Friday, December 28, 2018

In memoriam: the Spy's year-end roundup

Editor's Note:  At this season it is traditional to look back over the past year and compile some sort of bullshit list or another.  Who is the Spy to quarrel with this tradition?  Accordingly, we take a moment to consider the various tropes, ideas, and clich├ęs that we have lost in 2018.  Better have some tissues handy.

By Magnolia Tangere
Content Generator

1.  Paul Ryan, man of ideas

Skulking out of Washington one step behind the final collapse of Republican governance was former Republican genius and man of destiny Paul Ryan.  For years he had wallowed in a warm bath of favorable press about his new ideas (tax cuts for the rich, fucking the poor) and his supposed “moderation.”

Sadly those hot takes did not survive 2018.  Under his leadership, Republicans in the House did all in their considerable power to cover up the high crimes (treason, obstruction of justice) and misdemeanors (paying off blifkes) of the Grifter-in-Chief.  Respect for law and order and the basic principles of the American constitutional system?  If you thought Paul Ryan was going to stand tall for those traditional conservative Republican principles than brother we've got a somewhat charred temporary mission in Benghazi to sell you.

In his defense, though, he did act on his brilliant ideas, running up the debt to provide a $2,000,000,000,000 kiss to the plutocrats who bought and paid for Ryan and his clown car of corrupt incompetents.  The voters thought so highly of his work that he and his party were run out of power, leaving the formerly venerated future of the Republican Party to contemplate something new and horrifying: actually having to earn a living in the private sector.  We hear that Sheldon Adelson could use a few croupiers in Macau.

2.  General John Kelly, patriot

For years, we'd heard about General Kelly's sterling record of service to his country and the wealth of experience that he brought to his job as errand boy [Surely, Chief of Staff? – Ed.] to President U Bum.  We were told long ago in 2017 that he would bring order to the chaotic White House and rein in his tangerine-faced lunatic boss.

How'd that turn out?  Of course, it was bollocks.  The Grifter-in-Chief, having no executive ability or indeed interest in executing anything other than a live shot, simply ignored the efforts of his General to run the West Wing, although he did use the former four-star Marine as his personal firing squad to dispatch such talents as Omarosa.

But it was General Kelly who made the fateful decision to disgrace himself by smearing a Congresswoman (of color, natch) and then when his lies were made clear by the videotape in question, doubling down with some brasshat bafflegab about “empty barrels”.

The only empty barrels we heard go off were the General and the cable news gasbags who had touted Kelly as the savior of the U Bum Administration.

By the way, General Kelly, if we were you, we'd be careful before dining out back home in Brighton.  The local kitchens are staffed by immigrants who, even if their command of English is limited, have a variety of creative ways to prepare your meal so as to tell you what they really think of you.

3. Steve Bannon, crank [Surely, crack – Ed.?] political operative

It seems like many lifetimes and four score impeachable offenses ago, but once upon a time this raggedly alkie was hailed by The New York Times and other West Wing brown-nosers as the political genius who made the Bigot-in-Chief was he is today: a paranoid drug addict with a 38% approval rating.

He may have looked like a broken-down old rummy who had flunked out of rehab a half dozen times but because he always returned reporters' calls and rewarded them with juicy quotes, you would have thought that he was de Tocqueville on meth.  His vision of a racist-populist mobocracy took him far.  Then when he babbled the truth about U Bum to one reporter too many, he came crashing down.  Kind of like every weekend at his house.

Once he was in the Oval Office masterminding the brilliant Muslim Ban that ushered in the Age of Chaos.  Then  before you knew it he was bouncing around Central European s**tholes advising tinpot Mussolini-wannabes how to do in their countries.  He ended up working for pancakes in a grim motel breakfast room in Topeka in front of less than a minyan of fellow true believers.  It turned out without his access to the Tangerine-Faced Grifter he was just another drug-related tragedy.

And in 2018, we all just said no.

4.  Bitcoin

Remember when every Moe, Larry, and Curly was dropping their life savings into some worthless p.o.s. called Bitcoin?  Remember how everyone was sure it was going to rise from $300 to $1,000 to $20,000 to zillions?  Guess what happened: the smart money sold to the suckers, who were left holding a bag of worthless coins.  Think of them as inedible Hanukah Gelt. 

From the breathless yet incomprehensible coverage of the supposed geniuses behind this technological second coming you would have thought that there was something there.  If you were a media gasbag, or an idiot.  Funny how none of the breathless coverage never mentioned the inherent contradiction between something intended to serve as a currency (requiring a stable value) and a wildly speculative commodity.  Seen any Bitcoin ATM's lately?

For a while the marks were even lining up for something called an ICO, which was a lot like an IPO, in that what you bought was a speculative bet on a business model that might or might not work.  If you still think that Bitcoin, Linoleum, Laughinggascoin, or Litebucks are a better bet than what the e-money touts like to call “fiat money”, ask yourself why they were so eager to sell you an algorithm for Federal Reserve Notes.

5.  Hedge Fund Geniuses

Speaking of scams, let's bid a less-than-fond farewell to the hedge-fund and private equity investors who have been taking 200 basis points a year plus 20% of any gains (whether due to their own efforts or those of Mr. Market) to . . . do much worse than the classic boring-investor allocation of 60% equity index funds and 40% bonds, for which the management fee is maybe 10 bp's these days.

The financial pages have burned up for years with the breathlessly suck up coverage of these guys, many of whom are paid tens of millions a year by university endowments to underperform the indices. You might wonder why supposedly smart white people at places like Harvard and Princeton pay huge sums for these paltry results, but, hey if you can scare other less-rich white people into forking over $64,000 a year to be taught by some graduate student, wtf do you care anyway?

As more of these geniuses crash, burn, and close their funds, of course the remaining ones will look better, a phenomenon known as survivor bias.  Even so, if you're waiting for these Masters of the Universe to earn their ridiculous keep, we've got a dead parrot to sell you.

6.  The Third Way

When he was a freshman in Matthews, no one listened to a f**king thing that Mark “Lumpy” Penn said.  For a while, after sending Dick “Luv Me Some Ho Toes” Morris over the side, the Clintons allowed Lumpy to run her 2008 campaign into the buffers.  They finally wised up to what his fellow freshmen had known all along.

He tried a comeback this year by taking some bucks from a few credulous plutocrats to repackage his old, discredited ideas as an anti-Pelosi “No Labels” movement starring a few white schmucks who should have known better, like Seth Moulton.

Then a funny thing happened: Nancy Pelosi beat the stuffing out of him without so much as turning up the lapel on her orange overcoat.  It turned out that the Democrats who voted in force for strikingly original candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stacy Abrams weren't hankering to be lectured to by a Washington gasbag who had been wrong about everything for the last 20 years.  It turned out in fact they didn't give a flying f**k what Lumpy said just because he went to Harvard and had made some pelf selling himself in DC.

Of course, it wasn't just one putz.  The nonexistent Third Way had a long run in DC. Remember Bowles-Simpson?  Of course you don't; it was utter bollocks.  In any event, as 2018 staggers to a close, Democrats are clear about the progressive way forward: over Lumpy's dead body.

7.  Les Moonves, television legend

If you had in January 2018 bet that, for not dissimilar misconduct, Les Moonves would lose his job running CBS but Judge Creepy McBrewski would be installed on the Supreme Court, you could have gotten handsome odds.

Moonves was an entertainment icon who had made billions for fellow Ladies' Man Sumner Redstone.  His network was number 1.  He had the golden touch and a board that lined up to osculate his tuchus.  He had nurtured legendary talent like David “Send in the Interns” Letterman. Judge McBrewski by contrast was just another Federalist ham-and-egger grinding away on the D.C. Circuit.

And yet ol' Les found himself defenestrated while McBrewski got a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land despite felony sexual abuse.  Maybe that's because the reactionary white men who dominate the Republican Party don't actually care about putting a wannabe rapist on the Supreme Court, while at some point, CBS, being dependent on both talent and eyeballs, felt it had to zip up Les and then deny him his $120,000,000 farewell kiss.

The good news for Les is that CBS will probably have to pay about $20,000,000 to Les's lawyers for the forthcoming arbitration, which should give him some satisfaction.  And as Ileanna Douglas and many other women can tell you, Les was all about satisfying himself.

8  End of year lists

We all know that hacks, like everyone else, don't like to work between Christmas and New Years.  Yet their websites, cable news shows and magazines need something with which to fill themselves.  So why not churn out a 10 best or 10 worst or 10 most memorable list, put it in the can on December 15, and then head to the hills?

One possible answer: because they are so f**kin' lame.  Does anyone really care which TV episodes you liked this year?  Which plays?  Which ballets, ffs?  They don't.

If you want to fill up content without working, why not let your foreign staff provide some content about I don't know the upcoming slaughter of the Syrian Kurds, the enduring catastrophe in Yemen, or just tell us something we don't know about the world?  Do you think it would fare worse than Yeezy's 10 stupidest Tweets, or whatever tf you are foisting on your readers?

As for 9 and 10, if we don't get to the buffet by noon, the lobster tails will all be gone.  See you next year.

[You're fired – Ed.]


Monday, December 17, 2018

Back to the Republican future

By Nellie Bly
Washington Bureau

It's the eternal search: Republicans who don't rape, steal, collude with Russia, incite race war, paint their pates brown, or just plain don't suck.  Washington columnists have been looking for them for years.  Jennifer “Luv U Bibi” Rubin has been pushing some Republican governor who isn't terrible.  David “Complete National Disgrace” Brooks tried to sell us on Dakota Empty Suit Jim Thune.  And now New York magazine's Jonathan Chait, having correctly concluded that no living Republican politician can be taken out in public, has started mooning over a non-existent alternative: the ex-libertarian.

Apparently all it took was a free breakfast at some right-wing think tank in Washington named after some dead grifting libertarian who, having spent his whole life with his snout and trotters in the DC libertarian dark-money trough, came to realize that it was all a crock.  We hope Jon at least got the the full bacon-and-egg breakfast and not the chintzy yogurt and fruit cup that so appalled Empty Barrels Kelly.

Let's let Jon lovingly describe the moment of enlightenment:
Economist William Niskanen worked for the Reagan administration, and then proceeded to chair the Cato Institute, a redoubt of the firm anti-government verities that define conservative economic thought. Toward the end of his life, though, Niskanen began to express some doubts about the efficacy of supply-side economics, the unquestioned foundation of the Republican domestic platform. Cutting taxes without cutting spending, Niskanen observed, simply hadn’t worked. The small-government movement needed to “convince voters to reduce their demand for the services financed by federal spending,” he wrote. “Until that time, some increase in federal taxes appears to be a necessary part of a fiscal policy to balance the budget.”
Wait, you mean that when St. Ronald of Bitburg cut taxes for the rich in an effort to bludgeon Democrats into cutting Social Security and Medicare it was all horse hockey?  Who knew?  Well, those of us who were there at the time remember who knew.  We did.  And we sure as f*** don't recall Niskanen or any other highly-paid supplier of plutocrat-friendly statistics telling us otherwise.  Anyway, Niskanen is dead and can't defend himself so let's hear what his acolytes are saying 40 years after their fiscal fantasy exploded the national debt:
Niskanen’s scholars have criticized the failures of conservative policy you might expect — climate science skepticism [Presumably Chait meant to say denialism – Ed.] , the Republican health-care plan  . . .. But Niskanen has gone beyond point-by-point rebuttals and has developed a broad and deep argument with the movement’s core assumptions. . . . Last year, Will Wilkinson argued . . .  in favor of a social safety net to “increase the public’s tolerance for the dislocations of a dynamic free-market economy,” and identified libertarianism with hostility to democracy, resulting in persistent Republican efforts “to find ways to keep Democrats from voting, and to minimize the electoral impact of the Democratic ballots that are cast.” . .  .These are frontal assaults on the basic orientation of the libertarian political project. By recognizing the value of social transfers as a backstop to a free-market system, and acknowledging that the right’s obsession with the protection of property has made it hostile to democracy itself, they forced themselves to rethink not only the methods but also the goals of libertarian politics.
Let Republicans fight over their own future, we say
Gee, emphasizing the importance of a social safety net to remedy market failures (like racism and hurricanes) in the context of a democratic market economy sure sounds . . . familiar.  You might recognize it as the platform of the Democratic Party since about 1932.

You might also recall the commitment of the Democratic Party to social justice and the remediation of past wrongs done to persons of color, women, and anyone else who doesn't look like Mike Pence.  But to these ex-libertarians climbing out of their anchor holes into the bright light of reality, such a commitment is like the most exciting new idea ever:
Niskanen’s paper concedes that the simple small-government vision fails to capture important facts about political and economic life. Merely ending de jure racial discrimination does not wipe away a racial caste system that permeates multiple institutions in American life. “You can get very strong intergenerational transmission of subordinate status,” the paper importantly allows, “even in the absence of contemporary unjust acts.” The libertarian dream of a meritocratic capitalist system has to account for massive inequality that was originally produced by brute force, which requires “a strong presumption for widespread opportunity and an openness to redistribution.”

Who actually drafted this mother lode of wisdom?  Tony Lip?

Somewhere around paragraph 96, Chait does admit that his recommended future for the Republican Party sounds a lot like a Joe Biden beer blast:
Niskanen’s manifesto contains multiple points of overlap with the prevailing orientation of the Democratic Party, and almost none with the prevailing orientation of the Republican Party. One can imagine a future in which the Democrats move toward socialism, opening a void in the center for the ideas espoused by Niskanen to take hold in something that perhaps shares the name, but otherwise none of the important ideological traits, of today’s Republican Party.
So Chait admits that a party financed by reactionary plutocrats and maintained in power by white bigotry with a helpful assist from Comrade Putin's Internet Playpen might not gravitate toward the revealed wisdom of the Niskanen Center. But someday, when those unnamed horrible Democrats propel their party into the black depths of Socialism by for example offering single-payer health care (the policy faithfully followed by those Stalinist stooges, the UK Conservative Party) or a government-paid transition away from fossil fuels and towards a reliable clean-energy infrastructure (a policy also endorsed by the 161 other Commie puppet regimes attending the latest climate change conference), then maybe the Republicans will, like the highly-paid gasbags of the Niskanen Center, see a bright future based on Hillary Clinton's 2016 election manifesto.

Uh, we don't think so.  David Koch and Sheldon Adelson aren't known for throwing their money away, and we doubt greatly whether they would pony up hundreds of millions to elect nouvelle vague Republicans who want to raise their taxes to repair the social safety net.  Nor do we think that the current intellectual elite of the Republican Party – Louie Gohmert and Steve King – will embrace a future without 20-foot-high walls separating Mexico from the United States and people of color from polling places.  And don't get us started about Lamborghini-driving “Christians” who pontificate about women's duty to obey their husbands and bear their rapist's children, or the anti-U Bum neocons just waiting to invade Iran.

It's pretty to contemplate a Republican future of moderate policies and rainbow unicorns, though, and if the bacon is crisp and the eggs not too dry, there's no harm in letting Chait indulge his fantasies, as long as we don't let his fantasies distract us from the important work of building a strong, diverse Democratic Party that doesn't depend on a bunch of white male nerds suddenly waking up and smelling the coffee.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

From the Public Editor of The New York Times

Editors' Note:  You may recall that two years ago The New York Times fired its Public Editor, the person who was supposed to respond to reader complaints and concerns and determine if they had any merit.  The Times decided that they didn't need such a position because apparently no reader complaint ever had any merit.  As we have reached something of an opposite conclusion, as a public service we have redeployed our versatile Meta-Content Generator to take on the job, without any additional compensation [WTF? – A.J.L.].  If you have any complaints regarding Times coverage, just direct it to him and he'll be glad to look into it.

By A.J. Liebling
New York Times Public Editor, apparently

Coverage of Sen. Warren's DNA test

Readers expressed concern over a front-page article appearing in the Times on December 6, with the online headline of

The story, written by Astead W. Herndon, of the Times Washington bureau, contended that Senator Warren's decision to take a DNA test to prove her mother was not lying about her Native American ancestry despite false charges to the contrary leveled by the President was continuing to weigh down her political fortunes,

Among the few on-the-record sources Ms. Herndon cited was a Democratic operative working for one of Sen. Warren's potential rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination.  It also quoted a self-styled Native American activist, one Twila Barnes, who has been critical of Sen. Warren in her appearances on Fox News.

Reader Paul W. of Washington, D.C. commented:

Welcome to “But her emails!”, version 2020.

Even if you think Warren shouldn’t have bothered with the DNA test, answer this question: So what? I mean actually answer it. See if you can complete this sentence without sounding ridiculous: Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test is extremely important to the question of what sort of president she would be and deserves endless discussion because ___.
We thought that Paul W. had raised a valid point.  Even if some of her Democratic rivals and other opponents were critical of her decision to rebut the President, why was this worthy of a front-page story, in lieu of considering Sen. Warren's actual policies and positions?

We asked Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet to respond to readers' concerns.  He replied, “Fuck off.  I don't have the time to respond to assholes like you.”

We think Mr. Baquet's comment did not fully reflect the legitimate concerns raised by Paul W. and others.  The story should not have run, and certainly not on page one.

Maureen Dowd's continuing obsession with the Clintons

Many readers were critical of Maureen Dowd's December 1 op-ed column in the Times, in which she criticized Bill and Hillary Clinton because they were not attracting sellout crowds in Toronto, Canada.  They saw it as the most recent installment of her apparently endless feud with the Clintons, based on Bill Clinton's failure to resist the sexual advances of an intern and Hillary's subsequent disinclination to divorce him.

Reader Sarah K. from St. Louis Tweeted in response to complaints about the column:
The gravamen of the column appeared to be Ms. Dowd's complaint that the Clintons have made a lot of money from their speeches and writing, like most former Presidents and Senators (or indeed like newspaper columnists).  Further, Ms. Dowd appeared to believe that the Clintons' interest in remaining a part of the national political conversation was illegitimate, without explaining why that should be for a former President, Senator, and Secretary of State.

We asked New York Times Editorial Page Editor James Bennet to respond to these concerns.  In an email, he said: “Fuck you.  Freddie would kill for columnists like her.  Why shouldn't she comment incessantly about the Clintons?  Who are you?  Nobody.  If you have any future concerns about my Op-Ed Page, eat shit and die.”

At press time, we were unable to ask Freddie Hiatt '76, editorial page editor of The Washington Post, whether in fact he desired Ms. Dowd's column for his page, but appreciated Mr. Bennet's invitation to engage in dialogue in the future.

Was a headline regarding the actions of the Wisconsin legislature misleading?

Last week, the Times reported on an extraordinary session of the Wisconsin legislature devoted to stripping the incoming Democratic Governor and Attorney General of their powers. The story accurately described a series of rushed last-minute moves all of which were aimed at thwarting the will of voters who elected Democrats to these offices.

Reader Jamison F.  Tweeted his dissatisfaction with the headline used by the online edition of the Times:

The reference to bedrock was to a quote by the Republican House speaker, but nonetheless failed to communicate to the reader the substance of what the Republican Legislature had done, as set out in the story itself.

However, by the time the Public Editor began his investigation, the headline had been changed to:

The story as it appears on December 9 does not disclose the change to the headline.  In the opinion of the Public Editor, it should have.

We sought comment from the copy editor in charge of online news and was told that he had been fired ten months ago and that headlines for online stories were written by unpaid interns from the Dalton School.  A source in the Dalton cafeteria told us anonymously that she thought the headline had originally been written by Ethan or Sophie, but was probably changed by Wei-Li because she's such a “Little Miss Perfect but just because she got into Yale Early Action doesn't mean she knows anything and she's so basic she buys her clothes at Target.”

The New York Times Public Editor follows up on reader concerns and complaints.  If you'd like the  Public Editor to follow up on something you read in the Times, just fill out the comment form below!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Advance Good and Dead: Not for Publication

[Luke – The death of George H.W. Bush reminded me that we'd better be sure we have a Trump obituary in the tank because last I looked at the guy, he seemed ready to stroke out at any moment.  What do you have? – Ed.]
[Way ahead of you.  Just be sure the idiot weekend sub-editors don't f**k up and publish this – Luke.]
The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy

By Luke Reshuss
Obituary Editor

Donald Jay Trump, the disgraced former President and real-estate grifter died [time and place].  He was 7x.
Mr. Trump, the Queens-born son of a crooked tax evading slumlord and racist whose political base was white bigots and men ashamed about their tiny flaccid shvantzes, was a failed developer, casino operator, golf course proprietor, vintner, reality talk show host, educator, and entrepreneur before he embarked on his last, desperate bid to cash in on the Presidency.   His own presidency from 2017 to 20xx was marked by the final collapse of honest government in the United States and the country's international reputation, as well as the beginnings of a progressive voter rebellion at home.

The first criminal sex offender to be elected directly to the White House without any political experience or knowledge, Mr. Trump worked tirelessly at lining his own pockets and those of his relatives while trashing every achievement of his remarkable predecessor Barack Obama for no reason other than racism and spite. He enjoyed remarkable unpopularity — his net public approval never made it out of negative numbers — and he was so loathed by his fellow Americans that no fewer than 74 Democrats challenged him for the Presidency in 2020. 

In his last years, Mr. Trump emerged as a symbol of the bigotry and bankruptcy of the Republican Party built by Richard Nixon and a generation of hatemongers like Newt Gingrich and of the weakness and cruelty of a United States that only a decade earlier had shined brightly as a beacon of hope and freedom under the leadership of his gifted predecessor, Barack Obama.

Memorial services for the dead President
were sparsely attended
He was in constant touch with the most vilest and most bloodthirsty tyrants of his era including Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bone-saw Salman, over whom he constantly fawned while subjecting the leaders of America's vital democratic allies to ceaseless gratuitous abuse.

An unstable leader, utterly lacking in discipline and uninterested in detail, Mr. Trump knew nothing about the world and its leaders other than what he pulled out of his giant sagging ass or whom he thought might line his pockets.  He was clumsy and cowardly in private affairs but constantly harsh and shrill in his crude public persona.

As his body and mind decayed ever more rapidly, he shrank in the nation’s eyes to a pitiable if still hated figure, as did his third wife, a former “model” and chain migrant who barely concealed her disdain for her husband.

The son of a crooked racist slumlord, Mr. Trump was the last of the American privileged white men whose perspectives were rooted in their wealthy upbringings and their belief in their inherent superiority, a belief not based on any observable achievement or moral leadership. 
Mr. Trump said he was a Republican and a conservative, but his ideology really was avarice, combined with a degraded appetite for forcing himself sexually on powerless women.

He was embroiled in scandal  his entire life, yet managed to steal the Presidency thanks to Russian election interference and a national news media that felt compelled to balance reporting of his many crimes with an equal number of attacks on his opponent for keeping unclassified email on a private server, as expressly permitted by then-applicable regulations.

He preached loyalty but never practiced it, turning his back on those who stuck by him, from leprous Roy Cohn to his coldly ignored children from his second and third marriages.

His trademark was his churlishness and his impulse toward cruelty, never so brilliantly on display as when he ordered small immigrant children to be wrested from the mothers'  breasts so that he could enjoy the spectacle of families tormented by his grotesque inhumanity.

Despite his effort to create a sophisticated public image, Mr. Trump was a coarse illiterate son of the outer boroughs of New York.  His father's money allowed him to sail through a tenth-rate military school and bought him a questionable transfer to Wharton, from which he managed to graduate with a major in cocaine.  He traced his louche sexual escapades to his grandfather who ran a brothel somewhere in the back woods of Canada.

A consistent, almost pathological strain of dereliction of duty ran through Mr. Trump, evident as early as second grade when he punched out his teacher for no particular reason other than he could get away with it.

While brave young men like Al Gore, John Kerry,
and Bob Mueller served their country, the future 45th
President conducted nightly patrols in NYC discos
This cowardly shirking of adult responsibility continued during the Vietnam War, when his father paid a series of doctors to concoct a story about bone spurs that won him five medical deferments.  He could hardly restrain his excitement as he contemplated avoiding the draft in favor of rogering Slavic “models” he picked up in New York discos.

Even as President, he was too afraid to visit troops on duty in Afghanistan or other combat zones and too lazy to honor dead American soldiers on the 100th Anniversary of the end World War I. 

For his lack of service in war and peace, he was awarded absolutely no decorations or honors of any sort.

As might be expected from someone as lazy, ignorant, and bent as he, his Presidency was a flaming rolling clown car of disasters and his staff a revolving door of incompetents and contemptibles.  He had an almost unique ability to degrade others and bring them down to his level.  His own Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, after a lifetime of honorable service, left the White House in disgrace after participating in false racist attacks on Democratic congresswomen of color.

Asked just before he died what he was proudest of, he replied, “My children.  I did a beautiful job getting Saudi Arabia to take Donny, Jr., Ivanka, and Jared just a few hours before Mueller had signed warrants for their arrests.”

[Where did  you steal this from? – Ed.]