Just when you think it’s safe to turn the TV on …
Thursday night went out with another Dumpfster Fire Interview that is sure to cause us all to crawl back into our safe space. Kremlin Caligula gave an unsupervised interview to the NYT and it’s a doozy. I don’t know if any of you ever grew up in a family with one parent who was almost always angry, given to spontaneous fits of temper, and generally could say something to make you feel smaller than a grain of salt but this is the only way I can describe our country’s relationship with its current placeholder in the White House. He’s the mean drunk, angry father. We’re the family that knows the outbursts are at least daily events and they get worse. We have no idea how to make it go away we just hope some nice law enforcement official puts him away eventually before he kills some one.
Of course, the interview contained lie upon lie upon lie. The Toronto Star counted 25 of them. That’s 1 false claim per half hour. He’s still obsessed with the election and he is scared as shit about the Mueller investigation.
The Star is keeping track of every false claim Trump makes as president. As of Dec. 22, Trump had already made 978 false claims; adding the Times interview, the tally will pass the 1,000 mark in the next update.
Here’s every false claim Trump made in the interview:
1) “But I think it’s all worked out because frankly there is absolutely no collusion, that’s been proven by every Democrat is saying it … Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion.”
Democratic members of Congress have not said en masse that they are convinced that there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Some have acknowledged that they have not seen evidence of collusion, but they have pointed out that the investigation is ongoing.
2) “And you’re talking about what Paul (Manafort) was many years ago before I ever heard of him. He worked for me for — what was it, three and a half months? … Three and a half months.”
Manafort worked for the Trump campaign for just under five months, from March 28, 2016 to his resignation on August 19, 2016.
3) “I saw (Democratic Sen.) Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion.”
Trump appeared to be referring, as he has in the past, to a November CNN interview with Feinstein — in which she did not declare that there is no collusion. Feinstein was specifically asked if she had seen evidence that the Trump campaign was given Democratic emails hacked by Russia. “Not so far,” she responded. She was not asked about collusion more broadly, and her specific answer made clear that she was referring only to evidence she has personally seen to date, not issuing a sweeping final judgment.
4) “She’s (Feinstein) the head of the committee.”
Feinstein, a Democrat, is not the head of any committee: Republicans control Congress and thus lead the committees. She is the ranking member — the top Democrat — on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
5) “So, I actually think that it’s turning out — I actually think it’s turning to the Democrats because there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion … starting with the dossier.”
The word “collusion” — in common language, a “secret agreement or co-operation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose” — simply does not apply to the dossier produced by a former British spy about alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Trump’s administration, seeking to turn the “collusion” allegation around on its opponents, has argued that the dossier, which was funded in part by the Clinton campaign, amounts to the “Clinton campaign colluding with Russian intelligence.” This is absurd on its face. Russian intelligence favoured Trump and tried to damage Clinton, U.S. intelligence agencies say; the British ex-spy was simply using Russian sources — who have not been identified — to attempt to figure out how Trump’s campaign was linked to the Russian government. Such research is not illegal or deceitful, and it does not come close to qualifying as the type of possible “collusion” investigators are probing with regard to the Trump campaign: coordination with the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the election.
6) “ … it’s very hard for a Republican to win the Electoral College. O.K.? You start off with New York, California and Illinois against you. That means you have to run the East Coast, which I did, and everything else. Which I did and then won Wisconsin and Michigan. (Inaudible.) So the Democrats. … (Inaudible.) … They thought there was no way for a Republican, not me, a Republican, to win the Electoral College … The Electoral College is so much better suited to the Democrats (inaudible).”
This claim that the Electoral College is tilted in favour of Democrats — and that “they” think it is impossible for a Republican to win the election in 2016 —- is obvious nonsense. Six of the last nine presidents, all of whom except for Gerald Ford had to win an Electoral College election, have been Republicans.
7) “They made the Russian story up as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election that in theory Democrats should always win with the Electoral College.”
Democrats, of course, did not invent the “Russian story” for electoral purposes, nor is it a “hoax.” U.S. intelligence agencies say that the Russian government interfered in the election for the purpose of helping Trump win; that Russian interference was the original story, and Democrats were talking about it well before Election Day. Perhaps Trump is correct that there was no illegal collusion between his campaign and the Russians, but this matter is being investigated by a special prosecutor appointed by his own deputy attorney general, not “Democrats,” and many senior Republicans believe the investigation has merit.
8) “They (Democrats) thought it would be a one-day story, an excuse, and it just kept going and going and going.”
This is simple nonsense. Democrats did not think that the question of Russian interference in the election on behalf of Trump, or the question of the Trump campaign’s relationship with those efforts, would be a “one-day story.”
Of course, that list goes on so go read it!
If you ask some close to President Trump what worries them most about 2018, it’s not Robert Mueller’s probe. It’s that establishment guardrails of 2017 come down — and Trump’s actual instincts take over.
Next year will bring “full Trump,” said one person who recently talked to the president.
Trump has governed mostly as a conventional conservative — on tax cuts, his Supreme Court pick, and rolling back regulations. Most of his top advisers are fairly conventional conservatives, so that makes sense.
- Most of those in his current decision-making circle — even if they’re not mainstream Republicans — are defending mainstream Republican principles like free trade and an internationalist view of foreign policy.
- But top officials paint a different portrait of Trump when it comes to what he really wants on trade, immigration and North Korea — but has been tamped down by skeptical staff and Cabinet officials.
In private meetings:
- Trump keeps asking for tariffs — on steel and aluminum, in particular. He wants a trade war, and has for many years. His economic and diplomatic advisers persuaded him to delay trade actions in 2017.
- Those advisers recognize that the day of reckoning will come in 2018, regardless of whether economic adviser Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who advocated restraint — stay or go.
- Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin successfully persuaded Trump not to do anything rash while tax reform was being negotiated.
- Trump also saw the advantage of trying to use that as leverage with China to get help on North Korea. He said yesterday in an interview with the N.Y Times: “China’s hurting us very badly on trade, but I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war. O.K.?”
- And he tweeted yesterday, in response to Chinese ships secretly delivering oil to North Korea: “Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
- NEW: Look for Trump to take action on trade in the next month. It probably won’t be next week, so as not to disrupt the afterglow of the tax cut. But nothing is final.
- Trump still wants his wall, and tighter restrictions on legal immigration. He’s a true believer on this stuff, and knows intuitively that it keeps his base stoked.
- Trump seems most interested in discussing military options on North Korea in these meetings. He is surrounded by advisers who share his concern about the rogue state, but not his fixation on a military strike.
- And some top officials have told us Trump’s belligerent rhetoric on the subject makes them nervous.
- There is a reason the harshest assessments of Trump usually leak after North Korea meetings.
This interview basically let Trump be Trump. He just wandered all over the place but always returned to the idea that Russia is a Democratic plot against his win but even if it did exist it’s no big deal and definitely not a crime. I’ve seen toddlers with a better grasp of a logical argument.
President Trump in a new interview denied any collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, adding “even if there was, it’s not a crime.”
Speaking to The New York Times Thursday, Trump praised lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has argued that Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not obstruction of justice because Trump has the right to fire the head of the bureau.
“I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion,” Trump told the newspaper. “And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very closely. I’ve seen him a number of times.”
“There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime,” he continued. “But there’s no collusion.”
“It puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
More like the sooner he’s out of office, the better it is for the country. Charles Pierce says it all “Trump’s New York Times Interview Is a Portrait of a Man in Cognitive Decline.”
On Thursday, El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago sat down with Michael Schmidt of The New York Times for what apparently was an open-ended, one-on-one interview. Since then, the electric Twitter machine–and most of the rest of the Intertoobz–has been alive with criticism of Schmidt for having not pushed back sufficiently against some of the more obvious barefaced non-facts presented by the president* in their chat. Some critics have been unkind enough to point out that Schmidt was the conveyor belt for some of the worst attacks on Hillary Rodham Clinton emanating from both the New York FBI office and the various congressional committees staffed by people in kangaroo suits. For example, Schmidt’s name was on a shabby story the Times ran on July 23, 2015 in which it was alleged that a criminal investigation into HRC’s famous use of a private email server was being discussed within the Department of Justice. It wasn’t, and the Times’ public editor at the time, the great Margaret Sullivan, later torched the story in a brutal column.
Other people were unkind enough to point out that the interview was brokered by one Christopher Ruddy, a Trump intimate and the CEO of NewsMax, and that Ruddy made his bones as a political “journalist” by peddling the fiction that Clinton White House counsel Vince Foster had been murdered, one of the more distasteful slanders that got a shameful public airing during the Clinton frenzy of the 1990’s. Neither of those will concern us here. What Schmidt actually got out of this interview is a far more serious problem for the country. In my view, the interview is a clinical study of a man in severe cognitive decline, if not the early stages of outright dementia.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen my father and all of his siblings slide into the shadows and fog of Alzheimer’s Disease. (the president’s father developed Alzheimer’s in his 80s.) In 1984, Ronald Reagan debated Walter Mondale in Louisville and plainly had no idea where he was. (Would that someone on the panel had asked him. He’d have been stumped.) Not long afterwards, I was interviewing a prominent Alzheimer’s researcher for a book I was doing, and he said, “I saw the look on his face that I see every day in my clinic.” In the transcript of this interview, I hear in the president*’s words my late aunt’s story about how we all walked home from church in the snow one Christmas morning, an event I don’t recall, but that she remembered so vividly that she told the story every time I saw her for the last three years of her life.
In this interview, the president* is only intermittently coherent. He talks in semi-sentences and is always groping for something that sounds familiar, even if it makes no sense whatsoever and even if it blatantly contradicts something he said two minutes earlier. To my ears, anyway, this is more than the president*’s well-known allergy to the truth. This is a classic coping mechanism employed when language skills are coming apart. (My father used to give a thumbs up when someone asked him a question. That was one of the strategies he used to make sense of a world that was becoming quite foreign to him.) My guess? That’s part of the reason why it’s always “the failing New York Times,” and his 2016 opponent is “Crooked Hillary.”
In addition, the president* exhibits the kind of stubbornness you see in patients when you try to relieve them of their car keys–or, as one social worker in rural North Carolina told me, their shotguns. For example, a discussion on health-care goes completely off the rails when the president* suddenly recalls that there is a widely held opinion that he knows very little about the issues confronting the nation. So we get this.
He’s obviously obsessed with Mueller too and of course, with Hillary, always with Hillary. Aaron Blake of WAPO focuses on some of his more bizarre thoughts on the Justice Department and the Mueller Investigation.
1. On special counsel Robert S. Mueller III: “It doesn’t bother me, because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. … There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair.”
This might have been the newsiest bit from the interview. Trump seemingly contradicts many of his supporters by saying he thinks Mueller will be fair. Conservative media and Republicans in Congress have spent much of the past few weeks attacking the credibility of the Mueller investigation. Trump hasn’t really joined in that effort publicly, but he has attacked the FBI and the Justice Department.
2. “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”
And here’s the other side of the coin. In this quote, Trump seems to buy into what those same supporters have been arguing about his authority to control the Justice Department. This is a rather remarkable assertion of power, even as it’s not terribly surprising from a president who clearly has some authoritarian tendencies. It seems Trump is suggesting he can do things like fire Mueller if he wants to, even as he says he thinks Mueller is being fair and as the White House denies that is even being considered.
3. “I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that — I will say this: [Eric] Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the IRS scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had — not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems — when you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest, I have great respect for that.”
Trump begins this quote by saying, “I don’t want to get into loyalty,” but then he goes on to unmistakably suggest that Attorney General Jeff Sessions hasn’t been loyal enough to him — or at least that he hasn’t been as loyal as then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was to President Barack Obama. Add this to the list of quotes showing just how upset Trump remains with Sessions.
Kremlin Caligula has a most unAmerican viewpoint of these things that it’s almost difficult to believe he was ever schooled on American soil. Where does one get such blatantly unConstitutional notions? Oh, and that’s 3 of 11.
I have to agree though, the idea that he still thinks he’s running a nationally syndicated TV show in lieu of a nation is the most curious of all the quotes. This is a man that simply is delusional and dangerous. This is number 4.
4. On 2020: “Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there. Because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, the New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’”
I’ve long thought Trump believed this, but it’s remarkable to hear him say it out loud. It’s almost like he’s making a case to the media for why it should help him win reelection in 2020 and/or not be too tough on him. And it’s not the first time that he’s said something that seems to misunderstand the media’s role in American governance. Reports have long suggested Trump thought his media coverage would improve once he was elected president.
There’s seven more of these too go so check them out. It’s just really a fall down a rabbit hole. Is he the Mad Hatter or the March Hare? As always, Twitter rules the response to the Demon God of Twitter.
Thursday evening brought a surprise New York Times interview with President Donald Trump. Times reporter Michael Schmidt was able to speak to the president at Trump’s golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. In an impromptu, free-wheeling, 30-minute conversation following Trump’s latest round of golf, the president insisted numerous times that there was no collusion with Russia while also maintaining that he feels Special Counsel Robert Mueller can be fair to him.
With the Timesposting excerpts from the transcript of the interview, Media Twitter had a field day posting their favorite bits from the president rambling off-the-cuff. Let’s face it — there are fewer things reporters and journalists love more than unchained Trump.
So, I really don’t want any one to lose their lunch and appetite for life because we obviously have a severely disturbed president in charge of our nuclear arsenal. But it is what it is, and he is what he is, and this is a blog that’s always been focused on policy and politics.
We are indeed a family that needs to uplift each other before this man destroys the lot of us and drives away all of our friends. I suppose it has to be reiterated that Republicans are enabling all of this to oversee the looting of the USA by the donors. I also wonder what kind of kompromat that the Russians have on them through their hacking of the RNC and likely, other places. I certainly think that the RNC must be worried. I definitely think both Sessions and Graham must have dossiers filled with stuff and now I’m thinking Orin Hatch must be more of a wascally wabbit than any of us every supposed.
Try to stick to local happiness while we can. I’m even finding that to be difficult given that the same enterprising rapers after our National Parks and Treasury have been at it with my neighborhood. My property takes just went from an annual bill of about $750 to over $2000. I have no doubt that I have Air BnB to thank for that. Pretty sure those idiots that still live here and are now renting rooms have had a similar experience. There’s just something about the sound of stupid ass white people slitting their own throats that just endlessly appalls.
So, I’ll see you on New Year’s Day. Let’s lift our prayers to all the Wisdom Energy in the Multiverse so that it sweeps over this nation like a Renaissance of Rational Thought. Resist!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
This is later than usual and I’m sorry. This is the third time to the Vet these last few days with Miles this morning and I seriously had to take nap. My hope is that he’s stabilized and will continue to mend some so we can figure out if he has any underlying problems other than his diabetes. He’s been keeping me up at nights with a routine like a newborn so I feel like I’ve been through the ringer.
BB has helped me out this morning with some enlightening and freaky things going on with the Russian Collaboration investigation. Foreign Policy reports on “How Jared Kushner’s Newspaper Became a Favorite Outlet for WikiLeaks Election Hacks.” It appears that his paper, “The New York Observer, owned by Trump’s son-in-law, was a friendly outlet for the 2016 Russian hackers.”
In the fall of 2014, Julian Assange, the embattled head of WikiLeaks, was meeting with a steady stream of supportive journalists in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Among those seeking an audience with Assange was a freelancer working for the New York Observer, the newspaper owned and published by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and key advisor, Jared Kushner.
Ken Kurson, the newspaper’s editor in chief — along with a freelance writer he’d hired — helped arrange a “no-holds-barred” interview with Assange that October.
I can’t see how there isn’t a building amount of evidence that Kushner and Trump, Jr. didn’t actively coordinate with Russian Assets. It’s also evident that the Justice Department is now providing any evidence of Trump’s motivations in the Comey Firing.
Special counselRobert Mueller‘s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.
In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBIDirector James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the request but was told about it.
Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.
Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein played key roles in Comey’s removal. And Sessions has since faced withering criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller.
Mueller’s investigators now seek not only communications among Justice Department staffers but also any of their communications with White House officials, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told.
The latest move suggests the special counsel is still digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation.
I love this OP ED in the NYT entitled: “We’re With Stupid”. Maybe love isn’t quite the right word here. I continually wonder what on earth brings a group of supposed Christians into the fold of such a lying huckster.
The Russians also uploaded a thousand videos to YouTube and published more than 130,000 messages on Twitter about last year’s election. As recent congressional hearings showed, the arteries of our democracy were clogged with toxins from a hostile foreign power.
But the problem is not the Russians — it’s us. We’re getting played because too many Americans are ill equipped to perform the basic functions of citizenship. If the point of the Russian campaign, aided domestically by right-wing media, was to get people to think there is no such thing as knowable truth, the bad guys have won.
As we crossed the 300-day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency on Thursday, fact-checkers noted that he has made more than 1,600 false or misleading claims. Good God. At least five times a day, on average, this president says something that isn’t true.
We have a White House of lies because a huge percentage of the population can’t tell fact from fiction. But a huge percentage is also clueless about the basic laws of the land. In a democracy, we the people are supposed to understand our role in this power-sharing thing.
Nearly one in three Americans cannot name a single branch of government. When NPR tweeted out sections of the Declaration of Independence last year, many people were outraged. They mistook Thomas Jefferson’s fighting words for anti-Trump propaganda.
Fake news is a real thing produced by active disseminators of falsehoods. Trump uses the term to describe anything he doesn’t like, a habit now picked up by political liars everywhere.
But Trump is a symptom; the breakdown in this democracy goes beyond the liar in chief. For that you have to blame all of us: we have allowed the educational system to become negligent in teaching the owner’s manual of citizenship.
It seems illiteracy in all things democratic and Constitutional has broken our Republic and led to Trumpism. We’re six months into the Mueller investigation and a little over ten months into Kremlin Caligula’s rule of kleptocracy. How are those within the White House dealing with the pressure. WAPO has an interesting read on this in a piece titled ” ‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe.”
Some in the West Wing avoid the mere mention of Russia or the investigation whenever possible. Others take solace in the reassurances of White House lawyer Ty Cobb that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will be wrapping up the probe soon and the president and those close to him will be exonerated. And a few engage in grim gallows humor, privately joking about wiretaps.
The investigation reached a critical turning point in recent weeks, with a formal subpoena to the campaign, an expanding list of potential witnesses and the indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Some within Trump’s circle, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, have already been interviewed by Mueller’s investigators, while others such as Hope Hicks — the White House communications director and trusted confidant of the president — and White House counsel Donald McGahn are expected in coming weeks.
One Republican operative in frequent contact with the White House described Mueller’s team “working through the staff like Pac-Man.”
“Of course they are worried,” said the Republican, who insisted on anonymity to offer a candid assessment. “Anybody that ever had the words ‘Russia’ come out of their lips or in an email, they’re going to get talked to. These things are thorough and deep. It’s going to be a long winter.”
Upcoming witness Hope Hicks may have the keys to many of the big answers. The larges of these is the obstruction charge because that would go to the heart of removing this usurper child from the Oval Office.
A report from Politico this week, which found that the special counsel Robert Mueller is gearing up to interview the White House communications director, Hope Hicks, indicates that one of the many threads of the Russia investigation is probably moving into its final stages.
Hicks has long been one of President Donald Trump’s most trusted advisers, and she was present during some events that are key to the special counsel’s investigation.
Mueller’s investigation includes multiple components. In addition to looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the 2016 election in Trump’s favor, the special counsel is also investigating Trump on suspicion of obstruction of justicerelated to his decision to fire James Comey as FBI director.
As part of that investigation, ABC News reported on Sunday, Mueller has asked the Department of Justice for all emails connected to Comey’s firing.
Mueller has also requested documents related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation. Sessions announced his recusal in March after it emerged that he had failed to disclose contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, in his Senate confirmation hearing in January.
Despite his recusal, Sessions played a prominent role in Comey’s firing, as did Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Hicks was also a key presence during several critical moments leading up to Comey’s dismissal.
Comey was spearheading the FBI’s Russia investigation when he was terminated as FBI director in May. At first, the White House said he was fired because of his handling of the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct government business as secretary of state. But Trump later told NBC’s Lester Holt that “this Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision
The most compelling Trump Russia read of the day is this from The Daily Beast. “Roman Beniaminov, a Low-Profile Real Estate Exec Turned Pop Star Manager, Knew About Russia’s ‘Dirt’ on Hillary.”
Days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, a low-profile real estate figure with ties to powerful Russians alerted a meeting participant that the topic of “dirt” on Hillary Clinton could come up, The Daily Beast has learned.
That figure, Roman Beniaminov, didn’t attend the meeting himself. But he had close ties to several figures in and around it, including Emin Agalarov, the Azeri-Russian pop star who helped set up that Trump Tower confab and whose father is an ally of Vladimir Putin.
Ike Kaveladze was one of the participants in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Kremlin-connected attorney Natalia Vesilnitskaya. Kaveladze told Congressional investigators that when he was first invited to participate, he was under the impression that he would just be there as a translator and that the meeting would involve discussion of Magnitsky Act sanctions.
Scott Balber, Kaveladze’s attorney, told The Daily Beast that before Kaveladze headed from Los Angeles to New York for the meeting, he saw an email noting that Kushner, Manafort, and Trump Jr. would all be involved. He thought it would be odd for them to attend the meeting, so he called Beniaminov before heading to New York. Both Beniaminov and Kaveladze have worked with the Agalarov’s real estate development company, the Crocus Group.
Balber said that Beniaminov told Kaveladze that he heard Rob Goldstone— Emin Agalarov’s music manager— discuss “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. It’s never become completely clear what kind of “dirt” the Russians were talking about.
According to Balber, Beniaminov was the only person to give Kaveladze any information about the meeting’s purpose.
“That was the only data point Ike had, which was inconsistent with everything else he had heard, which was that the meeting was about the Magnitsky Act,” Balber said.
I still take Trumpzilla’s word for it but I guess they may need more than that given his history of lying and braggadocio. Trump still could fire Mueller but it doesn’t look imminent. This is mostly because they all think it will be over shortly. Like, it will be done after this weekend or at least a by Christmas.
A source close to the administration tells the Post that Mueller is running “a classic Gambino-style roll-up” that “will reach everyone in this administration.” When you read histories of the more successful presidential administrations in American history, a phrase you don’t usually come across is “Gambino-style roll-up.”
However, in the face of this mounting evidence and the warnings of some allies, Trump has remained — by Trump’s standards — fairly calm. Obviously, by the standards of a normal president, he is acting like a complete lunatic. But given Trump’s patterns of spewing indiscriminate rage and abuse and lashing out at his enemies in wildly counterproductive fashion, he has conducted himself with notable restraint. Despite his barely concealed impulses, Trump has refrained from mass pardons or attempting to fire Mueller.
The apparent reason for his serenity is that his lawyer, Ty Cobb, has placated Trump with promises that Mueller’s probe would be over soon. “The president himself, however, has warmed to Cobb’s optimistic message on Mueller’s probe. Cobb had initially said he hoped the focus on the White House would conclude by Thanksgiving,” the Post reports.
Thanksgiving. It will all be over by Thanksgiving.
By this point, three days before Thanksgiving, it should be relatively clear Mueller’s work is not going to be completed before the turkey is served. The Post notes that Cobb “adjusted the timeline slightly in an interview last week, saying he remains optimistic that it will wrap up by the end of the year, if not shortly thereafter.”
If you want an excellent read letting you know just how low Trump can go try this one byIt’s an exciting little thriller about “Trump’s ‘Great Relationship’ With A Homicidal Drug Warrior.”
When Maximo Garcia heard that he was on a list of local drug suspects in Mayombo, he tried to clear his name with the police chief, explaining that he no longer used drugs and had never sold them. Four days later, the Philippine news site Rappler reports, a masked gunman shot up Garcia’s house as he and his family were eating lunch, wounding him and killing his 5-year-old granddaughter.
So it goes in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which has claimed somewhere between 7,000 and 13,000 lives since he took office in June 2016. Although Duterte’s bloody crusade has drawn international criticism, Donald Trump evidently did not think the subject was worth broaching during his meeting with Duterte in Manila on Monday.
Trump, who, this week, bragged about his “great relationship” with Duterte, had previously praised his Philippine counterpart’s “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Trump meant that as a compliment, but the viciousness of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign does beggar belief.
“If you know any addicts,” Duterte told a crowd of supporters after taking office, “go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” A few months later, he likened himself to Hitler, saying “there’s 3 million drug addicts” in the Philippines, and “I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
Well, I’m working right now and I’m still Miles go for everything nurse. You can see I love him like a kid since every one these photos are of him. He’s also a cat of many talents.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today? Have a great week!!!
Hey, I don’t usually like or retweet David Corn…but those two tweets above made me laugh out loud.
Going straight to cartoons, since I’m writing this outside in a very dark and dangerous state park that is surrounded by national forest.
Please note that many of those cartoons are from the foreign press.
This is an open thread.
The Orange Turd was at it again…
*Edited to add the first tweet…
Okay, the heel part is bad…and that is what most people seem to be focusing on, but what pissed me off more was the asshole is still condoning the white supremacist. Right?
I wanted to share this artwork with you, by cecile.dormeau . When I saw it, I immediately identified with the drawing. Many of you may also see yourselves…I tell myself daily, I don’t give a shit about the horrors around me, talking bout this jackass twit above. I avoid the news as much as possible, for the sake of my sanity…and still, I lie awake at night, unable to sleep because…
Here is the image if the Instagram does not load properly:
I just love Dormeau…follow her, she is fantastic.
Just a few more Tweets:
Enough of that shit…on to something in historic news:
In the 72 years since the Indianapolis, a United States Navy cruiser, sank about 12 minutes after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the disaster has inspired controversy, dozens of books, a play and a famous scene in “Jaws.”
But the resting place of the Indianapolis had remained a mystery.
That was until Saturday, when a team led by Paul G. Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, announced that it had found unmistakable wreckage of the Indianapolis18,000 feet deep in the Philippine Sea, rekindling memories of the Navy’s worst disaster at sea.
“While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming,” Mr. Allen said in a statement on his website.
Mr. Allen’s search expedition released pictures of wreckage on the sea floor, including a telltale piece of hull bearing the number 35 — evidence to the 22 still-living survivors that the ship they frantically escaped in the early hours of July 30, 1945, had finally been found.
The discovery promises to revive interest in the loss of the Indianapolis, the ordeal of the survivors and the controversial court-martial of the ship’s captain, Charles Butler McVay III. Roughly 400 of the 1,196 sailors and Marines onboard died in the initial attack, but those who escaped spent five days floating in shark-infested waters before they were rescued.
Only 316 men were saved after an aviator spotted them by chance.
I associate this wreck with the monologue from the film Jaws…
More on the find:
CreditPaul G. Allen
There is a lot more at the link, so please go and read the rest, plus watch the video about the underwater archaeology expedition.
Sad to see this come across my news feed last night:
The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.
“A Southern liberal?” he once said. “That’s a guy that’ll lynch you from a low tree.” Another: “When I get drunk, I think I’m Polish. One night I got so drunk I moved out of my own neighborhood.” On segregation: “I know the South very well. I spent 20 years there one night.”
Mr. Gregory, 84, died Aug. 19 in Washington. His son, Christian Gregory, announced the death on Mr. Gregory’s official social media accounts. The cause was not reported.
His expert timing and bold humor — often pulled from the day’s headlines — inspired the careers of comedians such as Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
Mel Watkins, a journalist and scholar whose books include “On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy,” said that Mr. Gregory broke the mold among black comedians by employing political satire at a time when audiences expected black performers to do minstrel skits in baggy pants and outsize shoes and use slapstick humor.
“He was the comic that made white America aware of the fact that African American comedians were perfectly capable of satire,” Watkins said. “He was sharp. He was urbane. He smoked a cigarette on stage. He was very calm in demeanor but very outspoken in what he said. … He brought in current political and social issues into his comedy — which was astounding to most white Americans at that time. It was during a time when blacks were considered incapable of doing this.”
Read the rest of that obituary by T. Rees Shapiro, it is a very good article.
More on Dick Gregory:
Just a few more links for you, in dump fashion:
One last visual feast before we go…there are some marvelous photographs here:
Girl wearing a white chemisette, holding long watch on chain, 1845
That is only one image for you…please go click on the link to see the others.
One day more:
My daughter sent me this tweet that is making the rounds…it is from a newscast in 1979. A reporter is discussing the next solar eclipse, on August 21, 2017…where he hopes to find…a world in which:
“May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.”
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry…
I think I will cry.
This is an open thread.
The upcoming total eclipse is big news here in Georgia. I am sure it is making the rounds of top stories in states where folks will observe the complete and total event. In Banjoville they are closing the school:
Areas along the prime viewing path of the Aug. 21 complete solar eclipse are bracing for an influx of visitors and traffic.
In Nashville, the city’s school board has opted to close on the day of the eclipse. According to the Tennessean, more than 400 teachers and 100 bus drivers were scheduled to be off that day, with only a half-day possible for high schoolers and no pre-kindergarten. School officials cited other concerns in deciding to close, including heavy traffic.
Dubbed the “Great American Eclipse,” the main viewing path – or path of totality – for the complete solar eclipse spans from Oregon to South Carolina and includes portions of Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park part of the viewing path and has several activities planned on that day.
My daughter works for the Georgia DNR, at Vogel State Park, and they are expecting to close the park because they will have reached full capacity within an hour after the park opens on Aug. 21st.
Concerns over traffic tie ups are growing as the eclipse nears. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, some 200 million people – a little less than 2/3 of the nation’s population – live within a day’s drive of the path of the total eclipse.
The traffic will not be the only effect this eclipse brings…5 surprising effects the total solar eclipse will have besides darkness
Subtle differences may be noticed in areas that only experience a partial solar eclipse, but much bigger changes will take place along the narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina that see a total eclipse of the sun.
1. 360-degree sunrise/sunset
While everyone’s attention will be focused on the sky, looking down can reveal another scene that not many have experienced.
Spectators that look at the horizon during totality will witness the colors of sunrise and sunset around them in every direction.
This 360-degree sunset effect is caused by the light from the sun in areas outside of the path of totality and only lasts as long as the face of the sun is covered by the moon.
2. Stars and planets
As the moon causes day to turn to night, the darkness will reveal the stars in the sky as well as a few planets.
People shouldn’t waste too much time looking for planets and constellations since many of these can be seen at night during different parts of the year. However, the eclipse will make it easy to spot Mercury, a planet that can be tricky to spot due to its close proximity to the sun.
I hope many of you get a chance to see these…Number 4 on the list has a historical record to match…
The celestial alignment will also reveal the sun’s corona, the area of hot gas the surrounds the sun.
A few lucky spectators may even be fortunate enough to see a meteor streak across the sky during the brief period of darkness.
3. Light pollution and city lights
Those watching the total solar eclipse from a city, parking lot or street corner may still see some light during the brief period of totality.
This light will not be from the sun, but rather streetlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside.
These automatic lights will not ruin the eclipse, but it may make it more difficult to spot planets and stars in the sky during totality.
4. Temperature change
Not only will an eclipse cause the environment to appear different, but also feel different.
“When sunlight fades at twilight, we always notice how things start to cool down. The same is true for the temporary dimming during a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.
Depending on factors such as the time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality, the air temperature can drop more than 20 degrees F.
During a solar eclipse in 1834, the air temperature in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania reportedly dropped by 28 degrees F.
Astronomers aren’t expecting the temperature to drop quite that much, but people may still feel the temperature drop by around 10 degrees F.
Here is a graph of the temperature change from a total eclipse in Zambia, 2001;Credit/Dr. Mitzi Adams NASA/MSFC:
The fifth thing you can see is something called Shadow Snakes. Now this one is a bit more tricky to witness, and does not always occur:
5. Shadow snakes
One of the rare phenomenon to look for during the total solar eclipse is something called shadow bands or shadow snakes.
“Shadow bands are thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark that can be seen moving and undulating in parallel on plain-colored surfaces immediately before and after a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.
Some people also call these shadow snakes since their wavy motion can look like snakes slithering on the ground.
The article says if you want to see them, it is best to put a piece of white poster board or sheet on the ground and keep a close eye on the lookout for them. There is a video of the Shadow Snakes at the link, so please go and take a look at that…it took me a few minutes to realize what I was watching, until I noticed the faded glimpse of shadows streaking across the white portion of the screen. Very faint and difficult to see. It is almost like looking at those popular 3-d posters from back in the day…you would have to stare into them a long time and then pow…you saw it.
I have been actively avoiding the news the past week and a half. First because my aunt and family were in town, then it became a natural defense mechanism. The few times I did come out to see what was going on, stories of nuclear catastrophe caught my attention:
President Trump threatened on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States, as tensions with the isolated and impoverished nuclear-armed state escalated into perhaps the most serious foreign policy challenge yet of his administration.
In chilling language that evoked the horror of a nuclear exchange, Mr. Trump sought to deter North Korea from any actions that would put Americans at risk. But it was not clear what specifically would cross his line. Administration officials have said that a pre-emptive military strike, while a last resort, is among the options they have made available to the president.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending much of the month on a working vacation. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
What the fuck? It made me welcome this bloody story out of Australia:
If you can’t see that video from Time magazine…here’s two articles for ya…
It’s not shark jaws you have to be worried about, but microscopic pincers.
If you’re terrified of the ocean because of sharks, you should reconsider—the real thing you need to be afraid of is invisible.
As reported by Australian news outlet The Age, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay decided to cool off after a difficult football practice on Saturday night by taking a dip in the water at the Dendy Street Beach in southeastern Australia. When he came out, his legs were dripping with blood.
Sam Kanizay’s father, Jarrod Kanizay, told Australian news outletnews.com.au that his son didn’t know he was bleeding until he stepped out of the water.
“He went back to his shoes and what he found was blood on his legs. As soon as we wiped them down, they kept bleeding,” he said. “There was a massive pool of blood on the floor [at the hospital].”
But the culprit wasn’t sharks, stingrays, or any of the usual suspects in marine attacks on humans.
Experts left stunned by possible sea lice bites after Sam Kanizay emerged from the beach at Brighton with severe bleeding
University of New South Wales marine invertebrates expert, Alistair Poore, said he had never seen a case like it.
Poore told Guardian Australia the biting must have been caused by a marine invertebrate, most likely sea lice. But he said a large number of sea lice would be needed to cause such extensive bleeding.
“If it is sea lice, then it is a pretty dramatic example of it,” Poore said.
He said often beachgoers mistook stinging from the remnants of jellyfish tentacles with bites. But Poore said the bleeding in this case appeared too severe for that scenario.
The next night, Kanizay went back to the beach with a pool net full of meat and captured the creatures he said were responsible.
“What is really clear is these little things really love meat,” he said of a video showing the bugs in a tray of water devouring chunks of meat.
Now that is some scary shit.
Forget all about Marabunta…
Now for some cartoons.
This is an open thread….
Hey, a happy go lucky ray of fucking sunshine? That would be a positive thing…right?
I wonder if I could find an “untranslatable word” for it in Dr. Lomas’ Glossary of Happiness. (Actually it is called: The Positive Lexicography Project.) And I believe it is something that many of you will find truly fascinating…especially Boston Boomer, who made the study of language a part of her doctoral thesis.
Let’s get down to the article from The New Yorker that introduces us to Dr. Lomas’ Glossary of Happiness | The New Yorker
Last summer, Tim Lomas flew from London to Orlando to attend the fourth annual congress of the International Positive Psychology Association—held, naturally, at Walt Disney World. As Lomas wandered around the event, popping in and out of various sessions, he stumbled upon a presentation by Emilia Lahti, a doctoral student at Aalto University, in Helsinki. Lahti was giving a talk on sisu, a Finnish word for the psychological strength that allows a person to overcome extraordinary challenges. Sisu is similar to what an American might call perseverance, or the trendier concept of grit, but it has no real equivalent in English. It connotes both determination and bravery, a willingness to act even when the reward seems out of reach. Lomas had never heard the word before, and he listened with fascination as Lahti discussed it. “She suggested that this has been really valued and valorized by the Finns, and it was an important part of their culture,” he told me. At the same time, Lomas said, Lahti framed sisu as “a universal human capacity—it just so happened that the Finns had noticed it and coined a word for it.” The conference ended the next day, but Lomas kept thinking about sisu. There must be other expressions like it, he thought—words in foreign languages that described positive traits, feelings, experiences, and states of being that had no direct counterparts in English. Wouldn’t it be fascinating, he wondered, to gather all these in one place?
As the story goes…he went back home to London and began to work on his Lexicography. Lomas is a professor at University of East London…
[…] where he is a lecturer in applied positive psychology, he launched the Positive Lexicography Project, an online glossary of untranslatable words. To assemble the first edition—two hundred and sixteen expressions from forty-nine languages, published in January—he scoured the Internet and asked his friends, colleagues, and students for suggestions. Lomas then used online dictionaries and academic papers to define each word and place it into one of three overarching categories, doing his best to capture its cultural nuances. The first group of words referred to feelings, such as Heimat (German, “deep-rooted fondness towards a place to which one has a strong feeling of belonging”). The second referred to relationships, and included mamihlapinatapei (Yagán, “a look between people that expresses unspoken but mutual desire”), queesting (Dutch, “to allow a lover access to one’s bed for chitchat”), and dadirri (Australian Aboriginal, “a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening”). Finally, a third cluster of words described aspects of character. Sisu falls in this category, as do fēng yùn(Mandarin Chinese, “personal charm and graceful bearing”) and ilunga(Tshiluba, “being ready to forgive a first time, tolerate a second time, but never a third time”).
Since January, the glossary has grown to nearly four hundred entries from sixty-two languages, and visitors to the Web site have proposed new entries and refined definitions. It is a veritable catalogue of life’s many joys, featuring terms like utepils (Norwegian, “a beer that is enjoyed outside . . . particularly on the first hot day of the year”), mbuki-mvuki (Bantu, “to shed clothes to dance uninhibited”), tarab (Arabic, “musically induced ecstasy or enchantment”), and gigil (Tagalog, “the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished”). In the course of compiling his lexicon, Lomas has noted several interesting patterns. A handful of Northern European languages, for instance, have terms that describe a sort of existential coziness. The words—koselig (Norwegian), mysa (Swedish), hygge (Danish), and gezellig (Dutch)—convey both physical and emotional comfort. “Does that relate to the fact that the climate is colder up there and you would value the sense of being warm and secure and cozy inside?” Lomas asked. “Perhaps you can start to link culture to geography to climate. In contrast, more Southern European cultures have some words about being outside and strolling around and savoring the atmosphere. And those words”—like the French flâner and the Greek volta—“might be more likely to emerge in those cultures.”
On a side note…this reminded me of the story of the Sicilian Vespers. There is a word on the Island of Sicily that is only used on that island. It is the Sicilian word for chickpea. Foreigners had a very difficult time pronouncing it correctly…so difficult that it was the giveaway to tell if you were friend or foe at the time. So, this was the “password” that was used during to Sicilian Vespers. SICILIAN VESPERS – Casa Amaltea
It is said that the Sicilians used a linguistic stratagem to identify the Frenches camouflaged among the common people, showing them chickpeas ( “ciciri», in Sicilian dialect) and asking them to pronounce the name: those who were betrayed by their French pronunciation (sciscirì) were immediately killed.
But back to the happy words…and the New Yorker article:
Linguists have long debated the links between language, culture, and cognition. The theory of linguistic relativity posits that language itself—the specific tongue that we happen to speak—shapes our thoughts and perceptions. “I think most people would accept that,” Lomas said. “But where there is a debate in linguistics is between stronger and weaker versions of that hypothesis.” Those who believe in linguistic determinism, the strictest version, might argue that a culture that lacks a term for a certain emotion—a particular shade of joy or flavor of love—cannot recognize or experience it at all. Lomas, like many modern linguists, rejects that idea, but believes that language affects thought in more modest ways. Studying a culture’s emotional vocabulary, he said, may provide a window into how its people see the world—“things that they value, or their traditions, or their aesthetic ideals, or their ways of constructing happiness, or the things that they recognize as being important and worth noting.” In this way, the Positive Lexicography Project might help the field of psychology, which is often criticized for focussing too much on Western experiences and ideas, develop a more cross-cultural view of well-being. To that end, Lomas—who is currently using untranslatable words to enumerate, classify, and analyze different types of love—hopes that other psychologists treat his glossary as a jumping-off point for further research. “You could have a paper or even a Ph.D. on most of these concepts,” he said.
This was so “neat” to me…after I read the article I began to think about things, like a bubble diagram popping up in my head.
Some bubbles held bits of tRump speeches, and the ridiculous lack of developed words they contain.
And I wondered if I could find some words in other languages to express the various kinds of emotions that come from certain other current events. Like say…white police killing people of color?
I’ve been saving that old comic panel since the video of the Philando Castile shooting came out weeks ago.
*Another side note here…take a look at this fucking video:
I had originally saved it from a shared post on Facebook, again back when the video of the Castile shooting was released. Of course, when I went back to my saved items on FB…it had been deleted. I guess someone found it offensive?
Oh, I am going off on a tangent. Let me get to the cartoons before I become too much of a fucking capoter ray of sunshine.
And remember…many of these cartoons are from the Foreign Press.
This is an open thread…have at it.