May 16, 2019

"'Madam Speaker,' Mr. Barr said, approaching Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California for a handshake. 'Did you bring your handcuffs?'"

"Ms. Pelosi, whose Democratic caucus is preparing to hold Mr. Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over Robert S. Mueller III’s full report, had joked last week that the House still had 'a little jail' it could put to use, if necessary."

Reports the NYT in "Pelosi and Barr Share a Gag About Jail and Handcuffs." So the humor is shared. According to the headline. In the text, paragraph #2, it's called a "gag — or was it a taunt?" — which doesn't sound "shared"... or even necessarily humor... other than very dark humor. One might say gallows humor... handcuff humor.

How did Pelosi respond? That's an indicator of whether it was humor and whether it was shared. We're told she smiled. A smile is not a laugh, though, of course. One might smile through adversity, smile to let your adversary know he hasn't gotten to you. We're told — without a direct quote — that she "replied that the House sergeant-at-arms was on hand for the ceremony, should his services be necessary." I guess that means, I could have you handcuffed and imprisoned in my congressional basement if I wanted to but I just don't want to yet.

We're told that Barr "chuckled." I guess that's sharing. He joked, she joked, she smiled, he chuckled. And here I'd thought we were living in The Era of That's Not Funny. Maybe it's the Dawning of the Age of Dark Humor. I see the rays of darkness shining, glinting off the veneers of ancient teeth.

81 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'd guess neither one is into kinky sex.

rehajm said...

Neither is going to jail and they both know it so what do they care?

Go ahead and chuckle like Statler and Waldorf.

Humperdink said...

Barr is quick on his feet, Pelosi is not.

Recall Barr's response to Da Nang Dick when the good senator asked to see Barr's notes at the recent hearing.

wwww said...

"A smile is not a laugh, though, of course. One might smile through adversity, smile to let your adversary know he hasn't gotten to you."

Althouse enjoys analyzing power and the manipulations of the major players. I am slightly surprised she does not enjoy watching Game of Thrones. It is a discourse on power. The dragons must be too much for her to contemplate and she doesn't enjoy fantasy-settings for historical analogies. But Martin understands power and the battle of smiles between the major players.

Peter Baelish: "Knowledge is power."

Cersei: "Cut his throat. No, wait. [chuckles] I've changed my mind. Let him go. [her guards do so] Step back three paces. [they obey]. Turn around. [they obey] Close your eyes. [they obey].

(Cersei to Baelish): Cersei: "Power is Power."

tim maguire said...

It seems pretty inappropriate to me.

Pelosi deserves a taunting, but Barr's position should preclude such a juvenile stunt. They should at least pretend that they, as a group, are acting in good faith for the good of the country. Even though some of them aren't.

iowan2 said...

I don't see this as anything close to humor. This is Barr, mocking the Speaker of the House, thinking she would have any power that would allow her to detain the Attorney General.

Glen Filthie said...

Two morons from the Uniparty yukking it up. After the troubles in the times ahead people like that will be hung from the lamp posts.

TJM said...

Comedy Gold!

Pelosi is a loon. She should have been excommunicated long ago but the Catholic Church is more interested in protecting its tax exempt exempt status than following Christ

MikeR said...

"Pelosi deserves a taunting, but Barr's position should preclude such a juvenile stunt." Huh? What about her position? She was the one who threatened him.

Beth B said...

O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables - meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain

- Hamlet

TJM said...

Comedy Gold!

Pelosi is a loon. She should have been excommunicated long ago but the Catholic Church is more interested in protecting its tax exempt exempt status than following Christ

TJM said...

tim maguire,

Surely you jest or you are not a Dem because the Dem's engage in puerile antics 24/7 aided by their clown abettors, the mainstream media

iowan2 said...

I failed to add to my post.
thinking she would have any power that would allow her to detain the Attorney General. since he has not been accused of any crime or wrong doing.

MikeR said...

I still do find it hard to believe that the House could hold Barr in contempt. How many Democrats voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt, for much more egregious offenses, actual offenses if we're being honest? Surely some of the rest - a great majority - will refuse to contradict themselves so blatantly. And obviously no Republicans will vote for contempt.
So I would guess that such a vote would fail. But we'll see. There isn't much the Democrats won't do these days.

lane ranger said...

I don't think Barr was taunting. Pelosi and rest of congressional dems don't really care about unredacted report, they want to intimidate Barr because they're afraid of where his investigation into Russia gate will lead. Barr was letting her know that it's not working.

Big Mike said...

Somehow I don’t think Barr is much intimidated by Pelosi. This is a good thing.

Wilbur said...

Why would Barr approach Pelosi for a handshake? She's demonstrated conclusively that she has no interest in fairness or justice.

Michael K said...

they want to intimidate Barr because they're afraid of where his investigation into Russia gate will lead. Barr was letting her know that it's not working.

Yes. Trump pardoned Scooter Libby and Conrad Black, both victims of political prosecutions. Bush did not have the gonads to pardon Libby,

Shouting Thomas said...

I’m noticing a general cooling off of political hysteria on FB and in public.

Craig Howard said...

They should at least pretend that they, as a group, are acting in good faith for the good of the country.

He is acting in good faith; she isn't.

It's perfectly appropriate that he highlight that.

tim maguire said...

TJM said...
tim maguire,

Surely you jest or you are not a Dem because the Dem's engage in puerile antics 24/7 aided by their clown abettors, the mainstream media


You are correct that I am not a Democrat. But I am not joking. Decorum still matters.

Annie C. said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I’m noticing a general cooling off of political hysteria on FB and in public.

It's all shifted to abortion. Womyn's health is in DANGER!!

Gahrie said...

One might smile through adversity, smile to let your adversary know he hasn't gotten to you.

But evidently not if you're a White Catholic boy confronted by an American Indian fraud. Then it is much more sinister.

donald said...

Sure Tim. Whatever.

narciso said...

So I think similarly I carved up a motive for taking down Arthur Andersen on the Enron pretext, the core ended up Accenture, parts were gobbled up by HSBC and who would play a significant role with that company

Jeff Brokaw said...

Crazy and power-mad is a dangerous combination, Dems.

How far out on that plank are you willing to walk? Every day brings a new adventure with these lunatics.

MacMacConnell said...

"They should at least pretend that they, as a group, are acting in good faith for the good of the country."

Uni-party politicians PRETENDING in good faith for the good of the country is why we got Trump, thank God.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Now that is a humorous take. Kamala Harris has a scripted response, not a quip. And Barr is revealing just how much weight he gives Nancy’s threat. Ha!

Dave Begley said...

Barr may well turn out to be Trump's best cabinet appointment.

Down goes Comey! Down goes Comey!

Rory said...

"I’m noticing a general cooling off of political hysteria on FB and in public."

A little breather is necessary. When indictments come down, they want to claim that the indictments caused their craziness.

Fritz said...

Shouting Thomas said...

I’m noticing a general cooling off of political hysteria on FB and in public.


Like malaria, it comes in waves.

MadisonMan said...

That last sentence is Althouse at her best.

narciso said...

Why it went down the memory hole:


https://mobile.twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/1128758463033511936?

EDH said...

...she "replied that the House sergeant-at-arms was on hand for the ceremony, should his services be necessary."

Isn't that the moment Barr is supposed to crush-out his cigarette and sweep her up in his arms and carry her off to bed?

cf said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I’m noticing a general cooling off of political hysteria on FB and in public.

i am noticing a general quieting, but interpret it as a "quiet. too quiet".

You can be sure Obama's #SerenePoliceState media/big Govt machinery is convening "quietly" for it's next assault against the Minds of normal americans.

Francisco D said...

Barr may well turn out to be Trump's best cabinet appointment.

He may have accidentally found an establishment Republican that he can trust. Time will tell.

stevew said...

This incident or episode is more evidence of my suspicion that for Pelosi all the sparring and battling with Trump is political, not personal. Her goal is to stall if not defeat Trump's policy agenda, mostly to defeat him in his re-election. The more I see from her the more I respect her political skills.

Hagar said...

Pelosi is a great party whip; Speaker, not so much.

Ray said...

"This incident or episode is more evidence of my suspicion that for Pelosi all the sparring and battling with Trump is political, not personal"

My thoughts exactly. Notice the contempt charge is for the redacted part that would be illegal if Barr released. Even an Obama judge wouldn't allow such a thing. Why didn't they do it for Barr not showing up. A charge that might have some chance of winning in court. I think they were telegraphing that it is all political theatre. I think Barr, with his comment, was letting Pelosi know that he knows.

narciso said...

Right on point:
https://mobile.twitter.com/jabeale/status/1128850589855682560

mccullough said...

Barr called the handcuffs “your handcuffs.” He’s saying Pelosi is old.

tcrosse said...

Pelosi: "I got your handcuffs right here, ya four-eyed gagootz."

Phil said...

Sure tim maguire, decorum matters. It mattered when Pelosi accused him of crimes and lying. After that, fuck it. Decorum's gone.

The simple reality is we lost these battles long ago. Don't like the fact that Trump's a womanizing cad? Too bad, we had to put up with all the Kennedys and Clinton. Don't like Trump's counterpunching? Too bad, the democrats took full advantage of Bush, Romney, and McCain's refusal to do anything. They were, if anything, more vituperous in their attacks on Bush and Romney's character in particular.

Decorum and civility are long dead, and they always, Always, ALWAYS only enforced in one direction. Fuck civility. Fuck decorum. Or at least make the democrats pay a price for their transgressions.

BarrySanders20 said...

"We're told she smiled."

With all the botox I thought that is all she can do.

robother said...

Or, maybe its neither light nor dark humor: its shades of grey humor!

Michael McNeil said...

Notice the contempt charge is for the redacted part that would be illegal if Barr released. Even an Obama judge wouldn't allow such a thing.

Actually, an Obama judge (during Obama's time in office) would have authorized release of the redacted grand-jury materials — because the entirety of Obama's tenure as president preceded last month's McKeever v. Barr decision by the D.C. appellate court — which held that such release (even when authorized by a judge) is illegal. Only since then — last month! — is it an issue.

Drago said...

FranciscobD: "He may have accidentally found an establishment Republican that he can trust. Time will tell."

Francisco, I would assert the very moment Barr accepted this role AND began to effectively push back against the dems (which the GOPe & LLR-left do not like) Barr ceased being a member in good standing in the establishment.

The establishment is now attacking him viciously, similar to Dershowitz.

Think Mueller and Barr will be exchanging Christmas cards this year?

This speaks to Barr's patriotism. He kbew what would be coming, but he did it anyway to help his country.

His courage in the face of dem/establishment fire will forever make him hated by the LLR's amongst us who live to serve their lefty/dem masters.

tim maguire said...

Phil said...
Sure tim maguire, decorum matters. It mattered when Pelosi accused him of crimes and lying. After that, fuck it. Decorum's gone.


Because Pelosi has something to teach us all on this score?

Sorry, I that's not where I look for lessons in how to conduct myself.

Omar Mukhtar: “We do not kill prisoners”
Soldier: “They do it to us.”
Omar: “They are not our teachers.”

Lion of the Desert

narciso said...

Next domino:
http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/2019/05/christopher-wray-is-becoming-very-big.html?m=1

Phil said...

Social conventions are only useful when they're generally observed. Most of us learned in middle school that by far the best way to deal with a bully is to punch him in the nose. He's not teaching you anything - you're teaching him. And that is exactly what Barr did.

I repeat, the rules of 'decorum' are always enforced in one direction. We're not killing prisoners here. We're just refusing to accept the lies and threats any longer. "This man is guilty of crimes" is a threat. Holding him in contempt for obeying the law is a threat. Calling that bluff with a taunt doesn't diminish decorum in any way, because decorum has already been abandoned.

Fen said...

The more I see from her the more I respect her political skills.

Yup. You have to. She's weathered many storms.

If the walls came down, I'd want her on my Apocalypse Team. I wring her neck once we were clear and safe, but she's a smart and wise leader. Do not underestimate.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Barr should have asked Pelosi if she wanted a nice Hawaiian Punch. You know the rest.

Fen said...

"We're told she smiled."

And?

(Fen & Wife driving home from dinner party)

Fen: Well that was lovely.

Wife: ....

Fen: Who was that nice lady with the hat?

Wife: You mean the one who called me skank?

Fen: Wha? Who did that?

Wife: Her. "You're so BRAVE to wear last year's fashions". You were right there.

Fen: She was being nice... ? Right?

Wife: (SMH) Head up your ass sometimes, I swear.

Kevin said...

Like Harris, Pelosi has no sense of humor.

Having a sense of humor in the era of "that's not funny" is something that must be removed from Democrat politicians.

That's why they outsource that work to their surrogates at SNL and the late night talk shows.

Seeing Red said...

I hold The House in Contempt.

Danno said...

What BarrySanders20 said regarding botox.

Kevin said...

He may have accidentally found an establishment Republican that he can trust. Time will tell.

Republicans with balls left the party long ago.

You can't get more establishment than Party Standard Bearer Romney.

Fen said...

Omar Mukhtar: “We do not kill prisoners”
Soldier: “They do it to us.”
Omar: “They are not our teachers.”


Sorry, I feel ya, but this semester is about saving the Republic. It's not a character building workshop. Along the line of the recent quote: "the Presidency is not about a journey of self-discovery". I've traveled the High Road in my youth, it's littered with the graves of good men who sacrificed themselves to Principle, while the rest of us got rounded up for the camps. We need leaders that are willing to stain their souls with blood.

I'm with Phil: "Decorum and civility are long dead, and they always, Always, ALWAYS only enforced in one direction. Fuck civility. Fuck decorum. Or at least make the democrats pay a price for their transgressions."

stevew said...

"Like Harris, Pelosi has no sense of humor."

Disagree. Remember the SOTU clapping display by Pelosi? That was pretty damn funny.

Fen said...

Tim: Decorum still matters.

Fen: Agreed. But I will not yield.

Tim: Very well. Pistols or swords?

Fen: Pistols, Good Sir. My man will give us the 10 count, unless you object.

Tim: All good. I am ready.

Fen: Then I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.

Fen's Man: 1...2......3

Fen: *BLAM*

(tosses Tim's 2nd a copper)

Fen: Get a nice headstone, be sure it says he died with honor.

Unknown said...

Pelosi is power mad

check youtube for the "body language" lady's read on a pelosi interview

Ray said...

Fen 5/16/19, 10:17 AM
Funny and true.
I'm lost too.

narciso said...

In other news:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/16/iran-hysteria-new-russia-hysteria/

Danno said...

tim maguire = mitt romney = GOPe wuss

Amirite?

Bay Area Guy said...

AG Barr is a National Treasure. He should be appointed AG for life.

As for Pelosi, well, she is easily the hottest 80-year old woman since Phyllis Diller.

tim maguire said...

Danno said...
tim maguire = mitt romney = GOPe wuss

Amirite?


You're new around here. I am not. Before you post about me again, how about doing some research so you don't sound like an ignorant jackass?

DavidD said...

“The rays of darkness.”

Are those like the sounds of silence?

Francisco D said...

This speaks to Barr's patriotism. He kbew what would be coming, but he did it anyway to help his country.

I believe that Bill Barr is a patriot, but his sense of patriotism may lead him to make a deal rather than pursue the hoaxers to the very end.

Time will tell.

daskol said...

William Barr and Conrad Black are two men who impress the hell out of me lately. Quick, fearless and done with the giving of shits.

Yancey Ward said...

Barr was definitely mocking and taunting Pelosi, and Pelosi's reply, if authentic, is a good one.

This idea that the House is going to arrest Barr and put him in the basement is laughable. It was laughable when it was suggested for Obama Administration officials after 2011, and I said so at the time. Contempt of Congress is words only without the ability to criminally prosecute it, which you don't have without the DoJ's cooperation.

StephenFearby said...

AA wrote:

"I guess that means, I could have you handcuffed and imprisoned in my congressional basement if I wanted to but I just don't want to yet."

Role Call, May 8, 2019
Just where is this secret House jail located?
A Capitol basement investigation yielded some answers

'“We do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol, but if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation. And I’m not for that,” Pelosi said Wednesday at a Washington Post live event.

'...Capitol Police officers from multiple divisions told CQ Roll Call that no House jail exists, though Capitol Police headquarters on D Street Northeast does have a holding facility.

One Capitol Police officer joked that if they don’t know where the alleged holding cell in the Capitol basement is, but Pelosi does, the speaker might have to escort any prisoner, say, like Barr, personally.

“Obviously, there is not a functioning jail in the Capitol,” a senior Democratic aide told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday.'

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/just-secret-house-jail-located


WaPo, May 15, 2019

The House [AND the Senate] has the power to arrest people who defy its orders

"...But in the last quarter-century, Congress has systematically undercut its own relevance. As Congress decided to shirk its most important responsibilities, ranging from war powers to passing timely budgets, Congress gradually lost the respect of the executive branch.

It’s not merely a Democratic revenge fantasy to think that the House of Representatives might direct its sergeant at arms to arrest and detain Mnuchin or Attorney General William P. Barr, who has refused to provide the full Mueller report. In each case, as was true of Mally Daugherty, the individuals have spurned lawful demands directly relevant to the business of Congress. The House can arrest and detain them until they agree to comply. (We appreciate that there might be tension between either man’s Secret Service detail and the sergeant at arms, but we would hope that neither would compound his troubles by provoking a scuffle.)

It’s fun to imagine the House jail as a converted broom closet in the bottom of the Rayburn House Office Building, but it’s probably more feasible to hold an uncooperative member of the administration under guard in a hotel room near the Capitol. As when someone is jailed for refusing to comply with a court order, the prisoner holds the keys to the jailhouse door in his own pocket: Comply with the valid subpoena, and the detention ends.

If all this seems laughably far-fetched, that just shows how significantly the powers of Congress, and our respect for that institution, have eroded in the last few decades.

Our proposal puts the legal burdens back where they belong. To expect Congress humbly to ask a court to enforce congressional subpoenas only perpetuates Congress’s cession of its power. If Trump administration officials choose to thumb their noses at Congress, they should begin the legal process from inside a jail cell.

And their constitutional rights remain secure. They can, for example, petition for a writ of habeas corpus (which is just what the attorney general’s brother did in the 1927 case). The procedures are not the difficulty here — it’s the lack of congressional will."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/15/house-has-power-arrest-people-who-defy-its-orders/?utm_term=.d7cd45bd4f00

Jim at said...

Threatening to jail a person for refusing to break the law.

Keep pushing it, leftists.
Keep it up.

RNB said...

I thought Barr was asking if he could borrow Pelosi's cuffs so the AG could clap 'em on the Speaker's wrists.

Michael K said...

William Barr and Conrad Black are two men who impress the hell out of me lately.

Black's history and biography books are excellent. His biography of Nixon is the best I've found. He pointed out that Nixon and DeGaulle were good friends, for example. His opinion of Roosevelt is much more positive than mine.

The best early biography of Roosevelt is by HW Brands, who is a lefty, and the second half of the book is unreadable but the part before 1932 is quite good.

Bruce Hayden said...

“It’s fun to imagine the House jail as a converted broom closet in the bottom of the Rayburn House Office Building, but it’s probably more feasible to hold an uncooperative member of the administration under guard in a hotel room near the Capitol. As when someone is jailed for refusing to comply with a court order, the prisoner holds the keys to the jailhouse door in his own pocket: Comply with the valid subpoena, and the detention ends”

Except that AG Barr controls far more armed agents than does Speaker Palsi. Probably go with a local FBI HRT team, but that would be far from his only alternative. Barr, and other Trump Administration people, are on Trump’s territory not hers, once they leave the precincts she directly controls. The only place where her jurisdiction trumps Trump’s and Barr’s in CONUS is the House side of Congress. If she has Barr (etc) arrested and held in a hotel room, her jailers can probably be arrested for false imprisonment, kidnapping, etc, and even probably Obstruction of Justice (hence why FBI’s HRT instead of say an ATF SWAT team would likely be used). Which means luring them to the House side of Congress, arresting, and then jailing them there.

Achilles said...

Barr was laughing at Pelosi, not with her.

TJM said...

I love that Barr is following Alinsky's rules! Romney aka Percy Dovetonsils is appalled

Douglas said...

Pelosi's talk about jail and contempt and investigations is all "boob bait for the bubbas," to use Bill Clinton's memorable phrase.

Bob Loblaw said...

The Democrats set the standard when Holder thumbed his nose at Congress, and their blatant attempt to set a double standard should be mocked. At least the Republicans had principle on their side - Holder was clearly smothering an investigation into illegal activity whereas Barr is trying to keep Pelosi et al from hamstringing his investigation.

Bob Loblaw said...

It’s fun to imagine the House jail as a converted broom closet in the bottom of the Rayburn House Office Building...

There are actually prison cells in the capitol building, a fact which comes up every time Congress and the presidency are controlled by different parties. But the cells haven't been used in a very, very long time and Congress lacks an independent police force to fill them, so... good luck with that.

Bilwick said...

I would imagine La Pelosi does have a pair of handcuffs somewhere, since "liberals" seem to be into S&M.