Aargh, more sports, serpents and other forms and metaphors

[ by Charles Cameron — following up on the comments section at Games, politics, and game metaphors, which shut down unexpectedly ]


Zell Miller, Wikipedia:

Miller appeared in an interview with Chris Matthews on the MSNBC show Hardball. After Miller expressed irritation at Matthews’ line of questioning, Matthews pressed Miller with the question, “Do you believe now – do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs?” Miller angrily told Matthews to “get out of my face,” and declared, “I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel.”

spitballs, duel


“both sides talk tough .. then there’s fighting”



GOLDBERG: And so we here in this dystopian situation where John Bolton, the last person in the world who should be anywhere near the national security bureaucracy. This President has – he has dubious legitimacy at best, he doesn`t have popular support in the country. And we are stumbling toward an apocalyptic war that will kill millions of people, turn America into a pariah and our way of life. There is almost no way to talk about what a dangerous spot we are in without sounding insane.


MATTHEWS: Where does that lead to? What does that lead to if Israel does that against an Islamic country?

CORN: Well, I would say one easy term is apocalypse. I mean, this is where they`re at.

apocalyptic war, apocalypse


Deadline White House, Nicolle Wallace:

what I’d describe as a legal chess-match


Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti:

I’m a pretty good poker player. We’re going to see how this plays out. We have a piece of litigation and we’re going to handle it diligently and surgically.




Neil Katyal, The Beat:

You don’t go and tell a wwitness who is possibly going to testify against you, Oh, well I’ll give you a pardon, don’t worry about it. You know, criminal lawyers, one of the first things any smart lawyer would do to any one of their ckients is to say, Don’t talk to any witnesses, don’t even say hello to them on the street, let alone something like offering up a pardon, a massive get out of jail free card

get out of jail free card


Hardball “that is the wild-card here”


A Night of Laughs Between Trump and His Favorite Punching Bag


‘Not in a punch-back mode’: Why Trump has been largely silent on Stormy Daniels

The counterpuncher, so far, has held his punches.

“He’s really not in a punch-back mode,” said one friend who has discussed the matter with the president in recent days and requested anonymity to be candid. “Everyone is telling him, look, you can’t win here, so just do nothing.”

counterpuncher, punch-back mode


Jay Sekulow?

he’s a really good shortstop who has been asked to pitch in the world series

33 comments on this post.
  1. Charles Cameron:

    Annie Duke Will Beat You at Your Own Game:

    I wrote to the retired professional poker player about the possibility of profiling her. We spent the next few weeks engaged in a polite game of psychological warfare. [ .. ]
    It’s not like a backhand in tennis, which would never help you off the court

    Meet the Press
    Hugh Hewitt, ~4.00:

    Then you’ve got the new Foreign Policy team with Pompeo the right arm, Jim Mattis as the left hook, Bolton and Jim Kelley as the corner men, and Haspel in the boot.

    Katy Tur: “

    it completes the bingo card

    The ads:
    “up our swagger game”
    “duelling lobster tails”

    No engine can keep pace with the human heart — until now. Introducing the world’s first VC-Turbo in the all-new 2019 INFINITI #QX50. It races when you race. It calms when you calm. The QX50 is the most advanced INFINITI ever made.
    No engine can keep pace with the human heart ..it sprints when you sprint, itcalms when you calm


    Russian ambassador: “dance”

    Nina Khruscheva on Putin:

    His gas and oil game, frankly, has gone down, so what does he have left?
    Until Trump speaks to him and says, Putin, you are a murderer, Putin is still going to play this game slightly less pushy than he has.

    All In:

    “teed up”

    Behind the chaos: Office that vets Trump appointees plagued by inexperience :

    PPO leaders hosted happy hours last year in their offices that included beer, wine and snacks for dozens of PPO employees and White House liaisons who work in federal agencies, White House officials confirmed. In January, they played a drinking game in the office called “Icing” to celebrate the deputy director’s 30th birthday. Icing involves hiding a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a flavored malt liquor, and demanding that the person who discovers it, in this case the deputy director, guzzle it.

    11th Hour:
    Discussing service of a subpoena to Malloch:

    It is this breathless kind of development that shows Mueller’s not thinking about the red line, the blue line, the yellow line — he’s just thinking about the finishing line, and plumbing the depths of everything that is involved here — I’m sure to Trump’s great chagrin — we’re back in Tom Clancy territory.


    I like to use a different term. I call it the hot peace, because the name of my next book is From the Cold War to the Hot Peace. ANd I use that phrase to echo the Cold War but also to suggest that it’s different.

    Richard Engle,
    Putin weak hand


    A fascinating BBC docu on Putin, putatively The Most Powerful Man in the World, crried the phrase:

    Putin is a much more practiced, subtle, cunning, player. He is playing, in poker terms, a couple of deuces at the highest level. He has reasserted Russia on the world stage.

  2. Charles Cameron:

    This looks fascinating:

    Marvin K.L. Ching, Games and Play: Pervasive Metaphors in American Life
    An underlying metaphor for life in the United States is “LIFE IS PLAYING A GAME.” Metaphors of games and play pervade our discourse in explaining phenomena in diverse realms of life for several reasons. Using Caillois’s (1979) typology of games, games of agôn (skill) with some alea (chance), this study shows that such metaphors are frequently used because they are consonant with our culture’s prototypical person, as shown by linguistic concepts inherent in the phrase “game player” and with our culture’s assignment of prototypicality to masculinity. Second, because of the wide repertoire of games from which we draw metaphors–even what Caillois considered nonprototypical cultural ideal games, such as games of ilinx (disequilibrium and destruction) and mimicry (acting and the theater)–games and play as metaphors are elastic in incorporating diverse ideas in many unconnected realms of life. Such metaphors thus simplify life’s disparate experiences through one explanation, sometimes reflecting a reality that already exists and at other times making a cultural criticism, as in Berne’s (1964) “sick games.” Moreover, these metaphors are widespread because they perform multiple speech acts in one condensed form. Widespread use of such metaphors not only blurs the distinction between reality and games and play but also provides a specific framework for responding to situations because a game has a narrative structure that can be read, like Barthes’s five codes used to read fictive literature.

  3. Charles Cameron:

    KiKidnapped Royalty Become Pawns in Iran’s Deadly Plot:

    To Arab falconers, the houbara bustard — a bug-eyed, long-legged creature about the size of a large chicken — is the king of game birds. It is a fast flier with an unusual defense: When cornered, it vomits an oily green substance that can temporarily blind an attacking falcon or hobble its wings. In the days before oil was discovered in the Arabian desert, the houbara’s seasonal return every fall was met with celebratory poetry and long hunts on camelback. The Land Rover made things a lot easier, but chasing the houbara, whose stringy flesh is said to be an aphrodisiac, remains one of the hallowed pursuits — along with thoroughbred stallions, huge yachts and French chateaus — that occupy the minds of Persian Gulf royalty

  4. Charles Cameron:

    Nayyera Haq, in Hardball, 4/2/2018:

    We do know that personality-wise, Donald Trump loves the Putin playbook. He likes to play dominance games..


  5. Charles Cameron:

  6. Charles Cameron:

    The journey of the poet is the shamanic one: to pass down the branches of the mind’s — not the body’s — arterial tree into the underworld. Shamans need certain specific skills, that are symbolized in the old underworld stories by the golden bough, the lyre, the clue, the magic flute, the shamanic drum or bagpipe, the spirit-doctor’s rattle, or the mask of the angakoq. These talismans refer to the ancient techniques of the arts — melodic structure, poetic meter, dramatic mimesis, the picturing power and pattern design of the visual artist, storytelling, and so on. New research is showing that these artistic forms have a double nature, a twofold loop structure like the figure eight or the infinity sign, with one feedback loop inside, within the neuroanatomy of the human brain, and one feedback loop outside in the cultural tradition.
    Fred Turner, Natural Religion<

  7. Charles Cameron:

    For Russia, Trump Was a Vehicle, Not a Target

    In Trump and his campaign, Mr. Putin spotted a golden opportunity — an easily ingratiated celebrity motivated by fame and fortune, a foreign policy novice surrounded by unscreened opportunists open to manipulation and unaware of Russia’s long run game of subversion.

  8. Charles Cameron:

    Self-blindness ouroboros — Trump’s self-delusion blinds him to legal peril

    Trump you will recall was convinced at one time he was not under investigation. He even added that to his letter firing Comey. But of course, the firing of Comey set off a chain of events which in fact put him under investigation.

  9. Charles Cameron:

    Natasha Bertrand, How the House Intelligence Committee Broke:

    For now, the tit-for-tat continues: On March 12, Republicans released a one-page preview of their findings and announced that they would hold a business meeting on March 22 to vote on, and formally adopt, their final report. On March 13, Democrats released their own preliminary report setting out investigative leads they said were not followed by Republicans during the investigation. Shortly after the March 22 business meeting, the majority released a seven-page summary of the findings and recommendations that were included in their final report, whose declassification is still under review by the intelligence community.

    tit for tat

  10. Charles Cameron:

    Here’s a light, amusing ouroboros from FP’s Macron’s Been Working on the Railroad about a strike by the (rather special) French railway workers:

    Philippe also promised to retire the generous retirement rules for new hires.

  11. Charles Cameron:

    Harry Litman (former Federal prosecutor):

    He’s not fishing, but he is casting a wide net

    I’m not sure that’s a real sporting metaphor, but it’s certainly an interesting paradox of sorts.

  12. Charles Cameron:

    Another astonishingly rich few paragraphs from Michael Avenatti on Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word, April 5,2018, 41.20:

    I can’t transcribe the whole thing, but caught a great many sporting metaphors, mixed metaphors, mixed sports — listen to the video to get the full stream of consciousness:

    He [Michaekl Cohen] is being placed in the cross-hairs ..
    He is going to be expected to take the fall ..
    he’s willing to take that hit on behalf of the President ..
    the noose is tightening on that front as wel ..
    in the event that he folds and rolls over on Mr Trump ..
    [he] knows where a lot of bodies are buried ..
    first the President threw him under the bus ..
    even taking the President at face value ..
    no question Michael Cohen is in the cross-hairs ..
    we think this is basically game over as it relates to our claim..

    In an earlier interview on The Beat with Ari Melber:

    We’re sitting in the proverbial cat-set, Ari ..
    Ari, if I could touch base on one issue? ..
    he’s effectively thron now Michael Cohen under the bus..
    he went off on his own, half-cock if you will ..
    ther’s certainly some wriggle room ..
    he’s doubled down now on the idea that Michael Cohen is still his attorney ..

  13. Charles Cameron:

    For Trump and his generals, ‘victory’ has different meanings

    These days, senior officers talk about “infinite war.”
    “It’s not losing,” explained Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, in a speech earlier t
    his year. “It’s staying in the game and .?.?. pursuing your objectives.”

  14. Charles Cameron:

    For Trump and his generals, ‘victory’ has different meanings:

    “It’s not losing,” explained Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, in a speech earlier this year. “It’s staying in the game and pursuing your objectives.”

  15. Charles Cameron:

    Ari Melber:

    Francis, the Anti-Strongman


    He forced a game of chicken with China over possible trade war ..
    I think there’s multiple balls in the air here ..
    [Sam Stein] Kelly’s move here is a big gamble if you ask me ..
    Manafort “a croupier” ..
    Matthews: “What is the worst that could happen to the President in this fandango?” ..
    Trey Gowdy: “The goal’s to win” ..
    they will play the game &c m46 fetch more
    Teuno said “he’s a loser” &c m 44-45

    Revolution, Tim Cook:

    I think the great thing about the U.S. is freedom. And I think if states want to compete for things, then God bless them. I think that’s sort of … that’s a part of America. And so I don’t condemn it. I think it’s their decision. But from our point of view, we didn’t want to create this contest. Because I think what comes out of that is you wind up putting people through a ton of work to select one. And so you wind up … That is a case where you have a winner and a lot of losers, unfortunately. I don’t like that. (applause) You know, my … most things in life I do not view as win-lose. We always … the best things you can ever do in business is find the win-win. You know, whoever you’re working with. If you’re trading between countries, you find a way for both to win. If you’re working with a partner in business, find a way for both to win. That contest is set up as a win-lose and not something I want Apple to be a part of.

    Chris Lu on Rachel Maddow:

    To the outsideer this looks like inside baseball ..

    Meet the Press, Friday:

    Foreign policy is chess. It is three-dimensional chess , and this is part.. we have a dispute with China over here but work with China over there. This is — Donald Trump is linear.
    Everybody else is playing a game with rules that they understand. Donald Trump is – who knows what he is playing, it is probably not three-dimensional chess and that [will] confuse people who think, That is nit a smart chess move, but he is benefitting in this respect.


    I have been asked by some of these oligarchs to game it out
    It’s the “good czar and the bad boyars” — it’s the good Trump versus the evil deep state..
    The problem is, just because you’re hurting Oleg Deripaska doesn’t mean you’ll convince Putin to change his foreign policy; and that’s the two-step that comes with sanctions, that is a much more difficult causal chain to push.

  16. Charles Cameron:

    Headliners special:

    Mueller:loves computers .. plays with them ..
    he has the ability to just raise everybody’s game ..
    Bob Mueller was at the top of his game when it came to prosecutor


  17. Charles Cameron:

  18. Charles Cameron:


    It will be a bipartisan rumble if you will ..

    The Beat:

    Another gangster move by Robert Mueller ..
    take a bullet for Donald Trump
    Donald Trump beccomes a witness against himself [ourob, J Rubin: ]
    He has more skeletons in his closet than a Grateful Dead concert..
    he’s gonna fall like a .. deck of cards .. first domino to fall ..
    the rest of the crapola ..
    his aides all rattled, this was a curve-ball ..


    Shortly after the news broke that the FBI had raided the office and hotel room of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and seized records related to the $130,000 hush payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, the president publicly remarked on the raid during a national defense meeting on Syria.

    During tonight’s Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews wondered aloud if we might see a situation in which the president engages in a military action in order to distract from a bad news cycle. And he brought up a ’90s movie to make his point.

    After the panel brought up that Cohen likely has tons of information about Trump’s business dealings going back decades and that it could possibly lead to Russian oligarchs, Matthews asked USA Today’s Susan Page a question.

    “How about Wag the Dog, Susan?” Matthews exclaimed, bringing up the 1997 film. “I was with Barry Levinson last week. He is the director of a film where a president in fiction decided to start a little war to cover up for hanky-panky.”

    Page noted that was a “very serious charge to make against a president,” leading Matthews to respond that it wasn’t “when you have John Bolton sitting next to him.”

    ALL IN:

    the cooler head around him is a hot-head, and that’s John Bolton ..


    For first time, Trump aims at Mueller
    Before this weekend, Trump had only referenced Mueller by name once on Twitter, in a retweet. Now, it appears, Mueller is fair game.

  19. Charles Cameron:

    Def a form of boustrophedon, if not ouroboros:

    Pak Army has perfected art of ‘non-coup coup’: Husain Haqqani

  20. Charles Cameron:

    MTP “our team” cf OBL on dreams:

    He [Abu-Al-Hasan Al-Masri] told me a year ago: “I saw in a dream, we were playing a soccer game against the Americans. When our team showed up in the field, they were all pilots!”

    All In:

    Trump: He is like a television commentator who on his own [regime] ? [ourob]


    Paul Ryan Personifies the Devil’s Bargain the GOP Struck With Trump


    He was budget magic personified
    It is a feeding frenzy in Washington — it is “power play” writ large.
    The Beltway myth of Paul Ryan is the opposite of what he did. [enantiodromia?]

  21. Charles Cameron:

    ‘We’re kids, but we’re also journalists’
    Parkland students cover the shooting they survived and the classmates they lost

    Hurricanes. Assault. Climate change. Vaping. The student journalists at the Eagle Eye, the school newspaper at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, have never shied away from chronicling fraught topics. But on Feb. 14, their Parkland, Fla., school became the news, when 14 students and three staff members were killed. Media from across the nation descended. But no one had the perspective of the reporters, editors, photographers and designers at the Eagle Eye. They had huddled in closets as a gunman stalked the hallways. They had lost classmates and teachers. There was a story, and it was theirs to tell.

  22. Charles Cameron:


    “he’s sending a message” ..
    “it’s an inside message” ..

    David Corn, Why the Scooter Libby Case — and Trump’s Pardon—Really, Really Matter:

    From his statement, it is clear that Trump was not familiar with the details of the slam-dunk case against Libby. So it seems that what appealed to Trump was the symbolic nature of this action: a senior administration official had lied to block an investigation of wrongdoing within that administration—and was punished for doing so. But with this pardon, Trump has sent the message that he does not find that sort of dishonest conduct reprehensible. In Trump’s world, this pardon was not an act of justice. It was a wink.


    “it seems to me thata this is a home run” ..


    “a full court press”


    President Trump has engaged China in battle; no more patsy U.S, we now will play by our rules. Like it or not they have no choice. Behind the scenes fisticuffs, bare knuckle Asian martial arts will occur. But don’t sell Trump short on this pugilistic octagon rumble, he is no Clinton, Bush, Obama, the patsies of old relinquished our technology to the enemy – for WHAT? Corporate America wanted to expand, they wanted to make more money and they knew that China was ripe for the taking; or were they? We find out decades later that the Chinese played the game of Three-card Monte expertly. Shells, cards or marbles whatever the game was it was fixed from the beginning. China said take it or leave it; 51 to us 49 to you. Technology poured in like the icon waters of the Yangtze. Their ability enhanced to such a degree they now threaten America with innovation.

  23. Charles Cameron:

    The Economist, duelling memos:

    Duelling Democratic and Republican memos are bugle-toots on a battlefield
    A political moment in which “what” matters far less than “who”
    Democracy in America Feb 26th 2018 | by D.S.O.R.

    Condi Rice? “duelling memos” In Headliners, Comey

    AMERICA is living through strange times when the headline “duelling committee memos released” can make partisans sit up and roar. These are those time, alas.
    There has been much roaring since the late-night release over the weekend of a memorandum written by Democratic members of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), rebutting an earlier document written by that body’s Republican leaders. The release of the Democratic rebuttal was a surprise. Publication had already been delayed for two weeks by the White House, ostensibly because President Donald Trump was concerned that his opponents had been careless about revealing intelligence sources. That is a worthy concern, though slightly at odds with Mr Trump’s decision to release the initial Republican memo before reading it despite public pleas from the FBI and Department of Justice that it risked giving away secrets.

    Headliners, Julia E Ainslie:

    There could be a domino effect that leads to the end of this presidency, and Roberthat was refreshing. It’s like playing tennis: your game is Mueller’s firing could be the first piece to fall..

    Headliners, Nanci Clarence:

    People like me who were opponents the entire time Bob was here ended up feeling a renewed life in the office that was refreshing. It’s like playing tennis, your game is always better when the guy on the opposite side of the net is at the top of their game.

  24. Charles Cameron:

  25. Charles Cameron:

    Chris Matthews, Hardball, Tom Winter:

    So Chris, what happened today is we had kind of a split decision if ypoiu think of it from a boxing standpoint ..
    I want the sides to get together, bth Cohen’s side and the government side, to out forward a couple of names of people for what’s called a special master, think of that as a referee ..

    Trump throws another punch at fired FBI director Comey

  26. Charles Cameron:

    Xi may put ball in Trump’s court on talks with North Korea
    Nikki Haley’s savage own of Larry Kudlow is one for the ages

    Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser for President Donald Trump, learned that lesson the (very) hard way on Tuesday after he gave an roundly dismissive interview on Haley’s promise of future sanctions against Russia. “She got ahead of the curve,” Kudlow told reporters gathered near Mar-a-Lago. “She’s done a great job, she’s a very effective ambassador. There might have been some momentary confusion about that.”
    It felt — and sounded — like a rhetorical pat on the head. Sure, Nikki said that we were imposing sanctions on Russia. But she was sort of out of the loop and we changed our minds. She means well!
    Haley wasn’t having it.
    “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” she said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
    Ice. Cold.

    shoot the moon
    All In:3

    5 Aussie “dartboard”


    No one is feeling that whiplash more acutely right now though than the UN ambassador, Nikki Haley .. only then to be publicly slapped down by the President’schief economic adisor, Larry Kudlow, who told reporters thatHaley quote got ahead of the curve and that there might have been some momentary confusion of Haley’s part. Haley’s response was pretty succinctand blunt: With all respect, I don’t get confused.

    11th Hour- colossal bankshot
    end 1st quarter ??

    In baseball terminology, Michael Cohen was the “utility fielder” — I mean, you don’t know in which position he’s going to play.
    Is there anyone in the courtroom that’d be like the boxer who says, No Mas, I can’t take it any more. There’s too many things coming at me. That was the middleweight guy. I can’t take it any more. I’m getting out of the ring.

    Ashley Parker:

    That said, the President is a fighter, and the more you see him undedrvassault, the more you see him coming and fighting and hitting back.

    Nikki Haley’s extraordinary rebuke of the White House

    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday rebuffed White House aides’ claims that she bungled an announcement of new sanctions against Russia. After Haley said Sunday that the sanctions were on the way by Monday, the White House appeared to change course and said a decision had not been made. But rather than an admission that President Trump had had a change of heart, word ventured out that Haley had gotten out over her skis.
    One anonymous official said Haley had made “an error that needs to be mopped up.” Another more charitably said there had been confusion. Then on Tuesday afternoon, chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was significantly less charitable to Haley, telling reporters at Mar-a-Lago that she “got ahead of the curve” and “There might have been some momentary confusion about that.”
    Not so, says Haley. And in fact, she said that even the more charitable explanation is wrong.
    “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a statement.

  27. Charles Cameron:

    Oh, lovely Nobel-winning ourobotros:

    The Scientific Importance of Free Speech
    Frustrated by skepticism from the medical establishment and by difficulties publishing his academic papers, in 1984, Barry Marshall appointed himself his own experimental subject and drank a Petri dish full of H. pylori culture. He promptly developed gastritis which was then cured with antibiotics, suggesting that H. pylori has a causal role in this type of illness. You would have thought that given this clear-cut evidence supporting Warren and Marshall’s opinion, their opponents would immediately concede defeat. But scientists are only human and opposition to Warren and Marshall persisted. In the end it was two decades before their crucial work on H. pylori gained the recognition it deserved, with the award of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

  28. Charles Cameron:

    Morning Joe:

    Whatever this judge decides doesn’t bind that judge, so it’s only half of the ball-game.

    And if sports, games, and even theatrical plays and the playing of music get the most play around here, fools and folly should not be excluded from the wide-open category of play, being the utmost in serious playfulness — playing truth to power. Here, the fool takes on the guise of the juggler:

    Lots of ‘balls in the air,’ but we’re going to get it right, Trump advisor Gary Cohn says
    Cohn said: “We’ve got a lot of balls up in the air. We’ve come out of the blocks fast. We’re trying to get as much done as we can. We’re throwing a lot of ideas around. And look, we’re going to get to the right place.”

    And one for my father, Capt. Orford Gordon Cameron, RN, DSC, a true Scot who loved the Scottish game, gowf:

    And how about this ourob at the heart of a fascinating piece: Dark Leviathan: The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings:

    Ulbricht built the Silk Road marketplace from nothing, pursuing both a political dream and his own self-interest. However, in making a market he found himself building a micro-state, with increasing levels of bureaucracy and rule?enforcement and, eventually, the threat of violence against the most dangerous rule?breakers. Trying to build Galt’s Gulch, he ended up reconstructing Hobbes’s Leviathan; he became the very thing he was trying to escape. But this should not have been a surprise.

    That’s so bite your tail serpent-like!

  29. Charles Cameron:

    “it’s like a gymnastics competition”..
    “a poisonous counterpoint”..
    Hardball, Jennifer Rubin:

    “a jigsaw puzzle conversation”..
    “you get into a cage match with a dancing bear”.


    SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ): I don’t know if this was carefully choreographed. Because you have a strike against three facilities, the Russians don’t activate their defense missiles against us, the Syrians shoot their missiles after our missiles land. And you wonder, wait a minute, was this a choreographed kabuki show?
    CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: Are you suggesting that the White House used some backchannel to actually actively coordinate with either Russia or the Assad regime, ahead of time, before the strikes?
    MENENDEZ: Well, I certainly have to wonder. The Russians have a very sophisticated defense system, that they did not activate. The Syrians shot missiles after our missiles landed. And the Russians were not hit at all in any of those chemical weapons sites. It’s just too many questions that raise the concerns as [to], did we act and show our indignation, but was it choreographed? At least were the Russians told, ‘Stay out of these sections, and by the way, don’t challenge us. And if you don’t challenge us, then everything will go as planned’? “Was this a choreographed kabuki show”

  30. Charles Cameron:

  31. Charles Cameron:

    New Yorker, From the Reporter’s Desk, email:

    Watching a Trump appointee try to hold onto his job can feel, sometimes, like watching a tipsy cowboy on a bucking mechanical bull. From the moment, back in January, when I started researching a profile of Trump’s embattled national-security adviser, H. R. McMaster, there were rumors that he would soon be out of a job. McMaster sometimes joked, darkly, with colleagues and foreign counterparts about the precariousness of his own position, saying, “I might not be here next week!”

    watching a tipsy cowboy on a bucking mechanical bull
    TrumpWatch, Chrid Mathews, 04/23/2018:

    Donald Trump shoots the moon. When other polayers of the political game — and it is a game, with enormous stakes — play it safe, avoiding what they’re supposed to avoid, going with the safe, recommended route, Trump goes the opposite direction. If politics was a game of hearts, Donald Trump would be the player who hand after hand shoots the moon. The other players try to discard their hearts to the Queen of Spades, Trumpgrabs for them, hoping to get all of them. It’s a risky play, but it works for him [ .. ] So now he’s trying to shoot the moon on North Korea, he’s trying to turn whatt’s been for eb\very President since Harry Truman a bad hand into a winning one [ .. ] On that basis, who wouldn’t want this hand of Trump’s, shoot the moon, yo win?

    ‘Playful dominance’: The touchy-feely relationship between Trump and Macron

    The interactions throughout the visit, said Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of “SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma,” largely fall under a category known as “gamesmanship.”

    In calling out Macron’s alleged dandruff, she said, Trump “did something called primate grooming.”

    “It said, ‘We have an intimate relationship, but I’m dominant, I’m the alpha gorilla, I’m going to groom you,’ ” Wood said. “‘But I’m going to criticize you by saying you have dandruff, and I’m going to do that on the world stage and see how you handle that.”

  32. Charles Cameron:


    Morning Joe, re Harry Reid: like a boxer, not like a visionary leader..

  33. Charles Cameron:

    Hoping to catch up.. some of these will be just notes..

    Your Evening Briefing 04/27/2018 NYT email:

    7. The U.S. economy, which has been whacked around like a pinball in the first quarter, still grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent, offering a preliminary glance at the effects of the tax overhaul.

    macron boxing ref 11th hour @ ~45
    There is no one who can save Trump from himself


    The Lid:

    a mans career and life is in the crosshairs ..t was president trump firing from the hip ..
    this reminds one of a maze at thanksgiving, its easy to get in and hard to get out
    Mueller’s holding all the cards..