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Sunday, May 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Camerom — no longer spending much time scanning for chyrons, but there’s still plenty of interest in my feed — note the great quote from A Man for All Seasons ]
.

Unbelievable!

From Trump’s 2020 campaign manager:

**

Less bogus religion, more mundane reality:

Stunning: Clint Watts offers an “life imitating art imitating life” (and I quote) instance on Meet the Press — a short, sharp overview of how Putin trolls the US electorate with malicious intent:

That interview was shot a while back, but is worth revisiting today. Omn May 1st, Watts spoke of a “war game” and it was in searching (unsuccessfully) for that clip that I stumbled on this one.

**

Let’s follow that up with a tweet-repeated ouroboros chaser:

**

Somewhere I saw:

The flase narrative got out of the gate long before the truth did ..A tic-tac-toe pin for all of the games played by Mnuchin, Barr and Trump ..
impeachment is an explosive undertaking and can ricochet in all sorts of complicated directions ..
Mehdi Hasan: The Democrats bring a knife tom a gun-fight, the Republicans bring a rocket-launcher ..
Charlotte Alter: Buttegeig speaks Democratic with a Republican accent..
Mike Barnickle (re Biden): It’s hideously early in the campaign. I mean, it’s not even spring training, forget the exhibition games that have yet toi be played. It’s very early, so he’s got a big bounce from name recogmnition ..
Rick Wilson: It’s an interesting play (for Dems). I think if they camn draw the arc from nationalism to populism to statism to authoritarianism to Trumpism, they’ve got something there ..
Flannery: We have a crime syndicate in the west wing ..
I think they could have hammered him and sickled him to death ..*****

**

I’ll not bother to load the video clips themselves, but for the record, here’s Trump inviting Russia to hack Hillary’s emails, and Hillary inviting China to hack Trump’s tax returns — a DoubleQuote, albeit an obvious one — structurally equivalent to a cinematic flashback. But here’s another DQ, just a little less obvious perhaps:

Chris Matthews, incidentally, is on a roll comparing William Barr‘s situation to that of Roper in A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. Thomas More reproves Roper for his infidelity with the words:

For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales!

That’s the same Will Roper to whom More addresses his celebrated speech:

nd when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

**

That William Safire-Barr business, from Cover-up Attorney General Bill Barr strikes again — one of those crucial rhymes:

Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Times writer William Safire referred to him as “Coverup-General Barr” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in “Iraqgate” and “Iron-Contra.”

— and another Barr quote, from The Complicated Friendship of Robert Mueller and William Barr:

Figliuzzi described the dynamic between Mueller and Barr as one of “a boy scout” (Mueller) versus “a street fighter” (Barr). … “Mueller is a guy who plays by the rules, and he was playing by the rules in this report,” Figliuzzi told me. “He kind of trusts that the system will take care of itself, and he kicks his report over across the street to DOJ. That’s where things go south.”

**

Another tweet:

Certainly a striking formulation, that — “Love, in public, is justice..” I heard that too, and had to chew on it, which is why I googled and found this tweet: the one thing this isn’t is conflict-avoidant.

**

Okay, here’s a John Bolton triple:


Dexter Filkin
‘s a must-read — but his current NYorker piece leads us back to two other striking Bolton headers:

Bolton is hardly my favorite, but drawing the attention of Filkins, Gourevitch and Robin wright is surely a mark of honor of some kind.

Sources:

  • Dexter Filkins, John Bolton on the Warpath
  • Philip Gourevitch, What Is John Bolton’s Bully-Pulpit Attack Really About?
  • Robin Wright, John (“Bomb Iran”) Bolton, the New Warmonger in the White House
  • Rich Pickings

    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — my laptop keyboard is malfunctioning — my fault — but thanks to MS on-screen keyboard, I’m able to post here ]
    .

    How’s this for a DoubleQuote?

    I thought I was getting a wee bit tired of screen-grabs from items in my FB, Twitter and newsfeeds, but this one caught me by surprise — too good to miss!

    **

    And then there were others:

    Alex Jones admitting to psychosis as the explanation for his — extremely profitable, until Twitter banned him this week — conspiracy theories, when his earlier excuse was that he was an entertainer, just kidding.. that too was striking and worth capture.

    Firing squad was one of those five-star ***** instances that I’d want to include in any definitive collection of best war metaphors..

    And a few more:

    That last screen-grab, as you’d have learned from the sound-track, features three inset images for three black churches burned..

    **

    This one’s important:

    Designating a state actor a terrorist organization goes against most definitions of terrorism, which apply the term to non-state actions only, thereby making the compilation of stats for all sorts of comparative purposes, an already difficult task, even more troublesome — for an excellent overview by the leading authority on terrorism definition, see Alex Schmid, The Revised Academic Consensus Definition of Terrorism

    **

    L’affaire Nielsen:

    Neal Katyal, who wrote the Special Counsel rules:

    Then there’s

    President Trump:

    Get rid of judges ..
    Say.. say, Judge, I an’t do it ..

    Then:

    **

    Hardball:

    Chris Matthews:

    He comes off as a football owner who keeps changing managers .. or coaches

    Eating their own..

    You start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying..

    And:

    **

    All In:

    You’re Fired!

    Chris Hayes:

    One big part of the reason that Donald Trump is our President is because a good number of people believe that the TV character Donald Trump was a real thing, thanks to the years he spent on national TV on our parent network of course, building up a reputation as a successful, self-made tough tycoon, not afraid to make the tough calls when the tough calls needed calling..

    Most of us now know that the reality show Trump is not quite the reality we got. And as we saw yet again today, when it came time to deploy that famous tag-line, there seems to be some stage-fright ..

    There has been so much turnover in just over two years of the Trump administration that the Washington Post was compelled to produce this graphic, which looks like a game of chutes, ladders, and people who will never get their reputations back:

    It’s been 01 day since a high-profile departure from the Trump administration

    And so forth..

    m 55 Michelle Goldberg:The conventional language of American politics are just not up to describing ..

    **

    Rachel Maddow:

    Quite a DoubleQuote, Rachel!

    **

    And from Velshi, 4/9/2019:

    — a sequence on what Trump has offered at the altar of Netanyahu, to help with his election:

    **

    BTW, FB:

    I think that does it.net

    Off to a good start, chyrons, headlines, phrases, metaphors, 31

    Saturday, March 30th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — Oxford the memory, Edward Said the music critic, WB Yeats and his Tom O’Roughley, Townes Van Zandt in the song of David Broza.. Barr and Aaliyah — four-page letters, kisses .. plus FaallBack, & Wiz Khalifa on my watch [!!] ]

    Minefield, yes —

    — but also two sides on one stage, so two virtues in the music of ideas:

  • polyphony — many voices, and
  • counterpoint, the juxtaposition, clash and resolution of contrary points of view
  • For war and peace as symphonic, see Edward Said:

    When you think about it, when you think about Jew and Palestinian not separately, but as part of a symphony, there is something magnificently imposing about it. A very rich, also very tragic, also in many ways desperate history of extremes – opposites in the Hegelian sense – that is yet to receive its due. So what you are faced with is a kind of sublime grandeur of a series of tragedies, of losses, of sacrifices, of pain that would take the brain of a Bach to figure out. It would require the imagination of someone like Edmund Burke to fathom.

    Just a snippet — the first paragraph from the Guardian piece:

    Lou Armour is a special needs teacher, an introspective man with a walking stick. If you passed him on the street you probably wouldn’t notice anything about him beyond his limp. But 35 years ago he yomped across the Falkland Islands and ran through a minefield under artillery fire on Mount Harriet. His section killed several Argentinians in a bloody battle and Armour found himself attending to a fatally wounded Argentinian soldier who spoke to him in English about visiting Oxford. He watched as the young man died.

    Ah, Oxford.

    That’s I’d say, is a very good start for this post.

    **

    Okay, back into the mire:

  • Defense One, The US Military Is Creating the Future of Employee Monitoring
  • Uh oh, just what we need!

    As I said to Ali Minai, my view is that of WB Yeats in his poem Tom O’Roughley:

    ‘Though logic choppers rule the town,
    And every man and maid and boy
    Has marked a distant object down,
    An aimless joy is a pure joy,’
    Or so did Tom O’Roughley say
    That saw the surges running by,
    ‘And wisdom is a butterfly
    And not a gloomy bird of prey.

    ‘If little planned is little sinned
    But little need the grave distres.
    What’s dying but a second wind?
    How but in zigzag wantonness
    Could trumpeter Michael be so brave?’
    Or something of that sort he said,
    ‘And if my dearest friend were dead
    I’d dance a measure on his grave.’

    **

    Back to the Mueller probe according to President Trump

    :Many, many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly, our country was hurt. Our country was hurt. And they are on artificial respirators right now. They are getting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

    — and back to “little pencil-neck Adam Schiff” aka “Adam Schitt”:

    He’s got the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. He is not a long-ball hitter, but I saw him today, ‘Well we don’t really know, there still could have been some Russia collusion.’

    Sick, sick.. these are sick people and there has to be accountability because it is all lies and they know it’s lies ..

    Well then:

    That’s an unexpected and welcome follow-up ..

    **

    And so to Trump:

    Wildcard*****, a nice, slightly paradoxical example..

    **

    I’m watching Hanna (Amazon), starring the skilled and lovely Esme Creed-Miles:

    Life, she is full of variety, no?

    **

    elshi & Ruhle:

    **

    MTP 3/29/2019:

    Again, trump, trump, trump..

    Rep Jamie Raskin, his way with words:

    Attorney General Barr writes letters like Agatha Christie novels, there are more and more mysteries built into each one ..

    [Impeachment] it’s the people’s defense against a president who’s acting like a king ..

    Katy Tur:

    **

    The Beat, Ari Melber:

    First, a stream of chyrons..

    Aisha:

    I’m dropping this four-page letter and enclosing it with a kiss..

    Aside: the things we learn!!

    Howard Fineman:

    I think he’s part of the team..

    Let me use a basketball analogy if you don’t mind.. You know how, at the end of a game when one team thinks it’s ahead and they spread the floor and start tossing the ball around to keep from getting fouled to stop the clock, that’s my interpretation [of Barr’s actions] here..

    .. dozens of years of Yale Law School education, and we end at the freak-show tent ..

    A pair:

    Then there’s a quote from Obama’s Selma Bridge speech:

    We are the people Langston Hughes wrote of who “build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how.” We are the people Emerson wrote of, “who for truth and honor’s sake stand fast and suffer long;” who are “never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”

    That’s what America is. Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others.

    Fallback, which I generally don’t like too much, but here —

    — hunting and shooting a sleeping lion —

    If you’re hunting to eat, that’s one thing ..

    You want to impress me — go fight that lion with your bare hands, knuckles, teeth — and then come back and talk to me..

    [cf past Maasai hunting traditions.. ]

    — and which, further into the Fallback episode, brings us more music — Stay in ur lane:

    **

    So here I’ll take a break..

    Sports metaphors, metaphors, 30, & happy / unhappy phrasings

    Friday, March 29th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — including an intermezzo with Bach’s links with Mendelssohn — as usual, quite a diverse haul ]
    .

    Nicolle:

    There are cracks in the frenzied spin from the White House around the Barr summary of the as-yet-unreleased Mueller report. As the President tracks down axes to grind, consensus is building around Robert Mueller’s refused to exonerate the President in the obstruction of justice investigation ..

    Joyce Vance:

    We’ve seen all these dots out in the pubic domain, indications of obstruction, and apparently Mueller wasn’t able to connect them, and the question is, Why?

    Ari:

    You just can’t write a book-report for a book you haven’t read ..

    Disclosure: You can. I have.

    Here’s a weird sequence..

    And if that isn’t weird enough..

    Okay, a twinning once I get the transcript: chyrons “Dem grills” / “bip[artisan rebuke”

    **

    A move I want to watch, and you may too: Hotel Mumbai:

    Well, you know, ads intervene in even the best paid programming of mice and men .. and, you know, trailers are ads..

    And BTW, the Roger Ebert reviewer wrote:

    I watched and wrestled with Anthony Maras’ searing, startlingly confident debut “Hotel Mumbai,” where every fatal bullet fired out of the ruthless terrorists’ semi-automatic weapons hit me at my core.

    That’s screen-to-viewer violence, as when the heaalights of a car sweeping up thr movie drive suddenly swerve and blind you..

    Back to Hardball:

    Regarding his work as a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, Chris Matthews describes

    The most honest and moral man, who honored the call of the prophet

    Matthews opening clip:

    Jumping over the Barr — let’splay Hardball

    Comey:

    Chris Matthews, quoting him:

    .. all the smoke, if you will, of a deal between the President’s people and the Russians, all the interactions between them, he said — imagine if Obama, in a parallel universe, had those kinds of relationships with the Iranians, would you think they might have investigated it?

    Pause.

    Trump, a brief essay in turning the other cheek hitting back:

    One of the things you should do in terms of success: If somebody hits you, you’ve got to hit ’em back five times harder than they ever thought possible. You’ve got to get even. Get even. And the reason, the reason you do, is so important…The reason you do, you have to do it, because if they do that to you, you have to leave a telltale sign that they just can’t take advantage of you. It’s not so much for the person, which does make you feel good, to be honest with you, I’ve done it many times. But other people watch and you know they say, “Well, let’s leave Trump alone,” or “Let’s leave this one,” or “Doris, let’s leave her alone. They fight too hard.” I say it, and it’s so important. You have to, you have to hit back. You have to hit back.

    Times two:

    Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.

    As a motto:

    My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.

    Chris M:

    He [DJT] goes after Adam Schiff .. says, He couldn’t hit a drive 50 yards..

    I’m not sure, but today’s [3/29] DJT quote, “he’s not a long ball hitter” may belong here as a second shoe dropping? — or is it a different aport and different target?

    Matthews, on healthcare:

    Trump is walking right into that Gatling gun***** of defeat — why is he doing this?

    **

    Okay game of glass beads players, HipBone-style — here’s the Bach-Mendelssohn graph for your consideration:

    And –I’m missing one name, which may be in the video — Bach, Mendelssohn and the Saint Matthew Passion:

    — a direct line, as I understand it, of teachers and pupils from Bach to Mendelssohn..

    Fox inserts:

    Matthews:

    My morning doppelgänger Joe Scarborough ..

    **

    Ok, a few loose quotes. I’m looking for Elizabeth Warren using the phrase “war of ideas” but the closest I could find was:

    This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. It won’t be easy. But united by our values, we can make big, structural change. We can raise our voices together until this fight is won.

    Fight of our lives is as strong as fight metaphors get without adding details — Queensbury Rules boxing, Mixed Martial Arts in the Hexagon, a Jagger-style street-fighting man?

    This one has been quoted often enough to fade into the woodwork:

    The budget is a moral document.

    A missing chyron — when people post videos of MSNBC shows, and probably other news channels too, they often leave off the last 5 minutes [sad face] — Green New Deal ignites firestorm ..

    O’Donnell 3/28/2019:

    .. the suspended animation as we wait for the actual Mueller report ..

    Good one: suspended animation*****.

    Unknown, 3/28 at 10.17:

    Go to present day baseball, stay on the sidelines, stay out of it ..

    **

    This is an oldie, but I saw it today and it’s a matter of concern for me as I deal with pain from amputations & neuropathy:

  • Patrick Radden Keefe, The Family That Built an Empire of Pain
  • **

    I’ll close with this tweet —

    — and this speech in response to DJT’s attack by Adam Schiff —

    — plus this in commentary, from Lawrence O’Donnell:

    This is just Kabuki theater, they have no power to remove Adam Schiff from his position ..

    Oiut.

    Metaphor series 27: Irresponsible weather, untweeted tweets &c

    Monday, March 25th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — also lots from Friday March 22nd, more, and the Barr comment on Mueller Report breaks, March 24th ]
    .

    Let’s start with the weirdest tweet ever:

    That’s a crowd-sized tweet, y’see, and in the crowd-sized small print it says:

    He didn’t tweet it, he actually said it.

    Take a look at the same image full-sized — full photo-sized, here.

    **

    Unpredictable weather:

    Okay, that’s my excuse for a NASA DoubleQuote:

    Here’s what Joshua Stevens of NASA Earth Observatory says in the caption:

    Several communities west of Omaha (between the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers) either flooded or temporarily became islands as floodwaters encroached from both sides. One third of Offutt Air Force Base was inundated and 30 buildings were damaged, according to news reports. Rising flood waters forced people in dozens of communities to evacuate.

    Wha??

    Bob Dylan to the point:

    A change in the weather is known to be extreme

    You’re A Big Girl Now.

    **

    Okay, down to mores serious business..

    Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, made a fascinating and provocative suggestion to Nicolle Wallace yesterday, and I’ll offer here my transcription and some comments:

    To go back to this notion, and the clip of him {The President] saying the American people won’t accept this {Mueller results &c] because these are people who were not elected.. Let’s focus on that. Do you know what that sounds a lot like to most law enforcement officers, this notion that you can’t abide by anything by anyone who has not been elected? The Sovereign Citizen‘s movement.

    These are people who, when they get pulled over by the police, shoot the police officer. Why? The police officers were not elected. They recognize only the sheriff. They don’t pay taxes, right? We are essentially seeing the President as a Sovereign Citizen, not recognizing the authority of anyone who wan’t elected. It’s a dangerous philosophy.

    He’s going to go with that theme that only elected officials can decide his fate, and there’s going to be a substantial part of the American public that’s going to buy into that..

    The Sovereign Citizen Movement was featured in this now-archived FBI page:

    Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.

    This causes all kinds of problems—and crimes. For example, many sovereign citizens don’t pay their taxes. They hold illegal courts that issue warrants for judges and police officers. They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them. And they use fake money orders, personal checks, and the like at government agencies, banks, and businesses.

    That’s just the beginning. Not every action taken in the name of the sovereign citizen ideology is a crime, but the list of illegal actions committed by these groups, cells, and individuals is extensive (and puts them squarely on our radar). In addition to the above, sovereign citizens:

  • Commit murder and physical assault;
  • Threaten judges, law enforcement professionals, and government personnel;
  • Impersonate police officers and diplomats;
  • Use fake currency, passports, license plates, and driver’s licenses; and
  • Engineer various white-collar scams, including mortgage fraud and so-called “redemption” schemes.
  • Sovereign Citizenship, is very like a religion –n but the sort of religion where the dogma is loose, and each member pretty much defines their own version. Catholics might recognize this as cafeteria Catholicism, but Pentecostals with each one informed by individual inspiritation strikes me as a more apt comparative.

    **

    Just caught this from late 2018:

    Natasha Bertrand, The Eerie Parallels Between Trump and the Watergate ‘Road Map’
    Lawmakers thought Nixon’s gathering of inside information about the Watergate probe from DOJ was an impeachable offense:

    Nearly 45 years ago, the House Judiciary Committee concluded that President Richard Nixon’s contact with high-level Justice Department officials overseeing the Watergate investigation, detailed in a 62-page “road map” of evidence collected by prosecutors in 1972–73, amounted to an impeachable misuse of executive power.

    A half century later, the FBI’s former top lawyer, Jim Baker—a close friend and associate of fired FBI Director James Comey—is laying out parallels, albeit subtly, to President Donald Trump’s interactions with the law-enforcement officials who have been investigating him and his campaign team since July 2016.

    Parallels, subtly drawn: from a geometrical perspective, parallels are’t subtle, they’r exact — but parallels as a metaphor for similarities in patterning are all the better for subtlety.

    **

    running (in an election), off the hook (wrt prosecution), — these are among the sports metaphors for politics that are so obvious, so basic that it’s barely worth noting them — and yet they’re bassic to more detailed metaphors we’re very interested in.

    and then there are the images I catch,but not the sentences they’re embedded in, let alone the paragraphs.. %strike)Brennan saying “firestorm” at a moment when the TIVO or whatever captured the feed had a hiccup), deliberate or otherwise.. Joy of SM Joy’s “spiked the ball at the fifty yard line”*****, for instance, was a fleeting capture of an often repeated basic phrase, “spiked the ball” which would be better caught in a more detailed context..

    A quick Melber chyron before I lose it, at 22:

    **

    Hardball:

    Chris Matthews: all these dots we are now to believe don’t connect ..
    Chris Matthews: I could see the President announcing in two or three weeks, I split the double header. I got off collusion, all they’ve got me on is this argument about obstruction, by the way I’m allowed to obstruct if I’m innocent ..
    should they feel they just skipped justice?
    43 stars / constellation .. [ a nice para — transcript? ]
    Chris Matthews: it’s the politburo ..
    Chris Matthews:

    The Democrats have been riding this camel for a lot of miles through the desert, waiting for an explosive report that would decide whether the President did something impeachable or not ..

    All In, Chris Hayes:

    Julia Ainsley:

    And then this is the part I think is the most magical. At five o’clock, the congressional liaison at the Justice Department knew his job would be to go brief the committees, but they didn’t want to have any jealousy about who might get this first and how this might go down, so they dispersed a team to the Democrat and Republican side of both the House and the Senate Judiciary, to make sure that the letter .. was put down in front of those committees, all four, Republican and Democrat, Senate and House, Judiciary at the exact same time, five o’clock..

    Neil Katyal:

    And now Mueller is really like a relay racer, handing off the baton to other folks..

    Anna Galliard:

    Well, boy, it’s one of those moments where you have to walk & chew gum & juggle. & fight for the soul of democracy all at the same time ..

    Carol Lam: a Japanese Tea ceremony .. [transcript?]

    Rachel 3-22

    51-2: chuck rosenberg: I think this is far too early for Mr Corsi to be dancing in the end-zone ..*****
    @58 or 50?, katyal: lanes & batons ..
    the mueller probe is officially over, and the torch has been handed to .. cf baton

    MTP (3-22?)

    brennan: I think Bob Mueller understands the firestorm that this report was, you know, going to be out into ..
    nicolle w: andy mccabe .. [distorted] .. a tree house ..
    ari m: he’s a wild-card here, who could ..
    graphic of mueller investigation ..
    nicolle: the earth could change under our feet ..
    he had access to five-eyes intel ..
    ari: i got the football and i might be passing lots of it by this weekend ..
    katyal: we generally don’t have secret books in this country ..
    meacham: will there be a MAGA pitchfork rebellion?

    AM Joy 3-23:

    sat am: malcolm nance: koresh-style . [transcript?]

    AM Joy 3-24

    and not dropped, like a nuclear bomb, on the white house, on friday ..

    59 or 00: over on Earth II or Fox News ..

    **

    Listen up:
    Here’s the breaking news of Barr’s comments on & quotes from Mueller’s report, Sunday 3/24/2019, pm:

    **

    Two comments summing up this remarkable day:

    MSNBC, commentator unknown:

    This is a very good day for the President, and they’ll be spiking the football from here to the election, likely..

    Barr’s letter to Congress:

    The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’


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