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Metaphors 21, some more like micro-essays with graphics toppings

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, headlines and quotes as before — including that damn elite schools admissions fraud — some moving in the direction of micro-essays with graphics toppings — in other words, don’t miss them! ]
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MUELLER APPEARS AFTER SOMETHING REALLY BIG

What I’m after here is understanding how reading between the lines corresponds with knowing the known unknowns, and how those two mutually compatible metaphors triangulate with a more distant pair, following trails of breadcumbs and connecting dots.

Somehow our writer found all four necessary to outline — there’s another one — her insight.

So: what can we learn?

Perhaps the most curious detail comes elsewhere in the G.R.U. indictment, when Mueller notes how one particular spear-phishing attempt aimed at the Hillary Clinton campaign was both a “first time” effort, and conducted “after hours.” These may seem like bread crumbs to a popular audience, but they’re more significant Morse-code tappings to jurisprudential scholars, suggesting that the hackers’ strategy could have shifted at a crucial moment.

This investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up,” a source close to the White House observed in November 2017, as the probe was heating up. This approach has also created immense political uncertainty surrounding the outcome of his final report. In the G.R.U. indictment, for instance, prosecutors for the special counsel’s office wrote that Russian intelligence officers “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury” in order to interfere with the 2016 election. Does the fact that Mueller hasn’t charged those “known and unknown” people mean that he can’t make his case, or that he’s just been working his way up the food chain?

With the two-year anniversary of Mueller’s appointment this spring, some of the juiciest—and arguably most consequential—questions about Russian election interference and the Trump campaign remain unanswered. But every bizarre detail or curious omission from Mueller to date could be a bread crumb leading to what the special counsel is preparing next. The investigation’s known unknowns are an investigative road map.

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Just for the tone / phrasing of the chyron:

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Okay, let’s back off politics for a moment, and track just a few instances of Life Imitates Art from the New Yorker archive:

Dana Goodyear, Bad Character

Hollywood has had character problems for years: a Shrek maced a group of female tourists, a Chewbacca head-butted a tour operator, a Batman kicked out the windows of a police car. “We’ve arrested Captain America, we’ve arrested Sponge Bob,” Captain Bea Girmala, the commanding officer of L.A.P.D.’s Hollywood Division, said. “Over the years, many of the costumed people we have arrested have had felony convictions, sex-crime-related convictions.” She went on, “We’ve seen characters walk off the boulevard, and hit the coke pipe or shoot up.” Intense competition for tips can turn the street into a crossover comic come to life. Batman vs. Kato: Chest kick—boom! Cartwheeling arms—pow! tight on: A puddle of blood congealing on the Walk of Fame.

In the snow-globe-like tourist zones of America’s cities, character crime is on the rise.

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Also from the New Yorker, a different Life imitates Art angle, which also adds to our Sanctity of the unsavory collection:

David Grann, The Old Man and the Gun
Forrest Tucker had a long career robbing banks, and he wasn’t willing to retire.

The outlaw, in the American imagination, is a subject of romance—a “good” bad man, he is typically a master of escape, a crack shot, a ladies’ man. In 1915, when the police asked the train robber Frank Ryan why he did it, he replied, “Bad companions and dime novels. Jesse James was my favorite hero.”

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Headliners:Mueller MSNBC docu:

He led that charge, and it was like turning the Titanic .. [turning FBI to CT]
He has the ability to just raise everybody’s game ..

And a couple of spares:

Meacham, 11th Hour, date uncertain but close: Even Dante might be flummoxed by the number of [criminals] 23 have here [ie in the cabinet, around DJT]
I think he [Beto] runs and he kicks it out of the stadium in his first three weeks .[fundraising?]

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MTP 3/11/2019:

Eric Swalwell:

He’s a different President than he was in the last two years, in that he’s not completely restricted but we’ve put an ankle-monitor on him; now when he does this outrageous conduct we can actually check and put balances against him ..

[??]

It depends a lot as to what the President’s game theory of what Mueller has and wants to do already is. I don’t know what that is ..

[??]

And if Mueller comes out and doesn’t have a smoking gun, or if he has a smoking gun and is not getting impeached, doesn’t he feel bullet-prooff?

Ari Melber, the Beat 3/11/2019:

We begin with Mueller grinding down two former Trump aides..

There’s other developments, though, that are also knocking up in the Mueller probe this week. This is part of why people, some people, say it’s like the ninth inning ..

I wonder if you would handicap both of these ruling this week ..
I think the hammer is going to fall, and it’s going to fall very severely ..
Do you expect Judge Jackson will hit Manafrt for what happened elsewhere, or is she going to stay laser-focused on these charges? ..
She’s going to call this one a foul tip ..
What jumps to you about the foul tip analogy is interesting? ..

How much of this could be the fault line of the Democratic primary? ..
It’s a warning shot ..

Hardball — Chris Matthews:

And they say you gotta play to win, unless you’re Donald Trump and you own the golf course..

Trophies for everyone ..

Anyway, how he won the gloves championship without even competing ..

And let’s close with..

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Operation Varsity Blues:

This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, talented students strive for admission to elite schools. As every parent knows, these students work harder and harder every year, in a system that appears to grow more and more competitive every year.

And that system is a zero-sum game. For every student admitted through fraud, one honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.

Twenty of, plenty of chyrons, metaphors, etc

Monday, March 11th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — we’re talking Beto and sharp knives, Dem contenders and their clown car, Amazon and knee-capping, the Founders and game shows — loyalty above brains — & ending with the Brexit endgame ]
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Peggy Noonan said on MSNBC Friday morning, quite unexpectedly, to work is to pray — known to me in Latin as laborare est orare, a graceful phrasing indeed.

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“HE’S NEVER REALLY BEEN HIT FROM THE LEFT BEFORE”
Progressives are ready to paint O’Rourke as a lightweight elitist, a poseur who is out of touch with the crucial Democratic-primary electorates.

Hitting is one thing, running, sharpened knives and Achilles heels are quite another. And then there’s lightweight.

And there’s an extraordinarily rich mix of metaphors in this para — and article:

It’s been a decorous war so far. Sure, some criminal-justice reform advocates have dinged Senator Kamala Harris for her years as a tough district attorney and state attorney general. And Senator Amy Klobuchar continues to absorb shots from anonymous former staffers about her abusive management style. But the 12 declared candidates themselves are still gushing respect for one another. That’s partly because it’s early in the game, and they are focused on building their own name recognition; partly it’s because President Donald Trump is such a massive target and villain. “In 2016, Hillary versus Bernie was a wrestling match,” a senior adviser for one of the leading 2020 contenders says. “And in a wrestling match, you have to size up your opponent and think about your strengths in relation to their weaknesses and vice versa. This one is truly a race. But in a race with, like, 35 cars coming up to the starting line, it is about staying in your lane and going faster than everybody else.”

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Also:

“WHY THE HECK NOT?”: DEMOCRATS AREN’T DONE PACKING THE 2020 CLOWN CAR
Brown is out, but Swalwell and Moulton still want in. Can they break out of the pack or will they be lost in the shuffle?

Virality, that magic elixir that made Beto O’Rourke into a household name, is unpredictable. Democratic voters, who are caught in a tug-of-war between the party’s left and centrist wings, are still undecided.

Clown car is a spectacular Shriner ref, eh? And there’s a pack and a shuffle in the subtitle, but I’m thinking the pack is a pack of hounds, not the kind of pack you shuffled.

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I’m thinking nepotism is a variant on the ouroborosserpent-dad bites nephew-serpent‘s tail, or vice versa — only in this case, it’s son-in-law..

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I have only the briefest of notes from my dialysis session 3/8/2019:

Meet the Press :

MTP had a chyron regarding Cohen & credibility @ m38.
there’s a good segment @ m47.
two quotes:
President Trump, the Projector-in-Chief ..
m51: the longer he’s not in the line of fire {Biden] ..

There was mention of this Axios header with its ouroboros overkill:

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Melber:

Amazon .. is not going to be knee-capping everyone ..
They bully towns, cities, states, all around tthe counrty ..
The problem is the hunger games ..
The problem we’ve got right now is a revolving door between Wall Street and Washington ..
the kill zone

Hardball

Chris M:

You know, when you’re winning a game of eight-ball in pool, don’t scratch ..

A bit obvious, but for the record, race:

Chris M:

You’re not winning if you’re playing defense ..

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All In Chris Hayes:

Carol Lam:

On the one side people dangling the possibility of a pardon and on the other side people angling for the possibility of a pardon ..

Chris:

You can’t help but feel that we’re watching in public these flags being sent back and forth..

Ian Bassin:

And the Presiudent is essentially treating pardons like some sort of reality show prize, right? But this is not The Apprentice, and the Founders did not intend the Presidency to be a game show

game show *****

Jamie Raskin:

.. public tweets and statements he [DJT] was making, which were like little valentines sent to Paul Manafort ..

There’s a fox for every hen-house in Washington ..

Jane Mayer:

There’s such an open kind of a feedback loop there, I don’t actually think that that’s going to change because Bill Shine is leaving ..

Alex Witt 3/9/2019:

I’m actually borrowing chyrons from two versions of Witt’s program here:

Anon: I am of the opinion that only Jesus should be signing Bibles ..

The authorship of the Bible — ta biblia, the books, in Greek — is a vexed question: was it written by God, or men — or maybe angels? Was the Torah / Pentateuch written by Moses, or by the so-called Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and Priestly writers? Were the Gospels written by the authors to whom they are attributed? John certainly differs notably from the “Synoptics” — Matthew, Mark and Luke.. and each appears to have different audiences and emphases..

To cut a long story short, the authorship of the Bible can be attributed either to a cluster of dead men or to an ever-living God — but in neither case is Donald Trump the author: not even close.

The pardon playbook might have come into play with Cohen, or perhaps Manafort? And this next one’s for Rep. Ilhan Omar:

Anon: There’s no question but this [anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, anti-Netanyahu &c] is a political minefield ..

John Harwood:

Donald Trump is the White House Communications Director, and the revolving cast of characters is just the people he brings in to do some of the ministerial duties below him ..

I didn’t capture it, but there was a “Simmering frustration” chyron towards the end ..

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Misc oddment: war of words .. — there’d be plenty of examples.

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MSNBC LIVE Up with David Gura 3/9/19:

A devastating sequence:

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Let this be our endgame for the day — personally, I’d like to end Brexit now:

Chyrons, quotes, etc, 18

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — CPAC and Fox, Kushner and the Judiciary Committee, India and Pakistan, even a mention of epistemology, still plenty going on ]
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Misc:

BrownPundits:

It puts India and Pakistan on the same moral plane, right?
You talk about India and Pakistan being rivals. It’s just both sideisms of the most mendacious kind.

??:

No doubt Trump‘s dealing with Cohen and Kim are leading stories about now, so this headline deserves to lead this post, but — wait for it —

— it’s the bit about muscling reality into submission that caught my attention. Just muscling into submission would be metaphor enough for me to take notice — but when it’s reality itself that’s being wrestled down, we’re clearly in epistemological territory, perhaps of the variety Michelle Goldberg: talked about the other day:

..The epistemological terrorism that the Trump administration practices on us every day to keep us in this state of kind of derangement and feeling slightly off-center and not being able to get your bearings in this moment.

Terrorism? Not in the usual natsec sense — but hang on, terror itself is a framing of reality, located in the mind-heart-brain complex, and that’s the stage par excellence on which epistemological experience plays…

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If I could access it, there’s a dueling breaking news chyron at the end of Bryan Williams’ 11th hour for February 26th.

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Dom Donilon:

North Korea of course is the combination of a cult and kind of a mob operation

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A Day of Reckoning for Michael Jackson with “Leaving Neverland”

It is admittedly difficult, while watching “Leaving Neverland,” to hold in mind two contradictory but equally imperative ideas: that victims should be believed, and that the accused are innocent until proved guilty. The first is wildly crucial if we wish to protect the disenfranchised from egregious abuses of power. The second remains the crux of the American criminal-justice system. Can these two ideas coexist? Right now it feels as if they have to, which means that we are sometimes required to make personal choices about how we accept or dismiss the information made available to us.

The ability to hold in mind two contradictory but equally imperative ideas is a strong version of F Scott Fitzgerald‘s definition of genius — strong because Fitzgerald didn’t insist on the ideas in question being imperative.

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There’s a lot of balancing, even mirroring, going on here:

Postpone Brexit? Maybe Get a Do-Over? The Negotiations Enter a High-Stakes Game-Theory Stage
By Amy Davidson SorkinF

Brexit, at the moment, is an exercise in game theory. This week, both Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, grudgingly agreed to open the way for options that could help to break the current deadlock over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union. In May’s case, the option was a possible vote in Parliament to delay Brexit, which is now scheduled, ready or not, for March 29th; in Corbyn’s, it was a new referendum that might overturn Brexit altogether. Both May and Corbyn were acting because of rebellions within their own ranks, which escalated last week—when both Labour and Conservative M.P.s resigned from their parties—and threatened to spread. May reportedly made her offer because three members of her cabinet were about to quit, taking a dozen junior ministers with them.

Z
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3-4-2019 MSNBC, a few items

MTP:

Pres Trump:

Russia, if you’re listening ..

Katy Tur:

It suredoesn’t seem as though the Russians thought it was a joke ..

43: RT is starting their propaganda campaign that mirrors WikiLeaks which then mirrors what Donald TYrump is saying..

Melber, The Beat:

Paul H:

We’re not at Impeach yet, but we’re definitely on the road, the car is on the road. And this is the gas for that car, this investigation.

Paul, if this is a car a lot of people thought Bob Mueller was driving it. Thelasttime people remember an Impeac hment proceeding,we had prosecutor Ken Starr now driving it. ARe you suggesting that Jerry Nadler is now really in that

[more — Clift, Hommer, Prius]

Eleanor Clift:

He knew the game was over ..

The document demand:

Ari:

That’s just Kushner..

Richard Painter:

We don’t haveconclusive proof that the President is a Russian mole, but it sure seems like it .

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Hardball:

Sen Klobuchar: Rail, class one rail, down to four companies, the same number we’re seeing on the Monopoly board. And this consolidation that we’re seein in our country cries out for tougher action on anti-trust.

Hemmer argues that Fox—which, as the most watched cable news network, generates about $2.7 billion a year for its parent company, 21st Century Fox—acts as a force multiplier for Trump, solidifying his hold over the Republican Party and intensifying his support. “Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature,” she says. “It’s a radicalization model.” For both Trump and Fox, “fear is a business strategy—it keeps people watching.” As the President has been beset by scandals, congressional hearings, and even talk of impeachment, Fox has been both his shield and his sword. The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead.

Chris Matthews:

Chris M:

Who’s the toy here, the Presidentt? or Fox?

Chris M:

Why is the President of the United States working for Fox?

Jane M:

Despite the discouragement, Falzone kept investigating, and discovered that the National Enquirer, in partnership with Trump, had made a “catch and kill” deal with Daniels—buying the exclusive rights to her story in order to bury it. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. News of Trump’s payoffs to silence Daniels, and Cohen’s criminal attempts to conceal them as legal fees, remained unknown to the public until the Wall Street Journal broke the story, a year after Trump became President.

All In

Ken Liu:

We want to connect the dots and really put out a narrative of what happened, why it happened, and how we prevent this from happening again

Wajahat Ali:

That’s my slight concern about Biden and Bernie Sanders and Trump, that 2020 is like going to be the ticket of Bengay vs Vick’s Vapor Rub vs Metamucil .

Last Word, O’Donnll:

Frank Rich:

Well, look, everything that Trump is guilty of, he’s accused somebody else of doing — so he’s accused Hillary of having all the questions when he had them, he accused Barack Obama of playing golf all the time when he plays golf all the time, and many worse sins than that

Anita Kumar:

They don’t like her policies, but they say she (AOC) has political game

Katy Tur:

Is she going to be the white whale?

Seb Gorka:

That’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced the New Green Deal: it’s a watermelon, green on the outside, deep, deep, Communist red on the inbside.

Brian Williams:

One of his legal ppl:

I think she’s showing rmarkable patience. One day, Brian, Roger Stone will be a convicted felon, and this judge will be the one who decides how long he goes to jail. He’s playing a short game, she’s playing a long game.

3/5/2019 Brian Wms:

Gen McCaffrey:It’s amazing what’s available through unclassified commercial satellite photography [***** ourob][ .. ]

We’re being played by the North Koreans, and President Trump is negotiating with himself [ .. ]

Let’s .. talk about those exercises. The President now openly referring to them as war games –

— [Brian contd] It is possible he did not know that that phrase existed until now

It’s a chyron blizzard 16

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — kushner’s clearance, the koreas, impeachment and other topics of interest, chyrons, screen-grabs &c ]
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Chyrons:

Velshi:

Meet the Press:

Ari Melber:

Spares:

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Quotes with associated chyrons, Melber:

Howard Fineman:

In the campaign, I spent some time on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, in Donald Trump’s office talking to Donald and some other people. And it reminded me of nothing so much as a somewhat more upscale back room at the Bada Bing!

It was Donald Trump sitting behind the desk, and various people milling around, nobody sitting down because Donald Trump had too many trophies and paintings and other things on the chairs and seats, there was nowhere to sit down, but everybody milling around the office and only one person who mattered and who was making everybody else argue with each other, and that was Donald Trump.

Fineman cont’d:

Is this basically a giant RICO case? That’s what we’re dealing with.

Barbara McQuade:

You know, Robert Mueller, and prosecutors in general, are scrupulously careful not to overplay their hand. And so they are correct, they are all correct that there was no direct statement by Donald Trump directing Michael Cohen to lie { .. ]

All they said is, the statement was not accurate. They did not say that President Trump did not in some way imply or indirectly indicate and instruct Cohen [ .. ]

[ .. ] because of statements Donald Trump had said, saying There’s no business in Russia, Michael, and in the same breath asking about the status of the negotiations with Russia [ .. ]

He sent a message to everybody, Get on board, that’s the message.

Barbara, cont’d:

It can be very difficult to prove when someone is so careful and maintains that plausible deniability by talking in code, it’s something that drug dealers do with each other, and mobsters do with each other — but if you can get enough people together to say, That’s how he communicated, then I think you can show his intent.

Ken Dilanian:

Conspiracy theorists on both sides of the Trump Russia story need to fall back.

This is a really complicated story, right, there’s a lot of ins and outs to the facts, and we can disagree, reasonable people can disagree on the implications of the evidence we have seen so far.

Dilanian, cont’d: But the people who need to fall back are those on the right who insist that the whole Mueller Russia investigation is a deep state plot and a coup against the President, and the people on the left who insist that Donald Trump is the Manchurian Candidate, that he’s a puppet of Putin. Because there’s no evidence to support either side of that.

Final chyrons from Melber:

I told you, this was a blizzard..

Hardball:

Ken Dilanian:

We have a new statement from Jared Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, who said at the time that Kushner got his clearance by the book, there was no special interference, he’s now saying that he, Mr Lowell, was not aware that the President had intervened. Speaking for himself now, not his client.

Mieke Eoyang:

What we saw in the Cohen testimony earlier this week is how exactly the President gives these kinds of instructions to people. What he repeats what he wants. He gives a meaningful look, he expects his order to be followed. SO when he says, I didn’t do this, he expects everyone to fall into line — even though we know now, he did.

Greg Brower:

I guess his [Manafort;s] team thought they had nothing to lose and perhaps something to gain by taking a swing at the Special Counsel, but I can’t believe it’s going to work..

Steve Kornacki:

Kornacki:

At the very bottom, there he is: Jimmy Carter from Plains, Georgia, the peanut farmer, the famous story. He went from worst to first, didn’t just win the Democratic nomination, but won the Presidency. That’s the most famous example, I think, of a dark horse who emerged..

AIsha Moodie-Mills:

Let’s remember that the point of impeachment proceedings is ultimately to open up a formal investigation, to be able to get to the heart of the heart1 of the things that Donald Trump is hiding. They also were able to pull out names, like Allen Weisselberg, and others, and also start to ask questions about Trump’s tax returns that really teed up the opportunity for them to follow up on some of the conversation that was politically feel like started at this hearing. So whether they feel like they are at a place to formally call it impeachment proceedings and to start that process, I think what we’re going to see is surely an investigation that mirrors the question-asking and the interrogation that impeachment would provide. [ .. ]

He’s literally being shown to act like a mobster in the way that he conducts himself with the people he works with.

Kornacki:

A felony was committed to conceal a politically damaging extra-marital affair.

David French:

You will see a complete flip-flop on both sides.[ .. ]

You’re going to see the waters being muddied with people who were a No on Clinton being a Yes, and Trump people who were a Yes on Clinton being a No on Trump, the only thing we can be sure of would be that hypocrisy would abound.

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Okay, that’s Melber and Hardball, I’ll put the next programs in a separate post.

Metaphoric matter 14 — and Elijah Cummings, to remind us

Friday, March 1st, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — I share with Michael Cohen the problem of papers in boxes in storage — &c ]
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Background text:

Quote:

Dom Donilon: North Korea of course is the combination of a cult and kind of a mob operation ..
Rachel 2/28/2019: Would it be an act of bravery, or an act of high-wire walking, to prosecute Trump?

This post is a catchall for the stray bits of chyron, header, quote, metaphor etc left over from previous, more focused posts.

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Rachel Maddow:

Header:

Quote:

Rachel: When you are talking about allegations of criminal behavior by a sitting president, allegations are sort of on parallel paths — not exactly parallel, I think they might intersect somewhere down the road ..

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strong>Headers:

Two Atlantic headers with gambling metaphors for current affairs, North Korea version:

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And a Vanity Fair Hive header:

As someone whose life library and papers are currently in a couple of hundred boxes in storage, I could hardly fail to offer you this paragraph from Emily Jane Fox‘s reporting on Cohen‘s testimony under the title above:

About nine boxes were there waiting for him. The first contained a bunch of junk. The second did, too. “Oh my god,” he said when he opened the third. He’d hit the mother lode. In the third box were three years of Trump’s financial statements, from 2011 through 2013, which Cohen pointed to on Wednesday as evidence that the president had purposefully inflated and deflated his personal assets when it suited him—to secure bank loans or land a higher spot on the Forbes 400 list, for instance, or to lower his tax liability. There were also countless personal notes from Trump, scrawled across newspaper clippings, printed articles, and torn-out pages from glossy magazines. One note, written in Sharpie across an unflattering article, urged Cohen to call a reporter and threaten him with a lawsuit; another, on a story prominently featuring Cohen, read simply, “Michael, enjoy this while it lasts.”

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This has been a bit of a rag-tag collection, so let me close with a moment of extraordinary strength: Elijah Cummings’ closing remarks at the conclusion of Michael Cohen’s testimony yesterday:


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