Donald Trump Has a Roger Stone Problem

By all appearances, the investigation into whether Roger Stone bears some liability for the 2016 Russian hacks is ongoing, with new evidence available from the search of his homes, a February search following that, Andrew Miller’s testimony, and anything Ecuador turns over to the US government.

But even without any further charges against Stone, Donald Trump has a Roger Stone problem, one he may not be able to dispense with by pardoning his rat-fucker before Stone’s November trial.

That’s because he could be a lynch pin in the DNC lawsuit against Trump’s campaign and associates, and no one is actually contesting that.

The lawsuit has been inching along with updates after each new batch of evidence. Earlier this week, everyone but WikiLeaks submitted their reply in support of a motion to dismiss (WikiLeaks’ response, which has always been premised on claiming that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not the same thing, has gotten more difficult in the wake of Assange’s arrest).

Along with all the replies, the Trump campaign (represented by Jones Day, which has an incentive to bill liberally while the White House tries to prevent partner Don McGahn from testifying to Congress) submitted a motion for sanctions on the DNC for continuing to claim a conspiracy after the Mueller Report made clear there was evidence of a — or several — conspiracies, but nothing for which he had proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Of course, the standard for a civil case is lower than it is for a criminal one, and to survive the motion to dismiss the DNC doesn’t even have to get that far, which is one of the things the DNC argued when the Trump campaign first threatened sanctions.

In arguing to the contrary, the Trump Campaign commits a logical error that the Report warned readers not to make. Specifically, the Campaign assumes that there were only two possible outcomes from the Special Counsel’s investigation: (1) it would conclusively establish the Trump Campaign’s guilt; or (2) it would conclusively establish the Trump Campaign’s innocence. And because the investigation did not conclusively prove that the Trump Campaign conspired with Russia, the Campaign insists that investigation proved their innocence. By creating a false choice between these two extremes, the Trump Campaign leaves no room for the Report’s actual findings: there was evidence of the Trump Campaign’s guilt, but not enough to establish that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. On page 2 of the Report, the Special Counsel warned readers not to make that mistake, explaining: “A statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.” Report at 2 (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the Trump Campaign’s letter repeatedly and falsely suggests that, if the Special Counsel’s investigation “did not establish” a particular fact, then the investigation refuted that fact. 3. The Campaign’s Letter Overlooks the Differences Between Civil and Criminal Actions

The Campaign’s May 13 letter also overlooks the crucial differences between civil and criminal cases. It is axiomatic that an “acquittal in [a] criminal action does not bar civil suit based on the same facts.” 2A Charles Wright et al, Federal Practice & Procedure § 468 (4th ed. 2013); see also Purdy v. Zeldes, 337 F.3d 253, 259 (2d Cir. 2003). Similarly, the government’s decision not to press criminal charges against a defendant has no effect on civil proceedings. Indeed, civil plaintiffs routinely prevail in cases where the government has declined to prosecute the defendants. See, e.g., In re: Urethanes Antitrust Litigation, No. 04-1616 (D. Kan.) (after the government determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute the defendants, civil plaintiffs took the case to trial and secured a judgment of approximately $1.06 billion). This is not surprising in light of the different standards of proof in civil and criminal cases and the additional sources of evidence available to civil plaintiffs.

First, a civil plaintiff’s burden of proof is much lighter than the government’s burden of proof in a criminal case. See Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., 473 U.S. 479, 491 (1985) (noting that a civil plaintiff only needs to show that it is more likely than not that the defendants violated the law, while criminal prosecutors must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt”). Thus, while the information available in the Special Counsel’s Report may be insufficient to sustain a criminal conviction, a civil jury could find the same information more than sufficient to hold Defendants civilly liable.


Moreover, a civil plaintiff can pursue evidentiary avenues unavailable to prosecutors. For example, unlike in a criminal proceeding, where a defendant has no obligation to speak to government investigators regarding her own illegal conduct, a civil plaintiff can compel a defendant to attend a deposition, and if the defendant refuses, she can be held in contempt of court or otherwise sanctioned. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b). Similarly, if a defendant invokes her Fifth Amendment right not to answer specific questions during a deposition or at trial, a civil jury— unlike a criminal jury—can infer that the defendant invoked her rights because she violated the law. See, e.g., See Mitchell v. United States, 526 U.S. 314, 328 (1999); Woods v. START Treatment & Recovery Centers, Inc., 864 F.3d 158, 170 (2d Cir. 2017). Thus, in this case, Trump, Jr., Assange, and the Agalarovs—whom the Special Counsel did not interview—can be compelled to attend depositions, where they will have an incentive to answer the DNC’s questions truthfully (rather than invoking their Fifth Amendment rights).

More interestingly, the motion for sanctions remains utterly silent about one of DNC’s key allegations: Roger Stone’s seemingly successful effort to optimize the WikiLeaks releases.

Admittedly, so is the DNC in its response to the Trump campaign letter, when it points to all the new details in the Mueller Report that supports their suit. But there’s good reason for it: Most of the Roger Stone stuff is redacted.

But the Trump campaign’s silence on Roger Stone is particularly damning because Stone has never address a key observation the DNC has made: that after Stone dismissed the value of leaked DCCC oppo research in a DM with Guccifer 2.0, the GRU went on to hack Democratic data that was quite valuable: their AWS-hosted analytics.

On September 9, 2016, GRU operatives contacted Stone, writing him “please tell me if I can help u anyhow[,]” and adding “it would be a great pleasure to me.” ¶ 179. The operatives then asked Stone for his reaction to a stolen “turnout model for the Democrats’ entire presidential campaign.” Id. Stone replied, “[p]retty standard.” See id.

Throughout September 2016, Russian intelligence agents illegally gained access to DNC computers hosted on a third-party cloud computing service, stole large amounts of the DNC’s private data and proprietary computer code, and exfiltrated the stolen materials to their own cloud-based accounts registered with same service. ¶ 180.


Moreover, GRU officers using the screenname Guccifer 2.0 stayed in close contact with Stone, asking for feedback on how they could be most helpful, after Russia had been publicly linked to the theft of Democratic documents. See ¶¶ 167, 177-79. In September 2016, the GRU operatives asked Stone for his reaction to a “turnout model” that the GRU had stolen from another Democratic Party target. ¶ 179. After Stone suggested that he was not impressed, see id., Russia took snapshots of the virtual servers that housed key pieces of the DNC’s analytics infrastructure— its “most, important, valuable, and highly confidential tools,” which could have “provided the GRU with the ability to see how the DNC was evaluating and processing data critical to its principal goal of winning elections,” ¶ 180.

Not only does this put Stone’s interaction with GRU prior to some of the hacking it did, but it undercuts Stone’s entire defense (which is mostly to claim his involvement extends only to John Podesta emails, which he distinguishes from DNC).

The DNC’s second amended complaint does not overcome the lack of standing argument and that it does not allege Roger Stone conspired to damage the DNC; rather, the allegations are only inferences of another conspiracy against John Podesta whose emails were on a Google server – i.e. “” Furthermore, it has no standing against Roger Stone because Plaintiff did not sufficiently allege that he participated in the conspiracy against it.

The DNC keeps raising the September hack — which was clearly a DNC target — and Stone keeps just blowing that allegation off.

As noted above: the Stone material in the Mueller Report is currently redacted. But it’s there, showing that Stone provided Trump non-public details ahead of time (which Michael Cohen has described under oath and Rick Gates apparently has also described) and also showing that Trump wanted the emails and his top aides — including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Mike Flynn, and Steve Bannon — made sure he got them.

It is still a very high bar for the DNC to win this suit.

But Roger Stone is a very weak point in the Republican attempt to defeat it. And neither he nor the Trump campaign seem to want to address that fact head on.

81 replies
  1. Bay State Librul says:

    This might be a little off track, but can some one ask Barr what the current status of all
    Mueller’s investigation referrals are.
    I would like to know who (by name) is in charge, current status and estimated date of completion
    It seems like a reasonable request?

  2. Stephen says:

    Deeply interesting as always. Though “lynch” pin is an unfortunate slip. At best, it evokes images of Becky L. taking down Trumpistas on the mat as MT does on the keyboard.

  3. Alan says:

    Lynchpin is a valid, but uncommon spelling, more uncommon in the USA than elsewhere. The original Middle English word also used a Y tather than an I, from

    Origin of linchpin
    1350–1400; unexplained alteration of Middle English lynspin, equivalent to lyns, Old English lynis axle-pin

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a differentiated version of your current username (ex: Alan_D) so that you are easily distinguished from other Alans in the community; please use that same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Thank you. /~Rayne]

    • Hops says:

      If we’re picking nits…

      “Stone has never address a key observation” — addressed

      “there was evidence of a — or several — conspiracies” — just doesn’t parse well. Maybe one or more…

      • Democritus says:

        Can we just not nitpick, and use our energy on something helpful instead?

        Great read and I’d love to see the Democrats making more of a concentrated messaging push to educate the public about the depths of Stones ratfuckery. (apologies for the pottymouth if that is frowned on but I can’t think of Roger Stone with thinking ratfucker)

        Democrats need to start pushing narratives instead of just hoping 300 million people organically see through the massive amounts of bs and corporate double speak.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          You have addressed a major anxiety point for me, how to bring the masses to the trough and make them drink ? That is why the impeachment hearings, broadcast on television are so important. Too many of the voters only believe something if they see it on TV, you know, like “Trump is a great business man because he was the star of that Apprentice Show”.

          • Rayne says:

            The method for bringing “the masses to the trough and make them drink” has already been shown to you. It’s what the Russians used, likely in concert with the NRA and other political groups coordinated ad buys.

            Three layers of messaging needed:
            — Attitude boosting ads for left of center
            — Saturation of micro-targeted individuals who have self-identified as Lean to educate and boost attitude
            — Attack ads for right of center self-identified as moderate-to-strong Trump supporters using the known weak spots in conservative/authoritarian perception (ex: showing gross/dirty/nasty imagery related to Trump’s corrupt behavior)

            It’s not tough, just don’t have the organized entity willing to do this on a comprehensive basis. If only rich guy Tom Steyer had focused his donations and energy on this we’d be watching impeachment hearings right now and public sentiment would overwhelmingly support them.

            • Democritus says:

              So can we start an org who will do that with crowdfunding, or find ways to try to get that messaging through to an existing group, or reinvigorate an org like Steyers who could be doing far more?

              Or start something where citizens devote say a couple hours a week to coordinated social media posting and amplifying of coordinating messaging, sort of like Russians did.

              Though yeah, all that needs $$$, though who knows maybeat this point GM might bankroll it ( pure snark there😉😊) Before my body quit on me I used to run ops at an electronic manufacturer and god supply chains are just getting jerked around right and left.

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              I nominate you to run this thing Rayne. You have the global view of the situation and the minutiae expertise to chase the detail devil into hiding.

              • Democritus says:

                I second Rayne to run things!

                They have an understanding of the problems, solutions, and importantly the systems (media and tech) our foes are manipulating for their gain.

            • Stephen says:

              @Rayne: And if we do so, then we will be morally indistinguishable from those we loathe. It would be like the final scene in Animal Farm. But of course you were most likely writing satirically.

              • Rayne says:

                Maybe you’ve heard of this thing they’ve had around for a while now, called “advertising.” That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about hiring unemployed Macedonian teenagers to push fake stories from fake news outlets paying them with Bitcoin and other sources of dark money. I am NOT talking about stealing data from social media and merging it with data out on the dark web to backdoor messaging to people.

                I’m talking about using the same techniques your favorite fast food/restaurant/clothing brand use to reach people. Above board, with money through a nonprofit entity required to report its finances on a Form 990. You know, like those ads the Humane Society uses to get you to chip in money to save a sad puppy.

                I hope you’re going to acquire some more knowledge about Big Tech and digital advertising and content monetization before we begin break up of their near-monopolistic platforms.

      • Jockobadger says:

        I think it parses just fine. Excellent piece as always Dr. W. Thanks for the continuous illumination.

        Hearing that draft-dodging sob read Roosevelt’s words caused a physical, visceral feeling of disgust in me.

        • Tom says:

          But I’m glad whoever wrote the speech that the President gave on Monday at Buckingham Palace included reference to the Queen’s time in uniform with the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as a mechanic and truck driver during WWII.

        • somecallmetim says:

          Disgusting, yes. My first thought was that he needed borrowed words as he is pathetically not up to what the occasion requires.

    • Garrett says:

      If there are rules about the pseudonyms commenters may use here, could those rules be formally posted someplace?

      It’s unfair to take commenters to task for violating preferences they don’t know about.

      How could someone know that you are not supposed to put “Alan,” or “Garrett”, or “Rayne,” in the text box labelled “Name”?

      And if there is a desire that commenters use the same pseudonym every time they comment, shouldn’t this be enforced by implementing a server-side registration system?

      • P J Evans says:

        Your intelligence *should* be enough to tell you that common names require more than just a first name. (If you have to use a number on your email account because your name is fairly common, you really need more than just a first name.)

      • Rayne says:

        Your comment will be taken under advisement. Thanks for the feedback.

        Reminder: You don’t see any advertisement or sponsors because this site is run by volunteers and funded by occasional contributions by readers who help pay for developer time, hosting and bandwidth.

      • bmaz says:

        Hi Garrett. You have been around here long enough to know that such preference is really just a common sense desire that people know who they are responding to and discussing with. If a new Garrett appeared, we would impart the same guidance. Because you are Garrett. To the best of my recollection, you have been the only Garrett. On the other hand, Alan has been much more common, and is far more likely to be confused.

  4. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    I’m just going to pop this in here where I can find it easily….
    “But that investigation wasn’t done until a year after the spearphishing campaign, raising the possibility that any intruders could have erased their tracks from the company’s systems during that time. Federal investigators indicated in the recent report from special counsel Robert Mueller, and other documents, that Russian hackers successfully compromised a voting technology company — a company that fits VR Systems’ description — and installed malware on its network.”

    • Eureka says:

      Oh laws, please give us the date in August 2016 when RU started spearfishing —> VR Systems.

      Then let us watch the defense battles where Paulie Rugs & Roger Stone blame the other, respectively, for this tip to the GRU. Given the Aug 2 meeting and some Stone writings*, it may be a ~’teamwork makes the dream work’-type situation.

      *Link/~second half of comment here :

      It’s almost like the article could be seen as clarifying or elaborating on conversations that took place on August 2.

  5. OldTulsaDude says:

    There is no such thing as a perfect ratfucker; somewhere are Stone’s Bruno Magli shoes.

    • Rayne says:

      He’s already exposed his weaknesses with his less-than-secure communications. We just don’t know what else he had ratholed away which the FBI seized.

  6. Savage Librarian says:

    2020: Hindsight is Foresight

    Once upon a time,
    far far away,
    where the only crime
    was having feet of clay,

    I wonder if we’ll find
    the ones who wouldn’t say
    they were inside a bind
    until they looked away.

    Who were those misanthropes
    who monetized those souls,
    the thieves who demolished hopes
    through their petty power goals?

    First there were the slippery slopes
    and then there were the holes,
    then there were the envelopes
    full of polling passed to moles.

    And His Heinous DJT,
    was he royally inclined,
    Did TIH shake Kuwaitis
    while he was never fined?

    Net ‘n’ yahoos that Israeli
    cyber mercenaries mined,
    Did they meme some shady baileys
    that twisted humankind?

    WikiLeaks and GRU,
    Guccifer and Stone:
    Sickly freaks; and we argue
    like Lucifer and crones.

    Quickly speak, charge and sue,
    Representatives alone:
    Inquiry harms the few,
    But sets the nation’s tone.

  7. harpie says:

    It’s not everyday I read the words “Lincoln Memorial” as frequently as I have today…
    and this “coincidence” is totally freaking me out.
    1] Trump to speak at Lincoln Memorial during Fourth of July celebration
    June 5 at 3:06 PM

    President Trump plans to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4 as part of an overhauled celebration of the nation’s Independence Day, D.C. city officials and U.S. Park Police said Wednesday. […]

    2] EXCLUSIVE: Draft Charter of Pompeo’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights” Hides Anti-Human Rights Agenda 6/5/19

    On May 30, without fanfare, a notice of intent to establish a State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights was published in the Federal Register. [link] […] The stated purpose of the Commission is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights” and propose “reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights…to which [Dr. Martin Luther] King called us while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.” […]

    • Rayne says:

      “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”
      — Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming

          • P J Evans says:

            DC thinks he should pay the added costs, since inserting himself in the holiday is his idea. (I’d say “bright idea” but none of his ideas are bright.) He isn’t our monarch, and he isn’t the boss of most of us. And whatever some people may think, “commander in chief” (or its usual wrong version, “commander and chief”) only applies to the military.

            • Ruthie says:

              As you say, the “commander in chief” moniker only applies to the military, but it’s also only true during a time of war if I’m not mistaken. Of course, these days there’s always one going on somewhere.

    • Americana says:

      This subverting of the national July 4th celebration by Trump for his own political ends is sickening. It’s what made the State Visit to the U.K. so outrageous as well because it gave Trump a signal opportunity — the 75th anniversary of D-Day — to capitalize on misrepresenting his patriotism.

      At some point, I have to steel myself to watch the Dinesh D’Souza Trump tribute “Death of a Nation” which compares Trump w/Pres. Abraham Lincoln so I can help plan an appropriate public response for that intellectual crime by D’Souza.

      • Americana says:

        Somehow I doubt we’d have access to splashing the right suits w/milky goo as the British were able to do! But keep those milkshakes handy regardless!

    • Americana says:

      My bet is this commission is meant to push back against health care being seen as a human right because that concept has gained so much momentum. I bet this commission is also meant to undermine the application of American civil/natural rights being extended to illegal aliens because conservatives see that as being such a hindrance in American courts.

    • viget says:

      Just had an epiphany… surely it’s not a coincidence that on the day the leakers give us the best evidence yet that at least the poll books in NC, if not the machines themselves, were hacked by Russians/shady Israeli companies, we find out Burr is bringing in said shady folks. Is this to find out what they may have told investigators?

  8. Because says:

    The following item in EW’s post:
    ‘…anything Ecuador turns over to the US government…’ makes me wonder whether Ola Bini is just an innocent bystander ‘guilty’ of association with Assange – perhaps?
    What went down between Assange and Lenin Moreno, that caused Ola Bini’s arrest?

    Thank you for the great content in this site.

  9. klynn says:

    Question about Stone:

    Why is he not in jail after his Instagram post-threat against Brennan three days ago?

  10. Fran of the North says:

    In honor of DT, RF Stone and his ilk throughout the ‘Pub establishment. h/t Alan Parsons Project The Turning of a Friendly Card

    “There are unsmiling faces and bright iron chains,
    And a wheel in perpetual motion.
    They follow the races,
    And pay out the gains.
    With no show of outward emotion.

    And they think it will make their lives easier,
    For god only knows up ’til now it’s been hard,
    But the game never ends, when your whole world depends,
    On the turning of a friendly card.

    … Bridge… (@9:00)

    Nothing’s good, the news is bad.
    The heat goes on, and it drives you mad.
    Scornful thoughts that fly your way.

    You’ve got nothing left to lose.
    (Wouldn’t want to be standing in your shoes.)

    Nothing sacred or profane.
    Everything’s a game.
    ‘Cause you’ve nothing left.”

  11. 200Toros says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces has just informed the members of said armed forces, that if they are “not fans” of the military action in which they are involved, and/or not familiar with the geography of the mission with which they are tasked, and/or if it is “far away” from their home, they may feel free to not participate in said action, at their discretion.

    • Eureka says:

      Acknowledging that this is neither physically possible nor likely as a form of protest:

      It would be fitting for a rash of bone spurs to spread through the ranks.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t know how he got to 1970 without knowing anything about Vietnam. I’m several years younger than Himself, and I’d heard of it by 1964 – and knew where it was, too. (You’d have to be completely self-absorbed to have missed it. It wasn’t like it wasn’t in the news every night.)

        • Americana says:

          I hope that during Trump’s impeachment, they’re able to work in such materials as a videotaped deposition from the TRUMP SOHO TRIAL in which Trump says he doesn’t know FELIX SATER. This is one of the substantive European-American joint exposés on Trump and the Trump Organization which I wish had been shown widely in the U.S. during the presidential campaign. Of course, I would be hoping for a vast TV audience for such exposés but if that didn’t seem to be working, perhaps these ought to be shown on the big screens outside the stadiums where Trump is holding rallies.

          I believe Trump’s denial about being able to identify Felix Sater during a videotaped deposition about TRUMP SOHO is at about the 26:00 minute mark on the first video below (watch the whole thing though for the breadth of the financial entanglements that are revealed):

        • Americana says:

          That business card for Felix Sater ought to reproduced at a huge scale as one of the permanent evidence displays at Trump’s impeachment.

  12. e.a.f. says:

    Good article! Thank you.
    Made me want to do back flips, keep forgetting about civil matters and how its “easier”. (they can fire you but not put you in jail) too out of shape for back flips, so its only in my mind. did like the article.

  13. 200Toros says:

    “I was “not a fan” of that war”. Said the president. Can’t stop thinking about that. “Fandom” is all that counts with our reality star president, as my 13-year old daughter would agree. To him, the salient point of any international military conflict would be. simply: which show has the most fans?

    • bmaz says:

      Eh, I was not a fan of that war either. And, yet, barely avoided it. If I had been two years older, probably the draft number game would have come for me. I could, however, unlike Trump, point to Vietnam on a globe.

      • swmarks says:

        In 1971, my draft number was 13. Went down for my physical. On the strength of some IQ test, I was brought into an office and asked if I wanted to go to Officers Candidate School. Told the officer ( I think he was a psychologist) that I would come out as a 2nd Lieutenant, go to Vietnam and have an average life expectancy of about two weeks. He didn’t argue with me. I remember that. Anyway, went home and waited to be called up in about a month. Two weeks before that date, Nixon called off the draft.

        • bmaz says:

          I was not there quite yet. About a year, maybe year and a half, off. But holy crap was I scared. I didn’t have any bone spurs. Thankfully, the draft went away.

        • Badger Robert says:

          I never got called for a physical. My number was like 37, but the war was winding down. My experience would have been about the same. I probably would have taken OTS and hoped the war would end before I got there. I was not going to go to Canada.

          • e.a.f. says:

            Know two men who decided to not participate in the war. Both came to Canada and gained entry. Stayed and Canada was very lucky to have both of them. Married, raised families, worked in fields which needed good people. Canada lucked out with a lot of those who came here at that time.
            Canada has also done well when Americans came to Canada as professional athletes and decided to stay. One was Emery Barnes, who after his foot ball career was over, stayed, graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Social Work, which led to politics. (the Premier when he was elected was also a former Social worker) Eventually Emery Barnes became the Speaker of the B.C. Legislature. He truly was a wonderful man.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            My father was 6’9″ tall, and too tall for the US Military in WW2. He got on a train from Connecticut to Montreal, where he joined the Black Watch in order to serve in the War. I still have his kilt, his Glengarry and all of his medals.

            A fitting memory for this day, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

            I cannot think of anyone less deserving of sitting in the White House on this day, than the current occupant.

        • P J Evans says:

          My brother turned 18 in 1970. I don’t remember what his number was – IIRC, it was fairly high – but he appealed his 1A classification and got it changed to CO. (For a while, all his communications with his draft board were “registered, return receipt requested”.) He’s still a CO. (He went into ornamental/environmental horticulture. Speaker to flower-growers, soil remediation, that kind of work.)
          I know people who got out of the draft by faking mental illness. But I’ve also heard stories of people who should have been medically exempt – and had the letters and reports from doctors – but got drafted anyway, because they didn’t have rich fathers and theri boards were full of RWscum.

          • Callender says:

            I was one of those who had a medical condition that the doctors told me would get me out. I was 20 in 69, and got called. My medical file documented a crushed bursa in my left elbow, a post-injury staph infection in the elbow, 2 week hospitalization, which cost me a basketball scholarship to Villanova, when I came out of the hospital unable to tie a neck tie.
            Fortunately for the military, they have clip on ties.
            The doctor literally laughed at me and my file. Two weeks later I was in Uncle Sam’s OD Green machine. With a 3 month old son to boot.
            In two years of military service, I was the only one I ever knew of or saw or met who got drafted with a 3 month old. I know there were others, I just never saw one.
            A rich father would have helped. Alas, my blue collar father couldn’t help – and probably wouldn’t have if he could. He was a WWII vet, Korea tank commander, and narrow minded about service. He believed in it.

            • P J Evans says:

              The one I heard about was a guy with kidney disease, longstanding, well documented, and something he made sure that they knew about when he went in.

  14. OldTulsaDude says:

    Speaking of fandom, what Individual-1 really needs are some Miracles, and a little Smokey Robinson:

    People say I’m the leader of a party
    ‘Cause I tell a lie or two
    Although I might be loud and pretend to know a lot
    Truth is I haven’t a clue

    So take a good look at the race
    When I won I came from last place
    If you look closer it’s easy to trace
    The tracks of the bears

    I need them
    Need them
    Need them

    I left Ivana and now been with some other girls
    acting like I’m rich and hung
    Although they may be cute, they are no substitute
    for a mirror cause I’m my number 1

    So take a good look at the race
    When I won I came from last place
    If you look closer it’s easy to trace
    The tracks of the bears

    Outside I’m exaggerating
    Inside I’m disintegrating
    I’m just a joke since I’m really broke
    My smile is for Putin
    I swear I won’t break up – with him

    Baby, take a good look at the race
    When I won I came from last place
    If you look closer it’s easy to trace
    The tracks of the bears

  15. Eureka says:

    Cheers, y’all, we (?) bought rounds for the fine folk of Doonbeg!

    Oh. But in Pence’s cousin’s pub, while the spawn thanked them for supporting Trump’s private business:

    InfomercialThread/photos/article here:
    Simon Carswell: “Large crowd gathered outside Morrissey’s pub in Doonbeg (owned by Hugh McNally, cousin of Trump’s vice president Mike Pence) – word is that Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr and Eric will drop into the village – via @IrishTimes …”

    “Donald Trump jr & brother Eric receive a warm reception as they arrive at Morrissey’s pub, the first of four bars on a pub crawl of Doonbeg, buying drinks and thanking locals for their support of the family’s golf resort – via @IrishTimes IrishTimes #TrumpVisit #TrumpInIreland… ”

    It goes on…

    Meanwhile, thread on an exclusive from the 3rd; also cited estimated Trump “entourage” at 1k people, but I’d guess a lot of that must be SSUS/security:

    Martyn McLaughlin: “EXCL: The US Govt has spent £1m+ on 5* London hotels tied to Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family for @realDonaldTrump’s UK state visit, with the bill to US taxpayers standing at £2.7m+. My @TheScotsman story on the money behind all the pomp & circumstance: (link)”

    • P J Evans says:

      I wonder how much of the money paid to those hotels will end up back in the Tr*mp family pockets.

      • Eureka says:

        Good question. And as a separate matter of general grift-graft, I wonder if we the taxpayers are somehow paying for their couture outfits / formal wear for the trip.

  16. cpolblue says:

    My fantasy: A crowd the size of that which attended MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech shows up at the Lincoln Memorial on July 4th. As the president begins his speech, everyone turns their back to him and stands silently. Perhaps with a sign on their backs reading “Resign.”

  17. klynn says:

    OT sort of…
    It is a beautiful moment when EW uncovers a troll in her Twitter feed and they have significant GOP ties.

    Do they not realize their attacks are confirmation EW is on the correct path of analysis?

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