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Why the Extremists Are Winning 

August 10, 2018

Fanatics to the right of us, fanatics to the left of us… and their ranks just keep growing. If we moderates have the fairest and most sensible ideas, how is it that our ranks are dwindling? How did the extremists get to be so popular? What have they got that we haven’t got? Why are we stuck in a barren no-man’s land, caught in the crossfire between two feuding tribes who reject our antiquated habit of examining both sides of an issue? Let’s see if I can explain it for you…

The rise of the angry right. It started with the boisterous bloviating of Rush Limbaugh and his right-wing minions in response to the perceived liberal bias of the mainstream media. They had a point. But the right-wing talk-show warriors weren’t satisfied with airing dissenting opinions. They were hellbent on starting a mass movement, and of course they succeeded. So now millions of Middle Americans believe that Obama was evil incarnate… that climate change is a myth… that the government wants to confiscate their beloved guns. They’ve been snookered into believing that Wall Street’s interests are their interests, and that social support programs are, well… socialist. Lately, since the coronation of Trump, much of the right has been veering ever rightward — embracing the old Confederacy and even neo-Nazi white supremacy. It ain’t Ike’s GOP anymore, or even Mitt Romney’s.

The rise of left-wing identity politics. Formerly marginalized but perpetually aggrieved, America’s nonwhite, feminist and LGBTQ factions have grown more vociferous, resentful and demanding, even as they make unprecedented strides. The grievances are built around legitimate kernels of truth, but those kernels have morphed into mountains in the minds of the aggrieved, aided by selective news reporting (see below) and militant anti-conservative rhetoric on college campuses. Each group typically blames its troubles on straight white males, past (often centuries past) and present, as if all those men are interchangeable units of oppression. Anyone who dares dispute their beliefs risks expulsion from polite society. 

Cherry-picked news stories. Example: Every time a skittish cop or a white bigot commits an offense against a person of color, the story makes national headlines. One would get the impression that interracial crimes are a one-way street, a nightmare landscape of Jim Crow outrages by evil whites against innocent minorities. The fact is that cops shoot nearly three times as many whites as blacks, and that black-on-white crimes are more commonplace than the reverse. Surprised? You can blame it on selective reporting. It’s not “fake news” (because it actually happened), but it’s only part of the story — a part deliberately promoted to perpetuate a narrative that unites the in-group in shared outrage. (And yes, right-wing news sources cherry-pick their stories, too.)

Online “amen corners.” Progressives and conservatives have stopped speaking to each other except to hurl insults. Most of their time is spent among like-minded peers who share the same world-view, biases and resentments. Naturally they favor online publications that play to their prejudices. The result: extremist groupthink, emboldened and reinforced by the airtight echo chambers and their stark-mad message boards. The more outrageous the comment, the more “amens” it generates among the faithful (and the more polarized we become).

The essential simplicity of extremist opinions. Hey, what’s not to like? The complexities of life are rendered cartoonlike in crisp black-and-white for easy comprehension. No subtle shades of gray… no head-scratching over competing ideas… in short, no uncertainty. Nonthinkers love certainty; after all, to be certain is to be relieved of the need to think. “We’re right, they’re wrong. Case closed.”

The lack of a moderate ideology. You’re looking at our greatest weakness — and potentially our greatest strength. We don’t offer a laundry list of principles to memorize and internalize. Of course, we’re more than an ill-defined midpoint between right and left. But what exactly is a moderate? Are we just wishy-washy souls who lack the guts to take a stand? That’s what a lot of diehard progressives and conservatives would like us to believe. But several of our greatest revolutionaries, including Washington and Franklin, were essentially moderates who had been pushed to the limit of their tolerance. I like to think of moderates as boat-balancers: when we see the boat tipping ominously to one side, our sense of justice obliges us to tip it back. We don’t subscribe to any ideology except our insistence on fairness and free thought. (That’s enough to make the ideologues uneasy.)

Hyperpartisanship in government. A dangerous and destructive trend in our national politics: much like the public, our elected representatives have increasingly gravitated to one ideological extreme or the other, leaving a hollowed, virtually uninhabited center. What’s especially sad is that the polarization has been orchestrated by the extremists in both major parties. They pull the strings. Representatives and candidates essentially have to pass ideological purity tests if they want to win their parties’ primaries. And once elected, they’re under intense pressure to support their team. Partisanship wins, and the American people lose.

Next: What moderates can do to become a force in American politics.

981 Comments leave one →
  1. David Mecham permalink
    August 10, 2018 10:49 am


    Have you thought about exploring/endorsing candidates in races around the country? Your readers obviously look to you for leadership on these matters and might be influenced by your opinion to vote/contribute/volunteer for candidates that are more moderate than their opponent.

    Consider the governor of Alaska and the victory for moderates there. In 2014, Bill Walker ran for governor on a centrist platform. Democrats recognized an opportunity and merged their campaign with Walker’s on an effort win by not losing to the Republican, Sean Parnell, even though they would not control the governor’s mansion.

    The result has been impressive to me. Governor Walker used ideology from both parties to best meet the needs of the state. He expanded Medicaid under the ACA but also expanded drilling for oil to help the state’s economy. He acknowledges climate change but also supports gun rights.

    The point is that Bill Walker would not be governor and Alaska would have less moderation in government if somebody had not pushed for a moderate platform. When individuals consider a candidate, an outside voice can help them confirm or question what they had thought previously. You could be that outside voice if you opted to do so.

    This is all just a thought if you were open to the idea. I truly enjoy your posts and remain hopeful that sanity can return someday.


    David Mecham

    • August 13, 2018 3:40 pm

      Thanks, David… glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. I wish I had the time and energy to track down moderates running in races across the country, but I really don’t have an aptitude for grassroots organizing. (To be frank, I’m woefully ignorant of day-to-day politics; as a former history major, I tend to look at the larger political and cultural issues.) As I wrote somewhere on this site, I don’t have what it takes to be the George Washington of a moderate movement, but I’d love to be its Patrick Henry — to use my words to rouse the sleeping giant in the mid-region of American politics.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:14 am

        George Washington was not a moderate – not by the terms of his times, and not by those of today.

        Patrick Henry was most definitely not a moderate.

      • August 18, 2018 2:37 pm

        But Washington signed a compromise document. Its called the constitution. He and other federalist did not get all they wanted. But they got most of what they wanted. Much like Ronald Reagan. You can have extremely ingrained political positions and still compromise for the good of the country. That is called moderating a position and you do not need to be a moderate to do that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:31 pm

        Washington frequently sided with the federalists but he did not identify as a federalist.
        In fact he was opposed to parties and factions.

        I do not consider the constitution to be some gigagantic compromise.

        Yes, it contains a few compromises, but large parts of it were not particularly contentious,
        or to the extent they were it was over minor details not the overarching themes.

        If your definition of moderate is compromise on everything – that is a bad thing that no one should want to be.

        I continue to assert – compromise is a tool, not a value.
        There are times and places to compromise and times one should not.

  2. August 10, 2018 1:09 pm

    Well welcome back Rick!

    Could it be that a few decisions made by one party can create major divisions we see today. RR was considered Mr. Conservative and almost idolized by the right, but he also knew he was elected by the middle, A.K.A Reagan Democrats. He had a good relationship with Tip.

    Bill Clinton knew he had to work with Gingrich. What began in the late 80’s continued well into the late 90’s.

    It seems to me the severe division came about when Obama was elected, began his politics of indentifyand planted the seeds for the current environment. Those on the right looked at Obama for blaming them for issues they had no control. Situation like Ferguson fanned the flames of division and where people used to talk about issues, the environment became one where anything said was a personal attack.

    After those situations created the division, the fire just grew until Clinton called Trump supporters deplorables and Trump just inflames the environment more with his words. One small example is his attacks on protesting NFL players.

    So now we have right wing idiots like the judge in Alabama running for office, we see the Socialist Democrats taking control of the Democrat party, we see right wing dolts taking control of the Republican party giving us Trump as the nominee and then we see moderates like Burr and Corker deciding jot to run, thus further dividing the country.

    i think it will take a person of RR or JFK to turn us around and I dont see that happening, especially when Pelosi and Shumer most likely will lead congress.

    • August 13, 2018 3:54 pm

      Glad to be back, Ron — although I never did crack my way back into the “admin” panel on my computer. I was still recognized on my iPad Mini, which I’ve known for a while — so finally I broke down and hammered out the current column using the two-finger method on that miniature keyboard. (Whew!)

      I share your pessimism about the current scene. Both the right and the left seem to have lost their marbles. I liked Obama in most respects, but by reflexively siding with the distorted BLM narrative, he really blew the chance to heal the wounds and prevent the current rift. And of course Trump just seems to revel in creating discord.

      So it looks like the GOP will continue to nominate ignorant blowhards, while the Democrats will be the “identity politics” party — the party of the future post-white (and maybe even post-male) America. Fasten your seat belt!

      On second thought, maybe it really is the right time to launch a moderate party.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:42 am

        I liked Obama too. But for many reasons – including those you noted he was a failed president.

        Had he done the things he needed to be a “great” president – I likely would have opposed them.

        Regardless, he did not try. He governed as he said by the “pen and phone” and as a consequence most of what he did came tumbling down quickly.

        More important still SOMETIMES choices that are properly hammered through our difficult legislative process end up being the best possible solutions – or atleast the best aside from doing nothing, which is what government should do most of the time.

        Meaningful healthcare reform was NOT possible under Obama, thought there was more than a consensus that reform was needed, there was not even a plurality with refard to what that reform should look like.

        To enact dramatic changes you need more than pluralities, you need more than concensus, you actually need supermajorities, and you need to be able to sustain them.

        In areas like immigration, Prison reform, criminal justice reform, and revised drug laws – Obama had an opportunity that he completely blew.

        Immigration reform is difficult – but it is actually possible It requires compromise – but “good” compromise – both sides would have had to give the other things they wanted, but neither side was going to have to give in on principle.

        Immigration reform remains possible, but the pendulum has shifted to republicans.
        Democrats can still get much of what they want but they will have to give repubicans much more of what they want.

        Criminal justice reform was possible – and remains so. Under Obama republicans wanted only one thing in return form most of what democrats wanted in criminal justice reform.
        That was a formal implicit mens rea requirement in federal law.
        Basically a federal law that explicitly states that all fede4ral crimes require “intent” except those that explicity preclude intent. This is true of all other law derived from English common law. It is true of all or most states, It was true of the federal government for a long long time. But leftist legal warriors persuaded the federal courts to upend multiple centuries of legal tradition and make by judicial fiat all or nearly all federal laws strict liability. What this means is that if you kill an eagle – even unintentionally, you are guilty of the crime – mistake. accident, lack or intent are NOT allowable defenses.
        The adamacy of democrats that this distortion of law remain – in the face of the fact that Clinton was being accused of a federal crime and the left’s defense was “it was not intentional” was ludicrously hypocritical – and the rule of man not law.

        Everyone left/right knows that both sentencing and prison reform is necescary.
        There was and still is sufficient common ground to act – Obama did nothing, Trump is trying.

        You fixated on the BLM thing – but Obama gave BLM nothing but rhetoric. There were many issues where Obama providing leadership and acting either through congress or even unilaterally could have had a big effect.

        Difficult but real deals were possible on a huge number of important issues – Obama did not try.

        Further there was room for legitimate individual action that Obama did nothing about.

        Obama could have had an impact through large scale pardons and communtaitons.

        Gov. Ryan of Ohio on discovering that many on death row were likely innocent, commuted ALL death sentences. Obama had the oportunity and the means to do similar things.

        He could have commuted all federal crug sentences – or all for crack, or even had his staff go through case by case and issue broad commutations – while excluding a few problematic cases.

        Pres,. Obama appears to have been a decent person.

        In so many many ways he was a failure as a president.

        Pres. Trump is not an appealing person.
        He is already a much more effective president.

  3. dhlii permalink
    August 10, 2018 3:06 pm

    I do not believe that any of us are without principles or moral foundations.

    If moderate means without principles count me out.

    Is there any moderate that does not think that Hitler was evil ?

    Principles matter.

    Life is incredibly complex, answers are not readily apparent.

    It should be easy to grasp that one group of us can not easily impose their proposed answers on the rest by force.

    That is what government is solving problems through force.

    Is there anyone that does not agree with that ?

    • August 10, 2018 3:38 pm

      “It should be easy to grasp that one group of us can not easily impose their proposed answers on the rest by force.”

      Is that not what the right wants to do with abortion laws and the only reason we have it legal is because of the courts? Don’t you believe that the GOP would vote tighter controls on abortion if they could get away with it? Is that not force?

      Is that not what the left wants to do when they create a health care plan that requires us to have healthcare coverage or pay a fine for not having it? Is that not force?

      And one could run down the playbook of the left and right and list a bunch more.

      So being a moderate to me is for both sides to sit down and work out issues where a position acceptable to both sides is agreed upon. That is what RR did with many of his programs with Tip. He was not a moderate in his thinking, but he would moderate his positions to get something good for the country, even though it was not 100% of what he wanted.

      “But the fountain of political anger today is the left not right.” Really? Come south for a few months and then tell me that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 10, 2018 4:03 pm

        “Is that not what the right wants to do with abortion laws and the only reason we have it legal is because of the courts? Don’t you believe that the GOP would vote tighter controls on abortion if they could get away with it? Is that not force?”

        My post had nothing to do with left or right. I was offering a universal principle, Not suggesting only one side adheres to it.

        Further I was not arguing that force can not ever be used. Only that it should not be used easily.

        What the constraints on the use of force should be is a different debate.

        “Is that not what the left wants to do when they create a health care plan that requires us to have healthcare coverage or pay a fine for not having it? Is that not force?”

        Yes, both sides routinely violate a principle that nearly all of us agree on.

        “So being a moderate to me is for both sides to sit down and work out issues where a position acceptable to both sides is agreed upon.”

        So if A and be get together and agree to steal from C that is OK with you ?

        I am absolutely confronting this elevation of comprise that you and Rick are offering is very WRONG.

        Compromise is a tool not a principle.

        Are you really challenging the principle that force can not be used easily ?

        “But the fountain of political anger today is the left not right.” Really? Come south for a few months and then tell me that.

        The media tilts heavily left – and tries to hide most of the violence of the left – and yet the media imperative “if it bleeds it leads” still drags them along anyway.

        Are there example of right wing violence – sure.
        Are there many ? Nope.

      • August 10, 2018 4:22 pm

        Stealing from C is much different than A and B developing programs to help A, B and C, along with D,E and F without screwing G,H or I. If A wants tax cuts of 30% and B wants no tax cuts, is a tax cut of 15% stealing from C? And leave out the issue that much of the current system steals from someone.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 10, 2018 11:25 pm

        “Stealing from C is much different than A and B developing programs to help A, B and C, along with D,E and F without screwing G,H or I. If A wants tax cuts of 30% and B wants no tax cuts, is a tax cut of 15% stealing from C? And leave out the issue that much of the current system steals from someone.”

        If you take something from C without their consent you are stealing.
        It is irrelevant how many others are involved or what good purpose you might have.

        Any tax beyond that necessary to support the fundamental purpose of government – securing our individual rights is theft.

        When your home is burglarized, the judge does release the thief if they were stealing to help someone else.

        Much of our government is engaged in theft. That is not a justification for more theft.

        If private actors – individuals or others are engaged in theft – they should be prosecuted.

        In reality though no much of our current system is NOT engaged in theft. In fact theft is extremely rare outside of government. Billions of voluntary exchanges take place each day. almost none involve theft.

        Free Markets are not perfect – but nothing else comes close.

        How many times a day does someone outside of government take something from you without your permission ?
        I would bet ZERO.

        I find it incredible that people can have such a bad oppinion of something that works so well, and such a high opininion of something that works so badly.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2018 12:01 am

        Here is what NYT thinks of the constitution.

        Still think the left is sane and not incredibly angry ?

    • August 13, 2018 4:06 pm

      Dave, sorry if you got the impression that I thought moderates should be without principles. I just wrote that, unlike leftists and conservatives, we don’t compile a list of principles for our fellow-moderates to memorize and adhere to. In other words, I don’t want to impose my principles on others. (You should be fine with that.)

      As for “fairness” — I know we’ve discussed this point before. Yes, fairness is subjective: what’s fair to a corporate CEO probably won’t be fair to a struggling single mom. My idea of fairness is to show no favoritism toward any one class of people at the expense of other classes. That means we don’t cut taxes on the rich when middle-class and working-class people go broke paying their medical bills. It also means we don’t condone racist statements by people of color while we excommunicate whites who commit inadvertent “microaggressions.” Maybe “balance” is a better word than “fairness.”

  4. dhlii permalink
    August 10, 2018 3:22 pm

    “The Rise of the Angry Right”

    There is alot of anger in our politics today.
    There is even anger on the right.

    But the fountain of political anger today is the left not right.

    The right is engaged, The right is moderately happy.

    Further you have mischaracterized the claims of the right.

    A few people beleive Obama was evil.
    Most are focused on his ideology and his failure as a president.

    You MIGHT have an argument that many on the right think Clinton is evil.
    But the right merely sees Obama as a failure – which in many ways is correct.

    No one beleives climate change is a myth.
    But many of us regard ALL the malthusian thesis of the left over the past 50 years as bad science. And the facts bear that out. There has been no peak oil, no silent spring, no mass starvation, and human changes to climate are inconsequential.

    Do you see man as basically evil, or basically good ?

    I do not think any think Wall Streets interests are their interests.
    Governments interests are not their interests either,
    and Wall Street is better served by government.

    There are always some embracing the confederacy and Neo-Nazism.
    But representing those as on the rise is pretense.

    Nor does the Coronation meme fit Trump.
    Inarguably Obama was more regal and his administration embraced regal imagery.

    Trump does not.

  5. dhlii permalink
    August 10, 2018 3:33 pm

    The rise of left-wing identity politics.

    The culture wars are over – the left has won

    Having acheived acceptance various agreived groups are unsatisified.
    Equality is not enough. They seek revenge for the past.

    Identity politics is just one of the battlefields. It is not the war.

    The giant seething pool of anger today is almost entirely on the left not the right.
    They are angry about everything.

    The Obama presidency was supposed to be a new camalot. It was not. Someone ELSE must be to blame. That Obama’s policies failed – must be the fault of the right.
    That after taking total control of government in 2009 the left rapidly lost it in an unparalled fashion – must be the fault of racist whites. That Obama’s heir apparent lost an election they beleive she should have won easily – must be the fault of the Russians.

    Everything is the fault of some evil “other”.

    The angry left does not grasp that they are actively alienating just about everyone else.

    • August 13, 2018 4:14 pm

      I totally agree with your statements about the excesses of the left. But how can you overlook the excesses of the right today? I don’t mean the respectable “National Review” right; I’m talking about less-educated, belligerently religious fanatics who would love to see the U.S. become a white Christian theocracy. They have several of their people running for Congress as we speak. There’s a lot of anger out there, and it’s not just among POC, feminists, and college students. The new right-wingers feel threatened by demographic change, and I can’t entirely blame them. But the answer isn’t to shower hatred on the other half of America.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 17, 2018 1:30 am

        Rick, I do think that those belligerently religious fanatics who would love to see the U.S. become a white Christian theocracy are far fewer in number than the left would have us believe. I mean, after all, the infamous “Unite the Right” white supremacy rally this year attracted somewhere between 20-30 white supremacists, and hundreds of angry, ready-to-rumble, antifa types.

        Back in the day (our day, that is), remember how George Carlin did that whole bit on the words that you couldn’t say on TV? Well, you can say them ALL on TV now, and saying them doesn’t even have any shock value anymore. On the other hand, Omarosa’s barely credible, evidence-free allegation that Trump may have said the “N-word” (no one can even say the word when talking about the word! Even Carlin didn’t have to say “the F-word”…he just said “fuck”) has sent people into a tizzy of hysteria.

        It’s all so sensationalized, and it’s always about racism, because race is the most effective way to divide people. And dividing people is the most effective way to get them to vote for the party that they think is on their side.

        But the real extremism isn’t racial. For every latter-day Klansman, there are a million neo- socialists, most of whom want to use the full power and force of government to destroy capitalism, and create some post-modernist utopia of free stuff. Those are the extremists who worry me, because they are far more likely to get their way….

        P.S. I don’t necessarily agree that Franklin was a moderate himself, but he certainly saw the wisdom and necessity of moderation in politics. Without it, extremism spins out of control and you’ve got civil war. Our problem is that our current political moderates are, for the most part (not all, but most) milquetoast types without discernible principles, who value compromise for its own sake, and will compromise on anything. As a result, everyone, on both sides, reviles them, and considers “compromise” a dirty word.

      • August 17, 2018 10:48 am

        Priscilla, Excellent point. ” P.S. I don’t necessarily agree that Franklin was a moderate himself, but he certainly saw the wisdom and necessity of moderation in politics. ”

        Thinking of an era much more recent, one could not call Reagan a moderate either, but he also saw the beneift of moderating positions to achieve his objectives.

        Great point to use when one claims moderates do not have principles.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 2:00 pm

        Franklin was wise.
        He was also pretty good at knowing when and how to compromise.
        But he was not a moderate.

        TNM fixates on compromise as doctrine.

        Franklin used compromise as a tool to acheive a goal – a new nation.
        Compromise was not a value or an end for him. It was merely a means.

      • August 18, 2018 3:24 pm

        Dave, “TNM fixates on compromise as doctrine.”

        You are the one fixated on words. I see no where that anyone thinks compromise is doctrine here. I only see where people talk about compromise in a way to achieve an outcome. I see it where they speak of compromise as a verb, not a noun. They “compromise” to achieve an “agreement”.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:49 pm

        “You are the one fixated on words. I see no where that anyone thinks compromise is doctrine here. ”
        Then why does it constantly keep coming up ?
        Then why is it that regardless of the issue the demand here is for compromise.

        AGAIN Compromise is a tool. NOT a value.
        It is a means to an end. If compromise does nto improve your position over what it would be if you do nothing, there is no reason to compromise, and in fact compromise could be BAD.

        “I only see where people talk about compromise in a way to achieve an outcome.”

        Aparently you are visiting a different TNM than I am.

        An “agreement” is a term with indeterminate value.

        A & B agree to murder C – that is an agreement – but we would all hope that the agreement to kill C is not considered as some positive outcome of a compromise.

        The objective is not to reach an agreement. Doing NOTHING is always a choice.
        If compromise does not put you in a better position than if you do nothing there is zero reason to compromise.

        And that is NOT a bad thing. Compromise is NOT a necescity.
        It is a tool.
        Sometimes you hit the nail with the hammer and make progrss building your house.
        Sometimes you hit your thumb.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:49 pm

        Excellent post.

        Even in 2017 the alt-right groups (mostly NOT white supremecists) were outnumbered by Antifa atleast 2:1 and by counter protestors 10:1

        Heather Hayer’s death is sad – but she died of a heart attack. She was not touched by James Field’s car. Aside from Heyer, the alt-right bore the brunt of the violence – they were forced to march through a gauntlet of AntiFA twice. They did not depart from the area they were alotted – until the governor called the event off. The were well armed and well defended – by themselves – the police did NOTHING. They were attacked not attacking.

        Sorry but for Field’s carreening into a the crowd, the actual attacks were completely one sided.

        The “alt-right” groups at Charlotte may not be “fine people”.
        But they were not the ones out of control and violent.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 8:12 am

        “I totally agree with your statements about the excesses of the left. But how can you overlook the excesses of the right today?”

        Because the threat at this MOMENT is from the left not the right.

        During the McCarthy era – there were very real communists, and they were a very real threat – but the BIG threat was McCarthyism itself.

        There will always be bad guys on both the left and the right.

        “I’m talking about less-educated, belligerently religious fanatics who would love to see the U.S. become a white Christian theocracy. ”

        All three of them ? I am exagerating and not denying their existance – but if you added up everyone in the alt-right accross the US and included groups like “patriot prayer” which are not particularly white, or alt-right, you still end up with far less than Antifa can bring out to a ralling in Boston alone.

        “They have several of their people running for Congress as we speak.”
        There will always be a few loons on both sides. Almost no one has heard of those on the right you are speaking of. Without looking them up can you name them – I can’t.
        May one or two will even win. The republican party is embarrassed by them and trying to hide them.

        The democratic party has socialists and quasi-socialists in extremely prominent positions it is debating whether to adopt socialism much more broadly as a party. We are not talking about the fringe.

        No I do not think that most “right wingers” feel threatened by “demographic change”.

        What should be self evident at the moment is that white male christian americans grasp that they are in or going to be in the minority.
        What they are affraid of is being powerless at the same time as they CONTINUE to be viewed at the oppressors, as the powerful, to cede the power of being the majority without any of the rights that are today attendant with being a minority.

        They want to be able to choose whether they can bake cakes, or whether they will pay for abortions.
        They want to be sure that as the minority gains more and more power that our institutions are blind to our differences, Not some new caste system based on the particular oppression bonus points one gets.

        Further the right wingers are not threatening violence, or a coup. They have been angry – atleast since Obama was elected in 2008, and they have mostly expressed that angry effectively and legitimately. They have opposed policies, not people. and they have mobilised and won elections.

        The 2016 election has created the same anger in the left – but they are responding quite differently. They are resorting or threatening to resort to violence or coups.

        I have zero problems impeaching Trump for misconduct. But as this mess drags our – I find nothing impeachable in Trump’s conduct – offensive, yes, impeachable no.
        With Clinton there were actual provable crimes. Witness tampering, lying under oath.
        With Trump we have to stretch the law beyond recognition.

        Further there is a clear sense that the left does not give a damn about those who disagree.
        The right wants not to be trampled on. That is all. They left is angry because they can not contineu to trample on people. The left is angry because they have been removed from power by the voice of the people – and they are unwilling to accept that they do NOT speak for the people.

        I would further note – that anger and hatred are complex – there is justifiable anger.
        Even justifiable hatred. No one would fault the left for anger with real nazi’s and real racists. But the left see’s people it is prepared to loath arround every corner. The left does not hate racists, it hates everyone who has not kowtowed to the left doctrine on race of the moment.

        A large portion of the anger and hatred on the right – particularly outside of the fringes, is anger at being unfairly despised and labeled by the left. Call someone a racist – and you guarantee they will hate you.Call half the country racist – and you are the problem -not them. The broad anger on the right today is the justifiable response to unjustifiably broad hatred from the left. They are not the same and a sprinkling of nutbars at the extreme right that no one is paying attention to will change that.

        I have no idea what the wingnuts on the right are running on. But they stand no change of even getting a public debate on their issues. We are actively discussing M4A and free college.

      • grump permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:42 pm

        “Heather Hayer’s death is sad – but she died of a heart attack. She was not touched by James Field’s car. ”

        Bzzzt, wrong.

        “The Central District Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia, declared definitively to Newsweek that Heyer’s cause of death was no heart attack. Spokesperson Arkuie Williams said during a brief phone interview Tuesday that after more than two months of examinations, it was determined that Heyer died of “blunt force trauma to the torso,” and that her death has been ruled a homicide.”

        As well

        “Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, was fatally injured in the attack, and died in the University of Virginia Medical Center.[25][27] Initially, nineteen injuries were reported, as twenty patients were taken at the University of Virginia Medical Center.[22][25] In the evening, five people were in critical condition and fourteen others were being treated for lesser injuries.[24] Nine people had been discharged and ten remained hospitalized in good condition the next day.[28][29] Testimony at the preliminary hearing in December 2017 revealed that a total of 35 people were injured.[22]”

      • dhlii permalink
        August 19, 2018 9:01 pm

        I would suggest watching “The Staircase on Netflix if you beleive Medical examiners – or come look at the work of my county coroner or I think 60 Minutes did a special on the disasterous corruption in many county coroners offices or ….

        There is video – Fields struck several people – Heather Heyer was NOT one of those.

        As to your 2nd source – Heyer was dead on the scene.

        As to others being injured – absolutely – and your numbers are likely low.
        I think it is pretty easy to tell from the videos that well over 36 of the marchers were hit by rocks, bottles, maced, …..

        There were plenty of injuries on both sides.

        However prior to Fields crash into the crowds the counter protestors were the clear agressors.

        The marchers had a permit, Assembled where they were told, stayed inside their designated march area. The police did nothing to protect them from counter protestors.

        I do not give a damn if they were F’ing rela Nazi’s.

        If your idea of protesting others – even others who are arguably evil, is to throw rocks and urine, and mace at them, to seek out physical confrontation – then YOU are worse than they are.

        Get a clue.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 19, 2018 9:07 pm

        If you bother to search the web there are atleast a dozen video’s from different angles showing Fields car and Heyer.

        Many others were struck Heyer was NOT.

        Or do you not beleive your own eyes.

      • grump permalink
        August 20, 2018 9:08 am

        I see, so what you believe happened actually is that a healthy young woman died suddenly of a heart attack at precisely the instant that Fields plowed his car at her group.

        If Fields had thrown her out a window you would be telling me that “it is sad that she died, but it was the ground that killed her.”

        You will go to any length for your distorted narrative about the basic harmlessness of the right. You sound like the loony right yourself half the time, who are the only ones I find online pushing this theory that Hayer died of a heart attack.

        Carry on.

      • August 20, 2018 11:49 am

        Thanks for this tread. Was not paying attention. But I did look at some things. Couple of observations.
        1. Even Fox News has not released anything that indicates she died from anything other than the car hitting her.
        2. No creditable news saying anything but blunt force trauma.
        3. All the links to twitter from non creditable news links will not work. Could be my equipment since I use twitter for little.
        4.Mother watches her daughter die, they apparently used the cadio system to restart her heart and mother says she dies from heart attack. Not creditable statement due to stressful situation and she, nor the EMT is a coroner.
        5. Conspiracy theorist exist in all major disasters. Same here.

        I dont trust government, but why would the coroner from Charlottesville lie?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:26 pm

        The videos on Heyer came out relatively quickly. First one, then several others.

        Her mother said she died of a heart attack in atleast one interview she gave.

        Fox has mostly ignored it.

        Who wants to “defend” “nazis” ?

        We have this kind of garbage all the time.

        I have zero respect for Coroners Reports – particularly in the south.
        About a decade ago 60 minutes did a story on about a dozen corners in the south.

        Though the coroner in my country is no better.

        Whether it is crime labs, corners, … the state of forensic science is garbage,

        The National Science foundation did a thorough review about a decade ago of myraids of commonly used forensic techniques – blood spatter, bite marks, hair, fiber, finger prints, bullet matching, and found many of them completely worthless, and the few that were not, still had far less accuracy than was represented.

        Briefly this caused a stir in the legal community – and then it was forgotten and we continue as usual.

        If you want an idea of just how bad some of it is – watch “the staircase” on netflix.

        Put simply – “Quincy” does nto exist – neither does “columbo” but that is another story.

        If determination of what actually happened rests with complex forensics rather than actual witnesses (and they have problems too),

        Just to be clear – I am not asking you to “disbelieve” science.
        I am asking you to disregard junk science.

        Disabuse yourself of the notion that “experts” can actually answer all the questions they claim to.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:33 pm

        After EMT’s have worked on someone whose heart has stopped – they are going to have all the same indications as someone who actually died of “blunt force trauma” the the chest.

        Have you ever had training on CPR ? One of the things they tell you is that you can easily break ribs and puncture lungs. BUT you should not fixate on that.
        Someone whose heart stops will not recover after 6M no matter what.
        Someone with broken ribs or punctured lungs can be fixed at the ER.

        As I have noted there is lots of video of Fields run – including many clips that show Heyer.

        Find a single one that shows her being struck by the car ?
        There are plenty that show she was not.

        Contra the pictures in the news Heyer was morbidly obese and I beleive a heavy smoker.
        She was a heart attack waiting to happen.

        I am sure that Fields run down the street was the proximate cause of her heart attack.
        But there is no actual evidence he struck Heyer. Lots of others – absolutely.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:41 pm

        Why would the coroner from charlottesville “lie” ?

        Why would any coroner lie – but it happens all the time.,

        Like I said go watch “the staircase” on netflix. This is a series done following a real trial in That took place in Durham NC.

        If you trust our criminal justice system in difficult cases – you are an idiot.

        Locally we elect the county coroner. A surgeon that I had personal and professional ties was elected.

        Unfortunately he actually did his job. So the police and the DA’s and the system trumped up some garbage charges, and after fighting for several years, he gave up and quit.
        Now we have what they wanted – someone who will find whatever the police and DA’s want them to find.

        If you want forensics to work. You need to completely divorce the coroner and forensic labs from the police and DA’s.
        The labs and Coroners need to NOT know what the Police and DA’s want them to find.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:13 pm

        Heather Heyer was not even close to healthy – and not all that young.

        Regardless. I need not have an explanation.

        She was not struck by Feilds car – there are multiple videos that make that crystal clear.

        Many others were struck by Fields. Heyer was not.

        I do not want to get into the law, but the fact that he did not strike her does not completely absolve fields of any culpability in here death.

        Though honestly, the guy is schitzophrenic, he needs to be in a hospital.

        But if it make you beating on people with mential health problems – you are not alone.
        We have been criminaizing mental heath issues for decades.

        The FACTS are the facts. Multiple videos are out there.

        No, I do not much care what you think I “sound” like when I am accurately conveying the facts.

        Sometimes “the right” is right. Sometimes “the left” is right.

        Overal I am more concerned about facts, than right or left ideology.

        What you call “my ideology” is rooted in facts and a very few principles that underpin western civiliazation,

        Principles – that we have all agreed on for hundreds of years.
        Principles that you have never been willing to challenge directly.
        You just pretend that you can ignore them sometimes.

        If you actually want a debate over those principles – I would be happy.
        I real debate – facts, logic reason.

        Not feelings. not fallacies. not word games.

  6. dhlii permalink
    August 10, 2018 3:37 pm


    Franklin was quite litterally a core member of the Scottish Enlightenment.
    He was a classical liberal – in modern terms libertarian.

    • August 13, 2018 4:17 pm

      Yes, but 18th-century capitalism hadn’t evolved into the corporate and financial monster we see today; I doubt if Franklin would be enthusiastic about that outcome. I’d still call him a man of moderate but strongly principled instincts; he might have become a “trust-buster” like Teddy Roosevelt.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 11:15 am

        The East India company starting in the 16th century dominated the world in that we have never seen since.

        We are celebrating Apple becoming the worlds first Trillion Dollar Company – proportionately or adjusted for inflating the East India company was far larger.

        Franklin and our founders lived in a world were Dutch, British and other companies functioned nearly as private governments, They also lived in a world where rich aristocracy – like William Penn excercised incredible power both as business men as as formal governments in the colonies they OWNED.

        Ben Franklin is the only american that is formally considered to be part of the “scottish enlightenment” – a peer of Locke, Hume, Smith and Burns.
        That would be the birth of classical liberalism or modern libertarianism.

        Ben Franklin is one of the early american rags to riches stories.

        He would not have been a “trust buster”. Some of Franklin’s wealth remains in trust today.

  7. dhlii permalink
    August 10, 2018 3:41 pm

    There is no such thing as fair.

    Every group that has embraced “fairness” as a core value has ultimately resorted to violence – whether the french revolution or the Khmer Rouge.

    Life is not fair.

  8. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:05 am

    First they came for the White supremicists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a White Supremecists.

    Then they came for the Atl-Right, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not Alt-Right.

    Then they came for the Black Conservative, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Black Conservative.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  9. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:10 am

    James Rosen and Sharyl Atkins are among the know journalists that were spied on by the Obama administration.

  10. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:34 am

    This is partly about Jordan Peterson. But it is mostly about the decline of the left and its causes.

    There is much wrong with the right today, and it will change in many ways over time.
    But the current left is facing an existential crisis. While I think that goes beyond identity politics, Identity politics is at its core. the identity politics of the left attempts to shut down all debate, and it does so with the pretense that debate is repugnant. As the ideology of the left become more defined, and more identities get added to the list of victims – rather than expanding the base, the result is walling more and more of the people out as evil intolerant hateful hating haters.

  11. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:40 am

    Aparently if your family was a victim of left wing genocide, you are not welcome on Facebook.

  12. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:40 am

  13. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:42 am

  14. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:43 am

  15. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:45 am

  16. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:58 am

  17. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 12:59 am

  18. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2018 1:05 am

    Recent scientific studies on “Trigger Warnings”.
    They make problems WORSE.

  19. Jay permalink
    August 12, 2018 8:22 pm

    Rick, I enjoyed reading your intelligent, prescient post.

    I fully agree with your descriptions of the damages done to our system by extremists Left & Right argumentatively pulling apart consensus like the limbs of a plastic stretch toy doll.

    I’m not at all optimistic anything positive will come out of this distorted liberal-Conservative right-Left mess for decades to come. For Moderates like us the terrain of moderation has been altered. A generation gap that has redefined the ground rules. Moderate accommodation for most Americans under the age of 40 isn’t perceived as it is by us. I don’t know if the enormous swell of technological advances in communication, or the relative ease of surviving growing up in an environment of raffluence, has produced a different mind set than the one we knew as the norm growing into adulthood, but right and wrong seem to have acquired different interpretations than those we relied on as constant.

    I think it will take more time to balance the system then I have remaining of planetary orbits to observe how that new equilibrium will balance. I’ve come to believe talking about it, writing about it, is futile for me. Therefore I’ve cut back on blogging, tweeting, posting and arguing about it in general. Instead I’m concentrating on learning how to use to best advantage two new favorite cooking utensils: my Sous Vide Immersion device, and my wonderful Instant Pot multi use pressure cooker. With that in mind, I leave you with tomorrow’s desert recipe below:

    • Jay permalink
      August 12, 2018 8:23 pm

      Instant Pot Cheesecake-2


      -3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (4 whole graham crackers, crushed)
      -2 tablespoons melted butter

      -1 pound regular cream cheese, softened (2 8-ounce packages)
      -2/3 cup sugar
      -2 large eggs
      -1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      -1/4 cup sour cream

      Any sweet fresh berries available

      1 Prep the pan: Spray the 7-inch cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, then spread evenly across the bottom of the pan and pack down, pushing the graham crackers up the sides a little.
      2 Make the cheesecake filling: Soften the cream cheese by leaving it out at room temperature for at least 1 hour (or heat it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until it is softened). Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat on medium speed until the sugar is completely blended, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until just blended. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream by hand. Pour into the cheesecake pan, then tap the pan on the countertop for about 30 seconds to get rid of air bubbles. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and crimp around the edge to seal.
      3 Pressure cook the cheesecake: Put 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker pot and add the cooking rack. If your pressure cooker rack doesn’t have handles, make an aluminum foil sling by folding a 2-foot long piece of aluminum foil over a few times, until it is a long strip about 4 inches wide. Use the sling to lower the cheesecake pan into the pot and set it on the rack. Lock the pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 35 minutes in an electric PC or 30 minutes in a stovetop PC, then let the pressure come down naturally, about 10 more minutes.
      Cool the cheesecake, then serve: Lift the cheesecake out of the pressure cooker. Immediately run a knife around the rim of the cheesecake pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Cool the pan at room temperature for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

      Top with berries and serve.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 13, 2018 12:50 am

      Why is consensus necescary ?

      The only purpose for consensus is when we choose to use force – as though government and we need much more than mere consensus to use force.

      We are a pluralistic society – diverse. Multi-Tribal. Yes there is SOME left right tension,

      but many things divide on other axis’s and have their own extreme’s and often lack of consensus.

      That is not only fine, it is often good.

      If you want to eat you can go to McD’s or Burger King or ….
      Or AppleBee’s or myriads of different resturaunts.
      You have nearly infinite choices.
      You need not do the same thing as others.
      you need not do the same thing each day.

      You can be as extremist as you wish.

      Because you are not seeking to impose your choice on others by force.

      There are a small number of things we must do together by force if necescary.
      Fundimentally that is as the declaration state secure our rights.

      The point is that it is irrelevant how widely disparate our views are from each other – so long as we are not seeking to impose them on each other by force.

      With few exceptions the only “Extremism” problem we have is those who seek to impose their particular point of view on the rest of us by force.

      Return to government that deals with the rule of law, and we are all free to beleive and do very extreme things – so long as we do not harm others.

      If we keep government relatively small and simple – all the complexities of life are in our own individual lives where each of us can make our own choices as we please.

      • August 13, 2018 10:23 am

        “The point is that it is irrelevant how widely disparate our views are from each other – so long as we are not seeking to impose them on each other by force.”

        Dave, your fixation on force clouds your view on what is happening today. Your rose colored glasses are distorting your views on the direction the country is moving. Remember, you have said many times that once you give someone something, it is almost impossible to take it back.

        Force can be propaganda. Mental manipulation. Coercive persuasion. Tell someone something long enough and often enough and they will believe. Followers of Charles Manson., Jim Jones, or followers like Patty Hearst. Was Hearst physically forced to rob a bank or mentally forced? Where all those that drank the Cool aide physically forced or mentally forced.

        I see the politics of this country mentally manipulating people much like Manson or Jones, starting with educators with youngsters who spend more waking hours with kids than their parents.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2018 6:36 pm

        Refusing to pretend that acting through government is using force is not a “fixation”.

        It is the absence of willful blindness.

        The “clouding” occurs when you pretend that government is not force.

        Eric Garner learned that the hard way,.

        “Force can be propaganda. Mental manipulation. Coercive persuasion. Tell someone something long enough and often enough and they will believe. Followers of Charles Manson., Jim Jones, or followers like Patty Hearst. Was Hearst physically forced to rob a bank or mentally forced? Where all those that drank the Cool aide physically forced or mentally forced.”


        All those things may well be WRONG. but they are not FORCE.

        Further though many of them tend to be as you described, there is a huge difference between “tend” and force.

        Most of what most people call “coerce” is just not getting the offer they wanted.

        If I offer to pay you $5/hr and you want $10, and I am unwilling to budge – that is not force.
        You are free to say no. If you are desparate – I did not create the causes of your desparation.

        I have agreed to things I would have prefered not to.
        Because they were to choices available. That is not force.

        Nor is persuasion force.

        I have repeated many things over and over – it does not seem to be “forcing” anyone to agree, even if I am right.

        This “the Russians” nonsense is such garbage it drives me nuts.

        I am not happy that the Russians engaged in persuasion in our elections.
        I am not happy that Center for American Progress did.

        My dislike for what someone else wishes to say does not allow me to silence them – not even the russians.

        Beyond the other issues – short of FORCE (war) you can not silence a nation.

        Further the Russian effort was inconsequential.

        But even if it had been HUGE and even if the russians had persuaded millions of voters.
        A laughable scenario – it was STILL persuasion, not FORCE.

        Often a charismatic person can persuade large groups to follow them. But it is still persuasion – not force. Whether it is Hitler or Jim Jones.

        We are each responsible for our choices – when we do not have the choices we would prefer – still responsible, when we do and make bad choices – still responsible, when Russians or Nazi’s ask for our support – still responsible.

        There might be moral issues involving some forms of persuasion.
        But there are no legal ones and no nexus for government to interfere.

        If we are not free to make one non-violent choice that is not good for us or that are neighbors disapprove of – then we are not free at all.

        Worse still when government says such things as you can offer and accept any job you want, but you must be paid some minimum wage, all that does is assure that those whose labor is worth less than that wage will remain unemployed, and those jobs that have a value below that minimum will not be offered or performed.

        Whatever you beleive constitutes coercion – short of the use or threat of force, we are better off than if government dictates.

      • August 17, 2018 8:02 pm

        Well we will have to disagree in your definition and my definition of force. While you believe force is physical , either directly or indirectly, I also believe force can be mental maipulation, mind control or brain washing resulting in a desired outcome to take place.

        But my comment was in response to your comment about consensus and force. I believe both the right and left are using force in many different ways. Obamacare was force. Marriage laws are force. But you can also indoctrinate individuals to act in a specific manner if you insure they only hear one side of the issue.

        As for consensus, we do not need to agree on anything. But we do need political decisions that benefit society. For example, one only needs to look at California and the forest fires. Environmentalist have insured catastrophic results due to restrictions on forestry and clearing of dead wood, trees and underbrush. Compare that to forested Indian reservation land where they maintain to eco system and fires, though rare, are easily extinguished. That is because they agreed that some short term negative impact like an owl losing its nest in a dead tree one year would preclude hundreds of animals dying from a fire in future years.

        Environmentalist and lumber corporations do not need to agree on their positions, but both need to moderate their positions so the country benefits from fewer forest fires. Some logging and clearing of land so fires are easier to access and control. And this goes for everything today.

        But no one will budge on anything since they believe as you do that not getting 100% of what you want is a bad deal, unlike Reagan who would accept losing 20% to get 80% of what he wanted. Just look at your comment earlier about tax cuts and the impact of not getting everything that one might want.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 2:40 pm

        “Well we will have to disagree in your definition and my definition of force.”

        Changes NOTHING. You can not duck this by word games or semantics or even pretending to agree to disagree.

        Let’s relabel what I call force as XZED, And we define XZED as the use of physical violence to accomplish something.

        I presume that you can agree that XZED is not the same as mental manipulation. or any of the other things you are calling force.
        That should be trivial – because we have defined XZED such that it does NOT include those things.

        It is still truth that you can not use XZED without justification.
        That is the core of the social contract, the foundation of government and thousands of years of human development. Humans are near universal in their recognition and acceptance that the use of XZED is generally barred and can only be used in limited circumstances.

        We are also near universally agree that XZED is not the same as all the other things you are calling force.

        In fiction poetry advertising, myriads of other spheres – use words as you please. define them how you wish, blur multiple meanings.

        But when you talk about government and law – which is explicitly the domain of the use of XZED for the explicit purpose of protecting our rights against infringement by others using XZED against us – there is no room for confusion.

        You can elide the problem by claims of semantic differences, or claims about disagreeing on the meaning of words or having differences of oppinion.

        Unless you prepared that people are free to initiate violence as they please.
        Or that there is no subsrtantive difference between:
        “I will shoot you if you do not work for me”
        “I will only pay you $5/hr to work for me”

        Then your response regarding your meaning of “force” is at most only an issue because having FORCE mean mutliple things results in confusion.

        Can government legitimately step in and use real physical force to punish someone who has initiated real physical force against another ?

        Government exists for that purpose – THAT is the social contract.
        We are all very nearly universally agreed on that.

        shifting to YOUR broader concept of force.

        Can government legitimately step in and use real physical force to punish someone who has attempted to persuade you ? Is unwilling to offer you a job you want or need at the wage you want ? ….

        There is no agreement that is a legitimate purpose of government Government.
        That is not part of the social contract.
        I do not beleive you can even get a plurality to agree to that.
        Much less the super majority necescary to use actual physical force.

        “While you believe force is physical , either directly or indirectly,”

        No that is how I – and in truth nearly all of us define it in the specific context of government – both in terms of what government is their to restrain – the use of physical force to infringe on rights, and what government may do to restrain that – use physical force.

        “I also believe force can be mental maipulation, mind control or brain washing resulting in a desired outcome to take place.”

        I would use a differnet word – but it is irrelevant whether we use the same of differnt word.

        Claims of mental maipulation, mind control or brain washing are not sufficient to justify the use of actual physical force aka government.

        To be clear – our conflict is not about the meaning of word.
        It is that you are conflating two different things which you allow to share the same name,
        in order to justify the use of physical force in response to something that is NOT physical force.

        The purpose of having clear narrow meanings for words is specifically to avoid this type of category error.

        Our difference is not over the meaning of words.
        It is over whether government may use physical force as a response to things that are not the use of physical force to infringe on our rights.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 2:53 pm

        “As for consensus, we do not need to agree on anything.’

        To use physical force – we must agree, we must have more than even consensus, we must have supermajorities.

        “But we do need political decisions that benefit society. ”
        Not the standard. It is always possible to argue that any political decision benefits society.

        Political decisions – meaning the decisions of govenrment must secure rights.
        That is a clear identifiable relaitively objective criteria, benefit society is hyper subjective.

        “For example, one only needs to look at California and the forest fires. Environmentalist have insured catastrophic results due to restrictions on forestry and clearing of dead wood, trees and underbrush.”
        Or compare to privately owned forests which do not have this problem.

        “Compare that to forested Indian reservation land where they maintain to eco system and fires, though rare, are easily extinguished. That is because they agreed that some short term negative impact like an owl losing its nest in a dead tree one year would preclude hundreds of animals dying from a fire in future years. That is because they agreed that some short term negative impact like an owl losing its nest in a dead tree one year would preclude hundreds of animals dying from a fire in future years.”

        You are comparing two different comunal decision making processes – which produce different outcomes to judge one superior to the other. The standard of living of Indians is many times lower than non-indians. Does that inherently make our governmental decision making process superior. That is your argument. I have just changed the context.

        The actual truth overwhelmingly demostrated by the data is that with very very very few exceptions, property rights and non-communal decision making produces superior results than communal decision making.

        This NOT because one person is wiser than a group, but because the agregate choices of many individuals are nearly always superior to the communal choices of the same people.

        One obvious part of that is that communal decisions effect EVERY individual. If the right choices is made everyone benefits, if the wrong choice is made everyone loses.
        While individuals making their own decisions never results in everyone making the same decision. No matter what there tend to be winners and losers. But the possibility of EVERYONE losing is infinitely lower.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 2:56 pm

        “Environmentalist and lumber corporations do not need to agree on their positions, but both need to moderate their positions so the country benefits from fewer forest fires. Some logging and clearing of land so fires are easier to access and control. And this goes for everything today.”

        We are near universally discussing public land. The problems you mention do not happen on private land as a result of private land owners decisions. Mega forest fires require government. They did not even occur when the land was entirely subject only to nature.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 3:01 pm

        “But no one will budge on anything since they believe as you do that not getting 100% of what you want is a bad deal”
        Never said that.
        Do not beleive that.
        Compromise is a TOOL, not an end or a value.

        Lets try a simple example.

        I want to eliminate SS (lets ignore the issues like how to compensate people who have an accrued benefit). You want to expand SS by 20%.

        I have sufficient votes to stop you.
        You have sufficient votes to stop me.

        Should I compromise with you to expand SS by 10% – no way!!!!

        Should I compromise with you to not add anymore new people to SS ?

        “Just look at your comment earlier about tax cuts and the impact of not getting everything that one might want.”

        I remember my principles, and my values. I do not remember every comment I made.
        What are you saying I said and what are you saying about what I said ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 13, 2018 1:04 am


      While I see many of the same things as you in the world – including the problems with people under 40. I am much more optomistic than you.

      I am not particularly pro-Trump – but I am very Pro the backlash against the left he represents.

      You and others here keep trying to pretend there is somekind of balance between the current evils of the left and right. To be clear – the right is not inherently good, and many of the problems that get pointed out with the right are real. But at this moment the hate, intolerance over-reach of the left is by orders of magnitude the greatest threat.

      I am not sure Trump was not elected in 2016 because we were at a tipping point – anything was better than 8 more years like we just had.
      And that is what we got – anything, the Anti-Clinton (mostly).

      But the election is just the tip of things.
      I know that in some ways the left appears to be stronger than ever right now. But I also think it is weaker than ever – I think the modern left is on the verge of imploding.
      And I do not know what follows.

      THAT will be the moment we need to worry about the right. When the left has self destructed, THEN we must be prepared to step in and fill the vaccuum with something other than Trumpism or many other variants of modern conservatism.

      I do not however think that the milktoast moderate that is sold by many here can or will fill the gap. It will never be dominant.

      Compromise is a tool – not a value.
      The answers to most of our problems are not in the middle.
      Nor are they ALL with one group. But every pole, and there are more than two has something to offer, some specific truth that no other group possesses so clearly.

    • August 13, 2018 4:30 pm

      Thanks, Jay. I’ve also found it futile to use my moderating influence to combat extremist opinions. When I’d see one of my Facebook friends post an extremist meme in the past, I’d try to infuse some common sense into the argument. But they just keep posting the same junk, and I can’t keep straightening them out without making a nuisance of myself. I’m weary of divisive politics, even though I love to sound off.

      It looks as if the millennials and their younger brethren (and sistren?) will be carrying the torch of progressivism into the middle of this century and probably beyond. We’ll probably have a President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the not-too-distant future. Nothing we can do about it except cultivate our gardens, cook, get together with friends or go birdwatching. That’s real life.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 11:55 am

        I would not bet that Millennials will be progressive. Most polls of their opinions come off uninformed and weird.

        They are the most self centered, the most entitled, the most me generation ever.
        Things like M4A and free college appeal to them – those are benefits for THEM.

        But they are also the most opposed to the social safetynet in a long time.

        They also have the highest proportion of libertarians of any cohort at their ages.

        Given that all cohorts become more conservative as they age – there are strong indications that the millenials are more likely to be a right shifted bubble moving through time.
        That does not mean they are right wing now. Just that they are different in a sort of conservative way from their peers in prior generations at the same time.

        I would further note that the left faces other “demographic” problems.

        While it is true that minorities tend to be left of center, ALL groups shift right slowly the longer they are in the US and the more affluent they get.

        The Irish, Italians and Jews used to be reliable democratic voting blocks – they are pretty solidly republican now.

        The majority of nearly every minority is still democratic – but with Obama’s departure each minority group is shifting slightly to the right.

        Much is made of the fact that Republicans must get some rediculously high proprtion of whites to win moving into the future – but that premise has an obverse – Democrats must continue to bhold rediculously high proprtions of minorities.

        A 5% shift in minority voting would turn much of the country deep red.

        And I keep reading that Trump is polling 10% better with blacks and Hispanics than he did in 2016.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 18, 2018 12:47 am

      Jay, what happened? You have mellowed so completely, I fear that you have been invaded by a body snatcher, lol. Anyway, I’m glad to hear that you give high ratings to the Instant Pot…I just bought one for my son for his upcoming birthday. He’s quite a good cook, unlike his mother, and I’ll definitely pass along your recipe. Sounds delicious.

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:29 pm

        Not mellow – resigned.

        And there are far more articulate observers out there, with wide audiences clanging warning alarms on social media platforms – the most cogent and cutting prose coming from credentialed conservative writers like Rick Wilson. Have you read his new book, “Everything Trump Touches, Dies?” You can download a two chapter sample for free on Kindle or IBooks. As funny and caustic an appraisal of debauched Trumpism as can be found condensed into prose …

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:25 pm

        If things today are sufficient to make you curl up in a ball of despair – how would you have survived in the past ?

        There are things wrong today – you and I might even agree on some of them.

        No one here is more hostile to our government as it is – whether run by democrats or republicans. But there is a world of difference between many things are broken and need fixed and we are going to hell.

        There is alot bad. But there is also alot good.

        Whether it is silent spring, or peak oil or climate change or Trumpism – we will survive – likely even thrive.

        And in fact overall thus far we appear to be doing better than any time since Clinton was president. Great ? No, but tentatively better than Bush and better than Obama.

        I can ignore the spittle contest between the president and the press with a solid economy and rising standards of living.

  20. Rebecca Scott permalink
    August 13, 2018 10:17 pm

    The greatest threat to our democracy is not intolerance; it’s IGNORANCE. Selective and intentional, or uninformed and uneducated, ignorance. Our problem is not our political system; it’s our educational system. Millions of Middle Americans don’t believe Obama is evil incarnate because of the rise of the angry right; they believe it due to their ignorance. If left wingers blame their troubles on straight white males (frankly, I’m not seeing this), it’s due to their ignorance. If audiences fall prey to cherry-picked news stories, it’s due to their ignorance. If people self-select echo chambers, rather than intentionally searching for truth, it’s due to their ignorance. I have a difficult time viewing either Washington (or ESPECIALLY Franklin!) or Franklin as “moderates.” Moderation results in in achievement of NOTHING. Even Franklin’s skills in diplomacy required a PASSION for the outcome. Washington’s tolerance does not mean he was moderate. I don’t know how anyone could read about the crossing of the Delaware, or the history of Valley Forge, and conclude that he was a moderate in ANY way. He was a PASSIONATE man with an iron will. And, finally, we do not have hyperpartisanship in government, we have GREED in government. Until we have term limits, limitations on lobbying, and overturn Citizens United, nothing will change, moderates or no. As the great RBG says, it’s a pendulum, but I would add that, at least with regard to a country’s progression, the pendulum NEVER rests at midpoint.

    • August 13, 2018 11:36 pm

      Rebecca, I have to agree with 95% of your thoughts. I would question the thoughts about Washington since the Bill of Rights was a compromise between the federalist and anti federalist that specifically identified rights of citizens since anti federalist feared a strong central government. If this compromise was due to Washington and other federalist moderating their federalist position, that might be difficult to determine. Given our current political environment, I dont think we could ever get anything like the current constitution passed today.

      And the other issue is Citizens United. Where do we limit political speech? Remember, Michael Moore produced a film , Farhenheit 9/11, highly critical of George Bush and broadcast advertisements for that during the 2004 campaign that showed clips critical of Bush. Citizens United, a non profit organization filed a complaint that the courts dismissed that claim. They found this to not be political speech. So in response, Citizens Untited released Celsius 41.11, a film highly critical of Kerry . Here, the FEC determined this violated campaign spending laws.

      So we had one individual advertising a product using critical political speech that was legal and another organization using negative political speech found illegal. SCOTUS found both entities could use funds basically for the same reason.

      So where do we limit freedom of speech? Can Warren Buffett spend personal funds for political speech, but a company he owns can not? Could his energy transport company be prohibited from running anti Keystone Pipeline ads during a campaign, but he could pay for those out of his private funds? Both would be against a GOP political agenda item.

      Its a can of worms either way.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:22 pm

        The bill of rights was NOT a compromise.

        Our founders near universally agreed regarding the rights in the bill of rights.

        What they DISAGREED about was whether having a bill of rights would result in the presumption that those were the only rights we have.
        The federalists said no, the anti-federalists yes. The federalists won and we have a bill of rights,. The ant-federalists won in the sense that our only cerrain rights are those in the bill of rights.

      • August 18, 2018 2:59 pm

        The constitution had many compromises. I am not going to debate that with you, but you can look it up if you want.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 7:40 pm

        “The constitution had many compromises.”

        Of course it did, but with the exception of the issue of slavery none of those compromises were of principles or even values.

        Most were not especially contentious.

        The Sherman compromise that resulted in our house and senate was a big deal.
        But it is not inherently ideological. No fundimental principles were involved.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:25 pm

        We have neither the right nor the ability to preclude the russians from speaking during our elections – why would we presume that we should be able to stop citizens united ?

        The remedy for bad speach is more speach. It is not enforced silence.,

        No matter how bad you think allowing limitless political free speach is, the alternative – giving government the power to chose who may speak when where about what is far worse.

    • August 16, 2018 11:16 pm

      Becky: “I resemble that remark!” Seriously, do you believe that moderation never achieves anything? Moderation achieved our Constitution, prevailing over the sniping partisans of special interests. And who held that nest of squabblers together? Good old moderate George Washington. Moderates can be passionate, too. (Exhibit A: The New Moderate.)

      I agree with you that greed and ignorance are major obstacles to better government, and that we need to sweep the power-brokers and money-changers out of Washington. But don’t underestimate the power of the media (especially the social media) to influence and radicalize even well-educated readers. Maybe the core problem isn’t ignorance so much as gullibility.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:41 pm

        “Moderation achieved our Constitution”

        Bzzt wrong. There were few if any moderates amoung our founders.
        “prevailing over the sniping partisans of special interests.”
        Nope, different “extremists” compromised – mostly on only a few things.
        Much of the constitution was acheived without compromise by mutual agreement.

        “And who held that nest of squabblers together? Good old moderate George Washington. Moderates can be passionate, too.”
        Washington Moderate ?
        Washington was not Samuel Adams or Patrick Henry.
        But he was not Ben Franklin either and Franklin was no moderate.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 17, 2018 9:46 am

      Rick/Rebecca/Ron (commenter alliteration),

      Ignorance undoubtedly plays a huge role in our current partisan divide. I agree 100% with that.

      “Economic illiteracy”, if you will, has been largely responsible for the rise of the Sanders faction of the Democratic Party, a faction that is clearly growing exponentially. All one needs to do to see this rise of socialist and corporatist influence is to read Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new bill, the Accountable Capitalism Act, which, in Warren’s own words, is an attempt to prevent corporations from “making the rich even richer,” by removing control of corporations from the owners and directors of those corporations, and using the power of government to force our largest corporations (over $1B) to buy “federal charters,” which would then mandate that those corporations allow employees to elect 40% of the companies’ boards of directors.

      So, let’s be clear…”federal charters” would give politicians and bureaucrats control over private industries, and employee-elected directors would begin to fundamentally change the entire purpose of those corporations from a shareholder-profit driven one to a redistributive one. The political power of unions would likely increase dramatically, and the ability of corporations to reinvest profits toward, say capital improvements, would almost certainly be hindered by the objection of employee directors who might insist that those profits be reinvested into increased wages and benefits. Or into social justice projects such as…well, there are many. Boondoggles, all.

      So how is this not a socialist proposal? Federal regulation of corporations, decision-making power diverted from owners to workers?

      But the media has latched on to this as a brilliant proposal, and the idea that it would be big government run amok is hardly mentioned. Ron’s libertarian concerns strike me as dead on the money (“money” being the operative word, here), yet I rarely hear those concerns in our supposedly unbiased media. “The power of the media (especially the social media) to influence and radicalize even well-educated readers” is, as he says, pervasive and may, at this point, be more significant than any other single factor in creating the echo chambers that inhibit the free exchange of ideas.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2018 1:58 pm

        Why arent the people who own something the ones who should be free to decide what is done with it ?

        Businesses over $1B are owned by shareholders – mostly ordinary people through their IRA’s

        Am I ecstatic with every choice Amazon makes ? NO! but am I generally happier and better off as a result of Amazon ? Absolutely. Why would I ever want government or employee groups to direct Amazon – rather than Bezos ?

        I am not anti-union. Form a union if you wish. I even support closed shops – in the sense that if workers can unionize and can get a closed shop contract – that is their business, not mine. Closed shops should not be illegal, they also should not be mandated.
        Mostly govenrment should have nothing to do with unions.

        But all that said – the industrial unions in the US in conjunction with abysmal management (and minimum wages) are responsible for the decline of many use industries – and thensubsequent demise of those unions resulted in the subsequent rise of those industries.

        Why would we want to wrap into our law the very mechanism that destroyed our indistrial dominance in the 70’s and 80’s ?

        Why should we thing that something that did not work before will work better next time.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2018 1:03 pm

      We are not a democracy.

      While I agree there are problems with our education system, and those problems effect our politics, remove control of education from government and return it to parents and what happens is not really the business of government.
      If parents educate their kids badly – so be it.

      There is no actual correct criteria for educating kids – which is why government should be uninvolved. Deciding what is best – when there are many many choices and no obviously right one is NEVER the role of government – and yet that is always education.

      If there are millions out there who beleive Obama is evil incarnate – I have yet to meet a single one. I have met very very many people – who think Obama was wrong on some issue of imortance to them – and that would include me. I have found that most of those – even when they are wrong, are FAR from ignorant. In fact I have generally found some of the smartest people to be the most ignorant. Naseem Talib labels them IYI – Intellectual yet idiot.

      As a left wing nut – even a highly educated one about gun control – and you will get a raft of appeals to emotion and not a single credible argument. The left’s argument is premised on the idiocy that without guns people would not kill each other – despite the fact we have been doing that for 150,000 years. Ask a gun nut – and you will get arguments. Usually pretty good ones. You may not get all the arguments, you may not get the best ones.
      But the point is that the gun nuts are better informed than the anti-gun nuts.

      Ignorance of issues is not uniformly distributed – and it is not distributed based on education, and all to often not based on intelligence either.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2018 1:08 pm

      “If audiences fall prey”
      Who is the predator ?
      “to cherry-picked news stories,”

      If I choose to watch Fox or MSNBC – isn’t that MY choice ?
      Isnt the selection of what is influencing me being done by ME ?

      If I choose to listen to only “hip hop” should government step in and force me to listen to some blues and classical music ?

      “it’s due to their ignorance”

      “I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”
      William F. Buckley

      Buckley was and remains right. Those who think they know how to run our lives for us are far far more dangerous than ordinary people.

      We do not need protection from the ignorant. ‘

      We need protection from those who think they are entitield to protect us from the ignorant.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2018 1:18 pm

      “And, finally, we do not have hyperpartisanship in government, we have GREED in government.”
      Absolutely though I would say a corrupt lust for power rather than greed.

      Power corrupts
      Lord Acton.

      Whatever power you give government – it will work to corrupt those wielding it.
      That is unavoidable. If you wish to reduce corruption in government you must:
      Reduce the power of government
      Increase the complexity in excercising that power.

      “Until we have term limits,”
      So change the law.

      “limitations on lobbying, and overturn Citizens United,”
      Again you are free to change the law. Though I would specifically note you are attacking the WRONG side of the problem.

      Lobbiest – are villified, but they are NOT THE PROBLEM
      Money in politics is NOT THE PROBLEM – we spend less on political campaigns each year than on snack foods – chips and pretzels.
      Trump defeated Clinton with a bit more than half the campaign spending.

      Money is a facilitator of speach – and that is why CU was CORRECTLY decided.
      Barring third parties from spending money on political speach is about the most egregious violation of the 1st amendment conceivable.

      Regardless corruption in government is a GOVERNMENT problem.
      Politicians selling themselves is a problem of misconduct by politicians – not lobiests or third parties.

      With respect to pendulum’s they NEVER rest.

  21. August 14, 2018 5:41 pm

    Rick, I thought people were getting dumber , but they even exceed my expectations. How can we expect people to moderate when they keep doing idiotic things like this that support the extremist in the country.

  22. August 15, 2018 11:08 pm

    Who really believes Beto ORourke will be that moderate democrat that will go against Shumer once elected and indocrinated into the workings of Washington.

    Texas is a good example of changing demographic in this country. Increasing hispanic population, increasing liberal vote from employees transferring jobs from high tax states like California to Texas and the idiotic movement of GOP candidates further right that disenfranchizes the right of center voters who might just buy the Ayahuasca effect of the lefts “\moderate” message in red leaning states.

  23. grump permalink
    August 18, 2018 10:40 am

    Hi Rick. Good luck to you.

    They are not winning, they have won. Its over. I thought the trump level of decay of our society could be rolled back. It can’t. No matter what happens in future elections we have become this sad disgusting nihilistic decaying culture and there is no going back. Rioting snowflakes and economic illiterates on one side, an entirely vile, shallow, psychologically damaged and damaging president and his brainwashed nihilistic nationalist movement on the other. Whatever side wins future elections, they will be nothing I want.

    Sodium is an explosive metal. Chlorine is a poisonous green gas. Combined they make salt, which is cool to look at under magnification, tasty in food, and when dissolved provides essential ions to the body to power cellular processes. Unfortunately It does not work that way with explosive and poisonous political movements. They just poison us and explode us, nothing tasty, nothing essential.

    RIP civilization as we knew it.

    • Jay permalink
      August 18, 2018 11:46 am

      Yes. I agree. We’re in a downward FUBARed spiral.

      Luckily, there is solace in artistic distraction. If it wasn’t for the vast resovoir of YouTube videos of film & music (and Irish Whiskeyat Costco), I’d be curled up in a ball or despair.

      Here’s today life-buoy saving vid from the wonderful 1979 film “All That Jazz.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2018 7:17 pm

      Aside from the assertion that both sides are stupid what are you saying that is new, or catastrophic ?

      We have problems ? What is new, my entire life we have had problems.

      Real progress in the 21st century has been poor compared to the 20th – but the US is still outperforming the rest of the developed world.

      Our debt is too high. That did not change on Nov. 9 2016. that is a big problem, I do not want to pretend we can ignore it. But we actually have alot of time – it just will be a little more painful to fix with each passing year.

      Things are contentious.

      Worse than during the McCarthy era ?

      Worse than the violent strikes and bombings that occured in the late 19th early 20th century ?

      Worse that the civil war ?

      • grump permalink
        August 19, 2018 10:37 am

        “Aside from the assertion that both sides are stupid what are you saying that is new, or catastrophic ?”

        Technology. twitter et al. Mass ugliness and stupidity, hyperdivision, and a movement to further and further extremes has been an unintended by product of technology. Its here to stay. It was like giving alcohol to native americans.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2018 5:49 pm

        I don’t disagree with you, grump. I don’t think that it had to be this way, but it is what it is, and it’s seemingly getting worse. Our new Masters of the Universe, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Cook, Pichai, Dorsey, could help, but they seemed disinclined…

      • dhlii permalink
        August 19, 2018 9:43 pm

        “Technology. twitter et al. Mass ugliness and stupidity, hyperdivision, and a movement to further and further extremes has been an unintended by product of technology. Its here to stay. It was like giving alcohol to native americans.”

        Bunk. I can not beleive you are that ignorant of the past.

        I am deeply fearful of the violence of the left at the moment – and the left is far more likely – both in reality and historically to engage in violence.

        But even saying that we have had far worse political violence in the past. Even during your and my lifetimes.
        Obama’s Buddy and likely ghost writer, blew people up for political reasons in our lifetimes.
        The were bombs and riots and arson and looting on a huge scale in the sixties.

        Nor is that the worst violence in our history.

        I have serious problems with the censorship on social media.
        To be clear I do NOT want government to involve itself.
        And I actually think it will fix itself shortly. FB’s stock tanked recently.
        If 10% of the right moved from the left leaning and censoring social media tomorow.
        It would take less than a week for policies to be changed.

        And either they will or we are going to see social media splinter.

        Either is fine by me.

        At the same time, I think that Social media makes us LESS violent.
        We have the oportunity to dike it out with words rather than fists or bombs or weapons.

        Inarguably we are LESS violent overall today than 50, 100, 200 years ago.

        Nor do I have a problem with people speaking our – even angrily. I think that is a GOOD thing, It is even a good thing when I think those speaking angrily are wrong.

        As to being more divided – yes. The left has moved further left.
        Regardless, our divisions are nearly all about politics – and those are easy to solve.
        Disempower government.

        We are fighting over using force through government against each other.
        The answer is really simple – left, right, it does not matter – absent sufficient justificant, absent actual proven effect, absent supermajority support we should not use force against each other.

        I am fine with angry words.

      • grump permalink
        August 20, 2018 9:00 am


        If only. If only some master of denial guy on a blog saying bunk actually made something bunk. The ability to pen denials on a blog is Not actually a superpower. Just one little quantum of No in a big universe.

        You are monotonously, repetitively, and fanatically fixated on your obsessions and oblivious to anything that is not one of your obsessions.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:04 pm

        Fact and reality are independent of your opinions.

        Facts are monotonously, repetitively, and fanatically fixated on reality and oblivious to your oppinions.

  24. dhlii permalink
    August 20, 2018 12:21 am

  25. August 20, 2018 7:00 pm

    Another reason the extremist are winning.

    In the 90’s, Bill Clinton signed a “workfair” bill thatvrequired able bodied individuals to be emp!oyed, showing efforts to gain employment or be enrolled in training. During the great recession, Obama activated waiver programs that today are still being granted where recipients dont gave to work.

    Today there are over 6,million job openings fron unskilled to skilled. Why one would not want to provide those on food stamps the opportunity to work and receive assistence is beyond my comprehension. Someone important once said (paraphrased) ” give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” Also “God helps them who help themselves”

    As Dave has pointed out so many times about government programs being impossible to take away after they are provided, few of us accept that a temporary program to help during hard times should expire in good times.

    That then creates the extremist that want government to provide everything and those that accept no government help because we know once it is created, it never goes away. We just keep funding and promoting dependency.

  26. August 20, 2018 10:11 pm

    Somehow I got “unfollowed” on Word Press for this site.bTrying tonget it bsck. Hope this wirks.

  27. grump permalink
    August 21, 2018 9:42 am

    Hmm, if putin’s hackers go after conservatives and do damage will gop voter finally wake up? (nah, too far gone into the trump narrative is my guess).

    (from the nytimes):

    “The Russian military intelligence unit that sought to influence the 2016 election appears to have a new target: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump and are seeking continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs or pressing for human rights.

    In a report scheduled for release on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation said that it detected and seized websites that were created in recent weeks by hackers linked to the Russian unit formerly known as the G.R.U. The sites appeared meant to trick people into thinking they were clicking through links managed by the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute, but were secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.

    Microsoft also found websites imitating the United States Senate, but not specific Senate offices or political campaigns.

    The shift to attacking conservative think tanks underscores the Russian intelligence agency’s goals: to disrupt any institutions challenging Moscow and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.”

    From cnn:

    “The Kremlin on Tuesday denied any knowledge of attempts to interfere in US elections.”Our reaction has already become traditional: we don’t know which hackers they are talking about, we don’t know what is meant about the impact on elections,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a CNN question. “From the US, we hear that there was not any meddling in the elections. Whom exactly they are talking about, what is the proof, and on what grounds are they reaching such conclusions?”
    He added, “We don’t understand, and there is no information, so we treat such allegations accordingly.”

    In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Trump — who has openly and repeatedly questioned US intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the goal of harming Hillary Clinton’s campaign to aid his bid — blamed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the matter for undermining his efforts to improve relations with Moscow.
    Mueller’s investigation has “played right into the Russians — if it was Russia — they played right into the Russians’ hands,” the President said.”

    Well, nytimes, cnn, these are simply fake news organizations, so we can take the lead of our potus and go back to thinking about baseball or mexicans.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 21, 2018 10:40 am

      Correct me if I’m wrong, grump, but I believe that we have had ” continued sanctions against Moscow,” even increasing sanctions, throughout the Trump presidency? Am I wrong about that?

      I wonder what the media would say if Trump, like Angela Merkel, the “true leader of the free world”, according to the NYT, pursued negotiations to allow Russia to build a pipeline through the Baltic Sea, potentially solidifying Russia’s dominant energy position in Europe, despite the objections of many of the other NATO leaders.

      “President Donald Trump’s warnings against a planned pipeline to bring oil from Russia to Germany will not disrupt the venture, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in a joint press conference over the weekend.”

      Hmmm, one of our “close European allies” thumbing her nose at the US president, in favor of Putin? While the US is spending billions to protect Europe from Russia?

      I’m curious as to why the American media seem focused on Trump’s supposed obsequiousness to Putin, while the German Chancellor is holding joint press conferences with the Russia dictator, celebrating a joint energy agreement and announcing that US opposition to the venture will be ignored?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2018 10:31 pm

      “Hmm, if putin’s hackers go after conservatives and do damage will gop voter finally wake up? (nah, too far gone into the trump narrative is my guess).”

      What specifically are you trying to address ?

      Every nation in the world engages in cyber spying. The US is #1 at that – we had to apologize to Merkel for listening in on her cell phone.

      I am highly dubious of the claim that the DNC was hacked by Russia. The evidence is weak and does not nearly as strongly point to Russia as claimed.
      If you have any real connections to the Black Hat/White Hat world, you would know that it is nearly impossible to determine who actually hacked someone.

      Every single thing that CrowdStrike claims fingers Russia is very easy for anyone with more skill than a script kiddie to fake.

      But lets say Russia hacked the DNC – are you going to war over it ?

      And if the Russian’s have the RNC ? So ?

      Further I would ask regardless of whether it is the RNC ro the DNC – if the brass in one party was plotting the demise of one candidate with another – isn’t that News ?

      Why did it take a Russian Hacker ? Why not NYT or WaPo ?

      If the DNC is behaving badly – that is news. Finding that our is call investigative journalism.
      If the RNC is behaving badly – they are fair game too.

      As to your “story” – Microsoft does not control or have the power to “seize” web sites.
      Either the reporting is bogus or inaccurate.

      Further the description is muddy.

      There are some hacking techniques to intercept aomeone else’s domain – but those techniques are fairly sophisticated and require armies of actual “bots” – that term is pretty much never used propertly by the left or medai. A “bot” is a computer that some hacker has inflitrated that they can control – as an example to launch DDOS attacks on other computers. Or to mask their own identity by routing their actions through an array of “bots”.

      Intercepting a domain is a very shortlived technique – typically for hours before the problem is fixed. The DNS system is reasonably robust against these kinds of attacks.
      Further they typically are fairly local – you can not as an example easily pretend to be “” accross the entire world. But you might be able to poison parts fo the DNS system so that you can in Ypsilanti, Michigan sor a few hours.

      More likely you have someone who bought related domain names – “”\
      and is pretending to be “”

      And finally – AGAIN, if you think that you know that the GRU or PRC, or NK is behind some hacking. You are nearly certainly wrong.

      Regardless, the whole “microsoft” angle on this is weird.

      Microsoft is not the internet police. They do not control the internet – to the extent it is controlled it is controlled by Internic. Microsoft has ZERO to do with root DNS, and ZERO to do with web hosting.

      The entire Microsoft angle on this is just highly suspcious.

      As to CNN – whatever the Kremlin is doing (or not doing) it is going to deny it.

      We can be sure that the Kremlin – like PRC, NK, IRAN, Pakistan, …. and the US are up to no good. But anyone claiming to be about to prove specific modern internet malfeasance is smoking whacky weed,.

      As to Trump questioning US intelligence – ABSOLUTELY – so do I.
      And not just on Russian hacking, on pretty much everything US intelligence tells us.

      Why exactly does the left buy into this particular claim when they did not buy into say the Yellow Cake claim ? Or the WMD claim or ….

      Why is one of the least evidenced claims credible by myriads of false claims that had more behind them were not beleived ?

      I do not Trust the US IC on pretty much anything. Why would I trust them about Trump ?

      And yes, NYT has a pretty bad track record, and what you are selling has so many questionable claims that ir wreaks of “fake news”.

  28. grump permalink
    August 21, 2018 2:06 pm

    Priscilla, In fact, you understand my point perfectly well, deflections, but whataboutism, and smoke screens aside.

    putin’s KGB methods at work in the world and now even at work in America and the trump-putin relationship are incredibly serious matters and it is not going to turn out at all well in the fullness of time for trump or putin, or America(ns) or Russian(ns).

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 21, 2018 8:49 pm

      Ok, grump, but the truth is, I was genuinely asking how you could believe that Trump, who has been very tough on Russia , is a Putin puppet, and Merkel who is up Putin’s butt and stabbing Ukraine and Poland in the backs (not to mention the US) is somehow not.

      It’s not “whataboutism” at all ~ it would be whataboutism if Trump were making lucrative deals with Putin and I was saying that he was no different than Merkel.

      I’m saying that he is NOT like Merkel, and that he has pursued a very tough policy toward Russia, while insisting that he would be open to better diplomatic relations. Sort of the opposite of Obama, who after the initial “reset button” phase, spoke tougher diplomatically, but was willing to pursue unilateral nuclear disarmament, abandon plans to place missile defense systems in eastern Europe and refused to send arms to Ukraine.

      I’m willing to accept that Obama believed that appeasement would work better than sanctions. So, that isn’t whataboutism either . It’s just my opinion that Obama’s Russian policy was far weaker than Trump’s, despite his tough talk.

      • grump permalink
        August 21, 2018 11:21 pm

        There is more comedy here than in the 2 hours of “the great race” that the wife and I just watched. Seriously you are speaking in tongues no one could really be so lost. Good Grief! adn Good Night!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:15 pm

        The comedy is that you see the world with blinders.

        I read an excellent article several months ago where someone took the who Trump thing and moved it to 2020, replacing Obama/Clinton with Trump and Trump with Oprah.

        If Trump tried the crap that Clinton and Obama did – we would bring back keelhauling.

        Your ecstatic because Cohen plead guilty to the non-crime of coordinating with Trump to keep embarassing but not criminal things secret.

        AGAIN – doesn’t that make whoever hacked the DNC into hero’s and Clinton into a criminal in an altogether new way ?

        If you want to credibly “get Trump” – do so following “the rule of law”.

        Laws narrowly construed, and apply the same to all, blind to who they are or what their ideology is.

        If you can not do that you are openly lawless. You are the tyrant and authoritarian you accuse Trump of.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 10:56 pm

        Claims of “Whataboutism” are the pretense that hypocracy is acceptable.

        BTW your post was not “whataboutism” it was a refutation of the central claim that putin and trump are in league.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 10:58 pm

        Calling Obama’s foreign policy “apeasement” is being generous. It presumes that there was some kind of actually coherent foreign policy.

        Rather than “its Tuesday – how do we feel about Russia on Tuesdays ?”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2018 10:44 pm

      No Grump – we do NOT understand your point.

      Priscilla provided real FACTS, that we can all verify – not questionable speculation masquerading as news.

      It is possible that there is some germ of meaning hidden in the stories you linked – but it is hard to tell, because whoever wrote them is clearly clueless.

      Microsoft may have found something regarding Russian hacking – though I am highly dubious of ANYONE claiming to know who the source of a hack is.
      You can not even tell if it appears that the hacker carelessly made a mistake that revealed their identity – that could just as easily be a different hacker deliberating pointing the blame at another.

      You do not seem to understand – there are individual hackers unaffiliated with nations, that have thousands of actual bots across the world, as well as the hacking toolkits of every single major foriegn power – CIA, NSA, Russia, PRC, …. and can arrange a hack to appear to have come from anywhere.,

      It is just simply not possible to trace a hack that way today.

      The best you can hope for is a report from your own mole inside an organization – and even that could be disinformation.

      False Flags are centuries.

      One of the many reasons for not trusting the IC is specifically because they claim to be sure. Just like they were sure of WMD’s and Yellow cake and …….

      I am sure Putin’s KGB works hard.

      I am equally sure that neither you, not the NYT, nor the US IC nor Crowdstrike, nor anyone short of that actually doing whatever the “KGB”
      BTW – the “Russian” KGB no longer exists. Russian intelligence was divided into other agencies in 1991.

  29. August 21, 2018 7:20 pm

    Extremist on the left are going to celebrate. As ABC has stated “A federal jury in Virginia found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, marking the first major prosecution won by special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 election.”

    The right is going to dig in and claim this proves nothing and is not a “major prosecution won by special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 election.”

    Just like most special prosecutors, they cant find anything connected to their primary directive, so they do the work of LEO’s and the FBI to justify their existence and then claim “major” wins.

    Should Manaford have been prosecuted? Yes. But this is still what I believe is Muellers effort to change the direction of politics in this country. Today this win. Within a fouple months Cohen will plead guilty. Both will be sentenced just before the election. The campaigns will not be about the direction of the couhtry, economics, trade, jobs, healthcare or anything else important, it will be thosearound Trump are criminal s. And I suspect everything anyone is convicted of will be crimes committed well before the election.

    And Putin most likely is preparing bonuses for those doing A JOB WELL DONE!

    • grump permalink
      August 21, 2018 8:18 pm

      “Within a fouple months Cohen will plead guilty. ”

      Er, done already, couple of months early:

      Me not having anything on par with your fear of government I see nothing sinister in Meuller.
      The sleaze and incompetence around trump and his own belief in his unaccountability made this inevitable. The systems is trying to work in spite of remarkable circumstances. My view is that not holding trump and his circle accountable would be a terrible blow to our fabric.

      The campaign will be about everything and anything that any clever campaign manager anywhere can think up. This time around that is going to include the stink that trump has brought in many ways, its completely fair game.

      • August 21, 2018 11:02 pm

        “Er, done already, couple of months early:”

        Not really. They have not been to court for sentencing. Mueller wants a REALLY BIG SHOW this fall when the ax falls. Big headlines when Manaford gets probably 15 years and Cohen somewhere close. Somewhere around Oct 20th to Nov 1st.

        What this points out to me is the FBI is close to a useless agency since all of this has been readily available for investigators to find. Why have they not done this? Right now it appears they are impotent , or they were working so hard to cover Hillary’,s ass they did not have time to look into Manaford.

        Yes, I have a very low regard for our government and those that work for the government except for the military. I have a low opinion of Trump, but no where near as bad as I view The Bitch. Comey did everything he could to cover for Clinton and when their game plan failed, Rosenstein took over in the fourth quarter and brought in a new quarterback to save their game.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:03 pm

        This is more of this garbage crap – like the fake “money laundering”

        “Cohen admitted that “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” he kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle.”

        If the above is a crime – then clinton and the DNC are criminals, and whoever hacked the DNC is a hero.

        There is absolutely nothing illegal about buying peoples silence about things that are harmful but not criminal.

        I get so tired of this “made up” law – especially when Mueller and Federal prosecutors are pushing this garbage.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 21, 2018 11:20 pm

        grump, I think that the issue, for many of us, is equal justice under the law, or lack of same.

        It’s been pretty clear, over the last couple of years that, if your last name is Clinton, or if you work for someone with the last name of Clinton, you will receive extremely preferential treatment from the federal legal system, despite pretty obvious criminal behavior….

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:08 pm

        Absolutely – what is most disturbing about this entire legal war on Trump and everyone close to him, is that we have had to stretch the law beyond recognition to do so.

        But the very people doing the stretching are not applying this highly elastic scheme of criminal law to any but Trump targets.

        By the very same legal interpretations that the left and these prosecutors are selling – the entire obama administration as well as Clinton and everyone she knows would be in jail for decades.

        I mean really ? Conspired to keep harmful information secret ?

        Isn’t that Clinton’s entire life ?

        Doesn’t that make whoever hacked the DNC into hero’s ?

        Do the people who cheer this kind of garbage actually consider the possibility that it will be used against them ?

      • grump permalink
        August 22, 2018 9:07 am

        “Comey did everything he could to cover for Clinton and when their game plan failed, Rosenstein took over in the fourth quarter and brought in a new quarterback to save their game.”

        That is a conspiracy theory pure and simple. You surprise me.

        To address both your comments and Priscilla’s: Clinton’s e-mail scandal was fair game for being exposed and it was typically arrogant and sloppy Clintonian being above the rules behavior. But what it got blown up into in conservative/gop minds was out of all proportion to the situation. Conservatives set their sights on a criminal prosecution of a major party nominee, which would have been an extraordinary event, and really destructive use of a scandal. She did a stupid and arrogant thing, she got caught, she paid the price in the campaign. Throwing her in jail or putting her on trial during the campaign is so far over the top I cannot believe that anyone other than a real zealot would have expected it. So, you guys are welcome to despise Comey, Rosenstein, and Mueller, and the FBI and government itself in some cases to boot! I see that as being completely absurd.

        Meanwhile, trump has undermined in his incredible words the very existence of the Russian attack on our election and work of our security agencies, which is beyond all of my belief and totally unacceptable and more than any other single thing fuels my shock at and contempt for his presidency.

        Many, many conservatives, and, I guess, libertarians have lost it completely regarding the FBI and Attorney Generals office. If you all actually were to get your revolution and tear it down you would not like the destructive results when they came to fruit. I regard this whole acidic and conspiracy prone outlook as one of the truly bizarre and extreme paths that have captured the conservative mindset, in a similar way to the liberal mindset having been seduced by scandinavianism. Both sides are losing it,headed for other universes.

        Neither weird grotesque crusade is going to succeed, and thank god. We are not going to go Scandinavian as the left wants and we are not going to tear down our security agencies and Attorney General’s office as the right wants. Extremists are not going to win those battles.

        What they are going to do is foment a near civil war in trying. Its all delusional and unnecessary, a waste of huge energy thrown into division rather than constructive acts.

      • August 22, 2018 11:23 am

        “Both sides are losing it,headed for other universes”

        So true! And when one with differing opinions reads your comments, they are as delusional for a conservative reader as mine may be to a liberal reader.

        If you think we are not headed for “scandinavianism” as you put it, you are as delusional as you claim I am. Chuck Shumer as Senate Majority leader, Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker and Warren/Sanders/Booker/Biden Clinton etc, etc as president will only lead to more entitlement paid for by those earning a living, open borders leading to more Molly Tibbetts, more regulations creating job loses (thus increasing entitlement needs), more sanctuary cities, falling retirement funds due to falling stock market prices, and special treatment for LGBTQ, giving them “rights” that “straights” do not receive. And that is just the top of agenda. Much more hidden in the deeply left agenda that will also become law.

        You comment concerning special treatment of Clinton, etc.”That is a conspiracy theory pure and simple. You surprise me.” Really? Look at all the people charged with lying to the FBI, for much the same as Clinton. Why was she not charged? Then I have said all along as we get closer to the election, Mueller would get the trials going or get the deals on charges. Make headlines. That is now happening . “Conspiracy theory” or reality?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:30 pm

        ““Comey did everything he could to cover for Clinton and when their game plan failed, Rosenstein took over in the fourth quarter and brought in a new quarterback to save their game.”

        That is a conspiracy theory pure and simple. You surprise me.”

        What part is theory ?

        The conspiracy part is true enough – like REAL Conspiracy.

        We have Obama going on TV and announcing in the midst of the investigation that Clinton did nothing wrong.

        Trump gets anywhere near that and we hear screams of “obstruction of justice”.
        If it is obstruction when Trump does it, then it is when Obama does it.

        Regardles, clearly the DOJ and FBI bent over backwards to tank a prosecutable case.
        Yes, people have been charged, convicted and jailed for less than Clinton did.

        Petreus, Deutch, Sausier, Manning, Snowden, …..

        Seriously disturbing is Comey’s rewriting the stature to require intent.

        Republicans have been thwarted by democrats in seeking to add a default “mens rea” requirement to Federal law – intent is required of all state criminal charges EXCEPT a very few laws where “gross negligence” – the exact language Comey sleazed arround obvioates the need for intent.

        As a rule intent is NOT actually required for federal crimes. Comey knows that.
        It is wrong. With very very few exceptions intent should be required.

        The gross neglegence of a public servant would be one of those.

        Beyond that – look at what the IG found – while I think he was being extremely generous to Comey – it still was damning.

        You are left to conclude that either the DOJ/FBI are more incompetent than the keystone cops – or they were engaged in a criminal conspiracy (actually several),

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:44 pm

        The rule of law means we prosecute people for crimes – when there is sufficient evidence that they have committed a crime.

        We do so whether they are poor, or rich, or a presidential candidate for a major party.

        This did not get “blown out of proportion”
        We prosecuted and convicted Duetch for less – and Bill Clinton pardoned him.
        We prosecuted Petreaus for Less.

        We now know from Strzok that more than one “hostile foreign power” though not Russia, managed to get classified information from Clinton’s recklessness.

        That did not occur with Deutch, or Petreaus,

        Why were they charged and prosecuted and not Clinton ?

        I do not recall any exception to “the rule of law not man” that says – if you can hide your malfeasance long enough and run for president you can not be prosecuted ?

        You seem to want Trump prosecuted for made up crimes while president.
        How would prosecuring a political candidate who actually committed crimes be worse ?

        And why are you bothering to defend Clinton.

        If you loath Trump so badly – a major factor in his election – was CLINTON.

        Lets forget DOJ/FBI – why didn’t democrats abandon Clinton ?
        There are myriads of reasons that she was an abysmal choice for democrats.

        Lost in all this fake Russia flipped our election garbage is that Clinton lost because she was Clinton.

        If you think Republicans should not have selected Trump – and they should not have, they had many excellent choices,

        uWhy did democrats choose Clinton

        If your standards prohibit you from voting for Trump – how could you vote for Clinton ?

        I did not vote for either. You had the same choice.

        I find it hillarious that anyone who voted for Clinton can complaint about trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 11:59 pm

        Someone despises Comey Rosenstein and Mueller ?

        No. What I want to know is how we still do not have probable cause that a crime was committed – and yet we have marshalled massive federal resources investigating it.

        Comey has done an excellent job of trashing himself. He does not need my help.

        Regardless, AGAIN – “the rule of law”.

        The constitution REQUIRES that a request for a Warrant must be a SWORN statement that there is probable cause that a crime had been committed and that the person being searched was involved.

        The FISA Warrant was SWORN 4 times.

        Today – there is STILL not probable cause. Worse we KNOW that FBI/DOJ KNEW there was not probable cause.

        Yet those you names and a few others swore out a warrant and have not even been charged.

        Papadoulis is likely headed to jail for – misremembering the dates of one of his conversations in a converstation not a sworn statement with the FBI.
        Flynn is likely headed to jail for ???? No one is exactly sure – because even Strzok did not think he was lying – but Mueller is prosecuting.

        Yet McCabe and Comey have told bigger whoppers – to agents, and under oath and no one is prosecuting.

        The malfeasance of those in government is well known and not in despute and the evidence makes it bigger everyday.

        But each day the left goes spitting mad over the latest speculation regarding Trump that never materializes.

        I would not jail those who signed the FISA Warrant – though I am tempted.
        Nor would I jail all the people that Mueller is intent on for much lessor offenses.

        You can not be celebrating the prosecution of these Trump affiliates when those so close to that prosecution are guilty of much more.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2018 12:04 am

        What purpose does the FBI serve ? The US has no federal general police power.

        The FBI has always been of dubious constitutionality.

        If it must exist – reduce it to those things that are actually in the domain of the federal government – and most federal prosecutions arent.

        You say I should not attack DOJ.

        Does that mean you are a “drug warrior” ? that you oppose justice reform ?
        Because the DOJ has been big on those.

        I do not grasp why you trust the FBI and DOJ when it serves you but not when it does not ?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2018 12:07 am

        “I regard this whole acidic and conspiracy prone outlook as one of the truly bizarre and extreme paths that have captured the progressive mindset,”

        The very people you say have not conspired have worked together for several years to investigate something that they have had evidence from the begining was not there,

        Aparently it is OK in your world for CIA/DOJ/FBI to use the awesome power of govenrment to chase down conpiracy theories – but it is some kind of nutcase conspiracy for anyone to be offended by that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2018 12:11 am

        “we are not going to tear down our security agencies and Attorney General’s office as the right wants”

        That is what I want. That is not what the right wants. The right is a very big supporter of all of those institutions, The right is just after a few heads – heads that should have rolled long ago.

        I am after as much diminishment as possible of corrupt government institutions.

        Institutions that were corrupt long before they went after Trump.
        Institutions that the left opposed – until the controlled them.

        Please tell me what good the CIA/FBI/DOJ actually are ?
        What have they gotten right ?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2018 12:13 am

        “Extremists are not going to win those battles.”

        Because you say so ?

        Regardless, the extremism is on the left.

        Whatever the flaws of the right at the moment – and there are many – those flaws are neither new nor any worse – in fact they are diminished from the “extremism” of the right in the past.

        The left has gone full bull moose looney.

      • grump permalink
        August 22, 2018 12:06 pm

        Ron, Clinton did a stupid thing with her server. In no way was it for monetary gain. It may have violated the letter of the law. If we throw everyone in jail who did a stupid thing last year that violated the letter of the law, then there will be more people in prison that out of it. Who will pay? I will bet that more than once in your own life you have done a stupid thing that violated the letter of the law. You should be in jail, right? Your standards for the conduct of human beings in government are beyond the limits of reality. If someone uses their position in government to illegally enrich themself, then I will be very interested, like those two shits in the NY legislature Or Rod the serbian in Illinois. Life in prison for them would be fine by me. I despise the Clintons, but I am Nothing compared to you, you have an obsession, its an obsession common on the right.

        I should break this down into individual shorter comments to your post but I am too lazy. So, next issue:

        Rest assured we are not headed for scandinavian government. Americans are not scandinavians and do not want that level of taxation and bureaucracy as a group. Progressives will try, and they will fail. Its not in American political DNA.

        By your libertarian standards it may seem like America is going scandinavian. I’ve told the story here many times of Vermont passing a law to transit to single payer, the Governor staked his career on it, the legislature was completely liberal dem dominated, the population was all in favor of it. Yet, it did not happen. When the actual costs of the real system were revealed the liberal dems in the legislature said, no. Progs were livid, but life went on. Nationally We will not get single payer. It just won’t work here, in this country with its history, demographics, political makeup etc. We won’t get free collage or a $15 minimum wage either. The actual costs when determined for a real bill in congress with a chance of passing will kill all those prog ideas.

        Your outlook is libertarian and I admit I am becoming more adn more unsympathetic with any form of libertarian and not because of the stoner candidate etc and other screwballs. If only libertarianism meant being socially liberal and fiscally conservative then it would have something. Instead it means an acidic and entirely impossibly downsized view of government that you can flat out forget about because it ain’t gonna ever happen.

        I completely understand you when you have realistic gripes about govt. spending. Complaining that govt. programs don’t have to pass efficiency evaluations and get modified or eliminated when they don’t pass is totally reasonable. Complaining about redundant programs, reasonable; complaining about deficit spending, reasonable; not wanting any new large entitlements, reasonable; wanting the existing entitlements put on stable ground, reasonable. Just being libertarian generally being anti government, not reasonable, not constructive, not persuasive, and not a winning strategy to change any of your gripes. Fight individual wars with the specifics of particular cost cutting ideas, that is my advice. A McCain presidency would have been like that, that is what McCain was about. I could have easily lived with that kind of presidency.

        The stuff about Rosenstein, Comey, the FBI all working on some plan to affect the election is true mind shit, even if some prediction based on that mind shit comes to pass. A broken clock… Do you think they all have secret meetings, the Clintons are sending money to offshore accounts of all the co conspirators? You are out of your mind on this one, and far from alone, its a mass conservative cult of true mind shit. You may as well be telling me that W Bush orchestrated 9/11. Contrails, have you considered contrail conspiracy as an avenue of interest? I have no patience with this nonsense.

      • August 22, 2018 12:53 pm

        Grump. What I want is consistency. I want the laws to be followed by everyone. If Martha Stewart is convicted of lying to the FBI, then I want Clinton at least charged with the same crime and go to court to defend her position. You might say there is no evidence of her lying to the FBI when she commented on using a illegal computer in her home, that it was cleaned of info before they got hold of it and she “wiped it with a cloth”, etc etc. Had you or I have done that, we would have been in court defending ourselves. And Comey is justs as guilty as he covered up for that crap.

        But the left is not going to buy into that position. She never lied, she never did anything illegal, she was just guilty of being uniformed. Sorry, ignorance of the law is not a defense.

        As for the rest of the story, that will just have to play out. Yes, there are many surrounding Trump guilty of crimes that occurred years before he became president. But what the hell does that have to do with him working with Russia to capture the election? Why is Mueller investigating anything but Russia/Trump collusion? Why did Rosenstein give Mueller the “and anything that may arise” directive when investigating Russia? Why is that not being turned over to the FBI to investigate and charged if something is found outside Russia/Trump collusion?

        Why is it so hard for people to question what government does and then think people are kooks that do question.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:19 pm

        I have argued HERE repeatedly that we must minimize discretion in the enforcement of law.

        I do not think that lying to a federal agent (that includes forest rangers BTW) should be a crime.

        But so long as it is, everyone we are aware of who has done that should be prosecuted.

        Further the standards of conduct that we hold those in government to should ALWAYS be higher than those of private parties.

        Papadoulis and Van Der Zwan were private individuals who did not ask for the attention fo the FBI.

        McCabe, Comey, Rosenstein are our government.
        When they lie – they are lying both for and too all of us.

        The fact that donations to the Clinton Foundation resulted in expedited service from the State department is FAR more serious than Trump getting a NDA from a porn star.

        Some of the conduct of Clinton is not criminal. The lies of Clinton and the rest of the administration – atleast those not under oath or to government agents are NOT crimes.

        But they are serious – VERY serious. Far more serious than whatever the latest Trump outrage of the say.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:23 pm

        Clinton was not ignorant of the law.
        She knew exactly what she was doing.

        We have her emails stating that she was trying to prevent FOIA requests from getting her Sec State communications.

        We also know that she considered all the security issues a nusance and sought to thwart them.

        The claim that she is innocent by virtue of ignorance is like saying that someone tossing lit matches arround a gas station is innocent when things catch fire.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:29 pm

        I would further note that for them most part in the current story Clinton has managed to disappear.

        I do not have any LEGAL problems with Clinton’s conduct regarding the Steele Dossier – or even what I know of the efforts to feed that garbage to the FBI.

        Clinton was a private party. She is free to seek dirt on Trump.
        Even in Russia, and even from Russian agents,.
        She is free to try to feed the DOJ/CIA/FBI to that information.

        Just as Trump Jr. was free to meet with Natalia in hope of the same.

        The misconduct is on the part of the CIA/FBI/DOJ

        Who used the power of government to target political enemies.

        There need be no conspiracy. It does nto appear that mostly this was done with great secrecy – though tremendous efforts are being made to keep it secret now.

        The misconduct we know is sufficient.

        Further when the police powers of the govenrment are deployed against people,
        the responsibility rests with government to justify each step in the process.

        Trust me,

        Is not good enough.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:40 pm

        Ron – I do not think we honestly know whether those near Trump are guilty of anything.

        Manafort and Cohen are not people I would prefer to be associated with.

        Both have done well and made money and worked hard not to give the government much of it.

        They MAY have done so illegally, but we do not really know that.
        I have little doubt that a jury of 12 ordinary people from NYC or alexandria will see anyone with more money than they efforts to reduce their taxes as illegal.

        Given that Mueller has charged lots of things that are not crimes, and the SDNY USADA has managed to get Cohen to plead guilty to something that is not a crime – my faith in prosecutors is zero.

        Further, the awesome power of government is not normally targetted at the Cohens and Manaforts of the world. Usually it is targeted at the unknowns.

        But it is no more properly deployed.

        I beleive that every single person on the national exhonerated list – that is people PROVEN to be innocent, confessed.

        No One can withstand a determined federal prosecutor.

        Mueller destroyed Richard Jewel.

        Ruined Steven Hatfill’s life, and
        And drove Brice Ivin’s to suicide.

        I do not beleve that the conduct in washington is unusual.

        It is still incredibly wrong.

        What is unusual is that we have found out about it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:51 pm

        There are numerous problems with Rosensteins authorization of Mueller.

        Judge Ellis did an excellent analysis in his review.

        While he ruled in Mueller’s favor, he did so basically because he determined that even if Mueller exceeded his scope – Rosenstein had the authority to increase that scope.

        He noted that there were serious problems – that the law was not intended for the purpose it was being used – but ultimately concluded that either congress or the supreme court had to address that.

        He essentially said the entire SC investigation was WRONG, and politically disasterous, probably unconstitutional, but not illegal.

        I am not sure I agree.

        I think that the mixing of a counterintelligence operation and a criminal investigation is a huge constitutional rights violation – the FBI keeps a chinese wall between the two.
        How was Mueller going to keep from violating rights ?

        I have several other problems – the law actually requires that SC’s be appointed to investigate crimes. There is no specified crime in the SC charge.

        The SC law is also to be used only to investigate people withwhom DOJ/FBI has a conflict.

        Finally though the courts have recently ruled on this, they have ruled wrong.

        The SC is clearly NOT an “inferior government appointment”.

        As such he must be appointed by the president and approved by congress.

        Fundimentally the SC law is constitutionally flawed.
        The IC law had serious problems but was better.

        It is CONGRESSes responsibility to investigate the executive.

        We have seen that work badly two ways.

        First during the Obama administration when congress found evidence of a crime, it refered that to DOJ where the referal died.

        During the Trump administration, Rosenstein is accountable to no one. Not the president, not the voters, not congress.

        He has absolutely no oversight – and therefore neither does Mueller.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:54 pm

        Anything that may arrise is pretty normal.

        What is not normal is how it has been handled.

        Mueller found that the Cohen investigation – regardless of what it found had no nexus with Trump/Russia and handed it off to SDNY.

        While that is like two wolves arguing with a chicken over what’s for dinner, still Mueller correctly dumped Cohen.

        But he should have done the same with Manafort.

        There is less connection between Manafort and Trump/Russia than Cohen.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 1:57 pm

        “Ron, Clinton did a stupid thing with her server. In no way was it for monetary gain. It may have violated the letter of the law. If we throw everyone in jail who did a stupid thing last year that violated the letter of the law, then there will be more people in prison that out of it”

        False. Clinton’s own emails demonstrate that she DELIBERATELY setup the separate E-Mail server to prevent her State department emails from being subject to FOIA requests.

        Further this is not just Clinton – she directed several key staff to do the same – HRC’s account was not the only one on that server.

        Even ignoring the Espionage issues – her admitted intentions are a clear violation of the law. In this instance they are not a violation of a criminal law, but she still acted illegally.

        That is actually important and it is why Comey was totally completely wrong regarding intent – not merely because the 18 cfr 793(f) requires negligence NOT intent.

        In the event you are not clueless it is extremely difficult to be both negligent and intentional, and even in state criminal law were intent is almost always required (it is nearly never required in federal law – another gross error of Comey’s) Negiligence is one of few exceptions. ANY law that has a negligence standard – does NOT require intent.

        Your own comment says Clinton’s actions were stupid – i.e. Negligent, and “stupid” handling of classified information is criminal.

        Further, There is ZERO doubt that what she did, and that it was intentional.
        She did not accidentally choose to have a home brew server for her government work. She did not accidentally direct her employees to use it.

        Further despite denials classified information was INTENTIONALLY transmitted over the internet.

        First you do not understand classified handling.

        There are TWO different issues.

        The one is that Clinton is an originator and receiver of classified information – I am talking specifically about information – not documents. What she KNOWS.

        As a person with a security clearance she is forbidden from conveying that information to anyone else who does not:
        Have a need to know
        Sufficient security clearance.

        Clinton Intentionally communicated classified information to Sidney Blumenthal.
        That was a crime.
        It does not matter whether she transimitted actual classified documents.
        Blumenthal was neither a government employee or contractor.
        Obama had personally forbidden Blumenthal from being hired because of his personal role in starting the Birther nonsense.
        Nor did Blumenthal have a need to know.
        I beleive that some of the communications with Blumenthal involved actual classified documents, but even if it was restricted to information – that alone is still a crime.

        The transmission of classified documents is an independent issue.
        And a much clearer one.
        Classified documents are kept in a SCIF – Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility.

        In the case of Sec. State part of her suite in the State department is a SCIF.
        Nothing is supposed to go from inside to outside – except when being moved from one SCIF to another by an FSO – neither Clinton nor her staff were FSO’s,
        There is much one the record about Clinton railing about not being able to take cell phones and blackberry’s into the State Department SCIF – so there is absolute certainty that she knew all about the SCIF and its rules.

        Documents MARKED as classified do not exist outside of a SCIF (or they are not supposed to) To read them you go into the SCIF.,

        Even if they are computer documents – they are on a completely independent hyper secure communications network, that has absolutely no connections to unsecured networks. One of the big deals about Snowden and Manning is determining how they managed to get Classified information off of secure computers and out of the SCIF without being detected.

        Computers on the classified network do not have USB sticks, or floppy drives, or CD writers or any means of removing information from the computer.

        Clinton’s emails contained actual classified documents – sometimes with markings sometimes not. Not merely classified information but actual verbatum copies of classified documents.

        The only way this occurs is if those documents are removed from the SCIF.
        That can not be done “casually” – it must be done deliberately – you must “smuggle” them out of the SCIF – hiding them from the FSO – the guy Clinton complained about who would gather everybodies blackberry and cell phone when they went into the SCIF.

        In most facilities the SCIF is not much more than a secure closet.
        But in the state department it is likely an entire floor of the building.

        Clinton and her staff can go into the SCIF and do much of their work – but they can not communicate – except over secure facilities, and they can not take anything in or out with them.

        There is absolutely ZERO way that verbatum classified documents ended up in emails clinton sent over the internet without KNOWINGLY removing those from the SCIF

        Further it is highly unlikely that Hillary shoved classified documents into her underwear to remove them from the SCIF.

        What that means – which we also know, is that Some or all of Clinton’s staff was complicit, participating and aware of this.

        Had the FBI conducted a real investigation – it would have been trivial to get them to roll on each other.

        Finally – if Peter Strzok is to be trusted, atleast one, and possibly more hostile powers NOT Russia, obtained classified information from Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 2:03 pm

        “Ron, Clinton did a stupid thing with her server. In no way was it for monetary gain. It may have violated the letter of the law. If we throw everyone in jail who did a stupid thing last year that violated the letter of the law, then there will be more people in prison that out of it”

        Numerous people have been prosecuted for the same thing as Clinton was – very few did it for “monetary gain”.

        Most crimes have little or nothing to do with money.

        The law is about the “letter of the law”.

        That is why we have written laws, and courts,
        When you violate the letter of the law – you have committed a crime.
        If you do something we do not like – something that violates the spirit of the law, but not the letter – then you have not committed a crime.
        Because that is how law works. That is also why the courts routinely toss laws that are broad or vague. Because our government is not allowed to circumvent the requirement that you violate the “letter of the law” by crafting the law broadly. The government it required to be clear and specific in the law – because if you violate the letter of the law – you are guilty.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 2:24 pm

        “Ron, Clinton did a stupid thing with her server. In no way was it for monetary gain. It may have violated the letter of the law. If we throw everyone in jail who did a stupid thing last year that violated the letter of the law, then there will be more people in prison that out of it”

        You are correct – if we properly enforced the laws we have without discretion – all of the country would be in jail.

        That is one of many reasons we are “lawless” – Lawlessness is not the absence of law.
        It is the absence of the ability to depend on the law. It is law that is applied one way in one place on one day and completely different by a different court or police, or prosecutor the next in a different place.

        What occured with Clinton (and the Obama administration) was lawless.
        What is occuring now with Trump is lawless.

        It is self evident that the objective with Clinton was to let her off the hook – regardless of the offense.
        It is self evident that the objective with Trump is to get him – at all costs.

        With Clinton we ignored clear violations of “the letter of the law” – AKA crimes.
        With Trump we are actively trying to stretch the law way beyond “the letter of the law” to claim that our personal impression of “the spirit of the law” has been violated.

        Trump or Clinton or anyone else – if the letter of the law has been violated – that is a crime.
        If it has not, then there is no crime.
        If you do not like “the letter of the law” – change the law.

        This is one of the problems with the Manafort case and apparently the Cohen one.

        From what I have heard that was presented to the Jury.

        Manafort loaned himself money that he had in foreign bank accounts.
        By loaning himself the money he avoided paying the taxes he would otherwise have to pay if he has just transfered the money into the US.

        Ignoring the fact that the US is the only country in the world that stupidly taxes foreign earned money on its entry to the US, what Manafort did does not violate “the letter of the law”.

        Justice Lerhned Hand over a century ago made it absolutely crystal clear that violating the “spirit” of the tax laws was NOT a crime. That no one was ever obligated to pay a dime more than the absolutely minimum the law allowed,
        If the law has loopholes – it is not a crime to exploit those.

        Regardless, the point is that what we see now is the press, A corrupt FBI/DOJ and SC the media and the left trying to apply their personal idea of the spirit of the law to trump, even though the letter of the law has not been violated, while allowing Clinton, and the left to get away with violating bot the letter and spirit of the law all over the place.

        I am deeply concerned because there are only two possible outcomes:

        In the first we essentially become the USSR or Moa’s china, where crime is just offending those in Power.
        Trump is president – but even he is powerless to stop the “deep state” from making the law up as they go.

        Clinton was so powerful that not only can she ignore the law at will, but she was able to direct the deep state to target Trump and feed them crap.

        Because so many like yourself do not understand how big a problem this is not only will they get away with it – but you will have lost the last degree of control of your life.

        Innocence will mean – not having offending the powers that be.
        Guilt is having offended them.

        What constitutes offense – will change from day to day, from person to person based on who is in favor and who is not at the moment.

        The alternative is that this fails, and in that case the left is collapsing in this country.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 6:38 pm

        “I will bet that more than once in your own life you have done a stupid thing that violated the letter of the law. You should be in jail, right? ”

        In my entire life I( have not done anything – stupid or otherwise that violated the letter of any criminal laws – so long as we are not construing them so broadly that everything is a crime.

        So the answer there is a resounding NO!

        Further I suspect if we eliminate summary offense – rolling through a stop sign and the like.
        That none of the rest of you have committed any felonies or misdemenors – accidentally or otherwise.

        In fact if we limit “crimes” to things that should be crimes – initiating violence against others, many forms of fraud, or causing harm real harm to others either deliberately or through negligence, that most people have never committed a crime.

        The vast majority of laws today are outside the scope of legitimate govenrment.

        Handling the secrets of the state carelessly Has always been a crime.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 6:48 pm

        “I completely understand you when you have realistic gripes about govt. spending.”

        At the TOP of the list is, when government spends – it is consuming what WE produce,.

        If I take what you produce for myself or someone else that is theft.

        There are only very limited things that government can spend on that are morally justified.
        All else is theft. If you did it you would go to jail.

        Yes I am concerned about people stealing from me.

        If I am jealous of the rich – it is because they can afford the lawyers and accounts to reduce the predatory behavior of government.

        We are obligated to give to government that which is necescary for the actual defense of the nation, and the maintanence of law and order.

        All else is theft.

        “Just being libertarian generally being anti government, not reasonable, not constructive, not persuasive, and not a winning strategy to change any of your gripes.”

        There is something unreasonable about demanding that government no steal from the rest of us ?

        Who is anti-government ? You keep lobbing that as if TNM is filled with ANCAPs.
        Where ?

        Why is it not reasonable to demand that government not steal ?
        Why is it not constructive ?

        Your argument is “I get to subjectively judge your complaint, and I find it wanting”.
        That is not a valid or moral argument.

        It is not my job to persuade you to stop stealing.

        It is perfectly reasonable to be opposed to myriads of forms of govenrment spending,
        And there are infinite arguments.
        What is surprising is that there are so many excellent arguments against most govenrment spending – how does it continue ?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 8:49 pm

        “The stuff about Rosenstein, Comey, the FBI all working on some plan to affect the election is true mind shit, even if some prediction based on that mind shit comes to pass. A broken clock…”

        So facts are “mind shit” ?

        We are not dealing with predictions.
        In the real world with real facts, the behavior of those in government was criminal.

        Please explain what it is that Obama, the white house, DOJ/FBI CIA did with respect to Trump that is NOT what Nixon wanted to do ?

        The indisputable fact is that Obama targeted political enemies and used the awesome power of government to go after them.
        Attempting to do so was one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon.

        We can start with the IRS targeting political viewpoints.
        Again Nixon tried (and failed) – BTW this actually went to court and the IRS ultimately settled the largest and only settlement by the IRS of this type ever.

        There is no doubt that what was done was WRONG.

        The only open question is how broad the involvement was.
        Given that we know tax returns ended up at DOJ and from there leaked to the news,
        the involvement looks pretty broad.

        There are many many other instances of misconduct – some of which were criminal during the Obama administration.
        Obama openly admitted that he was acting outside the law.
        We have the absolutely ludicrous condition today of a program that was imposed outside the presidents authority – DACA, being directly by leftist courts to continue – because Trump’s arguments for terminating a program that was beyond Obama’s authority are not sufficient for the court, Since when is it that courts get to decide whether they like programs or not – or whether they are good or bad ideas ?
        The courts sole role is to determine whether they violate the constitution or the law.
        The courts get no other voice. There is no judicial policy veto.

        But lets look at the Trump Russia thing.

        The Obama adminstration starting looking at Trump in late 2015.
        We know that from Strzok’s texts.

        BEFORE Trump announced Page and Papadoulis as foreign policy advisors – the DOJ, FBI, CIA, … were having meetings related to investigating the Trump campaign – again from Strzok’s texts – this is in March 2016. Strzok notes that the whitehouse is getting updates every other day.

        At this time the DNC hack has not occured, Papadoulis has not met Mifsud, Page has done pretty much nothing, and there are no Trump foreign policy advisors.

        So in March 2016 – before not merely evidence of anything – but before any of the purported ACTS that the left has fixated on the Obama administration is already investigating Trump.

        So WHAT were they investigating ? There is no steele dossier.

        The first allegation that remotely hints at a problem Downer meets Papadoulis in May of 2016 – that is again BEFORE the DNC hack, Papadoulis told Downer that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton’s emails – this is information. Downer did nothing. He did not report this to his embassy, he did not send this through FiveRyes. Basically he say on it, until August.

        Next in sometime between March and July – not knowing anything about Papadoulis’s conversation with Downer, with no real basis for anything – Halper is dispatched to “spy” on Papadoulis and Page. Halper comes up with nothing, yet still in Late July finally an official investigation is started and Strzok is dispatched to London.

        At the start of the FBI investigation in late July – the FBI knows NOTHING.
        They are investigating Trump – because – he is the enemy.
        Again there was no Steele Dossier yet, Steele did not come into contact with the FBI until late July.

        And again absolutely none of this was done “normally”.
        The DOJ/FBI guidelines were not followed.

        The sources of nearly everything was the Clinton campaign.
        Further the Clinton campaign did NOT come to FBI/DOJ and report something.
        They came through unofficial contacts through improper channels in the State department or between Nellie Ohr at Fusion GPS and her husband Bruce at the FBI.

        This is all highly unusual.

        Put simply this investigation did not start as the result of the discovery of any actual issue through normal channels, The directive to attempt to open an investigation came from the Whitehouse. The investigation itself started even though the DOJ/FBI had nothing.
        And what they subsequently came up with came from dubious political sources.

        Brennan has made his nonsensical claim about “chatter” about Russia and Trump.

        Yet absolutely no documentary evidence that we have indicates any such chatter ever existed. No then. not now.

        You say anyone who questions the actions of Comey/Rosenstein/….. is some nutter conspiracy theorist.

        I have no idea whether there was an organized conspiracy.

        But what I do know is that absolutely zero evidence has been presented to justify STARTING an investigation at the times that investigation started.

        This is an extremely important question. It is the one that Nunes and Rosenstein are fighting over, and it is one in which Rosenstein and DOJ can NOT just say “trust us”.

        Even today there remains insufficient basis for the FBI/DOJ to have STARTED and investigation. But there was not LESS in December 2015 – there was nothing, There was not less in March 2016 there was nothing, there was not less in July 2016 there was nothing.

        Absent DOJ/FBI producing some meaningful basis for starting an investigation, deploying spies, and ultimately bringing in the resources of the FBI, and seeking and getting a FISA warrant are inarguable MISCONDUCT.

        This is the US We do not investigate people because we do not like them.

        Our government is not free to investigate whoever it pleases for whatever reasons it wishes.

        Whether it is the local police officer or the president of the United States or the director of the FBIm in the US you can not direct the resources of the united states government to pursue someone – particularly a political enemy just because you have the power to do so. Or just because you do not like them.

        All the Strzok texts revealing his own and the FBI’s hatred of Trump are NOT the issue – they are just the motive. The issue is we open investigations into credible allegations of crimes, Not into people we do not like.

        The latter is immoral, and it is criminal.
        It is wrong whether there was some organized conspiracy or not.

        Let me ask you a different question – if the FBI went after Clinton and the Clinton campaign with half the vigor it directed at Trump, do you think that people like Sidney Blumenthal, or Both the Podesta’s or any of a long list of others would not be facing far more serious prosecutions that Trump’s surogates ?

        Tony Podesta is atleast as unapealing a character as Paul Manafort – do you think he could survive a jury trial for exactly the same purported Crimes as Manafort ?

        Everyone with enough income to hire an accountant strives to reduce their taxes as much as humanly possible.

        The basis for Mueller’s prosecution is that successfully doing so is in and of itself a crime.
        Using that basis – it would be trivial to convict half the DNC.

        Van Der Zwan, Papadoulis and Flynn have plead guilty to inaccurate statements to the FBI.

        McCabe has done exactly the same – multiple times, as well as under oath, yet no prosecution. Comey has made numerous under oath statments that are less truthful than those of Papadoulis and Flynn – why no prosecution ?

        Apparently we are now finding that of the 600+ K emails on the Weiner laptop, the FBI only looked at 3500 and it did so in the 24hours before Comey testifed to congress that it had looked at them ALL.

        Many new classified emails – that were not previously known have been found on the Weiner laptop. Regardless, the point is that Comey KNEW that nothing close to a thorough search had been done.

        So we have Comey leaking all over. Publicly exhonerating Clinton – which as the IG noted was beyond his authority. Then re-opening the investigation a few weeks before the investigation – after sitting on the Weiner laptop for over a month, then closing the investigation long before it was complete.

        Maybe there is no conspiracy here. But there is an enormous amount of misconduct by a large number of people.

        And Yes, I have a very serious problem with Rosenstein.
        He is far MORE conflicted than Sessions.
        He participated with Mueller and Comey in the slow walk of the U1 investigation.
        Where Carter Page was an FBI witness.

        He signed several of the FISA warrants – and todate has provided absolutely no basis for being able to SWEAR that probable cause existed that a crime was committed and that Carter Page was involved. To this day probable cause does not exist.

        If we are going to prosecute Van Der Zwan, Papadoulis and Flynn for lying to the FBI – why isn;t Rosenstein being prosecuted for lying UNDER OATH to the FISA Court ?

        Rosenstein has been stalling responding to House subpeona’s.
        He has not made a claim of actual privilidge – he can not, executive privildge applies only to direct communications with the president. Congress is entitled to demand what has been subpeoned.

        Failure to comply with a subpeona is a crime.

        As each tiny little bit of new information bleeds out we find more and more that what DOJ/FBI has hidden from us is NOT “methods and sources”. It always turns out to be something that is embarrasing to DOJ/FBI.

        Apparently Rosenstein is asserting the priviledge that the FBI/DOJ may not be embarrased.

        YOU and the left are inverting the right to privacy.

        In your world – the government is allowed to dig into your life as much as it pleases – without basis. But even congress is forbidden from inquiring into the activities of the executive branch.

        Whatever you wish to beleive regarding everything Trump, even if some of it were ultimately to prove to be true, what we have right now is the Whitehouse, FBI/DOJ/CIA/IRS targetting political enemies and using the criminal and national security aparatus of the US government to do so.

        Absent PROOF of sufficient justification – that is “much worse than watergate.”
        That is Nixon’s wet dream.

        “Trust us” is not good enough.

        There is sufficient evidence to prosecute many of these people.
        Why isn’t that happening ?

        Further absent evidence which has not been made public todate, and if it exists is the best kept secret of the US govenrment in a season where NOTHING has been kept secret, absent that mythical evidence – we have worse than watergate, and we somehow have the foxes defending the hen house.

        Rosenstein signed off on the FISA warrant. He CAN NOT have the power to independently assess the legitimacy of his own actions AND preclude anyone else from oversight.
        Particularly where he is overseeing an investigation that originate from warrants that to this day we have no evidence supporting their issuance.

      • August 24, 2018 10:41 pm

        Dave, you and I both do not like Trump for various reasons. You and I both did not vote for Trump based on these and other reasons. You and I both have a healthy distrust of government, supported by actions we have witnessed since Trump became the presumptive nominee. We agree on alot and disagree on some other things. In politics that is to be expected.

        But in our world where the government is required to have probable cause to investigate a persons private records and actions, which I believe also should cover friends or business associates from undue pressure to obtain information, there are many that trust government to never do wrong and anyone is fair game for investigations regardless of reasons.

        That is why I have been so dead set against the Mueller investigation. I would not have any problem with that if is were limited in its reach. But where you have pointed out many reasons why the DOJ/FBI may have not had sufficient reasons to support investigating issues that have noting to do with collusion, Mueller can investigate Trump business practices and illegal pollution, if he wanted, if there were one shred of info found in the Russian investigation about Trump pollution.

        Trust in government is a scary thing to those that fear what the reach of government can become. Others believe government would never do wrong. Why do we need the ACLU if that is the case?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 2:54 am

        I have ranted here repeatedly about the 4th amendment.

        But the truth is the 4th amendment is dead and has been for a very long time.

        There are small hints that things might be changing, but if they are we have a long way to go.

        Regardless I would make an absolute distinction between a persons private actions and their actions as part of govenrment.

        I would take the 4th amendment quite literally regarding private persons and acts or even the acts of private people who are now public servants.

        I have a lower opinion of Bill Clinton as a person than of Donald Trump.

        Trump is a rich playboy with not very high regard for women.
        Clinton is a sexual predator.
        One is bad the other much worse.

        At the same time I was very uncomfortable with subjecting a sitting president to civil (or criminal) prosecution for actions prior to election.

        Nor am I comforatable with those parts of Starr’s investigation that had to do with actions of Bill Clinton prior to election. Though I would not absolutely bar that.
        Conversly Travel Gate and the other investigations into Clintons conduct as president are open season.

        You can substitute Trump or Hillary for Bill Clinton in the above and I would feel the same.

        I have the independent problems with the Mueller investigation.

        First it does not conform to the SC law.

        That is Rosensteins mistake not Mueller’s

        Next based on his past Mueller is not the hero we need. He is a thug. He wins by pummelling people. And he makes no distinction between the guilty and the innocent.

        Finally the nature of an SC appointment is like big game hunting.
        If Mueller does not come home with a lion he has failed.
        We are not after the truth we are after a scalp.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 2:55 am

        The ACLU has itself become corrupt.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:04 pm

        “Do you think they all have secret meetings”

        I do not know – actually that is not true – we know there were meetings that we can not find out about. That is pretty much the deffinition of “secret meetings”.

        But that is irrelevant. I think it is quite credible given what we know to beleive that a conspiracy existed. There are too many things that occured and were coordinated to beleive that they were the results of random uncoordinated actions.

        Regardless conspiracy is irrelevant.

        The DOJ/FBI/CIA started an investigation of Trump in December 2015.

        We are entitled to know that at the time they did so, they had a reasonable basis.

        The DOJ/FBI/CIA spied on the Trump campaign during the period from March to July 2016.

        We are entitled to know that at the time they did so, they had a reasonable basis.

        The DOJ/FBI sought and ultimately received multiple FISA Warrants.
        Todate we have not seen a credible basis for those warrants.

        We are entitled to know that at the time they did so, they had a reasonable basis.

        As WaPo’s moto state “Democracy Dies in Darkness”.
        That is not about the private lives of private people.
        Manafort’s conduct – legal or not is no threat to the nation or rule of law.
        Nor is Cohen’s, nor is the Trump Campaigns – no matter what you might belive it has done.

        The only threat to democracy comes from government secrecy.

        Why aren’t you demanding to know the answers ?

        “the Clintons are sending money to offshore accounts of all the co conspirators?”
        Do we have Trump sending Money to peoples offshore accounts ?

        Do you beleive the Clinton’s do not have offshore accounts ?

        Manafort received money from the Ukraine and other european govenrments.

        Are you saying the clintons did not ? the Podesta’s did not ?

        “You are out of your mind on this one”

        On what ? I keep repeating facts. We know an incredible amount – not everything.
        But enough to know there is serious misconduct.

        Your answer is “trust the government what they are keeping secret explains everything”

        Really ? What secret in this entire mess has been kept over the past 3 years ?

        What is lunacy is those of you who truly believe not only that there was a trump/russia conspiracy that is going to be exposed – but that the Obama administration had credible evidence of it in December of 2015 when this started – evidence that NO ONE has heard.

        You beleive in unicorns.

        The mass hysteria is YOURS.

        “I have no patience with this nonsense”

        That is right YOUR nonsense.

        None are so blind as those who refuse to see.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:05 pm

        To be clear – there is no need to speculate on conspiracy.

        What is known already is sufficient.

      • grump permalink
        August 22, 2018 1:29 pm

        “Why is it so hard for people to question what government does and then think people are kooks that do question.”

        I don’t mind you questioning, I just made a list above of all the ways that you ask questions/make complaints that I think are reasonable. The questions I noted are reasonable. But as I said, you dilute the power of your argument when you get into blatant conspiracy theories or have simply an generally acidic view of government itself.

        I don’t mind when stupid people think stupid things (or I do mind but I accept it) but intelligent people getting seduced by stupid ideas is painful, especially when its a mass phenomenon. That is what is scary about the last few years, increasingly smart people are thinking like stupid people think, nutty plans and theories. You are way smarter in my opinion than to be getting snared into conspiracy thinking.

        Ron, no one can control election events with precision even if they wanted to conspire to do so. There may be an effect of certain actions, but accurately predicting it is the problem. Prosecutions of the trump world may affect the election, but how? No one knows, who will it motivate more, the right, the left the center?

        I do not believe in any but the most limited conspiracies. First of all, huge conspiracies are too complicated to work, and the way that people react is too complicated to predict, second they are too risky to be worth it. Third, secrecy, essential to a conspiracy, is impossible to preserve. Look at what has happened to trump’s inner circle, it all comes out in the end. If anyone does conspire, they are an idiot and are probably doomed.

        If Mueller and Comey and Rosenstein have been conspiring with the FBI to influence the election that is a huge conspiracy with incredible risks and no predictable way of manipulating events. Given that most of the players are republicans there is the missing element of that ascribed partisan motivation either.

        You are too smart for this crap.

      • August 22, 2018 6:24 pm

        grump, I realize what you are saying in how one may interpret what I said. And it does sound like I am nuts looking at it that way. So let me say it another way step by step.
        1. Clinton was caught doing something she was not suppose to do and to many, it was illegal having a computer at home with classified designations.
        2. At some point in time, that server got wiped clean. And it was after she was caught with it.
        3. Then there were a couple comments about Clinton e-mails and the final version was changed by the FBI from her being “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”. Why, because negligence can be prosecuted and careless can not.
        4. Comey then commented later “It is entirely possible that because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”

        So a this point I ask, if Clinton was negligent and you and I would be prosecuted for extreme negligence, why did he make the decision to change the wording or allow the wording to change if not for the benefit of Clinton?

        So going forward, information comes forth that implicates Trump in colluding with the Russians in the election. Rosenstein , due to the Weasel recusing himself from the investigation, decides the collusion has to be investigated and he appoints Mueller. Now if you are appointed to look at Russian/Trump collusion and it is a special investigation, one would expect that to be a narrow directive. “Find out when, what and how the Russian/Trump collusion took place. So Rosentien adds “other matters” to the directive.:
        1. Mueller begins investigation.
        2. He finds no collusion in the endless investigation, but he does find associates of Trump guilty of other things.
        3. He does not turn that over to the FBI or LEO’s to investigate (they are there for that purpose), he brings charges himself.
        4. 80- days before the midterm elections he gets a guilty verdict. Sometime during the fall he will be sentenced. (And just before the midterm)
        5. On Sept 17th, Manaford is scheduled for another trial, less than 60 days from the midterm. This one in Virginia on other financial issues.
        6. Cohen is found to have committed tax fraud, made false statements to a bank and violated campaign finance laws tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate.
        7. Cohen will be sentenced sometime in September, less than 60 days from the midterm.’
        8. Cohen has stated Trump directed him to pay hush money? Is this illegal if there were no illegal actions covered up by the hush money? Was the hush money because they knew Trump Conspired with the Russians to rig the election?

        Are you seeing a pattern here?

        So I ask at this time, why is Mueller still involved in this investigation of Cohen. Where the hell is the FBI who is responsible for this type of work? Has he found ANYTHING that has to do with Trump/Russian collusion? If not, why is he still employed and how many others is he going to go after. Donald Jr. His daughter?

        You can say what you want that these individuals are neutral, but you can’t prove it with the information that is presented. Comey changed or allowed changes to his wording to protect Clinton and Mueller, who reports to Rosentein, is not investigating Russian collusion because he has already found there was no collusion, so he is going after anyone and everyone associated with Trump to damage him and his administration and Rosenstein is allowing that to happen. From my perspective, it is being done to the point that they will energize enough voters against Trump to flip congress and to insure impeachment begins in the spring of 2019.

        Only time will tell, but I said way back in early spring Mueller was waiting for late Summer or early fall to begin the court proceedings. And that so far has come true. We will just have to see what else happens that come true.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 11:18 am

        We have further learned that from the very beginging of the Clinton investigation the FBI was just going through the motions. There was never any intention to take the case seriously. The investigation leaked like a seive – Mostly people like McCabe preening in front of the press, making false or deceptive claims about the investigation and their role in it. There was no grand jury, no subpena power, the FBI had to count on their targets cooperation to accomplish anything.

        At this time I am not particilarly interested in convicting Hillary. She is gone and not coming back. While she should have been prosecuted, their likely would have been a plea deal. That deal likely would have been a slap on the wrist – and I am OK with that.

        It is NOT true that others who have conducted themselves similarly have never been prosecuted and convicted – it has happened constantly – it happened more during Obama’s presidency than ever before.

        But it is true that absent deliberately providing classified information to our enemies there were typically pleas and that sentences were minor.

        I am not sure that is appropriate. But it is not appropriate to hit Clinton harder than Petreaus or Deutch as an example.

        At the same time misconduct in government should be punished more severely than similar private misconduct betraying the public trust, and abusing power and position with government is much more serious than other crimes.

        That is why I am more concerned about the problems within the DOJ/FBI/CIA.

        I am also more concerned about the fact that our law is being administered and prosecuted radically different depending on the part of the country you are in.

        If you are a republican and a political target in a blue region – you will be convicted.
        If you are a democrat you will not.

        Sen. Menedez’s conduct is far far more egregious than Manafort’s or Cohen’s.
        Yet Menedez was aquitted.

        I do not have converse examples from red areas – though there likely are some.

        But the point is that the meaning of the same law, how something is investigated, prosecuted, tried and how the jury determines whether to convict varies radically based on the politics of the person being charged and the place they are being prosecuted and tried.

        That is NOT the rule of law. That is very very dangerous. It means we can convict or acquit pretty much whoever we please just by chosing the venue.

        And the problem goes well beyond criminal matters.

        We saw this with Trump’s Immigration EO.

        You can like or dislike the EO. But it was obviously facially constitutional and legal from the start. Obama had issued very nearly the same EO at one point, and the constitutional powers of the president with respect to security outside the country are nearly unlimited.

        Yet we fought for months. Lots of courts disagreed. Worse still their fundimental disagreement was rooted in bizarre and lawless premises.

        A law is not constitutional or not depending on the person who issues it.

        If it is constitutional for Obama to do something on his constitutional authority as president it is both constitutional for Trump to either do the same, or to undo what Obama has done.

        The role of the courts is to apply the law and the constitution – that is all. If an act of those in government is within the law and the constitution – the courts are done with it.
        They do not get to decide if they like it.

        We are seeing something similar recently with federal courts striking down ballot initiatives and state constitutional amendments.

        That is not the role of the courts, much less the federal courts.

        I have no idea whether the initiatives being struck are good or bad.

        It would be my expectation that amending the constitution – even a state constitution would be very difficult. But given that the process for amending that constitution – or putting an initiative on the ballot is properly followed, it is not the role of the courts to decide whether that initiative should be allowed or not.

        All the above – and much more is the rule of man not law. It is inherently dangerous. The only difference between similar lawlessness in the Soviet Union and Mao’s china is that we HOPE that the motives of those engaged in the lawlessness are less corrupt and that at this point the lawlessness is not focused – there is no formal conspiracy, so we have lawless anarchy rather than lawless totalitarianism.

      • August 25, 2018 1:03 pm

        Dave, you are totally correct how juries view crimes, but not.just political figures. One only needs to look at the OJ and Garcia Zarate juries. Had th ose been in NC, they sure as hell would not have walked. Well OK, if in Charlotte, maybe the same outcome due to all the nothern liberals moving in with business moving in from out of state, but in most all other areas, yes.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 11:55 pm

        If it matters where a Trial is conducted – there is something seriously wrong with our legal system.

        Manafort would not likely have been convicted in most “red states”,
        Neither Cohen nor Flynn, Papadoulis, …. would have plead had they been facing a trial in a red state.

        Though overall – red or blue, the presumption of innocence died long ago.

        The Manafort Jury asked the judge what Reasonable doubt meant.

        Reasonable doubt is a pretty much non-existant concept anymore.

        We are shocked when someone is not convicted.

        The old saw that it is better than 10 guilty go free than one innocent person is convicted is forgotten.

        I think the two different OJ juries got it right.

        It is more likely than not that OJ killed Nichole.
        It is NOT certain beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Maybe the Manafort jury heard something I did not,
        But I did not hear anything that convinced me of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Was Manafort trying to avoid paying taxes – ABSOLUTELY!!!!
        Is that a crime ? Only in very narrow circumstances.

        The left wanted to exhonerate clinton by requiring intent where the law did not.

        But the Manafort conviction required that you beleive Manafort intended to commit a crime.

        Not that he intended to avoid taxes, Not that he was stretching a loophole,
        Not that he was avoiding paying taxes that you think he should have had to pay,

        But that he was actually reducing his taxes by doing something he KNEW he was not allowed to do.

        As best as I can tell is that the prosecution proved that Manafort was very sloppy in making loans to himself.

        That is a reason he might owe penalties and interest, it is not a crime.

        Again based on the facts that I have heard – Had Manafort done exactly as he did – except properly tracking the loans, making relatively timely payments to himself he not only could not be prosecuted but would not have owed taxes.

        You can not convict someone of a crime merely for sloppy paperwork.

        But that is what was done with Dinesh D’Souza, and that is the claim that the SD NYC US ADA appears to be making regarding Cohen and Trump.

        Again we are short on facts.

        If Trump has a history of using Cohen (or anyone else) to get NDA’s to keep his improprieties quiet. This is dead. It can not be construed as a campaign issue.

        If Trump Paid Cohen from personal funds.
        It is not a campaign issue.

        If Cohen received payment from others – it MIGHT be illegal – though that is dubious,
        But it is ONLY a crime for Cohen. And a relatively minor one at that – failure to report.

        If Trump paid for it out of the campaign using money he contributed – and he contributed over 100M to his own campaign. It is not an issue, except possibly a reporting one.

        The Clinton campaign failed to report over 65M in donations that exceeded contribution limits. No one is going to jail for that.

        The Obama 2008 campaign was accepting contributions by Credit Card from Overseas – from the mid-east. While it reported those, it mostly did not report the sources – because they were unknown.

        Had Trump done something like that – he would already be impeached.

        Obama also purportedly had far more unreported campaign donations than Clinton did.

        Are we going to send people to jail for paperwork errors ?

        Personally I have a major problem with our campaign finance laws.

        CU was correctly decided.
        But more broadly the government may not restrict the campaign donations of private parties. Nor may it require that they be disclosed.

        Government can preclude people who have actually been elected from taking any kind of benefit from private parties.

        I am talking about the political corruption laws we COULD legitimately have – not what we do.

        Further the crime would be betraying a public trust.
        Businesses (and the rest of us) pay for advantages all the time.

        We pay a premium for the best seats at a concert, or to go to the head of the line at Disney World.

        That is NOT corruption. It is merely a question of what is important – of values, to different people, There is nothing wrong with paying for an advantage.

        But there is everything wrong with selling the public trust.

        Or entire legal scheme regarding politics is upside down.

        You will NEVER clean up politics until you are willing to prosecute politicians for real misconduct. Sen. Menendez should be in jail.

        The left has made a big deal over the emoluments clause.
        Put simply it does not mean what they claim.

        That said I do not have a problem with restricting what someone in government can receive while in government service.

        but if you want to do that – pass a law that actually requires that.

      • August 28, 2018 11:36 am

        Dave “If it matters where a Trial is conducted – there is something seriously wrong with our legal system.”
        If you are black, you are more likely to be convicted of a crime than a white in the south.
        If you are a minority, you are more likely to walk in California than if triec in the midwest.
        If you are rich, you are more likely to be convicted in NY or CA than in Tx or NC.
        If you own a company, you are more likely to lose a liabilith case in CA than in other parts of the country.

        Lady justice is not blind when it comes to race and economic standing throughout regions of the country.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 11:16 pm

        all that you note is true and it is wrong.

        And it has nothing to do with Trump or manafort.

        As I noted before – the 4th amendment is near dead as is the presumption of innocence – and many other things.

        I want those BACK!!!!!

        There is a very famous colonial case I beleive it was called Zeller, in which a colonial lawyer in a court run by the british argued to the jury that they were entitled as englishmen to ignore the law, and decide that the defendant had done nothing wrong.

        The British allowed a colonial lawyer to argue that before the american revolution.
        BTW Zeller won the case. It is one of the land mark cases of jury nullification.

        Today no lawyer can ask the jury to decide on their own what is right or wrong.
        They will be disbarred and the judge will declare a mistrial if they try.

        If you stand in front of a US court house and hand out pamphlets on jury nullification – even on days when there are no trials, you will be arrested and charged with jury tampering.

        This is but one of many ways our government, law enforcement, and courts have chosen to deprive us of another fundimental right that even pre revolutionary colonials had.
        The right to ask a jury to decide for themselves whether what we did was right or wrong, not whether it was legal or not.

        I just heard a wise conservative commentator note that, the left has been telling us for decades that the police and prosecutors can use their power to get people to say whatever they want them to. I beleive every single person on the innocence projects exhonerated list confessed. Yet every one of them has been convicted and yet subsequently proven absolutely innocent. The people on the exhonerated list do not get there on legal technicalities. The innocence project will not take a case unless the defendant claims to be innocent, and they will not argue anything but actual innocence. They work for free, but they do not argue that evidence of your guilt should have been supressed.
        They will only argue that you did not commit the crime you are convicted of.

        Estimates are that 2.5% of people in prison are actually innocent.

        I do not mean did not commit the specific crime they were convicted or plead to, but did not commit any crime.

        That is 62500 innocent people in prison – that is a small city.

        And I think that number is a significant under estimate.

        Regardless, at this moment the left and right have flipped on or criminal justice system.

        The left is defending CIA, DOJ, FBI will the right is claiming they are corrupt and out of control.

        Absolutely positively both sides are drowning in hypocracy.

        I do not think that every police officer or prosecutor is corrupt.
        But I think our justice system as a whole has no real oversight and that inevitably results in corruption.

        “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
        ―James Madison

        That majority in or justice system that are not corrupt – are still culpable.

        All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 11:28 am


        It is my understanding that Mueller is NOT involved in the investigation of Cohen.
        That he turned the case over to the US ADA SDNYC some time ago.

        I do not know the reality of Cohen’s tax issues. I am dubious of claims of tax evasion,
        as you can get a jury to convict anyone with more money than they have of tax evasion for legal acts that are outside their experience. At the same time Cohen does not come off as a particularly honest person.

        But I have major problems with the “paying for silence” garbage.
        We are again taking legal actions and converting them to crimes.

        The Clinton’s paid money to many of Bill Clinton’s victims to buy their silence.
        John Edwards paid a substantial about of money – from his political campaign to his paramour to keep her quite while his wife was on her death bed.
        The government tried to prosecute and failed miserably.

        We do not know precisely what occured with Trump and Cohen – where the money actually came from. But we do know that it does not matter, as the issue has already been decided. We can not have one standard of law for democrats and another for Trump.
        We also know that no matter what the facts are – they are certainly less offensive than either the Edwards or Clinton instances.

        Long ago politicians did not need to fear this – as the press would not print such stories,
        Whether Harding, or Kenedy or MLK for that matter.

        I think that was wrong. But it is equally wrong to criminalize the efforts of politicians to keep their private lives private.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:01 pm

        I would also note that just as the Cohen case was handed off to the US ADA SDNYC the Manafort case should have been handed off too.

        I do NOT have a problem with prosecuting unrelated matters that are uncovered as a result of a legitimate investigation.

        But there must be a better nexus to the core of an SC’s charge to allow the SC to keep the case. We do not need SC’s to prosecute tax evasion. If our government can not manage that own its own we are in serious trouble.

        There are separate huge problems with Mueller’s “mandate”.

        Just to be clear – though I think that Muller should not be prosecuting anyone. His past history makes it clear he is unable to distinguish guilt from innocence and will hound innocent people – even to suicide – that is a personal disqualifying fault, on shared by many of his key people, still Mueller is not responsible for his appointment, nor for his charge. That falls on Rosenstein, and that was done eroneously.

        Many have noted that Mueller was not give a crime to investigate.
        The SC law specifies that SC’s are appointed to investigate crimes where the DOJ/FBI are conflicted. No such crime has been specified. Rosenstein further gave Mueller a counter intelligence mandate. Counter intelligence and criminal prosecutions are separated by a chinese wall. This is one of the core issues in the FISA Warrant.
        The CIA/NSA/FBI and US intellegence agencies are free to wiretap, surveil spy on our foreign adversaries as they please – we want that. But as their actions change from inteligence gathering and thwarting foreign power to law enforcement the rules change.
        US Citizens facing criminal prosecution are entitled to protection of their tights, to protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. This also is reflected in the “unmasking” allegations. The broad power of our intelligence agencies to operate outside our constitutional civil and criminal rights is because their targets are not US citizens.
        When a US person enters the scope of a counter intelligence operation – their identity is masked. US counter intelligence is not allowed to target US persons. The identity of the actual US Person is supposed to only be known to those gathering the raw data. It is not to the known to other agencies, or to people in other roles inside intelligence gathering agencies. Where intelligence gathering operations indicate that a US person MIGHT be engaged in criminal activities, the IC has a choice to make. They can ignore that. They can try to use the US person – in which case their can not be prosecuted, or they can refer that person for criminal prosecution – at which time completely different government agents and often agencies are brought in and expected to follow US criminal investigative process – including warrants.

        Mueller can not both investigate Russian interferance in the election and the Trump campaign. The one is a counterintelligence investigation and can not legitimately be part of any criminal investigation, and there are no provisions in the law – and should not be, for a SC doing counter intelligence. There is inherently never a conflict between counter intelligence that would require an SC.
        The appointment of an SC to do counter intelligence essentially means that Rosenstein disagrees with Trump on POLICY and is using his power in DOJ to prevail. That is improper. Mueller’s investigation should have been limited to a criminal investigation from the start.

        I beleive there is also an appointments clause problem. Again not one of Mueller personally, but generally. That appointments clause problem comes from a different constitutional and practical problem with the SC and with how things are done generally.

        The ability to investigate those in the executive branch is a critical part of the checks and balances in out system. Absolutely it needs to be possible. The threat is critical to proper conduct. But those charged with investigating the executive can not be within the executive. The role of investigating the executive belongs to congress – just as the role of investigating misconduct by congressmen belongs with the executive.

        I am not personally a fan of so called non-partisan independent bodies.
        I think the claim that appointing someone makes them somehow independent of politics is garbage and the pretense of impartiality is dangerous and deceptive.

        When congress investigates the executive – we properly understand that investigation is political and we judge it accordingly. That is appropiate.

        The objective is not to create the false impression of impartiality.
        It is to bring the bias to the fore and let people judge it.

        This is also why the courts should not mess with the creation of congressional districts.
        It corrupts the courts further and serves no purpose. The process of creating congressional districts is inherently political and corrupt. Voters get the final say.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:58 pm

        Thank you for permission to question government – your highness.

        Get a clue. We should ALWAYS question government.

        That is precisely what WaPo’s “democracy dies in darkness” motto means.

        You should NEVER trust something just because government is doing it.

        Everything government does is not evil.
        But that does not mean we should be naive.
        Government weilds power.
        And we are way short on oversight and accountability.

        Regardless, there is no list of the only legitimate ways to question government.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 9:59 pm

        “I don’t mind when stupid people think stupid things (or I do mind but I accept it) but intelligent people getting seduced by stupid ideas is painful, especially when its a mass phenomenon.”

        The mass phenomena effecting large numbers of purportedly intelligent people is TDS.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 24, 2018 11:14 pm

        “I do not believe in any but the most limited conspiracies. First of all, huge conspiracies are too complicated to work, and the way that people react is too complicated to predict, second they are too risky to be worth it. Third, secrecy, essential to a conspiracy, is impossible to preserve. Look at what has happened to trump’s inner circle, it all comes out in the end. If anyone does conspire, they are an idiot and are probably doomed.”

        If you do not beleive in conspiracies – then you do not beleive in Trump/Russia collusion – because that is a conspiracy with no evidence.

        Regardless, what is a conspiracy ?

        What we actually have is a large number of people in government engaged in misconduct.

        Aside from the political aspect of it, and some unique elements that involve political campaigns and improper channels all of which makes conspiracy MORE likely,

        What you have is garden variety prosecutorial misconduct. Which unfortunately happens all too much.

        Those involved do not think they are “conspiring” – nor do you. Because they think of themselves as on the side of the angels.
        As I keep repeating over and over it is very very dangerous to step onto a moral soapbox.

        A beleif that one is acting for the greater good allows one to do bad things with little thought. Even the left’s most favorable view of Comey has him making some lawless choices. Which is EXACTLY what the IG concluded. And Comey’s own self defense is essentially a “greater good” argument. His entire higher loyalty book is a reflection of what goes wrong when you decide that you are the arbiter of right and wrong AND that you can use force to impose your personal idea of right and wrong.

        Do you not grasp this as the theme that I beat constantly no matter what greater good you THINK you might acheive you may not impose it by force.

      • grump permalink
        August 22, 2018 1:46 pm

        And, the Clintons have the stupid habit of being lawyerly wiseguys and pushing the boundaries of truth and it has burned them many times. Sure, they lie. Throw every lying politician and jail and we will be down to a very small number if any politicians.

        In the case of private servergate hillary did not stand to benefit and she tried to put her carelessness in the best light with cagy answers. She ot caught and It made her lousy candidate and blew up on those that supported her. But… You cannot put the nominee of a presidential party, or a serious candidate on trial during the campaign for lying! If you could trump would have gone directly to jail! If that is the standard then presidential campaigns (political campaigns in general!) will be held in courtrooms in the future. Even I do not think that trump should go to jail during his term for his lies, and not after his term unless the lies enriched him or cheated the country. Otherwise every president will be put on trial and sent to prison. That is chaos.

        W Bush lied about the cost of his two wars. Trillions of dollars! I’m not having him put in jail. Reagan lied about the contras. Etc. Etc.

      • August 22, 2018 6:30 pm

        “You cannot put the nominee of a presidential party, or a serious candidate on trial during the campaign for lying! If you could trump would have gone directly to jail! ”

        But you can for “gross negligence” of classified material and that is why Comey covered up for her by changing that to “Extremely careless”.

        Lying is one thing. Every politician lies to the public or they would never get elected to city council beginning their career. But committing a crime that any military personnel would be facing courts martial or civilian would be tried in a court of law should be the same for the nominee of a party. They are the commander in chief and whats good for the goose should be good for the gander.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:06 pm

        Correct – lying is not a crime, and unfortunately a common attribute of politicians.

        The remedy for the lies of politicians is the free press. Ours is doing a very poor job as they have told too many lies themselves and lack credibility.

        But you absolutely can put any political candidate on trial for actual crimes – such as perjury even during a political campaign. But you must do so carefully.

        Further the Clinton investigation started before the campaign – unless your presumption is that Clinton was permanently campaigning.

        The investigation should have been done seriously which it was not, and quietly – which it also was not. Interestingly – until after the election the Trump investigation was conducted very quietly, so we know that can be done.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 3:23 am

        Of course Hillary intended to benefit – in two ways.

        First the State department would not and could not be force by FOIA requests to turn over any communications that might damage her – because the government did not have them.

        Second because she would have in her possessions all the records of her communications even after leaving government which would allow her to publishb what she wanted carefully cherrypicking to tell the story she wanted to tell.

        All benefits are not money.

        In fact money is never an end. The benefit – where money is involved is what money can buy, not the money itself.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2018 10:54 pm

        Mueller is pretty much exactly what you would expect of a stupid pit bill special counsel.

        Actually take a look at his own past track record.

        Mueller has blown numerous prior big cases targting and hounding innocent people.

        I do not think that Mueller is particularly partisan.

        That is not the same as beleiving he is an impartial and objective seeker of truth.

        Mueller is out for what is best for Mueller.

        He never should have been appointed – but that is not his fault.
        But what he has done since is.

        So If Mueller is prosecuting Manafort – why not Tony Podesta – they were tied at the hip regarding the Ukraine.

        I have not seen the news. I do not know much about the Manafort Jury verdict.

        I do know that absent evidence I have not heard – Mueller did not make his case.

        What he did was paint as illegal activities that are actually legal.
        But we do not like it what it appears that people like Manafort manage to pay less in taxes, than we think they should. I expected a conviction.
        Manafort is not a sympathetic person.

        I want nothing to do with him.
        But I do not convict people of crimes just because I do not like them.
        But our system counts on exactly that.

      • grump permalink
        August 23, 2018 10:38 am

        “And it does sound like I am nuts looking at it that way”

        Its a very complete workup you did of the conservative point of view. Bravo.

        I don’t think you are nuts. I do still think the whole attack on Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey, and the FBI as being an unfair predetermined witch hunt from the right is nuts. But, everyone I know, and I do mean everyone, believes at least one thing that to me sounds nuts, so you are included, I would not take it to heart.

        The right investigated the Clintons to death and in their perpetual and limitless inquiry managed to find something unrelated to anything they started from that sunk her presidential campaign. But its not enough, she must be put on trial, the obsession continues. The timing of the investigation into clinton coincided very awkwardly with the timing of the campaign such that the two were hopelessly interconnected.

        Now trump’s affairs (no pun originally intended) are being investigated in a complete way and the right is sure that is unjust and that it means that those doing the investigation are wicked and unjust. The timing of the investigation coincides very awkwardly with the timing of the campaign such that the two are hopelessly interconnected.

        The right calls this situation a conspiracy to screw trump and help clinton. They think that is what is good for the goose should be good for the gander. (By the way I am using “the right” here in the sense of the entire spectrum, from moderate to extreme, of conservatives. I don’t mean exclusively right wing nuts.)

        In fact, that is exactly what is happening, trump is getting the clinton treatment. Which is because he has brought it on himself a thousand times over, As well, its because the Russian meddling, which the trump campaign clumsily got themselves entangled in, is as serious an issue as has ever been investigated. This situation requires a complete answer, Americans want it. If they did not want to know then this would have been shut down long ago.

        “The poll revealed that 59 percent of registered voters approve of Mueller’s investigation, marking an 11-point jump from respondents who said the same in a July Fox News poll. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they disapprove of Mueller’s probe.”

        The obsession with getting the clintons and the certainty that the fix is in on the Mueller investigation is all inherent in the culture of the right and few on the right escape it, no matter whether they are smart and sane or a few bricks shy of a full load.

        There is nothing anyone can do to stop this mess we have made of our process. The two parties and their supporters have the awesome momentum of two self contained and impervious cultures of righteousness and injustice in full gear.

        In 3018, if we are still here, we will still be caught in this endless inescapable cycle of the dirty ugly destructive stupidity that flows from party politics.

      • August 23, 2018 11:02 am

        ““The poll revealed that 59 percent of registered voters approve of Mueller’s investigation, marking an 11-point jump from respondents who said the same in a July Fox News poll. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they disapprove of Mueller’s probe.””

        Grump, I have no problem with an investigation. If the FBI believed there is sufficient information to warrant investigations, grand juries and indictments, fine, do it! Most of those working in the FBI are professionals and handle investigations in that manner.

        I can not say the same for Mueller and I do not blindly accept actions by individuals like the largest percentage of Americans. If Mueller was professional in his ethics and not political he would investigate Russian /Trump collusion, find financial crimes and say ” NY FBI office, here is what I found concerning Manaford, take it from here. That would separate the crime from politics and Trump could not support his “witch hunt” based on unrelated crimes. What does hush money have to do with Russian/Trump collusion? If illegal, turn it over to the NY FBI office.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:39 pm


        I do have major problems with “the investigation”.

        There is not now enough evidence of the core allegation to for an investigation with grand juries and subpeona’s and spies and …….

        There most certainly was not at the start.

        Mueller did not start this. But that does nto alter that the start was corrupt.

        We do not focus the awesome power of government on political enemies just because we want to. A credulous allegation is not sufficient.

        It is not only evident today that there was no Trump Russia collusion.
        It i also evident that there never was a basis for a Trump/Russia collusion investigation.

        If you allow govenrment to investigate anything it pleases – you can kiss what little is left of our rights goodbye.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:15 pm


        Everything is NOT a “point of view”.

        The rule of law not man is a requirement of the social contract.
        Without it we are ACTUALLY lawless and government has no legitimacy.

        The worse that gets the more our society tears itself apart at the seams.
        That is what we have now.

        “both” sides have to some extent been guilty of that.

        The “war on drugs” as well as all the other fake “wars” that different political movements come up with are threats to the rule of law.
        The drug war has destroyed our constitutional rights and erroded the “rule of law”.
        That damage has been done – mostly by the right, and must be repaired.
        There is no doubt that the war on drugs did not work. Worse just like prohibition it substantially increase violent crime as well as the corruption of law enforcement and the development of organized crime. It has further empowered criminals outside the US.

        The destruction of the “rule of law” that we are seeing now by the left is equally bad.

        You can pretend I am espousing a point of view, all you want.

        The fact is that just as the war on drugs has damaged our society, so will the lawlessness of the left.

        You bemoan that we seem to be fracturing becoming more extremist.
        That is the natural consequence of the lawlessness I am decrying.
        It is not a “point of view”. Lawlessness leads to either anarchy or tyranny.
        It leads there whether you like it or not.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:24 pm

        Are you saying that Clinton did NOT botch Benghazi ?
        Are you saying that the big lie about Benghazi did not originate with her ?
        Are you saying that congress should not investigate when a US ambassador is murdered by terrorists ?

        I beleive it took 4 investigations to get to the bottom of Benghazi.
        If the results had been finding little or nothing that would be damning to the right.
        But the reason it took so long and so many investigations is because Clinton and the obama administration was hiding the facts.

        IT was not until the Clinton emails were uncovered that the actual truth about Benghazi came out. The uncovery of the Clinton emails was the result of a Judicial Watch FOIA request of the State Department.

        The State Department replied that they have no responsive material JW said that was impossible, and went to court, and the judge allowed JW to conduct discovery of the state department and that is when we found out that all of Clinton’s Sec State emails were in her private basement server.

        It is those emails that revealed that Clinton knew there was a problem before the attack, that Clinton knew during the attack that it was an organized Terrorist attack – even knowing exactly which terrorist group, and that the lie that it was the results of an internet video origninated with Clinton on the night of the attack and that she knew that was a lie when she put it forward as the public explanation.

        The protracted investigations are the result of all the lies and coverups.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:25 pm

        If we are going to government by poll, the Wall will be built tomorow, all “illegals” will be deported and few immigrants will be allowed into the country.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 25, 2018 12:34 pm

        “There is nothing anyone can do to stop this mess we have made of our process. The two parties and their supporters have the awesome momentum of two self contained and impervious cultures of righteousness and injustice in full gear.”

        Quite wrong.

        Perfection may not be acheivable, but significant improvement is possible.

        It all starts with restoring “the rule of law”

        Further if we do not, we will not be arround in 2028 much less 3018

        In the event the left actually succeeds in its efforts at a coup that will likely generate a huge and dangerous backlash.

        For the moment it is mostly the left that is deranged that is violent that is violent.

        But the declaration of independence specifies the condictions under which revolution and violence against government is justified.

        To be clear – the declaration is NOT a legal document, it is not permission – check these boxes and you can overthrow the government.

        It is not a “point of view”, it is just an observation of reality.

        As the declarations starts – “We hold these truths to be self evident”

        People will not tolerate actual lawlessness from government forever.

        Trump is the consequence of the lawlessness of the Obama administration and the left.

        In the event the left succeeds in toppling Trump – the impetus that brought him to power will remain. It might be a bit weaker, or it might be much stronger, but absent a return to the rule of law by the left it will grow, Either we will devolve to anarchy or we will devolve to tyrany. Absent stepping back from the abyss one or the other will occur.
        That may not occur rapidly, But it will occur inevitably.

      • grump permalink
        August 23, 2018 11:31 am

        Well, I respect your opinions, you stated and explained them clearly. We have done our best and we gave this topic a good (and civil) run. We have our differences of opinion, that is how it is. I wish you the best from my Vermont Universe to your North Caroline Universe and I hope that you and yours and me and mine all survive the upcoming civil war when the Mueller investigation finishes.

  30. Rebecca Scott permalink
    August 22, 2018 10:00 am

    Re Comey: if one followed the national polls on a daily basis, as I did during the 2016 campaign, it became obvious that the worst thing to happen to the Clinton campaign (other than the candidate herself) was Comey’s last minute letter to Congress. To claim he was conniving on her behalf is absurd.

    • August 22, 2018 10:49 am

      Rebecca, that might have been the worst thing at the time, but not the worst that could have happened and SHOULD have happened. Why is she not on this list? Johnny Martin, James Wolfe, Julio Pena, Jeffrey Skilling, Martha Stewart, Michael Flynn.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 23, 2018 12:22 am

      Not at all. Read the IG’s report. It is self evident that from the start the fix was in.

      While it is true that the Clinton email investigation was handled badly in a way that politically harmed Clinton, you seem to equate the political damage Comey did to Clinton with exonerating her for a crime.

      Had the FBI properly handled the investigation Clinton would not have been the democratic nominee, and possibly Trump would not be president.

      So yes, they F’d up. That Comey harmed clinton one way while helping her another. does not preclude the obvious.

      I would further note that at much the same time the FBI was also investigating Trump.
      Unlike the Clinton investigation – which had evidence and an actual crime, but no will to prosecute, the Trump investigation had no crime, no evidence but a tremendous will – all of which continue to the moment.

      further – Trump who nearly the entire top of the DOJ FBI loathed sought to do most anything to thwart – that investigation still managed to mostly be kept quiet – at least until after the election.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 23, 2018 12:23 am

      Comey’s letter to congress had less effect on the election than the Access hollywood tape.
      Both had faded by the election.

  31. dduck12 permalink
    August 22, 2018 3:52 pm

    Grump you are an alert guy. Thanks for telling me I have been on the wrong thread- Birth Control- for some time.

  32. dduck12 permalink
    August 22, 2018 4:21 pm

    Rick, I thought you retired to Casalanca to sip exotic drinks and host the tourists looking for the movie locations.
    Boy, am I pleased you wrote this great piece on the extremists.

    I have been stuck on Birth Control and beating my head against the bloviating rationalist fouling this fine blog, but I am glad you flushed some of the old crowd back on this thread so we can hear some ACCURATE opinions.
    Welcome back.

  33. August 23, 2018 8:42 pm

    I have just read a couple of articles and listened to one segment of a news program where they were discussing the investigation and Mueller. In these discussions the theme became Mueller giving up on Russian collusion and now focusing on conspiracy. Supposedly, Cohen is the ley to the president and impeachment.

    As I have said, other than saving face and not being the man who spent millions on a dry hole, my theory that Mueller is throwing everthing on the wall to see what sticks seems to be coming true.

    BUT!!! I had a great idea to actually clean the swamp of tarnished individuals running for president. Everyone knows I want government spending cut, but sometime we do need more. I think we need an Office of Presidential Ethics. Separate from DOJ, this office would report to the highest ranking member of congress of the party opposite the president. The individual would be appointed for a 4 year term by the opposition leader for the sole purpose of investigating the president current and prior life. The budget would be set based on the amount spent by Mueller per year and then adjusted for inflation. If there was nothing to investigate, then by law that money would not be spent.

    If one knows up front they were a target by an investigator up front with few restrictions, who thinks Clinton or Trump would have run in the first place? We may have had a Sanders/Rubio campaign.

    • grump permalink
      August 24, 2018 10:05 am

      trump would not have been fazed, he does not care. Today, proudly and in front of God and the world he told his AG on twitter to use the AG office for the political purpose of investigating “the other side.” Impeachable? The framers are rolling in their graves. We will never be able to put the goal posts back where they were prior to trump, first because he does these things and second, and more importantly, because his party does not care. The amount of damage one man can do to our country when he has the unconditional support of his party is beyond my previous imagination. At this point trump could strangle a puppy and a kitten during his state of the Union speech and 80% of GOP voters would say, its about time we did something about the animal problem.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 10:19 am

        Example, Newt Gingrich: “The elites in Washington get tremendously excited about things which are totally irrelevant to normal people,” Gingrich tells TIME in an interview the day after the Cohen plea and the Manafort verdict. “They’re just background noise that people pay no attention to.” He defends Kenneth Starr’s independent investigation into Clinton, but now calls Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt,” a phrase Trump has often used.

        In 1998, Gingrich accused Clinton of degrading the presidency through the Monica Lewinsky investigation. “This has nothing to do with vendettas or witch-hunts or partisan advantage,” Gingrich said at the time. “This is very simply about the rule of law, and the survival of the American system of justice. This is what the Constitution demands, and what Richard Nixon had to resign over.”

        I am going to puke.

      • August 24, 2018 12:37 pm

        Well what do you expect from politicians? 99% of them are in it for themselves. Trumps business practices have always been shady and quetionable, so once Mueller was appointed, the chum was already in the water since Trump was dieing to get his businesses into Russia and there is alot to investigate with that alone.

        Dont despair, impeachment is coming and then the democrats can take the reigns.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:03 am

        I have some problems with the Starr investigations.

        But from start to finish they were investigations of CLINTON. And Clinton’s misconduct.

        Further as I recall the subject matter of the Starr investigations was driven by Congress not Starr. In every instance in which Starr sought to expand his investigation into something new – he had to ask congress for approval to do so. More often Congress directed Starr to investigate new things.

        Finally Starr was able to report to congress actual criminal acts of Bill Clinton.
        Perjury and actual obstruction of justice ACTUALLY using Arkansas State Troopers to facilitate his secual misconduct and silence his victims.

        As I said – there were things wrong with the Starr investigation. But the Mueller investigation does not compare it has so many problems.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:09 am

        Gingrich is not my favorite person.

        But nothing you quoted troubles me.

        I do not think that the Supreme court should have allowed the Paula Jones case to proceed while Clinton wa president.
        But it did, and Clinton was deposed – and he knowingly lied under oath.
        Further he could have avoided the Jones lawsuit.
        He could have behaved – or he could have settled.
        There was no need for him to be deposed, and no need for him to lie.

        Once again we are making Sex into a political issue.
        But this time instead of lying about sexual misconduct while president we are fixated on voluntary relationships that are at worst adultery – certainly not sexual harrassment or rape, and that happened 10 years before the election.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 10:25 am

        I have not one molecule of respect left for anyone who is still claiming that trump’s actions are not impeachable.

        He is not going to be removed, but he sure as hell is impeachable.

      • August 24, 2018 12:48 pm

        I have never said Trump did not do anything that was impeachable. What I have said is 1) there is no Russian collusion and 2) why does it take someone other than normal investigator to find this information. Why does it take one individual with no controls on what they are doing to get to the “blow job”? Why do we not vet the candidates before they are elected? Why do we allow those like Trump with KNOWN questionable business practices or Clinton with KNOWN questionable political practices to run for that office?

        The only thing I can think of is people dont care except a handful of opposition party individuals that want their hands on the position. How else did we end up with Clinton or Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:22 am

        A credible allegation of conspiracy (there is no crime of collusion) with a foreign govenrment to effect and election is a legitimate basis for a special counsel.

        But we do not and have never had a credible allegation.

        To appoint an SC you require a situation where DOJ/FBI would be conflicted.
        That is rare and as of yet we do not have that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:12 am

        Then you should be able to clearly state which actions it is that you intend to impeach him for ?

        You can impeach someone for anything or nothing – impeachment is a political act.
        But it proved disasterous for republicans – when they actually had a sound basis .

        Do you really beleive it is going to work well for democrats ?

        Regardless – what Trump action is it that you think is impeachable.
        If you can not respect those who do not share your view on impeachment you should be able to cite an actual act that we all agree is a basis for impeachment.

      • August 24, 2018 12:12 pm

        Yes, Trump voters are deplorables. That is a given. And now we find Weisselberg and Peaker have been granted immunity into the Cohen investigation and other unnamed issues.

        After hearing this, I was saying with tongue in cheek we needed a special investigator permanently, but now I am serious.

        I bet a large amount that we will never see another individual from business running for this office. Lee Iococca was a smart man back in the 80’S when one of the parties ask him to run and he refused.

        I just hope with all the money Mueller is spending that it results in impeachment, resignation from office and not just another blow job like Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:15 am

        If a US ADA was after me – I would be seeking immunity before I cooperated, even if I had done nothing wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:19 am

        We need oversight.

        But the details are important.
        The Independent Counsel law was deeply flawed.
        The special counsel law is worse.

        Investigations of congress should be done by the executive,
        investigations of the executive by congress.

        Further there is a great deal of difference between investigating misconduct as a public servant – which should be trivially easy and investigations of private acts of private individuals.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 12:59 pm

        I’ll be very happy if the dems take the house by a slim margin and yes they should impeach if they do. It is far from a given that the dems will take the house.

        First, I have believed in power being split between the parties practically forever in any case. Second, trump must be impeached because it is what is correct and necessary, he has clearly abused the power of the presidency. Removed? Forgetaboutit. No president will ever be removed while the two party system is in place, no matter what they do. It is all the same important to use the impeachment mechanism.

        I want no party “taking the reigns,” I have no love of either. However, the flavor of my distaste is different for each. One party is naive and irritating and wants to do ridiculous things that may well lead to a civil war if they seriously try, the other party is, well, I am not even going to put the words down, you can imagine what I think of the GOP and my opinion would be even sharper and harsher. I’ll keep my exact thougths to myself here.

        If there ever was as time for a middle party to come into being this would be it. But, it ain’t gonna happen.

        I am of the age and life circumstances where I would be doing the traditional move towards being a moderate republican that older moderate dems often make and if the GOP had not become grotesque that might have happened. Now? Never. I do vote for a GOP governor of my state and have for years. But at the national level, No!

        I do imagine that this mess will affect the ideology of people coming of age today. The country will all the same remain split pretty evenly in the foreseeable future.

      • August 24, 2018 2:32 pm

        “The country will all the same remain split pretty evenly in the foreseeable future.”

        I can not agree with that based on the changing demographics. The bady boomers are dying out and the younger generations are much more liberal than the boomers who were The Liberals during the late 60’s and 70’s. We were anti war, free sex, free speech and anti establihment. Today the first two remain, but the left today is against free speech and very supportative of the “establihment” where in both cases establihment = government.

        There are many more birds at the feeder and fewer with the seeds today than in the past and that changing demographic is continueing.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:24 am

        I generally favor divided government and gridlock.

        Talk of impeachment is stupid and will backfire.

        If you wish to assure that Democrats do not take the house – keep talking.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:26 am

        So how has Trump abused the power of the power o f the presidency.

        I have not seen Trump do anything that every president since FDR has done – except getting into a pissing contest with the media.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 4:28 am

        We got that you do not like Trump or the GOP right now.
        But actual reasons matter.
        They are what distinguishes you oppinion between mindless ranting and reasoned fact.

        If you can not make good arguments then it is minflrdd ranting.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 1:30 pm

        “I have never said Trump did not do anything that was impeachable. ”

        You are too quick to feel accused. I would have bet money that you will agree that trump has done impeachable things. I am not venting at you.

        “there is no Russian collusion.”

        Of course there isn’t, collusion isn’t even a thing, legally speaking, if I understand correctly. Conspiracy is though.

        I do not believe that trump did anything worse than eagerly accepting offered information from Russian operatives and being utterly oblivious to the realities of Putin’s government and the appearance of being very friendly with them and antagonistic to our own agencies. The inheritors of the KGB know their business and they caught trump’s amateur hour campaign with ease in their web. They put out their bait and it was taken. I am 100% certain of that.

        There are a lot of things I have very thin knowledge of, but the manner in which the Russian dirty tricks, poison, and mayhem forces operate is not one of them, I’ve followed this for decades from many angles. This is pure classic easily recognizable putin era tactics. No traditional political candidate would have been foolish enough to have taken the Russian bait, but the trump team did, most especially because of the warped character of trump himself.

        putin is only just beginning this phase of his information war, there is much more to come and naivety is not called for. Americans of every party need to cut the shit and be completely on the same page about putin’s new type of information war with the west and its hazards.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 5:26 am

        “I do not believe that trump did anything worse than eagerly accepting offered information from Russian operatives and being utterly oblivious to the realities of Putin’s government and the appearance of being very friendly with them and antagonistic to our own agencies. The inheritors of the KGB know their business and they caught trump’s amateur hour campaign with ease in their web. They put out their bait and it was taken. I am 100% certain of that.”

        While there is zero evidence of what you claim – it suffers from an even greater problem – if true – still not a crime.

        Russian government agents also helped Hillary. In fact they helped Hillary frame Trump.

        That is not a crime either – but it is much closer that what you allege.

        Back to your allegations. There is alot of innuendo there. But no facts.

        What is it that Trump “Eagerly accepted” from the Russians ?

        You say “information”.

        Natalia offered him “information” that was junk, and Trump did not accept it he rejected it.

        Presuming it is correct that The Russians hacked the DNC – they provided the information to Wikileaks not Trump. Trump did not “accept it” Assange did.
        Further Assange did nothing more than Washington Post did when they accepted the Pentagon papers. Still not a crime.

        The fact that you are 100% certain of something with ZERO evidence is extremely disturbing.

        We KNOW that the Clintons have deep ties to Russia. That they get LOTS of money from Russians, That they and cronies are invested in Russia.
        Of all this we have evidence.
        While there are allegations of malfeasance on the part of he Clinton’s no one claims they are Putin’s dupes – even though Putin played Clinton like a fiddle in the Ukraine.
        And he is not doing so hot with Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 5:33 am

        Wow! You have made Putin into a perfect Bond Villian.

        Russia would be a global has been but for the worlds largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.
        Their economy is a fraction of ours. Their entire government is tiny in comparison to ours.

        The KGB whatever their intelligence services are tiny compared to ours no matter how good they are.

        Yet you invest them with near omnipotence.
        By implication our intelligence services must be clumsy and inept.

        So in this mythical world with an all powerful putin and an incompetent CIA/NSA/FBI
        Why would you beleive our IC when they say “putin did it”

        You do understand that if our own much larger services are competent your story falls apart.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 5:38 am

        “putin is only just beginning this phase of his information war, there is much more to come and naivety is not called for. Americans of every party need to cut the shit and be completely on the same page about putin’s new type of information war with the west and its hazards.”

        Putin has absolutely succeeded in making a tiny investment and yeilding enormous rewards. The left is appoplectic. The have magnified the Russian boogey monster beyond anything reasonable.

        What is quite interesting is that Russia does not have the capability of doing what you beleive they did. No one does.

        people did not vote for Trump because they were mislead by Russian bots.
        If the russians had this capability for mass brainwashing over the internet they would have deployed it long ago.

      • August 27, 2018 11:25 am

        Dave, “Putin has absolutely succeeded in making a tiny investment and yielding enormous rewards. The left is apoplectic. The have magnified the Russian bogey monster beyond anything reasonable.What is quite interesting is that Russia does not have the capability of doing what you believe they did. No one does.”

        I agree completely. Like I said just a couple minutes ago, let Russia throw out the chum as red eat for the left press and they will run with that without the first glimpse of verification. And the 35% that will believe white is black if the left press tells them that will believe it and many of the undecideds will believe it as being dark gray.

        Manipulation at its finest.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 12:00 am

        Persuading other people to do something stupid without using force – is probably immoral.
        But it should NEVER be illegal.

        Further we should never make laws that we can not or will not enforce.

        We can not and really will not do anything consequential about russian or anyone else’s efforts to persuade voters in our elections.

        It is a stupid idea.

        As I have noted before – if Putin can not attempt to persuade – than why can John Oliver or the Guardian ? Or the News of the World.

        Regardless as Brandeis noted, the response to speach we do not like is more speach.
        That is all.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 2:49 pm

        Ron, people in Montana and Idaho have kids too, technically millennials but not much like those in the big cities. That map of the red and blue counties? It ain’t gonna change much. People move slowly away from the left tendency of youth as they get on with life. Economic fantasies are self correcting, they can’t be paid for and when confronted with actual costs even the liberal liberals in Vermont had to accept it on single payer. The country will swing back between nearly evenly balanced forces right and left for a very long time. If one side starts to lose it will have to reinvent itself but right and left tendencies are both an ingrained part of human nature and neither side can eliminate the other, the pendulum will swing. All the same, the extremes that it is going to in its swings are getting worse and getting weirder at the moment. The world or twitter etc. is a destabilizing curse.

      • August 24, 2018 4:26 pm

        Yes grump, we do swing back and forth. But lets look back on government and life for many many years. And before we debate if these changes are good or bad, that is not my point. It is just the chages that have occurred.
        1. At one time cocaine was accepted by society. That is how “Coke” got its name. Stimulant s were acceptable in many different products.
        2. Sexual activity before marriage was taboo!
        3. Abortion was illegal.
        4. Marijuana was legal. Now it is not, but changing.
        5. The average workweek was over 50 hours a week. Today fulltime is defined as 30 hours per week.
        6.Entitlements did not exist. Today the movement is the ACA, where one employee is forced to buy health insurance to pay for another who cant. Further mivement left is going to happen.
        7 Marriage occurred in the teen years and individuals were responsible for themselves. Today?

        So many of the chages brought by a progressive agenda have been good, but the pendulum mves left and then right, but the rightward movement never reaches the previous level of right. Then it moves back left and exceeds thenprevious leftward movement.

        I dont want to see life as acceptable in the 50’s, I only point out that once things change, bith socially and politically, they never return to previous settings.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 11:23 am

        Change does not occur as a result of a “progressive agenda”.

        The changed you refer to are part of a continuum of changes that started a long time ago and have accelerated over the past 500 years.

        We used to burn peat and shit for heat.
        Biological energy was our only source of power not so long ago.
        We use to live in dirty squalor.
        We were lucky if during the course of our lives we got further than 5mi from where we were born.

        The list is long.

        The driving force to change is greater human freedom,
        The increased affluence that brings allows us to afford to improve our lives.

        I would strongly suggest reading about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
        That is from psychology not economics, but it is a principle that applies to everything.

        If humans want something – they will eventually get it, when we have met all our more fundimental needs and have raised our standard of living to the level that we have enough free resources to afford our unmet wants.

        Human desires are unlimited – that is important as it is the driver for our improvement.

      • August 27, 2018 11:38 am

        Dave, “If humans want something – they will eventually get it, when we have met all our more fundamental needs and have raised our standard of living to the level that we have enough free resources to afford our unmet wants. Human desires are unlimited – that is important as it is the driver for our improvement.”

        I am not so sure Grump and I were debating human desires and needs as much as we were the processes to achieve those outcomes.

        How a conservative would work to achieve their desired outcome is completely different than a liberal. Just look around the world to see how a country led by what progressives believe in differs from how countries led by those with more conservative views. For instance, Japan vs a Scandinavian country.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 12:06 am

        “I am not so sure Grump and I were debating human desires and needs as much as we were the processes to achieve those outcomes.”

        The process is automatic – so long as you have economic freedom.
        And gets botched at significant cost if you do not.

        “How a conservative would work to achieve their desired outcome is completely different than a liberal. Just look around the world to see how a country led by what progressives believe in differs from how countries led by those with more conservative views. For instance, Japan vs a Scandinavian country.”

        You do not have the right to use force to acheive most goals.
        Further you do not need to.

        This is not a difference of opinion.
        It is actually the social contract.

        As our declaration of independence makes clear – the purpose of government is to use force to secure our natural rights.

        It is not to manufacture new rights. It is not to accomplish whatever task some group – left or right – minority or minority wishes to achieve but can not do so through voluntary cooperation.

        We constantly forget that progressive, conservative, whatever, you are always free to do whatever you want (short of using force) to accomplish your goals – whatever they are.
        You are free to do so in voluntary cooperation with others.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 11:37 am

        And yet after Vermont California is now trying to impliment SP,
        and democrats are selling M4A – which is SP.

        The self correction of economic fantasies can be quite damaging – Social Security is running short, and soon enough benefits costs will exceed revenue by 27%.

        This was purpoertedly impossible. FDR promised that SS taxes would never exceed 2%, they are near 15% now. A minimum wage worker could invest the money you put into a CD and beat SS by a long shot, and die leaving a large sum to their family.

        We fail to grasp how evil SS is – it is destroying the wealth we create.

        Sometimes the way economic fantasies dies is as in Venezeula.
        As we watch what was the most affluent country in south america descend into poverty how can we possibly continue to advocate for any of the economic garbage of the left.

        Regardless, the promises of the left must be paid for. And that payment MUST come from what we produce – there is no other source. Free is not Free. We have a choice between working ourselves for what WE want. Or working as slaves to acheive what government wants for us.

        Even Jefferson accidentally discovered that slavery is horribly economically inefficient.
        At Montecello Jefferson’s slaves were allowed to use their own time to produce whatever they wanted. Jeffersons expectation was they would take care of their daily needs during that time. But with that freedom his slaves produced MORE than they needed, at first that created slave commerce within montecello, but eventually slaves started selling what they produced outside of montecello. Jefferson proved that slavery is inefficient and unproductive, and that the slave labor he thought was naturally slow and untalented and creative was highly productive when given the oportunity.
        Unfortuntely the success of Jeffersons slaves was noted by other slaves and more importantly other plantation owners and they demanded that he shut it down.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 11:45 am

        The country does swing between left and right endlessly.
        But that process is not static, it drives change.

        Over my life time there has been enormous change – both material and social changes.

        Our views on race, religion, identity, sex, have changed radically within my lifetime.

        Things that were considered repulsive and criminal are today widely accepted.

        But all change is not good, and with good comes alot of bad and the pendulum swings back to clear out those changes that have not proved worthwhile.

        I find the claims of the left that the “deplorables” the Trump voters are all hateful, hating haters laughably stupid. Alot of Richard Spensors views today were those of “the silent majority” 50 years ago. Today they are the far fringe.

        But the real changes have not come as the result of government actions and programs, they have come about as a result of changes in people and prosperity.

      • grump permalink
        August 24, 2018 5:00 pm

        “So many of the chages brought by a progressive agenda have been good, but the pendulum mves left and then right, but the rightward movement never reaches the previous level of right. Then it moves back left and exceeds thenprevious leftward movement.

        I dont want to see life as acceptable in the 50’s, I only point out that once things change, bith socially and politically, they never return to previous settings.”

        Its a very astute observation and I agree with the central point. But I have a counter offer: What it means to be far to the right is changing in a lot of ways. A lot of what trump is doing is extreme but its a mostly different extreme ideologically than what previous GOP extreme’s were, in my lifetime in any case. Trade wars, wall street rich guys as the enemy of the little guy, a Russian authoritarian leader running a not so secret covert war in eastern Europe with 10,000 casualties and playing dirty tricks in western elections being seen in a positive light as strong leader of his country by many GOP voters (and many right wingers in Europe), the anti american fanatic Assange also considered to be OK by a surprising number of GOP voters, deficit spending not a big problem. Its a new breed with a different ideology. Hmm, the left, its the same stuff as before (except for free speech you are dead on about that), only lefter than its been in quite a while economically and finding more and more far fetched victims of isms.

        Most of the worst ideas are going to die of their own badness and impossibility over time, but they will have divided us to a new modern level before they do, not to mention being very inefficient way of spending our energy.

      • August 24, 2018 5:09 pm

        Yes agree. ” A lot of what trump is doing is extreme but its a mostly different extreme ideologically than what previous GOP extreme’s were,”

        I have no idea how one can be a christian conservative and support Trump other than in their point of view what is offered by the left is much worse. But they are one dimensional (abortion), so I guess everything else is acceptable.

      • Rebecca Scott permalink
        August 24, 2018 5:14 pm

        Ron, I so agree with your point re “christian conservatives.” And I call myself a follower of Christ.

      • August 24, 2018 5:20 pm

        Rebecca, I will debate almost anyone, but I have friends that are born again Christians. I keep my mouth shut around them as that is getting into a debate on religion and politics at the same time and that is like getting into a fight with someone with a double barrel shotgun when you have a 22 pistol. Friendships can be lost in times like these. What I will say is I am a Christian, but I am not religious since I am not active in any organized religion,

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 10:47 pm


        I would rather debate a fundimentalist Christian than a progressive.
        And I have.

        They know what they believe and they are prepared to defend it.
        They are willing to listen, given that they will also be given the oportunity to respond.
        They are far more tolerant than progressives.

        You will not get fired shunned, uninvited, or otherwise suffer negative consequences of a disagreement with a fundimentalist.
        They are capable of beleiving that you are going to hell and a good person concurrently.
        They are generally capable of being friendly with people they disagree with.
        They routinely deal with a world where those arround them do not share their values.

        Those on the left are completely unused to a world in where anyone would disagree with them about anything – even the most minor issue. ‘
        They do not beleive in hell – but they will send you there for disagreeing.
        The mere act of disagreeing makes you inherently an evil person – regardless of anytbhign else about you.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 12:13 pm

        There is an interview of Penn Gillette that addresses tolerance and Christian Fundimentalism on Youtube.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 12:11 pm

        Remove the rhetoric and Trump is pretty tame – not “extreme” at all.

        We have been fighting over a “wall” since Reagan. The only “new” thing in the immigration battle is that the right has been played repeatedly over the past 40 years, and they are not getting played again.

        Our current immigration conflicts will all get resolved – likely followed by new ones.
        The writing is on the wall for what that resolution will look like.

        There will likely be a wall, and increased security measures and greater ease for government to deport people who enter the US illegally. There will almost certainly be some kind of quota system where the number of immigrants we accept each year will be roughly set and a variety of criteria established. The total legal immigration will increase, and issues like the dreamers and family separation will be resoved mostly to the wishes of the left.

        At the moment the only reason we do not have such a deal is the intransigence of the left.
        The unwillingness to give even an inch to Trump.

        Given that the “compromise” – somthing that those on this site seem to think is a principle, is self evident and supported by something like 80% of the country – why hasn’t it happened ? Trump is certainly not the obstacle.

      • August 27, 2018 12:34 pm

        “Remove the rhetoric and Trump is pretty tame – not “extreme” at all.”
        Ye, remove the rhetoric and leave everything else and I would bet Trumps approval would jump close to 10%. He is his and his parties worst enemy.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 2:14 am

        “Ye, remove the rhetoric and leave everything else and I would bet Trumps approval would jump close to 10%. He is his and his parties worst enemy.”

        You are right – his approval rating would jump.

        But you are also wrong. He would not have gotten elected.

        Atleast a portion of Trump’s vote is backlash against the identity politics of the left.

      • August 28, 2018 2:24 pm

        What you do and say during an election is quite different once in office for most. If he tweeted policy issues like just getting an agreement with Mexico, that would be fine. I address the negative personal comments he makes about others. I speak of his inability to let go of personal grudges like his disapproval of John McCain and either not lowering the flag to half staff because he did not like him or he was too lazy to listen to advisors who know the traditions for respected individual deaths.

        I know you do not agree, but this obnoxious NY behavior is a turnoff to many in other parts of the country which might mean the difference in a handful of voters changing their votes, leading to the liberal takeove. When it happens once, no problem. When it happens multiple times a day, 365, it does.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 11:23 pm

        I do not know Trump personally – few do, But I think most of what you call holding a grudge is just style.

        Trump lambasted Kim Un for months.
        He sat down negotiated a deal with him and came away saying how great a guy he was.

        I would prefer a world were that is not an effective style. But it appears to be.

        If you piss on Trump – he pisses back – by the gallon.

        But my guess is he walks away from twitter without any thought to you.
        I do not think he is up late at night fuming over his enemies.

        I am speculating, But there is not alot of evidence that Trump actually holds grudges.

        There is enormous evidence that Hillary does. Even her close friends are afraid of pissing her off.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 11:26 pm

        “I know you do not agree, but this obnoxious NY behavior is a turnoff to many in other parts of the country which might mean the difference in a handful of voters changing their votes, leading to the liberal takeove. When it happens once, no problem. When it happens multiple times a day, 365, it does.”

        It is not a question of agree or disagree.

        It is a question of guesses at the political calculus.

        There is a real absolute answer – but neither you nor I know it.

        If you take those voters who Trump has offended so badly they will not vote for him – but would have had his rhetoric been tempered, and then add those who cheer him on because of that rhetoric – is the number positive or negative.

        I think it is positive, and I think the fact that he won the election is strong evidence of that.

        But you could be right and it could be negative.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 12:03 pm

        You appear to attribute a litany of things to the extreme right, that with few exceptions have nothing to do with either Trump or the extreme right.

        Presidents since atleast Reagan have worked towards free trade.
        They have all had push back against that – usually from the blue collar left.
        All Trump has done is managed to strip blue collar workers from the left.
        We shall have to see what Trump’s actual results on Trade are, and I am very worried,
        But the spoken goal is actual free trade – or atleast some versions of Ron’s purported “fair trade.

        Russia has been a beligerant state for over a century. All of what you bemoan occured under Bush and Obama. Trump did not create the problems with Russia and thus far has not agrevated them. We do not have the ability to check Putin’s aspirations.

        Are you clueless about Assange ?
        Do you understand that much of what you know about Wall Street and the misconduct of businesses came through leaks to WikiLeaks ?
        Obama granted Manning clemency.

        Assange is NOT american – why should you presume american patriotism on his part.
        Regardless, he is the modern day equivalent of the Washington Post and the Pentagon papers. As WaPo notes – Democracy Dies in Darkness. Today Wikileaks is the light.

        Even with regard to the DNC. The entire effect of the DNC hack is BECAUSE the conduct of the DNC was offensive, anti-american.

        As a result of that we learned more of Clinton and the DNC’s malfeasance.

        You are among those demanding to have every private secret of those you dislike made public. We now read that Trump’s efforts to keep his past consenting sexual daliances secret is a crime. Yet the same people using the force of government to pry that information into the public eye AND criminalize the keeping of secrets are the very ones claiming that the DNC had a eight to keep its dirty laundry secret and that exposing it is criminal.

        I have no problems with Trump’s NDA’s. I have no problems with Danials capitalizing on her past relationship with Trump.

        The left is drowning in hypocracy.
        Make up your mind.

        “Most of the worst ideas are going to die of their own badness and impossibility over time”

        Absolutely – whether they are from the left or the right, and whether government steps in or not. Modern history is rife with failure, but the overarching theme is progress.

        We make myriads of mistakes, and learn from them and move on and do better.
        Government is an impeditiment to that.

        There is far more failure in the road forward than success, but it is the failures that bring success.

        No government right or left needed.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 3:54 am

        Given that Thomas Jefferson directed his AG to prosecute a political enemy for Treason and personally supervised the prosecution – I do not think our framers would be “rolling their eyes”

        I get tired of the crap that “this has never happened before”. It is only true in the most rigidly litteral sense. In the general sense – Trump is not unusual,

      • dhlii permalink
        August 27, 2018 3:56 am

        What Damage has Trump done ?

        Are we in a nuclear war with North Korea ? Russia ? China ?

        In what way are we substantially worse off than under Obama ?

        I think some of what Trump is doing is bad, and some is good.
        On NET it is still better than Obama – so how are we damaged in some significant way ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 25, 2018 1:25 pm

      So the key to impeaching Trump is Cohen pleading guilty to conspiring with Trump to commit a non-crime, that half the political candidates of my lifetime has done.

      I do not – and none of us know the exact details of the Trump’s efforts to pay to avoid the disclosure of embarrassing stories.

      But all of us know the general facts.

      Daniels and atleast one other woman were paid to keep silent about their long ago relations with Donald Trump.

      This is not illegal. It is not illegal if Trump did so to spare Melania public embarrassment.
      It is not illegal if he did so to hide his legal private actions from the public.

      It is not illegal if he paid for it himself.
      It was not illegal when Clinton paid for silence from his campaign.
      It was not illegal when Edwards paid off his CURRENT paramour during the campaign.
      From his campaign.

      The argument from the left has from the begining been anything that occured that might have contributed to Trump winning the election – must be a crime.

      If Trump does not reveal his tax returns – crime.
      If Trump does not reveal his past sexual history – crime.
      If we do not get to know every detail of Trumps finances over decades – crime.
      If someone leaked embarrassing but true information about Clinton – crime
      If someone leaked embarrasing information about Trump – true or not, public service.

      The standard as to whether something is a crime of not is does treating it as a crime “get Trump” ? And we can completely ignore that in the past, in the future and even in the present where the same thing does not lead to “getting trump” it is not a crime.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 25, 2018 3:45 pm

      I would absolutely agree with you that we need to be able to conduct investigations differently than we do today.

      I like your proposal better than what I floated earlier.
      But it still has issues.

      First, it should not be confined to the president.

      I think that we need TWO public corruption divisions.
      One in the executive that primarily targets congress and the judiciary.
      And one within the legislative that targets the executive more broadly.

      I do not think that you place it under control of the opposing party.
      I think that you merely allow some specific number of congressmen – say 20 regardless of party or chamber to refer something to the congressional office of public integrity.

      You have maybe 10 independent councils within that office and you have them selected by congress with membership proportionate to a parties control of congress – i.e. typically the majority party gets to select 6 and the minority party 4,

      Investigations are conducted in absolute secrecy

      And we get serious about criminally prosecuting people who leak information about an ongoing investigation.

      I would also go one step further, I beleive that congress already has a “jail” and a “marshal”.

      I do not care so much about the “jail” but congress needs the power to enforce contempt, subpeona’s etc. I think you create a small office of congressional marshall’s with the power to enforce the demands of congress, and to prosecute where necescary. ‘

      During the Obama administration the House found Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents regarding fast and furious.

      But the next step was to refer the citation to the Attorney Generals office for prosecution.

      That part did not work so well. We are seeing the same now with the house.

      The house can subpoena documents from DOJ/FBI The president can direct that DOJ cooperate, but there is no means of assuring that occurs when it does not.

      Further there are weird rules issues between the house and senate.

      In the house the chairman of any committee can authorize subpeona’s
      In the senate it requires the approval of the ranking members of both parties.

      This is why the fight between congress and Rosenstein is taking place in the house.
      Because Feinstein has refused Grassley’s effort to subpeona DOJ/FBI.

      I am a firm beleiver in oversite – I really do not care whose ox gets gored.

      Right now democrats are furious because they want millions more pages of documents regarding Kavanaugh’s term as White House chief of staff.

      While I think there may be a legitimate basis for a claim of executive priviledge.
      And the Bush administration archivist has denied the requests,

      I think that members from either party should be allowed to TRY to get whatever documents (from the administration) they think they need to properly do their job.

      I do not think that either the house or Senate should be able to easily subpeona private parties. But the government has powers – not rights, and oversight of the executive is the role of congress. Where there is some actual dispute – the courts should sort it out. That is their job. And a sufficient minority of congress should have the power to get whatever they demand – subject to review by the courts, and when there is no compliance there should be the means to enforce including arresting and jailing people.

      There is absolutely zero basis for Rosenstein to resist the document requests of congress.
      There are four main reasons that The executive can legitimately refuse a request of information for congress.

      National Security broadly – that is not actually a basis for refusal just a basis to limit access to those in congress with sufficient clearance.

      Means and methods – again not really an actual basis. Congress should usually defer when the executive wishes to protect means and methods, and should be held accountable for the consequences – individually where appropriate.
      But means and methods information should not be denied congress if that insist.

      Exposing information in an ongoing investigation – again that is much like means and methods. Congress should usually defer as a matter of choice but can not be deprived of the information if it insists as a matter of law.

      And finally executive priviledge. That is an absolute priviledge. But it is also a limited one.
      It ONLY applies to the advice given to the president. It does not go beyond that to the rest of the executive branch. The president’s advisors should be able to discuss anything with the president – any options even ludicrous ones, without fear that their advice – particularly devil’s advocate positions and the like should subject them to public criticism.

      Anyway those are the ONLY reasons that congress should be deprived information that it wants from the executive. With the courts arbitrating the disputes and congress having the power to enforce favorable outcomes.

      • August 25, 2018 4:11 pm

        The reason I suggested control by the opposing party was to insure those running were “clean”. If you havebthe appointments made by the oarty of the president, then you have oolitical hacks running investigations. Even if you have 10 investigators picked by congress, you coulf end upwith ten D leaning or R leaning investigators at the same time the party in power is ofbthe same letter.

        It could be worked out, but I want to insure those investigating are appointed by members of the opposite party. That way if candidate A has done something illegal, that candidate will know before the election he/she will be a target.

        Now Trump most.likely would have run no matter his back ground, but one has to wonder if Clinton would have wanted to put up with 4 years of email/ home servef investigations.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 2:40 am

        The devil is ALWAYS in the details.

        After experience we decided the Independant Council act was a bad idea and we let it expire and then replaced it with the Special Council law.

        But the SC turns out to be worse than the IC law.
        It ha what I consider more serious constitutional flaws, and by its very nature – placing the SC within the Executive it either results in strong political pressure to not appoint and SC, or and SC that is inherently without oversight.

        Remember you are not supposed to get an SC unless there is a conflict of interests.

        That means that those who would normally oversee CANT.
        But since the SC is in the executive there is no congressional oversight either.

        I am not committed to some specific means of creating a Public Corruption unit.

        At the same time I think we have some problems.

        Once a law is passed it is very hard to get it changed – no matter how broke it is.

        The next in this instance is that if we pass such a law and it does not work.
        Politicians are going to declare victory and go home.

        They do not want investigations – really.

        Trump is being investigated because he is an outsider.
        Clinton was given kid glove treatment not because she was innocent – but because she was an insider. Do not mistake political outrage for actual criminal prosecutions.

        Republicans would be happy to bring Clinton before an infinite series of Benghazi committees. But there was not prosecution because regardless of rhetoric – insiders rarely go after insiders criminally, regardless of party.

        Nor do I beleive there is such a thing as a non-partisan process for appointing anyone.

        I have addressed this on gerrymandering before:
        The process of drawing congressional districts is going to be political and corrupt.
        Given that who do you want doing it ?
        Do you want to involve the courts and politically corrupt them ?

        It does not matter who you think should have won Franken/Coleman or Bush/Gore,
        there is atleast one judge you likely think is politically corrupt.
        And you may be right.

        Whatever we do we need to try to match the skill of our founders who were very good at pitting interest against interest and making bad intentions work to good purposes.

      • August 28, 2018 2:40 pm

        “I have addressed this on gerrymandering before:
        The process of drawing congressional districts is going to be political and corrupt.
        Given that who do you want doing it ?
        Do you want to involve the courts and politically corrupt them ?”

        That is a vary easy fix. Computer algorithms can be built with a minimal number of criteria that would preclude Goofy chasing Daffy in PA, the snake in NC or the sand stripe in mid Florida coasral area. Congressional districts were built historically to include blocks of people and districts looked like chilrens puzzles aged 2-5.

        Districts should be more block like, not meandering ameobas that can cover hundreds of mile in legth and a few ft in width.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 11:49 pm

        “That is a vary easy fix. Computer algorithms can be built with a minimal number of criteria that would preclude Goofy chasing Daffy in PA, the snake in NC or the sand stripe in mid Florida coasral area. Congressional districts were built historically to include blocks of people and districts looked like chilrens puzzles aged 2-5.

        Districts should be more block like, not meandering ameobas that can cover hundreds of mile in legth and a few ft in width.”

        You are presuming that there is some objectively correct criteria.
        There is not.

        Every single proposal that someone makes where they assert some objectivity or neutrality, is neither objective nor neutral

        All choices have political consequences and absent some clear understanding of what “objectively right” is – all choices are “gerry mandering” All favor something.

        The famous compromise you noted over the makeup of the house and senate, is just a constitutionally enshrined form of gerrymandering of the country.

        You say that amoebalike districts are wrong – in the past the courts have agreed. It is one of very few criteria the courts have historically supported.

        I would tend to agree to – but there is still no objective basis.

        The winning side in the PA case argued voter efficiency.
        They were coming very very close to arguing that every district had to unifromly reflect the party makeup of the state as a whole.

        You really think that is “objective”.

        Those who live in cities want representatives who understand cities.
        Those who live in rural areas want representatives who understand farmers.

        It is likely good for our government to have both urban and rural representative

        I would note that the type of gerrymandering that the left fears is incredibly dangerous.
        tiny swings in the electorate throw huge numbers of seats to the opposite party.

        regardless, I can put together a computer program that will do almost anything your want.

        I can not come up with a way that is “objectively correct”

  34. August 27, 2018 3:32 pm–election.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=2_01

    How in the hell does the GOP keep coming up with these idiots running for office? Can’t anyone keep their damn mouths and fingers quite. Just add this one to the long list of can’t lose seats .

    • dhlii permalink
      August 28, 2018 12:19 am

      I think Ward’s remarks are tactless.

      For the most part this is a time to remember John McCain as a hero, and not to dwell on his faults.

      John McCain was a genuine Hero.

      So was Duke Cunningham and he ended up in jail.

      Being a hero does not preclude all kinds of other issues.

      Ward has a legitimate gripe with McCain.
      McCain has actively sought to interfere with her political career.

      Alot has come out about McCains political activities in the past couple of years – he walked the Steele Dossier to the FBI (though they already had it).
      He also pushed the IRS to go after conservative political action committees.

      He was the co-author of McCain-Feingold a well intention but deeply flawed campaign finance law.

      McCain got himself caught up in the Keating 5 Scandal and it changed him.
      While SORT OF for the better. He made the typical mistake of blaming others.

      If I offer a politician $1M for special treatment, there is nothing criminal about my offer.
      If the politician accepts, that is a betrayal of the public trust.

      Political corruption is NOT attempting to influence politicians
      It is the politician ACTING on inducements.

      We never root out corruption in government.

      But we can not even hope for improvement until we are prepared to hold government accountable.

      Policemen, prosecutors, judges, Clerks, Council men, Congressmen, and presidents.

      When you accept a position of public trust you are required to act to very high standards.
      There is no right to be a policemen or president.
      The job comes with requirements.

      I am far less concerned about Trump’s abuse of mouth, and far more concerned about abuse of power. That was a larger problem in the Obama administration than the Trump administration.

      • August 28, 2018 11:54 am

        “For the most part this is a time to remember John McCain as a hero, and not to dwell on his faults.”

        My issue was not about McCain. It was adout Kelli Wards stupidity. I was referring to the Deleware “witch”, the MO “cant get pregnant when raped”, the judge removed from the bench in AL due to ethics violations and then the sexual assualt violations, and other close elections lost due to stupidity running as GOP candidates. And that is not political stupidity, it is indiotic stupidity.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 28, 2018 11:18 pm

        And democrats are running multiple socialists, and Fauxchantas is a senator.

        The difference between republicans and democrats, is that for the most part the republican nutcases lose. The democratic ones win.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 29, 2018 8:10 am

        Fortunately for the GOP, McSally won. Ward was an idiot to say what she did. Apart from sounding insensitive and self-centered, she sounded delusional.

      • August 29, 2018 11:43 am

        ” Apart from sounding insensitive and self-centered, she sounded delusional. ”

        I had thought she was the nominee reading the article. Did not do enough research.

        But a troubling number is the fact a current state elected official and female retired military individual only received 52% of the GOP primary votes, while dellusional Ward and convicted ( and Trump pardoned) Arpaio split the other 48%.

        This, to me, shows how fractured the GOP is today. How 48% of the voters can overlook the faults of the candidates they voted for and the positives of the one they did not in a puzzle to me.

        So now we will see if the extremist on the right can suck it up and vote for a more moderate candidates, or will they stay home and allow the left to take control.

        To me there is a large difference from avoiding two totally incompetent and unacceptible extreme candidates (Trump v Clinton) as I did in 2016 and avoiding an extreme on one hand and a moderate on the other. If extreme conservatives avoid McSally and the senate flips, they deserve what they get!

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 9:23 am

        Ron, the odds of the Senate flipping are very low. The dems would have to run the table with all the close races. The house flipping, perhaps, the senate, ver unlikely.

        To those voters who voted for Arpaio and Ward, the things you see as faults they see as positive character traits. They did not ignore those things, they enthusiastically supported them! Nationally, I think that is where 50% of GOP voters now stand. Ward was no worse in the things she said than trump is. She was doing her best trump imitation, if there had been two establishment candidates she would have won, like trump did. Guess what, trump arpaio, and ward are the future of the GOP.

        Now, the next years will see whether the progressives truly can take over the dem party like the trumpies got the GOP. If the dem candidate for potus is a progressive in 2020, then the GOP wins the presidency.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 2, 2018 3:16 pm

        Rather that unspecific generalizations – how about specifics.

        I am going to ignore Aprio – I think his pardon was one of Trump’s biggest mistakes.

        But despite the political hatchet job Ward does not appear to be an actual nutcase like Arpio.

        Regardless, you are saying 50% of republicans support “extremist” positions.

        As I see it that is the democrats problem, not the republicans.

        Sanders, Giliiam, Ocasio-Cortez, to a lesser extent Warren

        Who are the similarly extreme similarly high profile republicans ?
        And what is it that they are espousing that is near as horribly stupid as socialism ?

        During the Obama administration we fought over what was socialism and whether Obama was socialist and the “rights” attempts to malign democrats by labeling them as “socialists”.

        The left is embracing socialism right now – not running from it. These are not candidates who are offending by being called socialist.
        They have willingly associated themselves with an ideology that has failed catastrophically everywhere it has been tried and nearly always results in copious bloodshed.

        I disagree with many republicans on many policies.
        But being pro-life is not extreme, nor is being for trade restrictions, or for immigrations restrictions, or more military spending. There are democrats supporting each of these.

        The fact that a position is wrong does nto make it extreme.
        Socialism is however inarguably extreme.

        So what positions of republicans do you think are extreme ?

        I am not asking which you agree or disagree with, but which are is obviously failed and harmful as socialism ?

        Republicans are often wrong. They are not often extreme.
        Too many democrats are both wrong and extreme.

        The way extreme is used at TNM is maleable and pretty much meaningless.
        It ends up meaning nothing more than – I do not agree,

        Nor do I think extremism is inherently wrong.

        Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

      • September 3, 2018 11:05 am

        Dave, it depends on ones definition of “extreme” in this context. Just like the weather, extreme can be very different to different people. Where 95 degrees with 60% humidity may be extremely hot to one, some like my wife find it “warm”.

        Yes, many of the programs where everyone else pays for someones health inurance, college efucation and lifes essentials is considered extreme for those paying, it is not for those accepting those programs.

        And for those that believe government should ban abortion by constitutional amendment and laws, ban alternative marriage and force christian based social beliefs by force on others, that is considered extreme by those who do not believe in government force and control, such as those with more moderate views.

        Government control by force on any belief that does not harm others and is not accepted by the vast majority of people (ie, 51% v 90%) most likely is extreme.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 11:23 am

        I have no problems with voluntary collective choices – insurance, churches, unions.

        I have a problem with the use of force – collectively or otherwise.

        Absent necescity, effectiveness and justification
        It is wrong and it fails

        I have expressed my view on Abortion before – both sides are wrong.

        A woman has an absolute right to control of her own body.
        But a fetus is NOT her. It is out of her control.
        She is entitled to demand that it be deprived of the ability to depend on her body – even if that results in its death. She is not however free to demand its death, only its removal.

        Just as there is no right not to be a father – there is none not to be a mother.

        Had the courts followed this – which is rooted in centuries of common law, this debate would likely be over.

  35. Priscilla permalink
    August 28, 2018 10:14 am

    I agree with Dave that McCain was a hero, and that his passing should be a time to reflect on the man that we have lost, and to remember his heroism.

    And, I also agree that heroism does not confer sainthood. War heroes are flawed human beings, just as all of the rest of us…Many of the media types who have been gushing over McCain since his death, were the very same people who called him a senile old warmonger, in 2008. They reminded us of the way that McCain abandoned his first wife after she suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident, and how he became engaged to his wealthy wife, Cindy, before his divorce was final.

    The problem that we have today is the inability to disagree amiably, or at least with the understanding that both parties in a political disagreement are people of good will and reasonable state of mind.

    It’s possible to believe that two things can be simultaneously true ~ that John McCain was a great man, and that his greatness was tempered by a sometimes petty spirit and a willingness to betray those who believed in him. Remember that, in his final campaign, he promised to be the man who would repeal Obamacare…yet, when the time came, he was the man who saved it. One side may see that as bi-partisan heroism, but the other side, very reasonably, may see it as cynical duplicity. Both sides can be reasonably argued.

    But reasonableness is not a trait that is highly valued these days….

    • grump permalink
      August 31, 2018 9:47 am

      “I agree with Dave that McCain was a hero, and that his passing should be a time to reflect on the man that we have lost, and to remember his heroism.”

      A nice idea, not much fulfilled in your post unfortunately. Instead you quickly got down to the dirt that really interests you.

      “They reminded us of the way that McCain abandoned his first wife after she suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident, and how he became engaged to his wealthy wife, Cindy, before his divorce was final.”

      Well, that is the lurid distorted National Enquirer version. Bleh. Sure, lets reflect on the man we lost and remember his heroism. Right. John McCain was a deeper more consequential person than you can even comprehend and you give us the brainless heartless gossip at this moment. Sorry if I am being unamiable, but that is the effect that your posts have on me. I seem to remember that you posted your support for arpaio here last year over dave’s dissent. These are your people, arpaio and trump. McCain is my idea of character. There really cannot be amiability from me towards the slice of America you represent. There is, to be blunt, a war that I uselessly wage against people like you. You’ve won priscilla, your views have ascended. Its grotesque.

      From Wiki, just to have a less lurid view:

      “In April 1979,[61] McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father had founded a large beer distributorship.[66] They began dating, and he urged his wife Carol to grant him a divorce, which she did in February 1980; the uncontested divorce took effect in April 1980.[22][61] The settlement included two houses, and financial support for her ongoing medical treatments due to her 1969 car accident; they remained on good terms.[66]”

      You have managed to “so what” and “who cares” all of your heroic trump’s sexual and marital indiscretions. Ah, but McCains get the Enquirer treatment before his body is in the ground. Its who you are. Its who the GOP base is.

      We are so screwed.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 31, 2018 9:52 am

        grump, sorry for annoying you with my mere existence 😉. I was simply recalling what I read, back in 2008. I never bothered to research it, because I didn’t care if it was true or not – I voted for John McCain because I believed that he would be a good, possibly great, president. And I still think that he would have been.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 10:33 am

        ” I voted for John McCain because I believed that he would be a good, possibly great, president. And I still think that he would have been.”

        None of which sentiment made it into your gossip laden post that drew my reaction. Why? Why at this time does that ^%$#@ trash have to get tossed into what was supposed to be praise for the man we lost? I am SO fucking sick of this wretched garbage, from all sides.

        I don’t get many heros in the arena of public life. John Glenn, the astronauts of the 60s, McCain. McCain ran for president and did a thing I do not remember another candidate for potus doing. He came to the defence of his opponent against the rank disgusting kind of lunitic attack that has now today become the standard in the GOP. trump does it, you do it, the GOP mass produces attacks on the press as the enemy of the people, much of the left is fine with physical attacks on guest speakers like occurred at Middlebury or rioting BLM protesters at Dartmouth. I am completely sick of all the unreasonable people who are out of control, spewing their poisons.

        You want reasonable? Set an example. BE reasonable. That nasty gossip was a fail.

      • August 31, 2018 12:02 pm

        Grump, it is not that much differentntoday than when McCain ran for president. What the democrats now call a great man and wonderful colleague, Obama called him a “mad bomber” and stated “I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans – I just think he doesn’t know.”

        Another democrat operative stated “”A lot of people don’t know … that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain’s military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief?”

        “Getting shot down, tortured and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience,” Aravosis wrote in the blog post, titled “Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?”

        “Democratic West Virginia Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV cut a bit closer, suggesting that McCain’s days as a fighter pilot were themselves a critique of his character.

        “What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?” he asked. “He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.””

        I could post more, but for every action, there is a reaction. And every reaction becomes more pronounced as it occurs. Words like those above provides the opening for others to react. Then they carry it one step further and the left reacts.

        Now, policy wise, take immigration. I suggest you and I could discuss the issue and come up with an action that might help alleviate the immigration problem. But that did not happen. No reasonable action took place with Democrat controlled congress, so Obama does DACA. Right reacts and after years of seeing illegals pour into the country, Trump get nominated and elected. So the reaction on the left is to move further left. Many of the democratsrunning today are further left than earlier versions.

        The reaction. The GOP is nominating more further right.

        Yes the extremes are winning. Your dislike for a far right Trump is met with the same amount of dislike for far left democrats.

        The losers. You, me and others that can debate, compromise and work for the country, not a movement.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 31, 2018 1:02 pm

        grump, re-read my post, man! I wrote that many of the media types who are praising McCain today, pushed this malicious gossip when he was running for president in 2008. It’s not MY malicious gossip.

        I believe that it is possible for a person to have a messy personal life and still be a great leader. I believe that we’re all very fallible, that we have all done things of which we are not proud, and that, barring acts of true evil, that makes us all pretty normal.

        I mean, look at Mitt Romney. You’d be hard-pressed to find a man more admirable in his personal behavior. Yet he was slimed as a homophobe, a heartless man who caused the death of many who were laid off when Bain Capital reorganized corporations, a misogynist who wanted to keep “women in binders,” etc. Bush was called a Nazi, CBS claimed that he had gone AWOL while in the National Guard, and he was accused of having advance knowledge of the 9-11 attacks. Obama, of course, was accused of lying about the circumstances of his birth. And let’s not even compare the things that were said about Reagan when he was president, to the glowing things that were said about him after his death. Like night and day.

        In general, if a politician has made personal mistakes in his/her past, but appears to have been reasonably honest and forthright in his/her public life, I would not judge that person unqualified to hold office. But, if they have betrayed the public trust, by committing immoral or illegal acts while holding office, or if they have committed serious felonies at any time of their lives, I would likely not vote for them.

        I generally admired McCain, considered him a war hero, and cast my vote for him when he ran for the presidency. I do not, however, think that he was a perfect man. So, sue me.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:30 pm


        I am very disturbed by many things McCain did.

        He was still a hero.

        I do not have to agree with him on everything, to think so.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:47 pm

        I had no problem with McCain precluding Trump from his funeral – it is his funeral.

        I did have problems with the funeral becoming a trump bashing session.

        It was McCain’s funeral.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 12:57 pm

        Very ugly comments. I have never doubted that there are many wingnuts and loudmouths in the dem party voters and politicians with over the top inflammatory rhetoric. That Obama made such comments is sad. I wonder what the worst things McCain said about Obama were? I guess I can google that if I want to suffer.

      • August 31, 2018 1:36 pm

        The GOP said a lot of bad things about Obama. I was just pointing out we forget the past and only focus on the here and now.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 1:01 pm

        This moment is a time for forgetting McCain’s flaws.

        Not denying they exist. He left his wife, who had stuck with him through his military career and 5 years as a POW.

        I am glad that was not hostile. I am glad he found someone he could relate to.
        That does not make it any less offensive.

  36. August 29, 2018 11:13 pm

    Once again the extremist have won. Free healthcare, free education, free child care, free free, free. If its free it wins on the left. Wonder how Floridians will like a new income tax if this carries forward into the general election?

    OnTheIssues ranks Gillim about 80% liberal (where moderate center is 0) with no libertarian leanings By comparison, Bernie sanders is just slightly more liberal. Ron DeSantos is ranked 55% (where moderate center is 0) center right conservative with 25% libertarian leanings. As comparisons, Richard Burr is ranked 80% conservative with equal populism and libertarian leanings (0). Joe Manchin (WVA) and Mark Warner (Va) are 0’s. Both right in the middle of moderate dead center.. Just as conservative as liberal, as populist and libertarian.

    i knew I like those two for a reason. but how do they stay in office?

    • Jay permalink
      August 30, 2018 7:06 pm

      You’re misreading the chart, Ron.

      OnTheIssues a good site for compilation of a politician’s views & stances on issues. But I don’t know how you came up with the assessment DeSantis is anywhere close to moderate. To be accurate, He’s a solid Right-Conservative leaning Libertarian Trump supporter- his placement on the chart is nearly identical to the Trump’s placement (look it up at the site). Are you suggesting Trump is close to a moderate too?

      On the major issues we use to determine a moderate designation, DeSantos isn’t even within the periphery of moderation.

      These are some of DeSantos NON MODERATE positions:

      -He’s strongly Pro Life, wants to ban abortions after 20 weeks except if mother’s life at issue.
      -Opposes Same Sex Marriage
      -Supports fully Repealing ObamaCare.
      -Wants to privatize Social Security.
      -Strongly favors school vouchers & opposes Federal grants for education.
      -Opposes any further restrictions on firearm sale or possession.
      -Doesn’t support path to citizenship for illegals or allowing Dreamers into the military.
      -Was against Mueller’s investigation from the start and wants to suspend it.
      -Strongly against raising taxes on the wealthy to reduce deficit.

      If Floridians are in favor of all or most of that, they should elect him, and vote for Trump again in 2020. They will deserve each other.

      • August 30, 2018 8:39 pm

        If you take the corner just above the first “e” in moderate, that is center -0-. Each corner moving left and right = 20%. So Gillim is positioned 60% left. The chart shows desantos 40% right with 10% libertarian.

        So lets just say Gillum and desantos gives Florida an excellent choice between the very liberal and very conservative candidates.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 31, 2018 9:02 am

        Jay, I don’t think that Ron is mis-reading the chart at all. But, that aside, most of DeSantis’s positions are not extreme when compared to the mainstream conservative positions throughout the country. You may disagree with them, but that doesn’t make them extreme.

        A few points:

        1) having an policy position or opinion is not the same (or should not be the same) as forcing that policy on everyone in the country. So, for example, a person may not believe in gay marriage, but would not do anything to keep gay people from marrying, so long as they are not forced to participate. This is exactly the issue in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case. Jack Phillips told the gay couple, who ultimately sued him, that he did not bake cakes for gay weddings, but that he would gladly bake them any other sort of cake. He had baked for them before, he knew that they were gay, and he did not force his views upon them, he simply declined to provide a specific service that conflicted with his beliefs.

        2) It is generally the left that seeks to impose government control on citizens. There is a strong case to be made that since the federal government took control over public education in the 1980’s, the quality of education has gone steadily down. Charter schools, which are public schools, have attempted to provide a choice for millions of poor students who otherwise would be forced to attend crime -ridden, drug infested schools, but have been opposed by the NEA, because charter schools operate outside of the direct control of school districts, and do not have to employ union teachers. Opposing school choice is not an “extreme position,” but the left sees it that way, because it wants total control over public education.

        3) You don’t have to agree with everything that a politician says, in order to support that politician. Being in lock-step with any political party is cult-like and extreme.

      • August 31, 2018 9:58 am

        Priscilla, excellent.

        One additional point. Richard Burr when ranked by OnTheIssues is about as conservative and non populist/Libertarian one can get. He is at 80%, but he also is very open to compromise when that is the right thing to do. DeSantos is 40% less conservative when ranked by this site.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 2, 2018 12:28 pm

        I do not know much about either DeSantis or Gilliam beyond what little is in the press.
        Nor do I particularly want to – as I have no vote in FL.

        But FL has been moving very slowly right over the past could of decades (just as Virginia moved left), and my GUESS would be the Gilliam can not be elected, even if DeSantis is pretty extreme.

        At the same time I would note that today “extreme right” – seems to be anyone who does not support abortion on demand, or gun confiscation, or limitless government spending.
        While “extreme left” is reserved for socialists and communists that actually advocate violence. Merely being a socialist of communist does not appear to be enough to get labeled “extreme”

        One of the major errors of many – including posters on TNM is the ludicrous proposition that their personal views represent the US political media.

        Democrats and the media have moved further left. The Republicans and the country have not. Much of what is called “extreme” by many of the “moderates” here are positions that a plurality – if not a majority of americans hold. Some are positions in which overwhelming majorities of americans hold.

        Just to be clear – I am not an advocate of democracy. I do not beleive that if 51 ro even 81% of people want something they are entitled to use force through government to get it.

        But language matters and it is hard to call the plurality position of the american people “extreme”.

        I am not as an example a “fan” of Fox, I do not watch any news channel, and rarely view clips from CNN. MSNBC, FOX, … on Youtube.

        But I do note that FOX pretty much owns the ratings often dwarfling the rest fo the media combined. Fox has topped cable news rating for 15 years straight.

        Like it or not Fox is “the political center” of the country. Which might help you understand how Trump was elected.

      • September 2, 2018 2:00 pm

        “Like it or not Fox is “the political center” of the country. Which might help you understand how Trump was elected.”

        The political center might be Fox News. But the political parties are Maddow and Hannity.

        Trump was elected because there were 8-10 ” politically center GOP” candidates splitting the center right vote, leaving the “red neck, tea party, Honey BooBoo, Duck Dynasty” voters to control 30% of the early GOP vote, thus drying up essentiwl money for viable candidacies. Had it been Trump v one or two thers, he would never have survived New Hampshire.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:54 am

        Even as the field thinned Trump still won within the GOP.

        I would personally have prefered any of several other republicans.

        At the same time I would note that Trump won the General, and he is not an “extremist”.

        He is loud and speaks without chosings his words carefully.

        But he is not the extremist he is painted.

        He is cutting regulation – a very republican thing and he is actually doing it – a not so republican thing.

        His trade policies are wrong – but they are LEFT of the GOP not to the right.

        His immigration policies – as much noise as they generate are supported by something like 80% of the country. Regardless, they are not extreme.

        In what way is Trump tot he right of those 8-10 candidates you think would have been better.

        I find the anger at Trump here funny.

        My problems with Trump are that he is TOO moderate.
        He is wrong on trade – though you particularly support his position.

        Yes, he is a loud mouthed brash moderate – but he is still a moderate.

        He did not win by energizing the religious right. He did so by appealing to blue collar democrats in the rust belt.

        Much is made by the left and the media over why are GOP christians voting for Trump ?
        Because they are not voting for a democrat no matter what.
        Much is made that Hillary won the popular vote – she did, because alot of those christian republicans stayed home – in states that any republican would win no matter what.

        Trump appealed to an won blue collar democrats in the rust belt. That was his winning strategy. And he will win in 2020 so long as he does not lose them.
        My read of the tea leaves is that in 2020 he will have an actual “landslide”.

        The longer TDS continues without producing credible evidence – the stronger Trump gets.

      • September 3, 2018 11:40 am

        If you do not win Iowa, New Hampshire an South Carolina, money begins to leave. If you lose Super Tuesday, you are gone. Ted Cruz was never really acceptable to the moderates and libertarian leaning voters and the others had no money after Super Tuesday.

        And look at the vote totals nationally. He did not win the general, he won the electoral college, a vast difference.

        Do you really believe Trump would have won if it had been Trump, Cruz and one more stronger candidate(Bush/Rubio/Kasich)? I dont, I think the results in New Hampshire would have resulted in a much stronger moderate going into super Tuesday, the coverage would have been covering strong support and not “problems” as it was and going forward Trumps support would have remained much.lower without a growth in support. And had the third one been Kasich, I suspect he could have been less impacted by hand size, “little and low energy” putdowns and handled the attacks much better.

        But thats all my speculation.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:03 pm

        “one more stronger candidate(Bush/Rubio/Kasich)?”

        I do not think they were “stronger” candidates. I do not think any of them could have won the general.

        the GOP tried that with Romney. People were not going to vote for Obama-lite, they are not going to vote for Clinton-Lite.

        I do not think Rand Paul has the “fire in the belly” necescary to win a presidential election.

        Cruz is young, and I think he will be a future GOP candidate and possibly president.

        I do not think that Sanders, Warren or any of the current top tier Democrats can win a general election.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 2, 2018 12:29 pm

        We are all different the odds against 100% agreement with any politician are near infinite.

      • September 2, 2018 2:06 pm

        “We are all different the odds against 100% agreement with any politician are near infinite.”

        And today there is about a 100% chance that the democrats and republicans will agree on nothing, while in the 80% there was near 100% chance Reagan and O’Neill would agree on somethings leading to legislation. Many did notvagree with some things, but the outcome keading to growth is hard to question. But many try.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:34 am

        I will agree that congressional politics is different today than in 1982.

        I am not sure that is better.

        You are advocating for compromise as a value not a tool.

        We got alot of very bad things are a result of compromises between D’s and R’s.

        I am a proponent of gridlock – with the caveat as I have previously expressed that what was done in the past should need to maintain support forever to remain.

        We have a problem today in that a program once created lives forever.
        Whether it works.
        Whether it has any political support.

        Otherwise I am in favor of gridlock.

        I think that D’s and R’s should work something out regarding immigration right now – because it is in both their interests to do so. Because there is large agreement and the areas of disagreement are not over matters of principle.
        But working something out seems unlikely.
        It was not happening under Obama. It does not look possible under Trump.

        One of the problems in congress today is that the left took over completely in 2009 and briefly could do almost anything they wanted. They do not understand the future likelyhood of that is near zero. Between the house, Senate and presidency, Republicans are always likely to control atleast one.

        The press is harping over the Senate hoping that somehow democrats can flipp a couple of seats. But the current senate election should send a message.
        The long term Senate is going republican.
        Based on state legislatures and governors races the Senate should have atleast 60 republicans. Even a few purple states going blue will only change that slightly

        Worse still the blue states of the rust belt seem to be hinting at turning red.

        Regardless, it is highly unlikely that D’s will anytime in my lifetime get to do whatever they want unhindered. And they do not seem to grasp this.

        Democrats are still in “demographics is destiny” mode at a time when it is increasingly clear that even the demographics is running against them.

        Yes new poor minorities tend to favor democrats, but as each group succeeds they shift right slowly.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 2, 2018 11:52 am

        The entire concept of rankings depends on deciding what constitutues right left or whatever axis you want to use

        Is support send amendment right/left ?
        Ending the war on drugs ?

        Inherently BOTH are the same issue – individual liberty

        Is limited government a “right” issue – or is it just “common sense” ?
        Or is it pragmatism – the data demonstrates that the larger the government the slower standard of living improves.

        Is “the data” political ?

        One of my common rants here is on the meaning of words.

        In the context of fiction or poetry – we deliberately use words flexibly and that is a good thing.

        When we are discussing law and govenrment it is of critical importantance that whether we agree pholosophically – that we are atleast talking about the same thing.

        If we make something illegal – our courts will parse the law tediously to distinguish what it bars from what it does not. “the letter of the law” is critical – you can not create a working system where punishment is alotted based on “the spirit of the law” – such a system results in different outcomes depending on each judge jury and where the case is tried.
        It is arbitrary and capricious, and ultimatly such systems much fail. The more arbitrary and capricious govenrment is the less support govenrment has from the people

        You bitch and moan that people do not trust government – as if trusting government was a good thing.

        Regardless, trust in government will inherently decline the more laws there are and the more broadly those laws are applied.

        That is mathematically demonstrable.

        If you pass 10 laws – each of which has the support of 80% of the people, and the vigorous opposing of 10%, and each law is opposed by a different 10%, you end up with 100% opposition for government.

        You can play games with the math all you want – the more laws you have that do not have 100% popular support the weaker support for govenrment will be.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 2, 2018 11:53 am

        From the first issue of “United States Magazine and Democratic Review”, 1837 John O’Sullivan

        It is under the word government, that the subtle danger lurks. Understood as a central consolidated power, managing and directing the various general interests of the society, all government is evil, and the parent of evil.

        A strong and active democratic government, in the common sense of the term, is an evil, differing only in degree and mode of operation, and not in nature, from a strong despotism. This difference is certainly vast, yet, inasmuch as these strong governmental powers must be wielded by human agents, even as the powers of the despotism, it is, after all, only a difference in degree; and the tendency to demoralization and tyranny is the same, though the development of the evil results is much more gradual and slow in the one case than in the other. Hence the demagogue — hence the faction — hence the mob — hence the violence, licentiousness, and instability — hence the ambitious struggles of parties and their leaders for power — hence the abuses of that power by majorities and their leaders — hence the indirect oppressions of the general by partial interests — hence (fearful symptom) the demoralization of the great men of the nation, and of the nation itself, proceeding, unless checked in time by the more healthy and patriotic portion of the mind of the nation rallying itself to reform the principles and sources of the evil) gradually to that point of maturity at which relief from the tumult of moral and physical confusion is to be found only under the shelter of an energetic armed despotism.

        The best government is that which governs least. No human depositories can, with safety, be trusted with the power of legislation upon the general interests of society so as to operate directly or indirectly on the industry and property of the community. Such power must be perpetually liable to the most pernicious abuse, from the natural imperfection, both in wisdom of judgment and purity of purpose, of all human legislation, exposed constantly to the pressure of partial interests; interests which, at the same time that they are essentially selfish and tyrannical, are ever vigilant, persevering, and subtle in all the arts of deception and corruption.

        In fact, the whole history of human society and government may be safely appealed to, in evidence that the abuse of such power a thousand fold more than overbalances its beneficial use. Legislation has been the fruitful parent of nine-tenths of all the evil, moral and physical, by which mankind has been afflicted since the creation of the world, and by which human nature has been self-degraded, fettered, and oppressed.

        Government should have as little as possible to do with the general business and interests of the people. If it once undertake these functions as its rightful province of action, it is impossible to say to it ‘thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.’ It will be impossible to confine it to the public interests of the commonwealth. It will be perpetually tampering with private interests, and sending forth seeds of corruption which will result in the demoralization of the society.

        Its domestic action should be confined to the administration of justice, for the protection of the natural equal rights of the citizen and the preservation of social order. In all other respects, the voluntary principle, the principle of freedom, suggested to us by the analogy of the divine government of the Creator, and already recognized by us with perfect success in the great social interest of Religion, affords the true ‘golden rule’ which is alone abundantly competent to work out the best possible general result of order and happiness from that chaos of characters, ideas, motives, and interests — human society.

        Afford but the single nucleus of a system of administration of justice between man and man, and, under the sure operation of this principle, the floating atoms will distribute and combine themselves, as we see in the beautiful natural process of crystallization, into a far more perfect and harmonious result than if the government, with its ‘fostering hand,’ undertake to disturb, under the plea of directing, the process. The natural laws which will establish themselves and find their own level are the best laws. The same hand was the Author of the moral, as of the physical world; and we feel clear and strong in the assurance that we cannot err in trusting, in the former, to the same fundamental principles of spontaneous action and self-regulation which produce the beautiful order of the latter

    • grump permalink
      August 31, 2018 9:11 am

      In Florida they are both terrible choices. I hope Gillium loses and clearly. Why? To send a message to the dem base voters that progressive issues are not going to be winners in most of this country today.

      As of today the dem base has moved to about 50% hopelessly naive progressives as far as I can approximately determine. Maybe its 60-40, I dunno. Conservatives will claim that its even more. I still think that about half the dems are not gonzo progressives.

      About the GOP, there is no doubt. trump voters are not contaminating the party, they Are the party. Its a rout. Its going to stay like this.

      I can only forlornly wish that the moderate remnants of both parties will someday form another party in the middle. About a 2% chance of that though. There are still a lot of Americans who occupy some kind of middle ground.

      • August 31, 2018 10:08 am

        grump “About the GOP, there is no doubt. trump voters are not contaminating the party, they Are the party. Its a rout. Its going to stay like this.”

        So are you saying that if Sanders had won and he had a liberal congress behind him and did the things he wanted to do that the moderate left of center democrats would abandon him and vote for a conservative nominee next time?

        That to me is not reality. Reality is people who vote democrat will vote democrat regardless. People who vote republican will vote republican regardless. Florida democrats will vote for Gillum even if they supported Graham in the primary.

        The GOP voters are tired of give away programs and see what damage “feeding the birds” can do. For many of us that do vote republican (ie my house rep) we would like someone else but we get what the majority of GOP primary voters vote for and right now it is very conservative candidates, much more conservative than Trump. Look at Trumps actions and not his words and then place him on the on the issues map. He is more in the center of conservative and not far right conservative.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 10:48 am

        “Look at Trumps actions and not his words”

        No! His words are actions. Words have impact. Words can move mountains, start wars, make peace, incite violence, inspire love. Words are the tools that people use to be a society.

        Dave has been repeating like a parrot that he is concerned with trump’s actions not his words.

        trump’s words Are his actions. That goes for anyone.

        The argument that they should be overlooked is absurd.

        You are dismayed and disgusted that arpaio and ward got 50% of the vote. The reason that happened is Words!, words that have been used to convince people that these candidates offer the path to a better future. Words have been used irresponsibly to move tens of millions of people into directions, right and left that that are destructive.

        You and dave and priscilla can give trump a pass on his mere words and believe they are a harmless diversion if you choose.

        I will not be joining you. I will not be giving anyone, left, right, or other a pass on their words used to distort, slime, excuse evil, or incite ugly movements.

        Yes, you are conservative and in agreement with many of trumps actions. I know you also see the ugly and destructive side of his character and actions, so I am not quite sure what you are even trying to say here.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:37 pm

        No Words are not actions.

        That is not to say that we do not often judge people by their words.

        But we judge people by their words because of what it tells us about how they might act.
        Ultimately it is still about action.

        who is worse ?

        A who constantly lies, but does nto cheat or steal, or use force against others.

        or B who never lies, but cheats, steals and is violent.

        We like it when what people say and what they do is in sync.
        But actions are what matters and words are not actions.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:45 pm

        Persuasion is not an action.
        If you murder someone – that a third person persuaded you too, is not a defense, you are responsible.

        Orders are actions. When you direct a person to do something, and can compel their obedience THEN your words are an actual act. Though following orders is still not a defense.

        No one is “giving Trump a pass”.

        Trump’s words are sometimes offensive.
        And I dis agree with some of Trump’s actions.

        But Trump’s actions overall have been less offensive than Obama’s
        Just as his words overall have been more so.

        As actions are much more important than words Obama fares worse in that comparison.

        No one asked you to give Trump or anyone else a pass on their words.

        But I am asking you to judge actions as much much more important than words.

        I am not “conservative” – neither BTW is Trump. Nor am I ideologically the same as Trump.

        You keep pretending everything is somehow binary.

        The left hates Trump for many of the same reasons the right hated Bill Clinton.

        Bill moved towards the center – even often towards conservative positions,
        Trump moved towards the center – even often towards leftist positions.
        Both won.

        Both were abysmal people but thus far good presidents.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 11:02 am

        “Reality is people who vote democrat will vote democrat regardless. ”

        Many, not all. If the dems nominate Elizabeth Warren or a prog, I will not be voting for them in 2020. I am not alone. The dem party as of the moment is split in two almost equal parts. the GOP belongs to trump by 80-90%. The words of the few remaining GOP moderates about character are falling on deaf ears of the GOP voters.

        I hope that this will eventually have a serious cost to this group, but that is not clear at the moment.

        The character, the flavor of our society still counts and when an ugly character becomes dominant it has consequences, I don’t care what the stock market or unemployment rates are, if we become a country of affluent pigs, well, do you think stocks will go up and unemployment down forever? When they reverse again we will still be pigs, just pigs with a lousy economy.

        We are becoming smaller as a nation under present behaviors.

      • August 31, 2018 12:11 pm

        Grump, I suggest the Democrats are in their evolution to the far keft where the Republicansbwere in 2012 inbtheir evklution toward the far right.

        I suggest you will see that come the 2020 democrat convention.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 12:51 pm

        “I suggest the Democrats are in their evolution to the far keft where the Republicansbwere in 2012 inbtheir evklution toward the far right.

        I suggest you will see that come the 2020 democrat convention.”

        It may well be so, I hope not. But if it is, then I won’t vote for them and will damn them to anyone who will listen to me, as I damn the progs now. If they come up with a democratic equivalent to trump and he/she/it/they were to get elected and behave like trump I will make just as much noise as I am making now, even if I like some things that he/she/it/they does.

        I can promise you, and I think you will most likely believe me, that in such a case I will not be among those abandoning my previous principles and playing the rationalizing game.

        I am not going to embrace one kind of wretched crap because of the other flavor of wretched crap or pretend its not really so bad. If its all wretched destructive crap on both sides in 2020 I will go down and vote only for our GOP governor, for balance, because the VT legislature is completely owned by the democrats. Phil Scott, the GOP governor of Vt happens to actually be a good guy I can vote for. I wish the national GOP resembled him. But, not even close.

      • August 31, 2018 1:34 pm

        Grump, I know you will never agree with this statement, but I think Obama was about as divisive in his remarks about Henry Louis Gates, Travon Martin, Ferguson and other racial issues where his comments were anti white. Neither Trump nor Obama whould be saying or have said things like they did/do. For those of us on the right side of politics, the Obama comments were just as divisive as those that Trump is saying today and offending the left.

        But how we forget. For documentation, today their is a firestorm in Florida concerning the “Monkey Up the system” comment by DeSantos. The black left wing leaders are having a field day concerning that comment. But do a search “democrats monkey statements” and see how many times Shumer and the democrat leadership used this statement to define what the opposition was doing to the congressional agenda.

        By the way, all the old saying my mom used are now politically incorrect becasue someone is offended by something in the comment.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:28 pm

        This is a political game and it is not working well anymore – which is why Trump is president.

        The left seems to think that half the english language is “off limits” – but only to republicans.

        It is stupid and tiring. If “monkey up the system” offends you – it is unlikely you were voting republican.

      • grump permalink
        August 31, 2018 2:06 pm

        I have no way of reading that man’s mind to know if it was a dog whistle or just an unfortunate phrase. There was a habit among some racist conservatives of using pictures of photoshopped Obama/primate pictures.

        The yahoo tennis boards were full of racist shitheads comparing the Williams sisters to guerillas. It was so prevalent yahoo gave up and removed their tennis board. Same on the WTA site, the WTA finally gave up and removed the comment ability.

        Then there was this in 2011:

        Washington (CNN)A Republican candidate for Kentucky’s state legislature posted racist images of President Barack Obama and his family — and defended those images by saying “Facebook’s entertaining.”

        Dan Johnson, the bishop of Heart of Fire Church in Louisville, posted an edited image of the President and first lady Michelle Obama with ape-like features. He also labeled a photo of a chimpanzee a baby picture of Obama.
        “It wasn’t meant to be racist. I can tell you that. My history’s good there. I can see how people would be offended in that. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody, but, I think Facebook’s entertaining,” Johnson told WDRB, the Louisville TV station that found the images and confronted him with them.
        Johnson did not immediately return a request for comment. However, Johnson would not admit to WDRB that the photos crossed a line.
        “I looked this up. There has been no president that hasn’t had that scrutiny. Not one,” he said. “I think it would be racist not to do the same for President Obama as we’ve done for every other president.”

        Same thing happened in Orange county California with a GOP chairwoman posting these photos.

        Putin was also know to exchange these photos in his circle, he found them amusing.

        So, I am going to say that no, it is not ridiculous to react to this phrase and suspect its a dog whistle.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:23 pm

        The entire concept of “dog whistles” is leftist nonsense.

        If an actual political “dog whistle” existed, if you were not the target audience – you could not hear it at all.

        Virtually everything that is claimed to be a “dog whistle’ works exactly the opposite.
        The left hears what is claims are dog whistles from the right, yet the target audience does not. Pretty much by definution that is NOT a dog whistle.

        Nor BTW do you need inside someones head to know if something is a “dog whistle”

        A dog whistle is NOT about the intent of the speaker, it is essentially a coded message that only an ingroup can recognize. That has nothing to do with “intent”.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:25 pm

        Is only one side in politics permitted to carciture the other ?

        Many of us are very tired of this – racist, mysoginist, homophobe garbage.

        Johnson’s images are offensive. So are many of those depicting Trump.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 2, 2018 11:41 am

        “Reality is people who vote democrat will vote democrat regardless. People who vote republican will vote republican regardless.”

        I think that Ron is exactly right. The ideological lines that divide the two parties are clear and bright. And, even local politics are now beginning to “nationalize” issues, such as immigration, free speech and Trump( yes, the #Resistance has made Trump himself an issue. Much to Trump’s delight).

        So, when politics becomes all about “turning out the base,” it becomes all about driving people into the base, that is, to the extremes, and making sure that the base believes that the other side will destroy the country.

        The idea that saying “monkey it up,” “monkey with,” or “throw a monkey wrench” into a situation, is a racist dog whistle, is a good example of how the tiniest things, such as the use of a fairly well-known, but somewhat old-fashioned idiom, can be used to fire up an extremist base. The base is already primed to believe that everyone on the other side is racist, so the use of the word “monkey,” even tangentially related to the policies of a candidate who happens to be black, becomes “evidence” of the opposing candidate’s racism.

        Enraging the already primed base with this type of demagoguery, turns them out to the polls and helps to win elections.

        I’ve been saying for over a year that this type of politics favors candidates like Trump, and that Trump is a result, not a cause, of the divisive political culture in which we live. I think that we are lucky to have gotten Trump, not only because I believe his actual policies tend to be more moderate than many others on the right, but because nations that split into warring factions like this often end up with far, far more dangerous and authoritarian leaders than Donald Trump.

        We either stop this insanity, or we’ll find out soon enough how bad it can really get, and those who say that Trump is the “worst president ever,” may rue their words….

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 11:17 am

        The political correctness of the left will either destroy the left or destroy the country – there is no other choice.

        Jordan Peterson has done some excellent speeches on this.

        I know that everyone here seems to think that actual philosophy is disconnected from reality and unimportant. But a part of philosophy is coming up with a system that works with humans as they are.

        The fundimental principle of liberty – is not determined by the physical properties of the universe, by electrons and muons. It is determined by human nature.

        Each and every individual human is unique – and that has ramifications.
        It means however important “the collective” is, that there are natural limits to human collective action and cooperation.

        We have recently discovered that in any colonies – 30% of the ants do 70% of the work.
        Where ants do not have the unique individualism of humans.

        Regardless, my point is that though philosophy is an effort to use logic to derive timeless truths. it is also driven by the nature of humans. Collectivist philosophies fail – because humans are just not by nature particularly collectivist.
        Further the Soviets, and Chinese tried to change that by force over almost a century and failed. It is intrinsic in human nature.

        A political ideology that is philosophically unsound – that is illogical or requires humans to act outside their nature will fail.

        Regardless, Jordan points out that the current leftist philosophy that creates a hierarchy of oppression – where truth is determined by how many oppression points the speaker can check off, must fail.

        The left shifted in the 60’s from a marxism based on class, to one based on all attributes they could associate with oppression – race, gender, sexual orientation.
        This can not work.

  37. Jay permalink
    August 30, 2018 7:38 pm

    A vote for a congressional Republican Senator or Representative is a vote to destroy American governance..

    The Arizona Republican primaries this week a good example.

    19% of Arizona GOP voters voted for Arpaio, a slime-ball who actually framed an innocent person for an attempted assassination, incarcerating that man for 4 years in jail, who himself was pardoned from jail to be able to run.

    Another 28% voted for Kelli Ward and her tin hat conspiracies insanity. And most of their voters did not just disagree with McCain, they hated him. That is the core Trumpanzee voter base – Hillary was kind to just call them despicables; low life cultists is more accurate. This view of them is emerging from numerous former steadfast conservatives, who have come to see them as rotten apples contaminating the Republican Party barrel. In order to rescue and redeem the party, those cult voters have to be marginalized as a future significant voter block, and to do that Republicans have to be decimated in the upcoming elections. That means Republicans have to look at it like taking distasteful medicine, hold their noses and vote Democratic no matter the qualifications of GOP candidates.

    I agree. The Republican system badly needs an enema to cleanse the body politic. Flush out the Trumpanzee shit, and rebalance the system after that. That 47% of Arizona Republicans deserve nothing but ridicule and contempt and a decade of middle finger salutes.

    • August 31, 2018 8:15 pm

      Jay “. That means Republicans have to look at it like taking distasteful medicine, hold their noses and vote Democratic no matter the qualifications of GOP candidates.”

      I doubt you will find many republicans that would vote for a current crop of democrats as there are few that are “Manchins” and many more that are “Waters”. I live in a large central to western NC district that is represented by Virginia Foxx, someone that is right up their with bull teats in usefulness. No one will challenge her because she is right of conservative. So the democrats chose Denise Adams, a black city council person from Winston Salem, the only large town. Denise Adams is very left of liberal. One of her platforms is to restrict semi-auto weapons, require ALL gun owners (including hunting rifles, shotguns, 22 rifles, pistols,etc) to be licensed and to go through santioned training regularly to maintain the license. If your not licensed, your guns a seized and you are charged with a crime.

      So I ask, is this reasonable to run a candidate with these views in a mostly rural district that has voted no less than 60% GOP since the last democrat held the seat since 1992. In 1992 I could have voted for the democrat. There is no way I could vote for someone that would put thoughts in Bernie Sanders mind. If you hunt you have a license, but it does not tell government how many andvwhat type of guns you own. ( Yes, I do not trust our government with that info, especially liberals)

      Like I said earlier, as the left moved left, the reaction of the right was to move further right. And now the left is moving even further left. Both sides are apoplectic when it comes to candidates from the opposition party.I once would have supported Bill Clinton. Today wherecare the moderates like him?

      • grump permalink
        September 1, 2018 10:07 am

        It is so strange. If a political party was a single person and had any sense of tactics they would move to the middle when the other party went to the extreme, there is all that profitable real estate in the center. But, a party is tens of millions of people and the parties go further left and right in response to each other, which is totally irrational. Who pushes them to do that? A relatively small number of loudmouthed opinionists, some are politicians themselves, some are media figures. I’ll bet most people who actually have tactical positions working in the parties wish they could pull their voters to the center. But no, the voters are somehow easily led further left and right by this small number of pied pipers.

        Can no one stop this? Can no charismatic person lead voters to the center? Unfortunately, all the “charisma” resides in people like hannity and michael moore, the lunatics have all the energy and the moderates are seen as boring. John Glenn would have been a great president. But, he was soft spoken and moderate, which is seen as boring.

        Hair on fire, radical opinions, scorched earth policy ideas, that is the way to be a “leader.”

      • September 1, 2018 10:38 am

        Grump “Can no one stop this? Can no charismatic person lead voters to the center? Unfortunately, all the “charisma” resides in people like hannity and michael moore, the lunatics have all the energy and the moderates are seen as boring”

        My “Debbie Downer” tells me that no, it will get worse. I dont have much disagreement with Trump policies as he has done little that is distructive to America policy wise. But personally he has done great harm to the office. And that indirectly is destructive. I truely believe the democrats will nominate a Sanders style democrat and that person will bring dignity back to the office, but their policies will be much more distructive for the long term.

        My best man at my wedding and his wife are democrats. For years working together and commuting to work, we debated politics. Although on opposite ends, we could debate and we agreed on many things that both 41 and Clinton supported in 92. Today, political debates end up arguements since he has moved much more left over the years and I have moved much more right. And most people would view us as being moderate within our party thinking today.

        So no, I dont think anyone will stop this. Democracies, in their original state, all die a natural death over time.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:15 pm

        Your “move the the middle” argument has myriads of flaws and fallacies.

        Romney was a “move to the middle” – he lost.

        Your argument is premised that all issues are left – right and that the “middle” is actually where people are on that issue.

        There are many issues where the GOP has the support of 70% of the people – why would they move to the middle ?

        There are issues where Democrats have similar support on their issue – why would they “move to the middle”

        You also continue to forget that every issue has myriads of attributes.
        Works – doesn’t
        Moral – immoral

        and many of those attributes are binary or nearly so.

        Put differently, quite often the middle is the one place we are CERTAIN to be WRONG.

        Nor do I see “moderate” and “middle” is synonimous.

        I (and most libertarians) share more values with the left than the right.
        But the left has always and even more so today beleives the means justifies the ends.

        I think it is a stupid and bad thing for a cake baker to discriminate against gay couples.
        I would protest them and take my business elsewhere – even though I am not gay.
        But I would fight for his right to do this stupid thing, and oppose the efforts of government to compel him too.

        That is much more left than right. The right not merely wants to permit the baker to refuse services to gay couples, it sees doing so as virtuous.

        My point is that right and wrong do exist, and they rarely fall at the middle.

        Neither the left nor right have a monopoly on being right, but again that does nto mean the answer is in the middle.

      • grump permalink
        September 2, 2018 8:32 am

        I don’t believe that a progressive can become president in today’s America. (But I did not believe trump could win either.)

        Our form of democracy is so young that I don’t think there is data about whether it has to die over time. It up to Americans to do the things to pull away from disaster.

        On the humor side there is this:

        It translates to: Idiots are the most powerful organization on earth. Their agents are everywhere.

      • September 2, 2018 11:37 am

        grump ” It up to Americans to do the things to pull away from disaster.”

        I am not so sure Americans will see the disaster coming until it happens. How can we expect the conservative voter in a rural southern district to not dig in their heals when the left calls for licensing all guns as we are now beginning to see.. And how can we not expect the left to dig in their heels when the right in a liberal district says they are tired of supporting lazy no-gooders that only want a free lunch and that they will vote against any support entitlement changes.”Every immigrant from the southern country is a criminal. Everyone that wants border security is a racist.” How do we overcome that thinking?

        Remember, the same Americans you want to do things to pull away from disaster are much the same Americans that were warned days in advance of Hurricane Katrina that a major storm was coming and they ignored those warnings.

        Can we really expect Americans to be so wise to identify a political disaster that is slowly creeping up on them when they ignore catastrophic disasters right on their doorsteps?

      • Jay permalink
        September 2, 2018 11:32 am

        For many cumulative factors, including ideologies, race, ethnicity, religion, age – all amplified/distorted by the proliferation of social media, I believe the American democratic experience as we have known it is over.

        Yes, we’ve overcome/assimilated those differences in the past, but the proportions have morphed into a toxic brew of unresolvable polarities that nothing (in my opinion) will reunify this nation short of an all out war that threatens our survival.

        Sorry for the bleak pessimism, but I fear my prognosis of democratic deterioration is correct. And so, whenever I wake to a shit Sunday like this one I take solace in the kitchen, planning for the evening meal.

        Tonight’s recipe to follow…

      • September 2, 2018 11:51 am

        Jay try some of grandmas chicken soup. That has always been the medicine to make the bad disappear. Anything else is politically incorrect and if you let someone know what your making if not grandmas elixir, they will have something bad to say.

        As for American politics, I side with you on this more than I do Grump. Maybe not all out war, but something very much like the anti war movement of the late 60’s, early 70’s, but times 10. Unlike a clock where the pendulum swings from point A to point B, our political pendulum is swinging from A to B and the A+ to B+….adding a + each time it moves from on end to the other. And the speed of the movement is accelerating.

        The right had a meltdown with Obama. The left is having a meltdown with Trump. I can’t wait to see the rights “Warren” meltdown in 2020.

      • Jay permalink
        September 2, 2018 10:47 pm

        Have you ever made authentic NY style Chicken Soup from scratch?

        It takes a lot of ingredients and attention to detail.
        Here’s a recipe for example.
        (Let me know how it turns out 😊)

      • September 3, 2018 10:32 am

        Looks good. Will try this!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 11:04 am

        During the Obama administration “the right” took issue with policies and principles, and managed to do well because the lefts response that it was all racism fell short.

        Today “the left’s” issue is personal. It is mostly not policy. That is very dangerous to them.

        It is hard to find an attack on Trump that is not personal rather than policy.
        Even in the areas where there are policy differences – immigration as an example, the left is still making the conflict personal. Trump is a racist – therefore we do not have to determine what the actual solution to any problem is.

        I do not think that the GOP knows how to deal with Trump – and I am not sure that is not a very good thing. We clearly have a situation where the control of the GOP does NOT rest with Trump. At the same time the GOP is figuring our how to work with Trump to accomplish goals.

        While democrats are clueless and increasingly extreme.

        I keep telling you the current diviciveness is because the left has shifted further left.
        The GOP is moving SLOWLY left – mostly in a good way. While Democrats have moved much further left in a bad, way.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 11:32 am

        The uniqueness of each individual – our diversity is WHY the use of force against us must be limited, why government must be limited.

        We can only use force where there is near unanimity. The more diverse we are the smaller than unanimous common ground will be.

        You are fixated on social media – I am not. I am bothered by social media efforts at censorship – but I think those are inherently going to self correct eventuall.

        FB, Twitter etc. will reduce their censorship to things that are broadly recognized as extreme by ALL or they will fracture their platform.

        Everytime Google Twitter … censors conservaitves they drive away customers that they depend on.
        You fixate on polarization – as if we as a people divide cleanly on a single axis.
        That is crap.

        We are divided on myriads of issues, and we do not divide conveniently on right left lines on each issue.

        You think out differences are a bad thing.

        They are NOT, they are a good thing. They are intrinsically related to the forces that bring about progress, raising our standard of living.

      • Jay permalink
        September 2, 2018 11:37 am

        Beef Stroganoff


        1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steak, 1/2 inch thick
        8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (2 1/2 cups)
        2 medium onions, thinly sliced
        1 garlic clove, finely chopped
        1/4 cup butter or margarine
        1 1/2 cups beef flavored broth
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
        1/4 cup all-purpose flour
        1 1/2 cups sour cream
        3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

        1 Cut beef across grain into about 1 1/2×1/2-inch strips.

        2 Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender; remove from skillet.

        3 Cook beef in same skillet until brown. Stir in 1 cup of the broth, the salt and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

        4 Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into flour; stir into beef mixture. Add onion mixture; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in sour cream; heat until hot (do not boil). Serve over noodles.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 12:16 pm

        The right is moving slowly LEFT, not right.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 2, 2018 12:12 pm

      I share – or would amplify your loathing of Arpio.

      All I have heard is the same carcitured version of Ward’s politics that you have.

      Ward’s remarks regarding McCain were inappropriate.
      If we judged our politicians by single remarks – McCain and Obama would be lunatic fringe conspiracy theorists.

      Ward is highly educated having a degress from Duke and advanced degrees from 4 other universities.

      Ward has in the past been a strong advocate for restoring the 4th amendment.
      Ward was defeated by McCain in the 2016 Senate race – but McCain only managed to get 51% of the vote, that is pretty bad for a purportedly popular incumbent against someone you claim to be a whack job conspiracy theorist.

      In 2018 McSally defeated Ward in the primary – primarily because Ward and Arpio split the more conservative vote. It is likely Ward would have defeated McSally but for Arpio.

      In 2017 when McCain was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer – Ward called on him to resign.

      In that I agree with her. McCain has been ineffective the past year, and he deprived his family of the last year of his life.

      Even from the “chemtrails conspiracy” attack on Ward FALSE.
      While appears to be tied to a McConnell PAC.

      While Steve Bannon endorsed Ward. Ward herself publicly distanced herself from Bannon.
      She was seperately endorsed by Rand Paul.

      I strongly suspect that with McCain’s death one way or the other you will find Ward in the Senate.

      Maybe she is a crackpot. But in fact neither you not I know that. What we know is that political hatchetmen have successfully accused her of being a crackpot.

      If that precluded political office – few on the democratic party could get elected.

      • September 2, 2018 1:45 pm

        “Ward is highly educated having a degress from Duke and advanced degrees from 4 other universities.”

        Highly educated does not constitute “smart”. Just because you can regurgitate instructors words and memorize information from books does not say you have the common sense to use your knowledge in a productive manner in areas outside your book knowledge.

        We do not need more mouths in Washington. People running their mouths and not acting on anything does us no good. Mark Warner and Richard Burr are conducting business in a way that provides a much greater chance of something positive happening than Shumer, Trump, Pelosi or others like Ward. There is plenty of time to disagree with policy. Dont make things personal!

        Trump is an asshole that is doing nothing but further dividing a divided country with his constant attacks on insignificant people and organizations. Ward made McCain about her, just like all snowflakes do in this age and time, when she should have stayed quite. Some insignificant reporter for some B level website can say something negative about Trump, and he will spend days buring up Twitter about how bad this person is. He demeans himself and the office by lowering himself to others levels.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:56 am

        I am not trying to “defend” Ward – I do not know her well enough.

        But I am noting that the “caricature” of her is near certainly incorrect.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 2, 2018 1:52 pm

        I don’t think that she’s a crackpot…but she’s a very bad politician, who gave her opponents a great deal of ammunition against her, and made comments that even people who might have been inclined to support her thought were in bad taste, and showed a lack of perspective and judgment. When a man is dying of brain cancer, and you make it about yourself, you’d better expect people to be disgusted. So, Ward lost because she did not understand the politics of getting elected in Arizona, not necessarily because her policies were being rejected.

        Martha McSally is a far better candidate. She is a moderate conservative, as Jeff Flake was ~ and John McCain, for that matter. Her military service has brought her great admiration and respect, and she is not considered an unconditional Trump supporter, although she has expressed her approval of Trump’s agenda. I think she’s much more likely to be able to portray the Dem candidate, who was once a member of Code Pink, as an extremist, and win the right and the center. But we’ll see.

        One thing is sure…the Democrats would have preferred Arpaio or Ward to win the primary.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:40 am

        I would trade Flake and McCain easily for Goldwater.

        I am not a big proponent of compromise.
        Nor one of government “getting things done”.

        McCain-Feingold was completely stupid and is typical of congress.

        Until politicians grasp the problem is with THEMSELVES – not others, there is no possible fix for political corruption.

        So long as it is the Koch’s or mercers, or bloombergs or sorros who are purportedly corrupting politics – there will be no fix.

        The problem is with the menendez’s and all the rest of them.

        Our largest political corruption problem – from top to bottom in government is ZERO oversight.

        Whether it is a senator or a police officer, there is no means to compel them to follow the law, and little to nothing to do when they do not.
        Nor does it matter whether they are a D or an R.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:43 am

        My limited understanding of AZ politics is that Ward is likely to end up with McCain’s seat.
        Either she will be appointed or win a special election.

        McSally is currently behind, but that is because the primary just ended.

        It is my understanding that AZ is pretty republican.

  38. August 31, 2018 12:31 am

    I have missed you sharing your wisdom in written word, Rick. This essay is another gem. One of your best in my mind.

  39. September 3, 2018 1:42 pm

    More people like this and the extremist would not be winning

    • September 4, 2018 11:22 am

      I relate the wisdom of economic open borders to your common sense amoung politicial decisions.

      For me, you can comment until cows fly about how great it is for us to built cars here and try to ship them to China with a 25%+ Chinese import tariff while China produces a like model and ships it here with no tariff. Same with any other product.

      If China can steal intellectual properties, produce it for less and then compete with our intellectual properties with no import tariffs, fine, go for it. But stealing the IP, producing it, competing here on equal footing, but putting a 25% tariff on the copied IP coming into China is unacceptable. They put on 25%, then we put on 25%!

      Sorry I cant buy how great it is for America for other countries almost pricing our products out of the reach of their citizens and then sending inferior products here. I am once again replacing chinese crap! OTA TV antenna preamp, made in China, $79.99, lasted 7 months. Cant buy one made here other than large commercial antenna amps. So dont tell me how much I save due to this crap being sold here.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 4, 2018 1:40 pm

        But I have not said the things you claim I have, and have no intention of arguing the straw man you have constructed for me.

        I have no idea whether US producers should seek to make cars to sell in china.
        Just as I have no idea whether we should make Jeans to sell to china.

        Actually I have a pretty good idea, but it does not,

        AGAIN standard of living rises when more value is produced with less human effort.

        Should the US produce clothes or lightbulbs or cars or computers or ……. ?

        The answer is that the highest standard of living for the US will be acheived with each american producing those things of the highest demand/value that they are capable of producing efficiently.

        Lets assume I am a lawyer, I am a good lawyer and I am worth $300/hr as a lawyer.
        I am also fairly proficient at producing my own briefs and correspondence, and I can produce those in half the time of someone I can hire for $15/hr with half as many mistakes.

        Given that I have more legal work than I can perform – should I hire the paralegal ?

        The answer is yes – and trivially so. If you do not understand – try the math.

        The same is true with countries. I beleive Tammy tries to explain that in the video I linked.

        It would be stupid and lower our standard of living if the US returned to labor intensive textile production again.

        Not only did the US benefit from the migration of textile jobs to nations like China – but so did China. Further China has climbed far enough up that curve that it too is shedding textile jobs in favor of jobs that produce greater value.

        This is called comparative advantage. Comparative advantage was first clearly discribed by Ricardo in the 19th century, but the concept goes atleast back to Smith’s discovery of the division of labor.

        The best use of US labor and resources is to produce as much of those things that we are able to that are valued most highly by both ourselves and the world.
        Anything else REDUCES our standard of living.

        As to Chinese Tarrifs – Tarriffs are taxes on your own people.
        If the chinese are stupid enough to raise the cost of living from their own people – that is their problem not ours.

        There is no right to have someone buy what you produce – not your labor, not cars, not computer software. Chinese Tarriffs harm their own people they do not harm US manafucturers by depriving them of something that was not theirs by right in the first place.

        One of the articles I linked noted that US industry quite litterally got its start stealing IP from the british.

        Franklin never patented everything, noting that ideas belong to all.

        “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

        That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.”

        Thomas Jefferson.

        As a separate matter “stealing” intellectual property is a nearly impossible means of getting ahead. If you can not figure out how to create it yourself you become dependent on those who can.

        There is no shortage of ideas. No shortage of better ideas.
        If you produce and attempt to sell something you did not conceive of you will NEVER be on an equal footing with those who do.

        If you think foreign made products are inferior – then do not buy them.
        That is how such decisions are made by the market.

        I am not telling you how much you are saving. Those freely making purchasing decisions are. Regardless the benefits of lower priced chinese goods to american consumers are self evident – regardless of your compaints about Chinese amps – good or bad.

        All american families have thousands of dollars a year of more spendable income because they can buy a large body of common goods at much lower cost.
        That is money they have to spend on other things – often things produced here.

        We will always be better off – if we are producing things of high value and others are producing things of lessor value.

        That is true as an individual, as a community, as a state and as a nation.

  40. dhlii permalink
    September 4, 2018 1:45 pm

    Here is Stephen Pinker saying much of what I have said here repeatedly,
    but more eloquently and maybe more accessibly.

    Does he sound like some extremist to you ?

    • Pat Riot permalink
      September 21, 2018 10:57 am

      Your consistent reminder that the world is actually getting better in many, many ways is one of the best things you bring to TNM.

      Steve Pinker in the video you posted is reading from my script! The manner in which the “news industry” broadcasts the “worst of the worst,” and every anomaly, keeps many of my fellow citizens in a sort of “PTSD funk”. Oh how I despise the media addictions of our era!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 21, 2018 2:39 pm

        Thank you;

        We ALL need constantly reminded that just as

        ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’

        So too

        ‘The arc of history is long, but it bends towards an ever better life.’

        Bad things happen – nature itself is quite hostile to life – and eventually kills us all,
        but over time HUMAN NATURE drives us relentlessly towards better.

        It is also important to note – improvement is not natural – it violates the laws of physics which predict evolution towards chaos.

        The improvement of the world is a consequence of human choice and human effort.

        As inexorable as it is, it also required active effort.

  41. September 4, 2018 7:04 pm

    I did not watch any of the bloviating that took place at the Cavanuagh hearings except once when I came inside and started channel surfing. I do not always agree with Thom Tillis ever since he was in the NC state legislature.

    However, I have to agree with the oart of his comments that I heard. The part where he addressed positions on issues. He took on congress, indirectly both democrats and republicans. He addressed the issue with activist judges and said it was not SCOTUS responsibility to make law, it was their responsibility to interpret law and if it was constitutional. If congressional members want certain outcomes, it is their responsibility to make/ change laws to achieve that outcome. And SCOTUS will address constitutionality once it gets to them.

    Cavanaugh should giventhat answer to most questions he gets tomorrow.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 4, 2018 7:20 pm

      I have read a number of things regarding Kavanaugh.

      According to some of them and some of the people I trust he should be better than Gorsuch. According to others and other people I trust he is a serious danger.

      My guess is that he is neither.

      I expect he will get confirmed. Derschowitz is predicting by 53-54 votes.

      The bad news is he seems to buy almost anything that is argued with national security as a justification – even things that have never had any demonstrable benefit.

      The good news is that he appears to the leading the charge to use property rights as the means of recovering many of our constitutional rights.

      We saw Gorsuch argue this in Carpenter and a few other cases, but apparently Kavanaugh’s lower court decisions are the source.

      There is a suggestion that he would provide the 5th vote to reverse Kelo which was an absolutely reprehensible decision that Both Suter and O’Conner have subsequently backed away from. Government should not be allowed to use the power of eminent domain except for a specifically public purpose involving government.

      The modern argument that you can confiscate private property, and distribute it to another private party to fight blight or for urban renewal or because you claim there will be some economic benefit is garbage.

      Kavanaugh has made property rights arguments in 4th amendment cases, and in 2nd amendment cases.

      Gorsuch was echoing those in a car search case.
      Essentially saying that government must get a warrant whenever the property rights of the party it wishes to search are superior to strangers.

      It is a move away from the “expectation of privacy” standard – which has ultiimately proven insufficient an obstacle to stop anything. To a more firmly rooted policy based on actual rights – property rights.

      If you have a property right in what government wishes to search the argument is that government then needs your permission (or that of someone with a stronger property right than yours) or a warrant.

      The stronger right than yours is important – because it means you do not have to OWN the property – you just have to have a property right in it – such as a rental car or an apartment.
      That also means that the information third parties collect about you – will often require a warrant – so long as you retain some rights in it.

      • September 4, 2018 7:40 pm

        So what I get from this is he does not support the.more progressive position that the court held earlier. OConner and Kennedy were right more than they were wrong, but in this case they were both wrong. Getting this reversed will be hard to reverse now.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 5, 2018 2:34 pm

        There has been fairly broad pushback to Kelo. Many states passed their own laws that somewhat restricted the use of eminent domain afterwards.

        SCOTUS subsequently partly backtracked.

        Regardless there appears to be a movement in the courts including SCOTUS towards re-emphasizing property rights.

        I do not expect results that I think are right.

        But I do think there is positive change coming, Kavanaugh is aparently part of that,
        But SCOTUS was moving that direction already.

        We really need the 4th amendment back – and that would be a big step in that direction.

        We need to get past the garbage of the past 40 years of making all kinds of excuses to allow the police to do whatever they please.

        This is simple – GET A WARRANT.

        Exigent circumstances should ACTUALLY be exigent circumstances.
        A real evidence based threat of harm to another.

        We also need to very severely restrict “no knock” raids – they are very dangerous.
        People get killed – usually not the police.
        They are actually worse when those been raided are NOT criminals.
        Most criminals who have weapons are NOT concerned about the police.
        They know pulling a weapon on a police officer si a death sentence.
        If they have weapons it is for protection against other crooks.

        Whether crooks or innocents, bust somebodies door in without announcing and they are entitled to presume you are dangerous and to respond with force.

        A part of the impetus for our revolution was the british use of general warrants and conducting searches at whim.

        Part of what irrated colonists is that this DID NOT HAPPEN IN BRITIAN.

        The english common law prohibition against general warrants and warrantless searches predates the revolution by over a century.
        In the 17th century english jurists noted that breaking into a persons home without first announcing was likely to result in justifiable violence, and prohibited it in all but the most unusual circumstances.

        Too many here think I am defending Trump when I am posting about the garbage FISA Warrant.

        The FISA warrant on Carter Page never should have been requested – much less granted.

        The political aspects of it are just piling on.

        I do not want law enforcement of any kind seeking warrants to search anyone based on triple hearsay. And I want officers of the court who swear to the reliability of garbage like the Steel dossier to face consequences.

        I am prepared to jail them – Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, ….
        Not because of Trump, but because law enforcement should not be swearing falsely – it is called LYING to get a warrant – not before FISA, not before the local district magistrate.

        This is FAR more serious than anything that Flynn or papadoulis did.

        In fact the entire affair is far more serious than if Trump actually “colluded” with the russians.

        The misconduct of private persons – even private persons running for president, is ALWAYS of less import than that of people placed in a position of public trust, with a public duty who are using the power of government for personal or political purposes.

        Until you start to hold people in government personally accountable – things will get worse.

      • September 5, 2018 3:25 pm

        “Too many here think I am defending Trump when I am posting about the garbage FISA Warrant.”

        In todays environment the formula in society is “rejection of progressive positions = support for Trump”

        This can not be further from the truth. I am against as much conservative positions as I am progressive positions. I even have many disagreements with your positions,although I have many I agree with.

        Seems like today one can not debate “rights” unless it becomes a debate about specific people or organizations.

  42. grump permalink
    September 5, 2018 9:32 am

    Re Woodwards book: I believe Mattis’ denials about his comments. A book composed of un-named sources is weak stuff. Of course I enjoyed reading the juicy excerpts in the news, they only confirm my prejudices. But… I will give most of the book a fake news rating due to the lack of any solid sources. It may well be that a lot of it is true, but without attribution…

    On the other hand all of the public trump attacks on Sessions with public tweet directions to be trump’s political fixer are completely impeachable abuses of power, we are becoming numb. So, we can believe a book like Woodwards at the level of its basic message. trump is obviously not mentally fit to be POTUS, he does not even comprehend that the Attorney General’s office is not for political use by the POTUS and I am sure he has been told that 1000 times by his handlers. So yes, he has the level of a understanding of a 5th grader, whether or not Mattis said so or not. Even a 5th grader would eventually listen to someone and stop doing some idiotic thing over and over unless the 5th grader has some other mental issue. trump is sinking his own ship with the tweets to Sessions, its extraordinary, uncharted waters, incompetence of the clearest nature.

    • September 5, 2018 11:05 am

      Yes, Trump is sinking his own ship. But I dont understand the comment “On the other hand all of the public trump attacks on Sessions with public tweet directions to be trump’s political fixer are completely impeachable abuses of power,”

      Sessions has done nothing since he was appointed ( and more likely nothing since getting elected years ago) to support Trump. He accepted the position knowing beforehand that he would not be able to participate in any investigation. Would you want one of your top Lt’s in your company accepting a position, only to find they could not be involved in any major decisions? I would fire them in a heartbeat!

      So Trump is stuck with a do nothing incompetent weazel as his top law enforcement official who has been AWOL since he took office. He accepted the position under false pretenses. He pissed off Trump and Trump wants him gone. “Your Fired” is not an option. Legally that would be suicide.

      So the only way to get him out is to make life so miserable that resignation is the end result. Problem is when one is so “out to lunch” as is Sessions, he is not impacted. I wonder if he even knows what is being said.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 5, 2018 3:16 pm

        There are a long long list of issues regarding Sessions.

        I completely disagree with Sessions on numerous issues of policy and I think he was the worst appointment of the Trump administration – purely on a policy basis.

        Trump ran on turning marijuana back to the states. He ran on criminal justice reform – getting tough on violent crime, but reducing sentences for non-violent offenses.

        Sessions has ALWAYS been completely at odds to those.

        But worse still everyone in DOJ/FBI seems to be alergic to any investigation of the misconduct of their predecessors – even misconduct that took place AFTER Trump was elected. Further they are actively thwarting any investigation by those who are willing to look for abuse of power.

        I would have supported Obama pardoning Clinton.
        I would have supported Trump pardoning Clinton.

        Nov, 2016 was the moment to end THAT.

        I have some concerns about the incoming administration investigation the prior one.
        But I have even more concerns about the outgoing administration investigating the incoming one.

        The Bush/Obama transition was one of the smoothest in history.
        The Obama/Trump transition was quite clearly covertly hostile.

        With a few exceptions I think that investigations into the misconduct during the obama administration should be political – conducted by congress, not DOJ/FBI.
        The purpose of those investigations is to determine what occured and to change the law to prevent that from ever occuring again.

        Outside egregious offences or lying AFTER THE FACT to investigators, this should result in exposure and firing, not prosecution.

        BUT misconduct that continued AFTER the election should be prosecuted.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 5, 2018 3:23 pm

        I do not think that Sessions is incompetent or a weasel.

        But for many reasons he is not the right person for the job.

        I think he is a person of integrity – that he decision to recuse was proper – and that others in the FBI/DOJ should have followed his lead. Rosenstein Comey – most everyone involved in investigating Trump.

        If Sessions appearance of bias was sufficient that he could not investigate Trump – then why isn’t Strzok, Rosenstein, McCabe, Ohr, Yates, Comey, …. all similarly precluded ?

        If the appearance of bias is enough – why isn’t evidence of bias ?

        The difference between Sessions and Rosenstein is that Sessions is capable of seeing his own conflicts. Rosenstein is not.

        It is extremely dangerous to give people power who are certain they are right.

        None are so prone to break the rules, to do evil than those who do so sure they are right.
        Whether you are driven by religion or “a higher loyalty” – if you have power and can not conform closely to the “rule of law” you must let go. For you are dangerous.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 5, 2018 2:48 pm

      I do not care if some within the administration insulted Trump.
      He is a big man, he can cope.
      Fake news, real news, it does not matter.

      As to impeachment – you can impeach for anything you want.

      It is unlikely that you will get the public support you need for this.

      Many of us think that Sessions is MIA.
      This is not “political”, there are obvious abuses of power by the prior administration even extending into the beginings of the Trump administration that are being swept under the rug.

      McCabe clearly lied under oath as well as to investigators.
      Much more egregiously than Flynn or Papadoulis.
      Nothing is being done.

      You wonder why I have no faith in government ?

      When your idea of the rule of law – is if my political enemy does not dot their i’s and cross their T’s – they go to jail, but when those I like behave more egregiously, they get a pass, that deeply offends me, that is not the rule of law, That is tyranny.
      That is exactly what you worry about and accuse Trump of, only it is real in his predecessors.

      Further we hold those in power to a HIGHER standard.
      Comey makes pretense to that with his book, but then subverts “the rule of law” to the “higher power” of his own gut. At this point most everyone grasps that he thouroughly botch the clinton email investigation – even if we do not entirely agree on the details.
      Regardless, we do not want public servants, government making choices based on who they think will will an election. Their actions should conform to the law.

      Whether DOJ/FBI investigates, charges, prosecutes should be based on the evidence – not whose ox gets gored, not the latest polls.

      Further DOJ/FBI are clearly NOT cooperating with Congress. Despite the direction of the president and the requirement of the law to do so. If Sessions can not manage that – then he must go.

      Jeff Sessions is NOT Obama’s “wingman”,

      I am not sure what his responsibility is regarding Mueller – because Rosenstein is even more conflicted, and because there clearly is no oversite.

      But he responsibility elsewhere is clear and he has abdicated it.
      It is not “political” to expect DOJ/FBI to investigate crimes. Particularly those of public officials. It is not “political” to expect DOJ/FBI to cooperate with congress when directed to do so by the president.

      • September 5, 2018 3:43 pm

        Dave, you know few will agree. You make too much sense in this comment. But in politics today, there is an unwritten rule. Dont investigate or charge past political figures with a crime short of.murder or kidnapping since we dont want our current members charged after we leave office.

        That is why Clinton would never be charged, even though she clearly broke many rules and laws. And these were not laws based on administrative policy, it was crimes of a personal making. The administration never instructed her to install her own server that I am aware of.

        You state “Fake news, real news, it does not matter.”. IT SHOULD! People are making decision that are going to impact you and me. If the media, both main and social, is bombarded with fake news and Cory Booker is elected President, you and I knowing it was fake news makes no difference. Too many people bought the cool aide. Just like today, too many people hought the Trump coolaide on the right during the primaries. Had they done some checking, we might have a different GOP president.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 5, 2018 7:58 pm

        If there is no credible chance of prosecution for misconduct, you guarantee misconduct.

        I am not after Obama or Clinton – they are gone.

        But I want everyone in CIA/DOJ/FBI/State/…. to know – bend the law – and you will atleast lose your job and may well be prosecuted.

        I do not give a crap if you are republican or democratic.

        You and I have tossed back and forth some type of office of public integrity.

        In principle we are absolutely completely in agreement.

        The only issues are – what is it possible to get through congress and the president,
        and how to construct it such that it really goes after government misconduct and does not become a political weapon.

        I do not have the answer – but I am prone to look at approaches like those of our founders – which was not to pretend that somehow good people would be elected or appointed. but to design it such that ambition is made to counter ambition.

        It does not matter if if becomes a political tool.
        What matters is that no matter who controls congress or the presidency – there will be someone going after them.

        Separately THEY need oversight too.

        I do not mind having a permanent Mueller.
        But they should be incentivized to go after all corruption.

        Further they need confined to GOVERNMENT corruption.

        It was wrong to extend Muellers scope beyond the election.
        I am not even sure the election really is legitimate for a SC.

        However this Office of Public integrity is set up its TARGETS must be those acting with the power of government – Not Cohen, not Manafort,

        Crimes that are not abuses of government power belong in the NORMAL system.

        I WANT the president as well as every congressmen and everyone in public service to know there is a special prosecutor/police that is solely concerned with THEIR conduct.

        That is going to be very hard to get approved.
        And very hard to construct so that abuse is difficult.

      • September 5, 2018 11:05 pm

        “I am not after Obama or Clinton – they are gone.”

        So there is a statue of limitations on politicians. Once they leave office they are basically pardoned?

        That is horse pookey. If someone like Clinton breaks the law multiple times while She is serving, she should not have the ability to say “as long as I can keep this secret until X date then I am home free” make no sense. A politician should face the same laws and punishments as you and I.

        And when I say the politicians should face the same laws, I mean the same laws. If there is indications that anyone in government has done something wrong, then the same organizations that investigate you investigates them. Not some IC, SP or whatever alphabet individual.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 11:05 am

        “So there is a statue of limitations on politicians. Once they leave office they are basically pardoned?”

        As I said – Obama or Trump should have pardoned her.

        “That is horse pookey. If someone like Clinton breaks the law multiple times while She is serving, she should not have the ability to say “as long as I can keep this secret until X date then I am home free” make no sense. A politician should face the same laws and punishments as you and I.”

        That is why I wanted a pardon – particularly from Obama. That would have been an admission of sorts that Clinton had done wrong.

        Further I am much MORE concerned with the abuse of government power to get a political enemy than for personal benefit.

        While Clinton is the root of nearly everything regarding the investigation of Trump, HER actions were all from outside of government. I do not have a problem with a CANDIDATE trying to persuade government to take an interest in manufactured garbage.

        This becomes abuse of power when those actually in govenrment – those with power actually act on that garbage.

        The misconduct is the abuse of govenrment power by those in government.
        That was not clinton.

      • Jay permalink
        September 5, 2018 6:38 pm

        “He is a big man, he can cope”

        Did you write that before or after you saw the NYT INSIDER REVELATION!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:49 am

        The NYT “insider revaltion” is inconsequential.

        It is typical of the NYT.

      • September 6, 2018 11:12 am

        Dave, Jay… I dont know how many people think like I do about the “dope-ed”, but I suspect 35% believe it, 35% dont and 30% care less. The issue that disturbs me is the change in the media. Back years ago. Wooward and Bernstein used an anonymous source to break a bombshell of a story. In those days, anonymous sources, to me, had much more reliability. Today, how do we know some snowfkake reporter who is so anti-Trump has not written that op_ed? Who is verifing the source? Another “anybody but Trumper”?

        I am more interested in Woodwards new book. I think that will have more “red meat” with documentation to back up his writings.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 1:17 pm

        Even Woodward & Bernstein’s “anonymous source” had his own axe to grind.

        There is good reason to seriously question the reliability of “anonymous sources”

        I am not saying that they can not be used or should not be reported.

        Not only is free speech a right, but anonymous speech is also a right.

        But the credibility of any statement often rests on the credibility of the person making the statement. When they are anonymous – that is little credibility at all.

        Anonymous sources allow those already predisposed to beleive or disbelieve based on their predisposition.

        If you are anti-Trump – not only is the story certain to be true but it must be just the time of the iceberg.

        If you are pro-Trump – you can discount it as made up.

        There have been so many major media stories that have litterally been made up the reputation of the media is garbage. Left or right we can disbelive whatever is reported – because the media is not trustworthy

        I am complaining – but this is actually how it is supposed to work.

        If the media wants to be viewed credibly – they have to check their biases and check their sources.

        In the end we get to judge.

        Today NYT has very little credibility with me.

        CNN is still backing a story that their “anonymous source” has come out into the open and stated that he was mistaken.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 5, 2018 2:53 pm

      The purpose of the DOJ/FBI is to prosecute crimes.

      We have a few clear instances of real crimes committed by public servants that are being swept under the rug.

      We have many instances where probable cause exists that public servants have committed crimes.

      If the DOJ/FBI are investigating these – they are doing an excellent job of keeping it secret.

      Further the DOJ/FBI are subject to congressional oversite.
      There are very few reasons that government can legitimately refuse to turn over records that congress demands.

      IF Nixon was obligated to turn over tapes of his conversations in the oval office – where executive priviledge actually applies. then DOJ/FBI are obligated to provide the house and senate with the information they have subpeonad.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 5, 2018 2:58 pm

      Just to be clear – of course there is a political element to this.
      Nothing is completely divorced from the political.

      If the Obama administration had actual credible evidence of Trump/Russia collusion – they would be obligated to investigate – regardless of the political issues.

      What is increasingly evident is that no such evidence has EVER existed.

      When you spy on and then investigate someone without meeting the legal justifications to do so, that is abuse of power. It is not that the motives of those involved were political that matters. It is that the evidence did not (and still does not) exist to justify the use of government power.

      Trump’s “motives” are likely highly political. But as I have said before, and act is right or wrong, legal or not, regardless of your motives.

      • Jay permalink
        September 5, 2018 5:01 pm

        Trump is a DANGER to the nation, to our safety and future.
        This is not a ‘progressive’s’ opinion, but of a senior official in the Trump Administration.

        “From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

        Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:18 am

        “Trump is a DANGER to the nation, to our safety and future.”
        How so ?

        Words have meaning.
        Naked unsupported assertions merely prove TDS.

        As to your “insider” – he is not. He is precisely the problem I keep talking about.

        You are NOT free to #resist from the inside. That is lawlessness.

        f you are a member of the administration and you are asked to do something that you BELEIVE is wrong – you can either do it, or quit. You are not free to engage in sabatoge.
        That makes you WORSE than what you oppose. You want to #resist – that is fine, that is your right, but you do so from the outside.

        You do not seem to be capable of grasping that you could well be WRONG – that your BELEIFS are just that – BELIEFS,

        If what is occuring inside the administration is actually illegal or unconstitutional – there are legitimate means to oppose those FROM THE OUTSIDE.

        Republicans did precisely that to Obama – they used the courts to thwart his ilegal and unconstititonal acts – and mostly they were effective. The left has tried to do the same with Trump – and they have mostly LOST – because Trump’s actions thus far have been legal and constitutional.

        Trump is NOT the danger – you and those you are defending ARE the real danger.

        You are the ones who do not care about the rule of law, the law or the constitution.

        “This is not a ‘progressive’s’ opinion, but of a senior official in the Trump Administration.”

        There are 3.5m people in “the administration” 99.99% of those are permanent government employees. A few are conservatives. The overwhelming majority are democrats, many are progressives and a few are communists, and other extremists.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:26 am

        “Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.”

        That would be unconstitutional and illegal. All executive authority constitutionally belongs to the president – not underlings. There is no legitimately working to thwart him.

        If you disagree and can not do what you are asked – LEAVE. That is the legitimate means of #resisting.

        You do not have a right to a job in the administration – even if you are doing as you are asked. Certainly not if you are working to oppose the president.

        That who are doing as you describe are acting unconstitutionally and possibly criminally.

        “Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”

        So what ?
        This does not bother me.

        I could give a dam what options the president considers.
        I am concerned about what he actually does.

        All you are doing is further exposing the lunacy of the left.

        It is your ACTIONS that you are ultimately judged on. Not your thoughts, mostly not even your words, not what you considered doing.

        What you actually do.

        There is no crime of wishing someone dead.
        Killing someone – actually doing what you wish is the crime.

      • grump permalink
        September 5, 2018 5:27 pm

        Jay, collectively they can find a nickname their group: the Edith Wilson society, after Woodrow Wilson’s wife. Not a perfect metaphor but still it has some meaning. I am actually a bit reassured by this. That childish imbecile is not actually running the country, he is just running around the country to roil up his worshippers and try to find candidates as nutty as he is. Meanwhile adults have their hands on the wheel. Its still a dangerous travesty but at least some of the damage is contained. I am sure his brainwashed fanatics either will not believe this story or will be outraged if they do, how dare the deep state interfere with the Revolution.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:39 am

        There is a better name – criminals.

        If you are part of government and can not do as you are asked – quit.
        That is the only choice you have. After you leave – you are free to speak out.

        This is no different from any other employment.

        There is no right to a job. If you wish to keep the job you are obligated to satisfy your employer. Personal determinations of right and wrong, or morality – are exactly that – personal. The determination of what is actually legal, and constitutional belongs to the courts – not individual members of the administration.
        If you beleive Trump is acting illegally or unconstitutionally – work through the courts.
        Not by engaging in sabotage.

        You are looking to re-enact the Caine Mutiny – not having actually gleaned its lessons.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:48 am

        Lets be clear – if Trump is not actually running the executive – the country is run by congress, the president and the courts, then we have already had an unconstitutional “soft coup”.

        That you would support that – makes you lawless.

        Your entire morality and philosophy rests on your feelings – not law, not the constitution.
        Not logic or reason.

        Your arguments are the perfect explanation for why the constitution and law must be construed as written and narrowly – otherwise idiots will substitute their feelings for law and constitution.

        You rant about Trump – but fail to recognize you are arguing FOR what you are accusing him of. You are arguing to substitution your emotional judgement for that of the law and constitution. You are arguing that your personal feelings regarding what is moral, legal or constitutional justify the use of force. You are arguing that your feelings are superior to the rule of law.

        You and these people you are supporting are free to #resist.
        But they are not free to do so anyway they please.

        You can act morally respecting the law and constitution or you can act lawlessly on your feelings.

      • Jay permalink
        September 5, 2018 6:43 pm

        The outrage is already honking like a duck with its tail on fire:
        huckabee Sanders is calling for the ‘coward’ to resign – trump is calling it TREASON (his caps not mine).

      • September 5, 2018 7:30 pm

        This will be interesting. A grand opportunity for the GOP to recapture thdir party. Lets see if they will do that.
        1. Revise the primary procedures to something like the Democrats did with super delegates, but makingvsure they are uncommitted.
        2. Insure super delegates are aligned with the party agenda.
        3. Get commitments from large donors who will commit to recapturing the party from the Trumpsters.
        4. Hand pick a candidate to take on Trump, knowing they will have the backing of thevsuper delegates.
        5. Insure that the handpicked candidate is acceptable to middle America, while running on an agenda that is acceptable to the conservatives. And a woman, such as Nikki Haley would be nice and how could Trump demean her other than “traitor”.
        6. Then hope the socialist democrats (Sanders, Warren, Booker et al) take control of the democrat nomination to help attract moderates to the GOP.

      • Jay permalink
        September 6, 2018 9:29 am

        Dream on…
        The GOP isn’t going to hand pick an alternate candidate.
        If one comes forward on his/her own, he/she will be shunned by the party…
        (The only exception I can think of they’d find acceptable is Nikki Haley)

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 1:08 pm

        Not only will I agree with you. But I will go farther.

        Absent pictures of Trump didling little boys.
        An economic collapse
        An explicit contract between Putin and Trump to rig the election,
        Or Trump having a stroke

        Trump will be the uncontested GOP candidate in 2020 and he will win the general – better than he did in 2016 and possibly in a landslide.

      • September 6, 2018 2:24 pm

        “Trump will be the uncontested GOP candidate in 2020”

        Well that sucks. Welcome President Booker

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 2:40 pm

        Absent the short list of things I noted Trump is not losing.
        Not to Booker, not to Warren, not to …

        It is very very rare for an incumbent president to loose a 2nd term.

        LBJ chose not to run.
        Carter lost in a bad economy,
        Bush lost because the recovery was not fast enough and possibly because of Perott.

        I would further note that I think the Dems’ current shift to the left may long term marginalize the party.

        Take Trump out of consideration, do you really think that any generic Republican is not going to beat most of the leading Democrats ?

        Particularly – as seems to be happening, the GOP manages to peel off blue collar labor from the democrats.

        There are alot of concurrent trends – the do not all favor the same party.
        So the exact future is still up for grabs.
        But I seriously think the D’s are in danger.

        Trump is NOT a threat to the GOP.
        For SOME republicans he is an embarrassment.
        At the same time he has expanded the appeal of the party.
        It is highly unlikely those blue collar voters he picked up are going elsewhere in the future.
        Further the jewish vote is leaving the democrats.

        Trump /GOP is not going to pick up any minority – but he is going to increase the GOP share of several minorities.

        Alot has been made in the past that republicans need overwhelming majorities of white voters. But the same is true of Dem’s. Small gains in black, or hispanic voters mean that Dem’s can not win a national election.

        Regardless D’s have 6 years to get their act together.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 12:34 pm

        Trump will win the general election in 2020.

        There will be no president Booker.

        Just to be clear – this is my read of the political tea leaves – NOT what I want to happen.

        Though I have different choices than you. I would still prefer several other republicans.
        That is unlikely before 2024.

        There might be democrats I would prefer – none of those stand a chance.

        The democrats have shifted left.
        If they do not correct, they are in trouble,

        Even now I am deeply concerned that the 2018 midterms are not going to go as expected.
        Republicans currently look to pick up seats in the Senate.

        Further it is barely Sept. Generally the election closes to favor republicans in the last couple of months.

        Nor does that factor in A brexit/2016 error in the polling.

        We know D’s are “energized” but R’s normally come out during mid terms.
        My understanding is the prediction models and polling reight now are assuming D’s are more energized than R’s. Maybe that is true. But I do not think so.

        I think that most anything is possible in Nov.
        A blue wave – though probably only a small one, is possible.
        But it is also possible for the GOP to puck up seats in the Senate and hold the house.

        I also think you are going to get an even more conservative GOP in the house and senate regardless.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:55 am

        “The outrage is already honking like a duck with its tail on fire:
        huckabee Sanders is calling for the ‘coward’ to resign – trump is calling it TREASON (his caps not mine).”

        TREASON is bandied about way to easily – and not just by Trump. Brennan has used it repeatedly. It is hyperbole.

        Betrayal is appropriate.

        If you are unable to do as you are directed by the president – then you must resign or be fired. It is that simple. If the president is wrong – if he is acting illegally or unconstitutionally, that is a determination that is made OUTSIDE your job.

        As a member of government you wield the power of the people.
        Unless you are elected – that power is delegated to you, and you wield it solely at the pleasure of whoever delegated it. You may not use that power contrary to their wishes.

        If they are wielding it wrong – or asking you to do so, we have a process for dealing with that. The courts, and congress. There is no individual authority of underlings to use the power of government according to their own feelings.

      • Jay permalink
        September 5, 2018 6:46 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 10:58 am

        Sanders Response is appropriate.

        If you wish to #resist – do so legitimately.

      • grump permalink
        September 5, 2018 7:15 pm

        Speaking of ducks, where has dduck been? I hope he is well and merely resting.

      • September 5, 2018 7:34 pm

        Interesting, he has not commented over at RoseColoredThoughts for a couple weeks also. Hope he is OK

  43. Ron P permalink
    September 5, 2018 11:56 pm

    Jay, the latest being communicated by Huff Post is the leaker is Pence because a word that hardly ever used, except for Pence who uses it regularly, is part of the communication.

    • Grump permalink
      September 6, 2018 8:40 am

      Nothing about that sounds like pence except for that one word that the writer obviously used to muddy his tracks. The huff post is the most pathetic bs I have seen in a widely read publication. I have not seen it in a year. They are imbeciles.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 6, 2018 1:05 pm

        Why does anyone even care that someone inside the whitehouse is disgruntled ?

        Was there EVER an administration that did not have a disgruntled leaker ?

        So what ?

        It would be a news story no matter what. But only wutht he current left media TDS hyperventalating would it have any legs.

        Get over yourselfs. You are going to give yourself a heart attack.

      • September 6, 2018 2:22 pm

        “Why does anyone even care that someone inside the whitehouse is disgruntled ?”

        DAVE¡!!!!!!!!!!! Stop assuming every one who votes is informed!!!!!! Voters that choose our elected officials are not as educated and informed as years past. Years ago they made decisions based on what they actually took time looking up or on family historical voting patterns. That may not have been best, but it was far better than today!

        Today, uneducated, illeiterate and misinformed voters are deciding based on information on the internet. And that comes from various sources who want to manipulate thinking and not inform.

        So the few who do know what the candidates stand for are overshadowed by the brainwashed.

        Thats why I care!!!!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 12:27 pm

        I do not assume everyone who votes is informed.

        Anyone who could vote for Sanders of Ocasio-Cortez is clearly not informed.

        Regardless, the people this story appeals to ALREADY are not voting for Trump.

        What has been evident since the election is that the media is playing to its own base.
        Which is not Trump voters.

        Trump’s polling is higher than it was when he was elected.
        There is lots of evidence that Trump has expanded has base – not alot, but still some.
        Further nothing that has occured has erroded the confidence of those who voted for Trump.

        Are Trump voters “informed” certainly not. But then neither are most voters on the left.

        We all want to beleive we are informed – that the guy who voted against our candidate is the moron. All to often it is each of us that is poorly informed.

      • September 7, 2018 1:19 pm

        “Regardless, the people this story appeals to ALREADY are not voting for Trump.”

        Well I wrongly, I guess, assume there are three groups and not two. Add to yours, 1,” this story appeals to me and is why I hate Trump, ” 2, “this story is just some more fake news about Trump and it has no impact on how I would vote ” and the n my additional, 3 ” I really either of these candidates, I have to decide who will be least damaging and this story does not give me a good feeling about how Trump is operating. I may vote for the democrat”

        I dont see the voters being black and white. I see many in some shade of gray.

      • Jay permalink
        September 7, 2018 5:03 pm

        Ron, re your #3:

        If recent polls are reliable, a slow attrition of trump favorability appears to be continuing. For certain, his strongly unfavorable numbers have solidly remained high. Unceasing stories like the NYT Anonymous piece keep those numbers strong. The negative redundancy about Trumps unfitness motivates anti-Trumpers – to vote.

        Trump uses the same reasoning to hold his core supporters motivated – that’s the primary purpose for these unending rallies: not to pick up new supporters, but to keep his core angry enough to vote for him in the next election (and to promote the insinuation of the threat of them rioting if he’s arrested or impeached) no matter what horrible info surfaces about him.

      • September 7, 2018 6:17 pm

        Jay if the slow attrition is not happening, I would be very surprised. And since Trump is a minority president elected by a minute number of voters in three states, turning off a like number of voters would not be an advantage for Trump. If the democrats go off half cocked and nominate the polar opposite of Trump, then he may be able to withstand the issues he is creating. But if the democrats become the party of the people and not identity politics, then I think he is a one term president and I might vote Democrat. But only if they are a Warner /Manchin type.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:20 pm

        No president has the full support of the majority of the people.

        Nor is Trump uniquely a “minority” president.
        The majority of people do not vote.

        Trump shifted the vote in those three states he won by small numbers – by over 2M votes.

        Further if you “nullify” Trump – you are disparaging 62M voters who voted for Trump.

        I am continuously trying to get through to all that a majority (or political legitimacy) is just not sufficient moral justification to use force to infringe of the rights of others.

        Obama was elected by a majority of voters. He used that election to impose ObamaCare which was NOT supported by a majority – that was improper, illegitmate and immoral.

        Trump too does not have the power – despite being elected to use force to infringe on the rights of those who voted against him – or anyone.

        For the most part he is not doing that.
        Almost all of the actions Trump has taken as president reduce government – reduce the use of force against individuals, and increase individual freedom.

        You do not need a mandate to do that. You do not need a majority.
        Increasing liberty is nearly always moral and legitimate even when you are in a small minority.

        Trump’s election does not convey on him the legitimacy necescary to increase taxes, to increase spending, to increase the power of the federal government, to decrease the freedom of the individual.
        But it does convey the legitimacy necescary to decrease taxes, to decrease spending to decrease the power of the federal government and to increase individual liberty.

        At its core that is what the fight over Trump is about. And that is why the left risks a very large backlash.

        Because you need MORE that what Obama had to govern as Obama did, but you need LESS than what Trump has to govern as Trump has.

        I do not think the left – or those posting here are angry because Trump sends out a couple of offensive tweets a week. They are angry because their efforts to impose their will on others by force have been thwarted. They are angry because 10’s of millions of people said NO that they had had enough.

        If we had an election tomorow and the questions were about cutting taxes, reducing federal spending, reducing government power, increasing individual liberty – not about Trump or Clinton – do you think that the left could survive ?

        I think that Trump is just the focal point for the left’s anger.
        They are not angry so much because of Trump’s character and personality.

        They are angry because they have been thwarted – and not be a few voters in 3 states – by tens of millions of voters.

        And by those of us who even if we did not vote for Trump, will never vote for what the left wants.

      • September 10, 2018 2:28 pm

        “Trump shifted the vote in those three states he won by small numbers – by over 2M votes.”

        But how solid is the shift and can those voters change back due to Trumps continued “snowflake” behavior of obnoxious tweets and insults. Had I voted for the ass the first time, I sure would find it hard this next time regardless of legislation proposed and passed by congress.

        Could has indiocity be shifting voters against the GOP enough to flip the house ? If so, his actions will do more harm going forward than all the good he has done.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:46 pm

        “But how solid is the shift and can those voters change back due to Trumps continued “snowflake” behavior of obnoxious tweets and insults. Had I voted for the ass the first time, I sure would find it hard this next time regardless of legislation proposed and passed by congress.

        Could has indiocity be shifting voters against the GOP enough to flip the house ? If so, his actions will do more harm going forward than all the good he has done.”

        I would suggest following the reported Salena Zito.

        During the 2016 election she could not get the political posting she wanted, so she went freelance and went where no one else did. She visited voters in flyover country.
        She was one of the first to report that Trump was appealing strongly to these voters.

        She remains the go to reporter on Trump voters – the people in Michigan Ohio, PA who voted for Trump.

        And she claims Trump’s support there is GROWING.

        They new what they were getting. They do not care about the antics or the press.

        I am reluctant to argue against someone else’s self assessment.

        But I highly doubt that if you had voted for Trump in 2016 you would vote different in 2020.
        Because everything that offends you now – offended you then.
        Nothing has changed – except trump is now the incumbent AND he has made good on alot of promises.

        I have seen nothing that negatively impacts the views of those voters who voted for Trump in 2016. I am not saying there are not plenty of negatives. But there are not really NEW negatives. And there are new positives.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 9, 2018 7:33 pm

        Trump’s approval is 2pts below the highest it has been in 12months. an 6 points above the lowest, and rising at the moment – according to RCP

        It is also within 2pts of Obama’s job approval at this point in 2010.

        All that in the face of a far more hostile press than Obama had.
        And democrats at this point can eat whatever they said about Republican opposition to Obama as democrats have proven far far more hateful.

        So your argument is that Trump maintains his core support through rallies ?

        That it has absolutely nothing to do with:

        The economy
        Keeping his promisies to supporters ?

        That while the left runs arround not merely torching everything – but demanding that everyone else go lawless and burn the entire system down if necescary to get rid of Trump that the right is the group driven by anger ?

        I will be happy to agree – the right is angry, though not nearly so much as the left.

        They are angry about being called stupid dupes by cretins on the left.
        They are angry because they did what it took playing by the rules to elect Trump and the left wants to destroy that ILLEGITIMATELY.

        You do not seem to grasp that if you do not act lawfully and legitimately, you will provoke lawlessness and anger from your enemies.

        I have seen plenty of actual rioting since Trump’s election – by the left.

        Get a clue, so long as the left acts lawlessly and enraged, they have no credibility fretting about the FUTURE lawlessness of others in response to their own.

      • grump permalink
        September 8, 2018 9:22 am

        “If the democrats go off half cocked and nominate the polar opposite of Trump, then he may be able to withstand the issues he is creating. But if the democrats become the party of the people and not identity politics, then I think he is a one term president and I might vote Democrat. But only if they are a Warner /Manchin type.”

        Well, that won’t happen. Even my old mother has caught bernie’s Scandinavian fever. People belonging to groups lose their minds and get caught up in insane enthusiasms. For the dem party its now the Scandinavian socialist democrat model (which is not actually socialist truth be told, but is a hyperactive welfare state/nanny state) The chances the dems will nominate anyone approaching a centrist are way out on the tail of the bell curve.

        Who would win a race between a full on progressive and trump? Which bad thing would be chosen as worse? Anybodies guess. I would not bet a dime on the outcome of trump vs. a Scandinavian socialist democrat, too close to call.

      • September 8, 2018 11:17 am

        Looks like Sweden is going through a transformation.

        One thing I find very interesting. About 3/4ths of the way into the article it says healthcare is a significant issue in the election. And they have everything paid for, free. It also says another is abortion. While we debate 24 weeks, their law is 18 weeks and they want to make it 12 weeks. I wonder just which country is more liberal?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:32 pm

        We are completely clueless about Europe.

        We forget that these countries have supported eugenics all the way through to about 1975.

        I would further note that in most of these countries the native population is experiencing NEGATIVE population growth. These are countries paying white women to have babies, and they are reducing abortions – because they need more people.

        The more power you give government – the more control it takes of your life.
        And what is best for government is not often what is best for you.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:23 pm

        Depends on how you define socialist.

        Government control of the economy is “socialist”.

        Though I would note that the nordic model for the most part is very minimal in terms of restrictions on business and the economy.

        It is a high benefits model paid for by incredibly high taxes – and not mostly on the rich, because there just is not enough money there, but it is very low in economic regulation.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:28 pm

        “I would not bet a dime on the outcome of trump vs. a Scandinavian socialist democrat, too close to call.”

        I would – landslide Trump.

        Absolutely the further left democrats go the more they please their “base”.
        But the more they alienate the rest of the country.

        A great deal of Bernie’s support in 2016 was a democratic anti-hillary vote, which should be evident by the number of Bernie voters who then voted for Trump.

        If you beleive there is enough support in the US for a socialist to win – you seriously misjudged the past 10 years, you seriously misread the 2016 election, you are drinking too much media and left wing nut kool-aide.

        The worst thing that could possibly happen to the left – would be to actually win an election.

        The red wave that followed 2008 was the direct consequence of the success of the left.

  44. September 6, 2018 2:12 pm

    WINNING.. Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicarogua. Deep State
    LOSERS, Americans

    Look past the personal. Look at what is happening. Russia planting fake information to weaken the government. China probably doing the same. Now a supposedly.senior member of the deep stat e washington political environment does the same.

    Does anyone really believe Warren, Booker, Hildebrand or any of the socialist lined up to run on the democrat ticket w ould be the answer to bring a severely divided country due to the far.lefts actions together once in office.

    The first gun regulation bill passed would blow the top off the country since the right will view this as the first major step toward true socialism.

    • grump permalink
      September 6, 2018 9:06 pm

      “Does anyone really believe Warren, Booker, Hildebrand or any of the socialist lined up to run on the democrat ticket w ould be the answer to bring a severely divided country due to the far.lefts actions together once in office.”

      I for one do not. I fear both the incompetence and hubris of the progressive wing and the reaction of the red counties to their incompetence and hubris.

      That is why I wish that the Dems could hold congress by a not very large margin while the GOP could hold the POTUS with some reasonable honorable person who is not unfit to be POTUS. That is my idea of how the country should be run. Split power and an honorable and capable POTUS. Is that so much to ask?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:39 pm

        You should fear the incompetence of the left.

        Look at Venezuela ? Look at the USSR ?
        Even look at the EU ?

        Further look at Trump.

        Trump is the backlash of those red counties – and much of the country for 8 years of Obama and the threat of 8 years of Clinton.

        Say you manage to elect a Booker, or Warren or Sanders ?

        I doubt they will be able to do much.
        But I fully expect the backlash against them to be greater than that to Obama.

        Do you want worse than Trump ?

        Look at history – the failures of left wing governments are very often followed by authoritarian tyrants.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:40 pm

        In general I agree with you about divided government.

      • grump permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:55 pm

        “Say you manage to elect a Booker, or Warren or Sanders ?”

        Me? Moi? Do that? You have the reading comprehension of a jar of grape jelly. Ron can read my posts and get my drift I am pretty sure. Ask him to explain my views on the loony left to you.

        “I doubt they will be able to do much.
        But I fully expect the backlash against them to be greater than that to Obama.”

        Yeah, that is pretty much what I actually said.

        But, on the other hand, anyone who has not been able to evaluate trump’s character and abilities and figure out that he is, at best, way out of his depth, and is venal and toxic to boot either has no brains at all or is sitting on them so strenuously that they are bound to be badly bruised. I cannot take your views on trump as anything but an exercise in twisting your brain into a piece of salt water taffy. You Still probably have never heard trump lie I will bet. Freaking hilarious! You are an entertainer of the first water, as is herr trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 9, 2018 6:46 pm

        “But, on the other hand, anyone who has not been able to evaluate trump’s character and abilities and figure out that he is, at best, way out of his depth, and is venal and toxic to boot either has no brains at all or is sitting on them so strenuously that they are bound to be badly bruised. I cannot take your views on trump as anything but an exercise in twisting your brain into a piece of salt water taffy. You Still probably have never heard trump lie I will bet. Freaking hilarious! You are an entertainer of the first water, as is herr trump.”

        It is remarks like this that undermine your credibility.

        Like Trump – don’t – that is fine. I don’t.

        But the magical thinking above just does not fly.

        Trump has succeeded in MULTIPLE careers throughout his life.

        Has he had some luck – certainly. Has he had connections – absolutely. Have things gone wrong occasionally – yep. Has he had oportunities the rest of us have not – sure.

        But Inarguably he succeeded in atleast 5 different carreers.

        That does not happen by accident. It does not happen to idiots.
        It does not happen to people out of their depth.

        In fact we have had very few presidents who have succeeded at so many different things.

        Are all the assorted negatives you can come up with regarding Trump meaningful – sure.

        But none of those support your conclusion.

        Trump may be brash, beligerant, pompous and many other things.
        He may be pretty much exactly what you do not want as President – and you are entitled to that view.

        But he is self evidently NOT stupid or out of his depth.

        The fact that you and so many others assert that, only reflects badly on you.

        Politically he pulled off an election that most beleived he could not possibly win.
        Further he did not do so the expected route – Nevada/New Hampshire.

        As a Republican he flipped Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

        Possibly the only “politician” in his league in my lifetime is Bill Clinton – and even Clinton did not pull something that scale off.

        Just to be clear – I am not talking about a republican or democrat winning – obviously some other presidents won bigger.

        But name one that won in states they were not supposed to win ?

        Alot is made of the narrow margin in PA, MI, WI.
        But those making that claim forget that Obama won those states by a total of 2M votes.

        Trump flipped those states pretty dramatically.

        I do not think anyone expected that Trump was going to flip PA as an example.
        I would have bet money that he could not.

        And NO the “russians stole the election” meme does not fly.

        Do you really think there are 2M rust belt voters that even saw Russian FB adds ?

        Clear the cobwebs out of your brain Trump saw something that no one else did, and he made it happen.

        That is not someone “out of their depth”.

        I got it that you do not like Trump.

        Neither do I.

        That is not the question.

        Trump has also succeeded as a NY Real Estate developor – and that is not something especially easy – not even if you start with 100M of Dad;s money.

        Absolutely he has gone bankrupt – AND SUCCEEDED AGAIN.

        He has also succeeded in markets outside NYC – both nationally and globally.

        He has succeeded as a Casino operator – again a tough market.

        He has succeeded as a beauty contest promoter.

        He has succeeded as a reality TV star.

        And he has succeeded as a politician.

        Have all of these gone perfectly – no! Nothing ever does.
        Can you fined things to complain about – sure.

        But if you are denying that he has succeeded – rather than denying that he has succeeded in the way you would prefer – that just make YOU the idiot.

        I would further note that he has antagonized nearly all the press – and he is doing better than before.
        He has antagonized much of the left – and he is still doing fine.

        Mueller has pretty much fizzled and he has not come close to touching Trump – or his inner circle. Get a clue there is nothing there – there never was.

        And infact what is self evident to those of us not blind – is that Trump succeeded – DESPITE that fact that many in the Obama administration – as well as holdovers in his own administration were/are actively working against him.

        We have listed Trump’s accomplishments as president before.

        Things could still go wrong – but even with the most left tilted perspective you can come up with, he is thus far doing better than Obama, and it is likely that he will be doing MUCH better.

        You want to rant about Trump – fine, you are entitled.
        But if you do so stupidly, you can expect to be called on it.

        You are correct there is alot of blindness going arround – yours.

      • September 9, 2018 9:06 pm

        Dave, a comment to your response to grump.

        Yes, Trump has succeeded. Yes he has seen things others have not.

        So the 10 step playbook against Trump as I see it. Will be interesting to watch how he counters.
        1. Install an IC to investigate Russian election interference. Yes I still think Mueller is and always was anti-Trump from the start and was not neutral in his thinking.
        2. Expand that to cover anything, short of j-walking to energize the left for mid term elections. Make sure the big trials and sentences happen late summer early fall for greatest impact on 2018 election..
        3. Capture the house.
        4. Stop 100% of everything Trump and the GOP wants done in 2019-20
        5. Insure through threats and other negative actions that any house member voting against house leadership instructions will find themselves cleaning toilets as their best assignment.
        6. Open house impeachment hearings using Muellsr information as the foundation. (Does not matter as actual impeachment is not the desired outcome)
        7. Insure impeachment hearing is prolonged into early 2020 to maximize negative press until the election cycle begins.
        8. Nominate a socialist leaning democrat for president.
        9. Sweep the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020.
        10 Change senate rules to go full nuclear. Pass all Sanders/ Warren propsed legislation in the first 100 days.

      • Jay permalink
        September 9, 2018 9:47 pm

        Here’s my long shot big odds Vegas payout for 2020:

        If Trump is running-

        Dems go with Biden for Prez & Warren for VP. Both Obamas heavily involved to keep the Black turnout high and dampen and Bernie backlash.

        Trump counters with Nikki for VP. That would result in a tight race.

        What casinos are accepting bets?

      • September 9, 2018 11:21 pm

        Jay. interesting. Just think, until RR broke the 0 year curse by a few missed heartbeats, most presidents elected in those years died in office. Biden or Trump. Wonder which old white guy will kick the bucket first? And which VP do people want as president?

        Good God don’t we have anyone with 1/2 a brain that is 25% younger than these old farts. Biden will be 78 if he runs. Trump will be 74. Warren will be 71.

        Why is it that most companies have a retirement age and those that would not get put in a mail delivery job at a company end up president?

        Its time for term limits and an age limit for elected officials. If your over 70, its time for them to step aside. And I am in the age group, so I don’t have to be age PC with that comment.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:38 pm

        Age is another party factor.
        Though both parties have some older people.
        Much of the democratic party is OLD.
        Overall elected democrats are much older than republicans.
        And that is a growing problem for D’s in the future.

        In addition the dominance of the GOP in state elections means there are fewer and fewer places to groom up and coming D’s. Particularly “moderates” who can win a national election. The Democratic Rising Stars are pretty far left – because they are coming from rock solid Democratic states and districts. These are not the conditions that breed national candidates.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:34 pm

        Biden is too old and his history of roving hands takes away a major weapon against Trump. He is also horribly gaffe prone.

        I do not think Warren is after the VP slot and I do not think she will leave the Senate to be VP. And she can not win running for president – but she can w2in the Democratic nomination.

        While I do not think Trump can be beat in 2020.
        I think little would serve him better than facing Warren of someone like her.

        I do not think Trump is changing VP’s. Though I think he should.

        The race is not going to be tight no matter what.

        Democrats have shifted left.
        Trump will be running as an incumbent.
        If the D’s run a Sanders/Booker/Warren they will energize the left, They will alienate the middle who will either sit out or vote for Trump and Trump will win.

        I do not think that D’s will tack to the center. Frankly I think it is already too late for D’s to fix their problems.

        They MAY take the house in 2018 0r 2020. The Senate MAY rest on the razor’s edge.

        But neither party is going to have enough control of congress to accomplish anything – no matter who is president.

        Regardless, D’s have tacked left and it is going to take several cycles for them to realize their mistake, and fix it. Worse they will have to buck the majority of their party.

        The left shift of the D;s is a horrible political mistake. While it shores up an existing lock on about 1/3 of the country it severely weakens them in Pink and Purple states.

        At the very moment when some parts of the south are shifting from deep read to pink,
        many northern and rust belt states are shifting from purple to pink.
        And at that moment D’s decide to tack left ?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 1:50 pm

        I do not like Mueller – and the more I learn the less I like him.

        BUT, he is not responsible for his own appointment – which was clearly outside the scope of the SC statute.

        When we appoint SC’s or IC’s there is a built-in bias.
        This is the biggest role most of these people will ever perform. This is how they will be remembered forever. There is enormous incentives to bring back big game.

        Look at the Patrick Fitzgerald scooter libby thing.

        Libby was prosecuted for lying to the FBI about something tangential to the investigation,
        An investigation that at its outset was a farce – BEFORE Fitzgeral was appointed FBI/DOJ already knew Richard Armatrage had inadvertantly leeked Plame’s name to Novak, AND that CIA had long prior moved plame to a public role and she was not NOC at the time her name was leaked.

        So there was no crime and nothing to investigate.

        As you and I have discussed – I would like a permanent public corruption office.
        While I am concerned about exactly how it is structured – my problem is NOT with investigating the crap out of people in government.

        It is with the specific circumstances here – most of which have nothing to do with Mueller.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:00 pm

        #2 raises a different issue.

        The investigation of the private conduct – even as part of a political campaign of private people is far less important and must be conducted far more carefully, than the investigation of the abuse of the power of govenrment by those in government.

        Whatever Cohen, Manafort, … might have done is inconsequential compared to what went on during 2016 in the Obama administration.

        You will note – I am NOT that hard on Clinton regarding the election and the Steele Dossier.

        Clinton is entitled to buy Dirt on Trump.
        She is entitled to try to sell it to DOJ/FBI.

        I beleive now we are looking at targetting Glenn Simpson purportedly for false statements to congress or the FBI.

        I really do not care about Simpson, or Clinton, or Perkin’s Coi or Steele – or any of what occurred privately.

        Nor do I think trying to influence government is some great sin or crime.

        The criminal in public corruption – is the person in government with the power and the duty.
        Not the private person trying to influence them.

        I want those who abused government power either fired or in jail.

        I want those in state who “backchanneled” the Steele Dossier to face consequences.

        WE might have sufficient distance now from the McCain funeral to raise that.
        McCain’s staff was instrumental in BOTH Lois Lehrner’s persecution of conservative groups, and in pushing the Steele Dossier on DOJ/FBI.
        That was WRONG!!! That is an abuse of power and the public trust.

        I get that McCain hates Trump – and for good reason. But that is not an excuse for the abuse of government power.

        I do not think that “lying to a federal agent” should be a crime.
        Though it should be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

        I do think that those in government lying during internal investigations or to grand juries or to congress are criminals. and should be prosecuted.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:02 pm

        Of course D’s want to capture the house.
        Trump is not the reason, he is just a tool.
        Every party wants control of as much of government as they can.

        That is to be expected – it is not a consiracy.
        There is nothing wrong with it or anything they do that works – that does NOT involve the abuse of the power of government.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:07 pm

        Most of what Trump/GOP are seeking to do is UNDO things.

        That is harder to stop.

        Absent losing the Senate Trump is going to continue with his changes to the Judiciary.
        Even if the loses the Senate – at most they will slow down. Despite the left rants at the few unqualified people – which is to be expected given the numbers, the overwhelming majority of Trump Judicial nominees are far better than anything I would hope for even from a republican. None are perfect. I have problems with almost all of them.
        But as i noted – nearly all are better than I would expect even from a republican.

        The long term effect is likely to be seismic.

        Alot of what Trump is doing – can only be stopped by the courts – and though there have been lots of efforts to stall and embarras. Thus far Trump is winning those fights in the Supreme Court.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:09 pm

        There is ONE big problem if the democrats take the house.

        The Nunes investigations will stop.

        While Grassley is doing the same thing aggressively in the Senate – absent a rules change Grassley is less potent.

        In the house any committee chair can issue a subpeona. In the senate it requires the consent of the ranking minority member and feinstein is not cooperating.

        But for that I would not care whether D’s take the house.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:12 pm

        I think House D’s will investigate the drap out of Trump if they take the house.

        I really do not care about that.

        But I do not think they will impeach.

        The politics worked horribly for republicans in 1998.
        It is unlikely to go well for Democrats today.

        I think they will talk alot about impeachment.
        I do not think there is a chance of impeachment if Pelosi remains speaker.

        But we shall see.

        I do not care if democrats wish to commit suicide.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 2:22 pm

        Republicans are defending more seats in 2020 – but few are considered competitive.
        Further there are R pickup oportunities – Doug Jones will be up for re-election.

        If he faces a Republican who has not molested teens he will likely lose.
        Chris Coons will face re-election. Maybe the GOP will not nominate a former witch.
        Gary Peters in Michigan will be facing re-election.
        Jeanne Shaheen will face re-election in NH

        Barring miracles, Democrats are unlikely to gain seats in the Senate in 2020.
        They are defending fewer seats, but they are defending more weak seats.

        2018 is a bigger deal. This should be a pickup year for R’s in the senate. The D’s are defending lots of seats in red states. It will be 2024 before R’s see this oportunity again.

        The Senate should given the composition of state legislatures should have 66 to 66 R seats.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 9, 2018 6:56 pm

        What incredible narcisism!.

        So you fixate on a generic “you” and take it personally.
        While entirely missing the point.

        It is highly unlikely that the current crop of democratic front runners can win.
        In the event they do – they will fortunately get little done.
        AND they will likely trigger a backlash that will bring someone you like even less than Trump to power.

        One large group in this country is seeking to impose its will on the other by force.

        Whatever I may think about Trump or the right – it is not them.

        Currently Trump and the right are PRIMARILY UNDOING the efforts of the left to impose their will on most of the country by force. That is quite different.
        That is why if you managed to get rid of Trump, you will likely end up with worse.

        There is good reason to fear tyranny right now.

        Not because Trump is a tyrant – he is not.
        But because when you extend the power of government – on a majority at best, and you offend a growing group because you have further infringed on their freedom is doing so,
        you must ultimately back down. You must do so because what will NOT happen is that overtime people will accept your infringements on liberty.

        So long as the left continues to beleive they can bring back the mess that resulted in Trump, they assure that even if they succeed, the backlash will be even stronger.

        The problem in the US today is with the left.

        In my long list of problems with Trump, few if any are perceived by most as infringements on their actual liberty.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 7, 2018 12:23 pm

      What does “weaken the government” mean ?

      If it means what it sounds like – I am for it.

      Regardless, who doesn’t expect Russia, China, … to seek advantage over the US ?
      Who does not beleive we do the same ?
      Who does nto beleive we do far MORE – probably than all other nations put together ?

    • grump permalink
      September 6, 2018 8:56 pm

      Funny, gallows humor, which is what one needs at a time like this. The guy will be revealed at some point, yes.

      After thinking about this for a day, I wish the guy had just kept this situation all to himself. I have no idea why people do the things they do, trying to understand another person’s mind is really impossible. But, it does not add up, if they are quietly and subtly keeping the plane from crashing, how will it help to out themselves? He did not just out himself, he outed a whole group of people, how do the others feel about that? (I wonder how much of a conscious group they are really? Do they have a leader, meetings, and plans or is it just a process of all the actual adults in the WH doing the things day to day that avoid complete chaos or disastrous decisions, which is more likely).

      The 25th amendment is not going to happen, its not for this. If trump paints himself green and walks around the grounds nekkid while growling at people then the 25th amendment will be germane. People telling the guy to come out and use the 25th do not understand the 25th (or political reality). It would fail and leave trump Stronger.

      To the people who think these adult guys are subverting democracy, I say crap. The people elect a president, he picks some advisors, they pick some other people, etc. No president, not even a brilliant one like Teddy Roosevelt, could be in command of all the details. Carter tried, it was a fail. The country happened to just barely elect a man who has no capacity at all for understanding the details. So, people who actually know what is going on manage the details and feed him the big picture stuff and keep his hands off the stuff he has no comprehension of. That is wise, its necessary. Anyone who thinks otherwise is out of their cotton picking mind and must just want to monkey the country up.

      Anyone who reads trump’s tweets and hears his speeches who still thinks that he should be allowed to do whatever he wants in the White House because he was elected is beyond saving. Anyone who cannot see that he can’t just order Mattis to take out Assad if he has that impulse one fine morning because he got electoral votes is stupid beyond stupid and they can blather all they want but a drunken captain cannot be allowed to run the ship onto a reef just because he is the captain. I’ll put survival over blind rule following.

      And, the same people who want blind rule following to let trump truly make all the choices and do exactly what he wants are the same people who have turned a blind eye to all the rule breaking trump has done. So, fuck em.

      • September 6, 2018 9:54 pm

        Grump “I have no idea why people do the things they do, trying to understand another person’s mind is really impossible. ”

        A cancer can be the result of a specific virus. Some viruses do this by inserting their own DNA into that of the host cell. When the DNA affects the host cell’s genes, it can push the cell toward becoming cancer. So how do you destroy an organism, or any grouping of individual cells that have a code to perform a specific function?

        You insert a virus within that group that infects the cells and changes the code so the cells become self destructing.

        I know little about computer viruses, but I think that is how they basically work.

        So the actions of this person has infected the Trump administration with a virus that can become a cancer on the administration which can destroy its effectiveness from within. Can anyone say or do anything without looking at others and wonder if that person is the leaker? Can one say something and then wonder if those words will find their way to a Times oped?

        Russia plants the “cancer” in the election process. China plants a “cancer” in some other social media communications, along with Russia. Our media plants a “cancer” in their publications and print incomplete, but true information. Politicians twist words of others to infect the thinking of voters. Trump usesvwords to create a “cancerious” environment within some ethnic grouos. And now, an individual within the Trump adminstration has planted this virus to spread distrust within the team, thus creating a “cancerious” environment within the host organism.

        So to make it easier to understand, you kill the organism from both the outside and the inside.

        Democracy is the organism.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:46 pm

        Can we get past the fear mongering ?

        Forget what China or Russia might behave hoped for.

        Do you honestly believe that some nit wit who was going to vote for Clinton was persuaded to vote for Trump because of Russian Social media ?

        I have a dim view of much of the electorate, but I do not beleive that Russians can make a stupid Trump voter from a stupid Clinton one – or visa versa.

        And quite honestly – if they can – more power to them.

        If Clinton voters are so stupid they can be deceived into voting for Trump,
        That is fine with me.
        Candidates and parties do not OWN their voters.

        They do not have the right to sequester them from outside influences.

        You have to take your voters how they come.
        And if your voters are so weak in their support that Russians (or Chinese, or The Koch’s or …) can strip them from you – that is your problem.

      • grump permalink
        September 6, 2018 11:03 pm

        Well, I could give a boring molecular biology response about viruses and cancers and the defence mechanisms of the body that are directed to killing off cancer cells before they spread, but that is not really the point. You made an interesting analogy.

        If we take the words of the anonymous official at face value, he is a traditional conservative trying to advance traditional conservative causes. He was hired by trump or by someone trump hired and he (and the others) have been doing the work of the WH staff at some level, high or low, we do not know.

        Now, if the person is not of the values that seem to be implied in his op-ed then the person would be a sort of saboteur of conservative policies.

        But I will be (you might say) naive and assume that he is just what he claims. Why then would he be trying to kill off democracy?

        Occam’s razor might suggest the simplest thing, he and the others are trying to avoid chaos or catastrophe perpetrated by an ignoramus POTUS.

        Now, if you were to say the trump was planted (in some very broad sense) by putin, then the idea of harming democracy makes more sense.

        Here is a real parallel, I remembered Churchill’s phrase and googled it and got this:

        “In April 16, 1917, a short train carrying thirty-two passengers steamed into one of St. Petersburg’s less distinguished stations, completing an eight-day journey from Zurich. These passengers were arriving late to a revolution that had started without them, earlier that year, after food riots broke out in the imperial capital. But one of them—Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov—would quickly seize control of events. By year’s end, he had launched what would become the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which replaced the empire it despised but remained largely within its geography. Reflecting on these events years later, Winston Churchill would compare Ulyanov, or Lenin, as he styled himself, to a “plague bacillus” that had been introduced into a body at precisely the moment it could do the most harm. The train injected the bacillus late at night, when it arrived and was greeted by a delirious crowd. The next day, Lenin was off and running, speaking and writing at a frantic pace, rejecting compromise, relentlessly pulling the Revolution toward his hard Bolshevik line.”

      • September 6, 2018 11:29 pm

        Grump “But I will be (you might say) naive and assume that he is just what he claims. ”

        So if we do that, why would a conservative that has a president that is promoting mostly conservative positions (except trade ) and doing an excellent job in that regard do what this person did. Unlike Dave, I think these types of occurrences only intensifies the lefts voter base to get out and vote and also impacts those that are on the fence to vote for the leftist candidate,

        What good is this doing for the conservative agenda? That is what makes no sense to me at all. Other than to promote dislike for Trump and promote a left wing candidate, nothing good comes from articles like this.

        If someone has the country and democracy at heart and they disagree with the administration, most sane people would resign and go work in a job that they can support those they work for. They are not going to undermine their own political positions other than to undermine the agenda that the administration supports.And if they are worried about the president and his mental condition, are they going to undermine the conservative agenda or are they going to keep their mouth shut, protect the country from what they consider a mad man and make sure the conservatives continue with their agenda and work to insure a republican congress?

        Something just does not smell right to me on this one. The swamp is filling with more cesspool runoff and the source has not been identified in this instance.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:52 pm

        It is not possible to debate the intentions or anything else of an anonymous source.

        You can not even be certain of their existance.

        It would not be the first time WaPo or NYT ran an anonymous source story where the source was made up.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:48 pm

        So someone we do not know, whom everything your claim to know about is admitted speculation – this mythical snipe is to be taken seriously – why ? Because you want to beleive.

      • grump permalink
        September 6, 2018 11:54 pm

        Well, its an enigma all right. But it seems to be more of a bomb than anything else.

        But, I mean it seriously, trying to understand anyone’s thought process, let alone an anonymous person’s, is impossible. I don’t think like you do, you don’t think like Dave, or Jay, etc. We can barely understand each other a lot of the time and we have been talking for years. We are going to understand this anonymous guy’s thought process?

        Even after he becomes known somehow, we still won’t understand why he did it.

        I have no idea who this will fire up more. I know that there are still more conservatives than liberals and far more red counties than blue ones. The middle/other has to support the liberal side for the liberal side to ever win. It may be that the trump circus will push the middle there, good economy or not.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:54 pm


        we do not even know for certain this person exists, or if the journalist has altered some of what they have said.

        I have no problem with anonymous sources.

        But it is stupid to waste alot of time on them.

        Anonymous means not very credible.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:27 pm

        I have zero problems with people speaking out about whatever they do not like.

        Because they chose to speak anonymously I place minimal credance in what is beings said.

        Separately no one – this person included is free to #resist from inside the administration.
        That is a violation of the oath everyone in the federal government must take.

        If you do not like the policies or process of an elected government, if your personal morality is in conflict – resign and publicly speak out.

        If you attempt to thwart a legitimate government from the inside – that is immoral, unethical and probably illegal.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:29 pm

        So the conspiratorial lunatic left is now claiming responsibility – through the deep state that they deny exists for anything good that Trump actually accomplishes ?

        Trump has not nuked Iceland – only by the grace of some covert #resist deep state operative ?

        You want to rant about birthers and you buy into this ?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 7, 2018 1:36 pm

        No one has asked you to be “blind”

        But absolutely you are obligated to FOLLOW the rules or CHANGE the rules.

        There is no provision – not in the constitution, not in ethics or morality, for “doing your own thing” with the power of government.

        That is far more dangerous than your perception of Trump.

        I have repeatedly argued for limited government – and limited government power.

        THAT is how you thwart the abuse of power by government – by Trump, by Obama, by ….

        What power you do not give government it can not abuse.

        What you do not get to do is to decide that not only must those in government be elected, but they must be found acceptable to some anonymous deep state star chamber to wield public power.

        What you want is quite clearly LAWLESSNESS, the rule of man not law.

        I do not expect you to BLINDLY follow the rules.
        I expect you no to make stupid rules, and when you do to OPEN YOUR EYES and change the rules.

        If you think Trump has too much power – then change the constitution or the law to limit the power of the president. Not just Trump but ALL presidents.

        There is no provision in the law or constitution that Trump is not permitted the power other presidents are.

      • grump permalink
        September 7, 2018 2:11 pm

        “So the conspiratorial lunatic left is now claiming responsibility – through the deep state that they deny exists for anything good that Trump actually accomplishes ?”

        Um, the op-ed writer is a member of trump’s staff, a conservative, bragging about deregulation, the economy, etc. So, bzzzzzzzzzt.

        The conspiratorial lunatic left, oh, the conspiratorial lunatic left, they are just Everywhere ruining Everything! If crops fail or hurricanes hit it is the conspiratorial lunatic left that caused it.

        You may have an obsession, but I am not a professional.

        Meanwhile the potus tweets his infantile tweets daily and screws massively with certain principles that you have long claimed to hold dear, but don’t let that distract you from the conspiratorial lunatic left.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 9, 2018 7:09 pm

        Grump – read the ARTICLE you linked to. Not the op-ed.

        I am not the one in this instance talking about the conspiratorial lunatic left.

        The actual left is openly celebrating, encouraging and begging for an unconstitutional conspiracy.

        You do not get to celebrate, encourage, applaud, beg for, a conspiracy – and then claim that those who fear that you have or will get what you ask for and even claim exists are lunatics – because they agree with you.

        I do not need to make any claims about conspiracy – the author of the peice YOU cited has said it all for me.

        Is is obsession to take a left wing journalist at their word ?
        To beleive those in the left mean what they say ?

        BTW – what exactly is #resist – besides and open invitation to conspiracy ?

        None of us actually no whether this purported person even exists – much less for certain what they actually are.

        But we do know exactly what your and the left’s response has been.

        And that is what I am judging.

        Whether this “insider” is real or fictitious – you want him to be. You are cheering on the lawless conduct of a possibly mythical person, and actvely seeking the CONSPRACY of others to do the same.

        You want to oppose Trump – fine, do so legitimately. Within the law. Not lawlessly.
        Speak out. Go to court, Persuade voters, make your case WITHIN the LAW.

        When you beg others to secretly defy legitimate authorities – because you would have prefered others, you are lawless.

        Further you can not hope their is a conspiracy to thwart Trump while at the same time claiming those who fear that you are right are whack-o for taking you at your word

      • dhlii permalink
        September 9, 2018 7:13 pm

        “Meanwhile the potus tweets his infantile tweets daily”
        Agreed – of course our press has been similarly infantile since long before Trump.

        ” and screws massively with certain principles that you have long claimed to hold dear,”

        So you would have no problems listing those principle that I purportedly claim to hold dear that Trump has “screwed massively with” ?

        “but don’t let that distract you from the conspiratorial lunatic left.”

        I am taking you, the left and the media at your word.
        Are you saying that believing you when you encourage, demand, beg for, hope for a conspiracy is somehow unreasonable ?

    • dhlii permalink
      September 7, 2018 1:14 pm

      The article you cite is interesting.

      First it acknowledges that the goal is to tear down the entire system.

      I thought the objective of those on the left was to support the system not destroy it ?

      Apparently it is acceptable to destroy the system when you do not like what the process has produced.

      As noted many times the left is incredibly hypocritical.

      When those who favor limited government seek to shrink government – we are bomb throwing anarchists.

      When the left seeks to destroy what it does not like – they are patriots ?

      Next the article openly cedes even celebrates the “deep state”.

      Those of use arguing that the “deep state” is seeking to undo an election have been called tinfoil hat conspiracy theoriests.

      Yet here the Daily Beast openly admits and encourages exactly that.

      Further read the DB’s editorial.

      Aparently – some dweeb in the whitehouse is allowed to thwart the president – because the lunatic left and the DB beleive Trump would launch a nuclear attack on Iceland ?

      And you accuse others of lunatic conspiracy theories ?

      Get a clue – Trump was elected. That election gives Trump – not some random person in government the authority to determine whan to use and not to use nuclear force.

      If you think that it is proper to withold that from trump because of your fears,
      It is equally legitimate for another to use the same codes and launch an attack on their own. You fail to grasp that all illegitmate and lawless action has a flip side.

      When you claim personal morality as a justification for the use of public power,
      you empower those with different personal morality to act accordinf to their morality – not the law. Lawlessness begets lawlessness.

  45. grump permalink
    September 6, 2018 11:10 pm

    So, here is a more Machiavellian proposal. The op-ed writer is a solid trump believer and wrote the piece to call attention to people he believes are undermining trump. He is not one of them, he is just looking for a way to expose the existence of others who he believes are undermining trump.

    I mean this unseriously, its a sort of a conspiracy theory, and you know how I feel about conspiracy theories.

    • September 6, 2018 11:33 pm

      Grump…Hey, maybe Trump did this himself. Claimed to be a high official in the administration and wrote this article so he could continue to claim how bad the NY Times is, how the media promotes fake news and how the media will do anything to make him look bad. Go around the country and stoke the flames of unrest among the red neck community.

      Hows that for a conspiracy theory?

    • dhlii permalink
      September 7, 2018 1:50 pm

      We can speculate bazillions of ways. That is the inherent nature of anonymous sources.

      They may not exist. They may exist but be completely different.
      They may be false flags.

      There is no way of knowing.

      Which is why it is not reasonable to take them seriously.

  46. Priscilla permalink
    September 8, 2018 4:44 pm

    grump, I saw this the other day and it made me think of you. I was thinking about maybe writing a post on my blog about the death of comedy (or maybe it’s just in a coma?), and I was searching around YouTube.

    I read the last several comments here, and find that, in the matter of whether or not the Democrats will return to being a left leaning moderate party any time soon, I tend to agree with you, rather than Ron. The base of the Democratic Party has become very far left, just as the base of the Republican Party has become right-wing populist. That’s not to say that there aren’t moderate liberals like you in the party, but they aren’t setting the agenda any more. Since the new model for winning elections has become “polarizing and turning out the base,” rather than reaching out to moderates, I don’t see Ron voting Democrat in the foreseeable future.

    Anyway, here is that video that I thought you might like:

    • grump permalink
      September 8, 2018 9:11 pm

      I am pretty sure I posted this Cleese PC comments video myself several years back at TNM. I saw Cleese make exactly the same comments in person last year at an event that was a screening of Holy Grail and a Q&A and photo opp with Cleese. Pretty much word for word. He has certain canned remarks and he repeats them. He is no longer young. The Why do you want to be a woman Stan scene ( where is the fetus going to gestate are you going to keep it in a box?) from Life of Brian would be hard to get into a movie today, etc. which is what gets under Cleese’s skin I think. The Python song, “I like Chinese” ha, never.

      Ha, surprised I even was able to find it on youtube.

      I cannot say that I feel like I am part of a group as a moderate Dem, no. The energy all lies at the far left. Bernie mesmerized a lot of people, but they were ready to be mesmerized.

      If it is not clear, my nature is pessimistic regarding politics, I expect the worst. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps the moderate wing of the party will surprise me by showing up and finding a winning moderate dem candidate. That would be great.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 9, 2018 7:58 pm

        Haha, no, “I like Chinese” would never make the PC cut. Then again, PC has gotten so bad that a lot of much milder stuff would never get released today.

        I often wonder how some old songs are still able to get airplay. I’ve heard the old Pat Boone song “Speedy Gonzales” on Sirius XM…and that song is flat-out racist, lol! Also, the old 60’s song “Make an Ugly Woman Your Wife” (“she may be ugly, but she sure can cook!”) And every holiday season, you hear “Baby, it’s cold outside,” which my sons used to jokingly refer to as the “date rape song.” But you never hear about protests or boycotts over them… Then again, they probably don’t get played on college campuses!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 1:14 pm

        Hopefully this starts at the right time – as this is a 2hr clip and Fry’s remarks are at 59:30

        Regardless, here is Stephen Fry – not some raving right wing loon by any measure arguing bitterly against political correctness.

        Or George Carlin

        Mel Brooks ?

        Bill Mahr ?

        Dennis Leary ?
        Jerry Seinfeld ?
        Gilbert Gottfried
        Dennis Miller
        Larry the Cable Guy
        Chris Rock
        Lisa Lampanelli

    • dhlii permalink
      September 10, 2018 12:36 pm

      Clease is excellent.

  47. September 8, 2018 5:12 pm

    Google can bloviate all they want about their search criteria, but when I dont read anything on CNN, NPR MSNBC or NBC and the top returns I get when I search “Hurricane Florence” are CNN, NPR and NBC, there is no way they dont favor liberal sites. Especially when most of my weather related searches are the Weather Channel and

    Looks like NC/SC are going to be hit hard next week. Guess its our turn for a cat4.

    • Jay permalink
      September 8, 2018 5:43 pm

      A Web page’s PageRank depends on a few factors:

      “The frequency and location of keywords within the Web page: If the keyword only appears once within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.

      How long the Web page has existed: People create new Web pages every day, and not all of them stick around for long. Google places more value on pages with an established history.

      The number of other Web pages that link to the page in question: Google looks at how many Web pages link to a particular site to determine its relevance.”

      The last is the most important in deciding what pops up first in a search request. IOW more people are checking CNN etc than the Weather Channel for the storm info.

      • September 8, 2018 7:08 pm

        Jay, thanks for this info. What confuses me is Huff Post always show up after CNN and NY Times. Fox News on my searches are always usually down the page.

        I would have thought Fox would have more hits than Huff Post, but what do I know.

      • Jay permalink
        September 8, 2018 8:08 pm

        A guess why less hits at Fox than Huff:
        Fox viewers way less likely to want follow up info from search engines – passive to sit & listen, like Dumb Donnie, without further research effort.

        If you want info from a specific site add their name at end of search words: “Hurricane Florence Weather Channel”

      • September 8, 2018 8:56 pm

        “A guess why less hits at Fox than Huff:
        Fox viewers way less likely to want follow up info from search engines”

        Or moderate America reads the etuff on liberal site and say “I dont belive this crap” and do further research, finding the truth somewhere other than one the big media sites. I spend a lot of time on fact checker and Snopes.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:50 pm


        Given that the results of other seach engines are quite different – as I noted to Ron, Fox shows up TWICE in the top 20 in DuckDuckGo for “Huricane Florence”,

        While CNN does not show up until AFTER the 2nd Fox link and MSNBC, HuffPo, … do not show up at all.

        I would suggest that your thesis about “fox viewers” is just the typical left wing nut false stereotypes.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:46 pm

        I just “googled” “Huricane Florence” using duckduckgo.

        Top 3 hits – were an Orlando radio station. WaPo and Yahoo.

        Next was NOAA followed by NBC and then Fox.

        No MSNBC, CNN, HuffPO in the top 20.
        I got a 2nd Fox link (and a 2nd Wapo) before I got CNN.

        MSNBC and Huffpo did not make the first page of links

      • September 10, 2018 2:35 pm

        DuckDuckGo? Never heard of it. I’ll trt it. Using Google I searched for “Winston Salem Journal” our home town paper. The first site listed “New York Times”.

        How Jays explanation fits into that is beyond my tech knowledge.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 5:16 pm

        DuckDuckGo has become fairly popular as people worry about Google.

        It purportedly is an independent search engine – many thirdparty engines are just front ends for google.

        It is famous for not collecting personal information and not tracking you.

        I have been using it for a whole.

        There are some google features I miss
        But nothing critical.

        Regardless, the point is that given that DDG produces different results than Google

        Either DDG is litterally favoring Fox and conservatives of Google is censoring them

        Given that DDG is NOT tracking personal information it is less likely it is engaged in favoritism.

        Put differently Jay is likely wrong, there is more o googles algorithms than just neutral computer science and some guess that fox viewers do not care about huricanes

        In fact if media popularaity was the driving criteriia, you would expect to have 4 fox links for every ten links from the rest of the media.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 5:34 pm

        The problem with Jays explanation is the presumption that science and technology – and more important that scientists and technologists are neutral.

        I am constantly providing links regarding the failures – and biases in science.

        This is not because I am anti-science.
        The reverse is true.

        It is because science is inherently SKEPTICAL.

        The standards are high – or they are supposed to be.
        The reaction to new claims is ALWAYS supposed to be PROVE IT.

        And the standard of proof is ALWAYS high.

        That is the fundimental distinguishing characteristic between science and religion or other routes to knowledge. Science is about what is proveably true – not what is probably true.

        Anyway, some time ago I linked to a Paul Romer paper – an neo-liberal economist – i.e. not in the group I place the most credibility in.

        Romer’s paper applied to ALL modeling – and in fact all science where there were equatiions with multiple coefficients that had to be determined empiracly.

        Romer concluded that in any set of equations with sufficient variables and coeficients, where the author of the study had some ability to tweek the coeficients,
        it is ALWAYS possible to tweek the coeficients to hindcast reality while supporting whatever theory you want and to do so without altering the coefficients in a way that would look obviously biased.

        Romer noted that the adjustments were so innocous and small that they could be made subconsciously.

        This is what all science MUST be multiply independently reproduced.

        Peer review is just not good enough.

        Even with all of that there have been a number of recent incidents in particle physics where results have been multiply confirmed – and still eventually disproven.

        It is very hard to get science right.

        It is very easy to go astray.

        That something is offered by a scientist does not inherently enhance its credibility – unless it has been multiply reproduced.

        Hayek addressed this 50 years ago in his nobel valedictory on the pretense of knowledge.

        It is very dangerous to try to reason from data to rules. because the data is vast complex and so much is occuring concurently. Essentially as Romer noted, you can construct a model based on data to conform to almost any reasonable and many unreasonable results.

        Hayek wants you to reason from our understanding of human nature (in economics) or of the other know attributes in other fields of science and then validate your hypothesis with the data. This is better because your intentions are open. And it is easier to see when you try to force data to fit the model, when you had to come up with the model FIRST.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 5:36 pm

        Since I was not clear – give me 20 minutes and googles code and II can make iit favor anything you want. give me an hour, and I can do so and you will not be able to tell.

        It is falacy to presume that technology is neutral. It is not. Peoples biiases creep iin to everything they do.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 10, 2018 12:42 pm


        A web pages search ranking depends on whatever google decides it depends on.

        The algorithms are complex and constantly tweaked.

        Nor is it particularly hard to introduce bias.

        Further you are pretending there is such a thing as objective.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 10, 2018 12:39 pm

      So do not use google.

      It will not take much of a shift to force Google to respond.

      The big tech companies are so dominant in their spheres that very small shifts would be absolutely devastating.

      FB is already in trouble with investors who just do not beleives its growth and advertising projections.

      There will be a holy war among investors if 3% of conservatives went elsewhere.

      • September 11, 2018 4:41 pm

        Dave, thanks for the suggestion for Duckduckgo. I am getting much different responses for suggested links than with Google.

      • Jay permalink
        September 11, 2018 5:35 pm

        I searched’Trump 9/11’ On DuckDuckGo, Google, Safari, and Red Browser (hooks you up over Tor, slower but SAFER & often lets you sidestep blocks at pay for news sites).

        The first three had only slightly different mix of site hits, different order, but overall the same main MSM sources.

        TOR however had the most diverse hits, some in German, and other unexpected links. Although TOR seems to be using the Bing search engine, since it hip hops around the world to avoid detection the algorhythms May rely on different user preferences ..

        None of the search engines linked to Fox, probably because Fox sucks for reliable news about Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 11, 2018 6:38 pm

        Tor is a means of routing packets over the internet.

        Tor stands for “the onion router”.

        It has absolutely nothing to do with search engines.

        You can use any search engine over Tor.

        i am sure that many searches will produce siimilar results with different search engines.

        That is not the point.

        So long as some searches produce significantly different results, it is self evident that your argument that search engines are inherently neutral is false.

        Overall I really do not care.

        If Google wants to become the goto search engine for left wing nuts – that is fine with me.
        Though I suspect it is not even close to fine with their shareholders.

        I use some google products – because their convenience for the moment outweighs other objections. But I am mindful of the alternatives and will likely switch when alternatives can deliver me close to the same value.

        i would actually go further and note – that though I do not think there is much doubt that through its product line Google is biased against the right – it does nto matter whether that is true – all that matters is that enough people believe it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 11, 2018 6:27 pm

        The fact that the results are different demonstrates the error in Jay’s argument.

        It does not prove that Google discriminates.

        But it does prove that software is not inherently politically neutral.

        Both DuckDuckGo and Google are capable of tilting their results if the wish.

        Which is remains an open question.

  48. September 11, 2018 4:46 pm

    Maine Senator Angus King, an Independent senator, made these comments this morning in Lewiston, Maine.”9/11 was the beginning of an attack that’s continuing today. They used airplanes into towers, now people can use the click of a computer key in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

    How wonderful we have people in government that thinks attacking our government with a computer is like killing 3000 people with airplanes.

    I really need to have a mental evaluation as there are way too many people who think like this. I have to be the crazy one.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 11, 2018 6:29 pm

      Given a choice – do you want our enemies through bombs at us, attempting to kiil our people, or do you want them trying to persuade voters ?

      I think that is a no brainer.

      I do not think we can nor should stop our enemies from speaking.

      Much better than bombs.

      • September 11, 2018 9:25 pm

        aAgain my thoughts went astray.

        My comment about Anges King was not to condem or approve of one type of attack on America over a different method.

        My comment about Agnes King had everthing to do with him comparing 3000 deaths at the hands of radical rag heads compared to infecting our social media with propaganda to change a few votes and possibly get a slightly better deal from a preferred president.

        Since you asked “Given a choice – do you want our enemies (to)through bombs at us, attempting to kiil our people, or do you want them trying to persuade voters ?” indicates you also believe they are comparable.

        Can you explain since I cant relate 3000 deaths to a few thousand votes?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 12, 2018 1:54 pm


        I am pretty sure we are on much the same page, just critiquing different aspects of King’s remarks.

        No I do not think bombing and speaking are comparable.

        But King essentially compared them.

        Answering my own question – I think one of the stupider things we are doing is whigging out over Russian internet posts during our election.

        On another blog I am arguing about how stupid we are trying to prosecution Butina.

        Doing so is an invitation to every mean regime in the world to arrest americans and claim they are engaged in political interference.
        Not to mention the possibility that they actually arrest an american that IS engaged iin attempting to persuade voters in a corrupt regime.

        The left is trying to make actions criminal that they would be actively cheering, was the US doing it to Putin. That is so incredibly stupid.

        Putin has won in so many ways in this. NOT because he actually interfered. But because the left has so played into his hands they have legitimized his own corrupt actions in his own elections.

        The argument that the Russians actually significantly influenced US elections is complete garbage as far as I am concerned. You have to beleive in fairytales to beleive that the pidling amount the Russians spent one abysmally bad facebook adds had a miniscule fraction of the effect of the nearly 3B that each candidate and party spent – much of that on social media. The russian effort was rounding error for the Trump campaign.

        To beleive the “collusion” story, you have to buy that rather that fork over slightly more of his own money than Trump paid for Daniels silence, that Trump went to an enormous amount of effort to construct a secret back channel to Putin – that has remained undectectable to this day, in order to get Putin to spend chump change on bad social media adds that promoted Clinton as much as Trump.

        Trump did not collude with Russia – because he is not that big of an idiot.
        There is nothing to be gained, and an infinite amount to lose,
        Trump has made mistakes, but he has never taken a lose-lose bet.
        There is no upside to colluding with Russia.

        Trump did the one thing that had potential value – ask Russia for Clinton’s Sec. State emails. And he did that PUBLICLY. He did not need to – nor want to receive them directly – in fact that would be the worst possible choice.

        And BTW thought it is highly likely Putin has Clinton’s emails he never delivered.

        Which is also why it is unlikely that the DNC emails actually came from the Russian government. If Putin wanted Clinton to lose, the most simple solution would be to make sure that some of her classified emails were made public.

        Wikileaks, some hacker, it does not matter how. The appearance of a handful of Clinton’s classified sec state emails would have ended her viability as a candidate and likely assured her prosecution.

        We now know that the Chinese were reading Clinton’s Sec. State emails in REAL TIME.
        i.e. They are available in Beijing at the same time as the recipients received them.
        We also know that the FBI knew the Chinese had access to them – though I am not sure they knew in 2016 that they had REALTIME access.

        I find it completely weird that an actual criminal act, that harmed US national securiity and interests in a huge way for years, is not prosecuted at all – no indiictments, nothing, despite the fact that virtually all of Cliinton’s staff was aware and part of this.

        Yet we are investigating the meaningless contact of low level Trump staffer’s with fake russians, in what increasingly appears to be an Obama sting opperation targetting Trump – not the Russians. And we are prosecuting people where the real crime to me is the abuse of power in using the FBI/DOJ/CIA against a political opponent without any credible basis.

        And yes, I am very angry with Rod Rosenstein – because quite frankly I think his efforts to bury this are criminal.

        One of the standard management tactics with a scandal is to stall and try to starve it of information. Even if you can not permanently preclude discovery, the longer you can delay it the more each revelation is accepted.

        Had we learned in January 2017 that the Obama administration had:
        Been requesting the identities of US persons in record numbers in 2015 and 2016 nearly all of which were affiliated with Obama/Clinton’s political opponents.
        Initiated a CIA/FBI investigation of the Trump campaign in late 2015.
        Targeted Trump staff and likely ran a CIA Sting or a coordinated operation with MI6,
        Paid for political dirt on a political opponent,
        Started secretly investigating incoming members of the new administration while leaving office.
        Hid their actions from the incoming president.
        Acted to sabatoge the incoming president and their staff.

        These people would likely be in jail now.

        Because this has all leaked out peicemeal – after our iinitial outrage we accept each misdeed and the next when revealed does not effect us as much.

        I have said this before – but the actions of the members of the lame duck Obama administration are WORSE THAN WATERGATE!!!!

        If we do nothing about this, we can be certain it will happen again – only worse.

        If we accept what occurred, then we can expect it to occur again and again.

        Putin has little abiility to actually “interfere” or “influence” our elections.

        It is self evident from the past year that a sitting president and his staff sought to interfere with a political opponent, and eventually and worse a successor.

      • September 12, 2018 2:18 pm

        Butina…They are throwing s*&^ on the wall to see what sticks.
        I have said over and over Mueller and his minions are doing whatever they can to discredit Trump and this one just fits nicely into the election cycle timeline. Keep the focus on Trump negatives, Trump election collusion, capture the house, block EVERYTHING the GOP wants and Trump wants and make 2020 a referendum on a do nothing Trump congress so they capture the senate and Presidency in 2020. Thats my conspiracy story and I am sticking to it.

        (The more I hear the more I think there is something to the op-ed the NY Times published from the anonymous senior official. Nothing really true, but a hatchet job from someone high in the justice department, like Sessions, Rosenstein, etc) Sessions is a weasel!

        Russian interference. How one thinks that energized the group that took Trump from the start and transformed him into a winner is beyond my comprehension. Everything I ever saw about Clinton on Facebook was the truth. Russia did not say she called Trump supporters “deplorables”, she said that herself.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 13, 2018 1:57 pm

        The left and the press can do as it pleases.

        Nor are they obligated to stick to the truth – though if they do not and they get caught they undermine their credibility.

        Mueller’s investigation should not exist. But given that it does, it must stick to the facts, and the law. And it must do so consistently.

        Mueller is not supposed to be out to “get Trump”, or “get the Russians” he is supposed to be out to get to the truth – wherever that takes him.

        As best as I can tell Butina has nothiing to do with anything.

        Assuming that she is actually a real agent of Russia – the prosecution is still STUPID.

        Everything she did was in the open. That should be what we want.
        Everything she did is what americans – working for the US government and often not, do all the time in other countries.

        Unless we want to see US citizens arrested in foreign countries for engaging in political speach – or just being accused of engaging in political speech, this prosecution is incredibly stupid.

      • September 13, 2018 8:31 pm

        Isnt that what Pastor Brunson was arrested for in Turkey? Supporting a group trying to overthrow a ” ligitimate ” government? And we are having a cow over it, rightfully so!

  49. September 12, 2018 1:03 pm

    Jay, this was linked from another article I was reading. Since it is Fox News, it is tilted right. So read this and give me your thoughts. Good or Bad ruling? Yes its 6 months old, but first I read about it. You live there, so maybe more has been said locally.

    Did California appeal or rewrite to law too address the legal concerns?

    • Jay permalink
      September 12, 2018 1:43 pm

      I don’t have an opinion on this story, Ron.
      Seems to be reasonable arguments on both sides.

      • September 12, 2018 1:50 pm

        Seems to me the solution would have been to rewrite the law for the issue where someone could be included with the gang related activities without any gang relationships before it ever got to court.

        Again I am being too simplistic thinking politicians can do anything right and fast. I think the joke about screwing up a wet dream must have been started with a comment about politicians.

        Since I am not in CA did not know the whole story and the article I was reading was making a big deal out of California and its illegal activities supporting illegals which they tried to do with this.

        So if it has not made much news there, it must not be too much of problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 13, 2018 1:49 pm

        We all have s lack of information problem.

        I am not entirely clear what “gang related injunction” is.

        That said there are NOT arguments to be made for both sides.

        We are dealing with issues involving government – the use of force.

        You may justiifiably do so to protect rights.
        You may not do so to infringe on rights.

        Without knowing the details I can know that there is likely a right and a wrong answer.

        Everything does NOT have “two sides”.

      • September 13, 2018 8:24 pm

        “I am not entirely clear what “gang related injunction” is.”

        That was also my thoughts and why I ask Jay since my thinking the local news in LA would be covering it closer. Seems like I was wrong.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 12, 2018 2:00 pm

      The article does not go into details – but from the little information the article provides – the ACLU and the judge appear to be correct. The injunctions are unconstitutional violations of freedom of association.

      You can require that convicted criminals not associate with other convicted criminals.
      In fact you can restrict the rights of association for any convicted criminal.

      But you can not restrict the freedom of association of people who have not been convicted of anything – you can not even prevent them from associating with criminals.
      Nor can you bar organizations that you have not successfully criminally prosecuted from associatiing with whoever they please.

      Just because something is effective does nto make it constitutional.

      • September 12, 2018 2:21 pm

        Well some of the fanatical far right extremists seem to be acting like the far right and far left always act. Picking and choosing which part of the constitution they like and want to follow.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 13, 2018 1:58 pm

        Both parties bear some responsibility for the destruction of constitutional rights.

  50. Grump permalink
    September 13, 2018 9:55 am

    Ron, I hope that you and your family (and everyone down there) make it through this hurricane safely.

    • September 13, 2018 8:19 pm

      Grump, thank you for the concern. Right now it looks like some wind and 5″ of rain between Friday – Monday. When the storm shifted south, it reduced our rain totals. I just feel bad for the people east as they have not fully recovered from H. Mathew coming through a couple years ago.

      • Jay permalink
        September 13, 2018 8:24 pm

        Glad to learn you’re relatively safe, Ron.
        Stay dry …

  51. September 13, 2018 11:47 pm

    This damn crap has to stop. Women have found out they can use sexual misconduct to shit on a mans reputation and it is almost impossible for that to not stick.

    I know there are going to be some that say all instances should be investigated. But at what point in ones life does this stop. Could this be true. Maybe. I doubt it. More like the damn left wing assholes that can’t stop him any other way decided to find someone to pay off that went to school with him 35+ years ago to make some anonymous accusation that he did something wrong.

    And how the hell does a man prove its a filing of a false police report or a simple case of defamation of character. Whats the penalty on that?

    This country is not going into the crapper, it is already there. The moral fibers of this country have long worn out and those that do have some respect for others are fast disappearing. If we accept these actions and do not demand something to make this a crime that is not worth committing, we are no better than they are.

    I coached my daughters soccer team for about 5 years 28 years ago. If I was running for some public office and one of them sent a message now to a reporter and said I touched them in an inappropriate way, how the hell could I defend myself and save my reputation. People would always wonder “Did he do that?”

    • dhlii permalink
      September 14, 2018 12:23 am

      Of course allegations of crimes should be investigated.

      Further false allegations are themselves crimes and should be prosecuted.

      Quite often it will not be possible to say beyond a reasonable doubt that an allegation is true – or beyond a reasonable doubt that it is false.

      In those instances there should be investigation, but no prosecution.

      Finally making a false allegation against someone – even an allegation that is not a crime – is defamation, and it is a tort. If you are not a public figure and you are defamed you can sue and if you prevail you can receive damages.

      I have been the target of serious false allegations – so I am sensiitive to the harm they can cause. Quite often the more serious the allegation the less proof is expected – who would accuse someone of murder if they did not have proof ?

      Regardless, I am not looking to limit the ability of people to make allegations and have them be taken seriously.

      What I do expect is that when they prove false our courts and justice system will not ignore that.

      • September 14, 2018 10:23 am

        Dave “What I do expect is that when they prove false our courts and justice system will not ignore that.”

        As you know I am not as Libertarian as you. Your comment above is what I was trying to say along with adding a much greater sentence if proven. And if proven, the I want the same sentence for the false accusation as one would receive if convicted for the crime, not some 6 month and fine crap.

        I also believe politicians that do what Feinstein has done is the turd floating in the Washington D.C. cesspool. She knows fully that this mans reputation is forever damaged even if they go no where on the investigation. His daughters are going to be catching hell at school by the kids of parents that want him taken down and are talking about this now and how he needs to be stopped.

        And how do you charge “anonymous” if it is false?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 14, 2018 12:39 pm

        What is the just punishment for some misconduct, is not ideological.

        As I think I have noted I have been falsely accused of murder and theft (more than once).
        fortunately some parts of the system worked – far from all of it.
        These allegations MOSTLY did not become public, and MOSTLY they were not taken seriously.

        But I do occasionally encounter people who heard a rumour and treat me oddly.

        Further “mostly” was deliberate and accurate.
        Actual law enforcement – the DA’s police officers, the coroner, etc. all did their jobs as required, but they did so quietly and they never beleived the allegations. But they did their jobs. It is my understanding that in atleast one instance the DA considered a false reports prosecution but because the party was out of state and family they opted not to pursue it.

        But the courts, some government agencies, private lawyers and the executor for my fathers estate were openly hostile, and made it clear that they believed the allegations were true – despite no evidence, and in some cases unusually actual proof that at least one of the allegations was completely false (our justice system does not typically try to prove innocence, they typically stop when they can not prove guilt)

        Regardless, I am very sensitive to the fact that false allegations of criminal misconduct should have consequences.

        But as much as I would like to lock some of those involved in my personal torment forever, it would be sufficient if the justice system did little more than officially brand those making false allegations as liars.

      • September 14, 2018 1:15 pm

        Dave, I can understand your position, but also believe you are much more forgiving than I am. And what you report indicates there could be some “degree” of false claim sentence.

        People are accused of crimes everyday and everyday they are cleared. In most cases they are recent crimes, not something that happened 35 years ago and when it does happen, it is most likely cold cases where some info like DNA identifies the accused.

        It is not some bimbo the opposition party has dug up 35 years later to accuse a man of sexual misconduct that most likely can not be proven. But the desired outcome is not to charge the person, it is to defame the individual with charges that most likely are untrue and happen for political reasons only.

        If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will be known as the second rapist judge to sit on the SC. And how long will his kids hear ” your daddy is a rapist judge”. And now, can Susan Collins support him? Why didnt this come out when he was picked for his current appointment? Why did Feinstein make it public when unsubstantiated? She can say she did not want that, but that is total bull s$%&! She released it to defame him and make it hard for senators to vote for confirmation, especially those running for reelection. Pull out all the political dirty tricks known plus make up a few more to stop his confirmatkon so the democrat senate can control that seat being empty until after the 2020 election.

      • Jay permalink
        September 14, 2018 3:25 pm

        I agree, this likely is a trumped up charged without merit – and I’m surprised Feinstein played it this way (unlike her to descend into dirty trick catagory likr this).

        But Republicans obviously knew this charge was in the pipeline for some time and merited transparency but they avoided mentioning it at any of the hearings:

        Both parties are now reptilian swamp dwellers…

      • September 14, 2018 4:12 pm

        “Both parties are now reptilian swamp dwellers…”
        So true

      • dhlii permalink
        September 15, 2018 12:25 pm

        Things regarding Kavanaugh disturb me.

        I do not know – and we are unlikely to ever know the truth here.

        We are talking about events 35 years ago – and we are talking about recollection.

        It is entirely possible for BOTH “stories” to be true.

        I.e. for the accuser to perceive what happened one way and Kavanaugh another.

        Much of what constitutes an offense in the allegations is her perceptions of Kavanaugh’s intentions. That is unknowable.

        Further we have statutes of limitations – for a reason – and this is pretty much why.

        At this time no one else is coming forward and this woman will not make her allegations public.

        I have a great deal of trouble changing my view of Kavanaugh based on a single 35 year old anonymous allegation that multiple people have denied.

        That does not mean it is not true. But it points out that in many many instances – we may never know what is true and what is not.

        No, I do not think this accuser should be hunted and prosecuted.
        Nor BTW do I think that Feinstein should have refered this to the FBI.

        Otherwise I actually think Feinstein handled iit correctly.

        If the woman is not willing to come forward, then this should die quietly.

        Obviously this is being politicized – but that is inevitable.
        The fact that there are political elements is not a basis for prosecuting this woman.

        There are very few circumstance in which I would support a prosecution.

        Those would be if it was possible to determine that the events alleged COULD NOT have occurred – if some significant fact of the allegation was proven false – as an example if it could be established with certainty that Kavanaugh was not at the event where this allegedly took place.

        I would note that thus far there are no additional allegations.
        I do not think that people do these things only once.
        The absence of other allegations undermines their credibility.

      • September 15, 2018 1:14 pm

        So I know there is nothing that can be done. I do find the timing of this interesting as well as the wording in the letter. The letter was sent in July and the words used as quoted in the rag that published the article says “”attempted to force himself on her”.

        So what the hell does that mean? Attempted rape or trying to kiss her? Would a shy virgin define “force himself on her” different than losey Lucy?

        One negative thing over and above the damage it is doing to himself and his family is the damage it is doing to the #metoo movement. While in todays caustic environment where personal attacks and bullying are acceptable by too many, false sexual accusations will create the Chicken Little response.

        If the supporters and leadership of the #metoo movement support unsubstantiated claims like this, why should someone believe a claim that might be 4 years old and true?

        As you say, its all politicalized. That is why Frankinstein waited until the last minute to try to derail the nomination and not release it in July so background checks could be done with all other reviews.

      • September 14, 2018 1:20 pm

        Dave, I can understand your position, but also believe you are much more forgiving than I am. And what you report indicates there could be some “degree” of false claim sentence.

        People are accused of crimes everyday and everyday they are cleared. In most cases they are recent crimes, not something that happened 35 years ago and when it does happen, it is most likely cold cases where some info like DNA identifies the accusedgarty has dug up 35 years later to accuse a man of sexual misconduct that most likely can not be proven. But the desired outcome is not to charge the person, it is to defame the individual with charges that most likely are untrue and happen for political reasons only.

        If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will be known as the second rapist judge to sit on the SC. And how long will his kids hear ” your daddy is a rapist judge”. And now, can Susan Collins support him? Why didnt this come out when he was picked for his current appointment? Why did Feinstein make it public when unsubstantiated? She can say she did not want that, but that is total bull s$%&! She released it to defame him and make it hard for senators to vote for confirmation, especially those running for reelection. Pull out all the political dirty tricks known plus make up a few more to stop his confirmatkon so the democrat senate can control that seat being empty until after the 2020 election.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 16, 2018 10:11 pm

        This accusation against Kavanaugh is obvious B.S. If it destroys the career of a decent man, along with the lives of his wife and two little girls, the Democrats will consider that mere collateral damage in the dirty game of power politics.

        Until accusers like this woman have to pay a price for their false testimony, and until decent politicians, on both sides of the aisle (if there are any decent ones left) demand the end to this sort of disgusting crap, it will just keep getting worse.

        The woman’s allegation is totally unprovable and dishonest, and everyone knows it. Even if Kavanaugh did this ~ and I don’t believe that he did ~ it certainly was not rape or even attempted rape. And the greater likelihood is that this woman is lying for a political cause. She will be treated as a heroine by the left.

        If the sides were reversed, that is, if Kavanaugh were a Democrat appointee, this 35 year old “recovered memory” would be laughed off and would get no media coverage at all. And, while Republicans might pounce on it, and try to make something of it, most people would say “High school? Seriously?” and move on….

      • Rebecca Scott permalink
        September 16, 2018 11:00 pm

        Christine Blasey Ford is a professor, including at Stanford Medical. She has undergone a polygraph, which she passed with regard to her accusations, which are NOT “recovered” memories. She risks her own career in coming forward. How you know that her allegations are “dishonest” is beyond me. I only hope that you, or one of your loved ones, never have to undergo a similar experience, only to be disbelieved.

      • September 17, 2018 12:49 am

        Rebecca, I can understand your position. I can understand that this could be a serious issue had it been identified many years ago. I can not accept waiting 35 years to accuse someone of something and I certainly can not accept waiting until the 11th hour to pull something out of of thin air to stop a confirmation in the senate.

        When would you have come forward with this issue had you been Feinstein or Ford?
        Why did Ford not send this when he was being considered for a appellate position? This is also public information then. Was it not serious enough to stop an appellate position?
        Why was this not given to the FBI to investigate when they were doing the other investigations? His name was known by that time.
        Why was this not discussed with him in private with Feinstein when they met prior to confirmation hearings? Supposedly, she had the letter in July. He may have withdrawn his name at the time.
        Why was this not part of the senate hearings and asked at that time, even though that is late in the process?
        What should be the limits placed on individual behavior becoming part of a persons career, especially one that occurs in high school that does not create a criminal record? That is completely different than a man using sexual favors for career advancement and continued employment for women,
        Given today’s environment, if a young man today brags about his consensual conquest of X at a party on social media, how long should that be an issue during his career? And if X later says it was not consensual in 2055 should it be an issue in 2055? If an employer gets a copy in 2055, should that be grounds for dismissal?
        How does this risk her career? She was the victim if it happened? Would a uber liberal California University fire her for coming out with this information?
        Just the way the issue has been handled is dishonest! It happened 35 years ago. It should have been reported 35 years ago, at least to her parents. Did that happen? Why not? The letter does not say. Did she not believe it to be serious at the time?
        If he were not appointed for SCOTUS, would she have come forward? If no, why not? If it was serious enough for SCOTUS, is it not serious enough for an appellate level judge? If it were not serious enough, then what “degree” of sexual misconduct should remove him from the appellate court.? Actual rape but not attempted rape?

        Had this been handled many months earlier, I would not be having the thoughts I have right now. Right now I believe this is 100% political. Being a professor indicates she is liberal. Being at Stanford adds support to this thinking. There are only a handful of Susan Rice’s in education on California today. I think she would never have sent this letter had he not been appointed for SCOTUS other than for political reasons. It was not serious enough to disqualify him for an appellate position. Feinstein held this as their ace in the hole to stop his nomination and it could still do that.

        There are no winners in this and the losers are the American citizens as it has only taken our governmental processes to another low, which I did not think possible. I thought we were about a “low life” as possible in DC already.

      • Rebecca Scott permalink
        September 17, 2018 12:32 pm

        It’s clear that Kavanaugh proponents already knew about the situation from his past, as they already had a letter lined up from 65 women who knew him – 35 years ago. I can’t imagine how long it would take me to line up 65 women who knew me in high school. Priscilla said Ford’s allegations were “obvious BS” and “false testimony.” How can anyone know that at this point? She seems more credible than porn stars who were initially memed, but turned out to be telling the truth. I believe she should at least be heard, and I wonder if Kavanaugh would be willing to take a polygraph.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:16 pm

        I am glad things are clear to you.

        This women did not speak to anyone about this until 2012.
        At that time she spoke to a therapist, and did not name names.

        The first tiime she identified Kavanaugh was in her letter to her democratic representative who brought the issue to Fienstein.

        How is it that you think Republicans had foreknowledge ?

        That is just ludicrous. NO ONE DID.

        One of the weakest parts of Ford’s story is that there is no contemporaneous eviidence of any kind to sustain her claiim. She told no one anything for decades. And she did not name Kavanaugh for 35 years.

        I am am prepared to say no to Kavanaugh on the strength of this.

        But I am not so stupid as to pretend that this is not a weak claim, or that Republicans conspired to hide something they could not have known.

      • September 17, 2018 2:23 pm

        Rebecca, my issue is not if it happened or not. My issue has to do with the timing of everything that took place. Kavanaugh has gone through 9 FBI background checks.

        But from my perspective, the democrats probably accomplished what they sit out to do. Instead of giving this to the FBI when background checks were being done in the summer, they waited so it was too late for that to happen. The FBI says it has taken the letter and placed it in his file, but they cant do anything before the confirmation hearings. So they probably delayed the confirmation vote and nothing close to what took place with Thomas getting confirmed will happen here. And Thomas was accused of something far greater than Kavanaugh.

        The democrats suck, the republican suck, the whole damn government sucks. The example they sit for the younger generation is one that I am totally thankful for that I do not have kids I have to explain this crap to. I can remember when I was in school having assignments to look at stuff in the news and report to the class different issues. I can not imaging a teacher doing that today. Unless its in sex ed class!

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:37 am

        I am assuming that Ms. Ford is the accuser – and that since she has a name now, that she has come forward.

        Polygraphs do not measure the truth of your remarks. They measure your stress and emotions. They measure whether you beleive what you are saying.

        I do not think this is a “recovered memory” situation – but if it was a polygraph could not tell.

        I do not think her allegations are dishonest, But some of those using them are.

        If you put me on a jury – there is not a chance I could convict Kavanaugh.
        But this is not a question of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

        have no problem saying there are many people on Trump’s list as qualified as Kavanaugh. Any doubt is enough to choose another.

        But I do not expect that to happen. Kavanaugh is going to be confirmed.

      • September 17, 2018 2:06 am

        Do you really believe Trump would get another confirmed when faced with impeachment in the house?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 12:33 pm

        If Trump replace Kavanaugh now, the replacement would be confiirmed before 2019.

        Current RCP Senate projections are a pick up of 1 seat by the GOP – i.e. it will be SLIGHTLY easier to confirm a Judge next year.

        538 has the odds of Democrats taking the house at 80% – that s lower than their odds of Clinton beating Trump.

        I think Republicans will lose seats in the house, I do not think they will lose the house.

        But should they, I think we will see a massive effort in the house to investigate Trump.
        To make sure that there is constant bad news about Trump – worse than now.

        I think there will be lots of talk of impeachment.
        There will be no action.

        So yes I think Trump can get another good SCOTUS appointment confiirmed.

        Further I think that it is likely that he will get one more appointment BEFORE 2020.

      • September 17, 2018 2:28 pm

        Dave if Kavanaugh tanks, and you think they can confirm before next session an new candidate, I think the one to put in that place is Joan Larsen from the 6th district. I would appoint her as she is the most conservative of all the possible candidates. Then lets see the democrats block that one also.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:50 am


        My wife was abducted off the street and brutally raped for 3hrs by a stranger just a few blocks from out home a few months after we were married more than 35 years ago.

        I am way too familiar with much worse than what Ms. Ford may have endured.

        I am inclined to beleiive her – or atleast to belielive that a bunch of teens under the influence got together and all of them behaved somewhat badly.

        Without diminishing the impact of what Ms. Ford may have experienced.
        It is not on the order of Harvey Wiensteins conduct, or Bill Clinton’s, and there are many women who have experienced far worse.

        I have a great deal of problem holding anyone responsible for events that occured 35+ years ago. There is a reason we have statutes of limitations.

        I am prepared to fundimentally beleive Ms. Ford’s allegation AND Kavanaugh’s denial.

        Or better to beleive that each FEELS that what they are saying is true.
        But we do not know what did happen and it was 35 years ago.

        I would further note that false accusations are rare – but not nearly as rare as Susan Brownmiller work (or other more modern feminist rape scholars) suggest.

        Witnesses and alleged victims do sometimes lie – even ones wiith no reason to and everything to lose. More commonly they do not remember correctly – even when events are recent.

        Pretending this is clear cut – is very dangerous. It is not even close.

        I am prepared to say no to Kavanaugh. Because there is no natural, constitutional or civil rights basis to become a supreme court justice. The court wiill be just fine if one of Trump’s other prosepects is appointed.

        But ultimately I would choose to beleive both Kavanaugh and Ford. That each beleives what they are saying iis true and what is actually true we will never know.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:31 am

        I am not where you are.

        There is no right to be a supreme court justice.

        I am ambivalent on Kavanaugh on the legal issues – there are alot of things he is good on. But some he is pretty bad. I do not like him as much as I liked Gorsuch, and do not expect to after he is appointed. But I do not expect perfection.

        I believed – and continue to beleive Anita Hill. And I urged my Senators to vote against Clarence Thomas. But he has (Mostly) been a very good justice. His disents are excellent and tend to reflect a more libertarian perspective than any other justice (mostly).

        I am not sure where I am regarding the allegations against Kavanaugh.

        I am not at all sure that we can ever know the truth of what happened 35+ years ago.

        I am not sure Kavanaugh really knows, and I am not sure the alleged victim really knows.

        And the details matter.

        I expect he will be confirmed. But if I were a Senator, I would vote against confirming.

        There is not a right to be a supreme court justice. Trump’s list contains many others as qualified or more than Kavanaugh.

        With respect to the allegations – I wish the woman would actually come forward.
        The credibility of anonymous accusations are low.

        But I am inclined to beleive her. Or atleast I am inclined to beleive that her emotional response to whateverr happened is as she describes it.

        But I do not know the facts – I am not really sure she does, and I do not think Kavanaugh really recalls much of this.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 17, 2018 12:49 am

        Women who accuse men of sexual misconduct should be heard, not necessarily believed. It’s not a given that all women are honest.

        I see no reason, at this point, to believe Ms Blasey Ford. She is alleging that a 17 year old high school boy drunkenly accosted her at a party 35 years ago. She was not raped, she was not hurt. In fact, she never mentioned the incident, ever, to friends or family. Coincidentally, this boy is now a 53 year old federal judge, nominated to the Supreme Court, who just finished testifying, under oath, before the Senate. Kind of amazing that no one brought this up, when Kavanaugh could have faced his accuser and answer her charges. I see that as a sneaky and cowardly move, an attempt to derail his nomination with innuendo and false charges.

        It’s got all of the earmarks of a political hit job, and I would need to see at least some evidence, or some pattern of behavior, to make me believe that the accusation is true. Ms. Blasey Ford’s recollection of an assault, from her long-ago high school years, in a 2012 couples therapy session, may be evidence that she was assaulted long ago, but the devil is in the details. She said that 4 boys assaulted her, and did not name any of them. Only now she insists that it was only 2 boys and that one of them was definitely Brett Kavanaugh.

        Just a bit too convenient. (And her occupation does not make her any more credible than any other woman)

        Kavanaugh has said that the accusation is completely untrue. But he is being asked to prove a negative ~ to prove that something did NOT happen decades ago, during his adolescence. So, basically, all he can do is deny it, unless his accuser presents details. She said/He said.

        Seems to me that it will come down to the testimony of the other “boy,” Mark Judge. So perhaps we should wait and see.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:57 am


        People lie – more often that than we accept – and they are beleived.

        And people tell the truth and are not beleived.

        I do not know either way here.

        I have no doubt that many are using this to orchestrate a political hatchet job.

        They would do that whether the story is true or false.

        But Kavanaugh is not irreplaceable. and there is no right to be a supreme court justice.

        This is not exactly the same as Garland – but it is similar – in that I have no problem with republiicans denying Garland. I expect that Kavanaugh iis going to get confirmed.

        to the extent this is political – it is more about cover for democrats who were goiing to be under alot of pressure to vote for him.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 17, 2018 10:12 am

        Dave, if you honestly believe this accusation, and think that Kavanaugh’s withdrawal and replacement will change things, then I think that you’re being naïve.

        If Trump is forced to pull the Kavanaugh nomination, the next nominee will face as bad, or worse, opposition from the Democrats and the mainstream media. They are simply beside themselves (literally and figuratively, in this case) over the fact that Kavanaugh appears to be more of a textualist than Kennedy, and therefore, if he is confirmed, many cases will be decided, based not on social justice or empathy, but on constitutional grounds. This, in their minds, will destroy their agenda, and so they are fighting to the death ( I am being figurative in this instance, although I have my doubts about some of these people!).

        The only thing that will stop them is if Trump nominates a left wing judge to the court. Otherwise, they will behave like evil clowns at the hearings, and maybe dig up some dirt from the next nominee’s grade school years…..(she secretly ate peanut butter sandwiches, and cheated on a social studies test! We have a letter from the girl who she copied off of!!)

      • dhlii permalink
        September 17, 2018 12:49 pm

        Prisciilla – this is not black or white – further I noted that there are no rights at issue.

        Absolutely the democrats are stalling and playing political games.

        That is not what is relevant. What matters is Kavanaugh.

        To be clear, I do not have strong feelings here.

        I am actually inclined to beleive BOTH Kavanaugh and Ford.

        Ii accept the possibility that Ford may actually be deliberately lying for poliitical purposes.
        Possibility iis not certainty.

        Given the evidence at the moment and absent a statute of limitations issue – there is not a way in the world I would convict Kavanaugh.

        But their are no rights in jeophardy. Beyond a Reasonable doubt is not the standard for a supreme court justice.

        Republiicans did not confirm Garland – though he was as well qualiified.
        I have no problem with Republicans faiiling to confirm Garland.

        I also have no problems with Democrats succeeding in tanking Kavanaugh bysuccessfully raising doubts.

        And it is not like Trump’s other choices are worse.

        The next nominee will face opposition. I think that is a good thing. Hopefully there are no credible allegations of sexual assault regarding the next candidate.

        Regardless, I do not have a problem with intense scrutiny.

        Separately – though I am close to the point where Kavanaugh should drop out.
        I doubt that is happening.
        I think Kavanaugh will get confirmed.

        The “big deal” is not the confirmation of Kavanaugh, it is that these allegations provide politiical cover for the many democrats in close senate races that had to vote for or against Kavanaugh.

        If they voted for him – they would alienate the democratiic base and lose the election.

        If they voted against they would alienate voters and lose the election.

        Now they can vote against and not alienate too many voters.

        Trumps nomiinees will have opposition no matter what – that is how it should be.

        That opposition will only prevail if their are issues.

      • September 17, 2018 2:37 pm

        Dave the problem in this country today is there is too much government where it does not belong and not enough where it should be. And there are too many people that think the same as you think.

        i am sorry to know you accept someone waiting 36 years before accusing someone of a crime without proof. It has become a nation where one can accuse someone without proof and those accused have to prove that it did not happen. And if they cant prove it, there is no recourse.

        As we move forward with this issue and the f’n democrats prevail, everyone will know you can accuse a nominee for any post without proof and derail their nomination. Only God could pass without a dark cloud over them. And since you accept this happening without recourse by the accused. those like you might want to revisit this issue when it becomes common place like all dirty tricks in Washington become when they work.

        And don’t say it will not become more common place. The swamp is where all dirty tricks reside and are used regularly when they work.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 18, 2018 4:29 am


        I do not have a strong position on whether this is true.
        As things are I can say that I beleiive Kavanaugh and I beleive Ms. Ford.

        Or atleast I beleive that both beleive their story is the truth.

        As noted I could not convict Kavanaugh of a crime based on this.

        But I could leave him on the DC court of appeals.

        I do not see this as much differnet from Garland.

        There is no right to be a supreme court justice.

        It is probably politically better for Republicans if Kavanaugh is NOT confirmed before the electiion. Republicans vote over the supreme court. for the most part democrats don’t.

        Is there are bit of political dirty tricks going on here – sure. But both parties do that.

        Regardless, there is not an absolute right answer to this.

        If Kavanaugh did this – he should not be confirmed. IF he did not, then he should.
        But we do not know – and likely never will know.

        Further what is most likely is that something happened. That Ford perceived what happened approximately as she described it, but Kavanaugh did not.

        It is possible that Ford is lying – but I doubt that.

        What is more likely is that her recollection is faulty.

  52. September 13, 2018 11:51 pm

    Jay “Glad to learn you’re relatively safe, Ron.
    Stay dry …”

    If its not Hurricanes here, then its fires and earthquake out your way. Of those, I will take the Hurricanes. They give you much more warning they are on the way.

    • Jay permalink
      September 15, 2018 2:27 pm

      How’s the weather, Ron?

      • September 15, 2018 3:17 pm

        Jay,thanks for asking. We are more north west in NC, so the outer bands of rain are just comingnthrough. We have had a lite breeze, a few showers and some sun earlier. Right now its cloudy. But not to farvsouth and east, its been raining all day. Just depends how far west this moves before turning North on how much rainbwe get. The blocking high over Kentucky and Ohio doesnt seem to be moving, so who knows. The storm itself in strenght isnt even top 5 for NC, but because its blocked, its just dumping tons of rain south of here.

      • Jay permalink
        September 15, 2018 8:35 pm

        If the flooding intensifies can you count on Trump showing up to toss large styrofoam water sponges to survivors?

      • September 15, 2018 10:20 pm

        He will probably give as much rescue help as Obama gave in 2016 when Mathew came through and flooded out the same areas.

  53. Jay permalink
    September 15, 2018 8:29 pm

    Do you think mobile phone sales will go up after this, as a result of millions of them angrily getting smashed to pieces?

  54. September 16, 2018 11:38 am

    Extremist winning? Yes. With the media like this, it only gets worse.

    So the Obama administration buys a building, decides to put the ambassadors office in that building, signs contracts for excessively expensive ( like all government contracts) fancy ass curtains and then the media blames Haley?

    Oh, and then a couple days later the Post writes a small retractions a few of the others did the same. But for many, this story will have legs.

  55. September 17, 2018 11:21 am

    Well I believe Kavanaugh is dead meat. The Judiciary committee will delay the vote to confirm, they will bring in Ford to testify and then Kavanaugh. They may eventually vote for confirmation, but I seriously believe the senate will confirm. I don’t think one Democrat will vote for him, I have doubts about Collins now and also Paul. That makes 50. One more and he goes down.

    In today’s environment you are guilty until proven innocent. One claims you did something, you have to prove you did not. And it is near impossible to prove or disprove an unverifiable allegation. This is not a Clarence Thomas situation where he was confirmed by a narrow margin by a Democrat controlled senate. There is not a chance he gets any Democrat votes.

    Paybacks are hell. Once McConnell held up Garlands nomination, it opened up a whole new ball game for SCOTUS nominations. Right now I doubt Jesus would get any democrat votes if nominated by a Republican president.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 17, 2018 1:01 pm

      Our actual criminal justice system is highly biased against criminal defendants – that is absolutely true and we need to fix that.

      But Kavanaugh is not a criminal defendent. There are no riights involved here.
      He is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt – no one is tryng to send him to jail.

      This is about sending him to the supreme court.

      I have not heard anything new on Paul who had previiously announced support.
      Or Collin. Flake is saying he is undecided.

      It is probable this allegation can not be proven or disproven.
      So far the absence of similar allegations is troubling.

      People who do what Kavanaugh is alleged to have done – do not do it only once.

      I have a fairly signiificant degree of doubt.

      But the standard is NOT beyond a reasonable doubt.

      We are not sending Kavanaugh to jail.
      We are sending him back to the DC court court of appeals.

      Yes, this is much like Thomas.

      As I noted I think Thomas has been a pretty good justice.

      But I would not have confirmed him.

      That said, I expect Kavanaugh to be confirmed.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 17, 2018 8:08 pm

      NYU law professor, and well-known classical liberal, Richard Epstein (not a Trump supporter):

      “But this last-ditch decision to sabotage Kavanaugh at the 11th hour is a disgusting piece of political propaganda. Christine Blasey Ford behaved wholly improperly when she decided to write a letter only to “a senior Democratic lawmaker,” in which she made the most serious allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. At the very least, she ought to have handled matters wholly differently. If she wanted to keep matters confidential, she should have sent that letter to President Trump and to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the judiciary committee. She also should have sent it to the FBI for investigation. And she should have done all of these things at the earliest possible moment, in time for a principled and neutral examination to take place before the Senate hearings took place. Then, she should have sat for a cross-examination.”

      Totally on the money. This is gutter politics, pure and simple. If Blasey Ford were telling the truth, she would have gone about tis differently, and if Democrats believed her, they would have encouraged her to pursue the allegations through the appropriate channels.

      As far as Ron’s prediction, I somewhat agree, because Kavanaugh is caught between a rock and a hard place. It is impossible to prove a negative. On the other hand, I think that he’s got a 50/50 chance, if he comes off well in the public hearing, and Blasey Ford cannot present any more evidence than the faulty memory that she has described (she’s sure its Kavanaugh, but basically can’t remember anything else, like when, where, who else was there, etc.)

      Flake is not going to vote yes under any circumstances. I do think that Collins and Murkowski WANT to vote yes, and will, as long as the hearing doesn’t further harm Kavanaugh. So it comes down to Bob Corker.

      And there is enough time to pull the nomination and confirm another justice, if Kavanaugh can’t get the votes. I’m sure that the WH is putting together the list now.

      Dave, I agree, no one has the right to be a SCOTUS justice. But, Kavanaugh is a great judge, and is a decent man. This attempt to destroy him, whether it is successful or not, will certainly energize the GOP base, and may boomerang on the Democrats.

      We’ll just have to wait and see…..

      • September 17, 2018 10:28 pm

        Priscilla “This attempt to destroy him, whether it is successful or not, will certainly energize the GOP base, and may boomerang on the Democrats.”

        My thoughts dont match up with yours. Although Dave is an outlier on most political issues, too many people believe as he does. If there is not a right for something, like a SCOTUS appointment, then it is fine for someone to do what Ford has done. She does not even provide the year, just early 90’s. She can appear before the committee and give her well prepped testimony and he has to disprove what she said happened without any other proof. Unless he can provide documented proof that he was somewhere else when she says this happened, he has no recourse. She does not need to prove anything. He does. The left will get out and vote because they accept what she did.

        Dave believes this is fine. I do not! I do not believe ANYONE should be able to defame another publically without proof. I believe anyone in the Judges shoes should be able to sue for every last cent another has if they claim something happened without any proof or documention that it happened. I believe the ssme level of scrutiny should bevrequired as it is for criminal cases. I believe there should be crimes for this and severe sentencing when unsubstiantiated and unprovable claims happens.

        If Ford walks into the hearing, provides eyewitness documentation or other documentation that would hold up in a court criminal case, such as aggrevated sexual assualt, then I will support Ford 100% and support the Judge withdrawing and also resigning his current position.

        If she does not do that, then I would support judge K going after anything and everything he could get and support legislation to make future cases a criminal offense unlike Dave who accepts this will happen and there is no recourse.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 18, 2018 4:39 am


        It is not fine to defame someone.

        Establish that Ford actually falsely defamed Kavanaugh and I will be happy to hold her accountable, and to confirm Kavanaugh.

        But it is highly unlikely that we will ever know enought o no one way or another whether on of them is lying.

        BTW I would deal with someone being promoted in a job the same.

        IF I do not and can not know the truth and I have other equally good candidates in the wings, I would pick someone else.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 18, 2018 4:35 am

        Priscilla – it can be true and a dirty trick.

        It can also be false but Ford beleives it is true. Or something could have happened – but not quite what either Kavanaugh or Ford recall.

        But for me the most important thing is that the standard si NOT beyond a reasonable doubt.

        The standard is, can republicans come up with a candidate with similar views on government and law, that does not have a cloud over their head.

        And of course they can.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 18, 2018 8:27 am

        Agreed, Dave

        However, if the new standard for textualist jurists is “Did you ever do anything, as a child or adolescent, that might disqualify you for the high court?” no Republican president will ever be able to get a nominee confirmed. The Democrats will find a pretext to vote against anyone (the Jesus Christ example is all too true) and there will always be a few lily-livered Republicans who will vote against, if they think a yes vote might hurt their re-election, and impede their access to the gravy train.

        Let’s assume the hypothetical that Kavanaugh, in a black-out drunken state, actually did what this woman is accusing him of . As you say, he may not have any memory of it. Since that time, when he was a junior in high school, he has led an exemplary life. Are we, as a society, going to insist that only perfect people can serve the country on the court? Are we going to say that, if you are a conservative, redemption is impossible? Keith Ellison, former DNC vice chair, is going to be the new AG of Minnesota, yet he goes into his election with credible charges of domestic abuse ~ by two women, with actual evidence, including a 911 call! Not one of the Democrats calling for an FBI investigation of Judge K, has even suggested that Ellison is not qualified for the job he seeks, or that he should withdraw. For that matter, not one has suggested that his former membership in the radical, Jew-hating Nation of Islam is a disqualifier.

        Again, this is the kind of crap that got Donald Trump elected in the first place

      • dhlii permalink
        September 18, 2018 2:20 pm

        First, I will absolutley agree that there is a double standard in play.

        Though to a small extent the double standard on sexual misconduct has lifted as a result of the recent exposure of such large numbers of people on the left engaged in misconduct.

        It is still quirky though – whatever someone on the riight does – even neutral acts, there is a presumption by far too many that they have evil motives for doing so. Whatever is done by those on the left – far too often there is a presumption that either they are good people who made a mistake, or that they had good intentions.

        The rule of law requires that we judge ACTS, not intentions. We can not know what is in someone else’s head.

        Next, as I understand Kavanaugh was 17 when this occured. That is not adolescent.

        My problem is not with holding him fully accountable for his conduct,
        It is that it is nearly impossible to KNOW exactly what that conduct was 35 years ago.
        And in this instance details matter a great deal, and I do not beleive that Ford or Kavanaugh can accurately recall the details of something that occured 35 years ago.

        I have said that I would likely drop Kavanaugh and move to the next candidate.

        That is not because I “beleive” Kavanaugh is “guilty” – as I said – I highly doubt we will know.

        As an example in the Clarence Thomas hearings Both Hill and Thomas testified of Thomas’s words and actions as a middle aged adult head of the EEOC.

        We are dealing with events 3-4 times older, that were not perfectly clear when they happened, Ford was an adolescent. Kavanaugh was a young adult.

        Ultimately I am highly inclined to give BOTH the benefiit of the doubt – they BOTH beleive there version of events. To the extent they differer we can not KNOW which is correct.

        In fact if it were actually possible to prove that one of them was absolutely wrong – I still could not “convict” that person of perjury as they are still able to have beleived what they said.

        But I need not beleive Ford to say – I am not putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

        There are other candidates all with as good a qualifications. It is OK to say that even a small doubt is sufficient to reject Kavanaugh.

        I will go further – D’s do not have the votes at the moment to block Kavanaugh on ideological grounds. But I am perfectly fine with theiir doing so if they had the votes to do so.
        Just as R’s blocked Garland.

        I would prefer the politics be upfront and in the open, rather than in the shadows,
        But I have no problem with any senator voting yes or no for an appointment based on their ideology.

        Are we going to insist that only perfect people serve on the court ?

        If that is what we choose, then yes.

        I would prefer that neither Clinton nor Trump had been able to run for president.
        I would prefer if both democrats and republicans had rejected them specifically because of their character.

        But that is not what happened.

        I am not opposed to senators opposing Kavanaugh solely based on ideology – even ideology that I likely agree with. Why would I be upset that they oppose because of fears regarding his character ?

        It appears to be a close call. But I am expecting that Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

        The real consequence of this is that it releives the preasure on D senators in close elections to vote for Kavanaugh. They now have an excuse for voting no that the electorate will not judge them negatively over.

      • September 18, 2018 3:29 pm

        If Judge K withdraws, then he needs to nominate Joan Larsen or another female conservative judge.

        Any male has to be crazy and insane in todays environment to put himself and his family through a nomination process.

        But if Trump is not having background checks being done now on possible replacements, there is no way he could get another confirmed. Holidays, election breaks and the shear time to go back and interview everyone someone knew since they were 14 years old takes too much time. That is the only way to dodge any surprises the opposition will find.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 4:40 am

        Absent some proof that I doubt exists or major error on Kavanaugh’s part, I would be shocked if he withdrawls or is asked to.

        I think it will be tight – but I expect he will be confirmed.

        Fudimentally the political strategy og the left is NOT to tank Kavanaugh – but to provide political cover for democrats in tought senate races.

        In that this has succeded.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 18, 2018 3:38 pm

        I don’t know why you think that 17 year olds are adults, Dave. Adolescence is generally considered to be 13-18. In boys, particularly physical development is rarely complete before 18, and often later. One of my sons grew 3 inches between graduation for HS and his sophomore year in college, when he turned 20.

        Post-pubescent adolescents are still undergoing physical changes and, most importantly, their brains do not have fully developed frontal lobes. Generally, brain development is not complete until the early 20’s.

        There is a reason why we consider those under 18, or 21, to be minors ~ especially boys. Is that a reason not to punish teens who commit bad acts? No, but even the law treats their bad acts differently.

        In any case, I don’t believe Blasey Ford is telling the truth. I understand what you’re saying, about both parties telling their own truth. But there is an objective truth here ~ did Brett Kavanaugh attack this woman when they were both adolescents, or did he not? If he did, then he is lying now. If not, she is.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 4:47 am

        If you are 17 and you engage in a sexual activity that would get a 35 year old jailed.
        You will get jailed.

        My wife has had cases where 17yr olds were charged with statutory rape for consensual sex with 15 year olds.

        She has also seen cases where 15 yr olds were charged with corruption of minors for sending sexual texts – essentially they were charged with corrupting their own morals..

        If you wish to address the psychology – human development does not end for some time after 17. There is some evidence that violence peaks at 15 in males and is nearly disappeared by 27. There is a great deal of evidence that most (NOT ALL) youthful violent offenders who are released after 30 wiil not commit another violent crime.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 4:51 am

        There is an objective truth. But no one knows it. Kavanaugh likely does not, Ford likely doe not.

        The closest we miight come is if one of them makes some remark that is testable.

        As an example Kavanaugh is purportedly saying he was not at this party.

        If no one comes forward and says he was, that will be very bad news for Ford and the left.

        If someone does (even lying) that ill be bad for Kavanaugh.

        Regardless we do not have a time machiine.

        I do not have a problem with the concept of objective truth, but it is unlikely we have the means to find that.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 4:56 am

        Purportedly Kavanaugh has told some “he was not at the party”.

        That does move things into an area where one must be lying.

        If he and Ford were at the party and in the bed as she claims, then we are debating each’s perception of something 35 years ago.

        It is entirely possible she could “feel” one thing and he could “feel” differently.

        Ford as an example claims she “escaped” – that is something that easily could be a subjective judgement.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 18, 2018 2:27 pm

        Yes, there is hardly a person in DC that lives up to the standards we expect Kavanaugh to meet.

        That is a reason for holding the rest of DC to higher standards, not accepting Kavanaugh.

        My position is partly different from yours.

        But the big deal is that in the cosmic scheme whether Kavanaugh is a supreme court justices is NOT likely to change the world.

        If Trump is not allowed to replace Kennedy – that is huge.

        Currently RCP has the Republicans loosing the house but picking up one seat in the senate.

        If Grassley had subpeona power (like House committee chairs) I would not care if the R’s lost the house.

        It is more important to hold the senate to be able to continue to confirm the mostly federalits judges and supreme court justices that he is appointing.

        The specific individuals do not matter.
        But the legal principles of those he is appointing matter greatly.

  56. Pat Riot permalink
    September 17, 2018 7:42 pm

    Hello y’all!
    Solid, reasonable post, Rick “Lazarus” Bayan, haha. Just teasing, Rick. We should all just be grateful for all your previous work here at TNM. I remember at one of my office jobs I put a clear jar of orange slices out at my desk for co-workers to help themselves. They were good juicy ones, not those stiff dollar-store orange slices. They went fast. I put another jar out the following week. People got accustomed to stopping by. And then, when I didn’t put more out, people were genuinely disappointed and started giving me grief and getting snippy and accusing me of slacking! Hey, people, you weren’t paying me for those damn orange slices! LOL we humans are a funny lot. We want things to be “normal”! Glad to read your words again though after such a hiatus! AND DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

    • September 17, 2018 9:08 pm

      PatRiot. dont you know you cant be nice and not be taken advantage of. Happens in all life forms.

      I put out bird seed for the cardinals. Starts with a family or two. They sit in the trees and chirp out to friends about the good food. Couple.more families of cardinals show up. More chirping. Then the other birds show up. Then the blue jays come and gorge themselves. More chirping. Squirrels hear the birds, show up and eat most of the seed. Then somehow the raccoons hear and at night they come for the seed. They even steal the bird feeder if it is not wired down.(Sounds familiar to some walks of life)

      I stop feeding and every animal disappears. Wait a couple weeks and start the process over. And the same thing develops.

      The only difference between the animals and humans is the humans will say bad things and accuse me of withholding food and causing starvation, while the other animals let nature take over, go find food in the wild and learn to survive without my help. (Until I want the cardinals around and foolishly start feeding them again)

  57. Pat Riot permalink
    September 17, 2018 7:59 pm

    Some folks up north on this thread were talking about political correctness, and now Kavanaugh’s high school behavior is in the news! Yes, we’ve lost our collective minds! Twilight Zone!

    Two of my family members are public school elementary teachers. They’ve been advised via memo not to use certain nursery rhymes and songs. On the chopping block: 3 blind mice. Now it’s Three Nice Mice. No more farmer’s wife with a carving knife! I’ll attach one of the versions. WARNING: Don’t listen to the audio clip all the way through; you might get nauseated. Truth be told I don’t mind the cleaner versions for the earliest grades.

    Three nice mice
    Three nice mice
    They’re always polite when they nibble their cheese
    They never forget to say Thank You and Please
    They cover their noses whenever they sneeze

  58. Priscilla permalink
    September 17, 2018 10:43 pm


    Well, all I can say is, if there were some nice mice in my pantry, politely nibbling my food ( not to mention politely defecating in the pantry) I might start to feel much more empathy for the farmer’s wife with the carving knife!

  59. Grump permalink
    September 18, 2018 8:48 am

    Oh, what a terrible hard thing it is to be a republican or conservative. I’ve been feeling teary eyed all morning just thinking about it. Those devilish horrible low life Democrats and all their dirty tricks. And the innocence and purity honesty, integrity, high minded nobility on the right. Oh, what a wicked world!

    • dhlii permalink
      September 18, 2018 2:32 pm

      Republicans are not as good at messaging – that is nothing new.

      Their politics is not so heavily rooted in emotion as that of democrats and the left – again nothing new.

      Both parties engage in “dirty tricks”. But the left is far more likely to believe the ends justify the means. After all, when democrats “rig an election” they are still getting “good people” elected. If Republicans do the same thing – they are obviously thwarting good with evil.

      Give it a rest Grump.

      Washington is a den of iniquity.

      Not republican iniquity, not democratic inequity. Just corruption.

  60. September 18, 2018 10:49 am

    So when does a viable moderate party arise out of all of this? When will the American voter be done with “party before country” government? 2020? 2021?

    • September 18, 2018 1:32 pm

      deb57. Not in the foreseeable future. Too many people on both sides with vested interest. People in the.middle not willing to provide enough funding for a centrist to run.

  61. September 18, 2018 1:59 pm

    Now that Christine Ford has agreed to testify at the confirmation hearing, how does everyone think this should be handled.
    1. Questions from each side just asking what happened?
    2. Direct examination of a charge by the prosecutor(Democrats) providing details of the accusation and cross examination by the defense (Republicans).

    I think the GOP is in a no win situation. Just ask questions and not trying to show holes in her story may allow pertainent information to go unquestioned. Cross examining the charge of sexual misconduct as one would in court makes it look like a hacket job by men on a woman claiming this happened. There are no female members of the GOP on the judiciary committee that could be “Rambo” going postal on her to find her story.

    How does one defend themselves under these conditions?

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 18, 2018 3:54 pm

      It’s basically impossible. That’s why our criminal justice system is based on the presumption of innocence, and places the burden on the prosecution to prove that a crime occurred.

      #MeToo is all about the presumption of guilt, and the automatic guilt of white males. And Kavanaugh is it’s latest victim, courtesy of the swamp.

      I think that questions should be restricted to the specific accusation, and both the accuser and the accused should be in the room at the same time. No other witnesses, such as character witnesses, etc. If Blasey Ford is telling the truth, she will be able to provide details, such as whose house this was. She’s said that only 5-6 people were at this party, and it wasn’t her house. Kavanaugh’s house, or Kavanaugh’s friend’s house, so that narrows it down to 2-3 people. It is completely unbelievable that she could so clearly remember Kavanaugh and Judge, but not one of the other few people at this very small party.

      The more details she can recall, the more likely that Kavanaugh can respond with his own recollections. Otherwise, all he can do is deny.

      I expect the whole think to be an utter circus.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 12:00 pm

        The senate can do as they please. I doubt they will do as you ask.

        You correctly note the standard for a criminal conviction is high – or atleast it is supposed to be. In the real world people get convicted on very weak cases most of the time.

        But more importantly that “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applies to criminal cases.

        It appliies when we are going to use force to take away another person’s freedom, or their life.

        It does not typiically apply when we are taking their property – that standard is much lower – which is why OJ won his criminal case and lost his civil case.

        And there is no standard regarding things that are NOT yours – such as a job.

    • dhlii permalink
      September 19, 2018 4:37 am

      It is “rumoured” that Kavanaugh told atleast one GOP senator that he did not attend this particular party.

      If that is his testimony and someone else recalls him being at the party – he is toast.
      But If D’s can not come up with someone to place him at the party – this likely dies.

      There are significant inconsistencies in the History of Fords story. That does not inherently make it false. But iit makes it less likely to be taken seriously.

      This is quite different from Hill – who confided in others while the alleged harrasment was occuring, and everyone testifyiing for her was consistent.

      We already know Ford can not manage that.

      • September 19, 2018 10:58 am

        “It is “rumoured” that Kavanaugh told atleast one GOP senator that he did not attend this particular party.”

        You are right if someone says he was there. And dont put it past the left to magically find someone who “was there and saw Judge K”. I suspect Feinstein may have already lined that up for her final gotcha.

        Best he continue denials as he has so far and avoid specific unless specifics are provided.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 1:00 pm

        What I am reading says Ford may not appear.

        That will end this.

        Feinstein has herself NOT committed to Ford’s veracity.

        I am not a Feinstein fan and she has mishandled this, but I do not think she is ginning up fake witnesses.

        Regardless, I do not expect this hearing to answer our questions.
        I do not think that is possible.

  62. dhlii permalink
    September 18, 2018 3:11 pm

    Excellent article on the FISA warrant from Andrew McCarthy.

    We will find out shortly.
    But McCarthy is telling us that the real story is – there is nothing else there.

    That story is likely to be missed by the media.

    It is hard for people to get a handle on the fact that the absence of evidence is itself damning evidence of misconduct.

    Missing from McCarthy’s analysis but avaiilable from other sources is the fact that FISA warrant renewals are NOT automatic either.

    The LAW requires that to renew an application the DOJ/FBI must demonstrate that:

    They continue to need the warrant.
    That it has been productive – i.e. it has provided them with some of what they are looking for,
    OR that something has changed and now they are more likely to get the information they are looking for,

    Regardless, the DOJ/FBI can not go to FISC and say – nothing has changed, we want to renew.

    Further from McCarthy – a FISA warrant application requires:
    FBI agents to swear to the credibiliity of the allegations made,
    AND the deputy FBI director
    AND the FBI director
    AND the Deputy Attorney General,

    as well as a number of others.

    ALL warrant applications – per the 4th amendment require the government agents requesting the warrant to swear to the court that what they provide to support the warrant constitutes probable cause and is true and correct. Further because a warrant application is “ex parte” they are obligated to provide the court with all evidence of their own applications weaknesses.

    There is no “opposing party” to a warrant appliication. There is no one in court to say the governments claims are garbage. That absence is why the application is Ex Parte, and why there is a burden on the government to present all sides, that would not be present in a trial.

    To a large extent we have ignored the fact that warrant applications must be sworn.
    Meaning we do not hold law enforcement accountable even for knowing misrepresentations.

    It is time to stop.

    What occured here is why.

    To all but the most ideologically blind it should be self apparent that the Obama administration and the DOJ/FBI/CIA from the start were NOT after Russia. They were after Trump, and they were using the foreign intelligence process as the means of doing so.

    We do not have evidence that the CIA/FBI were actively investiigating Russia. or spying on Russia in the context of the electiion. They were investigating Trump. his people, his campaign.

    Our standards for investigating foreign powers are low, and that is appropriate.
    Government does not need a warrant to spy on Russia and Russians.

    The FISA warrant was a request for permission to spy on Americans.
    Russia was an afterthought.

    I keep trying to get you all to grasp this is much worse than watergate
    This is exactly what Richard Nixon WANTED to do but was unable to.

    What is most damning is that so many involved, were themselves the vigorous opponents of Nixon’s overreach. That so many of those involved did exactly what they berated Nixon for attempting.

    • September 18, 2018 3:40 pm

      I read this morning that it could take some time for the FBI and others to review these documents to make sure nothing in them can harm others. Just like everything else with the Justice department and the weasel, they will drag their feet to delay, delay, delay. How long has congress waited for subpoened documents already?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 11:55 am

        It is unlikely that the entire FISA applicatiion is going to be made public.

        As McCarthy noted – much of it is irrelevant to any of the issues.

        The fundimental need to declassify the Application is do demonstrate “there is no there, there”. There is nothing more.

        Based on what we have – the FISA application is insufficient, and a violation of Carter Page’s rights. It is an abuse of power, and an effort to “get Trump’.

        It is a “witch hunt”.

        Making the application completely public iis not going to have the powerful impact that republicans hope – not that it should not, but because this has been drug our sufficiently.

        There is not going to be a “smoking gun”.

        The corruption is because there is no smoking gun.
        There is no basis.

        But the whole application will not be made public.
        Much of it is irrelevant and some of it is legiitimately classified.

        Those parts that have nothiing to do with Page or the Trump campaign – but do have to do with the law, Russia, FBI/DOJ processes and procedures are unlikely to be declassified.

        If the entire 412 pages is not declassified – you are likely to still have the D’s claiming that there is something in what is redacted that justifies the warrant, because iit is NOT justiified based on what is not redacted. And R’s are going to claim that what is redacted proves that DOJ/FBI are still colluding.

        I would finally note that these warrants really are a big deal.

        Absent a credible basis for an investigation they leave only two choices:

        FBI/DOJ have taken Carte Blanche to spy on americans and can do so with little or no basis.

        FBI/DOJ are politiically corrupt.

        Right now it appears both are true. I do not expect that if we were able to see the eniriirety of that, this will change.

        A related “big deal” is that vy design FISA warrant application REQUIRE the involvement of the Deputy FBI director, the FBI Director, and the Deputy Attorney General.

        Each of those is required to review the application, and certify its contents. These are NOT merely the work of some agent.

        So any conclusion you reach about the crediibility of these warrants can not be excused as the actions of one or two rogue agents.

        Further, there were 4 applications – and the standard for a renewal is actually HIGHER than for an initial application. The FISC essentially says – if you could not find what you need in the first 90days, The same arguments and evidence repeated are NOT going to get you a renewal. You either have to demonstrate that the first warrant was productive – i.e. you got something useful from it, and that you want more, or that some other condition has changed that strengthens the warrant applicatiion.

        And again remember – the top people in DOJ/FBI had to swear to the accuracy, credibility and strength of each of these applications.

        Accross 4 application, occuring iin the 2016/2017 time period, that is almost a dozen of the the most important people in DOJ/FBI would were not merely aware but involved.

        This can not be shuffled off by pretending that Strzok is a loose cannon off on his own.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 18, 2018 9:32 pm

      Watergate was such a nothingburger, compared to what the DOJ/FBI have done over the past 3 years. Hard to believe that, outside of the conservative media, we hear almost nothing about the FISA court abuse and the spying on Trump and his campaign.

      Ironic how conservatives criticized Jamie Gorelick, the Deputy AG under Clinton, for creating a “wall” preventing any information gained from FISA warrants being used in criminal investigations. That wall was taken down after the 9/11 Commission blamed it for preventing the FBI and other intelligence agencies from “connecting the dots,” that led to the 9/11 attacks.

      But, Gorelick was right that allowing FISA info to be used against American citizens could lead to their rights being violated. And, so they have been.

  63. Anonymous permalink
    September 18, 2018 10:29 pm

    Hi all. I have been falling into extremism myself this year. Extreme office work , yesterday 15 clocked in hours, today I took it easy and only worked 11 hours. Great paychecks but I have to watch my health as I haven’t been too balanced in that regard. Anyway, it doesn’t seemed like I missed much here. Jay’s love of Trump, Dave’s love of government intervention in everything. I really do wish you all well. Mike Hatcher

    • dhlii permalink
      September 19, 2018 12:03 pm


      “Dave’s love of government intervention in everything”

      Actually Dave’s distrust of government intervention in anything.

      If you are going to call me an extremist – atleast place me on the correct extreme.

      • Jay permalink
        September 19, 2018 1:39 pm

        He was joking, dummy.
        He flip flopped my standard position too – didn’t that register in your jump to conclusion brain?

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 4:11 pm

        Its the iinternet – these types of jokes do not work well when you can not see the person telling them.

      • Jay permalink
        September 19, 2018 6:40 pm

        Back in Trump mode: can’t admit even a little mistake; which is why you’re locked into rigid denial when you’re wrong about something. If you were aboard the Titanic when it hit the iceberg you’d still be offering rationalizations about it’s seaworthiness even as salt water bubbles were pouring out of your mouth

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 7:36 pm

        This isnt about Trump – or “admitting” anythiing.

        Why does everything have to be about “blame” for you ?

        It is diffiicult to get jokes – particularly sarcastic ones over the intenent.

        That should not be knews to anyone.

        If iit is necescary for you to place “plame” – fine – I have difficulty grasping sarcasm over the internet.

        Or is that Sarcasm ? Figure it out.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 7:39 pm

        Not being wrong about things that are actual facts is relatively easy.

        Do not say something you do not know is true.

        You should try it some time.

        But there is no merit in it.

      • dhlii permalink
        September 19, 2018 7:52 pm

        Are we on the Tiitanic with salt water bubbling up ?

        Whose ship is sinking ?

        You have been telling me that Trump is absolutely the most awful horrible depraved criiminal ever to live for a almost 2 years.

        Over that time the only thing that has changed is that Trump got elected President.

        He is still tweets offensively all the time.

        But AGAIN – he managed to get elected anyway.
        He is managing to impliment much of his agenda – whether you like it, whether I like it.

        You have been promising proof of horrid misdeeds from the start.
        You promised crimes have for the most part never made sense,
        which is why it iis unsurprising that over time they have weakend rather than strengthened.

        What has been demonstrated during that time is the lengths that so many would go to, to attempt to entrap a political enemy.

        Trump has succeeded in exposing those you trust as more repugant than you think he is.

        What is it that you think Trump might have done that those who oppose him have not clearly done ?

        You got Manafort for Tax evasion. He was with Trump for about 6 weeks. It is pretty clear that the only reason he faces Jail is that Trump hired him rather than Hillary.
        Whatever crime you think he has committed – The Podesta’s have done in triplicate.

        Write the law clearly – then enforce it uniformly.

        We have John Kerry out conducting private diplomacy in Iran. Promising if they can just wait out Trump they can have nukes and a deal too.

        I really do not care – but do not dare attempt to prosecute anyone not on the left for a “logan act” violation. It is crystal clear than you are not looking to prosecute those who violate the law, you are looking to use the law to prosecute those you do not like.

      • September 19, 2018 2:02 pm

        Dave ” If you are going to call me an extremist – atleast place me on the correct extreme. ”

        Like much of social media, you missed his humor. Notice what he said about Jay😵

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 20, 2018 11:20 am

      Hey, Mike! Nice to hear from you! Watch out for too much work and no play ~ your health is too important. But, stop by once in a while ~ your sense of humor is much needed here 🙂

  64. Grump permalink
    September 19, 2018 9:54 am

    I think it would be appropriate to have an investigation of the FBI. I don’t think it will turn up what Trump and gop voters believe it will, but at this point I think that the FBI has been in such a central position in this war, that we need to grounded in some kind of process. That won’t stop righties and lefties and other conspiracy theorists from believing whatever they are led by the nose to by their leaders. You are stuck with an increasing number of pure partisans who will believe anything about the other side and nothing at all about their own. And yes we see that here on TMN.

    The interesting thing is that it seems that the House swings back and forth to oppose the party of the POTUS. Who is responsible for that?

    Moderates. We moderates still have some influence on the nightmare of idiological warfare.

    I feel pity for the brainwashed warriors who are controlled by their leaders and pushed around like chess pieces.

    How do we create a workable government in the middle of this disgusting ideolical war? Yeah, I know, some don’t believe we need much of one, but we do.