did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Fire and Fury

1

Note this excerpted book is understood to be written with Bannon as the primary source. I didn't know anything about Wolff either, but if he's someone who can get Bannon's trust...

Sarah Kendzior comments:

[Wolff] has a long history of fabricating quotes and exaggerating events to make his stories more fun to read. I've been reading him since he was NY Mag's media critic. He's an entertaining writer, occasionally insightful, but not who I'd trust on something this complicated.

--and links this on his reputation and former books.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 1:23 PM
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And: always a good sign when a press release clearly personally dictated by Trump comes out.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 1:28 PM
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With Wolff and Bannon as the authors, it's surprising they don't go on to reveal that everyone involved was actually a Lizard Alien.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 1:40 PM
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Such a reluctant, benevolent leader, brought to the head of government not through his own strivings, because he's bigger than that, above all that, but through public acclamation. Is not his glorious victory, made possible by the prescience of the Founders whose perfect union was designed to check the unbridled, immoral desires of those unfit to govern, who so often fall prey to the wiles and wickedness of slick demigods like the Clintons, by giving greater weight to the will of the states, a sign of some higher power at work?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 1:49 PM
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Somebody pointed out years ago that you could always tell who Woodward's main source was by how well that came across. By that same rule, this book's source sure sounds like it's Bannon. Katie Walsh looks to be another major source.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:11 PM
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Its too bad Trump can read, because this would piss him off nicely.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:25 PM
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I bet Trump can read things that are about him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:31 PM
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WaPo reaction to the story.

[M]any [of the claims] are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact -- often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited.

...

In some ways, this is the tell-all that Trump's post-truth presidency deserves. Trump's own version of the truth is often subject to his own fantastic impulses and changes at a moment's notice. The leaks from his administration have followed that pattern, often painting credulity-straining images of an American president. As the New York Times's Maggie Haberman notes, that makes claims in Wolff's book that would ordinarily seem implausible suddenly plausible.

...

For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven't. Whether that's because he had unprecedented access -- Wolff says he had "something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing" -- or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it's worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every salacious thing said about the White House as gospel.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:43 PM
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I would say this is about as credible as the Pee Tape Dossier. Which is to say it can't be confirmed, but everybody knows its basically true.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:51 PM
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Remember Donna Brazile's book? This is like that only cheesier.


Posted by: lumpkin | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:55 PM
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Who wants pizza for dinner? I don't feel like cooking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 2:57 PM
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I propose a new measure be created to assess the reliability of Trump-related information, to be known as the pee-value.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:01 PM
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Pee = 1.000.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:02 PM
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Pee = 2?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:06 PM
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No, Pee is #1.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:07 PM
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Two for pee and pee for two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:16 PM
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Michael Wolff is the kind of guy (i.e., is the guy) who brags, in print, about being able to get Barry Diller on the phone.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:31 PM
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He's Barry Diller's dentist?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 3:34 PM
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The value of pee is an irrational number.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 4:21 PM
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The challenge is getting Barry Diller off the phone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 4:40 PM
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"One is the opposite of 'e who is raised to the power of 'I pee!'" bragged Tom third-person self-referring voiceless glottal fricatively.


Posted by: Tortured Math Joke Attempts | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 4:41 PM
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I feel the need to point out 21 was not me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 4:44 PM
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OT exemption due to politics thread.

The Moores' Jew lawyer voted like one.

But the Birmingham-based attorney in question told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that he was actually one of the reasons Moore was ultimately defeated by Democrat Doug Jones. "There could not be a more passionate supporter of Doug than me!" said Richard Jaffe, who was hired by the Moores in 2016 to defend their son against drug charges.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 5:34 PM
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My thanks to the 'tariat for sparing me the reading of that incredibly long article.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 5:53 PM
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I pee, you pee, we all pee for IP!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 5:57 PM
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For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven't. Whether that's because he had unprecedented access -- Wolff says he had "something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing" -- or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it's worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every salacious thing said about the White House as gospel.

Or because when somebody writes that melodramatically you can't believe a word they say. I know which camp I'm in.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:07 PM
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The perfect Trump White House memoir title would be "What I Saw At the Revulsion"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:15 PM
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"Some things don't come out of your butt without a trip to the emergency room" by Jeff Sessions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:34 PM
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As told to Orson Scott Card.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:41 PM
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You know, the DC press corps could wait to see whether people deny specific quotes before jumping in saying that surely some of the quotes must be fabricated.

The guy doesn't have any credibility, sure. That's no reason at all to be going around saying that the emperor has a nice suit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:49 PM
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I think the emperor likes showing people his penis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:53 PM
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My thanks to the 'tariat for sparing me the reading of that incredibly long article.

Oh, but its so juicy. Did you know Jared thinks he is a Jewnitarian?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:54 PM
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I'm just going to wait for the final War Crimes Tribunal report.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:54 PM
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Friends' wives, apparently.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:55 PM
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Or would, if it weren't for the "short-fingered" part of "short-fingered vulgarian."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:55 PM
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And I'll probably be dead by then. Time management!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:55 PM
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I don't doubt that the President did grab some women from time to time, but I cannot believe that he tried the 'make the wife go into a jealous rage and then move on her' more than once, or that it ever worked. This, then, is the real 'locker room talk.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 6:58 PM
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Remember when people called Bill Clinton the first Black president? What if Trump is the first woman president?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 7:13 PM
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Earlier (yesterday? this morning? it feels so long ago, before this article), I figured by talking about the stupidity of Kushner and the failsons around the Russian meeting, Bannon was making a Hail Mary to help push out all the people Trump trusts the slightest bit and give him a glorious restoration. I don't know what this constituted, maybe too much coke, but apparently Rebekah Mercer has cut him off from funds, so my guess is he sinks beneath the waves.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 8:40 PM
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One of the guys running against Sen Tester went out of his way to identify with Bannon. I wonder how that plays out in the primary.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 9:29 PM
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41

OP.title misspelled "sound".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01- 3-18 10:30 PM
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40: It seems to be a widespread issue, anyway. Not clear how it'll play out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 12:24 AM
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Aren't most Republicans who still ID as Republicans likely to not really care about minor details like supporting Bannon, or hanging around malls looking for high schoolers while in their thirties? I guess maybe Strange could have won the primary if the Moore news broke back then?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 1:42 AM
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This might be different. I think those who voted for Moore told themselves the accusations against him were a liberal trick. No liberals to blame in Bannon-Trump.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 6:47 AM
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He just put more material in the Hollywood Reporter. Assuming it's not actually made up, it provides significantly more evidence of actual early dementia, like not recognizing multiple friends at Mar-a-Lago over the holidays.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 6:59 AM
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There have been quite a few instances, on camera, of him not recognising people he clearly knows. With him it's hard to tell if that's dementia/alzheimers or just narcissism, though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:11 AM
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46: That's right. If Trump were to go senile, how would we know?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:31 AM
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Assuming it's not actually made up

But a lot of it is obviously made up: huge stretches of actual dialogue in quotes. Why should we think the rest isn't?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:33 AM
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The part that I picture as breaking Trump's cold cold heart is when Ivanka makes fun of his hair.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:37 AM
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Why should we think the rest isn't?

Most of the people mentioned are behaving as if it's not made up. Katie Walsh is the only on-the-record denial thus far, supposedly.


Posted by: filip | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:39 AM
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50: She's probably denying it, because it's so clear she was a source.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:40 AM
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44: I think McConnell is right to be pleased by the whole rift, but as with anything Trumpy, there's no reason to suppose it will last. This isn't a Trump pivot toward sanity; it's just a reaction to being insulted.

Republican lunacy exists independently of Trump anyway. Moore got the nomination despite Trump's opposition. Bannon (like Moore) can still credibly claim to represent the real Trump.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:43 AM
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51: Does that make any sense?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:44 AM
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53: It does. So much is sourced to her that her providing information to Wolff couldn't have been the result of mere indiscretion. She had to have understood what she was doing, and so is forced to deny having done it at all.


Posted by: filip | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:56 AM
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Bannon (like Moore) can still credibly claim to represent the real Trump.

Yes, until science invents feces that can talk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 7:58 AM
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Do I need to figure out who Katie Walsh is? The name doesn't trigger anything in my brain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:05 AM
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Probably not the one from Gray's Anatomy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:06 AM
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32-year-old Katie Walsh, the newly appointed deputy chief of staff

Walsh, who came to the White House from the RNC, represented a certain Republican ideal: clean, brisk, orderly, efficient. A righteous bureaucrat with a permanently grim expression, she was a fine example of the many political professionals in whom competence and organizational skills transcend ideology

Just because I love you, Moby.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:10 AM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:10 AM
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Katie Walsh gets a +3 to all rolls for saves from improperly filed paperwork.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:16 AM
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Interesting alternative (complementary?) hypothesis from JMM:

The most damaging and also questionable anecdote in the New York excerpt of Wolff's book is when, according to Wolff, Trump, in response to Roger Ailes' post-election recommendation of John Boehner as chief of staff, says, "Who's that?" The suggestion is that Trump didn't even know who Boehner was.

In the Washington Post, Paul Fahri points to prior tweets that Trump had made about Boehner, which certainly doubt on Wolff's anecdote. Here without any reporting is my speculative interpretation of what actually happened: Ailes did recommend Boehner, and then Trump, who, it turns out, is hard of hearing - he has complained several times about not hearing or mishearing reporters' questions - asked "Who?" not "Who's that?" As someone who is hard of hearing, I am often asking "Who?" to people. But I broke down and got hearing aids. I strongly suspect Trump is too vain to admit he needs them.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:31 AM
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Deaf, blind, senile, stupid, and evil.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:34 AM
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Hopefully his fingers can't quite reach The Button.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:35 AM
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The Button is a rounded, about the size and shape of an overturned teacup without a handle. Reagan wanted to be able to launch a nuclear war even if he had to just fall on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:40 AM
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Am I right in assuming that Trump's threat to sue to halt the publication of the book will be laughed out of court if actually filed? I don't know about his threat to sue Bannon because I figure Bannon signed some kind of non-disclosure agreement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 8:51 AM
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I don't believe they're suing to stop publication in the sense of obtaining an injunction. They're threatening to sue to (ostensibly) get them to back down from publishing in the first place. The litigation would be seeking damages and a retraction.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:04 AM
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I see. The injunction is just for Bannon maybe. I saw the word "injunction" somewhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:10 AM
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I haven't seen the Bannon letter, but I don't see any mention of an injunction in the Wolff one. Conceivably they could seek an injunction against further inducements to breach?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:15 AM
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Because there are too many C-sections.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:21 AM
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Also, fuck Virginia coins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:35 AM
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Axios sez Wolff has tapes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:52 AM
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Even Trump's loyal, longtime body guard Keith Schiller -- for reasons darkly whispered about in the West Wing -- was out.

Hmmmmm.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:59 AM
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He wasn't shilling hard enough?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:03 AM
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I said repeatedly and confidently before the election that I did not believe Trump wanted to win, mostly in an effort to comfort my increasingly worried non-USian friends who could not appreciate from long media exposure what a lazy grifter Trump has always been.

So, I'd love to be enjoying a told-you-so moment with this news except that I guess we're not supposed to take Michael Wolff seriously and more to the point, that such an obvious moron who did *not even want the job* could end up president is the opposite of comforting.

Ugh, I just can't envision 3 more years of this motherfucker.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:09 AM
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Trump is now suing to prevent release of the book. If that doesn't work maybe next he can have his supporters burn them at his rallies.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:12 AM
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If he does actually sue Wolff for damages it could conceivably result in Trump being called as witness and inevitably getting himself held in contempt, right? I mean, I doubt that would bring him down, but it might stop him from blowing up the world for a bit.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:13 AM
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Trump always threatens to sue but he never actually does. He's afraid of discovery.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:14 AM
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Both scientific and legal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:17 AM
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Well past any fear of self-discovery, though.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:55 AM
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Perhaps an NDA could cover activities during the campaign, but once all people are involve are employees of the Federal Government, how could that possibly be enforceable?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 10:58 AM
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After they're in office, it's legal to betray America to the Russians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 11:18 AM
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When you're a star they just let you do it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 11:33 AM
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72: Yeah. That is the one that struck my eye. If there were a real dead body, Schiller would be the one to know, IIRC he did testify before some committee and said that the Russians had offered some form of sexual favor to Trump but they savvily turned it down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 12:35 PM
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I guess I was wrong to think large stretches of dialogue were necessarily fake. Now I'm astounded that Ailes and Bannon would have that conversation in front of a reporter.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 3:37 PM
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It turns out that the "functional" in "functional alcoholic" is graded on a curve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 3:48 PM
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86

What does 85 actually mean? Americans keep using that phrase and I am never quite sure.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 3:55 PM
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Probably varies from person to person, but I'd say that it means an alcoholic who is still able to hold down a job, especially a high status job.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 3:59 PM
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I understand it to mean an alcoholic that can still show up and keep a job despite ongoing drinking. And maybe the spouse hasn't left.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 4:00 PM
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86: When you use a bell curve distribution to assign scores on a test to keep everybody from getting a D-.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 4:03 PM
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Enough people on Twitter are saying things like "if even one-half of what Wolff says is true..." which minds me to the gospel of dsquared:

...the futility of attempts to "shade" downward a fundamentally dishonest set of predictions. If you have doubts about the integrity of a forecaster, you can't use their forecasts at all. Not even as a "starting point"

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 5:13 PM
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Bayesian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 5:30 PM
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90: But we're already learning that some of it definitely is true, including bits that people dismissed as obviously made up (e.g. the woman on Twitter saying, "I was one of 6 people at the dinner party in question, and Wolff's quotes are completely correct"). And We're not trying to decide whether Wolff's policy proposals are correct, or whatever. The point is that, if any substantial portion of what he relates is correct, then basically Trump is just as stupid and senile as we thought.

Which isn't really news, of course. But it kind of is, in two ways: 1. the rapidly cycling, repetitive stories are, in fact, news to me, and especially illustrative; 2. it really, really eliminates the arguments that people still make that Trump is, on any level, a mastermind. Just this week, Lakoff is sending around some sort of chart about the "purpose" of Trump's tweets, as if they're some sort of clever tactic and not the rantings of a senile bastard. People want to believe that, and it's counterproductive (you could even call it a distraction).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 5:31 PM
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What are the parts people think aren't true?

The dialogue? I don't really care if the dialogue is word for word what was said if the substantive allegations are basically in line with everything else we already know about the administration.

I read it as something akin to a "True Crime" novel. Yes, a bit dramatized - and I wouldn't admit it as evidence in a court of law - but that's not the same thing as being completely fake.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 5:47 PM
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90 - the Wolff book isn't a prediction, though. It's a purportedly historical account. I don't doubt that it's largely bullshit but so is most journalism, at least IME in any situation where I've known enough to know more than the journalist (usually through sins of omission or missing context, not just made-up quotes, but still). Seems to me that the discounting 100% rule here probably isn't wise, though I also wouldn't rely on the account in any strong sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 5:54 PM
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94: what do you think of the tapes referenced in 71?


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 6:02 PM
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If there are tapes then the quotes probably aren't made up. But there still could be the usual journalistic sins of omission and failure to describe context. Use, but discount and use cautiously, is what I'd say.

In this context, though, these cavils aren't very significant because the bottom line -- the Trump white house is a chaotic shit-show, Trump himself is both evil and an idiotic, selfish child who may be suffering dementia -- isn't exactly hidden knowledge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 6:07 PM
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I'm behind the curve on vindications.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 6:51 PM
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89 s/b "The British term is 'queen mother'".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-18 9:05 PM
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The John Dean thing is too good to be true.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:02 AM
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86 was unclear; 89 explains it. Thanks. So "graded on a curve" just means "even if you're crap, as long as you're better than 90% of the others we will still give you an A".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:10 AM
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Halford, don't think that *journalists* aren't aware of the sins of omission and decontextualisation. But there is a sense in which they are fundamental to the project. As soon as you look at any event from a third person perspective you are omitting some things and decontextualising, at least from the PoV of the participants. And this is as much true of police reports as of newspaper ones. Only the novelist can tell the truth, not because of any bullshit about fiction being "truer" than fact, but because only they have access to all the relevant information about their characters' motives. At least in the ideal case they do.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 1:38 AM
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And I second ajay's thanks for the explanation of "grading on a curve"


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 1:39 AM
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101 - yes, that makes sense. And my description of journalism as "bullshit" was itself bullshit comment shorthand and way too strong. Journalisn is legitimately a hard and important job and priblems of perspective, context, etc are unavoidable. And there are good reasons for conventions that leave out gossipy narrative Wolff like stuff from ordinary responsible journalism. I just meant that one should discount with some skepticism the belief that any journalistic account is giving you the whole truth, more so in the case of Wolff than others, but it's all just (necessarily) blind prostitutes feeling up different parts of the elephant, or however that fable goes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 5:22 AM
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Under Halfordismo, even the parables will be sexier.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:01 AM
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But they will illegal in the UK.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:05 AM
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Under Halfordismo, people will be so badass "illegal" will be a verb. We illegaled his vegan ass right out the door.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:11 AM
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Obviously the Brits were looking for the definition of "grading on a curve", of course they know the meaning of "functional alcoholic".


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:35 AM
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of course they know the meaning of "functional alcoholic".

"Person".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:52 AM
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The Russians really have taken over London, no?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 6:54 AM
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There are functional Russians now?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 7:02 AM
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111

Are there still functional Brits?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 7:04 AM
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ttaM, the Queen, my mate Colin, Ridley Scott. I think that's it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 7:09 AM
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Query Ridley Scott.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 7:38 AM
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Eh, I agree he's not directing great cinema any more these days, but then neither are the Queen or my mate Colin, or (AFAIK) ttaM.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 8:07 AM
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The queen's processing speed is restricted to ensure continued functioning despite an aging battery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 8:11 AM
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It doesn't matter if Wolff book is gospel or would have been rejected by National Inquirer due to unreliability. Republicans will support Trump absolutely no matter what and control Congress until 2018. In 2018, they might lose the House, and maybe the Senate if Democrats work hard, but they'll still have enough people to filibuster. Also, a sizable fraction of the population have convinced themselves that this is how a president is expected to behave, or at least, that it's adequate presidenting. We're doomed.

In this context, the Wolff book and the reactions to it are entertaining and that's about it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 8:46 AM
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re: 114

I can't even direct a 1 minute youtube film of me playing guitar badly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:02 AM
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Way to humble-brag about your guitar skills.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:07 AM
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One cold afternoon in March I went outside for cigarettes with Bannon and Miller. Rumour had come around that the President was looking to fire FBI Director Comey. Neither of the Steves really gave a shit about what happened to Comey - they knew it was a dumb move, but that was Priebus' fire to fight. They looked upon the affair with a distanced bemusement.

Steve Miller took a drag. "The thing is," he said, "the old man is stupid enough to do it."

My friend Bannon laughed. "Sure, he's all wound up that Comey won't take his loyalty oath. The guy isn't even pretending to bend the knee. He hands us the election, now he thinks he's too good for this shit. He thinks he's a Boy Scout."

There was a hacking cough from behind a nearby column. It was Kellyanne. She took a last puff and flicked her butt into the lawn. "Loyalty," she muttered, "that pig fucker wants loyalty."


Posted by: Michael Wolff | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:16 AM
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119 is great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:23 AM
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I think Chait is right here: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/republicans-turn-on-bannon-for-telling-the-truth-about-trump.html

At least until the filing deadline for primaries, the strongest incentives for House Republicans point to standing with Trump, to avoid Mercer funded nutball primary opponents.

The don't really have any further legislative agenda, so it's all going to be Trump-protection theater through June or so.

Meanwhile, the plutocrats can get what they want from the administrative state.

I don't doubt that some true believer House committee chairs will do stuff like propose entitlement cuts, but no one will treat this is going anywhere. At least not in the short run.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:35 AM
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Somebody please explicitly tell me 119 isn't an excerpt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:36 AM
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I still don't understand why no one has (apparently) even tried to explain to Trump that the best way to cement his legacy is to fill up the subcabinet positions and have a bunch of rulemakings. They don't want to explain that executive orders don't actually work, maybe? It's not like he has to do anything with a rulemaking, just preside over the celebrations.

They could put it in terms he understands: you have to have cooks and waiters to get the meal he orders off the menu he writes to his table.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:42 AM
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If you believe everything you read, Trump only orders meals already made before he orders them (e.g. McDonald's) in order to avoid poisoning. He might not understand that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:44 AM
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re: 117

Heh.

That wasn't how it was meant. I can play badly, I just can't film it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:47 AM
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They could put it in terms he understands: you have to have cooks and waiters to get the meal he orders off the menu he writes to his table.

KFC doesn't have waiters.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 9:53 AM
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112. !!!! PJ Harvey and JK Rowling, does Zadie Smith still count? Hanif Kureishi, a handful of scientists in two towns outside London.

Brexit is apparently a complete disaster for UK science, lots of which is funded via the EU.

The US and UK are making a gift of the future to China.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 10:09 AM
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Lindsay Graham suddenly remembers: "Hey, wait, I'm a completely amoral asshole!" What was he ever thinking when he denounced Trump?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 11:37 AM
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Not all amoral assholes are consistent about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 11:39 AM
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They get the occasional attack of "Destroy the earth? But that's where I keep all my stuff!"


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 11:45 AM
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"I don't know," Bannon shrugged. "I've always thought of him as more of a goat fucker, myself."

Taking this joke as an invitation to stick around, Kellyanne took another Virginia Slim from her cigarette case. The case was gold, with a Trump/Pence 2016 logo on it. It was a memento of the time when she had once held sign-off power over the campaign's swag budget.

Bannon fished out a flask from inside one of his shirts. It too had the Trump/Pence campaign logo on it. He took a drink and offered it to Kellyanne. "You look like shit, Kellyanne," he said.

Kellyanne took the flask and tipped it back for a long pull. She considered it for a second as some life returned to her face. Returning the flask to Bannon, she asked, "Peppermint schnapps?"

"Yup," said Bannon. "The President likes the smell. He thinks I'm using breath mints."


Posted by: Michael Wolff | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:00 PM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:03 PM
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I'm glad I don't have to spend money to read the whole book.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:13 PM
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Andrew Carnegie's gift lives on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:15 PM
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Bannon offered the flask to Steve Miller. Miller declined. "I've got to talk to the press corps in less than an hour," he said.

Kellyanne shot Miller a withering look, with something close to hatred in her eyes. Miller took it in stride. "Yeah, you think you're mad at me," he said flatly. "You should have seen Spicey's reaction."

Just then, a familiar electronic chime was heard, and all three of them rolled their eyes.

"What's he tweeting about at this time of day?" Kellyanne asked, taking out her iPhone. Her eyes bugged slightly as she read the tweet. Then, with a saccharine smile, she showed the screen to Miller. "Oh, this will make your press briefing fun," she said to him.

Steve Miller slowly exhaled as he regarded the tweet. "On second thought," he said to Bannon, "I think I would like some of that schnapps."


Posted by: Michael Wolff | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:38 PM
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119 & 131 are great. Reminded me of the ending of the Kung Fu Monkey's great L33T Justice post:

I cannot help but think that as Nixon walked to the chopper, somewhere in the darkened hallways of the White House Dick Cheney shook his head, spit, and whispered: "Pussy."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-18 12:41 PM
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It's been 2 days now and the "very stable genius" tweet has gone unremarked upon here. This is how normalization happens people.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 5:41 AM
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We've just been subtle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 5:55 AM
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I don't cook* so my eyes must have glazed over at the talk of chili recipes.

*I used to and I'd like to again but not in the kitchen of my current apartment, one reason why I intend to move in the spring.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 6:13 AM
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Personally, I greatly enjoy pointing out that president is a complete piece of shit without needing evidence beyond his own words. But I don't thing that will be sufficient to win 2018 because plenty of people are comfortable with a complete piece of shit as long as he's a piece of shit more to non-white people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 6:23 AM
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Of all the shitty little things that wikileaks could do, putting out a pdf of the book strikes me as a particularly nasty one.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 12:40 PM
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Because they eat from the pay of the czar, nobody who makes money without the czar has really earned it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 1:02 PM
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141: They've really dropped the mask, no?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 1:47 PM
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Of all the shitty little things that wikileaks could do, putting out a pdf of the book strikes me as a particularly nasty one.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 2:18 PM
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oops. sorry; this is what happens when you put the laptop away on the train and then open it an hour and a half later


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 2:19 PM
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Given enough laptops on trains, you could recreate the entire works of Shakespeare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 2:30 PM
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Did they do that, or is it just a hypothetical?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 3:45 PM
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Nobody has done the trains thing, but I'm sure somebody has tried with monkeys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 3:48 PM
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Wikileaks dropped the mask during the election. The organization withheld information in order to maximize its political impact -- the opposite of what is done by a group that is interested in "radical transparency" and not partisan politics.

It was the media that dropped the mask when it gobbled this shit up as though it was substantive information produced by a nonpartisan organization.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:07 PM
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I hadn't realized until Moby's comment made me curious just how unlikely the monkeys-typing-Shakespeare thing is.

Even if every proton in the observable universe were a monkey with a typewriter, typing from the Big Bang until the end of the universe (when protons might no longer exist), they would still need a still far greater amount of time - more than three hundred and sixty thousand orders of magnitude longer - to have even a 1 in 10^500 chance of success. To put it another way, for a one in a trillion chance of success, there would need to be 10^360,641 universes made of atomic monkeys.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:15 PM
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147: Yes, linked to a PDF of the book within the last 24 hours. Basically a raft full of Ellsbergs up there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:16 PM
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150: Wow.

An episode of 2 1/2 Men, OTOH...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:17 PM
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Also monkeys know what's up

In 2003, lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth MediaLab Arts course used a £2,000 grant from the Arts Council to study the literary output of real monkeys. They left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Celebes crested macaques in Paignton Zoo in Devon in England for a month, with a radio link to broadcast the results on a website. Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five total pages[11] largely consisting of the letter S, the lead male began by bashing the keyboard with a stone, and the monkeys continued by urinating and defecating on it.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:20 PM
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Not even a "macaques" joke?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:25 PM
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A nice summary of the irredeemability of Bitcoin both conceptually and technically, dragging libertarians.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:28 PM
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It's because Bitcoin is largely traded by macaques urinating and defecating on computer keyboards.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 4:30 PM
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150: "There are more keyboards in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."


Posted by: Opinionated Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 5:15 PM
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I had a nice visit over the weekend with my brother, who works in the charitable giving division of a big finance outfit. You can donate your bitcoin, and take a nifty tax deduction before it all vaporizes. Maybe get something named after you, maybe just improve some lives.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 5:20 PM
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Improved a lot, or just a bit?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-18 5:29 PM
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