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How Moderates Can Transform American Politics, Part 2: Building a Movement

November 24, 2018

In my eleven years at the helm of The New Moderate, I’ve tried to promote sensible positions on political and cultural issues while America has split into two warring tribes. As moderates, we seem to be stranded in a bleak no-man’s land between the angry social justice warriors of the left and the ornery traditionalists on the right. I’ve enjoyed taking righteous potshots at both camps, of course, but it’s clear that we need to do more.

In Part 1, I wrote about the need to build bridges between the two tribes… to convince them that their common values and interests outweigh their differences. But we also need to take it a step further: to build a revolutionary moderate movement that will transform our barren no-man’s land into a fertile and appealing place for Americans to settle down and live amicably with their neighbors. It won’t be easy, of course. (No great undertaking ever is.) Even if we succeed, we can’t (and shouldn’t) expect everyone to move to the middle. But if we love this country enough to care about its future, we have no choice but to save it from those who sow perpetual discord and division. My plan is hardly definitive, but it’s a start… 

1. Know what you believe. Moderates don’t subscribe to a rigid ideology, so it can be a tricky matter for us to hammer out a coherent set of political beliefs. If we have one dominant principle, it’s this: we’re sticklers for fairness. We don’t believe in promoting the interests of one class of people over those of any other class. We also tend to favor a happy medium between unchecked libertarianism and absolute government authority. Remember, too, that a moderate doesn’t always have to choose a spot midway between the right and left on every issue. In wildly polarized times, it’s probably more important to balance the boat. When politicians cut taxes for the rich during a period of widening wealth inequality, feel free to tilt against the excesses of crony capitalism. When academic leftists and hardened feminists demonize white males, be fearless enough to challenge their bigotry and risk their wrath. It’s not that you’re anti-capitalist or a misogynistic white supremacist; you’re simply opposing the pull of extremism with common sense — so our boat doesn’t tip over and go down.

2. Hold the middle! When you’re bombarded by popular extremist opinions in the social media day after day, it can be a challenge to keep the faith. Everyone seems to be deserting the middle. You’ll feel pressured by friends and pundits to stop being “wishy-washy” and join their tribe. You might even worry about being socially shunned if you don’t. Refuse to be swayed by fashionable groupthink from the left or right. Don’t close your mind to reasonable ideas from either end of the spectrum, but don’t capitulate, either. Take pride in holding the middle ground between the warring factions, and be fierce in defending it. Outspoken, steadfast, radical moderates are the last, best hope of saving America from itself in polarized times.

3. Influence reasonable liberals and conservatives. It’s almost impossible to convince the most extreme extremists to change their views; if anything, they’ll just dig in more deeply. But rational liberals and conservatives are another story. When you see them posting divisive memes that they’ve picked up on the internet, go ahead and dispute their second-hand ideas in a friendly but assertive manner. Worst-case scenario: they’ll disagree with you and post more wrongheaded memes. Best-case scenario: they’ll see your point, open their minds to ideas outside their echo chamber, and be less inclined to fall for destructive extremist rhetoric. They might even move toward the center of the political spectrum. The result: we marginalize the hard-core extremists and undermine their influence

4. Build a powerful media presence. There’s a vast void in the middle of the political media landscape. Between MSNBC and Fox News, between HuffPost and Breitbart, you can almost hear the wind howling. Why? Extremist views are easy to communicate (and understand) because they’re devoid of nuance. They rouse the emotions and boost ratings. Most dangerously, they’re splitting America at the seams. What will it take for moderates to build a media presence? Short of pooling our dollars to buy a major network, we can start by creating a prominent online platform. Problem: It’s probably easier to herd cats than persuade moderates to collaborate. We’re a notoriously independent and disputatious breed. Put five moderates in a room and you’ll end up with 15 different opinions. (For starters, we can stop quibbling over the difference between “moderate” and “centrist.”) Too many moderates also tend to be policy wonks; if we want to attract a mass audience, we need to display a little more flash and outrage. Solution: We’ll have to shed our egos, agree that we won’t agree on everything, and build that visible platform to save America from terminal tribalism. There’s a desperate need for an alternative to the combative “either/or” media choices, and we’re it. Once we’ve gained greater visibility through collaboration, we’ll be in a better position to attract a loyal base. We can (and must) rewrite the distorted narratives coming from the right and left. Our example might even persuade some of the more partisan media to dial back their agenda-driven news coverage.

5. Support existing nonpartisan groups. Until we moderates build our own movement, we can associate with the best groups that uphold our principles. No Labels, a national organization launched in 2010 as a call for nonpartisanship and political cooperation across the aisle, is the best-known –- and still going strong. AllSides is a welcome online news and opinion source that fights polarization by giving a voice to reasonable viewpoints across the spectrum. Better Angels brings “red” and “blue” Americans together –- literally –- in local grassroots workshops. The group’s goal isn’t to convert either side, but to defuse the open hostility between liberals and conservatives. Unite America fills an important niche by supporting the primary campaigns of independent and moderate politicians against their more extremist rivals in the two major parties. If they succeed by helping moderate politicians replace the hyperpartisans, we might not even have to consider the next step…

6. Establish a major centrist party. Yes, I know the odds are against us. Several embryonic centrist parties already exist, and they haven’t made a ripple. The Republicans and Democrats enjoy a long-entrenched duopoly comparable to Coke and Pepsi. Although no new major party has established itself permanently in American politics since the Republicans burst onto the scene in 1854 (that’s eightscore and four years ago!), numerous third-party candidates have tipped close elections. That could be us. Moreover, both major parties are deserting the middle, leaving fertile ground for a new party to arise. The Republicans shifted to the right with the Tea Party during President Obama’s first term. Now the Democrats, fresh from the triumphs of young multicultural progressives in the recent midterm elections, have been shifting left. Both parties are losing touch with the majority of Americans. Fed up with the “God, guns and greed” mentality of today’s Republicans and the petulant identity politics of the Democrats, they’d be primed for the debut of a dynamic moderate party. (We’ll just have to come up with a sexier name than “moderate” or “centrist.”) Of course, any such party would have to raise megatons of money to break the duopoly, and we’d need to recruit rock-star names in politics and the media to aid our cause. But unless the two major parties start favoring reasonable candidates who can win broad popular support, history will be tapping us on the shoulder and forcing us to make a decision: let the squabbling partisans and their followers rip the country asunder, or forge a movement to bridge the divide and restore some semblance of sanity to American politics.  

 
Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

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417 Comments leave one →
  1. Iftikhar Khan permalink
    November 24, 2018 11:35 pm

    Hi Rick I’m with you! Sign me up for this new political party.

    Thank you, Iftikhar

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • November 25, 2018 1:13 am

      If the two major parties continue to drift apart and impose “purity” tests on their candidates, it might be our time to take action.

  2. Joyce Judy permalink
    November 24, 2018 11:50 pm

    Wish I would see more articles from this group. Facebook seems to be the method that people are using today to communicate, so do you have a FB page and Twitter account?

    • November 25, 2018 1:11 am

      I have a New Moderate page on Facebook, but I haven’t actively maintained it because the discussions there were competing with the discussions here, and I didn’t have time to manage both. As for Twitter, I tried it for a year or two and amassed a grand total of 140 followers — not nearly enough to make it worthwhile. (I spend way too much time online as it is.) I’ll resume cross-posting on the New Moderate Facebook page and maybe even tweet occasionally. Thanks for the encouragement!

      • Judy permalink
        November 25, 2018 10:40 am

        I so often feel like you express my exact thoughts and this column is no exception. I would like to sign on to this movement too and hope we could gain traction. For now, I will follow your FB page even though I am no fan of social media. Gotta start somewhere. Us fair minded people who actually think for ourselves aren’t out screaming everywhere like the far left and right but it’s time we do something.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    November 25, 2018 1:28 pm

    “You’ll feel pressured by friends and pundits to stop being “wishy-washy” and join their tribe.”

    No shit. I’m a clearly left leaning moderate…not what I’d call “centrist”, but not far left, either. I tried to interact with a group of Tea Party and Libertarian folk to “find the middle ground.” That was a HUGE waste of my time, and the verbal abuse was astounding for a group of people who like to taut themselves as “Christian.” Similarly with the “progressives”; in my community, if you don’t join with the radical left, you are on the outs, plain and simple, and the local progressive leader even used these same words with me as you used here: he called me “wishy washy.”

    So be it! I enjoy my freedom and I refuse to be forced into these extremist camps for the sake of social inclusion. I still find myself voting Democratic, because it seems the only party with any sense of real morals anymore. I don’t see a snowball’s chance in Hell of a middle third party winning. We just need to hold our ground and move our preferred party to the middle.

    • November 25, 2018 1:53 pm

      Anonymous, I agree with you concerning the reactions one finds on other sites. While you are left leaning and vote democrat due to the “moral” issues, I am a right leaning ( more Libertarian ) leaning individual that votes more closely with the GOP (except for 2016 when voting for Johnson, the lessor of totally awful candidates). While you are more accepting of “force” by government (ie requiring people who do not want nor need health insurance to buy it), I value individual rights ,states rights and fiscal responsibility.

      But unlike other sites where you and I would be chastised for our thoughts, we can at keast discuss our difference here without personal attacks.

      (That is not to say there are not avfew here that do stoop to personal attacks and maybe, in some way, a few of mine.may be considered personal)

  4. November 25, 2018 2:06 pm

    Rick, in most of your comments about income inequality and tax policies like giving breaks to the rich, do these type comment by politicians and media not further divide a country by economic class instead of working on the REAL PROBLEM? That being the billions spent annually.on waste, fraud and useless and unneeded programs.

    Could we not start with something most people could get behind? That being programs and expenditures that provide substantial returns on expenditures instead of fractions of a dollar for a dollar spent. Right now, each dollar spent has the potential to create multiple dollars of expense due to interest on overspending, which provides little in return.

    Once we fix the candy jar of spending by congress, then we could attack the tax issues. But why tax more to waste more?

    • November 27, 2018 11:26 pm

      Ron: It’s possible to call out unfair practices (like cutting taxes on the rich when they’re already widening the wealth gap) without demonizing any class of people or causing class warfare. At the same time, it’s possible (and it should be a priority) to curb wasteful spending. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, if the Republicans hadn’t given such a generous gift to their wealthy friends, we wouldn’t be running up such a huge deficit.

  5. Jay permalink
    November 25, 2018 3:04 pm

    I’d like to see a Moderate 3rd Party emerge, but not until AFTER Trump is gone.

    A moderate party before 2020 is more likely to siphon votes away from whoever the Dems nominate, then from Trump.

    Trumpism is a disease. The body politic first has to remove him from the system, then Moderates hopefully will help eliminate the residual stain left behind.

    • November 25, 2018 4:30 pm

      Jay, I wonder if the candidate was truely a moderate and not a recycled democrat or republican if the drain would be.more from the left. Everything I see is America is a right leaning country, so why would someone like Trump maintain the vote, while the moderate democrats would choose the third party? Right now I see on average where 52% of the voters disapprove of Trumps performance.

      Doesnt it really come down to effective tax legislation, protecting American jobs, expectations of a non political judiciary and freedom of choice? If not, why didnt Clinton defeat Trump with a program of higher taxes, more social programs, continuation of the ACA forcing people to buy a private company product and support of trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP? And looking at the vote in 2016, if her program was the best, why wasnt it acceptible to the people of PN, WI and OH.? Why was it only acceltable if far left leaning states like CA?

      I believe given a candidate that is right of moderate with Libertarian leanings ( meaning freedom of choice from abortion & marriage to healthcare coverage) would draw just as many votes from a jerk like Trump as someone like Booker, Sanders or even another Clinton run.

      • Jay permalink
        November 25, 2018 5:08 pm

        Or better: the moderate right Republican you describe defeates Trump in the primaries, and a moderate left Dem wins the democratic primary – and America benefits if either of them gets elected.

        But if Trump is the candidate, the never trumpers have to vote Dem again, as they did in the midterms, which means no third party to siphon votes.

      • November 25, 2018 6:35 pm

        Isnt it interesting that we are discussing the president like they are a ruler. It just dawned on me that JFK or Ronald Reagan could be president today and not be anywhere near as effective due to the congress we have now. We need moderates in congress and it wont make a bit of difference who is president. Bernie Sanders could be lresident and get little in thecway of social programs. Obama would never had Obamacare passed with “force” had there been a moderate house and senate.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 27, 2018 12:39 pm

      Good point, Jay. In 2020 a moderate party could split the Democratic vote and give Trump another term. In the long run, of course, I’d hope that a moderate party would also win the support of old-fashioned Republicans who can no longer identify with their extreme-right party.

      • November 27, 2018 1:11 pm

        Rick, why does everyone say Trump is an extreme right politician? Ted Cruz is extreme right. James Inhofe is extreme right. Trump is a right-wing populism involves appeals to the “common man” and a complete distrust of immigration . It is primarily an us-versus-them appeal, where the “us” is broadly defined as the average man. That is his base. The extreme right would run to anyone else if the GOP closed primaries and only let republicans vote. Look at Iowa in 2016. Cruz and Rubio got 51% of the vote.Trump got 24%.

        New Hampshire is basically an open primary. Just say which party and you get that ballot. Trump still only got 35%, so the more traditional and extreme “true” GOP voters split 65% of the vote.

        Once he won NH others money began drying up as few wanted to fund candidates getting less than 25% of the vote. Then the real GOP voters were left with a GOP nominee that was not really a republican or not voting at all other than Libertarian.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 2:59 am

        If a moderate party would split the democratic vote – without approximately equally effecting the republican vote – then it is NOT a moderate party, it is a moderate democratic party.

        It is near certain I am voting libertarian again.
        It is near certain Trump will win in 2020.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 3:04 am

        Clarify what you think is extreme right about the republican party ?

        Trump is a shift LEFT.
        The Tea Party was a shift LEFT.

        Is Trump seeking to lock up homosexuals ?

        He is somewhat tepidly leading the charge for sentencing and prison reform.

        Do you think that school choice is extreme right wing ?
        Do you think that due process for the often minority males accused of sexual misconduct on campus is extreme right ?

        Democrats used to be the party of the working class.
        Republicans the party of the wealthy elites ?

        What positions of the current GOP are “extreme-right” ?

        If you are going to bandy about a label then you need to define it.

        How can we tell what the “extreme-right” is ?
        And what the “extreme-left” is ?

  6. November 25, 2018 6:06 pm

    If you want to find common ground between the two tribes, the way to do this is through the use of ethical principles, because ethics is completely horizontal in nature. There already exists a definitive code of ethics in the world, that can be applied to all human problems – political, civil, diplomatic or otherwise – it is called the Talmud. It is already the basis for our justice system. Each position can be analyzed using this ethical code by already trained Talmudic scholars. If I was a politician or in a position to influence legislation, I would hire Talmud scholars to do the ethical analysis and help craft the talking points.

  7. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 10:12 pm

    There is no such thing as fairness

    We have been over this repeated

    There is a reason that we have law

    That is because law is supposed to be clear

    We strive to make it principled and moral
    But even if wrong it is still clear.

    We changge the law when it is wrong

    Fairness is not defainable
    It is not something that we have a shared understanding of

    And as every parent has told their toddler many times

    Life is not fair

    Fairness is what tyrants appeal to

    Hitlers arguments were about fairness to Germans

    Fairness is rooted in misguided concepts of equality
    And the ideology of equality has always leads to violence and ruin

    • November 25, 2018 10:34 pm

      “There is no such thing as fairness”

      Only in your world would we not find fairness. And in a world of special interest would there not be fairness.

      Fairness does not mean there are not those with more than others. Fairness only requires that what everyone has is treated in the same manner. Fairness only requires if you or I break the law, we get the same sentence if found guilty. Fairness only requires the lack of favoritism or special treatment.

      So fairness is real. It just not exist in our current society. It does not exist due to special interest, idenity politics and other activities that divide us.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2018 11:02 pm

        Define fairness in a way that a majority of us can agree on

        Define it in a way that is clear enough to use for force against others

        There is no difference between socialism and fetishiing fairness

        They are two sides of the same coin

        We are not equal
        If you do not grasp that you ar e thorouhly blind to the world

        Any attempt at n objective concept of fairness is impossible without actual equality

        When one argues fairness one is arguing for the use of force for your particular view of how th world should be.
        That is evil

  8. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 10:16 pm

    Rick the middle is overrated
    It is not a principle

    The left is sometimes right
    The righ is sometimes right
    The middle is nearly always wrong

    Though the world is not one dimensional quite often answers are not found in the left the right or the middle

    Compromise is a tool not a value
    Elecvating it to a value is a serious moral error

    The middle is not a moral principle
    It does not offer the truth about anything

    • November 27, 2018 11:15 pm

      Dave: So fairness is evil, the middle is overrated (that’s news to me), and we’re nearly always wrong, unlike the right and left? On the contrary, moderates will save us from the wanton excesses of the right and left. I think we’re essential because we seem to be the only ones who bother to examine both sides of an issue… the only ones who strive for balance… the only ones fit to check the excesses of the extremists on both sides without driving the country toward civil unrest.

      We’re not simply sticklers for compromise, although good compromises can be valuable in breaking logjams. (Our Constitution was based on compromises.) I mentioned in my latest column that it’s even more important for moderates to balance the boat when extremists threaten to tip it over. Cutting taxes for the rich when our wealth gap is already the widest since the Gilded Age? They’re tipping the boat toward plutocracy… we moderates would tip it back to the middle. Leftist social justice warriors keep demonizing white people (especially white males) and mobilizing to stifle conservatives on college campuses. They’re tipping the boat toward Marxist class war; we moderates would tip it back to the middle.

      As they say in New Jersey, “You got a problem wit dat?”

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:30 pm

        “So fairness is evil, ”
        Define fairness in a way that 90% of us can agree on, and that some significant group will not be able to claim that they are being treated unfairly by your idea of unfairness.
        You can not do it.

        There is no such thing as FAIR. It is not evil, It does not exist.
        But ARGUMENTS about fairness are ALWAYS arguments about why I am more entitled than you. So yes arguments about fairness are evil.

        “the middle is overrated (that’s news to me),”
        I have no idea how the middle is rated. I made specific claims, those claims are true.

        “and we’re nearly always wrong”
        I said that compromise is nearly always wrong. while the left or the right are each much more likely to be right than any compromise solution.

        That should be obvious by inspection.

        Pick an issue at random. It is near certain that whatever the issue, the best answer, the morally correct answer, the maximal utility answer will be close to one end of the spectrum.

        i.e. on any given issue one of the extremes is closest to correct AND the middle is almost certainly wrong.

        Lets take a hypothetical

        Lets say we are trying to decide how many jews the nazi’s should execute.

        One extreme wants no jews exterminated,
        the other wants all jews exterminated.
        The middle wants to compromise and only exterminate older or decrepit jews.

        It should be absolutely obvious to you that only ONE side is RIGHT.

        Any issue that has a linear effect,
        And any issue that has a curve where the optimum is off center is likely to produce results where the middle is always wrong. While the extremes are each only wrong some of the time.

        How many times do I have to say that Compromise is a TOOL, it is not a value.
        Make it into a value and it is trivial to compel you to do evil.

        Compromise is only a good thing when it actually makes things better.
        It is just as likely to make things worse as better.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:52 pm

        “On the contrary, moderates will save us from the wanton excesses of the right and left. I think we’re essential because we seem to be the only ones who bother to examine both sides of an issue… the only ones who strive for balance… the only ones fit to check the excesses of the extremists on both sides without driving the country toward civil unrest.”

        First I think you and I have a significantly different defintion of moderate.

        Or more accurately – I do not think you have actually though very deeply about what moderate really means – despite authoring a flagship blog celebrating it.

        I am libertarian – and I have become more so over the years I have been here.

        Libertarians are neither left nor right.
        Nor are they inherently centrists either.

        We reflect several very clear things.

        First that all issues do not have only two sides.
        Your idea of moderate – is centrist, is driven by this “middle” value.
        By an inherent distaste for extremism.

        “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
        Barry Goldwater

        You can reframe that however you wish. You can dislike Goldwater.
        But you can not – I hope argue that the statement is false.

        Everything is NOT subject to compromise.

        Sometimes the left is CORRECT – or more so. Generally on social issues they are correct – but for one thing. They are prepared to use force to “do the right thing” even where the use of force is immoral and unjustified.

        But I think all of us would agree that in our perfect world there is no hate speach no predjudice no discrimination.

        I 100% suppost most leftist ideals.
        I have near zero percent support for their means’

        Those on the right come in many flavors.
        But the limited government conservatives, the supply side conservatives the rule of law conservatives are also correct nearly all the time – ON THOSE ISSUES.

        Neither left nor right are correct on every issue.
        Each are near 100% correct on some and near totally wrong on others.

        Libertarians are at odds with those on the left on somethings and with those on the right on others.

        Libertarians tend to favor conservatives about 60:40 – because progressives are more dangerous. And because modern progressives have gone batchit crazy.

        But there is a difference between libertarians voting slightly more conservative, and their 100% agreeing with conservatives or 100% disagreeing with progressives.

        Your moderation seeks to disagree with both the left an the right nearly all the time.

        I do not think that is true – I do not even think it is what you beleive, but it is what you write.

        I am telling you that if your answer is to split the baby all we have is lots of dead babies.
        That the answer is NOT in the middle all the time, or even most of the time.

        That my idea of “moderate” is someone who tries to figure out based on facts, logic and reason which side is more correct on EACH issue rather than knee jerk pretending that both sides are wrong – because we can label them extreme.

        I am not asking that Moderate be defined as libertarian.

        But I am strongly asserting that if it is not about figuring out what the correct answers are rather than asserting compromise as a principle rather than a tool – that moderate defined that way is both wrong and inherently evil.

        But that is not how I would define moderate.

        Yet, you and most others here seem to insist that extreme is synonmous with wrong, that the truth must always be in the middle.

        That is no only wrong, it is MORE wrong than either the right or the left.

        I am not arguing that moderate is synonymous with evil.
        But that a specific form of moderate – the compromise as a value rather than tool form is evil.

        I do not honestly think that you or most others here have seriously thought of that.
        Not even though I have harped on it for years.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:05 pm

        We are driving towards civil unrest.

        But moderation as you define it will not prevent that.

        The left is riling people up over grevance politics – and we have more than two centuries of evidence as to how badly that ends. Given where the left is today on those issues, the right is irrelevant we are headed towards violance. Because that is where grevance politics always leads.

        There is lots wrong with the right. but the right is TODAY no threat to CAUSE a serious violent conflict. Though they are certain to be on the defending and winning side if there is one.

        Trump – who is NOT the reflection of the majority of the right in this respect, is the epitomy of political incorrectness and of beligerant speach. That STYLE is not particularly conservative, That STYLE is provocative of the left – if the left actually needed provacation to call nearly everyone hateful harting haters.

        Further Trump – his success and his style are a PRODUCT of the left.

        Trump’s in your face political incorrectness is a response to the over the top political correctness of the left. and the force with which they try to impose it and the ever narrowing frame of acceptable discourse.

        The left has pissed nearly everyone off with the hateful hating haters rant.

        And Trump is their champion – even if he is often indelicate.

        We should be tankful for Trump because he is a safety valve.

        Without his rhetorical steam there would like be real violence.

        Absent serious reinvention so long as the left continues following its current ideology
        violence is inevitable.

        Compromise is at best a delay tactic.

        And a dangerous one.

        WWII would have been far shorter and less bloody had the allies not waited until the invasion of poland or pearl harbor to oppose evil.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:13 pm

        “We’re not simply sticklers for compromise, although good compromises can be valuable in breaking logjams. (Our Constitution was based on compromises.) ”

        I am certainly glad this country came into existance.
        The compromises of our founders can be credited for that.

        But are you honestly arguing that the compromises over slavery – which is the underlying subject matter for all constitutional compromises, was inherently a good thing ?

        I beleive 13,000 people died during the revolution.

        Civil war casualties among soldiers along were nearly 1/2 million.

        The underlying subject matter of the compormises in the constutition ultimately had to be resolved MORALLY and violently. Millions of blacks spent a lifetime in slavery because of those compromises.

        So no I do not think that the compromises that resulted in our constitution were inherently good – or even close.

        I think this is a good nation. I am a firm beleiver in american exceptionalism.
        I am proud of this country. But I am NOT proud of everything it has done.

        I am far MORE proud of the accomplishments of its people, than the actions of its government.

        I can simultaneously think America is the greatest nation on earth and that we have done many many reprehensible things.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:25 pm

        “I mentioned in my latest column that it’s even more important for moderates to balance the boat when extremists threaten to tip it over. ”

        Was it a good thing that the boat was ballanced in 1776 or 1787 and compromises over slavery left the issue unresolved for another half century ?

        Would it have been better to “tip the boat over in 1787” ?

        Let me reiterate goldwater
        “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

        There is little room to compromise on liberty.
        There is little room to compromise on justice.

        The real threat to both today comes from the left.
        And history tells us repeatedly that as collectivist grievance driven politics thrives, things get vile and bloody – ALWAYS;

        If there is going to be a fight over the principles of individual liberty and justice, here and now is better than later.
        It the boat is going to capsize – let it be NOW.

        My rhetoric regarding the threat of the left may appear extreme.

        MOSTLY the left is not jailing people today over free speach.

        Though we are having a great national debate at the moment where the left has sold persuasion to most of us as the same as force and as inherently evil.
        That does not end well.

        “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.”
        “You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”

        We are at a time for choosing.

        If your idea of moderate is to avoid conflict today, to seek temporary peace, then count me out.
        No matter how small you think the threat of modern progressivism is, it will be worse if it is not thwarted.

        So
        No I do not stand for avoiding conflict at all costs.
        No I do not stand for avoiding all extremism.
        No I do not stand for “peace in our time” risking world war in the future.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:41 pm

        Please learn something about this garbage fetish of income inequality.
        While some of the assertions you claim are flat out lunatic false.

        Income inequality for most of human existance has been far greater than today.
        For most of human existance there has been just abject poverty and the 1% who lived orders of magnitude better than the rest and worse than everyone today in abject poverty.

        Rising standard of living for ALL is incontrovertibly caused by the very things you want to reign in.

        The entire income inequality debate is green envy as public policy – nothing else.

        Rich poor – I do not care who you are – what is yours is yours.
        Anything else is theft.
        Sugar coating theft by calling it redistribution does not make it any less evil.
        More importantly the real data tells us incontrovertably that redistribution ultimately makes the poor POORER

        I do not give a rats as if Gates has 80T.

        I care about ME, My Kids, and others who are not Gates.

        This is the “rising income inequality you bemoan”
        https://i.giphy.com/media/FfdLItzoVhKFi/giphy.webp

        Watch the animated gif and tell me honestly that you think the income distribution in 1971 was preferable to today ?

        If you can not say that – than why are we talking about this issue at all ?

        Most everyone here wants to defend “fair” as some pinacle notion.

        Our founders though each voters “fair” share of the burdern of government was exactly the same. tax rates were specified in exact dollars for each person.
        The poor and the rich paid exactly the same amount.
        They thought that was “fair”
        After all government serves each of us.
        If anything the poor depend more on government than the rich.

        Subsequently “fair” became everyone paying the same percentage of their income.

        Now we have this stupidity today diven by your noxious income inequality argument that the rich should pay a higher percentage of their income.

        In fact the argument is ludicrously stupid as inarguably the lower that taxes on the rich have become the greater the share of the cost of government the rich have born.

        We have the lowest tax rates for the rich that we have had since the start of the great depression. We also have the most top heavy funding of government by the rich as ever in US history.

        Further the portion of the cost of government that has been born by the rich has increased every single time that taxes on the rich have decreased.

        Just the facts.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:51 pm

        To demonstrate the idiocy of the income inequality argument.
        I will note that in any society anywhere ever corrent or future in which we are not all clones, and drones there will ALWAYS be some inherent disparity that can be amplified into a point of contention.

        Todays “income inequality” argument is quite literally just a more polished form of the marxist argument.

        Regardless, in any society that is not made of clones, I will ALWAYS be able to find something that I can elevate to a conflict using “fairness” argument.

        It is not possible to have a society that does not have “unfairness” short of universal poverty.

        Which matters more to you ?

        Income inequality ?
        Or rising standard of living particularly for those at the bottom ?

        If I told you, that you can have high income inequality AND the income of the poor doubling every 40 years (that is about what is currently occuring) OR
        near zero income inequality but it will take 100 years to double the income of the poor which would you choose ?

        That should be a no brainer.
        The fact we have this debate clearly means it is not.

        That you are arguing feelings and “fairness” rather than facts, just exposes how dangerous the modern left is.

        We have improved the rhetoric of the most reprehensible political system in the world such that “moderates” are being taken in.

        A decade ago nearly everyone on the left was falling over themselves to claim that accusing democrats of being socialists was “unfair” and distortive.
        Now myriads of high profile democrats are embracing the term socialism.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 9:58 pm

        IF you are in great fear of plutocracy – you do not live in the real world.

        If Trump is your evidence – why is he at war with GM and other plutocrats ?

        As Ron has repeatedly noted – PPACA was a boon to insurance companies.

        Get a clue, bigger government will ALWAYS serve big business. ALWAYS.
        ALWAYS.

        There is only one means of reigning that in.
        Disempower government.

        Since 2016 Clinton Foundation donations have almost completely dried up.

        So does that mean the rich and big business gave tot he clintons out of charity or out of what they could get for their money ?

        I am not looking to indict the Clinton’s on this I am just pointing out that you can not prevent this so long as government has power.

        Frankly the Clinton Foundation scheme is genius. Converting a charity into a political money vaccum and power dispensor. Brilliant.

        Nothing alleged against Trump compares.

        The plutocracy you fear will be brought into being by the very people and methods you chose to use to fight it.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 1:15 am

        In Fyodor Dostoevsky;s book the brothers karamazov there is a sequence called the grand inquisitor suite were christ returns and the church debates him and send him away because humans do not want christ. They want what the church offers.

        Things are not always as they seem on the surface.

        What appears good is not always good.
        Socialism is tremendously appealing on paper. It reads as the most compassionate political system in existence.
        In reality it is the most vile and bloody.

        In LOTR Frodo offers the one right to Galadriel who is tempted, but realizes that even though she would defeat Sauron and evil she would in the process become evil of a different form. What we want to be good is often evil.
        This is a very important reason that we can not trust our emotions – particularly when we are going to use force.

        Many many things that are good when done as individuals are evil when done collectively by force.

        Some of the most heinous acts in human history – even the holocaust were done by people who thought they were doing good.

        I think Hitler thought he was doing good for Germany.

        If you have two different things that you think are good, and trying to pursue them results in conflict. It is near certain that one is not good.

        Our knowledge of the world is imperfect.
        as a result we can not know enough to weed out all contradictions.

        But it is still true that real contradictions do not exist.
        When you think you have found one – there is an error in one of your premises.

  9. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 10:39 pm

    Unless you beleive you actually have the answer to a problem

    You should not be seeking to influence anyone
    Left right or center

    You should be listening

    Even if you think you have the answer
    You should be listening
    Because the only means of testing our values and principles is to subject them to criticism

    Division is resolved by seeking the truth
    Not by seeking to end division

    This country is divided more so than ever because our truths are farther apart than ever

    The answer is not compromise – us political history is rife with vile compromises
    Slavery stands out

    No one sane thinks compromising with hitler would be a good idea

    Compromise is again not a Value it is a tool
    Make it into a value and we are headed to hell

    It is wrong to silence anyione no matter how extreme you think they are

    Extreme is. Not an insult

    Often the answers lie at the extremes

    When the left in this country was for individual rights
    When it was demanding equal rights for the least of us
    It was right

    The error on the left is that it has adopted immoral means to good ends

    The end to predjudice is a good thing. It is a wonderful aspiration
    That objective is one of the greatness of the left

    But equal rights and preferential treatment are not the same

    Mlk had a dream that one day children would be judged not by the color of their kin but their character

    The modern left wants us judge by the color of our skin
    And by our sexual orientation
    And by our gender
    And by the dysphasia between our gender identity and biology

    The radical feminist “vagina dialogs” is now discriminatory against women without vaginas

    The extremists left and right should. It be judged by virtue of their extremity
    But to the degree they offer the truth,

    There is no principle
    No evidence that truth has a particular logcation on the political spectrum

    There is no tautology that tells us the truth is on the left
    Or the right or the middle

    We should not be looking for the middle
    We should be looking and listening for the truth

  10. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 10:46 pm

    The use of force is not nuanced

    Politics change not be nuanced

    Nuance is for the vast majority of our lives that does not involve force
    And therefore does not involve government or politics

    An appeal to nuance is an appeal to use force with half a justification
    It is an assertion the instances we are free to use force against others are not narrowly constraint
    It is the pretense that we are not using force when we are

    Nuance is not for government or politics

    When we speak about government about using force against others we must do so clearly
    Without nuance

    Nuance inherently means ambiguity an confusion

    All fine in our private lives but impermissible where force sminvolved.

  11. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 10:57 pm

    A major facet of the hysteria today is the tremendous instability on the left

    Republicans have their factions and power struggles
    But they are not in danger of fracture

    It is possible that the trump moment reflects the

    departure of neocons and the absorption of blue collar democrats
    But I does not reflect a fatal fault line within th gop

    Democrats on the other hand are in serious danger as a party

    It is the base that has gone rogue socialist

    Either the occasion-Cortez’s will pull enough of the country to the far left to hold power
    Or they will split the party
    Or the far left will retrench

    Ere are not other options

    It is my view that the current divisiveness is a reflection of the death throes of tube extreme left – but that we ar e in the early stages

    To be clear the left is not dying because it’s is extreme
    It is dying because it is wrong

    It used to be left extremists who fought for free speech

    Now the champions of free speech are Ben Shapiro and milo yanopollis
    That most liberal of ideas has been abandoned by the left and has bent taken up by the right
    That Alone should tell you that whatever it’s faults and they are many
    The problem in the us today is not with the right but the left
    Tha

  12. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:06 pm

    Is there common ground here ?
    Is there a compromise answer ?
    Is the middle way the correct way ?

    Should we be avoiding extremism and seeking nuance on this issue ?

  13. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:15 pm

  14. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:19 pm

    Can we end this garbage that there is some metric of voter efficiency that dictates how districts should be determined

    • dhlii permalink
      November 25, 2018 11:21 pm

    • November 26, 2018 12:22 am

      “voter efficiency that dictates how districts should be determined”

      Isnt that what the debate on gerrymandering is all about? Looking at voter rolls and grouping them in ways to maximize one parties chances of carring the district? Seems like there should be a better way.

      • John Say permalink
        November 26, 2018 11:43 am

        “seems like there should be a better way”

        You nail the fundimental problem with “fairness”.

        Define what you think the desired optimal outcome is, and it is easy to conceive of a “better way” to produce it,. But your desired outcome is not the same as that of others.

        The current democratic argument that is prevailing in courts is “voter efficiency”.

        According to that argument the makeup of a district and of congress and of the legislature should reflect the makeup of the population of that state.

        That “sounds” fair. But those making the argument focus on only one attribute of the population – whether they are democrats or republicans.

        Some of us are rural, some suburban, some urban.
        Some of us are white some black, some asian.
        Some of us are poor, some middle class some wealthy.
        Some of us are farmers, some labor, some managment.

        It is not possible to create a congress that perfectly reflects our distribution of each of these and many other attributes.

        Fairness with regard to republican democrat divisions is inherently unfair with respect to the other attributes that reflect who we are.

        Fair is the argument of tyrants seeking to claim their particular interest is more important than that of others.

        Demands for fairness inherently mean making one or a few issues or attributes more important than others.

        Demands for fairness are appeals to emotion, and they are effective because it is trivial to point out unfairness in the world. We are too diverse, and even nature is inherently unfair.

        Put simply life is not fair and never will be.

        To some extent the rule of law is about “fairness”. It is about elevating principles above attributes. It is about noting that we can never acheive “fairness” – it is unlikely that we can even significantly improve the unfairness of the world.
        That does not preclude making our lives better.

      • November 26, 2018 1:14 pm

        Dave I understand what you say about fairness and voter districts. But I think Priscilla, Roby, Pat, Jay and I could set down and look at all 50 states and create districts that are much more conguient than most anything in states today. The rural residents would end up in much more rural districts. The surburban, surburban. The city, in the city. There probably would not be a large rural district with a 20 mile long 2 block wide strip going into a city and then fanning out into a 4 sq mile area to capture a group of voters favorable to those in the large rural area to insure a party captures that house seat.

        But if we ask you for help, we would be debating fairness, common sense, force and any other issue that might come up instead of tackling the issue at hand.

        It does not take a genius to block out districts with reletively straight lines grouping people by land area that captures people with more like demographics than gerrymandering to capture voter registration.

        And looking back at the idea of districting did not occur until later in our history. One reason districting started was due to equal protection. Althoughbdifferent today, under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, if gerrymandering dilutes the votes of one party or the other, does that not mean my vote as a GOP member is not diluted if I have been included in a gerrymandered democrat district?

      • John Say permalink
        November 27, 2018 8:35 am

        I am sure that you and any small group could come up with districts
        but there would always be someone who could make an argument that they were not fair to some group. And that argument would be correct.
        Fair is not acheivable.

        I forget what the criteria that SCOTUS has determined are, but they are very limited.
        I beleive it is something like compact, and reflecting natural borders.

        My argument is NOT that we should acheive fairness.

        It is that we should follow the constitution.
        Districting and federal elections are the SOLE business of the state legislator, and congress.

        Not governors, not state courts. The state constitution should not apply (except to state offices and elections). The only review should be by the federal courts, and the criteria should be the same very limited ones that the court adopted in the 80’s.

        Absolutely some politicians may try to gerrymander districts.
        But we will not be corrupting bi-partisan commissions, or the state courts, and I trust – probably unwisely, the supreme court to keep the federal courts in line.

        My objective is to make the assessment of “fair” something done by the voters.

        I would note that CONGRESS can make rules regarding districting, but those rules would apply to ALL states the same and would have to be constitutional.

        Honestly I do not think gerrymandering is a big deal.
        Best estimates are that nationwide the net effect is no greater than 4 seats.
        It really can not be.

        Further gerrymandering a larger majority is inherently at odds with another objective of even corrupt politicians – preserving incumbents. You can not do both.
        The math for creating safe seats is exactly the opposite of creating more seats for your party.

        I would further note that creating more seats for your party creates a huge risk of being complely blow away by a small wave election.

        To maximize seats you want to put huge numbers from the other party in a small number of districts and then make most of the rest has small majorities for your party.
        Well is you create lots of 2-4pt majority districts and you have a 5 pt voter swing, you lose ALL your seats.

        gerrymandering for a larger majority is highly dangerous politically. If a party wants to do it, they should be allowed to.

        I would further note that anymore the largest block of voters are independents.
        That makes gerrymandering far more difficult.

        I am not saying this is not a problem – though it is not nearly the problem it is made to be.

        I am saying that all cures are worse than the problem

        Confine corruption to politicians. Do not corrupt our courts.
        And do not create legal political debates that do not have an answer.

        There is no right answer to how to create districts.
        Move the problem to the courts and we will fight over it forever.
        And further corrupt the courts in the process.

      • November 27, 2018 12:19 pm

        Last comment since we will never agree. What I believe is something you would never accept.

        I dont care if it is fair at all. I dont care if Joe at the diner bitches about his district or Susie at the hair salon complains about too many republicans in her district.

        But I believe there are ONLY 2 criteria that should be used to determine districts. Population # 1 and very straight as possible block shaped districts by using streets, railroad tracks, natural borders like river (I know not straight but using common sense geography which I know you dont believe in common sense to base decisions).

        Race, color, party affiliation, income level, housing types, elevation of the earth, number of trees, size of yards, number of birds and wildlife, number of cars registered or any other senseless criteria like voter registrations should not be used.

        And nationally impacted number of seats by party has nothing to do with it. It is local when it comes to house representation. Just because the democrats have gerrymandered California to insure more democrats are elected and North Carolina has gerrymandered NC to insure more Republicans are elected only means both residents of California and NC have been improperly disadvantaged due to manipulation of districts based on voter registration information.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 2:54 am

        We agree on far more than you think.

        You discarded “fair” as a criteria – excellent step.
        So long as you hold onto it the problem can not be solved at all.
        Any resolutiion devolves to competing groups of oppressed.

        #1 – population – Number of people or number of citizens ?
        Aside from that the constitution already determines that population is the first criteria.
        Each congressmen today represents about 700K people.

        #2 – I do not disagree, BUT
        That is not a single criteria, and how do you plan on adjudicating it, measuring it ?
        Those are separate questions.

        There are inevitably some questions that have political impacts that courts are going to have to decide. But we need to keep those as few as possible.

        I do not want courts piking between two maps of districts.

        I can to some extent gerrymander a district within your criteria.
        And I can construct a 2nd map that gerrymanders the opposite direction that meets your criteria.

      • November 28, 2018 12:25 pm

        Yes Dave noting is fair, anything can be manipulated. You could take anything that I defined under my person/geographic requirements and move a handful of people from one district to another. But moving district lines a few blocks one way or the other would not result in districts like:
        NC old 12th “snake”
        California 21st and 23rd “21st fan in 23rd”
        Texas 33rd and 35th “snakes”
        Maryland 3rd ” miles long, blocks wide shoreline”

        Before the last redistricting in NC, Mell Watt represented the 12th NC district. How could the interest of people in Durham NC be the same as the interest of those in Charlotte NC when those two cities are 100 miles apart and only the interstate 85 was used to connect them in multiple places?

        So even though perfect can not ge achieved, better can be accomplished.

        And if someone offers me a Ford Escort or Ferrari, I think I would know the ” better” choice.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 2:57 am

        Had republicans in CA won numerous seats that were within a small percentage, there would be no claims CA is gerrymandered – atleast not serious ones.

        I am not looking to defend CA, just note that quite often small changes in voting have drastic changes in a parties power.

      • John Say permalink
        November 27, 2018 6:08 pm

        Districting has existed since before 1787.
        It has been an issue before there was a congress.
        It was handled entirely at the sate level.
        The courts did not get involved at all until I beleive 1980’s.

        It is an inherently politicallly corrupting process, that the courts would be wise to stay out of.

        We need to get past trying to think of courts as the means to solve political problems.

        Doing so makes the courts more political.

        We do not want that.

        If you had not noticed I strongly favor structural solutions, and I do not give a damn about “fairness”.

        Where possible for FEDERAL elections, I want FEDERAL rules that are the same state to state. I do not want disputes settled by courts. I want the structure to be such to minimize potential conflicts. That means federal rules that only citizens can vote in federal elections. federal rules requiring voter ID, federal rules for absentee voting, for how voting is done.
        I would eliminate “early voting” and severaly reduce absentee ballots – it is always those where we have problems. If you can not vote on election day – then don’t vote.
        I want paper ballots that are preserved so that third parties like the press can verify them after the fact. I want close elections to be determined by runnoffs not recounts.
        The later involves courts and commissions and is inherently politically corrupt.
        Recounts are less politically manipulable.

        You will note I am NOT making arguments about “fairness”:.

        I am seeking to minimize the portions of government that are subject to political corruption and define parameters that are clear. It is unimportant whether someone thinks they are fair.

        We now here idiots fromt he left challenging the way senators are allocated and the electoral college and “unfair”.

        Everything is unfair to someone

      • John Say permalink
        November 26, 2018 11:53 am

        Any better way that you come up with I will be able to demonstrate is flawed, as well as unfair to some.

        That BTW is not limited to redistricting. It is going to be true of anything that we do through government.

        That is inherent to top down solutions to any problem.
        It is a significant factor in restricting the application by force of top down solutions.
        There are problems that are critical enough that we can tolerate that unfairness.
        Those are problems where we can justify the use of force.

        This same problem does not exist outside of government because there is no force involved, because everyone is not inherently going in the same direction.

        Some employers may be unfair to women, some to gays, some to other minorities.
        Others may deliberately strive to fairness with respect to one or many of these attributes.
        Others will be completely blind to differences.

        Regardless the result will NOT be a one size fits all solution.
        Things will be unfair, they will even be more unfair to some than others.
        But they will rarely be uniformly unfair in one way.

        Everything we debate here, ultimately devolves to imposed systemic top down vs. bottom up solutions, between trusting government and trusting people.

        Each of us beleives we are far better at solving other peoples problems than we actually are at solving our own.

      • November 26, 2018 1:20 pm

        “Any better way that you come up with I will be able to demonstrate is flawed, as well as unfair to some.”

        Yep, and we both could find something flawed with a Rowles Royce or Ferrari, but that does nit mean they are not better than a Ford Escort or Chevy Cruze.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 1:40 am

        This is not about the “flaws” of a Rolls or Ferarri.
        Nor is it about private choices.

        This is about the core flaw in your concept of fairness, and the core flaw with modern leftism.

        It devolves into a competition for special preference in an arena where force will be used.

        Whose vote should we favor most – the gay male black person ? Or the trans female latino ?

        This is not about finding some technical flaw in your arrangement.

        The primacy of “fairness” means I will ALWAYS be able to find some legitimately agreived oppressed person of some kind with any scheme that you concoct.

        We have a version of this problem with immigration – the moment you have to choose – you will always end up saying no to someone arguably desrving.

        There is no objective means to make such choices.
        Any criteria is subjective.

        This is not about ferraries and Rolls’s it is about men and women, left and right, gay and straight and permutations between, rural and urban.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 1:43 am

        And to be clear – a ferrarri is not Objectively better than a ford escort.

        It is better at certain very specific things.
        The escort is better at others.

        Whether a ferrarri is better than an escort depends on the weighted values you place on all the attributes of both.

        Those weighted values are INDIVIDUAL.

        You are free to have your own unique set – and to apply them – to yourself.

        You are not free to impose them on others by force.

  15. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:20 pm

  16. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:27 pm

    To be clear I do not have a problem with ca or mds districts nor th outcome of the election in those states

    I do hav a problem with ththe hypocracy that what is acceptable in ca or md is not where it might lease to less democrats

    Regardless this is simple either you believe that ca and md redistributing is evil
    Or you beleive the courts were wrong to intervene in states where redistributing favored republicans

    I am for keeping our courts out of politics

    I doubt many would disagree that politics is caustic and corrupt

    We do not want that polluting our courts

    A very wise scotuS decision on gerrymandering would be to take the constitution as it says

    Federal elections are the business of congress and state legislatures
    Not state courts
    Not bipartisan commissions not state governors

    The results will not be good
    But they will be better than if the courts get involved

    • November 26, 2018 12:52 am

      It will never happen in the near future, but the voting rights law was created by congress to outlaw voter discrimination based on race or color. Maybe its time for congress to further define discrimination as a voter minority, meaning voter registration can not be used to define districts.For instance, why is Bakersfield and Kern carved out of the 23rd district and placed in the 21st, totally surrounded by the 23rd except for the sliver of land connenting it to the 21st? Same reason NC has gerrymandered districts, but for the opposite reason.

      • John Say permalink
        November 26, 2018 12:01 pm

        You have to get past identifying things you do not like and demanding they get fixed.

        You said “seems like there has to be a better way”.

        There is always a way that will better suit the wants of one aggrieved party.
        There is not a away that will perfectly or even better resolve everyone who has a grievance or everyone who would have a grievance as a result of some new arrangement.

        There is no means to construct congressional districts that will perfectly balance ever single attribute that is meaningful to the redistricting process.

        You cited the voting rights act.

        That dictated minority majority districts.
        That sounds fair to minorities.
        But any arrangement that is fair to one groups is not fair to another.
        Aren’t farmers entitled to “fair” representation even though they are a minority ?
        What about women ?
        What about people with a college education ? The middle class ? The poor ?

        You will never manage to balance a congressional district to reflect every single attribute that when ignored results in unfair representation.

        What you will do is destroy the courts and the law and the social contract trying.

      • November 26, 2018 10:46 pm

        No I based my comment on a SCOTUS case , Wesberry v Sanders, 1964 where the court held that Georgia districts were unconstitutional since they were designed to put more people in rural districts and reduce the number of city districts. They held that one mans vote in one district became different than another mans vote in another district due to the differences in population. They did this to create more “rural districts of “GOP thinking” So in my comment concerning gerrymandering districts to make more voters of kind in each district and reduce the number of districts of the opposing party, I said “Maybe its time for congress to further define discrimination as a voter minority, meaning voter registration can not be used to define districts.” Note I was not quoting any law, just making the comment it might be time for a change.

        In an earlier comment I stated “looking back at the idea of districting did not occur until later in our history. One reason districting started was due to equal protection. Although different today, under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, if gerrymandering dilutes the votes of one party or the other, does that not mean my vote as a GOP member is not diluted if I have been included in a gerrymandered democrat district?” Note I said this is different today, but asked if they current impact of voters was not somewhat the same.

        The voting rights act only covered Race or color. Gerrymandering is diluting the votes of the minority party within those districts. So I said it might be time for congress, in doing their required responsibility along with the states, to preclude party affiliation from being used to configure districts.

        Yes nothing will make districting perfect, but when flaws are found, then should not congress do its job to reduce the number of flaws in any law?

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 12:59 am

        I do not understand your argument.

        I think that if SCOTUS were wise it would stay out of redistricting – and keep the federal courts out of it. It is a dangerous rathole that will have no good outcome for anyone.

        Congress would be constitutionally free to define things like discrimination with reference to voting. But that is an incredibly stupid thing to do to.

        While I do think that Congress should define uniform rules for all federal elections.
        And I am even prepared to have congress define uniform rules for creating congressional districts. But they should stay as far as possible from even discussing discrimination of any form. That too is a dangerous rathole that ends well for no one.

        Every form of redistricting dilutes the votes of some and amplifies the votes of others.
        There is absolutely positively no objective means to redistrict and no means to not advantage some and disadvantage others.

        This returns to the nonsense of “fair”.

        Can you be “fair” to republicans, democrats, blacks, women, farmers, suburbanites, urbanites, ….. ?

        There is absolutely no redistricting scheme that will not disadvantage some and advantage others.

      • November 28, 2018 4:11 pm

        “There is absolutely positively no objective means to redistrict and no means to not advantage some and disadvantage others.”

        But you keep missing my point and are only honed in on “fair”. I said before “fair” is not what I would like to see happen.

        What I want to see happen is a form of the congressional districts that were present back prior to probably 1970 That is before analytics, computers and mega data took over the districting and people did not have all the data they have now to manipulate borders of congressional districts. That is when you found the most “like” group of individuals within a district and when a representative went to congress to “represent the interest of his district”, he represented the vast majority since many had the same “interest”.

        Then came the decision that black voters could not be disadvantaged. If you took a old way of dividing up districts, black voters were split between districts, so their vote was being “diluted” in many instances, especially in the south where a much higher percentage of voters were republican. So a law came about where black voters should have their own district and state began looking at population and race to define districts. Out came the NC 12th that snakes 100 miles up interstate 85 and others like the two snake districts in Texas. Well that gave parties the idea if you could use that data to form illogical borders to create minority districts, why not use it to favor your own party. WOO HOO gerrymandering on steroids!

        For every action, there is a reaction. Laws dictating minority districts helped fuel gerrymandering. So now the parties are bitching because they are being disadvantaged, depending if you are a red state or a blue state.

        So my suggestion is not based on fair, as I have said. It is based on (1) what the constitution and laws require (a certain number of reps per population) and (2) one additional criterial, more geometric designs in district mapping preclude snakes, Goofies, Mickeys, Chinese fans, shorelines and other nondescript districts from being created.

        It aint perfect, but it sure beats what we have today when you look at the ridiculous maps. How someone can say they are represented by someone raised in a city and a businessman in a town 100 miles away down the interstate when the representative in a district close to your house lives across the street is down right idiotic.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 1:30 am

        Gerymandering is a more than a century old term.

        Technology and tools do not actually change right and wrong, Morality, liberty.
        Sometimes they show us where we are wrong.
        But the past was never as good as it appears in the rear view mirror.

        Regardless, it is not for courts to make the rules.
        Their role is to verify they do not conflict with the existing constitution.

        If you want your rules – pass a federal law.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 1:05 am

        You do not seem to grasp – it is not just that it can not be done perfectly.
        It is that there is not even such a thing as improving its flaws.

        The very concept of a flaw in this context is highly subjective.
        Which is exactly what is wrong with “fairness”.

        When you identify some “flaw” and attempt to fix it, you will inherently you will inherently create more problems that others will identify as “flaws”

        While it is not implausible that some refinement is possible,
        To a huge extent all changes to the methodology for creating districts are just efforts at picking different winners and losers.
        There is no objectively right set of winners and losers.

  17. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2018 11:52 pm

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/byron-york-when-it-comes-to-undermining-faith-in-democracy-another-low-point

    I do not have a problem with being skeptical about our election process

    My problem is that democrats oppose those measures that would improve our faith in elections

    The law kemp administered sound more than reasonable to me

    In fact many of Georgia’s voting provisions sound excellent to me

    If you can not get 50% of the vote we should not be having myriads of recounts and court battles we should have a runoff
    If you can not vote at least once in 7 years it is reasonable to remove you from the rolls
    You are likely dead or moved

    In ca we hav prosecutions of voter fraud – paying for signatures on referenda and other candidate qualification pettions

  18. November 26, 2018 3:04 pm

    https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-border-crossing-20181125-story.html

    Until the laws are changed, let them in! Close all other port of entries, increase staffing in San Ysidro to handle the thousands entering and process them for entry as quickky as possible. Women and children first, the men based on age. Do as many checks on them as possible, but process them quickly. I placed them in this order as those younger males are the ones that may gave ties to cartels.

    The president can not make law. He has to defend laws on the books.The laws on the books favor aliens seeking asylum. Until congress addresses this issue, then stop using these people as political pawns.

    And I use San Ysidro as port of entry, as California is a sanctuary state and much more welcoming than Arizona or Texas.

    • Jay permalink
      November 26, 2018 5:19 pm

      A totally reasonable assessment, Ron.

      But we have President Unreasonable making decisions.

      And with the Mueller investigation likely to start dropping F-Bombs on his ass soon, he’ll keep migrants in the headlines as much as possible: the longer he keeps them stranded at the border the more desperate they’ll become and likely swarm the fences.

      • John Say permalink
        November 28, 2018 1:58 am

        Jay;

        What is it that you think is coming from Mueller ?

        Maybe, just maybe Mueller has run the only investigation in DC history that does not leak like a seive.

        BUT even if that is so – the press accross the world have been digging into Trump like pigs for Truffles. Thus far the only things that have come out that have held up are more demonstrations of the malfeasance of the investigation.

        If there was anything their it would likely have been found by the press or leaked by someone on millers team.

        Todate nearly all the “leaks” have proved false.

    • John Say permalink
      November 28, 2018 1:53 am

      Why do you think the default is to “let them in” ?

      Further approx. 98% of them are going to be sent away.
      We are not going to let them in.

      Why are you in a hurry ?

      If things take a long time and they decide to return home on their own, rather than roll dice heavily loaded agains them – isn’t that a good thing ?

      Why is their plea more compelling because they are a mile away rather than 1000 miles away ?

      I will have no problem finding a more deserving person than ANY of those in the caravans elsewhere in the world.

      Give me a rational reason for “let them in” ?

      No the law on the books does NOT favor aliens seeking asylum – or better put, it favors them over aliens seeking economic gain.
      The law does NOT create a right to be here.
      Such right does not exist.

      These people are political pawns – they have made themselves that.
      They have chosen to be.

      I have a great deal of sympathy for them.
      But no more than people from india, or china, or haiti, or nigeria that also want to seek asylum.

      These people are not special because they are 1 mile away from our border.
      They have no more or less rights than when they started off in honduras.

      • November 29, 2018 9:24 am

        A year or so ago, my daughter spent the summer in South Africa. She was on a teaching internship, and she taught in schools that served some of the most desperately poor townships in Johannesburg. One of the schools was for kids that had been orphaned by AIDS, an epidemic that still rages in Africa. The level of poverty she saw was staggering. Many of the kids (and some of the South African teachers) lived in shipping containers, without plumbing. Most received their only meals at school. Every child that she got to know expressed the dream of one day getting to America. Some of the children asked her if she would adopt them, so that they could come and live in the US (she was warned that this would happen, but it was still heartbreaking for her to say no).

        Obviously, since there is no land path from South Africa to the US, there are no caravans of desperate migrants from SA, walking and/or riding to America, with the intention of becoming residents of what they consider the greatest nation on earth. Since left-wing open border activists cannot fund such a caravan, they focus on Latin America.

        But those activists don’t care any more for the Latino migrants that they use to further their anti-American agenda than they do for the Africans that they ignore. Migrants are simply tools of a political agenda. The fact that there are drug dealers, violent criminals and human traffickers in the mix makes no difference. The only goal is to overwhelm the US with illegal migrants…what they do, or what happens to them after they get here is of no consequence to the powers that financed their journey.

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2018 10:38 am

        And if Africans could walk all the way to the US, and a caravan of 3,000 of them survived to reach the US border, what would your daughter suggest be done with them?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 12:10 pm

        Jay
        I have zero problems with open borders

        But I think you are being dishonest if you claim the same

        If you allow hundreds of thousands of very low skill people into the us and maintain our laws as they are there are only three possibilities
        They starve here
        They are paid illegally to work for the actual value they are able to produce which is far below us minimum wages
        They survive on charity and public assistance

        There is no magic wand that will introduce a better choice
        Except actual freedom

        And you are not prepared for that
        Real freedom is the freedom to earn whatever you can
        Even if that is less that mw

        Freedom to succeed requires freedom to fail
        They are inseparable and many will

        Throughout the world we actually know that deep social safety nets slow rising standard of living

        The freedom of one to succeed does not exist without the freedom of others to fail

        Allowing hundreds of thousands of low skill people into the us absolutely will reduce the standard of living of the us working class

        Today whether it is minimum wages or regulations or our social safety net
        We prop up those near the bottom
        We disincentivize their success

        If you flip a burger today
        You do a job that has changed little in 50 years
        You are no more productive than your peer 50 years ago
        If your inflation adjusted wages is higher
        Then you are stealing for someone

        I have zero problems with letting 100’s of thousands of no skill people in

        I have a problem watching employers get prosecuted for hiring them illegally for what they are worth because they can not be legally paid what they are worth and they can not increase their worth without getting started

        I have a problem watching 5hem fail
        Or watching 5hem fill our jails
        Or watching them move to our public assistance

        I have no problem letting them in
        And giving the a real chance to succeed
        And that only occurs when they have a chance to fail

        How about you

        Do you really want to allow these people in ?

        There are many reasons these people are called illegals

        Not just because they crossed a line in the sand illegally

        But because they can not exist legally in the us

        Your laws require them to remain criminals to survive

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2018 3:58 pm

        Pay attention:
        I’ve stated this NUMEROUS times:
        I’m in favor of TIGHTER immigration access, not looser admittance, notably from Spanish speaking nations. I’ve stated my reasons for this before, and don’t have time to go over it again.

        I don’t want a flood of unskilled migrants entering the US.

        I agree with your assessment of the negative impact it would have on US low wage workers.
        But we do need a continuing supply of unskilled labor (ask Trump’s hotel and golf course management, who keeping requesting more of them to clean rooms and mow lawns).

        Balance is the key. And new policies to address future large scale migrations from South America, which will continue as populations of desperate people increase there.

        But I don’t want to see migrants, like those in the caravan debased.
        I don’t want to see more kids stolen from their parents, turned into orphans of the state-

        The law now assures those in the caravan amnesty hearings. Those who qualify should be granted amnesty; those who don’t, deported. We should marshal the resources to do that QUICKLY! instead of wasting resources bivouacing the Military along the border, Congress should send hoards of bureaucrats to border states to speed up the process.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:28 am

        No jay you have not taken a credible position on immigration
        Vague remarks and massive emoting are not taking a position
        They are not argument for a position

        Positions have rules
        An understanding that we try to anticipate problems but when they occur we follow the rule until we
        Roperly change them

        A flood of conflicting emotions is not an argument
        Some vague statements that are contradicted by nearly every post you make

        Balance is another of those typed meaningless words like fairness

        We govern by rules
        Whatever value you think there is in balance it gets applied before as the rules are made

        To the extent balance has any meaning at all it is as the rules are being made not after
        After is law
        We enforce law as written or we change it
        There is no balance

        Next balance out of thin air is nothing

        Balance what against what and how ?

        Most everything in your post could be prefaced by “I feel”
        Because that is all it is

        Make an actual argument
        Do not tell me how you feel things should be
        Facts logic reason

        In this post you barely touch on the tiniest bits

        You assert we need a large pool of low skilled labor
        That I actually false
        We want that
        We can use that
        But we can do without it
        The results will be different

        But an actual argument requires confronting the different results and explaining why you think one is better than the other
        Facts logic reason

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:33 am

        Get a clue
        Telling peop,e who have drug their assess 1000 miles NO is debasing

        There is no arrangement you can possibly come up with that will not have winners and losers
        That will not have people that you will have sympathy for lose

        If you care about debasing the people in the caravans
        Then you are for open borders
        Because anything else will result in somebody get it Int debased

        Besides if all these things matter to you
        Where were you when Obama was doing them
        Child separation
        Tear gas
        Using the military at the border
        Using the guard
        …..
        All things that happened under Obama too

        Where was your outrage and spittle then ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:35 am

        If you do not want to lose your kids
        Stay home

        If you do not want to loos desparate and debasedThen do not act desparate and debased

        The entire claim of these people rests on the claim that they are leaving a hell far worse than our borders
        If that is not true
        This is an economic choice and one of self debasement

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:42 am

        It is not relevant that you agzree with my assessment

        What matters is that any decision will have losers
        Even if there were a best decision someone will be screwed

        You miss this in everything

        The world is not perfect
        It will never be
        But it is good

        Good does not mean no families are separated
        It does not means that there are no mass hooting
        Or that people do not love their jobs or …

        Every bad thing does not have sometome to blame
        And even I those that do often are still the lessor evil

        You are demanding th impossible

        That trump meet your ur personal standard F perfection
        One that has s not even constant or defined
        On that never has anything go wrong

      • November 30, 2018 12:29 am

        Well, I think that, like all rational people she understands that, just as she could not possibly adopt the dozens of beautiful children who asked her to become their guardian and bring them home with her, nor can a sovereign nation, responsible for the welfare of its own citizens, possibly take in all of the needy people from around the globe ~ or even from the Western Hemisphere.

        So, she would probably suggest that the US immigration system be updated and reformed so that those South Africans most deserving have the opportunity to become American residents and citizens, and that any who might have a legitimate claim to political or religious persecution be granted sanctuary in our nation.

        What she would not suggest is that we allow people who show no respect for American sovereignty or for American laws to overrun our borders and claim the right to those benefits that are lawfully due to American citizens an/or legal residents.

        Now, if you’re talking about a finite number…say, a group of 3,000 only, that could be provided with aid and comfort by charitable Americans, I believe that she would say to take them in, help them, and then have them go through the legal process if they wanted to stay.

        But waves upon waves of tens of thousands of South Africans, demanding to be given medical care, education, jobs, and other benefits, as their right, because they were able to illegally breach American borders?

        That would be like saying that any of her students who were able to break into her house, would have the right to be her adopted children, and be fed, clothed and cared for by her, regardless of whether she had the emotional will or the financial ability to do so.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:52 am

        The obligation to care for those in need is individual not collective

        It is not an obligation of government

        Accepting it f’s up government

        There is no compelling reason the use can not live up to the new colossus

        But it can not both take oN a duty to care for the needy AND to accept all comers

        The sovereignty argument is circular

        I do not honestly beleive the us has the right to exclude others

        But we do not have an obligation to meet their needs either

        Get rid of th social safety net and labor regulations and you can have open borders
        Checking only for criminals send disease

        Many here attack trumps use of invasion
        Correctly
        The caravan is on.y an invasion if they threaten to take from us something that is ours
        Our property
        Or the income we make
        If the can receive a government benefit the. They are invading
        If the can not they are not
        And or sovereignty is not actually threatened

        Further the argument
        If you want in you will obey our laws which will prohibit you from getting in is circular

      • November 30, 2018 1:05 am

        I disagree with open borders, Dave, because I believe that the open borders argument is theoretical, and cannot work in practice. It’s like saying “love is all you need.” Well, actually, no. Love is great, but it’s not all you need. Air, food, water – are kinda important too.

        Of course the caravan is an invasion, for all of the reasons that you state, but also because it is a horde of people behaving unlawfully, without respect for the sovereign nation-state that America is.

        That sovereignty exists because it has been and still is the will of the American people that the United States is a sovereign nation. Until that changes, we are not an open borders union.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 3:06 am

        “I disagree with open borders, Dave, because I believe that the open borders argument is theoretical, and cannot work in practice.”
        It has worked for most of human history.

        It is only in the modern era that the slightest semblance of border security – with respect to immigration has been even possible.

        No it is not like saying “love is all you need”.

        It is however saying – freedom comes at a price – zero entitlements.

        But given that there are myriads of other reasons that government entitlements are bad that is a small price.

        I do agree however that the social safetynet as it is and open borders are NOT compatible,

        The “lawful” argument is and always has been dubious.

        You can not logically make a person not subject to our laws, essentially retroactively subject to our laws because they are about to step over a line.

        Until they are in the US we have no legitimate jurisdiction.

        Basically you have a chicken egg problem.

        I am not going to dwell on this – except to note that you can hold whatever view you want on crossing outside of checkpoints. But it is pretense to decide that those who did cross outside of checkpoints are criminals.

        Criminal intent is NOT the intent to do the thing defined as the crime.
        It is the intent to do wrong.

        Clinton as an example is guilty and criminally culpable for violating 18cfr793 – and Comey’s claim that she did not have the requisite intent is WRONG.

        She intentionally tried to remove control of her records from the government.
        That is sufficient intent to make her violation of 18cfr793 a crime.
        We know that was her intent – because she emailed others asking for advice on how to accomplish that.

        Drug smugglers intend to do something wrong, Their crossing the border can be truly illegal.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 3:27 am

        I want to address intent a bit further.

        At law, criminal intent is not like mind reading, it is also not the same as motive.

        It is intentionally doing wrong – not necescarily crime.

        There are very few “strict liability” crimes – crimes of negligence and crimes that explicitly do not require intent – like statutory rape.

        In state law in most states intent is an absolute requirement of nearly all crimes.

        The federal law as a common law principle – not statutory law, used to require intent.
        But recent court decisions have essentially said that intent is not required for any federal crime unless the statute explicitly requires it.

        If you accidentally kill a bald eagle – it is a crime. It does nto matter that it was purely accidental.

        During the Obama administration both Obama and Senate Republicans wanted to explicitly change the law to add a default intent requirement to all federal law where nothing is specified.

        That BTW is another reason Comey’s exhoerantion of Clinton was lawless.

        18cfr793(f) explicityly does not require intent.
        Currently all federal laws by default do NOT require intent – that is a bad thing.

        This is also relevant to the Papadoulis plea. Papadoulis did not intentionally mislead Mueller.
        The actual standard for federal crim-in-falsi is higher – it requires more than an intent to deceive. It requires success in deceiving.
        That is why Flynn can not be a prosecutable false statement.

        The reason for this is so that the FBI can not entrap you – as Corsi and Stone are currently claiming.

        What assorted prosecutors and pundits keep calling a “perjury trap” has a different legal name. It is called entrapment, and it is itself illegal.
        The government can not push cajole or otherwise manipulate someone into committing a crime.

        Lying to the police is stupid – but it is not a crime.

        Lying to a federal agent is.
        BUT the requirements of the crime dictate that the misrepresentation must interfere with the investigation. That means that anytime a federal agent asks a question they know the answer too, That you can say whatever you want and it is not making a false statement.
        A federally criminal false statement requires reliance by the government on the statement.

        The claim regarding Cohen and his senate testimony MIGHT be perjury IF the facts Mueller alleges are proveable – which I am extremely dubious of.

        It is not perjury to have a difference of oppinion as to what something means, where meaning is not clear.
        It would also not be perjury to say there were no negotiations after XX/XX/XX if there were email and phone communications.

        Communications means much more than negotiation.
        Negotiation requires bidirectional efforts to reach an agreement.

        Finally perjury can not be deminimus.

        Lets say Cohen deliberately mislead the senate regarding this Moscow Trump tower.
        In the context of senate testimony to be perjury Those contacts would have to revolve arround some other conduct that was actually criminal.

        Saying Benghazi was a spontaneous uprising is an attempt to mask the unpreparedness of the administration, during an election, to a terrorist attack.

        The lie is covering up a substantive truth.

        Unless building a Trump tower in Moscow was wrong, Cohen lying to the senate about it might be stupid, but it is not perjury.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 1:50 pm

        The problem with open borders is political not theoretical.

        So long as it is not politically possible – the majority do not want them and the left does not grasp the implications of working open borders, more detailed discussion of them is accademic.

        But I am blunt with those on the left – “show me”!

        Because open borders are not possible with many other things the left demands.

        I am prepared for open borders and all that comes with them.
        I do not have much tolerance for those who want open borders, but are unwilling to even ponder that open borders has unavoidable consequences.

        We get alot of that – more from the left that right but still this garbage of favoring some policy because of its benefits but pretending it has no costs.

        That law can deliver us only part of the natural consequences.

        Which brings me to the next thing that you, I and ron seem to be in agreement on.

        The rule of law means many things.
        It does not mean rule by anything that can be made law.

        But it DOES mean that whatever the law is, it is the same for all,
        That if we are going to have law we are going to follow it – that is not optional.
        That we do not ignore law because it feels wrong.
        That when we do not like the law as it is we work to change it not pretend that it does not exist.

      • November 30, 2018 2:57 pm

        “But it DOES mean that whatever the law is, it is the same for all,
        That if we are going to have law we are going to follow it – that is not optional.”

        And Dave, that is where I find myself very conflicted. Where I have argued that immigration laws have to be followed or ignore them completely (let them all in), I am on the other side of the fence when it comes to cannabis laws. I find myself siding with states who have passed laws allowing the use of those products, while they are still illegal federally.

        But i also do not see anything in the constitution that specifically gives the federal government control of drugs, just as it does not have control of alcohol with repeal of prohibition.

        I found this in an article from The Hill that describes my thinking better than I can myself. “When the Constitution was adopted, the phrase ‘regulate commerce’ was well-understood. It referred to laws governing mercantile trade and certain associated matters, such as tariff barriers, commercial finance, navigation, and marine insurance. It did not include other aspects of the economy. In fact, many of the founders are on record as specifically assuring the public that Congress would have no jurisdiction over agriculture, manufacturing, land use, or (according to Chief Justice Marshall) ‘health laws of every description.’

        Growing marijuana is, of course, a species of agriculture. Processing is manufacturing. The ban on personal consumption is a health regulation. The Constitution places control over all those activities squarely within the state, not the federal, sphere.”

        So I am still conflicted in my support for states rights as it addresses cannabis, medical or whatever, but due to the specific nature of immigration being addressed in the constitution and federal law is provided specifically by the constitution, I do find myself picking laws that should be followed in some instances.

        And I base my thinking on cannabis more on the side of medical uses, such as seizure and pain control, and not so much on recreational use, even though it is not much different than drinking.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 3:54 pm

        If Government passes a law,
        GOVERNMENT must enforce it.
        Government should never pass a law with the intention of ignoring it.
        that is stupid and essentialy lawless.

        It is also important because when a law is being crafted, legislators should be contemplating the effects of enforcing it. The costs, the response of people.
        They should be thinking – what is people do not obey.

        We should get passed this nonsense that passing a law automatically results in the operation of the world changing.

        But PEOPLE are not the same as government.

        I have no expectation that you will obey bad law.
        There is even a duty to disobey some laws.
        But it is an INDIVIDUAL duty, not one of government, not one of society.

        These two things seem in conflict but they are not.

        It is the rigid enforcement of bad laws and the opposition that generates that drives us to eliminate them.

        Bad laws that are passed and ignored by government remain a hidden burden on us all. A trap that could spring on us at any time.

        Individuals have to on their own determine how to deal with bad laws.
        Oppose them through civil disobediance and/or by fighting to have them changed or repealed.

        Or we are even free as individuals to tolerate bad laws.

        With respect to cannibus.
        I would entirely eliminate nearly all drug laws.
        Not just MJ and herion, but everything antibiotics, …..

        If you lie about what you sell – that is fraud. Fraud is a crime, We do not need massive regulation to combat fraud which is already illegal, and a violation of contracts and a tort.

        If you harm someone with something you sell, that is a tort, a breach of contract and possibly a crime too. Again that is based on relatively general laws that are hundreds of years old.

        Businesess particularly big businesses that sell things seek to distinguish their product from others.

        Getting regulations that restrict what can be sold is one way to accomplish that.
        So are things like UL or GoodHousekeeping approvals or Board Certifications.
        So is branding.
        Most everyone knows that the best hamburgers at any town are NOT fast food.
        But we all know when we go into McD’s exactly what we are going to get.
        That is what branding means.

        All these and many others are substitutes for laws and regulations.
        That are far more dynamic and work much better.

        All our drug laws are bad for much the same reasons.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 3:58 pm

        The federal government had to pass a constitutional amendment to impliment prohibition – because the courts determined that the federal regulation of alcohol – beyond taxing was outside their constitutional authority.

        Cannabis, Heroin and tylenol are no different from alcohol in that regard.

        The commerce clause in the constitution – often refered to as the “dormant commerce clause” was initially crafted to BAR states from regulating interstate commerce.

        The history of the clause makes it clear that congress never intended to empower the federal government to regulate commerce. They gave that power to the federal government to take it from the states.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 4:00 pm

        The legitimate purpose of the law is not to prevent people from behaving stupidly.
        That is not possible.

        It is to punish the use of force against others.

        If you do not like some uses of MJ or heroin – educate people. Persuade them not to act stupid.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:49 am

        My children are adopted
        My son is from South Korea
        My daughter is from China

        We traveled to China to adopt her in 1998

        Her orphanage was so bad no one was allowed to visit it
        We saw pictures much later that had been taken by some subterfuge

        At that time conditions were improving
        Still many of the kids left in Chinese orphanages were placed in dying rooms
        There were too many to take care of and the orphanages were too poor

        And 1998 was 20 years after mao died
        Things had been improving rapidly for 20 years

        In 1974 China was the poorest country in the world

        It’s standard of living had changed zero sine 1900
        It was much poorer than Africa
        In the 1950s 50 million died of starvation

        When mao died China was importing food
        Today they are the worlds 2nd largest exporter of food
        The us is first

        We know what improved China
        Increased economic freedom
        And even those improvements leave it far behind the us in freedom
        And standard of living

        The same thing has occurred in India but it started two decades later
        But the results are the same

        A metioric rise from near total poverty resulting from and tracking increased freedom

        China’s rate of improvement has slowed
        Because their improvement of individual freedom has stalled

        China and India are not the only place this has occurred
        Through Asia Malaysia Thailand even Vietnam throughout South America
        And even Mexico

        Wherever freedom has increased standard of living has increased
        The level of standard of living very closely matching the level of freedom

        Where freedom is unchanged standard of living is unchanged
        Much of Central America Cuba Haifa most of Africa much of the Mideast

        Between governments and charity $1t has been invested in Africa over the past 50 years
        With absolutely zero benefit

        Charity foreign aide free stuff does not help
        Freedom alone improves standard of living

        This is true of countries in abject poverty
        It is also true of those countries at the top

        Rising stand of living maps nearly exactly to freedom
        Even in Europe japan. And the us

        In the us and other advanced countries when when reduce freedom when we pass more laws when government grows our rate of improvement slows

        Much of Africa has the worst poverty in the world today

        But 5hat was not true in 1965
        China was worse
        India was close

      • November 29, 2018 11:50 am

        I proposed letting them in because few can agree on anything concerning immigration. It is all political. Republicans see latinos as a threat to their continued existance as a viable party. Somewhat like a national California Republican type existance. Democrats see Latinos as their road to domination of the federal government, again like California. Far left democrats see a socialist America in 50 years if they stay the course.

        One foot policy? Did not work. Many ignored court date.
        Lock them up. Doesnt work, children separated from parents
        Lock them up with kids? Damn, think of the pictures Huff Post, MSNBC CNN and Jay could find on Twitter to attack Trump and his policies.
        Catch them and deport. Doesnt work in many cases due to family ties.

        So I think something is about to blow up on our southern California border. I would not be surprised if a large group find a way to “charge” the border, women and children in front and a few of them will die.Then the left will have a hay day will negative news, nothing positive comes out, no one will blame democrats for refusing to negotiate a border wall since they will see this as a win win in 2020.

        So when they are going to get in one way or the other since CONGRESS, not Trump refuses to do thier job, I say let them into California, a welcoming sanctuary state.

      • November 30, 2018 12:33 am

        Maybe that would work. Trump could build a wall around California, and let it secede! (I’m kidding, Jay)

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:54 am

        I do not think we are close to civil war

        But the divisions in this country are in many instances fundamental

        We are either going to eventually fracture
        One side is going t capitulate
        Or we are going to find a way to each do as we wish but not at the national level

      • November 30, 2018 9:25 am

        Hey, Jay, I am sorry if I did not acknowledge your opinions on illegal immigration. As you know, I only stop by here once in a while now, and I don’t read every comment…just kind of skim the latest ones, and respond, if I have something to say.

        So, I think that the vast majority of Americans want and need immigration reform. And almost no one, no decent person anyway, wants to separate families. Family separation becomes temporarily necessary in the case of possible lawlessness and abuse (and this applies to American citizens as well as migrants) and you guys have probably discussed that at length also, so I likely have nothing new to add.

        My concern is that the migrant crisis is now worldwide, and it is supported by many powerful people who care ZERO about you or me, or any immigrant, legal or illegal, who consider child traffickers to be effective tools of an agenda, and who effectively want to end the nation-state system.

        It may be that the nationalist state system, which appears to be in current demise, is a system that no longer works. But the neo-fascist undertones of the open borders movement is what is driving world-wide populism, and voters in democratic countries are rejecting the idea that nationalism is dystopia, or that utopian socialism will work this time around.

  19. November 27, 2018 2:48 pm

    Gallup poll shows a 38% approval and 60% disapproval. Rasmussen show a 49% approval and disapproval. Does anyone know what question is asked by these two “random” sampling companies to get such a vast difference in response.

    Rasmussen has a 35% strongly approve and 40% strongly disapprove. Could Gallup be reporting strongly approve and all others considered disapprove?

    To big a difference! Figures dont lie, but liars can figure!

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2018 4:23 pm

      Of the major pollsters, they’re among the least accurate at predicting outcomes.C+ rating.
      https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/

      • November 27, 2018 8:15 pm

        Interesting, the only one I could find with more than 400 surveys reviewed with presidential approval was survey USA and theirs was only for California. And looking at this list polls a like rear ends, everyone seems to have one.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:03 pm

        538 is a poll aggregator – like RCP.

        They have had some good successes and alot of spectacular failures.

        After 2016 they should not be criticizing Rassmussen.

        At 9pm election night they were still predicting Clinton by over 90%.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 2:35 pm

        Actually over the past 12 years Rassmussen has been more accurate than 538.

        In the past decade nearly every major pollster has had a huge fail.
        And nearly everyone has had a big success.

        Rassmussen has had several instances where they were nearly dead right that nearly every other polster was predicting a different result.
        They have also been significantly wrong on occasion.

        They are clearly right biased, but over the past decades the results have been more strongly to the right than everyone else predicted.

        Rasmussen has NEVER failed so badly as 538 did in 2016.

        I like Nate Silver alot. But he is under the delusion that political polling is like baseball statistics. It is not. There is alot more than math that goes into it. And Nate like most every other polster is unable to keep his politics from influencing his results,. But Nate is more blind to that than most.

  20. November 27, 2018 6:13 pm

    GM announces 14,000 employees to be layed off. 3 plants closing in USA. GM also asked for tariff exemption of 25% on Chinese build Buick Envision. BS!! Leave it there! Or they can shift production for the USA sold Envisions to America to a closed plant here.

    If they are an American company, build it here. If they are a Chinese company, then place the tariff on it! And leave it there.

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2018 6:26 pm

      Better: remove the damn tariffs.

      When Dumbo Donnie initiated the tariffs GM warned him it would harm the US auto industry & he poo-pooed that. Dumb dumb Dumbo knows better, he says.

      • November 27, 2018 6:37 pm

        So Jay, tell me how building a junk car in China and closing 3 plants in America has anything to do with Trump. Your TDS is off the charts. If your sewer backed up in California, you would find a way to blame Trump.

        I want more tariffs on the Envision. We gave GM billions to stay in business and now they are more a Foreign car company than Toyota. That is not protecting American jobs!

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 6:38 pm

        Tariffs harming agriculture too…

      • November 27, 2018 7:11 pm

        Come on Jay, do 5 minutes of research and stop regurgitating idiotic tweets.

        https://www.macrotrends.net/2532/corn-prices-historical-chart-data

        Click on the 10 year trend. The price of corn has beenbsteady for 5 years, well before the tariffs. Now look at corn orices and the declinecwas actually due to Obama policies if you want to blame someone. They have been around $3.60 since 2014 after dropping from $8.00 in 2012.

        Figuresbdont.lie, but liars can figure. This tweet blames the wrong administrations. The same goes for soy beans!!!

        Use your brain instead of the smart(?) phone!

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 7:58 pm

        Ron, Ronny, Dude, my Pal – don’t you know who Tim O’Brien is? Who he works for? What his field of expertise is? Who follows him on social media? (Hint: the opposite of Lefty readers).

        Though I like you like a step-brother 🥴, I gotta go with Tim’s opinion over yours on this one, Bro.

      • November 27, 2018 8:24 pm

        Jay Bird old friend, he is an author, a Viet Nam veteran, and a poli Sci graduate. Does that give him free reign for not presenting data in a manner that shows the complete story.

        How do you explain an $8.00 price for corn in 2014 and fluctuating between $3.50 to $4.00 since 2014? These are actual figures. Where did he quote figures in his article since 2012?

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:00 pm

        Here is O’Brian’s Twitter CV – looks like someone who would NOT be followed by the “opposite of leftists”.

        Also not someone with a great deal of credibility.

        Regardless, it is not WHO said it that matters it is the accuracy of what they said.

        I am an OPPONENT of tarriffs.

        But even I am aware that NOTHING Trump has done thus far is significant enough to do real economic carnage. I still oppose. But I am not going batshit frothing crazy over the fact that US soybean sales have shifted away from China to other countries.

        Tarriffs are fundimentally the same as sanctions – except weaker, and they are highly ineffective unless adopted by many countries.

        https://twitter.com/TimOBrien?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1067391237261598720&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnewmoderate.com%2F2018%2F11%2F24%2Fhow-moderates-can-transform-american-politics-part-2-building-a-movement%2F

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 7:51 pm

        I have no idea what obama’s farm policies might have done to farm prices.

        But Obama – Trump – government should stay OUT of prices – farm prices and every other price.

        No subsidies, no tarrifs.

      • November 29, 2018 8:44 pm

        Obamas policies impacting corn prices. Could have been something to do with energy policy. Who knows. He ruled by pen and few paid attention.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 7:49 pm

        Tarriffs do NOT lower prices.

        Markets do.

        Markets relentlessly drive prices down.

        Market consolidation and some bankruptcies are a normal market function.

        Look up creative destruction.

        I find it odd that someone who thinks all business is evil profits are extra evil and rants over Trump’s bankruptcies thinks that some business bankruptcies are a bad thing.

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 7:42 pm

        Trump Tariffs Producing Cheesy Cheese Prices.

        “While September butterfat exports were 168 percent higher than a year ago cheese exports were down 9 percent, a 20-month low. Exports of cheese to US largest market Mexico were down 10 percent and down 63 percent to China reflecting the effect of retaliatory tariffs by these two countries.”

      • November 27, 2018 8:17 pm

        Wonderful, then maybe I wont have to pay $5.00 a pound in the super market so the Mexicans can have cheese on their tacos.

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 10:30 pm

        Won’t the opposite happen after reserves are depleated?
        Less demand will make more cheese makers go out of business.
        That leads to less demand for milk and milk producers buy less cows.
        Leading to reduced supply of milk.
        That shortage raises the cost of milk which will raise the price of cheese, butter, etc.
        Consumers (you) will pay more.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:17 pm

        Real declines in demand reduce real prices – until the supply reduces to match demand.

        Real demand is not set by Tarriffs but by peoples wants and needs.

        But tarrifs that con not be efficiently circumvented can reduce demand particularly of things that are not necescities.

        But the dairy market is so F’d up I would not venture to preduct anything except that government needs to get out of dairy.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:18 pm

        Have you actually read what you wrote ?

        Your argument is that anything will ultimately produce the opposite effect.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:05 pm

        Most US dairy prices are screwed up because of layers of subsidies.

        In my state there are laws preventing selling milk at below official prices and amish farmers get prosecuted all the time for violating that.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 7:53 pm

        There are no tarriffs on Chese to mexico – either by the US or by Mexico.

        If the Chinese are tarrifing US cheese and thus reducing US cheese exports to china.

        Absent other issues, exports to other countries should increase.

        If exports to mexico are decreasing something is going on besides tarrifs.

      • November 29, 2018 8:48 pm

        Dave, there were 25% tariffs on cheese imposed on Sept 7th. Was this taken off after renegotiation of the trade deal?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:44 pm

        Under nafta Mexico had zero tariffs on cheese
        I can not find anything that says the nafta2 or whatever it is called imposed cheese tariffs
        I fact milk product tariffs were a major impediment to a deal with Canada

        Mexico did threaten cheese tariffs in response to us steel tariffs
        Though I find that odd as I do not think Mexico is a big steel exporter

        Regardless you can find links to dairy people in sept 2918 saying the threatened cheese tariffs do not boypther them
        They still have a huge advantage over Europe

        But I want to re else this

        I have serious problems with the credibility of news stories

        Praticulrly those Tharp turn posturing into facts

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 2:43 pm

        There is an awful lot of posturing – by Trump and GM here.

        GM has had severe problems maintaining its dominant position in the US market since 1970.

        They are getting the crap beat out of them by Ford in light trucks and by various foreign car companies with US car factories in the south like Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, ….

        But they are managing to compete in some foreign markets – like China.

        They are making cars both for China and for the US in China relatively successfully.

        Much of what they are doing was inevitable – Trump/No Trump Tarrifs/No Tarrifs.

        Trump trying to take any credit or GM trying to cast blame is mostly political nonsense.

        I am not trying to defend Tarrifs – I think they are a mistake. Though mostly I think they are a negotiating tactic.

        But I am also not going to pretend their effects are larger than they are.

        Targetted tarrifs on true commodities – like soy, are completely ineffective, the market just shifts arround a bit.

        Specific situations – like tarrifs on cars from china when GM a US company is producing cars for export into the US market are more trouble.

        Cars are much less of a commodity. Cars are made mostly for specific markets.

  21. Jay permalink
    November 27, 2018 6:21 pm

    I agree with you on this one, Dave – an instance where too much government really screws things up.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/border-patrol-families-still-being-separated-at-border-after-zero-tolerance-immigration-policy-reversed

    • November 27, 2018 7:18 pm

      Jay, until congress does its job, just open the San Yisdro port of entry and let all of them in.

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 7:59 pm

        And do what with them?

      • November 27, 2018 8:36 pm

        California is a sanctuary state. Governor Brown should know what to do with them. This is a bunch of crap. Someone says enforce the law, so we enforce the law and people have an anal hemorrhage. If they put people in jail and put their kids in there with them, it would be worse. So they put the law breakers in jail and separate the kids and people have another anal hemorrhage. Then propose letting them in and “what the hell do we do with them?”

        So you bitch about Trump putting them in jail, you bitch about them being separated from their kids and then ask what the hell do we do with them if we let them in , that is a question that YOU need to answer.

        You don’t want them jailed for breaking the law. You don’t want the kids in jail with the parents. You don’t want them separated from their kids. And now you don’t want them let in through the port of entry.

        I gave a solution to the problem of illegals and kids of illegals who enter illegally. If you don’t like that solution, then you propose something and then we can debate that.

        Just asking another question solves nothing except demonstrates not knowing an answer. I gave one. The state of California, being a sanctuary state can provide assistance. If the leaders of California do not want to do that, then do away with sanctuary status. They can’t say they won’t enforce the law and then turn their back on those that come in illegally

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2018 9:27 pm

        Where have I bitched about confining them until their statis for aslymn is determined?
        Just DONT separate them from their children.

        And I have a GREAT strategy for Gov Brown if they turn the amnesty seekers over to him: he declares a State emergency, and houses them at Trump owned properties and hotels. Bet that would get him serious consideration for 2020.

      • November 27, 2018 11:52 pm

        Well I dont have time to research all our comments, but anything Trump has done you have provided some Twitter link that is opposition to that action. But would you accept putting the men and women in jail and have their kids with them?

        Wow what a picture that would be for Huff Post. Men in a prison courtyard with their kids.

        Now I like your idea for using Trump properties and i bet the Trump Co. would appreciate the business.A state of emergency allows government to freeze assets, limit trade and confiscate property in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States that originates substantially outside of it. I have serious doubts the same criteria could be used by a state if it were not a natural disaster , but even then the state qualifies for federal funding.

        But if it could be used, the government would still be required to pay for the value of the services provided. In the end, Trump would win out either way. His company might even get more in the end.

        But would that not crash against your argument against inurement and then would he be looking at another inurement clause violation that the left is gung ho on getting him on?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 10:48 pm

        A state of emergency does not allow asset confication

        The takings clause requires government to compensate

        That has tended to be. A weak hedge but
        There appear to be 6justices chocking over a takings cAse right now

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:14 pm

        “Where have I bitched about confining them until their statis for aslymn is determined?”

        When you bitch about “familiy separation” that is what you are bitching about.

        There are laws as well as a consent decree.

        Trump is charging repeat offenders and detaining them, because following the consent decree he can deport them very quickly if he does so.
        But he can not do so without charging them. And if he charges them he can not detain children with parents. Because you can not hold children with people who are charged with a crime.

        If he does not charge them, then he can not deport them quickly, and inevitably he has to release them before holding a hearing

        The law just does not work as you wish.
        If you do not like it change it.
        But I expect Trump to follow the law litterally, and if that offends us, we should change the law.

        You are bitching at the cost of sending the military to the border to erect concertina wire, but not the cost of indefinite detention ?

        As to your brown nonsense.

        Any action that specifically targeted Trump properties would be an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

        Any action that cost any private ower substaintially would be a unconstitutional taking.
        Unless that private owner was fully compensated for their market value losses.

      • John Say permalink
        November 29, 2018 8:01 pm

        “And do what with them?”

        That is what WE are asking YOU ?

        You do not want Trump to stop them.

        Well then what are you doing with them when they get here ?

  22. Jay permalink
    November 28, 2018 10:23 am

    This is the best Conservative writer out there, singing Trump’s dirge:

    “Donald Trump is having a very bad week to go on top of his bad month, bad year, and bad presidency, and it’s showing with every manic tweet and every unhinged statement. As easy as it is to view Trump’s tweetstorms as the rantings of a lavishly paranoid man who’s just discovered the myriad joys of cocaine, his doubling down on absurd “witch hunt” whining is, as always, a tell. As he ratchets up the volume well past 11, you know he feels the heat rising.”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/sensing-defeat-trump-cries-witch-hunt

    • John Say permalink
      November 30, 2018 1:25 am

      I would suggest that rather than fixate on tweets you might want to take the opportunity to watch Trump speak.

      Find a press briefing or something else where he speaks a while – particularly where he takes questions – and not just some 30sec sound bite.

      Trump is having fun.
      He is not desperate.

      You might be, the left might be, the press might be.

      You may think the past week, month, year has been bad for him.
      I do not think there is evidence he does.

      Absolutely some of his tweets are outrageous.
      But everything is outrageous today – and the left and media drove it their so there is little to complain about.

  23. November 28, 2018 9:36 pm

    https://video.foxnews.com/v/5972759191001/?#sp=show-clips

    Very interesting. Sanctuary gun city. And the further we divide!!!!!

    And I love the comment from the lady from western Washington regarding laws. Guess its fine for liberals to ignore immigration laws since Washington became a sanctuary state in February 2017, but put that action on the other foot and following the law is a must!

    Now, before jumping on me, if there are laws they should be enforced. If they are bad laws, fix them. But, if you pick and choose which laws you and your community will follow, then others have that same right. Dont chastize them for doing what you may choose to do from your agenda.

    • November 29, 2018 6:48 pm

      I swear when you think you have heard all the stupid things another occurs. I am a gun right advocate. I am also in favor of conceal carry ( across states, not state specific) and gun safety is the primary issue in obtaining a carry permit. But DAMN, can anyone fix stupid? This guy has watched too many cops and robbers on TV where people just jamb a gun in their belt. To bad he didn’t lose a testicle in this, but then he would have lost 1/2 of his intelligence.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 10:54 pm

        People do stupid things all the time
        Laws make no difference

  24. Jay permalink
    November 29, 2018 5:32 pm

    Another ex-Republican who gets it!

    • November 29, 2018 7:00 pm

      Yes, many “REAL REPUBLICANS” get it. Trump is and never has been av”real” republican. He hyjackednthe nomination through appealing to independants in the primaries that gave him enough support to out distance 10-12 other “real” republicans by getting 30-35% of the vote. Not until money dried up and most everyone else dropped out leaving just an unacceptible far extreme right winger in Cruz, did Trump begin getting 50% or close to it.

      I would hope the GOP learned from open primaries, but I doubt they did. So we have one party for far left.liberals for the most part and another for.populist, moderate labor union members, right of center independents, lifelong republicans, born again christians, tea party conservatives and extremist right wingers.

      Easier to break into a fractured party with many different followers than one with just identity politics and anti rich as your agenda.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 10:58 pm

        The Republican Party is pretty ideologically diverse so I am not sure what a real republican is

        But the claim that trump represents a more centrist version of republicanism is valid

        Beyond that he won the game by the rules
        If you do not like that change the rules

        Though I would suggest 5hat no matter what the rules are someone you do not like will be able to win

    • dhlii permalink
      November 29, 2018 10:53 pm

      I love bad Thor’s books
      I also love Meryl Streep’s movies

      I do not presume either to be especially expert on other things

      If trump lied about something substantive
      You should be able to clearly point that out

      You know some obvious statement like
      You can keep you doctor if
      Or I did not have sex with that woman
      Or Benghazi was a spontaneous protest to a video

      Please telll me what remark of trumps rises to that standard of self serving misrepresentation against the public interest ?

  25. Jay permalink
    November 29, 2018 7:31 pm

    Cohen Guilty Plea:

    What it tells us about the characterless Trumps:

    “In effect, Cohen admitted in court on Thursday that even as Russian operatives were hacking Democratic emails and getting ready to dump emails through Wikileaks, even as Trump was publicly praising Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, even as the Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. took place in the summer of 2016, the Trump Organization—with Trump and his family very much in the know—was negotiating to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The Trump Organization was negotiating—or, at least, trying to negotiate—this deal with the Kremlin itself.”

    And to get the deal approved:

    “President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan… Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.”

    I wonder what Trump will be offering Putin if their on-again off-again on- again personal one to one meeting in Buenos Aires is on-again.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 29, 2018 11:14 pm

      I have read about the Cohen plea

      I am quite a bit dubious that the things mueller claims are facts actually are

      And I am not accepting them based on a plea deal

      Particularly while Corsi is telling us that because mueller claims he perjured himself over a minor detail regarding one email of thousands
      That mueller is demanding a plea that
      Asserts other mueller facts that Corsi claims are lies

      One of the most fundamental problems with mueller is that his approach is to grill everyone until they make a small contradiction
      Accuse them of lying
      And then force them to say something false

      We have exactly that going on with manafort right now
      Manafort struck a deal
      Mueller says manafort is not cooperating
      Manafort says he is fully cooperating
      But being asked to lie

      Given muellers history with Richard jewel and
      I’ve s in the anthrax case I am inclined to beleive Corsi and manafort

      And they are not exactly credible

      Present some actual facts demonstrating that this hotel deal was ongoing through June

      Just to be clear
      A fact would be real evidence of actual progress on a deal

      Not what mueller appears to claim he has which I am not sure he does

      Mueller has grilled dozens of people over tens of thousands of exchanges

      Catching each in technical misstatements merely proves if you grill someone long enough you can find some inconsistancy

      This is was any good attorney says you talk to law enforcement once only with them present
      You answer questions once only
      You do not answer if you are not certain

      Because even truthful people can get caught in details

      I gave you real examples of real lies that were important
      These are not over minor details

    • Jay permalink
      November 29, 2018 8:02 pm

      Above link:

      “SAN DIEGO (AP) — No criminal charges will be filed against any of the 42 people associated with a caravan of Central American migrants who were arrested in a clash that ended with U.S. authorities firing tear gas into Mexico, The Associated Press has learned.”

      • November 29, 2018 8:53 pm

        Did they get on American soil? I thought they were stopped. That is what all the pictures showed of women and children running for their lives. If they did not get one foot in, then we don’t have jurisdiction do we?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:19 pm

        If they were actually arrested by cbp then they got to us soil

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:18 pm

        Why do you think this is significant ?

    • November 29, 2018 8:50 pm

      Score one for your side. No kids separated!

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:12 pm

        Not yet separated

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:13 pm

        And aren’t you on the same side re separating children?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:34 pm

        Why do you presume there are clear sides ?

        No one wants separations

        But there are lots of other things we do not want too

        I have very serious problems with someone who would drag a chid through thousands of very dangerous miles like this
        Given the possibility of permanent separation

      • November 30, 2018 12:49 am

        Jay, I have said basically three things.
        One, laws need to be followed.
        Two, current immigration laws suck and sanctuary states ignore the law for some.
        Three, if the federal immigration laws are not going to be enforced equally, then ignore #1 and let everyone into states that have sanctuary state status.

        HOWEVER!!! Read my words. If you choose to enforce the law, if an illegal is caught breaking the law, if that illegal has 1 kid or 10 kids, we FOLLOW the accepted practice that we follow for ANY individual placed in jail. They go to jail and the kids go into social service protection. That IS separation.

        AND, IF IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND THEIR CHILDREN, IT SURE AS HELL SHOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR LAW BREAKING NONE CITIZENS, better known as illegal aliens!

        Tell me why these people should be privilaged and not be separated when you or I would be separated from our kids if you or I were in jail? Please provide some perspective on your thinking.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:58 am

        The family separations occurred when adults with families were caught crossing illegally after having been previously returned
        You can a
        These were never first time crossers

        Rogue that crossing should not be s crime
        But it is and both Obama and trump used it to jail and rapidly deport repeat offenders
        And jailing means family separation

    • dhlii permalink
      November 29, 2018 11:17 pm

      So what is your beef ?

      Are you claiming because cbp is not traditional law enforcement and did not properly preserve evidence of violence that it didn’t occur

  26. Jay permalink
    November 29, 2018 11:11 pm

    Another respected conservative tells it like it is, about this debauched presidency …

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/three-remarkable-things-about-michael-cohens-plea/577015/

    • dhlii permalink
      November 29, 2018 11:30 pm

      I respect ken a lot

      But we have already been over this

      No I do not think this is significant
      No it is not close to what ends a presidency
      This is more of muellers manufacturing mostly inconsequential evidence and crimes by bullying and getting people to lie in plea deals

      If mueller has real evidence reveal it

      As to scope or scale

      If totally completely true and backed with robust evidence

      This would fall short of
      Benghazi was a spontaneous uprising over an internet video

      A story that was echoed by Obama and the upper tiers of the administration
      During an election and under oath to congress

      Who has been prosecuted for that lie ?

      So is your standard that Cohen is as mich a criminal as Susan rice or Hillary Clinton
      And trump as misleading as Obama ?

      I will make an easy deal with you

      I will get behind every single plea deal mueller has managed if you will subject the small army of people in the Clinton campaign in the Obama administration and in the fbi and doj to the same punishment for the same actions

      Though those in the doj and fbi should be held to a higher stanard

      This is called the rule of law not man

      Anything less is lawless
      And corrupt

      We’d mueller is politically corrupt

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2018 11:37 pm

        You’re hopeless.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2018 12:16 am

        There are STILL
        Three big issues her

        First scale if absolutely true this is not watergate it is not lewinsky it is not Benghazi it is not on the scale of a president using cia doj and fbi to wiretap spy and investigate an opposing political candidate without evidence and we still have nothing close to evidence today

        Second the rule of law
        That requires the same laws apply the same way to republicans as democrats
        Mueller has about half a dozen people he has strong armed into meaningless and possibly fraudulent please over mis statements that most of us can rarely see without repeated explanations pretty much the definition of NOT perjury
        We have a small army of democrats and members of fbi doj cia who have made far more clearly egregious misstatements under oath and never been investigated
        That is pretty much NOT the rule of law

        Get it through your head
        The American revolutions occurred because the British did not follow the rule of law
        When government does not follow the rule of law the violence is justified
        Read the Declaration of Independence that is explicitly an assertion that when government is lawless violence against government is justified

        That word justified is critical it is the difference between antifa and the red brigades and the American revolution
        I am not saying we are facing revolution Ii tomorrow
        But I am saying that if government remains lawless more and more people on the right will believe with justification that violence is warranted

        To be clear violence is rarely justified
        But rare is not never

        What you constantly call whataboutism is actually called the rule of law
        If you do not grasp,that vastly disparate application of the law is going to result in very bad outcomes you are an idiot

        I would further that the more lawless all this becomes the more people will turn a blind eye to trump lawlessness

        The last is that not only do I not trust mueller at all
        But this approach to investigating anything is Wrong
        It Is wrong when the target i trump
        It is wrong when It is Bruce ivers it is wrong when it is Richard jewel
        It is so wrong that I would prosecute those in law enforcement for it
        I would do so not because this is trump
        I am not all that concerned about trump and Cohen

        But I am very concerned when we start presuming without evidence that people are criminals and then grill them until they commit suicide or we make their lives hell

        What mueller did to jewel and ivers is criminal

        I thought that at the time though at the time mueller did not mean much to me

        More recently I have been finding more information on Waco and ruby ridge and Okc

        Mueller had some involvement in all of those though his roles were less and the malfeasance was with others

        But the underlying point that the fbi and government can not be trusted is clear

        I would further remind you that bundy and those charged with him ultimately prevailed in federal court not because they were good people but because the government – the fbi and doj behaved criminally

        Or we have the ted Steven case
        I was not a Stevens fan
        But ultimately not only did a court throw everything against him out but they found it was manufactured by the fbi
        That the fbi coerced witnesses into lying

        Or the Howard roof case that I linked video to several times

        It is pretty uncommon to find a high profile case in which the fbi or doj has not behaved badly

        I am not with trump
        I do not think that most FBI agents are good guys

        I think that we have allowed law enforcement to infringe on rights to such an extent that we are well past lawless

  27. November 30, 2018 3:01 am

    You are gifted. Great stuff. Please write more often.

  28. Jay permalink
    November 30, 2018 11:53 am

  29. November 30, 2018 4:43 pm

    https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/democrat-claire-mccaskill-angry-party-departs-senate

    I dont agree with her Saudi statement, I think there are many people not even following that and many like me who could care less. ( An issue for two distinct separate governments from the USA). But everything else has merit. Both Democrat and Republican.

    But when the parties either allow procedures that result in bad nominees (Trump and Clinton) or only provide bad candidates, how do moderates get the better ones back when money will not flow to anyone other than the two parties?

    • November 30, 2018 6:15 pm

      The problem with this Khashoggi thing is that hardly anyone understands what it is really about, or what’s at stake. As you so often say, Ron, no one is paying attention. Not to mention that the ME is always a complicated mess.

      Khashoggi was neither a US citizen, nor a permanent resident of the US. He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-semitic Islamist, who was a writer, but not really a journalist. It would be interesting to find out why the Washington Post hired him. He was actively working toward the overthrow of the Saudi royal family, something that does not generally portend a long life.

      American geo-political interests are very tied to Saudi Arabia, who is fighting Yemen because Yemen is a proxy for Iran, just as Syria has been, in Iran’s quest to establish hegemony in the ME and destroy Israel. Without the Saudis, stopping Iran would be hopeless.

      The same people who wanted the Iran nuclear deal, want to see the Saudi’s defeated. That would be Obama and most of the Democrat Party, as well as a number of Republicans. The media supports them, so it continues to make the Khashoggi murder front and center, by referring to Khashoggi as a “journalist,” which he was not, and even as an “American journalist” which he definitely was not. It’s a shame that the media doesn’t appear to care as much about the torture and murder of actual American citizens, by gangs like MS-13, as it does for this Al-Qaeda loving friend of Osama bin Laden.

      His murder was brutal, and Trump should not give the Saudis a pass on it. Which he hasn’t. But neither should he blow up a potential deal with the Saudis and Israel over it, or allow the Russians and Chinese to undercut our position in the ME.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 10:24 pm

        Should the US follow George Washington’s advice and disentangle from the affairs of foreign nations ? Absolutely!

        But that is about as likely as open borders.

        The political reality is that our leaders and too many of our people beleive or government should be entangled in everything everywhere.

        Let us assume that MBS flat out had K tortured and murdered.

        That would be absolutely horrid.

        But there is no actual US interest involved and we are NOT the worlds policemen.

        There is simply little our govenrment should do.

        Absolutely we should disentangle from SA and just about every other foreign country in the world.

        But we are not going to.

        Finally like nearly all news today, the K story is really inconsequential.
        Journalists are killed all over the world all the time.
        Those killings are no more or less significant.
        Most do not get any attention.

        K has legs not because of any aspect of the K story.
        But because the narrative can be transformed into “Evil Trump”

        That is the only part of the story that makes it dominate the news over and over.

      • John Say permalink
        November 30, 2018 10:33 pm

        I do not disagree with your assessment of the Mideast.

        SA is a far better bad ali than Iran.

        Obama;s Iran shift was incredibly stupid.
        Trump’s reversal back to SA was only not brilliant because it was obvious.

        But real wisdom would be getting th F out of the affairs of other countries.

        Yes, Yemen is messy and supporting SA over Iran is wise.
        Yes, getting out will have negative effects.

        But the right thing to do – which there is no chance we are doing is to get out.

        If Boeing wants to sell to SA – let them.
        But the US government should not be the broker for arms deals.
        Even if Iran and Russia and China are.

        The cold war was not won by arms deals.
        It was not won by our politicians.

        It was actually won by free market capitalism.
        Not politics.

        The ultimate resolution in the mideast will be the same.

        There are over a Billion muslims in the world.
        They have been left behind by the improvements in world standards of living
        and they know it.

        What they have not yet realized is that it is because their religion is at odds with individual liberty. Eventually they will grasp that.
        But it could take decades of ignoring them
        and letting them kill each other.

        The mideast BTW is increasingly less important in the world.
        The importance of oil diminishes, and the abiltiy to use oil as a weapon declines.

    • John Say permalink
      November 30, 2018 10:17 pm

      McCaskill makes numerous remarks – many of which are true. Some of which are actually problems some of which are features.

      Her assessment of the problems facing her own party are correct though.

      Most of the south has been turning from blue to red for half a century.
      McCaskills defeat is the tail end of that transition.

      In fact that transition has gone so far and so long that a few states have turned from blue to red to blue or purple or pink – VA, NC, and GA are in play for democrats,

      BUT McCaskill is perfectly correct – the democratic party does an abysmal job of supporting those like her who were not far to the left.

      Still McCaskill is to blame for her own loss.
      She had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate that her positions were more in line with those of her constitutents. She failed to do so and lost.

      She is practically a right winger compared to Warren of Feinstein.
      But She represents MO not MA. And in MO she is far to the left of voters.

      Democrats won the house by running large numbers of truly centrists in purple and pink districts. Those will be obliterated in 2020 if those voters perceive their representatives as to the left of what they promised.

      Progressives are promising all kinds of things from a new democrat house.

      PLEASE, PLEASE, Start a Jihad against Trump! Nothing would do more to guaranteee the destruction of the democratic party and the return of republicans.

      Or democrats could give a real voice to their newly elected congressmen.

      The current battle is over Pelosi.

      I do not think Pelosi is some great evil.

      But she is the poster child for the democratic past.
      She is the wrong choice for speaker.
      Specifically because democrats need a new voice one that reflects those candidates that managed to win difficult elections in flyover country.

      Democrats can either chose to respect that success. Or they can lose it.

  30. Jay permalink
    November 30, 2018 8:49 pm

    Wow. The Daily Standard says Trump is a pathological liar.

    “While there is much that remains unclear about Donald Trump and Russia, what we do know is deeply troubling. Trump lied repeatedly about his dealings with a hostile adversary while that hostile adversary worked to get him elected president. Trump has for years gone out of his way to excuse Vladimir Putin’s misdeeds. One more than one occasion, Trump has publicly sided with the anti-American authoritarian over the U.S. intelligence community.

    Why has Trump behaved this way? We don’t know. He lies all the time, about matters large and small. And then, when he’s caught, he simply pretends that he hadn’t lied in the first place. The behavior is pathological but the lies are not dispositive.”

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/stephen-f-hayes/how-trumps-lies-about-russia-were-exposed

    • John Say permalink
      November 30, 2018 10:52 pm

      Hayes is another Neo-Con.

      If you really wish to route your ideology on Max Boot, and Dick Cheney – be my guest.

      If you really want to try to claim the moral high ground by elevating Neo-Cons – more power to you.

      As to Trump and “lies” – facts, logic reason.

      What Trump statement is as consequentially false as

      If you like your doctor you can keep them.
      Benghazi was a spontaneous outburts triggered by an internet video.
      I did not sleep with that woman

      Or dozens and dozens of others.

      When you are prepared to hold those you support to the same standards as those you loath then and only then are your views worth listening to, do you demonstrate integrity.

      In fact find me any democrat whose remarks are more trustworthy that Trump’s.

      That should be a very low standard.

      What of AOC ? Either she is a bald faced liar or more likely a complete idiot who is always wrong, Either way what is she doing in congress much less as a leading light of the left ?

      What or HRC ? Really ? Do we not have enough reasons to know that the clintons are the most corrupt politicians of the past century ? Do I have to list the inumerable faults of HRC ?

      Clinton did not lose to Trump because of the Russians. She lost to Trump because however bad you might beleive Trump is one hell of alot of us grasp that Clinton was and remains much worse.

      Only Neo-Cons can sell Clinton with a straight face.

      What of Warren ? Fauxchantas ? Warren is the ultimate “owngoal”. She smeared herself.

      Is there someone else you wish to offer ?

      Absolutely Trump is not fit to be president.
      Nor is any democrat I can think of, or for that matter any republican.

      That said unless you are brain dead, not only is trump OBVIOUSLY the lessor evil between himself and clinton. But also between himself and nearly every other potential contender.

      Rand Paul is not getting elected.
      Nor is Gary Johnson.

      Name a single politicians with a real chance of getting elected that is actually superior to Trump ?

      Still a ridiculously low standard and yet, few if any can meet it.

      Maybe, just maybe you can credible assert that some other politician is “the lessor evil”

      But please tell me you are not so stupid as to try to claim that one of them is actually good ?

      And yet you keep telling us all to trust government (except Trump) to give government more power (except for Trump). Please Please tell me how given the real people who are going to weild that power none of whom are substantially distinguishable from Trump who you think is thoroughly evil, and most of whom are worse. how you can argue for increased government with a straight face ?

    • John Say permalink
      December 1, 2018 12:00 am

      Purportedly the Cohen deal implicates Trump Jr.

      NPR even ran with a story that Trump Jr. lied to the senate.

      Only problem is that he did not.
      In fact Trump Jr. Confirmed in his senate testimony that though ONE attempt at a deal for a Trump Tower Russia failed – “died of deal fatigue” and had no further activity in 2015 and 2016, that a separate effort by Sater and Cohen continued into 2016.

      Trump Jr.’s Senate testimony is itself evidence that Cohen’s was false. Though this is still small beans.
      Trump Jr.’s Senate testimony disclosed that he was peripherally aware of efforts by Cohen and Sater that continued into 2016. But not involved in them.

      In otherwords Cohen told an inconsequential lie about actions that only Cohen was involved in.

      I would further note that this all actually undermines all other claims that Cohen’s assorted actions were all directed by Trump. And that would include what Cohen did with Daniels.

      What is increasingly self evident is that though Trump was a client of Cohen’s and sometimes paid Cohen, Cohen was constantly acting on his own in attempts to curry favor with Trump.

      http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/30/npr-blatantly-lies-about-donald-trump-jr-s-2017-senate-testimony/

  31. John Say permalink
    December 1, 2018 12:20 am

  32. John Say permalink
    December 1, 2018 12:23 am

  33. John Say permalink
    December 1, 2018 6:11 am

    https://intersectionalityscore.com/

  34. John Say permalink
    December 2, 2018 1:08 am

    Bush promised Afghanistan would be over quickly.
    Obama promised Afghanistan would be over quickly
    Trump promised Afghanistan would be over quickly.

    Trump after serious conflict that cost Steve Bannon his position as an advisor reluctantly went with the advice of “the generals” and continues our open ended mess in afghanistan.

    Bannon may be no hero. Trump may not be smarter than the generals overall.
    But both were right that there is no US interest being served by remaining in afghanistan.

    Only the Afghani’s can provide themselves good government.

    It is near certain the Taliban will rake afghanistan over the moment we leave.
    Whether that is tomorow or ten years from now.

    In the event they do something stupid again – we are as prepared to remove them from power today or tomorow as we were 15 years ago.

    If Trump has lost the respect of some in the military – this would be why.
    On this issue he is no different from Bush or Obama.

    And like them he has failed to keep a sacred promise to the US people.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-are-us-soldiers-dying-afghanistan-37487

  35. John Say permalink
    December 2, 2018 1:13 am

    Mark Penn is a democrat and was involved deeply with the clintons in the past.

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/mark-penn-the-mueller-investigation-has-come-up-empty-on-russia-you-wont-believe-whats-coming-next

    • Jay permalink
      December 2, 2018 1:38 am

      You recently stated unequivocally you never linked to Fox.
      You and Trump.. the Denying Duet.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 3:08 am

        “You recently stated unequivocally you never linked to Fox.
        You and Trump.. the Denying Duet.”

        That is NOT what I said – we have been through this before.
        You are engaged in the same radical over generalizing and misrepresenting that you do all the time – with Trump or anything else.

        Develop some reading comprehension.

        Your response is the same lunacy as your constant equating libertarianism with anarchism.
        Limited government is not the same as no government. Government constrained by the constitution or more importantly the government that will only use force where justified to protect actual rights is not the same as no government.

        It is trivial to claim someone else is a liar by over generalizing their remarks beyond what they actually said.

        I said I do not WATCH any TV media – cable or over the air. Not FOX, Not CNN, Not MSNBC
        I do listen to NPR sometimes.

        I have said much of this before, but I will say it again – though I doubt it will sink in,

        This is SOME of what I do.

        I find most of the links I provide on twitter, FB, News Agregators, Youtube, ….

        When THOSE sources link to fox, I USUALLY look for the same information from another source – because idiots like you will not beleive what you see with your own eyes if it comes from Fox.

        What I have said is I am not a fox viewer. I particularly loath Hannity. Fortunately OReilly is gone.

        My information rarely comes from Fox.

        On news my information rarely comes from a single source – though I may only provide one link.

        On facts – things such as economics, it comes from many many sources. Though I sometimes cite only one.

        As an example I have linked to CAPX or HumanProgress,org for information on the improving economy of the world over the past 50 years.

        But I have that information for dozens of sources – Frazer Institute, Mercutus, Ronald Coase, Numerous economic papers, …

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 3:22 am

        I will provide you with another example of how you and far too much of the media engage in this nonsense using the recent Cohen plea bargain.

        What We KNOW is that Cohen claims that he lied when he told the senate that HIS efforts on the Moscow Trump Tower ended in early 2016.

        We are told that there are emails and possibly phone calls from Cohen and Sater attempting to make progress on Trump Tower Moscow as far as June 2016.

        More recently I have learned that Sater is an FBI informant.

        You and the media immediately blew this up into Trump lied and Trump Jr. and Ivanka are headed to jail for lying to congress.

        NPR made the same claim and was forced into the public humiliation of having to substantially retract and correct a story.

        Transcripts of Trump Jr.’s testimony are publicly available.

        DJR stated that the agalarov efforts at Trump Tower Moscow died from negotiation fatigue sometime between 2014 and very early 2016.

        Elsewhere he SPECIFICALLY testified that he was tangentially aware that Cohen and Sater on their own were attempting to make progress in 2016, but that he and the trump organization were not a part of that.

        Despite all the initial hysteria and the jumping to the conclusion that the Cohen plea was a smoking gun that would ensnare the entire Trump family.

        The actual facts are that nothing Trump Sr said on this is false.
        That DJR’s testimony over a year ago is gully consistent with Cohen’s corrected version.

        That what this plea means is that Cohen is totally useless as a witness.

    • December 2, 2018 8:11 am

      There are those like me who have said since this thing was 6 months old this was going nowhere. Once Mueller found this, he had already spent millions, so it the became a ” well I could not find anything Russia on the president, but I did not waste money. Look at all the convictions I got”.

      Those with TDS will never believe anything other than impeachment.

      Very sad time that getting the president is bigger than making America safe and fiscally strong.

      • Jay permalink
        December 2, 2018 10:31 am

        Expunging cancerous Trump is more crucial than making America safer than it is, and financially stronger? Do you really believe Trump’s economic policies – tariffs, deficit, etc – are keeping you from the charity food line? That his goofy governing keeps you safer in your bed at night?

        As to Mueller costing millions, the fines he levied have already paid for the investigation three-fold.

        Read this for a cogent overview of the Mueller investigation, and the Trump machinations therein.

        https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/the-wars-to-come/

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 6:02 pm

        A is not more important than B because you say so

        Remove the adjectives from you remarks and they are meaningless

        If trump is harmful (cancerous) it should be easy to identify thespecific ways

        And it is those things
        Not the adjectives you choose which allow us to weigh whether A is a bigger problem than B

        Everything is not an opinion
        And even those things that are opinions can be measured and compAred

        All opinions are not equal
        Most opinions are provably false

        With respect to economics

        The most important thing Trump has done is diminished the burden of regulation on growth
        The best estimates I have seen is that is worth about 3/4 % increase in growth max and that trump is probably getting about half of that

        But as small as that seems it is still huge
        It compounds ever y year

        Nearly every long term problem we have
        Deficits social security the burden of government diminishes significantly with sustained growth over 5%

        Nearly every societal problem the left fixates on diminishes with sufficient growth

        Who cares about racism or sexism or gender identoty if we are all doing well

        Most of the worst of people diminishes rapidly as standard of living rises

        Trumps economics are a mixed bag
        But despite many flaws they are still net positive compared to bush or Obama

        And yes that is huge

        I am not facing food lines

        In fact few are

        I have served meals for 5he homeless for decades

        And that has been changing

        It is less and less homeless that I am feeding and more and more working poor

        Because there are just fewer of the really badly off to feed

        That transition has been happening slowly over decades
        Locally shelters have closed for lack of clients

        This started long before bush continued even through Obama and continues today

        N

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 6:05 pm

        I do not care a lot about muellers cost
        That is a red herring

        If the task is legitimate and necessary
        It must be done and paid for

        The problem is that it is neither
        And that is to expensive at any price

        Separately no mueller is not paying for himself
        All of manafort assets are a few months of his cost
        And mueller will see little else

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 6:06 pm

        I would further note that the entire cost of the Russian 2016 internet ads was a fraction of muellers spending

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 6:36 pm

        I like Goldberg but he is wrong here
        More important if you and democrats beleive he is right you are making a fatal. Istake

        The gop made a huge mistake impeaching Clinton
        Despite the fact that he fought the independent counsel tooth and nail
        Not as trump does by publicly maligning him
        But but legal trench warfare

        It is not noted much but trump has not done that
        The sc has grabbed records from all over
        Most of which he has no legitimate basis for

        He has acted as if he is president not trump
        And trump has only interfered with spittle

        There is not and never has been a there there
        There is no blue dress
        There is no lying to a grand jury
        Or in a deposition

        The latest Cohen plea like each. Before was followed by the immediate shouts of impending doom before saner head prevailed
        Once again there I no there there

        Nothing in cohens plea contradicts don jr’s testimony a year earlier
        Nothing actually contradict anything trump has said

        Cohen and after are not the trump organization
        Cohen’s failed efforts to raise trump tower mock from the Ashe do not make it an ongoing project

        I beleive David French posted an artical noting that the trump rusia meme I devolving from James Bond to Austin powers

        I think French gets it wrong
        Because French but makes an important point

        There not only was no corrdination with Russia there was no coordination between the trump campaign and stone and Corsi and page aned papadoulis and Cohen

        Each were off doing their own thing with little interaction with the rest

        We are supposed to take stone and corsi’s ominous implications as evidence of deep foreknowledge when we are talking about people whose job it is to create conspiracy theories from whole cloth

        Stone and Corsi are little different frame Simpson and blumenthal

        It is interesting listening to stone and Corsi saying that you should not assume their tweeets mean they had some secret knowledge because their life’s are about persuading people that there is something nefarious when there is nothing

        Go on YouTube and you can find myriads of stories claiming no the day of reckoning for
        Trump
        Clinton
        Comey
        Mueller
        Whatever the flavor of the day
        Is imminent
        Alone with the identity of the grassy knoll shooter

        Muellers entire case regarding stone and Corsi is that
        For once their ominous remarks actually mean something
        The the using of the court jester were in this instance only evidence of much more

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 1:24 pm

        If you are going to brow beat and bully
        If you are going to subject people to 70 hour interrogations
        If you are going to go through every one of thousands of emails they voluntarily provide and
        Then micro parse the replies to interrogation looking for tiny discrepancies

        You are guaranteed to be able to “get” anyone

        That is why these techniques are wrong
        And if allowed at all only permitted when there is an identified crime

        Europe is generally behind the us in criminal rights
        And Alabama is behind the federal government

        But neither allow prosecutions for these types of misstatements

        It is not how much money mueller is spending

        That is actually a pittance

        It is the fact that he can cause anyone who has to deal with him to bankrupt themselves

        Flynn has been pretty open

        He plead because mueller was bankrupting him and going after his family

        Papadoulis wants to back out now
        He believes he was setup

        That minor inaccuracies in his statements do not constitute lying

        And he his right

        The problem with mueller is that he has the limitless ability to destroy anyone he wants

        Corsi has it pretty right when he says mueller trapped him like papadoulis into minor inconsistencies in his statements after 70 hours of interrogation and then offered him a plea deal if he would lie

        Is there anyone here who thinks that Clinton and her staff would not be in jail if subject to half as vigorous an investigation ?

        And with Clinton we at least know what crime is alleged

        This is wrong !
        And mueller has a long reputation for this

        It is wrong whether trump is the target or not

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2018 1:32 pm

        Mueller is getting nowhere

        Sure he can march through Corsi and possibly stone

        But that actually leads nowhere

        Absent a smoking gun email from assange to Corsi or stone saying
        I am trying to hack the dnc
        Send money and I will get you dirt on Clinton

        There is not and can not be anything there

        So far we have no actual direct contact with assange

        We have no evidence that assange participated in the hacking
        There is credible evidence that is being ignored because it does not fit the narrative that the emails were leaked not hacked

        There is no likelihood mueller will ever get what he needs because it is between highly improbable and impossible that What he is trying to find occurred

        Mueller is pummeling people to try to prove the grassy knoll theory

        He is supposed to be searching for the truth
        Not trying to force reality to fit preconceptions

      • Jay permalink
        December 2, 2018 4:38 pm

        You’re even more full of crap then usual.
        Like the bozos at Fox, and your alter ego Trump, you’re smearing the purpose/charter of Mueller’s investigation, and the positive results Mueller has already produced.

        Stop distorting the scope of Mueller’s authorization and diverting from it’s stated purpose. The Special Counsel was told to investigate:

        (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
        (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
        (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

        He wasn’t chartered to investigate Trump specifically; he was chartered to investigate any coordination with individuals ASSOCIATED with the campaign and the Russian government AND ANY MATTERS arising from it.

        What part of that are you too feeble minded to understand? Ask your wife to explain 28 C.F.R %600.4(a). And then tell me where the authority granted him limits Mueller to solely investigate Trump, and not “to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.”

        And under that authority Mueller’s been doing a good job, uncovering the dishonest slimy swamp of Trump infestations: associates, advisors, lawyers, pals, and creeps. So far that has resulted in 5 pleas, 19 indictments, and 50+ criminal charges for Tax and bank fraud, false statements, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, obstruction of justice, Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, identity theft, conspiracy to launder money, lying to the FBI, lying to investigators. And paid for the investigation multi-fold in fines/confiscations.

        Though it may not be provableTrump directly or overtly colluded with the Russians to effect the election, like an unwashed smelly derelict Pied Piper wallowing in dumpsters for trash, he attracted the expected attention of lice and parasitic bugs, and allowed them to contaminate the presidency. He is therefore guilty of colluding with vermin, and obstructing the removal of a health hazard infestation from government.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 8:58 pm

        You are correct I am directly attacking the purpose/charter for the Trump Russia collusion investigation.

        I have done that repeatedly
        So have others.

        I am also directly attacking Mueller.
        Mueller has serious problems that have nothing to do with Trump and the more I learn the more deeply concerned I am about him

        It should be little secret that I am deeply skeptical of government.
        I am aware of decades of examples of public corruption and failure.
        Wacco, Ruby Ridge the Atlanta Bombing the Antrax scare, ….

        I was peripherally aware that Mueller was associated with some of those.
        I have over time learned that mueller was closely involved in just about every egregious action by the FBI over 40 years.

        So NO I do not trust the guy who totrtured Richard Jewel for over a year.
        I do not trust the guy who drove Bruce Ivers to suicide as part of the anthrax investigation, when the NSF now says it is unlikely that the Anthrax came from Fort Dietrich.
        I do not trust the guy who had a role in such botched cases as Ruby Ridge Waco, and OKC.
        Nor are those the only problems with Mueller, they are just the ones I am most familiar with.

        Nor is my critique unique to Mueller.

        Unlike Trump I do NOT think the FBI, CIA, BLM, …. are mostly fine people.
        I can name inumerable disasterous scandals that each was involved in.

        I recall during 2008 completely buying the claims of corruption leveled at Sen Steven’s of alaska. Only to discover when I bothered to look more deeply after the election that the case was so corrupt and manufactured that the judge handling it reffered the FBI agents for prosecution – which never happened.

        When it suits you, you are perfectly willing to be critical and distructful of the FBI or CIA.

        Are you going to defend the CIA over missing the collapse of the USSR ?

        Of Aldrich Ames, or Robert Hanssen ? What of botching John Walker ?
        What of botching the Iraq WMD’s ?

        I can go on and on.

        You are happy to beleive those in government when they are reporting what you want to beleive. And just as happy to consider their intelligence worthless when it is at odds with your politics.

        The FBI, CIA and Mueller deserve my scorn.
        This is little to do with Trump, beyond that I am not going to presume that organizations and people that have a long history of beligerance, incompetence and corruption are unlikely to suddenly become reliable because they are investigating Trump.

        I would further note that in that history of failure – the names Mueller, Comey and Fitzgerald come up constantly.

        One of the other things that came up more recently is that Fitzgerald was appointed by Comey under similar circumstances to the current appointment of Mueller – by Comey as acting AG because the AG at the time was conflicted.

        The fitzgerald investigation shows on a smaller scale the same flaws as the Mueller one.

        At the time of Fitzgerald’s appointment there was no actual crime to investigate.
        CIA indicated there was no harm and no crime that Plame was not NOC any more, that the alleged crime could not have been committed because Plame was not NOC and you can not out a CIA officer that is already public.

        Further Richard Armitage of State had already confirmed that he had inadvertantly “leaked” Plames identity.

        Comey knew all of this when he appointed fitzgerald.
        Fitzgerald knew all of this when he started.

        So Fitzgerald spend almost two years investigating something that he already knew exactly what had occurred. He jailed journalists and threatened others, and bullied members of the executive and ultimatelhy came up with a conviction for lying to the FBI over some item that was not germain to anything.

        Essentially the Fitzgerald investigation was a dry run for the Mueller Trump one.

        BOTH were illegitimate.

        I have little doubt there is serious malfeasance in the federal govenrment that should be investigated.
        But the Fitzgerald and Mueller investigations are political. Their objective was NOT to investigate and prosecute known crimes. In both cases there were no known crimes.
        They were to GET someone. Fitzgerald failed and came back with a minor WH actor as a scalp. Mueller will fail just as badly. For the same reasons – there is nothing to investigate.
        Before Mueller was appointed everything necescary to know that no investigation was needed had been known.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 9:12 pm

        What positive results has Mueller produced ?

        He was not appointed to chase down decades old tax evasion.
        And the IRS would be put in the dog house for spending what he has.

        He was not appointed to charge myriads of peripheral flunkies in the Trump campaign of technical discrepancies between their emails and their statements to the FBI.

        He was specifically appointed to investigate something that everyone with a brain knew was false at the time he was appointed – the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

        He has found absolutely no such thing.

        As Derschowitz noted – even if Trump personally was negotiating a deal regarding Trump Tower Moscow – and lying to voters about it, right up to election day – that would still not be a crime.

        Despite the hullaballo over the past couple of days the Cohen plea is a dead letter.
        After running fake news, reporters went back and read Trump Jr.’s testimoney and found that he had explicitly stated that Cohen and Stater were still trying to get something going with Russia in 2016 – but that the main effort had long before died.

        Further, I know this is hard for you to beleive but the Trump organization and the Trump campaign are not the same thing.
        Nor is Trump anything and Micheal Cohen.

        Nor is whatever communications Cohen had with russians about Trump Tower Moscow “collusion” to rig the election.

        Trump has had a bad week – all because of fake news.

        Manafort did not meet assange – not that that would have mattered.

        None of the purported blockbuster news gets Mueller any closer to connecting the Trump campaign to Russia.

        What we know is exactly the same thing as we knew in January 2017 and January 2016.

        Not only did the Trump camapign have no connections to the Russian government but though several underlings attempted to get meetings between Trump and Putin during the campaign, the Trump campaign itself killed them all.

        In addition to the Steele Dossier we have added a few new equally dodgy false stories.

        But not only are all these stories false – they are also creulous.

        Even Peter Strzok knew that Trump Russia was going nowhere.
        Because anyone with half a brain could figure there was nothing there.

        There was a candidate with deep ties to Russia, who received money from russia, who colluded with Russian spies – but that Was HRC not Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 9:33 pm

        No Mueller has not been doing a good job.

        The entire purpose of a Special counsel is to investigate something that DOJ can not because of legitimate conflicts investigate itself.
        The SC law – and the rule of law requires that must be an investigation of a crime.
        And it must be a crime allegedly committed by someone with a conflict with DOJ.

        Name that person and crime ?

        We all know Trump is the target of Mueller – but Mueller has not called him a target.
        And without doing so – Mueller has no mandate.
        Further the SC law requires a crime.
        Issuing subpeona’s requires a crime.
        Convening a grand jury requires a crime.

        And not just any crime, but one commited by someone who DOJ is conflicted in investigating.

        Please tell me which of Muellers cases todate has an actual conflict with DOJ ?

        The FBI/DOJ managed to badly investigate Clinton for malfeasance while in office.

        Please explain to me how Hillary clinton has no conflict with DOJ/FBI precluding them from investigating her, but Cohen, Manafort, Flynn, Papadoulis Stone do ?

        I can identify the Crime clinton committed – violations of 18cfr793(e,f).
        Those are clear. The fact are clear. There is not any doubt that Clinton removed classified information from secure systems and transmitted it to uncleared people over the internet and that material got into the hands of hostile foreign powers in real time.

        Please identify the specific law that was violated and the series of facts supporting that conclusion regardin Mueller ?
        Please identify an individual that he has persued that has more of a conflice with DOJ/FBI that HRC ?

        Trump is correct, you have a witch hunt and you are not going to be happy until you have burned a witch.

        Despite the fact that the US is generally less insane about our criminal law, in the EU you can not be prosecuted for the alleged crimes of Papadoulis, Flynn, even Cohen.
        Because lying to an investigator or prosecutor is not a crime.
        That avoids this garbage that we have now were prosecutors can manufacture crimes by forcing minor discrepancies in statements.

        I am not a big Cohen fan. I think he is only slightly more ethical than Avanatii.
        If Cohen cheated on his taxes and his taxi medalians – go for him.

        It is pretty self evident that he served Trump horribly with regard to Daniels. Numerous capable lawyers have noted that his NDA’s are crap.
        But bad lawyering is not a crime – nor are NDA’s
        And if they were Trump should be the one prosecuted – he is the one harmed.

        No I do not think Cohen’s misstatements to the senate regarding Trump Towers Moscow ought to be prosecuted. But if you are going to – then why didn’t you prosecute Clinton for her much more false Benghazi testimony ?

        Mostly I am tired for one set of laws for those on the left and another for the rest of us.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 9:38 pm

        “Though it may not be provableTrump …”

        The problem is NOT that it is not proveable.

        The problem is that it is not credibly allegable.
        AND that the Obama administration, Comey, DOJ, FBI and Mueller not only know that now, they knew that then.

        The clintons too real money – substantial sums directly from Russians both persoanlly and through their foundations.

        By any defintion of “colludes with Russians” that includes Trump’s actions – HRC and Bill Clinton are worse criminals.

        why isn’t an SC investigating that ?

        To be clear I do not want that – because it is stupid.
        As skizzy and deep as Clinton’s ties to Putin are – they are not sufficient to justify a special counsel. And hers ties are much greater than Trumps.

      • John Say permalink
        December 2, 2018 9:47 pm

        “Though it may not be provableTrump directly or overtly colluded with the Russians to effect the election, like an unwashed smelly derelict Pied Piper wallowing in dumpsters for trash, he attracted the expected attention of lice and parasitic bugs, and allowed them to contaminate the presidency. He is therefore guilty of colluding with vermin, and obstructing the removal of a health hazard infestation from government.”

        So your beleif that Trump attracted the attention of lice and parasitc bugs is important ?

        So all the clinton hangerons ? All the money they funneled through the Clinton Foundation – money that has near completely dried up because it was never for charity.
        The Podestatas who litterally were part of the same deals Manafort is being prosecuted for.
        Or are you talking about the alt-right – if so then why isn’t Clinton responsible for Antifa ?

        When you have consistent standards your arguments will have more weight.

        How is the presidency “contaminated” ?

        I am sure you can name a bunch of people you think are sketchy in the Trump administration – but I can name many skeezy dudes in the Obama and Clinton administration.

        You are being disengenuous. I do not think you care how sketchy the people close to the president are. I think that you care whether they are democrats or republicans and that is all.

        Regardless, Trump’s presidency is no more contaminated than Obama’s.

        Trump is guilty of colluding with Vermin ? Who would that be ?
        And careful, because for every sketchy person close to Trump it will be trivial to find an equally sketchy person next to Obama or Clinton.

        Louis lehrner ring a bell ?
        How about Anthony Wiener ?
        The Podesta’s ?
        Deb Wasserman Shultz ?
        Bob Menendez ?
        Keith Ellison ?
        AOC ?
        Micheal Avanatii ?
        Eric Holder ?

    • John Say permalink
      December 2, 2018 9:58 pm

      This problem is easily solved.

      Quit handlng out absentee ballots like candy.

      Absentee ballots are by far the easiest means of election fraud.
      They should be reserved for situations of serious need, not convenience.

      If you can not manage to get to the polls on election day, you do not care about the election enough to vote.

      Maybe there is something to your story – though what you have is sketchy.

      If people came to the door threatening others – WHO ?

      There is no chance someone would get in my door without ID, and if they made the kind of claims alleged without a warrant – I would be calling the actual police.

      I highly doubt the claim that 80-90% of absentee ballots are turned in.
      Produce evidence supporting that.

      Shipman’s affidavit as an example – if true seriously questions Shipman’s competence.

      BTW why do we beleive this allege malfeasance was by republicans ?

      Do we know Shipman’s ballot was not counted ?

      No we don’t – because as with all ballots it is impossible to know.

      If I am to give any credibility to this story at all – why can’t I beleive that democrats were collecting absentee ballots from people who were likely to forget to turn them in

      That is why if you want to accept an allegation like this – you need to have more identifying information.

      You have presumed that only one of many possible explanations of this are what occured.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2018 10:15 am

        I haven’t presumed anything, dumbdumb. I linked to a report from NPR.

      • John Say permalink
        December 3, 2018 3:00 pm

        that report – like most purportedly straight reporting today, is not straight reporting.
        It is an opinion piece masquerading as reporting.

        As such linking to it strongly suggests that you concur with the opinion

        Or do you routinely link to things you disagree with.

    • John Say permalink
      December 4, 2018 2:03 pm

      In CA what is being investigated as a crime in NC is not only perfectly legal but likely the reason that democrats won Orange County.

      Absentee voting is one of the most easy areas of elections to engage in Fraud
      It should be avoided to the largest extent possible.
      What can not be avoided should be very carefully controlled.

      What is alleged in NC is WRONG. Though I am not convinced it actually occured.
      It was also WRONG when it occurred in CA.

      Ballots should only ever be in the hands of two parties – the voter, and elections workers.
      And in the later case only under public supervision.
      Ballots should NEVER pass through the hands of third parties.

      https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/12/did-ballot-harvesting-not-a-rejection-of-trump-cost-republicans-orange-county/

      • December 4, 2018 7:31 pm

        Orange county has its own issues. But it just hadnt been covered because its the demicrats doing it.

        And if you want to know what, the LA timesbhad anarticle recently.

      • John Say permalink
        December 5, 2018 12:41 am

        Federalism is the concept that we can use each state as a laboratory for government.
        That there are specific domains for federal and state sovereignity and to the greatest extent possible the states should be free to govern on their own.

        The constitution provides for no federal police powers – and the vast majority of federal criminal laws should have been declared unconstitutional long ago for just that reason.

        The FBI has almost no legitimate federal purpose.

        But there are things that are in the domain of the federal government.

        The constitution leaves the administration of federal elections to the congress and state legislatures.

        The rules for federal elections should be consistent across all 50 states.

        From the days and times of voting, to the handling of absentee ballots to the requirements for voting.

        I have no idea whether what was done in CA was corrupt.
        Just as despite allegations the facts seem to indicate no corruption in NC.

        However the official process in California reeks with the potential for corruption, and if there really was corruption in NC that would be the proof.

        Further the monetary value of winning an election is enormous – just look at how much is being spent. If only a tiny fraction of that is being spent on efforts to defraud – that is HUGE.

        We do not need democrats and republicans to engage in fraud.

        As I recall there is a John Grisholm Novel were a supreme court justice is killed and it turns out the purpose of that killing was to alter the outcome of a single case that would not reach the supreme court for several years, but the value was large.

        Do you think there are not influential people willing to direct large amounts of money at voting fraud – if they can avoid getting caught and get the outcome they want ?

        We need to be confident that our elections are free from fraud.

        That is more important than who wins.

        There are many many ways to hold elections. We have 50 states and nearly 50 different sets of rules for conducting them.

        But all those ways are not equal. Not even all that sound plausible.

        I have carped on using runoffs rather than recounts and courts to determine the outcome of close elections.

        There is far less oportunity for corruption when the winner of an election is required to win by a margin beyond that of counting errors.

        This is also a relatively important anti-fraud measure.
        Requiring a sufficient margin of victory or holding a recount makes election fraud more dangerous. It is not sufficient to dump sufficient fraudulent votes into the pool to eek out a narrow victory. It is necescary to commit sufficient fraud to produce a clear victory.

        The larger any fraud is the more likely the fraudsters will be caught.

        There are many other structural changes we can make to our elections to improve their integrity and more importantly the appearance of integrity.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 15, 2018 2:55 am

      Oops! NC Democrats caught ballot harvesting too!

      And in CA where it is legal – we now have video of ballot harvestors saying – this is a new service the government has made available – only to democrats. Oops!

      https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/12/12/ballot_fraud_american-style_and_its_bitter_harvests.html

      What does it take to understand that absentee balloting is far easier to commit fraud.

      Lets limit absentee ballots to the military and those truly out of state for a compelling reason.

  36. Jay permalink
    December 2, 2018 5:52 pm

    “Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman and associate of President Donald Trump, confirmed Friday that the Trump Organization was pursuing a deal with a sanctioned Russian bank at the height of the 2016 election.
    The company was trying to secure financing for a Trump Tower in Moscow from Russia’s VTB Bank through a local developer.
    The US imposed sanctions on VTB in 2014 and 2015, which froze its assets in the country and blocked US entities from doing business with the bank.”

    “The revelation will be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, who recently subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to the Trump Tower Moscow deal.”

    Is it illegal to deal with sanctioned banks…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/felix-sater-confirms-trump-pursued-deal-with-sanctioned-russian-bank-2018-3

    • John Say permalink
      December 2, 2018 9:59 pm

      Jay, Sater is a long term FBI informant.

      OOPS.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2018 10:18 am

        If so, ‘long term informant’ indicates information he was passing was reliable. Duh.

      • John Say permalink
        December 3, 2018 3:15 pm

        I have no idea whether Sater is reliable. “Long term informant” does imply the FBI found him useful. But then again Mueller apparently found Whitey Bulgar useful and protected him for a long time.

        But Sater’s repliabillity is not at issue.
        Sater is not the evidence that Cohen was or was not lying to the Senate.

        But Sater is the evidence that the supposed “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, was both instigated by the FBI – they call that entrappment, and further proof that the investigation long predates any evidence of “collusion”, it further indicates that the FBI knew or should have known from their own sources everything that was occuring in the Trump campaign in 2016.

        One of the problems Trump has – is it that it is difficult to impossible to prove a negative.

        But it is possible to prove that Neither Mueller nor the FBI have ever had sufficient basis for investigation.

        I do not recall off the top of my head all the MI6, FBI and CIA operatives that have been part of this. Those I can recall are Halper, Mifsud, Sater, and the two guys who worked Corsi and Stone. Everywhere you turn there is another FBI or CIA or MI6 Asset.

        In fact there is todate no evidence of any direct connection of any kind between the Trump campaign and the russian government, no evidence of any direct connection even with russians. Only connections with CIA, FBI, MI6 assets either claiming to be russians or claiming to provide access to russians.

        So you are trying to say with all these plants, that:

        The Trump campaign managed to “collude” with Russia, and left no trace that any of these people could find ?

        I would further note that I am not sure how Cohen – who was not part of Trump campaign, and not part of the trump organization communicating with Sater who was not part of the trump campaign and not part of the trump organization and not part of the russian government and an FBI operative to boot, would make Cohen’s statements to the Senate a lie.

    • John Say permalink
      December 2, 2018 10:11 pm

      Sater was born in Russia.
      He came to the US when he was 8 – do you think he was Putin’s grade school friend or something ?

      Sater also worked at Bear Sterns, and Lehman Brothers – Did Trump cause the financial crisis ?

      Sater is also the managing director of Bayrock LLC.
      Bayrock has partnered with Trump on prior projects, and performed the construction on some.

      Sate has his own reasons and his own business interests that would be advanced if Trump Tower Russia became real.

      You seem to be unable to distinguish between people working for others and people working on their own.

      I would further note Sater has ZERO involvement in the Trump campaign.

      Do you think it is not possible to find dozens of Russian’s that have assocaitions with HRC that were actively doing business in Russia during the campaign ?

      You seem to think that being able to name two names side beside means they are directed by a single force towards a single goal, and under a single control.

    • John Say permalink
      December 2, 2018 10:13 pm

      Tony Rezko ?

    • John Say permalink
      December 2, 2018 10:46 pm

      Sater also has ties to the CIA – after 9/11 he worked for the CIA buying up stinger missles on the russian black market to get them away from terrorists.

      Trump did several projects with Sater – all were failures, and some caused Trump serious problems. By 2013 they had fallen out, Trump testified disparagingly of him in a deposition.

      Sater and Cohen may have continued to work on Trump Tower Moscow into 2016,
      but they were doing so outside of the Trump organization.

      Though AGAIN the Trump organization is NOT the same as the Trump campaign.

      Just as the Clinton Foundation is not the same as HFA.
      Do you think that CF quit taking donations from Oligarchs in 2016 ?

  37. John Say permalink
    December 2, 2018 10:53 pm

    So what is it that Google is talking about doing here that is not far worse than what is claimed that Russia did ?

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/29/google-censorship-conservative-media/

    • Jay permalink
      December 3, 2018 10:10 am

      Google Considered.
      Russia Did.

      The distinction escapes you….

      • John Say permalink
        December 3, 2018 2:53 pm

        There is substantial evidence that social media is censoring content.
        Particularly that of libertarians and conservatives.

        Given that they are proveate they are free to do so.

        But do you think that is a good idea ?
        BTW that is DO, not consider.

        Do you disagree that

        “I may Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It” ?

        So if I defend Trump or russia’s right to say something – am I going to face another plurry of posts from you claiming I am a racist, or … or that I share whatever your exagerated position of Trump or Russia is ?

        Russia engaged in persuasion – not censor ship. Those are radically differnet.

        I am absolutely critical of russian censorship – which is very real but has absolutely zero to do with the US or 2016,

        Please tell me how anything Russia did with respect to the 2016 US election violated your or anyone else’s rights ?

        Tell me how anything credible that Russia is claimed to have done in the 2016 US election violated your or anyone else’s rights ?

        Tell me how anything Russia did regarding that election silenced anyone ?

        I would further ask you

        Does the US own the internet ?

        Are we free to censor all political discussion of US politics or elections not done by US citizens ? Are we free as a country to bar others from engaging in persuasion regarding US politics ?

        If you beleive that we are – then aren’t other countries free to do the same ?

        As best as I can tell you think that what you beleive Russia did was wrong because russia did it. Not because the actual act was wrong.

  38. Jay permalink
    December 3, 2018 10:12 am

    President Smuck Making America Foolish – Again

    • John Say permalink
      December 3, 2018 2:57 pm

      Aside from your spin – what is wrong with this ?

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2018 3:45 pm

        You don’t know what’s wrong with it?
        Really?

      • John Say permalink
        December 3, 2018 5:35 pm

        Yes, what is wrong with it ?

        Have you never been in an interminabkle pointless meeting ?

        By most accounts Trump did well at the G-20.
        That said while campaigning and early in his presidency he considered meetings like the G20 to be pointless and a waste of time.

        I tend to agree,.

        Equally important they are at odds with Trump style of negotiating – which is likely in this instance superior.

        Trump strongly favors bilateral over multilateral negotiations.

        And he is right that is a far easier and more effective way to negotiate.

        I would note though I trump exagerates the importance of his own foreign agreements, he still has more in a short time than Obama had in 4 times as long.

        There is an article on your meme that Trump is not respected by foreign leaders.

        The article essentially says they talk trash about him behind his back.
        But in public and in negotiating with him they are increasingly deferential.

        He has not won their admiration. He has won their respect. Respect meaning they know that in a negotiation with him, they are going to lose.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2018 7:19 pm

        Some people are color blind.
        Some are tone deaf.
        You’re Trump stupid.

      • John Say permalink
        December 4, 2018 12:54 am

        I asked for an explanation for your naked assertion.
        I got insults.

    • John Say permalink
      December 4, 2018 1:55 pm

      Apparentlhy many europeans are quite happy with Trump.
      Protestors throughout the EU and particularly France are chanting “we want Trump”

  39. Jay permalink
    December 3, 2018 3:28 pm

    Yeah right, Trump hasn’t diminished our reputation among previous allies.

    • John Say permalink
      December 3, 2018 5:05 pm

      “Yeah right, Trump hasn’t diminished our reputation among previous allies.”

      I have no idea of that and do not really care. Frankly Trump has nothing to do with the American reputation, nor does the assessment of foreign intelligence services nor do forign polls.

      What matters is the actions that ordinary foreigners take.
      Do they as individuals aspire to out values of individual liberty, as individuals do they see american products as a good or poor value.

      Do they want to come here or make their country more like ours.

      These are not questions answered by polls or by foreign leaders.

    • John Say permalink
      December 3, 2018 5:06 pm

      Given that the obama administration was using foreign intelligence services to circumvent US laws precluding federal government spying on US persons – my oppinion of foreign intelligence services is not all that high. Particularly MI6 and the baltic state services.

  40. Jay permalink
    December 4, 2018 2:06 pm

    “#Breaking: The Dow falls 782 points.
    That would be the 4th biggest drop in its history.”

    But didn’t Tariff Man claim his economic policies raised stock prices?
    Ya think he (and his roBOT followers) will take blame for the recession ahead?

    • John Say permalink
      December 4, 2018 2:39 pm

      Trump’s remarks on tarriffs are stupid.

      Trump’s negotiating tactics regarding Trade are offensive – though I have yet to see an administration do what is appropriate – unilaterally drop trade barriers.

      Thus far as offensive as Trump’s tactics are they have been effective.

      I do not beleive the ends justify the means – but you do. So why are you offended ?

      The Dow is going to be extra volatile so long as Trump’s trade conflicts continue.
      WS does not like unpredictability.

      The dow is a concern. It is a significant leading economic indicator.

      But it has been out of kilter since 2008.

      The Obama era policies were extremely pro big business. They were also pro-profit taking and anti-investment. The results drove the dow up while the economy remained stagnant.

      Trump’s policies – well beyond Tarriff’s have been pro small business and pro investment and anti-profit taking.

      Until the inflated values of the Obama era are cleared, the Dow will remain an unreliable indicator.

      I am concerned about the Dow and the Economy. While Trump has overall been good for it – better than the press credits, but not as good as he credits himself.

      There are many facotrs that effect the economy.

      Further though the US economy is pretty strong, the global economy is not,
      and or fortunes are not independent of those of china and the rest of the world.

    • John Say permalink
      December 4, 2018 2:44 pm

      There are many indicators that we use to forecast recessions.
      Overall the near term probability remains low, and most of the “problems” are because the rest fo the world economy is weak, not because of the US economy.

  41. Jay permalink
    December 4, 2018 2:13 pm

    Trump voters are getting what they paid for – or is that paying for what they got

    Nebraska Farm Bureau says Trump’s trade conflicts cost the state’s farmers more than $1 billion hill.cm/zWoYlVm

    • John Say permalink
      December 4, 2018 2:49 pm

      This has been refuted myriads of times.

      There are real and negative effects of Trump’s tariffs and those of the nations we are in conflict with. But they are quite small.

      The only effect on farming has been slightly less efficient delivery to market.

      If China buys farm products elsewhere, then US farmers end up selling elsewhere.

      Absent near infinite short term flexibility in supply the impact of tarriffs on global markets is small and primarily effects consumers more than producers.

  42. December 4, 2018 7:19 pm

    Please read the following article, not from the perspective of financial results for a entertainment destination, but from the perspective of what impact our changing education system ( from my belief the wrong way), is having on our country. This is why we have the totally awful candidates for president from both parties because we have a totally incompetent and uninformed electorate. Edmund Burke said in the mid 1700, ” Those who dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Thomas Jefferson stated “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”.

    I looked up this info after hearing comments this week from interpreters of history in Williamsburg. Kids in high school being asked to ID George Washington, a large percentage are unable to identify him although he appears on money, coinage , Mt Rushmore and thousands of Presidents day sale ads. Over 1/2 of the HS kids asked do not know what the Bill of Rights is. Knowing this now informs me why so many support restricting speech they may find offensive. Consevative speech included. They haven’t a clue what the BoR “gaurentees”.

    So the biggest ,by far, threat today to American freedoms is education, or lack of. Just like communism and socialist, controlling the minds of kids begins the transformation. So removing history and civics keeps the people uninformed, allowing for thoae like Trump and Clinton to be the “best” individuals the parties can field.

    htttps://thefederalist.com/2017/08/22/americans-declining-interest-history-hitting-colonial-williamsburg-hard-not-one/?fbclid=IwAR14GiryTtO_20PDGBVWvWVFsLuKwjD1Zz5ncyovOpyzWixlkwHisU3ansY

      • December 5, 2018 10:42 am

        I taught HS history in the 70’s and 80’s. It was during that time that “values education,” began to be pushed hard. Teachers were encouraged to move away from the traditional curriculum, and emphasize the ways in which various groups had been victimized by racism and bigotry. In my first year, I taught “Women in American History,” which, in and of itself, was a fine subject to teach, and I learned a lot by teaching it. The problem was that the students were able to take the course in place of basic US History, so I found that I had to teach a lot of context, in order for the students to have some idea as to why things were the way they were, back in the 18th and 19th centuries. When I complained to the administration that many students lacked a fundamental understanding of American history, I was told that they had already been taught the basic facts in elementary and middle school, and it was time to go beyond the rote learning of facts and dates.

        Since the 80’s, I think that even the rote learning of facts and dates has been scrapped….

      • John Say permalink
        December 5, 2018 2:15 pm

        It is not the rote learning of dates and “facts” that is relevant – particularly in HS.

        Though at some point students should get facts such as what is our constitution, and how is our government structured.

        What they should be learning in HS is the arc of history – the development of ideas and values, and it is a part of that that gets Gavin McInnes and some of the rest of us called white supremecists or nationalists.

        History is the story of the progress of our ideas.

        Some form of government beyond tribes first emerged in Mespotamia a bit less than 10,000 years ago.

        What was that idea and how did it evolve ?

        History is often quite male western centric.
        There are good reasons to study the ideas outside that path,
        One of the reasons for studying china, india, africa, is to figure out why they did not become the apex of human civilization today – not that they were not at one point in time.

        The core of history is the evolution of government, its birth, and its development.
        Why was what the greeks created better than what preceded it, and why was it superseded,
        Why did the western concept of government become the pinnacle today ?

        This is not about dates and facts, but it is about the development of the idea of government, it is about the theory and the practice, what worked and what did not.

        We should read plato, to learn what greece has to offer, but we should grasp that greek democracy was superceded by the roman republic and that ultimately it is the western republic of which the US is the current pinacle that became the dominant and most successful form of government todate.

        It is particularly important to learn that the western idea of self govenrment, limited government and individual liberty more than any other prior or subsequent arrangement has catapulted human standard of living unlike anything else.

        This is the core to “american exceptionalism”.

        We must study not only plato, but martin luther, and voltaire and locke, and our founders, and JS mills, and we must study marx and hitler and stalin and Mao to learn what worked and why and what failed and why.

        Starting in the 19th century with the french revolution the competition to maximizing individual liberty has been egalitarianism – maximizing equality. Those are similar but distinct, as well as antithetical concepts. Egalitarianism has failed whenever it has been tried – from the french revolution through Venezeula.

        History does not end. The evolution of our ideas of governance is not static, we are not done, and future progress in government may move from the west and the US. But todate it has not. Todate attempts to build a government that is superior to that of the US have failed.

        History is important because all ideas are NOT equal. Because some work better than others, and we learn that from history.

        Our ignorance of history dooms us to repeat the mistakes of the past.

        Much of what I argue here has been argued before, decades, centuries sometimes millennia ago. These are questions and issues that have been asked, and answered – both philosophically and practically.

        It is shocking to me that we can have people argue as Sanders or AOC do, or that more than a tiny fraction of people can argue collectivism.

        Not only are they ignorant of the fact that history has proven them wrong – but they are entirely ignorant of the history, philosophy of the very collectivism they espouse.

        What AOC and Sanders are selling is not marxism or socialism – but only because it is not even as well thought out as marxism and socialism. They do not know the basics of even their own dead ideology.

      • December 5, 2018 4:50 pm

        I remember history and all the dates and places we had the memorize. I dont think the dinosaur method of teaching history was very productive then, but we did know about the revolutionary war, constitution, civil war, etc. When the cotton gin was created is not important, but the impact on manufacturing was, just as the assembly.plants. All of this can be related to issues we face today.

        The revolutionaries created a government out of frustration with a government centralized in a few individuals and created a government that was designed to give control to the people and one where 50%+1 could not use force to control the other 50%-1 of the population. Today we have this force as demonstrated by the PPACA where a small majority of people accepted force on the large percent of the minority requiring purchase of a private enterprises product. What happened in the 1700’s can be related to issues today. The exact date of the civil war is unimportant and where the location of the first shot is inconsequencial. What is important is this war was based on TWO things. Not just the one everyone discusses, slavery. The two issues were slavery and states rights. Not only was slavery important, but the question of a strong federal government controlling activities in states was also important. Can that also not be discussed today inissues like abortion.

        people need to know history to know how to repeat dumb mistake of the past.

        As for administration not listening, government, and especially our education systems, is the model for the Peter Principle. Those in the positions of power are those that have no clue what the teachers are dealing with. As long as they can say they have developed new classroom subjects, like your women in history class, and report kids, know what a condom is, what it us used for and how to use it, they are rewarded for preparing the future generation for positions that will lead us forward for the next few decades.

      • John Say permalink
        December 5, 2018 7:54 pm

        English history is important too.

        There is a real evolution in government from Hamurabi, through the greeks to the romans to europe, to england and the magna carte and then the revolution.

        One of the big issues for our founders is that they felt entitled to the same rights are englishmen. From their perspective England already governed the people in Britain well.
        But it denied the colonists the rights of englishmen.

        There is some fudging of reality here – english commoners did not do all that well and affluent americans just would not have become affluent in England.

        But lets not let reality get in the way.

        The United states is the current appogee of a particular ideal of government and individual liberty. While we have backsliden and messed up in numerous ways we still MOSTLY reflect that appogee,

        The problem with our lack of understanding of history is that we keep seeking to go in directions that we know fail.

        Specific dates and mostly marker events – the old rote way of learning do not matter much.
        But learning the progression, the development of ideas and their implimentations, what worked and what did not – both the practical and the underlying principles and values that matters alot.

        It is also important to understand things on multiple levels.

        The “compromise” regarding the structure of congress was about more than addressing the issue of small states and large states. It was also about the entire concept of checks and balances. Our constitution deliberagtely created different centers of power for different political classes. The objective was NOT so that they could accomplsh something, but so that they could block it.

        Our government is structured with limited powers, but also seveely handicapped in excercising those powers.

        That is intentional, and matters as much today as 200 years ago.

      • John Say permalink
        December 6, 2018 10:43 pm

        College students do not know ANYTHING about pearl harbor ?

    • John Say permalink
      December 5, 2018 12:07 am

      I am watching the “the Man in the High Castle” – in it the Nazi’s program for america is Jarh Zero – to obliterate prior US history.

      History is important for the reasons Burke notes as well as Jefferson and myriads of others.

      The good of US history is important as well as the bad.
      The reason that Kids do not know those things, is they are not taught them.

      That is important. It is more difficult to get people to buy horseshit when they know how badly it worked in the past. It is easier to move towards real progress when people know what did work in the past.

      I would specifically note – it is not and never has been the right that seeks to destroy or rewrite history. That is done near exclusively by the left.

      AOC is the hero of the left right now. I would bet she knows no more of the history of our founders than what she gleaned from watching Hamilton.

      I would not say that education is our biggest threat, but it is a big one, and there are so many.

      How can one have any idea what MAGA means without knowing our history ?

      How can one know if Trump is really restoring greatness or imposing tyrany if we do not know what our past was ?

      Kids graduate from High School knowing every evil thing people in this country have ever done. But they do not learn that the US is the birthplace of a kind of freedom that never existed before. No aristocracy. An actual meritocracy. Maybe not a perfect one, but the first and still the pre-eminent one.

      We have Tim Cooke at Apple arguing to silence those whose oppinions he does not like.
      We have the leaders of Google and Facebook and twitter actually doing it.

      Progressive Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis would be labeled a reactionary today.

      I doubt that Tim Cooke or Zuckerburg even know what he said.

      I doubt they have a clue who John Stuart Mill was. Or Voltaire.

      We can not learn from the past if we do not know it.

      Most everything we fight over today has been fought over before.
      Most everything we fight over today has been answered decisively after serious debate by great minds in the past. Often over and over and over again.

      But if you can destroy the past, then you can prevent people from learning from it.
      If you can destroy the past you can push through the same mistakes that have failed over and over in the past because people do not know.

  43. December 5, 2018 6:22 pm

    I have made comments on the Paris Accords a few times and why I did not agree with it. So given this article, I have another reason for not supporting it. The use of western taxpayer money to fund other countries efforts.

    But this article describes better the way I look at this agreement. I do believe if scientist will explain to people why this warming of the planet is different from other warming periods where the earth was warmer than now, but a reversal occurred, then people might buy the argument. But that difference has never been explained. Just having politicians running their mouth without facts just creates a divided public with nothing other than political positions supporting their position.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_pat_buchanan/will_paris_riots_scuttle_climate_accord

    • John Say permalink
      December 5, 2018 11:36 pm

      It is not the job of scientists to determine what is right or wrong. what we should or should not do, what is moral or immoral.

      The climate changes – it has through billions of years. There is no moral component to that.
      It is the role of scientists to tell us what drives that change. A job they have failed at thus far. Not because they are bad scientists – though many are, but because that is a hard to impossible task.

      Just one serious flaw in the science – we know that climate has been highly variable in the past. Climate scientists claim to be able to tell us exactly what part of recent climate change is the result of human activities. But they are completely unable to tell us why claimate varied naturally in the past.

      If you do not know the causes of natural claimate variation, how can you possibly know what part of current variation is caused by humans. The answer is that you can’t.

      The ONLY existing theories explaining past climate variation come entirely from SKEPTICS.
      Those theories leave alot to be desired. Some of the ciriticism of warmists are valid.
      But there is no alternative theries from warmist. The Global Climate models assume that absent human CO2 that climate would not change – that is absurd.

      The next major flaw was aluded to above.

      Science can sometimes tell us if you do A then B will happen.

      Science can not tell us what we SHOULD do. It can not tell us A is better than B.
      It might be able to tell us that A is colder than B.

      Better (or worse) is a moral judgement. It is not a scientific one. It is not the domain of scientists. There is a false presumption in climate science that climate should not change, that change is bad. That is weird., because that is a view that even conservatives do not adhere to religiously.

      Whether a change is good or bad is always a moral question.

      The last flaw in climate science is that if we decide what good and bad climate is, then how we get good climate is an engineering problem – not a science problem.

      Some scientists are good at math and statistics – particularly astronomers and particle physicists.

      But the majority of scientists – doctors, psychologists, many economists, climate scientists, … are pretty bad at math and statistics. In fact most of us are pretty bad at math and statistics (and logic). they can be difficult.

      It has always been true that advances were dependent on decent math skills.
      When the greeks calculated the size of the earth 2000 years ago, small imprecision in math would have resulted in large errors,

      But today the precision required in mathematics to make an advance is incredible.

      We are determining the mass size and composition of planets many light years away, they we can not see at all, and can only get clues about from tiny variations in other things that we can barely see when the one disrupts the light emanating from the other.

      We are determining the existance of incredibly rare subatomic particles that exist for only the briefest instances, again by observing changes in things we can barely measure.

      Climate science is not even close to that degree of precision.

      Trendberth and much of the warmist community spent a decade chasing “the missing heat” in the oceans – when there was a mathematically trivial way to prove it did not exist.
      They searched high, they searched low, the meausearch temperatures throughout the ocean, high low, mid, they spent hundreds of millions trying to find “the missing heat”.

      When it was obvious it did not exist in the first place.

      Despite hystericallly nonsensical predication of what future sea level will be that are several orders of magnitude greater than what even the IPCC predicts, we can reasonably well measure changes in sea level.

      There are two causes to sea level changes – gains/losses in water in the ocean (or gains/losses in water stored in the atmosphere and on land as either water or ice.
      Those are reasonably well known and relatively small.

      Gains and losses due to thermal expansion/contraction of water.

      So the total heat gain in the ocean from year to year can be no larger than that which would be needed to expand the water in the ocean by water amount sea level has risen in that year.
      That assumes there is no gain due to ice melting.

      That does not tell us where in the ocean the heat is being stored, but it tells us beyond any doubt the upper limit for the heat gain in the ocean in a given year.

      SLR has been nearly linear for more than two centuries.
      The heat gains reflected by the increases in Sea Level year to year are insufficient to balance the thermodynamics equations for the earths heat balance for the rate of global warming that climate scientists predict. Absent a gargantuan heat store on earth and not in the water that we have not found, Global warming theory should be DEAD. That is why the warmists were so desparately searching for the hidden heat in the ocean.

      You will note that sea levels are rising (slowly and linearly) – so why doesn’t that mean we should still fear catastrophic global warming ?
      Because linear sea level rise means linear increases in stored energy and temperature increases require EXPONENTIALLY more energy for each incremental increase.
      This is a basic property of physics. It is not even unique to heat – To double the volume of a sound requires quadruple the energy.

      If energy stored energy is increasing linearly, temperature increases will get slower and slower until they are nearly non existant.

      It has taken 20 years to exceed the temperature of 1997.
      Barring some completely unforseen event having nothing to do with CO2, the earth is not going to get much warmer than it is.

      It is called MATH – with a bit of logic.

  44. John Say permalink
    December 6, 2018 9:21 pm

    This addresses the incompatibility between open borders and the welfare state.

    You can not have both.

    BTW it does not matter much whether immigrants use the welfare state more or less than citizens.

    All that matter is that in reasonably large numbers people who do not contribute are able to withdraw funds from it.

    So long as that is true what you have is not sustainable.

    I would further note that whatever the scale of the problem, so long as it is possible for non-citizens outside the country to get in by hook or crook and better their live by glomming onto our social safety net, Whatever the current numbers are they will likely increase.

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/non-citizens-uninsured-welfare-census-data/

  45. John Say permalink
    December 6, 2018 9:51 pm

    We now have Mueller recomending that Flynn not receive Jail time for the crime of not lying to the FBI – because of his extensive cooperation, and because of his extensive public service and because of the minimal nature of the crime.

    The left is ectatic – Flynn MUST have given the goods to Mueller and Mueller MUST be about to run through the entire Trump family pillaging and burning.

    Maybe that is true.
    But I would suggest that what it proves is that mueller is deeply corrupt – he is as described a bully. If you do not cow tow to him – he destroys you. He is all about the use of whatever power he has as carrots and sticks – without regard to the law. He is the self evident prosecutor run amuck.

    DOJ. guidelines require that a US attorney taking a plea bargain must get that person to plead to the highest provable crime. Think of that in the case of all of Mueller’s plea bargains. If the most serious offense that Mueller could prove regarding Flynn was a lie that neither Jim Comey, nor Peter Strzok, nor anyone involved before Mueller thought was a lie – why did Mueller as Flynn to plead at all ? If that was all he had, Then he had nothing.

    Take this further into the sentencing recomendation.

    If Mueller had managed to roll a mafia hitman and got him to plead to lying to the FBI while providing the state evidence of all the murders he committed at the direction of his Dons – would we expect the prosecutor to say – “judge go easy on the hitman”

    If Flynn has provided Mueller with anything of substance, then he has also provided Mueller with the reasons that he should NOT go easy on Mueller.

    We will know soon enough but it seems highly unlikely that Flynn provided Mueller with anything that demonstrates his own or his families involvment in anything wrong.

    If he actually did I would not would not recommend going easy on him.

    Converesely if Flynn gave Mueller everything – and there was nothing there.
    If Mueller did not get information that implicates Flynn himself in substantitive other crimes.
    Then there never should have been a plea bargain – not because Flynn should not have bargained but because Muller should not have declared war on Flynn.

    We have Muellers past – this is EXACTLY what he did to Richard Jewel – only Richard jewel was innocent.
    This is exactly what Muller did to Bruce Ivers – and Ivers eventually committed suicide – and was subsequently completely exhonerated. Mueller has a long history of using the power of the prosecutor to destroy anyone who does not give him what he wants.

    We all generally turn a blind eye to that – even though it is wrong, When the prosecutor gets a real criminal. But when the prosecutor bullies and brow beats people who are actually innocent, then the prosecutor is the criminal.

    I do not have a great deal of sympathy for Corsi, or Stone, or Manaforte, nor would I have sympathy for Axelrod, or Podesta, or Pouffe if the show was on the other foot.

    And the evidence suggests that all Mueller is doing is punishing only the political operatives of one party, not all who have committed similar offenses.

    But the attacks on Page, and Papadoulis, and Flynn are despicable.

    If you beleive it is acceptable to completely destroy the lives of people who have done nothing wrong, in order to “get” someone that you do not like – then YOU are despicable.

    Those on the left should worry about Trump’s next AG. Whether it is whitaker, or Barr or whoever.

    They should worry that Trump will have his new AG use the same tactics that Mueller, used against the left.

    I think that is not likely. Though there are plenty of moments I hope for it.
    Trump was after all elected to drain the swamp.

    Regardless, my point is that if Flynn gave Mueller information that demonstrates any of the things the left has assumed that he has – then Mueller should not be recomending leiniency and citing Flynn’s public service.

    And if Flynn has NOT given Mueller information that demonstrates serious wrongdoing – then Mueller himself should be charged with abuse of power.

    This is not the USSR.

  46. John Say permalink
    December 6, 2018 11:05 pm

    Nunes has amended his request for declassification to include a chain of emails, of senior obama administration DOJ, IC, and FBI people over a long period of time PRIOR to the first FISA request.

    Purportedly that chain of emails has the IC stating that the Steele Dossier is crap. Has Comey skeptical of Steele, and demonstrates that the FBI knew that Steele was working with the press prior to the use of the Dossier in their FISA warrant.

    Today this may sound tame. But it means that the FBI and DOJ KNEW before they presented the Steele Dossier to the FISA court that it was in their OWN assessment dubious.

    It means the warrant application was a fraud on the FISA court.
    It means the law was broken.

    This chain apparently starts in May 2016 and runs through October.

    Many of us already grasp that what was going on was political corruption.

    The question is how much evidence is needed before the rest of you do ?

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

  47. John Say permalink
    December 6, 2018 11:19 pm

    This may prove to be significant.

    FBI Whistle Blower Dennis Cain is raided by the FBI AFTER turning documents regarding the botched FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation over to IG Horowitz.
    Aparently the Senate IC also has them.

    This is significant for MANY reasons.
    Cain was not charged.
    The warrant application to raid his place is near certain to come under intense scrutiny.
    Did the FBI disclose to the court that the person they were raiding was cooperating with the IG who was investiating the FBI at the time they are requesting the warrant.

    This has the actual appearance of “obstruction of justice” – by the FBI.
    It has been presumed that what Cain turned over to Horowitz does not make the fBI look good. At the very least this looks like harassing a whistleblower – which BTW is illegal. ‘It looks like the FBI trying to coverup and protect its own misconduct.

    But wait this is not over. Who was the FBI director during the time period in which the Clinton Foundation investigation that Dennis Cain is claiming was botched took Place ?

    Robert Mueller!

    This looks alot like the FBI seeking to protect Mueller from having his role in the bothced Clinton Foundation Uranium One investigation revealed.

    To refresh memories.

    There was an active investigation into Russian efforts to corrupt US business that was ongoing prior to 2013. That investigation started to lead to people tied to Tenex and the Clinton Foundation and others involved in the Uranium One deal.

    That investigation was suspended, and the allegation is that was to prevent public disclusures of Russian misconduct from tanking Senate approval of the U1 deal

    Mueller was FBI director at the time. Whatever role he had in the investigation, it is unavoidable that he had a critical role in suspending the investigation.

    That would create an enormous conflict for him.
    You can not have Mueller investigating Trump Campaign Collusion wth the Russians, when he himself was involved in Obama administration efforts to cover up collusion with the russians.

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/03/grassley-fbi-whistleblower-raid/

  48. December 7, 2018 6:21 pm

    Will Mueller file his collusion report to the current house or to Pelosi’s house. To me that tells a lot. Do it now and it is not political. Wait, and it is another example of “putting the screws to Trump”.

    So far everything found has nothing to do with Russian collusion.

    • Jay permalink
      December 7, 2018 7:16 pm

      So, you weren’t in favor of the Republican delay to prevent Obama’s nomination to SCOTUS until a Republican President could take office?

      • December 8, 2018 12:16 am

        I will have to look back to see what I posted, but I dont believe I did support that action. But now that Biden supported that action back in the 90’s and this past issue, I would have to say jow if it happened again “turn about is fair play”.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:52 am

        I did – and still do suport that action.

        It was a purely political action – it carried both a political risk – at the next election, and a strategic risk – if Clinton had been elected Garland would have been prefered over her nominee.

        It is one of few things McConnell has done that I credit him with.

        Further I support democrats doing the same thing – if they have the power to do so.

        I support democrats opposing Trump nominees in every legitimate way they can.

        Though the fact that I suport democrats acting legitmately to oppose Trump or republicans does not mean I always agree with what they seek to accomplish.

        I can hate the words you say and die defending your right to say them.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:51 am

        “So, you weren’t in favor of the Republican delay to prevent Obama’s nomination to SCOTUS until a Republican President could take office?”

        How are these related ?

        Mueller is NOT in a political position. He is roughly equivalent to a US attorney.
        Right or left they should be following the actual law, uninfluenced by their politics.

        Congress and to a lessor extent the president are in political positions.

        The president can pick whomever he wishes to be a justice.
        The senate can say no (or do nothing) for whatever reason they wish or none at all.

        We can fight here for days over whether the senate should or should not confirm someone.

        But they are not REQUIRED to.

        Mueller is REQUIRED to stay away from politics and to follow the law and only the law.

    • John Say permalink
      December 7, 2018 10:51 pm

      Neither, the report goes to the AG who decides what to do with it.

      But it is near certain that congress will get access to it.

      Though large portions will be classified.

      Current expectations are th Mueller is unlikely to assert proof of wrongdoing by Trump.

      But there will be a bazillion footnotes where Mueller says this is what he beleives that he can not prove.

  49. December 7, 2018 6:23 pm

    So far everything found has nothing to do with Russian collusion.

    • Jay permalink
      December 7, 2018 7:11 pm

      To be precise, Ron, nothing YET released directly shows collusion between Russia and the Trump Administration.

      Aren’t you happy that Mueller is steadily revealing the underhanded illegal actions of Trump Swamp players to the American public (you included)? As a curious observer of American life, I would assume you would Want that revealed and not secretly hidden under cover of executive sneakiness. Am I wrong?

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:09 am

        To be even more precise Jay – TODAY there is not a basis for DOJ/FBI to open an investigation into Trump/Russia collusion following the standard guidlelines that DOJ/FBI uses for EVERY OTHER INVESTIGATION.

        It is not just that nothing has been found.

        There is not even anything sufficient to have an investigation.

        We heard this garbage about the IC community being unanimous behind the purported improper actions of Russia and the Trump/Russia connection.

        And today Nunes is trying to get declassified a 9 month long chain of emails involving Comey, DOJ. CIA, Strzok, that essentially says that the FBI and the IC actually DID NOT beleive this garbage – and yet they used it to get a FISA warrant anyway.

        So in Jay world is law enforcement free to get warrants, subpoena;s conduct 70 hour interviews based on unsubstantiated allegations absent any supporting facts ?

        Please tell me what is the constitutional standard ?

        I would suggest starting with the 4th amendment.

        “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        Please tell me what allegation met the probable cause standard ? What oath or affirmation seeking a warrant or subpeona was truthful ?

        Do you understand there is very little that you can do in terms of investigate without probable cause ?
        Absent probable cause you can not compell a witness or alleged perpitrator to sit for an interview. In fact absent alleging a specific crime you can not interview witnesses.

        Can you tell me what the crime was that started this investigation ?
        Even today can you identify an actual credible criminal allegation that existed at the start ?

        Everyone understands that If Mueller actually proves a criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt that involves Trump, Trump will get impeached.

        That despite the fact that SCOTUS should toss the entire investigation as fruit of the forbidden tree.

        We tend to turn a blind eye to the constitution when it actually impeded punishing those we can prove are guilty.

        While I should win this argument anyway – the constitution applies whether it ultimately proves that real crimes were committed or not.
        But that is rarely the way of the world.

        At the same time I am not particularly worried about that.

        The entire claim that Trump would collude with the Russians is ludicrously stupid.

        WHAT DO THE RUSSIANS HAVE TO OFFER TRUMP ?

      • December 8, 2018 12:30 am

        Dave, please stop asking questions based on the constitution. Please refer to my comments concerning history and anything associated with that, then you will understand people when they suppkrt issues that appear unconstitutional to people like us.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 2:02 am

        There is no “appear”
        In politics you can have appear, or oppinions.

        The law must be as close to black and white as possible.

        That is why such things as “loopholes exist”. Because no law can cover everything, and violating a law, is a matter of violating the letter of the law – not its intent.

        This is important. We must have ONE law for all.
        An act is not supposed to be legal if A does it but illegal if B does

        The same with the constitution.

        It is irrelevant whether there are differences of oppinion on what the constitution SHOULD say. That we can fix – amend the constitution.

        But it is critical that to the extent possible we must have one means of devining the meaning of what it DOES say. A way that we all agree on.

        Not that we all agree is the right way, but we all or nearly all agree that following that method consistently produces the same results whether you are left or right so long as you scrupuloiusly follow that method.

        If you do not like the textualism of the federalists – propose something else.
        But whatever you propose has to meet the same criteria.

        It must produce the same outcome for left and right judges – so long as they follow that method. It must produce the same results 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and 200 years from now.

        The law and constitution need not be immutable – we are free to change it.
        But not without changing the words.

      • December 8, 2018 10:15 am

        You completely missed my point. When one finds issues that are unconstitutional to them, but are not questioned by others, it is not because the issue is not unconstitutional. It is because those individuals have not been educated as to the constitution and what is contained within.

        My use of the word appears was meant to indicate it was unconstitutional to us, accepted by others and unquestioned by too many.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 11:41 am

        The fixation of the left on the destruction of education is not accidental and I will agree with your argument that one reason for the inability to make constitutional and legal judgements is ignorance of the constitution and law due to increasing bad education. And as I said this is deliberate. The desire of the left is to waste more of the time available for education on matters that will make one into a better modern socialist voter, and less on the fundamentals.

        Further students need to know more than what the constitution says – but how it came to say that – not just because a bunch of white guys in Philadelphia thought that would be cool, but the entire arc of history leading to it. The growing knowledge of government, what worked and what did not and why.

        We need to study socialism – not to encourage it but to understand that it fails – ALWAYS.

        One of the currents in education has been the efforts to emphasize the roles of various minorities and to demphasize the roles of dead white men.

        I understand the need for those of us who are not white and male to be able to see ourselves in history. But history has an arc to it, and that arc is about the values we have discovered that work and those that do not. And as of this moment in time the pinnacle of those values as demonstrated by the standard of living they have produced is the modern west.

        Studying anything else, must do one of three things:
        Show us how we got where we are.
        Show us why that other thing was superceeded or rejected
        Show us why that other thing has something to offer that has not been further tried.

        The latter actually being the least important – because education is about learning from the past, NOT speculation into the future, that is entrepeneurship.

      • December 8, 2018 12:10 am

        Jay, if there is a crime, then file charges. If there is no crime, then drop the investigation. And dont bankrupt someone like Flynn and then recommend no time. If there is a crime, then jail time!!!

        But my concern is the fact these same people would not be investigated and it appears what they have done is clearly something they should have already been investigated for, by normal means. Not by a hachet man like Mueller.

        But this shows why a rich business person will never run again and we will be stuck with career politicians since they have never done anything other than leach off the taxpayer. I doubt any businessman is clean if another Mueller came to be.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:47 am

        If there is a crime – tell us what it is, at the very least.

        The SC law explicitly requires an identified crime.

        ALL investigations require an identified crime.

        We investigate crimes, not people.
        This is not the USSR

        Or it was not before Obama.

      • December 8, 2018 10:24 am

        I dont know if there is a crime or not. That is what the courts will have to decide. Almost everything Mueller has found so far has nothing to do with collusion, it is lying to the FBI or some variation of that, or other issues that were referred to the NY division that is now filing charges unrelated to anything Russia.

        My problem is why wasn’t the NY office investigating Manaford if the crimes were so sufficient to warrant Mueller going off on a tangent from the real reason he was appointed? Why not turn over the indication of the crime to NY at that time and let them get any warrants needed and then do their job? Why did he spend months investigating Manaford where it had nothing to do with Russia and after months of investigation, hand the NY office the indictment on a platter? Where were they if his crimes were so bad?

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:19 pm

        “I dont know if there is a crime or not. That is what the courts will have to decide.”

        NO!!!!

        Courts decide primarily if the accused committed the crime they are accused of.

        What the 4th amendment essentially says is that law enforcement can not put your life under a microscope unless they FIRST allege a specific crime, and unless that allegation has sufficient evidence to meet the probable cause standard, and unless those providing that evidence SWEAR to the credibility of that evidence.

        That is not nearly the high bar necessary to convict. But it is still a high bar.

        It is why Alan Dershowitz, and I an to a lessor extent Johnathan Turley are mostly on the same page on this.

        The things Mueller has found thus far do not matter. Unless the investigation has a firm constitutional foundation – it never should have happened.
        The DOJ/FBI is not a political tool to punish your enemies.

        It is not a tool to dig through OTHER peoples lives.

        It seems hard for so many – even here to grasp that what you allow Mueller to do to Trump and his cronies – can be done to you.

        Several even here screatch for Trump’s tax return. That decision is supposed to be up to Trump. Not Mueller, Not DOJ, not the House of representatives.

        The Mueller investigation has run rampant, sticking its nose into absolutely everything.
        Unfortunately our modern 4th amendment jurisprudence has pretty much destroyed the 4th amendment.

        I WANT THE 4th AMENDMENT BACK

        Not to protect Trump – but to protect all of us.

        If the house of representatives wants to dig through the entire Trump administration – that is their business.

        Though I would ask those of you who cheered when apartiches in DOJ/FBI thwarted the subpeonas of the house, why you think the same should not occur when democrats are in charge ?

        I have no problem with the house and senate engaging in political witch hunts INSIDE GOVERNMENT ONLY.

        They will reap the rewards or pay the price for the politics of their actions.

        They must tread far more carefully on things that are outside of government itself.

        DOJ/FBI/CIA which investigate OUTSIDE of government (as well as in) MUST tread more carefully. They must NOT be driven by politics,. They must as much as possible be blind to their own. Further they must be driven by the pursuit of the truth. Not political or personal interests.

        I do not as an example beleive that Mueller is particularly partisan.
        I beleive his is incredibly political.

        Though there are stylistic differences – Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, Fitzgerald, are part of a cabal of government lawyers that view themselves as gladiators. They do not question their own judgements. They beleive in their own moral virtue independent of the law.

        Comey’s words demonstrate that most clearly – but Mueller’s actions do.

        Each of these has used the power of govenrment to relentlessly pursue some target – WHEN THEY WERE WRONG.

        That is very important. The power of a govenrment investigation is awesome. It can easily destroy innocent people. Even if fully exhonerated, most people do not recover from being the target of a that kind of government investigation,.

        It is harder to argue for Manafort and Cohen – and sometimes even Trump.
        They are not appealing people.

        But there is no provisions in the constitution that only apply to “the good guys”.

        But there are other targets in this that may not be heros, but they are also clearly NOT criminals. And they have been threatened with destruction even destroyed.

        That would not be so strong a claim – if it was not the MO of these people – particularly Mueller.

        The recent raid on the FBI whistleblower is particularly angering.

        I do not know whether mueller had anything to do with it – that news has not emerged.

        But even if he did not the raid was criminal. It is clear that the objectives were to intimidate the whistle blower and to gain the evidence that had been provided to the IG.

        How can you not understand how wrong that is ?

        Nor is this that unusual.

        We have myriads of examples in the past.
        Post ruby ridge there was more than a strong basis, there was sufficient evidence to convict more than one FBI agent of MURDER, efforts were made to prosecute at beth the state and federal level. But govenrment protects its own.

        The Ted Stevens case turned out to be one great fraud. FBI agents intmidated witnesses to get false testimony.

        The Whistleblower was ultimately drummed out of the FBI.
        The perpatrotors were never disciplined – they should have been jailed.

        Who in govenrment suffered in the slightest because of the botched ruby ridge case where people were killed ?

        The FBI and ATF murdered dozens of people at Waco – and what was the consequence ?

        We have the mess with the BLM and the Bundies and company.

        Just to be Clear – Randy Weaver is no saint. Nor was david Koresch or the Bundies or ….

        But all still had constitutional rights.

        One of the issues with the Bundy prosecution is that the FBI deployed Snipers whose real purpose was to intimidate the Bundies AND to provoke violence.
        The government sought after and wanted a violent conflict.
        And they violated the Bundies rights all over the place.

        In all of these and many many other instance we have clear evidence of government misconduct.

        Not democrat, or republican for the most part – but total government bullying, and rights violations.

        And in all cases those on the inside who exposed misconduct end up being the ones punished.

      • Jay permalink
        December 8, 2018 10:17 am

        A lousy way to start the weekend: disagreeing with my East Coast pal Ron:

        1, Billionaire ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg announced last week he was considering running if Trump was nominated in 2020 (and he promised to fully DIVEST his business interests).

        2. If police receive a complaint of domestic violence and when they arrive no one is at the house to question about domestic violence, but they find evidence of drug use, prostitution, illegal sales of weapons, counterfeiting, and child pornography, are you’re suggesting they ignore it because that wasn’t the purpose of the law enforcement visit?

        3. Flyn didn’t plead guilty, and then provide over 70 hours of assistance of testimony on various topics (including Russian interfearance in the election) if he wasn’t guilty of violations of of law, and conscience.

      • December 8, 2018 10:45 am

        Jay, you can not REALLY be as ignorant as you seem to be in this comment.

        “2. If police receive a complaint of domestic violence and when they arrive no one is at the house to question about domestic violence, but they find evidence of drug use, prostitution, illegal sales of weapons, counterfeiting, and child pornography, are you’re suggesting they ignore it because that wasn’t the purpose of the law enforcement visit?”

        If the FBI is investigating a kidnapping and they go into that house and find what you listed, do they continue that investigation? NO. They will turn over anything that is not under their stated jurisdiction to the local law enforcement officials. If there is anything that is under their jurisdiction, then they will investigate that. WHY? Because there are two entities charged with two different responsibilities.

        I have said ALL ALONG that the SC charge is overreaching. I do not agree with the way it was written. Mueller was appointed to investigate RUSSIA!!!! Was Trump colluding with Russia. Mueller was not charged with investigating Manaford and his business dealings or anything else not associated with Russia collusion. My position all along has been he is trying to justify his existence and expenses by investigation non Russia issues and once completed, turning over the information to NY. That is not what he was appointed for other than “other issues that may arise” or some crap like that. He should have found evidence of a crime and turned that over to NY and let them do what they are charged to do. Investigate Manaford for business dealings and he should have stuck to Russia.

        So if you want people running around willy nilly investigating crimes without following the 4th amendment, fine, that is your choice. But I have seen many things that I question if they were legally obtained in this investigation and would wonder how they would stand up in court if it got that far. Since the SC did it and then turned it over, we may find out once the court case is completed.

        So everyone know my position on Mueller what I consider a political witch hunt, not an investigation. There is less here than Willy’s blow job in the White House.

      • Jay permalink
        December 8, 2018 11:54 am

        But Ron, Mueller has authority to investigate everything he’s been investigating, as this section from the DOJ I posted last week (didn’t you bother to read it?) CLEARLY asserts. Read it now; hopefully you will understand why your remark calling me stupid was the half-assed stupid one.

        “The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation… including:
        (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
        (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
        (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).”

        And Mueller has TURNED OVER info discovered not covered by his investigative authority to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to prosecute Cohen; and to the U.S. attorney in Washington -to indict Maria Butina on charges of being an unregistered Russian agent; and to the Justice Department’s National Security Division for prosecution of the 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking Democratic Party and Clinton campaign offices. He’s doing exactly what you said he should be doing.

        .

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:28 pm

        No Jay. Mueller does not have the authority.

        There is no Trump card that overrules the 4th amendment.

        Not only does Mueller not have the authority NO ONE DOES, and NEVER HAS.

        There remains to this date no credible allegation of a specific crime.

        No only shouldn’t mueller have been appointed,
        The FBI/CIA/MI6 should not have been spying on the Trump campaign.

        From the very begining the elements necescary for this investigation did not and still DO NOT exist.

        The best outcome you can hope for is a retro-active justification – that something that we discover proves sufficient to provide the probable cause that this investigation never had.

        There are two independnet arguments – the one is that Mueller – along with Rosenstien, Comey and Fitzgerald are tempermentally unsuited to their roles.

        We do not sick pit bulls on people. The most dangerous people are those who are certain of their own moral superiority and yet have no elucible set of moral principles.

        It is self evident that Comey’s “higher authority” is himself or his gut.

        The most dangerous people are those who use force against others based on their gut.
        If they are right – they might be heros – but if they are wrong, they are often criminals – sometiimes murderers. Even where their targets are bad people – they still can end up themselves being worse.

        The investigation of the Trump campaign from the start to the present has been criminal.
        That is true whether Trump is a good person or a bad one.

        Those involved – whatever else you might wish to beleive, whatever they might believe of themselves – are bad people.

        That is what “the ends justifies the means” is. That is what actually exceeding the legitimate power you have means.

        Absolutely the courts have thus far granted far too much lattitude to Mueller.

        Judge Ellis reviewed Manaford’s challenge to Mueller’s authority and found for Mueller, but you should read Ellis’s decision. Essentially Manaford lost, because the relevant issues were not before Ellis and Ellis could not decide them.

        Ellis’s decision favoring Mueller is damning with faint praise.

        But this is not about Mueller specifically.

        The crime involved here goes beyond the SC act all the way to the start.

        There is now and never was a crime to investigate.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:50 pm

        Jay, the constitution remains the START.

        There is no power that can be delegated to Mueller that the constitution does not grant the government.

        The criminal powers of the federal govenrment are constitutionally limited.
        As a rule the investigation of crimes is the responsibility of the states.

        But beyond that the 4th amendment requires that the vast majority of the actions that are part of a criminal investigation require that a Crime be alleged before those actions can be employed.

        As has been cited repeatedly the Government must investigate crimes not people.

        The SC act repeats the same thing.

        You cite Rosensteins charge to Mueller.

        That is just a memo – one required by the law,
        But it is NOT the law itself.

        The memo cites the law.
        But your reading of the memo – is essentially that Mueller may do whatever he wishes that conforms to this memo as well as whatever conforms to the law.

        The opposite is true. Mueller may never exceed the constraints of the law, AND is further constrained by the memo. And rather than OR.

        Rosenstein did not have the authority to expand on the law or the constitution.

        BTW Judge Ellis noted that Rosensteins original memo was crap.
        Ellis got arround that by using the suppliment provided 6 months later.

        Ellis correctly noted that the original memo is not carved in stone.

        But the core problem is that no specific crime was ever alleged.

        Why do these things matter ?

        Because the actions that the govenrment is permitted to undertake are dictated by the strength of the evidence of the crime.

        If I say “Hillary Clinton is a Kiddie Diddler” is that enough for the FBI to start an investigation of HRC ?

        What constituties suffiicient evidence to open an investigation ?

        Lets look at that allegation.

        What do I mean by “kiddie diddling” ? That is the same as what is meant by Trump/Russia collusion”.

        All actions that HRC might engage in with kids are not crimes. To conduct an investigation of HRC my allegation must specify an actual crime. not just allude to dubious conduct.

        There is alot more. Every increased escallation in an investigation and the techniques used has additional requirements that must be met before being able to escalate.

        TODAY we do not have enough to do more than interview volunteering and cooperating witnesses.

        TODAY there is not sufficient to use spies, or to get a warrant.
        To conduct a search or seizure.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:54 pm

        Jay, no one has ever been “charged” as an unrequisted foreign agent” before.

        BTW this claim was also made regarding Gates, Manafort, Flynn, and could easily be made regarding Podesta, Steele, Simpson, ……..

        The law itself remains ludiocrous.

        Further the evidence thus far is that Butrina is not a foreign agent.
        She is being held without bail – like Manafort is being held in solitary.
        Despite the fact that she is likely to prevail.

        She is a politically active person. That is all.
        And FARA violations normally result in the actor registering – that is all.
        Not criminal prosecutions.

      • December 8, 2018 2:36 pm

        Jay, I understand completely he has the power to investigate anything that he finds in his work. He has the power to completely tear your life apart if he finds one e-mail or one call to you from one of the parties involved until he concludes the invite for dinner was just social, not anything to do with future business deals that might include crimes. But is that right? Should you have to borrow money on your house to hire top notch attorneys to clear your name?

        You say yes. I say no. My position is there are people employed in this country to look into crimes of this nature. Mueller was charged with Russian collusion. Nothing he has found yet shows anything to do with Russia. Even the issue where the Trump organization was trying to finalize a Trump tower in Russia during the election process has nothing to do with collusion. Had Trump not been elected, he would have finalized that deal himself. And he has not turned over the investigation to the NY office, he continued to investigate until he had a case and handed the NY office the case on a platter. They have little work to do to prosecute compared to their doing the whole thing.

        Just because the SC directive allowed him to do what he is doing does not make it right in my mind. It is like a job description that says “and other duties as directed by supervisor”. They can make someone clean the bathroom when they are an administrative employee. But that does not make it right.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 8:25 pm

        Mueller has the same power to investigate crimes that he finds sufficient evidence of in the course of an otherwise legitimate investigation as any other prosecutor.

        But no prosecutor can investigate anything that surfaces as the result of an illegitimate investigation.

        The foundation must be firm or you risk losing everything.
        And there is no foundation for Mueller. There is not and has NEVER been the underlying foundation nor even an actual crime alleged.

        It is that that is the fundimental problem and that significantly predates Mueller.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 8:27 pm

        It is not just that the scope of the DOJ directive to the SC does nto make the investigation right.

        It does not make it even legal.

        You do not have power and authority merely by claiming it.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 8:12 pm

        With respect to the Mueller indictments against Russians.

        The “hacking” still remains speculation.

        Are you going to allow the iranians to indict and extradite the US operatives that “hacked” the Iranian Nuclear program ?

        Most of those indicted are indicted for their social media actions.
        Are you going to allow the Russians to indict and extradite Voice of America ?
        What about every Media pundit that has said negative things about Putin ?

        How is it they are not doing the same with regard to Putin as the Russians puportedly did to Clinton ?

        Grow Up. Attempts at persuasion are not a crime – no matter what laws you pass.
        Worse still making something that should not be a crime into one just results in the same nonsense from others.

        Do you ever bother to think how what offends you would work if it was implimented against you ?

        How can what you want americans to do with regard to elections in Russia and elsewhere only be wrong when it is being done to americans by others ?

        It is not getting reported heavily by the media – because it is hard to get negative Mueller stories run. But there are plenty within the IC that are not happy with Muellers indictments.

        The US has surrendered the moral high ground, abandoned its committment to free speech betrayed its principles and is criminalizing and prosecuting actions that americans particularly in the IC do all the time.

        Your fixated on Butina – do you want the russians arresting americans that protest for gay rights or against putin ?

        Why is it that you are unable to understand how incredibly stupid what Mueller is doing is ?

        You say Trump has diminished our foriegn stature.

        How exactly do you think saying to the world – do not F’k with us, do not speak in our elections, but we can F’k with you. We can say what ever we wish.

        Because there is one set of rules for americans and another for everyone else.

        That is the kind of stuff you pretend Trump does – but it is Mueller doing it, and you cheering him on.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 8:17 pm

        Why is it I care what the DOJ ‘clearly asserts”. ?

        I can read the constitution – that is the supreme law of the land.
        I can read the Special Council Statue. To the extent that it does not conflict with the constitution that is the law.

        The constitution does not permit anyone in government to do as they please.
        There is no constitutional provision that says DOJ can publish the purported authority of the SC and that is what it is, regardless of the law or the constitution.

        The scope of every government investigation is defined by the constitution and centuries of common law.
        The scope of the special counsel is that which government has reduced by the constraints of the special counsel act, and further reduced by the constraints of the SC’s specific authorization.

        The process is subtractive, not additive.

        DOJ can not grant to mueller power it does not itself have.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:13 pm

        Just to be clear the only thing that gets law enforcement in the door in Jays scenario is an imminent threat.

        No such thing exists with respect to Mueller.

      • December 8, 2018 2:42 pm

        ” No such thing exists with respect to Mueller.”

        Thats what I have said for months.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:48 pm

        1). So what ? There is no requirement to do so. Bloomberg will not win, so what does it matter. If he does he is unlikely to do as he says.

        But you are free to vote based on that promise or anything else,

        2). Actual details matter. Really – the law actually says so.
        The police response to a domestic abuse complaint must be based on the credibility of the complaint.

        But lets presume your most favorable case – the woman calls 911 and says that here spouse is punching her.

        The police respond. Under these circumstances they are allowed to gain entrance to the apartment – exigent circumstances, if there is am imminent threat of violence.
        On entrance they are permitted to take reasonable actions to protect their own and anyone else’s safety. That would mean disarming anyone present.
        They are permitted to secure any visible weapons.

        Under some circumstances such as the arrest of the man, they are permitted to search the man for weapons as part of the arrest for their own safety.

        All those things are directly related to the alleged crime.

        Tangentially they are allowed to seize any evidence of other crimes that is in “clear sight” at the time. Anything beyond that they need a warrant for.

        The allegation of domestic abuse – if sufficiently credible AND imminent permits them to take those actions that are necescary with regard to that specific complaint,

        BTW if their is no imminent threat then they need a warrant,

        Warrants are constitutionally required to be specific as to what is being searched for and where is being searched.

        If the police are looking for a shotgun, they do not get to examine cereal boxes.

        In the example you cite unless the evidence of drug use, prostitution, and child pornography was “in plain sight” then at best – they need to go an get a warrant.

        I also find your choice of crimes interesting.

        Our drug laws are unconstitutional. So no I do not think the police should involve themselves in that. But we need to fix the law.

        Nor is prostitution the business of law enforcement.

        Most of us find child pornography reprehensible.
        But it is only its production that should be illegal.

        So as to your argument – no the law would not autmatically allow the police to expand a domestic abuse complaint into a drug, prostitution or child pronography one,

        You say they “find evidence” – how do they find it ? if it is in plain sight – fine.
        If it is not – then they need a warrant and a basis for one.
        They are not authorized by virtue of a complaint to conduct a search.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:07 pm

        Actually yes, Flynn did plead guilty despite being innocent,

        And BTW myriads of people do that all the time.

        There are now about 1100 people on the exhonerated list.
        Most of these are people who DNA evidence has proven they did not commit the crime they were convicted of.Though some were PROVEN innocent by other means.

        NONE of these are people who were released because they did not receive due process.
        These are only those released because they were actually innocent.

        Nearly every single on confessed at one point. Many of them “plead guilty”.

        Some ridiculous percent of criminal complaints result in guilty please.
        Though in most cases those pleading guilty have done something criminal,
        it is not unusual for them to plead to something they did not do.

        That is the reality of our criminal justice system.

        Flynn has openly stated that he plead guilty to protect the rest of his life savings – he had already spent nearly 1M in legal fees, he had mortgaged his home. Mueller was threatening to investigate his son.

        All of that is bullying. All of that is immoral.

        It is dangerous to be right when government is wrong – Voltaire.

        Yes, we know that Flynn provided many hours of assistance.
        That occurred about a year ago. So what has that produced ?

        So far the evidence is NOTHING.

        You and the media and the left have told us for over 2 years that the evidence is coming.

        You still can not even allege an actual crime.

        Further – outside of the US federal govenrment lying to law enforcement is NOT a crime.

        It can be used as evidence against you, but it is NOT an independent crime.
        That is good. Otherwise we get the mess we currently have – grill people for hours and hope to catch them in some minor inconsistency.

        We have both testimonial evidence of numerous people involved in the investigation PRIOR to Mueller going after Flynn that all thought Flynn had not “lied” to the FBI agents.

        WE know that the interview was an ambush.
        We also know the elements of the law were not met.
        The actual law about lying to federal agents requires that the lie is knowing, and that it must mislead the agents.
        The agents interviewing Flynn had read the transcript of the kislyak conversation before the interview. They could not be mislead. The only purpose for asking flynn about it was entrapment.

        There is a real crime involved here – the substance of the kislyack call was leaked tot he washington post. That was an absolute crystal clear violation of the espionage act.
        Only people in the FBI could be responsible for the leak.
        No one has been identified as the leak or prosecuted.

        That is an actual crime that harmed the US.

      • December 8, 2018 10:42 pm

        According to newsweek from 2014 “Since 1973, 144 people on death row have been exonerated. As a percentage of all death sentences, that’s just 1.6 percent. But if the innocence rate is 4.1 percent, more than twice the rate of exoneration, the study suggests what most people assumed but dreaded: An untold number of innocent people have been executed.” Twenty of those since 1992 have been shown to be innocent after their execution.

        The problem with false confessions is most of those that do that are young and minority, they are drug related, they are lied to by the police who state they have information that will send them away for years that scares the crap out of them and that if they confess, they may have much shorter sentences, most of the time that does not happen. But the kid confesses because he believes the cops and since he has a public defender, he basically has no council at all.

        But those of us who may not agree with the police tactics will be out weighed by those that believe in government doing the right thing all the time.

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 1:36 am

        Just to be clear before Jay claims I was “lying”.

        There have been over 1000 exhonerations. ALL have not be of people on death row.

        I beleive that there has been atleast 1 likely innocent person executed every single year that we have had the death penalty.

        Though I would note the death penatly is a completely different debate than false confessions.

        False confessions arrise for myriads of reasons – what you stated is often correct.
        But there are plenty of exceptions.

        The techniques for getting false confessions are well known.
        They are the same techniques as extracting true confessions.

        One thing that has been proposed – and that I support is a sort of inversion of Miranda.

        Let the police question people without lawyers, let them use power techniques likely to elicit false confessions.

        But do not allow the confessions in court.

        That changes the objective of the police from getting a confession to getting true information.

        If you confess and tell the police where to find the murder weapon – they get the murder weapon, but not your confession.

        In much of the developed world you can not be charged for lying to the police.
        But your statements to police can be used as evidence against you in court.

        If you lie to the police you can be exposed in court as a liar and that makes you look guilty.

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 1:49 am

        Please do not Trash Public defenders. My wife has been one for 20+ years.

        Though the quality of public defenders varies from state to state – most are quite good.
        Most are significantly better than the members of the private bar that ordinary people can afford.

        By all means if you can afford Gerry Spenser, Alan Derschowitz, Barry Sheck, F. Lee Bailley – do so.
        Bailley may be dead, regardless there are a few private defense attorneys that are absolutely unequalled.

        But atleast in my state – you are much better off with a public defender than private counsel.
        The worst public defenders – and many are bad, are better than the worst private counsel, and the best public defenders better than the best private counsel.

        Even those rich enough to not qualify for public defenders would mostly be better off with a public defender. Fortunately they rarely get accused of crimes.

        There are issues – but they pertain to both. Public defenders are over worked and have negligable resources. But if you pay private counsel 5K to defend a felony, the “resources” go to their fee, not experts or investigators.

        Frequently private counsel takes a case, botches the preliminary hearing and dumps it on the PD. Or they run through a trial and dump the appeal on the PD’s.

        In each case the defendant is less well served.

        With respect to false confessions. These typically occur because defendants, do not ask for a lawyer. The police are very good at manipulating those they interview into beleiving they are better off without a lawyer. The very people you note – young male minorities, think they can “outsmart” the police and do not need a lawyer.

        One of the typical police tactics is to do the same thing that Jay and the left and the media are doing with Trump. Screetching that every thing is a lie. The police do not need to catch you in a lie, they just need to persuade you that they beleive they caught you in a lie or the jury will beleive they caught you in a le.

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 1:57 am

        The police are a very complex issue.

        There is absolutely zero doubt that policing is improving, that it has done so dramatically during my lifetime. And the police should be commended for that.

        There are racist police officers – but not many.
        There are bad police shootings – but not many.
        Most bad police shootings are just bad, not racist.

        There are truly bad police – but not many.

        Todays problems are:

        There is way to much of an us vs them mentality – and unless you are a cop – you are them, not us.
        The police have way to much political influence with both parties. It is nearly as difficult to fire a bad cop as to convict them (we are working on the same problem with teachers and other public servants).
        The bad cops are protected by the rest.
        There are few truly good cops, and most do not last.
        The vast majority of the police are somewhere in the middle.
        They beleive they are doing the right thing, but they also believe that the rules need to be bent to do the job. They beleive that they have special instincts that allow them to tell the good guys from the bad guys – and they don’t.

        We have to work to fix what is wrong, while giving credit for the fact that things have actually improved ALOT.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:10 pm

        Criminal prosecutions are about the law.

        If you have not broken the law but are otherwise a vile person – that is between you and your conscience.

        Regardless, we need not speculate as to why Flynn plead guilty – he and his lawyers made that clear – to protect his son and to get out from under the tremendous cost of defending himself.

        We need not speculate about what is in peoples heads when they use words to tell us why they did something.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:42 am

        You say Mueller is revealing things – WHAT ?

        It is increasingly self evident that Gen. Flynn was a political hatchet job done by those Flynn pissed off in the Obama administration – people who were out to get Flynn possibly more so than Trump, because Flynn had served Obama and was fired for advocating for the policies that Trump was getting ready to impliment and advocating against the policies that they had implimented.

        You can remove Trump from the picture entirely and the treatment of Flynn is unbeleivably politically corrupt and people should go to jail for it.
        Flynn may not be a saint, but he is no criminal – though he is being treated like one.

        The judge should read Muellers sentencing memo and sanction Mueller.

        Papadoulis does not appear to be a brain surgeon. But it is equally evident he is no criminal.
        So why is he going to jail ?

        Because Mueller is a bully.

        In what world is Manafort more criminal that the podestas ?

        If Manafort is the big fish you caught – you failed. Worse still you proved yourself partisan.

        What of these inumerable russians that purportedly “influenced” our election ?

        Have you ever heard of “Voice Of America” ?
        What of John Oliver ? Or the Guardian ?

        Is it only the Russians who are not permitted to express oppinions regarding US elections ?

        There are numerous members of our own law enforcement and intellegence communities who think that Muellers indictments against those russians are ludicrously stupid and will result in americans getting jailed on the same claims throughout the world.
        Doubt that ? It happens all the time.
        Mueller has just abandoned our moral high ground.
        He has pissed all over the principles underlying the first amendment.

        We try to persuade other countries to emulate our values and here we are endorsing their tyranny.

        It is OK for the US and americans to express views about foreign elections.
        But it is a crime if foreigners do so about US elections ?

        Alas alas for you
        Lawyers and pharisees
        Hypocrits that you be

        Blind guides, blind fools
        The blood you spilt
        On you will fall!
        This nation, this generation
        Will bear the guilt of it all!

        Quit drowning in hypocracy.

        The indictment of russians was a mistake that will haunt us for years.

        And worse – some of them are fighting back – and winning.

        What else do we have ?

        Mueller discovered what everyone knew.
        Cohen got Stormy Daniels to agree for 130K to a non-disclosure.
        As even a few on the left have asked – why didn’t she return the money ?

        This is really simple NDA’s are legal.
        They are legal if Cohen got it on his own.
        They are legal if Trump had Cohen get it.

        Cohen is probably guilty of writing an incredibly bad one.
        But in the end Daniels either has to return the money or keep silent.
        The law does NOT say that a bad contract is free money.

        Regardless, there is no crime there.

        Separately we stumbled onto some maybe illegal activities of Cohen completely on his own regarding Cab Medalians in NYC.

        More Big Fish ?

        I would further note regarding all these “lying to somebody” claims.
        Absent proving an actual underlying crime, these are pretty much never prosecuted except for spite.

        At the same time we KNOW that Comey lied to congress – his own statements and his own emails and memos are at odds with each other.

        We KNOW that Rod Rosenstein at the very least participated in a joke so bad that it should have gotten him fired. And possible conspired in an attempted coup.
        You do understand that the deputy AG can not depose the president – even if he beleives that president has committed a crime. That is a determination that only congress gets to make.
        Rosentstein can resign and he can go to congress and testify. But any other action would be illegal.

        McCabe lied repeatedly under oath and to FBI interviewers.
        Glenn Simpson appears to have lied under oath.

        The number of people who have actually obstructed justice is innumerable,
        And please actually read the statue before raising stupid claims that Trump did.

        You can not obstruct justice by doing the job you are mandated to do by the constitution.
        That is the first distinction between Trump’s actions and large portions of FBI, CIA, DOJ.

        Obstructing justice generally requires interfering with a formal proceding – a hearing in the house or senate, or a grand jury or criminal trial.
        It does not occur when the prosecutor does not like your actions.

        And now we have the DOJ/FBI and Mueller interfering with an IG investigation into the mishandling of the U1/Clinton foundation investiation,

        So isn’t that Obastuction of justice by your defintion ?

        What do you call it when the FBI swears out a warrant, and raids a federally protected by law whislteblower ?
        What is it when those who are behind the raid, are those being investigated ?

        Nor is this new. McCabe used his position in the FBI to destroy a woman who filed a sexual discrimination suit against him – one that Flynn provided her with a character reference.

        Get a clue Jay – there is lots of provable corruption – it is a federal crime to retailiate against a whistleblower.

        And there a long list of other criminals I have not touched on, but we all know them.

        You are just willfully blind.

        And you have this bizarre standard of proof,
        One were mere allegation consists of proof beyone a resonable doubt if the target is on the right, but incontrovertable evidence is insufficient if the target is on the left.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:43 am

        And just to be clear – no the public does NOT have the right to know whatever it wants to know.

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:46 am

        Sorry, I messed that – Mueller is not investigating “investigative sneakiness”.

        He is investigating the private actions of private parties prior to the election in 2016.

        He Should be investigating executive sneakiness – but the executive at the time was Obama not trump.

        Real government corruption is far far more harmful than any private misconduct.

        The bank robber does less damage to society than the politician who uses his power to punishes his enemies.

    • John Say permalink
      December 7, 2018 11:53 pm

      “So far everything found has nothing to do with Russian collusion.”

      So far what has been found is that there never was a basis to investigate Trump/Russia collusion.

      So far what has been found is what was obvious to anyone with half a brain from the start.

      There is nothing that Putin could possibly give Trump that had any value worth the risk.

      The entire Russian election operation – which favored Clinton as much as Trump was not even 1% of Trump campaign spending.

      Why would anyone conspire with russians – even if it was legal, the influence US voters – something there is no reason to beleive Russians are good at, when Trump could have spent the same money himself from pocket change and had it done well.

      The one area BOTH Trump and Clinton tried to “conspire with the russians” over was getting dirt on their opponent. Clinton went so far as to pay for it through third parties, to get garbage for her money and then use it to trigger and investigation of her opponent.

      If Clinton beleived the Steele Dossier – she should have gone public with the claims.
      If she beleived they were true they would have easily won the election.
      Of course if she beleived they were false going public would have lost her the election big time.

      I think it is apparent by Clinton’s choices that she and her campaign did not beleive the allegations in the steele dossier.
      Even Steele does not beleive the allegations in the steele dossier.

      What is becoming aparent is that no one at CIA, FBI or DOJ did either.
      And yet they swore to the FISA court they were highly credible.

      So we have an investigation started based on allegations that had no support and no one beleived.

      Why do you have a problem understanding that is CRIMINALLY POLITICALLY CORRUPT ?

      This is precisely what Nixon WANTED to do.
      Several of the proposed impeachment counts were because he attempted to do this.

      Has right and wrong changed significantly since 1972 ?

      • December 8, 2018 12:24 am

        “Why do you have a problem understanding that is CRIMINALLY POLITICALLY CORRUPT ? ”

        Please show me where I ever supported the investigation¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I never supportec Mueller!

      • John Say permalink
        December 8, 2018 1:54 am

        Sorry Ron.

        While my reply was to your post, the “you” was generic and not specifically targeted at you.

        You seem to come fairly close to understanding that whether Trump is good or evil,
        The efforts to “get Trump” have themselves been evil.

        You can not do good, by doing evil to evil people.
        You corrupt yourself. That is all.

  50. John Say permalink
    December 8, 2018 1:31 am

    So what you are saying is that you can not support Trump even when he is right – because “Argh! Trump!” ?

    The new testiment Christ who is omniscient and knows mans mind and his heart separates the sheep from the goats, not on what they feel, not on what they think, not on what they say, but on what they do.

    What right have I to judge a man on feelings I can not know, on thoughts I can not know on words that offend me, when god chooses to judge men by their actions ?

  51. Jay permalink
    December 8, 2018 11:29 am

    The conservative National Review has this to say today:

    • John Say permalink
      December 8, 2018 12:29 pm

      No the Cohen memo is NOT a problem.

      The problem is your ludicrously stupid interpretation of “campaign finance crimes”.

      Absolutely those directing another to commit a crime are also guilty of a crime.

      But those directing others to do legal things that you do not think should be legal are not criminals.

      Edwards paid over a million in campaign funds to keep quite his affair with a campaign staffer and the government could not get a conviction. Edwards actions were far more egregious and came far closer to violating the law.

      Jay, this interpret the law incredibly broadly against those I do not like and narrowly against those I do, stuff is GARBAGE. It is a variation of the evil that is Mueller.
      It is a major part of why I have little respect for you as a person.

      I often find myself int he position of defending people I do not like.
      But guess what – the law, the constitution, our rights – are the same for those I do not like as for those I love, and for myself.

      You pick and choose who you like – based on ideology or astrology, or reading your tea leaves. There is not a lot of rhyme or reason in your choices. They are not driven by facts, logic reason. And then you reconstruct the law to suit your guts.

      You want my respect ? Start using your intellect. If you can not do that, then atleast be consistent.

  52. Jay permalink
    December 8, 2018 2:39 pm

    ROBY – MERRY XMAS IN ADVANCE:

    • Roby permalink
      December 10, 2018 1:12 pm

      How wonderful! A cross between Stanley Jordan, Tommy Emmanuel, and Gabriella! Thanks!

      And, merry Christmas! I am quite sure we both want the same big present and it does seem to be on its way.it won’t come by Christmas, but anyone not living in a delusional Rasmussen universe can see the writing on the wall. Not that wall.

  53. Jay permalink
    December 8, 2018 7:26 pm

    Comey and Mueller will go on in history as respected public officials who worked to rescue America from a corrupt tainted administration of fools and connivers; Trump and his apologists will surpass the Nixon-Agnew as themost tarnished presidency in a century.

    • John Say permalink
      December 8, 2018 8:34 pm

      History tends to be written by the winners. I will not speculate regarding that.

      But Comey is a sanctimonious liar.

      How in gods name can you be trusted to investigate someone when the criminal behavior they are alleged to have committed is something you are doing ?

      How can you not grasp how morally bankrupt that is ?

      Is Comey politically partisan – no ?

      But that does not make him any less a liar or a self serving crook.

      Mueller has never grasped that he is not at war with those he is investigating.
      That the role of an investigator it to find the truth, not defeat the enemy – by whatever means necescary.

      Mueller’s brutal and criminal approach predates Trump.

      Neither are real hero’s. Nor are they profiles in courage.

      I would welcome prosecutions of both on the same standards they have prosecuted others because the deserve to be bankrupted and destroyed.

    • John Say permalink
      December 8, 2018 8:39 pm

      Agnew was tied to a bribery scandal.

      Nixon authorized the payment of hush money to the watergate burglars.

      Nixon further sought to use the IRS and FBI to investigate political enemies and failing to do so, allowed the creation of his own group to go after his enemies.

      Trump has done nothing like that.
      But Obama has.

      If the claims regarding Trump were true – they would be impeachable,
      But they STILL would not reach to the level of Nixon or Obama.

      The use of government power for political gain is more egregious than anything one can do privately.

      It is litterally the government and those with power in government being above the law.

      That is Obama, and Comey and Mueller, not Trump

      • Jay permalink
        December 9, 2018 6:42 pm

        Another example of your pontificating ignorance. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion, you dunce.

        “Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on suspicion of conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. Agnew had accepted kickbacks from contractors during his time as Baltimore County Executive and Governor of Maryland. The payments had continued into his time as vice president. On October 10, 1973, after months of maintaining his innocence, Agnew pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office.”

        You constantly misquote facts like that.
        Example from last week when you said police without a warrant could not enter a premises except under Exigent Circumstances. That was an ignorant generalization. Ask your wife for a fuller explanation for warrentless entrence, she’ll correct your ignorance.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 9, 2018 11:21 pm

        More idiocy
        Bribery always involves tax evasion

        Al Capone was convicted on tax evasion
        Are you saying that is his real crime

      • dhlii permalink
        December 9, 2018 11:33 pm

        Jay your ignorance of law and constitution
        And you petty misrepresentations are manifest

        There are basically 4 circumstances that police may enter a private space
        With a warant
        With permission of someone with sufficient rights to grant permission
        Exigent circumstances of which there are a list such as a crime in progress
        Or good faith which is basically they did not meet one of the above
        But they thought they did

        The courts play games broadening and narrowing exigent circumstances all the time
        But it is still on large catagory

        Take a constitutional law course

      • dhlii permalink
        December 9, 2018 11:49 pm

        No jay
        I do not misquote facts

        The next time you decide to accuse me of lying
        Be specific
        Actually quote the words I used
        The n deminstrate how they are false

        What I said is “Agnew was tied to a bribery scandal”

        Had I actually said “Agnew was convicted of bribery”
        That would be technically false but an inconsequential error
        And your trying to make into more than that would itself be improper

        But that is not what I said

        I do not write with perfect precision
        But I do write far more precisely than you

        As I have said before being right all the time is easy
        Do not say something if you do not know it is true

        I did not bother to look up precisely what Agnew was cinvepicted of
        I therefore used language that was not specific to conviction
        Usually I phrase thing more broadly when I am not going to look up the details
        I lived through Agnew
        I did not recall what he was convicted of
        I did not need to look up what he had done

        So what we have a lie here
        YOURS
        A false accusation is a LIE

        I am tired of these false accusations from you
        When you can not be troubled to read what I actually wrote

        I am not perfect
        Someday you will catch me in a statement that is generally correct but technically in error
        You may even find a real error
        And honestly I welcome your efforts to do so

        Arguments must be tested
        I expect you to test mine
        When you demonstrate meaningful error
        I will correct them
        That is how free speech is supposed to work

        But come the day you find a meaningful error
        One thing will remain true

        You have cried wolf so many times
        You have sprayed so much ad hominem

        That you have no credibility
        And you can not get credibility by bad pedantic sniping at mine

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 12:07 am

        Here is what I said about “exigent circumstances”

        It is again not what you claim – and that is obvious and made more obvious if you read the rest of the post.

        “If X than Y”
        IS NOT THE SAME AS
        IF and Only IF X then Y.

        Further in the same post I addressed “plain site” as was as “searches subsequent to arrest”
        In fact I covered ever single type of warrantless search that Legalzoom lists, though legal zooms assertion that probable cause is sufficient is an obvious error.
        Probable cause it the standard for a warrant. The standard for a warrantless search is HIGHER than probable cause. Exigent circumstances is a HIGHER standard.

        MOST circumstances where a warrantless search is permitted require an immediate harm if the police do not act.

        “But lets presume your most favorable case – the woman calls 911 and says that here spouse is punching her.

        The police respond. Under these circumstances they are allowed to gain entrance to the apartment – exigent circumstances, if there is am imminent threat of violence.”

        The above identifies a specific instance in which the police can enter and search without a warrant. and one specific justification.

        It is also likely in the example I provided that if the victim had sufficient rights in the space being searched she could give permission.

  54. John Say permalink
    December 9, 2018 1:51 am

    On afghanistan – Trump constantly says the rights stuff but does the wrong things.

    Numerous posters here tell us Trump is a charlitan, he does nto defer to experts and does not recognize his on limitations just lawlessly doing as he please.

    Yet, it is self evident that Trump has and continues to want us out of Afghanistan.
    But despite his assertions during the campaign that he knows better than the generals – he is unwilling to overrule them on this.

    And yet Trump is likely right. It is LONG past time to get out. Whatever the generals say.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-war-afghanistan-now-about-only-one-thing-pride-37997

    • December 9, 2018 10:37 am

      This is why the knowledge of history is so damn important, And people don’t care! They have bought the Bush, Obama and now Trump cool aide for way too long. Why do I say that.

      Well, as stated in the article, “the United States needed to keep fighting there, otherwise they will be fighting here”. That was the same F’in argument given for getting in and staying in Viet Nam for years. And then the secondary argument was “look how many lives lost will be for no reason if we leave now”

      Yes, if we left now it most likely would fall to the Taliban. But we can not fight religious and tribal beliefs unless the people of that country are willing to stand up against those beliefs 100%. That does not seem to be the case, although they have seemed to fight better than in other countries like central America where they flee instead of fight the cartels.

      The question is not one of money, I could really care less about supporting them with equipment to fight, but it is one of how many more lives are we willing to sacrifice until enough is enough. If there are those in the country willing to fight and die, then give them the means to do that,.

      But why should we defend a foreign country thousands of miles away when so many here at home are unwilling to defend our own southern border! Why should we put men and women 1/2 way across the world when the action to place those same men and women being assigned to help the border patrol is criticized so widely?

      Yes, its time to bring them home!

  55. Jay permalink
    December 9, 2018 9:44 am

    Which Liberal-Progressive-Lefty-Democrat said this today?

    “We now know Trump was negotiating a Trump property in Moscow during the presidential campaign — and hid this from the public and lied about it. We now know Mueller believes the Moscow Project was and possibly lucrative and required, the assistance of the Russian government.”

    “We now know Donald Trump, Jr and others took a meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. We now know Don, Jr., when approached with the promise of dirt, wrote: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

    “We know that Trump associates Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi attempted — successfully, in some instances — to get in touch with WikiLeaks and that they are under investigation for whether they had advance knowledge about the email dumps.”

    ”We now know several Russian officials reached out to a half dozen Republicans very close to Trump and his campaign, including his eldest son, his closest adviser, his lawyer, and his campaign manager. We now know they took the meetings enthusiastically.”

    “We now know Russia offered in those chats campaign assistance — “synergy,” they called it. We know now of no one around Trump who alerted the FBI of this effort to subvert our elections.”

    Figure out who it is yet?

    • John Say permalink
      December 10, 2018 1:27 am

      You quoted the Axios points.

      Many are false.
      I do not think a single one is more than politically embarrasing if it were actually true.

      One of the reason that the SC is required to be appointed to investigate a crime – rather than this bizarre Trump/Russia collusion nonsense, is that crimes have specific elements to them.
      Every activity that you can paint as “suspicious” by overreach is not a crime.

      In fact I do not think anything in Axios’s long list is actually a crime.

      In the end there is LESS entanglement between the Trump campaign and Russia than the Clinton’s and their cronies and Russia.
      And there is MORE reason to be suspicious of Clinton’s particularly those actions involving Russia while Sec. State. There are many things that a Sec. State may not legally do that a private citizen can.

  56. John Say permalink
    December 9, 2018 4:33 pm

    Even Republicans are economically illiterate.

    If consumers wanted more space rather than lower fares we would have them (and we do but you have to choose and airline with higher prices or pay for roomier seats.).

    If you legislate more room for everyone – you are legislating higher ticket prices for everyone.

    https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2018/12/07/airline_seat_regulation_the_gift_that_keeps_on_taking_110951.html

    • December 9, 2018 5:47 pm

      Just something else to blame the Trump administration for when the prices start climbing.

    • John Say permalink
      December 10, 2018 1:15 am

      “We now know several Russian officials reached out ”
      False. Several Russians – none were “officials”, further most of those contacts were NOT about anything improper.
      Even the offer to negotiate a meeting with Putin had it actually occured would NOT have been illegal.

      Further someone reaching out to you is NOT a criminal act on your part.

      If Tony Saprano calls you and says – “you want a fine italian suit cheap ?”
      You have not committed a crime, because he contacted you.
      In fact you have not committed a crime even if you buy the suit, so long as you do not have a credible reason to beleive Tony Saprono does not have the right to sell it.

      “We now know Russia offered in those chats campaign assistance — “synergy,” they called it.”
      Synergy does NOT mean campaign assistance. That is quite obvious from the context of the remarks and if you bother to read the ENTIRETY of the remark it is obvious that is the case.

      Further, if receiving campaign “assistance” from foreigners is a crime – Clinton is guiltly.
      HRC through HFA received “assistance” from a Briton, who received further ‘assistance” from a russian

      And once again an offer that is not accepted is not a crime – no matter what was offered.

      “We now know that 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted for hacking the DNC and systematically releasing material for the purpose of hurting the Clinton campaign via WikiLeaks.”
      An indictment is not a conviction, there is not going to be a trial, Mueller would not have indicted them it there was – he would have to prosecute it.
      And he can not prove the allegation in the indictment.
      An assertion is not a fact. It is still atleast as likely that the emails were leaked rather than hacked. And it is still not evident that if they were hacked it was by russians.

      Further assuming arguendo that the indictment accurately reflects the facts.
      That still says NOTHING about Trump/Russia collusion.
      There is no connection between the russian intelligence officers and the trump campaign.

      Worse still even if the trump campaign became aware that the russians had hacked the DNC AFTER THE FACT, it still would not be illegal for Trump to encourage Wikileaks to publish them.

      The only way this ever implicates the Trump campaign is if the indictment is factually correct, AND you can proved that the Trump campaign was involved BEFORE THE HACKING.
      No one has come close to that at all.

      “We know that Trump associates Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi attempted — successfully, in some instances — to get in touch with WikiLeaks and that they are under investigation for whether they had advance knowledge about the email dumps.”

      Both false and irrelevant.
      It is True that Stone and Corsi “attempted” to contact Wikileaks.
      That BTW is the same as “attempting” to contact the washington post.
      Todate there is no evidence that Stone and Corsi were successful – not that it would matter because actually contacting Wikileaks would not be a crime.

      Further the claim of “foreknowledge” has been repeatedly refuted.
      Though again it would not matter.
      If Julian Assange met with Corsi or Cohen or Stone personally and told them what he had received and that he had received it from the russians and exactly when he was going to publish it. That would not be a crime.
      If The trump campaign “colluded” with wikileaks regarding what to publish and when.
      That would not be a crime.

      The argument Axios is making would have put Ben Bradley behind bars for publishing the pentagon papers.

      “We now know Donald Trump Jr. and others took a meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. ”

      Absolutely true. Though Trump Jr. was disapointed.
      But even if Trump Jr. received dirt from Natlaya – who is BTW NOT actually a russian official.
      Even if Trump Jr. had received dirt on Hillary from Putin himself.
      Not a crime.

      What appears to be true is that Natlaya was sent to the Trump campaign by Fusion GPS in the hopes of entrapping TFA, and failed.

      The next most likely alternative is that Natalya was engaged in lobbying for a foreign govenrment – and working both sides and failing.

      Again saying “NO” to something is not a crime, is also not a crime.

      Finally HFA DID get dirt – though false dirt, from a foriegn agent – Steele, acquired from other foreign agents – Russians.

      There is no legal interpretation that makes DJR’s actions criminal and HRC’s not.

      The core axios argument appears to be that trying to get dirt on hillary is a crime.
      That is just nonsense.

      “We now know Trump was negotiating a Trump property in Moscow during the presidential campaign”
      False, Cohen and Sater – an FBI informant, were attempting to do so.
      It is also false to characterize it as a negotiation. They were trying to start a negotiation, or revive one. There did not appear to be anything coming from the Russia.

      “— and hid this from the public and lied about it.”
      False and wrong and just stupid.

      The Trump organization appears to have been aware of Cohen and Sater;’s actions.
      They were not involved.
      There is no crime of “hid this from the public”
      There is no lie.

      “We now know Mueller believes,”
      “Believes” is nonsense.
      To act in anyway he must prove. Beleif is not enough.
      No prosecutor can stand in front of a court and talk about what he beleives.

      “based on his court filing,”
      Beliefs do not belong in court filings.

      “Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.”

      Obviously if the project went forward everyone involved would hope it was lucrative.
      I know you think that is a dirty word. It is not.
      It is what makes the world go round.
      Unfortunately, all projects are NOT lucrative – so Mueller’s “beleif” is false, atleast in the sense that it confuses the possible reward for a risk with certain reward.

      It is absolutely certain that building in Moscow would require the Russian govenrment.
      just as building in New York would require government “assistance”.

      Building a Trump Tower in Moscow is still not Trump Campaign “collusion” with Russia to interfere with a US election.

      The most egregious version of this – the claim that Putin might have actually been offered a 50M penthouse to grease the deal, if true, and given that the project did not go through is certainly false and evidence of “Non collusion”, would at the absolute worst be evidence of violation of the foreign corrupt businesses practices act by Cohen – another unconstitutional law. It still has nothing to do with the election.

      Had the Trump Tower deal gone through – it still nothing.

      Need I remind you AGIAN that Bill Clinton received 500K from the russians for a speach, and Clinton was involved in U1 and received massive donations from Russians.
      And John Podesta has millions invested in russia and sits on the board of Russian companies.

      You are not getting Trump on failed business deals with Russia given that Clinton and company had successful ones at the same time.

      “We now know every arm of the U.S. intelligence community concluded Russia sought to systematically influence the election outcome.”

      False – the IC concluded the Russians sought to interfere in the election.
      Influence the outcome is a different conclusion and not the one reached.
      And we NOW know from James Comey’s emails that many including Comey were completely unsure of what the Russian goals were.

      Finally – and AGAIN if True still irrelevant.

      If Russia decided that it wanted Trump (or Clinton) to win, and litterally hacked voting machines and changed the outcome, that would be an act of war on Russia’s part.
      But it would not make Trump or Clinton guilty of anything.

      All claims of an actual conspiracy have no evidence. We do not just get to speculate.
      Mueller was appointed to investigate. If after two years all we have is continued speculation, Then Mueller FAILED, and should shut up, shut down and go home.

      “We now know Trump officials continued talking with the Russians during the post-election transition.”
      True, legal, Flynn the incoming NSA took a call from Kislyak.
      That was perfectly legal. Outside of the lunatics ranting about “the logan act” which unfortunately includes Mueller, only Hillary True beleivers think that is a crime.

      BTW Trump’s public Trip to Mexico during the election would be a real logan act violation if the logan act was constitutional.

      “We now know Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions failed to initially disclose any contacts with Russians on their government forms.”
      False. We know that left wing nuts have misportrayed being at cocktail parties where Russians were present and possibly saying hello as “contacts”.

      Though AGAIN – lets say this is true. Still nothing.
      It is no more illegal for Sessions and Kushner to meet actual russians than it was for Bill Clinton to speak to them and to collect a huge fee – and I strongly suspect actually “meet” with them.

      To be a crime, something criminal had to occur.

      Mueller has thus far not established any actual “meetings” with real russians.

      Conspiracy requires more than meetings. It requires agreeing to commit a crime.
      We have nada, zilch zipo.

      Using the Axios inuendo standard it would AGAIN be far easier to convict the Clintons – Podesta met with real russians during the campaign
      Bill Clinton traveled to Russia, spoke with important russians and came home with lots of money.

      “We now know Jared Kushner suggested a secret backchannel with the Russians, which had it happened, would have been free of U.S. eavesdropping.”

      False – not “now know” We have known this for almost two years.

      Not illegal, and occured AFTER the election. Therefore has nothing to do with the campaign.

      “We now know Trump soured on FBI director James Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House counsel Don McGahn in part over their handling of the probe. ”

      This is more of the idiotic claim that it is obstruction to be unhappy with an illegal investigation that has found NOTHING, as well as the garbage that something that is legal for one president is illegal for another.

      “We now know Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, lied about his Russia contacts, was indicted and is going to jail.”
      False. His contacts were with Russian aligned Ukrianians. Manafort was OPEN about them. His actions were highly public.

      Mueller has not charged Manafort with a single thing that has anything to do with the campaign.

      “We now know Flynn lied about his Russian contacts, was fired and pleaded guilty, after agreeing to become a key witness in the investigation.”

      False. Flynn was insufficiently precise about whether sanctions were discussed in his conversation with Kislyak. Flynn resigned. Trump was confused at the time, because just like Comey, Strzok, and the rest of the FBI – no one considered Flynn’s remarks a lie.

      This is one of the most despicable acts of Mueller.

      After this claim was actually investigated, and dismissed as bogus, Mueller raised it again and used it as a club to beat Flynn.

      There remains no evidence that Flynn provided Mueller any information supporting the Russian collusion narative. And that would be highly unlikely as Flynn did not have a role in the campaign that would have made him knowledgeable of that had it occurred.

      Flynn is an honorable man – Mueller is not.
      Further by taking all this “lying” please Mueller has assured that none of these people will ever be witnesses. It is very nearly impossible to put on the witness stand someone who has been convicted of “crim-in-falsi”.

      Papadoulis, Van Zander, Flynn, Cohen will NEVER be witnesses.

      “We now know Cohen lied about his Russian contacts, was indicted and then flipped to become a key witness against Trump.”

      False. Cohen will not be a witness. See above.

      Cohen is not a particularly appealing guy.
      But if his Senate testimony is a lie warranting a criminal conviction – why is Clinton not in leavenworth ? Clinton has lied repeatedly to the Senate.

      Regardless, Cohen as noted above was still NEVER part of the Trump campaign or the Trump organization.

      BTW part of the evidence of Cohen’s erroneous remarks to congress are Don Jr’s testimony.
      DJR testified that the Trump organization efforts at a deal fizzled between 2014 and late 2015 of “negotiation fatigue”. But that he had been informed of an effort by Cohen and Sater to revive a deal continuing into June 2016.

      So all in all if you strip out the hyperbolee and fill in the actual facts the Axios article shows us pretty much nothing.

  57. John Say permalink
    December 10, 2018 4:07 am

    James Comey testified Friday.

    On 245 occasions he could not recall important facts about his role in the Trump investigation.

    For those who think that “not remembering” is a get out of jail card to avoid perjury charges – it is not. When you are called to testify and you know what you will be tetifying about, you are expected to re-aquaint yourself with anything you do not remember.
    Put simply witnesses are expected to prepare for testimony, to refresh their memory.
    “I do not recall” is not a get out of jail card, unless there is no means for you to refresh you memory.

    Skipping past perjury – and “I do not recall” can constitute perjury. It is not necescary to prove that you do not recall, all that is necescary is to prove that the ability and opportunity to refresh your memory existed.
    I would further note that when one lies under oath – it is generally not perjury until the proceding ends. In the meantime you are expected to correct any errors in your testimony and to refresh your memory and provide the answers. Comey bought himself 10 days and a preview of the questions that is all.

    Back to the real point – before congress friday, he testified that at the time that he signed off on the First Carter Page FISA warrant the Steele Dossier was unverified, and at the time that he was fired the Steele Dossiuer had still not been verified.

    He then went out in public and told the press

    “I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI,” Comey said. “I think the notion that FISA was abused here is nonsense.”

    Presenting unverified information to secure a warrant is not merely an abuse of the FISA process, it is abuse of ANY warrant process, it is an abuse of the 4th amendment.

    To get a warrant according to the 4th amendment those requesting a warrant – any warrant, not just a FISA warrant must swear that probable cause exists that a crime has been committed and that the warrant sought will provide information about that crime.

    Ballentines Law Dictionary defines “probable cause” as
    “a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person’s belief that certain facts are probably true”

    Would a prudent and cautious person beleive that something that is unverified is probably true. Would something unverified be “strong circumstances ” ?

    Swearing falsely is a crime. Swearing out a warrant where probable cause does not exist – is a crime. More specifically it is “crim-in-falsi” – A crime of lying or falsification.

  58. John Say permalink
    December 10, 2018 4:12 am

  59. Jay permalink
    December 10, 2018 10:39 am

    Is this a smocking joke?
    No one’s stupid enough to repeat the same mistake twice, right.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 10, 2018 11:41 am

      Repeat what mistake twice ?

      And yes most people are that stupid

      More of the problems with “common sense”

      Even when common sense does give us usefully information

      Common sense is not actually common in the sense that most people do not act according to common sense

    • dhlii permalink
      December 10, 2018 12:12 pm

      Trump is correct

      There does not exist to this day a connection between the trump campaign and the Russian government

      If you took every claimed fact in your axioms article most of which are wrong as true
      You still have nothing

      One of the reasons we need precise language when discussing law is accuracy matters

      Shooting an unarmed person is not 5he same as disarming an armed assailant

      Collusion has no legal meaning
      In the context of law what is referred to is likely conspriacy

      Conspiracy requires an underlying crime

      What is that crime ?

      If it is the hackin* of the dnc

      You have to prove they were hacked

      You have to prove it was the Russians

      You have to prove that 5he trump campaign was involved with the hacking before the fact

      Trump could have met with Putin in 2016
      That would not be collusion or conspiracy
      But he did not

      One of muellers problems is that he is trying to create the appearance of a coverup by catching people in false statements

      That only works if there is something being covered up

      Mueller can be pissed because manafort fought him and Cohen tried to play him

      But that does not change the fact that all he has is that he either caught some in bad spin attempts or he played the same stupid nonsense you keep doing in pretending that there is some consequential discrepancy in someone’s statements to the fbi

      Take Flynn

      We can debate whether he lied

      But there is zero doubt about what actually occurred
      Kislyak called Flynn

      That call was intercepted
      Everything said was recorded

      Parts of that were leaked and that is the worst crime in this whole mess

      Regardless nothing in the Flynn kisylak call was improper or illegal

      Every pretense o& a crime is based on what Flynn said about a legal communication
      Not about the communication itself

      Flynn was not charged with any crime related to the content of that call or accepting the call

      Let’s say Flynn lied egregiously

      Lying about a legal act is not a crime
      It is not a conspiracy

      My point is no5 about Flynn it is about the entire mess

      Tripping people up in hundreds of hours o& interviews without reaching any substance is not merely not proof it is actual proof that what you are looking for did not happen

      You require us to beleive that people sufficiently incompetent to get caught in small lies are so brilliantly devious that they all can continue to lie about the big crime without further slips

      That no one will slip up
      Or crack

      Do you beleive 5hat ultimately Flynn told mueller everything he knows ?

      Papadoulis ?

      I doubt Cohen has to.d the truth
      But he is protecting himself not 5he president
      Do you think Cohen would not rat out trump in a minute
      Particularly as trump has turned on him if Cohen had anything ?

      To get to a crime you have to beleive that mueller already has proof
      Not more innuendo
      Or that proof does not exist because there was no crime
      Or that every single person mueller has grilled is so loyal to trump they are prepared to go to jail for long periods

    • John Say permalink
      December 10, 2018 9:32 pm

      One of the problems with ad hominem is that when you use insulting lables and pronouns it is difficult to tell what you are talking about.

      Plenty of people repeat the same mistake.

      Socialism has been tried by millions of people over and over and failed – and yet AOC and Sanders want to try again.

      There remains not merely no evidence of any criminal conspiracy between Russia and the trump campaign but much of the purported evidence actually makes such a conspiracy near impossible.

  60. December 10, 2018 5:18 pm

    Trump has been bashed over the coals because he pulled out of the Paris Accords (or whatever that idiotic treaty was called). We now see France revolting because of gas taxes imposed on the people to fit into the accord and to show France as a leader in cutting CO2. I have been questioned and criticized because I supported Trumps move, and I support the French citizens in their efforts to reverse macrons decision.

    Why? Look at this chart and tell me why should France and the USA be impacted negatively when the growth of CO2 through 2050 is completely China and India. Why would anyone sign an agreement that allows for this growth to continue while we have to reduce output. Note that in this chart the USA maintains at the current level or decreases slightly.

    Please give me the reasoning from the lefts point of view that the Paris Accords was a good deal and why allowing China and India to almost double output over the next 30 years is a good thing? If global warming is so bad, does the Chinese and India CO2 impact warming differently than that of the USA? I don’t watch liberal news, so I do not understand the liberal point of view that this is a good thing.
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=Akrr%2bMdE&id=8B52C94D00C8A4DD6ADE306EBE37033C4F8C8C70&thid=OIP.Akrr-MdEmm6yvteFcQkjHwHaEW&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.eea.europa.eu%2fdata-and-maps%2ffigures%2fpast-and-projected-global-economic-output-1%2f20058_gmt5_fig1_global-economic-output.png%2fimage_original&exph=1204&expw=2048&q=projectdc+global+growth+of+CO2+chart+by+country&simid=608020741666768054&selectedIndex=24&ajaxhist=0

    • December 10, 2018 5:21 pm

      WRONG CHART EVERYONE. WILL TRY TO POST THE RIGHT ONE. DANG COMPUTERS!

      • Jay permalink
        December 10, 2018 7:20 pm

        As the world becomes more industrialized, as the population of the planet keeps exploding, a horrible environmental catastrophe is inevitable.

        Nothing will be done to prevent or counteract the disasters ahead: this is humaniy’s default response; rationalize, procrastinate until the catastrophe is upon us.

        Mankind likely will survive, but in what numbers, under what kinds of government supervision, is anybody’s guess: one of those dystopian Mad Max-Thunder Dome scenarios is my gut reaction.

        Luckily I won’t be around to suffer those deprivations of comfort; I will either have steeped myself into stupor (I’ve set aside a liquor cabinet of Costco’s Kirkland Irish Whiskey for that contingency) or suffered diabetic suicide via my new interest in homebaking orgisastic pastry treats: for any of you similarity inclined, here’s tonight’s recipe for Caramel Cheese Cake:

        https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-caramel-topped-cheesecake/

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 9:50 pm

        The population of the world will peak at 11B.
        This is pretty well understood.
        This is a pretty good video. It explains the mechanisms of population.
        And why “sustainable” is stupid.

      • John Say permalink
        December 10, 2018 10:04 pm

        The world population was 3.5B when I was a child. hundreds of millions were dying of starvation. Paul Ehrlich told us all that global mass starvation was just arround the corner if we did not start mass sterilization.

        The global population is headed towards 8B, Starvation today is radically reduced and solely the consequence of political conflict – mostly war.

        Daily average food intake has nearly doubles, Standard of living has doubted.

        Instead of things going to hell as population increased – they have improved.
        Simon started predicting that things would get better as population increased rather than worse – just about the time of Ehrlich’s book – “the population bomb”.
        In 1981 he published the first edition of “the ulitmate resource” – every prediction in it has come true.

        “The Simon-Ehrlich Wager describes a 1980 scientific wager between professor Julian L. Simon and biologist Paul Ehrlich, betting on a mutually agreed-upon measure of resource scarcity over the decade leading up to 1990. The widely-followed contest originated in the pages of Social Science Quarterly, where Simon challenged Ehrlich to put his money where his mouth was. In response to Ehrlich’s published claim that “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000” Simon offered to take that bet, or, more realistically, “to stake US$10,000 … on my belief that the cost of non-government-controlled raw materials (including grain and oil) will not rise in the long run.”

        Simon challenged Ehrlich to choose any raw material he wanted and a date more than a year away, and he would wager on the inflation-adjusted prices decreasing as opposed to increasing. Ehrlich chose copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten. The bet was formalized on September 29, 1980, with September 29, 1990 as the payoff date. Ehrlich lost the bet, as all five commodities that were bet on declined in price from 1980 through 1990, the wager period.”

        Even today there is almost no raw material – or anything else, whose price is not government controlled that has risen after inflation over the long term – any long term.
        The situation is even more dramatic with regard to production goods,
        Raw materials and production goods measure completely different economic patterns with some overlap. But the fundimental reason for declining prices of both is the same.

        Free exchange is the mechanism for converting scartity to abundance.
        That is why standard of living rises.

        Julian Simon is unfortunately dead. But he was a great environomental economist.

        The Ultimate Resouce II is an incredible book – nearly 800 pages of facts that refute most every malthusian nonsense you have been taught.

        https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Resource-Julian-Lincoln-Simon/dp/0691003815?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=0691003815

      • Jay permalink
        December 11, 2018 8:13 pm

        Dear dumb dumb: you forgot to calculated the massive increase of industrial waste per person now, compared to when you were born. Those stats you quote on rising standards of living mean the rate of industrial pollution is rising astronomically as well, and will continue to increase as the industrialized world reaches 8 billion population.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 9:49 pm

        Jay, I did not “forget” anything.

        The vast majority of claims like that you just made are FALSE.

        The US has almost no laws covering industrial recycling.
        They are not needed. Businesses automaticallly recycle anything that they can recycle economically – and they have a large incentive to make things economical.

        ALL industrial waste is a COST to business.
        Even if a business can take industrial waste and produce a product from it that loses money.
        That is still a savings over disposal.

        Two of the top three sources of water polution in the US are GOVERNMENT. The third is agricultural runnoff. Industrial waste is not on the list.

        There is a stream near the home I grew up at.
        In the 60’s it stank, had raw sewage in it, Landfill runoff, agricultural pollution, ….

        You could not see 2 inches. Today the water is clear and you can see the bottom.

        In developed countries business waste is DECLINING.

        It is increasing in devloping countries, but it will ultimately decline even in those as their standard of living rises high enough to afford a cleaner life.

        When I was a kid there were junk yards all over the place.

        Now they are nearly all gone. Why ? Because the US produces almost all its industrial metals from recycling. There is very little mining of Iron today it is easier and cheaper to produce steel by recycling.

        I am sorry that Julian Simon’s book is so expensive. It should be required reading for every teacher spewing malthusian environmental nonsense.

        ALL end of the workd claims – such as the irsing industrial waste are FALSE.

        You have likely heard of the massive polution of the oceans by assorted plastics.

        There have been several attempts to address that. The problem is not as large as claimed.

        Regardless, plastic in the ocean is a RESOURCE.

        Aside from all the public cheerleading there is quitely some FOR PROFIT efforts to “mine the oceans” for waste plastic. Those have proven economically viable and it is now estimated that withing 10 years the oceans will be free of most surface waste.

        Absolutely everything is recyclable. Humans have been recycling since cave men.

        There are two requirements before something gets recycled:

        There must be a sufficient supply of waste to make the effort economically viable.
        The cost to extract raw material from the waste stream must be lower than the cost to extract the same resource from nature.

        These condictions will not always be met.
        But they will ALWAYS be met by anything that becomes a serious problem.

        BTW this is a more general rule of economics – it is called says law.
        Or the law of supply and demand.

        When something of value becomes scarce – market forces will ALWAYS make it abundant.

        If you see the price of any commodity spike – you should BET the the price will drop to below where it was before the spike, that ALWAYS happens.

        The next thing is that ANYTHING that is abundant and cheap – and that includes waste, will become a product.

        These things are not only true – they are immutable.

      • December 11, 2018 10:28 pm

        “Dear dumb dumb: you forgot to calculated the massive increase of industrial waste per person now, compared to when you were born.”

        Jay, your comment deserves no response from me other than…. Calling me “Dumb Dumb” because I question questionable treaties and actions to fix global warming is typical of Liberals when they can not provide documentation to their own arguments.

    • John Say permalink
      December 10, 2018 9:44 pm

      Or look at this chart and Tell me why we care ?

      • December 11, 2018 12:33 am

        I never have. I believe that warming is a natural occurance for millions and millions of years. Back in the 70’s they were saying crops were going to die because of global cooling and we needed to do something to heat us up. One only needs to look at history (again that terrible word) and one will see periods of very high temps, then years of extreme volcanic activity followed by years of cooling. We are just in a period of low volcanic activity. But they are predicting Yelllowstone will blow someday, just like Mt St. Helens in Washington after eons of years of quite.

      • John Say permalink
        December 11, 2018 1:25 am

        first and foremost I think that all malthusian fears are inherently flawed.
        I do not think there is any reason that we should concern ourselves with CAGW, or future warming.
        No should scientists ever have a special role in setting policy.
        Science is supposed to be about establishing facts, NOT determining how we should respond to them.

        Whether we are talking about climate, or drugs or …..
        Scientists are free to engage in political advocacy – as private citizens.
        As scientists they err when they leap from providing facts to determining whether and what should be done.

        That said. Though I think the magnitude of the effect of human CO2 is vastly overstated, I strongly suspect that human CO2 has added to natural warming.
        I strongly suspect that human land use changes have had an ever larger effect.
        But land use has not become the focus of warmists because land use changes naturally and obviously regress to the norm.
        So do the effects of CO2, but that is less obvious.

    • Jay permalink
      December 11, 2018 8:21 pm

      Right. And the media should’nt have fixated on the Great Deoression, and WWII, and they should have ignored Nixon-Agnew-Watergate too.

      And those damn cartoonists should stop exaggerating the corrosiveness of the Trump administration too!

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 9:59 pm

        Non-sequitur.

        The evidence in the article that I linked to is that the media obsession with Trump is 3 times that of Obama.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 10:12 pm

        If you wish to claim that Trump is a disaster as significant as the great depression or WWII, then please – provide evidence of that.

        I can go through a long list of things that are improving – with facts to support that.
        Even those that were improving under Obama too, are improving faster.

        I think Trump gets more credit for those improvements than he deserves. I also think there is a small probability that some of those may reverse, so taking credit is dangerous.

        But there is ZERO doubt that things are NOT getting worse, that they are NOT even stagnant.

        We have had the highest growth in INDUSTRIAL JOBS recently in a long long long time.
        That is unprecidented.

        Wages are finally starting to rise – 3.1% this past year, something that has not occured since 2008.

        I can go on and on.

        Life is not perfect. We can debate what ought to improve.
        Who knows we might even agree.

        But the assertion that Trump is a disaster is “objectively” false.

        There is alot I do not like about Trump.
        But it is still likely that he will prove to be as successful a president as Bill Clinton.
        More successful than Either Bush or Obama. It is even possible though unlikely that he will match Reagan.

        Does that mean that there is nothing to complain about ?

        No.

        But the scale of the complaints are totally disproportionate to reality.

        I have no interest in censoring the press – or comics.

        But they have lost touch with reality – and that is their problem.

        I would note in some of the graphs in the article that FOX came off as far more “fair and balanced” than most of the rest of the media.

        Another observation is that the “talking heads are news” narrative which was initially spawned by Fox, now owns the media.
        The numebr and influence of actual reporters is strongly on the decline.

        The recent Acosta flap is evidence of this.

        Jim Acosta is not a whitehouse reporter.
        He is and has chosen to be a celebrity talking head, using the white house briefing room as his government provided stage.
        That is what the media has become.
        There is little to distinguish Acosta from Hannity or Maddow, or Cooper.
        The point is not that they are bad, but that we do not have reporters anymore.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 10:16 pm

        I think your cartoon is excellent.

        I do not hate Kelley. But I have always felt Trump’s reliance on “The generals” has been a mistake.

        The military is responsible to tell us HOW to acheive our goals and objectives in a place like afghanistan. It is NOT there to tell us what those should be.

        Americans want out of afghanistan. They wanted Obama to get us out.
        Now they want Trump to.

        We are long past any credible argument that our presence serves a purpose.
        Even if there is a military solution – which I doubt, it requires a commitment or blood and gold that we are just not going to make.

        We remain in afghanistan because against his better judgement Trump was persuaded by “the generals”.

        All but mattis are now gone. Hopefully our policy will reflect that change.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 10:18 pm

        Trump is governing as he ran his reality TV show and his business.

        that is controversial, but it has worked for him.

        And like it or not it is working for him in government.

      • December 11, 2018 10:55 pm

        Dave, As I have said many times, I did not vote for Trump nor would I consider voting for him in the future. But I saw today on the news exactly why so many people would vote for him. And why the left has TDS up the ass.

        His meeting with Shumer and Pelosi was priceless. Sitting in front of the cameras telling them exactly what he thought and what he was going to do and why he was going to own it. When was they last time ANY president did that since Truman? Other than some stuff on the Nixon tapes where his discussions were taped and later released, I can not remember it happening.

        And the Trump’ers love that stuff.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 11:41 pm

        Trump was not particularly Eloquent. He is not Paul Ryan with a million facts on the tip of his tongue. But despite the critiques – he is not merely right on this, but he is right with his base and not offending any but the left.

        I do not want to predict exactly how this will play out – except that Trump is going to have a huge problem politically if he backs down, so I think expecting him to do so is insantiy.

        Contra the press I think Plosive and Schemer came across poorly.

        They said they wanted to negotiate – but they did not. Further both were clearly caught of guard and did not want to negotiate in public. That is a huge win for trump.

        There is really only one reason not to negotiate in public – because you do not have any actual argument.

        We can dicker over the cost and effectiveness of a wall. But shutting down government over border security is credible. Shutting down government because you will not capitulate over what you claim is minor is not.

        We all know why the wall is important to Trump. Right or wrong he is clear.

        Pelosi and Schumer have failed miserably regarding why it is important to them.

        According to AOC the military wastes $10T (the military is very very wasteful, but it is more like $1T/decade) regardless according to AOC that is enough to fund Single payer – which even left experts think will cost 32T/decade.

        That is 6,000 times what the wall will cost.

        I also noted that Trump went out of his way to celebrate reaching a deal on the Farm bill.

        I do not want to know what that deal was. The farm bill is one of the worst porc fests their is.

        But it is significant from a different perspective. If the farm bill is passed that significantly reduces what will be “shutdown”. Farm subsidies AND almost the entire social safety net – TANF, SNAP, Welfare is in the farm bill.

        Trump has just challenged Pelosi and Schumer to renege on whatever deal was struck.
        If they do not Trump can likely get through a “shutdown” with relatively easily.

        I would also be careful about comparing any past shutdown to the present.
        Republicans have been very busy – preparing.
        First Most of the bills funding government have been passed – that is a major first. That has not happened in decades. That funding is secure. It is uneffected by a shutdown.
        Next, the president has extremely wide discretion in a shutdown.

        Obama went out of his way to use the shutdown to target things conservatives cared about.
        Not only did Obama close federal parks, but he closed any state park that received government funds. Even ones willing to keep open on their own.

        Trump can litterally do the opposite.
        A significant portion of federal parks are PRIVATELY managed at a profit.
        There is no requirement to close them.
        And thbere are ways if Trump wanted to keep open most if not all federal parks.

        The point is there is wide discretion for the president to dictate how a shutdown will play out.

        The republican congress has been preparing for this, the whitehouse has been preparing for this. Schumer got his ass handed to him last time he tried.

        I do not know how this will play out. I would not have predicted the way the Kavanaugh hearings played out. Near certainly they gave Trump 2 more seats in the Senate, and came close to giving him 4.

        Trump brags about winning the senate – and that brag might be a bit hollow.
        But a part of that brag is a challenge. The challenge is “You fought me on Kavanaugh, and you lost BIG”. And that was not predicted. Fight me on the border wall and the results could be the same.

        I was surprised at taking responsibility for any shutdown. But I am still not sure that was not a sharp move. Regardless it was either smart or stupid. I would have predicted the fight over Kavanaugh was stupid for Republicans. But it proved smart.

        Trump does far better politically when he picks a specific fight with narrow ground and owns it, and this is such a case.

        The press is praising Pelosi. I think she came across badly.
        She made later jokes about Trump’s “manhood”, but it seemed the manhood issue rests with Pelosi and democrats.

        Put simply – Trump made a public argument for the wall. You can agree with it or disagree.
        Pelosi and schumer did NOT make an argument for no wall. They made their argument solely on political power. That MIGHT win the day behind closed doors.
        It does not in public.

      • December 12, 2018 3:29 pm

        “They said they wanted to negotiate – but they did not. Further both were clearly caught of guard and did not want to negotiate in public. That is a huge win for trump.”

        Dave ,that is what I thought also. I find Trump to be unacceptible in many ways. But that unacceptibility is what makes times like this possible. I find someone who will say what he has on his mind in front of the TV and put Shumer and Pelosi in the hot seat refreshing. No political PR BS.

        Trump may not be re elected. He may not even run. He may not want the lame duck, do nothing 4 years presidents get after the second term begins. Is foriegn relations important enough to him to run again because his domestic agenda will be done. Except for SCOTUS, nothing domestic will happen.

        And, a nations economy is cyclical. Since 2008, we have been expanding. Whoever is elected in 2020 will most likely face the “natural” cyclical downturn in 2021-22. He knows that also. Let the next person take that arrow.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 12, 2018 6:08 pm

        One of the difficulties with the large tilt of the press is you can not judge the truth of anything by press reporting – particularly the truth of impressions.

        I did not view the video. I read the transcript.
        Maybe the video was more hostile.
        I though that the hostility in the transcript was entirely pelosi’s.

        Pelosi wanted to fight over whether Trump had the votes he needed in the house.
        It does not matter whether she is right. And frankly her claiming that she knows what current republicans will do is a bit over the top.
        Trump ceded he does not have 60 votes in the Senate.

        Pelosi’s entire argument was “you do not have the votes, you must concede”.
        Trump’s argument essentially was – maybe, but I have the political support and the facts.

        We can argue about whether Trumps facts were “perfect”, there is no argument that most people want democrats to give Trump the wall to avoid a shutdown.
        Whether Trump has majority support for a wall or not, he has an overwhelming majority who do not want to fight about it.

        He also has score a sort of win with the Caravan. He used the military to beef up the “wall” at the locations the caravans were looking to cross. It worked. As he noted many of those people have given up and gone home.

        He proved that Walls work.

        My fundimental objection to the wall would not be that it does not work. It would be that this is not who we are. But until the left is prepared to examine open borders and all the other things needed to have that, then there must be border security. In fact there must always be border security.

        Anyway, my read of this was mostly a win by Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 12, 2018 6:09 pm

        I will bet money that Trump runs and is re-elected.

        That is my read of the tea leaves.

      • December 12, 2018 8:36 pm

        Dave, maybe you are right. But I look at this and see where the Democrats will hold off any investigation and then when the campaign begins, they will begin impeachment proceeding in the house.

        I can not see him getting that handful of votes in the three states he won that Clinton was suppose to win. And if he does not carry them, I dont see him getting reelected.

        But I just wonder if he wants the lame duck years that presidents have that they are just a figure head in D.C. and they really have no voice. There have been some domestic accomplishments, such as Reagan and O’Neill working out a tax bill, but in today’s environment, there can not be much a second term president can do. I can not envision Trump being happy with not having any say.
        (Well he would have plenty to say, but neither party would listen)

      • dhlii permalink
        December 13, 2018 11:42 pm

        Impeaching Clinton did not work well for Republicans.

        If Democrats wish to lose the house again, they can spend the next two years in Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 13, 2018 11:45 pm

        Trump’s policies have HEAVILY targeted the rust belt.

        Not only is the economy doing better than Obama it is doing the best in those place Trump needs to do well.

        The US is adding over 100K manufacturing jobs – that is unheard of.

        Trump’s tarriff talk, his wall talk, is all red meat to the voters in those states – particularly those blue collar democrats abandoned by democrats.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 12, 2018 6:12 pm

        The actual cyclical business cycle is 3-4 years. and the cycle is small.

        The boom/bust cycle is an artifact of government.
        If the Trump boom is natural – i.e. it is the result of reduced regulation and in part reduced taxes, then it is sustainable. If it is unnatural – if it is a result of actions of government that have a one time effect or that distort investment, then there will be a bust.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 11:46 pm

        Trump does best politically when there is a clear issue, When he has the right issue and stands fast. That worked for him With Kavanaugh.

        I think he is counting on that now. I think he is right.

        I would also note that a government shutdown serves him in other ways.
        So long as the government shutdown fight is going on – other issues get less coverage.

        This might be an effective way to drive the Mueller nonsense “off the front page”.

        Trump was also pretty clear about 2019.
        He told Pelosi – we can work together, or we can go to war – your choice.

        While he took ownership of the shutdown. He placed ownership of failed government next year on her.

    • Jay permalink
      December 11, 2018 8:05 pm

      His investigation has already produced convictions, and guilty pleas, dingleberry.

      If you got caught in a rainstorm that filled up your galoshes with water, but a rain cap kept your head dry, you’d still be pontificating the pouring storm clouds overhead are inconclusive.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 11, 2018 9:31 pm

        “His investigation has already produced convictions, and guilty pleas, dingleberry.

        If you got caught in a rainstorm that filled up your galoshes with water, but a rain cap kept your head dry, you’d still be pontificating the pouring storm clouds overhead are inconclusive.’

        Still substituting ad hominem for argument.

        A huge portion of those “guilty pleas and convictions” are for essentially failing to be sufficiently cooperative.

        I have a huge problem with bullying someone into a guilty plea for not cooperating to the extent you would like and then getting nothing of use from them after they do “cooperate”.

        Regardless, as noted – I think every single person on the exhonerated list confessed.

        A confession or guilty plea absent actual evidence of the purported crime that was plead to is meaningless.

        In many states, you can not confess or plead guilty unless there is atleast a prima fascia case against you.

        There are myriads of reasons for restrictions on Guilty please – including DOJ guidlelines that Mueller is oblifgated to follow, has promised to follow and has not followed
        ranging from being an open invitation to prosecutorial misconduct – as we see here.

        It is my understanding that Butina has finally plead – after spending many months in complete isolation in solitary confinement. In return for her guilty plea she gets to go home, and Mueller gets another fake notch on his belt.

        And Putin gets to lock up more foreign students who protest his regime. As does every tin pot dictator in the world.

        You rant how Trump is destroying our relations with the rest of the world.

        Sorry Jay – that is Mueller.

        Whatever you prosecute in the US – you have granted carte blanche to despots throughout the world.

        Putin, Xi, have all been given green lights to savage political disent, to punish foreigners who express political views in their countries.

        The US used to stand for freedom – free expression.

        Mueller has us behaving exactly like the despots we complain about.

        And you celebrate this.

        Show me the man and I will show you the Crime – levanti Berria – or Robert Mueller ?

  61. John Say permalink
    December 11, 2018 2:27 am

  62. John Say permalink
    December 11, 2018 6:41 am

    Whatever the law is – it must be the same for all.
    If using lawyers to pay hush money is an illegal campaign contribution,
    Then using lawyers to pay women to make accusations is too.

    If your is a crime. the other is.

    In truth NEITHER should be criminal or illegal.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/06/08/paying-stormy-daniels-crime-clinton-campaign-committed/

    • December 11, 2018 11:00 am

      Its time for everyone to stop talking about crimes Clinton or her campaign may or may not have committed. The current people in appropriate positions could or should have already filed charges after an extensive investigation. That has not happened. One of two things happened.
      1. No crime was ever committed.
      2. The crimes were overlooked based on the unwritten Washington policy where crimes of your predecessor are overlooked since you want the same treatment once you leave office.

      Whatever the reason, its been 2 + years. Government is not fair. Life is not fair. Both never will be.

      • John Say permalink
        December 11, 2018 3:20 pm

        Ron,

        Your thesis is wrong.

        One of the ways that we can tell whether our law enforcement is politically corrupt is by whether it handles similar facts and allegations in the same fashion.

        We know that Clinton lied to congress. We know that her lies were much more significant than Cohen’s.

        We know that Clinton as well as her cronies lied to the FBI, We know that evidence was destroyed and we know the testimony about that sequence of events was false.

        The most fundimental question is NOT whether Clinton and her cronies are innocent or guilty of some crime.

        But whether our law enforcement system is politically corrupt.

        When it handles the same conduct and facts significantly differently based on the target – then it is irredemably corrupt.

        It does not even matter what the law is.

        There is no incorrupt system that produces the current outcome.

        Either both Clinton and Trump should be charged and convicted as well as everyone associated with them, or neither. OR at the very least some substantial distinction needs to be made.

        For me – the allegations regarding Trump are all remote. Trump did not personally do any of this. Trump did not associate with Klimitov, Mifsud, ….. I do not beleive there is even a claim that Trump directed any of these things. It is possible to beleive that, but there is no evidence of it. Further Trump’s actions were as a private individual.

        Clinton personally made the choices regarding her emails. Clinton lied to congress. And she did so as a public servant.

        Cohen is facing a sentencing enhancement because he is an attorney. That is appropriate.
        We should hold Lawyers to a higher Standard regarding crimes. And we should hold public servants to a higher standard still and those in law enforcement to the highest standards.

        Tony Soprano’s crimes are of less consequence than misconduct be those in government.

      • December 11, 2018 4:12 pm

        Dave, America picked an individual that highlighted Clintons illegal activities. He ran on ” lock her up”. Voters who voted for Trump expected at least an investigation leading to charges. They expected the courts to decide. Someone got to Trump and convinced him not to proceed.

        We are now a country of pick and choose which laws different people will follow. Your example is one. How illegals are addressed is another. So now you can.pick which kaw you dont want to follow!

      • Jay permalink
        December 11, 2018 7:58 pm

        Ron, Dem voters in large numbers wanted Trump impeached, then prosecuted, jailed. If House Dems don’t work to impeach him starting in January, and if a Dem wins the Presidency in 2020, they should follow-thru on those majority wishes, and you’ll applaud them, correct?

      • John Say permalink
        December 11, 2018 3:42 pm

        I want to address “life is not fair”.

        You are making my argument.

        The disparity regarding Clinton/Trump is atleast partly a “fairness” argument – sort of.

        More accurately it is an equality argument – all claims regarding fairness are ultimately some form of argument about equality.

        Almost all arguments regarding equality should fail (with respect to government), because equality is at best aspirational and always imperfect, and frankly often NOT desirable.

        All arguments save ONE, that is equality before the law.

        While even that is ultimately aspirational – we can not acheive perfect equality.
        It is still absolutely critical.
        Failure of equality before the law – is not about Trump vs. Clinton.
        It is about government itself.

        If we decide that the assorted actions of Clinton and cronies should escape punishment, we MUST apply the same standard universally to the best of our abilities.
        In reality we should change the law.
        But whether we do so or not, applying the same laws substantially differently in one case vs. another is unacceptable. It is LAWLESS.

        We have a whole slew of people – both in the formal clinton camp, and in the Obama administration and in DOJ and FBI and CIA and NSA who have done the same or worse than any of those Mueller has destroyed.

        This is not even a close call.

        Jay linked to David French. I generally like French.

        But his article is ludicrous – the “proof” this is not a hoax is a collection of hearsay, an innuendo. Not only that it is bad hearsay and innuendo – even if it was all true – which it is not, much of it actually refutes the collusion claim.

        Clinton and cronies lied to congress and under oath about criminal acts.
        We can argue about the significance of those crimes. Though I think the Chinese government getting the secretary fo states classified emails in real time is pretty significant. Much more then Trump/Russia collusion even if true.
        Regardless, Clinton and her people lied about crimes significant or otherwise.
        They also lied about government actions. They lied about government itself.
        That is far more significant than any purported lie Mueller has come up with.

        Next, and more important – those in DOJ/FBI have been lying.
        Lies within government are more significant than those outside.
        Lies within law enforcement are the most significant.

        Horrowitz asserts that McCabe lied on four separate occasions – either under oath or to FBI investigators.

        Horrowitz has also asserted that on several issues either McCabe or Ohr or someone else is lying – or Comey is lying. There are numerous statements of Comey to congress that are more consequential misrepresentations than ANYTHING that ANYONE associated with Trump is accused of.

        When those in government in law enforcement are lying – under oath or in investigations the rule of law is gone. We have the rule of man.

        And that is the core here.

        The only form of equality we are entitiled to is equality before the law.

        When we do not have that – we are lawless.

        And that is the core – it is not about fairness, it is about the rule of man rather than the rule of law.

  63. Jay permalink
    December 11, 2018 9:52 pm

    Trump: “A talent for repulsion”

    Dave, seriously, I think you should apply for the job. You’d be a natural at it.

  64. December 11, 2018 11:01 pm

    Anyone watch any of the Congressional Google hearing today? Its like watching dinosaurs trying to swim in the La Brea Tar Pits. Those guys need to let their grand kids asked the questions if they want to know whats going on!

    • dhlii permalink
      December 11, 2018 11:57 pm

      I did not watch them.

      But there are multiple was to deal with social media – none of which require congress.

      1). Section 302 excempts social media from content related lawsuits – like defamation CONDITIONAL on their not censoring content.

      It is time for conservatives to sue google and twitter for defamatory content posted by those on the left. It will not be hard to find something sufficiently offensive.

      Just filling the case will allow discovery against social media with respect to whether they censor. That alone would likely be devastating. They would have to defend all their content based filtering and prioritization models, and there is just no way that those do not offend someone.

      2). Move. These are not the only alternatives out there.
      I have a gab account. I do not use it. But if a few of those I follow on Twitter moved I would.
      Twitter and FB have been very effectively driving conservatives to GAB.

      This could be ground zero of the civil war fought without guns. and a lesson in economics and political action for the children on the left.

      There is no doubt that the young left owns social media.
      But I keep telling people here over and over that for something to be normative – it requires supermajority support.

      There is not a large internet company that can afford a permanent 2% loss of users.

      Google, FB and Twitter could rapidly find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
      They will not be able to keep those on the right – without abandoning political censorship.
      They will not be able to keep those on the left without preserving it.
      They are in a lose lose.

      And I think that is a good thing.

      Goggle FB and twitter will survive, but their monopoly will be seriously weakened.
      And even if they capitulate to the left, they are highly likely to quietly change their approach.
      It only takes a very small loss of users to cripple a big business.

      • December 12, 2018 1:23 pm

        Dave, again you missed the point. I could care less what Twitter, Google or Facebook do. If they find something interesting about me, fine, go for it. I use Google for not much. Twitter maybe once a week to read a couple accounts. Facebook to look at friends post. Not much different here than those who only listen to Maddow on MSNBC or Hannity on Fox.

        MY POINT! The ancient seniors that have no idea between the difference in an Iphone or Android, an Ipad v Fire, etc. that make idiots of themselves asking stupid questions of social media CEO’s that the ir grand kids are probably cringing when they hear them.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 12, 2018 2:45 pm

        I understand your point.

        My point was that they do not need to.

        There is no reason for the law to get involved.
        First people can manage this on their own.

        Beyond that – technology DOES NOT CHANGE LAW!

        At best it exposes the flaws of past laws. It never requires new laws. It often pushes us towards less laws.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 12, 2018 2:52 pm

        The left is whigging out at the moment because Trump is eviscerating Obama’s “waters of america” regulations.

        These were near certainly unconstitutional.
        We are back to the nonsense of idiocy like if some migratory bird lands on a puddle on your property that is a justification for the federal government to regulate the crap out of you.

        We survived 150 millenia without laws regarding the environment.
        Most of the improvement in air quality PRECEDED the clean air act, Most of the improvement in water quality preceded the clean water act. As much as we rant about China and india, even there things are actually improving – without draconian regulations, as peoples standard of living rises. Just as has happened everywhere.

        The left seems to think that if the waters of america regulations are repealed – the world will come to an end, that toxic chemicals will be dumped into our water supply that people will die. Regulations that did not take effect until 2015. So things will AT WORST go back to where they were 3 years ago. The HORRORS !
        Actually less than that because no real enforcement has occured and most people they apply to have not had time to try to comply. So really the only thing that will happen is those regs will NOT become a burden.

        But “Oh My! The Sky is falling!”

      • December 12, 2018 3:58 pm

        What I see in this EO is a directive to insure regulations are consistent through out the act and that they are consistent with Scalia opinion written in 2015.

        But when we make government regulations consistent, you are probably going to impact clise to 25% of all government jobs.

        Yes, the sky is falling fir those that have a job because of inconsistencies in regulations.

  65. December 11, 2018 11:05 pm

    Jay, my comment @10:28 re “Dumb Dumb. Was linked to my comment about global warming. E-mail came through “In reply to Ron P. then my comment, then your dumb dumb comment. Guess that was for something you and Dave are arguing about.

    Sorry. for my comment.

  66. December 13, 2018 2:48 pm

    I see where California is proposing a tax on text messaging. To be used to provide services to underserved areas. Interesting since looking at coverage maps of California shows very little area where there is not good coverage already. Looks like another way to increase taxes on something and use funds for other things.

  67. December 13, 2018 3:13 pm

    For those offended by “Baby its Cold Outside”, here is another list provided by a committee of diverse individuals that found other Christmas Carols offensive and the reasons for asking they not be played any more.
    “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” = Fake News, there is no Santa!
    “Little Drummer Boy” = Sexist. there are also girl drummers
    “White Christmas” = Can be Racist, all indviduals enjoy Christmas
    “O’ Come all Ye Faithful” = Promotes a religious belief that non believers do not believe
    “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” = Why single out just men at this time?
    “All I Want for Christmas is You” = #MeToo finds this stalking
    “The 12 Days of Christmas” = Rich sugar daddy buying love, unfair to poor
    ” The 8 Days of Christmas:” = Another sugar daddy with racial overtures (Who can give CLK Mercedes for Christmas?)
    “Santa Baby” = Reverse #metoo and exploits handouts
    “Let it Snow” = Not everyone wants snow! Many hate it!
    “Do You Hear What I Hear” = insensitive to hearing impaired
    “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” = offensive to those who have lost all their teeth. They need more than just the front two.

    And last but not least….
    “I Saw Mommy Kissing
    Santa Claus” = promotes adultery

    NOW EVERYONE, HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND REMEMBER THIS LIST WHEN THOSE TUNES ARE ON YOUR RADIO!

    • dhlii permalink
      December 13, 2018 11:37 pm

      I think “baby its cold outside” is a pretty weak Christmas song.

      When I was younger the right was trying to ban The Witches of Blackbird pond.

      Now when I google book bans all hits are the left trying to ban the right.

  68. Jay permalink
    December 14, 2018 11:36 am

    It’s basic: if you tell someone to commit a felony and they do, you’ve committed a felony..
    I heard it on Fox, from a conservative …
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-judge-napolitano-we-now-know-trump-committed-a-felony

    • December 14, 2018 12:09 pm

      If whatever is going on is true and what the judge states is true, then impeachment could begin anytime in 19. But that wont happen. 6 months for hearings total sent to senate in summer 19 and trial rejects charges, people have 12 months to “forget and move on”. Dems will wait until early 2020 to impeach so it is the key campaign issue.

      • Jay permalink
        December 14, 2018 2:59 pm

        I agree with your assessment…

      • dhlii permalink
        December 14, 2018 5:47 pm

        Congress can impeach for absolutely any reason at all. Even completely stupid reasons.

        Congress is answerable to the people in elections.

        If House democrats wish to spend the next two years pushing these stupid narratives – that is their own business and voters will reward or punish them in 2020.

        This is also why this NEVER should have been an FBI/DOJ investigation.

        There is not to this day sufficient basis for a criminal investigation. Not by Strzok, not by Mueller. There remains no specific crime alleged with any merit. And the few that are now alleged were NOT the basis for the investigation.

        Meaning the investigation itself was illegitimate.

        Congress can do this. DOJ/FBI can not. Nor can Mueller.

      • Jay permalink
        December 14, 2018 7:44 pm

        Yes, Congress can impeach for stupid reasons, like for lying about a blow job. Or for reasonable reasons, like authorizing an illegal break-in.

        Impeachment for a campaign finance violation is unreasonable; but impeaching for pathological lying, for conduct and behavior detrimental to the office, for unsavory prior business practices that have come to light post-campaign – indignant impeachment is Required!

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 12:08 am

        Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton

        Article I
        Perjury before a grand jury.
        Article II
        Perjury in a sworn affidavit and in a deposition.
        Article III
        Obstruction of justice
        Asking others to file false affidavits,
        and give false testimony,
        Providing inducements such as a job for doing so.
        Article IV
        Abuse of power
        Mostly because he provided perjurious answers to questions submitted to him by the judicial committee and made frivilous claims of executive priviledge.

        ———————————

        No where in there is “lying about a blow job”.

        Perjury is not just lying. It is lying under oath.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 12:18 am

        As to your list of reasons that the house can impeach – absolutely correct.
        The house can impeach because Trump has bad breath if it wants.
        It can impeach because they think he is an alien spawn.

        The only limit to the grounds the House can use to impeach is the consequences they face in the next election.

        As Newt Gingrich about that.

        As to your specific allegations – the house can impeach for them. But it can not prove any of them, because they are false.

        I would further suggest – though the house may hold hearings and may rail and rant.
        It is highly unlikely they will actually impeach.

        Democrats in the house are not going to subject themselves to the same legal standards as you wish to claim apply to Trump.

        It is self evident that your arguments are nonsense.
        Your only response is a claim to power.

        The excerise of raw lawless power never ends well.

        And no impeachment is not required for any of this.

        In fact every single claim you make is political not high crimes and misdemenaors, and as such is really the purview of the electorate.

        Trump was elected by voters. The decision on political matters is theirs. Not congresses.
        Impeachment without the support of a super majority of the people is unbeleiveably dangerous. Again ask Newt Gingrich.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 12:26 am

        Articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.

        Article I

        6 Attempting to use the CIA against political enemies.

        Article II

        1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

        2) He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.

        Article III

        Failed to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives

        Each of these has occurred under the Obama administration. As well as several other watergate parallels including political surveilance of enemies and the press.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 12:52 am

        Just to be clear I can come up with real crimes specific to Obama – ones as noted in a prior post that exactly match the Nixon articles of impeachment.

        We know that the IRS was used as Nixon tried during the obama administration.
        That is an established fact. Aside from targeting the IRS at political groups based on viewpoint, numerous individual tax returns were acqured by Louis Lehrner forwarded to attorneys in DOJ and subsequently leaked to the press.

        The crime is certain – beyond any doubt. All that is unclear is who all the guilty parties are.

        Yet there was no DOJ investigation, and no special counsel.

        Next we KNOW that Obama asked for an investigation of the Trump campaign in late 2015. Peter Strzok has documented that. It is highly unusual for the president to ask for an investigation. Though Trump has tweeted questioning why all kinds of people have not been investigated, he still to this day has not actually officially requested any investigation.
        We know that Obama signed the EO that unconstitutionally and illegally expanded greatly access to classified intelligence and the number of people who could request unmasking.
        Just to be clear unmasking is quite serious – it is required to be dealt with quite carefully – both by the law and the constitution. Why ? Because the surveilance that our national security aparatus engages in constitutes a search, and constitutionally a US person can not be searched without a warrant. The shell game that has been played since 2001 is that so long as the identities of US persons are protected we can legally pretend there was no search of that person and therefore no rights violated. This is also why a FISA warrant is required to use the national security aparatus to conduct a “search” of US persons.

        Unmasking of a US person destroys the fiction that there was no warrantless search.

        So we have a huge problem there – by opening access and reducing the standards for unmasking the Obama administration enabled broad political surveilance during an election.

        Again similar to the Nixon articles of impeachment – except much bigger.
        And there is zero doubt of his one and this one leads directly to Obama.

        As to the investigation itself – the law and the constitution do not permit “witch hunts”.
        They do not permit indentifying someone as criminal and then searching for the crime.
        If you do not have probable cause that a crime was committed – you do not have an investigation. If you do not have probable cause that a specific person has evidence of that crime you may not subpeona.

        To this date probable cause of any crime involving the Trump campaign and Russia still does not exist. almost 3 years after the investigation started we do not have sufficient evidence to start and investigation.

        That is a serious violation of the law and the constitution.
        There is almost no doubt regarding the information that DOJ/FBI had – they put everything in the Carter Page warrant application – and most of that is public, and what has not been made public is purportedly even more damaging to the FBI than what has been made public.

        Not that the Page warrant is the state of the art of what DOJ/FBI has in October of 2016.
        And that information is false and they new it at the time. There was not sufficient true information for a warrant in Oct 2016. So how was their sufficient to start and investigation in 2015, to run spies against Carter Page and Papadoulis and probable Stone and Corsi in 2016 ?

        Except the fact that Obama used the DOJ/FBI/CIA how is this not the same as what nixon did with watergate ?

        There is only a single issue with any hope of making this not MUCH WORSE THAN WATERGATE. And that is does some justifiaction for an investigation exist that we do not know of. One of the documents that Nunes wants declassified is the Peter Strock memo of justification for the investigation from 2015. Nunes and some members of the house has seen this, but it remains classified. Remember that in late 2015 there was no steele dossier – Steele had not been hired yet. There was no DNC hacking – that had not occured, There were no russian facebook adds. Flynn Page and Papadoulis and Manafort were not part of the campaign yet. Nothing we are arguing about its significance existed then.

        So what did ?

        Tell me what separates Nixon from Obama – except that the FBI told Nixon NO!

    • dhlii permalink
      December 14, 2018 5:43 pm

      “:It’s basic: if you tell someone to commit a felony and they do, you’ve committed a felony..”
      Napolitono is actually a libertarian not a conservative.

      There is no Felony in any of this. Even if the left’s idiotic argument about Campaign finance were true – it is not a felony. It is not even typically a crime.

      HRC absolutely unequivicallly violated federal records keeping laws. She KNEW she was doing so. She actually conspired to do so. There were no charges filed because doing so is just not a crime, or if it is, it is a relatively trivial one – like a parking ticket.

      If you wish to elevate the magnitude of those offenses – change the law.

      All the above assumes that campaign finance laws were violated – and they were not.

      It is very tiring to face this garbage from you and the left arguing about made up law.

      This is quite simple – if your ludicrously broad understanding of campaign finance law is correct – which it is not. Then:

      Every single member of congress is atleast as guilty as Trump.
      In fact the actual house of representatives is doubly guilty for paying off women harrassed by congressmen. So are you saying that the federal government – the house of representatives has committed a campaign finance law felony by paying hush money to people who were actually harrased by congressmen ?

      If the law were that broad – it would be unconstitutionally broad.

      Whether the law is broad or narrow if it applies to NDA’s it is unconstitutional as it violeates the first amendment.

      So we have four completely independent reasons this claim is just plain ludicrously stupid.

      Directing someone to not commit a crime is not commiting a crime.

      Directing someone to commit a made up crime is not committing a crime.

      I will further note even without all the above problems – you still run afoul of the Comey/Clinton problem – only in a context it actually applies.

      Comey was incorrect that 18cfr793(f) required criminal intent.

      He was also unfortunately incorrect that intent is an element of all federal crimes.
      Republicans have been trying to pass legislation making intent a default element for every federal crime that does not explicitly dictate that intent is not required – 18cfr793(f) is explicitly a crime of neglegence and recklessness – that is the crime that would apply to clinton’s email.

      Campaign finance violations are not crimes of recklessness or negligence – just to be clear, a crime of recklessness and negligence is one where the law does NOT require intent.

      Absent proof that Trump and Cohen’s actions were a deliberate and knowing attempt to violate the law, there is no intent – and according to James Comey no crime.

      Given that NO ONE has ever successfully been prosecuted for this ludicrously stupid claim – even though it occurs all the time. Given that there has only been one attempted prosecution ever. It is reasonable for Trump and Cohen to beleive their actions were legal.

      This entire debate is ludicrous.

      It is particularly ludicrous because there are far more egregious things you are ignoring.

      As I noted before – the FEC has determined that something like 80M in clinton campaign donations were by donors that had exceeded the federal limits.

      That is far more serious than this nonsense about spiking stories and NDA’s.

      But the real problem here is that campaign finance laws – even understood narrowly, are just plain unconstitutional.

      The federal government may not pass laws that impede the free speach of others.
      Nor can the federal government pass laws compelling speach.
      Almost every possible activity regarding an election is about speach. All laws regarding the actions of candidates, and donors in an election must meet strict scrutinty requirements.

      And they can not.

      • Jay permalink
        December 14, 2018 7:26 pm

        Dear Mouth Who Bores – you don’t get to determine what’s a felony or what isnt; the courts/judges/law enforcement decide that.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 14, 2018 11:49 pm

        More insults instead of argument

        No! The courts DO NOT get to decide what a Felony is.

        They get to decide whether the facts presented match the elements perscribed by the legislature.

        And even the Legistature does not have unlimited scope in determining what constitutes a felony. If they exceed the powers given to them by the constutition, then the courts can decide that what the legislature defined as a fellony isn’t.

        What can NEVER happen – without violating the rule of law, is for the courts to call something a fellony that the legislature did not, or for the legislature to violate our rights in promulgating law.

        The claim you are making is quite littlerly exactly what John Adam’s warned us about.

        It is the rule of man, not the rule of law. It is lawless, it is immoral, and it always fails.

        This is not merely my view. It is the view of pretty much all our founders.
        It is the view of the vast majority of supreme court justices ever.

        It is the view of real “liberals” not modern leftist sychophants.

        And “law enforcement” is supposed to have absolutely no role in that.
        Again part of what is wrong with Mueller.

        It is not the role of the police OR the courts to expand the law beyond what the legislature clearly established.

        If the legislature was NOT clear – then the law must either be interpretted narrowly or declared void. The courts have the power to void law. They do not have the power to make it or to broaden it.

        Aparently you failed civics in high school – or you got a clueless lefist teacher.

        Regardless you are advocating for lawlessness.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 12:00 am

        Just to be clear in your legal theory, we find out that we are felons when a police officer arrests us or when the court decides that our actions constitute a felony.

        There is no real need for laws – because in your world law enforcement and the courts get to make it up as they go along.

        Get a clue. That is not how things work.

        If you want my agreement that things do not always work as they are supposed to – fine you got it.

        Absolutely legislatures make unconstitutional and immoral laws.
        Law enforcement arrests people on manufactured claims of violations of the law – people even plead guilty to things that are not crimes, Courts find the law much more broad than it is or should be and do not universally reject overly broad applications of the law.

        But all those are FAILURES of our legal system. They are not merely constitutional and legal failures – both of which are true. But they are serious MORAL failures, and practical failures.

        Because that arrangement is lawless. That is quite litterally the legal system of the USSR.
        It is also the legal system that Englishmen rebelled against and forced the Magna Carte on King John. It is the legal system that our founders rebelled against in the decalration of independence.

        We can not acheive perfection – though we should strive for it.
        But the greater the lawlessness in our legal system the greater the likelihood of systemic failure.

        Trumps election was pushback at least in part against that kind of stupidity.

        I can not tell you that if you manage to get rid of Trump illegitimately, that you will immediately get something worse. But I can tell you that until the left fixes the problems within itself that resulted in Trump, there will remain a large risk of getting significantly worse than Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 3:50 am

        So we now have an army of differnet groups asserting that hush money is not a campaign contribution – two former FEC heads advised John Edwards of theat. A recent former head is saying the Daniels payments are not, And to ice the cake the extrmely left leaning group CREW actually filed briefs arguing that the hush money in the Edwards case was not campaign contributions.

        The hypocracy of the left – the gift that just keeps on giving.

        You are circling the drain on this.

        The Edwards case is much closer to a campaign contribution than Trump’s NDA’s.
        Edwards did not get an NDA, the amounts were much larger, the money actually came from the campaign. Trump has a past history of seeking NDA’s

        https://nypost.com/2018/12/13/sorry-but-hush-money-payments-wont-send-trump-to-prison/

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 11:28 am

        I have made some of them – but there are so many arguments against this nonsense regarding the Cohen plea Mark Penn lays out several more.

        Beyond the NDA the Mueller claim that the National Inquirer spiking a story is a campaign contribution would have massive implications if it was actually the law.

        It would make all political op-eds into campaign contributions, it would make political reporting nearly impossible. It would put the FEC in charge of what stories a paper could run or not.

        Penn notes that NBC did not release the Billy Bush tape – was withholding it a campaign contributio ? But the tape was leaked by and insider – was that a campaign contribution ?

        The fundimental problem is that Campaign finance law is just a very bad idea to begin with.
        It is inherently a violation of the First Amendment to constrain or require reporting of political contributions.
        But that becomes massively more obvious when legal thugs like mueller invert it and try to convert speach into regulated money.

        The campaign contribution is NOT the payment to Daniels or by the national enquirer.
        That is a private transaction that has nothing to do with the political campaign.

        The campaign contribution is the value attributed to spiking the story or to Daniels agreeing not to speak. What is being regulated is quite clearly decisions about speech.
        The first amendment is being pillaged and raped.

        But this pretense that the speech can be regulated – if not directly, indirectly is common disgusting fodder of the left.

        https://itk.thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/420523-cohens-pleas-concocted-by-prosecutors-to-snare-trump

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 12:19 am

        I can hear you shouting “Fox! Fox! Fox!” already.

        But I tripped over this searching for FEC chair interviews.
        So this is an interview of a former FEC chair and a democratic lawyer – who BOTH say there is nothing there.

        The FEC chair notes that not only is this the FEC position – but it has been their PUBLIC position for several decades. That for a criminal conviction for campaign finance fraud both KNOWING and WILLFUL are required. And you can not claim that either Trump or Cohen knew that they were acting illegally when there is a long history of the FEC saying this is legal

  69. dhlii permalink
    December 14, 2018 5:20 pm

    When you read the media claiming that deVoss and the Trump DOE are evil women haters you should note that even the California Appelate courts are on her side.

    The left knee jerk criticises everything Trump does without any thought.

    https://jonathanturley.org/2018/12/14/california-appellate-court-slams-usc-for-denying-basic-due-process-to-accused-student/

  70. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 2:27 am

    Just to be clear this is an example of something that looks really bad.
    I am pretty sure it is not a crime, it is not obstruction of justice and it is not destruction of evidence. Unless the IG investigation had already started at the time the iphone was wiped in which case it IS all of the above.

    But no matter what it is an example of something that looks really bad, but isnt.

    I would like those ranting about Trump to explain why this is different from The Stormy Daniels NDA. Just like the NDA it deprived both investigators and the public information about the bad conduct of someone – in trumps case someone NOT in government, in Muellers case someone in the government which would make it worse.

    I here this impossible argument that the NDA violates campaign finance laws.
    Trump paid for the NDA, that makes it not a campaign contribution, but even if it was, Trump is not limited in what he can contribute to his own campaign. I would also suspect that he need not disclose his own contributions to he own campaign. It is probably unconstitutional to require him to disclose contributions to his own campaign. But even ignoring that – the violation become merely one of disclosure. And that raises another fundimental problem.
    If disclosure is required, then campaign finance law has just made all NDA’s by politicians impossible – disclosure would make the NDA itself worthless. The purpose of an NDA is to prevent information from becoming public.

    So do you really think that the courts are going to allow a law to bar conduct that was never the target of the law ? That is pretty much the text book definition of over broad.
    When a law makes illegal conduct that was never intended by the lawmakers to be made illegal.

    But back to Mueller – why doesn’t this violate federal record keeping statues ?
    So is millers office guilty of a crime ? A felony ?

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/13/doj-destroyed-missing-strzok-page-text-messages-before-ig-reviewed-them/

    • dhlii permalink
      December 15, 2018 10:38 am

      Aparently this gets worse.

      Strzok’s phone was scrubbed AFTER some of his biased texts were exposed and AFTER he was removed from the SCO investigation.

      Once the SCO knew of the issues regarding Strzok, and determined there was sufficient merit to remove him from the SCO this becomes destruction of evidence.

      Mueller and his team are culpable

      Worse still according to the SCO they reviewed Strzok’s texts prior to wiping the phone and determined there was no need to preserve them. Strzok was dismissed from the SCOs office because some of his texts revealing bias had been made public and the SCO decided to destroy the evidence of those texts ?
      There is actual records preservations laws that would apply. Beyond that Strzok was already the center of controversy. At the very least Strzok might be subject to discipline within the FBI and the texts would be evidence. Had those texts been exculpatory rather than inculpatory, the SCO would have been violating Strzoks rights and depriving him of evidence to defend himself. Given that they were inculpatory the SCO was depriving FBI of evidence in any disciplinary proceding against Strzok. The SCO office itself had determined that there was sufficient merit to the claims regarding Strzok to dismiss him.
      Just to be clear Strzok was not an ordinary agent – he was the highest ranking FBI agent in Russian counter intelligence.

      Apparently Page’s phone is worse. She turned it over to the SCO on her departure. It was scrubbed – but there is no record of its being scrubbed. No one at SCO’s office examined it.
      It was just turned over to the OIG when requested having been completely wiped. Without explanation, without examination.

  71. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 2:30 am

    Yes, lets talk about how well climate social engineering is going ?

    http://reason.com/archives/2018/12/13/will-uprisings-thwart-green-central-plan

  72. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 2:39 am

    Harsanyi’s critique of the parkland/politifact nonsense demonstrates the political bias of poitifact. Aside from magnifying a fringe act to lie of the year they went further and smeared anyone who criticized Hogg’s group for any reason. that is politics not fact checking.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/13/heres-problem-politifacts-lie-year/

  73. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 2:59 am

    What this article fails to note is that Bill Clinton was tied to now Bankrupt Corithn collage that is at the core of this disaster.

    https://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2018/09/04/devos_right_to_suspend_lax_loan-forgiveness_policy_110294.html?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation

  74. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 3:13 am

    There are just so many things wrong with the Flynn interview.

    While Flynn is making a big deal out of the fact he was told he did nto need a lawyer, what is more significant is that he was told he was being briefed of new security procedures NOT interviewed. Of course he did not need a lawyer for a briefing. Government agents are allowed to lie, but not in a way that deprives a defendant of their rights.

    But there is a bigger issue which I do not think Flynn is raising.
    The law regarding the criminality of lying to a government agent requires that the lie must mislead the investigator. In otherwords “perjury traps” are not permitted by law.
    The government can not interview someone asking about things they already know and then accuse them of lying because they do not get the details right.
    That is improper because it is a tactic that will work against anyone given enough time.
    I beleive Mueller interviewed Corsi for 70 hours.

    Strzok had the transcript of the Flynn Kislyak exchange at the time.
    There was no reason for questions. Strzok already had the answers.

    This article suggests some impropriety at Flynn having conversations with Kislyak during the transition – that is bunk. Even Obama’s people had contact with foreign government during the transition.

    Regardless if we are going to play logan act games – why isn’t john kerry in jail ?
    He has been going to Iran and telling the mullahs to wait until after 2020 when Trump is no longer president. How is that not the most egregious possible violation of the logan act ?

    The logan act is so unconstitutional no one has ever tried to prosecute anyone under it.
    The fact the Mueller ever mentions it demonstrates bias and political corruption.

    But there is another issue here.

    We have numerous people who were involved – including Strzok, and Comey that Flynn did not lie. We do not get to play games shopping for prosecutors until we find one that will stretch the law to suit our ideology.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-14/christie-is-said-to-be-trump-s-top-candidate-for-chief-of-staff

  75. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 4:15 am

    Trump’s approval rating is the same as Obama’s at this point in his presidency.

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/trump-approval-rating-gallup-poll-obama-popularity/

  76. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 10:14 am

    What foreigners think of Trump

    https://harpers.org/archive/2019/01/donald-trump-is-a-good-president/

  77. December 15, 2018 1:01 pm

    Dave, you keep posting information by investigative reporters that support “apparent” illegal activities by members of legal division, political parties and cadidates. This has been going on for months, if not years.

    Non of this “apparent” illegal activity is going anywhere. Much of the information “appears” to be creditable.goi

    If Woodward and Berstein were to write their Watergate articles in todays environmental, Nixon would have completed his term in office and their articles would have ended up on the shelf just like those today.

    From the President to the illegal immigrant just crossing the border, following the law in America today is not a requirement. One can pick and choose which they find important and which ones to follow. That seems to me to be the first steps toward revolution or civil war.

    • Jay permalink
      December 15, 2018 2:22 pm

      And pick and choose how important it is for a president to be moral.

      Importance of President Providing Moral Leadership for the Country, by Political Party, During the Clinton and Trump Administrations
      (How important do you think it is for the president to provide moral leadership for the country?)

      Very Important:
      In % points:
      Clinton. Trump. Change
      U.S. adults 72 66 -6
      Republicans 86 63 -23
      Independents 69 62 -7
      Democrats 64 77 +13
      Figures are the percentage who say it is “very important.” Clinton data based on an average of four polls conducted between 1994 and 1999. Trump data based on May 1-10, 2018, poll.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/235022/presidential-moral-leadership-less-important-republicans.aspx

      • December 15, 2018 2:53 pm

        Jay, so true and so sad for this country. From the high moral leadership of 41 through the blow job in the White House and subsequent coverage of that, we now have people willing to choose individuals such as Trump to be president. I stand by my many comments that had the parties had closed primaries where only those individuals registered as democrat or republican can vote, and had those primaries provided the bulk of the delegates, I have serious doubts that Clinton or Trump would have been the candidates in 2016. Clinton would not have had super delegates to give her a huge support at the beginning, causing Sanders to be handicapped from the beginning and Trump would have had few “never voters”, red neck southern independents and blue collar democrats to give him a shove in the first few primaries.

        But since the late 1990’s, the moral decay in this country is staggering. No longer can one express an opinion without being called a racist, xenophobe, assh^&*, idiot, Dumb S&^* and a host of other names. No longer are laws a law that are expected to be followed. No longer are kids disciplined in school, they are “counselled” to make better choices. Dont like freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, just pass a law infringing on those rights that many will ignore. No longer is the truth important, just make up shit that most people will believe, from the President on down to the small local newspaper editorials.

        But the most concerning? Few care anymore unless it impacts them directly.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 9:53 pm

        Ron;

        I try to be more careful about broad generalizations particularly about the past and the changes since the past.

        LBJ is not someone I would like emulated – nor even Kennedy or Nixon.

        There are some very specific areas in which we have had serious failures – even moral breakdowns, And there are others where we have made great strides.

        The lefts efforts to label half the country as racist, homophobic, xeonphobic mysoginists is absolutely ludicrous looking at the tremendous improvements that have occured in all of these. during my life time.

        There are many many many ways in which we are much more moral than a generation ago.

        But there are also ways in which we have horribly failed. We have substantially damaged the family, and erroded some very important values. And this damage has had its cost.
        And that cost has mostly been paid by those at the bottom.

        We need to look at where we are and figure out how to move FORWARD, not back.

        A major facet of the election of 2016 was a backlash against the lefts vision of what we needed to do.

        As an example a significant determining factor in the election was the judgement of voters – that in light of improvements over the past several decades – race, gender, sexual orientation are NOT the pre-eminent areas that we need to focus on further improvement.

        While producing so that we can raise our standard of living, and more and better jobs are a more significant focus.

        Gilliam as an example appears to have lost to desantis, because 300,000 black single mothers with kids in charter schools voted for the white guy who was not going to shutdown their kids best chance at doing better than they have, instead of the black guy who promised more free things and at the same time promised to kill their childrens oportunity.

      • December 15, 2018 10:53 pm

        Dave, you have a much greater appreciation for your fellow “man” (used in the same context as the founding fathers in the DoI and Constitution) than I have. From changes in kids that bullied in school and at worst made others cry, today the kids bully to the point those being bullied commit suicide. From adults that basically avoided issues they disagreed with , to today, where most anyone that disagree use any form of slurs and put downs whil argueing thir point
        Yes, moral behavior in politicians has always been bad, but in most cases they were held closer to the vest, while today they almost flaunt their immorality. The Clintons and Trump being prime examples.

        By the way, I had to search for that black morherbrepublican governor vote, but I found an article. Very interesting when it comes to kids how mothers priorities shift the thinking on politicians.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 3:17 am

        I would not say I have a higher appreciation of my fellow man.

        I might say we have no choice.

        Men make up the world.
        free markets are made of men.
        Society is made of men.
        Socialist societies are made of men
        Governments are made of men.

        However bad you think men may be – the same men make up society, government, the elites.

        Constrained from using force – men do fairly well. Not perfectly, but well enough to improve the world consistently.

        The key problem is how to constrain men from using force.

        It requires force to constrain force. We have no other way.
        Government is that force, and government is made of men.
        And it is men given the power to use force that are always the most dangerous.

        “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. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison Federalist 51.

      • December 16, 2018 11:37 am

        This discussion began as a comment about the moral decline in America. Your comments concern government. I agree there has been little change overall, but with Clinton (40) and Trump, that could be debated for months with no conclusion reached.

        My comments are based on society. I believe there has been a significant decline in moral human behavior in America. Starting with kids and the way they have been raised. Since 2007, the rate of teen suicide rates have increased 15% for males and doubled for female both 15-19 age group. Wasn’t it 2007 when the Iphone became popular and LG offerred larger screens for games. (And hate speech for teen bullying)?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 4:00 am

        Ron,

        Your criticisms are real. But with few exceptions – and there are definitely some exceptions.
        most everything is improving. Not perfect, not near perfect, but better.

        We are a racist society. But we are Much less racist than 50 years ago, and 50 years before that.

        The same can be said of many many other of our flaws.

        The left rants about gun violence – well gun violence is declining – even as gun ownership is increasing. I am not sure there is a cause and effect relationship. But there absolutely is NOT an inverse relationship. Mass shootings – as a long term trend are declining.
        But they are so rare as to be near random and short term trends are almost meaningless.

        You note bullying – the teen suicide rate peaked in 1988 – though that is likely an artifact of better reporting. Subsequently it has declined about 20% – the same is true of the overall suicide rate.

        The US BTW has nearly the lowest suicide rate in the world only the netherlands is slightly lower.

        I do not think kids bully more today than in the past. I was horribly bullied until I started HS.
        We just pay much more attention today.

        Children are safer today from almost every threat from accidents to predators, and we are more fearful than ever.

        The impersonal nature of the internet has amplified our conflict – though I would note our founders were pretty nasty to each other.

        At the same time it has given everyone much more voice than ever before.

        I lament the bad – but overall I think the net is positive.

        I do not think that hiding our conduct is such a great thing.

        I recall growing up with a friend – a teacher, who was extremely religious and gay.
        The world was much more hostile to that then.
        She thought of herself as evil and damned to hell.

        If you think you are going to hell no matter what, there are no moral distinctions left.
        As a consequence her relationships were with teens, some as young as 13.
        Absent the dark view that both the world, her faith and herself took of her life.
        Absent being deeply in the “closet” even to herself – maybe her conduct would have been better.

        I can not conceive of cheating on my wife. But Trumps relationship with his wife is between him and her. I do not really think it is mine to judge. There is little evidence of Trump using force, or even coercion, and what there is, is not credible. I am not trying to defend him – I could not be him.

        A part of what I was trying to point out in one of my posts was that there are some absolutes to morality. The use of force against another has not been acceptable during most of recorded history. Other moral measures are less certain. For most of recorded history homosexuality has been very immoral. For most of human history all sexuality has been extremely narrowly morally constrained. Today in this country neither are strong moral values.

        We MOSTLY still seem to place some value on fidelity. Though we could not convict John Edwards, we also could not elect him. But we elected Trump and we elected Clinton.
        Many of our past presidents were no more faithful, but prior to clinton that had to be kept entirely secret.

        I know that using force against others to get your way is wrong.
        That condemns Bill Clinton. It does not condemn Trump.

        Doing so through the proxy of government should be worse. But most of us still think the rapist is more heinous than the president who constrains our freedom – for our own good, and too many of us think it is acceptable – even morally laudable to steal one persons liberty “for their own good”. Worse still that “good” can be hypothetical, rather than proven.

        One place where I do depart from most here is that I think that running a business (without using force or fraud) is one of the most noble things that anyone can do.

        We know that in the past 50, 100, 200, 500 years, that free exchange has done more good for humanity than all charity ever.

        John D. Rockefeller did more good for his fellow man than Mother Theresa.
        That is not to denegrate Mother Theresa.

        One place I am completely at odds with most here is that I beleive that Trump’s success in business inherently makes him MORE trustworthy and moral – regardless of his other pecadillos. And I think that experience in government inherently makes most LESS trustworthy.

        I think a drug dealer is more trustworthy than a politician.

        Even drug dealers must deliver value to their clients. Despite the fact that they operate entirely outside the law and regulation, very few actually look to harm their clients.

        One of the most despicable things I think Chuck Schumer did was to move the FBI from targeting Russian financial cyber criminals – those cost us about 32B/year to targeting the Silk Road and similar cites. It is estimated that the Silk Road and anarcho-capitalist internet drug sales have significantly improved the quality and safety of illegal drugs and reduced overdoses. It has had a similar effect on prostitution.

        Even the mafia must honor the deals it makes. Many decades ago, Serpico noted that in many ways the organized crime that police were supposed to be targetting, was more honest than the police targetting them.

        By far the most dangerous people are those that we allow to use force against others – government.

        Government is a necescary evil.

        It is power – actual power over others that corrupts.
        And that only occurs in government.

        I do not think that if proven true all the alleged misconduct attributed to Trump compares to the actual conduct that we would all agree on of those in government who targetted him.

        Do not get me wrong – I want PRESIDENT Trump subject to serious scrutiny.
        Of course what I will be asking is – do his actions increase individual liberty or do they reduce it ? Thus far though he still scares me he has increased liberty much more than he has decreased it. And that nearly never happens. Not with democrats and honestly not even with republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 9:25 pm

        Morality is an extremely broad topic.

        We are nearly universally agreed on the morality of force.
        We have spent thousands of years working out what constitutes the justifiable use of force.

        That is one domain of morality. It is a moral domain that constrains all of us absolutely – including government. It is the primary domain in which government functions.

        If we are evaluating presidents in that domain – The bushes are not moral. Obama is not moral and Trump is more moral than any president since Reagan.

        But that is not the only domain for morality.

        That said pretty much all other moral domains are NOT THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT

        For much of human existance homosexuality has been deemed immoral, today for most it is not. We do not want government operating in that moral domain.

        There are infinite other moral domains – all of which we do not want government in.

        I am a huge proponent of monogamy. I have never had any form of sexual relatons with anyone but my wife. No groping, no petting, no ….

        Most of the rest of the world would define the morality of sexual relations more broadly.
        So long as force is not involved it is NOT the business of government.

        To the best of my knowledge Obama and the Bushes have been faithful to their wives.
        Clinton and Trump have absolutely not.

        As voters we are free to judge them on that or any other moral standard we wish.

        As government – we are only free to address the morality of force.

        Clinton used force against others in sexual relations
        thus far no claims regarding Trump and sex involving force have stood up to scrutiny.
        If they had – I doubt he would be president – though that did not stop clinton.

        Trustworthyness is also a moral issue. It is again one that is outside the domain of govenrment.

        Each of us decides who we will trust based on our own criteria.
        And with respect to government and politicians we get to express that in our votes.

        Trust has many forms.

        I have a friend who exagerates about everything, or just plain makes things up.
        But he is one of my best friends. When I need him – he is there, and I try to do the same for him.

        So is he trustworthy or not ?

        McDonalds sells millions of hamburgers every day. Amazon and walmart millions of other products, Each of us who purchases from them knows what we are getting and is satisfied nearly 100% or the time – accross billions of transactions.

        That is an incredible degree of trustworthyness. And the free markets can not work without it.
        Free exchange is voluntary and people do not exchange when they beleive they will be worse off.
        Note I said “satisified” – not ecstatic. truly bubbly happy customers is an aspiration.
        but trust is met when people are sufficiently happy with a transaction they will repeat it when they have the same needs again. When they beleive the exchange leaves them slightly better than before.

        That form of morality is the most important in the world. It is that morality that has lifted us out of poverty to relative opulence.

        Trump is not McDonalds. But he has done something that no president in the past century has done. He has engaged in free exchange with people and profited over the long term.
        That does not happen without an enormous amount of Trust.
        Are the Walton’s more trustworthy – likely. Bezos – certainly. Your neighbor – unlikely. Pretty much any politician – not a chance.
        If the free market operated with the highest level of trust that exists regarding government – we would still be in the mire.
        No one would work with almost any part of govenrment if they had a choice.

        Thus far Trump has kept more campaign promises than any president in my life time.
        That is an incredibly low bar and Trump remains short of all of them, and likely will not keep many. Regardless, that is a very significant reason for trust.

        During the next two years if Trump says if re-elected he will do X, Y, and Z – there is a high probability he will and a much higher probability he will seriously try.

        If he makes a campaign promise you can judge him based on that promise. You can know what you are voting for, You can vote for him for his promises or against him and know what you are voting over.
        EVEN if you vote against him over his promises – that is STILL Trust.
        That is another domain of morality, one that Trump dwarfs most presidents.

        You may think that Obama had values you liked – and trump has values you hate.
        But whatever Obama may have told you, he did not do what he promised.
        Like Trump he was unable to accomplish somethings because of political opposition.
        But quite often his promises were bait and switch.

        ObamaCare passed because of promises like – you can keep your doctor, or your insurance.
        Those were lies of consequence. People believed them, voted accordingly and were screwed. You can say much the same over “Mexico will pay for it” – but I do not think anyone actually beleived that – not his supporters, not his opponents.

        Regardless, my point is that if the test is being true to your word in important things – Obama and most modern presidents fail. Where Trump does much better.

        That is an aspect of morality.

        Like my friend Trump is prone to exagerate – and to just make things up.
        Though not to the extent he is criticized.
        I would further note that much of the criticism is from those on the left who do exactly the same.

        Is this important ? Yes, Immoral ? Yes, Is it more immoral than failing to keep important promises ? No.

        That is parts of my approach to measuring morality.

        You need not hold the same views. Though I think you will find that deviating too far from my positions results in dysfunction.

        Whatever your particular views – you are not entitled to presume they are shared universally.

        You are free to decide that Trump’s philandering is more significant than Clinton’s sexual assaults. But you are not free to impose your judgement on that on others by force.

        You are free to try to persuade. Just as BTW the russians are.
        The best of us have no more rights than the worst.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 9:38 pm

        I would also ask you to define moral leadership.

        There are many on the right who think that is opposing abortion with all their might.

        Here is one view of morality. One with far stronger foundations than anything I have ever heard from you.

        It is not especially relevant what people think about the moral leadership of the president.
        Particularly people who can not define morality.

        Hitler was a “moral leader” as was Mao. Communism and socialism more forcefully than any other ideologies impose FORCEFULLY their morality on all of us.
        In their moral framework – that is the highest calling, the public good,

        Can we commit genocide using a “in the public interest” argument ? Or a national security argument ? or a Public health argument ?

        All of these have been justifications in the past.

        Before you start spraying moral judgements of others – I want to know what YOUR moral framework is.

        If Obama polled highly as a moral leader among socialists – that would be a BAD thing not a good one.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 15, 2018 8:49 pm

      I do not beleive that just because law exists that law is good law.

      But the role of government – the executive and the courts is to enforce all law as written.
      That is NARROWLY.
      It is the role of the courts to determine if the law as written and narrowly interpretted is constitutional. It is not the role of the court to expand to to create law.

      It is the role of the people and the legislature to get rid of bad law that is not unconstitutional.

      The government is obligated to follow the law as written – ALWAYS – as that law applies to government, and as that law applies to the people.

      There is no ‘apparent’ activities are either legal or illegal.

      The law should be enforced as written without discretion.
      WHEN that produces bad results – either the courts must find the law unconstitutional – or if they can not, the people and the legislature must change it.

      There is no ignoring the law – not for you and I, not for the government.

      To the greatest extent possible everything associated with government should be balck and white. What falls into the infinite gray space of life belongs to individuals – not government.

      What I have written about is an ideal, an aspiration.
      But it is still something we should strive hard to acheive.

      And the farther we are from it the more lawless we are.
      And the more lawless we are the more prone to tyranny or anarchy and failure we are.

      What is disturbing is that so many are actually advocating for lawlessness.

      If Mueller did not like the law as it was narrowly understood – he is free to ask congress to change it. He is NOT free to try to change it himself.

  78. Jay permalink
    December 15, 2018 2:26 pm

    This is a Tea Party Conservative’s Opinion

    • December 15, 2018 3:23 pm

      Sure would be nice if the fake news would stop calling Trump a conservative. Trump was a member of the American Independent Party in 1999, a Democrat in 2004, A republican in 2009 and Independent in 2012. In 2008 he called himself a Democrat on CNN.

      Conservatives believe in free markets, are staunchly anti communist and believe in individual freedoms. Conservative for the most part are usually much more rreligious and base many decisions on God and the bible. Trump believes in little of the these, using tariffs to “equalize” trade, is highly positive of Putin and hardly ever basis anything on religion unless it is for some legislation, like abortion, that serves his purpose..

      Trump is a populist, not conservative. As described by others, “Populist individuals campaign and attract support on the basis of their own personal appeal, not political appeal Their supporters then develop a perceived personal connection through the populist movement. Populist rhetoric allows these people to claim that they have a direct relationship with “the people” and in many cases they claim to be a “voice of the people”. Male populist leaders often express themselves using simple and sometimes vulgar language in an attempt to present themselves as “the common man” or “one of the boys” to add to their populist appeals as does Trump. Another recurring feature of male populist leaders is the emphasis that they place on their own virility as seen by Berlusconi (Italy) and Trump.

      So its time for conservatives to begin acting like conservatives and decide if the future of the country and the party is important enough to challenge Trump in 2020. It may cost the election in 2020, but might just insure the continuation of the Republican party as a conservative voice.

      • Roby permalink
        December 15, 2018 5:41 pm

        Nice. Right on target. I have come to the conclusion that the only actual principles most conservatives truly hold are lower taxes and whatever will pass off liberals, moderates and Rinos the most. Truly principaled consrvatives are a dying breed. The GOP has become the Toronto conservative party that embraced Ford. Almost No relation to who I had believed conservatives are. We will see what the consequences over the next decades. That is the timespan it will take to truly evaluate this. There will be a huge number of totally unpredictable unintended consequences.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 10:14 pm

        Conservatism is not an ideology. Progressivism is close to one.
        Libertarianism is an actual ideology.

        Conservatism is William Buckley standing athwart the world yelling “stop”

        It is the pragmatic argument that what has existed for centuries whatever its faults should be very carefully considered before willy nilly discarding.
        Conservatism is not opposed to progress but demands that progress must proceed slowly.

        Conservatism is much like compromise – it is a tool, not a principle.
        When you make it into a principle it fails.

        There are few in this country today – even on the right who would argue to return to jim crow, separate but equal, a womans place is in the home and homosexuality should be criminal and in the closet. While we are still fighting over whether past victim status entitles one to move to the head of the line today, We are not fighting to return to the past – mostly.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 10:16 pm

        Lower taxes is not a conservative principle, but it is a goal that MOST flavors of conservatives share. It is therefore one that a republican congress can agree on.

      • December 15, 2018 11:03 pm

        Lower taxes are a biproduct of conservative.
        Conservative supports smaller government
        Smaller government =less spending
        Less spending should= lower taxes.

        We have few conservatives since those claiming to ge conservative support lower taxes, but more spending equalljng higher deficits. That IS NOT conservative.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 4:25 am

        The only unifying thread between strains of conservatism is the desire to go slow in disrupting long established norms that are working.

        Lower taxes are a by product of all strains of conservatism – which is why they can be accomplished by conservatives.
        All conservatives do not support smaller government.
        The committment of establishment conservatives and neo-cons to limited government is poor. That of social conservatives nearly non-existant. Fortunately all three strains are fading.

        You confuse conservative with correct.

        Lower deficits and spending is a CORRECT value of many conservatives.
        It is NOT an inherent value of conservatism.

        Conservatism is not an ideology, and it is not inherently correct.
        The best that can be said is that all strains of conservatism are superior to most strains of leftism (not all).

        Libertarianism is an actual ideology with underlying principles – even if there are strains of libertarianism. Conservatism is not an ideology. Progressivism is significantly closer to an ideology conservatism.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 10:20 pm

        Conservatism is not nearly do monolithic as the modern left – though the modern left is not always clear about what they beleive, They are crystal clear that dissent is not tolerated.

        For all the criticism the right makes of intolerance towards conservatives on campus today – and that criticism is desrved, Minor dissent by those on the left is far more likely to result in sanctions than being openly conservative.

        It is becoming difficult to be a comedian and on the left today.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 10:38 pm

        Despite the lack of uniformity amoung conservatives today – libertarian republicans, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, Tea party, Establishment conservatives and neo-cons are all unique, and probably the only value they all share is lower taxes.

        At the same time each faction is consistent – even over time.
        Each of these groups stands for the same thing today as tthe same group did 20 or 40 years ago.

        That is not true about the left. It is trivial – as we are finding out to find sexist, racist, homophobic remarks from those on the left in the not too distant past.

        There was some tolerance for that less than a decade ago. Not today.

        It is practically a game finding Obama or Clinton arguing against immigration, for a wall or border securtity or against gay marraige.

        Roby it is the left that is a moving target not the right.

        One of the major problems that the left has today is that to a very large extent, though not usually in the way intended and often not directly as a result of the efforts of the left, the fundimental goals of the left over the past 50 years have been acheived.

        In the least racist society in the world at the least racist time in history the left is arguing that racism is the biggest problem facing the country.

        Racism remains a problem – and always will.

        Then you can take the above and substitute sexist for racism – and get the same results,.
        or Homophobic.

        One of the big problems the left faces is the absence of any more great causes.

        Hence the fixation on income inequality, on exagerating the remaining vestiges of racism, sexism, homophobia, on free college or free healthcare. Or free this or free that.

        There are no real big fights left for the left. Only little ones.
        And most americans do not see the flags the left is trying to get us to follow as all that important today.

        While conservatives still have big issues.
        Government spending is too high, taxes are too high, government is too big,
        Many of the big government programs that the left foist upon us are both popular and failing.
        The left created the problem and has little credibility in fixing them.

        Regardless, if you think republicans are out to piss you off, you are easily pissed off.

        But that is self evident. Intolerance is primarily the domain of the left today. Not that the right are paragons of tolerance, just the intolerance of the left has over shadowed that of the right.

        Regardless conservatives are inherently likely to “piss off” progressives – because conservatism is as buckley proclaimed “standing athwart the world shouting NO!”

        Obama’s presidency was mostly a failure – not a catastrophic failure, but worse than the bushes, and clearly not nearly as good as Clinton or Reagan.

        Republicans and Trump are working to undo all that failure. Of course that pisses off democrats. But republicans would not be able to do so absent the failure in the first place.

        If you do not want to be “pissed off” by republicans undoing what you have done, then do things that work

      • dhlii permalink
        December 15, 2018 9:56 pm

        Conservative is a pretty big tent. Now extinct blue dog democrats were conservative.

        It is reasonable to call Trump a conservative.

        But he is not a social conservative, He is not an establishment conservative, he is not a neo conservative. He is pretty strongly at odds with most of those.

        He is also not a fiscal conservative or a free market conservative or a limited government conservative or a Tea Party conservative . But the distance between him and those is small.

      • December 15, 2018 10:56 pm

        He is a populist,
        Why not call him that?
        Because calling him a conservative cast a dark shadow over true conservatives by the left wing press singing to their choir.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 4:09 am

        I do not have a problem calling Trump a populist.

        Nor do I have a problem calling “trumpism” a form of conservatism.

        It is certainly a less malignant form of conservatism than social conservatism. or neo-cons.

        I think that libertarianism is inherently conservaitve – in the sense of moving forward SLOWLY. I would call libertarianism the highest form of conservatism.
        Though there are left variants of libertarianism.
        Limited government and then fiscal conservatives would come next.
        Trumpism is barely distinguishable from tea party conservatism.
        Neo-cons, and social conservatives are the worst.

        Yes, the left tries to make Trump a stain on conservatives.
        But they tried to make Bush Romney and McCain a stain.

        There is nothing being said about Trump that is not said about most every consequential republican. To the extent there is any difference it is that the left and the media say it higher pitched, more loudly and full throated.

        But epitataphs like racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, …
        hating hateful haters is applied by the left and much of the media to anyone to the right of clinton.

        Trumpism is imperfect, but it is better than anything democrats have to offer, and better than much of what is likely of republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 4:17 am

        In 2016 Republicans had a stellar field of candidates.

        Anyone of whom would have been subject to all the same attacks as Trump, but none the same intensity of attacks, had they won.

        At the same time I doubt that a single other potential republican candidate could have accomplished as much of what Conservatives wish to see than Trump has.

        I am libertarian. I am directly at odds with Trumpism on several key points.

        But I do not think Rand Paul if elected would have accomplished the same libertarian objectives that Trump has.

        I do not think republicans should be embarrased by Trumps accomplishments.

        For gods sake Bush drug us into multiple endless wars. Obama promised extradition and doubled down on that. Trump has not kept his promise to get us out of afghanistan – yet.
        But he has not started any new wars and he has mostly reduced the conflict in syria.
        Yemen was a mess before the election – but it is not our mess.

        I do not have a problem saying Trump is thus far the best president since Clinton, and possibly since Reagan.
        Clinton was an actually immoral person. Clinton is about more than infidelity. Clinton used force.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 15, 2018 9:41 pm

      Walsh self identifies as a moderate.

  79. dhlii permalink
    December 15, 2018 11:26 pm

    • December 15, 2018 11:54 pm

      And we care about this WHY?
      Is anyone going on trial?
      Is anyone going to be investigated by the DOJ?
      Is anyone going to be fired from any job?
      Or is this just another example of laws being broken and no one cares? Just picking the laws they want to follow and since no one was directly harmed, no need to do anything further?

      They might get more info and they might write a book and make a few dollars on the sale of that book. If so go for it.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 12:14 am

        I beleive this is a setup for a house referal to Barr to reopen the Clinton U1 investigations.
        We have an IG report on the same topic that should come down soon.

        The goal is NOT to “get Clinton”, but to assure that there is as many bad news stories about Democratic misconduct over the next 2 years as Republican.

        Further the U1 scandal in particular ties to Mueller. And Mueller appears to have stepped in it setting up a raid of an IG whistleblower. That stinks to high heaven of arrogance and corruption on Mueller’s part and reinforces Trump’s constant assertions that Mueller is a lawless bully who does not care about the facts and the law.

        Though not directly related Comey stepped in it when he said that he would not have been able to setup the Flynn interview but for the disorganization of the Trump administration.

        Ignoring the jab at Trump, that is pretty close to an admission that Flynn was setup.

        There is a long recent interview with Alan Derschowitz basically saying that in the US we law enforcement questions people to gain information.
        That it is improper, sometimes illegal for law enforcement to question people about things it already knows in the hope of catching them in a lie.

        Nothing is served by that. It is a manufactured crime.
        Investigations are not supposed to deliberately seek to create new crimes and criminals.

        But that IS how Mueller operates.

        There is a bit of an exit interview of Trey Gowdy who essentially says he has defended Mueller and Comey and the FBI in the past, but it is harder and harder and in many instances impossible to do so today.

        I beleive it is Gowdy who points out that while Comey is free as a private person to seek to elect democrats today. That the specifics of what he says particularly given his conduct of the Clinton investigation as well as his subsequent remarks about investigating Trump are making it difficult to impossible to beleive that Comey was not acting almost entirely on politics not law.

        I do not care about the “getting democrats” aspect.

        I care greatly about further exposing malfeasance in the federal government generally and in DOJ FBI CIA specifically.

        If DOJ/FBI reopened the U1/CF investigation so long as they focus on misconduct within government – that is less “political”.

        I have ranted repeatedly about the political nature of the Trump investigation.
        “This is worse than watergate”.
        I do not know whether Bart will follow Obama’s lead, but the left and the press have given him permission to.

        If it is acceptable to investigate Trump rather than a crime, it is certainly acceptable to target actual crimes committed by political enemies.

        Do you have any doubt that an investigation of U1, or CF or Clinton at State or the Clinton Email Server, would lead to as many guily pleas or charges of lying to the FBI if prosecuted in the same way as mueller ?

        Ultimately I still think that Obama or Trump should have ended this with a carefully constructed pardon of Clinton and Cronies at the end/start of the new administration.

        Nor do I think that Trump should incestigate people rather than crimes any more than Obama.

        But I like an enormous number in this country may take “guilty pleasure” in Barr’s DOJ raking the clintonista’s over the coals.
        Giving them the “Mueller treatment”

        I could be wrong – but I think that is whats up.

      • December 16, 2018 11:18 am

        “I could be wrong – but I think that is whats up.”

        And in the end, we will have another “Gowdy” investigation that costs big money, finds illegal activity, goes nowhere and is totally forgotten.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 3:08 pm

        Oversight is the responsibility of congress. Democrat or republican, I absolutely want them spending lots of time on that.

        I want the democrats to investigate the Trump administration up the wahzoo – but stick to investigating GOVERNMENT – that is their job. It is NOT their job to dig into the private lives of americans. Not Trump, Not anyone else.

        I would prefer that the investigations were into things that would if true actually be malfeasance.

        I have no doubt I will be critical of the Democrats investigations.
        BUT, it still really is the job of congress to conduct these kinds of investigations, and I do not have any problem with them.

        What I have a problem with is the stonewalling that was done under obama, and the still walling that continues with Trump – even though Trump opposes it.

        I am really pissed at the stonewalling – no matter who does it.

        Congress is not entitled to the advice given directly to the president – that is executive priviledge, But it must be communications TO the president. Not to the whitehouse, not to a cabinet secretary.

        Congress is entitled to any classified information they wish. HOWEVER, those in congress accessing classified information must acquire security clearances and must follow the same laws that apply to everyone else. A leak of classified information is a serious crime.

        It is usually wise for congress to step carefully near ongoing criminal investigations, But there is no obligation to do so. The risk is that the guilty might go free – that is all.
        Congress gets to decide for themselves whether they wish to take that risk.
        Not the president, not the AG, not the Deputy AG, not the special counsel.

        It is special counsels engaged in political investigations that increasingly appear to be to protect themselves and their cronies. That I have problems with.

        I would prefer that congressional investigations were lest posturing and stupidly political.

        Every time Waters, Nadler, Cumingsor Schiff speak I want to throw something at whatever I am watching.

        But they are congressmen – what they do is inherently political – even political investigations.
        If the people do not want that – they can elect some one else.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 16, 2018 4:33 am

        “And we care about this WHY?”

        I think I have already answered that in many ways.

        The misconduct of government is ALWAYS more dangerous than that of individuals – even those in political campaigns.

        “Is anyone going on trial?”
        I do not speak for whitacker or Barr,
        But my guess is there will be investigations, and indictments,
        Both because it is a good idea and because it is politically expedient for republicans.

        “Is anyone going to be investigated by the DOJ?
        Is anyone going to be fired from any job?”
        I do not know, but I suspect so.

        “Or is this just another example of laws being broken and no one cares? Just picking the laws they want to follow and since no one was directly harmed, no need to do anything further?

        They might get more info and they might write a book and make a few dollars on the sale of that book. If so go for it.”

        Sessions was an obstacle to this. To some extent the Mueller investigation was an obstacle.

        But oddly I think that the democratic take over of the house makes it easier for DOJ/FBI to get serious about investigating the left.

        It is easier to paint as obstruction and political revenge when you control all of government.

        I think the unwillingness of sessions to get serious about investigating the misconduct of the prior administration – and the many people STILL in government who were involved was core to his firing – not Mueller, not recusal.

      • December 16, 2018 11:57 am

        So explain this. (And dont nit pick words, just explain the issue)
        There are three divisions of gov. Executive, legislative and judicial. Sessions has been gone for sometime now.

        DOJ is executive branch. AG heads DOJ. AG reports to president.
        GOP investigation in house request DOJ info. House is legislative branch controlled by same party as president.
        DOJ stone walls House request for info. Still stone walling today!

        So if there has been illegal activity taking place, why the stonewalling when Trump pledged a drain the swamp!

      • Jay permalink
        December 16, 2018 2:37 pm

        Trump is the swamp

  80. Jay permalink
    December 16, 2018 2:38 pm

    A conservative speaks…

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