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Monday, July 30, 2018

OTP 2018 July 30: Now Running for Office, Adam Greenberg. You May Remember His First At-Bat.

Greenberg dug in for the first pitch, slightly bending his knees. It was a 92-mile-an-hour fastball.

“You get three-tenths of a second,” Greenberg said. “The first tenth I’m thinking don’t bail because if it’s a curve I look stupid, and it’s strike one. The second tenth I realized the ball wasn’t breaking. By the third tenth, my only thought was to get out of the way, and the only thing I could do was to turn into the catcher.”

 

In the end, Greenberg did go back to the minors — for eight more years. It was a struggle. He had suffered a concussion from the beaning and was then left with vertigo symptoms and vision issues. He did not play baseball the rest of that season and, a year later, with him back in the minor leagues and flailing, the Cubs made the decision to release him.


(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: July 30, 2018 at 08:22 AM | 1266 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: beaning, cubs, off topic, politics

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   201. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5718572)
...and my flippy-floppies
   202. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5718577)
You’re saying the sale of $100M condos in 57th Street sliver towers WON’T generate a rising tide to lift all boats?

That does have a great view. I used to work at the GM building on the 40th floor. I could spend minutes just looking at the park.

If you really want to get money moving, make dividends deductible from corporations, but then taxable at normal rates. This would cause a lot of companies to pay out money they hoard or use in buybacks. It would also bring back money from overseas.
   203. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5718579)
If you really want to get money moving, make dividends deductible from corporations, but then taxable at normal rates.


Failing that, the guillotine remains a powerful motivating symbol.
   204. Traderdave Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5718583)
The dividend idea makes sense on paper but in real life it would be the mother of endless accounting shenanigans.
   205. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5718586)

Did not read the article, but some people are intimidated by lawyers, and debt collectors are awful. I do find it very plausible that plaintiffs’ and defendanfs’ lawyers are the only ones who make money from the class actions, but that’s often the case and the benefit is that it prevents debt collectors from engaging in he worst practices.
No, you've missed the point. Actual FDCPA lawsuits nowadays don't have anything to do with anything that anyone would consider the worst practices. They have to do with what are -- at most -- hypertechnical violations of the law, and often absurd claims that something could theoretically be misleading to a really stupid person in an immaterial way.

Legitimate FDCPA claims -- when debt collectors engage in abusive practices like the ones I mentioned above, or when debt collectors actually try to collect money that people don't owe -- are fine, but few and far between nowadays.
   206. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5718593)
No, you've missed the point. Actual FDCPA lawsuits nowadays don't have anything to do with anything that anyone would consider the worst practices. They have to do with what are -- at most -- hypertechnical violations of the law, and often absurd claims that something could theoretically be misleading to a really stupid person in an immaterial way.

Legitimate FDCPA claims -- when debt collectors engage in abusive practices like the ones I mentioned above, or when debt collectors actually try to collect money that people don't owe -- are fine, but few and far between nowadays.

No, I think you've missed the point. The fact that those "legitimate" claims are now few and far between, is a sign that the FDCPA* has largely been successful in what it was intended to do. Stop companies from engaging in such activities. Presumably companies now understand that the worst offenses are going to be prosecuted, and know not to engage in them. That is the benefit of the law.

The lawsuits are always going to be around the fringe cases, and either companies/consumers/lawyers trying to exploit loopholes in the law, or stretch the wording as far as possible. The point is that that is an acceptable cost of the law, if it does eliminate the worst types of abuses.

*I say this knowing nothing about the law, or statistics regarding the law. Just based on what has been presented here about it.
   207. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5718594)
Legitimate FDCPA claims -- when debt collectors engage in abusive practices like the ones I mentioned above, or when debt collectors actually try to collect money that people don't owe -- are fine, but few and far between nowadays.


Are they?

It was nearly 20 years ago, but I briefly worked part-time for a shell company that was attached to a debt collection...whatever (I'm not entirely sure they weren't just a middleman pass-through.... whatever... I kind of got the impression they were just buying up such debt to then resell it to even lower rungs on the vulture scale. It was a 'data entry' job on the campus library bulletin board).

Anyway, the 'training' was very heavy on a lot of wink-wink - and most of what I did was just filling out forms and 'research'.... and it was pretty clear that the goal was volume - matching names and numbers to another set of numbers. Attaching the right names and numbers was very much frowned upon if it meant processing fewer names and numbers.

I'm sure plenty of laws have changed since... but unless it's completely driven entities like the one I felt dirty playing paper monkey for about 6 weeks out of the game - my general opinion on such things is #### 'em.

If the matter in question doesn't really hurt them - just a way for plaintiffs attorneys to make money - then my opinion would be to up the penalties, right or wrong.

I've never found myself in a sleazier place - and I've, ummm, been in a holding cell.
   208. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5718620)
I've never found myself in a sleazier place - and I've, ummm, been in a holding cell.
You've been in an OTP thread.
   209. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5718622)
I've never found myself in a sleazier place - and I've, ummm, been in a holding cell.


You've been in an OTP thread.


Meh, the prostitutes are nicer than our twin towers of troll.
   210. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5718634)
MF Charlie asks Yankee Clapper a question, #183:
Why are you objecting to correcting a mischaracterization? Smaller errors are noted here all the time.

I'll ask again: who cares?


Clapper cares. In posts #71, #72, #73, #74 and #75 of this thread, I quoted a bunch of polls and election analysts' items saying that:

(a) past election models suggest a ~40-seat House pickup (with considerable variance in either direction);
(b) the GOP only has a shot at flipping one (1) Democrat-held seat (and that only because the incumbent has been redistricted to a different seat, which he's going to win);
(c) no one alive, and possibly ever, has seen this many empty seats vacated by fleeing GOP incumbents;
(d) the House generic ballot has shown certain flaws that somewhat underrate recent Democratic performance (and since Dems have dominated this cycle's generic ballot, you can do the extrapolating) ;
(e) the generic ballot's flaws tend to match up with the GOP's specific tactical problems this cycle;
(f) the popular vote has understated previous Democratic performance due to the effect of incumbency; thus, looking at the baseline pickup/loss totals doesn't tell the full story, as in 2010;
(g) the generic ballot is therefore better thought of as a thermometer for the partisan environment than a precision-tuned vote predictor;
(h) the number of unopposed Republican House candidates has nosedived from 36 to 4 (!), but the number of unopposed Democratic House candidates is virtually unchanged, from 40 to 38;
(i) Democrats are favored to win 7 Governor races, but could easily pick up 10 and more;
(j) typically, the other Governor races currently rated as tossups should be expected to swing to the Democrats by at least 2 to 1;
(k) according to a poll taken in what are commonly considered to be the 63 most competitive House districts, Democrats hold a 13% lead in the generic ballot;
(l) the same poll shows awful approval numbers for Trump and the GOP regarding their immigration policies and child-caging actions;
(m) in three swing states of the kind that enabled Trump to barely win the 2016 election, Trump's support has cratered; roughly two-fifths of his voters in those states already want someone else.

Faced with a barrage of bad mojo like that, what else could Yankee Clapper do, but ignore 99.5% of that, spelunk down into the pain, and extract a single two-word phrase? Then disregard its actual use, and try to reengineer the phrase to his personal specifications, while barricading himself inside Fortress Red?

Clapper typed snarkquoted variants of "doing well" and "very well" literally ten separate times, insistently pressing one useless IMHO point, while saying not a blessed peep regarding anything else discussed above. Well, well, well...
   211. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5718636)
Anyway, here are some more midterm items and polling. Democrats are "doing very well."

CNN:
All race raters (CNN, Cook Political Report and Inside Elections) are in agreement that Republicans have a lot more vulnerable House seats than Democrats do. The latest CNN ratings, for example, have 36 Republican seats rated as toss-up or leaning towards the Democrats, while only 3 Democratic seats are rated as toss-up or leaning towards the Republicans. That's a difference of 33.

This is very bad news for the Republicans per a model inspired by political scientist James Campbell. When one party has a lot more seats at risk even at this early point, they usually lose a lot of seats. Looking at the Cook Political Report ratings since 1984 (with the exceptions of 1986 and 1990 for which we lack data) in the late summer, the 33-seat difference between the number of seats Democrats and Republicans forecasts a seat loss of greater than 50 seats. That seems unlikely to happen, but race raters have historically underestimated waves in the early going.

There's never been a single year in which the Republicans had so many more at-risk seats than the Democrats at this point in the campaign. The last time the Democrats would flip the House (2006), the Cook Political Report had 217 House seats at least leaning Republican at this point. This year it's just 205.

..........For now, district level polling is mostly sparse and cannot give us too much additional information about individual races. ...Although left-wing groups tend to release more polling in a neutral environment, when the difference is really great it suggests that one side is in trouble. The reason being that if one side gets a result it likes, it's more likely to publish it. If Democrats are publishing a lot more polls than Republicans, they're receiving a lot of good news. This year about 90% of the about 50 partisan House polls in the FiveThirtyEight database have been from left-wing groups. That's even more lopsided than at this point in the 2006 cycle when left-wing groups were putting out around 85% of all polls.


Cook Report:
Since 1992, in situations when a president's party was stuck defending an open seat two years after the president failed to carry it, that party has batted zero for 23 keeping it in their column.


Nate Silver:
Democratic gains in special elections have been largest in red, rural, working-class states -- not the coastal suburbs.

The notion that the Democratic path to a House majority was concentrated in high-income suburbs was always sort of a myth/media narrative that didn't really fit the evidence.



*Senator Tammy Baldwin is considered a prime target by Republicans, and thus far in 2018 has faced more outside conservative money than all other Democratic Senators combined. New polls released Thursday and Monday have Baldwin leading by 9%, 14%, 15% or 17%, depending on her GOP opponent.


*In about 3 weeks, the liberal fundraising group ActBlue will surpass one billion dollars in donations for the 2018 midterm cycle.
   212. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5718637)
Zonk, #209:
I've never found myself in a sleazier place - and I've, ummm, been in a holding cell.

You've been in an OTP thread.

Meh, the prostitutes are nicer than our twin towers of troll.


But were they arrested for rhetorical fellating?
   213. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5718642)
But were they arrested for rhetorical fellating?


One said her name was Persia...
   214. Shredder Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5718658)
Anyway, the 'training' was very heavy on a lot of wink-wink - and most of what I did was just filling out forms and 'research'.... and it was pretty clear that the goal was volume - matching names and numbers to another set of numbers. Attaching the right names and numbers was very much frowned upon if it meant processing fewer names and numbers.
It must be a weird business for something that seems so straightforward. About 15 years ago I found out I had a couple of accounts in collection worth about $3,500. I didn't know anything about them, because they weren't accurate. In 2001, someone get treated for emergency medical services at Riverside (CA) Community Hospital, and they got billed to me. I was studying for the bar in Champaign, IL at the time, and hadn't been a patient there since getting some stitches after a pickup hockey game probably in 1993. I'm sure they sent a bunch of letters that I never got, because they sent them to an address I hadn't lived at in eight years in a state I hadn't lived in for five years. Yet they could have bought a lexis package and used it track my current address down in roughly 15 seconds. It was like they simply didn't care whether they ever found me, in which case, why buy the receivable? In the end, they got nothing, and it took a year to get my credit report cleaned up. ########.
   215. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5718672)
Now Trump is singing the song of that fabulous new rock group, Rudy and the Dancing Monkeys. The name of the song is "Collusion is not a Crime".

Remember when he was tweeting "No collusion, no collusion", and then he was tweeting "No collusion, Hillary was colluding"?

Now he's defending Hillary by letting us know that she didn't commit a crime. He's such a fair guy.

   216. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5718674)

Meh, the prostitutes are nicer than our twin towers of troll.
Yes, that was my point.
   217. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5718680)
@radiofreetom:
Okay, since the post-FISA Russia gaslighting has begun, let's sum up why the Trumper arguments about "no collusion" and "no crime" and all that crap are not only wrong, but morally deficient. Yes, including the Fusion and Steele issue. /1

First, the "dossier." A GOP operative hires a dirt-gathering oppo firm, backs out, and that assignment gets taken over by a firm working for the Dems. They are paying a company whose job it is to get dirt to go get dirt. This firm - duh - has foreign contractors like Steele. /2

Foreign contractor uses his contacts in a world of Very Bad Guys to see what he can turn up, because (a) oppo, and (b) he is, you know, a former spy. He writes a raw file - not a final report - that says: "Here's some hideous dirt, but I can't vouch for all of it." /3

Meanwhile, the contractor - an experienced agent - is so freaked by what he finds while looking into Trump that he pings US law enforcement and the intelligence community. This is called "The Right Thing to Do," if you've been a spy for an *allied* country. /4

Of course, the US authorities were *already* on the case, because Trump works with morons who are bad at everything. Ignoring the Steele file would have been LE and IC malpractice. Meanwhile, Steele and Fusion are also- again, duh - trying to get the press interested. /5

Insanely, however, the Trumper theory of the case is: Clinton directed Fusion, who directed Steele, to get dirt from the Russians, who then faked out Steele with bad info, which Steele used to trigger a Deep State plot against Trump. (Versions vary, but that's roughly it.) /6

This assumes everyone was going out on a dangerous limb for an election HRC thought was in the bag, and that the FBI had no interest in anything related to Trump and Russia until a guy knew a guy who wrote a thing, and not at all due to stuff of which they were already aware. /7

The Trumpers, however, live in a linear world, where nothing can happen in parallel; all things must happen in sequence because that's how their brains work. Clinton>Fusion>Steele>FBI appeals to their paranoia, instead of that the IC and Steele knowing stufref concurrently. /8

When the FISA warrant is set out, the gaslighting gets turned way hot. But instead of hiding Steele, the warrant says that it used a source that was doing oppo, but that there were other reasons to look into Carter Page. (Because, see above: "Trump works with morons.") /9

Meanwhile - and this is key - Trumpers are trying to equate a US firm using a UK contractor for a report that raised stuff the IC was already working on - with *taking a call directly from Russian emissaries to share dirt on a US candidate.*
These are not remotely the same. /10

The world of oppo research is ugly, and I've seen some of it close up since losing my political, uh, virginity back in the 1980s. Sometimes, you don't use what you have. Sometimes you call the cops. But you NEVER take a call from an enemy state and book the meeting. NEVER. /11

Hiring a US firm to go find dirt using foreign contractors? Dirty, ugly - and sadly, normal.
Taking a call directly from emissaries of the Kremlin to get dirt on a US citizen and a candidate for office? Horrifying, unpatriotic, and should have been an INSTANT call to the FBI. /12

Every conservative pundit trying to draw this moral equivalence knows it's wrong - no, they do, they're smart enough to know how they'd react to all this had Clinton done any of it - and they're now abandoning every last shred of decency and shame in desperation. /13

Their goal is to both confuse the American public with complexity (easy to do) and to paralyze any moral response to something that even five years ago would have *horrified* us by saying "everyone does it" and "Clinton did it too" and "it's just Russia, so what." /14

They are reacting to each damning revelation with more and more of a fetid moral smog. No matter what anyone say from here on out, bear in mind the key difference: Nasty opposition research is not the same as taking the outstretched hand of the Kremlin. /15

Ignore the chaff bursts from the apologists. They will be brighter and bigger as this gets worse. What laws were broken, I don't know; I'm not a lawyer. But the basic moral issue here is crystal clear, or should be, to any loyal American. /15x
   218. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5718681)
Meh, the prostitutes are nicer than our twin towers of troll.


At least prostitutes get paid for faking it.
   219. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5718684)
It must be a weird business for something that seems so straightforward. About 15 years ago I found out I had a couple of accounts in collection worth about $3,500. I didn't know anything about them, because they weren't accurate. In 2001, someone get treated for emergency medical services at Riverside (CA) Community Hospital, and they got billed to me. I was studying for the bar in Champaign, IL at the time, and hadn't been a patient there since getting some stitches after a pickup hockey game probably in 1993. I'm sure they sent a bunch of letters that I never got, because they sent them to an address I hadn't lived at in eight years in a state I hadn't lived in for five years. Yet they could have bought a lexis package and used it track my current address down in roughly 15 seconds. It was like they simply didn't care whether they ever found me, in which case, why buy the receivable? In the end, they got nothing, and it took a year to get my credit report cleaned up. ########.
I know something about the industry. It's volume work;¹ it doesn't pay for them to put in any effort to collect beyond the assembly line approach of sending out the letters.² Basically, when they can't collect a debt, they keep selling it off to bottom-er and bottom-er feeders at bigger and bigger markdowns.


¹For instance, in the case that we've been talking about, over the past six years this firm has averaged 700,000 demand letters per year.

²If you are sued, that will also be an assembly line process. They pretty much count on people not responding to the lawsuit and enabling them to get a default judgment against debtors. A large percentage of the time, if you do anything to fight the suit they will simply drop it. I mean, obviously if you default on your mortgage the bank takes it a bit more seriously than that. But if a collection agency is chasing you down over a small debt, it's rarely cost effective for them to prosecute the suit if you fight it.
   220. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5718685)
At least prostitutes get paid for faking it.


Plus they'd look at fellating Iran as a challenge, rather than some crude homophobic joke to be made.
   221. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5718688)
The Senate just confirmed Britt Cagle Grant to be an 11th Circuit Judge. Democratic opposition was based on the fact that she <gasp> had once clerked for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and <oh, my> defended state statutes in court cases while serving as her state's Solicitor. It was a mostly party-line vote, with Grant getting the votes of all Republcans present, as well as Democratic Senators Heitkamp, Manchin & Tester. We'll see if that says anything about how difficult it will be to get those same Democrats to vote against Kavanaugh himself.
   222. zenbitz Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5718689)
Well @217 is on Twitter so it's false by definition. /gopnik
   223. zenbitz Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5718690)
They still arrest prostitutes? Seems so 1979.
   224. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5718691)
It must be a weird business for something that seems so straightforward. About 15 years ago I found out I had a couple of accounts in collection worth about $3,500. I didn't know anything about them, because they weren't accurate. In 2001, someone get treated for emergency medical services at Riverside (CA) Community Hospital, and they got billed to me. I was studying for the bar in Champaign, IL at the time, and hadn't been a patient there since getting some stitches after a pickup hockey game probably in 1993. I'm sure they sent a bunch of letters that I never got, because they sent them to an address I hadn't lived at in eight years in a state I hadn't lived in for five years. Yet they could have bought a lexis package and used it track my current address down in roughly 15 seconds. It was like they simply didn't care whether they ever found me, in which case, why buy the receivable? In the end, they got nothing, and it took a year to get my credit report cleaned up. ########.


It's a numbers game.

Not that 6 weeks as a form filler makes me any sort of industry expert - but these outfits are buying debts for pennies on the dollar and there's a very robust resale market for re-selling those debts for pennies on pennies.

Like I said - the stuff I did was very light on getting the right name attached... it was more about getting a name attached. Then - you run it through the wringer and scoop out some profit. Plenty of people will get freaked out by a call or a letter. Many of them will also not want to spend the time or be worried about straightening it out.

I didn't make collection "calls" - though I did make "check" calls (basically, calling and attempting to get confirmation that a phone number belonged to a name similar enough to what was on my paperwork).

Scare a few innocents into cutting a check... get a few others to "settle" for half the amount or whatever... you don't need to actually clear a whole lot of accounts to turn a profit.

Yeah, yeah... ecosystems include scavengers... whatever. Even as a lowest-level dreg - it was pretty obvious the way the game works. Collecting on actual debts paired with the actual debtor is fairly incidental to the business model.

I'm not saying that I was ever required to engage in any fraud or whatnot... but it was patently obvious that it was all about spinning 'accounts' through as rapidly and in as great a number as possible. As I said, I'm pretty sure the operation I whored for was at some kind of front-end - the start of a strainer that determined which accounts went back onto the market at a deeper discount vs which got pursued.

Hell, who knows, Shredder.... that was roughly around the period where I was looking up names - it's entirely possible I sic'ed 'em on you! Sorry!

EDIT: Coke to David... yeah - volume, volume, volume, volume.
   225. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5718694)
Afterthought to #211:
Cook Report: Since 1992, in situations when a president's party was stuck defending an open seat two years after the president failed to carry it, that party has batted zero for 23 keeping it in their column.

That's 23 races spread across seven midterm elections. This year, the GOP has eight of these seats to defend.
   226. zenbitz Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5718695)
Is that even legal?

Well old timey memes aside, is it legal to just mail out a bunch of letters (I guess some how implying that a lawyer didnt write them?) just claiming you owe money?

Can't be, right? Has to be "please send a donation". What if the letter says... For example:

HILLARY CLINTON MUST BE STOPPED!

Please donate what you can...
And a SASE or PayPal account.
   227. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5718700)
Well old timey memes aside, is it legal to just mail out a bunch of letters (I guess some how implying that a lawyer didnt write them?) just claiming you owe money?


Hey - if there exists a legal debt...

We had 'similarity guidelines' - first name variants, minor changes in spelling, etc... and there was a healthy 'wink-wink' about middle names (i.e., middle initials were preferable).

Like David said - get a judgment and it starts not to matter so much.

I presume the 'work' I did counted as some kind of legally defensible due diligence. This was in the early days of the internet - but a lot of it was just phone directory stuff. As in - check the phone number on a form against a directory and if it was different, add the additional phone number.... addresses, even better.
   228. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5718706)
So it appears that the gun-printing blueprints are out there now. As much fun as it would be, it's hard to blame this on Trump; seems like information has a way of getting itself distributed no matter what. Is this going to set off a smart-phone-sized paradigm shift, or is that a bunch of hooey?
   229. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5718708)
1. Rudy Giuliani, yesterday:
“[Trump] did not participate in any meeting about the Russia transaction. The president did not. And the other people at the meeting that [Cohen] claims he had without the president about it say he was never there."
..."[Cohen] says there was a meeting with Donald Jr., with Jared Kushner, with Paul Manafort, with Gates and possibly two others in which they, out of the presence of the president, discuss the meeting with the Russians. We checked with their lawyers, the ones we could check with, for four of the six. That meeting never, ever happened. It didn’t happen. It’s a figment of his imagination or is lying."


2. Kellyanne Conway, today:
"Obviously, I was the campaign manager for the winning part of the campaign. I can assure you I will not be brought up on any federal criminal charges of any type. And I certainly wasn't making money in Ukraine or talking to anyone in Moscow, that's very clear."


3. All the President's Men, 1976:
Bob Woodward: I talked to them. They said Hunt hadn't worked there for three months. Then a PR guy said this weird thing to me. He said, "I am convinced that neither Mr. Colson nor anyone else at the White House had any knowledge of, or participation in, this deplorable incident at the Democratic National Committee."

Howard Simons: Isn't that what you expect them to say?

Bob Woodward: Absolutely.

Howard Simons: So?

Bob Woodward: I never asked about Watergate. I simply asked what were Hunt's duties at the White House. They volunteered he was innocent when nobody asked if he was guilty.

.......
.......

Deep Throat: The truth is, these are not very bright guys. And things got out of hand.
   230. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:19 PM (#5718710)
No matter what anyone say from here on out, bear in mind the key difference: Nasty opposition research is not the same as taking the outstretched hand of the Kremlin.


Umm, unless the "nasty opposition research" involves seeking out and taking the outstretched hand of the Kremlin.

The "key difference" of course isn't a difference at all, as there is no difference between Trump, Jr. personally taking the meeting with NKL on the one hand, and on the other telling NKL, "We have an opposition research guy we've hired, that's his area, tell him your "dirt."
   231. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5718712)
as there is no difference between Trump, Jr. personally taking the meeting with NKL on the one hand, and on the other telling NKL, "We have an opposition research guy we've hired, that's his area, tell him your "dirt."
Wow, Trump Jr. did that too?
   232. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:35 PM (#5718717)
So it appears that the gun-printing blueprints are out there now. As much fun as it would be, it's hard to blame this on Trump; seems like information has a way of getting itself distributed no matter what. Is this going to set off a smart-phone-sized paradigm shift, or is that a bunch of hooey?

I think this is nothing more than a novelty item at this stage, or a demonstration of the potential of the technology. I doubt there is much of a market for more expensive, lower quality weaponery.
   233. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5718718)
3. All the President's Men, 1976:
Bob Woodward: I talked to them. They said Hunt hadn't worked there for three months. Then a PR guy said this weird thing to me. He said, "I am convinced that neither Mr. Colson nor anyone else at the White House had any knowledge of, or participation in, this deplorable incident at the Democratic National Committee."

Howard Simons: Isn't that what you expect them to say?

Bob Woodward: Absolutely.

Howard Simons: So?

Bob Woodward: I never asked about Watergate. I simply asked what were Hunt's duties at the White House. They volunteered he was innocent when nobody asked if he was guilty.

.......
.......

Deep Throat: The truth is, these are not very bright guys. And things got out of hand.


It's rather amusing how this whole Trump farce is more than likely a re-imaging... just replace some domestic wankers for Russian wankers.

Oh, and replace whatever the early 70s Nixon equivalents of SBB/Ray/Clapper with the current SBB/Ray/Clappers. I'm sure Clapper can provide the twins some advice on how to play the defense.

   234. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5718720)
I think this is nothing more than a novelty item at this stage, or a demonstration of the potential of the technology. I doubt there is much of a market for more expensive, lower quality weaponery.


I don’t know exactly why this is news since earlier 3D blueprints for firearms were on PirateBay a few years back. They guns tended to disintegrate after being fired a few times. Maybe this is a better design or the quality of the resins has improved, but this isn’t really a novel thing.
   235. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5718721)
Wow, Trump Jr. did that too?


There's spaghetti sauce running down your chin. Fix your bib.
   236. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5718722)
Someone needs to tell the OTP Fellator General he already won the prize; further contributions are unnecessary.
There's ... sauce running down your chin. Fix your bib.
That's... not sauce.
   237. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5718725)
Well, more litigation from Trump's favorite AG.
A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the release of downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed firearms.
As I mentioned earlier, it's not really a Trump thing, except for the kinda half-assed way it all came down so... haphazardly? Almost like no one took the time to think through the consequences?
The multistate lawsuit alleges that the settlement between Wilson, his company and the Trump administration did not get the approval of the Department of Defense, and didn’t give Congress 30 days notice before agreeing to allow Defense Distributed to begin publishing 3D gun files, by creating a special exemption for Wilson’s company in the ITAR.
   238. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5718730)
Zonk, #233:
Replace whatever the early 70s Nixon equivalents of SBB/Ray/Clapper with the current SBB/Ray/Clappers.


H.R. Haldeman will never be indicted just for fibbing to the feds.

This is just NDS sufferers trying to overturn an election.

No one really knew John Dean, who was only a low level employee.

The Supreme Court ruling is a nothing-Burger.

Erasing tapes is not a crime!
   239. Traderdave Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5718731)
NDS is the logical outcome of The Decline that began in 1949
   240. BDC Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5718732)
The truth is, these are not very bright guys. And things got out of hand


It's interesting (in an awful kind of way) to compare those Presidential administrations that, from the top down, just couldn't dig themselves out of scandal, and those that are at least reasonably able not to step on their own appendages.

Nixon, Clinton, and Trump, in my lifetime anyway, are three who just couldn't avoid the open manholes. The Presidents couldn't and all their men couldn't, either.

Meanwhile, there has hardly been any presidency, ever, free from incompetence and/or controversy at times. But Ford, Carter, Reagan (the Iran-Contra doofi aside), both Bushes, and Obama really did offer years at a time where you were fairly sure that somebody wasn't going to break into the opponents' headquarters, #### interns, or the raft of Trumpish behavior that is now longer than either.

I realize that if JE were still around he would explain, elliptically, that Eric Holder buying guns for the cartel or whatever was more corrupt than Nixon, Clinton, Trump, Harding, and all the Borgias put together. But that's another perspective entirely.

   241. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5718734)
Candidate Nixon actually "colluded" with South Vietnam in kind of the way the usual suspects are (or at least should be) using the term. OTOH, if South Vietnam had merely come to Nixon in July 1968 and offered up "dirt" on Humphrey and then given him nothing, it would have paled in comparison.
   242. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5718736)
Candidate Nixon actually "colluded" with South Vietnam in kind of the way the usual suspects are (or at least should be) using the term. OTOH, if South Vietnam had merely come to Nixon in July 1968 and offered up "dirt" on Humphrey and then given him nothing, it would have paled in comparison.


You're comparing S. Vietnam to Russia? MORON.
   243. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5718737)
You're comparing S. Vietnam to Russia?


No, I'm comparing real collusion to fake collusion.
   244. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:44 PM (#5718740)
No, I'm comparing real collusion to fake collusion.


More like Nixon: the Movie to Andy Dick is.... Nixon!
   245. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5718741)
Richard M. Nixon
@realRichardNixon - 3h

Ike, Kennedy and LBJ did NOTHING about Vietnam. Peace talks were dragging on
and on. Waste of time! Only Nixon can try something different. Great Progress will
follow total inertia, Watch And See. What the hell have you got to lose? All of Asia
is thrilled!
1:45 PM - 29 Sep 1968
   246. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5718744)
This meeting is such a nothingburger that Trump and his hired goons spent the last year trickle-truthing the public from "There was no meeting" to "There was a meeting, but it was about adoption" to "There was a meeting but Trump the Elder didn't know about it" to finally, "OK, even if Trump knew about it, this isn't real collusion, and even if it were, collusion isn't a crime."

It's been the political equivalent of the wife telling her husband that she's lost feelings for him, but not because there's no one else, except, OK, there's this guy at work, but they're just friends; OK, they're just friends, but they did flirt a bit via texting; OK, they're just friends but they did meet up a couple times outside of work; OK, they met up a few times outside of work, but nothing happened; OK, they kissed once, but nothing else happened; OK, they've been sleeping together on and off for months.

Point being, why not just admit from the start there was a meeting that wasn't about adoption if there's nothing to hide? Trump knew even back then he was basically scandal-proof, so why not take the opportunity to troll the stupid libs?
   247. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5718746)
No, I'm comparing real collusion to fake collusion.


Like when I compare real lawyers to Fake Lawyers.
   248. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5718747)
This meeting is such a nothingburger that Trump and his hired goons spent the last year trickle-truthing the public from "There was no meeting" to "There was a meeting, but it was about adoption" to "There was a meeting but Trump the Elder didn't know about it" to finally, "OK, even if Trump knew about it, this isn't real collusion, and even if it were, collusion isn't a crime."


None of this changes the underlying character of the meeting. It's a nothingburger if they'd told the truth about it; it's a nothingburger if they lied eleventy billion times about it.
   249. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5718749)
Like when I compare real lawyers to Fake Lawyers.


No, my comparison actually makes sense.
   250. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:08 PM (#5718751)
"There was a meeting but Trump the Elder didn't know about it" to finally, "OK, even if Trump knew about it, this isn't real collusion, and even if it were, collusion isn't a crime."


Don't forget "There was no second meeting discussing the first, and there are witnesses that say Trump Sr. wasn't even at that meeting that never happened."
   251. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5718753)
No, my comparison actually makes sense.


Idiot. When they perp walk all of these pricks you can go #### yourself.
   252. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5718754)
Like when I compare real lawyers to Fake Lawyers.

No, my comparison actually makes sense.


I think it only makes sense to Fake Lawyers. Ask around at the Fake Lawfirm.
   253. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5718755)
None of this changes the underlying character of the meeting. It's a nothingburger if they'd told the truth about it; it's a nothingburger if they lied eleventy billion times about it.


What is to be gained by repeatedly lying about it if there's nothing to hide?
   254. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:15 PM (#5718758)
What is to be gained by repeatedly lying about it if there's nothing to hide?


Political discredit and controversy, to name one obvious thing.

Why did H. Clinton repeatedly lie about the rogue server?
   255. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5718759)
I think it only makes sense to Fake Lawyers. Ask around at the Fake Lawfirm.


You realize you just made a bunch of Fake Work for the Fake Paralegals to do at the Fake Law Library and the Fake Lexis, right?

That's kind of mean.
   256. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5718761)
Yeah I’m worried I’m going to get a Fake Bill.
   257. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5718770)
Yeah I’m worried I’m going to get a Fake Bill.


Just pay it in Monopoly money.
   258. BDC Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5718772)
What is to be gained by repeatedly lying about it if there's nothing to hide?

Political discredit and controversy, to name one obvious thing


What does this even mean? Trump deliberately brought discredit and controversy on himself?

This is like "What did you get out of putting your hand on the stove?" "Second-degree burns! Ain't it great?"
   259. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5718774)
SBB, you should change your name to "convoluted and cockamamie", to match your logic.
   260. . Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5718778)
What does this even mean?


It means I meant "avoidance of" the things I named.

Hopefully, you're a little more lenient with your students when you see an obvious misprint. My guess is that you are.
   261. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5718781)
It means I meant "avoidance of" the things I named.

Hopefully, you're a little more lenient with your students when you see an obvious misprint.


Oooooh, kinda like the "would/wouldn't" thing.

Seriously, you ought to write a book of apologies for Trumpkins. It would be wildly mocked and discredited among sane people, but you'd make a buck or 2, no doubt. You got some Trump in you, for sure. Birds of a feather.
   262. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5718784)
I think it's admirable that S-B-B has given up what could have been 3,500 lucrative billable hours. Instead, he's posted his legal views pro bonehead for someone he doesn't even support so stop saying that. He'd be the model do-gooder, if any of his posts were good.
   263. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5718788)
Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
Salon: Off to Africa: Jeff Flake’s August vacation could ruin Mitch McConnell’s plans for Brett Kavanaugh

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake fled the country for Zimbabwe this week seemingly for the sake of preserving the African nation's fledgling democracy — but many political observers stateside suspect that there is a notable secondary effect of such a trip: to delay the upcoming hearing on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

..............According to his office, the senator will stay in the region for approximately three more weeks. That's important because it means Flake will miss the Senate's mandated early return to Washington, D.C. next month.

While Flake is helping promote democracy overseas, he could be inserting a pause in McConnell's timeline to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination in the coming weeks. McConnell canceled the Senate's planned three weeks of summer recess in an attempt to move the confirmation process forward. Earlier this month, McConnell revealed that his goal is to confirm a new justice to the court in time for the start of the Supreme Court's next term in October. As majority leader, McConnell sets the schedule in the narrowly divided Senate. "The timetable typically for recent Supreme Court justices, if we stuck to that timetable and I intend to, would give us an opportunity to get this new justice on the court by the first of October," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky earlier this month.

............Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber, which means they could confirm Kavanaugh without any help from Democrats, but with Arizona Senator John McCain at home fighting brain cancer, Kavanaugh would need the backing of all 50 senators — including Flake, whose trip to Zimbabwe will likely delay the vote.

The Federalist's James Hasson explains further:
Here is the upshot of what Flake is doing:

Mitch McConnell kept the Senate in session in August (instead of recessing), so they could confirm Trump's judicial nominees, but Flake took his own recess for most of August. He's on judiciary, so now they can't confirm the judges.

So, nominees that have not already gotten out of committee will be stuck there. Nominees that gotten out of committee and are awaiting a floor vote will now require Pence to break the 49-49 tie—which means Pence has to stay in DC to break ties instead of campaign for R candidates.


Seems like this will affect the judicial conveyor belt, but not the Kavanaugh confirmation.

Poor Mitch McConnell, the anti-Hannibal Smith. He can't love it when a plan doesn't come together.
   264. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:08 PM (#5718795)
Mitch McConnell kept the Senate in session in August (instead of recessing), so they could confirm Trump's judicial nominees, but Flake took his own recess for most of August. He's on judiciary, so now they can't confirm the judges.

Proxy voting is allowed by the Committee.

EDIT: From the Senate Judiciary Committee Rules:
VI. PROXY VOTING

When a recorded vote is taken in the Committee on any bill, resolution, amendment, or any other question, a quorum being present, Members who are unable to attend the meeting may submit votes by proxy, in writing or by telephone, or through personal instructions. A proxy must be specific with respect to the matters it addresses.

Proxy voting in Committee occurs frequently, it shouldn't be a surprise.
   265. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5718797)
Poor Mitch McConnell, the anti-Hannibal Smith. He can't love it when a plan doesn't come together


Yeah but he doesn’t just settle for drugging Mr T to get him on airplanes - he gets to drug hundreds of kids at border detention centers.
   266. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5718805)

As I mentioned earlier, it's not really a Trump thing, except for the kinda half-assed way it all came down so... haphazardly? Almost like no one took the time to think through the consequences?

The multistate lawsuit alleges that the settlement between Wilson, his company and the Trump administration did not get the approval of the Department of Defense, and didn’t give Congress 30 days notice before agreeing to allow Defense Distributed to begin publishing 3D gun files, by creating a special exemption for Wilson’s company in the ITAR.
There are many things they didn't do, none of which they were supposed to do.
   267. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5718820)
Since 3D printed guns were raised earlier, from Popular Mechanics a few years ago - Should We Be Afraid Of The 3D Printed Gun.
   268. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 31, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5718822)
Political discredit and controversy, to name one obvious thing.


Yes, we know that Donald J. Trump will do whatever it takes to avoid controversy, even if it means lying for a year.
   269. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5718829)
Re: #264-264:

We'll all just have to see how (and if) it plays out. The man from the Federalist seems skeptical, though. Hasson further tweeted, "Senate staffers are, justifiably, not thrilled about it." But why would that be? If you and I both know that proxy voting can be a thing that happens, certainly Senate staffers know it too. So why are they not thrilled against something that isn't a problem?

Either way, Mike Pence still gets to enjoy an enjoyably cool and breezy Washington DC summer, waiting for tiebreakers that mostly don't even come, instead of tiring himself out going around the country to boost endangered Republican candidates.

Jeff Flake just got done clogging up the judicial nomination flume for several weeks in a protest over Trump's tariff war. He was ultimately fobbed off with a symbolic non-binding vote. How does Flake feel about those tariffs continuing uninterrupted? Hard to say, because at the present time he's only talking about Zimbabwe sunsets while Senate staffers stew. For now, only the giraffes and rhinos know for sure.
   270. Chip Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5718830)
Just pay it in Monopoly money.


Be like Trump: stiff them on the bill.
   271. Lassus Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5718846)
You're comparing S. Vietnam to Russia? MORON.

I'll say. The beaches in Russia suuuuuuuuck. Vietnam was way nicer.
   272. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:48 PM (#5718851)
If you and I both know that proxy voting can be a thing that happens . . .

Well, one of us certainly knew about proxy voting in committee. Your entire premise that Senator Flake's 3-week absence is a significant obstacle to confirming either Kavanaugh or judicial nominations in general appears to be wishcasting. The Senate will be in the recently shortened recess period for the first week of August, and the Judiciary Committee was always unlikely to schedule Kavanaugh's hearing before the last week of August or 1st week in September. Flake will be back for Kavanugh's hearing and his proxy vote can keep the nomination pipeline flowing through the Judiciary Committee even while he's overseas.
   273. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:55 PM (#5718852)
@adamsmithtimes:
It is stunning to me how many ppl in this #TRUMPTAMPA crowd have QAnon signs or t-shirts. That is not a healthy sign for GOP or for America.

The Yankee Clapper's Republican Party, folks.
   274. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5718858)
The Yankee Clapper's Republican Party, folks.


Clapper is beneath contempt.
   275. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5718864)
From Rudy's wikipedia page.

Vietnam and the '70s:

Giuliani did not serve in the military during the Vietnam War. His conscription was deferred while he was enrolled at Manhattan College and NYU Law. Upon graduation from the latter in 1968, he was classified by the Selective Service System as 1-A (available for military service). He applied for a deferment but was rejected. In 1969, Judge MacMahon wrote a letter to Giuliani's draft board, asking that he be reclassified as 2-A (civilian occupation deferment), because Giuliani, who was a law clerk for MacMahon, was an essential employee. The deferment was granted. In 1970, Giuliani received a high draft lottery number; he was not called up for service although by then he had been reclassified 1-A.[30][31] In 1970, Giuliani joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.[32] In 1973, he was named Chief of the Narcotics Unit and became executive U.S. attorney.[25]

In 1975, Giuliani switched his party registration from Democratic to Independent[27] as he was recruited to Washington, D.C. during the Ford administration, where he was named Associate Deputy Attorney General and chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Harold "Ace" Tyler.[27] His first high-profile prosecution was of Democratic U.S. Representative Bertram L. Podell (NY-13), who was convicted of corruption.[33] From 1977 to 1981, during the Carter administration, Giuliani practiced law at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler law firm, as chief of staff to his previous DC boss, Ace Tyler. Tyler later became critical of Giuliani's turn as a prosecutor, calling his tactics "overkill".[27]


Democrat to Republican:

On December 8, 1980, one month after the election of Ronald Reagan brought Republicans back to power in Washington, he switched his party affiliation from Independent to Republican.[27] Giuliani later said the switches were because he found Democratic policies "naïve", and that "by the time I moved to Washington, the Republicans had come to make more sense to me".[15] Others suggested that the switches were made in order to get positions in the Justice Department.[27] Giuliani's mother maintained in 1988 that:

He only became a Republican after he began to get all these jobs from them. He's definitely not a conservative Republican. He thinks he is, but he isn't. He still feels very sorry for the poor.[27]


Shades of Trump's immigration policies:

In 1981, Giuliani was named Associate Attorney General in the Reagan administration,[34] the third-highest position in the Department of Justice. As Associate Attorney General, Giuliani supervised the U.S. Attorney Offices' federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service. In a well-publicized 1982 case, Giuliani testified in defense of the federal government's "detention posture" regarding the internment of over 2,000 Haitian asylum seekers who had entered the country illegally. The U.S. government disputed the assertion that most of the detainees had fled their country due to political persecution, alleging instead that they were "economic migrants". In defense of the government's position, Giuliani testified that "political repression, at least in general, does not exist" under President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier's regime.[24][35]


The mid-80s and the "perp walk":

In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which was technically a demotion but was sought by Giuliani because of his desire to personally litigate cases. It was in this position that he first gained national prominence by prosecuting numerous high-profile cases, resulting in the convictions of Wall Street figures Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken. He also focused on prosecuting drug dealers, organized crime, and corruption in government.[25] He amassed a record of 4,152 convictions and 25 reversals. As a federal prosecutor, Giuliani was credited with bringing the "perp walk", parading of suspects in front of the previously alerted media, into common use as a prosecutorial tool.[36] After Giuliani "patented the perp walk", the tool was used by increasing numbers of prosecutors nationwide.[37]

Giuliani's critics claimed that he arranged for people to be arrested, then dropped charges for lack of evidence on high-profile cases rather than going to trial. In a few cases, his arrests of alleged white-collar criminals at their workplaces with charges later dropped or lessened, sparked controversy, and damaged the reputations of the alleged "perps".

   276. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5718865)
The pathetic attempts at guilt by association from Hot Wheels & Miserlou are what's contemptible here.
   277. greenback slays lewks Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5718866)
The pathetic attempts at guilt by association from Hot Wheels & Miserlou are what's contemptible here.

Yeah, I'm not really a fan, but the Republican Party is ######.
   278. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:48 PM (#5718867)
On the other hand we have:

1. Cohen had previously told both investigators and Congress under oath that Sr did not know.


What? Since when has Cohen testified under oath, or at all? What are you talking about?


I just want to point out that David talks out of his ass, and he does so because he knows the rubes on his "side" will never call him on it, because they're some form of uninformed and deranged. He's completely bullshittting people here. Cohen did indeed testify in 2017:

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Grilled on Russia Tower Deal

by Mike Memoli, Marianna Sotomayor and Ken Dilanian / Oct.27.2017 / 4:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators this week grilled President Donald Trump’s personal attorney over a scuttled plan to open a new tower in Moscow, as lawmakers again expanded the scope of various inquiries into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, sources familiar with the interviews told NBC News.

Long-time Trump ally Michael Cohen’s appearances before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on consecutive days this week offered the panels greater insight into the inner workings of the president’s business empire and how it considered expansion into foreign markets like Moscow.

Sources familiar with Cohen’s interview Tuesday with the House panel said there was an extended focus on emails he received in 2015 from Felix Sater, a former Trump associate with a criminal past, about a potential deal to open a Trump Tower in the Russian capital. Cohen has downplayed those conversations, in which Sater bragged about his access to top Kremlin officials, saying it was about "a real estate deal and nothing more."

...
   279. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5718868)
Yeah, I'm not really a fan, but the Republican Party is . . .

Supported by approximately the same number of Americans as the Democratic Party. Sometimes more.
   280. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5718869)
Here's Cohen's statement in advance of his testimony. I don't know if this was leaked or not leaked -- I understand his appearance was delayed because his statement was leaked -- but regardless this was the statement:

READ: Michael Cohen's statement to the Senate intelligence committee

Updated 10:01 AM ET, Tue September 19, 2017

(CNN)Statement of Michael D. Cohen, Esq. to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on September 19, 2017

Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today.

As part of this statement, I would like to accomplish two things.

First, I want to comment briefly but clearly on the presumed subject of this morning's interview. Second, I want to address what I believe are the implications of it.

Let me be totally clear that I am innocent of the allegations raised against me in the public square, which are based upon misinformation and unnamed or unverifiable sources.

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization. [Granted - because I'm not intellectually dishonest -- this doesn't exclude the possibility that he knew about others doing it or overheard others planning it. RDP.]

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack or interfere with the election. [Granted - because I'm not intellectually dishonest -- this doesn't exclude the possibility that he knew about others doing it or overheard others planning it. RDP.]

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack Democratic Party computers; and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to create fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Clinton campaign. [Granted - because I'm not intellectually dishonest -- this doesn't exclude the possibility that he knew about others doing it or overheard others planning it. RDP.]

Given my own proximity to the President of the United States as a candidate, let me also say that I never saw anything - not a hint of anything - that demonstrated his involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion.

I emphatically state that I had nothing to do with any Russian involvement in our electoral process.

In fact, I find the activities attributed to the Russian Federation, if found to be true, to be an offense to our democracy.

As an attorney, I believe justice ought not to be politicized in the United States of America - neither in this Senate office nor in the courts. I'm certain that the evidence at the conclusion of this investigation will reinforce the fact that there was no collusion between Russia, President Trump or me.

I'm also certain that there are some in this country who do not care about the facts, but simply want to politicize this issue, choosing to presume guilt - rather than presuming innocence - so as to discredit our lawfully elected President in the public eye and shame his supporters in the public square ... this is un-American.

I am here today to reiterate my own innocence regarding the false allegations raised against me. What I seek is the Committee making a public conclusion about the truth or falsity of the allegations that follow.

My reputation was damaged in December 2016 when BuzzFeed published an unverified dossier prepared by a retired British spy - Christopher Steele - that was riddled with total falsehoods and intentionally salacious accusations.

In my opinion, the hired spy didn't find anything factual, so he threw together a shoddily written and totally fabricated report filled with lies and rumors. The New York Post recently noted that much of the information in the dossier appeared at points to be copied from the internet; with typographical errors included.

My name is mentioned more than a dozen times in the lie-filled-dossier and so within moments of BuzzFeed's publication, false allegations about me were plastered all over the national and international press. The accusations are entirely and totally false.
A core accusation was that I had traveled to Prague to meet with Russians regarding interfering with the election.
I have never in my life been to Prague or to anywhere in the Czech Republic. I might also add that I only have one passport (a United States Passport). I have to say that to you today - that I only have one passport - because another media outlet suggested that - as a Jew - I must also have an Israeli passport!

Aside from such an allegation being incredibly offensive, it is also totally wrong.

...

You can oppose the President's points of view and his policies, but not raise false issues about the validity of his victory.

I assume we will discuss the rejected proposal to build a Trump property in Moscow that was terminated in January of 2016; which occurred before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary. This was solely a real estate deal and nothing more. I was doing my job. I would ask that the two-page statement about the Moscow proposal that I sent to the Committee in August be incorporated into and attached to this transcript.

I'm very proud to have served Donald J. Trump for all these years, and I'll continue to support him.

If we really are concerned about a Russian attempt to divide our country and discredit our political system then the best thing we can do is put aside our infighting, stop presuming guilt rather than innocence of American citizens, and address this national security threat as a united people at its source.

Otherwise, the priorities of the American people will continue to be neglected, and the Russians will use our distraction to continue to harm us from the shadows while we harm each other in front of the camera lights.

I look forward to answering all of your questions today.


See in particular his comments in bold. Once more: Cohen's testimony in a court of law is utterly worthless unless he has corroborating evidence.
   281. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:05 AM (#5718871)
I’m not going to argue this meets a legal standard of proof. However, just from a layman’s point of view, between this and the general implausibility that the head honcho wouldn’t know about an “I love it” meeting that three of his top advisors - including his son and son-in-law - were going to, it’s much, much more believable that he knew about the meeting than he didn’t.

Look, both Trump Jr. and Trump Sr. deny it. What more do you need?


Baravellis is PepTech.
   282. greenback slays lewks Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:07 AM (#5718872)
Supported by approximately the same number of Americans as the Democratic Party. Sometimes more.

Oh, yes, the GOP enjoys a great deal of support. But are you not troubled by the growing attraction to conspiracy theories within your party?

This seems like a weird ploy to make the Koch brothers look like the good guys.
   283. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:18 AM (#5718875)
It's been the political equivalent of the wife telling her husband that she's lost feelings for him, but not because there's no one else, except, OK, there's this guy at work, but they're just friends; OK, they're just friends, but they did flirt a bit via texting; OK, they're just friends but they did meet up a couple times outside of work; OK, they met up a few times outside of work, but nothing happened; OK, they kissed once, but nothing else happened; OK, they've been sleeping together on and off for months.


We really didn't ask for your autobiography.

Point being, why not just admit from the start there was a meeting that wasn't about adoption if there's nothing to hide? Trump knew even back then he was basically scandal-proof, so why not take the opportunity to troll the stupid libs?


Perhaps they knew that the anti-Trumpers would try to turn a nothingburger into a scandal. Which, you know, is what's happened.

But I like the "Why not just admit from the start that X happened if there's nothing to hide?" We can ask, using that guiding principle, why Hillary told three separate versions of her server story if she had nothing to hide. We can ask, using that guiding principle, why Hillary hasn't made a statement about whether she knew that Steele had been hired, what she knew, when she knew it, and whether she directed or controlled anything that Steele was doing. If there is nothing to hide.
   284. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5718877)
Oh, yes, the GOP enjoys a great deal of support. But are you not troubled by the growing attraction to conspiracy theories within your party?

I don't spend any time in the Internet swamps populated with conspiracy theorists and false flag operatives (such as our own YR), and don't know anyone who is at all serious about politics - actually, anyone at all - who wastes their time on such activities. Those attempting to link their mainstream political opponents to a handful of extremists are doing so only in an attempt to secure political advantage for themselves. Should Democrats worry about their growing attraction to the James Hodgkinsons of the world?
   285. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:25 AM (#5718878)
None of this changes the underlying character of the meeting. It's a nothingburger if they'd told the truth about it; it's a nothingburger if they lied eleventy billion times about it.

What is to be gained by repeatedly lying about it if there's nothing to hide?


I'm sure if Trump lies to the public several times over about the nothingburger meeting but tells the truth to Robert Mueller everyone on the left will just forget about it.
   286. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5718879)
What is to be gained by repeatedly lying about it if there's nothing to hide?

Political discredit and controversy, to name one obvious thing


What does this even mean? Trump deliberately brought discredit and controversy on himself?


Yes, by breathing.

Heads he loses, tails he... loses. That's the fair shake that deranged people give to the object of their obsessions.
   287. Chicago Joe Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:45 AM (#5718882)
Anybody who doesn’t know any prostitutes needs to shut the #### ip about them. They’d never fellate Iran, because that guy’s a wierdo.
   288. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5718883)
Yankee Clapper, #272:
Well, one of us certainly knew


Coincidentally, one of us is a supercilious putz. There's a world of wonder hidden behind italics.


cont:
Your entire premise that Senator Flake's 3-week absence is a significant obstacle to confirming either Kavanaugh or judicial nominations in general appears to be wishcasting.


Sure, I unambiguously said the Zimbabwe Flake-Out is NOT likely to impede the Kavanaugh nomination (#263), but otherwise your obnoxiously inferring the opposite is a strong comment.

Two writers from those sister publications Salon and the Federalist each think this Flake story is of political interest. So do staffers in the U.S. Senate. But you say no on a message board. I guess if you reflexively reject every upsetting GOP story, you're bound to be right sometime. And this could "very well" be the one!
   289. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:54 AM (#5718884)
Revealed on the first day of Paul Manafort's trial: he owns a $15,000 coat made out of ostrich skin.

So you know what that means. There are some Trump devotees on OTP whose skins are worth $15,000!
   290. baravelli Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:16 AM (#5718885)
Baravellis is PepTech.


No.
   291. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:24 AM (#5718886)
So, Gonfalon (see #s 263, 269 & 288): (1) was aware that proxy voting is permitted in Senate Committtees; but (2) posted an excerpt in #263, the premise of which is completely eviscerated by the availability of proxy voting; and (3) didn't mention proxy voting himself. Seems like he wasn't being very helpful to his readers here, or perhaps just amusing himself again.
   292. Chip Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:31 AM (#5718887)
Should Democrats worry about their growing attraction to the James Hodgkinsons of the world?


How sad and desperate to resort to this after the Republican Party allows people entering an official campaign event with tightly controlled access to carry - and display for cameras - multiple posters promoting QAnon and Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
   293. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:36 AM (#5718889)
We can ask, using that guiding principle, why Hillary...
...has anything to do with what Trump does.

Nothing Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, or Derek Jeter, or Vin Diesel, or Carrot Top, or Michael Phelps, or Kevin Spacey, or anybody else does, ever, has any exculpatory effect on anything Donald Trump does.

-----------

Baravellis is PepTech.

No.
Agreed.
   294. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:44 AM (#5718890)
Clapper, #291:
So, Gonfalon (see #s 263, 269 & 288): (1) was aware that proxy voting is permitted in Senate Committtees; but (2) posted an excerpt in #263, the premise of which is completely eviscerated by the availability of proxy voting; and (3) didn't mention proxy voting himself. Seems like he wasn't being very helpful to his readers here, or perhaps just amusing himself again.


Translation: I made an incorrect kneejerk accusation as part of my kneejerk reaction, and got burned. But it's still his fault.

Clapper, can you please get a proxy to post for you?
   295. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 01, 2018 at 02:44 AM (#5718892)
Translation: I made an incorrect kneejerk accusation as part of my kneejerk reaction, and got burned. But it's still his fault.

No, you either didn't know what you were talking about, or attempted to mislead by omitting important information.
   296. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:25 AM (#5718900)
What? Since when has Cohen testified under oath, or at all? What are you talking about?

I just want to point out that David talks out of his ass, and he does so because he knows the rubes on his "side" will never call him on it, because they're some form of uninformed and deranged. He's completely bullshittting people here. Cohen did indeed testify in 2017:
So I just want to point out that Ray is so full of crap here.

First, careful readers will note that my quoted words were a question, not a statement. If I had wanted to say, "Cohen never testified," I'd have said "Cohen never testified." Second,, while it's true that Cohen did speak to Congress (in private interviews rather than hearings), as Ray's own quoted things show, it was not about the Trump Tower meeting, which is what we've been talking about.

Ray: "Cohen testified that Trump Sr. didn't know about the Trump Tower meeting."
Me: "Since when did Cohen testify?"
Ray: "See? Here he talked to Congressional investigators about real estate deals in Moscow."

So, when is Ray going to present evidence that -- as he claimed -- "Cohen had previously told both investigators and Congress under oath that Sr did not know."?


EDIT: Just to preemptively be clear, the statement Ray quoted was not what Cohen said to Congressional investigator; it's a public statement of what he planned to say to them that he released against the wishes of the Senate committee, causing the committee to cancel his September meeting with them and requiring him to testify publicly at a hearing. (They later reversed themselves and agreed to let him speak to them in private.) Moreover, in case Ray pretends that it addresses the issues we're discussing, it doesn't. Denying that he ever saw anything that "demonstrated [Trump's] involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion" is not remotely the same thing as denying that Trump Sr. knew about the Trump Tower meeting, both because knowing about it and "involvement" are not synonymous, and because they're pretending that the meeting was about adoptions, not collusion.
   297. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:37 AM (#5718901)


I'm sure if Trump lies to the public several times over about the nothingburger meeting but tells the truth to Robert Mueller everyone on the left will just forget about it.
Oh, I'm pretty sure that if Trump finally truthfully admits to treason to Mueller, nobody on the left (or right, or center) will focus on the fact that Trump lied to the public several times about it.
   298. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:49 AM (#5718902)
Heads he loses, tails he... loses. That's the fair shake that deranged people give to the object of their obsessions.
There used to be a doctrine called the "Exculpatory no" doctrine, in which it was not deemed a violation of §1001 for a suspect to lie and say he was innocent. Commentators and lower courts that had adopted this talked about the supposed unfairness -- it placed a “cornered suspect” in the “cruel trilemma” of admitting guilt, remaining silent, or falsely denying guilt.

The Supreme Court rejected this doctrine, however. Scalia noted, "This 'trilemma' is wholly of the guilty suspect’s own making, of course. An innocent person will not find himself in a similar quandary (as one commentator has put it, the innocent person lacks even a 'lemma.'" He added, "And even the honest and contrite guilty person will not regard the third prong of the “trilemma” (the blatant lie) as an available option."

The only reason that Trump "loses" in both cases is because he's guilty. And that result is entirely "fair," despite your weird belief that there's something wrong with Trump getting in trouble for things he himself says and does. ("He shouldn't release his tax returns because people are hoping to find dirt in them.")
   299. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:34 AM (#5718910)
Supported by approximately the same number of Americans as the Democratic Party. Sometimes more.

Oh, yes, the GOP enjoys a great deal of support. But are you not troubled by the growing attraction to conspiracy theories within your party?


He rhetorically fellates a man who says vaccines cause autism and that Obama was a jungle savage with a fake birth certificate, so I’m guessing the answer “no”. The Republican Party is the party of Creationism, they have been trained since birth to reject evidence in favor of fictional narratives.
   300. . Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:42 AM (#5718911)
Triple lindy.
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