44, 40, and 38

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

It should be absolutely crystal clear the language used by Individual-1 in reference to these persons aged 44, 40, and 38 is pure propaganda.

(source: Wikipedia.org)

These are graduates of pricey universities who are old enough to have adult children. One of them was an advisor to the former White House occupant.

They may be the progeny, descendants, and heirs of Donald J. Trump but they are not juveniles, youngsters, or children.

His reference to Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric as children is subtly racist as well, because in 1989 Trump would never have referred to these persons:

Kevin Richardson, 14
Antron McCray, 15
Raymond Santana,14
Korey Wise, 16
Yusef Salaam, 15

as children.

Yes, racist, though Trump is hardly the first and only to use the white supremacist convention which allows any white adult with a living parent to be called a child while Black persons of any age are labeled in terms which erase any any and all innocence no matter the situation.

Innocence is exactly what Trump wants to convey and it’s fallacious bullshit.

Trump will continue to spew this manipulative crap to skew the public’s sentiment, but every bit of it must be rejected and set straight with the truth.

All three of these adults and their father have been subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in relation to an investigation into the Trump Organization’s use of fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits.

This is hardly the stuff of children who can’t knowingly enter contracts. The NYAG’s brief profiles of Trump’s adult progeny describe people who are quite capable of managing contracts:

Donald Trump, Jr. runs the Trump Organization with Eric Trump. He is also a trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust and has certified annual financial statements regarding the assets the Trust holds for Donald J. Trump.

Ivanka Trump was the Executive Vice President for Development and Acquisitions of the Trump Organization through at least 2016. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Trump negotiated and secured financing for Trump Organization properties. Until January 2017, Ms. Trump was a primary contact for the Trump Organization’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank.

These are adults who need to cooperate with law enforcement because their father isn’t going to make this any better. He’s clearly not stepped up to respond to the subpoena and instead thrown “children” in front of the NYAG’s bus.

224 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    So angry about this crap, the cynical propaganda, the gross double standard, and the craptastic parenting which created such unethical wretches.

    Just as angry at the media outlets which fail to note the propaganda and hypocrisy.

    P.S. Bring all your off-topic comments here in this thread, especially the venting.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Concur, but the media part is worse, I think because it’s deliberate on their part especially the NYT and Chuckles Todd at MTP.

      • Theodora30 says:

        I agree that the media is the most responsible. I would also add CNN’s Chris Cillizza to your list. His coverage of Hillary’s email pseudo-scandal was beyond disgraceful and dishonest. Worse, he doesn’t believe it’s a journalist’s job to give the public the facts as this quote from him makes clear:
        “My job is to assess not the rightness of each argument but to deal in the real world of campaign politics in which perception often (if not always) trumps reality. I deal in the world as voters believe it is, not as I (or anyone else) thinks it should be.”

        As Mary Trump pointed out in her first book, most of the NY area media turned a blind eye to the blatant corruption that permeated Trump’s business dealings. They had to have been aware of the reporting by the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Cay Johnston, both of whom spent years Trump’s dealings, but they chose to cover him as a colorful celebrity. (Law enforcement wasn’t any better.)

        Most of the media gave the same cover to the incontrovertible evidence that Ivanka and Don Jr. had engaged in real estate fraud. Prosecutors had given Cy Vance their emails discussing how they were getting away with the lies they were telling potential Trump Soho buyers — inflating both the number and price of the units they had sold. Vance refused to bring charges. When the New Yorker published that story in 2017 I expected the rest of the media to go nuts but they chose to ignore it. You can bet if evidence like that had come out about Hunter Biden or Chelsea Clinton it would have driven coverage for days, if not weeks.

        • gmoke says:

          My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that the very first NYTimes story about Donald J Trump coming into the Manhattan real estate market was engineered by “John Barron,” Trmp’s alias as his own PR guy. The NYTimes didn’t do any true diligence on Trmp from the getgo.

          • Jharp says:

            I remember stepping inside Trump Tower as a twenty something visiting New York for the first time circa 1985 and thinking what a fraud, and a blowhard, and a pompous ass Trump was.

            I could see through him when I knew very little and it was obvious.

            And yet here are.

            • Lady4Real says:

              Me too. Except I was 17 and graduating HS soon. My mother told me to stay out of NY. I lived in Baltimore, and my BF who was not in HS would take me to NY or AC on weekends when he and I didn’t have to work. When I was 17, 18, 19, I was earning enough money to travel when I wasn’t in school or working. I was fortunate.

              Anyway, tfg was $iht then. I could name 3 instances off the top of my head that pegs him as a $iht person in the 80s, 90s, ’00s and on to being the $iht person he is now. Just. Bad. News.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                The Onion hilariously trolled Cohen’s idle threats for them to stop publishing Trump takedowns by tweeting links to articles going back to Trump’s earliest days. They had him pegged as empty bluster with a black heart from the start. “Everyone” knew it. It’s a though the media assume everything is bs, and the game is simply to choose what to call bs on and what to go along with. Profit and self-preservation are the determining factors.

        • Anonymouse says:

          If the goal is to slow down or prevent discussion of certain topics… than he is the right person in the right job.

          Probably on a payroll other than just NBC’s too.

        • Frank Anon says:

          I don’t know if you recall, but Chuck Todd rose to fame as a staunch Obama backer before everyone else. When Obama became president, Chuck started to get abuse from his fellow presspeople for being in the tank for him, and he engineered some kind of nonsense break. After that, he became kind of an albatross, especially during the “Grand Bargain” talks. It didn’t escape notice that Todd’s rapid rise began when he became an Obama foe

          • Rayne says:

            When the option was McCain-and-that-northern-nutbag? Bah.

            McCain’s come up 2X for me in the last 24 hours. What most people don’t know is that he was very sick even in 2008. A reporter who worked for me interviewed him, asked a few questions of his body persons, and they proceeded to harass the reporter threatening them if they printed one word about his health.

            Reporters covering Congress knew this. They all did and they all stayed silent. They’ve continued to stay silent all this time. If NBC corporate people were pushing Todd to support McCain, they did so either not knowing about McCain’s frailties or for the abso-fucking-lutely worst reasons.

            • bmaz says:

              Sure seems that the one name missing in this conversation is Tim Russert. NBC has grown the Todd types for a very long time. It did not magically start with Chuck and Obama.

                • bmaz says:

                  He kind of is, even if only in a way. He was Russert’s pet project and white board understudy, so was a natural go to for them when Russert passed. Although the intermediary David Gregory thing was fun.

                  • Rayne says:

                    As Russert’s replacement as host on MTP immediately after Russert’s death? I can see why NBC would have wanted some semblance of continuity.

                    But POLITICAL DIRECTOR??? No. Hell no. Probably one reason (in addition to Phil Griffin and Jeff Zucker) why we ended up with NBC News’ craptastic news coverage of the GOP majority during the Obama years and then so much knee-padded coverage of Trump in 2016. No serious counterbalance to CNN’s and Fox’s breathless donation-in-kind masquerading as news. Thank gods Rashida Jones became MSNBC’s president in 2020 to keep some of this crap in check.

                    • Leoghann says:

                      Brokaw was clearly a choice for continuity. But I have long thought Gregory was there for appearances. NBC wanted the appearance of making a strenuous search for a suitable replacement, even though Todd was their obvious early choice. We saw the same charade recently, in the game show Jeopardy[!].

    • Badger Robert says:

      Is this the start of the toppling garbage cans part of chase scene?
      Is it real, or is it Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio running through the alleys with the cops chasing them?
      Didn’t the emptywheel commentariat predict this?

    • Al Ostello says:

      Trump is a narcissist, probably also a psychopath.

      What is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

      Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe people with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding. This way of thinking and behaving surfaces in every area of the narcissist’s life: from work and friendships to family and love relationships.

      People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely resistant to changing their behavior, even when it’s causing them problems. Their tendency is to turn the blame on to others. What’s more, they are extremely sensitive and react badly to even the slightest criticisms, disagreements, or perceived slights, which they view as personal attacks.

      Psychopath — A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior. An unstable and aggressive person.

      • Leoghann says:

        The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” are technically used interchangeably in the mental health field, to describe and diagnose Antisocial Personality Disorder. “Psychopathic” can be confusing, because it resembles “psychotic,” which is a completely different thing.

        Because of this, some researchers avoid using “psychopath(ic),” and exclusively use “sociopath.” On the other hand, others use “psychopath” to describe a sociopath who is aggressive or violent, or one whose abusive actions are planned out, rather than spur of the moment.

        At first glance, sociopathy and narcissism might seem to be the same, but they are not. Narcissists do have consciences, and some have close relations with family members and friends, but insist on getting all the praise and being in the limelight.

        Sociopaths, however, are apparently bereft of any conscience. They completely lack empathy, and could care less who they hurt on their way to the top. Trump’s preoccupation with his fake tan, his hair, and being thought to be fabulously wealthy is evidence of his narcissism. His desire to destroy anyone who opposes him is his sociopathy. Then add his CFN condition, and you have a real piece of work.

      • civil says:

        Trump is a malignant narcissist — a combination of narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, sadism / lack of empathy, and sometimes paranoia.

        • Vinnie Gambone says:

          Said it in first post here. Once Tfg concluded he was getting away with getting people to think that mop on his head was real hair, he figured he could get away with anything after that.

          • Leoghann says:

            You gave me a hard laugh with that one. **insert It’s Funny Because It’s True meme from The Big Bang Theory**

    • dude says:

      I know this might be inflammatory, but I am showing my age here: Why isn’t she referred to as Ivanka Kushner? The idea of perpetually calling her “Trump” seems to reinforce the ‘child’ notion. Is it out of style to say even Ivanka Trump-Kushner? (My own wife uses her birth name all the time without mine attached, so I am insensitive to the issue; however, on legal documents my last name is also attached as part of hers. I have never questioned why authorities insist on it.)

      • Beth says:

        She never legally changed her name from Trump to Kushner. Simply marrying doesn’t change a woman’s name from her own to her husband’s.

      • Callender says:

        Far as I can see her given name is Ivana, just like her mom. So I don’t know why the media uses the diminutive “Ivanka.” Maybe her preference?

        I for one wish we’d eliminate the nicknames here about Trump himself. I remember BMAZ correcting me a long time ago,on this topic, and I took his point.

        Call him by his name.

      • YancyFaith says:

        I never changed my name either and have been married to my husband over 25 years. My maiden name opens a lot more doors than my husband’s does. Nobody here really knows him. Can’t spell, pronounce, or remember his surname. I was 35 when we married and had a professional career in which my clients had always known me by my maiden name.

        And, I wanted to make sure the marriage would last, lol.

        • P J Evans says:

          I have friends who kept their own names when they married – they didn’t want to be hyphenated, and she was known professionally almost as well as he was.

          • Tburgler says:

            I have a friend with a great last name.

            When he got married, his wife took the name.

            When they got divorced, she kept it.

            When she remarried, her new husband took the name too.

            Cool last name.

    • Bugboy says:

      “P.S. Bring all your off-topic comments here in this thread, especially the venting.”
      I was venting in your last thread; I think you thought I was arguing with you. I apologize profusely: I was venting. LOL.

    • wolfess says:

      B-b-b-b-b-but they are all children … when you are discussing their IQ — definitely one standard deviation below the mean (but that’s also true for their father)!

    • StuartEugene says:

      There’s a parallel here — he wants Ivanka regarded as 40 when he gives her and Jared bizarre tasks like Middle East peace, but as 12 when somebody wants to hold her accountable for her actions. Two different numbers, depending on what’s better for him.

      Sort of the way he values his real estate.

  2. Leoghann says:

    On first glance, I misread and thought you were posting about the orange abomination’s physical measurements, which are 44-50-58.

    I commented about this on Marcy’s Ivanka thread. When I first read about this eruption of his, it struck me as egregious, even for him. First, it flies in the face of his term-long claims that his kids and SIL were “the best people.” But later I realized that it surprised me because it sounds so desperate. Such an insulting claim towards his progeny, calling into question his own claims about them, tells me that he knows the walls are closing in. Only he currently knows what damaging information will be revealed in the material that has been subpoenaed and is about to be delivered. But he’s apparently scared about it.

    Oh, and the one quibble I have is regarding your statement about “the white supremacist convention which allows any white adult with a living parent to be called a child while Black persons of any age.” You may not have spent enough time in the South to hear how some southerners use the word “boy.”

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        Rayne – posting from Texas. I agree.

        I actually came to the comment section to say that perhaps

        “Yes, racist, though Trump is hardly the first and only to use the white supremacist convention which allows any white adult with a living parent to be called a child while Black persons of any age are labeled in terms which erase any any and all innocence no matter the situation”

        should continue “and thus justify erasing the black person as well”.

        Obviously, I am thinking of Tamir Rice.

        Thank you for the reference to the Central Park Five.

      • Chirrut Imwe says:

        When Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” during Obama’s 2018 State of the Union, I heard “You lie, boy” in my mind.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Your last reference is surprising, especially when aimed at Rayne. I was about to buy popcorn.

      Should anyone not understand her point, examples are abundant. Easy to find dramatic examples are strewn throughout, In the Heat of the Night. It is used when Chief Gillespie is arguing with Virgil Tibbs about being given the box of autopsy evidence. Tibbs responds to Gillespie’s panicked use of “boy” and other pejoratives to make the point that in Philadelphia, they may not like him, but they show him some goddamn respect: “They call me Mr. Tibbs.” It’s used in the greenhouse scene, source of the slap heard round the world. It’s used by the brother of the murderer’s girlfriend in Gillespie’s office, when he does not want the northern Black detective, the smartest cop in Mississippi, to hear the cooked up story of how his sister became pregnant.

      • Leoghann says:

        I’ve found that most people who have spent most of their time up north aren’t aware of how prevalent it was, and still is. Of course, Rayne is not “most people.”

  3. Ewan says:

    Actually the first one to put her foot in it was Hillary Clinton during the second debate when she answered, when asked to say something positive about Donald Trump “ Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. “ She validated the idea that they were just his children (possibly to fend off criticism of her own progeny, or to justify the apparent friendship between their descendants, I don’t know).

    • Peterr says:

      Hillary did not put her foot in it here. She went with a banal complement of his family, as opposed to saying something like he is a good businessman or has wonderful hair. It’s the kind of question you ask at a cocktail party, and she gave a cocktail party-type answer. She wasn’t validating anything.

      • gmoke says:

        After Charlie Gibson retired from ABCNews he was a fellow for a while at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. During that time, he moderated a MA gubernatorial debate and asked a fatuous question about campaigning in poetry and governing in prose.

        I saw him at one of the Shorenstein lunches and told him that he wasted our time with such a question. He was not amused, said, “Everybody’s a critic,” and turned his back to me.

        Well, of course I was a critic. I’m a voter looking for real information and Gibson played games instead.

        I don’t believe Gibson was eligible to vote in that election as, reportedly, he’s a resident of NJ, although he is said to have a vacation home in North Falmouth, MA.

      • Knox Bronson says:

        I wish she had had the presence of mind to reply, “I really respect how he is able to wrap all the hair from a small patch on top of his head around his skull so it gives the illusion of him having a full head of hair, the impossible physics of which notwithstanding. And I understand it only takes about an hour a day out his schedule for styling, down from an hour-and-a-half like it used to take. Quite an accomplishment!”

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          It’s worth reading Michael Cohen’s book Disloyal just for his description of how Trump achieves that hair souffle, complete with an indelible snapshot of what the DJT hair looks like in its natural state.

          I once spent way too much time searching for any image of Trump as he really looks. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment: scrubbing all such photos from the entire internet (aside from the two or three we’ve all seen, which are mere hints).

    • Scott Johnson says:

      Use of “child” or “children” to refer to direct descendants regardless of age is common. (My oldest child is 20, a legal adult, for instance).

      No charitable reading of Clinton’s words suggest she was trying to infantilize the Trump children. (And she left Barron, who was and still is a minor, out of her remarks altogether).

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        For context, I’m the former owner of three now-adults, all aged 40 and up. Is there another term besides “children” that would describe our relationship? If so, I’d LOVE to use it!

        • Rugger9 says:

          I would note as others have above is that it isn’t the “children” designation as much as the apparent willingness by the courtier press to give the Trumps a deferential pass on their malodorous and malevolent conduct not available to many other actual minors who don’t have the same advantages.

          The Central Park Five (who it must be remembered were all cleared by DNA) are part of a long list of kids pilloried as thugs by the press when bad things happened to them.

          I’m just waiting for the GQP and their courtier press to start referring to DJT and his spawn as being our “betters”. As it is, I nearly barfed to see Faux advertising Jesse Watters’ show during football. I’d use my usual description of this lowlife (a waste of…) but this is a class joint.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Spencer Dawkins, you just hit on the key distinction: they are children when we are talking about their relationships to a parent. They are very much NOT children in any other sense.

    • Rayne says:

      Not an example of applied propaganda because we were not the target audience. Trump was the target on which she used his own thinking to mess with his head in the middle of a debate.

    • blueedredcounty says:

      She never would have done it, and I know it would have been wrong, but I still wish…when he was pulling that stalking/intimidation crap on the stage behind her…she would have turned around and driven her knee into his groin so hard he was gargling his junk. And then turned to the worthless media moderators and said, “And THAT is how you deal with a sexual predator” and walked off the stage.

  4. Manwen says:

    They are “his” children. But they are not “children.” Angered me too! He uses them for personal aims. Puts them in vulnerable positions to serve his ends. Then screams that is unfair to hold these adults accountable for the position he put them in. Okay. Place all of the sins of these children upon the father and let him pay the price. I’m okay with that. For the man who separated over a thousand underage children, including infants and toddlers from their parents. Who tried to order law enforcement to shoot children trying to cross the border. And, as you note, oh yes. The Central Park Five, the children he wanted executed, who turned out to be innocent of the crime, and to whom he has yet to apologize. This man does not care about children. He only cares about “his”, whatever “his” is. Thank you for inviting the Vent. I feel better.

    • xy xy says:

      “The Central Park Five, the children he wanted executed, who turned out to be innocent of the crime,”
      He said they should be executed AFTER they were found innocent AND released.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        My theory is that Trump had been unbearably envious of the attention paid to Bernhard Goetz, the “subway vigilante” whom NY tabloids crowned a city hero. Trump’s racist, cowardly and immoral vilification of the Central Park Five was his attempt to horn in on Goetz’s turf, and seize the crown of Big Man avenger.

  5. Peterr says:

    The other thing that would help in stories like these would be for the media organization to use the job titles of these three. Tish James is filing charges against the officers and senior employees of the Trump Organization. They are people who signed off on purchases and sales worth millions of dollars.

    Eric and Don Jr. hold the title of Executive Vice President in the Trump Organization. Call them that.

    • harpie says:

      And IVANKA was appointed by the PRESIDENT of the United States to a PAID position in the executive branch of the United States government.

      Yes. CALL THEM THAT!

      • wolfess says:

        I often refer to our elected representatives as elected whores because they do whatever is necessary to keep the donations coming in. Now, since Ivanka was appointed to her government position she is an Appointed Whore. 😜

          • wolfess says:

            I too get your point, but isn’t it all a matter of wording? As you stated, it’s a “slur on honest sex workers” (or ladies of the evening if you will). The only people calling sex workers whores are those who have a need to feel better about themselves, and the only way they can do that is to denigrate everyone else (now who does that sound like?) As you so succinctly point out, the people that I referred to are thieves … willing to do anything for the gawd almighty buck; conversely, I wonder how many sex workers would jump at the opportunity to do anything else.

  6. Al Ostello says:

    Trump (known as “Don the Con” for decades in NYC) by the numbers:
    $2 million in damages were paid by Trump in 2019 to 8 charities after New York’s AG sued Trump for fraud and won (Trump was found guilty of spending charitable dollars on his personal, business, & political interests)
    30,573 false or misleading claims were made by Trump in the 4 years of his presidency
    11,780 votes were illegally asked for by Trump in a recorded phone call with Georgia election official
    780 retired generals and former national security leaders spoke out against TRUMP during his tenure
    725+ have been charged for the Jan 6th insurrection, which was led by ringleader Trump, via his tweet to “fight like hell”
    60+ big lie legal challenges were lost by Trump (100% of ALL big lie legal challenges included Trump appointed judges)
    15 covid cases TRUMP said would go down to 0 soon…has now reached over 64 million (and still counting)
    13 business failures and 6 bankruptcies is Trump’s “business” resume
    11 Trump associates have now been charged with crimes
    10 new GOP state laws shift power of elections from votes to partisan entities
    7 states submitted fraudulent Electoral College documents (to support Trump’s big lie), each signed by GOP party/state officials

  7. Bay State Librul says:

    Rayne delivers a knockout punch to Trump’s family members.
    For Rayne’s “right hook” expose, she will receive a signed copy of “Tom Brady Bloody Lip” portrait from Commissioner Goodell.
    Bloody well done.

    • earthworm says:

      Ivanka and Trump always remind me of that other synthetic beauty, Gulnara Islamovna Karimova and her strongman father Islam Karimov. (Silvio Berlusconi gets an also-ran nomination for dyed hair, pancake makeup. and dangerous buffoonery.)
      I am inviting psycological insights to their tired MO. Why do these tyrants follow the same transparent playbook? and why do their flocks of sheeplike followers fall for it?

  8. BobCon says:

    I’m curious about the implications of Thompson’s statement that Barr has spoken to the 1/6 Committee.

    In and of itself it’s pretty ambiguous. It’s very possible Barr isn’t saying anything major, and it’s possible he is spinning what little he said. It’s not impossible he is cooperating more substantially, but how much and how honestly is anyone’s guess.

    But it is significant that this only emerged from an interview with Thompson rather than independent reporting. One possible implication is that people like Schmidt and Zapotosky are out of the loop and they have been relying on sources who don’t know basic facts or are grossly misleading them.

    Another is that these reporters knew about Barr but were so compromised and tied in knots by agreements to keep sources anonymous that they couldn”t report on it.

    Or possibly they knew and could have reported, but either lack the news sense to do so, or are committed to bad narratives which want to minimize a fact like this.

    Also possible is that nobody knows the 1/6 Committee’s business until they want it known. Reporters like Zapotosky and Schmidt may be just waiting like everyone else for news. Which means their reporting is deeply flawed by failing to inform readers up front how little they actually know, and how much they have been presenting as certain which is still unknown.

    Even when a piece of news emerges, they lack the analytic ability, source networks, and/or news judgment to make sense of it.

    Obviously this is a tough beat and missing a single newsworthy piece of information doesn’t imply that much by itself. But in the larger context now over a year after 1/6 this kind of failure is troubling — they can’t cover the story and won’t even admit it.

    • Al Ostello says:

      I agree with most of what you wrote. ty

      Barr is human garbage, but he is not reckless.

      Barr is too smart to lie under oath because he knows that Nixon’s AG went to prison (because AG Mitchell committed multiple crimes in Watergate, he was sentenced to prison in 1977 and served 19 months.)

      Barr’s intelligence is reflected in the fact he resigned the moment he heard of the plan for the the military to confiscate voting machines.

      I am frustrated with the major media because most don’t dig deep at all. The fact is talking with many people and collecting documents with dozens of lawsuits that eat up time is still old school and not instant. DOJ took 2 long years of careful investigations before dozens of Nixon’s aides were indicted after the WATERGATE break-in. Many additional months for them to be jailed.

      • harpie says:

        Barr’s intelligence is reflected in the fact he resigned the moment he heard of the plan for the the military to confiscate voting machines.

        Are you referring to this information from the Senate Judiciary report?

        December 14, 2020 Special Assistant to the President Molly Michael emails Deputy Attorney General Jeffery Rosen two documents “From POTUS”: (1) a set of talking points alleging voter fraud in Antrim County, Michigan; and (2) a purported “forensic report” by Allied Operations Group on Dominion Voting Systems’ performance in Antrim County.

      • StuartC says:

        You know, it occurs to me as I’ve read this several times recently, that it took two years, in part, because G Gordon Liddy wasn’t taking selfies in the Watergate DNC offices, and streaming videos of it on Twitter and Instagram.

        • Rayne says:

          The investigation of Watergate break-in and illegal campaign finance also didn’t have to go through terabytes of communications in addition to terabytes of photos and videos.

          Central to Nixon’s exit was the 18-minute gap in a single tape. If only these investigators in DOJ and House J6 committee had that little to go through — a single tape.

          • Al Ostello says:

            “terabytes of communications in addition to terabytes of photos and videos” vs “18-minute gap in a single tape”. Excellent point.

            And, I just heard this on Ari Melber: “This is worse than Watergate in so many ways,” Jill Wine-Banks, former Watergate special prosecutor. She added something like, ‘Watergate did not threaten our democracy’.

            • Leoghann says:

              They both dealt with presidencies willing to do anything to secure an election victory, and specifically with unambiguously illegal behavior. The big difference is that Trump incited a mob to invade and savage a building that is arguably the seat of American democratic government. So all we’re talking about here is degree of outrage.

      • Rayne says:

        Barr’s intelligence is reflected in the fact he resigned the moment he heard of the plan for the the military to confiscate voting machines.”

        This is conjecture. We don’t know the truth of why he resigned nor why he chose December 14 as the day he announced his resignation or that he would exit on December 23. For all we know the why+when were timed for optimum plausible deniability.

        • BobCon says:

          We don’t even really know how long this plan was being developed. For all we know this was iteration #5 and Barr already knew about #3 and #4.

          • Rayne says:

            Reading up on Rhodes’ past with the Bundys and knowing what a wild card Michael Flynn has been, I’m sure the roots are deep and old — and Barr likely knew all of that and then some.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah, I’m still pondering that as well. Was the mention that Barr spoke with the committee but with little indication how that went meant as a mindfuck directed at Trump, a subtle shakedown at a remove intended to encourage either an unforced error or a concession to reality that the committee may have ample dirt on Trump?

      I can’t find the video clip I want of Thompson interviewed yesterday morning discussing J6 committee’s investigation into the use of federal resources to commit this coup as well. The framing used is critical — the committee is looking at a massive abuse of power the public hasn’t fully grasped, and media outlets didn’t touch it.

        • Rayne says:

          That’s it, thanks much. And yes, Thompson is nowhere as smooth at this as Cheney, but then he didn’t grow up under the combined influence of Deadeye Dick and author Lynne.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s always possible he was confirming what he knew was already circulating. For all we know, Barr has been talking on background about the plan and this was Thompson’s way of letting Barr know they were paying attention.

        But regardless, it’s one more piece which screws up the narrative Washington Post and NY Times reporters have been telling as recently as this month that nothing is going on and nobody is providing evidence.

        And not surprisingly, because their reporting has been so dependent on dubious sources, poorly reasoned and thin on details, they have left it unreported. The NY Times would rather run another normalizing Nazis story on their Sunday front page.

      • harpie says:

        I’m working on transcribing that clip… but it could be that some people/entities don’t want us to remember these two entries from the report I cited above:

        11/9/20 Attorney General Barr issues a memorandum weakening DOJ’s longstanding election non-interference policy and authorizing overt, pre-certification investigative steps “if there are clear and apparently credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”
        11/9/20 Richard Pilger resigns his position as Director of the Public Integrity Section’s (PIN’s) Election Crimes Branch in response to Barr’s 11/9 memorandum.
        [end blockquote]

      • harpie says:

        Marcy is now commenting on NEW “insider info” from Herridge from supposed “person close to” BARR:

        12:45 PM · Jan 24, 2022

        Bill Barr wants you to know:
        1) He still loves him some High GasLighter
        2) He doesn’t believe treating violent threats from Roger Stone and the Proud Boys as a technicality to be related
        3) He doesn’t want to get in trouble with Trump [screenshot]

        • BobCon says:

          “Barr said he did not have any visibility…
          into the events of January 6 or the work of Clarke and that he did not feel he has much information that could be useful to the Committee. ”

          Translation — “OK, I have some information that could be useful but I’m going to go for the best deal I can get.”

          • Rayne says:

            Maybe, or it’s another bald-faced lie just like his marginalizing remarks ahead of the release of the Special Counsel’s report in April 2019.

            I don’t know how the AG who had access to all kinds of intelligence “did not have any visibility” unless he’s deaf and blind.

            • BobCon says:

              He’s giving a very lawyerly (sorry attorneys) answer that hinges on a very specific argument that since he was out of office by 12/23 he didn’t know what was happening in the next two weeks. Technically true but avoiding what he knew was coming on 12/22.

            • Leoghann says:

              Maybe he’s like a dog, and thinks if he hides his head behind a post and can’t see you, he’s invisible.

          • MB says:

            Don’t know whether this applies to Barr or just some/all cult followers in general, but maybe he “craves the ‘authoritarian libertine’ father who ‘makes me be good and lets me be bad'”

    • MB says:

      I heard that Barr speaking to the committee was not as a formal deposition, like most others who have voluntarily co-operated, but rather on an informal “consultation” basis. Do people take oaths at depositions? Just wondering.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        They do when giving a deposition. When sitting down for a less formal conference, it’s unlikely.

        Too much deference is still shown senior government lawyers. No senior Trump administration official deserves, for example, a presumption that what they say is true. Quite the opposite, even, especially for senior DoJ officials.

        The problem is not respect for their status, it’s an evidentiary one. Informal information exchanges are no substitute for the greater reliability of information given under oath and the penalty of perjury (or similar statutory penalty, such as lying to Congress).

        Even then, there can be problems when seeking to impose penalties for lying. In court and before Congress, witnesses are given opportunities to “correct the record.” It’s hard to prove a factual inaccuracy, misstatement or omission is a lie, that it was material, and that prosecutors relied on it.

        • Charles Wolf says:

          If Barr was “conferencing” with the FBI he could be busted for lying even though not sworn. Is that true for statements made to other government inquirers?

      • Chirrut Imwe says:

        Can someone give a brief explanation as to how the information gleaned from these voluntary (non-deposition) interviews/”consultations” can be leveraged by the committee and/or DOJ going forward?

        • bmaz says:

          Same as any other information. There are notes and records made, among several people, that can form subsequent actions. Yes, it is very useful, and totally normal.

  9. Thomas L says:

    Longtime reader, soon to be contributor (waiting for soc. sec. to kick in next month) and first time poster (perhaps last, too, if my comment is ruled too juvenile):

    “They may be the progeny, descendants, and heirs”

    You left out spawn (of Satan).

    Submitted with much respect to all present

    • Rayne says:

      Believe me, “spawn” crossed my mind but I thought I was going far enough with the reference to the racist convention.

      Welcome to emptywheel. Comment often. You need not worry about the resident bear who’s here to ensure commenters are posting in good faith. :-)

      • gmoke says:

        Here’s the elevator movie pitch:
        It’s been Melania all along. SHE got Trmp to run and embroil all of his adult children (Tiffany barely counts because all she’ll get is left over from the settlement with Mama Marla) in criminal entanglements so that Barron, Melania’s son, will get everything – of what may be left when the dust clears.

        Well, it’s a theory.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Melania is an interesting case. I would speculate that she was not involved since I can think of no other policy or political decisions that Melania was involved in. That left her free to commit fashion atrocities at the WH and in her choice of outerwear.

          However, wasn’t Grisham Melania’s press secretary? Perhaps what we are really seeing here is Melania venting her unhappiness with her husband (for now) by way of Grisham who also as WH press secretary would have been in on political discussions. What I do not know is how much difference there is in Grisham’s loyalty between DJT and Melania.

          • MB says:

            Grisham was on one of the morning news shows and said as the insurrection was getting underway, she tweeted Melania to ask if she should send an official from-Melania tweet asking people to go home and act peacefully. The 1-word reply from Melania: No. Grisham says she then mulled it over in her mind for another hour after “No” and then tendered her resignation.

            So I would say as far as Melania “not being involved in political decisions”, yup. Definitely wasn’t.

          • Leoghann says:

            Grisham was White House Press Secretary and director of communications (for DJT). Before that, she was Melania’s press secretary, then promoted to her chief of staff.

            All descriptions I’ve seen of Barron Trump say he’s Little Donald, complete with temper tantrums and verbal abuse.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Barron is not a party to this stuff and his personality is not at issue. He’s still a minor, as in a real child, unlike his half-siblings. But I’ve heard he’s nothing like poppa, except that he’s tall. Wouldn’t you have daily tantrums if TFG were your dad?

  10. William Bennett says:

    I mean, they certainly have no scruples against going after Biden’s “child,” Hunter. Not to mention they PERMANENTLY disqualified themselves from being entitled to any such umbrage after mocking Chelsea Clinton’s appearance when she actually WAS, y’know, still a kid.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump is always pretending to be a Mafia don. Old timers in the Godfather movie never sold dope to school kids. That would have been a violation of the code (in the movie, about to be breached by the new breed opposing the Don). TFG must think he earns sympathy and street cred when he complains about someone else breaking the code – even though he did it every day before, during, and after his maladministration. Hunter Biden, anyone?

    • Rugger9 says:

      That Limbaugh clip about Chelsea was unfortunately a harbinger of things to come for GQP “civility” and “decorum”.

  11. graham firchlis says:


    Julian Assange has recieved leave from the High Court of England and Wales to appeal the High Court’s decision allowing his extradition to the US.

    He has 14 days to file the appeal, but the High Court’s decision limits the appeal to a narrow issue:

    Should the US have offered assurances regarding custodial treatment of Assange at his first hearing rather than on appeal, and if so does that justify reversal of the High Court extradition decision?

    The Supreme Court has discretion to accept or reject the appeal. IMHO they will take the case, and I expect they will rule against Assange. If so, Assange will still have the option of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, to which the UK remains a signatory.

    Many months to go before this extradition process is finished. Assange will either be extradited to the US or expelled to Australia, where he faces another round of US extradition hearings AND the very real possibility of terrorism charges under Australian law that carry a term of 20 years to life.

    Meantime Assange will remain imprisoned in Belmarsh, which in future may be viewed by he and his tens of supporters as the Good Old Days.


  12. Frank Anon says:

    Is it just possible that the white-child hypothesis only holds up to Republicans. Does not escape notice that Hunter Biden is 51 and Chelsea Clinton is 41, yet neither of these children is expected to be absolved of anything at all by the Trump folks.

  13. mospeck says:

    “P.S. Bring all your off-topic comments here in this thread, especially the venting.” You asked for it.

    I do believe in spooks .. I do, I do.. I DO believe in Spooks .. stingers, javs, sat intel, counter fire radar artillery, SWIFT cutoff, microchips cut off*, gas lines cut off, airlines cut off, NATO encirclement. vlad, im a scared old joe here at The Western World since you got them trusty rusty nukes .. but I do believe in spooks. I do, I do. Know you got your powerful pointy hats hard at work, like your brilliant #2 lukashenko, a particularly formidable and singular mastermind. News on the wire services says he goes straight through to Kyiv through the Pripyat marshes Chernobyl rad zone/amusement park, told his troops do what you like with the others, but bring me Zelensky. Now Fly! Fly!!

    *vlad, know you don’t need ours, since you got your new silicon valley young entrepreneur (non ransom-warers) who will for sure make you newer better greater ones. Like peskov says, you will work your old black magic, just like you did on Roscosmos.

  14. harpie says:

    11:15 AM · Jan 23, 2022

    NEW: Rep. Thompson, Jan. 6 Select Cmte. Chair, tells @margbrennan that his committee has documents that outline a plan to use defense department assets to seize voting machines in 2020. [VIDEO]

    BRENNAN: There was also another story, significant. Politico published the text of a draft Executive Order that had been presented to President TRUMP in December of 2020 to have the Defense Secretary seize voting machines in battleground states. Now, multiple news organizations have now reported this. Do you intend to go to the Attorney General, Bill BARR to ask him about this? I mean, how do you follow up on this kind of allegation, and the paper work to back it up?

    THOMPSON: [0:34] Well, yes we do. To be honest with you, we’ve had conversations with the former Attorney General already. We have talked to Department of Defense individuals. We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false. So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know. We’ve never had that before. And so, any of these individuals who are participating, and trying to stop the election, the duly election of a President, and if we can document it, we will share it with the public.

    BRENNAN: [1:25] I just want to follow up on something you said. Do you have proof that there was someone inside the United States military working on this premise? Of actually seizing voting machines?

    THOMPSON: [1:38] Well, we have information, that between the Department of Justice a plan was put forward to potentially seize voting machines in the country, and utilize the Department of Defense assets to make that happen.

    BRENNAN: [1:57] Something beyond this draft executive order. There was actually an operational plan?

    THOMPSON: [2:03] Well, no, not an operational plan, but just a draft itself is reason enough to believe that it was being proposed. Our job is to get to the facts and circumstances of how far did they go? We do know, that a potential person was identified to become the Attorney General of the United States, who would communicate with certain states that the election on their situation had been fraudulent, and not to produce certified documents. Well, we understand that. So, we will move forward on that investigation. And we will look and see, specifically, how far that plan went.

    BRENNAN: [2:50] That’s incredible. Will the former Attorney General, Bill BARR testify to you? Will you seek out other members of the military to clarify some of what you just laid out here?

    THOMPSON: [3:02] Well, part of our plan is to continue to engage all those individuals that we deem necessary and important to our investigation. Some we’ll talk to. Some we’ll do in deposition under oath. Others we’ll offer hearing opportunities. But, I can assure you, as we develop this information, we will clearly present it to the public. We plan, at this point, to have a series of public hearings showing the use of federal assets, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and other agencies, to actually stop the duly election of a President. So, we’ll do it in due time. []

      • harpie says:

        Seems like the answer is probably “quite a bit”. I don’t think there was anything like this in the “Proof of Concept” letter he wanted Rosen to send to GEORGIA and then other states.

        Maybe something we haven’t heard about, yet

        …or maybe the 12/17/20 “Draft Letter from POTUS To Seize Evidence in the Interest of National Security for the 2020 Elections” KERIK is refusing to let the Committee have.

        KERIK is now blaming WALDRON for that idea. [See my comment at 6:14 pm]

          • harpie says:

            Who normally writes Executive Orders?
            Isn’t it the WH Counsel’s Office?
            What does it have to do with DOJ?
            I’m very confused, if you can’t tell.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Yes, normally the WHCO writes EOs, but who knows with TFG. Abbie Normal is his normal. With the TFG, the more outrageous ones could have been written by outsiders, such as Eastman. He’s now in trouble for having inappropriately used Chapman U resources to work for Trump – through about a week after Jan. 6th. Chapman has emails it wants to produce.

            • Leoghann says:

              What I gathered from coverage of that interview is that they have at least one of the iterations of that proposed executive order, and testimony that it was bounced off someone at DOJ.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Nothing in the letter to Georgia about the military seizing voting machines, but it does include the following phrase:

          “Time is of the essence, as the U.S. Constitution tasks Congress with convening in joint session to count Electoral College certificates, art. II, § 1, cl. 3, consider objections to any of those certificates, and decide between any competing slates of elector certificates.”

          I don’t see anything in the cited clause that speaks to “deciding between competing slates of electors,” so that looks like Clark trying to slide some bulls**t into the letter and hoping no-one will notice, but it also speaks to his knowledge of at least one of the coup’s prongs, the fake electors.

    • harpie says:

      It Sure Looks Like Sidney Powell Wrote the Order to Seize Voting Machines The document bears a striking resemblance to one published on Powell’s own website.
      https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjbzdw/sidney-powell-executive-order-voting-machines January 24, 2022, 9:59am

      […] Over the weekend, one open-source researcher, who publishes election fraud disinformation reports on the Trapezoid of Discovery newsletter [LINK], immediately spotted some similarities with another document he’d seen recently. […]

    • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

      Local NPR station stated that it was a “special grand jury” which apparently means they can’t issue indictments. That will still be up to Wallis.

      • Leoghann says:

        They can’t issue indictments, but they can issue findings and recommendations to DA Willis. That’s basically the same thing.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Is DA Willis going to keep the GJ identities secret? Given the proclivities of the MAGA crowd, doxxing could become a very serious risk indeed.

    • harpie says:

      2:53 PM · Jan 15, 2022

      NEW: Speaking of Kerik, remember it was reported he wouldn’t turn over a 12/17/20 doc to J6 Committee called:

      “Draft Letter from POTUS To Seize Evidence in the Interest of National Security for the 2020 Elections”?

      There’s evidence of Kerik talking about this as of 11/28/20 [screenshots]

      [KERIK allegedly talked about using police to seize voting machines. That sounds like what was happening with the Constitutional Sheriffs is Michigan]

  15. Zinsky says:

    Rayne – great post. I completely agree with your assessment that wealthy, white young people are treated as “children” and are given deferential treatment in the U.S. judicial system, while young people of color are treated as adults at even prepubescent ages. This results in inequities down the road in life, as young people of color have to deal with felonies instead of misdemeanors on their records, as well as mandatory sentencing and other structural biases that end up having long-term disparate impacts on the income and wealth accumulation ability of young people of color. Now that I think about it – we may be talking about Critical Race Theory here!.

  16. Eureka says:

    My entry to the OT Complaint Desk (and speaking of neoteny-rendered innocence) is wtaf with Bill Barr’s new book title (_One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General_). With all intentional recourse to paterfamilias, it grates like the yuk yuk laugh track of a ’50s-ish sitcom.

    Question is, which sitcom is it? We can perhaps do better than the Cleavers but all I hear is “Oh, Wally…”, “Oh, Beaver … what have you done now”/aw shucks — in which case who is Barr’s June?

  17. Eureka says:

    This Ukraine thread by Nina Jankowicz won’t leave me. For the woman in this photo, I want to set fire to the rain, buy her tulips forever, smile over hot soup:

    Nina Jankowicz:

    “I’m growing increasingly frustrated with the out of touch, abstracted discourse about Ukraine.. I lived and worked in Ukraine. I have Ukrainian heritage. And while that gives me some insight to the situation, it’s not about me. It’s about 40+ million Ukrainians. 🧵”

    “It’s about pensioners like this woman @ColborneMichael & I spoke to in Kryivih Rih in 2019, who was selling in the rain tulips at 11 cents each to make ends meet. Her government pension barely covered her apartment. [photo; …thread…]”

  18. Outcountry says:

    My rant:
    I am sick of the way TFG is visually portrayed these days on news programs (even Democracy Now). Despite massive film libraries, the media invariably shows him confidently strutting around on stage at some rally soaking up the adulation of the masses. It would drive TFG crazy if they just occasionally intersperse different images that are not so complimentary (toilet paper stuck on shoe, trouble closing umbrella, using two hands to drink water, assisted slow-walk down ramp, mocking a disabled person, spotty hair tufts, poorly applied face paint, etc.) How things are visually displayed matters a lot.

    And they should stop showing people getting stabbed with needles on every news segment dealing with vaccinations. It’s a clear turn-off for timid, medically-averse individuals.

      • Rayne says:

        The overwhelming majority of Americans have had many vaccinations by the time they left high school, and even more if they entered the military, traveled abroad, or worked in careers where risk of exposure was high. Policing images or language for people who simply refuse to get vaccinated for political reasons won’t help and threatens the entire regimen of standard vaccinations in this country.

        Let me point to the state of Georgia:

        • P J Evans says:

          The number of shots they’re going to need if they leave the state for school or the military…or travel to saner countries. Oh my!

          • graham firchlis says:

            Totally unvaccinated, many children will die. And die young.

            Orwellian. Pro-Life = Death Cult

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Gag me with a spoon. Jab is a common synonym for a hypodermic injection. It’s the preferred one in the UK, for example, where “shot” has other predominate meanings. And what would you have legitimate news coverage show when you’re trying to get tens of millions of Americans vaccinated? Imagine how turned off they would be when the nurse pulls out a hypo instead of a teddy bear.

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s the same kind of needle they use for flu shots, and if you get it from someone who’s good, you’ll barely feel it.

          • blueedredcounty says:

            I’m needle-phobic to this day because the family butcher…I mean, doctor, we went to when I was growing up would raise a lump whenever he gave us a shot. When I was hospitalized for hernia surgery when I was 5, the nurses had a hard time giving me any shots because I would tense up my muscles like a rock bracing myself.

            I’ve been so impressed that every shot I’ve received at a pharmacy over the last two years has been administered so I did barely feel it. Or in two cases, I didn’t feel it at all.

  19. Rugger9 says:

    OT and a bit of a rant…
    I saw another news report about COVID parties where the idea is to get infected and build the herd immunity. Not only is this a really bad idea especially if you get a bad case, but it would seem to me that given how many cases we’ve seen where second cases turn out much worse than the first there may be a mechanism like herpes, chicken pox or malaria where the virus once established naturally finds a reservoir in the body. This would then be triggered by a subsequent infection (so it could mean Omicron and Delta), but I’m also pretty certain that this idea has occurred to the CDC epidemiologists already.

    The other thing to remind our anti-vaxxers is that if the risk of getting infected on any given day is 0.1 percent, then over a year that means there is actually a 30.6 percent chance that your number comes up. At 0.5% per day that chance rises to about 84%. Combine that with the coming recissions by insurance companies for choosing to remain unvaxxed (it could be argued that it is akin to committing suicide to have your heirs cash in on your life insurance) and that multi-million dollar bill looks to be too much for a GoFundMe campaign.

  20. Rugger9 says:

    OT on Ukraine: there are many more well-connected pundits on this (LGM, Malcolm Nance, etc.) but based on my observations of the USSR while serving it looks like Vlad Putin must invade after perpetrating some maskirovka justification.

    Putin is an unreconstructed Soviet spy, and his attitudes and plans show that he wants to rebuild Soviet greatness (like Pravda used to say) as well as the Warsaw Pact empire. He certainly has the support of about 1/3 of the population (mostly older folks in particular) who never liked the messiness of democracy in contrast to the “order” in Soviet times. The USSR was always a shell containing a Ponzi scheme to suck resources into the Party and it caught up to them.

    In more recent times there is some unrest over the Putin policies and ham-handed suppression, and the economy isn’t that swell either in more parallels to late Soviet history. So, in order to distract from domestic failings Putin has decided to bully the Ukraine into going back into the Soviet Union, or at least up to the Dnieper River. This would provide a land corridor to Crimea where the Black Sea fleet is. It would also provide Putin the aura of a conquering hero. If he slinks away now he’d have a huge bill with nothing to show for it, and if there is serious shooting a body count as well. That’s why I think Putin will go in.

    Will NATO intervene? They might, and many of the newer members (the Baltics, Poland, Slovakia and the Czechs for example) have many unpleasant memories of Russian aggression (Poland actually beat the Soviets in the early 1920s in a small-scale war) are not willing to see Ukraine get rolled up. I do know that several thousand troops are a drop in the bucket against the 100,000 or so massing near Donbass and Belarus. FWIW and IMHO, DJT’s coddling of Putin is responsible for giving Vlad the green light that he could try this invasion.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Not to mention that it makes sense from Putin’s perspective that the U.S. is distracted by both the pandemic and the J6 investigation. He’s banking on us not being able to chew gum and walk at the same time. IMO, he’s going to learn the hard way that we can.

      And, if a bit of a dustup in the east distracts the masses from J6 and his pet the teflon Don can escape w/o too much backsplash, all the better to sow continued confusion here in 2022 and 2024.

    • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

      On NPR recently an interview with a lady from an international security organization mentioned that Putin would have to have at least 200,00 troops to successfully invade the Ukraine; 250,000 to 300,00 would be better. Since that’s not happened so far is it possible that the saber rattling is just to keep Trump out of the spotlight while legal challenges, the January 6th committee and DOJ announcements are mounting? If it weren’t for the Ukraine troubles Trump would be the number one issue for most news outlets.

      Sorry didn’t see Fran’s post while I was typing.

      • Rayne says:

        You’re looking at this from traditional kinetic warfare angle. We are and have been in a cold war for years, the prelude beginning in earnest with the recon performed by the Illegals program, ramped up with various cyber attacks including 2017’s NotPetya, combined with a decade-plus of economic punctuation in the form of cutting off gas to Ukraine, topped with the election interference in 2016 to seat Putin’s asset in the White House.

        Just how many troops does it really take to successfully invade a country which has already been destabilized by an ongoing series of asymmetric incursions since roughly 2002 once Russia cuts off natural gas to Ukraine and Europe in the dead of winter?

        • Rugger9 says:

          Agreed that the Russians have enough troops there now and the equipment as well to make this invasion work. Also note that the Donbass separatists have significant numbers to add in support.

          The cyber attacks are concerning, as is the potential cutoff of energy. However, if NATO is on the ball and I think they are because of prior threats these factors will be accounted for. It’s an expansion of the poking of sticks from Warsaw Pact Cold War days.

        • Leoghann says:

          It amazes me when seemingly intelligent people reply to my, and others’, concerns about Russia (because the Ukraine mobilization is a Russia problem, not a Ukraine problem) with something akin to “LOLOL old man–the cold war has been over for 35 years.” Vladimir Putin has been playing this chess game since at least 2001, when a rich boy with something to prove and no understanding of world history was inaugurated to the Presidency.

          Putin’s little war game in his southwestern sector isn’t just to distract Americans from the saga of his recently departed White House asset. I believe the main purpose is to distract all the NATO allies from the shit he is pulling with his gas pipelines. I hate (HATE!) to agree with Ted Cruz on anything, but giving Putin a stranglehold on the gas supply to all of Northern Europe is a really, really bad idea.

          NATO continues to scare Putin, not just because of the combined military might, but because their combined cooperation could spell an economic armageddon for his regime, for the second time in 40 years.

          Rayne, there were several posts here about the Gazprom should-be-scandal in 2018-19, before Trump redirected us with his election shenanigans. That might be a starting point for continued posting about the situations in Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, NATO, and other targets of Russian aggression.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      So far the Biden administration is only talking economic sanctions, which will take months to bite, and ignores the possibility of stockpiles for essential chips for military usage. It’s also possible that NATO might seek to impose a no-fly zone if an invasion actually begins, and while that would not be costless from the allied point of view, it would have an immediate impact on the battlefield and would greatly reduce the chances of the invasion actually succeeding.

      The real question is what Putin’s aims actually are, and I lean towards the view that they are at least partly about getting Trump re-elected in 2024 by making Biden look weak and/or vacillating. Domination of the Ukraine is mainly domestic political theatre. Getting TFG re-elected would do more to neuter NATO and destabilize Europe than an invasion, which might quickly bog down into guerrilla warfare. My 2 cents.

      • Epicurus says:

        Any of several demographic studies such as Rand and the CIA shows Russia is kaput in about 75-100 years except for a nuclear military capability. It’s birth rate is well below population replacement rate and the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the problem. It only has immigration and annexation as principal replacement options. Who wants to emigrate to Russia? Russia’s population is around 145MM and Ukraine is around 45MM. Ukraine is the immediate answer to Russia’s foremost existential threat – population replacement -in Putin’s eyes, with the added bennies of some natural resources and naval territorial strengthening.

        Putin also knows and is conditioned by Obama’s pretend red line, Trump’s sell out of the Kurds, Biden’s Afghan pull out, and the lack of resolve re: interference in the 2016 election that the US has little to no political appetite to do much of anything of consequence re: Ukraine. He might fear our military but is scornful of our politicians.

            • Rayne says:

              An aggregation of content isn’t much of a post. The one piece worth reading is Fiona Hill’s.

              I’ve written about Ukraine before in addition to posts on the Ukraine quid pro quo. This is not a sudden crisis; it’s part of a long, rolling program of which Trump’s 2016 election was a part.

              • Rugger9 says:

                Indeed, one of my prior links from DKos had that marked out.

                One thing to consider is how it appears the Russian Navy is moving a whole lot of assets toward the Black Sea which is arduous and expensive. Once the current exercises in the North Atlantic are done, watch which way they go. That would add to the money spent as noted above which would demand something of value in return.

                Also, Farley’s linked to a discussion about the PRC and Taiwan. That brought back some Cold War calculus memories, in that no one lost sight of the USSR-USA big picture. Haiphong wasn’t mined for a long time because of the fear that Soviet ships would be sunk.

                Putin and/or Xi seem to think that we can’t cover both of them at once (we can) and that might be the motivation by both to see what we can do.

              • Dopey-o says:

                Putin isn’t fighting the last war. Destabilizing Ukraine and installing a puppet is much cheaper than an invasion. And not so likely to have unexpected consequences.

                All 5 suggested Ukrainian puppets have a common thread: Manafort.
                If Putin can install a stooge who will pledge not to join NATO he will be The Hero Who Saved Mother Russia From Evil Western Missiles. And Reunited Russia.
                Also, all that sweet Ukrainian wheat.

    • harpie says:

      You’re welcome, Rayne.
      [I get a kick out of following along with Marcy and Zoe at the same time. They are both really good at it, and the difference in styles is entertaining.]

      …and so, it continues:

      8:19 AM · Jan 26, 2022

      Jon Moseley submits a letter misrepresenting discussion of conflicts in yesterday’s hearing and claiming Jan 6 committee is obstructing the criminal prosecution of his client Kelly Meggs for sedition. [screenshot, link] [THREAD]

      And here’s Tillman:
      9:59 PM · Jan 25, 2022

      On today’s big (literally and figuratively) court action in the Oath Keepers cases:
      – Trial dates set for April/July/Sept.
      – A glimpse at defense next steps
      – Prosecutor notes the door is open for plea talks with seditious conspiracy defendants [LINK]

      • harpie says:

        Marcy, today: Here’s my tweets of what the discussion ACTUALLY entailed, which bears no resemblance to what Moseley said it did. [screenshot]


        1:16 PM Jeff Nestler is trying to explain why Moseley’s representation of Zach Rehl on civil case might be a problem: bc Meggs might want to argue that the Proud Boys were actually culpable. […]

        Here’s more from that time, from Zoe:

        1:13 PM Next issue Mehta addresses: Juli Haller reps Connie Meggs in the crim case and her husband Kelly Meggs in a civil case, judge appointed outside atty Andrew Wise to probe potential conflict. Wise says he doesn’t believe there’s a present conflict, the Meggs understand the issues.

        [added context is interesting:]
        1:17 PM If Juli Haller’s name sounds familiar — she had been involved in Sidney Powell’s postelection “Kraken” case in federal court in Michigan and is appealing the sanctions order entered against that team of lawyers. […]

      • harpie says:

        Marcy’s link for MOSELEY’s “argument” doc: meggs-jan-6-bullshit

        [MOSELEY] However, Judge Mehta discussed and analyzed for a legally official purpose that the Select Committee is running a parallel criminal investigation and criminal prosecution to the Article III Judiciary, plainly in conflict with and interfering with the criminal cases here in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.

        One might reasonably argue that the Select Committee is intimidating witnesses, tampering with witnesses, as well as massively violating the Due Process rights of these Defendants by its flood of publicity and extra-judicial statements condemning in public these Defendants as already guilty and indeed monstrous domestic terrorists who are a threat to little children and civilization everywhere. […]

        [FYI, added the p-break, deleting the reply. /~Rayne]

      • harpie says:

        MARCY, cont’d:

        Meggs seems thoroughly committed to banking that Trump or someone else will pardon him in 2024 if he gaslights prosecution enough.

        Judge Mehta made more sense of Jon Moseley’s bullshit filing and, to his great credit, managed not to call it a bullshit filing. [screenshot]


        [MEHTA]: […] Also, Counsel for Mr. Meggs is admonished to keep the moralizing and sermonizing out of his motions. His motions must be tailored to the actual relief sought and must avoid commentary on unrelated matters (e.g., the actions of the Select Committee and the prosecution of Oliver North) or unbriefed requests for relief (e.g., dismissal of charges or a change of venue). These proceedings will not become a platform for counsel’s personal political views. Failure to abide by this directive in the future may result in sanctions. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 1/26/2022

  21. rattlemullet says:

    I say they are children. As John Prime penned in Angel From Montgomery, “my old man’s another child whose grown old”. As with TFG, his children have grown old, and never became adults, they never left the nest and control of their father, either emotional or financially. They truly are his children and treats them as such. Having said that they are adults aging past the year of 18 and liking it or not need to be treated as such in the eyes of the law. They have been coddled their entire lives, one grew old to become a killer of large animals, not a hunter. Another grew up having sliced and diced her face to become the false beauty in her dads eyes for his desires of incest. Then another grew old to say ignorant stuff on the ignorant platforms of social media of twitter and face book. Hell they all grew old to do that. The more I see FB and T the more I believe Facebook is for fools and Twitter is for idiots and social media in general only falsely fills the void of loneliness they think by participating in that inane bull crap.

      • rattlemullet says:

        Point made – but I would not group EW in the same class as Facebook and twitter and certainly not the owner of EW with the owners of FB and T. Same comment replies to Rayne. Respectfully as always, I find this blog to help augment my edification with all the post and commentary. I’ve just had it with FB and T. I am grateful for the educational opportunities the internet offers. One just have to weed through to find the best of which EW sits at the top. Again compared to you folks and being Internet say I am a neophyte.

        • bmaz says:

          My point, such as it may have been, was probably poorly made. The internet, at least the WWW part of it, expanded the role and definition of “press”. It can be really great, as you note with “the educational opportunities”. It is pretty incredible. Getting through the weeds is what Marcy, and hopefully the entirety of this blog, is known for.

          And there is no greater resource than those that come to join in the discussion. It is everything.

          • Marinela says:

            The internet is great for searches that are initiated on-demand when you want to find answers to a specific question.
            As a programmer, used it a lot to tap into the technical community. The instantaneous aspect for the answers is amazing.

            But not sure about the social media. Don’t have a twitter or facebook account. Fine to seek answers on my own, versus being spoon feed by social media on what they consider news.

    • P J Evans says:

      They’re adults to everyone, except when their father is feeling threatened by legal action involving them.

  22. WilliamOckham says:

    Here’s something interesting (at least to me). The guy running the Wisconsin Fraudit, Michael Gableman, hired a dude named Ron Heuer as an investigator. Heuer is the president of Wisconsin Voters Alliance, the lead plaintiff in the coup lawsuit brought by … Erik Kaardal. And it gets better. Gableman subleased 60% of his office space to … wait for it … Mohrman, Kaardal, and Erickson. Not clear on why a Minnesota law firm would suddenly need space in Wisconsin.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Filing suits overturning the divisional playoff? Lutefisk distribution and storage? It’s not like the two states like each other (a good friend and teammate on the Vinson Vermin was a Gopher). I wonder whatever happened to the “appearance of conflict” standards that judges are supposed to adhere to, because Gableman was on the WI Supreme Court.

    • Leoghann says:

      I think it’s ironically funny that the ridiculous Arizona NinjaFraudit has provided a template to avoid, which in turn has opened the market up for so many more right-wing grifters.

  23. Falk says:

    Sorry such an infrequent poster that I forget my screename.

    Lets not forget his treatment of a real child Greta Thunberg

  24. Rugger9 says:

    More OT, we have FL Governor DeSantis claiming that the FDA pulled the plug on monoclonal antibody treatment for Omicron ‘without a shred of clinical evidence’ although Eli Lilly and Regeneron (the two manufacturers) both agree with FDA from their own clinical studies. IIRC, doesn’t DeSantis have a stake in an outfit that does the antibody treatment?

    I for one am waiting for someone to sue DeSantis for killing their loved ones with all of this social engineering detached from science.

    • Geoguy says:

      I don’t know if DeSantis has a direct stake in any company making antibody treatment but Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment who has a stake in Regeneron is a big donor to DeSantis. Politifact breaks it down in a post on 8/19/21 by Tom Kertscher titled “Firm led by top donor to Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t a major Regeneron investor”

    • blueedredcounty says:

      My vaxxed-and-boosted (Moderna) best friends got break-through cases of COVID while visiting me in CA over the Christmas holidays. The husband got very sick with COVID pneumonia despite a monoclonal antibody treatment.

      We are assuming he had omicron because that is the prevalent strain here and because of the reports there was only one hard-to-fine monoclonal antibody treatment that appeared effective with omicron.

      I never got sick, but I quarantined for 14 days to err on the safe side.

  25. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Another example is the Trump public attacks on actual child Greta Thunberg. But of course the corrupt right hates it most when legitimate actors wield power competently. Almost all of the right’s behavior is reactive, which is to say co-opting the behavior of intelligent, decent professionals to give a veneer of legitimacy to their subversion of inconvenient truths. Suddenly, I find myself too disgusted to opine further.

  26. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Another example is the Trump public attacks on actual child Greta Thunberg. But of course the corrupt right hates it most when legitimate actors wield power competently. Almost all of the right’s behavior is reactive, which is to say co-opting the behavior of intelligent, decent professionals to give a veneer of legitimacy to their subversion of inconvenient truths. Suddenly, I find myself too disgusted to opine further.

    Oops, just saw Falk’s comment, but I’ll post anyway. Anyway, all their bs is so fucking obvious, I hate that we waste so much time responding, time not spent brainstorming about, say, climate change.

  27. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Sorry, just saw Falk’s comment making the same point.

    I hate that so much time is wasted refuting obvious bs, time not spent brainstorming about, say, climate change. Outrageous lying is depressingly effective.

  28. xy xy says:

    Butch, The Rooster.
    Sarah was in the fertilized egg business. She had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.
    She kept records and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.
    This took a lot of time, so she bought some tiny bells and attached them to her roosters.
    Each bell had a different tone, so she could tell from a distance which rooster was performing.
    Now, she could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.
    Sarah’s favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen but, this morning she noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all!
    When she went to investigate, she saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
    To Sarah’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring.
    He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job, and walk on to the next one.
    Sarah was so proud of old Butch, she entered him in a Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
    The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Peace Prize” they also awarded him the “Pulletsurprise” as well.
    Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making.
    Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention?
    Vote carefully in the next election. You can’t always hear the bells.
    ( If you don’t send this on, you’re a chicken…… no yolk)

      • Al Ostello says:

        I thought this site had human gate keepers to trash the trash comments?

        [Your point is…? To whom do you think you’re replying? I gave a warning as one of those ‘human gate keepers’. Next time they post nonsense like that it’s going in the bin on sight and they may be relegated to auto-moderation. /~Rayne]

  29. harpie says:

    MARCY was tweeting about “Camp Auschwitz guy” [Robert Keith PACKER] pleading guilty to parading today:

    10:10 AM · Jan 26, 2022

    […] One reason I’m interested in Furst’s emphasis on Packer’s cooperation is that there’s a good deal more investigation of the hard right as part of the Jan6 investigation that has been flying under the radar.

    We talk about different mobilizing groups: the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, QAnoners, anti-maskers, as well as just MAGAts.

    But I am very interested in what concerted effort Nazis and other far right groups made to get bodies to the insurrection.

    J6 Committee on 1/19/22:

    https://january6th.house.gov/news/press-releases/select-committee-subpoenas-nicholas-j-fuentes-patrick-casey Jan 19, 2022

    Nicholas J. Fuentes and Patrick Casey are leaders of the “America First” or “Groyper” movement and were present on the Capitol grounds on January 6th. Both individuals participated in events prior to January 6th promoting unsupported claims about the election, including at the November 14th, 2020 Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C. and the December 12th, 2020 Stop the Steal rallies, also in Washington, D.C., where they called for the destruction of the Republican Party for failing to overturn the election. According to public reports, both Fuentes and Casey received tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer, funds the FBI has scrutinized to assess whether funds from this donor were linked to the Capitol attack or otherwise used to fund illegal activity. […]

  30. harpie says:

    Secretary of State gives Jan. 6 panel details of Trump campaign efforts to overturn Michigan election https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/01/michigan-secretary-of-state-details-trump-campaign-efforts-to-overturn-2020-election-in-letter-to-jan-6-committee.html
    Jan. 26, 2022, 2:13 p.m.

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent a congressional panel and the U.S. Attorney General information suggesting the Trump campaign coordinated with Michigan Republicans to overturn the state’s 2020 election result. […]

    There’s a link to the letter in the article. I’m not sure if I should post that very long link it here.

    Vision Surreal has screenshots, here:

Comments are closed.