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Monday, January 01, 2018

OTP 1 January 2018 - Athlete boycotts of White House didn’t start with Donald Trump — but he sure helped

Amateur teams began going to the White House as far back as the mid-1860s, while the first championship winning pro baseball team attended in 1925. That was the Washington Senators, winners of the previous year’s World Series. They were hosted by then-president Calvin Coolidge.

Teams that later followed include the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers. The squad was on hand for the same ceremony in 1980 with then-president Jimmy Carter as baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. In June 1991, the Penguins were the first NHL team to visit after capturing a title, meeting George H.W. Bush.

Bird’s decision to skip the visit in 1984 — usually consisting of handshakes and photo ops — is said to be the first snub of significance, even though he didn’t give political reasons.

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM | 1771 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: champions, politics

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   1001. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5601143)
In retrospect, it may turn out that the worst decision of Trump's presidency was the naming of Sessions as AG -- but from Trump's perspective, not Andy's. If anyone else is AG, then he doesn't recuse himself from the Russia investigation, and we probably don't end up with Mueller's investigation. And of course it ended up costing the Republicans a safe senate seat, too.


Maybe, but I think this assumes Sessions was chosen for any reason other perceived fealty and loyalty... It's not like he was ever going to tab, IDK... Ted Cruz or some random, faceless career AG or attorney.

If not Sessions, it probably would have been someone like Michael Cohen.... well, someone like Michael Cohen if aghast others on Team Trump hadn't been successfully in explaining that any AG nominee has to be confirmed by the Senate and there's probably a limit to how ridiculous even a GOP-held Senate would let Trump be with the office.

   1002. PreservedFish Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:26 PM (#5601144)
I'm happy about the caribou, but when it comes to arctic mammals, it's the muskox that will always have my heart.
   1003. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5601146)
Unlike Trump's repeated feckless threats to sue for defamation, including his current threats against Wolff, Leigh Corfman actually did file a defamation suit today, against Roy Moore.

The nation's yearbook forensic experts are, at the moment, making sure their resumes are current in case Beverly Nelson decides to file suit as well.
   1004. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5601147)
Maybe, but I think this assumes Sessions was chosen for any reason other perceived fealty and loyalty... It's not like he was ever going to tab, IDK... Ted Cruz or some random, faceless career AG or attorney.
I was assuming (EDIT: after the election, before Sessions was named, I mean) Rudy or Christie.
   1005. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5601149)
I - briefly - had a boss like that once... the sort that is really pretty obtuse regarding the core competencies of the business so you had to learn to 'manage' through obfuscation to save her from her own terrible ideas.


More likely you didn't understand the decisions she was making because you're not as smart as her.

That's what's going on with Trump. He's much smarter than people dumber than him can imagine him being, so they don't understand the decisions he makes. Smart people understand that they don't need to know every fact, because not every fact matters. It's sort of like an attorney: to be successful at the job you need to understand which facts of many are relevant, and why. Trump understands better than most which facts matter. So when, for example, during the campaign the Smart People were telling him he needed to spend more money, and open more campaign offices on the ground, and stop saying/tweeting controversial things, he understood that this advice was very shortsighted. Saying the (right) controversial things drove some people away, but caused others to flock to him and stick to him and never leave him. That base of core supporters caused him to win.

Take global warming. Zonk can regale everyone here with tales of how much CO^2 and methane concentrations have increased in the past century. Zonk could tell you what the models show the expected range of ppm by the year 2100 to be. Trump can't tell you any of that. But you don't need to know those sorts of details to understand the broad strokes of global warming. So Trump understood that the smart move for the US was to pull out of the Paris Accord. Meanwhile, people dumber than him were adamant that the US should stay in.

Trump, like anyone, has strengths and weaknesses. But thinking that Trump is simply dumb, end of story, in essence boils down to a failure to properly assess your own intelligence relative to his.
   1006. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5601150)
And as has been obvious to anyone not wearing a hood over his head**, the Dixiecrats and self-described conservative Republicans have been canoodling for the past 80 years,

Okay, what do you think happened in 1938?


They first coalesced over FDR's court-packing scheme. It was the first and last time they coalesced for the good of the country.

and the only difference now is that for the past several decades

the Dixiecrats have been dead.


Dead and resurrected in GOP clothing. Or do you think that characters like Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore would've been Republicans back in the days of Jim Crow? (Hint: Resurrect Strom Thurmond and ask him what party he belonged to before Barry Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights bill.)

And why do you think that National Review was publishing a special "Southern Issue" in 1958, defending the Dixiecrats' POV on segregation? Why was Buckley also parroting their line? Was it because they'd suddenly become Dixiecrats, or was it because they saw the advantage of strategic coalitions on common points of ideology?

About the only things that separated the conservative wing of the GOP and the Dixiecrats at the beginning were that the Dixiecrats favored social welfare programs and labor unions while conservative Republicans didn't, but that difference disappeared when the unions started integrating** and government programs started helping blacks on a more equal footing with whites----which they hadn't prior to the 60's. The Dixiecrats' "liberalism" didn't survive the civil rights movement, and as soon as it ended they latched on to the Republicans in order to fight their common enemy.

I realize that all this may be news to you, but it's also the view of every serious non-revisionist historian.

** No Dixiecrat ever had anything good to say about the CIO or the UMW, which were the only large national unions in the days of the Dixiecrats that weren't as lily white as the White Rooster party of Alabama.

   1007. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5601152)
1005 belongs in the Ray's Solipsisms Hall of Fame. First ballot.

   1008. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5601153)
In retrospect, it may turn out that the worst decision of Trump's presidency was the naming of Sessions as AG -- but from Trump's perspective, not Andy's

One of these thoughts doesn't exclude the other.
   1009. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5601154)
1005 belongs in the Ray's Solipsisms Hall of Fame. First ballot.


it's amazing.
   1010. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5601156)
I was assuming Rudy or Christie.


OK, yeah... forgot about them.

Part of me feels like Christie would have gone the same route as Sessions though perhaps I'm too much in a pre-Bridgegate mindset on him. IDK about Rudy... he's always seemed like much more of the self-promoter and also seems like he's lost quite a bit off the fastball to boot.

Gaming it out -- I suppose neither has quite the early-March reason for recusal that led Sessions down that path.... but it was the firing of Comey that ultimately led to Mueller so it feels like all a different AG would have meant is possibly delaying the inevitable a few weeks.

I suppose that maybe a different AG manages to get Loser L Loserton appointed to just do a perfunctory, sham investigation and essentially jumps on a political grenade himself.
   1011. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5601157)
1005 belongs in the Ray's Solipsisms Hall of Fame. First ballot.


When I first read it I read it as a parody. It was only when I read 1007 that I went back and realized it was Ray and serious (I am watching TV and not paying full attention I must admit).

But yeah read correctly it is spectacular. Bravo!
   1012. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5601158)
1005 belongs in the Ray's Solipsisms Hall of Fame. First ballot.


Yeah. Ray, sorry, but you're being demoted. You're now the Omega Dancing Monkey. This means you're the bottom of the Dancing Monkey barrel, now and forever, because you are a complete moron, and should any other person step up and join the ranks of Dancing Monkeys, they'll will automatically be ranked higher than you. Because, to repeat, you're such a flaming ignoramus.

Now have some warm milk, and maybe a cookie, and go nuh nights, little boy.
   1013. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5601159)
1005 belongs in the Ray's Solipsisms Hall of Fame. First ballot.

it's amazing.


It’s parody.

[root beer float to #1011]
   1014. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5601160)
More likely you didn't understand the decisions she was making because you're not as smart as her.


My career trajectory versus hers would say otherwise, but maybe... the next time she hits me up on LinkedIn for a job lead and/or recommendation, I'll give that some thought. Hey - like I said, she's a perfectly nice person. She's just a better fit for an HR position doing new hire orientations and fielding workforce demands for a new coffee maker. Companies need people to do those things, too -- just not my cup of tea.
   1015. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:54 PM (#5601161)
Rex Tillerson. Rupert Murdoch. General McMasters. Others in his cabinet. All called Trump an idiot (or dope, or ####### moron, whatever you prefer).

Now read Ray's 1005, point, and laugh.

Ray. You spectacularly flaming ignoramus.
   1016. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5601163)
Rex Tillerson. Rupert Murdoch. General McMasters. Others in his cabinet. All called Trump an idiot (or dope, or ####### moron, whatever you prefer).


Has anyone who has worked with Trump ever said anything good about him?

In any event I still maintain that GOP President Trump is an idiot-savant. Judged by TGF's favorite tool (IQ) I doubt he would score well at all, so in that sense, yup we can call him dumb. But he clearly has talents.
   1017. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:07 PM (#5601166)
He has the same talents All con-men have.
   1018. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:13 PM (#5601167)
Judged by TGF's favorite tool (IQ) I doubt [Trump] would score well at all


Au contraire!
   1019. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5601168)
In any event I still maintain that GOP President Trump is an idiot-savant. Judged by TGF's favorite tool (IQ) I doubt he would score well at all, so in that sense, yup we can call him dumb. But he clearly has talents.


If you transform Brittney Spears into a millionaire favorite son maybe -- that sort of "fits the ogling model" kind of talent, I guess.

What's the complete list - not even all or mostly from Wolff's book?

Tillerson: ####### Moron
Preibus and Mcnuchin: Idiot
McMaster: dope
Gary Cohn: dumb as ####
Rupert Murdoch: ####### idiot
Tom Barrack: Crazy and stupid

Why is he so mad at Bannon?

"He knows what he knows" would seem to be one of the kindest things said about him...
   1020. BDC Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5601170)
On RFI today I heard Trump referred to as “cretin” but something may have been lost in translation.
   1021. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5601171)
On RFI today I heard Trump referred to as “cretin” but something may have been lost in translation.


Former Canadian PM Jean Chretien's birthday is next week....
   1022. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5601172)
I'm working on a book about Hillary. Most of what will be in it will be anonymous or unsourced but that seems to be all the rage these days. What we see with the Trump phenomenon is that if you have the right subject and the right target audience your target audience will swallow everything in it whole.


Ray, only you would use a comment from someone saying that they refuse to believe anything in the book as launching pad for a screed against people who believe everything in the book.
   1023. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:37 PM (#5601173)
Dead and resurrected in GOP clothing.
No. Just dead. They've all been dead for a long time.
Or do you think that characters like Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore would've been Republicans back in the days of Jim Crow?
This is like asking whether Bill Gates would have been a blacksmith if he had grown up in the 18th century; it's a completely meaningless question. I have no idea what Jeff Sessions or Roy Moore "would have been" in a different time, but even if I knew for certain, it wouldn't change the fact that they didn't grow up in that time and therefore weren't part of a group from that time that doesn't exist now.

And why do you think that National Review was publishing a special "Southern Issue" in 1958, defending the Dixiecrats' POV on segregation?
I don't even know if that happened -- I mean, I know at the time National Review supported segregation, but I don't know what special issue you're referring to -- but I have no idea how this is remotely related to anything we're discussing. Whatever happened in 1958 has no bearing on what's true now.
Why was Buckley also parroting their line? Was it because they'd suddenly become Dixiecrats, or was it because they saw the advantage of strategic coalitions on common points of ideology?
No, and no.

About the only things that separated the conservative wing of the GOP and the Dixiecrats at the beginning were that the Dixiecrats favored social welfare programs and labor unions while conservative Republicans didn't
So, in other words, if you ignore the massive ways in which they were different, then they were the same. Sharp thinking there, bud.
   1024. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5601176)

and fielding workforce demands for a new coffee maker. Companies need people to do those things, too -- just not my cup of tea.
Why would a coffee maker be anyone's cup of tea?
   1025. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5601178)
Why would a coffee maker be anyone's cup of tea?


I was hoping someone would catch that :-)

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions or whatnot, but I actually did make the switch from coffee to tea this week.... and I am not enjoying it. I suspect this little experiment ends Monday.
   1026. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5601179)
Looks like the Wolff book has started winning Truthiness awards:

‘Complete invention’: Blair denies telling Trump UK may have spied on him
Former PM told Trump aide Jared Kushner of possible British surveillance during election campaign, Wolff book claims


Tony Blair has dismissed as a “complete invention” a claim that he warned Donald Trump’s advisers UK intelligence may have spied on him during the presidential election campaign.

In his already bestselling new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, author Michael Wolff says the the former prime minister had a secret meeting with Trump’s son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner.

Wolff wrote that Blair suggested there was a possibility “that the British had had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications and possibly even Trump himself”.

Wolff’s book also repeated speculation that Blair had been angling to be Trump’s Middle East envoy.

Blair suggested Wolff had made up both claims.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “This story is a complete fabrication, literally from beginning to end. I’ve never had such conversation in the White House, outside of the White House, with Jared Kushner, with anybody else.”

Blair, a former Middle East peace envoy for the quartet of United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia, admitted that he had met Kushner, but not to discuss surveillance on Trump or to lobby for a role.

He said: “Of course I’ve met him and we discussed the Middle East peace process. I wasn’t angling for some job. I did the quartet role. I’m still very active on the Middle East peace process, but I’ve got absolutely no desire for an official position. I never sought one, it was never offered, don’t want one.”

Blair said he was alarmed by how Wolff’s unsubstantiated claims had gained traction in the last 24 hours.

He said: “The story is a sort of reflection on the crazy state of modern politics. Here’s a story that is literally an invention and is now halfway around the world with conspiracy theories attached to it. That’s modern politics.”
   1027. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5601182)

I assume 1005 was intended to be a parody; Ray has shown in recent weeks that despite being a robot, he's capable of self-awareness.
   1028. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:06 PM (#5601183)
I love it!

Nothing smells quite so delicious as Trumpkins basting in the very bullshit stock their boy alone made so possible, profitable, and profligate.

I like to imagine them being surprised when chicken + chicken stock ends up producing chicken soup.... WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT DIDN'T END UP TASTING LIKE CLAM CHOWDER!!?!??! UNFAIR!

   1029. PreservedFish Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5601184)
More likely you didn't understand the decisions she was making because you're not as smart as her.


I also had a boss that reminds me of Trump. He was very ambitious and something of a narcissist. He was a frighteningly good liar - I saw him tell lies with such audacity that it made my jaw drop. (Sometimes you couldn't tell if he knew they were lies or not, because he could lie to himself too.) But excellent at meeting people and making friends. Charmed the media.

He had essentially zero subject matter knowledge for his job. He was really good at raising money, which is how he found himself running this business. He was the type of person that started an independent business consulting firm at a young age without any business experience to speak of, and yet had found many clients.

He was definitely a "not every fact matters" type of person. There were some meetings where everyone would walk out of the room whispering things like "has he gone insane?"

When I look back I realize that he did, in certain ways, have a better long-range strategic vision than I did. I could get bogged down in traditional performance benchmarks that he was probably correct to elide. But in other ways, he was a self-promoting dilettante with no business running a company.
   1030. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5601185)
(Sometimes you couldn't tell if he knew they were lies or not, because he could lie to himself too.)


One of these days I'll finish the book but luckily my favorite quote comes early:

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”


I assume 1005 was intended to be a parody; Ray has shown in recent weeks that despite being a robot, he's capable of self-awareness.


If it's satire it's the most brilliant thing Ray has written on these pages and I will congratulate him on a masterfully crafted post.
   1031. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5601186)
U.S. District Court: House Committee Entitled To Fusion GPS Bank Records:
A federal judge has denied a bid by the private investigation firm Fusion GPS to prevent the House Intelligence Committee from obtaining the firm’s bank records, as part of a congressional probe into the funding and creation of a so-called dossier containing a variety of accurate, inaccurate and salacious claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled Thursday that the House panel’s work appeared to be legitimate. He also rejected Fusion GPS’ claims that confidential information about its clients and sources would be in jeopardy of being leaked if the committee obtained the banking records it is seeking.

I suspect Fusion GPS wouldn't be so strongly resisting if there weren't something embarrassing or incriminating there. That "dossier" seems to be boomeranging on those who created it.
   1032. greenback slays lewks Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5601187)
More likely you didn't understand the decisions she was making because you're not as smart as her.

Does that mean Trump is getting a percentage from the Wolff book? I mean, I don't believe any of this ####, but he sure knows how to leverage the Streisand Effect.
   1033. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5601189)
Looks like the Wolff book has started winning Truthiness awards:


Cry me a river.

I haven't commented on the book and specifically all the gossipy excerpts. And I probably never will. But I will say I am immensely enjoying Trumpikns now all butthurt that someone may have told some untruths or greatly exagerrated truths about the greatest and most visible untruthteller on the planet today.

Should journalists and writers stick to the facts and the truth? Yes. Should they do so even when the subject is a violator of the previous maxim? Yes. Am I upset that his is happening to Trump? Not in the least. I have a hard time generating sympathy when the neighborhood bully has the tables turned on him.

For the man who brought us Obama wasn't born in the US, Ted Cruz's father killed JFK, and "I had the largest innaguration crowd in history" (to pick just 3 of his greatest hits), have this happen to him now, well Schadenfreude doesn't begin to describe it. I don't care if the book is 100% false. You have been telling us for over a year that we don't get it, that facts don't matter. Well, maybe we are starting to get it, and it's awfully rich for you to now play the "But it's not true" card.
   1034. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:26 PM (#5601190)
I suspect Fusion GPS wouldn't be so strongly resisting if there weren't something embarrassing or incriminating there. That "dossier" seems to be boomeranging on those who created it.


lol, now THIS is satire. You could replace "Fusion GPS" with Trump's entire orbit (seriously pick one, Donald himself, his sons, the Kush, Manafort, Papapotato, etc), slap a "The Liberal Clapper" on it and call it a day. Guilty people don't act this way blah blah blah. Or maybe they don't want their ####### books opened up because it's bad for business and will probably cost them clients and profits in the future?

   1035. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:30 PM (#5601191)
Your President, folks:

I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!


What was that quote on Watergate someone posted the other day -- was a great line, something like "truth is, this guys aren't that smart...and things got out of hand".

This entire ####### administration is a clown show joke. I will never tire of writing that Putin must be laughing his ass off every single night at how wildly his plan succeeded in weakening America. As Wolff says, -- you can't even make this #### up.
   1036. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:31 PM (#5601192)
I also had a boss that reminds me of Trump. He was very ambitious and something of a narcissist. He was a frighteningly good liar - I saw him tell lies with such audacity that it made my jaw drop. Sometimes you couldn't tell if he knew they were lies or not. But excellent at meeting people and making friends. Charmed the media.

He had essentially zero subject matter knowledge for his job. He was really good at raising money, which is how he found himself running this business. He was the type of person that started an independent business consulting firm at a young age without any business experience to speak of, and yet had found many clients.

He was definitely a "not every fact matters" type of person. There were some meetings where everyone would walk out of the room whispering things like "has he gone insane?"

When I look back I realize that he did, in certain ways, have a better long-range strategic vision than I did. I could get bogged down in traditional performance benchmarks that he was probably correct to elide. But in other ways, he was a self-promoting dilettante with no business running a company.

6
Oh sure -- and I'm a little puzzled at myself as to why I feel this weird need to keep defending her - but I want to stress that she was not Trumpian... Her skills were limited to those sort of soft "people management" skills - which most certainly have value. Further - she was also very self-aware of her limitations, certainly a good thing. The problem was that her role just demanded more near-term tactical/technical knowledge and more long-term strategic vision.

Years later - I did report to someone further up the org chart that I would consider Trumpian... maybe not quite as stupid, but with all the other assorted flaws. While I was hardly alone in undermining him, I certainly did my part to help get him exited.

I absolutely agree that a good leader need not be an expert on every particular facet of the business and all that goes with it - indeed, I think that's both an impossibility and even if/when possible, probably a hindrance. That - appropriate - level of weedy expertise is a tricky one...

I've been very much fortunate in my career -- in (rapidly approaching) 20 years -- reporting to 6 different people in various roles, those would be the only two bosses I didn't really respect (and again - the first is kind of a tweener... ).

I gotta think that 4 for 6 is well above par. I'm blessed, I guess... especially considering the current VP I report up to, I consider tied with the woman (now retired) I pretty much consider my mentor as the best boss I've ever had.
   1037. Shredder Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:34 PM (#5601194)
I suspect Fusion GPS wouldn't be so strongly resisting if there weren't something embarrassing or incriminating there.
Remember when Hacker said the same thing about Trump's tax returns? Me neither, because he's a complete and utter hack.
   1038. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5601196)
I don't care if the book is 100% false. You have been telling us for over a year that we don't get it, that facts don't matter. Well, maybe we are starting to get it, and it's awfully rich for you to now play the "But it's not true" card.


You missed the point of my commentary. I don't know or care whether the stuff is true. Go ahead and assume it's all true for all I care. There's nothing earth shattering in there; just a bunch of goofy stuff in line with what we've heard before, that may or may not be true.

My point in posting the Blair comments was simply because Joe et al were all "See? Look how many third parties have confirmed what's in the book!!!" And I said, well, not everyone. Here's Blair for example.

As ever I push back on bad analysis or poorly formed conclusions. I don't give a rat's ass about the substance of the book for its own sake. If you're into gossip, buy the book, and believe what you read.
   1039. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5601197)
I haven't commented on the book and specifically all the gossipy excerpts. And I probably never will. But I will say I am immensely enjoying Trumpikns now all butthurt that someone may have told some untruths or greatly exagerrated truths about the greatest and most visible untruthteller on the planet today.


What are you, some kind of ascetic monk?

I suppose I should commend you - it's mostly a gossipy, guilty pleasure I suppose... but I have every intention of poring over it this weekend and spending the next couple weeks working tidbits into the OTP. It clearly drives the Trumpkis crazy -- just like it drives their manchild hero crazy... so why not?

Mean, I guess... but this fun isn't going to last forever.
   1040. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5601198)
Sloppy Steve it is.

Trump may be reading these pages. I've been calling Bannon unkempt and slobby for two days now.
   1041. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5601199)
My point in posting the Blair comments was simply because Joe et al were all "See? Look how many third parties have confirmed what's in the book!!!" And I said, well, not everyone.


Many does not mean everyone. Giving an example of someone denying a report does not refute the claim that many have confirmed

   1042. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5601200)
You missed the point of my commentary. I don't know or care whether the stuff is true. Go ahead and assume it's all true for all I care. There's nothing earth shattering in there; just a bunch of goofy stuff in line with what we've heard before, that may or may not be true.

My point in posting the Blair comments was simply because Joe et al were all "See? Look how many third parties have confirmed what's in the book!!!" And I said, well, not everyone. Here's Blair for example.

As ever I push back on bad analysis or poorly formed conclusions. I don't give a rat's ass about the substance of the book for its own sake. If you're into gossip, buy the book, and believe what you read.


You're right.

I think the best way to deal with this is to -- point by point, incident by incident, anecdote by anecdote, page by page -- carefully document, explore, discuss, provide evidence for and against, confirm or reject every last morsel.

The only way the poor, deranged non-Trumpkins like me will be able to better ourselves would be via a long and complete cataloging and subsequent validation/refutation of each little morsel.

I hope I can count on your participation to help make me a better person, less prone to peddling bullshit, more amendable to good analysis and well-formed conclusions.

Together - you and I will get to the bottom of it all and arrive at the ultimate, well-founded, and accurate conclusion... Is the book 75% true and 25% bullshit? 50/50?

I feel like a painfully long and complete exercise like this is the only way I can get better.... I thank you in advance for your help!
   1043. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:48 PM (#5601201)
Wolff says he has tapes of some of the conversations. So, Mueller has all their emails and Wolff has a good number of their embarrassing conversations recorded.

These guys are in charge of the Free World huh?
   1044. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:49 PM (#5601202)
I've been calling Bannon unkempt and slobby for two days now.

Truly an RDP original
   1045. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5601203)
I suspect Fusion GPS wouldn't be so strongly resisting if there weren't something embarrassing or incriminating there.

Remember when Hacker said the same thing about Trump's tax returns? Me neither, because he's a complete and utter hack.

Did Trump go to court to unsuccessfully challenge a duly authorized subpoena for his tax records? Are such distinctions too subtle for the likes of Shredder?
   1046. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5601204)
The Jewish lawyer Moore's wife referred to doesn't appear to practice Judaism:

The Jewish lawyer Roy Moore’s wife referred to in a pre-Alabama election December rally has been identified and is, in fact, a practicing Christian.

Martin Wishnatsky, who grew up in Asbury Park, N.J., was hired to work in Moore’s law firm and then took a job at the couple’s foundation, Kayla Moore told Al.com on Thursday.

The 73-year-old told the site his “background is 100 percent Jewish,” but said he started to embrace Christianity in his early 30s.

“I'm a Messianic Jew,” he said. “That's the term they use for a Jewish person who has accepted Christ.”

He once converted to Mormonism and then became an evangelical Protestant Christian. He currently attends a church in Prattville.

Wishnatsky continues to support Moore despite the sexual misconduct allegation he said he thinks aren’t credible.


   1047. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:52 PM (#5601205)
"When crying, stung by a bee." That's basically the Japanese version of "When it rains, it pours." (Supposedly. I remember it from something I read decades ago, but Google yields only a couple of hits, so very likely it's spurious. So it goes.)

As of about 4 hours ago I've got a personal variation -- "When driving to supper on a rather rural stretch of U.S. 82 a few hours after one's sister's funeral & burial, one's rental car clips a deer bolting across the highway, thankfully causing extremely minor damage ... but still."

This was a very interesting day.
   1048. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5601206)
Truly an RDP original


When I get stoned (come get me Jeff!) and read everything ray writes as satirical/in jest/sarcastic I actually laugh out loud a lot. I mean, only ray could dead pan a joke that an entire two days ago he was out in front of the "steve bannon is a god damn slob that looks like a homeless person" meme.

As of about 4 hours ago I've got a personal variation -- "When driving to supper on a rather rural stretch of U.S. 82 a few hours after one's sister's funeral & burial, one's rental car clips a deer bolting across the highway, causing extremely minor damage ... but still."


Hang in there man. On the day of my dad's funeral my best buddy offered to drive me out to the place so I could just drink at his place and get drunk without my sister and mom around (otherwise I would have probably just started crying with them and I was sick of that) and we got a flat tire right as we got on the freeway. Luckily he had AAA and it worked out but FFS right? Also, I like the use of supper, is it mostly an upper midwest thing?
   1049. Shredder Posted: January 04, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5601207)
Did Trump go to court to unsuccessfully challenge a duly authorized subpoena for his tax records? Are such distinctions too subtle for the likes of Shredder?
Such distinctions are irrelevant to my point, of course, which is obvious to anyone with an ounce of an actual brain. But you're not much of a thinker, more of a regurgitator, so not surprising.
   1050. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:02 AM (#5601208)
Did Trump go to court to unsuccessfully challenge a duly authorized subpoena for his tax records? Are such distinctions too subtle for the likes of Shredder?

Irrelevant to my point, of course, which is obvious to anyone with an ounce of an actual brain. But you're not much of a thinker, more of a regurgitator, so not surprising.

There is certainly a difference between declining to make a voluntary public disclosure and not complying with a duly authorized subpoena. Shredder substituting ad hominem for analysis doesn't change that.
   1051. Shredder Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:03 AM (#5601209)
"When it rains, it pours."
Interestingly, the "when it pours" part has nothing actually to do with pouring rain. The "It" in that part refers to the salt. The slogan came about as a way to indicate, many many years ago, that when the weather got damp and humid, Morton Salt stayed dry and wouldn't clump, and would still "pour" out of it's container. So when it's raining and muggy, the salt still pours. The two "It"s refer to different things.
   1052. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:04 AM (#5601210)
Such distinctions are irrelevant to my point, of course, which is obvious to anyone with an ounce of an actual brain. But you're not much of a thinker, more of a regurgitator, so not surprising.


I might have posted this before but long before I found the beauty of the OTP thread (seriously) I would read clapper's posts on Yankees topics with great amusement. I thought for a minute that he was a shtick account -- given his name and the endless pro Yankees spin I thought maybe it was a Ken Tremendous style personality right here on BTF. Then I found out he's the same in this thread.

Interestingly, the "when it pours" part has nothing actually to do with pouring rain. The "It" in that part refers to the salt. The slogan came about as a way to indicate, many many years ago, that when the weather got damp and humid, Morton Salt stayed dry and wouldn't clump, and would still "pour" out of it's container. So when it's raining and muggy, the salt still pours. The two "It"s refer to different things.


Wow, whoever the #### the Don Draper at Morton's is that launched that line should be more famous. Cool tale and a helluva tagline.
   1053. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:07 AM (#5601211)
Ha... yeah... golly, why would an oppo research firm not want to disclose who paid them or how they in turn paid to do the things they were paid to do?

Why, it makes no sense.

I do love when Clapper's squirrel hunts kick into overdrive, though.

You can always tell our little RNC telex is particularly sweaty -- he starts ripping little squirrel embryos out of poor little squirrel wombs so he can do his "LOOK! A squirrel" schtick.
   1054. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:09 AM (#5601212)
If someone asked me to consider the most trustworthy politicians and world leaders of the past 20 years, Tony Blair is not really the name that would shoot to the top of the list.
   1055. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5601213)
Interestingly, the "when it pours" part has nothing actually to do with pouring rain. The "It" in that part refers to the salt. The slogan came about as a way to indicate, many many years ago, that when the weather got damp and humid, Morton Salt stayed dry and wouldn't clump, and would still "pour" out of it's container. So when it's raining and muggy, the salt still pours. The two "It"s refer to different things.

While this is damned fascinating, it's a bit irrelevant because that's not how anyone actually defines the phrase at this point.
   1056. Shredder Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5601214)
There is certainly a difference between declining to make a voluntary public disclosure and not complying with a duly authorized subpoena, Shredder substituting ad hominem for analysis doesn't change that.
For purposes of the comparison, there is no difference between strongly resisting something and strongly resisting something*, whether it be a subpoena or a well-established norm. But again, you, not that good at thinking.

*Of course, anyone who thinks Trump wouldn't go to court to block a duly authorized subpoena for his tax returns is someone to whom you should be selling swampland in Florida.
   1057. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5601215)
So because some of Wolfe's book may contain inaccuracies, Ray wants to throw out all of it. Imbecile. The book just came out Whatever is true in it is useful. Whatever isn't...isn't.

Flaming. Ignoramus.



   1058. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:12 AM (#5601216)
Ha... yeah... golly, why would an oppo research firm not want to disclose who paid them or how they in turn paid to do the things they were paid to do?

Since when is that even remotely grounds for resisting a subpoena? "We would prefer not to disclose that" is not grounds for quashing a subpoena, you know? Or perhaps you don't?
   1059. Shredder Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:16 AM (#5601217)
   1060. Shredder Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:18 AM (#5601218)
Since when is that even remotely grounds for resisting a subpoena?
Except those weren't the grounds. They may have been the main reason they challenged the subpoena (which happens all the time, of course), but not the grounds for doing so. You'd think a lawyer would know that. In fact, the grounds are right there in the judge's ruling. He lays them out point by point on page 10. But as I said, Clapper's not too good with the thinking.
   1061. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5601219)
Ha... yeah... golly, why would an oppo research firm not want to disclose who paid them or how they in turn paid to do the things they were paid to do?

Since when is that even remotely grounds for resisting a subpoena? "We would prefer not to disclose that" is not grounds for quashing a subpoena, you know? Or perhaps you don't?


Gee, my guess is that it's been grounds for such resistance ever since the creation of 'corporations' and ever since the advent of congressional hearings for purposes of grandstanding, distraction, and points scoring.

But - I'm glad you've decided to go on record with this hallowed principle of the sanctity of congressional subpoenas over what I'm sure you know is a real eye-roller.

I'll be sure to make a note of it for future use when the next liberal congress makes noises about demanding say, banking records in the next financial crisis, the books for a PhRMA company regarding actual development expenses versus lobbying, etc.

Personally, it sure seems like you're creaming your jeans over the neon lady sign outside a strip club... but as a good liberal, I fully support you getting your gratification in whatever manner most makes you happy.

I'm sure the pony is those records somewhere!
   1062. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5601220)
Except those weren't the grounds. They may have been the main reason they challenged the subpoena (which happens all the time, of course), but not the grounds for doing so. You'd think a lawyer would know that. But as I said, Clapper's not too good with the thinking.

I know that Fusion GPS ginned up a very weak argument, even invoking the 1st Amendment, that had no chance of success. There's no meaningful difference between the Intelligence Committee subpoena and previous Congressional subpoeanas directed at lobbyists or campaign committees. It was a phony argument, which gets back to my point that there was likely some reason -- other than a desire to further enrich their attorneys -- that Fusion GPS mounted such a long shot claim rather than comply.
   1063. Shredder Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:34 AM (#5601221)
I know that Fusion GPS ginned up a very weak argument
Is there a duck in here? Oh, sorry, that's a "hack" I hear, not a "quack". My bad.
   1064. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:41 AM (#5601222)
I know that Fusion GPS ginned up a very weak argument, even invoking the 1st Amendment, that had no chance of success. There's no meaningful difference between the Intelligence Committee subpoena and previous Congressional subpoeanas directed at lobbyists or campaign committees. It was a phony argument, which gets back to my point that there was likely some reason -- other than a desire to further enrich their attorneys -- that Fusion GPS mounted such a long shot claim rather than comply.


And you think "likely some reason" isn't a simple matter of an oppo research firm being unhappy with disclosing who pays them or who they pay?

Really?

I'm not well-versed in the business practices of opposition research companies, but my rudimentary understanding is that they exist - and thrive - based almost entirely on the idea that you can cut them a check and they'll perform the dirty work a politico would rather not task a direct staffer or campaign employee to do.

But hey... knock yourself out. I'm sure you'll find that *gasp* Hillary/Hillary campaign/DNC/Little Marco/Little Marco's money men/etc paid Fusion GPS... Congrats.

I really couldn't care less - you can be, or pretend to be, as obtuse as you like.

I've got no stake in Fusion GPS and have zero real concern if their business suffers because of this... So hey - if you want - I'll gladly support your endeavors to get their bank records. Just promise that you'll hew to the general principle going forward because given the sleaziness of your orange boy and the political environment we find ourselves in less than 11 months before more elections, I feel like it's a precedent well-worth establishing.
   1065. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 05, 2018 at 12:53 AM (#5601223)
I'm not well-versed in the business practices of opposition research companies, but my rudimentary understanding is that they exist - and thrive - based almost entirely on the idea that you can cut them a check and they'll perform the dirty work a politico would rather not task a direct staffer or campaign employee to do.


They're mercenaries, they work for whoever pays them the best. Of course they don't want their rates and terms out in the open.

And oppo research is not work for stupid people. It's largely about creativity and people working and being relentless -- think of a good detective. The op-ed Fusion did in the Times this week is a must read imo for the casual observer. They didn't hire Steele because they thought he was some dummy. It doesn't validate the Dossier but this is the Big Leagues of politics there's no faking competency.
   1066. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:00 AM (#5601224)
Here's the District Court decision denying the Fusion GPS motion to enjoin the House subpoena. Decide for yourself how dismissive the Court was of the Fusion GPS claims.

Suddenly, some folks here don't seem very interested in investigating the so-called dossier. Hmmm.
   1067. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:15 AM (#5601225)
They're mercenaries, they work for whoever pays them the best. Of course they don't want their rates and terms out in the open.

And oppo research is not work for stupid people. It's largely about creativity and people working and being relentless -- think of a good detective. The OP ED Fusion did in the Times this week is a must read imo for the casual observer. They didn't hire Steele because they thought he was some dummy. It doesn't validate the Dossier but this is the Big Leagues of politics there's no faking competency.


Sure... in fact - I'm being completely honest in gladly trading the (likely) existence/success of a single oppo research firm for the tacit Clapper/JE/etc acknowledgment of shining a light, open disclosure, etc on such stuff.

I'm partisan, sure - but my read of the last ~40 years of political history is that team blue has been -- badly -- outplayed on the dirty tricks/"opposition research" front. From CREEP to the Arkansas Project, from Roger Stone to the Scaifes.... I'm not saying Team Blue is pure as the driven snow or doesn't engage in such stuff, but it sure feels like team blue has long been the Cleveland Spiders to the GOP's NY Yankees.

Who have the Democratic luminaries been on this front? Team Obama seems to have been better than par for Democrats - but it's not like they had any great successes (I think the $400 Edwards haircuts came to light from an Obama oppo effort).

Democrats, frankly, seem to have really sucked at it... for a long time. The GOP, OTOH -- even though they only went 1 for 3 in beating the Clintons -- seems to have had some really glorious successes in their efforts.

I have no idea why. Maybe they just hire shitty firms. Maybe they're playing T-ball while the GOP plays hardball. No idea.

I do know that GOP oppo research seems to have run rings about Democrats on that turf for a long, long, long time. I don't think even Republicans would disagree with that.

So... destroy Fusion GPS? Shovel more dirt on the grave of the Clinton political fortunes? In exchange for creating the precedent of neutralizing a tool both sides use - but the GOP has used far, far more successfully than Democrats?

Hell.... where do we sign up? It's trade-off that only an idiot wouldn't make.

And to do it in service of protecting Trump? Jeebus... That's the most surreal thing about it all...

How many mortgages on the future can you take? Trumpublicans seem dedicated to finding out.


   1068. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:18 AM (#5601226)
christ I read that entire link I was so glad it worked. The relevant info is mostly on page 17 -- in which the so called (ha!) judge appointed by the original incompetent partisan hack POTUS -- George Walker Bush -- lays out why legally when a GOP Congress decides to go on a politically motivated witch hunt the courts are obligated to let them. See how it works, Clapper? Spin is spin.
   1069. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:20 AM (#5601227)
Suddenly, some folks here don't seem very interested in investigating the so-called dossier. Hmmm.


I'm quite interested in investigating the contents of the dossier.... just like a tasty meal does pique my interests in what made up the fare. How much which particular courier paid for gas to deliver the ingredients fails to interest me much, though.

But keep at it, Clapper.

You know where it's all going... and I happily enjoy you digging the hole deeper and hugging your orange dominatrix tighter. Just smile for the camera, cockholster!
   1070. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:24 AM (#5601228)
You missed the point of my commentary. I don't know or care
Drink!
   1071. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:29 AM (#5601229)

Interestingly, the "when it pours" part has nothing actually to do with pouring rain. The "It" in that part refers to the salt. The slogan came about as a way to indicate, many many years ago, that when the weather got damp and humid, Morton Salt stayed dry and wouldn't clump, and would still "pour" out of it's container. So when it's raining and muggy, the salt still pours. The two "It"s refer to different things.
It was an old saying before Morton's used it for a slogan. They didn't invent it; they just borrowed it. (Although the old saying was usually phrased in the negative, but it had the same meaning: it never rains but it pours.)
   1072. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:35 AM (#5601230)
I'm quite interested in investigating the contents of the dossier.... just like a tasty meal does pique my interests in what made up the fare. How much which particular courier paid for gas to deliver the ingredients fails to interest me much, though.

Who was paid, and what they were paid for, are essential aspects of the investigation, despite your sudden lack of interest.
   1073. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:35 AM (#5601231)
It was a phony argument, which gets back to my point that there was likely some reason -- other than a desire to further enrich their attorneys -- that Fusion GPS mounted such a long shot claim rather than comply.
Sure there is: opposition research is sensitive. (As I've noted several times, plausible deniability for campaigns is key to the industry.) Nobody would want to hire a firm that blabs about its clients. Letting prospective clients know, "Look, we'll fight to protect your secrets" is good advertising. Doesn't necessarily mean that they'll win, but the mere fact that they won't roll over is important.
   1074. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:36 AM (#5601232)
It was an old saying before Morton's used it for a slogan. They didn't invent it; they just borrowed it. (Although the old saying was usually phrased in the negative, but it had the same meaning: it never rains but it pours.)


Well now I don't know what to believe. Do we have an etymologist here?

edit:

Dave, you've gotta be a real lawyer, very sharp: here's the 5th (5th!) google result from searching "when it rains it pours origin":

A proverbial phrase. The origin is unknown but the phrase itself was known by the early 18th century; for example, this item from a work by John Arbuthnot, 1726:

It cannot rain but it pours; or London strow'd with rarities.


The first four results all claim it was first coined by Morton's. FAKE ASS NEWS. Primary sources ftw.
   1075. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 05, 2018 at 01:50 AM (#5601233)
Who was paid, and what they were paid for, are essential aspects of the investigation, despite your sudden lack of interest.


Go for it.

Do you really, honestly, and truly think the "story" here will ultimately be the "who" (was involved in discovering) and "how" (who paid who to do what) rather than the actual, basic "what"?

Seriously?

Even you cannot pretend to that obtuse... after all the Jared meeting, I Love It!, firing Comey "because Russia", lawyers quitting over hasty Trump-authored statements, after all of it... Do you really think this will ultimately end up being just a big nothing wholly created because one political campaign paid an oppo research firm to continue work it had already begun thanks another campaign?

I know you have to pretend as much... because it's what you do. It's who you are. But you really and truly cannot be so daft as to believe it's anything more than the scrap of a delaying tactic.

Most of the time, I just revel in your misery defending the indefensible. But occasionally, I do feel sorry for you. This is one of those times. Watching you desperately flail at a proxy of a proxy of a tangent of a tidbit of process of a facade is kind of sad.

But have at it. My pity for you only goes so far.... so by all means, let's investigate it all. In the public. Loudly. With all manner of full disclosure. We all know where it will lead, eventually.
   1076. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 05, 2018 at 02:03 AM (#5601234)
Clapper you seem like a legal eagle, how should the courts respond to this allegation, if true:

The special counsel has received handwritten notes from Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, showing that Mr. Trump talked to Mr. Priebus about how he had called Mr. Comey to urge him to say publicly that he was not under investigation.


   1077. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2018 at 02:21 AM (#5601235)
Do you really, honestly, and truly think the "story" here will ultimately be the "who" (was involved in discovering) and "how" (who paid who to do what) rather than the actual, basic "what"?

Among the questions to be explored are (1) whether GPS Fusion commissioned a hit job from the start, knowing, or not caring, that much of the information was fabricated; (2) whether Steele fabricated material on his own; (3) whether Russian government operatives funneled false info to Steele; (4) who received the "dossier" & when they received it; and (5) did the government pay for any part of the "dossier" or use it to secure warrants against Trump, his staff, or supporters. The finances are part of that, and all those aspects could end up reflecting rather poorly on the Clinton campaign. Hoping that the dossier can be authenticated seems like a long shot, as evidenced by the Trump-haters loss of interest in a thorough investigation.
   1078. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 05, 2018 at 04:36 AM (#5601236)
poverty-stricken, #1076:
Clapper you seem like a legal eagle, how should the courts respond to this allegation, if true:
The special counsel has received handwritten notes from Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, showing that Mr. Trump talked to Mr. Priebus about how he had called Mr. Comey to urge him to say publicly that he was not under investigation.



It's odd and sad that Poverty-Stricken Rioting Nation seemingly wants to shift the focus away from GPS Fusion to unsubstantiated, possibly illegible notes from a minor former staffer who worked briefly at the White House before being fired for cause. Why is he so suddenly desperate to force the investigation towards the President of the United States, rather than the scandal's central figure, Peter Fritsch? Some might end up entertaining possible suspicions, perhaps. Others might not. We'll see.
   1079. Greg K Posted: January 05, 2018 at 06:09 AM (#5601237)
I - briefly - had a boss like that once... the sort that is really pretty obtuse regarding the core competencies of the business so you had to learn to 'manage' through obfuscation to save her from her own terrible ideas.

Of course, unlike Trump - she wasn't malignant, dangerous, or an ####### - and at least from the people management side of things, was a pretty good boss... so it made sense - at least personally and professionally - to protect her from her bad ideas.

You worked for Dunder Mifflin?
   1080. Ishmael Posted: January 05, 2018 at 06:43 AM (#5601239)
It's odd and sad that Poverty-Stricken Rioting Nation seemingly wants to shift the focus away from GPS Fusion to unsubstantiated, possibly illegible notes from a minor former staffer who worked briefly at the White House before being fired for cause. Why is he so suddenly desperate to force the investigation towards the President of the United States, rather than the scandal's central figure, Peter Fritsch? Some might end up entertaining possible suspicions, perhaps. Others might not. We'll see.

It's disappointing but not surprising that Gonfalon apparently feels the need to descend to parodying other poster's posting styles to distract from the lack of substance in his own positions. The attempts to overturn the legitimate results of the election based on a phony dossier are unlikely to go down well outside of the far-left. It is a sign of their desperation that some here are more concerned about accusations of collusion with Russia than with the ongoing revelations about the Clinton Slush Fund, the Rogue Server, the Aging Democratic Leadership, Lyndon LaRouche, and the continued and puzzling absence of a forensic handwriting examination of the alleged Roy Moore yearbook signature. Some may perhaps consider the possible consequences. Others might conceivably speculate to the contrary. Sad.
   1081. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 07:35 AM (#5601240)
Among the questions to be explored are (1) whether GPS Fusion commissioned a hit job from the start, knowing, or not caring, that much of the information was fabricated; (2) whether Steele fabricated material on his own; (3) whether Russian government operatives funneled false info to Steele; (4) who received the "dossier" & when they received it; and (5) did the government pay for any part of the "dossier" or use it to secure warrants against Trump, his staff, or supporters. The finances are part of that, and all those aspects could end up reflecting rather poorly on the Clinton campaign. Hoping that the dossier can be authenticated seems like a long shot, as evidenced by the Trump-haters loss of interest in a thorough investigation.
Unless there's a cancelled check with "For fabrication of dossier" on the memo line, it's hard to see how Fusion's bank records would shed any light on any of those things other than the first half of #5. (And of course they don't need to dig through a private company's records to find out whether the government spent money; the government should have those records. And in fact that isn't what the committee is asking for now.) As Judge Leon himself notes, "The financial records the Committee seeks show only the name of the payor or payee, the amount of the payment, and certain identifying information; they do not indicate what the payment was for."
   1082. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5601241)
Unless there's a cancelled check with "For fabrication of dossier" on the memo line, it's hard to see how Fusion's bank records would shed any light on any of those things other than the first half of #5. (And of course they don't need to dig through a private company's records to find out whether the government spent money; the government should have those records. And in fact that isn't what the committee is asking for now.) As Judge Leon himself notes, "The financial records the Committee seeks show only the name of the payor or payee, the amount of the payment, and certain identifying information; they do not indicate what the payment was for."


And of course, since people weirdly seem to keep forgetting, while amusing the dossier did not appear to begin the investigation into Trump or his campaign. The investigation was already long in process at that point.

There is no safe harbor* for GOP President Trump in investigating Fusion GPS. Not a legal one and I doubt a PR one. But hey from the beginning the entire Trump Defense Force has been focused on winning the headlines of the day. Each day finding something, anything to try to obfuscate and refute, all the while the investigation grinds on. I bet the noose is feeling a little tight around some folks about now.

* I would love to hear a theory for how anything here would defend Trump or his campaign from any of the possible things they have done. Even if Hillary personally wrote them a check and in the memo field wrote "For Illegal Activities again Trump".
   1083. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5601242)
As I rarely do, I'll lapse into old person mode very briefly:

Cancelling school for cold weather, ESPECIALLY for the temperature where it is now - 0 degrees Fahrenheit - is ####### ridiculous.
   1084. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:17 AM (#5601245)

Just to be clear, a Congressional committee can basically do anything it wants in terms of investigation. I disagree with that, but that's established. (I remember looking into that during the congressional witch hunt over steroids in baseball, and determined that its power was essentially unbounded. All it has to do is claim to be investigating something -- anything -- that could possibly be the subject of legislation. Which -- given the awful liberal idea that our federal government is one of unlimited powers -- is everything.) So the decision on the subpoena isn't incorrect as a matter of law. But it's really just a fishing expedition to try to discredit Fusion GPS on the theory that doing so spreads the taint of any wrongdoing to Clinton and the Dems and somehow undermines Mueller.
   1085. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:19 AM (#5601247)
Donald Trump summarized in four short paragraphs:

Mr. Bannon, who had stayed in touch with Mr. Trump sporadically after being pushed out of the White House last summer, sought to smooth over the rift during his Breitbart News radio show on Wednesday night.

When a caller said that Mr. Trump had “made a huge mistake, Steve, bashing you like he did,” Mr. Bannon brushed it aside. “The president of the United States is a great man,” Mr. Bannon said. “You know I support him day in and day out, whether going through the country giving the ‘Trump Miracle’ speech or on the show or on the website.”

The president cited those comments on Thursday morning when asked by reporters if Mr. Bannon had betrayed him. “I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said. “He called me a great man last night so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty quick.”

Although he responded to Mr. Bannon’s flattery, that did not mean Mr. Trump was ready to forgive, as his late-night tweet made clear. About a half-hour later, Donald Trump Jr. seized on his father’s new nickname for the famously rumpled and often unshaven Mr. Bannon in his own tweet. “I have a feeling #SloppySteve is going to go big,” Donald Jr. wrote. “Branding gold.”

Of course the conspiracy minded among us might suspected that Trump and Wolff were in cahoots after reading this paragraph:
Mr. Wolff did not reply to a request for comment, but after his publisher moved up the release, he jabbed at Mr. Trump on Twitter. “Here we go,” he wrote. “You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. President.”

That rant by Trump, and the attempt by his lawyers to stop the book, were worth their weight in advertising gold, and I'm sure that Wolff is beyond being grateful.
   1086. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5601248)
There's also a bit of a political gamesmanship disconnect in pushing the "expose the cover-up" line, such as Clapper's #1050:
There is certainly a difference between declining to make a voluntary public disclosure and not complying with a duly authorized subpoena.


Now in Fusion GPS' case, that statement is definitely true. They have publicly and voluntarily requested that their testimony be unsealed, while also fighting a duly authorized subpoena. That's "certainly a difference." It's just not the difference that some may perhaps prefer to etc etc bla bla.

By the way, since Clapper keeps repeating the exact phrase "duly authorized subpoena," he must have a desired rhetorical effect in mind. Is a duly authorized subpoena more powerful and legitimate than a regular old subpoena from the corner bodega? Would it be less outrageous if Fusion GPS had contested a run-of-the-mill subpoena?

As for transparency, Fusion GPS' two founders have said this:
"Congress should release transcripts of our firm’s testimony, so that the American people can learn the truth about our work and most important, what happened to our democracy."
Clearly, they have something to hide. No matter who you call "they."

Fusion GPS's 21 hours of House Congressional testimony should make good reading in January 2019.
   1087. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5601250)
And of course, since people weirdly seem to keep forgetting, while amusing the dossier did not appear to begin the investigation into Trump or his campaign. The investigation was already long in process at that point.


To be fair, Clapper is providing us a real time temperature check on just how far the rot of Trumpism has crept into the GOP's basic core. Clapper, as we all know, is nothing if not a loyal company soldier. He's as dyed in the wool a blanket GOP hack as you're ever going to find. He is, more or less, the absolute center of what it means to be a mindless Republican Party automaton. And he's fully engaged in pushing the narrative that "the real story" of the Russian connections with all things Trump is a "deep state" conspiracy to undermine his newly minted Dear Leader.

The GOP, straight through to the core elements of the GOPe now, as shown by Clapper here, begins every question or debate with conspiratorial nonsense. They are truly and well the party of Trump now.
   1088. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5601251)
More of Clapper's "highly qualified" judicial circle jerks...

One additional problematic candidate is scheduled for a hearing this month: Howard C. Nielson, who has been nominated for the district court in the District of Utah. The intrepid Alliance for Justice, which has worked assiduously to defeat several judicial nominees, has published a worrisome blog on Nielson calling into question his fitness to enjoy life tenure as a federal judge. (AFJ normally focuses its work on appellate judges; there are so many problematic district court judges in play that it has expanded its vetting role to help Senate staffers and others evaluate candidates.)

AFJ’s research reveals much about Nielson that is problematic, including his work on behalf of the National Rifle Association, his spurious motion to have a judge recused because of the latter’s sexual orientation, and his involvement in impermissible politicized and ideological hiring at the U.S. Department of Justice during the administration of George W. Bush. (The fault-finding 2008 report by the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility is here).

I raised a concern about Nielson’s fitness as a lawyer on Just Security a year ago when I brought readers’ attention to a memo Nielson had written in 2005 while at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. Nielson’s memo is here in the OLC’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reading room. At the time he wrote the memo, Nielson worked under Stephen Bradbury, one of the infamous authors of the “torture memos,” which Sen. John McCain has described as “permission slips” for torture.
   1089. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:46 AM (#5601252)
   1090. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5601255)

Alien mega-structure is yesterday's news, baby!


This link was a let down.
   1091. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5601257)
and the only difference now is that for the past several decades

the Dixiecrats have been dead.

Dead and resurrected in GOP clothing.

No. Just dead. They've all been dead for a long time.


Yes, just like Fred Trump's been dead and had nothing to do with the formation of his son's beliefs and character.

Or do you think that characters like Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore would've been Republicans back in the days of Jim Crow? (Hint: Resurrect Strom Thurmond and ask him what party he belonged to before Barry Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights bill.)

This is like asking whether Bill Gates would have been a blacksmith if he had grown up in the 18th century; it's a completely meaningless question. I have no idea what Jeff Sessions or Roy Moore "would have been" in a different time, but even if I knew for certain, it wouldn't change the fact that they didn't grow up in that time and therefore weren't part of a group from that time that doesn't exist now.


Sessions and Moore "didn't grow up" in the Jim Crow era? That certainly would be news to them, given that they spent their formative years in the Alabama of the 1950's and 60's. They both grew up in the culture of the Dixiecrats, and fit perfectly into the pattern of Helms and Thurmond. As all four of them would have put it, they didn't leave the national Democratic party, the national Democratic party left them.

And why do you think that National Review was publishing a special "Southern Issue" in 1958, defending the Dixiecrats' POV on segregation?

I don't even know if that happened -- I mean, I know at the time National Review supported segregation, but I don't know what special issue you're referring to


March 8, 1958

-- but I have no idea how this is remotely related to anything we're discussing. Whatever happened in 1958 has no bearing on what's true now.

Right, David, the southern GOP was born of a virgin birth, and history began anew as soon as Strom Thurmond hired his first black secretary. That events of one era can influence subsequent eras is obviously just Fake News.

Why was Buckley also parroting their line? Was it because they'd suddenly become Dixiecrats, or was it because they saw the advantage of strategic coalitions on common points of ideology?

No, and no.


All that shows is that you're completely ignorant of Buckley's repeated suggestions that conservatives and Dixiecrats could make common cause in fighting their common enemy: the liberal wing of the federal government, and its willingness to overrule states' rights to enforce court-ordered desegregation. Your ignorance is forgivable, but it's still ignorance.

About the only things that separated the conservative wing of the GOP and the Dixiecrats at the beginning were that the Dixiecrats favored social welfare programs and labor unions while conservative Republicans didn't, but that difference disappeared when the unions started integrating** and government programs started helping blacks on a more equal footing with whites----which they hadn't prior to the 60's. The Dixiecrats' "liberalism" didn't survive the civil rights movement, and as soon as it ended they latched on to the Republicans in order to fight their common enemy.

I realize that all this may be news to you, but it's also the view of every serious non-revisionist historian.

** No Dixiecrat ever had anything good to say about the CIO or the UMW, which were the only large national unions in the days of the Dixiecrats that weren't as lily white as the White Rooster party of Alabama.


So, in other words, if you ignore the massive ways in which they were different, then they were the same. Sharp thinking there, bud.


Some refutation there, bud. The "massive ways in which they were different" pretty much ended after World War II. After that, they were in lockstep in being against civil rights, unions, and any efforts of the federal government to enforce the rights of blacks or union members. About the only surviving difference was that a fringe of the conservative Republicans were still upset about Social Security, but that didn't prevent the coalition from growing closer, and eventually uniting to transform the Solid South from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican.
   1092. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5601258)
The GOP, straight through to the core elements of the GOPe now, as shown by Clapper here, begins every question or debate with conspiratorial nonsense. They are truly and well the party of Trump now.


This is accurate but not complete. You would have to include "What about?" to be complete. Every discussion must include both conspiracy and a reference to what someone else did that was "just like" what is being discussed.
   1093. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5601259)
This link was a let down.

I was misled by the headline.
   1094. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5601260)
I think I linked to a similar story a few months back, but still it makes a welcome break from Trump.

All Politics Is Local

Participatory budgeting allows citizens to make binding recommendations on spending public money. In Brazil, according to research by Brian Wampler and Mike Trouchton, from Boise State University, it has reduced infant mortality and re-directed spending to public services that benefit the poor, such as sanitation and education.

Participatoy budgeting was first introduced to the United States in 2009 in Chicago. Since then, the process has continued to expand with the support of the civil society group the Participatory Budgeting Project. In 2017, more than $250 million was allocated through the process across North America. More than half of New York City’s City Council members are putting a portion of their budgets into the process.

What does participatory budgeting look like in action? Locals gather in community centers, libraries, and neighborhood schools, perhaps over late-night pizza, to debate ideas for how to use public money for infrastructure projects in their own community. Projects are specific and implementable: things like park benches, streetlights, or new computers in schools. During meetings, community members sign up to serve as budget delegates and work directly with public officials to craft budget proposals. The delegates meet regularly over the course of several months to learn how to design proposals to fit government requirements. Finally, the projects go to the entire community for a public vote.


I am a fan of bottom up movements such as this, though they are less sexy than the latest goings on in DC I must admit.
   1095. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5601262)
This goes out to zonk and my other fellow Liberals - I’m Just a Big Ol’ Optimist About the Future of America Under Donald Trump

* Republicans are refusing to seriously investigate Trump, but what’s new about that? Congressional investigations have always been partisan. You may recall that Republicans declined to investigate George Bush but went after both Bill Clinton and Obama hammer and tongs. There’s nothing new here.

* Trump is not gaining popularity. Just the opposite. He’s even lost popularity among Republicans. GOP candidates recently supported by Trump have lost, and generic congressional polls suggest a big Trump-inspired backlash in the 2018 midterms despite a healthy economy acting as a tailwind.

* Every scrap of evidence suggests that most of Trump’s staff think he’s an idiot. Many of his cabinet members think he’s an idiot. Congressional leaders think he’s an idiot. And the big difference between Trump and, say, Mussolini, is that Trump really is an idiot. Nor has this changed over time. If anything, this view of Trump has become even more widespread over the past 12 months. This is not a portrait of a man who can take over the country.
   1096. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5601263)
Whatever happened in 1958 has no bearing on what's true now.


David, this is another one of those times where your pedantic contrarianism leaves you standing in a pit of ahistorical stupidity.
   1097. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5601264)
Since when is that even remotely grounds for resisting a subpoena? "We would prefer not to disclose that" is not grounds for quashing a subpoena, you know? Or perhaps you don't?

You know The Yankee Clapper is sweating when he breaks character and addresses someone directly, rather than in the third person. Interesting.
   1098. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5601265)
This is accurate but not complete. You would have to include "What about?"


Sure. But "whataboutism" isn't conspiratorial. It's been standard fare for both parties for aeons, though of course the Trumpistas have far more use of it now, in their constant attempts to guard, turn, dodge, spin, parry, HAHA! from their Dear Leader's pants-shitting of the moment.
   1099. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5601266)
This goes out to zonk and my other fellow Liberals - I’m Just a Big Ol’ Optimist About the Future of America Under Donald Trump


The fact that Trump seems to be too senile and stupid* to carry through on the promise of his campaign's fundamentals isn't particularly gratifying or hope inspiring. Even if he is so incompetent as all this, he's shown that fascism is a perfectly valid campaign mechanism in America.

*someone find Ray a fainting couch
   1100. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5601267)
The fact that Trump seems to be too senile and stupid* to carry through on the promise of his campaign's fundamentals isn't particularly gratifying or hope inspiring.


Sure it is, I am much happier with an incompetent enemy than a competent one. Sometimes you lose to the moron, and it feels crappy I grant you, but over the long run (like say the next couple of election cycles) things balance out.
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