Democrats should have started the morning yesterday with the afternoon yesterday.

Just as I wrote yesterday Robert Mueller was far more passionate, expansive and articulate when questioned about Russian sabotage of our elections during the afternoon session with the House Intelligence Committee.

But the Judiciary Committee focused in the morning on the part of Mueller’s report he was least interested in talking about — the Trump stuff.

Had they reversed the order a different narrative might have taken hold.

Mueller did say Trump can be indicted after office, inspires 2020 chant: “Throw him out. Lock him up.”


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

36 thoughts on “Backwards”

  1. wapo:  How did Trump end up in front of a presidential seal doctored to include a Russian symbol?

    At first glance, there was nothing unusual about President Trump’s introduction Tuesday at Turning Point USA’s student summit. In many ways, it mirrored the production style that has become synonymous with Trump’s campaign rallies.


    Following a 12-minute video illustrating Trump’s rise to the presidency, music blared as the president’s name flashed across a giant screen in a bold shade of red. Trump took the stage and soaked in the raucous cheers from hundreds of young supporters packed inside the Marriott Marquis in Washington.


    Charlie Kirk, Turning Point’s outspoken founder and executive director, was on his left. But the image on the screen to Trump’s right — captured in dozens of photos and videos from the event — is less familiar.


    The image almost resembles the official seal of the president, but a closer examination reveals alterations that seem to poke fun at the president’s golfing penchant and accusations that he has ties to Russia. Neither the White House nor Turning Point knows how it got there or who created it.

    The eagle has two heads instead of one — a symbol historically tied to empire and dominance. It closely resembles the bird on the Russian coat of arms and also appears on the flags of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro. Its left talons, rather than clasping 13 arrows, appear to clutch a set of golf clubs.

    One Washington Post reader noted a website that sells merchandise featuring what appears to be the same fake seal. In those images, the words on the parody eagle’s banner say “45 es un titere,” which in Spanish translates to “45 is a puppet.” On the official presidential seal, the eagle’s mouth holds a banner with the U.S. motto, “E pluribus unum” — out of many, one. The fake seal on the shop’s merchandise shows the eagle clutching cash in its right talons.


    The Post reached out to the Twitter and Facebook accounts associated with the Web retailer, “OneTermDonnie,” but has not received a reply.


    A projection of the true presidential seal was centered behind Trump’s name as he walked onstage. The true seal was also on the lectern where the president spoke for 80 minutes.


    A White House spokesperson told The Post they did not see the fake seal before it appeared on-screen and referred questions about the incident to Turning Point.



  2. dirty tricks time upon us already?  thought Atwater invented them?  here’s our history lesson for today

    from Columbian college history news network:

    Who Played the First Dirty Tricks in American Presidential Politics?

  3. I hope that more people got to watch the afternoon session.  Most everyone I know prefers to get whatever needs to be done, done in the morning.  And of course, working people didn’t get to see any of it.  Besides, what one usually remembers about a long event is what happens toward the end.  That’s why the best speakers are always last.

  4. It’s easy to stage an event effectively if you get two stabs at it. Of corse with real events that never happens. Still, with all its shortcomings there came out of the hearings the basis (IMHO) for a great anti SFB campaign. The slogan – SECOND TERM OR JAIL TERM?

  5. from NYTimes best of late night:

    Robert Mueller, the former special counsel who investigated the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election, testified on Wednesday before two House committees. As promised, he said little beyond what was written in his 448-page report.

    “And because it didn’t contain any boy wizards, no one wanted to read it.” — TREVOR NOAH

    “Anyone hoping for the Mueller of Dragons was disappointed.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

    “Truly, how dare you, sir, ask us, as Americans, to read a book. We are the country that made a hit out of ‘According to Jim.’” — SAMANTHA BEE

    “He’s like the world’s least cooperative audiobook. ‘Chapter 1 — you know what? You know how to read. Go get the book. Read it yourself.’” — TREVOR NOAH

    “If you missed Mueller’s hearing, don’t worry: In a few weeks, William Barr will give a much shorter, inaccurate summary.” — JIMMY FALLON

    “He had the same look on his face that Billy Joel has when someone yells, ‘Play “Piano Man.”’ [Imitating Mueller] ‘Why? You already know it.’” — SETH MEYERS


    Some Democrats were happy to hear Mueller suggest that President Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office.

    “That’s why for the last 12 hours, Trump’s been afraid to get up from the couch.” — JIMMY FALLON

    “And that’s when you could hear Melania cheering loudly from down the block.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

    “He hears that, the Secret Service is going to be banging on the Oval Office door like, ‘Sir, you need to leave.’ He’ll be like, ‘No housekeeping, thank you!” — TREVOR NOAH

    “You know when Trump heard that, he started pushing the sofa in front of the door. [Imitating Trump] ‘You’ll never take me alive!’” — SETH MEYERS

    “Well, I think Trump has a new campaign slogan: ‘Trump 2020: I’m too pretty for jail!’” — STEPHEN COLBERT


  6. Turns out the Russians interfered with the 2016 election! And they would have gotten away with it too, if not for the tough, unwavering stance of our fearless leader–wait, what’s that? They totally got away with it and are about to do it again? Jinkies!

  7. Looks like the yellow jersey group MAY have decided to try and close teh gap to the breakaway groups.  Quintana stands to gain big today if the gap holds.

  8. I think people are saying that Trump tried to have Jeffrey Epstein killed

  9. the hill:

    GOP blocks election security bills after Mueller testimony

    Senate Republicans blocked two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure on Wednesday in the wake of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about meddling attempts during his public testimony before congressional lawmakers.  

    Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance, as well as a bill to let the Senate Sergeant at Arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff. 

    But Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) blocked each of the bills. She didn’t give reason for her objections, or say if she was objecting on behalf of herself or the Senate GOP caucus. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  

    Under Senate rules, any one senator can ask for consent to pass a bill, but any one senator is able to object. 

    The floor drama comes after Mueller warned about election interference during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, saying Russia was laying the groundwork to interfere in the 2020 election “as we sit here.”

    “We are expecting them to do it again during the next campaign,” Mueller said.

    But election interference bills face an uphill climb in the Senate, where Republicans aren’t expected to move legislation through the Rules Committee, the panel with primary jurisdiction, and have warned about attempts to “federalize” elections. 

    Democrats cited Mueller as they tried to get consent on Wednesday evening to pass their bills. 

    “Mr. Mueller’s testimony should serve as a warning to every member of this body about what could happen in 2020, literally in our next elections,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

    He added that “unfortunately, in the nearly three years since we uncovered Russia’s attack on our democracy, this body has not held a single vote on stand-alone legislation to protect our elections.” 

    Warner tried to get consent to pass the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act by unanimous consent. Under Warner’s bill, campaign officials would have to report contacts with foreign nationals who are trying to make campaign donations or coordinate with the campaign to the Federal Election Commission, which would in turn notify the FBI.

    “If a foreign adversary tries to offer assistance to your campaign, your response should not be ‘thank you.’ Your response should be a moral obligation to tell the FBI,” he said. 

    But Hyde-Smith objected to passing his legislation. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) similarly blocked the legislation in June, arguing that it was overly broad.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tried to get consent to pass similar legislation that would require candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offers.

    “It differs in some technical aspects [from the Warner bill] … but it is the same idea because it codifies into law what is already a moral duty, a patriotic duty and basic common sense,” Blumenthal said.

    Hyde-Smith also objected to Blumenthal’s bill.

    She objected a third time when Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to get consent to pass legislation he crafted with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that would allow the Senate Sergeant at Arms to provide voluntary cybersecurity assistance for personal accounts and devices of senators and staff.

    “I don’t see how anyone can consider what I have proposed to be a partisan issue,” Wyden said. 

  10. Ah yes, Cindy from Mississippi — remember her from the election  yikes.  Brain dead then and brain dead now

  11. remember this from last year in politicusa:  Republicans In Congress Are Taking Money From Russia And Richard Painter Wants An Investigation


    Painter said on The Beat With Ari Melber, “They are trying to cover up for President Trump and obstruct the Mueller investigation and do everything but protect our country from the Russians. What that committee ought to be doing is focusing on the Russians and who is collaborating with the Russians, and the other issue is the Russians have been funneling money through people with dual citizenship to members of Congress. We ought to find out about that. How many members of Congress who are attacking Bob Mueller and attacking the FBI how many of them are getting money from the Russians? Because we do not need the Russians interfering with our elections anymore.”

    The NRA is being investigated by the FBI for laundering money from Russia to Trump during the 2016 campaign, and there have been reports that other members of Congress have taken donations that have come from Russia but were laundered through Americans with dual citizenship.


    It is possible that many of the Republican lawmakers who are attacking Mueller are doing so at the request of their Russian donors. The Russian infiltration of US politics doesn’t end with Donald Trump. Putin has gotten himself into the Republican Party, and before Americans can get the Russians out of their elections, the Republicans will have to get the Russians out of the GOP.


    and this from the year before by the palmerreport: Here’s a list of Republicans in office who are confirmed to have taken Russian money in 2016

    One day after the revelation surfaced that Donald Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort wrote down “RNC” and “donations” in notes he took during the campaign’s collusion meeting with Russia, the Republican Party is in a panic. Suddenly the GOP is trying to create a distraction by falsely accusing FBI Director James Comey of having conspired to exonerate Hillary Clinton. There’s a reason the party is panicking: several Republicans have already been confirmed to have taken Russian money during the 2016 election cycle.


    During the 2016 election cycle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used his Super PAC to accept $2.5 million dollars from the pro-Kremlin oligarch in question, putting him front and center of the influence the oligarch was trying to buy. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took $1 million from the same oligarch, which was highly suspicious for a Governor of a small state that ended up being shockingly won by Trump. Money also went to Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich – but these were much smaller amounts and could be interpreted as covering bases rather than trying to buy any real influence. The broader concern is McConnell’s Super PAC and what he did with that money in 2016.

    Mitch McConnell wasn’t even up for reelection in 2016. Instead he used his various Super PACs to help fund the election and reelection of any number of Republicans in Congress. He’s maintained his role as the Republican leader in the Senate in part because so many of his fellow Senate Republicans are financially dependent on him. Super PAC money can be difficult to trace, so there may be no limit to the number of Republicans in office who have indirectly taken McConnell’s Russian money, whether or not they knew at the time that it was Russian money. No wonder they’re panicking over the “RNC donations” story.

  12. So after the first day in the Alps Alaphilippe retains the yellow jersey, losing 5″ of his lead.  Big movers were Nairo Quintana, who moved from 12 to 7, winning the stage and gaining 4’36” on the leader, putting him at 4’54 behind.  Also moving was Egan Gomez from 5 to 2, putting himself 5 seconds ahead of his teammate Geraint Thomas (widely favored to win the Tour by many commentators) and 1’30” behind Alaphilippe. There was minor shuffling in the top 10 aside from that and there was also shuffling behnd that but nothing that anyone other than geeks who really get in to the granular details give a crap about. So to the TDF I bid au revoir, a demain.

  13. Pogo – Good race today. Chapeau to Quintana to take advantage of what the GC men allowed today. It’s unlikely he’ll be allowed to escape again in the next 2 days in the Alps. He clawed back too much time and the battle for yellow is on. Quintana hasn’t shown he can stay with the main contenders or attack from a group of them, regardless of his nifty escape today.
    Great work by Alaphillipe to take full advantage of the descent from Galibiet. He’s certainly set up to hold the yellow jersey through to Paris now. We’ll see how he does on tomorrow’s stage. The only question now is will he have the legs to stay with the GC men and keep his lead through 2 more stages in the Alps. That’s a question still simply because he’s never done it or been asked to do it, and they dropped him like a rock in the last K atop Galibiet. I do like his chances. He’s been a race animator in the past, pulling hard in long breakaways. He hasn’t done any of that in this tour so perhaps he’s got enough left.
    Got to give it to the young man though. He’s ridden a fantastic tour whether he hangs on to win or not.
    BTW – I think you meant Egan Bernal, which is how he’s generally known.

  14. Trump White House fighting subpoenas for Don McGahn and other obstruction of justice witnesses might be risky. Courts likely will order them to testify but won’t get resolved until well into next year, close to 2020 election day. Would make more sense to let it happen now and have plenty of time to make it go away.

  15. Travis, I agree with almost 100% of your comments.  Alaphilippe has two stages coming up that don’t have any downhill recovery to conclude the race, and as we saw today he is an absolute master of the downhills..  Tomorrow’s is no cakewalk – having the Col de L’Iseran followed by a finish on the Montee de Tignes, but Saturday’s is just fucking brutal – starting with a 19km climb gaining 1247 meters (6% grade) ending on Val Thorens, an HC with a 33.4 km climb from 539 to 2365 meters (5.5%). That’s a gain in just under 6000 feet in just under 21 miles. Holy Smokes!!!  The boys will definitely deserve the champagne on Sunday.

  16. speaking of political scheduling, what are pros & cons for having (1) the House busy with pre-impeachment committee hearings and impeachment vote before and during primaries and assuming it passes (2) having the Senate trial prior to and during the conventions and general races?  

    impact on senate races (especially Mitch’s) –  prior to primary, prior to general? 

    impact on Trump’s race if he’s impeached but not convicted? 


  17. Linsey Graham has a new republican challenger for his senate seat. I don’t think linsey actually cares whether he wins or not and might would rather lose.
    anyway the challenger throwing down the gauntlet. Michael J. LaPierre

  18. A TV Advertisement Proposal
    Mitch Mcconnell took millions from a russian oligarch to protect russian oligarchs’ interests. But, Mitch won’t lift a finger to help Kentucky’s truckers and miners, whose pension money was stolen.
    In November, vote for YOUR money, and send Moscow Mitch back where his money comes from. 

  19. Mr sturgeon,
    Has graham been sober lately ? Is that why he’s been such a nasty grouch ?

  20. Just what we need, a Thumper. From Amazon:
    “About Michael J. LaPierre
    Michael J LaPierre is a business executive who specializes in Christian leadership training and development. Mike had the privilege over a 32 year career to work with top tier companies spanning a range from Fortune 50 to Fortune 500 organizations. A former minor league baseball player, his executive experiences include VP Sales, Director of Sales & Marketing, Director Global Sales Strategy, entrepreneur, church servant/deacon, and community leader. His diverse executive background and nonprofit experiences have allowed him to gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of leadership development. Those broad experiences include leadership positions with UPS, Arnold Industries, Lily Transportation, and Roadway Express. He is the founder and current President of Christian Leadership Worldview International (’s passion is to see organizational leaders embrace and live out a Christian leadership worldview. He addresses the needs of leaders in venues such as seminars, keynote addresses, devotionals/chapel, workshops, mentoring, and motivational speaking. He is a Brown University graduate who recently received his MBA from Clemson University with Magna Cum Laude honors. He resides with his wife in Pickens, South Carolina.

  21. Luv the ad idea Xrepub. If Mitch wasn’t a psychopath incapable of shame he would be ashamed of representing some of the poorest counties in America and doing nothing for them, despite being one of the most powerful politicians in Washington.

  22. I got to see some of the race, beginning hour and the last ten km.  I enjoyed watching Quintano show why another team wants him, but the question is his age.  Will he be strong enough next year?  Tomorrow I will see the full race.
    One thing I learned in school is to look at things from the other side.  I am impeach now and I am trying to look from the don’t impeach now side.  I keep coming up with republican talking points, not a single reason to not impeach as a Dem.  I think it is important that impeachment starts.  It can drag on for a while, but it has to start.  Right now SFB sees that there are no restraints on his hate and destruction of our Constitution. Speaker Pelosi needs to get over the same era as Mueller.  The greedy old perverts are using brass knuckles, spiked bats, and knees to the crotch.  Dems are offering flowers and kisses.  It is time to punch back.

  23. My idea is this – (and I really hesitate to put it out there, but here goes):  start an impeachment inquiry anytime within the next couple of months – have the inquiry drag on for a little over a year, spend the next couple months carefully drawing up articles of Impeachment introduce them in the House and vote on them on Monday, November 2, 2020 (they will pass in the House on a largely party line vote).  Send them to the Senate  the day after the election.  Issue the shit out of subpoenas over the next 15 months and let SFB say no to all of them that go to the Executive branch.  But subpoena the crap out of every person not a USG employee and for every person who ignores the subpoenas, take ’em the fuck to court top compel compliance. Not sure what the limits of the power of Sgt. at Arms and Capital police are, but to the extent they can, arrest those who defy the subpoenas.  Frankly, I’m tired of this shit.

  24. Pogo – The next 2 days are brutal. 
    Peter Sagan is going to win his 7th green jersey as long as he makes it to Paris. But everything else is to play for on Friday and Saturday. Egan Bernal is close to a lock for the white jersey, and I think he’ll be allowed to ride for himself as he did today. I think Geraint Thomas has the legs for the Alps. He’s so strong on those long steady climbs once he gets the engine going. I liked the Ineos tactics today. They had time on Alaphillipe, but it just wasn’t a summit finish.
    Chapeau to Tom Wellens for a strong showing in the medium mountains and a couple of high peaks to hold the KOM jersey for so long. He’ll likely lose it on stage 19. He may be able to get in the break for the first three mountains, but he’ll never make the HC L’Iseran.
    I wonder about the chances of Thibault Pinot, Steven Kruijswijk, Emanual Buchmann, and of course Alaphillipe. All of them are skilled climbers and have shown tremendous focus to stay in the hunt. Will they get the tactics right?
    Speaking of tactics…maybe one day after this year’s race is over, someone will be able to explain why Movistar keeps chasing its own riders in the breakaway.

  25. craig & X-R, y’all might really be on to something that gets their attention given this story in courier journal this april:

    Is Braidy Industries of Kentucky getting in bed with Russian mobsters?


    Kentucky might be going into business with the Russian mafia.

    Not the rough-and-tumble “Godfather” crowd with the bent noses and such names like Tessio, Barzini and Luca Brasi.

    If all goes according to plan, by the middle of the year, we’ll be in business with Oleg Deripaska, a buddy of Vladimir Putin.

    He could be sending $200 million — if you believe media reports — in what could very well be mobbed-up money to northeastern Kentucky to build a $1.7 billion aluminum plant on an old strip mine there.

    The United States government, according to the New York Times, has long believed that Deripaska has deep ties to Russian organized crime — the Bratva — so much so it has limited his travel here and prohibited him from doing business in this country. 

    The 51-year-old billionaire emerged as a powerful businessman following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union after a bloody fight for control of Russia’s aluminum industry.


    When he announced the planned aluminum mill, Bevin hailed it as possibly the “most singularly transformative economic development decision that has ever been made in the commonwealth of Kentucky.”
    But the plant has had trouble getting off the ground, in part because Braidy was forced to move the planned construction site from South Shore to Ashland when it was learned the original location couldn’t support the weight of the plant.
    And money was a problem.
    Enter Rusal, a Russian aluminum company that until just three months ago was barred from doing business in the United States in part because of its ties to Deripaska.
    The Trump administration lifted the sanctions in January after Deripaska agreed to reduce his ownership stake in the Moscow-based company, the world’s second-largest aluminum manufacturer, from 70% to less than 45%.
    And that came only after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed that decision despite large numbers of Republicans and Democrats who objected to allowing Rusal and its parent company En+ Group into the United States.
    The House voted to keep the sanctions 362-53, but the Senate fell three votes short of the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster. McConnell, along with Sen. Rand Paul, voted against the resolution.
    Get ready for borscht and vodka in Ashland.

  26. the guardian:

    Senate Republicans have twice blocked legislation aimed at strengthening US election security in the 24 hours since the former special counsel Robert Mueller warned that Russian election interference was happening “as we sit here”.


    Since Mueller left the witness stand on Wednesday, Republican senators have blocked a House-backed bill and a separate trio of bills meant to beef up US election security.


    The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, accused Republicans of having “buried commonsense election security bills in their legislative graveyard”. He pledged to keep putting forward requests to vote on legislation, including a House-passed bill that would authorize $775m in grants over the next two years to help states secure their voting systems.

    The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, however, criticized the House bill as “so partisan it received just one Republican vote over in the House”, asserting that any election security proposal must be bipartisan.


    The developments come as a new report, released Thursday by the Senate intelligence committee, found that the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against US election systems ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The report also said that states hadn’t been appropriately warned of the threat against their systems and warned many of them still had outdated voting machines


  27. NYTimes:

    Russia Targeted Elections Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded Thursday that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, an effort more far-reaching than previously acknowledged and one largely undetected by the states and federal officials at the time.

    But while the bipartisan report’s warning that the United States remains vulnerable in the next election is clear, its findings were so heavily redacted at the insistence of American intelligence agencies that even some key recommendations for 2020 were blacked out.

    The report — the first volume of several to be released from the committee’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference — came 24 hours after the former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III warned that Russia was moving again to interfere “as we sit here.”

    While details of many of the hackings directed by Russian intelligence, particularly in Illinois and Arizona, are well known, the committee described “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” intended largely to search for vulnerabilities in the security of the election systems.


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