UNDER THE BIG TOP: CNN ringmaster counts the boxes!


Hillary's emails return: Don Lemon had been out of the country. On Monday night, he was back.

Lemon was BACK under the Big Top which houses our "national discourse." That said, the travels of the CNN star had given him a unique perspective on recent high-profile events. 

More specifically, Lemon had a unique perspective on the FBI's invasion of Mar-a-Lago. He reported this fact as he spoke with departing guest anchor Alisyn Camerota at the top of his 10 P.M. hour.

None of this was Camerota's fault. Their exchange started like this:

CAMEROTA (8/15/22): And with that, Don Lemon Tonight starts right now. All yours, Don!


LEMON: It's good to see you.

CAMEROTA: You too, Don.

LEMON: I was not here last week. I don't think you were either. What a week we chose to take a vacation, right?

CAMEROTA: I got so many texts, saying "How could you take off this week?" But I had to remind people it's a crazy news cycle every week.

LEMON: It's going to be a crazy news cycle for quite a long time.

CAMEROTA: Yes, don't worry. The craziness will continue.

The Crazy will continue, Camerota said. Moments later, Lemon offered a bit of foreshadowing:

LEMON: But I have to say, I've got a lot to talk about with this. And you'll understand, watching it from afar or whatever, not being here, gives you a different perspective...

So this is Don Lemon Tonight. So, yes, I had a—I got a really interesting perspective. I was actually out of the country watching all of this and getting people's perspective on it, and it gives you—

You know, it's good to be away, or it's good to watch things sometimes from afar so that you do get another perspective. Because as Americans, sometimes we are so myopic, we get so caught up in what is happening right in front of us, that we don't see the forest for the trees. O.K., so go with me here. 

It's good to be back, by the way. And I want to talk to talk to you—talk to you about something called CDT. Not CRT, CDT, something I was thinking about on vacation, Critical Democracy Theory. See what I did there on purpose?

For the record, this is what counts as intelligent high-end commentary as we all slide toward the sea. Soon, though, Michael Cohen appeared as Lemon's guest. When he did, Lemon fleshed out his own new perspective. 

First, Lemon offered a muddled account of Donald J. Trump's various explanations concerning the material extracted from Mar-a-Lago.

That was the way the effort began. Soon, though, Lemon was counting those boxes:

LEMON: So, it's surprising to—it shouldn't be surprising to me, but to watch everyone make all these excuses for—for, you know, what happened, and even the former president, because some of these excuses are starting to muddy each other, right? 

It was like, "Wait a minute. Didn't you just say that it was something else?" And now you're saying it's something else and someone is going on television.

One of your people saying, it's—it's now, this. Isn't—

The fact of the matter is, that you did something wrong. You just don't pack 33 boxes of classified information by accident. That just doesn't happen.

Finally, our question had been answered! 

How many top-secret documents had been present at Mar-a-Lago? Had there been a lot of top-secret documents there, or had there perhaps just been a little?

Finally, we the people had the stuff of an accurate answer! According to Lemon, "33 boxes of classified information" had been taken to Mar-a-Lago! ! That's the unique perspective he had acquired by watching this mess from afar.

Cohen didn't disagree. This was his response:

COHEN (continuing directly): No, but not only does that not happen. He already returned more than a dozen boxes. And they signed a document stating that there are no more boxes of information at Mar-a-Lago, which of course is yet another lie.

Apparently, before the jack-booted thugs staged their raid on Mar-a-Lago, , Donald J. Trump had already returned "more than a dozen boxes [of classified material]!" That would suggest that 21 boxes of such material could have been carted away during last Friday's raid.

Here at THE HOWLER, we're prepared to admit it. We don't know how large a haul of top-secret documents traveled with Donald J. Trump from the White House to his sweaty seaside manor. 

We don't know how large the haul really was. We have been noting, in the past few days, that our multimillionaire cable stars have done a poor job clarifying a basic fact:

At this point, none of us know how large the stash of top-secret documents was. Had Donald J. Trump hauled away a very large number of such documents? Or had he hauled away a relative handful, along with piles of dinner menus, weather maps and love letters from North Korea?

Gifted with a unique perspective, Lemon had now answered our question:

Donald J. Trump had decamped to Mar-a-Lago with 33 boxes of classified material—and that sounds like a very large haul.

Lemon didn't say how large each of those boxes was. But it sounded like Donald J. Trump had arrived in the Sunshine State with an extremely large haul.

This foolishness aired last night, right there on CNN. It represents the kind of foolishness which transpires within our own blue tents when scandal is being sold as cable's exclusive "news product."

Elsewhere, the lunacy has been general as red tribe forces have tried to push back against last Friday's search of Trump's seaside bunker. 

Tomorrow, we'll show you what was being said over the weekend on C-Span's Washington Journal. For today, we'll tease the topic with this, the second call to the heartbreaking program on this past Sunday morning:

DOTTIE FROM GEORGIA (8/14/22): The main thing I called about was to ask you to make sure these people stay on topic. 

Because pretty soon, we're going to be hearing about what Hillary Clinton did, what Barack Obama did. They might go all the way back to Ulysses S. Grant. They don't stay on topic!

And on top of that, they don't watch the news. They must not watch the news, because some of the stuff they're talking about has already been in the news. It's already been proven to be wrong, and they are still sittin' here saying it. 

And then they talk too long. Bye-bye!

Dottie's aim was true. All her complaints about "these people" were accurate.

Indeed, the first caller, John from New York, had already complained about the "double standard" from which Hillary Clinton allegedly benefitted with respect to the legal handling of her "30,000 emails."

He had also mentioned Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general. 

As the hour proceeded, Clinton's emails were mentioned several times, just as Dottie had foreseen. This had become a common approach within the red regions of our splintering world, even as those in our own blue world kept enlarging the number of boxes The Donald had carted away.

Tomorrow, we'll return to the question of Hillary's emails. As we do, we'll note a basis distinction concerning "classified materials," a distinction which was widely drawn at the time.

As far as we know, the distinction was reasonable, sound, instructive. For that reason, we've been applying the same distinction as we've discussed Trump's haul.

Way back when, in the 1960s, Malvina Reynolds and even Pete Seeger had ridiculed a bunch of "Little Boxes." In the process, they also ridiculed the lesser people who were living within them.

Those lesser people now call C-Span, repeating the bullroar they keep hearing from their own tribe's trusted sources. Last night, Lemon, fresh from abroad, was counting the boxes of Trump, pleasing our own blue world. 

A new perspective had arrived on the front. Broadcasting from under the Big Top, Lemon's count of the jam-packed cartons had now reached 33!

Tomorrow: Good God! Revisiting what Comey said


  1. Jeez, dear Bob. Boxes? Classified?

    What nonsense. Don't be a total dembot, dear.

    1. Boxes may be an unfamiliar word, but you can certainly look up its meaning in your Russian-English dictionary. Ditto the word classified.

      Boxes are not classified. The documents in them can be.

    2. All your base are belong to us, dear government scientist.

      Obey! Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

    3. Mao,
      The totalitarians Trump put on the Supreme Court say "Hi'.

    4. Thanks for sharing that, dear Robert.

      ...and as soon as you hear any other voices inside your head, dear, please inform us immediately.

    5. Cecelia mentions the borg and now Mao is talking about it too...coincidence? I think not!

  2. It does not matter how many boxes were hauled away. Taking even one highly classified document is a violation of the law and something that Donald Trump should never have had in his possession, especially at Mar a Lago, which was not a secure facility.

    This is not a situation where the number of documents matters. I don't know where Don Lemon got his number of boxes (which is not the number of sets of documents, nor the number of documents, nor the number of pages in such documents), but it doesn't matter because taking even one document is against the law, highly classified or not.

    Somerby continues to focus on the irrelevant.

    1. It's was Lemon who focused on the boxes. That's the point.

    2. I repeat, the number of boxes doesn't matter. It is irrelevant and immaterial. I said that yesterday too, and the day before that. Lemon has an excuse because he was out of town. What is Somerby's excuse?

  3. Today Somerby criticizes Don Lemon, one of his favorite targets, for being muddled in his description of Trump's theft, and for coming back from Europe with a new perspective, which he calls Critical Democratic Theory (a play on CRT). Somerby never tells us what was muddled about Lemon's description, nor does he describe Lemon's theory or what he finds wrong with it.

    Lemon is on Somerby's hit list along with other black and gay cable hosts and guests. The only people he attacks with greater frequency are women, especially those with academic credentials or accomplishments. We are expected to just understand why Somerby is critical -- he doesn't bother to explain any more. It is enough for him to accuse and we should all just know what is wrong with Lemon. That is what bigotry looks like, and laziness.

  4. Some reader notices that Hillary is being used to "whatabout" Trump's malfeasance. Of course she is! And so is Obama. But this isn't being done by mainstream cable news. It is coming from the right wing, because that is their obsession, not Don Lemon's. Somerby says "elsewhere" instead of mentioning Fox, then continues that these right wing inspired comments are being heard on CSPAN's call-in show, not mainstream cable news. This is where Trump supporters express the views they've heard on their media, which Somerby never describes, never criticizes, but certainly watches, given his statements recently that he learns a lot from Tucker Carlson. How is this call-in nonsense in any way representative of reporting on mainstream cable news or on Lemon's show? It clearly isn't.

    So, why does Somerby juxtapose it with Lemon and pretend this is what mainstream news is about? This is Republican disinformation -- a phrase you'll never hear Somerby say. Obama didn't take 33 million documents! His documents are in the archives where they belong. Neither did Hillary take 33 million emails or pour acid on them or anything like that. And when Don Lemon refers to 33 boxes, where do you suppose that number comes from? Is it possible that Somerby is exaggerating a sardonic comment by Lemon into an arithmetic mistake? Somerby would never tell you, if it were. He is in the business of trashing Lemon and defending Trump, and has seemingly little concern for the truth, which is that Trump broke the law by stealing even one highly classified document, and that such documents have already been recovered by the FBI under that warrant issued by the DOJ (which makes it a legal act, in comparison to Trump's theft), and is now back in secure hands, where it belongs.

  5. "Had Donald J. Trump hauled away a very large number of such documents? Or had he hauled away a relative handful, along with piles of dinner menus, weather maps and love letters from North Korea?"

    Somerby accuses Don Lemon of inflating the number of boxes taken from Mar a Lago, then he himself inflates the number of other materials stolen by Trump, which has been said to include that weather map that he marked up with his sharpie, a note from Kim Jung Un, and dinner menus? Aside from the menus (which I haven't personally heard mentioned), there was only one famous weather map, only one love letter. But it sounds better when you pluralize it, as Somerby has noted before, and as he does himself today, because it suits his own purposes to maximize the innocence of Trump's theft, while ignoring that Trump took multiple highly classified documents, not just one, and was not raided in order to retrieve dinner menus, but to preserve the other documents generated during his presidency, which belong in the national archives not his poolhouse.

    The larger point is not the triviality of mentioning dinner menus (which no one wants), but Trump's disregard for the laws of our country, which he plainly thinks do not apply to him. It is also worth noting Trump's confusion about whether he is still president or has returned to being a private citizen. There can be no justification for Trump retaining highly classified documents on nuclear topics as a private citizen at Mar a Lago. He can have no legitimate use for them. They are not his. They need to be safeguarded from enemy eyes and Trump did not do that, exposing our nation to possible espionage of highly classified and thus important secrets. But Somerby reduces this to dinner menus, ignoring entirely the possible kompromat Trump was holding on Macron,

    Clearly this is all a big joke to Somerby, as he tries to equate Don Lemon with CSPAN callers with right-wing grievances. Someone like Somerby has nothing to say about the mainstream media. He is a Trump apologist advancing conservative defenses for a demonstrated crime that can have no defense at this point.

  6. If you found only one Republican who cares about Trump's crimes, that's one more than who care about the economy.

  7. Getting the focus back where it’s supposed to be today, eh, anonymices?

    The Problem Of Bob.

    1. Cecraplia, the focus should be on the problem of Trump, who Somerby defends today, yet again. Trump stole classified info and stored it in the basement of his pool house, then refused to give it back. That is apparently A-OK with Somerby.

      Somerby is entitled to his opinion. I am pointing out that this is no kind of media criticism, not anything the mainstream media has done wrong, but an obvious repetition of conservative talking points being used to defend Trump. That means that Somerby is misrepresenting himself here. If he were to come out and stop calling himself a liberal criticizing the media from the left, but acknowledge that he is on Team Trump, I would have no more need to inform casual readers of his dishonesty.

      Why are you here? It appears you do little beyond supporting Somerby in a thoughtless me-too knee-jerk kind of way, which suggests you are a conservative troll, paid or amateur, with a similar mission to uphold the garbage Somerby spews on Trump's behalf. That is your right too, but you won't convince people of anything by calling other commenters rodents.

    2. Anonymouse 11:10am, no one can help the fact that you must criticize Bob on the pretext of it being unreasonable or specious for him to want an accurate accounting of the scope of Trump’s alleged crime. That this concern is somehow distracting or a defense of Trump from more pertinent discussion and analysis that no one is stopping you from waging.

      Or your other brilliant suggestion that it’s not media criticism to wonder if a journo just pulled a number out of his butt.

      Who are you kidding?

    3. "Why are you here?"

      She's (an assumption) waiting for the liquor store to open.

    4. Bob's just asking the same questions all the Republican operatives have been asking.

    5. “the scope of Trump’s alleged crime”

      As I pointed out in an earlier post, Reality Winner served significant jail time for leaking one single classified document.

      The statute doesn’t say you can possess up to X number of classified documents before we will prosecute you.

      It’s like asking “ yes, Mr. X was accused of robbing a bank. But what is the scope of his crime? Did he get away with $2,000,000 or just $200,000?”

      As if that mitigates the crime.

    6. mh, presidents have powers that the rest of us don’t possess. The scope of that is still a matter of consideration.

    7. anon 11:00, You (f/k/a "Corby") are a living example evidencing the correctness of TDH's claim that we "liberals" have a faint relationship with reality, comparable in the manner of do so many from the opposing side. TDH does not "defend" Trump in this post. He makes a seemingly sensible point. Claiming that 33 boxes of classified documents were hauled away makes it seem like there were a huge number of classified documents involved - TDH's reasonable point is that the claim doesn't explain the actual number of "classified" documents that were involved. (More significant, we don't know what top secret classified info was in any of the documents. We don't know what the affidavit that was the basis for the warrant said). There is no "defense" of Trump. You have this insane obsession that TDH mischaracterizes himself as a "liberal" who "spews garbage" on behalf for Trump. You are truly nuts. You ask why Cecilia is here. While I'm sure I'd disagree with Cecilia on many things, she often makes sense, something that is foreign to you. You seem to be incapable of applying reason.

    8. Cecelia:
      “presidents have powers that the rest of us don’t possess.”

      So, they are above the law? Even people who are not currently president?

      Why didn’t Bill Clinton know about this? He could’ve just refused to testify, pointing out the partisan witch hunt that was the Ken Starr investigation. I’m sure you would have supported Clinton in that, because you firmly believe in the principle that presidents have special powers.

      I feel certain that you would fully have supported Clinton, or Obama, or Bush etc if they had decided to abscond with top secret documents and deposited them in various locations around their residences. Oddly enough, no former President has done this. Just Trump.

      Does the prez have the right to declassify (as an example) our list of deep cover spies or a list of classified national defense documents and simply take it with him as a memento? (National defense docs are among the docs recovered from mar-a-lago).

      Why would any President have the right, even with rightfully declassified material, to remove that material from government possession?

      Finally, you have still failed to show how the “scope”, ie the number of such documents is relevant. If he has the power to take one, presumably he can take a million.

    9. mh, Somerby’s original formulation in wondering how many docs were involved was the argument that the top secret classified material was not something he meant to possess, but was a mistake by an archivist. That’s been ventured already.

      Look at where you’re standing too. Would any journo argue, as you are arguing, that it makes little difference if the public thinks a thief took $200,000 or $2,000,000. “He’s guilty none of the details matter!”

      That’s nonsense for reasons that should be utterly obvious to you.

    10. mh, presidents have prerogative over classified documents that no one else possesses.

      What the limits are with that, if any, is something that the experts will be gnawing on.

    11. Have you ever served on a jury? If so, then you must surely know what the effect would be of a defense attorney asking for mercy because his client only stole $200,000, and not $2,000,000. Jurors would find that a contemptible argument. I imagine the general public would not be inclined to see a significant distinction there either.

      “The archivist made a mistake”. Wait. I thought Trump had/has special powers and he declassified everything. Was that before or after the incriminating docs were planted by the FBI, and was that prior to or subsequent to the archivist’s mistake?

    12. And Trump had an opportunity to return all the docs a couple of months ago. His lawyer(s) of that moment verified that all had been returned. It was not. He had the chance to set this right without incurring an FBI “raid.” Why didn’t he? Is he that shitty a manager/person?

      Oh, I know. He’s mentally ill, right?

    13. mh, it’s not about evidence brought at trial as much as what is going on in the public perception.

      Media advocates against misinformation. They purportedly think that it taints our ability to rationally and realistically discuss such matters in the public sphere. Get all the facts that can be gotten out…out.

      Bob having an interest in the facts being out so as to counter erroneous theories, misinfo, etc is not new.

      It’s pretty ridiculous that Bob’s critics spend so much time knocking the most reasonable expectations because Bob uttered them, and then say that he’s keeping discussion on an elementary level.

    14. "unreasonable or specious for him to want an accurate accounting of the scope of Trump’s alleged crime"

      If you take 12 boxes and divide the contents into 24 smaller boxes, have you changed the scope of the crime? Of course not. That is why the number of boxes doesn't matter. As I patiently explained yesterday, these documents can consist of one to many pages, but the number of pages isn't material either. The main determinant of the seriousness of
      Trump's crime is the exposure, the jeopardy our nation is placed in by the failure to keep the information secure. That is being evaluated by experts.

      Can someone accidentally put a highly classified document into a box with menus and love notes? Every top secret classified document is stamped at the top and bottom, in large red letters, with the words TOP SECRET. Every paragraph and every section heading has a classification attached to it. These documents are logged and kept in folders with special markings that make it impossible to ignore that these require special handling. That's why this kind of theft is no accident and why it is immediately obvious that classified material is being handled, even to someone who cannot read, such as Trump.

      And you are forgetting that this material was recovered from Mar a Lago by the FBI, thus it was indisputably there and indisputably not returned when requested, and it is indisputable that Trump's lawyer was untruthful about their presence when he signed that note saying that there were no more documents at Mar a Lago.

      This is clearly not a matter of an "archivist" making an error. But someone clearly wants to pull the wool over the eyes of people like you, who don't know anything about why documents are classified, or what that entails. You sound sillier with every comment you write here.

  8. "Way back when, in the 1960s, Malvina Reynolds and even Pete Seeger had ridiculed a bunch of "Little Boxes." In the process, they also ridiculed the lesser people who were living within them."

    Way back when Somerby first mentioned this song, several of us pointed out that the people living in those little boxes, based on the song lyrics, were not "lesser people" but cookie-cutter college grads who went to the university and then took corporate jobs. It was a song about conformity, not making fun of people who may currently live in such housing developments.

    But today, Somerby thinks the phrase "little boxes" refers not to houses but to actual boxes, like the ones Trump used to steal documents when he left the White House. And that is way beyond whatever meaning Malvina Reynolds intended in her 1960s song. But Somerby doesn't care what she meant -- he just likes that phrase little boxes. Why? Perhaps because referring to them as "little" further minimizes Trump's haul of classified information and his crime of stealing documents that belong to the nation, not to him personally. And how big can a secret be, if it is stored in such a little box, along with dinner menus.

    And this is how Somerby minimizes the seriousness of Trump's crime. Even good old Malvina Reynolds would think was a big fuss about nothing, such as an old song from the 1960s, not modern nuclear intelligence requiring protection from the prying eyes of our nation's enemies.

    1. anon 10:59 *f/k/a "Corby" - good god, you're crazy.

    2. Paid troll and…yeah,…crazy.

    3. In the words of Sheldon Cooper, I'm not crazy -- my mother had me tested.

      But if I were, it would be better than being a traitor loving enabler of the man *f/k/a "Mr President."

    4. anon 3:38, I sure am not an "enabler" of the ex-POTUS who I find to be basically vile. But your crazy efforts in the direction you take - can only enable the evil being.

    5. Of course you are, with every post you write taking the right-wing position. If Republicans didn't enable Trump, it wouldn't be so dangerous to stand up for fair elections and truth in publishing and other values obstructed by the MAGAts.

  9. You have to admit, Trump whining about losing his passports is funny.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The FBI says it has returned Trump's passports to him. From NBC News:

      "An FBI spokesperson defended how the search warrant was carried out.

      “In executing search warrants, the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes," the spokesperson said in a statement Monday evening that did not mention the passports.

      A property receipt from the FBI search of Trump's estate in Palm Beach, Florida, showed that federal investigators recovered a trove of top secret and other heavily classified documents but did not mention any passports.

      In court documents made public with the property receipt, investigators said they were searching for evidence of crimes that included withholding “any government and/or Presidential Records” from Trump’s time in office."

    4. This means they will probably return those dinner menus too.

  10. For those who don't read conservative sources, here's some news you may have missed. Note that the article is confirmed by a screenshot of the actual report.

    The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a report in June 2018 that stated that the FBI had “identified ’81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails that were classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels…and sent to or from [Hillary] Clinton’s personal server.”

    The IG cited the information from a “letterhead memorandum” (LHM) that the FBI produced about its investigation of the matter.

    The IG report also noted that “[n]one of the emails…included a header or footer with classification markings.”

    “According to the LHM,” said the IG report, “the FBI, with the assistance of other USIC [U.S. intelligence community] agencies, identified ’81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails that were classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels at the time the emails were drafted on UNCLASSIFIED systems and sent to or from Clinton’s personal server.’


    1. Here's BadFaithinCal's source (their own words in their pitch for money):

      CNSNews has become one of conservative media’s most trusted sources for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. It is the hard news arm of the only organization dedicated to fighting leftist bias in the media and entertainment areas.

    2. David, waaawaaawaaa, no fair, Hillary could do it. Waawaawaa!

      How did the IG find these emails? Oh, that's right, she turned them all over to the SD. You do remember that the SD refuted that these emails contained classified information, don't you?

      None of the emails, including those that were found to contain classified information, included a header or footer with classification markings.

      Do you understand what that means, David?

      As we discuss further in Chapter Seven, this absence of clear classification markings played a significant role in the decision by the Midyear prosecutors to recommend to
      Attorney General Lynch in July 2016 that the investigation should be closed without prosecution.

      According to the LHM, the FBI, with the assistance of other USIC
      agencies, identified “81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails that were classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels at the time the
      emails were drafted on UNCLASSIFIED systems and sent to or from Clinton’s personal server.” In other words, the USIC agencies determined that these 81 email chains, although not marked classified, contained information classified at the
      time the emails were sent and should have been so marked. Twelve of the 81 classified email chains were not among the 30,490 that Clinton’s lawyers had produced to the State Department, and these were all classified at the Secret or Confidential levels. Seven of the 81 email chains contained information associated with a Special Access Program (“SAP”), which witnesses told us is considered particularly sensitive. The emails containing Top Secret and SAP information were included in the 30,490 provided to the State Department.

    3. anon 12:52, I heartily agree that the stink about Clinton's emails, was a pure example of bad faith BS on the part of the right, aided and abetted by so-called liberal sites like the NYT and WAPO. I think some of the so-called classified info on her emails was in the nature of missives about having lunch with some (French?) diplomat. Part of my view is that zillions of documents get marked one degree or another classified arbitrarily, and it's out of control. We certainly don't have all that much info as to what was in Trump's sweaty Florida lair.
      Granted Trump is apparently the earthly embodiment of Darth Vader, I think it's premature to get in a dither just yet about the seized documents.

    4. Nobody is in a dither except the fascist Matats who are now doubling down on support for that abomination.

    5. AC/MA, WAPO and NYT are not liberal sites. You might call them mainstream or centrist, but they cannot be called liberal after running articles on Clinton Cash or Judith Miller's agitation for the war on Iraq, or the way they've promoted the idea that Biden single-handedly raised inflation in the US, to distract from his solid legislative accomplishments no doubt (which are rarely mentioned in either paper).

    6. You have no doubt heard that over-classification of documents is a problem, since that is what Trump also believes, but those who originate and work with classified material, the experts who use that information daily, disagree with you, and they have expertise to decide what needs to be classified, not you. Fortunately, we don't allow uninformed citizens to vote on which documents should be classified, which is partly why there exists a law about who can handle those classified documents, for what purposes and under what conditions.

      Note that the number zillion is close to 33, when it comes to talking about documents.

    7. If you can't "get in a dither" over the possibility that our national security has been breached by foreign spies at Mar a Lago (remember, two were arrested already that we know of), then what can we get excited about?

      How about when Trump shared classified info with Putin in Helsinki and when he tweeted classified photos, and when he bragged about how many secrets he knows to Putin, shortly after taking office, during a private meeting where no US aids or press were present, only the Russian translator (who was instructed to burn her materials afterward)? Can we get upset because of the way Trump aided Russia in Syria? How about his favors to Russia in his dealings with Ukraine (holding back promised weapons)? Isn't it clear now, why Russia might have wanted that? How about when Trump turned a blind eye as Russia annexed Crimea? What's a few highly classified documents among good buddies like that?

      Those of us who have been concerned about Trump's relations with Russia from 2015 onward, are not "in a dither" now, but concerned about Trump's plans for the documents he took. We are also pleased that the DOJ is finally pursuing Trump for his crimes, now that they have all that indisputable evidence of what Trump did. Trump cannot explain his actions because any true explanation will incriminate him.

      But suggesting that those who care about national security are foolish should be beneath you AC/MA. It is bordering on treason to suggest that our secrets are not worth protecting, that we don't have information important to our national security and that a president such as Trump can do whatever he likes with it, including jeopardize the security of our nation and its people.

      If you think this doesn't matter, go ask the folks in Ukraine how they feel about Russian incursions and whether highly classified information related to that war matters to them, whether info about weapons systems is important, whether strategic plans matter. Ask them how they felt when Trump extorted their president for political favors while withholding crucial weapon systems promised to them.

    8. Dither away, you seem to enjoy it. It's the cold war all over again, back then though the libs were the pinkos.

    9. With the fall of the soviet union, documents were discovered showing that some people were actually communist spies working within the US government. Averill Harriman was one (who was accused by Whitaker Chambers). There are many examples of spies within the American and British intelligence services being discovered, tried and convicted. There is no reason to believe that espionage is not a thing still, and no reason to believe that our nation need not protect sensitive information from foreign nations attempting to steal it.

      It is odd to hear conservatives arguing that because Trump is willing to give away the store to the Russians, that espionage is all over and we need not be concerned about it. Sort of like the conservative claims that racism is not a thing either, when anyone who is a member of any minority group knows the truth from their own life experiences, there are numerous books on the subject, and the existence of it in our institutions is well documented.

      AC/MA, using a word like dither to describe genuine concerns is a form of minimizing, just like Somerby has been doing. It doesn't make you correct about whether nuclear secrets should be protected, to call those with such concerns a stupid name. If you have some actual evidence or information, please provide it -- otherwise this is just name-calling.

  11. Lemon is a sourpuss.

  12. Calling this a circus instead of treason also tends to minimize what Trump has done.

  13. 12:27,
    I can almost see your flop sweat about the richest people in the country being audited by the IRS.
    Sucks to be you.

  14. ‘Way back when, in the 1960s, Malvina Reynolds and even Pete Seeger had ridiculed a bunch of "Little Boxes." In the process, they also ridiculed the lesser people who were living within them.’

    “Lesser” people?

    Here’s a sampling of the lyrics:

    “And the people in the houses
    All went to the university

    And there's doctors and lawyers
    And business executives

    And they all play on the golf course
    And drink their martinis dry”

    Doesn’t sound like “lesser” people, whatever that’s supposed to mean. It sounds like elite, upper-class people, who come out of the university as conformists, and their children do, etc.

    Sounds like a criticism of society, more than of the people.

    1. Bob has a bug up his butt about this song which is a quite nonsensical insect. It’s a slight, rather sweet take on conformity that’s it’s hard imagine hurting anyone’s feelings, but something about it really brings out the federal case maker in Bob.

    2. Kamala Harris is so awesome.

    3. Much like Trump with documents in hand, Somerby grabs song lyrics and phrases from poems and books, and applies them to shore up his own assertions, whether the authors of those phrases meant the same thing by them or not. In fact, the authors rarely mean anything close to Somerby's meaning, when he "borrows" that writing and claims it for his own uses.

      We on the left want to know what Trump intended to do with those documents. We already see what Somerby does with his stolen words. He trashes authors, songwriters and poets, and misappropriates their fame in order to make it seem like someone famous, anyone, might have approved what Somerby himself says.

      It isn't plagiarism because he only occasionally forgets to credit the authors, but it is certainly theft. Some of us are appalled by literary theft. Some of us care about giving credit to the truly creative people who originate works for our pleasure. Somerby stomps on those people, spits on their work, and pretends to be high minded or literate or well-read in a carefully non-elitist way, while abusing the important meanings so carefully crafted by those who can actually write well, unlike Somerby. Somerby is scum.

      So is Trump, because he took highly classified documents and other historical artifacts and writing that is part of the public record and legacy of our nation. He has stolen from the American people. Some, like Cecelia and AC/MA, don't much value our security or our heritage, but others find that as abhorrent as the mishandling of our naton's literary legacy by Somerby. What was a man who does not read going to do with highly classified documents? Nothing good and potentially something dangerous to us all, including our neighbors and allies around the world.

      If you cannot understand this, you are a moron. If you do understand it and are still supporting Trump, you are something much worse than stupid.

    4. 3;53 I know but what do you think about that? Kamala Harris?

      Isn't the feeling she gives off palpable?

    5. Definitely not as dynamic and magnetic as Mike Pence.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Trump is running out of excuses? Quick, change the subject to Kamala Harris or castrating children (bigotry and fear).

    8. No!!!! We can discuss both!

      So what do you think?

    9. I love Harris's mesmerism.

    10. She seems laser focused on the poor.

    11. She sees opportunities for all Mexican Americans

    12. I was reading DailyKos and they are saying she is best positioned to lead the Democratic Party. "Now more than ever" are the words they used.

    13. But Trump’s 2024 primary support reached new heights in a poll this week.

    14. Yeah, nothing to worry about with that guy.

    15. Last time he was on the ballot, Dems won the presidency, the senate and the house.

    16. Nothing to worry about then. We can rebuild the middle class. We can make America a force for good in the world once again.

  15. "Hillary's emails return: Don Lemon had been out of the country. On Monday night, he was back."

    Don Lemon isn't the one talking about Hillary's emails. That is only coming from the right.

  16. Yesterday, Cecelia complained because there were 40 attacks on pregnancy counseling centers after the repeal of Roe v Wade. Here are the stats for attacks on abortion providers and women's health clinics in 2020 (before Roe v Wade was overturned):

    "Abortion providers reported an increase in death threats and threats of harm, rising from 92 in 2019 to 200 in 2020.

    We saw a 125% increase in reports of assault and battery outside clinics with members reporting 54 incidents, rising from 24 in 2019.

    Internet harassment and hate mail and harassing phone calls rose once again this year. Providers reported 3,413 targeted incidents of hate mail and harassing phone calls, rising from 3,123 in 2019.

    There was a slight decrease in the reported number of picketing incidents in 2019, which is likely due to a decrease in anti-abortion protester activity in some locations at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers still reported 115,517 incidents in 2020—which far exceeds any other year since we began tracking these statistics in 1977 except for 2019 when there were 123,228 incidents reported. Picketing is also an area where we expect there was underreporting in our 2020 data.
    NAF members reported an escalation in aggressive behavior from protesters during 2020 so although there was a slight decrease in picketing, the activities were often more intense and disruptive."



    In fairness,

  17. I still am amazed at how many people come on this blog and come to the conclusion that Bob Somerby is pro-Trump. Questioning the reporting on the FBI raid/volume of documents found does not equal stumping for Trump. Its a plea for accuracy in reporting, which is something we should all want on all sides.

    Also, Bob spent a good portion of the late 90's early 00's criticizing right wing news outlets and their crackpot tactics. This was at a time where Air America and Media Matters were fledgling. He pivoted to left wing sources when they started clowning like the right (sorry to say there is a lot of clowning and hyperbole in left wing media).

    Anyone who complains Bob doesn't criticize right wing media should read his archives.