HUMAN, NONE TOO HUMAN: Werewolves of New Haven speak!


Part 2—Also, professors of London:
We kid you not! This morning, as we somnambulized in a Starbucks in an undisclosed location, Warren Zevon's great documentary found its way onto the play list.

It was likely a tribute to Halloween. We were reading the Washington Post when the hard-hitting song with the straight-talking lyrics came on the music box.

To hear the song, click here:
I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of SoHo in the rain
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
For to get a big dish of beef chow mein.

Ah-hooo, werewolves of London
Ah-hooo, werewolves of London


He's the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair
You better stay away from him, He'll rip your lungs out, Jim
Hunh! I'd like to meet his tailor.

So true! Zevon gave warning about the apparent humans who may be none too human, despite their access to world-class tailors. Halloween to the side, has there ever been a better morning to be greeted by this song's plainspoken, truth-telling lyrics?

When the song came on, we were reading the Washington Post's account of the adventures of George Papadopoulos, age 30, a little-known Trump campaign functionary who has pleaded guilty to "making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with foreigners claiming to have high-level Russian connections."

Papadopoulos was seven years out of DePaul (class of 2009) when his original misadventures occurred. Found humor was everywhere, we thought, as the Post offered its account of his activities, which may have included interactions with modern-day werewolves of London.

Ah-hoooooooo! Matt Zapotosky and a cast of thousands began their account like this:
ZAPOTOSKY ET AL (10/31/17): Papadopoulos admitted that he had lied to the FBI about his interactions with people he thought had connections with the Russian government—essentially understating the conversations and claiming falsely that they had occurred before he joined Trump’s campaign.

In a January 2017 interview with the FBI, Papadopoulos told agents that a London-based professor claimed to him that he had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.” But Papadopoulos said that initially he viewed the professor as a “nothing.”

In reality, according to his plea, Papadopoulos understood that the professor had connections to Russian government officials, and he treated him seriously. An email quoted in court filings appears to match one described to The Washington Post in August in which Papadopoulos identified the professor with whom he met as Joseph Mifsud, the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy.
Allegedly, Professor Mifsud is or was the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, an institution which may even exist. At first glance, it was hard not to think of Professor Harold Hill, who famously claimed to hail from the Gary Conservatory, class of 1905.

Whatever! Professor Hill ended up winning the heart, and the support, of Marian the Librarian. In the current case, young Papadopoulos was soon fixed up with no less a personage than Vladimir Putin's niece, or at least so he believed:
ZAPOTOSKY ET AL (continuing directly): After a March 2016 meeting with the professor, who was not identified in court records, Papadopoulos emailed a campaign supervisor and other members of the campaign’s foreign policy team. He claimed that the professor had introduced him to “Putin’s niece” and the Russian ambassador in London, and that the purpose was “to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” court documents say.

The government noted that the woman was not Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s niece, and while Papadopoulos expected the professor to introduce him to the Russian ambassador, that never happened. But in the months that followed, Papadopoulos continued to correspond with the woman and the professor about a meeting between the Trump campaign, possibly including Trump himself, and Russian officials.

“The Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet him when he is ready,” Papadopoulos wrote to a senior policy adviser for the campaign on April 25.
Darn it! She wasn't Putin's niece after all! Quoting further from Zevon's lyrics, "Werewolves of London again!"

At this point, we introduce you to werewolves of cable. Last night, during all the excitement, Jeremy Bash swallowed a snootful and insisted that the alleged professor—who may not be a professor, he seemed to suggest—is plainly a Russian agent.

Everything is possible, of course, but does Bash really know that? (In fairness, "his hair was perfect.")

Moving further along, we expose you now to a question you almost surely never saw raised last night in many hours of cable. Our question is a tough one:

Would there have been anything wrong with the behavior ascribed to young Papadopoulos?

Would there have been anything wrong with what Papadopoulos is said to have done? More specifically:

Would there have been anything legally or morally wrong with a foolish young man who was then 29 trying to "arrange a meeting between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump?"

Let's go further! Would there have been anything legally or morally wrong with this foolish young person corresponding with Putin's putative niece, and also with an apparent professor, "about a meeting between the Trump campaign, possibly including Trump himself, and Russian officials?"

In and of itself, would there have been anything "wrong" with such behavior, or even with such a meeting? We're going to say that the answer is no, which may help explain why this young man has pleaded guilty to lying, not to the attempt to commit some sort of crime.

Ah-hoooooooo! The werewolves of cable won't slow their howling long enough to let you consider such things! Instead, they'll tell you the story in the way you will most thoroughly like. Quoting Zevon further:
You hear [them] howling around your kitchen door
Better not let [them] in.
As we continue, we meet an ambiguity we didn't see mentioned last night. Eventually, the youngster was told that Donald J. Trump wouldn't be making any such trips, whether to meet with Putin himself or with his smokin' hot niece:
ZAPOTOSKY ET AL (continuing directly): At one point, a campaign official forwarded one of Papadopoulos’s emails to another campaign official, saying: “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.” “DT” would appear to be a reference to Donald Trump.

Papadopoulos’s effort continued into the summer of 2016, and in August 2016, a campaign supervisor told Papadopoulos and another foreign policy adviser that they should meet with Russian officials. That ultimately did not take place, according to the plea.
Last night, that highlighted email was widely quoted. But hold on! Did it mean that "someone low level in the campaign" should take those trips to meet with the Russkies? Or did it mean that "someone low level in the campaign" should communicate the fact that "DT" himself wouldn't be doing such trips?

We'd have to say that isn't clear. Werewolves of cable all voiced the former interpretation, the one which serves the more exciting, much preferred story-line.

We have no idea how this story will end, but werewolves of cable are serving you tribal product. Then too, we heard the werewolves of New Haven this morning as they embarrassed their alma mater over at Slate.

In fairness, Katy Waldman's sentences were perfect! Pathetically, though, she described her trip to yesterday's arraignment of Manafort/Gates in the following silly manner:
WALDMAN (10/30/17): Given the almost total absence of story elements to latch on to, we were left to divine some trace of character from the tone of the men’s voices. Manafort’s “I do” when the judge asked him whether he understood his instructions—to report to pretrial services for orientation the next morning; to remain in his home except for court appearances, religious services, medical appointments, and attorney meetings; to surrender his passport; to post a $10 million bond—was low, mild, and gravelly, effortfully purged of what must have been his deep humiliation. Gates, whose bail was set at $5 million, sounded clipped and professional, as though we were all wasting his time. But for the most part, the themes at Monday’s hearing were logistical, rather than novelistic, and were easily resolved...

It fell to us, the audience, to supply suspense and melodrama.
Pathetically, Waldman imagined what the two men's voices conveyed as each uttered his handful of words. Skillfully, we recalled the day when Chris Matthews, then a hero of disguised right-wing corporate cable labor, brought the body language expert on the air to explain what the three buttons on Gore's suit jackets were intended to convey to female voters. At any rate:

In the absence of novelistic elements, it fell to the werewolves of The Net to supply the day's melodrama!

Waldman is Yale 2010. Aaron Mak, who seems to be Yale 2016, is a much more recent denizen of New Haven and of the professional Net.

Mak's headline at Slate reads as follows, and it concerns Manafort:
I Spent My Day Trying to Figure Out How to Spend Nearly $1 Million on Rugs
How could Paul Manafort have spent $1 million on rugs, as was described in yesterday's 31-page indictment? The youngster, or perhaps his editor, decided that inquiring minds ought to know. What follows is the kind of shoe-leather work which frequently comes from today's werewolves of Ivy League class advantage:
MAK (10/30/17): I started calling Alexandria rug stores and interior decorators once the news broke, contacting anyone who could help me understand where Manafort might have shopped and how easy it would be run up a seven-figure bill. I knew extremely rare rugs could go for millions of dollars. But the pattern described in the indictment was different: The purchases were made over the course of eight visits. I wanted to understand how someone could build such a collection.
We want to know how four years at Yale can produce piddle so rich. Stating the obvious, Waldman and Mak are providing a type of entertainment product. Might they possibly be regarded as werewolves of our upper-end corporate press?

The werewolves of cable were happy last night. We take a different view of yesterday's events.

Based on actual history and knowledge of people, we don't assume that a string of indictments, convictions and guilty pleas will translate into electoral success for us werewolves of Liberalsylvania.

We know that our candidate was loathed last year too. We know that our own spiraling tribe provides zero inspiration.

Beyond that, we don't assume that Donald J. Trump would peacefully accept defeat, as Richard M. Nixon once did. Just as easily, we can picture him deciding to use the nuclear codes, because what else are they there for? This is the way the modern world ends! Not with a bang, but a werewolf!

Our liberal team doesn't know how to win votes or talk to people. Last night, we kept thinking of the one recent event where we saw people from our team speaking with consummate skill:

We thought of Chris Hayes, but mainly of Bernie Sanders, speaking to those coal miners down in West Virginia. It's very, very, very rare to see contemporary liberals who know how to talk to actual people. (Before too long, we plan to discuss the way HRC talked to "black" voters last year.)

Zevon issued his warning in 1978. According to the leading authority on such matters, it went to #15 on the charts in New Zealand.

Even way back then, Zevon had spotted a problem. Many around us, he tried to say, may be human, none too human.

Silly, fatuous, tribal, unloving? Zevon pictured all these traits! And he warned us not to be fooled by the mere appearance of apparent humans, even when well-groomed on cable:
I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's
His hair was perfect.

Ah-hoooooo! Werewolves of London.
Coming next: Remarkable! Werewolves of the Washington Post slime (John) Podesta again


  1. Bob Somerby doesn't care about black people.

  2. Most campaign professionals disagree with Somerby: if your campaign is approached by agents of a foreign power, you should contact the FBI. The case of Al Gore receiving Bush's debate prep info comes to mind: why on earth didn't Gore use it? It was "information" after all. Instead, he turned it over to the FBI, like a decent person would do.

    The Mueller investigation is about getting at the truth. That's an important goal in and of itself, though Somerby isn't much interested in it. And the "piddle" about rug purchases? Well, that "piddle" is listed in great detail in the Manafort indictment; it's a key component in illustrating the charges against him.

    Somerby says "our candidate was loathed." He himself has documented the 25-year sliming of her; that may partially explain why this was the case.

    And as far as liberals not being able to talk to people: should they use Trump as a model? Lying, narcissistic, bullying, racist, etc? Is that how to talk to the rubes?
    Great; liberals need to cheat and demagogue their way to votes.

    1. What did Hillary do when she received debate questions from Donna Brazile?

      Mueller or another special counsel will get at the truth of the Democrat corruption. Be patient.

    2. Fine. You don't even have to be patient, cause Mueller's probe is already uncovering evidence of Trump corruption. That will continue.

    3. Hillary didn't receive debate questions from Brazile. The DNC emails were framed by WikiLeaks to imply that, but that isn't what happened.

  3. "Would there have been anything legally or morally wrong with a foolish young man who was then 29 trying to "arrange a meeting..."

    Nice. Reminds me of some Graham Greene's spy novels, like Our Man in Havana or The Ministry of Fear.

    "Just as easily, we can picture him deciding to use the nuclear codes, because what else are they there for?"

    Jeez, man. You're so much worse than they are, your nemeses inside the idiot-box. Clinton lost, so a nuclear war has been avoided for now. Take a fucking Prozac.

    1. "Take a fucking Prozac."

      Even Pootie trolls are starting to feel the heat.


    2. The "nuclear codes" comment was ridiculous but it's hard to entirely escape the Trump Derangement Syndrome if you're exposed to cable news and the NY Times.

    3. Nah, it's not that difficult; just a matter of self-discipline.

      One simple rule: if you accidentally suffered from exposure to any goebbelsian media narrative, assume that the opposite is true.

    4. Mao Mao - Goebbels without doubt would be a big Trump supporter, were he to be reincarnated. But, aside from that, I, a registered Democrat, who voted for Clinton, and think the election of Trump should correctly be classified as bizarre, tend to agree that the whole Russia probe includes a lot of hysteria. If Trump or his campaign were involved with the hackers of Podesta's e-mails that would be major; but I don't see, so far, anything that shows that happened. Also, the Democrat/liberal obsession with calling everything 'racist' (not to say 'racism' doesn't exist, look at our neo-nazis for example) (it is a complex subject that is almost always oversimplified, also), goes off the rails and surely helped Trump win. But you are completely unconvincing, and seemingly Goebbels-like in style - and also seemingly incapable of communicating otherwise than by snark.

    5. You might want to familiarise yourself with the term 'goebbelsian' ('goebbelsian lie'): "repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth".

    6. Is that why you're posting a thousand times from your apartment in Moscow ?

    7. At this point I'm commenting mostly because I would hate to disappoint my lib-zombie fan-club here, I suppose.

      As one French pilot said: you become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.

    8. Mao, Yes I know what you mean by goebbelsian, assuming it's a real word. For the life of me, I can't understand how the term doesn't 20 times over (probably understating it) apply to "bone spurs" Trump and the colossally vast right wing propaganda machine.

  4. This blog is really depressing.

  5. Somerby ignores the emails Papadopolous sent that were about emails the Russians were willing to share with Trump's campaign.

    Somerby also ignores that he lied to the FBI when asked about his contacts with foreign agents.

    And Somerby ignores that he destroyed evidence by getting rid of his cell phone and deleting his Facebook account.

    These latter crimes are the ones he was formally charged with. He wasn't charged for trying to set up a meeting with Russians to talk about the relationship between a President Trump and Russia.

    Then Somerby asks what was wrong with what he did, as if those were the crimes he pled guilty to.

    Somerby is being deceptive here. Why?

  6. What’s wrong with a werewolf wanting to look nice in a fine suit?

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