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January 20, 2021

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DOJ Inspector General's report on the Carter Page FISA warrants. This report is highly critical of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their applications for the FISA warrant applications for surveillance on Page. They clearly omitted information that was material to the application, and in the case of Clinesmith, plainly lied.

It's a long document, but the executive summary is less than 20 pages, and does a very good job of covering the relevant points.

What you will not find here is evidence that the Steele dossier was the initiating event for the investigation. Because it wasn't.

What you will not find here is evidence that errors or fabrications in the FISA warrant applications were politically motivated. There is no such evidence.

As an aside, I'll add that anyone who is shocked that a FISA warrant application might contain material misrepresentations needs to get out more. Sadly.

The FISA warrant applications for surveillance of Page misrepresented the material facts, and in the case of Clinesmith's contributions, crossed the line into illegality. Clinesmith has pled guilty, and will receive whatever sentence the feds care to give him. And so be it.

Carter Page was not, remotely, the whole or even the primary focus of the investigation.

The investigation was prompted by Alexander Downer's disclosure to the feds that a Trump campaign staffer was blabbing away about being approached by Russians with offers of dirt on Clinton. The investigation began by looking into, not just Page, but Papadopoulos, Flynn, and Manafort. Page is the only one they requested a FISA warrant for, and the reason for it was their suspicion that he might actually be a Russian asset.

Manafort had actually been the subject of FISA surveillance a couple of years earlier, due to his work for Ukrainian president Yanukovych. Some might see hiring somebody who had been under investigation for failing to register as a foreign agent as your campaign manager as worthy of investigation in and of itself. YMMV.

For a fuller picture:


  • factcheck.org's summary of the Mueller report's catalog of points of contact between Trump's campaign and Russian actors

  • A brief summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee review of the events

  • Wikipedia's summary of contacts between people in Trump's campaign and Russian actors


Read all of that, and if you want to come back and discuss any of the factual information that is in the public record and is readily and easily obtainable, then fine. Trust me when I say that there is so, so much more.

I'm sick of debating bullshit garbage Fox News talking points. Because they are (a) bullshit and (b) garbage.

There was no effort to "nullify an election". There was an investigation, amply justified, into behavior on the part of members of Trump's campaign that was plainly suspicious. There was an impeachment of Trump for trying to use his position as POTUS to get a foreign head of state to investigate his political rival. And now, an impeachment of Trump for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol while the counting of the electoral vote was underway.

And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I'm sick of arguing about lies. It's a waste of everybody's time and attention. There actually are important things to be concerned with, real things, consequential things.

Attempts by nefarious actors to "nullify Trump's election" are not among those things. That's bullshit QAnon paranoid crap. There are venues for that, I'm not interested in this becoming one of them.

Kindly take that garbage elsewhere.

I'm sorry that Trump supporters elevated a corrupt vainglorious vulgar narcissistic bastard into the office of POTUS. It ought to be cause for reflection on their part, perhaps it will be for some. But Trump was a crap president, so much worse than merely incompetent, and any negative attention that he and his crew attracted, from the intelligence community and/or LEO, was and is richly deserved.

Find better candidates. Stop looking for evil conspiracies and deal with the obvious corruption that is right in front of your face. Clean your damned house.

And in the meantime, take that Fox bullshit somewhere else. Please.

Ouch, that oughta leave a mark. It probably won't, but it oughta...

It will be interesting to see if bc chooses to delurk to deal with this answer to their question.

Other than that: excellent 2021 resolution. No more lies, and words go back to meaning what they actually mean.

faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
Hebrews 11:1, Fox News 24/7

russell, that summary took a lot of patience and care, and I appreciate it. Unfortunately, the people you are addressing probably won't.

I looked at the report last night when I first saw bc's comment, but didn't have the wherewithal to do what you just did. It's exhausting.

These folks should remember too that Obama bent over backwards to prevent the Trump-
Russia investigation from being used as a political ploy (of course, because McConnell behaved as a traitor - well representing so many in the Republican Party). IMO, that was a mistake on Obama's part because Americans should have known this story prior to voting (not that it would have dissuaded the fascists who prefer him).

And lj is correct. Your painstaking factual summary probably won't leave a mark. These folks want to believe lies. "Gullible" is too kind a word.

Yes, thank you, russell. That comment should be on speed dial to reference when needed. I imagine the same BS will return.

Well done, russell. Thanks.

Impressive summary, russell. Thanks.

It appears that McConnell has decided to stick with playing hardball.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-gridlock-threatens-biden-agenda/2021/01/23/6119e512-5cf3-11eb-b8bd-ee36b1cd18bf_story.html

I suspect he may find he has miscalculated. By refusing to agree to even basic decisions on how to operate the 50-50 Senate unless Democrats promise to preserve the filibuster, he may get worse tgan nothing. Consider.

Senate rules can be changed by simple majority. If McConnell won't agree to rules that are becessary to get business done (e.g. appointments), Democrats may just force thru rules without his input. At the moment, some Democratic Senators, for example Manchin, opposed dumping the filibuster. But if nothing is getting done, he might relent.

I confess that the sight of Mr "Power-is-all-that-matters" blowing up his own power has great attraction.

It also occurs to me to wonder: how different are the rules being proposed (by the Democrats or the Republicans) from the ones which were agreed to last time the Senate was evenly divided like this? If the Democrats proposed something similar, wouldn't their members who oppose changes (like eliminating the filibuster) feel like they were justified in ramming those rules thru, regardless of McConnell's objections?

McConnell needs a good ass-whippin - procedurally speaking, of course.

McConnell is a reptile. I too hope (but do not necessarily trust) that he has miscalculated. I just hope that whatever the Dems do, they make sure that the American public fully understand what McConnell is trying to do, and what its effect is likely to be on Biden's program to actually help them - with the stimulus, with Covid, with everything else.

They wanna play dirty again? Give them some of their own medicine. Announce the vote on the filibuster in advance, stop the GOPsters carrying guns from entering the chamber and ban them for the day. THEN get the vote through quickly. No need to formally go nuclear.

It also occurs to me to wonder: how different are the rules being proposed (by the Democrats or the Republicans) from the ones which were agreed to last time the Senate was evenly divided like this?

I have been told that Schumer agreed to the same rules as that time: the Dems get the committee chairs but there will be an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on the committees, and Republicans could still bring bills to the floor in the case of a partisan tie in committee. McConnell is insisting that the Democrats also agree to do nothing about the legislative filibuster, no matter what, which is new. Of course, the last time we had this situation was before the filibuster had been tossed for nominations.

Just personal opinion, but I expect that if push comes to shove, Manchin and the rest of that bunch will agree to killing the filibuster for organization rules if McConnell really threatens that. Manchin's been waiting six years to get the chair in the committee on energy and resources, and I don't think he'll accept "Just go home for two years, nothing is going to happen."

Michael Cain: I hope your personal opinion proves correct.

I expect that if push comes to shove, Manchin and the rest of that bunch will agree to killing the filibuster for organization rules if McConnell really threatens that.

My understanding is that the filibuster already doesn't apply to decisions on the rules. That's straight majority, period. Which is why McConnell could lose outright.

To block the gun runners from particpating in the rules vote would still serve as a check on the GOP moles in thin Dem disguise since then a single one could not derail it by himself (one of them 'conscience' votes).

My understanding is that the filibuster already doesn't apply to decisions on the rules. That's straight majority, period. Which is why McConnell could lose outright.

If it could already be done by simple majority, we wouldn't be reading stories about McConnell blocking things, we'd be reading about Manchin or Simena or whoever defecting from Schumer's majority.

I see that bc has resumed the lurking posture. Profile in chops? The guy's got nothing.

Manchin's been waiting six years to get the chair in the committee on energy and resources, and I don't think he'll accept "Just go home for two years, nothing is going to happen."

Yes. He wants to go big on infrastructure. Manchin may not be the big problem here as the filibuster and gridlock provides political cover for "moderates".

If it could already be done by simple majority, we wouldn't be reading stories about McConnell blocking things

Couldn't the Dems get around this using Senate Rule 20? Perhaps Schumer does not have his entire caucus on board.

From here

A more complicated, but more likely, way to ban the filibuster would be to create a new Senate precedent. The chamber’s precedents exist alongside its formal rules to provide additional insight into how and when its rules have been applied in particular ways. Importantly, this approach to curtailing the filibuster—colloquially known as the “nuclear option” and more formally as “reform by ruling”—can, in certain circumstances, be employed with support from only a simple majority of senators.

The nuclear option leverages the fact that a new precedent can be created by a senator raising a point of order, or claiming that a Senate rule is being violated. If the presiding officer (typically a member of the Senate) agrees, that ruling establishes a new precedent. If the presiding officer disagrees, another senator can appeal the ruling of the chair. If a majority of the Senate votes to reverse the decision of the chair, then the opposite of the chair’s ruling becomes the new precedent.

In both 2013 and 2017, the Senate used this approach to reduce the number of votes needed to end debate on nominations. The majority leader used two non-debatable motions to bring up the relevant nominations, and then raised a point of order that the vote on cloture is by majority vote. The presiding officer ruled against the point of order, but his ruling was overturned on appeal—which, again, required only a majority in support. In sum, by following the right steps in a particular parliamentary circumstance, a simple majority of senators can establish a new interpretation of a Senate rule.

Recent commentary.

From the reptile himself. I would note that he quotes, among others, Angus King, I-Maine, who has consistently spoken against getting rid of the filibuster, although I haven't heard whether he might have changed his mind in light of recent events.

Perhaps Schumer does not have his entire caucus on board.

Entirely possible. Or he may have told Biden that he would at least make a show of trying for bipartisanship. But go big if bipartisanship turns out not to be on offer. (Which is probably the safe bet.)

Which is my guess at where Biden is going overall, too. Be able to got to those suburban voters and say "We really, really tried to be cooperative, see? But they just wouldn't." Something like that could be important in 2022.

Which is my guess at where Biden is going overall, too. Be able to got to those suburban voters and say "We really, really tried to be cooperative, see? But they just wouldn't."

I hope that is the plan, rather than the usual hopeless effort to achieve bipartisanship-for-its-own-sake, which results in nothing of value getting done.

We'll see, I guess. Biden wants/believes the Senate can walk and chew gum at the same time; i.e., work on his legislative agenda while also engaged in an impeachment trial.

I'd like to know more about timing. How long will the Senate Democrats keep hanging fire on a Continuing Resolution to even get started on the new session? Anything new since Schumer told McConnell to pound sand on preserving the filibuster?

..oops; I meant Organizing Resolution.

Electoral dynamics suggest that the Republicans, without Trump and his extremism, will control the Senate more often than not. So the continued existence of the filibuster is in the Democrats' interest.

Of course, the Ds need a threat to able to get any sort of co-operation, so they should not promise to keep the filibuster. And of course, the Rs may blow it up anyway when they next have a majority.

it is a stupid rule, no matter who it benefits.

“The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

Mann and Ornstein, 2012.

(linked article includes a link to a classic Jen Rubin article from her days as a True Republican Believer)

So the continued existence of the filibuster is in the Democrats' interest.

Absolutely not. Democrats (generally speaking) desire to do stuff. Getting denied makes them look ineffectual and feckless. Knuckling under to GOP obstructionism is bad politics.

The real 'threat' the Dems need is the ability to pass good legislation. With that ability, you might, just might, see some GOP moderation to have influence on those policies.

if the Dems can pass legislation on their own, the GOP will be cut out of the legislative process. they won't need to moderate at all. in fact, they'll probably radicalize even more, since howling but toothless opposition will be the only thing they can bring to the table.

How nice for Rudy. He's finally getting proper appreciation.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/25/dominion-files-defamation-lawsuit-against-rudy-giuliani-for-election-claims.html

$1.3 billion ought to get his attention.

if the Dems can pass legislation on their own, the GOP will be cut out of the legislative process. they won't need to moderate at all.

That would definitely be a concern. But only IF there was any reason to believe they would moderate if they were involved. The last 4 years suggests that wouldn't happen.

if the Dems can pass legislation on their own, the GOP will be cut out of the legislative process. they won't need to moderate at all.

Then the moderating would take place within the Dem caucus, and ......just a minute, I have to take a call from Kyrsten Sienema.

Then the moderating would take place within the Dem caucus, and ......just a minute, I have to take a call from Kyrsten Sienema.

it wouldn't pull right-leaning to the left. the rightmost Dems would suddenly have all the power in the room.

ex. Lieberman and the ACA

...it wouldn't pull right-leaning Dems to the left...

that is.

i guess it wouldn't pull leftmost Dems to the right, either. so, fun times no matter what.

So the continued existence of the filibuster is in the Democrats' interest.

Absolutely not. Democrats (generally speaking) desire to do stuff. Getting denied makes them look ineffectual and feckless. Knuckling under to GOP obstructionism is bad politics.

bobbyp, I'm pretty sure Pro Bono meant in the long-term interest of the Dems, i.e. when they are next in the minority and can work the filibuster in their favour. But given the way McConnell changed the rules at will to achieve e.g. nominations, I'm not sure that's true either.

cleek, I'm not sure how many Lieberman types are in the Senate right now. Lieberman was a spiteful POS who kneecapped the Democrats out of malice.

The other conservaDems, like Baucus, danced to their major donors' tunes.

Most of our more moderate Senators are motivated by the conservatism of their voters (Manchin), or are captive to memories of an illusory collegial past (DiFi).

IOW, their votes might be gettable if the right persuasion is used.

FWIW, Harry Reid's former CoS thinks the fillibuster needs to go.

i agree.

the fallout from killing it will be substantial. but, as rules go, it's a really f'ing dumb one.

I'm pretty sure Pro Bono meant in the long-term interest of the Dems, i.e. when they are next in the minority and can work the filibuster in their favour.

On the evidence, McConnell (and probably whoever eventually replaces him) aren't interested in doing much besides cutting taxes. So the benefit of the filibuster in stopping him doing things is pretty limited.

Reading about procedural maneuvers in Congress as in Posted by: JanieM | January 24, 2021 at 08:57 PM reminds me of hearing the rules of whack bat from Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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

$1.3 billion ought to get his attention.


my favorite bit (from Yahoo's writeup):

In an interview with the Times, Dominion lawyer Thomas A. Clare promised to bring additional lawsuits in the future.

"There will certainly be others," Clare said. "There are other individuals who have spoken the big lie and have put forward these defamatory statements about Dominion, but then there are also players in the media that have amplified it."

Clare also suggested to the Times the company could even sue Trump himself, saying, "We're not ruling anybody out. Obviously, this lawsuit against the president's lawyer moves one step closer to the former president and understanding what his role was and wasn't."

spread the consequences far and wide! thick and deep!

Once upon a time, a filibuster meant you had to actually stand up and talk. I'm not sure when the Senate decided to just drop discussion of anything that didn't have 60 votes in favor. But even without officially dropping the filibuster (my first choice), forcing opponents to stand and talk would at least extract a price for recalcitrance. Especially if it meant having to talk 24/7 -- which is my memory of filibusters in the early 60s.

Dominion is headquartered in Denver.

Their employees and managers have had to hunker down now for months because of death threats to themselves and their families from the subhuman domestic terrorist conservative movement republican party.

Who, what still functioning institution, do they petition for retributive, vengeful justice?

Maybe move to Baghdad, where they can at least hire savagely violent thugs to protect themselves from conservative fanatically religious enemies.

Once upon a time, a filibuster meant you had to actually stand up and talk. I'm not sure when the Senate decided to just drop discussion of anything that didn't have 60 votes in favor.

Mid-1960s. Up until then, the Senate used a single-track rule: there could be only one major motion open on the floor at a time. This is a reasonably common parliamentary procedure. The real power of the filibuster was that it brought all other business in the Senate to a halt. The Dixiecrats demonstrated that they were capable and willing to bring the Senate to a halt for months in order to keep civil rights legislation from coming to a vote. The Senate leaders' compromise was the current two-track system: two major motions open, so it was always possible to leave the filibustered track and handle other business on the second track. Since it was unlikely that leadership would ever go back to the filibustered track unless they had 60 votes, no one had to talk. And to avoid having both tracks filibustered, members had to indicate that they were going to filibuster a bill in advance. The polarization is different these days, but in most cases the minority party would bring the Senate to a halt indefinitely in order to block bills.

Tl;dr version -- Senate leadership traded needing a 60-vote majority on major legislation in exchange for remaining a functioning body.

Originally reported in the NYT:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/capitol-riot-puts-spotlight-apocalyptically-131001346.html

Adherents of racist far-right movements around the world share more than a common cause. German extremists have traveled to the United States for sniper competitions. American neo-Nazis have visited counterparts in Europe. Militants from different countries bond in training camps from Russia and Ukraine to South Africa.

For years far-right extremists traded ideology and inspiration on societies’ fringes and in the deepest realms of the internet. Now the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol have laid bare their violent potential.

(...)

A recent report commissioned by the German foreign ministry describes “a new leaderless transnational apocalyptically minded, violent far-right extremist movement” that has emerged over the past decade.

Extremists are animated by the same conspiracy theories and narratives of “white genocide” and “the great replacement” of European populations by immigrants, the report concluded. They roam the same online spaces and also meet at far-right music festivals, mixed martial arts events and far-right rallies.

“The neo-Nazi scenes are well-connected,” said Kramer, the German intelligence official. “We’re not just talking about likes on Facebook. We’re talking about neo-Nazis traveling, meeting each other, celebrating together.”

(...)

In 2019, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, warned that American white supremacists were traveling overseas for training with foreign nationalist groups. A report that year by the Soufan Center, a nonpartisan think tank, found that as many as 17,000 foreigners, many of them white nationalists, had traveled to Ukraine to fight on both sides of the separatist conflict there. Most were Russians, but among them were several dozen Americans.

Sometimes they inspire one another to kill.

The hate-filled manifestos of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, and Dylann Roof, an American white supremacist who killed nine Black parishioners in South Carolina four years later, influenced Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who in 2019 livestreamed his murder of more than 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tarrant’s manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” in turn inspired Patrick Crusius, who killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, as well as a Norwegian gunman who was overpowered as he tried to shoot people at a mosque in Oslo, Norway.

Of course, the real problem is "The Left."

The revelation that the Capitol mob — covered in emblems of extremist groups — included off-duty law enforcement officers possibly assisted by working police is escalating pressure on sheriffs and police chiefs nationwide to root out staff with ties to white supremacist and far-right armed groups.

Law enforcement leaders have faced criticism in the past for failing to police their own officers’ involvement with extremist groups. However, the selfie photos that off-duty officers took inside the Capitol during the violent siege, which left one police officer dead and dozens of others injured, were a wake-up call for many who have long denied the extent of the problem within policing.

National Sheriffs’ Association President David Mahoney said many police leaders have treated officers with extremist beliefs as outliers and have underestimated the damage they can inflict on the profession and the nation.

defund the extremist cops, completely.

The revelation that the Capitol mob — covered in emblems of extremist groups — included off-duty law enforcement officers possibly assisted by working police is escalating pressure on sheriffs and police chiefs nationwide to root out staff with ties to white supremacist and far-right armed groups.

There's one good thing coming out of the mess, anyway.

hsh, enumerating extensive RW stochastic terrorism, then
Of course, the real problem is "The Left."

Because of "disrepecting", and "looking down on" the delicate snowflakes on the right, clearly.

Snowflake, meet blowtorch.

lookit Joe Biden gettin it done:

The U.S. Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.

More Biden here.

When will Marty, McKinney, or bc show up to mount an honorable and energetic defense of this crap Trump policy? I'm willing to lay odds the answer will turn out to be "never" because it does not comport with their urgent need to paint libruls as "elitists" who despise the "common folk."

Well that’s that for the next couple of years.

Manchin emphatic he 'will not vote' to kill the filibuster
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/25/joe-manchin-filibuster-462364

Well that’s that for the next couple of years.

Sinema too. I have no idea what to offer Manchin. For Sinema, I'd start with $2B in fire fighting and fire mitigation moneys. Last year was ugly, and almost the entire West is in serious drought conditions.

Just to clarify, that's $2B for Arizona alone. They could offer more for neighboring western states, since the fires don't pay any attention to those arbitrary straight lines. And if that's not enough, a billion for solar PV generation and pumped hydro storage that benefits the Navajo Nation to compensate for the big (originally federally backed) coal plants that have shut down.

The Manchin guarantee: “And I hope with that guarantee (a solemn promise to not vote to condemn the filibuster to the dustbin of history) in place he (McConnell) will work in a much more amicable way.”

Looks like Schumer cannot herd the caucus into the necessary uniformity required on this matter, so give Mitch what he wants, and let's grab those committee chairmanships, load them up with Dem majorities in all instances (i.e., take that 50-50 offer back) and get on with it.

And then renege on it when deemed necessary (Biden's COVID package, for just one example).

I hope I am wrong, but it's going to be a bloodbath, a tsunami of GOP filibusters, because they will concede NOTHING. The idea that the filibuster engenders "compromise" under our current polarized politics is so far fetched as to leave me speechless. It only encourages obstruction and minority rule.

I hope Schumer remembers that revenge is a dish best served cold.

bobbyp, I'm pretty sure Pro Bono meant in the long-term interest of the Dems, i.e. when they are next in the minority and can work the filibuster in their favour.

With all due respect to you and Pro Bono both, I disagree with all the vigour (heh) I can muster. Maintaining the filibuster is not some kind of 11th dimensional chess, it is political malpractice.

You have to remember what we are dealing with here.

For clarification, I pretty much agree with you under current (and likely future) circs. I was just saying what I thought Pro Bono had meant, but I (and I think he too) allowed as how McConnell's likely behaviour changed the calculation. Because of what we are dealing with, I desperately hope the Dems can come up with something dastardly, failing which I hope McConnell's likely behaviour will change Manchin's and Sinema's minds.

Schumer is saying the right things in his interview with Maddow....I will now go burn some incense.

“And I hope with that guarantee (a solemn promise to not vote to condemn the filibuster to the dustbin of history) in place he (McConnell) will work in a much more amicable way.”

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

That is all.

McConnell has caved.......

Well, McConnell tried to see if Schumer would cave easily. He didn't.

The next time will likely be the same. McConnell will push hard, to see what he can get with bluster. Sometimes, he'll keep going; sometimes, after an initial push, he'll back off -- and claim he's being cooperative.

The only way forward is to make clear, every time, that blackmail won't work. Over, and over, and over.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-dismisses-challenges-trump-s-business-profits-n1255524

So, the emoluments clause has been declared dead officially.
Now just waiting for it to be successfully zombified by the GOP to go after any Dem administration.

WRS, 9:35

https://twitter.com/AJentleson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1353878747125059584%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com%2F2021%2F01%2Fdemocrats-get-the-gavels

Hat tip to LGM for that twitter feed:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/democrats-get-the-gavels

so we haven't given up on the Dems yet?

The problem with the Emoluments Clause (along with stuff like 'Prez and VP not from same state' in 12th Amendment) is that they don't have any built in enforcement mechanism. (At least the 14th and 15th Amend. did, but still requires Congress not to wimp out)

Yeah, those naive old Founder-dudes, expecting that politicians would just 'follow the rules' & stuff.

Good time to pass some really harsh punitive laws to keep the Prez on the straight and narrow. AND allow enforcement by private citizen civil suit/special prosecutor/state AG so it's not all on the DOJ or Congress. Making sure that subpoenas get complied with would be a good start.

Making sure that subpoenas get complied with would be a good start.

Give the Sergeants at Arms of the House and Senate the power to go over and take people (including, if necessary, the Attorney General or the President) into custody. There must be a committee room or something which could be repurposed as a cell.

We've learned from this past administration that relying on the Justice Department for enforcement has flaws.

russell:

I don’t see it that way regarding the FISA applications. The FISA court is the backstop to one of the most sensitive issues in the law when it comes to the 4th Amendment. When it is used in general against any U.S. citizen it should receive extremely strict scrutiny. When aimed at a candidate or sitting president, all the more so. And by “all the more” I mean a really lot. I don’t care who occupies the office for the purposes of this point. It has its own court, for heaven’s sake.

So when you say that anyone who is shocked that a FISA warrant application might contain material misrepresentations, especially in this situation, “needs to get out more,” I find that an uncharacteristically callous comment from you. We should all be shocked. Especially when aimed at a campaign or sitting president. I can only surmise it is your antipathy for Trump that blinds you to the seriousness of what happened.

You state:

What you will not find here is evidence that the Steele dossier was the initiating event for the investigation. Because it wasn't.

I never said it was, although it is a related issue. I think with the DNC hack alone there was a huge counterintelligence concern. But the Steele dossier WAS received and evaluated before the first FISA application. In fact, the IG report finds that “We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBIs and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order.”
The IG report also notes that the Steele Dossier played an essential role despite the FBI knowing it was “obvious to him [Steele’s handling agent] that the request for the research was politically motivated.” By itself, not that remarkable, as the report notes that the FBI receives info from even terrorists. But one would hope that oppo research from the oppo political candidate would be treated with more than a grain of salt, especially when the FBI knew that Page had already been vetted by the CIA and was in fact a source. He was on our side. As the report also says, the FBI obtained info that raised “significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting” and failed to reassess the dossier or press Steele for the source of the actual funding for his work or his role in the news leak on 9/23/16. Hmmm.

What you will not find here is evidence that errors or fabrications in the FISA warrant applications were politically motivated. There is no such evidence.

There is ample evidence that the FISA applications were politically motivated. Without going into all the evidence (we would, as you said on a different topic, be here all night), but consider: (1) Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Their hostility to Trump and sympathy to Clinton is well known. On THE DAY the investigation opened, they texted about how their role in the Clinton email issue was “to ensure we didn’t F something up” but Crossfire Hurricane mattered “because this MATTERS.” That was followed not too many days later with the infamous “We’ll stop it [Trump becoming president]” text. Both Strzok and Lisa Page were involved in the discussions to open the investigation (Page less so). The IG report gives the FBI a pass because Strzok was not the highest-level decision maker and reported to Priestap and there were others involved (general counsel, frex). Given the obvious bias of Strzok and Page and their involvement in any way with the discussion, reasonable minds can differ on whether it had “any” influence. I have my own issues with Priestap and how he handled Flynn, as I noted way back when, but I don’t have an issue with whether an investigation was appropriate, per se, especially given the DNC hack as stated above. (2) Clinesmith. Look at footnote 400 in the IG report. FBI Attorney 2 is Clinesmith. The day after the 2016 elections, Clinesmith sent the following instant message OVER THE FBI SYSTEM to another FBI employee:

I am so stressed about what I could have done differently .. .! just can't imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid.

Two weeks later, in another exchange with another employee, Clinesmith was asked “Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration.? Clinesmith replied: “hell no,” and then added “Viva le resistance.” This, IMHO, is much more than “no evidence” that the FISA process was seriously tainted with politics and is a reasonable motive for Clinesmith’s falsification of the CIA email.

All:

The reasons I went into lurk mode still, sadly, exist. I don't mean the reasonable push back on my point of view. TP’s typical snarky but reasonable question aside (which I address below), I find it telling that if a conservative simply points out a factual inaccuracy, all of a sudden said conservative is magically transformed into the defender of all things conservative, a Fox News addict and personal defender of Donald Trump. It is surprising that it started with russell's response to me, as normally I don't raise his ire, but it wasn't so much that as the reaction to russell's response. I'll explain.

I noted the problems in the FISA warrants and pointed that out to russell, who had called “bs” on Mary’s assertion that:

All the investigations before that were basically baseless built on fraudulent FISA warrants by people who refused to accept him as President. The facts support that statement.

russell asked Marty:

How many FISA warrants? How many were found deficient, let alone 'illegal'? What were the deficiencies or illegalities?

I responded by pointing out that the FISA warrants were, in fact, “deficient.” And posted hyperlinks. Russell to his credit read at least some of the hyperlinks. And acknowledged my point. Then he commented:

Carter Page was neither the beginning of, nor the main substance of, the investigation. This stuff has been gone over with several fine-toothed combs . . . . It has consistently been found to be justifiable and well-founded.
If you want to talk about things that ‘seem suspicious’ and about which it is hard to understand why there is not greater concern, start with Roger Stone and Assange. Or Manafort sharing polling data with Klimnik. Or really any of 100 other things. We could be here all night.
Trump is a profoundly dishonest and dishonorable human being. There is no corner of his life, in or out of office, which is not a cesspit of corruption.

Why anybody wastes a minute of their time coming to his defense is beyond me.

I consider most of that comment a gratuitous diversion from the original issue. I never set out to defend Trump. Yes, we could spend all night on a hundred different topics but the one at hand was the FISA applications. And I’m not sure what “it” is that has been “justifiable and well-founded.” The FISA applications? Certainly not those. And how is pointing out facts about the FISA applications defending Trump? I think russell meant the investigation into Trump’s campaign in general, as he indicates in his 1/23 at 10:36 comment.

Then russell’s summary of the DOJ Inspector General’s Report (which I had linked to earlier):

What you will not find here is evidence that the Steele dossier was the initiating event for the investigation. Because it wasn't.

What you will not find here is evidence that errors or fabrications in the FISA warrant applications were politically motivated. There is no such evidence.

As an aside, I'll add that anyone who is shocked that a FISA warrant application might contain material misrepresentations needs to get out more. Sadly.

I didn’t raise the first assertion, although I addressed it above here. While I didn’t raise the political question in my original comment, I addressed that above. And I agree that one of us needs to get out more on this issue, and that someone is not me.

Because it’s russell, not because anyone actually read anything, the reviews come in for russell’s comments: “oughta leave a mark.” “Well done.” “Impressive.” Me? “Gullible” is too kind a word.” To look at what I cited? “Too exhausting.” But “I see that bc has resumed the lurking posture. Profile in chops? The guy's got nothing.” Those last two by the same person. As if they would know. Great. So if you make a general comment, “where are your cites???” When you cite something? “Too exhausting.” Got it. Forget dialogue. Just share your mental projections!!

I was reminded of my 11-year-old’s response to one of Trump’s ridiculous put downs in the Trump-Biden debate (“Get Wrecked!!!”). That led to a teaching moment of what I expect in terms of decorum in a President.

I read from a variety of sources, including the NYT, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret news and the Sacramento Bee. I listen to NPR. I never listened to Rush. When I got free Sirius for six months, I frequented the Urban View channel much more than the conservative channels. And for the record, I don’t watch Fox News. I don’t even have cable. You see, I like to know what others think and I think for myself. I don’t need to be told what I think.

Before I go back to lurking, I do appreciate the posters and commenters here. I find some gems amongst the chatter. I listened to every song/version on russell’s MLK post and lj’s insight into the east always interest me etc. This comment took way too much time, time I don’t really have, and hence the lurking, not because I have nothing to share.

TP: You asked if I think “the Trump-Russia thing” was a hoax, fabricated by the Deep State ™ to bring down Trump, the same Deep State that made Comey throw shade at Hillary. No not a hoax at the outset. There were legit concerns at the outset, but the above plus the leaks show government behaving very badly. Some of that appears politically motivated. I think the DNC and Hillary knew that feeding the Steele dossier would detract from the email scandal (it did) and that it might gain traction given that they know the political thought of some of the players. Maybe they intended it to have the legs it did. Maybe not. The extent that the media played the leaks into something real despite the problems with Steele does, IMHO, constitute a hoax.

I don’t buy into the Deep State, per se (and it means different things to different people). I subscribe to a philosophy that the administrative state is way too big, has way too much power (because Congress likes to have plausible deniability come election time) and has self-interest. I don’t pretend to understand Comey and I find his actions contradictory (although I can see a theory that reconciles them). I lean towards Comey thinking he was helping (as he thought Hillary would undoubtedly win) when he obviously wasn’t.


I don’t see it that way regarding the FISA applications.

all good.

I appreciate your lengthy and thoughtful reply here. Here are my own thoughts.

Nearly all of my comments on this topic, in this thread, are directed toward Marty's insistence that the investigation into possible collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russian actors, as well as the impeachment(s) of Trump, were an attempt by people to "nullify" an election whose outcome they simply could not abide.

That is bullshit, and in fact is noxious and corrupting bullshit, because it is an attempt to delegitimize lawful and correct attempts to discover and demand accountability for corrupt actions on the part of public officials and would-be public officials.

There were ample grounds to investigate Trump's campaign, and ample grounds for his impeachment. Full stop.

I have no particular argument with your claims that the warrant applications for surveillance of Page were not well founded. I would hope that is clear from my citation of analysis that is highly critical of them. My comment about "how many warrants? which ones were illegal?" was basically a challenge to Marty to show his work.

I'm sorry to say I do not share what appears to be your confidence in the integrity of the FISA court. Integrity is perhaps the wrong word - the FISA process is profoundly opaque and unaccountable, and federal intelligence and LEO agencies have a mixed history for respecting the boundaries of constitutionally protected speech and action. IMO those agencies are prone to 'coloring outside the lines' when they think it's justified, and also IMO the FISA process, including the FISA court, is prone to deferring to them.

Perhaps that should shock us, but TBH I don't think people pay all that much attention to it. There isn't a way for people to get any insight into it, in any case.

I'm sorry to say I do not share what appears to be your confidence in the integrity of the FISA court.

The rabble on "the left" have been deeply critical of the Security State and the FISA process since like forever, and are rather understandably convinced that it is, and has been, a process ripe for abuse. I hear some guy named Glenn Greenwald has made quite a stink about it over the years.

So the idea that "when applied" against a US citizen, or by god, the Presidente, that "strict(er) scrutiny" should apply is something I find quite odious and a mockery of the rule of law.

But the bottom line is this: Trump and his minions were playing footsies with Russian state actors. There can be no reasonable denial of this fact. Also, Trump acted to obstruct the investigation. This, too, is an undeniable fact.

Yet he skated.

That was a political decision made by political actors for purely partisan reasons.

Although I was interested to see if bc responded to russell on, specifically, Carter Page and the FISA stuff, it was very clear to me that russell's comments on "lies" and "Fox bullshit" and " bullshit QAnon paranoid crap" were about Marty and his ridiculous stuff about attempts "to nullify" the Trump election, and the Dems having therefore been guilty of sedition, and I imagine that most of the reactions that bc objects to here were similarly aware of this.

It's salutary that bc says all of a sudden said conservative is magically transformed into the defender of all things conservative, a Fox News addict and personal defender of Donald Trump because all of us lefties, liberals etc on here are frequently (though not, I think, by bc) transformed into defenders of all things "left", from Stalin and Pol Pot (sic) to the UK Labour party. Interesting to be on the other side of that phenomenon.

And finally, I find it truly fascinating that Marty and bc, and of course McKinney, all say they don't watch Fox etc, and yet somehow many of the Fox talking points find their way into our rightwing commenters' posts. Examples: that the Russia investigation was without merit or foundation, or in bc's long post above (and also I think in the past) a curious preoccupation with Strzok and Page (I think bc once called them "the lovers", just like Trump used to). I say truly fascinating because, although I am not doubting their word about their viewing and reading habits, this suggests that the Foxification of the conservative culture has spread very wide and deep roots. To some of us, the results are alarming. And, as a bit of textual analysis, I would just bring up bc's last sentence:

I lean towards Comey thinking he was helping (as he thought Hillary would undoubtedly win) when he obviously wasn’t.

I wonder who bc thinks (and obviously thinks it obvious) Comey thought he was helping?

I'll drop in here with my usual sideways take on this, though GftNC beat me to the textual analysis. First of all, bc, thanks for dropping back by, I appreciate the time you spent to reply. However, this

This comment took way too much time, time I don’t really have, and hence the lurking, not because I have nothing to share.

is a bit off. If you want to discuss something, that's cool, but it is the writer's responsibility to create the conditions that match with your level of committment. Maybe you misread the room, but given that you've been here a while, that seems rather dismissive of your ability to figure things out. People get busy, sure, but if you want to treat people here as conversation partners, you would probably be better served by picking your spots a little more carefully.

The problem is that dropping those kinds of lines is rhetorically functions as a way of tossing bombs without taking any responsibility. Obviously, I can't force you to take responsibility for what you say and when you say it, but by pointing this out, I hope we can all consider how much responsibility we all can take for discussion here. I am also well aware that sealioning is a problem. But that can only be dealt with when people are transparent with their motivations.

It is also off to claim that no one is going to actually read what russell said, specifically this
Because it’s russell, not because anyone actually read anything, the reviews come in for russell’s comments:

Surely, you realize that your claim is that we just agree with it because russell's a nice guy and we all hate Trump, which therefore validates your opinion and makes ours mental projection. Do you really think that argumentation works? Because when examined closely, that logic is pretty threadbare.

Russell's summary points to the fact that it was only 2 specific FISA warrants and ignores a huge amount of related information. I don't believe your first comment sufficiently acknowledges that, but if the only reason that you addressed Russell is because you got hammered by a lot of other commentators, 'mental projection' is not really be best explanation.

I get that people have their own hobbyhorses, and we all need to rant every now and then. I'm pretty relaxed about rants here. But when you drop in after Marty repeatedly raises the lie of election nullification, what precisely did you expect? Anyway, that's probably too much about rhetoric, so moving on.

I will comment on the substance a bit. It doesn't surprise me that we have this instance where political desires outweight proper conduct, which I think is what happened in this case. What is surprising is that this seems to be, unless you are drinking the Deep State koolaid, an outlier rather than a trend. And given that those 2 FISA warrants were problematic seems to be something overdetermined because of the opaque nature of the process. Not accusing anyone here of this, but to repeat what bobbyp pointed out, it's all fun and games when it's non-citizens who are the target, but when it is citizens, that's when we should look at it closely? I say this as a citizen (for the time being) residing abroad, which means any protections I have are quite limited. So apologies for this observation, but the concern about the Carter Page warrants seems a lot like crocodile tears.

At any rate, if you got to the bottom of this congrats and I'd appreciate it if you would consider this in the future.

I wonder who bc thinks (and obviously thinks it obvious) Comey thought he was helping?

I’m not speaking for bc here, just making an observation about Comey and who he thought he was helping.

Comey’s story, apparently, is that the NY FBI office was all over the Clinton email business, because a lot of them freaking hated Clinton, and he felt he needed to get out in front of it.

So yeah, individual feds often have political and social biases, because they’re people. The question is whether those biases compromise their ability to do their jobs fairly and well.

Strzok and Page obviously held some animus toward Trump, and discussed it, with each other, in private conversation. When that bias was discovered, they were off the investigation, period. At least Strzok, I don’t know what happened with Page. And that’s appropriate.

The origins and evolution of the investigation into Trump’s campaign have in turn been the subject of several subsequent investigations, by people hostile to Trump, friendly to Trump, explicitly working for Trump, and with no stated opinion about Trump. To my knowledge, there is no credible account that shows political bias in the initiation or conduct of the investigations into Trump or his campaign.

I don’t know if any similar investigation has ever been made into the dynamics of the NY FBI office and their possible influence on Comey’s 11th hour public statements about investigations into Clinton.

TBH, I’ve been living in an IOKIYAR world for quite a while now, and I’m getting freaking sick of it. Clean up your messes and get the corrupt self-dealers, the maniacs, and the ignorant bozos out of your party and find some decent human beings to run for public office. You know, people who are interested in government and governing. Maybe then you wouldn’t have to expend so much energy gaming the Congressional district maps and trying to keep people from voting.

Right?

I look forward to the day when we can all have conversations about substantive issues of public interest.

So the idea that "when applied" against a US citizen, or by god, the Presidente, that "strict(er) scrutiny" should apply is something I find quite odious and a mockery of the rule of law.

Agreed. What I wrote isn't really how I feel. Thanks for calling me out on that. Every application should be held to the highest standard. It doesn't boggle my mind that applications are fudged and such given human nature, even though that offends me, but given the unique constitutional angle (involvement of staff of a candidate/elected official) I do find the conduct here shocking. I guess I still somewhat have the rose colored glasses on from my internship with a U.S. Attorney, who was honorable, a patriot and happened to be a Democrat, not that that should matter.

the Foxification of the conservative culture has spread very wide and deep roots

I agree to some degree. I'm sure observations get around and certain thoughts are recirculated in like-minded news sources. It goes both ways. But "talking points" implies to me "lack of independent thought." And I reject that as it implies to what I said. I may be wrong, but I'm not just repeating what I've heard.

but if you want to treat people here as conversation partners, you would probably be better served by picking your spots a little more carefully.

And I thought I had, lol. Shows what I know. And that is somewhat my point. I should be able to simply point out a fact without a broadside in return.

BTW, it's not just the 2 FISA applications, lj. All were tainted. DOJ only admitted to 2, but told the FISA court it would sequester all info relate to all four.

. . .the concern about the Carter Page warrants seems a lot like crocodile tears.

At the risk of opening up a conversation I'm not prepared to undertake, let me simply observe this: IMHO what we have largely lost in our modern political dialogue is the desire to understand and acknowledge the views of others. Trump didn't help. I get that. However, to disagree with opinions--even strongly disagree--is one thing. To completely delegitimize an opinion (e.g. "how could any sane person think that way") is often the norm and no real conversation takes place. Seek to understand and then seek understanding.

I have, I would say, "nuanced" opinions on many matters that appear very "clear" to my friends on the left and on the right. I am familiar with nous'? observation re cognitive dissonance. Count me afflicted.

I look forward to the day when we can all have conversations about substantive issues of public interest.

Amen and Amen.


this obsession with Carter Page looks a lot like the right desperately trying to discredit the entire Russia investigation by nipping it off at the stem. "see, the whole thing was a set up!"

but the problem is, the investigation is not the problem. Trump et al really did interact with Russians and Russian cut-outs in order to help the Trump campaign. the investigation didn't cause that. you can't un-collude TrumpCo by saying people should have been looking for possible collusion.

it looks every bit like a bad-faith effort to change the subject. which is why people tend to scoff when Carter Page comes up.

you can't un-collude TrumpCo by saying people should have been looking for possible collusion.

you can't un-collude TrumpCo by saying people should not have been looking for possible collusion.

Amen and Amen.

Sexist language! You should say, "Amen and Awomen."...

bc, sorry for not acknowledging your reply, there was a cleanup on aisle 4 and after that, I took a break.

I'm glad that you said you didn't post this in bad faith, and I would just note that I said:

. . .the concern about the Carter Page warrants seems a lot like crocodile tears.

If you say that it wasn't bad faith, I accept that, but the reasoning for saying it _seemed_ like bad faith was as cleek points out. As I said before, I know the basic facts about FISA and I also know that as an American citizen living abroad, I am probably subject to them because I reside overseas and followed that discussion earlier, but have little interest in sorting out ones related to Carter Page. I do think that Russell did provide a rather detailed rebuttal and whether it is 2, 4 6 or whatever, well, to quote someone, it's not really a conversation I wish to undertake...

As to the other things, I'm not going to go back over what was being discussed, I've not been following this closely, and if my comment about leaving a mark was too harsh, my apologies. I'd just point out that if someone is behaving badly and another person chimes in to way 'wait a minute, they have a point', that will likely be seen as supporting the poor behavior. You are concerned with delegitimizing opinion, I tend to be more concerned that opinion be exchanged. This may require holding one's tongue on occasion and letting points pass that one might feel strongly about.

In what should be a separate comment, but I tag it on here, the joke about amen is a cute bit of wordplay, but the word derives from Semitic root a-m-n 'to confirm or support' and as such, has no relationship to gender.

This reminds me that there was a campaign on a similarly misapprended word at the U of Oregon which was to change the school motto, which was Mens agitat molem ("Minds move the mass")

This reminds me that there was a campaign on a similarly misapprended word at the U of Oregon which was to change the school motto, which was Mens agitat molem ("Minds move the mass")

I give you niggardly, formerly a perfectly good word, now verbum non gratum.

And on the subject of words and pedantry (were we talking about that?), I went to our local library book group via Zoom on Monday night, and a guy I don't know well, but whom I have always liked a lot as a casual acquaintance, further endeared himself to me by not only using the word "machinations," but pronouncing it correctly. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever heard anyone do that.

I'll keep waiting for "forte" in its "strength" meaning.

Though I suppose with the latter, it's used commonly enough, and mispronounced so universally, that a descriptive approach would suggest that the "mis"pronounciation is by now perfectly acceptable.

lj can rule on that one, he's the linguist.

Back to bed for me......

I mentioned my kooky sister-in-law recently and her desire to go to DC on 1/6. In one of her online rants, she mentioned that Democrats were going to force people to say "amen and awomen." I had no idea what she was on about and didn't bother to look into it at the time. Leave it to ObWi commentary to make it worth my while and set me straight!

I should be able to simply point out a fact without a broadside in return.

You makes your picks, you take your licks. It's an opinion board. I know, I've taken a lot of licks...like where do I start? That time I defended the Weathermen? My rants about "defund the police"? LOL. Well, live and learn I say. I value the exchange, not the win/loss ratio (mine is below the Mendoza line).

For example, now I will have to look up the pronunciation of "forte". I've always thought it to be two distinct syllables. We'll see.

Live and learn.

Have a good day.

"forte" came to English from French, and, in musical notation, from Italian. The French pronounciation has one syllable, the Italian has two. I suppose that "forte", in the sense of the thing one's best at, used to be pronounced as one syllable as JanieM suggests, but I don't recall ever hearing it said that way.

The ability if English to scramble words while borrowing them cannot be overstated. And we borrow a lot. Which is, to my mind, a strength. We definitely don't need something like the Académie Française attempting to enforce the "purity of the language" on such things -- that's my libertarian side coming out.

BTW, it's not just the 2 FISA applications, lj. All were tainted.

Correct.

If I'm not mistaken (no guarantees of that) Clinesmith's statement about Page not being a CIA source was made in one of the later applications, for renewal of surveillance.

But all of the applications, including the first one, contain misleading omissions of fact material to the application.

It doesn't boggle my mind that applications are fudged and such given human nature, even though that offends me

That is pretty much all I was trying to say with my "need to get out more" comment. Sorry if the snark got in the way of the message.

And in case it's not clear, I appreciate the fact-based discussion of all of this. Thanks for de-lurking and chiming in.

she mentioned that Democrats were going to force people to say "amen and awomen."

To quote the great Burt Lahr, "if I were king", I think I would buddy up every Trump supporter with a dreaded coastal elitist liberal and make them spend every waking moment together, for like a month.

It would no doubt be eye-opening, hopefully in a mostly good way, in both directions.

Not gonna happen, not least because I am not and should not and never will be king nor want to be. But enemies up close often turn out to be more like you than not.

Onward and upward. Stay safe everyone.

I am not and should not and never will be king nor want to be.

Can't blame you. It's a hard and tedious job (if one takes one's responsibilities seriously, as you do). But I think you'd do it well, if ill fortune dropped the job in your lap.

King Russell I - the Rhythmic

King Russell I - the Rhythmic

LOL

I aspire to jester

Are "Awwww, men! and "AHHHH, women" still OK?

In German forte is definitely two syllables and we take it to be Italian. It's used far more often in the context of music than in the meaning of someone's strength.
I assume the opposite is never used since it will be misunderstood 100% of the time as about the possession of a keyboard instrument, although that may be a weakness in itself ;-)

To quote the great Burt Lahr, "if I were king", I think I would buddy up every Trump supporter with a dreaded coastal elitist liberal and make them spend every waking moment together, for like a month.

I know a few married couples who fit the bill. I don't know how they do it.

Teething problems:

https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-johnson/uks-johnson-lots-of-brexit-teething-problems-but-fishing-will-gain-idUSS8N2J401J

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Eg7nzBPqw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR6KOHZySUg

And this is nothing, what isn't, but I love how people's names grow into their job descriptions or other life roles:

"The Biden transition team also announced a number of other additional White House staff, including campaign national press secretary TJ Ducklo as deputy White House press secretary. Ducklo is currently a spokesman for the Biden-Harris transition."

Further to the reuters link about the fishing situation, here is the honourable member for the 18th Century in the Commons with his comment on this matter, after Scottish fishermen demonstrated about the changes, saying they had been sold down the river after voting for Brexit, and expressing surprise (!) that Farage had not joined them in their protest.

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

Teething problems

How the hell does somebody who is apparently living in 1st world conditions in the 21st C go 20 years without brushing their teeth?

I stand amazed.

Also, too, the thing with the bluefish is legit. My grandfather's buddy Henry lost an index finger from the last knuckle down to a bluefish.

Some fish fight back.

On phone so cannot link, but look up (I think) spike milligna, that well-known typing error, and his “English teeth, happy teeth, three cheers for the brown, white and black!" (done from memory)

Just keep playing that old pianoforte (it.: soft-strong).

Got schooled once by an italian...I think we were in France at the time?..

French: Café coffee, one syllable
Italian: Caffe (Caf-fe, you pronounce BOTH f's separately).

and besides those French baristas make their espresso too weak.

Three cheers for the brown, GREY and black!

Got schooled once by an italian...I think we were in France at the time?..

French: Café coffee, one syllable...

Obviously not, but there is an English word "caff", with one syllable, roughly equivalent to an American diner, but with worse teeth.

Herewith
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/28/joe-biden-liberal-crusader/
a suggestion that, when it comes to actual results, Biden may prove to be the most liberal president in a long time.

If Congressional (or other) Republicans want to know why, they need only look in a mirror. If you refuse all compromise when others try to work with you, it can be no surprise that they eventually give up and just start doing what they want without any regard for your views. You've made your bed. Now you get to lie in it.

Well, I expect to get nothing but crumbs from eating ham sandwiches in my made bed, but that's OK, after the past four years.

And, for the sake of completeness:

Teeth by Spike Millgan

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.

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