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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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   901. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5600962)
What about just choking on an overcooked T-bone steak, preferably after he's forgotten to remove the T-bone?

Nope. It has to be junk food. McDonald's. KFC. Maybe a nice piece of chocolate cake. Anything that both comforts him yet reminds him that he's a pathetic slave to his uncontrolled id.


What if we just say a nice big bar of chocolate covered ground glass?
   902. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5600963)
Maybe a nice piece of chocolate cake.

What on earth did chocolate cake ever do to you?
   903. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5600964)
What if we just say a nice big bar of chocolate covered ground glass?


That would be unnecessarily cruel. I don't know. Maybe it's not.
   904. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5600965)
If there were enough (R) votes for Trump's impeachment and the (D)s didn't play along, their base would be torches and pitchforks within the hour. Given the chance, they can't say no. Whether it's good politics or not. Maybe if it was extremely marginal, a few could hold out. But if significant numbers of (R)s were going that route?

Precisely.

It's all on McConnell. If he decides that the GOP is better off with Pence, then there are at least 18 GOP Senators willing to remove him from office as well as a sufficient number of GOP in the House. If it were to happen, it will happen during the lame duck session.

Impeachment and removal is a political--not a legal--process that hinges on political calculation, not evaluation of the legal merits.
   905. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5600966)
In a prior life, I had to spend most of my work-weeks for about a year in Mt. Laurel/Cherry Hill NJ, right across the bridge from Philly. I did my best to not fill up until heading back to the airport so I didn't have to pay for the full (and usually surly) service.
Uh, our full-service gas was always cheaper than other states' self-service gas, because the gas tax was so low. (It was bumped up about two years ago, so we have much less of a price advantage.)
   906. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5600967)
What on earth did chocolate cake ever do to you?


It would be perfect nom nom nom yum oohh this cake is my friend and then all of a sudden it turns on him and clogs his airway. "Et tu, chocolate cake?"
   907. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5600972)
What if we just say a nice big bar of chocolate covered ground glass?

That would be unnecessarily cruel. I don't know. Maybe it's not.


Okay, then what about a chocolate covered GAY WEDDING CAKE?
   908. dlf Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5600977)
#905 - I have no idea about the rest of the state, but in '15 & '16 the Wawa just outside the corporate offices in Jersey was always about a nickle more expensive per gallon than the Wawa just outside the airport south of Philly.

Last month I drove pretty much all the way across the country - San Diego to Atlanta - and was shocked to find that Texas gas was second in cost only to California. Going past the wells and refineries in Odessa, Midland, and the like, I would have guessed that they wouldn't have taxed it so much, but I guess they need to fund the BDCDome with something in addition to what they are telling us about.
   909. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5600983)
Ray, in your professional life, do you see a difference between an oral deposition and a series of written interrogatories? Giving an interviewee a list of questions before hand, particularly if the interviewer refrains from pointed follow up questions, results in the publication of a PR release rather than an investigative interview.

Yes, but this is a media interview, not a deposition.
And? The analogy is good -- I'm annoyed with myself for not thinking of it first -- and the point of the two is quite similar: it's an adversarial process designed to extract the unfiltered positions of the deponent/interviewee. (And, no, Ray, you haven't caught me in a gotcha because I described the media-politician interaction as adversarial. It's not zero-sum the way a lawsuit is, but the two sides have conflicting goals in the course of the interview.)
   910. zenbitz Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5600985)
I dunno bout the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure I'm the voice of reason and sanity here.
   911. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5600987)
Interfacing with the media is always voluntary and one can simply refuse to not answer certain questions. On the other hand, one generally don't enjoy that when in a deposition.
   912. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5600989)
I dunno bout the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure I'm the voice of reason and sanity here.

Typically above replacement level.
   913. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5600990)
If you tell him the questions in advance, then you only find out what his advisers and speechwriters and lawyers and such think.


Well, technically, the only thing you find out is what his advisers and speechwriters want you to think he thinks.
   914. Count Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5600992)
2) The Democrats grassroots would never forgive any House or Senate member who did not vote to impeach or remove DJT from office if it came to the floor, so nearly 100% of Democrats would support it even if they recognized the electoral peril.


Actually, there was an impeachment vote that failed last month. Only 58 house democrats voted in favor. To be more charitable, in a situation in which there was a genuine opportunity to impeach Trump or there was a more serious vote, this quote is probably true.
   915. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5600994)
I dunno bout the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure I'm the voice of reason and sanity here.


Jeez, greedy guts, pick one.
   916. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5600995)
See why I say TDS? There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving the subject of an interview the questions beforehand. It's only a problem if your goal is to play gotcha, rather than to actually extract information.

See why I say Trumpista, Ray? There absolutely is something wrong with giving the subject of an interview the questions beforehand. You still don't grasp that what you mistakenly call "playing gotcha" is actually the job of a journalist. You confuse reporting with stenography. And, no, the purpose of an interview is not merely to "extract information." You can use wikipedia for that. The purpose of an interview is also to find out what the subject of the interview thinks. If you tell him the questions in advance, then you only find out what his advisers and speechwriters and lawyers and such think.


I could have sworn that when I described the White House press conferences as merely a game of Gotcha you disagreed, stating that the purpose was actually to extract information.
   917. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5600997)
Wolff was given access specifically to write the book. Apparently, he had previously written complimentary profiles on pre-political Trump/TrumpCo.... and the dumbasses just figured his love was more enduring.

According to one report, part or all of the reason Trump allowed the access was because he really liked the photograph of himself on the cover of a magazine Wolff had written for.
The funniest thing I read was that Wolff got the access for so long because of the dysfunctionality of the WH pre-Kelly (though I can't find the exact quote): because there were multiple power centers fighting for control of access to Trump, there was nobody to officially authorize him to do most of the interviewing he was doing, but there was also nobody to forbid it. So as long as he didn't piss off Trump, he could hang around.
   918. Count Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5600998)
The interview thing is kind of silly - whether or not it's *that* unusual for an interview to have questions in advance, the broader point is that Trump doesn't do almost any press conferences or interviews with non-sycophantic media because he has no idea what he's talking about and a real interview would go poorly. I'm sure Ray would agree with that!
   919. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5601001)
Well, that, and I was imagining a scenario where ~1/2 of (R)s were willing to impeach - in that environment, there's no downside for a (D) to vote aye. Now, they may come across as too partisan/uncentrist. And presumably, Trump is even more of a problem in that scenario than he is today, which changes the calculus further.
   920. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5601002)
Bivens & Zonk:
Go watch the presser from today Gonfalon, it's already happening as you predict.

Yeah - quite the beaut!



Don't forget Sarah Sanders saying that Donald Trump "certainly believes" the book should not be published, and also says that Trump believes in the First Amendment "absolutely."

The woman speaking for the president who touted a National Enquirer article about Ted Cruz's Kennedy-killing dad dismisses Wolff's book as being "full of tabloid gossip."

Sanders calls Wolff "an author that nobody had ever heard of until today." Whom the administration gave free rein to roam the White House. Says Sanders, "We saw him for what he was." That's why he was only given 200 administration interviews.

Steve Bannon is "a fired employee." There's a lot of cold, undelivered coffee in the West Wing these days.

Wolff's book is "false and fake," and a "complete fantasy." Also, Sanders says that Wolff wrote in his book that Bannon was "sidelined by April, which I think goes further to indicate that he had very little credibility to give much information particularly at that point."

The new personal cell phone ban within the White House has nothing to do with the book, or Wolff's scores and scores of sources. It's a policy that's been in the works since July, which just happened to be instituted on a random Thursday.

Sanders: "This book is mistake after mistake after mistake." You know, a lot of Americans totally agree.


CBS just announced that tonight's Colbert Show will be expanded to five hours.
   921. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5601003)

I guess a huge practical problem is how to devote enough federal enforcement resources to close down all the businesses. Maybe in the first few weeks of implementation in Colorado, but now it's lots of large states. A nice cease-and-desist letter from Jeff Sessions is not going to sway anybody at this point. He'd have to send in agents, and that means he'd have to hire and pay them, and if there's anything a Republican hates more than ganja, it's providing jobs for the takers :)
You're mistaken. The federal government does not have the resources to go after ordinary users -- though they could, at any time, arbitrarily go after a few -- but they do not need to. They can, instead, go after the financial institutions and property owners and the like. No marijuana business, if Sessions wants to play it that way, will be able to have so much as a bank account. This will cripple any effort to run these as legitimate businesses. And the feds can seize any buildings or plots of land used to grow or sell marijuana, without much hassle. (They don't even need criminal prosecutions.)
   922. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5601004)
That Virginia House of Delegates race prompted the Washington Post to look at some of the tie-breaking mechanisms used for elections and other matters, with this being the most convoluted:
In 2014, Neptune Beach City Council candidates Rory Diamond and Richard Arthur were each tied at 1,448 votes. This is how FiveThirtyEight explained what happened next:

To break the tie, Diamond’s name was drawn from a bag by a third party. This allowed Diamond the chance to call the coin toss. He won the toss by calling heads. Because of this, he could decide whether to draw first or second from a bag of ping-pong balls, numbered one through 20. He deferred to Arthur, who drew No. 12. The ball was replaced, and Diamond then drew No. 4. Arthur won the seat.

In other words, Diamond and Arthur played three games of chance. Each game provided 50-50 odds to each man. Diamond won two of the games, but Arthur won the seat because the third game was the only one that mattered.

That's in Florida, naturally.
   923. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5601005)
Sarah Sanders, Trump, Hannity nor anyone else in the Trumpist echo chamber are talking to normal people. They're managing the fake created reality of their true believe base.
   924. Sit down, Sleepy has lots of stats Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5601006)
In one sense (as Andy's PolitiFact checker can tell you) Trump is the most dishonest president we've ever had. In another sense he's the most honest president we've ever had -- and it's not close. His tweets by and large tell us what he's thinking, and we've never had that sort of honesty and transparency from any president before.
Just catching up on one of the more interesting OTP pages in a while, but why in the world would we assume, if he's "the most dishonest president we've ever had", that anything he tweets is really what he thinks? We know for a fact that much of the time it's not even his tiny fingers doing the tweeting.
   925. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5601009)

I could have sworn that when I described the White House press conferences as merely a game of Gotcha you disagreed, stating that the purpose was actually to extract information.


He put "gotcha" in quotes. YOU call it GOTCHA! Journalists call it "extracting info".

You're a dullard. Back to hot cocoa and cartoons, little boy.
   926. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5601011)

Thanks for the reply Ray. I think that the difference in our outlook here is that I think it is vitally important for the nation, its people, and frankly the world, to understand the facts on which our President bases his decisions, the opinions he holds, and the rationale underlying those beliefs

...

Ironically -- and I'm convinced this is absolutely true -- we have gotten more of a window into Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale then we have ever gotten from any president before. His prolific and unique tweets provide a window to his inner thoughts. I don't think any serious person would deny that.
You confuse his id with his thoughts. We know what he's feeling at a particular moment. But because the only thing in his head is him, what he's feeling at a particular moment is not in any way revelatory of what he's feeling at a different moment. He could viciously attack a person on Monday and be praising the guy as awesome on Wednesday. And we don't know what, if anything, he's actually thinking.
   927. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5601014)
He could viciously attack a person on Monday and be praising the guy as awesome on Wednesday.


Did you catch what he said about and to Lindsey Graham today? "Never thought I'd say it, but I like him a lot. Didn't always, but now I do", something close to that. Pathetic. CNN said "Graham knows how to speak 'Trump'" after Graham said something like "no other president could have done what you did"...I forget what he was referring to, it doesn't really matter, it's invalid anyway, just a pol "speaking Trump" so he can have Trump's help pushing his agenda. It's one big schmoozefest, this presidency. Everyone sucking each other's happy gland.
   928. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5601016)

And if you're not even making minimum wage, you probably can't afford a lawyer, and the extended period of unemployment and no money between when you start suing them, and some hypothetical point in the future where you might actually get money out of them.
That's not right. Wage and hour laws are fee shifting statutes. No employee anywhere could ever afford to pay a lawyer to sue his or her employee for wage and hour violations, but all such work is taken on contingency.
   929. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5601019)

No. Real jobs DECLINED by 400,000, which means none were being created.
Well, it means that no net "traditional" jobs were created. Unless nobody died or retired in the ten years covered by this analysis, lots of people did in fact get hired for "traditional" jobs. And in addition to those people, lots and lots of people got other kinds of jobs, too.
   930. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5601022)

The Washington Post points out that Trump, who's already turned over a third of his staff in less than a year, will likely become more paranoid, isolated, and prone to outbursts since he can't trust anyone, but has fewer and fewer options for credible replacements. And those outbursts will lead to more leaks.
There was just a report in The Hill that the WH is (shockingly -- I can't believe this wasn't done before) forbidding staffers from carrying personal cell phone around.
   931. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5601024)

Exactly how many bad judges disagreed with you here?
One state judge.
   932. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5601026)
No appeals?
   933. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5601027)

Since I've given up on GRRM, it is nice to now have a release date I care about.
"Due to unprecedented demand, we are moving the on-sale date for all formats of 'Fire and Fury,' by Michael Wolff, to Friday, January 5, at 9 a.m. ET, from the current on-sale date of Tuesday, January 9," a Henry Holt spokeswoman told CNN Thursday afternoon."
   934. Sit down, Sleepy has lots of stats Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5601028)
There was just a report in The Hill that the WH is (shockingly -- I can't believe this wasn't done before) forbidding staffers from carrying personal cell phone around.
It's really kind of mind-boggling that they were ever allowed, though. If you work in the white house you might need an official blackberry or whatever, but an android or iPhone is just too insecure to let people carry them into high level meetings where national policy discussions happening. POTUS included.

Fits right into the "bunch of effing amateurs" motif.
   935. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5601030)
You're mistaken. The federal government does not have the resources to go after ordinary users -- though they could, at any time, arbitrarily go after a few -- but they do not need to. They can, instead, go after the financial institutions and property owners and the like. No marijuana business, if Sessions wants to play it that way, will be able to have so much as a bank account. This will cripple any effort to run these as legitimate businesses. And the feds can seize any buildings or plots of land used to grow or sell marijuana, without much hassle. (They don't even need criminal prosecutions.)


Hey! Coke please.
   936. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5601031)

I could have sworn that when I described the White House press conferences as merely a game of Gotcha you disagreed, stating that the purpose was actually to extract information.
Yes, that's a failed gotcha about gotchas. I did in fact disagree, and I do in fact disagree. As I expressly noted, what you think is "playing gotcha" is not actually "playing gotcha." Asking these questions is trying to get information, but not merely trying to get information. To boil it down to its essence, you're trying to get the information you want to get, not the information they want to give. And part of that information that you want is what they really think, rather than merely what their canned responses are.
   937. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5601032)
Since I've given up on GRRM, it is nice to now have a release date I care about.

It was officially announced today by HBO that the final season of GoT will be in 2019. I honestly feel like my reaction to this is \"#### them". Why?
   938. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5601034)
The interview thing is kind of silly - whether or not it's *that* unusual for an interview to have questions in advance, the broader point is that Trump doesn't do almost any press conferences or interviews with non-sycophantic media because he has no idea what he's talking about and a real interview would go poorly.
Look at the Schmidt interview that he gave to the NYT last week. It was a disaster for him, but not because Schmidt was overly aggressive. Rather, Schmidt basically gave Trump as much rope as he needed to hang himself. Schmidt basically murmured sympathetically when Trump said something, and so Trump would keep on talking, and saying less and less sane or informed things.
   939. DavidFoss Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5601035)
If you work in the white house you might need an official blackberry or whatever, but an android or iPhone is just too insecure to let people carry them into high level meetings where national policy discussions happening. POTUS included.


Doesn't the Federal Government have IT? I understand you shouldn't be walking around using a device you bought at a kiosk in the mall -- or setting up private servers in their basements -- but the CIA must have a way of communicating with their most sensitive agents. Give everyone in the White House one of those. It won't be cheap on a per-person basis but its a drop in the bucket compared to other WH expenditures.
   940. PepTech Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5601036)
Let's back up and define terms. Throwing Press Conferences in as if they're some sort of equivalent event just makes it more confusing.

There are WH Press Conferences (WHPC) and there are regular Press Conferences (PC). Similarly, but not exactly analagous, we have Puff Piece interviews (PPI) and Serious Journalism Interviews (SJI).

PPI are little more than marketing opportunities. No one cares if the questions are given in advance. Most observers that have been paying attention would be able to answer the questions on behalf of the interviewee, because generally no new ground is broken, and the answers in total make up the equivalent of a stump speech.

SJI, on the other hand, are attempts to extract information. These provide us with the opportunity to delve into the thought processes of the subject, and/or break ground and extract previously unknown information. For this kind of interview, the subject will probably have a pretty good idea what questions are going to be asked, but they aren't (and shouldn't be) provided verbatim.

Press conferences are different; Sanders (or the flack du jour) can pick and choose who they call upon in a WHPC and they often devolve into stump speechery. Regular PC seem to be more of a free-for-all.
   941. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5601038)

No appeals?
To appeal they had to post full bond, which they really couldn't do with a judgment like that.
   942. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5601040)
Look at the Schmidt interview that he gave to the NYT last week. It was a disaster for him, but not because Schmidt was overly aggressive. Rather, Schmidt basically gave Trump as much rope as he needed to hang himself. Schmidt basically murmured sympathetically when Trump said something, and so Trump would keep on talking, and saying less and less sane or informed things.

And yet plenty of liberal/leftists were knocking Schmidt for giving Trump that rope. There are some factions of the Left I don't think I'll ever quite understand.
   943. BDC Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5601041)
an android or iPhone is just too insecure to let people carry them into high level meetings where national policy discussions happening

But I was told that only Crooked Hillary would call for suppression of books or imperil national security with negligent electronic practices. My worldview is really crumblng today.
   944. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5601043)

It was officially announced today by HBO that the final season of GoT will be in 2019. I honestly feel like my reaction to this is \"#### them". Why?


After last season, I'm not sure I ever care ...
   945. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5601052)
This opinion piece is on Bloomberg TOP right now:


Forget Treason; Money Laundering Is Serious: Timothy L. O'Brien
2018-01-04 17:04:29.533 GMT


By Timothy L. O'Brien
(Bloomberg View) -- Trump watchers have been treated to a world-class cage match over the last couple of days between President Donald Trump and one of his political svengalis, Steve Bannon.
Lots of attention has been lavished on Bannon's charge, leveled in a new book by the journalist Michael Wolff, that Trump's son, Donald Jr., engaged in "treasonous" behavior by meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. There are also requisite antics involving others in the Trump clan and the White House.
All of that is entertaining, as is Trump's furious counterattack. He posits that Bannon has "lost his mind" and on Wednesday night unleashed one of his lawyers to warn his former chief strategist that if he kept yapping about life with the Trumps he’d get taken to court and suffer other miseries. (Wolff apparently has recordings of his Bannon interviews and Trump granted Wolff access to the White House, so legal remedies for the president may be elusive.)
But one of the more substantive issues Bannon has surfaced shouldn't get lost in the cacophony. Bannon, in his interviews with Wolff, has invited us to consider the families of Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner as possible targets of a significant federal money-laundering investigation.
Bannon is dismissive of the Trumps and how haphazard and reckless they were during the campaign — in part, no doubt, because they didn't think they'd win. That lens allows Bannon to understand exactly why the Trump campaign has drawn the attention of the Justice Department's special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible links to the Kremlin (and who has already indicted Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, on an array of criminal charges).
Bannon also knows, as any street-fighter would, that Mueller's probe is perilous for the president because it is much more than an investigation into Russia's election meddling on Trump's behalf — and Bannon zeroes in candidly and coolly on that fact.
"This is all about money laundering," Wolff quotes Bannon saying. "Their path to [expletive] Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner." For good measure he added, "It’s as plain as a hair on your face."
"It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner stuff,"
Bannon adds. "The Kushner stuff is greasy. They’re going to go right through that." (He used a nastier word than "stuff," but let's keep things family-friendly around here.)
Bannon then roasts the Trump White House for how ill- prepared it is to take on Mueller's team: "They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five."
The Trump family has had longstanding real estate and licensing dealings with questionable business associates, some of them Russian and some of them not, as I and reporters like the late Wayne Barrett have written about for years. The family's recent departure from its ill-fated Trump SoHo hotel project, and its partnership with career criminals like Felix Sater, are reminders of how problematic some of those deals will be in the context of Mueller's investigation.
While Trump allies have recently targeted Mueller's probe as ill-founded, tainted with prosecutorial bias, and the work of a conspiracy orchestrated with Democratic partisans and the "deep state," the reality is that Mueller — a well-regarded, veteran prosecutor — has been running a by-the-books investigation.
It's an investigation that is likely to continue examining matters beyond political collusion — which Mueller's original mandate allows for — and will continue to involve explorations of financial dealings by the Trump family and members of the Trump campaign (particularly those involving Russia).
Bannon knows this, and his comments to Wolff show that he knows how devastating all of it could be to Trump and his children.
The speed and intemperance of Trump's counterpunches suggest that the president probably feels himself at risk, too.
There were many reasons Trump may have had for lashing out, of course. Bannon painted him as someone surrounded by ignorant, scheming relatives, lacking any interest in governing, pursuing the presidency as a marketing lark, and an empty vessel that others could fill with their own ideas — in other words, exactly the guy who's been occupying the Oval Office for the last year.
Bannon's (and Wolff's) stuff was so compelling that it became a thing on social media on Wednesday, drowning out much of the chatter Trump sparked the night before when he tweeted that his nuclear arsenal was "bigger & more powerful" than North Korea's.
It never takes long for the president to lash back when someone makes the mistake of criticizing him, belittling the First Family or usurping the spotlight. Bannon hit the trifecta and did all three.
"Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look," Trump advised in a statement the White House released on Wednesday. "Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books."
Little of those latter observations ring true. Bannon may be a crackpot, but he certainly had the president's ear during the campaign's home stretch and in the early, shambolic months of the Trump administration last year. And as my Bloomberg News colleague Joshua Green detailed long before others caught on, Bannon is a media savvy operative who understands in his own peculiar way what makes some people tick. So Trump won't find it easy to dismiss what Bannon has said with a few broadsides.
Bannon knows that Donald Jr. and Kushner are potential liabilities for the president, especially in the context of a sophisticated money-laundering probe. And he also knows how ill- equipped the White House is to contend with the legal hurdles and financial inquiries that lie ahead of it. He knows all of this, even if he has lost his mind. That's why the president wants to shut him up and shut him down.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

   946. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5601053)
After last season, I'm not sure I ever care ...


That makes two of us. But only one of us who ever actually did care.
   947. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5601055)
That makes two of us. But only one of us who ever actually did care.


Zing!

Book 'em, Danno!
   948. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5601057)
   949. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5601058)
But only one of us who ever actually did care.


Gotta save space for those important details of Frasier and Hawaii 5-0.
   950. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5601059)
The thing the Trump family most resembles in the world is the Kim family.
   951. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5601063)
The thing the Trump family most resembles in the world is the Kim family.


As in Kim Jong Un or Kim Kardashian?
   952. PepTech Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5601065)
As in Kim Jong Un or Kim Kardashian?
Sadly, the answer is "yes".
   953. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5601069)
"It’s as plain as a hair on your face."


Has anyone ever said this before? That's an interesting take on an old cliche.


Not using "interesting" in a positive sense.
   954. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5601072)
Re Sessions: As states have legalized marijuana, the federal government has decided to simply not enforce federal laws with regard to marijuana. Seems better for everyone. So why not simply remove the federal ban and make regulation of marijuana up to the states de jure? Democrats and independents overwhelmingly favor legalization and a slim majority of Republicans do as well. Yeah, I realize the religious right doesn't like it, so a number of Republicans would be against such legislation, but in principle there should be enough support to get something done.
   955. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5601075)
Sessions seems like the kind of guy that would be all for "state's rights". This position of his is odd. As in hypocritical.
   956. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5601077)
Ironically, Sessions is exactly the type of person who would benefit greatly from an occasional toke.
   957. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:17 PM (#5601086)
I knew there had to be some good Hope Hicks content in this book:

Wolff recounts one moment when Hicks was sitting with Trump and his sons in Trump Tower, worrying about how Lewandowski would be portrayed in the media and how she could help him after his firing.

“Trump, who otherwise seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way, looked up and said, ‘Why? You’ve already done enough for him. You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have’” Trump allegedly told Hicks. Hicks immediately fled the room, according to the book.


...

Hicks, sponsored by Ivanka and ever loyal to her, was in fact thought of as Trump’s real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife,” an excerpt of the book reads.

“More functionally, but as elementally, Hicks was the president’s chief media handler. She worked by the president’s side, wholly separate from the White House’s forty-person strong communications office.”

She was brought on board the campaign by Ivanka Trump after working for Ivanka’s fashion company. Hicks' family thought she was being taken captive, and her friends talked about the “therapies or recuperation” she would need after her term in office was over, according to the book.


More.
   958. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5601088)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.
   959. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:39 PM (#5601089)
Hicks is widely rumored to be doing Trump.
   960. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5601091)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.


You shouldn't. Coulter corroborated. Bannon. Lin. Others will too, I'm sure. Those who are coming to Trump's defense are doing so for obvious reasons.

Meanwhile, CNN just had a member of congress on discussing the 25th amendment. It sounds like there's a push toward something along those lines.
   961. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5601092)
At the rate excerpts are being published - I can only imagine the publishers moved up the publication date because we're rapidly approaching the point when it's all freely available if you're willing to go through enough clicks.

   962. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5601093)
"It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner stuff,"
Bannon adds. "The Kushner stuff is greasy. They’re going to go right through that." (He used a nastier word than "stuff," but let's keep things family-friendly around here.)

Hmmmmm, I wonder why Trump's flunkies on the House Intelligence Committee have been refusing to issue a subpoena for those Deutsche Bank records? Good thing Mueller didn't need their approval to issue one of his own.
   963. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5601094)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.

We'll see.

Michael Wolff Recorded Interviews for 'Fire and Fury,' Including Taping Steve Bannon

Certain people may now have to add "Fake Tapes" to "Fake News" in their ever-expanding repertory of retorts.
   964. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5601095)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.


You won't find me lauding Wolff individually as a journalist - he's basically one level above a page 6 gossip columnist - but in a way, that makes him the perfect scribe for a book about the Trump administration.

I mean, what... you think there's some hidden story about the sleepless night Trump had over human rights violations in Myanmar or some interesting quirky tidbit about the time Trump spent a weekend huddled at Camp David in his bathrobe as he engaged in marathon policy discussion sessions with experts on healthcare?

I know full well this is basically just a collection of fleshed out stories with specific dates, people, and instances we've already read 20 times over about Trump. Only the Trumpkins labor under their delusions that he's not as bad as all that. Every sane person knows exactly who he is.

I mostly enjoy it all for Trump's reaction to it.... and I'm going to read the book because I derive pleasure from embarrassing stories about Ray/Clapper/SBB's hero.

   965. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5601096)
The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.


Third parties (people in the room but not mentioned in the book) have come forward to confirm details (like a reporter that was at a dinner party).
   966. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5601097)
Here's another interesting point to consider:

What in the world was Stephen Bannon thinking? 3 theories.
1. Bannon was just spouting off....

2. Bannon is indeed trying to “burn it all down.”

This is the most conspiratorial option on this list — but it's the one to which the White House appears to subscribe....

3. Bannon is trying to distance himself from the Russia probe.

If Bannon does think Trump Jr. committed treason — or something short of that — perhaps he simply wants to put himself as far as possible from how the broader Russia investigation might view that meeting with a Russian lawyer. Bannon has repeatedly warned Trump about what the probe might mean for his presidency, with some of his pleas apparently falling on deaf ears.

Bannon's name has been conspicuously missing from many of the developments in the Russia probe, as Politico's Darren Samuelsohn recently reported, but he's expected to be a key witness given his high-ranking roles on the Trump campaign and in the Trump White House.

I wouldn't necessarily bet against that third theory.
   967. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5601098)
If they think Bannon has the dirt on Trump they should offer him immunity if he agrees to tell all.
   968. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5601100)
Did anyone confirm the story of Trump talking to friends with their wives on secretly on the phone?
   969. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5601101)
2. Bannon is indeed trying to “burn it all down.”

This is the most conspiratorial option on this list — but it's the one to which the White House appears to subscribe....


It also fits with what Bannon has said that he wants to accomplish.
   970. Greg K Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5601102)
I'm not that familiar with Bannon's shtick, but I had assumed that what he was doing was looking after his own brand.

Being used and then shunted aside by Trump when no longer useful doesn't seem like it's helpful in that. So he's working to change the narrative.
   971. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5601103)
Just to emphasize again...


“The communications team urged all of the senior advisors to cooperate. They thought this was going to be a positive book for the President.”


For all his faults as a journalist, Wolff was given the sort of unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime access that one special, lucky writer seems to get every administration to do such a book... and invariably, there's at least a little regret afterwards - but it's usually on the wonky margins... some policy choice or key decision or governing epoch where the truth turns out to be not quite as glorious as the administration had contemporaneously touted, etc.

It's just never, ever, ever, never before blown up in an administration's face in so spectacularly loud and ridiculous a fashion.

Of course, we've just never, ever, ever, never had such a spectacularly ridiculous President before -- so it all fits.

   972. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:08 PM (#5601104)
Sessions seems like the kind of guy that would be all for "state's rights".


Southern Dixiecrats have never supported states rights outside of the narrow attempt to implement their agenda. If the federal apparatus is for something they want, states have no rights. If the federal apparatus is against something they want, states rights rule above all. They're hypocrites and jackasses to the man, which is why they're so perfect for the modern Republican party.
   973. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5601107)
I'm not that familiar with Bannon's shtick, but I had assumed that what he was doing was looking after his own brand.

Being used and then shunted aside by Trump when no longer useful doesn't seem like it's helpful in that. So he's working to change the narrative.


If that is/was indeed the case, it's not going well for him.... I just saw that the Mercer's cut him off.

If they think Bannon has the dirt on Trump they should offer him immunity if he agrees to tell all.


I HIGHLY doubt that he does. At least based on the excerpts, he seems little more than the Trumpkin Who Couldn't Maintain the Facade... Maybe they're too far gone to even have those quiet, private moments of admission any more - but I suspect even the Trumpkins here, at least, once upon a time, knew they were just peddling nonsense.

I suspect the point of no return (or "know" return) was probably the Comey firing... that blessed ~24 hours when Clapper and SBB at minimum (don't recall if Ray was in on that or not) were bravely peddling the 'standard review' and 'Trump just acting on the advice' and 'nothing to do with Russia'.... then watching it immediately blow up when Trump basically confirmed in his own words, every accusation in the Lester Holt interview, followed shortly thereafter by the revelations of the Kisylak/Lavrov meeting doubly confirming it.

Most people with a modicum of self-respect would take that a signal to wash their hands... but alas, to be a real Trumpkin - you have to check your self-respect at the door, just like a Trump staffer with a personal smart phone.
   974. Omineca Greg Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5601108)
Great news coming out of the Arctic today...

Porcupine caribou numbers 'highest ever recorded'

An aerial count of the Porcupine caribou herd in July reports between 202,000 and 235,000 animals, nearly twice the number of animals recorded at a low point in 2001.

"We might have just recorded the largest number for this herd since modern scientific monitoring started in the 1970s," said Mike Suitor, regional biologist for the North Yukon Region with Environment Yukon, from Dawson City. "Given the state of caribou worldwide right now, it's a positive, shining light in the caribou world — that there are some herds that are doing well."

Aerial surveys have been done since the 1970s, though techniques have changed.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has sounded the alarm on barren ground caribou as a whole, as some herds have declined more than 90 per cent from historic averages.

Joe Tetlichi, chair of the Porcupine Caribou Management Board, calls the news "very promising, considering all the other herds that are declining across Canada and specifically around the Northwest Territories and Yukon."

He's proud of the work that's been done on a harvest management plan, and that hunting appears to be sustainable.

"When we have a worst case scenario, it really makes us appreciate when the caribou come back."

"When the caribou hit the Dempster Highway, the people will get their caribou. It's a really healthy herd and taking four per cent out of a large herd like that, it doesn't really put a big dent," he said.

Tetlichi thanks communities who have followed voluntary measures such as not harvesting cows.

"When we started seeing the decline in other herds around us, we started working with the communities. I think that was a positive initiative because the First Nations got on board with us and they started working with us."

Tetlichi adds that the Porcupine caribou herd also benefits from having an expanse of undisturbed land, roaming between Alaska and Yukon."It's a vast area, it's 250,000 square kilometres ... and there's really no hunting pressures at the moment," he said.
Porcupine caribou are not considered threatened. The herd is often hunted off the Dempster Highway, though some hunters from Old Crow, Aklavik, Fort McPherson and other communities travel inland or follow the coast.

All licensed hunters in Yukon can buy tags for two bulls a year, with no limit on the total amount of tags sold.

Suitor said the accepted theory for the herd's resurgence is that of a natural cycle. All barren ground caribou herds are believed to have a natural growth cycle, which happens over decades.

The rate of growth recorded in the last eight years is similar to a previous increase recorded in the 1970s and 80s. The herd's previous peak was in 1989, with 178,000 animals. "With this herd we've now measured two independent peaks. The growth rates are very similar. And we know from other historical information that there had been a low back in the 1960s as well," Suitor said. Asked for a prediction on when growth would stop, Suitor said "I wish," and laughed. "That's the one thing with caribou, is whenever you think you know something they always prove you wrong. They're challenging to work with. But certainly I would anticipate at some point in the next decade we could see the herd start to decline again," he said. Tetlichi said the natural cycle theory matches traditional knowledge. "With climate change we really don't know. Historically our people have always said, sometimes there's no caribou but other times there's vast amounts."

The aerial survey is a collaboration between the Yukon government and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Some techniques were changed this year. One change Suitor notes is that Alaska upgraded "their old World War II-era cameras to a new digital platform," which allows higher-resolution photographs. Surveyors used to painstakingly count caribou with magnifying glasses on film printouts. This year, for the first time, the count was aided by computers, used to stitch aerial photos together into one mega-resolution file and then tag caribou with a dot. Suitor said the count was reviewed by human eyes but the computer's efforts saved countless hours.

The count comes as the U.S. has set the stage for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a move opposed by Gwich'in on both sides of the border.

Tetlichi said the board is concerned about drilling in ANWR but said that's a question for First Nations, territorial, state and national governments, not the management board itself.

"At the board, we are very concerned about it. However we're not a political organization.

"When you open up an area, especially the calving ground area, then definitely you are going to have a high mortality in regards to calving. That's a concern to us, but we leave the political challenges up to the First Nations."

link
   975. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5601109)
Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is already paying dividends - Islamic State Declares War On Hamas:
The extremist Islamic State group’s branch in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has taken a simmering dispute with the Palestinian Hamas group based in nearby Gaza to new levels, releasing a 22-minute video in which it calls on its followers to attack the group and shows the execution of a man it said was a collaborator.
. . .
The video cites Hamas’s crackdown on Islamist militant groups in Gaza and their failure to prevent the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as reasons for attacking the group. It begins with a video clip of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last month.

Terrorists attacking other terrorists is preferable to their attacks on non-terrorists. Hopefully, these folks will inflict considerable damage on each other.
   976. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5601110)
Southern Dixiecrats have never support states rights outside of the narrow attempt to implement their agenda. If the federal apparatus is for something they want, states have no rights. If the federal apparatus is against something they want, states rights rule above all. They're hypocrites and jackasses to the man, which is why they're so perfect for the modern Republican party.

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, and the only difference now is that for the past several decades they've been gradually and formally tying the knot rather than just shacking up with denials. It's hardly a coincidence that over that time frame, the black vote has gone from overwhelmingly Republican to overwhelmingly Democratic.

** no visual pun intended
   977. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5601111)
Clapper you've done it again! That story isn't tonight's lead!

   978. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5601113)
Pretty good backgrounder on how Trump Got Wolffed....

Wolff kind of reminds me of the Kevin Spacey character Jack Vincennes in LA Confidential... though he was a cop in the movie peddling information to the gossip rags rather than the Devito (IIRC?) character gathering and writing it.

It also makes me sad in remembering our own lost long before his time Jack Vincennes...
   979. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:33 PM (#5601114)
Clapper you've done it again! That story isn't tonight's lead!


The man is busy... At present, he's desperately trying to plan the heist to steal the the Constitution so as to find the additional passages on impeachment written in indelible ink.
   980. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:34 PM (#5601116)
Did I say "Lin"? The corroborator is Janice Min. At the Bannon/Ailes dinner recounted in the Wolfe book. "100% accurate."
   981. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5601117)
Here's another interesting point to consider:

What in the world was Stephen Bannon thinking? 3 theories.


Theory #4. He is reacting with his hindbrain and there is no master plan. He is not a super genius.
   982. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5601118)
The man is busy... At present, he's desperately trying to plan the heist to steal the the Constitution so as to find the additional passages on impeachment written in indelible ink.


More seriously, that NYTimes article is pretty damning for Trump. Seems like it's going to be a very, very, very bad 2018 for Trump. I just hope that the collateral damage to the US is limited.
   983. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:46 PM (#5601119)
More seriously, that NYTimes article is pretty damning for Trump. Seems like it's going to be a very, very, very bad 2018 for Trump. I just hope that the collateral damage to the US is limited.


His lawyers promised him everything would wrap up by Thanksgiving!

Oh.... they didn't specify which Thanksgiving?

Here's an interesting thought - at some point, you have to imagine Trump's fury is going to turn on the legal team that made him all those promises last year that turned out to be... well... not very good promises.

Then what?

   984. Count Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5601120)
Terrorists attacking other terrorists is preferable to their attacks on non-terrorists. Hopefully, these folks will inflict considerable damage on each other.


You must love the Syrian Civil War!

I assume the statement is a pretext and Hamas's response to Jerusalem is not actually sparking a war between ISIS and Hamas. But it would be really bad if it actually led to another conflict in Gaza or the West Bank.
   985. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5601124)
More seriously, that NYTimes article is pretty damning for Trump. Seems like it's going to be a very, very, very bad 2018 for Trump. I just hope that the collateral damage to the US is limited.

His lawyers promised him everything would wrap up by Thanksgiving!

Oh.... they didn't specify which Thanksgiving?


And they also didn't specify just how everything might be wrapped up. (smile)
   986. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5601125)

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.
   987. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5601126)
2. Bannon is indeed trying to “burn it all down.”

This is the most conspiratorial option on this list — but it's the one to which the White House appears to subscribe....


It also fits with what Bannon has said that he wants to accomplish.
No, Bannon has said he wants to burn down the establishment. Burning down the Trump administration does not help him do that.
   988. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5601127)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.


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.
   989. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5601128)
More seriously, that NYTimes article is pretty damning for Trump. Seems like it's going to be a very, very, very bad 2018 for Trump. I just hope that the collateral damage to the US is limited.


Damning for Trump and Sessions, I think... perhaps more of the legal damning for Trump and just more public humiliation for Sessions (how many times can a man be gelded? If Sessions doesn't have the record yet, let's just say it seems to get easier for Kate McKinnon to play him on SNL every day). Though, I suppose - could Sessions find himself roped into an obstruction charge if he was basically hitting people up for gossip and negative information on Comey that he could get planted in the media on the boss's orders in anticipation of the pre-ordained firing? IDK....

All that said, we're in familiar territory here... this cycle has repeated so many times over the past 10 months who can even keep count any more?

Worst possible scenario speculated... Trumpkins feign outrage and peddle WH line that it's silly and not true... Worst possible scenario confirmed... Trumpkins retreat, retrench, and pile on the yeahbuts... rinse, repeat.

Like I said - that's the price of being a Trumpkin... you gots to check your self-respect at the door.
   990. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5601129)
Clapper you've done it again! That story** isn't tonight's lead!

New report: Trump ordered White House attorney to stop Sessions from recusing himself from Russia investigation

Trump's plaintive cry: "WHERE'S MY ROY COHN?"
WASHINGTON — President Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

Public pressure was building for Mr. Sessions, who had been a senior member of the Trump campaign, to step aside. But the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

Mr. McGahn was unsuccessful, and the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him. Mr. Trump said he had expected his top law enforcement official to safeguard him the way he believed Robert F. Kennedy, as attorney general, had done for his brother John F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr. had for Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump then asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s and died in 1986....

ONLY THE BEST PEOPLE!

   991. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5601130)
Hicks is widely rumored to be doing Trump.


Yes, I'm sure that's true.

   992. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5601131)
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.


Hillary was a real idiot for giving you such unprecedented and unfettered access, while her communications team was stupid for urging all the Hillariots to cooperate, foolishly believing it was going to be a glowing and praise-filled work.

Oh? You say that didn't happen?

Apples and oranges then.
   993. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5601132)
anonymous or unsourced
Nothing to see here.
   994. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:06 PM (#5601133)
Trump's plaintive cry: "WHERE'S MY ROY COHN?"


Burning in hell where he belongs.

But I'll gladly chip in for the bus ticket so as to facilitate the reunion.
   995. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5601134)
Did anyone confirm the story of Trump talking to friends with their wives on secretly on the phone?


Yup. All confirmed.
   996. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5601135)
I’m basically ignoring everything from the book. Wolf isn’t exactly a trustworthy source. The stories seem to be in character for the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.
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.

So are you going to bring your tape recorder with you like Wolff did, in order to back up your story?
   997. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5601136)
Porcupine caribou numbers 'highest ever recorded'
Is anyone else picturing a bunch of reindeer with quills sticking out of their bodies?
   998. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5601137)
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?
and the only difference now is that for the past several decades
the Dixiecrats have been dead.
   999. Zonk Didn't But He'd Do It Again Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:17 PM (#5601141)
It's not the most explosive part of the NYT story -- but I think my favorite part is the WH attorney basically trying to obfuscate, delay, and dither on whether Trump had the authority to fire Comey in order to try to protect Trump from Trump.

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.

Still, at some point you just gotta sigh, cut bait, and wish such a boss well on future endeavors.
   1000. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 09:17 PM (#5601142)
Clapper you've done it again! That story isn't tonight's lead!
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.
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