68 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. wow! jace, that will really wake the trail up this morning.  thanks.  can you imagine being there in the midst of that glorious sound bouncing around the cathedral?  again, wow!

  2. jace,

    I hope you realize how much you are looked forward to every week. No matter how much stupidity & awfulness swirls around us your contributions are an island of serenity & beauty. 🎶🎶

     

  3. time:  Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter
    Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.
     
    The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.
     
    “Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.

     
    Page is at the center of a controversial memo from Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, released this week. The Nunes memo claims that in Oct. 2016 the FBI improperly received court permission to spy on Page, whom Trump had named as an adviser to his campaign in March 2016. The Nunes memo says the FBI based its request for eavesdropping permission on information provided by former British spy Christopher Steele while Steele was working for Democrats.
     
    House Democrats, the FBI and the Justice Department have all raised questions about what they say are omissions and misleading analysis in the Nunes memo. They argue the FBI presented multiple pieces of evidence, beyond the Steele dossier, in their request for a warrant against Page from the secretive FISA court. But President Donald Trump argued after declassifying the memo that it showed that “a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves.”
    [..continues…]

  4. jace – Love the morning call & response trumpets.

    rr – Did you see the Bunker Hill-era Patriots/ Iggles sketch in SNL? So good.

  5. He never “felt” there was any attempt to obstruct the investigation.  How many times did Reince use the word “felt”?

    Oh, he’s covering his own sorry ass.

  6. Well, looking back at the week, just when was the SotU?  Normal world we would still be talking about it.  Today we have SFB somewhere burning us taxpayers for another day of vacation.  So we have been taken for a ride by a possible Russian agent in House, again.  However, there seems to be a few republicans not willing to be in the hot seat in a court room.  I guess there are still a few with a conscious hanging around.  But, not a lot.

    Will stupid fire the FBI or all of DOJ today or tomorrow?  From his history he foments and ferments over the weekend and lashes or fires out early in the week.

    I do get a few minutes of politics today, I started doing my taxes this morning and get a small reward.

  7. Kessler eviscerates the memo meme at Wapo fact checker today. Worth a read. Comments are terrific. Pugns are trying to rewrite their own recent history.

    BB,  great to hear you discovered the Bllom County diet – eat less, exercise more. Good luck.

  8. I guess it’s the high pitch of those trumpets, sure got Toby’s attention. She flew in from the backyard to the porch to stare at my phone, ears perked up.

  9. Russia Republicans claim their memo is all about defending Carter Page’s rights but publicly naming him as a FISA target was a violation its own self.

  10. BiD….  haven’t watched SNL in years.  It starts at 11:30pm and ends at 1:00am here in the east.  My natural rhythm has always been go to bed when tired (my parents didn’t need to give me a bedtime as a kid) and wake up early.  I used to be able to stay up late every now and then when younger… but not now.  But thanks for the heads up… I’ll look for the skit online.

    Go Patriots!

  11. Trump Jr. suggests Russia investigation akin to ‘McCarthyism,’ says Dems are ‘left of commie’ https://t.co/OV6wHQ4s8A

    I watched this interview on Fox last night — Jr. is as unhinged as his Dad and Hannity put together. A cornered criminal. His mixup of Cold War references alone reveal a confused state of mind.

  12. guess mr ben gauzy is practicing for his senate confirmation hearing for fed judgeship… or  ag….appointment.

    excerpt from cbs:

    [….]
    But, Gowdy, the only Republican on the House Intelligence Committee who has seen the actual FISA warrant applications — Nunes has not — emphasized that the memo does not discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates. 
    “Not to me, it doesn’t, and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it,” Gowdy said, asked if the memo has an impact on the Russia probe. “There is a Russia investigation without a dossier.”
    The dossier has “nothing to do” with the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer, Gowdy noted. Gowdy also said the dossier did not form the basis for the case against George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aid who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about foreign contacts. The dossier has nothing to do with obstruction of justice, Gowdy noted. 
    “So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier,” he said. 
    Meanwhile, Gowdy said “it would” concern him if President Trump makes any move to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 
    The South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said he has confidence in the deputy attorney general, of whom
    Mr. Trump has been publicly critical, and he would be concerned if the commander-in-chief attempts to fire him. 
    “It would. Again, I’m not in the Senate. I don’t have advice and consent. And the president has not sought my counsel on this,” Gowdy told CBS News’ White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan. 
    […continues…]

     

  13. Just saw the SNL skit on the Patriots vs the Iggles….   ROTFLMAO!

    They even got the accents right….

  14. The intersection of Trump/Manaford is Roger Stone and Roy Cohn and Stone has been in business with Manaford sin the 1980’s. Trump was a client of their firm.

  15. The accents were killer.  So glad to see Rachel Dratch back.  Only sad that she had no reason to say “No-mah(r).”

    Had a friend from PA.  “Them’ens and “us’ens.”

    I loved it when they did a Baltimore accent on “30 Rock.”  Like Philly, but weirder.

  16. in the let them eat cake category?

    “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week…she said [that] will cover her Costco membership for the year”

    abc news:

    House Speaker Paul Ryan under fire for deleted tweet on GOP tax cuts
    House Speaker Paul Ryan‘s personal account Saturday deleted a tweet intended to promote the benefits of the GOP‘s tax cuts following a flood of mockery on social media.
    Ryan’s account was quoting directly from an Associated Press story that highlighted wage increases taking effect for many Americans as a result of the tax bill, including a secretary in a high school who touted an extra $1.50 in her paycheck per week she said would “more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”
    Responses flooded in looking to frame Ryan as out of touch and pointing out the disparity between a salary increase of $1.50 per week compared to the massive cuts Republicans passed on to corporations.
    Republicans have recently attacked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for recent comments in which she referred to benefits passed to middle income families from the tax cuts as “crumbs.”
    Ryan’s tweet was soon deleted from the account. A spokesperson for Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Pelosi responded in a tweet, “Paul Ryan deleted his embarrassing tweet of a blatant admission because he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth: the #GOPTaxScam is a gift to corporate America and the top 1% at your expense. He also doesn’t want you to know he got $500.000.00 from the Koch family.
    [….continues…]

     

  17. Lyin’ Ryan is out of touch. Used gov’t “entitlements” to move up & then kicked the ladder away from everyone else.  I wonder if his mom had made $1.50 a week more, but no help with his education, I wonder where he’d be today? Not third in line, that’s for sure.  He’s a turd. Trump is a turd, Pence is a turd, Ryan is a turd.  It’s a trifecta of sh/+ at the top.

  18. some good news for a change…. a climate change maybe?

    the guardian: How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet

    It’s a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale?

    [….]
    It could also make Harvard superstar physicist David Keith, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and oil sands magnate Norman Murray Edwards more money than they could ever dream of.
     
    The idea is grandiose yet simple: decarbonise the global economy by extracting global-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) straight from the air, using arrays of giant fans and patented chemical whizzery; and then use the gas to make clean, carbon-neutral synthetic diesel and petrol to drive the world’s ships, planes and trucks.
     
    The hope is that the combination of direct air capture (DAC), water electrolysis and fuels synthesis used to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels can be made to work at a global scale, for little more than it costs to extract and sell fossil fuel today. This would revolutionise the world’s transport industry, which emits nearly one-third of total climate-changing emissions. It would be the equivalent of mechanising photosynthesis.
    [,,,,continues….]

     

  19. Speaking of succession anybody know who the President pro tem and second in line will be once Hatch is gone? I don’t and too lazy to look it up.

  20. Both parties are getting too old.  And yeah, it goes by seniority, but it’s getting a little ridiculous.  Term limits.  And no more zombie campaign funds that they and their families can feed off of for years after they stop running.  Honestly, running for political office is one of the greatest scams going.

  21. She’s had the flu.  Apologized yesterday & said she’d do her best.   Better than the chicken-sh/+ lip-synchers.

  22. Factoid:  There has not been a single State dinner in the 1st year for the first time in a century.  You can kiss the arts performances goodbye for the simple reason who would want to perform for Trump?

     

  23. Pink did miss the big note, but if she has the flu, it was good enough.

    And the Pats are coming back to form.

  24. rr – I’m happy cuz Donny liked the Pats, so his night sucks. Also, I’m happy that’s it’s over.  A football game shouldn’t last 4 dang hours!

  25. Wow, I didn’t hate it as much as Wapo.  That was harsh.   I’d much rather listen to JT than sit next to cigarette smokers on an airplane, for instance. Ha!

    I, for one, did not hate the way Prince was depicted.  That scrim (or bedsheet, as some are calling it), is what Prince used during his magnificent Super Bowl show. It made me sad & happy & yes, I had a hard cry…and the beautiful, purple light tribute was spot-on.

    The only commercial I liked was Peter Dinklage rapping.  It didn’t work when The Count from The Electric Company rapped to Missy Elliot in the next spot.

    Were there any Clydesdales?

     

  26. from the looks of this, I bet the twit won’t let the demo memo see the light of day

    axios: Trump accuses top House Intel Dem of “illegally leaking” info
    President Trump blasted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, in a morning tweet for leaking “confidential information.” Schiff vehemently opposed the release of the Nunes memo and said on ABC’s This Week Sunday that Trump’s decision to allow its release “could be evidence of his intent to interfere with the [Russia] investigation.”

    @realDonaldTrump

     

    Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!

    7:39 AM – Feb 5, 2018

    Worth noting: The Intel Committee is “very likely to approve release of Schiff’s memo, [the Democrats’ answer to the Nunes memo] today. At that point, Trump will have five days to object to or allow its release. Dems may not be too optimistic after this tweet,” per CNN’s Manu Raju.

  27. wapo: New bipartisan immigration plan to be introduced in the Senate
    Two senators eager to see Congress start crossing items off its long to-do list are set to introduce a bipartisan plan Monday designed to settle two of the more pressing parts of the immigration debate and let lawmakers move on to other issues.
     
    Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) plan to formally introduce a bill that would grant permanent legal status to immigrant “dreamers” and start bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border. But the measure would not immediately authorize spending the $30 billion President Trump is seeking to fortify the border with new wall and fence construction.
     
    The McCain-Coons plan also would grant legal status to dreamers who have been in the country since 2013 — a larger pool of immigrants than the 1.8 million Trump supports legalizing.
     
    The bill says nothing about curbing family-based legal migration or making changes to the diversity lottery program — two other priorities for Trump and conservative Republicans.
    In a statement, McCain said the bill “would address the most urgent priorities” of legalizing the status of dreamers and make changes to border security — and allow Congress to move on.
     
    “It’s time we end the gridlock so we can quickly move on to completing a long-term budget agreement that provides our men and women in uniform the support they deserve,” he added.
    [….continues…]

  28. the guardian:
    The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee has warned that YouTube’s powerful recommendation algorithm may be “optimising for outrageous, salacious, and often fraudulent content” or susceptible to “manipulation by bad actors, including foreign intelligence entities”.
     
    Senator Mark Warner, of Virginia, made the stark warning after an investigation by the Guardian found that the Google-owned video platform was systematically promoting divisive and conspiratorial videos that were damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the months leading up to the 2016 election.
     
    “Companies like YouTube have immense power and influence in shaping the media and content that users see,” Warner said. “I’ve been increasingly concerned that the recommendation engine algorithms behind platforms like YouTube are, at best, intrinsically flawed in optimising for outrageous, salacious, and often fraudulent content.”
     
    He added: “At worst, they can be highly susceptible to gaming and manipulation by bad actors, including foreign intelligence entities.”
    [….continues…]

    related to above this also from the guardian:  ‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how Youtube’s algorithm distorts   the truth

    An ex-YouTube insider reveals how its recommendation algorithm promotes divisive clips and conspiracy videos. Did they harm Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency?

  29. Interesting morning

    Hugh Hewitt has blocked me.  I know great grandmothers are terrifying, but a block?  Really?

    The President seems to be in the middle of a meltdown.  I’ve hear apoplexy is an interesting condition.

  30. rr – I’m happy cuz Donny liked the Pats, so his night sucks. Also, I’m happy that’s it’s over.  A football game shouldn’t last 4 dang hours!

    BiD…  you are giving Donny exactly what he wants….  everything seen through a political lens and him at the center of it.  By that logic you should root for the US Olympic team to not get any medals in the upcoming Olympics.

    I say…. go USA!…  get as many gold, silver, and bronzes as you can!

    ps…  SB games always last for 4 hours.  And I love watching every minute of it… even when my team isn’t playing… and even if it is and loses.

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