62 thoughts on “If only …”

  1. Meanwhile in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Former President Jimmy Carter, 92, is being treated for dehydration after working at a Habitat For Humanity project.

    All the best to him.



  2. I’ve decided Jared & Ivanka are less wannabe Russian Tzar & Tzarina and more Greek family tragedy teaching the downfall that comes from overweening Hubris 


  3. President Carter’s grandson passed along information to a reporter that portrayed a Presidential candidate in a negative light. This was ultimately a good thing.

    One story that has stuck about the Romney Campaign: they had a rented boat full of fireworks in Boston Harbor, ready to celebrate victory on election night. Well, boom.


  4. xr, you were asking about the police reports…..

    Chicago trib via msn: Peter W. Smith, GOP operative who sought Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, committed suicide, records show

    A Republican donor and operative from Chicago’s North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

    In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.

    [story continues.  Rachel maddow archly mentioned it last night]

  5. nbc news:

    Former Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer
    by Ken Dilanian and Natasha Lebedeva           

    WASHINGTON — The Russian lawyer who met with the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counter intelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned.

    NBC News is not naming the lobbyist, who denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies. He accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.

    The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship.

    Veselnitskaya acknowledged to NBC News that she was accompanied by at least one other man, though she declined to identify him.

    The presence at the meeting of a Russian-American with suspected intelligence ties is likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate panels investigating the Russian election interference campaign.

    Contacted by NBC News, representatives for Kushner and Manafort declined to comment. A lawyer for Trump Jr. did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Veselnitskaya, in an exclusive interview with NBC News, denied having any connection to the Kremlin and insisted the meeting was to discuss sanctions, not the presidential campaign.   [story continues]

  6. Darn you Corey.  That link led me to First Aid Kit singing for Emmylou Harris and now I’m stuck with more artists to explore.

  7. Jamie, thanks. beautiful. had to find their lyrics so I could enjoy the poetry as well as the music. no wonder she cried when they sang it.

    Oh the bitter winds are coming in
    And I’m already missing the summer
    Stockholm’s cold but I’ve been told
    I was born to endure this kind of weather
    When it’s you I find like a ghost in my mind
    I am defeated and I gladly wear the crown
    I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
    If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
    No, I’m not asking much of you
    Just sing little darling, sing with me
    Now so much I know that things just don’t grow
    If you don’t blessed them with your patience
    And I’ve been there before I held up the door
    For every stranger with a promise
    But I’m holding back, that’s the strength that I lack
    Every morning keeps returning at my window
    And it brings me to you and I won’t just pass through
    But I’m not asking for a storm
    I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
    If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
    No, I’m not asking much of you
    Just sing little darling, sing with me
    And yes I might have lied to you
    You wouldn’t benefit from knowing of the truth
    I was frightened but I held fast
    I need you now at long last
    I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
    If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
    No, I’m not asking much of you
    Just sing little darling, sing with me
    I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
    If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
    No, I’m not asking much of you
    Just sing little darling, sing with me
    I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
    If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
    No, I’m not asking much of you
    Just sing little darling, sing with me
    Just sing little darling, sing with me


  8. div…we would love to have you move to NM, blue state.   Las Cruces ranks sixth in well-run governments.  Plus, a tasty place to live and many beautiful, natural areas, monuments, etc. within a days ride.  I know you have visited the area last year.

  9. another story from across the pond.  bbc http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170714-the-brain-hacking-sound-thats-impossible-to-ignore

    Inspired by neuroscience, a specially designed siren designed to capture attention is finding a smart and potentially life-saving use in Africa.

    In a remote and rural part of Malawi in Africa, a siren has been alerting people – and it sounds like nothing you’d recognise from a street elsewhere in the world. Strangely unlike a conventional emergency services siren, instead it is a discordant mashup of musical fragments and intermittent white noise.

    “It’s like hearing music on an old transistor radio that seems to be a little bit broken,” explains American artist Jake Harper, who designed it. You can hear it briefly at the beginning of the clip below, coupled with an announcement:

    The signal was inspired by neuroscience research on sounds that affect the emotion-processing centres of the brain.

    The aim? To alert Malawi locals to HIV tests and health checks from a mobile clinic operated by the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation’s (ETAF) and the Global Aids Interfaith Alliance. As the medical van travels through an area, speakers on the roof broadcast these eerie tones.

    [ article continues]

  10. and another opinion by another law prof…  must be vacation time for those guys and they need something to do

    real clear politics: Columbia Law Professor Richard Briffault Explains To MSNBC Why Donald Trump Jr. Can Not Be Guilty Of “Treason,” “Perjury,” Or “Collusion”

    Columbia University Law School professor of legislative studies Richard Briffault explained the actual laws regarding treason, perjury, and collusion to MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday afternoon.

    Several prominent Democrats have accused the president’s son of “treason” with regard to a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer in 2016. The details of this meeting were published by the New York Times on Monday, but before that accusations of perjury and collusion with the Russians have also flown at Trump Jr., and many other members of the Trump campaign, from many elected Democrats and prominent media figures.

    About allegations of treason against Trump Jr., the law professor explained: “Treason is a little extreme for this… [Russia] may not be our friend, but it is not clear they are our enemy. We are not at war.”

    About allegations of perjury against President Trump, his son, or members of his administration, the law professor explained: “I’m not sure any of this has been under oath yet… but you would have to prove [one] was knowingly and maliciously misleading, and [their] claim is to say he just forgot. So we’re in a gray area there. “

    About collusion, the law professor explained: “Collusion isn’t really a crime, I think we are getting at things like conspiracy to commit a crime, or coordination of campaign finance stuff. Collusion is more of a political term than a legal term.”

    About the final alegation, that Jared Kushner might have forgotten something on his security clearance form, but added it later, the law professor explained: “That’s irrelevant… The thing was that he was at the meeting and he didn’t report having been at the meeting –as I understand it– in his intial filing to get the security clearance. So, at the very least, he has corrected that, but there is still some question about how knowing that was. So, perjury no, lying to the government maybe.”

    (Previous allegations of ‘obstruction of justice’ with regard to the firing of FBI director James Comey appear to have been forgotten.)

    [story continues]

  11. Patd

    Boulder to Birmingham is still my favorite Emmylou song.  She finally got around decades later to laying some of the ghosts to rest in her album Hard Bargain

    The Road was written for Gram


  12. Craig….   ROFLMAO!

    Now if only one of those guys in the doorway had a pea shooter….

  13. Re Praetorians/Jannisaries/Varangians from the previous two threads : these were the elite guards of the Roman, Ottoman, and Byzantine governments. They were also known to replace governments they didn’t like with new governments.

    My post was meant to comment on Mr Crawford’s remarks that the US Intelligence elites are unhappy with the present Lout-in-Chief, and appear to be levering him out of the Oval Office.

  14. Alexandra petri:

    All children, except two, grow up: Peter Pan and Donald Trump Jr.

    “He’s a good boy,” President Trump said of his scandal-engulfed son, in remarks that started off the record and then became on the record, apparently because he liked them so much. “He’s a good kid. And he had a meeting. Nothing happened.”

    Here I was thinking that he was a 39-year-old man with children of his own, but I apologize for the error. I was wrong. He is still a very promising young man. (Most white men accused of wrongdoing mysteriously turn out to be promising, a vague quality that adheres the moment someone accuses you of sexual assault and does not vanish until the moment it is revealed that you were the Zodiac Killer. Sometimes not even then.) I owe him an apology for assuming that he was an adult capable of conducting himself through the world.

    He is not.

    He is still very, very young. Getting younger all the time. It’s even in his name. Junior.

    It wasn’t just Dorian Gray, it turns out. Any promising young white man rich enough to theoretically afford a giant oil painting of himself gets to remain young and innocent forever, and none of his actions have any consequences, whether there is magic involved or not.

    “The kid is an honest kid,” a friend of his told The Post. He’s a rookie, and it was a rookie mistake.

    How could he help himself? How could he know?

    He’s just a boy, at 39. It is a medical mystery. Or a great miracle. Perhaps both. Maybe he is even multiple boys, cleverly hidden under an ill-fitting coat. Aw, look, he did a business! Or tried to, at least.

    Never mind that other people his age are not nearly so young. That is their misfortune. Sure, as Dafna Linzer pointed out on Twitter, Don Jr. is just 10 days younger than Emmanuel Macron, the president of France. Sure, when Mozart was Little Don’s age, he had been dead for four years (and when Tom Lehrer first made that joke, he was still two years younger than Don Jr.!) and it never occurred to him to set up any incriminating meetings. Jesus did everything he did with his life and died on a cross with six years to spare. By the time he was Don Jr.’s ripe young age, Frederick Douglass had escaped from slavery and written his autobiography. Alexander the Great had already conquered an empire (sure, he had inherited a little of it from his dad) ……

    [and so she hilariously goes on]

  15. I’m hoping that President Jimmy Carter is rested and rehydrated after his collapse yesterday. He is absolutely the most ‘American’ post-President in our history.

    I don’t know if he was fortunate in having his episode occur in Winnipeg rather than on our side of the border. He’s going to have a real mess trying to settle-up with St Boniface and the ambulance company as well as the paramedics. I wonder if he has a Medicare supplement that covers him in Canada?

    Thank goodness this episode (one of more than several over the years) happened prior to the adoption of any flavor of Trump-Care. And Jimmy, stick around–Rosalyn depends on you.

  16. That gives a bad name to cats sitting in boxes everywhere.

    div – That clip was precious.

    Drio, drip, drip.  Now there was someone else at the meeting?

    NPR aired a piece about the long, gritty relationship of Manafort & Roger Stone.  Where was the media on this when Manafort was front & center on Trump’s campaign?


  17. Julius was also very experienced in the craft of street level politics and graft, having grown up among street characters in the Suburra, where his Mom lived……..He knew that place from the ground up.

    Suburra was an area of the city of Rome, Italy located below the Murus Terreus on the Carinae. In ancient Roman times, it was a crowded lower-class area that was also notorious as a red-light district. It lies in the dip …
    Julius Caesar grew up in a family home (domus) in the Suburra district, as the Suburra had grown up around the property many years before his birth.

    The district is featured in Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome, Steven Saylor’s Roman Blood, Martha Marks’ Rubies of the Viper, SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts, and Netflix’s first original motion picture in Italy, Suburra.

  18. Looks like Jimmy better kick back and relax…..probably not an easy task……but he’s earned his rest…….

  19. “Where was the media on this when Manafort was front & center on Trump’s campaign?” -BiD

    Um, reporting on his ties to Kremlin-allied Ukranians?  If i remember correctly those reports surfaced in June, 2016.  He resigned from the campaign because of those reports, but you were too busy posting unsubstatiated “Killary” conspiracy-theories that were started by paid Russian trolls.  You trolled for Putin for free.

    Stop blaming the “media” for your inability to read.

  20. Thanks for linking the BBC “Shakespeare’s Caesar”, yesterday, Jamie, believe it or not, I watched the whole thing.  Good stuff.

  21. “and another opinion by another law prof… real clear politics: Columbia Law Professor Richard Briffault Explains…” -patd

    -we refuted that guy’s assertions before he even made them, right here.  Who needs cable news?

  22. we need to define cyberwar…bring it to the sunlight.  Define the crimes and start prosecuting.  As for the influence on the voter outcome in the last election?  Voter suppression is a very effective tool in stealing an election.  I know everyone insists that no vote was changed because of the ruskies war on democratic elections, but I they have to say that.  Voter suppression destroyed the dem vote in the last election.

  23. BW

    Right again …as usual


    Maybe we should all send him our car keys

  24. “Where was the media on this when Manafort was front & center on Trump’s campaign?”

    bid, as I recall during that time which was close to the convention (bink, the Ukraine stuff came out just after) the media were very busy regurgitating gowdy pontifications on Benghazi and emails/scandals regarding same…. plus being too busy quoting and requoting the latest outrageous trump tantrum.

  25. politico: “U.S. officials probing Russian lobbyist who met Trump team”

    U.S. officials are examining what role a Washington-based lobbyist who they consider a Russian intelligence operative may have played in a controversial June 2016 meeting he attended between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.

    Rinat Akhmetshin, a dual U.S.-Russia citizen, told The Associated Press on Friday that he attended the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump’s son and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a politically connected Russian lawyer who the Trump team believed had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, which was arranged by Trump Jr.

    U.S. officials became aware of Akhmetshin’s potential involvement in the meeting earlier this week. Three officials expressed concern about his role to POLITICO and said they were probing it further as part of their larger investigation into ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

    Although Trump Jr. has acknowledged meeting Veselnitskaya, he did not disclose the attendance of Akhmetshin, a well-known figure in the capital’s murky world of foreign influence peddling. The lobbyist’s role raises new red flags for U.S. officials as they study whether and how the Kremlin might have sought to exert influence over the 2016 Trump campaign.

    One U.S. official referred to Akhmetshin as a known “IO,” or intelligence operative. In a March letter to the Justice Department, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) described him as having “ties to Russian intelligence” and “alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns.”

    Akhmetshin has denied those charges and declined to comment to POLITICO.

    His attendance, which several officials said they learned about from reporters, underscored concerns that the meeting may have been more closely directed by the Kremlin than its attendees have publicly suggested.


    […story continues…]


  26. Moving on…nothing to see here McTrump care is doa

    And then there were three  Senator Capito says no  even I can’t screw my state for you

  27. Bink

    So are you watching the two knew Shakespeare oriented TNT series:  Will and Still Star-crossed?



  28. Scratch sand over this if you need to since the source is Fox News, but it is a pretty extensive article on the behind the scenes of the FBI probe.  Apparently Clinton didn’t start it but was more than willing to use the negative side of Mr. & Mrs Sanders.

    FBI Probe of Bernie Sanders’ Wife Closely Tracks Hillary Campaign Plan

    “Ms. Sanders and her husband have built political careers pontificating against corporate corruption and claiming to want to help the needy. The Diocese, however, actually helps the needy through vital direct services,” Toensing wrote.  “The loss of $2 million as a result of Ms. Sanders’s apparent misconduct will materially detract from this charitable work and cause significant harm to vulnerable Vermonters.”

  29. oops my bad  apparently Sen Capito has not yet said publicly that she is #3

  30. Jamie, I just needed to do decent research to discover the character flaws going back decades. Going back to source documents is so much more meaningful in allowing accurate conclusions than reading contemporary rehashments of rehashed hash, Oh well, that cycle is long passed.

  31. well, he added another lawyer. this time one to act as pr traffic cop re Russia investigation. wonder who will foot the fees. looks like rnc is reneging according to  RNC chair: ‘I don’t even know’ if it’s legal for RNC to pay Trump’s legal fees .  she did suggest them setting up a legal defense fund.  didn’t the twit have one of those during the campaign? guess he could redirect some from his newly established twit for prez 2….  that is until the fec  alarms go off.

  32. a texas goper said whaaat!!

    from tpm:

    In an interview with a local TV station, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) said he has “issues” with the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. held with a Kremlin-linked lawyer amid promises that she would provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.
    As a result, Flores said the best thing President Trump could do is get his kids out of the White House.
    “It’s a meeting that should not have taken place. I think he thought he was looking out for his father’s best interest, but at first flush it doesn’t look like it was appropriate action,” he told KBTX this week. “I’m going out on a limb here, but I would say that I think it would be in the President’s best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House. Not only Donald Trump, but Ivanka and Jared Kushner.”
    Flores said that he wishes President Donald Trump “would get them out of the way” so that the administration could “have a professional staff” and focus on policy issues.

  33. Sturg,
    The area of focus in this week’s living-areas (Mansion) section of the Journal is Daufuskie Island. They even have mention (and photos) of Wine and Woodworks as well as Marshside Mama’s. It makes me want to visit (I’ve only made one day trip to the Charleston area so that I can tell Yankees that I love it).

  34. horsey at la times:

    Trump Jr. and Kushner find politics a rougher game than real estate

    It is no surprise the Trump family keeps running afoul of the rules of politics and government. After all, they have lived and thrived in a very different milieu — the world of New York City real estate.

    In that world, it is perfectly normal to say things like, “Don’t worry, we’ll pay you for your work,” even if you don’t mean it. Or to say, “Trump Tower is 68 stories tall,” even though it rises to only 58. Or to promise, “You’ll get a great business education for your money,” even though you are pitching the bogus Trump University.

    In that world, it is not unusual to take meetings with unsavory characters, like Mafia bosses who become peripheral business partners or Russian mobsters who launder their ill-gotten gains by purchasing a few of your pricey condominiums.

    And, in that world, rules can be flexible, aggressive lawyers can help bend the law, and the news media rarely takes notice of what you are up to.


    [horsey continues…]

  35. “at first flush it doesn’t look like it was appropriate action”

    is gop texas rep flores saying what I think he’s saying?

  36. patd – Bill Flores is a rep from Waco, College Station and Bryan.  In other words, Baylor University and Texas A&M University — not normally the redder Texas areas.

  37. patd – sometimes the obvious and the simple become so difficult to put a placeholder to when one is trying to justify and understand the current situation.  Clinton and Bush, in 1 minute, put things into perspective.  Our current President is an ignorant, stupid, hateful sonofabitch – and I think a lot of people can’t put their mind around the fact that he is who 34.43563% of this country got elected.  Just watched a couple of West Wing episodes to center my mind a bit.

  38. Response from a friend close to Jimmy Carter I had asked if he’s ok: “Yes.  Decided last night he was returning to work site this morning. That kind of dehydration could happen to any of us.”

  39. The Ex Presidents’ Club will not like having Donald Dummkopf as a member and they will not be meeting in a Trump Tower near you.


  40. Some construction trades refer to someone who has a heat stroke on the job as “seeing the monkey” or “seeing the monkey dance” or at times someone is just said to have “monkeyed” I almost saw the monkey just the other day, dehydrated, and in and out of the AC……got really dizzy had to sit in the truck and then just finally went home, drank some iced tea and reclined.
    You don’t monkey wit da monkey……

    Apparently there was no one around who thought to alert the media…….

  41. Life in the DC region is sort of on and off tonight, a few waves of t-storms have come through, knocking out power.

    Remember the SFB base is only 30% of the republican party.  As he and his cult keep on doing strange things with strange people, the republican base is shrinking even smaller.  Dems = 33%, R’s = 25%, I’s = 25% and n’dowells’ the rest.  As the I’s see their purple haze vision fade to black, they come back to the D’s.  All the equivalencing talk by the media and the SFB’s clan to make the 25% seem like 100% is bogus.  Those people are now left behind.  The little r’s know it and are doing their best to keep up the big talk.

  42. Sturgeone – I will not use the organization name here – I am a disaster services volunteer for a well known organization.  We support many events around the world, and in particular the D.C. region.  We like bad weather, cold rainy bad weather in particular.  With cold and rainy we do not have to deal with heat strokes.  Which is nice when you have a couple hundred thousand people hanging around.  July 4th 2016 was great, a very rainy and cool night.  As EMT teams and us passed by each other our typical talk went “nice night, no strokes”.

  43. Nice night, no strokes
    not a job I would relish….but probably an invaluable service……

  44. Flate……I’ve not been to Daufuskie either but I grew up in a different Daufuskie right up the coast a ways….but our Daufuskie-esqueness has loooong since passed……it’s more like somewhere in New Jersey now…….

  45. Flatus & Sturgeone

    Shall we end with the ultimate in Charleston tribute sounds from Gershwin?

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