Late Night Crime Cartel Open Thread: The Family That Grifts Together…

Per the Washington Post:

The White House has rebuffed House Democrats’ request for documents pertaining to the security clearance process, a move that drastically increases the chances of a subpoena from the House.

In a letter to House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone said the committee request for the information was “without legal support, clearly premature, and suggests a breach of the constitutionally required accommodation process.”…

The standoff comes just days after reports that President Trump directed his then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner a security clearance despite concerns from the intelligence community. The New York Times first reported the news, which was later confirmed by The Washington Post.

Cummings, however, has been asking questions about the security clearance process for months, even garnering bipartisan support for his inquiry last Congress.

In a statement, Cummings rejected the White House lawyer’s assertion that Congress does not have jurisdiction over security clearance matters.

“There is a key difference between a president who exercises his authority under the Constitution and a president who overrules career experts and his top advisers to benefit his family members and then conceals his actions from the American people,” Cummings said. “The White House’s argument defies the constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this committee, and just plain common-sense. The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform.”…

(Matt Davies via

74 replies
  1. 1
    SFAW says:

    I had forgotten about Pigface Chaffetz’s threats. Of course, for Hillary, there was no “there” there, as far as illegal activities.

    With the Traitor-in-Chief, however, it’s what they used to call a “target-rich environment.” The biggest problem is finding enough investigators and prosecutors with sufficient integrity to handle the shit-storm of corruption and grifting coming from the Oval Office.

  2. 2
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Oh yeah. Kushner never has resigned following those WaPo and NYT stories has he?

  3. 3
    jl says:

    Yeesh, these people…

    ” the Democrats have started the campaign because they’re angry about losing so many races in 2016. “So the campaign begins,” [Trimp] said ”
    Trump started his 2020 campaign a few weeks after the election, because he was angry that HRC beat him in the popular vote (even with all the BS thrown at her, and she has only middling campaign skills). Also, because his lunatic campaign rallies are only places he can vomit his demented nonsense and lies and get cheered for it.

    “gave up an unbelievable life to go get punched on the chin everyday”
    The low grade swindler wanted to use the campaign as a marketing gimmick, lose and make bank off it; and he was too incompetent to lose. That was obvious. Nothing Cohen says is very trustworthy for obvious reasons, but when he just tells us Trump’s specific words regarding what has been easy to see as a clear spring day since the election, we should believe him.

  4. 4
    Ruckus says:

    What’s the old saw, Overwhelm them with bullshit and get away with murder?

    Had to call the VA to find out why my online med order couldn’t go through. Got a sales pitch for some crap when I called the pharmacy line, had to call the switchboard which can take a while to talk to someone, when she answered the clerk told me the pharmacy no longer takes calls. On the bottle of my meds it gives me the pharmacy number – sales pitch now – so that I can call to order of inquire about a problem. Nope can’t do that any more. The clerk was able to help me but no where on line is any of this posted so one might actually know how to actually not have to waste huge amounts of time to take care of business. I wonder whose bright idea it was to make getting healthcare that I earned and was promised several more degrees of difficulty than is already was?

  5. 5
    feebog says:


    With the Traitor-in-Chief, however, it’s what they used to call a “target-rich environment.”

    Or, to put it another way, all the fruit is low hanging.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Lindsey Graham perusing Google results for “largest fainting couch.”

  7. 7
    jl says:

    @feebog: Or maybe, already on the ground, rotting and making a stink. GOP hasn’t bothered with it for two years. That is long time for low hanging fruit to hang around.

    Which is why the GOP House members are acting like crazy people, stomping around madly at the hearings and acting like they are swatting at invisible flies. See if they can smoosh it into the ground.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Break out the subpoenas

  9. 9

  10. 10
    jl says:

    @NotMax: If somehow Trump gets indicted, tried and convicted, and then jumps bail, Lindsay will scream people are unfair to Trump because its still on appeal.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    Hope they put all that fruit in a music wire noose and pull tight. If you know what I mean.
    You think he’s in that much trouble that he needs the largest? Or are you saying he’s a big fucking wuse?

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Is that a god damned hoax, or what? I can’t find it on her twitter feed.

    Edit: never mind, just found it. The 2/2 is even more ridiculous. I assume this staffer wants her to run?

  13. 13
    SFAW says:


    all the fruit is low hanging.

    I HATE that expression. Well, to be more precise, “low-hanging fruit.” I think it’s because I associate its use with various dumbshit managers/execs I dealt with, back when I pretended I was an engineer, and how their latest brainfart would go after “the low-hanging fruit.” Fucking morons, there ain’t any.

    Sorry, it’s yet another of my pet peeves, nothing to do with you, and I can’t really disagree with your assessment.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    eet Heer @ HeerJeet
    Jeet Heer Retweeted Maggie Haberman
    One way to read this is that Hillary Clinton definitely doesn’t want to run agains but some people around her (with worse judgement than her) are still holding out hope she will.

    Seems plausible. I cannot imagine HRC is really thinking about getting back in

  16. 16
    hells littlest angel says:

    Philip and Elizabeth Jennings must be kicking themselves that they worked so hard to hide what they were doing.

  17. 17
    SFAW says:


    Nice to see how much the Fuckhead-in-Chief has improved the VA.

    Sorry it’s adding to your travails.

    ETA: Of course, the Fuckhead-in-Chief will blame Obama.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @SFAW: Means something if you actually have to pick actual fruit.

  19. 19

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, they just can’t quit her. Maggie Haberman can go eat a bag of dicks.

  20. 20
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    HRC is going to have to go back on TV and say, “Jesus Fucking Christ, how hard is it for you people to understand english, I’m not running for president ever again!”

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Fair or unfair, just or unjust, polls I have seen with HRC in them have her just above the coffee billionaire guy. So, she would have a hill to climb, and I don’t see why she’d put herself through it.

    In hypothetical world, if HRC could up her campaign skills, she could win in the general though. But it would be hell for her and rest of us. Corporate hacks like Cillizza would be in hog heaven, though.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:


    Means something if you actually have to pick actual fruit.

    Yeah, lots of high-tech managers do that all the time.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Staffers angling to keep her name in the news for a possible veep slot?

  24. 24
    SFAW says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Maggie Haberman can go eat a bag of dicks.

    Salted or unsalted? [Just pre-emptively worrying about a spike in her BP.]

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    Didn’t put in the best part. I asked the clerk if she knew why the pharmacy wasn’t accepting calls, not really expecting an answer other than “I don’t know” and that’s what I got. I told her I know why and who and she said “Oh my,” and giggled. Thanked her and said good bye.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    Hoping for or against? I’m going with for.

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    Her campaign skills are fine, she won the popular vote by a rather large margin. And numbnuts won the EC by a very, very slim margin that is very, very questionable.
    And as she’s announced more than once that she’s not running it would be highly unlikely that she’d poll well.

  29. 29
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I still can’t believe people voted for Trumpov. I never paid attention to Trump during his Apprentice run. I think I may have watched half of a couple of Celerbtiy Apprentice reruns shows just flipping channels. I didnt even know he had talked about running for president before this run. Hes so obviously a conman. How can anyone not see that? I just don’t get it.

  30. 30
    SFAW says:


    Hoping for or against? I’m going with for.

    I’m too classy a guy to divulge that.

    Aah, fuck it, all my class is low anyway: looking for 250/150.

    Semi-related (to the “classy” comment):
    There’s a saying I once heard:
    “I cried because I had no shoes,
    Until I met a man who had no class.”

  31. 31
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That sounds like some grade-A bullshit. Then again, it is Maggie Haberman.

  32. 32
    Kent says:

    Clinton has already run for president twice. How many people actually do THREE serious campaigns through the whole primary season? I can’t think of any. Sure there are candidates that run a couple early campaigns and then bail out after New Hampshire with basically no skin off. But to basically go all the way through to the convention twice, and once again through the general election? And then do it all over again?

    I’m not talking about perennial candidates like Ron Paul. I’m talking about serious contenders that took it all the way twice and then came back a 3rd time.

    Anyway, I don’t think she is remotely serious about running. If she actually was she’d be doing it now. And she would have taken a much higher profile in the anti-Trump movement over the past 2 years. This breathless speculation by the press is just absurd and unprofessional and journalistic malpractice.

  33. 33
    Plato says:

    The sheer arrogance and the brazen lying in the face of all crimes they have committed comes from the fact that the rethug voters will never punish them. Until the 45% floor gets much much lower, the gopee will be on a crime spree.

  34. 34
    Bill says:

    No one ever mentions it, but it should be a part of every report about Jared’s or anyone’s security clearances – that the president would himself have about a 0% chance of getting any kind of security clearance.

  35. 35
    Kent says:


    Her campaign skills are fine, she won the popular vote by a rather large margin. And numbnuts won the EC by a very, very slim margin that is very, very questionable.
    And as she’s announced more than once that she’s not running it would be highly unlikely that she’d poll well.

    Her traditional nose-to-the-grindstone campaign skills are good. I don’t think she has the modern social media skills or the ability to drive the narrative that both Obama and Trump have. I think a winning candidate these days has to have all of them. If she had Obama’s political skills or Bill Clinton’s political skills it would have been an easy win. I don’t think that’s just a sexist thing (and the media is sexist). Obama just had a much better ability to command the media. Clinton worked her tail off and often no one who wasn’t there actually noticed.

    In any event, she isn’t running so I don’t know why we are talking about this. For 2020 I’m looking for candidates with Hillary Clinton’s command of policy and Obama’s political skills. Not sure who that is yet but Harris is growing on me.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:
    People have thought a lot of things about people on TV that have no basis in reality. It’s pretty bizarre if you ask me.
    And while he’s been known for a very long time to be a sleaze and probably not worth anywhere near what he used to claim, he was small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. The only things that have been consistent have been his ineptitude and general stupidity. But he saw a shot to get back at President Obama for that roast where he got charbroiled and as he doesn’t like the skin color black in the least, he took it. And it didn’t hurt that he had an entire country’s “intelligence” service working for him because their boss owns him and his only real ability to harm his sworn enemy is to get that enemy to fuck itself. Success! Shorter, Vlad had a lot to do with the entire mess.

  37. 37
    Groucho48 says:

    It’s annoying to me that Biden, who is older than Clinton, was a lot less successful in his Presidential runs, is to the right of her on many issues, and has the Anita Hill millstone around his neck, seems to be the pundits’ choice as the candidate who has the best chance at winning.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:


    William Jennings Bryan, nominated thrice. 1896, 1900, 1908.

  39. 39
    feebog says:


    I don’t disagree with you distaste for the expression. At best overused and trite, at worst, mindnubingly stupid. Thank Dog i’m No longer exposed to the corporate hive mind that produces such banalities.

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve been on her email list for a very long time. Her social skills, or her social skills person are more than good enough. And I’m not easily impressed, I get about 20-30 political emails a day and hers are fine. KH does better. My local state congressman does better. That’s about the limit of better. My congress rep has no skills. Doesn’t make her a bad rep.
    The reason she doesn’t drive the narrative is the press. If they really wanted a horse race they actually cover each candidate relatively evenly. They don’t come close in almost every case. My conclusion is their bosses want anyone but her and give every republican opponent about twice the benefit of the doubt. And journalists don’t get paid to write what their bosses don’t want to hear. It is after all their newspapers or their TV stations/networks and our USSC has said that all broadcasts and papers have the same level of free speech as you and I do.

  41. 41
    Ruckus says:

    He isn’t their choice because he might win, he’s their choice because he’ll surely lose as he’s done before.

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    If you are looking for grade A, you have to look at one of the best providers. Hence Maggie, as you pointed out. She is after all, one of the most prime, grade A providers of said bullshit. She types, it flows.

  43. 43

    CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wonders Why Ivanka’s Even in the White House: ‘What Does She Actually Do?’
    The CNN host comes up empty when seeking an explanation for why Ivanka would need a high-level security clearance—one the president reportedly went to great lengths to get her.

  44. 44

    @NotMax: Cross of Gold, baby!!

  45. 45
    joel hanes says:


    Trump started his 2020 campaign a few weeks after the election, because

    campaigning produces campaign contributions (people PAY to attend those stupid rallies), and campaign contributions are an easy grift — there’s a thousand ways to spend them that will benefit the cash flow of the Trump Organization, and if they never get spent before he eventually leaves office … what do you think a man like Trump will do ?

    See Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain for prior art.

  46. 46
    joel hanes says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Maggie Haberman can eat a bag of salted dicks.

  47. 47
    Kelly says:

    @SFAW: The low hanging fruit is in the shade and ripens slower than the higher fruit. You really should pick the low hanging fruit last. The way the metaphor is used is completely backwards.

  48. 48
    joel hanes says:

    @joel hanes:
    I see that Smedley etc. was there before me. My fault for not searching forward first.

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:


    Biden is a straight white guy, so he’s the pundits’ choice.

    They really, really don’t understand this recent fad for electing non-white, non-male candidates and wish voters would stop fooling around and elect REAL candidates again.

  50. 50
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Pundits will NEVER let go of the idea that Real America is old macho (i.e., sexist) white guys in flannel shirts at diners.

  51. 51
    Mabndalay says:

    @SFAW: Thanks for reaching out to us and being a team player, but it is what it is, and low hanging fruit is our deliverable. We won’t drop the ball though; we’ll keep you and the stakeholders in the loop on this going forward because it could be a game changer if we hit the ground running and synergize.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    Gottlieb out of FDA. Probably because he tried to do the job. Some people who know the FDA, and who I thought would never say a good thing about Trump admin have said, whatever their differences in general and fact that he was far more centrist than they wanted, that he took his responsibilities seriously and was pushing for some very good and overdue policies. I’ve heard that patent drug industry and tobacco companies didn’t like him at all. August NC Sen Burr been trying to get rid of him since his first day on the job.

    FDA chief Scott Gottlieb steps down after nearly 2 years
    Associated Press MATTHEW PERRONE–politics.html

  53. 53
    jl says:

    Like Jerome Powell, how a person like Gottlieb ever got past Trump is a mystery. I’ll have to research those interesting questions when I have time. From what I have heard, they are competent and honest. Maybe just isolated Trump screw-ups?

  54. 54
    piratedan says:

    @Kent: I’m sorry, but there’s a whole lotta disagreement I have with your take….

    number one – it’s not as if she didn’t have a website that explicitly outlined what her game plan was on the problems that she identified and her position on all sorts of matters, from health care to foreign policy to education. She was on You Tube with her ads constantly. She had a message but it was like trying to surf a tidal wave with all of the bullshit thrown at her and in her path.
    number two – it’s not as if she didn’t try to drive the narrative – she did, she talked about the ISSUES and brought her case to the American people, but the media never let her talk about that.
    number three – it’s not as if there wasn’t a concerted coordinated effort within the media, FBI and the GOP and foreign actors that were doing all of the heavy lifting away from that narrative on the issues and making it a character debate and focusing almost exclusively one one item to the exclusion of all others and in retrospect, THERE WAS NOTHING FUCKING THERE AND NO ONE COULD BREAK THROUGH THAT NOISE AND FUCKING SAY SO.

    for fucks sake the same bad actors are still engaged in bad faith actions, the GOP, the media, the foreign interests are STILL in play and STILL stirring the pot, trying to deflect and set up narratives and framing to their liking right fucking now against all of the serious candidates…. pocohontas, black lady cop who slept her way to the top, bad boss Klobuchar….

    all of this pales against the evidence that THIS IS the MOST fucking corrupt administration in history and yet THAT little fact is only alluded to, in whispered hushed tones as everything around this administration is tainted and we all know it except that the media never says it out loud, unless you’re listening to Rachel Maddow on a Friday.

  55. 55
    Mabndalay says:


    Biden is a straight white guy, so he’s the pundits’ choice.

    Harper’s has just published a detailed and brutal attack on Biden: No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy

    Nobody who reads the whole thing could possibly contemplate voting for Biden. Well perhaps his wife might….but even then I doubt it.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    @Mabndalay: it’s by Alexander Cockburn. Sometimes does good work. But wields many axes, and when in the mood, doesn’t bother to use the sharp end.

    I’m supporting Warren right now, so I got no dog in the fight. I think Biden will contribute to a good primary, for short while that he lasts.

  57. 57
    Gvg says:

    Uh huh…a lot of democratic reliable old voters think the reason Hillary lost is sexism, and are afraid to lose again, so they are calculating white males…Bernie and Biden “would have won”. They have come to completely different conclusions than us. Their hearts are in the right place mostly. Some of them are my parents, and raised me. They ahven’t Had quite the life experiences that I have, and their friends tend to be white. They are stubborn liberals, but have been arguing tactfully with a lot of selfish people for decades longer than I have. It affects their perspective. Liberal ideas have been losing ground for decades until Bush/Obama, and then we get Trump and some other regressives.
    Dad worried when Gilliam won the Florida primary. He said, I like his positions better, but I really want to win the general. Unfortunately I don’t think a different candidate would have done better, but I am not sure they think the same.
    Everyone thinks the people they know are a good sample of the population, unconsciously, even if they know statistics. We here are just as prone to it too.

  58. 58
    Steeplejack says:


    But are you impacting anything?

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:


    I feel very meh about Uncle Joe. He’s a great hype man, but he doesn’t have the chops to be the front man. He will probably flame out early just like he always has before.

    He definitely comes in handy for spotting misogynists, though. I’ve had plenty of morons online tell me that they hated all of Hillary’s ties to the banksters, so they want the senator from MBNA to run instead. 🙄

  60. 60
    smike says:

    I think the bottom line is that the old guard has not forged a forward path, NancySmash being an exception. The party is hungry for action and plainly spoken goals, so let’s go for it. If Joe can’t keep up, then “thanks for playing.”

  61. 61
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Maggie really, really hates having to give up the easy Hillary abuse. Whenever she needed some fast clicks, just use the magic conjuring word, et voila!

    Especially since the Oval Office Squatter is deteriorating so damned fast and publicly… Maggie was planning to take a year or so after 2020 and write The Definitive Tell-All that would ensure her place in media history (or at least the Forbes Top 10,000). No more HRC-bashing rewards, no more Trump stenography — what’s a Top NYT Personality supposed to do, work for a living?

  62. 62
    sukabi says:

    @Groucho48: it’s because Biden is the closest reflection they see of themselves. Plus he’s non-threatening and manageable.

  63. 63
    Adam K says:

    @Mabndalay: That’s thinking outside the box!

  64. 64
    Victor Matheson says:

    @Gvg: That’s an exetremely well thought out comment.

  65. 65
    trnc says:


    That sounds like some grade-A bullshit. Then again, it is Maggie Haberman

    Yup. There are legitimate uses of anonymous sources, then there’s gossip. Haberman participates in a 3rd category below gossip.

  66. 66
    SFAW says:


    You forgot Poland “Work smarter, not harder”! And what are our “Mission Statement,” and our core competencies?

    But outside of that, spot-on.

    ETA: After writing that, I had a vision (hallucination?) of Barbara Billingsley in Airplane! “Stewardess! I speak corporate moron.”

  67. 67
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: Our health insurance has a phone-in medication system too. We’ve never used it. From the sound of it, we were good not to try. Our local pharmacy can be annoying, but when there’s been a problem one can talk to an actual human and get it resolved (usually within a day or so).

    I hope you get it resolved soon. Hang in there.


  68. 68
    Searcher says:

    It just occurred to me that “senior advisor” is s very literal and accurate job description in this case.

  69. 69
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Mabndalay: Heh…

    This carefully crafted flail of the poor made it almost impossible for borrowers to get traditional “clean slate” Chapter 7 bankruptcy, under which debt forgiveness enables people to rebuild their lives and businesses. Instead, the law subjected them to the far harsher provisions of Chapter 13, effectively turning borrowers into indentured servants of institutions like the credit card companies headquartered in Delaware. It made its way onto the statute books after a lopsided 74–25 vote (bipartisanship!), with Biden, naturally, voting in favor.

    It was, in fact, the second version of the bill. An earlier iteration had passed Congress in 2000 with Biden’s support, but President Clinton refused to sign it at the urging of the first lady, who had been briefed on its iniquities by Elizabeth Warren. A Harvard Law School professor at the time, Warren witheringly summarized Biden’s advocacy of the earlier bill in a 2002 paper:

    His energetic work on behalf of the credit card companies has earned him the affection of the banking industry and protected him from any well-funded challengers for his Senate seat.

    Furthermore, she added tartly, “This important part of Senator Biden’s legislative work also appears to be missing from his Web site and publicity releases.”

    Ya know, if we’d given the reins to those two women way back then…

  70. 70
    randy khan says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    The CNN host comes up empty when seeking an explanation for why Ivanka would need a high-level security clearance—one the president reportedly went to great lengths to get her.

    That one’s easy – she knows how to explain things to Trump in language he understands, so she’s translating for him.

  71. 71
    chopper says:

    “So the campaign begins,” he said

    this from the guy who’s been campaigning since the day after his inauguration.

  72. 72
    chopper says:


    gottlieb was tough on tobacco/vape companies. republicans hated that. i can’t believe we’re back at a point in our politics where the head of the FDA is getting pushed out for not being pro-tobacco enough, but here we are.

  73. 73
    Dave says:

    Regarding HRC-I was a late conversion to supporter after watching voting and contributing to Bernie in 2016 (and I still demand my money back) HRC is a great person who can still contribute to this campaign by just drawing fire from the media and diverting them from scurrying around looking for some other bullshit scandal on the actual candidates. I suppose the media could actually do their job but this is not a science fiction blog

  74. 74
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Mabndalay: Did you play buzzword bingo at meetings with upper management? Draw a bingo matrix with buzzwords in the squares and listen. . . .

Comments are closed.