Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Pre-Friday Sparring


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Matt ‘Big Dick Toilet Salesman’ Whitaker seems to have conceded his latest argument:



Part of an explainer thread from a former prosecutor:


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Also of interest:






97 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m just going to leave this here as a marker:
    I guarantee you that Israeli black cyber ops firm that’s been in the news was used to exfiltrate the pictures off of Bezos’s phone for the Saudis by the UAE. The middle men for this will be Jared with the Saudis and Emiratis and Israelis and Jr with Pecker at AMI because Cohen has turned coat for the SDNY and Special Counsel.

    And yes, I’m aware that a WaPo reporter was on O’Donnell’s show tonight and alleged that it was a US government agency that stole the pictures from Bezos’s phone and gave them to Pecker.

  2. 2
    Sebastian says:

    The transcript from Manafort’s Monday hearing with prosecutors reveals that Mueller has evidence Manafort continued doing work related to Ukraine in 2018, despite being indicted in Oct. 2017 for charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent.

    Are they so stupid or did they think the rules don’t apply to them anymore? I can’t sleep because I didn’t recycle properly and these folks … I can’t even.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sebastian: They’re both.

  4. 4
    Sebastian says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do you think there will be some sort of payback once everything is over or will we have to accept this as standard operating procedures and move on?

  5. 5
    Mike in NC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, will this be a miniseries? We would watch it all.

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    For Trump, the Schiff is just starting to hit the “tan”.

    Heh. Speaking of “tan,” I happened to see the handoff from Chris Cuomo to Don Lemon tonight. They were talking about how the Trump administration was filled with scandals and how if the Obama administration had had even one of these issues we never would have heard the end of it. Cuomo said, “The Obama administration was scandal-free” and Don Lemon breaks in, “Whoa, whoa, whoa…wait a minute, I hate to even mention is because i’m wearing a light color suit…” Cuomo is looking at him like he’s lost his mind and Don Lemon says, “He wore a tan suit.” They both lost it and then riffed on the tan suit for the next thirty seconds, “I’m surprised he wasn’t impeached!” “I’m still afraid to wear a light colored suit.” I swear it was like they’d been reading Balloon Juice.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Life inside a second-rate clone of a Robert Ludlum novel is a lot stranger than I would have guessed.

  8. 8
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I understand the Saudi and UAE involvement (I think), but why the hell is Israel mixed up with the two of them in a domestic US espionage scheme?

    I mean, hell, shouldn’t they still be pissed that Trump burned one of their sources to the Russians?

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: I don’t really want it to be a cartoon short.

  10. 10

    God, Manafort just can’t stop!

  11. 11
    Sebastian says:

    @clay:

    He moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. That alone forgives everything.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sebastian: I would expect that if a Democrat is elected in 2020, that there will be unpleasant consequences. If there aren’t, then there will be more problems. Obama did many good things, and I write this with the benefit of hindsight as, at the time, I was serving as a senior advisor to the commanding general of US Army Europe and I had a very different position then, but Obama needed to seriously bloody Putin’s nose over taking Crimea. He needed to knock Russia back onto its ass. Had he done that then, we’d have a lot fewer problems now.

  13. 13
    feebog says:

    What’s the over and under on how long it will take Whittaker to break out in a flop sweat tomorrow morning?

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    So far, the stories I’ve seen are saying it was a much shorter chain: his mistress’s brother downloaded the photos and texts from her phone.

    And since her brother is (allegedly) connected to Roger Stone and other dirty tricksters, it makes one wonder if Bezos was set up. 🤔 Apparently Lauren Sanchez (his mistress) is a local TV journalist in Seattle?

  15. 15
    clay says:

    @Sebastian: Ah, right. I had forgotten about that idiocy.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Obama couldn’t. Snowden had brought Russia the skeleton keys to all of our national security information the year before and they would have been able to weaponize that in any armed conflict.

    In fact, if my quick Google did not mislead me, Snowden fled to Russia almost exactly 1 year before Russia took Crimea. Seems like about enough time to get all of the information analyzed and ready to use against the US if we tried to stop them. 🤔

  17. 17
    Sebastian says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Obama did a lot of great things but in two areas he failed miserably:
    – Hitting Putin hard.
    – Negotiating with himself and coming to the table with the desired end position.

    He was clean and smooth and smart. I was hoping for a bit more Muhammed Ali.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    Re the Bezos-AMI affair, what happened to the BJ legal flying wedge? I wanted to hear from more of them lawyer people. I’ve seen three theories of why it wasn’t technically blackmail, and I don’t understand any of them. First was that the sex pix were not some definite thing of value, which I could not follow at all.

    Second was that it was a just negotiation between corporations and things like that happen all the time. Really? Something like this happens all the time? How many crooked media corporations are there that do this kind of blackmail? Or has AMI done it so often that it set its own legal precedent? Third is that these things all come down to torts re shareholder value. But the threat was to go after Bezos’ corporation by damaging him personally. There seems to be at least three legal persons involved: Bezos (an individual person, whatever that is worth these days), and two corporate persons, Bezos corporation and AMI. By what legal alchemy is the individual person Bezos erased from this business?

    And I got a question for all the lawyers saying this was blackmail: what if I tried a stunt like this? I’d be squashed like a bug, and bet it would be in a court of law. They wouldn’t charge me with just stinking little blackmail, I’d be facing half a dozen charges, and be in the slammer for a good long time. Innit?

    Was criminal blackmail. What say the lawyers?

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: somebody earlier on MSNBC– can’t remember which show or if it was a reporter or a ‘former official’ type– was speculating that it was foreign gov’t, either the UK (to which I said “wha?”) or Israel (to which I said, ‘of course’).

  20. 20
    GregB says:

    Today is going to be a crazy news day.

  21. 21
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: There were ways Obama could have hit back without resorting to military action.

  22. 22

    @Adam L Silverman: I am curious to see how this holds up!

  23. 23
    jl says:

    Oh boy, a fourth legal angle on Bezos-AMI:

    @dburbach
    As my wife pointed out, Trump is in the middle of a campaign — Trump 2020 up and running. That makes AMI’s focus on getting Bezos to say “no political motive” clear. If AMI did have a political motive last month, it would be an illegal campaign contribution
    https://twitter.com/dburbach/status/1093737060085780480

    via joshtpm twitter

    Someone pass the pro-tip on to the Baud 2020! campaign. Ixnay on the threats to billionaires caught w pix drinking stale beers.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    I think part of the confusion is that Renato Mariotti was tweeting about criminal law and Popehat was tweeting about civil law and some people started conflating the two.

    It seems very odd to me that otherwise smart lawyers keep insisting that Jeff Bezos the person can’t say he’s being blackmailed because he’s also the head of a corporation so therefore it’s all a corporate negotiation? I’m super confused.

  25. 25
    Sebastian says:

    @jl:

    AMI is starting to look like illegal campaign contribution central! Sounds like a band name.

  26. 26
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If a user is following basic phone security,

    Physical access is needed to the phone to crack it open, then either download from to phone or install malware.

    The Dirty Sanchez provided access,

    But who cracked the phone open?

  27. 27
    piratedan says:

    well I for one, am quite surprised at how effectively the relationship between AOC and NancySmash has developed. AOC certainly has the media savvy to hang all of these erstwhile media people out to fucking dry and the GOP simply cannot get her out of their collective skulls, as she not only has space, it also appears that she’s ready to sublet it too. Nancy apparently has no issues with allowing her to run with her issues as they’re our issues too and she’s getting valuable experience and chops being front in center. While everyone over at Faux is focused on her, Nancy is happily checking on Trump’s balls in the jar on her mantle and letting everyone else start on the process of bring this big-ass corruptomatic administration to heel. Cummings has started, as has Nadler and Schiff. Everyone is going to get their licks in from Education to Land Management and soon there are simply be more scandalous revelations than what the media knows how to keep up with. Perhaps the idea is to have them appearing in front of Congressional committees so often that they simply can’t get up to the fuckery that they had engaged in with the previous two years of jack shit being done. I hope one of the points of emphasis that gets made is that they did ALL of this with the aiding and abetting of a GOP controlled House.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Me too. Where are the lawyers, at some BJ blog lawyer meet up they didn’t tell anyone about?

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I honestly am not quite sure how given that Putin was eavesdropping on us and would know what we were planning.

    Add in that we now know that the Republican Party was being courted by Russian operatives like Maria Butina and it gets even harder for Obama to act solely from the executive branch.

    I’m not saying that nothing could have been done. I’m saying that hindsight is 20/20. And also that Putin’s determination to keep Hillary Clinton out of the presidency looks even more like a move to prevent the US from being able to retaliate against Russia for anything.

  30. 30
    Jay says:

    @jl:

    Internet lawyers are going to lawyer on the internets.

    Courts and case law decide.

  31. 31
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We are in hindsight mode,

    President Obama was in blindside mode.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    An insanely easy route:

    Sister goes to brother’s house for the holidays.

    Brother sneaks sister’s phone out of her purse, guesses her password (or asks for it using an excuse), and downloads the photos and texts.

    Brother puts phone back into sister’s purse and she’s none the wiser.

    And that’s all assuming that they didn’t conspire together to trap Bezos for blackmail purposes.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @piratedan: I figure is that Pelosi is an excellent political strategist and tactician (whether I always agree with her on policy or not), and AOC (along with several other new or recent vintage House members) have the makings of one. The don’t borrow trouble from the future (saying I got from the Silverman guy), they don’t fight fights with each other they don’t have to right now, always leave room open for later negotiations and graceful exits and adjustments. They understand that they have similar big pic goals, but may disagree on mechanisms, and how to get there. They wait to see how political support needed to get something passed shapes up.

    And, everything they and their staffs say may not necessarily be what they really believe, for really reals, deep down in their dear tender politician hearts. For example, there was huffing and puffing on the progressive side about Pelosi supposedly going to health care health insurers to assure them she was not aiming to eliminate them in a push for Medicare for All. And part of that was over what was to me a very obviously authorized and carefully orchestrated staffer leak. Well, why wouldn’t Pelosi say that, regardless of what policy options she is willing to pursue on health reform? I’m saying we know that is what she did. We don’t. We just don’t know.

    But, if were her, I would be running around telling any corporations who could make trouble, ‘hey, don’t worry, we got your back, big money buddies,” We also know Pelosi is able to sit down with powerful interests and tell them across the table that ‘Sorry, times have changed’ since she has already said that to powerful interests on campaign finance.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: He had options, which people were discussing in real time, not hindsight. But it’s late and I’m on a train with my phone under 20%, so I won’t give you the history.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: Netanyahu has been playing footsie with them because they’re opposing Iran. And none of the Israeli security and intel firms, which are all run by former Israeli military and/or intelligence personnel, do any business with anyone that the Israeli government doesn’t approve of. And they have a long history of doing business with a lot of shady folks. Ever wonder how a bunch of guys from agricultural villages in South and Central America were able to form and run cartels that both terrorized hundreds of thousands and thwarted their own country’s, as well as the US’s intelligence and security services? The people running their security and intel operations were all former Israeli intel.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: thinking now it was the Hayes show, with Joy Reid as substitute host, but I was cooking and only half paying attention

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @Jay: You a lawyer? I’m not giving you any billable hours for that, buddy.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @feebog: Like at a boxing match, you want your fighter to come out wet. I expect him to be pre-saturated.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you for informing me of things I’m aware of for professional reasons.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It wasn’t the UK.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @jl: Typo. “I’m saying we know that is what she did.” should read
    ” I’m NOT saying we know that is what she did.”

  42. 42
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t have any awkward selfies, emails or texts on my phone, and your still need my thumb and password to open my phone,

    and I don’t loan my phone to anyone other than my wife and even then, it stays in sight.

    It takes a while to find the Dirty and download it, it takes a long time to download “everything”.

    I doubt that The Dirty Sanchez had custody of his sister’s phone, ( while she was there) for hours.

  43. 43
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s the thanks people get for giving you free review sessions and refershers on this blog? We have full service commenters here.

  44. 44
    Sebastian says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Motherfuckers. Jesus Christ, I thought that was homegrown.

  45. 45
    piratedan says:

    @jl: I do think that the Dems are playing the politics game on multiple levels… by having AOC out there promoting the New Green Deal you get her passionate attractive face out there and changing the narrative.. one about taxes, now about climate change…. guess what, we’re talking about taxes and climate change now, versus just watching the GOP lie about both. So, kudos to them. I also think that this plays on multiple levels, AOC is out there presenting a young face to people, showing that she’s out there for the Dems, proposing policy, taking charge and being seen. Think about how that must feel to so many of of the folks out there between 16-30 who feel like they never have a voice or someone who remotely looks like them discussing policy.. its effing brilliant. plus, AOC is eating the beltway courtiers lunches and swatting away the insults and showing them the total lack of ideas or understanding of social climate these days that emanates from the GOP. This gives Nancy a free hand to corral votes, organize and promote policy and allow those committee heads to do and perform the much needed oversight. It takes her out of the spotlight of all things (which while she can do, she doesn’t excel at it like the youngsters appear to), allows her to build and reach consensus on getting policy built on the votes that she can get. maximum good on things that we’ve been jonesing for since the 2008-2010 years… while Micthy and DJT may shoot all this down, it lays the groundwork for 2020 (and sooner) putting down receipts regarding what is out there if people will get off their asses and get to the polls.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If you’re aware of them, why act like it would have been simple and easy for Obama to “knock Russia back on its ass,” particularly given what we now know about how deeply the Russians imbedded themselves into the Republican Party?

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Similar question: given what we now know about the multiple connections Russia had to the Republican Party, would those options have been successful, or would they have been sabotaged by Republicans and by Russia’s inside line to our national security communications?

    I mean, I hate to sound like a bad Le Carré imitation, but hindsight seems to indicate that Obama would have been fucked no matter what he did because the Russians were in the driver’s seat to an extent that didn’t become clear until after the 2016 election.

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    @jl:

    Private and Confiedeintial:

    The number of cases “blown” by Internet Lawyers is almost as large as the number of cases misdiagnosed by Internet Doctors.

    It took me about a minute to write that post, about the same for you to read and respond,

    And so, as someone who doesn’t play a lawyer, on TV,

    You owe me one billion dollars.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    @piratedan: The little Pelosi-AOC dance on the green new deal was revealing of how astute both are on how to play the public perception game and political signaling and support building game. Pelosi has to be careful, since she and her whips are in charge of shaping and monitoring support to get things passed. AOC can rabble rouse. They both know that and you can see it in their interactions.

    They both know that it is better for both of them to not fight, or even give a hint of fighting, until they need to over serious and real policy differences. And even then, they will probably keep it as civil and friendly as possible.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Jay: my internet beers are in the email intertubes.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: I’m getting ready to rack out. Been a frustrating day. I’m a bit crankier than usual.

  51. 51
    FlyingToaster says:

    Actually, I’d say the fact that there are only 9 or 10 photos argue for a one-time access to a device, rather than having cloned it (lots more material). So the “opened and sent stuff I found to me, downloaded it on my end, then deleted the sender e-mail/message” seems a lot more plausible, which points to Sanchez’ brother rather than anyone else.

    What boggles my mind is that they sent their e-mails to a lawyer. No matter how dumb a criminal I am, I know that you NEVER admit your crimes to a lawyer unless you’re paying them to represent you. NEVER. Haven’t these assholes ever seen an episode of Law & Order, or Homicide? Let alone having in-house counsel who should be steering you clear of mistakes like these.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @piratedan:

    I now suspect that Pelosi started courting AOC soon after she won her primary. Nancy is nobody’s fool, and she knows that she needs to teach all of these young House Reps the ropes so they learn how to work the levers of power.

    And it’s not just AOC. I guarantee you that Pelosi is working closely with Pressley, Tlaib — basically all of the young firebrands who are willing to learn from her how the House really works.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    jl says:

    No point in humblbragging about being cranky when we have Cole as an exemplar.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sebastian: Some were. Most weren’t. The Jamaicans are another matter. They were homegrown.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not. Nor am I going to engage this discussion further.

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    There is still the question of how he opened the phone and how long he had it in order to find and either forward the data or download it.

  58. 58
    piratedan says:

    @Mnemosyne: I would not be surprised to watch the spotlight get passed between multiple of the incoming Democratic frosh… I also suspect that Nancy was busy getting ducks in a row if they took back the House and was urging her new committee heads to start putting together their Christmas lists and start checking it twice. She did the same with Obama and now that she’s fighting the evil GOP machine, she’s passing out the receipts to those who can best use them. I suspect that just kicking Trump out of office and indicting his entire crime family is just the beginning. i would not be shocked to see Nancy go after her erstwhile colleagues for their neglect of performing their jobs, just so they could get their cash and their racism twofer.

    they may have to build another federal prison for all of these fuckers

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    If it would take you “hours” to unlock your wife’s phone, download 10 or 20 photos, and copy a dozen text messages, you may not be the technology expert you think you are.

    And who goes to their family’s house on Christmas and doesn’t stay for several hours? I don’t know why it seems odd to you that a family Christmas party with presents and dinner could last 3 or 4 hours at least. When we had Christmas lunch with my aunt this year, she said she was cutting it short by sending us home after a mere 4 hours together.

  60. 60
    Sebastian says:

    @Jay:

    I am seriously shocked. Thank you for sharing this.

  61. 61
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And since her brother is (allegedly) connected to Roger Stone

    Given the ratfucking involved, I had wondered (Thursday AM) whether/how Stone was involved.

  62. 62
    tobie says:

    @jl: From what I gather the only person that Pelosi has not given a desired committee assignment to this session is Kathleen Rice, who opposed her speakership vigorously for no apparent reason. Other than that, Pelosi seems keen on building up people in her caucus, not tearing them down. I kind of like the compromise that was reached on the GND. The proposed bill outlines big aspirational goals but the provision for a select committee has been dropped. The Climate Crisis Committee by contrast contains some veterans from the environmental movement and is likely to draft solid legislation. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

  63. 63
    Jay says:

    @piratedan:

    Just legalize drug use, retroactively, you’ll have enough prison space for everybody from Needy Amin down to Facebook Uncles, and then some.

  64. 64
    hitchhiker says:

    I just finally went back and read the texts Bezos sent to his new woman, and it reminds me so much of that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Bezos fell in love with Sanchez, seems like. He wasn’t just having an affair, he was talking soul mate stuff.

    I wonder how that plays into what’s happened, and how the two of them are now dealing with the fallout. They’re kind of old to be in this sneaking around/secret romance thing … have some dignity for god’s sake.

    trump was gleeful the next day on twitter, probably because he thought he’d disposed of that pest for good, and because having no soul himself he thought the declarations of love were stupid. I hope this becomes just one more thing that increases the rotational velocity of the tailspin he’s entering.

    Crash and burn, you motherfucker.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Just to be clear, I don’t disagree that we need to punch the Russians back, hard. But I think a lot of the hindsight about what Obama should have done in 2014 is ignoring or downplaying the information that has come out more recently about how directly Russian operatives were working with Republicans and conservatives.

  66. 66
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    It’s not UK

    Harry Palmer is too sharp to let MI6 get involved

  67. 67
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Jay: That would be true as well if it were Israeli hackers at a Starbucks, if she had her phone set to auto-backup images and texts to an iCloud account, for instance.

    If it’s on my house wi-fi, and I’m e-mailing 10 images and say 100 texts, about 10 minutes. And if I were planning this shit, I’d grab the phone right as soon as she got there, schmooze 5 minutes and hand her off to my spouse/kids, run into the den and set up the download, show back up with a tray of drinks, and duck back into the den, backup the received e-mail on my computer, delete the outgoing on her phone, go put the phone back in her coat pocket and bob’s your uncle.

  68. 68
    piratedan says:

    @Mnemosyne: well, based on the Barr (GOP senator from NC) interview with CBS, he alludes that during the Senate Intel meetings that what they’ve discovered in regards to Russian involvement with US politics and their attempts to exert influence around the world does indicate that the depth of the corruption and the efforts to exert influence and control other nation states is simply staggering and one of the quotes is that this may take decades to unravel.

    So all those posts that Adam was posting regarding that this was a concerted effort and it had been ongoing for quite some time and even suggests that while Trump was the patsy of choice, he may not have been the ONLY candidate that the Russians had their hooks into and just how deep the control and influence that the Russians have exerted on the Media (print, TV and social) as well as tapping into not-so-latent US racism, abortion, NRA, anti-vaxxers and gawd knows what else (religious intolerance) makes me think that there will be a reckoning of sort, but how to carry it out and how to pry those tentacles from all of those levers?

    the part that I find worrisome is that if they’re dug that deep into GOP comms and have control in regards to setting media narratives, I’m with you in regards to what kind of appropriate response could have been made… I mean he could have perhaps had Trump and McConnell arrested as traitors and possibly ignited a civil war, that sure as fuck would have sent a message. Or he could have dropped a drone on Vlad and blown his ass up, by cutting off the head of the snake, what happens next? Would the problem have been solved?

    I think you’re right to bring up Snowden, with that data in hand and the willing assistance of the GOP as being his handmaidens in deed if not actually in pocket, I’m not sure of the choices. Could he have kicked a boatload of them out of the country and frozen assets. That seems like the most likely choice and by such an act, would have made the media cover it, even if they didn’t want to. To me it’s a shit sandwich, just not sure if it was best served plain or if it needed cheese, lettuce and tomato and had to be warmed up….

  69. 69
    jacy says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I guessed my ex’s password on the first try. People are stupid with passwords. When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras.

  70. 70
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So, I’ve got about 1500 text messages on my phone, about 200 emails and a bit over 1700 photo’s. Direct connection, Iphone to Mac, takes about 1 1/2 hours to back my phone up to the Mac with the app.

    Unless:

    Besos gave her a burner phone, only for Bezos comms

    Or he knew exactly what he was looking for and where,

    It takes a long time.

    You can’t for example, just say “Siri, download all my texts, emails and photos of my wife, please”.

    So it would have to be, “can you open your phone for me”, then walk away with the phone for quite a while.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hitchhiker:

    A midlife crisis can be an embarrassing thing to witness — I’m still a little bitter about the incredibly poor decisions my brother made in the throes of his crisis that damaged a lot of family relationships. It really sounds like a classic midlife crisis decision on his part.

    My paranoid Le Carré side is wondering if she was a honeypot, or if she’s just an otherwise innocent woman with an asshole conservative for a brother.

  73. 73
    Jay says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    Only if you crack the phone,

    And knew exactly what you were looking for and where it was.

    If you only have 10 minutes, then you load malware that creates a backdoor access, so you can find what you are looking for.

    Does Dirty Sanchez know how to get malware like that or did someone give it to him?

  74. 74
    jacy says:

    @Jay:

    I will not tell you exactly how I know, but once you’ve got the password and opened the phone, if you’re quick and if you’re clever and know sort of what you’re looking for, it can take between 5 and 15 minutes to send yourself enough incriminating evidence and erase your steps.

  75. 75
    Jay says:

    @jacy:

    Depends, some of us arn’t. I don’t use a password app, instead my external passwords and pins are kept in code.

  76. 76
    piratedan says:

    @Jay: @Mnemosyne: or it could simply be a case of misguided family trust…. sure my brother is a wingnut, but he would never hurt me… his sister.

    and tbh, how easy is it to have your phone unlocked, get called away to another conversation elsewhere in the house… if her phone was already open, all he had to do was send the pics to his own e-mail account, same for the texts…

    not saying that this is what happened, but it sure as hell is plausable…

  77. 77
    jacy says:

    @Jay:

    But the vast majority of people are idiots. And they don’t know they’re idiots. We here on Balloon Juice are all exceptional. :)

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @piratedan:

    Unlike Goku, I get very impatient with alternative history scenarios. Unless we can point to a very clear and specific bad decision — like Ford pardoning Nixon — it’s a lot of “coulda shoulda woulda” that assumes that events would automatically have worked out better.

    As I’ve said before, the fact that the NRA is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and Republican candidates were running short of cash in the 2018 election, I think that someone or someones way down in the Deep State managed to turn off the spigot of Russian money, or at least slow it down. That makes me feel a little better about the prospect of knocking them on their asses.

    My one concern about the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates so far is that no one really has a lot of foreign policy cred, and we’re going to need that in order to rebuild.

  79. 79
    Jay says:

    @jacy:

    I know how you know, but Dirty Sanchez is a lot like your ex and not at all, like you.

    And if they were being at all carefull, they were not all filed under “Taxes, 2017, Do Not Open”.

  80. 80
    piratedan says:

    @Mnemosyne: or we could watch the Dem 2020 candidate promise to make HRC secretary of state again :-)

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @piratedan:

    Yep. Having a relative do it is pretty much the epitome of an inside job. Why would ahe be suspicious of her own brother?

  82. 82
    Jay says:

    @piratedan:

    Only if he knew where they were, exactly.

    I have 249 texts from my wife, in no order, none are racy, none have photos, and they are scattered about in my texts files in order of reception.

    When my wife and I were dating, about 20 emails and phone calls a day, only 1 or two, faintly salacious.

    They dated off book for 6 months, that’s a ton of day to day data to dig through looking for a pony in a pile of manure.

  83. 83
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: For the second time: it’s not hindsight.

  84. 84
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because Dirty Sanchez is quite the scumbag. He’s not just a Trumpist, he’s a poo flinger, Nazi, LBGTQ hating Gay.

    He’s quite the piece of work, doing the infamy thing for fame and money.

  85. 85
    piratedan says:

    @Jay: or most of us are simply fucking lazy and its sitting there in the Gallery…. Most people (unless they’re actively cheating) don’t feel a need to hide stuff, even if its of a sensitive nature…. and to my understanding, she was single, who would be looking through her phone?

  86. 86
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He and his wife were already in a trial separation when he met Sanchez.

    And so far, their divorce has been amicable.

    Doesn’t seem like a mid life crisis.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    At the time that the action was advocated, was it known that the Russians were deeply embedded in the Republican Party and funneling dark money to the party so they could win elections?

    That’s the hindsight I mean. Knowing what we now know about how extensive the Russian operations were inside the US, are you still 100 percent confident that those measures would have been successful even if, say, Dana Rohrabacher tipped off his friends in Moscow ahead of time?

  88. 88
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    I need to comment on something that appeared on an earlier thread and I feel this would be a more effective venue.

    I cannot fucking believe posters on this blog are dismissing Amy Klobuchar as a candidate on the basis of a single Huffpo article with ZERO named sources. We need to do better.

    If one of her ex-employees wants to come forward and complain about her management style we can judge the information based on the merits, but after the 2016 debacle we can no longer pretend the press is practicing due diligence. Every one of the alleged sources may have been fired for cause or butt-hurt they didn’t luck into the cushy no-work job they’re convinced they deserve.

    I have plenty of ex-employees who despise me; some men can’t bear to take orders from a woman and some people are willfully incompetent as a way of evading hard work. I know nothing about Amy Klobuchar but I do know the media loves to tear down female candidates.

    Jesus Christ, are we going to reenact 2016?

  89. 89
    Jay says:

    @piratedan:

    Most of us here are olds. My phone is not My Wallet. My phone isn’t My Bank. My phone isn’t my Porn Collection.

    Some of us olds have security because we remember the “send all” episodes when email first came out.

    Some of the youngs have security because they know that when your wifi’s set to open, a cracker can rob your bank and wallet with just a 15 second bump pass.

    She is a journalist. I would expect that she would not not only have been instructed on how to secure her phone and data, given how they are used as portable computers these days, but also would be using it.

    On the other hand, maybe Dirty Sanchez sent her a nice email or text, with a “puppies playing basketball” malware attachment that she opened.

    Still, who gave Dirty Sanchez the malware, because he’s not smart enough to stop hanging out with Stone.

  90. 90
  91. 91

    Because it’s Friday (at least for the East Coast jackals), it’s time for a Floriduh woman story: Florida politician accused of licking faces has resigned

    The Florida Commission on Ethics issued a report on its findings that Oakley possibly violated state law because she was “exhibiting inappropriate behavior” when she licked the city manager’s face at a fishing tournament in 2012.

    The report said there was testimony from multiple witnesses saying Oakley also touched the then-city manager inappropriately, and that she was intoxicated…

    Since the issue was brought to light in public, others have said Oakley behaved in a similar manner toward them, according to the Miami Herald. The sponsor of the fishing tournament where Oakley allegedly licked the city manager said she had licked his face and the faces of volunteers at other fishing tournaments.

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    The FTMSM has started creating weak, no source Emailz!!!! Stories about every female Democratic Party cantidate.

    Hillary Clinton’s Campaign was “sunk” in part by sheer volume of nothingburger.

    A bunch of Democratic Party supporters still havn’t learned from that.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Sister Golden Bear

    Face licking is now on the naughty list? Where will the madness end? //

  94. 94
    hitchhiker says:

    True story:

    During the early, innocent days of learning that Anthony Weiner sent pictures of his dong to random women thru twitter, our family was sitting in the bleachers one fine spring morning waiting for younger daughter’s graduation ceremony to get underway. Noticed Mr Hitchhiker messing with his phone, and an instant later mine beeped.

    It was a picture of a banana, with the text, “Didn’t want you to feel left out.”

    I’d marry him again, just for that moment.

  95. 95
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Presidents get 60?90 days of “military intervention” before they need to go to Congress.

    The US has used “plausible deniability” before in the past.

    Russian intervention in both Crimea relied on minimal effort against a weak, poorly trained and disunited opponent, to the point that a few hundred ground forces swung the conflict.

    Just one targetted airstrike at key moments would have both sent a message and greatly changed the cost calculus for Putin.

    What happens next is beyond me.

  96. 96
    tobie says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge: @Jay: I completely agree. It seems a massive GOP led smear campaign is afoot, and the attacks against Klobuchar are particularly disturbing given that they consist in anonymous rumors and innuendo. But it seems like Warren and Harris have also been targeted, as has the entire VA state executive branch. The reappearance of abortion as a theme from the SOTU to tonight’s raser thin Supreme Court stay makes me think we’re seeing the broad outlines of the GOP 2020 campaign. I wish I had confidence that the media would wizen up.

  97. 97
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adamsplaining?

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