BREAKING: Lithwick gets the memo right!


Rachel [HEART] Fox & Friends:
Except for one gross overstatement, we sadly judge that Dahlia Lithwick may have gotten the memo right.

Lithwick followed in Andrew Sullivan's gloomy, perceptive footsteps. Her analysis piece for Slate appeared beneath these gloomy headlines:
The Nunes Memo Is a Big Win for Donald Trump

It’s incomprehensible and deeply misleading and it will give Trump the tools he needs to stymie the Mueller investigation.
Gloomily, we'd have to say that this gloomy assessment may well be right. That said, Lithwick's significant overstatement occurs in thia gloomy passage:
LITHWICK (2/2/18): The memo is so silly, and technical, and logic-defying on its face that it’s easy to miss the fact that its genius lies in precisely that. Unless one ambles comfortably in the murky weeds of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, this will all be just arcane and confusing enough to mean nothing. For the vast majority of Americans, it will be enough that the president has now declared that his own federal intelligence apparatus is corrupt and out to get him, and has conveniently produced an enemies list that conveniently sweeps in all the villains, from Christopher Steele to Dana Boente to Sally Yates to Andrew McCabe, who have declined to play on the president’s “team.” If the point here is to raise doubts about every investigatory agency capable of scrutinizing Trump, it has been achieved. As John McCain responded, when the memo was released, “If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”
Uh-oh! Lithwick reflexively gives a failing grade to "the vast majority of Americans." In Lithwick's assessment, Mencken's booboisie will be swept along by the silly, logic-defying memo and by the loud shouting of Trump.

In our view, Lithwick should wash her keyboard out with soap and rethink her view of Trump's strategy. Most likely, the current effort is not intended to convince a majority of the electorate, let alone a vast majority. Most likely, it's intended to convince a share of the electorate sufficient to make Trump's removal from office impossible—ideally, to make mere impeachment impossible, even should be whack Mueller.

Once we talk Lithwick down in that way, we think her gloomy assessment may well be right on target. If you watched Fox last night, you saw the brilliance of the memo being praised to the skies. If you watched C-Span's Washington Journal this morning, you heard enthusiastic viewers calling in to affirm that view.

Are Sullivan and Lithwick right in their gloomy assessments? There's a very good chance that they are! Partly, that's because of the very large Stupid viewers encountered at the start of last night's Maddow Show, where the liberal world's top-rated corporate clown danced a remarkable Western Massachusetts three-step.

This dance included the claim that her various friends at Fox are simply "doing their best."

For the record, we're referring to just the first two minutes of last night's Maddow Show. That's all you'll have to watch on this tape to see this multimillionaire corporate idiot dancing her latest jig.

What goes into the Western Mass Three-Step? This is what you'll see if you watch the first two minutes of that tape:

First, you'll see Maddow instantly start talking about herself. This starts exactly fifteen seconds into her monologue. Maddow can't breathe without pointless self-reference. This was last evening's first step.

After that, you'll be treated to a burst of Maddow's virtuosity as a comedic entertainer. She'll mug and clown and make us laugh as we head toward our warm milk, cookies and bed.

At this point, you''ll encounter the remarkable third part of last evening's three-step. You'll see Maddow tell us about the good intentions of her various friends at Fox.

Rachel Maddow talks about Fox in much the way Donald Trump talks about Putin. Yes, she actually said these things. No, we aren't making this up:
MADDOW (2/2/18): I don't really believe in the whole "cable news wars" idea.

I know people who work across the street at the Fox News Channel. I've got friends who work there. I think we're all doing our own thing in our own way, best we can. I wish everybody the best.
As Maddow utters these words, you'll see your screen divide into quadrants. Four photos let you see who she's talking about:
People who are doing their own thing in their own way, best they can:
Sean Hannity
Tucker Carlson
Laura Ingraham
The three chimps (Fox & Friends)
Good God! That ridiculous visual helps define what this weirdo said.

No really—she actually said it! According to Maddow, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are just "doing their own thing in their own way, best they can." The same way Rachel is!

From there, Maddow went on to ridicule the presentations her various well-intentioned friends have been making over at Fox. As she did, she mugged and clowned as she always does, even sharing the fun of playing the "sad trombone" (we're quoting Maddow), the highly entertaining sound from the old Charlie Brown TV specials.

"We only bring that out for very special occasions," this gigantic corporate clown entertainingly, stupidly said.

She only plays the sad trombone on very special occasions! She played it last night because, in her view, the memo was such a gigantic bust.

Lithwick said the ridiculous memo was "a big win for Trump." Mugging and clowning and weirdly grinning, Maddow adopted the opposite stance all through her program.

Sadly, we think Lithwick may be more right. We're inclined to think that Maddow cast herself in the Pauline Kael role—in the role of the cosseted pseudo-liberal who doesn't know anyone who voted for Richard M. Nixon.

Mainly, though, we want to focus on Maddow's remarks about Fox.

They're just doing the best they can, Our Rhodes Scholar weirdly said. This isn't the first time she's done this.

As it turned out, one of her best friends at Fox was allegedly Greta Van Susteren. For years, Van Susteren had cast herself in the role of Donald J. Trump's prime enabler in his drive to be King of the Birthers.

Van Susteren disgraced herself as she played this role at Fox. But so what? As it turned out, she had been one of Rachel's favorite drinking pals during that gruesome period.

Who chooses their friends that way? Beyond that, we're so old that we can remember what Maddow said on June 15, 2015—the night before Donald J. Trump announced his run for the White House.

I have nothing against Donald Trump, our useful idiot said. He'd been King of the Birthers for four years at that point.

(More precisely: "It is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump...It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.")

The next morning, Trump made his "Mexican rapists" speech. Finger presumably in the career and political winds, it took Maddow several weeks to challenge what he had said.

Maddow is a high-IQ self-absorbed child, a clown. Her presence as Our Leading Liberal helps define the danger of the current situation:

On the one side, we have grasping pre-Enlightenment conduct in its most naked form. Over Here, within our own tents, we have the consultant-prescribed phony laughter which constitutes this latest version of "Why England Slept."

Maddow thinks the memo flunked. Not unlike Pauline Kael, she doesn't know anyone who doesn't think that!

We'll suggest that Lithwick's fear represents a more perceptive reaction. That said, whatever happens, we'll always have The Maddow Show with its endless fun, even its sad trombone.

Go ahead! Watch the first two minutes of last night's TV show. Hannity is just doing his best! So are the chimps on Fox & Friends, the most horrific TV propaganda show of all time.

Maddow got her start on Carlson's previous cable show. He's just doing his best!

Let's take a look at the numbers: On Thursday night, at 9 PM Eastern, 4.154 million people watched Hannity doing his best. At the same time, 3.044 million people were watching Maddow.

The fact that he got more doesn't matter. To enable the downfall of the republic, he just has to get enough.


  1. IMHO liberals are making a political mistake by attacking the Nunes memo. They can get away with it, to a degree. As Bob points out, it's rather technical. And, large segments of the media will trumpet Democratic talking points, no matter what.

    Still, the bottom line is that the FBI and Justice Dept. used their vast powers to improperly wiretap the Trump campaign and try to swing the election. In the long run, it's a political loser for Democrats to defend that sort of conduct.

    1. There was no improper conduct by the Justice Dept. Whether or not you agree with the FISA system (and your friendly Republicans in congress just voted to extend it), the warrants were obtained in a legal manner, with multiple signoffs and judges' approval.
      Amazing how Republicans don't seem to care about hacking of our long as it benefits them.

    2. There was nothing improper about the surveillance, if you accept that FISA is legal, which the GOP does. The only people who regard FISA as proper and it's use in this case as improper are those who think the FISA should only apply to teh swarthy people.


    3. The most important lesson Donald J Trump taught republicans is that facts don't matter. They needn't be timid or embarrassed to lie their asses off anymore. In reality I believe they now take a vicarious almost prurient delight in watching the orange pussygrabber lie with such pure unhinged audacity.

      All they have to do is manufacture a completely alternative narrative no matter how implausible and ridiculous that alternative narrative is, no matter how irrational, illogical and detached from reality it is, they've got their narrative and they'll run with that. They are a cult now and have long escaped the real world.

      David in Cal is Exhibit A of the Trump cultist.

      Yesterday, Paul Ryan stated unequivocally that the this "memo" written by a first year law student had absolutely nothing to do with the Mueller investigation. They were completely and totally separate matters. So everyone just relax and keep your panties on. Shortly thereafter the orange pussygrabber flim flam man went on a rant about what a disgrace America was. This morning, at his golf resort, the flaming bullshit artist claimed the "memo" proved that "Trump" (yes he put his own name in quotes) was completely vindicated by the "memo" and proved what a witch hunt the Mueller investigation was.

      David in Cal is completely willing to swallow these diametrically opposing positions and comes on here to claim his allegiance to "civil liberties" using Glenn Greenwald a totally compromised Russian puppet as his authority. You can't make this shit up.

      In the real world Secretary Clinton's candidacy was upended by the FBI and James Comey violating all protocol and standards by giving a press conference scolding her like she was a schoolgirl caught smoking in the girls' room. Then 11 days before the election he announced to the world that he was re-opening the email investigation, although by every rule and standard that he was sworn to abide by he should have done anything to impact the election, certainly not make that announcement. Why did he do it? Because as has been reported he was afraid if he didn't make that announcement prior to the election and then it subsequently was revealed, he would have been accused by the trump nation of hiding the investigation.

      Contrarily, he nor anyone in the FBI ever announced the ongoing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign conspiracy with the Russian government to interfere in our election. Why didn't he announce it? Because as he explained, he never talks publicly about an ongoing investigation.

      It's heads they win, tails we lose, every fucking time.

      And what does Trump cultist, Comrade DinC conclude from these given set of facts?

      Of course, the FBI and DOJ were improperly colluding to damage Trump's electoral chances. As I said, you can't make this shit up.

      Fuck you very much David, you fucking warped troll.

  2. Dear Bob,
    Instead of worrying whether it's "a big win for Trump" or not, shouldn't you be getting concerned about horrifying corruption inside various branches of American secret police? About the fact that federal security agencies are, apparently, deeply involved in internal power struggle, much like in a typical banana republic?

    Any thoughts on that, Bob?

  3. Maddow was explaining why the memo doesn't do what it claims. We need to examine and understand its weaknesses. Had the memo actually made a strong case, it would have been important to know that too. Elsewhere, you had hosts and guests pointing out the obvious use of the memo as a pretext for Trump and his minions, and the massive hyping of it on Fox ("TrumpTV" as Chris Hayes calls it), and the dangerous ways the Republicans are planning to use it, and possibly succeed in their goals.
    My point is that Lithwick's view was taken by numerous people on both MSNBC and CNN. Both things were going on: an analysis of what the memo contains, and a warning of how it will be used.

  4. In the linked article, Andrew Sullivan writes
    of course, no one even faintly patriotic should object to investigating how a foreign power tried to manipulate American democracy, as our intelligence agencies have reported.

    Three problems with this statement:

    1. After a year, the Special Prosecutor has found no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    2. The SP is not fully investigating how "a foreign power tried to manipulate American democracy." It's looking for contacts with the Trump campaign, but not looking for contacts with the Clinton campaign. We know there was such a contact in the preparation of that bogus dossier. Most people understand that the Special Prosecutor is essentially a "get Trump" effort.

    3. Whether or not the Mueller investigation is appropriate, it's a big scandal that the FBI and Justice Dept. abused their powers to influence a Presidential election.

    1. In what way did the FBI and Justice Dept influence the election?

    2. "After a year, the Special Prosecutor has found no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. "

      LOL! And you know this . . . how?

    3. Anon 1:56PM -- here's a list, which includes involvement by the FBI and Justice Dept. I need to break it into pieces to fit this character limit.

      The so-called Russian Dossier, the creation of Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele, is a political document — namely, opposition research, created for the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
      Using what it knew was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, in October of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to install a wiretap to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent — the Trump campaign, specifically Carter Page. This spying would last for a year.
      It should be noted that the FISA court was set up to stop foreign terrorists. The fact that the FBI and DOJ would use this court to not only wiretap an American but to wiretap a presidential campaign belies belief. Why Obama’s FBI and DOJ used this court as opposed to a normal court is obvious. As you will see below, a normal court probably would have denied the wiretap.
      Worse still, in the summer of 2016, Obama’s DOJ had already opened a counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. The fact that nothing from that months-old partisan investigation was used to obtain the Page wiretap is revealing.

    4. According to the Nunes memo, an “essential” part of the FISA wiretap application was the Steele dossier, which again is a partisan political document created for the Clinton campaign.
      So essential was this partisan dossier, Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former-Deputy Director of the FBI, admitted in December that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the dossier.
      Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.
      According to the Nunes memo, “Steele told [former FBI official Bruce] Ohr, he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'”
      Ohr, who was part of the FBI’s anti-Trump Russian investigation, was not only friendly with Steele, Ohr’s own wife worked with Steele at Fusion GPS doing opposition research (the dossier) against Trump for the Clinton campaign.
      Despite a) knowing the dossier was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign b) knowing the dossier was “salacious and unverified” c) knowing Steele was desperate to destroy Trump d) the breathtaking conflict of interest in having an investigator’s own wife working on the dossier, the FBI still went to the FISA court to obtain permission to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent.
      In order to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, all of the conflicts of interest above were withheld from the FISA court — an indefensible (and possibly illegal) lie of omission.
      Even worse, in order to legitimize a warrant request based on a piece of partisan opposition research they knew was “salacious and unverified,” the FBI and DOJ used a media report to bolster the findings in the phony dossier. The FBI and DOJ told the court that the media report was independent verification of the dossier. But this was not true, and, according to the Nunes memo, the FBI and DOJ knew this was not true. The truth is that the phony dossier was the source of this media report.
      Also hidden from the FISA court was the fact that the FBI obtained Steele as a source but had to fire him in October of 2016 when, in a bid to use his phony dossier to derail the Trump campaign, he leaked his information to the far-left Mother Jones.

    5. Although the FBI and DOJ were willing participants in pushing a “salacious and unverified” narrative against a presidential candidate (primarily through media leaks), this was all hidden from congressional investigators. To begin with, for months, while under oath, Comey said he did not know where the dossier came from — meaning from the Clinton campaign. The Wall Street Journal explains:
      We also know the FBI wasn’t straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators in a briefing on the dossier in January 2017. The FBI did not tell Congress about Mr. Steele’s connection to the Clinton campaign, and the House had to issue subpoenas for Fusion bank records to discover the truth. Nor did the FBI tell investigators that it continued receiving information from Mr. Steele and Fusion even after it had terminated him. The memo says the bureau’s intermediary was Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife, incredibly, worked for Fusion.

      All of this dishonesty occurred under Comey, the man our media now hold up as a living saint, a man so desperate to destroy Trump, he not only oversaw those committing the above abuses, he leaked classified information to the news media in order to see a Special Prosecutor appointed against Trump, which his pal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, immediately did.
      And finally…

      16. Much of the “salacious and unverified” material in the dossier came from the Russians. In other words, those disgusting dossier lies about Trump’s personal behavior came from Russian operatives. So there is no question that it was the Clinton campaign, Democrats, Steele, the FBI, and DOJ who colluded with the Russians to rig a presidential election.

    6. So essential was this partisan dossier, Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former-Deputy Director of the FBI, admitted in December that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the dossier.,

      Horseshit, David, you lying sack of shit.

    7. mm: "Do you not think the FISA judges knew what they were doing?"

      FISA judges approve virtually 100% of wiretap requests.

    8. It should be noted that the FISA court was set up to stop foreign terrorists. The fact that the FBI and DOJ would use this court to not only wiretap an American but to wiretap a presidential campaign belies belief.

      That is what you wrote David, you fucking liar. The FISA court was not set up for just foreign terrorists. That's the first piece of bullshit you wrote.

      The second piece of bullshit is that this FISA warrant on Carter Page, a man who was not even involved with the Trump campaign and had been under investigation by the FBI since 2013 for his suspicions on being a Russian spy you fucking traitor in no way implies there was the presidential campaign of trump was wiretapped. You're just a fucking liar.

      And by the way, when the fuck did you become such an outspoken critic of FISA, a law which was just renewed by the republican congress?

      You little shitstain, what does it prove to you that almost 100% of the FISA warrants are approved? How many have been challenged and overturned, which is the proper way for Carter Page to go about this if he thought he had a legitimate claim that the warrant was improper. It's in the fucking law, you treasonous bastard.

      Bottom line fuckface, this had fuck all to do with the orange shitstain playing golf at his resort in FL right now, and your dishonest attempts to twist yourself into a pretzel and making it about his campaign is 100% Grade A prime horseshit. So go fuck yourself.

    9. mm: How many have been challenged and overturned, which is the proper way for Carter Page to go about this if he thought he had a legitimate claim that the warrant was improper.

      Are you sure? I didn't think the FBI gave official notice to the subject that he was being wiretapped. How could Page challenge a wiretap, when he didn't know he was being wiretapped?

    10. And they called me a 'traitor", because I criticized spending more than $3 Trillion to kick over the hornet's nest in the Middle East.
      The projection by Conservatives puts IMAX to shame.

    11. I was wondering what kind of fucking moron would fall for this Nunes memo bullshit.
      Along comes DavidinCal right on cue.

      Don't ever grow-up, David.

    12. David sure does like to think that he knows everything about everything that has to do with the FISA Court.

      How does he know that the Page warrant was only sought because of the dossier? How does he know that the FISA Court approves "virtually" 100% of all requests? On what basis does David assert that 4 different FISA judges were duped into approving the Page warrant and extensions?

      Has David ever been involved with obtaining a FISA warrant? Has David ever been involved with preparing a FISA warrant application? Has David ever read a FISA warrant application? Has David read the application for the Carter Page warrant?

      And, with the SP investigation still on-going, David knows that no evidence of collusion has been found - how?

      Looks to me like David just makes shit up - just like Nunes, Trump, everyone who works in the WH, and everyone on Fox News.

    13. Are you sure? I didn't think the FBI gave official notice to the subject that he was being wiretapped.

      That's correct, David. And I understand John Gotti was very upset about that.

      How could Page challenge a wiretap, when he didn't know he was being wiretapped?

      Are you an idiot? Never mind.

      ...if, for example, Carter Page was indicted and moved to suppress evidence obtained from the wiretap on the grounds that it was tainted by the Steele dossier. An indictment, however, apparently is nowhere in the offing.

      You're supposed to be so concerned about Page's civil liberties, aren't you? Page hasn't even been charged in the investigation, so what the fuck are you whining about?

      You know, it's really funny David, how your head doesn't explode from a terminal case of cognitive dissonance. You want conservative judges. Well, I give you Justice Samuel Alito:

      Furthermore, Alito argues, “if the Government were to prosecute one of respondent-attorney’s foreign clients using [evidence gathered from warrantless wiretapping law], the Government would be required to make a disclosure.”

      That of course was from the Supreme Court ruling in 2013, Amnesty v. Clapper

    14. what the fuck are you whining about?

      mm -- let me put it this way. It's an infringement of civil liberties for the government to improperly wiretap an American citizen. Even if that citizen cannot be convicted based on evidence obtained via the wire tap. In Page's case, there was no prosecution, because he hadn't done anything wrong. But, the improper wiretap was still a civil liberties no-no.

      Also, the fact that Page was being wiretapped was improperly leaked. So was that bogus Steele Dossier (which BTW was paid for by the Clinton campaign and included cooperation of some sort from the Russians). The leakers were the Obama Administration or the FBI or Justice Dept.

      The result of those leaks was to affect the election -- making it appear that Trump was improperly colluding with Russia. The leaks also affected Page's reputation. Many Americans now have the opinion that he did something seriously wrong.

      After perhaps a year of investigation while Obama was President and another year by the Special Prosecutor, no evidence at all has emerged that there was any improper collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign.

    15. UnknownFebruary 4, 2018 at 3:36 AM -- I recommend you try a search engine. Here's liberal NPR confirming that "FISA Court Appears To Be Rubber Stamp For Government Requests"

    16. UnknownFebruary 4, 2018 at 3:36 AM - Newsweek reported

      The memo claims that the country’s top law enforcement officials misled a judge about the origins of the information in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application for Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign. It also says that former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said a FISA warrant for Page would not have been sought without the information from the Steele dossier

    17. Former CIA officer Robert Baer on Friday slammed the release of the “piece of trash” memo, drafted by staffers for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), arguing if he “were an FBI agent in the field right now” he would “think twice” about reporting information on Russia and Donald Trump.

      I know you're very concerned about this phantom Ferguson Effect, David.

      What should we call this? The Shitstain Traitor in the WH Effect? Maybe the Victor Podobnyy Effect?

      What do you think works best, Comrade?

      You're detached from reality David. I don't have time to respond to your bullshit right now. I have a scheduled meeting with the "secret society" coming up. It's going to be fun, we'll be giving away free jars or uranium.

      Toodle-oo, crazy man.

    18. 1. After a year, the Special Prosecutor has found no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

      How can you know what evidence Mueller is holding and what can or cannot be proven. Can we at least wait for the man to finish his investigation and present his findings before we make up our minds??

      Mueller btw is a Princeton grad, a Vietnam vet, and was appointed by George Bush and confirmed by the senate 98-0. He's a serious dude. Let him do his job and then determine what is or is not proven.

  5. Somerby strikes me as hypocritical in some of his criticisms of Maddow. He rails at her for saying she didn't dislike Trump, for having friends over at Fox, and for having Van Susteren as a "drinking pal."

    Somerby has faulted us liberals, including the media, for not knowing how to talk to The Others. Well, here is Maddow, NOT being disdainful of The Others, trying to "reach across the aisle" as it were, and trying to be objective about Trump, and Somerby rips her a new one for that. I can only imagine what Somerby would've said if Maddow had stated her dislike of Trump, and her hatred of Fox. Then he would've accused her of liberal bias, a "script", which showed her "tribalism" and hatred of The Others.

    1. Isn't it confusing? You may be able to begin to have more clarity about it if you go through your assumptions one by one and examination them and look at alternatives.

      For example, what does he mean by the others? Does he mean the thought leaders of the others? Or the actual rank-and-file? Or both?

      Was Maddow talking to the others as you said?

      Or was she Maddow talking "us" about the thought leaders of the others?

      Those thought leaders are some of the most vile, lying scumbags in the history of the world who have cheated and fooled the others for decades.

      Why would she reach out to people like that? Is that what he really meant when he says we don't know how to talk to the others?

      The devil is in the details.

      I hope you can get clarity on these troubling matters sometime soon and I'm sure you can with a little effort.

      All the best,

    2. Maddow didn't specify who her friends at Fox were. It may be a production assistant, or a producer, or Shepard Smith, for all we know. Maddow did NOT say she was friends with Hannity or any of the other people she showed on the screen. She put those people on the screen to denounce them for their hyping of the ridiculous memo. Somerby has misled you about this.
      I despise Fox News as much as anyone, and I don't generally watch Maddow. She may well be worthy of criticism, but it needs to be honest.

    3. When Maddow said "we are all doing our own thing in our own way the best we can" and when she wished everybody the best, that she wasn't exclusively talking about the people she knows that work there who are her friends. She was speaking about the network in general.

  6. For all who just can’t understand why Bob doesn’t criticize Fox, and piles on Maddow, I think you have your answer in this post. For those aforementioned, as far as Fox goes, this is as good as it gonna get for you:

    “On the one side, we have grasping pre-Enlightenment conduct in its most naked form.”

    For those predisposed to Maddow, well, Bob presents this, the pictures shown on the TV, all good buddies of Maddow:

    Sean Hannity
    Tucker Carlson
    Laura Ingraham
    The three chimps (Fox & Friends) (a twofer!)

    For some reason, this post reminded me of the time Gwen Ifill (was supposed to) interview Condoleezza Rice, during a very tumultuous time. Gwen stated, on TV, that she was great buddies with Rice. Well, so much for adversarial journalism. So with Maddow.

    My only question would be, what are the real demographics of MSNBC viewers? Then again, I suppose it doesn’t matter, given that Hannity and Maddow are best buds.


    1. I don't believe Maddow specified who her friends at Fox were.

  7. “So are the chimps on Fox & Friends…”

    Not only would Jane Goodall find this distasteful, the subjects of her life-long research would be highly offended. Regarding the rest of Somerby’s post, one would imagine actual chimps would be confused, having sufficient intelligence to have turned Maddow off years ago.

  8. Carter Page, in 2013:
    “Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.

  9. Trump will be tried by a Democratic congress joined by Republicans of principle, and by the courts if he is indicted for his crimes. He will not be tried by public opinion.

    1. Nothing is going to happen to Trump including politically. It's hard to understand how people can really believe this.

  10. The memo is of limited use for actually undermining the case for an investigation into Russian attempts to influence elections, but has done its job to discredit the investigation of Trump himself.

  11. IMHO the important thing is not the memo's political effect. The important thing is improper government wiretapping of citizens.

    Have you read the book 1984? Did you see the movie The Lives of Others? Secret wiretapping is one tool used by various tyrannical governments to control their citizens. This memo shows serious abuses we need to put an end to.

    1. David,

      If I was you, I’d complain. Here’s the address:

      President Donald J. Trump
      The White House
      1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
      Washington, DC 20500

    2. David, the political effect was the only purpose of the memo. And judging by your reaction, it has had it's desired "effect". Jackass.

  12. Dude - we civil libertarians are happy to see that Trump is acting even without my complaint. I remain dismayed at how many people are willing to live with Winston Smith in Oceanea where it's OK for Big Brother to watch you.

    1. First read 1984 in high school in 1970. Most good novels offer a scene that sticks with you forever, like the ending of Martin Eden or Casy getting his skull smashed in The Grapes of Wrath. What stuck in the head from 1984 was the scene with the prole woman singing and hanging laundry. It’s quite haunting and actually (although singing a government-provided song) she seemed defiant to me and maybe that’s how civil libertarians would best survive in a threatening world like that—maintaining their dignity and spirit in a tiny, defiant way.

      Surprising, but I’ll take your word that you are a civil libertarian. If so, you must then support the rights of football players to kneel during the national anthem and condemn Trump’s calls to have them suspended or “fired.” If the constitution gives the right for nearly every citizen to own lethal weapons and real and fake Christians alike to deny goods and services to gay customers on the grounds of religious freedom, it certainly affords the rights and protections to sit or kneel during the playing of this song.

      Used to go to a lot of San Francisco Giant games in the 70’s and remember in those days many people sitting and even talking during the national anthem. Also remember bopping one of them on the head once and saying something like, “If you’re not going to stand up asshole, then at least shut the fuck up.” He laughed at me but did stop talking and avoided eye contact for five or six innings then left. To this day, I’ve never not stood for the Pledge of Allegiance or national anthem but ultimately concluded that people have the right of free expression, whether I like it or not. That’s the key—tolerating it when you fucking hate what they’re doing. Maybe that’s civil libertarianism in a nutshell. By no stretch does Trump qualify.

  13. Yes, Dude - I support the players' legal right to kneel during the national anthem. I would strongly oppose any sort of action by the government to punish them.

    OTOH an employer has every right to punish behavior by employees, when that behavior offends millions of customers. And, the President or any other public official has the right to state that this behavior deserves employer punishment, as long as he doesn't use any of his governmental powers to force the employer to punish the kneelers.

    1. Yeah. Conservatives are all 'law and order" when it comes to 'those people". Otherwise, they smear the FBI.

    2. Conservatives criticize members of the FBI when those individuals fail to follow the law or fail to enforce the law. That's consistent with "law 'n order".

      Illegitimate governmental wire-tapping need not be a partisan issue. But, somehow it's been made into one. Thus loyal Dems are encouraged or tricked into defending this abuse of power.

    3. Look at the lying sack of shit, Comrade DinC claim there was "illegitimate governmental wire-tapping". As I said previously, David has his narrative now and no one or no facts will budge him off it.

      Pray tell, Comrade DinC. Who was illegally wiretapped? Carter Page? You mean the guy who bragged in 2013 in a letter that he was an advisor to the Kremlin? That guy?

    4. mm - yes, in 2013 Page provided advice to Russia on energy issues. That was no secret. What's wrong with that? Are we in a new age of McCarthyism?

    5. No, David, the FBI was doing their job. Russian spies were attempting to recruit Page. Quit throwing out these red herrings. Nobody is saying there should be no communication with Russian scientists. It goes on all the time. And the FBI routinely gives warnings and advise to scientists traveling in Russia about how the Russian intelligence try to recruit for their own counterintelligence.

      It's really curious how you have already decided and convicted career dedicated FBI agents based on no evidence other than a joke of a memo written by a guy who used to be part of Trump's transition? You have no intellectual honesty.