DCI Brennan Testimony Before House Select Committee on Intelligence

Here’s the live feed:

Every GOP committee member has yielded their time back to Congressman Gowdy after asking a question or two that are tangential at best to the issue before the committee. Congressman Gowdy then treats DCI Brennan as if he is a hostile witness in a case that Gowdy is prosecuting. DCI Brennan is not having any of it and is not amused. Here is a great example from earlier in the hearing:

289 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in DC says:

    From what I’ve read, Brennan is doing a lot of damage to the Trump/GOP narrative.

  2. 2
    clay says:

    @Mike in DC: A slight breeze would do a lot of damage to the Trump narrative.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    Saw a snippet on Twitter where Brennan described telling a Russian official to convey a message to Putin to knock it off with the election interference. Brennan told the official the interference would backfire because US voters would be outraged about meddling in our election. Sadly, he was only half right.

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    @Mike in DC:

    No one does more damage to the Trump narrative than Trump.

  5. 5
    hovercraft says:

    Congressman Gowdy then treats DCI Brennan as if he is a hostile witness in a case that Gowdy is prosecuting.

    Stop being naive Adam, he is a hostile witness, his testimony has the potential to damage their Dear Leader!

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Gowdy sweats a lot.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Rep Heck gave an passionate speech about democracy and country first, then Gowdy spoke about leaks.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Brennan goes where the evidence leads him. SAD!

  9. 9
    clay says:

    Adam, since you’re around, I wanted to ask your take on Trump’s “I never mentioned the word ‘Israel'” thing. (If you already gave your take, I apologize; I missed it.)

  10. 10
    Miss Bianca says:

    Can’t watch at work, but hoping that he gives ’em hell.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Gowdy sweats a lot.

    Beady eyed lowlifes usually do.

  12. 12
    Balconesfault says:

    It’s been a constant drumbeat on conservative sites, and Gowdy digs in for that here, that the Intelligence Services have never come right out and said they have absolute proof positive that there was collusion… So that just proves everything is a Witch Hunt right? Jesus, did these folks ever hear about evidentiary proceedings?

  13. 13
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Well they all yielded their time to him so that he could “get” Brennan, and he’s failing so of course he sweating! He’s supposed to be the ringer.
    At some point someone has to tell them that they are terrible at going up against people armed with actual facts and not right wing talking points is not a good thing, they always come off looking like the morans they are. I can’t think of a single one of these “showdowns” where they haven’t come off looking like a bunch of idiots who don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    @rikyrah: But ‘sweats’ is rude. One should say ‘glows’ or ‘glistens’.

  15. 15
    Mike R says:

    @rikyrah: That will leave a mark.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    My favorite quote so far from DCI Brennan — via TPM:

    “Frequently, individuals who go along the treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late,” he said.

  17. 17
    clay says:

    @JPL: I get that trying to turn this whole thing into a matter of “leaks = bad” is literally all the Republicans have, but I have to wonder how far they can stretch it.

    You’d think they’d be subtle and weave the ‘leaks’ narrative into a broader one about protecting our institutions against foreign influence, etc., etc., but they can’t even muster up the wherewithal to fake an interest in our national security.

  18. 18
    Ryan says:

    @hovercraft: Don’t get mad at Brennan, get mad at the Chump who put him in front of Congress.

  19. 19
    Raoul says:

    This exchange was also pretty great. Brennan clearly came well prepared and ready to actually speak about the values of democracy. Seems like the idiots and sycophants in the GOP need an incredibly remedial level of education.

    Powerful.
    Q: Why should we care?
    BRENNAN: Our ability to choose our elected leaders as we see fit is an inalienable right we must protect. pic.twitter.com/Ry7o8CKXlx— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 23, 2017

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    Most of the republicans gave back their time to Gowdy, which probably was a mistake. Gowdy was no match for Brennan, and Gowdy’s performance showed to those listening what a partisan hack sounds like.

  21. 21
    Ryan says:

    @Balconesfault: I think they confuse investigation with prosecution, but then again, trump treats every one of the former as a latter.

  22. 22
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    So by yielding their time to Gowdy, is that the same as throwing Gowdy under the bus? Because the man is not looking good here.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: I haven’t. I am planning on doing a post tonight about the Israel trip that will include that. Short answer: he has now further compounded the gross mistake he made by giving the information to the Russians by being compulsively unable to not have everything revolve around him. He is unable to process that no one was reporting that he told the Russians it was the Israelis, so what does he do? Tell everyone he never told the Russians it was the Israelis. Up to that point everyone had enough plausible deniability, despite the news reporting, that Israel was taking a bad optics bullet for us by covering for one of our other allies/partners. That potential fig leaf is now gone.

    While this is from a different screw up, Israeli Ambassador Dermer’s response basically sums up the whole trip and what the Israelis are now getting with the President:

  24. 24
    randy khan says:

    @hovercraft:

    Gowdy really isn’t that good. People hear “prosecutor” and think automatically the person is good at going after witnesses, but that’s because they’ve seen too much Law and Order (which, it’s worth noting, is set in New York, which has one of the best DA’s offices in the country, and specifically highlights that the cases are important enough to get the cream of the crop). Most of them aren’t that good.

  25. 25
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Gowdy looks like he’s got a three-day-binge hangover and some serious pre-puke sweats going on. Sad!

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: He’s done a good job. He’s repeatedly put the GOP members, largely working through a plan to let Gowdy do most of the questioning, on their heels. They’re now going into closed/classified session in the SCIF.

  27. 27
    mai naem mobile says:

    I know I am not supposed to be surprised but jeezus kryst these people are just fucking traitors. Also, they assume the Russians are not going to screw with them like they did with the DNC. I still can’t get over the fact that it’s the GOP that has been talking about ‘the Russians are coming, the Reds are.coming’ and then the Russians come to collude with the GOP. You couldn’t make this shit up.

  28. 28
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Dermer is an ass and a product of the same GOP hate-world that produced Trump. He needs to own this MoFo.

  29. 29
    LAO says:

    @randy khan: Also, you know, TV.

  30. 30
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That guy on the right who does the “oh sh*t!” hand-to-head, yeah I watched it multiple times yesterday. That and the Melania hand slap.

    This trip is going fantastically well!

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @clay: Alot of the information, that has been leaked wasn’t classified. I can’t imagine that Coats being pressured to shut down the investigation was classified. Why would it be. One can be fired for sharing that information, but can they be prosecuted?

    Maybe LAO can answer my question.

  32. 32
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks, looking forward to your post.

    I would give anything to get an honest reaction of how the Israelis really feel about all this, without the diplomatic sheen glossing over everything.

  33. 33
    stinger says:

    @MattF: “Horses sweat; men perspire; ladies glow.”

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He sure does! If he weren’t such a contemptible crapweasel, I’d worry about his health!

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @stinger: I tend to my yard, and I can attest to the fact that I’m not glowing.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: Or at all. As I wrote the other night in regard to Flynn.

  37. 37
    LAO says:

    @JPL: I see nothing wrong with Coats’ disclosure. Perhaps Immanentize has a better, more informed take?

  38. 38
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know you’ll have lots of content to cover in this highly anticipated post (not snark, you alluded to this post percolating last night, and I really do value your knowledge and analysis). But I hope you’ll include this (and I can’t seem to make tweets embed all pretty, so ya’ll will have to click thur if curious to see the images). He is the president of the Americans who take one lifetime trip to Europe and eat at Hooters and Hard Rock Cafes.

    Thx!

    Notes left at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial museum. Trump on left, Obama on right. So horribly tone deaf. pic.twitter.com/e15A0yq0Op— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) May 23, 2017

  39. 39
    Mike in DC says:

    The other public testimony I look forward to, besides the return of Comey, is that of Christopher Steele. I think the preceding public testimony and investigative reporting have largely bolstered his credibility. Beyond that, maybe Mueller will testify about preliminary (and later, intermediate) findings down the road. I don’t want to hear from targets or persons of interest unless they’ve been indicted and are now testifying as part of a plea deal (in which case the possible subjects of their testimony should be a very short list).

  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: Agreed, but at least Dermer is capable of recognizing a cringe-worthy comment when one is uttered. Good. He’ll suffer more than the Trump-boosting jackholes who hear these inanities without shame.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: No argument at all.

  42. 42
    clay says:

    @JPL: I almost wrote, but deleted, a paragraph on how not all leaks are illegal, and that some of the leaks were given to PROTECT our national security. But I felt that I don’t have enough knowledge to really drive the point home.

    But yeah, by focusing on leaks, the Republicans are so blatantly trying to distract and obfuscate from the real story that I can’t imagine it’s fooling anyone but their own bubble-dwellers.

  43. 43
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Ryan: “but then again, trump treats every one of the former as a latter.”
    Because the guilty one flees when no man pursues – or at least pursues at a very lethargic pace?

  44. 44
    randy khan says:

    @LAO:

    Yeah, that. Even in New York, run of the mill assistant DAs aren’t as good as what you see in L&O.

  45. 45
    hovercraft says:

    @Ryan:

    I think they confuse investigation with prosecution, but then again, trump treats every one of the former as a latter.

    I’m pretty sure you meant to type persecution.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: Yep. That’s PJ Dermer. American immigrant to Israel who was a low to mid level GOP campaign operative. Netanyahu then repurposed him as Israel’s ambassador to the US to specifically align with the GOP against the Obama Administration and then to serve as Netanyahu’s/Israel’s main contact point with the President’s campaign.

    They deserve everything bad they get out of this.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    I keep thinking of the SNL skit with Trump and Lester Holt. Trump admits obstruction and Holt says “So, we go him, right? It’s over?”
    No, nothing means anything anymore.

    Seems like some things that have been known publicly for a while suddenly reappear and are officially ‘known’ and officially worthy of some kind of concern. Fact that Trump tried to get some IC agencies to quash the FBI probe, for example. I don’t understand why it takes a couple of go-arounds for the news to get taken seriously.

    I heard some news diva talking head on a cable show defending Trump because maybe he is just so incompetent and stupid, he doesn’t really understand laws and government and stuff. My God. I hope this mess gets cleaned up without too much damage.

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @Immanentize: I tried to ETA, but failed — Netanyahu and Dermer thought that a GOP President would answer all their prayers. No more trouble about building settlements, no complaints about the occupation, no moralizing about Gaza incursions…. But I fear Trump will be the worst thing that ever happened to Israel. By siding with Israel, and Israel with Trump, the world will continue and quicken the pace of anti-occupation exclamations and actions. Defying the US will no longer be seen as an internationally impolite act — in fact, it will be a badge of honor. The success of anti-anti-immigrant politicians outside of the English speakers will allow countries to take this opportunity to make demands of Israel that they never would have pushed when Obama was President. Trump and Bibi are stuck with each other and Dermer is a willing Bannon to Israel’s Netanyahu. It breaks my heart.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    “Frequently, individuals who go along the treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late,” he said.

    I love this…on the money.

  50. 50
    mdblanche says:

    @Immanentize: “But enough about you, Congressman.”

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: The leaks about the President or senior staffers trying to close down investigations or interfere with them are not classified. That criminal investigations are ongoing are not classified, though there are DOJ guidelines based on the Privacy Act of 1974 about not disclosing that. The CI task force is compartmented, but once Congress started asking about it, it was disclosed that it exists and that is also legal.

    What happened in the meeting between the President and the Russians two weeks ago would be classified. Of course that is from our side. The Russians, who initially leaked/had TASS report the photos and the details, gets a vote. This has also been the case with the various phone calls and meetings with other foreign leaders. If the Australian PM’s staff divulges the contents of the phone call, then there is nothing that anyone in the US can do about it under classification rules.

    So almost everything leaked so far hasn’t been classified. The communication strategy is to finesse that because 99% of Americans have no idea how classification works, what the rules are, etc.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    @Raoul:

    Powerful.
    Q: Why should we care?
    BRENNAN: Our ability to choose our elected leaders as we see fit is an inalienable right we must protect. pic.twitter.com/Ry7o8CKXlx— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 23, 2017

    AMEN
    AMEN
    AMEN!!!

    WHY is this even debateable?

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: All you have to do to get that is to look at Dermer’s response in that clip I posted or the look on Netanyahu’s face when the President blurted out “I never told the Russians it was Israel”.

  54. 54
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    The Manchester bomber has been revealed as Salman Ramadan Abedi.

    His name was leaked by American officials against the wishes of British intelligence.

    It would be interesting to find out who those American officials worked for, and whether British intelligence will continue to be so generous with its intel.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    I know I am not supposed to be surprised but jeezus kryst these people are just fucking traitors.

    Beginning. Middle. End.

    T-R-A-I-T-O-R-S

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @randy khan:

    run of the mill assistant DAs aren’t as good as what you see in L&O.

    Next you’ll be telling me they’re not as hawt, either. I predict a day full of disillusionment.

  57. 57
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They deserve everything bad they get out of this.

    You betcha. While their influence on the outcome was probably minimal compared to other actors, as you point out it wasn’t for lack of wanting or trying. So they’ve earned their bite of this shit sandwich.

    If I were Obama, I’d call up Bibi and ask him, “Miss me yet?” And then laugh and hang up. And laugh some more.

  58. 58
    Aleta says:

    I’m liking Brennan; I think/hope his clarity is good for citizen understanding of the seriousness and how the CIA has proceeded.

  59. 59
    kindness says:

    I don’t understand how Republicans don’t see that Republicans with the stance and actions they are taking are now also in collusion with the Russian government in maintaining the electoral overthrow that resulted in the Trump Regime.

    Republicans must think they are helping/protecting the brand but I can’t see how they aren’t hurting it for everyone who isn’t a 27%er.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: I will. I’ve been thinking through the post for almost a week, but I wanted to wait till he finished the Israeli leg before posting it in case something really whacky happened. A good deal of what I’m going to talk about centers around the cancellation of the Masada visit and the demand that Yad Vashem be a 15 minute photo op rather than a proper tour of the museum. Both of these things are huge diplomatic snubs to the Israelis as these locations, almost as much as the Kotel/Western Wall, go to the heart of Israel’s civic narrative/mythos about itself.

  61. 61
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl:

    Seems like some things that have been known publicly for a while suddenly reappear and are officially ‘known’

    Like the old Soviet/Russian formulation: как известно – as is well-known.

  62. 62
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jl:

    Hears some news diva taking head on cable news defending Trump because maybe he is just so incompetent and stupid he doesn’t really understand laws and government and stuff.

    It is amazing that even T’s most devoted/deluded admirers would think that incompetence and stupidity are reassuring attributes to have in a president. Or in anyone, really.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Rhymes with Beve Stannon and Mephen Stiller and Seff Jessions and v Geb Sorka.

    Even more likely is this whackjob on the DHS beach head team named Wuco.

  64. 64
    kindness says:

    And let me say I HATE that autoplay video ad with Larry King etc that is now prominently located on the right column. I hate it over at Crooks & Liars and I hate it over at Raw Story. Why does Balloon Juice have that at all. It is awful.

  65. 65
    randy khan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I do not wish to shatter all of your illusions at once.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Gowdy is perpetually out of his depth. First Hillary, now Brennan, unmask the amateur status of this alleged “prosecutor”.

  67. 67
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, but I want to hear them SAY it.

  68. 68
    LAO says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @randy khan: JFK, Jr. was a DANY ADA for a time and he ranked very high on the hotness scale. So, there is that.

  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: I don’t see anything wrong either — Talking about what you have done or heard is not an inappropriate leak unless — the information is classified or there is some privilege that another person has over the material that would be violated (like a claim of executive privilege. Usually, people in government who suspect something will — or even might — be subject to an claim of executive privilege refuse to share that information so that the executive can have the time to decide whether to assert the privilege. i suspect that is what is happening with Rod “The Weasel” Resenstein regarding who asked him when to do what about his memo.* The really interesting leaks question to me is the one which Adam has flagged before — when is leaking of classified information appropriate if it involves the commission of a crime or serious problems in the executive branch? I think our friend, Thoreau probably has the best take — Disobedience is a moral question, but one must be willing to face the legal consequences of acts of civil disobedience, including prosecution.”

    *I spoke with a friend at DOJ this week and he says Rosenstein is really a straight shooter and an honest man of integrity. My friend could not explain his behavior other than to say, Rosenstein clearly believed what he wrote, but why he wrote it is the big question. Executive privilege type question….

  70. 70
    clay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Being a prosecutor in South Carolina is like being the back-up QB for the Patriots. You rack up the wins without doing much.

  71. 71
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Gowdy looks sooo put out by having to ask such questions to a person so clearly beneath him intellectually. How can a Mrs. Gowdy love that homely twit?

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Hears some news diva taking head on cable news defending Trump because maybe he is just so incompetent and stupid he doesn’t really understand laws and government and stuff.

    It is amazing that even T’s most devoted/deluded admirers would think that incompetence and stupidity are reassuring attributes to have in a president. Or in anyone, really.

    The curve for White men is REAL!!!!

    IMAGINE ANY of this being excused for 44 or Hillary.

    ANY.OF.THIS.

    REALLY?

    SERIOUSLY?

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @mdblanche: That was excellent….

  74. 74

    Gowdy is trying to get anyone on record to justify going after Hillary and the DNC more than going after trump.

  75. 75
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Trey Gowdy is really a worthless little twerp. Brennan is clearly not the sort of guy you can come at with some line of bullshit, and make the least dent in him. And right-wing bubble bullshit is all Gowdy’s got. He fully deserves to be pantsed like this.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @kindness: There has been significant effort over the past ten years or so by various Russian organizations (religious, civic, special interest) all ultimately tied back to/under control of Putin to most right of center to extreme right groups and movements in the US. This includes evangelical churches (evangelicals, charismatics, and fundamentalists), the NRA, the Republican Party, the various white nationalist/white supremacist/neo-NAZI groups, etc. This was all intended to change attitudes and perceptions. And it has worked well.

  77. 77
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the demand that Yad Vashem be a 15 minute photo op rather than a proper tour of the museum.

    I’ve been out of the loop (and not paying attention to news of Trump’s trip), are you fucking serious. 15 minutes. At Yad Vashem. No wonder he sounded like a high school freshman in the guest book. I can’t even.

  78. 78
    Peale says:

    @rikyrah: Because about 45% of the electorate is happy with the outcome of the interference? Its another way to shake things up. Its disruptive!

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @kindness: Alain is working on it.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Now that I think about it, I was unfair to the news cycle. I think the previous news was that the Trump admin ‘just’ asked intel agencies to shoot down a story or leak or some public finding coming out of the FBI, not that Trump himself asked if the IC people could shut down the FBI probe.

    Edit: “So, we got him, right? It’s over, isn’t it”
    No, nothing means anything at all anymore.

  81. 81
    clay says:

    @LAO: When he visits Poland, he’s just going to take a helicopter pass over Auschwitz.

  82. 82
    mainmata says:

    @Adam L Silverman: On his best days, Gowdy looks like a badly made scarecrow. I gather he’s back in the Chair because “Jason-in-the-House” is about to go bye-bye?

  83. 83
    MomSense says:

    @LAO:

    Yes, very high in the hotness scale and he was a dog lover which should rank him high on our own B-J scale, too.

  84. 84
    Wag says:

    @stinger:

    Which means that Gowdy is a horse

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Supreme Court strikes down North Carolina gerrymandering
    05/23/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    North Carolina Republican leaders may be radicalized to an alarming degree, but they’re also competent enough to achieve their goals. It’s not easy, for example, to take a state where voters are roughly divided evenly between the parties, and then draw the congressional district lines so that Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 seats, turning roughly 50% of the vote into 77% of the power.

    That is, however, precisely what GOP officials in North Carolina did in one of the most ridiculous contemporary examples of gerrymandering in the country. It’s also a map that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down yesterday as illegal.

    The U.S. Supreme Court Monday threw out North Carolina’s maps for two of the state’s 13 congressional districts, a ruling that former attorney general Eric Holder called “a watershed moment in the fight to end racial gerrymandering.”

    In drawing the boundary lines for both districts, race was the predominant factor and the state failed to offer a compelling justification, the court said.

  86. 86
    quakerinabasement says:

    Country first, right Trey?

  87. 87
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize:

    *I spoke with a friend at DOJ this week and he says Rosenstein is really a straight shooter and an honest man of integrity. My friend could not explain his behavior other than to say, Rosenstein clearly believed what he wrote, but why he wrote it is the big question. Executive privilege type question….

    I’ve thought a lot about this and Rosenstine. I think it quite likely (or at least possible) that Rosentine’s memo was a true reflection of his view of Comey and Comey’s shenanigans BUT that does not mean (1) he was ok being used a cover for the firing or (2) that he believed it was/is proper to fire the lead investigator in a criminal investigation of the campaign.

    PS — how’s your better half doing?

  88. 88
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You know how much I odio Seff Jessions? Very much.

  89. 89
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: Poor JFK Jr.

    ETA — One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes ever included ‘him.’

  90. 90
    clay says:

    @mainmata: I think he’s in the chair because Nunes had to recuse himself. Chaffetz is Oversight, not Intelligence.

  91. 91
    CM says:

    @Immanentize:

    You quote from DCI Brennan — via TPM:

    “Frequently, individuals who go along the treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late…”

    A couple of other commenters have replied to this, but this point needs to be emphasized: the former Director of the CIA has just put the word “treasonous” on the table.

    Treason.

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    Donald Trump makes the wrong impression at Yad Vashem
    05/23/17 11:31 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When American presidents travel abroad, especially for the first time, they make a lasting impression. Yesterday, for example, Donald Trump raised more than a few eyebrows with some inexplicable comments about Israeli intelligence, which he soon after followed up by suggesting Israel isn’t in the Middle East.

    Today, Trump visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s principal Holocaust memorial and museum – the American president scheduled a brief visit, that did not include a tour of the museum – and did little to improve upon yesterday’s showing.

    President Trump’s message in a guestbook at Israel’s main Holocaust memorial and museum has drawn some ridicule for its failure to demonstrate sensitivity to the atrocities memorialized at the site.

    “It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends – so amazing + will never forget!” Trump wrote during his visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, today.

    Raoul Wootliff, a reporter for the Times of Israel, posted on Twitter, “He forgot: ‘See you next summer.’”

    ………………………..

    My point isn’t to mock Trump’s obvious limitations, but rather, to emphasize that moments like these make a difference. The fact that Americans elected an inexperienced television personality to the nation’s highest office meant Trump started his presidency with a credibility deficit, especially abroad. Politico last week quoted a German observer who said of the American president, “People here think Trump is a laughingstock.”

  93. 93
    jl says:

    @rikyrah: I forget where I saw it, but someone called the Trump administration “White Privilege Performance Art’. Sounds about right. It’s kind of funny now, but might not be after they really start hurting people.

    Krugman had a good line about how the Trump admin seems to be coming up with special little gimmicks to hurt the states that voted for him the most. Really sick stuff. Hope we can stop it.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Yep. And more generally any Democrat regardless of ethnicity, religion, and/or gender.

    There has always been a significant anti-educated (as opposed to anti-intellectual) bias among a significant portion of Americans. This translates to anti-expertise and anti-authority attitudes. Even when the authority is legal and constrained. Combine this with the US’s original (and ongoing) sin and you get the mess we’ve been in for a long time.

  95. 95
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO:

    I’ve been out of the loop (and not paying attention to news of Trump’s trip)

    That sounds very healthy.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    Trump’s sabotage takes its toll on the health care system
    05/23/17 11:01 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Late Friday, with much of the political world focused on dramatic developments in the Russia scandal, the White House said Donald Trump was considering a radical move in the health care debate. The Republican president, reports indicated, was prepared to scrap cost-sharing reductions, deliberately destabilizing insurance markets, and taking coverage from millions.

    Trump had until yesterday to pull the trigger on this threat, but he apparently decided to take a different course. Instead of ending the cost-sharing reductions, the administration said it would delay a final decision by 90 days – which had the effect of leaving industry and its stakeholders in limbo while Republicans plot their next move.

    In case this isn’t obvious, insurance companies hate arbitrary uncertainty. It’s in conflict with their business model. In fact, CNBC reported yesterday that the White House’s political games will end up costing American consumers quite a bit of money.

    Delay, delay, delay means Obamacare customers will pay, and pay, and pay a lot more next year.

    The Trump administration’s move Monday to avoid for 90 days – yet again – making a decision on a major court challenge to key Obamacare subsidies paid insurers by itself will alone add up to 20 percent or more to the price of individual health plans next year, experts said Monday.

    Andy Slavitt, who until January oversaw Obamacare for the federal government, told CNBC that President Donald Trump has guaranteed higher insurance prices in 2018 by his indecision on what will happen to the $7 billion in subsidies insurers have counted on from the government.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Wag: The south end of a northbound horse, to be precise.

  98. 98
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It is amazing that even T’s most devoted/deluded admirers would think that incompetence and stupidity are reassuring attributes to have in a president. Or in anyone, really.

    Incompetence and stupidity are FANTASTIC attributes to have in opposing counsel

    @LAO: good prosecutors are good for your business, right? There’s no appeal if the prosecutor loses

    @clay:

    You’d think they’d be subtle

    Ha ha–good one!

  99. 99
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    ‘Tis of a former DCI this story I will tell,
    His name it was John Brennan, a master of intel,
    He testified to Congress & brought some facts to bear
    That made the Senate GOP before him sweat with fear.

    It was Brennan on the stand, Brennan on the stand,
    Bold, brave & undaunted was John Brennan on the stand!

    Since most o’ ye won’t be knowin’ th’original, I’ll afford ye a a handy link here.

    (Still a couple of verses to go, but just FTR, note that “Mayor of Cashel” scans exactly the same as “Gowdy Doody”…) (ETA: typos & fixed House to Senate…)

  100. 100
    MomSense says:

    @CM:

    Yes, treason is exactly what we are witnessing. That’s why so many of us are suffering from trumpsomnia and reverse presidential aging. Even people who have never paid much attention before feel unsettled. We are in the middle of a slow motion constitutional crisis.

  101. 101
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @rikyrah: Yep. And more generally any Democrat regardless of ethnicity, religion, and/or gender.

    I think at this point, there’s a Republican/Democrat double standard that’s basically an accrued sum of all the race/religion/gender/etc double standards in society. Democrats are the party of These People, therefore they’re judged accordingly.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Gowdy sweats a lot.

    Render him down for lard?

    /Coal Black humor

  103. 103
    trnc says:

    @Raoul: Interesting that the same republicans, who concluded that the integrity of our election process demanded significant voting restrictions based on about 17 cases of voter fraud out of hundreds of millions of votes cast, now wonder why it matters if a foreign government attempted to manipulate our elections.

  104. 104
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A good deal of what I’m going to talk about centers around the cancellation of the Masada visit and the demand that Yad Vashem be a 15 minute photo op rather than a proper tour of the museum. Both of these things are huge diplomatic snubs to the Israelis as these locations, almost as much as the Kotel/Western Wall, go to the heart of Israel’s civic narrative/mythos about itself.

    When I first heard that Trump had wanted to give a speech at Masada, I laughed out loud. At the sheer gall, of course, but mostly because of Trump’s blithering lack of awareness. How could anyone give a speech at Masada that wouldn’t be totally overshadowed by Masada? What could you possibly say that would be equal to what Masada symbolizes?

    Even a Gentile like me has the sense to know that much. And you’d think that if Kushner had any usefulness whatsoever, the least he, born and raised as a Jew, could have done was to have dissuaded Trump from this crazy notion.

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Yes. It was part of the schedule change requirements from the White House that included the cancellation of the Masada visit if the President had to take the cable car up instead of landing Marine One at the site (which is not allowed under Israeli Air Force and Israeli Aviation Authority rules). He was originally scheduled for the standard VIP tour, the same one that Presidents Obama and Bush (43) took. Lasts around an hour, then followed by signing the guest book after the experience, and then a statement to the media. The White House made it clear that the President didn’t want to do anything but sign the guest book and make a few remarks.

    They also told the Israelis that when the President went to the Kotel/Western Wall he was not to be accompanied by Netanyahu. While I have no qualms about anything that irks Bibi, this is a major diplomatic insult. From what I can gather, and based on the press photos circulated, the President wanted to be the sole focus of the photos of him at the Wall, which is what happened.

  106. 106
    D58826 says:

    @clay:

    I think he’s in the chair because Nunes had to recuse himself. Chaffetz is Oversight, not Intelligence

    Man is that committee misnamed.

  107. 107
    Barbara says:

    @JPL: Trump and probably most of the people he has hired don’t understand what classification means or entails. It certainly doesn’t mean anything the president said that he would have preferred to remain undisclosed by the press. I have to believe a lot of people leaking information are truly alarmed at what they are seeing in their day to day encounters with Trump as well as his minions.

  108. 108
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @kindness: see my post yesterday.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    Instead of ending the cost-sharing reductions, the administration said it would delay a final decision by 90 days – which had the effect of leaving industry and its stakeholders in limbo while Republicans plot their next move.

    There is no next move. This is it. They’re gonna break the system through fear of uncertainty.

    And they deserve every horror that awaits them when they do.

    We on the other hand, don’t.

  110. 110
    LAO says:

    @MomSense: Long story — feel free to skip —

    When I was in college, I spent a summer working for (now Gov.) Andrew Cuomo’s small homeless advocacy program, it had about 5 regular staff. It was the summer he married Kerry Kennedy and the very small office was inundated with Kennedys, including JFK, Jr.

    So, one day, Jr was in the office and all the women went batshit when he left. I was playing it cool because I had a huge crush on William Styron’s son Tom, who was a full time staff member.

    So, Andrew was like — LAO, what’s wrong with you and I, shrugged my shoulders and said he’s too old for me. Andrew fell to the ground and faked a heart attack. Fast forward a couple of weeks, I was in the library in the office, when some one taps my shoulder. I turned around and it was JFK, Jr., he grinned, titled his head and asked, “So, just how old are you?” I fucking died.

    He was the best looking human being I have ever seen in person. None of the pictures capture just how striking he was.

  111. 111
    Kenneth Kohl says:

    @MattF: I’ll take ‘daintingly perspires’ for $200

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mainmata: @clay: This is the House Select Committee on Intelligence. He’s a member, but not chairing. Some GOP Congressman from Texas is acting as chair because Nunes proverbially shot himself in the foot.

  113. 113
    Stan says:

    @MattF:

    But ‘sweats’ is rude. One should say ‘glows’ or ‘glistens’.

    Horses sweat, men perspire, women glow.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    didn’t want to do anything but sign the guest book and make a few remarks.

    His entire trip could be summed up as this.

  115. 115
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Good. God, how in this crazy world did things end up with me rooting for the IC to take down two out of three of our branches of government?

  116. 116
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @clay: So often this bunch reminds me of my midfle schoolers. You speak to one abput something and they all want to say well, somebody else did something. It doesn’t make what you did ok, sunshine.

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    And you’d think that if Kushner had any usefulness whatsoever, the least he, born and raised as a Jew, could have done was to have dissuaded Trump from this crazy notion.

    Hmmmm, I think I see your problem.

    you’d think that if Kushner had any usefulness whatsoever

    Yep, found it!

  118. 118
    JPL says:

    @LAO: That is really a neat story, and for a few seconds I was able to forget about Gowdy and the rest of the assholes.

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    Trump administration gives sea-level study a little touch-up
    05/23/17 10:22 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It would make sense for Republicans, like all Americans, to be concerned about rising sea levels. But in recent years, GOP officials’ concerns have been limited to squelching the discussion about the environmental problem instead of addressing it.

    As regular readers may recall, in 2012, Republicans in North Carolina tried to prohibit a state-appointed science panel from relying on the scientific evidence related to sea levels. Around the same time, Republican state lawmakers in Virginia commissioned a study on climate change and the state’s Eastern shore, but “sea-level rise” was to be omitted. The GOP sponsor of the study pointed to “sea-level rise” as an example of “liberal code words.”

    That kind of thinking appears to have reached the Trump administration. The Washington Post reported yesterday:

    On Thursday, a group of scientists, including three working for the U.S. Geological Survey, published a paper that highlighted the link between sea-level rise and global climate change, arguing that previously studies may have underestimated the risk flooding poses to coastal communities.

    However, three of the study’s authors say the Department of Interior, under which USGS is housed, deleted a line from the news release on the study that discussed the role climate change played in raising Earth’s oceans.

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    how in this crazy world did things end up with me rooting for the IC to take down two out of three of our branches of government?

    Just two?

  121. 121
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: This is just me speaking now — I think Rosenstein would have agreed with Comey’s dismissal maybe at any time, based on what he saw as the deeply problematic actions taken regarding the Clinton investigation. Straight up violation of DOJ policies and the fact that Comey was usurping the prosecutorial function rather than staying in his “law enforcement” lane. And Rosenstein has told us that he shared this view with Sessions as soon as Sessions was confirmed and asked Rosenstein to go up for Deputy. Whether that was a quid pro quo or not, I kinda doubt it, but it probably endeared RR to Sessions. Then, when the poo started flying, they had Rosenstein’s honest and supportable opinion to trot out. Either Sessions or Trump or both asked him to draft the memo (probably Friday night because a thing like that doesn’t get written in one day). The plan was, from Rosenstein’s viewpoint (guessing here) that the WH would say that they have reviewed Comey’s behavior and think that it was time for him to go. From all accounts, Rosenstein was PISSED that his memo was attached to the Sessions recommendation. That is why he is a bit weaselly — he wanted to stick in the shiv but he didn’t want any of his prints on it.

    On the other issue – this is a big week, second PET scan tomorrow and what I am now referring to as her “sentencing hearing” on Friday. We will know a lot more next week. I hope.

  122. 122
    vhh says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The original Stalinesque formulation was “как известно каждому школьнику” “as every schoolboy knows”.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: Which is even more interesting given the majority opinion Justice Kagan authored in yesterday’s NC gerrymandering case that essentially now equates race with party for these types of political decisions. That is one of the major and consequentially important components to her majority opinion.

  124. 124
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @rikyrah:

    Politico last week quoted a German observer who said of the American president, “People here think Trump is a laughingstock.”

    And why on earth would they think anything else?

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @MomSense:

    We are in the middle of a slow motion constitutional crisis.

    I object to that last one. There’s nothing slow about this car crash.

  126. 126
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It is amazing that even T’s most devoted/deluded admirers would think that incompetence and stupidity are reassuring attributes to have in a president. Or in anyone, really.

    This

  127. 127
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Immanentize: Far as I’m concerned, you can slap a pair of horns on Sessions and call him El Odio. (h/t Psychonauts for that reference).

  128. 128
    eclare says:

    @Immanentize: A famous Seinfeld episode for a number of reasons….

  129. 129
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TenguPhule: Wait, have they started investigating the SC?

  130. 130
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yep, found it!

    Can’t argue with you there!

  131. 131
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: best of luck Friday. And I agree 100% with your take of the Rosenstine situation.

    ETA: and tomorrow, too.

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    @jl:

    how the Trump admin seems to be coming up with special little gimmicks to hurt the states that voted for him the most. Really sick stuff. Hope we can stop it.

    I’d prefer to concentrate on the States that didn’t decide to commit suicide first.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Wait, have they started investigating the SC?

    With Gorsch and friends on it, they’d be stupid not to.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Kushner isn’t very bright. What he likely doesn’t know, and this will foreshadow my post a bit, is that a significant portion of Israel’s understanding of itself is based on what we now know is the inaccurate history of Masada – a small band of righteous men fighting to the last against overwhelming, genocidal tyranny. Israel has issued and reissued a Masada stamp with the legend: “Masada shall never fall again”. For Israel’s civil mythos Israel is the modern Masada. To blow off a visit to the actual, historic site because you feel having to use a cable car is an inconvenience or to difficult is a major insult.

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: We’ll be thinking good thoughts.
    Thank you for you comments regarding classified information and the memo Rosenstein wrote.

  136. 136
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: These cases are really really complex. The party = race thing probably only applies to the south. There is a case from Wisconsin that has everyone abuzz on this issue. In the NC case, DOJ argued they should overturn the one district (8-0) but leave the other one (5-3 with Thomas joining). DOJ’s position has been accepted in most of these cases so far — You can consider race, but not too much. It is a really crappy standard that would potentially have every district in court. So they are going to have to figure this out. Especially how do you determine if gerrymandering for ‘party’ is really a proxie for ‘race.’

  137. 137
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @TenguPhule:

    There’s nothing slow about this car crash.

    Yeah, I was 20 when Nixon resigned, and this is happening so much faster than Watergate, there’s no comparison. Every day, it’s “how many shoes will drop today?”

  138. 138
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LAO: Long story, debatable. Great punch line? Hell to the yes!

  139. 139
    rikyrah says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    And you’d think that if Kushner had any usefulness whatsoever, the least he, born and raised as a Jew, could have done was to have dissuaded Trump from this crazy notion.

    Kushner is a slave catcher.
    They ALL LIVES MATTERED the Holocaust.
    He and Ivanka DID NOT host the White House Passover Seder.
    He’s a slave catcher.

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: By going public like this the authors did something very important. Now, anytime a submission comes in to a peer reviewed journal from anyone working for USGS or NOAA or other parts of Interior the journal editor will know to check and see if the government required anything be removed and if so why. The answers to this will determine whether the submission actually goes forward to peer review.

  141. 141
    jl says:

    @TenguPhule: I was just being fair and balanced.

  142. 142
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: OT Just now I received a call to see if I planned on voting/supporting Handel. My reply was short but sweet, no, but thank you for calling.

  143. 143
    rikyrah says:

    Texas GOP Chairman’s Resignation May Spell Trouble
    by Martin Longman
    May 22, 2017 3:51 PM

    I don’t really keep up with the machinations of the Texas Republican Party so I don’t know much of the backstory on this, but it’s notable that the party’s state Chairman, Tom Mechler, announced his resignation on Saturday and that he took the opportunity to make some comments that indicate some internal squabbles are causing problems. Among other things, Mr. Mechler noted that the GOP “needs to work harder than ever to come together” and that “a party that is fractured by anger and backbiting is a party that will not succeed.” He appears to be supporting Rick Figueroa as his replacement, and he wrote that “If we do not engage in the diverse communities across Texas, we will lose the state, then the nation, and there may be no coming back.”

    I don’t know if it’s really appreciated that the presidential election in Texas was closer than it was in Iowa. Of course, President Obama carried Iowa twice but never really came close to making Texas competitive. While it’s true that something horrible obviously has happened to the Democrats in the Hawkeye State, it would be a much bigger deal for our national politics if Texas were to turn blue.

    There were polls early on in the presidential contest that predicted that Clinton might be able to put Texas in play. More recent polls have indicated that Senator Ted Cruz might be genuinely vulnerable when he seeks reelection next year. More than that, when the DCCC put together a list of House seats that might be competitive, a surprising number of them were in Texas. In fact, they’re quite serious about contending for at least three supposedly safe districts in the Lone Star State.

    That the GOP chairman quit and gave out a warning that a failure to engage with the diverse communities in Texas might doom the party nationally indicates to me that the threat is real, that it is appreciated, and that the state’s Republicans aren’t currently on the same page on what to do about it.

  144. 144
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Considering what an unreconstructed anti-Semite Trump is, the inscription could have been worse.

  145. 145
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I could not agree with you more about Masada and its place in Modern Israel. As a teenager, I vividly recall climbing to the top of Masada and then watching a tank unit being sworn in (after they ran up the mountain). I did not run up, I walked — slowly.

  146. 146
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @clay: @Adam L Silverman: I’m looking forward to your post, Adam. I’m just going to add a few words. We usually agree but see things from slightly different angles,

    It looks to me like Trump simply doesn’t understand how intelligence is done, how people, actions, and places can be logically connected. He’s lived out a rather legalistic approach to his career and seems to think that one either keeps everything secret, or it’s all fair game for his transactionalism. His explanation of dishing with Lavrov was that he was trying to ingratiate himself. For all he talks about great deals and how America’s been screwed, he also doesn’t seem to understand that you trade for specifics, seldom for a vague hoped-for outcome. Assuming good will on the part of the Russians (or, really, any other country) is stupid.

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: We’ll keep keeping good thoughts.

  148. 148
    amk says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Weird world in which liberals trust the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Pentagon, while so-called conservatives prefer Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom & RT— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 22, 2017

  149. 149
    rikyrah says:

    California Just Got the Price Tag for Single Payer Health Insurance
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    May 23, 2017 8:00 AM

    ……………………….

    Many proponents of single payer shifted their focus to the work that is being done on a proposal in California. It is often suggested that the problems in Vermont were related to the fact that it is so small and that would be mitigated in the the nation’s most populous state. But according to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the same challenge is emerging as they apply the numbers to their proposal.

    It would cost $400 billion per year to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal heath care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.

    California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag.

    As was the case in Vermont, that $200 billion per year is roughly equivalent to the state’s entire annual budget.

    But here’s where it gets both more promising and more challenging.

    Employers currently spend between $100 billion to $150 billion per year, which could be available to help offset total costs, according to the analysis. Under that scenario, total new spending to implement would be between $50 billion and $100 billion per year.

  150. 150
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And not to minimize the other point, but how the hell is it an inconvenience to use a cable car? It’s literally just sitting there for five minutes while the car goes from point A to point B. You couldn’t exert yourself less if you tried.

  151. 151
    LAO says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’ve been dining out on that story for a loooong time!

  152. 152
    ruckus says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    The Russians are smarter than the GOP. That’s why the GOP thinks they are safe. They think they are using the Russians. Like everything else they do projection rears its ugly head.

  153. 153
    rikyrah says:

    The GOP Is Quietly Scheming to Gut Medicaid While You Weren’t Looking
    Congressional Republicans want to make Medicaid even less generous than it was before Obamacare.

    by Joel Dodge
    May 23, 2017

    While the White House implodes from Russia scandals, congressional Republicans are plugging away at repealing the Affordable Care Act. And while few are watching, they are getting ready to gut one of the country’s most important health care programs: Medicaid.

    Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to nearly one hundred million Americans, making it the country’s largest health insurance program. It is run jointly by the states and the federal government: Washington covers at least half the cost of each state’s Medicaid program, and as much as 73 percent in poorer states. The federal government also pays for nearly all of the cost of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the nineteen states that have agreed to insure everyone up to 133 percent of the poverty line.

    Of course, any repeal of the ACA will reverse that expansion. But Republicans aren’t simply trying to return to the status quo; they want to make Medicaid less generous than it was before Obamacare. Specifically, they aim to shrink Medicaid’s funding by capping the amount of money that the federal government pays to the states. Instead of paying a percentage of each state’s ultimate Medicaid costs, the federal government would prospectively give each state either a lump sum of funding or a set allotment that the feds will pay for each enrollee. Either way, these limits would deliberately reduce the amount that the federal government spends on Medicaid. This leaves states on the hook to make up the funding gap by either raising taxes or offering fewer benefits to fewer people.

    To put this in numbers, the House health care bill imposes progressively deeper cuts over the next decade, slashing federal Medicaid spending by 26 percent by 2026. Even these cuts, which the White House has blessed, are not severe enough for some hardliners in the Senate, who want even greater reductions. They would achieve this by tying federal funding to a lower measure of inflation than the one currently used, which would cause the real value of the block grants to erode over time and cover less and less of the states’ expenses.

  154. 154
    jl says:

    @Chris: Too much like being on stairs? Trump is afraid of those things.

  155. 155
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: No argument based on what I’ve read: Kagan’s conclusions were intended for these types of cases in the states of the Confederacy.

  156. 156

    @amk: They are not conservatives they are nihilists, who want to destroy everything.

  157. 157
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @rikyrah: Kapo in German.

  158. 158
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    Sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

  159. 159
    Chris says:

    @amk:

    Not as weird as all that. Anti-military, anti-police, and anti-intelligence sentiment among liberals has never been nearly the universal default that hippie-punching right-wingers portray it as, nor nearly as extreme.

  160. 160
    Gravenstone says:

    I know that Chris Cillizza hate here is widespread and well deserved. Today the fucker managed to top himself with a post at CNN (purposefully not linking) about a recently released study into the adverse impact coverage of Clinton’s email server had on her campaign and the election outcome. Then the little shit doubles down and tries to absolve the press of responsibility in the matter. I think that should jump him right into the top five for the tumbrels manifest, at the least.

  161. 161
    bystander says:

    You do have to admire Trey Gowdy’s ability to launch into his “highly skilled prosecutor” tone only to see it devolve within minutes into rubber lipped double talk while showing everyone the yellow streak down his back.

  162. 162
    Raoul says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Now, this could be a leak worth investigating. But Gowdy sure as heck won’t.

  163. 163
    Tom says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Never mind the speech at Masada. It’s being reported that in 2015 Trump wanted to hold the Miss Universe pageant at Masada. It’s being reported that the entire staff at The Onion are under suicide watch, for obvious reasons.

  164. 164
    tobie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Kushner isn’t very bright.

    Nor does he strike me as being as orthodox as the media says. Twice he’s claimed to have gotten permission from his rabbi to break the sabbath. I’ve asked several ultra orthodox friends what they think of this and all have said it’s meshugas. He’s not saving a life and has no reason to break the sabbath. I’m not an authority on this by any stretch of the imagination but it strikes me that the Kushner/Ivanka line about being observant Jews is a carefully constructed myth.

    By the way: greetings to everyone! I was in Switzerland for a week of work and was impressed with just how easy it was to get things done in a place with great infrastructure and services. The chocolate was oh so good, too.

  165. 165
    Miss Bianca says:

    @amk: Weirder world where I find myself in agreement with Mr. “Axis of Evil” about *anything*, which seems to be happening more and more lately. Strange days indeed!

  166. 166
    p.a. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Gowdy is perpetually out of his depth. First Hillary, now Brennan, unmask the amateur status of this alleged “prosecutor”.

    Problem remains that in Foxworld 27%-47% (ish) of people don’t see it. US can’t survive half sentient half moron.

  167. 167
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @JPL:

    OT Just now I received a call to see if I planned on voting/supporting Handel. My reply was short but sweet, no, but thank you for calling.

    Ha! You could have said “Well that depends–did she change her position on…everything?”

  168. 168
    amk says:

    DOJ ethics experts have cleared Mueller to lead the Trump-Russia probe https://t.co/UD5u7OPdDoSo this potential WH strategy is blocked https://t.co/Ly1YDe72HM— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 23, 2017

    another banana peel moment not avoided.

  169. 169
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Also, I hope you are going to explain to us how they applied the kippah to his hairdo.

  170. 170
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: No argument from me on your analysis.

  171. 171
    Timurid says:

    @rikyrah:

    BILL Clinton wouldn’t have survived this. Neither would either Bush.
    Trump is bulletproof because he’s indispensable. It’s no longer sufficient to have a Republican President. It has to be Trump. The fundamental problem is that large numbers of both rank and file voters and donor class elites are not really Republicans anymore. They’re Trumpists. Many Republican politicians are enabling Trump because they think they have no choice. But in the long term, they’re all dead. Once Trump is gone, whether it’s by heart attack, resignation or even the completion of two terms, the Republican party is going to implode like a dying star.

  172. 172
    trnc says:

    @LAO: I hope this doesn’t trivialize the discussion surrounding Masada, but I was glued to the tv for the Peter 0’Toole miniseries.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081900/?ref_=nv_sr_1

  173. 173
    Cacti says:

    @randy khan:

    Gowdy really isn’t that good. People hear “prosecutor” and think automatically the person is good at going after witnesses, but that’s because they’ve seen too much Law and Order (which, it’s worth noting, is set in New York, which has one of the best DA’s offices in the country, and specifically highlights that the cases are important enough to get the cream of the crop). Most of them aren’t that good.

    Yep.

    Gowdy gained his prosecutorial chops doing meth lab cases in upstate South Carolina.

  174. 174
    Raoul says:

    @amk: Yeah, I saw this. I think Frum overstates our ‘trust’ in these organizations, but it is a topsy turvy world when basically the entire other political party is doing the thing Brennan warns of.

  175. 175
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: I had to carry a friend the rest of the way up the snake path to the top who decided he was going to run up. He didn’t make it to the half way point. Fortunately he wasn’t a really big guy, so I just tossed him over a shoulder and schlepped his bony tuchas the rest of the way to the top. I then had to keep another genius from our BBYO group from trying to follow his canteens over the edge of the site. I am constantly amazed to this day that at least 1/2 that group didn’t get themselves killed out of sheer stupidity on that trip.

  176. 176
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: lol I’ll save that for next time, but I doubt they call again.

  177. 177
    Raoul says:

    @Chris: Trump is afraid of it. Not seen that reported, but I’d bet one billion dollars a cable car scares the tantrum-in-chief.

  178. 178
    Cermet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But Thomas agreed with that specific part as well (he was critical for that second and very important decision)! How in the world did that happen!? He acts more white than scalia ever did …just f’ing strange. Is he trying to prove a point and then revert back to his “lov them white man’s” ways?

  179. 179
    TenguPhule says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Every day, it’s “how many shoes will drop today?”

    Who will be the first to suddenly commit suicide by throwing themselves out of a high rise building?

    Dead men tell no tales after all.

  180. 180
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: I have no idea. Honestly I keep trying to figure out if he’s got a cable car/public transportation phobia. Or that his handlers are convinced he can’t be out in the heat for more than a few minutes. Or if there is something else going on. Or some combination. I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s just weird and people have accommodated him his whole life because he’s got money.

  181. 181
    Chris says:

    @tobie:

    The public transportation infrastructure in Geneva spoils me rotten for when I’m back in the U.S.

  182. 182
    rikyrah says:

    Mulvaney Lies to Justify the Destruction of the Social Safety Net
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    May 23, 2017 12:02 PM

    ………………………………………………….

    The tax cuts for the uber wealthy are breathtaking. The top 1% will get a $250,000 tax cut per year. But the 400 richest Americans who make over $300 million per year will get a tax cut of at least $15 million annually.

    As I’ve watched stories appear over the last few weeks about this budget, I haven’t commented much. That’s because this is merely the president’s proposal and has no chance of becoming law. The real action will come with what Congress does over the next few months.

    But there is a way in which this one is important: It is a strong statement of the Trump administration’s priorities and values. The person who is tasked with defending those values is OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. As a reminder, he is the one who suggested that the Meals on Wheels program doesn’t work. He is also the one who made this morally repugnant statement about people with pre-existing conditions.

    Here is what Mulvaney said in defense of this budget:

    Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the spending plan, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” is focused on protecting taxpayer money and cutting spending on programs that are ineffective or encourage people not to work.

    He singled out the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the modern version of food stamps, which grew rapidly after the financial crisis and had 44 million beneficiaries in 2016.

    “We need people to go to work,” Mulvaney said. “If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you are on disability insurance and you are not supposed to be, you are not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”

    Once again, he is making a morally repugnant argument. It would be possible to write volumes to support that judgement, but I’ll focus on just three of the most egregious examples.

    First of all, I wonder how children who are fed by SNAP and/or provided health insurance by CHIP/Medicaid are supposed to go back to work. I’m sure Mulvaney would say that it is their parents who need to go back to work. But an increasing number of them already are. Here’s the data with respect to health insurance:

  183. 183
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wow, that’s crazy. Needless to say, we did not climb the snake path. Too treacherous for us privileged Jewish-american teenagers.

  184. 184
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They also told the Israelis that when the President went to the Kotel/Western Wall he was not to be accompanied by Netanyahu. While I have no qualms about anything that irks Bibi, this is a major diplomatic insult. From what I can gather, and based on the press photos circulated, the President wanted to be the sole focus of the photos of him at the Wall, which is what happened.

    I don’t quite get this. There was much friendliness in Netanyahu’s remarks, and evident relief that Trump was not Obama. I thought that he and Trump and their families had dinner later (not sure if this also happened with Obama). So how do we square this with the diplomatic insults? What has been the reaction in the Israeli press?

  185. 185
    Miss Bianca says:

    @tobie:

    I was in Switzerland for a week of work and was impressed with just how easy it was to get things done in a place with great infrastructure and services. The chocolate was oh so good, too.

    Oh, great. Rub it in – infrastructure AND chocolate? Get ye hence with these traveller’s tales!

  186. 186
    Lizzy L says:

    @Timurid:

    Once Trump is gone, whether it’s by heart attack, resignation or even the completion of two terms, the Republican party is going to implode like a dying star.

    I think this is correct. Once Orangehair is gone the Rs will tear each other to bits. And we Ds need to be prepared to step right into the power vacuum, because you can bet the Kochs and the Mercers and all their friends are planning for it already. We absolutely have to register new voters, as Ossoff has been doing in Georgia, inspire the old ones, and then GOTV for 2018.

  187. 187
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yeah, the last line sounds right. Upon further reflection, it’s probably “this is gonna bore me, I can tell, and I don’t want to have to spend any more time there than I have to.”

  188. 188
    Keith P. says:

    whoa…Roger Moore died. RIP

  189. 189
    Raoul says:

    @Chris: I visited Zurich in February (and lucked out on weather). The tram system, as well as the incredibly frequent and fast service from the airport, amazed me.
    All this bullshit in the US about transit being bad for business/soshulist etc. Screw you, chamber of commerce morans. Switzerland is a capitalists delight. And yet they have fabulous transit infrastructure. And a public-private health insurance system that seems to work. Etc.

  190. 190
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: Now they go to the first sequel to their strategy, which is to impugn Mueller’s integrity. This is why Bossie and Lewandowski are being brought in to run the war room.

  191. 191
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gravenstone:

    I think that should jump him right into the top five for the tumbrels manifest, at the least.

    Sorry, all booked for months. I might be able to squeeze him in for a suicide by highrise building though.

  192. 192
    D58826 says:

    @rikyrah: Haven’t really been following it but always figured if you went to single payer that would fold in the employer/employee money from company based plans. That would be a pretty big pot of dollars.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @clay:

    We’re going to long for the days when Cheney showed up at Auschwitz dressed like a lumberjack, but at least he fucking showed up.

  194. 194
  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    Once again, he is making a morally repugnant argument.

    Honestly, the entire GOP Congressional body needs to be sentenced to a life of hard labor as indentured farm workers. With daily quotas backed by Mexicans armed with bullwhips.

  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trnc: It doesn’t, but it is based on what is now known as an inaccurate history/historical reconstruction of the events that took place there. Specifically it is based on the historical novel based on that inaccurate history entitle The Protagonists. What you want is:
    https://www.amazon.com/Masada-Myth-Collective-Memory-Mythmaking/dp/0299148343/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495561188&sr=1-1&keywords=the+masada+myth

  197. 197
    rikyrah says:

    @Timurid:

    Trump is bulletproof because he’s indispensable. It’s no longer sufficient to have a Republican President. It has to be Trump. The fundamental problem is that large numbers of both rank and file voters and donor class elites are not really Republicans anymore. They’re Trumpists. Many Republican politicians are enabling Trump because they think they have no choice.

    They want to use him, and then get rid of him, blaming him for everything that they pass, believing that he’ll be scapegoated.

  198. 198
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    now that’s a steel toe to somebody’s crotch

    Ari Shapiro‏Verified account @ arishapiro 2h2 hours ago
    Oh my. “Frequently individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they’re on that path until it’s too late.” -former CIA Dir Brennan

  199. 199
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cermet: I have no idea. This is outside my expertise.

  200. 200
    MattF says:

    @Gravenstone: WaPo has its ups and downs… but the fact that Cillizza is outta there is cause for celebration. They’ve still got Thiessen, though, and Hewitt. The question I’d ask is why they need multiple right-wing hacks?

  201. 201
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    he has now further compounded the gross mistake

    You could summarize every post on Trump down to just this.

  202. 202
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Cernovich will just get instructions from the home office to blame it on HRC. It will then be picked up by Drudge and Dim Jim Hoft. Then Breitbart. Then Hannity.

  203. 203
    Sab says:

    @rikyrah: I have been hoping that you and Kay would comment on this decision. Is it as big a deal as I think it is?

  204. 204
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: The Israeli press and Israeli twitter, from what I can tell, is not amused.

  205. 205
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MattF: to say nothing of at least two squishy, I-may-be-a-liberal-but wastes of print, pixels and oxygen, Marcus and Cohen

    (WP autocorrect tried to change oxygen to “foxy”. I think WP Is nostalgic for a Ramada Inn disco in 1978)

  206. 206
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hannity is now quoting Kim Dotcom as a must-read. I didn’t go down that rabbit hole.

  207. 207
    Chris says:

    @Raoul:

    Our Chamber of Commerce types, who like to think of themselves as cold and rational businessmen, are actually just fucking brats with thin skins and big egos, that’s all. They’re enraged at having to pay anything in taxes, enraged at having to submit to any regulations, and even more enraged at the implication in both of these things that rabble has any right or authority over them. Most of their political involvement are dedicated to showing the world that it’s Not The Boss Of Them. That the end result isn’t even that good for business isn’t something they care about, or even really notice, because they have enough money (many of them from the day they were born) that as far as they’re concerned, life will go on without great inconvenience no matter what.

  208. 208
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: The ACA is sort of loosely modeled on Switzerland’s system. It just doesn’t look the regulations down tightly enough, nor require that the private partners be not for profit.

  209. 209
    TenguPhule says:

    @kindness:

    I don’t understand how Republicans don’t see that Republicans with the stance and actions they are taking are now also in collusion with the Russian government in maintaining the electoral overthrow that resulted in the Trump Regime.

    The point of power is the pursuit of power. And the goal is to make all not of the cult of Trump suffer. Any suffering of the cult of Trump is obviously somebody else’s fault.

  210. 210
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Honestly I keep trying to figure out if he’s got a cable car/public transportation phobia.

    If so, it’s a phobia acquired in adulthood. He has bragged more than once about how he used to take the subway into Manhattan almost every weekend when he was quite a young kid, despite opposition from his father.

  211. 211
    eric says:

    @LAO: my history is a little weak, but werent the jewish fighters of the “one true scotsman” variety in the purity of their cause and the condemnation of appeasers? thanks

  212. 212
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

  213. 213
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @D58826: It would. It would also open up a lot of new creative risk taking as people would quit jobs they’re tolerating to maintain their health insurance to try to actually do what they really would like to do. It would also free up a lot of additional money at companies that don’t have to pay people to manage these benefits.

    The rub is the transitioning. How do you get over that initial huge financial hump so the new system can be started.

  214. 214
    stinger says:

    @Wag: I have no quarrel with that take.

  215. 215
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And here, with PPACA, no uniform minimum policy sold on non-profit market. No separate market for fancier supplemental policies. No ‘hard band’ rate regulation. No federal audits for insurance companies or providers that want to price outside the band. And no mechanisms to help ensure transparent pricing by providers that approximates true average cost of care.

    Swiss health system much more highly regulated than under PPACA. Interestingly, I remember reactionaries dangling the Swiss ‘free unregulated market’ health care model in some weird bait and switch attempt a while ago that lasted a few weeks.

  216. 216
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Not enough brain bleach.

  217. 217
    Sab says:

    @LAO: Best story of the day for me.

  218. 218
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’d bet one billion dollars a cable car scares the tantrum-in-chief.

    @Raoul: I’ll give him a pass on that. They scare the living shit out of me.

  219. 219
    But her emals!!! says:

    @rikyrah:

    These numbers make sense. Healthcare is a big chunk of the economy and pretty expensive. You’d expect even with cost savings from market size, given the additional people that would be added or get better coverage, universal single payer insurance is going to cost at least in the neighborhood of what is currently being spent by the government, companies and individuals combined on insurance. Basically, a government that enacts this is going to have to find a way to collect what is currently being spent by companies and individuals on premiums.

  220. 220
  221. 221
    TenguPhule says:

    Right on Schedule, FatFuckFace makes Manchester statement.

    “This wicked ideology must be obliterated – and I mean completely obliterated – and the innocent life must be protected. All civilised nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace.”

    Safety, Security, Peace. Say it with me now! /Emperor Palpatine

  222. 222
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Yep and yep.

  223. 223
    Chris says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Safety, Security, Justice and Peace.
    /pedant

  224. 224
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Oy vey…

  225. 225
    Peale says:

    @TenguPhule: And if 200 million people must die as a result of our attempts to obliterate it, so much the better!

  226. 226
    rikyrah says:

    @Sab:

    @rikyrah: I have been hoping that you and Kay would comment on this decision. Is it as big a deal as I think it is?

    it really is. they were so bad, that even Unca Clarence couldn’t find a way to vote for them.

  227. 227
    bystander says:

    @MattF: I don’t think Gowdy is sweating. I think the bear grease he uses to keep his pixie do in place is melting.

  228. 228
    The Moar You Know says:

    Honestly I keep trying to figure out if he’s got a cable car/public transportation phobia. Or that his handlers are convinced he can’t be out in the heat for more than a few minutes. Or if there is something else going on. Or some combination.

    @Adam L Silverman: Personal confession: I have anxiety. Functional, but it’s a problem. And it manifests in a couple of relevant ways: I’m massively heat sensitive. Was a problem when I got deployed over to Africa, but one acclimates. And I have a problem with confined spaces. Like cable cars and buses.

    Heat up that confined space and I might just lose my shit in a really bad way.

    I think Trump’s got the same kind of thing going on. I saw the images from the “Bibi handshake fuckup” yesterday, well, and that looks like a guy on a LOT of anti-anxiety meds.

  229. 229
  230. 230
    Jacel says:

    @Raoul: Did Trump once have a bad experience involving Manhattan’s Roosevelt Island, and riding the Masada cable car would cause flashbacks?

  231. 231
    🌷 Martin says:

    @rikyrah: Right. That is not an insurmountable number. And also keep in mind that the starting point for Democrats was an everything including the kitchen sink single payer system. No copays, no deductibles – full coverage for hospital, outpatient, drugs, mental health, dental, vision, nursing home care. Everything is in that – including coverage of 1M+ undocumented. It works out to about $10K per taxpayer. That’s high. It’s unclear in the analysis what kinds of cost savings they expect – probably not that much because the starting point was so (intentionally) light on detail. What would the state be paying for drugs? Would they negotiate on their own, pay the Medicare rate, pay the VA rate, etc? My guess is that, as is usual, anything that was left ambiguous the analysts assumed on the expensive side. That leaves the legislature with a lot of work still to do, but it should also leave them with a detailed bill of goods that they can see where costs can be contained and where they can’t.

    This will likely get passed by the assembly. It needs ⅔ vote there because there are tax increases included in the bill. There will be a HUGE effort working with the governor and various groups to turn this into an implementable plan. I would expect that KFF will be involved.

  232. 232
    trollhattan says:

    Evidently, Melania is still playing swat-the-Donny. My money’s now on the presidency outlasting the marriage.

  233. 233
    Annie says:

    @trnc:

    Oh Lord, me too. Major crush on O’Toole ever since The Stunt Man.

  234. 234
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That’s been my theory about this all along. Trump is so easily swayed by praise and accolades that he’d sell out the nation in a hot second without even realizing he did something wrong – and that likely goes for a lot of the people he’s attracted to. Now, just because he doesn’t have intent doesn’t mean he’s not responsible – and we should never elect someone into that position to begin with. It’s not like it wasn’t obvious enough during the campaign.

  235. 235
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan:

    Evidently, Melania is still playing swat-the-Donny. My money’s now on the presidency outlasting the marriage.

    Still not enough to save her. She’s a Trump.

  236. 236
    chopper says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    anxiety explains why drumpf is always sniffing during debates.

  237. 237
    stinger says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Nor a quarrel with that, either.

  238. 238
    clay says:

    @Cermet: LGM has a good piece on how Thomas’ jurisprudence is more nuanced than it may seem.

  239. 239
    trollhattan says:

    @LAO:
    Hell of a story on several levels. What would make it more perfecter is your name being Sophie.

  240. 240
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The rub is the transitioning

    And convincing people that the end of the journey is worth the short term inconvenience. Look how people reacted to Obamacare even though the 80% of the population with employer based insurance mostly gained under the reforms.

  241. 241
    🌷 Martin says:

    @trollhattan: That’s just Melania saying ‘hand holding isn’t in the contract, Donald’. The contract still stands. That’s all that marriage ever has been.

  242. 242
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The picture of Asshole in a kipa at the wall this morning on the front page of the NYT made me lose my breakfast.

  243. 243
    stinger says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Brilliant!

  244. 244
    germy says:

    Director Zack Snyder has stepped down from working on Justice League to support his family following the suicide of his daughter.

    Snyder, who has directed many film adaptations of comic books including 300, Watchmen, Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, has spoken about his family tragedy for the first time.

    He explained that Avengers director Joss Whedon would pick up the baton to finish the film. The director’s daughter Autumn Snyder died in March at the age of 20.

    He told the Hollywood Reporter: “In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it. The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming.

    “And in the last two months, I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time.”

  245. 245
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Tom: Speaking of The Onion, it seems they have upped their game:

    http://www.theonion.com/trumpdocuments

  246. 246
    zhena gogolia says:

    @tobie:

    How about Ivanka’s formfitting sleeveless ensembles?

  247. 247
    germy says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    The contract still stands. That’s all that marriage ever has been.

    I read somewhere she “hate watches” liberal broadcasts critical of her husband and tells him about them. And that she’s pushing for Spicey to go. She’s seen how he’s being mocked.

  248. 248
    LAO says:

    @trollhattan: My crush on Tom Styron knew no bounds. That summer, I read everything his dad wrote including his autobiography about mental illness. And, through the course of that summer, I learned all about how fucked up and dysfunctional the Styron clan was.

  249. 249
    zhena gogolia says:

    @LAO:

    Okay, so my story of standing next to him in a convenience store trying to pretend I was picking out a yogurt flavor doesn’t quite stack up.

  250. 250
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    I’m keeping all the Imms in my thoughts every day.

  251. 251
    LAO says:

    @zhena gogolia: Just being near JFK, Jr. counts. Seriously, back me up, so good looking, right?

  252. 252
    zhena gogolia says:

    @LAO:

    Oh, yes. But I have to admit I didn’t spot him until my brother kept poking me in the ribs. But once I spotted him I almost fainted.

  253. 253
    LAO says:

    @zhena gogolia: LOL! but true. And understandable.

  254. 254
    🌷 Martin says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It is amazing that even T’s most devoted/deluded admirers would think that incompetence and stupidity are reassuring attributes to have in a president. Or in anyone, really.

    That’s always been a thing, though. That was part of China’s cultural revolution, and a driver of the Russian revolution as well. The idea that this stratified group of elites know best always runs out of gas at some point – usually when they lose sight of what the broader public fear most, the masses rise up and insist that one of their own, someone who understands their fears, be put in charge. And inevitably, things go to shit because those elites for all their faults at least knew how to run the economy and keep everyone alive.

    We think of Trump as an elite because of his wealth, but he’s adapted himself to speak the language of aggrieved white Christians and to put recognition of their fears ahead of issues like healthcare and trade and so on. Trump always wanted to be seen as a Manhattanite, but Manhattanites eat at trendy places, they don’t eat KFC or overcooked steak with catsup. Trump is the plumber (no disrespect to plumbers – just coopting a stereotype to my benefit) that won the lottery, and that’s what his supporters see.

  255. 255
    Another Scott says:

    @Chris: He’s afraid of ramps. I imagine he wouldn’t like swaying in a cable car very much, either.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  256. 256
    🌷 Martin says:

    @germy: She’s got an asset to protect.

  257. 257
    bystander says:

    I just heard Lindsey Graham say that Trump’s proposed huge cuts to State Dept. would result in “many more Benghazis”. Does that make it clear the people who attacked Clinton over Benghazi realize that Benghazi was a result of an underfunded security force for State? And that the people who,deliberately underfund State are those actually responsible for Benghazi?

  258. 258
    Quinerly says:

    @LAO:
    My story of a Kennedy encounter is not nearly as exciting. I’ll make it brief. Interning for a senator in 1982. A hot summer in DC; I was 21 and wore a lot of vintage cotton print sundresses, dresses that had been my mother’s in the 1940’s-1950’s. Teddy stopped me TWICE in the course of the summer to introduce himself and compliment my dresses. I still have the black & white one. I smile when I run across it in my closet for two reasons…makes me think of that summer before I started law school and makes me think of my parents, who are both deceased now. They loved that story. My dad told it to everyone in our small Southern town. I think he delighted in pissing off the Teddy haters. Oh, and the best part…both times Sen Kennedy stopped me, I told him I was wearing my mother’s dresses from the ’40’s. He smiled and said, “I’d like to meet your mother too.”

  259. 259
    randy khan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    He has bragged more than once about how he used to take the subway into Manhattan almost every weekend when he was quite a young kid, despite opposition from his father.

    Given the source, I probably wouldn’t take either part of that claim at face value.

  260. 260
    hovercraft says:

    @Brachiator:

    There was much friendliness in Netanyahu’s remarks, and evident relief that Trump was not Obama. I thought that he and Trump and their families had dinner later (not sure if this also happened with Obama). So how do we square this with the diplomatic insults? What has been the reaction in the Israeli press?

    Bibi and Twitler have been “friends” for decades, and apparently Bibi has been friends with the Kushner family for decades too. Someone the other day said Bibi tells an anecdote about little Jared doing something back when he was a little boy. Sorry I didn’t pay attention, because I wanted to puke. Bibi doesn’t care about the snubs and blunders, he got what he wanted, the anti-Obama, someone who hates Iran as much as he does, though I think that’s a mistake, Twitler could change his mind about that at any moment. Plus he gets someone who will block the UN Security Council and not really press him on making real concessions to the Palestinians. He can overlook the other shit because he gets a card blanch from his old buddy and his old buddies son, WINNING!

  261. 261
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom:

    Speaking of The Onion, they’re not quite dead yet. Seems like a good time to drop this.

  262. 262
    SFAW says:

    @LAO:

    He was the best looking human being I have ever seen in person.

    Have we met?

    Just kidding. On a 1 to 10 scale, if JFK Jr was a 10, I’m about a negative 7.

    But that was a great story

  263. 263
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The Israeli press and Israeli twitter, from what I can tell, is not amused.

    Deep State?

  264. 264
    LAO says:

    @Quinerly: Don’t sell the story short, it’s awesome.

  265. 265
    cat says:

    @hovercraft: How shallow must the GOP bench be that Gowdy is the ‘ringer’.

  266. 266
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This is being pushed really hard on Reddit by the /r/The_Donald folks as well, in practically every thread they can find in public subreddits that mentions Hannity or Seth Rich. It’s really, really sad. The amount of lying and deception these people are willing to go through while still proclaiming “NO EVIDENCE OF TRUMP/RUSSIA” is sad and infuriating at the same time.

    The especially sad thing is what this is doing to Seth Rich’s family.

  267. 267
    eclare says:

    @LAO: All good Kennedy stories from everyone….wish I had one, sniff.

  268. 268
    hovercraft says:

    @cat:
    ZEGS is their intellectual center, the ideas man, the future of the party, a real policy guy. Now tell me apart from the trolls who on Balloon Juice couldn’t bury him in any policy debate?
    Just think about the people who they’ve sent out to “get” a democrat, Issa, Gowdy, Ryan, not to mention their entire cause getting a severe beatdown from Obama at Blair House. Who in that field of 16 last years had any real policy chops, I’m not talking about their ability to bullshit smoothly like Christie and Kasich, but real down in the weeds, maybe JEB! but he was never going to win, his brother sucked so bad that he made America vote for a blah man.

  269. 269
    JPL says:

    @zhena gogolia: Yeah keep gloating. While reaching for milk once, I spotted Tom Price near me. I put the milk down and left the store without buying anything.

  270. 270
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah:

    believing that he’ll be scapegoated.

    and given the example of George Bush, versus the resurgence of the GOP in 2010, 2014 and 2016, they will be right.

  271. 271
    TenguPhule says:

    The leaks are coming from inside the house! And are being extremely vetted for good reason

    According to Haberman, members of the Trump administration already have tried to dupe the New York Times on several occasions — presumably with tips that seem plausible and are not easily dismissed as “crazy.”

    But wait, it gets even better!

    CNN later quoted a senior White House official who admitted that Trump’s initial remark to journalists was a “misdirection play” designed to promote favorable coverage. It seems clear that feeding false information to reporters is part of the White House playbook.

    And they wonder why nobody believes Trump or any of his minions when push comes to shove.

  272. 272
    Elie says:

    @MattF:

    I think its important to read some of the right wing hacks. We have to be careful. Lately I’ve been hearing left progressives sound more and more like fake news loving right wingers — they only want to hear or read what they agree with and we are losing the whole tradition of liberal thought and communication. I for one am very concerned that we now think its cool to have our college grads turn their backs on conservative and right wing speakers. Sure, some of these people talk hate and ignorant messages, but is limiting communication and free speech how we want to go? I am on the board of a local environmental organization that is charged with protecting an Aquatic Reserve that includes heavy industry cheek by jowl to the environment. I am on the outs because I want to have these industries talk about what they are doing for the Aquatic Reserve — what they said they would do to monitor their impact — and no one on the committee even wants to hear what they are doing — not to shill or agree with them — just to learn what they are doing to minimize their risk to this beautiful shoreline.

    So while part of me is sympathetic when we talk about having to listen to some of the right wing bigots and the like — I still want to uphold what is left of our liberal culture where we uphold freedom of speech and thought.

  273. 273
    catclub says:

    @bystander:

    Does that make it clear

    Not to the people who don’t want to see that evidence.

  274. 274
    TenguPhule says:

    @Elie:

    I for one am very concerned that we now think its cool to have our college grads turn their backs on conservative and right wing speakers. Sure, some of these people talk hate and ignorant messages, but is limiting communication and free speech how we want to go?

    All of the ones so far are out and out liars of the fascist right. The audiences quite properly exercised their right not to be subject to lies and hate.

  275. 275
    Mike in DC says:

    Fox News retracts the Seth Rich story. Ball in Hannity’s court. Hope he persists and gets suspended for a week. If not, then the retraction is worthless. I also hope the Rich family sues the fuck out of him.

  276. 276
    Trentrunner says:

    @Elie: Your concern is noted.

  277. 277
    ruemara says:

    @Timurid: We, the underclass, cannot survive 2 terms.

  278. 278
    burnspbesq says:

    @randy khan:

    Even in New York, run of the mill assistant DAs aren’t as good as what you see in L&O.

    Rock-star prosecutors tend to be AUSAs. Alumni of SDNY are disproportionately represented on my list of the smartest and best lawyers I know.

    The quality at the state level is more variable. Some awfully good people work for my classmate Jackie Lacey, the LA County DA, but she also is saddled with some shlubs.

  279. 279
    bystander says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The audiences quite properly exercised their right not to be subject to lies and hate.

    Wow! Great idea. We could call that right “free speech”.

  280. 280
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 State Department budget proposal irresponsibly cuts diplomacy and diplomatic security in a way that could cause “a lot of Benghazis,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the State Department and foreign operations. He promised that Congress would reject the cuts.

    I thought Hillary’s emails, Susan Rice and Sidney BLOOM’n-THAWL (as I believe it appears in the Gowdy hearing transcript) made Benghazi?

    @TenguPhule: I think there’s a big difference between giving Ann Coulter or Milo Y the attention and controversy they want and protesting, in quiet and orderly fashion, a Vice President who is using a safe space (used advisedly) to try and score some cheap political points, when he is already morally and politically corrupted six ways of Sunday, and lying about it (The Vice President does not recall when he un-learned the things he was told). I would especially hope some of those ND grads are genuinely offended at Callista Gingrich being touted for Ambassador to the Vatican. I’m an atheist, but the old tribal pull, and my admiration for Francis, make that one stink to me. I think if it was still the Prada Fascist Pope, I wouldn’t care

  281. 281
    Kay says:

    Someone needs to do a comprehensive list of all the criminality going on in TrumpLand. I’m losing track.

  282. 282
    clay says:

    @TenguPhule: They believe their own hype about “fake news” and think that the NYT (and other respectable news orgs) just make shit up. The NYT, for all of its faults, is still going to check and double check and source and double source a major story. They don’t just make shit up. They ain’t Fox News. So the Trumpers tried to set a ‘trap’ and got busted for it.

    There’s nothing sadder than dumb people trying to be clever.

  283. 283
    Kay says:

    I’m waiting for the first GOP House candidate to say “all elections are local”

    Then we’ll know they’re breaking with this douchebag :)

  284. 284
    James Powell says:

    @rikyrah:

    WHY is this even debatable?

    Because money & power won. Because white supremacy won. Because suck it libtards, you lose!

    Less snarky, Republicans have to treat it as debatable because if it’s not, they have no legitimate authority to govern.

  285. 285
    rikyrah says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I also hope the Rich family sues the fuck out of him.

    me too.

  286. 286
    James Powell says:

    @clay:

    The NYT, for all of its faults, is still going to check and double check and source and double source a major story.

    Unless it is a negative story about one of the Clintons. Then it’s go all out with rumor & innuendo, unsubstantiated claims, “some say,” and shadow & clouds.

  287. 287
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    Someone needs to do a comprehensive list of all the criminality going on in TrumpLand. I’m losing track.

    At this point its safe to assume that the Trumps and GOP are guilty of every crime on the books, including buggering children and small dumb animals.

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