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Today in the Derp State

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Let’s check in on that House oversight function:

And now, the House Intelligence chair has provided one more reason for the public to think he’s working to undermine his committee’s investigation: On Monday, Nunes admitted that he had been on White House grounds the night before his big disclosure.

“Chairman Nunes met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source,” the lawmaker’s spokesperson, Jack Langer, told NBC News. “The Chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of U.S. citizens, and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that (Trump Tower) had been wiretapped.”

The House Intelligence Committee has its own secure room in the Capitol, where Nunes reviews classified material on a daily basis. There is no intuitive reason why Nunes would need to go to the White House to securely view his source’s information — unless he wished to keep that information “secure” from his fellow committee members.

If Donald Trump shot up a nursery school, Nunes and Chaffetz would respond by opening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s role in the murder of Seth Rich.

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  • Gizmo

    I’m continually amazed that Nunes, former member of the Trump transition team, is allowed to chair an oversight committee thats looking into the Trump admin. I know that the Republicans aren’t big fans of oversight (at least of other Republicans), but don’t they usually try to -appear- objective? This doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    • Dennis Orphen

      This is their best attempt at appearing objective, and for way too many people, it’s more than enough.

    • Derelict

      It may well get to a situation in which there is clear determinative evidence of multiple crimes committed by Trump, his transition team, and many (or even most) members of his cabinet. This will provoke a genuine crisis for our form of government as Republicans will likely decide that the Party is far more important than the country, and then shut down all investigations.

      The real end point then becomes how voters react. And, sadly, I suspect that the vast majority of those who vote Republican will decide that the Party is far more important than the country.

      And, once again, we’re forced to wrestle with the damn Flash ads. How much money could LGM possibly be making from these things? Drop them and I’ll make up the difference.

      • Bri2k

        Concur on the ads. I think AdBlock is in my future otherwise the site is unreadable.

      • twbb

        “And, sadly, I suspect that the vast majority of those who vote Republican will decide that the Party is far more important than the country”

        These people don’t care about the party; they care about themselves. Once they see their own interests imperiled they will turn on the GOP, or enough of them will. George W. Bush hit a 25% approval rating, and I have no doubt that Trump will go below that.

      • Captain Oblivious

        You can specifically block Flash in any major browser without having to block other ads. Google the instructions.

    • I’m continually amazed that Nunes, former member of the Trump transition team, is allowed to chair an oversight committee thats looking into the Trump admin.

      I stopped be amazed at the mendacity of the Republican Party a long, long time ago.

    • Tyto

      I’m continually amazed that Nunes, former member of the Trump transition team, is allowed to chair an oversight committee thats looking into the Trump admin.

      Hat tip to Adam Schiff, who really has been holding Nunes’ feet to the fire on this and demanding Nunes’ recusal.

    • Jay C

      I’m continually amazed that Nunes, former member of the Trump transition team, is allowed to chair an oversight committee thats looking into the Trump admin.

      Isn’t this also an artifact of (relatively recent) House GOP practice that rotates important Committee Chairmanships -seemingly at random – in order (supposedly) to avoid Committee “fiefdoms”? Of course, it often has the effect of having numerous Committees chaired by incompetent and/or compromised buffoons, but that has never stopped House Republicans before….

      • Hogan

        it often has the effect of having numerous Committees chaired by incompetent and/or compromised buffoons

        As opposed to . . . the other Republicans?

  • keta

    …the Republican tasked with leading the House investigation into Russian hacking disappeared…
    …promptly exited the Uber without explanation.
    …Nunes admitted that he had been on White House grounds the night before his big disclosure.
    “Chairman Nunes met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source,”…

    Secretive phone calls; robotic obeisance to telephonic orders; skulking about the acreage of a head of state; secure locations and unnamed sources. It’s a goddamn Robert Ludlum novel, fer crissakes.

    Let’s call it “The Numbnuts Imbroglio”.

  • Murc

    OT: Any chance of a post on the football atrocity that just got finalized in Vegas?

    • Warren Terra

      You mean the billion dollars in public financing for a useless stadium? Or do you care about the Raiders in some way?

      • Murc

        Well, I mean, you can’t discuss the former without discussing the latter, being as how the Raiders are the ones who made it possible. Without the Raiders there is no stadium grift.

        I have friends who live in Vegas and they are super fucking angry.

        • efgoldman

          I have friends who live in Vegas and they are super fucking angry.

          Wasn’t it elected officials who made the decision and imposed the tax?
          As we’ve seen since January 20, serious protest works.

          • twbb

            Well, they might not be angry enough to actually, you know, vote in the next elections…but still, super angry.

            • Rob in CT

              Heh.

          • John F

            sometimes in Miami they were mad enough to have a recall vote and throw the Mayor and a few others out- but it was too late, plus elections are not enough deterrent is some shitbag is looking at a huge payday, losing their day job is just a risk some are willing to take.

          • ASV

            ISTR that the guy who gave away the store in Cobb County, GA, was shown the door in the next election.

      • JKTH

        I remember seeing sometime earlier that the Raiders were counting on their stadium being filled one-third by tourists. Good luck with that.

    • vic rattlehead

      Is there demand for football among locals? Because I’ve never gone to Vegas and thought “hey this is great but what I’d really like is to go see a football game.” There’s already a ton of stuff to do. If I get tired of the strip and Fremont street there’s still plenty of shit to entertain me in town. There’s already so much competition for a tourists dollar that this seems idiotic.

      • Murc

        Is there demand for football among locals?

        No. Even the grifters admit that the locals can’t possibly fill the stadium. They’re saying it’ll be one-third filled with tourists, and moreoever that people will specifically come to Vegas who wouldn’t have come otherwise just for the games.

        Now, this maybe isn’t wholly insane. I actually know a couple guys who are like “I like Vegas, and I like football, so I can schedule a trip to Vegas now when they’re having football there.” But it is, like, 90% insane.

        Vegas just can’t support a major sports franchise, period. This doesn’t stop people from trying. They’re getting a damn hockey team this year. Because when I think of Vegas, I think of winter sports!

        • Hogan

          You don’t go to Vegas to watch football. You go to Vegas to bet on football.

        • Tyto

          For Raider fans in LA (and there are surprisingly many), the flight to Vegas or Oakland is about an hour, and many I’ve talked with are excited for the new stadium. I wonder whether they will be as excited when they see the ticket prices.

          On a similar note, I had better see a Rams game while they are playing at the Coliseum, as I can’t see paying the money their new stadium will command.

        • David Allan Poe

          The hockey team at least is somewhat feasible – a lot of Canadians and other people from northern climes take vacations down south during the winter, and going to see their team play in Vegas for probably less than it costs at home would be a theoretical reason for them to go there as opposed to somewhere else.

          The Florida teams do alright, but that reasoning hasn’t worked so well for Arizona or Carolina, and the Hurricanes have even won the Cup.

        • efgoldman

          They’re getting a damn hockey team this year. Because when I think of Vegas, I think of winter sports!

          Granted, I’m old enough to remember the Original Six NHL, but I STILL can’t grok a team in Phoenix and two in Florida.
          LA surprised me. There’s a lot of fan support for the Kings, But they’re winners, which helps a lot.

        • Matty

          I don’t know if there are many Bears-fan snowbirds as there are Cubs-fan snowbirds, but I could definitely see folks going to Vegas for Bears games, given our winters here.

          Still not a waste of $750M of public money, though.

  • JR in WV

    Amazing stuff, Malcolm Nance’s interview in Smashing Interviews is very on point to this issue. Setting the weasel to guard the hen-house is what they are doing there.

    A friend kept a large contingent of chickens in order to make organic noodles, and had a weasel killing his hens. He finally started sleeping in the hen house with a switch to floodlights and a shotgun with the choke sawed off.

    He wound up killing lots of hens AND damaging the hen-house, but he got the weasel, which was killing about a dozen hens in each raid. So a victory, sort of. The noodles were great!

    But, make no mistake, we do need to know more about the many murders that have occurred in places where Hillary Clinton has been.

    • efgoldman

      we do need to know more about the many murders that have occurred in places where Hillary Clinton has been.

      No, see, that's her criminalous nefariosity! It's the murders in all the places she wasn't that need to be investigated.
      You don't think a dope lile Aaron Hernandez acted on his own, do you?

  • cpinva

    these guys just can’t stop themselves, can they? Nunes himself could be looking at Federal obstruction charges, only because being a weasel in public is not yet a crime.

    • these guys just can’t stop themselves, can they?

      Nope. At some point you just have to come to terms with the fact that the Republican Party is just ideologically fucking evil.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Nunes himself could be looking at Federal obstruction charges

      Under a Sessions Justice Dept??

  • piratedan

    the more I read on this stuff the more I remember that scene from All The President’s Men when Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook)in one of his sessions with Redford (Woodward)says… these guys really aren’t very smart.

    Granted, we have a media that has since been wired for the GOP (and all that implies) and a bunch of people who actually think that what is wrong with America is the belief that the Dems are continually working under nefarious plans to implement a Welfare State to the detriment of White Conservatives.

    • the more I read on this stuff the more I remember that scene from All The President’s Men when Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook)in one of his sessions with Redford (Woodward)says… these guys really aren’t very smart.

      Nope. But can be very cunning.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      these guys really aren’t very smart.

      They just have to be smarter than 51% of the voters, and we all know George Carlin’s famous quote about ‘average intelligence’.

      • That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!-Adlai stevenson

  • Dr. Waffle

    Speaking of derp, I give you the two worst takes in the history of bad takes:

    1.) Actually, women and minorities gave us Donald Trump.

    2.) Actually, Trump’s war crimes can be considered non-interventionist in nature.

    • Chetsky

      Re: Breunig’s hot take — AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Just amazing. Next he’ll be telling us that 100% of Trump’s points came from (shocker) *Americans*!!!!!!!

    • Yes, and if I piss down your back from a sufficient height, you can indeed convince yourself that it is raining.

    • Rob in CT

      When I mouseover the intercept link it gives a title of “Trumps war on terror quickly becomes as barbaric and savage as he promised.”

      I don’t feel like giving the click, and I know titles don’t always match well with content, but…

      • Just_Dropping_By

        The Intercept post is being mocked presumably because it distinguishes between “non-interventionism” and “pacifism.” It is very clearly not supportive of Trump. Here’s the concluding paragraphs.

        Trump’s reckless killing of civilians in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen is many things: barbaric, amoral, and criminal. It is also, ironically, likely to strengthen support for the very groups — ISIS and al Qaeda — that he claims he wants to defeat, given that nothing drives support for those groups like U.S. slaughter of civilians (perhaps the only competitor in helping these groups is another Trump specialty: driving a wedge between Muslims and the West).

        But what Trump’s actions are not is a departure from what he said he would do, nor are they inconsistent with the predictions of those who described his foreign policy approach as non-interventionist. To the contrary, the dark savagery guiding U.S. military conduct in that region is precisely what Trump expressly promised his supporters he would usher in.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          I suppose if you define “intervention” as “things that don’t involve killing as many of Them as possible” trump could be described as “non-interventionist”

          the only people I heard seriously talk about trump as a “non-interventionist” were also yammering incessantly about the bloodthirsty warmonger Clinton

          • Hogan

            Greenwald is defining “non-interventionist” as “supporting invasions of other countries for these reason, not those reasons.”

            • petesh

              Even Greenwald is usually less blatant that that.

            • petesh

              Greenwald cites as evidence (1) Lindbergh’s opposition to fighting Germany (he does not mention the “British and Jewish races” Lindbergh claimed to admire but would not support) as opposed to his willingness to fight back against Japan (not specifically mentioned); and (2) Pat Buchanan’s deeply principled opposition to the invasion of Iraq (on the grounds, also not mentioned, that Israel wanted to destroy the Iraq regime).

              Basically he is justifying Trump’s sleight of hand — because he damn well did claim to be against increasing troop deployment — by (1) claiming ISIS is an existential threat to the U.S. (I’m SO scared) and (2) claiming the precedent of a pair of fucking Nazis.

              Greenwald has now gone round the bend, popped up the other side, and disappeared down the sewer hole.

            • NonyNony

              I read the linked piece and I’m in agreement with petesh – either Greenwald is giving a definition of “non-interventionist” that is so broad as to be useless (i.e. what matters is that they believe that it’s in America’s direct interest to invade another country – by that token every side of every war the US has poked its nose into has “non-interventionists” on it), or his definition of “non-interventionist” is “if a white supremacist does it it’s non-interventionist”.

              I also appreciate the rhetorical sleight of hand that uses the fact that Lindbergh and Buchanan were arguing against intervening in pre-existing wars to say that Trump is doing the same thing by increasing the US’s involvement into a number of pre-existing wars. That’s a mighty fine bit of rhetorical lift there – I hope he used his legs and not his back when he hoisted that one. Wouldn’t want him to hurt himself.

    • JKTH

      Impressive stuff by Bruenig. White women make up 80% of the remaining amount of Trump’s support after white men so saying “women and minorities” is like saying Barry Bonds and I have hit 762 home runs combined.

      • Rob in CT

        I and Bill Gates have billions of dollars between us!

      • wjts

        More apt is a (possibly apocryphal) quote by one of Wilt Chamberlain’s teammates about the 100-point game along the lines of, “It was a great game. Wilt and I scored a combined 108 points.”

        • Domino

          The Gretzky brothers have scored the most goals in NHL history. One of them contributed 99% of the total, mind you.

        • John Revolta

          Speaking of Wilt, did you know that he and I have slept with an average of 10,000 women each?

    • D.N. Nation

      Breunig needs to join his wife on the fetus-fetish hot take circuit, because lord knows he’s lost the plot on electoral stuff.

    • There is a good point buried in what Bruenig is saying in the article, which is in response to Frank Rich’s “No Sympathy for the Hillbilly”.

      The good point is that it is stupid to focus scorn exclusively on “hillbillies”, since there were plenty of other people who voted for Trump – although Bruenig doesn’t acknowledge that Rich’s article was in response to things people are saying about how we need to really attend to Trump’s WWC voters, which is why he focuses on that group.

      But even in that context, this particular “women and minorities” take of Bruenig’s is ridiculous, since the group Rich is talking about clearly includes women. It’s as if Bruenig really thinks it’s a great “gotcha” moment to point out to the great purveyors of “liberal identity politics” that “women and minorities” account for a majority of Trump voters.

  • patrick II

    On Monday, Nunes admitted that he had been on White House grounds the night before his big disclosure.

    He said he had to go to the white house to use a secure com link. The capitol building is less than two blocks away and also has secure links. I don’t think there is anything about finding some documentation that could not have waited for the two minute drive to the capitol building. Nunez is lying about why he went there. No surprise.

    • patrick II

      That’s less that two miles, not blocks, but still quickly accessible in a car.

      • smott999

        WH Counsel Ellis has been given info illegally (DOJ, FBI NY FO who knows) and leaked it to Nunes. It was only available to be seen on systems in the WH.
        Possible theories are that Kushner and Trump were ID on intercepts of the taped convos w Kislyak, re money and laundering and so on. As soon as Ellis saw that, he grabbed Nunes, and Nunes pulled his stunt.
        Which does seem to be felony obstruction.
        On TV.
        Seth Abramson has some very good threads in related dossier stuff. EPhsteyn is a dead man walking. Polonium Priority list. Safest for him to get w the FBI and the same safe house Flynn is in.

        • Julia Grey

          My theory is that Sessions gave the info to Ellis. He’s recused himself from the investigation, but probably still has access to the documents that were developed by the FBI/DOJ.

          He himself was probably one of those identified on the tapes. It was essential that the WH Counsel know all the deets in order to be able to defend his client and/or come up with a Story to explain how and why he and/or all his transition people came to be talking about sticky business with Russian nationals.

          • smott999

            Yes there is definitely some leak to Ellis/WH staff and it’s safe to assume that Trump will be quickly apprised of all developments, even before say Schiff and the rest of the House Intel.

            The timeline would support that Trump,learned on March 3rd that there had been intercepts and he “might” be on some of them, causing him to flip out with the WireTap Tweet Insanity.
            Then as intercepts are reviewed and transcripts created,Mir became clear that Trump himself, and seemingly Kushner were recorded discussing money laundering in a secret TT visit with Kislyak.

            Trump wanted to manufacture “vindication” and sent Nunes on his little idiot-jaunt.

            Nunes is going to jail I bet. Ephsteyn has nowhere to go except to an FBI safe house. This is a house of cards. It’s not like any of these morons really care about one another. It will become a race to make a deal.

            As Deep Throat said “these guys are really not very smart”.

  • efgoldman

    Nunes [bats innocent eyelashes] owns a vineyard or wine distributor with financial connections in Russia.

    • smott999

      Seriously this guy was a nobody farmer w 51K assets who in the space of a year or so wound up Chairing the Intel Committee and oh BTw recommending Pompeo for CIA. Plus moving his lawyer to WH Counsel (Ellis). Conveniently.

      Compromised? one might well ask.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    From Talking Points:

    I’m sure that the Democrats do want me to quit, because they know that I’m quite effective at getting to the bottom of things," Nunes told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly

    Nunes is giving Trump some competition in projection and/or delusion.

  • DrDick

    The GOP has morphed into an ongoing criminal enterprise.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      certainly a lot less pretending otherwise on their part

      • smott999

        This makes me less confident the FBI can close the deal.

        https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/03/27/fbi-cant-tell-trump-russia/

        And imagine if you’re Comey and you do actually want to follow the law and go after Trump and his stooges (I know, I know, just imagine…). . After all I bet there’s a lot of old Cold Warriers still in IC that must be deeply offended by Trump sucking Putin’s weenie….

        Your whole fucking govt is a Wanted list. Your AG/head of DOJ Sessions is a perjurer. Pompeo at CIA is a tool. Your NSA Flynn is in a safe house somewhere. TIllerson your SoS is up to his nuts in oil money and the State Dept all but does not exist. On the doNOTtrust list is now CIA, State, and Justice.

        The WH staff and or transition team is littered with foreign assets: Manafort, Stone, Page, Ephsteyn, Cohen, Kushner, Bannon, Ellis…
        Now your Intel Chair Nunes is fairly obviously an enemy.

        They’re all likely deeply compromised, and Trump tops the list.
        You cannot hold a secure briefing without risking more leaks. Your NY FO is a sieve.

        Seriously, Comey is in the shit.

  • rachelmap

    Over at Raw Story, they’ve posted a story from MSNBC:

    Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff at Defense Department and CIA under Obama, said Nunes concocted the stunt to shut down the testimony of Yates — who Trump fired for refusing to enforce his travel ban, and after she expressed concern about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador.

    and a clip from the interview.

    So I wonder, does this seem realistic to you all?

    • vic rattlehead

      Honestly? I don’t care. Just make the fuckers deny it.

    • efgoldman

      Over at Raw Story, they’ve posted a story from MSNBC:

      Nunes is turning into a character from a Donald Westlake novel

      • rachelmap

        He’s doomed to hide the same testimony time after time, and them someone else (or nobody) gets the benefit of it?

    • smott999

      Very

  • Julia Grey

    It’s just all so confusing to the ordinary citizen, I know a few of them who have totally tuned out any news that has the word “Russia” in it. They’re “Not Interested! Let’s talk about something else.”

    They are not Trump voters, they’re just tuning out because they can’t follow it.

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