PUNT!

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Saturday 3/4/2017 – The Twitterer in the Dark regurgitated some Brietbartian lies about Obama tapping Trump Tower. This caused a bit of a stir as one might expect, with members of the right wing demanding justice, and people who aren’t fans of fascism saying WTF?

Sunday 3/5/2017 – He announces a cunning plan to make the problem go away, and preemptively tell reporters Shut up and don’t ask about this. Talk about decisive action.

I wonder if Comey knows about this yet? At any rate, I’m sure rabid voters demanding the investigation of a very popular president that might unearth damning information about their own shit sandwich of a POTUS are exactly what the GOP-controlled Congress wants right now. Hopefully, Make Congress make the problem go away will be Orange McRagey’s default solution to any problems caused by his inability to not be a gross pig for five seconds.

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  • randy khan

    Is this where we’re supposed to worry, very publicly, about how terrible it would be if Congress forced President Obama to testify in public?

    • rfm

      Would it really be such a bad thing? There aren’t a lot of ways I can imagine that actually going poorly, short of the Kapitol Hill Kops actually catching someone this time.

      • socraticsilence

        Ixnay on the ealityray…. we are terrified of Donald trying to investigate the most popular major politician in the United States.

        We are especially scared of him forcing arguably greatest orator in modern American history to speak.

        What would shake me to my core is if Donald called out Obama and dared him to give a national address, just the thought of it makes me shudder.

        • Hondo

          That reminds me of the moment in one of their debates when Obama said to Romney “Please, continue Governor.” Romney hesitated just long enough to think, “Oh, shit.” Classic.

    • I’m terrified. Oh dear. Dreadful, simply dreadful.

      Please don’t ask a rational, cool, collected and respected dude talk on a subject that may reach and touch upon teh depredations of a complete fucking human whack-a-mole game.

      It would just ruin my opinion of President Barack Obama.

      Don’t steal my sunshine.

    • On the one hand, I think 9+ years of dealing with these scumbags is enough. On the other, watching him turn Jason the Chaffed inside out would be wonderful.

      • Derelict

        In a world full of rational people, it would, indeed, be absolutely marvelous to watch former President Barack H. Obama completely demolish both the Congressional Republicans and The Combover Caligula.

        But we don’t live in that world. The one we currently do inhabit is about half-filled with people who spent the last 8 years dismayed by the Black man in the White House, and who would see Obama making fools of their heroes as just another liberal elitist swipe at them and their’s.

        • randy khan

          For this purpose, I divide the world into three groups, with two subgroups in the last group:

          1. People who think Obama was a good President, or at least a decent one, and who will either be outraged that he was called to testify or convinced by his testimony that calling him was stupid. That’s somewhere north of half of the population right now, if you believe the polls at all.

          2. People not in category 1 who are at least somewhat open-minded, who will see his testimony and realize that there’s nothing there (or, even better, that there were very good reasons that any surveillance was conducted). This probably is a pretty small group, but it exists.

          3. People who believe he was a lousy, unethical, lawbreaking President. This group has two subgroups:

          (a) People who will watch the testimony and be convinced for unexplainable reasons that he was utterly nailed by whoever is stupid enough to question him.

          (b) People who will watch the testimony and be outraged that he wasn’t asked the questions that would prove his perfidy. That group will be mad at the Republicans for *not* *doing* *their* *jobs* and will be more likely to stay home at the next election.

          So Obama testifying probably reinforces the views of most Americans, moves a few in the right direction, and causes some problems in the Republican coalition. It’s all good.

    • sigaba

      no please stop don’t throw us in that briar patch oh please don’t throw us in that nasty old briar patch please stop anything but that

    • brad

      What do they even ask him?

      So, you did this, right?
      Nope.
      Not even a little.
      Nope.
      We have no evidence at all that you did it, clearly this proves you did, you incompetent president/evil genius. Just have pity on us, you did something, right?
      Nope.

    • I know it’s hard not to laugh, but this is some seriously unhinged shit. I thought that Trump would at least make it through the mid-terms, but now I’m wondering if he’s going to make it through the summer. What’s next, a preemptive strike against North Korea because of something he read in the National Enquirer?

  • Davis X. Machina

    Just wait till the alt-left (I wish there were a better name) gets right on this, convinced that given Obama’s history on FISA renewal and domestic surveillance that this disclosure is entirely plausible, nay, inevitable.

    Only Trump can retrospectively deliver the justice that was impossible for the last eight years. Because only Nixon can go to China, or something.

    • StellaB

      I'm certain that the Clintons forced Obama to open the investigation in order to screw Bernie Sanders.

      • Davis X. Machina

        It stands to reason. While Bernie would have beaten Trump clean, the only way She could have beaten Trump was dirty.

        • nemdam

          Let us never forget that while Bernie definitely got screwed out of the nomination by DWS bitching about him in private, Hillary should have won even though she was also running against the FBI, Russia, and the media.

          • Hogan

            She was the most epically disastrous candidate ever, and I was so sure she would get 400 electoral votes that I wrote in Bernie. WHY DID KILLARY GUN DOWN MY UNICORN?

      • Karen24

        I know you mean this to be snarky, but my loudest Trumpista friend on Facebook shared an article this morning noting that Bill Clinton appointed the judges that allegedly approved the alleged wiretap.

        • kvs

          Have they also posted reviews of DC pizza restaurants and how suitable they are for human trafficking?

          Or their thoughts on European performance art?

          • Karen24

            No, she’s completely occupied with hatred for Obama; Clinton-hate is an epiphenomenon of that.

        • Taylor

          That word, “friend.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

        • Hogan

          If it was indeed the FISC, those are sitting federal district court judges appointed to FISC by the SCOTUS chief justice. Don’t even need Senate confirmation.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      “Alt left” doesn’t do a very good job of describing them at all. These folks are not really like the alt right. The greatest fault of this segment of the left is that they constantly carry water for the right. Whatever else you can say about the alt right, they certainly don’t provide aid and comfort to the left.

      There are a lot of better names than “alt left.” Trump-enabling left. Useful idiot left. False-equivalence left. Contradiction-heightening left. Etc. etc.

      • Karen24

        This is important.

      • There are a lot of better names than “alt left.” Trump-enabling left. Useful idiot left. False-equivalence left. Contradiction-heightening left. Etc. etc.

        How about ‘straw man’ to keep the left fighting among itself?

        • veleda_k

          Except the whole point of a straw man is that it doesn’t really exist, while the useful-idiot left pops up all the time.

      • There are a lot of better names than “alt left.” Trump-enabling left. Useful idiot left. False-equivalence left. Contradiction-heightening left. Etc. etc.

        “Assholes” is shorter.

        • StellaB

          I’ll go with that one.

      • Whirrlaway

        the alt-left is not like the alt-right, they just do all the same stuff? but they don’t smoke the same cigarette as me?

        it’s not right-left, it’s more like continuity-dyslexia

      • Moondog von Superman

        The problem lies with the terms right and left. We don’t actually have two sides that are mirror images of each other.

        Need better werdz.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Well put, We are moving toward an asymmetrical society, complete with asymmetrical politics. As an example we don’t have a two party system, we have a political party and a criminal organization.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            The only good news is that a fair part of the criminal organization is a gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

      • David Allan Poe

        Three-turn left?

      • Dennis Orphen

        One человек’s useful idiots are our useless idiots.

    • I wouldn’t start holding my breath.

  • Thlayli

    Y’all are laughing. Several Twitter eggs have assured me that Obama is going to prison for this.

    • Davis X. Machina

      They’re out there with Sharpies re-working all their “LOCK HER UP” merch to “LOCK HIM UP”.

    • socraticsilence

      Even Trump isn’t dumb enough to try and persecute Obama.

      Good god, the sheer carnage that would cause….

      • Even Trump isn’t dumb enough to try and persecute Obama.

        You sure about that?

      • efgoldman

        Even Trump isn’t dumb enough to try and persecute Obama.

        President Bannonazi might be

        • Colin Day

          Wait a minute, Bannon is dumber than Trump? We are screwed.

  • keta

    If laughing is meant to be healthy then I would like to thank the Trump administration, and especially Donnie himself, for their consistently solid contributions to my well-being.

    • PohranicniStraze

      It’s a mixed bag. The laughter is good for you, the alcohol-induced blackouts afterwards, not so much.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        More and more I feel like Lloyd Bridges in the first Airplane movie.

  • N__B

    preemptively tell reporters Shut up and don’t ask about this

    In 1974, this is when Gary Trudeau started drawing barbed-wire entanglements on the white house lawn.

  • (((Malaclypse)))

    IANAL, but shouldn’t he be worried about discovery?

    • Davis X. Machina

      He can shut that right down. Nixon proved that.

      • Schadenboner

        No, that only works in cases of legitimate discovery. (He’s probably lying about it being discovery, you see…)

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I thought nature had a way of shutting things down in cases of legitimate discovery, or something like that.

    • Gregor Sansa

      In other words – and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of Trump’s nation-wide success thus far is founded – his fundamental flaws are completely hidden by his superficial flaws.

      That might change but it’s worked so far and he’s running with it.

      • sibusisodan

        That is a brilliantly pithy explanation of Trump. Thank you.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Thank Douglas Adams.

          • sibusisodan

            Well, you shared it, and I enjoyed it. Thank you for making a simple commenter very happy.

            • Gregor Sansa

              The original was in reference to the fictional Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. If you enjoy it, you might enjoy the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

              • elm

                If you enjoyed the experience of Gregor’s comment, why not share it with your friend?

                • Warren Terra

                  Share and enjoy!

                • wjts

                  Go stick your head in a pig!

          • econoclast

            It’s a wittier quote in reference to Trump than it is in reference to some fictional corporation. For reference, please consult Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote.

    • Warren Terra

      He’d probably be more worried about Discovery if his crew of criminals and hacks kept records.

      • kvs

        He keeps records. He just has someone delete them before they can be requested.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    I’m glad you think this is going to turn out so badly for Trump. I hope you’re right.

    Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Bukharin were all factually innocent, but that didn’t make any difference in the end.

    • John Revolta

      Jeez. There’s “concerned”, and then there’s “worried”, and then there’s “Maybe you should go and see someone…………..”

  • Warren Terra

    Am I utterly misinformed or wasn’t it made abundantly clear a dozen years ago during the initial stirrings of the Warrantless Wiretap controversy that our government asserts a lot of power to snoop on foreigners, even without a warrant, especially foreigners it suspects of terrorist, organized-crime, or espionage activities? Surely the Russian ambassador and rumored spymaster would fall into at least two of those three categories. There’s every reason to think the Russian ambassador is surveilled to a fare-thee-well, and that his phones are tapped. This could explain the descriptions of Flynn’s phone conversations with him, and Sen. Coons’s suggestion there might be information about Sessions’s conversations with him.

    On the other hand, the idea that James Comey’s FBI wiretapped anything Trump before the election, and that no-one leaked it (except to right-wing rumor-mongers last week) defies credulity.

    • Davis X. Machina

      On the other hand, the idea that James Comey’s FBI wiretapped anything Trump before the election, and that no-one leaked it (except to right-wing rumor-mongers last week) defies credulity.

      Clearly unaccountable Obama ninjas, who report directly to their Kenyan Muslim overlord, outside the DoJ chain of command did it.

      The absence of evidence is the evidence.

      • ep11

        I can’t know right now whether or not the Obama DOJ investigated the Republican presidential candidate for partisan political purposes. I’m pretty sure they did investigate the Democratic presidential candidate.

    • nemdam

      Of course. This is my theory regarding why the IC further investigated Trump. In routine surveillance of Russian officials, they found them regularly talking to Trump officials about things other than regular diplomatic correspondence. So they naturally launched a bigger investigation and here we are.

    • Yes.

      Yes.

      Oh yes. The brouhaha of the hour appears to be the result of something the President of the United States read in Breitbart and believed, so credulity defiance is a key ingredient.

  • The 7th Marx Brother

    I don’t feel nearly as sanguine as most of you. If the president can start a congressional investigation of political rivals with no evidence, then the Republic is over. The only people who will be impressed (forget persuaded) by Obama testimony are already convinced against Trump. This would just rally the rightist base.

    • sigaba

      I don’t see any alternative course of action than what we’re presently doing. Getting ulcers over The Fate of The Republic won’t fix the republic.

      The die was cast in November, it will roll.

    • TopsyJane

      We’re seeing Trump attempting to control the narrative via Twitter. We’ll see if it works or goes up in his face like an exploding cigar. Hoping for the latter, of course.

  • dogboy

    Looking around the internet, found this from December:

    …whatever the nature of President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with President Putin, he has certainly managed to accumulate direct and indirect connections with a far-flung private Russian/FSU network of outright mobsters, oligarchs, fraudsters, and kleptocrats.

    –Francis Fukuyama, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Eliot Cohen & Josef Joffe

    I’m gonna need more popcorn.

  • Owlbear1

    In an Alt-Reality someone has already morphed #62 into a giant Easter Bunny.

  • smott999

    This was first reported by Louise Mensch back in Oct-Nov, and later confirmed by UK Guardian and BBC. Never appeared in US press to my knowledge.

    FISA warrant related to IIRC a couple of banks including Alfa, maybe in Trump Tower, and of course any individuals related to that. Doubt it even mentioned Trump or any of his flunkies specifically.
    They were surveilling Russian actors and server activity I believe.

    Trouble is, Trump’s flunkies kept contacting them. So there will be a lot of SIGINT or whatever the spooks call it.

    BReitbart and that radio loon Levin (?) spewed it Sat AM (“silent coup by Obama” seems to be the latest hot take), Trump got hold of it perhaps whilst on the Loo with his Samsung lol!
    Unsupervised by Ivanka and Jared since it was Shabbat.

    It’s all hilarious in a way.

    • smott999
      • keta

        Marcy Wheeler likens it all to a game of telephone.

        Read the whole thing, but here’s her conclusion:

        Based on the assumption there is a FISA order covering at least some of his close associates, but probably not one covering him, understand what has happened here:

        1. Trump’s Attorney General, who claims he had already decided to recuse, recused after his nomination lies were exposed, meaning he no longer controls the investigation into his boss
        2. A misleading article written in response to that recusal led Trump to claim he was being targeted
        3. Based on the claim, Trump sent out his WHCO to find a FISA order probably not targeting him but probably targeting his aides
        4. Having just been deprived of visibility and control over the investigation, Trump is forcibly obtaining another way to control it

        • smott999

          Yeah saw that.
          Actually Marcy and Louise had a bit of a cat fight on the Bird this AM.

          McGahn canNOT ask for or receive info on that warrant, that is a real challenge to the DOJ.

          Interesting stuff.

          But I don’t think Trump can stay ahead of this. The IC has been leading the press by the nose.

          I wonder if our DOJ can maintain enough independence to start indicting people. The list is huge. FLynn, Sessions,Bannon, Manafort, Page, Cohen, Kushner, Gordon….Pence? it goes on….

          • keta

            I wonder if there’s any move at all that would force Trump to open up his financial records, because I think that’s what bursts the dam wide open on the connections with Russia.

            Josh Marshall had what I thought was a solid summation of the machinations to date, in broad strokes. As he notes, it’s Trump’s character that is at the root of all of this, and I think it’s Trump’s character that’s going to ultimately be his own downfall.

            • smott999

              Does it though?
              I mean I suppose it would show legit loans from Russian sources (if there are any) but so much of the money Trump is swimming in is illegal mob cash. And all that gets laundered. Money laundering is hard to trace if you do it well, as I understand. And I’m sure the Russian Mob is good at it. Not like that NY FBI FO is reeling in russki mobsters every other week.

              This guy Felix Sater is bad to the bone but appears to also be a US IC asset, so who knows what they’ll do about him.

              • keta

                I guess we can only hope that any illumination at all on Trump’s finances will bring more and bigger lights, and crack the thing wide open. But getting that first beam inside is what’s most needed.

                As for Sater, one would expect the IC would be more concerned about the well-being of their country and its bedrock values than the worth of a douchebag turned squealer.

                I’m seeing this all as a watershed in the health of the United States.

                In one scenario the powers that be (all branches) can do a half-assed job of getting to the bottom of all this, discover (surprise!) nothing of great import and the nation lurches on ten tones shadier and overtly open for business of any kind.

                In another, a full and intense investigation finds improprieties that must be dealt with as per stuff like laws and shit, and the cherished governmental system does its job, painful as it may be for some.

                Of course, there’s always the chance that a thorough investigation turns up nothing of great consequence, there’s been really nothing but a bunch of unfortunate coinky-dinkies, and look! isn’t that Yorkshire flitting from treetop to treetop?

                • smott999

                  I join you in fervent hope it could be a watershed.
                  Though I have my doubts.
                  As a society, we can no longer even agree on a set of facts such that debate, compromise, progress could be possible.

                  And it’s pretty clear a large portion of the electorate has no sense of decency anymore (look for the people wearing Fuck Your Feelings teeshirts lol).

                  But let’s hope.

                  I contacted both my Sens and my district Rep yesterday to tell them this is not about politics anymore, it’s about upholding the Constitution and preserving country over party.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  To make an analogy, I had a break-up a few years ago that I didn’t want and tore me up for years. But I am in a far better place now than than I would be if it never happened.

  • Dennis Orphen

    To go further with my Russian blackmail theory (and it’s just a theory, almost everything is to a Cartesian skeptic), what do the Russian’s have on Comey? And not only that, but if they did have something on him (and used it), why would he basically break the law? He would be in deep kim chee just as deep if the Democrats won even just one branch of the federal government. It’s almost as if he knew they wouldn’t before November 8th. Did he have access to Obama’s time machine?

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