Filming Day, Open Thread

I'm filming today and will be home late tomorrow night. The East coast weather sure is humid. No, I'm not in a fancy place like NY or Miami. I'll give details later, assuming I don't end up on the cutting room floor.

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

< Travel Day and Open Thread | 4th Cir. Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban >
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    Knock 'em dead, J! (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:53:24 AM EST

    America's Shooting Gallery, Part MMDCCVIII: (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:25:30 PM EST
    Today's site is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which is located just north of Fort Lauderdale.

    Estimated casualties are between 20 to 40 victims, according to preliminary reports. 14 people have been transported to area hospitals. It's expected that there are multiple fatalities.

    And how nice that Trump has spoken with Gov. Rick Scott, as has Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen. No doubt, that'll make everything so much better.

    On MSNBC, the silver lining being presented by the network's so-called experts is "Thank God more people weren't hurt." Thus The New Normal. Oy.


    There were two police officers stationed ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:47:26 PM EST
    ... at the school at the time of the shooting, no doubt providing deterrence.

    NBC affiliate WTBJ-TV is reporting ... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:28:50 PM EST
    ... the figure of 17 killed. The suspect is a 19-year-old former student who had been expelled last year.

    That this sort of carnage keeps happening over and again just makes me angry. We're losing over 30,000 people a year to gun violence. It's long past time we start holding our public officials and the NRA accountable.

    I'm signing off here for the rest of the day, because if I hear anyone talking about the sanctity of our Second Amendment rights, I'm going to totally go off on them. That they would treat these young victims treated as though they enjoyed no constitutional right to live just disgusts me.

    An American tragedy. Thoughts and prayers. [Insert your platitude here.]


    Lots of "thoughts and prayers" (none / 0) (#14)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:27:22 PM EST
    headed down to Florida.

    Science says.. (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 12:55:39 PM EST
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Verified account

    Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.


    Coincidentally (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 06:23:34 PM EST
    I was at a memorial service for a HS classmate, and someone complimented me on my letter to the editor in today's paper.  I had to ask which one, I send them all the time. Then I had to go out and buy a paper, but it also has the Saturday NYT crossword, the hardest there is (which is barely hard enough, so I have to do it with a Sharpie).

    This is the letter:

    If recent history is any guide, we will soon hear Republican members of Congress sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the most recent school shooting.

    Am I the only person to notice that this "solution" to the problem does not seem to be working?

    The part that gets me (none / 0) (#175)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 08:18:42 PM EST
    is the number of the fervently religious who are also fervently, near-obsessively pro-gun..

    So, they claim to have a personal relationship with the all-powerful creator of the multiverse, who raises the dead and heals the sick, yet they feel so vulnerable that they need an arsenal of weapons in order to feel safe and protected, as if we were all living in some post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie landscape


    I'm watching live video.. (none / 0) (#18)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 04:08:03 PM EST
    right now of all those high school kids leaving the area with their hands in the air.  This is pathetic.  What's wrong with this place?  We can count on our nra bought and paid for politicians to do nothing once again.

    Worse, horrifying video (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Towanda on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:07:05 PM EST
    is from students inside classrooms, when the shooter enters, and the bullets fly.

    Even when, in one video, the police arrive to help, they are heavily armed and dressed all in black and terrifying to see -- and the videos show students shaking, screaming in terror.

    This is so awful. My daughter is a teacher. . . .

    And I am awful for being grateful that I am retired from teaching and no longer have to take my annual "live shooter" training, no longer have to start every semester by checking my classrooms for routes out and planning which door to try to close while getting us out another door -- if there are two -- and no longer have to start every class by identifying veterans and others to whom I would turn to assist in blocking doors and getting us out.  

    Today, watching this, I automatically was adding to my to-do list to have students put cellphones in airplane mode, so that their phones would not ring -- and then I realized that I am retired and no longer have to do this.


    MSNBC is reporting that the sheriff (none / 0) (#23)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:11:51 PM EST
    says there are 17 dead.  Horrific.

    17 confirmed dead, per the sheriff. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:13:05 PM EST
    This is the 12th school shooting this year.

    Florida is also ground zero (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:13:06 PM EST
    for the Sandy Hook "hoax" crowd.

    They should be real busy now getting to the bottom of this new gun-grabber false flag operation that's happened right in their home state.


    My current favorite infamous (none / 0) (#199)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 10:42:09 PM EST
    Florida story, is one I just read about recently concerning how "The Senator," a 3,500 year old Cypress tree and the oldest known tree in Florida, was burned to the ground by a meth addict who climbed inside a hollow part of the trunk to get high.

    Please (none / 0) (#30)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 06:46:03 PM EST
    Can someone post a link to cellphone videos taken by the students?

    Why? (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:19:15 PM EST
    I'd rather not look.

    It's been all over cable news, linea. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:23:52 PM EST
    Do your own search, please.

    I'm done!! (none / 0) (#31)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:15:48 PM EST
    I am no longer going to pussyfoot on this topic.

    The 2nd Amendment is an anachronism.

    If it can't be repealed than the minimum the Federal goverment can do is ban all handguns and long rifles -- and specify the Single Shot Shotgun as the official arms of the militia and the only authorized weapon for hunting and self defense.

    Then restrict access to shells and sabot and move the Federal prohibition for sawed-off shotguns from 18-inch to 26-inch (hat tip for barrel length to outdoorlife.com). Yes, I've researched this topic and I am sensitive to the popularity of hunting among rural males.

    I realize these restrictions won't completely eliminate every tragedy, but having only long-barreled single shot hunting shotguns and restricted ammunition would reduce the carnage significantly.


    Yeah. They'll get right on that (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:23:47 PM EST
    Right after they're done with sending thoughts and prayers.

    Also, where do you come to the conclusion that hunting is popular only with "rural males"? That is one of the most ignorant statements you have ever posted.


    You are right, I know better (none / 0) (#35)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:34:03 PM EST
    Hunting is extremely popular, not just among the rural population but across America in general and is considered part of culture (and by the way, most Americans don't realize that hunting is very popular in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries too).

    I erred and posted this under the wrong sub-thread; it belongs here and addresses your point:

    By the way, where's my bump-stock ban? (#33)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:25:27 PM EST
    I called for a Federal bump-stock ban while people here were still arguing whether the Vegas shooter had actual machine guns or not. The NRA even conceded the idiocy of bump-stocks. Nothing got passed! How can anything be done when even that can't get passed?

    This Second Amendment fetishizism (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:59:51 PM EST
    is just a secular version of the fundamentalist psychology. People made up their minds at some point and then shut down their ability to assimilate any new information.

    Ok, so guns aren't the problem, mental health is the problem. Agreed. Does this mean we should continue to make it so simple for unbalanced, paranoid people in this country to stockpile guns and ammo?


    Fetishism (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:27:01 AM EST
    my spelling can't keep up with my spieling.

    Sandinavia (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:11:11 PM EST
    I have been reading about Sweden and Norway, etc. Family research. Is that where you are from?

    I did read somewhere that Swedish and Norwegian are so close that they can readily understand each other.  That one from Norway talks in Norwegian and the one from Sweden responds in Swedish.  And supposedly Danish and Norwegian are fairly close, but Swedes and Danes have a little more difficulty understanding  each other.

    linea, true?


    linia, the kid had an AR-15 (none / 0) (#76)
    by fishcamp on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 09:15:57 AM EST
    assault rifle and those are the guns that need to be removed, not the other ones you mentioned.  BTW the kid had been previously sent home for having bullets in his back pack and was later not allowed to bring a back pack to school at all.  They knew about him.

    Sure, they knew -- but could do nothing (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:03:46 AM EST
    to truly protect teachers and students.

    I am amazed that they even managed to expel the murderer. It is incredibly difficult to do so in schools these dayis.

    My daughter, a K12 teacher, has had to go to the ER, as have some ofmher students, after attacks by a troubled student.

    The best advice that she got? Get pregnant, and then the school district can do something -- the same school district that refuses to put the problem student in separate schooling, per the medical diagnosis and recommendation, because the district says that it already expended that part of the budget.

    Oh, and teachers who report have been sued by parents and demoted by districts. And at the college level, too, as well I know, when administrators refused to do something about the student who took a class hostage and later attacked me in my office, or the student who stalked me and posted death threats -- and was a convicted felon.  But my "classroom command" was questiond . . . even though I never even had the latter student in class. (He just targeted women professors.) I had to go to court, at my own cost -- and then was threatened with a countersuit, too. And I also had to go to court again, when my ex used the situation to challenge joint custody, saying that I coukd not protect my children from the convicted felon stalker.

    See something? Say nothing. That's the message to teachers everywhere. Check out your own school districts, too.


    This is so sad (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:45:17 PM EST
    and unacceptable, Towanda.
    Both at the public school level and at the college level.
    And then everyone wonders why "nothing was done about the troubled kid"?

    Did any of you have a union? (none / 0) (#100)
    by CST on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:36:03 PM EST
    This seems like a good example of why it's important to have a strong union.

    I know that when a parent threatened to sue my sister, the school she worked at would have provided the representation (parent never actually sued).

    When we spoke about it she said the biggest thing was to set clear guidelines and follow the guidelines for everyone.  The problem with that is the "zero tolerance" stuff isn't actually good for kids a lot of the time, but it does protect teachers/administrators from angry parents who think you're singling out their kid.

    In other words - some places will back the teacher, but it's at the expense of students who maybe are troubled, but not actual dangers.


    No. This is Walker's Wisconsin (none / 0) (#122)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:21:57 PM EST
    and you may recall his union-busting against public employees? That he targeted teacher unions? (Police and fire unions were exempted, because they back Right-wingers.)  

    We had huge protests, 100,000 marching on the state capitol, which we took over for days, Dem legislators fled the state to delay voting on Walker's bill, it was even on network news. . . .

    And that was really about K12 employees, and some state employees -- but not UW faculty, because we did not have a union to bust. We were banned by state law for decades from collective bargaining.  We marched with union workers, anyway . . . not that the ever helped us when we lobbied for decades to change that law.  Too many union members are insular and look out only for themseves, sadly. Had we UW faculty been allowed collective bargaining, we would have organized -- and could have spoken with a collective voice that would have carried weight with media covering the protests.


    Finally we are focusing on the heroes (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:41:37 PM EST
    The feel goods led by the media are creeping in as usual. The coach courageously lost his life, so it was worth it.

    He used his own body to shield several students while hustling them through a door and ultimate safety. He later succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.

    Would Aaron Feis be any less of a (5.00 / 5) (#109)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 04:51:57 PM EST
    good, decent human being if legislators would do the work of making it unnecessary for lives to be sacrificed to gun violence?

    I have no doubt that the kids saved by his actions will be forever grateful, but the loss of someone who could have had many more years of being a positive influence on young lives seems exponentially greater when we consider how little, how pitifully, cowardly little, has been done to protect people from gun violence.  

    Aaron Feis died because Nikolas Cruz shot him.  And Cruz shot him because the State of Florida decided that more or less unregulated gun ownership was a good thing.  And because this orphaned teenager, this disaffected, depressed kid couldn't or didn't get the help he needed and instead became easy pickings for a white nationalist group that likely stoked whatever was burning within him.

    Look around, look at what this administration wants to do, the cruel, mean-spirited policies they want to legislate.  Combine that with no action on guns, and we're not going to lose fewer like Aaron Feis, we're going to lose more.  You can't engineer policy after policy after policy that push people to desperation and expect violence won't follow.

    This is the culture Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and their followers are cultivating.  



    Just pointing out that the media speaks of heroes to keep everyone tuned in. When we are in the midst of loss we turn the TV off. They can't have that. So we move quickly to heroics, never actually grieve, all the film footage is sanitized.

    My husband is right about one thing, we shouldn't condone the sanitizing of the horror. He says once you really witness what an assault weapon does to a human being you are changed forever or a hopeless sociopath. People not seeing what everyone at the morgue has to see is allowing the NRA to not be factually challenged.


    And all I'm saying is that ... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 09:07:55 PM EST
    ... what Coach Feis and Douglas HS AD Hixon did yesterday deserved to be noted. I'm sorry, maybe I misconstrued your comment -- and I agree with you about our media's and society's general failure to cope with some very painful and introspective questions -- but your reference to Coach Feis sounded backhanded. He and Hixon both lost their lives yesterday while saving others, and there are some very grateful kids and families today who will likely never forget the tremendous sacrifice those two men made on their behalf. And in that respect, neither should we.



    I have had it with the "heroes" meme (5.00 / 6) (#124)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:33:45 PM EST
    They were martyrs. To the NRA and the Republicans.

    Every time that politicians and media do this, I beg my daughter, the teacher, to not be taken in by this and to not be a hero in such an incident -- and, instead, to save herself, especially for her own child's sake.  He needs a mother, not a martyr.

    As for her students, their parents make her county one of the most Republican counties in the country, so they made this mess. They put their children in danger, and they don't get to count on my daughter to give her life for their children. They want to make them safe? They know what to do. They had many chances to do it. They won't do it.  Let them pay the price in precious lives.


    I have to agree with you Towanda (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 05:25:59 AM EST
    Republican voters have no right to expect adult teachers to lose their lives protecting children that their own parents wouldn't protect.

    I have to say that I am feeling a (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 07:15:13 AM EST
    tiny glimmer of hope in the loud and pointed comments of many of the students and school personnel who survived Wednesday's shooting - I think it destroys the this-is-not-the-time-to-talk-about-policy talking point that our NRA-bought-and-paid-for politicians trot out every time this happens in the hope that the time never comes.

    These kids aren't just sad, they are boiling mad that their government failed them, and I don't think it's a big leap to realizing that if their parents voted for these people, they failed them, too.

    I'm not sure how well teachers and school personnel would be able to take an every-person-for-him/herself approach, but it's not an unreasonable position: parents need to vote for people who will protect their children, and if they can't do that, they need to stop expecting others to do it for them.

    I shudder to think what a hash Trump will make of this when he travels to Parkland - his remarks to the nation were delivered so badly, I can't imagine they were a comfort to anyone.  I think he's devoid of compassion and incapable of empathy.  Which ought to be clear to anyone looking at the latest budget proposal - you know, the one that cuts school safety funding, among other things.


    I (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 09:04:57 AM EST
    was also impressed with some of the passionate and articulate high schoolers interviewed. I do wish some of them would call out the NRA by name. They, more than any entity are the true villains in this.

    They should be demonized.


    The (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by FlJoe on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 03:07:45 PM EST
    kids are allright
    Emma Gonzalez, a student at the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were left dead after a mass shooting, calls out President Trump and the NRA by name at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

     "we call BS", powerful stuff.

    From our "Underpaid Teachers" file: (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:19:55 PM EST
    Douglas High School Athletic Director Chris Hixon and football coach Aaron Feis shielded several female students from the gunman with their bodies as they shoved them through an open door to safety. Hixon was wounded but survived. This morning, it was announced on the school football team's Twitter account that Coach Feis died of his wounds during the night in the hospital.

    It's been announced this afternoon ... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:59:52 PM EST
    And a young social studies teacher (none / 0) (#125)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:39:21 PM EST
    in his first year.  I started as a high school social studies teacher, and in an inner-city school with red "hot phones" in every classroom connected directly to the police department. But it was not as dangerous as schools today.

    And I since have trained thousands of social studies teachers, half or more of my students in History classes. I hope that they live to teach for decades, too.


    Just heartbreaking. (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:06:57 AM EST
    This colossal waste of human potential on behalf of gun manufacturers and firearms fetishists is making me angrier just thinking about it. As an historian, I've long known that America has always been a violent, bloody, disjointed, gun-embracing culture. But in the last 20 years, the carnage is clearly and seriously escalating.

    Well, phuque this bullschitt. We cannot, must not accept this elevated level of wanton, internecine asymmetrical conflict as the so-called "New Normal." We do not live in the Wild, Wild West. Our schools, universities and houses of worship are not the latter-day equivalent of the O.K. Corral. Clint Eastwood isn't in this movie. John Wayne isn't riding into town to save us in the nick of time. We're losing over 30,000 Americans annually to firearms violence / accidents, and it's not okay.

    As Democrats, we've been far too passive on this. There needs to be some serious pushback here. Children's lives matter and we need to make this an issue. And if some think otherwise, like the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, they need to be called out publicly, and roundly and repeatedly condemned. We need to make someone pay a price besides kids under the age of 18.

    It's long past time to organize.


    I don't know if anyone else has seen (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:06:41 PM EST
    the governor and attorney general of Florida making statements at a press conference, but it was actually offensive to hear these people from a state with almost no restrictions on gun ownership agonizing over this shooting today.

    No one will do anything about this beyond the completely useless thoughts and prayers; we will just wait for the next mass shooting.  

    David Hogg, 17-year-old senior ... (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:46:19 PM EST
    ... at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS and a mass shooting survivor, has something to say to you and other Republicans.

    My comment is in response to ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:49:53 PM EST
    ... thomas rogan (#115), "War on Guns."

    US Also Interferes in Foreign Elections (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by RickyJim on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 10:49:17 AM EST
    I've known about this long before I read Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes". I am happy that finally the NY Times has an article about it.  I think that the US complaining about Russia doing it is so much hypocrisy.
    A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, has scoured the historical record for both overt and covert election influence operations. He found 81 by the United States and 36 by the Soviet Union or Russia between 1946 and 2000, though the Russian count is undoubtedly incomplete.

    "I'm not in any way justifying what the Russians did in 2016," Mr. Levin said. "It was completely wrong of Vladimir Putin to intervene in this way. That said, the methods they used in this election were the digital version of methods used both by the United States and Russia for decades: breaking into party headquarters, recruiting secretaries, placing informants in a party, giving information or disinformation to newspapers."

    His findings underscore how routine election meddling by the United States -- sometimes covert and sometimes quite open -- has been.

    That's nice (none / 0) (#179)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    Is there a point to the "We do it, too!" argument?  Almost as bad Trump's defense of Putin when it was pointed out he was a killer.

    Yes, there is a point (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 02:40:49 PM EST
    Intellectual honesty and avoidance of hypocrisy. One nation should not interfere in another's elections, with the possible exception of open efforts to expose and defeat the domestic suppression of genuine opposition candidates.

    That may be YOUR point (none / 0) (#186)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    It wasn't his.  There is nothing inherently criminal about trying to influence an election in another country.  Did the U.S. government engage in crimes as the Russian government did?  If so, I have no problem indicting those responsible.  Until then, it's simply more of the same "Everyone does it!" BS we've heard for the past year+.

    I wouldn't have any idea whether the U.S. (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 05:26:48 PM EST
    interference with the Iranian or Guatemalan elections, for example, violated a criminal law in those countries at the time. Couldn't care less. My even-handed criticism of surreptitious meddling in foreign elections is not dependent on the vagaries of criminal law.

    Guatemala (none / 0) (#190)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 07:30:04 PM EST
    I used to live there.

    And, the CIA in 1954 did topple the democratically-elected government.  The Coup was supposed to occurred in 1952 but Dean Acheson put the kibosh on it.  In 1954, the Dulles boys convinced Ike to let it happen.   BTW, The New York Times was in favor of it, but not The Nation.  Just like The Times favoring the Iraq War by W.  The Times is not the liberal or progressive bastion it supposedly is.

    Hopefully, our meddling is in our past.  


    Nor am I suggesting, in case you need me (none / 0) (#189)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 07:01:06 PM EST
    to say this expressly, Yman, that past (or present) bad behavior of the U.S. government is any excuse for the Russians' conduct as described in the recent indictment, much less a reason to disregard or dismiss the indictment, or that it provides any sort of defense to those charges for anyone so charged.

    No, I was not suggesting ... (none / 0) (#195)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 09:01:58 PM EST
    ... that you were doing either of those things - nor do I think you would, which is why I differentiated between your point and his point.

    But I take exception with your suggestion that it is hypocritical to object to Russian attempts to our election without objecting to US attempts to influence elections, while completely disregarding whether such actions were legal or illegal.  There's a huge distinction between legal and criminal acts to try to influence and election in another country.  If US actors took illegal actions to influence elections in other countries, they should be indicted just as the Russians have been.  If their actions were legal, they shouldn't.


    Sorry, but you are missing several key points (none / 0) (#196)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 09:18:56 PM EST
    First, there is a statute of limitations on criminal prosecutions. Second, the Russians have been indicted by the government of the country they alleged victimized, that is, tried to interfere with. The analogous situation would be an indictment of CIA agents or State Department officials by the courts of Guatemala, for example, not a U.S. indictment. Third, I do not agree that my right to criticize U.S. foreign policy or covert action must depend on whether that conduct was legal or illegal (under what body of law? international law?); as I said before -- and I say this as a criminal lawyer -- not all reprehensible behavior is criminal.

    I'm not missing any of those points (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 09:55:58 PM EST
    I'm well aware of SOL requirements and wasn't specifically referring to Guatemala/1954.  Second, if US actors illegally interfered in foreign elections, they could be indicted under the laws of that country or (if they violated US law) the US or (if international law) the Hague.  Third, who said your right to criticize foreign policy/covert action depends on whether the actions were legal, or that all reprehensible behavior was illegal?  I know I sure didn't.  Criticize it all you want - he//, I'd probably agree with you, especially in the case of Guatemala.  

    My issue is with your suggestion that unless someone applies your standard for legitimate influence over an election in another country they are being intellectually dishonest and hypocritical.  This is the same kind of "Whataboutism" that conservatives have tried to justify Russian interference in the US election, including their attacks on the Obama administration for funding OneVoice.  I get (and agree with) your desire to keep the US entirely (or almost entirely) out of foreign elections, but that doesn't mean that drawing a distinction between legal and illegal acts is hypocritical or intellectually dishonest.


    The Slippery Slope ... (none / 0) (#187)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 05:23:14 PM EST
    another great C&L (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 11:52:01 AM EST
    Film link

    The Man Who Laughs

    It was a dark and stormy night. (none / 0) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:58:11 AM EST
    Michael Cohen, longtime attorney and fix-it guy for Trump is reported to have paid Stormy Daniels, the pornography film star allegedly carrying on with Trump while married to Melania, $130,000 out of his own pocket, shortly before the November 2016 presidential election.

    Common Cause filed a federal complaint alleging violation of campaign laws e.g., in-kind contribution.  And, some question the possible violation of ethics laws by Cohen in undertaking this payment.

    Actually, Mr Cohen is quoted as follows: "In a private transaction, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford.  Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford. and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."  Of course, the statement leaves many questions.

    And,  Mr. Cohen says he "facilitated" the transaction out of his own pocket, leaving open the notion of ..no money laundering, no money laundering, you're the money launderer.

    Yeah, I think that "facilitate a (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:08:53 AM EST
    payment" phrasing is just going to keep this thing alive.

    If he was just paying her because he wanted to fix this problem for his friend, and knew Trump wasn't going to be able to do it, why not just say that he paid her?  "Facilitate" suggests he was acting as an intermediary.

    You might be interested in this, from Josh Marshall, if you haven't already seen/read it: Who Will Rid Me of This Meddlesome Stormy? The Michael Cohen Story

    Marshall finds it completely believable that Cohen would make this payment himself:

    Doing conspicuous favors and fixing things is in the nature of this bizarrely public toady-chieftain relationship. Read through Cohen's interviews. You'll find it's replete with mixes of mafia tough guy talk and zany levels of conspicuous self-abnegation. It's all theater at some level. But I think to a great degree it's genuine. It's the guy's identity, like the way a top captain thinks about the mob boss he serves. Who will rid me of this meddlesome Stormy? Did I mention that Cohen and Trump's mafia business partner Felix Sater were childhood friends long before they both ended up as top Trump business partners right around the same time? Well, that's true too. In the scale of money both Trump and Cohen operate at, covering the $130,000 payment himself seems entirely plausible as something Cohen would do as part of the larger relationship. He probably did get paid back some way or another. But I think it's totally plausible he didn't. He'd love to be that guy who made the problem go away. Doing Trump a solid like that would be something he'd happily do. It's the basis of their relationship. He'd get paid back in other ways.

    There's more, and it reinforces the perception that the people Trump runs with are all of a similar piece.  I'll leave it to you to decide what that piece is...


    Kevin Drum's (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:27:42 AM EST
    guess: "Cohen paid Stormy; Kushner paid Cohen; Ivanka paid Kushner; Don Jr. paid Ivanka: and Don Jr.'s end-of-year bonus from the Trump Organization was $130,000 higher than last year, thanks to his outstanding performance."

    Sounds like Mafia money. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 12:02:31 PM EST
    But here's the thing: (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 12:16:36 PM EST
    if it was a payment, what was it a payment for?  Did Ms. Clifford/Daniels provide some service?  Was he buying something from her - maybe she had a yard sale, and he decided to pay her $130K for the toaster over she was getting rid of?

    Is "silence" a service?  Was it the consideration for her signing an NDA?

    If it wasn't a payment, as such, if he wasn't compensating her for something she provided, then it must have been a gift.  Is Mr. Cohen going to be filing a gift tax return to report the excess over the $14,000 annual exemption?

    As for Kevin's Tinkers-to-Evans-to-Chance payment scenario, I think that's too direct a line, and too easily followed.  I rather suspect Mr. Cohen has some familiarity - or knows people who do - with masking a money trail.

    It probably doesn't really matter.  No one with a working brain believes he did this out of the goodness of his heart - these are people who like being owed for their so-called favors, although given all the publicity surrounding the payment/gift, pretty sure Trump will welsh on whatever reward Cohen was expecting, fully in keeping with Trump always reneging on his end of the deal.

    This isn't a presidency, it's a large-scale racketeering operation.


    Why doesn't the media (none / 0) (#9)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    just call Cohen what he is: Consigliere.

    Better Call Cohen.. (none / 0) (#89)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:50:02 PM EST
    for all those porn star problems.

    Couldn't Tr*mp pay her, directly or indirectly (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 01:21:08 PM EST
    for a promise not to sell her story to a tabloid, or write a book, etc.?  The rights to her story are surely worth that much, if she were to choose to sell them.

    My once-favorite presidential candidate ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:30:45 PM EST
    ... John Edwards was indicted for similar arrangements with his former lover Rielle Hunter, having a third party pay hush money to keep her and their love child out of the public eye while he ran for president.

    Wasn't the John Edwards indictment (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 04:58:26 PM EST
    based on the fact that he used campaign committee funds for the payments?

    In both cases, payment was rendered ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:46:16 PM EST
    ... through a third party. As far as I'm concerned, Peter, whether the money came from campaign coffers or the private bank account of an otherwise well-compensated consigliere any distinction has no practical difference in its ultimate effect.

    In both cases, money was paid to these women to buy their silence and thus save the candidate any inconvenient and embarrassing public disclosure during the campaign.

    Hush money is, well, hush money. Therefore, Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels / Stephanie Clifford ought to be considered an unreported in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, and treated by the authorities accordingly.



    What About the Other Dozen or So? (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickyJim on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    As Chris Cillizza points out, Cohen's story is full of holes.  For example, why didn't he also pay off the others in 2016 that were accusing trump of sexual improprieties?  What was so special about Stormy that she got the $130,000?

    I don't know if it makes her special... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 01:02:44 PM EST
    but Stormy supposedly consented and made no revelations publicly, where as Trump's other accusers gave no consent for sexual advances/activity and made public accusations of same.  

    But what if Trump (none / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:05:18 PM EST
    likes this story?

    He can brag to all those male WWC Trump voters that he had a p*rn star.

    Trump is bragging here. (Yes, the ick factor is high, but that never stopped him before.)

    Melania, however, may be a different story.


    I'm waiting for the headline (none / 0) (#12)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:08:05 PM EST
    that Melania has returned to NYC permanently.

    Not gonna happen (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Yman on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 06:13:22 PM EST
    If she ever had any self-respect, she gave that up a long time ago.  The price you pay when you marry for $$$.

    Here is the quote (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:18:10 PM EST
    In 2005, the newlywed Melania Trump addressed a business class at New York University. A student asked the supermodel if she would still be with Donald Trump if he was not rich.

    "If I weren't beautiful, do you think he'd be with me?" she quipped.

    This candid response from the FLOTUS illustrates a marriage as lackluster as any failed Trump business venture. Donald is rich. Melania is beautiful. And so, they are married.



    Well, she's packing the house at strip clubs. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 03:43:19 PM EST
    No doubt, Stormy's an enterprising gal who's tapped into the American entrepreneurial spirit. Is this a great country of what?

    And she'll sign your copy (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 04:43:13 PM EST
    of Fortune if you bring one.

    Stormy claims (none / 0) (#104)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 03:32:18 PM EST
    to have saved her "blue dress", apparently, as a memento of her tryst with Trump.  The "blue dress"
    is a shimmering gold number that has either a plunging neckline or is a jumper with the blouse unseen.  Or, a part of school uniform.  In any event, Stormy is sending the dress out for forensic DNA testing.  

    Maybe the magnanimous legal counsel Cohen should have laundered the golden dress instead of laundering the money.  Stormy is no doubt trolling us, but I do await the fun of  another mulligan for Trump from the Evangelicals.


    Cohen specified only "Trump campaign" (none / 0) (#22)
    by Towanda on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 05:08:51 PM EST
    and "Trump organization" did not reimburse him.

    So, Trump could have done so.


    Ding, ding, ding!!! (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Yman on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 06:19:11 PM EST
    Yep - or any one of the Trump family members.  Apart from its laughable premise, there's so many holes in his statement that it's embarrassing to read it.  Is he really stupid enough to believe that statement would help Trump?

    Facilitate? (none / 0) (#36)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:08:54 PM EST
    Given that lawyers generally tend to be terribly verbose and obtuse and contort the clear meaning of anything they write; I don't know that we can draw any conclusion or inference from `facilitate' other than the fact that he used the word. It's like when people on Judge Judy try to speak like lawyers and say `I then proceeded to ingress the vehicle' rather than `I got into my car.'

    I'm not shocked to discover that a wealthy television celebrity and businessmen is fond of pornography and procures prostitution.

    I must confess that Stormy Daniels confirms I am absolutt clueless on the type of women that men are attracted to. There are women who I think are attractive, there are women that I imagine men think are attractive, and then there is the reality that I have no clue what men are actually attracted to.


    I do hope peter g will gently (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:30:36 PM EST
    object to this:

    "Given that lawyers generally tend to be terribly verbose and obtuse and contort the clear meaning of anything they write,...."


    Look at J's writing (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:36:46 PM EST
    Clear, concise, informative.

    Armando too.  His articles get right to the point.

    Maybe the reference was to Peter, but his writing (in blog posts) is interesting and clarifying.

    Lawyers are less verbose than many others.


    Peter g's writing is clear, (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:42:40 PM EST
    informative, and persuasive.

    Yes, that's what I meant (none / 0) (#49)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:42:25 PM EST
    Obtuse means slow witted (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:59:04 PM EST
    I don't think that's the word you're reaching for. Opaque maybe?

    Mebbe, she meant (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:24:25 PM EST

    Or maybe "obfuscate?"  All those "ob" words sound alike.


    My apologies (none / 0) (#64)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:29:18 PM EST
    Jondee & MKS,

    You are very right to correct me.


    Thank you!


    Abstruse, that's a good one (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 12:03:01 AM EST
    I remember having to look that one up when I was writing a paper about Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    The ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around..


    Will you answer (none / 0) (#65)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:37:23 PM EST
    my post about Scandinavia?  It is an open thread, and I am sincerely interested.

    Yes, I will answer (none / 0) (#72)
    by linea on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:47:28 AM EST
    I'm probably the wrong person to ask.

    Please read this with the caveat that I am proficient in four languages but I consider English the language of which I am most professionally fluent. I am an American and I graduated from an American High School.

    Norway & Denmark made up the Oldenburg Realm prior to the Napoleonic Wars - in total, a 400 year union. By contrast, the Kingdom of Sweden or `Swedish Empire' included southern Estonia and Latvia (i.e., the lands directly to the east of Sweden). The Swedish Empire lasted 250 years... about as long as the USA is old now.

    My Norwegian is very Tromsø. That is, northern Nordnorsk.

    My first exposure to Swedish was sleap-over summer camp when I was a child. To me, Norwegian and English are so close that I occasionally inadvertently swap words. I would never inadvertently use a Swedish word. If I asked someone a question in Norwegian and they answered in Swedish it would be confusing and initially unintelligible. I would need to think, or translate, what they said. It is my experience that the average Central-Eastern Norwegian also finds Swedish unintelligible.

    Does that help?


    Yes, thank you (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:17:39 AM EST
    I had heard that Scandinavian languages are quite close to English, more so than German....English being a Germanic language.d

    I wonder (none / 0) (#137)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 11:30:32 AM EST
    how many Norse words made it into Norman French?  Because after William the Conquerer, well, conquered England, a whole lot of Norman French words made it into the English language.
    OTOH, it's true that they're both Germanic languages.

    She's physically attractive (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:16:04 AM EST
    Photos focused on her cleavage aside, Stephanie Clifford is a physically attractive woman.  But I find it interesting that someone would claim they can't understand why men would be attracted to her, while at the same time lauding the attractiveness of women who are much, much uglier in areas that actually matter ... i.e. Ann Coulter, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump.   Perhaps if Stephanie Daniels was richer, thinner or wore designer clothing, it would be easier to understand.

    And let us not forget that Clifford (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:53:41 AM EST
    claimed that Trump told her she reminded him of his daughter:

    President Trump told porn actress Stephanie Clifford she reminded him of his daughter while the pair carried on a not-so-steamy affair more than a decade ago, Clifford told In Touch Weekly in 2011.


    "He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful, smart, just like his daughter," she said.

    Trump was probably talking about his daughter Ivanka, who was 24 at the time.

    Around the time of the alleged affair, Trump, in an appearance on "The View," complimented Ivanka's looks and said that if she weren't his child, "perhaps I'd be dating her."

    And let's not forget this:

    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that President-elect Donald Trump once asked, "Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?" -- but the quote was quietly removed before the syndicated column was published Tuesday.

    Trump was reportedly referring to his daughter, Ivanka, who was 13 years old at the time.

    The quote was circulated Monday in a draft of Cohen's piece "Our Next President, The Godfather" that was sent to outlets that syndicate the column, a source told BuzzFeed News. The quote did not appear in the later, final version of the piece carried by the Post and other outlets.

    So, I think it's entirely possible that what attracted Trump to Clifford was (1) that she was a p@rn actress, (2) that she somewhat resembled Ivanka, and (3) that he hadn't matured beyond the 12 yr old looking at p@rn magazines he kept under the mattress.

    [Now, where's my mind bleach?]


    Makes my skin crawl (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:41:29 AM EST
    When you look at the types of comments Trump makes about his own daughters and compare it to how a normal father discusses his daughters, it makes you wonder how he's managed to stay off of a registry.  He's just so disgusting on so many levels.

    But my point was really about how someone can't understand what makes Clifford attractive to men, while they claim some very (substantively) ugly women are attractive when they are thin, rich, dress in designer clothes and marry for money.


    Oh, I totally got your point, and (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:53:22 AM EST
    agree with it completely.  

    "But why do you give Melania such a hard time when she always looks so good?" makes no sense to me.


    Not all men (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:39:12 PM EST
    She does nothing for me.  Hard.  Cold. Calculating.  That's what I see.

    New Orleans drag queen (none / 0) (#51)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:47:13 PM EST
    is what I see.

    But maybe I'm jaded.


    Oh my (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:25:56 PM EST
    You are probably right!

    Trump slept with a trans girl or transvestite?  Now, maybe that is the reason he had her paid hush money.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#52)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:52:29 PM EST
    Not all men
    by MKS
    She does nothing for me.

    I thought you were a woman.


    I remember having the same reaction (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:27:42 PM EST
    and making the same comment to MKS several years ago. There is something in his expression and point of view that is not evidently male. Which to my mind is a remarkable, exceptional and all-around good thing in a man.

    And, why does (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:37:17 PM EST
    my comment tell you I am a man?  Could I not be a woman who likes women?

    But Peter and Howdy once thought that too.  I think it may have to do with what a person once called my "emotional" writing style on blogs.   But here, I play; I don't have to write a friggin' brief.

    I am reminded of what the gay community used to say:  That freedom and equality for the gay community would free the straight community too.  I think that is true.  Now, much more than before, you can just be yourself and not try to conform to gender roles.

    When I grew up, it was important for guys to be "manly" and teach their sons how to be a "man."  For me, I have tried to teach my son how to be a caring, responsible "adult."


    I remember (none / 0) (#69)
    by linea on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 12:09:08 AM EST
    I remember when I was a teen, reading a fiction novel and thinking `a man wrote this' and disgarding the novel. Obviously, a man wrote it. The author was a man. I knew that.

    It just sometimes, it's so painfully obvious that a male author is narrating from a perspective where he is incapable of understanding or empathizing with a female character that I find it obvious and irritating. I suppose I tend to assume, for the most part, any neutral presentation or discussion must be coming from a woman.

    To be fair (I think many would think oddly), I perceived the character of Harry Potter as being written by a woman. Yes, Harry Potter was written by a woman, but I NOTICED it was written by a woman.

    I remember when I was young being with a friend and we were watching two boys practicing on skateboards on a street curb near tall concrete steps. My friend asked me why the boys weren't with the other boys at the skateboard park just down the block. I explained to her that boys practice and practice and practice until they feel they are good enough to go the skateboard park to show off to the other boys. It's an angst I don't have, but it's a real angst for boys. When I read the Harry Potter novels, I knew a woman wrote the Harry Potter character because he was just THE BEST at Quidditch without practice or angst in competition with other boys. It didn't feel real to me.

    P.S. blah, blah, blah... I know I don't understand psychology or male child development. I'm telling you my feelings.


    It is an open thread (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:16:04 AM EST
    Feelings okay.

    In term of novelists, one of the most biting criticisms of Cormac McCarthy is his lack of fully developed female characters.  


    Larry McMutry, Pulitizer-winning author of... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:58:13 AM EST
    ... such rousing Old West yarns as "Streets of Laredo" and "Lonesome Dove," also wrote the critically acclaimed novels "The Last Picture Show" and "Terms of Endearment," with the latter chronicling a mother-daughter relationship over the course of nearly three decades. He also won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain." So there are male authors who are fully capable of effectively conveying other perspectives besides the (straight white) male point of view.

    The women in The Last Picture Show (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:21:07 AM EST
    were sensitively written and portrayed as well.

    A great, underrated film.


    ... as Phyllis Lindstrom, the well-meaning but scatterbrained landlady of Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern on the legendary CBS-TV sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1972 for her startling dramatic turn in "The Last Picture Show," in which she played Ruth Popper, the emotionally needy and neglected wife of the local high school football coach who stumbles into a sexual affair with one of her husband's teenaged players (Timothy Bottoms).

    I think Peter Bogdanovich's film is an unsung cinematic masterpiece.


    Leachman was great (none / 0) (#121)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:04:26 PM EST
    and Ben Johnson also killed it in that movie.

    Ben Johnson also won the Oscar that year ... (none / 0) (#130)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:07:41 AM EST
    ... as Best Supporting Actor for the same movie. He played against type, and it was well deserved award.

    Personally, I'll always remember Johnson best as Tector Gorch, who with his aging comrades in arms (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Warren Oates) represent living anachronisms in a changing world, in what is probably my all-time favorite western, Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch." (Although I must admit, the Coen Bros.'s remake of "True Grit" and Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" run neck-and-neck for a close second.)



    Note: Brokeback Mountain (the book) was (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:03:51 AM EST
    written by a female.

    "Brokeback Mountain" is actually ... (none / 0) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:24:27 AM EST
    ... a short story by Annie Proulx, and was originally published in New Yorker magazine in 1997. It was also re-published as part of Proulx's 1999 collection of short stories, "Close Range: Wyoming Stories."

    Because "Brokeback Mountain" was originally written in a narrative flashback style that's told from the standpoint of one of the cowboy-lovers (Ennis Del Mar), Larry McMurtry and his co-screenwriter Dianna Ossana had to reframe and greatly flesh out Proulx's original story, which included a lot of new dialogue for the 2005 film. The author praised their screenplay, and admitted in interviews that the film had kindled feelings within her for the two main characters that she didn't think she had.



    But Princess Diana (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 08:59:21 PM EST
    is a good example.  Many women say she is beautiful.  I never heard guys say how hot she was.

    Many women don't see Jennifer Aniston as attractive....

    And so it goes.


    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:35:04 AM EST
    "She's fine as hell. If she was 18, you wouldn't be ashamed to say that she's a little hot piece of a$$. And she is. She is adorable. I'm a huge Chloe Kim fan."
    - Patrick Conner, sports radio jock on SiriusXM's appropriately named "Barstool Radio" channel



    I rather doubt you know enough lawyers (none / 0) (#43)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:01:18 PM EST
    that you can make the kind of broad generalization you did, but it appears you are making good use of your Roget's Thesaurus - or is it word-of-the-day toilet paper?

    You of all people should know that words matter; I happen to believe that Cohen chose the word "facilitate" for a reason:

    Just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump's lawyer formed a private LLC to pay a former porn star in exchange for not speaking publicly about an alleged sexual encounter with the then-candidate, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that the alleged encounter with Trump took place in July 2006 after a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
    The company, Essential Consultants LLC, was reportedly created in Delaware -- which offers a higher standard of privacy to business owners -- by attorney Michael Cohen, according to the Journal's report, which cited corporate records and people familiar with the matter.

    He may have used his personal funds, but he didn't pay her directly - he created an LLC, to which he transferred the funds, and the payment was made by the LLC.

    He facilitated the payment.

    Do you get now why "facilitate" matters?  

    And I don't know what your being shocked or not shocked has to do with anything, but even if you don't think the Trump/Daniels thing is any kind of big deal, apparently there was enough concern on Trump's part that this whole payment/NDA thing had to be engineered.  

    And here's a clue for you, since you admit to being clueless: Trump wasn't looking for a soul mate, he was living out a fantasy.  That's it.


    My next door neighbor wanted some bud. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:19:14 PM EST
    I introduced him to my other next door neighbor who happens to trade in such product. I touched neither money nor ganja but I'm pretty sure I facilitated a dope deal. Kudos to me!

    Not only a mitzvah, but also (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:43:36 PM EST
    a federal and state (PA) crime. But kudos, yes.

    See what I mean. (none / 0) (#79)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:38:58 AM EST
    Gotta watch that facilitate'n stuff. It'll get you trouble. Let's see where this ends for Cohen.

    Well, now, Peter (none / 0) (#136)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 11:14:09 AM EST
    Maybe he was just introducing one neighbor to another, as any good neighbor would do.
    I mean, "Hey, Joe, have you met our neighbor Mike yet?"

    Reminds me (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:20:15 PM EST
    of the line from the film Lincoln, referring the statement from the President denying, sorta, that there are negotiators from the South in the Capitol, or that they would likely be there in future, as far as he knows.

    "A lawyer's dodge," an opponent of the Thirteenth Amendment, bellows from the House Floor.

    A lawyers dodge.   Ha!


    Pettifoggery (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:07:05 PM EST
    is a word people used to use back then that denoted the same thing.

    I think some lawyers got together and had it removed from the lexicon.


    Isn't that some (none / 0) (#55)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:10:18 PM EST
    kind of antiquated ladies' garment?

    It sounds like it, but it isn't (none / 0) (#62)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:41:18 PM EST
    I think back in the day, lawyers could actually be charged with "pettifogging", which I believe meant, among other things, clogging the courts with too many nuisance law suits.

    I once hired an expert witness (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 10:51:46 PM EST
    in property law.  He was a professor at Boalt (Berkeley.)

    A former student of his, and former supervising partner of mine, took his deposition. My witness knew the game, which is to give up as little as possible in a deposition and save the good stuff for trial--if you can.

    So my witness when answering questions, gave the most horrifically confusing answers. Total word salad.  At one point, the lawyer taking his deposition, just threw up his hands and say, "What did you say?"  At lunch, I congratulated my witness on his total obfuscation.  He called it "Mugwumping."

    Mugwumping.  High falutin' for bull sheet.


    If you have enough credentials (none / 0) (#66)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:42:33 PM EST
    you can get away with mugwumping almost indefinately. People are too afraid of being thought stupid to ever call out the offender.

    The reclusive writer Thomas Pynchon once hired Professor Erwin Corey to pose as him and accept some literary prize and Corey was able to prattle on for a good twenty minutes with a surreally nonsensical acceptance speech before people started catching on to the joke.


    Mugwumps. A group of breakaway (none / 0) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:03:44 AM EST
    The name derives from (none / 0) (#85)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:23:11 AM EST
    an Algonquian word meaning "great chief."

    Fantasy (none / 0) (#48)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 09:21:50 PM EST
    Egad.  What a stunted fantasy--a junior high school, cheesy stunt.

    Well, considering that Trump (none / 0) (#77)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:00:40 AM EST
    suffers - and us right along with him - from arrested development, it shouldn't surprise anyone that many of the things he does and says would seem more appropriate coming from someone between the ages of 11 and 16.

    By the way, where's my bump-stock ban? (none / 0) (#33)
    by linea on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:25:27 PM EST
    I called for a Federal bump-stock ban while people here were still arguing whether the Vegas shooter had actual machine guns or not. The NRA even conceded the idiocy of bump-stocks. Nothing got passed! How can anything be done when even that can't get passed?

    Why are you asking us? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 07:28:21 PM EST
    You should be asking your congress critters that question.

    Follow (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 05:27:34 AM EST
    the money
    As Republicans begin heaping "thoughts and prayers" on the families of the 17-plus people killed in Wednesday's deadly shooting at a high school outside Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live! made sure to note how much each had taken from the National Rifle Association.
    Richard Burr

    Roy Blunt

    Thom Tillis

    Cory Gardner

    Marco Rubio

    Joni Ernst

    Rob Portman

    Todd Young

    Bill Cassidy

    ... had one helluva arrival at Honolulu airport yesterday, with their B777 aircraft having lost the entire front cowling of its starboard engine with about 40 minutes left in its flight. The FAA will investigate the structural failure -- unless, of course, the Trump administration cuts that agency's funding for inspection and enforcement.

    Oh to be a fly on that wall (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 01:56:40 PM EST
    "Steve Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump's chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.

    Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe."

    I don't know anything about how long these things usually go, but 20 hours sure sounds like a lot to me.


    He's smart (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:04:36 PM EST
    Dontcha wonder who he gave them? He's Steve Bannon, he gave them someone for strategic purposes hahahaha.

    Can't even imagine how anyone who ran with Trump sleeps at night wondering who is diming them out.


    Just your basic murderous white supremacist. (none / 0) (#92)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:10:25 PM EST
    "Cruz seemed like just a normal, disenfranchised, young white man," said Jordan Jered, Captain of the Republic of Florida, an organization reportedly with which Cruz trained.  A group that seeks to create a white ethnostate. Also described as a white separatist and paramilitary proto-fascist organization.

     Yes, for that group, probably normal. .. not a stand-out.  

    Kid was adopted, both parents dead (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:14:46 PM EST
    And suffers from some severe mental issues.

    How would he get care in today's Florida and Trump's America?


    Today's Florida, indeed... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    This is why I couldn't find an iota of true sympathy in Rick Scott and Pam Bondi, who had the unmitigated gall to mouth platitudes for all this death.

    Charlie Pierce:

    Until he opened up and killed 17 people in the school from which he'd been expelled for being dangerously violent, Nikolas Cruz had broken no laws. That's because this was Florida, and in Florida: a) you don't need a permit to buy a gun or to register the weapon once you do; b) you don't need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun, just a handgun, and it's hard to believe the NRA let that one slip by; c) you can buy as many guns as you want; d) there are no regulations on military-style weapons or the amount of ammunition you can buy for them, and e) if you want to sell guns, you don't need a license. The state does require a three-day waiting period, which clearly was effective in this case.

    Definitely no (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:56:58 PM EST
    sympathy for Rick Scott, he deserves nothing but scorn on just about every issue starting with his pre-gubernatorial career of having overseen the largest Medicare fraud in US history.

    It could be that the NRA has more sensitivity about guns than Scott...the NRA deleted a tweet, originating with "Jim's Firearms of Florida," urging "give your significant other something they'll appreciate this Valentine's Day" accompanied by a screen shot of a loving image of two guns set on a heart-shaped box.


    Pam Bondi (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 06:27:34 PM EST
    was more concerned about people getting scammed on Go Fund Me than the victims of the shooting.

    A friend of mine went to high school with Pam. She said she is dumb as a box of rocks which of course makes her the perfect GOP woman.


    NOW Ms Trump University (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:50:09 PM EST
    is suddenly worried about people getting scammed?

    Do tell.


    He was easy pickings (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:15:39 PM EST
    For a white supremacist group.

    And how does he get an AR-15? (none / 0) (#98)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:28:19 PM EST
    is that part of some new rite of passage for "normal white kids" in Florida?

    Bought it legally (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 04:14:25 PM EST
    Passed a background check. His mother died 4 mos ago from flu complications. I wonder if his mom supported white supremacy and was a gun nut?

    "Normal" (none / 0) (#102)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 02:49:11 PM EST
    Uh, huh, right.  😟

    Sometime's it seems like half (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 04:03:38 PM EST
    that state is teetering on the edge of something..

    What is it? Oceola's revenge or something?

    Lenny Pozner and family moved down there from Newtown in an attempt to get a modicum of peace and some sunshine and they were driven out of the area where they had settled by a stream of harrasing phone calls and threats, including some from utterly unsympathetic local law enforcement.

    If elephant graveyard time ever comes for me, I'm just going to turn wooly mammoth and stay up here.


    A friend (none / 0) (#112)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 06:29:20 PM EST
    of mine moved from here to FL. She said the temps make people's brains fry. The only thing she seems to have been relieved of is the evangelicals ruling everything.

    Claim of membership in white (none / 0) (#113)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 07:33:22 PM EST
    nationalist/supremacist group being walked back.

    Jordan Jereb, the leader of a Florida white nationalist group, initially claimed on Thursday that Nikolas Cruz, who is alleged to have killed 17 people in a school shooting on Wednesday, was a member of his organization.

    But within hours, it appeared that Jereb had walked back that claim. Jereb says he leads the group Republic of Florida (ROF), a white supremacist organization seeking the "creation of a white ethnostate."


    The Anti-Defamation League first relayed Jereb's claims that Cruz was a member of ROF.

    Jereb repeated the claim to the Daily Beast, the Associated Press and the Tallahassee Democrat.

    And ABC News reported that three former schoolmates of Cruz's, who were unnamed in the report, had said he was a member of the group, too. The report said the schoolmates claimed Cruz "marched with the group frequently," and that they'd seen Cruz and Jereb "often" together.

    However, soon after these reports emerged, Lt. Grady Jordan of the Leon County Sheriff's Office told the Tallahassee Democrat that the office hadn't found a connection between Cruz and the group.

    Experts and reporters who follow the white nationalist movement expressed doubt over Jereb's claims, and commenters on servers known for movement chatter have claimed the stories of Cruz's affiliation with the group are a hoax.

    Stay tuned.


    Rick Scott says he's taking action (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 04:35:38 PM EST
    His goal is school safety. He's going to figure this out. It's never happening again. He added more law enforcement previously but this still happened. He won't tell Blitzer though that he's going to ask for gun laws.

    "In my state"--Florida. (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:05:51 AM EST
    Somehow I don't think James Madison (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 05:13:35 PM EST
    with his grounding in classical languages, philosophy, and the sciences, would consider banning today's military-style weapons, ghost guns, bump stocks and the like, a dastardly "enfringement" on the Bill of Rights that would threaten to make the whole Grand Experiment house of cards come tumbling down.

    Something tells me. Call it an intuition.

    From our "Melania Trumpwatch" file: (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:04:36 PM EST
    Per Michael Hackard, a California-based estate attorney and author of the book, "The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse", 50% of active disputed-estate cases involve litigated differences between stepmothers and their stepchildren.

    War on Guns? (none / 0) (#115)
    by thomas rogan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:16:57 PM EST
    Funny how the people who tell us that the War on Drugs is a failure which only puts minority youth into prison are telling us that a War on Guns focusing on the 300 million out there will somehow do anything different.

    There could alternatives, Tom (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:33:16 PM EST
    say, treatment programs for people addicted to military-style adult toys, like the drug treatment programs that have been championed for people with drug problems.

    Though few people are recommending a "war" on all guns, as your lurid Fox-like War on Guns gloss suggests.


    The "War on Guns" (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 10:56:06 PM EST

    As real as the "War on Christmas".n

    Yet the rest of the civilized world is all too aware of how strong gun control laws keep gun violence down in their countries.


    This is news (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:50:23 PM EST
    We have only just begun.

    It's Muellertime (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:56:40 PM EST
    The Muellertime meme posters were wearing. But post it now, it is finally Muellertime.

    Ben Wittes (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:59:51 PM EST
    Was just saying do not read too much into the "unwitting" part

    Yes, John Dean said (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:11:18 PM EST
    The same

    Rosenstein (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 01:58:59 PM EST
    Note (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:01:31 PM EST
    Rosenstein: No allegation of American involvement or election impact - in this particular indictment

    John Dean says one of the things (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:10:13 PM EST
    In the indictment that immediately grabbed his attention is the charging statutes Mueller used. It leaves the door open for witting aides to be revealed later. Sure, there were some unwitting folks, but that doesn't mean Mueller hasn't found some witting. And then John Dean specifically mentioned Flynn.

    Remember lock her up? And now we have the Russians paying for a locked up Hillary "float". It's all unwitting though...snort :) I think someone witted.


    Dimwitted (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:20:20 PM EST
    Heh, Fox, still (none / 0) (#147)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 02:51:23 PM EST
    doubt there is any evidence of collusion?

    Closing in.


    Like DailyBeast says (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:04:19 PM EST
    more than anything this is an indictment of the "fake news" nonsense

    Mueller Indicts Trump's Claim That Russian Interference Is `Fake News'
    The President keeps insisting that the Kremlin didn't meddle in the Special Counsel's new indictments show how wrong Trump is.
    Spencer Ackerman

    And makes firing Mueller or Rosenstein basically impossible


    If Trump is compromised (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:22:01 PM EST
    Isn't this when Russia might send him a little reminder? And would tear the nation asunder even more right now too. It would really hit USA with some angst. To go with our angst.

    I like my angst burger medium well, ... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:33:32 PM EST
    ... with a side of trepidation.

    They're serving it to us (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 04:21:53 PM EST
    They destroy faith in the rule of law and our organizing institutions and they keep at it until the citizens feel hopeless and exhausted and needing to give up. They've got us nailed down in some kind of unified agony for about 3 more years. Our nation will be in turmoil and they will be doing whatever they please to whomever they please most of that time.

    IMO (none / 0) (#160)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    It will not be 3 years

    I know (none / 0) (#162)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 04:51:41 PM EST
    This guy though. He's okay once a couple of generals stroke him, and there seems to be shocking supply of those. Who's gonna make him leave? He isn't just going to realize he needs to leave. He's throwing everyone under the bus. I don't even think he cares if Jared and Junior are indicted. And his leaving probably won't change whether they are in trouble or not.

    Mebbe (none / 0) (#172)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 03:31:13 PM EST
    But I saw one comment, at TPM I think, that said Mueller is issuing these indictments like this to support the claim Trump did not collude, and his true target is Manafort and only Manafort.

    This, on a "progressive" website.

    The yellow one hangs on better than roaches, so, I am not one to get my hopes up.

    Taking the House would be nice.  Could limit the damage.  


    I believe (none / 0) (#173)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 04:12:43 PM EST
    They are mistaken

    Russia I expect (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:26:29 PM EST
    Is going to be very demure

    I am told they like a long game (none / 0) (#157)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:31:17 PM EST
    Trump just tweeted an hour ago that ... (none / 0) (#148)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:01:03 PM EST
    ... the indictments show no collusion between the Russians and his campaign.

    17 shot to death in one school incident (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:19:10 PM EST
    Our nation was attacked by a foreign power.

    Trump tweets about self


    Why vibrant watch CNN (none / 0) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:21:49 PM EST
    They are STILL wall to wall school shooting.

    Cause there's been, you know, so little discussion of that.


    Not any more. (none / 0) (#156)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:31:06 PM EST
    CNN's now pivoted to the sordid and salacious tale of another one of Trump's encounters with various Playthings of the Month. I turned it off when they brought in the self-righteous Dylan Farrow, who seems to insert himself time and again in the middle of these tabloidish stories.

    It that was amazing (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:24:29 PM EST
    No talk of response.  Zilch.  It all about him.  The only thing you need to know about what the indictment describes as an act of war is that I did not help.

    He doesn't get it either? (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 03:30:20 PM EST
    He doesn't know what his job is? Yet he had so many criticisms of Obama on keeping our country safe.

    It's weird to me, how he can see that it was one President's job to defend the United States but not a different President's job also.


    If nothing else (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 07:02:31 PM EST
    This definitely validates e everything Hillary was trying to tell anyone who would listen during the campaign.  


    hope it's more comforting to her than it is to me but I doubt it is.

    Also JILL STEIN whatthehell
    She is mentioned in this indictment when does she get hers?


    ... call a "useful idiot" -- as is anybody who voted for her.

    This country is awash with useless (none / 0) (#165)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 08:11:50 PM EST

    Right at the top of the list I put the Second Amendment gundamentalists and their quaking-in-their boots lackys in DC who don hunting gear during election season.


    I hope that's all it is (none / 0) (#177)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 10:16:08 AM EST
    Because she has had some pretty unstable moments.

    Today would be a good day (none / 0) (#161)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 04:30:56 PM EST
    To watch Ari Member.  6 ET

    his show has been really good on the legal stuff.

    In addition to the 13 russians (none / 0) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 08:52:35 PM EST
    There was separate news of "additional charges" that they learned about since his original deal against Manafort.

    Causing speculation Gates has indeed flipped and is providing information.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's office dropped more potentially damning details -- from an allegation of "additional criminal conduct" to personal financial troubles -- in a response to Paul Manafort's request to change his bail proposal on Friday.

    The newly discovered alleged criminal conduct "includes a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies," a filing from the special counsel's office said on Friday night.

    Also speculation about the timing coming on the same day as the other news


    One of Maddow's guests today, ... (none / 0) (#167)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 09:02:01 PM EST
    ... who I think is a former U.S. Attorney, speculated that Robert Mueller perhaps considers Paul Manafort a grave flight risk and is going to ask the judge to order him taken into federal custody pending trial.

    Armando thinks this is Mueller (none / 0) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 12:33:29 AM EST
    Really putting the screws to Manafort. Time to spill more Manny. I assume Mueller already has the evidence, but he's going to make Manafort sing.

    Mueller should (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Feb 17, 2018 at 12:43:15 AM EST
    ...let the guy "escape" and see if he tries to get out of the country to a safe haven.

    Which is very close to the same as pleading guilty. The Trump campaign manager.


    No doubt, he's doing that. (none / 0) (#200)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 09:04:46 AM EST
    But Manafort apparently greatly exaggerated to the bank the actual extent of his personal net worth in order to obtain a mortgage on his very expensive home, and then he offered that property as collateral to obtain bond. I think Mueller's concern regarding the defendant's potential flight risk is likely well founded. Manafort's been effectively cornered.

    I hope you did not see Rush (none / 0) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 09:00:26 AM EST

    in case you did here is a sea cucumber eating to clean your mental pallet.

    Especially selected for the borderline p0rn soundtrack.  Which is somehow perfect.

    The only point seems to be (none / 0) (#181)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 01:39:46 PM EST
    asking the question whether we deserve to have an ignorant, bloviating, "un-pc" nincompoop President who foments internal polarization and chaos and who makes us a laughing stock in the eyes of the world..

    A lot of Russians apparently think we deserve it. And that that scenario also serves their long-term interests.

    Maybe they'll bury us yet.

    On that note, I bet some Russians have no problem at all with all the American gundamentalists who want every American armed and eyeing his neighbor suspiciously and with more-and-more school shootings etc

    The (none / 0) (#183)
    by FlJoe on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 02:54:18 PM EST
    Russians are  suspected to be more than  mere spectators in the carnage.
    Even as the NRA has attacked the American news media with incendiary videos stoking hostility, the news media has been reporting on apparent links between the NRA and the Kremlin -- most recently revealing a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into whether a Kremlin-linked banker used the gun lobby organization to help the Trump campaign.

    According to an 18 January 2018 McClatchy D.C. Bureau report, the FBI is investigating allegations that Alexander Torshin, an official at the Central Bank of the Russia and life member of the NRA, funneled money through the gun lobby group to the Trump campaign. The reporting was based on interviews with two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, but who requested their names be withheld because it involves classified and confidential information:

    Gates (none / 0) (#184)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 04:40:59 PM EST
    Manafort (none / 0) (#185)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 04:59:06 PM EST
    Won't be far behind

    If Manafort flips (none / 0) (#191)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 08:09:48 PM EST
    then we would know Trump is the final, true target of Mueller.

    I wouldn't say that Tr*mp is a "target" (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 08:37:55 PM EST
    necessarily. Mueller is just following the evidence wherever it leads, as they say. But Tr*mp is certainly in the target range, that is, a "subject" or "person of interest."

    So Far the Charges Against Manafort and Gates (none / 0) (#193)
    by RickyJim on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 08:53:21 PM EST
    deal with their actions in the years prior to their involvement with Trump and his campaign. So far there are no reports, which I've seen, that they knew him before 2016.

    A timeline of the Trump/Manafort relationship (5.00 / 3) (#198)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 10:06:58 PM EST
    That seems to me totally immaterial (none / 0) (#194)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 18, 2018 at 09:01:20 PM EST
    Would be plausible that Manafort and Gates may have brought their Russian contacts and connections with them when they joined up with Tr*mp in 2016. If they flip on Tr*mp or members of his family, it will be about things that happened in early- to mid-2016, I would think.