“In other news,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room, “water is still wet.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor folded his Jack of Spades and Three of Clubs, silently noting that Jack-S—t is still Jack-S—t. Then the flop brought the Jacks of Hearts and Diamonds, and the Three of Spades. He waited until the hand was over – the Squirrel won a small pot with a pair of Tens to Chef’s unmatched Ace-Seven of Hearts – and began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Breakfast Pies, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

You may have heard President Trump describe the allegations in the Nunes memo as a “disgrace.” He thinks “a lot of people should be ashamed.” President Trump is right, in his way. This embarrassingly flawed memo is a disgrace. House Republicans should be ashamed.

Although I have had the benefit of reading the materials that form the basis for the Nunes memo, most members have not—including, reportedly, Chairman Nunes.

The central allegation of the Nunes memo is that the government committed a fraud when it obtained an order to conduct surveillance of Carter Page, a member of President Trump’s foreign policy team during the campaign. The memo claims that “[t]e ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele … formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application,” but that the government failed to disclose “the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”

If not for this misrepresentation to the court, the story goes, there never would have been a Russia investigation. This claim is deliberately misleading and deeply wrong on the law.

Jerry in NY

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your clear explanation of the facts and the law. In your open letter to House Democrats, you go on to note that the Nunes memo concedes that the FBI began investigating the Trump-Russia scandal after they were informed of remarks made by Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to his Australian girlfriend. That was several months before they received the Steele dossier, and indeed before Steele had finished his research. Unless the FBI have time travel capability – and that would truly be headline news – the Steele dossier could not have triggered the FBI investigation.

You also explain that the FBI submitted other corroborating evidence in their request for a FISA warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. You also note that Fusion GPS began began their opposition research with funding from a Republican source, and the God-King and his Stooge Nunes offer not a shred of evidence that Steele knew the DNC and Clinton Campaign had taken over the funding of that Fusion GPS oppo research project. They also offer not a shred of evidence that Steele’s work was influenced by that funding. And, critically, they offer no evidence that the FBI withheld the source of Fusion GPS’s funding in their FISA warrant request, or that FBI “knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth,” included false information or withheld “critical” information in their warrant request.

Finally, you note that the FISA-authorized surveillance produced evidence that Page was, indeed, acting as a Russian agent … as the FBI claimed in their warrant application.

In a sane world, we think that would be the end of this ridiculous charade. Alas, a new Survey Monkey poll found the God-King’s disinformation campaign is working with GOP voters, thanks in large part to the continuing influence of Russian social media bots. Thus, actual facts don’t matter to the voters who matter to most elected Republicans. We conclude that – unless and until that dynamic changes – Russian-backed propaganda will continue to poison our politics and our elections.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Umm, that wasn’t a hopeful conclusion. Can I at least hope that Chef’s Breakfast Pies are yummy? How do I make them?

Hopeful for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Chef used the recipe at the link below, and her Breakfast Pies are indeed yummy. Bon appétit!

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Photo Credit: CNN

Jerry in NY; a new Survey Monkey poll found the God-King’s disinformation campaign is working with GOP voters; thanks in large part to the continuing influence of Russian social media bots.

Breakfast Pies.

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Happy Sunday!