Patterico's Pontifications

1/9/2018

Is the Left’s Defense of “Fire and Fury” a “Fake But Accurate” Defense?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

David Harsanyi at the Federalist has a piece about Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” that argues the book promotes the “fake but accurate” defense of the book’s view of the White House.

Harsanyi’s reaction to the book is similar to mine in many ways. Harsanyi calls the book “a mix of wishful falsehoods, compelling fictions, and a lot of stuff we already suspected about the White House.” Like me, he found it entertaining but unreliable, calling it “the kind of fun book I’ve been reading with high levels of skepticism for 20 years.” He notes (as I did in my review) some obvious errors in the book.

Harsanyi and I agree: there’s no defending Wolff’s book as solid journalism. There are simply too many errors in it to take any one story as gospel. Harsanyi then has this passage:

It’s true that Wolff had access to the White House, and surely many of the quotes he provides are accurate. Rather than strengthen his case, this should make everyone even more skeptical of his overall account. If Trump is so bad and the administration is so incompetent and the people in it are so nefarious, there is no need to be a fabulist.

Wolff could have spent the time running down every lead and rumor he writes about. He didn’t bother, because there are few riches to be mined in meticulous, time-consuming reporting. Much of the gossip he passes along has been known to reporters, themselves eager to run with Trump-critical stories. Yet many of these stories and interactions could not be substantiated.

I agree with Harsanyi that “surely many of the quotes [Wolff] provides are accurate.” While partisan hacks will argue that Wolff is making it all up, that’s obviously not the case. I further agree that Wolff failed to run down the various rumors he repeats. It’s not journalism. Wolff gets enough obviously wrong that you can’t rely on him for details. Moreover, Wolff doesn’t really draw conclusions about key events, preferring instead to repeat the participants’ contentions about those events. On these points, Harsanyi and I are in total agreement.

Where I part ways with him is his contention that the likely accuracy of many of Wolff’s quotes “should make everyone even more skeptical of his overall account.” His failure to run down those quotes should make people skeptical. The accuracy of his quotes should not.

Put it this way. If you could go into the Trump White House for a day and listen to the various participants give you their views of Trump and the other power players, that would be interesting. It wouldn’t mean that what they’re telling you is accurate. But it would be interesting nevertheless.

That’s how I feel about this book. It’s interesting. But I wouldn’t call it journalism.

I fully understand the concern about terming things “fake but accurate.” That’s always been a concern. And the main point is that, in order to know whether a contention is accurate, you have to have evidence that isn’t fake to support it. The fact that some fake evidence supports it does not mean it’s wrong, if solid evidence also supports it. But if there’s no solid evidence at all, there’s no basis to determine that it’s accurate.

In the end, as I said yesterday, my preference is to focus on the public Trump. There’s enough there to give you a pretty good picture of what the guy is like. Probably no President has ever shown the general public so much of what he is like in private.

Let me close with this. Imagine that there was an account in the Wolff book that said that, one day, Trump was addressing his staffers and, for a good minute, started oddly slurring his words. He sounded like he had cotton in his mouth at first, and by the end he was slurring so badly that when he mentioned the country’s name at the end, he said “United Statesh” with a very pronounced slur. Was it dentures? A mini-stroke? The anonymous source didn’t know.

Trump defenders would go ballistic. This is part of a coup! It’s clearly all made up!

Would I necessarily credit that story? Nah. But I don’t have to rely on an anonymous source, because we have this:

Or imagine that there was an account in the Wolff book that said the President was practicing a speech, and the word “entities” came up. Instead of reading the word properly, the anonymous source quoted Trump as saying: “And, by the way, into titties like right here in Detroit.” Imagine that, according to Wolff’s account, Trump showed absolutely no hint that he realized he had just shouted the word “titties” — while everyone watching had a difficult time keeping their composure.

Fake news! Made up! Except we don’t need an anonymous account. It happened.

So no: I’m not going to treat Wolff’s entertaining book as reliable journalism, and my view of Trump is little affected by it. There’s already plenty enough out there one can use to reach their own conclusions about Trump.

And in a way, it’s reassuring. Even if there is an illiterate and incompetent clown in the Oval Office, the results so far aren’t bad. They’re not great — ObamaCare is still around, and the debt continues to pile up — but they’re not bad. So far. If we can make it through three (or seven) more years of this without a disaster, it will show that our system can absorb almost anything.

So let not your hearts be troubled over Wolff’s book. Relax and enjoy it for what it’s worth.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

182 Responses to “Is the Left’s Defense of “Fire and Fury” a “Fake But Accurate” Defense?”

  1. Stephen Colbert at least pretended to be disturbed when he had Michael Wolff on a guest.

    http://www.newser.com/story/253886/colbert-seeks-reassurance-from-wolff-gets-nothing.htm

    .” Appearing on the Late Show on Monday night, Wolff warned host Stephen Colbert that Trump was probably watching (a contact told Wolff the president asked for his media schedule for the day). Wolff (who is a co-founder of Newser) then admitted “there’s nothing really too new in this book” since the administration’s emphasis on the press has prompted leaks. Nonetheless, Colbert said the tell-all “upset” him. “As a citizen, I don’t want any of it to be true,” he said. “You should believe all of it,” Wolff responded, per the Week. “That’s the alarming thing, that this is all true.”

    …Asked to present his recordings of interviews from the book, Wolff declined, telling Colbert, “I’m in the writing business.” He went on to explain that the Trump White House is full of people “lying in their own particular way,” so he used his “judgment” to decide “what versions of stories to include.” He suggested readers should decide if the book’s narrative lines up with what’s already known about the Trump White House. At the end of the interview, Colbert asked the author for something administration officials “do well,” noting “people gotta go to sleep after this.” Wolff’s response: “Nothing.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  2. And this from a host who professed to be concerned about the culture of our nation as the result of a President so unworthy for the office.

    But hey, enjoy the book with some popcorn and soft drink. The host did.

    Me, I’m closer to Hugh Hewitt’s view — I have no use for falsehoods told as facts, and when there is no basis to distinguish one from the other, there’s no point in reading the book. Its not different that opening The Star tabloid. The first thing you realize is that even the National Enquirer has higher journalistic standards.

    Key takeaway from Hugh Hewitt’s interview about the book yesterday on MSNBC: Wolff has admitted he did not interview a single cabinet member or the VP. Hewitt has interviewed the all on air — some more than once — and has interviewed many many GOP senators since the beginning Trump’s run. Hewitt was NEVER a Trump supporter, had very public spats with Trump while interviewing him on the air, and publicly said Trump should drop out after the Billy Bush tape came out.

    Wolff says in his book that the 25th Amendment is talked about daily in the WH.

    Hewitt says that not one time in all his time spent talking to and interviewing the VP, Cab Secs, GOP Senators, and WH personnel, has anyone ever brought up the 25th Amendment.

    Trump’s mental unfitness for office, and the prospect for removal under the 25th Amendment is the CORE of Wolff’s book and the publicity campaign of the last 5 days.

    So who do you believe, Hewitt or Wolff?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  3. And rather than waste time and space with a book no one will remember in 10 days, why not write about the memo yesterday from Center for American Progress, which is up at RedState, where Jennifer Palmieri of Clinton Campaign fame admits in writing that the Dem Party stance on DACA – and illegal immigration in general since it has the same result — is about future electoral chances of the Dem Party. They know those DREAMERS are likely Dem voters once they have legal status, so defending them and keeping them in the country is about gaining votes for Dems.

    Now that is a substantive issue worth the time and effort to understand and write about.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  4. Or we could discuss the Cong. testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, the transcript of which was posted online this morning by Sen. Feinstein.

    Again, a matter of substantive concern.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  5. oddly that squirrel is not worth chasing, neither is this:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cia-director-seeks-stronger-counterintelligence-spies-leakers/

    seeing as Harold miller seems to have sequestered an Alexandrian library worth of data, three years after snowden, in what was is our information secure at all,

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. have you wondered why so many sites like this one, are interfered with inside govt or educational institutions, and yahoo and puffington, stream clear:

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/09/googles-new-fact-check-feature-almost-exclusively-targets-conservative-sites/

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. 4. That transcript has been hard to get, and Democrats started complaining about it.

    There was an Op-ed article in the New York Times on January 3 by Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/republicans-investigation-fusion-gps.html

    I wanted to do what I guess you call a fisking of it.

    The Wall Street Journal alao had an editorial about Fusion GPS.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  8. fusions management comes from the journal, who previously employed cnn’s evan perez

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/01/those_crazy_people_arrested_in_communist_countries.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  9. My interest in the book is quite limited — that being to the quotes attributed to Steve Bannon whose accuracy he has not challenged.

    Regardless of the credibility of the rest of the book — which I rate as only slightly better than the Trump argument about Ted Cruz’ father conspiring to assassinate JFK, and yes there’s irony in that — Bannon’s acquiescence in having said what he’s quoted as saying says something very important about Bannon.

    Because Trump trusted Bannon and publicly made him a senior WH advisor, confirmation of Bannon’s grotesque hypocrisy and execrable judgment is therefore probative as evidence of Trump’s own judgment in choosing and empowering advisors.

    That’s why this book is newsworthy IMHO. As for the rest, if you’re the kind of person who skims the headlines of the National Enquirer while standing in line at the CVS checkout counter, but doesn’t pick it up and flip the cover, much less buy a copy, then you probably ought not waste your money on this book either. If you’re easily entertained — the kind of person who regularly enjoys reality TV shows or professional wrestling — or in the mood to be blithely credulous so you can work up a righteous outrage one way or the other, then perhaps you’ll want to read the book.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  10. 3. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 1/9/2018 @ 10:26 am

    They know those DREAMERS are likely Dem voters once they have legal status, so defending them and keeping them in the country is about gaining votes for Dems.

    Lindsey graham, proposed taht coitizenship be stretched out so that it takes about adozen years, but it’s not thenm, its their families, freinds, schoolmates, fellow members of churches etc.

    And what they really need is for them to be counted in the Census. (The census is heading up to be greater fiasco than ever – they want people to answer the questions online)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/us/census-citizenship-status-immigrants.html

    Critics Say Questions About Citizenship Could Wreck Chances for an Accurate Census

    By MICHAEL WINES JAN. 2, 2018

    A request by the Justice Department to ask people about their citizenship status in the 2020 census is stirring a broad backlash from census experts and others who say the move could wreck chances for an accurate count of the population — and, by extension, a fair redistricting of the House and state legislatures next decade.

    Their fear, echoed by experts in the Census Bureau itself, is that the Trump administration’s hard-line stance on immigration, and especially on undocumented migrants, will lead Latinos and other minorities, fearing prosecution, to ignore a census that tracks citizenship status.

    Their failure to participate would affect population counts needed not only to apportion legislative seats, but to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money to areas that most need it.

    “I can think of no action the administration could take that would be more damaging to the accuracy of the 2020 census than to add a question on citizenship,” Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant and leading private expert on census issues, said in an interview. “It would completely pull the rug out from under efforts to have everyone participate in the census as the said in an interview. “It would completely pull the rug out from under efforts to have everyone participate in the census as the Constitution envisions.”

    The government has sought to count everyone living in the United States, legally and otherwise, since the first census in 1790. The decennial census has not asked all respondents whether they were citizens since 1960, although much smaller Census Bureau surveys of the population have continued to include citizenship questions. …

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  11. Watching the anti-Trumpers embarrass themselves getting into a circle jerk over Dan Rather-style confirmation bias is a wonder to behold.

    Harsanyi gets it. Wasting time over the work of a fabulist is just that, wasting time. Unless you have a meme to push and nothing worthwhile to draw from.

    harkin (6c3294)

  12. Dan Rather would be proud if he was still relevant.

    NJRob (b00189)

  13. And just some food for thought; did D’Souza get the full media tour and press support for his “Obama’s America” book before Obama had the feds go after him and jail him?

    NJRob (b00189)

  14. narciso @8.

    It’s news to someone that this used to happen in the old Soviet Union?

    That’s where it started!

    A favorite diagnosis was “reformist delusions.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  15. not only there, sammeh, it migrated everywhere the soviets had contact, about 300 pages worth of doubletalk,

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. I agree with Beldar. The fact that Wolff was given access to White House personnel — by anyone, and for this length of time — is the important part of this story. The fact that no one in the White House was prepared to deal with this story is also revealing.

    I hoped Trump and Bannon had planned this as a reality TV-style distraction from Mueller’s investigation, but apparently the chaos in the Trump Administration is both unscripted and real.
    This story is now adding to Trump’s problems instead of distracting from them. On the other hand, swc does know how to use distraction to try to change the subject. You really should start a blog, swc.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. seriously, they were dealing with other matters, at the time, yes the press will follow the laser pointer, but you are supposed to be more discerning, the simpson interview was a dry well, contradicted by other evidence and common sense,

    narciso (d1f714)

  18. narciso @11.

    The committee and Mr. Simpson have also agreed that participation in this interview does not constitute a waiver of his ability to assert any privileges in response to future appearances before this committee.

    What tha means is that answering quesitons here does not constitute awaiver of the 5th amendment. Many lawyers contend that once a quesiton is nswered a person cannot mke ageneral Fifth amendment claim. That’s why Mark Fuhrman wouild not answerr even the most innocent quesitons at the O.J. Simpson trial when he was brought back.

    I see also that the committee didn’t want him to speak so that other witnesses could be interviewed independently. And that would be the reason the transcript was not released until now. This is standard operating procedure for many investigations. That may be bad.

    On page 14–15 he says he started his company as Bean LLC because he didn’t want to pick a permanent name yet. Fusion GPS is DBA = Doing Business As.

    He denies that it’s a Dem linked firm.

    Steels’s name comes up first on page 76. He later mentions he worked with him before. There were alot of business ownership quesitons.

    They were not totally focused on Russia at that point when they hired Steele for this. They were also looking into Trump brand merchanside made in sweat shops in Latin America.

    ….the basis for the request [for Steele to investigate Trump and Russia] was he [Trump] had made a number of trips to Russia and talked about doing a number of business deals but never did one, and that struck me as a little bit odd and calling for an explanation.

    Yeah. Trump never took the hint about paying people off maybe.

    Look here he’s saying that Trump had no business dealings with Russia. Or no announced ones.

    Simpson can’t remember if Steele was hired before or after it had been reported there was a cyber-intrusion at the DNC. he claims there had been chatter. Actually this was very tightly held by the DNC before they announced it. Of course Simpson was working for alawyer for the DNC.

    Page 83:

    ….we gave Chris a sort of assignment that would be typical for us which was pretty open ended. We said see if you can find out what Donald Trump’s been doing on these trips to Russia. Since Chris and I worked together over the years there’s a lot that didn’t need to be said. That would include who is he doing business with, which hotels does he like to stay at, you know, did anyone ever offer him anything, you know, the standard sort of things you would look at. I don’t think I gave him any specific instructions beyond the general find out what he was up to.

    Q. And was anyone else — did you engage anyone else to do that particular research?

    A. In Russia?

    Q. Yes.

    A. So we had other people like Ed Baumgartner who, you know, by this time — I guess Prevezon was
    still winding down, but who would do Russian language research which didn’t involve going to
    Russia. It just involves reading Russian newspaper accounts and that sort of thing.

    Q. So was Mr. Baumgartner also working on opposition research for [sic] Candidate Trump?

    A. At some point, I think probably after the end of the Prevezon case we asked him to help with
    I think — my specific recollection is he worked on specific issues involving Paul Manafort and
    Ukraine.

    Q. With regard to the presidential election of 2016?

    A. Yes.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  19. seriously only bugliosi’s primal screed at the end, where he charged w with accessory to mass murder was this unhinged and was nearly at the tail end of the term

    https://althouse.blogspot.com/2018/01/i-sometimes-wonder-if-invisible-white.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. neither devlin barrett nor any other source would directly link the transcript, what does that tell you

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. 17. DRJ (15874d) — 1/9/2018 @ 11:23 am

    I hoped Trump and Bannon had planned this as a reality TV-style distraction from Mueller’s investigation, but apparently the chaos in the Trump Administration is both unscripted and real.

    I don’t think Trump ever did in politics any of thise fakle disputes you see in wrestling – and in wrestling everybody knew it was fake. I don’t think that’s even possible to do.

    No, Bannon has some kind of agenda.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  22. compare that speech when Obama was actually through holder, was actually investigating interrogators, the self same ones who prevented a horror at library tower twice, I guess smooth talk covers over much

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. as Grassley notes simpson was obviously working with the Russians, likely fsb officials, who sent their latest rumor, I noted the page bit, came from a blog avalanche awakens, which specializes in Ukrainian matters, and passed it off as sourced intelligence,

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book and I have no intention of reading it. I don’t give a tinker’s damn what Michael Wolff writes or what he says on TV.

    As far as I’m concerned Wolff is no different than any other deranged #NeverTrumper or acute TDS turd floating in the same cesspool as treacherous FBI, DOJ, Democrat Party, and Fake News turncoats.

    From the reviews, Wolff’s book seems little more than a homegrown, error plagued, and mudspattered version of the completely discredited Trump Dossier, complete with predetermined conclusions, transparent lies, presumptuous distortions, manufactured events, and imaginary sources, all roundly celebrated by the same cabal of chattering kookoo birds who chanted in unison the phony Dossier would overturn Trump’s presidential election victory.

    A pox on all their houses of deceit!

    ropelight (26b9e8)

  25. Or maybe the host could bring the analytical skills he’s so proud of — converting observations into endorsements — and take on Andy McCarthy again over McCarthy’s further analysis and argument concerning the substantive allegations in the Steele dossier and whether the descriptor “salacious and unverified” only meant that the salacious parts of the dossier were unverified.

    Now that is LOL worthy.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  26. certainly the page tie to the rosneft deal, is a dead end, because the deal was brought to market, by glencore, Qatari investment trust, (why don’t people want to look into that?) and the Italian bank santipaolo, so where did a piddling Merrill lynch franchisee get a piece of the action.

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. 19 — sammy another key admission he makes in that same location of the transcript is that he and Steele shared an interest in Russian kleptocracy and the various illegal authoritarian activities of Putin.

    I’m not suggesting that his views and concerns about Putin are inaccurate, but its clear that he has a view of Putin that animates his thinking on all things concerning Russia — and Trump’s involvement with Russia as a business matter. He notes that his interest in the Trump-Russia intersection was based on the fact that there was a lot of public record information about business deals that had been offered to Trump in Russia, that many seem to have been pursued with one degree or another of effort, but nothing had ever materialized. He says he found that odd, and wanted Steele find out if there was a reason why.

    The unstated — at least to the point i have read — implication is that Trump and Putin’s gov’t made a decision to maintain a certain distance between the two for the sake of appearances, to make it more difficult to build a case that Trump was a Putin stooge if and when he ever was elected to higher office. It was to maintain “plausible deniability” with regard to a Trump-Putin connection, by being able to truthfully claim that the lack of any such connection is reflected in the fact that Trump never did business in Russia.

    It’s an argument that the Trump opponents get to win regardless of what side they pick.

    Its kind of like the exchange between Mathew Modine’s journalist in Full Metal Jacket, and the doorgunner in the helicopter he’s riding in, when the gunner says with regard to who he shoots:

    “Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who doesn’t run is a well-disciplined VC.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  28. Notes on the Op-ed article by Fusion GPS principles:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/republicans-investigation-fusion-gps.html

    A generation ago, Republicans sought to protect President Richard Nixon by urging the Senate Watergate committee to look at supposed wrongdoing by Democrats in previous elections. The committee chairman, Sam Ervin, a Democrat, said that would be “as foolish as the man who went bear hunting and stopped to chase rabbits.” 1.

    The things Nixon wanted to call attention to were real, and as result they are not as well known as anything conencted to Watergate. It was Bobby kennedy bugging Martin Luther King. LBJ bugging candidates. The IRS auditing people. including Nixon himself, during the Kennedy Administration.

    This sounds like it might be aimed at insiders. Just like the Ervin committee refused to look inro other things that were real, he’s saying so they shouldn’t look into other things Fusion GPS did that are real. The rabbits aren’t wild gooses – they aren’t imaginary.

    2.

    In those sessions, we toppled the far right’s conspiracy theories and explained how The Washington Free Beacon and the Clinton campaign — the Republican and Democratic funders of our Trump research — separately came to hire us in the first place.

    Notice he now says “Separately” hired.

    This was esrlier depicted in the press as Democrats taking over what Republicans had started, and the identity of the Democratic (and Republican) clients was dragged out of them.

    3.

    We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.

    The other things gave nothing to the anyone to follow up on and so no real investigation resulted. Also the FBI reportedly did nto obtai any FISA warrant based on the earlier information.

    4.

    Finally, we debunked the biggest canard being pushed by the president’s men — the notion that we somehow knew of the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between some Russians and the Trump brain trust.

    there is the claim that they’d been hored over the Magnitsjy case. This was a bad defense by Trump’s people because it doesn’t at all mean that Fusion GPS planned the whole thing. Natalya Veselnitskaya was not working for them on that. It was the other wasy around. They were working for trhe Russians not the Russians for them. So thsi had no logic to it.

    But the media hasn’t been very logical – the whole notion of Trump collusion with Russia on hacking is illogical. What everything points to is Russian penetration of the Trump campaign (and hopefully for the Russian government a future Trump Administration) – and we still have no idea how this was done.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  29. now it’s interesting this person, who may not be considered stable:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/glover-and-weiss-no-strangers-to-lawsuits/article/133449

    was contracted through fusion on the adoption issues, it just strikes me as some corners are examined and others are not,

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. Up at 4:00am, working away; sufficient time to tell Patterico what to write about, but not to write it himself.

    Seriously: have you asked Patterico for permission to guest-blog? I for one would be quite interested to read and analyze shipwreckedcrew’s take on “Jennifer Palmieri of Clinton Campaign fame admit[ting] in writing that the Dem Party stance on DACA – and illegal immigration in general since it has the same result — is about future electoral chances of the Dem Party.”

    Leviticus (efada1)

  31. Supposedly director Robert Clouse had problems with Bruce Lee during the making Enter the Dragon so he purposely named the control agent a difficult to pronounce Mr Braithwaite.

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  32. She and not Abedin will be Arkancided.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  33. Does Trump see real doctor at Bethesda or will a corpse man do?

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  34. So, ropelight, my reading of your comment is that folks are either with Trump or against him. Is that correct or incorrect?

    DRJ (15874d)

  35. What the hell, Narciso? They may not need the Boricuas with that kind of outreach.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  36. I’ve been out of the loop on Grassley’s committee. Does anyone know why he refused to release the Fusion testimony and Feinstein released it?

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. The many stages of an anti-Trump Leftie:

    1. Racist, sexist, bigoted!! (Yawn.)
    2. Collusion!! (Umm, no.)
    3. Obstruction of justice!! (Umm, no.)
    4. Not saying dementia but, hey, look at this….

    The many stages of an anti-Trump conservative:

    1. He can’t win the nomination!! (He did.)
    2. He can’t beat Hillary — we’re gonna get clobbered!! (He did, and umm, no.)
    3. He won’t govern as a conservative!! (He is.)
    4. Not saying dementia but, hey, look at this….

    It’s nice that the forces arrayed against Trump are coalescing around one strategy. For those of us on the other side, it’s preferable to a two front war.

    The payoff with such an inference, as with any normal run-of-the-mill epithet, comes in the accusation rather than actually proving it. One could say it’s an “immoral tactic” borrowed from the Left.

    random viking (616c92)

  38. . The fact that Wolff was given access to White House personnel — by anyone, and for this length of time — is the important part of this story. The fact that no one in the White House was prepared to deal with this story is also revealing.

    He’s closer to your tolerance now? What is the linchpin? You have been teetering but now the benefit of the doubt goes to Trump.

    Shirley you don’t really believe his lack of perspective is somehow courage in the face of media fire? Maybe he’s just a Fool.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  39. battlelines bein drawn..nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. People losin their minds, gettin so much resistance from the behinds..

    emphasis mine–

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  40. 31 — A decade ago I was a guest blogger. Patrick and I have had a few telephone conversations. We spent a ton of time talking about the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, and the evidence linking Suge Knight and members of the LAPD to Smalls’ murder.

    We talked about the trial of Anthony Pellicano in Los Angeles.

    I wrote numerous — mostly unpopular – posts defending the prosecution of the two Border Patrol agents, Ramos and Campion (?) for their shooting, and later obstruction — of an illegal alien at the border.

    For some personal and professional reasons, I fell away from participation in this blog about 5 years ago. I came in the summer of 2016, after Patrick had made his judgments on Trump and the GOP, and started down the path he has now taken.

    Like Patrick, I was a Cruz supporter all through the primaries. After Cruz I would have probably lined up behind Bush or Kasich. I’ve always been very luke warm on Rubio — whom I have discussed many times with Hugh Hewitt, who is a big Rubio fan.

    But once Trump dispatched them all, and it was a match between Trump and Clinton, I had no problems supporting Trump because I’m one of those people who see it as “realpolitik” — a binary choice between what the governmental apparatus would do with Clinton in charge or with Trump in charge. One of the two of them was going to run the government. That. Was. A. Fact.

    Getting on board with Trump is like getting on an amusement park ride — there’s a lot of ups and downs. But I’ve got a strong stomach, so I can tolerate the bad in order to realize the good. My problem with not supporting Trump is that I’m not sure I could have tolerated the bad with Clinton simply because there would have been no good. And an 8 year continuation of what Obama had shown could be done without needing to go through elected legislators would have been beyond even the worst nightmares of what Never-Trumpers think Trump might do.

    Clinton would have had 5 votes on the Supreme Court to cut off the judiciary as a check on her conduct. It would have expanded the Chevron Doctrine to further free up executive agencies to pursue their policy agendas through rule-making regardless of what Congress wanted.

    Any effort by Congress to hold back the Admin state would have been met by a veto pen.

    And after 2 terms of Clinton, we would have had the 21st Century equivalent of Roosevelt’s New Deal — but even further along the way to a European style social democracy.

    IMO there would have been no turning back from that.

    So, in some ways, I saw the election as an existential threat to our democratic republic of states.

    Not a single complaint Patrick has raised about the threat of a Trump presidency has ever come close to what I saw in the threat of a Hillary presidency.

    So we have broken quite significantly over the issue.

    What makes him most upset here, however, is that I’m more than willing to challenge him factually on too many of his “too good to check” moments he finds to be critical of the Trump administration. He hates that.

    So, I’ll never be a guest commentator here again — is his blog, its his choice. He has put ENORMOUS personal effort and sacrifice — personal, professional, and financial — into making it what it has become. He has nothing by my respect for what he has accomplished in that regard.

    I wish we were still sympatico as we were before, but we have our own minds and our own views. Right now they are in conflict on issues important to both of us.

    I think there are far more things we agree on, but they just don’t come up here.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  41. 28.

    He notes that his interest in the Trump-Russia intersection was based on the fact that there was a lot of public record information about business deals that had been offered to Trump in Russia, that many seem to have been pursued with one degree or another of effort, but nothing had ever materialized. He says he found that odd, and wanted Steele find out if there was a reason why.

    The unstated — at least to the point i have read — implication is that Trump and Putin’s gov’t made a decision to maintain a certain distance between the two for the sake of appearances, to make it more difficult to build a case that Trump was a Putin stooge if and when he ever was elected to higher office.

    No, it was more like this:

    They were working on the idea that maybe Trump had been on the take from Russia for a long time, and all this about business deals with Rusaia was a way of Trump and Russia pretending he was wealthy and a big businessman. (like as if there was nothing else that contributed to the impression that Trump was wealthy. how much space did the potential Russian deals take up in news coverage of Trump over the years?)

    Now that idea wouldn’t involve any hopes for him becoming president at that start. It was just maybe that he was on the take. I believe that Steele produced all sorts of claims of business connections between Trump and Russia. Like maybe through Deutsche Bank. The idea is that Deutsche Bankwas being reimbursed by Russia for losses to Donald Trump.

    In the Op-ed article they say:

    We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip: Reportedly, ours are the only bank records the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed.

    Deutsche Bank has been mentioned in some news articles.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2017/12/29/donald-trump-russia-secret-deutsche-bank-753780.html

    Tis doesn’t quiote make an explicit connection between Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia but just between Trump and Deutsche Bank on the one hand, and Deutsche Bank and Russia on the other. I don’t know if this is an idea Fusion GOPS dreamed up only after the fact. This idea is based on the notion that Trump was not capable of getting banks to make bad deals with him all on his own but maybe he needed help from Russia.

    It’s not explained what was in this for Russia. Defrauding Putin it would seem to me would be even harder than defauding Deutsche Bank! Besides the bank did come out OK in the end…

    Deutsche Bank is not found in this particular transcript but there’s this on page 71:

    So we did things like we looked at the golf courses and whether they actually ever made any money and how much debt they had. We looked at the bankruptcies, how could somebody go through so many bankruptcies, you know, and still have a billion dollars in personal assets.

    So all that that Trump survived bankruptcies in the 1990s – that was Russia’s doing? While Yeltsin was running Russia?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  42. …error plagued…

    A pox on all their houses of deceit!
    ropelight (26b9e8) — 1/9/2018 @ 11:51 am

    He’s one of them homegrown domestic errorists.

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  43. If Fusion GPS believed any of this they were a bunch of fools themselves.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  44. Or maybe the host could bring the analytical skills he’s so proud of — converting observations into endorsements — and take on Andy McCarthy again over McCarthy’s further analysis and argument concerning the substantive allegations in the Steele dossier and whether the descriptor “salacious and unverified” only meant that the salacious parts of the dossier were unverified.

    Now that is LOL worthy.
    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 1/9/2018 @ 11:56 am

    So you aren’t a big fan of JACK FM?

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  45. 37 — I don’t think Grassley ever refused. Grassley said that the ground rules at the time of the interview was that the transcript would not be released – it was Fusion GPS who opted for a closed door interview and not examination before the Committee.

    The question of releasing it came up last week when Simpson and the other guy wrote and OpEd in the NYT perfectly timed to the NYT reportering pivot claiming that it was Papadopolous, and not the Steele dossier, which got the FBI started.

    Since they went public with their claims, Grassley suggested that the transcript of their testimony be released. They claimed they wanted it released all the time. So Grassley said fine, lets do it. His only caveat at that point was that it would take a few days to get the transcript in shape to release to the press.

    If you look at it today, there are numerous redactions of names and personal identifier information, so Grassley was correct in that regard.

    I don’t think it really matters why it was Feinstein rather than Grassley who released it. Both had their staff investigators participate in the questioning.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  46. because unlike say the text and other documentations in the ig report, these are just representations, now it’s interesting to note who owns not insignificant portions of deutsche bank, it’s a Chinese bank among other parties, prince talal owned 3% in his victor kiam way, I suppose in return for funding of kingdom tower, a project that will probably have to be mothballed for the time being,

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. Sammy

    So Mueller is the cop tasked to look for a fugitive who wants to enter Trump’s back yard and kill all his Pit Bulls. Just because he can.

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  48. Trump and the bill of love.
    I’m going to be sick.
    Cuba here we come.
    No Doctors No nurses just crimalein disease infested lazy democrat voters.

    mg (8cbc69)

  49. 37. DRJ (15874d) — 1/9/2018 @ 12:23 pm

    37.I’ve been out of the loop on Grassley’s committee. Does anyone know why he refused to release the Fusion testimony and Feinstein released it?

    Not letting witnesses know what other witnesses have testified to is standard operating procedure in investigatons.

    Now Grassley (and Lindsey Graham) have made a criminal referral about Steele to the FBI and Democvrats are all complaining about it, but not about the substance.

    It seems to be about Steele denying (probably in FBI interview summaries turned over to the committee) that he leaked parts of his reporting to reporters. While in a British lawsuit he (probably later) said that he did.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  50. 48. I don’t follow you.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  51. The border is a 1000 mile garbage dump. No newscasts will show the damage of these uncivilized cretins.

    mg (8cbc69)

  52. and then there is chris cooper, of joe trippis Potomac square group, he was also retained by fusion, if you look at fusion, a little like ivy lee’s press outfit at the turn of the century, willing to flack for anyone who has coin,

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. The eerie literary accuracy of such accounts is probably why journalists spent much of Thursday debating the provenance of Wolff’s information. Was it all true? Exaggerated? Stuff whispered in confidence?

    Others questioned the validity of the account on the basis that the representation of Trump was so horrifically moronic, it couldn’t possibly be real.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-why-michael-wolffs-book-is-good-news-w515045

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  54. A Pit Bull pogrom would be a righteous act and serve as a sort of “firing of the PATCO strikers” message to send to a group.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  55. Oh – here’s another thing or two from the Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch Op-ed:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/republicans-investigation-fusion-gps.html

    Yes, we hired Mr. Steele, a highly respected Russia expert. But we did so without informing him whom we were working for and gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?

    What came back shocked us. Mr. Steele’s sources in Russia (who were not paid) …

    Who were not paid!

    That probably means they were telling him only what Putin wanted them too!

    More:

    …reported on an extensive — and now confirmed — effort by the Kremlin to help elect Mr. Trump president. Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the F.B.I. We did not discuss that decision with our clients, or anyone else. Instead, we deferred to Mr. Steele, a trusted friend and intelligence professional with a long history of working with law enforcement. We did not speak to the F.B.I. and haven’t since.

    Notice what they do NOT say:

    They didn’t discuss with “their clients” = Top Democrats and people high up in the Clinton camapign whether or not Steele should talk to the FBI. But they do not say whether or not they discussed if Steele should tell reporters anything.

    I think actually maybe it was Fusion GPS who arranged for the leaking, so technically maybe Steele didn’t leak anything, but Steele was named as a source who was contacted by some of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  56. Strong. Leadership.

    President Donald Trump appeared to contradict himself multiple times in a meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday — a reflection of growing frustration from Capitol Hill about the lack of direction from the White House on the issue.

    The President at times suggested he would be looking to sign everything from a stand-alone fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — set to expire in March — to comprehensive immigration reform, often appearing to being guided by lawmakers in the room to modify his positions.

    The comments came during a nearly hour-long conversation between the roughly two dozen lawmakers, the President and White House staff that the press was allowed to record — a window into the difficult negotiations that still surround the issue of replacing DACA, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, and border security.

    At the end of the session, Trump suggested that ultimately, he would sign whatever he was presented with.

    “I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” Trump said. “If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it. Because I respect them.”

    Dave (4a9e27)

  57. 47. narciso (d1f714) — 1/9/2018 @ 12:40 pm

    now it’s interesting to note who owns not insignificant portions of deutsche bank, it’s a Chinese bank among other parties, prince talal owned 3% in his victor kiam way, I suppose in return for funding of kingdom tower, a project that will probably have to be mothballed for the time being,

    That would maybe have China and Saudi Arabia subsidizing Trump if you followed this line of reasoning. But Trump just relied on personal contacts and charm and pie in the sky promises of profit.

    In the Op-ed they say:

    Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?

    In his testimony, Simpsonm only says:

    We said see if you can find out what Donald Trump’s been doing on these trips to Russia.

    In boith cases it’s seek to do deals not actually do them.

    The Russians were stringing him along! And Trump doesn’t have the moral sensitivity to avoid that. It helped not being a publicly held company.

    They got a bunch of answers back from Russia, none of them true. Trump was compromised. Trump was on the take.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. 57. Trump is trying to escape from his campaign promises on immigration. He’s trying to square the circle.

    If anyone comes up with new thinking, Trump would probably really appreciate it.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  59. and cowardpig war hero John McCain licked up the pee pee dossier like it was pumpkin pie

    trotted it right over to the corrupt Comey FBI

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  60. Trumps ghostwriter says he’s always been like this only now he’s deteriorating

    The brat is wurst.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  61. 59, now he has given much of his base the rationale for invoking the 25th or nudging into voluntary resignation.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  62. When Mueller asks Trump about the meeting with Comey regarding Flynn, and Trump answers “I don’t remember”, the dementia accusations will suddenly disappear since it won’t comport with the resulting outrage.

    random viking (616c92)

  63. we shall see what congress comes up with, I see the collapsing triplane image, but ymmv

    narciso (d1f714)

  64. @36 urbanleftbehind

    Mi Novio has a first name

    It’s O-s-c-a-r

    Pinndpuller (16b0b5)

  65. bye bye sloppy steve

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  66. Has Wolff done the Food Channel yet to dish on cheeseburger Trump?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. Does this devalue my Silver Surfer F4 intro?

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  68. here’s how i make cheeseburger salad it has no carbs ok (or cheese)

    get lean chuck and brown it in your deepest skillet with onions (if you user super lean you don’t have to drain it later) (yay)

    add seasoning – you want a half teaspoon each of:

    * cinnamon

    * nutmeg

    * salt

    once that’s done fill the rest of the skillet up with chopped cabbage and cover – come back in a few when the cabbage cookers down a little and stir

    ok transfer to a mixing bowl

    now add a 1/4 cup each of mustard and mayo

    bam you’re done it’s so good!

    add jalapenos if you want

    ok bye

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  69. President Trump speaks super articulately with no notes at his immigration meeting today

    he’s sharp as a tack

    Dave’s CNN Jake Tapper fake news link is silly

    just listen for yourself what President Trump says

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  70. President Trump says three things are paramount:

    1. border security – specifically a wall and more enforcement

    2. get rid of chain migration (hepatitis)

    3. get rid of the lottery program

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  71. Even a drunk Aspergers is lucid twice per day.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  72. I’ve never seen Trump run (splayed stance) but other tells make the diagnosis…Aspergers syndrome.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  73. he probably did a vaccine what gave him the autistic even though dirty weight watcher lesbian oprah winfrey tried to warn him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  74. Bannon resigns from Breitbart. Now in our Captain’s wake, he’s just another Ivana Trump book title: ‘Free To Love.’

    Look for Bannonwear in the stores for the back-to-school crowd.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. Look for Bannonwear in the stores for the back-to-school crowd.

    Followed quickly with warehouse closeouts for pennies on the dollah.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  76. “I’ll beat Oprah… don’t think she’ll run.” – President Trump.

    At last, proof positive: Trump’s a liar.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. Love the recipe suggestions happy.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  78. I truly admire the Trump intransigence. It reminds me of a poem…right back.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  79. your welcome they’re super easy too if i want something fancy that’s what restaurants are for

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  80. Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!” he said.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    II
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismayed?
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    III
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volleyed and thundered;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    IV
    Flashed all their sabres bare,
    Flashed as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wondered.
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right through the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reeled from the sabre stroke
    Shattered and sundered.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    V
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volleyed and thundered;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell.
    They that had fought so well
    Came through the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    VI
    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred!

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  81. Well, its more like ignoble than noble..

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  82. #35, DRJ, no, of the several rational reactions to my comment at #25, I don’t recognize the provenance of yours.

    My purpose was to denounce Wolff’s idiot screed and to place it firmly within the context of well publicized fakery masquerading as news and/or informed opinion designed and supported by the same treacherous cabal of would-be usurpers behind the Trump Dossier scam seeking to overturn the election of Donald Trump.

    If that divides us into opposing groups, it was only a tangential corollary, and not germaine to my point.

    ropelight (26b9e8)

  83. President Trump says three things are paramount:

    1. border security – specifically a wall and more enforcement

    Has Mexico agreed to pay for 100% of the wall yet, like he promised hundreds of times?

    No? Then why hasn’t he shown them who’s boss?

    Dave (092f5a)

  84. Sucker punch.

    Down goes Bannon. That could be it. No. Wait he’s getting up. Still a little wobbly.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  85. LOL — at page 93 of Simpson’s interview, he says with regard to Steele’s reports involving “human intelligence”, they don’t really ask if the information is accurate, only whether its “credible.”

    So when it turns out to be “inaccurate”, I guess they can fall back on “Credible, but false.”

    What a business he’s got!!!

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  86. My purpose was to denounce Wolff’s idiot screed and to place it firmly within the context of well publicized fakery masquerading as news and/or informed opinion designed and supported by the same treacherous cabal of would-be usurpers behind the Trump Dossier scam seeking to overturn the election of Donald Trump.

    Perfect context for the inspiration .

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  87. President Trump says the 3 elements of border security are: a wall, discontinuing
    chain migration, and an end to lottery migration in favor of a merit-based system.

    Trump will not sign new DACA legislation unless it includes the 3 elements of border security. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous.

    ropelight (26b9e8)

  88. And there’s more dodging and weaving for 200 pages, Simpson makes several dubious assertions and even more evasions, that defy explanation re akmetchinmand veselnitskaya

    narciso (d1f714)

  89. 50 – Sammy:

    “The release [of the transcript of the Simpson testimony] itself provoked controversy, with an aide to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, calling it “confounding” for Feinstein to drop the transcript in the “middle of an ongoing investigation.”
    —– Fox News

    Lenny (5ea732)

  90. If you put this statement in combination with the bank records you get a different story to what Simpson is saying.

    narciso (d1f714)

  91. I stand corrected on Grassley.

    He has objected forcefully to Feinstein’s unilateral release of the transcript.

    So that calls into question the timing.

    My guess would be that because the FBI provided the House Intel committee with all its records containing the Steele dossier and the FISA application on Carter Page, Feinstein is trying to get ahead what she expects will be bad information for the Dems leaking out of the House. So by putting all this Simpson testimony out in the public domain, those who are seeking to poo-poo the Steele dossier’s relevance have some information to work with.

    Simpson’s op ed was good for a week, but now that Nunes and his staff in the House have actual FBI records, the Dems needed bigger ammo.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  92. Nunes is as verklempt as Rohrabacher and Trump volunteers.

    Hence the flurry of concerns for Trump.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  93. Feinstein’s helping future witnesses conform their testimony to what the sleazy fusion pigs said

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. You get a cupcake for that pikachu.

    narciso (d1f714)

  95. Keep howdy Gowdy away from the hearings.

    mg (8cbc69)

  96. Feinstein’s helping future witnesses conform their testimony to what the sleazy fusion pigs said

    Yes, yes she is. We call that subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice. What do they call it in Californian?

    nk (dbc370)

  97. 100 nk:

    They really are above the law, eh?

    Lenny (5ea732)

  98. I think Feinstein is more interested in getting everyone on the same page re talking points once the info starts leaking out of the Intel Comm.

    Remember, Nunes now has internal FBI docs about how they viewed and used the Steele dossier, and the FISA application.

    So Feinstein has doubled-down on the “Dossier really wasn’t central” fiction that was trotted out into the NYT last Thurs.

    The only problem was that Wolff’s book sucked up all the oxygen over the weekend, so everyone on the Dem side needs a primer on what they should be saying in the days ahead in response to leaks about the FBI records.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  99. Feinstein’s helping future witnesses conform their testimony to what the sleazy fusion pigs said

    Feinstein is a compassionate Hansel and Gretel bakery chef who eats all the profits.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  100. Feinstein should be removed for unfitness similar to Trump only less explanatory .

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  101. Yes, if Feinstein was smart, she should have just leaked the information like the Republican members of the committee have been.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  102. Boxer/Feinstein Bund the worst of secular/Orthodox pro AUMF dawgs of illegitimate war drums.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  103. I remember when Diane gave up a drone base in the kingdom in 2009, yes she’s a good steward

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. Instead of say an authorized war on qaddaffi using Al queda to train the tebels

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KimStrassel/status/950860584823676930

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. 107

    Half measures missed? She didn’t commit enough bloodvabd treasure to misguided misadventures?

    Narco: Go murder some more Salvadorans.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  106. Grigory Yefrimovich Rasputin Steve Bannon is now well and truly under the ice. Schadenfreude, baby — I have it tonight.

    Meanwhile:

    If you are a member of the Trump personality cult, then you will pretend that his televised meeting today completely eliminates any possibility that Trump is mentally incapacitated/demented/insane. It was indeed a very Trumpish performance with him as ringmaster, and certainly everyone in the room sucked up to him, and it ended up being a good “show don’t tell” rebuttal to the damage he’s taken from this Wolff book. I give whoever thought it up — him or whoever — an A+ for good marketing today. If you completely ignore the issues and stakes, that is to say, if you ignore 100% of the substance, Trump looked very Trumpian today.

    If you are a conservative who is not a member of the Trump personality cult, and you were not listening to the constant congressional suck-ups and patent attempts to manipulate Trump, but instead to what Trump himself was actually saying, then you’re appalled and dispirited tonight. As when he met with Chuck & Nancy last fall on the first of the continuing resolutions — when Trump deliberately and publicly undercut his own party leaders’ negotiating position against the Dems — he again undercut his own party’s negotiating positions today, repeatedly. Yuval Levin’s substantive evaluation of the multiple and self-contradictory positions Trump took during the meeting is exactly accurate and very perceptive.

    Friends and neighbors, if you think Trump cares about immigration, just watch this video for the proof positive to the contrary. He will sign anything anyone brings him, he repeatedly said. And yes, that could be not just “path to amnesty,” but “path to citizenship.”

    This was the utter opposite of effective leadership. This was Trump spewing friendly fire on the people in the room who actually are trying to gain, rather than surrender, negotiating leverage with the small handful of Dems (not those party leaders!) who the GOP needs to peel off to get 60 votes for anything in the Senate.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  107. GOP Congresswoman and former USAF Col. (and A-10 Warthog driver) Martha McSally of Arizona was among the GOP House members chosen to attend. She spoke well and persuasively when interviewed on Fox News immediately after. I think she’s the odds-on favorite for McCain’s seat.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  108. The GOP had a position, that’s news to me, a usual they are caught between the donors and the base. The former don’t want any restrictions, the latter want reasonable ones.

    narciso (d1f714)

  109. @111

    She’ll have to get past noted felon ex-Sheriff Arpaio first.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  110. If true this seems mildly important.

    A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-house-official-floated-withdrawing-us-forces-to-please-putin

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  111. I could peal him like a pear and God himself would call it justice

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  112. If they pass DREAM with Trump, when they could have passed it at any time with Obama instead of letting him carry on with the illegal and unconstitutional DACA, then ….

    There is no “then”. The immigration debate is a giant fraud on Republican voters and there’s nothing Republican voters can do about it except pretend that’s rain that’s falling on their leg. But we saw that with Obamacare repeal, too. Damn, this rain smells funny.

    nk (dbc370)

  113. So who hates FeinFrankenstein more?

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  114. Trump sounded like a gang of eight disciple. He probably thinks he can turn all the crimaleins into republicans. Shut him up!

    mg (8cbc69)

  115. Trump will not sign new DACA legislation unless it includes the 3 elements of border security. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous.

    Sure, but what he might let them add (e.g. a pathway to citizenship) negates the rest of it. If he had even HINTED that he’d allow a pathway to citizenship in 2016, he would never have won a single primary.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  116. Shut him up!

    That’s NeverTrumpspeak

    Is there unanimity?

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  117. If only there were people who had warned us that Trump was a fraud and a secret Democrat.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  118. Your chief error is predictability

    Youre better off assuming idiocy.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  119. I think she’s the odds-on favorite for McCain’s seat.

    I’ve contributed to McSally in all 3 campaigns. The 2012 race was a nailbiter, but she lost. The 2014 race was a nailbiter, too, but she won and in 2016 she won by couble-digits.

    I’d love to see her replace McCain. Same position on defense, and probably a bit more Republican in other things.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  120. And yes, that could be not just “path to amnesty,” but “path to citizenship.”

    The NYT is already gloating.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/politics/trump-daca-immigration.html

    Kevin M (752a26)

  121. @82. I’ll show’em I’m not crazy. I’ll hold a meeting and let’em watch it on the TeeVee!

    Whittaker:”The captain wants a meeting with all officers, right away.”
    Lt. Maryk: “Do you know what it’s about?”
    Whittaker: “Yes, sir – strawberries.”
    – ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  122. One word: Schwarzenegger.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  123. Hes just trying pull the voice of a key Dem constituency from the psych evaluation/25th Amdt. cacophony.

    urbanleftbehind (1d75fb)

  124. so Patterico’s examples are Trump slurred some words, and accidentally said the word “titties” instead of “entities”?. Well, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail I suppose.

    How about when Obama spelled “advice” as “advise”? Talking about the 52 states? “There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian — wheeling and dealing … ” Remember Corpse-man instead of Corpsman? How about when he gifted the Queen of England with 25 DVDs of popular movies that won’t play in Region 2? Or the time he gave her an ipod full of his speeches? How about selecting Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who had problems with the IRS? Former Sen. Tom Daschle (Health and Human Services), Rep. Hilda Solis (Labor) and Nancy Killefer (Budget and Spending reform) all withdraw because of tax problems.

    How about spending $40k of taxpayer money on a posh date night on Broadway? Bowing to foreign leaders? Bumbled use of the teleprompter? How about all the times he had to speak from the cuff, and the end result was such garbage he got the nickname “Uhhh-bama”? When he spelled “respect’ R-S-P-E-C-T”. Referring to his home state of Hawaii as being in Asia? “The Middle east is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.” “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.” “Let me be absolutely clear. Isreal is and strong friend of Israel’s.”

    Ah but Trump. That Trump. He is like, I dunno. What’s the word? Some sort of idjit.

    I think the book is an embarrassment to the fellow who wrote it, and anyone buying it, much less praising it, has debased themselves as an intellectual.

    George Orwell's Ghost (a815b9)

  125. Our Captain calls a meeting to show us he’s not crazy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nndGGnOFvMk

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  126. Indeed. Remember the time when he win both the popular as well as the electoral while a black man believing he was equal to whites under Law ?

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  127. Shut him up!

    That’s NeverTrumpspeak

    Is there unanimity?

    There used to be..

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (a70717)

  128. Breaking news!!!!!!

    Trump’s not a conservative.

    Uhhh. Yeah. He has no consistent governing political philosophy.

    So what? He’s like probably 75% of the general population.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  129. Its a poison pull, without those demands. Now the donors will not stand for that.

    narciso (d1f714)

  130. Once you dial down the ambient noise, you find Simpson is full of it, of course the questioner didnt have the presence of mind to bring up planned parenthood or theranos or the pro Iranian princeling they did favors for:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Billbrowder/status/950831598592774149?p=v

    narciso (d1f714)

  131. Our Captain calls a meeting to show us he’s not crazy:

    You’ve brought up Queeg on so many occasions that it’s clear YOU are the one with strawberries on his mind.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  132. Meme to the penalty box.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  133. Fun Fact: $18 billion is over 345 billion Mexican pesos!

    “Ay Carrumba!” – Trump Administration Secretary of Chaos Bart Simpson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnZQF-3UHag

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  134. She’ll have to get past noted felon ex-Sheriff Arpaio first.

    Because the Dems need to have a good chance at this seat, too?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  135. “Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites”

    http://amp.dailycaller.com/2018/01/09/googles-new-fact-check-feature-almost-exclusively-targets-conservative-sites/

    I’m shocked! Shocked!

    And they look down on Trump.

    Embrace the suck lefties

    harkin (8256c3)

  136. @135. Raspberries, Mr. K. Try the strawberry parfait.

    “And he kids us not.” – Tom Keefer [Fred MacMurray] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  137. I don’t think he is really that significant a character. In the final analysis.

    narciso (d1f714)

  138. OT, sorry but this is something else.

    At our Christmas diner my wife decided she no longer liked the frames holding pictures of my parents since they were on a buffet in the dining room and did not complement the décor. These photos are from the 1930’s when my parents were just married and even though the frames are very nice heavy gold leaf they are not “Asian” and don’t go with the dining room.

    I brought them to the coffee table in the family room and whilst I am watching NCIS and reading Patterico I pried open the back to remove the pics and place them in new frames. Well, what is behind the photos but two $1,000 bills and a $500 bill in each frame. I haven’t had thousands or five hundreds since the early 90’s. My wife never saw them before and thought they were fake. These bills are so perfect the thousands even have consecutive serial numbers.

    I know it’s not a king’s ransom but I just think that’s so cool that way back my mom or dad squirreled away this money and I found it. I’m gonna do a little research to see if they’re worth anything.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  139. Wonderful rev, did you still manage to get her that gift.

    narciso (d1f714)

  140. @142. Hoagie! By your description are you saying the bill are U.S. currency from the 1930s or more recent? If from the ’30s and in as good a condition as you say they may be worth much more than face value to collectors. Suggest you NOT fold or touch the bills any more than necessary– place them in a protective folder and have them appraised at a local coin dealer or such. Helluva find!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  141. Trump attorney Michael Cohen just filed suit against BuzzFeed and FusionGPS:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michael-cohen-trumps-personal-attorney-files-lawsuits-fusion/story?id=52247639

    Cohen sounds angry:

    “I want to be very clear,” Cohen told ABC News. “I have never been to Prague or the Czech Republic, and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or communicated with anyone representing the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization or disseminate false news reports or interfere in any way with this election.”

    What a circus.

    Lenny (5ea732)

  142. Speaking of Google fact checking
    http://www.dallasobserver.com/restaurants/why-are-there-so-many-fake-dallas-restaurants-on-google-10222671

    The writer of that piece is a cyber friend of mine.

    Kishnevi (d8763f)

  143. I had already gotten the gift, narciso.

    DCSCA, the thousands are 1928 Phila. Federal Reserve Notes. All in sequential order which I think is cool. Means dear old dad had some bucks back then. The two $500 bills are 1934A Philly also but not sequential. They look perfect but I’m no collector. I’ll put them in an envelope and run them to Edelman’s perhaps next week. Since they belonged to my parent’s I’m not interested in selling them just framing and preserving them and their quality. But boy, Pop what a nice surprise.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  144. Hoagie, you have a double mystery in your hands
    Why and when did your parents stash the money like that? And why did they (apparently) never mention it to anyone? I doubt they forgot they had a spare $2500 lying around the house. Could it have been some other family member?

    I would say it was meant to be an emergency fund if they couldn’t get money out of their bank account for any reason (natural disaster,run on the bank, etc) but usually such a fund is comprised of small bills.

    Fascinating at any rate.

    Kishnevi (d8763f)

  145. My guess is they put it away during the period there were bank holidays to prevent bank failures. They didn’t want to risk their savings by depositing it. A more sophisticated version of the old buried coffee can.

    Shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  146. @128

    You forgot to mention all the times Obama went golfing.

    Davethulhu (99cc74)

  147. What a wonderful stash, Hoagie! Do you think they were forgotten, or intended to be a surprise when found?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  148. 150
    Very probable, but why leave it like that, without mentioning it to anyone, for decades?

    Kishnevi (d8763f)

  149. Hoagie that is very cool.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  150. What makes him most upset here, however, is that I’m more than willing to challenge him factually on too many of his “too good to check” moments he finds to be critical of the Trump administration. He hates that.

    Nope. What I dislike, primarily, is your repeated accusations of dishonesty on my part. It doesn’t help that these false accusations are accompanied by your relentlessly consistent mischaracterizations of my positions, and repeated attempts to mislead people about what I have actually said.

    Your constant whining that Dana and/or I are not blogging on topics to your liking isn’t winning you any points either.

    If people want to read blog posts by you, let them encourage you to start a blog. They will not get anywhere by suggesting that you be a guest poster. That will never happen again.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  151. Need a visual aid. $1000

    $500

    Both jpg.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  152. Very cool, Hoagie. I have been a coin collector all my life, but was never a bill collector, so I can’t speak to the value of your find. But I think all collectors share an appreciation of sorts for cool stories like this, and it’s very interesting to hear about. I hope you keep us up to date on it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  153. Trump attorney Michael Cohen just filed suit against BuzzFeed and FusionGPS:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michael-cohen-trumps-personal-attorney-files-lawsuits-fusion/story?id=52247639

    Cohen sounds angry:

    “I want to be very clear,” Cohen told ABC News. “I have never been to Prague or the Czech Republic, and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or communicated with anyone representing the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization or disseminate false news reports or interfere in any way with this election.”

    What a circus.

    Saw this today. Is there really any doubt that the publication of the actual dossier ended up helping Trump? By demonstrating precisely how outlandish some of the allegations against him were, I think his case against the document was aided immeasurably.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  154. I’m curious if the bills are signed by Mellon.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Mellon

    papertiger (c8116c)

  155. Aside. Ever notice the unbridled certainty with which #NeverTrumpers predict future calamitous events resulting directly from fatal flaws in Trump’s character, or from the unwavering admiration of his supporters?

    It’s not the plethora of insane prognostications I’m addressing here, they’re as commonplace as unemployables on a college campus, no, it’s the unexamined hubris dangling in the shadows like the Sword of Damocles whenever mortals claim prescience. The gods take a dim view of such insulting usurpations.

    ropelight (26b9e8)

  156. No, because that should have been the end of it, instead page was tied to a ridiculous offering of rosneft he was not a part of. And other allegations of even less veracity.

    narciso (d1f714)

  157. Is there really any doubt that the publication of the actual dossier ended up helping Trump?

    I was thinking that it may also be the case with this book.

    nk (dbc370)

  158. I was also thinking (What? I can have two thoughts.) that the Democrats’ goal is not the unrealistic one of bringing down Trump per se, but voter suppression of the kind we saw in Alabama. Demoralize enough likely GOP voters just enough to stay home on election day. This November and in November 2020.

    nk (dbc370)

  159. That’s crazy talk, next you’ll tell me, axelrod wasnt only interested in the informational purposes of leaking Ryan and hulls divorce records

    narciso (d1f714)

  160. @147. Hoagie- all those bills– particularly the ones in sequence– are probably worth a lot more than face value for sure. Condition is critical– and they look at how the bill was cut– centering and so forth- but I’m sure you can check online for what an average bill from those series in VF condition is worth so you have a ballpark number to play with. They are likely fairly scare as well. Remember, fewer denominations at that face value were printed in that era but the series and dates say it all. No doubt the first thing they’ll ask/check, if the condition is VF is if they’re real. But do not touch them anymore– wear a plastic bag on your hands –the acid in your fingerprints can leave residue on the old bills. And of course, keep them out of direct sunlight.

    My late grandfather was a banker all his life and his first gig was as a teller in the 20s and 30s – he’d take in the gold coins, silver & gold certificates and silver dollars and swop his pocket money for the bills and silver dollars. All different years, conditions and denominations. Fast forward to the 60s & 70s– he’d be handing out the silver dollars as tips to skycaps at airports we convinced him not to do it as he had no idea of their value. After he passed, among the paper dollars and old coins we found 250 silver dollars in two bank bags — the silver dollars, Morgans, Peace, etc., of various years & mint marks and condition. Spent a year cataloging-grading them. Some nice pieces — still w/the mint luster. Like Patterico, collected coins, stamps, paper money since childhood along w/t historic autographs– had nice U.S. and British pieces– their silver coinage was magnificent and still in circulation into the early 70s. Culled out a lot of it and downsized it all when the market was right. But those old bills are likely worth much more than face value– so you might consider unloading them if the price is right.

    Really great to hear you found something like that!! Might be worth checking some of the other old framed up items you have as well.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  161. 155 — because your “too good to check” moments are oftentimes mischaracterizations of the facts, hence the “intellectual dishonesty” allegations. I’ve never accused you of lying, only of using disingenuous arguments.

    I also dislike arguments which bury mini disclaimers and caveats deep in the text, and then when the substance of the argument is confronted you claim your argument was misrepresented because the caveat wasn’t recognized.

    Its done so often by you that its clearly a rhetorical habit. Own your argument, don’t hide behind the “dodges” you leave tuck inside.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  162. As far as I’m concerned Wolff is no different than any other deranged #NeverTrumper or acute TDS turd floating in the same cesspool as treacherous FBI, DOJ, Democrat Party, and Fake News turncoats.

    This is why I asked if you feel people are either with Trump or against him, rooelight. Why is that not a rational question?

    DRJ (15874d)

  163. @150. My guess is they put it away during the period there were bank holidays to prevent bank failures. They didn’t want to risk their savings by depositing it. A more sophisticated version of the old buried coffee can.

    Yep. Grandparents from that era did a lot of that– another place to check is underneath and behind old desk drawers— they often stuck items there. We found a few things from our family from that era like that– lining of some old clothes as well… and the old coffee can buried by the oak tree bit still shows up on occasion.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  164. the thousands are 1928 Phila. Federal Reserve Notes. All in sequential order which I think is cool.

    Why and when did your parents stash the money like that? And why did they (apparently) never mention it to anyone?

    Ransom from the Lindbergh kidnapping, obviously…

    Dave (445e97)

  165. I don’t see the difference between claiming Patterico mischaracterizes facts and is intellectually dishonest and claiming Patterico lies, swc. They seem the same to me, and are all insulting.

    DRJ (15874d)

  166. There was a dance and the butterfly didn’t show up. Why not?

    Because it was a moth ball.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  167. Obamacare is still around…because the critical voter in the Senate is Susan Collins. Not because of Trump.

    Mike P. (dddb3b)

  168. I don’t blame Trump for the failure of Obamacare repeal. That’s entirely on the GOP liars in Congress — House and Senate both — and way more of them than just Susan Collins.

    nk (dbc370)

  169. I called my sister and told her about the old bills. I told her we should each take two thousands and one five hundred and have them preserved and framed. She also suggested I get them graded and appraised professionally.

    I looked on the internet (ebay) and the values are all over the place depending on which federal reserve bank issued them and of course the quality of the bills. These are no special date or bank issue, just Philly, but they seem perfect to me (not being an expert). The why’s and when’s about them being hidden in a picture allude me. My sister suggested they may have been leery if banks back then. I’ll never know. I just thought it was so cool that my father or/and mother stashed that cash and all these years later I found it. To think I was staring at it for 67 years and if my wife hadn’t insisted on new frames I still would be.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  170. Mrs. Hoagie should get cut in for a full share.

    nk (dbc370)

  171. I also dislike arguments which bury mini disclaimers and caveats deep in the text, and then when the substance of the argument is confronted you claim your argument was misrepresented because the caveat wasn’t recognized.

    Its done so often by you that its clearly a rhetorical habit. Own your argument, don’t hide behind the “dodges” you leave tuck inside.

    Translated: if Patterico’s position contains any trace of nuance, I surgically remove the nuance and respond as if it doesn’t exist. That makes it easier to criticize his position, and I’d rather take the easy route rather than grapple with what he actually said. Then I get mad when he points out that my argument is refuted by language that was there in the post all along.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  172. 155 — because your “too good to check” moments are oftentimes mischaracterizations of the facts, hence the “intellectual dishonesty” allegations.

    So you’re calling me a liar.

    [swc: You ignored where I expressly said I have never done that.]

    [Patterico: that was a mini disclaimer buried deep in the text of your comment, and I was entitled to ignore it to make my response easier]

    /swc rhetorical style

    Patterico (115b1f)

  173. I’ve pointed them out each time your resorted to the “you mischaracterized what I wrote” defense. I’ll continue to do so, and you’ll continue to be aggravated by my doing so.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  174. 142. Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7) — 1/9/2018 @ 6:05 pm

    ….my wife decided she no longer liked the frames holding pictures of my parents since they were on a buffet in the dining room and did not complement the décor. These photos are from the 1930’s when my parents were just married and even though the frames are very nice heavy gold leaf they are not “Asian” and don’t go with the dining room.

    I brought them to the coffee table in the family room and whilst I am watching NCIS and reading Patterico I pried open the back to remove the pics and place them in new frames. Well, what is behind the photos but two $1,000 bills and a $500 bill in each frame. I haven’t had thousands or five hundreds since the early 90’s. My wife never saw them before and thought they were fake. These bills are so perfect the thousands even have consecutive serial numbers.

    they muist ahve been new at the time – possibly wedding gifts. They weren’t pout into a bank because they didn’t trust banks.. They probably kept them afterwards as a last reserve.

    The money is now worth less than 10% of what it was worth then (most of the loss coming during the 1940s, and from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s.)

    The cumulative price change is 1651.88% The CPI in 1935 is 13.7 and in 2016 240.007 In other words $1,000 then is like $17,523 now. But as a collectible it is worth more than face value.

    Dimes, quarters, half Dollars and “Peace” Dollar coins would have retained more of their value, maybe even gained.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  175. 165. DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/9/2018 @ 8:04 pm

    silver coinage was magnificent and still in circulation into the early 70s.

    Now wait a second. They really didsappeared around 1968.

    Every once in a while, now that people are not looking for the, someone puts an old silver Roosevelt dime back into circulation. But ld coins, even=not silver, disappeared from circulation in the 1960s. My father got a lot of Indian head pennies in the 1950s and 1960s – I and a Flying Eagle around 1967. I don’t know what happened to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  176. I’ve pointed them out each time your resorted to the “you mischaracterized what I wrote” defense. I’ll continue to do so, and you’ll continue to be aggravated by my doing so.

    Hmm. Here is what this boils down to:

    A: I believe x, but I expressly disclaim that I believe y.

    B: You argued x. That means you believe y!

    A: You deliberately omitted reference to the part where I said I do not believe y.

    B: Sure, you buried a caveat in your post. That’s dishonest.

    [repeat ad infinitum]

    [later]

    A: I dislike the fact that you repeatedly mischaracterize my positions. Notably, when I specifically say I do not believe y, you nevertheless accuse me of believing y. When I note that you have mischaracterized my statements, then and only then do you acknowledge that I said I do not believe y, and you belittle it as “burying a caveat.” That is annoying and it has happened so often as to be a pattern.

    B: I always eventually acknowledge that you denied believing y, after initially trying to get away with mischaracterizing your statements and getting caught. I guess I’ll continue to annoy you because I have every intention of continuing this dishonest behavior as long as I comment here.

    A: . . . .

    [Curtain.]

    Patterico (115b1f)

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