It is Important to Bear Witness: Protestors Beaten by Erdogan’s Bodyguards

Yesterday after Turkish President Erdogan’s meetings with the President, his bodyguards decided to give a beat down to a number of protestors (Kurdish Americans, Yazidi Americans, Kurdish and Yazidi immigrants to America, Americans who are neither Kurdish or Yazidi) in front of the Turkish ambassador’s residence. VOA Turkish has the video.

Andrea Mitchell confirmed what I suspected last night:

A similar response by Erdogan’s bodyguards to protestors also took place last year.

But the event was seemingly upstaged by proceedings outside the venue, where protesters appeared to clash with Erdogan supporters, as well as the controversial Turkish leader’s security detail.

During the 2016 incident Erdogan’s security detail actually went so far as to attack their hosts at the Brookings Institute.

Later, a shoving match between what appeared to be a Brookings Institute worker and Turkish security broke out. “I am in charge of this building,” the apparent Brookings employee shouted as the two tangled. A Foreign Policy reporter and others holding cameras outside the event were also scolded by Turkish security.  One cameraman was chased across the street by Turkish guards.

In yesterday’s incident, as I would have expected in the 2016 one, the official bodyguards to President Erdogan were armed, which has been confirmed by analysis of stills from the video.

A number of folks in comments last night, as well as in comments today have asked why the DC Police responded the way they did. I think my answer in a comment from last night makes sense:

The cops did a decent job with less than lethal force. Given that the Turks who were assaulting and battering the protestors would clearly have beaten them to death if given the chance, I would not have been opposed to them escalating to lethal force. Unfortunately that is really the only thing that the guys giving out the beatings respond to.

As to why they didn’t? They had most likely been prepped by the Department of State Diplomatic Security folks and given instructions about what the rules of engagement would and would not permit. This is a diplomatic incident. And people have been severely beaten and hurt. But it is containable. Ventilating the first goon to charge the protestors when he ignored the order to stop and back off would be a major, major problem.

Given that Erdogan’s security detail were armed it is a good thing that the Metropolitan Police officers responding on site did not escalate from less than lethal to lethal responses. Doing so could have turned a group beating into a shoot out and likely a bloodbath. This would have created the conditions for an even larger rift with a NATO ally that could be exploited by the US’s competitors (Russia).

So what happens now? Under any other administration the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, working in conjunction with DC’s Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security would be working to positively identify the members of Erdogan’s security detail involved. They would then be declared persona non grata and barred from reentry into the United States. What will actually happen given the current administration I have no idea.

Update at 1:30 PM EDT

Before anyone asks why no one being threatened/beaten didn’t draw a firearm and defend themselves, the simple reason is that Washington DC has dragged out implementing the Supreme Court ruling Heller V DC. As a result it is almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit in DC. Additionally, Washington DC’s code defines self defense in the following manner:

You are entitled to claim self-defense: (1) if you actually believe you are in imminent danger of bodily harm; and (2) if you have reasonable grounds for that belief. You may use the amount of force which, at the time of the incident, you actually and reasonably believe is necessary to protect yourself (or a third person) from imminent bodily harm. This may extend to the use of deadly force if you actually and reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which you can save yourself only by using deadly force against your assailant.

Even if the other person is the aggressor and you are justified in using force in selfdefense, you may not use any greater force than you actually and reasonably believe is necessary under the circumstances to prevent the harm you reasonably believe is intended or to save your life or avoid serious bodily harm.

Under the case law of the District of Columbia, the District is neither a “right to stand and kill” nor a “duty to retreat to the wall before killing” jurisdiction. The District case law has established a “middle ground.” 2

You should take reasonable steps, such as stepping back or walking away, to avoid the necessity of taking a human life, so long as those steps are consistent with your own safety. However, you do not have to retreat or consider retreating when you actually and reasonably believe that you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to repel that danger.

 

240 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    thanks for frontpaging this.

  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    I predict trump will criticize the DC cops for getting in the way and Erdogan’s guards for leaving the protesters alive.

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    What will actually happen given the current administration I have no idea.

    Presidential Medals of Freedom. Or a case of Trump vodka.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: We have a backlog these days…

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Presidential Medals of Freedom. Or a case of Trump vodka.

    Trump steaks, for folks’ black eyes? Probably the best use of that horse meat.

  6. 6
    lollipopguild says:

    Nothing quite like allowing another country to act like they own the place. The Turkish guards need to understand that this not allowed. What if the Turkish guards had killed a D.C. cop? Would our small child in chief have done anything?

  7. 7
    hovercraft says:

    They would then be declared persona non grata and barred from reentry into the United States. What will actually happen given the current administration I have no idea.

    What was the Obama administrations response last year? Because if they didn’t ban any of these thugs, I suspect this administration will just shrug it off and say, well the last administration didn’t ban anyone so why should we. Given that the behavior is very similar to the behavior of Twitler’s thug Keith Schiller, and the things he said during his rallies when his crowds beat up protesters, I think he wishes he could do the same thing.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    This is a diplomatic incident. And people have been severely beaten and hurt. But it is containable.

    So the Turks need to actually kill Americans before they can be stopped?

  9. 9
    amk says:

    @lollipopguild:

    Nothing quite like allowing another country to act like they own the place.

    Lil too late for that now.

  10. 10
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So what happens now?

    Nothing. Just like nothing much happened to the Trump supporters who attacked protesters during his rallies. Trump and his ilk are okay with violence if its targets don’t suit them. I doubt an event like what we saw yesterday in D.C. could happen in any other western country such as Canada or England. Erdogan knows that he has Trump’s full support with pretty much anything.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    In the clip there is a moment when an overturned infant stroller can be seen, and a woman on the ground being comforted by another woman.

    I was reminded of the Odessa Steps scene from the Battleship Potemkin silent film.

  12. 12
    lollipopguild says:

    @amk: You are correct but the Turks do not own trump the way the Russians do. But then maybe they do.

  13. 13
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We have a backlog these days…

    Apart from hijacking the Coast Guard Graduation Ceremony to whine, all’s quiet on the Western Front so you can clear some of the backlog.
    I mean apart from a lizard in a bra in MA, and a couple of people driving into Dunkin Donuts in threads we haven’t had an honest to good Floriduh thread!

  14. 14
    Kryptik says:

    It’s ridiculous that this isn’t getting more play, considering. This is a legitimate diplomatic incident and should be treated as such. Like…how the hell does this just get brushed off?

    Oh wait, that’s kind of been the story of god knows how much under this era. Christ all.

    The upside is that the DC Police actually did a great job of deescalating and defusing things as much as possible, all things considered. That’s not something you can really say about police lately in incidents like this.

  15. 15
    germy says:

    Everything is about Schickelgruber:

    ABC News Politics‏Verified account
    @ABCPolitics

    Pres. Trump at U.S. Coast Guard commencement: “No politician in history…has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

    Schickelgruber probably believes some violent troublemakers were discouraged by the professionalism of heroic bodyguards. That’s probably what he was told. Was it covered on fox news? Probably not.

  16. 16
    clay says:

    Why would the cops shoot? It’s not like the Turkish security employs unarmed black men.

    BOOM SATIRE

    Anyway, shouldn’t Erdogan’s bodyguards be, like, guarding his body, not assaulting US citizens? I don’t know how this is remotely possible in the first place.

  17. 17
    Doug R says:

    @Kryptik: Police deescalated without using lethal force?
    It IS possible.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    @germy: Christ, what an asshole.

    He should call back once he’s been submitted to several years of inquiries about which country he really was born in.

  19. 19
    hovercraft says:

    @lollipopguild:
    We decided in the last thread not denigrate people and animals who are in no way responsible for Twitler, so BJ has spoken, he’s either a spoiled princeling or Putin’s Puppet.

  20. 20
    khead says:

    What if the Turkish guards had killed a D.C. cop? Would our small child in chief have done anything?

    I think you mean “How would Fox and other right leaning outlets ignore and/or justify it?” I need to update my wingnut bingo cards.

  21. 21
    SatanicPanic says:

    McCain is already walking back his Watergate comparison.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    @lollipopguild: They certainly owned Flynn

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I just added the following update to the original post:

    Before anyone asks why no one being threatened/beaten didn’t draw a firearm and defend themselves, the simple reason is that Washington DC has dragged out implementing the Supreme Court ruling Heller V DC. As a result it is almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit in DC. Additionally, Washington DC’s code defines self defense in the following manner:

    You are entitled to claim self-defense: (1) if you actually believe you are in imminent danger of bodily harm; and (2) if you have reasonable grounds for that belief. You may use the amount of force which, at the time of the incident, you actually and reasonably believe is necessary to protect yourself (or a third person) from imminent bodily harm. This may extend to the use of deadly force if you actually and reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which you can save yourself only by using deadly force against your assailant.

    Even if the other person is the aggressor and you are justified in using force in selfdefense, you may not use any greater force than you actually and reasonably believe is necessary under the circumstances to prevent the harm you reasonably believe is intended or to save your life or avoid serious bodily harm.

    Under the case law of the District of Columbia, the District is neither a “right to stand and kill” nor a “duty to retreat to the wall before killing” jurisdiction. The District case law has established a “middle ground.” 2

    You should take reasonable steps, such as stepping back or walking away, to avoid the necessity of taking a human life, so long as those steps are consistent with your own safety. However, you do not have to retreat or consider retreating when you actually and reasonably believe that you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to repel that danger.

  25. 25
    Captain C says:

    Maybe next time there’s a similar protest, the DC cops can send a couple platoons in riot gear with M-16s to protect the protesters, along with a note which subtly hints that if Erdogan’s goons misbehave at all, Congress (or at least the DC city council) will fast-track a resolution recognizing and deploring the Armenian Genocide.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: No, that is not the point I am making. The point I am making is that we are constrained because of their diplomatic status. Since the Turks involved are Erdogan’s bodyguards and are part of his official delegation, they have diplomatic immunity. Until or unless the Turkish government waives that, the only punishment that we can officially mete out is declaring them persona non grata and expelling them from the US.

  27. 27
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Let’s not forget which country Flynn’s group had for a client, folks.

  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kryptik:

    It’s ridiculous that this isn’t getting more play, considering.

    Remember, Trump disbanded the State Department.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I thought diplomatic immunity only applies for arrests? If they’re literally in the act of committing a crime, cops still can’t stop them?

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @khead: If that had happened, because it was on tape and the police were on site, as were personnel from both Secret Service and State’s Diplomatic Security staff, a very credible demand would have been made to the Turkish government to waive diplomatic immunity. Under those circumstances it would likely be granted.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: The cops did stop them. Several of those armed bodyguards got beaten upside the head with expandable batons.

  32. 32
    rp says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m not sure this is relevant. The protestors probably weren’t armed because…why would they be? I doubt they expected this to turn violent. And if they did, I don’t think they would have felt constrained by DC’s concealed carry laws.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    Mazel Tov cocktails for Happy Hour!

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    If I were the DC cops I would have pulled the big brother routine. “Hey, schmuck! That’s *our* protesters! Nobody gets to club them into unconsciousness but *US*!”

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rp: Several people in comments asked about it last night. So I put it up as a preemptive response. DC is very tough in regard to enforcing their firearm laws.

  36. 36
    hovercraft says:

    Umm Adam, WTF

    Report: McMaster Didn’t Realize Import Of Classified Intel Trump Gave Russians

    When President Donald Trump casually shared highly classified intel with top Russian diplomats last week, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was in the room, did not immediately realize the significance of what Trump divulged, according to an NBC News report out Wednesday.

    Citing an unnamed U.S. official with direct knowledge of the matter, NBC reported that McMaster “is not steeped in counterterrorism” and thus was not immediately aware of the importance of the information Trump gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

    …………….“If there was nothing the President shared that he shouldn’t have shared, why did they contact the NSA and CIA?” a reporter asked.

    “I would say an overabundance of caution but I’m not sure,” McMaster replied. “I’ve not talked to him about that. About why he reached out.”

    This is scary, Twitler didn’t know what he was doing was bad and neither did his director of national intelligence? Seriously WTF?

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This will not prevent them from being declared persona non grata and never being allowed into this country again.

    Of course, this assumes we have a working State Department and a President who gives a rat’s ass about the 1st Amendment.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SatanicPanic: Worthless, spineless sack of shit. Did he leave his spine in Hanoi? America demands answers!

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft: That report is a real stretch, IMO. Someone laying a pre-emptive ink cloud defense for McMaster?

  41. 41
    quakerinabasement says:

    This is a diplomatic incident.

    Fine. Where are our diplomats?

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @quakerinabasement: Sending out CVs to the private sector after Donald downsized State.

  43. 43
    quakerinabasement says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Alt-Fax is on point.

  44. 44
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    As a result it is almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit in DC.

    If this had happened in Florida, we’d be at war with Turkey right now.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The protesters knew who they were dealing with. I’m not a violent person but ISTM they had some serious grievance. What happens if a protester pulls out an asp or a taser instead of taking a beating? And the Turkish bodyguard pulls a gun?
    I’m not a professional protest person but IMO there are protests and then there are protests.

  46. 46
    Kryptik says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That’s the big problem. I think the police, knowing how many involved were part of official delegations, and not really sure who else might be, could have been handcuffed in what they could have done far as detaining the attackers. This is, or at least should be, a big enough diplomatic incident as it is, without attempted strongarming which would have to be walked back because of those dreaded two words.

    Any charges or expulsion would have to be the State Department’s call as you said. And…yeah, also as you said, we don’t have a State Dept. We have a husk and Jared Kushner. Whether by design or by sheer incompetence, there’s precious little leverage we have with a near non-existent State.

  47. 47
    hovercraft says:

    So it’s not just Twitler having a bad day, the whole family is.

    WSJ: Toronto Hotel Deal Now Part Of Probe Into Trump Ties To Russia

    According to the Journal:

    After Mr. Shnaider and his partner sold their stake in the steelmaker, Mr. Shnaider injected more money into the Trump Toronto project, which was financially troubled. Mr. Shnaider’s lawyer, Symon Zucker, said in an April interview that about $15 million from the asset sale went into the Trump Toronto project. A day later, he wrote in an email: “I am not able to confirm that any funds” from the deal “went into the Toronto project.”………………….

    A personal familiar with the U.S. probe told the Journal that federal investigators are looking at all interactions between Trump, his associates and Vnesheconombank.

    Vnesheconombank is the same financial institution whose CEO met with Trump White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner in December. The bank and Kremlin said that Kushner spoke with CEO Sergey Gorkov in his capacity as head of Kushner Companies, his family’s real estate business, but the Trump administration said Kushner was acting as “the official primary point of contact” with foreign entities for the campaign and transition at the time.

    Vnesheconombank was placed on the U.S. sanctions list in 2014 after Russian forces entered Ukraine and annexed Crimea, and the Journal reported that American entities are forbidden from any financial involvement with the bank.

    Follow the money, these poor morons thought they could just walk into DC do what they and and no one would scrutinize them? By the end of all this they may all be begging to go back the their old lives where they just grifted to their hearts content and no one paid any attention.

  48. 48
    sharl says:

    DC police recently responded with a follow-up that is predictable and appropriately responsible, but of course the unknown factor here is how Trump/Tillerson’s State Department will act on this:

    Steven Portnoy‏ @stevenportnoy

    JUST IN: DC Police say they intend to work w/State Dept and Sec Svc to identify and hold accountable Turkish embassy assailants.

    I haven’t looked at responses to that tweet yet. Sometimes self-described insiders or others in-the-know respond with useful follow-up information, which is rarely verifiable, but at least gives interested reporters some leads to pursue.

  49. 49
    Kryptik says:

    @quakerinabasement:

    Fine. Where are our diplomats?

    Fired and most yet to be replaced? At least we finally got an ambassador to the Vatican, right?…

  50. 50
    amk says:

    @quakerinabasement: you should tex drillerson that question.

  51. 51
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    If it is, it’s not much of a defense, were you ignorant, incompetent or negligent. As has been said repeatedly, everything Twitler touches turns to shit.

  52. 52
    Kryptik says:

    @sharl:
    Yeah, looks like Metro police did, and are doing, everything they actually can do, knowing the powers and the diplomatic snarl involved. So good on them for their response to this.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft:
    1) LTG McMaster’s job is to be the National Security Advisor. This means he manages the National Security Staff and National Security Council, establishes a functioning Interagency process, and serves as the (hopefully) impartial gatekeeper to the President for national security strategy and policy issues.
    2) While he has clearance to see almost everything, he himself may not have access. As in he may not have needed to know the full details of the Israeli originated intel and information.
    3) This seems to be what the NBC reporting that TPM’s reporting referenced is indicating. If he did need to know and did have access and simply wasn’t tracking or failed to catch what had happened because of what the President said and how he said it, these are problems in themselves. Based on the NBC reporting it is impossible to know which of these it was.
    4) This is why the senior staffer for these issues, Tom Bossert, lit his head on fire when he saw the meeting notes. He was fully read in, realized what had just happened, and immediately moved to implement as much damage control as would be possible given the situation. This is what he should have done.
    5) Bossert should have fully backbriefed McMaster as soon as he did the initial steps of damage control. At that point McMaster did need to know. If this didn’t happen, which is unclear from the NBC reporting, then there is a problem in the lines of communication between Bossert and McMaster.

    I have been in those types of situations, though obviously at much, much lower levels and with much, much less at stake. Where I was fully read on to something, but not in the room when something went sideways on the specific issue. As soon as I found out I started doing the damage control as quickly and effectively as possible. Without further details, this is all I’ve got in terms of analysis.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yep and yep.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Johnny Gentle (famous crooner): This is probably true.

  56. 56
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Corner Stone: Not sure of your point here. Are you saying that knowing how violent the Turkish security detail has been that the protestors should have been a lot less confrontational, to the point of not protesting at all? Please clarify.

  57. 57
    amk says:

    russians invite themselves into the WH coolly the day after the FBI chief is fired and then make twitler ban the american press from covering their ‘visit’.

    turkish tyrant unleashes his own goons right in the national capital.

    trumpanzees must be so be bored of winning bigly!

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah, your post didn’t make it clear, and I can’t watch video.

  59. 59
    Eric U. says:

    the way some of those bodyguards kept going back into the crowd after they were removed definitely would have resulted in deadly force under other circumstances. Although, I have to say that it wouldn’t have been justified. If this happens again, the DC police need to bring some giant wire ties and just hog tie the bodyguards.

  60. 60
    quakerinabasement says:

    @amk: Yeah, but they respected us while they were doing it!

  61. 61
    Lee says:

    @Johnny Gentle (famous crooner): Same if it had happened in Texas. There would have been quite a number of dead & injured.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    @quakerinabasement: Checking the help wanted ads.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Captain C:
    I think the goal is to avoid a diplomatic incident, not cause one.

  64. 64
    Ian G. says:

    This might be a stupid question and a Trumpian impulse on my part, but is there any way we could have Turkey expelled from NATO? I feel like if the alliance has any value at all, it should be an alliance of democracies.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Okay, when you get the chance to see the video it will make sense. No worries here.

  66. 66
    amk says:

    @Ian G.: angela has been yanking erdogan’s EU chains for quite some time now. twitler could learn a thing or two from her.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ian G.:

    This might be a stupid question and a Trumpian impulse on my part, but is there any way we could have Turkey expelled from NATO?

    Not a chance. They’re located in an important part of the strategic map.

    We need their air bases.

  68. 68
    GregB says:

    America First!

    Except when it comes to press access in the White House, then it’s Russia First!

    America First!

    Except when it comes to allowing armedTurkish goons beating Americans in the street, then it’s Turkey First.

  69. 69
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Kryptik: Actually, we don’t have an Ambassador to the Vatican. Trump (or one of his minions) mentioned a possible nominee, but I’ll bet her paperwork hasn’t been submitted to the Senate. Jon Huntsman was mentioned as Ambassador to Russia months back, and his paperwork hasn’t been submitted.

    @Ian G.: Probably not expelled from NATO, but it might be a good idea to bring back the American nuclear weapons based there.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    @amk: And just think about the possibilities in Saudi Arabia.

    A global jihad could be declared before he finishes his first speech.

    Or the Sunni-Shia disagreement becomes the new 100 year war.

    Or heck, the Wabbi-cultists get their first real chance to challenge Secret Service Security.

    So many disasters, so little time to prepare for the fallout.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Actually, we don’t have an Ambassador to the Vatican. Trump (or one of his minions) mentioned a possible nominee, but I’ll bet her paperwork hasn’t been submitted to the Senate.

    The mistress gold digger?

  72. 72
    Shalimar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: McMaster had 5 days to find out at the time he made that statement. If he still hadn’t talked to Bossert about it, it was because he didn’t want to know Bossert’s reasoning because it would contradict what McMaster was going to tell the press.

  73. 73
    amk says:

    @quakerinabasement: It’s all #maga, man. make america grovel again.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kryptik:
    If there’s any police department in the country that should know how to deal with this, it would be DC.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Shalimar: I honestly have no idea what happened. Nor do I have any good explanations.

  76. 76
    Ian G. says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I know, I know, but seriously, they’re really becoming more trouble than they’re worth, especially with their escalating war with the Kurds, one of our genuine allies in the region.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @NorthLeft12: I am talking out of my ass and suggesting that the protesters weren’t there to promote a love of science. They had serious issues with the Turkish govt. And they knew the bodyguards are authoritarian assholes working for an autocrat who has disassembled a one time democracy. So, if they are going to show up, they should be prepared to come correct. Which is to say force escalation. Or IOW meet violence with violence. This place does not belong to the Turkish govt and their methods should not be allowed.

  78. 78
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @GregB:

    America First!

    We’ll loot the rest of the world later!

  80. 80
    Shalimar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Obviously I don’t either, and also don’t have the knowledge and experience that you do. But that is the only explanation I can think of other than McMaster is lying, and I still have respect for his integrity in trying to make the best of a horrible situation for the good of the country.

  81. 81
    hovercraft says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    HA, that’s why I like Putin’s Puppet, it’ll drive him nuts.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    I just heard a snippet of Trump on the radio whining about how he’s being treated unfairly. It’s FOX radio- local stations buy the FOX news updates on the hour.

    Not good. Not strong. He sounds like a big baby. A big baby who did something wrong and is mad he got caught.

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ian G.:

    I know, I know, but seriously, they’re really becoming more trouble than they’re worth, especially with their escalating war with the Kurds, one of our genuine allies in the region.

    The alternative would be to side with the Kurds, tipping Turkey to Russia and probably kicking off another civil war there and drawing in all the other middle east states who don’t want the Kurds establishing their own state.

    Yes, Turkey’s current government is an asspoor ally. But the alternatives are worse for now.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: And he did it in front of a group of Coast Guard cadets at their graduation/commissioning.

  85. 85
    Aleta says:

    From twitter feed of Samira Ghaderi‏ :

    Samira Ghaderi‏ @Samira_Ghaderi 1h1 hour ago
    “Diplomatic immunity issues will not prevent us from investigating” @DCPoliceDept re: Erdogan’s bodyguards attacking Kurdish protestors in DC

    Samira Ghaderi‏ @Samira_Ghaderi 35m35 minutes ago
    Turks are praising the men responsible for yesterday’s violent attack on Kurdish-American protestors in Washington D.C. | #Turkey #Ally
    (She retweets Funda K.A and headline in Turkish.)

    Samira Ghaderi Retweeted
    mjb‏ @meghanarchy 4h4 hours ago
    Support #Kurdish-#American protestor Jalal Kheirabadi, taken into custody after defending himself at yesterday’s protest. Please share!

    She also retweets photos from Baltimore BLOC‏ @BmoreBloc that show the faces of some of the attackers and close up of attacks.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That is some weaksauce applesauce right there from State.

  87. 87
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Which is to say force escalation. Or IOW meet violence with violence.

    But then the police get to arrest them for non-bogus charges.

  88. 88
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: Not just unfairly, but (paraphrasing) the most unfairly of any politician ever. Something like megalomania meets paranoia?

  89. 89
    Spanky says:

    @TenguPhule:

    So many disasters, so little time to prepare for the fallout.

    I see what you did there.

  90. 90
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks.

    ETA: Who knew this was all so complicated.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    We had a good turnout for our lunchtime health care protest. Apparently Latta isn’t holding town halls so a lot of the signs demanded town halls. There were 48 there (I counted) which is a good turnout in Trump country.

    We marched on a sidewalk in front of Latta’s local office. They had been out there since 11 but I got there at 12 and went to 1. The office is right beyond a bridge with heavy traffic. We had lots and lots of drivers honking agreement. The local newspaper came and a cop showed up about halfway thru but he parked across the street with flasher bar on. He may have been there because drivers were slowing and gawking passing by so maybe as an alert that traffic slowed dramatically right there.

  92. 92
    smintheus says:

    I hope that the protestors sue the police for failing to arrest the goons. There needs to be much more pushback than simply waiting to see if the goons are barred from starting future melees.

  93. 93
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @hovercraft: Ah, but McMaster is supposed to be one of the “grown-ups” right? There no are no grown-ups in this administration. Only grifters, fuck-ups, authoritarians, and yes-men; all a delightful combination of these descriptors

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There are countries that have current US Ambassadors, I think career Fopreign Service folks. I follow the former US Ambassador to Ukraine on Twitter, and he is now the US Ambassador to Greece.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Those of us who live in that world.

  96. 96
    hovercraft says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Actually, we don’t have an Ambassador to the Vatican.

    Calista Gingrich is one of the names, or maybe the nominee, and she was threatening to withdraw her name because it’s taking too long. When news of her nomination or possible nomination were publicized, many Catholics complained that she was an inappropriate choice.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @Aleta:

    So gross. All he thinks about is himself. They should just admit he’s a horrible person and go from there. He’s a bad man! Duh. There’s no fixing that. He’s too old.

  98. 98
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @amk:

    It’s all #maga, man

    My son tells me that sk8er dudes in Kyiv are wearing #MAGA hats. He assumes ironically.

  99. 99
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:
    If you want to watch the whiner click the link at # 22

  100. 100
    lgerard says:

    This will make you feel better

    hacking mar a lago

  101. 101
    lamh36 says:

    ‪Barack Obama (to friends) on Donald Trump: ‘He’s Nothing But a Bullsh*tter’ https://www.lovebscott.com/news/barack-obama-donald-trump-hes-nothing-bullshtter via @lovebscott‬

  102. 102
    Cacti says:

    Peaceful protest doesn’t work on fascist thugs.

    Be prepared to start swinging when they come at you.

  103. 103
    piratedan says:

    well, based on the Congressional response thus far, say Trump is killed overseas in a tragic confluence of insulting the wrong people and his flair for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, we can be assured that their proportional response would be to introduce a tax cut bill for immediate consideration disguised as a declaration of war.

  104. 104
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Well of course you do, but do the people at the WH know?

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @hovercraft:

    Eww. I never watch him if I can help it. I know this is shallow but he always looks horrible to me. I never got over the Access Hollywood tape. That’s his real self. Yuck.

  106. 106
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Tell me who’s the real patriots
    The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags?
    Or the people with the guts to work
    For some real change
    Rednecks and bombs don’t make us strong
    We loot the world, yet we can’t even feed ourselves
    Our real test of strength is caring
    Not the toys of war we sell the world

    Your comment made me think of DK’s Stars and Stripes of Corruption

  107. 107
    Aleta says:

    @hovercraft:

    A Trump Organization spokesman told the Journal that Trump had no financial arrangement with the bank, and that the company “merely licensed its brand and manages the hotel and residences.”

    I’m wondering if this how they think they can skate clean while profiting as their properties provide money laundering fronts.

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lgerard: Clearly some 400 lbs guy on his bed in New Jersey.

  109. 109
    trollhattan says:

    Seems reasonable to revisit the administration’s other Turkish entanglement.

    Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey told CNN Friday that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with representatives of the Turkish government in 2016 and discussed potential ways to send a foe of Turkey’s president back to face charges in that country,

    As a representative of his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government in September 2016, Woolsey said. Woolsey was a Trump campaign adviser at the time and attended the meeting, but said he arrived after it was already well underway.

    Woolsey claims that those present discussed sending Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim leader who Erdogan has accused of being behind a failed military coup to overthrow him, back to Turkey to face charges — possibly outside the legal US extradition system.

    Erdogan is clearly inspired by Vlad (“Sorry about shooting down that plane, big fella”) and the recent referendum both consolidated his power and extended the time he can spend in office. Sound familiar?

    Some “ally.”

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: I have no idea.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft: If the McMaster report is accurate then it means he did not want to know the truth. And he went out in front of the world and said what he was told to say. IOW, he knowingly lied because he was ordered to.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @piratedan:

    we can be assured that their proportional response would be to introduce a tax cut bill for immediate consideration disguised as a declaration of war.

    There is a precedent for that. Iraq II.

  113. 113
    Spanky says:

    Yep!

    Concern deepens in Congress over Trump controversies

    Top o’ the WaPo page at the moment. I’m sure we’ll go from deepening concern to “very concerned” in an appropriate amount of time. Why, I’ll bet congress resorts to chin-stroking before this is all over.

  114. 114
    sharl says:

    OT:

    Emily C. @CahnEmily

    This is what happens when constant political scandal diminishes the hope for corporate tax cuts

    Reuters @ReutersBiz

    JUST IN: Dow Jones drops more than 300 points on turmoil in Washington

    I rarely accept at face value most of the reasons cited in news reports for why the Dow and other indexes do what they do, and this falls in the same category. But the reasoning at least seems plausible, and this would actually be the sort of thing more likely to rattle Congressional GOP leadership.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    Why are the WH briefings now being audio only?

  116. 116
    Aleta says:

    @lgerard: I’d be happy if he could be contained there and secured (like the island of Elba or St. Helena) the next time he visits, until he abdicates or is impeached. He’ll be harder to pry out of the WH while he’s inside it.

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: Because we’d be able to tell they were lying from the way their faces contort around the really big whoppers?

  118. 118
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Spanky:

    Top o’ the WaPo page at the moment. I’m sure we’ll go from deepening concern to “very concerned” in an appropriate amount of time. Why, I’ll bet congress resorts to chin-stroking before this is all over.

    Like the old color-coded terrorist threat system during the Bush years. Both bullshit in the sense that no one plans or wants to do anything

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @Spanky: Don’t forget the furrowed brow. Very serious, that is.

  120. 120
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:
    I’m with you, I don’t watch him ever, but I post the links for those with the stomach to watch. I tuned out on him years ago, as a metro New Yorker, just seeing him on the cover of the tabloids was more than enough for me.

  121. 121
    Chyron HR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They haven’t gotten the giant Wizard of Oz head set up yet.

  122. 122
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chyron HR: I am the Great and Powerful Trump! Pay no attention to the Russian puppet behind the curtain!

  123. 123
    Shalimar says:

    @Kay: Trump is a narcissist. He has no real self. He is a reflection of whatever he thinks the listener wants, constructed of grievous butthurt.

  124. 124
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    I like Bill Maher’s term for Trump and GOP: whiney little bitches.

  125. 125
    sharl says:

    OT – Oh. Mah. Gah.

    Steven Portnoy @stevenportnoy

    Spicer says Trump will interview JOE LIEBERMAN for FBI chief later today, along with 3 other candidates.

    This man has done enough damage to the country already. He should be left in whatever pasture he’s currently shitting in.

  126. 126
    hovercraft says:

    Grifters just keep on grifting

    Trump’s ‘huuuuuge’ Caribbean estate is on the market for $28 million, prompting questions
    The price far exceeds the highest going rate on St. Martin. One agent described the decor as “rather gaudy.”
    By Matea Gold •

    Trump placed his business holdings in a revocable trust overseen by his son Donald Jr. and longtime Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg. He said he was turning over management of the Trump Organization to his two eldest sons, who Trump said are “not going to discuss it with me.”

    However, experts said Trump did not give up control of his assets under the trust agreement.

    The trust appears to be seeking substantially more for the St. Martin residence than Trump paid the previous owners, Steve Hilbert and his wife, Tomisue. Hilbert, an Indiana businessman who had licensed a caviar-based skin-care line developed by Melania Trump, sold Donald Trump the house in 2013. At the time, the Hilberts were seeking $19.7 million for the oceanfront compound, although the final sales price was never disclosed.

    Lesley Reed, the Sotheby’s agent who is representing the property, declined to comment on the current listing, citing a nondisclosure agreement…………

    A website that aggregates luxury properties, 7th Heaven Properties, initially listed Chateau des Palmiers with an asking price of $28 million, although it subsequently changed it to “price on application,” per the Sotheby’s request, according to a 7th Heaven representative.

    Four St. Martin real estate agents told The Washington Post that the $28 million price tag far outstrips the amount that sellers are getting for the most exclusive properties on the Caribbean island, where the market is still rebounding from the 2008 banking crisis.

    Owners of the most luxurious homes on the market are asking $15 million to $17 million, agents said. A 10-bedroom hillside estate on a lot adjacent to Chateau des Palmiers is for sale for $4.75 million.

    Hmm I wonder why this estate is worth soo much more than the others, could it be that they’re cashing in on the presidency.

  127. 127
    Ian G. says:

    @Cacti:

    “Oh oh, the Guns of Brixton.”

    Popped into my head reading your post.

  128. 128
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why are the WH briefings now being audio only?

    So you don’t have to see Spicerman covered in flop sweat.

  129. 129
    amk says:

    @Corner Stone: the new normal. and the media minions will swallow this too.

    eta: I miss sam donaldson. He would have been the right thug to take on twitler.

  130. 130
    Roger Moore says:

    @Aleta:

    He’ll be harder to pry out of the WH while he’s inside it.

    Cut off access to food and he’ll come out.

  131. 131
    bemused says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Is Sean still sounding subdued and shell shocked?

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore: Trump could survive for weeks on his own body mass.

  133. 133
    Timurid says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    McCain has gone full Jane Fonda at this point.
    I eagerly await the photos of him giving the victory sign from behind a Confederate cannon…

  134. 134
    Roger Moore says:

    @bemused:
    Trump is going to whine so much, we’re going to get tired of whining.

  135. 135
    germy says:

    “Goldman Sachs now has enough people in the White House to open a branch office. Do you get the feeling that, if Bernie Madoff weren’t in prison, he’d been charge of the SEC right now?”

    Elizabeth Warren

  136. 136
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump could survive for weeks on his own body mass.

    Do you really think he has the discipline for that?

  137. 137
    bemused says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I don’t mind my granddaughter whining. She is at least cute, smart and knows when she is being naughty.

  138. 138
    amk says:

    looks like, twitler has folded (yet again) on kenyan’s worst deal ever.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft:

    A 10

    A-10? Did someone mention A-10?

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sharl: This is his only law enforcement experience. Fortunately it was caught on video:

  141. 141
    Roger Moore says:

    @germy:

    Do you get the feeling that, if Bernie Madoff weren’t in prison, he’d been charge of the SEC right now?

    The 45 administration wouldn’t want anyone who’s a more accomplished liar than the boss.

  142. 142
    Captain C says:

    @Roger Moore: The idea would be along the lines of, “in light of past unpleasantness, we just want to make sure that there are no further incidents.”

  143. 143
    The Moar You Know says:

    So what happens now? Under any other administration the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, working in conjunction with DC’s Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security would be working to positively identify the members of Erdogan’s security detail involved. They would then be declared persona non grata and barred from reentry into the United States. What will actually happen given the current administration I have no idea.

    Probably Presidential Medals of Freedom for all the goons involved.

  144. 144
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    If it can’t carry MOAB’s then I’m not interested, I like things that go really, really big BOOM.

  145. 145
    japa21 says:

    Saw something today while out doing errands with the better half which I had not seen before and wonder if anyone else has. There was a house with a large flag pole in front. Instead of the American flag it had two black flags. The top one said RESIST and the lower one said NOT MY PRESIDENT. Same size as the Stars and Stripes that usually was flying.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    I will predict you a prediction: whoever buys it will turn out to have ties to either Russia or China. Guaranteed.

  147. 147
    rp says:

    @germy: I gotta admit, that comment kind of bugs me. Lumping Madoff in with Goldman seems reckless and unfair.

  148. 148
    hovercraft says:

    @amk:
    Sshh, don’t talk about it or he’ll be forced to rip it up to show just how tough he is. I think stuff like this on top of all the bad press is what’s pissing him off. He thought all this stuff was easy and he could just come in a re-write whatever he wants willy nilly, only to find that with everything he touches there’s a domino affect.
    He’s a spoiled brat who never grew up, this , Tony Schwartz is telling:

    Via Nancy LeTourneau To survive, I concluded from our conversations, Trump felt compelled to go to war with the world. It was a binary, zero-sum choice for him: You either dominated or you submitted. You either created and exploited fear or you succumbed to it — as he thought his older brother had. This narrow, defensive worldview took hold at a very early age, and it never evolved. “When I look at myself today and I look at myself in the first grade,” he told a recent biographer, “I’m basically the same.” His development essentially ended in early childhood.

    Instead, Trump grew up fighting for his life and taking no prisoners. In countless conversations, he made it clear to me that he treated every encounter as a contest he had to win, because the only other option from his perspective was to lose, and that was the equivalent of obliteration…

    He’s not winning, he’s having to eat a lot of his words because he was pulling shit from his ass, and to him that means that even though he won, even though he beat Obama’s candidate, Obama is still winning, that’s why he can’t get him out of his head. He Keeps going back to his landslide win because that was his last win, he’s been losing ever since.

  149. 149
    sharl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hahaha, that’s some great animation.
    I really hope the idea of Pious Joe getting back in government dies on the vine quickly. The idea of him providing aid and comfort in support of Jeff Sessions’ atrocities gives me the creeps. He quietly worked with Dubya and co-chair Susan Collins to cover up Federal complicity in the failure of levees protecting New Orleans post-Katrina. And there was of course other stuff (bad choice, Al Gore!).

  150. 150
    germy says:

    U.S. stocks slump, bonds rally amid Trump turmoil

    Dow Jones has lost 250 points

  151. 151
    hovercraft says:

    GOP Lawmaker Asks Why Men Pay For Maternity Care. Woman’s Reply Is Gold.

    Lee Moran Tue, May 16 6:19 AM PDT .

    A GOP congressman asked why men should have to pay for maternity care, and this woman’s response is now resonating across the country.

    Barbara Rank, 63, wrote to her local newspaper, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, after Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) made the comments at a town hall last Monday.

    Blum said he’d voted in favor of legislation that repeals and replaces major parts of the Affordable Care Act to “get rid of some of these crazy regulations that Obamacare puts on […] such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance.”

    His remark did not sit well with Rank, however, who was in the audience.

    In her letter to the newspaper, which was published Friday, Rank explained how the lawmaker’s comment had caused her to rhetorically ask herself “why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read?”

    “Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate?” the retired special education teacher continued. “Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?”

    “ This is democracy manifest. from pics

    Rank ended her missive explaining why she did actually believe in people paying for all of those things ― by saying how it was all about “democracy,” “a civil society” and “the greater good.”

    Someone posted a photograph of her letter to Reddit over the weekend, and it’s now gone viral, sparking positive reactions across the internet:

    Go read the rest.

  152. 152
    scav says:

    @sharl: What happened to the old stalwart Dow Frightener, that of the Dreaded Uncertainty before which all businessmen quail! Surely old CEO-in-Chief would be a steady hand at avoiding that dread peril.

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    His development essentially ended in early childhood.

    Welcome to toxic narcissism. They never mature emotionally, they just grow into adult bodies.

  154. 154
    Seth Owen says:

    @Ian G.: Turkey wasn’t a democracy when it joined. Some of the other NATO powers and US allies generally have sketchy pasts.

  155. 155
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    No way. It will be bought by an anonymous off-shore company whose true ownership is deliberately opaque.

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sharl: He’s profoundly unqualified for the position. He would be stupid to accept the offer.

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m sure that’s the plan, but it turns out there are ways to suss that out. And, frankly, doing it that way makes it even more suspicious.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Seth Owen: Like Mississippi.

  159. 159
    sharl says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He’s profoundly unqualified for the position. He would be stupid to accept the offer.

    That would be the most logical reason for Lieberman to say ‘no’, but the likely actual reason would be that he would be second banana to another egomaniac, one who could humiliate him on a regular basis. On that basis I suspect (and hope) that Pious Joe will pass on this opportunity.

    ETA: It just occurred to me that the Orange Shitgibbon and his “brain trust” probably just added Lieberman to the list so they could claim they were being bipartisan. That’s the same kind of crap thinking that helped lead Trump to firing Comey, but it would appear he isn’t capable of even recognizing his mistakes as such, let alone not repeating them.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He would be stupid to accept the offer.

    Hello, this is Joe Fuktard Lieberman we’re talking about here.

    Of course he’d accept it if offered.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy: Even more telling, Dollar has lost ALL of its gains since Nov 9, 2016 against all other currencies.

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore: Sorry, I meant to say he could survive for weeks on Spicer’s body mass.

  163. 163
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    @hovercraft: The Onion is now officially out of business. Tomisue?

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @sharl:

    This man has done enough damage to the country already. He should be left in whatever pasture he’s currently shitting in.

    But this is perfect! Fire The Last Honest Man in DC and replace him with the Original Last Honest Man in DC.

  165. 165
    Spanky says:

    Meanwhile, back at the original topic, this is from the WTOP Radio’s website:

    WASHINGTON — The District’s police chief described a violent clash outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador as an unprovoked and brutal attack on peaceful protesters.

    Peter Newsham said such behavior was “not something we will tolerate here in Washington, D.C.”

    “This is a city where people should be allowed to come and peaceably protest,” Newsham said Wednesday afternoon.

    Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, in the melee, which shut down Massachusetts Avenue at Sheridan Circle at the height of the afternoon rush hour, he said.

    Two group of protesters were involved along with Turkish security staff.

    Newsham apologized to commuters for the disruption but said that some of the injuries were “significant” and had to be treated immediately.

    Nine people were taken to the hospital and later released.

    Newsham also released the names of two people who have been arrested so far. But police are still working to identify others involved in the confrontation, he said.

    Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, of Fairfax, was charged with assaulting a police officer. Ayten Necmi, 49, of Woodside, New York, was charged with aggravated assault, he said.

  166. 166
    clay says:

    @germy:

    Pres. Trump at U.S. Coast Guard commencement: “No politician in history…has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

    Yeah, he’s got some asshole going around claiming he wasn’t even born in this country. Oh, wait…

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    @hovercraft: BIG NEON SIGN: “Pay me a bribe by buying my property for much more then its actually worth!”

    Death Penalties are going to be the only acceptable sentences for these turds. They don’t just break the law, they insult our intelligence by not even trying hard to disguise how they’re doing it.

  168. 168
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Even more telling, Dollar has lost ALL of its gains since Nov 9, 2016 against all other currencies.

    [calling Flynn at 3:00AM]
    “Mike? Mike…is this good for the US or is it bad?”

  169. 169
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: So that’s why Trump has been trying to call him recently.

  170. 170
    Peale says:

    @germy: I know its kind of a “flight to safety” play, but I do find it hilarious that in a political panic, investors flee to the bonds of the country where the political panic is playing out. I think you’re actually safer holding the long term bonds of GE than you are holding any U.S. note beyond 3 months at this point.

  171. 171
    les says:

    @sharl:

    I rarely accept at face value most of the reasons cited in news reports for why the Dow and other indexes do what they do, and this falls in the same category.

    Just yesterday, I caught several comments on Marketplace to the effect of “how are the markets staying so stable in this shit storm?” Nobody knows…

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    @clay:

    “No politician in history…has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

    May these words prove prophetic. I want the name Trump to stand for a thousand years as the most hideous fate possible to inflict on a human body. Future generations need to shrink from the mention of the word and the associated images it conjures up. Some anvils need to be dropped. And dropped hard.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @Peale: Currency flights to yen and to gold. The smart money was already there. The not so bright money is now starting to panic. The suckers still don’t see a problem.

  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    @les: Tax cuts are an amazing drug. Even the whiff of them happening gets people with more money then sense to do amazingly stupid things.

  175. 175
    les says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He’s (Lieberman) profoundly unqualified for the position. He would be stupid to accept the offer.

    Why should he be any different than anyone in the cabinet? Mission specific profound lack of qualification is the primary qualification.

  176. 176
    ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Did he leave his spine in Hanoi?
    Yes, SATSQ.
    Either that or he never had one in the first place. And I’m not seeing a difference.

  177. 177
    Spanky says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I want the name Trump to stand for a thousand years as the most hideous fate possible to inflict on a human body.

    Maybe someone can do for Trump what Shakespeare did for Julius Caesar (heh!).

    Sadly, I don’t think George R. R. Martin is up to the job.

  178. 178
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have never in my life ever seen an unqualified man turn down a position because he was unqualified.

  179. 179
    japa21 says:

    @TenguPhule: If he thinks the media has treated him unfairly here, wait until he has to deal with real journalists overseas.

  180. 180
    sharl says:

    More on the FBI director hiring stuff:

    Peter Alexander‏ @PeterAlexander

    NEW: Spicer says Trump will meet with FOUR FBI director candidates: Andrew McCabe, Frank Keating, Richard McFeely & Joe Lieberman.

    An early favorite in Weird Twitter world is Dick McFeely, because of course.

  181. 181
    les says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Tax cuts are an amazing drug. Even the whiff of them happening gets people with more money then sense to do amazingly stupid things.

    Yup. And more and more money in fewer and fewer hands; they already can’t spend it, it has to go somewhere. Securities prices have zip to do with underlying businesses; they’re just tokens for the wealthy to trade with each other.

  182. 182
    Jay S says:

    @ruemara: If Lieberman turns it down it probably won’t be because he thinks he is unqualified. He might have self preservation instincts. Though he has stepped in it before, with a forced recovery, so who knows.

  183. 183
    Davebo says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He’ll never be the FBI head but he was a state attorney general once.

  184. 184
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: She’s a Newtfucking adulteress. Of course she’s an inappropriate choice!

  185. 185
    ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    How to win friends and influence people, as spoken by a 5yr old brat.

  186. 186
    TenguPhule says:

    Via DIgby: Trump apparently spilled the beans to the Russians in some detail on US operations and other countermeasures against the ISIS laptop bomb threat. So it was considerably worse then first reported.

    ETA: And the Russian media is the source for this new information. Winning!

  187. 187
    ThresherK says:

    @Jay S: I’m a lifelong Nutmegger. I’d like nothing more than Blowmentum to go away forever. If he gets into this job he’ll be lauded by the local media no matter how useless, unqualified, and unprepared he is for it.

    And the last thing I remember him doing is filibustering the ACA to stop better things from being put into it by Democrats.

    Screw him.

  188. 188
    efgoldman says:

    @Ian G.:

    is there any way we could have Turkey expelled from NATO?

    And lose the use of air base(s) in Turkey. I think that’s a trade off the Pentagon (in the person of several empty desks/offices) doesn’t want to risk.

  189. 189
    TenguPhule says:

    Mr. Trump, who still openly laments having to dismiss his first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, has groused that General McMaster talks too much in meetings,

    FYNYT, via Digby again.

    Anyone else getting a cold chill up their spine?

  190. 190
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: Two words: Money Laundering.

  191. 191
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ThresherK: Had to defend his wife’s livelihood, don’t cha know.

  192. 192
    Jay S says:

    @ThresherK: Ah, yes. He could be seduced by the good press going in, not sufficiently wary of the mess he would step into.

  193. 193
    Shalimar says:

    From Reuters, Trump’s briefers apparently have to include his name in the briefings as often as they can fit it in or manchild stops reading because it isn’t about him.

  194. 194
    efgoldman says:

    @hovercraft:

    many Catholics complained that she was an inappropriate choice.

    There’s only one catholic who’s complaint really matters

  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    Sometimes, a story is just a thing of beauty.

    The revelation on Tuesday night that Donald Trump asked James Comey, the FBI director who he fired last week, to stop investigating the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was the second bombshell in less than 24 hours. For Republicans, who find themselves increasingly stunned by the near-daily scandals emerging from the White House, the news set off a frenzy on Capitol Hill.

    Having come so close to reaching the end of the day without a new controversy, Republicans bobbed and weaved through a crowd of journalists in an effort to dodge the inevitable tidal wave of questions. “Run,” a senator directed his aide, noticing the door of a Capitol subway car was still open. The men caught the train just in time.

    On the other side of the building, reporters circled the Virginia congressman Dave Brat in the elevator bank. Was he concerned about the string of controversies? “I’ve been more concerned in the past with the press just reporting the news in detail,” he said.

    The elevator started to emit a loud buzz as its doors were held open too long. “Come in, come in,” Brat beckoned to the Freedom Caucus chairman, Mark Meadows, who had just wriggled away from a scrum.

    Another group of journalists trailing Steve Scalise, the Republican majority whip from Louisiana, turned a staircase corner quickly and almost flattened a bewildered troop of Boy Scouts on an educational tour.

    Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, squeezed past journalists, heading for the refuge of the elevator, ignoring a shouted question about the breaking story. “Almost sounds like fake news,” he said, dramatically, and jammed the button for the doors to close.

    Other lawmakers, however, were more direct with reporters. One congressman allegedly gave the middle finger to a Politico reporter who asked for his reaction. (He denied it and simply said: “There’s limited time to talk when we’re rushing to vote.”) A Utah Republican removed any pretense in his reply to a Huffington Post reporter: “OK, what non-answer do you want me to give you?”

    Yakkity Sax is going to become the Official DC soundtrack at this rate.

  196. 196
    TenguPhule says:

    @Shalimar: The National Security briefings, no less.

  197. 197
    Peale says:

    @Ian G.: unfortunately, there are precedents of keeping dictatorship and authoritarians of all types in. Portugal was a founding member. We kept Greece. Greece stayed in under military rule as well. As did Turkey. I know its difficult for us to believe right now, since liberal forces haven’t ousted any of these new Authoritarians anyway once they gained policy and it looks like many of them are here to stay for a long time, but eventually, we have to be optimistic that the governments will change.

  198. 198
    ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    J Liberman do something stupid? He’s never done that before. Has he? Or was I talking about the wrong J Liberman? Did you mean the politician?
    Nevermind!

  199. 199
    clay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Mr. Trump, who still openly laments having to dismiss his first national security adviser

    It’s been clear for months that Trump did not want to fire Flynn, did not think he did anything wrong.

    The question is: who actually convinced Trump to do so? Who has (had) enough influence over Trump to convince him to get rid of Flynn? HOW did they convince him? (Obviously whatever reasoning they used did not stick with Trump, since he still wants Flynn back.)

    The official reason he left — lying to Pence — smells fishy on many levels. So what was the REAL reason?

    I’m getting into conspiracy stuff here, but I don’t think Trump actually fired Flynn. It just doesn’t fit his MO — he likes to own his actions because he thinks everything he does is wonderful. He’s definitely not owning the firing of Flynn.

    No, I think someone pulled Flynn aside and made it known that if Flynn didn’t resign, then there would be hell to pay. Who is this ‘someone’? Priebus? Jared? Someone from the IC? *shrug*

  200. 200
    StringOnAStick says:

    @les: Markets stay stable when there is still enough money coming in to balance or overwhelm the amount of money leaving. While we are starting to see political instability happening here, this is nothing compared to Russia or most other countries with major oligarch issues. One of the reasons why in the long term Russia is toast is because the first thing a Russian with money does is figure out how to get as much of it as possible the hell out of Russia so it is away from the sticky/itchy fingers of fellow oligarchs in the ever changing parade of who is up or down with Putin’s People this week. The world’s giant pool of floating money is so big now that it acts as a backstop for the stock markets that the money pool is currently favoring, and that’s been us for many, many years. Pampered princeling could change that, but it hasn’t happened yet; that doesn’t mean it can’t though.

    As for the flight to US bonds, there are a lot of factors involved in pricing bonds; for US Govt bonds, one of the factors is the fact that the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency and has the strongest reputation for safety (a big MIC will do that for you). Another is that you can try flight to Swiss bonds, but that last I saw they pay a negative interest rate – you have to pay a premium to own them and will get back less than what you paid. Compared to that, US Govt bonds look pretty good, at least so far. While every investment has “past performance is no guarantee of future results” written in the fine print somewhere, for many decades US Govt bonds have been the definition of safe in most situations. So far nothing big enough has happened to change that, but there is also no guarantee that this could never happen either.

    Gold and the Yen are up today, so that’s were some of the newly panicked money is going. Japan has gone through a long and awful period of economic dislocation and adjustment and might be starting to struggle forward again. It is heartening that they managed to do it without stripping health care and retirement benefits from their citizens.

  201. 201
    efgoldman says:

    @rp:

    Lumping Madoff in with Goldman seems reckless and unfair.

    Special snowflake can’t stand a little political hyperbole?

  202. 202
    chopper says:

    @hovercraft:

    a caviar-based skin-care line developed by Melania Trump

    the fuck?

  203. 203
    dmsilev says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yakkity Sax is going to become the Official DC soundtrack at this rate.

    I’m thinking more Entrance of the Gladiators.

  204. 204
    dmsilev says:

    @chopper: Who among us _hasn’t_ rubbed raw fish eggs all over their body?

  205. 205
    Juju says:

    @Kay: So, a typical Wednesday?

  206. 206
    Peale says:

    @chopper: The product smells fishy to me.

  207. 207
    J R in WV says:

    @sharl:

    “Frank Keating” !!!

    Is that the same Keating involved in the Savings and Loan collapse that put lots and lots of powerful and wealthy people in jail???

    Amazing, maybe he really will hire Bernie Madoff for some top level financial regulatory job!!!

  208. 208
    Peale says:

    @J R in WV: That was Charles Keating.

  209. 209
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Sorry, I meant to say he could survive for weeks on Spicer’s body mass.

    Not if we cut off his ketchup supply.

  210. 210
    J R in WV says:

    @Peale:

    Don’t forget, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is STILL dead!! The democratic people of Spain outlasted Franco, and has put the authoritarian regime down for the last time.

    The Republic of Spain won that civil war, though it took 4o years or so.

  211. 211
  212. 212
    J R in WV says:

    @Peale:

    OK, I’ve been wrong before…

  213. 213
    Origuy says:

    @Spanky:

    Maybe someone can do for Trump what Shakespeare did for Julius Caesar Richard III (heh!).

    FIFY

  214. 214
    bystander says:

    For those who enjoy listening in on two closet cases sublimating their desires, there’s tis exchange between Roger Stone and Alex Jones yesterday:

    STONE: I want to raise this question, though. Why is it that General [James] Mattis, General [H.R.] McMaster, John Brennan, formerly of the CIA, Michael Hayden, formerly of the CIA, and James Clapper. Why do these guys all have shaved heads?

    JONES: Because that’s part of being a leather daddy.

    STONE: Is it some secret club or something that they’re in? I mean, it defies the odds of coincidence, that every one of these guys have the same kind of look. There it is. Extraordinary. By the way [McMaster’s] smirk at the end of this kind of gives the whole thing away.

    JONES: He looks like he could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

    Somebody has LOVE of a military man on his mind.

  215. 215
    Shalimar says:

    @clay: Look at the timing. The day after Flynn was fired, Trump had the meeting where he dismissed everyone else and asked Comey privately to drop the investigation because Flynn was a good person. I would have to go back and google the articles, but within a day or two of that was when Trump started bitching about having fired Flynn and how he should still be NSA.

    What I take from that is that someone convinced Trump or Trump convinced himself that Flynn was only being investigated because of his government position and if he was no longer in government there would be no reason for the investigation to continue. Trump thought firing Flynn would make the whole “Russia thing” go away.

    Once that ploy failed, Trump started talking publicly about what a bad idea it had been to fire Flynn. He had lost one of the very few people he trusted.

  216. 216
    bystander says:

    @Spanky: I was thinking about the new production of Julius Caesar in Central Park this summer. It would be fun if the director figured out how to have Ceasar stab himself 31 times and let Brutus come in for the kill.

    (Elizabeth Marvel is playing Antony in this production, so it wouldn’t be that far out.)

  217. 217
    debbie says:

    As others here who live or have lived in NYC, diplomatic immunity is bullshit. That this could be allowed to happen in America with no consequences or repercussions is bogus.

  218. 218
    Aleta says:

    @Bill Arnold: So fucking hard to believe. I figure T added SA to the trip because he has deals brewing there, and now he’s going to use it to grandstand for US Christians about radicals and evil?

  219. 219
    sharl says:

    @J R in WV: I see that Peale answered your question; Frank Keating is a former governor of Oklahoma. I have no idea whether he is any relation to Charles Keating (which shouldn’t be held against him even if it were the case).

  220. 220
    Peale says:

    @Aleta: i hope he announces his new Arab NATO in the most insulting way possible to the house of Saud. Something like, even though we think you’re dogs who need our supervision, you’re trainable dogs. Thank you for buying our weapons. Goodnight.

  221. 221
    Shalimar says:

    @Aleta: If Trump has deals brewing, having Miller write the speech does not seem like a good plan. I will be surprised if Miller manages to write a speech that doesn’t piss off the Saudi royal family.

  222. 222
    debbie says:

    @Shalimar:

    What I take from that is that someone convinced Trump or Trump convinced himself

    I think it would be more difficult to convince anyone that Flynn was/is a good person.

  223. 223
    Peale says:

    @bystander: I think we should ask G. Gordon Liddy and Jesse the Body Ventura if they ever met McMaster in one of the secret daddy orgyfests.

  224. 224
    Suffragette City says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It was Darryl Issa who gave the finger to Rachel Bade and then denied it.

    Other lawmakers, however, were more direct with reporters. One congressman allegedly gave the middle finger to a Politico reporter who asked for his reaction. (He denied it and simply said: “There’s limited time to talk when we’re rushing to vote.”) A Utah Republican removed any pretense in his reply to a Huffington Post reporter: “OK, what non-answer do you want me to give you?”

  225. 225
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @sharl:

    He’s 75 years old.

    (a) They’re really considering offering him a 10-year appointment?
    (b) He’s really considering accepting it?
    (c) They think the Senate will just blithely confirm a 75-year-old man to a 10-year term?

    I mean, apart from everything else that makes this such a bad idea….

  226. 226
    debbie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Even if he were younger, Liebrman is supremely unqualified for the position.

  227. 227
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    DOJ just appointed Robert Mueller to head up Russia investigation. Breaking now.

  228. 228
    hovercraft says:

    Rob?Bob Mueller has been appointed Special Council for Russia

  229. 229
    dmsilev says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: All things considered, probably about as good a choice as we could expect.

  230. 230
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debbie:

    Yes, hence my “apart from everything else” comment.

    For instance, how many people remember this little tidbit: Joe Lieberman serves on the Board of Directors of Betsy DeVos’ private for-profit schools organization, American Federation of Children.

    Nothing to see here.

  231. 231
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    I agree.

  232. 232
    Aleta says:

    Scott Dworkin‏
    @funder
    5 hours ago

    Doc:
    Trump gave $100,000 to Paul Ryan’s super PAC—100,000 reasons Ryan blindly supports Trump

    https://twitter.com/funder/status/864898552492941313

    Photo is at the link.

  233. 233
    Morzer says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    Jack of all trades McMaster of none.

  234. 234
    debbie says:

    @Aleta:

    NPR reported that when asked about Trump-related brouhahas, Ryan read a prepared statement. I’m guessing Paulie’s nervous.

  235. 235
    sharl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I didn’t even think about Lieberman’s age; good point!

    Like I said in a later comment, I suspect the White House included him just so they could say they were being bipartisan, although that’s based on an assumption that he is a registered Democrat, and no longer in that phony “Connecticut for Lieberman” Party he created when he lost in the CT Dem Senate primary (in 2006 I think…to lazy to check).

  236. 236
    Morzer says:

    @sharl: Frank Keating makes an interesting appearance early in Barton Gellman’s book The Angler, as one of the candidates to be Dubya’s VP, before Cheney (who was running the search) humbly allowed as how – gosh! – he himself might be the best candidate out there. Keating got screwed over shortly afterwards by “someone” who used embarrassing financial materials that he had disclosed as part of the VP search, and his political career ended in humiliating fashion.

  237. 237
    Morzer says:

    @debbie:

    I always think we should describe Ryan’s statements as pre-crayoned, rather than prepared.

  238. 238
    Roger Moore says:

    @StringOnAStick:
    The underlying problem is that there is too much money chasing too few profitable investment opportunities. We need to take some money away from the investor class and give it to the consumer class. That will both decrease the investment pool and add more potentially profitable place to invest.

  239. 239
    bystander says:

    @Morzer:

    Keating got screwed over shortly afterwards by “someone” who used embarrassing financial materials that he had disclosed as part of the VP search, and his political career ended in humiliating fashion.

    I love a story with a happy ending. Thanks!

  240. 240
    D58826 says:

    @Kryptik:

    the Metropolitan Police officers responding on site did not escalate from less than lethal to lethal responses.

    Maybe police depts around the country can use it as a training video in how to deal with POC in our communities?

Comments are closed.