Apparently the entire FBI is filled with moralizing blowhards patterned after Michael Shannon’s character in Boardwalk Empire, Agent Nelson van Alden:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Donald Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him, according to three sources who have spoken to Rosenstein.
In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, “Here I stand,” a reference to Martin Luther’s famous quote, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.
That’s right on the heels of this portion of a NY Times mutual masturbation society meeting:
What books over the years have most influenced your thinking?
Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Moral Man and Immoral Society” and “The Nature and Destiny of Man” had a huge impact on me, as did Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style,” which was one of 12 books in my college course “Significant Books in Western Religion.” The professor believed that all ideas are wasted that can’t be clearly expressed. King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” was also one of the 12 books and is the only book I’ve read repeatedly as an adult. More recently, I was really struck by Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
I read “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg, when I was the F.B.I. director and recommended it to the workforce, so Ms. Sandberg would be invited. And if she doesn’t mind eating with dead people, I’d also have Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. Both were remarkable observers of human nature and America. It would be really interesting to pick their brains about current events.
? https://t.co/nKtKnYNqgG pic.twitter.com/YA8tcm7w5m
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) April 12, 2018
The bonus of it all is he didn’t need to fucking think about whether or not to go give that speech tanking Clinton. It didn’t require any Niebuhresque judgment, it just required he follow the fucking DOJ guidelines that were already in place:
The day before the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress announcing that new evidence had been discovered that might be related to the completed Hillary Clinton email investigation, the Justice Department strongly discouraged the step and told him that he would be breaking with longstanding policy, three law enforcement officials said on Saturday.
Senior Justice Department officials did not move to stop him from sending the letter, officials said, but they did everything short of it, pointing to policies against talking about current criminal investigations or being seen as meddling in elections.
That Mr. Comey moved ahead despite those protestations underscores the unusual nature of Friday’s revelations, which added a dramatic twist to the final days of the presidential campaign. His action reignited a firestorm that Mrs. Clinton believed she had put behind her when the F.B.I. decided in July not to charge anyone in the investigation into the handling of classified information on her private email server.
Remember, that was after he had already created new Clinton rules in July and decided to speechify about Clinton when they decided not to prosecute the nothingburger of an email case. He called Clinton “careless,” when in fact it was he who was being careless and reckless.
For the record, it’s entirely possible to, as I do, think that Comey and company are a bunch of insufferable pricks while also thinking they are telling the truth about Orange Julius Caesar. I also maintain that Comey was convinced Clinton was going to win and was trying to shore up GOP losses in the House and Senate and also sending a shot across the incoming President’s bow about who the boss in town was, as well as settling an old score with the Clenis on the Mark Rich pardon.
In closing, fuck these guys. They make you long for the days of FBI agents who were merely vindictive monsters who secretly liked women’s clothing but kept their mouths shut in public. Additionally, we need to stop allowing college students to read Niebuhr, Luther, Oakeshotte, etc., unless they sign a NDA stating they will not issue any public mention of them without first having their statement approved by their old professor or someone with standing in the field who actually understood what they read.
Can I get an “amen!”?
Another magnificent righteous rant!! They’re getting better all the time. Thanks!
Remember it took them only five days or so to realize that the new emails were duplicates. They could have done that first thing and avoided the drama.
Something wrong with the boxes around text? I cannot tell who says, “In closing, fuck these guys….”
Sounds like you, John, but then it should be outside the box, not in it.
(I mean, the rest of your thoughts are certainly outside the box….)
Quoting MLK? Go fuck yourself, indeed.
No fucks given for these insufferable pricks.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
I blame Scully and Mulder
The reading list sounds like the phonyist, fake, garbage ass pseudo-intellectual masturbatory nonsense ever. What are you, a freshman in PHIL or COMP REL trying to shake off some panties?
Sheryl Sandberg is the fucking devil. She’s much smarter than Zuck and that makes what she’s doing 100X more blatantly evil.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch: Scully and Mulder took the knee in solidarity with protesting NFL players. In conclusion, fuck these sanctimonious pricks; they’re not fit to shine Scully and Mulder’s shoes. But they’re still preferable to president* Spanky.
I thought Clinton would win. I still can’t wrap my mind around how stupid millions of people were. I mean it wasn’t actually hidden, how stupid the guy is nor how crooked, nor how in competant in business. So it’s hard for me to yell at someone for that mistake.
Now wanting her to be handicapped because she wasn’t the same team as he was”…that is bad values.
There is something out there in RWNJ land that makes them incapable of understanding that people can hold two thoughts in their heads at once. It’s perfectly rational to believe that Comey did a terrible job handling the Clinton investigation (which he did – both spouting off about whether she’d protected her emails sufficiently and then announcing they were re-opening the investigation when there was no evidence anything actually being there were awful decisions, among other things), that he nevertheless was right that no rational prosecutor would want to charge her, and that Trump was wrong for firing him.
(Same with McCabe – I have no idea whether the IG’s report is accurate, but even if it is and he deserved discipline, it’s also clear that the timing and the rush to judgment were extremely out of the ordinary and therefore suspicious. Heck, the release of *just* that part of the IG’s report today, while the rest is still in process is equally suspicious.)
Okay–boxed text (and what is not boxed) makes sense now. Thanks!
But Dr. King had such a grand relationship with Director Hoover!
Comey wanted people to think he’s a noble, unbiased person and feels that going on every TV show in existence will prove it. He is mistaken.
“Additionally, we need to stop allowing college students to read Niebuhr, Luther, Oakeshotte, etc., unless they sign a NDA stating they will not issue any public mention of them without first having their statement approved by their old professor or someone with standing in the field who actually understood what they read.”
Thank you, yes, they were just trying to keep her margins down And clip her wings
Great rant, but – seriously? You’d take J. Edgar Hoover over these guys because he kept his mouth shut?
When you have files on every public figure in the country you can afford to be more laconic than Calvin Coolidge. Hoover was one of the worst actors in American history, and we’re better off with a room full of Comeys than him.
@khead: Actually, he’s quoting Martin Luther, the German protestant reformer. But fuck Comey anyway. He deserves that, and more.
@randy khan: It’s an interesting tell how gleeful this administration at it’s various enablers are now that they finally have a half-truth they can pound the table with as oppossed to the normal complete horseshit they are forced to resort to.
Completely agree. I have never trusted her, even before her stupid “Lean In” book. She’s awful.
I don’t think it was wrong to fire him. I am glad Comey was fired.
Co-signed. Every damned word.
@Mary G: While I agree, he is at least correct that he will come out of this looking far more credible than the president*. This is a low enough bar that he will probably trip over it, though, because he’s not nearly as perceptive as he imagines himself to be, even after being blindsided by the election results.
I do despise the Disneyfied Wypipo MLK.
Yeah, I’m a dumbass. Again. I caught that after I posted. That’s what I get for skimming during happy hour. Agree though that the point still kinda stands.
Dump vs. Comey: rooting for injuries, as you sports folk say.
“Now wanting her to be handicapped because she wasn’t the same team as he was”…that is bad values”
Comey’s a Republican. All Rethug’s have been steeped in CDS and Clinton Rules for 40 years now.
While the most obvious forms of the derangment show up on Ragebook Uncles pages after 5pm drinky time, and RWNJ rants at Red State,
The derangement, as Comey shows, affects all Rethug’s and more than a few “Independents” in more suble ways.
Forget about injuries, I’m cheering for the meteor.
That’s exactly right, and bears repeating. Comey’s mistakes, grievous as they were, were mistakes of judgment, not dishonesty.
Ironically, SHS says firing Comey is one of Spanky’s greatest achievements. When his book goes to the top of the best-seller list, Comey might be inclined to agree.
My take is that Mr. Upright Noble cut overly big corners on the rules, because he thought it wouldn’t make any difference ‘just this once’. He wanted to cut corners because he thought the Clintons were sleazy, or thought he would get flack from GOPers who thought he should think the Clintons were sleazy. Which is probably true. But I don’t see they were or are sleazier than the vast majority of successful politicians who are forced (or are lucky enough, depending on their viewpoint) to operate in an extremely corrupt and sleazy political and corporate culture. And for Mr. Upright Noble, why should what GOP hacks thought he should think be so important?
Why was possible, or probable, Clinton sleaziness (which by all evidence was legal) so damned important? Maybe the GOPers who waged a decades long smear campaign against them for partisan political purposes can answer that question.
Too bad a high minded public official who reads the philosophers could not look that far into his thinking.
Ari Melber is going nuts on his show right now, re: Comey and pee tape allegations.
Thank you, Cole ?
Can I sit near you?
If I wish for a meteor the damn thing would land on my head. You wishing for it gives me hope that the aim would be better. Unless you are looking for a freakingly large meteor.
BC in Illinois
I’ve instructed my daughter to send me a text if Rosenstein is fired.
I’m going to be out of the loop. My son and I are going to see “The Death of Stalin.” To lighten the mood.
@Tractarian: Nor treason.
well, considering Comey was busy fucking over his own agency’s norms and protocols in his haste to hamstring She Who Must Not Be Named, and now has the chutzpah to trot out his reasons in public for being an insufferable prig full of himself and his own biases, maybe he can quietly reflect on how his actions have affected the agency and the country he supposedly respects so much and after taking his book bonus money, he could have just shuffled the fuck off the national stage and maybe do something redemptive like work in a community food bank or build houses for the homeless. Otherwise, fuck that sanctimonious bastard.
@rikyrah: Basically he is going crazy on the Comey excerpts with George Steph where Comey talks about how it was possible Trump had pros peeing on each other. He didn’t know but it was possible. Amb McFaul tried to downplay what Comey has said and Ari was having none of it.
FBI vs GOP
Rooting for mutual destruction at this point.
Yup. This exactly. Comey may be a sanctimonious asshole with bad judgment, but I don’t believe he’s a liar. If the Shitgibbon’s lips are moving, he’s lying and he’s also a sanctimonious asshole with bad judgment. Do you prefer seeing a turd on your lawn to your sewer backing up and flooding your basement? I know what I prefer if only given those two choices.
“NEW EMAILS!” on page 1.
“sorry, copies of ones we’ve already gone through, our bad” on page eight in small print.
Rooting for the Comey scorpion against the Trump scorpion and glad they are in a jar together.
Lean [FUCKING] In?
Elements of Style? Letters From a Birmingham Jail? So this asshole is citing college freshman year intro class books as his guiding lights? Comey’s arrogance and self righteousness is off the chart. That’s probably why he reads David Brooks’ musings on humility.
I want to burn shit down.
Its the only way to be sure.
This. The FBI may be our allies of necessity in taking down Trump, but we shouldn’t think that makes them our friends. The same as the remaining Never Trump Republicans.
Cleaning public park toilets with his tongue sounds about right for him.
To reiterate something Kay said when the whole Comey thing first blew up: someone who has actual ethical standards doesn’t have to sit down and ask himself how to cram an action s/he wants to take inside those standards. A standard is a standard.
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: It’s borrowed from military commanders producing their own recommended reading lists, which are intended to foster individual self development among their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and/or Marines.
In 2015 I helped to build the SOCOM Commander’s reading list.
I could forgive Comey everything else in this post, but…
Sheryl Sandberg??? Three fricking choices, and Sheryl Sandburg?
Not Diderot, not Mme. du Châtelet, not Erasmus, not Spinoza, not Wollstonecraft, not Hume, not Gibbon, not Bulgakov. [And certainly not Aristophanes, Gogol, Swift or Bayle… no laffs at this dinner].
One time offer, three choices, and one of them writes clanking business bestsellers.
If I were his college prof. I’d be composing a very disappointed letter for my former charge.
@Adam L Silverman:
They did remember to tell them that Animal Farm, 1984 and A Handmaid’s Tale are supposed to be cautionary tales, not instruction manuals?
@Roger Moore: It’s a natural human impulse to lash out and yell about enemies and blowing shit up. But we should keep in mind that an institution, like the FBI, can and should be reformed and improved. The goal of restoring democratic governance the cares about the welfare of the population should be kept in the back of our minds during this fight.
@Adam L Silverman:
Did it include anything as insufferably prickish as the ones he chose?
Adam L Silverman
@TenguPhule: I’ve never seen one of them on any of the reading lists.
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: No. There were several selections on leadership, which is always a standby on these lists. Then a bunch of stuff on irregular, asymmetric, and unconventional warfare. Here’s the one I helped build:
The rampant self-righteousness of these fuckheads. Ugh. Also, fuck “lean-in”.
@Mnemosyne: This. Kay’s got Comey’s number.
As others have said here, I can believe Comey is a total putz who fucked up inexcusably in the election AND I can believe Trump was wrong to fire him in his attempt to quash the Russian probe. There’s literally nothing that excludes one from the other.
Comey doesn’t seem to have said anything in his book about the toxic environment of the New York FBI office.
Deleted…already a post about it
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: One additional item: I didn’t pick each of those. I contributed some of the suggestions and then vetted the overall list of recommendations before it was cut down by my colleague who was responsible for doing so.
Knives are out everywhere.
And it’s Scott Pruitt with the zillion-man security detail, on account of “unprecedented” threats. What does Ms. Ryan get, pepper spray and karate lessons?
@BC in Illinois:
Careful — the government it depicts is exponentially less fucked than the one we’ve got here.
@Cheryl Rofer: Why would he? It would kill the noble, stoic leader narrative and point out his underlings were that out of control & stupid enough to believe conspiracy theories. The place needs a wave of firings and a fumigation. Unfit to be agents.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
Seriously. I’m so sick of the Comey the Conflicted Conscience of America show. He did earn a good, hard firing after what he did in 2016, but that doesn’t mean that Tяump wasn’t corrupt when he fired him. I mean, yeah, I’m glad to see Comey take shots at Tяump. But that doesn’t mean he’s anything other than a self righteous blowhard in love with the myth of his own rectitude.
She might even be right, which highlights just how worthless Trump has been.
I was thinking more along the line of living in a monastery doing penance under a vow of silence. The vow of silence being key, of course.
@Scamp Dog: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
Martin Luther 1521
The Ancient Randonneur
McClatchy headline: Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier
I’m at least as worried about people confusing temporary allies with friends. I want to put together a big enough tent to contain everyone who wants to get rid of Trump. I am even optimistic enough to think that some of the people who join us under that tent may want to stay after Trump is gone. But I know we shouldn’t confuse the anti-Trump tent with the Democratic tent. The people who want to stick with us should be on probation until they’ve shown the understand what we’re about; they don’t get to claim a leadership role in Democratic politics just because they joined us in fighting Trump.
Hahaha, this is so funny!
@Roger Moore: Every single one of those people thinks that not agreeing with them about everything is why the Democrats lost in 2016.
But he was nice to Shirley Temple.
@The Ancient Randonneur: Didn’t Cohen publicly dispute the ENTIRE dossier because he said he wasn’t even in Prague, and showed a picture of his passport to prove he didn’t have any Czech stamps on it?
Others had since noted that he has two passports and could easily have used the other one. I *think* that was Cohen.
@BC in Illinois: Terrific movie. I hope you enjoy it. (It would take a comedy about Uncle Joe Stalin to make anything funny these days). And I grew up around refugees from the Glorious Bolshevik Revolution.
Um, I beg to differ.
@Matt McIrvin: Every single one of them thinks that both a)Democrats should stop supporting minority rights/ voting rights/interests/”Identity Politics” and b)continuing to support down ballot R candidates is the correct position.
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):
The ability to hold opposing ideas simultaneously is one of the ways you can tell you’re a liberal.
@Adam L Silverman: I am familiar with a few authors on that list.
In the newest thread it’s pointed out Cohen twitted out a photo of the cover of his passport, not the contents, nobody stamps the cover,
and Prague is in the Shenegian Zone of the EU, where travel between nations doesn’t require crossing Customs, so all Cohen had to do was travel from the US to any other City in the Shenegian Zone, get his passport stamped, then travel to Prague.
re: tRump tweeting Comey is a liar and leaker. Tweets would be libel, not slander, correct?
Would Comey’s defense be “I’m neither. I’m a self-righteous prig.”?
Cheryl from Maryland
Well, crap, Comey was at William and Mary the same time I was. However, just like all chemistry and bio majors, his interview from about his college years makes him sound like a complete asshole (my roommate was a bio major, who became a doctor, so I know entitlement when I hear it).
That has always pissed me off about the whole affair. There are probably existing scripts to find matching emails (I don’t actually know since I have been out of the computer business for awhile), if not a decent programmer could have written one in less than a day, and probably in about ten minutes. Comey didn’t have to do what he did for any of the B.S. reasons he claims — he wanted to.
@patrick II: Law firms had e-discovery software 15 years ago that could do that.
@MomSense: But these ideas are not opposing because either or both of these possibilities can be true.
Maybe there were issues I’m not aware of that gummed up the works, but almost any doc review program can identify and sort duplicates in a matter of seconds.
And they really could have safely assumed that HRC related emails on her aide’s laptop were dups to begin with. The idea that Huma Abedin would have had a treasure chest of incriminating or classified emails lying around in the first place, and then backed them up on Carlos Danger’s laptop…seriously? God dammit.
@Omnes Omnibus: beat me to it. Yes. Even ancient Concordance and IPro were more than up to the task. It had to have been NY FBI Trumpista assholes slow walking this shit for maximum political casualties, right?