Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Tick… Tick… Tick…

While the Repubs are busy with ‘a little light treason,’ what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Open Thread: Now It’s Gotten VSP-Serious

The Dow gained it back, to close “flat”. But who else remembers the Doonesbury cartoon during the Watergate trial, where CEO Slackmeyer announces, “When the Dow drops below [x], it’s time to get the nooses”?

The Washington Post spoke with experts who believe that emails show Trump Jr. having probably “crossed the line on conspiracy to commit election fraud or conspiracy to obtain information from a foreign adversary.”

That last part alone is illegal, Noble explained.

“Anyone soliciting a foreign contribution is violating the law,” he said — and that includes opposition research, such as what was embraced by Trump Jr. One legal bar is whether someone provides “substantial assistance” to obtaining something of value from a foreign national. “Given the emails,” Noble said, “I think that’s substantial assistance.”…

“Had he been running the Trump businesses and not been involved in the campaign. Not been traveling on behalf of the campaign. Not been speaking out for his father,” Noble said, “they might have an argument” that Trump Jr. wasn’t acting on behalf of the campaign. Trump Jr. didn’t need an official campaign title to be part of the campaign — and, besides, Noble said, he had one. Son.

(As for traveling for the campaign: Federal records show that Trump Jr. was reimbursed for nearly $30,000 in travel expenses by the Trump campaign.)

Trump Jr. was part of the campaign. Trump Jr. set up a meeting with other campaign representatives to receive what he thought was material impugning an opponent that, he was told, came directly from the Russian government. (In fact, he was told that it was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” something that President Trump has long denied existed. Trump Jr. doesn’t appear to have balked at that description.) In other words, it’s no longer possible to deny that the campaign sought to collude with the Russian government in its meddling efforts…


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Russiagate Open Thread: Helpful NYTimes Explainer

The NYTimes has posted an aggregated timeline with links to all their Russiagate stories, in case you want to forward something not-too-overwhelming to your Fox-curious acquaintances.



Another Russiagate Open Thread: Projection That IMAX Can Only Envy

If there’s anything a smart Russian lawyer would understand, it’s how to manipulate the half-witted offspring of a couple of crooked ‘developers’ working for a paranoid oligarch…


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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Another Step Towards Classical Autocracy

On June 11, alt-right blogger Mike Cernovich published an article attacking an assistant to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, claiming the previously low-profile civil servant wanted to “sabotage” President Donald Trump.

The piece described Eric Ciaramella as “pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia” and alleged, with no evidence, that he was possibly responsible for high-level leaks. The response to the piece included online threats of violence against Ciaramella, which contributed to his decision to leave his job at the National Security Council a few weeks early, according to two sources familiar with the situation…

Career civil servants often endure stressful working conditions, but in the Trump White House, some of them face online trolling from alt-right bloggers who seek to portray them as clandestine partisans plotting to sabotage the president’s agenda. The online attacks often cite information that appears to be provided by unnamed White House officials or Trump loyalists.

The trend has unnerved the career intelligence analysts, diplomats, security experts, and military officers who are accustomed to operating outside the political arena. Coupled with White House talking points accusing government employees of jeopardizing the country’s security through leaks to the media, the online abuse threatens to damage morale and politicize institutions long seen as impartial and above partisan combat…

Before the 2016 election, Cernovich wrote self-help books for men who wanted to discover their inner “alpha male.” He found a larger audience, however, with his fervent pro-Trump, Hillary Clinton-bashing online blogs, tweets, and memes. Tweeting from his home in Southern California, he helped spread the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and has threatened to smear members of the Trump White House if Stephen Bannon is ever removed

Still, members of Trump’s inner circle, and even his family members, have endorsed Cernovich’s posts. The White House has given him press credentials and he says he gets his information from West Wing officials, a claim supported by what he’s able to report and when he’s able to report it…

In response to questions about some of his statements that have proven false, and whether he allows people to respond to his allegations, Cernovich responded by saying: “You are a spokeswoman for globalist warmongers. You are the mouthpiece of death and destruction. Your fraudulent hit piece on me validates the strength of my work.”

Cernovich is not alone in going after NSC and other government staffers. Outlets, including Breitbart News and the Conservative Review, went on a rampage against government employees and so-called Obama holdovers in the early months of the Trump administration, as first documented by Politico in March…

Mike ‘Gorilla Mindset’ Cernovich, like Rush Limbaugh before him, is just a snake-oil huckster riling up the rubes because it sells better than his earlier ‘men’s rights’ bullshit. But this is straight-up Red Guard-style intimidation: Cross Dear Leader, and we’ll destroy you, wreck your life, kill your family. Once a few victims have been publicly abused, the Trumplodytes don’t even have to carry out their worst threats — fear of retaliation will, it’s assumed, make potential trouble-making bureaucrats and journalists censor themselves.

And Donald Trump, needless to say, thinks this is just great. Finally, the level of rageful blind admiration he’s always craved!



Monday Evening Open Thread: GOP Leaders Have “Other Priorities”


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Apart from keeping in mind that half our nation’s “leadership” cares more about their current perqs than the future of the godsdamned country, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Late Night “It’s Always Projection” Thread: You May Not Believe “The Tape” Exists, But Trump’s Closest Associates Certainly Do

… And that’s why they were so desperate, so certain, that the Clinton campaign must be hiding some deeply embarrassing / criminal evidence.

EVERYBODY DOES IT has always been the go-to defense for the Trump crime cartel, not to mention the Republican Party.

The Editor in Chief of Lawfare:


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