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

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.

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel ‘s vision of Jewish world dominion, plus respect

March 11th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — in Judaism, J’lem, Sanhedrin, Temple, Noahide Commandments — in Christianity C Peter Wagner, Dominion eschatology — in Islam, Maududi — hatred springs from love far too narrowly constrained? ]
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As someone who has noted the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts, it seems only fair for me to note that some scripture-listeralist extremists within Judaism also foresee world domination for their faith — taking the form of Israel converting all nations to the seven Noahide commandments, if not to Judaism itself, by the sword if need be.

Thus Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute and head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin, said:

This is what the Torah commanded us: ‘When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it’ [Deuteronomy 20:10].

What is meant by ‘peace’? Maimonides says that they must agree to follow the seven Noahide laws … Meaning, you ask them, ‘Do you follow the seven laws? If so, we will allow you to live.’ If not, you kill all of their males, by sword. You only leave the women.

How do you leave them? They must all agree to follow the seven laws. And that is how you impose the Seven Laws on that city. We will conquer Iraq, Turkey. We will get to Iran, too. We will impose the seven Noahide laws on all of these places.

You say, ‘I call upon you in peace.’ If they raise the flag [of surrender] and say, ‘From now on there is no more Christianity, no more Islam,’ the mosques and the Christian spires and their crosses come down, ‘from now on we follow the seven Noahide laws.’

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I recently posted a piece titled Laughing at, and respecting, Sebastian Gorka in which I, yes, laughed at Seb Gorka, whose views on many topics I strongly disagree with, and whose speech at CPAC last week seemed frankly over the top, but also expressed respect for the narrative of his boyhood which was part of that speech — and which struck me as explaining something of the intensity of his feelings — at the age of seven or eight, he saw something that changed his life for ever: he saw deep white lines on his father’s wrists, and when he asked what had caused them, his father told him — without emotion —

Son, that’s where the secret police bound my wrists together with wire behind my back so they could hang me from their ceiling of the torture chamber.

Coming to the present day, and with that memory seared into him, he told the CPAC audience:

Russia, we have to remember, is run by a former KGB colonel. That’s the sort of person who would be torturing freedom-fighters like my father in the basement of the Headquarters of the KGB. That’s the reality.

That I respect.

And in that spirit, too, I respect Rabbi Ariel‘s memories of the Six Day War and the retaking of the Temple Mount — sacred to both Islam and Judaism —

We saw fire and smoke from all directions. Gunfire was heard. Suddenly the bad news began ton arrive: friends.. this one was killed, that one was killed.. I saw with my ownb eyes, to my great sorrow, some of the artillery struck fellow soldiers. I had to gather up legs, arms, to bring them to a proper burial. Then the shelling began on the Old City. Planes were streaking overhead, lots of fire and smoke.

and then, this:

From the place where I was standing, I could see the entire Temple Mount. After 2000 years this is happening before my very eyes. Within minutes I saw suddenly atop the Dome of the Rock the flag of Israel waving — truly the messianic age..

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I said above that I had noted “the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts”. I’d like to quickly document those two claims to world dominion:

C Peter Wagner, convener of the New Apostolic Reformation declared:

My favorite term is “dominion eschatology.” Why? Because Jesus did not give His Great Commission in vain.

The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way.However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations.

We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15, NKJV)!

while Syed Abul A’la Maududi wrote:

Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam.Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world, and Muslim nations are not like normal nations. Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to be over every nation in the world. Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn’t look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn’t care about land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal Islam will fight and destroy. In order for Islam to fulfil that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad.

Okay?

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And it was the prophet Isaiah, I think, who offered a more peaceable version or vision of the same global imagery:

for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Twenty of, plenty of chyrons, metaphors, etc

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:

Writing is a form of Thinking

March 10th, 2019

[Mark Safranski / “zen“]

As a form of amusement and also a bit of self-improvement, I decided to subscribe to a site, MasterClass.

Related image

In essence, Masterclass is an edutainment portal where celebrity practitioners in some field teach an online course and there’s downloadable materials and discussion forums – and in some instances, office hours – for those wanteing more connection or feeling of community. So you can learn chess from Gary Kasparov, politics from David Axelrod and Karl Rove, photography from Ann Liebovitz and so on in many different kinds of subjects. While some of these instructors may also be university professors, most are not so what you get is largely an idiosyncratic take on tips, techniques and procedures from some very accomplished person; some will dive deep into a meaningful level of their creative process for you while others will not, keeping it as a how-to for novices or interested amateurs. My primary interest in trying Masterclass was in writing and there are a large number and kinds of writers from which to choose. I decided to begin with the course by Malcolm Gladwell.

Gladwell, who is one of the most successful non-fiction authors of the past 10-15 years with such books as Outliers, Blink and David and Goliath all of which made the bestseller lists for long periods of time and remain regular sellers.  Sometimes, Gladwell, a journalist, is bashed by academics and scientists as a synthesizer and popularizer, an argument that echoes the familiar complaint from academic historians griping about the success and technical errors found in popular histories preferred by the reading public. I’m not at all troubled by synthesizers, synthesis being a critical intellectual tool nor do I expect the average layman to start reading dry, usually exceptionally narrowly focused jargon-laden papers published in academic journals (in fact, almost no one is reading them). Gladwell’s style of writing and research interests, it must be said, have very little in common with mine but that was the point in taking his course: to learn something new.

One of the things that has struck me is the extent to which writing is really a reflection of individual thinking. Gladwell breaks some of the “rules” which we are all taught or have drilled into us by editors or as kids by English teachers. He prioritizes being interesting (the real strategic goal if you want to be read) over constructing a conventionally perfect narrative or even proving one’s argumentative point. Secondly, Gladwell emphasizes again and again following curiosity over a systematic research or a writing objective. Curiosity is really, Gladwell’s epistemological theme or driver.

Gladwell also has had in his lecture series some useful insights. I liked this one, when opining on the reasons why libraries are more useful than Google in doing research, best:

The physical construction [and organization of books on] of a library shelf teaches you how to think

Which implies many things and tools we are using in the digital age are teaching us not to think as well as extending our capacity to think.

We are what we write. We are how we write

Can you believe it? We’re at Chyrons & metaphors 19

March 8th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameronnuke is about as fierce a military metaphor as you can use, though bringing on Armageddon may surpass it, while being grilled can’t be nice, eh, Kirstjen Nielsen? — but for unabashed cliché wizardry in the dark arts is hard to beat. And much more ]
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All in With Chris Hayes 3/6/2019:

Harry Littman:

It’s very kind of clock and dagger and ham handed, but just ham handed enough to be potentially a Rudi Giuliani signature move..

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Rachel Maddow:

possession of brains ..

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The Atlantic:

Will John Bolton Bring on Armageddon—Or Stave It Off?

Bolton is a sovereigntist,” John Yoo told me. “He thinks the U.S. should not be bound by international organizations, and we should not be ceding our authority to the United Nations or NAFTA.” After the Cold War, “the U.S. tied itself down with multilateral institutions, primarily run by Europeans, to constrain our freedom of action—to tie down Gulliver.” Every time the United States joins an alliance, or consents to arbitration on equal terms with, say, Latvia or Guinea, one more rope is lashed over Gulliver’s limbs.

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New Yorker:

Morning Joe 3/7/2019

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grilled

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The Atlantic:

California Is at War With the Trump White House
Governor Gavin Newsom called President Trump’s border wall and immigrant bashing “a national disgrace.”

From the moment Donald Trump took office, California has been ground zero for the resistance against him and his administration, in terms of both grassroots citizen activism and legal and administrative action by its Democratic-dominated state government. But since the inauguration of Governor Gavin Newsom in January, the Golden State has often seemed to be in a state of total war with the White House.

At the same time, California’s once-mighty Republican Party—which gave the nation Earl Warren, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan—is at war with itself, and weaker than it’s been in decades. The GOP’s new state-Senate leader was once quoted as suggesting that California’s epic drought was divine punishment for abortion, and last weekend the party elected its first female and first Latina state chair, only after a bitter internecine fight that left its conservative wing enraged.

ground zero, the resistance, a state of total war, at war with itself, divine punishment for abortion, a bitter internecine fight..

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The Atlantic:

A hideous DoubleQuote from Eliot Cohen, Socially Acceptable Anti-Semitism
It is the religion of people too lazy to accept the complexity of reality.

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The Atlantic:

nuke, wizardry in the dark arts

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How to Cheat at Xi Jinping Thought
A newly mandatory app is eating up Chinese workers’ time—so they’re finding ways around it.

The origin of the app has some obvious parallels to Cultural Revolution-era drives to study Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. For example, the first two characters of the app’s logo are written in Mao’s calligraphic style. Mao once encouraged youths to study hard and make progress every day, while Xi has highlighted several times the importance of study in a digital era of media.

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And this one’s for the liminal, borders and walls collection:

When the Frontier Becomes the Wall
What the border fight means for one of the nation’s most potent, and most violent, myths.

n Election Day, 2018, residents of Nogales, Arizona, began to notice a single row of coiled razor wire growing across the top of the city’s border wall. The barrier has been a stark feature of the town’s urban landscape for more than twenty years, rolling up and over hilltops as it cleaves the American town from its larger, Mexican counterpart. But, in the weeks and months that followed, additional coils were gradually installed along the length of the fence by active-duty troops sent to the border by President Trump, giving residents the sense that they were living inside an occupied city. By February, concertina wire covered the wall from top to bottom, and the Nogales City Council passed a unanimous resolution calling for its removal. Such wire has only one purpose, the resolution declared—to harm or to kill. It is something “only found in a war, prison, or battle setting.”

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Some final notes:

Ali Velshi 3/7/2019:

Jennifer Rubin:

We’re going to see sort of what he does when he’s finally looking at years and years in prison, is he then kind of sober up, and decide well maybe I should be cooperating with these people after all, or does he just at this point go down for the count, and take whatever secrets he has with him..

Hardball:

Malcolm Nance:

I would make it clear there are more chips in the bag of the Special Prosecutor

All In:

Eric Swalwell:

As a former prosecutor, I think you’re seeing a white collar, white-washing sentence here [ .. ]

We learned a lot about the Trump code, that people like Paul Manafort and others know the code, that Donald Trump speaks to them in the code that they’re supposed to talk to him. And when the lawyers saying words that mimic or parrot what Donald Trump is saying, it’s as if the fix is in, and Paul Manafort knows if he just keeps quiet, a pardon is coming his way [ .. ]

I saw someone [DJT] who games the system ..

Rachel Maddow:

That was supposed to be the start of a whole new Paul Manafort, right? Coming clean, pleading guilty, admitting guilt on the charges on which they didn’t retry him, right? At that moment, when he decided to plead and become a cooperator, that was him joining Team USA .. joining Team USA, joining the prosecutors, admitting his guilt .. the cooperation aspect of Paul Manafort’s case is another fascinating curve-ball..

team USA, curve-ball

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And here’s another border and liminality header:

Belfast Shows the Price of Brexit

I took a guided tour of some of the scenes of the Troubles. The tour was led by a former IRA paramilitary, now working with an association of former prisoners partially subsidized by EU funds. A few hundred meters to the north, former Loyalist paramilitaries lead tours on their side of the defensive barrier that still separates predominantly Catholic from predominantly Protestant neighborhoods. The EU helps underwrite those tours, too.


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