Trump’s Gone Full Jessep

[NB: The byline is mine. /~Rayne]

If you haven’t haven’t recently watched the 1992 film, A Few Good Men, it’s a good time to do so. Especially for this particular monologue delivered from the stand by Colonel Nathan Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson (spoiler alert: this scene is the climax of the movie):

The colonel gave an illegal order — a Code Red — to his men to dispense extrajudicial punishment to PFC William “Willie” Santiago after which Santiago died.

Up to this point Jessep has been a hard ass, bordering on rude. But this particular monologue depicts Colonel Jessep at his worst, when the mask slips off and the monster who can justify his worst impulses does so because his ego won’t permit any serious questioning of his authority.

This is Trump — from reports based on feedback from those in his presence, he’s gone full Jessep and whatever mask he’s worn has slipped off. He’s given illegal orders, in direct opposition to his oath of office and the Constitution, the law and a court order, when he demanded the separation of asylum-seeking families at the border while “ranting and raving” that “border security security was his issue.”

He believes he is the law, as if he’s king.

No one in the White House seems able to disabuse him of this concept — if they are trying at all.

A number of senior staff have been fired throughout Trump’s 26 months in office, the latest such termination resulting in the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

It’s not clear whether the departure of Secret Service director Randolph Alles was for the same reason; he denies it but the timing is suspicious given the appearance of a purge across DHS leadership.

One employee whose continued employment suggests they aren’t explaining the limits of executive authority is White House counsel Pat Cipollone. His presence was noted in reports about a meeting in which Trump had a narcississtic meltdown about DHS’ inability to stop asylum seekers at the border. Why was Nielsen the sole target two weeks later instead of Cipollone?

~ ~ ~

In A Few Good Men, the story arc centers on the two Marines charged with Santiago’s death as a result of the Code Red. They argued they were following orders from their superior officer, and as we see in the climax, Col. Jessep finally admits he gave the order. The court renders its verdict:

The Nuremberg defense will not hold; an illegal order is illegal no matter the rank of the person issuing it, and obeying it is illegal as well. Government employees who commit illegal acts even at the order of the president violate the law as well as their oaths of office:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (5 USC 3331)

Support and defend the Constitution. Well and faithfully discharge the duties of office. Obeying an illegal order fulfills neither of these.

Founding father John Adams said, “We are a nation of laws, not of men.” Walls are useless if they defend not the law and our country’s values, but one man’s sick, skewed ego.

image_print
238 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    There are a lot of people in this maladministration who are failing that test. (Mueller isn’t one of them. Neither are Nadler and Schiff and Lieu and Pelosi. Or the CBP people who told Tr*mp (or his agent) that they couldn’t close the border because it’s illegal.)

  2. Badger Robert says:

    The founders knew it could come down to this. And the oath of allegiance at West Point was specifically altered during the Civil War to subordinate any allegiance other than to the Constitution.

    • Mainmata says:

      Asked of Ben Franklin at the outset of our Constitutional republic “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
      “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

      Well, we are at that point now. We have a wannabe dictator president who is enabled by a GOP that is authoritarian and anti-democratic. The Democrats in the HOR are the only mainstay to keep our remaining democracy?

      • b4integrity says:

        Mainmata, you’re two centuries too late. The Constitutional Republic created by Ben Franklin and the other framers was lost in the 19th century by the actions of the 16th President, A. Lincoln.

        Lincoln destroyed the Constitution in order to save the Union.

        Lincoln destroyed the Constitution by annulling the sovereignty of the formerly Sovereign States, turning them into states that are mere administrative subdivisions of the almighty imperial federal government.

        Today, the government of the United States of America, Inc. more closely resembles a plutocratic, oligarchic, kakistocracy, not a Constitutional Republic.

        • P J Evans says:

          The sound of someone who was educated in the deep South? Because that’s not what was going on.

          • 2strange says:

            Right wing mumbo -jumbo from “Constitutionalists” who also believe county sheriffs are the highest law in the land.

            • P J Evans says:

              I’ve never been able to figure how they get from the Constitution – which has zero about anything smaller than a state – to county sheriffs being higher than the President, Congress, and the Supreme court, which are the only authorities specified in the Constitution.

        • Rayne says:

          States’ rights. The dogwhistle of racism. Don’t even start that here.

          Must say this is not a good look for your first comment at emptywheel.

        • Terry Sawyer says:

          Well a lot of things happened in those 80 odd years. The original 13 members of the revolutionary colonies that adopted the Articles of confederation and the Constitution we’re dwarfed by the some 23 new states and territories which were indeed administrative subdivisions of the federal government. As more people came to work for a living, the idea of owning people got less popular until the union ruptured.
          I agree that the civil war changed the union forever.

          • MG says:

            To quote one of my fav actors, Morgan Freeman, in “Driving Miss Daisy” “It ain’t changed all ‘at much.”

        • Distant Replay says:

          Strangely failed to mention anything at all about gold fringed flags or the filing of commercial liens. Thus weakening my faith in 4chan’s ability to inculcate lunacy at a distance. Still, good for a laugh I guess.

        • orionATL says:

          about b4integrity –

          not to worry. this is just a Confederate re-enactment –

          most likely by a histrionic 60-yr-old history buff.

  3. Badger Robert says:

    It will go on a little longer. But the Republicans will realize that Trump is no longer governing and he won’t be able to campaign by December 2019.

    • Jockobadger says:

      I hope you’re right BR. It can’t happen soon enough. The only fly in the ointment is how many repubs are fatally compromised by NRA/RF money?

      • I am Sam says:

        Saying that the Republicans will halt this madman is wistful daydreaming. Look at Barr slithering in to the rescue. Look at McTurtle or Ms. (intentional) Senator Graham. If the Democrats don’t get a spine and impeach the slime, I’m not sure the country is worth saving. So much for separation of powers, so much for checks and balances, so much for democracy.

            • P J Evans says:

              He is, at the least, rather feminine in his appearance. Looks very marshmallowy in his pudge. (There’s a glorious Photoshop of him in Queen Victoria’s full rig. It looks really convincing.)

              • Doug Fir says:

                Not sure what the above writers’ intents are, but I’ll just say that there’s no shame in being fem, queer or in the closet. Graham’s shame is the policies and people he supports.

                • Rayne says:

                  Agreed.

                  However, any elected official remaining closeted has put themselves in a position where they can be compromised. Doesn’t matter if they are asexual or nonbinary or genderqueer — if there is any self shame about one’s identity, it can be used as leverage and against our country. I’ll point to Pete Buttigueg as an example; his sexuality can’t be used against him as leverage because he is out. Making an issue of it only identifies the bigots.

        • Steve Talbert says:

          Hey, careful. Gays don’t want Miss Lindsey. He’s just a nelly mess of a straight guy.

          • Democritus says:

            We gays don’t want him, but we are pretty sure he is closeted and for a few years there has been ongoing conversations about just how bad his secrets are. Was he friends with Foley?

    • Hug h says:

      There were some on the right who warned that if Trump won the nomination it would become an “extinction burst” event for the formerly Grand Old Party. Once Trump won the Oval Office he sealed his and the GOP’s fate. The painful, slow motion train wreck rumbles along… With time, continuing to cling to his coattails will become increasingly difficult. My greatest hope is that when it finally all collapses (with or without a second term) Trumpism will drag the rabid RW Media Tail that wags the GOP dog down with it.

      • Jim says:

        They will begin to change their tune when they see they need to to save themselves. Just like they did when he became the nominee and they had to start sounding like they supported him. Michael Berry and Rush Limbaugh did this.

  4. mospeck says:

    the hairs on the back of my neck are starting to stand straight up right now.
    being not a lawyer, I am rooting big time for you guys right now.
    otherwise wish that I could convey some sort of old SF thing that accurately describes our present situation.
    But I can’t. ..maybe watch that old star trek ep, “city on the edge of forever”
    or the old outer limits “the man who was never born.”

    • Rayne says:

      You as well as the rest of us are now confronted with the questions, In what do you believe? What are your values? What do you hold sacred?

      And what are you willing to do to defend them?

      Don’t look away as ‘good Germans’ did because judgment comes for us whether we like it or not.

      • Stacey says:

        Yes, I think we absolutely NEED to be having these archetypal discussions, these bigger picture conversations. We tend to put everything into a binary continuum line with the poles at either end. Over the last several years actually, I’ve been seeing something different happening with many of our political polarizing conversations. The media obviously still talks about them as though they are in a line that has two ends far apart, but I think we would benefit from putting on a different set of glasses. One that allows us to see the line as bending back onto itself, forming more of a circle.

        Here’s what I mean, “a country of laws and not of men” can not experientially be seen as a polar continuum at this point. We have crossed a rubicon, we have bent the curve. Our country of laws is now a country where MEN use those LAWS against us in such a way that our laws are almost becoming our challenge. As a person who’s a bit more comfortable than most with the notion that binary’s are sometimes too limiting for the reality on the ground, we are squarely in the asymmetrical warfare space that our military has been in for years now in its various misadventures throughout the world. When the enemy starts using our own well-intentioned rules of engagement against us because they know we won’t fire on women and children, so they use them as shields. I’m not suggesting we begin firing on women and children–the snake should not begin eating its own tail–but I am suggesting that we should not sit here as a country and just let some corrupt, Manchurian President (if not candidate) disassemble the administrative state as Steve Bannon suggested, destroy every institution of our government–Putin’s wet dream, to be sure–and hollow out the morals, ethics, and historical and institutional knowledge of every branch and department of our country’s government so that we look back after this play’s final act and we rent our clothes with how and why we didn’t stop this by any means necessary back when we could have.

        I mean the after-action reports we do as a country at the end of this are going to be embarrassing for their post-manifestational awareness of how far rules and laws will only get you once the reason you have those rules and laws gets subordinated under neath the rules and laws themselves, which is where we are now. The Republican’s bullying and daring the Dems to hold them to account through brazen accusations of politicalized bias in the face of their own baldfaced political fuck-fest only works UNTIL we figure out that THIS IS THE HILL YOU DIE ON! Dead-man walking is an extremely powerful place to be and until you get there you better stop dropping the soap in the shower!

      • MikkiW says:

        Rayne, I agree with you comments. Now is NOT the time to be neutral. Now is the time to get active and stay involved until this nightmare is over.

      • LeeNLP says:

        Re: Rayne says:
        April 9, 2019 at 4:39 pm

        Perhaps somewhere along my ancestry there was a clear-thinking patriot whose genes are speaking up somewhere in my soul, a voice that says “Amen” to your comment about values and beliefs. We are at a pivotal moment. If our lives have purpose, they have purpose now. If it makes sense to say we were born for any moment, we were born for this one.

        For what it’s worth, my beliefs are simple. I believe in truth- not the rarified “Truth” spoken of in every religion ever, but simple factual truth; the kind Trump stands against with every word he speaks. I believe in love- the kind that is willing and capable of sacrifice, of putting others before oneself. I believe in hope- not to be confused with wishful thinking, but the kind that simultaneously embraces truth and refuses to sink into cynicism and despair when the truth is hard to hear. I believe in courage, the virtue CS Lewis taught was the embodiment of every virtue at its testing point. I believe in the fundamental goodness of humanity, which as a light only shines brighter against the backdrop of the evil like we’re witnessing.

        And I believe in friendship. May I just say thank you, Rayne, and all the great souls here at EW. I love you guys.

    • P J Evans says:

      Why did he decide to run for president, given that he had – and still has – no effing clue what the job actually is? He still seems to think that it’s about him giving orders to everyone else, and there are no laws that should apply to him or his family. And the GOP-T is willing to go along with this, apparently forever – WTaF is wrong with them?

      • Mooser says:

        “WTaF is wrong with them?”
        Post WW2, laws and promises of inclusion, for the economically disadvantaged, for minorities, for women, were made. The Republicans found a gold mine in the resentment and fear about this inclusion, without ever saying what they could do to reverse it. And what benefit reversing it was supposed to garner.
        At some point, they decided it would be better to break the place apart and sell off the pieces rather than admit inclusion is the only way the US can survive.

      • Tom says:

        Why did he run? To gorge his ego on better men’s reputations and grab the nation’s attention: “Highest ratings ever!” And because he didn’t really think he’d win.

      • JArch says:

        Seems to have been a pure smash & grab exercise for the orange one. Not sure he’s any more sophisticated than that. GOP is now an empty husk after the parasite has eaten its way out. Citizens United needs to be overturned – that was the host’s vulnerable point of entry.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Have watched the film a couple of times. The speech is interesting because it he takes it upon himself to do what he “thinks” his superiors want done. He has set himself to be something which is not provided for in Constitution.

      The oath of office, is clear, the Constitution is the only thing which takes priority over all else. Orders from Trump don’t count, he isn’t the Constitution. Too often people forget they don’t work for the person above them, the organization they’re in, etc. Its the Constitution.

      If Trump thinks the U.S.A. HAS “the worst laws……”, I’d suggest he resign as President. Too bad some one didn’t ask him which laws he thought were the “worst”.

      • Jockobadger says:

        The problem is this m-f*cker works for us – not the other way around. We have to find a way to bring this to a rapid conclusion or there’s no telling how bad things could get. Seriously folks. Who’s going to take the lead here? I had hoped that the MR would force the hands of the congress critters and cretins in the senate, but nope. I think Nadler believed (and I had hoped) that after waiting for the MR to drop, Barr would have to act. Well he jolly well has. He’s cunningly turned this around on Nadler and Schiff – discredit the entire thing! It may work.

        Get on the goddamn phones people. Especially those of you in red areas. We need the congress to recognize the danger here. This is much worse than I imagined even a week ago. The danger isn’t on the border, it’s in the WH. JHFC.

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    All of this is actually making me physically ill. But I have been thinking about that turkey soup you made, Rayne. It sounds delicious. And so comforting.

    I just can’t imagine this lasting much longer. But I also can’t imagine how it will resolve soon…

  6. Pete says:

    Rayne – perhaps one of the best art imitates life – or maybe vice versa examples.

    There may come a time this movie will need to be remade.

    Casting might be challenging.

    Thanks for this.

    • Theresa says:

      A touch of frivolity in the never ending darkness:

      Individual1 movie:
      Kate McKinnon – Hillary

      Alec Baldwin – Individual1
      Chelsea Handler – Melania aka Melanie
      Kathy Griffin – Ivanka
      David Spade – Jared Kushner

      Melissa McCarthy – Shaun Spicer
      Kathy Kinney – Sarah Slanders
      Maya Rudolph – KellyAnne Conway
      Rosie O’Donnell – Steve Bannon

      John Goodman – William Barr (with lots of extra packing)

      Jim Carrey – James Comey?? what delicious role would he play?
      Steve Martin – Mike Pence
      Matt Damon – Barto O’Kavanaugh

      So many others!

  7. OldTulsaDude says:

    A recurring mistake concerning Individual-1 is the assumption of normal motivations. It is difficult to understand but a severely disabled narcissist is incapable of acknowledging a mistake. Presidential power in the hands of someone so incapable of normal thought should shake us all to the core.

    • CitizenCrone says:

      And who knows this better than the people who work with him every day? And why don’t they act? Do they really think they’re saving the world by blocking his worst instincts? That ship has sailed.

  8. viget says:

    Ahhh…. the ole Col Jessep moment. I’ve been waiting for that for some time now. Said as much in several comments. Btw, if you didn’t already know, Aaron Sorkin, one of the best movie/TV screenwriters out there wrote “A Few Good Men”. And The West Wing. And Sports Night. And my personal fave, the Newsroom (which I wish was still on).

    Would have been better if this moment was caught on camera and/or in front of a judge, but that’s not gonna happen any time soon.

    Sooo…. what’s it gonna be: A few good people willing to risk their necks and let us know what’s really going on OR the Reichstag Fire at the Border? I feel, much like Savage Librarian, something’s gotta give here.

    • RWood says:

      Suggested many months ago that it was time for President Sam Seaborn to take office. Show the people what they could have in place of what they currently are suffering through.

      Get on it A-A-Ron.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Hey, viget! I loved The Newsroom, too. Guess we’ll be hearing some interesting news Friday with the Patten sentencing (Judge ABJ.)
      Looks like Sam has taken his name seriously and will be making Uncle Sam proud (not quite the right word…)

  9. Rick Ryan says:

    I take a degree of comfort in the fact that, although Trump tried to order border patrol agents to defy the law, they refused.

    Although, why CNN decided “Trump literally, without even a hint of ambiguity, ordered federal agents to defy the orders of a sworn judge, an inarguably dictatorian action that undermines the core concept of the ‘rule of law’ and should by itself merit unanimous votes to impeach and remove in a halfway functional Congress” was graf 10 in a subhead material and not, you know, the headline, I do not understand. I’m reminded of one of the great dropped/non-covered stories of this nightmare age, that federal agents defied judicial orders (and serving members of Congress) in enforcing the overturned Tavel Ban 1.0.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m disturbed by the fact lower level CBP personnel were asking their managers for guidance. This should already be a core value let alone a daily level of awareness: don’t obey illegal orders and a federal court has already barred DHS from separating families at the border.

      Nor has the law on asylum changed – 8 USC 1158:

      (1) In general
      Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Thanks for the cite, Rayne. Perfectly bloody clear, isn’t it? The only motivation here is fear of brown folk. It’s f-ing appalling. I’m doing my calling and writing, but my Reps/Sens are all D’s (though some need an occasional dose of spine.) Helps buck them up when they hear from us, I think.

        Keep the faith, but pass the ammunition – Norskie c.’18.

        • Geoff says:

          Yup, straight up color-coded racism. And all these acts making it blatantly obvious. YET, we’ve gotten to a point (see Stacey’s comment above) that all norms are shattered, and we descend to the abyss – as long as you don’t come right out and say it: “I’m a RACIST!” and you don’t say any of the other words you cannot say, all those obvious slights are somehow forgiven. There are no consequences. It’s horrifying.

          And you have to remember that the right wingers love hating brown people, and excluding them from where they live, etc, but since they profit enormously from their labor, they depend on immigration continuing.

          And it can get worse – as I mentioned to someone today, we managed to re-elect GWB in 2004, after the debacle of Iraq, and an economy flailing for years after a massive tax giveaway to the people who didnt need it, and some crumbs for the rest. Sadly, I think those $300 dollars or so of crumbs to folks bought votes. Gawd, it’s all so awful sometimes.

          OK, slaps self in face. Time to snap out of it and fight the good fight…. stiff upper lip folks. It’s going to be a long haul, no matter what 2020 brings.

    • koolmoe says:

      This is top ‘news’, IMO
      “should by itself merit unanimous votes to impeach and remove”
      Absolutely. Just because our President is craven and crazed doesn’t mean things like this should be shrugged off. *Advocating for officers to disobey judges and the law*. WHAT?!
      And nary a headline. Argh.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        I was severely punished for advocating that people OBEY the law. And then I was labeled insubordinate. My voice was taken from me so that I had no control of my own narrative for many years. That sends a powerful message to employees. The message is, “defer to status, or else!” It is both scary and confusing to people.

        But it is baked systemically into our institutional and societal structures. We are taught to be this way at an early age. It seems so long ago, but a few months ago I mentioned a social experiment that illustrates this. It is the experiment with sticks of spaghetti, string, tape, and a marshmallow.

        A group of CEO’s, a group of MBA’s and a group of 5 year olds were tasked with building the tallest tower they could out of this stuff. The only restriction was that the marshmallow had to be on top. The 5 year olds won the contest every time. The CEO’s and MBA’s failed miserably. Conclusion: the 5 year olds had not yet learned to defer to status!

  10. RWood says:

    Is the vote of an “acting” cabinet member the same as that of a senate confirmed member when it comes to the 25th?

    Asking for 300 million of my friends….

    • Rayne says:

      Read the amendment. Any attempt to use it for the first time must be to the letter of the Constitution and the amendment.

      I doubt you could get the remaining cast of misfits serving as cabinet secretaries to row in the same direction on anything except money

      • RWood says:

        Agree it will never happen, not with Pence in the VP position, but it’s an interesting issue to ponder.

        I’ve read the amendment and a few opinions on how it would play out and it doesn’t seem to be clear to most, even to those who interpret the law for a living. Right now there are so many “acting” cabinet heads, (those in the position but without the advice and consent of the Senate), that it creates a rather large gray area. Some of them have been confirmed for other positions, but then moved into the position they have now. Is that enough to make them principal officers? If they were deputies of that department I would think so, but if they came from somewhere else I’m unsure. I haven’t found anything to support that.

        Normally the VP would need 9 of the 16 cabinet members to invoke the 25th. Does that ratio change if you nullify the “acting” members? Do the ones who were confirmed for other positions still get a vote? If the number of “acting” members is greater than the number of principals does that remove the 25th from play?

        Not trying to derail the thread or stir the pot here, just thinking out loud. I just wonder if this isn’t another form of voter suppression. Sounds like something Bannon would come up with.

        • Rayne says:

          What does the amendment say? What does the Constitution say? Any deviation from what those texts say in black and white is somebody’s opinion. And unfortunately anybody who should give an opinion based on their role in the judiciary is compromised or marginalized.

        • JAFive says:

          As a political matter, I doubt such a maneuver would be attempted if only a bare majority could be mustered.

          From a legal standpoint, the status of acting officers is established in 5 USC 3345. Acting heads (whether previously appointed to a Senate confirmed position or not) “shall perform the functions and duties of the office temporarily.” On its face, that would apply to functions provided by the 25th amendment.

          There’s a constitutional objection to acting heads who do not hold a Senate confirmed position under the FVRA raised by Thomas in NLRB v SW General, but given that no one else joined Thomas’s opinion there, I think it’s reasonable to assume that a majority of the justices would hold the scheme constitutional.

          But does it even matter? A contested invocation of the 25th amendment would play out within the space of a month given the maximum action windows of 4 and 21 days for the Cabinet and Congress. Given the political stakes, it would probably happen much more rapidly than that. Given the speedy and clearly specified procedure for this to be resolved among the political branches, I think the judiciary would just stay out of it.

  11. Vern says:

    Dear Leader displays the symptoms (incoherent angry outbursts, dementia, lechery, etc.) of tertiary syphilis, meaning the spirochetes are in (what’s left of) his brain.

  12. Eureka says:

    Additional strategy: pressure the Koch-‘minded’ GOPers. Sure, they want their packed courts and decimated government. However they are not so much into many elements of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, nor the emergency declaration (for fear of what dems could next do with same). There’s fuzz, surely, between say Koch views and individual (e.g.) senators, but do a search of something like ~ koch brothers immigration~ to get a feel, if not already aware. Also, of course, they do not want to lose 2020 over this, and recall prior hits they’ve taken in the polls over coverage of their savagery.

    NB: I know this because I have to pick my battles with R senator, and know this line works.

    ETA: punch ’em in the (oligarchs)

    • Savage Librarian says:

      “punch ’em in the (oligarchs)”

      Lovin’ this! Rumor has it that Stephen Miller was born without any…
      What to do? What to do?!!

      • Stacey says:

        This would be an excellent time for the media to go Full “Steven Miller is Trump’s Brain” stories–just paper the world with that message and count to 10 for the jealousy to drive Trump to put an end to Steven Miller. We saw this happen with Steve Bannon and others, we know this is a soft underbelly for Trump. Use it people! The media has it already T-d up for itself. Just do follow on stories of how Trump’s given Miller his head on this immigration mess, well, by giving Miller ALL THE CREDIT and see how long Miller stands in that space! Be like taking candy from a baby king.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’ve already seen one news site with a “Miller is taking the reins of power” headline. It’s a start.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Or somebody could make signs and t-shirts praising Stephen Miller and stage a promotional “rally” to put on twitter to get DT’s attention. Then put it in a loop to play until DT can’t stand to see SM’s face any more. I’m not sure if I am joking or serious about this…But I do know that I don’t have the skill set that this requires.

          • e.a.f. says:

            Given what I’ve seen of Trump, if he thought S.M. was receiving more attention than him, or might be a threat to him, with his base, he’d fire him.

      • Eureka says:

        Upper-cut, with a tight arc. That’ll either descend them from their perch or send them ‘To the moon, Alice’
        Any hidden oligarchs, that is.
        ;)

        • Eureka says:

          Assuming this is all metaphorical (I hadn’t realized this might be literal, as hinted per another comment, and don’t intend to be making fun of a person for a congenital condition, if so).

    • koolmoe says:

      Yes, great point. I wonder as well. This sort of thing, if true, seems exactly applicable,
      “…two sources told CNN, the President told border agents to not let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.”
      -https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/08/politics/trump-family-separation-el-paso-kirstjen-nielsen/index.html

    • Fran of the North says:

      How about this statement, quoted in an interview btw POTUS and Breitbart March 14, 2019:

      “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

      I’m not sure that this is “inciting IMMINENT lawless actin”, but it certainly describes lawless action.

      • P J Evans says:

        Not as many as he thinks, because he gets all his information from people trying to make him happy, not people telling him the truth. The military, in particular, is Not That Happy with him, and a lot of members aren’t right-wing.

  13. Jonf says:

    This is really not new is it? I recall him saying he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. He never had any regard for law. Now he has advanced to where he is even more comfortable ignoring the law and telling others to do the same – – or else. Sounds like some other despots in history.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s not new but it’s both escalating AND deliberately cruel to children and infants removed from parents at the border.

      As others have said, the cruelty is the point. It’s not just that he can get away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, it’s that our country has capitulated and allowed him to stuff thousands of babies in cages because the border is his issue.

      p.s. anybody else reading this that number isn’t hyperbole.
      https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-ne-homestead-child-shelter-congressional-visit-20190407-story.html

      • Jonf says:

        And he wants two years more to reunite the children to their parents —- or never as far as he is concerned. Someone else will need to finish it. You are right about no one being able to step up and stop his cruelty. It goes on and on and on. For awhile I held out hope that Mueller…. no longer sure about it.

        • koolmoe says:

          Right? You take a child away from their parents then need TWO YEARS to figure out where they are and reunite?!
          If nothing else, Nielsen needed to be removed just for the lack of tracking these separations; than lack of planning and capability should sink any leadership position responsible…in a normal life.

          • P J Evans says:

            They weren’t keeping records – apparently – and they were feeding them to “good Christian” agencies for foster-parenting and possible adoption…meaning the kids would NEVER be reunited with their actual parents.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I do not think it is an accident. The incompetence of Kaiser Quisling and the Palace is intended to distract attention from the other stuff he’s on the hook for now. It also sets up for a bona fide emergency down the road which will be used to justify all sorts of actions and restrictions. “We’re full” leaves out “because we filled up all of our spaces by not doing any hearings”.

          Also, two years covers through 2020’s election (if we’re allowed to have one) and the rabid 4chan base knows KQ will not back off even though a federal judge said he had to return the kids months ago (and inexplicably said the Palace had complied, even though the DOJ says it will take two years to find them all), or his own rescinding EO last summer (even Kirstjen reminded KQ of it).

          As many others have observed, the cruelty is the point.

      • Kai-Lee says:

        In this respect, each Repub should be made to stand, hand on heart, and either affirm or repudiate these actions. Currently, they are able to be quiet supporters of his worst impulses while simultaneously not tacitly approving them. They have been able to invest their own cruelty and various character deficits in this malignancy but what will they do when their personal political existence is thteatened? Trump will enjoin them to meet with him in the shame spotlight sooner or later. And what will they do then?

      • Vicks says:

        The key to trumps unshakable base is he never forgets to feed them
        He gives tax cuts to some, lowers coal and fuel standards for others, recognizes capitols on twitter, publicly tells nazis that they are “good people” and the world that he trusts his pal Putin more than his own government
        The cruelty is not for Trumps pleasure (I was actually under the impression he was quite squeamish?) imho it is a bone he throws out for that special segment of his fans that are aroused by images of children in cages and defenseless women duct taped and thrown into the backs of vans. Leaving Mitch alone so he can do his judge thing seems such a naive and harmless gift to the rest of them.
        He is a reality show star that has confused himself and his fans. Every day the show gets stranger and more dangerous

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t think he’s squeamish at all. Didn’t mind smacking around Ivanna, Junior, probably others we haven’t heard about yet because of his litigiousness. He didn’t mind paying for sex which I think squeamish germophobes would find a struggle.

          Though he did abandon his friend and mentor Roy Cohn when Cohn developed AIDS. Don’t know how much of that was due to lack of knowledge about HIV and AIDS at the time.

          • P J Evans says:

            I don’t think germophobes would do that grab-and-pull “handshake” either. He uses it as an excuse.

          • Vern says:

            Agreed. I mean he raw dogged a porn star with his mushroom member (according to her)!

            I’ve always advocated that sex education should start with looking closely at the human micro-biome (actually many!) because cooties are real and just being in the same room (let alone intimate contact) can alter your biome(s) — and not in a good way! You need to be sure you want to share, because what you share may be with you for the rest of your life!

            Clearly NOT a germophobe, but I bet he probably wasn’t paying attention at school (in life) when it mattered either.

            I think he’s syphilitic. It may have been cured, but there was damage …

  14. Tom says:

    Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed renewed speculation in the media about the state of the President’s mental and emotional health, mainly due to his claims that his father was born in Germany (not New York), and particularly because of that exchange with reporters at the WH where he repeatedly said “oranges” when he clearly meant to say “origins”. It looked as if Trump realized he was using the wrong word but couldn’t get his mouth to say what his brain was telling it to say. On April 2nd, Lawrence O’Donnell on his show spoke with a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, who said that she obviously couldn’t make any sort of assessment of the President but stated that, in her experience, “any normal leader” or CEO or senior manager in Trump’s place would immediately seek help to determine whether such verbal confusion was due to stress or possible cognitive decline. She also said that the President’s claim during a recent speech that, “I’m very normal”, was what she called “an unprovoked denial”, which she explained meant the sort of thing a person says when they’re worried that what they’re saying about themself may not be true. There was also a panel discussion on Nicole Wallace’s show last week (which I now can’t find on YouTube) in which former FBI Ass’t Director Frank Figliuzzi said that, to him, the President’s recent escalating behavior reminded him of domestic violence cases where a person feeling angry and under stress reaches a “flashpoint” and suddenly lashes out in some way against those around him.

    • P J Evans says:

      See also his statements about his “excellent physical health” and his intelligence. (The people I know who are actual geniuses don’t seem to feel a need to talk about it.)

    • Vicks says:

      Barr made a lot of people suspicious this morning with his refusal to say whether or not the report has been turned over to the White House, if it has, it would seem stress and a god-aweful strategy to try to save himself could explian the symptoms you are describing.
      OT- watching Trump now claim Obama was responsible for child separation and he was the one that stopped it.

  15. BobCon says:

    The same defiance of the law — backed by toadies — is on display with regard to his tax returns, although I have to assume it’s one of his weaker grounds to stand on.

    For what it’s worth, there is a move in the NY State legislature to allow Congress to get access to Trump’s state returns —

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/nyregion/trump-tax-returns-cuomo.html

    Supposedly it has substantial support in the legislature and Cuomo’s support, although I won’t count any chickens until they have hatched, grown up and are laying eggs of their own.

    NY tax information is probably less extensive than what the feds have, but it will still be extensive. And Trump may have problems if his state returns vary significantly from his federal returns.

    And of course Trump may well face the ďifficulty of choosing between releasing his federal taxes in order to defend against the implications of his state returns — and all of the risks that may come from a federal tax release; or, he may choose to continue to fight the release of federal tax info and leave allegations of fraud based on state information unchallenged. We’ll see.

    And I can’t end without a dig at the NY Times. Almost nowhere in their recent reporting on Trump’s taxes, including a long piece recently co-reported by Maggie Haberman, is there any mention of the exhaustive reporting the Times did in October concluding Trump committed millions of dollars in tax fraud in the past.

    It’s mind boggling to me that the editorial staff doesn’t insist that their previous reporting is regularly integrated in an ongoing way. It is highly relevant and it is practically a slap in the faces of the investigative team that reported on Trump’s old returns when the DC crew doesn’t acknowledge the importance and relevance of their work.

    • RHall says:

      What a good point with regard to NYT (but it’s not just them). The inability to sustain their own findings is astonishing. Is it “fog of war,” do you think? The story is overwhelming.

    • Geoff says:

      It may be the ONLY thing Trump has even occasionally been right about : It’s the failing NYTimes. (sad face) We need a new journalistic voice of reason. It seems perhaps that time has passed, at least in terms of mainstream. We are dissolving… hmmm.

      • BobCon says:

        In their defense, they can do some fantastically detailed reporting, like the October Trump tax fraud piece and the recent reporting on Murdoch in the Sunday Magazine.

        But there are nutty divisions and rivalries there that deeply tarnish the paper. The DC/campaign side will scratch and claw against any perceived threat against their turf, and just as they will pretend their colleagues never exposed Trump’s tax fraud, they will memory hole the Murdoch piece as they approach anything with a Fox News or WSJ editorial page angle.

        • Jockobadger says:

          I’ve gotten to the point where I just cherry-pick the NYT for the good stuff e.g. the tax piece last year and the Murdoch reportage and rely more on the WaPo and EW (and others here and across the pond that are trying hard) for my daily reading. When home I sometimes like to have MSNBC on. It does appear that turf is the problem at the Times. Sad.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump is right about as often as a stopped clock.

      His claims to the contrary, Trump would never voluntarily release his tax returns. The average numerate person could probably pick them apart, let alone a forensic accountant. The probable inconsistent treatment and positions might be startling.

      There’s a good chance his aggregate personal and business returns would demonstrate that his empire is a house of cards. For one thing, he has often said that he measures wealth by how he personally values his assets – he does not reduce their value by how much debt he has, which has sometimes been massive.

      Politically, Trump’s financial data might demonstrate to the average person how much of a liar he is: little to charity, nothing beyond his own foundation (which acts like a personal piggy bank more than a charity), less income and fewer assets than he claims, and little to no tax paid for many years.

      • P J Evans says:

        I wonder how much of his support would disappear if it were demonstrated that he’s been lying about his income and assets. They wouldn’t be fazed by lying on tax returns – I think a lot of them would do it if they believed they could get away with it, and they think everyone else would or already does.

  16. Vinnie Gambone says:

    I fear newest ICE arrest figures are fudged, spiked to coincide with the house cleaning.

    NYC Police had huge crime reporting spiking scandal not long ago. In all human involved frequency reporting jobs, if you can’t fudge your pay won’t budge.

    If the numbers are true, something is terribly amiss. Am I allowed to say that there is something more going on with the spikes than meets the eye? Thousands at the border does get the average american’s attention. Similar mass migration in the millions are predicted to happen in asia due to the wet thermometer issues brewing there. Can happen in Florida soon due to Red Tide. Scarry. Scarry, and happening the world over in smaller batches.
    I don’t have as good ann understanding as I’d like to on how the wet thermometer issues harm humans,but it is not hard to imagine climate driven migrations happening along with all the end of the world imagery that goes with it.

    Seems when the wet thermometer hits some level you can die from just breathing the air because it has such large quantities of water in it .
    We will live to see what Wilfred Owen wrote of:

    “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;”

    Hard not to be scared.

  17. Eureka says:

    Oh Jeebus, bmaz comparing Nunes to Lenny Dykstra in re specious filings– that’s about right but have you seen Dykstra’s twitter? It’s like what I imagine a shot of absinthe would be like- and it’s especially hopped up when he is in the news (in the replies, too). https://twitter.com/LennyDykstra

    bmaz: “What kind of specious legal proceedings could be as Rule 11 laughable as those of Devin Nunes? Well, hi there Lenny Dykstra!”
    https://twitter.com/bmaz/status/111578601958282444

    Add: meanwhile this Phils Nats game went from comfortable to harrowing a couple innings ago; this is not the soothing balm I am looking for.

  18. harpie says:

    https://twitter.com/DavidLeopold/status/1115907660828819456
    2:21 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    *
    [quote] Amid the chaos, instability & dangerous amateurishness that is the Trump administration, the one constant is Stephen Miller, who whispers evil in Trump’s ear & methodically transforms it into failed, yet unspeakably cruel immigration & border policy. [end quote] [links to:>>>]
    *
    Twelve days of chaos: Inside the Trump White House’s growing panic to contain the border crisis
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/twelve-days-of-chaos-inside-the-trump-white-houses-growing-panic-to-contain-the-border-crisis/2019/04/09/8ca5ade2-5a11-11e9-a00e-050dc7b82693_story.html
    April 9 at 8:02 PM
    *

    • harpie says:

      From the WaPo article linked above:

      […] In a meeting on March 28, a day before Trump’s tweets, Nielsen repeatedly urged him not to close the border, said officials with knowledge of the meeting, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity. She also asked Trump for more operational control over negotiations with Mexico and protested that she was not informed of decisions affecting her own agency, said White House aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks. […]

  19. harpie says:

    The Trumps visited Mt. Vernon with the Macrons.
    *
    https://twitter.com/blakehounshell/status/1115917084620464128
    2:59 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    [quote] Trump on George Washington, during a visit to Mount Vernon: “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it…You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.” [links to Politico]
    *
    https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1115918945612181504
    3:06 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    *
    [quote] This is extraordinary. The President is a complete moron.
    Donald Trump, visiting Mt. Vernon: “He could have built the place better, he said, and for less money.”
    “The Macrons … were far more knowledgeable about the history of (Mt. Vernon) than the president.” [end quote]

    • P J Evans says:

      Jeebus. Tr*mp has no fucking clue that that was a fine house – not palatial, even then, because Washington wasn’t the richest guy in Virginia – and his idea of “better” is a lot of gold-colored paint (which his construction people probably tell him is the real thing) and mirrors. (I read once that Washington wrote to his agent in London for busts of Caesar and someone else from that period, and they couldn’t find any.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’ll be happy to have a reason to forget Donald Trump regardless of how many piles he has his name on.

      Washington was among the richest men in America. Apart from his land holdings in Virginia, Congress gave him tens of thousands of acres of land grants in lieu of payment for his generalship.

      As for Mt. Vernon, it’s not as magnificent as Monticello – but it worked much better, cost less, and took a fraction of the time to build – or George Mason’s smaller but intricately designed mansion. But typical of Trump, he has no sense of history and thus no ability to compare Mt. Vernon to either the average dwelling or plantation manor house of the era.

      He also expresses his vacant notion that a person is measured by the size of their, um, bank account and the physical objects they own rather than what they do. Country and yacht clubs are full of his type and the objects clinging to them in hopes that they drop a few bread crumbs.

      • P J Evans says:

        He worked as a land surveyor – and they frequently bought a lot of the land they surveyed. But he was land-rich more than cash-rich.
        Tr*mp wouldn’t appreciate my parents’ house (any of those they lived in) because not gaudy and definitely lots of books and art (mostly abstracts, originals, not expensive reproductions).

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I suspect many plantation owners were land rich rather than cash rich at the time. Barring the financial assets of a handful of merchants and bankers, land would have been the principal measure of wealth in that era.

          Congress found it cheap to give away what it considered undeveloped and “empty” frontier lands that it had bare legal title to. It made large land grants of it to Washington and a handful of other Revolutionary War officers.

          Like a later Congress’s gifts to what became the Bonus Army, its gifts to soldiers were paltry or never fulfilled. The script it paid them in was famously bought up by speculators (like Robert Morris) with inside knowledge of Hamilton’s plan to consolidate state and federal debts and to have the new federal government redeem them at face value (several times market value).

          While Trump is not alone in knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, and in having the taste of a mad pharaoh, he is a glaring example.

  20. Dave Noble says:

    I’ve been reading this excellent website and discussions for some time now. Thank God there remains some vestige of common sense and decency in the US.

    I’m Canadian, (and an immigrant…) and have been watching with dismay the spiral to the bottom that characterizes, to me, what is happening in the White House and all its repugnant occupants.

    The failure of US media to call a spade a spade is astonishing, as astonishing as the outright partisanship displayed by both Fox and CNN in their diametrically opposite support of/opposition to Trump.

    In Canada we are seeing the very same notion of the echo chamber which current political leaders have created, in which they hear only the advice they wish to hear, and can either hear no other or dismiss it as partisan, fake news, etc. So far, the consequences up here are limited to lots of smoke and noise on Parliament Hill and among the political camp followers.

    One point I find particularly disconcerting is the acceptance, by media and commenters from across the spectrum, that someone can lie, perjure themselves, etc. in any number of forums, whether courts or government inquiries, secure in the knowledge that a Presidential Pardon is likely to follow. Has the value and meaning of a Pardon sunk so low?

    I can only wonder when my American friends will find someone with sufficient gonads or backbone to simply stand up to Trump and his sycophants and say Enough is Enough, go, for God’s sake go.

    There must be many officials and politicians who are horrified and mortified by the current government management by deranged Twitter and who will depart from their partisan blankets, speak up, and feel a little better about themselves.

    Good luck to all my good American friends

    • Frank says:

      Maybe it is time for all of the living former Presidents to ask for a special session to address Congress. Televised. A joint non partisan statement about the current occupant.

    • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

      I was wondering-again-just today how it seemed like the emperor really had no clothes from the get-go. How was it that people weren’t pointing and laughing-openly at DJT during the campaign? Why wasn’t he humiliated and spurned from the moment he cruised down that ridiculous escalator? Why wasn’t he censured for stalking Hilary in the debates? Why was his heinous behavior not called out at every turn? Ugh. Sorry, folks-rhetorical questions. One of those days. My apologies. Carry on, good people.

      • jonf says:

        yes, I do agree. I had the same thoughts and thought his fall was imminent — until it wasn’t

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Baloo Bear Bill Barr, nice friendly guy you could drink a beer with, who happens to be handy at burying presidential scandals with prejudice.

    Per Shannon Pettypiece, Mr. Barr proposes to form a team to “review decisions taken during the probe of the Trump campaign in 2016.” [https://twitter.com/spettypi/status/1115755523717128193]

    Per EW on twtr, this is another example of Barr putting his “finger on the scale.” I see it as a way to intimidate the Bureau, the agents who made those “decisions,” to prevent whistleblowers, and to keep a lid on all the things about the Mueller investigation and those related to it that he intends not to disclose to Congress or the public.

    I think it’s Bill Barr who needs to be investigated and removed from office. Something tells me he and Bob Mueller won’t be sharing many drinks at the club anymore.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If this is what Bill Barr does when he says he has your back, Bureau agents, what would he do when he’s unhappy and trying to contain an increasingly desperate president, shouting blame at anything that moves?

      The Bureau was already having trouble recruiting top new agents. And who anywhere would want new ones drawn to an increasingly politicized Bureau, who view running disinterested investigations as a lost opportunity?

    • viget says:

      This, right here, is the REAL witch hunt.

      I am sure that the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign were slightly unorthodox, but I doubt that any FBI or DOJ policies were broken. Also, given the extreme sensitivity of the matter, it seemed to limited to a select few agents and their teams, and McCabe definitely seemed to be involved very heavily, as he was with Mid Year Exam, another politically sensitive investigation. This was probably done on purpose.

      My bigger worry is that not only will this investigation be used as a cover for a purge of any FBI personnel who take their oath to the Constitution seriously, but they will also use this as window dressing to go after any intelligence analysts at FBI and/or CIA or elsewhere that are expert in international organized crime, to the extent that those people still exist.

      The DHS gutting makes me worry the same is going on there. Import/export crime, which DHS investigators would be involved in, was/is a very common organized crime mechanism for laundering money.

      Make no mistake, folks, we are sitting on the brink of a kleptocratic, transnational organized crime attempt at installing a shadow government in the US to prevent our ability to ferret out these weasels.

      The folks who take their Oath seriously need to stand up NOW and do the right thing.

      • Shaun Mullen says:

        As is now screamingly obvious, Barr was nominated to open a second front — an investigation to undermine the legitimacy of the investigation.

        My mind is totally blown. We are truly f*cked.

    • harpie says:

      1] Trump, this morning:
      https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1115978871193710592
      7:04 AM – 10 Apr 2019
      *
      [quote] Asked about Mueller report, Trump commends Bill Barr for starting an investigation into the investigators.
      “What they did was treason. What they did was terrible. What they did was against our Constitution and everything we stand for,” the president says. [VIDEO] [end quote]
      *
      2] Barr, this morning:
      https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1115986476330831873
      7:34 AM – 10 Apr 2019
      *
      [quote] [email protected] asks Barr about reports he’s launched an investigation into officials who investigated Trump
      “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he says, echoing baseless right-win conspiracy theories.
      “I think spying did occur.”
      Shaheen is left speechless [VIDEO] [end quote]
      *

      • harpie says:

        From the Aaron Rupar video, above:
        *
        [quote] [VIDEO] Shaheen: Can you share with us why you feel a need to do that?

        Barr: Well, you know, well, for the same reason we’re worried about foreign influence in elections, we want to make sure that ah during elec… I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal. Ah, Generation I grew up in, which is the Viet Nam war period, you know, people were all concerned about spying on anti- war people and so forth by the government. And there were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there’s an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in poli, you know, political surveillance.
        I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that. And I’m not just…I’m not talking about the FBI, necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

        Shaheen: So, you’re not suggesting, though, that spying occurred.

        Burr: I don’t…well…I [pause] I guess you could…I think there’s a spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. [crosstalk] Question is whether [end video]
        *
        I guess, as seen in the comment below, he ended that with:

        Barr: “the question is whether it was adequately predicated. I’m not saying it wasn’t.”
        *

          • Mooser says:

            “Spying” and “treason” motivated the Special Counsel’s investigation?
            Gee, maybe Barr can send his good buddy Mueller to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
            awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock, from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!

            • Rugger9 says:

              I’ve got a little list…
              Of society offenders who might well be underground
              And who never would be missed…..

            • Mooser says:

              I see now Barr says Mueller is in the same class with those who spied on Civil Rights and Anti-war demonstrators or orgs.

              • bmaz says:

                Um, no, that is NOT what he said at all. He said he was going to look at the genesis of the IC/FBI initial assessment and investigation. Sure, that is still completely bogus at this point given the long ongoing IG investigation of the same, but he certainly did not say that about Mueller. Words and facts matter.

                • Mooser says:

                  “Um, no, that is NOT what he said at all.”

                  True, my mistake. I believe it was Trump who characterized the investigation as “treasonous”.

              • P J Evans says:

                Does Barr remember who J Edgar (and the FBI) were watching? Does he admire J Edgar and think he’s to be emulated?

      • harpie says:

        @nycsouthpaw describes what Barr’s words, then walkback accomplished for Trump:
        *
        https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1116010374543835136
        9:09 AM – 10 Apr 2019
        [quote] With this contradiction, Barr inoculated himself against any potential legal liability for his testimony. However, he planted a seed in the political discourse with his initial statement, and as a practical matter, all these stories aren’t about to be retracted. [Screenshot of a google search for the phrase “Spying did occur”] [end quote]
        *

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A suggestion for how to read Mr. Barr’s forthcoming color-coded redactions: [https://twitter.com/CrimeADay/status/1115627232012263426]

    • Tom says:

      Maybe Barr is redacting all the vowels, or every third word. That would explain why it’s taking so long.

  23. harpie says:

    Rayne, for another project of yours: [If this is a double, please delete]
    *
    https://twitter.com/RobertMaguire_/status/1115945120187154434
    4:50 AM – 10 Apr 2019
    *
    [quote] Not the onion: “If the House ever gets his returns, they should start with his golf write-offs. For instance, did you know Trump keeps eight goats in a penon his Trump Bedminster course to get an $80,000 farm tax credit?” [link to The Atlantic] [end quote]
    *

    • Rayne says:

      LOL I did mention those goats, I think, in one of my past golf weekend posts. I do need to get back to golf course coverage. Thanks!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Trump were among the men who stare at goats, the goats would be the ones reading and manipulating his mind rather than the other way round.

      Trump would not be the only wealthy person using a handful of goats to claim an agricultural use tax exemption for the park around his mansion, golf club, or hunting lodge. But the essence of audits is to pick stellar examples of bad faith and harmful conduct, pour encourager les autres.

    • P J Evans says:

      The goats, at least, are useful. (They can eat weeds. They’re used for that a lot, even in urban areas, where people can’t get to them.)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I suppose the tax exemption scams would have to be laid at Congress’s door – they put it into the tax law – along with the lobbyists who brought it up and paid handsomely for the exemption.

        Rather like Intuit and its peers persuading a depressingly too willing Democratic Party-controlled House to forbid the IRS from offering free s/w to help taxpayers complete the simplest of returns. Neoliberalism has a lot to answer for.

        The lowest income taxpayers are chiefly the people who would benefit from such a service. It would also allow them to avoid releasing their financial data to a for-profit tax service provider. They would also benefit from allowing the Post Office to provide basic banking services, as postal services do in much of Europe.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Goats are great. You can actually rent them around here (W. Wash) because they happily eat Himalayan Blackberries – a non-native and very invasive species. The goat-ropers bring out a flock o’goats, stake them out (if you don’t have a fence) and a couple weeks later you’re blackberry free. Better than Roundup!

        • P J Evans says:

          There’s one place in downtown L.A. where they bring in a few goats every year to clean out the weeds – it’s a slope that’s too steep for people to handle, just south of Angels Flight, on Hill.

          • Jockobadger says:

            Cool fact: goats can climb trees. Another: Mountain Goats are dangerous so beware when hiking.

            • JayMythos says:

              I’ve never felt threatened in the company of mountain goats, but they WERE rather aggressive in their attempts to get the salt from my urine. As in, drinking it directly from the source before it even hit the ground. In those areas of Washington you are advised to pee on rocks because the goats will dig up the ground if you pee on dirt, and their digging can destroy the fragile micro-ecosystems in the crust of the earth there.
              IOW, another cool fact: goats are into watersports.

        • Mary McCurnin says:

          When I drive to Sonoma, I pass the Sonoma Raceway (Sears Point) and there are usually hundreds of goats and sheep on the surrounding hills eating away. It is amazing.

          • P J Evans says:

            There are a lot of ranchers with sheep, in the Bay Area. (I grew up about 50 miles east of SF; we saw sheep almost as often as cattle.)

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump “built a great company,” but now he “only cares about the United States.” Ha, ha, ha.

    If that were true, Trump would have published his tax returns, as has every president for the past fifty years. He would have published his business returns to demonstrate the absence of self-dealing and conflicts of interest. He would have divested his business interests and would not own a hotel a few streets away from the White House. And his DoJ would not have changed 150 years of emoluments clause interpretations and argued that if a president takes foreign government money through a for-profit business he owns, it’s not an illegal bribe. Rather, it’s perfectly legal and does not require congressional approval.

    The Trump-Russia probe was not “an attempted coup.” The attempted coup we should worry about is the one now being perpetrated by Donald Vladimir Duterte Trump.

    Trump is one of the world’s great liars. He should not be president.

  25. Vicks says:

    From Barr’s refusing to answer when asked if he has handed over the report to team trump, Trump’s amped up anti-Mueller rhetoric (including his claim this am the the investigation was treasonous) his investment over the past week into his evil villain role and the recent news that Barr has begun an investigation into the “investigation” imho means the team Trump has the report and it isn’t pretty. I believe that what we are seeing are hints of their defensive strategy and it reeks of the Nunez show.
    I will say it for the 10th time. Dems can’t allow team trump to define the battle. They can not be cornered into defending whatever nonsense they are cooking up.
    If they have any evidence that these outside investigations into Trump are coming up with proof of crimes AND if Barr doesn’t hand over the full report to the committee, they have to declare obstruction and use it as the reason to start an investigation into “impeaching the m-f*cker”.
    Trump is showing signs he is ready to take this country down with him, Dems have to stop believing in and waiting for a tipping point that will suddenly convince republicans in Congress to do their jobs. They need to get out in front of this and get the country behind them before it’s out of their hands

    • elk_l says:

      Re: “.. Trump is showing signs he is ready to take this country down with him ..”

      The evening of the release of the Hollywood Access tapes after Priebus and others were pushing on Trump very hard to step down to allow Pence and Condoleezza Rice to become the GOP ticket, Trump finally ended the argument of several hours by saying if you blankety blanks take me out I will destroy the blankety blank Party. That got them to back off even though they, at that moment, felt sure he would go on to lose. Vicks is right, we can be fairly sure that Trump will have no qualms about trying to take the country down with him if he feels he is going down.

  26. viget says:

    Below is a link to an old Guardian article from 2 years ago, but it still holds up well, and AFAIK hasn’t been discredited. It’s on the intelligence “oranges” of the probe into the Trump campaign:

    LINK

    Basically, it claims that SEVERAL European intelligence agencies were on to the Trump campaign working with Russian actors, although the predominant one was GCHQ in the UK. So this whole garbage about the FISA warrants only being predicated on the Steele dossier is just that, garbage.

  27. Jockobadger says:

    Excellent piece in The Atlantic by Tom Nichols re: Moore and Cain – Trump Goes Beyond Cronyism – to Something Far Worse.

    Here’s a tidbit: “There are a lot of Republican senators,” one GOP senator told The Atlantic’s Peter Nicholas, “who think it’s a terrible mistake—a mistake of gargantuan proportions—to allow the Federal Reserve to be politicized. I don’t like this whole business of putting people on the Fed for their political beliefs.” As usual, this profile in courage was offered anonymously, but it speaks to the essential truth that politicization is the opposite of expertise and can lead to disaster.

    I won’t include a link here, but it’s worth a read (imho) given the author’s conservatism. Rayne, I don’t seem to have the ability to italicize, bold, etc. anymore – wrong browser? Anyway, great work. Thank you.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t think anyone has the quick-formatting stuff now, but you can do it by hand:
      bold is strong strong or bold
      italic is em emphasized or italic
      strikethrough is strike strike through
      quotations are blockquote

      This is a block quote. The quick brown fox needs fingers to type stuff when it isn’t jumping over lazy dogs and packing its boxes with five dozen liquor jugs.

      add the anglebrackets around all of them, and the closing one gets a slash / before the text
      This has been another short lesson in HTML.

        • Jockobadger says:

          I promise to practice elsewhere, Rayne! LOL. I know you’ve got enough on your Mod plate as it is.

          Thank you for the run-down, PJ, that’s SO helpful. Doggone if I don’t learn a lot here! Off to try my hand at html. My best friend (and ex) started working at Microsoft in ’91 doing HTML. I still know nothing about it. That was back in the salad days of options/splits. Worked out very well for her (and me.) Thanks again!

          • P J Evans says:

            I learned basic HTML from looking at the code that my genealogy program wrote when I had it create a web site, out of curiosity. (It writes better code than some of Microsoft’s own programs. But one page per family makes for a really big site, when you have more than a few hundred people in the database.)

            I also can do links by hand, but that’s a little trickier.

          • Rayne says:

            That W3C site I linked has sandboxes to try each of the attributes. I use them myself when I forget how to use some of the tags and I want to check+debug them safely first.

            • Jockobadger says:

              Thanks Rayne and PJ!

              That W3C site I linked has sandboxes to try each of the attributes. I use them myself when I forget how to use some of the tags and I want to check+debug them safely first.

              Works great!

              • Eureka says:

                It was really fun reading this thread, the joy of discovery.
                Go, JB, GO!
                Also, I didn’t realize there was a simple html tag for subscripting. I’d tried to symbol-mimic aleph-null with “No” during our 999 bottles of beer game, but could have gotten closer with “No” or “N0”

                ETA: subscript tag no workie! so “No” it remains.

                • P J Evans says:

                  Most sites don’t have sub- and superscripting. So we do what we can to work around it. (For exponents, there’s the simple ^ – shift-6 on the top row. Or the old-fashioned **, for those of us who remember Fortran.)

                  • Eureka says:

                    Yes, the caret is a staple.

                    I wouldn’t have known that about most websites not having supers/subs, though tried it above as it was on the basic html tags page Rayne had linked.

  28. P J Evans says:

    It worries me that a lot of people are going to believe Barr’s lies, simply because he’s the Attorney General and running DOJ.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The MSM especially seems to fall prey to the status equals credibility formula.

      Personally, I think Barr forfeited any benefit of the doubt in 1989, when he joined Poppy Bush’s DoJ as head of the OLC, becoming AG in 1991. There’s no doubt he had plenty of juice and was a made man early in his career, like other Ivy Leaguers hired by the CIA.

      Barr joined the CIA out of Columbia in 1973 and immediately started studying for his law degree at George Washington University (J. Edgar’s alma mater), which he received in 1977 (with highest honors). That’s a heavy load: a law degree takes three years full-time.

      Apart from brains and drive, that suggests patronage. Not many new hires would have had the confidence and employer support to start a first, new, highly-competitive job and a law degree at the same time.

  29. Fran of the North says:

    What I find alarming is that as an attorney, Barr should understand the importance of precision in language. Yet here he uses the freighted word ‘spying’. He did clarify himself, but the headlines are already repeating his poor choice of words, absent any clarification or caveat.

    One might get the impression that it was intentional.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, “spying” will be the word for the week by this maniacal administration. Yes, intentional – considering there are no accidents in life.

    • P J Evans says:

      Especially since he was lying about the whole f*cking thing: it wasn’t spying but surveillance of people who had contacts with the Russians and didn’t report them as the laws require. And some of them continued to lie about those contacts even knowing that they were under investigation.
      Barr is claiming that legal actions were illegal and illegal ones were legal.
      We are so f*cked if he’s allowed to get away with it.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Classic Roy Cohn

        For author Sam Roberts, the essence of Cohn’s influence on Trump was the triad: “Roy was a master of situational immorality . . . . He worked with a three-dimensional strategy, which was: 1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.” As columnist Liz Smith once observed, “Donald lost his moral compass when he made an alliance with Roy Cohn.”

        https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/donald-trump-roy-cohn-relationship

          • AndTheSlithyToves says:

            Mox nix that he had no moral compass. He has adapted Roy Cohn’s modus operandi–over and over again–and used it to service himself and no one has stopped him.

  30. OldTulsaDude says:

    To the elected Democrats in congress, a reminder that parliamentary procedure is of little value when the country is under attack by Attila the Hun.

    • elk_l says:

      Which helps us to understand why Tolstoy had a fear of some Attila the Hun learning to use the telephone.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think they know. But they’re dealing with a lot of others who are pretending not to be working for Attila.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Yeah, there is a huge temptation to fight fire with fire. And I still love that iconic 1976 film, Network, with Peter Finch where he sticks his head out the window and shouts, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”

      But, lately, I’ve been thinking about that Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare. I’m getting the feeling this might work. And the very first book that ever made a deep impact on me was, The Little Engine That Could. Yep, that might be the attitude…That certainly has worked for many in the past.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        It does no good to pretend a pig wearing a suit and tie is anything other than a pig and should be treated accordingly. You don’t argue with a pig; you (metaphorically) slaughter it.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Oh, yeah, I agree. Metaphorically, I have been successful in slaughtering some pigs. It was a long and messy and painful process. I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel like things are going to eventually resolve. And that is because I have confidence in a few good people and also hope in some “catalytic conversions.”

  31. McKlem says:

    What good are the laws if they aren’t enforceable? Trump is calling everyone’s bluff. He breaks the laws because he knows no one will come after him. The courts are no recourse here–they take forever. The House is looking pretty impotent at this point because AG Barr and all the other departments are playing keep away.

    I have lost a lot of respect for our country, the Constitution and rule of law. Trump has shown that it’s all a house of cards.

    • highside says:

      When Barr’s letter completely fooled the media Trump turned a corner. He now thinks there’s nothing to stop him. I’d bet rigging votes in 2020 had crossed his mind more than once.

      • Jockobadger says:

        He doesn’t have to worry about rigging the vote in 2020. Putie and the IRA are already working on it. Wtf are we going to do? Congress has got to pull their collective heads out and rein this imbecile in before he destroys the economy/USA. He’s already ripped the Constitution up into tiny little pieces.

        Is it too late for Mueller to pipe up, with or without Barr’s approval, and tell us what he’s uncovered? It’s looking like we’ll never know otherwise. I don’t believe the congress will act in any fashion unless forced to by seeing the sheer weight of tr*mp’s criminality and recognizing that history will not look kindly on them. Time’s running out, though, with the MSM meekly going along with the spying bullshit. JHC

  32. OldTulsaDude says:

    Reporting has it that the IRS is refusing to release the tax returns of Individual-1. There is no justification for this. It is time for use of all Congressional power, including Contempt of Congress to compel release of those returns.

    AG is a position that can be impeached. Claiming spying occurred in the campaign and instigating a political counter-investigation should be grounds.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That would depend on the evidence – or the complete lack of it. Suspicion without evidence is not sufficient. Where is Barr’s probable cause to suggest his FBI – managed and staffed largely by Republican appointees and members – “spied” on a candidate for the presidency during his campaign? He acts as if he doesn’t need any.

      If, however, the FBI surveilled associates of the Trump campaign after having obtained warrants signed by a judge, based on a showing of probable cause, Barr has no case legally or politically.

      For Barr, though, I don’t think normal process is the issue, or even that most of those surveilled have been convicted or pled guilty to crimes. His audience is Trump. His manner is more confident, apparently low-key, and arrogant than Sessions. But he seems even less likely to stick to legal norms when they conflict with protecting Trump, and hence the GOP, which has bet its future on him.

      • Tom says:

        I keep thinking of Lisa Page’s responses when she was being interviewed by Congress. She repeatedly stressed the conservative and hierarchical nature of the FBI and its culture of following the chain of command and doing things by the book. It hardly sounded like the kind of organization that would start some rogue operation to undermine the campaign of a Republican presidential nominee. I also recall that she said there was some internal debate as to how to proceed with their investigation into possible Russian connections. If they concluded–or gambled–that Trump wouldn’t win, then they could pursue their investigation in a more measured way. On the other hand, if there was a chance the Russians could tip the balance in favour of Trump, then they had to pull out all the stops even at the risk of “burning” some of their sources.

    • harpie says:

      Trump [video linked above]:
      *
      [quote] And if you don’t have a wall, and they all agree, you don’t need drones…drones, wonderful to have drones.
      But if you don’t have a wall, it’s never gonna happen, it’s all never gonna happen.
      *
      Your border people are fantastic, border patrol. Your military is fantastic.
      I’m gonna havta call up more military.
      *
      But our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act, because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy.
      So, our military can’t act like they would normally act, or like, let’s say, another military from another country would act. [:35] [end quote]

      • P J Evans says:

        I see he doesn’t understand that the military is forbidden, by law, to do that kind of thing, and that shooting down people who come for asylum would be a crime against humanity- for which he, and those under him who ordered it, qualify for a cell at the Hague.

        • Tom says:

          Also, when called upon to fight, professional soldiers gain pride and self-respect by practicing their military skills against other soldiers, not women and children. It can be profoundly demoralizing to be ordered to fight civilians, or even just ‘get a little rough’ with them. Trump again displays his ignorance.

  33. Diviz says:

    I am out in front of my skis so far my ankles are about to break, but the WaPo op-ed below popped into my head today while Barr was acting a fool. If Pelosi holds her course against beginning impeachment hearings on Trump because “He’s not worth it,” at some point could Barr’s antics approach some impeachable offense of his own through which Mueller grand jury information could be obtained?

    The Nancinator’s got a lot of trust capital built up with me so far, so I can cut her some slack on her impeachment stance for a bit. I’m not sure how much of her reasoning is due to Clinton’s approval ratings spike after his impeachment. If it is a large portion of that, would she expect impeachment of a cabinet official to have a similarly positive effect on the president’s approval.

    “The full Mueller report could be released — if the House opens preliminary impeachment hearings” By Philip Allen Lacovara and Laurence H. Tribe – April 8, 2019
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-full-mueller-report-could-be-released–if-the-house-opens-impeachment-hearings/2019/04/08/e47fff42-5a14-11e9-a00e-050dc7b82693_story.html

    • Diviz says:

      Aaaaaand I just popped over to Marcy’s Twitter and saw someone already had that idea. Is it in the comments? Would someone be so kind as to point me to it?

    • P J Evans says:

      Pelosi knows that you don’t start impeachments without being fairly sure that you have the evidence and the votes needed to convict. You start with hearings where everyone watching can see and hear the lies, and how they’re called out. Like today, with Barr, and yesterday, with Munchkin. (There were months of hearings for Watergate, and they were on all three major networks, rotating through them day by day. I remember watching.)

        • P J Evans says:

          yeah, I never thought that we’d get a president who makes Nixon look relatively honest and sane.

      • Vicks says:

        I have a feeling that every Democratic member of congress woke up the day after the midterms and said “we are going to impeach the mother-fucker” it was just a handful silly enough to say it out loud.
        Can’t you just picture Nancy saying it every morning like an affirmation when she wakes up in the morning or checks herself in the mirror before a meeting?
        In all seriousness I think they are in it to win it. But they know they only get one shot, a swing and a miss and it’s over for the next 8 or so years, and there is a lot more at stake now than in the good old days of the Clinton era. These people aren’t just wrong they are evil.
        Barr refusing to hand the report over to the comittee could force their hand, hell it could even be a trap to get Dems to start the hearings. We are seeing every indication that the Trump team is willing to take down every person, agency and rule of law to protect the monster they have created

      • fpo says:

        And not a smile among them. And when they do, it’s at someone else’s expense.

        This is not a happy, well-adjusted group of people we’re dealing with here – and it shows. I just hope they gets things sorted when this madness finally comes to an end.

  34. harpie says:

    Today: https://twitter.com/dcpoll/status/1116112568882466816
    3:55 PM – 10 Apr 2019

    BREAKING: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he needs more time on @RepRichardNeal’s request for Trump’s tax returns, that he’s consulting with DOJ —claiming that it could “set a dangerous precedent…”
    Mnuchin is stalling. SHALL means SHALL.

    *
    Also today: https://twitter.com/dcpoll/status/1116117130200715265
    4:13 PM – 10 Apr 2019

    SCOOP: Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending a judicial misconduct inquiry into her role in her family’s decades-long fraudulent tax schemes [NYT]

    • fpo says:

      Well, that little munchkin’s head is still spinning from his encounter with Maxine Waters. Never seen a grown man reduced to mumbling about so handily – I thought he was gonna burst into tears. ‘Very important diplomatic meeting’…spare us, please. Five minutes with Rep. Katie Porter (CA) and he’d be toast – I’d pay to watch that.

      Maryanne Trump Barry…judicial misconduct?? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person, I’m sure. Something in the water?

      Some solace knowing that ‘everything the jerk touches, dies.’ I wonder how long it was before Mueller realized that Barr had gone totally rogue. “I don’t know if Bob Mueller approved of my conclusion.” Goodbye to that friendship – if it ever really was one.

      What a freaking trail of busted careers, friendships and yes, lives.

      Pelosi’s waiting game is painful with a week like this, but I agree with PJE (7:06 pm) – the piles of evidence grow, for all to see…and everyone has their limit. And that includes 22 GOP Senators, for whom their days in office are fewer and fewer. Keep digging guys, please.

    • P J Evans says:

      Oh, my. And it sounds halfway reasonable, too. (We were somewhat shocked when my mother referred to the local HS principal as “that bastard [name]. She didn’t normally use language like that. But he was being nasty to students for no apparent reason.)

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There was a brief discussion up-thread about William Barr being Donald Trump’s Roy Cohn, a theme that’s been echoed in published articles. It cited this June 28, 2017, Vanity Fair article on the Cohn-Trump relationship by Marie Brenner. [https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/donald-trump-roy-cohn-relationship]

    The VF article is worth a read. Among Brenner’s vignettes that illustrate the true Donald, she quotes a dying Roy Cohn – himself regarded as a brilliant manipulative sociopath – as saying that Trump is so calculating, he “pisses ice water.”

    Had Cohn said that earlier, he might have meant it as praise. But by then, he was dying of HIV, newly penniless, newly outed, and newly-disbarred. His partner, too, was dying from HIV, a common fate in the mid-1980s.

    Cohn – who had spent over a decade coddling and mentoring Trump, handling his transactions, and doing hard-to-do favors – asked Trump for a favor. Could the real estate tycoon find his partner a room – in effect, a hospice? Trump found a room, and sent Cohn the bill, and another.

    The illuminating bit comes next. As a parting gift to Cohn, and rather than pay for something he might need, Trump sent Cohn a pair of diamond cuff links. The diamonds were fake.

    • P J Evans says:

      Tr*mp only cares about you as long as you’re useful to him. When you stop being useful, he trashes you.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      True. It also illustrates Trump’s addiction to cruelty: it’s what makes him feel warm and fuzzy inside, all the more the weaker the victim.

      This is not a man who can be negotiated with. He has to be corralled, penned up, isolated from doing harm to others, because it’s what drives him. And now, it drives his party.

  36. Eureka says:

    Meanwhile:

    Texas House hears debate on bill that could impose the death penalty for abortions
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/04/10/texas-bill-would-make-it-possible-put-women-death-having-abortions/

    The legislation is the brainchild of state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican from Arlington, Tex., who was placed under state protection because of death threats he received when he first introduced the bill in 2017. The Air Force veteran, who has been married five times, argues that the measure is necessary to make women “more personally responsible.” He said Tuesday that his intention is to guarantee “equal protection” for life inside and “outside the womb.”

    Some of his supporters see the issue in even more fateful terms.

    “God’s word says, ‘He who sheds man’s blood, by man — the civil government — his blood will be shed,’” said Sonya Gonnella, quoting the Book of Genesis and asking lawmakers to “repent with us.”

    Announcing herself as a “follower of the lord Jesus Christ,” Gonnella was among hundreds of people who testified in a marathon hearing that stretched from Monday into early Tuesday before the Texas House’s Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.

    It was the first time in the state’s history, committee members said, that public testimony had been heard on a measure holding women criminally liable for their abortions. The legislation was left pending on Tuesday, as Democrats claimed there was a contradiction in the agenda advanced by its supporters, who call themselves “pro-life.”

    Author goes on to note the climate of “new zeal” to “roll back” (<—word choice demerits; try 'demolish,' 'criminalize' etc!) abortion rights whereby this measure made it to debate, including draconian legislation proposed in Alabama; new films, including one to be screened at the WH.

    (Didn't follow link to film to-be-screened at WH, but "Gosnell" is in the title so I suspect this will result in some highly offensive sexist racist classist concern trolling from the RWNJ.)

  37. Eureka says:

    Today from Ars Technica, and just as DHS and ?? FBI are being decimated by Team Trump: A DHS/FBI joint intelligence bulletin (JIB) sent to state/local officials in March formally ups the total of 2016-targeted states to all 50, vs. the 21 previously acknowledged:

    DHS, FBI say election systems in all 50 states were targeted in 2016
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/04/dhs-fbi-say-election-systems-in-50-states-were-targeted-in-2016/

    As reported by the intelligence newsletter OODA Loop, the JIB stated that, while the FBI and DHS “previously observed suspicious or malicious cyber activity against government networks in 21 states that we assessed was a Russian campaign seeking vulnerabilities and access to election infrastructure,” new information obtained by the agencies “indicates that Russian government cyber actors engaged in research on—as well as direct visits to—election websites and networks in the majority of US states.” While not providing specific details, the bulletin continued, “The FBI and DHS assess that Russian government cyber actors probably conducted research and reconnaissance against all US states’ election networks leading up to the 2016 Presidential elections.”

    …The details within the report are mostly well-known. “The information contained in this bulletin is consistent with what we have said publicly and what we have briefed to election officials on multiple occasions,” a DHS spokesperson told Ars. “We assume the Russian government researched and in some cases targeted election infrastructure in all 50 states in an attempt to sow discord and influence the 2016 election.”

    The bulletin included no new technical data for defenders to use. But its purpose is fairly clear—it was meant to get officials in every state on board to prepare for the 2020 presidential elections now. “Since 2016,” the DHS spokesperson said, “we have built relationships and improved threat information sharing at every level—we are working with all 50 states and more than 1,400 local jurisdictions, and are doubling down on these efforts as we work with election officials to protect 2020.”

  38. Rayne says:

    I am trying to publish a new piece but I am having a hell of a time on a new non-Windows device. Everything I did in draft on a Win machine has disappeared on this non-Win machine and I just want to scream.

    Bear with me, I know this thread is getting overlong but I’m going as fast as I can. Thanks.

  39. PinkyandTheBrain says:

    Are you sure AG Baa’r (bad goat joke) hasn’t surreptitiously redacted said draft Rayne?

Comments are closed.