77 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. From the Mueller op-Ed:

    We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.* * *
    Russian efforts to interfere in our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) to obtain full and accurate information. Likewise, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. It may ultimately impede those efforts. 
    We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.

    This gets to the heart of the SFB commutation of Stone. Flynn and Manafort will be next. I’ve tried to look at this stuff broadly and, assuming that Biden wins in November have come to a few conclusions. 1. SFB shot himself in the foot by stupidly taking retribution against Cohen. This will come back to haunt him when Cohen testifies first to the grand jury and second in SFB’s criminal trial. 2. Stone will be hobbled in the ongoing investigation. While he is free now he stands convicted and without SFB in office he will be charged, tried and convicted for further lies to investigators or to the court, and perjury in a pissed off judge’s courtroom carries mealtimes Stone won’t want to face, with sentencing enhancements for his prior conviction. 3.  Stone’s assertions about fighting his conviction is doomed. Overturning a jury’s conviction is a long shot at best. And the commutation of his sentence will probably lessen any chance that an appeals court might feel any sympathy for him and if the appeal seems to have some merit rule in his favor on a close call. 4.  And those glasses. 5.  He’s done as a useful tool for SFB. 

  2. pogo, shouldn’t your “when Cohen testifies first to the grand jury and second in SFB’s criminal trial” be an “IF” in light of what happened to epstein while in custody?   

  3. yesterday on NPR

    MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
    Last night, President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone. The move means Stone will avoid spending time in prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress as it investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump said Stone was the victim of a, quote-unquote, “witch hunt” by prosecutors.
    Meanwhile, just a couple of days ago, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was sent back to federal prison after a dispute over the terms of his home confinement. ….
    Lanny Davis is a legal adviser to Michael Cohen, and he says that on Thursday, his client was asked by officials at a meeting to sign a document barring him from speaking or engaging with any media as a condition of his continued home confinement. Cohen refused, and he was eventually arrested and taken back to prison. Davis says Cohen’s legal team had never seen an order like the one his client was asked to sign.
    LANNY DAVIS: We’re not aware of any precedent. When he was allowed to be under home confinement, nobody mentioned to him, you can’t talk to the press. Nobody said, you can’t go to a restaurant. He showed up to get his ankle bracelet on. And suddenly, he’s handed this piece of paper. We cannot find a precedent that you lose your First Amendment rights when you’re under home confinement. The government’s only interest is to keep you under restricted surveillance so that you don’t escape, and you stay in your home under home confinement.
    MARTIN: The New York Times reported getting a copy of the document presented to Mr. Cohen. The purpose of the prohibition, according to the document that was reported by The Times, said – was to, quote, “avoid glamorizing or bringing publicity to your status as a sentenced inmate serving a custodial term in the community.” And I wanted to ask if there’s any precedent for that.
    DAVIS: Yeah, this is worth anyone who understands the English language asking the following question. Is it glamorizing to tell the truth about the president of the United States’ wrongdoing? His book is going to tell the truth about 10 years working for Mr. Trump and helping Mr. Trump commit crimes. So this is about Mr. Trump’s threatened-with-the-truth attitude. And yet, he rewards Mr. Stone, who said publicly, I decided not to tell the truth about President Trump. And he was rewarded by what I’ve described as a corrupt commutation yesterday.

  4. I don’t miss Tweety at all and think that Joy Reid is a great replacement 
    Katy Tur  looks like she can’t believe she isn’t allowed to yell  “liar liar” every time anything Trump is on the air.  She walked for a long time with the protesters in NY and she hasn’t been same since.
     

  5. I was in the room and the band that night when Townes recorded the  “Dead Flowers”  song. It was electric in there. Springwater at Centennial Park, 1980.  

  6. KGC
    I agree. I’ve never missed blowhard Tweety. Joy Reid is going to be good. She’s combative up against bullshit. 

  7. Florida broke US record for new COVID cases overnight, 15,299. NY’s highest was 12,000. DeSantis is a disgrace! 

  8. not like we weren’t warned.  4 years ago (FOUR YEARS AGO) this was written in huffpo and it could just as well have been written yesterday.     

       “Is Trump really a nut case? That’s what more and more people believe, including some psychologists who have described him as having a ‘narcissistic personality disorder,” whereby one thinks that everything is about me, me, me. Someone with this disorder also has delusions of grandeur about who one is and what one can do…He always has to win, whatever he does and makes excuses should he lose at anything, so he still comes out on top.”
         More and more evidence is coming in from the behavior of Donald Trump and the opinions of expert observers that he really is nuts.   It seems like Republicans, media commentators, and even psychiatrists have been unwilling to utter the “mentally disturbed” or “mentally ill” designation.  They have sought to explain Trump’s angry outbursts, erratic behavior, continual lying, confusion about facts, and bullying tactics as due to his narcissistic personality.  They have excused his aggressiveness and lack of empathy for others as examples of his hard-nosed business deal tactics.  Some have even suggested he has engaged in self-sabotaging tactics because he really doesn’t want to win and have to govern.
               But more and more, it seems hard to deny.  As Daniel Dale of the Washington Bureau of Toronto Star wrote in an article “Is Donald Trump OK? Erratic behavior raises mental health questions,” Trump is really not of “sound mind,” citing a previous comment by conservative Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard.  Dale also suggested that Michael Bloomberg was alluding to Trump’s mental illness when he made this comment in supporting Hillary Clinton: “Let’s elect a sane, competent person.” 
    […]
         I wrote that about a month ago in a book that was published on June 23rd, and now Trump’s symptoms seem even worse.  So is Trump nuts?  I think the signs are all there that he truly is.  So now the question becomes what are we as the American people going to do about it?  If we truly let him anywhere near the Oval Office, we are truly nuts, too!

  9. This quote from the great state of Wyoming, seen in the Casper Star Tribune.

    “We’ve had 21 deaths in Wyoming. Most of those were people with pre-existing conditions or in old folks homes,” trustee Kevin Christopherson said during the board’s Wednesday night meeting. “They were going to die. They just died sooner.”

    Ya know an ad with just that quote, Then the announcer says. “Do you really need any other reason to vote a straight Democratic ticket?”
    Jack
     

  10. “mentally disturbed” or “mentally ill”  CLEARLY he IS. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t get him out of office.
    Not impeachment, not the 25th amendment. The Lincoln Group’s ad that said don’t forget & vote all the repubes OUT was so right. 

  11. jack, thanks for posting the quote because it’s difficult to get to it in that paper.  I’m guessing it’s from some poe dunk town. Toledo, Ohio and Rochester, NY do that too.  I wonder who they think they are. But come to think of it, Dallas does that too. No wonder they’re all going broke. 

  12. Colorado plague update – we had a little discussion about plague the other day.  This location is very near where I used to live.  You just make sure to use the flea and tick on your pets and avoid playing with sick prairie dogs.

  13. Craig, yes, Gov Disasterous!
    KGC
    Yes, it’s getting crazy. I hate to go out. Florida government has always been a disaster but now in a Pandemic you really see. Republicans are willing to sacrifice us all for as Renee posted, the bottom line.

  14. It was a School board meeting, in Casper Wy. (Natrona county school district)  We are talking Wyoming here so there is no real large population anywhere but Natrona county is the second largest area, with a population of about 80,000. 
    So not podunk by Wy, standards, maybe by Texas standards. 
    Jack

  15. I don’t go along with the bottom line stuff. If they are worried about the bottom line then they would be working their asses off for a solution.  This is more full speed ahead don’t worry about the icebergs we will bounce off of them.  That is not bottom line thinking imnsho.
    But it maybe a NASCAR mind set.
    Jack

  16. Yep.  Just a continual left turn.  It’s all they know.   The virus requires new thoughts; some are incapable.

  17. Yes, Casper, WY. My boss from Toledo, Oh became the Vision Outreach Services Program Manager  for Wyoming Ed. Dept. a few years ago.  He lived in Casper and had to take a small airplane to get to some of the schools he oversaw. 

  18. So, the twenty-something in California ended up going to the ER because the COVID symptoms were so bad and the fever was so high.  Meanwhile, other idiots around him who (so far) have tested negative, went out visiting other folks.  

  19. “They were going to die. They just died sooner.” – kevin christopherson pleading ‘mercy killings’.
    Jon Bonet Ramsey was also going to die. She just died sooner.

  20. Jack
    I think they think opening up everything is the solution and good for the bottom line. I agree its not at all its very much the opposite. We could have maybe been where Europe is had we had a Federal Pandemic response. Yes, looking for a solution. Leadership. 

  21. Will Donald and Ivanka send their kids back to school? – Mr Crawford
     
    No school would have junior or eric, ‘cept maybe trump un-versity.  The girls got all the brains. Unless Barron – and the bastards, of course . . . .  Maybe they can send Barron to some safe school in Kenya, Indonesia, or Hawaii.

  22. The official ayn rand org called Mother Theresa ‘the most evil woman on earth,’ ‘cuz she’d sit and wait in businessmen’s offices until they coughed up a check. Apparently, such an unbearable ‘pressure tactic’ is torture. Last time I looked, the ayn randy people were all anarchist, survival-of-the-fattest type rip-up-licanines. 

  23. bet the Rump adds christie to his enemies list along with romney & toomey 

    the hill :

    ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Christie, who sat on the roundtable panel for “This Week,” whether commuting Stone’s sentence was “the right thing to do.”
    “Well, I wouldn’t have done it, George, because I don’t think that the facts that surround the Stone prosecution support the idea of any type of clemency,” the former governor said.
    Christie acknowledged that the president “has the right to do it” but maintained that “I wouldn’t have done it.”

  24. Rich folks will have their darlings attend classes online.  Everyone else can fend for themselves IRL classrooms.    
    Isn’t it strange that the school boards and chambers of commerce have become death panels…or surrogates for higher-ups dealing death as a necessary expense for opening up the economy?   Bottom line, mortuaries are doing a booming business.  

  25. Rich people’s brat’s can learn their social skills with their nannies and tutors, the butler, housekeeper, cook and chauffeur. Footmen can teach them to beat the gardeners and serfs.

  26. Fauci didn’t make any mistakes.  When he talked about not wearing the mask, that was early on in how this ever evolving virus/pandemic presents itself. 

  27. So, to articulate the phenomenon that Jack is describing:

    Among your average, everyday Covid19 science-denier is an emotional inability to acknowledge the sheer horror Covid represents (the “bad things can’t happen to me” phenomenon”; they will learn the hard way), but among Republican officials, the science-denying is based purely on Machiavellian plays for power with utter disregard for human life as a consequence.  
     
    Economics has nothing to do with it, as Jack rightly indicated.

  28. Yes, they are as dumb as you think they are for believing that killing-off their own base is good politics, from a purely Machiavellian perspective.  
     
    …not worried about November.  Keep yourself alive.

  29. Bink I agree with you except that along with power is money & greed (economics). That’s why he wants everything open and kids back in school.  It’s all about the economy and staying in power. It’s like his stupid ass follower, Dan Patrick in TX, said, he’s willing to sacrifice old folks, back then, to keep the economy going. Now they’re willing to sacrifice anyone for the ole mighty dollar.

  30. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/politics/jerome-adams-surgeon-general-mask-mandate/index.html
    Mask mandated work  best at a local or state level, but not nationally.  Huh?  Guess the SG is equivocating so he doesn’t lose his job.   As for needing to educate folks as to how masks work…I would say that’s a ridiculous argument, but I’ve heard some ridiculous comments from anti-maskers aka maskholes. 
    Going after Dr. Fauci is a big mistake.  I will say, the good doctor treated SFB with kid gloves.  tRUMP is such a volatile imbecile (not a good combo) that nobody can deal with him on an adult level.   You let the tyrant toddler run the show or don’t attach yourself to him in any way.   
    In November, we will rid ourselves of the orange virus, although COVID will still be with us.   At least, I hope that is the case.  The TX, run-off election was postponed from May until July, but look at the horrible numbers now.  Will it be better in November?
     

  31. Gotta get the kids back in school so parents can go back to work.  Wait!  Where are the jobs? Who is comfortable spending money? How long will the currently-employed stay employed?  It doesn’t really matter how much Congress primes the pump if the virus is with us folks don’t feel safe to shop.  After all, we are only workers and consumers, right?  We have no other function in life, it seems.  School is there to make us good workers and, thereby, consumers.    What a mess the virus has exposed.

  32. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/politics/lindsey-graham-robert-mueller/index.html
    They’re gonna let Mueller talk now because it will distract from the horrible handling of COVID, bounties on troops, etc.   tRUMP acts like a Russian asset.  We know he’s certainly not an asset to America.   Can’t wait to vote him out so he can be tried for tax evasion, etc., and, we can all watch the house of cards that is the tRUMP ~empire~ fold, ridding ourselves of the entire family. 

  33. BiD, it doesn’t matter what the orange bucket of lard pulls out of his ass.  Nothing is distracting most people from the fact that people are very ill and dying on his watch.  He has a river of blood on his hands. He’s a mass murderer. 

  34. Orange bucket of lard is pulling out old videos of Dr. Fauci’s Covid comments back from January to discredit him! Biden should take Fauci into his campaign as his chief medical advisor. 
     
    Orange bucket of lard looks far better with a mask.  It covers up his ugly face. A bag would be even better. 

  35. Money = Power….    Power = Money…
     
    that’s as basic an equation of human nature as one can get….

  36. Lincoln group or Republicans against dumbass will pull all of SFB’s stupid shit virus is controlled, disappear in a couple weeks, hoax etc. BS and run the ads in PA, MI, WI, NC, VA, AZ…

  37. Being willing to kill
    public school children should come as no surprise since he is willing to lock children up in cages after being separated from their parents

  38. “it’s the economy, stupid” as accepted campaign guidance has for the GOPers morphed into Rump mantra “it’s MY money, stupid” to explain their strategy. 

  39. tRUMP is trying to discredit Dr. Fauci because he wants to discredit science, in general.    COVID don’t care, tho.

  40. So, money can equal power, sure, but power doesn’t always equal money.  An important distinction if you want to understand motivation.

  41. Point is, politicians will sell their souls for a lot less than you’d imagine.  The illusion of control will suffice, for many of them.  More than money, what people want is to matter.
     
    Whatever the fuck that means.

  42. In government it may not always be about the money, and yes, it is always about power. The two however are hand in glove. In this administration money both enables and follows power. Kudlow, Mnuchin, DeVoss … 

  43. You’re right about kudlow, but I’d wager to them it’s about power. DeVoss has real wealth at over $5b and Mnuchin is doing alright at $300M. 

  44. trump is screwed because true investors don’t have the luxury of pretending that C-19 is something it’s not.   Investors skew Republican.  Bye, dipshit.

  45. We’re all simple folk, here.  We love flowers.   We love tomatoes.  We love owls, and hummingbirds.  We Love Mozart and Charlie Parker.  We enjoy cinema, variety shows, and better than that, a pleasant evening in the garden.  Give people like us a few million bucks, and we have no problems, ever again. 
     
    Guys like Kelly Leoffler, Lindsey Graham, and John Corbyn ALREADY HAVE THAT.  “Money” doesn’t explain their motivations.   
     
    Let’s just distill rank-and-file Republicans motivations to “fear”, and call it a night, shall we?
     
    A quarter-waning moon should be popping up, imminently✌️🌒🇺🇸 

  46. bink, when i said the Rump’s campaign polestar is “it’s MY money, stupid” not the emphasis on MY.  he first got into the race only to enhance his brand.  a lot of his official moves seemed to ensure some monetary profit for him.  a tell was/is only staying at his own properties (garnering others including the taxpayers to foot the bills of the massive requisite entourage).    the title of his niece’s book says it all “Too Much and Never Enough”

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