Open Thread: It’s All Fun & Games Until Pence Gets His Hands on the Rapture Nuclear Codes

It’s a delicious read, actually, if you’re not already surfeited. (Also: keep an eye on Don McGahn, aka Brutus):

By the time President Donald Trump had passed through the prime rib buffet at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday to sit for dinner with family and a top aide, the damning picture Robert Mueller’s report painted of his presidency had become clear…

Perhaps more angering to a leader who detests weakness — but doesn’t necessarily mind an amoral reputation — were the number of underlings shown ignoring his commands, privately scoffing at the “crazy sh**” he was requesting and working around him to avoid self-implication.

Now, those close to him say Trump is newly furious at the people — most of whom no longer work for him — whose extensive interviews with the special counsel’s office created the epic depiction of an unscrupulous and chaotic White House. And he’s seeking assurances from those who remain that his orders are being treated like those of a president, and not like suggestions from an intemperate but misguided supervisor…

It was a sharp turn away from his earlier statements, which welcomed the report’s findings on collusion and falsely claimed total exoneration. Hours before his Mar-a-Lago dinner, Trump insisted to a crowd on the tarmac in Florida the dark days of Mueller’s special counsel investigation had ended.

“Game over, folks,” he said over the sounds of a busy airport. “Now, it’s back to work.”

It’s hard to tell, however, what Trump intends to head back to. Mueller’s probe and Trump’s constant focus on it have been the backdrop for all but a few months of the presidency, often diminishing whatever policy efforts have been orchestrated by officials or Republican lawmakers. The report depicts a President who for two years has been largely consumed by the Russia investigation, intent on short-circuiting it but repeatedly stymied in his efforts by aides…

What is clear is many of those who avoided carrying out Trump’s demands related to Mueller’s probe — often, it seemed, in a bid to protect themselves from criminal wrongdoing — are no longer employed by the White House. Instead, the aides who now surround the President appear less willing to write him off and more likely to encourage him to follow his gut.

Among those who have moved on: the White House counsel who refused Trump’s demand to fire Mueller [Don McGahn], the chief of staff and senior adviser who anxiously tried to retrieve a resignation letter from the attorney general, the staff secretary who declined Trump’s order to gauge the loyalty of a Justice Department official, the attorney general who refused to un-recuse himself and the communications chief who seemed most expert in Trump’s whims.

Even Steve Bannon, once viewed as the ultimate advocate for following Trump’s instincts, is depicted in the report as a constraining force… Instead, the most prominent aides who do remain are depicted in the report as the most dishonest…

Among those who Trump dined with in Florida on Thursday was Mick Mulvaney, the chief of staff who still fills the role in an acting capacity but who, according to officials, has done less than either of his two predecessors to restrain Trump in his hardline instincts.

Indeed, since Mulvaney’s tenure began at the start of the year, Trump has overseen the longest government shutdown in US history, a dramatic shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security, a sharp turn toward harsher policies on the border, a decision to ask a court to scrap the entire Affordable Care Act and a confusing dictate on North Korea sanctions that still has advisers scratching their heads…

In the report, Trump is described as having several tense encounters with McGahn during his White House tenure, including episodes when McGahn was prepared to resign rather than carry out Trump’s demands.

McGahn described Trump asking him to do “crazy sh**,” according to Priebus. Trump, meanwhile, deemed McGahn a “lying bastard” whose habit of taking contemporaneous notes raised suspicion. In an anecdote relayed in the report, Trump and McGahn went back-and-forth over the note-taking, which Trump insisted good lawyers — such as his onetime counsel Roy Cohn — never did…

165 replies
  1. 1
    Wag says:

    Well, you’re half right about that,

    They think he’s a potato?

  2. 2
    Aleta says:

    OT: story about a dog and kids
    Matt Frost @Phroosh77

    I found out about a 34 year old family secret this weekend, that turned one of our favourite family memories into something even better. I hope my friends on here enjoy it. I grew up in a country town, population 4,900. I was the youngest of three, with two older sisters.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    If only Donald Trump were a potato.

  4. 4
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Ok, I laughed at “Julius Seizure”. I didn’t laugh at all of the rest of the stuff, as that stopped being funny late 2016.

  5. 5
    JoyceH says:

    Hey I’ve got a question – this weekend Rudy was justifying the Wikileaks releases and the campaign trumpeting them by saying that they revealed “very damaging things” about Clinton. DID they, though? What were those things? As I recall the coverage, the main point of interest is that stolen info was being fed into the campaign by foreign actors. I remember something about a risotto recipe, some intra-DNC infighting, but I don’t recall very damaging things. Was the recipe that bad?

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The drive up from Atlanta to Watertown, Mass last week was a gods-awful nightmare. I made it to the Seder Friday at my friends’ house with barely 15 minutes to spare, and thought of just showing up even later and announcing myself as Elijah. Vowed to avoid I-95 on the return trip, and even though it means lots of additional miles, I’m not having to deal with the Jersey Turnoike or paying $15 for the privilege of sitting in non-moving traffic at the GW Bridge.

    I am now enjoying a lovely meal at a quirky restaurant in Tunkhannock, PA. No, I never heard of Tunkhannock either. But it turns out to be < 30 minutes from a monument commemorating the Wyoming Valley Massacre, in which one of my ancestors lost his life in 1775. So if the weather’s nice tomorrow, I may make a return visit and pay suitable homage to Eliphalet Follett :-)

  7. 7
    West of the Rockies says:

    What is Trump’s agenda now? Hurt immigrants, poor people, wait for a SC justice to pass, piss and moan about his wall, try for more tax cuts, and go to rallies? That’s sort of the meat and potatoes of his presidency.

    He has no legislative accomplishments to brag about. The tax bill is deeply unpopular. He’s a hateful, harmful buffoon.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I am now enjoying a lovely meal at a quirky restaurant in Tunkhannock, PA.

    Are you interviewing retired machinists and coal miners who still support Donald Trump?

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Don’t give her ideas.

  10. 10

    actual president


  11. 11
    japa21 says:

    And he’s seeking assurances from those who remain that his orders are being treated like those of a president, and not like suggestions from an intemperate but misguided supervisor…

    You know, maybe if actually tried to give orders that a President who honored the country and the Constitution would give, his orders actually might be followed.

  12. 12
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Anyone doing a thread for the #CNN Town Halls? A night of town halls has just started with Amy Klogbuchar.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Trump: I’m a dictator!

    I’m just catching up, kind of, after days either on the road or socialising with my my friends and their friends in Watertown and Cambridge — but I did hear a report earlier today that Trump said to a reporter “NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition disobeys my orders!”

  14. 14
    gratuitous says:

    “Nobody disobeys my orders.” Uh huh, Spanky, sure. And no woman has ever faked it with you.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Ah, and I see that’s reported in the next tweet down!

  16. 16
    Baud says:


    I feel bad, but I feel it’s too early to pay attention to that. But a thread makes sense.

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    If only Donald Trump were a potato.

    What grudge do you have against honest spuds?

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    By the time Donald Trump had passed through the prime rib buffet at Mar-a-Lago

    That is one enormous dump.

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    I find it odd people don’t understand that Pence is already in charge. You really believe DJT is that interested in anti-lgbtqia laws before? He’s a lazy lump. His desire was for the VP to be the duty-bound president handling domestic shit while he got parades, state dinners & photo-ops. You got President Pence already. Proceed as if you do.

    @JoyceH: The only damage was that HRC considered having a latte a cheat. Girl, drink your latte and up your cardio. Nothing in WikiLeaks was really damaging, but the constant framing of it as damaging due to contents means the news media never has to acknowledge they made it a scandal.

  20. 20
    trollhattan says:

    Anyone see last night’s “Veep”? So on-the-nose I can hardly watch, but deliciously cynical such as no other show attains. Sweet, foulmouthed Amy transformed into Kellyanne before our eyes! Prediction: Jonah wins it all.

  21. 21
    Keith P says:

    @TenguPhule: in Soviet Mar-a-Lago, prime rib buffet pass through *you*.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am trying my very damndest to stay away from them. On my drive today, I was wearing my t-shirt with cartoon pix of Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I changed into a plain, unadorned grey t-shirt before heading to Twigs* for dinner. Just in case.

    *Although I have to say, the restaurant itself seems pretty crunchy, as does most of the clientele I’ve observed. So who knows. But getting here from the Interstate was straight-up Pennsyltucky.

  23. 23
    Leto says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I had to lookup where that is, as I do most things PA, and you’re a few hours north of me. Would’ve had a BJ PA meetup if I knew!

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    New poll shows Pete Buttigieg surging into top tier in New Hampshire with Biden and Sanders
    Sanders has been top of the list since last year in New Hampshire in the University of New Hampshire’s polling, helped by its close proximity to his home state of Vermont, with three-in-ten likely Democratic primary voters saying they’ll vote for him. While Biden usually dominates national surveys, he comes in second in New Hampshire, with 18%.

    Buttigieg rounds out the top tier of candidates with 15%.

    Expect those numbers to change quite a bit in the coming months of polling: Only 9% of likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire said they’ve definitely decided who to vote for in the primary, and another 14% said they were leaning toward a candidate. Three-quarters said they still hadn’t decided.

  25. 25
    Leto says:

    @trollhattan: Saw it, loved it. Think Jonad will also be the spoiler. Can’t wait to see Selena as VP again, haha!

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:


    You really believe DJT is that interested in anti-lgbtqia laws before?

    Have never considered him invested in the gay-hating and probably happy to sub it out to Pence and the god-botherers. He does truly hate immigrants and has his fellow traveler in Miller, Bannon before him. Destroying federal departments gets subbed out to anybody who knows how to do that.

    Rest of his energy, such as it is, to be spent attacking Trump’s enemies and making Trump richer.

  27. 27
    MomSense says:

    My son turned on I Am Legend but thankfully fell asleep so I could turn it off. It took me four tries to watch that movie before I finally got through it and never ever ever again. That dog Sam stole my heart and then broke it.

    I’m watching Klobuchar on CNN now. Meh.

  28. 28
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Are you coming through SW OH on your way back? Inquiring minds want you to know it’s not far from Pennsyltucky.

  29. 29
    Baud says:


    I had the same reaction to the movie. They need to come up with a rating system for that.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    A leader of an armed militia that has held hundreds of migrants at the border previously claimed the group was training to assassinate Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, according to court documents unsealed on Monday.

  31. 31
    Spanky says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Tunkhannock! Jeebus! I figured from your comment that you were doing the I84 route, but now you’re toodling out Rt 6?!?!?

    I know it’s nowhere near the way to Atlanta, but Rt 6 really is a great little stretch across PA to the Allegheny National Forest. Go past the Grand Canyon of PA and Cherry Springs State Park, which Billin would appreciate as one of the few dark sky friendly parks on the right coast.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:


    The drive up from Atlanta to Watertown, Mass last week

    Isn’t that Flying Toaster-land, or near to it?

  33. 33
    MomSense says:


    I couldn’t even watch the beginning of the movie knowing what comes later.

  34. 34
    SFAW says:


    A leader of an armed militia that has held hundreds of migrants at the border previously claimed the group was training to assassinate Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, according to court documents unsealed on Monday.

    Next week: Shitgibbon will nominate him to replace Nielsen.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: I didn’t know the story.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho:

    Are you coming through SW OH on your way back? Inquiring minds want you to know it’s not far from Pennsyltucky.

    Not this trip, alas! OhioMom, IIRC, has asked the same. No, I’m thinking June or July when I go to visit my Canadian cousins would be the best time to swing through SWOH. This time, I’m heading over to Norfolk-Newport News-Hampton Roads-Virginia Beach area to see my baby* brother and his ex- (but still dear friend) wife.

    *The baby is 72 years old. In case anyone wondered.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    Nightmare scenario. Would not put it out of the realm of possibility for him to deliberately throw Pence under the bus.

    1) Dolt 45 feigns something which forces him to stay in hospital.
    2) He signs the paper delegating presidential power to Pence for a set period.
    3) Pence issues (pre-arranged) pardons. “I didn’t want to chance his meeting God with a blot, even a manufactured one, hanging over his soul.”
    4) Fallout forces Pence off the ticket for ’20, to be replaced by someone even more venal and odious.
    5) Pence’s bank accounts ‘mysteriously’ balloon.

    Too outlandish?

  38. 38
    Baud says:


    Nothing is too outlandish. It does seem to complex for Trump though.

  39. 39
    MomSense says:


    It’s actually a well done movie. I just can’t.

  40. 40
    Kathleen says:

    @trollhattan: I’m getting ready to watch it On Demand, which is my Monday night ritual. It really does provide insight into the propatainment complex, doesn’t it? I firmly believe now that 99% of the media noxious vapor pukers are merely auditioning for their next gig/book contract/TV appearance.

  41. 41
    trollhattan says:

    I’ll share this. Lots of fun background.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    FedUp_Mom (@Fedup_Mom) Tweeted:
    NOW: The media is scarring @TheDemocrats @SpeakerPelosi against impeachment. 2020: Media will bash Democrats for being cowards—and Trump will clown them for being afraid of him. Democrats will lose election and deservedly so.

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I think it’s exactly Flying Toaster land! Met a number of area jackals (including FT) five years ago on my first trip to New England.

    I did mention a week or ten days ago in a comment that I was heading up and would be happy for a meetup, but the double holiday kind of got in the way. So, next time.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) Tweeted:
    NEW story: Trump’s Fed pick Stephen Moore wrote four separate times women shouldn’t be allowed to announce men’s basketball games. Moore also wrote women should be banned from refereeing men’s games and mocked reader’s who complained he was sexist.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Buffy Wicks (@BuffyWicks) Tweeted:
    I don’t know how far Dems should take the Q of #impeachment, but I know who I trust to answer the Q.

    I trust the woman who passed #ACA.
    I trust the woman who led Dems to our greatest gains in a gen.
    I trust the woman who fought the Trump shutdown & WON.
    I trust @SpeakerPelosi.

  46. 46
    Kathleen says:

    @Leto: @trollhattan: It’s amazing what horrible human beings every one of the characters is (except for Richard, Catherine and Marjorie) yet I find it hilarious. That’s what great script, director and actors can do. If any of those pieces were missing that show would be unwatchable for me.

    My all time favorite episode is when she goes to Silicon Valley during her Presidential run. One of the most brilliant pieces of comedy I’ve ever seen.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) Tweeted:
    I’ve read a lot of books about Watergate in the last 2 years.

    One relevant point: the Senate Watergate Committee held nationally televised public hearings educating the public about Richard Nixon’s wrongdoing before the House Judiciary Committee began impeachment proceedings.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Tunkhannock! Jeebus! I figured from your comment that you were doing the I84 route, but now you’re toodling out Rt 6?!?!?

    I am sitting in this restaurant literally looking out the window at a directional sign for Route 6. As I enjoy my espresso, rice pudding, and what’s left of the red wine 😂🍷

  49. 49
    chopper says:

    also, “julius seizure” is what i nicknamed my old
    lambretta back in the day.

  50. 50
    rikyrah says:

    Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) Tweeted:
    It’s flat out undemocratic to tell students who live, work, and learn in local communities that they can’t participate in the democratic process. I join @JeanneShaheen in condemning this blanket voter suppression scam.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:


    Only a few hops and skips from my old stomping grounds. Pretty countryside. Close enough that friends used to sometimes drive there to ski nearby at Camelback.

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho

    Trivia: Speaking of Ohio, one can’t help but wonder if Dolt 45 knows about this?


  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) Tweeted:
    One thing about Warren’s flood of policy proposals is the work she’s doing with her staff to figure this stuff out is going to help her enormously in debates and interviews. She’s going to be (and, tbh, already is) a lot more knowledgeable and fluent than the other candidates.

  53. 53
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: I remember how outraged I was when Rethugs broke into DNC office. Media treated it like no big deal. WaPo buried it somewhere in the metro section.Thus concludes today’s episode of “Media Has Always Loved Its Rethuglican Bully Daddies”.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

    The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats.

    The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual violence in conflict.

    But the draft resolution has already been stripped of one of its most important elements, the establishment of a formal mechanism to monitor and report atrocities, because of opposition from the US, Russia and China, which opposed creating a new monitoring body.

    Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics.

    There is no bottom.

  55. 55
    Kathleen says:


    She’s going to be (and, tbh, already is) a lot more knowledgeable and fluent than the other candidates.

    That’s pundit speak for “shrill and unprepared”.

  56. 56
    Sab says:

    @NotMax: Thank you, NotMax. I am from Ohio and I didn’t know. Sort of figures for us.

    What were they thinking when they named it?

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) Tweeted:
    There’s a particular contempt I have for people who exclusively invoke “the troops” in support of ethnonationalism or in defense of screwing other people over, but not actually helping veterans, that I honestly do not have the words to express.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:


    Bella August (@BellaAugust4) Tweeted:
    Now the donors are convinced that he is the new Obama. But he isn’t Obama, who served as a state senator for 8 years & 3 years as a US Senator. It’s disappointing to see Obama’s experience comparable to Pete’s slight experience as a mayor of a 100k town

  59. 59
    NotMax says:


    Lawdy, if one counted the hours I’ve spent traveling on Route 6 it would almost certainly end up being a five digit number.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Bougie Black Girl (@BougieBlackGurl) Tweeted:
    Sir, you do realize many people are choosing not to have children because of their student loans debt. The conservative argument is profamily by erasing everyone’s debt so they can have families which builds our tax base & having consumers invest in the American economy.

  61. 61
    Kathleen says:

    @Sab: Brutal murder story from Pike County involving several family members:

  62. 62
    piratedan says:

    @rikyrah: gotta love it…. it’s only Dems who have agency. The GOP gets a pass for nominating and supporting the current office holder. The GOP gets a pass for coordinating with the Russians (oh sure, the Trump campaign may have been too stupid and inept to do so, but I’m betting Mitchy and the rest of the racist boys club used the money and the targeted social media campaigns to good use for not only Trump but their entire slate of candidates… it just hasn’t come out yet, and it may be a while before the media even acknowledges this…

    In the interim, why haven’t the Dems fixed this yet is a going to be tiresome as if they were the ones who were to blame. I’ll trust Nancy Smash to know how to do whats needed to get this done right. When she’s done, I hope McConnell is left with a wet paper sack and soiled underwear.

  63. 63
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Why does he keep getting away with saying the investigation was launched and lead by Democrats? A Congress in which Republicans controlled both houses launched the investigation. The Dems supported it but without Republican cooperation they could not have appointed a special counsel to investigate.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well, where are you? I’m slightly flexible with tomorrow’s travel!

    If you don’t want to get too detailed in the comments here, you can email me at SiubhanDuinne (at) gmail (dot) com. If it doesn’t work out this trip, i’ll bear it in mind for the next one.

  65. 65
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Amir Khalid: @TenguPhule: Yeah? What’s the grudge?

  66. 66


    Have never considered him invested in the gay-hating

    True, he doesn’t seem invested in it. However, he hates women and is a mean fuck who enjoys causing suffering to anyone and everyone, both of which lead me to believe that when the topic is raised, he leaps enthusiastically on the bandwagon to oppress any kind of queer. For comparison purposes, he is driven and passionate and determined to end non-white immigration and cause misery or death to anyone who could even mistakenly be described as a non-white immigrant.

  67. 67
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Kathleen: Yup, multigenerational drug operation gone bad. We all knew what it was; proving same took some doing.

  68. 68
    Wapiti says:

    @rikyrah: That a very good point. I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates speak, maybe 2 years ago. The man knew his stuff, backwards and forwards. All the time he had spent researching and writing and rewriting the topics came through when he was being interviewed. I’d guess he had put more thought into slavery and reparations and discriminations than anyone else in the hall.

    And yes, Warren may very well put more thought into the issues that really matter to Americans than anyone else on the stage.

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I have some stuff I need to take care of in Atlanta over the next 8-12 months, and then i will be free and hope to drive as many miles as both my health and my vehicle’s health will allow. Maybe another 3 or 4 years before I turn in the keys. I don’t know, but I don’t want to be stupid about it. But there’s still a lot of exploring I want to do!

  70. 70
    mrmoshpotato says:


    I hope McConnell is left with a wet paper sack and soiled underwear.

    I hope Kentucky voters throw out McTurtle like he’s a wet paper sack or soiled underwear.

  71. 71
    Ryan says:

    First he wants us to treat him like he’s “like, a smart person,” and now he wants” his orders […] being treated like those of a president, not like suggestions.”?

  72. 72
    GregB says:


    The previous iterations of the film were better. The Omega Man with Charlton Heston and The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price. I agree the I Am Legend was not a good film.

  73. 73
    KithKanan says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: Mueller doesn’t work for Congress, and they had nothing to do with his appointment (by Rod Rosenstein, a Republican, in his capacity as Acting Attorney General since Sessions had recused himself).

  74. 74

    @Spanky: Hmmm, about as dark as Red Rock out here. Good, but not dark, dark.

  75. 75
    Leto says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: sent! Check your email :)

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) Tweeted:
    Warren on impeachment: “This is not about politics. This is about principle. This is about what kind of a democracy we have. In a dictatorship everything in government revolves around protecting one person in the center but not in our democracy and not in our Constitution.”

  77. 77
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @KithKanan: Well either way it wasn’t the Democrats.

  78. 78
    rikyrah says:

    Charlotte Clymer🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) Tweeted:
    “Should we seek impeachment against Donald Trump?”

    A: Definitely have a hearing on the report and go from there.

    B: We should hold Trump accountable, and let’s see how that goes.

    Elizabeth Warren: Sit down. I’ll pour you a drink. So, listen to this shit…


  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) Tweeted:
    Sen. Warren: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and thrown into jail.” #WarrenTownHall

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) Tweeted:
    Warren on impeachment.

    Responds to Cooper mentioning Pelosi’s signaled reluctance to pursue impeachment:

    “There is no political inconvenience exception to the duties in the United States Constitution.”

    Damn. Strong statement. Backs it up w an impassioned rationale.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Done and done! Check yours for response!

  82. 82
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    When I worked in government, I quickly learned the value of taking copious notes when I was hired to do a “dream” project that turned out to be completely illegal / corrupt. My boss was using Federal money to basically circumvent city contracting rules while starting a think tank that would make him a zillionaire). So things got sticky and contentious fast, and they started asking me to do all manner of shady shit, which was hard to decline because I was a probationary employee and could be let go. Taking notes and the City anonymous corruption report hotline probably saved my career.

    So McGahn has shown himself to be a savvy operator. If he’s really smart, he emailed images of his notes to himself on the day he wrote them, to insulate himself from the charge he reedited them after the fact to make himself look good. It seems likely he did, and I suspect Team Trump is dumb enough to not be aware of it. We can dream.

  83. 83
    HeleninEire says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well if/when you get to NYC call on me. My house is your house.

  84. 84
    karen marie says:

    @MomSense: I just sent more money to Elizabeth Warren.

  85. 85
    frosty says:

    @trollhattan: I was kind of meh on Veep at the end of last season, but holy cow, the writers have been on fire this year. Side splitting stuff tossed off like an aside. This was from last week:

    Selina at an Iowa county fair: “Hi Mom, are these all your children? That’s a busy beaver!”

    The week before, Dan to Amy: “Am I getting old? I feel like I’m five minutes away from fiber supplements and voting in midterms.”

  86. 86
    BobS says:

    Now’s the time to be contacting your elected representatives (especially if you’re lucky enough to have a Democrat, unlike the asshole who represents my district) and let them know their voters favor impeachment. I also sent emails to Stabenow and Peters reading “Impeach AND Convict”- I figure it doesn’t hurt to let all elected Democrats know there’s a rising tide in favor of.

  87. 87
    karen marie says:

    @NotMax: Yes, much too outlandish. Especially number 5.

    You know for a dead cert that Pence was made the same offer as Kasich:

    Individual-1’s oldest son, Individual-1 Jr., reached out to a Kasich adviser after the Ohio governor ended his own Republican presidential campaign, promising that if he accepted the vice presidency, Kasich would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

    Pence may be many things, but he’s not stupid. He knows where the bodies are buried. Trump dumps him at his peril, and he knows it.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:

    @karen marie

    but he’s not stupid

    He wasn’t referred to as Congressman Dense by his colleagues on the Hill without reason.

  89. 89
    Shana says:

    @Aleta: What a truly great story. Commenters are right, it would make a great book, kids banding together to right a wrong.

  90. 90

    @SiubhanDuinne: Will you be coming to my neck of the woods?

  91. 91
    Bupalos says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t think experience is the basis of the comparison. They’re both just way more intelligent than you expect in a politician with an unusual ability to communicate in a compelling way without dumbing things down. It’s unusual.

  92. 92
    Currants says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oh, you aren’t far from French Azilum either (between Tunkhannock and Wyalusing), if you’re interested in odd, small local history. (I grew up about an hour northwest—follow Rt 6–from there.)

  93. 93

    @rikyrah: I am bored with Pete. Not impressed with the supposed brilliance or the language skills either. Yawn.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    Amene (@Ange_Amene) Tweeted:
    The truth hurts folks.

    Elizabeth Warren did not leave the GOP due to their racism and anti-Civil Rights agenda.

    She left because of banking issues and disagreements.

    Die mad about it.

    Ain’t no use in getting mad at me lol

  95. 95
    NotMax says:


    Linky no work. Fix for you.

  96. 96
    Kay says:


    Hey I’ve got a question – this weekend Rudy was justifying the Wikileaks releases and the campaign trumpeting them by saying that they revealed “very damaging things” about Clinton. DID they, though? What were those things? As I recall the coverage, the main point of interest is that stolen info was being fed into the campaign by foreign actors. I remember something about a risotto recipe, some intra-DNC infighting, but I don’t recall very damaging things. Was the recipe that bad?

    There wasn’t anything damaging in the emails. They were using stolen property so they all had to pretend the content was scandalous and newsworthy, but it wasn’t. They conflated it with the email server and presented it as part of the general “cloud” around Clinton, but the emails themselves were standard campaign stuff.

    Wikileaks timed the drop to distract from a Trump scandal, so that’s how it helped Trump. That’s actually in the Mueller report, in the first section (the “summary” of the first section).

    The Mueller report is helpful because when they try to rewrite what happened (and they do this constantly) now there’s a definitive, sequential narrative of events that can’t be altered by popular myths (“the emails were scandalous!”) or political spin.

  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:


    So now we’re tearing down Warren?

  98. 98

    @rikyrah: Also it took her the 1990s to realize it. Reagan started Rs on that path in the late 70s.

  99. 99
    Momus says:

    Eisenhower is said to have had a similar problem. He would sit in the Oval Office issuing orders, like he was Supreme Allied Commander or something, and nothing would happen. We’ve lowered our standards, Presidents now need to be crazy before you willfully disobey them.

  100. 100

    @zhena gogolia: Is this blog supposed to be an amen chorus. All Ds are most wonderful, team broken glass for BS. My brain is on the shelf. I am a yes woman. Is that how it is supposed to be?

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    Which country reported to the FBI that the Trump campaign was working with Russian oligarchs to smear Clinton?

    I’m just curious. “A country” is mentioned twice in that section of the Mueller report. Is that known? Which one was it?

  102. 102
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @rikyrah: Well, since ya put it like that, I guess your right.

  103. 103
    rekoob says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Should your travels bring you through Richmond, please consider a stop. Elizabelle may still be in Europe, but I’m around and would be happy to greet another Jackal.

    Happy Trails!

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    When you think about the evolution of mild mannered Norm😂😂

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) Tweeted:
    Bernie Sanders reparation answer, even invoking Jim Clyburn’s proposal, was awful and misses the whole point. A rising tide does not lift all boats. What are you policy specific proposals for ppl of color? It’s been almost 5 years and he’s still bad at this.

  106. 106
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yeah, since you ask, I’d rather see positive news about the Democratic candidates rather than constant sniping. Which candidate do you favor? What do you like about him/her?

  107. 107
    karen marie says:

    @NotMax: His colleagues are none too bright. He’s certainly smart politically. He knew when to switch from a Democrat to a Republican, so …

    In 1990, during an ultimately unsuccessful bid for Congress, Pence used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including his mortgage, his wife’s car payment, a personal credit card, parking tickets, groceries and golf greens fees.

    Federal Election Commission documents show that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed a complaint against Pence and three other candidates after newspapers flagged the self-payments.

    His personal use of funds was so egregious that it “led to key changes in campaign finance policies. Experts say that subsequent rules passed by the Federal Election Commission barring the use of campaign funds for personal needs were the direct result of ethics concerns raised by Pence’s actions.” It gets worse:

    “The commissioners had been guided by a legal analysis written by an FEC staff attorney saying that the rules prohibited incumbents but not challengers from using excess campaign funds for personal use. The Pence-friendly opinion was written by Lois Lerner, who years later became an official at the Internal Revenue Service, where she has faced persistent criticism from Republicans over her handling of the tax status of conservative groups.”

    You go ahead and underestimate Pence. I’m not going to.

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    Black Women Views (@blackwomenviews) Tweeted:
    @BellaAugust4 That is why the new Obama label pisses me off. Obama did not go from Harvard to a cushy consulting job…he returned to the community and did the tough work. It took him 48K votes to win State Senator and 3.6M for US Senator vs Pete’s 8500 votes. Put some respect on Obama’s name!

  109. 109
    karen marie says:

    @zhena gogolia: Not “we.” I’m going to guess the original author of the tweet is a Bernie bro (they can be female too!) or a troll.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Roger Stone doing a meet-and-greet, charging MAGAts $25 a pop to take a selfie with them.

    At a strip club.

  111. 111

    @zhena gogolia: Still gathering data.
    Favorable opinion (pluses outweigh the minuses) Kamala, Beto, Castro, and Warren. I am choosing a presidential candidate not a date. I don’t have to lurve everything about them.
    Meh: PB, Klobuchar
    Hell no: Tulsi and BS.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I bet for an extra ten bucks

  114. 114
    Dan B says:

    @rikyrah: Bella August’s twitter feed on Pete was an interesting read. She got some pushback but didn’t seem to get upset by it. I still feel it would have been stronger if she compared Pete’s qualifications and “presidentialness” to Kamala. Whatever that is she seems like someone who would be clearheaded in a crisis – not sure about Beto or Bernie. The media will come up with inept and / or juvenile descriptions no matter how obviously crappy they are. Pete seems to share that unflappable nature that both Obamas exhibit. The youth and slim experience of Pete don’t seem to be what the media is describing. Why the media doesn’t cover Kamala more is probably because she didn’t surprise anyone. She’s so obviously competent and accomplished and keeps such an even keel that there’s no easy narrative. The “journalists” probably imagine the headline, ” Sen. Harris accomplishes more before lunch than Trump’s entire White House in a week. No one is surprised. Yawn.” “Gay man comes out of midwest, seems really nice and not at all like RuPaul. Never before seen. Amazing! Next, 10 year old discovers Mastadon tusk and solves mystery of extinction!!”

    Media is vain and stupid but we gotta point out how Kamala is amazing, they know, but that we believe in her and need her in the White House – and repeat 1,000 times until they notice. Slamming Pete just keeps the focus on him.

  115. 115
    zhena gogolia says:


    I am choosing a presidential candidate not a date. I don’t have to lurve everything about them.

    That’s fine. What I object to are the tweets that breathlessly announce some “deal-breaker” or other, or some factoid that means this candidate or the other has to be written off. It’s too early for that too.

  116. 116
    Jay says:


    There are two possible references,

    There are reports that British Intelligence reached out to the FBI early on,

    And it’s know that the Australian Ambassdor reported the fall down drunk Papadopolus’s public boasting,

  117. 117
    BobS says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Actually, Goldwater and Nixon in the 1960’s.

  118. 118
    Dan B says:

    @rikyrah: Great statement by Warren. Somewhere there was an argument that the Mueller report should be framed as a foreign country tried to break our security. I’m guessing their message is that people don’t know how democracy affects their daily lives but they have strong feelings about security.

    Heard about how the NRA uses the idea of guns protecting / providing security of suburban women as a potent propaganda tool. The fact is guns reduce women’s security but once you activate the security frame logic is on its heels. Seems like security would be a good add to Warren’s statement.

  119. 119
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Phillip Henry
    ‏Verified account @MajorPhilebrity

    Elizabeth Warren is OUT here. Ideas. Policy. Not just bloviating and pandering. #WarrenTownHall

    6 replies 40 retweets 348 likes

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Seth Moulton on Rachel Maddow’s show. She’s bringing it to him on the whole Pelosi question.

    I am not impressed

  121. 121
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Donovan X. Ramsey
    ‏ @donovanxramsey

    Wow! @ewarren just gave a full-throated defense of criminal justice reform to a student who identified himself as an aspiring cop worried about her support for law enforcement. #WarrenTownHall

    3 replies 19 retweets 93 likes

    ‏ @adultishannie

    jackson asked a question about keeping police officers safe & sen warren immediately started talking about criminal justice reform & gun safety, without missing a beat. none of this “i love police officers!!!” bullshit.

    she is on fire. #WarrenTownHall

    4 replies 4 retweets 49 likes

  122. 122
    Ken says:

    “Now, it’s back to work.”

    With comedic gold like that, why does Trump keep skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

  123. 123
    Dan B says:

    @rikyrah: She keeps making strong statements! So great!! How do we get Kamala in on this? Is it to say repeatedly that 1. We need to know more. 2. The Mueller Report lays out plausible concerns about the security of our democracy. 3. Americans need to know more. Uncertainty keeps us in the dark.

  124. 124
    Jay says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    “I was an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. They moved to a party that said, “No, it’s not about a level playing field. It’s now about a field that’s gotten tilted.” And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. I just feel like that’s a party that moved way, way away.”


    In 1996, she was a Haaavard Law Professor, a not uncommon Republican leaning profession.

    Not at all a disqualifier,

  125. 125
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @rikyrah: “…and disagreements.” covers a lot of ground. Just what were they to be warrant the dismissal. NB: not really asked of you Rikyrah.

  126. 126
    Currants says:

    @NotMax: Thanks!

  127. 127
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Michael Cohen @ speechboy71
    Sanders is gruffer, more humorless and less detailed than Warren … and even though he’s a socialist is less sweeping in his policy proposals. Yet, so many on the left have glommed on to his candidacy over Warren’s. Part of that is clearly cuz of 2016. Still it is odd

  128. 128
    eemom says:


    It’s Haahvaahd, Canadian G.F. Better stick to your own lingo, eh?

  129. 129
    Dan B says:

    @zhena gogolia: Yes. Surprised at the purity? It’s sad because it’s good to know that our saints are not perfect and discuss what we can live with. I believe we would be better off waiting until after the debates.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:


    Andrew S. Weiss (@andrewsweiss) Tweeted:
    THREAD: The Mueller Report is conspicuously silent on the harm to US national security from the Trump team’s dalliances w Russian emissaries during 2015-2017, but a little-noticed DoJ filing last Friday sheds light on Mueller’s ongoing counter-intelligence (CI) investigation. 1/

  131. 131
    rikyrah says:

    EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) Tweeted:
    The path after #Mueller: Keep impeachment on the table but first use hearings & further inquiries to make clear to the majority just how outrageous #Trump’s behavior is. Dems must avoid helping Trump by tearing each other apart over impeachment.
    My column

  132. 132
    Dan B says:

    @schrodingers_cat: When you let us know who you support instead of who earns your enmity some of us will be happier.

  133. 133
  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) Tweeted:
    Democrats usually dread the “how you gonna pay for it” question but Elizabeth Warren has flipped the script with a $2.75 trillion tax that’s popular because it targets an unsympathetic group — $50-millionaires and billionaires.

  135. 135
    rekoob says:

    @Jay: @zhena gogolia: Count this as a principled “nope” on both counts. I was a newly-minted Chicago MBA, steeped in the traditions and innovations of free markets, and I *never* would have voted for the Dole/Kemp ticket of 1996. I was working for a money management firm in Chicago, and I took great pleasure in volunteering for Carol Moseley-Braun’s Senate race in addition to Clinton’s re-election campaign. I’m happy that Senator Warren joined the fold, but there were plenty of us who saw what she saw, and did something well in advance of her conversion.

  136. 136
    Jay says:

    @Dan B:

    Accounts vary, she stopped voting Republican in 1995/1996

    So, 23/24 years ago.

    First mix race Space walk, Yahoo is incorporated, Oaklahoma City bombing, New Zealand win’s the America’s Cup, O.J. Simpson Trial, Windows 95, the first Toy Story, the last Calvin and Hobbes, the DotCom Bubble implodes, the Quebec Nordiques move to Colorado, Wolfman Jack and Dean Martin passed,

  137. 137
    joel hanes says:


    If you’re ever in the San Francisco Bay Area while I’m there, or in northern Iowa while I’m there, I’d love to meet you and do lunch or dinner or something.

  138. 138
    NotMax says:

    @karen marie

    Not smart, he’s insidious.

  139. 139
    Dan B says:

    @Jay: I recall that Warren believed an economic theory, popular at the time – and still, that people given bankruptcy relief would encourage more wasteful and foolish economic risks. Thus it would produce mire bankruptcies. She traveled to bankruptcy courts around the country and found people who had fallen into traps created by our overall system. These people were good people trying to meet their obligations and they were being destroyed. (Student debt, Biden cough, cough, Biden..)

    It would be good to know more about her racial justice stances but what little I’ve heard seems good.

  140. 140
    Jay says:

    @Dan B:

    In 95/96 even Democrats believed in the Laffer Curve.

  141. 141
    Dan B says:

    @Jay: Beat me to my story. I was a little clueless sexist in 1970. WITCH straightened that out. I was lucky to have such great women to raise my consciousness.
    Then again every male activist I knew in 1970 was a sexist.

    Having Warren wake up 23 years ago is good by me.

    And crickets about Goldwater / Hillary? I was never close to that neo- Bircher.

    Obama: Arne Duncan, Jamie Dimon, Tim Geithner, etc. Let’s pray that the Purity Ponies run out of steam fast.

  142. 142
    Kay says:


    Thanks, I think I knew Australia but forgot and British intelligence was my guess. It reads like it’s a single country, though. Maybe just Australia. Assange is Australian, right?

  143. 143
    zhena gogolia says:


    I was a newly-minted Chicago MBA, steeped in the traditions and innovations of free markets, and I *never* would have voted for the Dole/Kemp ticket of 1996.

    Well, good for you. Here’s a lollipop, person whose nym I’ve never seen before.

  144. 144
    Kay says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Bob Dole came to this county to campaign and they still have the banner up above the GOP booth at the fair on the frame. I think it’s hysterical. It’s all tattered and sun-faded. I don’t even understand this strange, localized devotion to him, the losing candidate that year. Maybe it’s just too high up and they’re too lazy to get a ladder.

  145. 145
    Dan B says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thanks! I’m surprised at Beto. I thought he did a little slight of hand about respecting Kapernick’s right to protest. Didn’t agree with Kap’s tactics but has a right to. Also his GOP friend and supporting drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. I’m hoping he can reconcile climate catastrophe with his previous vote. He seems energetic and strong on immigration so those are worth a lot.
    Would like to know your pluses and minuses about Kamala. So far I’m only getting hints of minuses that are probably just smoke.

  146. 146
    rekoob says:

    @rekoob: A correction — my mind is playing tricks on me. I worked on Carol Moseley-Braun’s campaign, but it was in the first iteration, her 1992 US Senate campaign, not the 1996 US Presidential campaign, although I also did what I could for Clinton/Gore in 1992.

  147. 147
    J R in WV says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Well, good for you. Here’s a lollipop, person whose nym I’ve never seen before.

    Wait, whut?? I thot that was my slogan~!!~

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    Jeff Stein
    ‏Verified account
    28m28 minutes ago
    White House has instructed fmr security clearances director Carl Kline not to appear before House Government Oversight committee.

    I think the Trump security clearances scandal is kind of a sleeper scandal that could blow up, mostly because Jared and Ivanka are involved. It seems to make them more nervous than the 500 other scandals.

  149. 149
    Jay says:


    As near as I can tell, it seems that British Intelligence reached out to the FBI first with their concerns about all the Russians sucking Dolt 45’s dick, ( Onion Reference),

    But the investigation was launched when the Australian Ambassador informed the FBI about Papadopolous’s drunken boasting about Needy Amin’s campaign’s tag teaming with the Russians and Wikileaks.

    The first one is “suspicious”,

    The second one is “probable cause”.

    When obscuring a source, “a Country” works better than “a Country” and “another Country”,……..

  150. 150
    Douglas P Gardner says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: I infer from your remark that you and I are “neighbors”, as I am a SW Ohioan (Springboro, betwixt Dayton and Cincinnati). I’ve read your comments many times, and I’m glad to know others are suffering along with me in this increasingly red part of the state.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:

    @J R in WV:

    I must have stolen it from you.

  152. 152
    debbie says:


    I made it to the Seder Friday at my friends’ house with barely 15 minutes to spare, and thought of just showing up even later and announcing myself as Elijah.

    What an entrance!

  153. 153
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    Have encountered that nym here over time previously. Perhaps not with regularity but frequently enough to recognize it.

  154. 154
    Bill Arnold says:

    There were also the Podesta emails, which were closely related to Pizzagate in the loony right, e.g.
    WikiLeaks: Podesta invited to ‘Spirit’ dinner; host’s known ‘recipes’ demand breast milk, sperm (Washington Times is middle-of-the-right-right)
    This was making the rounds the last week of the campaign, getting the extreme right wing even more frothed up. The timing was in part Roger Stone’s work, or so it appeared (P > 50%) at the time.

  155. 155
    J R in WV says:

    @Dan B:

    Would like to know your pluses and minuses about Kamala. So far I’m only getting hints of minuses that are probably just smoke.

    The minus I know about is just smoke, while CA AG she spoke out about students skipping school. Was accused of imprisoning students, one kid was illegally detained by an Orange County DA that Kamala Harris had no control over whatsoever. So all smoke so far, not even a mirror.

    I contributed to her not long after she declared. Seems to have a sharp wit, able to hit back about BS stuff like that.

  156. 156
    zhena gogolia says:


    Okay, I stand corrected. I just find that whenever a Dem candidate gets up a little steam, all of a sudden there are multiple tweets slamming them.

  157. 157
    zhena gogolia says:

    @J R in WV:

    We just watched a clip of her town hall talking about guns, and it was stellar.

  158. 158
    greenergood says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: He’s not really interesting in the boy gays, as long as they’re white and wear suits and ties and the girl gays are femmey – he can’t tell who they are and doesn’t care. Colour is the big trigger for his venom – it’s an easy marker. And any hoopla he makes about abortion, reproductive rights, wimmins should be barefoot and pregant, is to keep his red-blooded Talibanivangicals happy.

    PS I love that all you folks are cat/dog lovers – when the pet blegs come up I’m just ‘le sigh’ but too far across the Atlantic Pond, plus have a feline overlady of pretty definite territorialism

  159. 159
    KSinMA says:

    @rikyrah: Exactly.

  160. 160
    LivinginExile says:

    @Jay: Wasn,t it the head of GCHQ ? That flew to washington to meet with FBI because of trump people meeting with russians. The british equiivalent tot the heqd of our NSA. Sorry about the typing. 25 lb cat on keyboard.

  161. 161
    sukabi says:

    @ruemara: and why would they admit that? They’ve spent the last 25+ years manufacturing Clinton scandals out of whole cloth.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    LivinginExile says:

    @Jay: She almost woke up.

  164. 164
  165. 165
    Steppy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I suspected that Twigs was the place you went to in Tunkhannock. It’s a pretty good joint and an oasis in northeast Pennsyltucky.

Comments are closed.