The perjurer, the scientist who wasn’t, and the world’s most accomplished barista

Since we last spoke, a few interesting things have happened. Most notably from my perspective, Trump’s former foreign advisor, Carter Page, reportedly told members of the House intelligence committee today that, during the campaign, he had informed Jeff Sessions that he would be traveling to Russia. This, of course directly contradicts what Sessions himself said under oath several months ago in response to a question posed by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who asked if, to his knowledge, Page had met with Russian officials “at any point during the campaign.” Sessions, as you may recall, responded, “I don’t know.”

If this had been the only instance of Sessions not remembering the subject of Russia having come up, I might be willing to accept it as a simple oversight, but, as you’ll recall, we also just learned on Monday, when the guilty plea of presidential advisor George Papadopoulos was made public, that he too had apparently informed investigators that the subject of Russia had come up in the presence of Sessions. According to court documents that were unsealed earlier this week, Papadopoulos, during a national security meeting on March 31, 2016, that was attended by both Trump and Sessions, stated explicitly “in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and [Russian] President Putin.”

So, it would seem that our Attorney General was less than truthful during his confirmation hearing, when he told Senator Al Franken that he was “not aware of any of those activities” in response to being asked if, to his knowledge, anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign had communicated with the Russian government.

Oh, and, for what it’s worth, Sessions, during that same exchange with Franken, also said, “I did not have communications with the Russians,” which, as we found out shortly thereafter, was also a lie, as he’d met secretly on at least two occasions with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak while working on the Trump campaign.

So, given all of that, it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising that Franken today sent a scathing letter to our nation’s top law man asking that he come back before the Senate judiciary committee and answer a long list of followup questions… Here’s a clip.

For what it’s worth, Richard Painter, White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, seems to think Page’s new revelation is part of Trump’s plan to get rid of Sessions, and replace him with someone more willing to shut down the Russia investigation. “The fix is in,” Painter just posted to Twitter. “They set up Sessions to take the fall. After he is gone, a new acting AG fires Mueller.”

Meanwhile, across town, Sam Clovis, Trump’s former campaign co-chairman, withdrew his nomination to become the USDA’s chief scientist, a position which he, as a non-scientist, was woefully unqualified for. If I had to guess, I’d say that, with the Mueller investigation in full swing, Clovis, who, among other things, brought both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos onto the Trump campaign’s foreign relations team, didn’t exactly relish the idea of a public confirmation hearing delving into what he knew and when about Russian interference during the 2016 election. No, I think he probably decided that he should spend the remaining time he has outside of federal prison with his family, eating at Golden Corral, and trying not to worry about what Papadopoulos might have gotten him saying on tape, once he started cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

And, lastly, the more time that passes, the more it appears evident that Trump and company were lying when they said that George Papadopoulos was just a low-level campaign volunteer whose only job was to fetch coffee. Here’s a photo of Papadopoulos, during the campaign, meeting with the President of Greece on behalf of the Trump team… not exactly an errand someone would send their coffee boy on.

And here’s what could possibly be the best comment made on Twitter today.

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80 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if ‘accomplished’ is the right word. The guy listed the model UN on his resume. But he certainly fits the profile of a mark for Russian intelligence.

    Handy dandy timeline of events following Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre (Oct 19. 1973), which Trump seems hell bent to repeat.

    –A week after the Saturday Night Massacre, an Oliver Quayle poll for NBC News showed that, for the first time, a plurality of U.S. citizens supported impeaching Nixon, with 44% in favor, 43% opposed, and 13% undecided, with a sampling error of 2 to 3 per cent.

    –In the days that followed, numerous resolutions of impeachment against the president were introduced in Congress.

    –November 14, 1973, federal district judge Gerhard Gesell ruled firing Cox was illegal absent a finding of extraordinary impropriety as specified in the regulation establishing the special prosecutor’s office.

    — July 27. 1974 House Judiciary Committee did not approve its first article of impeachment – more than nine months after the Saturday Night Massacre

    –Aug 9, 1974 Nixon resigns

    “Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people.” Archibald Cox

    It’s a long slog. The tide turned because the American people inundated congress with telegrams demanding impeachment. Soon it will be our turn, but not quite yet. I’d like to see Trump arrested. He cant pardon himself or anyone charged under NY State law. Bringing the NY Attorney General in on the investigation was a brilliant move on Mueller’s part.

    .

  2. site admin
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    If I had to guess, Jean, I’d say that Mark’s intention wasn’t to suggest that Papadopoulos was himself an accomplished statesman. More likely, I think, he meant something like… “HOLY FUCK, CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW INCREDIBLY GOOD YOU’D HAVE TO BE AT SERVING COFFEE TO BE SENT AROUND THE GLOBE, SERVING COFFEE ON BEHALF OF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?” I could be wrong though. I usually am.

  3. M
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Clovis is the next man in line. Regardless of whether or not Papadopoulos got anything on tape, he must have given Mueller something of value, or else he wouldn’t have gotten the plea deal. And, given that Clovis hired him, it would make sense that he’s the one that Papadopoulos provided information about. Furthermore, just after the Papadopoulos deal was announced, Clovis was interrogated by Mueller’s team. So my guess is that he’s the lynchpin in all of this. As Trump’s liaison to his foreign policy team during the campaign, Clovis would know everything, and Mueller has orchestrated things thus far to put pressure on him. And, if I had to guess, I’d say that’s why Trump tried to buy him off with a plum assignment he was unqualified for.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/top-trump-campaign-aide-clovis-spoke-mueller-team-grand-jury-n816106

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    He was involved in the campaign for his expertise on Mediterranean energy. Coffee boy is a hyperbolic way of saying he was a junior member or his association with the campaign was extremely limited. Being unpaid tends to support that; it was an intern-like position.

    https://www.thenationalherald.com/117942/trumps-foreign-policy-team-includes-a-greek/

  5. anonymous
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    If Obama had tried to explain away someone on his campaign staff who had plead guilty to charges felony of lying to investigators as being a coffee boy, my guess is that you would be somewhat less charitable in your interpretation.

  6. Rick Cronn
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Blazing twitterfingers Batman!

  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Maybe a damning piece of evidence?

    Maybe easy exigisi?

  8. Rat
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Instead of talking about the perjury of Jeff Sessions, everyone in my feed wants to talk about Bernie and the DNC. When will this bullshit ever end?

  9. anonymous
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    What is “exigisi”, Frosted Flakes?

    When I search, I only get this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymy-UswHq_c

  10. Meta
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    FWIW, Seth Abramson‏ disagrees with Painter.

    “I disagree with Richard Painter; Trump can’t legally fire Sessions. Given Sessions’ recusal and Trump’s own statements, it’d be Obstruction.”

    https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/926308961179127809

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “Rat
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink
    Instead of talking about the perjury of Jeff Sessions, everyone in my feed wants to talk about Bernie and the DNC. When will this bullshit ever end?”

    That’s a pretty big fuckin’ deal. How many potential crimes are there for Hillary to face? She made a documented agreement to bail out the broke Democrat party in exchange for total control. Total screw job on Sanders and the American people.

  12. Meta
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    One more thing, Hyborian Warlord. Just because Papadopoulos wasn’t paid by the campaign, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t being compensated for his work. Manafort wasn’t being paid either.

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    How do you think he might have been compensated?

  14. wobblie
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    HW, ” Being unpaid tends to support that; it was an intern-like position.” Yeah, just like Manaford was unpaid. You are such an obvious fool. You can’t see that you have been totally played by the conman in chief. At least EOS know his man Pence is waiting in the wings. By the way the DNC is a private organization. If they choose to fuck over other people who want to play in their play ground, perfectly legal. Kinda of like going to work and getting screwed by your boss. Bernie knew the game he was playing.
    Twiddle dee Tweedle dum, they are all playing us.
    The game is to get everything you can for yourselve before the collapse comes–screw the common folk that is all we are for, right?
    After all the Democrats and the Republicans increased the defense budget by 700 million more than the increase Trump had asked for. More than enough to give a free college education to every American who wants one.
    We instead get Bi-partisan austerity for the masses.
    My buddy told me he is getting a 2% increase in his SS payment next year. This year “official’ inflation rate is running at about 4.25%. So everyone who relies on SS will see a 2.25 percent drop in their standard of living. Remember it is a Bi-partisan consensus that is bringing us austerity.
    The Democrats will not impeach Trump no matter what he does (it is like nobody is paying attention to what the Democratic leader, ie. Pelosie, has to say).
    So unless the cabinet gets together and oust Trump, he has the job for 4 years.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    “You can’t see that you have been totally played by the conman in chief.”

    So you are telling me your opinion of me based on your opinion of Trump. Why do you think that matters? Forget about that kind of shit and stick to the the issue. You think Papadopoulos possibly maybe meeting a Russian and bragging to the campaign he could hook them up with uncle Vlad but never doing so is incriminating to Trump how?

    When it comes to Clinton secretly taking control of the DNC to cheat the American people if there is nothing indictable in court (I doubt that) then let the court of opinion commence.

  16. wobblie
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    My opinion of you is based on your comments here. A fool never realizes his foolishness, others must point it out to him.

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    But that’s another bullshit post exactly like I was saying. It’s nothing but your opinion. I post a crap ton of information and you just jibe at me personally. It’s like a disease. It’s the exact same with a whole bunch of posters here. It means nothing.

  18. Bob
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The Clinton DNC story is also no joke.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/memo-reveals-details-hillary-clinton-dnc-deal-n817411

  20. Iron Lung
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Poor the Mr. Warlord. People are so unfair to him.

  21. Sad
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    HW you’re not the only one unhappy with the DOJ.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The entire Brazile Berner narrative has already been disrupted. https://twitter.com/peterdaou/status/926568362376859648

    Last week, a Harris poll showed Bernie (by virtue of not having been vetted and not having lost to Trump) is the most popular politician in America, by leagues.

    But the Berners reflexively focussed on their preferred narrative of victimization. One based on a ‘story’ that was transparently not news, but effective book promotion.

    Bernie has an opportunity to harness his cultural capital to make meaningful change, but he and followers cant acknowledge their own power. They have shown that corporations don’t actually have a stranglehold on power, that people have the power to disrupt the status quo.

    But they have proven incapable of pivoting away from the negative and to building and implementing something meaningful. I hope that changes soon, because with their current narrative they are actively preventing even incremental progress. They sure aren’t making a revolution. Rebellion is not revolution. That much should be clear in this latest populist moment in American history.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    HW: “He was involved in the campaign for his expertise on Mediterranean energy.”

    “Several people in energy policy circles in London, Washington and New York said they knew nothing of him.

    Almost all his work appears to have revolved around the role of Greece, Cyprus and an Israeli natural gas discovery in the eastern Mediterranean. Yet Jonathan Stern, director of gas research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said when asked about Papadopoulos: “He does ring a very faint bell but he’s not written anything very significant on East Mediterranean natural gas and pipelines that I can remember.””

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/03/21/meet-the-men-shaping-donald-trumps-foreign-policy-views/?utm_term=.e30bf667b5a8

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Jean Henry
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm | Permalink
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/memo-reveals-details-hillary-clinton-dnc-deal-n817411

    Do you think that supports or undermines the news about Clinton/DNC corruption?

  25. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’ll give you a hint: there is one little thing you failed to notice.

  26. Demetrius
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The real story behind the Clinton/DNC scandal is not the formal joint-fundraising agreement, but rather – the unofficial, back-room deal Clinton and her cronies made to effectively take over the Democratic Party and turn it into her personal campaign vehicle – to the detriment of other presidential contenders, state party operations, and down-ticket contenders.

    Calling attention to what happened, expecting a full accounting of what went wrong in 2016, and holding those who were responsible accountable has nothing to do with a pursuing a “narrative of victimization” – it is a painful, but necessary first step forward in rebuilding the party and re-establishing its credibility.

    The Trump presidency has been an unprecedented disaster, and the 2018 elections may provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to recover some semblance of responsible, effective government, under the rule of law. But for that to happen, we need a capable, credible, opposition.

    The Democratic Party is the obvious group to fill that role … but first they need to (honestly) come to terms with their past failures, commit to drastically limiting the influence of big-money donors and corporate interests, perform a thorough leadership housecleaning (goodbye Schumer, Pelosi, etc.), identify and put forward some fresh new candidates, and introduce (and promote the hell out of) a bold, progressive agenda that could make a genuine difference in the lives of everyday Americans … you know, things like single-payer healthcare, student debt relief, robust support for unions, etc.

    That said, the mid-term elections are now almost exactly a year away, and I don’t see much movement in that direction …

  27. Bob
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I agree completely, Demetrius. The Democratic just doesn’t seem to get it and will blow the midterm elections. They will likely let Trump or Pence get reelected too. It’s frustrating to see “bro” comments continue, and the door slammed on the movement Bernie started. Dems are as backwards as Republicans in their own way.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I actually agree with you Demetrius— at least about where the Dem party needs to head. I don’t think any more assessment of 2016 is needed though. It seems like we are just wallowing in the past. We have not stopped talking about it. There is plants of blame to go around. We need to move forward.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    As for the midterms, the Dems are behind the right all until at least after 2020 due the gerrymandering. What is needed to win is a huge turnout. And absent a viable developed alternative all this shade being thrown at the DNC isn’t helping. Given the financial state of the party, how exactly do you propose thru get away from big money and continue to function? Are you willing to pitch in? Even with the changes you ask for, after the tone of Bernie’s campaign, reuniting against the party like a Good populist, are his supporters going to start donating? You are criticizing without offering viable solution. That’s the way of the Sanders crew. Who needs Russian bots sowing division when we have you guys?

  30. Iron Lung
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Interesting.

  31. Demetrius
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t think any more assessment of 2016 is needed … it seems like we’re just wallowing in the past … we need to move forward … ”

    Clearly, these are the sentiments of someone who STILL hasn’t come to grips with exactly why Clinton lost, why Trump won … or why the Democrats are just likely to continue losing in 2018 and beyond.

    Unlike those (relatively few) of us who are either strongly ideological or committed partisans – most voters don’t feel obligated to support any candidate or party … and simply being anti-Trump (or *not* Trump) isn’t going to cut it. If Democrats want to inspire the “huge turnout” that can overcome Republican money and gerrymandering, they need to deal honestly with past mistakes, commit to real reforms, select new leadership, and develop and stand behind a platform that actually inspires (less-frequent, less committed) voters.

    Meanwhile, continuing to berate voters for not being supportive enough, or harping on the “tone” of Bernie’s campaign, etc., isn’t going to do a damn thing to generate support or drive turnout

  32. Bob
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a viable solution or two. Stop defending the Clinton’s and the worst characters in the the Democratic party. Start pretending to care about the white, middle class working people who are always going to be the largest voting block. Stop pissing off progressive voters who can tip a close election. Stop behaving like moderate Republicans. Stop voting for military actions like invading Iraq. Stop stepping on stage to embrace war criminals like Henry Kissinger. Stop putting up candidates that were already rejected by voters in the previous election.

  33. Iron Lung
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    American liberals need to stop hemming and hawing over perceived conspiracies over Bernie Sander’s failed campaign and start looking forward to the midterms.

    But that won’t happen.

  34. Iron Lung
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    “Stop putting up candidates that were already rejected by voters in the previous election.”

    Yes.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a13148225/donna-brazile-dnc/

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    So Demetrius, you want the DNC to fall on its knees but can’t acceot any critique of Bernie or Berners, who also lost, btw. It’s not like there is or has been a calvacade of criticism against Bernie. The bots didn’t even bother with trying to work that angle. My opinion, unfortunately, does not move elections.

    The Brazile excerpt could not have been more poorly timed. The appetite of Berners for their victim narrative is endless. It’s tiresome. Time to move on. That all I’m sayong. Ps I said there’s blame to go around. And from my point of view the dnc and Hillary have done a lot of open reflection an study of the outcome. I don’t see Berners considering their role in all of this, especially their susceptibility to Russian fake news propaganda.

    None if that matters. We need new young people and a focus on creating a functional coalition with new ideas not sour grapes.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Apologies for my inability to manage autocorrect. 5

  38. Demetrius
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Donna Brazile is an extremely smart and accomplished political insider. She’s been a fixture within the Democratic Party for years, even serving as party chair. I highly doubt she is making these claims, raising this alarm, simply because she wants to settle old scores, or merely to sell books.

    I suspect she’s doing this – and doing it now – because she knows the party needs to come clean, and soon, if it is going to win back voters’ trust and support in time for 2020.

  39. Sad
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Just think , if Hillary hadn’t ruined everything by now we’d have free healthcare, free higher ed , the corporations would’ve been dismantled and everything would be running off solar energy. Darn her.

    And we probably wouldn’t have HW.

    I think Donna is – https://youtu.be/g8D4AsLzlM0 – Hope the Democrats can make a fresh start of it.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Sad– I’m afraid you are right. Latest Brazile excerpt says she considered replacing Hillary as nominee with Biden, when HRC had pneumonia, kept stumping and fainted. She seems a bit too eager for a takeover. I’m not sure why the Berners feel they need to conduct a hostile takeover of the party. I don’t think it’s a solid plan for victory, but liberals/leftists often forget about the rest of the country, and not just the HRC campaign. https://twitter.com/eclecticbrotha/status/926597460167942144

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    https://twitter.com/Burneeee/status/926620643633844224

  42. Bob
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Discontinued use of derogatory names like “berners” and various forms of “Bros” would be a great start. It isn’t about Bernie anyway. It never was. Sanders is probably too old to make another run anyway. Hopefully Elizabeth Warren, or someone younger than her picks up where he left off. I could care less if they are male or female. I’m all in on a strong female presidential candidate. I just never understood wanting one badly enough to settle for a choice as poor as Hillary.

  43. wobblie
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    The DNC has done lots of retrospection, and decided the things to do were kick out as many progressives on the DNC as possible and replace them with corporate lobbyist. This will ensure that Super Delegates remain in place to control the nomination outcome and closing the blinds to any form of financial transparency.
    I see where the AFL-CIO is ready to abandon the Democrats for third party candidates, but since that does not fit the Corporate agenda there has been a virtual news black out from their annual convention. Other than the reelection of Trumka they have blacked out the news from the largest independent political organization in the country.

    https://aflcio.org/resolutions/resolution-2-independent-political-voice

    https://aflcio.org/resolutions/resolution-48-exploring-new-directions-labor-electoral-politics

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Bob– Berners is a term used by Bernie passionate supporters themselves. Bros references the misogynistic tone of the Hillary hate. This does not say that there was no legitimate criticism of HRC. This says a faction of Bernie supporters, brought a lot of misogynistic bullshit from dark corners of the internet into the campaign rhetoric. In fact their outrage and hatred made them vulnerable to repeating fake news and right wing talking points intended to divide the left. And this latest Brazile thing is not much different. Fox News and Trump aresaying the same thing you are. Bannon too. That should at least give you pause.

    I’m not taking instruction from you Bob. And the DNC is not taking instruction from the bros. If you want to come to the table and talk, welcome. But until I hear even one Berner/Bro acknowledge that they were effective marks for Russian and Right wing sexist and divisive propaganda, which they excitedly distributed and amplified widely amongst themselves, and then consider how that happened, and how to prevent it happening again, I’m not taking their critique, and I’m not thinking they have any fucking answers to anything at all.
    You guys didn’t win either. Come to the table. Don’t try to take it over. That’s not how the process works. Happy to move forward when you are.

    https://twitter.com/sallyalbright/status/823707058591543296

  45. Bob
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Tom Perez ousting progressive voices does not bode well. He seems worse than Wasserman. The AFL-CIO thing would be pretty devastating. Lotta retired union bros still vote the ticket their union advises. But the Clinton wing forgot who they were a long time ago.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Bob– You are buying what they are selling every time. The DNC has been working for months to bring the Berner’s in but they are absolutists, and aren’t willing to start with points of agreement about policy direction but want to take over the party. That would be more stupid than the base of the party trying to oust you all. There is a divide between protectionism and globalism, between populists and conventional dems, but these are not new divides. There is planty of wiggle room in most peoples perspectives around protectionism and trade agreements. Someone in the room is not ready to compromise and its not the DNC.

    “Bernie fan: Diet Coke please
    Server: Is Diet Pepsi okay?
    Bernie fan: Hell no it’s not! I’ll just drink this glass of bleach.”

    “Berner: WALK THRU THAT WALL
    Me: I can’t
    B: YOU WON’T EVEN TRY!
    Me: I can’t walk thru walls
    B: CYNICAL!
    Me: No one can
    B: CONDESCENDING!”

    https://medium.com/sallying/the-question-of-unity-4b924310463

    It has not gone without notice that a post about Trump camp malfeasance and vulnerability to Russian intrusion has morphed into one about the divide among Dems. If we want to pivot away from an anti-Trump message and towards what we are for, then the Sanders left will need to learn to come to the table and participate.Their threats to the party are real. And they are not taken lightly. But they are seen as a hostile take over of the party, not participation. This because all the concessions are never enough. And we need to figure this out. The Berners have not established that they or their candidates can win elections. The DNCwould be foolish to allow them to control the whole thing. Sanders did not win. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. If the GOP and Trump continue to thrive because the Dems cant mount forward thinking campaigns and unite, then that’s on everyone’s hands. But only the DNC will take responsibility. We cant apologize for ourselves enough for the Berner’s taste. They have no strength outside of anti-HRC and DNC outrage. They don;t even have new ideas. They cant let that shit go. They are drowning and might pull us down with them.

  47. Bob
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Jean, you’ve been wrong every step of the way but continue to double down. Is there any credible person who doesn’t admit that Sanders would have probably beat Trump? There’s really nothing else to say. I hope Hillary sells all her books.

  48. Bob
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    And still with the Berne shit. It’s just childish. Plus your little story is sorta reminiscent of Sarah Huckabee telling her weird anecdotes to sell the Trump tax plan. Stupid and insulting.

  49. Demetrius
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    For more than 20 years, Donna Brazile has been practically the living embodiment of the Democratic Party establishment … but now that she is saying/writing some things that are critical of the Clinton campaign, apparently she, too, is just another “bro” who’s been duped by fake news and right-wing propaganda. (Wow.)

    Many of us knew the warmongering Clinton, with all her historical and political baggage, was doomed to fail long before the corporate beholden DNC declared her nomination all but inevitable. We didn’t need “sexist, racist, Russian propaganda” to tell us she was the wrong candidate, with the wrong message, at the wrong time in American history. We didn’t need fake news to predict that she was likely to lose the presidency to someone who (should have been) one of the weakest major-party opponents in living memory – an unqualified, buffoon whose biggest claim to fame was as a reality TV-show host.

    Now, instead of acknowledging past mistakes and making real reforms, true-believers like Jean want to double-down on their already failed strategy: Insisting they did nothing wrong, dismissing *any* Clinton opposition as merely “hate” driven by sexist, racist, fake news and Russian propaganda – and continuing to drive away millions of poor, working- and middle-class voters who should/could be “natural” members of a broad Democratic constituency.

    I can only imagine how angrier they’re going to be when they lose yet again in 2018, and 2020.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I am far from a true believer in the DNC. I have been a critic since the Clinton years and do not participate in the local or national party. I’m also not a fan of the kind of scorched earth take over by absolutists that happened to the GOP under Newt Gingrich in the 90’s and led them to Trump. No I don’t want populists to run the show any more than I do the establishment. My position is my perspective. I have no loyalty to anything but the idea of equity and progress and what I have learned about how it actually happens. The far left absolutists need to take a lesson from the GOP. It won’t take as long for the Berners to destroy the Dem party as it did the Tea party, because we always had less allegiance. If they are allowed to, their activism will have served to destroy the left as a voting block and save the GOP.

    Bros exist. And the WWC who voted Trump were motivated by racism not economic distress. (WWC voters in economic distress voted for HRC). This has been established. The old narratives are convenient and are hard to let go.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    You guys calling me condescending is funny as hell. We have points of agreement. I conceded those. Did you?

  52. Sad
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    In times like these we need to turn to great art to inspire and unite us.

    http://hewillnotdivide.us

  53. Bob
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Donna Brazille on George Stephanopoulos right now. Burning down the house.

  54. Sad
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Burn -baby -Burn

    https://youtu.be/bZ1yK89imRk

    My favorite thing about the excerpt I read was the description of the HRC office in Brooklyn as like a medical office with everyone staring at their computer screens. I hope whoever runs in 2020 has a little disco in their office.

    And what about the way those young Hillary bros treated a Donna? SMH.

  55. Bob
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Hilbro Baggage. Worst Hobbit ever. Let’s keep blaming those Berners.

  56. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal arrested for corruption; donated to Clinton Foundation

  57. Sad
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Wilbur Ross has business ties to Russia!

  58. Lynne
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Sanders could not have beaten Trump. He would have needed to get the Democratic Party nomination and he did not do that. He lost. And not because Clinton wanted to micromanage the party either! It was because he did not appeal to the base of the party which is mostly women and POC.

    Which is the problem with statements like, “Start pretending to care about the white, middle class working people who are always going to be the largest voting block. ”

    The platform adopted by Clinton was favorable to the working class and the working class overall voted for Clinton in the general election but the *white* working class (and actually white people of all classes) did not? Why? It was obviously NOT that the concerns of the working class were unheard. It seems more likely that some segments of the population are feeling a loss of status and feel that even if Trump can’t restore it, he can (and has) delivered a giant FUCK YOU to the liberals they perceive as having stolen their privilege/status by elevating the status of single women, POC, immigrants, LGBTQA, etc

    So, if what these voters want is a restoration of older power structures but what the base of the Democratic party wants is egalitarianism, how to get a candidate to walk that line, especially if that candidate is either a woman or POC or both? Especially considering that no candidate on the left stands a chance unless the left unites behind them and they wont unless that candidate openly supports (with no coded language about putting aside identity politics) the concerns of the women and POC who make up a significant part of the left and of the Democratic party base?

  59. Bob
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Desperate Clinton apologists

  60. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe we got drawn back into this. It’s so boring it makes my eyes water. We are screwed if we can’t unify and move forward. Berners and HRC supporters are like divorced parents who had a nasty break up but still have to raise the kids together. Every damn thing repeats the toxic dynamic and brings up the resentment. That never resolves. But people do just get tired of being mad and move on. We have to do that. An exciting new Progressive candidate (or a bunch of them) would help.

    Sorry to use allegory again, Bob. I know that they have been forbidden now due to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

  61. Demetrius
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I am so tired of Clinton supporters who – despite their stunning strategic and tactical mistakes, despite their epic election loss, and despite sticking us with Donald F. Trump as president – are still out there lecturing everybody about how wrong everybody else was, and how absolutely right they were.

  62. Lynne
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Demetrius, not nearly as tired as I am about Sanders supporters who – despite their stunning strategic and tactical mistakes, despite their epic primary election loss, and despite sticking us with Donald J Trump as president – are still out their lecturing everybody about how wrong everyone else was, and how absolutely right they were!

    Look in a mirror

    I do think that the sexism and racism within the party needs to be addressed but am starting to realize that it wont be. I think the Bernie wing of the party is either going to have to figure out that women and POC are the base of the party and they will not win primary races without appealing to that base or they will have to try to win without the voters who supported Clinton. And I am afraid that women like me have to accept that a good number of liberal men do NOT have our backs and are willing to throw us under the bus if they feel that is what takes to win elections. I hope for a good candidate who can appeal to everyone in the party though. It will not be Clinton or Sanders though, we can be sure of THAT!

  63. Demetrius
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    For the hundredth time … the premise that the Democratic Party must somehow choose between goals/interests that benefit urban vs. rural, white vs. minority, men vs. women, religious vs. secular, etc. is completely false and tremendously damaging.

    The party needs to focus much less on what divides us, and much more on common, “core” goals: Good jobs, living wages, supporting unions, healthcare for all, robust consumer protections, support for quality public education, alleviating student debt, etc. –  that would benefit – and would appeal to – almost everyone who is not a part of the 1 percent, regardless of what they look like, or where they live.

  64. maryd
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Demetrius, you could take a lesson on divisive language…”Clintion Supporter”… Bernie Supporter” When in fact so many of us were both. The issue you list, everyone on the left agrees on. But to wallow in the hate mongering for those who’s hopes were dashed last December is cruel, divisive and wrong. Talk about issues we agree but that isn’t nearly as dramatic as whining about the past, pointing fingers and blaming. Man against women, old and young, left against left…and we have no majorities anywhere. It take lots of money to even run much less get elected and the only people giving money are the moneyed…But keep point that finger cuz that will get us to the goal.

  65. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Sure, it has red skin, yellow eyes, horns and a tail but to the committed “identity politics” is like their beautiful lil’ baaaby they refuse to put down.

    We are not using “code words”: Identity politics is evil. Put that shit down.

  66. Meta
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Graham breaks with party, calls on Sessions to testify again on Trump campaign contacts with Russia http://hill.cm/iK683o8

  67. Bob
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    What did Bernie do to piss off feminists again? I forget. I saw lots of them at the Bernie rally I was at. The one that had far more people turn out than the ones Clinton held. The difference is when the general came around, most of us shut up and urged others to vote for Hillary. We aren’t the ones still drooling about “berners and bros.” Clinton ran a lousy campaign and was never the great candidate she was supposed to be. She couldn’t fucking get it done. All the WikiLeaks and Russian Facebook posts in the world didn’t really matter as much as the fact that she ran an arrogant, mistake filled bid. Now we got Trump. Thanks Hillary.

  68. Lynne
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    FF, I know you really believe that. However, here is the thing, it is *ALL* identity politics but because whiteness and maleness are the defaults in our culture, when someone says that we need to abandon identity politics what they are saying (even if they don’t realize it) is that we need to stop fighting for the rights of marginalized people and focus more on the identity politics of white men. So unless Sanders further explains what he means by abandoning identity politics, i.e. that he specifically means that equal rights for marginalized groups is what he sees as not engaging in identity politics (because all humans deserve those things), it is going to sound like coded language to a lot of people, including me.

    Bob, one of the things that bugs me is the double standard. Clinton lost because she ran a bad campaign (she actually ran a good campaign imho with some mistakes) but Sanders lost the primary, not because his bad campaign failed to connect with a large segment of voters but because Clinton cheated. (also not true, but it is amusing how powerful you guys seem to think the DNC is). Never mind that Clinton actually got the most votes in the general election. Never mind that primary election wasn’t even close.

    Never mind that you are spinning this narrative in the comments section of a blog post about the very election rigging that probably did cost Clinton the election. I mean, that is the thing. The general election was so close, decided by fewer than a 100,000 voters in certain key states that any ONE of many things could have been the cause of that loss. Was it sexism? Yes. Was it racism? Yes Was it a less than perfect campaign? Yes. Was it Bernie Bros spouting nonsense and encouraging people to vote third party or to not vote at all. Yes. Was it the FBI? Yes. Was it the Russians? Yes. Was it fake news? Yes On and on. That is the thing about really close elections, any ONE thing could change and it would have affected the outcome.

    But ok, let’s just, for the sake of argument, say that Clinton lost the general election because she is horrible horrible evil stupid neoliberal bitch who can’t run a good campaign. SO WHAT!? She isn’t running again. The real question is how to get a candidate going forward that will appeal to the most possible people?

    I like to think that holding primary elections and asking the members of the party to choose the person they think is the best candidate is the best system but apparently a lot of people don’t. So what system would you prefer? What system do you think will get the Democrats a candidate the most people can get behind since you obviously have issues with letting the party base pick. I personally like the system we have in Michigan but feel that Super Delegates are important in such a system in case of mass cross over voting.

  69. Iron Lung
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Very interesting comments.

  70. Bob
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The real issue isn’t rehashing the primary or general. Even a corporate career Dem like Donna Brazile is calling foul on Clinton, but who cares at this point? What matters is putting a stop to this madness in the next elections. Unfortunately the DNC solution seems to be putting a creep like Tom Perez in there to kick the progressive wing to the curb. And on a grass roots level, blog and social media people like you and Jean who continue to insult anyone who is left of HRC. We are gonna blow it again and this time it’s on you.

  71. Lynne
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    You don’t think that the people like you who insult everyone who is even slightly to the right of HRC will have any responsibility then?

  72. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Bob– I don’t think your advocacy for the concerns of the WWC and protectionism puts you to the left of me. But them I don’t think Sanders is more progressive than Hillary, certainly not in terms of potential economic impact on the poor and marginalized. I’m basing that on polcy proposals, not flag waving.
    Tom Perez as a creep; that’s just amazing.
    We’ll have to agree to disagree on all of that.
    Some new blood in progressive movements cant come soon enough.

    Ps a reminder that state primary systems are the province of the state party. Easy to get involved. Super delegates were put forward by the national party after Reagan’s election. The primary architect was Tad Devine… No one was taken advantage of. Sanders team ws expert on the state primary rules, and, rightly used their expertise to their advantage whenever possible. Less rightly, when things didn’t work out for them, they pulled this rigged election, faux-innocent, “we’re the victims of the system” BS to stoke populist outrage. THAT was damaging to turn out.
    Any effort to destabilize the electorate’s faith in free and fair elections will negatively impact outcomes.
    And we really need to figure out how to increase Dem turnout.
    Right now, I’m not hopeful.

  73. Demetrius
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    @ Lynne

    I feel you are over-simplifying this by casting it as a simple “either/or” dilemma.

    OF COURSE the Democratic Party should enthusiastically support policies that help women, minorities, gays, etc. … but if they want to get elected in substantial numbers (and especially in marginal districts), the headlines need to be on “bread and butter” issues that appeal to *all* Americans – namely, meaningful proposals (not just feel-good rhetoric) aimed at delivering better jobs with better pay, a more secure retirement, more access to affordable healthcare, quality public schools, safer neighborhoods, robust consumer protections, etc.

    These are not mutually incompatible goals. They can, and should, be done together. At the same time.

    Throughout the summer of 2016, I read and saw plenty about Clinton attending glitzy fund-raisers in Hollywood, The Hamptons, and on Wall Street, and I heard a lot about “glass ceilings,” the plight of unauthorized immigrants, and about who should be allowed to use which bathroom, etc. Unfortunately, what I DIDN’T see/hear much about was Clinton spending significant time in (key) swing districts here in Michigan, or Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Ohio … walking factory floors, talking to retirees who’d lost their pensions, visiting struggling cities (Flint, anyone?) or inner-ring suburbs, actually listening to real people and trying to understanding their struggles and frustrations – let alone articulating clear, easy-to-understand, and achievable policy prescriptions aimed at inspiring people and giving them hope.

    I’ll say it again: If the Democratic Party wants to regain anything like the power it had from the late 1940s through the late 1970s (when it frequently held enormous margins in both houses of Congress, and controlled a substantial majority of state legislatures) , it needs to start focusing less dividing and sub-dividing voters into infinitely smaller and more specific interest groups – and much more on promoting big, broad, (progressive) ideas that will have widespread appeal.

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius: Dem party 40’s through mid 60’s was an organization that catered to Southern Segregationists.

    PS This is what a rigged election looks like: https://twitter.com/decaro_nick/status/926910995590553600

    Apologies to FF for the ‘identity politics;’ I’m sure Sanders voters and the WWC faced similar marginalization.

  75. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree that Clinton’s campaign failed to work hard enough in swing states. A reminder though that those swing states privilege rural and mostly white voters with more electoral sway than urban mixed and dense areas. The importance of the WWC electorally is a function of their privilege, not their marginalization. But it was stupid to ignore that.
    I;m not sure what that has to do with fundraising galas. Clinton did not book arenas but ran an on the ground campaign that engaged deeply with local dem party and community activists. Sanders was not walking factory floors nearly as much, and he certainly was not engaging voters on the street or on a small scale. He went for the big show, firing up large crowds.

  76. Lynne
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t disagree with much of that, Demetrius. Or not with the main points you are making. I agree that Clinton could have done better to campaign in Rust Belt states. Bill did in October but Bill is not Hillary to be sure. Clinton did visit Flint during the primary season fwiw and frankly, while I think a Flint visit would have helped her with many, I am not sure that it would have helped with the white working class. It maybe could have encouraged 11,000 more people in the demographics she was winning to get out and vote. I don’t know.

    All I know is that candidates on the left have to walk a fine line. They will not win without the Democratic nomination and they will not get it unless they can appeal to women and POC. And apparently they will then not win the general election unless they do something to appeal to white men and their wives. If you look closely at when the Democrats first started losing power, it is clear that it was when they decided not to be super duper racist. The party lost a lot of folks by passing the Civil Rights Act but that is exactly what the party needed to do in order to start advancing towards being a party of diversity and multi-culturalism. I am all for compromise and accepting that the Democrats are a party with a lot of people who have different needs. I will not accept putting my concerns on the back burner because some white men feel entitled to have their concerns placed front and center.

    I am curious about what you feel was lacking in her platform. Also, shouldn’t things like the civil rights surrounding something deep and personal like going to the bathroom be important to everyone? Why is that identity politics more than the loss of jobs which has primarily been affected white men? I mean, you get that right. Due to discrimination, those manufacturing jobs being lost are mostly held by white men. So why is that an issue with broad appeal but say issues like women being seriously under represented in government, in those manufacturing jobs, in board rooms, etc is not? And don’t you think that things like reproductive freedom, access to health care, access to education, civil rights for ALL, etc are issues that affect everyone and not just one “identity” in the party? Do we *really* want to encourage politicians who don’t consider such things to be broadly important to everyone?

    As for articulating clear, easy-to-understand, and achievable policy prescriptions aimed at inspiring people and giving them hope, I agree that is a weakness of Clinton’s. Sanders keeps things simple but alas, in his case it is an indication that he has not thought things through well enough but you are right, most voters don’t care if the policies are actually realistic. I think Clinton should have done like Sanders and just advanced hopeful ideas that she would have had no chance in passing because voters really do vote their idealism. She should have worried less about the feasibility of things and just gone pie in the sky hopeful. But that is not who she is. And while that is not something that would make her a bad president, I agree that is one factor among many that cost her the election.

    I do find it hard to believe that her fund raising among the rich cost her too many voters against a candidate like Donald Trump. I could see it costing her primary voters but being rich and flaunting it in tacky ways didn’t hurt her opponent so why should it have hurt her other than they were being held to different standards.

  77. Demetrius
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    @ Lynne.

    I appreciate your thoughtful reply, and I agree with some of what you have to say.

    By necessity, knitting together a coalition capable of winning the nomination, let alone the presidency, mean carefully calibrating many different interests and ideas – sometimes even ones that are in competition, or even outright conflict.

    I don’t for a minute think Sanders was an ideal candidate, but given the zeitgeist of the times, I absolutely believe he would have had a better chance of winning the White House than Clinton ever did. (Of course, we will never really know.)

    Now, more than a full year later, I can’t help thinking about how just a *handful* of votes here in Michigan, and a few more handfuls in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc., could have saved us from this disastrous Trump presidency. If, like me, you believe Bernie had a better chance of winning, this result is doubly painful. And even you and Jean must admit that all of us – and perhaps especially women, minorities, gays, etc. – would have been much better off with Bernie than the Charlatan in Chief.

  78. Lynne
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I think we can all agree that Trump has been a disaster for all the groups we care about. The damage he is doing right now is pretty bad. The only way we can get out of this is to vote our way out of this. I read a really good article in the Guardian of all places that does offer a solution. I will try to find the link but allow me to paraphrase it for now.

    The Hillary wing of the party needs to accept that primary challenges from the likes of Sanders are GOOD. New ideas were brought into the party. New people were brought into the party. A call for more transparency into the management of the party has happened because of the Sanders wing and that is good. We need to have vigorous primaries where we passionately try to advance the candidates who most closely meet our needs.

    The Sanders wing of the party needs to accept that the party establishment is there for a reason and often the reason is that they have been working hard in the trenches to get left leaning candidates elected. They need to accept that the party base might be more conservative than they are and certainly appreciates pragmatism more than idealism. And also, this wing of the party needs to understand that the primaries are not useless if their candidate loses. I think the Sanders campaign was a success in terms of getting ideas onto the platform that were good for all in the party.

    The most important things we need to agree to though is that whomever wins the primary must get the enthusiastic support of everyone on the left even if it means saving criticisms of the candidate until after election day. Most importantly though, we all need to start to take a bigger picture view of things. I might not think that Sanders would make the best president and I do have serious reservations about his ability to do the job, but I am 100% sure he would make appointments I don’t hate. He would have put good people in key positions and he would have also made the kind of judicial appointments that would not be leaving us with a mess that will take decades to fix. Clinton similarly would have made good appointments. In fact, I cannot think of a single potential candidate being talked up by either side of the party who would be anything close to the disaster we have now.

    The left also *really* needs to understand the importance of voting. We have to get out the vote and we have to get out the vote big. One of the vulnerabilities with the GOP gerrymandering is that they didn’t put Republicans into districts which are quite as safe as the ones they put Dems into. A massive voter turn out could turn Congress. Maybe as practice, you all should make sure to get out and vote tomorrow? I will!

  79. Bob
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Sanders was an ideal candidate either. He almost surely would have done better than Clinton though. There is just such a condescending tone to so much of what’s being said. “The left really needs to understand the importance of voting?” And the Democratic party welcomed the new ideas that the Sanders people brought to the party? They are doing the opposite. That’s the point. This mythical left is kind of a crock too. Much of your so called “left” are just people like me. Fairly mainstream voters who just want the Democratic party to act like Democrats. Not pro-choice Republicans. Quit selling out working class interests. Quit behaving like Hawks. Quit sucking up to Wall Street. I’m no radical. I’m just tired of Clinton style Dems.

  80. Sad
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    The Democrats have a lot of work to do. It’s making me sadder than sad.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/7/cnn-poll-views-of-democratic-party-hit-lowest-leve/

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