All posts by Greg Laden

Sam Clovis hired both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos

Climate Hawks Votes has just released this very intereting statement pertaining to today’s revelations and arrests:

News reports indicate that Trump USDA chief scientist nominee Sam Clovis hired both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos for the Trump presidential campaign. Furthermore, Clovis acted as supervisor to George Papadopoulos and encouraged Papadopoulos to go to Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. Senate Agriculture Committee chair Pat Roberts of Kansas has set a nomination hearing date of November 9 for Clovis to be undersecretary of Agriculture for research, education and economics.

Climate Hawks Vote president RL Miller states: “Clovis was a supervisor of Russian outreach at the Trump campaign and is now about to be rewarded with a USDA chief scientist appointment. What’s Clovis going to science at USDA, Russian caviar?”

Clovis’ appointment hearing is November 9. He is not a scientist. He was, however, a co-chair of the Trump campaign, who hired Carter Page and who supervised Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Climate Hawks Vote was one of the first organizations to call for blocking Clovis’ confirmation, and is part of a coalition that has collected over 400,000 signatures in opposition to the nomination.

‘Twas the Night before Indictment …

‘Twas the night before serving, when all thro’ the house
Congresscritters were stirring, even the mouse;
The indictments were hung by the Grand Jury with care,
In hopes that Judge Emmet soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug with their lawyers,
While visions of men named sugar plum danced in their heads.
And Mueller with his briefing and Paul with his passport,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter in court
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
He sprang form the bed to see the Federal Marshals
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore up the papers, then into the shredder,
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,,
Gave lustre to the no knock warrents to find objects below;
When, what to wondering eyes should appear,
But a deposit slip from a Russian owned bank forgotten to burn.
With that ol’ driver as quick as a feather;
We knew in a moment it much be St. Mueller;
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Now, evidence collection crew, go right in here!
On blue collar crime expert, these documents I’ll share!
To the top of the pile of evidence so high,
Now dash away, dash away, put it all in plastic bags,
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
Each exhibit gets a number and a letter, oh my.
So up to the court house the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of evidence, and some indictees too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard in the foyer
The prancing and pawing of each little lawyer;
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Mueller came with a bound.
He was dressed all in a nice Italian suit,
His clothes were not tarnished or messed up with soot.
A bundle of evidence was flung on his back,
And he looked like a lion just opening a buck;
His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, he’d be liked by a jury.
His stern little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
But the kind with an arrow, just so you know;
He shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly;
With a wink and a twist he owned that grand jury;
He spoke not a word but went straight to work,
Filed all the briefings, then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up to chambers he rose,
He sprung to the sleigh to his team gave a whistle,
And to the judge they all rushed, like the smoke from a pistol;
I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Plea bargains for all, except, well, most of you actually, because I’ve got this sack of evidence here, see?

“basically anyone who’s black and politically active”

That’s who the FBI seems to want to consider as a domestic terrorist, and thus, investigate and repress.

We’ve seen this before. Happens every time there is a fascist in the White House. I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful, thoughtful, politically neutral FBI agents, the do a great service to the country, yada yada yada. (Everybody feeling good about the cops now? How nice.) But the fact is that whenever you get a fascist in charge, at the state or national level, the cops, pretty much all the cops, shift at least a little, and some shift a lot. They get repression boners. They go to town.

From a piece by Kate Irby in today’s Star Tribune,

The FBI counterterrorism division’s identification of a movement it calls “black identity extremists” is the latest addition to the list of protesters and dissidents the agency puts under the “domestic terrorism” umbrella.

But many national security experts say the designation doesn’t describe a movement at all, let alone a terrorism threat. It’s simply a label that allows the FBI to conduct additional surveillance on “basically anyone who’s black and politically active,” said Michael German, who left the FBI in 2004 and did undercover domestic terrorism work.

While the practice of labeling certain protest groups as domestic terrorists is not unique to President Donald Trump’s administration, Hina Shamsi, national security project director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said there’s concern that “abusive and unjustified investigations” by the FBI are rising.

“We are worried that protesters are increasingly being labeled as terrorism threats,” Shamsi said.

As observed, predicted, and expected. See this.

By Monday, Someone Will Be Arrested In Trump-Russia Probe

This is what CNN is reporting.

A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.

The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.

Who’s it going to be?

Most likely, by my guess, in order of liklihood:

1) Manefort
2) Kushner
3) Any one or more of Trump’s lawyers
4) Flynn
5) A random Russian oligarch bank related crook that Mueller was able to lay his hands on
6) Donald Trump Jr.
7) Kellyanne Conway (she is on this list because of how much I want to see her do the perp walk, not because I think she is actually on the list, this high up)

For the record, here is the record. A conversation on August 1st in which we were discussing how long the investigation would take. The first arrest is not the end, or midpoint of the end, so we can’t evaluate … this event that is about to happen may not happen, it may not be a big deal, it may be the whole shebang. Anyway, on facebook:


From Rachel Maddow tonight:

In possibly related news:

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Grilled on Russia Tower Deal
Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Grilled on Russia Tower Deal
Ex-CIA Director Spoke to Mueller About Flynn’s Alleged Turkish Scheme
Former Trump Adviser Carter Page Questioned by Senate Panel

Rates of sexual assaults among college students, by gender orientation

This is just over a year old but just came across my desk. The study is: Sexual Assault Victimization Among Straight, Gay/Lesbian, and Bisexual College Students by Jessie Ford and Jose Soto-Marquez, Violence and Gender, June 2016.

From the abstract: Continue reading Rates of sexual assaults among college students, by gender orientation

Global warming is messing up sports

Global Warming is messing up Hockey.

It is too warm too many days for the usual low tech solutions (like, “it is cold out”) to support casual neighborhood hockey play, which is considered a key feeder for the varsity, college, and pro levels. See: Global Warming Is Bad For Hockey. This is from the NHL Sustainability Report: Continue reading Global warming is messing up sports

Three cheap books readers of my blog might want to grab

A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley “… offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating material. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options—both to rise in the military and to explore other careers—she returned to school with a newfound determination to re-tool her brain to master the very subjects that had given her so much trouble throughout her entire life.”

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by “Salt” author Mark Kurlansky is about 1968. Say no more.

You may have heard of 2010 (Space Odyssey) by Arthur Clarke. Get it now for Kindle for three bucks. I know, I know, it is already 2017 and we accidentially went into the past instead of into the future. Just pretend it is 3010 (Space Odyssey).