The Puke Funnel In Action

It never ends with our media:

To some, the comparison to Clinton’s case may appear strained. Clinton has said none of the information on her server was marked classified at the time. In many cases, it was marked as unclassified when sent to her by people in the State Department more familiar with the issues involved.

By contrast, sailors are trained early on that the engine compartment of a nuclear sub is a restricted area and that much information relating to the sub’s nuclear reactors is classified.

Still, it’s far from obvious that the information Saucier took photos of is more sensitive than information found in Clinton’s account. Court filings say the photos were clear enough that they reveal classified details about the submarine that could be of use to foreign governments, such as the vessel’s maximum speed.

However, the Navy says the photos are classified “confidential,” which is the lowest tier of protection for classified information and is designated for information that could cause some damage to national security but not “serious” or “exceptionally grave” damage.

Intelligence agencies claim that Clinton’s account contained 65 messages with information considered “Secret” and 22 classified at the “Top Secret” level. Some messages contained data under an even more restrictive “special access program” designation.

Clinton and her campaign have disputed those findings, calling them a result of “overclassification” and urging that the messages be released in full.

However, Clinton’s critics and some former intelligence officials said she should have recognized the sensitivity of the information. They’ve also noted that about 32,000 messages on Clinton’s server were erased after her lawyers deemed them personal.

“The DOJ is willing to prosecute a former sailor to the full extent of the law for violating the law on classified material, in a situation where there was no purposeful unsecured transmission of classified material,” conservative blogger Ed Morrissey wrote last year. “Will they pursue Hillary Clinton and her team, at the other end of the power spectrum from the rank-and-file, for deliberate unsecured transmission of improperly marked classified nat-sec intelligence? Will they pursue the same kind of obstruction of justice charges for Hillary’s wiping of her server as they are for Saucier’s destruction of his laptop?”

From the fever swamps of wingnut blogs to Wolf Blitzer’s mouth. Seriously, how long before this is on CNN?



Trump-Sanders Debate, Dog Help Us (Updated)

So last night on Jimmy Kimmel, Donald Trump kinda agreed to debate Bernie Sanders “for charity,” and Sanders tweeted, “Game On. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7th primary.” Two questions — the first rhetorical, the second sincere:

1) Is Sanders out of his fucking mind?
2) Any chance this debate actually happens?

Fox News is the network that was going to sponsor the California Clinton-Sanders debate before Clinton declined to participate, which is what frontrunners do when they develop an insurmountable lead. I’m sure Fox News would field impeccably impartial moderators with 100% fair questions that advanced no partisan agenda whatsoever. Not.

Trump left himself plenty of wiggle room in his comment to Kimmel, but if I were him, I’d damn sure try to make this thing happen – what a golden opportunity to ingratiate himself to Sanders dead-enders while bashing Clinton nonstop. It’s all upside for Trump.

Oh, and let’s pause for a moment and imagine the ear-splitting hissy fit the Sanders people would pitch if Hillary Clinton agreed to debate Trump before the primary ends. This kind of shit right here is what made me evolve from “I’m glad Sanders is in the race — he’s pulling Clinton to the left” to “STFU and go away, Bernie.”

UPDATE: From CBS: “Multiple sources told CBS News Thursday morning, however, that the presumptive nominee [Trump] was just kidding about debating Sanders — it will never happen, they said.” H/T: Commenter Mike J.



No Self Awareness Whatsoever

David Brooks wonders why people don’t like Hillary, spends a bunch of words blaming it on her being a workaholic, and never once broaches the subject that he, the Republicans, and the New York fucking Times have been lying about her for three decades.

I think that might have something to do with it, personally. The fact that her negatives aren’t higher despite the multi-decade attack should be consider a testament to the woman.



Open Thread: Yes, I’m #TeamHillary

Despite Chuck Toad’s best efforts (‘Polls. Polls? Polls! Soundbites! But — polls!’), in my opinion today’s Meet the Press was actually a good show for Hillary Clinton (‘Votes. Work. Votes, votes, work, VOTE.’).

Transcript of the interview here. First question:

CHUCK TODD: Is Bernie Sanders now helping Donald Trump?

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, I don’t think so. I think that Senator Sanders has every right to finish off his campaign however he chooses. I do think there will then be the obvious need for us to unify the party. I faced the same challenge in 2008. I will certainly do my part, reaching out to Senator Sanders, reaching out to his supporters. And I expect him to do his. And he said about a week ago, he was going to spend seven days a week trying to defeat Donald Trump. And I believe that’s the case… (after Todd rephrases the same question) I’m not going to negotiate with [the Sanders campaign] today on your show. I’m going to say when it’s time, I am reaching out to do my part to try to unify the party. I expect him to do the same. I did that when I lost a much closer race to Senator Obama. Because I knew that whatever our differences were, just as whatever our differences are between me and Senator Sanders, they pale in comparison to Donald Trump and the Republicans. And I think most of Senator Sanders’ supporters understand that as well.

Later, in response to Todd asking if she’d accept Mark Cuban as her VP…

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I am absolutely intending to look far and wide. And I think that is the best way to find somebody who can really capture what’s needed in the country, and businesspeople have, especially successful businesspeople who are really successful as opposed to pretend successful, I think have a lot to offer.

CHUCK TODD: Pretend successful? You don’t think–

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah.

CHUCK TODD: –is there anything Donald Trump’s done that you think should be praised?

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I think he needs to release his tax returns. The only two we have show that he hasn’t paid a penny in taxes. And yet he goes around talking about “Make America great.” You know? That means paying for our military. That means paying for our roads. That means paying for the V.A. That means a lot of things. And if you’ve got someone running for president who’s afraid to release his tax returns, because it will expose the fact that he pays no federal income tax, I think that’s a big problem.

CHUCK TODD: No, my question was there’s nothing about his background that is praiseworthy?

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: We’ll find out. Because we have to get below the hype. We have to find what the reality is…

HRClinton 2016. Because somebody needs to be the grown-up.



Open Thread: Wise Words from Oliver Willis



Trump Spokesmen Address Fake “Alter Ego” Controversy

New York, N.Y. — May 13, 2016 — A Washington Post story ignited a firestorm Thursday by alleging that presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump impersonated Trump Enterprises public relations officials under false names to paint glowing portraits of himself for reporters. The Post story says that Trump himself called writers from various publications, including People magazine, to extol his own virtues while posing as at least two fictitious Trump Enterprises employees: John Barron and John Miller.

However, emails received by media outlets Friday from Barron and Miller establish that they are in fact actual persons and suggest that the Post story constitutes libel against Trump.

“Donald Trump is a tremendous guy who built a terrific company that employs thousands and thousands of people,” wrote John Barron, who said he is the PR specialist who spoke to the People reporter. “He’s a smart guy who is very rich and went to the very best schools, okay? He will win bigly in November, and then America will win so much you’ll get tired of winning.”

The email from John Barron was sent from a newly created Gmail account registered under the username “bighands1946,” which checks out as legitimate. Seconds after the Barron email was received, media outlets received an email from John Miller, the other publicity specialist mentioned in the Post story.

“Only a low-energy loser would say Donald Trump pretended to be someone else,” Miller said. “Trump is a tremendous person, a self-made man who took a small $1 million loan from his father and built it into a yooodge company. All three of his wives are beauty-full, so forget about it. And his daughter is so hot maybe he’d be banging her if he wasn’t her father, okay?”

The email from Miller emanated from a new Yahoo account registered to user “1946longfingers,” which appears to be a legitimate account.

The communications from Barron and Miller obviously put an end to the controversy The Washington Post article provoked, so responsible news organizations are advised to focus instead on Hillary Clinton’s impending indictment by the FBI and the Obama administration’s ongoing persecution of white people.



It Wasn’t Just the Butler Who Did It

The former butler of stately Trump Manor is a racist, sexist nutjob who issues lurid Facebook fatwas calling for the death of President Obama for being a foreign-born “muzzy,” refers to black people as “negroes” in the manner of Cliven Bundy, suggests that American cities should be obliterated for ethnic cleansing purposes and calls future president Hillary Clinton a “cunt” who should be summarily lynched.

The fact that the man who used to play Alfred to Trump’s Batman is the distilled essence of the white nationalist element of every Trump rally ever held isn’t important news, apparently. It was reported, but as a sideshow item, as if it revealed nothing more about Trump except how hard it is to get good help these days. The story doesn’t appear above the fold at the moment at CNN, The New York Times or other major media outlets. (Imagine the screaming headlines and calls for congressional hearings that would result if the woman who scrubs Hillary Clinton’s toilets were revealed as a moon landing doubter.)

clue weaponBut let’s not pretend this has nothing to do with Trump. The butler did it, but Colonel Marmalade was seen in the conservatory with the crack pipe. So maybe some enterprising Beltway journalist could get a fucking clue and use this unfortunate butler incident as an opening to revisit the GOP nominee’s birther activities. Heretofore, when asked about birtherism by reporters, Trump says, “I don’t talk about that anymore.” What kind of lame-ass reporter lets an interview subject get away with that? (Cooper, Tapper, Blitzer, et al.)

Imagine if Hillary Clinton tried to deflect a question by airily proclaiming that she doesn’t talk about it anymore. She wouldn’t get away with it. The complaint here isn’t that there’s a double standard; of course there’s a double standard, which is why Trump can babble about Bill Clinton’s 25-year-old horn-dog behavior without having his own piggish history, which includes rape allegations, put under the media microscope. The bygones — they are gone by!

But just five years ago, Trump, the GOP nominee, was a prominent national figure in the explicitly racist birther movement. He made bizarre allegations and outlandish promises about what his team of Hawaii investigators would reveal, then failed to deliver because there was nothing to find. And that shouldn’t be allowed to disappear down the memory hole, especially when a former Trump employee is revealed to be insanely animated by the very ideas Trump spent 2011 fomenting nationwide. Do your fucking jobs, DC press corps!