Three Things: CRC—What? An Indictment, Plus Shut Downs Ahead

[NB: As always, check the byline. / ~Rayne]

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation process is an 800-pound gorilla in the media, as is the potential for the obstructive removal of Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General. They suck up enormous amounts of mental wattage, sitting wherever they want to sit.

Here are three things which are in some way related and worth more of our attention, whatever is left after the gorillas are done with it.

~ 3 ~

CRC: One degree from Manafort

Thomas Fine went prowling around FARA filings, landing this juicy find (pdf):

Yes, Creative Response Concepts, Inc., the same firm for which Ed Whelan has worked, registered in 2005 as a foreign agent for Viktor Yanukovych — the same Yanukovych for which Paul Manafort also worked as an illegal foreign agent. CRC was paid $10,000 by Potomac Communications Group, for which Aleksei Kiselev worked. Kiselev also worked for Paul Manafort to assist Yanukovych.

What a small, small world.

Should note CRC’s registration was after the fact — they were contracted for April-October 2003. Why so late?

(Thanks to @JamesFourM for the PCG-Kiselev-Manafort link.)

~ 2 ~

Indictment yesterday related to Trump Towers…in Azerbaijan

Didn’t see this until late last night: DOJ indicted Kemal “Kevin” Oksuz (pdf) on one count of hiding or falsifying material facts and four counts of making false statements to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics. The filings were related to a Congressional trip to Azerbaijan ultimately paid for by State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the wholly state-owned national oil and gas company of Azerbaijan.

Oksuz is now a fugitive.

Ten members of Congress and 32 staffers traveled in 2013 to attend a U.S.-Azerbaijan convention in Baku after Azerbaijan had asked Congress for an exemption from sanctions on Iran for a $28 billion natural gas pipeline project. The members and staffers were later cleared as it appeared they believed the trip’s funding was provided by Oksuz’s nonprofit organization.

Personally, I think those members and staffers needed a rebuke. Nonprofits don’t print money; they rely on money from donors. Follow the money to the donors before accepting a trip and incidentals. It’s not rocket science.

Worth keeping in mind the Trump International Hotel & Tower built in Baku, overseen by Ivanka Trump, which burned in late April this year — an amazing two fires, same day. What are the odds?

~ 1 ~

Shutdowns Ahead: U.S.-Canada and U.S. Government?

Doesn’t look like negotiations between the U.S. and Canada are going to make this Saturday’s deadline. No idea what will happen after that. We all know the Trump administration has been at fault; how could anybody screw up a long-term peaceful relationship like U.S.-Canada, our second largest trading partner after China, without deliberate bad faith? Without the intent to screw over another NATO member’s economy?

And the U.S. government itself faces a budget deadline. If the “minibus” budget bill isn’t signed by midnight this coming Sunday we’re looking at a shutdown and it appears the bottleneck may be Trump. The jerks at Breitbart are fomenting to encourage a shutdown by insisting Trump refuse to sign the bill — they’re just plain malicious, thinking not at all about the impact on fellow Americans or the economy.

Putin must be laughing his ass off at how easily the GOP’s white nationalist base has subverted U.S. and NATO stability by giving up control to a mobbed-up, golf-addicted, attention-deficient wig.

~ 0 ~

Don’t miss Marcy’s interview on Democracy Now in which she talks about Rod Rosenstein’s status and the Kavanaugh confirmation process.

Treat this like an open thread — have at it.

p.s. A note on site operations: Please be sure to use the same username and email address each time you log into the site. It makes it easier for community members to get to know you. Deliberate sockpuppeting is not permitted.

50 replies
  1. BobCon says:

    Note to Mods:

    I’m going to change my name from Bob Conyers to BobCon. My last name isn’t actually Conyers — I chose it at random off of the list of names to the right for the sake of anonymity — but I realize there might be a real Bob Conyers out there who might get some guff for something I wrote. Google says there are hundreds with that name out there, but still it wouldn’t be fair to any of them.

    Sorry, I realize this is a screwup I should have fixed earlier, but I’ll plead better late than never.

  2. maestro says:

    I’m not really sure how to reconcile WaPo/NYT’s portrayal of Rosenstein as an in-over-his-head coward desperate to please Trump with the idea that he knows of earth-shattering, incriminating evidence against Trump in the Russia investigation.

    • Carla says:

      Rosenstein may be in over his head, but who wouldn’t be under these circumstances? Aside from the memo that was repurposed to provide justification for firing Comey I can’t actually think of anything he’s handled particularly badly.

      I don’t think he’s a coward either, and that’ll be clear when the story behind the weirdness on Monday is eventually reported accurately.

  3. AitchD says:

    The only thing that could match or exceed the thrill of watching Tiger the other day would be if the SJC Democrats invite Bill Clinton to question Kavanaugh.

  4. EricofMariposa says:

    Any possibility that Trump intends to replace Rosenstein with Kavanaugh as Assistant AG, should Kavanaugh withdraw or fail?

    [FYI – username changed on this post from “Eric” to “EricofMariposa” to match username meeting site standards. / ~Rayne]

    • Peterr says:


      Kavanaugh would remain a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which is a lifetime appointment that is a couple big steps above a two (or six) year gig in a subcabinet-level DOJ post.

  5. BasharH says:

    “Should note CRC’s registration was after the fact — they were contracted for April-October 2003. Why so late?”

    Wouldn’t the 2003-2005 time frame span the 2004 presidential election, where CRC also engineered the Swift Boat campaign? That would probably lead to uncomfortable questions about whether there was foreign governmental aid to George W. Bush’s campaign against John Kerry. I can’t help but remember how surprised Bush was at winning re-election… almost the same surprised look that Trump had in 2016.

  6. new-radical says:

    It’s time to call out some words for what they actually mean.

    PR, Public Relations = Lying or BS

    PA, Public Affairs = Lying or BS because some have worked out that PR is pejorative.

    Spin is the lying that PR and PA firms do to create the “alternative facts”, and apparently some even require Reputational Management… RM?

    Spin is now undertaken by spin doctors who work in PR, PA or RM.

    Even the word spin, is spin… An attempt to obsfucate, to lie about the lie.

    We have to wake up, because no society can survive if no one can trust the word of another.

    We have to call out the lies.

    And we have companies like CRC

    And we enable this… FMD

  7. cat herder says:

    “The jerks at Breitbart are fomenting to encourage a shutdown by insisting Trump refuse to sign the bill — they’re just plain malicious, thinking not at all about the impact on fellow Americans or the economy.”

    You’re wrong. They are absolutely thinking about who it will hurt. It’s their reason for getting out of bed every morning.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, you think they intend to hurt the poor, non-white, disabled — oh yes. They’re American Nazis. But there are farmers, manufacturing workers, veterans who are their base, white guys who voted for them who are now being hurt by their shitty policies and even lousier execution. Those guys they completely forgot about or couldn’t model in their zeal to swing their tiny dicks.

      And I can’t believe we have to put up with likes of Brendan Nyhan complaining about Sean McElwee being “rude” for saying Republicans were killing the poor.

  8. James says:

    New-radical wrote in reference calling out some terms or persons as liars:

    PA, Public Affairs = Lying or BS because some have worked out that PR is pejorative.


    Hi, this is my second comment here. Wow. Thanks to those who wrote welcomes to me from my first post. For the record, I was led here by a commentator at Little Green Footballs (where I regularly weigh in).

    I am my town’s public affairs officer. (I am also an elected village trustee – a city council member if the town had more than 130 people.) My job as PAO doesn’t entail lying to people in town (or the press). #notallpublicaffairsofficers

    We never had a public affairs officer in a hundred years, and the state thought if we were an incorporated city, we should have an official clearing house for information. I drew the short straw, and in April I went to the state PAO school.

    One month later, our town was hit by a mile-wide tornado. The roof of my home was torn off, but I got off lightly compared to many in my town. Entire homes were destroyed. My immediate job, minutes after the tornado cleared the city limits, was to come out of my cyclone cellar and make an initial damage assessment, along with work with the county sheriff and town fire department to find people who might be injured or trapped. (Fortunately no one was hurt, but the town was severely damaged.)

    The job then changed to directing questioners to the people who had the correct answers to their questions (the job of PAO comes with the first commandment of “don’t make up crap you don’t know”).

    Over the next several days, with the whole town without power, I needed to put out vital information to my town and the state on the status of our water supply (we have one tower, I am also the public water system operator, if pressure drops too low the system can become contaminated). I had to inform the state on the status of arranging for emergency power for our wells and the levels in the tower. The well power service lines were completely destroyed.

    A plan was put in place for water rationing. We coordinated for aid (bottled water) while our water system’s power supply was smashed. I released information such as the physical security of the water tower.

    All this time I was coordinating public information (dare I say committing the crime of public affairs) I was living in a house with no roof.

    When things started getting back to normal, I arranged to have my roof replaced and my wife and I took a break for a month and went to Canada. The very day we left the town was hit by another tornado, but I didn’t find out about it for four days.

    The electrical feed in my home was destroyed. Other trustees arranged to have the power cut off to my house and neighbors to clean out my refrigerator. A public affairs officer from another town came in to handle the details since I was out of the country. The electricity was still off when we got back in August. It was only restored a few days ago.

    I suggested to the state emergency management agency when I came home that if being a certified PAO meant my home was going to get hit with a tornado every month, I resign. (It was snark to the state EMA.)

    That’s probably more personal story than anyone wanted to hear, but it informs the problem of saying “well, someone with this term is a professional liar” or similar reductionist statements.

    It is not a physician’s fault that some other physician has become a professional liar (such as Andrew Wakefield’s vaccines cause autism), or a biologist’s fault that another biologist has become a professional liar (Michael Behe’s intelligent design is science). Most people don’t call the entire fields of medicine or biology professional lying because there are professional liars in those fields.

    The same goes for public affairs. /rant grr

    Back to your regularly-scheduled Emptywheel.

    • BobCon says:

      That’s a fair point. There are a ton of PR people out there who are just getting information out the door. I think a certain amount of spin is OK, even.

      I put a bigger share of the blame on the media, both at the individual level, and even more on the institutional level. It’s become clearer every day that they took a look at the Trump phenomenon, wrote a few think pieces wondering how to adapt, and went back to business as usual.

      Maybe the biggest failure of the press is the complete lack of transparency about their process. For months we’ve seen endless stories told from the Trump camp’s point of view on Mueller, but nothing explaining why they think these sources are credible. There is nothing about why they give statements by Nunes or Meadows play, nothing about the PR campaign being waged and why reporters are accepting pitches. It’s all presented as if they are oracles at Delphi accepting signs from the gods.

      PR reps are usually honest about who they are, and when they’re not, reporters usually know who they are anyway. But reporters hate to admit the PR side even exists, or how often they buy what they’re selling.

    • William Bennett says:

      I’m not a big fan of blanket generalities like the one you were responding to. Are we thinking in concrete, particular reality or stock characters from the scriptwriter’s toolbox? Prefer the former, wherever possible, so thanks for sharing yours.

  9. Eureka says:

    It could be any of these type of groups, but I wonder if CRC (or whoever) could be tied to the tweetstorms they roll out for such occasions as Blasey Ford coming forward, and therefore also face some social consequences. Like the Whelan thing was a blip, I mean more the armies of ‘bots and boughts’ that came out to fill every comments section with CRC-et al.-esque talking points.

    Where I am going with this: it would throw a lot of sunlight on the issue of social media manipulation if there were, say, TV ads that included Narrator Voice over a slow-scrolling set of examples of these swarms, but with an attribution of who is responsible.

    TV gets brought to social media, bring the social media to TV (and where ever else). The multi-media array.

    People need to get creative about exposing these schemes.

  10. new-radical says:

    Personal appologies to you James, big picture comments often capture the innocent.
    The point was not what your job title might be, nor the quality or morality of the job you do.
    I don’t know you and I never intended to insult you.
    My intention was to insult the BS artists of the managerial industry who are prepared to enable the liers who inhabit the deep dark spaces of the public deceit of the power elites.
    But public appologies aside, as an entire society we have a problem with the deceit industry… CRC. In pursuit of a progressive move forward, some of us must be prepared to attack this insideous drivel.

    • Bri2k says:

      I wouldn’t worry about mid-terms impacting Mueller as nobody he’s investigating in the Trump campaign is up for election.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t see why sealed indictments can’t be filed. The indictment I wrote about in this post had been sealed and was unsealed. Excerpt from announcement, note my bold:

          The former president of a Texas-based non-profit has been charged in an indictment unsealed today for his role in a scheme to conceal the fact that a 2013 Congressional trip to Azerbaijan was funded by the Azerbaijan government.

          I rather wonder if its unsealing was a message of sorts, given the timing with the ‘Rosenstein’s exit’ stalking horse on Sunday-Monday preceded by the ‘Rosenstein’s exit’ set-up story on Friday.

  11. James says:


    That’s okay . . . I’m not really offended. I just wanted to use #notallpublicaffairsofficers. /

    • William Bennett says:

      Someone (I think it was here/) posted a perfect nutshell description of what the TrumpPubliPutin strategy against us is: the conversion of a high-trust society into a low-trust society. Interesting to see that played out in microcosm here.

      When a disaster happens to a town, or any other kind of crisis situation, the people charged with handling it–the elected officials!–need to have a conduit for getting information to the media, and the media need a starting place for obtaining such information. A single point of contact is essential in order to maximize signal-to-noise in that communication. Obviously it’s a manipulable situation, but that’s a perversion of what it’s supposed to be, not (in principle) the norm. Even in the case of a high-end political “spox,” where everyone understands that it’s a political position and the job is to put things in the best light for whomever the spox is representing, there needs to be at least some tether to reality. Even with an administration as mendacious as Bush 2, there was an understanding that being caught out in a bald-faced lie was game over. Some thread of trust had to be maintained, however tenuous. Now blatant lying is simply and unashamedly the norm, and all that matters is whether you’re inside the bubble or not. If you are, here’s the party line. If you’re not, we don’t care what you think. It’s the amplification of the casual skepticism/cynicism that has ever been a part of the game into full blown nihilism. It may seem a distinction without very much difference but I think it’s crucial. A real democracy, even just a moderate-trust one, can’t survive on cynicism alone. That way lies Putin’s Russia.  And for the TrumPublican party, that’s exactly the point. Putinism isn’t the antithesis, it’s the model.

  12. Mag7 says:

    I find it amazing that with the Rosenstein and Kavanaugh dramas going on, a looming government shutdown is thus far off the radar. What happens if Kavanaugh doesn’t come to a vote by Friday and the USG shuts down on midnite Sunday? Well for one thing both turds stay on the front page through the duration for every registered voter to digest them, and the GOP gets to wear it.

    Please vote!

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nikki Haley deserves a prize for fiction writing for her defense of Donald Trump’s UN speech.  She describes Trump’s honesty, his candor and lack of diplomacy, and that the other UN delegates respected and applauded him for it.

    Her imagination left me speechless.  If it weren’t for its attraction to consciousness, dust would have swirled around her, having traveled to this one from an alternate universe.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The only better fiction I’ve read lately is from the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that the hiring of Rachel Mitchell is their way to “de-politicize” the assessment of Brett Kavanaugh’s application to sit on the Supreme Court.

      • orionATL says:

        yeah, a registered republican contributing to republican attorney general candidate. but from the times/wapo view, you might think she was a saint bent on helping boys molested by priests. women prayed on by men? that doesn’t seem so much in the picture, though surely it is in her resume as sex prosecutor somewhere.

        in any event we can guess that she was chosenby the republicans controlling senate judiciary committee with the expectation she would destroy christine ford’s story of sexual assault by kavanaugh.

    • orionATL says:

      sure enough. trump’s plainly erratic behavior, difficulty comprehending, peculiar and limited speech patterns, short attention span, and extreme irrascibility have given life to mention of the 25th amendment.

      fire rosenstein and see whether that 25th amendment talk gets amplified.

      from wapo’s “nikki haley defends trump” article today:

      “…Trump has been beset by renewed questions about his competence. A new book, “Fear,” by journalist Bob Woodward reported that top aides sought at times to hide information from the president or disregard his orders in an effort to stop what they believed were Trump’s worst instincts. And an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, written by an administration official, asserted that numerous Trump aides were working to protect the country from his impulsive decision-making…”

      • BobCon says:

        My take is that the 25th Amendment talk is largely coming from inside the GOP, the same way that “fake news” has been appropriated.

        I think inside players have picked up that it aggravates Trump’s paranoia, and it feeds base fears that there is a secret coup in the works. I think there is a good chance the NY Times secret resister piece was put forward to feed that narrative, and I think the Rod Rosenstein link almost certainly was.

        The plain text of the 25th Amendment makes it clear it cannot be used as a meaningful substitute for impeachment. The bar is much higher than the bar for impeachment to work, except for an incapacitated, nonverbal president. Rosenstein would know that, every member of Congress knows it.

        I agree that 25th Amendment talk may amplify over time, but it will be almost exclusively the talk of pundits filling airtime, liberals with wishful thinking, and sinister right wingers looking to stir a hornets nest and cast aspersions on anyone seen as disloyal.

  14. Avattoir says:

    Reasonably sure this will come as no surprise to at least most of the comments threads regulars & irregulars here at fearless central, but I also think it’s worth observing that the 3 biggest & certainly most repeated raised sticking points in the US-Canada trade negotiations are the same 3 that were being reported a month ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago, and indeed over THIRTY FREAKING YEARS AGO.

    My point in raising this here & now is that WayBack then I had some involvement on behalf of leading interest group on the frontlines of one of those 3 points (Noting as well that I should THINK fearless leader is quite well-placed to comment on another of them.), and my own perspective of the resolution on these 3 points of conflict is that what was agreed to in NAFTA (over a process that began in discussions between the Carter administration & Trudeau the Elder’s Liberal government, continued on over the 12 years of the Reagan & GHWB administration & both Liberal and Conservative governments for Canada (tho with heightened intensity over the last year of Reagan & all 4 years of GHWB, which period coincided completely with the Mulroney Conservative government in Canada), and concluded in a signed agreement near the end of the first year of Bill Clinton’s first term (Canada & Mexico already have signed on years before) was considered in each case not so much the ‘best’ solution but the ONLY solution that governments of both stripes in all 3 countries would at least tolerate.

    The 3 points involve:

    1. the Conflicts Resolution process (an area of particular interest to folks like me who’ve sustained an abiding interest in comparative rule of law since law school);

    2. the constitutional constraints in Canada that touch on the transport of 3 highly-fungible mass produced farm products (fowl mainly chicken, chicken eggs, & milk & milk derived products such as cheese), each of which historically has been marked by predictable yet wildly seasonal market fluctuations, intense domestic marketing wars, and elevated dangers from sudden health risks

    (none of which tend to be much if at all regulated in the U.S. or Mexico, but each – health standards & inspections; peak market product supply assurance; & sophisticated national price fixing processes & mechanisms aimed at balancing off the demands & needs of each of end consumers & farm producers – of which is the subject of a number of integrated comprehensive national & provincial agreements resulting in enforcement power sharing, a process that started over 3 decades earlier than when Clinton signed NAFTA & so had been successfully defended thru multiple major rounds of World Trade Talks); and

    3. the mass manufacturing of automotive products (the area in which I’d be only too happy to cede to Marcy.).

    So, NAFTA has burbled along for a quarter century now since being signed, and NONE of the dynamics touching on those 3 areas in particular have changed much at all, because fundamentally they cannot change (at least not in a functioning democracy like Canada appears to still be; whatever TF the outgoing president of Mexico thinks he was head of I don’t know).

    This isn’t to say that NAFTA was/is ‘perfect’ overall or in relation to a myriad of other goods, products & services. The thing has been under constant review, and comprehensive annual review, ever since Clinton signed onto it. And lots of changes that have NEEDED to happen have been held up by the ability of one of the 3 partners – typically one of the 2 ‘junior’ partners, which I venture would just between themselves find it vastly more difficult, possibly prohibitively so, to come up with anything at all like NAFTA, the two countries being far more different than either is to the US in things like law & voter expectations of government – to just walk away, falling back on the terms of the existing agreement.

    But not ANY of these 3 points, because each of those goes right into the bone, into the marrow & essence of the different realities in the 2 northerly partners.

    So, when I see reports in the NYTimes & WaPo ‘splaining to us ignorant peons that the REASON Canada is balking is to protect the short-term party interests of a fellow partisan in tough in an imminent provincial election, I call total bullshit.

    NAFTA reads as it does on THESE 3 FRONTS at least because that’s the ONLY point of possible compromise between the 2 northerly partners. And we know that from over 40 years of negotiating experience and coming on a quarter of a millennium of sharing the top three quarters of this continent.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that our own trade negotiators are fully aware of this. Nor do I doubt that they’ve gone a certain length to tell that to Toad House, & possibly even Toad himself. But we know he won’t listen, and doesn’t understand, particularly things he doesn’t want to hear or get. So God only knows what his own minions in Toad House tell him about all this. Regardless, whatever ‘victory’ he THINKS he after here is simply unachievable.

  15. punaise says:

    I’ve been waiting for a slow news day to share this tangential blurb, but apparently there is no longer such a thing. A while back there was a (rather painful) thread that reminded us of some of the evil terror-enabling acts of the execrable John Yoo, who is now, alas, a law professor at UC Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall). *Someone I know* recently attended an event on campus that was hosted by the Federalist Society (!). Here are her observations “more about the gross way in which he comported himself than his actual opinions, since that’s what struck me the most.”


    “What struck me most about Professor Yoo’s statements during the Supreme Court in Review event I attended wasn’t the substance of his opinions, which were pretty much what I expected, but the manner in which he delivered them. Littered in between his boasting about being part of the Yale Law Federalist Society along with his old friend Brett Kavanaugh and his unsurprisingly conservative view of recent Supreme Court rulings were petty insults, disrespectful comments and frankly just-not-funny jokes. Yoo began by insulting Justice Ginsburg’s age and athletic abilities, crudely joking that she might not have much time left on the Supreme Court and how she could barely lift herself off the ground for a push-up. He continued to blow off valid points about the length of time that our country will be subjected to Kavanaugh if appointed to the Supreme Court by calling Justice Story, the youngest Justice appointed to the Supreme Court at 32, “a loser” and insinuating that he likely had no friends because of his career. Clearly trying to feed his ego with frequent rounds of reluctant laughter from the crowd, Yoo snuck in cheap and immature jokes whenever he could, apparently believing he was talking to a crowd of pre-teenagers instead of law students.

    Dripping in narcissism and condescension, Yoo was in sharp contrast with his fellow panelist and Berkeley Law professor, Prof. Amanda Tyler. Professor Tyler remained composed and respectful despite Prof. Yoo’s frequent baiting, bringing the conversation back to the substance of the issues when Yoo strayed along nonsensical tangents – also rightfully and cunningly pushing back when he insulted Justice Ginsburg, for whom Professor Tyler had the honor of clerking. She remained composed when he purposefully and frequently interrupted her, called her by her first name, and otherwise belittled her intelligence, but rightfully jumped in to correct Yoo when he ‘forgot’ to mention a female judge’s title.

    If nothing else, this event was an eye-opening way to learn from an intelligent, thoughtful and articulate woman about how to get to the substance of the issues and get a rational message across when engaged in conversation or imposed collaboration with someone so appalling in both opinions and delivery.”


    same old same old, huh?

    • Avattoir says:

      He just wants the image of having taken a hostage. Hostage exchanges at the outset of negotiations go back in history as far as we retain historical documents. This was one of the reasons the repeated efforts to destroy the Great Library of Alexandria and all its contents – first by Rome under Julius Caesar, supposedly as an accident spreading of a fire during a military operation; 300 years later on the deliberate orders of the Roman Emperor Aurelian; then in a  ‘cleansing’ op ordered by Theodosius; and just about every Eastern Orthodox pope-entate and Holy over-Seer thereafter for hundreds of years, like it was some  symbolic ritual of ridding the present of any potential ‘corruption’ by the past.

      One of the main motives for that destruction project – IMO, tho IANAH, by far the most compelling – was to get rid of pesky precedents and past promises and TREATIES, as well as the records of their coming about and what factors made them necessary or even inevitable.

      Today we achieve the same thing by the news cycle, Fox News, and Texas State project that approves books for education in grade school & vastly subsidizes their production & spread.

      • orionATL says:

        itsnot on topic, but

        for my all adult life it has hurt me every time i am reminded of the destruction of the library of alexandria. the insights, the information, so laborius to write down in those times, of hundreds of intellects taken away from us forever.

        a happier story about an effort to protect written knowledge as much as hunreds of years old in the face of uncaring religious savagery is “the badass libranians of timbuktu”.

  16. JD12 says:

    I was a little slow to make the connection, so I apologize if it’s been mentioned already.

    Has anyone considered that Rosenstein may be going along with a WH plan to run media interference with nonsense to get Kavanaugh through? The Times story conveniently came after the first allegation.

    With the animosity between Rosenstein and Trump it seems unlikely. But it would be Trump-like.

    RR would appear to be above such a thing, but he’s already on the hot seat. Maybe if he were approached he’d do it? He and BK worked together with Starr, who was capable of just about anything.

      • JD12 says:

        It’d have horrible implications for the Mueller investigation if it were true, even if he were doing it for his friend BK, not Trump.

        The whole thing seems strange. Monday’s chaos didn’t look like an accident, but that doesn’t mean Rosenstein was intentionally active in helping to cause it.

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