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November 17, 2019

Hal Brown Nov. 15, 2019 to -

Nov. 25, 2019


Nov. 24, 2019
This OpEd should be making the news. I also wonder why it's authors, the founders of Fusion GPS didn't testify before the House.

Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are the founders of Fusion GPS and authors of the upcoming book, “Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump. Read a review of their book here. 

In 'Crime In Progress,' Fusion GPS Chiefs Tell The Inside Story Of The Steele Dossier


I missed this in Feb. 2017
November 24, 2019

From Maureen Dowd's NY Times OpEd Trump's White Whale.

 Excerpts — Donald Trump is a rodomont. Not to mention a grobian. And, of course, a Sinon suffering from proditomania. 

With Trump firmly lodged in our heads, it is understandable if we have all become a little conspiracy-minded. Case in point: A few weeks ago, someone signed me up for A.Word.A.Day email from 

Soon I began to detect a pattern. Friday’s word was vulgarian, following close after bareknuckle. Others included rodomont (a vain boaster), grobian (a buffoonish person) and Sinon (one who misleads and betrays). Also chirocracy (a government that rules with a heavy hand) and froward (difficult to deal with or contrary). .................

 Thomas Bossert, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and warned that Trump had to let go of his conspiracy theory linking CrowdStrike, Ukraine and the D.N.C. server. “If he continues to focus on that white whale,” Bossert said, “it’s going to bring him down.”

 But, like Ahab, Trump can’t ever let go. He’s hellbent on harpooning himself, chasing that which will sink him. 

Seppuku. My word of the day.
Seppuku (Japanese: 切腹, "cutting [the] belly"), sometimes referred to as harakiri (腹切り, "abdomen/belly cutting", a native Japanese kun reading), is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.


Nov. 23, 2019

Conservative lawyers concerns about Barr.

The group said that the “only imaginable basis” for Mr. Barr’s conclusion that Mr. Trump did not obstruct the Russia investigation “was his legal view that the president is given total control over all investigations by the Constitution.”

Mr. Fried suggested that Mr. Barr’s interpretation of the law set a dangerous precedent. “Conservatism is respect for the rule of law. It is respect for tradition,” he said. “The people who claim they’re conservatives today are demanding loyalty to this completely lawless, ignorant, foul-mouthed president.”

Mr. Gerson echoed that sentiment. “It’s important for conservatives to speak up,” he said. “This administration is anything but conservative.”

As a former talk-show guest host on the channel, I can explain the art and purpose behind attacking Colonel Vindman.

Right: If you've never read the Drudge Report take a look at what a barebones site it is.

Every successful Fox News segment producer has the conspiracy script down cold. These segments work best when the “proof” of a conspiracy against a tribal leader — in this case the Republican president — makes the viewer feel under attack as well. It elevates the fight-or-flight juices. And it helps when a proposed conservative thought leader mixes in the meta-narrative to the effect that “we are victimized again by the condescending Beltway elites.”

Weaponized and tribalized political video narratives in the hands of Fox News producers can become something like drug-abuse epidemics — keeping addicts of that conspiracy theory high and coming back for more. \Believing in conspiracy theories is a psychological construct for people to take back some semblance of control in their lives. It inflates their sense of importance. It makes them feel they have access to “special knowledge” that the rest of the world is “too blind,” “too dumb” or “too corrupt” to understand. 

And that is why they wrote Colonel Vindman into the wrong side of a spy novel.

Excerpt: What we didn’t know is that Ranking Member Nunes—who was supposedly acting simply as Trump’s main defender in Congress during the inquiry—was allegedly an active participant in the scheme, and, while he was still Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tried to work with the very same corrupt prosecutor opposed by the Obama Administration in order to secure a politically motivated attack on Joe Biden. In short, Nunes used his official position as the Chairman of a Congressional Committee on Intelligence to pressure a foreign government into peddling a false conspiracy theory backed by Russia to obfuscate its crimes against the American people, their government, and the norms of democracy itself.... The entire Republican establishment, in both the Administration and in Congress, has swallowed this Kremlin propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Perhaps they actually believe it. Or perhaps they realize that Trump’s level of corruption and self-dealing is so spectacular that the only way to defend it is through cynical whataboutism: muddy the waters by announcing that a likely rival has also being investigated for corruption. It wouldn’t be the first time they’re run this playbook: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, then the House majority leader, said the quiet part out loud to Sean Hannity regarding the political nature of the Benghazi investigation into Secretary Clinton, and they likely see a similar investigation into Joe Biden as something that could have a similar effect and save Trump’s chances in 2020. And it works because the American press is all to willing to comply with the charade in the interest of seeming balanced and anti-partisan.

Excerpt: President Trump, partial to gold and marble elegance, never took a shine to rustic Camp David. So acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney pitched to him an unusual idea at the start of the House impeachment inquiry: Use the secluded mountainous presidential retreat to woo House Republicans... Since then, Mulvaney and top White House officials have hosted weekend getaways for Republicans at the historic lodge, seeking to butter up Republicans before the big impeachment vote. The casual itinerary includes making s’mores over the campfire, going hiking, shooting clay pigeons and schmoozing with Trump officials, some of whom stay overnight with lawmakers...
During dinners, Trump has called in to compliment members personally... “I’ve worked with a number of Republican presidents over various administrations . . . and I’ve never, ever been invited to Camp David,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). “It was amazing to go for the short weekend. So historic.” ............. When Mulvaney first pitched the idea of turning Camp David into a weekend retreat for lawmakers, Trump was surprised, officials said. The acting chief of staff has told GOP attendees that the president didn’t see the allure, asking: “Who would want to go there?”.... It’s clear plenty of House Republicans do. Lawmakers and their spouses are given a tour of the historic grounds once they arrive, attendees said. Many are in awe over the hot tub, golf course and, in particular, who had previously stayed there, as they flip through books containing names of foreign ministers, famous White House staffers and other dignitaries who have slept in the same beds, participants said.... The grounds also include an arcade, a bowling alley and a shooting range. Lawmakers are encouraged to go have fun. And since no phones are allowed on the premises, members have been letting loose — with one attendee likening it to an “adult playground.”

Nov. 22, 2019

EXCELLENT piece by Amanda Marcotte:

 "There's little reason to believe Republicans actually believe their claims that there is reasonable doubt about Trump's guilt. Everyone, I suspect, knows he's guilty. But right now, they've got lots of political reasons to pretend otherwise, which is why Trump is headed toward a likely non-conviction in the Senate, despite the overwhelming evidence against him."

Trump accuses Yovanovitch of refusing to hang his photo in embassy

The president also said his staff instructed him to “be nice” to the now-ousted Ukrainian ambassador because she’s a woman.

The fascinating Conway saga: 

Trump bizarrely claims Kellyanne turned George Conway into a ‘nutjob’: ‘She must have done some bad things to him’

Impeachment is about to get a Robert Mueller reprise

Now that the Ukraine hearings are over, Democrats want to hold at least one Mueller-related impeachment hearing on Trump's possible obstruction and perjury.


Thieves steal $1M in goods from Portland pot company


Nov. 21, 2019 

Let's hope he gets burned for this - 

Lev Parnas Helped Rep. Devin Nunes’ Investigations

The indicted Giuliani associate helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for the Republican congressman in 2018.\

If Trump was Ukrainian he'd be charged with treason, if we were at war with Russia he'd be impeached for treason.

Under the radar: 

Trump rebukes Navy leaders and insists sociopathic sailor will remain a SEAL ands Navy pushes back

Bad news for Bibi: 


NOV. 20, 2019 Scroll down for my Sondland story.

Trump Bizarrely Tries To Spin Sondland’s Damning Testimony As Positive

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president read from handwritten notes claiming his innocence.

Note that Dana Milbank took the photo

Portland Pariah becomes Portland Patriot

I just changed the title of my story which was originally just “Are you getting your $1 million worth yet, Donald?”

Portland is.a very progressive city, one which as this Daily Beast story shows, did not take kindly to Sandland’s role in promoting Trump’s Ukraine agenda:

Now Sondland will return home as a hero and patriot. 

Nov. 19, 2019
Interesting label:

Nov. 18, 2019

Why was Trump rushed to the hospital? Count on the media to swallow official lies, Salon 7:30 PM EST

My take on this: Now that there's more information about how unusual this was, and what the White House medical facility can do it is more likely he had to go to a hospital because his symptoms were quite alarming. I hope it is more than wishful thinking but I am getting the idea there may be something life threatening that happened and that the hospital wanted to keep him there but he refused. I think we need to watch what he does very carefully over the next few days. Despite the title and much of the story being about how gullible the press was it is really about the real reasons he was apparently rushed to the hospital.



From David French: Building the Idiocracy, One Word Salad at a Time

Plus, conservative intellectuals are trashing the Constitution to save Trump.


Nov. 17, 2019

Nov. 16, 2019

Nov. 15, 2019 
Click below

Trump made this the biggest story so far:


‘Wow, little man’: Trump shredded by the internet for attempt to intimidate Yovanovitch as she described corruption

#witnessintimidation is trending



Yovanovitch responds to Trump tweets at hearing, says he's trying to intimidate

Read the comments to Trump's tweet, made in the midst of the Yovanvitch testimony here. He is obviously watching. Chris Mathews (on MSNBC) said that by showing this tweet Adam Schiff was pointing out that Trump was engaging in witness intimidation. Then in the break in a hallway interview Schiff said the tweet was witness intimidation in real time.
 Trump's psychopathology combined with his stupidity may be his undoing. He is recklessly digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole. If he had a lawyer with him willing and able to tell him what not to tweet he'd never have done this. However Trump thinks he is his own best lawyer.
Click above for story

Not a link



Quote: “Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?” Sideshow Bob from "The Simpson's" HuffPost article about Laura Ingraham saying attempted bribery wasn't mention in the Constitution. --- Watch video:

From The Washington Post:

This rhetorical absurdity, originally intended as a joke on a TV cartoon, is now being trotted out in all seriousness by the GOP. What New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait has called the “Sideshow Bob defense” has become central to Republican efforts to shield President Trump from accusations of wrongdoing. Because the Ukrainian quid pro quo was ultimately unsuccessful, the argument goes, no crime was committed, even if one was attempted. The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal wrote (apparently not joking): “Many people in the Administration opposed the Giuliani effort, including some in senior positions at the White House. This matters because it may turn out that while Mr. Trump wanted a quid-pro-quo policy ultimatum toward Ukraine, he was too inept to execute it.”

It’s hard to believe that the Sideshow Bob defense of Trump will be long-lived, as it fails to stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. It is literally a joke. (Still, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) felt obliged to stamp out any confusion during the impeachment hearing Wednesday. “Is attempted murder a crime?” he asked Ambassador William B. Taylor Jr. Laughing, Taylor responded: “Yes, attempted murder is a crime.”)
Indeed, many in the GOP have pivoted to a new defense of the president: The new argument is that famous corruption fighter Donald Trump just wanted to fight corruption wherever it may be found, with the assistance of his sidekick, famous corruption fighter Rudolph W. Giuliani. “Oh come on now, that’s too much. People won’t seriously fall for that,” Sideshow Bob might reply. And then, with an evil gleam in his eye: “ … Will they?”

Trump says impeachment is ‘very hard on my family’

The president rallies voters to turn out for Republican Eddie Rispone, who is running to unseat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Trump also took a cynical turn during the rally and said Republicans in Congress wanted the impeachment proceedings to continue because it riled their constituents. But the president, who seemed more tired and less enthused than in past rallies, asked for it all to stop. 
“My whole life is crazy. What a life I lead,” he said. “You think this is fun, don’t you? But it’s been very hard on my family.” 

At just under an hour and 10 minutes, Thursday’s rally was one of his shortest in months, and he hardly ever raised his voice or introduced new insults.


Dems Banging Down the Door at Fox to Win GOP Minds

“I come from the school of thought that St. Paul didn’t just preach to the converted,” said a House Democratic aide.
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