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Non Sequitur of the Week

New White House press secretary Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci on Trump’s qualifications for president.

Or something…

“I’ve seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire, I’ve seen him at Madison Square Garden with a topcoat on, standing in the key and hitting foul shots and swishing them — he sinks three-foot putts,” Scaramucci said.
“I don’t see this as a guy who’s ever under siege. This is a very, very competitive person. Obviously there’s a lot of incoming that comes into the White House. But the President’s a winner and what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a lot of winning.”
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“If we don’t play my way, I’m taking the ball and going home.”
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Aw, Cut Them Some Slack. They Were New to This.

From CNN:

Following his release on Twitter of the email exchange between himself and Goldstone, Trump Jr. did an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, a staunch supporter of the President. Trump Jr. said he would be willing to go under oath to speak about the meeting.
Sekulow [President Trump’s lawyer] pointed to Trump Jr.’s comments in the interview that he had now disclosed everything about the meeting.
“I think it speaks for itself,” Sekulow said.
Sekulow also maintained the meeting was legal and said people should not criticize the Trump campaign members for attending the meeting given the breakneck speed of the presidential campaign.
“I don’t think that’s fair to Donald Trump Jr., to Jared Kushner or to Manafort for that matter,” Sekulow said.
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Poor Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. How can we expect them to know it’s illegal to conspire with a hostile foreign power in order to win an election? These guys were just babes in the woods caught up in the dizzying election campaign and it’s very unfair to hold them accountable.
Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves. Until the next shoe drops.
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Texas—Where You’re Free to Be the Samurai You’ve Always Wanted to Be

Once again, Texas lives up to its name as The Lone Brain Cell State:

Starting this fall, adults in Texas can openly carry knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches.

In fact, swords, spears, daggers, sabers, bowie knives and machetes are all perfectly fine to tote around. Pretty much anything you can whip out in a Dungeons and Dragons battle is fair game.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law last month, but it doesn’t go into effect until September 1.
Under the existing law knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches could be purchased but not carried — with only limited exceptions.
There are some places where the new law won’t apply — including schools, prisons, hospitals, amusement parks or places of worship. Long blades are still banned at sports events. And you can’t bring your sword into a bar, either. The tiny colorful plastic ones that you stick on top of a cocktail, however, are under 5.5 inches, so those are still OK.
House Bill 1935 provides a common sense solution by prohibiting any knife with a blade over five-and-a-half inches in certain location restricted areas,” Rep. John Frullo, the Republican representative from Lubbock who authored the bill, told CNN in a statement.
Texas now joins Montana and Oklahoma. Both have both passed laws lifting their bans on certain bladed weapons, including swords.
The legislation stalled in May after a man was accused of using a hunting knife to kill one student and wound three others at the University of Texas at Austin. Frullo postponed debate on the legislation until a week later — but stood by his bill.
“It’s not making criminals out of people who have no intention of creating some type of criminal act,” Frullo told CNN affilliate Spectrum News in Austin at the time. Knife Rights, a national advocacy organization, supported the legislation but said there is still a ways to go to strike “those last remaining minor knife restrictions in Texas.”
“We won’t stop until Texas is as free as everyone thinks Texas is,” the group wrote in a statement on its website.
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Hell Has Officially Frozen Over: I Agree with Charles Krauthammer.

From his column in the Washington Post:

“The Russia scandal has entered a new phase, and there’s no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.

Yes, there were several meetings with Russian officials, some only belatedly disclosed. But that is circumstantial evidence at best. Meetings tell you nothing unless you know what happened in them. We didn’t. Some of these were casual encounters in large groups, like the famous July 2016 Kislyak-Sessions exchange of pleasantries at the Republican National Convention. Big deal.

I was puzzled. Lots of coverup, but where was the crime? Not even a third-rate burglary. For six months, smoke without fire. Yes, President Trump himself was acting very defensively, as if he were hiding something. But no one ever produced the something.

My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.

The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a Prosecutor General.)

Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words.

Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods. What matters is what Donald Jr. thought going into the meeting, as well as Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, who were forwarded the correspondence, invited to the meeting, and attended.

“It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame,” Donald Jr. told Sean Hannity. A shame? On the contrary, a stroke of luck. Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.

It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power. What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election? One might even add the work of groups supported by the U.S. during Russian parliamentary elections — the very origin of Vladimir Putin’s deep animus toward Clinton, then secretary of state, whom he accuses of having orchestrated the opposition.

This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.

What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?

Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power that has repeatedly invaded its neighbors (Georgia, Crimea, eastern Ukraine), that buzzes our planes and ships in international waters, that opposes our every move and objective around the globe. Just last week the Kremlin killed additional U.N. sanctions we were looking to impose on North Korea for its ICBM test.

There is no statute against helping a foreign hostile power meddle in an American election. What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.

I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.”

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He STILL Doesn’t Get It.

“I didn’t know if there was any credibility, I didn’t know if there was anything behind it, I can’t vouch for the information,” Trump Jr. said speaking to Fox News host and outspoken Trump supporter Sean Hannity during an interview set to air at 10 p.m. Tuesday. “Someone sent me an email. I can’t help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly.”

He added: “It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”

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Okay, for someone who is supposedly “high-quality” and intelligent enough to run the Trump Grifter Empire, is DJT, Jr. incredibly dense or is it just me?

Does he really not understand that you don’t go to meetings with a known adversarial foreign power who has professed an interest in helping your father win a presidential election? It’s kind of like when George Costanza was called out by his boss for having sex with the cleaning lady on his desk. “Was that wrong?”

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Donald Trump, Jr. Joins the Pantheon of Famously Clueless Quotes

“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” — Gary Cooper, on his decision not to take the leading role in Gone With The Wind.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” — Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“If it’s what you say I love it.” Donald Trump Jr.’s response indicating that he accepted the meeting with the Russian government lawyer in order to collude.

And then there’s this spot-on quote of the day:

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More on Russian Fox Guarding U.S. Hen House

From Politico:

The prospect of partnering with Russia on a cybersecurity unit raised eyebrows in Washington.

“It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Nobody’s saying, Mr. President, the Russians changed the outcome,” Graham said to Chuck Todd. “You won fair and square. But they did try to attack our election system. They were successful in many ways and the more you do this, the more people are suspicious about you and Russia.”

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for the Republican nomination, also blasted the idea. Rubio likened working with the Kremlin to prevent election meddling to partnering with Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s regime on a “Chemical Weapons Unit.” Assad is notorious for using deadly chemical weapons on his people, including children.

“While reality & pragmatism requires that we engage Vladimir Putin, he will never be a trusted ally or a reliable constructive partner,” Rubio said in a tweet. He added in another: “We have no quarrel with Russia or the Russian people. Problem is with Putin & his oppression, war crimes & interference in our elections.”

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter made a similar fox-guarding-the-hen-house analogy on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is like a guy who robbed your house asking for a working group on burglary,” Carter said of Russia and cybersecurity.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also responded with a dig at Trump’s statements. “No art to this deal: What kind of “tough negotiator” goes into talks undermining his country’s own position, as you did attacking US intel?”

Speaking shortly thereafter on “State of the Union,” Schiff said that it was “dangerously naive” to rely on the Russians for help. “The Russians want to take down liberal democracy,” he told Dana Bash.

Schiff said that if the U.S. was going to partner with Putin on cybersecurity, “We might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow.” 

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Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Servile Mewling

From Politico, by Jack Shafer:

“Even Russia-scandal skeptics had to cringe at the servile mewling of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who spoke to the press after the two-hour-plus mini-summit, which included the principals, Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, and two translators. Tillerson said Trump raised the subject of Russian campaign meddling but that Putin had denied it and at that Trump agreed to move on.

If the mark of a great diplomat is the ability to speak craziness with a straight face, Tillerson earned admittance to the Dips Hall of Fame. A “framework” for cybersecurity cooperation would be set up between the two countries, he promised. This would be like going into the fencing business with the guy who burgled your house. Sounding more like a therapist than the secretary of state, Tillerson said, “We’re unhappy. They’re unhappy,” and explained that salvaging this “really important relationship” meant blotting out the recent unpleasantness. (Take a shot of amnesia and call me in the morning.) Then Tillerson produced a laugh line that topped his previous ones. “The Russians have asked for proof and evidence” of the meddling, he said. Perhaps he should buy Putin a subscription to the Washington Post.

And remember, Tillerson was the smart one representing the United States in the room.”

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Batshit Crazy Tweet of the Day (And a Sane Response)

From Politico:

“Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning. He did not explain why Podesta, who did not work for the DNC, would have been responsible for its email server.

Podesta, who wrote on Twitter that he was on a cross-country road trip with his wife, responded to Trump later Friday morning in a series of posts to his own account.

“Pulled in for a pit stop in E. Fairmont W. Va. to see that our whack job POTUS @realDonaldTrump is tweeting about me at the G20. Get a grip man, the Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected President. Maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to President Putin,” Podesta wrote online, breaking his response up to accommodate Twitter’s 140-character-per-post limit. “[By the way], I had nothing to do with the DNC. God only knows what you’ll be raving about on twitter by the time we get to Utah. Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.”

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If “Pizzagate” Wasn’t Weird Enough For You…

…we now have child sex-slaves on Mars.

From The Washington Post:

The situation for human beings on Mars is dire, and not just because the red planet’s atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide and the average temperature is -81 degrees.

There’s also the issue of the child-trafficking ring operating in secret on the planet 33.9 million miles from earth, according to a guest on the Alex Jones Show.

“We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride,” Robert David Steele said Thursday during a winding, conspiratorial dialogue with Jones about child victims of sex crimes. “So that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.”

NASA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But Guy Webster, a spokesman for Mars exploration at NASA, told the Daily Beast that rumors about live humans on Mars are false.

“There are no humans on Mars,” he said. “There are active rovers on Mars. There was a rumor going around last week that there weren’t. There are, but there are no humans.”

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