One sentence from today’s column that captures the pure, distilled essence of the alt-hack that is our BoBo:
And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.
It’s all there.
The disembodied passive voice to give pulled-from-the-ass opinion the aura of ex-cathedra authority: “it has to be confessed…” Oh yeah? Says who?
The careful weasel phrase, a scurrying for plausible deniability when this infallible dictum falls prey to fact: “at least so far…”
The statement, presented as general consensus, that is, in fact, false: “Whitewater…was far more substantial than…’ anything at all is simply false, and Brooks himself was both a driver of that falsehood and was and is perfectly positioned to know better than what he writes here.
The Whitewater “scandal,” as just about every non-interested party now knows, was a steaming heap of bullshit, ginned up by Republican operatives (Ted Olson!) in an attempt to damage the Clintons and the Democratic Party.
Brooks reminds his reader that he was the op-ed editor of The Wall Street Journal at the time his page was running piece after piece about the scandal that he claims was substantive — and yet, in (again) classic BoBo self-protective weasel writing, now writes “I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays…”
In other words, don’t blame him if his paper and his page retailed great steaming heaps of bullshit that as he now writes, “in retrospect Whitewater seems overblown….” (Note again the tactical use of the grammar that evades responsibility, that subjunctive “seems.” Translation: my paper on my watch spread bullshit for partisan ends, and but all that can be said (see what I did there) is that the outcome of our work “seems” … not so great. Nice obfuscation if you can get (away with) it.) (Yes. I like parentheses. Sue me.)
Where was I? Oh yeah: don’t contemn Brooks for that overblown false scandal, but take his word for it that that steaming heap of bullshit was nonetheless more real than the Russian allegations.
I don’t think I have to go into detail for this crowd about the depth and range of the Trump-Russia nexus. It may be that Brooks is trying to be clever here, and define the scandal purely as a question of whether Trump himself (and or his campaign) directly conspired with agents of Putin’s government to affect the election.
That would make that sentence yet more carefully parsed to give him cover as things like money laundering and influence peddling details accumulate. In that, we may be seeing a preview of the approach Republican opinion-framers will attempt later on: Trump’s corrupt, but not a traitor. But even allowing for such fine dissection of the growing scandal, there’s plenty of confirmed evidence of interaction between Trump’s campaign and significant Russian folks (see, e.g., Sessions and Kislyak). In other words: Whitewater ended as it began with no evidence of Clinton wrongdoing. Trump-Russia already has on public record significant and troubling revelations.
There’s a pattern here. The New York Times has given prime opinion acreage to now two partisan hack/WSJ refugees in Brooks and Bret Stephens. Both employ a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger voice to construct in the language of rueful reason narratives that directly bolster Republican positions and personalities. Both use that seeming reasonableness, the above-the-fray tone of impartial and unchallenged judgment, to say things that are clearly not true. Those lies directly undercut reporting happening within the Grey Lady’s newsroom put out. Op-ed editor Bennett, executive editor Baquet and publisher Sulzberger are all OK with that, it seems.
David Brooks tells plausible falsehoods in defense of some of the worst people in the history of American politics. The Times lets him; more, it has done so for decades promoting a career hack/flack to a position of influence far beyond anything his lack of rigor and intellectual dishonesty should ever have earned.
This is a big problem.
Update: I just trashed a comment on how Brook’ wife should interact with his wife. Using the term the comment did for a woman one may dislike or disapprove of is unacceptable, for all the obvious reasons. No banhammer yet, but a repeat will earn a time out.
Update 2: Charles Pierce, on much the same passage, with much the same reaction, only more so.
Image: Frits van den Berghe, The Idiot By The Pond, 1926
What do they even want to accomplish with their opinion section? Shouldn’t THE paper of record want the best columnists?
Someone’s got a surprise coming, no? Calling Driftglass.
Perhaps a history of supporting baseless Clinton bashing was a key part of his hiring?
‘It may be that Brooks is trying to be clever here, and define the scandal purely as a question of whether Trump himself (and or his campaign) directly conspired with agents of Putin’s government to affect the election’
That’s pretty much this; Brooks was road-testing this argument on PBS and Meet the Press this weekend. His specific objection is that, no matter what Trump and his underlings may have subsequently done, there’s no evidence of an ‘underlying’ crime. I get the feeling we’re going to start hearing this complaint a lot (dissapointingly but unsurprisingly it went over well on MTP.)
All-purpose shorter David Brooks:
Maybe the French weren’t completely wrong about the way they carried out their revolution. Funny thing is, over the course of time with Republicans giving us Dubya and now Trump I’m starting to doubt my previous firm belief what the French did was wrong.
Villago Delenda Est
The day that the broken, exsanguinated body of David Brooks is found in some back alley in Manhattan will be a good day for the human race.
If Trump isn’t personally at risk in the inquiry, why did he fire Comey? Brooks’ position makes no sense on its face, as if that were news.
Villago Delenda Est
@kindness: Edmund Burke was aghast at what the French did. So aghast that he proposed using the tactics of French Revolutionaries to prop up the existing order of blatant injustice.
He also thought war was ‘sublime’ when viewed safely from a drawing room hundreds of miles from the battlefield itself.
Hmm, Whitewater was a fake Clinton scandal but it was a real…….some other guy’s scandal. the Bank President or something was ripping people off including the Clinton’s. I think it proved people weren’t good at noticing relevant details because the fact the Clinton’s lost money on it should have made it obvious it was not them. I do think it got some traction because it came not long after the S&L crisis where the bank executives and such did go to jail. Regulations were increased etc. People were maybe primed to be suspicious but still, I never understood how it didn’t just blow over after a month or 2. And hardly anyone went to jail after the last financial bubble crisis which really bothers some people. And they just scrapped the minor regulations they did this time.
The public needs to get better at understanding finance on the news. Not sure how to do that, and I have been muttering it for years.
Villago Delenda Est
@gvg: Bank executives like Neil Bush, who didn’t go to jail, unfortunately.
I have been waiting for the “no underlying crime” justification to appear
BoBo is on the job!
Enhanced Voting Techniques
The problem wasn’t them cutting down the useless 1% idiots and their enablers – it was the Revolutionaries started playing a lethal game of purity pony. At that point an effective dictator in the form of Napoleon was the only sane alternative.
@Villago Delenda Est: The deuce you say! Dashed Burkean of him!
I’m feeling generous… I’d like to give Mr. Brooks a box… one to live in, within sight of an Applebees, to make him feel at home.
Brooks, I don’t care if we get these guys for treason, for money laundering, for hacking, for extortion, or for fucking jaywalking. They. Are. Going. Down. Your pitiful attempts to have a civil discourse about how uncivil Trumpov is cut exactly zero ice with me.
We are careening right along the edge of destruction here, in so many ways, and Brooksie wants to play vaguely legalistic-sounding word games. They were put into power by the actively hostile actions – i.e., attack, i.e., act of war – of a hostile foreign power. They blasted one party right out of contention and are blackmailing the other. The single fact, alone, that Trumpov and Co. are not going after Russia with everything they’ve got is evidence enough of collusion and betrayal of this country, including their oaths of office.
You’re giving him too much credit. Bobo like the rest of the “reasonable sane” republicans is trying to maintain his reputation for being a serious voice on the right while acknowledging the dumpster is on fire, but positing that Clinton was worse. Fuck him, Bret Stephens, David Frum and the rest of them, they did this, they called Obama all sorts of things, screamed “socialism” every time he tried to do anything for the working people and then were shocked to find out that all the people who got the short end of the stick while Wall Street and the rich made a killing, were really pissed and elected an insane carnival barker. They built this, they condoned every step towards the abyss that the GOP took, even the ones who acknowledged that La Palin was a whack job, still supported McCain, that to me was the tipping point. Once you endorsed her as VP, it meant that all bets were off.
Fuck Bobo and the FNYT
But we all have to go and subscribe to the New York Times NOW, and maybe three times, or else journalism will DIE!!!!!!
If this is what passes for journalism, perhaps it should.
I didn’t read the column but I read the comments. Seems he has one person who agrees, a certain Richard Luettgen that shows up regularly. Every single other writer, as usual, told him he is full of crap, and in exquisite detail.
I wonder if Brooksie reads any of these letters?
Along the lines of “Russia deserves both barrels” – this is pretty terrifying, especially when our CINC is hopelessly compromised by the Russians.
That’s the thing about corruption; a lot of it is nebulous, ill-defined, done on a wink and a nod. Fortunately, Il Douche keeps running his mouth. Nut then again, if publically admonishing Russia to hack Hillary can be passed off as a “joke,” will their propaganda machine just keep churning out excuses for why what you saw isn’t what you actually saw?
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Now where have I seen that ‘purity pony’ bandied about lately? Oh yea, today’s articles on Jill Stein & last weeks continuing adventures of the BernieBros. Yea we liberals are destined to get it from both sides always.
Right. A busted land deal in which no crimes were committed was more substantive than Russian interference in our elections and democracy in general, culminating in the election of the most incompetent, least qualified buffoon ever to hold the office of the presidency. Not to mention the corruption which now surrounds and fills that office. Never a mention of the mighty Wurlitzer spewing out right wing talking points that enabled the whole deal, from which Brooks has made an exceedingly good living for decades.
Brooksian bullshit at its most odious and odoriferous.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
@Villago Delenda Est:
A bonus would be if it happens before he reproduces. Take that line out of the gene pool.
It always pains me to sound like a Popular Vote Loser supporter when it comes to hoping for violence against “the press” but I’ll make an exception in the case of David Fucking Brooks.
No Drought No More
My grand theory is that republicans concluded in the aftermath of the big lies that drove this nation to war in the mideast that no lies were too large to tell the American people- and further, republicans tell lies in the same spirit as George Castanza: “It’s not a lie if you believe it”.
Any time a moral scold sends his long term wife to dumpsville so he can marry a young lady many (25?) years his junior, as Brooks did in the last year, permanently loses any cred to poo-poo others. Of course, we didn’t need Brooks to do this to know he’s a fraud – it’s more in the nature of confirmatory evidence.
Major Major Major Major
This is exactly what I figured the column was about/for when I got to that sentence. I had to stop reading before I threw my computer out the window.
@pat: I wonder if Dick Luettgen is a sock puppet.
I’ve never had an urge to use the word insipid until I read anything by Brooks.
@No Drought No More: The bigger the lie, the harder they fall.
@danielx: There are a number of shady real estate deals involving Trump and Kushner around the periphery of the main collusion/obstruction scandal that make even a worst case version of Whitewater look like a parking ticket.
Why give Vichy Times clicks in the first place. Lying liar lies. News at 11.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
Driftglass calls this Republican Detachment Disorder. These guys’ fee-fees are hurt because they don’t actually disagree with anything the GOP has to say, just that Trump says it so baldly. They’re like “I never had anything whatsoever to do with this madness during my career as a GOP functionary or water carrier. And I’ve never heard of this Limbaugh guy either!” They try to liken the Trump Phenomenon just suddenly appearing one day like a mushroom cloud over the offices of the RNC. David Fucking Brooks had no problem passively letting the likes of Malkin, O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity and the rest work long and hard on weaponizing the stupid and when it’s blown up in his face, well…Republican Detachment Disorder. I’d end this with my usual comment about how Brooks belongs in the same tumbrel with the likes of Chuck Fucking Todd and Mrs Greenspan but then I start to sound like a Trump supporter.
Isn’t that almost a job requirement for being an opinion writer at the Times? I mean, Ross Douthat……..? Really?
@Major Major Major Major: He may also be weaseling in the sense of saying “Well, AT THIS POINT in the Whitewater investigation, it was still about Whitewater, the allegations regarding which would’ve been kind of sucky if they were true.”
Which is still a punchable thing to write, since the actual Whitewater allegations* were downright quaint compared with the outright sitting-president money grabs we’re living through now.
*(as distinct from the “Whitewater scandal” allegations, though they’re not as bad either)
Everyone except David Brooks – “Mr. Trump, we will need to see your tax returns and other financial information to determine the extent to which you are in bed with the Russians.”
Trump – “No.”
David Brooks – “Nothing to see here.”
I don’t like Stephens but I don’t think he’s a propagandist in the way that Brooks is. Bobo is uniquely bad among major pundits in terms of being in out-and-out propagandist. (That said, I still dislike Bruni and Thiessen more than I dislike Bobo.)
As does PBS.
(Polite Bull Shitters)
Major Major Major Major
@waspuppet: I got a very distinct whiff of testing the waters from this column.
@gvg: Reichwing conviction that their opponents have to be at least as dirty as they are. Makes them feel better about carrying on with their sliminess and lets them believe the fantasies of what the Left must be doing. If you want to be the Good Guys you have to believe the Other Guys are worse.
@Major Major Major Major:
A very distinct whiff of something, anyway.
Villago Delenda Est
Of course, the “underlying crime” of Whitewater was the Clintons being the victims of a shady banker/land developer.
Brooks’ continued employment by the NYT and PBS is a searing indictment of both operations.
I don’t know. I don’t often see his letters because I go to Readers’ Choice, but one or two of them will always reply to him. He is reliable in his RWNJ awfulness.
David Brooks vs. tits on a bull.
Which is more useless? Debate.
@germy: Mark Shields and his jowls of concern are no match against the slick lies of Uriah Brooks.
The Moar You Know
Already hearing it for the last couple of weeks.
The NYT has really become Fox News, just on paper. For those few Fox News viewers who are still capable of reading.
@Villago Delenda Est: One reason, I have given up on both. I can has liberal media?
Tom, I hope you can share this far and wide. Maybe an op ed for the NYT?
The Moar You Know
@Jeffro: I need a cigarette after that. Truly righteous.
I go back to my grandmothers favorite insult, shit has a function, it can be used as fertilizer, you on the other hand………
I don’t click on bobo links.
People like BoBo, their bosses count every click. They don’t give a shit if the clicker came from balloon-juice or LGM or SadlyNo to read BoBo and call him an idiot. He gets eyeballs; something the advertisers crave.
@Villago Delenda Est: Still waiting on that check, Sir.
Villago Delenda Est
@hovercraft: If there were a “like” button here at BJ, this comment would get repeated “like” poundings by myself.
@The Moar You Know:
Maggie has know Twitler for years, I believe she wrote for the NYPOST before she went to GOPOLITICO, so she knows him from the good old days when she covered him n the NY tabloids. That’s why even when she’s being critical, she knows that deep down Donnie’s just being Donnie, he’s harmless! I hate these people.
@Betty: I rather think the Times might have some objections to putting this up on their page. Might try elsewhere.
Brooks and Hugh Hewitt represent the soft, comforting mediocrity of a certain type of moderate Republican. They may initially have mild “concerns” about Trump, but ultimately they lull themselves back to sleep by convincing themselves — and other Republicans — that the Democrats, especially a Clinton, would be worse.
The sad thing, to me, about Whitewater right now is the media feels 100% justified in how aggressively they covered it.
There’s no self-reflection about whether the American Spectator for example was just trying to push a partisan narrative, and not report actual news, for example. The media feels they did a bang-up job afflicting the comfortable.
What really made me realize how much bullshit the media carries for Republicans is that if past business deals are worthy of wall-to-wall news coverage, than Bush, Jr had several that are worthy of Whitewater level scrutiny, but the media never bothered to really look into those deals. Bush, Jr. got bailed out of failed business after failed business, and probably sold some stocks with insider information.
I really don’t know how to get better media.
They have their heads so firmly up their asses, I wonder how they breath.
Major Major Major Major
@danielx: Well his column always has that. This one had more.
Post-facto collusion, the new Republican definition of “diplomacy”
@DougJ: I don’t think Stephens is as consistently awful as Brooks, to be sure. But on climate he’s fully as much a propaganda hack as is BoBo. He uses similar rhetorical techniques to try to thread the needle of fact with sentences that are untrue, but can’t be seen on first reading to be overtly false, which is why he occurred to me as Brooks’ wingman here.
Yes this is ow you bring America together:
Trump Openly Blames Obama For Otto Wambier’s Death
After a presser with the Ukrainian president, when asked about the death of Otto Warmbier, stunningly Trump wasted no time in blaming President Obama.
When asked by a reporter how he would respond about the news that Warmbier has died, Trump replied, “Otto, it’s a total disgrace what happened to Otto.”
“And it should never, ever be allowed to happen and frankly, if he were brought home sooner I think the result would have been a lot different. He should have been brought home that same day and the result would have been different, but what happened to Otto was a disgrace.”
ETA: I guess that was yesterday? I loathe this creature!!!
Shorter: if you obstruct investigators effectively enough that they can’t prove your crime, you should get off scot-free. It’s an especially awful piece of bullshit because they impeached Clinton over obstruction of justice for an underlying crime they couldn’t prove- in that case because it hadn’t happened.
@The Moar You Know: Thanks. It really is past time to for the 73% (as Dems, as independents, as reporters, as fed-up American citizens) to ask Trumpov and his boot-licking enablers: why in the hell aren’t you doing anything to punish Russia for its hacking of our election and continued attacks on/manipulation of this country, INCLUDING OUR OWN TROOPS?!?
It is the equivalent of letting Pearl Harbor or 9/11 go unanswered; worse, it leaves us vulnerable to the next attack, since we’re doing NOTHING to make Russia pay for it or marshal our defenses.
All because one jackass can’t bear the thought that his already subpar “victory” was only possible with the assistance of a hostile foreign power.
He’s bad on climate change but I don’t think he’s as bad in general.
Well, I don’t know about better, but if Democrats could learn anything from Republicans, decades of complaining about media bias can at least make the media reluctant to question claims made by politicians on your side.
This assumes, of course, that considers Ds and Rs equally. Laughable, I know. The closest they get to that is the both sides narrative where Dems must be proven to be as corrupt as Repubs display openly.
Yup. Quid pro treasonous quo.
This is where Tricky Dick and his posse of crooks won. The “Liberal” media was out to get him and every other republican, so in order to prove that they are not liberal, which they most assuredly are not, they must rigorously peruse every specious accusation republicans make about democrats, but they must never be dogged in any pursuit of a republican because of their bias. The internet killing the MSM has not helped, they see they audience that conservative TV, radio, and online news sites get, and they all want a piece of that, not realizing that they’ll never get it.
David Brooks is very useful. He may be useless to his readers, but he’s an effective propagandist for the elite who are looting this country.
The Moar You Know
@gene108: The answer is simple in the same way that anything insanely difficult is, in the end, simple: you buy them.
Need some civic-minded billionaires to open up their checkbooks, like Bezos did with the Washington Post. Now, Bezos is an abusive employer and an awful human being in general, but he’s not an ideological psycho like the Mercers or Kochs, and it’s no accident that the paper he bought is the only national publication to be on point against Trump and hitting the administration with desperately needed oversight and accuracy.
Speaking of which, who owns the NYT? Does anyone know?
get the ENTIRE PHUCK OUTTA HERE!!!
come sit by me.
Hey look, Bibi is giving Rasputin the same treatment he gave Joe Biden eight years ago:
Israel begins work on first settlement in 25 years as Jared Kushner flies in
Netanyahu announces ground-breaking at Amichai, which will house 300 hardline residents of illegal outpost of Amona
Which is worse, for Uncle Joe they merely announced the expansion of some settlements, this is brand new. I thought they were friends ;(
@hovercraft: Well, television used to be under some regulation via the FCC, and they provided news in exchange for using the public airways.
Now, with the profit at any cost crowd, it’s all Reality TV. And the owners are Republicans.
Years ago Driftglass called Brooks a “Republican testicle cozy.” It still fits.
Trump can’t do all the hard work of undermining peace efforts.
@hovercraft: There will be war there by Labor Day.
we already have enough to legally show coordination between the Trump camp and Russia. all it takes legally is to show that; 1. Trump was aware that Russia was behind the hacking (hence his statements about how it could be anybody doing the hacking after initially acknowledging that he had been informed it was the Russians) and 2. that there was/is an attempt to reward that action (such as unilaterally lifting the sanctions put in place by Obama).
looking for a smoking gun such as an verbal or written agreement, money changing hands etc.. is only an attempt to set the political bar high enough so that the Right can claim :
I agree with Brooks: there is no evidence, and Mueller wont find any, that Trump played any role in Whitewater, or Watergate for that matter. So, shut it down.
Bush made me see the French as not wrong. Trump made me wish we had more French here.
Is Spicer really looking for his replacement? Surprised he lasted this long.
Brooks is the very model of a ‘fellow traveller’. He’s an extremist, despite appearances. A right-wing apologist for tyranny, rather than left-wing– but that doesn’t make him special– just a bit unfamiliar. His apparently polite, reasonable arguments always, always, always end up in the same place.
Experiencing the Great Recession and watching the way our elites dealt with it for the last near-decade has definitely given me a much more sympathetic view of the French Revolution than I formerly had.
He’s said that he can’t read the comments because they hurt his tender fee-fees too much.
Of course, as driftglass has exhaustively documented, this is a guy who gets his feelings hurt when he has his columns from a couple weeks ago quoted back to him. That’s usually more than enough time to show that what he wrote was glib bullshit.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Yeah, I always thought he was kind of a fucking turd. And an eloquent argument for why, no, there really never has been any such thing as a “good” conservative.
Certified Mutant Enemy
I’m still shocked Brooks is only 2 years older than me. He comes across as so much older (not in a good way).
It helps explain Flynn, and possibly more high-level military figures.
India, one of the few places still worse for women then America.
The Onion couldn’t make this up.
Just One More Canuck
@Certified Mutant Enemy: Christ, he’s only 55??!! I would have put him at least 10 years older
This is part of what’s going on with Trump and his supporters. They bought into all of the propaganda about how awful Obama and the Democrats were, so they genuinely don’t understand why what Trump is doing is worse and think we’re being hypocrites when we complain.
This is because they live in a goddamned fantasy world, but it’s the root of the problem.
And yet they still have a right to vote.
So they’re 12 year old playing with matches and looking to hurt someone.
Very nice, Tom.
This nugget reminds me of Sosumi. (Or in text form.)
I am going to write the FTFNYTimes and ask that Brooks be fired or given a leave of absence. This is twaddle. It’s embarrassing to subscribers to be paying for this.
Its an insult to twaddle. Brooks is Gobelling his nuts to give Trump a free handjob as cover for enemy penetration.
I’m just so shocked that two savvy business tycoons can’t figure this out, I mean two amazing negotiators who close billion dollar deals in their sleep, couldn’t take their good friend into not doing something this provocative on the eve of their first foray into a peace process? SAD!!!
How’s Bibi’s ppolularity these days? It’s been a few years since he bit off a nice chunk of Palestinian land, so it wouldn’t surprise me. I mean why would stealing even more of their land piss them off, and once you take that bit it will be necessary to take even more land to ensure that the poor helpless settlers there are secure. Poor Bibi, having to take such extreme measures to make sure that defenseless Israelis intent on stealing Palestinian land just get to do as they please, screw what anyone has to say. Building more settlements is just not causing any strife, that’s just an excuse for the violence. We all know that if a hostile force came and took huge chunks of America we’d be just fine with that, it wouldn’t cause anyone to take up arms against the occupiers, we’d just agree to lay down our arms and allow them to dictate the terms of our surrender to them.
I’m not saying it’s all Israels fault, the Palestinians are not innocent, but, one side is holding most of the cards, and not doing a single thing to help the situation. Gaza is down to 2 and 1/2 hours of electricity per day. What do you think people are doing during those dark hours when they have nothing to entertain themselves?
@Villago Delenda Est: Don’t forget NPR.
And let’s note, this is the whole point of “it’s always projection.” Projection is a way to justify everything you want to do, by claiming that your enemies are doing it already.
Hindu Dominionists are very much a thing, and they’re running India at the moment.
It will take a better historian than me to write the definitive study, but I think in hindsight the great trend of the early 21st century will be the rise of Dominionism as a global force, with competing Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu strains…
@Roger Moore: He. appeals to the Terminally Tote Bagging,
Yes Twitler likes him, but thinks he’s bad at lying on TV, so he still wants him there to craft the message, but would like a smother liar, one who can think on his or her feet, while not tripping over the lies. They’re having a hard time because the WH’s position’s are so laughably stupid that they all sound ridiculous and Twitler is apparently judging the potential candidates by watching how well they defend him on the shows.
@Timurid: So far as I can tell from the news reports they seem to be the worst stereotypes of militant vegans mixed with religious fundamentalism combined with a real hardon for shitting on women at every level of society. Like the Saudis, only more true believer.
I would cast Brooks as Wormtongue in a New York Minute.
@WereBear: Wormtongue did something for good in the end.
Jamie Gorelick will step away from an active roll on Kushner’s defense team.
She will do this when Rod Rosenstein if forced to recuse himself from the Russian investigation because he is one of the three witnesses to Trump’s obstruction of justice (along with Comey and Sessions)
Rosenstein’s recusal will put Rachel Brand AKA The Federalist Society Prom Queen (she did not receive a single Democrats’ vote during conformation) as the person Mueller reports to.
Gorelick was/is Brand’s mentor & friend.
Small world huh?
Villago Delenda Est
@catbirdman: Bobo obviously knows nothing about character. FAIL.
We should call Brooks ‘Man from McArdle’ since he produces exactly the same type of column.
Thanks for link to Pierce who makes some important points.
Since Brooks stays so on top of things that he admits at the top of his column that he just can’t keep track of these dang scandals, I thought I’d help him on the lack of evidence.
Flynn (funny, I didn’t see that name in the column): income from foreign sources, didn’t report it, influenced policy as soon as he was able to do so in favor of his paymasters.
Flynn, Sessioins, Kushner, Manafort: mislead and omitted information they were supposed to report on income from foreign sources, and/or contacts with Russians.
GOP political operative in Florida getting campaign info from Russian, or Russian affiliated, hacker.
Pro-Trump internet bot farms and paid trolls in multiple foreign countries, many from ex-Soviet Union.
Also, I note the clever dodge in sweeping the IC aspects of the investigation into scandal involving Trump. There damn sure is very solid and public evidence of Russian interference in the election. That investigation has to include Trump campaign, regardless of whether Trump himself is involved or not.
I hate to be so cynical. But my theory of Brooks is that there are two types of columns. One is where Brooks tries to pull a Krugman or a Kristoff and actually write something he comes up with himself, with some evidence and analysis that he did himself. So many of these contained howlers and were savagely debunked that he doesn’t write them very often anymore.
The other kind is where someone feeds him an idea, or some talking points. Then he takes that and starts typing BS for an hour or so before deadline and then hits the ‘send’ button.
This is a column of pure BS, misdirection and lies by omission, IMHO. Nothing more.
@TenguPhule: Are impure thoughts a public health concern? A recent trend?
Villago Delenda Est
When he was explicitly told that unless the Department of the Army knew about it beforehand and granted approval, it was prohibited. Flynn is still subject to the UCMJ; he can be recalled to active duty and court-martialed for his blatant disregard of Army Regulations supported by the emoulments clause of the Constitution.
I think India got a translated version of Dr. Strangelove and thought it was a documentary.
@Just One More Canuck: He and I were in the same class at Chicago. I never knew him there, fortunately.
He seems willing to defend any GOP policy and national figure no matter the insanity of it all, but he’s done very well for himself so I guess that’s what matters to him…
Villago Delenda Est
@Peale: Impure thoughts? Yes. Death by firearm? No.
Law Professor lays waste to Republican talking points about the Russian investigation.
@Another Scott: I read an interview of Brooks where he talked about his decision on a career while at Chicago. He thought about academics, investigative journalism, or private or public research career. Then he thought to himself, naw, that would be a lot of work, doing opinion pieces would be a hell of a lot easier. I am paraphrasing, but he essentially said that out loud. I look for a current copy of that interview from time to time, but have not found it. I’ll keep looking, so I can document my recollection sooner or later. If anyone remembers it, let me know.
In the mean time, every discussion of Brooks must reference the link below. You want to really understand David Brooks, it is essential reading.
I think it where the tagline ‘salad bar at Applebees’ re Brooks came from, but I am not sure.
David Brooks: Boo-Boos in Paradise
Brooks has this above it all, pensive but dreamy schtick that makes me gag. I can’t stand to watch him either. For who knows what reason, he’s gotten away with being a mediocre columnist, at best, for so many years and paid very, very well.
Katy Tur is shrill right now. Very good. She’s visibly upset.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Flynn was a Three Star General right? He spent his entire career in the military how is it that he of all people didn’t understand his obligation to report all this hit, wouldn’t he have know what his subordinates were required to do when they separated form the military, he was a fucking commanding officer! He choose not to report. period. The people who pushed for Flynn were Rasputin and Lucretia, when everyone else was saying not to hire him, they wanted him, Twitler’s an idiot who just loved having his very own Three Star to fellate him and disparage the blah guy, but they pushed for him, and they’re not quite as dumb as he is, close but not quite. The question is why?
I’m with the people who say the drive to protect Flynn is really about protecting the golden couple, that’s why the investigation turning towards financial dealings is so important.
@AnonPhenom: I think the lawyer whose name escapes me right now, who was mentioned yesterday is more familiar with this area of law and that’s why they’re saying she’ll step away, but who knows, DC is a very small world. Which is another reason all that BS about Mueller’s team donating to democrats is bullshit, Jamie Gorelick worked for Clinton.
What about ?
What is she worked up about?
@Elizabelle: He’s on it
@bemused: I forget where I read or heard the phrase describing the Trump administration as being white privilege political performance art.
Except for two or three exceptions, pretty much every conservative columnist, certainly all of them at the NYT and WaPo can be described as white privilege political performance art. What the hell else can explain some old fart admitting that he doesn’t really know all that much about two scandals, and then going on to write a self-satisfied column passing judgment about both of them. Only a person who thinks he is entitled to conduct white privilege political performance art and get paid handsomely for it.
I have a low opinion of performance art in general, but what the Trumpsters and Brooks do is an insult to performance art. At least regular performance art won’t get lives wrecked, and property and lives destroyed.
Flynn thought he didn’t have to report because Trump won. Period.
I really think that Flynn’s loyalty is now to Russia, which is a freaky thing to say about a US general.
I can no longer drive by an Applebee’s without immediately thinking of David Brooks. Haven’t been able to in years.
(I’ve never been in one).
OT.. There is flash flooding and heavy down pours in areas where Ossoff needs strong turnout. It’s been like that for hours.
The area that I live in, has received a few drops. Unfortunately, this is where the folks turn out for Handel.
If the question is defined like that I think the answer has already been conclusively proven to be “yes,” just looking at nothing but the denials from Trump and no other evidence of any kind.
Adam and others can confirm or disconfirm this, but I believe there’s a common trend of simply no longer bothering with the petty stuff like this once you make flag officer. Like the rules no longer apply to them. A lot of people were making comments to that effect when Petraeus got caught, too.
This is just stupid:
I say bullshit, she was a Handel voter to begin with, if she didn’t want anyone knocking on her door all she had to do was tell the canvasser.
“And then I’d like to write a book about morality. And maybe bang my young editorial assistant while she helps me with it. Sounds like a plan.”
There’s really no there there. If Brooks and company have any actual principles that fire them up or cause them to lose sleep over, I’d be shocked. What they do isn’t very difficult, just slightly vary the script and collect huge paychecks.
Major Major Major Major
@hovercraft: some people are just petty assholes.
@Chris: I will openly admit that I have taken elderly relatives to an Applebees located in my ancestral stomping grounds. The grub was pretty damn good for that kind of place, Far better than other places where they like to eat, like Golden Corral and Dennys.
I admit to enjoying that Applebees with no shame whatever. I laugh at anyone’s judgment or ridicule.
Anyway, ‘salad bar at Applebees’ concerns Brooks sloppiness as a reporter, not a reflection of Applebees.
Flynn is a dead man.
Accepting monies from a foreign government, failing to register as a foreign agent, and falsifying his reporting to the FBI is bad enough for an average shmoe, for a military officer it is death.
He is lucky he is not facing a court marshal hearing right now.
Consider this tiny, unrelated issue. Fethullah Gülen has been a contentious issue between the US and the Turks for some time. He would have been privy to the discussions among the State Department and the National Security community regarding his status.
What did he tell the Turks about those discussions in return for his fee?
According to AJC this is what to watch for tonight
@hovercraft: Yup. Someone on nextdoor posted something similar, and an Ossoff supporter challenged the comment. Basically, called the person a liar.
@Chris: When I was working with classified info at my first job out of college, no one was too big a fish for violations of security procedures or reporting requirements to be overlooked. No one. And there were some mighty big fish who floated through the contractors office who got tagged for something.
IIRC, what was different was the rigidity and severity of the punishments, if whatever happened was found to be in violation of the rules and regs. There, yes, the bigger the fish the more understanding was applied for things that were ultimately deemed violations. But I don’t remember anyone getting a pass on even routine stuff.
? ?? Goku (aka Junior G-Man) ? ?
@Jeffro: Also from that article:
Oh, I have no problem with anyone liking Applebee’s – I’ve just never tried it myself. It’s just, the only association I have with that place is that time Bobo stuck his foot in his mouth.
@hovercraft: The rain is hovered over the parts of Cobb, that voted democratic. Not the
So even though we think of the military as a merit based institution where everyone lives by the same rules, the officers think the rules only apply to the little people. So they’re the same as the corporate assholes.
? ?? Goku (aka Junior G-Man) ? ?
@hovercraft: That’s also really selfish and shallow. Too bad the interviewer didn’t tell her so
? ?? Goku (aka Junior G-Man) ? ?
@hovercraft: That’s the nature of hierarchy and power
@Chris: I’ve only ever been to that one. No guarantees on what is going at the franchise near you.
The fact that an officer whose public persona is so rabidly Islamophobic is nevertheless accepting jobs like this from an islamist administration hasn’t received nearly the attention it should have, also, too. If only because it deserves some reporter sticking a microphone in his face and asking “would you say you’re completely full of shit or only 50%?”
thanks for that.
Both employ a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger voice to construct in the language of rueful reason narratives…
This is how Brooks ropes liberal readers (in my life anyway) in. He isn’t a raver, so we should listen to him. He does just enough chiding to maintain his credibility with these folks. They forget, and so forgive, when he makes a gaffe and shows his true, craven colors.
Spicer’s presser. She couldn’t believe Trump has been Pres for 5 months and Spicer could stand there and say that he and Trump have never discussed the Russian interference in the election. Spicer was asked at the presser. Her entire segment is worth a look.
I believe that this is a quote that was floating around Chicago before Al Capone went to trial for tax evasion.
I’m assuming that “evidence” of crimes will be preserved, as best as possible, for the indictments and trials. Isn’t this how it works?
That was phrased poorly. I don’t even really mean “the rules stop applying to them” – more “they start thinking that the rules don’t apply to them anymore, even if they used to know better.” I mean, obviously, even Petraeus was caught.
Republicans intend to execute ‘a legislative heist’
06/20/17 12:59 PM
By Steve Benen
The news last night was in line with expectations, but was nevertheless extraordinary: Senate Republicans really are moving forward with plans to hold a vote next week on a health care overhaul, bringing a still-secret bill to the floor. There will be no hearings, no testimony from industry stakeholders or subject-matter experts, and no meaningful deliberation among lawmakers themselves.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, apparently flabbergasted, wrote on Twitter, “This is quite literally unprecedented. I’ve run out of adjectives for it. It’s like a legislative heist.”
The more I thought about it, the more I liked that analogy.
To a very real extent, Americans have already seen Senate Republicans pull off one of the most important political heists in at least a generation. GOP senators recently stole a Supreme Court seat, taking it from one administration and handing it to another, affecting the direction of American jurisprudence for decades.
Last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’” As regular readers know, this is the kind of pride one feels when they steal something and know they’ve gotten away with it.
But just as every great heist movie seems to get a sequel, McConnell & Co. may be pulling off an even bigger robbery in plain sight.
Consider what goes into every successful heist:
The heist always culminates in the theft itself, which in this case involves stealing millions of Americans’ health benefits, stashing the savings in the bank accounts of the wealthy in the form of needless tax breaks.
I have no doubt, that she said that, some people are petty, but as I said, I really don’t think just the railings and the door knock pushed you over, you were leaning and used that as your excuse to jump, she’s using that crap to reaffirm her leanings.
@JPL: Ugh, well hopefully enough people think it’s important enough to go vote anyway. @? ?? Goku (aka Junior G-Man) ? ?: Exactly, how often do people bitch that no one contacted them, they took my vote for granted? I bet is they’d asked her how she felt about the PAC running an Ad claiming that democrats caused that asshole to shot up the republican baseball practice she’d have said that was fine.
You’ve got to love the extent to which all the defenses of Trump revolve around the logic of “there should be no investigation unless there’s incontrovertible proof.” Never mind that the whole point of the investigation is to figure out whether or not there is in fact something there.
I did hear that, caught tail end of segment and thought good for her.
@Chris: As I remember, dealing with the security brass was kind of like dealing with the IRS. You did something wrong and fess up and are honest and contrite, they tended to be gracious and merciful If they detected anything otherwise then they got mean and very nosy.
But some big fish where I worked got caught taking stuff home to work on that was supposed to stay in the office. There was an investigation, and everyone in the office knew about it, and some got sucked into it. Something about the situation lead the security brass to snoop around to find out if this was a regular habit at the office, or with those big fish. Probably some grunt like me would have been fired. But they got off with some much lighter punishment. But I don’t remember anything being overlooked because of status.
so, sorry I am by now smashing a fly with a sledgehammer. Anyway, point being, from my experience Flynn has exactly zero excuse for what he did.
@rikyrah: Everyone calling moderate GOPers needs to challenge them on why they are not doing something right now to stop this, and tell them that their inaction, their passivity, as well as their vote, will be remembered. With a margin so slim in the Senate, any one of them could do something meaningful to stop this legislative disgrace and malfeasance.
Well he hasn’t found the opportunity in those five months to ask Twitler if he still believes that global climate change is a Chinese Hoax, and if so will Javanka will be telling them to knock it off when they go to China. Who knew the West Wing was so big, I always thought CJ and Toby had quick access to the Oval Office, and since Twitler doesn’t like to be alone I would have thought it’d be pretty easy to ask him. Oh and the people with the inside scoop keep telling me that Spicey and all the surrogates are performing for an audience of one, he’s said to watch all the briefings, so he knows we all want to know. I’d say someone needs to tell him that this is not a reality TV show, America is not run on teasers.
misdirection from the Bush Crime Family. Neal was the instrument that they used to crash the S&Ls (Silverado) and drive that business to high interest credit card lending. And the too big to fail mega banks swallowed up all those S&Ls and then charged their new customers fees piled on fees for basic services. Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the S&L failure curtain…look at the evil, evil Clinton and his harridan wife from hell instead.
Called Kansas Senator Pat Roberts office. The Washington staffer told me that Roberts “does not support any cuts to Medicare or Medicaid” and will not vote for a bill that cuts those things. He also said that Roberts hasn’t seen the bill and is not in the loop on what is being proposed.
I don’t know if that is true or not but the staffer said clearly and directly that Roberts will not vote for a Medicaid cut.
I find the denial that Roberts would vote for this very interesting given that Roberts is usually one of McConnell’s strongest supporters. And very hard to believe.
Are the aides being told to lie to the public? Or is Roberts really against this?
Jerry Moran’s people told me the same thing last week, that he won’t vote for a Medicaid cut or anything else that costs people their insurance. The aides all come off as earnest and sincere. I have to assume the senators are lying to their aides about what to tell the public.
This was a FLAT DENIAL that Roberts would vote for it, not the usual weasel words about “concerns.” That is a change, and I still think they are lying.
@Chris: Or love the converse where anything made up about any Democrat at Drudge or Info Wars that manages to make it to Fox is automatically sufficient evidence to skip to the sentencing phase of the trial.
@FDRLincoln: I’d call again. One of the very few things we think we know about the planned Senate bill is that it has a dodge on Medicaid cuts. They delayed Medicaid cuts, and then had some gibberish about how the time bought with the delay would be used to make sure additional efficiency from state flexibility would not really result in cuts. But from info available, the plan was just to delay the cuts far enough past 2020 that the GOP moderates would feel more comfortable over the next few election cycles.
Yesterday, the House GOP sent a rather insulting letter to the Senate saying that they want all the Medicaid cuts to happen before 2020, and all the money to go for tax cuts for top fraction of 1%. This seriously jams McConnell’s plans to rush the super secret bill through the Senate, on the off-chance the GOP moderates don’t cave this time.
I think they will cave and try to fob off voters with some excuse. But, it gives you an excuse to call again to discuss the issue further and impress on their minds that you are really serious about it.
Edit: Look at Josh Marshall’s twitter feed last night to see an extract from the letter.
Here, I’ll translate the suburban (probably) white lady for you:
Having all of these canvassers for the Democrat was making me feel guilty that I’d voted for Trump, so I decided to show them that I wasn’t a bad person by voting for Handel.
I’m not saying it makes sense but that’s the rationale. Plus a dash of you’re not the boss of me!
Well, I did that thing I was thinking about. Not only did I make my usual thank you calls to our Senators, I emailed every local tv news station my suggestions for untold AHCA stories. From the secrecy of the bill writing to the fact that it’s Mitch McConnell’s plan, to how the changes could affect Massachusetts jobs, economy, hospitals, nursing homes, and our health.
Remember, Hillary violated security procedures with her emails, so now Democrats don’t get to claim that anyone else is worse.
That’s really what that whole thing was about — finding a tiny handle that would allow the MSM to start a “Both Sides! Both Sides!” drumbeat
@? ?? Goku (aka Junior G-Man) ? ?:
Didn’t Obama fire his DNI somewhat unexpectedly after other NSA figures begged him to? I can’t remember now.
And I’m pretty sure the FBI has been compromised for a long time. Robert Hanssen was just the sacrificial lamb.
@Mnemosyne: Except that it is not clear that she did violate black letter security regs. She may have violated an Obama policy directive. Since in Trumpworld everything that Obama did sucks, Hillary deserves some props. She did us all a solid.
@FDRLincoln: But if they rebrand actual cuts to Medicare and/or Medicaid as “increases to Medicare and/or Medicaid by reducing inefficiencies and waste*” then, as Eddie Izzrd might say, et Voila.
*Like cutting help to grandmas and grandpas beyond their prime earning years, the blind, the poor, the young, the physically and mentally less fortunate, and all the “others.” With “others” covered under the general banner of being opposite of white male conservative Protestants. You know, the moochers and looters that God wants the Republican Party to righteously and verily smite.
Ah, but that’s not what the propaganda says. In Fox World, Hillary committed the worst leaks of all time — the kind of thing that would have led to instant firing and jail time for anyone else — and they sent out legions of Dittoheads to claim that they were in intelligence in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines and they totally would have been court-martialled for doing what she did. Or they claim to have a security clearance as a civilian, and say the same thing.
@jimmiraybob: Thanks. They may try to use the dodge that total nominal (i.e., current dollar) Medicaid spending goes up every year, so, see, not a cut. Mulvaney and Price are both using that dodge. It is an absurd dodge, since you need increasing total to cover population growth to keep per capita spending the same. But then the extra amount per year is not even enough to keep up with general inflation, let alone inflation in medical care services. The art in their phase out plan is to time the cuts so that they can utter this dodge with a straight face.
So, people calling the moderate GOPers need to specify that you are opposed to any cuts in real per capita medical services funded. And you need to challenge them to produce a plan for increased efficiency that will make up for big cuts in real expenditure in years 2020 and beyond. They don’t have any plan at all for that. Just ask them what it will be for YOUR state. They will have nothing.
Why do they continue to print this garbage?
Ivanka Trump is obviously planting this bullshit in media. I mean for God’s sake. Have some self-respect.
This one reads like she actually recited it over the phone to the reporter. Is access to the nepotism hires worth debasing themselves and their work like this? They don’t learn SHIT from Ivanka Trump. They don’t need to kiss her ass. She’s not a Senator, she’s not President, no one elected her and she has no constituency. She’s an advertisement for privilege and entitlement and NOT earning anything on merit.
Don’t subject us to this. Cover a female Senator. Cover someone who has earned something.
American Media. Nuff said.
You’ve got to love the fact that Chelsea Clinton writing a children’s book immediately has the entire media and people from every part of the political spectrum opening fire on her with both barrels because you can never tell, she might be running for office some day, but this is simply taken in stride.
Methinks Bobo’s got Russian investments.