Travel Day and Open Thread

It's a travel day for me, I'll be back Thursday.
Sorry for all the open threads, but it's all I have time for. I sure hope things settle down when I get back.

Again, open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Porter was in serious talks with the WH (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 11:18:52 AM EST
    about a promotion before he resigned.

    Because in the Trump WH, you're supposed to fail up the ladder, right?  Especially if you can't even get a security clearance.

    Starting to wonder what other secrets Porter knows.

    Honestly, how do these people have any time for real work when they are spending so much time putting out personnel fires?

    I might need to watch the odious Sarah Sanders today, because I can't wait to hear how she explains the promotion talks, Wray blowing gigantic holes in their "we were waiting for the FBI to complete their investigation for the security clearance" BS, and whatever else happens between now and the briefing.

    I'm getting the feeling, too, that Wray is not long for his job.  His responses to the committee on the Porter security clearance were clearly disloyal to the president.  Trump won't stand for that.

    Re the timeline that Wray trashed (none / 0) (#4)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 11:30:55 AM EST
    to show that this White House just kies, lies, lies, I wish that there had been a followup question to ask if the FBI investigation of Jared Kushner for a security clearance also is no longer "ongoing" but also, as we now know from Wray about the Porter investigation, actually concluded many months ago.

    Nope, he won't last long (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 12:32:52 PM EST
    I have mixed feelings about the 3rd at DOJ getting the heck outta this mess before she is told to fire Mueller.

    If the clarifying House memo breaks, I expect all hell to break.


    Deputy Chief of Staff was (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 12:52:57 PM EST
    apparently the position they wanted to elevate Porter to.  

    And this was when they knew - they knew - why he wasn't getting his clearance.  Take that in, if you can.

    My gob is smacked, and I need a word that's stronger than fk.

    I guess it's like, what's a little spousal abuse among colleagues?

    Is it possible this Porter thing is the snowball that's going to cause the avalanche?


    Not a good day for their side (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 12:58:07 PM EST
    Police just recommended indictments against Netanyahu

    Here (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    That was days ago (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 01:02:23 PM EST
    We just saw Dan Coats say that the process (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 04:57:18 PM EST
    For obtaining security clearances is broken. Did anybody watch that? I was in Hagerstown town all day (Josh's Bocce team took 3rd in state....hooray!). But spouse wasn't able to hear a peep either. We would like to hear from someone who saw it.

    He said it (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:00:53 PM EST
    And lots more

    That entire 3 hour hearing was just unbelievable

    I suggest watching it from beginning to end.

    That was not IMO the most news worthy factlet

    Each exchange is more psycho than the one be for it.


    It was seriously strange (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:08:30 PM EST
    The whole thing from beginning to end was an affront to the Trump administration.  Nearly everything they said called out a Trump lie.

    That taken with the rest of this strange news day leaves me with the feeling that tiny spot on the horizon might be a tipping point.


    Roy Blunt was just on and (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:22:45 PM EST
    I think he was reiterating what Coats is trying to sell. My husband is so upset I don't really know what's going to right him tonight. I haven't seen him this upset in ages. Roy Blunt just told numerous lies about obtaining security clearances. If Dan Coats was attempting to project these same talking points onto the existing process, he is being deliberately misleading.

    We tried other methods of clearing people quickly, but we had private contractors who were supposed to be conducting background investigations for the federal government who were rubber stamping everything, no investigations being actually being done.

    Edward Snowden ended all that. People trying to get security clearances after that had real investigations done them again.


    Oh! (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:57:22 PM EST
    I was in Hagerstown part of the day to get my car serviced.  I wish I had known, I would have dropped in!
    Congratulations to Josh and his teammates!

    This pre-springtime isn't Maryland's most (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 07:05:29 PM EST
    Flattering side, but still the beauty of the countryside is obvious. Enjoyed the drive.

    Wait a bit (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:21:45 AM EST
    until the grass and trees turn green and everything starts blooming.
    Right now, about the only things that are starting to poke up out of the ground are snowdrops and, a bit later, crocuses.  
    Autumn is pretty awesome out this way, as well, when the leaves turn beautiful colors.

    And it was administratively closed (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 04:59:07 PM EST
    In January. That is when the file isn't even in the closed pile. That's when the file goes to the basement.

    It was said on Nicolle Wallace's show (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:12:52 PM EST
    this afternoon that it isn't the usual practice of the FBI to issue interim reports, but Wray clearly said that it issued one in March.  What this likely means is that by March, they had already found something troubling enough that they felt they needed to bring it to someone's immediate attention.

    Meanwhile, as these fking scandals suck all the oxygen out of the room, the budget is out and it is a horror show.  Massive cuts being proposed in all kinds of safety-net programs - which is not to say they will become law, but it's yet another look into the black hearts of people who are willing to cut into the lives of the old, the poor and the sick, to scrap anything to do with the arts or science or the environment, to cut the State Department, get rid of thousands of park rangers, in order that rich people don't have to press the pause button on getting richer.  

    I'm horrified that they are over-the-moon about their idea to cut SNAP funds and save money by giving the poor boxes of shelf-stable food.  I'm picturing them making fancy recipe cards - a la Blue Apron - with instructions for making pork and beans, PB & J and ramen noodles.

    It is to scream.


    They are still (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:53:10 PM EST
    determined to cut, not only SNAP, not only Medicaid, but to cut and, also, to privatize Medicare and Social Security.
    Paul Ryan and the rest of the privatization, Ayn Rand acolytes, have been salivating to do this for years.  (Never mind that Paul Ryan himself benefited from Social Security survivor benefits when his dad died when Paul was a kid- hey, he got his, the heck with everyone else.)
    Never mind that people have been paying into Medicare and Social Security for their entire working lives, obviously, they're some kind of "welfare."
    Sigh.  How did these Republicans lose their souls to the extent that they don't care one bit about people in need, children, the sick, the elderly, or anyone who is not a multi-millionaire?

    They didn't lose their souls, they sold them. (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:58:15 PM EST
    Only thing that makes sense.

    Dan Coats (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:59:06 PM EST
    Opening statement was all about how the deficit was the single biggest national security threat.

    That of course did not matter before they passed the tax cuts.

    If there is any half way good news I would say the chance of doing anything legislatively the rest of this year is less than zero.


    From (none / 0) (#47)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:30:23 AM EST
    now until eternity any repug who dares to mention the deficit should be tased, repeatedly, at maximum voltage. Any pundit who does not laugh in their face should be laughed off the set.

    The Three Pillars... (none / 0) (#41)
    by desertswine on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 09:14:09 PM EST
    The three policy pillars of this new era are familiar to us all:  privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and lower corporate taxation, paid for with cuts to public spending.

       from Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything:  Capitalism vs. the Climate

    I've been trying to read this book but I don't think that I can get past the first chapter.  It's very depressing to see played out in real life what she discusses in her book.  


    What a terrible day (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:24:25 PM EST
    It was an equally terrible day (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:28:24 PM EST
    For Trump Inc.  At least there is that.

    You know why the terrible wasn't equal? (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:57:14 PM EST
    Because unless the Trump family and those close to them go to prison, at some point when all this is over - and we can only hope it's sooner rather than later - the people making these horrible decisions will be walking back into their well-paid, comfortable lives - and millions of people who will be hurt by Trump's policies won't be.  Our air and water will be dirtier, science will suffer, the arts and education will be diminished.

    It could take decades for a meaningful recovery from the Trump policies - and that's not even considering that we could be involved in more armed conflict - so no, I don't see these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days as being anything approaching equal.


    Fair point (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 07:14:10 PM EST
    Has anyone checked the Trump merch site to see if they are selling MAGA wife beater t-shirts?

    I just read a news report on what Coats said (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:55:38 AM EST
    About security clearance system broken. This system served the Obama White House just fine because nobody there was seeking to break the rules. There isn't a rule at this time though about security clearances that a sitting President must obey. You can't fix rules that one person is not bound to follow.

    And Porter's interim clearance had long expired. Everyone who ever has to regularly renew their security clearance knows this. Anyone who regularly deals with security clearances also knows that Porter's clearance wasn't still being investigated. The file was in the basement. It was over.

    And the one person who had dealt with this area of our government for years and years and years was retired General John Kelly. How many soldiers working under him at Gitmo didn't have security clearances? Whenever staff changed over at Gitmo everyone incoming had to be re-cleared.

    There isn't anything anyone could fix that would have prevented the Porter situation because the White House wasn't going to follow a rule or procedure to begin with.


    So, I think we've established that this (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:25:05 AM EST
    administration views rules and procedures as tools to be used against one's political enemies, and when necessary to aid in the removal of disloyal and uncooperative appointees, or when Sarah Sanders has nothing else to fall back on to explain the 57 different explanations for what's happening in and around the WH.

    I just find it mind-boggling that the same people who wanted to lock Hillary Clinton up, and were screaming about what they perceived as her reckless and irresponsible handling of information, are unconcerned and shrugging their shoulders about an administration that is full of security holes and whose indifference to the rules and procedures has created multiple access points for highly classified information to land in the wrong hands.

    The question is - what can be done about it?  Even if you could impeach Trump - which seems less and less likely unless Mueller issues a report that is too damning to ignore - I don't see that solving these problems.  Not that I don't think Trump's philosophy isn't that he should be able to do whatever he wants, but I suspect it is more the people under Trump - John Kelly and Don McGahn, primarily - who are the problem.  Does firing them solve it?  Would Trump bring in people who would tie his hands by observing all the rules and procedures?  I can't see that happening.

    Yesterday, as one after the other after the other of those heads of intelligence agencies and law enforcement defied the president on a number of issues, the word "coup" sidled into my consciousness.  I shooed it out, but it's lurking.  Is it possible that others are struggling as we are with the question of how you solve the problem that is Trump when the conventional options seem dangerously too far away?

    Help me out here, Tracy - please tell me I need to take a breath and that I'm worrying over something that just isn't possible.  Please.


    I think with 80% of military times survey (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:32:31 AM EST
    Saying NO! military parade for Trump and the army times I heard on Bill Maher was 90% No!, I don't think we are in danger of a coup the military would participate in. We always have a couple of folks who are nuts though. There could be a small suicidal Confederacy crop up.

    This does seem like an intelligence community war though.


    I would say (none / 0) (#50)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:26:55 AM EST
    it's broken because we have a Russian mole as head of our government.

    What (none / 0) (#51)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:32:01 AM EST
    bad day? Being exposed for the umpteeth time as a pack of bigoted lying scumbags is just business as usual.

    Democrats are being told (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 03:03:26 PM EST
    by some pundits (e.g., Tweety) that they can't win in 2018 or 2020 by being just "anti-Trump."  Rather, they must have a message--be for something.  

    To me, being against Trump more than enough qualifies as being for something... for...honest, competent, and lawful government. No flat-out racism eclipsing even club house talk,  white supremacy, misogyny, nepotism, reactiveness, and patriarchy. Would qualified people running the government be too much to ask? It is all so bad, that the line makes for a good bumper sticker.

     Where there are no very fine Nazis and no very fine wife beaters. Where security clearances and espionage are taken seriously, and citizens can be assured that its highest government officers are not assets of a foreign, hostile power.

    However, if this is not enough, how about being for everything that the Trump budget is against or wants to end/dismantle.. be for strengthening social safety nets, .be against.. government cheese baskets instead of food stamps, be for movement toward Medicare for All, rather than slashing and hobbling Medicare, and improving transportation.  Be against cutting spending while increasing the deficit.  

    Be for a real infrastructure program and against the budget's scam that makes Trump University diplomas look good.  For a plausible program , not the sketchy $200 billion over 10 years that relies on a mystery multiplier from crony businessman and strapped local and state governments...strapped all the more because of limits on federal deductions for local and state taxes, thanks to the Republican tax cuts/deficit explosion.

    Yes, the budget may, hopefully, be DOA.  But, the Trump budget is a vision and set of principles for the nation.  Funding priorities and funding levels tell the desired policies.  And, present the Democrats with a policy message to accompany the Trump cartoon show.  

    To some degree (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:35:04 AM EST
    I agree that Democrats can't be just "anti-Cadet Bone Spurs." You'd think that would be enough. But I think people are turned off by nothing but the negative. I know I am. I despise Cadet Bone Spurs with every fiber of my being. But I couldn't run campaign on that hatred. I despise the white nationalists for it.

    In the 2016 campaign, I never once heard anything about "we got bin Laden" or "lower gas prices." These are things that resonate with people. Now, I don't believe for a minute that the POTUS has much to do with gas prices, but hell, Gingrich promised $2.50 a gallon gas in his campaign. But considering the falsehoods and misinformation put out by right, these are things that are true. Gas prices dropped severely during Obama's presidency. Bin Laden was killed by US forces, during Obama's presidency. Every Democrat should have put that in every ad or commercial in some manner. Those things resonate with Joe Shmoe.

    I think, to some degree, many Democrats ran away from Obama. There are aspects of his presidency that disappointed me. He was a moderate, I wanted a liberal. But Democrats should have embraced his successes and touted them at every turn. I think they failed at that.


    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 03:11:47 PM EST
    And I don't think Tweety is much of a progressive thought leader.

    But he does try.

    I saw some of his turn on MJ.

    What a tool.


    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 03:40:43 PM EST
    "Stop The Madness" works for me, and it fits on a bumper sticker.

    IMO it's the most important issue anyway.


    What is your source? (none / 0) (#36)
    by linea on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 08:28:00 PM EST
    I watched his show on YouTube per your complaint. He ripped on the WH over the Porter fiasco and interviewed Congresmember Joe Kennedy.

    MSNBC | Hardball with Chris Matthews February 13, 2018

    I haven't seen many of his shows, but my mpression of Chris Mathews is that he is a Democrat with mostly moderate-centrist positions. Not sure how that makes him a -tool- when many people on this blog are moderate-centrists.


    You can't "get" what Matthews is (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 08:57:06 PM EST
    all about by watching a couple of shows.  I had to stop watching him in the 2008 campaign because he couldn't keep the misogyny under control.  I also hate the way he talks over people - it's like he has guests on just to show off his own self-perceived brilliance.

    I usually skip Matthews - there's not usually much of note that happens on his show.


    Totally agree (none / 0) (#37)
    by Coral on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 08:47:52 PM EST
    Send that list to Chuck Schumer and whoever is writing the Democratic strategy for 2018/2020.

    Using the Trump budget as a starting point for positive Democratic agenda is brilliant idea.


    Distractions aside, today is also the day (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 04:56:01 PM EST
    after Tr*mp broke his campaign promise not to cut Medicare benefits.

    I hope against hope (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 08:01:02 PM EST
    that someday his "base" will see that the Tr*mpists are no friends of theirs, perhaps when the cuts to "white-folks' welfare" come through ... Social Security Disability, food stamps, and Medicaid.  

    As long as his base is getting its info (none / 0) (#39)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 08:59:12 PM EST
    from Fox News, it will stick with him.  Fox will convince them that somehow it's all the Democrats' fault.

    Paywall (none / 0) (#40)
    by linea on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 09:05:37 PM EST
    I couldn't read the link you provided because of a paywall.

    To thank the Washington Post (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 10:06:51 PM EST
    for their outstanding coverage of the campaign, I paid for a year's on-line subscription in October 2016. I have had unlimited free access ever since. (Shhh, don't tell anyone.) Anyway, there are innumerable free-access stories out there describing the White House budget proposal.

    The gun thing feels (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 05:01:34 PM EST
    A little different this time.  

    I think the coming electoral wave might be the first time being owned by the NRA might just not be a good thing.  

    Teenagers are literal creatures. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 03:00:56 PM EST
    Because the frontal lobes of their brains - which houses our cognitive processes such as logic and reason -- aren't fully developed, they've yet to master the fine adult art of situational rationalization like we've done.

    As anyone who's been either a parent or child knows, kids are generally conditioned from toddlerhood to accept the premise that adults will keep them safe from harm. Yet what teens have witnessed during this past week is their peers gunned down in the hallway of their own school, a place where kids are ostensibly supposed to be protected by adults in charge.

    Then, they got to watch numerous adults rationalize on TV and in other public forums why the government can't and shouldn't do anything to prevent these sorts of mass slaughters, because, you know, freedom and the Second Amendment and more freedom.

    So, is it really any surprise why the rote recitations and desultory logic on display in conservative circles this past week simply do not compute with teens, and why they're finally roused to call out adults on such self-absolving hypocrisies? And is anyone truly wondering how these kids are going to react to the no-increasingly vociferous and unhinged right-wing attacks upon their own? Because Charles Pierce sure isn't:

    "I've watched the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, stand up against the worst imaginable horror, and then stand up against the worst organized conservatism can throw at them.

    "This should be a frenetic, happy time. There are sports playoffs and theater production and prom season is right around the corner. Kids should be excited about college acceptances and scholarship possibilities. They shouldn't be going to this many funerals. They shouldn't have to be the vanguard in the fight against this country's insane attraction to its firearms. They didn't volunteer to be victims, but they sure as hell volunteered to be warriors.

    "Outside of the indecent algae like Jim Hoft, much of the reaction to what the kids are doing from the 'grown-ups' of the right has been utterly hilarious. Ben Shapiro, who literally has been wrapped in wingnut welfare swaddling since he was their age, has been tut-tutting the country about taking the emotional and immature reaction of these students too seriously. In National Review, Shapiro, who had a syndicated column when he was 17, had the brass-balled audacity to write, 'What, pray tell, did these students do to earn their claim to expertise?' High-larious, I tell ya.

    But the real high comedy has been to watch the conservative intelligentsia embark on a serious fool's errand --- namely, trying to battle with educated teenagers on social media. I mean, don't any of these people have kids between the ages of 10 and 20? This is like the Redcoats marching back to Boston from Lexington and Concord. They're taking fire from behind every tree and every stonewall, and they're getting slaughtered on platforms they've probably never heard of.

    "I was initially skeptical about whether or not Parkland was going to matter any more in the long run than Columbine, Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas mattered. A lot of that has melted away. This may be a sea change in the issue. There's a natural savvy at work here from kids who have spent the last few years creating communities on their laptops and phones. Now, instead of communities dedicated to TV shows, music, sports, fashion, and who's zoomin' who in fourth-period Bio, the communities being created are being created to design ongoing political action on an issue that literally was life and death a week ago.

    "This is how the anti-war movement, and the Civil Rights movement, got themselves going in the media Stone Age. It can happen faster now, and it can spread around the world, and these kids know that better than anyone else does."



    I (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 03:39:56 PM EST
    agree, these teenagers have a strong moral and intellectual clarity, born out of stolen innocence.

    That clarity has given them the ability to simply bulldoze right through any and all of the BS thrown at them yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    Now, if only the politicians, pundits and journalists would get a bit of that clarity.


    Charles Pierce, of course, nailed it today. (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 03:34:56 PM EST
    Charles Pierce: "Remember what I said about adults trying to stay with teenagers on social media? Yeah, it can get pretty bad."

    Sarah Chadwick #NeverAgain: "We should change the names of AR-15s to 'Marco Rubio' because they are so easy to buy."



    WOODY (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 03:59:12 PM EST
    the chocolate lab

    He is a rescue.  Yes I have 3 dogs again.

    Ohh, what a face! Such a sweet face. (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 06:09:46 PM EST
    Woody looks like a keeper.

    He snores (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 08:24:37 PM EST
    Like really loud.   Which I think is hilarious.   My dogs twitch and squeak and bark in their sleep but I've never had a dog that snored.

    I wonder if that is a Labrador thing. (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by vml68 on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:02:54 AM EST
    My Lab snores louder than my husband! I have had dogs that snored but it was a soft snore, nothing like this dog.

    My husband grumbles that when he snores, I complain, jab him with my elbow or give him a "gentle" kick, but when my Lab snores, I enjoy the sound.
    I don't know why but I find the sound of my dog's loud rumbling snore really soothing. It makes me fall asleep.


    That's a nice looking guy. (none / 0) (#84)
    by desertswine on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 04:10:52 PM EST
    hes a sweetheart (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 04:13:38 PM EST
    Congrats on your new family member (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 05:05:40 PM EST
    He looks attentive and smart.

    They say it's your birthday (5.00 / 4) (#160)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 07:01:18 PM EST
    Today would have been George Harrison's 75th.  My guitar gently weeps.

    Angus King (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    Is making news in this Intel hearing.

    I'm on a delay so it was minutes ago but you will see his remarks playing in a loop soon.

    This hearing is something (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 11:21:05 AM EST

    Some of the exchanges can only be described as surreal.

    Amazing stuff being admitted to here.


    Hannity can't be run over (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    by a slow-moving combine harvester too soon.

    He's re-tweeting stories now about Obama's portrait containing depictions of "hidden sperm" (ah, the conservative catholic imagination) and that the artist believes in "killing whitey."

    HES RIGHT! (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    I see them now!  No doubt about it.  


    And they are comin for ya Hannity.

    And they are black sperm.


    Geez Louise (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 03:21:23 PM EST
    Make sure (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 03:27:49 PM EST
    You check out the close-up.

    Hannity is nuts. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:00:49 PM EST
    There is a vas deferens between sperm and a forehead vein.  It is anti-semenism at its worst.

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 05:03:23 PM EST
    I'm seein it

    Maybe it all about semenatics


    Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:23:48 AM EST
    If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.

    I keep expecting to see (none / 0) (#43)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 10:53:21 PM EST
    Sean Spicer emerging from that wall of ivy behind Obama. . . .

    With that distraction, seeing Spicey in my mind every time I see that painting -- dozens of times on Twitter now -- the last thing that I would see would be anything remotely sexual.


    Hannity's twisted dog whistle (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:49:09 AM EST
    is a variation on the fantasy of rampant, out-of-control black men out there lurking in the shadows..

    He got nervous when people traced his meme back to some n-word weilding knuckle-walkers on 4Chan.


    That is one of my dogs (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 04:19:26 AM EST
    However mine does not have that fur do. I clip mine short.

    We have two cats. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 04:14:29 PM EST
    One we inherited from Younger Daughter, who adopted him as a stray at the UH-Hilo dorms a couple years ago but for obvious reasons couldn't keep him in her room. The other one was abandoned at my office building parking lot in downtown Hilo a few months ago, and after feeding him for a few days I decided to adopt him, subject to The Spouse's prior concurrence. I was worried whether he'd get along with our first cat, but they've been like two peas in a pod and enjoy each other's company. And they're very social around people.

    NYT is reporting that McGahn (none / 0) (#52)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:49:30 AM EST
    suggested to Porter in November that he resign as staff secretary.

    White House Counsel Don McGahn suggested to Rob Porter in November that he resign from his position as staff secretary after Porter's ex-girlfriend contacted McGahn about Porter's behavior, the New York Times reported Tuesday night, citing people familiar with the discussion.

    McGahn did not follow up on his suggestion to the since-ousted staff secretary, according to the New York Times.


    According to previous reporting, McGahn learned in September that Porter's security clearance had been delayed due to accusations of domestic violence, though it's not clear how McGahn learned that and how much detail he had at that time. Porter's ex-girlfriend then called McGahn in November. According to a previous Washington Post report, she told McGahn about the abuse allegations from Porter's ex-wives. According to the Tuesday New York Times report, she told McGahn that Porter had cheated on her and that he had anger problems.

    These people...

    Weather (none / 0) (#58)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 07:53:29 AM EST
    Or not.

    The forecast is saying that between now and next Saturday the chance of precipitation here is never lower than 80%.

    They say in some areas, and I am right in the bullseye , there could be 10 inches.

    Glad I live on a hill.


    My (none / 0) (#60)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 10:02:54 AM EST
    neck of the woods is on track for the warmest(and probably the driest) February ever.

    Hopefully, not like out here. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 12:53:55 PM EST
    The town of Kahaluu on Windward Oahu received a record 16 inches of rain yesterday, which completely shut down the main highway circling the island. We were lucky over here in east Hawaii island, having received only three inches. Oahu, Molokai and Maui were all royally walloped by this weekend's statewide monsoon and experienced significant flooding.

    Yes Donald, (none / 0) (#65)
    by fishcamp on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 01:35:47 PM EST
    my friend living in lower Kula, up on Haleakala facing towards Kahalui (sp), said he had 60 mph winds for about ten minutes forcing rain through his caulking on the big windows.  He's been up on the hill for over thirty years and has never seen anything like that.  It blew down many trees and his porch stuff is all over his land.  Usually they barely get enough rain to keep things green.

    Speaking of weather (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 02:08:54 PM EST
    I accidentally ran across this site looking up a term I heard on the science channel -Lichtenberg Figures - that were the result of a person being struck by lightening.

    I have decided I have to have one.



    It's thunderstorming here today, ... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 07:25:05 PM EST
    ... and while there's not a lot of wind, we're getting one helluva lot of rain this afternoon. It's one of those days in which you have no desire to leave the house if you don't have to go anywhere. I was going to do some yardwork this weekend, but the weather put a kibosh on that. It's supposed to clear up by Tuesday, hopefully long enough for me to at least mow the lawn.

    I'm sitting here in our home office / workroom finishing up a report that's due at USDA Rural Development on Friday. The Spouse is in the kitchen baking peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies for a school fundraiser this week. Younger Daughter is in Honolulu this long weekend visiting her sister, brother-in-law and her two nephews, and doing some shopping. (She returns to Hilo tonight.) And the cats are sleeping side by side in the basket next to my desk by the window, oblivious to the maelstrom just outside.



    We are moments away (none / 0) (#131)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 10:30:14 AM EST
    From the "end" of the cycle.

    There are flash flood warnings because it's been raining non stop for, well, whenever I made that original comment.

    It looks like the finale will be intense.  Sever storms.  Hail.  Wind.  5 torcon.

    Also 2-3 more inches.

    The good news is with all this we will still be in low levels of drought.

    Then 3 days and more rain.

    At least it's not cold.


    On the upside (none / 0) (#132)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:00:35 AM EST
    The WEATHER CNANNEL is all about me today.

    Also (none / 0) (#133)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:06:21 AM EST
    I have enough TRAMADOL for all 3 dogs.

    I am cooking (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    And drinking.  Not necessarily in that order

    Be careful in the kitchen, my friend (none / 0) (#137)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:47:16 AM EST
    Drinking and then cooking can be dangerous, what with the sharp edges of knives, and with stoves involving fire and all.

    I drink when I cook (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:56:25 AM EST
    Seriously.   It's a thing.   It really the only time I drink.  Usually lunch because that's my big meal.

    Shredded beef soft tacos with red beans brown rice and cheese

    Fu@king kill me.   I'm already in heaven


    PS (none / 0) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 12:02:03 PM EST
    It JUST started.  Horizontal and vertical rain.  Dogs under the bed in spite of TRAMADOL.

    here's the thing.  Last year the first week of May was epic flooding here.  Google AR flood 2017.

    Almost exactly one year later here we are.  

    I have been saying this area was becoming subtropical.  

    Why is a monsoon a surprise?


    I fell asleep (none / 0) (#145)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 05:48:43 PM EST
    I think we missed it

    4 more inches (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 06:05:30 PM EST
    On Wed.

    Ruben Gallego (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 09:50:12 AM EST
    is awsum

    Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tore into President Trump after the president suggested the FBI could have stopped a deadly shooting at a Florida high school if it spent less time working on the Russia investigation.

    "You are such a psychopath that you have to make even the death of 17 children about you," he tweeted.

    "America will regret the day you were ever born."

    "America will regret the day you (none / 0) (#62)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 12:33:53 PM EST
    were ever born."

    I already do.


    Meanwhile Donald Punk Jr (none / 0) (#79)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 05:34:05 PM EST
    "likes" tweets from conspiracy theory whackjobs attacking one of the survivors of the High School shooting.

    The Whitehouse is going have to be fumigated after it's vacated by the current trash occupants.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#61)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 11:22:03 AM EST
    Meanwhile, Over In Turkey . . .
    Secretary of State Tillerson is currently meeting with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is the lone US representative and Turkey's foreign minister is translating.

    Diplomatic malfeasance at best You don't have meetings like this without your own translator. You just don't. The typical process is that both sides have interpreters. Official A speaks, the interpreter for Official B tells Official B what was said, and the interpreter for Official A says some version of "Yes, that's correct" to verify the interpretation. Then it all works in reverse when Official B replies. With difficult issues under discussion, the last thing either side wants is confusion about what each side is saying.

    Excluding your own interpreter is so far outside of normal protocols it is unreal, and begs the ever-green question about most everything since 1/20/2017: idiot or crook?

    I'm going with crooked idiot over idiotic crook, but either could describe this entire administraton.

    WTF!!?? (none / 0) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 03:11:38 PM EST
    Surely Tillerson was not this careless when he was running Exxon. What on earth would lead anyone to believe meeting with a foreign official, alone without your own interpreter, was a good idea?

    These damn people, this damn administration, have turned "The Peter Principle" into a book about a dystopian democracy teetering on its last legs.


    I (none / 0) (#69)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 04:44:52 PM EST
    can not accept the level of stupidity needed to act this way. It smells like treason to me, I can see no other motive far this.

    The ground starts to crack under Bibi's feet. (none / 0) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 12:43:37 PM EST
    The rumbling started with last week's recommendation by Israeli police to their country's Attorney General that Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu be criminally prosecuted for corruption and bribery in the burgeoning Bezeq Group influence peddling scandal. The news was met with derision by Netanyahu, who claimed that the allegations are politically motivated and further predicted that nothing would come of it.

    But now, With today's announcement by Israeli authorities that seven members of the prime minister's political inner circle had been arrested yesterday on charges of public corruption in the Bezeq scandal, it's pretty apparent that the combative Netanyahu is apparently in far greater legal jeopardy than he might have previously thought.

    With these latest developments, what was formerly a simmering ethics problem has now burst into the open. Given the close relationship between Washington and Tel Aviv, these events are now worth watching more closely, to see how they unfold.


    HERE AND NOW (none / 0) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 02:34:05 PM EST
    Anyone one following this but me?

    It's really good.

    HOMELAND (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 04:57:27 PM EST

    I have always liked this series.   And I guess I will keep up if for no other reason than to see how far off the rails it can go or what mind blowing plot twist is planned.

    But in a world where Hillary is Hitler and the only one telling the truth is Alex Jones .....

    .....don't know how to finish that.


    Indiewire (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 05:05:10 PM EST

    Just over a year ago, "Homeland" elected a female president, and today it's still the most relevant modern-day spy series on television. Season 7 sees an administration as brutally divided as its country, a revolution on the rise, and government officials willing to take drastic efforts to preserve whatever version of America they believe in. The first episode (all that was provided in advance for critics) sees the president called "a fascist," described as "thuggish," and leading a vengeful witch hunt inside her own agencies.

    Creating a compelling narrative from real-world parallels has always been a specialty of the Showtime drama, but this year feels particularly aggressive. Everyone is on edge. Politics have invaded every sphere of society, including the home life, and what really resonates after the first hour is a personal question: "Homeland" asks if Claire Danes' hero of the past six seasons has been driven irreversibly mad -- that even when she's at her most objectively sane self, she's still become part of the problem -- or if she's the only person who can save the world.


    "Homeland" is uniquely positioned to tackle these questions, given the studious pre-season producers' sessions (with ex-CIA operatives and other intelligence officers) and Carrie's persistently human core, still intact after all these years. Where she ends up at the end of Season 7 feels more pressing than ever: Her future isn't the only one at risk.

    Grade: A-



    There are aspects this season thate good (none / 0) (#73)
    by Towanda on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 10:15:11 PM EST
     but ever since Claire Danes gained more producer power, the show can be so annoying.  I guess that the directors can't tell her to find somethg short of frenetic -- or cut her narciisstic mirror-gazing and other wastes of time taken from good plots.

    Is that what changed? (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 03:17:46 PM EST
    I caught an episode last night. Thought it seemed odd in voice compared to past episodes.

    I did like the righteous (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 05:03:38 PM EST
    Flailing of the hacker.  The whole world was saying, aloud like me or to themselves, YEAH.

    Couldn't they have made him (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 08:47:46 PM EST
    Look more like Assange?

    It seems Homeland (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 10:54:17 AM EST
    assumed Hillary would be elected and modeled its President after her.  When that did not work out, they made the President a paranoid fascists.

    I haven't seen season 7 yet (none / 0) (#75)
    by CST on Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 01:50:42 PM EST
    But I find it interesting that they classify Claire Danes as the "hero" of Homeland.  I get that she's the main character, and she's often seen literally saving everyone, but has she ever really been a "hero"?  It's not the first term I'd use to describe her character.

    HATED IN THE NATION (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 22, 2018 at 03:45:08 PM EST
    Netflix series BLACK MIRROR.  Season 3 episode 6.

    Seriously one of the creepiest things I've seen in a long time.  A 21st century cautionary tale on many levels.


    Black Mirror is about seeing how far technology stretches human emotions. "Hated in the Nation" doesn't have to push nearly as far as you might expect to go from "social media outrage cycle" to "literal swarms of insects killing people."

    Black Mirror is about worlds that have ended already -- they just don't know it yet
    Truth be told, I was a sucker for "Hated" from the second that first little drone bee crawled around on a flower. The deeper I got into season three of Black Mirror, the more I started to realize that the show is, on some level, about a series of worlds where the apocalypse has come and nobody's realized it yet.

    You can pry the CPAC podium (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 09:56:08 AM EST
    Out of Trump's cold dead hands :)

    He doesn't seem to want to get back to the White House.

    I don't want him to get back to the White House (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by vml68 on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:05:11 AM EST
    He doesn't seem to want to get back to the White House.

    Does he leave town this weekend? (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:27:43 AM EST
    Or is it too crazy with Gates?

    Of course! He has reason to celebrate. (none / 0) (#97)
    by vml68 on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 12:24:23 PM EST
    After all, he "has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency" according to him.
    That calls for a round or two of golf and the best chocolate cake!

    I remember how grumpy he got the weekend (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 05:33:18 PM EST
    He couldn't leave. But his Twitter can't get much worse right now. 2nd thought, Maybe it can

    I think it can (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 05:38:14 PM EST
    See my link below about Kushners security clearance

    I suspect the "significant information requiring further investigation" would be his imminent indictment by Muller or the state of NY or both.


    I'm in the loudest ass bar right now (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 05:55:57 PM EST
    And my husband demanding updates :)

    The White Oak FDA is a honey badger. Zero Trump phucks given tonight.


    Money paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 06:03:35 PM EST
    From the Kushner story

    In the call, Rosenstein did not say whether the information that had come to the attention of the Justice Department was learned by the FBI in its standard background clearance investigation of White House staff. Rosenstein also oversees the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who has scrutinized Kushner's contacts with foreign officials and business dealings as he examines Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

    Thank you Captain (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 06:06:35 PM EST
    And school teachers. The band revealed the bar is half full of school teachers. And they're drunk. The I'm armed jokes aren't repeatable.

    Clearly (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:30:52 AM EST
    He thinks he is Castro

    I was on MSNBC (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:32:56 AM EST
    The anchor reeled off a list of authoritarian leaders he's heard such speeches from. Bahahaha, Iran was in there

    I was switching (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 10:40:33 AM EST
    Just to see how long he could go.

    I didn't watch the SOTU (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 11:23:41 AM EST
    But couldn't miss CPAC. So nucking futz you don't believe it until you see it for yourself.

    He did look uncomfortable when the crowd started chanting lock her up. A whole room full of irrational psychos. The crowd immediately picked up on his discomfort and stopped. It's like an uber dysfunctional marriage.

    Rumor in media that McMaster and Kelly trying to draw a line about security clearances. Threatening to leave their positions. Kushner cannot be under Mueller investigation, failed background investigation and conflicts of interest, and still have access to classified information.

    We couldn't see how either McMaster or Kelly could carry on with such protocol and protections violation, but it's a shame they had to get caught first.

    Reporters now asking how Ivanka can brief President of South Korea without a security clearance? Does she have the necessary clearance? Keep on it press. My God, the security breach is astonishing and really criminal because they intend to violate security protocol. This isn't a couple of mislabeled documents on an email server.

    I think that is why he froze during the lock her up chants. I think for the moment someone has him understanding how incompetent his information security has been, maybe even criminal. If he talks about Hillary and classified malfeasance his classified information conduct has a light shone on it.


    It's frightening how utterly nuts these (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 12:42:00 PM EST
    people are.

    Maybe Trump had a moment of "one day they will be chanting this at me!"

    Not sure he's aware enough of the irony; the man who had to have a cheat sheet reminding him to say "I hear you," and the man who never read a speech someone else didn't write for him, the man who doesn't have a thought until someone on the Fox network tells him what to think - is the same guy railing at CNN over the probably-not-even-true accusation that they scripted the question of exactly one of the CNN town hall participants.

    I'm not sure how much longer all of this nonsense can go on, and I truly have no idea how the entire West Wing hasn't been shut down and barred from seeing anything classified until the lot of them have the necessary clearances.

    I would pay to see this man and his many minions locked up, the sooner the better.


    A President can read anyone in they want (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 12:57:26 PM EST
    They can classify and declassify whatever they choose whenever they choose. We've just never had anyone try to say, "Screw all the rules, especially for my conflicted interests children!" Republicans attempted to say Clinton did this, but she didn't. The Trumps are really doing it though.

    It's a gray area, that during this Presidency may get some definition.

    He's going to forget all the whys like he always does, and when it's pointed out to him again that Jared and Ivanka didn't pass, he's gonna get angry and do what he wants.



    I know Trump can just decide that it (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 01:17:41 PM EST
    doesn't matter about the conflicts or the fact that Kushner is likely under investigation - it just strikes me that this man has the laziest mind in the world, and as long as he doesn't have to think about the threats and the intel because someone else is willing to do it, he's fine with that - regardless of how compromised they may be.

    I just know without a scintilla of doubt that if any of these same people were named "Clinton" or "Obama," they'd have already been impeached, convicted and ridden out of town on a rail.


    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 01:44:37 PM EST
    The thing that would be troubling me is that there are reams of legal paperwork that back up the protocols for security clearances.

    Even if the President is immune, are his subordinates immune from having to follow those once they've been caught so to speak? Isn't there a point of violation where you might not be under Presidential protection, and then you go to prison?


    Rick Gates pleads guilty (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 01:53:48 PM EST
    To conspiracy against the United States. And he was just a covfefe boy.

    I just.....can't not imagine that Jared Kushner is going to have something more in common with his father when this presidency is over.

    It looks like one of Mueller's (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 04:23:00 PM EST
    indictees may be the same guy running the Russian "mercenaries" in Syria; an oligarch named Yevgeny Prigozhin.

    I know some folks speculating (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 07:22:00 PM EST
    That the Russian mercenary  attack on US troops in Syria was Russia testing the strength of a US military response and response time to a US troop assault under orange Buffoon.

    They also think the China visit nuclear football struggle was also button pushing. Because our President is such a buffoon, there is no real downside to screwing with us. Some crispy mercs in Syria, but the world hates mercenaries so nobody cares if their dying words were Pootie made them do it


    I don't know... I found the attack baffling. (none / 0) (#126)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 09:50:30 PM EST
    I can't understand it.                      

    Buffoon is an understatement.


    It's funny (none / 0) (#103)
    by CST on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 02:10:08 PM EST
    I started out this whole thing thinking Trump didn't collude with the Russians, but was almost certainly into some financial shady $hit and might get caught up anyway.

    After the Trump tower meeting I began to think - maybe they really are dumb enough to have colluded with the Russians.

    By the end of this I suspect he will wish he had never fired Comey.


    I believe that Trump & Co. did not make ... (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 03:56:35 PM EST
    ... the initial approach to the Russians, and that the entire U.S. election interference effort in 2016 was the Kremlin's sole initiative from the start. However, it's also painfully evident that each time Moscow's representatives approached the Trumpsters, not only did they take the meetings, they did not disclose any such meetings to the proper federal authorities, as should've been done.

    When all is finally said and done in this entire regrettable affair, I think history will record that the absolute worst business decision Trump ever made in his life was the day he decided to run for president, because it was an impulsive move which has subsequently opened up his entire professional and personal life to serious scrutiny by the general public and law enforcement.



    I (none / 0) (#111)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    think the "approach" has been years in the making, tRump and his posse were easy marks for the Russians who are constantly looking out for crooks and fools who are blinded by ego and greed.

    The Russians did not come into tRumplandia from the cold, they have been a major part of it for at least a decade. They were quite happy to let him launder their money, with the bonus of him being a divisive demagogue that played right into the same information warfare that Putin was launching.



    Some speculate (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 02:57:00 PM EST
    Manafort is resisting so long because of an offer of pardon.

    I think that's possible but it's more likely considering the people he has history with he is in fear of not just his but his families life.

    Plutonium enemas for everyone.


    I'm pretty sure that's not going to work (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by CST on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 03:16:40 PM EST
    out for him.  The pardon that is.

    For one I'm not sure it would come, but mostly, a number of these things are illegal under state law too and the president can't pardon you for that.

    Fear makes much more sense.  Also, frankly, let's not discount hubris.


    Hard to explain Gates (none / 0) (#114)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 05:29:32 PM EST
    Lying to MueLler in the process of his proffer, which he admitted, as anything but hubris.

    Busy Fri news dump.  This plus more charges for Manafort and The DOJ sez no clearance for Jared


    More (none / 0) (#122)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 06:52:21 PM EST
    importantly what and who he lied about  
    Per the court filing, Gates on Feb. 1 knowingly and falsely testified that "there were no discussions of Ukraine" at a March 19, 2013 meeting between Manafort, "a senior Company A lobbyist," and "a Member of Congress."

    Though the document does not name the other two participants, their identities can be pieced together from contemporaneous news reports and recent filings with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

    The member of Congress appears have been Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), jokingly nicknamed "Putin's favorite congressman" for his strong pro-Russia stance. Manafort's June 2017 FARA filing- which acknowledges that his firm, DMP International, LLC, conducted millions of dollars in business with the pro-Russia Ukrainian Party of Regions -notes that he met with Rohrabacher on that day. Three days later, Manafort donated $1,000 to Rohrabacher's congressional campaign.

    Even more importantly, what is Muellers interest in that meeting? Better lawyer up Dana.

    Just like the Dutch lawyer (which seemed gratuitous for such a small fish) Mueller seems to be leaving clues, by which lies(out of multitudes) he pounces on.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#125)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 08:28:12 PM EST
    One interesting thing about Gates is he was the connection between the campaign and the RNC.  Dana might not be the only one sweating bullets tonight.

    We may find out the source of so many republicans willingness to throw themselves on the track in front of the Mueller train.


    I have (none / 0) (#127)
    by FlJoe on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 05:56:56 AM EST
    been picking at this thread
    Best as we understand, former Skadden associate van der Zwaan pled guilty, with no forward cooperation requirement, for having hidden some communications he had with Rick Gates, Greg Craig (who must be the senior partner described), and Konstantin Kilimnik (believed to be Person A) in September 2016 about the aftermath of a report Skadden had done on the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko.

    This Kilimnik
    In an effort to collect previously undisclosed millions of dollars he's owed by an oligarch-backed Ukrainian political party, Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been relying on a trusted protégé whose links to Russia and its Ukrainian allies have prompted concerns among Manafort associates, according to people who worked with both men.

    The protégé, Konstantin Kilimnik, has had conversations with fellow operatives in Kiev about collecting unpaid fees owed to Manafort's company by a Russia-friendly political party called Opposition Bloc, according to operatives who work in Ukraine.

    A Russian Army-trained linguist who has told a previous employer of a background with Russian intelligence, Kilimnik started working for Manafort in 2005 when Manafort was representing Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, a gig that morphed into a long-term contract with Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin-aligned hard-liner who became president of Ukraine.


    I have known Greg Craig (slightly) since 1976 (none / 0) (#130)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 10:22:30 AM EST
    I literally inherited his desk at the Federal Public Defender office where he and then I worked in the mid-to-late '70s. He has always been a straight shooter, a terrific lawyer, intellectually gifted, and a devoted "Kennedy/Clinton/Obama Democrat." I find it almost impossible that he would be mixed up in this in any way that was improper, much less culpable.

    A lot (none / 0) (#142)
    by FlJoe on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 02:16:04 PM EST
    more here   How Skadden, the Giant Law Firm, Got Entangled in the Mueller Investigation  
    After the conversation with the business associate, prosecutors said, Mr. van der Zwaan called the senior Skadden lawyer on the Ukrainian project, Gregory B. Craig, who served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama. Court filings do not reveal what was discussed, and Mr. Craig was not identified by name by prosecutors.

    Skadden worked for the Ukrainian government on a 2012 report analyzing the prosecution of one of Mr. Yanukovych's leading political rivals, the former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates used an offshore account to "funnel $4 million to pay for the report," according to court papers, which note that the financial arrangement "was not disclosed." It is not clear how much of the $4 million went to Skadden.

    The study was used by Mr. Yanukovych's allies to rebut international criticism that the prosecution and jailing of Ms. Tymoshenko was politically motivated and lacked sufficient evidence. But it was widely dismissed as a flawed attempt to paper over concerns about Mr. Yanukovych's abuses, and other lobbyists promoting Mr. Yanukovych's government said they declined to promote the report for lack of credibility.

    Skadden did not respond to questions about the financing of its Ukraine work, but it said in a statement that the report was independent and noted that it found that Ms. Tymoshenko "was denied basic rights under Western legal standards."

    The Washington lobbyists who worked on the issue with Mercury and Podesta said that Mr. Craig himself was involved in promoting the report to journalists and members of Congress -- activity that experts said should have prompted FARA registration requirements.

    Skadden internally reviewed the FARA implications of its Ukraine work before deciding not to register, according to the consultant who worked with the firm on the report.

    Well, if Greg Craig is somehow involved, ... (none / 0) (#144)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 04:47:15 PM EST
    ... it's probably only tangentially, i.e., through mere professional association with the accused, and not per any conscious effort on his part. We are not our brother's keepers. It's a shame that good people sometimes get dragged into a scandal through no fault of their own.

    I don't consider representing a scumbag (none / 0) (#157)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 12:35:46 PM EST
    to be a way of being "involved" -- not even "tangentially." Hey, like J, I am a criminal defense lawyer! It's a noble and ethically unassailable profession, no matter what people may say, when undertaken according to the rules. My concern is the suggestion in the cited news story that Craig (and his partners at the Skadden firm) may have been working not so much for Manafort as for the pro-Russian government of Ukraine, yet not have registered as the agent of a foreign government while doing so, as required by federal law.

    For Criminal Defendants, yes, (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 04:57:26 PM EST
    but not civil clients.  Big civil law firms are all about money--not principle, legal standards, the Constitution, or ideas.

    I do hold civil law firms responsible for the clients they represent.  It does say who you are.  And big firms are very cognizant of who they represent and often turn down work if it is not compatible with various concerns.

    I was a partner in one of the largest civil practice firms.  I learned earlier than most how to negotiate internal law firms politics by learning that the single organizing principle of civil law firms is money.  It was interesting to me how many otherwise savvy lawyers failed to get that.  They would not last long, however.  How much money do you bring in?  The more money, the better the lawyer you are.  End of story.

    Civil law firms are not John Adams representing the perpetrators of the Boston Massacre.  They, Peter, are not you.  I do question them.


    As you said, Peter, ... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 02:13:26 AM EST
    ... you are a criminal defense counsel, and that is indeed a noble profession. Everyone has the right to counsel when they are under criminal arrest or indictment. And I would never put you on the same level as the folks at Skadden, who were engaged by Manafort, et al., as counsel in civil matters pertaining to the late pro-Kremlin Ukrainian regime headed by former President Viktor F. Yanukovych.

    Any decision to be retained for such a dubious enterprise rested entirely with that firm, and no doubt the principals saw it as strictly business. Except that sometimes, such matters can evolve to the point where they should no longer be viewed and / or characterized as just "strictly business." This, I would suggest, was one of them.

    Regarding your former acquaintance Mr. Craig, I'm perfectly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether he was entirely aware of the actual extent of the corruption that was involved with this particular client. But as he more than likely knows now, those people who dared to oppose President Yanukovych did so at their own considerable risk.

    Sometimes, we are the company we choose to keep. And Paul Manafort paid for Skadden's services with what his own daughter called "blood money." How bad was Manafort? He was both a hustler and a grafter. For the gory details, I would strongly urge you and everyone here to read the well-detailed profile of the man in the March 2018 issue of The Atlantic, appropriately titled "The Plot Against America."



    I don't know that I agree with such a (none / 0) (#163)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 01:04:53 PM EST
    stark contrast being drawn between criminal and civil representation, but thanks for the kind and complimentary words, MKS and Donald.

    Polonium (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 06:30:15 PM EST

    Polonium (none / 0) (#124)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 07:27:12 PM EST

    It all puts too much color in your cheeks :)


    Ya (none / 0) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 10:03:33 AM EST
    Thank u spell correct

    Now that possible pardon (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 04:46:45 PM EST
    Might occur, attorneys discussing that a Manafort pardon would trigger a wave of states that could charge Manafort lining up to charge him. From what I have read not every state would allow charging of Manafort after a Trump pardon.

    ANNIHILATION (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 03:14:41 PM EST
    I can't wait to see this.  

    An intellectually ambitious, formally striking, and altogether out-there odyssey, Alex Garland's film begins conventionally before spiraling into ever-more-hallucinatory realms, its every element in perfect harmony with its larger themes--all of which resound not as definitive statements but as haunting questions that linger long after the credits have rolled. In just about every respect, it's the finest cinematic sci-fi in years--or, at least, since Garland's prior Ex Machina.


    I just started the audio book.  First in the SOUTHERN REACH trilogy.  It's excellent.

    MUTE (none / 0) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 03:45:47 PM EST
    Dropped today

    "Mute" closes with a dedication to director Duncan Jones' childhood nanny, and to his father, David Jones, aka David Bowie. Even before that blatant acknowledgement, "Mute" has obvious personal ramifications for the director by communing with Bowie's legacy, with a Ziggy Stardust remix of neo-noir tropes. From a familiar set of references, the movie forges an unexpected narrative stew -- namely, the story of a voiceless Amish man in a "Blade Runner"-inspired Berlin (which, of course, carries plenty of Bowie resonance on its own). "Mute" is ludicrous, but within the confines of its referential logic, also pretty cool.

    It's a mad gamble that works better than it should, and though it never quite finds its natural rhythm, stands out as one of the strangest Netflix original productions to date -- a messy, off-the-wall conceit made with a sizable budget -- and it could only have found support from a studio capable of luring audiences on the basis of the movie's resemblance to other material. Whereas "Bright" offered Netflix subscribers hip to Will Smith movies and "Lord of the Rings" the mashup they never really needed, "Mute" suggests what might happen if a user had "Blade Runner," "Witness" and "M*A*S*H" stacked together in a Netflix queue and flipped between the three until they became interchangeable. In an age of algorithms-mandated greenlights, we know for a fact that things could be worse

    This director (none / 0) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 at 06:26:05 PM EST
    Also did MOON.  The great Sam Rockwell movie.   There is a great moment in this one where we see what looks like a congressional hearing with a room full of Sam Bells (actually Sam Rockwell) shouting "hey, I'm Sam Bell too!"

    This is really good (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 10:02:54 AM EST
    Bryce Tache is now fully the (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:09:06 AM EST
    Susan Sarandon candidate


    Who is Bryce Tache? (none / 0) (#136)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:44:51 AM EST
    A candidate on the left (none / 0) (#138)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:52:13 AM EST
    Challenging Paul Ryan. I started following news on him when Towanda posted about how flawed he was as a candidate. There is another Dem candidate in the primary but her support was very weak. Perhaps we can get her some eyes and some money now.

    Cathy Myers is the woman running (none / 0) (#150)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 08:32:47 PM EST
    in the Democratic primary in Paul Ryan's district. She is a solid candidate. My money is going to her.

    Check her out. Much better candidate than Randy Bryce.


    Here is a link to Myers' website. (none / 0) (#151)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 08:40:27 PM EST

    I'm sorry Casey, it's Randy Bryce (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 11:57:17 AM EST
    I follow Bryce Tache on Twitter too.

    Randy Bryce I know. (none / 0) (#149)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 08:28:21 PM EST

    And yes, the woman running against Bryce in the primary appears to be a very good candidate. I do not understand why Bryce is getting all the love.


    I think a change might be (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 09:23:17 PM EST
    Coming to that race. A lot of comments on Twitter that Sarandon is doing some heavy damage to his support.

    Trying to get through the Dem House Intel memo. Mind bending.

    Went to see 'Annihilation' today. It was a nice break but it's wild how things change in just the time it takes going to a movie and dinner.


    You're going to have (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 03:02:25 PM EST
    to update me on that story.

    It seems to me (none / 0) (#153)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 09:24:48 PM EST
    That having Sarandon support you might be a kiss of death now. At least the Twitter comments seem to indicate that.

    Not sure if many people care about ... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 01:56:50 PM EST
    ... about Sarandon's opinion one way or the other, but if I lived in Wisconsin, Sarandon's endorsement alone would make me choose Bryce's primary opponent.

    Bernie Sanders campaigned with (none / 0) (#154)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 10:36:13 PM EST
    Bryce today.

    I went and checked twitter (none / 0) (#155)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 06:45:52 AM EST
    There was something about Myers polling ahead of Bryce that set him off or his supporters off. Myers has actually run for office before and won. Apparently Bryce was not telling the truth when talking about this being his first time running as apparently he has run a few times before and lost.  The combo of Sarandon and Bernie what is the guy thinking? After the news of the Mueller indictment saying the troll farms were pushing Bernie I wouldn't think that he would be much of a campaign asset either.

    I guess he panicked (none / 0) (#156)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 25, 2018 at 08:04:02 AM EST
    Need to hear from Towanda on the ground.

    Ok (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 06:45:46 PM EST
    I get that I'm old but could some one explain THIS to me?

    Ren & Stumpy it's LOG LOG LOG

    Chinese children (none / 0) (#148)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 24, 2018 at 07:36:58 PM EST
    can't make them fast enough

    Fidget spinners have become so popular that many factories in China that usually focus on smartphone cases and accessories have switched over to fidget spinners full time, according to a report in Motherboard

    Fidget Spinner is the new yo-yo (none / 0) (#164)
    by linea on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 02:06:56 PM EST
    Bull (none / 0) (#165)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 03:29:30 PM EST
    Plus the question was why is this a thing not what are they.

    From your link

    Don't believe the spin

    In fact, many retailers market the devices as a tool to help people focus, and help with controlling things such as PTSD, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But according to Scott Kollins, a clinical psychologist and professor at Duke University, "there's no evidence to support that claim."

    Kollins says that there's been no research shown that proves fidget spinners are effective at addressing those issues.

    "I know there's lots of similar toys, just like there's lots of other games and products marketed toward individuals who have ADHD, and there's basically no scientific evidence that those things work across the board," Kollins says.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2011 as many as 6.4 million children between the ages of four and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD.

    Kollins says that because there is such a large number of children with ADHD, a lot of parents are searching for help, making them vulnerable to targeted -- and potentially false -- marketing.

    "If their description says specifically that this can help for ADHD, they're basically making false claims because these have not been evaluated in proper research," he says.

    Kollins says he hasn't had parents or patients ask him about fidget spinners, yet, but he would rather they focus on some of the tried and true treatments.

    "It's important for parents and teachers who work with kids who have ADHD to know that there are very well studied and documented treatments that work, and that they're out there, so there's not really quick and easy fixes like buying a toy," he says. "It's important that people don't get into trying these fads when we do have treatments that can help these kids."



    Grow up (none / 0) (#169)
    by linea on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 05:23:39 PM EST
    The fact that you would try to start an argument over my completely innocuous post on Fidget Spinners highlights what an incessantly trollish and surly person you are. Also, you clearly neither viewed the video I provided nor read the article I linked to.

    P.S. The word innocuous means `not intended or likely to offend or upset anyone.' I really have no expectation that you know this word given your ongoing childish behavior toward me thus I'm providing the definition as a kindness.


    PS (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 05:46:02 PM EST
    a yo yo actually does something

    Speaking of yo yo's (none / 0) (#174)
    by fishcamp on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 06:00:26 PM EST
    I was a yo yo champ for a while in grade school.  Back then Japanese yo yo men came to the local candy store to carve tropical scenes on our Duncan yo yo's.  That was the same school that is now a bed and breakfast brew pub in Portland.

    yo yos are awsum (none / 0) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 06:02:00 PM EST
    and require real skill.  if that thing is the new anything its the new pet rock.

    "Kindness" (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 07:09:03 PM EST
    "Kindness" - [kahynd-nis]


    1. the state or quality of being kind:

    2.  a kind act; favor:

    Constantly explaining the definition of words that are known by your average 1st grader is the opposite of a "kindness".

    who starting an argument (none / 0) (#170)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 05:42:15 PM EST
    i said your ignorant pointless answer to a question that was not asked was nonsense.

    any thing ther need a definition?


    Over the weekend (none / 0) (#162)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 09:25:29 AM EST
    I was chatting with a very old friend about the good ole days and one that came up was once in NY of the late 70s we were at a performance of Wayne County and the Electric Chairs and I blew chunks all over him (my friend, not Wayne) and the stage and got a round of applause.

    Ah, those were the days.  It put me in a nostalgic mood so I went looking for Wayne County videos and found this great inter view with who had by the become Jane County.

    And just for good measure Wayne and the Chairs - I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

    Watch what was the republican party (none / 0) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 03:43:24 PM EST
    Disintegrate before your eyes.

    Watch The despicable Matt Schlapp 'publican-splain saying electing a "black guy" republican party chairman was a mistake

    Basically it's ok because he has said bad things about the Dear Leader.

    Try (none / 0) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 03:48:19 PM EST
    this link

    While you are at it

    check out what Mona Charen said that caused her to need to be escorted out by security


    Sorry no video (none / 0) (#168)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 04:06:11 PM EST
    Bluegal doesn't think Mona Charen is so brave (none / 0) (#171)
    by leap on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 05:43:43 PM EST
    and should not get a pass. She's just another Republican trying to build a lifeboat to drift away from the forty-year apex of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. They built him, he speaks for them.

    none of them (none / 0) (#173)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 05:55:29 PM EST
    who are currently bashing Trump should get a pass for their years of knee jerk conservatism.

    IMO that does not mean we should pile on her for speaking truth.  especially in that forum.


    also (none / 0) (#175)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 06:00:45 PM EST
    i would like to see the repblican party rescued.  her, Krytol, Boot and the rest of the never Trumpers are not my usual allies.

    but we need a functioning 2 party (at least) system.  i really think we may be seeing the end of the republican party as we have known it.  which we might agree sounds good but what will replace it?

    will it be Matt Schlapp and Roy Moore?  not better IMO.  


    That is a good question. (none / 0) (#178)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 08:07:46 PM EST
    Max Boot has already advocated for a completely new party. The problem appears to be that there are not enough never Trumpers to have much more than a 3rd party. The way it could work is to have the collapse of party like the Whigs and people leave that party in mass and form a new party.

    As far as I can tell (none / 0) (#179)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 26, 2018 at 08:31:29 PM EST
    Boot and his fellow never Trumpets are losing.  At least for now.

    They have all the brain power and very little of the voter support.   That could shake out many different ways.  

    There is talk of a Kasich/Hickenlooper fusion ticket in 2020.

    That IMO would not be great.  It could get traction and deny a win and give us one of the many "Trumps with less obvious insanty" as a president.