How many documents come in a set?

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2022

We humans, attempting to function: Decades ago, the comedy world was in a general uproar. 

At issue was the number of raisins a person might find in a scoop.

Kellogg's was promising "two scoops of raisins" in every box of Raisin Bran. That said, the company was making this explicit promise on its giant FAMILY SIZE carton—but also on its famously tiny single-serving box!

(This nearly five-pound, boxcar-sized carton was so huge that it contained two separate bags of Raisin Bran. But the Kellogg's people were alleging that it too contained "two scoops!") 

A potent philosophical debate had thereby broken out. How could every size carton of Raisin Bran contain the same two scoops? Was Kellogg's perhaps using different sized scoops? Inquiring minds needed to know.

Yesterday afternoon, a similar problem arose as the men and women of cable news tried to explain, or at least attempted to seem to be trying to explain, a new arrival on the front. On the surface, the question was this: 

How many top-secret documents come in a set? Alternately, how many top-secret documents come in a box?

That was the new basic question. Beneath the surface, the anthropological question was this:

To what extent are we human beings built for explanation?

As you know, the background to this newly-arrived rumination was and is this:

The GSA had clumsily included some top-secret documents in the packages a former president had taken to his muggy Florida nesting place, Mar-a-Lago.

The former president had no idea that the GSA had stupidly done this. Quite plainly, it wasn't the former president's fault, and certainly not on Fox.

Yesterday afternoon, a magistrate judge released an inventory of the materials the FBI removed from the former president's premises in Monday's court-authorized search. 

(This "raid" took place "in the predawn hours," though only for those who watch Fox.)

On cable, famous stars began attempting to describe the contents of  that inventory. The effort continues on the front page of today's New York Times:

HABERMAN ET AL (8/13/22): Federal agents removed top secret documents when they searched former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida residence on Monday as part of an investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act and other laws, according to a search warrant made public on Friday.

F.B.I. agents seized 11 sets of documents in all, including some marked as “classified/TS/SCI”—shorthand for “top secret/sensitive compartmented information,” according to an inventory of the materials seized in the search. Information categorized in that fashion is meant to be viewed only in a secure government facility.

[...]

In total, agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents, the inventory showed. 

The highlighted statements are technically accurate. Los federales had, in fact, seized and removed "11 sets of documents in all." 

Elsewhere, the number of documents taken has been enumerated by the "box." That said, this raised an obvious question. 

Just how many top-secret documents come in a "set" or a "box?"

Is a "set of documents" a lot of documents, or is it just a little? In fairness, there's no apparent way to answer that question at the present time, based on the inventory released by the magistrate judge.

That said, we watched hour after hour of cable "news" last night. We saw no one call attention to the imprecision of quantification surrounding this endless discussion.

Did Donald J. Trump have a very large number of top-secret documents, or did he have just a few? On our campus, this seemed like an obvious point of concern—but as is often the case on cable, this elementary factual question seemed to occur to no one.

Is a "set" of documents a lot or a little? Also, how many documents come in a "box?" Just how big are these boxes?

Sometimes as we watched cable, it even seemed to us that a smaller number of boxes had entered Trump's premises and a larger number of boxes had, over time, emerged. Still, the cable stars lumbered along, tending to group around message. 

They attempted to convict or defend the former president, depending on which channel they were on. But no one attempted to estimate the size of the unauthorized stash which cluttered the Mar-a-Lago property, though certainly not by the pool.

How many documents come in a set, or in a box?  To our ear, that was one unidentified question. A second such question was this:

What explains the chronology surrounding that visit in June?

Apparently in early June, some officials from the FBI visited Wreck-of-the-Hesperus. You can watch many hours of cable discussion without getting a clear idea of the way the chronology surrounding this visit works. 

You'll hear that the FBI officials met with lawyers for Trump. You'll hear that they later instructed agents for Trump to put a padlock on the door to a room where  materials were being stored.

You'll hear those statements again and again, then you'll hear them some more. You'll rarely hear anyone try to untangle the puzzles here, or even note the fact that such obvious puzzles exist. To wit:

Why did the FBI suggest or order the installation of the padlock?

If officials thought that top-secret materials were, or might be, in that room, why didn't they simply take such materials when they were on-site in June? If they thought they already had the relevant materials, why did they care if a padlock was placed on the room days later?

You can watch hours of cable news without hearing these puzzles identified. (To see Mick Mulvaney attempt to do so last night on CNN, you can just click here.)

Instead, you'll hear pundits on one channel wondering how long Donald J. Trump could end up being in jail. On the other channel, you'll hear screeching gargoyles angrily asking why Hillary Clinton is still on the loose. Mary Dagen McDowell of The Five, angrily come on down!

Briefly, let's be clear:

As far as we know, there is no way for cable news stars to report the actual number of documents with which the hapless GSA saddled the plainly innocent Trump.

How many documents come in a set? How many come in a box? Cable stars can't provide specific numbers. They could at least call attention to the nature of this basic, undisclosed fact.

Also this:

As far as we know, there is no way for cable stars to explain what happened in and around that visit to Casa-el-Bunko in June. In the interest of clarity, they could at least identify the unresolved points of puzzlement which seem to surround that event.

At a time like this, the various stars of cable news talk and talk and talk. On Fox, the cable stars all tell you one story. On MSNBC, you hear a different tale. 

(Under current arrangements, these segregated groups of talkers almost never meet.)

In this instance, there is one other obvious question we'd like to hear identified by various cable stars. That question goes like this:

Is it possible that Donald J. Trump was selling the chance to view these, and possibly other, top-secret documents?

Obviously, yes—it's possible! Also, we have no idea if any such thing has occurred.

That said, the FBI apparently subpoenaed Mar-a-Lago surveillance tape to let them see who entered, or possibly who had previously entered, The Room With the Shiny New Padlock (alternately, The Room For a View). Our basic question would be this:

How many "wine stewards" at Mar-a-Lago are newly arrived from some hostile  power? Could that explain why they kept going in and out of that room?

With that, we return to the day's basic questions:

How many raisins come in a scoop? Also, how many top-secret documents come in a set or a box?

We've spoken to major experts concerning these unresolved questions. Concerning the documents, the consensus is this:

Question: How many documents come in a set?

Answer: Quite likely, a genuine shitload!

Next week: The human cognition files, starting with George Will's column

136 comments:

  1. "A potent philosophical debate had thereby broken out. How could every size carton of Raisin Bran contain the same two scoops? "

    There has always been room allowed for hyperbole in advertising and marketing, as long as it doesn't constitute outright fraud.

    This is a juvenile attempt to equate Kellogg's hype with a serious matter of violation of the Espionage Act, in which it doesn't matter if one or many documents were mishandled for purposes of lawbreaking and prosecution. One is as bad as many and Trump's actions clearly show the intent to steal, not an accidental failure to return a single work document.

    Fatuousity at its worst on Somerby's part. Now he has stooped to defending traitorous acts by our former president. Somerby should perhaps have stuck to counting raisins because his argument today reveals him to have no love of country whatsoever.

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    1. Yeah, the Raisin Brand thing is certainly Maddowesque.

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    2. It's an attempt to equate Kellogg's hype with the media's attempted description of a serious matter of an allegation of violation of the Espionage Act. FTFY

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    3. "Serious matter." That's hilarious. No one thinks that about this latest FBI/Democrat debacle.

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    4. Anonymouse 5:27pm, let me help you out here.

      It’s an illustration of the point that the media finds itself no more accountable for informing us of how many docs are in a packet, than Kellogg’s desires to quantify their “scoop”.

      It’s maddowesque in that it’s tedious and superfluous for everyone but anonymices.

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    5. "“Two high-ranking House members are asking for a national security damage assessment of the documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago, according to a letter sent to the Director of National Intelligence on Saturday,” Axios reports."

      Documents are classified for a reason.

      "On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair."

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    6. Gloating over Trump's potential espionage is exceptionally stupid Cecelia.

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    7. @6:29:
      It’s a ridiculous complaint from Somerby.

      Reality Winner is serving 5 years in jail for leaking a single classified document.

      The mar-a-lago warrant lists 11 boxes containing documents marked classified or secret. That’s documents with an ‘s’, so that’s at least 22. The media cannot know the specific number of documents because that number isn’t listed in the warrant.

      This is in no way analogous to Kellogg’s raisin scoops. That is Somerby being ridiculous.

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  2. "The GSA had clumsily included some top-secret documents in the packages a former president had taken to his muggy Florida nesting place, Mar-a-Lago.

    The former president had no idea that the GSA had stupidly done this. Quite plainly, it wasn't the former president's fault, and certainly not on Fox."

    What is wrong with this argument? Does Somerby really not know? Or does he not want to tell his readers?

    At the request of the government, Trump returned 15 boxes of documents back in February. The government took inventory and found that classified documents were still missing and requested them from Trump. Trump has been insisting that he did not have them, claiming to have returned all taken documents. The government subpoenaed the missing documents and Trump refused to supply them. That is when the warrant was issued, the raid happened and the "missing" documents were retrieved. If this were all a big mistake on Trump's part, he would clearly have returned the documents when requested. He did not do that, showing that he intended to keep them. This is a clear violation of the Espionage Act, a deliberate choice by Trump, not some big mistake by clueless staff.

    The number of documents retrieved is entirely irrelevant, as long as it is greater than none. It also does not matter whether the documents were classified or not.

    If Somerby were not mendaciously defending Trump, he would not raise specious arguments intended to confuse his readers, as he has done today. It has been obvious that Somerby has been defending Trump by spreading conservative talking points, but today's argument should leave no doubt about Somerby's intentions.

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    1. From Political Wire:

      "“At least one lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a written statement in June asserting that all material marked as classified and held in boxes in a storage area at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club had been returned to the government,” the New York Times reports.

      “The written declaration was made after a visit on June 3 to Mar-a-Lago by Jay I. Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the Justice Department’s national security division.”

      “The existence of the signed declaration, which has not previously been reported, is a possible indication that Mr. Trump or his team were not fully forthcoming with federal investigators about the material.”

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    2. "possible indication"

      You idiots will never learn how to read news stories.

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    3. After everything Somerby has tried to teach you idiots, you will never learn.

      Remember when you were 100% certain Stormy Daniels was going to take down Trump?

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    4. Trump is taking down Trump, and it is about time. Stormy was a victim not a perp. None of us expected a pussy-grabber to be treated like a sleaze once the right made it clear they didn’t care what he did to women.

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    5. Don't forget the left supported Hillary Clinton, a decades long enabler of a serial sexual harasser and exploiter of women.

      But, "possible indication"? You're a flat out idiot as you prove every day.

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    6. The only way that Hillary Clinton was ever in a position to run for president in the first place was her immoral and sleazy enabling of a serial philanderer and exploiter of women and the part she took in demonizing and publicly shaming his victims. She would never be anywhere close to the presidency without riding the coattails of her husband and supporting his anti-feminist behavior.

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    7. "...his anti-feminist behavior."

      Meh. In reality, when liberal tribe's superstars -- Demigod Bubba, Brandon, Saint Ted Kennedy, etc. -- rape and drown women, that's the highest manifestation of their feminist behavior. Expression of love and care.

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    8. Think of how many pussies Bill Clinton must have grabbed. It must t be in the thousands. And of course his hypocritical wife turned a blind eye to all of it except when it became public and she had to take part in ruining his victims lives.

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    9. Clinton may not have had time to deal with her husband's sexual harassment victims, what with being busy with other stuff like being under sniper fire in Bosnia and all.

      Oh wait. She lied about that.

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    10. "Think of how many pussies Bill Clinton must have grabbed"

      Meh. If history teaches us anything, it's that Demigod Bubba is not really interested in pussies. He's into 'kiss it, bitch.'

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    11. Earth to Mao -- neither Clinton is running for any office these days. That makes the lies you tell about them just a waste of your time.

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    12. Now that Ivanka has ratted out the old man to the FBI, the odds of Donald J. Trump getting to fuck her have dropped lower than the unemployment rate.

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    13. Neither is Trump. And that is all you boringly blather about, loser.

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    14. I'll bet that if Bill Clinton had realized that his actions would provide the excuse and justification for future Republican malfeasance in office, for the rest of eternity, he might have said "no" to Monica. Even so, his confessed dalliance doesn't rise to Cawthorn-style misbehavior, much less Gaetz's.

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  3. "You'll rarely hear anyone try to untangle the puzzles here, or even note the fact that such obvious puzzles exist."

    Meh. Sometimes we do hear people untangling puzzles, dear Bob. To wit, the famous 51 former 'intelligence' officials!

    ...consequently, dear Bob, until we receive a letter properly signed by 51 former 'intelligence' officials, we will remain somewhat skeptical of the reports that The Commander is hiding Russian ballistic nuclear missile inside his toilet...

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    1. The most important quantitative quandary is how tall each of the FBI agents was who carried those many boxes. I've rarely heard anyone attempt to grapple with that obvious puzzle either. Not even Mao.

      For those who are confused, the charge of destroying records that are required to be retained refers to Trump flushing his own notes down the toilet, in order to conceal the operation of the presidency, information that belongs to the people, not Trump.

      Mao can joke about ballistic missles, but it is a serious matter if our president has been selling (or giving away, in exchange for election help) national secrets material to the national security of our country.

      It is nice of Russia to send so many trolls to help Somerby defend Trump's public image this way. Now they are even offering Trump asylum in Moscow. Why would a foreign adversary do that? Has Somerby ever bothered to wonder?

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    2. I need verification from the experts that identified Hunter's laptop as likely Russian misinformation and were found guilty of altering FISA applications. Until then I will do what everyone else is doing, laugh at the latest bumbling Democrat power abuse.

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    3. You do that. Reality doesn't care whether you believe in it or not.

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    4. 5:45,
      Yes. That, and not the bigotry you crave and the Dems won’t give you gas nothing to do with it. LOL

      Delete
  4. "Did Donald J. Trump have a very large number of top-secret documents, or did he have just a few? "

    What matters when it comes to secret documents is not the number or the size of boxes, but the impact of the information revealed on serious matters of national security. That depends on what the documents say, not how many words are involved on how many pages.

    Can Somerby really be this stupid?

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  5. "ou'll hear that the FBI officials met with lawyers for Trump. You'll hear that they later instructed agents for Trump to put a padlock on the door to a room where materials were being stored.

    You'll hear those statements again and again, then you'll hear them some more. You'll rarely hear anyone try to untangle the puzzles here, or even note the fact that such obvious puzzles exist."

    This is a lie. This has been reported many places, primarily on news sites and liberal blogs. You won't hear this discussed on the right, but why would any serious person watch right wing sources and expect to hear news?

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  6. "If officials thought that top-secret materials were, or might be, in that room, why didn't they simply take such materials when they were on-site in June? "

    The answer to this question is obvious. The agents needed to engage in due process to transfer the documents (which Trump was refusing to provide) to their own custody. That is what occurred when they sought the warrant. The padlock was to ensure that no one accessed the documents in the meantime. The documents should have been stored under secure conditions (including padlocks) during the entire time they were at Mar-a-Lago, because there are rules for handling classified documents. Trump didn't do that. Seeking a search warrant was the next step in removing the documents from Trump's residence, given that Trump was refusing to transfer them voluntarily.

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    1. Thank you. That's almost certainly the answer to Somerby's question, but I hadn't heard or read about it before now. (And of course the documents should never have been at Mar-a-Lago in the first place.)

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    2. It may also be that once the DOJ employees realized there were still documents there, those documents constituted evidence of a potential crime. Those particular employees may not have been authorized to remove such evidence in a way that would protect the chain of evidence for a future trial based on such crimes. Note that the warrant specifically mentions several potential crimes which are the basis for issuing the warrant and seizing the documents, not as classified material that belongs elsewhere but as evidence of the commission of a crime involving the handling of those documents or other violations of the Espionage Act (including espionage). If the DOJ staff had simply taken them, how might Trump's behavior have been prosecuted in light of claims that the documents were never there, were planted by the DOJ staff, were a fabrication of political enemies within the DOJ etc.? The FBI exists for law enforcement purposes, not DOJ lawyers and other staff negotiating for the return of documents.

      This is a complicated situation in which both Trump's rights and the rights of the American people require protection.

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  7. It is sad to say, Somerby has lost his mind.

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  8. "who had previously entered, The Room With the Shiny New Padlock (alternately, The Room For a View)."

    This is obviously just a big joke to Somerby. Trump may have compromised our national security beyond his obvious collusion with the Russians, ha ha ha ha ha!!! What a funny guy that Trump is! What a great opportunity for trying out shiny new puns and misplaced literary allusions. Isn't that Somerby a clever guy! Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Oh, the Russians and Saudis are acquiring US nuclear technology out the Mar-a-Lago back door -- isn't that a hoot! Ha ha ha ha.

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  9. How many top secret documents are normally found in the material taken home by an ex-president? Trump claimed that Obama has a large number of them. Is that true?

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    1. No, it is a Trump lie.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/12/us/politics/obama-national-archives.html

      "Seeking to deflect attention from reports that the classified documents he had kept in his Florida home might have contained materials related to nuclear weapons, former President Donald J. Trump claimed on Friday that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had done the same thing.

      “President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”

      But the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA, which preserves and maintains records after a president leaves office, confirmed on Friday afternoon that Mr. Obama had turned over his documents — classified and unclassified — as required under the Presidential Records Act of 1978."

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    2. Clearly David has no access to media outside of this blog (and Fox) or he could have very easily looked informed himself.

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    3. Trump claimed that Obama has a large number of them. Is that true?

      Of course it's true, David, why do you ask? Has Donald J Chickenshit ever given you a reason to doubt his veracity?

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  10. "How many "wine stewards" at Mar-a-Lago are newly arrived from some hostile power? Could that explain why they kept going in and out of that room?"

    The documents were described as being held in a basement of a building adjacent to the pool, not in a wine cellar. But Somerby's attitude here is clear.

    But there is this news report:

    "A woman carrying two passports from the People's Republic of China, four cellphones, and a thumb drive containing “malicious malware” managed to skirt multiple layers of security at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Florida."

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/woman-taiwanese-passports-arrested-mar-lago-cell-phones/story?id=62122480

    There is no evidence Trump cared about security at Mar a Lago or anywhere else, much less that he took precautions to protect sensitive information anywhere, including in the Oval Office. That is Trump's failure, not an indication that national security is unimportant or that there was no possibility of spying on Trump while he was at Mar a Lago conducting national business at the banquet table, with waiters and guests overhearing.

    Now Trump's chickens are coming home to roost. It is about time, and we can only speculate on the damage he did to national security. But it is a good thing that Garland is putting a stop to it finally.

    Somerby should be applauding this action, not mocking it (along with his fellow Republicans).

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  11. "How many "wine stewards" at Mar-a-Lago are newly arrived from some hostile power? Could that explain why they kept going in and out of that room?"

    Back when Trump first ran for office, there were reports that he was hiring immigrants and undocumented workers at Mar a Lago and his golf courses. This was to demonstrate the hypocrisy of his immigration policies, but it also demonstrates that there were foreign workers at his properties, so this is not as farfetched a concern as Somerby suggests in his joke.

    Even if such workers had security clearances, they would not have the "need to know" also required to view such documents, no matter where stored. Even the president requires the "need to know," which is why Trump should not have had access to them after leaving office.

    But Somerby treats this like a joke when it is very serious.

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    1. Anonymouse 12:22pm, what indication is there that Somerby is joking about Trump selling the contents of top secret documents?

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    2. Somerby has not taken this situation seriously at any point.

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    3. I’ll take that as “no indication” that he was joking.

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    4. He is obviously not taking this seriously because he is asking how many documents were found, when that is as irrelevant as raisins in cereal. He is ignoring the damage done by letting spies put hands on national secrets. It should be obvious even to a moron like you that he is minimizing and trivializing, as ordered by the right’s Kremlin boss.

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    5. Anonymouse 11:17pm, you’re obviously clinically insane, but even so should understand that it’s a relevant complaint to make that the media has not attempted to inform the public (or evidently itself) how many documents are in question here. Let alone their secrecy level.

      Addressing that doesn’t help the Kremlin. It doesn’t obscure the issue since the magnitude of any possible crime would be more than salient.

      Somerby writes - “As you know, the background to this newly-arrived rumination was and is this:

      The GSA had clumsily included some top-secret documents in the packages a former president had taken to his muggy Florida nesting place, Mar-a-Lago.

      The former president had no idea that the GSA had stupidly done this. Quite plainly, it wasn't the former president's fault, and certainly not on Fox.”

      You don’t get how the details matter if the public is going to be informed enough to realistically discuss and counter misinformation?

      Yeah, we all know you’re not here to talk about anything other than “Somerby sucks”. Any specifics as to the topic are irrelevant because you aren’t getting paid for that. You’ll make the usual proclamations and then make a beeline back to The Problem Of Bob.

      Your the one with the hidden agenda and your task isn’t to shed light on anything, its solely to smear TDH and cash checks.

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    6. Details matter, if they’re true. Somerby doesn’t cite any source for this claim that GSA included top-secret documents unbeknownst to innocent Trump.

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    7. And another thing: the media has no way of knowing exactly how many secret documents were retrieved. Aside from the fact that chiding them for that is unwarranted, it is also irrelevant. As I mentioned above, the number must be at least 22.I notice you didn’t have a comeback for that.

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    8. It’s not Somerby’s claim, mh. It’s a defense that has already made the rounds on tv and social media.

      That’s just one of the reasons that Somerby thinks it’s important to know the number of documents involved.

      The media may not be able to learn the exact number of docs Trump had, but they could find people who do know the ballpark number of a “packet” or know if “number of docs” is what designates a packet in the first place.

      It’s astounding to me that you hate some internet blogger more than you champion the idea that accuracy matters and it really does matter if Trump broke the law by having ONE classified document (that he claims to have declassified) or having 20,000.

      An argument that dismisses the potential for disinformation or waves away the magnitude of a crime committed means you don’t really care about getting an accurate picture if what happened.

      Accidents don’t happen with 20,000 docs. It matters. And you know that you do care. But ghat ain’t Job One for you here.

      I feel sorry that going after Bob Somerby means this much to you.

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    9. It’s a defense that has already made the rounds on tv and social media.

      Right, the GSA accidently "clumsily included some top-secret documents", which weren't at MAL until the rogue FBI planted the documents, which he actually took home to work on and had a standing order that they were automatically declassified every time he went to play golf at his resort, and they weren't really there per his lawyer's signed declaration. Nothing to see here folks, move along now.

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    10. So anonymices can see why details matter.

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    11. This detail matters to our national security, but matters not at all to the public because any number of documents stolen by the former president is unacceptable, inexcusable, potentially corrupt and definitely illegal. WE do not need to know how many documents are in a set. In fact, revealing the exact number may conceivably compromise national security too. Details are part of what is classified in such documents. So, demanding that irrelevant details be published may undermine security, aside from being inappropriate and irrelevant to us.

      Cecelia, you have an odd fixation on irrelevancies while having shown no concern whatsoever about national security. Just like Somerby, because you are mimicking him. But Somerby himself does not care about harm done to our country -- just about bashing the press over something that does not matter in this situation -- to voters, to those who suffered under a president who cannot and does not read and yet stole a shitload of classified documents and now cannot account for his actions.

      You have nothing to say about anonymous commenters here because you have no idea what you are talking about.

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    12. Cecelia,
      The media should explain that Right-wing complaints about Hillary’s email protocols, were always just part of the “Every Right-wing accusation is a confession” dictum.

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    13. Anonymouse 9:49am, my ‘fixations’ are irrelevant to you because you see the world in terms of wonderful people like yourself, who all think the same (and damn well better…) vs terrible people like me, who all think the same.

      You don’t know or care that there are people in between who will be swayed by false arguments, so getting out such trivial…details, such as the length and breath of what could constitute a capital crime, shouldn’t matter to anyone, because you say so.

      THAT, and most significantly, it shouldn’t matter because Bob argued that it does.


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    14. "You don’t know or care that there are people in between who will be swayed by false arguments"

      This is exactly the reason I have repeatedly cited for addressing Somerby's disinformation campaign here at this blog. For you to reach this conclusion, that I don't care about false arguments, is ridiculous and demonstrates your own bad faith here as a commenter. You really should read what people write before responding to it.

      Somerby never asked, nor did he hint, that the number of documents stolen might affect Trump's ultimate sentencing. You are making that up. Nor does it make any sense that it would. It is the damage done to the nation that affects sentencing, not the total number of pages, the total number of documents in a set, nor the total number of sets taken. It is Trump's deliberate attempt to mislead the DOJ when it tried to recover the documents that will matter, not how many pages are in a document. And, as mh pointed out, others have gotten 5 years for a single document. No one is seriously arguing that Trump took only one document, nor only one box of documents. In fact, no one is arguing about how many documents were missing at all. Trump's theft is not in dispute.

      You may get away with this crap over at your conservative blogs, but your nonsense is just a distraction here -- one that makes you and all those other Republicans (and some Democrats?) you claim to speak for -- look incredibly ridiculous.

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    15. I have yet to see any Republican express concern about our national security and what Trump may have been doing with those documents.

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    16. Anonymouse 11:28am, I said NOTHING about criminal sentencing.

      I said that Somerby prefaced his concern about what number of docs constitute a packet upon the notion (already put out in the public) that the GSA had inadvertently sent Trump uber sensitive docs, that he had not requested while in the WH or at MAL.

      Go back and read Bob’s remarks and see that he is not advocating that argument, he’s asking that media to trouble itself with reporting salient details (How many papers in a packet? Ten or 210?) so as to dispel any erroneous notions or arguments out there.

      That should be ok with you even though it was suggested by Bob.

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    17. "Yesterday afternoon, a similar problem arose as the men and women of cable news tried to explain, or at least attempted to seem to be trying to explain, a new arrival on the front. On the surface, the question was this:

      How many top-secret documents come in a set? Alternately, how many top-secret documents come in a box?"

      Then he suggested that we humans cannot explain things well.

      I said that the number of documents in a box is irrelevant, changes nothing about the crime Trump is suspected of committing, based on the warrant.

      You say "he's asking that media to trouble itself with reporting salient details... to dispel any erroneous notions or arguments out there."

      Well, Somerby isn't in the business of dispelling erroneous notions or arguments, and YOU are the one who says that the number of pages is a "salient detail". It isn't. The word salient means "important". That number is not important at all. It doesn't matter, which was my point in responding to Somerby. That's perhaps why the press didn't fixate on it, as you and Somerby are doing. It has nothing to do with what Trump is accused of, says nothing about the seriousness of any crime, has no bearing on his guilt or on the laws about handling classified documents. It is irrelevant.

      Cecraplia, you cannot get Somerby off the hook here. He trivialized Trump's potential crime by equating it with raisins in cereal boxes, and then further trivialized it by demanding that the press cover a spurious detail that makes no difference to anything. And he omitted any concern for the impact of Trump's behavior on national security, unlike most liberals who have discussed this matter. Somerby wrote an essay that makes a mockery of security concerns and tried to blame the press for not fixating on the same irrelevancies as he did. It isn't clever. It isn't funny. It isn't correct or accurate or even well-reasoned. It was a dismissive essay that derides national security concerns, much as Trump himself and the Republicans have been doing.

      It will not be a sufficient defense to keep Trump from going to jail, where he belongs.

      Cecraplia, you do not read well and you do not think well, and you are the last person who should be accusing other people of your own flaws.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  13. Somerby nevers asks what the proper ratio between raisins and corn flakes should be, just as he never asks how much damage the mishandling of those documents has done to our national security.

    It is just a joke to him.

    ReplyDelete
  14. While Somerby is engaging in sophistry:

    "Right-wing commentator and youth organizer Charlie Kirk appeared Thursday on “The Eric Metaxas Show,” where he called on Republican state attorneys general to launch raids on hundreds of liberal organizations without legal justification in retaliation for the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this week.

    Kirk, the Christian nationalist founder of Turning Point USA, declared that GOP attorneys general don’t even need to bother providing a legal pretext or worry about actually arresting people because the raids are simply political payback to show Democrats that “there’s a price” for daring to investigate Trump."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: youth organizer
      I'm told "groomer" is the current nomenclature.

      Delete
    2. “ "Right-wing commentator and youth organizer Charlie Kirk appeared Thursday on “The Eric Metaxas Show,” where he called on Republican state attorneys general to launch raids on hundreds of liberals…”

      I just found the video of that and Kirk explicitly says they should be legally justifiable raids. He gives the example of BLM money laundering and Mark Elias (Kirk doesn’t seem to glean that he’s telling Republicans to act more like Mark Elias).

      It’s the Chicago way, or something.

      It’s not good advice, but you should bother to know what he actually said.

      Delete
    3. Taking the words of liars, like Kirk, at face value is a sure sign of a shitty media.

      Delete
    4. Please quote where Kirk says these raids should be done with legal warrants, Cecelia. If you cannot do that, you are just making things up.

      Delete
    5. Aside from the fact that, warrant or no warrant, using the authority of the government to target political enemies is an abuse of power. Selective prosecution is also illegal.

      Republicans demonstrate time and again that they have no sense of what is ethical, legal or moral in most situations -- only of what gets them their way and supports their accumulation of power. Cecelia is right in there with them on that.

      Delete
    6. Here’s the video of Kirk.

      mediamatters.org/charlie-kirk/c…

      Delete
    7. https://www.mediamatters.org/charlie-kirk/charlie-kirk-says-republican-attorneys-general-must-immediately-raid-likes-black-lives

      Delete
    8. Anonymouse 10:14am, ostensibly judges decide the validity of warrants, but granted- judges…magistrates… can make mistakes or act with bias as well (where have we heard this argument recently?…)

      Kirk’ stressed getting tough lawfully in politically charged situations and in the way that democrats do.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
    9. You still haven't cited anything showing that your version of Kirk's speech is more valid than the reporter who covered it. Were you there?

      These are lawful organizations who have not committed any crimes that would provide sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant. These many attorney generals could not mount the campaign Kirk suggests without massive law-breaking, which HAS NOT occurred. Simply being a political opponent of the right is not a crime and could not be the basis for a warrant.

      Your attempt to revise Kirk's statements is noted, but even if he said lawfully obtained warrants, he is claiming that the majority of left wing organizations are criminal operations, or such warrants could not be lawful, and that is as ridiculous a statement as his urging AGs to go after such organizations without warrants.

      You don't seem to even think about what you are saying here Cecrumblia, Cecrapia, or whatever your name is.

      Delete
    10. Here is what you cited:

      "And they might say, Well, Charlie, we must follow the rule of law. I totally agree. It must be lawful. It must be warranted. But you must have the courage to do this.

      I am no longer going to tolerate a Republican attorney generals sitting on their hands while the Democrats commit these crimes. Forget the FBI. Okay, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We got to hold them accountable, dismantle, defund the FBI, put them all in prison."

      According to Kirk, it is illegal to be George Soros. It is illegal to be a Democrat. It is illegal to contribute to the election campaigns of Democratic Attorneys General.

      Because he has cited nothing that is a crime, and he has urged Republican AGs to engage in this behavior, he seems to be urging politicization of our legal system, which is itself criminal behavior, illegal in our country. Those AGs would need to put something more on the application for the warrant than simply "He is a Democrat and he funds people we don't like running against" or "They are trying to call for change we Republicans don't like" or even "They are trying to support women's health needs, including such things as pap smears to prevent cancer and gynecological exams." None of that stuff is illegal, you idiot.

      Delete
    11. Well to be fair, Kirk does say, "Get a little creative Republican attorney generals".

      Cause that's why we have AGs, to spend their time coming up with creative pretexts to harass the Democratic Party.

      Delete
    12. Here is what Kirk and Metaxis said:

      "“Raids must be met with raids,” Kirk declared. “State attorney generals that are Republican have to authorize raids against Soros groups, BLM, Planned Parenthood, the alphabet mafia, groomers, the chemical castration of children now! Here’s why—a hundred facilities should be raided by next week. Find them. You try to tell me there’s not 100 criminal organizations that are aiding and abetting people across the southern border? La Raza; we know them, they publicized it. I’m not saying you have to arrest them. Just raid them. Find out what you find. Why? That will all of a sudden make [liberal groups] and their internal chatters—’Guys, you were so stupid. You raided Trump, now they’re coming after us.’ Good! Now you know there’s a price to this.”

      Metaxas, a Trump sycophant and adamant election conspiracy theorist, loved the idea, declaring that “true leadership” means doing radical things like carrying raids without any legal pretext, adding that such leaders will be judged favorably by history and by God."

      That cannot be construed as obtaining legitimate warrants and enforcing the law, as the DOJ has done with Trump (who demonstrably and provably has broken several laws with his mishandling of these classified documents).

      Delete
    13. Kirk is simply repeating what the current republican party's platform is for the coming elections. Revenge - vindictive, petty, malicious retaliatory revenge. The minority leader in the House has explicitly threatened the AG. Every day republican congressmen and Senators are explicitly vowing to use their power if given control to take their revenge on the democratic party. This is the platform they are presenting to the American people. Let's see how if works.

      Delete
    14. Anonymices, I didn’t put words in Kirk’s mouth, I linked to Kirk, on video, saying what he actually said.

      He did not advise that AGs act illegally, he advised them to do things lawfully, but to start getting as tough as Dems are on politically charged crimes.

      Is Kirk an attorney? No. Do his remarks rise to the level of sound and realistic legal advice? Probably just short…

      However, he did not advocate that anyone do anything illegal. He said the opposite. That deserves being noted and would be no matter his politics. Especially, when he’s accused of explicitly advocating lawlessness.

      Get some freaking perspective.

      Delete
    15. Cecrapia, it is not legal to use the AGs office to harass organizations for political purposes. That is what Kirk advocated. There is no “perspective” that makes that less of an abuse of power.

      Delete
  15. Hey, Bob, have you considered that although the actual search of the premises may have started at 9am, it would have taken several hours of organizing the redirection of traffic around the vicinity and within the compound. That could well have involved local and state law enforcement. And that would have come after the logistics of gathering involved parties together after arrival.

    The effort would have also included time taken in clearing and securing the area to be searched.

    Thus the dawn footage seen on Fox (and elsewhere) in the coverage of the search.

    These legistics are little more complex than the ones involving waltzing spies with microfilm and sommelier uniforms through a room as you sell out your country to foreign powers.

    Just FYI.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Somerby finally lays to rest the idea that he isn't a Conservative.
    His support for treason against the United States of America makes him squarely a Right-winger.
    Case closed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although gaslighting is a strong impulse with anonymices, it’s decidedly not their forte.

      Their attempts would make great comedy routines, however.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha ha ha, the theft of classified documents that were mishandled and possibly shared with enemies of our nation is just hilarious!!! You are such a funny person Cecelia. You and Somerby can find humor in even the most serious events, such as children being shot in Parkland or Sandy Hook or lots of people dying because of covid, and now you see the comedy in this threat to our national security!!! It takes a truly great comedic mind to find such things funny, but you Republicans just nail it every time! Ha ha ha ha ha.

      Delete
    3. Trump’s crimes have nothing to do with bigotry and white supremacy, so the Right couldn’t care less about it.

      Delete
  17. This might be a game changer. Even the media is starting to turn against Trump.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Spectacular backfiring in this abuse of power. Even Democrats recognize it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Execution of a legally obtained search warrant is not an abuse of power.

      Delete
    2. Take a bow, if you always knew it was the Right who wanted to defund the police.

      Delete
  19. From Daily Kos, this is why we should be worrying about what Trump did:

    "The buck stops with Trump but there is something bigger and scarier than Trump stole documents. There was IMO a deep evil effort which may have gone on for years to destroy this country. I am not referring to deep state either. ( That is stupid right wing talking points). I am referring to a treasonous bunch who cohorted this whole espionage gathering to take America down.

    I want to know who packed the docs. I want to know who gave Trump the docs to be examined and held and unsecured. Trump does not read I hear nor comprehends so who or what entity is behind the boxes of classified info at Maralago? Do you remember when it was reported that he was not interested in the intel briefings? Do you remember when he questioned why the US couldn’t use nukes? He really thought we had nukes to use at our will. The man is a moron. He couldn’t even find the light switches when moving into the White House. He is guilty IMO of almost anything but to put together this kind of breach took some brains and physical maneuvering which we know he is lazy as crap. Was it Putin? Iran? Kim? Who was talking to these people through backchannels including Trump but not Trump alone. I am real concerned of what the DOJ really knows about this situation . We all should be. Trump cares about his ego and money and that is it. Trump does want to destroy the country and was all in but I cannot convince myself, he acted alone.

    There is something very sinister about those documents ending up at Maralago. I mean, his cohorts like Miller, Bannon, Stone , Flynn, Manafort and God knows who else put the dollar signs in his eyes and ears and someone came up with the idea how he could make a buck by selling out this country’s secrets. He is not smart enough to even understand what was in those docs in my opinion. I am quite sure the DOJ knows things right now that would terrify us more than we are. Trump is a mobster and a traitor but too stupid to understand secrets of a government . Jared is not stupid. Flynn is not stupid. I believe Flynn is in deep with this stuff. Trump would sell his minor son for a buck and how many republicans know about this group and standing behind Trump afraid to cross him. This is just my opinion. Trump got caught with his hand in the cookie jar but there are other hands in that same jar.

    I trust the FBI to look into every nook and cranny to seek out who else is involved. We know very little about how bad this is, IMO."

    ReplyDelete
  20. Raisins and flakes are mixed together in a very large vat before they are poured into different sized boxes. The proportions are the same regardless of eventual box size. There is no mystery about this, and at some box size there really are two scoops of raisins in a box of flakes (give or take) since it is probably done by weight.

    This kind of thing may have amused his comedy audiences ince upon a time, but it is offensive to suggest something so trivial is relevant to Trump’s shocking crime.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Here is the warrant, that the reviled media has shared with us, the hapless public:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/12/read-the-unsealed-doj-documents-underpinning-search-of-trumps-mar-a-lago-00051524

    This is all the justice department has shared. This is all anyone knows at this time.

    The boxes are labeled (for example) “10 - Box labeled A-15.” The next line says “10A - miscellaneous secret documents.” It isn’t clear if Box A-15 contains only secret documents, but it does contain some. That is why using the term “sets” of secret/classified documents is the most precise phrasing. There are 11 such mentions of secret/classified.

    ReplyDelete
  22. “One of former President Donald Trump's attorneys signed a letter in June asserting that there was no more classified information stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, according to two sources familiar with the matter.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/13/politics/trump-attorney-classified-documents-mar-a-lago-search/index.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't make a lick of sense

      Delete
  23. Here are the kinds of questions that a rational, serious person would ask about what Trump did with those documents:

    https://www.nationalmemo.com/mar-a-lago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A rational multi-millionaire Democratic operative.

      If you see something by written by Sydney Blumenthal, you would never view it through an objective lens. You view it as propaganda, which is what it is. You view it as what entrenched Democratic power wants you to think.

      You idiots will never learn. It's incredible.

      Delete
    2. Also, any time you hear a Right-winger, view it through the lens that they only care about bigotry and white supremacy.

      Delete
    3. @10:09 If you looked at the article, it is a set of questions about Trump's actions, not suggested answers to them. The public has the right to hear answers to questions like these, not the silliness Somerby poses here.

      Delete
    4. Being a millionaire or even a multi-millionaire doesn't mean a person cannot ask question or express opinions. They are citizens along with the rest of us who have less money. But isn't there a kind of hypocrisy to saying that a multi-millionaire can say nothing believable whereas a supposed billionaire is electable as president? Trump is respectable because of his money, but Blumenthal is not? Or is this the famous right-wing double standard?

      Delete
    5. No one said that the multimillionaire Democratic operative can't ask questions. The point is you filter the questions understanding that they are biased towards existing entrenched power structures who are happy to lie and happy to fool the people who support them and these are the same power structures who have an interest in taking Trump out and also the same power structures who invented stories about Trump and Russia in late June of 2016 that they knew were false. Some might say "check your wallet".

      Delete
    6. No one is lying about Trump having stolen those classified documents. There is video showing it. The questions are all about what he did with them.

      Why would a president who doesn't read and who avoids intelligence briefings steal a lot of highly classified documents if he weren't given a shopping list by one of the his foreign benefactors?

      How long can Republicans keep believing Trump when the evidence contradicts him? @11:57 is confused about whose wallet has been picked.

      Delete
    7. 11:57: Wrong. The questions are the questions. Syd Blumenthal is a distinguished journalist and historian as well as a former political operative. You cannot simply dismiss his questions as "propaganda". That would be "cancel culture".

      Delete
    8. "Why would a president who doesn't read and who avoids intelligence briefings steal a lot of highly classified documents if he weren't given a shopping list by one of the his foreign benefactors?"

      Well, there are about approximately hundreds of thousands of other reasons why besides the one you gave. And it's not even clear the documents are stolen. So that's why you're an idiot.

      Delete
    9. They may be completely reasonable questions. You just have to understand they're coming from a Democratic operative. So there's most likely another set of completely reasonable questions that they left out. That'a all How many times are you going to be fooled? From Stormy Daniels to Russia to blah blah blah. It's like you never learn. To you all of a sudden a laundry list of secret documents has already been sold and is awaiting delivery. It couldn't be more naive.

      Delete
    10. Democratic operative = Democrat

      Blumenthal was an aide to Bill Clinton and worked at the Clinton Foundation. He was also a journalist who wrote about politics and foreign policy. That doesn't make him a propagandist. It makes him someone with an inside view of Democratic politics and considerable expertise on the subjects he wrote about, which encompass this situation with possible foreign exposure of classified materials by our former president.

      Please list some of the questions you think Blumenthal left out. You can skip ones about whether documents were planted at Mar a Lago, since we all know that isn't true.

      And if you think it isn't clear the documents were stolen (they are in the right hands now), then you are the idiot. Being president doesn't make Trump above the law. He still had to respect security classifications on top secret documents and not store them in his pool house basement, and not lie about whether he had returned them to the archives where they belong.

      But I notice you didn't even guess about why a guy who doesn't read needs ANY classified documents by his pool. And you call me naive!

      Delete
    11. If you think I'm a naive idiot, great. I don't care.

      Delete
    12. The record speaks for itself. Years ago you were lecturing the world about how Stormy Daniels is going to take down Trump.

      Delete
    13. Who ever said that?

      Delete
  24. None of this will affect the Right’s love for Trump’s bigotry.
    The media should report it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Trump was saying “I’m Reality Winner” not “In reality, I’m a winner.”

    ReplyDelete
  26. Expect Bob to go further off the deep end, now that the media is starting to turn against Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby reflects the conservative talking points. They are going off the deep end. Somerby just does it a bit more creatively, but he is singing the same hymns.

      Delete
    2. TDH is a true liberal - you two aren't

      Delete
  27. Pissy little Merrick Garland is bitter just like Hillary. Meanwhile the witch hunt has made a mockery of what was left of the FBI's credibility. Republicans are grateful for this boost motivating their voters going into November but they won't say so. Trump will be the Republican nominee in '24 or the kingmaker, depending on which he chooses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pissy little Merrick Garland didn't write the Espionage Act -- Trump did that. The FBI was following the orders of a grand jury convened by the DOJ after Trump's lawyers lied about returning classified documents.

      Republicans are edging away from Trump, finally having encountered a bridge too far. On top of what they learned during the 1/6 hearings, some are reconsidering their devotion to Dear Leader. If Trump is the 2024 nominee, Republicans are going down hard.

      Delete
    2. pissy? little?

      Is that any way to talk about a respected cabinet official? This is the language of propagandists.

      Delete
  28. "How many documents come in a set?"

    The most important question we need to be asking is: "How many spies and traitors does it take to steal and sell a set of documents?"

    Trump's behavior is like the shoplifter who is caught on surveillance video, who denies everything, then claims he already prepaid for everything he might have stolen, then asks all his friends to converge on the store and steal as much as they can, to teach that store a lesson. He WILL be hauled off to jail, kicking and screaming perhaps, but he will go. Because they have him on video, and his lawyers signed a document saying they had returned the materials when they hadn't, and then they are shown moving the documents, as if they could get away doing whatever they want with our nation's secrets. The nerve of that guy! Crooks that brazen will hang themselves, as Trump has now done.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I for one enjoy Bob's humor. This is an extremely obscure, personal blog of little influence. If it were a major influence on the national dialog you guys might have a point about it making light of an extremely serious situation. If the NY Times or WaPo were making these kinds of jokes, for example, it would be a little disturbing. But to hold a blog like this to the same standard of seriousness as a major news source is just silly. Makes you sound like the church lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This argument is along the lines of anything goes for comedians because no subject should be taboo when people are just joking. Standups have tried joking about The Holocaust and those objecting were not called church ladies but survivors. Standups have tried joking about rape and incest and those objecting were called church ladies despite being survivors. Standups have tried joking and Sandy Hook and Parkland -- my mistake, those were Republicans and Alex Jones making those jokes.

      There are some things that reasonable, decent people care about beyond their own self-interest, so that jokes about those things come across as offensive, no matter how clever. I think treason belongs in that category, but spank my bottom and call me patriotic. Heaven forbid I should come across as a church lady and someone might think I have no sense of humor, or worse yet, am uncool. I never thought Dana Carvey's mockery of religion was kind or warranted, given that it is the guys with booming voices who walk away with the private planes, while the church ladies of the world do the good works. YMMV

      Delete
    2. If you don't find what Trump did offensive, what about the idea that if any other person had done what Trump did, they would lock him or her up and throw away the key? Substitute Hillary for Trump and imagine the outcome. Does that make Somerby's attitude less or more acceptable to you? He seems to think this concern about classified documents is on the level of counting raisins in breakfast cereal. I suppose it depends on how you feel about Republican collusion with Russia.

      Delete
    3. It's Right-wing shtick. The media has to take it serious, because their whole "both sides" bullshit storylines crumble if they don't. Letting people know they shouldn't take Right-wing nonsense seriously shouldn't be a crime.

      Delete
    4. What "right-wing nonsense" is Somerby talking about in this post? It seems to me he is mocking the idea that Trump should be held accountable for those classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. He seems to be suggesting that the press is inflating the seriousness of the claims against Trump by referring to "sets of documents" instead of saying exactly how many documents there were. That is minimizing Trump's actions, not addressing right-wing nonsense, in my opinion.

      Delete
    5. Don't you miss though the era of sexual decadence that Hillary Clinton supported and enabled?

      Delete
    6. I miss pre-Reagan. When every Republican wasn’t a fascist.

      Delete
  30. "“Hosts on Russia’s state-owned Russia-1 television channel said that officials in Moscow have already been ‘studying’ top secret and other classified documents the FBI sought through a search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home,” Newsweek reports."

    ReplyDelete
  31. Does this statement from Trump's office excuse Trump from any legal liability and threat of prosecution? Does it mean that taking the Secret documents home is automatically legal? Or, it this too far-fetched to stand up?

    As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare the work the next day, often took documents including classified documents to the residence.

    He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them. The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the president of the United States.

    The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat with classification authority delegated by the president needs to approve the declassification is absurd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This statement is irrelevant and does not excuse Trump in the slightest. There are rules for handling documents with various classifications. Some of those documents cannot be taken home under any circumstances. Some of the documents that cannot be taken home also cannot be unilaterally declassified by the president. Even a declassified document must be processed to change its classification level before it can be taken home. The power to classify and declassify documents does not rest solely with the president or that is all he would have time to do all day. The author of a document determines its initial classification, subject to review. The president can ultimately change or declassify such a document but isn't the only one creating classified documents, by any means. Calling such classification power "delegated" by the president doesn't change that these were classified documents and that some required more than one person to declassify.

      Trump can issue a statement calling the existing rules "absurd," but that doesn't change the rules or the law. The president cannot simply decide to ignore the classification system because he has ultimate authority to classify or declassify documents. There are laws that the president has sworn an oath to uphold and government procedures that it is the president's responsibility to uphold.

      This statement expresses the view that when the president does something, it is not illegal -- the Nixonian view. That is not how it worked for Nixon and not how it has worked for any president, including Trump. This is what is meant when we say that no one, not even the president, is above the law.

      In order for Trump's approach to work, we would need to rely on the president to understand the implications of declassifying every document, and to be entrusted with protecting national security by only declassifying that which can be released to public scrutiny. Trump cannot be deemed to have that knowledge and ability, simply by forgetting that he has brought something home in his briefcase, nor is the White House residence, much less Mar a Lago, a secure facility to reading and maintaining highly classified documents.

      As Amy Klobuchar mentioned today, there are documents she must go into a locked room to read. That is true for Trump too. His failure to do that with the highly classified materials he stole, is what is at issue with these charges against him. There were no padlocks on the door of a storage facility with highly classified documents in it, permitting anyone to go in. The documents were still marked as classified and there had been no process to declassify them. Taking classified documents home is not allowed for anyone.

      Delete
    2. Chris Hayes makes me feel good.

      Delete
    3. Does it mean that taking the Secret documents home is automatically legal?

      Of course it's true, David, why do you ask? Has Donald J Chickenshit ever given you a reason to doubt his veracity?

      Delete
  32. "On Fox, the cable stars all tell you one story. On MSNBC, you hear a different tale. "

    How would this ever be untrue given that Fox lies and MSNBC tells the truth (to the best of its ability)? The stories must diverge. That, in itself, is not surprising. The problem is that those who believe the lies told over at Fox are creating political problems because of their willingness to engage in violence in pursuit of their lie-fueled goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we good, them evil. How dare TDH suggest that "our" side has real flaws also truthwise. This proves he's a big Trump supporter. OK. But I always thought liberals were skeptical about classifying zillions of documents as classified and top secret. No one here knows what's in these documents, or why Trump has possession of them, or what horrible secrets are now threatened to be let loose, compromising our national security (so scary). It used to be that liberals were skeptical about this, not anymore.

      Delete
    2. Yes, we get it, you conservative, we liberal, you not one of us. Neither Trump nor Somerby deserve defending on this issue.

      Delete
    3. anon 12:00 - I'm a Democrat, never voted for a Republican. What is it in my post that suggests I'm a "conservative"? do you equate "defending Trump" with saying that we don't know what is in the documents, and that invented or hyped up "national security" concerns was always mostly a GOP thing?

      Delete
  33. MSNBC has done a lot that can be called into question, not always to the detriment of the Right. That lazy Bob wants to absolutely equate them just shows what a sloth he is, and it’s no surprise he can sustain this only by never watching Fox.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Bob amplifys the stuff he hears on Right/wing corporate-owned Fox, but he criticizes some of the stuff he hears on Right-wing, corporate-owned MSNBC.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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