50 thoughts on “Lessons Learned”

  1. abc news:

    “President Trump, not one for empty threats, today announced he will keep a promise he made to break a promise America made,” Colbert, host of “The Late Show,” said Tuesday. “You literally just backed out of an American promise!
    “That’s like saying, ‘I’m no longer denying my alcoholism. Let’s drink to that.'”

  2. and another memorable quote from yesterday reported by mediaite: Lindsey Graham: I Told The Chinese Ambassador Trump is ‘Crazy’


    “If you don’t think Trump’s crazy, then you’re crazy.”

  3. Bloomberg:

    Underwood Becomes New York Attorney General After Trailblazing Legal Career

    Barbara Underwood’s career has been one of firsts: She was first in her law school class and the first woman to serve as U.S. solicitor general, and she is now the first woman to be New York’s attorney general.

    Underwood, the state’s solicitor general, takes over as acting attorney general on Tuesday, replacing Eric Schneiderman, who announced his resignation Monday following allegations from four women that he physically abused them.

    The 73-year-old Underwood, who is next in line for the job, brings to the office top legal credentials and years of experience as a prosecutor. She’ll stay in place until the state legislature selects Schneiderman’s replacement, who then must prevail in November’s election to retain the post.

  4. Seeing Iranians burn the US flag in Parliament almost makes me think Trumpsky is doing something right since they are so pissed off.  Almost.

    Aside from all of the international, moving parts this plays havoc with, he just blew the average American’s tax relief in higher prices at the pump, and, higher food-and-everything-else costs due the increased fuel costs. Republicans crafted a tax plan that didn’t even benefit the 99% for six months. It already evaporated.

    The newest Cohen allegation about Russian money after the election is most interesting.

    As for the possibility of thousands of women with non-disclosure agreements, that is Trump-worthy hyperbole (and eeeeew).   Besides, all we need is one payoff to a minor or for an encounter resulting in an abortion to make sure there is no 2020 run for the Cheeto.

  5. Don’t rule out Trump himself getting some of the Russian money funneled to Cohen. As his biographers say. one of the things he hates most is anyone profiting off his name without getting his cut.

  6. The morning glory has started here…Craig, hope you are regaining your strength.   cohen had an office right next to trump in the tower.  I’ll bet they had one of those two-way safes, accessible from both offices via a shared wall.

  7. Mormon church breaks ties with Boy Scouts.  Gone are the days when young boys of the Mormon faith automatically ‘became’ boy scouts.

    For 105 years, the relationship between the Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church has been important to both groups. Any boy who is part of a Mormon congregation automatically becomes part of the Boy Scouts. The Mormon Church has been the largest participant of the Boy Scouts in the United States, making up nearly 20 percent of all of the Boy Scouts’ 2.3 million youth members.

  8. bibi celebrates iran deal withdrawal with air strikes into syria.   bibi’s intel used as the trump reasoning for withdrawal of the US in the iran deal.  I sure hope that gina-h, the cia nom, explains why our intel — which claimed bibi’s was caca — wasn’t used?   Can she get out of that chinese finger trap?  At this point, we need to care about her future bs to please her boss rather than her dark ops past.  pompeo sold-out to trump, I’ll bet she will, too.

  9. “one of the things he hates most is anyone profiting off his name without getting his cut”

    craig, joe must be riding the trail today, he just said on mojo (8:05 or thereabouts) based on his decade of experience with the twit that very same thing….. well, he said twit wouldn’t for sure let cohen make money off him unless some of that money came to twit himself.

  10. Support your local sheriff.  The NM dem primary early voting started yesterday.  This will be the first primary I am voting in as a dem and we have an active field this year.   Our local sheriff (dem) is being challenged by 4 other dems.  Our friend is one of them.  We had his sign in our yard and the hellacious winds blew it away…hubby searched for it and found that another sign up-the-street had bent in half from the force of the wind.   We never found the sign.

    Last night, our county commissioners voted to keep the controversial stonegarden grant.

    Operation Stonegarden

    No money for healthcare, no money for food, but money for round-ups.


  11. ny times take on it: Firm Tied to Russian Oligarch Made Payments to Michael Cohen

    A shell company that Michael D. Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration, according to documents and interviews.
    Financial records reviewed by The New York Times show that Mr. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer, used the shell company, Essential Consultants L.L.C., for an array of business activities that went far beyond what was publicly known. Transactions adding up to at least $4.4 million flowed through Essential Consultants starting shortly before Mr. Trump was elected president and continuing to this January, the records show.
    Among the previously unreported transactions were payments last year of about $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm in New York whose biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian oligarch. A lawyer for Columbus Nova, in a statement on Tuesday, described the money as a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Mr. Vekselberg.
    Other transactions described in the financial records include hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Cohen received from Fortune 500 companies with business before the Trump administration, as well as smaller amounts he paid for luxury expenses like a Mercedes-Benz and private club dues.


    It is unclear whether that or any of the other transactions were improper, but Mr. Avenatti has asserted that Mr. Cohen’s use of Essential Consultants potentially violated banking laws. The financial records indicate that at least some of the money that passed through Essential Consultants was from sources and in amounts that were inconsistent with the company’s stated purpose.

    Mr. Cohen also used the company to collect $250,000 after arranging payments in 2017 and 2018 by a major Republican donor, Elliott Broidy, to a former Playboy model he allegedly impregnated, according to news reports last month.

    Mr. Cohen created Essential Consultants in Delaware less than two weeks before he completed his deal with Ms. Clifford, who is now contesting her contract with Mr. Cohen as invalid. Mr. Cohen initially said he paid her out of his own pocket by way of a home equity line of credit.
    But last week, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York said that Mr. Trump had reimbursed Mr. Cohen through several $35,000 monthly transactions that amounted to more than $400,000 — covering the payment to Ms. Clifford and, he said, other “incidental expenses.”

  12. From the article linked above —

    By a stroke of good fortune, Cohen already had a sex-scandal-with-an-adult-entertainer-hush-money-NDA template in his hard drive, since he had recently drafted at least one for Donald Trump. Indeed, Cohen didn’t even bother to change the pseudonyms. (That economical use of attorney resources explained away what otherwise could have been a very awkward detail in the narrative.)
    The New David Dennison Sounds Exactly Like the Old Donald Trump
    David Dennison slept with a Playboy playmate, impregnated her, and then had Cohen negotiate a hush-money deal. Trump has a well-documented history of having unprotected sex with women in the adult-entertainment industry, and then subsequently buying their silence via proxies. Trump also has a history of being obsessed specifically with Playboy playmates. Trump had a long-standing close friendship with Hugh Hefner, and often visited the Playboy mansion, to which he brought contestants from his television show The Apprentice. One such contestant noted:

    Toward the end of the evening, I found myself in a small circle, conversing with Trump, Hefner, and another contestant. With a wry smile, Trump looked at Hefner and said, ‘It’s hard for me to tell which of these girls are yours and which ones are mine.’

  13. patd…  Lawrence O’Donnell was the first one to remark about trump not liking anyone to profit off his name without getting a cut on his show last night.  I’d bet these things are passed around from host to host on any cable news station.

    Jamie…  take note!  My takeaway from yesterday’s primaries…  the establishment Dem candidate backed by E. Warren for Ohio’s governor, Cordray, trounced the Bernie backed candidate, Kucinich, by more than 40 points.  The revolution isn’t going so well.

  14. bw, wow, that’s a pretty scathing article re broidy past bribes.
     it’s hypothetical re a paternity shell game considering that broidy past also makes sense as laid out below:
    ….Cohen asserts he took out a home equity loan to come up with a mere $130,000 to pay off Stormy Daniels, so it seems clear he couldn’t have fronted the $1.6 million for the Bechard deal himself. So Cohen reached out to Elliott Broidy, a very rich Republican fundraiser with several pending and highly lucrative business deals with foreign governments: deals that hinged on whether Broidy could convince the U.S. government to take various actions. By stepping up to take responsibility for the affair and to fund the seven-figure settlement, Broidy was ensuring that he could continue to peddle his influence with Trump to governments around the world.
    Which is to say, it was a cover-up concealing a bribe. Indeed, it turns out that Broidy not only has a history of bribing public officials, but of bribing them in an uncannily similar fashion to the method which I hypothesize he employed in this case.
    So, according to this hypothesis, when Cohen’s office was raided by federal prosecutors, they found documentation of what was actually a fabricated affair, concocted by Cohen and Davidson to create a justification for funneling Broidy’s money to Bechard, while creating a paper record designed to protect Trump from further exposure.
    This account — as bizarre as it may seem at first glance — is actually more plausible than the story leaked to the Journal, the New York Times, and CNN.

  15. The rnc and trump 2020 campaign have become the home for ousted and shamed WH officials and goppers with questionable ethical maneuverings…Criminals ‘R US.   Yet, both entities continue to be helped by putin’s tuning fork up the hinterlands of the US of AA.   Evangelicals supporting bunny abortions for the common good.  White humans with a blind eye and willful ignorance to corruption or fairness toward fellow Americans.  Damn you, putie and your puppet potus trump.

  16. bw, yeah, and this excerpt underscores that from another piece in ny mag:

    Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact.

    Last week, Nunes demanded a piece of information that the FBI and other intelligence officials believed would “endanger a top-secret intelligence source.” They prevailed on Trump to support their request to withhold the information which, they argued, would “risk severe consequences including potential loss of human lives.”

    Nunes is not only demanding the secret be revealed to him, but threatening to vote to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt. And officials who secured Trump’s support may have left out the fact that the source provided information to the Mueller investigation. As a result, “several administration officials said they fear Trump may reverse course and support Nunes’s argument.”

    Think for a moment what this report tells us. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who enjoys the full backing of his party’s leadership, is willing to risk what his own government describes as the betrayal and potential loss of life of an intelligence source. And officials within this government believe the president would do the same, all in order to obstruct an investigation into the president’s secretive ties to a foreign power. They are acting as though Trump is compromised by Russia, or at the very least, that he cannot be trusted to defend his own country’s security against it. The sordid Russia scandal has already brought some version of a very dark nightmare scenario to life.

  17. Slowly the walls are closing in.  It looks like the virgin Stormy has one of the great lawyers of our age working for her.  To get around lots of dead ends and lonely back roads of the complacent and equalizing media someone or many someones are starting to drop off big stuff with Avenatti.  A big guess is the intelligence community (IC) is starting to push out things to nail SFB.

  18. Making good on the mulberry street dracula’s promise, a sloppy pompeo hurries to the north to free those prisoners!
     When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefly spoke with reporters on Tuesday ahead of a trip to North Korea, he answered questions about President Trump’s planned summit meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, with diplomatic platitudes.
    But his comments, made aboard a flight to Japan, stirred controversy for another reason: He committed a faux pas by saying that the United States was beginning “to put some outlines around the substance of the agenda for the summit between the president and Chairman Un.”
    Mr. Pompeo is new to the State Department, but his mistake was surprising in part because he is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and someone who has dealt extensively with North Korea. Some observers said on social media that the slipup — which came on the same day that Mr. Kim was visiting China — was an insult that showed a lack of United States preparation for the planned Trump-Kim summit meeting.

  19. How long will SFB hold out until he starts trying to make a deal that frees him from prosecution?  Any deal has to include taking Pence with him and he leaves when Nancy P is speaker AGAIN

    The goopers hate Nancy P because she is smart and successful and still a progressive — in fact more progressive than Bernie

  20. KGC says —  ‘the sooner the better’

    corruption moves with alacrity and there is no swift justice against the disintegrating trumpence junta — not with complicit goppers and RW pushback.

    Last week judge ellis muddied the waters with his incorrect rant about the scope of the Mueller investigation.  Today, the conservatives are applauding the move that they may view the unredacted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo outlining the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.  Even laura ingraham’s (her takedown fizzled) lifezette site hawks judicial watch’s potential score of the memo.


  21. All the memo says is we have evidence to pursue and we must go where the evidence leads us

    but I guess the goopers can yell Benghazi a few hundred times if all else fails.

  22. There is only one David Dennison (Trumpsky), but there could be many Peggy Petersons.  Clearly, using the same pseudonym for all of the women was meant to further obfuscate things if the  NDAs were discovered.

  23. This is good news for the future: A young woman who was disciplined for walking out of class on 3/14, to mark one month since the Parkland massacre, is graduating…and running for a seat on the School Board.

    This is very good news, that young folks are truly energized and on the leading edge of making a positive difference.


  24. BiD,  well, these guys seem to

    Eight former heads or acting heads of the CIA who served in Republican and Democrat administrations – including John Brennan, Leon Panetta, Michael Morell, Gen. Michael Hayden, George Tenet, Porter Goss and John McLaughlin – signed the letter, as did three former directors of national intelligence and two former secretaries of state.

    [signed reference letter according to cbs news ….. but what do they know just because they’ve been there and know her]

  25. I am surprised a little that all of those people endorse the use of torture

  26. CIA nominee says torture doesn’t work, ‘moral compass’ strong
    President Donald Trump’s nominee to be CIA director said Wednesday that she does not believe torture works and she would not carry out any presidential order she thought was immoral.
    Facing tough questioning by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Gina Haspel said her “moral compass is strong.”
    “I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal,” said Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the agency. “I would absolutely not permit it.”
    She was responding to a question about what she would do if she received a directive from Trump that she found to be morally objectionable.



    and from upi:  Gina Haspel: I will ‘never, ever take CIA back to interrogation program’


    “I would never allow the CIA to be allowed to be involved in corrosive interrogations,” Haspel said Wednesday when asked about waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning.

  27. Actually when asked a yes/no question from Kamala Harris, she kept saying “CIA”.  She couldn’t say “I, ME, My” on her own moral compass.

    Totally distrust anyone who can’t use the first person on a question.  If authorizing a woman to be kicked in the stomach until she miscarries, the royal “We” just doesn’t cut it.




  28. Using “CIA” instead of a personal pronoun gives  her cover.   A way that lie under oath.

    Plus, Cadet Bonespurs is pro-torture and she had no qualms in agreeing to the nomination.


  29. Michael Avenatti has a lion rug in his bedroom.

    It’s not dead—it’s just too scared to move.

    —-twitter meme

  30. so all you anti-haspels, you rather the nominee be cotton?  or someone worse … if there is someone possibly worse than he given the twit’s taste in his selections it’s likely

    atlantic   excerpt on this point
    Democrats are aware of Haspel’s popularity within the agency, according to one Democratic committee source, and the fact that the alternative could be a political appointee “like Tom Cotton.” (Several CIA veterans reacted with alarm last year when news broke that Trump was considering replacing Pompeo with Cotton.) The irony here is clear: Haspel, a career official and agency insider unlikely to appease Trump, is facing resistance from Democrats staunchly opposed to the president.
    Still, the Democratic aide told me, “there is definitely a sense of, ‘if not Haspel, then who?’ It is unlikely we’ll get someone better.” Indeed, Haspel will walk into her confirmation hearings with one trait that could win over skeptical Democrats: She is not a Trump loyalist

  31. Sturgeone,

    This Sunday CNN’s United Shades Of America is featuring a story about the Gullah culture of South Carolina.

  32. Tom Cotton would be great for the CIA  – he can be in a room with someone not 4 feet away and not hear a word they said

  33. BiD just parrots stuff they see on whatever shit-media they consume while simultaneously whining about shit-media, patd.  Don’t ask for or expect original thought from them.

  34. President Trump’s Iran decision plays well in Israel, which earns more friendly-exile-haven cred for the Trump family Inc if & when needed. No bouncing wanderers like the Shah & his gang.

    You may think I kid. I kid not. Watch Israel. They are our friends who are not our friends.

    As King Herod said in I, Claudius: Trust no one. No one.

  35. Years ago when my late boss bought a truckload of Trump Vodka cheap, basically to get it out of distributors warehouses, the only buyers in our store were Russian Jewish Canadian emigres. We had certain people buy multiple cases, meaning an abnormal gracious plenty. This memory sticks & haunts, as in did this mean anything other than a certain group dropped big dough on really bad hooch? It used to amuse me. Now it troubles. Was I part of something when I took their money? Having a conscience is a weighty burden. Weird stuff.


  36. Everyone who bought Trump vodka paid cash. Multiple case customers had big rolls, peeling off $100s. Straight transactions, no trail.

  37. In other news, BBC overnight reporting a dam burst in Kenya. Several dead. No one on this side of planet gives a hoot.

    Malaysia’s new (old) President is 92 years old. There is hope for a Biden candidacy come 2020 😉



  38. “I’d like her to define American morals”

    kgc, those of the left or the right?  can anyone in critterville let alone a former undercover agent of cia (a job that would scramble the mind of even mother Theresa) .

    thinking here of all those graham greene and john le carre spooks of amorality

  39. speaking of morals and amorality, wapo: 
    Russia-linked company that hired Michael Cohen registered alt-right websites during election

    A company at the center of widening questions involving President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is listed as the organization behind a string of websites targeted toward white nationalists and other members of the alt-right.
    Columbus Nova, a company whose U.S. chief executive, Andrew Intrater, and Russian investment partner Viktor Vekselberg have both reportedly been interviewed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, is listed as the registrant behind a handful of domains for websites named after the alt-right that were created during the 2016 election.



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