Thursday, January 17, 2019


Photo by AFP/Getty via Daily Mail.

Oh my ears and whiskers, Giuliani:
"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign," Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo, who immediately pushed back on that point.
"I have not," Giuliani said in doubling-down on his first remark. "I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC."
When Cuomo pushed back on that line as well, Giuliani said Trump "didn't collude with Russia either!"
Giuliani may not have said "there was no collusion" but his client certainly did, hundreds of times, sometimes four or five times or more in a single day. He says it more often than he says "Believe me." Are we now to understand that there was collusion? Glad to hear it! The Mueller investigation is clearly worthwhile whether or not the president has committed any crimes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

For the Record: Wall that Fall

Serbian-Hungarian border (I think), 2015. Photo by Getty via Politico Magazine.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

For the Record: There is a crisis at the border

First installment of the Trump barrier, $18 million, Calexico CA. Photo by Earnie Grafton/Reuters.

It's just not what Marco thinks it is.

And this sequence, which went sort of viral:

The Demoralization of the Market

Via DiasporaBR.

Brooks's headline last Friday ("The Remoralization of the Market") was so hilarious I found myself feeling the column couldn't possibly live up to it. With the appeal to some good old days from, I don't know, 1750 to 1970, when the Market was Moral, virtuous, kind, diligent, and generous, feeding the sick and clothing the hungry, and then came the Me Decade, and selfish individualistic investors suddenly deciding they were just in it for the money.

He really did kind of write it:
A deadly combination of right-wing free-market fundamentalism and left-wing moral relativism led to a withering away of moral norms and shared codes of decent conduct. We ripped the market out of its moral and social context and let it operate purely by its own rules. We made the market its own priest and confessor.
And that's how the Market got Demoralized. I guess the "left" is to blame for constantly telling grasping shareholders, "Hey man, if greed is your thing, hey, whatever feels good, as long as you don't hurt anybody." We should have found some kind of leftist language for telling capitalists they were doing the wrong thing, I wonder what that would look like.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

He's Misbehavin

The Life of Trumply. Adam Gabbatt/The Guardian, photo by Joshua Bright.

I'm in the White House
I'm all alone
my silent night house
just tweetin on my telephone
I'm misbehavin
ravin cause I miss you

don't see nobody
it never ends
it's kind of cruddy
just hangin with my Fox and Friends
I'm misbehavin
ravin cause I'm missin you

like a fox here
in a box here
out of luck here
guess I'm stuck here
forever if Pelosi don't come through
—believe me

don't call it chaos
it isn't true
if you betray us
I'll shoot you on Fifth Avenue
I'm misbehavin
ravin cause I'm missin you

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Tighten up

That gasping sound you hear around the media at the news that Donald Trump has been under an FBI counterintelligence investigation since early May 2017, looking into the question of whether he might be or have been effectively serving as an agent of the Russian government during his presidential campaign and into his presidency, at least as far as the Oval Office meeting of 10 May when he told Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Lavrov how pleased he was that he'd fired his FBI director because it relieved him of a lot of pressure, and passed them a tidbit of secret intelligence that happened to come from our Israeli allies, in a meeting that was barred to the US press but well reported, with pictures, in Russia—

That is, I mean, if there's anybody surprised to learn that that was when the FBI opened up a file with Donald Trump's name on it to join those on Papadopoulos, Page, Manafort, Stone, and Flynn in the ongoing investigation of who in the Trump campaign might possibly be a Russian agent, they have to either have been not paying attention or journalists.

Speaking of journalists, get Natasha Bertrand:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Literary Corner: Song of the Wall

The remains of the Anastasian Wall west of Istanbul, under forest cover for the past 1,500 years. Photo credit to TheyDivideUs.

Song of the Wall and the Wheel
by Donald J. Trump
They say a wall is medieval,
     well so is a wheel.
The wheel is older than the wall,
     you know that?
There are some things that work.
     You know what? 
A wheel works and a wall works.
     Nothing like a wall.
Personally I think we should put America on wheels. Then we could scoot away from the danger.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Keep your eyes on the timeline

Tom Barrack, in blue tie, applauding the president at the inauguration, photo by Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes. Barrack has denied the report in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury that he ever said Trump is "not only crazy—he's stupid."
At some point yesterday morning I became aware of a story that had showed up overnight in the New York Times that made me want to give up writing about Trump and Russia altogether, because it suggested that everything I thought I understood about the thing was not just wrong but incoherent; the story, elaborating yesterday's story about Paul Manafort transmitting some Trump-campaign polling data to his confederate Konstantin Kilimnik, that the data was destined for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

What the hell was that? This information transfer supposedly took place in spring 2016, as Manafort was just settling into his job with the Trump campaign, and two months later Manafort was writing to Kilimnik, essentially, "Hey Kostya does Oleg know about my new gig?" and offering to supply Deripaska with a bunch of private information from the campaign, in the hopes of getting some slack over the $10 million or whatever it was (I've seen quotes from $8.5M to $16M) he owed Deripaska. How could he be doing that if he'd been sending Deripaska information since May?

Well, I can't link that story, because it doesn't exist any more. The Times story was wrong: