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August 10, 2019

Comments

Janie, no idea how I unpinned your post. If it was something I did. But feel free to put it back on top if you can.

"A case could be made that Putin is getting progressively more rattled."

I see what you did there.

Let me fix it.

A case could be made that Putin is getting conservatively more rattled.

All conservative movement regimes around the world will experience the death rattle, as humanity rises up and destroys them.

wj - not a problem, I unpinned it myself, thinking that I wasn't giving it steady enough attention to warrant pinning. We can put it back, or maybe make a link to it in the sidebar. Going traveling for a few days, so if I don't get to it right away, that's why.

Plus, Epstein 'suicided' in is jail cell, and Trump breathes a sigh of relief.

Not just Trump.

I guess it’s possible he killed himself, but the list of possible suspects for suborning his murder is likely a long one.

It will be interesting to read the Bureau of Prisons account of how it was allowed to happen. From this
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/10/jeffrey-epsteins-apparent-suicide-is-unfathomable/
there would seem to be lots of questions to be answered. A single screw up wouldn't have been enough to let it happen; it would require several.

The Clintons did it.

It would be lovely if Modi was trying to "bring Kashmir to heal", but I suspect you meant "bring Kashmir to heel".

Most typos are merely mildly embarrassing. But that one, which completely reversed the meaning? Seriously embarrassing!

The Clintons did it.

It’s curious how Trump, who almost certainly has never read the book, has contrived to turn Hillary into Emmanuel Goldstein.

I appear to have messed the italics.

Trump hired some illegals to read it for him. Obviously.

That’s doublethink, wj.

Speaking of which, the Japanese Korean relationship is a really strange one.
As the trade, and bitter political dispute sparked by litigation over WWII behaviour by Japanese companies escalates, and Korean consumers boycott Japanese goods on a large scale....

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/10/national/media-national/japan-south-korea-trade-spat-gains-little-traction-among-youth-social-media/
...There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent retaliatory movement in Japan at this time. Another Mainichi Shimbun feature that was published on July 20 suggests that the rift has had little effect on Japanese youth’s love of Korean pop culture. A Mainichi reporter visited the Shin-Okubo district of Tokyo, the heart of Korean pop commerce in Japan, and found that there has been no diminution of enthusiasm for all things Korean among Japanese young people, who tend to discriminate between government policy and cultural appeal.

In interviews with various Japanese teens in the area, the Mainichi Shimbun found that South Korea is considered more fashionable than Japan is. Some study the Korean language and, despite the diplomatic crisis, Japan seems to be going through its third so-called Korean wave.

The first started around 2003 with the popularity of the TV soap opera “Winter Sonata.” The second was around 2011, launched when K-pop groups such as TVXQ and Girls’ Generation appeared on NHK’s year-end music contest. However, according to one trend-tracking company interviewed by Mainichi, the third wave is even bigger.

The first two were limited to specific pop culture fields, while the present one covers a wide spectrum, from idols to cosmetics to food. According to the company’s survey of 180 women aged between 10 and their 30s, 90 percent of teenage girls said that South Korea is the “source” of all the current trends they follow....

FWIW, Seth Abramson tweeted the following "EPSTEIN FACTS", to be shared widely when people try to link the Clintons to Epstein's suicide:

1) He told a journalist that for years he and Trump were "best friends"
2) He told a journalist he underwrote Trump's purchase of Mar-a-Lago
3) An associate told a journalist that Trump *went to Epstein's home* on 12/24/17
4) There are signs he managed cash for MBS

Nigel, On the subject of Korean cultural influence generally, I don't know how widely this is known among men/women who aren't obsessed with skincare etc, but for a few years now South Korean skincare practices have been the driving force behind much of high-end (including French, Swiss etc) skincare brands' products. As if women weren't obsessed enough with onerous "beauty"routines, I believe the typical modern Korean skincare regime now consists of about 10-12 separate steps/products, morning and night. Nice and profitable, and as a side benefit keeps women susceptible to this kind of thing insecure and on the back foot.

I guess it’s possible he killed himself, but the list of possible suspects for suborning his murder is likely a long one.

Has anyone seen the Maxwell woman lately? I believe she's a British citizen, so is probably hiding out over there somewhere. All the same people that benefit from Epstein's death would also benefit from hers.

GftNC,

So Seth tweets a bunch of completely uncorroborated and unattributed accusations about Trump to use to deflect from the court documents naming Clinton being referenced. To what end? They both seem pretty in deep here to me.

Marty, I didn't bother to look up corroboration for Seth Abramson's numbered list, because a) who has the time, and b) I actually remembered reading about some of these statements at the time they were uttered, or around Epstein's proceedings. They are worth noting because Trump himself has retweeted something by someone called Terrence K Williams with the hashtags ClintonBodyCount and ClintonCrimeFamily. I repeat, Trump himself has retweeted this.

Apart from that, I agree, Bill Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew and no doubt many others must be rejoicing right about now.

i'm not a lawyer, so i don't know what this amounts to, but some are saying Epstein's death will make it easier to get info about his co-conspirators.

ex. https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/epsteins-friends-just-lost-any-chance-of-having-penthouse-evidence-tossed-by-courts-heres-why/

Meanwhile, the President's Chief of Staff admitted that the plan to relocate various Federal agencies across the country was never about improving efficiency (the supposed rationale). Rather, it was always about inducing expert Federal employees, who can't be fired, to quit rather than uproot their families and relocate.

Awkward that the Inspector General reports that, with their usual incompetence, the administration seems to have violated the laws about how the process must work.

"completely uncorroborated and unattributed accusations"

Wake me when both sides are even steven.

And even then ... Genghis Khan.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/05/alan-dershowitz-devils-advocate

Dershowitz ... natural causes, suicide, or foul play?

I repeat, Trump himself has retweeted this.

Trump does things every day that would ruin the career of any other politician. and the GOP supports him. supports? adores, celebrates their celebrity troll President.

i hope they don't expect to go back to the old rules, once Trump has left the building.

Call me conspiracy-minded. Call me RWNJ-level paranoid. But:
Has any independent source like 3 different reporters actually seen Epstein's corpse and poked it in the eye with a stick?
--TP

Whomever killed Epstein, even if it was by his own hand, will take the place of Jack Ruby in America's paranoid, reality tabloid profit center imagination.

It will be mysterious grassy knoll sightings (the 16-year old Hillary Clinton's shadow was lurking even then) and rumors all the way down for a couple of decades.

Regarding uncorroborated and unattributed accusations, I'm just now catching up with Marty in that category during his flights of fancy during the eight years of the Obama Administration and then Clinton's campaign.

Was it the flu, multiple sclerosis, terminal leukemia, or some strain of lesbian AIDS that she was hiding behind those coughing fits?

At least two conservatives entertained us here with those inquiring mindless speculations.

p wins all of this.

You can't win a shitting contest against an entire political movement made of subhuman shit.

All of the claims that Epstein's death is a windfall for the SDNY prosecutors by removing any limits on the use of evidence seem to trace back to one retired prosecutor. IANAL, but doubt that there are any conditions under which prosecutors get free rein.

It might be easier to list elites who aren’t possible suspects in Epstein’s suicide.

Over the past few years I’ve become more open to conspiracy theories in general and not only because of Trump, . I don’t mean that I actually support any given conspiracy theory. I just mean that I don’t necessarily trust mainstream sources to tell the truth about events when there is no way for the average person to be able to tell what is really happening.

Take the standard conspiracy obsession— who killed JFK. I have spent decades shrugging. I refuse to start reading about it. There are massive tomes, whole libraries, written to defend the mainstream account and to demolish it with mutually contradictory theories about who really did it. In theory I care— in practice life is too short to give a shit. It might have been Oswald acting alone— my Bayesian prior for that is 50 percent. The other 50– well a big chunk to the CIA or anti Castro Cubans or the Mafia or crazed rightwingers or all the above or maybe it was Castro getting revenge for attempts on him. I could start looking at the evidence to shift my prior. But why bother? At the end I still won’t know or worse, I might become a cranky obsessive about something where it makes absolutely no difference what cranky obsessives believe. If I am going to do that then at least do it about something really interesting, like the Navy UFO photos videos the NYT reported on in 2017. I do know what you are supposed to say to be considered a Serious Person and for practical purposes this is all that matters.

Anyway, the crap our elites pull which is right out in the open and often still gets ignored is probably worse than most of the conspiracy theories anyway.

Still, this Epstein suicide might show some in the elite class are getting really really sloppy. You should pull this crap in other countries, preferably non English speaking.

"Still, this Epstein suicide might show some in the elite class are getting really really sloppy. You should pull this crap in other countries, preferably non English speaking."

You mean like having the brother of a Presidential candidate mess around with voter lists and count/recount rules in a tight election?

Our Republic, she is bananas. Has been for at least 20 years.

Examples of undeniable crap our elites pull without consequence t themselves—

Yemen, of course, and various other murderous genocidal policies which should be capital crimes.

But worse than complicity in genocide would be the conspiracy to deny global warming carried out by Exxon when their own scientists told them the truth decades ago.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/08/15/climate-change-burning-down-house/

A society run on those terms should expect some elites acting like Caligula in their personal lives. Hell, we even have a jackass as our American consul.

Marty wrote: "accusations about Trump to use to deflect from the court documents naming Clinton being referenced."

Please cite the documents chapter and verse.

Maybe you are right.

But so far, the only thing you have corroborated is KellyAnne Conway's mouthshitting:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/conway-defend-trump-boost-conspiracy-theories

By the way, I am for all of the rot being exposed, regardless of target, and I want the country to go thru debilitating political chaos in pursuit of it.

We deserve it.

We've skated on frozen ponds of raw, untreated sewage long enough.

Apart from that, I agree, Bill Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew and no doubt many others must be rejoicing right about now.

Why do you include Clinton?

The newly released documents name the following names: Bill Richardson, Prince Andrew, Glenn Dubin, George Mitchell, Jean-Luc Brunel, Marvin Minsky, and Alan Dershowitz. Trump and Epstein were accused of rape in a different case, which was dropped (allegedly because of intimidation).

Clinton is known to have partied with Epstein, and to have flown on his jet, and, considering Epstein's reputation, any association is in itself sleezy. But, unless I've missed something, there have been no accusations of Clinton assaulting the women that Epstein was trafficking.

The current accusations are obviously shocking and awful, and we'll no doubt learn more. To be clear, I'm not defending anyone who was involved, including Clinton if we find out that he was.

Donald, America, the multi-tasking can-do society, can prosecute all of those crimes against humanity on multiple, parallel tracks.

I'm happy to convene grand juries to indict all Caligulas AND Genghis Khans, posthumously and in absentia where necessary.

I'm sure important anti-abortion and pro-choice notables alike have been dues-paying members of secret societies that rape women and men, the more underaged the better, since history started being recorded.

In fact, that's the main reason why history wasn't recorded before that ... to bury the evidence.

“You mean like having the brother of a Presidential candidate mess around with voter lists and count/recount rules in a tight election?”

I actually forgot about Florida in 2000.

Just recalled the Brooks Brothers riot. Those were the days.

Re: Donald @1:15: this reminds me of the Gish Gallop. And yes, life is too short.

It also reminds me of a saying of Mark Twain's:

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

I'm afraid our entire polity right now is caught in a double bind along those lines.

Re Gish gallops—

Creationist arguments were among the first areas. where I encountered fringe theories— this was in high school and college. I went to a lecture by Gish— out of curiosity. I was never a creationist— in fact, it came as a shock to me in high school when I found out many people, including some of my friends and my high school Latin teacher ( forgot all of it) believed this stuff. It actually did me good to think about how to refute them. It made evolutionary theory more interesting. It’s become a lifelong on again off again hobby. I probably read more about it because of the creationists, even dipping my toes into population genetics ( low level only— I can follow Gillespie’s intro text but haven’t pushed myself to read higher level stuff). I sometimes have thought it might actually make high school science classes more interesting if they taught the creationist and ID arguments and then showed how to poke holes in them. A few of the arguments are actually interesting— like, for instance, is there a way to calculate the maximum rate at which beneficial mutations could be substituted. But in practice I understand teaching time in high school is limited and if creationist arguments were refuted creationist parents would be even more upset. It might be a good approach with some children. Or me, anyway.

In politics the fringe is sometimes correct, IMO, but it can be difficult or impossible to tell in some cases, so I try to avoid getting caught up obsessing about them. The JFK thing has always had me running in the opposite direction. Of course, some conspiracy theories are transparently moronic. That’s helpful.

“like, for instance, is there a way to calculate the maximum rate at which beneficial mutations could be substituted.”

Called Haldane’s dilemma. It was a point of controversy in population genetics at one time and played a role in the arguments for the neutral theory before creationists got hold of it. I am not sure where it stands now.

Nice and profitable, and as a side benefit keeps women susceptible to this kind of thing insecure and on the back foot...

My wife tells me their facemasks are excellent, and not expensive.

sapient @ 01.35: you may have a point. I include Clinton because life is too short to research every detail, and since he is a known friend/contact of Epstein and traveller on the "Lolita Express", and since there is enough evidence (e.g in the Paula Jones case) to suspect him of sexual misbehaviour (to put it at its most innocuous), I wanted to make it clear that if he is implicated, I am open to the possibility that (to say the least) he is relieved by and rejoices in the death of Epstein and the subsequent lessening of the likelihood that he would be involved in anything other than the fevered ravings of Trump and his contemptible apologists. But if he is in the category of "less likely to be implicated", I would be happy, and so much the better.

My wife tells me their facemasks are excellent, and not expensive.

I hope I made it clear that I am not completely (although mostly!) immune. Does your wife carry out the 10-12 separate steps, morning and night?

and since there is enough evidence (e.g in the Paula Jones case) to suspect him of sexual misbehaviour (to put it at its most innocuous)

I would put the Monica Lewinsky debacle in this category also. I'm deeply in favor of people's sex lives being no one's business but their own, or theirs and their partners' (long explanations sidestepped in a blog comment). But in the context of the world we actually live in, Bill Clinton has been, at the very least, careless of consequences. And in that way, kind of stupid, in a very familiar "how can someone so smart be so dumb" kind of way.

My entire adult life has been in part an exercise in demythologizing noted people, both in and out of government. I believe that everyone is flawed one way or another, and that's the human condition. But if George Mitchell ever went off the rails in Epstein's realm I will retire to a monastery and never trust my judgment about any human being ever again.

It might be easier to list elites who aren’t possible suspects in Epstein’s suicide.

Or, more accurately, would be relieved to find that he was dead.

And that's probably about as much as anybody here knows, or can say, about it.

I had to look up who George Mitchell was. Here's hoping....(apart from anything, I don't want Janie to retire to a monastery).

Personally, if the Paula Jones allegations are accurate, I put them in a completely different category to Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky actions, because the latter (as we have previously discussed, and always admitting disparity of power etc) were at least consensual. However, you can't deny that Bill Clinton was, as Janie says, "at the very least, careless of consequences", and we must hope that powerful men are starting to be learn that the consequences of predation, or even sexual indiscretions, can be very dangerous to them.

By the way, my comment about George Mitchell was not intended as a blanket statement, or really any statement at all, about Giuffre's accusations or truthfulness. I don't doubt her story in general, including that Epstein told her she had to have sex with Mitchell, among many other men. I have no doubt that Epstein was am evil, manipulative, lying psychopath. Beyond that -- I'm sure we'll never know the whole of it.

Epstein probably knew that a lot of the people who were going to be relieved that he killed himself would probably be very upset if he were to start talking - have to assume he had some no-so-fancy contacts in all of this. he probably figured he was going to end up dead one way or another; might as well do it himself.

It seems reasonable to ( tentatively) assume Epstein did kill himself. It’s convenient that he was allowed to do so. Of course there is always the incompetence defense, which might be true, but after awhile it seems like American exceptionalism. Other countries have murderous elites.. We have good intentions gone awry or just plain incompetence. We are special that way.

But it might be incompetence, which is kind of like the evil all excusing superpower America possesses.

You put it on, wait a bit, take it off.

There are other steps, GFTNC ?
:-)

It might be incompetence. But from what I have seen so far, it appears that multiple people would have had to act contrary to standard operating procedure.

Incompetence on behalf of a single person is quite possible. We see it repeatedly, after all, in members of this administration. But those are typically people who are political appointees who are unfamiliar which how things are supposed to be done. To have multiple career officials suddenly acting contrary to their own usual working procedures? That is, absent other evidence, something of a stretch.

And now for something completely different:

ICE raids 5 slaughterhouses ("poultry processing plants") and arrests over 600 workers for being "undocumented". Even Marty might wonder how many plant managers were arrested for hiring so many "illegals". Answer: ZERO, of course.

And why zero? "Acting" DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan had a ready answer for the resolutely "moderate" Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: "Our investigation is on-going". No Sherlock is our little Kevin.

I'd like to hear Marty's opinion on what's to investigate. For that matter, unless one or more of the corporate "employers" involved have him on retainer, I'd be interested in McKinney's theory of a plausible defense for them.

--TP

Korean skin care regimen (example).

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/i-was-told-epstein-belonged-to-intelligence-and-to-leave-it-alone

I expect nothing to come of this, not because I think it false but because I expect that if it were true nothing would come of it.

But I knew about Epstein years ago. I don’t even know where I first read about the Lolita express. So if everyone knew about it, I would guess some intelligence agencies here or there might have stumbled across it and would want to know just what Epstein knew about whom. High ranking prominent people who, gosh, might have done a lot more than supposed urinate on a bed. It just seems like catnip for people in the professional spy and blackmail business. Even from a counterintelligence viewpoint you would want to know if people with nat sec secrets could be blackmailed.

This is me being conspiratorial and there is no way to prove it, but to me it is much more plausible that there are spies involved in this somewhere than not. In fact , you would have to assume cosmic scale incompetence on the part of spies everywhere if they weren’t interested in Epstein years ago, if not actually involved in running his little hobby.

Of course I am not being original. You can find more specific speculations elsewhere, but why bother? We aren’t going to know. What I expect from the msm is a bunch of people telling us not to be conspiratorial.

We aren’t going to know. What I expect from the msm is a bunch of people telling us not to be conspiratorial.

I'm pretty sure everyone has a theory. There are certainly many plausible conspiracy theories considering who we're dealing with. Russian intelligence, CIA, both, mob, rich people, blah blah blah.

Honestly, it's a huge scandal, and a horrifying injustice, and has tentacles into the corruption that affects all of us [the Bill Barr connection alone is creepy as hell], and we probably don't know the half of it, but in the scheme of things, considering that we have a whole immigration policy that's devoted to cruelty en masse, and people being shot down daily, and our country being run by someone who is dedicated to f'ing us over, the Epstein story is .... I don't even know anymore. Please make it stop.

Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. He was supposed to have a cell mate, and was supposed to have a guard check on him every 30 minutes. Those protocols were not followed, and good luck figuring out where in the bureaucracy of the NYC prison system that decision was made.

Seems to me that Epstein died from a widespread lack of interest in keeping him alive. I'm not sure any sekrit plots were needed.

I'm not sure any sekrit plots were needed.

Probably not, but it would help if there hadn't been so many plots to keep him out of jail, plots to quiet his victims, and plots to obstruct justice for wealthy people in other realms.

Other than rubbernecking fascination, I'm not sure how much I care about this particular case, considering the ongoing decimation of "justice" every which way otherwise. It's hard to sort out what's worthy and what's a distraction anymore. But it sure does smell bad.

and good luck figuring out where in the bureaucracy of the NYC prison system..

Good luck indeed, as it is a federal jail, under the authority of the Justice Department:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Correctional_Center,_New_York

“Seems to me that Epstein died from a widespread lack of interest in keeping him alive. I'm not sure any sekrit plots were needed.”

Yes, but you can frame those exact words in two different ways.

The first way is dismissive and it is what the press is busy doing. It was just incompetence. Epstein is barely cold and already people are flocking to warn us away from conspiracy theories. Hell is freezing over, but I agree with sapient here, but will go further. It is hard to believe that there weren’t intelligence agencies from more than one country ( maybe several) looking into Epstein and the activities of his friends ( if they weren’t involved more directly) but if so, I don’t expect we will hear about this. I also don’t expect the “ quality” press to be of any use. Maybe things will come out decades from now. Even then it might be ignored.

The other way to frame your words is this— if Epstein were a defector from some massive organized crime cell or terrorist group or from an adversarial country and was clearly suicidal, the government would have made every effort to ensure he stayed alive to tell what he knew, unless what he knew might spill back on people here. In fact, Epstein probably had dirt on a lot of people. It is dangerous to give a direct order to have a suicide watch lifted, but if that is normal practice it doesn’t have to be given. There’s no “ sekrit plot” to be found. If he didn’t kill himself there would be plans B and C and D.

“It's hard to sort out what's worthy and what's a distraction anymore. ”

Human rights violations both here and abroad are generally the most important thing. But Epstein is shocking in a way beyond any political scandal we have seen before because it is about an ongoing human rights violation conducted personally by members of our elites and it was covered up. He was running a child sex abuse organization. And it is really hard to believe that the entire world’s intelligence agencies were too stupid to notice this going on. But hey, if the quality press doesn’t want us getting conspiratorial in our thinking, then I can only obey my thought fuhrers.

I also don’t expect the “quality” press to be of any use

and i don't expect the non-"quality" press to be of any use because they are rarely more than bloggers with budgets.

but, the great thing about this Epstein affair is that it's broad enough, with just the right amount of facts, so that everyone can bring their own interpretation to it. it's the perfect medium on which to grow conspiracy theories.

"And it is really hard to believe that the entire world’s intelligence agencies were too stupid to notice this going on."

It's the intersectionality (see what I did there) of Epstein's espionage contacts around the world, the business and government mega-rich and powerful around the world, and his obsessively-organized perversion activities around the globe, and the promiscuous (in the many senses of the word) movement back and forth among the three that is not only a bottomless fascination but will be the nutrient-rich medium from which a thousand conspiracies will bloom and will be tended to, both to deny involvement and to cultivate hatred against their enemies among and by all of the above interests.

Was his criminal underaged girl perversion his vocation or his avocation? Was blackmail is vocation or his avocation? Was being an impresario of some peculiar sort (and on behalf of whom?) his vocation or his avocation?

As to who killed him, even if by his own hand, only Hercule Poirot could identify all of the hands plunging the dagger/knotting the hangman's noose.

Everyone on the Orient Express, including the station masters at either end of his curious life journey had an interest in his mysterious activities from the beginnings of that journey to the end.

He'a cipher, whose meaning may be infinite or precisely zero.

For every monstrous thing going in the world these past decades.

Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive officiously to keep alive...
https://newrepublic.com/article/154729/completely-predictable-death-jeffrey-epstein

Tucker Carlson disappeared from the poisonous FOX (run until recently by Roger Ailes, the fat, juicy-with-venom, conservative movement, web-weaving, trafficker-of-twirling-hot-blonde-pseudo-lying- journalists spider) airwaves on August 8, ostensibly on vacation.

Epstein was dead on August 10.

Find out the whereabouts of vile, subhuman conservative movement hitman Jacob Wohl on the days leading up to Epstein's murder:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/did-a-far-right-star-recruit-jacob-wohl-to-terrorize-women?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Why would a Russian nuclear reactor go kablooey two days before Epstein headed for life's egress:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-now-admits-a-small-nuclear-reactor-exploded-in-the-white-sea-in-mishap-at-nenoksa-missile-test-site?via=newsletter&source=CSAMedition

What was the intersection of Epstein's (vocations/avocations), the Catholic Church and its vocations/avocations and the conservative movement's vermin fuck-everyone-up-their-asses operatives in the New York legislature during the blocking of this legislation for so long:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/08/12/its-gonna-be-a-hell-of-a-year/

I'd be interested in McKinney's theory of a plausible defense for them.

I'd say, "Round up the usual suspects" pretty much explains it. Job 'creators' are granted certain privileges and immunities that peons such as us have no need to know anything about.

Epstein was dead on August 10.

Carlson did it, huh? That figures. There goes my mutant cockroach theory.

Carlson did it, huh? That figures. There goes my mutant cockroach theory.

You mean Carlson isn't a mutant cockroach??? Who knew?

One early August morning, when Tucker Carlson woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.

But it sure does smell bad.

Yes, it's utterly and profoundly corrupt.

Good luck indeed, as it is a federal jail

For the question at hand, I'm not sure that is a distinction with a difference.

Yes, but you can frame those exact words in two different ways.

Only two?

I'm approximately in agreement with sapient. Everybody is suddenly focused on the Epstein "whodunit". I'm not sure how important of a question that is.

The simplest explanation is that Epstein, a famous pedophile and trafficker in minors for sex, hung himself. The opportunity and means for doing so "somehow appeared", apparently in violation of correct protocol. He may simply have been invited to do it by other inmates, with a promise that he'd make a much more painful exit if he failed to follow through. They may even have provided him with whatever it was he hung himself with.

Whitey Bulger was transferred to the US Pen in Hazleton PA. He was well known for providing information about his criminal opponents to the feds. Somehow, within 24 hours of his arrival there, he was "found unresponsive" in his cell, having been mutilated and beaten to death by what appears to have been a small parade of other inmates. Which, I am certain, violates some kind of official prison protocol.

John Geoghan, famous Catholic priest pedophile, was murdered in his cell, while under protective custody in a maximum security state prison in MA. He was killed by another guy in the same unit, who was serving a life sentence without parole for killing a guy who attempted to molest him. Prison officials were said to have "shown poor judgement" in placing both guys in the same unit, even though they had been warned that Geoghan's murderer was planning to kill him.

Certain categories of prisoner basically walk around with a target on their backs. And prison protocols famously, or infamously, sometimes somehow "fail to be observed" around them.

Epstein's death could have been a super-secret cover-up assassination, or the prison staff could have simply not been that interested in making sure he didn't hang himself. I don't know which, but either is completely plausible. The "negligent" prison staff one just has fewer moving parts, so that's where I'd put my money.

In any case, what smells bad here is not, certainly not just, how Epstein died, or at whose hands, but his entire life story. And the degree to which, and ease with which, his personal brand of corruption was able to insinuate itself with people who hold positions of public responsibility.

My expectation is that a Very Serious Investigation will follow, which will find that some prison official decided that Epstein seemed to have cheered up a bit since his first suicide attempt, so they figured the suicide watch was no longer needed. Oopsie.

Maybe some mid-level guy will even get fired, but I'd actually be surprised if it all went that deep.

If there's more to it than that, people like us are unlikely to ever be privy to it.

The information I'm interested in is what the hell was going on while he was alive.

it is really hard to believe that the entire world’s intelligence agencies were too stupid to notice this going on.

They probably thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Intelligence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkX9ghBfbEM

https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article233578042.html

I fuhget:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/08/08/to-mueller-trump-couldnt-recall-if-he-conspired-with-russia/

Trump couldn't recall if he conspired with Russia.

“But it would be a terrible thing”— he held up a finger for emphasis —“to criminalize lies.”

Epstein's death could have been a super-secret cover-up assassination, or the prison staff could have simply not been that interested in making sure he didn't hang himself. I don't know which, but either is completely plausible. The "negligent" prison staff one just has fewer moving parts, so that's where I'd put my money.

I’d more or less agree - but it would hardly have to be a ‘super-secret cover-up’.
A plain vanilla hit would be perfectly possible.

And some players are not unfamiliar with the New York crime world.

Occam is not conclusive in this case.

Since it's an open thread... The administration announced new rules for how it would enforce the Endangered Species Act in the future. The rules are expected to be published in the Federal Register this week, and would be effective 30 days after publication. Among other things, the new rules make it more difficult to consider climate change as part of any analysis.

“Epstein's death could have been a super-secret cover-up assassination, or the prison staff could have simply not been that interested in making sure he didn't hang himself.”

My point is that if Epstein had been someone the government really wanted kept alive— if he had information they really wanted to get out— he would have been kept alive. I have no problem necessarily with the theory that nobody gave any orders. It wouldn’t have been necessary— good old American incompetence would do the job. Why risk giving orders when it was likely that sooner or later Epstein would do it himself and our wonderful prison system wouldn’t stop him? Then we can have investigations finding no conspiracy, just some bumbling prison officials. And whatever Epstein might have said, the story should now be easier to manage. I for one am doubtful that everyone in government us really eager to get to the bottom of this story and I don’t mean his death.

Or it might be an actual assassination that an investigation would uncover. Maybe the incompetence goes right to the top. But I am guessing it was allowing and hoping for nature to take its course.

Some typos there, but hopefully you can figure it out.

But to beat this horse to death, I also think the false dichotomy being set up here— actual ordered hit job versus mere incompetence— is incompetence ( at best) on the part of the press. The question is why, knowing that either suicide or murder as likely, the government didn’t make it a top priority to ensure Epstein didn’t die. Don’t they want to know if current or former US officials were blackmailed or compromised or guilty of rape? But no, don’t ask that rather obvious question. Make it all about those crazy conspiracy nuts on the inter webs.

I for one am doubtful that everyone in government us really eager to get to the bottom of this story

I'm somewhat jaded these days and would substitute "almost anyone" for your "everyone".

But no, don’t ask that rather obvious question. Make it all about those crazy conspiracy nuts on the inter webs.

Yes, I agree that the focus on "who done it?" distracts from the substance of who may have been caught up in Epstein's perverse little world.

And yes, the failure to keep the focus where it should be belongs to the press. Perhaps others, but certainly them.

I don't think there is much daylight between our points of view here.

Don’t they want to know if current or former US officials were blackmailed or compromised or guilty of rape?

You seem to be assuming that they don't already know. (Whether from the recent searches of his residences, or from earlier.) That seems a heroic assumption.

The new Endangered Species Act rules make it easier to consider climate change in the butchering and slaughtering of the spotted conservative movement, whose habitat is increasingly worldwide at the higher altitudes of power in business and government.

Economic considerations will assume a larger context when hunting down individual conservative vermin: $100 per head, far above their economic worth.

Habitats in which conservatives swim upstream to spawn and raise their offspring will be unusually hard hit, nipping things in the bid being a priority shared even by conservative babies held under for the count in the bathtub.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a28679988/trump-administration-endangered-species-act/

Deep State Marty will along shortly to reassure us, his halo slightly askew from being sat on, that the private sector will still be pushing beyond meat while the government encourages, indeed mandates the decimation of everything finned, winged, and four-footed.

I reassure everyone that the lowly bovine species, Wilbur Ross, will not be harmed during the filming of my next Genghis Khan Studios blockbuster film release: "Republicans Taste Just Like Chicken".

Michael Cain @ 05:01 above,

Yes, this is the real crime, the lickspittle Trump administration at work servicing our economic masters...move all the scientists who can stand to stay on to some place like Holcomb, Kansas (no insult intended), and then, just to grind it in, don't let them do the science.

Drain the swamp you yell at his rallies? Well, here it is. You got your wish, m-effers.

This is but one of the thousands of cuts this bunch of thug-o-crats is inflicting on our polity.

TOSS THEM OUT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/world/americas/bolsonaro-amazon-deforestation-galvao.html

The conservative movement will be wiped off the face of the Earth with savage violence.

“Epstein's death could have been a super-secret cover-up assassination, or the prison staff could have simply not been that interested in making sure he didn't hang himself.”

I blame Zombie Jack Ruby.

The carrier pigeon, the bison, and now conservatives.

I'll be organizing shooting parties by helicopter, with armed drones available for remote online hunting for the enjoyment of those stuck at home, of prominent conservative species, stripped naked and given a count to ten to, in all residual human fairness, get away on foot.

We'll hold the mass kills in their conservative mating grounds, but only after we poison their waters with heavy metals and chemical spills, foul their air, and raise the temperature of their environment with massive applications of carbon dioxide, to kind of soften their gamey flesh up.

Conservatives and republicans will now be labeled as bindweed, crabgrass, the thistle and sprayed liberally to prevent their spreading:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/roundup-labels-trump-administration-says-it-wont-approve-glyphosate-warning-labels/

wj @ 5:45 above,

This. The SDNY grand jury had been investigating Epstein for what? Six months? A year? The prosecutors are good at that job. If there had been even a hint of a national security issue, unsealing the indictment would have been limited to a judge behind closed doors and Epstein would have been removed to someplace safe and comfortable. Put me down on the side that thinks sticking Epstein in a sh*thole like MCC indicates massive indifference, not incompetence or ignorance.

Say what?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-danish-bank-is-offering-mortgages-with-negative-interest-rates-why-you-shouldnt-wish-for-that-to-happen-in-the-us-2019-08-12?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

When does my rent decline?

Put me down on the side that thinks sticking Epstein in a sh*thole like MCC indicates massive indifference, not incompetence or ignorance.

I'm afraid I'm not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to Bureau of Prisons facilities. What other facility would you consider more appropriate for someone awaiting trial in SDNY?

I was blundering about on the internets today and found something (other than Joe Stalin's memoirs) that I actually agree with.

Somewhere over the rainbow.

All of you have a good day. I insist.

I believe you meant passenger pigeon, JDT.

Let us quibble over terminology while the conservative movement rapines.

But yes, passenger pigeon.

The SDNY prosecutors searched Epstein's home in the US Virgin Islands today. I interpret the timing of this -- first day the courts are open after Epstein's suicide, more than a month after they searched his NYC home -- as an indicator of "Our conspiracy case doesn't look real good, hoping for more evidence."

What other facility would you consider more appropriate for someone awaiting trial in SDNY?

Rikers might have been better if not more appropriate.

Except Rikers is NYC, not Federal. So not an option.

I interpret the timing of this -- first day the courts are open after Epstein's suicide, more than a month after they searched his NYC home -- as an indicator of "Our conspiracy case doesn't look real good, hoping for more evidence."

I, on the other hand, would interpret is as "wading thru the piles of stuff from the first search, we've come across something that gives us probable cause to believe that we will find more dirt in the VI residence."

This administration's changes to the Endangered Species Act are exactly the sort of Death Panels that they feverishly imagined for people as part of the ACA.

Exactly.

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” -Aldo Leopold

From bobbyp's link

Banks and other financial companies create money out of thin air...They then get paid back by the people they loaned money to on money they created out of thin air. It takes a special sort of genius to run a business which can actually create money, yet still lose money.

This claim is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how banking works. Banks can create money supply out of thin air, but not money for themselves.

When a bank makes you a loan, it creates a loan account for you with a negative balance, and credits the money to your current account. So far this is out of thin air, that's correct.

But you then spend the money, for example by writing a cheque to be deposited in another bank. The interbank clearing process then tallies the money as a debt from the lending bank to the bank where the cheque has been deposited, to be paid immediately, or nearly so.

So if the loan is never repaid, the lending bank loses the money. There's no special genius involved.

Actually, none of it is out of thin air. Banks are required to have assets. They can loan more money than they have assets but that leverage is limited. What they have to have is enough assets to cover any losses.

Then, the assets which are primarily deposits, are insured by the government. Gold based or fiat, the government is the ultimate creator of money based on the its ability to guarantee the money is good through the fed.

Most important, the bank is using government currency to loan, its agreement with the Fed is that it wo thet loan more currency. Blah blah

It's a banking system, no one in the system is creating money from nothing.

i want my MTV

Time for a refresher course.

In these modern times, only HALF of the money is 'created from nothing'.

The other half is created from 'ones'.

More or less.

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