportunity to raise his profile. My guess is that he was then recruited by Putin as part of the Snowden op.

    And, to be clear, I loathe GG with the white hot fire of a thousand suns.

  169. 169
    joel hanes says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Yeah, you’re right.

  170. 170
    Kelly says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m against the death penalty for people but I think a corporate death penalty is a good idea. Between gas explosions and fires PG&E is a mass murderer. Seize all assets and make it a publicly owned non-profit.

  171. 171
    Barbara says:

    @laura: They do or they don’t have it, but if they possibly do have it then filing for bankruptcy is premature and tactical. On that I agree. It doesn’t seem like they have even tried to figure out how to deal with potential liabilities without declaring bankruptcy.

  172. 172
    Fair Economist says:

    @rp: Putin’s goal is influencing opinion. In Greenwald’s original job, there’s no need for a “somebody”, just a person who can argue well (which Greenwald can, or at least could). A “somebody” is something of a detriment, even, because they’ll be more expensive. There is, literally, a large building of trolls in Russia, all nobodies, that he’s hired to influence opinion here. He uses any tools he can (in both senses).

  173. 173
    Sebastian says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    @Miss Bianca:

    You might want to look up the meaning of the saying in the literal sense, the usage in Hamlet, as well as the common usage.

    To quote:

    “Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is literally that the bomb-maker (a “petard” is a small explosive device) is blown up (“hoisted” off the ground) with his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal or poetic justice.

    How is plotting to take down liberal democratic order in collusion with anti-gay reactionary criminal forces only to be the target of anti-gay reactionary criminal forces not an ironic reversal or poetic justice?

    As to being nice. The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. I am done with philosophical debates if they are willing or unwilling co-conspirators, although the discussion is moot re GG, he has been a Russian agent since forever.

  174. 174
    Fair Economist says:

    @Barbara: Oh yeah, this is not a “prevent the checks from bouncing” bankruptcy, it’s a “F*** the people in Paradise by having assets ringfenced before the lawsuits” bankruptcy.

    I think the State of California could alter the bankruptcy rules at this point without running afoul of ex post facto. Maybe a lawyer could weigh in. If so, I hope they do.

  175. 175
    Sebastian says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Correct. In many cases the trolls are sleepers for a very long time, establishing credibility in the communities they are active in, only to be activated once an active measures campaign commences.

  176. 176
    Fair Economist says:

    @Sebastian: I want to see Greenwald get in trouble from Bolsonaro’s election because I want Putin’s assets to see that if he wins they are in at least at much trouble as the rest of us. Maybe more, because Putin doesn’t like loose ends. A lot of apparently loyal helpers in his various machinations have had mysterious deaths lately.

  177. 177
    Sebastian says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Exactly, there is a reason traitors have experienced the most cruel and severe punishment since time memorial. It is the most vile of crimes.

  178. 178
    Fair Economist says:

    @Sebastian: I’ve seen cases where apparently excellent posters have become suddenly hypersympathetic to Russia, Putin, or agents thereof. It’s hard to tell which are deep agents and which have been roped in by the propaganda web. I’m pretty sure there are some of both.

  179. 179
    Fair Economist says:

    @Sebastian:

    there is a reason traitors have experienced the most cruel and severe punishment since time memorial. It is the most vile of crimes.

    Needs to be frontpaged at some point.

  180. 180
    Sebastian says:

    @WaterGirl:

    How convenient. Any executives being held liable for the damage and deaths?

  181. 181
    Sebastian says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I wish I had bookmarked the link or Twitter thread about how Russia used to buy off journalists, college professors and assistants, and other network nodes. The internet and social media allowed them to take the same strategies and tactics and turn them into a weapon of mass influence.

    I grew up miles from the Iron Curtain but for the Grace of God on the free side. We were exposed to an seemingly endless amount of Warsaw Pact influencing, spy wars, propaganda (covert and not so covert), so all this is no surprise nor foreign.

    My understanding is that it is indeed a combination of ideological agents, useful idiots, disillusioned folks who are turned, greed, blackmail, and who knows what. As to GG it’s probably a combination of several factors but in the end comes the point where you make the decision that you are going to help the enemy of your country and your people, or the enemy of free people and democracy, either for your own ideology or (cynically) personal benefit.

    Didn’t a general recently say (and ( paraphrase): Some go down a path and before they know they are entangled in treason.

  182. 182
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kelly: Interesting idea. At first blush, I think I could get behind that.

  183. 183
    Searcher says:

    @Fair Economist: One of my favorite observations of the last election cycle was the falloff in trolling during the hours that would be third shift in Moscow.

  184. 184
    BobS says:

    @Fair Economist: It’s probably safe voting for some (not-insane) Republicans for offices like clerk or treasurer at the city or township level. However, it’s strategically unsound to risk giving them a majority (and control of policy or legislation) on city councils or state/federal legislatures.

  185. 185
    BobS says:

    @Sebastian: You know that you could substitute ‘CIA’ for “Russia” and still be correct, right?

  186. 186
    Searcher says:

    @BobS: Clerks and tax collector aren’t policy positions, so if the holder is competent at the very least it’s the last race to worry about after all the offices with policy or discretionary power.

  187. 187
    Terry chay says:

    @Brachiator: Glenn Greenwood has been a Russian asset since the Edward Snowden thing, probably because they got compromat on him
    Due to things he did around then. Its a stretch to call him a “progressive” anything and he has never been such a person in the first place, despite his self identification. It’s the only thing that explains his actions perfectly.

  188. 188
    J R in WV says:

    @hueyplong:

    Totally agree. Too much concern over what Greenwald thinks. Now that he has been exposed for all to see, it’s time to move on from what has become an irrelevant internet troll.

    Actually, I don’t recall Greenwald getting any oxygen here at all, to the contrary, he is most always portrayed as the idiot he really is, sucking up to J. Assange and other Russian stooges. Just one more part of the Russian effort to penetrate the US at all levels, on the left-wing-nut side instead of the right-wing-nut side.

    All the nuts have been subject to the Russian influence, on both sides of the spectrum. It’s hard to tell which set is more harmful, but the RWNJs clearly have far more control over their Russo-Republican political party.

    We Democratic folks only have the Bernie-idiots to worry about, and their influence on the actual party is minimal; although their political naivete may cause us to lose an election, it won’t cause us to lose our party.

  189. 189
    Barbara says:

    @Fair Economist: Bankruptcy is mostly federal, with deference to some state laws. Navigating changes in California law that would make the bankruptcy process less likely to harm consumers would be much harder than using a different regulatory approach to a monopoly utility.

  190. 190
    rp says:

    Greenwald’s newest Intercept article argues that the FBI is investigating Trump because the deep state doesn’t like his foreign policy.

  191. 191
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sebastian: I don’t know who you are, you sociopathic idiot, and I don’t fucking care either, but unless you out yourself as Stephen Greenblatt or someone of similar stature, DO NOT presume to lecture a theater scholar who is currently adapting “Hamlet” and has likely forgotten more Shakespeare than you have ever in your entire life known, on the meaning of “hoist by your/his own petard.” Which I wasn’t disputing anyway – I was commenting on your apparent willingness to turn into the enemy in your gleeful bloodlust. Fuck off, choad.

  192. 192
    The Moar You Know says:

    How convenient. Any executives being held liable for the damage and deaths?

    @Sebastian: Golly gee, Seb, no! That’s Anti-American!

  193. 193
    Brachiator says:

    @rp:

    Greenwald’s newest Intercept article argues that the FBI is investigating Trump because the deep state doesn’t like his foreign policy.

    Wow. I didn’t realize that Trump had a foreign policy, certainly not anything coherent.

  194. 194

    @J R in WV: I have to differ with you. There was a point during the Snowden thing where JC was pretty supportive of GG and was lashing out hard against GG critics (I do recall being one of them, having said something about the feud between GG and Bob Cesca and gotten smacked for it on this blog). I don’t recall what the other BJ writers thought. JC obviously changed course on that. I maintained then and still do now that Snowden was a traitor and not a true whistleblower and GG was a major enabler. I’ve never believed GG was a liberal or had any honest motivation to support liberal causes.

  195. 195
    Sebastian says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    You seem nice.

  196. 196
    Sebastian says:

    @BobS:

    You are comparing the Harlem Globetrotters with the Washington Generals. Same game, yes. One vastly outclassed by the other.

    The CIA was so flatfooted and hamfisted, they were a joke. You’d recognize an American operative from a mile away. We were high schoolers and if we could spot em …

  197. 197
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sebastian: I am, actually. Which is why I won’t tell tell you to eat shit and die…it would be against my principles. Eat shit and live.

  198. 198
    J R in WV says:

    @Martin:

    I dislike straight ticket voting because it incentivizes tribalism and being ignorant of candidates. Not that it makes a huge difference. In an ideal world, the party affiliation would be in all of the materials sent to voters, but not on the actual ballot. You’d have to learn who the candidates are in order to get the same result as a straight ticket.

    I spent literally hours over several days looking into 23 candidates for the WV Supreme Court, even trying to find out everyone’s political party was tough, and here lots of “Democrats” make their money working for big Oil & Gas and Coal companies, so not acceptable on the courts.

    I was able to find, using Google and reading many reports about court cases, that a few candidates were Democrats who did not make a living from extractive industries. So we voted for those candidates, as did the neighbors whom I shared my research with.

    But to no avail, as Republican fascists won all those races. Otherwise, I voted for the Democrat in every case, mostly they all lost too. Sad. Now my congresswoman is a mysterious Republican daughter of wealth, who will never vote to even criticize Trump, much less to Impeach him and then prosecute him for the many illegal Russian supporting things he has done for money and power.

  199. 199
    Sebastian says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    The irony of mirroring your statement back at you obviously escaped you, despite being a theater scholar. I shall adjust going forward.

    You also didn’t seem realize that only the second part of my response was directed at you. It looks like you took offense at a Wikipedia quote and saw this as enough reason and justification to call me a choad and cuss me out.

    Feel free to call me a sociopath, label me with bloodlust, and ask for me to eat shit and die (despite your too cute attempt to soften it. I’d expect more eloquence from a self-proclaimed theater scholar). All of this in defense of a Russian operative.

    Noted. Please proceed.

  200. 200
    BobS says:

    @Sebastian: I was actually referring to the influence of the CIA on American journalism and academia.
    Not so flatfooted.

  201. 201
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Martin: Congratulations. Raising kids is not an easy lift.

  202. 202
    Ruckus says:

    @Face:

    Apparently there’s no HR in the WH.

    There’s HR in the WH. shit for brains is the entire HR department. All the rules, regulations boil down to supplicate yourself for his review and that all laws, rules, regulations that applied before Jan 20, 2016 no longer exist.

  203. 203
    J R in WV says:

    @Sebastian:

    @BobS:

    You are comparing the Harlem Globetrotters with the Washington Generals. Same game, yes. One vastly outclassed by the other.

    The CIA was so flatfooted and hamfisted, they were a joke. You’d recognize an American operative from a mile away. We were high schoolers and if we could spot em …

    Sebastian, You are new here. BobS is a long running Russian troll, who won’t ever see what you are patiently trying to explain to him. Ever so often he gets banned or otherwise goes away, only to return with a similar ‘nym and identical style.

    Don’t pretend to feed him, he’ll go away pretty soon …

  204. 204
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    That home training from dear ole dad was all he got. Every other avenue of learning was not in line with that and was discredited because of that. He’s been 70% of his dad his entire life. The other 30% just devolved into thin air or never had anything to stick to.

  205. 205
    J R in WV says:

    @BobS:

    And now I’m going to break my own advice:

    @Sebastian: I was actually referring to the influence of the CIA on American journalism and academia.
    Not so flatfooted.

    You display an ignorance that proves you aren’t from around here. The CIA doesn’t operate inside the US at all, that’s illegal. All you speak of happens, but it’s the FBI internally, a completely separate operation from the CIA.

    Perhaps just as obvious, but different, and non-cooperative…

    Too stupid or ignorant to act like a normal American person, Russian stooge. Or perhaps a former John Bircher, believing that the US is run by the CIA? Same diff.

  206. 206
    Ruckus says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    Shit. I’m defending Greenie.

    We all have our bad days.

  207. 207
    Sebastian says:

    @J R in WV:

    I’ve been mostly lurking since 2008/2009. Joined during the Obama campaign brought here but the one famous blog post by Charles Pierce I believe (a lot of us were), not sure when I commented first although I did only recently start participating in discussions. BJ is my first and last read of the day.

    I saw the epic trolling of Doug, him going anon and public again, ABL, deBoer (fuck him), the This week in blackness (I misremember for sure). I am a humble disciple of Him, The White Greatness. Tunch.

    Don’t believe me? I can fax you my credenza (no, the helicopters are not amused). And yes, I am aware of all internet traditions. I am a jackal like the rest of y’all, y’all.

  208. 208
    Sebastian says:

    @J R in WV:

    I told you I grew up in Western Europe, miles from the Iron Curtain. Moved to the States a decade ago.

    I won’t comment on the rest of your statements.

    Edit: ugh never mind, thought you were addressing me. Apologies and I leave my comment up for transparency.

  209. 209
    ruemara says:

    @Burnspbesq: Somehow, I don’t think GG has a reason to be concerned. Every fascist needs a token to trot out.

  210. 210
    sgrAstar says:

    @Brachiator: maybe I’m too embedded in academia to have much perspective on this, but yes! Lots of professors have spoken out about trump. Check out Tim Snyder’s little book On Tyranny, for one. Snyder is a Yale historian and his stuff on djt is very good.

  211. 211
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:
    Hillary was right about EVERYTHING😡😡

  212. 212
    rikyrah says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Means that he actually is in the 30’s😒😒

  213. 213
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Three words for Bloomberg:

    Stop and frisk😡😡😡

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