Robert Mueller pursues the facts!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 2017

Cable star tends to invent them:
We returned from the not-so-frigid waters of southern Maine to a major discovery:

Robert Mueller doesn't watch the Rachel Maddow Show!

We base that inference on the latest blockbuster bombshell explosive report in the New York Times. In hard copy, the report in question tops the famous newspaper's front page this morning.

Here's the way it starts:
ROSENBERG, APUZZO AND SCHMIDT (8/5/17): Investigators working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently asked the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and have questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign, according to people close to the investigation.

[...]

In interviews with potential witnesses in recent weeks, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents have spent hours poring over the details of Mr. Flynn’s business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked last year with Mr. Flynn and his consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group.

The company was paid $530,000 to run a campaign to discredit an opponent of the Turkish government who has been accused of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in the country.

Investigators want to know if the Turkish government was behind those payments—and if the Flynn Intel Group made kickbacks to the businessman, Ekim Alptekin, for helping conceal the source of the money.
Silly man! Mueller wants to know if Flynn was paid by the Turkish government. Starting last November, Rachel Maddow has repeatedly told us he was!

She has told us this again and again. Repeatedly, we noted that the cable star was inventing this alleged fact. As we've sometimes told you:

If it weren't for the embellished, massaged and invented facts, there would sometimes be no facts on this cable star's program at all!

Was Michael Flynn "on the payroll of the Turkish government?" Again and again and again and again, Maddow has made this claim as if it were an established fact.

At one point, we actually thought that she had stopped making this claim. Then, she started up again. Here she was, on July 3, engaging in our her favorite activities—playing videotape of herself—while making this claim about Flynn:
MADDOW (7/3/17): [I]nterestingly, on Election Day, on our Election Day here in the United States in November, we learned in a strange way that somebody who was about to become very, very powerful in this country was apparently totally on board with that demand to hand over that Turkish guy to the Turkish government.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MADDOW: [...]

The hand-him-over guy, the guy who says we should just hand this guy over, he probably deserves it, that's General Mike Flynn, who is Donald Trump's top military and intelligence adviser. He was also today named to the executive committee of Donald Trump's new transition team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That was November 11. That was the Friday after our U.S. presidential election this past November. That was the day that we first learned that Michael Flynn's lobbying firm was on the payroll of the Turkish government. Three days after the election and red flags were already going up.
To watch the full segment, click here.

According to Maddow, we learned that Flynn "was on the payroll of the Turkish government" way back on November 11. And now, this very day, silly man!

Nine months later, Robert Mueller is still trying to learn if this actually happened! He should watch more "cable news!"

Let's drop the snark and talk some basic tom turkey. Our lesson goes something like this:

A war is on against Donald J. Trump, who is deeply disordered. Because the fellow is deeply disordered, it's natural to think that the people chasing him wear journalistic white hats.

We're all inclined to think such thoughts. Like a certain cable star's news reports, such thought are often inaccurate.

The "facts" you learn from the Maddow Show are often massaged, embellished, invented. Her repeated claim about Flynn and the Turks constitutes one such "fact."

It has been exciting and fun to hear her make this pleasing claim. There was only one problem with her claim:

It was never known to be accurate! It was never known to be true. It may very well be false.

Let's be clear! It may turn out that Michael Flynn actually was being paid by the Turkish government in some manner or fashion. (Presumably, he wasn't "on their payroll" in any literal sense.)

That said, it isn't known that this actually happened. Presumably, that's why Mueller is conducting the search for facts the New York Times describes.

Did Maddow know that she was over her skis when she kept making this pleasing claim? Did any of her staffers understand that this claim isn't known to be true, and may well be false?

Did her staffers know? Did her staffers care? Even Mueller won't get you the answer to that!

Concerning Maddow and her various claims, we advise you to proceed with a great deal of caution. Long ago, we told you that this $10 million per year* corporate star is perhaps a bit "less than obsessively honest."

That red warning flag still whips, in a brisk breeze, on a driftwood-littered beach! For ourselves, we're waiting for Mueller to tell us it's safe to go back in the water—that it's safe to believe the various unfounded claims we're fed on this "cable news" show.

*Official, highly plausible, blogworthy estimate, based on past reports.

Despite its desire for transparency from everyone else, corporate cable doesn't release such information. Presumably, the industry doesn't want you thinking about such aspects of its own rather shaky, unwise operations.

50 comments:

  1. I don't know if ad hominem hurts or helps, but it is certainly the order of the day here, and with more sadness than rancor, it is impossible to escape the fact Bob Somerby is an idiot.

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    1. Takes one to know one.

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    2. You're right in one sense...The turd can never perceive the true nature of a snowflake.

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    3. Your audience doesn't get you, snowflake.

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  2. Somerby bases his ideas of what Mueller's team wants to know on the reporting of the NY Times. He doesn't know for sure what they want to know. He blames Maddow for assuming that Flynn was working for the Turkish government. Mueller's team may want to PROVE that is true. They cannot just know it -- they must prove it in order to charge anyone with a crime. There is a different standard of evidence for Mueller's team than for Maddow. Maddow needs a couple of sources to support an assertion. Mueller needs legal proof.

    Somerby continues to claim that someone is entirely innocent of any accusation if they are not proven guilty beyond a shadow of doubt. He doesn't think the press should speculate about guilt (or maybe just Maddow shouldn't). Maybe he is ticked off because Maddow leaves out "allegedly" and similar weasel words when reporting things. The NY Times just attributes the accusation to someone else and they are OK, apparently.

    Trump is a liar. Flynn was working for a foreign government. Somerby had no difficulty believing the accusations against Hillary. Why was that? More proof? Not exactly. Maybe it was because someone in Bernie's camp told him. Maybe it was because he is OK with following his own prejudices.

    Trump is a liar. Flynn is dirty. This will be proven, even to Somerby's satisfaction, but he won't believe it if he wants to keep thinking that the press is lynching people instead of reporting current events.

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    1. Somerby continues to claim that someone is innocent if they are not proven guilty? What a weirdo. Lol.

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    2. Innocence exists before the law but not necessarily in the public mind. Was Nixon innocent?

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    3. @2:26 PM - nuance is not your strong suit. Like Somerby, conflation is more your speed.

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    4. Just seems like a strange criticism.

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  3. People's salaries used to be confidential. Government officials, people on the public payroll, have their salaries made public because they are being paid by the people. That isn't true for Maddow or anyone else on cable. I can understand why Somerby might want to know how much she earns, but on what basis can he claim the public has any right to know?

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  4. "A war is on against Donald J. Trump, who is deeply disordered. Because the fellow is deeply disordered, it's natural to think that the people chasing him wear journalistic white hats."

    Does Somerby not understand that Trump himself is waging war against certain people among his constituents?

    It is almost as if Somerby thinks that political opposition is treason or lese majestere. Somerby doesn't seem to approve of the resistance. And it isn't because Trump is "disordered." It is because he is doing things that are harmful to our country, things that should be opposed on a variety of bases. It makes no difference whether Trump is doing what he does because he is mistaken, evil, or crazy. It is his actions that are being opposed. Because political opposition is the right of the people in a free society. That includes opposition in the courts, in congress, in the press and in the streets.

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    1. That should be"lese majeste."

      Get a grip. Bob is an important pedant (in my view). Every indication from all of his postings is that he is dismayed by the ascension of Trump. I don't know how you could have missed that.

      Leroy

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    2. He is more dismayed that Bernie wasn't nominated. He worked hard to get Trump elected, taking every opportunity to tell his readers what a flawed candidate and dishonest person Hillary was. Now he is defending Trump and protecting him from being called the liar and traitor that he obviously is. I don't call that behavior "dismay". I call it the actions of a misguided scumbag who thinks abetting Trump and the downfall of the US will hasten Bernie's revolution -- things have to get worse before they get better after all. He is a wrong-headed, perhaps deeply frustrated political activist who has lost his way. He knows if he directly stated any of this, he would be challenged and perhaps lose readers, so he is presenting his views via stealth. He pretends to attack Maddow but is actually attacking the so-called Democratic establishment, attempting to tear down the liberals from within so that his new approach can be tried. He is in league with Susan Sarandon and her ilk and he lost his powers of reason years ago. Again, very sad. We need sanity now, not this kind of garbage.

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  5. Agreed, Maddow is a fucking clown. But the Mueller guy most likely is part of the same witch hunt she is, just with a different role. Another tool of the fucking globalist neoliberal establishment.

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    1. Mueller is a tool of the people working on their behalf.

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    2. ...well, it looks like Mercouris feels that Mueller is okay: http://theduran.com/the-truth-about-muellers-investigation-no-grand-jury-empanelled-trump-not-being-investigated/

      Mercouris usually does very good reporting and analysis, but in this case he's probably too optimistic...

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    3. This link leads to a conservative website. Why are you here Mao?

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    4. http://www.salon.com/2017/08/02/trump-is-now-personally-implicated-in-the-coverup-although-we-still-cant-be-sure-what-hes-hiding/

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    5. Citing from a fake-news rag - no surprise there, fake-Chinese troll.

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  6. Maine is the place to be in July/August. Old Orchard Beach is my favorite spot!

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  7. Fair play to Trump. What a sad cause Bob has picked to go out on. All because the cool kids thought he was a nerd at Oxford.

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  8. Today Maureen Dowd presents another defense of Trump. She portrays him as just another braggart rich kid exaggerating his accomplishments. No mention of possible election-rigging, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, much less treason, the actual crimes being investigated. She minimizes Mueller's job and qualifications by referring to him from headline to last sentence as "Bobby Three-Sticks" and Mr. Clean Marine. She implies he is out to get poor Mr. Trump, not looking for truth. And she tells Trump he'd better watch out. Dowd reveals no interest in any of the values important to running a functioning government, no understanding of what it means to have integrity. She reveals her empty soul once again. Why does the NY Times give her a podium?

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    1. As Eric Berman notes in the NY Times Comments:

      "Maureen, a clever take on Trump as Raskolnikov, but you have missed the most important component of Dostoyevky's story--and of his protagonist. Raskolnikov is taken down, at last, not by the police inspector who pursues him, but by his own gnawing guilt. The inspector knows from his understanding of human nature, that the criminal's own conscience will deliver him at last into the hands of the law to receive his just punishment. But Trump has no conscience. He is the vilest sociopath: we have seen this confirmed again and again. If he ever does feel a pang, the life-long mutterings of this distorted soul cover and excuse the crimes, and he bays the louder. He needs no church, no counsel, no coven of cloned family to help him over the moral rough spots. By now this reflex of self-excuse, greased with the lard of the law suits his mentor Roy Cohn taught him to invoke, allows him to run rough-shod over the bodies of any and all who stand in his way."

      This illustrates that Dowd doesn't care about the meaning or content of her allusions as long as she sounds erudite and there is some superficial resemblance. Lazy and incompetent.

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    2. > “this reflex of self-excuse” — Nice phrasing by Eric Berman. With a small switch of vowels, it could well describe Trump himself: “this reflux of self-excess”....

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  9. Somerby seems to think that it must be literally true that the Turkish Govt cut Flynn a check or else Maddow is a liar (out over her skiis).

    1. When people engage in bribery or payoffs or other gray area financial transactions, they frequently use a "cut out" to keep the transaction at arm's length. There is substantial evidence that the person who paid Flynn was acting and had previously acted in that capacity for Turkish entities.
    2. The work Flynn was doing benefitted and was in service to the Turkish government.
    3. Flynn didn't have to have received payment from the Turkish government in order to have violated the law requiring him to disclose work done for foreign interests. There is no doubt he did such work and no doubt he failed to disclose it -- his amended paperwork attests to that.
    4. Not only Flynn but also Trump has made decisions and enacted policies that benefit Turkey, contrary to previous policy. Given that Trump is apolitical and has no coherent foreign policy, that suggests Flynn has fulfilled his role as intermediary on behalf of Turkey. Why would Trump do this without any payoff involved? Trump is all about the money.
    5. Trump is still upset about firing Flynn and expended more energy opposing his investigation than on any other aspect of his presidency. Why?

    But Somerby thinks Maddow has no support for her assertions about Flynn.

    Somerby ignores the larger picture, doesn't connect the dots -- he stubbornly insists on literal, concrete proof of a type that won't be available until Mueller concludes his investigation. He forbids Maddow from connecting the same dots everyone can see for themselves.

    Why is Somerby doing this? It makes no sense.

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    1. Definition of purblind
      1 a [obsolete]: wholly blind
         b: partly blind
      2: lacking in vision, insight, or understanding: obtuse

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  10. Bob simply wants leading liberal pundits to stop making charges against Trump and his administration that can easily dismissed by Trump supporters for lack of compelling proof of evil intent or mental instability.
    For example: Perhaps you saw Trumps W.Va. rally. Stealing the scene is the turkey-neck in the black tee pumping his arms and shouting assent.
    He is Ashland cardiologist Dr. Richard E. Paulus. His conviction for healthcare fraud was overturned on appeal with the arguments that his actions were based on subjective medical opinion, and that the government failed to provide evidence of intent to defraud.
    Dr. Paulus has been elevated to the status of folk hero in the Trump camp.
    An acquittal on appeal isn’t a verdict of not guilty, but Trump supporters now claim Dr. Paulus has been proven completely innocent of all charges. Any attempt to dissuade them from this belief is doomed from the outset.
    Of course, anyone can declare a person innocent against overwhelming evidence of guilt, but why hand them victories by default, victories that allow them to declare, “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history … has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
    Bob is simply showing why liberals are losing arguments to Republicans and other Trump supporters.
    The only thing that will change the current state of affairs is Republican defeats in the 2018 Mid-term and statewide elections.

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    1. Even when Trump is convicted, his supporters will believe he was railroaded. We are losing arguments to Trump supporters because there is nothing you can say to them that will ever shake their faith in Trump. However, the accusations must be made, the evidence gathered, the charges brought and the trial concluded because otherwise evil continues to flourish in places it should never enter. We made our accusations not to sway Trump voters but to support the consensual reality of Democrats and liberals, the people opposing Trump. They deserve to have their sense of reality validated, especially when the things we are saying about Trump are true.

      Republican defeats in 2018 depend on high turnout among Democrats, not convincing Trump voters to change their party affiliation, or their minds.

      When one of Trump's fans actually visits Dr. Paulus and his life depends on sound treatment, he may change his mind. Unfortunately, at some personal cost. In the meantime, he will remain a folk hero because there isn't anything we can say short of acknowledging their reality and colluding with delusion is always a bad idea. We have to let some of these people go their own way.

      When Trump is convicted, he will either go to jail or resign from office or similarly return to private life. Nixon had his supporters, even at the end. Trump will too. You have to let those people go their own way, leave them to their wrong beliefs.

      As a role model, Mormon missionaries never argue with anyone who isn't interested in their message. Democrats should take the same approach and just move on to the next, hopefully more receptive potential voter.

      Delete
    2. Mike Allen reports: "...Miller was the hero of the West Wing after he attacked CNN’s Jim Acosta as a ‘cosmopolitan’ for his views on immigration.”

      You can't win with these folks because in their world, the Statue of Liberty is not meant to welcome immigrants and calling a reporter a Jew makes you a hero.

      Delete
  11. Even when Trump is convicted, his supporters will believe....

    Convicted of what! Many Trump-haters are convinced that Trump is guilty of major crimes, even though they don't know what these crimes [supposedly] are.

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    1. 1. obstruction of justice
      2. conspiracy to interfere with a presidential election
      3. money laundering
      4. treason
      5. perjury
      6. fraud
      7. failure to adhere to emoluments law, failure to divest, conflict of interest
      8. abuse of office for personal financial gain
      9. violation of campaign laws via use of 2020 donations to pay legal fees

      for starters. I don't think he's done breaking laws yet

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    2. You misunderstand Comrade DinC.

      He's cool with obstruction of justice, treason, perjury, fraud, failure to adhere to emoluments clause and conflicts of interest, abuse of office for personal financial gain, etc, etc, etc, as long as it committed by a lying sack of shit racist pervert.

      Anything goes now. Shitstains like DinC have rewritten the rules and they will forever and ever and ever have to shut their fucking pieholes when a D does the same.

      Delete
    3. "Shitstains like DinC have rewritten the rules and they will forever and ever and ever have to shut their fucking pieholes when a D does the same."

      Wishful thinking. The next time a Democratic politician has a consensual sexual relationship while in office, the DinCs of the nation will again be calling for a fainting couch and tsk tsking about how tawdry the whole affair is and how it cheapens the country.
      However, you are 100% correct that Conservatives have no problem with Trump's law-breaking as long as he gives them their regular doses of bigotry and white resentment.

      Delete
    4. The next time a Democratic politician has a consensual sexual relationship while in office, the DinCs of the nation will again be calling for a fainting couch....

      Well that is my point. We can't let these two faced phony hypocrites erase the history and the precedents they are setting today and for posterity. Every line crossed by the abomination tRump has to be documented and they will be reminded forever and ever of the complete total destruction of our democratic republic they are responsible for.

      Keep in mind these hypocrites like DinC cheered for 8 years as 3 separate special prosecutors in succession investigated a 15 year old land deal in which the Clintons lost money. Now today, Comrade DinC can't even imagine why anybody would be interested in seeing the malignant traitorous bastard's tax returns. He is on record that he can't even conceive of a reason why those would be important to see.

      Well now, the new precedent going forward is no democrat will ever have to release their tax returns and traitorous bastards like DinC can't say shit about it.

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    5. mm: Oh, just like being a bunch of adulterers [Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston, Dan Burton, Helen Chenoweth, et al.] and/or child-molesters [Dennis Hastert, Donald “Buz” Lukens] themselves meant the GOP in Congress couldn’t say boo to Bill Clinton to Bill Clinton, because it would have been hypocritical of them? Well, that didn’t stop them, or even slow them down.

      The GOP in Congress steadfastly refused, every year, Obama’s requests for security funding increases for embassies like the one in Benghazi... and when that attack happened, they had no shame in turning around and hypocritically trying to place all the blame on the same Department of State whose security they’d underfunded.

      But now you think they’d never dare be blatantly hypocritical again?

      Oh, you cheery ruby-spectacled optimist....

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    6. Raven, I agree with everything you state, however, it's our obligation and patriotic duty to remind them every time they try that have forfeited any moral high ground forever and ever.

      For example, from now on, DinC and his fellow deplorables can never complain about a D lying. Our response will be, no, that D wasn't lying, they just incorrectly thought the hypothetical D was speaking literally. See how easy that is.

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    7. But, mm, they forfeited any moral high ground, forever and ever, decades ago! And kept doing so! Yet decade after decade of just such hypocrisy continued.

      They will not stop; this is their modus operandi, their standard operating method.

      Delete
  12. America is a bunch of stoners. So many Americans are fat, lazy pot smokers and opium addicts that enjoy watching TV 8 hours a day. It’s no wonder they have elected a sub-par TV clown as president. The American people don’t control your their culture, their culture controls them. The most widely read articles on New York Times are frequently TV show recaps. Think about how incredible fat you lazy Americans are. Think of your pot addictions and alcoholism, your opium dependencies with so many of you overdosing in the street. Your country is psychologically wandering in the woods. Totally lost. Totally out of control. A sad wreckage.

    All that said, I do admire Willie Nelson greatly.

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    1. From your phrasing, apparently you’re not an American, so it’s understandable you have a blurred and distant picture from outside, filtered through whatever source you follow. But apply a little logic. Trump’s Attorney General Sessions is heatedly trying to outlaw pot against all the state legalizations that have already taken place. Do you really think pot smokers would support this policy, or vote for it? Trump and the GOP just tried to end funding for healthcare including alcoholism/addiction and overdose treatment (e.g. Narcan), "Let the addicts die!" — is that something you think alcoholics and addicts were going to support and vote for? You're blaming the wrong voter demographic.

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    2. Hi Raven - No - I am speaking of Americans of all political stripes and class. You have been swallowed up by a culture that was designed to swallow you up, designed to steal your soul. And it has. Most of you don't even eat real food. You're all pot addicts and porn addicts and you have no morals. You're diseased and controlled by a corporate cultural machine totally. It's not all bad. There's Willie and Waylon. And lots more. Nobody's perfect.

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    3. Americans can't even figure out what gender they are. It's by design. It's a warped culture. They've made you all crazy. Raven, let's take you as an example. When was the last time you went a week without getting stoned?

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    4. Oh you poor troll, I’ve never done pot or other recreational drugs — and for me alcohol is only the toast of wine at formal dinners (I don’t even like beer) — so you chose one of the worst possible personal examples for your argument. You want to “speak of Americans of all political stripes and class” — and you show that you actually know nothing about us.

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  13. Americans can't even figure out what gender they are. It's by design. It's a warped culture. They've made you all crazy. Raven, let's take you as an example. When was the last time you went a week without getting stoned?

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    1. Better trolling please

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    2. You can't even figure out what thread you're in.

      Delete
  14. NYT, March 10:

    WASHINGTON — The candidate he was advising last fall was running on a platform of America First. The client he was working for last fall was paying him more than $500,000 to put Turkey first.

    Michael T. Flynn, who went from the campaign trail to the White House as President Trump’s first national security adviser, filed papers this week acknowledging that he worked as a foreign agent last year representing the interests of the Turkish government in a dispute with the United States.

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