Mueller’s Office Speaks

This could mean almost anything. But it looks like something is seriously wrong with the BuzzFeed report.

I don’t think there’s enough there to speculate on specifics, but I’m sure others will.

And open thread!


Disturbing the Peace (Open Thread)

Last night, the mister and I took a sunset cruise in our little swamp boat and annoyed this innocent anhinga:

The bird is clearly saying “FUCK YOU!!” at the 24-second mark.

Anhingas are also called “snake birds” because they swim with their heads sticking out of the water, resembling a snake. After swimming, they roost in trees or on snags to dry their wings. Cormorants do the same and closely resemble anhingas, only cormorants have a curved beak. Here’s one we saw on the same excursion:

Got any big plans for the weekend? Is anyone participating in one of the Women’s Marches taking place nationwide? I was just reading a depressing account of the national Women’s March org — Women’s March Inc. Sounds like they’ve managed to fuck up the whole thing. Le sigh.

We’ll probably hang out at home, maybe go annoy some more swamp critters. You?

Trump is on Twitter fomenting anti-immigrant hatred. Maybe he’s trying to change the subject from the revelation that he committed a felony by directing an underling to lie to Congress, or maybe he’s trying to distract the media from the snowballing effects of the Trump shutdown. Or both. Maybe neither.

He’s claiming that ranchers are finding “prayer rugs” on the border — likely he’s narrating some Fox News reportage, which intersperses clips of interviews with American crackpots and shots of correspondents yelling “CARAVAN” at random pedestrians in Central America.

Rugs, though. That’s some scary stuff. Why, just yesterday, I tripped on a rug with an upturned corner and very nearly stubbed my toe on a coffee table leg.

Anyhoo, open thread.

Dick Maneuver

To retaliate against Speaker Pelosi for taking away his TV time, Trump revealed a previously secret plan for a congressional delegation to a war zone, possibly endangering lives, and has denied Pelosi and other members of congress who were to be part of that delegation permission to use military planes to visit Afghanistan. No, really:

From The Post:

Pelosi was planning to leave for Afghanistan on Thursday afternoon, according to a Democratic aide, but it was unclear whether Pelosi’s trip included the other destinations mentioned by Trump. The aide requested anonymity to discuss plans that had not been made public…

Trump didn’t explain what authority he has to cancel Pelosi’s trip, but it would likely require the use of military aircraft controlled by his administration. He said Pelosi could fly commercial if she wanted to go forward with the visit.

Southwest has a DC-Kabul flight, right? That people use for routine “excursions” to Afghanistan?

Good God, what a petty dickhead.

UPDATE: Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, responds via Twitter:

The CODEL to Afghanistan included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest. In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies–to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance.

This weekend visit to Afghanistan did not include a stop in Egypt.

The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines.

The President traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL led by Rep. Zeldin.

Pitch perfect.

Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Rudy Pounds the Table

There’s an old legal proverb: When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither the facts or the law are on you side — pound the table!

Or it could just be sundowning, but a lifelong grifter like Giuliani would try to make ‘sundowning’ work for him, ala Vincent Gigante.


Small Potatoes & Few in the Hill: The NYTimes Presents Sen. Sanders with A Status Update

During the 2016 campaign, Sanders was of infinite use to the NYTimes hierarchy in their decades-long quest to demonize Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s not running in 2020, and it would seem the NYTimes wants the widest audience possible to know their current far-more-lukewarm assessment of the Vermont Independent:

Senator Bernie Sanders met on Wednesday with former staff members who conveyed their dismay over the mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign, in an effort to calm the unrest over sexism that is overshadowing his possible 2020 bid.

Mr. Sanders met with roughly two dozen former workers for about an hour in a conference room at a hotel near the Capitol. The meeting was convened in response to a recent letter sent by more than two dozen people who worked on Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, asking to meet with the senator and his leadership team to discuss issues of harassment.

The senator did not make himself available for comment afterward, and some attendees said they preferred to keep the discussions private. One woman said she found the meeting exhausting but declined to elaborate…

Among those close to Mr. Sanders who attended were Jeff Weaver, his 2016 campaign manager, and Ari Rabin-Havt, Mr. Sanders’s deputy chief of staff. There were also some people from his campaign arm, including Arianna Jones, a communications aide. Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, made a brief appearance.

Mr. Sanders skipped an important Senate vote on Russia sanctions to attend the meeting around noontime. He was the only senator not to appear as Republicans blocked a Democratic resolution to prevent the Trump administration from easing sanctions on a Russian oligarch. The measure, which required 60 votes to proceed, was defeated, 57 to 42, and his vote would not have affected the outcome.

There were some signs of trouble even before the meeting began. Some attendees were upset that the draft of the agenda did not directly address specific allegations of mistreatment of women, or say which top Sanders aides would attend. Several women said the travel logistics were poorly handled, with some saying they were not invited until 48 hours before the daylong meeting was scheduled to begin…

Truly, a climactic change of attitude. Perhaps the NYTimes will be able to unearth copies of Sen. Sanders’ tax returns this time?

Dispatches from Balloon Juice HQ

A little bit of everything in this picture. To the left, Steve’s litterbox, which was just changed, which means he immediately races upstairs to the litter box, and then rearranges the litter so it is just right, shooting it all over the upstairs. Remember, Steve rarely uses the damned thing, as he mainly goes out doors. Dick.

And then while it is true that there is a dog bed in every damned room of the house and two in some rooms, I do suppose that they are not made out of high threadcount bed sheets and have that ripe smell, so Rosie has somehow toppled the hamper and taken the liberty of creating her own sleeping quarters out of my bedsheets and dirty knickers. Asshole.

I’ll deal with it in the morning I suppose.

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: It’s the McConnell Shutdown Now


Cuz we already know why the Oval Office Squatter is pro-shutdown…