The Tea Leaves on Mueller’s Hand Off

As part of writing this post, I confirmed for the first time that the prosecutor I spoke with regarding the Russian attack is not and never has been part of the Mueller team (among other things, I think that means Peter Strzok never got within a mile of my testimony, which is why I asked). But a prosecutor who was involved in discussions setting up my interview is, and the Special Counsel’s Office certainly seemed to recognize my interview as part of the investigation when I alerted them I was going to publish that text. Given that the FBI agents I spoke with didn’t know what topics I cover for a living (and seemed to get wiser about the person we were discussing over two breaks), my guess is that DOJ assigned a team segmented off from the investigation to ensure that no one accidentally dropped hints about the investigation. That’s all just a wildarseguess, though. DOJ has gone to great lengths to ensure I don’t learn anything from the process, as is proper.

Having that tiny glimpse into how DOJ used a prosecutor uninvolved in the case in chief to talk to me about what may have become part of the case in chief is background to explain why I doubt some of the conclusions made in this piece, reporting that Mueller has divvied up tasks to career prosecutors from elsewhere in DOJ.

As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.

Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.

[snip]

Investigators in New York; Alexandria, Virginia; Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been tapped to supplement the work of Mueller’s team, the officials said. Mueller has already handed off one major investigation — into Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — to the Southern District of New York.

The only thing that is clearly new in this paragraph is that Mueller has involved prosecutors in Pittsburgh. As the paragraph itself notes, [part of] the investigation into Michael Cohen got handed off to SDNY. But that’s because it involves conduct — a hush money payment that Cohen arranged from Manhattan and taxi medallion fraud — that don’t clearly relate to Russian election interference. Other reports suggest that conduct more closely tied to the election, such as Cohen’s involvement in inauguration graft, remains in Mueller’s hands.

Similarly, we know of at least one EDVA prosecutor involved in Mueller’s investigation. Uzo Asonye got moved onto the team to placate TS Ellis. He will presumably present a good part of the trial that starts later this month, freeing up another member of that team to focus on the DC side of Manafort’s corruption. But that move was driven, in significant part, from Ellis’ direction.

With Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, there’s plenty of corruption to spread across multiple districts! Heck, Manafort’s former son-in-law is cooperating against him based off a case in LA, and Dmitri Firtash, who is under indictment in Chicago, is one of four oligarchs explicitly named in Manafort’s search warrant.

And, frankly, I’m offended by this passage.

Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three entities in February on charges of violating criminal laws with the intent to interfere with the U.S. election through the manipulation of social media.

None of the targets are in the U.S., but one of them, the Internet Research Agency, has forced Mueller into another legal fight in federal court. The two sides have been sparring most recently over how to protect sensitive investigative materials from disclosure. Mueller has enlisted prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington to handle the case.

I’m offended not just because the passage is factually false: the entity mounting a defense is Concord Management, not Internet Research Agency. But because one should never label a defendant mounting a defense as “forc[ing the prosecutor] into another legal fight.” Yes, Concord’s defense is trollish lawfare aiming to discover intelligence. But that is the risk of using indictments to lay out nation-state information operations.

Also, as I suggested in this post and this post, commentators have made far too much of the technical requirements of the Concord case. The government will use no classified data in the trial, if the trial ever really happens. Which suggests the case will be a glorified call records case, showing that the people running certain accounts were operating from certain IP addresses. That’s not to minimize the import of call records in proving crimes. But it’s just not the most technically difficult case to prove.

Which brings us back to Pittsburgh. In fact, Pittsburgh has already been involved in this case — back when the investigation of the hack of the DNC lived there, as many nation-state hacking cases do. Now, it is definitely true that the hack investigation had, at some point, been moved under Mueller; I know of a witness to the hack who was interviewed at Mueller’s office. But if Mueller’s team of 17 were focused more closely on the “collusion” case, I could imagine them moving the hack case back to where it started.

If that’s actually what happened, it would amount to a hand off, of sorts. But it may not be all that momentous a development. Rather, it might reflect Mueller’s (and Rod Rosenstein’s) continued efforts to keep the matters he will prosecute (as distinct from investigate) closely related to the “collusion” case. That seems like a sound decision both form a resourcing perspective, but it’s a good way to rebut claims that he’s a runaway prosecutor.

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117 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    Nice catch, Marcy.
    The FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems, the officials said. Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton.
    The Pittsburgh case has progressed furthest, but Justice Department officials in Washington believe there is not enough clear evidence yet for an indictment, two of the sources said.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.”

    It seems unlikely Mueller’s team is confronting “a higher-then[sic]-expected volume of court challenges.”  None of this will have surprised Mueller.  He would have expected it and more.  He’s just handling it in the way he anticipated needing to handle it.  The surprise, gotcha character seems obviously wrong.

    As for the absence of a “political appetite” for adding to Mueller’s team, that seems to be an aspiration, not a fact.  Rosenstein and Mueller seem to have staffed these investigations exactly as they wanted to.

    Who knows what source Bloomberg’s Chris Strohm used for that, but the comment seems driven by the hole he dug by saying Mueller’s team is facing “unexpected” court challenges – and his decision to characterize Mueller’s team as unprepared for what it faces and lacking in political support.

    • Willis Warren says:

      There’s a Jungian collective unconscious dismissal of the idea that tRUmp actually used the Russians to win the election that seems to have overtaken the media (and America in general).

      While it’s true the burden of proof is on Mueller, there’s plenty there in plain sight that people are ignoring.

      • SHIFTLOCK says:

        The lull in reports on collusion has been noticed.  Perhaps summer vacations have given breathing room for more TV friendly distractions at the border and Thai boys in caves.

        On the other hand, the bombardment of liars like Dersh and Rudy pushing Trumps narrative into MSM bandwidth, unopposed accept by lapdog hosts like Stephanpopdop and Chucky, look like we’re being setup for the let down.  If that’s the case the FBI is incompetent and the DOJ is a complete failure.

    • Trip says:

      Mike Bloomberg is a duplicitous ass. He’s hedging his bets by saying he’s going to donate to Democrats to counter Trump, while holding a fundraiser for (GOP) Peter King: Islamophobe, Trump-like douche.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily read too much into the “no political appetite at this time” line. Mueller’s backers may be making that claim to stave off attacks by the GOP about the size and expense of Mueller’s investigation.

      It’s possible that it’s an attempt by his opponents to minimize his support. But it may also be an attempt to lull the Trump side into a false sense of security, in the same way that prosecutors will often say someone is not a subject of an investigation in order to mask the true extent of their activities.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Strohm’s is almost a balanced article, but it skews in favor of Trump, but no more than the way that most business news sites would do when there’s a conflict between a big bidnessman and the gubmint.

        Trump is all attack, all the time, except with Vlad and other tyrants.  And he has no sense of security.  That’s a big part of the problem.  He would be paranoid were his fears not well-founded.

        He probably has decades of misdeeds that could get him into trouble, if a prosecutor looked into them.  A thorough investigation of his tax returns alone or just those relating to his supposedly charitable foundation – something the NYAG is begging for the authority to do, but has not yet been given the predicate to do – could topple Trump and his empire.

        I don’t think there is a way “to lull” Trump into a different level of awareness or aggression.  When he thinks he’s being managed, he complies for a day.  Then he goes ape and does what he wanted to do all along.  If that was Bloomberg’s intention, I think it’s wasted effort.

        • Bob Conyers says:

          I agree that Trump will do whatever Trump will do, but the game is different for his backers in Congress and elsewhere — they are on the lookout for mainstream media pieces they can use to sell a narrative and give it legitimacy beyond what you get from Breitbart and Daily Caller.

          So I’m looking not at Bloomberg’s intentions here, but the intention of the sources for that quote. I think the last thing they want to do is feed the storyline for Trump’s backers that Mueller is bringing a bunch of new prosecutors into his team. It would parallel the point EW is making that “That seems like a sound decision both form a resourcing perspective, but it’s a good way to rebut claims that he’s a runaway prosecutor.”

      • Avattoir says:

        We see this sort of ‘analysis’ masquerading as “news” again & again from reporters employed & directed by Big Money large corporate media orgs, with their multiple reports constantly ‘shared’ into & distributed about the BMLCMO community, and, at every distribution point, in varying degrees of concentration, & with different impurities, into the far more nascent yet also more complex & vaster online universe.

        We mostly are left to guess at how much is consciously deliberately aimed, designed and constructed as self-replicating, and to what extent it’s intended to support paid & volunteer symbiot activity & THEREFORE subject to an impossible to quantify tho surely high degree of being laid into by pirates, predators, parasites, &, course, the few-the-info-brave the only truly pure in heart, mind & deed, namely “us” whoever “us” happens to be.

        It’s so pervasive, it soon emerges as grotesquely insufficient to indulge in mere periodic reminders that

        THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THE OSC LEAKS OR GIVES OUT OTR INTERVIEWS.

        Which therefore means that those folk – not just those ‘out there in the vast blogosphere’, but right here in the threads of this very blog – who yield to temptation in assuming that such articles as this one at Bloomberg connect in any meaningful way to OSC actions or ‘thinking’ are, to employ the patois of so many of those folk, doing the Devil’s bidding in complying with their own zombification.

        So the only way to combat it is to read harder, think more, & show greater personal discipline.

        This Bloomberg piece comes out of a big money, corporate, main stream, agenda-ridden org. It has factual errors. It bears clear signs of laziness. It’s written in ways that broadly the distressly common msm myth of direct or indirect contact with OSC figures. The overall intent may be as ‘innocent’ as wishing to entertain goobers, or as nefarious as seeking to mislead the public – or some fo each. It is therefore EXCEEDINGLY  likely to be be outright bullshit, so:

        anyone choosing to run with it needs to thoroughly wash up after.

        • it's complicated says:

          Dear Avattoir,

          I really enjoy a lot of what you’re writing, but this time you got me scratching my head. What is a “BMLCMO community”? “Be My Lawyer Cover My Orifices” was my best guess, and I fear that isn’t a winner:)

          • Silence Hand says:

            Big Money Large Corporate Media Orgs.   Only because it’s in the same sentence; otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten it.  Avattoir’s writing can be as internally threaded as a NYT crossword puzzle.

            I like your version a lot, though!

  3. William Brown says:

    Out of curiosity, what’s your opinion of Peter Strzok? I was surprised to see you were eager your testimony didn’t get “within a mile” of him. I always thought the hullabaloo over him and his affair seemed entirely spurious.

    • Erin McJ says:

      If I were in Marcy’s shoes I would be glad of that because I wouldn’t want the testimony that I endured a long dark night of the soul to provide to be ruled inadmissible because it passed through channels later found to be problematic – spuriously so or not. I don’t know if the law actually works that way but that’s what I’d be thinking about.

      • Mutaman says:

        I’d be worried that the incompetent idiot Strzok was going to tweet my name to his girlfriend.

  4. Bob Conyers says:

    I think it’s worth bringing up again the example of the case that brought down Spiro Agnew, which some other people have linked to elsewhere.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=yeYCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA52

    It arose out of a fairly low level federal investigation by the Baltimore office of US Attorneys who were looking into suburban Baltimore corruption, which the prosecutors eventually found was linked to Spiro Agnew taking bribes when he was Governor of Maryland.

    It was not a complete secret in DC. AG Kleindeinst knew that Agnew was nervous, but had been told earlier by the Baltimore office that Agnew was not a target of the investigation. However, the investigation was very obscure — Elliot Richardson knew nothing about it after he became AG, and the Baltimore team apparently minimized their communication with DOJ in DC.

    The point being that it is certainly possible that there are more than one Agnew-like investigations going on into Trump as we speak, and like the Agnew investigation they are going on outside of Mueller’s team, possibly outside of DC, and well under the radar.

    At least, I certainly hope so. There ought to be plenty of trails to follow.

    • orionATL says:

      this is very interesting. history is a great place to go not only for remembrance of things forgot, but also of insight into the present and future.

      relevant political history would make great political campaign ads for providing citizens with examples of good and poor political judgement (because distant in time, not so emotionally threatening.)

    • Silence Hand says:

      Yes.  In cosomology / astronomy the general sense is that the universe of worlds is so large that there must be intelligent life somewhere out there.  By the same token, the avalanche of corruption that Trump et al. have ushered in is so massive, so festering, scabrous, and shot through with inhumanity, so poorly concealed and executed by such arrogant simpletons, that there simply have to be crimes that are actually prosecutable in there.

      The problem of course is that the slimy, stinking avalanche is still coming down around us at the moment.    Recognizing that long-sought world of intelligent others means actually having detectors to do it.  Who knows if there’ll be a system capable of prosecuting this mess when the Trump era finally slumps into its final reeking resting place?

  5. SteveB says:

    @ Bob Conyers

    In the face of dignified silence from Mueller team I am very skeptical about tea leaf reading that purports to explain this or that manoeuvre by them as a response to political pressure, or as forced upon them unexpectedly by clever lawfare, or being due to a lack of appetite political or otherwise. Even assuming that some of the sources for such insights are not hostile to the probe, there is a tendency to evaluate actions by the team as responsive to the scoops-de-jours; by and large, I imagine the investigators and prosecutors are not as affected by whatever it is that has exercised the author of the piece, or at least not affected in the way described.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      I agree that this article should not be read as reflecting Mueller’s team’s opinions. The sourcing for the article only refers to “several current and former U.S. officials” and if I were to hazard a guess, that is a reference to people with in DOJ or formerly working there, probably sympathetic to Mueller’s team but not in direct communication with any of them, since Mueller is keeping a very tight lid on things.

      I can’t see any value to them in selling an opposite storyline — that Mueller has a lot of political support for expanding his inquiry. I think it’s pretty clear that Mueller wants to limit media attention on his team and I see his supporters matching that tone by downplaying the possibility of expanding the investigation until the time comes when Mueller does more in the open.

  6. Rayne says:

    I think we forget too often there’s one more person who was charged in relation to Concord Management’s work — Richard Pinedo from Santa Clara, CA.

    … In a related move, prosecutors announced that a Santa Paula, Calif., man had pleaded guilty Monday in Washington to identity fraud, admitting that he made tens of thousands of dollars by creating hundreds of bank accounts, often using stolen identities. Richard Pinedo, 28, sold the accounts to unidentified offshore users, apparently including suspects connected to the Russia probe.

    Prosecutors released documents unsealed Friday that showed that Pinedo was charged Feb. 7 after entering a plea deal five days earlier in which he agreed to cooperate with investigators in exchange for an advisory sentencing guideline of 12 to 18 months in prison.

    Pinedo attorney Jeremy Lessem said his client “had absolutely no knowledge” of who his purchasers were or what they did with the information he sold, adding that to the extent his actions may have assisted anyone in interfering with the election, that “was done completely without his knowledge or understanding.” …

    Source: WaPo

    I wonder how much Pinedo’s identity theft weighs into the mix. I haven’t yet seen anything on his sentencing which should have happened sometime in the last week.

    • emptywheel says:

      No, they announced a sentencing date — October 1.

      I think he’s akin to Van der Zwaan, in that he’s a tangent, but in his case they wanted to make sure he remained around for technical follow-up.

      • Rayne says:

        Interesting — I’d seen June 28 as a sentencing date last. Wonder if it was pushed out because he was still cooperating or for other reasons, again like Van der Zwaan.

        There’s still a massive iceberg floating out there wrt identity creation if not theft. Even more worrisome given the Equifax breach. Counterintelligence investigators must have their hands full.

  7. gmoke says:

    Damn! You are such a careful, level-headed, and close reader that I am astonished by the capabilities that a comparative literature graduate can bring to any discussion. So glad you’re out there doing what you do.

  8. Rusharuse says:

    Shine over Babylon

    Bill Shine\ Whitehouse\ Women\ Yeah

    Frank Zappa/Sheryl Crowe (unreleased)

  9. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Mueller hands off…

    Wait, it may be a double reverse!

    Now Jonathan Kravis has the ball!

    Wait, will this be be flea-flicker?

    https://www.justice.gov/criminal/pin

    The Public Integrity Section (PIN) oversees the federal effort to combat corruption through the prosecution of elected and appointed public officials at all levels of government. The Section has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of federal judges and also supervises the nationwide investigation and prosecution of election crimes. Section attorneys prosecute selected cases against federal, state, and local officials, and are available as a source of advice and expertise to other prosecutors and investigators.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      s/be be/be a/

      The timing for this play call is good. Behind over a touchdown, Team Downtrodden needs a spark to come back against Team Fascists.

      We will see how the play unfolds soon.

      Here is the key to watch on this play:

      ‘exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of federal judges and also supervises the nationwide investigation and prosecution of election crimes.’

      [I.E., the Gopers can try to kill Mueller investigation, but it will not stop this play]

      • Rusharuse says:

        Yep, and sometime soon will be demanding decisive action (one sort or another) against Mueller. Somebody at OSC better start piling evidence into a Fedex pack addressed to the ICIJ.

         

  10. SteveB says:

    @ SLF

    I get that you construct intricate jokes, and I really try to get them, but sometimes I’m like WTF, SLF.?

  11. Rusharuse says:

    @SteveB

    SLF better than Suduko!
    What I’m getting- Kravis is on board to take down Kennedy (& Jnr) for him stepping down in return for nice share of the Rosneft commission (paid to Trump campaign for its work on behalf of Russia). And not coincidentally- to take down the Trump campaign for it’s acting as agent of a foreign power WITHOUT first registering with FARA. Tut, tut!
    A colossal goat fuck has nothing on this. This is a Megasauras fucking a Diplodocus and making a lot of noise doing it!!

  12. Rusharuse says:

    @JAAG

    Did you get past page 30? Link there takes to 31 more. He covers Greece, Hungary and Austria . . compelling!

  13. Jaag says:

    @rusharuse.

    No I just read the Italian stuff. I forgot Cohen had gone to Italy etc. There is smoke there.

    • Rayne says:

      Huh. The Italy stuff is very interesting. I have to go back and look at one of my posts about Manafort’s notes — he’s a second generation Italian-American. With both his paternal and maternal grandparents immigrants from Italy, I wonder if Manafort speaks/writes Italian.

      And I’ve always found it odd First Republic Bank was an intersection for Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Tom Barrack, and Donald Trump. What coincidence.

  14. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Nothing on the public schedule tomorrow apart from dinner with Pence & Mother in the evening. Hmmm.

  15. Rugger9 says:

    One wonders what Mueller will make of the GOP’s excellent Russian adventure on July 4th (obviously nothing else to do on that day) even before the Ds use it for attack ads.

    I also wonder why the palace and its so-called “patriots” are so willing to suck up to the Soviets Russians or is it because anything Kaiser Quisling wants must be done?  I think anyone running across a MAGAT (MAGA Trumpie) needs to bluntly ask why kissing Vlad’s arse is so necessary? Is it because the MAGATs (even the elected ones) hate America so much that they gotta have Vlad instead?

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/7/5/1778318/-What-does-Putin-have-on-eight-GOP-lawmakers-who-fled-America-for-Moscow-on-July-4

    • orionATL says:

      rugger9 –

      let me suggest that the russian involvement in the 2016 u. s. federal elections involved more than the presidency.

      with those thoughts in (their) minds, let me suggest that some of these republican poiticians were there with the hope that the russsian gov might help them in their hour of electoral need.

    • cat herder says:

      Why Vlad & Russia? Because Russia is white people. Natural allies in the fight against the unheartlandishly-hued subhumans storming the ramparts.

      As a not-inconsequential side benefit, it pisses off the libtards.

      At least that’s the impression I get from the local MAGA meshbacks. They would put Satan hisself behind the pulpit for a guest sermon next Sunday if they thought there was some way to use it to make “the Left” angry.

  16. orionATL says:

    i’m glad you clarified this, ew.

    your footnote in your original article worried me. it seemed to break the osc news blackout. it seemed to. let a journalist inside the osc, which would be red meat for trump propaganda against the mueller osc. 

      • Sabrina says:

        Thank you for letting me know. I’ve only begun reading her blog more recently, so I didn’t know she had already brought up the topic. I can’t say I’m surprised though, considering the careful analysis here!

        • Mulder says:

          You’re welcome. I believe Marcy reads and thinks in her sleep. And thanks for the reminder that the confirmation hearing is next week. Benczkowski is a former Sessions aide, has no experience as a prosecutor and worked for Alfa Bank after he was on the TPTT. Deep Swamp, indeed.

           

          Note, I tried to post with an excerpt from Durbin’s et.al letter to Trump and see that is a security no-no. My apologies. It won’t happen again.

  17. Trip says:

    This was yesterday’s news, but still kind of stunning within the context of Trump’s overall immigration policies; including the abuse and separation of children, essentially disbanding any asylum, and rescinding citizenry status to already naturalized citizens of the US.

    US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits

    Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.

    https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/07/05/us-army-quietly-discharging-immigrant-recruits/

  18. Trip says:

    Trump was mocking sexual assault (the #metoo movement) at his rally, after hiring Shine (who approved attacking the victims at Fox), and then we have Jim Jordan, the Joe Paterno of DC, covering up (not reporting) the victimization of teenagers. Add to that, destroyed documents of immigrant children, kidnapped by the government, taken away from their parents, some kept in deplorable conditions, and you have widespread government sanctioned child abuse.

    How can any woman vote for Trump, or the GOP who clearly support this? How can any man, who has  sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends, female friends, children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, etc vote for the GOP or Trump?

    How can the plastic Aryan doll, Ivanka, and the mail-order-I-don’t-care wife, Melanie cosign this shit?

  19. robert harding says:

    [email protected]:21, I know you mean well, but, as a man, I don’t need to first realize how the women I know feel about this shit to understand that what is going on is depraved. This is non-gendered, human evil.
    These people, men and women, know of their misdeeds, and care more for their own interests than others’ life and liberty.
    The oppression of women is a “women’s issue,” but it only needs a human heart to be repelled by it.

    • Trip says:

      Why does it say email protected on this comment? When I read it earlier, the response just had my screen name in black.

      • Trip says:

        Can people otherwise see your email address? I have never seen any, other than the green ones which have links to blogs or twitter.

            • robert harding says:

              Sorry, Trip, I did not know that format would mess anything up. As for the comment, I would like to stress that my beef with you is firmly in the quibble category.

              • Trip says:

                I didn’t think it was anything you did. I’ve used the @, in the past, with a name and the same thing didn’t happen, so who the hell knows? Probably a random glitch.

                I didn’t realize we had a quibble/beef. Since I included everyone, I think we’re on the same page. The people who don’t care aren’t extending empathy beyond themselves, but they could be next, so they should think about it. Chomsky mentions Trump’s speeches being reminiscent of Hitler.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Trump regime lies again.  (I know, dog bites man.)  Trump wants an extension to today’s deadline to reunite young immigrant children with their immigrant parents.  Can’t do it, the Trump regime now says, notwithstanding HHS Sec’y Azar’s assertion a few days ago that he could match up child with parent within seconds on his handy laptop.  Is lying to Congress still a felony?

    On a similar note, Trump’s Pentagon is “quietly” letting go immigrants promised citizenship in exchange for their language skills and X years of military service.  No or contradictory reasons given.

    Reneging on promises is a Trump specialty.  But this one demoralizes the Pentagon from top to bottom.  Everyone from new recruit to four-star general understands that when the service to which they devote life, limb and family reneges on one important promise, every promise is at risk.  It promotes an us vs. them mentality, despite the large numbers of first and second generation Americans that serve in the military.

    This move makes Steve Miller happy.  No doubt it was sold to Trump as simply being consistent with his other border policies.  But it deprives the services of rare foreign language and other technical skills.  Depth of resources drops.  This at a time when Trump is trashing allies, making new enemies, and expanding our already global reach.

    All of that is just in time for Mr. Trump’s appearance at Mr. Putin’s staff meeting.  Perhaps he needed one more bullet point to show how firmly he is weakening America.  Hail to the Chief.

    • Silence Hand says:

      To once again refer to Josh Marshall / TPM, at some point it doesn’t matter if DJT is a full-on Russian asset directly doing Putin’s bidding to weaken the US and NATO, or simply an semi-conscious idiot acting out brainstem-level impulses.  The result is the same.

  21. Trip says:

    So John F. Solomon, buddy of Hannity and Trump supporter, sees a conspiracy against Trump. Shocking (/s).

  22. Rugger9 says:

    Orion (11:17 PM), that was the point I’ve made earlier on many other threads: the entire GOP is complicit from Pence, McTurtle, LyinRyan all the way down. Some are more active (Noonces and Jordan-Paterno, for example) in their obstruction antics, some also benefited (Gaetz comes to mind) and because of this all of them want Mueller to shut down without further ado.

    • orionATL says:

      rugger9 –

      tx. yours are good points. i do well to remember some (but only some, alas) of my own points :))

      i’m waiting (and wanting) to see evidence of specific russian/trump campaign joint acti on in the big five senatorial races in 2016. there have been hints at emptywheel about n. car. florida had to be a big target. wisconsin was a great curiosity with johnson trailing then suddenly winning. the first two alone gave the republicans control of the senate and thus gave trump carte blanche.

      in terms of a winning strategy to support a trump administration, the senate races had to be considered hand-in-glove with the presidential, else, stalemate for republicans, by russians, by the trump campaign.

      finally, the put-trump-in-control-of-the-american-government syrstegy had to involve actually manipulating vote tallies one way or another in the “vulnerable” states of wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. this could have involved russians but did not have to since republicans are very good at the end game, voting machine manipulation, voter roll pilfering, polling station shortages and misleafing directions, long-lines strategies, etc.

      that jill stein, who showed up in russia at an rt dinner with putin and michael flynn, called for a recount in these states is a curiosity. in fact, it is a curiosity she ran at all, but her serious russian connections, if any, have not been questioned to my knowledge.

  23. Trip says:

    Wherein the Russians themselves call Trump and the GOP their stooges:

    Julia Davis‏ @JuliaDavisNews
    #Russia’s state TV: Chairman of Foreign Affairs Comm Konstantin Kosachev says that Trump is convinced that Mueller can’t catch him — only #Manafort. Therefore, the “red lines” in dealing with Russia that were there at the start of his presidency are no longer holding him back.
    https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1015241398143143938

    Julia Davis‏ @JuliaDavisNews
    #Russia’s state TV: Chairman of Foreign Affairs Comm Konstantin Kosachev, who is under U.S. sanctions, says that the mere fact of GOP lawmakers traveling to Russia is a concession, since the US previously pledged to isolate Russia for Crimea, etc., but they changed that position.
    https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1014499338494660608

    You know what’s a good idea after this propaganda? Meeting alone with Putin. /s

  24. Palli says:

    I do not understand why the ever-present need for “combat readiness” isn’t a logical, even patriotic, reason for the Pentagon to prevent [refuse the order, has anyone see the order?] the dismissal of fully trained, & training, military personnel who have been promised citizenship for enlistment despite trump’s ill-intentioned orders. (Granted, my closest relationship to military is a WWII dad who early in American participation was shot down & spent the rest of the war in prison camps learning to
    intelligently & democratically plan/strategize with other POWs the best actions under those conditions.)

  25. SpaceLifeForm says:

    The Brits Told Us [the US NSA] the Russians Were Hacking Our Election

    [apparently, GCHQ *thought* so]

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-brits-told-us-the-russians-were-hacking-our-election

    What struck Hannigan, though, was where the messages appeared to have originated: the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee.

    “It didn’t tell us much,” he recalled. “It told us there was an intrusion, and something had been taken out of the committee. But I had no way of knowing what.”

    Hannigan thought his American counterparts needed to see these intercepts, and fast. He looked at them once more and asked his staff to be sure to flag them for the National Security Agency. This shouldn’t get lost in the daily pile, he told them. This was sensitive stuff, and his American counterpart, Admiral Rogers, and his colleagues at the NSA, needed to know about it.

    A few weeks later, Hannigan recalled, he received an acknowledgment “from someone senior” on Rogers’s NSA staff. They appreciated the heads-up.

    It was the last he heard from them about it.

    • orionATL says:

      trip –

      this is an absolutely superb article by caroline o. about the detsils of bot usage for political manipulation and sabaotge. what a painstaking analytical effort to pull this stuff together.

      thanks.

    • Sabrina says:

      Trip, thanks for the article. The psyops aspect is becoming sophisticated. The tactic of posing as “one of us” is a scarily great strategy for amplifying the worry that many people have re how to effectively push back on Trump’s cult. This insidious ingroup association makes the idea that “yes, the left has gone too far” more palatable. It may not be genuinely realized by Democrats, but even implanting the suggestion weakens any coordinated democrat/independent movement going forward. It’s ingenious, in a Machiavellian way.

      Also, the data mining and frequency hashtag clouds that were relied on for this analysis were well done and insightful. The fact that, on google, amplifying the message artificially causes it eventually to self-amplify as a type of iterative process is yet another sign that we are far beyond pro trump messaging at this point.

      Really, with the way social media can amplify division and has been actively weaponized, the best move (as stated in article) is to remove oneself from comment sections where malicious interests can manipulate the narrative to the largest degree, comparatively. Research on conspiracy theories consistently shows that neural programming can be embedded deeply- this is why facts or proof are often avoided, and if confronted with it, the rationalization is just that it’s another type of disinformation, thereby confirming the conspiracy theory.

      Interesting stuff. I’ll like to read up a bit more on what their specific tactics are since the sophistication inherent in the walk away “campaign” (as I’ve mentioned) is high, *plus* these campaigns are being waged in real time. The speed of the reactivity, while people’s emotions are running high over the current issue at hand, is yet another factor that makes these ideas very difficult to shake. At this point, I can even imagine a campaign dedicated to shutting down elections in the interests of national security- the conspiracy campaign has worked so well that even something that outlandish has a chance of taking hold in the electorate. Scary. Thanks again for sharing.

      • Ken Muldrew says:

        The present-day version of “Brown Shirts” but instead of marching, singing, shouting down any public debate, and de-humanizing the officially declared “non-persons” (not to mention beating the shit out of anyone who didn’t salute and show proper obeisance to their authority), these people are fully engaged in posting, tweeting, shouting over any reasonable attempt at debate, and the public amplification of party propaganda that de-humanizes their version of non-persons. An atmosphere of Nacht und Nebel to prevent reasonable people from openly declaring and discussing reasonable beliefs.

        Another side effect of the neocon program of the empire creating its own reality. There is now a significant segment of the population that insists their shared imaginary world is real. They not only try to recruit everyone else to that belief but those in positions of responsibility also base practical decisions of how people should behave based on those beliefs (a bunch of these people are just cynical grifters lining their own pockets, but by no means are they all in on the con). No amount of rational argument, facts, or empirical evidence is going to sway these people from their shared fantasy (cf. religion). Between this hardcore faction of delusional fanatics (who have discovered that political activism now means redressing all of the unfair circumstances that have prevented them rising to their proper place in society, and believe that their personal grievances will be addressed once the civil order has been overturned) and the collection of tactics for gaming elections, I’m rather afraid that one of the trolls was correct: that this administration is having power poured upon it at a miraculous rate.

         

    • Trip says:

      Anecdotally, (yeah I know), this was happening on a smaller scale (I think) leading up to the election. A few people (who weren’t bots) were obviously not left-leaning, but that was their backstory in their “recent” zealous support of Trump.  I recall the wave of Putin-propagandists too, saying he was the bestest, most beloved leader, in the history of the world. For people who were not advocates of never-ending ongoing war, the arguments were plenty about Putin’s non-aggressiveness. Although, those people were much easier to spot, especially when they would advocate that they’d rather have Putin as a leader than Obama.

      For Trump and the GOP cult to win, they can’t rely solely on his base and the shrinking Republican party. Aside from gerrymandering, restricting voting, and purging rolls, demoralizing voters on the left to do nothing is/was probably their greatest feat.

      There certainly is a lot not to love about the Democrats and/or specific Democratic politicians (in name only) who are really Republicans. But nothing will change under an increasingly fascist GOP government, engineered by the international cabal of hard right authoritarians and oligarchy.

      Interesting times we live in.

      This article covers more than trolls, and I believe they are referring to intra-government acts, not international plays, but there are possibly scripts:

      Dirty public secrets Yandex leaks internal Google Docs apparently shared by Russian banks, state officials, and Internet trolls

      The “trolls” might be working according to a manual
      On his Telegram channel, Alexander Plushev also drew attention to a spreadsheet shared on Google that was apparently used by an organized “troll” group to coordinate efforts to hijack online discussions. The document, titled “Let’s Find the Truth: Russia Under Putin, Achievements and Anti-Achievements,” lists various historical events throughout Putin’s 18-year rule, as well as events from the times of Stalin and Gorbachev, and includes scripted responses to share, when these issues come up on social media.
      The website Znak.com speculates that this spreadsheet could be part of a manual distributed to professional trolls who are paid to write comments on social media in support of the Russian government.

      https://meduza .io /en/feature/2018/07/05/dirty-public-secrets

      [Readers should use extra caution when opening Meduza links. / ~Rayne]

    • Trip says:

      Another article from that site, which illustrates imperialistic goals:
      With a slip of the lip, a Russian senior lieutenant supplies more evidence of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine
      https://meduza .io /en/news/2018/07/06/with-a-slip-of-the-lip-a-russian-senior-lieutenant-supplies-more-evidence-of-moscow-s-military-intervention-in-ukraine

      [Readers should use extra caution when opening Meduza links. / ~Rayne]

      • Sabrina says:

        Both interesting articles. Thanks for the heads up on this website, I hadn’t seen it before. The indexing issues with Google Docs that were ostensibly private yet publicly accessible is concerning; more so when they discuss what info was on those docs.

        Also, the feeble attempts at rebuttal arguments used by pro-fascist (I couldn’t think of a better term atm) groups is exactly the kind of logically fallacious stuff that enrages me about numerous comment sections. I suppose when you’re on the losing side of a debate it’s always easier to move the goal posts and debate the straw man instead.

      • Valley girl says:

        OK, I thought someone was trying to impersonate you.  We must log in a different way, b/c I think I’m prevented from doing that.  But don’t explain, please.  Just being cautious b/c of…

  26. SpaceLifeForm says:

    [This is suspicious. The article text has just changed in past hour, removing references to ‘X’ (probably Person D),, whom is now referred to as ‘banker’]

    [You can figure out who ‘X’ is from the second link. Why Wapo changed text is unknown, but I saw it]

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/local/public-safety/paul-manafort-wants-trial-moved-to-roanoke-says-alexandria-too-liberal/2018/07/06/0b6b72c6-8167-11e8-b658-4f4d2a1aeef1_story.html?__twitter_impression=true

    Manafort’s lawyers observed that President Trump himself added to their concern, when he tweeted that his former aide got a “tough sentence,” incorrectly suggesting that Manafort had been sentenced for committing a crime, rather than having his bail revoked for violating its terms.

    [Trump not so bright, but that is not point here]

    ….

    Also on Friday, attorneys for the special counsel made clear in a filing how they plan to link Manafort’s alleged bank fraud to the Trump campaign.

    “The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye writes.

    However, he said prosecutors will present evidence that a banker helped Manafort obtain $16 million in loans because he hoped to get a position in the Trump administration.

    [The banker is ‘X’]

    There are multiple dots going on here, and I am not putting them together at this time.

    But, you can figure out ‘X’ from here:

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/08/09/on-the-manafort-raid/

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Refusing to have the cases combined under ABJ in DC was his first attempt at jurisdiction shopping, and now he thinks that NoVa, home of so many FARA-averse dictatorship-lobbyists, is too liberal so he ought to be judged by hillbillies? Dear me.

      The warrant affidavit showed an additional lender to the ones we knew about; Calk may be in deep shit, but the loans issued in late July and August against one of the west coast properties in the deal with Yohai are verrry interesting.

    • SteveB says:

      If the  answer to the dot trail is the previously identified Steve Calk of Fed Savings, I do wonder why you don’t simply say that rather than indulge in pseudo magical mystery tour game playing.

      FFS

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        Because Stephen Calk *was* named in the original article, but after an hour his name was removed.

        Why?

        Did Wapo get threatened with a lawsuit?

        Or did they think it was super-secret info that was not supposed to be revealed?

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Or just an editor trying to protect the rep of Calk? Maybe via some external pressure to do so?

        • greengiant says:

          From February, Calk has been in play for a long time ( per, just guessing here haha, team Trump leakings) https://www.americanbanker.com/news/the-community-banker-who-got-tangled-up-in-the-russia-probe Perhaps Calk is still unnamed in the filings and Wapo was near quoting Asonye from court filings and was filling in too many blanks with words the SCO never made in court filings. Notice also the continuing media warfare to discredit Weissmann in this article. NYTimes has no monopoly on acting as stenographers for the media warfare against the SCO.

          • SpaceLifeForm says:

            “Perhaps Calk is still unnamed in the filings and Wapo was near quoting Asonye from court filings and was filling in too many blanks with words the SCO never made in court filings.”

            Good logical explanation. Hence why I followed Wapo hint, and referenced him as ‘X’. Maybe Wapo is getting lots of leaks and not keeping them organized.

            To me, Calk would be Chicago GJ thing, and I would not expect Wapo to mix up with DC or EDVA.

            • greengiant says:

              I don;t think I will ever dignify Team Trump mediawarfare droppings with the term “leaks”. Their crap is all that is out there when it is from “sources”. A few fools pretend to know something from inside the SCO, the rest are making it up for warfare.

  27. JAAG says:

    I don’t know the lay of the land down there in the USA…I cannot believe I am saying this, but I think that Manafort motion to move trial away from news obsessed DC may actually have some merit.

    I do get a perverse thrill from the fact that Mr. Saville – Row – Kiev cannot handle being seen in orange.

    Ok, have at me wolves….

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Standard delaying tactic.  Doesn’t mean the argument has merit.  It will may also come up again on appeal for the same reason.  Kitchen sink and all that.

      The judge isn’t required to find a person who does not know what an “oar” is to sit on the sailor’s jury.  The judge must only believe that a jury of Manafort’s peers can be found that won’t prejudge his case.

      As for the snark about where one would find his peers, “Try the local sewer,” comes to mind from Raiders.  Palermo and Salerno also come to mind.  But the odds are, despite the mythic beliefs of the movers and shakers in their own renown, that there are lots of people in Metro DC unmoved by them.

    • bmaz says:

      Naw JAAG, that motion is going nowhere. You file it just to preserve the issue for appeal. But venue will never get changed.

      • bmaz says:

        Adding, the motion may not be frivolous, but it is damn close to it. There is not a chance in hell it gets granted.

  28. Rusharuse says:

    @JAAG
    Paul, a shiny man, will always have – that hair that skin:

    “Did you say I shouldn’t be on TV on Sunday? I’ll go on TV anytime I g–dam f—ing want and you won’t say another f—ing word about me!” Trump told Manafort, according to Lewandowski.

    “Tone it down? I wanna turn it up! … You’re a political pro? Let me tell you something. I’m a pro at life. I’ve been around a time or two. I know guys like you, with your hair and skin …”

    Happy rutting season!

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/362958-trump-ripped-manafort-after-he-suggested-he-should-not-appear-on-sunday

    • Trip says:

      Lewandowski has an ax to grind because he got pushed out and Manafort was pulled in.

      That said, Manafort and Trump share the characteristic of extreme vanity. Trump with his orange glow and the ridiculous comb-over, and Paulie with his salon dye and facials (I’m sure). I’d bet he’s like Gotti and the fancy mob boys, with the manicures too.

      It’s hilarious how Lewandowski thinks he’s making Trump look ‘strong’, when all he is doing is demonstrating what an absolute dick Trump is.

    • Trip says:

      Just wanted to add that Trump is jealous of Manafort’s appearance and that is hilarious.

  29. SpaceLifeForm says:

    So, did Brent Blakely bail? Is this why Lanny Davis now representing Cohen?

    How mamy days until Lanny bails? O/U 13.

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, Jimmy Jordan continues to insist he knows nussink about the reportedly sexually predatory nature of the entire gym complex where OSU wrestlers showered and worked out. And the Trump regime deports immigrant parents of children under five – without their kids – and argues it has no obligation to reunite them.

    This is what corrupt power does: excuse itself of all wrongdoing. That’s why fair elections and institutional counterweights are so vital.

    Would that the Dems had the will and the creativity to back up Sen. Corey Booker’s claim that there will be no Supreme Court votes until Trump is no longer under federal investigation. (Or at least until the sitting president is no longer under federal investigation.) The alternative is to give the president a vote on his get out of jail free card.

    • Trip says:

      Schumer, Manchin and a few others don’t mind the conservative direction. It has nothing to do with the constituency either, although that’s the crap you will hear. Plus the stupid civility track.

      I heard Jordan was attacking the accusers, a la Dershowitz playbook.  They know no lows.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yep, standard Cheneyite playbook.   Never apologize, double down, counter-attack, never give up even a sound bite that could be used against you.

    • cat herder says:

      Schumer’s con is a variation on ‘heads I win, tails you lose’:

      If Dems lose, that’s clear evidence they need to shift their message to the right. If they win, that’s clear evidence that their previous shifts to the right worked.

      • Trip says:

        And now the Johnny-come-lately-past-Republican-anti-Trump-recent-Democrat-converts think they are going to dictate the path of the party. People like Schmidt, for example, who say Ocasio Cortez  is wrong/bad for the party. And no one is properly telling him to fuck off.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I’ll volunteer for that.  My potty mouth has improved since reading this site.

          Ocasio-Cortez is exactly the kind of candidate the Dems need to find and promote if they want to regain control of either or both houses of Congress and to relieve the US of the corruption of the current Trump regime.

          Several dozen like her would refocus the party toward meeting the needs of Main Street rather than Wall Street Americans.  They would attract a considerable majority of votes.

          The current Dem leadership’s strategy, however, seems to be to remain a reluctant opposition party in both houses, intent on filling their coffers and preserving their leadership positions, while assuring Wall Streeters they will have nothing to fear on their watch.  Francis Urquhart comes to mind.

  31. jon b says:

    why is Andrew millers interview at this  time significant ? I know he was a stone crony.

  32. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, the NYT gives us these neutral headlines about the Honorable Mr. Jordan:

    Lawmaker is Defiant as Accusers Say He Knew of Misconduct.

    Jim Jordan is Defiant as Allegations Mount, and Supporters Point to “Deep State”

    Two headlines, one above, one below the figurative fold.  Both lead to the same article by Catie Edmondson.  Mr. Jordan, like Mr. Trump, says Ms. Edmondson, has “stalwart” supporters.  And the “president weighed in with his unqualified support.”

    But even as more wrestlers step forward, Mr. Jordan’s base has mounted a defense. The conservative news media has questioned the motives and truthfulness of his accusers.

    And this:

    Mr. Jordan indicated on Friday that he would continue to maintain his innocence.
    “What bugs me the most,” he said, “is that these athletes who you spent so much time with are saying things that just are not true.”

    The article, like the editor’s headlines, is written overwhelmingly from the perspective of Jordan and his supporters.  It is resolutely pro-Jordan.  Civility ueber alles, at least for powerful congresscritters.

    Jordan has a slight problem, hnowever, as the list of former OSU athletes coming out to protest his claimed lack of knowledge is lengthening.  Reports are also emerging that sexual predation was not limited to the team doctor, the late (owing to suicide) Dr. Strauss.

    The entire gym complex seems to have been implicated.  Watching the wrestlers workout and shower was reportedly a team sport, with the watchers relieving their sexual urges alone or with each other while doing so.

    The head coach complained about the atmosphere and asked for a private facility for his team, to no avail.  Jordan was the coach’s principal deputy.  But he knows nussink “formal” about what went on, barring locker room talk.

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As bmaz says on twitter, this latest from Schmidt and Haberman, Shifting Strategy, Trump’s Lawyers Set New Conditions for Mueller Interview, is precious:

    [T]he president’s lawyers, who long cooperated quietly with the inquiry even as their client attacked it, have shifted to an openly combative stance.

    Giuliani is not shifting strategy.  Neither he nor the lawyers he replaced ever intended that Trump should volunteer to sit for an interview.

    It has long been obvious (except to Schmidt, Haberman and the NYT) that no lawyer worth retaining would volunteer Trump for an interview with Bob Mueller.  Nor do witnesses set the terms for their interviews.

    The shortest review of Trump’s career, the slightest evaluation of his personality, would make clear that he is a habitual liar.  He could not be trusted to tell Bob Mueller the correct time of day.  As an unrestrained narcissist, Trump could not resist talking too much, answering questions Mueller hasn’t asked, and embellishing one lie with another.

    That’s not a “perjury trap,” which is illegally setting up a witness to lie – an independent crime – when a prosecutor has no evidence a witness committed any other crime.  It is having a bad client who can’t stop bragging about his crimes.

    It is also bad editors at the NYT.  The article itself is more informative, in that it lays out what Giuliani admits is a PR defense, not a legal one.  His principal objective is to work the ref, the public, in hopes that false claims and characterizations put out by Giuiliani will reduce public support for Mueller’s investigation and for Trump’s eventual prosecution or impeachment.

    It’s what you do when the law is against you, you have a bad client and bad facts.  But the NYT doesn’t want to admit that in a headline.

    • Trip says:

      Then you have Douche-a-witz tag-teaming with Rudy, acting like he’s all Mr high brow civil rights protector, persecuted on the Vineyard of his principles; while in reality, he was on the Board of Governors at Gatestone, helped write the Muslim Ban, and supports Trump for his hard-right Zionism. And CNN invites him on to spew his propaganda. Why doesn’t anyone on CNN ever ask him about his association with that group?

      Or how about his trying to blackball another person for an opinion in the past? Freedom of speech, yadda yadda…

      Norman Finkelstein comments, via email:
      “Oh, he wants ‘vibrant debate’: I suppose that’s why he threatened to bankrupt University of California press if they published my book [Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and Abuse of History, 2005], and called on Governor Schwarzenegger to kill the book.
      “Oh, and I suppose it’s because of his opposition to McCarthyism that he sent a 60-page smear document to every faculty member and administrator at DePaul so as to deny me tenure [in 2007].
      “Oh, sack of shit, Thy name is Dershbag.”
      http://mondoweiss.net/2018/07/dershowitz-shunned-vineyard/

      • Trip says:

        I’m not saying I’m a fan of Finkelstein, but when you actively seek to have someone institutionally “shunned” and you complain about not being invited to parties, come on…

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Garden variety double standard bearer.  Violently pro-self and pro-Israeli government.  On other topics, especially where he’s the defendant, he demands NYT’s levels of civility.  Kris Kobach is academically brilliant, too, but he’s a hard rightwing ideologue who doesn’t know one end of a court room from the other.

          How CNN could give AD a paid spot when he also shills for Faux News is testament to their cravenness, not AD’s negotiating skills.  His would be neighbors on the Vineyard have him pegged correctly.

          • Trip says:

            He’s a snake in the grass. He pretends to be “liberal” or left, but is actually advocating for the hard right, and twisting logic and law to arrive there.

            I’d have more respect for him if he came clean and simply admitted he supports Trump, his bias in policies, and that he is an outright lobbyist for Israel.

            And CNN knows exactly who he is, but they play along.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          If CNN ever tires of AD’s rambling diatribes, the NYT will add him to its OpEd page.  It admires them immensely.

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Gary Segura, Dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, held a conference.  What he didn’t tell the top NYT reporters who were part of it ahead of time was that they were on the menu.  A rare moment, captured in this HuffPost piece, from yesterday afternoon.

    The most common response from Maggie H and others was disappointment that the criticisms were not voiced privately in advance.  A paean to civility?  Or an admission that damage control is more important than a substantive response.  A changing of the norms of access journalism would be right out.

    • Sabrina says:

      Great article- watching the video itself was the best part. The first few minutes were a fairly balanced, accurate look at the moral equalization that is so prevalent in their reporting. The NYT is one of the worst, but the larger papers usually tend to present things in this light. It would be nice if they could call a spade a spade, but perhaps they are worried about maintaining journalistic access. An admirable goal, if there weren’t a genuine concern that this tepid reporting may help pave the way for a day when freedom of the press is no longer a guarantee. Journalist access, or “civility” (or whatever else they are concerned with so as to not rock the boat) will cease to matter at that point.

      It sounded very much like he was sounding an alarm- one that at least could be credited with being civil and even-handed in its approach.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I noted that the snookering took place because this was not a journalism school, but a public Ivy’s school of government & public affairs, an equally important forum owing to the deleterious consequences for all of us of access journalism.

        Thank you, Gary Segura, for your public service message.

  35. Rugger9 says:

    Jordan’s not going anywhere in the next week or so, even though the conduct was long ago (perhaps he should talk to Al Franken about that), and so far the silence from the GOP leadership is deafening. It’s almost as if the outrage is dependent upon the party involved…. IOKIYAR.

    In the mean time, the palace is continuing Kaiser Quisling’s destruction of Obamacare, this time attacking the mechanism that prevented insurers from gaming the process to only cover low-risk individuals.

    https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/07/donald-trumps-obamacare-sabotage-continues-apace/

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I suspect Jordan is desperate to make it to the August break – which GOP leaders promise will not be – in hopes that “this” will all blow over in the hot August nights and the coming prospect of football season and the Series.

      If Mr. Jordan has time, he should talk to Harvey as well as Al about that blowing over thingy.

      • Rugger9 says:

        You’re probably right about the intended timing, but more wrestlers continue to support the claims made against Rep. Paterno Jordan (seven as of last night).  I don’t think he makes it to the recess, but instead will pull a Blake Farenthold and slow-walk his resignation.  When is his district’s primary?  That might be an important marker regarding the timing of his departure.

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