But Seriously: Mitch McConnell Is A Monster

And it’s getting more widely noticed…

Charlie Pierce:

There simply is no more loathsome creature walking the political landscape than the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. You have to go back to McCarthy or McCarran to find a Senate leader who did so much damage to democratic norms and principles than this yokel from Kentucky. Trump is bad enough, but he’s just a jumped-up real-estate crook who’s in over his head. McConnell is a career politician who knows full well what he’s doing to democratic government and is doing it anyway because it gives him power, and it gives the rest of us a wingnut federal judiciary for the next 30 years. There is nothing that this president* can do that threatens McConnell’s power as much as it threatens the survival of the republic, and that’s where we are.

McConnell declared himself in opposition to Barack Obama right from the first day in office. There’s even video. Most noxiously, in reference to our present moment, when Obama came to him and asked him to present a united front against the Russian ratfcking that was enabling El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, McConnell turned him down, flat. Moreover, he told Obama that, if Obama went public, McConnell would use it as a political hammer on Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Obama should have done it anyway, god knows.) McConnell issued a watery denial of these charges, but there’s no good goddamn reason to believe him.

He doesn’t have the essential patriotism god gave a snail. He pledges allegiance to his donors, and they get what they want. He’s selling out his country, and he’s doing it in real-time and out in the open. This is worse than McCarthy or McCarran ever were. Mitch McConnell is the the thief of the nation’s soul.


Readable, and terrifying:

McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate for 34 years and, as of last June, is the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history, is one of Washington’s most famously inexpressive creatures. “You’ve got to see the gears turning behind the eyes, because the mouth isn’t moving very much,” Ryan told me…

… [B]y the fall of last year, McConnell had emerged as one of the few unambiguous winners of the Trump presidency to date. When I first spoke with him, this past November, he talked of the preceding two years with a faint air of mystified amusement at his own fortune: as if a minor meteor had streaked through the window of the majority leader’s office, narrowly missing his head before exploding against the two-century-old marble fireplace, and then also turned out to be filled with candy and hundred-dollar bills. “I think even though we’re pretty different in every way you can think of,” he told me, clearing his throat, “we’ve had a good sort of team effort here to accomplish as much as we can.”

He was the Trump administration’s indispensable partner in seating two Supreme Court justices and 83 lower-court judges: a generational remaking of the courts that has made McConnell, “in my view, the most consequential majority leader, certainly, in modern history,” says Leonard Leo, the conservative legal activist who serves as executive vice president of the Federalist Society and as an adviser to the Trump administration on the court appointments. Shortly after the midterm elections, McConnell’s longtime adviser J. Scott Jennings described to me how McConnell had “taken on this role as the principal enabler of the Trump agenda,” and he meant it as a compliment. There had been an improbable synergy between the two men: the president who covets power but has little sense or discipline in wielding it, and the legislator who has often seemed to consider the skillful exercise of power an end unto itself…

Trump genuinely admires him, of course, if you believe his former comms director:

… “We’re going to have to keep everyone together, because we’re going to be doing this without any Democratic votes,” McConnell said.

“Really?” Trump replied, suddenly intrigued. “You don’t think we’ll get any?”

The owlish, placid Senate majority leader spoke quietly but firmly. “No, Mr. President,” McConnell said. “Not one.” Democrats had passed Obamacare without any Republican votes. If Republicans were going to repeal it, McConnell believed they’d have to do it in the same way.

“What about Joe Manchin?” Trump asked, as if McConnell must have for­gotten him. Manchin, a 69-year-old West Virginia Democrat who liked to position himself as above partisan politics and willing to work with the GOP, was coming up for reelection in 2018 in a state that Trump had won by 42 points. On top of that, Trump viewed him as a personal friend. Surely his buddy Joe would play ball.

“Absolutely not, Mr. President,” McConnell said in a tone that seemed designed to end the debate.

“Really?” the president asked. Often the contrarian, he seemed to view this as a personal challenge as well as a test of his persuasiveness. “I have a wonderful relationship with him; I think he might come around.”

McConnell didn’t flinch. He stayed sitting upright in his brown leather chair, elbows on the armrests and hands clasped underneath his chin.

“Mr. President,” he began, “he’ll never be with us when it counts. I’ve seen this time and time again. We’re going to do everything in our power to beat him when he comes up for reelection in 2018.”…

“Well, Joe’s been a friend of mine, so we’ll have to see,” Trump said, turning his attention back to McConnell. “Do we have to go after him like that?” “Absolutely, Mr. President,” McConnell shot back without a moment’s hesitation. “We’re going to crush him like a grape.” Outside the walls of the Roosevelt Room, the conventional wisdom was that men like McConnell would temper Trump’s aggressive impulses. Just the opposite was happening right now. There was a brief silence—maybe a half second—when the atmosphere in the room felt like the scene in Goodfellas when no one can tell how Joe Pesci is going to react to Ray Liotta calling him “funny.” Would he freak out? Would he laugh it off? Finally Trump broke the tension.

“This guy’s mean as a snake!” he said, pointing at McConnell and looking around the room. The entire group burst out laughing.

“I like it, though, Mitch,” he continued, giving McConnell two quick pats on the back. “If that’s what you think we need to do.”

“I do,” McConnell said, never breaking his steely-­eyed character…






163 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Clearly, Nancy Pelosi must go.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    hells littlest angel says:

    Fair and open elections are a fucking power grab, just not the kind McConnell likes. He thinks power grabs should be done in quiet rooms, among close friends and a few representatives of foreign intelligence agencies.

  4. 4
    TS (the original) says:

    Late to the blog & as this thread wasn’t showing I was reading Betty’s thread – to quote Thiessen

    Trump should make clear these demands are nonnegotiable. He will not make any concessions for them.

    and really did wonder how he thought trump would enforce these non-negotiable demands. Shut down government until he is impeached? Send out the goons to attack the opposition? Cry?

    Meanwhile, I have much more confidence in Nancy Pelosi enforcing some electoral reform through the congress – she knows how to do her job.

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    I just saw that Kruse tweet and Marc Elias’ too…they’re both right, of course.

    Hold him up to the light, Dems. Hold it alllll up, and let people see what’s really going on here.

  6. 6
    hells littlest angel says:

    @TS (the original): Trump should make clear these demands are nonnegotiable.

    And then, weeks or months later, make it clear that he never said they were nonnegotiable.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    If there were a way to do it, Mitch McConnell would probably make it illegal for Democrats to vote.

  8. 8
    Miss Bianca says:

    Christ, I hope one of those indictments coming down the pike from the Mueller investigation is for McConnell. I can’t think of anyone but Trump who more richly deserves it.

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid: And, failing that, he’s doing everything he can to decrease the numbers who can. That’s basically what he admitted to today.

    How is having a national election day/holiday a “power grab”? That thought is only possible if you don’t want “those” people to vote.

  10. 10
    The Dangerman says:

    …a federal holiday for Election Day as part of a “power grab” by Democrats to win elections

    So, people actually voting is bad for Republicans? Really? No shit?

    Asshole.

  11. 11
    Sebastian says:

    It bears repeating: what is in the hacked RNC emails?

  12. 12
    TS (the original) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Mitch McConnell would probably make it illegal for Democrats to vote.

    Together with GOP states – he’s working on it.

  13. 13
    B.B.A. says:

    Back in Obama’s first term (oh, those were the days), Mitch was the first minority leader to control the Senate.

    Evil to the last cell in his body. And since only the good die young, McConnell (like Trump and Cheney) will be with us forever.

  14. 14
    Jeffro says:

    I couldn’t bear to watch that Turtle clip…is his “logic” that voters will be so grateful to the Dems for having a (yet another? liberal slackers!) day off that they’ll vote straight-ticket Dem as a thank-you? I can’t even figure out what the RWNJ/McConnell cover story is here…

  15. 15
    pattonbt says:

    I think the Dems should create a national holiday for voting day called “Democracy Day”. And wrap it up in all the shitty flag / nationalism crap they can. Be as jingoistic as they can in selling it, then to opposition “what do you have against democracy?”

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jeffro:
    I think his logic is more straightforward: when more Democrats vote, more Republicans will lose elections.

  17. 17
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr., was born on February 20, 1942. He will be 77 years old in less than a month. If Speaker Pelosi keeps out-maneuvering him, retirement may start looking attractive.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: The NY Times finely got it’s tuchas in gear.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/us/politics/steven-mnuchin-russia-sanctions.html#click=https://t.co/N66xs8FDJT

    Blavatnik’s $2.5 million contribution is delineated in the article. Even though the Dallas Morning News reported on it two years ago, as did we here at Balloon Juice.

  19. 19
    HeleninEire says:

    @Baud: You always have the best response. Are you omniscient, are you brilliant, or are you drunk?

    Any of those is acceptable. But drunk would be my favorite. I will vote for you regardless.

    OT my new phone is accepting my nym and email. Woop.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I hate him so much I just totes cannot EVEN.

  21. 21
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Tell me where Mitch McConnell’s grave ends up being, and I will be one of the first in line to piss on it.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    It seems like all the Dem candidates use Instagram. Is that something worth signing up for?

  23. 23
    Kdaug says:

    @pattonbt: Replace Columbus Day

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sebastian: Given most of them are from the south, most likely recipes for:

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Kdaug:

    Given our policy agenda, shouldn’t we be replacing Christmas Day instead?

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @HeleninEire:

    OT my new phone is accepting my nym and email. Woop.

    Just you wight, ‘EleninHeire, just you wight!

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire:

    But drunk would be my favorite.

    You can take the girl out of Eire….

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Ken says:

    @HeleninEire:

    @Baud: You always have the best response.

    Presidential material, through and through.

  30. 30
    Jeffro says:

    @pattonbt: eh making it about “democracy” will just rally their side, they equate “democracy” with “more of THOSE people voting”

  31. 31
    HeleninEire says:

    @Baud: Yeah. This girl ain’t never leaving Eire. Not really.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid: that’s his own internal logic…what’s the cover story he would like to sell America (or at least the GOP base)? An extra day off is for slackers; real Americans make time/struggle through any hardship to vote?

  33. 33

    @Baud: F******k owns it, so I’d advise against actually signing up for an account, but it might be worth reading some of the politicians’ feeds from time to time.

    I’ll agree that that FTFNYT article is pretty good, especially by their standards, but Christ, their editors must be asleep at the switch.

    McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate for 34 years and, as of last June, is the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history, is one of Washington’s most famously inexpressive creatures.

    This technically isn’t incorrect, but holy Christ, it’s awkward. Difficult to parse where the dependent clause starts and ends thanks to all the unnecessary commas. Much better:

    McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate for 34 years and became the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history last June, is one of Washington’s most famously inexpressive creatures.

    I don’t know how a sentence that awkwardly phrased got out of first draft.

  34. 34
    randy khan says:

    The simplest way to understand McConnell is that he’s one of those politicians who is entirely interested in the power that he gains from being in office. Anything that reduces that power is a threat to him, and he will use any tool necessary to address the threat. Once you get that, nothing he does or says is a surprise.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @pattonbt:

    We could do elections like the Aussie Sausage Sizzle

    Australians always vote on a Saturday, and voting is compulsory, so there is always a big voter turnout, for both state and federal elections. Many of the polling places are located at schools, community halls and churches, so the groups whose facilities are used for polling booths often take advantage of the large number of people coming to their location, and set up stalls to raise funds for their groups. For many community groups this is the biggest fundraising event of the year.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    it might be worth reading some of the politicians’ feeds from time to time.

    You can do that without signing up? That’s better.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: In her defense, her nym isn’t a series of dipthongs loosely contained by strange consonant clusters.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t think Americans would tolerate fundraising at the polls.

  39. 39
    Jay says:

    “Every Brexiter MP and commentator is an instant expert on the food industry, just as they are on the car industry or aerospace, knowing far more than those who actually work in and run those businesses. Or, for those of such self-evident ignorance that any claim to expertise would cause instant laughter, a more boorish approach is taken. Hence one of the most shameful of recent events, when Mark Francois, Deputy Chair of the ERG, denounced the CEO of Airbus, one of the UK’s most important employers, for being German, tore up his letter warning of the consequences of no deal, and talked about his own father having stood up to German ‘bullying’ on D-Day. It would be hard to find a more compelling image of the silliness and sheer nastiness of the Brexit Ultras.”

    http://chrisgreybrexitblog.blo.....e.html?m=1

    Seem familiar?

  40. 40
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sebastian: And, even more to the point: When the hell are the RNC emails going to be leaked?

    Apparently, information damaging to Democrats is the only information yearning to breathe free, although that may finally be changing…

  41. 41
    aliasofwestgate says:

    He can no longer lead the Speaker of the House by the nose. The shade she threw at him was classic and perfect, because it galvanized him to do something. Which i thought was great. He is definitely the worst of them out there right now, since he knows exactly what he’s doing. Nancy so far seems to know how rattle him, and i hope that continues. Because we’re going to need every advantage possible to head off as much shit as we can until something gives.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You’re getting personal now, Doctor Silverman.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: Sent you an email earlier in case you’ve not checked that account in a while.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve been looking for a way to work dipthong into a post or comment for a while. So thank you for teeing it up for me!

  45. 45
    Aleta says:

    The Democratic Coalition wrote a summary, Mitch McConnell’s Ties to Russian Oil Money at Medium.


    The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by Sen. McConnell’s former Chief of Staff, received a total of $3,500,000 ($2,500,000 in 2016 and $1,000,000 in 2017) via Access Industries and a subsidiary.

    Len Blavatnik is a Russian oligarch with US and UK citizenship who owns Access Industries and donated to Sen. McConnell’s 2016 Senate campaign vehicles.
    Blavatnik’s Access Industries made many of its billions from Putin’s decisions about its Russian oil partnership.

    He is also a long-term business partner of Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at RuSal, in which he is a major investor, as well as Viktor Vekselberg, who is entangled with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen through his U.S. family office Columbus Nova.

    Last week, Sen. McConnell led 42 Republicans in voting against a resolution to maintain sanctions on Blavatnik’s business partner Deripaska.
    The Trump Administration formally dropped sanctions on the night of January 27th, 2019, which were imposed against Deripaska, Blavatnik’s long time business partner, for his high-level role in Russia’s election attack against the United States in 2016. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is also a longtime business partner of Blavatnik.

    I’m hopeful he’ll have to talk to someone under oath soon.

  46. 46
    HeleninEire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No kidding. When, Who?? Called SiubhanDuinne “Subaru Diane” I was thrilled. I can spell that!!!

  47. 47
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @H.E.Wolf:
    If the shutdown shows anything, is that Mitch McConnell is not invincible and can cave to pressure.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think Americans would tolerate fundraising at the polls.

    Apparently, McConnell doesn’t tolerate voting at the polls.

    Okay, instead of fundraising, we could fall back on beer drinking.

  49. 49

    @Jeffro:

    what’s the cover story he would like to sell America (or at least the GOP base)?

    You just heard it. His cover story is that it’s unfair for Democrats to encourage more voting and less corruption, because that benefits Democrats. This is a belief often held openly among Republicans, elected and voters. In Wisconsin (Michigan?) when they were trying to pass that law to limit the governor’s power, they said openly it’s because a Democrat was elected and a Democratic governor might use his power to do liberal things. They don’t believe in sharing.

  50. 50
    Mary G says:

    @Baud: Facebook owns Instagram, so I refuse to join. It’s mostly pictures. The print is tiny so even if they write on a post I can’t see it. And the hashtags are out of control.

    I can see whatever they choose to make public anyway.

  51. 51
    Chris T. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, except it’s di-PH-thong, pronounced “diff-thong” more or less…

    (I know, I know, spelling is not your “fort” :-) )

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @H.E.Wolf: I’m holding out hope that he gets named in a Mueller indictment and decides to spend more time with his family this year. Preferably early this year.

    Wasn’t it Yertle who was reported shocked and speechless after a classified briefing a couple of years ago outlining just what the Intelligence Community had on Russian election interference?

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    Borowitz in full.

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Using some of his harshest rhetoric in recent memory, President Donald J. Trump came out strongly against intelligence on Wednesday morning.

    “I’ve listened to these people with so-called intelligence go on and on, and, quite frankly, it’s a waste of time,” he said. “I know a lot more than people with intelligence do.”

    Trump added that he has stopped receiving intelligence briefings at the White House, arguing, “I can do my job without any intelligence whatsoever.”

    He said that he has chosen, instead, to seek advice from his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and from his elder children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald, Jr. “You won’t find a trace of intelligence in anything they say,” he boasted.

    At a briefing for the White House press corps, the President’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, denied that Trump’s war on intelligence was a new development. “Intelligence has never played a role in Donald Trump’s life,” she said.

    Seems note-perfect to me.

  55. 55
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Do they not care that the rest of us can see and hear what they’re saying and doing?

    That’s just too damn bad that more voters typically prefer Democrats. Maybe the GOP should change their platform to better match what the public wants.

  56. 56
    trollhattan says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:
    Believe that’s called “acting” in line with shock at gambling, etc.

  57. 57
    ruemara says:

    I am so sick of how the media has obviously been born just this week. Every fucking week. Shit that was clear in Obama’s term is now dawning on these fools. They make me angrier than the turtle traitor.

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I think his shock was the level of knowledge the IC had about how compromised his party was.

  58. 58
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Just opened it, will get on it tomorrow.

  59. 59
    B.B.A. says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Wasn’t it Yertle who was reported shocked and speechless after a classified briefing a couple of years ago outlining just what the Intelligence Community had on Russian election interference?

    My unfounded suspicion is that the briefing just happened to contain “by the way, Mitch, we know the REAL reason you got discharged from the Army, the one that was purged from the official records decades ago. And we know you’d hate to see it leak.”

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    @Sebastian: Mitch has been that way for a long time so they didn’t need to hack his. Now Graham is a different story The about face after one golf game with trump was obvious.

  61. 61
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve been looking for a way to work dipthong into a post or comment for a while. So thank you for teeing it up for me!

    Not wanting to snark, but as long as you’re going to do this, it’s “diphthong,” not “dipthong.”

  62. 62
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Sebastian: I would really like to know what’s in those hacked RNC emails. It might explain Lindsey Graham’s behavior, among other things (Paul Ryan’s resignation, Devin Nunes, etc., etc.).

    I like how the Democrats have framed the HR1 legislation. Most reasonable people will raise their eyebrows at McConnell’s characterization, especially those who understand that many democracies around the world make election day a holiday or have elections on weekends when more people can participate.

    How do the Democrats handle a judiciary that’s way, way, way more conservative than the general population though? If we win the House, Senate and presidency in 2020, how much can we undo the damage to the courts, which gets very little attention? The Supreme Court does somewhat but the lower courts don’t seem to. Do ads about the court help? Has any candidate ever tried them? I could see an ad that plays up something like Gorsuch ruling in effect that a truck driver should freeze to death in his cab rather than leave his former company’s precious cargo in a blizzard and asks “do you want a president that appoints justices who understand that your life is more important than a load of cargo?”

  63. 63
    Jay says:

    @Baud:

    Ozzies make it a street party. You can buy food, drinks, crafts, enter draws, to support local charities, before or after voting.

  64. 64

    @Mary G: I tried to use Instagram but I’m a failure at it. I follow Pete Sousa and a group called Thursday Aesthetic and that’s about it.

  65. 65
    Mary G says:

    Non-politics thread:

    Something incredible is happening on reddit. I'm tempted to say these people have way too much time, but this is legit amazing. #RecursionFTW pic.twitter.com/mr8jHjTbnV— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) January 30, 2019

  66. 66
    Jay says:

    Isn’t a dipthong one of those tiny budgie smugglers old, fat, hairy white men wear at the beach?

  67. 67
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    OMG Teh Grammar.

  68. 68
    pat says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ha ha that’s exactly what they are doing.
    ‘I’m probably not the first one to say this. Just came to the thread….

  69. 69
    Sally says:

    Aussie Sausage Sizzle / Election Day is the best thing evah. You have to get your sausage after you vote because the lines move so quickly you would dribble sauce all over your ballot if you bought it on the way in. A$2 for snag, onions, sauce. Yummo. And “Yes” to “compulsory voting” – attendance really, as it affords universal franchise.

  70. 70
    lollipopguild says:

    @HeleninEire: Vote for Baud2020! He is a brilliant drunk!

  71. 71
    Van Buren says:

    @Aleta: Of course, this is not nearly as troubling as the Secretary of State refusing to meet with people who had donated to her foundation. Just watch any network if you don’t believe me.

  72. 72
    Stuart Frasier says:

    @Aleta:
    The Democratic Coalition seems to be a bit scammy. I’d be wary of anything coming from them.

  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    Mitch McConnell is a traitor to the United States of America. He deserves a traitors’ end.

  74. 74
    HeleninEire says:

    @lollipopguild: Omniscient too!!

  75. 75
    HeleninEire says:

    @HeleninEire: And the Eire is never ever leaving this girl.

  76. 76

    @Van Buren: In fairness, she did use email.

  77. 77
    lollipopguild says:

    @HeleninEire: And on this blog omnipresent too! (spooky music) “Baud is watching you!”

  78. 78
    Mike in NC says:

    Kentucky also has a scumbag governor who thinks people are too soft if they don’t want to freeze to death.

  79. 79
    Czanne says:

    Update: nothing new on B. Hanging on.

    Any Savannah hotel suggestions? I don’t want to be at the same one with my mother. I know where she’s at. University Memorial hospital, but there don’t seem to be walking distance hotels. (I prefer a fitness center. 3 episodes of the Good Place and exercise bike are my current anti-depressants.)

    You jackals will appreciate this irony, because if I don’t find humor in this, it will break me.

    I haven’t talked to my father in almost 20 years. (He wasn’t a good parent. Neither of them were. Let’s leave it at that.)
    The best flight for me leaving Denver? A direct to Sav on Frontier. Every other carrier is flying into the bad weather first. I have to be at DIA at oh my god it’s early, but that’s fine.

    That flight originates in Phoenix. Where my father lives. And my grandmother (his 95 year old mom) tells me my father is on an oh my god it’s early flight on the same day… so it’s gotta be the same one.

    Here’s hoping he picked the mid-plane exit row.

  80. 80
    Jay says:

    “US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said on Wednesday that self-proclaimed hackers in Russia stole evidence prosecutors had turned over confidentially to a Russian firm accused of funding a propaganda campaign to interfere in the 2016 US election.

    Some non-sensitive data was posted online in October by a Twitter account that took credit for stealing the information, Mueller’s office said in a court filing.

    “We’ve got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case,” the court document quoted the Twitter post as saying.

    The data that appeared online was “altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. political system,” prosecutors wrote.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/russians-leaked-mueller-probe-evidence-online-prosecutors-say-20190131-p50up8.html

  81. 81
    Jay says:

    Stuck in moderation

  82. 82
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jay: with the Memphis blues again?

  83. 83
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Czanne: Given what you’ve already told us, hanging on is good news. May it get better.

    As to the flight, cross your fingers. There are several OMGEarly flights from Phoenix to Savannah. Most stop in Charlotte or Atlanta.

  84. 84

    @Adam L Silverman: Yours is the go-to precis when assessing McTurtle.

    H.R. 1 is the far left’s sprawling effort to seize more control of the political process. It’s an attempt to rewrite the rules of American politics to benefit the Democrats and their friends.

    Takes one to know one, you two-bit-ratfuck soulless criminal bastard. May you never dine in public in peace again.

  85. 85

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Do they not care that the rest of us can see and hear what they’re saying and doing?

    No, they don’t. Why would they? We’re not legitimate. They do care about the media, but there are relative levels of not even understanding that anyone could object to their positions, and in McConnell’s case being able to play the media like the fiddle. He knows the news loves to question whether or not Democrats should be allowed to share the same world as Republicans.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How about schwa sound? I learned schwa in third grade.

  87. 87
    West of the Rockies says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    Dude, Adam is many things, but “two bit”? I protest.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @B.B.A.: and my unfounded opinion is that if they HAD said what you suggest, McConnell’s behavior would have changed from always covering up Russian influence. It hasn’t.

  89. 89
    Sebastian says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Call me crazy but I have a suspicion there is some Beluga caviar hising among all that shrimp.

  90. 90
    Mike in DC says:

    The sobering thought: would Mitch’s replacement really be any better? You’d still have filibuster abuse, extreme judges etc.

  91. 91
    JPL says:

    @Mike in DC: The replacement would not be speaker and I wouldn’t have to look at his smarmy face. So yup different.

  92. 92
    Sebastian says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Simple. Resign or be executed for treason, conspiracy against the United States, aiding and abetting the enemy. If they resign they get to live. In Supermax.

    I am really not sure what’s the point in coddling these traitors to the Republic. Wipe em out, all of them.

  93. 93
    pattonbt says:

    @Brachiator: Ha! as a dual citizen (US / AUS) I have to admit, I am not a fan of compulsory voting, but the sausage sizzle and (for us) school bake sales are worth the requisite trip to vote!

  94. 94
    Jeffro says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I know, right? This is what I was saying: what’s the (lame) excuse/cover story?

    It’s like they’re not even trying. I know trumpov’s too lazy to care, but Mitch usually tries to put some sort of veneer of BS on his moves

  95. 95

    @Mike in DC: Nope, think Majority Leader Cotton. I would say “or Majority Leader Cruz”, but Ted would have to off all his Republican colleagues to get elected and then he wouldn’t be Majority Leader.

  96. 96
    CZanne says:

    @Kirk Spencer: At this point, my father’s not even in the bottom quartile of my Shit List. (He can get back there quick like a bunny, but I would in fact piss on him if he was on fire. Something this mis-administration has done to his benefit.) If I can get him being protective of his daughter & granddaughter by aiming him at the XBIL, I’ll actually consider him above the halfway point.

    Unfortunately, in terms of B’s condition, the intercranial pressure is making the perfusion of oxygen nearly impossible. This is a kid who was building robots at 8. She’s brilliant, and that’s not just me being doting. There are only degrees of worse now.

  97. 97
    Fair Economist says:

    @Czanne: That is certainly bizarre! You can either use this as an opportunity for reconciliation or to mindf*** the heck out of him. Whatever you choose, I hope it goes well.

  98. 98
    grandpa john says:

    @PsiFighter37: Put up a ticket booth and we will pay of the national debt in a few years. Some of us no doubt making it an annual pilgrimage

  99. 99
    dopey-o says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Tell me where Mitch McConnell’s grave ends up being, and I will be one of the first in line to piss on it.

    i will buy a bottle of Kentucky’s finest bourbon whiskey to pour on McConnell’s grave. once i finish the bottle.

  100. 100
    Jay says:

    “1000 NON-SENSITIVE FILES LEAKED ALONG WITH THE FILE STRUCTURE MUELLER PROVIDED IT WITH

    To substantiate an argument that Concord Management should not be able to share the sensitive discovery that the government has shared with their trollish lawyers, Mueller revealed that on October 22, someone posted 1000 files turned over in discovery along with a bunch of other crap, partially nested within the file structure of the files turned over in discovery.”

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/30/the-disinformation-campaign-targeting-mueller-and-the-delayed-briefing-to-ssci-on-russian-election-interference/

  101. 101
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    I doubt Trump actually *admires* McConnell. I think he just gets his, uh, ego stroked by McConnell because the one and only thing Trump has done is nominated a lot of judges, which was the one and only thing McConnell cared about.

    (Yes, he signed a Republican-demanded tax cut. Presidents sign bills that they support. He did exactly what Norquist demands: had enough working fingers to sign the bill. And he probably doesn’t even realize that they see him as a rube for falling for their manipulation.)

  102. 102
    realbtl says:

    @Czanne: De-semi-lurking to say slow down. The stress level must be horrid. Take care of yourself first. Things will happen like they happen.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @Czanne: It’s not a horrible drive from the hotels on the River but you are probably not renting a car. I wish Tybee would check in, he’s local.

    Here’s a public transportation site

    https://gosouthsavannah.com/visitor-info/transport/public-transport.html

  104. 104
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sebastian:

    Resign or be executed for treason, conspiracy against the United States, aiding and abetting the enemy. If they resign they get to live. In Supermax.

    Well, putting aside the fact that we would have actually had to declare war for conspiracy with the Russians to be considered treason…and even if we did, it would hardly apply retroactively…are trials for the above charges included as an interim step between resignation and prison and/or execution? Hell, are charges themselves even included in your snuff fantasies? Or are the forms of legality a nicety we’re going to forego for enemies of the state?

  105. 105
    sukabi says:

    @Aleta: and when he does have to testify under oath, there is evidence to use to prove if he’s lying.

  106. 106
    Barbara says:

    @CZanne: I stayed at a nice hotel in Savannah, the Mansion on Forsyth Park. If you are looking for somewhere soothing you can retreat to, there are a lot of hotels like that in the historic district.

  107. 107
    geg6 says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Agreed. Watched an HBO doc about Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin today and it uses a lot of their writings to tell the story. Although I found it a bit too fanboy, it made clear what great writers they were. And they would freak over such bad writing.

  108. 108
    raven says:

    @Barbara: And Forsyth Park is less than 4 miles from the hospital.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @geg6: How much did it focus on Pete getting sober? His book A Drinking Life” is one of my favs. At one point he looked down the bar at Breslin and Mailer and said “I’ve got to stop”.

  110. 110
    CZanne says:

    @raven: I am renting a car. Which is also self defense. Always have an escape, always have a retreat, set boundaries as far in advance as possible so you can work out all the likely issues before they arise.

    @realbtl: I’m actually fine. I am sleeping, pacing myself, rescheduling clients, dealing with reality, I’ve done my very good self-care. I’m not happy about the idea, but I’m okay with B not being here anymore. I’ll miss her like fire in the soul, but the nightmare is not her death, it’s Jahi McMath. I’m very much a realist on this.

    I know my family (and they’re a big part of the reason I’m a shrink & in the specialty I’m in). I’ve had a long time to work out the defenses around them, and I don’t do “what will come” because that’s when a narcissist is most savage. A death in the family doesn’t change their essential nature. It makes them worse, because they aren’t the center of attention, and the two narcs in the fam will both be there.

    @Barbara: Marriott. (Boycotting) Thanks though!

  111. 111
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @CZanne: Well sht. I have a brilliant daughter. I cannot express how it torments me to think of her in those shoes. I don’t believe I’d cope as well as you. You have my sympathy and wishes.

  112. 112
    Procopius says:

    @Van Buren: Did you mean “refusing to meet with people who did NOT donate to her foundation”? That’s what I remember from the time. And I never understood why they tied her approval of arms sales to Saudi, Qatar, and UAE to their donations to her foundations. The most important job the Secretary of State performs is selling arms. I am certain she would have approved the sales even if they had refused an “invitation” to contribute. That really does not support an appearance of corruption.

  113. 113
    raven says:

    @CZanne: The suggestion of Forsyth Park is good. Here’s the trip advisor page

    Hotels near Forsyth Park

  114. 114
    Jay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    The Pentagon added “cyberattacks by State Sponsored attackers” to the Acts of War category.

    The US doesn’t actually need to declare war to charge treason, as the US hasn’t declared war on anybody since WWII.

    What’s particularly interesting is treason charges and convictions used to be for revolts, then by the ‘20’s, Unionism, and since WWII mostly for propaganda attacks.

  115. 115
    raven says:

    @CZanne: If you want a bite in a beautiful setting

    Nestled in the heart of Sandfly lies one of the most closely guarded secrets when it comes to seafood restaurants. Away from the bustle of the Historic District lies Pearl’s Saltwater Grille, situated only fifteen minutes from downtown and provides plenty of parking. Pearl’s Saltwater Grille has been a local favorite for many years and Chef David Weikert’s menu is a seafood lover’s paradise. For fish, you can specify preparation or order from local or house specialties. From Parmesan Crusted Grouper to Crab Stuffed Flounder to Jumbo Grilled Caribbean Shrimp, there is something for everyone at Pearl’s. There is also a vast selection of fried seafoods and steaks. Quality, preparation, and service is incomparable. Pearl’s is one of Savannah’s only restaurants that offers panoramic views of our waters and delivers on this request by having large windows that look out on the water of a tidal inlet off the Georgia coast.

  116. 116
    jacy says:

    @CZanne:

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. But it sounds like you understand how to protect yourself. Grey rock and remember that they are what they are. Sending extra positivity.

  117. 117
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Miss Bianca: At the very least Kavanaugh can be booted. He lied to the Senate confirmation panel.

  118. 118
    plato says:

    McCarthy McCarran McConnell McCain

    Why are all assholes named similar?

  119. 119
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @The Dangerman: Republicans have been convincing themselves for decades that a lot of people really shouldn’t vote and it’s a bad, unfair idea to make it easy. They’ll tell you that straight out. Making it possible for lazy people to vote cheapens the franchise, they say. It ought to be a little difficult so that only the civic-minded are motivated to do it. And then they’ll say that maybe we should limit the franchise to sufficiently smart people, or people who pass a test, or income-tax payers because they have “skin in the game”, or landholders like the Founding Fathers intended, etc. We’re a republic, not a democracy…

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay:

    The US doesn’t actually need to declare war to charge treason, as the US hasn’t declared war on anybody since WWII.

    Who has the US charged with treason since WWII?

  121. 121
  122. 122
    geg6 says:

    @raven:

    It’s a bit more Breslin focused but I’d say 60/40. It has interviews with both of them (one of them together just before Breslin died) and it definitely goes into Hamill’s drinking. And his glamorous love life. It was pretty good. All the quotes from their books and columns were great. Really made you miss great news writers. There just aren’t any quite like them anymore, however flawed they were (especially Breslin later in life).

  123. 123
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @CZanne: there are no hotels right near that hospital. My favorite hotel there is the Planters Inn. River Street Inn is also nice.

    I have stayed at the Mansion too and it’s nice but a bit too bordello for my tastes.

    Lots of great B&Bs there too.

  124. 124
    geg6 says:

    @raven:

    Pearl’s is fabulous. Best place we went to in Savannah.

  125. 125
    Sebastian says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Sure, indictments, trials, and then execution.

    But hey, I am sure as a white chick you have the luxury to wait out another round while we all get rounded up by the fascists.

  126. 126
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How about spying? Like the Rosenbergs. Or sedition? Is that still a crime?

  127. 127
    plato says:

    Investment in the UK car sector almost halved last year and output tumbled as Brexit fears put firms on “red alert”, the industry’s trade body said.

    Inward investment fell 46.5% to £588.6m last year from £1.1bn in 2017, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says.

    Production fell 9.1% to 1.52m vehicles, with output for the UK and for export falling 16.3% and 7.3% respectively.

    Brexit uncertainty has “done enormous damage”, said SMMT chief Mike Hawes.

    But the impact so far on output, investment and jobs “is nothing compared with the permanent devastation caused by severing our frictionless trade links overnight, not just with the EU but with the many other global markets with which we currently trade freely,” he added.

    “With fewer than 60 days before we leave the EU and the risk of crashing out without a deal looking increasingly real, UK Automotive is on red alert,” he said.

    Politicians must do whatever it takes to avoid a no-deal, he said.

    And yet, the comments sections of brexit related bbc posts are infested with fuck EU, we will show them, no deal means no deal, leave means leave, EU will collapse without us being the most upvoted posts from the limey wingnutz.

  128. 128
    Sebastian says:

    @Jay:

    Thank you.

    I am starting to notice that as the hour of reckoning nears we have some people suspiciously advocating for leniency and pointing out weird technicalities why certain people just cannot be punished. What are you gonna do, right? Them damn rules are the rules!

  129. 129
  130. 130
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Czanne: I’m holding you all in the light, which is what I can do from here. I don’t know Savannah well enough to be helpful; I imagine raven, tybee, and Steve in the ATL all have suggestions.

    Be as well as you can in the circumstances.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: So people whose actions took place during a declared war, right?

    @geg6: Espionage does not automatically equal treason.

  132. 132
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Charges of “treason” in the US seem to have always been used as a “political charge”. Since when is being a Mineworker on strike participating in a march an act of treason?

  133. 133
    TS (the original) says:

    @H.E.Wolf:

    If Speaker Pelosi keeps out-maneuvering him, retirement may start looking attractive.

    He doesn’t care – he can still hurt people, still nominate judges and block all legislation the house introduces. trump seems to care about bad publicity. McConnell just does not care.

  134. 134
    Sebastian says:

    @geg6:

    Much simpler. Violation of FARA.

    They were acting as agents of a foreign power, paid unpaid blackmailed whatever. They should have gone to the FBI but they didn’t. Instead they knowingly furthered the interests of a foreign power. In return they were allowed to further their own interests, wealth, influence, etc.

    Let them rot in Supermax.

  135. 135
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    They were mostly propagandists who could not be charged with War Crimes or any Criminal/Espionage Laws in existence.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: I never said it was.

  138. 138
    TS (the original) says:

    @ruemara:

    I am so sick of how the media has obviously been born just this week

    Under nyt rules if they haven’t reported it – it did not happen.

  139. 139
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The Supreme Court said it was.

    Of the 27 cases where the United States charged, tried and convicted people for treason, that I found, the US was in a declared war/at war for only 9 of those cases.

  140. 140
    Sebastian says:

    @Jay:

    How interesting. Yet we have so many people clamoring in increasingly frantic fashion that you cannot do that.

    I am willing to grant that some are concerned about the rule of law and setting precedent. But it’s starting to become increasingly irrational and whenever things seem weird it’s not a bad idea to widen the range of possible explanations.

    Who benefits?

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Why then did you bother to mention that the US has not been in a declared war since WWII? I sort of assumed that you would have bothered typing about it if had nothing to do with the point you were originally making.

  142. 142
  143. 143

    @Jay:

    Charges of “treason” in the US seem to have always been used as a “political charge”.

    I looked at the list, “always” is doing a lot of work there.

  144. 144
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Christ, I hope one of those indictments coming down the pike from the Mueller investigation is for McConnell. I can’t think of anyone but Trump who more richly deserves it.

    How about Mike Dense? I’m pretty sure he deserves it, and I prefer it to come just after the house takes up impeachment. Hard to swear him in in jail if Trump winds up on the outside staring in.

    Just day dreaming…

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: …would not have….

  146. 146
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The Dallas MN has been great at following each piece, straight along since 2017. The Democratic Coalition’s paragraphs seemed like a summary of that to me.

  147. 147
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The US has always used treason charges as a “political crime”, not a crime crime, not an espionage crime, not a fighting for another country crime.

    The majority of people charged, tried and convicted of treason were done so when the US wasn’t at “war”, declared or undeclared, and had no “active” enemies, declared or otherwise.

    When people say that Yurtle can’t be charged with treason because the US isn’t at war with Russia, or hasn’t declared that Russia is an enemy, they arn’t looking at the case law at all,

    but instead going all “Federalist” on a law a paragraph long.

    Anyone can be charged with treason, convictions are mostly based on how pissed off the jury is at their “so called crime”.

    I’m not saying that that is the path the US should take with those who can’t be charged with other crimes,

    Just that those who are trying to use the “at war/enemies” parts are not paying any attention to the case law.

    People have been convicted of treason against the US or States for a lot less than all the RWNJ Facebook Uncles forwarding Putin propaganda.

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Again, why then the mention of WWII?

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Well, putting aside the fact that we would have actually had to declare war for conspiracy with the Russians to be considered treason…

    I hear people say this. Russia attacked us. Japan attacked us in the long ago.

    Does anyone think that someone who provided Japan with maps of military installations in Hawaii in, say, 1940, for cash, would not have been charged with treason? No declaration of war at the time of the transaction…

    See where I’m going with this?

  150. 150
    plato says:

    House Republicans have blocked passage of an anti-shutdown resolution.

    This resolution failed 249-163. It needed two-thirds of the House supporting it. Just 21 Republicans joined with all House Democrats in supporting the resolution.https://t.co/awtBpSp3ed

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 31, 2019

    gop – gang of parasites on body politic

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    @Sebastian:

    But hey, I am sure as a white chick you have the luxury to wait out another round while we all get rounded up by the fascists.

    OK, that’s nasty, misogynistic, really horrible. In the past I have agreed with you on a variety of issues, but this is way past the line. You are speaking to someone who has posted here far longer than you have.

    As far as I’m concerned you have posted here too much and need to go somewhere where hate for fellow commenters is appreciated. It is NOT appreciated here.

    Go away now! Stay away!!

    ETA: Also, Too, Pied… begone!!!

  152. 152
    burnspbesq says:

    If y’all really want to be rid of McConnell, put up billboards all over the state showing him hugging Christian Laettner.

  153. 153
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Because the boneheads who say it isn’t “treason” unless the US has declared war.

  154. 154
    satby says:

    @Mary G: Instagram is where most people under age 45 or so are. So it makes sense for politicians to be on it.
    Facebook is for olds.

  155. 155
    Jay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Espionage Charges.

    Tokyo Rose did nothing different from that RWNJ Facebook Uncle who sends you Spudnik links does, or Alex Jones.

    The only difference is 98% of American’s were still pissed at what she did, and made up the Jury, while 27% of Americans mainline Alex Jones and will get a shot at sitting on the jury.

  156. 156
    satby says:

    @Czanne: still holding good thoughts.

  157. 157
    Czanne says:

    @raven: Thank you. That will be a night on my own. Thank you.

    @Steve in the ATL: Funny you mention that – every hotel Spouse & I stayed in south of Mason-Dixon felt Bordello. I think it’s the Victorian influence. I’m skipping B&Bs because they often don’t have an exercise bike, and that really is necessary to my behavioral & mental health right now. (And I really don’t want to get stuck with a nice, but GAGOP host. I can bite my tongue when necessary for grieving people, but I don’t want to tax my patience.)

    @satby: Yeah, me too. I’m not asking for a major exception to the rules of the universe. The molecules that make B are in use no matter what for the next decade anyway. You’d think there’d be a place to file for an exception. (I know. In the sub-basement toilet, behind the broken light switch, past the sign reading “beware the leopard.” On Rigelus 5.)

    @jacy: So very grey, except when it serves a higher purpose. (When the parents cooperate, woe to their target. I just need to aim them appropriately.)

    @Kirk Spencer: I love her to pieces, and all of her pieces, and I’m just hoping the pieces she’s not going to use (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver) will get to others. So that part of her endures.
    When she was tiny, she asked me to write a little girl character in the fairy tale I was telling her, so I did. She heard every part of my stories before I wrote them, because if they’d keep her attention, the story worked. She also asked for the little girl to have a boyfriend someday, so he also exists. So she’ll keep existing through my fiction, too. (And those characters now have so much plot armor…)

  158. 158
    Jay says:

    @Czanne:

    Sorry, it’s dusty in here,

    (((((hugs)))))

  159. 159
    Sebastian says:

    @Czanne:

    I am so sorry Czanne. You are so brave and strong. Please hang in there.

  160. 160
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    The RNC e-mailed me two cures
    And they said, Send your cash in.
    The one was trickle-down medicine,
    The other was Trump-brand gin.
    And like a fool I mixed them
    And it boggled up my mind.
    Now Republicans just get uglier,
    Can we vote them out in time?
    Aaaaoh, mama, can this really be the end,
    Served cold fries in the White House
    With the Clemson kids again…

  161. 161
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Turtle, lamppost, rope – the trifecta!

    When the time comes, maybe the lawful government could hold a lottery to decide which lucky citizen gets to kick the chair out from under Yertle McMotherfuckingTurtle. It could go a long way toward paying down the debt!

    @Sebastian: “If they resign they get to live. In Supermax.” Well, OK, maybe. But on a constant diet of junk food. Cold junk food. With nary a nuke in the dining hall.

  162. 162
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Millard Filmore: What’s the statute of limitations on perjury in a Senate confirmation hearing? ‘Cuz Alito, Thomas & Roberts all lied their arses off as well. Not sure about the Gorsucker. (Recruit Roberts to rat on the others: Mr Chief Justice, you can stay if you help us get rid of the scumbags…)

  163. 163
    Robert says:

    Or we could just hold elections on Saturday

Comments are closed.