Johnny goes Buh Bye

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In(dict) like Flynn

Open thread

Go long popcorn



Thursday Morning Open Thread: When the Going Gets Weird…


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I, for one, welcome our new SkyNet overlords. Our current “leaders” are failing fast…



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Gosh, Ms. Haberman, you sound bitter! Maybe you can rewrite your ‘exclusive access’ Trump bio as a memoir: “Donald, Glenn, and Other Men Who I Let Lie to Me”…

Speaking of professional liars, anyone old/educated enough to remember the Watergate days should’ve known better than to trust a single word out of Roger Stone’s mouth:

Not the Onion:

President Trump’s longtime associate Roger Stone was in contact with a New York radio personality who had conversations with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 campaign season, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The radio host, Randy Credico, is the individual Stone referred to as an intermediary between him and Assange. Stone initially declined to reveal his name to the House Intelligence Committee because he said they had an “off-the-record” conversation, though he insisted there was nothing untoward about their conversation. Stone later did privately disclose the identity of the individual to the panel.

Credico received a subpoena this week to appear Dec. 15 before the House Intelligence Committee, something Credico’s attorney Martin Stolar says he “certainly” plans to comply with. Credico tweeted out a copy of the subpoena on Tuesday.
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ACA 2021 and waivers

Dylan Scott at Vox had a great piece earlier this week.  He tried to imagine what the ACA looks like in 2020 as the Open Enrollment period for 2021 was gearing up just before the Presidential Election.  We talked for a while and he represented my thinking quite well.  There is one thing that I think he is missing which makes me more optimistic than most people in the story.

Over the past three years, Republicans never found a plan to repeal and replace the health care law that they could actually pass. But the dream that they could still end the law entirely prevented any bipartisan measure to stabilize the law from being enacted.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has nicked and cut the ACA wherever he could….

The people whose income qualified them for the ACA’s tax subsidies could still find affordable coverage, available for as little as $150 a month. But when somebody making too much for that assistance checked their choices — like a single woman making $75,000 a year — they didn’t see any prices that most middle-class people would be comfortable paying every month…..

Health insurers didn’t abandon the law’s market. The incentives were too good: They can price their rates as high as they want, and those 9 million people should continue to buy their plans because they are protected from the hikes by the federal subsidies….

The entire piece neglects probable state waivers.  This is critical.

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12 Counts

Mr. Manafort and Gates are each facing a twelve count indictment.

The indictment against both of these individuals makes the following charges:

Count 1 Conspiracy against the United States
Count 2 Conspiracy to Launder Money
Counts 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 — Failure to report foreign accounts
Count 10 — Unregistered agent of a foreign principal (FARA)
Count 11 — False or Misleading FARA statements
Count 12 — False statements

The interesting to me, as I am not a lawyer, is the last couple of pages of the indictment. Paragraph 52 is a notice of intent to seize assets. If there is a conviction on Count 2 (Money laundering) or count 10/11 (FARA violations) the Feds intend to get all of the ill-gotten gains. That to me is an invitation of Mr. Gates to think about his children and his wife. Does he really want to impoverish his family or does he really want to flip and start talking…



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Lyin’ Paul Ryan, Continuing to Debase Himself

(Jeff Danziger‘s website)
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Open Thread: Criminally Stupid, Too

President Trump’s legal team is wrestling with how much to cooperate with the special counsel looking into Russian election interference, an internal debate that led to an angry confrontation last week between two White House lawyers and that could shape the course of the investigation…

The debate in Mr. Trump’s West Wing has pitted Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, against Ty Cobb, a lawyer brought in to manage the response to the investigation. Mr. Cobb has argued for turning over as many of the emails and documents requested by the special counsel as possible in hopes of quickly ending the investigation — or at least its focus on Mr. Trump…

The friction escalated in recent days after Mr. Cobb was overheard by a reporter for The New York Times discussing the dispute during a lunchtime conversation at a popular Washington steakhouse. Mr. Cobb was heard talking about a White House lawyer he deemed “a McGahn spy” and saying Mr. McGahn had “a couple documents locked in a safe” that he seemed to suggest he wanted access to. He also mentioned a colleague whom he blamed for “some of these earlier leaks,” and who he said “tried to push Jared out,” meaning Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has been a previous source of dispute for the legal team.

After The Times contacted the White House about the situation, Mr. McGahn privately erupted at Mr. Cobb, according to people informed about the confrontation who asked not to be named describing internal matters. John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, sharply reprimanded Mr. Cobb for his indiscretion, the people said…

Mr. Trump’s legal team has been a caldron of rivalry and intrigue since the beginning. His first private lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, grew alienated from the White House in part over friction with Mr. Kushner. The lawyer was unhappy that Mr. Kushner was talking with his father-in-law about the investigation without involving the legal team.

Mr. Kasowitz was eventually pushed to the side, and Mr. Trump elevated John Dowd, a Washington lawyer with extensive experience in high-profile political cases, to take the lead as his personal lawyer. At the same time, Mr. Trump decided he needed someone inside the White House to manage the official response since Mr. McGahn, whose professional experience is mostly in election law, already handles a vast array of issues from executive orders to judicial appointments.

Mr. McGahn’s first choices turned down the job, in part out of concern that Mr. Trump would not follow legal advice…