Wednesday Morning Open Thread: MOAR POPCORN!


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Late Night Russiagate Open Thread: Truth Is Relative, and None of Rudy’s Relatives Speak to Him

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Russiagate Open Thread: Poor Little Confuzzled Don McGahn

There’s always a cynic. Here’s Emptywheel — “Why Would Don McGahn (and His Lawyer) Cooperate in a Piece Claiming He Cooperated with Mueller (on Obstruction)?”:

While he has bolloxed most of the things White House Counsels are supposed to do (like keeping the White House out of legal and ethical trouble), he has had unsurpassed success at stacking the courts. I doubt there’s an ideological Republican in the country who isn’t thrilled with McGahn’s success at stacking the courts. Indeed (this becomes important in just a bit), McGahn’s success at stacking the courts is one of the biggest reasons why Republicans in Congress put up with the rest of Trump’s shit. Being President, for many Republicans, isn’t about governing; it’s about stacking the courts.

It turns out, though, that McGahn had another job before he became an expert court-stacker. For decades, Don McGahn has been one of the Republican party’s key campaign finance lawyers…

Don McGahn had come to prominence in the party at the NRCC and was rewarded for it with a seat on the FEC, where he made campaign finance more slushy.

But probably not slushy enough…

…[A]t least three of the areas where Mueller’s team might find a conspiracy with Russia (or other foreigners) to win the election involve campaign finance issues — Don McGahn’s expertise. Those are:

– Whether knowingly employing British Cambridge Analytica employees without getting them proper visas constitutes illegal foreign influence?

– Whether accepting a Trump Tower meeting with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton constitutes accepting a thing of value?

– Whether the campaign was sufficiently firewalled from the dodgy shit Roger Stone was doing (which has been a focus of the last six months of Mueller’s time)?…

More interesting speculation at the link.



Russiagate Open Thread: Roger Stone, Wonderful Human Being

You look at him, and wonder: That is a human being?

Remember, Roger Stone got his professional start working for Tricky Dick…

Also, per TPM, this happened:

Let’s see if this MSNBC clip will embed for me…

(Well, if not, you’ll have to click on the link.)



Friday Evening Open Thread: Nice ‘Work’, If You Can Get It

Every successful organization must consider the best use of their paid employees. Therefore, some are paid to show up; some are paid to stay home…


 
… or to go on tv and make fools of themselves…


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Idiots, Useful & Otherwise, Open Thread: Rand Paul Is the Son Donald Trump Always Wanted

Young Rand is a dude who knows how to hustle!


 
That #FailSon DJ kid, on the other hand…


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Russiagate Open Thread: “GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!”

And on a Sunday in August! It’s not like the man does anything resembling work on any day of the week, but can’t someone remind him that the little people need time off from this shite-geyser?

Strong lede from Adam Davidson, at the New Yorker“The Day Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia”:

August 5, 1974, was the day the Nixon Presidency ended. On that day, Nixon heeded a Supreme Court ruling and released the so-called smoking-gun tape, a recording of a meeting, held two years earlier, with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. Many of Nixon’s most damaging statements came in the form of short, monosyllabic answers and near-grunts—“um huh,” the official transcript reads, at one point—as he responds to Haldeman’s idea of asking the C.I.A. to tell the F.B.I. to “stay the hell out of” the Watergate investigation. The coverup is clearly of Haldeman’s design. Nixon’s words are simple: “All right. Fine.” Then, “Right, fine.”…

On August 5, 2018, precisely forty-four years after the collapse of the Nixon Presidency, another President, Donald Trump, made his own public admission. In one of a series of early-morning tweets, Trump addressed a meeting that his son Donald, Jr., held with a Russian lawyer affiliated with the Russian government. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere,” he wrote. “I did not know about it!”…

The tweet contains several crucial pieces of information. First, it is a clear admission that Donald Trump, Jr.,’s original statement about the case was inaccurate enough to be considered a lie. He had said the meeting was with an unknown person who “might have information helpful to the campaign,” and that this person “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” This false statement was, according to his legal team, dictated by the President himself. There was good reason to mislead the American people about that meeting. Based on reporting—at the time and now—of the President’s admission, it was a conscious effort by the President’s son and two of his closest advisers to work with affiliates of the Russian government to obtain information that might sway the U.S. election in Trump’s favor. In short, it was, at minimum, a case of attempted collusion. The tweet indicates that Trump’s defense will continue to be that this attempt at collusion failed—“it went nowhere”—and that, even if it had succeeded, it would have been “totally legal and done all the time.” It is unclear why, if the meeting was entirely proper, it was important for the President to declare “I did not know about it!” or to tell the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”…

It was possible, just days ago, to believe—with an abundance of generosity toward the President and his team—that the meeting was about adoption, went nowhere, and was overblown by the Administration’s enemies. No longer. The open questions are now far more narrow: Was this a case of successful or only attempted collusion? Is attempted collusion a crime? What legal and moral responsibilities did the President and his team have when they realized that the proposed collusion was underway when the D.N.C. e-mails were leaked and published? And, crucially, what did the President know before the election, after it, and when he instructed his son to lie?