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Western Civilization at the Brink: Just Another Fine Week in the 21st Century

April 24, 2019

As I watched the flames rage across the roof of Notre Dame, that glorious medieval monument on an island in the Seine, I started to think about the symbolism. (As a former history major, I’m cursed with the habit of looking for larger patterns in daily events.) Western Christendom seemed to be burning before our eyes, and it was a surreal sight.

At first I suspected that French “Yellow Vest” fanatics or Islamist terrorists might have set the blaze. After all, Paris had been a favorite target lately for disgruntled souls with an urge to deface and destroy symbols of Western hegemony, patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism, racism, elitism or whatever else they dislike about the West. They’ve targeted several French churches and, by extension, Christianity itself –- although the mainstream media still haven’t come up with the linguistic equivalent of “Islamophobia” to describe this rampant animosity toward Christians and their symbols.

It was a relief to hear that the ruinous Notre Dame fire was most likely the result of restoration work gone awry. But the fact remained that the second most famous edifice in Christendom (outranked only by St. Peter’s in the hearts of the faithful) had been reduced to a sad shell, its roof and spire gone.

Still, like Christianity itself, Notre Dame proved to be resilient. The twin bell towers, immortalized by Victor Hugo as the haunt of the hunchbacked Quasimodo, still stood unharmed, proud and defiant. The three magnificent rose windows miraculously survived, though damaged by the heat and smoke. And the flying buttresses still leapt gracefully across the open air to bolster the stone walls.

I wondered how medieval masons and laborers had built such a marvel without engineering degrees or modern cranes. Nobody who started work on Notre Dame lived to see it completed two centuries later. Nevertheless, they persisted. But their masterpiece would have to be restored by 21st-century professionals, most of whom have likely abandoned the faith that inspired the original builders.

Cut to the United States, later that week. The much-anticipated, much-dreaded Mueller Report, more than two years in the making, finally saw the light of day –- redacted but ready to spill its secrets. To sum up the sprawling 450-page document in a handful of words: the hired sleuth found no evidence that Trump and his cronies had colluded with Russia to tilt the 2016 election in their favor, even though Russia did try to tilt it independently. He also revealed that Trump attempted to quash the investigation half a dozen times, through different channels, but that the president’s henchpeople had saved his hide by disobeying his orders.

A loose cannon like Trump needs handlers, and they did what they were supposed to do: prevent this congenitally reckless president from obstructing justice. Of course, the anti-Trump media immediately bypassed the no-collusion findings and focused on the obstruction of justice angle. But I’m left with two contrarian questions, both of which seem relevant here: 1) If Trump’s people prevented him from stopping the investigation, how could he be charged with obstruction of justice when justice was never obstructed?; and 2) If Trump was innocent of collusion with Russia, how is obstruction of justice even an issue when there was no crime to conceal?

If I had been in Trump’s shoes, I’d have been raging (as he did) at whoever started the spurious collusion rumors. Was it Hillary Clinton? Obama? The DNC? Former FBI director James Comey or some other “deep state” operative? Who hired British spy Christopher Steele to compile his infamous (and now-discredited) dossier on Trump’s Russian adventures, and don’t they have some ‘splainin’ to do? 

Trump’s frustration must have reached artery-popping levels, and I can’t blame him for wanting to halt the endless probing and speculation that plagued every day of his presidency. He’s fortunate that his handlers thought otherwise, but the media and half of Congress still won’t let go. I suspect they won’t be satisfied until they’ve undone the results of the 2016 election and sent Trump packing.

Trump gives us plenty of reasons to loathe him, but we don’t stage coups in this country simply because we disapprove of a sitting president — even a president who lies to us daily, fills his cabinet with swamp monsters and stirs up unseemly white nationalist fervor among his flock. If we don’t like Trump, the Democrats simply need to nominate a good candidate who can beat him. That’s the way it’s done here –- by voting, not by bitter partisans plotting in secrecy or by willfully biased news media spinning events to promote their agenda.

It won’t be as easy to roll back the virulent partisan hatred that pollutes the air daily in the Trump era. I recently remarked on Facebook that I get tired of scrolling past 150 mean-spirited anti-Trump messages daily, and that the sheer volume of over-the-top invective and mockery was starting to make me sympathize with the man. I compared the assaults to a vigilante gang attacking the neighborhood bully and bludgeoning him to within an inch of his life. “Please don’t make me sympathize with Trump,” I pleaded –- and my remark sparked over 100 heated responses, the majority of them more-or-less questioning my sanity. We live in insane times.

Speaking of insanity, how about the Kate Smith brouhaha? The rotund “Songbird of the South” had long been a good luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. When they played her majestic recording of “God Bless America” before a crucial match half a century ago, they won. When they brought her to Philadelphia to sing in person, they nabbed the coveted Stanley Cup. And they kept on winning -– 19 of the first 21 times the fans heard Kate hit those soaring high notes with her husky contralto voice.

Leave it to the P.C. police to ruin a good thing. Some righteous imp, no doubt intent on bringing down yet another white icon, revealed that Kate had recorded — nearly 90 years ago, mind you — two controversial songs that would invite sallies of outrage from racially sensitive folks today.

As a result, the New York Yankees decided to pull the plug on Kate’s “God Bless America,” which they had been broadcasting during the seventh inning stretch. The Flyers quickly followed suit, apparently terrified of being less racially correct than the Yankees. Kate’s good-luck recording of “God Bless America” would no longer be heard before the Flyers’ games. Even more egregiously, the management covered her statue (yes, a life-size statue of Ms. Smith stood outside their arena) in a black tarp that looked remarkably like a burqa. A day or so later, they unceremoniously escorted her likeness off the premises and consigned it to some dusky netherworld reserved for discarded icons like Robert E. Lee, Andrew Jackson and Penn State coach Joe Paterno. Most Flyers fans were not amused.

Kate Smith made nearly 3,000 recordings during her lifetime. Because two of them were judged to be racially insensitive, she had to go. She didn’t write the songs, of course. She didn’t even choose to sing them; she simply performed them in the musicals that featured them, and she sang them with heart. She was reputed to be kind and generous-spirited in private life, never discriminating on the basis of color despite having been raised in the Jim Crow South.

So how racist were those two songs? One of them, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” plaintively commiserates with the lot of black people in less enlightened times. (The song seemed to be set in the Old South and could easily have been voiced by blacks themselves.) At the same time, the song extols black people for their resilience, spirit and irrepressible gift for singing under the most oppressive conditions.

Kate Smith’s rendition glows with warmth and heartfelt sympathy. Condescending? Perhaps. Racist? Let’s put it this way: the song was so “racist” that black singer-activist Paul Robeson recorded it himself, quite movingly, in his magnificent bass-baritone voice.

No matter. Kate was irrevocably tarnished because a handful of 21st-century purity judges said so. It didn’t help that she also sang “Pickaninny Heaven,” a song she dedicated to the “colored children” in a New York orphanage. God forbid that anyone should sing about black children and watermelon in the same sentence. (Doesn’t everyone love watermelon? How did this ever get to be a thing?) Sure, the word pickaninny is considered offensive today, just like colored, Negro and Oriental. I’d be willing to bet that future generations will recoil at people of color, too. To coin a phrase, Times change.

What the Kate Smith episode told me is that the “intersectional” left totally controls the dialogue on race (and gender, and sexuality, and just about anything else taught by the “grievance studies” professors at our more progressive universities). They’ll be deciding how Americans are allowed to view their past, because reasonable liberals are terrified to disagree with them and nobody else matters.

Who’s next for the chopping block? FDR? Shirley Temple? Mister Rogers? We need to stop condemning the dead based on one or two purported miscues during a lifetime of great work.

At least nobody’s condemning the dead in Sri Lanka, the three hundred or more innocent victims of a coordinated multi-site terrorist attack on Easter Sunday. Most of the dead were targeted as they worshiped in church, and the terrorists were linked to ISIS.

So here’s the nub of the story: an organized band of radical Islamists killed and wounded roughly a thousand Christians in the bloodiest terror attack since 9/11. Yet the mainstream media and several notable Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) used the same peculiar term –- “Easter worshipers,” not Christians –- to describe the victims. And of course, the perpetrators were merely “linked to ISIS” -– no mention of the forbidden phrase radical Islamic terrorists.

Had they all read the same memo from some mysterious “deep state” operative -– perhaps the same clandestine opinion-maker who concocted the Trump collusion story, ratted on Kate Smith and termed the Notre Dame fire an accident? Well, probably not.

And yet… I used to scoff at conspiracy theories as fevered paranoid fantasies, but I’m starting to believe. After all, Western civilization has never been so thoroughly maligned by so many disaffected people, and most of them would love to pull it down like the statue of a deposed dictator. What alarms me is that the people pulling it down will be the new dictators.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three bitterly amusing essay collections are available for Kindle on Amazon.com. (Just search under “Rick Bayan.”)

All material in The New Moderate is copyright 2007-2019 by Rick Bayan.

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535 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2019 1:33 am

    Well said! And you put things in perspective. I was complaining about our PC world where a few have objected to our local fair being named ” Dixie Classic Fair” and now meetings are being held to decide to change the name even though the poll conducted by our local TV station shows 95% approve of the current name.. Seems like “Dixie” has some racial overtones, even though the whole south was nicknamed “Dixie” being that it was south of the Mason Dixon line. So your comments about Kate Smith relegate my issues with changing the fairs name to a low level “itch”

    • April 25, 2019 11:07 pm

      Thanks, Ron. This ongoing reassessment of our past is controlled by the social justice warriors, so it’s refreshing to know that “Dixie” survived (at least for now). I don’t know if you ever saw Ken Burns’ PBS series on the Civil War (from around 1990). He’s the ultimate bleeding-heart liberal, and yet his series treated the Confederates with respect. That would be almost unthinkable now.

      • April 25, 2019 11:30 pm

        Survived somewhere, but they are getting rid of it here.

        I think the social justice warriors will target independent TV stations next. We have reruns of the original Murphy Brown, All in the Family, Archies Place, Becker and other comedies. There is no way any of those would survive todays prime time since the small number of “victims” that find them offensive.

      • April 25, 2019 11:34 pm

        They decided to change the name despite the 95% who wanted to keep it? Typical. The tail wags the dog. And you’re right about those old TV shows; they’d never fly in today’s stifling P.C. climate. Many well-known stand up comics have stopped playing colleges because of the oppressive atmosphere.

  2. April 25, 2019 10:13 am

    Rick, this is excellent. To take the Kate Smith situation first: I am a lifelong Yankees fan, (despite the fact that my grandfather, who introduced me to baseball, was a Dodgers fan, and, after the Dodgers left Brooklyn, he switched to the Mets), and I cannot believe that they have done this.

    I honestly believed that, after the disastrous Colin Kaepernick Capers of the NFL, MLB would emerge as the sport of apolitical reason, and avoid getting caught up in divisive and ridiculous intersectional virtue signalling. Is nothing sacred? And, poor Kate Smith, who’s been dead for over 30 years, and has no chance to defend herself, from what may very well be a vicious smear. I mean, who even knows what she thought about race?

    My book club has been reading “1984,” and all of this reminds me of the Two Minutes Hate…

    As far as the Mueller Report, I too have been troubled by the idea that a president who has been under a cloud of suspicion for over 2 years, basically the entirety of his presidency, for potentially being a traitor would be “obstructing justice” by insisting that the investigation of him was a “witch hunt.”

    Trump, until he decided to enter the 2016 race, was not a politician, and, not a lawyer. I’m sure that he thought that anyone who had dealt with the highly political and treacherous world of NYC real estate was prepared for anything that the DC “swamp” could throw at him. Boy, was he wrong.

    As you say, he was fortunate that his attorneys and other advisors stopped him from firing Mueller, even though he had the absolute power to do so. And, reading the applicable sections of the Mueller Report that deal with this, it doesn’t seem to me that he ever ordered anyone to fire the Special Counsel; rather, he kept insisting that the Special Counsel recuse, because of some obvious conflicts. So, let’s say that Don McGahn actually went to Rod Rosenstein and said “The President thinks that Mueller should recuse.” Even if RR agreed, and insisted that Mueller recuse, wouldn’t that just have meant that RR would have appointed another special counsel?

    I guess my point is, what the hell is everyone talking about? The whole idea of an innocent person, who just happens to be the most powerful person in the government, with the plenary and constitutional power to fire anyone in the executive branch, objecting to being publicly branded as a traitor, and told that he cannot stop what he considers to be a witch hunt, seems to me to be possibly one of the most frustrating and infuriating situations imaginable. And, in the end, he did nothing but cooperate.

    So, why can’t we let it go? Have we allowed our ratings-hungry, clickbait addicted, media to justify the irrational hatred of any president? I asked this question (or maybe just made this observation) on the last thread ~ Bush 43 was Hitler, Obama was Hitler (or maybe Stalin), and now Trump is Hitler.

    If we end up someday with a real “Hitler,” who will even know or believe it?

    • April 26, 2019 12:50 am

      Priscilla, you won’t believe this, but I just got trolled by a business professor (and self-described “lifelong conservative”) from a local university for defending Kate Smith. Not only that… when I told him that Paul Robeson also sang the “Darkies” song, he essentially called him an Uncle Tom — and me a racist for defending him. On top of that, he evidently checked my profile and called me “a washed up middle aged has-been with a failed marriage and family.” (At least he called me middle-aged.) And this guy is an associate professor and former executive with a Ph.D. It never fails to baffle me how an educated person (albeit from three commuter schools) can keep judging pre-Civil Rights figures by today’s P.C. standards. It was a different world (and in many ways, a better one). Bottom line: it looks as if even conservative academics have been brainwashed by the left.

      As for the Mueller madness… yes, Trump would have been entitled to fire Mueller, it probably would have hastened impeachment proceedings. (Remember Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre?) But you’re right that he cooperated throughout the witch hunt, under conditions that would have made me strangle a CNN reporter at a live press conference. He’s still a loose cannon, but the Hitler comparisons are, as you said, pretty tiresome.

      • April 26, 2019 9:09 am

        Rick, I often wonder what people mean when they describe themselves as “conservative” these days. I suspect that some people simply mean that they are not Marxists. Others may mean that they are somewhat fiscally conservative, in the sense that they believe in low taxes. Or possibly that they are neo-cons, who are essentially liberals who support military interventionism. Or, they are simply elitists.

        Maybe all of the above….

        I think that the Overton Window has moved far enough left, that the definition of “conservative” no longer means what it meant even 25 years ago. And neither does “liberalism.” This has been the great victory of the progressive left, and it has been won on the cultural battlefield.

        Your “lifelong conservative” professor is clearly a elitist believer in left-wing ideas of social justice, and, therefore, not a constitutional conservative at all. Sort of like a poor man’s Michael Bloomberg. I consider Bloomberg to be far and away better than most Democrats on many specific policy issues, but still a staunch opponent of the Bill of Rights. An elitist, who essentially believes in benign despotism.

        It’s that totalitarian impulse that frightens me far more than Trump’s tendency to insult his critics. Trump may overindulge in the sticks and stones of name calling, and revel in his chaotic governing style, but he has shown remarkably little inclination toward authoritarianism.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        April 26, 2019 3:14 pm

        Here’s what I told him, Priscilla (among other things):

        “You continue to judge the past by today’s “enlightened” standards. My point about Robeson is that here was a brilliant black activist so incensed by the treatment of his people in the U.S. that he became a Soviet sympathizer. (Mistake, yes, but one that I can understand.) And yet he saw fit to record numerous songs that you and your PC brethren consider racist and demeaning. Could it be that in the 1930s, an era when blacks were still subjected to a social caste system and not-infrequent lynchings, that blacks would look with favor on any song that cast them in a sympathetic light — even quaint old “plantation” songs? Don’t you think Hattie McDaniel felt proud to play an enslaved “mammy” with spunk, intelligence and common sense, as an antidote to all the negative stereotypes about her people?

        “Today’s thought police, with their assumptions of moral superiority, seem to enjoy ripping down anyone, living or dead, who fails their purity tests. To me, that’s Orwellian, authoritarian and shockingly devoid of understanding or sympathy. If you want to join forces with today’s academic politburo, be my guest. But remember that a future generation might be judging you as harshly as you and your peers judge past generations. End of sermon.”

        I know that many conservatives and libertarians define themselves as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” (I’m more like the opposite.) But as you said, the left has been moving the goalposts so regularly that the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have essentially lost their meaning. The left can’t mask its authoritarian impulses anymore. I’ve stopped referring to these illiberal folks as liberals. Even the term “progressive” bothers me because progress has positive connotations. When I’m especially irritated I just refer to them as Bolsheviks now. 😉

      • April 26, 2019 4:57 pm

        Rick, show me a conservative that does not want to impose their social moral values on others and I will show you a Libertarian! Conservatives, true conservatives, will never ever take a position that abortion is wring, but its a womans personal decision. That is not a conservative position.

        Liberals possess liberal social AND fiscal political agenda
        Conservatives possess conservative social and fiscal positions
        Libertarians possess liberal social and conservative fiscal positions!

        There are libertarian positions that many who lean libertarian cant accept. Totally open borders, total removal of government from any safety regulations, isolationist military policy are some that are more radical libertarian. I am one that is not radically libertarian.

        The problem is we have a two party system and no one wants to challenge the two parties by running by campaigning on reducing government spending 10%+, complete reorganization of social security/ Meficare ( ie partial privatation now with total privatation in the future), hands off abortion before 26 weeks, support of the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights and other politically divisive positions where most American support individual rights.

        True conservatives and liberals want a nanny state, either controlling actions in social positions or fiscal positions. Libertarians belive people are adults and can make their own decisions with adequate information.

  3. raymond halyard permalink
    April 25, 2019 11:44 am

    Things do seem to be coming apart. Europe is an interesting case on nationalism. They don’t need individual nationalism because it weakens the EU. On the other hand the US needs ‘rainbow’ nationalism to make our country stronger and more able to handle our big problems, but most of us are rugged individualists who don’r give a damn about the troubles of our middle class and industrial workers. We live in an ironic world!

    • April 25, 2019 11:45 pm

      Welcome to our corner of the Internet! I think Europeans are entitled to be protective of their national cultures, even in the European Union era. Some cities there are at a tipping point; they’ll be majority-Muslim before long. They need to control their borders if they want to preserve their identity.

      By contrast, the U.S. has always been a nation of immigrants, although by accepting such a huge wave of immigrants from a single region (Latin America), our culture will be changing dramatically. I just hope these recent immigrants assimilate instead of creating a nation within a nation.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    April 26, 2019 3:18 pm

    Hey, where’s the rest of our usual cast? I’ve actually posted more comments than Dave!

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 26, 2019 3:23 pm

      That was me — Rick. I still have trouble getting WordPress to recognize me if I’m not on my iPad.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 9:41 pm

        Common problems. I use ‘brave’ as my primary browser – it is faster, blocks adds, it shares a code base with chrome.
        But I can not login to word press with it for reasons I do not understand.
        I have no problems on other sites.

        So I use chromium ONLY for posting here.

        Sometimes I use an ipad when I am on the road, but for some reason safari requires me to login for each post.

    • April 26, 2019 5:09 pm

      Interesting, I have not seen anything from Dave in.over a week. Hope nothing bad happened after his family got home from the car accident. I know his son was pretty banged up.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        April 26, 2019 5:24 pm

        Oh, I hadn’t heard about the accident. I hope Dave and his family are OK, too.

      • April 26, 2019 6:12 pm

        He posted a comment where his son was driving somewhere with his mother and it appears he pulled out or made a turn in front of another car. Mom had broken ankle, son was close to death had if not been for EMC. Both survived and were home last week, but since then, few Dave post. But that was also when Dave and a couple others got more personal in attacks and argued about commenting here, so who knows, maybe he decided the fight was not worth the time.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 9:38 pm

        I am fine – just busy.

        My family is alive – and there will be not permanent injuries – aside from the fact that broken ankles for 60 year old women are atleast a minor problem for the rest of your life.

        Still – everyone lived. My son – the driver, who pulled out in front of another car and was tboned on the driver side and was near death when he was in the hospital is now pretty close to fully recovered – despite the fact that he had a very bad concussion, and the entire left side of his body beat to crap, he is 20 and recovers fast. He has stitches removed a few days ago. He will have a scar on his left arm. That is pretty much it.

        My daughter who was in the back, who mostly was the least injured, has a torn bicep and and possibly another muscle tear on her left side.
        She was fully conscious through out, and went to “fast care” at the hospital and was discharged in a few hours. Of course she is an EMT and was yelling in the ambulance all the way to the hospital – “I am fine, don’t you dare “trauma me””

        For those who do not know that means cut off all your cloths to check for injuries etc.

        My wife was in the front passenger seat, and though farther away from the impact than my son and with less severe immediate injuries, is in the worst shape. Mostly because car accidents are much worse for 60 year olds than 20 year olds.

        She has a broken ankle, she is wheelchair bound for 12 weeks and then has extensive physical therapy. she has pretty severe injuries from the safety belt which caused internal bleeding throughout her body and looks like she went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. That will go away in 4-6 weeks.

        I was not in the car.

        I am busy because while my daughter can drive a little, she can barely get herself to her own medical appointments. No one is letting my son drive anytime soon. That leaves me doing almost all the driving for the family.
        My wife went back to work yesterday – she had a Continuing legal education seminar about 2 hrs away. I had to driver her to it and back, trying to work from the seminar – though the seminar was interesting – all about DNA testing, the sad state of forensic science – CSI is not real. Indigent defendants, Death Penalty issues, …. the stuff you would expect from lawyers.

        Further I have a software project that is essentially in crisis – it needs completed – 4 weeks ago.

        And finally because I need to be there for my family, I am on close to a normal schedule, so no time for 4am posts.

      • Jay permalink
        April 26, 2019 9:42 pm

        Hope your family heals quickly…

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 11:13 pm

        Thank you.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 11:19 pm

        It is my guess that if our encounters were in the real world rather than cyberspace we would get along.

        I left Twitter some time ago. People I respect have said ludicrously stupid things on Twitter.

        While I think that Twitter is by far the worst of Social media for drawing out the worst in people and that would include Trump, the problem is not confined to Twitter.

        It is much easier to say things on the web than it is face to face.

        Though I do not see that tendancy near so much in myself as I do in some others,
        I even see it in some of my own posts.

        There is a freedom to say outrageous things.

        I think that is probably good – so long as we are discussing ideas.

        But when we make outrageously defamatory claims – that is bad.
        We harm ourselves.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 10:12 pm

        There are times I consider taking a break from TNM – but not because of posters here.

        I am extremely disappointed in many people right now.

        It should be self evident to everyone that at the very least we have wasted 2-3 years on NOTHING.
        AND that not only didn’t Mueller find “collusion”, but frankly the entire idea was stupid from the start.

        But that is just the tip of the iceberg. More critically ALOT of people – almost half the country has been defaming not merely Trump but anyone who did not buy the Trump/Russia nonsense.

        AS I have said before – when you impugn someone else’s morality and you are wrong, it is YOU integrity that is harmed.

        Reasonable people would at the very least be pretending they did not say many of the things they did say. And frankly if they did that, most of us would live and let live.

        For about a week after the Barr memo, that is MOSTLY what happened.
        For a short period of time alot of people grasped they had been snookered and had atleast sufficient shame to back away from the nonsense they were selling.

        But that did not last long.

        And I am very disappointed – that speaks VERY BADLY of those who will not let go.

        If Trump had actually fired Mueller, if he had subborned perjury if he had actually obstructed justice, That would not change the fact that he was a victim of a witch hunt. Nor would it change the fact that those rabidly hunting snipes, did not only attack Trump personally, but absolutely everyone who said – this is a snipe hunt.

        While the obstruction nonsense is pretty transparent bad sour grapes, it is also irrelevant. You do not recover your integrity after making false accusations by doubling down on other weak accusations.

        I am extremely disappointed in PEOPLE.

        We speak on occasion of the gulf between left and right.

        It can never be closed if the left can not come to terms with the fact that they are OBVIOUSLY wrong on some things.

        How can we come together. if there is no outlandish false claim that the left can and will make that they will not disown when falsified ?

        I do not think the right has some corner on the truth.
        But I can think of no equivalent to this on the right.

        We have fought for 4+ years over Hillary’s guilt regarding here secret email server. Hillary Clinton should be slinking into the night thankful she is not in jail. Instead she is in the press claiming vindication ? For what ? Orchestrating a soft coup ?
        You can rant and rave about Trump as you please. The Mueller report – not merely established that there was no “collusion” but actually read it – it also establishes that the impact of the Russians on the election was inconsequential – and that is even if you give them credit for things that remain dubious. IRA spent 100K on the election – and almost half was for Clinton and Sanders. Who honestly thinks that the election tipped over that ?

        Why is Clinton still welcome in the company of good people ?
        Nearly every election related accusation regarding Trump that has proven false IS true of Clinton. Clinton really did buy bad dirt from Russians.
        And apparently with Biden’s help bought active interference in the election from the Ukraine.

        If Trump had done anything that Clinton actually did – he would be in jail right now.

        I am very disapointed because for such enormous numbers on the left, Truth does not matter at all. Facts do not matter at all.

        You do not have to like Trump – you can dislike him greatly.
        I thought Obama’s policies were horrible. As did many many others.
        No one did to him what has been done to Trump.

        I do not expect you to like him. I do expect that you will not lie.
        That you will accept the results of an election. That if you do not like Trump you will work towards winning hearts and minds to win the next election – but not by lies, deception and immoral conduct.

        When you put on your shining armour to go off to fight evil – you had damn well better be absolutely right about actually fighting evil – or you walk away from the contest having covered yourself in shit and tar.

        And you could atleast have the decency to not pretend that the false accusations still have merit

        I think we are entering very dangerous times.

    • Jay permalink
      April 26, 2019 9:39 pm

      I’ve given up on Trump related matters.
      It’s like that optical illusion photo, where some see two faces, others see a chalice.
      Reasoning people on both sides are perceiving opposite realities.
      Dylan: “Time will tell who has failed & who’s been left behind.”

      For now I’m concentrating on my immediate reality.
      Tonight’s reality, leftover roast chicken with gravy on toast.
      It’s all in the quick gravy. Eat with mashed potatoes & salad.

      Medium QUICK CHICKEN GRAVY-2
       
      INGREDIENTS:
      · 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
      · 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
      · Kosher salt
      · 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      · 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
      · Freshly ground black pepper
      DIRECTIONS:
      1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and whisk until the flour has a toasted aroma and is light brown in color, about 2 minutes.
      2. While whisking, slowly pour in the chicken broth and whisk until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Season with pepper and simmer until the gravy thickens and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 10:13 pm

        “Reasoning people on both sides are perceiving opposite realities.
        Dylan: “Time will tell who has failed & who’s been left behind.””

        If only that were true.

        Time HAS told, and you refuse to accept the answer.

      • Jay permalink
        April 26, 2019 11:25 pm

        Really?

        Why then do SO MANY smart! Intelligent! Informed! people across the political spectrum think otherwise? That includes Fox News commentators, Republican elected officials past and present, Conservative commentators – who after examining the redacted report have concluded Trump and/or his people tacitly collaborated with Russians to aid his campaign, and that Trump actively tried to obstruct the investigation.

        Why do 58% NOW STILL believe Trump lied to the American public about matters under investigation by Mueller, and only 31% believe he told the truth, per today’s ABC News poll? Could it be because he’s a liar who continues to lie?

        It’s useless to continue this conversation with you.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 27, 2019 2:52 am

        When you define “intelligent and informed” as agreeing with you, the results or foreordained.
        More importantly you can never determine the merits of your own arguments – because you will always find someone to agree with you who is then by definition intelligent and informed.

        Though the above is almost meaningless – as you do not make arguments, your idea of “intelligent and informed” is not even “agrees with you”.
        It is merely does not like trump.

        Beyond that with few exceptions the people you cite – are NOT intelligent and informed.

        A large collection of neocons and left wingnuts is not a body many would call “intelligent and informed.

        Apparently Rosenstein gave a press conference before entering private life.

        He pretty much stated that Barr was WRONG to release the Mueller report, that he would just have released the memo and nothing else. That is was what best conformed to the law.

        He was asked about things he had been reported to have said in news articles in the past. He refused to confirm or deny any specifically, only saying that everyone had said lots of stupid things over the past two years – himself included.

        I still have problems with Rosenstein – he signed off on the FISA warrants and he knew or should have known they did not come close to meeting 4th amendment standards.

        He appointed Mueller – without sufficient predicate.
        And he failed to recuse himself despite being a witness in the investigation he was supervising. And he stonewalled congress on documents.

        Thouhg he may have done Trump a favor as Trump choses to stone wall the house now.

        Regardless, those intelligent and informed people you dote on have falsely accused someone else.

        That is a moral failure, and not a common attribute of intelligent and informed people.

        I find it hard to consider anyone intelligent and informed who has shot their own credibility as well as their integrity.

        As to your poll ? I have no idea what people beleive.
        But can you tell me what it is about “matters under investigation” that Trump lied about ?

        What part of Mueller’s report contradicts what Trump has said from the start ?

        Credibility is not a question of polls. It is a question of accuracy and error.
        And the big losers and accuracy and error are the very people you cite as intelligent and informed. And the big winner is Trump.

        Are you really arguing that it is more important to be beleived than to be right ?

        We can debate the accuracy of Trump on other issues, but with regard to “truthfulness about matters under investigation” Trump has just won the sweepstakes and you and your intelligent and informed people, have earned the worlds largest dunce cap.

        BTW there is no examine and conclude that Trump and his people tacitly collaborated.

        Zipo, zilch, nada – every single claim of collusion was investigated and ALL failed.
        Cohen did not go to Prague, Papadoulis never talked to real russians.
        Manafort did Not visit Assange. There was no Server in Trump tower sending coded messages to Russia.

        Not a single claim was true.

        Every single aspect of Trump’s relations with Russia was openly know before the election.

        But we can not say the same about Clinton or her team.

        In fact if we just dumped on voters a few weeks before the election EVERYTHING we know KNOW regarding Trump – which is nothing we did not know on election day,
        and everything we now know about Clinton and her campaign – the election would have gone even worse for Clinton.

        Does Trump lie ? Maybe. Does the Press lie ? Absolutely. Does the left Lie ? Absolutely.

        If the frequency and scale of lies is the measure – you are screwed Jay. However bad Trump is he does not come close to those who came after him – including you.

        If you are incapable of remorse for defame someone else.
        If you have no shame, no decency, then the least you could do would be to cease this doubling down nonsense.

        You do not seem to grasp – you are not merely defaming Trump.
        You are not merely falsely claiming Trump is a liar,
        You are not even merely claiming his supporters are liars.
        You are claiming that anyone who does not buy your lies hook line and sinker is a liar.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 27, 2019 2:59 am

        Conversation with you has been useless – atleast with respect to you for a long lime time.

        I long ago lost any hope of sane discussion with you.

        You value is exactly like that of Democrats frothing about impeachment.
        As an object lesson about how to destroy your own integrity and credibility.

        And still you persist.

        Wasn’t that one of the Clinton memes ?

        One of the other take aways from the Mueller report was the russian interference Mueller alleges was far far LESS that what the left beleives.

        Clinton came back out of her hole to claim that Mueller proved the election was stolen by the Russians ?

        How so ? By giving Bill Clinton 5 times more money than they spent “influencing our election” ?
        By giving the Clinton foundation 1200 times more money ?

        If 100K in spending – half of which was spent on Bernie and Clinton gained Trump 70,000 votes in 4 critical states – then the Russians are the worlds most efficient political experts.
        Clinton spent 1.6B dollars to get 65M votes.

      • April 27, 2019 10:49 am

        Jay and Dave, I long ago recognized that political discussions, debates, arguments, flame wars, etc. never change anyone’s essential ideological bent, even when the participants agree on certain details ( “well, we can agree on that, BUT…”) or even politely agree to disagree (that is often merely a way to end the discussion, which probably explains why “politely disagreeing” rarely happens at TNM, as the discussion is ongoing).

        Concepts on which we generally agree, such as the value of compromise, end up getting shitcanned as soon as a “non-negotiable” issue comes up. and, more and more these days, pretty much everything is a non-negotiable issue. So, even potentially unifying concepts fall victim to identity politics and social justice arguments, which are essentially, and intentionally, divisive and absolute.

        I was amazed, for example, this week, when Kamala Harris announced that, if elected president, she would give Congress 100 days to pass gun control laws, and, if it failed to do so, she would simply issue an executive order doing what Congress would not.

        What the heck? Does she think that the president is a king or, in her case, queen, with absolute power?! Why, yes. Yes,I think she does. Mostly because, if we elected someone like Kamala Harris, we would essentially be voting to destroy the Constitution, along with all its ideals, most of which were arrived at through compromise.

        Anyone who would vote for someone like Harris would have to know that she intends to take Obama’s idea of “fundamentally changing” the country, far far beyond anything that Obama did. I mean, he did decree DACA, and it has been treated as settled law, but, otherwise, he seemed to spend his time politicizing the administrative state, in preparation for Hillary to decree much more.

        Establishment Democrats are hanging their hopes on Joe Biden, who, at least nominally, seems to be an old fashioned Democrat, despite his 8 years as Obama’s vp. If he is “old-fashioned,” he would certainly try to get Congress to work together, compromise and pass laws, right?

        If I believed that, I might vote for him (assuming he’s nominated). As of now, I don’t believe that. So, I am curious as to what candidates appeal to the hardcore Trump-haters, here. I know that Ron and Dave (not haters, but not Trump voters either) have said that they are hoping for a decent libertarian to vote for. And duck likes Tulsi Gabbard, who does tend to be a free thinker, and often goes against the “party line.” How about you, Jay? Any candidates appeal to you so far?

      • April 27, 2019 2:07 pm

        Priscilla “What the heck? Does she think that the president is a king or, in her case, queen, with absolute power?! Why, yes. ”

        That is what she believes, what progressive democrat politicians believe and what their followers believe.

        Obama ruled this way. From E.O’ concerning OT rules, to treaties that circumvent the senate (Paris Accords) to gun trade agreements, Obama greatly expanded that method of government control.

        And the progressive left is attacking Trump for reversing , what I consider, illegal regulations because they believe in the regulations. Jay just posted something about some gun E.O. that Trump is reversing, complaining again about his actions.

        The issue for everyone should not be the subject covered by any E.O.. It should be the E.O. itself and why congress has given the powers of a king/queen.

        If congress has given them the power and we dont do anything to replace representatives that allow this to happen, then we should not be complaining.

        And the progressive left should not be complaining when the opposition party takes over and their “king” reverses everything the progressive “king” signed into regulation. Because EO regulations are only good for the length of any “kings” rule.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:12 am

        Harris is either stupid which I doubt, or is the actual authoritarian that the left claims Trump is.

        You can not constitutionally impliment gon control via EO.

        EO’s are directives by the president to Government. They are STILL constrained by BOTH existing law and the constitution and our rights.

        An EO does not create law.

        Or better put the above is how it is supposed to work – if we have the rule of law, if we follow the law.

        Trump’s actions and EO’s todate have conformed to those constraints.
        Obama’s did not.

        The definition of totalitarian is active outside what the existing law and constitution allow.

        If Harris actually did as promised she would other be quickly bitch slapped by the courts, or we would really and truly have the totalitarian we fear in Trump.

        Harris is a lawyer – my guess is she knows what she is proposing is outside the powers of the president.

        This would be the equivalent of Trump issuing an EO banning all abortions in the US.

        Is there someone who beleives that would be constitutional ?
        That that would be inside Trump’s powers ?

        Harris’s EO would be MORE totalitarian – because there is not an enumerated right to an abortion.

      • April 28, 2019 12:07 pm

        So what loophole did Obama jump through when he committed America with idiotic reductions to CO2 while allowing the Chinese to massively increase CO2 through late 2030 (Paris Accords) or agree to gun trade controls through some ” agreement” that was not yet ratified by congress.

        My point that everyone seems to have ignored or has flown 10 ft.over their head is not what an EO is or how it is applied. My point is Obama crossed a line with some ” agreements” and few said a thing. Now Trump rolls back that action bringing regulation back to what the “law” states, and everyone on the left is having a cow.

        If they dont like Presidents making unilateral decisions, then congress needs to roll back their authority closer to what our founding fathers believed should be the presidents power. Did the founders believe a president could negotiate a treaty, sign the treaty, place controls in place through EO’s on people, business and government and have those effective while the senate sits on the treaty, not bringing it up for radification? Isnt that what happened with the gun treaty with Obama? I may be wrong, but that is how some info is being communicated.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 8:22 pm

        “So what loophole did Obama jump through when he committed America with idiotic reductions to CO2 while allowing the Chinese to massively increase CO2 through late 2030 (Paris Accords) or agree to gun trade controls through some ” agreement” that was not yet ratified by congress.”

        The president has the unilateral power to negotiate agreements with foreign countries.
        But to impose them he must get the approval of the Senate.

        Obama attempted to impose them without congress by pretending that the Clean Air act gave him that authority. I beleive the courts rebuffed that.
        Regardless, Trump as president has reveresed all of that – which he could not have done had Obama gotten Senate ratification.

        The same is true of the Iran deal – because it was not ratified – Trump has the ability to just toss it.

        Neither of those were EO’s.

        With the “Dreamers” Obama excercised prosecutorial discretion – something I do not think should exist. But he COULD have excercised pardon or commutation power, and that would have persisted. But that also would have been less well accepted.

        Regardless, that as not an Obama EO either.

        “My point is Obama crossed a line with some ” agreements””
        I am less sure that he crossed any constitutional line that has been recognized for almost 100 years. I would agree that he crossed lines – but not ones that FDR did not cross long ago.

        More significant was his lawlessly remaking PPACA when it did not work as it was passed.

        “then congress needs to roll back their authority closer to what our founding fathers believed should be the presidents power.”

        My problem is not specifically with the “presidents power” it is with GOVERNMENTS power.

        I do not actually beleive congress has much power to restrain the president beyond what the constitution says. I do not beleive that a LAW limiting the power of the president passed by congress and signed by a past president is binding on a future president.
        No president can constrain future presidents in ways the constitution does not specify.

        The bigger problem is that Congress must take back much of the power it has unconstitutionally delegated to the executive.

        Laws and regulations are the domain of congress not the executive.

        “Did the founders believe a president could negotiate a treaty”
        Yes
        “sign the treaty”
        Yes
        but the treaty does not become binding until congress ratifies it.

        “place controls in place through EO’s on people, business ”
        No – the presidents unilateral powers do not extend past the constitution, existing law, and the executive branch.
        “and government”
        Absolutely – EO’s bind the executive.

        “and have those effective while the senate sits on the treaty, not bringing it up for radification?”
        If a treaty is not ratified, it is not in effect.

      • Jay permalink
        April 27, 2019 4:37 pm

        Priscilla, didn’t you recently say you were voting for Trump in 2020?
        Why the sudden interest in Biden?

        And why the outrage at Harris threatening an executive order on gun control? i don’t remember you expressing outrage at Trump’s EO for his border wall.

        i’ll likely vote for any Dem over Trump, unless the candidate starts showing Trump-like fissures of incompetence during the primary debate or election campaign. i’d even suck it up and vote for Bernie (I don’t expect Biden to be nominated) and if he’s elected I would immediately begin calling for barriers to any cockamamie legislation proposed. Four years of Bernie wont in any way be as disastrous/divisive to the nation as Trump has been.

        No matter which ways the political winds blow in 2020, i see a bad moon rising.

      • April 27, 2019 5:23 pm

        Oh, at this time, I’m pretty sure I will vote for Trump. But I don’t really make up my mind a year and a half before an election, because you never know what will happen.

        I don’t have a particular interest in Biden. I was merely saying that if (and it’s a big if) he were really who the Dems claim he is…good ole Joe, looking out for working class families, etc. , I might take his candidacy seriously, and if something were to happen that undercut my support for Trump, I might consider voting for him. Honestly, I’d probably vote 3rd party before I’d vote for any Democrat, but at this point, everything is speculation.

        I still have no idea why you think Trump would be more divisive than a socialist, who thinks that imprisoned terrorists should vote, but I get it. Trump is Hitler, right? Killing Jews, invading foreign lands, advocating aryan supremacy.

      • April 27, 2019 5:26 pm

        In any case, I’m glad to see that you are not a socialist. Not that I thought you were. But you never know these days…I’ve got a lot of formerly sane friends who have become Bernie Bro’s…

      • April 28, 2019 12:24 am

        I need to go back and read Jays comments again. I missed the part where he is not a Democratic socialist and not a Bernie Boob. Supports government involvement in healthcare reimbursement (PPACA), does not support tax reform that equals rates found throughout the world, does not support border walls ( but he lives in Queen Nancyland who made sure her land had walls), supports “treaties” that the president signs, but in legal terms they are agreements to avoid congressional oversight, supports forced union membership and elimination of right to work states, etc. Cant recall other comments, but these sure border on socialist positions.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:29 am

        And I though Jay was merely a garden variety never Trumper.

        It is extrmely difficult to judge peoples actual political views,
        because so many right now oppose everything Trump does merely because it is Trump.

        I have lost track of what Robby, Jay and DD actually beleive – probably because they have too.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:25 am

        Socialism is not binary.

        It is about the extent of govenrment control of our lives beyond, securing our rights.

        The more you are prepared to empower government to go beyond securing rights – the more of a socialist that you are.

        Biden appears to be the least socialist democrat running – but that is not saying much.

        It is actually a good thing for Democrats that they fixate on Trump.
        Because when they talk about actual policy they are all INSANE.

      • April 27, 2019 11:54 pm

        I thought we were trying to limit videos in this thread. T clog up hand held devices when loading comments and after more than a handful, they plug up downloads for desktops.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:20 am

        Jay All EO’s are not the same.

        An EO is not a vehicle to abridge constitutional rights.
        It is not even a means to legislate or make law.

        An EO is a directive from the president to the rest of the executive – NOT to the people, instructing them how to enforce laws that already exist.

        The only instance in US history that approaches the lawlessness of what Harris is proposing is FDR’s EO incarcerating the Nissei.

        Trump’s borderwall EO enforced existing law.

        Congress authorized the construction of the wall in the 80’s.
        Every president since has had the authority to build it, just not the money.

        Trump’s EO allowed him to use funds congress had earmarked for emergency use for the wall.

        Congress can overcome Trump’s EO trivially – either be more specific in the next budget regarding the use of emergency funds, or repeal the existing authority to build the wall.

        I argued at the time that Trump’s border wall EO was a political mistake – not because it exceeds his authority, but because democrats would use it to go even further still.

        Harris is demonstrating that.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:00 am

        There are only 2 ways to resolve any dispute:
        agreement
        force.

        Compromise is a form of agreement.
        Persuasion is a form of agreement.
        Leaving each party free to live their own lives is a form of agreement.

        Of those the use of force is usually immoral.

        When agreeing to disagree means – I will vote to restrict your liberty – that is force not agreement. Agreeing to disagree usually means force, not leaving each other free to live our own lives.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:01 am

        Only matters of principle are non-negotiable.

        If something is a matter of principle – you should be able to articulate and defend that principle.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:03 am

        “Lord we don’t need another law, we have laws and regulations enough to last until the end of time”

        What most of us want from Congress is NOTHING.

  5. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 10:20 pm

    There has been an unbeleivable amount of misconduct over the past 3 years.

    But the serious misconduct was not by Trump or his people.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/04/25/mueller_investigation_was_driven_by_pious_hypocrisy_140150.html

  6. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 10:22 pm

    There are now democrats arguing that Trump must be impeached because he will probably win in 2020 otherwise.

    Really ? That is your idea of moral politics ?

    Impeach the other party – not because they are crooks, but because they actualy have the support of the people ?

    I thought the left was pro democracy ?

  7. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 10:39 pm

    The economy was supposed to tank in 2019. Predictions were 2.0%, with the naysayers predicting 2.3%.
    Actual 1Q growth 3.2%.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/04/26/717158760/economy-probably-rebounded-in-first-quarter-thanks-to-strong-spending

  8. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 11:23 pm

    At the time the intelligence agencies claimed there was russian interferance, they had no evidence.

    Intelligence BTW is NOT inherently about “evidence”. which is a part of why it should not be bandied about publicly.

    The CIA as an example should be speculating about the possibility that China might launch an nuclear first strike. But that speculation should not be made public so long as it is just speculation.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/24/james-clapper-knew-no-evidence-trump-russia-collusion-2016/

  9. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 11:25 pm

    False accusations matter.

    https://reason.com/2019/04/25/adam-lowther-child-services-police-abuse/

  10. dhlii permalink
    April 26, 2019 11:26 pm

    Criminal collusion with Ukraine to “get Trump”
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/440730-how-the-obama-white-house-engaged-ukraine-to-give-russia-collusion

    • April 27, 2019 12:15 am

      If true, then why isnt there an investigation? I am getting sick of ” reports” and ” opinions” that go unanswered without further investigation. If Woodward and Bernstein had followed the playbook now being followed, Nixon would never have been im peached.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 27, 2019 3:07 am

        “If true, then why isnt there an investigation?”

        There absolutely IS an investigation – in the Ukraine right now.
        That is where the “reports” are coming from.

        There probably is an investigation in the US.

        It is difficult to keep track of what is a “story” or something reported, and what is known as a fact.

        But there are alot of things we know as facts, and more that will go from reports to facts soon enough. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch was talking about what has been learned from depositions of members of the obama administartion – such as Bill Preistap.

        Right now those are “reports”, but eventually the transcripts will become available.
        I beleive we already have alot from house transcripts of Preistap’s testimony that have been released, as well as that of Page, and Bruce Ohr.

        It is a fairly good rule to beleive that when people testify in a way that casts themselves in a bad light that at the very least the truth is no better for them than they paint it.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 4:44 am

        With respect to reports and opinions and investigations.,

        One of the things we should have learned from this is that there is an incredible amount of politics involved in what does and does not get investigated, and if something is investigated how serious that investigation is.

        The degree to which those decisions favor the left rather than the facts is great enough to seriously undermine the rule of law.

        Whether it was prosecuted or not – there is zero doubt Clinton committed multiple actual crimes, and credible claims that she committed even more serious ones.

        While at the same time despite far more vigorously investigating Trump, to this day there is no evidence of any crime – even today there is not a basis to start an investigation.

        Biden is claiming that the Obama administration had not a whiff of scandal.
        What was fast & Furious, IRSGATE, The U1 coverup, the Clinton email mess, Benghazi ?
        Spying on congress.

        And time just gives us more evidence that Obama was the most corrupt we have ever had. The media merely took only cursory notice.

        Conversely what is the substance of Trump derangement syndrome ?

        I disagree with Trump on some policy issues – but there is no evidence of any kind of actual corruption. Are innocent democrats being targeted by the DOJ/FBI/CIA ?

        Policy disagreements are not corruption. If every claim about Trump’s rhetoric were true,
        We can no longer say “if every claim about his lying were true” because most of the claims that Trump lies rest on this Trump/Russia/Collusion nonsense, and in those Trump has told the truth, loudly, often obnoxiously, but still the truth. More importantly his opponents have LIED, you can make whatever claims you want about Trump’s credibilty, it is still inarguably greater than his critics. That is the price of telling big lies and getting caught.

        Many rant that Trump is unfit and must be removed by any means necescary ASAP.

        Aside from rhetorical style how does he differ from any other president that holds positions you disagree with ?

  11. dhlii permalink
    April 27, 2019 3:17 am

    Former UK ambassador Murray continues to assert through today that he was the currier who brought both the Clinton emails and the Podesta Emails to wikileaks, and that they were leaked, not hacked and that the sources are not the same person.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html

    • dhlii permalink
      April 27, 2019 3:19 am

      Oh, and Mueller never interviewed Murray – infact he never interviewed anyone who offered a contradictory account of anything beyond the left media narrative.

  12. April 28, 2019 2:11 am

    Trump calls him sleepy. Will calls him restful. Makes good comments about electoral vote, Supports some of my thoughts.
    https://www.arcamax.com/politics/fromtheright/georgewill/s-2201642?ezine=628

  13. April 28, 2019 6:13 pm

    Somehow the understanding that those that have a total hatred for Trump and anything he stands for who would vote for any Democrat over Trump escapes me.

    This to me is far more offensive than anything Trump has done.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/04/23/bernie-sanders-voting-rights-boston-marathon-bomber-buttigieg-harris/3548232002/

    • Jay permalink
      April 28, 2019 7:37 pm

      What Democrat presently announced as running would be anywhere as horrible for the nation as Trump?

      So far (it could change as my impression of Deluded Donald changed during the campaign changed – early on I was defending him on Conservative sites like Legal Insurrection, against charges that proved to be True: immoral, liar, buffoon, etc. Amazing how those Conservative Trump haters flip-flopped once he was nominated) no Dem who has announced is less honest, less apt, less experienced at governing than the Orange Turd.

      If you Trump Enablers prefer another Republican President nominate another reasonable Republican candidate. Get Trump to resign NOW – that would give the present Republican VP time in office to establish governing credentials.

      Anyone not demanding Trump’s RESIGNATION is a hypocritical traitor to the rule of law. You included, Ron. All you do is fume against past Democrats, sidestepping the continuing egregious dismantling of presidential standards of behavior by this disgusting lump of trump – his name a new synonym for shit.

      If you don’t want a Dem President, get off your soap box and do something besides bitch at Dems to get that in motion.

      • April 28, 2019 7:57 pm

        So I can add this bizarre acceptance of allowing terrorist to vote to the rest of your extreme leftist views you support.

      • Jay permalink
        April 28, 2019 8:06 pm

        Ron, are you senile?

        I’m not in favor of allowing people who have been incarcerated for serious crimes to vote, in federal or state elections.

        You’re becoming more irrational as time goes by.

        If you’re using that Bernie position as a reason for voting for Trump over him, that’s an addlebrained decision. Try to think through why that is an accurate assessment. If it continues to escape you, let me know and I’ll explain it to you.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 9:47 pm

        Bernies position is shared by a number of democrats. I beleive Harris proposed it first.

        Nor do I think it is inherently “adelebrained” – though it is politically unpopular.

        There is not some inherent Truth that establishes that fellons should or should not be allowed to vote.

        It is reasonable to choose to deny those who have committed serious crimes and not completed their sentences the ability to vote.
        But it is not less reasonable to assert that they can vote.

        Every single question does not have an absolute answer.

        Many do – and you are pretty good at finding the wrong side of most of those.

        Many of the issues we are fighting about today are made into massive moral issues – and they are not.

        The border wall and immigration is NOT a great moral issue. It is not an issue of right and wrong.

        Unless you are actually prepared to discuss open borders and how to make that work, the issuse flips entirely to deciding how you are going to stop 90%+ of the people who want to immigrate to the US.

        That is a discussion neither you nor the left have any interest in having.

        If we are not taking everyone – we are saying NO to one hell of alot of people.

        If you have decided we are not taking everyone,, then you MUST be willing to decide what the criteria for a YES is – and you must stick to it or change the law.

        Dealing with 1.2M people crossing into the US each year illegally is a HUGE deal.
        And if you allow it, it will be 12M in very short order.
        So if you do not want 1.2M to become 12M you better get on board discussion stopping it.

        No one beleives the Wall is the only way. It is just one part of many that are needed to enforce the laws we currently have.

        You say Trump is lawless – but Trump is trying to enforce the law as it is.
        Obama thwarted the law. Dems want to pretend we have different law, without going through the difficult work of changing the law.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 9:34 pm

        Ron;
        Some terrorists will get to vote no matter what.
        There will be plenty of devils and angels among our voters.

        I do not have a major problem with allowing Fellons to vote.
        I also do not have a problem with prohibiting it.
        I do not think there is an absolutely certain answer.

        No matter how you answer it, you will inevitiably talking about depriving people who likely should be allowed to vote from voting OR allowing people who definitely should not.

        Overall I think I would prefer that criminals do not get to vote until they have completed their punishment. But that is a preference, not an ideological position.

        Generally I favor making voting harder. If it were possible I would arrange for very bad weather everywhere on election day.
        I would eliminate most vote by mail, and only have absentee ballotting for the military.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 8:46 pm

        “What Democrat presently announced as running would be anywhere as horrible for the nation as Trump?”

        Arguably all or most of them.

        Many of them MIGHT be better people – though I am not so sure of that.
        Almost all of them carry plenty of past baggage, there are some pretty racist things in Butigiegs past. Fauxcahantas has lying to gain personal advantage about her heritage.
        Bidens groping is distubing,. and he has alot of mysogyniny and racism – atleast by the standards you use to measure trump in his past, and he is atleast as gaffe prone as Trump – what you keep calling “lying”.

        Biden just went after Trump on Charlottesville – but if you read the sentence BEFORE “some fine people on both sides” it was CRYSTAL clear Trump did NOT mean white supremacists.
        He was explicitly referencing people protesting the removal of statutes of Robert E. Less.
        So that is a Biden FAIL.
        More importantly – as it is when YOU spew it – it is defamation and lying.

        Pretty much the entire democratic field has LIED about Trump.

        For someone who thinks that minor errors and exagerations about trivial things are huge, you do not seem to take very false and misrepresentative remarks about those you do not like very seriously.

        But most of the above is about speach and character – and I am hard pressed to think of a presidential candidate that reflects good character form either party.

        When we flip to things that matter – Trump falls short, but all the democrats fall flat on their faces.

        While only a few are outright AOC/Bernie Sanders socialists every one of them is spraying us with stupid free things policies that are what created our current mess.

        So yes, pretty much every democrat fails in comparison to Trump.

        We have just had the 1Q 2019 GDP announcement – 3.2%.

        There is good reason to beleive it will be revised downward, but not to anywhere near the 2.0% that the fed or CBO predicted. not even to the 2.3% that was hoped for by conservatives.

        I have heard alot of GOOD criticism of the 3.2% number.

        But I have heard NOTHING to butress the claims the economy is tanking, that the good effects of Trump are transitory.

        And that is incredibly important. That is hundreds of thousands of jobs, it is raises in income, and it is primarily for those at the bottom.

        It is something we have not seen for 2 decades.

        If Trump really was most of the things the left claims about him AND he boosted the economy 1% above his predecessors, he is still a better president.

        There is no reason to beleive that any democrat in contention would not drive the economy back to 2% growth. And that is alot of needless suffering in return for Will’s “calmness”.

        I would prefer growth without chaos. But if I must choose, I choose growth.

        everything is better with more growth.
        Even things like deficits are less of a problem with greater growth.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 8:54 pm

        Give me a candidate from either party that is going to:

        Embrace free trade.
        Embrace real deregulation.
        Embrace disempowering washington,
        Embrace cutting taxes
        Embrace cutting spending.
        Embrace greater individual rights
        For gays, women, trans, negros, hispanics, asians and young white men too
        These are ALL pro growth policies.

        And I will vote for them in a second.

        All other things being even close to equal, I will vote for the candidate that comes closest to meeting those criteria.

        All other things being NOT so equal – I will still probably vote for the candidate that comes closest to meeting those criteria.

        Of democrats and republicans right now that is Trump.

        It is likely I will vote libertarian rather than for Trump

        But there are two additional factors that Trump has that no libertarain candidate is going to have anytime soon.

        Trump can and likely will get elected.
        Trump can and likely will continue to do most of what is on my list.

        Whoever the libertarain candidate is will certainly have better policies that Trump.
        But he can not get elected, and even if elected probably can not get his policies put into effect.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 28, 2019 9:22 pm

        “Anyone not demanding Trump’s RESIGNATION is a hypocritical traitor to the rule of law. ”

        Nope, Jay – throughout his presidency – Trump has followed the law.

        The Lawless president was Obama. As noted before Obama has more 9:0 losses in SCOTUS than ALL prior presidents. Todate Trump has none.
        I beleive the only SCOTUS loss he has is an Obama case that I beleive he deliberately sought to lose, and that was 5:4.

        Trump has lost a few recent cases on sancutary cities, and having Read Ilya Somin and Eugene Volokh, the losses are on federalism grounds and MOSTLY, I think the 9th circuit got it right. In fact Trump’s LOSSES on sanctuary cases are on FEDERALISM grounds that are going to haunt the left in the future.

        Federalism – states rights are ascendant right now. Almost to the point of pre-civil war nullification levels, only the left as well as the right is arguing federalism.

        The right of a state to opt out of federal law will not change when it is progressive federal laws that red states are seeking to escape.

        Regardless, “lawless” actually has meaning.

        I can name a dozen actually lawless acts of the Obama administration.

        Can you name ONE ACTUALLY lawless act of Trump ?

        I am not interested in these “made up” arguments.

        An action is lawless when it clearly violates either the constitution or the law.

        A presidential act is lawless when it improperly expands GOVERNMENT power.

        “All you do is fume against past Democrats”

        Jay mostly we have not been “fuming” about democrats – they are a pretty motly crew.
        They do a pretty good job of discrediting themselves.

        Rosenstein, Mueller and Comey were purportedly Republicans.

        I do not even fully agree with Barr – and he is certainly a republican.

        “sidestepping the continuing egregious dismantling of presidential standards of behavior by this disgusting lump of trump – his name a new synonym for shit.”

        Divorcing “presidential behavior” from presidential acts is the consequence of DEMOCRATS.
        Not republicans.

        I do not have a problem with you choosing to impeach on the basis of character.
        I do have a problem with the hypocracy of fighting impeachment of a man who actually obstructed justice and lied under oath and got others to do so, while pushing for the impeachment of someone who did not.

        “If you don’t want a Dem President”

        I do not care whether the president is a democrat. I do care whether their policies are destructive.

        But if I did care about the party of the president in 2020 – I would note that Democrats are doing everything humanly possible to assure that Trump is re-elected and that they lose the house.

        Well not everything – my understanding is that they have backed down from this impeachment nonsense.

        According to Polls – Trump has Much higher support from Republicans right now than Obama did from democrats at the same time and lower opposition by democrats than Obama had from Republicans.

        Absolutely the 25% at the left of the country is in full bull goose looney mode,

        But in 2020, Trump is going to be an incumbent running having kept an enormous portion of the promises he made AND improved the economy by 50% – with the largest share of the benefit going to those near the bottom.

        Trump will be a known quantity in 2020. Democrats will be able to lobb all kinds of grenades at him. But voters will know what to expect – they may not entirely like it, but they will know.
        All democrats will be an unknown quantity – not helped by the lunatic polices that they are all offering. The least looney democrat is likely Biden. But Biden suffers from the same problem that Romney did in 2012. Biden is Trump-lite. He has many of Trump’s flaws, while not exactly being Trump.
        It will be easy for voters to pick “real coke” over “new coke”.

        My “bitch” at dems is that I WANT divided government.

        I do not actually want D’s to try to impeach – because I think it is a horrible act of self destruction. I do want D’s to retain the house in 2020, and I think they are doing almost everything in their power to lose it.
        But if you want to impeach – go ahead, it is your funeral.

        I wish the Democrats stood for the right things – rather than just knee jerk opposition to Trump, I would like to see the house actually try to govern, so that Democrats could tell the rest of us what they are offering as the alternative to Trump.
        But I do not see that happening.

      • April 29, 2019 9:17 am

        “Ron, are you senile?”

        Sheesh, Jay. Defend your position,don’t just insult everyone who disagrees with you.

        You did say that you would vote for Bernie, if he ran against Trump. And Bernie is a socialist, a communist sympathizer his whole career, and a hypocritical elitist who has made millions and owns 3 homes. He practically exploded when, in his Fox town hall, he was asked why he didn’t pay more in taxes or donate more to charity, while advocating a 50+% tax rate for the rest of us peons. “Taxes for thee, but not for me” I guess.

        And, yes, he definitely advocates the “right” of terrorists, mass murders, rapists, child molesters, and other felons to vote from prison. Presumably for him.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 28, 2019 8:30 pm

      Whether those convicted of crimes get to vote is a question that we must decide.
      A number of state legislatures have allowed it.

      I am fairly ambivalent. I do not think this is the compelling issue of our time.
      Nor do I think asking whether one is a citizen on the census should result in spitting and foaming.

      I would be inclinded to say that if you are incarcerated, you may not vote.
      But if you have served your time and completed parole, you may.

      At the same time – not only don’t I have a problem with a citizenship question on the census,
      But as states are giving drivers license to non-citizens – even illegals. We need to verify citizenship when you vote.

      The constitution explicitly gives all matters regarding voting to the state legislatures AND congress.

      I do not think that the state executive, or state courts have a say – atleast not regarding federal elections.

      Further Congress is the ultimate authority on federal elections and congress can pass voting laws that are binding on all 50 states regardless of the states own laws and constitutions – specifically regarding federal elections.

      There are times to left states experiment – voting is not one of those.

      We need a single comprehensive voting law regarding federal elections that is the same across the country.

  14. dhlii permalink
    April 28, 2019 9:50 pm

    Where the real threat lies

    https://spectator.org/bidens-first-campaign-gaffe/

  15. dhlii permalink
    April 28, 2019 10:07 pm

    DeSantis and potentially Trump who did talk about this during the campaign do not go far enough.

    If a Drug is approved by the FDA (or even if it is not) it should be legal to by it from any source.

    Some of the criticism is correct – if DeSantis’s plan is too narrow.

    Canada is highly unlikely to allow drugs to be re-imported into the US.
    Because if it did over time prices would equalize accross the border.
    US prices would drop and canadian prices would rise until no drugs actually crossed the boarder. Canada is unlikely to want canadian prices to rise.
    But they and many here forget that the US drug companies are subsidizing drug markets accross the world at the expense of americans.

    Ron wants to complain about unfair trade – this is an egregious example of a stupid problem we inflict on ourselves. a

    Drop all legal barriers to the importation of drugs.
    do so globally – and US prices will drop alot and world prices will rise alittle until the difference is not large enough to justify the importation of drugs.

    It is called the law of supply and demand and it is immutable.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/florida-gov-ron-desantis-defies-gop-orthodoxy-with-drug-importation-plan

  16. dhlii permalink
    April 28, 2019 10:40 pm

    The excerpt from Trump’s charlotesville comments about “fine people on both sides”.

    Read this and THEN tell me that Trump was saying white supremecists were “fine people”

    REPORTER: You said there was hatred and violence on both sides?

    TRUMP: I do think there is blame – yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And, and, and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.

    REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.

    TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

    REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.

    TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too

  17. dhlii permalink
    April 28, 2019 11:54 pm

    So the Russians, Israeli’s and Brits had compromising tapes of Clinton engaged is sexting with Lewinsky as well as the suborning perjury (these were also provided to Starr, but have never before come out), These were provided to Kushner by a US citizen (born in Russia),
    Kushner told Mueller about them. They were shared in the Trump campaign but NEVER used. Meanwhile the RUMOR that the Russians had a golden shower tape from the Miss Universe Pagent involving Trump WAS used by the Clinton campaign.

    So what administration is it that was compromised by the Russians ?

    And why is it that the Trump Campaign did not use the Clinton tape ?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6950835/Mueller-redacted-claim-Russia-tapes-Bill-Clintons-phone-sex-Monica-Lewinsky.html

    • dhlii permalink
      April 28, 2019 11:56 pm

      And why was the clinton material redacted from the report while the Trump material was not ?

  18. dhlii permalink
    April 29, 2019 12:04 am

    you will have to edit the url to watch the video – so that it does not clog the blog.

    This is an answer to the claims that Obama had not a wiff of scandal.
    This is a song from Remy at reason I am sure you can find some of his targetting Trump too.
    Reason is a equal opportunity offender.

    Regardless, real crimes “trump” witch hunts. And this is only ONE

    https colon slash slash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KohtsEmWY2w

    • dhlii permalink
      April 29, 2019 12:05 am

      Wierd WP converted what I typed back into a URL – but it did not auto show the video so progress.

  19. dduck12 permalink
    April 29, 2019 12:04 am

    Question: If all the TNM commenters that are anti-Trumpers were to leave, what would this blog look like? I’m asking because I am thinking of taking a vacation. Without going into detail, for that would just be another waste of time, at least for me, the type of discourse here is not my cup of tea.

    • April 29, 2019 8:50 am

      Well, if you all left, there wouldn’t be too many of us remaining, but sometimes we all need a vacation. And the vacations sometimes become permanent.

      There were once more commenters here who leaned right of center~ jbastiat, Pat Riot, Mike, etc. But they all left, at least partially due to the increasingly nasty personal tone of the discussion.

      I would be sorry to see you leave, duck, because, despite the fact that we disagree on Trump,and you often seem to get angry at Dave, I find you to be otherwise pretty balanced in your comments. I think you add an interesting perspective. And your comments are generally pithy, unlike most of the rest of us, who often go with long form comments.

      I bailed out of here for a few months, and it was a good vacation. I wrote on my own blog, popped in here every couple of weeks or so, and rarely commented. I’ve been back, because, I find the discussion here pretty interesting, and from many points of view.

      If you do decide to take a break, I hope you return.

    • April 29, 2019 11:04 am

      dduck, even though we disagree on Trump policies, but not Trump the person, if you left this would only be another “The Moderate Voice” but the opposite due to opposing views being run out by personal insults and attacks.

      What I find interesting with any site like this is they all end up with one voice, either left or right, either due to personal attacks or only wanting a group discussion on one side of an issue. That is what was nice about this site until Trump, because most discussions were subject based and not person based. It centered on actions and policies. Since Trump, that has changed and we have lost commenters.

      And there are many issues facing the country that we can debate, much like Dave and I have debated ” free fair” trade without Trump being the center of the discussion.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 29, 2019 3:41 pm

        Ron, Priscilla, let me be clear, I would not leave because we disagree about Trump, I would leave because dhlli pollutes the stream of discourse.
        Yes, TMV is leftist, but it is civil these days and I can make moderate/centrist or even rightist remarks (seldom) without being personally insulted. And, I don’t have to insult back in return.
        Just my two cents.

      • April 29, 2019 5:18 pm

        So how many appear at TMV like me who defend constitutional rights gaurenteed by the words in the constitution, and after a series of comments, do not get destroyed for those thoughts?

        Maybe I will try it again a see just how long I can comment before the extremist, radical, racist, etc comments start coming my way.

        If you dont want to put up with Dave, when you see in you email “dhlii commented…..” , just delete it and only read those that you want to read.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 29, 2019 11:34 pm

        dd;

        I have left you alone regarding your musings.

        But now you are making it personal.

        Go, stay, your choice. But do not blame others.

        Words, have meaning. Your mis use of “pollution” is defamatory – it is called LYING.

        Haven’t we had enough of that in the past two years ?

        What is wrong with TNM and with political dialog in general is that those such as yourself lament that you can not silence those whose views you do not like.

        I have insulted your views or the views of others here.
        I have NEVER even implied you do not have the right to express whatever views you wish, here or anywhere else.
        Throughout my life I have frequently DEFENDED the rights of others to express stupid and offensive views – people whose views are much more offensive than yours.

        In the past few months I have gotten more aggressive.

        Because I am very tired of the moral hypocrisy.

        If you are intimating personal virtue while maligning the morality of others – then you had damn well better be right.

        Contra to your Jay’s and Robby’s claim I am no great fan of Trump.
        Noting that he is the best president of the 21st century is damning with faint praise.

        But those claiming he is some kind of existential threat to the nation are DERANGED.

        We could have spent the past couple of years debating actual matters of consequence.

        Ron and I and Priscilla when she is here have frequently done so.

        The rest of you have not. To varrying degrees you are all just a gigantic broken record.
        Every post is some permutation of “argh! Trump!”
        To the limited extent you actually deal with issues, they are always regarding Trump, they are nearly always personal rather than about policy and they are frequently WRONG.

        However much Trump disembles and exagerates – the left, the media and YOU have constantly and now obviously falsely accused him of lying.
        If you did not want to the moral condemnation that comes with falsely accusing someone else, you should have been careful in your accusations.
        It is NOT all that hard to do.

        We are divided as a nation between those who accuse their opponents of being wrong about the facts, and those who accuse their opponents of being evil.
        You have chosen to be among the latter, rather than the former.
        No one made you.

        The Mueller report does not make Trump into a saint, nor does it make him any great sinner either, though that is irrelevant. But what is does make unequovocally clear is that we have spent the past 3 years with you and others like you spewing LIES.

        Some of us did not need the Mueller report for that. That idiocy of the claims have been self evident.

        I did not expect that this would end with apologies, or with a change of heart,
        but I had hoped and expected sufficient integrity that you would not double down.

        And yet that is exactly what you have done.

        It does not matter whether we are talking about the ludicrous continued claims that Mueller did not prove that most of the claims about Trump were lies.
        Or whether it is your characterization of my posts as “pollution”.

        You continue to pretend to own the moral high ground when your own words and actions have taken that from you.

        You liberally spray claims about the moral failure of others.

        At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 29, 2019 11:44 pm

        “Yes, TMV is leftist, but it is civil these days”
        It is more civil than most places.

        “I can make moderate/centrist or even rightist remarks (seldom) without being personally insulted.”

        Do you think that you are entitled to make an assertion of fact or opinion without anyone disagreeing ? Is criticizing an argument of yours the same as criticizing you as a person ?

        What is it that you want from TNM ?

        Do you want it to be a forum where your assertions go unchallenged ?
        Or where competing perspectives are scrutinized ?

        Is disagreement insult ?

        “Your argument is wrong”
        “Your argument is stupid”
        “You are stupid”
        “You are a pig”

        Which of these is an actual insult ?

      • April 30, 2019 10:27 am

        TMV is more civil today because I looked and all it is is articles without anyway to comment. There might be comment links, but I could not find them. Just thecarticle and then a page+ of advertisements.

        Anyone who knows how to comment, let me know so I can read what others have said.

    • Jay permalink
      April 29, 2019 2:53 pm

      If you go, I follow. With only an intermittent Ruby, I don’t want to be the only reasonable moderate remaining.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 29, 2019 9:09 pm

        Jay, I both enjoy your humor and pithy insults and Rob’s sage intelligence. Perhaps you have more patience than I, but swimming upstream against the tide in NY’s East River (I know, it will be pointed out that it is actually an estuary) at it’s dirtiest peak is not the nicest swim. I would liken that experience to a “discussion” here at TNM.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 2:11 am

        “Jay, I both enjoy your humor and pithy insults and Rob’s sage intelligence. Perhaps you have more patience than I, but swimming upstream against the tide in NY’s East River (I know, it will be pointed out that it is actually an estuary) at it’s dirtiest peak is not the nicest swim. I would liken that experience to a “discussion” here at TNM.”

        Again – what is it you want from TNM ?

        Is this a comedy blog ?
        Is it SNL or Comedy Central ?
        Or South Park ?
        Are “pithy insults” what you aspire too ?

        I enjoy comedy, as well as a good insult now and then – though TNM is not where I would go for either.

        You follow with a bunch of analogies – but like always you are careful to be vauge about what you are analogizing.

        We ALL know that you have problems with my posts.
        But none of you – not Jay, not Robby, not you are actually capable of articulating a clear credible criticism.

        We have had these debates before. You have barely made an argument and you have lost it badly – not because of some great skill of mine, but because you are not merely wrong, you have taken a position that has been wrong for hundreds of years.

        As Ron said earlier – no one here – not you nor I is compelled to read the posts of any others.
        You are choosing to go out of your way to be offended and demand control of something you have no right to control.

        Each of us is free to say whatever Rick allows, as much or little, in whatever form.
        None of us is obligated to listen to the other.
        You are not harmed by anything I or anyone else posts.
        Words are NOT force.

        Stay, leave – your choice. But stop the nonsense that you are being driven out,
        or that you have some right to make any part of the world outside that small portion you own yourself as you demand.

        Everyone else here has to put up with the posts that you, Jay, Robby make.
        That is how it works.

  20. Jay permalink
    April 29, 2019 9:52 am

    National Ripoff Association Sinners & Sneaks

    https://thebulwark.com/the-nra-civil-war-pitting-grifter-against-grifter/

    • dhlii permalink
      April 29, 2019 11:01 am

      I am not an NRA member and therefore do not pay much attention to them – why do you ?

      Are they squandering your money ? Have they used force against you ?

      They are a voluntary organization. They are obligated to serve the interests of their members, or they will lose their members.

      I would note your article appears to be more self contradictory outsider hopes than actual facts.

      SPLC is actually imploding at the moment – because the leading organization in the nation fighting racism is itself DEEPLY racist. The goings on in SPLC are far more significant.
      They have 1/2 Billion in off shore accounts – if someone wants to investigate non-profits – that would be a good place to start.

      NY is retaliating against the NRA for an abuse of power lawsuit that the NRA filed against NY.
      One that the ACLU is BACKING.

      I do not know the details of that Lawsuit – but when the ACLU of NY is backing the NRA that substantially increases the likelyhood there is some substance to the lawsuit.

      As to NY challenging the NRA’s non-profit status. I am not sure how that is meaningful.

      First it is highly likely to be viewed as abuse of power given the law suit NRA filed last year against NY. But beyond that even if the NRA were to lose – that would at worst mean that donors in NY would have to pay taxes on their donations – presuming the NRA did not find an alternative means of collecting donations – which is actually pretty trivial for them.

      The NRA btw is made of several organizations – As a whole they are not “hemoraging money”.

      There does appear to be some kind of internal scandal involving Oliver North, but it seems tiny compared to that involving the entire top tier of SPLC including Morris Dees.

      Regardless, lets presume that the demise of the NRA is in the offing.
      You seem to beleive that would somehow change something.

      The NRA received about 150M in dues, donations, etc/year.

      They receive that because the people paying beleive they are getting more value than that from their donations.

      If the NRA is not there to meet the needs of those making those donations, either the contributors will meet their needs on their own, or some other group will.

      You can (not likely) get rid of the organization. You can not alter the fact that an enormous portion of the population own guns, want their right to own guns protected, and have about $150M collectively that they are willing to spend to protect that right.

      The NRA might go away, gun owners are not. The money they contribute is not.
      The votes they cast are not.

      SPLC is slightly different, people do not give to SPLC to get them to accomplish something.
      They give to the SPLC to virtue signal. That need can be met many otherways.

    • April 29, 2019 11:40 am

      Jay, excellent article and appears to be an objective review. My Dad, former police officer in Chino CA, was a hunter, mostly duck and geese, and he was a member for many years of the NRA. That was when the NRA centered on sports and not politics. This organization was formed in the mid 1800’s and its primary function was gun safety, hunting and education.

      Until the 90’s, that stayed their primary focus until Wayne La Pierre became executive director and based on his career background of political consultant and advisor, this focus changed. He found that politics generated funds. Gun safety in rural schools was dropped. Other programs were dropped at the expense of politics.

      And with the growth of incoming funds, salaries skyrocketed, benefits skyrocketed and provided support for the extreme political movement of the organization that exist today.

      Relate the growth and influence of this organization to any political movement. Movements like Hugo Chavez. Money becomes the primary focus.

      If you ar a hunter today, there is little reason to join the NRA, unlike 50 years ago.

      • Jay permalink
        April 29, 2019 3:16 pm

        Some of my cousins were NRA Junior Members in their early teens. I remember seeing patches sewn on their jackets.

        Back then, the NRA was non political. Gun safety and care was its focus. They had been in favor of gun regulation laws, and had lobbied to enact them in the 1930s & 40s. Then in the 1970s Charlton Heston right-wingers took over to radicalize the NRA. We never had an opportunity to pry weapons from his cold dead hands; but hopefully the ghosts of dead massacred victims of mass gun shootings are dancing on his grave.

      • April 29, 2019 5:08 pm

        Jay, you might be interested in this.
        https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/08/revolt-cincinnati-molded-nra-did-you-know-jeff-suess-schism-within-national-rifle-association-led/404628002/

        Since we did not have the 24 hour news channels, I was unaware their shift occurred in the 70’s.

        But I have no problem with the NRA since they spend the largest amount of money on congress lobbying and elections defending the rights in the constitution. I see no difference in the NRA defending gun rights than the ACLU defending the NRA. According to news reports in August, ” The ACLU defended the NRA by opposing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempts to put the gun advocacy group out of business. The ACLU submitted an amicus brief in federal court , weighing in on the on-going battle between the Democrat and the NRA. ” Basically, Cuomo tried blacklisting the NRA and threatened financial and insurance companies doing business with the NRA with regulatory action.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 29, 2019 11:04 pm

        So the NRA is different today.

        My grandfather enrolled me in the NRA as a child. I received their magazine for a couple of years. I had zero interest at the time. Almost no one at that time was seriously looking at the kind of lunatic gun control the left tries to push today.

        The NRA has changed character BECAUSE there exists today a serious threat tot he rights of not merely gun owners – but all of us. More recently the NRA has expanded its mission to include fighting for Free Speech. That USED to be the mission of the ACLU. When the NRA was less political.

        You seem to think that a political NRA is somehow a crime ?

        Are you actually opposed to political advocacy ? Or only political advocacy you do not agree with ?

        People have many needs, Some political and some not. The modern NRA strives to meet both the political as well as other more traditional needs of gun owners.
        They would not be involved in political advocacy but for the threat to our rights from people like you.

        I would be ecstatic if the nonsensical efforts at gun control DIED, and the NRA and the rest of us could go back to minding our own business.

        But as with myriads of other issues, you seem to think it is your RIGHT to meddle in the lives of other people.

        If you do not want a gun in your house – do not buy one.
        If you do not want to hunt – don’t.
        But DO NOT dictate to other people how they must live their lives. Particularly when they are doing nothing to harm you.

        I doubt the victims of every single “mass shooting” in the past 100 years exceed the dead from 9/11. They do not come close to the deaths from ANY US war.
        They do not come close to the deaths by poisoning of children in the US in a single year.

        The homocide rate by racial group in the US is pretty much the same as the homocide rate for the same racial groups throughout the world.

        Asians commit murder at the lowest rates of all groups – their murder rate is low in countries with gun control and those without. Whites are slightly higher – but again they kill at the same rates through out the world, whether there is gun control or not. The same is true for hispanics and blacks.

        What is different from country to country is the racial mix or the country.
        You can calculate the rates of homocide of nearly any country fairly accurately just by knowing the racial makeup of the country – without respect to their laws.

        In another post you claimed to be “reasonable” – that is a crock. You ignore facts that run counter to your opinions.

        I call you a leftist – because this absolutely nonsensical concept that facts and opinions are somehow interchangeable is at the core of the modern progressive left.

        It is actually possible to look at real facts in the real world, evaluate them, weigh them with respect to the probability that they are true – probabilities that are fairly accurately calculable.

        Obama commissioned the CDC to conduct a survey of studies on the impact of gun control – with the expectation that he would be able to leverage the results to claim a public health crisis. As if that would trump actual rights even if true.
        And absolutely there are people trying to manufacture a public health crisis from guns.
        But the FACTS that the CDC found were damning. They actually found that CONSERVATIVELY the presence of a gun in a home reduced the likelyhood of crimes like burglary by a factor of 3. That “attempted” “mass shootings” in places where private individuals had guns had 3-10 times less fatalities and injuries.
        There is a reason most modern mass shootings take place in schools – because the likelyhood of the shooter encountering someone to thwart them with a gun is very low.

        If someone wants to kill alot of people – they will find a way.
        There have been innumerable bombers and arsonists in the US.
        When Austrailia banned guns – their arson rates shot way up.

        Regardless, police response times to attempts to kill large numbers of persons run several minutes at the short end to hours.

        At Columbine it took 3 minutes from the start of the shooting until the first call to police.
        The first police did not arrive until 10 minutes after the shooting started.
        The Killing ended hours before the first police office entered the building.

        While many things have improved since Columbine, somethings are unchanged, the police are rarely able to effectively respond to a mass killing quickly. For the first 5-10 minutes which is typically the duration of these events the only hope of those being killed comes from themselves.

        We saw a variation of this with the 9/11 attacks. The only hope those on the airplanes commandeered by terrorists had was overpowering the terrorists themselves.

        Atleast 1 and probably 2 of the 9/11 planes were taken down by passengers.
        Post 9/11 there have been several attempts to hijack an airplane ALL were thwarted by passengers.

        We may not like this – but government is unable to protect us from the vast majority of real world threats we face.

        The police will not stop muggings, robberies, murders, …..
        That is beyond their ability. They can not be everywhere all the time.

        The purpose of law enforcement is punishment and the deterent value of that punishment.
        Where that is not sufficient – we are on our own.

        That is just how it is. It is not a flaw, or the fault of government. but it is not something government can fix either – not without creating a police state. and honestly not even then.

        If you beleive that stricter gun laws will make you safer – you are howling at the moon.
        There are no facts to support that. It is possible that changing laws will change the way in which you are murdered, but dead is dead, whether you are shot, knived, bombed or mowed down by a rental truck.

        Whatever is wrong with the NRA they are more sane and less of the problem than you are.

      • Jay permalink
        April 29, 2019 8:18 pm

        For more perspective, Ron…
        http://time.com/4431356/nra-gun-control-history/

      • April 29, 2019 10:40 pm

        This is getting interesting. I am getting a history lesson. Since I was in the military in 1971, not a lot of news was shared at that time. And 1975 I was not paying attention to things like this nor were they making the nightly news.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Ballew_raid

        But putting perspective to this raid when coupled with other questionable government raids in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, I can understand the shift that took place in the thinking of the membership when they became much more right wing in their position on gun ownership.

        Remember my thinking (as well as others) is formed by someone who has very little trust in government. I have said many times that the government we have today is much more untrustworthy than the government we had in the past. Take Eisenhower, Truman, Nixon and Kennedy and there was really not alot of division in their beliefs. The division back then were north, south ( ie racist southern democrats), black, white (segregation) and how to prime the economic engine, (top down, bottom up) But when actions were taken, they did not mutate and end up with bunches of E.O’s by presidents with an agenda.

        Today, you enact some gun legislation limiting a type “XYZ” gun, then just days after a democrat take office as the president there will be multiple E.O.’s “clarifing” what a “XYZ” gun is, thus greatly restricting the ownership of guns that have little in common with an “XYZ”.

        Yes, I know you do not believe this happens, I know you support gun control and you trust government. I can accept that. I just can’t accept that belief for myself.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 2:23 am

        Ron;

        You need to be careful about “one sided” history.

        The NRA did not become a vigorous advocate for gun rights – until gun rights were threatened.

        The Black Panthers openly marched in California with loaded rifles in the 60’s.
        Reagan responded with some of the earliest gun control laws.

        Gun control is not inherently left wing, nor is the 2nd amendment inherently right wing.

        One of the determining factors in Heller was the history of the 14th Amendment.
        Reconstruction Republicans explicitly intended that the 14th amendments priviledges and imunities clause was to impose on the STATES a right of individual gun ownership for southern blacks. Southern Black civil rights leaders particularly during the 50’s and 60’s were well armed – often having Thompson Machine Guns – which were illegal.

        Much of Trump’s platform sounds like decades of Democrats.

        There is a new Democratic Advertisement – that Jordan Peterson does an excellent job of analysing called “Built not Bought” that mostly reflects a reversion to the blue collar democratic values of the 60’s and 70’s – the values that Trump WON on.

        My own positions on some issues have shifted over the course of my life.
        But not because some politics I was wed to shifted, but because I was persuaded by “Facts, Logic, Reason”.

      • April 30, 2019 11:39 am

        For some reason word press is messing up and won’t let me respond, One more try.

        Yes Dave, I am careful. But I did say I knew NRA became more political when Pierre took over. I was unaware it took place earlier because that is when I was not paying attention to anything our lying government said or did. After Viet Nam, I paid little attention as they are all liars.

        THEN AND NOW.

        Why some people are so fired up about Trump and his daily lies is beyond me. When you have a government that lies about a war and 58,000 died and 300,000+ were wounded, what Trump says now and what he is doing is minor league to our government in the 60’s and 70’s.

        When you have that happen, some people learn trust in government is a fools folly.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 1:12 pm

        I am not mostly looking to get into the details of the NRA.
        If they interest you – great.

        The NRA will sort itself out – or not.

        Though the NRA is a non-profit rather than a traditional business,
        there are many elements it shares with businesses.

        To succeed it must give people what they want.

        Scandal is not what they want, and if they do not get past the scandal they will learn about “creative destruction”. At the same time the advocacy that the NRA engages in is clearly something that an awful lot of people want – to the tune of $150M/year.
        Whatever happens with the NRA that is not going away.

        The NRA’s political advocacy is much Like Trump.

        It is a creation of the left.

        The NRA as it is today would not exist – it would not need to exist but for the vigorous efforts of those on the left to force stupid gun control laws on us all.

        Trump could never have been elected but for the left’s tsunami of “political correctness”.
        The larger the group of people the left labels as “hateful, hating haters” the larger the backlash is, and the more egregious the leader that emerges will be.

        The left, the media and many here are intent on destroying Trump.

        That is incredibly stupid. If you want an actual totalitian or an actual civil war, the fastest way to it is to destroy Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 1:30 pm

        I think character is important, and I would welcome an honest discussion of character – including Trump’s character.

        A discussion that was focused on determining what constitutes good or bad character, rather than merely trying to label people.

        When we make moral judgements of others we subject ourselves to moral judgement,
        so we need be careful about our judgements ?

        Regardless I would be happy to discuss whether touching people without their permission – even non-sexually is acceptable – regardless of who does it ?
        What the differences is between boorish speach and boorish conduct ?

        What constitutes a lie and what errors and misrepresentations are important and which are not ?

        What the difference between being in error and being actually morally wrong is ?

        It is difficutl to divorce this examination from real people – because our examples will alwyas be real people, and then the disussion is tilted because of our like or dislike for specific real people.

        One of the good parts of the “built not bought” video that democrats have produced is toward the end where they have ordinary people saying they are not opposed to the success of others so long as the rules are the same for all of us.
        The weakest part of the video are the nebulous assertions about a nonspecific dangerous and powerful “other” that they stand opposed to that is above the rules.

        The other weak part is the thinly veiled appeal to force. While the add is a giant step back from the highly collectivist fixation of democrats today, there is still this theme that strong democrats are going to LEAD US for our own good to some collectivist utopia.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 1:33 am

        What you are offering is NOT perspective – it is history.

        In the past we have plenty of examples of being right about things we are wrong about today, and wrong about things we are right about today.

        Pointing out that a position in the past was different from today does not tell us whether it was right or wrong.

        But it is arguments like this that YOU make all the time, a wide variety of different forms of appeals to authority, to neo-cons to past NRA presidents.

        BTW why does the NRA’s past opposition to machine guns – something that they have NOT altered that I am aware of in the present, somehow suggest to you that their positions on handguns or long guns today are wrong or in conflict ?

        I would further note that the machine guns of the 20’s and 30’s did NOT create the crime of that period – Prohibition did.

        I would further note that though I can argue that SCOTUS got it wrong in 1936, I can just as easily argue they got it right and are not in conflict with Heller or modern decisions.

        I have argued here over and over, that restrictions on individual liberty have to be JUSTIFIED – not that no right can ever be restricted.

        Prohibitions against murder are near universally accepted – but they are still a restriction on individual liberty. One that has been justified.

        Your desire to infringe on any freedom is NOT sufficient to justify restriction.
        Your desire coupled with a majority of others is NOT sufficient – do you honestly beleive that 50.1% of us can dictate what 49.9% of us are free to say ?
        Even a supermajority is NOT alone sufficient to JUSTIFY the infringement of a right.
        But it IS a requirement. You do not have super majority support for gun control – you therefore can not justify it.

        It is probable that both today and in 1936 something like 99% of us would support restricting private ownership of automatic weapons. The same is not true of other weapons.

        Put simply right or wrong restrictions on our rights to own machine guns does NOT equate a limitless power of government to restrict firearms.

        Every restriction of individual liberty must be justified.

        You have not even started that process.
        You jump straight to the end. Which you may not do.

      • Jay permalink
        April 30, 2019 11:16 am

        Dear Jello On The Wall, you Dingbat, you really are PATHETIC.
        Really.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 12:40 pm

        “Dear Jello On The Wall, you Dingbat, you really are PATHETIC.
        Really.”

        I am not you. I am very thankful for that.
        I hope that outside of the internet you are a better person.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 1:48 am

        As you continue to rant about gun control.

        I would note the recent synagogue shooting ended with ONE death, because of a good guy with a gun. A congregant who was armed.
        Further the incident occured in the state with the toughest gun control laws in the country.
        Those laws did not work.

        John Earnst no doubt will turn out to be another disturbed person – most of these people do.

      • April 30, 2019 10:46 am

        Please explain ” good guy with a gun”.
        http://time.com/5579919/california-synagogue-shooting/
        Nothing here addresses that

      • Jay permalink
        April 30, 2019 2:41 pm

        The good guy was an off duty Border Patrol agent, trained & licensed to carry a weapon.

        And the weapon wasn’t a semi-automatic rifle. It was a handgun with max 13 rounds of ammo.

        I have no problem with WELL REGULATED gun ownership.

        What part of WELL REGULATED doesn’t register in your möbius trapped thinking process?

      • April 30, 2019 3:46 pm

        Jay, we can debate “well regulated” just as its been debated for 90+ years.
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment
        I doubt any agreement will occur and only one side will be happy.

        I do find the decision on sawed off shot guns interesting and agree with the use of “guns that are used by citizens in legal activities”.

        So nowvwe can also debate how a semi automatic rifle with 30-35 shot clips can be used for “legal purposes”.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:28 pm

        “I do find the decision on sawed off shot guns interesting and agree with the use of “guns that are used by citizens in legal activities”.”

        I do not. Government does not get to decide what we may do. Only what we may not.

        Robbing a bank is illegal. Robbing a bank with a gun -still illegal.

        Plowing the earth – legal, plowing the earth with a sawed of shotgun – stupid but legal.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:49 pm

        It is always unwise to make laws we can not enforce.

        If you banned AR-15’s tomorow – there are millions you would have to confiscate,
        and today it is economical to make your own.

        https://ghostgunner.net/

        Just to be clear – the Ghost Gunner is just an affordable CNC machine.
        Put defense Distributed out of business and with a bit more knowledge you can buy a CNC machine almost anywhere.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:57 pm

        I need 35 round magazines to deter tyranny.

        The founders did not enact the 2nd amendment to protect hunting.

        While it was PARTLY about having a firearms skilled populace in the event of war.
        It was also deliberately intended as an impediment to tyranny.

        “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.” – George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment.

        “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves.” – Richard Henry Lee.

        “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams.

        “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” – George Washington

        “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” – Patrick Henry.

        “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton.

        “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson.

        “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason.

        “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.” – Noah Webster.

        “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” – James Madison.

        “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin.

        “A free people ought to be armed.” – George Washington.

        “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson.

        “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” – George Washington.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 6:47 pm

        In the real world ordinary gun owners are MORE proficient than law enforcement.

        The firearms training of the average Police officer is practically non-existant.
        The people who certify police officers are typically “gun nuts”.

        In your “well regulated” world it is the people you wish to deny weapons who are the ones who no what they are doing.

        Without “disrespecting” border Patrol agents, I doubt they have any firearms training at all.
        If you are lucky the CBP agent is ex military – there he might have gotten real Firearms training from the government.

        I have no idea what YOU mean by “well regulated”, but not only is that clause in the 2nd amendment inoerative – but our founders used the word regulated entirely differently than you do. In fact they did not have a word that means regulated by government in the way you use the world

        “The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

        1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”

        1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”

        1812: “The equation of time … is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial.”

        1848: “A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor.”

        1862: “It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding.”

        The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.”

        I would note that the term “well regulated” is applied to militia – not to individuals owning firearms.

        Essentially the 2nd amendment says that unless the people have the freedom to own firearms and the knowledge of how to use them:

        The defense of the country is not possible, AND more broadly the country is not secure from its government.

        You might claim the latter is a reach – but NOT if you actually read our founders.

        Going further – there is no meaning of “well regulated” which deprives individuals of the right to own and use firearms.

        There is no meaning of “well regulated” in the context of the 2nd amendment that is the same as “regulated out of existance”. There is no meaning of “well regulated” that means severe restrictions on gun ownership.

        Further “well regulated” in the 2nd amendment applies to “militias” not to the guns themselves or to the right to own guns.

        What our founders wanted “regulated” was “militias” not guns.

        And all this ignores the fact that the entire militia clause is gramatically superfluous..

        The 2nd amendment could have read Marple toathsies being necescary for grubjub, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.

        Put simply there is no possible meaning of a “well regulated” right, that is the same as no right at all.

        Even our first amendment rights are actually subject to regulation.
        But that regulation is severely limited.

        We have laws against disturbing the peace – you can not use bullhorns at 30 paces at 3am.

      • April 30, 2019 7:24 pm

        Dave and one thing further, the militias then were common adult make citizens that owned guns and when needed, they formed the “well regulated ” militia to fight against tyranny.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 10:03 pm

        The founders concept of militia – was not clear. Or more acurate it did not mean the same thing in NC as in RI.

        In the south “generally” the “tradition” was for guns to be kept in a locked armory and dispensed to their owners when needed.

        Sometimes this was the case in the north – particularly in cities.

        But in most of the colonies guns were an ordinary part of everyday life.

        There were laws on the books in many states that REQUIRED every able bodied man over the age of 16 to own a gun and be proficient in its use.

        As I noted before the term regulated – and more specifically well regulated meant something entirely different to our founders.

        It has NO connect to law. It was about functioning properly.

        The left invert the militia clause.

        Essentially the first amendment says that we can not have a well functioning millita absent a right of individuals to own firearms.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 7:11 pm

        “What part of WELL REGULATED doesn’t register in your möbius trapped thinking process?”

        The part where you assume that “well regulated MILLITIA” empowers you to terminate “the right to bear arms”.

        I will consider any regulation of guns that you wish to propose that does NOT preclude ordinary citizens from owning the firearms of their choice – AND that you can demonstrate not merely claims but accomplishes some important public purpose.

        I have no problem with “person not to possess” laws that restrict the rights of felons to own firearms. I have no problem with sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

        I have no ideological problems with restricting gun possession by those with some mental health issues – but practical experience suggest that the more we restrict the liberty of people with mental health issues the less likely they are to seek treatment.

        Which reinforces my earlier point.

        No, you may not regulate something just because you beleive that your proposed regulation sounds good.
        What you propose must actually accomplish your goals.

        You may not “regulate” guns or speach or hamburgers – just because you want to.
        You may not do so because you believe doing so will have some tangible benefit,
        you must actually demonstrate that benefit.

        Gun control as an example has never shown any of the benefits claimed for it.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:41 pm

        A 13 shot handgun is a “semi-automatic” handgun. It fires one bullet every time you pull the trigger.

        The differences between a Glock 17 and an AR-15 are
        the length of the barrel
        The size of the bullets – those in the Glock are larger,

        You can get a 50 round drum magazine for the Glock.

        With few exceptions most mass shooters should prefer a semi-automtic pistol.
        They are better weapons for their objective.

        As the congregant who charged Earnst said – if he could get within 5 ft of Earnst – the AR-15 would be unusable. It is much harder to push a hangun out of the way (it is called physics specifically leverage).

        Rifles are good where you need accuracy and distance.
        They also can deliver bullets at supersonic speeds which handguns typically can’t.
        But most AR-15’s use .22 caliber bullets which have little power and low speed.
        You are far more likely to die from a shot by a 9mm
        A .22 is half the diameter and 1/4 the mass (energy).

      • dhlii permalink
        April 29, 2019 10:17 pm

        If you do not like how the NRA is today – do not join, or as a member change it.

        There is a place for both the political advocacy that the NRA engages in as well as the other aspects of the gun culture. Those can exist in one organization or several.

        Today they all exist primarily in one.

        In the late 1800’s – in fact through to the late 20th century there was no need for the political advocacy of the modern NRA – no one was trying to take away gun rights.

        Every non-profit in the country need not suit the wishes of every person in the country.

        I am not altogether happy with NARAL. So I am not a member, and I do not give them money, That does not mean I should wish their destruction or have a right to change them.

        The only organizations where my opinion MUST always carry some weight – is of govenrment, because government is not truly voluntary.

        If you do not like your employer – quit, find another. If you do not like the NRA – do not join or contribute. But others do – about $150M/yr.

        I am not a gun owner or an NRA member or contributor – but I am very glad for their political advocacy. I do not always agree – but I do not always agree with anyone.

        Regardless, they are a very strong voice for our rights, and that is a good thing.
        more recently the NRA has taken a strong stand on free speech – which is also under attack, because if you can supress free speech you can supress any right.

        If there are internal squabbles inside the NRA, and there clearly seem to be some, that is their problem, and up to them to address. I have heard nothing that sounds like a crime.
        I have heard nothing that is near as bad as what is going on in the SPLC.

        But even if I completely disagreed with the NRA, I would still defend their right to espouse whatever message they wanted. And if that message attracts hundreds of millions in donations – that is how the free market of ideas is supposed to work.

  21. April 29, 2019 10:45 am

    This is amazing. How can a paper so critical of Trump let this get past the editors. Seems like their policy is “anything goes” when it comes to Trump and not until people complained did the retract and apologize. A weak one at that, so a stringer apology this morning.

    But for some, we know the playbook is to say or do something, get your point out and then “apologize” to those who object. That is really not an apology.
    http://www.journal14.com/2019/04/28/anti-semitism-in-the-new-york-times/

    • dhlii permalink
      April 29, 2019 11:25 am

      The left accuses the right and Trump of anti-semitism anytime that there is a shooting at a synagogue.

      But all the rest of the time the left tells us that Trump is somehow an evil Jew Sympathizer.

      How is it that those on the left reconcile this in their heads ?

      Part of the problem is that value on the left is all about victim status.
      Thus the mess Jussie Smollet got himself into – and oddly was helped out of.

      Facts do not matter. What matters is who is the preiminent victim of the moment.

      If Jews are the victims – it is Trump’s fault.
      If Arabs are the victims – it is Trump’s fault.

      In fact the left AND other posters here seem to be capable of attacking Trump for his strong relationship with Israel and Jews, While calling him an anti-semite AND attack Trump for his strong relationships with Arab’s While calling him anti-muslim

      Making sense is not a requirement for the left.
      Yet we are told these are the political intellectuals.

      Conservatives are sometimes stupid,. but they can not hold a candle to the enormous obvious self contradiction that is the modern progressive.

      • Jay permalink
        April 29, 2019 8:20 pm

        Your problem of perception is the hat you don’t get it: explaining it to you is like trying to nail jello to the wall, 🔨

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 1:56 am

        “Your problem of perception is the hat you don’t get it”
        That is right – I expect that if you make an assertion that you will support it with facts, logic, reason.
        We determine the validity of assertions using facts, logic and reason – not by whether someone “gets it”.

        Inside your own life – you are free to sue whatever means you wish to make decisions that impact only you. If you want to rely on your guts, or tea leaves of ouija boards – that is up to you. But when you wish to impose your decisions on others using force – “getting it” is NOT sufficient.

        “explaining it to you is like trying to nail jello to the wall”

        You have never tried.
        To the small extent you support your assertions at all it is with obvious fallacies.

        Frankly you do not even have the courage for the most part to make your own assertions,
        You offer the tweets of others.
        An assertion second hand is still just an assertion.
        The route to credibility is through “facts, logic, reason” not “getting it” whatever that is.

  22. April 30, 2019 11:32 am

    This country is going completely insane. What the hell is wrong about giving people ideas on how to save money?
    https://boingboing.net/2019/04/30/motivational-tweets.html

    Who is next to get their head chopped off? Dave Ramsey?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 30, 2019 12:54 pm

      Chase is likely the wrong party to be lecturing to others, and might want to heed some of its own advice. Further these tweets are just an all arround bad idea for the bank, and my guess is that they are not sanctioned by chase. Businesses rarely seek to anger their customers. It is bad business even if what they are saying is true.

      But that does not make the advice wrong.

      Further there is a much bigger point
      Whether or not Chase is the right messenger,
      the message is significant.

      There are myriads of factors that effect success and happiness in life.
      We do not live in a strict meritocracy.

      But the most significant factors ARE our free choices.

      At a time in US history when racism is the lowest that it has ever been, ranting about racism is the highest it has ever been. Race remains a factor that contributes to a persons success in life. But it is a very small factor compared to those that are inside our control.
      Finishing High School.
      Behaving sexually responsible.
      Avoiding criminal acts
      generally behaving responsibly.

      The payback from these over the long run is incredible.
      You may not end up a billionaire,
      but ordinary people can have a very high probability of a very comfortable life – regardless of race merely by not making serious mistakes.

      • April 30, 2019 3:23 pm

        Dave, here again we will have to disagree. If someone has information on how to help people in any respect, especially big business, they should share that info.

        You, me, Jack Sh%$, or anyone else is free to take that advice or not. The business is free to give that advice or not.

        This is just another attempt of the far left to make anyone with more than they have the bad guy. This is another attempt to stifle free speech if you dont agree with those words.

        What is wrong with anyone advising people in issues like avoiding $5.00-$7.00 coffees each day. Showing people how much a year it really cost to eat lunch out instead of bringing lunch. How about the cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes daily? Or the cost of cell phone unlimited service when a few minutes a day will suffice.? And cable TV when antenna TV is free and limited streaming services are available at a fraction of the cost.

        Advertisers show people and encourage people 24/7/365 on how to spend. And looking at Americans debt load, they have done a great job. Why not limit their speech since they are doing some harm by encouraging over spending.

        And someone decides to give ideas on saving and they catch hell from the PC police? That is bull shit!

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:09 pm

        “Dave, here again we will have to disagree. If someone has information on how to help people in any respect, especially big business, they should share that info.”

        I would encourage people to share information. I am active in the OpenSource world. I am a Linux Kernel developer – not an especially important one, but still among the about 5000 people who have contributed to the Linux Kernel.

        But there is an enormous gulf between what is usually a good idea and what we should compel.

        We should NOT compel sharing information.

        A great deal of what makes you more valuable in the workplace is the knowledge that you have that others do not. If you are obligated to share that without compensation with everyone you have imposed a huge burden on people, and reduced their value at the same time.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 30, 2019 9:24 pm

        Just to be clear I am NOT disagreeing that Citi can choose to share this information.

        Whether they do so, depends on what is in their best interests.

        I do think the tone is condescending – which is not good for business.
        But the consequence of that should be – do not bank with them.
        It should not be law.

        Further I agree with you – bitching about the tone in which free and good advice is offered is lunacy.

        If you wish to offer me actually good free advice that I need and can not easily get free in a snotty tone – then it is stupid of me to bemoan your tone, or to ignore your advice because I do not like your tone.

        Facts are facts – regardless of the attitude they are delivered with.

        I thought the tone of the remarks was condescending and bad business.
        But the advice itself was good.

        The PC police do not grasp that the issues they are bitching about are SMALL.

        I have refered to Maslow’s heirarchy of needs before.

        Regardless of govenrment regulation – as our lower level – more basic needs are met we attempt to meet higher level needs.

        It would be nice to live in a world without racism.
        It is not near as important as food, clothing, shelter.

        We get into this when I go into rants about force.

        Mean words to another might be unpleasant, bad manners, even WRONG.
        But they are not FORCE. Nor are they sufficient to justify the use of force.

        Force is fundimental. It is a very important and powerful tool. It is also a very dangerous one.
        We should not use it willy nilly.

        Bad speach, wrong speach, offensive speach is NOT a justification for the use of force.

        The fact that as a society we have done pretty well at meeting lower level (more fundimental) needs does not mean we are justified in using force to meet higher needs, or to pretend that
        because we have met basics that higher order wants and needs are rights.

        Most of us understand that food and shelter are NOT rights.
        Even though almost no one in the world goes without either today except by choice or government interferance – war.

        So why this nonsense that healthcare or now a college education is a right ?

      • April 30, 2019 3:46 pm

        Bye for now. Pollution and “freedom of expression” win.

  23. April 30, 2019 6:36 pm

    Venezuela disarmed its population less than 10 years ago. First, Maduro enacted laws forbidding anyone but the police and the military from owning and carrying firearms, and then, shortly thereafter, mandatory confiscation began. Those who did not willingly allow Maduro’s jack boots to search their homes for guns (and anything else they might want to take) found themselves tossed in prison. The justification for confiscation was the need to reduce crime. Crime has been going up ever since.

    This is what socialist totalitarians do, Jay. Like the old saying goes, “you can vote your way into socialism, but you have to fight your way out.” Once socialists get into power, they begin making sure that you can’t fight your way out.

    “Well-regulated” gun ownership is the way that starts.

  24. April 30, 2019 10:09 pm

    Today, the democrats and Trump agreed to a preliminary plan to spend $2 Trillion on infrastructure. Then interviews began and one of the first things out of most politicians mouths on both sides of the aisle when asked about paying for this was ” we will need to look at the federal gas tax”

    Anyone with a brain cell knows the gas tax hits the poor and middle class harder than the upper class. Th ese individuals in rural areas drive older cars. Those individuals on family farms drive older trucks. Those individuals dont drive Teslas and other EV’s. The higher income groups buy the new EV’s that dont use gas, they buy the new hybrids, they live in the high rises in NYC and San Francisco and use ubers.

    The democrats talk a good talk about taxes but when push comes to shove, the crap still flows to the bottom. And with Pelosi and Shumer in control of the agreement, the money will end up spent on projects in NY, trains from Chicago to NYC, subway expansion in LA and other projects in the large cities, while the smaller rural areas will get squat.

    Republicans, like always, will agree to spend money, but will allow Shumer/Pelosi toset the agenda, bitch about tax cuts for the rich and enact a tax that is hidden on the middle and lower financial class people.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 5:04 pm

      This is all a popular and stupid Boondoggle.

      The claim our infrastucture is falling apart is nonsense, and readily apparent to anyone who has been alive for more than a few minutes.

      The thought of spending an extra 2T on infrastructure at the moment scares the shit out of me.

      ARRA was an absolute disaster – for those who bother there are LOTS of economic studies done regarding it.

      There were NOT 400B of “shovel ready projects.”
      Nor is the labor market sufficiently flexible to see 400B suddenly dumped into one facet without massive disruptions elsewhere.

      Rather than helping those unemployed by the housing collapse for a few years ARRA made things WORSE for them. ARRA sucked enormous numbers of civil engineers from other areas of the market – there is a limited supply of engineers and no way to increase it dramatically rapidly, and moving engineers to ARRA projects stalled or killed residential and commercial construction.

      Large scale government actions are always MASSIVELY disruptive of markets – particularly labor markets. ARRA effectively killed housing recovery – and weakened commercial construction for years.

      What Trump and democrats are talking about is 5 TIMES the size or ARRA.

      Next we are essentially talking about federalizing myriads of things that have been done much better int he past by state and local governments.

      I do not want the federal government involved in local infrastructure.
      In MOST of the country we DO NOT have the problems like Flynt MI.

      Equally important – most of the country LEARNS from those places that have failed.

      Dumping massive amounts of federal money will kill off learning or worse REWARD failure – which we have already done with Flynn.

      We have a local city that has racked up $1B in debt over the past 40 years – through stupid and unneeded government construction projects. This will function not only as a bailout, but as encouragement to other municiplaities to do the same rather than as a warning to communities not to do stupid things,.

      The local mayors (different city) for the past TWO administrations have been actively engaged in significant infrastructure improvements. SOME of those are actually good ideas, but the majority is massive wasteful spending. We have converted 2 way roads to 1 way and then back to two way. Removed trafic light and replaced them with stop signs, then replaced those with traffic lights again.

      Traveling through the city has been a PITA since ARRA, There is always significant amounts of UNNECESCARY construction going on.

      I was HAPPY when ARRA finally ran out and it was possible to travel with MINIMAL disruption from construction.

      We do not need to repeat that.

      ARRA caused huge economic losses just from increased travel delays, and delivery of supplies.

      The economic analysis of ARRA generally rates it is doing more harm than good.

      And now we are talking about tax changes to pay for this boondoggle.

      PLEASE. If Government did not raid the existing gas taxes for unrelated purposes they would cover our infrastucture needs fine.

      While I think that existing government infrasturure spending is inefficient wastefull and something government should get out of.

      There is little argument that the ONE area where government does not fail horribly is the existing infrastucture system.

      Our existing system – mostly done at the local and then state level is the lest bad government program we have.

      Why in gods name would we want to “federalise” something that basically works – or atleast is the least bad program we have, and make it worse.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 8:09 pm

      “The democrats talk a good talk about taxes but when push comes to shove, the crap still flows to the bottom.”

      No They do not. If you are expecting government to provide you with something that you will not have to pay for YOU are the problem. Contra the claims of just about everyone, nearly all the benefits of government are primarily to those at the BOTTOM.

      The wealthy or those who will likely become wealthy are capable of meeting their own wants and needs. They will thrive even in anarchy.

      Further even ignoring the immorality of taxing others to pay for things for yourself, also known as STEALING, separately you will NEVER succeed in making those with more pay for government. Even today where lower upper marginal and corporate taxes have significantly INCREASED the proportion of the cost of government paid by the “rich”,
      The FACT still is that however much you tax businesses or the rich it will just increase the costs of whatever you buy from them.

      All taxes are ultimately paid for by consumption PERIOD.

      While the rich are conspicuous consumers they still do not make a dent in total consumption.

      If we wanted the greatest efficiency in our tax system – we would eliminate all taxes except consumption taxes,

      That will never happen because those taxes obviously effect ordinary people and they will push back. But that is exactly what we want. It should never be easy to tax people. All taxes should create a public demand that the public use of that money is justified.

      The tax system we have STILL is fundimentally a consumption tax, just a highly inefficient one that precludes people from awareness of how much THEY are paying for what they think they are getting from government.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 8:13 pm

      Rural, urban and suburban areas all have completely different needs.

      We should NOT be taxing the country as a whole to meet the unique needs of specific areas.

      The cost of the choice to live in a city should be paid by those who live in cities.
      The cost of the choice to live in the country should be paid by those who live in the country.

      The advantages that come from living in a city are benefits to those who live in the city.
      The advantages of living in the country belong to those who live in the country.

      This is what freedom is all about. Making choices for yourself and getting both the benefits and costs that come with those choices.

      Farmers should not be paying for subways. Urbanites should not be paying farm subsidies.

  25. May 1, 2019 9:32 am

    Ron, out of curiosity, I did go over to The Moderate Voice, and there are a few comments there. Not many, and no real discussion of anything other than how evil Trump is, and how likely/unlikely it is that he will be destroyed.

    As I anticipated, they are very excited about the letter that Mueller sent to Barr, complaining about the “context” of the summary of findings that Barr released. Despite the fact that there is absolutely no dispute over the actual content of the findings, the Mueller team clearly wanted a different narrative to come out of the report.

    That narrative is “Trump obstructed justice, because he knew the investigation was a witch hunt and wanted it to stop. It doesn’t actually matter if he stopped it or not.”

    They are getting pretty excited about “locking Barr up” for not going along with the narrative.

    They also believe that Trump and Barr are “preventing” Mueller from testifying, despite the fact that Barr has clearly said that he has no problem with it, and Trump has stopped talking about the investigation altogether.

    I guess my overall impression is that TMV is a community of like-minded Trump haters, who want Trump to be taken down by any means possible. It seems that no one there wants to talk about anything else.

    • May 1, 2019 11:45 am

      Priscilla, thanks. I went back to themoderatevoice.com , clicked on the Barr Mueller article, then the Trump article and figured out how to get to comments. Never knew “discus” existed.

      But its the same ” moderate ” voice that existed earlier, a home from the left center to far left where they comment and agree with everything liberal. Even mediabiasfactcheck.com rate this site left of center.

      Rick has a wonderful idea to have a truely moderate site, but most people do not want to debate or discuss issues. They want to stay with their tribes and agree on everything. And some cant figure out how to avoid conversations they dont want to be part of without avoiding comments they dont like. The delete button seems to be difficult for some to find.

      • Jay permalink
        May 1, 2019 4:03 pm

        Ron, you and Priscilla and the Mouth That Bores should check out Legal Insurrection. You’ll find there an environment more conducive to your right-of-center political views, and won’t have to worry about insults from people like me (they block us). You’ll be among kindred spirits… from Trump to Taxes to Guns to Abortion … enjoy….

        https://legalinsurrection.com/

      • May 1, 2019 5:01 pm

        Jay, I am not like some who want people to agree with me. I want to find individuals with their own thoughts, right, left moderate and discuss the issues. That is what we had here for msny years. I had significant differences with J Bastiat when he commented, but we discussed the issues until others began calling him names, making derogartory remarks anout his positions instead of debating and he left. When Trump got elected and anyone who would not recognize the positions that the Trump haters possessed, the discussion became one of “trump ass kissers” and other names instead of discussing positions. When I was lumped into the the “trumpsters” and it became personal, I became personal in my comments.

        So it is very apparent no one can discuss issues today and accept others positions. There are not too many today that can understand anothers thinking on issues like gun control. Few can understand anothers thinking when they dont trust government. Few can understand others positions on climate change.

        That is not the problem. The problem lies when people refuse to accept others thinking without classifing them as some right or left wing radical, call them choice derogatory names and refuses to even discuss issues without them geing personal.

        I understand that you think Trump is a cancer and anyone woukd be better than Trump. But can you understand my thinking that a Sanders/Warren policy wise would have a much more longer lasting hegative impact?

      • Jay permalink
        May 1, 2019 8:48 pm

        You should monitor LegalInsurrection for a week, Ron.
        It might re-center your position on the ‘moderate’ scale when you see how skewed to the right are those supposedly main stream conservatives.

        No, I’m not at all worried Warren or Sanders would cause anywhere near the long term damage Trump has already engendered. Warren isn’t going to be nominated as Prez, and it’s doubtful she gets a nod for VP. If Sanders or Biden is nominated, the VP will be Kamilla Harris (a women of color, natch – she was an effective thorn in Barr’s side at today’s hearing, smart & tough & photogenic).

        Those 3 Dems most likely be in the presidential mix (Biden, Sanders, Harris) are creatures of congress. They will mostly play by the same established Congressional rules they have followed during their own terms of office. And none of them are as corruptly incorrigible as the Moron in Office, or as ignorant of normal protocols of presidential leadership behavior as this yutz.

        But even if one of them proved to be as divisive, as unmindful of established democratic governing norms as Dickhead Don – what policies of drastic change are you afraid they might be able to enact? Even if Dems manage to squeak through a Senate majority in the next election, the GOP will still have enough Senators in office to block legislation through filibuster. And with an already stacked conservative federal court system you would see even more judges blocking ‘progressive’ presidential maneuvers than we have witnessed judicial blockings of Trump’s dumb crap executive orders.

        Trump is a corrupting Cancer.
        Save America and cauterize him from the body politic.

        If the Dem who replaces him is even half as bad as Trump, we can get someone better the following term.

      • May 2, 2019 1:17 am

        So right now there are 53 GOP and 47 democrats in the senate. Actually 45 plus 2 independents that are not really independent.

        So come this election, I can see an outcome where the senate ends up 50-50. Alabama, democrat, loses, but AZ, CO, ME and NC flip seats. Net loss for GOP 3. I live in NC and see it coming with the influx of northerners into the larger cities and what happened in 2018.

        Now the VP has the tie breaker. With a democrat VP, its now 51-50 democrat.

        Shumer is made majority leader.

        He follows Reids lead by changing senate rules requiring a simple majority on all legislation, No more 60 votes, no more filibusters, just majority rules.

        House stays democrat.

        First term agenda.
        1. Roll back tax reform.
        2. Gun control.
        3. Medicare for all
        4. Reinstatement of Paris Accords
        5. Reinstate labor regulations allowing forced unionization of non union members.
        6. Minimum wage increase.
        7. Reinstate free trade agreements.

        Now I realize that is what you will be voting for. I know you do not support any of the positions as they are now.

        But just understand I do not trust government. So how I view this.
        1. Tax reform changes will have a negative impact on the economy, but we will survive. The rich have the money to find loopholes to keep their taxes low, its the middle class that will end up paying more. They will say it does not increase middle class taxes, but that will be PR BS and the middle class will.
        2. Gun control will be applied to semi automatic weapons to begin with. Within a couple years, someone like the Charlotte shooter will use a handgun to kill a bunch of people and those will be included in an expanded gun control bill. Most law abiding people will follow the law, but the criminals and gangs will not. Then something else happens and another class of guns are controlled. maybe even through an E>O> “clarifying” legislation.
        3.Medicare for all sound great. And we will pay for it by taxing the rich. That will only pay a small part, Many say Europe provides this entitlement. Yep, they sure do, But most European countries have income tax rates very close to ours after our tax reform bill, they pay close to the same payroll taxes for their retirement system and they pay a VAT of between 19% and 25%. That is what funds most of their national health insurance. So to have medicare for all will create a need for an additional 20% tax on something.
        4.Signing back onto the Paris Accords will require the reinstatement of mileage standards on cars that will be almost impossible to meet. It will place our industries in unfair competitive positions. It will have a significant negative impact on the economy.
        5.and 6. Minimum wage will further create A.I. in jobs that the poor and young now hold, increasing the unemployment rate. Forced unionization and elimination of right to work laws is payback for corrupt unions.

        I don’t believe a Democrat will be as divisive for the country as they have been, I just think a democrat will be bad for the economy. They will continue to divide the country between the rich and poor, LGBT/straights, black and white through their identity politics, but that will be part of our DNA as long as special interests are primary to white middle class interests in the mind of democrats.

        So that my story and outlook.

      • May 2, 2019 1:18 am

        ..Second try on this dang wordpress.

        So right now there are 53 GOP and 47 democrats in the senate. Actually 45 plus 2 independents that are not really independent.

        So come this election, I can see an outcome where the senate ends up 50-50. Alabama, democrat, loses, but AZ, CO, ME and NC flip seats. Net loss for GOP 3. I live in NC and see it coming with the influx of northerners into the larger cities and what happened in 2018.

        Now the VP has the tie breaker. With a democrat VP, its now 51-50 democrat.

        Shumer is made majority leader.

        He follows Reids lead by changing senate rules requiring a simple majority on all legislation, No more 60 votes, no more filibusters, just majority rules.

        House stays democrat.

        First term agenda.
        1. Roll back tax reform.
        2. Gun control.
        3. Medicare for all
        4. Reinstatement of Paris Accords
        5. Reinstate labor regulations allowing forced unionization of non union members.
        6. Minimum wage increase.
        7. Reinstate free trade agreements.

        Now I realize that is what you will be voting for. I know you do not support any of the positions as they are now.

        But just understand I do not trust government. So how I view this.
        1. Tax reform changes will have a negative impact on the economy, but we will survive. The rich have the money to find loopholes to keep their taxes low, its the middle class that will end up paying more. They will say it does not increase middle class taxes, but that will be PR BS and the middle class will.
        2. Gun control will be applied to semi automatic weapons to begin with. Within a couple years, someone like the Charlotte shooter will use a handgun to kill a bunch of people and those will be included in an expanded gun control bill. Most law abiding people will follow the law, but the criminals and gangs will not. Then something else happens and another class of guns are controlled. maybe even through an E>O> “clarifying” legislation.
        3.Medicare for all sound great. And we will pay for it by taxing the rich. That will only pay a small part, Many say Europe provides this entitlement. Yep, they sure do, But most European countries have income tax rates very close to ours after our tax reform bill, they pay close to the same payroll taxes for their retirement system and they pay a VAT of between 19% and 25%. That is what funds most of their national health insurance. So to have medicare for all will create a need for an additional 20% tax on something.
        4.Signing back onto the Paris Accords will require the reinstatement of mileage standards on cars that will be almost impossible to meet. It will place our industries in unfair competitive positions. It will have a significant negative impact on the economy.
        5.and 6. Minimum wage will further create A.I. in jobs that the poor and young now hold, increasing the unemployment rate. Forced unionization and elimination of right to work laws is payback for corrupt unions.

        I don’t believe a Democrat will be as divisive for the country as they have been, I just think a democrat will be bad for the economy. They will continue to divide the country between the rich and poor, LGBT/straights, black and white through their identity politics, but that will be part of our DNA as long as special interests are primary to white middle class interests in the mind of democrats.

        So that my story and outlook.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 2:40 am

        AGAIN,
        the divisiveness PREDATES Trump.

        Honestly, I do not care all that much about our divisions.

        There is no requirement that we all agree,
        We are an extremely diverse country, that diversity inherently means we will agree on much less than a monoculture.

        I think that is GOOD.

        But our very diversity and disagreement exposes the importance of “libertarianism” and the flaw of the statism of the right and left.

        Where we do not agree, we can not use force to compel others to act as we wish.

        Limited government is not just some philosophy – it is the only way to govern a diverse population.

        I saw some homeless people in the park today.
        Some were looking for work.

        I would be happy to hire one to mow the grass for $25 or other jobs like that.
        I can’t – people like you have made that either illegal or atleast sufficiently dubious that I can get in trouble for it.

        You say there is no democratic candidate as dangerous as Trump.

        BUNK!! There is no democratic candidate that is not 2-3 times more dangerous than Trump

        There is NOTHING that Trump has done that is an actual existential threat to the country or our future, or our future prosperity,

        There is not a single democrat who if elected would not ruturn us to the sub 2% growth of the Obama/Bush era.

        That is a HUGE deal. That is far more important than most anything else.

        Every single problem the left bemoans is less significant the more prosperous we are.

        I do not care about the spittle battle between the left and Trump or between the press and Trump.

        I do not care about the micro parsing of every word out of his mouth to push this “Trump is a liar” meme.

        Trump’s credibility and integrity are greater than those of Obama or Clinton.

        Trump may swagger about like a bull in a china shop – but SO FAR we are getting OUT OF not into foriegn entanglements and conflicts.

        Bush said he would get us out,
        Obama said he would get us out.
        Trump is getting us out.

        Doing what you say on important issues matters.

        I do not agree with Trump on many things.
        But even where I disagree – he does what he says he will do.
        That means I can trust that what Trump will if re-elected is what he says.

        There is not a single democrat that is true of – fortunately.
        There is not a single democrat I think any of us here would vote for if we thought they would actually do what they promise. If you are not brain dead and you are voting for a democrat in 2020, you are doing so either because you beleive they are lying or because you beleive that they will be unable to keep their promises.
        Both are pretty bad reasons to vote for people.

        Either mean that you beleive that democrats are lying. possibly even that you WANT them to lie.

        Credibility and integrity do NOT mean people will do what you want. They mean that people do what they promise.

        A Liar is someone who tells you what you want to hear and then does something else.

        Yet, we get this Trump, liar, liar, liar nonsense from you all the time.

        I could care less if Trump called an oak tree a maple today.

        I do care that he has been right about an awful lot.

        We have a huge problem with political lying – but not Trump.

        Yet, here you are telling us all that we need to elect some actual liar, because what ?
        Because we are divided ?

        I do not care that we are divided. That is natural. There is no requirement that we agree on everything. We are not ants. We each have our own minds, and ideas. With the minimum constraints necescary we should each be free to do what we think is best – whatever that is, so long and we do not use force against others.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 2:43 am

        Jay,

        The filibuster is gone.
        Republicans have been unwilling to pull the trigger, but they have been perfectly content to continue any destruction of it that democrats initiate.

        Democratic leadership has ALREADY made clear their intentions to shred the last vestiges of the fillibuster the next time they are in power.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 2:53 am

        The courts are not “stacked”.

        Bush shifted the courts to majority republican appointments – but his appointments were milquetoasts.
        Obama shifted the courts to majority democrats – and his apointments were significantly more ideologues.

        Trump has barely brought the courts back to balance. But with a few execeptions his appointments are people who are going to uphold the law and constitution as they are.
        Not as they want them to be. While mostly Trump has done well in the courts – once he gets out of the lunatic left. He has had a few losses – he is losing on sanctuary issues.
        He is losing because the very federalists he has appointed support the argument that states need not kowtow to the federal government.

        Put simply Trump has appointed the Judges who will make sure that no president (or legislature) over steps its power and authority. Not democrats not republicans.

        We can not count on the judges appointed by democrats to apply the law and the constitution as they are – rather than in the way that favors their party.

        It should be crystal clear that contra to Roberts – there are obama judges, and those would rule for Obama – pretty much no matter what, and rule against a republican – pretty much no matter what.

        That is pretty much exactly what we DO NOT want in a judge.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 3:18 am

        At the end of the Clinton admin the Federal appeals courts were 78D/75R
        At the end of the Bush administration it was 64D/101R
        At the end of the Obama Administration is 91D/76R
        If Clinton was elected it was projected to be 133D/41R
        At this moment 8 of 13 federal appeals courts are still Democrat majority.
        If Trump succeeds in filling EVERY vacancy, he will flip the 3rd circuit and split the 11th.

        To do more than that – more federal Judges would have to retire.

        Trump and McConnell did determine early in Trump’s presidency to use republican power in the Senate to push through appointments – particularly court apointments and particularly appeals court appointments rather than to push legislation.

        The rules of the senate require that every single process – legislative or appointsments must allow for specific amounts of debate time on the senate floor.
        Democrats are using every single minute of that time for every bill and every appointment.
        That means there is only so much that can be accomplished in the senate given the time constraints. McConnell and Trump have focused on appointments.

        Trump has farmed out the judicial selection process to the “federalist society”
        While “federalists” are not strictly speaking libertarians, they are just about as libertarian as it comes in formal legal circles.

        These new appointments are NOT scalia’s and Alito’s, They are not Bork’s and Suter’s.

        Gorsuch seems to be pretty emblematic of Trump’s apointments.

        These are people with a narrow view of the constitution and the power of government.
        These are people who will say NO! to Trump OR to the next Democrat trying to over reach.

        Absolutely Trump’s impact on the courts – even if he is NOT re-elected will be dramatic and last for decades.
        But these are NOT the judges that Nixon, or Reagan or Bush or Bush would have appointed.
        Many fo these are the judges that Gary Johnson might have appointed.

        I am also very happy with Trump’s disempowering of the federal bureacracy – but that will only last until the next president.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 1, 2019 11:45 pm

        Amen!

        I want to amplify something you said.

        The toxicity in our discussions is NOT because of Trump.

        It is because the discussions devolve to personal insults.

        Each and everyone of us is guilty of that. Further it has poisoned our entire public debate. and increasingly polarizes and balkanizes us.
        And Trump did not start that. Even at TNM it has been arround for a long time.

        All of us are guilty. But all of us are NOT equally guilty. Not even close.

        Argument by insult is close to the only thing the modern left does.

        We see that on college campuses. Practically everyday some “woke” school goes bonkers and drives off campus some speaker, often getting the administration to appologize for allowing them to speak.

        They do not drive voices they do not like out – by winning arguments, they drive them out, by insult, name calling shouting them down, and even violence. They do not give a damn what those they are shouting down have to say. Most of the time they do not know anything more than they have been told this is some evil right winger.

        But College campuses are just the extreme edge, We see this in our politics – I have yet to hear any democrat attempt to debate the immigration issue. They do nothing but hurl insults
        and rant.

        If you want to debate immigration issues today – you have to attempt to make up your opponents arguments – because the left does not make arguments. They shout, they rant, they virtue signal, they call anyone who disagree’s hateful hating haters.

        Absolutely those leaning more left here – are not as brutish as the college left,
        But they do not engage in argument.
        any discussion is insult and rant and ad hominem and fallacy.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 1, 2019 11:49 pm

        The assertion that “anyone would be better than Trump” is something that can be discussed logically. Mao would not be better than Trump, Beria would not be better than Trump, Staling would not be better than Trump, Hitler would not be better than Trump.

        So that argument is dead.

        I am not much interested in that kind of debate.

        I would have little problem with deciding we were not going to discuss Trump at all.

        That we will discuss Policies or what the law or constitution is or should be.
        That we can mirror the outside political debates, but not drag the persons making or being debated in.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 1, 2019 11:33 pm

        You seem to think that what I or Jay or Priscilla want is a place where everyone agrees with us,.

        My major complaint about you is not that we do not share the same values, it is that the only value you seem to have is “I hate Trump”. That is true of you more so than any other poster here.

        Robby has an actual ideology. Sometimes he even attempts to argue it.

        In a perfect world that is what I am looking for – real debate on the issues, from people with different perspectives, who can actually argue their points.

        I have had email exchanges with people like Robert Reich, Lawrence Lessig, Lawrence Tribe, Greg Epps, Johnathan Haidt, Johnathan Turley, George Will. Most of these people do NOT share my views. But they are intelligent people (mostly) and can argue their viewpoint strongly. They make arguments that force me to think and sometimes to revise my own views.
        I would much rather debate a highly intelligent progressive than another libertarian.
        I am not looking for my own tribe or some echo chamber.
        What are you going to learn from hearing others agree with you all the time ?

        What I am NOT after is a bunch of millenials – or older people who should know better, who think that “pithy insults” of those they disagree with is argument.

        I would be happy to go to Daily Kos or TPM – if that meant real debate with actually intelligent progressives, I am not looking for “my tribe”. I am also not looking to be insulted by people regardless of their age who think that “pithy insults” are intelligent argument.

        I do not care what your views are, or what the issue is. If your response to your argument being challenged is to lob insults – your the adult version of the teenager that thinks you win arguments by beating people up or laughing at them.

        When he bothers to post, I spend more time “debating” Robby – as for all the weakness in his arguments, he is the closest thing to someone who will attempt to intelligently disagree with me, atleast of those with whom I have strong differences.

        Ron and Priscilla and I can have challenging discussions that do not get personal.
        But no matter how large my differences with them, they are not as great as those with Robby.

        As to you – it is unclear what you beleive. Your values, you principles everything seems to revolve arround finding the latest tweet that berates Trump. It is rare that you are prepared to make an argument – even an anti-Trump argument on your own.
        You do not seem to think for yourself.

        I am a bit sorry that DD has chosen to leave. On rare occasions he makes arguments.
        I can not think of when you ever have. I know almost nothing about what you actually beleive – beyond “argh! Trump” and on the rare instances you hit at that – it conflicts with many fo your anti-Trump posts.

        I do not care that you hate Trump.
        But your hatred has poisoned your thinking.
        You are predictable – if Trump did it, it is wrong, knee jerk, no thought needed.

        I can visit the agregator sites on the web and have an excellent idea what your posts will be
        links to whatever the days anti-trump stories or tweets from #nevertrumpers.

        Is that who you think of yourself as ?

      • May 1, 2019 7:56 pm

        Jay, do you actually believe that every Trump supporter is a deluded moron, with no mind of his/her own?

        Or that, if someone defends Trump on certain policy issues, that means that s/he agrees with everything that Trump has ever said or done? Or that s/he approves of his personal lifestyle choices? Or believes that he cannot be criticized.

        I tend to doubt that you do.

      • Jay permalink
        May 1, 2019 10:03 pm

        “Jay, do you actually believe that every Trump supporter is a deluded moron, with no mind of his/her own?”

        Yes, deluded in the way Stockholm Syndrome prisoners are reduced to moronic alliance with their captors.

        That’s what happens when you support a candidate whose core values are at odds with your own: you assimilate and adopt his values through rationalizations over time. So what if he’s a serial adulterer, sexual predator, pathological liar, admirer of dictators, business con artist, vindictive bully, unmitigated braggart – he’s not Hillary, so there!

        Moral Moronic Delusion.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 3:46 am

        “Yes, deluded in the way Stockholm Syndrome prisoners are reduced to moronic alliance with their captors.”

        Do you really think that insulting everyone who voted for Trump is going to win elections ?
        Do you really think that is the way to end the divisiveness you loath ?

        YOU are the source of the very problem that you think is the most important.

        “That’s what happens when you support a candidate whose core values are at odds with your own: ”

        How so ?

        While a few of Trump’s apointments have been problems – that is true of every president.
        Mostly I think they have been excellent – even the ones that did not last.

        I am happy with Devos. I am happy with what she is doing.
        I would have liked to see Pudzer confirmed.
        I would have liked to have Seen Cain on the fed,
        I hope to See Moore confirmed, but John B Taylor is waiting in the Wings.
        I am happy with Kudlow.
        I was happy with Tillerson, I am sorry his is gone.
        I am happy with the disempowerment of the EPA and CFPB.

        I was initially happy with “the generals” – but I am glad they are gone. They were too stuck in the past US/USSR nonsense as well as committed to bleeding all over the mideast.

        I am very happy with Trump’s general disempowerment of the federal bureacacy.

        I was not happy with Sessions – he was a big drug warrior.
        I think he is a man of integrity but the wrong person for AG.

        I am happy with most of Trump’s judicial appointsments – ecstatic about some.

        I am not happy with what Trump SAYS about Trade, just as I vigorously disagree with Ron when he says the same things. But I am less unhappy with the end result.
        Trump’s foreign trade policy seems to be to threaten proteciontism to acheive free trade.
        I do not like the means, but I can live with the ends.

        I am not happy with anyone over immigration.
        I will be happy to support Democrats and open borders – when they are prepared to make the other changes necescary to make open borders not suicidal.
        In the meantime Trump’s immigration approach is the lessor evil.

        “you assimilate and adopt his values through rationalizations over time.”
        There is not one area of agreement or disagreement with Trump that represents a difference in my oppinion when Obama was president.

        All that is differnet is that I never expected any president – even a republican to do this much of what I favored.

        “So what if he’s a serial adulterer,”

        I was with Perot when he said if your wife can not trust you the american people can not.

        I have not changed. I have no problems with voting against all the adulterers, and harrasors. and predators. Congress would likely be vacant.

        “sexual predator,”
        That would be Clinton.
        Thus far the credible evidence is that Trump is less of a harrassor than Al Franken.
        Certainly less than Clinton or Wienstein.

        Regardless, my values have not changed.

        “pathological liar”

        Need I remind you that when you accuse someone else of lying and are wrong it is YOUR integrity that is down the toilet.

        Jay, while I have always been dubious of your assertions with regard to this.
        This debate is over. You have totally lost moral credibilty – particularly on this issue.

        When you lie constantly about people – ultimately you BOOST their credibilty at the expense of your own.

        “admirer of dictators,”
        Trump’s fawning over Putin during the campaign was annoying.

        I am less bothered by the things he says about dictators as president.
        It is called diplomacy. Trump practices it incredibly bluntly.
        I prefer not to watch.
        I judge by results.

        “business con artist,”
        Again you keep asserting this.
        Trump has succeeded in multiple different areas of business.
        That is quite rare. Con artists do not succeed to the extent he did.

        If Maddoff was not in jail right now, but was running NBC – you might have a point.

        “vindictive bully,”
        That is Hillary by a mile.
        Trump pretty much appears to be one of the LEAST vindictive presidents we have.
        He rants and says angry things and moves on.
        There are many former never trumpers in his administration.

        Do you think there would be any Sandersnista’s in a clinton administration ?

        “unmitigated braggart”
        Absolutely. So what ?

        “– he’s not Hillary, so there!”
        Thank God!!!!!
        He won in 2016 BECAUSE he was not Hillary.

        The fact that I really beleived that Hillary Clinton was going to win on election day made my decision to vote for Johnson incredibly hard.

        There are still alot of ways I find Trump offensive.
        But if you told me that I had to pick between Trump and Clinton – that I could not pick someone else or not vote, that I had to choose either Trump or Clinton.
        That choice is easy and remains so today.

        Hillary combined the worst of LBJ with the worst of Obama.
        The very fact that you can rant about Trump while supporting Clinton is a “Moral Moronic Delusion”

        The country dodged a bullet in 2016.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 10:05 pm

      Mueller had the oportunity for a different context. He chose not to.

      That is not an accident.

      Mueller deliberately passed the buck on “obstruction”
      Because he is not an idiot, he knows damn well that the law does not justify obstruction.

      Decisions about what is and is not a crime are among the most binary choices we have.

      That should be obvious to everyone. You can not claim ignorance of the law is no excuse if whether your actions are a crime depends on the whim of a collection of prosecutors, judges and ultimate 9 old folks on the supreme court.

      What legally constitutes a crime must be as crystal clear as humanly possible.
      Jurors are not asked to decide – what are the elements of the crime of burglary – the LAW specifies that. They are asked ONLY to determine if the facts presented to them in court establish each and every element of that crime – BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT
      Anything less is not sufficient.

      The law dictates, and Mueller was asked to conduct a CRIMINAL investigation.
      He gets to prosecute or NOT. In the case of the president he gets to assert there is a prosecutable offense or not.

      He does not get to hem and haw. Yes or No. Anything less than yes, is NO!.
      There is no “context” necescary, there is no narrative necessary.

      Further Barr’s memo implied PROPERLY context that Mueller evaded.
      The extent to which Mueller was unable to find evidence of “collusion”,
      demonstrates that Trump’s “Witch-hunt” claim is completely true.
      Mueller did not appoint himself. He is not responsible for putting himself on a “witch-hunt”, but he is responsible for how he conducted himself.

      There is arising body of evidence that Mueller established beyond any doubt that the “collusion” narative was complete garbage sometime between Aug 2017 and december 2017.

      At the very least he should have PUBLICLY reported that at the time.

      Any claim that Mueller is trying to make of obstruction that refers to events after he reached a conclusion that there was no colustion is inherently a form of entrapment.

      When law enforcement has determined that there was not crime – but continues investigating anyway, in the hope that those who are being investigated do something illegal – that is CLASSIC entrapment.

      The purpose of an investigation is NOT to pressure those being investigated into committing crimes – either deliberately or by accident.

      Continuing the investigation on an “obstruction” pretext, is an open admission that most of those on the left are incapable of grasping of MISCONDUCT.

      We do not endlessly investigate people until they crack.

      I have ZERO problems with Pardons for Stone, Papadolis, Flynn, Van Der Zandt and anjyone else whose “crime” is not telling Flynn’s people what they wanted to hear.

      Flynn in particular has been BADLY treated.

      I beleive that Ben Rhoades is currently claiming that an investigation of the investigation is a bad idea – because there is nothing to be found.
      There is already much that is OBVIOUSLY wrong and must not be allowed again.

      At the same time Rhoades himself is at the CENTER or the criminalization of politics.

      Which is the real crime here.

      Flynn – more so than even Trump, was targeted from the very begining – from before Trump was a candidate. There was a significant political disagreement about the conduct of intelligence and matters regarding the mideast between Flynn and the Obama administration – including Rhoads.

      Flynn was FIRED over that difference – and his firing was proper. While I am strongly inclined to beleive that Flynn was right regarding policy and the rest of the Obama administration was wrong, the fact still is that the president sets policy.

      If Rhoads and his ilk won the day with Obama, and Flynn lost, he had two choices, support their polices or resign. In the end he was fired.

      But then Flynn and Trump connected and it became obvious to the Obamanista’s – like Rhoads, Powers, Yates, …. that if Trump won, Flynn was going to be in a position of power and be able to undo everything they had done.

      Just as the president gets to set policy, and the rest of the administration must persuade the president or abide by his decisions – that is also the relationship of the outgoing administration to the incoming one. The new president gets to decide policy AFTER the innauguration – whether the old administration likes that or not.

      What occured in 2016/2017 was the outgoing administration deliberately sabatoged the incoming one – and very Particularly Gen. Flynn, in a calculated attempt to save policies they had good reason to beleive that Trump – at Flynn’s direction would destroy.
      And ultimately they were right. But their ACTIONS were WRONG – CRIMINALLY wrong.

      The purpose of the “soft coup” that went well beyond the FBI was Much more than to “get Trump”, it was an effort to preserve the policies of the Obama administration in the face of an incoming administration that had campaigned on reversing them.

      We all get crap here everyday from posters claiming that Trump is a buffoon, incompetent, stupid, …..

      Even Trump himself purportedly proclaimed that the Mueller investigation was the end of his presidency – not because he was guilty of anything, but because these kinds of investigations tend to severely disempower the president and prevent him from advancing the policies that he was elected to enact.

      And that was EXACTLY the purpose of the “soft coup”. Something that has NEVER before happened in the US.

      Yet, Trump has very successfully managed to move forward on most of his policies DESPITE all of this.

      Trump has KEPT an enormous percentage of his campaign promises. He has better kept campaign promises than any president I can recall in all US history.

      He has accomplished this despite facing the most hostile opposition – not just from the opposing party, but from about 25% of the country – the left, and the press, as well as the lawless left wing of the federal courts. Still he has succeeded.

      This is not an accident. It is not the accomplishments of a Buffoon or an idiot.
      It is not because of the interferance of junior members of the administration who have protected Trump from himself.

      I am not sure Trump is not regretting not firing Mueller – that would end this entire “obstruction” debate. Democrats could attempt to impeach over that and fail and it would be over. Rather than endlessly debate some stupid vast expansion of law, we could have directly confronted the issue – is the president firing someone he is entitled to fire obstruction of justice ? The answer is obviously no.

      Unfortunately the public would not have known that this was all a farce.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 10:29 pm

      I have my concerns regarding Trump and his conduct towards women.

      I was also very disturbed by his early attacks on McCains time as a POW, those were just completely out of line, especially for someone who did not serve.

      McCain is a personal hero. BUT that does not mean I condone everything he has done.
      I am not going to list all McCain’s faults, the point is that just as we can fault Jefferson or Washington or Madison, they were still great men. I do not care that Trump attacked McCain for his actual faults, but the attacks on his conduct as a POW were very wrong. They were immoral.

      During the election and as president I am disturbed by the chaotic nature of the Trump and his presidency. But I have discerned that is deliberate. Trump creates chaos, throws everyone off balance. It is a negotiating tactic and one that he is very effective at.

      My guess is that growth would be 1/2-1 point without the chaos – markets HATE uncertainty and Trump baths everything in uncertainty.

      I am not disturbed by all the purported “Lies” that Trump purportedly engages in.
      If you filter out those that are bogus – pretty much everything he has said about the russian collusion and investigation has either been true or atleast much more true than what the press and almost any other politician has said.
      There is no interpretation of the Mueller report – not spin not context, that does not make Trump much more credible than his enemies.

      I would further note that to a large extent it is NOT the words in the Mueller report that matter.
      It is that Mueller has declared this essentially over. That he has taken the last credible hope of the TDS crowd off the table – even though they are having a hard time letting go.
      There is nothing of consequence in the Mueller report we did not already know.
      When Mueller rants about “context” – he is ranting about nothing.
      I do not care what Mueller and his teams “opinion” of Trump is.
      Nor do a large portion of people.
      Anyone who did not expect Muellers report to defame, slander and malign Trump was smoking wacky weed. What matters – all that matters is the facts.
      And there is nothing new in the facts.

      Without an actually damning fact – Trump gains substantially in integrity and credibility and those with TDS lose dramatically.

      As noted repeatedly – Trump has more so than any other president Done what he said he would do. That is HUGE.

      For those screetching Liar, Liar – what purported Lie has Trump told that is on the scale of
      I did not have sex with that woman
      or
      Benghazi was a spontaneous riot because of an internet video.
      or
      If you like your Doctor you can keep them.
      or
      ……

      Trump has done what he said he would do. That IS integrity and credibility.
      That should not have surprised anyone.
      Trump is first and foremost a businessman.
      I have preached here repeatedly the criticality of integrity and credibility in business – mostly to deaf ears. You hear about bad conduct in business because it is incredibly RARE.
      I am not claiming everyone in business is a good person. I am claiming that free markets coerce people into better behaviour – because if you screw your customers and those you do business with they do not come back.

      Trump may exagerate, he may spray too much invective. He may speak too imprecisely or even inaccurately off the cuff.

      As Selena Zito noted, Trump’s detractors take him literally but not seriously, while his supporters take him seriously but not literally.

      Absent some radical change – in 2020, Voters will have a choice between someone they can actually trust. And I really mean that. Left or right or anywhere else. All of us can TRUST that what Trump says he will do, he is very likely to do. If we do not like what he says he will do – that is a reason to oppose him. Ultimately few of us will like everything he says he will do.
      But those who would vote against him BECAUSE they oppose what he promises to do in totality will be SMALL.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 1, 2019 11:11 pm

      I do not think the Mueller report ever should have been made public.
      I think that is a violation of legal ethics.
      I do not think it should have been turned over to congress.

      Barr, Rosenstein and Mueller should have testified.

      Absolutely there is game playing here.
      I think Barr is enjoying it.
      The Senate grilled him for weeks.
      And if he wanted confirmed he had to be very careful about challenging them.

      Now he is free to use his actions to say “your assholes” and “you do not have unlimited power” and “you are not the president” and “you are not the attorney general – I am”.

      I have political differences with Barr, but I have been impressed so far.

      I do not think he is in Trump’s pocket.

      Even though I disagree with him on some matters of law and policy – he appears to be a good person. I think what you are seeing is that as a private citizen he saw that what was going on was wrong and lawless. He grasped that Sessions was in trouble, and he set himself up to be the person to come in and fix things.
      I do not think Barr’s actions have anything to do with Trump.
      Most of the evidence suggests Barr has been very independent,
      and most of his “direction” from the whitehouse comes from Trump’s public statements.

      I do not think that how the house questions witnesses is “a settled matter”.
      Rosenstein absolutely infuriated House Republicans for 2 years hemming. hawing and stalling. I think that Barr is taking pleasure in putting it too house democrats.

      What difference does it make how Barr and Mueller are questioned ?

      What Barr is highlighting is that 30 minute periods of questioning by a trial lawyer, is evidence that the house has exceeded oversight and is engaged in prosecution.

      Barr may not win this fight – it does not matter – it makes the democrats look vindictive and partisan. Rather than seeking the truth they are seeking to punish Barr.

      I think this also plays into Trump’s efforts to styme the house regarding particularly business records. The law is MOSTLY with congress on this. But there is one extremely hard to establish exception. Congress may not use its powers outside of GOVERNMENT oversite and LEGISLATION. Congress is not a prosecutorial body. They are not a criminal investigative body, they are not a criminal judging body. Nor are they allowed to engage in political vendetta. There are bits and peices in the consttituion that preclude congress from targetting people.

      Barr and Trump’s current tactic is going to force Nadler and Cummings to REPEATEDLY cite legislative justification.
      It is also going to force democrats to be careful about their speach regarding Trump.
      The more they make things personal, the more they talk as if they are conducting a criminal investigation – the more likely courts are to say that they have no legitimate legislative or oversite justification for their subpeonas.

      Further a court fight over all of this could last past the 2020 elections – even if Trump loses at every step.

      I think Trump’s strategy of cooperating with Mueller and obstructing congress is brilliant and that it will pay dividends even if he loses.

  26. May 2, 2019 10:18 am

    I hope he gets every cent! Free press is fine, but not making up your own facts that defame others.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/02/covington-catholic-nick-sandmann-legal-team-sues-nbc-msnbc/3649837002/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:00 am

      I am more concerned about the bigger picture – not just Sandman and the Washington Post.

      But we have posts here where Jay is accusing all of us of “Moral Moronic Delusion”

      I am constantly ranting about facts, logic, reason, about making actual arguments rather than pushing ad hominem appeals to authority or other fallacies.

      I group Jay, Robby, DD in with “the left” because they do not make arguments.
      Everything is about attacking people.
      This is no different from Sandman.

      Absent the 2 hour video that revealed that the media claims about him were not merely false – but knowingly false. they would have smeared him and gotten away with it.
      A teen who was thrust into an uncomfortable tense situation by a media savy adult whose facial expressions for a few seconds could be painted as something other than what they were, who less than perfectly handled a situation he did NOT create, could easily of spent the rest of his life labeled as a vile racist, an epitaph he NEVER would have been able to escape. And those who sought to to that KNEW what they were doing.

      The same is true here. It is true of those on the left.
      It is unfortunately also true sometimes of those on the right too.

      It is WRONG.

      If you make moral accusations regarding another person, you DAMN WELL better be right.
      Trump, Sandman, I do not care.

      I am really really tired of those on the left stepping onto the moral soap box to spew hatred at others. I am tired of the hypocracy of using “tolerance” as a justification for the intolerance of others.

      I do not care all that much that we are divided – I think that is actually a GOOD thing.
      Truly free people do not always agree.

      I do care that one side of the debate constantly paints the other as immoral.
      Without evidence.

      Calling those you disagree with “hatefule, hating haters” is not an argument.
      And it tells more about you than them.

  27. Roby permalink
    May 2, 2019 1:14 pm

    The conversation here has mostly become repetitive and pointless. Why? Because an unwinnable war has been going on between two well entrenched sides that are hardly really interested in the words and thoughts of the other side. It’s a futile and very negative exercise. But lo and behold an interesting thing happened. The flow of comments decreased and in the relative calm Ron and Jay actually exchanged some rational ideas.
    My opinion: that is more likely to happen during a break in bombardment. If this site generated 100 comments per month instead of 1000 the comments would be more likely to be actually interesting.
    The daily hand to hand combat just produces a lot of noise.

    • Jay permalink
      May 2, 2019 8:33 pm

      I agree, our minds have set like plaster.

      I know arguments, no matter how prescient, have no effect.

      For me, bloviating here is an exercise, like punching a heavy bag, to relieve tension. Though a futile exercise, I’m sure. And I like Ron; we’d get along great, aside from occasional pugnacious threats, in the real world.

      But it’s frustrating none the less to watch his rightward drift. Maybe DDuck is right. Time for a hiatus …

      • May 2, 2019 9:14 pm

        Jay/Roby

        I think if you look back on the few years I have commented, you will find my positions much the same today as they were in 2016. In fact, if you knew me in 2000, you would find my positions the same then as now.

        It is all based.on small government, limited select regulation, free fair trade, reduced spending, lower taxes, entitlement reform and other social liberal libertarian, fiscal conservative positions.

        What changed in the past 2+ years is Trump being elected. What I did not do is I did not jump on the “anyone but Trump” wagon train. Jay jumped.on this movement and it appears from everything that has been posted in the last few comments is he thinks he has maintained his ” centrist left” position and anyone who did not jump on the anti trump movement then they moved extreme right.

        I did not change.my positions policy wise, so I dont think I moved further right. If there are specifics in policy where you can show me that my positions have changed, please let me know. We can discuss that. l

        I dont comment much about Trump, the man. I have commented about Mueller and his investigation. I think you will find I never defended Trump, I only questioned Mueller and his shotgun approach to his investigation.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:00 am

        I expect myself, you and everyone else to criticise when someone is wrong and support when they are right.

        Trump, Mueller, Barr, …..

        I have very serious problems with alot of Rosensteins conduct.

        But there is a building body of evidence that Rosenstein would have followed the law – more than Mueller and even Barr.

        Rosenstein has publicly stated that the Mueller report should never have been made public.
        That Mueller’s report should have been to the AG and no one else.
        and absent the evidence of a crime it should have died there.

        I think Rosenstein’s version of the Barr memo would have been one sentence.

        “SC Mueller found no evidence of criminal conduct beyond what he has prosecuted.”

        The end.

        Political investigations are the role of politicians.

        Barr promised to make the Mueller report as public as possible – he did so.
        Further his original summary is not only accurate, but it is more than he was obligated to provide.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 4:32 am

        When I was in college there was a girls college down the hill, that had a bronze statute of a revolutionary war soldier holding a musket in the quad. The story was that on the day a virgin graduated from that college – the soldier would fire his gun.

        The same is true of the day you make and actual argument.

        Not interested in your complaints about the purported rigidity of others when you are unable to offer an actual argument.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:19 am

      Roby;

      There is only one side that todate has declared war on the other.

      Many were not happy when Obama defeated McCain.
      There was alot of oposition.
      Republicans did everything they could with a minority in congress to thwart the ever expanding policy ambitions of the democrats.
      But they played by the rules.
      They made ARGUMENTS, they did not for the most part lobb moral hand grenades or engage in ad hominem and defamation. The most offensive remarks I can recall about Obama were made by democrats.

      In 2016 Trump won the election. Democrats have gone far outside “playing by the rules”.

      Benghazi really happened, The Clinton email server was real, foreign powers were reading Clinton’s email in real time. IRSGATE was real.

      Trump/Russia collusion was NOT.
      It has been a gigantic lie that has and continues to damage the country – much more than anything you beleive regarding Trump.

      I continue to repeat this – and yet you do not get it.
      When you lie about someone else. Especially when you lie by making false accusations, you bet your integrity against theirs.
      The left has done so AND LOST.

      I found the Prager U video that asked and answered – “how did I know the Trump Russia collusion story was false ?” with “because the left always lies” to be a bit strong.
      I do not want to beleive that anyone or any group, or any ideology ALWAYS lies.

      But I spend an enormous amount of time here pointing out numerous fake claims that the left has made that often even those on the right accept as True.

      Whether it is CAGW, or numerous other Malthusian assertions, or false claims about income inequaltiy or radical misunderstandings of the fundimentals of economics,

      There is an enormous amount that we are told – without actual evidence, that we are expected to beleive, that many – even those on the right beleive, that is just plain FALSE.

      The relationship of the right with the truth and facts is often poor, but I am not all that far from Dennis Prager’s position – that if an assertion comes from the left – it is reasonable to assume it is false. I did not arrive there as a result of ideology.
      I have arrived there because there is so little I hear from those on the left that is true.

      I rant at you about making arguments – not just shouting asseritons followed by moral grenades, because that is the only rational means of resolving disputes.

      If you persuade (or silence) someone by ANYTHING besides facts, logic, reason, you do yourself and society a disservice. There is not ANY substitute for facts, logic reason as the basis for making decisions – particularly those involving the use of force against others.

      The only war I see is that of the left.

      If your positions have merit – you would argue them – with facts logic reason.
      You do not. That alone is enough reason to doubt what you say.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:28 am

      If you want this site to be better, make better comments yourself.

      What is it you expect out of TNM ?

      A place to emote about Trump (or just generally) ?

      Or someplace to examine ideas ?

      If you want others – if you want me, to take what you assert seriously, you should be prepared to defend it with facts, logic, reason.

  28. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2019 8:39 pm

    “NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre charged the organization’s ad agency more than $240,000 for expenses related to trips he took to Italy, Hungary, the Bahamas and other locales without providing adequate documentation, WSJ reports.”

    But they were only locker room expenses… nothing to concern NRA members…

    • May 2, 2019 9:25 pm

      If he chargec them and did not give documentation, then that becomes a taxable event for La Pierre if he received the funds directly. If the ad company finds fraud, then they can have that investigated and charges can be filed if evidence supports that.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:02 am

        This is a pissing contest between LaPierre and North – each appears to have used the NRA as their own personal slush fund.

        NRA members get to decide what they wish to do about it.

      • May 3, 2019 10:39 am

        I was just providing a couple of legal processes for Jays clarification.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:37 am

      Are you an NRA member ?

      If so then you have a voice and can express it.

      We have far more egregious versions of the same nonsense going on with Morris Dees and his acolytes at SPLC.

      I have more concern there because I have actually donated to SPLC in the past and feel that I have a voice that is being ignored, that my wishes regarding my money were dismissed.

      I have never given a dime to the NRA. If NRA members wish to pay for lavish vacations for their presidents – that is their business.

      You are free to have an oppinion on anything you want.

      The problem is that you are pretty transparent – you want more than an oppinion, you want control. You do not want those belonging to the NRA to make their own choices – if those choices differ from yours.

  29. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2019 9:08 pm

    “The Mueller report outlines at least 77 times in which Trump’s campaign staff, admin officials, family members and associates lied or made false statements to the public.”

    But so what? He’s appointing conservative judges…

    • May 2, 2019 9:55 pm

      NO, NOT SO WHAT !!!!!!!!!!!!

      If they found this, then it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the house to SUPPORT the constitution and county and BEGIN IMPEACHMENT hearings immediately!!!

      Why the hell wont they do that?

      And please dont use the senate being controlled by the GOP. If he did something.that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors, then politics should not come into play and the constitution should be followed!!

      If he is reelected, will they then decide to.impeach?

      This political shit needs to stop and the constitution supported!!

      You say Trump is a cancer and he is damaging the country. Well I say the house is letting the cancer spread and not using all the tools in their medical bag to remove the cancer. They are only providing palliative treatment that is doing nothing but maintaining the current divisive environment in Washington. That is worse than Trump!!!!!

      • May 2, 2019 10:58 pm

        Ron , I said on the last thread that I don’t think that the Democrats will impeach. And the reason that they won’t is because they get way more mileage out of slandering Trump. If they impeached him, they would have to present their case and back up their accusations with evidence, which they don’t have. They’d make fools of themselves, and lose to Trump again.

        As long as they have the media carrying their water, they can make up any lie about Trump they want, and it will be all over the news. No evidence needed.

        Now that Mueller has failed to deliver the silver bullet, all they’ve got is their unshakeable belief that Trump’s tax returns will be the thing that “finally” gets him That won’t happen either. Although I’m pretty sure that, if the tax returns show anything, they might show that Trump is less rich than he has stated. Which would basically be a YUGE embarrassment to him….but grounds for impeachment? Eh, no.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:24 am

        I think Democrats are in complete chaos.

        Impeaching Trump is a politically stupid idea, and it will fail. I do not think they can get enough DEMOCRATS.

        Slandering Trump is not so hot either.

        What they should be doing is selling their own vision for the future.

        You can look for the “built not bought” video on youtube. Jordan Peterson does an excellent analysis of it.

        But despite many flaws, it is still a huge step in the right direction for democrats.

        But I do not think you will see that message – because it is far to far to the center for the current democratic party.

        Democratic presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to be stupid.
        Whether it is free college or medicare for all, or giving felons the right to vote.

        They are busy buying the votes of a few while losing those of the many.

        The democratic party has no message right now.

      • May 3, 2019 10:27 am

        Its called politics instead of governing. Just like the GOP ranting about Hillary Clinton and all the illegal crap she supposed was accused of, once she was defeated the GOP moved on. After a few months I stopped listening to any Clinton news reports.

        I have done the same with the Mueller investigation. I only hear bits and pieces when overhearing comments on TV. I am not following it.

        When politics are replaced by constitutional responsibility and impeachment begins, I will start following again.

        Right how all we have is 200+ legislators running their mouths like the GOP did in 2016 just to divide the country in hopes of swinging a couple hundred thousand votes in three states.

        And before anything is said about my thinking about Clinton, I thought she was a bitch from the day she and Bill was interviewed and she said something like ” I am not Tammie Wynette standing by her man” in a very carcastic manner.

      • May 3, 2019 10:40 am

        Agreed. If there is a solid basis for impeachment, then impeach. If not, move on. Have the Democrats even moved a serious piece of legislation through the House?
        And, by serious, I mean something that would get Republican votes. If they aren’t willing to do that, then they will lose the majority. Just being against something is not good enough. They’ve got to be for something.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 7:56 pm

        While the constitution sets requirements for impeachment – there is no enforcement mechanism, that means impeachment is entirely a political process.

        Essentially the oversight regarding impeachment is that voters will respond favorably or in opposition afterward.

        D’s can do as they please.

        One of the problems with the entire mess here – is that we have made a political investigation into a criminal one.

        Mueller and FBI should never have done anything more than cursoury with this.
        The house before or now should have done whatever it pleased.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 7:52 pm

        Many of the things Clinton did were despicable.

        A few were actually crimes.

        Comey was right about one thing regarding Clinton in 2016.

        While what she did WAS a real crime, and is actually prosecuted frequently.
        Unless you are in the military the norm is a plea deal with a very short sentence.

        That would have ended Clinton’s political carreer and it should have,
        but nothing more.

        What I find most Odd regarding views of Clinton is how much more egregious her conduct was than Trump and how the left and democrats completely ignore that.

        Clinton lies – constantly, under oath, about everything.
        Yet the left and democrats seem to think Trump – whose “great lies” are just bragging, exagerating and minor errors of precision.

        Clinton actually conspires with foreign countries – yet if Trump looks side ways at a Russian pop singer – it is evidence of criminality.

        Clinton’s actual contact during the campaign with Russia and numerous other foreign countries is orders of magnitude greater than anything alleged regarding Trump.

        Everywhere you turn looking for Trump misconduct you find Clinton has arrived first and owned the space.

        I do not think most of what Clinton did was criminal – so why were we investigating Trump’s dramatically less consequential conduct ?

        Or are the rules of politics that only Democrats can “collude” ?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:15 am

        Ron.
        Lying to the public is NOT A CRIME,
        it is not part of the legitmate scope of a criminal investigation,
        it is not a legitimate finding in a criminal investigation.
        It is not the business of DOJ or FBI.

        Such matters are for the press and politicians.

        It is not that they are unimportant.
        But they are NOT something that a criminal prosecutor should be exploring.

        Just as it is not the business of the USDA inspector to investigate whether Tyson is misreporting its potential future earnings in its quarterly shareholders reports.

        I have asserted from the begining that the Mueller investigation is a POLITICAL investigation – that is the domain of congress – and the press. Not the DOJ or SC.
        Mueller just keeps proving it.

      • May 3, 2019 10:47 am

        Dave please read what I said. ” IF they found this…. ” I did not say ” impeach regardless of findings”

        Jay made a comment concerning Trump. I said ” if they found this”….. and went on to explain why ,based on Jays comment, they should.

        I know everything you posted about why they cant if the evidence is not there.

        But I was responding to Jays specific words, not whatever is in the actual report since I have not read.it.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 8:10 pm

        Ron,

        I beleive that some acts are impeachable and some are not.

        But I also beleive that as the constitution provided for no oversight of the impeachment process the final determiination is up to voters when they pass judgement on the house.

        I am NOT saying – if you find this – impeach.

        I think that impeaching Trump is just about the stupidest thing democrats could do.
        But I am NOT pretending there are constraints other than that of voters on their choices.

        I have not read much of the report either.
        But you can not help but getting bombarded by the “money quotes”.

        What strikes me about those – is they are all oppinion, defamation, and have nothing to do with law or crime.

        Mueller was not appointed to determine if Trump was a good person,
        or if he lied to the public.

        Those types of determinations are NEVER the role of criminal prosecutors.

        Gowdy and now Rosenstein have this right.

        DOJ/FBI deal with CRIMINAL conduct.

        If they find it – they prosecute. In the case of the president, if they find it they recommend impeachment.

        The process is binary. They apply the law as it is. They determine if each element of a crime is provable beyond a reasonable doubt. If so they prosecute or recomend.

        If not – they are done.

        I am very disturbed that Mueller had established there was no coordination with Russia in 2017 – and still continued for more than a year.

        Absent actually covering up a crime, obstruction requires conduct that would be otherwise criminal.

        Mueller seems to have spent a year HOPING that Trump would trip up.

        that is NOT moral. And that is the same political abuse of power that got us into this mess in the first place.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:42 am

      All that proves is that Mueller is political.

      He was appointed to investigate CRIMES.

      He was not appointed as another fact check organization for public statements.

      If the Trump administration and campaign has only made 77 false statements to the public in the past 3 years – that would put it head and shoulders ahead of every other administration.

      I doubt AOC goes a month without making 77 false public statements.

      Regardless, why is this in Mueller’s report ?

      Mueller is “special counsel” – he was to report on a criminal investigation.

      We have a press and a congress to conduct the type of oversite you are alleging is in the report.

      The very claim you are making is proof that Mueller was a poor choice and did a bad job.

  30. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2019 9:14 pm

    Joe Scarborough:

    “We are not distracted.
    Despite what pathetic hacks are now saying to defend him,
    Barr lied to Congress.
    That is a crime.
    Democrats have a responsibility to start an impeachment inquiry.”

    • May 2, 2019 9:57 pm

      Well at leadt Joe had it right!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:17 am

        I would greatly prefer that democrats get a grip and drop this nonsense.

        I would prefer that because I value divided govenrment and I think that continuing as they are is poses a very serious risk of flipping the house back the the GOP in 2020.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 4:52 am

      I said while he was nominated, I do not like Barr, I do not agree with him, His view of the law is too close to that of Mueller, and he is personally too close to Mueller.

      But I can distinguish between people I disagree with and people who are liars and immoral.

      Barr did not lie to congress. There are an awful lot of people who have.

      “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

      I find the attacks of democrats to be astounding.

      The LAW did not obligate Barr to provide Mueller’s report in any form to congress.
      The Law required Mueller to report to the AG.

      Even Rosenstien is/was opposed to making this report public.

      You noted elsewhere that Mueller claims the Trump campaign/administration lied 77 times publicly – even if true – what business has that in a report on a criminal investigation ?

      A criminal investigation – is just that an investigation of a crime or crimes.

      Muller was not appointed to have a bully pulpit to defame anyone who criticised him.

      There is alot of evidence of moral bankruptcy – Mueller’s – yours.

    • May 3, 2019 8:39 am

      I’m still trying to figure out what Barr supposedly lied about. Did the Mueller report charge Trump with a crime? Did Mueller tell him that his summary of conclusions was inaccurate? Did Barr withhold any part of the report? What?

      Seriously, I saw the Speaker of the House, 2nd in line to succeed to the presidency, say that the AG committed a crime, by “lying to Congress.” But, amazingly, she didn’t happen to menton what the lie was!

      I know that she forgets stuff and all, but seriously…..

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:27 pm

        “Barr Lied”.

        The specific claim – if I understand this correctly is that Barr was asked – I beleive by Sen. Horoni, whether Mueller had communicated disagreement with the summary Barr provided.

        Barr’s answer was not detailed. And was effectively no.

        It has subsequently emerged that Mueller sent a letter to Barr essentially pleading that more context be provided and asking Barr as many people did to provide intermediate summaries as the work of redacting the report progressed.

        Barr ignored that request – for the reasons that he has provided congress already.

        And for the same reason that all these attacks on Bar are complete nonsense.

        As Rosenstein has noted – no one was ever entitled to more than Barr’s summary – that is the law. But Barr promised and has delivered as much or the Mueller report as he believes can be released.

        You can not claim Barr’s summary is a lie, or obstruction or otherwise nefarious, because in YOUR OPPINION it differes in TONE (or honestly any possible way) from the subsequently made public report.

        Only left wing nuts can make – I do not like the tone of your summary, into, Liar and obstructor of justice, but that is exactly what they are doing.

        If I promise you a car for Christmas, and then later send you a memo that says you will get the car in 3 weeks but just to let you know – it has 4 wheels and an engine and it is made in Germany, and you are expecting a Porsche or an Audi, and you get a VW, you do not get to claim I lied.

        Barr provided an excellent explanation of his summary to the Senate.

        He said his summary is the “verdict” of the Mueller report.
        The Verdict tells you the most important thing about a trial, but it does not tell you the specific evidence or the flow of the trial.

        Following that analogy
        Barr took Mueller’s letter as a complaint that he had not included in the summary comments on Muellers closing arguments, or some Cross he had made.

        Barr made it clear – the memo was “the verdict”, That the memo accurately reflects the verdict. That he provided the Verdict rapidly as that was what matter the most.
        and that he found no merit in releasing the Report Peicemeal or periodic summaries.
        3 weeks is not long to wait from getting the verdict to having the transcript.

        Anyway I find this whole attack on Barr to be ludicrously stupid.
        I may not like him. I may disagree with him. But he is just NOT some Trump lackey.
        Any claim that he would lie or coverup for Trump is total lunacy.

        Barr is a Bush guy, and the Bushes are no freinds of Trump.

        While I do not like the way Barr reads the law. I think he is willing to allow prosecutors much more free reign than they should have, and he does not appear to think Mueller did anything wrong, and he clearly did. at the same time he is a “rule of law” guy – even if I disagree on what the rule of law is. He is NOT a make things up as you go guy.
        He is not someone who curries favor from people like Trump.

        I think he is able to speak Trump to Power.
        That may sometimes be Trump, but right now that is to democrats and the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 5:37 pm

        Yes, Pelosi has boldly accused Barr of lying.

        AGAIN

        When you jump from:
        You are Wrong!
        to
        You lie!

        You change the debate from credibility to integrity,
        and you shift the burden of proof to you.

        You can attack the morality of another person all you want – but if you do, you had better be right. If you are not, it is your integrity that takes a huge hit.

        My biggest complaint about Trump is SOME of the personal attacks he has made.
        Attacking McCain’s intergrity as a POW was morally wrong and stupid.

        There were a few similar remarks about Cruz.

        He also attacked Hillaries morality – but he was right about those attacks.

        But Generally Trump does not initiate personal attacks.
        But he does respond to the personal attacks of others with very potent personal attacks of his own.

        Pelosi and democrats have INITIATED their attacks on Barr.

        He is being called a liar,
        A Trump Lackey,
        Morally bankrupt,

        I do not like Mueller – and I have criticised him strongly,
        But I am not prepared to call him a Liar.
        I think Mueller has very strong morals and he abides by them.
        But I think his personal morals are WRONG – and hypocritical.

        James Comey is a Liar, with flexible morals.
        Barr is not, Mueller is not.

        Mischaracterizing people you disagree with is an error – in this case a serious moral error.

  31. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2019 9:27 pm

    One of my few ways of escaping Trumpian trivialities is to escape into phantasmorgorical fluff. My newest mindless pleasures in on Prime streaming video: Lucifer, “based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine, women, song,” and insulting his vindictive father. This is Trumps view of hell on earth: a conducive environment for sex with young willing babes, with no penalties but occasional chastisements from …. no one.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 5:09 am

      “One of my few ways of escaping Trumpian trivialities is to escape into phantasmorgorical fluff.”

      Jay, you are self evidently incapable of doing so – read your own remarks.

      You have managed to find Trump in your phantasmorgorical fluff,
      Trump is not actually there, you just see Trump everywhere.

      TDS

      You do really need to escape Trumpian trivialities because pretty much your entire Trump schtick is amplifying trivialities massively out of proportion.

      I have said many times Trump is a C+/B- president.
      That is only unusual because we have had 16 years of D presidents.

      The entire 24×7 “Argh!Trump!” on steriods cycle – is just derangement.

      We survived FDR, LBJ, Nixon, the Bushes, Clinton, Obama,
      we will survive Trump easily. We are even doing better than we did under every one of those presidents I listed.

  32. May 3, 2019 9:12 am

    Wait. Who was colluding with a foreign power in order to win the 2016 election?

    “She said the DNC wanted to collect evidence that Trump, his organization and Manafort were Russian assets, working to hurt the U.S. and working with Putin against the U.S. interests. She indicated if we could find the evidence they would introduce it in Congress in September and try to build a case that Trump should be removed from the ballot, from the election,” he recalled.

    After the meeting, Telizhenko said he became concerned about the legality of using his country’s assets to help an American political party win an U.S. election. But he proceeded with his assignment.” https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/441892-ukrainian-embassy-confirms-dnc-contractor-solicited-trump-dirt-in-2016

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 5:55 pm

      There has been no truly serious investigation of the Clinton Campaign’s conduct during the election.

      From what I know there is no conduct by Clinton that I beleive is criminal.
      Reprehensible – absolutely. Criminal, probably not.

      But Clinton actually DID everything that the Trump campaign was accused of.
      Clinton DID “collude” with the Ukrainians to “interfere” in the US election.

      Clinton DID “collude” with the Russians to “interfere” in the US election.

      The reason for the scare quotes is that WORDS MATTER.

      Collude can mean almost anything. “collude” sounds criminal, it is not inherently.

      Almost none of what was alleged regarding the Trump campaign would have been criminal had it actually occured.
      What we KNOW clinton did is not criminal either.

      The same is true of “interfere”

      Trump did not get the Russians to post adds on Social Media.
      But even if he did that would not be a crime.

      Clinton DID get the Ukrainians to reopen closed investigations and make public material damaging to Manafort.
      That is not a crime either.

      The only crimes I am aware of regarding any of this are the actions of those in GOVERNMENT.

      That the FBI/CIA/… took the crap produced by the Clinton Campaign and without verifying it manufactured an investigation of a political candidate is just about the worst thing that government can do.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 6:18 pm

      There are some claims I have been hearing for a long time of a much larger “conspiracy”.

      Alot of this is FACT, but how it connects is SPECULATION.
      Though I am not alone in this conjecture.

      FACT – in 2015 the FISA court issued a Damning report on abuses of the NSA mass surveilance system. They specifically address a huge spike in queries of the NSA databases without a warrant for information about US persons.
      This is well documented many many ways.

      FACT – just prior to 2015 NSA was allowing private consultants access to its mass surveilance databases. Snowden exposed this and Snowden was NOT a government employee, he was an employee of a private company that was accessing the NSA mass surveilance databases – purportedly for the government.

      FACT – the DNC was one of the private contractors with access to NSA mass surveilance data.

      SPECULATION – the attempts to hack the DNC – which are real, and begain in 2015 were SUCCESSFUL attempts to get at NSA data that may have been on DNC servers.

      SPECULATION – in addition to whatever legitimate task the DNC was performing for the NSA the DNC was using its ability to query NSA data for political purposes. This is very nearly the scenario that was presented as fiction in “House of Cards”.

      FACT – private access to NSA mass surveilance data was halted in 2015.

      FACT – in 2015 the Obama administration formally relaxed the requirements for requests to unmask US persons in intelligence data.

      FACT – in 2015 unmasking requests spiked within the Obama administration.

      SPECULATION – when the DNC was deprived of direct access to NSA mass surveilance data, they shift to using friendly democrats in high places inside the administration or their Staff – Powers who was responsible for the bulk of requests, denies under oath having requested ANY, and suspicion is now on her staff.

      There is a great deal more of this – more facts, more speculation.

      What is disturbing is that if true – we are NOT talking about this small operation revolving arround the Steele Dossier, but a wide spread criminal political corruption within the Obama administration that involved using the tools of government to spy on people for political purposes.

      Establishing a conspiracy is really hard.

      But there are LOTS of FACTS that point towards that.

      The whole IRSGATE mess demonstrates the political use of govenrment power.

      We know that Obama spied on reporters,
      We know that the Obama administration spied on Congress – particularly the senate.
      We know that the NSA mass surveilance Data was abused, even if we do not know the purpose.
      We know that the crackdown on private contractors access to NSA data was followed by the spike in unmasking requests.

      Either we had alot of coincidences and very wide spread but unrelated criminal abuses of power for political purposes, or we have a very dangerous actual conspiracy within government.

  33. dhlii permalink
    May 3, 2019 9:00 pm

    The “opponion” parts of this article are crap.

    The phillips curve failed in the 70’s. Volker’s actions in the early 80’s that ended stagflation and brought in a roaring economy were an absolute rejection of the phillips curve.

    The failure fo the phillips curve then and now is very important, because the phillips curve derives from the core principles of keynesian economics.
    If the phillips curve is flawed then so is keynesian economics.

    That is one of the major points this article misses.

    I would further note that while keynesian economics has failed multiple times and is clearly failing now. Classical economics has not EVER.

    Classical Economics has two significant problems.

    First it does nto pretend to be as rigidly mathematical as Keynessian economics.
    Therefore it is less predictive

    Keynes says if you do X, Y will happen. Classical economics says if you do X, lots of things will happen, some good some bad.

    The second problem with Classical economics is that it does not give politicians permission to do what they want to do – spend money willy nilly.

    The author goes out of his way to credit Obama for some of this.

    Bunk. We have not seen these relationships between inflation, unemployment, and growth since the 80’s – if ever.

    What we are witnessing is not the ultimate results of Obama’s policies, but the final emergence of the economic recovery that Obama’s policies stiffled.

    There are only two instances in history where are recession was not followed by several years of strong recovery – the great depression and the great recession.
    Both were caused in much the same way and both where characterized by an incredibly weak recovery and strong government intervention.

    An intelligent person would suspect that government makes recessions worse.

  34. Jay permalink
    May 3, 2019 9:08 pm

    Trump:
    “We discussed Trade, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea, Nuclear Arms Control and even the “Russian Hoax.” Very productive talk!”

    Translation:

    The Dunce President of the United States just informed Vladimir Putin that he is not accepting the Mueller report’s conclusion that Russia interfered in our 2016 election in “sweeping and systematic” fashion. Dunce also believes Putin will not meddle in the 2020 election, contrary to own appointed head of the FBI:

    “FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned that Russia is continuing its attempts to meddle in U.S. elections, saying it is a “malign foreign influence” that poses a “significant counterintelligence threat” to the United States.”

    The Lump Of Excretion President also said Putin “is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela.” This is what his Sec of State Pompono said yesterday:

    “The Russians have hundreds of people working in Venezuela, probably more.”

    That was after Bolton called out Russia for “propping up Maduro’s regime” and said “it would cost the Kremlin.”

    But hey, Trump sides with Putin, once again.

    You have to be a really dumb dunce not to see that Trump is Putin’s bitch.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 9:17 pm

      I would suggest viewing the video of Trump’s Q&A – it is pretty good.

      Trump discussed with Putin exactly the things would expect.

      He discussed improving relations between Russia and the US – something every single US president since FDR has done. It is possible that Putin will dupe Trump – as he did Obama and Bush.

      But I think striving for increased trade, and reducing the number of nuclear weapons is a good thing – it was a good thing when Obama tried it to.

      Again Trump might be getting played – but at worst that makes him the same as Obama.

      According to the Q&A Trump said he did NOT talk about russian interferance in the US election.

      I would hope he does NOT. The last thing I would want is the US and Russia to agree that the types of things Mueller found and stupidly prosecuted, americans could be arrested and jailed for in Russia.

      We need to secure the actual election process – such as the voting machines and databases of registered voters. that is OUR job and does nto involve russia.

      I really do not care about anything else Russia did. It was not unusual, they will do it again, the only actual effect it had was to produce foaming and frothing in people like you.
      What I most do not want is Russia to start arresting americans for political advocacy in Russia.

    • Jay permalink
      May 3, 2019 9:32 pm

      You Taxes just paid for this, Dave.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 3, 2019 9:46 pm

        As I recall Michelle spent 2 weeks vacationing in Africa – there was no official purpose;
        It cost tax payers 400K. that is 400 times this bar tab.

        The whitehouse 2012 costs were $1.3B

        I would imaging the WH alcohol costs is many times $1000/day.

        The cost for presidential helicopter Transport under Obama was $1M/DAY.
        I would imagine it is higher now.

      • May 3, 2019 10:18 pm

        Jay, just another example of government waste. I would imagine if you looked back on comments on Ricks site you would see many comments from us “trumpians” and “morally decadent” where we said something about the excesdive travel costs of the Obama’s to Hawaii vacations and trips for Michele and the girls to foreign countries on “official business”.

        Most likely you ignored our negative comjents concerning that just like us ” deluded conservative Trump Enablers” are probably going to ignore this issue.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 4, 2019 6:01 pm

        You want me to be upset about a $1000 bar tab for what clearly was a diplomatic event – fine.
        But I am not going full bull goose loon.

        There is so much more significant waste – the presidents Hellicopters costs us $300M/yr (2012).

        They cost that whether the president is Trump or Obama.

        Michelle’s African vacation costs $1/2 M.

        I am not rabidly absolutely opposed to all of this – though honestly we have gone from near zero presidential security with Eisenhower to paying a small fortune today.

        US Grant died in poverty. Presidents today get $400K/year for the rest of their lives.

        No, I do not think we should be paying ex presidents, and I think the security provided when they leave office should be minimal.

        I do not think we should be paying congress criters – nothing, nada, zipo.

        Congress was supposed to be PUBLIC SERVICE.
        It is NOT a job. It is NOT a career.
        We certainly should not be providing benefits and retirement.

        If you can not take care of yourself without a congressional paycheck – go get a real job.

        Nor do I think they should have armies of staffers.

        I think the vast majority of what congress does is completely unnecescary.

        AND they do very little of what they are supposed to do.

        We do not need lots of new laws.
        We do need them to review and approve every damn regulation that the executive drafts.
        Because regulation is law making and that is constitutionally the province of Congress NOT the executive. I do not beleive the courts should have allowed congress to delegate it.
        But given that they have – Congress must still give final approval.

        A budget would be nice – that is supposed to be their job.
        I am not planning on paying them – so I can not hold that over their head.
        But I am prepared to lock them in the capital and not let them leave until they pass a budget.

      • Jay permalink
        May 4, 2019 7:05 pm

        No it wasn’t a ‘diplomatic’ event, you’re as full of crap at pulling assumptions from your anus as usual. It was a get-together of Trump people, hours AFTER a State Department dinner for Xi and the Chinese delegation.

        After that a bunch of Trump aides locked themselves inside Mar-a-Lago’s Library Bar, asked the bartender to leave so they could talk in private, had the Secret Service block the entrance, and according to the newspaper account, poured their own drinks. The bill for the drinks was prepared independently by bar management six days later. The bill includes a 20% service charge, plus $838 of liquor. More then likely the bill, in Trumpian fashion, was padded.

        The State Department REJECTED the bill (it wasn’t a sanctioned meeting, DUH). The White House paid the bill. Get it? Trump paid Trump, with taxpayer money, so a bunch of Trump aides could slosh alcohol on taxpayer money.

        The fact that doesn’t register as improper on your Trump-sympathetic noggin speaks volumes of your mental slogging.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 4, 2019 9:57 pm

        “No it wasn’t a ‘diplomatic’ event, you’re as full of crap at pulling assumptions from your anus as usual. It was a get-together of Trump people, hours AFTER a State Department dinner for Xi and the Chinese delegation.”

        Jay, you are just primed to whig out. It really would not matter what the facts were.
        It could have been a $100 bill instead of $1000 you would still be foaming and frothing.

        Do I have a problem with it ? Yeah, but I have a problem with every dollar governments spends. And ultimately I am more concerned with slashing the budget for government radically. If on $1T/year instead of $4T the government can still find a way to lubricate Bannon, I would be happy.

        Absolutely we should cut $1000 bar bills.
        But we should cut multi billion dollar sugar and farm subsidies more.

        I have no problem with planned parenthood – but government should not be funding them.
        Government should not fund them even if they are NOT performing abortions.

        I want to cut defense spending in half – to START.
        I want to go back to Bill Clinton’s idea of a social safety net – which WORKED BTW – to START. Frankly I would get the government out of all of that.

        I want to do what the Danes (and much of the rest of the world ) are doing and end SS and shift to private 401K or equivalents.

        Government management of other peoples money has been disasterous.

        We have had PPACA for nearly 10 years – it cost use almost $2T and nothing has really changed – there is no health related trend line that has changed at all.
        Just $2T down the toilet.

        So Yeah, I am frothing mad and ready to march in the streets over Bannon’s bar bill.

        Can you find something that matters to piss and moan about ?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 12:13 am

        “The State Department REJECTED the bill”

        You constantly seem to think that there are a bazillion branches to government.

        There is the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary.

        The executive consists of the president – and whosoever he appoints to serve him.
        ALL executive power is vested in the president.

        Everyone in the executive has two choices – do what the president asks or resign.
        If you beleive what he has asked you to do is illegal, unconstitutional, or just wrong, you options are persuade the president or RESIGN.

        This is no different from a business. There is only one boss.
        The president is NOT answerable to those he appoints, or to random federal employees,
        THEY are answerable to him.
        The President is answerable to CONGRESS, the judiciary, and the people through elections.
        That is it.

        You seem to think that the State department or the department of fizzy widgets has the authority to make final decisions on anything – THEY DO NOT.

        I have no idea whether the drinks were a legitimate expense or not – nor do you.
        And I highly doubt the reporter has a clue either.

        But then you emote nonsensical views of how govenrment works all the time.

        Some partisan in the permanent staff at the whitehouse security office thinks it is her job to decide who gets security clearances and who does not.

        IT IS NOT. The FINAL authority on security clearances is THE PRESIDENT – just like everything else in the executive. To the extent that authority has been delegated it is to the FBI – not the white house security office. Like your drinks story, most of this nonsense flows from this lunacy that our government is somehow a bottom up structure – that is true only of PURE democracy or pure communism – neither of which is possible. It also comes from an unfamiliarity with civics and government.

        While you might not understand the role of the whitehouse secutity office – it should be relatively easy for you to understand that law investigations are conducted by the FBI, not the whitehouse. It is in theory possible for the president to direct otherwise. But he didn’t.

        The whitehouse security office is responsible for the ADMINISTRATION of security, not the investigation or decisions regarding who gets cleared. They are supposed to be there to HELP those who need a clearance. And NO ONE asks for a clearance for themselves. You are either directly given a clearance by the president – because he chooses to, or a superior requests that you receive a clearance and the expectation is that the whitehouse security office will work to make sure that you get it. It is the FBI’s job to determine if there are road blocks.

        Over the past devade our FBI and DOJ and … have been notablbly corrupt – and that needs fixed. But only the president can direct others to assume their responsibilities.

        Just as the FBI does not process tax returns.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 4, 2019 6:02 pm

        I do not have a problem with “michelle’s vacations”.

        I have a problem with the public paying for them.

        I do not blame the Obama’s or Trump for that.

        The problem is with our laws.

      • May 4, 2019 10:46 am

        Jay, I am shocked, simply shocked to discover that taxpayers are covering excessive costs of food, drink and travel by our elected and unelected representatives!!

        No doubt, it is only since Trump that this has been going on!! 🙄

      • Jay permalink
        May 4, 2019 9:46 pm

        Priscilla, I am not at all shocked at your continuing tone deaf Trump apologetics. Your tedious and annoying mouselike devotion to Trump is boringly predictable. Let me tell you what you should be shocked about:

        All the excessive taxpayer money you mention spent to profit Trump OWNED businesses and properties. Money out of taxpayer pockets, into Trump’s pockets. You truly are in Trump’s pocket as well, not to understand that’s twice as wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 12:22 am

        Do you recall the part where when you make false moral accusations about others, you lose your integrity, you lose any presumption that you tell the truth.

        Do you understand that one of the consequences of this “witch hunt” – of which the Mueller report is just one more nail in the coffin of the left, the media and the great lie.

        You linked to a news story claiming some penny ante bullshit about drinks.

        One of the other reasons I do not care is that the press does not have any credibility.
        You recite the story as if every single detail is certain and true and it is being reported accurately.

        But what I read is another nutjob in the media which I trust far less today that ever before, who like you clearly loathes Trump. I have no means to know whether what has been written is true or even if true complete. And I do know from the past several years (and longer) that the media only arrives at truth kicking and screaming.

        A few months ago – I might have researched this, and my past experience at that has been that almost always these stories are only half-truths at best.

        Credibility and integrity matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 12:32 am

        Do I care that Trump properties profit from business that they do with the government ?

        NO!!.

        I expect every single business in existance to do its best to profit in all of its business – especially that with government.

        The only relevant issue is whether Trump (or anyone else’s) decisions are being altered because of some possibility of increased personal profit.

        I WANT more business people in government.
        I am HAPPY that Trump has brought alot of them in.
        I am generally MORE happy with his appointments from outside of government than those from inside. I WANT more CEO’s and businessmen and less carreer government employees and less military. I do not know what the conflict between Trump and Tillerson was – but I thought they did well together. I was happy that Tillerson was starving the bureaucrats out of state. I am not happy with Pompeo.

        One of my judgements regarding a persons character is whether they seek to do more with less people or less with more people.

        Someone with real character – delivers value at the least cost. The least cost to consumers, and the least cost to shareholders. More value less cost. That is what makes all of our lives better, it is the ONLY thing that does.
        The person who thinks their values is based on the number of people reporting to them should not be in government or in business.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 12:38 am

        Trump is getting paid 400K/year out of tax payers pockets and into his own.
        Oops – he is actually donating his entire salary to various Federal government agencies.
        So maybe that is not so true.

        I care greatly about how much the federal government costs.

        But it has taken over a century of spendthrift presidents to get us where we are.
        This started to go to hell with the passage of the 16th amendment
        And got worse after Keynes told politicians they could spend whatever they wanted at no cost.

        I am not happy with Trump on spending.
        Though as with many other things I am happier than with Obama.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 3, 2019 9:36 pm

      You have a giant bug up your ass regarding Trump and Putin and it thoroughly clouds your thinking.

      Madoru is going to fall inevitably. there should be zero question of that in anyone’s mind.

      It is my understanding that he was prepared to flee a week ago, but that Putin talked him into staying.

      Putin and Russia have the power to delay the inevitable, they do not have the ability to stave it off indefinitely.

      The only possibility that matters would be Russian military intervention. that is unlikely and would likely be impotent if Putin tried.

      Russia has no means of supporting military operations in Venezuela
      That would be more difficult that the US trying to militarily intervene in Crimea.

      What Trump says was talked about is providing humanitarian aide.
      Trump has just said publicly that Putin agreed to allow that.
      That is important. It undercuts Madoro.

      Russia can not deliver significant aide to Venezuela, the US can.

      As noted – Madora’s fall is inevitable. Absent doing something stupid – which the US has done int he past, The US is in a much better position to influence the future in Venezeula,
      all it requires is patience.

      What I find interesting is that despite all the claims that he is chaotic (which he is), out of control and prone to sudden action – Trump has proven remarkably patient.
      Whether it is Venezeula, China, North Korea or Putin.

      There are two years until the 2020 election.
      Trump has had myriads of accomplishments and political victories and is likely to have more between now and then.

      The great fear of the left is NOT DT the fascist, it is DT who has undone all of what Obama did AND then succeeded dramatically.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 4, 2019 6:08 pm

      The House has ZERO say regarding Paris.

      As the Senate did not ratify, Trump can trivially withdrawl.
      Even if the house AND senate passed a law saying Trump could not withdrawl with veto proof majorities it would be unconstitutional.

      The Senate ALONE gets to vote up/down on treaties.
      I do not like that. Any treaty that requires changes to our laws should require the approval of the house and senate. But that is not what the constitution says, and the courts have allowed everything and the kitchen sink in treaties. Treaties have become a way for the president and Senate to pass laws without the approval of the house.

      What house democrats CAN do is pass actual laws regarding climate – but if they do so, they MUST pass the Senate AND get the president signature. And that is not happening.

      I find it hilarious that Democrats are hopped up on Climate change.

      That is nearly as big a fraud as Trump/Russia collusion.

      • May 4, 2019 6:31 pm

        Dave you need to read my original comment and put this one concerning the house Paris Accord vote in perspective.

        I know 100% the house has no say in this issue at all. I also know that the senate will never take it up. It all goes to electing a democrat president and the senate 50-50 after 2020.

        Read my original comment about 1/2 way up the comments.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 4, 2019 7:15 pm

        Ron;

        Just because I respond and focus on something different does not mean I disagree or did not read what you wrote.

        I know your concerns about getting a democratic president and congress.
        To a small extent I share them.

        Though no one seems to listen as I keep saying Trump’s election is a REACTION to the election of Obama, as well as the short period we had a completely democratic congress.

        The worst thing that could happen to democrats is a return to power.

        Even just having regained the house the seem intent on losing it.

        The “pundits’ I am currently reading suggest the odds of the GOP losing the Senate are small. While there are many more GOP seats than democrat seats.

        There are only 3 truly vulnerable GOP senators, – and D’s must win every one of those AND not loose Jones’s seat in AL AND win the presidency to have a working majority in the Senate.
        The only way things go worse is if there is an actual sweep election – like 2008 and Trump and the GOP go down in flames.

        Dems did much better in the house than I expected – but not unusual for historic norms – and the fact that boring old historic norms worked in 2018 despite the past 20 years being uproar outrage and chaos, is pretty amazing.

        Republics did well in the Senate and very nearly did VERY WELL.

        Trump has suggested – and he may be right, that Kavanaugh made the SENATE election about Trump – but the house election was NOT really about Trump – atleast not in the same way.

        Regardless the 2018 message is conflicting – and does NOT portend a 2020 sweep.
        It pretty much portends that despite the chaos and outrage 2020 will follow historical norms.
        Trump will have had numberous accomplishments, a good economy and will be re-elected easily. I would have bet Romney would beat Obama in 2012 – he did not.
        Incumbency is powerful. Even a bad incumbent is less of a threat than an challenger.
        The only D that has the credibility of even Romney is Biden, and Biden will likely lose in much the same way Romney did. But I do not think that Biden will be the nominee.
        Nor do I think he can win. Bidens road to winning the nomination is much like Trump’s in 2016 To be the leader in a large pack and not end up facing a single challenger until he already has it locked up. But biden goes into the general much like Romney – completely uninspiring. Biden will lose for the same reason that Romney lost – the democratic base which is pretty far to the left will stay home. Trump will get the GOP base. He will do better with the GOP base in 2020 that in 2016. Trump did poorly in 2016 with the GOP base, many deep red states were pretty pink. But he was never going to do badly enough to lose core red states. He will do much better with the republican base in 2020.

  35. May 4, 2019 4:36 pm

    I would like to think that democrats and republicans in congress could agree on one thing, indentifing exactly what happened in 2016, communicating that to the public and fix that one piece of the corrupt two party system today so that one illegal act is eliminated in the future.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/441892-ukrainian-embassy-confirms-dnc-contractor-solicited-trump-dirt-in-2016

    But I dont expect that to happen. They want a corrupt systdm so they can do anything they can to gain power.

    I have said if there is anything there, impeach.
    I have said if there is anything there, indict Clinton
    Now I say find out what the hell happened in 2016, Why do we always have to rely on investigative reporters who now have an agenda and if their agenda does not match that to those in power, are ignored?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 4, 2019 6:30 pm

      No Ron, I do not think that politicians should “get to the bottom of 2016”.

      The ONLY thing that Trump could have done in 2016 that would ACTUALLY be a legitimate crime would have been to secretly conspire with Russia BEFORE hand to Hack the DNC.

      While the rest of Russia’s actions are miniscule – they would not be the business of government if they were not.

      Russian cyber attacks on US persons, businesses and governments – those are seriously important.

      Russian political advocacy – I would like to know about, and it would influence my vote,
      but it is not or should not be a crime, and it is the job of the press not the FBI to dig into that.

      Russia providing political dirt – do not care about.

      And you can substitute the UK, or Ukraine for Russia,

      I do not care that the DNC tried to get dirt on Trump/Manafort from the Ukraine.

      But I do care greatly that OUR government tried to influence OUR election.

      That is HUGE. That is “bigger than Watergate.

      Regardless, there is not all that much we need to “look into” regarding the behavior of private parties, in our elections.
      There is ALOT regarding the conduct of OUR GOVERNMENT.

      Our Government is the one entitiy that CAN NOT have a say in an election.
      The legitamcay of the government derives from the election.
      You can not have those in the govenrment putting their fingers on the scales.

      Rich people, foreign government, uniions, civic groups, corporations – I am ok with all of that.
      Our government – NOPE!!!!

      There are things we need to do about our elections.

      The most fundimental things we need to do is to determine how to make them “fraud proof”.

      That does NOT always mean preventing every possible fraud. It is sufficient that even if some form of fraud is easy that ultimately you still will get caught.

      That is one of the reasons it is NOT all that important that the way votes are counted is fraud proof. What is important is that the raw ballots are preserved so that anyone can recount them thereby detecting fraud. That is my problem with computer voting.

      We also need to verify that everyone who votes is allowed to voted.
      And that everyone who votes is who they say they are.

      I think it is also an excellent idea to make voting difficult.
      I would severally restrict vote by mail, and absentee balloting and early voting.

      I think the Polls should open accross the country at 12am EST, and close accross the country as 12PM HST – that is about 30hours. The polls would be open for 30 hours in every single part of the country. They would be open exactly the same 30 hours. Everyone would have equal oportunity to vote. there would be no real east coast/west coast tilt.

      For federal elections – every single congressional district should get exactly the same amount of funds for the election – from the federal government.

      Each district should have the same number of polling places, and the same number of voters. We should all face the same lines (or not).

  36. May 5, 2019 4:33 pm

    Believe it or not, I miss the days when my posts would generate 50, 100, or 150 comments instead of a thousand. I stopped trying to keep up with the discussions here when the comment count started topping 200 on a regular basis.

    I’m sure the sheer volume of comments has been driving away potential participants (how can they get a word in edgewise?) as well as some of our seasoned veterans. We’ve lost dduck and possibly Roby — both valuable contributors here.

    Dave (I bet you knew I’d mention you), in this month’s comment section you reeled off 11 consecutive unanswered comments at one point, and 16 out of 17 at another point. And the majority were looong comments — some of them approaching the length of my original column. I hate to impose restrictions here, but let me plead with you to use a little more self-restraint. I appreciate the thought and information you put into your comments, but you’re almost monopolizing the conversation. As a libertarian, I hope you’ll pardon me if I try to do a little “trust-busting” in the Teddy Roosevelt tradition. Not by force, mind you — just by appealing to your better judgment.

    As a ground rule, how about this: no more than two consecutive comments in response to someone else’s comment. (That rule would allow for an original comment plus a link if necessary). If you need to reply to multiple people, go ahead — but still no more than two responses to each person you’re addressing.

    By cutting down on the number of comments, we’d open up the conversation to all who want to participate, slash the amount of time spent sifting through the comments (I already spend WAY too much time online), and probably ratchet down the divisive rhetoric as well. If a blog for moderates ends up polarized, there’s probably no hope for the rest of the country.

    • May 5, 2019 6:39 pm

      Thanks Rick.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 11:12 pm

        So I have some suggested ground rules of my own.

        No links to twitter
        Twitter is just a cesspool where intelligent people make complete fools of themselves.
        Twitter should also be the absolute proof that limiting the size of posts is NOT a good rule.
        The twitter requirement for short posts drives posts towards “pithy insults” and away from anything interesting.

        Or maybe – no links at all. Just original content.

        No massive cut and pastes.

        No fallacies,

        No ad hominem.

        Especially, No insults targeting other posters.

        No mind reading.

        No psycho analysis of other posters.

        No superfluous adjectives.

        ……..

        It is easy to find things about others that offend,
        If you believe that you are somehow offended without having offended – you are delusional.

        Real freedom, real tolerance does not mean no one is offensive.

        It means letting go of the faux beleif that only what offends you is what is important.

        I am not actually seeking any of the ground rules I offered above.
        They are offered only to point out:

        Matthew 7
        3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
        4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
        5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 5, 2019 10:28 pm

      Rick;

      This is your site. You can make whatever rules you want.

      But your argument is trivially proven false.

      Go to NYT, articles there generate thousands of comments.

      The claim that people are somehow actually detered from commenting because of the volume of comments does not hold water.

      How can you get a word in edgewise ?
      Simple – comment.

      Nothing precludes anyone from doing so.

      The real problem with your argument is that it is not the volume of comments that deters people. It is that they can not post a comment AND be certain that no one will respond to it.

      I am not particularly interested in statistics about comments.

      Water boils at 100C 100 times out of 100.

      There is no requirement that once in a while it must boil at 99.

      You can not “monopolize” an infinite resource.
      You can not “monopolize” something you do not control.

      TNM is NOT the same as a town square, where the time one party spends speaking reduces the time available to others.

      To the extent there is any natural limit here – it appears to be that WordPress chokes on tablets and the like when there are too many videos in the comments.

      I have stopped posting video’s because of that.

      Regardless, you are NOT appealing to my “better judgement” = because I do not accept your arguments.

      One of the issues we are dealing with – more broadly than just what you are focusing on,
      is what are the actual conventions for “social media”.

      The actual environment is different. We do not see each other face to face.
      We do not have to live with each other outside of the context of this forum.

      You are at the moment fixated on one behavior – the volume of my posts, that would not be acceptable in other contexts – where there actually are constraints on resources and where the arguments you have made ARE actually valid – though they are NOT here.

      I have my own issues with others conduct on TNM. Again also a function of the nature of social media. Again because we do not have to live with each other outside of TNM or look each other in the eye while spraying moral accusations, it is much easier to lob insults.

      In my subjective view – the offense of others here at the frequency of my posts is completely inconsequential in comparison to the offense of baseless personal attacks on other posters.

      Though I consider it a minor one – this “you post too much” meme – is just a baseless personal attack – because there is no such thing as too much.

      But that is small potatoes compared to many other posts.

      To be clear – I do not care about insults targeting public figures – Trump, Obama, etc. chose to be public figures, I can not think of a time in history when some did not grotesquely offensively insult public figures.

      But the BIG “problem” of moment – and TNM is by far not the worst – though it is definitely infected TNM, is that what used to be acceptable only for public figures is now the norm for everyone.

      That is the root of much of our current conflict – at TNM and the much broader context.
      I do not want to make this about Trump – except that Trump is NOT the cause of this, the problem significantly predates him, Though he was elected BECAUSE of this.

      To be clear – unlike apparently others,

      I AM NOT asking you to step in.

      I AM libertarian. The conduct that offends me will end when those engaged in it – to some extent all of us, recognize that it is ineffective.

      That is how freedom is supposed to work.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        May 5, 2019 11:01 pm

        Dave, the difference between the comments at The New York Times and The New Moderate is that the former are random observations by readers who want to sound off, while the latter used to resemble an ongoing conversation. I liked it that way.

        It’s not a conversation when you post a dozen times in succession. I just don’t see the point. Granted, the comment section here isn’t a finite resource, but people’s time IS finite. As I said, I’ve given up trying to engage in the comments after they start piling up. I appreciate what you add to The New Moderate, but I’d be much more likely to read your comments if you didn’t post so darn many of them.

        As for the increasingly strident tone of the comments here, I think it’s a function of our extremely polarized national politics. I would have thought that a blog for moderates might avoid this trap, but in a way it makes perfect sense. Left-wing and right-wing blogs are echo chambers; the comments simply reinforce existing biases, and everyone is happy. The center isn’t ideologically uniform, so the comments are bound to be more of a raucous free-for-all.

        Our conversations ideally should 1) resemble actual conversations, and 2) be spirited but friendly, like an old-time college bull session. After all, we’re not enemies; we’re exchanging ideas that (we hope) might keep this country from splitting apart at the seams.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 5, 2019 11:44 pm

        Rick;

        You are free to want whatever you want for TNM.

        And you have more power than the rest of us to get it.

        But your argument is still false.

        The differences between TNM and NYT are almost entirely scale. That is all.
        I have posted on “the Hill”, and “Res ipsa loquitur”, and RCP

        All have the “conversational” nature you are looking for.

        They have “regulars” like TNM,
        and they have long exchanges between two or more participants going occasionally for 100 posts back and forth.

        If another poster is having a problem having a conversation on TNM – that is their problem.

        Do you have any doubt at all, that I would be happy to go back and forth on an issue with nearly anyone ?

        There are few conversations on TNM because those lamenting my posts do not want to have conversations. They want the freedom to speak their mind, without allowing others the freedom to respond.

        “I just don’t see the point”

        So ? Are you proposing a new groundrule that only posts in which some “other” – you, or a majority or …. see a point are acceptable ?

        “but people’s time IS finite.”

        My posts create no obligation in others to read them.
        I honestly hope they do, but I have no more right to compel others to read them, than they have to compel me not to post.

        There is no burden imposed on your time or that of others, that is not self imposed.

        A massive part of our divisons today are rooted in the desire of some of us to impose their will on others.

        The great problem facing this country at this moment is not how greatly divided or polarized we are. We are a nation of 330M people, we are the most racially and culturally diverse nation on the planet. Any presumption that we would have broad agreement on most everything is ludicrously stupid.

        The core problem is not that we disagree. It is that some of us are prepared to impose their will on others by force. Though it is worse at the moment than in the past, that has been one of the core problems of the past 500 years. This nation was created by people fleeing others imposing their beleifs by force. Nor were those who came here fleeing the intolerance of other particularly tolerant. The tolerance that may be the root of “american exceptionalism”,
        is not the result of enlightened understanding, but more the fear that of dominance by a group that was NOT them.

        That we disagree is not only not a problem it is a good thing.
        It is HOW we deal with disagreement that matters.

        It is not that the country is divided at the moment that is an existential threat.
        It is not that we can not agree. It is that some of us are prepared to use force when we can not persuade to get our way.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 6, 2019 12:06 am

        Both the country and TNM have become more strident
        Because some of us have not gotten their way, and are increasingly willing to do whatever it takes to get their way.

        They have been doubling down on bad hands over and over, in the hopes of a win.
        That escalates everything, it raises the stakes, it increases the cost no matter what the outcome.

        I believe that a significant factor in Trump’s election was that the left increasingly demonizes anyone who disagrees. Hillary’s deplorables comment was NOT some turning point.
        What matters is not what Clinton said – but that approximately half of the country has been accused by the other half of being hateful hating haters, because they do not agree on politics. My hope was that Trump’s election would result in democrats grasping that that strategy is a losing one. Instead they have doubled down.

        We can debate all kinds of things, but the only thing that is truly unusual about the moment is that one side of the debate will stop at nothing to get their way.

        This is not even about Trump. While less true at TNM – it is true here.

        You are stepping in and threatening ground rules because you have been persuaded by one element that there is a problem.

        There is not one problem – there are myriads of problems, but there is only one that matters.
        and that is that some of us are prepared to go beyond persuasion to fix whatever problem is foremost in their minds.

        I gave DD a short list of other serious “problems” on TNM. Most of those are far more significant – atleast to me, than the frequency or length of my posts. Most of them are more “harmful”.

        Which does more harm to the character you want at TNM – numerous long posts of random characters, or posters calling each other barnyard animals ?

        You can do what you want. But there is no end to the ground rules you could impose.
        Nor will they accomplish anything.

        I beleive we are approaching a tipping point in the country.
        I had honestly thought the 2016 election was that moment.
        But the left doubled down.

        Increasingly there are only two possible outcomes:
        The left will implode catastrophically.
        Or they will win the current skirmish, behave even more repressively and the long term result will make Trump look like a pussy cat.

        I am hoping for the former.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 6, 2019 12:46 am

        TNM is far less strident than most places on the web. Do not beat yourself.

        The problems at TNM have nothing to do with my posts,
        They do not have to do with our differences.

        They have to do with the unwillingness of far too many to accept that we have differences – many many differences – that is even a good thing, and that the goal is NOT to destroy our differences, but to allow the greatest degree of differences possible

        “resemble actual conversations”
        That is a choice each of us must make – you can not impose that even if you wanted.
        Nor is it harmed by anyone’s speech.

        “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

        Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis Whitney v. California 1927,

        If someone is not engaged in a “conversation” – it is because they do not want to engage in a conversation.

        Limiting TNM will not make it more conversational, it will make it LESS.
        Those who are upset do not want the opportunity to engage in a conversation – they have always had that. They want the right to speak without others having the right to respond.

        “be spirited but friendly, like an old-time college bull session. After all, we’re not enemies; we’re exchanging ideas that (we hope) might keep this country from splitting apart at the seams.”

        I have actually thought alot about that.

        While your goal is admirable, I do not think it is acheivable.

        “virtual” exchanges are inherently different from normal interpersonal exchanges.

        We are not inherently enemies – but we are also not inherently friends.
        Some here have had personal relations with each others – I strongly suspect that mutes their behavior towards each others.

        No one here has a personal relationship with me.
        That has consequences.

        What we are willing to say to those we do not know and will never know is quite different from what we will say to those closer to us.

        The internet is very close to a pure contest of ideas. There is no reason to mute arguments.
        No reason to leave the other person the opportunity to “save face”.

        “The medium is the message”
        Marshall McLuhan

        You can not make the internet into a “college bull session”
        It is not its nature.

        There are bad aspects to that, but it is not inherently bad.
        It is just different.

        I grew up with attacks on Rock Music, and then Video Games, and Pornography, and too much screen time.

        I tried to sort through some of those things as a parent.

        I bought two acres in the woods so that my children could go out and play in nature the way I did as a child, and they almost never left the house.

        My son barely comes out of his room. He is lacking all kinds of social skills related to face to face interactions.

        But he has developed many serious long term relationships with people on line.

        He has a very intimate relationship with a girl 1000 miles away that is almost a decade old.
        He regularly communicates with others in Thailand and Japan.

        I have learned that he is NOT anti-social, he is just socialized differently.

        The medium is the message.

        Our future is going to be driven by the ways that our communications have changed as a result of technology shape it. And I do not think we have but the beginings of the inklings of how that will be. but I think it will ultimately be a significant improvement – but not in every way.

        I wish I knew exactly how – that would make me the next Gates or Jobs.

        Regardless, I do think that you are correct that the stresses at TNM are a microcosm of the broader world. But I do not think they are to be feared in the way you seem to.

        I think we are best to leave them alone. that is not what we are going to do,
        but it does not matter, because change is beyond our ability to control.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 5, 2019 10:54 pm

      Regarding Ground rules:

      This post is both very serious, and completely unserious.

      It is very serious – in its efforts to point out why “ground rules” are a mistake.
      They have exactly the same problem as regulations,
      There are very very few things in life that benefit from clear rules.

      It is unserious in that, I am not arguing for different ground rules,
      I am not arguing that your proposed ground rules are flawed – because they are just not the right ground rules. I am arguing that the concept of ground rules is flawed.

      But here goes.

      So two posts ?

      So is that two 40,000 word replies to one post ?

      Sometimes I reply point by point to someone else’s post – one reply per point.
      Sometimes the response to one point is a few sentences, because that is all it takes.
      Sometimes it is pages.

      Sometimes the response to someones post is just links.
      I have found that TNM does not like it if you put more than one link into a post.

      If one person posts that X did not happen,
      Is there something wrong with 5 different posts from 5 different sources establishing that it did ?

      You claim you are making things easier for others, but you are not.

      There is no actual cost to others for posts here.

      I have used this analogy here before.
      What if I left TNM but 100 other libertarians decided to post on TNM and except that they posted under 100 different names, the results were still pretty much the same ?

      You have said that you want more people on TNM. That is purportedly the goal.
      More people is MORE posts, not less.

      You are not actually after less posts, you are after less posts from ONE PERSON.
      Every argument you make regarding the volume of my posts would be equally true if I posted 100th of what I do, but 100 other people like me posted much the same thing.

      Everything would be the same – except one thing – we would not be having this conversation.

      There was another political blog that I frequented many many years ago.

      I was one of the top posters on the blog. I had massive numbers of likes.
      I also got banned 3 times. Because many people do not like to be told they are wrong.
      Each time I was banned, I created another pseudonym, and usually with 4 days I had amassed enough upvotes to be listed as a top poster. In one instance I managed to get 10,000 upvotes in less than 24 hours.
      And I managed to get banned again in less that 24hrs.

      Regardless the problem with my posts is NOT that they are long or numerous.
      It is that none of us likes being told we are wrong though nearly every post is someone telling someone else they are wrong.
      But we especially do not like it when it is done with facts, logic and reason.

      Next, we would all like it if all posts were short concise and made excellent arguments in a few words.

      In a different context, I do alot of writing professionally. If I write a 2500 word article for a technical magazine, I spend alot of time getting the words right. Crafting each of the sentences.

      Making a point or points concisely, effectively in a few words, takes alot of time.
      I spend less time posting here than you think – because I do NOT take the time to polish the words. I do not think anyone here does – though maybe you do with the articles.

      Regardless, when you impose limits artificially, you distort values.
      Your ground rules will without any actually legitimate reason impose a cost artificially.

  37. May 5, 2019 10:01 pm

    Rick hope your requests helps.

    now for another issue. We have a local program “NC Spins” on our PBS station WUNC-TV. They talk about various political issues impacting NC. We had a Born Alive Abortion bill passed by the legislature and vetoed by the governor. Bev Perdue, our former Democrat governor was a panelist today. She said the state senate over rode the veto by one vote, that being a democrat from a swing district in eastern NC. The state democrat party has told the legislator that they are pulling out all the stops in the next primary to defeat this legislator. And any other democrat that goes against the party will find the same thing happening to them.

    The issue here is more than 60% of the people in this legislators district supported this legislation. He was in Raleigh supporting his constituents when he voted like he was supposed to, those being democrats, independents and moderate republicans who voted for him over the far right GOP candidate.

    When rock says western civilization is on the brink, this just supports that position. When party loyalty becomes more important than supporting the people that elected you, our democracy is moving in the wrong direction.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 5, 2019 11:20 pm

      You raise many issues.

      I see the same problems as you do,
      but I am less in agreement regarding answers.

      Skipping whether abortion is a right or not,

      Actual rights are NOT subject to the whims of democracy.
      We do not decide what is an is not a right because 60% of the electorate support it.
      Or because party leaders oppose it.

      • May 6, 2019 12:28 am

        Interesting. I dont remember saying anything about about rights. This bill had nothing to do with rights, abortion or otherwise. This bill requires physicians and facilities to provide care for an infant that survives an abortion as it would any infant born alive via normal vaginal delivery or c-section birth.

        I guess I am living in dinasour times thinking legislators, especially state legislators, should represent the interests of those that elected them as well as others in their district, not the party operatives in the state or national party office.

        Why have an election and have people vote for a person to represent their district based on certain political positions if the party leaders are going to overide those political positions by threatening to spend multiple times normal against them because it does not follow the party agenda? Why have primaries and elections. Why not just have the party place someone in the legislature?

      • Jay permalink
        May 6, 2019 9:25 pm

        The number of prosecutors who have signed this to date has passed 500…

        “We are former federal prosecutors. We served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system: as line attorneys, supervisors, special prosecutors, United States Attorneys, and senior officials at the Department of Justice. The offices in which we served were small, medium, and large; urban, suburban, and rural; and located in all parts of our country.

        Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

        View at Medium.com

      • May 6, 2019 9:46 pm

        And this concerns Born Alive legislation how?

      • Jay permalink
        May 6, 2019 9:53 pm

        Sorry Ron, that wasn’t supposed to post as a reply to your comment, but as a new comment.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 6, 2019 10:13 pm

        All you have done is established that – given any proposition no matter how stupid, you can find an intelligent person somewhere to offer it as credible.

        Barr dispatched this trivially in just a few sentences.

        There is a “narative” going arround that Mueller did not find obstruction because of the OLC guide regarding indicting a president.

        Many Including Ken Starr have said that claim is CRAP.

        Mueller did NOT say he found obstruction but did not beleive he could indict.

        He said His Office was unable to do what their job is, and provide a Yes/No answer to a simple question of Law that Barr dispatched trivially – Twice in a short memo.

        BTW it is also being represented that Barr Purportedly lied and that Mueller claims the Barr Memo “misrepresents” Mueller’s findings – that is ALSO False.

        Mueller wrote Barr complaining about his decision not to release interim memos, but to wait until the entire redacted report could be filed.

        That whole spat is a stupid tempest in a tea pot.

        The redacted report is available.

        Key Members of Congress have available to them RIGHT NOW, a significantly LESS redadacted report. Those who have seen it say that the redactions if anything make the report weaker, not stronger.

        Starr (and numerous others) have severely criticized Mueller for failing to reach – a pretty simple conclusion regarding “obstruction”. And punting to Barr.

        It Was Mueller’s JOB to reach conclusions. Barr as AG was free to override them.
        But Mueller failed to do his job and in doing so he failed the country.

        It is irrelevant whether Mueller and his team like Trump.
        It is irrelevant whether they think he is an asshole.
        It is irrelevant whether they think he is a shitty president.

        Their Job was to investigate Russian interferance in the 2016 election AND any interaction with the Trump campaign.

        We learn more about all of this everyday.

        By July 2016 Strzok though the Trump investigation was DOA – not that it ever had a basis to start. It was revived SOLELY by the Steele Dossier – which when he provided it to FBI/DOJ Bruce Ohr described it as unreliable and unvetted.

        Thus far although the DOJ/FBI used it 4 times, there is no evidence they ever managed to verify anything in it.

        BTW Rosenstein has TESTIFIED that he did NOT swear to the accuracy of the Fisa Warrant application. More specifically he stated that he is NOT the Affiant in the application.
        That while he was required to sign off on it, he did NOT represent it as meeting the standard of Probable Cause – that was others.

        Despite many many problems – and I still beleive he had to recuse and never should have started the investigation, it is becoming increasingly clear that Rosenstein would likely have dealt with the Mueller Report even more harshly than Barr.

        He has already stated that it should never have been made public, that investigative documents can not by law be made public.

        That BTW is consistent with his fights with the Republican Congress in 2018.

        We further know that Mueller reported to Rosenstein sometime Between Aug and Dec. 2017 that “collusion” was a dead issue.

        So why wasn’t the investigation brought to a close THEN.

        I think any claim that Trump obstructed it is complete and total CRAP.

        Ken Starr made clear what constituted Obstruction in the Clinton mess.
        He has stated over and over that Clinton fought him tooth and nail every step of the way.
        But that fighting a prosecution is NOT obstruction.
        Clinton Obstructed when he lied (twice) under oath, and when he got others to Lie under Oath too.

        All these nonsensical claims of obstruction could have been made of EVERY other president.

        Trump would not have Obstructed Justice had he FIRED Mueller.

        Bush pardoned all those being investigated right out from under SC Walsh, and that was not obstruction.

        The Obama whitehouse fought providing information to congress tooth and nail – despite numerous subpeonas, and actually holding Eric Holder in contempt, the House STILL has not received the information that they subpeoned on Fast and Furious.

        Yet, no one serious talked about impeaching Obama.

        BTW I have heard pretty good arguments that because Mueller withheld the From Trump (and the public) the fact that he had exhonerated the campaign by late 2017, that any subsequent claims of obstruction MUST FAIL.

        While there are narrow circumstances in which you can obstruct justice where you did NOT commit an underlying crime. When law enforcement has concluded that no crime occured hides that information from you and continues to investigate that is CLASSIC Entrapment.

        Prosecutors are not allowed to TRY to manufacture criminal conduct.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 6, 2019 10:18 pm

        And the shorter version – if you accept that view of the law – there is not a president since Washington that has not committed obstruction of justice.

        I do not know what it takes to get through to you – that however you manipulate the law to “get Trump” – that is the law you are ultimately stuck with.

        There is no such thing as “it is illegal for Trump to do X, but legal for Obama, or Bush, or Clinton”

        Or whoever the next president is.

        You do not ever seem to consider what the future consequences of your broad interpretations of the law are.

        I badly want to see the power of government – including the president reduced.

        But no by manufacturing crimes out of thin air.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 6, 2019 10:28 pm

        Ron.

        I try to be clear when I attribute a view, or argument to you.

        Just because my post is in reply to yours does not mean everything in it is a critique or concurance with your post.

  38. Jay permalink
    May 6, 2019 9:32 pm

    “New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Treasury Department and the IRS for failing to respond to legally mandated records requests.”

    Trump admin is violating the 1924 law requiring it to turn over the Trump tax returns he promised to release. Lying to get elected is grounds for impeachment.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 6, 2019 10:19 pm

      “Lying to get elected is grounds for impeachment.”

      Really ?

      We would have impeached them all if that were true.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 6, 2019 10:26 pm

      There is a 1924 law. It is rarely used. It is fairly detailed. The circumstances under which Treasury Must provide personally identifiable tax return information are very narrow.
      The circumstances under which Treasury May do so (rather than Must) are only slightly broader.

      If James thinks she has a case she can go to court.

      It is likely that she will lose. Trump provided tax returns to NY for the same period of time.
      They contain essentially the same information.

      My Guess is James is having difficulty getting those too – for the same reasons that Mnuchin is not going to give her Trump’s.

      I know this is a giant bug up your ass.
      But in the real world it is meaningless.

      If Trump violated NY law – James can prosecute. She has NY tax returns.

      She is an NYAG not a US ADA.

      Personally I think we should end this nonsense of releasing tax returns.

      It is a BAD idea. It drives good people out of politics.

      Trump was stupid to promise his tax returns.

      If you voted for him and that was critical to your decision – then you have some ground to stand on an complain, and you can vote against him in 2020.

  39. dhlii permalink
    May 8, 2019 3:36 am

    What matters ?

    I do not care if you are on the right or on the left or Moderate or independent, of marxist or a Trumpanzee.

    Some of the people I respect the most – and many are on the left, are those whose principles are consistent.

    If you were complaining about Obama acting outside the law or the constitution – I will listen thoughtfully and respectfully when you argue that is what Trump is doing.

    If you were complaining about endless war under Bush and Obama, I will listen thoughtfully and respectfully when you argue that is what Trump is doing.

    If You were complaining about Family separation under Obama, I will listen thoughtfully and respectfully when you argue that is what Trump is doing.

    If you were complaining when Holder refused to honor House subpeona’s, I will listen thoughtfully and respectfully when you argue that is what Trump is doing.

    If you were complaining when Rosenstein was stonewalling congress, I will listen thoughtfully and respectfully when you argue that is what Trump is doing.

    I can go on and on.

    We the nation, and we here at TNM can manage to move forward and get along even if we do not share the same principles, So long as we have principles, and those principles do not vary with who won the last election.

    I can listen to and respect someone that I disagree with completely on any issue, who is following their principles, and who will continue to do so when circumstances are different, when it is the party, the candidate, the president, the congressmen they support who is on the wrong side of those principles.

    What is wrong with this country right now – is not that we do not agree.
    Disagreement is normal for a diverse nation of 330m. Disagreement is a GOOD THING.
    What is wrong is not that the left or the right are too extreme. What is wrong is not that we can not compromise. What is wrong is not even that we do not have the same principles.

    What is wrong is that for far too many principles do not matter.

  40. May 8, 2019 8:34 am

    Ha, I take a few days off, and Rick actually posts some comments!!

    Thanks, Rick, for trying to get the playground under control. It’s always been helpful when you step in, and I hope it helps now, although, as I observe the poisonous invective that passes for political discussion in the “real world” these days, I don’t know how much I can hope for. Being called a “deluded Trumpanzee” may be the most polite name I could expect from those who have decided that all of us are not on the same team. And by the same team, I mean that we are all patriotic Americans, political junkies of a sort, and hopeful that this country, which seems to be going off the rails, can get back on track.

    I like the ground rule of trying to keep one’s responses down to one or two at a time. I also like the idea of trying to avoid posting tweets that are merely someone else’s hateful invective. Anyone here who wishes to make his comments hateful and abusive toward anyone else, should at least be intrepid enough to use his own words, and not rely on some inherently biased troll from the Twitterverse.

    I will say that I’d rather read 4 lengthy comments from Dave, which are generally fact-based and rarely rely on personal insults, than the continuous personal affronts that are directed toward his remarks. But, that’s just me.

    Anyway, I do find the latest front in the abortion controversy very interesting. I seem to recall that both Jay and Roby have, in the past, opposed the most extreme interpretation of abortion, that is, killing a full-term baby, or allowing an infant survivor of abortion to receive medical assistance.

    Has that changed? And, if not, what do you think of the Democrat Party’s support of this? Has Joe Biden stated his position yet?

    Also, on Trump’s 1980 – 90’s tax and financial troubles…I remember this period quite clearly. It was the period of the savings and loan crisis (remember McCain and the Keating Five?), which caused multiple bank failures. It was also the period of a commercial real estate crash, largely caused by corruption and lack of underwriting standards in the banking industry.

    If we are to go down the road of picking apart Trump’s troubled investment history, which was well-publicized at the time, we need to have some context.

    That’s not to say that we can’t criticize him…but we need some historical perspective with which to do so.

    • May 8, 2019 11:25 am

      “That’s not to say that we can’t criticize him…but we need some historical perspective with which to do so.”

      But Priscilla, people born before 2002 will be voting. People who are in that age group plus all those born all the way back to the early 70’s have no knowledge of the crisis in the late 80’s. And no reporter is going to include that in any report. Reporters know they can manipulate voters choices by leaving out critical information.

      They also know the GOP i s inept in communication.

      As Dave kust pointed out, the lack of priniciples are leading us down the wrong path. Integrity means nothing today, unlike the Pre Bill Clinton era.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 8, 2019 9:08 pm

      Trump is president – stories about his past are fair game – and likely would be even if he was not. I find them interesting.

      There is a difference between fascination with Trump’s past and whatever conclusions are being drawn.

      I am trying to figure out how it is that we can reconcile the claims that Trump lost 1.3B during the same period of time that he purportedly was engaged in tax evasion.

      If Trump lost money – he owed no taxes – and likely owed no taxes for many years in the future.

      Regardless, businesses make money, and they lose money. Any business that survives long is almost a miracle.

      What I would offer as the takeawy is Trump has been in dificult spots before and still manages to survive and ultimately thrive.

      But if you are fascinated by Trump’s past – fine.

      I do find it interesting.

      If you are in business and you make money – you must be a crook.
      If you are in business and you lose money – you must be a crook.

      Yet I do not recall EVER being forced to do business with anyone.
      And I certainly do not do so more than once with someone who disappointed me the first time.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 8, 2019 9:18 pm

      The problem is not that Trump is being covered, it is that the coverage is so hysterical.

      One example – thought here are many exactly the same.
      Some legal scholar is positing a constitutional crisis because Trump is ordering people not to comply with House subpeona’s and asserting executive privilidge,

      This is NOT unusual. Obama did it all the time.
      Rosenstein came damn near getting declared in contempt of congress and possibly impeached for refusing to honor subpeona’s.

      I have listened to the legal arguments.

      This looks like a close call. If the courts perceive that the House is targetting Trump,
      Trump will likely prevail. That is why this bandying about of “legitimate legislative purpose”.
      But despite the requirement for a legitimate legislative purpose, the courts have in my view substantially favored congress when what it was doing looked like an investigation of a person rather than oversight.

      But what really gets me is that this – and myriads of similar articles conclude – not by claiming that Trump’s conduct is criminal. But that it WILL BE in the future when the courts decide the matter in favor of the house and Trump continues to refuse to comply.

      In otherwords Trump is guilty today of future crimes that have not occured and likely will not.

      We have jumped from the close call that the courts would favor the house, to the out of thin air assumption that Trump would defy the courts.

      I can name instances where obama defined the courts, I can not name on where Trump has.

  41. May 8, 2019 9:24 pm

    I know we agreed to limit links, videos znd other stuff, but I believe this one needs to be shared. Access, forward to the 53:50 time and play.

    I support Jason Whitlock in most of his positions. He is spot on with this one concerning violence on young black males. I could summarize, but it would take away most of the impact coming from another black male.

  42. dhlii permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:36 am

    Maybe this is wishful thinking – though the FACTS reported regarding Obama are not pleasant.

    https://issuesinsights.com/2019/05/08/this-could-be-the-year-of-regime-change-in-iran/

  43. dhlii permalink
    May 9, 2019 12:39 am

    Whatever the law is – it is the same for all

    And can the Clintons PLEASE go away!

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-democrats-have-apparently-evolved-on-obstruction-1658549/

  44. dhlii permalink
    May 10, 2019 2:16 pm

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

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

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

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/10/the_government_spied_on_me_you_could_be_next_140291.html

    • May 10, 2019 2:37 pm

      Dave, and her story has been around for 2-3 years and few are covering it. You won’t see many articles like this or any other like this on liberal news sites (ie MSNBC) or moderate sites ( ie The Moderate Voice, which is anything but moderate) because it does not fit their narrative. They want freedom of the press as long as it is freedom for the left and mutes the right.

      And the DOJ since 9/11 has been anything but “democracy in America” and congress has fell into the same cesspool when they passed the Security legislation in the early to mid 90’s that allowed them unfettered access to anything they wanted simply by saying it was in the “interest of security” for them to investigate. Since then anyone anytime that wants anything from the the DOJ can expect years of litigation to get it. And it is now an agency that is the enemy of the people and not an agency supporting laws and rights.

      You already know my thoughts on trusting government. Problem is there are not enough of us that think the same to make a difference. Just as anyone that did not believe as we do have left this site for other more agreeable pastures, they also do not want to hear about infringement on rights when it infringes on the rights of the right leaning voters.

      • May 10, 2019 2:38 pm

        Security legislation in the 2000’s not the mid 90’s. My brain fart!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 10, 2019 11:41 pm

        Her story has been arround for almost a decade.

        She is no longer at CBS because they painted her as bat-shit because she claimed to have been spied on. And that was crazy.

        Now the only question is exactly who in government spied on her.

        One of the things lost in this Trump spying imbroglio is that this is NOT something unusual in the past 10+ years.

        Lots of the forgotten stuff from Snowden is how massive the NSA/CIA surveillance of ordinary people is.

        Forgotten is that the FBI was CAUGHT spying on journalists.

        That the CIA was CAUGHT spying on congress.

        If you give government a power – it will be used.
        THEN it will be abused.

        Even the leading conservative who pushed the patriot act after 9/11 has subsequently decided it was a mistake.

        What happened to the Trump campaign was the inevitable consequence of relaxing the rules regarding spying on citizens.

        If we do nothing about it, it will become the norm.

    • May 10, 2019 2:42 pm

      They are just running their mouths, making it an election issue and have no thoughts of changing anything.

      Just as the GOP did with Holder and nothing came from that after he was held in contempt of congress.

      The only thing that is really happening is wasting millions of the taxpayer dollars to get elected.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 11, 2019 12:36 am

        I do not think Holder is in anyway comparable.

        Congress was excercising legitimate oversight.
        They were quite literally investigating actual government conduct – not the private actions of a person.

        DOJ/Holder stalled for over a year.
        AFTER being Held in Contempt – it still did nothing.
        I am told that eventually the House did get some limited version of the records they were after. Though there is still disagreement on that.

        Nalder is after something he is not entitled to.
        Nor has he made the slightest effort to be accomodating.

        The first HUGE legal problem is that the DC Court of appeals just recently held that the ONLY allowable exceptions to the release of GJ material are those in Rule 6e.

        Congress can change the law – but short of that, Barr MUST obey it.
        Holding him in contempt for obeying the law is itself LAWLESS.

        Material related to an investigation is more difficult. Rosenstein very effectively stonewalled the GOP congress on that. And that is a bit murkier.

        I think there is no legitimate reason for Congress to attempt to relitigate a DOJ/FBI investigation. If Nadler wants to investigate Trump – he MUST open an impeachment inquiry.
        There is really no other way it is inside of congresses legitimate powers to investigate people.

        Prior to 2019, the House Republican investigation – was NOT an investigation of a person, but an investigation of the conduct of the DOJ/FBI – that is legitimate for congress.
        Further the Clinton Email issue is about the acts of government servants withing government.

        There are arguably legitimate reasons that Congress can investigate the 2016 election – elections are their business.

        There is also a very complex legal issue regarding all the Whitehouse material Trump provided to Mueller.

        All of it was subject to executive priviledge. Trump could have said no, forced Mueller to go to court. Trump would have won some and lost others and it is pure speculation to guess how much Trump would have won/lost.

        Trump never asserted executive priviledge with Mueller.
        Or any other priviledge.

        Trump is now quite broadly threatening to assert executive priviledge all over the place regarding the democratic house.

        Normally, he would prevail on much of this.
        there is an argument being made that by allowing Mueller access to Whitehouse information, Trump waived priviledge. But Mueller is technically part of the executive branch – so it is also arguable that there was no waiver. I do not honestly know the answer.
        I think that finding that cooperating with an SC constitutes waiver is very bad policy.
        but I do not know what the law really is.

        I also think this is very stupid on the part of D’s.

        I am sure that Jay and DD and Robby will disagree, and I know that there are only clues of this right now, But I think 2020 is NOT going to go D;’s way.

        Democrats have LOST several races since Nov, that were supposed to be wins.
        They have LOST in places they won in 2018 and that they have to win in 2020 to hold the house and to defeat Trump.

        Democrats are having difficulty recruiting top tier challengers to run against incumbent republicans. They had no problems doing so for 2018.

        Conversely Republicans are having no problems recruiting high profile challengers.
        There are aparently already more new GOP female candidates for 2020 than there were in the whole 2018 election cycle.
        Republicans have already secured high profile challengers to incumbent democrats in the 2020 house and senate races.

        The things that are still going the democrats way are:
        Fundraising
        and for the moment polls.

        But I think polls are a very poor means of predicting how people will vote.
        They were way off for Brexit – and for Trump.

        We are also seeing other clues that the poll numbers may not mean much.

        Rachel Maddows ratings have thoroughly tanked.

        Democrats have little message for 2020.
        Hating Trump is NOT going to win the election.
        What little message they have ranges from tepid socialism to extreme socialism.
        Absolutely they will energize 25% of the country behind that.
        But they will lose the remaining 75%.

        You constantly tell me that D’s are much better at messaging and R’s suck.

        Normally that is right.
        But what I see now is that the D’s do not have a clue what the stand for.
        And that will be disasterous in 2020.

        I am not sure that Trump is not bating and goading Nadler, Pelosi and the Democrats.
        I honestly think that politically fixating on trying to rewrite the outcome of Mueller is a disasterously bed political strategy. Absent litterally discovering that Mueller, Barr, and Rosenstein as well as numerous other actually conspired to hide REAL crimes, there is no way this plays well for D’s.

        The harder D’s press – the more likely it is that there will be prosecutions of the Obama Era Conduct targeting a political opponent.

        The more D’s go after Trump the less partisan prosecuting the Comey’s and Strzok’s and McCabes and Brennans and Ohrs appears to be.

        Further as I think John Solomon noted elsewhere – the almost absolute norm previously was NOT to prosecute people for lying to investigators or congress or …
        Threaten, arm twist – absolutely. But when push came to shove, not congress, not DOJ not FBI prosecuted people for misstatements – not even under oath – so long as there was no underlying actual crime.

        Patrick (a crony of Comey) was one of the first to do so with the Scooter Libby prosecution.

        Mueller has just made it the norm.

        There is a very long list of people atleast affiliated with the D’s that have LIED to investigators or under oath or too congress in much more egregious ways that say Flynn or Papadopolis or Stone.

        Mueller has arguably changed the rules – and those rules are now being applied to people who are NOT Trump surogates.

        I am opposed to that. I was opposed to it when it was done to Trump’s people.
        But what I feel does not matter. Mueller has made it possible for Barr to prosecute them.

        Trump has endured 2 years of constant democrat attacks and leaks of bogus crap from the Mueller investigation. We have a bit less than 2 years before the election.
        I think you can expect Barr to be CONSTANTLY bringing all fo that D affiliated misconduct to the public attention. And the media will follow it. They will do so whether they like it or not.
        No matter how left leaning the media is – they will report on a train wreck.

        D’s are going into 2020 with:
        No message – except socilaism.
        No clue what they are doing.
        Having lost their Play at Trump and sounding more desparate every day
        and with a whole sequence of leaks and prosecutions likely to continue through to the election that will hurt them, not Trump.

        Further I continue to carp on credibility and integrity.

        The entire democratic political machine, the entire party, the entire media, has just LOST in a contest of credibility and integrity with Donald Trump.

        That is nearly as bad as going after Nixon and being proven WRONG.

        The crap Nadler and democrats want to fixate on – the public has already Grasped.

        Trump was pissed as hell over the Mueller “witchhunt” and all the “fake news” that was negative to him.

        He may or may not have actually directed staff to fire Mueller, and that staff may or may not have quietly refused. It does not matter even if True.

        Mueller was not fired, and firing Mueller would not have been obstruction, because THERE WAS NO CRIME.

        Absolutely firing Mueller would have had huge political consequences.
        But unless you beleive that Mueller botched an investigation that he went far past what he should have been allowed, Firing Mueller would NOT have resulted in a different outcome to the investigation.

        I think Barr should let Mueller testify – with DOJ layers present.
        I do not think that Mueller will provide congress with information that he is ethically barred from revealing. But a couple of DOJ lawyers in the hearing should help assure that.

        I do not think Mueller will say flattering things about Trump.
        But he is NOT going to contradict his own report.

        D’s MIGHT be able to win a few news cycles with Mueller’s testimony, but in the end it will be a fizzle. Much Like Cohen’s testimony only more damaging to D’s.

    • Jay permalink
      May 10, 2019 3:34 pm

      “In March 2015, Attkisson and her family filed suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against Holder, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States, claiming to have been subject to illegal surveillance activities.[50][51] The government then removed her case to a D.C. federal court, and the case was eventually transferred to a federal court in Virginia.[52] In 2017, federal judge Leonie Brinkema dismissed Attkisson’s case, finding that Attkisson’s lawsuit failed to allege sufficient facts to make a plausible claim that either defendant personally engaged in the alleged surveillance”.[53] Attkisson appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of Attkisson’s case.[54]”

      No proof to back up her claim said two courts.

      Just as there was no proof to back up her MULTIPLE Anti-Vax claims, linking vaccines with autism, that earned her MULTIPLE criticisms from the scientific community, like this: “one of the least responsible mainstream journalists covering vaccines and autism. Again and again, she’s parroted anti-vaccine rhetoric long past the point that it’s been decisively disproved.”[35]

      (Quotes from Wikipedia)

      • May 10, 2019 5:43 pm

        Jay, trust in government should be earned by the government. I wish I could be in your position.

        But right now when I agree with the ACLU, the planets are not aligned for me to be in your camp.
        https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/privacy-and-surveillance/ending-nsas-massive-phone-spying-program-would-be

        You contniue to share information to Trump that indicates illegal activities. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

        I also believe in the smoke theory. With DOL, FBI, NSA and any other alphabet spy network, there has been plenty of information to support illegal spying on Americans.

      • Jay permalink
        May 10, 2019 8:29 pm

        Ron – I’m more concerned by the daily number of robo-calls and unsolicited emails I get daily than worry about the government monitoring me. But I’ll certainly have to worry if Devious Dimwit gets another term and consolidates permanent control over the government to punish all of us who have called him an asshole.

        BTW, what will you do if he refuses to accept a narrow loss in 2020, declares a national emergency, and refuses to relinquish power? Will you send me chocolate chip cookies when I’m locked up with the Dem Congress?

      • May 10, 2019 9:30 pm

        My god, “what goes around does come around”

        “BTW, what will you do if he refuses to accept a narrow loss in 2020, declares a national emergency, and refuses to relinquish power? Will you send me chocolate chip cookies when I’m locked up with the Dem Congress?”

        Is this story actually going around or is this something you came up with. I suspect its in the liberal media outlets since I don’t think you would be making this up.

        Anyway, this same story went around in the late 80’s with Reagan and the democrats were saying he was going to declare a national emergency to stay in power. Seems like they could come up with a different scare tactic because that one did not work then and it won’t work today.

        How about the democrats proposing how they will maintain the economy that Trump has created so that black unemployment stays at historic lows, wages are increasing and taxes are low. Then once they do that, then how about them telling us how they plan to pay for the massive new spending they are proposing with Medicare for All, Education for all, student loan forgiveness, green new deal, etc. If they will come clean and say they propose a VAT in the range of the EU at 24% to pay for all this, then maybe I would be interested in the other things they say.

        Just like the democrats, I want the GOP to say how they plan to cut the deficit and pay for the military buildup and all the other waste in government.

        Until then, I will continue to vote Libertarian.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 11, 2019 5:52 am

        These stories tell you more about those pushing them, than those they are about.

        People are most inclined to fear what they would do themselves.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 11, 2019 1:46 am

        “Ron – I’m more concerned by the daily number of robo-calls and unsolicited emails I get daily than worry about the government monitoring me.”

        There is no robo caller that can take your property or your liberty without your consent.

        “But I’ll certainly have to worry if Devious Dimwit gets another term and consolidates permanent control over the government to punish all of us who have called him an asshole.”

        Because what ? What is it that Trump will do from 2020-2024 that would be different from the past 2 years ? The norm is that presidents are LESS effective the longer they are in power.

        You can like all Trump has done, you can hate it all, or you can be rational and like some and hate others – just as every other president.

        But the world has not ended because Trump was elected, It will not end if he is re-elected.
        It will go on much as it has for the past 2 years. Albeit with Democrats having to figure out what they actually stand for, rather than who they stand against.

        “BTW, what will you do if he refuses to accept a narrow loss in 2020, declares a national emergency, and refuses to relinquish power? ”

        Or what if he tasks the DOJ/FBI to spy on Biden, Harris, ….
        Or to push false claims that they are in league with Russians?

        What if the people he puts into senior but carreer positions in the executive – DOJ/FBI/NSA/CIA decide after Biden or Harris is elected to undermine the results of the election with a phoney investigation ?

        Deranged speculation is easy. In the real world the only “conspiracy” and “collusion” was by anti-trumpers.

        If Trump actually loses the election – he will be gone.
        We get this “what if Trump does something insane” speculation all the time.
        Partly because – those on the left are imaging Trump doing what they either did or would do themselves.

        Not abiding by the results of an election is something banana republics and leftists do.
        Spying on political opponents is something banana republics and leftists do.

        You are demonstrating one of the many reasons that making unsupported moral claims over political differences is itself immoral and evil.

        When you paint your enemy as evil rather than wrong – you can envision them doing anything. And you can yourself feel justified in doing evil to thwart them.

        And that is what happened in 2016. The left decided that Trump was more than wrong – that he was evil and that he must be stopped by any means necescary. Even people in government. People arguable not on the hard left, possibly not on the left at all, but people part of the washington swamp establishment Trump was elected to clean up, believed that Trump was so much of a threat – so evil that they would do anything necescary to thwart him.

        The voices now coming out from DOJ/FBI/State – the memos from 2016 from DEMOCRATS DIRECTING that Steele should not be touched with a 10′ pole that he was overtly political and funded by a political party and that any involvement with him violated the hatch act and was certainly improper.

        These are the voices of reason. These are the people who are able to say – we do not violate our principles just because we might lose an election.

        These are the people regardless of party that I respect.

        If Trump tries to remain in power after losing an election – the latter of which is unlikely and the former ludicrous, Barr, Boulton, Mnuchin, Wray, DeVos, Perry, …… and myriads of other people in the administration will procede with turning over power to the new administration, as they have almost 50 times previously. the president is president because he won the election. His term ends, on the day the constitution specifies. It ends then absolutely.
        Democrat or republican. No state of emergency alters that.
        The people would not abide, The congress would not abide – not republicans not democrats, the courts would not, and the outgoing republicans would not.

        If you wish to know how this works look at East Germany in October of 1989.

        Or read the declaration of independence
        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

        Trump could not remain in power after losing an election unless we allowed him to.
        And that will not happen.

        Your fear that Trump might try are rooted in your own willingness to go lawless to get rid of him. As well as a deep misunderstanding of the actual foundations of govenrment.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 11, 2019 6:09 am

        There are two independent aspects of all of what is bandied about.

        The credibility of the allegation,
        and the criminality of the conduct.

        Most of the alleged misconduct of the Trump campaign has proven to be false – it did not occur,
        Using your analogy – fog is not smoke or fire.
        a much smaller portion has proven true is some form, but not criminal.
        All smoke is not fire.

        Conversely nearly all of the alleged of government has proven to be true.
        Massive amounts of smoke.
        Pretty much all of it is deplorable.
        How much of it is criminal remains to be seen.
        Regardless, much of it SHOULD be criminal.

      • May 11, 2019 11:24 am

        Th problem I have with everything that is going on or has happened is there seems to never be a conclusion to anything a politician is accused of illegally doing or anything reported that the government did illegally. We have months of or years of investigation, reports and rumors and then the story dies.

        Clinton email server issue is a good example. Months of reports of that server being in her house illegally with state department info. Months of reports she had classified info on it. Then nothing!

        We have months of reports that the democrats produced the Steele dossier( orbfunded it) it was used for an illegal FISA warrant, but nothing progresses.

        And we will have months of Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice, then nothing final.

        And as Jay indicates, rights of Americans are not important enough to worry about losing permanently compared to four years of policy that they dont agree with. I dont like Facebook and Twitter controlly what and who says what, but those are non government companies, owned by stockholders and what appears on their sites is their business. Its called freedom of speech and any government involvement should not be involved.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 11, 2019 1:02 am

        That is NOT what the courts said. Atkinsin has ALOT of evidence that the govenrment spied on her. What she can not establish is PRECISELY which FBI agents were involved int eh spying. That is evidence that only the FBI can provide and she has been repeatedly denied the discovery that would be needed to find that out.

        Atkinson is NOT suing the government claiming she was spied on. She is suing because she is claiming she was ILLEGALLY spied on.
        The govenrment has sovereign immunity from lawsuits. But for a few narrow exceptions carved out in the law – you can not sue the government – you can not even sue those in the government. If you read the cases – the govenrment has argued – and the courts that have ruled against her have found – IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER SHE WAS SPIED ON
        she can not sue unless she can prove the spying was illegal. And the only evidence of whether it was legal or not is held by the government and the courts will not grant her something normal in any other lawsuit – discovery.

        Every court that has held against her has noted that but for soverieng immunity she would be entitled to that discovery. The only difference between the oppinions of the court and the oppinions of the judges dissenting, is that the majority has said – ordinarily Atkinson would be entitled to this – but for sovereign immunity protecting government. While the disenters are saying soveign immunity can not extend so far as to allow the government to coverup crimes.

        Atkinson is painted as some raving right wing loon. And over time she has slowly shifted further to the right. Getting spied on by a left leanign government will do that too you.
        But Atkinson did not start on the right. At most she was on the right as a journalist at CBS – i.e. she was a moderate lefty.

        I am NOT an anti-vaxer. But I am HIGHLY sympathetic to those who are.
        There is BTW EVIDENCE regarding antivax claims. While absolutely no credible study I am aware of has shown a GENERAL statistically significant correlation between autism and vacination, a CDC study found a statistically significant correlation between autism and vacinations for MALE BLACK infants vacinated between 9-18 months.

        But my real problem with the anti-(anti-vaxers) is there absolutely no compromise approach.

        There are many many “anti-vaxers” who would vaccinate their kids – if they could do Measles, Mumps and Rubella as separate vacinations a few months apart – just as most of us did 50+ years ago. There are others who would do so if they could use vacinations that did not use Mercury in the vacination. Are either of these PROVEN to be harmful – no.

        But exactly why is it that people should not be allowed to make their own choices regarding their own kids – particularly where they are willing to do what you want – vacinate their kids, just not EXACTLY how you want.

        BTW I doubt you are as hostile to those who rant about GMO’s or BPA or myriads of other similar more left acceptable pseudo science garbage.

        Are you saying that Feinstein is wrong when she claimed NSA spied on here and congress (they admintted it BTW).

        Are you saying that all of what came out from Snowden was false ?

        Are you saying that Clapper lied when he admitted to lying about mass surveilance ?

  45. dhlii permalink
    May 10, 2019 2:22 pm

    Everything that is done once in government – the executive, the courts, the congress becomes the norm for the future.

    Obama’s DOJ set the standard for the executive to just ignore the demands of congress.
    Pelosi’s House is now making it the norm to expand the mis use of power for political purposes.

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/andrew-mccarthy-congress-contempt-barr-democrats-watergate

  46. dhlii permalink
    May 10, 2019 2:40 pm

    So very early in Clinton’s efforts to use the Obama administration as a political weapon against the Trump Campaign, the STATE DEPARTMENT at MULTIPLE LEVELS determined that this was a purely political endeavor, and that having anything to do with it violated the hatch act. They forwarded what information they had – basically evidence that Steele was full of crap, that his claims were garbage, and that he was talking to the media, on to FBI, and state department staff were instructed by the undersecretary of state to cease all contact with Steele and all involvement with this mess – BECAUSE IT WAS POLITICAL.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/442944-fbis-steele-story-falls-apart-false-intel-and-media-contacts-were-flagged

  47. dhlii permalink
    May 10, 2019 9:04 pm

    This editorial does a reasonable job of explaining why the disclosure of private donations – political or otherwise is a BAD idea.

    I do not understand this rush to pass stupid dislosure laws.
    SCOTUS has already spoken – this is unconstitutional.

    It should be self evident from the article that contributions are political speach.
    Because the self evident goal of disclosure requirements is to use naming and shaming to cause self censorship.

    Some of you might cheer if this “naming and Shaming” disempowered the NRA,
    But what can be used to target NRA can also be used to target planned Parenthood.

    One of the more interesting things in this article is the extent of the hypocracy.

    While CU was a “conservative” supreme court oppinion.
    Its beneficiaries were for the most part those on the left.

    Absolutely Republicans receive plenty of “dark money” – but democrats receive much more.

    Regardless, if I wish to use what wealth I have to support the march of dimes, or planned parent hood, or the westboro baptist church or Hillary for America – that should be MY BUSINESS and not everyone in the country.

    You are NOT entitled to know anything about how I spend what is mine – just because you want to know.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/09/dems_campaign_finance_bill_could_be_a_privacy_nightmare_140281.html

  48. May 11, 2019 10:05 am

    “BTW, what will you do if he refuses to accept a narrow loss in 2020, declares a national emergency, and refuses to relinquish power? Will you send me chocolate chip cookies when I’m locked up with the Dem Congress?”

    Jay, many on the right will tell you that you can pretty much judge what the left will do by listening to their accusations against the right. Projection seems to be one of the prominent psychological and strategic characteristics of the left, particularly the left-wing of the Democrat Party. And the left-wing of the Party has become its dominant wing, because that is now its base.

    So, it is richly ironic that you would claim that Trump wouldn’t accept a narrow victory by Democrats, particularly since it’s the Democrats who have never accepted Trump’s victory, which was not even particularly narrow (and please don’t start with the ridiculous California popular vote, unless you are also advocating amending the Constitution for the next election).

    Here is what many believe: the Democrats are planning to steal the next election, if they can’t win it fair and square. They know that it may not be easy, so they are preparing the battleground, by suggesting that if their stolen “victory” is narrow and Trump challenges the results, he will be acting like a dictator. In this narrative, if there is a question about, say, Georgia’s electoral votes, they will say that it has nothing to do with voter fraud, it’s merely Trump refusing to relinquish power. I mean, Stacey Abrams has been travelling the country, telling anyone who will listen that she is the rightful governor of Georgia, right?

    Now that we’ve been through 2 years of “Trump stole the election,” there are millions of people that actually believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    But there are also millions of people that believe, just as strongly, that the Democrats have tried to overturn the 2016 election results by pushing a false narrative that would culminate in Trump’s resignation or impeachment.

    When you’ve got that many millions, that bitterly divided, and with no faith in the electoral process or the media, and neither side is capable of winning a convincing landslide victory….well, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. And it’s not the Russians who created this situation, although I’m sure that they are thrilled about it.

    • Jay permalink
      May 11, 2019 7:50 pm

      Blah blah blah.

      You didn’t ANSWER THE QUESTION!

      But your indirect answer implies exactly what you will do – applaud Trump when he does that. You’ve just rationalized in advance your reasoning: you’ll be one of those many you describe who will believe those Democrats followed through to steal the 2020 election, and Trump should not leave office. Admit it! You have become Trumpanzee to the core. No matter what he does, no matter how egregious the act, you Will find a rationalization to go along with it. As you have been doing since Trump was nominated.

      Additionally, your Trump worship has messed up your memory: his ‘win’ was razor thin: of more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in ONLY three states effectively decided the election. None of those swing-state votes were in California.

      • May 11, 2019 8:12 pm

        Doesn’t matter how many yards a football team racks up, if the don’t score any touchdowns.

        Follow the rules, or change the rules.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 12, 2019 12:07 am

        So Jay how about you answer a question ?

        “Have you stopped beating your wife ?”

        That is exactly the question you just asked.

        Why are people obligated to answer how they would respond to an impossible hypothetical.

        What you propose will not happen because Trump has thus far been one of the most law abiding presidents we have had. If you strip away the rhetorical flourish, he is a moderate conservative – an EFFECTIVE moderate conservative.
        He has not breached or ignored a single court decision. When various left wing nut courts ruled against him – he followed their rulings until his challenges prevailed. He rants and raves – and all too often his rants and raves prove correct. But he does not ACT lawlessly.

        So why am I to presume he is going to in 2020 ?

        Why am I to presume he is going to lose in 2020 ?

        Why am I supposed to presume that if Trump actually lost, and if Trump actually lawlessly tried to remain in power that anyone would follow ?

        Do you honestly beleive that the cabinet, the whitehouse staff, the military would continue to listen to him past the last day of his term ?

        On January 20, 2020, absent re-election Donald Trump ceases to be president of the united states. There is no provision in the constitution for him to remain in power after that day if he is not re-elected.

        Your fixation on absurd hypothetical that are impossible are just TDS.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 12, 2019 12:15 am

        Clinton won NH be 2701 votes. There were over 6400 votes cast in NH in that election by people who subsequently never established NH residence. It is likely that nearly all those 6400 votes were college students from neighboring states who were not eleigable to vote in NH, and likely that nearly all voted for Clinton.
        Clinton won Minesota by 1.5% – 44,000 votes.
        Clinton won Nevada by 26,000 votes.
        Clinton won Maine by 19,000 votes

        A swing of 100K votes could have given the election to Clinton.
        A swing of 100K votes would have made it a Trump landslide.

        It is easy to only see the facts most favorable to you.

        What is also true – is those three states that Trump won by 100K votes required shifting almost 3M voters from democrat to republican. Those states should not have been in play.

        Democrats still have not figured out why they lost – why millions of voters in key states voted against them.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 11, 2019 11:53 pm

      Amen.

      Whether republican or democrat, we are all now concerned about the integrity of our elections.

      It is however important to distinguish what we can and should be concerned about from what we can not or should not.

      We should never seek to limit who may speak about an election.
      Limiting speach is near impossible, and completely reprehensible.

      It should be obvious by now that it is not possible to silence even the speach of the russians or other foreign actors – nor should we. Just as we speak in the elections of other countries we can not presume that only americans are permitted to speak in US elections.

      The left rants about “voter suppression” – yet the most successful voter suppression effort ever was Obama’s effort to suppress conservative voters in 2012. Obama did not win because his supporters came out in record numbers, but because republicans did not come out for Romney. There is nothing wrong with this – it is part of how elections work. Persuading people to stay home is no more impermissible than persuading people to vote.

      Democrats like to rant about voting issues – but they are unwilling to do anything about them.

      As I have said before – our differences are natural and make us stronger It is not our disagreements that are the problem.

      It is the willingness of one group to impose their will on others by force.

      I watch Trump carefully. I disagree with him on many things. But primarily I am looking for instances where he acts lawlessly. Pres. Obama did that all the time. Pres. Trump has done so rarely if ever.

      The facts give me excellent reason to beleive that Obama does not respect the law – and his conduct as president makes it easy to beleive that he orchestrated the sabotage of Trump that followed.

      Conversely the facts give me reason to beleive that Trump respects the law and will follow it.
      He has done little as president that reduces peoples rights and increases government powers. Whether I agree with him or not, decreasing govenrment power or increasing individual rights are NOT the marks of a totalitarian. They are NOT the marks of someone who will not abide by the results of an election.

  49. Jay permalink
    May 11, 2019 8:10 pm

    Petulant Lunatic President Prick went on an insane Tweet rampage today: over 60 tweets and retweets. Your dumb-nuts President needs a straight jacket.

    This was one:

    “I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”

    ‘Never’ means since the last few days when McGahn refused to say Trump was cleared of obstruction of justice violations.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 12, 2019 12:34 am

      Do you understand that absent a collusion finding any hope of an obstruction claim was near impossible ?

      Forget the law – people just do not care if innocent people protest their own innocence.
      They do not care if they do everything in their power to end investigations into them.
      They especially do not care when it is increasingly obvious that Trump could only have obstructed INJUSTICE.

      You are fighting a losing battle.
      Everyone who bought and sold this collusion nonsense has not credibility.
      Everyone who pushed this Trump is a liar nonsense has lost their integrity.

      I do not care what you have to say about obstruction, I have no reason to care what you say, you have lost your credibility and integrity on the issue.

      No one took those from you – you choose to buy into and sell farcical nonsense. You chose to make false accusations about others.
      There is no reason to give credance to your views. There is no reason to beleive that you have any ability to be objective. I do not care what you think is obstruction – because it is clear you are clueless regarding the law, and your judgement of people is crap.

      I have no idea if Trump tried to fire Mueller – nor do I care.
      It MIGHT have been a constitutional crisis. It might have resulted in impeachment. But it would not have been obstruction.

      Frankly I think Trump should have fired Mueller, and Rosenstein nearly immediately.

      I am sure McGahn was nearly fired many times. McGahn authored the strategy of cooperating with Mueller, and failed to deliver on the promised results.
      There is some evidence that Mueller told Trump’s lawyers that the campaign was cleared of collusion early on. While Trump had a basis for firing Mueller before that, when Mueller drug this out after words – Trump had even more basis.

      I would further note that If Trump knew – which he certainly did, that the Collusion part was over in 2017, then he had excellent cause for firing Mueller in 2018.

      Trump has said that one of the reasons that he fired Comey was because he refused to say publicly what he told Trump privately – that the FBI found no collusion.
      The exact same grounds work against Mueller.

      The moment Mueller was aware there was no evidence of collusion, there was almost nothing Trump could do that would be obstruction.

      Your claims that Trump “obstructed” Mueller devolved to Mueller claiming Trump obstructed Mueller’s efforts to find obstruction. That is absurd.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 12, 2019 12:50 am

      McGahn privately told Trump as well as many in the whitehouse AND Mueller that he did not beleive Trump had obstructed Justice.

      That has been confirmed. Mueller left that out of the report. Mueller left lots of exculpatory things out.

      Mueller has a twisted relationship with exculptatory evidence – he indicted stone for lying to congress – because Mueller was able to recover texts and emails that Stone said he did not have copies of, when those texts and emails proved to be exculpatory.

      • May 12, 2019 12:52 pm

        Democrats are making a public mockery over the redaction of the segments of the report concerning obstruction.

        Get a copy, read it for yourself and you will find few sentences in that segment have been redacted.

        In addition, Democrats can go to the DOJ and read the less redacted report, but according to CNN, none have.

        All they want to do is run their mouths for a campaign issue. They don’t care about the truth.

      • Jay permalink
        May 12, 2019 4:15 pm

        I agree with you Ron – the 5 Dems authorized to read the full document (with blocked grand jury info) should do that.

        The authorized 5 Republicans have already read it. Have any of those GOPers made a public statement to the effect that nothing they saw differs from Barr’s assessment? If not, why not?

      • May 12, 2019 7:23 pm

        Jay, I have no idea why the GOP have not gone on the news and stated they saw nothing different. But I can guess like 300+ othef Americans why, but I wont guess because that is all it is. I can question if those 10 members can read it and then release what they read when others cant see it. Maybe you can answer that question, I dont know.

        Or maybe they are acting like Richard Burr and handling this professionally, waiting to make a report when the facts are known and not before.

        But right now the senate intellenge found nothing, Mueller found nothing and he refused to say if their was obstruction. The problem i see now is the democrats have no agenda to fight Trump on policy, so theyvare stuck in the fast lane of obstruction with no off ramp in sight.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:09 am

        There is an election in 2 years.

        Between now and that Election:

        Democrats have – a house judiciary investigation that is a tempest in a teapot.
        They have policy offerings that no one is paying attention to – partly because of their OWN foaming and frothing. But that may be a good thing – because free college is just not going to win the election. Nor is giving fellons the right to vote, nor pretty much anything democrats are selling.

        It is as if Democrats WANT destroyed in 2020.

        Republicans have a relatively strong economy – less strong than they claim, but still the best in 20 years. So long as it continues – which seems likely through 2020.

        They have ended the Mueller investigation, and outside of the House whatever news there is regarding the corruption of the 2016 election is going to be the story of the corruption of the Obama administration.

        I do not honestly beleive that even Barr is going to prosecute the people who should be prosecuted. But there will still be lots of stories revealing even more of the political corruption between now and 2020.

        What really has democrats pissed about Barr’s remarks is not that there was no spying, it is that Barr has made it clear what the news coming from DOJ/FBI will be now that Mueller and Rosenstein are gone.

        Republicans will not spend the next two years trying to deal with what is essentially a democratic political attack run from inside their own administration.
        That is over. Trump has atleast nominal control over DOJ/FBI now.

        He is not dealing with a house divided.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 12:59 am

        “Have any of those GOPers made a public statement to the effect that SOMETHING they saw differs from Barr’s assessment? If not, why not?”

        The burden of proof is ALWAYS on those making accusations.

        It is especially so when their credibility and integrity is shot.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 12:57 am

        Much Ado About Nothing

    • May 12, 2019 9:05 am

      Jay, McGahn said that Trump told him to tell Rosenstein that Mueller had too many conflicts to be SC, and he should recuse.

      McGahn said he did not do so, but even if he had, and even if Rosenstein had agreed, and even if Mueller had recused (or been recused), there would have been a replacement SC.

      The point that Barr has been trying to make, that you seem incapable of understanding, is that McGahn had no power to “fire” Mueller. Trump did have that power. If Trump had decided that he wanted to end the investigation, he could have ordered it ended, and it would have been. Trump obviously believed that Mueller was a bad pick, based on issues of bias and conflict, but he never fired him, and never asserted Executive Privilege over McGahn’s testimony, or anyone else’s.

      Imagine that you wanted to divorce your wife, and you told someone that worked for you to go to your wife and tell her that your marriage was over, and you wanted a new wife. Whether or not that person did so, your marriage would not be over, until you ~ or your wife, in this instance ~ went through with a divorce. The person that you worked with had no power to divorce your wife.

      It’s an imperfect analogy, to be sure, but the point is that McGahn was the WH attorney, and had no authority to fire anyone in the executive branch, regardless of whether or not he believed that Trump wanted him to. Trump had the full power and authority to do so, and he very consciously chose not to.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 12:31 am

        “McGahn said that Trump told him to tell Rosenstein that Mueller had too many conflicts to be SC, and he should recuse.”:

        Trump can Tell McGahn to Tell Rosenstein to tell Mueller to Tell …… to go “F themselves” and that is STILL not obstruction.

        I am not sure that Rosenstein had sufficient conflicts he had to recuse, but did not.
        I am not sure about Mueller. I do not think Trump interviewing him for FBI director is a conflict.

        It is NEVER obstruction to “tell someone …..” For speach to be obstruction it must either be an ORDER directing action, and the action itself must be illegal. Or it must be a credible threat.

        Trump could direct McGahn to Lie to Mueller, and unless the lie is germain to the investigation, it would still not be obstruction.

        Trump could direct McGahn to tell “threaten” Mueller with a future act that is legal, and it would not be obstruction.

        As an Example if Trump had directed McGahn to Tell Mueller that if he deviated from the scope of the investigation – by say digging into Trump’s personal finances, that Trump would fire him. That would not be obstruction.

        One of the “biggies” going on is Trump apparently has repeatedly ORDERED people to say Publicly something that they have told him privately. Comey is the glaring example, but apparently this is true of McGahn, Rosenstein and Mueller.

        Not only is that NOT obstruction, but failing to do so is legitimate grounds for Trump to FIRE you – even Mueller.

        Comey argued that it would be unwise for him to publicly confirm what he had said to Trump privately. Though after he was fired he went before the Senate and said all the things he refused to say publicly before.

        It is irrelevant whether what Trump directs you to do is unwise.
        If you told the president something privately and he orders you to say it publicly – you MUST comply or risk being fired. It is not even relevant if what you are asked to say publicly is true – if you lie to the president and he asks you to publicly state something you told him that was a lie – frankly you are getting fired one way or the other.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 12:39 am

        You and apparently Barr make several points.

        First and foremost just because you do not like someones conduct or you beleive they should have acted differently or better, does not make that conduct, immoral, wrong, or criminal.
        We are not required to make perfect choices or go to jail. We are merely required not to make criminal choices.

        Had Trump actually in the proper formal manner explictly fired Mueller – and Mueller really and truly ended up GONE. That would not be obstruction. Therefore anything LESS than that can not be obstruction either.

        It would have been impeachable – because ANYTHING is impeachable.
        But it would not have resulted in impeachment.

        As you and Barr are making clear – and has been repeatedly made clear regarding Comey.

        Firing Mueller or Comey or anyone does not inherently end the investigation.
        Which makes it difficult even impossible to make it obstruction.

        Even ending the investigation – legitimately, is not obstruction.

        Bush I ended an investigation by pardoning everyone being investigated.
        Walsh was PO’d, but it was not obstruction.

        We have to quit making every act that we do not like into a crime.

        That used to be a pastime of the right that I found offensive.
        Today the left is doing it on steroids.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 12:45 am

        a nit.

        I think it is a reach to presume that Trump consciously chose NOT to.

        If I am going to oppose mind the mind reading of those who claim that Trump obstructed because of what they are sure was in his thoughts, I can not assume he is innocent – based on my efforts at reading his mind.

        I think that you are probably correct.
        And the reason that you are correct is that if Trump actually intended to fire Mueller,
        even if he failed in several attempts – he would have eventually succeeded.

        I will use a different analogy.

        If you intend to murder your wife,
        and you try several times to hire a hit man
        and fail,
        and give up.

        You are not actually guilty of a crime.
        You are not a good person.

        You are lucky, because had any of your efforts resulted in an actual attempt on her life, you would be guilty. But intent – particularly transitory intent alone is not sufficient to make a crime.

  50. May 12, 2019 12:42 pm

    As I watched the Sunday morning “comics” and listened to all the talking heads about what Trump is doing bad and what Trump is doing good, Debbie Dingle (D) Michigan, who has been on Fox many times, made a couple comments.

    She basically said there is a lot to be concerned about in the Mueller report, not because of obstruction, but because the winners in all of the investigations and accusations is the Russians. One only needs to read comments here and other media sites to see that is the case.

    I said this myself many months ago, but it carries much more weight when someone like her says it and its is even more powerful when someone from the opposition party says it. Russia has accomplished more than they ever expected in the way they have been able to manipulate and divide the country. The politicians and the media fell for their trap and it worked.

    She stated Trump fell for it with his refusal to allow certain things to take place. There are ways information can be gathered without all the fan fare that the democrats put forward. And the Democrats fell for it with their very public accusations that still have not been proven. She commented that Richard Burr and the senate committee he chairs should be the model used by all of congress,

    • May 13, 2019 9:37 am

      Ron, I don’t know to what extent the Russians caused the toxic and destructive politics that we see today, but I have no doubt that they have been able to exploit it, because the two parties seem to have no inclination to work together. In that sense, the Russians ~ and now, the Chinese ~ have had many opportunities to further divide us.

      I disagree with Dingle on Burr, though. He’s no better than the rest, and issuing a subpoena to DJT jr. seems a pointless way to keep the Mueller investigation going, even after it’s over. As Lindsey Graham has said, “Investigations are one thing. Revenge is another.”

      All of these clowns were elected to be the representatives of the people, and very few of them give a rat’s ass about the issues that matter to those people. This whole obsession with investigations (which has now spread to the GOP side, as they see an opportunity to get the people responsible for the Russia-collusion hoax) is largely a soap opera, distracting all of us from the real problems that we need to deal with: the national debt, the decline of our major cities, and, of course, immigration, to name just 3.

      THe vast majority of voters, even Democrats, have had it up to their eyeballs with this nonsense, and want the Congress and the President to get back to work.

      But, as the 2020 election approaches, we’ll, no doubt, see more of it, not less.

      • May 13, 2019 12:19 pm

        Priscilla, just like I have said concerning much of the information that has come out since Mueller provided his report and everyone has gone bat sh*^ crazy speculating as to what was actually said, I will wait for the results of the Burr subpoena to see what comes of the questioning of DTJr.

        I am more inclined to believe that Burr is following up on the intelligence committees previous work and not doing this out of revenge for anything or anti-Trump for some reason. I say that because of the way Burr and Warner conducted the committees previous investigation out of the limelight of the media and not saying anything about it until their work was finished. I also know that Burr, in all his years as our house (1994-2003) representative and senator since 2004 he has always been in the background. How many others spending 25 years in congress have been ones that have not appeared on some nightly news regularly? He is not running for reelection as he has already announced this is his last go around, so he could also be following up on issues that came out of the Mueller report that were not part of the senates investigation into the Russian part of the election problems. But that is how Burr operates. He tells after he knows the facts, not before. Just like issuing the subpoena that was unknown for a couple weeks to everyone including the rest of congress, wee will know later.

        Who knows, but Trump is the one making a big issue about Jr appearing. If he was not out running his mouth like always, it would not be in the news, Jr would appear, answer some questions and then little would happen after.

        And if he has nothing to hide, then whats the big deal? You only have a cow and put up road blocks when there is something you do not want others to know. And right now, I think Trump has something he wants hidden or he would say “bring it on”.

        Trump can not stand to have anyone question anything he does and when they do he has a anal hemorrhage. America elected a excellent policy president with most everything he has done. America elected an idiot with his bully personality that can’t be questioned.

      • May 13, 2019 12:44 pm

        Ron, I don’t know much about Burr, but I hope that he is following up on something worthwhile. I have read that Mark Warner, the Democrat on the committee, wants to continue questioning Junior about the Trump Tower meeting…a 15 minute meeting that has been dissected and analyzed by everyone from Congress, to Mueller, to every cable news show on tv. Why we need more of this, I don’t know. It seems like harassment to me…but I guess we’ll see.

        I agree that Trump would be better off ignoring this. His son has handled it better, by basically keeping his mouth shut. Junior has been in the crosshairs ever since the election, but he seems to have a different temperament than his Dad.

        In any case, I’m still sick of this whole business. If this supoena has a purpose other than a fishing expedition or a perjury trap aimed at the president’s son, I’ll give credit to Burr. But, for now, I’m gonna stick with the opinion that this is just more politics.

      • May 13, 2019 1:16 pm

        Yes, I am sick of it also. It is already or close to lasting longer than watergate..

        If Jr is staying quite and did not even tell Sr about it, then I suspect there is nothing big going on. The subpoena was issued 2 months ago ( or close to it) and I would think Jr knew it shortly after. Did daddy know and stayed quite until it was leaked?. With Trump, I seriouly doubt it.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:38 am

        From the date of the burglary to the date Nixon resigned was just barely over 2 years – this has been 3 years – and NOTHING

      • Jay permalink
        May 13, 2019 4:34 pm

        Sen. Richard Burr, the REPUBLICAN Chairman of the REPUBLICAN controlled intelligence committee, authorized the Donald Trump Jr. subpoena.

        He’s one of the five Republicans who have read the less-redacted Mueller Report.

      • May 13, 2019 4:46 pm

        What I hope happen in this and quickly is one of two things.
        1. They find something, significant, report it and the dems begin impeachment proceedings.
        2. They find nothing and the dems have to shut the F up so congress can move on with immigration reform, healthcare reimbursement reform, imfrastructure legislation.

      • May 13, 2019 4:56 pm

        Jay, my dear. I know who Richard Burr is. I just don’t know a whole lot about him.

        As far as the LESS redacted report ( no Congresspeople have read the UNredacted report, that is, the grand jury testimony, which must, by law, be redacted), Ron has pointed out that the subpoena was issued before the Mueller report was even delivered to AG Barr, so I doubt that anything contained therein had anything to do with it.

        Not one Democrat has read the less redacted report. Not one. You know why?

        Because there is nothing in it that they want to know. They just want to insinuate stuff, so that they can use their buds in the media to perpetuate the narrative that Trump did something wrong.

        Meanwhile Joe Biden is telling us that China is nothing to worry about….

      • May 13, 2019 8:49 pm

        Just want to clarify. Can not find article that said the subpoena was a couple months ago. This says Jr began responding two weeks ago.

        https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-jr-subpoenaed-senate-intelligence-committee/story?id=62916523

        So thevsubpoena couls be to clarify difference in info in the two reports.

      • Jay permalink
        May 13, 2019 9:19 pm

        Let’s flip a coin: 50/50 odds Junior takes the Fifth, refuses to answer questions.

      • May 14, 2019 12:04 am

        I suspect its more 75%-25% Trump will claim executive privilege like Nixon tried.
        Senator Sam (D) NC said “The President seems to extend executive privilege way out past the atmosphere. What he says is executive privilege is nothing but executive poppycock.”

        It was appropriate then as it is now. Guess the courts will decide.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 2:56 am

        I think Trump wins the fights – even if he loses in court.

        I do not think Trump is really trying to “hide” things – though I am sure Jay does.

        While I do not accept the argument that he “obstructed” Mueller, and in fact he bent over backwards to NOT obstruct. I think he is quite actively trying to “obstruct” congress.

        the goal is not to hide anything. It is to make them look batshit crazy.

        I think Nadler gave Trump a huge gift going after Barr.

        Do you think the public thinks it is important whether staff attornies get to cross examine the AG ?

        The more Dems make the hearings look hostile – the worse they look and the more reasonable Trump looks.

        Pelosi and company came in declaring they were going to use the House to shutdown the executive branch. Trump is just making that strategy impossible.

        He does not have to win anything.
        All he needs to do is make everything they do a slog through mud, and do so in a way that he mostly looks more reasonable than they.

        Further, this is a better fight for him.

        Too much of the Mueller investigation was focused on Trump, those close to him, and his campaign. Mostly Congress is limited to the executive.

        Barr has made it clear that dicking with him is a huge mistake – and yet they keep doing so.

        I would be shocked if Barr does not ultimatley testify.

        But the fight will enmire Nadler and a fight that makes him look bad.

        And then when he does testify, there will probably be more of these likely teed up questions about “spying” that he can make dominate the news cycle for days.

        The more difficutl it is to get Barr infront of a committee, the more the press will hang on his every word, and the more coverage he will get for these types of remarks.

        Nadler is being played BADLY.

        One of the things Trump is REALLY good at is setting up conflicts so that even when he does not get exactly what he wants he can declare victory.

        Trump “lost” the wall fight with Pelosi – technically. But who was the real loser ?

        Nadler could have agreed to questions only from representatives, and declared victory.
        Instead he needs to force Barr and the DOJ to kowtow.
        That makes him look petty, personal and bad.

        Worse, the courts WILL uphold Trump’s claims if they perceive the house as being personal or petty. That is very hard to establish. But Nadler and D’s are working hard to make it easy.

        You constantly claim R’s suck at messaging. and often they do.

        But now that he is out from under Mueller, Trump has the upper had with house D’s.

        Frankly, I think democrats are going out of their way to do everything possible to lose in 2020.

        Post Mueller I think the debates we are having here about Obstruction are stupid.

        I think voters can easily disagree with my narrow interpretation of the law – and still vote for Trump.

        Without an actual underlying crime even if Trump had ACTUALLY obstructed justice – absent something like suborning perjury or bribery, an awful lot of people would not care, or atleast not enough to effect their vote.

        The people who are going to vote against Trump – will no matter what.

        And there is a nearly equal number who will vote for him – no matter what.

        It is the 50% in the middle that matter.

        I think most of those do not like Trump.
        But they do like the economy.
        and despite the ranting of the left.
        After 4 years in office Trump will be perceived as SAFER than any Dem’s offering the nonsense they are trying to sell.

        One of the things Trump proved in 2016 is that a candidates approval can be underwater and still win. Voting is not a single attribute test.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 2:11 am

        I actually doubt that.

        We have seen this kind of gaming over lots of testimony.

        There will be haggling and negotiating and Trump Jr. will eventually testify – but under rules that he thinks are favorable to him.

        One of the things that has been exposed as a result of the left stonewalling congress during the obama administration and during the Nunes investigation is that congress has very little power to compel testimony. They can find you in contempt – but DOJ has to enforce the contempt. Congress can go to court – but that typically takes years, and usually they do not get everything that want.

        Regardless – though I would take the 5th.

        I suspect Trump Jr. will ultimately testify.
        But the scenario you miss is that this turns into a court battle.
        That will not involve invoking the 5th and can take years.
        Trump Jr. can even lose in court – go to congress and then refuse to answer – ending up back in court. He can litterally litigate each question in court one at a time so long as the court (not congress) does not find him in contempt.

        I think Trump is getting stubborn with Congress because he has much less to fear from Congress than Mueller. Everything congress does must be done in public, and the fight makes democrats look worse than he does.

      • Jay permalink
        May 13, 2019 9:17 pm

        I mentioned the Republican head of the committee because for some strange/partisan reason you were deflecting to the Dem.

        I told Ron the other day I thought the Dems needed to read the report ASAP.

        CHINA: Apparently Trump agrees with Biden; he’s not at all worried about China reciprocating by increasing tariffs on USA products in response to his escalating tariff bluster.

        Trump Refresher:
        Mexico will pay for the Wall.
        China is paying for the tariffs.

      • May 13, 2019 11:59 pm

        Jay, I know no one here agrees with me when I say I support Trump and what he is trying to do with China. Even Dave disagrees and thinks we need to let the Chinese products into the country without Tariffs regardless of what they are doing on their end.

        But I am in the minority that believes it is time to stop the second largest country in GDP from screwing us. They did not become the second largest without unfair trade that we were dumb enough to let happen. Bush 41, Clinton, 43 and Obama, all bent over and let China screw us, taking money, jobs and technology that allowed them to grow massively and become the second largest economy in the world.

        They had 25% tariffs on many of our products, while America let theirs in free. They took thousand of our jobs since they blocked our products, but we allowed theirs into the country that created unequal competition.

        They have built up a war chest of our debt to the point that their financial people even mentioned dumping our debt now in response to Trumps tariffs. What the hell are they going to do in 10 years from now when they own twice as much debt and the president then decides that our economic survival rests with reigning in the trade deficit that is 2-3 times bigger then than now. They can bury us economically by dumping our debt and that would have little impact on their economy due to its being so centrally controlled.

        And that does not even take into consideration the fact that they are robbing us blind with steeling our technologies and dumping it on the markets at reduced rates.

        Yes, the farmers are being hurt, but if congress got off its dead ass and passed some legislation that redirected the tariff income from washing machines, refrigerators, steel, and other metals to the farmers to support their products value, then they can survive that also.

        If people want to buy a Buick Envision made in China, then let them pay the 25% tariff. Otherwise, buy a different model Buick , Ford, Chevy or any other car produced in America. If they want a household appliance, let them find one made here, South Korea, Japan or some other country at a lessor price. And that goes for textiles, food and any other products.

        Buy the way, I stopped eating Tilapia because most all is a product of China, feed animal waste as their food supply. According to McGill Office for Science and Society, July 2017. “Tilapia in the wild feed on algae, but on farms they are reared on corn or soybean meal. However, when no other feed is provided, they will eat “poop.” There have been instances where fish farms in Asia were found to be feeding poultry, sheep or hog manure to tilapia.” And the “Asian connection” is China. They send us crappy products and crap raised food!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 2:22 am

        Just to be clear Ron.

        Though Trump exagerates the extent.
        I do not disagree that the Chinese government is “bad actors”.

        My dispute is NOT about whether China is “good” or “bad” (there a little bit of both).

        It is that the economics of trade barriers are well settled.

        Protectionist measure harm the nation that imposes them more than those they impose them on.

        China’s bad conduct on trade harms China more than the US.

        As to the “political” aspect of this. I think Trump has been “winning” these trade fights all over the place.

        I do not beleive good ends justify bad means. And Trump is using bad means.

        But he is ultimately getting good ends.

        I am much more interested in What Kudlow says about what is being done than Trump.

        And Kudlow says that the end results of all of this – whether with mexico or Canada or Europe has been FREER trade – ultimately LOWER tarriffs.

        Economically Trump is in a very strong negotiating position – and one that gets BETTER with time.

        The US economy is strong enough to endure these trade skirmishes. They would have to be about 10 times worse to have a noticeable effect.
        One estimate of the overall impact of Trump’s tarriffs IF they remained in place permanently on the entire economy is LESS than that of the wall.

        Most of the nations Trump is negotiating with are weaker economically.
        Canada, China, EU., Mexico needed a deal more than Trump needed one.
        Further Trump could afford to behave nuts regarding trade with them to threaten really stupid things.

        BECAUSE our economy was stronger and theirs weaker.

        I am not endorsing these tactics.

        I still do not buy “the ends justifies the means”,

        And trade is really pretty simple – when government interferes in any way the harm is to its own people. Tarriffs or subsidies – it does not matter.

      • May 14, 2019 12:51 pm

        Well like i said, no one here agrees with me and there are just a few economist that might also. I am coming from this in the short to intermediate term prospective. We have seen the impact of the long term with the massive reduction in manufacturing jobs since the 80’s when China began their raid on our industries by blocking our products while supporting their companies that allowed them to dump products in America are greatly reduced rates.

        Now they require most any industry that operates in their country to be part owners with the government. They now have great strength when it comes to certain products and they are gaining strength in other larger industries like autos. So today, they can slap a 25-40% tariff on a Ford from America, but we have allowed Buick Envisions into the country free of tariffs.

        So we have a Ford and Buick with equal equipment and equal pricing for the most part, while Fords cost 25% more than the Buick in China. Does Ford have the same ability to sell cars in China as GM/China and if not, what impact does the decreased sale of Fords in China have on employment in America?

        And China now owns 1.3T in government debt. We have a trade deficit with China that last year was around 200B. Over 10 years that is 2T. I do not know what happens to the deficit, but I suspect a portion becomes debt that America owes China. So when does the threat of dumping debt on the open market become an economic disaster reality if China actually follows threw with the threat?

        And China has enough money that they could do it with little impact on themselves. They will just adjust the value of their money.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:08 am

        US manufacturing has grown in just about every segment, just about every year for a century or more.

        Jobs are entirely different.
        To the extent China took jobs – those jobs were leaving anyway. As manufacturing returns from China to the US – the Jobs are NOT returning and never will.

        The road to a higher standard of living is

        Producing more than humans value with less human effort.

        Rising standard of living ALWAYS means the destruction of existing jobs.

        But there is ALWAYS (absent stupid laws) some other task that displaced humans can do.

        There is a bit of arrogance in “learn to code” – I am an extremely good programmer – everyone is not capable of programming. Telling people to learn to code is like telling me to learn to play the guitar or piano well. It is not happening. No matter how much I want it.

        I am very very skilled at somethings – and totally incapable of others.

        I love playing sports too. There was only one sport I was ever mediocre at – Cross Country, everything else I sucked at. I loved soccer – but I sucked.

        The point is everyone can not code.

        But absent the arrogance there is a real important message.

        Everyone CAN do something else of value.

        In my life I have been
        An electrician
        An architect,
        an accountant
        a business manager (multiple times)
        a salesman
        a landlord.
        A computer programmer
        an engineer.

        And those are the “jobs” I have been employed at.
        I have also done alot of auto repair
        Plumbing
        carpentry
        Excavation
        …….

        I was better at some of these and worse at others.
        I am not trying to claim I was a great salesman – or even a good one.
        In fact I was a pathetic one. But the job needed done and I was what there was to do it.

        There is ALWAYS some job that needs done.

        There is no limit to what humans need and want. There will always be jobs for people to provide more.

        The entire 19th century involved replacing people with machines – and yet there were more jobs at the end than the start.

        We will see computers replace people at jobs more and more.
        But just as the ludites were wrong 2 centuries ago – the nonsense that computers will take all of our jobs is nonsense. There is always something else we can do.

        The chinese took from us jobs where we were over paid and under produced, and pushed those who held those jobs mostly into more productive uses of their effort.

        The result is that WE are better off AND the chinese are better off.

        If the idiocy being sold regarding China was true – we would have trade barriers between states and then between counties and even cities.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:12 am

        I heard a saying in banking a long time ago.

        If you owe a bank 100K – they have you by the balls.

        If you owe a bank $1B – you have them by the balls.

        The ONLY threat China has regarding US debt is to not buy more.

        There are very important reasons we should pay back our debt.
        But it is also possible for the US to just walk away from it.

        Nixon essentially did that by closing the gold window in the 70’s.
        That was an actual default on US debt.

        China has no means to force us to repay.
        And governments throughout the world including the US have defaulted, and in fact it happens all the time.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:15 am

        So china dumps US debt on the market.

        If as an example China sells US debt at $0.90/$ – would you buy some ?
        I would.

        Absolutely China dumping US debt would drive the price of debt down (i.e. the price of borrowing up) A LITTLE, for a SHORT TIME.

        BTW the effect on China would be disasterous.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:28 am

        Tell me again what it is that China can do with 1.3T little green slips of paper that would significantly harm the US ?

        The most important thing said about money in all of history was said 250 years ago by Adam Smith

        All money is a matter of belief.

        Money is important. But it is NOT real. Nor is it actual wealth.
        Because we beleive it is something we can exchange in return for wealth.

        But it is not real.

        This duality – it is not real, it is entirely a question of faith, and at the same time it is incredibly important and powerful is simple, but also very hard to wrap our heads arround.

        The most dangerous thing – in fact the only dangerous thing China can do with US money is to attempt to undermine BELEIF. Destroy the BELEIF in a nations money and you very nearly destroy their economy in an instant.

        The reason we must repay our debts is because failing to do so undermines the beleif of others in the value of our money. This actually works similarly for individuals.
        When you fail to pay your bills, people lose faith in you and refuse to do business with you.

        Belief in the US intention and ability to repay its debts is almost entirely in the hands of the US not China. Absolutely China dumping 1.3T US dollars on the market would create a temoorary downward spike in the value of US debt – and a few people would be hurt and very many people would profit – AT THE EXPENSE OF CHINA.

        The effects on the US MIGHT be bad – but they would be brief.
        The debt would be bought and the price would ultimately change little.

        The worst thing the chinese could do to us is to quit buying our debt.

        Thought that might also be one of the best things it could do for us.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 2:34 am

        My wife will not buy farm raised fish of any kind, and given a choice buys the “organic” version of most everything.

        There is evidence that farm raised fish does not taste as good and is not as nutritious.
        Ultimately that will get solved. In the long run it will be better for you, and cheaper.

        But I am not fighting with my wife over fish. And today is NOT ultimately.

        The Swedes did extensive studies on “organic” foods,
        They found they were less nurtitious, took twice as much land wore the land out faster, consumed more energy, just worse in every way – while costing twice as much.

        I am still not fighting with my wife over “organic”.

        Atleast so long as she does not fight with me over my important family role as the procurer of all things bad for us. I buy the chocolate, the cheese, the candy, the chips, the soda, the danishes, the croisants, the ….

        So when I make a ham sandwhich it will be a combination of good things and bad things, and I am happy.

        As to chinese food. My daughter is chinese – we eat alot of asian food.
        We are sort of asian food gourmands.

        We ate chinese food in China for 3 weeks. It is NOTHING like in the US.
        It is MUCH better. There are lots of issues with Sanitation in China, they have crap for refrideration. But that results in a different supply chain.

        IF you have fish or chicken in China – that fish or chicken was alive when you entered the restaurant. You do not have to refridgerate food until AFTER you kill it.

        We were told to be VERY careful about water in china – do not drink anything that was not boiled first. That is also an issue for the water used to clean food. Fruits and vegetables were excellent and fresh, but they were also risky – because cleaning them could contaminate them.

        That was 20 years ago though.

        I would also remind you the Europeans will not eat Beef from the US.
        Because our food handling does not meet their standards.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:55 am

        I do not care that Burr is an R.
        I do not care if he intends a nonconfrontational hearing.
        I do not care if he is trying to get evidence from Trump Jr. to go after Dems.

        In the current environment I would not testify unless I had to.
        And D’s have created the situation such that I can credibly claim I do not have to.

        I do suspect Trump is engaged in a new strategy post Mueller.
        Though I am not sure why he is doing it with Burr/Senate.

        Trump fully cooperated with Mueller.
        He has made it clear he is battling house Dems tooth and nail over everything.

        The legal ground (both ways) is very muddy.

        The courts give congress huge latitude regarding what contitutes a legitimate legislative purpose. But they also have a relative wide idea of executive priviledge.

        One aspect of the validity of a congressional subpeona is whether it is an effort to punish someone personally. The courts almost never find that – even when it is obvious.
        But it is still prohibited. Congress is not an investigative body. The more they behave as if they are the more likely the courts are to quash their subpeona’s

        Normally that is not likely. But Nadler is completely nuts.

        The recent fights between congressional republicans and Holder and Rosenstein were tame and rational in comparison.

        Nadler is making it very personal. He is unwilling to be flexible on anything.

        Even if he wins he looks bad.

        Regardless, I think Trump’s current strategy is NOT to win all the fights and legal battles with congress. I think it is to make democrats look even more nuts than he does.

        And BTW he is succeeding.

        I have read several republican pundits – I think Ron and Priscilla have said as much, that have advised Trump to chill. I would like to see that too.

        But if the question is what is EFFECTIVE rather than what is most pleasant.

        I think Trump’s spats with the left, the media and Dem’s are a WINNING strategy.

        While they harm him. They harm dems more.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 2:02 am

        “Trump Refresher:
        Mexico will pay for the Wall.
        China is paying for the tariffs.”

        And you can vote accordingly in 2020.

        The mexico will pay for the wall remark was just stupid.
        But it is also inconsequential.
        The total complete cost for the wall is about $25B.
        That is something like 3 days worth of the cost of PPACA.

        That is a bit more than the cost of the Fiasco that was the PPACA website.

        As to China paying for tarriffs.

        Tarriff’s are stupid. Whether Trump’s or anyone else’s

        But you will be very hard pressed to find a person who is clearly harmed by the Tarriff’s that is also going to credibly attack Trump.

        The people Trump was speaking to – even if they are being harmed by the Tarriffs beleive they are being helped.

        The people who were screwed by PPACA know they were screwed.

        And all of us have paid an extra $2T for healthcare.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:43 am

        So ?

        I would not testify if there was anyway to avoid it.

        If I could not avoid it, I would plead the 5th on the grounds that – even testifying before a friendly senate committee would subject me to false accusations and potential prosecution for tiny mistakes in my testimony.

        Democrats have weaponized all of this. They should not be surprised if no one cooperates.

        This is the consequence of Mueller and Democrats persecuting people over minuscule discrepancies.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:36 am

        I really do not like Trump’s “style”

        But I must reluctantly admit that it has been effective.

        Hillary was sort of correct when she asked “why am I not ahead by 50pts ?”

        The answer was because as bad as Trump may be, your worse.

        We have a different version entering 2020.

        No matter how nuts Trump looks – democrats have very successfully made themselves look worse.

        I think that Trump is fanning the flames – because no matter how bad it makes him look – it makes democrats look worse.

        I think it is going to take some time for the full impact of the outrageous conduct of the democrats and the left in the past 2+ years to fully play out. I think the Democrats choice to double down on obstruction and to go after Barr with machette’s is a huge mistake.
        It would have been bad for them had they walked away quietly, but they would have had two years to escape from this.
        By continuing they are betting heavily that they can find something of consequence where 2 years have found nothing.

        They are doing a version of what the GOP did with Benghazi.
        So what are the odds that Mueller missed something as large as Hillary’s bathroom email server ? Because if democrats do not come up with something of substance – against long odds. They are in deep shit in 2020. And the longer they wait the worse it will be .

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:28 am

        The purpose of the legislature is to legislate. To pass laws, to allocate funds to direct the government.

        It is NOT to investigate private people.

        I have not been paying much attention to this Trump Jr. nonsense.

        I have not as of yet heard a compelling reason that the house can question anyone about anything that is not govenrment oversight.

        The limited investigative role of the legislature concerns impeachment. Trump Jr. is not an elected or appointed member of the federal government.

        No one wise should ever testify anywhere unless they absolutely have to.

        They particularly should not testify in this politically charged environment where several Trump surrogates have been indicted and convicted for making minor errors in statements.

        If I had anything to do with Trump and you put me before the judiciary committee – I would plead the 5th – on the grounds that ANYTHING I said was somehow going to be used to seek criminal charges. I would not testify to the time the sun rose yesterday.

        BTW several legal scholars have noted that democrats have created a huge problem for themselves in exactly this.

        They have set a new standard. Misrepresentation to the FBI, DOJ, congress that were deemed inconsequential and meaningless in the past, are now open for criminal prosecution.
        That is the world that Comey, McCabe, etc are facing as we move forward.
        Nellie Ohr has already been refered to DOJ for perjury for mistatements more significant than those of Flynn or Papadoulis, but that would normally have been swept under the rug before.

        Testimony by Ohr, Simpson, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Comey, ….. is self contradictory – someone is clearly lying. DOJ has the scenarion Mueller was trying to create with respect to Trump. They have witnesses/subjects who are in conflict with each other.

        They are playing nice for the moment, but McCabe and Comey have gone after each other in the past, and likely will in the future.

        It is not even nececary to convict anyone – just to put enough preasure on. investigate and let all those part of the soft coup tear each other apart.

      • May 14, 2019 12:29 pm

        “It is NOT to investigate private people”
        Jr is not a private person. He is part of the administration

        “.I have not as of yet heard a compelling reason that the house can question anyone about anything that is not govenrment oversight.”

        Burr is not in the House, He is in the senate.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 12:52 am

        “Jr is not a private person. He is part of the administration”
        No he is NOT!! The Trump family divided responsibilities. Trump Jr and I beleive Eric Trump took responsibility for their private family business interests.

        Kushner and Ivanka are acting withing govenrment.

        ““.I have not as of yet heard a compelling reason that the house can question anyone about anything that is not govenrment oversight.”

        Burr is not in the House, He is in the senate.”

        Changes nothing except that I do not think Burr is rabid.

        My guess is that he is actually looking to smooth things over.
        I am not sure Burr is not looking to build a case against those pushing the soft Coup

        That does not alter the fact that our govenrment should not ever be able to compel a private person to speak – particularly to speak under peril to their life and property absent a CRIME.
        And Congress is NOT a criminal investigative body,

        I have zero problem with compelling those in govenrment to testify to congress about government. While I think that Nadler’s spat with Barr is stupid and Nadler is either going to actually lose or at best come off looking bad even if he wins. Ignoring spats about how the testimony should take place, Barr must talk with congress if asked – and is only restrained in what he must answer ABOUT GOVERNMENT, by the law.

        But Trump Jr. is not part of govenrment, he was not involved in an actual crime, Congress is not a criminal investigative body, and his actions were outside of govenrment and therefore outside of what govenrment can compell.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 14, 2019 1:14 am

        The russians exploited this.

        They did not cause this.

        This is the natural consequence of trying to make absolutely everything into a existential moral conflict.

        Disagreement is not merely natural, it is a GOOD THING. We are not ants.

        Our current problem is not that we do not agree.

        It is that the left beleives that all disagrements must be resolved in their favor by any means necescary.

        Defamation, demonization, whatever.

        It is this that is the real threat to the country.

        When you beleive you enemy is evil it is easy to justify doing bad things to defeat them.

      • May 14, 2019 1:50 pm

        A couple of things:

        1. Ron, I completely agree with you on Trump’s China policy. I have long been a fan of Larry Kudlow’s (way before he worked for Trump) and, although he is a free-trader, he recognizes that there is no free trade with China, because China has used protective tariffs, and dumping against us for decades. Not to mention that China sends millions of its young people here to be educated in technical fields like engineering, medicine, computer science, etc., with the express intention of becoming researchers in those fields, stealing advanced technology and then returning to China, with innovative ideas and inventions that have taken years, sometimes decades to develop, and profiting from it. Any theoretical libertarian argument that insists that we have benefitted from allowing this is a fantasy.

        2. I am not aware of Don jr. being part of the administration. I am under the impression that he and his brother run the Trump Organization, and they help operate a super PAC that supports their father’s re-election. He was part of the campaign in 2016, which is when the Trump Tower meeting happened. Ivanka is part of the administration, as is Jared, but I am pretty sure that Junior is a private citizen

        I may have missed him leaving the Trump Organization and joining the father’s administration, so I will double check…

      • May 14, 2019 7:25 pm

        “I am not aware of Don jr. being part of the administration”

        OOPS, my bad. I was thinking about Jared.

        However, that does not change my thinking on being avaliable for questions if there is nothing to hide.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:39 am

        The “if there is nothing to hide” argument is ALWAYS fallacy.

        Testifying is ALWAYS a risk, even if you think you have nothing to hide.

        You can find several video’s on the internet by POLICE telling you NOT to talk to cops.

        Most of us are not skilled enough to deal with a skilled interogator
        Actual innocence is irrelevant.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:33 am

        I respect Kudlow – he was a good choice. I pay much more attention to what he says that what Trump does.

        I understand Kudlows arguemtns – and I beleive him – that the Trump administrations ultimate goal is freer trade not more protectionism.

        I also beleive that Kudlow is right and Trump will ultimately prevail.
        Or more accurately he will get a deal that is better than before, and declare victory.
        That is what he has done with the EU, Canada and Mexico.

        But I do NOT aggree that the ends justify the means – and Trump and Kudlow are using the tools of the devil to attempt to accomplish good.

        That bothers me alot, The ends do not justify the means.

        HOWEVER in the cosmic scheme of things, if this is the worst Trump does – and it is pretty close. it is pretty minor. I am not going frothing mad over this.

        But I will argue Trump is wrong – because he is, and that the ends do not justify the means, because they don’t.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 14, 2019 12:54 am

      Russia won this two years ago, when the left wigged out.

      Putins goal was to erode confidence in our electoral process.
      That has been the goal of russia for decades.

      NOT to elect Trump or Clinton or ….

      They want to discredit our process so that we have less ground to stand on when criticizing their actually corrupt process.

      They won the moment a significant portion of the left bought the lunacy that the outcome of the election was somehow illegitimate.

      Mueller was not going to change that in any possible way.

      The fact is that Mueller, the Media, the Left made this all WORSE not better.

      There is no one here who is likely to see more corruption in government that I.

      There are a number of things about our elections that are corrupt and concern me.

      But of all of those who is speaking politically is NOT one of those – atleast so long as our own government is not trying to have a voice in the outcome of our elections – that is actually corrupt.

      Our govenrment trying to influence russian elections through Speech – as an example using Voice of America – is legitimate. The Russians speaking out in our election – in a small or large way – is legitimate. Rich people speaking out – is legitimate.
      And all of those are beyond the legitimate reach of our laws.

      While I want people to overall be more suspicious of government.

      I would greatly prefer if it was not lunatic stupid suspicions that drive us towards even stupider actions.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 14, 2019 12:55 am

      Trump did not “fall” for it.

      This investigation from the start has been criminally politically corrupt.

      The left and the media “fell for it”.

      • May 14, 2019 12:19 pm

        Dave, you may not believe Trump fell for it (Russian manipulation), but when the president takes the oath to uphold the constitution of the country, that by god is what he is suppose to do!!! If there is any hint of Russia manipulating our elections, an investigation should happen until they find out id they did it, how they did it and how to fix the problem so that method is hard to duplicate the next time.

        The constitution prohibits our government from taking rights way from the Americans. It does not grant rights to anyone, including foreigners. It does not prohibit our government from restricting other governments from interfering with our government.

        And that is what the hell this investigation should have been about, not the political hatchet job that it started out being.

        The media and democrats immediately went for Trumps throat, falling for the Russian trick. And Trump fell for it by responding in the manner he did. If there was nothing there, he should have welcomed the investigation to insure this crap could not be duplicated in the next election.

        Do you want foreign governments interfering with our elections when 60% of the people are so damn ignorant they believe anything that is on the internet is true?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 12:40 am

        It is not the business of the US government whether the Russians or anyone else tries to “manipulate” the US elections. Various people try to do that all the time.

        ALL I care about are whether they have engaged in criminal acts or acts of war.

        Hacking of the DNC would be one such thing – though I would be shocked if alot of foreign powers did not target our political campaigns.

        Hacking our voting machines would be another.

        Running stupid adds on social media – no that is not the business of Trump or Obama or our government.

        BTW the FACT is that Russia did almost nothing of consequence, One of Mueller’s findins was that Russian FB spending was 1/100 of what was reported in NYT – and THAT was still chump change.

        We now have two stories of Biden using his influence in The Ukranine and later in China both for his grandson’s protection and for his profit WHILE HE WAS VP!

        That is serious. That is much more serious than the rest of this bunk.
        That is more serious than all Jays stupid Emoluments fixation.

        With respect to Russia’s “propoganda” efforts in US elections – the job of exposing that belongs to the media, not the government.

        BTW we now know that the vaunted IC community report on Russian influence in the US election was ALSO founded on the Steele Dossier.

        We have spent two years chasing “russian influence” that was entirely Chicken Shit.

        Our concerns regarding Russia are NOT a basis to beleive their are omnipotent. We should be concerned about Russia – mostly because they have about 40% of the worlds nuclear weapons. Otherwise they are a bit player. The US would have an extremely difficult time taking on Russia (or China) in their own backyard. Elsewhere in the world ? They are impotent.

        I keep hearing the neo-cons and fake neo-cons here bemoaning how Trump’s actions benefit Russia. While that is actually Crap. Trump’s energy polices alone have screwed Russia royally.

        But honestly I DO NOT CARE!!!!!

        I am not a Trump Fan. But I AM “america first” – atleast with respect to our government.

        If you personally wish to fight for gay rights in Russia or Saudi Arabia – or Urhgurs in China – more power to you. As individuals we are free to hold whatever values we wish and commit our own resources to those values.

        As a Nation – GOVERNMENT, we are NOT!!!!

        It is not the job of the US government to thwart Russian ambitions across the globe.
        That is a fools errand, and frankly both Russia’s efforts and those of our own government have a horrendous track record.

        I would strongly recommend reading “The Ugly American”, it is something like 70 years old, it was written before Vietnam – which makes it prescient. It si technically fiction, but it is more accurate than the typical hollywood historical drama,

        But what it is about is how the US relates to the rest of the world.

        Our government absolutely sucks are foreign relations.
        The good news is that government to government interactions are MOSTLY not that important even if they do gather all the attention.
        Our govenrment sucks at it – so does the USSR, so did the UK and Belgium and France and Germany and Italy, and Spain.

        We seem to forget that Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. The British f’d up there more than a century ago, the Russians half a century ago and we are doing so now.
        Nor is there anything special about afghanistan.

        While TUA is relentlessly negative about the actions of the US government,
        the silver lining is that americans still change the world. Us, our people. We go everywhere and we leave where we go better than when we came. We come as individuals, businesses, and even big businesses. Sometimes we F’up. But in the end we still make the world better.
        We are extremely good at it. Unlike our government. We succeed – often when we are not trying. Or when what we are trying to do is just get rich.

        So No, I really do not give much of a damn about the Russians or anyone else.

        Protect the actual machinery of elections – the voting machines (just get rid of them) and the computers involved. Protect the voting rolls. Those are real jobs for government – and it is irrelevant whether it is Russia or BP trying to manipulate them.

        But I do not care that some Russian College student – who MIGHT be receiving instructions from someone three layers down from Putin, might be sleeping with key people in the NRA and …. ? And what ? getting a gun rights group to advocate for gun rights ?

        Nor do I care if some collection of quasi independent companies in Russia are posting political adds on Social media.

        If you really beleive that Russia had even the tiniest impact on our election – your ability to grasp reality is distorted.

        Not only is the above true, but most anyone rational grasped it BEFORE Mueller.

        In my view Mueller actions regarding Russians and Russia – entirely independent of Trump are a colossal F’up.

        First Putin bluffs that he has a full house Ace high when he does not even have a pair of twos and hits the jackpot by persuading us that our own elections are subject to serious foreign interferenace.

        But AFTERWARD he gets a US SC to engage in exactly the tactics that Despots and Tyrants throughout the world have done for ages – and we have decried.

        We are going to pay for Mueller’s actions for decades.

        Real Americans throughout the world who will be arrested, and prosecuted and possibly killed for doing things that americans have always beleived they were free to do, and that only tyrants opposed. Well Guess What ? Mueller droped us four square into the Tyrant camp. Kids hawking bibles in foreign countries will pay. US gay rights activists in Russia or elsewhere will pay. Actual US spies in foreign countries will pay.

        From start to finish – not just with Mueller, but throughout those who have sought to “get Trump” have been prepared to toss all the rules, to make up whatever new rules they want along the way. To buy into the nonsense of tyrants – that different rules apply to different people.

        That is the legacy of this mess – and again we will pay for it for decades.

        Trump’s actions regarding the Wall, were legal. But they were a mistake, because even thought he did not color outside the lines, he has still provided a justification for the next president who does – and for that reason I opposed. I would have prefered he shut the govenrment down forever.

        But that is SMALL potatos compared to just about everything involved in this mess.

        We have either redefined the law regarding prosecuting people for minor misstatements to investigators or under oath, or we have established that there is one set of rules for republicans and another for democrats. Either way we are F’d.

        And to be perfectly clear – Trump did not do this. None of his conduct did this. For the most part he has been one of the most law abiding presidents we have had.

        The #never Trump crowd did this – including those here.

        I do not care if you do not like Trump – I do not particularly either.
        I do not care if you vote against him – I did.

        But if you are going to rewrite the law, the rules, all the norms to “get Trump” – I care a great deal.

        Catch him at something actually illegal – I will join you in locking him him.
        But do not rewrite the rules and the law to do so, because we will all pay for decades if you do.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 12:43 am

        “Do you want foreign governments interfering with our elections when 60% of the people are so damn ignorant they believe anything that is on the internet is true?”

        The remedy for speach you do not like is MORE speach.

        It is not more government interference with speach.

        There is only one group in the entire world who absolutely positively under no circumstances may speak in our elections.

        That is OUR government.

      • Jay permalink
        May 14, 2019 4:01 pm

        More dhlii Bullshit.

        From the start the Mueller investigation was to determine the extent of Russian interference in the election. Trump & company justifiably were included in that investigation when it became OBVIOUS Russia was trying to aid Trump and hurt Clinton. That you continue to deny that despite OVERWHELMING agreement from multiple agencies now under Republican control that INDEED the Russians made a concerted effort to harm Clinton reinforces the equally OBVIOUS conclusion you are a blockhead.

        Neither you nor Trump cares a rap about that Russia is continuing those meddling assaults. Both of you have denigrated the insidious scope of those Russian intrusions, over and over, as both of you have criticized the Mueller investigation with untruthful allegations from the start.

        You and Trump, bird-brains of a feather flocking together, in alignment with Putin’s denials Russia had no reason to meddle in the vote. After that face to face talk with Putin in Helsinki, Trump agreed: “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he replied. Wasn’t that your opinion too?

        This today from the Gov of Florida, verifying the Russians hacked data bases in two Florida counties in 2016. That Russian election hacking was included in Mueller’s report – as part and parcel of his INVESTIGATION, an investigation you continue to denigrate.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/gov-desantis-russians-hacked-voting-databases-two-florida-counties-n1005461

      • May 14, 2019 6:47 pm

        Jay, did Mueller investigate the Florida hacking?

        Nope.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:32 am

        Sorry Priscilla,

        “Special counsel Robert Mueller last month revealed the suspected hacking in a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. ”

        “An indictment filed by Mueller last year said Russian operatives sent more than 100 fake emails to elections offices and personnel in Florida. The final Mueller report said Russian hackers sent spearphishing emails to more than 120 email accounts operated by Florida county election officials.”

        I would note there is a difference between TRIED and SUCCEEDED.

        We are aware of several instances in which Russia DID TRY to hack voter registration databases. Todate I am NOT aware of any where they succeeded.

        Regardless, this is LEGITMATE work for the federal government, AND for congress.

        Actually protecting the REAL machinery of the election from outside interferenace – whether from Russia or BP is absolutely governments job.

        But we have done next to nothing to address the REAL problems with our elections – a FEW of which have to do with Russia – such as this.

        The myriads of problems with absentee balloting.
        The myriads of problems with people who may not vote, or who may not vote in the state they are trying to vote in.

        Those we have had no interest in.

        We would rather fixate on something inconsequential that we could not do a dman thing about anyway – such as Facebook posts.

      • May 15, 2019 7:55 am

        Sorry, my bad. At least the Mueller report addressed some of the actual election interference.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 9:59 pm

        I have serious problems with the “russian” claim all over the place regarding hacking (or honestly even the Social Media stuff).

        It could have been the russians

        But anyone claiming to know the source of a hack, or email or FB account where the source is purportedly as sophisticated as intelligence services or non-novice hackers is just completely full of shit.

        Determining sources CAN NOT BE DONE with better than 50/50 probability.

        Let me use a simpler example closer to home that most of us MIGHT understand.

        Tomorow the police show up on your door with a warrant to search your computers for child porn – they setup a honey trap and they received an attempt to download child porn from your IP address.

        Is your IP address sufficient proof that you downloaded child porn ?

        The answer is no. Most of us understand that our computers or our wifi could have been hacked, and our neighbor, or some hacker from pakistan could be pointing the finger at us.

        As a rule of thumb – though not universal, courts will accept an IP address to grant a warrant, but it is not sufficient for a conviction. Though there are enough problems with the certainty that an IP address is the real source that many courts will not accept them even for a warrant.

        The CIA, NSA, …. are despite what you see on TV, no better than the police at tracing this.

        When you see someone on your favorite TV show tracing something over the internet that is CRAP.

        It is not possible to trace internet traffic, emails, hacking tools, anything on the internet – un less someone makes a mistake.
        And it is not possible to tell a real mistake from a deliberate effort to mislead.
        Put simply even mistakes can be faked.

        Stuxnet was out there F’ing with Iranian centrifuges for about a decade. The Iranians blamed it on the Israeli’s – there were fingerprints in the code pointing to the Mossad.

        Eventually we found out that the actual source of Stuxnet was the US – as a result of the material that Snowden leaked.

        So the US hacked the Iranians and did so in a way to point the finger at Israel

        And no one figured this out until Snowden leaked the actual source from NSA.

        That is because it can not be done.

        And the Russians and many hackers are far more devious and sophisticated than the NSA.

        What is the Russians actually hacked the DNC and deliberately pointed the finger at themselves in order to point suspicion elsewhere – in other words they were counting on investigators assuming that if there was a mistake that pointed at Russia that it was actually a deliberate effort by someone else to make it look like Russia.

        There are also times we KNOW something is done by Russia or China – because they WANT us to know.

        Regardless, I am not trying to say Russians did not engage in a spearfishing attack on Florida voter registration systems. They probably did.

        But probably is not certainty, and we are dealing with issues of great seriousness.

        It has not made the mainstream news, but it is highly likely that the last two poison Gas WMD attacks in Syria that resulted in Trump attacking Assads forces were setups. There was no real WMD attack, the video was faked.

        It is near certain our government – including Trump knows this.
        But no one cares – it did not stop us from defeating ISIS, and know one is crying because Assad was hit with lots of cruise missiles.
        And possibly only Jay would jump up and down foaming and shouting “see Trump bombed the wrong bad guy” Especially since if Assad did not use WMD’s that also removes blame from Russia who promised to secure all of Assads chemical weapons.

        I am not arguing that Russia WOULD NOT do this.
        I am not even arguing that they DID NOT.
        Only that any claim that we know who did is speculative at best.

        That does not alter the fact that we MUST protect these systems.
        That is an actual obligation of government that it is not doing well.

        It is very important to distunguish between

        “thwarting the russians”

        and

        “securing our elections”

        Those are NOT the same.

        The russians and others are going to try no matter what.

        The objective is NOT to make sure Russia does not succeed,
        it is not even to punish russia for trying – We try elsewhere all the time.

        The objective is to prevent ANYONE from succeeding.

  51. Jay permalink
    May 14, 2019 9:57 am

    President Dirty Clothes’ Tariff in Action:

    We need a new washing machine. I checked out the price at Home Depot: they’ve jumped in cost about $100 since the Trump-Tax-Tariff went into effect.

    One good result for working people from Donnie’s douche tariff scheme: washing machine repair techs here in L.A. are swamped with business: I have to wait a week for an appointment estimate.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 14, 2019 4:39 pm

      “We need a new washing machine. I checked out the price at Home Depot: they’ve jumped in cost about $100 since the Trump-Tax-Tariff went into effect.

      One good result for working people from Donnie’s douche tariff scheme: washing machine repair techs here in L.A. are swamped with business: I have to wait a week for an appointment estimate.”

      None of this is news. Protectionist measure harm your own people not those you seek to punish.

      The very acts China is engaged in that Trump is responding to are bad for the Chinese – just as Trump’s counter is bad for us.

      I would be more impressed with your legitimate criticism of Trump’s Tarriffs, If I did not beleive that you would be four square behind them if Biden or Warren or even Romney were doing them.

      Nor is there any difference between Tarriff and regulation. Both increase the cost of goods and service in return for some mythical benefit that either never materializes or is never of the scale of the harm caused.

      • May 14, 2019 7:37 pm

        BooHoo! So the Chinese crap cost $100 more. There are alternatives.

        https://www.bizvibe.com/blog/top-5-washing-machines-made-in-usa-2018/

      • Jay permalink
        May 14, 2019 8:26 pm

        The alternative is repairing the old machine.

        Aren’t those Chinese ‘crap’ products American and Swedish products made in China? Kenmore, Maytag, Electrolux, etc? Why are you saying they’re crap? At this point in history, China makes those products as well or better than US manufactures.

      • May 14, 2019 8:35 pm

        Well if they are better than American made, then they are worth paying more than their American counter parts.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:57 am

        “Well if they are better than American made, then they are worth paying more than their American counter parts.”

        NO!!!!

        Our standard of living rises when we produce/acquire more value for less human effort.

        The ONLY price of anything is what a willing buyer and a willing sellor mutually agree on.
        Any other price is BOGUS.

        The decision as to what a person is prepared to pay for something rests SOLELY with the individual buyer.

        It is NOT governments business.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:51 am

        It does not matter if they are crap.

        You do not get to use force to restrict my choices – not even poor choices ABSENT justification.

        Justification is NOT “I want to”.
        Justifying the use of force is SUPPOSED to be hard.

        I may not be foaming at the mouth over this or pounding my fist and declaring the end of the world.

        In the scale of bad things presidents have done this is small.

        But it is still wrong.

        It does not change my view of Trump – we ALL knew his position on Trade BEFORE the election. No one can claim to have been decieved.

        Further as much as I oppose his Trade related threats and actions.
        AND as much as I DO NOT allow the ends to justify the means.

        I still have to note – that thus far Trump’s ENDS have been FREER trade.

        So if you want me to say “Trump is wrong” about something – this is one of many things he is wrong about.

        But for me to elevate this to the level of frothing you want out of me.
        I would have to declare the entire Obama presidence one step short of marxism.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:43 am

        Before you had more choices, now you have less.

        There may be nothing wrong with the alternatives you offer.

        But you have still restricted MY freedom.
        You have done so by force,
        and you have done so without justification.

        Maybe I want a cheaper crappy chinese washing machine.
        Or maybe the chinese washing machine actually is a better value.

        Regardless I should get to decide.

        You are free to persuade me to buy american.

        You are not free to force me to.

  52. May 14, 2019 11:36 am

    Thought some may be interested in this editorial from local paper. You may have to answer one advertising question to access.

    https://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-burr-s-nonpartisan-responsibility/article_2d444dfe-d3cf-5d7b-af26-ecc95037fc5b.html

    They did not say, but I wonder if the media frenzy about Burr leaking advanced Russian investigation info to the White House was not the issueing of this subpoena. We may find out later. Not from the left media because that does not fit their narrative, but from others. However, I suspect it wont be Burr or Warner that talks.

    And this is another reason for term limits. If Burr had to face reelection and not be retireing, I wonder if he would be putting the country first?

    • May 14, 2019 2:02 pm

      Ron, I still fail to understand what Don jr. might have to say that is important in any sense other than a political one.

      His testimony would be important only in the sense that he might, in some way, even a minor one, contradict the transcripts of the many hours of testimony that he gave over a year ago. If that happened ~ say he remembered that a conversation took place on Wednesday, when he previously said that it was on Tuesday, he could be indicted for perjury, and the Democrats would blow that up into a major issue.

      Lindsey Graham says he should just plead the 5th, and be done with it. That will also be blown up into a major “cover-up,” but will not be as effective as an indictment.

      He would be a fool to go along with this nonsense. I don’t know why Burr is going along with this,or how it relates to any new avenue of Congressional oversight, but if it’s legit, Burr should explain why he is dragging Trump’s son, under subpoena, to testify about something that he has voluntarily testified to previously, and for many hours.

      • Jay permalink
        May 14, 2019 5:47 pm

        You really have become a Trump & Family robo apologist, Priscilla. And double shame on you for not condemning Graham’s suggestion about taking the 5th.

        Graham first suggested Trump Jr ignore the subpoena, but even a staunch conservative like Fox’s Napolitano was stunned by that: “I’ve Never Heard a Senator Say to ‘Disobey’ a Senate Subpoena,” Napolitano said on air.

        After that Graham advised Jr to show up but take the 5th. Isn’t that what lawyers tell Mob clients? Isn’t that in fact what Trump said about Hillary’s email server testimony: “The mob takes the Fifth,” he said at an Iowa campaign rally. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

        Always the lying double standard hypocrite Trump himself of course had taken the 5th many times during his first wife’s divorce, invoking it 97 times to avoid deposition questions, mostly about committing adultery with “other women.”

        But for a US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman like Lindsey Graham to suggest a witness not answer questions posed by another committee (with a Republican chairman) and withhold information relating to a national security investigation is is is… worthy of impeachment. Isn’t Graham’s ill-considered, and potentially undermining future investigations?

        Why aren’t you at all outraged by his suggestions? Has Trump Transmogrification so blurred your objectivity you no longer can see anything objectively?

      • May 14, 2019 5:59 pm

        Junior has agreed to sit for an interview with the committee. They agreed that it would cover some specific topics, and not go over the same ground that was covered last year. So, both sides seem to be satisfied.

        As far as taking the 5th, it is perfectly acceptable and common to refuse to answer questions when the purpose of those questions are meant to incriminate, as in a suspected perjury trap interview. The catch is that you must plead the 5th for all questions, not just the “trick” questions. It’s not just guilty people who take the 5th. And taking the 5th is a constitutional right against self-incrimination, not “withholding information”.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:21 am

        Most people are completely clueless about “taking the 5th”.

        There is ZERO legal implication of guilt.

        You can actually take the 5th for the reason that was suggested by Trump Jr.
        That you have already testified and you do not wish to be subject to sanctions because you might differ in your testimony slightly.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:13 am

        When government acts lawlessly – you DISOBEY.

        That is a very very dangerous tactic – it CAN result in men with guns at your door hauling you away.

        But it is perfectly legitimate. Ghandi and MLK are famous for just that.

        As to the fake outrage at Graham’s suggestion:

        Holder ignored congressional subpeona’s for years.
        Rosenstein has still not complied with myriads of house and senate subpeona’s.

        Whether Trump Jr. can “get away” with ignoring a congressional subpeona is up to the courts and Bill Barr. If EITHER refuse to uphold the subpeona – it is dead.

        Regardless why are you aghast that Trump Jr. might do something that holder and the Obama administration did all the time ?

        BTW what information does Don Jr. have that is relevant to “national Security” ?

        That is a garbage claim.

        Specifically what information is it that Trump Jr. can provide about acts that have already been covered by previous testimony – to congress and Mueller ?

        Are you going to assert that the government can call you to testify over and over about the same thing, until you slip up ?

        Why am I not outraged ? Because this is not outrageous.

        This farce has gone on long enough.

        While I think that it was a tactical mistake for Trump JR. to decide that Testifying before Burr was his bridge too far. My guess is that it is because he has also been subpeonad or likely will be subpeoned by Nadler. And it is very difficult for him to agree to retestify to Burr while NOT agreeing to retestify to Nadler. His argument, that he has nothing to add only works if he applies it consistently.

        I told you before that there are consequences of false accusations.

        This is one of those. Large portions of the public no longer care whether Trump Jr. refuses to comply with a subpeona. They do not trust those persuing this – because false accusations come at the expense of your credibility and integrity.

        The ONLY part of this that is harmful to Trump Jr. or republicans is that the fight is starting with Burr.

        BTW the damage to the rule of law is not being done by Trump Jr.
        It is being done by those trying to use their subpeona power as a cudgel to accomplish personal and political goals rather than the legitimate goals of the government.

        When someone in government gives you an immoral, illegal, unconstitutional or improper command. The harm to the rule of law is NOT by your refusal to comply, but by their asking.

        I am outraged. I am outraged that this is not over, that you can not let go, That you will keep this going until either:

        You entangle everyone associated with Trump in manufactured process crimes.
        You manage to shoot the moon and actually find something of real substance that Mueller missed – the odds of that are near zero.
        You finally are shamed into backing down.

      • Jay permalink
        May 14, 2019 5:48 pm

        This just in:

        “CNN) Donald Trump, Jr. and the Senate Intelligence Committee have reached a deal for the President’s eldest son to appear before the committee behind closed doors in mid-June, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

        The two sides reached a deal after the committee issued a subpoena for Trump Jr. to appear before the committee.

        The interview will be limited to two to four hours and limited in scope to five to six topics, the source said. The two sides also agreed it will be the last time the President’s eldest son will be asked to come before the committee in relation to its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.”

      • May 14, 2019 7:40 pm

        Jay, did they say what wax the subject?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:18 am

        Pretty much what I expected.

        BTW this is NOT unusual.
        What is unusual is what has happened with Nadler and Barr,
        where there is no negotiation and the committee says you will do exactly what we ask, take it or leave it.

        If Nadler pushes his subpeona of Barr to the courts – which I suspect he will not.
        It is likely the the court will order that Barr must testify.
        But they almost certainly will ALSO accept most or all of Barr’s condictions
        i.e that only Representatives can ask questions,
        The duration of the hearing will be specified,
        the material that is to be covered will be provided in advance and questions outside that scope need not be answered.

      • May 14, 2019 6:25 pm

        Btw, why should I be “ashamed” of defending Senator Graham’s suggestion?

        He knows as well as anyone how eager the Democrats are to try and reignite the whole Russia collusion hoax, and he also saw ~ as we all did ~ how George Papadopoulos went to jail for not remembering the exact date of one of his meetings with the deep state spies.

        I mean, you’e not “ashamed” that Jerry Nadler had his committee hold the AG in contempt for refusing to break the law, so I wouldn’t be on my high horse, if I were you… 🐎

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:23 am

        I am not a big Graham fan.

        I think it was inappropriate in this instance for GRAHAM to offer this advice.

        But that does not mean the advice was inappropriate.

        My Issue is that Graham is probably barred from offering it.

      • May 14, 2019 7:33 pm

        Yes Burr should explain why he is doing this, but only to Don Jr. and his attorney. If they wsnt to share this, then they can leak it to the press. Burr will not release anything, just like any info during the committees investigation until it was complete.

        We will know what’s “there” or ” not there” after its finished. Burr does not talk until he has facts, unlike most everyone else in politics or the media.

      • May 14, 2019 7:46 pm

        Well, if that is the case, I am a Burr fan!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:36 am

        It is irrelevant whether What Trump Jr. might have to say is “important”.

        The issue is the use of force, by government to compel someone to do something they do not want to do.
        The use of force must ALWAYS be justified. Important is NOT sufficient. Everything is important to someone.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 1:53 am

        My GUESS – not my recomendation, is that eventually he will testify.
        Likely not publicly, and likely limited to narrow issues that he has been allowed to prepare for in advance.

        BTW the type of contradiction you are noting is NOT perjury.

        Mueller and the public discourse and the left have successfully distorted the meaning of the law so that we are buying garbage.

        Perjury is one of many forms of “crim-in-falsi” Crimes of falsification, Most frauds are crim-in-falsi. Perjury is the most severe form of criminal misrepresentation.

        It has MANY specific requirements, I will try to remember them all.

        It must be a statement under oath in a proceeding.
        The alleged perjuror must have known in advance to expect to be questioned on the matter they spoke falsely on – i.e. they must have had the opertunity to refresh their memory AHEAD of time, using whatever resources might be available to them.
        The alleged perjuror must have the operotunity AFTER testifying to correct their testimony.

        This is extremely relevant to the Stone indictment, because stone and his attorney have been after the transcript of his testimony since he testified. He has STILL not received that.
        You can not correct erroneous testimony absent the oportunity to do so.
        Stones lawyers knew this – which is why they immediately demanded transcripts.
        Mueller’s indictment of Stone for lying to congress is legal garbage, if it is not tossed before it gets to a jury it will die on appeal.

        The false statement must be germain. Mist stating the weather on a given day is NOT perjury – unless the weather was important.

        The court must have RELIED on the false testimony in coming to a decision.

        You can not be convicted of perjuroy if the court/judge/jury did not beleive you.

        There are some other elements that I forget.

        ALL must be present.

        There are lessor forms of criminal lying.
        They have lower standards.

        Getting the day of some meeting wrong would only be criminal if the day the meeting occured is relevant.

        Next if Trump Jr. “corrects” errors in prior testimony, the only way that is criminal lying, would be if Mueller, or the house or senate RELIED on that date to reach some conclusion.

        Nearly always you hear people testifying to congress requesting to “revise and extend” their remarks. That is a formality – it is always granted, because CORRECTING erroneous testimony is a RIGHT.

        Trump Jr. can not be prosecuted for “correcting” prior testimony, unless that element of that testimony was incorporated into a formal outcome.

        Of course all bets that the law will be followed or appropriately represented are off with respect to democrats.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 14, 2019 11:55 pm

      I have no idea what Burr was telling the whitehouse.

      But it would NOT be “leaking”

      A leak requires providing someone who has legitimate access to information, but NOT the right to share it, to provide it to someone who does not have the right to have it.

      It is not common to share information between the congress and whitehouse,
      But there is no legal or other obstacle to do so.

      It is also not common for investigators to share information with those they are investigating, but there is no legal or other obstacle to do so.

      Two of the purported claims that Trump “obstructed” is based are based on this nonsense.

      Comey told Trump that he was not the target of the FBI investigation.
      He was permitted to do so, Trump was even permitted to demand that information.
      He was even permitted to demand that information if he was NOT president.

      Investigators can try to hide that they are investigating you, but their investigation will be severely constitutionally limited if they lie to you about that. That is the core to Miranda.

      Lawyers constantly try to pry information from prosecutors and investigators. Investigators and prosecutors try to game what they provide to those they are investigating, but ultimately they are obligated to share nearly everything.

      One of Trump’s claims regarding firing Comey was that he did so because Comey refused to confirm in public what he told Trump in private.

      While Trump can fire Comey for no reason at all. THAT is a legitimate reason.

      There is still a lack of clarity over exactly when Mueller concluded that the Trump campaign had not “colluded” with Russia, that was aug of 2017 at the earliest and Dec of 2017 at the latest. But they did inform Trump’s lawyers of that sometime near when they reached that conclusion. And Trump apparently through his lawyers directed Mueller to make that decision public.

      Like it or not Trump IS permitted to do so, and when Mueller failed to do so, Trump could have FOR CAUSE fired him.

      One of the problems with Mueller.Rosenstein from the start was this mythical presumption that they were independent actors without any oversight.
      Our constitution allows no such thing. The president is answerable to congress and the people, Everyone else in the executive is answerable to him.

      Comey has expressed this mythical nothing of an independent FBI (or DOJ),
      There is no such thing.

      I would be perfectly happy to see some office of public integrity whose sole job was to investigate the rest of government. But there would still be a requirement that they were answerable to someone. A truly independent entity in government unanswerable to anyone is a very dangerous thing.

      • May 15, 2019 12:44 am

        I like the idea of an office of public integrity. Since coporations have internal audit departments that report directly to the Board of Directors, congress is somewhat like those boards. They dont have executive responsibility. Form a joint subcommittee, small in number, from members on the house and senate ethics committees that “oversees” this office, but it would run much like an internal affairs department of a police department, charged with overseeing actions of all government officials. By law they would have clear directives to follow on when and who to investigate, with subpoena power, but unlike Muellers shotgun lynchings, that department would have limited objectives. Anything found outside the assignment would bebturned over to appropriate law enforcement for investigation. Their reports would be submitted to the ethics sub committee, but the sub committe could notvrestrict what they investigated.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 3:11 am

        There is a difference between a hypothetical “good idea”
        and practice in the real world, and the details matter – alot.

        I like the idea of an office of public integrity ALOT.

        I want it as independent as possible, and I want it to have teeth and to work mostly in secret.

        But that is a great deal of power and it is very dangerous power.
        If you can not think of how an office of public integrity can be abused – you have far less imagination than the average politician.

        A truly independent office of public integrity requires a constitutional amendment.

        I can still get behind that.

        THEN it requires some means of oversight.
        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
        Who watches the watchers ?

        I do not have a workable answer to that.
        And it is important to get that right.

        One alternative that MIGHT not require a constitutional amendment would be 3 OPI’s.

        One under congress, one under SCOTUS, and on in the executive.

        EACH is barred from investigations into its own branch.
        Otherwise they are essentially 3 permanent Special Council offices.

        All actual investigations into the government itself are conducted by one or more of these offices.

        You require each of them to be funded exactly the same.

        There MIGHT be a constitutional issue because neither the judiciary nor congress has constitutional investigative powers.

        Regardless they must be confined solely to investigations of govenrment itself.

        They are sort of like Inspector Generals – except with the full powers of prosecutors.

        I am also not sure how to appoint each of their heads.

        I have argued CORRECTLY though the courts have disagreed that Mueller had to be appointed by the president and confirmed by congress.

        The head of each of these offices would likely meet the same constitutional burden.
        But I do NOT want congress confirming the heads of each of these.

        It is the presence of 3 that are independent of each other, and each independent of the other two branches, and each capable of investigating the others that provides the check and balance.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 3:31 am

        Another option – one I might like better, is One OPI, that is FEDERAL, but each STATE provides 2 attorney’s to – much like Senators used to be appointed by the legislature.

        Then the 100 OPI attorney’s select a head, and possibly a board of directors.

        There is enough political diversity in the states to avoid the OPI becoming one party or the others hatchet man.

        The incentives are also such that States are more likely to appoint strong people rather than weak ones.

        Regardless, as I said before – the fact that this might be a “good idea” does not mean we should just rush. there are 1000 ways to do this. Most would make things worse not better.

        It is very easy to have a “good idea” and still turn it into reality in a way that is disasterous.

        I want this OPI to operate as quietly as possible.

        We would eliminate Special counsels.

        Congress, the executive and the courts could refer investigations to the OPI.
        But what happened there would occur as quietly as can be done.

        One of the beauties of the constitutional structure (and limited government) is that it does not demand or expect perfection from those in government.

        It seeks to pit ambition against ambition.

        If we send 2 attorney’s from every state to this OPI, we can be assured that MANY of them will be looking to make a name for themselves.

        I want that.
        The scale I am talking about reduces the political nature.

        This would also create an entity that would be independent of congress, the president and the judiciary – so completely out of their control.

        I would probably have them funded directly by the states.
        That way congress or the president can not neuter them by slashing their budget.

        And all criminal investigations of federal employees go through them.

        They handle leak investigations, They would replace Mueller or Ken Starr.

        I would separately bar them from press conferences.

        Trey Gowdy keeps saying “prosecutors speak through indictments and proscutions”.

        I like that, I like that some much I would apply it to ALL criminal prosecutors.

        NO TALKING TO THE PRESS.
        The press can read the indictment and follow in court.

  53. May 14, 2019 7:01 pm

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms posing a national security risk, paving the way for a ban on doing business with China’s Huawei, three U.S. officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.”

    Good!

    • May 14, 2019 7:49 pm

      Yes, it is good.

      Had this been anyone of the presidents since 1990, this probably would not happen as they never would stand tall against China.

      And this most likely will be effective until the next administration that will probably reverse the E.O. If congress was concerned about national security, they would do it through legeslation, but they probably cant even wipe their own rump without arguing over what kind of toilet tissue can be in the bathrooms in the capital building, so who expects them to do something important.

    • Jay permalink
      May 14, 2019 8:28 pm

      I agree, the Broken Clock President has this one right.

      • May 14, 2019 8:55 pm

        🕒 🕒
        🎉🎉🎉

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 2:54 am

        My GUESS is the EO will NOT be as broad as Reuters reports.

        If it is – then I OPPOSE!!!!!

        No president may dictate what those outside of government may or may not purchase absent a strong justification that is NOT present here.

        But Trump can ABSOLUTELY restrict the purchases of the US government in this way.
        Further he can likely extend that to government contractors – atleast where there is national security implications.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 15, 2019 2:35 am

      NO!

      An executive order can legitimately only apply to the actions of GOVERNMENT.

      Trump can order the US government not to buy phones from Huwei.
      He can possibly order Government not to conduct some business with companies that buy phones from Huwei.

      He can not order people what they can and can not buy.

      • May 15, 2019 8:03 am

        He can, if it has to do with national security. Chinese spyware has already been discovered in millions of Android phones. The Chinese have corrupted the technology supply chain, including technology meant for the US military.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 10:24 pm

        “He can, if it has to do with national security. Chinese spyware has already been discovered in millions of Android phones. The Chinese have corrupted the technology supply chain, including technology meant for the US military”

        You can use national security as a justification for anything – and we have.
        FDR interred US citizens of Japanese descent on nonsensical National Security claims
        Alone with Slavery and some of what was done to the “native americans” that is among the most repugnant things done by the US in history.

        Regardless it is NOT the role of government.

        That is no different from Government mandating we must all have steel doors and 9 pin tumbler locks on our front doors – because burglars exist.

        While I agree that the president has to power to direct those in government with regard to phones – on a national security basis. And possibly even what government contractors use.

        It ends there.

        And I will actually go further. Outside of a very small portion of government that must actually be secure. The rest of this is National Security theater – all sound and fury signifying nothing.

        We dealt with this with Russia during the cold war. We even dealt with it with Germany during WWII.

        Stealing technology is NOT an important intelligence gain.
        So long as Russia was stealing our technology – they were always going to be behind.

        I would further note that one of the greatest US technologies of the cold war – and even through today – Stealth, was actually “stolen” from the rusians. The mathematics of stealth were developed by Pyotr Ufimtsev and borrowed By Lockhead when designing the F117.

        I am not personally a big fan of intellectual property. Ideas are not property.
        But the big problem with IP law is not that others should be able to crib your ideas as is.
        But that all to often it is used as a club to prevent others from coming up with an even better solution on their own.

        The absolutely most difficult part of any technological advance is doing it the first time.
        Because you do not know that it can be done.

        Once a problem has been solved – merely knowing that the problem has been solved is enough that others can solve it better and faster.

        Conversely no undeveloped nation can steal its way to technological advance.

        The chinese have managed to compete with the US in many areas of technolgy – not because they have stolen it.,
        but because they have developed their own skills and knowledge and learned to compete.

        China’s advances are not harms to us.

  54. May 15, 2019 8:07 am

    “The Chinese military managed to install and disguise tiny chips on computing hardware destined for U.S. military and intelligence agencies, as well as companies such as Apple (AAPL, +1.56%), according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report about a quiet but long-running investigation in the U.S.”

    http://fortune.com/2018/10/04/china-military-spy-chips-supermicro/

    Does free trade include allowing a hostile nation to subvert not only our economy but our military?

  55. May 15, 2019 2:05 pm

    Jay, you have made many comments about Trump being guilty of obstruction and being a Russian patsy ( not your words, but the same) when no actual concrete proof has been provided.

    I have said many times that I did not support the way Mueller conducted the investigation, using a shotgun approach to something that needed laser targeting. I accused him of being political.

    So both based on ” beliefs” with no actual proof. Smoke, not fire.

    Now given you are using segments of the Mueller report to support your smoke, here is something just as damning supporting my smoke.
    https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-doj-documents-showing-andrew-weissmann-leading-hiring-effort-for-mueller-special-counsel/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=press_release

    • Jay permalink
      May 15, 2019 4:23 pm

      The men in charge were both Republicans:

      “Mueller was appointed to offices by Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as by Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In addition, Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein, who was nominated for deputy attorney general by Trump himself, and who previously was appointed as a U.S. Attorney by George W. Bush (and later kept on by Obama). The Daily Caller has also reported that Mueller has occasionally donated to Republicans in both statewide and national races.”

      • May 15, 2019 5:24 pm

        Why would I have ever thought you might believe Mueller was anything other than “Lady Justice” reincarnated in Mueller.

        Look at the list of people you wrote down and try to understand how many of these are anti-Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        May 15, 2019 6:37 pm

        Look how many signers of the Declaration of Independence were anti King George III

      • May 15, 2019 7:26 pm

        Im bald. Your point hit my scalp and skidded off onto the floor. Please explain.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 11:44 pm

        They were NOT “anti King George” they were pro liberty.

        Every single complaint about King George in the Declaration is an assertion that he ACTED to illegitimately restrict their RIGHTS.

        Please, list the ways in which Trump has restricted your rights ?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 11:42 pm

        I do not think Mueller was “anti-Trump”
        Atleast not until Trump started needling him.

        But he was the wrong person for a task that never could be legitimately assigned.

        Regardless, Jay is sucking you into this fixation on motives.

        If an act is bad – the motives do not matter.

      • May 16, 2019 11:21 am

        Dave, Jay is not sucking me into anythiing. I said long before Mueller finished his report that had Mueller not been out to impact Trump in the most negative manner, he would have quitely gone about his business, when finding anything illegal outside Russian collusion, he would have turned it over to the appropriate state or federal agency and completed his investigation much quicker than he did.

        But he did not do that. He went down the Flynn road, the Manaford road and other detours before finally issueing his report. That took time, that delayed his report. That has obstruction in the news and will be well into the election cycle. Would that be so had his report been issued earlier? I dont think so.

        Our short term attention span would already have it fading had it come out earlier. The democrats can milk a dry cow for only so long before people realize they are being sold a bill of goods for a worn out item. The democrats can threaten impeachment for only so long before they become Chicken Little.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 12:26 pm

        Well said.

        One of the reasons for a OPI – office of public integrity, is that the incentives are better.

        Whenever you appoint a Special Counsel – it is like sending a hunter on Safari.

        They fail if they do not come back with a trophy.

        But the purpose of of the SC is not to convict the accused or everyone arround them. It is to find the truth.

        The SC law has baked into it strong incentives against any presumptions of innocence and strong incentives to overreach – and we have seen that in all SC investigations.

        That does not mean we should not investigate political corruption or that independent investigation is not necescary.

        But an acutally independent institution would be under presure to justify its existance too.
        But rather than being pointed at a specific target and told to get them or don’t come home.
        An OPI is free to look for the easiest targets, the actually guilty.

        SC’s do not increase the likelyhood that government as a whole will be less corrupt.
        While an OPI would. It is not specifically who you catch and convict that matters
        but that you catch and convict someone AND that they are actualy guilty.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 11:39 pm

        Everything that is political is not “republican/democrat”.

        Mueller, Comey, Fitzgerald, to a lessor extent Rosenstein, are all part of a cabal.

        They are the “deep state” they are the “Swamp”. If you prefer they are the “permanent state” the elites who think they are the real power.
        They are inherently in favor of protecting their own power.

        Obama may have directed them to go after Trump for partisan reasons – and some
        McCabe, The Ohr’s, Brennan may have acted in partisan fashion,

        But many bad actors in this were not protecting their party.
        They were protecting their power.
        Their positions as part of the “permanent state”.

        Regardless, as always you fixate on motives and intentions.

        A man can have 1000 different reasons for doing something bad.
        Some of those reasons can even be good reasons.

        A bad act is bad regardless of your reasons or your party.

      • Jay permalink
        May 16, 2019 9:38 am

        They weren’t anti King George?

        Tell it to Jefferson who wrote the preamble to the Declaration, and specifically refers to him, over and over and over and…

        “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

        Etc etc etc etc….

        During the Revolution you would have been a Tory Loyalist….

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 11:35 am

        Aparently you can not read.

        Again the declaration of Indepence is a bold assertion that No one, and no government may infringe (usurp) an individuals rights.

        Tyrany is the infringement or usurpation of rights.
        The long list Jefferson provides or Miconduct by King George is ALL infringement on the rights of colonists.

        What rights of yours has Trump infringed on our Usurped ?

        A Tyrant deprives you of something that is yours by right.
        What has Trump taken from you that you have a right to ?

        Has Trump failed to enforce the law ?
        No, your complaints about him are all too often that he enforces laws that you do not like.

        Trump did not concoct those laws – congress and past presidents did. If you do not like them Change the law.
        It is lawless to circumvent the law by changing the president – YOU are the one seeking Tyranny.

        Has Trump demanded that anyone surrender their rights in under any circumstances ? Much less as a condition to assent to laws.

        Has Trump directed Congress to meet in Fairbanks Alaska ?

        Has Trump refused to appoint Judges ?

        Has Trump increased the burden of the state on the people – concocting new laws without congress ? Vastly increasing the number of locusts in the executive feeding off the people ?

        Has Trump sent the armed forces into the our country to enforce his will ?

        Has he quartered Troops in our homes ?

        Has he given the military power over government ?

        Has he subjected americans to foreign laws ?

        Has he imposed taxes without our consent ?

        Has he taken americans from the US to be tried by foreigners ?

        Has he unilaterally abolished any laws ?

        Has he suspended congress or state legislatures ?

        Has he waged war against us or refused to defend us from others who waged war against us ?

        Has he “plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”

        Has he brought foreign mercenaries to subdue americans ?

        Has he allowed lawless “savages” from the frontiers to invade ?

        These are Jefferson’s claims of Usurpation of rights against King George,

        Has trump done any of those or anything like them ?

        I can recall Obama doing some of these things.

        Trump has done none of them.

        For all the accusations that Trump is somehow an Authoritarian or Tyrant – in fact he is Anti-Authoritarian and ending tyranny.

        And it is THAT that so offends you.

        He is restoring the rule of law. Reducing the tyranny of government, increasing individual freedom, Abiding by the law and constitution. Not ruling arbirtrarily by the pen and the phone. Terminating the lawless excesses of past presidents.

        In short he is mostly doing what President’s are supposed to do.
        That is only remarkable in that it has been rare.

        Trump is neither a Tyrant nor a great president.
        He is merely not a really bad president at a time when it has been a long time since we have had a president that was not really bad.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 11:38 am

        The loyalist would have been you – clinging to past tyrants.
        Unwilling to return to the rule of law, and the greatest individual liberty consistent with order.

        How has Trump infringed on any rights of yours ?

        While Obama and Bush are amateurs compared to King George in authoritarianism and Tyrany, They not Trump have done some of the things on Jefferson’s list of Usurpations of individual rights.

        Try reading – maybe a few of the nouns rather than just the adjectives.

    • Jay permalink
      May 15, 2019 6:51 pm

      .@walterdellinger (Washington Post) nails it:

      “Mueller’s … investigation fully established not merely crimes, but the betrayal of the president’s office: a failure to defend the country’s electoral system from foreign attack and acts of interference with justice that shred the rule of law.

      “This report makes the unquestionable case that the president regularly and audaciously violated his oath and committed the most serious high crimes and misdemeanors. … Congress doesn’t need to read more to announce what is obvious ….”

      BTW, Ron – have you read the redacted Mueller Report?

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html

      • May 15, 2019 7:31 pm

        No I have not read the report. What I think, what you think, what Dellinger thinks make no difference. It is what the House of Representatives think.

        If they think he committed crimes, then they will begin impeachment proceedings.

        If they do not do that, then there is no crimes.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 12:07 am

        I have read parts of it. It is long. It is whinny.

        Rachel Maddow will make absolutely certain we all hear the juicy parts

        Thus far no one on the left has pointed out anything even close to damning.
        But I have heard things from it that make what was done to Trump even worse.

        I think the odds of Democrats impeaching are near zero.

        They are not that Suicidal.

        But Nadler will troll on – they are unfortunately for all of us – that suicidal.

        Those who were making False accusations prior to this should be pretending they never took this seriously – not doubling down.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 15, 2019 11:50 pm

        Who was president in 2016 ? And 2012 ? and …..

        Nothing that ocured in 2016 was unusual.
        And none of it ocured while Trump was president.

        No Mr. Dellinger does not “nail it” – he entirely misses.

        He makes exactly the same mistake that lefties have made from end to end – and even before this. He has no sense of time. He can rearrange events in his mind to suit his ends.

        I honestly do not fault Obama for not doing more.
        The actual efforts of the Russians were inconsequential, Required no action and did not alter the election.

        But YOU (and Mr. Dellinger) beleive otherwise.
        You can not beleive the actions of the Russians were consequential without placing the Blame on Obama – NOT Trump.

        Atleast not without time travel.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 15, 2019 11:14 pm

      I do not think that Mueller personally wanted to take down Trump because he is some Democrat in Sheeps clothing or a big fan of Clinton.

      I beleive that if Mueller had been appoint SC to investigate Clinton he would have done so in the same fashion he did with Trump.

      I do not beleive that is true of his staff.

      But that is not my point.

      When you appoint an SC – whether it is Walsh, or Starr, or Fitzgerald, all of the incentives are for them to bring back the “big game”.

      Most of us understand that The Bush administrations treatment of Valeria Plame was nasty.
      I think it is quite reasonable to beleive that the Bushies were playing hard ball and were out to get her and James Wilson.
      I suspect Scooter Libby did some things that I beleive are wrong.

      But Fitzgerald was appoint to investigate a specific crime – that everyone in DC knew had not happened months before he was appointed. It was an “open secret” that Richard Armitage in state had invertantly an unintentially outed Plame to Robert Novack.

      There is still an open question as to whether Plame was actually covert at the time.

      Regardless, Fitzgerald jailed journalists, and ultimately convicted Scooter Libby of a process crime – much like Mueller has done.

      Why ? Because being appointed SC is a career pinnacle. You either come home with the “big game” or you are forgotten or worse deemed a failure.

      Democrats are already working towards the pretense that Mueller was a pussy cat and not a pit bull. That he somehow missed what was in plain sight.

      Worse Mueller has a long history of doing whatever it takes. Of stretching the law farther than it goes. OF making investigations into a power struggle where the innocent will get persecuted if they do not kowtow to him.

      That is what is wrong with Mueller.
      And it was wrong with him BEFORE he was appointed SC.

      Most of us understand that Rosenstein appointed a pitt bull who would use whatever means necescary to prove collusion and tried everything in his power – and many things that were not legitimate to do so. That he turned over every rock including ones he was not allowed to.
      That he violated peoples rights and that he f’d up our relationship to the world in order to bring home the big game – and FAILED.

      Nothing serves Trump better than Mueller’s inability to find anything.

      All the whining and excuses in the Mueller report aside, if there was something to be found, Mueller would have found it – no matter how many laws, rules or ethical and moral standards he had to violate to do so.

      The problem with Mueller is not Political – though the people he put on his staff are troubling.

      However the genesis of all of this in the Obama administration was Political and that is criminally corrupt.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 15, 2019 11:16 pm

      Everything is not an oppinion.
      Some things are facts.
      many things that are not certain have a reasonably discernable probability of being true.

      Jay beleives things that we never likely to prove true.
      You beleive things that I do not want to be true but many are now proven and lots of others are probably true.

  56. May 15, 2019 7:19 pm

    Dave “US manufacturing has grown in just about every segment, just about every year for a century or more”

    Where in the world do you get your info?
    https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_manufacturing_industry%27s_share_of_nominal_GDP.png#mw-jump-to-license

    Most any article will say we lost much of our manufacturing after the 80’s.

    I we increased manufacturing, then this graph should reflect that! Or at leadt maintained its percentage.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 15, 2019 11:55 pm

      Read the title of your Graph.

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-manufacturing-dead-output-has-doubled-in-three-decades-2016-03-28

      Manufacturing has grown by leaps and bounds.
      The REST of the economy has grown FASTER.
      The SHARE of the economy represented by manufacturing is smaller,
      But manufacturing has doubled in 30 years.

      I have to correct one error.
      Manufacturing declined in 2009 as a result of the recession.

      • May 16, 2019 11:55 am

        Figures dont lie, but liars can figure.
        That is what you did with your numbers.
        Yes, manufacturing has increased. Inflation.
        Yes, other segments have increased faster. Manufacturing leaving for China.
        If manufacturing continued with the same number of plants and facilities, it would have increased much faster than it did and remained closer to 25% of GDP.

        We will never agree. You are fine with China steeling our technologies, copying them and dumping cheaper products on us costing us jobs. You are fine with China requiring GM to become partners with them in GM/China, placing 25% tariffs on Fords and other American made cars all while we allow Envisions into America tariff free. How many jobs would it create to build an Envision here?

        If you read most economic information, tariffs are usually used when countries are developing to protect and support their industries. China used them. We used them. But China is no longer developing! They are the #2 economy in the world. It is time they are forced to play the game on an qual basis!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 12:39 pm

        It is not my numbers that are Gamed. All or most of the figures I provided are in real dollars, not nominal ones.

        I beleive the coal numbers I provided were in TONS of coal – not dollars they can not be inflated If they were not – I have the same graph in tons of coal.

        There is nothing wrong with your numbers,.
        There is nothing wrong with mine.
        It is both true that manufacturing has increased nearly every year for 50(or 100, or 200) years, AND that as a percent of GDP manufacturing has declined.

        It is also true that manufacturing in the US is booming. But other segments of the economy are doing even better.

        Manufacturing jobs have declined – precipitously. Nothing is changing that.
        We will see the same thing in other industries. Automation is likely to decimate jobs in trucking and transportation.

        Manufacturing more recently has been returning from China.
        The cost advantage the Chinese enjoy is down to about 15%, and that is before transportation costs are added. Further the chinese supply changes are far less reliable than US supply chains. We are in an era where Amazon is trying to sell you something that has not been manufactured yet and still deliver it to you tomorow. That requires short efficient supply chains. Forgetting issues of quality – which you are mostly wrong about or atleast exagerate, the cheapest product at the end of the assembly line is NOT always the cheapest product in your mailbox. The US has been agressively shorting supply chains because they are a significant cost. A cheaper Chinese product at the end of the assembly line can easily be a more expensive one in your mailbox – if the supply chain and therefore supply chain costs are longer.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 5:50 pm

        I am not “fine” with all of what China does.

        What I do not want is for the US to retaliate against China for acts that Harm the chinese people and on net benefit americans, by taking acts that harm US people and benefit the chinese.

        You are right that some of the choices China makes are harmful.

        You are just wrong about who is getting harmed the most.
        This is not a question of oppinion. The economics are very well understood.

        Before he became a partisan Hack Paul Krugman actually got his Nobel prize for an arcane area of free trade economics.

        I am aware of the claims that have been made regarding Tarriffs and protectionist policies – going all the way back to Hamilton.

        the fact is this does not work. If it did the USSR would not have collapsed, South america in the 80’s would have had booming telecom and many other things.

        The real world economic facts are than nascent industries are HARMED by protectionism.

        Words matter. Using an idea that you did not conceive of yourself is NOT stealing.
        Ideas are not property. When we act and make law as if they are we harm ourselves.

        Our founders understood the difference. They called what we call IP today “monopolies”.
        They thought they were a necessary evil, NOT something good.
        They understood that all their own works of genius rested on the ideas of others.
        The constitution grants a temporary lease on an idea in return for the benefit to society of the process of invention. Today we know – there is real data on this, that copyrights, and patents do not make us more inventive. There is evidence they make us LESS inventive. Regardless even our constitution which both of us value highly conditions the grants associated with patents and copyrights on a broader gain by society NOT the interests of the creator.

        “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”
        Thomas Jefferson

        If it was – progress would be impossible, we would all be paying licensing fees to the heirs of those who invented the wheel or fire.

        Further in the real world you can not get ahead merely by taking an idea from someone else.
        To gain real benefit you must understand it and improve on it. And that benefits all of us.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 6:13 pm

        “Your fine with china” – no I am not.
        But the harm of what China is doing is to the chinese – not us.

        There is no exclusive right to produce anything.

        You told me that in the past IP laws and tarrifs were used to protect nascent industries in growing countries. Absolutely that is why nations – including the US imposed such laws.
        But the real world data shows it does not work.

        But lets say it did – why was the US permitted to demand that the UK share with it the technology of the Industrial Revolution in return for access to US markets, But China is not allowed to demand acces to the technology to make cars in return for access to Chinese markets ?

        As far as I am concerned Google, GM etc are free to make their own decisions.

        They have the right to make what they want. They the right to TRY to keep their ideas secret. They do NOT have the right to compell people to buy their products. They do not have the right to preclude others from independently arriving at their ideas, or copying them or reverse engineering them, or negotiating for them as part of any other market exchange.

        The US govenrment has not legitimate power to interfere in that.
        Nor does the Chinese government – but I have no voice in China. I can not preclude the chinese government from doing stupid things that harm their own people.
        I can try to prevent the US government from doing that.

        As to jobs – there is no right to a job – not in China, not in the US.

        It is irrelevant whether we are talking food, or healthcare or jobs.
        When we create rights that do not exist we do ourselves harm.

        Governments are obligated to protect our actual rights from infringement by others.
        That is they primary – possibly sole job.
        When we call something a right that is not – we create a duty – both in government and in individuals to secure that right.

        I am not obligated to provide you with a job, food, or healthcare.
        I am obligated not to use force against you without near universally accepted justifications – such as self defense.

        Nor is the objective – either as individuals or governnents “job creation”,
        it is improvement in standard of living.

        That is ONLY accomplished by creating more that humans value with less human effort.

        It should be trivial to understand that ALWAYS results in job destruction.

        The expectation – and absent government interference that has always been true is that because they is no limit to humans ability to want things, there is no limit to the jobs that will exist in providing what we want.

        Providing us more of what we want – even by creating it with less labor, or with cheaper labor elsewhere, makes us better off, not worse. And the shift of people from an inefficient use to any other use doubles the benefit.

        There was lots of ranting about NAFTA – before and after. There is compelling economic evidence that NAFTA resulted in the destruction of atleast 1M US jobs. But within 3 years almost everyone who lost a job had a new one, and most of those paid more. FURTHER independent of job destruction NAFTA resulted in the creation of over 4M us jobs.

        Nor was this lopsided. Free Exchange is one of the most incredible things in existance.
        It is one of very few things that are almost never Zero Sum. It is one of very few things that are almost always win-win. The reasons behind this delve into philosophy and psychology.
        Because on the surface ever exchange appears to have to be zero sum.
        But they are not, each of us gets something we individually value more than what we give up.

        “It is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals, which seem to know neither this nor any other species of contracts. (…) Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that.”
        Adam Smith

        https://fee.org/articles/trade-is-what-makes-us-human/

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 6:17 pm

        I do not accept the “developing nation” argument – it was bogus when the US made it two centuries ago.

        Further there really is no such thing.

        Absolutely – China is not the bottom of the third word country it was at Mao’s death.

        They are now bottom of the first world. They are on the same path a Singapore and Hong Kong – both of which went from abject poverty 75 years ago to higher standards of living than the US.

        China is still “developing” – as are all nations, There is not an end to progress. There is not a known equilibrium point for standard of living.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 6:20 pm

        I loath all arguments rooted in equality.

        We are not equal.
        We have no right to equality either.

        We are only equal in out RIGHTS.
        We are equal before the law. Not in any other way.

        Our differences are a virtue, not a deficit.
        We are not bees or ants.

        More so than any other creature we are each unique.
        That is a significant part of the cause of the success of humans in comparison to other animals.

        We are NOT equal.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 15, 2019 11:59 pm

      Here is the output of a “dying” industry – Coal production.
      While it is down from its 2009 peak,
      US Coal production is up by a factor of 2.5 since 1960.

      • May 16, 2019 11:59 am

        So one industry is your arguement?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 16, 2019 12:02 am

      This is why Manufacturing has decline AS A SHARE OF GDP.

      Please note that this graph is on a LOGARITHMIC SCALE.
      GDP has grown exponentially.
      Manufacturing has grown linearly.

      https://delong.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551f08003883401538ec369bb970b-600wi

  57. dhlii permalink
    May 16, 2019 12:24 am

    this is a pretty good example of what is wrong with the left.

    50 years ago, those on the left celebrated lawyers like Alan Dershowitz who defended the rights of Nazi’s.

    Weinstein is scum. But he is entitled to the best defense he can get.

    I remember reading Gerry Spence.
    Timothy McVeigh asked him to defend him.
    Spence defended Randy Weaver – and won.
    Spence decided he could not represent McVeigh.

    It is one of the regrets of his life.

    The rights we allow the most repugnant of us,
    and the only rights we can be assured of for ourselves.

    https://nypost.com/2019/05/13/harvard-sacrifices-dean-to-appease-absurd-protests/

  58. dhlii permalink
    May 16, 2019 12:45 am

    A perspective from a 24 year career senior FBI agent.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/443741-jim-comeys-own-words-justify-bill-barrs-review

  59. dhlii permalink
    May 16, 2019 12:46 am

    We should NOT be doing this!!!

    Not to Page, not to Papadopoulis, not to Manafort, not to Kerry.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/443467-rubio-asks-barr-to-investigate-kerry-over-iran-meetings

    • May 16, 2019 9:12 am

      Unfortunately, it seems that the House now believes that investigations are now its responsibility. Silly me, I always thought it was oversight.

      Then again, James Comey apparently believed it was the FBI director’s role to make prosecutorial decisions.

      Obama apparently believed that legislation was based in the use of his pen and his phone.

      Many of the 700 federal district court judges in the country believe that they can issue nationwide injunctions against any executive action by an elected president.

      Robert Mueller apparently believes that Trump was guilty until exonerated by him…rather than innocent until proven guilty.

      Everything is FUBAR…

      • Jay permalink
        May 16, 2019 9:43 am

        Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump.
        If you don’t understand that, you’re brain is what’s FUBARed.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 11:50 am

        It is not and was not Mueller’s role to exhonerate anyone.

        That is not how our law or prosecutors work.

        HOWEVER, Because Mueller went far beyond what he legitimately was permitted,
        ultimately he came very close to actually exonerating Trump.

        When you unleash a bully on someone, willing to go outside the law, willing to coerce evidence and false confessions and STILL you can not come up with anything.
        You have pretty much exhonerated the accused.

        Mueller went through every single allegation in the Steele Dossier, one at a time and proved each one to be not merely “salacious and unverified” but in most cases FALSE.

        Mueller ACTUALLY exonerated Trump of almost all the false claims against him.
        And of the few he could not absolutely prove false, nor could have find any evidence to support them either.

        Muellers report may be spun negatively – but the substance is there is no substance to any of the claims.

        But let me go further.

        If Mueller only proved absolutely false A single accusation – and he proved most of them absolutely false. That would STILL make all of Trump’s accusers LIARS.

        When you make a moral accusation against another person. The burden of proof is YOURS.
        If you can not prove any of your accusations – it is YOUR integrity that is lost.
        If most of your accusations prove false – it is YOUR integrity that is lost.

        Despite Mueller’s spin and BECAUSE of Mueller’s over the top pit bull approach, it would be nearly impossible for Mueller to exonerate Trump more than he did.

      • May 16, 2019 10:03 am

        Jay, I will clarify: Mueller specifically said that he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction. I understand that.

        What you apparently do not understand is that our system of justice does not presume guilt, it presumes innocence, and the job of a prosecutor is NOT to exonerate or not exonerate ~ it is to charge or not to charge.

        Mueller (or more likely Andrew Weissman, who likely wrote the report) is guilty of prosecutorial malpractice if he believes that it was his job to exonerate anyone.

        If he did not have evidence to charge, then that was that. The House could interpret his report to show a crime or an abuse of power, and its job would be to impeach. But, although they are constantly threatening to do so, they clearly don’t believe that they have the evidence, or public opinion, on their side. Sad!

        Now do you understand?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 12:02 pm

        Mueller said alot of things that are spin and false.
        Just because you spin results one way – does not change the actual facts.

        Barr dispatched the obstruction claim Trivially. Because it was garbage.
        He did so using the FACTS that Mueller provided.

        The obstruction charge is in fact the most easily dealt with. You can take the facts exactly as Mueller offers them and apply the law as it is written and you do not have obstruction.
        While there is some debate about the facts, that debate is irrelevant.

        If Trump had actually fired Mueller – that MIGHT have resulted in impeachment. It certainly would have resulted in screams of outrage. But it would not meet the laws requirements for obstruction. Just as Firing Comey was not obstruction.

        Obstruction requires acts that meet every element of one of the obstructions statutes – there is no sequence of acts of Trump that does.

        Mueller makes a compelling case that Trump was unhappy with the SC investigation. That he wanted it to end, that he did SOME things that were legally inside his power to end it, and that he very seriously considered others.

        If actually doing something is not obstruction than doing less is not.
        Mueller presented the facts, and hemed and hawed about the Law – because the law is clear and Mueller did not like the result.

        Mueller exonerated Trump of obstruction – even more than he did on collusion.
        He did so because the Finding of Facts that Mueller asserts do not meet the laws requirements for obstruction.

        Mueller did not – as he did in some accusations of collusion, claim that there were facts that he could not be certain of regarding Obstruction. It was the law he was unwilling to properly apply.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 12:17 pm

        The release of Mueller’s report to congress at all, is highly unusual.

        Trey Gowdy gets this right and expresses it best.
        While he strongly defended allowing Mueller to complete his investigation, and respects Mueller more than I. At the same time he is among the most adamant that it is not just grand Jury material that is protected, it is the entire report.

        Prosecutors do not provide public reports. They prosecute or they do not.
        We do not make public the material from any investigation that does not result in prosecution.
        We do not do so, because that protects the rights of those accused.

        Criminal accusations are not supposed to be a means of defaming people without facing consequences.

        The SC law requires Mueller to produce a report and provide it to the AG.
        Mueller was free to prosecute everyone who committed a crime and was prosecutable.
        He was free to report that the president had committed a crime but could not be indicted.
        Had he done so Barr would have been obligated to share THAT and only that with congress.
        Barr was never legally obligated to share any of Mueller’s findings with anyone.

        Essentially we, congress, Barr and Mueller have done to Trump exactly what Horowitz criticized Comey for doing to Clinton. Charge or don’t charge. Do not held press conferences to defame your target and tell everyone why you should have charged them but wont.

        Charge or don’t.

        All of us have been voyeurs in both these investigations. Hanging on every leak, every word,

        While Clinton should have been prosecuted – we prosecute in courts of law, not by 10,000 press leaks. We have openly not only done but demanded with the Trump investigation exactly what we did wrong with that of Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 16, 2019 10:59 am

        In the example I cited Senator Rubio is looking to have DOJ/FBI investigate and prosecute John Kerry for his dealings with Iran.

        I am bothered by Kerry’s private unsanctioned efforts at Diplomacy,
        And these are “technically” illegal, under the Logan act, a law that has never successfully been prosecuted because for hundreds of years we knew it was unconstitutional.

        Regardless, we should not be doing this. And I am opposed to doing it to Kerry just as I have opposed doing it to Flynn or Manafort or Papadoulis or ….

        But those who have advocated for going after Flynn or Manafort, or Papadoulis should expect that whatever misbegoten application of the law you attempt to use against republicans, the same applies to democrats.

        If Manafort’s conduct was criminal – John Kerry’s is all the more so.

        I am really tired of this “one law for thee, and another for me” crap.

        The actual rule of law means, One Law, One Constitution, applied the same for all.
        It also requires that we read the law and constitution narrowly with respect to the power of government and broadly with respect to individual rights. Anything else makes criminals of all of us.

        Everything we do not like – and I think John Kerry’s private diplomacy with Iran is repugnant, is NOT a crime. If we really and truly wish to make something a crime – we should do so CLEARLY, Because we are ALL bound to obey the law, and it must be possible for us to know what conduct is criminal and what is not. If we really want the Logan Act – we must change the constitution.

        We change the law by passing new law – thought the house, the senate and getting it signed by the president. Not by legislating from the bench or the oval office.

        We change the constitution by amending it, not by persuading judges to read it differently.

        Yes, there is alot wrong.

        All of it is not “partisan” – i.e. Democrat vs republican. Though some on his staff are partisan, I do not beleive Mueller is. But not being partisan does not make Mueller any less wrong.

        I had a right to expect a serious prosecution of Hillary Clinton’s criminal conduct as Sec. State – her criminally neglegent handing of classified information.
        But I would not have sicced Robert Mueller on her. She should not have been subject to predawn SWAT raids, or prosecuted for obvious and serious lies to congress that actually mislead investigations.

  60. Jay permalink
    May 16, 2019 8:31 pm

    BREAKING: Mike Flynn told the special counsel’s investigators that people linked to Trump admin. and Congress reached out to him in an effort to interfere in the investigation, according to newly-unredacted court papers filed Thursday. nbcnews.to/2VHYvwh – @NBCInvestigates

    There are tapes, apparently.

    • Jay permalink
      May 16, 2019 8:39 pm

      “DC judge orders USDOJ to post public transcript of Michael Flynn voicemail that purports to capture Trump/ Congress efforts “that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation..” Court order:

      • dhlii permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:09 am

        Ignoring the foaming and frothing – Why should Flynn have “cooperated” ?

        You do not cooperate with terrorists.
        You do not cooperate with bullies.
        You do not cooperate with those who are not seeking the truth.

        Is there any actual evidence that Flynn knows about actual criminal acts ?

        I am aware of NONE.

        Mueller is entitled to the truth from Flynn – NOTHING MORE.

        You keep trying to play this game.

        Trump’s anger with Mueller’s investigation is NOT A CRIME.

        Even refusing to cooperate with a witch hunt is NOT A CRIME.

        If you wish to ever get somewhere on any of this nonsense you FIRST must fin A CRIME.

        If Trump or someone else was obstruction – what ACTUAL CRIME were they seeking to cover up.

        As I have said repeatedly – Firing Mueller MIGHT have been impeachable.
        It is NOT A CRIME. You can not make acts less than something that is not a crime into a crime.

        All this presumes there is even a germ to the story you are pushing.

        Whatever of substance you think you have – Mueller had too.
        Either it is already in the report or Mueller deemed it inconsequential

        But you go ahead, fume and froth some more and pretend once again that you have found proof – of god knows what.

        Much ado about nothing.

    • May 16, 2019 10:35 pm

      According to ABC news, this was known in December 2018 and was known by Mueller when the report was issued.

      So what am I missing?
      Why are the Democrats not starting impeachment if this is new?s
      Why arn’t the Democrays in the House not beginning impeachment if there is anything proven to be obstruction?
      Why arn’t you as upset by the Democrats not supporting the constitution and performing their constitutional duty to impeach if there are high crimes or misdemeaners?
      If you are not upset, then why do you keep posting crap that indicates a crime?

      Remember, I am the only one here that hasnsaid multiple times the Democrats need to take their responsibilty seriously. Otherwise theyvare WORSE THAN TRUMP because they are letting him getcaway with crimes!

      • Jay permalink
        May 16, 2019 10:50 pm

        Barr apparently kept the information redacted.
        I don’t know how the Judge found out.

        “A federal judge has ordered portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be unredacted and made public in the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

        U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the limited order Thursday. Portions of the report relating to Flynn are redacted and would be made public under the order.

        It is the first time a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to make public portions of the report the agency had kept secret.

      • May 16, 2019 11:55 pm

        When Mueller filed charges on Flynn, it looks like 90% of the indictment provided to the public was redacted. There are comments that state Mueller was involved with the redaction process for his report going to congress. Could it be that some of the redacted report info was also redacted in the indictment.

        Bet the DOJ does what it always does and refuses the order to release the redacted info and whatever else they are ordered to release. They have done that for years now with court and congressional orders. They seem to believe they are above the law. Why change now?

        But you also did not answer my other questions along with what you did answer.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:34 am

        When I google this Judge Sullivans order directed Mueller to make public the transcript of the conversation between Kislyak and Flynn.

        That is the closest I can find to anything vaguely related to what Jay is asserting.

        Maybe there is another order. But I have not found one.

        Regardless, I am hard pressed to think of a scenario where this is not good for Flynn and bad for Mueller.

        To me it sounds like the Flynn plea bargain is going down the tubes.

        A judge is NOT going to order the public release of inculpatory evidence where there is a plea bargain. He just accepts the plea.
        A judge might order the release of EXCUPLATORY evidence if he was going to act unilatterally – as in to vacate the plea.

        But we will see.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:15 am

        You have a very narrow set of news sources.

        Barr had minimal participation in the redactions.
        They were done primarily by Mueller, his team and Rosenstein.

        Rosenstein has been one of the strong advocates against releasing the report AT ALL,
        as doing so is inconsistant with long standing DOJ policy.

        As effectively Bar is doing nearly exactly what Comey improperly did to Clinton.

        You prosecute or you don’t.
        You do not release reports.

        And please lets not try to manufacture a crime out of freely providing what you are not obligated to provide at all.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:29 am

        When I try to google this what I find is that yesterday Sulivan order Mueller to make public the transcripts of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak.

        I can only guess what that means – but my guess is that is BAD FOR Mueller, and good for Flynn, Not bad for Trump.

        It is also an odd order and may well be out of his jurisdiction.
        The Transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak is highly classified and courts do not have the authority to declassify information.

        Many of us would like to know of what Flynn and Kislyak said to each other.

        But it is very hard to imagine a scenario where this is bad for Flynn.

        Even if the content of the exchange was not consequential the mere existance of a recording – and yes I know that cow is already out of the barn, reveals information about US surveilance methods.

        While I am generally in favor of greater transparency – FBI, DOJ, NSA, … are not,
        and they not Sulivan get to decide what is classified and why.

        My Guess – the only reason I can think of for Sullivan to release this, is the the transcript reveals that the exchange with Kislyak did NOT contain the material that Flynn purportedly lied about. The claim against Flynn and what he has plead guilty to is lying about whether the issue of sanctions came up in his conversation with Kislyak.

        If it had – there is no reason for Sulivan to do this. He just accepts Flynn’s guilty plea and moves on.

        But if the transcript does not have discussions about sanctions – then Flynn did not lie – as a matter of fact, and Sullivan can not accept the plea deal – even if Flynn begs him too.

        Maybe I am missing something – but this sounds like the opposite of what you are claiming.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:11 am

        Worse than fake news is recycled fake news.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 17, 2019 1:00 am

      So you are saying the Mueller deliberately chose not to provide in his report credible evidence of a crime ?

      Or maybe you should go with the simpler and more likely explanation – like the many many anti-trump stores this is just more “fake news”

      • Jay permalink
        May 17, 2019 9:58 am

        dhlii you’re confused. I said it was IN the Mueller report. But Barr HID it in his first REDACTED release of Mueller’s report.

        Remember all the Democratic complaints about wanting to see the FULL un-redacted report? This is a prime example why Barr can’t be trusted to hide what he wants.

        Once more: Mueller provided the info in his report; Barr hid it.

        As to who leaked the story, maybe it was one of the Republicans who was allowed to see Barr’s release, a Republican with principles, who understands the TRUTH is more important than Trumpism.

      • May 17, 2019 12:08 pm

        OK, it seems you have more info on this subject than others here.

        So this is redacted in the report to congress that elected officials can speak about and share, but it is unredacted in the information that those authorized with security clearances can read, but can not publically talk about?

        if so, why is it the democrats will not read the report?
        Should not that be a top priority for democrats to understand fully what is in it?
        Why won’t the democrats do their job?

        Something is missing in this whole process when everything you have shared indicates an wide open door to impeachment.

      • Jay permalink
        May 17, 2019 1:37 pm

        I agree, the Dems authorized to read the report should do it, immediately.
        I agree, they should begin impeachment, immediately.

        How about that, two for two agreements.

        And I agree with this assessment about the destruction of our governmental system: I hope well have a third agreement in a row:

        “Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano says Trump has violated the separation of powers three times in the last week alone.

        Napolitano says Trump has been “abandoning separation of powers Madison so carefully crafted,” calls it a “very dangerous trend.”

        Trump is CANCER to our constitutional government; the slow death is picking up momentum daily. Prognosis: dire!

      • May 17, 2019 5:44 pm

        Jay if you remember, For about as long as I have been commenting on this site I have consistently said we are like the crabs in cold water on the pot with the water getting hotter. Little by little we lose rights and no one notices. I have said the same about congress not doing its job and letting the presidents run willy nilly making E.O’s and other regulations without congress being involved or even questioning what was done.

        And for the most part this has gone with few remarks from anyone other than Priscilla.

        So maybe now with Trump doing it the democrats will get off their dead asses and reign in all presidents, this one and any in the future from continuing this crap.

        I want the president to have the powers specified in the constitution. Nothing more. Right now that would be impossible to attain, one because it would upset too much in Washington’s job environment and two, because congress does not want to be responsible for anything. And that is what is “dire”, not Trump. Trump will be gone in 2 to 6 years. Congress will be there forever, allowing every president to come just a little more power until a dictator is created and democracy dies.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 1:29 am

        Amen

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 1:17 am

        “I agree, they should begin impeachment, immediately.”

        When pigs fly.

        I do not care if D;’s attempt to impeach.

        That is not true. I do not honestly want Republicans to sweep the table in 2020, and attempting to impeach Trump comes close to guaranteeing that.

        I do not think that democrats in the house can get the votes needed to impeach.

        There are fortunately a few D’s that are not infected by TDS.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 1:28 am

        “Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano says Trump has violated the separation of powers three times in the last week alone.”

        Napolitano is WRONG – 3 is far too small a number.

        But that does not alter the FACT that Trump’s conformance to the constitutional limits on the powers of the president is dramatically better than every president since Reagan.

        I would be happy to see the executive deprived of the power to draft regulation – a power given exclusively to congress in the constitution.

        Further, that is not another GOP or Democratic candidate – from 2016 or 2020 would would not have violated separation of powers more.

        Obama reveled in doing so. Just about every democratic candidate has asserted they would do so egregiously.

        If conformance to separation of powers is your loadstone – Trump is by far the lessor evil.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 1:14 am

        Ron,

        The assertion this was redacted – is JUST AN ASSERTION.

        Further Jay’s claim that Barr “hid” it is also an assertion.

        As is the claim that it constitutes a crime.

        That is prema-fascia a false assertion.

        If the communications alleged by Mueller were clearly criminal – Mueller would have indicted and prosecuted.

        Mueller – and Jay and Democrats and the media are playing a game – that Mueller could not indict Trump but that the evidence is clear that obstruction occured.

        Well Mueller could indict McGahn, and Sekelow, and Guiliani and whoever it is who allegedly delivered this innocuous communications spun into obstruction.

        Mueller did not indict those people.
        Mueller has througout this been indictment happy.
        The indictment of Manafort for witness tampering was ludicrously stupid and an egregious over reach. So we KNOW that Mueller has no problem with indicting based on ludicrously broad claims regarding the law.

        IF you read the FACTS of the Mueller indictment of Manafort for “witness tampering”.
        What is claimed to have been said by Trump’s lawyers – though NOT witness tampering, is still less innocuous than what he claimed regarding Manafort.

        So why didn’t Mueller indict McGahn, or Sekelow or Guliani ?

        That is really easy. Because their actions were not a crime, and because unlike Manafort he was NOT going to get a friendly reception from the courts for indicting an attorney for acceptable communications. And because AFTER the courts shot him down for overreach, Trump would have fired him, and ended this.

        Mueller has been extremely careful with all of his indictments to only go after people who do not have the wherewithal and integrity to stand up to him.

        Flynn Tried – he just did not have the resources.
        Manafort failed because nobody likes Manafort and it is easy to beleive the worst of political operatives like Manafort.

        The left may not like Sekelow – but he has won at the US Supreme court something like 9 times, and only lost once.

        Mueller was very careful about going after Cohen, he only did so after Cohen’s reputation was sufficiently trashed.

        The law should be the same for all of us – rich poor, those we like and those we do not.
        But the fact is it is not. Mueller understood this. And he preyed on those who could not stand up to him. He did not risk actually indicting people who he could not successfully impugn their character on dubious legal theories.
        But he did so constantly with the Cohen’s and Stone’s and Manafort’s

        The people we are ready to beleive any claim of bad conduct about.

      • May 18, 2019 1:55 am

        Jay made a claim based on information I did not have nor was able to document. I was asking him to defend his comment.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 7:22 am

        Myriads of people have claimed all kinds of things – we have claims in support of Trump, we have claims against him.

        Each of us has to sort out what we think is true and what is not.

        We each get to choose how we do so.

        I am inclined to be skeptical of claims that under more than a cursory examination do not make sense.

        It is possible that the Trump campaign – who on the surface appears to have bumbled arround with respect to Russia, was actually engaged in an incredibly sophisticated clandestine conspiracy with Russia – that no one – not Comey, not Mueller, not the press, has been able to ferret out.
        It is possible that the Trump campaign engaged in this sophisticated and as of yet undetectable operation in return for what Mueller claims is 10,000 in political social media adds by the russians nearly half of which favored clinton.

        But from the start that has seemed highly unlikely to me.

        Tell me that Trump is cheating on Melania – and I going to be inclined to beleive with little in the way of evidence, that is consistent with decades of Trump history.

        But tell me that he has done this dangerous and stupid thing with Russia for no consequential benefit, and yet managed to do so, so well that no one has found plausible evidence of it – no I am not, and have not bought that from the begining.

        Do I think Trump is lying about his relationship with Daniels – absolutely. Do I think he paid for her silence – absolutely. But that is not a crime. And frankly I found her claims regarding him to be some of the best evidence AGAINST the other claims regarding Trump.
        Daniels talked about an incredibly boring and vanilla Trump. Someone whose “sexual prowess” was being rich. Not someone who hired prostitutes to engage in watersports, or who flew to Caribbean islands to rape teens. The Trump Daniels talks about is a philanderer, not a sexual predator. I do not presume that because someone did one thing I do not like – that means they will do anything. There is not even evidence that Trump did anything with subordinates – like getting blow jobs from interns. He is just a garden variety uber rich philanderer.

        But I could be wrong. I am just assessing the probability that allegations I do not know the truth of are true, based on those that I do know are true.

        Jay makes choices using completely different criteria. If it were only his own life that he was deciding about, that fine. but we are talking about what DOJ should do, what FBI should do, what Congress should do. Decisions regarding the use of force should be based on facts, logic, and reason – not emotions.

        So from the begining I have been skeptical of this nonsense – because it never made any sense.

        In the real world sometimes people do things that do not make sense, and Trump is not immune to that. But it is very rare that you can get a conspiracy of the scale that there now needs to be, to do something incredibly stupid that near certain will get you caught and that even if you get away with will produce very little benefit.

        Other criteria for evaluating assertions is the credibility of those offering the assertions.
        The FBI offered Steele’s past credibility to the FISA court as a reason to believe the allegations to justify a warrant against Page. But the FBI duped the court, because it was not Steele’s credibility that mattered – but that of his sources, and no one established that.

        Normally we would consider WaPo and NYT to be credible sources – we would presume that when they write a story they have checked the facts and their sources. I mean they are not InfoWars. But we have two years of their stories being based on leaks that clearly they did little to check, and that increasingly appear to be the self serving and false offerings of the very people who orchestrated this mess.
        Regardless, every single time one of these – Argh! Trump claims reported breathlessly by the media fails – the credibility of those offering those assertions declines.
        Everytime some claim by Trump or his supporters proves true – their credibility increases.

        I honestly do not understand why the left and democrats have not folded this mess and hoped no one noticed the nonsense they have spewed.
        But then we are talking about people who have tried to sell us the population bomb, or peak oil, or global warming, or numerous other malthusian conspiracies or claims that have all failed – and yet many are still beleived.

        You seem to like Burr – I am more circumspect – But Warner the ranking minority member has sprayed almost as much stupid shit as Schiff.

        We can go down the list of people like Nunes, and Gowdy, and Jordan, and Schiff and Warner, and Brennan, an Clapper, and …..

        You can start beleiving that Nunes as an example is not credible, very early on he claimed to have scene what was a serious conspiracy within our government to interfere in our elections. That is a strong claim, and it demands proof. It is something we should start skeptical of. I will admit that after Fast and Furious, and IRSGate and Benghazi and the Clinton email server and the botched FBI investigation of Clinton and the U1 mess and Iran, that the credibility of the Obama administration was not high in my view.
        But even so I would have found it hard to beleive that the Obama FBI and CIA tried to interfere in a US election.

        At this point most of Nunes allegations have proved true.
        At this point most of Schiff’s have proved false.
        So who do we beleive ?

        Apparently Sullivan ordered LOTS of information made public on Thursday.

        Jay immediately presumed that it was somehow the smoking gun.

        Yet much of that information makes Flynn look good no matter what, and some of it not only makes Flynn look innocent, but exposes other problems within the Mueller investigation and the FBI investigation that predated it.

        You can try to spin – as Jay does small parts of it to somehow be harmful to Trump – and possibly with enough alcohol, that might make sense to you.
        But much of what was released makes no sense at all in that context.

        I do not know what Sullivan is up to – though we will likely find out soon.

        But my “guess” is that you have to look at everything that Sullivan is ordering made public in the context of Flynn – not Trump. Sullivan only has jurisdiction over Flynn. It is not his role or within his authority to unredact the Mueller unless that has bearing on Flynn.

        There are only two ways that I can read what Sullivan has ordered made public.
        The one is as evidence that Flynn was cooperative with Mueller and therefore justifying a light sentence. But that only explains SOME of what Sullivan has ordered released.

        There are only two reasons for ordering the Kislyak Transcript released.
        One is that Flynn did not lie to the FBI and the transcript proves it.
        The other is that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak are somehow worse than we have been told. But that would conflict with ordering information regarding Flynn’s cooperation released.

        Ultimately I beleive all of the above explanations are false, and offer two others.

        One is that Sullivan has lost his marbles, and is overstepping his authority greatly and has no purpose discernable to the rest of us. His attacks on Flynn several months ago were completely over the top and quite obviously false – so false that he walked them back himself nearly immediately.
        Regardless, judges – even good judges periodically do batshit crazy things for reasons we can not figure out.

        The alternative is Sullivan is about to dismiss the charges against Flynn.
        I feel like that is somehow wishful thinking on my part.
        It is inconsistent with Sullivans remarks about Flynn a few months ago.

        But Sullivan has done similar things in the past.
        Sullivan is NOT a big fan of the FBI.
        He knows that they have framed innocent people.
        Sullivan presided over the exoneration of Sen. Ted Stevens – another case of the FBI interfering in an election.

        But we will see soon

        Regardless, Jay can fixate on the highly spun reading of these releases as somehow proof that Trump obstructed through his lawyers – despite the fact that Mueller did not indict his lawyers, and there was nothing preventing him from doing so if he beleived their actions constituted obstruction.

        I am more interested int he fact that this information reveals that Carter Pages was not the only Trump surrogate being investigated by the FBI, and either the FBI had a FISA warrant on Flynn or they illegally wiretapped him – either of which I want more information on.

        I am also interested int he fact that there is a growing unease about the credibility fo some of Muellers claims about the conduct of Trump’s lawyers and his staff.

        If they really did as Jay is hawking and if that really was obstruction – why weren’t they indicted ? My argument would be that they were not indicted because the conducr alleged is obviously not obstruction. But the people Mueller has accused are increasingly saying not that what they purportedly said was not obstruction, but that they neither said it nor told Mueller about it.

        I do not want to beleive that portions of the mueller report are made up.
        I am reluctant to beleive that Mueller and his minions would go that far.

        But that si an increasingly plausible explanation.

      • May 18, 2019 11:31 am

        Dave “Myriads of people have claimed all kinds of things – we have claims in support of Trump, we have claims against him.

        Each of us has to sort out what we think is true and what is not.”

        Yes, and when they comment they need to be able to defend those comments. They should not go unchallenged.

        Jay has not responded, therefore I know what he has posted in BS. Otherwise he would defend his comments with facts.

        By the way, with your knowledge base and ability to write long articles in a short period of time, you are wasting your talents here on only 2-3 readers. You need to create a site called Libertarian Windows and provide a much larger audience a daily look at Libertarian thinking. Something called Broken Glass will find few knowing what that is.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 3:08 pm

        “Yes, and when they comment they need to be able to defend those comments. ”
        Free speach means you can assert whatever you want and you have no obligation to defend it.
        It also means I have no obligation to beleive.

        Most of my post was an attempt to explain my process of deciding what is credible and what is not.

        Each of us can make that determination however we please.
        But we may not use force to impose our determination on others.

        When you move from I beleive to Government should act, you are shifting to the use of force.
        Government should NOT act, except where facts, logic and reason validate those actions – and even that – requirement is NOT sufficiency.

        “They should not go unchallenged.”

        That is your choice.

        I tear posts by others apart almost word by word sometimes.
        That pisses off people. Sometimes it even pisses you off
        That is life,
        and it is my free choice.
        as you have noted – the delete key can be yours.

        I beleive the Mueller report was a turning point.
        Regardless of the spin, it establishes that the left, and the media, and alot of people pushing this have lied to us.

        We have listened to Jay’s “liar, liar, liar, pants on fire” screed for two years.

        And I do not think anyone denies that Trump exagerates and generalizes.
        But there is no understanding of this that does not leave Trump much more credible than his detractors. And that is true no matter how poorly you view Trump.

        I do not think the Mueller report is significant in what it says. I have read some, but I am not feeling compelled to parse it all.

        The significance is that Mueller is done. He has taken this as far as he can.
        We can argue over tedious details – but regardless of details Mueller just puts the last nails in the coffin of this Trump cheated to win nonsense.

        I will say one last thing regarding “obstruction”. Barr’s memo assertion that absent an underlying crime obstruction is nearly impossible to reach is not absolutely true legally,
        but it is near absolutely true morally.

        No one doubts Trump was angry about the investigation. No one doubts that Trump would do anything he could get away with to end it.
        That is normal. Anyone being investigated feels that way.
        Criminals feel that way.
        The innocent feel that way.

        We give wide lattitude to the conduct of the innocent.
        Whether we are talking Trump or anyone else.
        We do not prosecute innocent people for protesting their innocence.
        Not even if they break some of the rules in doing so.

        We let Clinton get away with lying under oath and suborning perjury,
        Because even though he was incontrovertably guilty,
        The underlying crime – thwarting a lawsuit, was weak.

        I do not agree with that outcome. But I do understand it.

        There is no claim by Mueller that any of Trump’s antics that annoyed them, ultimately prevented them from digging as deeply as possible.
        If they were unable to absolutely establish a few things, that would be because we live in the real world, and it is often impossible to get from improbable to impossible.
        Everything is not knowable.

        Regardless, there was no underlying crime, AND Mueller has NOT claimed that Trump’s acts actually thwarted his ability to establish that. More simply – there was no ACTUAL obstruction of justice.
        Because of that, Trump’s conduct is not obstruction of justice, it is obstruction of injustice.

        Mueller did NOT investigate the investigation – atleast not intentionally.
        But by digging into everything like a pitt bull he did cast substantial doubt on whether as Barr states, there was ever sufficient predicate for the investigation.

        Mueller dug into every single dubious claim and found after persuing them doggedly that yup, they were as they appeared – FALSE.

        Overtime we are learning that not only is that not news, but all involved knew that, and they knew it from the begining. They knew where these claims came from. They knew that they were bad opo research. We are increasingly finding a few disenting voices – such as the undersecretary at the State department who ORDERED everyone in State to have absolutely nothing to do with this – because it was clearly dubious politically sourced material and a clear violation of the Hatch Act. And this was not some Trump fan. Just someone on the left who beleived in the rule of law, and not winning by any means necescary.

        Mueller did not investigate the investigation, but he has absolutely destroyed its credibility, its foundation. This is one instance where his dogged tenacity, his relentlessly chasing obviously false nonsense all the way to the bitter end pays off for Trump.
        There can be no claim that Mueller fail to look under some rock.
        It is not even credible that he failed to look under pebbles or grains of sand.
        There can be no claim that Mueller was bought by Trump,
        there is little doubt that Mueller crossed alot of lines in his effort to “get Trump” and still failed.

        Jay is fixating on the heavily spun vague claims that Trump’s lawyer’s might have done something inappropriate in their contact with Flynn.
        If True – why didn’t Mueller indict McGahn, Sekelow, Gulliani, …. ?
        Nothing aside from the weakness of that claim stopped him.

        But what I am noting is that Mueller is claiming that the FBI was investigating Flynn PRIOR to the Kislyak phone call, and that the Kislyak call was recorded as a consequence of a wiretap of Flynn, not of Kislyak as we have all assumed.

        that is potentially a huge deal.
        First because we have seen no evidence of a warrant targeting Flynn.
        Next because that increases the odds there were other shady warrants.
        And finally because an investigation of Flynn has large problems beyond Trump.

        Flynn and McCabe have past history that would have required McCabe to recuse himself from anything involving Flynn.
        Flynn and the Obama administration more generally were at loggerheads over numerous issues of policy. While Obama was president – Flynn lost that debate and was fired.
        And that is appropriate.
        But there is the strong appearance here that Flynn was targeted by the Obama administration in an effort to assure that those disputed policies endured.
        That is actually corrupt.

        And that is actually the fundimental problem with the entirety of the whole Trump 2016 election nonsense. At its core it is NOT about Russia. It is entirely about the by any means necescary efforts of the Obama administration and those on the left to continue and expand the policies they enacted during their tenure despite losing an election.

        I have zero problems with democrats using whatever political power they have to legitimately thwart policies they disagree with. But democrats under Obama had severely limited the power of the minority to thwart policies they opposed and now found themsleves in the minority without those powers. that has left – “by any means necescary”.

        THAT not Trump is totalitarian.

      • May 18, 2019 5:28 pm

        Dave “Most of my post was an attempt to explain my process of deciding what is credible and what is not.”

        Sorry. Your comments are way too long. I missed your point since I read the first few paragraphs and then delete.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 12:43 am

        Jay;

        I do not mostly care what you said.

        Nor do I care about your “characterizations” of pretty much anyone’s conduct.

        Your track record for credibility and integrity sucks.
        You beleive people who have clearly lied to you repeatedly,
        and you conflate spin with fact.

        Saying something was “hid” presumes you know both the person who did the redaction and their intention.

        Most of the redactions were done by Mueller and his staff. under the supervision of Rosenstein.

        Barr had final say, but there is no evidence at this time of the scale of his personal involvement in the redactions.

        The published version of Mueller’s report is 92% unredacted.
        The version available to Nadler is something like 98% unredacted.

        Any claim that something is being “hidden” is presumptively FALSE.

        Once again you are making a moral accusation without evidence.
        And once again YOU are likely to take a hit to your credibility and integrity.

        It is possible that your accusation is correct, but the odds are heavily against it.
        You need to prove three things neither of which are known.

        That the passages are not present in the redacted report (several of them are).
        You would have to prove that Barr chose to strike those passages – not Rosenstein or Muellers staff,
        And that his motive for doing so was to “hide” them.

        And after all that – you still are miles from the end of your journey.

        Mueller did NOT report that obstruction had occurred.
        Despite the hemming and hawing and claims not to be able to resolve the matter,
        The FACT is obstruction is defined by the law, and these interactions do not constitute obstruction. They are infact the normal exchanges that lawyers make.

        Because of some of the lack of facts, we do not even know who made these statements,
        In fact but for one tape which appears inocous we do not even know they were actually made.
        What we “know” is that Mueller claims that Flynn provided these statements to him.

        As Derschowitz has noted prosecutors leverage defendants to get them to sing.
        But it is easy to move from singing to composing.

        Flynn was under enormous pressure from Mueller,
        The “claim” of obstruction here rests on Flynn’s claim that he felt “pressured”.
        But obstruction is not determined by the subjective impressions of a witness or defendant.
        It is determined by actual actions.

        The actual remarks sound to me exactly like the remarks lawyers make to people who are not their clients all the time. In fact they are extremely tame compared to the threats and inducements prosecutors and investigators make all the time.

        Actual justice requires that EITHER the standards of conduct for prosecutors and defense attorney’s is THE SAME, or that any lattitude or benefit goes to the defense.
        There is most certainly no moral (or legal) basis to allow prosecutors and investigators to brazenly intimidate or offer inducements to witnesses and subjects, while the defense must pray that those witnesses do not capitulate and deviate from the actual truth.

        If you honestly beleive that Trump, a co-defendant, or a mafioso has the power to intimidate a witness – then you must also beleive that prosecutors and investigators have the same power.

        Anyway there is no substance here.

        I would note that at the moment – we are short on alot of facts.

        Most of the purported claims regarding things that were purportedly done by McGahn or Whitehouse counsel or other whitehouse staff, or Trump’s lawyers all purportedly at Trump’s direction – not only are not obstruction, but have been pretty close to universally denied by those who are purported to have said them.
        McGahn as an example has denied every being directed by Trump to fire Mueller.
        Sekelow and Guiliani have denied making the statements claimed.

        McGahn and all these people that Mueller’s report purports have danced close to obstruction might be lying. Or Mueller and his staff may be reading much more in to the answers they received in their interviews than was actually said.

        It is usually NOT a wise choice to presume that lots of people who have never been convicted of anything – much less crim-in-falsi are publicly lying while privately mildly hedging their bets with Mueller.

        It is much more likely that Mueller is overstating the significance of the actual evidence.

        That is also more likely because that is precisely what Mueller and his team have done from start to finish. With absolutely everything that have tended to buy into novel legal arguments, to stretch facts and oppinions to suit their preconception that crimes had been committed.

        Further this is HISTORICALLY Mueller MO. It should not surprise that he did this with Trump, as he has been doing exactly this for decades. Ask Richard Jewel or Bruce Ivens or ….

        So we have ALLEGED statements that are not obstruction.
        Made by people who credibly deny having made them,
        to someone they were allowed to make them to,

        Those statements that are not obstruction and we can not even establish have been made,
        are claimed – by you to have been directed by Trump because ? ????

        It the atterney;s in question are denying having made these statements,
        They are presumptively denying having been directed to do so.

        But as I like to do – lets presume the extreme – that everybody is lying,
        and that Trump told his lawyers to tell Flynn they would look favorably on his providing Trump with information regarding the Muellers questions, and less favorably if he did not.

        That is NOT a crime, and it is most specifically NOT obstruction.

        It is an effort to keep the SC honest. And we have lots of evidence already that he was not.

        As noted before Mueller and his team reached the conclusion there was no collusion with Russian sometime between August and December 2017. Almost a year BEFORE the mid terms. Trump through attorneys asked Mueller to make that conclusion public – exactly as he had done when Comey reached the same conclusion. Comey IMPROPERLY refused, and was fired – atleast partly for refusing. Mueller ALSO IMPROPERLY refused – and honestly should have been fired for it.

        I have zero problems with Trump and his attorney’s communicating with anyone Mueller questioned and trying to learn from them whatever they are able.

        I also have no problem with Those attorney’s being suspicous that Mueller and his team were lying to them – because they were, and therefore feeling compelled to find out as much as possible.

        And to be clear – I have no problems with defense attorney’s doing exactly what is alleged here in cases having nothing to do with Trump – and they do.

        So this allegation of obstruction rests on spin of a non-crime that likely did not occur or if it did was significantly different than alleged.

        This is your idea of a smoking gun ?

        Let me point out – they had tapes of nixon agreeing to fund the defense of the Watergate burglars in order to keep them silent.

        And Bill Clinton PUBLICLY (and under oath) swore “I did not have sex with that woman”

        THOSE are real crimes. Not defense attorney’s seeking the cooperation of the witnesses Mueller was questioning.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 12:52 am

        “As to who leaked the story, maybe it was one of the Republicans who was allowed to see Barr’s release, a Republican with principles, who understands the TRUTH is more important than Trumpism.”

        What is the Truth here ?

        We have an allegation – that if true is a non-crime, and that is being denied accross the board.

        If all of Trump’s lawyers are lying – which I doubt, you still face the problem that even with generous dollops of Spin. Mueller was unwilling to call this a crime.

        There MIGHT be some debate over whether Trump’s lawyers actually made the remarks Mueller alleges. But there is no doubt about specifically what Mueller alleges, and whether that allegation is true or not, it is not a crime.

        We already know the you have poor ability to discern the difference between truth and spin – you evidence that here everyday, as we have to read every batshit Trump Derangment Tweet that hits Twitter – with you clearly offering them all as truth.

        So why is just another attempt to spin what is not a crime into a crime any more credible than the past 1000 times you have done the same ?

        You do not regain credibility and integrity by doubling down on derangement.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 12:58 am

        My remarks about “leaking” were not about “this story” which appears to have been based on a small portion of what occured in court on the 16th.

        While the story suffers from exagerated spin, it is NOT a leak.

        My comment about “leaks” was that you have repeatedly been sucked into beleiving the worst spin on “leaks” that subsequently proved false.

        Need I remind you of the story of the little boy who cried wolf.

        There might be a serious problem trying to prosecute the people who have been leaking for the past 2+ years.

        It is a crime to leak classified information.
        It is a crime to leak information on a criminal investigation.

        I am not sure it is a crime to “leak” false information.

        It is certainly grounds to be fired.
        But lying to the press is not the same as telling them true information you have a duty to keep private.

        But it is a reason that you and the press should question your judgement regarding who you trust.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 17, 2019 5:19 am

      Aparently alot was going in in Sullivans court today.

      Sullivan did order a significant amount of information made public.

      Sullivan’s conduct troubles me.

      The Kislyak Transcript is classified – the courts do not have the authority to make it public,
      I would love to read it, but that does not mean I am entitled to. Further there is an ongoing investigation into its leaking. Sulivan appears to be interfering with an ongoing investigation,

      Finally the jurisdiction of judges is limited to the matters before them.
      Flynn has a plea deal with Mueller – the court does not have much jurisdiction.
      As much as I would like to know whatever I can. This all appears to me to be overreach by the court. The court litterally has only two matters before it, and its jurisdiction is limited to that.

      The first is the Flynn plea deal. Flynn has been dancing arround trying to back out – without actually saying he wants to back out. He appears to hope that Sullivan will find what happened to him egregious and do so on its own. That is highly unlikely.
      That Leaves Sullivan with the choice of accepting or rejecting the plea deal.

      The second – presuming Sullivan accepts the plea deal is sentencing.

      Neither of those have much scope or latitude – meaning jurisdiction to order much of anything.

      As much as I would love to have all this information, I have no right to it, and Sullivan does not appear to have the jurisdiction to order otherwise.

      As to the purported substance of any of this.

      Kerry Prancing arround Iran has pretty much taking the wind out of the sails of Sullivans rant about Flynn’s withdrawn charges. There is not some world in which Kerry’s conduct is laudable and Flynn’s treasonous. The fact is the Logan act is unconstitutional.
      And there is no difference in the legality of the conduct of Kerry, Flynn, Manafort, or the Podesta’s. It might not appeal to some of us. But it is not the business of the US government.
      It is outside US jurisdiction.

      Bits of one communication between purportedly Trump’s lawyers and Flynn has made the media. If accurate it is tame.

      We once again face the same nonsense that Manafort was sandbagged with – only now with lawyers. Despite Mueller’s claims, it was legal then and remains legal now.

      For some time Trump’s Lawyers and Flynn’s lawyers had a mutual defense agreement.
      That allowed them to share information. Which BTW is NOT obstruction of justice.

      In Fact Trump could have ordered Mueller to come to the whitehouse at any time and brief him on the investigation. It has been well known since the start of this that Trump’s lawyers had cooperation agreements with a significant portion of Mueller’s witnesses and targets.

      Perfectly legal. And in fact it would be legal for Trump or his attorney’s to talk to those people no matter what.

      Again this came up re Manafort. Witness tampering requires the use of inducements, threats or coercion to get a witness to testify falsely. You can not “witness tamper” by attempting to get a witness to testify truthfully. Nor can you witness tamper by discussion strategy or sharing information. Nor can you obstruct justice by sharing information.

      It is quite common for both defense attorneys and prosecutors to ask that witnesses, etc, do not talk about anything to anyone. It is NOT illegal for them to do so.

      GJ material is a big deal at the moment. It is illegal for the Prosecutor to share GJ material, It is illegal for the Grand Jurors themselves. It is perfectly legal for witnesses to share what they know with whoever they wish.

      It is equally legal even if there is no grand jury.

      Prosecutors frequently go to a great deal of trouble to break down communications between witnesses and defendants. But they have no legal authority to do so.

      Defense attorneys tend to recommend their clients talk to now one. A big reason is because what their lawyer says to co-defendants, or witnesses is generally not admissible as evidence. In a crime a co-defendants lawyer can go to another defendant and say “joe wants to know where you hid the gun” The lawyers statements can not be used as admissions against his clients. While if Joe asked the same question that would be deemed and admission and would be admissible.

      The point is that lawyers constantly try to communicate with the other witnesses and subjects in an investigation as it is not in the best interests of their clients to do so directly.

      That communication is not priviledged, but it is also not evidence. And absent inducments, or threats to testify falsely it is not a crime.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 18, 2019 4:54 am

      I have already noted that Trump’s lawyers are denying these claims.

      Flynn is not speaking, but his brother is. I do not know how much his brother actually knows.
      But he is claiming that during many hours of interviews by Mueller and he team – this never came up.

      Further the material that has been unredacted reveals that the Kislyak transcript was NOT the result of normal surveilance of Russian diplomats but that the FBI recorded it because they had an open investigation of Flynn.

      So Please tell me what the predicate for an investigation of Flynn was ?

      If the FBI recorded the exchange between Flynn and Kislyak because of an investigation of Flynn – AS THE MUELLER REPORT STATES, Then there had damn well better be a FISA Warrant against Flynn, and there had damn well better have been a basis for that warrant.

      This appears to be an instance of the Obama FBI/DOJ SPYING on an INCOMING administration.

      This is not Papadoulis or Page who were bit players in the Trump campaign. This is Gen. Flynn who was the Incoming NSA AND a vociferous critic of the Obama administration, AND of the misuse of inteligence withing the Obama administration.

      One of the allegations that has been floating arround – which has an increasingly strong basis is that Flynn was targeted independently of Targetting the Trump campaign.

      Flynn had many enemies within the Obama administration – McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Rhoades, Yates. Specifically because of his disagreements with them over Iran AND because his disagreements with them over the misuse of intelligence agencies.

      There was palpable fear that Flynn was going to come in and clean house, that he would expose the missuse of intelligence, that he would tank the Iran Deal – which happened anyway.

      This also ties into the criminal nature of the leaks regarding Flynn.

      Is there any world in which the leak of a government wiretap of a foreign ambassador is not a serious crime ?

      Is there any purpose for that leak that is not repugnant and corrupt ?

  61. Jay permalink
    May 16, 2019 8:45 pm

    “Walmart. warned on Thursday that it will raise prices for U.S. shoppers to offset the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs. … The retail giant announced the plan days after the Trump administration raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.” Fox Business News

    Will Trump offer Walmart Customers a $6 Billion bail out?

  62. Jay permalink
    May 16, 2019 8:48 pm

    Will President Petulant dance an Irish Jig, or not?

    “The Trump administration had been considering a visit to Ireland between the president’s trips to Britain and France in June. But disagreement has emerged over protocol issues.
    While the Taoiseach’s preference is to meet Mr Trump in Co Clare, Irish officials are reluctant to meet the US president in his golf course in Doonbeg. Instead, the Government has pressed for a meeting in another location, preferably Dromoland Castle, located 50km away.
    One White House source told The Irish Times on Thursday that the president was now favouring a visit to Scotland rather than Ireland during his European trip. But sources in Dublin on Thursday said they believed the Irish visit would still go ahead.”
    The Irish Times

  63. May 17, 2019 8:49 pm

    Since I coached youth soccer for many years including both daughters teams, I have always been a fan of the womens national team. I have watched all of their matches on TV. Not any more as long as this one is on the team. They are representing all citizens when they appear as our national team. They are representing democracy. They are representing what thousands want who risk their lives coming here, both legally and illegally. She should be with Colin Kaepernick who did the same in the NFL. RETIRED!
    https://nypost.com/2019/05/14/megan-rapinoe-my-national-anthem-protests-are-an-f-you-to-trump-administration/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 18, 2019 1:31 am

      That is ultimately up to fans.

      I suspect women’s soccer fans do not share the same views as Football fans.

      And I am OK with that.

      • May 18, 2019 2:11 am

        This comment was just made. There is growing backlash from fans who are beginning to hear about it. But I find this much less accetable than what Kaepernick did. And he impacted the NFL very significantly for a season. Rapinoe in on the WOMENS NATIONAL TEAM, meaning she is on a team representing the United States, not president Trump.

        But yes, the fans will make their own decision. And the way to do that is through information. So anyone commuicating the issue is helping to inform others that may not know so the fans can decide to watch or not watch.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 7:28 am

        I agree with you that this is “less acceptable”.

        I remain a fierce defender of free speech – including “less acceptable” speech.

        I do not want GOVERNMENT having any role in what people may or may not say.

        But I have no problem with fans – i.e. the marketplace responding – either favorably or in opposition to the speach of others.

        Whether Kaepernick’s speech is to be lauded or scoffed at – is up to the fans.
        The same with Women’s Tennis.

        I have very serious problems with what is going on in colleges and in social media with regard to censorship. But it is all private censorship and as morally repugnant as I think that is, it is still the right of those doing it.

        The answer is not to send your children to those colleges – because they sound like really bad places to get an education, or to leave Twitter, Facebook, Google etc.

    • May 18, 2019 9:00 am

      “Rapinoe in on the WOMENS NATIONAL TEAM, meaning she is on a team representing the United States, not president Trump.”

      Exactly. Rapinoe has the same mentality as those who had those “Not My President” bumper stickers, back when George W. Bush was president. It’s ignorant, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the president as the elected leader of the nation.

      The reality is that, when Americans trash talk and disrespect this country, because they don’t like an elected president, they’re really trash talking their fellow citizens who elected that president, and implying that they are superior to those people. They are foolish enough to believe that this will impress the rest of the world.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 18, 2019 2:10 pm

        We should all be free to say whatever we please without fear of consequences from government.

        We should also all be free to express our dissatisfaction with what others have said in whatever way we wish – short of using force.

        Women’s tennis Fan’s and sponsors can decide how they wish to respond.

  64. dhlii permalink
    May 18, 2019 3:58 am

    Italy has fired the heads of its intelligence agencies – for colluding with US intelligence agencies during the 2016 election to spy on the Trump campaign.

    Mifsud was being hidden in Rome for the past year in a Flat paid for by “Link International,”
    Which is an organization that provides education and training to Western Intelligence agencies – FBI, CIA, MI5 ….

    Nellie Ohr was refered to DOJ for prosecution for lying to congress,
    and now JW has determined that she deleted emails from her husbands government email account related to investigating Trump and the Trump campaign.

    James Baker sent emails noting that Comey’s post election pee tape breifing of Trump had a strong resemblance to J Edgar Hoover’s blackmailing politicians.

    Barr is investigating the government leak of that meeting.

    The US, Canada, and Mexico came to an agreement to drop a variety of Tarriffs and move closer to free trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.

    And a university of Pennsylvania study intended to show that racism had increased after 2016 found that there was a sharp DECLINE in racism after the election.
    It also found that there had been no measurable change in racism during the last 4 years of the Obama administration so the change is NOT part of a pre-existing trend.

    Further despite contrary expectations they found the same decline in racism in the UK after Brexit.

    https://spectator.us/racist-incidents-down-trump/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 18, 2019 4:13 am

      There has been an increase in hate crimes in NYC this year.
      Crimes committed by blacks and hispanics targetting hasidic jews.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 18, 2019 4:23 am

      Aparently there are text messaged between Strzok and Page about Mifsud calling him “their guy”.

      There is no interpretation of that that is NOT a serious problem.
      At the very least it means that the FBI knew BEFORE starting an investigation of PAge that he had no contact with actual russians.

      The less charitable explanation is that The FBI setup Papadoulis.

      If Mifsud was “their guy”, then the FBI targeted page absent ANY evidence and then attempted to entrap him.

      This FURTHER erodes the claim that the early investigation had anything at all to do with Russia. If Mifsud was an FBI asset or less strongly – someone they knew was NOT a russian asset, then they had absolutely no reason at all to be investigating Papadoulis.

      The FBI was NOT investigating Russian efforts to target the 2016 election or to target the Trump campaign. They were explicitly investigating the Trump campaign and the “russia” claim was not only a pretext, but one the KNEW was false.

    • May 18, 2019 8:25 pm

      Last paragraph. “Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution,” Amash tweeted. “When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.”

      And it seems to take a Libertarian that knows what to do. The GOP is worried about getting Trump reelected regardless, Queen Nancy is worried about defeating Trump regardless and Amash knows that loyalty isnthe wrong loyalty. But like most Libertarians, he also will be ignorec.

    • May 18, 2019 8:28 pm

      Last paragraph. “Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution,” Amash tweeted. “When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.
      And it seems to take a Libertarian that knows what to do. The GOP is worried about getting Trump reelected regardless, Queen Nancy is worried about defeating Trump regardless and Amash knows that loyalty isnthe wrong loyalty. But like most Libertarians, he also will be ignored.

  65. Jay permalink
    May 18, 2019 8:03 pm

    Trump Is Now Defending War Crimes.
    Impeach the SOB.

    https://thebulwark.com/trump-is-now-defending-war-crimes/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 2:18 am

      Are you going to prosecute Obama and Bush for COMMITING war crimes ?

      However evil it might be to speak as Trump does, it is far more evil to ACT.

      The US has not only not targeted Civilians under Trump – but our use of Drones is WAY down. We are out of Syria, we are getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Bad thing may continue to happen in those countries – but it will not be our soldiers doing them.

      The civilian drone deaths under Trump have dropped to ZERO.
      They peaked under Obama at 3500/year.

      Which is worse ?
      Speaking softly while committing war crimes ?
      Or speaking harshly while not ?

      Regardless, if you wish to go after Trump for “war crimes” you have to find an ACT.

      Words are not crimes.

      Acts are.

  66. Jay permalink
    May 18, 2019 8:23 pm

    “AG Barr has deliberately misrepresented the Mueller report. He has started examinations of the conduct of Intell/FBI personnel without a predicate-for political reasons. He is protecting the President. He does not stand up for the good people he leads. He is not fit to lead DOJ.”
    -Eric Holder.

    Dave, Holder has read the entire redacted report.
    As you haven’t fully read it, you can’t refute his judgement.

    Or the judgement of GOPer Amish, who read it fully, and is calling for Trump’s impeachment.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 2:19 am

      Why do I care what the most corrupt AG in US history says ?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 2:31 am

      I do not disagree with Amash’s standard for impeachment.

      You miss entirely the fact that it would apply even more strongly to Obama and Bush and Clinton.

      I do disagree with Amash’s assessment of Barr and Comey.
      Comey is a stain on the reputation of the FBI.
      Trump should have fired him day one.

      He tried to blackmail a president and he set Trump up using briefings.

      I am capable of disagreeing with Barr on issues and still respecting his integrity.

      The FBI and DOJ have soiled themselves – under Obama and with their conduct towards Trump. I can not honestly beleive you cited Holder ?

      If you want someone who CLEARLY should have been impeached, there is your man.

      Barr is working to clean up the mess that Holder, and Comey and Obama left and restore integrity to the DOJ/FBI.

      That requires consequences for FBI agents and directors who lie under oath,
      Who politicize their office.

      50% of us think that the FBI broke the law to get Trump.
      49% want a special prosecutor to investigate the DOJ/FBI handling of the clinton and Trump investigations.

      A plurality beleive Clinton should have been indicted.

      All this is our oppinions of the conduct to of the FBI and DOJ – not Trump’s conduct.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 2:46 am

      “As you haven’t fully read it, you can’t refute his judgement.”

      Your just a fallacy factory.

      Need I read all of “the protocols of the elders of Zion” to refute it ?
      Or Mein Kampf ?

      Mueller has ENDED his investigation.
      He has not issued any more indictments.
      Nearly every left wing nut claim of Obstruction by Trump REQUIRES the indictment of others.

      If as an example Trump obstructed Justice by Firing Comey, then didn’t Rosenstein Obstruct Justice by RECOMMENDING that Trump Fire Comey ?
      Why didn’t Mueller indict Rosenstein ?

      Can you name a single claim of obstruction regarding Trump that does not require the indictiment of someone else for obstruction if that claim is true ?

      Yet Mueller has not done so. Trump’s lawyers roam free.

      Facts, not oppinions. If Mueller actually beleived your spin, you should have acted, and in every claim he would have been required to indict someone other than Trump if the allegation of obstruction were true.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 2:49 am

      If you make false accusations against others, the very least you should do is go away quietly when you have been exposed.

      Not double down.

      Trump is no moral giant. But his moral stature is head and shoulders about his accusers.

      Given how low Trumps stature is, that speaks really badly of yours.

  67. Jay permalink
    May 18, 2019 8:23 pm

    PRINCIPLES OVER PARTY!

    • Jay permalink
      May 18, 2019 8:30 pm

      Trump is manure. Those who continue to embrace him, no matter how tentative the hug, are tainted by the smell.

      Impeach the SOB.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 2:08 am

        Can you read ?

        “Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.”

        I fully agree with Amash’s defintion of impeachable conduct.
        It can easily be applied to Trump
        And more easily to Bush
        And more easily still to Obama

        And to every US president since Coolidge.

        But YOU are not prepared to hold others to the standard you apply to Trump.
        Nor do YOU actually agree with Amash’s definition of impeachment.

        I will disagree with Amash’s claims regarding Barr – Even Mueller does not disagree with Barr’s memo. What Mueller took issue with is the PRESS COVERAGE.

        I do not share alot of values with Barr. But the claim that he is corrupt is garbage. It is more of this antitrump nonsense that anyone who does nto share your views is a Trumpanzee.

        I am concerned that Barr will not take seriously the misconduct in the obama administration and leading into the Trump administration.

        I will also take serious issue regarding Amash’s assertions regarding Comey.

        The FBI is only independent in James Comey’s mind. Libertarians want to eliminate the FBI, not empower it.
        You have spent two years claiming Trump is a criminal.
        Comey has lied under oath to congress.

        If Amash is asserting that Trump is the source of partisanship – I would disagree with that.

        The font of partisanship in this country is the left.
        Whenever they do not get their way they wage holy war against anyone who disagrees.

        To the extent that partisanship is a problem in this country it arrises from the left. Identity politics, one of our great political cancers is exclusively a left phenomena.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 3:16 am

        “Trump is manure. ”

        Jay, you pissed all over your own credibility, Why should anyone care what you say ?

        Regardless, your remark is incredibly hateful. If Trump were actually Hitler, maybe that would be acceptable.

        But all he is, is someone whose political objectives are different from yours.

        I watch Designated Survivor and Madam Secretary. They are wonderful shows.
        But one of the serious problems I have with them is that they constantly represent those who disagree with the political positions of the protagonists as not just wrong, but inherently evil.

        I do not beleive in trampling peoples rights – not even the right to own guns.
        On DS Kirkman openly said they HAD TO do something – even if it probably would not work.
        How is that not EVIL rather than good ?

        But worse still Those who oppose media protagonists on left issues, gun control, climate change, immigration, … they are presented as not merely wrong – but evil. They are never acting on principles that they beleive in. Hollywoods representation of conservatives is as trolls, sucking at the tit of Big lobbiests, and deceiving their ignorant constituents.

        “Those who continue to embrace him, no matter how tentative the hug, are tainted by the smell.”

        And here you come – not merely maligning Trump – who is a big boy who has chosen to be a public figure and can take it, but everyone who does not condemn him with your virulence.

        Like hollywood – those who disagree with you are inherently evil, and those who refuse to condemn as vigorously as you your targets – they are evil too, or stupid.

        You have lobbed false allegations at myriads of others – not just Trump, and you have been exposed. And still you keep lobbing accusations.

        “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

      • May 19, 2019 12:52 pm

        Jay, it should have occurred to you, at some point, that, if Congressional Dems really intended to impeach Trump, they would actively be doing it by now. Nothing is stopping them.

        Instead, they talk about it endlessly, exult when a single, corrupt Republican, with financial interests in China, endorses impeachment, but they never actually make any moves to DO it.

        It’s their role, even their obligation to do it, but, instead, they try and play both ends against the middle, and keep their base ~ folks like you~ riled up and rooting for the team to win. win. win, while secretly doing nothing but spewing hot air, because they know that impeachment would be, not only a failure, but possibly a political disaster for them. Tearing the country apart, and sowing seeds of distrust in the electoral process works far better for them.

        They’re trying to keep you riled up until the election, (unnecessary, in your case) with the promise that, if they win, they’ll lock Trump up, along with his children and grandchildren. And, even if they don’t win, it will only be because of the Russians and the Electoral College, so they’ll beat up Putin and change the Constitution.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 4:22 pm

        There are several things “”stopping” congressional Dems.

        The near certain enormous political backlash they would face.

        That any change in the standards will in the future apply to them too.

        Both parties have discussed changing the rules and norms (and laws) that make it difficult for majorities in congress to do whatever they please. Republicans have come too close to doing such stupid things. Democrats have repeatedly done them and found that the new norms benefited them for a moment, and then were used against them.

        But there is one last reason I do not think Democrats are going to try to impeach.

        Because I do not think they have the votes to do so.

        Democrats won the house in 2018 as a result of about 40 democrats who ran campaigns that were sane, and moderate, and promised to government pretty much exactly the opposite of the way that democrats have done in the past 6 months.

        If the voters in those swing districts hold those congressmen to their promises.
        They are dead meat in 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 4:50 pm

        Amash is right about some things and wrong about others.

        That makes him human.

        If his family is profiting from free trade with China – more power to him – and to us.
        Does the Amash family use guns to compel people to buy their product ?
        How is it politically corrupt for Amash to oppose government actions that will harm those who buy the products his family makes ?

        I am certainly not going to demonize people who work to give others what they want.
        To trade value for value.
        I am happy to see them profit from that – we are all better when they do so.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iHRJ4s9EtY

        Not only is the claim that Amash is politically corrupt flawed because there is nothing wrong with opposing the actions of government to harm consumers,
        but it is further flawed because it is a false presumption that Amash is somehow corrupted by reselling products from china.

        Unless his family is inept, if Trump’s chinese tarriffs make buying goods products from China uneconomical, they will buy them from elsewhere.

        the structure of the chinese economy is changing – just as ours did, and that of Japan, as their standard of living rises that requires producing more higher value, higher skill goods, and less low value, low skill goods.

        When I was a child exactly the same complaints that Ron makes about Cheap Chinese goods were made about Japanese goods. The same complaints about dumping, the same complaints about unfair trade practices and protectionism.

        Today Japan sets the standard for high quality manufacturing.
        Product that the US can not make affordably, Japan can not make affordably and are leaving China as it becomes too expensive. Textile manufacturing is leaving china for cheaper countries.

        I completely agree with Amash on Trade – as do the overwhelming majority of economist, as does history.

        My only disagreement with those who oppose Trump on free trade is that I do not expect to agree with any president on everything.
        If every political disagreement with a president required impeachment, no president would last beyond innauguration day.

        Trump is wrong on Trade. He could be much more wrong. He is benefiting from tremendous global market flexibility that redically minimizes the impact of his bad policies.

        But he is still wrong. And Amash is right.

        And I am no more interested in claims that Amash is corrupt because he engages in free trade, in business, than I am that Trump is corrupt for the same reasons.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 3:01 am

      Where are the democrats admitting that Bill Clinton should have been removed for lying under oath and for suborning perjury ? Where are the democrats admitting that Hillary should have been charged with lying under oath, destruction of evidence, mis handling of classified materials such that hostile foreign powers gained access to US secrets ?

      Where are the democrats admitting that the Trump campaign was spied on, and that as of yet we have no evident that there was sufficient basis for any investigation ?

      Where are the democrats admitting that there is no difference between Flynn and Manafort and Papadoulis and Page’s foreign activity and that of Kerry or the Posesta’s or Clinton, or Simpson or Ohr ?

      Where are the democrats crying for the prosecution of Biden for using the power of the vice presidency to secure business deals for Hunter Biden or to protect him from criminal prosecution ?

      I can go on and on.

      I disagree with Amash on Comey and Barr.

      A agree with Amash on Impeach Trump – so long as that same standard applies to ALL presidents. A standard that would have resulted in the rapid impeachment of Obama and Bush and Clinton.

      Even though I am not totally in agreement, I can be proud of Amash’s independence.

      Where are the democrats condemning the much more egregious misconduct of their own ?
      There are no profiles in courage on the left.

      There are just those like Schiff and Warner who have lied to us repeatedly.
      Who wish to hold others to standards they do not even attempt to meet themselves.

      You blame Trump for attacks on Synagogues – while prominent democrats pretend that their muslim people helped mitigate the hollocaust when history demonstrates they supplied the bodies for the gas chambers.

  68. dhlii permalink
    May 19, 2019 4:50 am

    As the Supreme Court stated in Watkins v. United States (1957), with respect to a McCarthy-era demand by the House Un-American Activities Committee for information from a private citizen, “there is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress,” and “investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to ‘punish’ those investigated are indefensible.”

  69. May 19, 2019 10:05 am

    Regarding Justin Amash, his own business, Dynamic Source International, manufactures tools in China, which then sells them through Amash’s family’s American business, as “Made in America.”

    He has been a vocal opponent of Trump’s reciprocal tariffs, not because he is a libertarian free trader, but because the tariffs would hurt him financially.

    So, while lying about his own multimillion dollar business interests in China, Amash gets to vote on sanctions, and sanctimoniously call out Trump for “impeachable offenses”…

    He’s what I would call a typical, dishonest politician. Although, the Democrats are very, very excited about this! We’ll see if their excitement translates into the courage of their so-called convictions…

    https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2010/09/justin_amashs_camp_says_patric.html

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2019 3:47 pm

      Maybe you are right about Amash.

      But why must we always jump to the worst possible spin.

      What is wrong with assuming that Amash is legitimately opposed to protectionism AND engaged in business that benefits from free trade.

      I do find it odd that we are now trying to make supporting free trade into political cronyism.

      How is it that wanting a free market where competitors could know you out at anytime is cronyism ?

      Yes, Amash might benefit from the absence of protectionist tarriffs,

      Or some competitor could start up selling tools made in a country where labor is cheaper than China.

      I want more politicians with real world experience. I am quite happy that lots of Trump’s cabinet are NOT career politicians, but people who have succeeded outside of govenrment.

      I am quite happy that Amash is extremely independent as republicans go. That he peaks and acts for himself and is not a toady of ANY party.

      I am also happy that generally that is more true of republicans than democrats. Though conformity to party pressures is a large problem for both parties.

      I agree with Amash’s definition of what is impeachable.
      And that Trump is on the wrong side of that.
      But so is every US president since Lincoln.

      Where I depart from Amash is that I am not interested in pretending that Trump is uniquely impeachable.

      If we are going ot impeach Trump for exceeding the constitutional bounds for the president, then we must hold the next president to the SAME standard – and that is not happening.

      Trump is actually the LEAST offensive in that regard since Reagan.

      Where I am going to disagree with Amash is that I DO NOT support impeaching Trump over what is nothing more than STYLE.

      We knew Trumps style when we elected him. All of the people ranting about how offensive it is voted against him.

      The loser in the last election have spent the past two years trying to reverse the outcome of the election

      NOT trying to figure out why they lost and what they need to do to win.

      Trump’s Style is uniquely his own. But our choice to elect a person like him is a direct consequence of the behavior of the left and democrats.

      The left which claims to value tolerance and diversity is increasingly the least tolerant and diverse.

      We elected Trump because he will not be censored. Because massive numbers of americans are tired of living in a country where they are the majority, but their views can not be expressed openly.

      Jay claims he is not of the left – and maybe he isn’t, but tactically he is the epitomy of the left.

      “Trump is manure AND EVERYONE who does not agree with me on that is – some long string of epitaphs”

      The right sees the left as in error.
      The left sees the right as immoral.

      We are told – by Jay, by the media, by hollywood, by our colleges, by our public schools,
      that everyone who does not share the ideology of the left is evil. That they must be politically corrupt. That they are bought and paid for.

      I beleive in freedom as THE core value – there is thousands of years of philosophy that leads inexorably to that conclusion. Free Will is the unique attribute of humans. It is core to who we are. Morality does not exist in any other creature. Morality does not exist without free will.

      I beleive in free speach – for me, and for you.
      I do not own a gun and do not wish to. But I believe in an unfettered right to own most anything – including guns.
      I have never taken an illegal drug in my life, but I beleive you should be free to inject heroin if you choose.
      I think life is precious – but if you wish to commit suicide you should be free to.
      I am male and I find sex with another male completely repugnant. but you are free to have consensual sex with whoever you wish.

      Yet I am constantly told by the left, the media, myriads of our institutions and our govenrment that my value of freedom – or atleast my value of certain freedoms is vile and evil. That you can not support the right to possess guns – unless you are stupid or bought and paid for by the gun lobby.

      I am told that if I am not terrified that the arctic is going to melt down completely tommorow – despite the fact that it is virtually unchanged over 50 years. that I am an evil person who places my personal immediate fortunes or those of some corporate overlords above that of my children – when what I am truly fighting for it NOT f’ing over my children over an idiotic idea with no support in reality.

      I do not share the views of many on the right. But I do not presume they are evil because they disagree with me.

      But some of those who disagree with me ARE EVIL.
      Specifically those who insist that disagreeing with them is evil.

      • May 19, 2019 4:32 pm

        “What is wrong with assuming that Amash is legitimately opposed to protectionism AND engaged in business that benefits from free trade.”

        Dave, I did consider that possibility, and, honestly, I would far prefer to believe that Amash is a man of principle.

        But the idea that Trump “deserves” to be impeached, because he fired St. James of Comey, and ranted to the WH attorney about Mueller being to conflicted to serve as SC is ludicrous on its face. These are not high crimes and misdemeanors, they are not abuse of power, and they are not obstruction.

        Plus, Amash has pulled some other grandstanding stunts that lead me to believe that he is a self-serving politician, using libertarianism as a cover for his opposition to Trump, and likely conflicted himself, due to his financial stake in a Chinese-based company. Hell, even St. Mitt of Romney said that Amash was wrong about impeachment….

        If I’m wrong about Amash, then I guess he has a unique understanding of what the framers meant by high crimes and misdemeanors….

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 5:58 pm

        Priscilla;

        This alynskite tactic of impugning the morality of everyone that you disagree with is one of the most repugnant aspects of the left, and democrats and the media.

        There are many on the right – sometimes you that I disagree with. And I am sure the same is true of you. We do not presume they are evil or immoral or corrupt merely because we disagree.

        Trump’s claim that Mueller was conflicted was WRONG.
        Rosenstein was conflicted.
        There is alot wrong with Mueller, but a conflict of interests is not among those many flaws.
        I have attacked Mueller relentlessly – and DESERVEDLY, the man who tortured Richard Jewel should have had no future in govenment. Instead he went on to torture Steven hatfiull and Bruce Ivers before inflicting his tryany on anyone vaguely near trump and thoughtlessly giving Russia and every other depotic government in the world exactly what they wanted – carte blanche of criminalize political dissent, particularly by foreigners.

        The Mueller investigation – in fact this entire “Russia” nonsense has had and will have negative consequences through out the world.

        We have made ourselves into the very countries we criticize where political disagreement is criminalized.

        Jay is adept at finding just about every single person on the right who has been critical of Trump.

        If Jay actually shared the values of people like Goldgerg or Will or Amash, his use of them might be meaningful. But they are nothing but weapons for Jay.

        Jay would hate Amash more than Trump if he actually understood Amash’s positions.

        In the theoretical sense Amash is correct about what is impeachable – because anything is.
        I would be happy to have government where Trump’s conduct defined the bar for impeachment – we could have impeached every president since Coolidge and most before.

        But we do not live in that world.
        There are many things about Trump I am happy with.
        There are many I am not.

        In Jay’s world and that of the left and are media at the moment, it is not permitted to agree on some issues and not on others. You are either a Trumpanzee or a never trumper.

        I am glad that republicans are less homogenous than democrats. That people like Cruz, and Paul and Lee and Amash are prepared to dissent from the party.
        I disagree with Amash’s assessment of Trump’s interactions regarding Comey.

        I also agree STRONGLY, with one of the fundimental points in the “Barr Memo”.

        If you can not find an underlying crime, the bar to charge ANY process crime should be extremely high. We SHOULD NOT ever punish otherwise innocent people for their anger and conduct regarding being falsely accused. Not Trump, not anyone. Not the president, not a garbage collector. I am not even slightly interested in assertions of obstruction by Jay – or even Amash, that are not rooted in acts by Trump that are CLEARLY crimes in and of themselves. While I think most of the claims of obstruction are faux.
        Every aspect of Trump’s interactions with Mueller were through intermediaries. It is near impossible for Trump to have obstructed justice without those intermediares having done so too. Mueller did not indict McGahn, Sekelow, Guilliani, …. for one of two reasons – both of which may be true.

        Because the alleged acts did not occur – McGahn, Sekelow, Gulliani and other Trump attorney’s are denying the references to their purported actions in the Mueller report.

        Because those actions do not constitute obstruction, and that is much more obvious when the act is done by an intermediary who is also a prominent lawyer.

        Manafort’s mistake in seeking out friendly witnesses, was doing so himself, rather than through his lawyers.

        But all that should do is expose Mueller’s moral bankruptcy.
        Had one of Mueller’s lawyers forwarded the media link to the same potential witness and asked DIRECTLY if they would be willing to testify positively on Manafort’s behalf NO ONE would claim that was witness tampering. Nothing that your lawyers can legally do is a crime if you do yourself.

        We have alot of moral bankruptcy, and political corruption. And we need to call it out where it is real.

        But we also need to take care to end this leftist nonsense of morally damning everyone we disagree with.

        I have absolutely no reason to beleive that Will, or Amash, or Goldberg, or French or several other prominent anti-trump libertarian pundits are morally corrupt. Most of them are paragon’s of moral conduct. But I do on occasion disagree with their views.

        One BIG distinction between us is that whatever my problems with Trump, the real world conduct and abuse of power of those who were act to get him DWARFS any of Trump’s alleged misdeeds.

        Even if Trump had actually engaged in conduct during the 2016 election that was criminal, what our IC and DOJ and FBI did during the election is WORSE.

        Actual Malfeasance by foreign govenrments no matter how bad are always LESS important than the malfeasance of OUR OWN government.

        We will not be destroyed by Russian interference in our elections.
        Our country would survive and thrive if Russia posed a 1000 times more social media adds and came out strongly in favor of one candidate.
        When our government starts trying to pick the winners of our own elections – we are in deep trouble.

        It does not matter what the “insurance policy” Strzok and page texted about was.
        It does not matter that they were bitterly partisan.

        What matters is that they were prepared to ACT using the power of government in ANY WAY to alter the election outcome.

        Trump did not and could not do that. Putin did not and could not do that.

        Our DOJ/FBI/CIA/… could and did.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2019 6:06 pm

        Of Course Amash has engaged in grandstanding.

        That is common fair for Libertarians.

        Rand Paul is just about the tamest libertarian there is.

        Ron Paul asked the audience in the presidential debates how many of them would inject heroin if it were legal tomorow.

        Austin Peters was giving away AR-15’s as part of his campaign For Senate.

        Libertarian political conventions often feature streakers.

        Go look up John MacAffee’s 2016 libertarian primary campaign adds – they are incredibly outrageaous and hillarious and politically incorrect and you can find them on youtube.

        Amash is wrong on several points.

        Wrong is not evil.

        I do not know him well enough to personally vouch for him.
        But being in business is NOT inherently corrupt and we have to kill that stupidity.

        Nor is it politically corrupt to object to government interfering in free trade – even if you personally benefit from free trade.

        WE ALL personally benefit from free trade.