Breaking! Congressman Ratcliffe Has Withdrawn From Consideration as Director of National Intelligence

As the drip, drip, drip of both how thin Congressman Ratcliffe’s (R-TX) resume is for the position of Director of National Intelligence and how much of that thin resume were either outright lies and/or pure embellishment made up by Congressman Ratcliffe himself, he has withdrawn himself from consideration. The President, of course, did not take the news well.

Oy Vey!

The two outstanding questions now are who will the President ultimately nominate and whether he will try to bypass the statutorily required elevation of Sue Gordon, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence to Acting Director of National Intelligence.

Gordon is a very senior, career intelligence officer who was appointed to the Principal Deputy Directorship in August 2017. She is not from the political world of either political party. Nor is she from within the President’s business, political, and/or familial orbits. The President has just given a press gaggle where he stated clearly that he both likes and is considering Gordon for Acting DNI, which is, not something that is an actual legal option.

Expect that the nomination process for the next Director of National Intelligence to drag out, requiring the extended use of an acting director. If that’s the case, as has been the case at the Departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, US Customs and Immigration Service, and several other departments and agencies, expect the President and his Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulaney to push for an acting director that is not Sue Gordon. My understanding from reporting is that Mulvaney is the one who pushed for Ratcliffe as DNI as they were Freedom Caucus buddies. As is usually the case with anything Mick Mulvaney is involved with it, the gambit blew up in his face.

The smartest thing that could be done here is to actually nominate Sue Gordon for the position of Director of National Intelligence. She’s got the experience. She’s held senior leadership positions across all the directorates at the Central Intelligence Agency. She’s a professional.

That’s the smart thing to do. Whether that will be what the President actually does is, however, another matter entirely.

Open thread!






165 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    The smartest thing that could be done here is to actually nominate Sue Gordon for the position of Director of National Intelligence. She’s got the experience. She’s held senior leadership positions across all the directorates at the Central Intelligence Agency. She’s a professional.

    That’s the smart thing to do. Whether that will be what the President actually does is, however, another matter entirely.

    Oh Adam, you are too coy for words here. You know how it will go and so do I. She’s obviously part of the Deep State and so Vlad says she must go.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    I assume if Radcliffe had a snowballs chance in the Senate, he wouldn’t have been pulled; McConnell must have done a little Horse’s Ass Whispering into Donald’s ear.

    You know how it will go and so do I.

    Jared? Ivanka?

  3. 3
    RepubAnon says:

    I expect Trump will nominate someone with lots of experience – like Ernst Stavor Blofeld

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Traitor Donald via Adam Silverman @ Top:

    Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media. Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people….

    The classiness just never ends with this guy. Just so much class, I swear it’s oozing from his ass.

  5. 5
    The Moar You Know says:

    I frankly was just wondering on what day of the week this would happen. He wasn’t confirmable.

    ETA: he’s already made it clear that Gordon will not even be made acting Director. As per CNN: “The administration is reviewing whether it can legally choose an acting director outside the line of succession”

  6. 6
    Steeplejack says:

    Did Ratcliffe say that it was because he’s an unqualified dipstick? Seems a little premature for the “more time with my family” line.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    Okay, I thought I’d completely lost my capacity to be shocked by any stupid or terrible thing Trump says, but yeah, admitting that the White House press corps vets candidates for a job that involves overseeing all the super-secret spy shit takes me aback. If the human race and America survive, I expect my great-grandchildren will be shocked when information on the other horrendously dangerous practices that imperil us right now is declassified.

  8. 8
    RAVEN says:

    This whiny bitch makes not one fucking lick of sense.

  9. 9
    chris says:

    When the FAKE NEWS is’nt fake news. This fukkin guy!

    My Q to Pres Trump: What does this withdrawal by Ratcliffe say about the White House vetting process? This is at least the 2nd time someone you announced as a leader of an agency has to withdraw.Trump’s answer: The press does the vetting for me and it’s much cheaper that way.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 2, 2019

  10. 10
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Only the best people

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Just a liar.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    If Gordon becomes acting DNI, she will have the unsolvable problem of having to deal with Trump on a regular basis.

  13. 13
    zhena gogolia says:

    @RAVEN:

    I hope you mean Trump and not Adam.

  14. 14
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @RepubAnon: more like Siegfried from KAOS

  15. 15
    RAVEN says:

    @zhena gogolia: Even if I thought that about Adam I’d never say it. Don’t need a 9mm vasectomy!

  16. 16
    BlueGirlFromWyo says:

    @Betty Cracker: In the meantime, the staff I have vetted to look at unclassified government personnel opinion data are getting interviewed by OPM. The rich are very different indeed.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    The smartest thing that could be done here is to actually nominate Sue Gordon for the position of Director of National Intelligence. She’s got the experience. She’s held senior leadership positions across all the directorates at the Central Intelligence Agency. She’s a professional.

    That’s the smart thing to do.

    you are so funny, Silverman

  18. 18
    bobbo says:

    Does Sue Gordon believe that ongoing Russian interference in our elections is FAKE NEWS? If not she is dead in the water.

    ETA: I meant, does she KNOW it’s FAKE NEWS?

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BlueGirlFromWyo: Do not even get me started on the Federal hiring process/system and OPM.

  20. 20
    Anya says:

    @RepubAnon: He should just go ahead and nominate Princess Complicit. Susan Collins will be concerned but will ultimately vote for her in the end, and the rest of the GOP will vote for her.

  21. 21
    Melusine says:

    Withdrew, huh? Live boy, dead girl, or talking mule?

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m starting to think maybe future President Kamabeth Harren should order a cost-benefit analysis of the current structure of US intelligence operations and associated work product as part of the post-Trump recovery. I’m no expert, but I seem to recall the whole shebang was restructured in the wake of the massive intelligence failure represented by 9/11. And the new outfit failed to prevent a Russian asset from waltzing into the Oval Office less than 20 years later. Perhaps we need to rethink this whole thing, fellow citizens.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The administration is reviewing whether it can legally choose an acting director outside the line of succession

    This should be scaring the shit out of the Intelligence agencies.

    But I expect they will continue to do nothing until its far too late.

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    Do not even get me started on the Federal hiring process/system and OPM.

    @Adam L Silverman: Me either. I have a decade to go in this damnable job.

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m starting to think maybe future President Kamabeth Harren should order a cost-benefit analysis of the current structure of US intelligence operations and associated work product as part of the post-Trump recovery.

    All of them need to fired and their replacements determined by a panel comprised solely of registered liberal democrats previously investigated by the National Security Agencies.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    @chris: Translation: “I meant to step on that rake! That’s the fastest way of picking it up off the ground.!”

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do not even get me started on the Federal hiring process/system and OPM.

    If not now, then when?

    Problems won’t go away if they’re not addressed.

  28. 28
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: The combination of bureaucracy and high-level secrecy is inherently toxic. Combine that with the intel agencies’ long-term needs and desires to please whoever is president– how do you ‘rethink’ that?

  29. 29
    Anya says:

    @Betty Cracker: He always reaches for fake business acumen when he makes excuses about his failures. He thinks anyone will buy that crap about saving money. I am at a loss every day since he won the Republican primary about how does anyone take this guy seriously. If you think the “white race” is superior wouldn’t you want your representative to be someone better than the black guy he’s replacing? Honestly, I am at a loss… f

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    Via the Bradley P. Moss tweet above:

    Trump says to the press “you vet for me” when he names a candidate for a position, says we save a lot of money that way.pic.twitter.com/ZiLv9ZIOld

    — Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) August 2, 2019

    Wait, what? So the press, which Trump denigrates at every turn as “fake news,” is simultaneously performing the valuable public service of vetting candidates for high office? Who knew?!

  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    @MattF:

    how do you ‘rethink’ that?

    Compare a list of Republican Donors and registered voters against the Intelligence Agency payroll. Fire everyone who comes up as a match.

    Problems 90% solved.

  32. 32
    pluky says:

    A competent DNI, acting or confirmed, that took the duties of the job seriously would be a major impediment to the planned rat-fucking of the 2020 elections by Vlad, el al. So no way Ms. Gordon gets the nod. The law be damned. After all, this is why Coates had to go.

  33. 33
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Amen to that.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    So, Trump wants the press to vet nominees for him to save a few executive branch budget bucks, but if the press says anything band, they are loser LameStream Media who lie all the time? A completely improvisational presidency is fascinating to behold.

    I guess just nominating Gordon is out because they want to see if they can find just one, just one, suitable Trump flunky for the job.

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MattF: I don’t know, and maybe I’m being unfair because we’ve been secretly saved from annihilation a thousand times over thanks to unsung heroes at The Shop and I just don’t know about it. But honestly, from where I’m sitting right now, they look as useless as tits on a fucking boar.

  36. 36
    Melusine says:

    Incompetence and inexperience wouldn’t be enough to sink him. Not in this maladministration. He’s gotta have a corpse bride, skeletal dog, and a full-on bony boys orchestra hanging out in his closet kicking up their heels to “I’ve got a secret” 24/7.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think a big part of the massive intelligence failure of 9/11 was GW Bush and Cheney. Will revamping institution do much good when the president has such a key role in how well it functions?

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: What actually needs to happen is our counterintelligence capabilities and structures need serious overhaul. Right now they’re spread out among three primaries: the FBI, the CIA, and NSA with ODNI overseeing and, if prosecutions are made, sharing that oversight with DOJ. What needs to happen is an independent, as in something like the Fed where senior positions are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but the agency functions independently, counterintelligence agency needs to be stood up similar to how the British do it. It should include analysts, agents, and prosecutors. It should be able to task and pull from across the IC as necessary to fulfill its mission. And the politically appointed leadership should serve asynchronously with any given president that appoints the members to preserve the agency’s independence. And it needs to be properly resourced.

  39. 39
    sdhays says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m very much in the camp that believes that there is a much better than 50/50 chance that 9/11 would not have occurred if Al Gore had been President. Maybe his administration wouldn’t have been able to have prevent it, but they would have TRIED. This time around, the Republican leadership in Congress again betrayed the country, intentionally. I’m not sure what a government agency (agencies) is supposed to do about that.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:

    @MattF:

    [. . .] the intel agencies’ long-term needs and desires to please whoever is president [. . .].

    Really? I would think their attitude would be more along the lines of: “We don’t need some four-year short-timer amateur telling us our business. He should listen to our institutional wisdom.”

  41. 41
    BC in Illinois says:

    @chris:
    @Steeplejack:

    The press does the vetting for me and it’s much cheaper that way.

    How is the press doing in its vetting of Donald John Trump?

  42. 42
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Anya: Yet somehow it’s always the most pitiful examples of the white population who are convinced they’re superior. I often wonder if they even believe it themselves.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    “Lamestream Media” is a signal that Sarah Palin is back and visiting the Oval Office. I am frightened.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: I have horror stories, just of what I’ve gone through, when applying for various jobs going back to 2004.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @The Moar You Know: 28 and a wakeup!

  46. 46
    zhena gogolia says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    I like Randy Rainbow’s version, Donald Jessica Trump.

  47. 47
    RAVEN says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m so short I can sleep in a matchbox!

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Amen².

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    How about “inside with the Senate confirmation process”?

  50. 50
    debbie says:

    @chris:

    More money for golfing weekends, ‘natch.

  51. 51
    Ken says:

    The President, of course, did not take the news well.

    You mean he showed his usual quiet dignity and grace?

  52. 52
    Steeplejack says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    C’mon, you don’t vet a stable genius. You just don’t.

  53. 53
    Elie says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Just curious. What do you mean “ do nothing”? Are you sure they are doing nothing? I don’t know of course but I would expect them to be doing a lot not just here but in play w Russia. Maybe I read too many spy novels

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, the Brits do seem to punch above their weight class on the intel front, even subtracting the Bond movie cachet, so maybe following their blueprint is a good idea. On the other hand, their elections got fucked by a fourth-rate petro-state kleptocrat too. I’m glad it’s not my job to figure out how to fix it, but as one of the underwriters of the enterprise, I have complaints!

  55. 55
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I believe it was set up to improve communication between agencies, which it hasn’t. They did the same for NYC police and fire departments after 9/11 because of the piss poor communication during the attacks. My understanding is that that hasn’t worked either. Too much macho territorial pride, I guess.

    Maybe women should be running all these agencies. At least they know how to fucking communicate with each other.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack says:

    Redacted for long URL.

  57. 57
    debbie says:

    Very happily though, Pantaleo is finally (hopefully) getting fired.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    MattF says:

    @Steeplejack: The intel agencies have an intimate relationship with the White House. They have the job of briefing the president regularly on the most sensitive issues, and they are given the time and the access to the Oval Office to carry out that job. However, they are also advocates for particular agencies, and for particular policies.

    It’s a hard and complicated job. Normally, the sausage gets made, however unattractive the process may be. But these aren’t normal times.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: During this past year, I heard the “useless as…” phrase expressed as “useless as tits on a fish” and I have to say that I like it

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fucking phone; fucking moderation.

  62. 62
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: CORCORAN’s!

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: Our counterintelligence capabilities have been in serious decline for decades. They’re like the red headed step child of the Intelligence Community. Too many people have their fingers in, because there’s funding, but too few really know or understand what needs to be done. I’m not suggesting that the Brits get it right every time, but the structure they have for their counterintelligence function is a good one to start with and adapt from.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You know what you did!

    Also, I’ve freed the comment.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Reminds me of when folks wanted the Aussies to help us with jungle training and Westy wanted no part of it.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Lazy ass troop though. Looks like only the toe and heel were spit shined. The whole boot will take a mirror finish if you put the time in. One of the reason I wore jungle boots whenever I could. You can’t polish the canvas bits.

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I have a decade to go in this damnable job.

    You hope.

    As in: you hope that they don’t “right-size” you out of employment.

  68. 68
    jeffreyw says:

    @Steeplejack: So short that when redleg sees him coming they duck and cover.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: While “tits on a fish” doesn’t reflect anatomic reality in the same way the swine reference does, I do admire the assonance in the phrase. :)

  70. 70
    HRA says:

    Trump wants a list of all intel agents. What could possibly go wrong?

  71. 71
    joel hanes says:

    @Steeplejack:

    You misinterpret by taking Trump’s words at face value here.
    The intended message to the responsible press was “Go fuck yourself”,
    and I’m sure a few of them understood that.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Angleton didn’t help matters.

    @Adam L Silverman: Actually, I do know what I did.

  73. 73
    joel hanes says:

    @jl:

    a big part of the massive intelligence failure of 9/11 was GW Bush and Cheney

    W: “You’ve covered your ass. Now get out.”

  74. 74
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Betty Cracker: I always knew my mother, who was a very moderate drinker, was a little tipsy when she would describe something or someone as being “useless as tits on a bull”, which I thought was so funny and weird that it’s always been my go-to for that particular phrase. However, in the cold-blooded/amphibian model, I’ve always liked “tits on a frog” the best.

    This blog. Jeez. How do we end up on these crazy linguistic tangents?

  75. 75
    joel hanes says:

    @RAVEN:

    I’m so short I can sit on a dime and swing my legs.

    I’m so short I have to pole-vault across sidewalk cracks.

  76. 76
    Bex says:

    Lindsay Graham didn’t get AG, so why not DNI?

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    @Elie:

    What do you mean “ do nothing”? Are you sure they are doing nothing?

    Once upon a time, our intelligence agencies were good at what they did. They dug up the dirt, spread it out all over the place and toppled prominent figures like dominoes.

    Donald Trump is perhaps the dirtiest fucker on the planet besides Putin and the agencies to date have delivered bupkus.

    “Protecting sources” is fucking lame excuse masking sheer absolute terminal incompetent job failures. Donald Trump and Jared have already compromised gods only know how many of our intelligence sources in Russia and the Middle East. The agencies are ass covering themselves because they failed their primary mission, protect the Constitution and their fellow citizens from evil unlawful shit.

  78. 78
    Keith P. says:

    @Steeplejack: I wonder if that line bites him in the ass in some future court case. How to you withhold documents from your vetter?

  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    Remember that press conference when journalists were asking Obama a bunch of stupid questions about horrible things trump said and he responded by reminding the press what a serious job POTUS is. He said it a second time even.

    Well this is the kind of thing he was talking about. Jesus Christ DNI is a serious job and dolt45 just told the press he leaves the vetting to them?

    I’ve got an exhausted pup at my feet. She actually ate a little food today. The clinic sent her home with IVs (they trained us), some food, and a bunch of meds. Hopefully all goes well and when we test her liver on Tuesday she will have improved.

    And I just got a new test knit gig so I’m planning to sit on the couch with the pup all weekend and just tune everything out.

  80. 80
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Why is CNN’s headline “Trump may bypass protocol…” and not “Trump may break the law…”?

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    Why the fuck isn’t whey-faced Jared Kushner good enough for DCI, libtards?

    But seriously, we enjoyed a delightful time in NW Wales today seeing the lovely port towns of Holyhead and Beaumaris, the latter featuring a castle started in the 1290s but never finished.

    Currently at sea en route to Liverpool, 100 nm to the north. Wife has always been a huge fan of Liverpool’s main exports: The Beatles and the RMS Titanic.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Because Trump is white.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: Are you suggesting that they back a coup here in the US? Also, they weren’t actually that great at toppling “undesirable” regimes, and, on the pure intelligence side, they’ve always relied too much on technology.

  84. 84
    James E Powell says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Agree completely, but I have no hopes that any such analysis will ever take place. Too many big shots are making too much money off of the current system.

  85. 85
    Martin says:

    He’ll offer up Nunes. Loyalty first with this guy.

  86. 86
    Ken says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “useless as tits on a fish”

    Thanks to the magic of Google, I now know that discus fish (among others) secrete a mucus to feed their young.

  87. 87
    debbie says:

    Oh, boy. Pence has taken on Trump’s fondness for lies, saying that an electric car manufacturer has secured funding to purchase the shuttered GM plant in Lordstown, OH. “Au contraire,” mutters GM.

  88. 88
    zhena gogolia says:

    @MomSense:

    Hoping Korra feels much better soon!

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Martin: That’s my take. Wasn’t there some talk that Ratcliffe would be the sacrificial lamb so he could nominate Nunes?

    I don’t think it’ll go well for Nunes either but that’s another issue.

  90. 90
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven:

    28 and a wakeup

    Shortbread.

  91. 91
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    Any idea what it was she ate that has made her so sick?

  92. 92
    Jinchi says:

    @chris:

    What does this withdrawal by Ratcliffe say about the White House vetting process?

    Well taking Trump’s two comments together, it translates to:

    John is an outstanding Republican Congressman and thank God that the press vetted him before I made an catastrophic move like putting him in charge of national intelligence.

  93. 93
    Jinchi says:

    @Bex:

    Lindsay Graham didn’t get AG, so why not DNI?

    Get’s him out of the Senate …… Works for me.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Are you suggesting that they back a coup here in the US?

    The coup has already happened, what’s inexcusable is that presented with a choice between their oath and following orders, the agencies have decided to follow orders.

  95. 95
    Raven says:

    @joel hanes: there it is!

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The same reason none of them can state ” Trump lied”

  97. 97
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Just like if I rob a bank I’ve bypassed protocol to get some money

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    Huh, AOC’s problematic COS is resigning to join a shitty political consulting group.

  99. 99
    JMG says:

    Ratcliffe went down because Republican Senators, through McConnell, said they couldn’t vote for him. Nunes would be the same deal. Couldn’t even dare to have a public confirmation hearing.

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    Talking like Trump in the workplace can cost your employer money and get you fired

    Actual Wapo Headline in 2019.

    Man does this Timeline suck.

  101. 101
    Jinchi says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What actually needs to happen is our counterintelligence capabilities and structures need serious overhaul.

    Have you heard anything from the Democratic candidates that gives you hope on this front?

  102. 102
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TenguPhule: Good. Someone got the memo, evidently.

  103. 103
    Jinchi says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Talking like Trump in the workplace can cost your employer money and get you fired.

    Strangely, that headline makes me optimistic for the future.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US

    The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.

    Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois.

    Travelling in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 65,000ft, the balloons are intended to “provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”, according to a filing made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defence company.

    The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.

    What could possibly go wrong with the Pentagon conducting domestic monitoring in the homeland? //s

  105. 105
    MomSense says:

    @debbie:

    Tylenol is the most likely cause.

  106. 106
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MomSense: Hoping puppers makes a complete recovery!

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    Donald Trump on Friday appeared to make light of reports that the Baltimore home of the Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings had been burgled on the same day the president made a racist attack on him.

    Cummings’ home in Baltimore was burgled early on Saturday, hours before Trump told Fox News that Cummings is a “brutal bully” and that Baltimore was a “disgusting, rat- and rodent-infested mess”.

    Baltimore police on Friday released an incident report revealing the break-in. Trump responded on Twitter: “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!”

    The tweet prompted swift condemnation from many, including the former ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who has been a staunch Trump ally. Trump appointed Haley to the UN job, which she stepped down from in October. She responded to Trump’s tweet by writing “this is so unnecessary” with an eyeroll emoji.

    One of Trump’s fiercest defenders then jumped into the fray. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway retweeted Haley’s post and said it was her message that was unnecessary.

    Republicans in Disarray!

  108. 108
    Ken says:

    @Immanentize:

    @Raven:
    28 and a wakeup

    Shortbread.

    Mornington Crescent.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    Bernie Sanders

    @BernieSanders
    Taking national security advice from a Cheney has already caused irreparable damage to our country. We don’t need any more, thanks. https://twitter.com/liz_cheney/status/1156515560441749504

    Liz Cheney

    @Liz_Cheney
    Key question for Elizabeth Warren @ewarren today – which American cities and how many American citizens are you willing to sacrifice with your policy of forcing the US to absorb a nuclear attack before we can strike back?

    51.2K
    8:41 AM – Aug 2, 2019

    When even Bernie Sanders burns you, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

  110. 110
    joel hanes says:

    @Raven:

    DD 214
    After years of looking at every piece of paper and saying
    “No, that’s not it.”

  111. 111
    joel hanes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    AOC’s problematic COS is resigning

    Huzzah! He was damaging her effectiveness, and damaging the Democratic Party.
    Now, I presume, he’ll just continue to damage the Democratic Party.

    Incremental improvement.
    I’m sure he means well.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    The key note of Trump’s latest weird and risky outreach to Kim Jong-un reads thus:

    Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true.

    There are no words.

  113. 113
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Good riddance.

  114. 114
    joel hanes says:

    @Ken:

    Mornington Crescent

    I believe that the 1997 American Rules Committee cast doubt on the validity of that particular move if undertaken at times after 12:01 PM on the first Friday of the month, but no doubt you learned to play before the issue became so contentious.

  115. 115
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media. Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people.

    Comments like this is why I suspect Trump is subconsciously trying to lose 2020; Trump doesn’t want to be the decider, he wants to be on Fox and Friends telling everyone that who ever is actually president sucks and things would be awesome if he was president again.

  116. 116
    Ken says:

    @TenguPhule: More importantly, why aren’t there thousands of people screaming about Jade Helm II?

  117. 117
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TenguPhule: That’s true, only Trump can make Kim’s vision of leading the President of the United States around with a dog leash true.

  118. 118
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TenguPhule: Ha ha!

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: Yikes. So glad she seems to be doing better.

  120. 120
    Jinchi says:

    @TenguPhule: You just know that, in Trump’s head this:

    “Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true.”

    Has got to be related to this:

    Trump applauds North Korea’s ‘great beaches,’ says they would be a perfect location for condos and hotels
    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-says-north-korea-beaches-great-place-for-hotels-condos-2018-6

    Come-on Kim, read between the lines. All your problems could be solved if you just signed off on Trump Tower Pyongyang.

  121. 121
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    Jesus. I was assuming it was some wild plant in the woods. So glad she’s recovering.

  122. 122
    debbie says:

    @Jinchi:

    Why the hell would Trump be using the FAKE! NEWS! MEDIA! to vet his appointments? //

  123. 123
    Jager says:

    Raven is “so short, he can sue because the sidewalks were built too close to his ass.” Or “he’s so short he can’t cast a shadow.”

    H/T SSgt Bob Lindsey

  124. 124
    Jinchi says:

    @debbie: Apparently it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.

    Trump says to the press “you vet for me” when he names a candidate for a position, says we save a lot of money that way
    https://twitter.com/jeffmason1/status/1157376305438121984

  125. 125
    debbie says:

    @Jinchi:

    Well, the next time he complains about them, I hope someone reminds him they are who’s doing his work for him.

  126. 126
    B.B.A. says:

    Deep state vs derp state. Deep state wants to invade Iran, derp state wants to invade Ukraine.

    I don’t want to invade anywhere, so I’m rooting for injuries.

  127. 127
    Elizabelle says:

    Thank dog. Ratcliffe is a dreadful man. Maybe he will lose his congressional seat, too. Having been exposed as a lightweight, a liar, and a resume padder.

    I am glad this blew up in his face.

  128. 128
    joel hanes says:

    CA Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into state law a measure that requires candidates to disclose their taxes to appear on the ballot.

    Let the wild rumpus begin!

  129. 129
    Elizabelle says:

    @joel hanes: Joel, how is your family doing? What do you hear out of Gilroy?

  130. 130
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @RAVEN: I haven’t heard short jokes since 78. Welcome to (almost) retirement. I’m assuming that it is better without a nazi in the WH, but it’s still pretty good.

  131. 131
    HinTN says:

    @TenguPhule: Good for her getting that pos out asap.

  132. 132
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My father-in-law used “Useless as an ex-president”.

  133. 133
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @sdhays: Well, for one thing, not be so rankly partisan. I’m thinking of the FBI since forever, but especially the assholes in the NYC office that had such a hard-on for Secretary Clinton.

  134. 134
    joel hanes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Everyone is taking it easy and recovering as well as may be. Extended family is providing 24-hour help for the woman with the wound on the back of her head; the wounded teenager is healing quickly from her much smaller injuries. The one who’s having the hardest time is my grandson-inlaw, who severely blistered his feet while fleeing barefoot over hot pavements — he’s supposed to stay off them, and is not good at following such directions, so he’s alternately chafing at the restraint or in pain.

    It’s harder to know about psychic wounds — I guess those will manifest later, if they do. Currently everyone seems pretty OK.

    Thanks for asking.

  135. 135
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @TenguPhule:

    @Liz_Cheney
    Key question for Elizabeth Warren @ewarren today – which American cities and how many American citizens are you willing to sacrifice with your policy of forcing the US to absorb a nuclear attack before we can strike back?

    Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know! The answer is: “Well, Liz, what city is your dad in right now?”

  136. 136
    Miss Bianca says:

    @joel hanes: Been wondering how your family and friends are doing – thank you for the update.

  137. 137
    mrmoshpotato says:

    ///BREAKING/// A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted Illinois State Sen. Thomas Cullerton on embezzlement charges for allegedly fraudulently receiving salary and benefits from the Teamsters labor union for which he did little or no work.— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) August 2, 2019

    Illinois! Where we like our corruption to be bipartisan! (Cullerton’s a Dem)

  138. 138
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @A Ghost To Most: And then he noted “Jimmy Carter excepted”, right?

    Steve who is not that far from the ATL

  139. 139
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @mrmoshpotato: ooh I am so going to bring this up in two weeks when I’m bargaining with the Teamsters!

  140. 140
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Melusine:

    He’s gotta have a corpse bride, skeletal dog, and a full-on bony boys orchestra hanging out in his closet kicking up their heels to “I’ve got a secret” 24/7.

    LOL A way with words there. Bravo.

  141. 141
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: ROFLMAO!

  142. 142
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    he’s already made it clear that Gordon will not even be made acting Director. As per CNN: “The administration is reviewing whether it can legally choose an acting director outside the line of succession”

    Trump has to be really frightened of actions by the Intelligence community if he’s this determined to have it run by somebody profoundly corrupt and incompetent.

  143. 143
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Adam L Silverman: We’ve been doing this for over 500 years of trial and error (sometimes really serious error) so we were bound to end up with something workable.

  144. 144
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    @chris: BREAKING NEWS: ‘Enemy of the People Does All My Vetting’, Trump

  145. 145
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Ok, so the same day I read that this completely unqualified Wife of Coal King andTrump Hotel Gold Level Member Kelly Craft is our new UN Ambassador I’m supposed to believe the Senate, who has done a pretty good job of giving rubber stamp confirmations to pretty much every other unqualified POS the Trump Admin nominates, somehow decided Ratliff is “unconfirmable”?

    That made sense in the Pre-2016 Alternate Universe we all resided in, but not now.

    What’s the REAL reason he’s scuttling away under the crack in the baseboard?

    Something wicked this way comes…

  146. 146
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Mike in NC: Amazingly the Titanic never set foot (bow?) In Liverpool even though its owners were located there. It was meant to pay a courtesy call there but never did. Belfast, where it was built, has an excellent exhibition, however.

    When you reach the ‘Pool, try to take in the Albert Dock area and the Museum of Slavery, both highly recommended.

  147. 147
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    completely unqualified Wife of Coal King andTrump Hotel Gold Level Member Kelly Craft is our new UN Ambassador

    She will be toyed with by professionals. Probably good because her assigned agendas will be bad.

  148. 148
    Amir Khalid says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Doesn’t apply to Jimmy Carter.

  149. 149
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike in NC:
    What, no love for Liverpool FC or Gerry and The Pacemakers? I am somewhat disappoint.

  150. 150
    trnc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Okay, I thought I’d completely lost my capacity to be shocked by any stupid or terrible thing Trump says, but yeah, admitting that the White House press corps vets candidates for a job that involves overseeing all the super-secret spy shit takes me aback.

    I am especially impressed at the cognitive dissonance required to complain that the press hounded ratfuck out of the nomination while simultaneously claiming that the press does his vetting.

  151. 151
    trnc says:

    @sdhays:

    I’m very much in the camp that believes that there is a much better than 50/50 chance that 9/11 would not have occurred if Al Gore had been President. Maybe his administration wouldn’t have been able to have prevent it, but they would have TRIED.

    Actually nailing the perps before they commit the crime isn’t the only way to prevent the crime. Conducting an investigation based on the chatter could have been enough to disrupt the plan. The Bush Administration telegraphed far and wide that they were paying no attention to the Clinton Administration’s warnings about terrorism.

    In fact, Bush got extremely lucky with the timing because Condi Rice was scheduled just a couple of hours later to make a speech that downplayed the threat of terrorism.

  152. 152

    @trnc:

    the cognitive dissonance required to complain that the press hounded ratfuck out of the nomination while simultaneously claiming that the press does his vetting.

    I thought it was angry sarcasm of the ‘How dare you little people question me’ variety.

  153. 153
    trnc says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Ok, so the same day I read that this completely unqualified Wife of Coal King andTrump Hotel Gold Level Member Kelly Craft is our new UN Ambassador I’m supposed to believe the Senate, who has done a pretty good job of giving rubber stamp confirmations to pretty much every other unqualified POS the Trump Admin nominates, somehow decided Ratliff is “unconfirmable”?

    That made sense in the Pre-2016 Alternate Universe we all resided in, but not now.

    I agree that we should never underestimate the bad faith actions of the GOP senate, having the intelligence agencies run in a completely corrupt AND incompetent manner carries much more significant negative consequences than, say, HUD, Education or the EPA. Repubs want these agencies to absolutely fail, so there’s no downside to having them run by absolute cretins with zero understanding of their jobs. Having the intelligence communities fail would be an enormous disaster for everyone, including the republicans. They need someone corrupt but competent, like Barr over at DOJ.

  154. 154
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s like Harriet Myer all over again.

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @Anya:

    If you think the “white race” is superior wouldn’t you want your representative to be someone better than the black guy he’s replacing?

    No. The whole point of believing that your “race” is superior is that it gives people who are otherwise riddled with issues and insecurities something to cling to as a mark of superiority. The fact that a lifelong catastrophic fuckup like Donald Trump is the icon of white supremacy, and also President of the United States, is a feature, not a bug. It confirms that no matter how big a loser you are, you’ll always be above the black people.

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @BlueGirlFromWyo: Do not even get me started on the Federal hiring process/system and OPM.

    I realize you may not be allowed to discuss this, but if you are, may I ask how you feel about polygraphs in recruitment?

    I’ve taken one, once, a couple years ago. It didn’t go well. I studiously hadn’t read anything about them (and especially avoided any “this is how to beat them!” stuff like the plague, since I assume 90% of that is Hollywood garbage) before the event. But I did read up on them afterwards, and it left me with the distinct impression that polygraphing is barely one step up from reading animal entrails.

    So I’m curious if I just happened to have an unlucky experience, or if the entire “science” really is as much of a voodoo process as many People On The Internet seem to think.

  157. 157
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @MattF: I don’t know, and maybe I’m being unfair because we’ve been secretly saved from annihilation a thousand times over thanks to unsung heroes at The Shop and I just don’t know about it. But honestly, from where I’m sitting right now, they look as useless as tits on a fucking boar.

    Not that they don’t have successes, but I’m pretty certain that if the intelligence community had ever done anything as rip-roaring as Saving Us (even once) From Annihilation, it would’ve been leaked in a New York minute. There’d simply be way too many powerful people, in and outside of the intelligence community, with a vested interest in making it known so they could take credit for it.

  158. 158
    Tehanu says:

    The smartest thing that could be done here is to actually nominate Sue Gordon for the position of Director of National Intelligence.

    But — but she’s a (whisper it) WOMAN!!!!
    \snark

  159. 159
    Jefferson's Elastic Coat says:

    That was expected. Just wait until you hear who Trump wants to head up the BLM, while claiming his insane idea was the Founders actual intent. A complete nutter who thinks the government should not own any public land. He just didn’t go past the title of Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. Hardin himself lamented later on that he should have titled it, The Tragedy of the UNMANAGED Commons. Then he committed suicide a little later and I’m beginning to understand why.

    Franklin was right. The Republic would never last. “A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” Read his final speech at the convention, the one which convinced them and tipped our hesitant forefathers along the road to ratification.
    Res publica, from the Latin, “public thing.” Good lord.

    Hello again, Adam. Trust you are well, as well as can be in a Life During War Time. Talking Heads and I will now go listen to it again. This new knick should be a hint as to who I might be is. I find myself gravitating toward the remaining few oases of sentience in this ever-widening desert, so I will be back more often. If possible.

  160. 160
    Jefferson's Elastic Coat says:

    @Adam L Silverman

    That was me, from long ago, WTF from Col. Lang’s? But I suppose it is under review by moderation, a wise choice.

  161. 161
    Jinchi says:

    @trnc:

    Bush got extremely lucky with the timing because Condi Rice was scheduled just a couple of hours later to make a speech that downplayed the threat of terrorism.

    Really? How do we know that? Does anyone have a copy of that speech?

  162. 162
    Chris says:

    @Jefferson’s Elastic Coat:

    Res publica, from the Latin, “public thing.” Good lord.

    Yeah, about that.

    This is something that occurs to me every time I hear the Redcaps bleat “we’re a republic not a democracy.” The word “republic” is, of course, practically meaningless. You can have an Islamic republic, a socialist republic, a liberal republic, and probably a whole grab bag of other things I’m not thinking of right now. But all those republics do have one thing in common, and that’s the “res publica” thing: the idea that the governance of a nation is a public matter, and not the private property of a king or aristocracy who pass the nation and its people down from father to son like some kind of family heirloom.

    And Republicans want to shrink that public sphere down to nothing, leaving basically everything in the nation in private hands. … Just like it was when everything in our society was owned by kings and nobles.

    I don’t take their newfound “we’re a republic” fetishism all that seriously, but it’s worth noting that even that is a lie. They’re not just anti-democracy, they’re anti-republicanism, too, and they want them both gone in favor of a new breed of monarchism.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: Do we have to go back to the whole thing with Echo and the Bunnymen again? or maybe the Lightning Seeds – after all Ian Broudie is turning 61 on Sunday.

  164. 164
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jefferson’s Elastic Coat:

    as well as can be in a Life During War Time.

    Youtube linked a few times here recently, with similar sentiment.

    Running out of time; tech-driven surveillance states will become the norm within 5-15 years. AI-analysed surveillance, and arguments like this again:
    ‘Five Eyes’ security alliance calls for access to encrypted material

    “Tech companies should include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can obtain access to data in a readable and usable format.”

    (July 30, 2019)

  165. 165
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jefferson’s Elastic Coat: Welcome. Good to see you again, so to speak.

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