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Baby Boomers

Righty: I’m a Baby Boomer myself, but I blame my generation for virtually all the cultural evils that have spread like some insidious virus throughout the Western world since the 1960s: drugs, permissiveness, crackpot “liberation” movements, chronic self-absorption, political correctness and some of the ugliest music in history. We’re still paying for those excesses today. What happened to all those wild, long-haired, pot-smoking rebels who came of age in the late sixties? They’re either acquiring million-dollar vacation homes or buying their wheat-free organic granola at the local food co-op. Rich or poor, the common thread here seems to be pathological self-indulgence. Most Boomers can’t see beyond their own navels. We have yet to produce a single writer, artist, composer or statesman of genuine greatness. Even our generation’s culture heroes (think of Dylan, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Jane Fonda, Woody Allen) are pre-Boomers to a man (or woman). Well, at least we can claim George W. Bush as one of our own.

Lefty: Maybe we Boomers haven’t produced many cultural giants of our own, but we’ve produced an incomparably more just and progressive culture than the one we inherited from our parents. Look at the strides we’ve made in improving life for women, gays and people of color. Look at the extended lifespans, the loss of rigid class divisions, the world-changing brilliance of our technology. (You wouldn’t be posting your opinions here, Righty, if you hadn’t been standing on the sturdy shoulders of farsighted Boomers.) I guess the common thread here is an all-encompassing sense of community; instead of the individual genius, we’ve produced a democratic culture that cherishes contributions from ordinary people like you and me. Can’t you take generational pride in an achievement like that? Oh, and don’t forget that the Clintons are Boomers, too.

The New Moderate:

Let me confess that I never took to the streets with the scruffy collegiate revolutionaries of my generation. My parents had decent values and generally lived up to them; I didn’t feel the need to act out my adolescent angst in the form of political rallies, psychotropic drugs or excessive cranial foliage.

Years later, I used to lament my abstention from the woolly excesses of sixties culture. Why couldn’t I have lived in a commune or at least enjoyed a few wild weeks of free hippie love? Why did I hold fast to buttoned-down bourgeois values, when everyone around me was letting it all hang out? But now I think I was wiser than I thought, if that makes any sense.

What I loathed about the Boomer counterculture was its inordinate love of bad-boy, in-your-face, confrontational behavior coupled with belligerent left-wing fanaticism. Granted, the revolutionaries never succeeded in storming the barricades; they simply hunkered down on campus, where they now enjoy life as comfortably tenured radicals who reject all ideas that grate against their ideological agendas. And of course, our culture is still hopelessly smitten with bad boys (even when those bad boys happen to be girls).

What began as a healthy skepticism toward corrupt authority degenerated into a generalized contempt for all authority: religious, political, social, moral, cultural, parental. We toppled ancient idols and gloated over the wreckage. We still dwell amid those ruins today, but we haven’t erected anything more impressive in their place.

What I liked about the Boomer counterculture — its playful spirit, its freaky humor and expressiveness, its love of adventures both physical and intellectual — seems to have died a slow death as the working world purged us of our romantic inclinations. Most of us seem to have sold out without the least whimper of regret; we became militant moneymakers. And so our Boomer playfulness eventually found expression in more mundane outlets: the cultivation of rarefied restaurant cuisine, a quirky preoccupation with lifestyle (there were no “style” sections in our newspapers before 1970), an obstinate refusal to age on schedule, and of course, a never-ending preoccupation with our own feelings. No other generation ever took to therapy with such enthusiasm, or needed to.

Why, then, has so much of Boomer culture tended toward anti-playfulness? Consider the Boomers’ transformation of parenting into a joyless science, the rampant careerism, the intrusion of work into personal time, the rejection of goofy fun and games in favor of dinner-party correctness, the unhealthy obsession with health and fitness. It all confirms my suspicion of a strong fanatical streak in the Boomer psyche.

In the end, after the last Boomers have turned to sawdust, how will history look upon us? I suspect we’ll be known as the Peter Pan generation. We attacked life with all the gusto and petulance of children, we believed the world revolved around us, and we despised old age. (The Baby Boomers will probably gain distinction as the first generation in history to advance from adolescence to old age without an intervening interval of maturity.) If we never achieved greatness, or even goodness, at least it can be said that we expanded our horizons beyond our parents’ humble meatloaf and mashed potatoes. That appears to be our legacy, for better or worse, and it looks as if we’ll have to be satisfied with it.

Summary: With their self-absorbed view of life, the Baby Boomers have done ample good and probably more harm. In the end, they renounced greatness for the comforts of their self-made lifestyles.

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566 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2017 8:12 pm

    There are two groups of Boomers. The first wave born after 1945 were blessed to live during the Fabulous Fifties (and do the duck and cover) and most sailed into the early 60s fueled by the bank of dad as self-entitled prince and princess with some addiction problem , most were 18 years or older by ’68. The Second wave of Boomers peaked in 1958, there was a bridge group of low birth rates between 1952 to 56 then a huge peak in 58 which rolled off the economic high of 1957 straight into a recession which lasted into 1963. The size of US cars 1960 to 62 tells all (all small ). By 1963 the 2nd boom was over and the size of cars increased. These 2nd wave boomer folks lived a happy early child hood until from 1957 to 1965 then by 1968 after 22 of the major cities in the USA suffered race rioting and huge fires, these 2nd wave boomers went straight into an oil crisis sandwich (72 and 79) as teens between 1972 and 1979, the 2nd peak graduated high school in 1976 and 1977, with no or few jobs and poor prospects of employment up to 1984, then they lived high carefree and unmarried for the most part until Black October in 1987, three short years of fun and prosperity in that short boom. We were your little brothers and sisters, and for the most part it sucked and still sucks today…and some of us that still have a soul are still looking to clean up the ’68er mess. 😉 The rest of us 2nd wave boomers aged 62 to 55 are either unemployed, foolishly faking early retirement or scraping by as self employed, or we are locked up, all of us without the big pensions and benefits of the 1st wave boomers and our shared parents who enjoyed long self centered careers or single family income life as most of the 1st wave enjoyed… and that’s life!

  2. Dennis Gauss permalink
    September 3, 2017 4:49 pm

    “The Clintons are boomers too”….So is trump !!

  3. Jay permalink
    May 18, 2018 4:02 pm

    Balanced and objective analysis.
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/sure-sell-to-zte-just-dont-buy-from-them

    • dhlii permalink
      May 18, 2018 5:10 pm

      For something you have linked the article is pretty good.
      That does not mean I agree – just that it is not left wing agit prop.

      American buying decisions are complex – and the article glosses over alot of that.

      It is wise to think carefully about buying critical governmnt infrastruction from a foreign source.

      But the most wise choice is to design to avoid single points of failure.

      The internet as an example was designed to allow communications to work even after a nuclear attack.

      We can and are slowly altering our infrastructure to be more resiliant. alot of that means making it less top down and more web based.

      What I found most interesting was YOUR authors effective demonstration that this really can not be bribery – the connection to Trump is too atenuated.

      • Jay permalink
        May 18, 2018 8:21 pm

        You were being sensible, until the end.
        He didn’t say that.
        He said this:
        “It’s not clear whether Trump really made this decision based on what would be in the best interests of the United States versus what would be in the best interests of his companies. And that we even need to contemplate the possibility that the Chinese government indirectly bribed the President of the United States is frankly terrifying.”

      • May 18, 2018 10:22 pm

        Trump or no Trump, there is nothing good that can come of this. His son managing Trump business interests can sign a deal with anyone and it will be questioned. Now if Pelosi was to ever become president, her husband could continue running their Financial Leasing business, sign deals, and no one would say a thing except for maybe Limbaugh and Hannity.

        But the real issue is anyone in business with a thought of running would have to be crazy after what Trump is going through. Even without the Russian connection, the media would find this stuff and beat him up on it. Why would anyone want to go through this?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 2:45 pm

        You have to read this carefully as the entire claim is decieptful.

        If you do not read carefully you would assume that Trump’s pockets were lined to the tune of 500m for this deal.

        This is a LOAN – and NOT to trump. There is no indication it has any connection to anything.
        Any financial gain from the loan must be from better than normal terms – which no one has actually claimed. Regardless, a 500M loan at %0.125 lower than the normal has a value that is a tiny fraction of 500m So it is highly unlikely there is anything untoward here.

        Further the loan is not directly or indirectly tied to Trump.
        It is for a project ADJACENT to a project that Trump is looking to develop.

        The actual claim here is that Trump’s potential project is more valuable if theis other project also goes through.

        That might be true. But Trump’s project is no certain.
        I would imaging the Trump’s have 10-15 projects under consideration for every one that went through.

        We had this discussion relative to the Trump tower project in Moscow – which fell through.

      • May 19, 2018 8:31 pm

        My point was missed. My point is anything Trump companies do is going to be criticized by the media no matter what. Trump, Trump Jr and anyone else related. Likewise, anything a democrat, no matter the position, relative does will be ignored. I have no idea what took place in the far east and could care less. Not following anti Trump s@$& on the news, internet or whatever. Just noticed the comment here and made my comment.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 10:56 pm

        Both sides play games.
        Both sides have credibility issues.

        But the game playing and lies are NOT perfectly balanced.

        Nor are they in the same relation all the time.

        The left has become increasingly radical, and increasingly illogical.
        It is also a bit bifurcated.

        Democrats at the momement are seeing something similar to what Republicans did in 2009 with the Tea Party.

        One portion of the party is on fire and going at directions at odds with the rest of the party.

        For republicans MOSTLY that worked. The TP harmed the GOP in a few elections, but mostly significantly helped them.

        But My guess is this is not going to work the same way for Democrats.

        38% of the country is willing to consider impeachment.
        But 71% of democrats are.

        That is just one example, but the point is that more than half of democrats are going where far less than half of the country is.

        Many pundits on the left are concerned that Tuesdays primaries were good for Republicans and bad to democrats.

        Republicans mostly got the candidates most likely to attract the center.
        Democrats got the candidates most likely to attract their left flank.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 10:59 pm

        The media has tended to favor the left all of my life.

        But one way or another if there is a story – they are going to follow it – even if it favors Trump and harms democrats.

        The problem is not what will get covered, but how it will be spun.

        WaPo is now trying to sell “Yes, CIA/FBI spied on Trump – for his own good”

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 10:06 am

        They didn’t ‘spy on Trump.’

        They investigated people working for the Trump campaign who may have been working with foreign agents.

        See the distinction..?

        Hypothetically, let’s say Trump was innocent of direct involvement, unaware of their activities. Are you idiotic enough to say the FBI/CIA/DOJ shouldn’t investigate that kind of foreign infiltration into the heart os a Presidential campaign?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:36 pm

        “They didn’t ‘spy on Trump.’”

        They investigated people working for the Trump campaign who may have been working with foreign agents.

        See the distinction..?

        Hypothetically, let’s say Trump was innocent of direct involvement, unaware of their activities. Are you idiotic enough to say the FBI/CIA/DOJ shouldn’t investigate that kind of foreign infiltration into the heart os a Presidential campaign?”

        So it was OK for AG Mitchell to tap the DNC phones at watergate – because someone at the DNC might have been doing something wrong (there is some credible evidence that the target was not the DNC, but a single person who was running a prostitiion ring).

        No Jay – there is no distinction here.

        We do not have sufficient evidence TODAY for the surveilance that was occuring two years ago.
        We certainly did not at the time.

        The requirements to start an investigation – are very low, but what can be done is very limited – much less than deploying an operative to target specific people.

        You repeatedly call Halper an “informant”.
        Lets be clear – Halper was a govenrment agent – I mean that in the law enforcement sense.
        He was acting at the direction of law enforcement.
        The government may not circumvent the law but using agents rather than law enforcement.
        Though Halper is more than just an agent.
        He is even more than just an Off Book CIA Spy.
        He is an off book CIA operative – he was ACTIVELY engaged. He initiated actions against a target.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 2:24 pm

        I do not know what “that” is.

        This is mind reading and irrelevant.
        “It’s not clear whether Trump really made this decision based on ”

        You and your sources constantly attempt to make some action vile or wondorous based on your telepathic grasp of the motives of those involved.
        The merit of an act is rooted in the act, not your guesses as to the intentions of the actor.

        It is a standard patter of criminal prosecutions to establish a motive – BECAUSE motive makes it easier to beleive that the accused committed the crime.
        NOT because motive has anything to do with whether the act is a crime or no.

  4. May 18, 2018 5:28 pm

    Dave “You do not combat obesity by shooting the cook.”
    Taking this to a new thread. Other one takes too long to post comments.

    AH, but this is what some on the left would do. Not shoot them, just fire them. They almost do that with with bans on fat and sugar. Like guns, the cause of obesity and gun violence is not the food or the gun. Its ones brain that either puts the mouth in gear or the fingers in gear.

    The issues with the cause is not being identified nor is it a priority to determine the cause and find a response and prevention that only affects those that overeat or shoot others. The easy response is to limit access for everyone, even those that are underweight and can use the extra pounds.

    What does this have to do with shifting government philosophies. Everything. More government “protecting us” because that is what the far left and far right believe in.
    We now have SCOTUS ruling that sports gambling in states is legal. All we hear now is how the feds need to step in and make laws regulating it before is happens.

    What needs to happen is the sports leagues creating their own oversight commissions and regulate themselves. I dont have issues with state laws that ban certain gaming if that game is found to be screwing the public, but the oversight needs to be the games themselves.

  5. dduck12 permalink
    May 18, 2018 7:28 pm

    Ah, the smell of Mucus in the morning of the Baby Boomers. But, space for a while, until the grazing peters out, and then the exodus to a new promised thread. 🙂

  6. dduck12 permalink
    May 18, 2018 8:31 pm

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/05/trump-organization-indonesia-project-will-benefit-from-usd500-million-chinese-government-loan-report-says.html
    Only 500 mil., “what cheap bastards, I bet I can get more from Vlad”.
    I know, just a coincidence and they (anyone) has a right to invest in anything at any time. Besides, the laws are silly, business should be able to do anything.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2018 2:37 pm

      From your own sources – you have an action that is at best coincidental in time,
      where a private chinese actor, LENDS money to a private indonesian actor who is constructing a theme part adjacent to a location that Trump’s enterprise may also build at.

      And this you think is evidence of WHAT ?

      This is one of those bizzare six degrees of separation things – give me another Hopp and I bet I can connect Putin. I can probably also connect Bill and Hillary.

      These arguments are both stupid, boring and demostrate the bias of those making them.

      If you are looking for political corruption – a loan is one of the least likely financial transactions for corruption. Unless the loan is forgiven – in which case it becomes a gift and an enormous tax problem, then the only possible “benefit” is in the terms of the loan.
      i.e. if the terms are more favorable than normal.

      In this instance we have the loan going to a third party.
      So now any claimed benefit has to be from some hoped for personal gain that is a twice removed indirect consequence of an small or non-existent benefit to a third party.

      When Bill Clinton received speaking fees – he personally received actual money.
      The clear benefit was the entirety of what he was paid.

      When CF received money from Oligarchs the benefit was a single level of indirection.
      The Clinton’s lavish lifestyle is to a large extent paid for by the CF.
      Further the primary purpose of CF was as a sinecure for Clinton Alcolytes – so any benefit to CF enhances the Clinton’s power – their ability to offer sinacures to loyal followers.

      Further the quid-pro-quo was also CLEAR – the CF contacted SGE’s in State and expedited the requests of donors.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 19, 2018 4:18 pm

        “These arguments are both stupid, boring and demostrate the bias of those making them.” That’s you.
        BTW: I think many foundations are crooked, and the CF is among the worst, but we are talking Trump right now.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 8:24 pm

        Just to be Clear – I do not like the CF.
        But it is not the CF that is the problem.

        It is Sec. Clinton and those in state who gave preferential treatment to CF contributors.

        If you wish to give hundreds of Millions to CF – It is your money I do not care.
        If you do so in the hope of some future benefit – It is your money. your gamble, I do not care.

        If AT&T gave money to Cohen in the hope of influence in the WH – I do not care.
        If Trump gave AT&T favors because they gave money to Cohen – I care alot.

        We know that special favors were granted to CF contributors by State.

        We do not have Trump giving government favors to anyone.

        When you actually have something real on Trump – we can talk.

  7. May 18, 2018 11:04 pm

    If this is true, what the hell is going on with our schools and law enforcement. Florida the law ignores reports and now this? I know Dave hates common sense, but common sense tells me that when you receive a report you do something. And after Columbine where the shooters wore trench coats all year, is that not an indication that something will happen?

    As reported:
    “Bryton Sumbles, a former football player for the school(Santa Fe High), told ABC News that he reported Pagourtzis (the shooter) to teachers in the past because he thought it was odd that he would wear trench coats in 97-degree weather, and he thought it would be easy to hide a gun under the coat. Nothing seemed to come from the report, Sumbles said.”

    We will hear cries for gun control once again, but WTF is that going to solve when we have law enforcement and school officials walking around with blinders on. And reports indicate this was a result of a shotgun and pistol, not an AR15, although the first reports from NBC had him carrying an AR 15 along with the other two.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2018 2:48 pm

      Shotguns and handguns are the most commonly used weapons for shootings inside of public buildings.

      These guys tend to be mentally disturbed – not stupid.
      An AR-15 is a poor choice for inside a public building.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 19, 2018 11:03 pm

        “When you actually have something real on Trump – we can talk.”
        When you actually make sense- you can talk.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 1:18 am

        ““When you actually have something real on Trump – we can talk.”
        When you actually make sense- you can talk.”

        In other words you have nothing.

        There is no reason to talk when you have nothing to argue that is more than an insult.

  8. Jay permalink
    May 19, 2018 9:27 am

    3rd try:I’m having problems posting this, re Ron above

    • May 19, 2018 10:54 am

      basically the same info I had posted from another article. I just tried to keep my comment short. One comment that was left out of this one was the key info I saw and that was he wore trench coats in 97 degree weather, another student had reported his behavior to the school and he had not seen or heard anything happening. Wonder why NYT decided to skip that information while reporting other kids saying he was not showing signs of anger. Wonder which side is right? One said they saw something and why would the kid reporting him be lying or if this kid never showed signs of anger? Probably never know.

      There is a key to this behavior in all these shootes. People have not found it yet. What makes a young man have so much anger that we singles out certain individuals at a school and then decides to shoots them? In the article I read one student said this young man was looking for specific kids, while he walked right past him and did not shoot. The kid said he would have been dead had he been one targeted.

      Hard to understand. Hopefully the attention will be directed to the cause and not buckshot and shot guns.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 20, 2018 5:51 pm

      “There is no reason to talk when you have nothing to argue that is more than an insult.”
      An insult is all you have earned.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 20, 2018 5:53 pm

        “There is no reason to talk when you have nothing to argue that is more than an insult.”
        An insult is all you have earned.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 10:41 pm

        No, Insults are all you have.

  9. May 19, 2018 12:18 pm

    Jay, this was from out paper. These are the type of articles I follow as they give facts to the readers and nothing more. I think this was most honest article in their voews of Burr and the actions of that committee, along with their vies of the house committee.

    (You may need to answer an advertising question to access.)

    http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-senator-burr-s-committee-did-well/article_895932ea-3705-5235-b969-18e880f69fdf.html

    • Jay permalink
      May 19, 2018 2:52 pm

      I agree, it’s an honest appraisal, reflecting my own conclusions that Russian interfearance was primarily to benefit Trump in the election.

      Which John/Dave nitpicked with nonsensical immoderation.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 7:43 pm

        You are overloading a Burr’s off the cuff remarks with meaning the do not have.

        While I have already repeatedly stated – that I do not give a damn if Putin actually favored Trump and put $1T behind him – so long as they did not use force – which no one has claimed.

        That said – we have FACTS regarding Russia’s actual activities.

        A tiny amount of money, a tiny amount of activity, Over 3 months less than the total adds on facebook in a few seconds, mostly after the election, and not obviously favoring either candidate.

        We have numbers for all these things.

        But like the typical left wing nut you repeatedly claim you are not – FACTS do not matter, if you can twist what someone else has said to vaugly resemble what you want.

      • May 19, 2018 8:41 pm

        “Which John/Dave nitpicked with nonsensical immoderation. ”

        Well the difference is the senate committee decided that there was Russian involvement in the election, but found no evidence of collusion. That is what Dave has been saying in some of his comments.
        The difference is you have found Trump guilty of collusion and a host of other unrelated issues. That is what Dave has been debating and I have been ignoring for the most part.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 11:13 pm

        Much of my disagreement with Jay is over the difference between what we actually know,
        and dome misrepresented version.

        I could be wrong, but I do not beleive the Senate Report is out.

        Sen. Warner made one statement – which is just a pile of Schiff so to speak.
        Sen. Butt made another that MIGHT mean what Jay claims but does nto clearly mean what Jay says.
        Regardless neither is the Senate “report”.

        Next we actually do know much of what the senate knows and the FACT is that the IC quite clearly DID NOT know even the tiny bit of russian election activity we know now at the time the ICA was written. There is no actual official IC sources that had the information to support the ICA.

        There appear to be only TWO sources at the time – the Steele Dossier, and the CIA Contract spy.

        There is really not much more today – but that was ALL there was when the ICA was done.

        Before you can say the ICA was properly done (and it was not, it too was done outside normal channels), you have to come up with a better source.

    • Jay permalink
      May 19, 2018 2:56 pm

      Here’s another honest evaluation of Trumpian distortions about the Mueller/FBI investigation I hope you will read with an open mind:

      http://theweek.com/articles/773685/irredeemable-irresponsibility-federalist

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 8:06 pm

        Mr. Linkers story would be interesting EXCEPT:

        The purported misconduct of Trump and the Trump campaign remains without any evidence.
        Purportedly enourmous efforts – Steele, one or more spies, The FBI/CIA, Mueller, Blumenthal, Shearer, ……. have as of yet yeilded absolutely nothing.
        We have had myriads of leaks that have nearly all been from those inside the Trump investigations intended to make the investigators look good and Trump look bad – and yet, there still is nothing, and we are still told – trust us, the proof is yet to come.

        Yet the very people promising proof have over and over been found to be liars – many of them lying under oath.

        While despite the vigorous efforts we have nothing on Trump after two years.

        Yet, hardly a day passes when we do not get more FACTS.

        We were told that Trump lied and Trump and the Trump campaign were NOT wiretapped – until it was undeniable they were.
        We were told The Steele Dossier was a Republican product – until subpeoned records proved that Clinton and the DNC paid for it.
        We were told The Steele Dossier was not used by the FBI to get warrants on Trump’s campaign – until it was undenable that it was
        We were told the Steele Dossier was verrified – yet not a single consequential claim has any evidence.
        We were told Trump was lying when he said he and his campaign were spied on.
        Now the very same people who were saying that was a lie are now saying that the spying was for his own good.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 8:12 pm

        What is the distinction between the stories in the Federalist ? And those of Andrew McCarthy or Kim Strassel or Byron York that Linker is not prepared to challenge ?
        The differences is that York, and Strassel and McCarthy are too credible to attack – and much of Hemmingways reporting is coming from them.

        What is the difference between the Federalist stories and those in WaPo and NYT ?
        Thus far the Federalist has not been proven wrong,

        The Federalist and NYT and WaPo are reporting almost exactly the same things – only with different spin.

        Though we do not yet have FACTS to confirm it, the media – left and right are now ALL reporting that the Trump campaign was SPIED on from atleast early July forward and possibly from the start of 2016.

        The “spin” form WaPo is that everything in the Federalist is true – but it was really for Trump’s own good.

        Really ? That is the best you can do ?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 8:14 pm

        Please – what has been “distorted” ?

        It is now evident that many of the Trump Tweets that were previously condemned as “lies” are obviously TRUE.

        So the one you called the lying jester, turns out to be the speaker of Truth.

      • May 19, 2018 9:02 pm

        I was good with most of this until his comment:
        “Republican James Comey, who was intensely concerned about the appearance of propriety and professionalism. ”

        Anyone that covers up criminal activities due to politics is not concerned about appearance of propriety and professionalism. If you or I did what The Bitch did with her servers and data stored on that and her subsequent actions to delete that data, you and I would be looking out through bars from prison tonight.

        Since he referenced Whitewater, I suspect the same outcome with Russian collusion. Many minions charged like friends of Clinton, but no Clinton charges. Many Trump friends charged, but not Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 11:20 pm

        Everything associated with Comey has TWO huge problems.

        The first is that Comey has clearly lied and contradicted himself all over,

        The 2nd is that Comey by his own admission has no integrity.

        Integrity means
        Fiat justitia ruat caelum
        “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

        Comey has repeatedly made clear that he factored politics into pretty much every decision abour justice he made.

        While he did NOT factor in traditional right/left politics – that is irrelevant.
        He wet his finger and put it up to see how what he might do would effect the wind, and then acted accordingly.

        Justice is blind. It does not care what effect doing justice might have on the election.
        Comey rejects that openly.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 2:34 pm

        Aparently HFA and DNC are not the only ones paying for the Steele Dossier,

        OFA – Obama for america paid almost $1MK towards the Steele Dossier
        Oops.

        http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/29/obamas-campaign-gave-972000-law-firm-funneled-money-fusion-gps/

  10. dduck12 permalink
    May 19, 2018 4:14 pm

    Agree with both articles, but more Winston-Salem.

  11. Jay permalink
    May 19, 2018 6:16 pm

    The collusion data points keep accumulating.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 19, 2018 8:34 pm

      This NYT story is behind the paywall and even though I have an account I can not get to it.

      Regardless – does the story have any evidence of the Saudis actually doing anything ?
      Did they hack the DNC ? Did they rig voting machines ?

      Can you even say they ran Twitter or FB adds ? Did they have immans at all the US mosques they control get out the Trump vote ?

      Did the majority of US muslims vote for Trump ?

      I have no idea whether there were meetings about the election.
      We know that Trump has alot of mideastern ventures and connections – as does Clinton.
      We know that the CF got huge amounts of money from mideast despots.

      I am not aware of any evidence that Trump had anything but good business releations.

      It is undoubted that Trump had connections to the mideast – and that those connections are reflected in his policies – The Iran Deal is DOA not merely because it was a bad deal, but because Obama pissed all over the Saudi’s to get it.

      If you were to argue that the Saudi’s favored Trump over Clinton – that is a case you might be able to make. The Obama administration spent 8 years dicking with the Saudi’s and they were pissed.

      I do not wish to make the Saudi’s into some stellar nation.
      They are not particularly enlightened. But they are the lessor evil to the Iranians.
      And they were and once again are an allie.

      • Jay permalink
        May 19, 2018 9:37 pm

        It’s illlegal to confer to conspire with foreign governments/agents to effect a US federal election – nothing has to be done in the future, it’s still a crime to do it.

        Maybe the Trump’s were too stupid to know that.
        But ignorance of the law is no defense.

        Your ignorant response to that is a another sign of your own ignorance.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 11:33 pm

        “It’s illlegal to confer to conspire with foreign governments/agents to effect a US federal election – nothing has to be done in the future, it’s still a crime to do it.”

        Actually no – that is not the law.

        No conspiracy becomes a crime until
        a separate criminal act takes place.
        HOWEVER, once a criminal act takes place – all participants in the conspiracy are THEN guilty of conspiracy – even if they were not serious.

        And Finally – the conspiracy itself has to be specific.

        It is not enough for conspirators to gather and discuss a desirable outcome.
        They must actually discuss committing a crime, and then someone must actually commit that crime.

        You lefties keep trying to make the law infinitely broad.

        If you and a bunch of your friends gather and make rude sexual comments to each other about some woman – saying what you would like to do, and then one of you goes out and sexually assaults her – that is NOT a conspiracy – though you all all repugnant.

        Finally, there have been so many false rumors I have no clue what you THINK you have.
        There is a reason no one beleives much of what you say – because you keep selling Loius. Mensch crap that proves to be garbage.

        That Said – I would be surprised if during 2016 at some time Kushner or other Trump people did not meet with the Saudi’s – of course they did, they do alot of business with the Saudi’s.

        Your garbage Emoluments claim openly admits Trump has pre-existing business relations with the Saudi’s.

        I would also be suprised if the election was not discussed – though I would be thoroughy shocked if anyone could prove that.

        I would not be surprised if the Saudi’s offered assistance.

        But to get what you want – you have to PROVE – not merely claim, that Trump and Co AGREED,

        AND you must prove that the Saudi’s ACTED/

        You constantly confuse what you beleive Trump WOULD do, with what was done.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 2:31 pm

      And here we have the UAE colluding and PAYING Clinton during to 2016 Election
      Oops!

      https://theintercept.com/2017/07/30/uae-yousef-otaiba-cnas-american-progress-michele-flournoy-drone/

  12. dhlii permalink
    May 19, 2018 8:48 pm

    Glenn is a very left wing reporter.
    But he also has integrity.
    The amount of spin he puts into his stories is LOW.
    Glenn is not a Trump fan.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/

    Glenn is correct the use of “informants” by the FBI is not unsual.

    But placing informants when there is no crime alleged is deeply troubling.
    Placing them to spy on a political campaign is Watergate.

    Lying about them is consciousness of guilt.

    • Jay permalink
      May 19, 2018 9:58 pm

      “placing informants when there is no crime alleged is deeply troubling.”

      Another statement expressing your own ignorance.
      Don’t you have at least a rudimentary understanding of the purpose of the
      Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?

      It’s to enable the collection and investigation of ACTIVITY of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.[1]

      If you’re suggesting they didn’t have sufficient reason to dispatch a confidential informanent to investigate Trump campaign advisors Page and Pappadopolus as the FBI began its investigation into possible links between his campaign and Russia, you’re dumber than dirt.

      THEY WERE DOING THEIR JOB!

      Dave, really, you are a jerk.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 19, 2018 11:52 pm

        FISA – as you raise – REQUIRES a FISA COURT WARRANT to target US Persons

        And A WARRANT requires PROBABLE CAUSE that a crime was committed.

        The actual Process – which was NOT followed here, is that you can surveil/Target NON-US Persons, If in the course of doing so you encounter US Persons, there identities must be MASKED – no one outside the observing agents and their immediate supervisors can reveal the identities of the US Person – without following procedures that were not followed,
        It is likely even a crime to unmask a US Person caught up in a foreign intelligence operation.

        Having followed all of the above – IF and ONLY IF, information indicating that a crime has been committed by a US Person is uncovered THEN that information – and only that information can be passed through a chinese wall to completely separate criminal investigators, who then open their own separate criminal investigation, and when they have probable cause they can seek a FISA warrant.

        This is also one of the deep flaws in the Mueller authorization.

        Counter intelligence and Criminal investigations in the US are radically different.

        The former has nothing to do with crimes, and when a crime involving a US person appears, the criminal investigation of the US person becomes a separate investigation, with no contact with the original.

        Presuming that the press stories are correct – Brennan started a CIA operation targeting the Trump campaign.
        That is absolutely illegal.

        If as you claim Brennan had the basis to investigate the Trump Campaign – then Brennan would NOT have been permitted to send an informant.

        I would also note you have the cart before the horse.

        What is increasingly evident is that Brennan’s operation targetting the Trump campaign PRECEDES any “evidence” of contract between the Trump campaign and Russia.

        The informant Contacted Papadoulis and offered him a post in the UK.
        The informant – BEFORE the DNC hack informed Papadoulis of the Clinton Emails.
        The informant setup the meeting between Papadoulis and Downer.

        The informant invited Carter Page to Rome.

        All of this took place BEFORE either Page or Papadoulis had any contact with any Russians.

        You should note I keep identifying this as a CIA operation – not survelance – though even the later would be illegal.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:05 am

        “In its 1947 charter, the CIA was prohibited from spying against Americans, in part because President Truman was afraid that the agency would engage in political abuse. But the law didn’t stop the CIA from spying on Americans. During the 1960s, in clear violation of its statutory mission to co-ordinate foreign intelligence operations only,”

        “The National Security Act of 1947 contained a specific ban on intelligence operatives from operating domestically. In the 1970s, America learned about the extensive domestic political spying carried out by the FBI, the military, the CIA, and the NSA, and Congress passed new laws to prevent a repeat of those abuses. Surveillance laws were debated and modified under presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton.”

        “The law on surveillance begins with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which states clearly that Americans’ privacy may not be invaded without a warrant based on probable cause.”

        From the ACLU’s website.

        Absolutely the law is flaunted – quite often. But the fact that the law is broken does not alter the fact that it is still the law.

        I would say that Never before has the FBI/CIA spied on a US political campaign but Apparently Stefan Halper – the “informant” aka Spy, actually spied on the 1980 Carter Campaign.

        And Just to be clear, Though I think it is real clear this was a CIA operation at the start,

        Neither CIA nor FBI are permitted to “spy” on US persons. Not in the US, not outside.

        The very FISA act that you cite precludes warrantless surveilance.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:05 am

        “THEY WERE DOING THEIR JOB!”

        No they were breaking SEVERAL laws.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 1:15 am

        You are confused and bewildered.
        (Calling you dumb at this point is redundant)

        To initiate an investigation you don’t need to ALREADY have the evidence of the crime. You need Probable Cause. The investigation is to determine if there is evidence to charge a crime.

        And there is no law against using ‘informants’ to assess if crimes are being or have been committed. That’s standard investigative procedure across all US law enforcement agencies

        The FBI’s domestic operations guide authorizes agents to use informants, even when they’re conducting PRELIMINARY assessments. Warrants are not required to determine if there are factual predicates for a formal investigation.

        There is no right to privacy to hide or conceal criminal activity. And to prove conspiracy, all that’s required is the recruitment, not completed acts.

        “On the criminal side, the word that would best describe an agreement between the Trump campaign and Russia to commit any number of crimes (say, election fraud) would be “conspiracy”—something that the recent release of Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain might support.

        On the counterintelligence side, collusion is best described by the word “recruitment.” The aim of a foreign intelligence service is to find and convince individuals to help them achieve intelligence objectives. In the case of the election, the question is whether Russia was able to recruit American citizens, including people in the Trump campaign, to help them sway the outcome in Donald Trump’s favor. “

        https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/12/what-is-collusion-215366

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 11:23 am

        “To initiate an investigation you don’t need to ALREADY have the evidence of the crime. You need Probable Cause. The investigation is to determine if there is evidence to charge a crime.”

        You are incorrect – the standard of evidence to start and investigation is LOWER that probable cause.

        But the standard of evidence for surveilance IS probable cause.

        As you have not been following things – the review of the FISA Warrant on Carter Page has demonstrated that there was not PROBABLE CAUSE.

        Probable cause is not “that sounds good enough to me”.

        Lets address some things.

        Probable cause means there is EVIDENCE that a crime has been committed.
        If you are seeking to spy on people – it requires EVIDENCE that they are criminals.
        An allegation is NOT sufficient.
        Unverified claims such as in the Steele Dossier are not sufficient – though you have a further problem with the Steele Dossier – as it is now evident that this started BEFORE the Steele Dossier was available to the FBI.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 11:36 am

        “And there is no law against using ‘informants’ to assess if crimes are being or have been committed. That’s standard investigative procedure across all US law enforcement agencies”

        Horribly incorrect.

        Your first problem is that you are using “informant” broadly.

        First – the government/law enforcement may not do through a third party what it can not do directly.

        Next Halper was not an “informant” he has a paid operative. He did not come forward and say I have this information. He initiated contage with Papadoulis and Page, he hired them, he got them into conferences and arranged contacts for them and fed them information.

        These are all things that even an undercover FBI agent can not do.

        Next, all of this took place in the UK – not domestically.

        Warrants are required for ALL Surveilance – though the majority of modern Surveilance cases have to do with “electronic surveilance” Surveilance is not limited to Electronic Surveilance.
        And you will find NUMEROUS supreme court cases requiring a warrant for surveilance.

        So that you are clear – the government or an agent, can observe the actions of someone in public for as long as they wish. But they may not invade their privacy – that means there is very little they may do that involved engaging the party being observed.

        If you are being paid by the government – you are an agent – that is the law.
        Even unpaid informants who are acting at the direction of law enforcement are agents.

        Regardless, Halper was not even close to being a mere informant. Halper was more than even a Spy, he was an operative. He sought out his targets, and he engaged them.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 11:45 am

        “There is no right to privacy to hide or conceal criminal activity. And to prove conspiracy, all that’s required is the recruitment, not completed acts.”

        Bzzt, wrong.

        No where in the 4th amendment is there any condition expressed saying.

        Put more simply – the 4th Amendment does NOT say – if government beleives a crime is being committed the 4th amendment disappears.

        Rights particularly our criminals eights apply ESPECIALLY if law enforcement beleives we are criminals.

        I would note that by your definition of conspiracy – it is Halper that is the criminal.
        Halper Recruited Page and Papadoulis.

        Regardless, you are still wrong. – the conspiracy must be too a crime.
        The act is nearly always required to prove there was a conspiracy to a crime.

        “Federal statutes, and many state statutes, now require not only agreement and intent but also the commission of an Overt Act in furtherance of the agreement.”

        What was the crime ?
        Do you have evidance that the purported conspirators all agreed to that crime ?
        What was the overt act in furtherance of that crime ?

        Put simply you do not have ANY of the elements of a conspiracy.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 11:50 am

        “On the criminal side, the word that would best describe an agreement between the Trump campaign and Russia to commit any number of crimes (say, election fraud) would be “conspiracy”—something that the recent release of Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain might support.”

        Not even close. If the effort to get dirt on Hillary was a crime – then Steele, Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS, Perkins Coi, Sidney Blumethat, Shearer, the DNC, Downing, HFA and Hillary are all in a huge criminal conspiracy.

        One far more signifcant that you are claiming regarding Trump.

        In the case of Trump Jr. there is no evidence that Trump Jr. initiatiated anything.

        Algorov brought Natalia to Goldenstein who brought her to Trump Jr.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:02 pm

        “On the counterintelligence side,”

        And there things end – the FISA law that you cite REQUIRES a Warrant even to engage in a counter intelligence operation against a US person.

        This requirement is to protect our constitutional rights.

        A Russian has no constitutional rights. Government may spy on Russian’s without warrants.
        It can surveil them.

        But a warrant is required where a US person is involved specifically otherwise that persons rights would be violated.

        “collusion is best described by the word “recruitment.”

        Halper “recruited Papadoulis and Page.

        “The aim of a foreign intelligence service is to find and convince individuals to help them achieve intelligence objectives. In the case of the election, the question is whether Russia was able to recruit American citizens, including people in the Trump campaign, to help them sway the outcome in Donald Trump’s favor. “

        Halper was not targeting Russia or Russians – he was targeting US Persons and as such required to have a FISA Warrant.

        What you constantly gloss over is this was not an operation targeting Russia.
        This was an operation targeting the Trump Campaign.

        It has been noted for a long time that the only Russians Papadoulis was in contact with were “fake russians” indirectly through Misfud. It increasingly appears that Misfud was an MI-6 operative working with Halper and Dearlove.

        The only recruiting being done here was by the US and UK governments.

        You keep glossing over the fact that Papadoulis’s job in the UK appears to have been arranged by Halper. Page’s trip to Rome appears to have been arranged by Halper. Both were PAID by Halper.

        Halper is NOT an informant from inside the Trump campaign he is an Off Book CIA/MI6/FBI operative, working OUTSIDE the Law, and OUTSIDE the agency.

        His connections to the US government appear to be exclusively through Brennan.

        Except for the fact that he was paid by the US government this increasingly looks much like watergate.

        Where the US AG ran a group of off the Books CIA operatives to Spy on the DNC.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:06 pm

        Think about this Jay.

        The arguments you keep making allow the government to spy on, entrap, setup, investigate, anyone they want, without evidence, without any crime.

        In your desire to “get Trump” you are destroying EVERYONE’s rights.

        Please explain to me based on your arguments what prevents the CIA/FBI from engaging in surveilance, and spying of you ?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 1:16 am

        Is there any point at which you would find the actions of the CIA/FBI offensive ? Illegal ?

        We all know excactly where that would be – if the CIA/FBI were doing exactly the same thing to anyone but Trump.

  13. Jay permalink
    May 19, 2018 11:23 pm

    Everything this guy does smells bad.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 1:14 am

      If you actually follow the story – Trump urged the Postmaster to raise package rates on numerous companies that are getting good deals from the Post office.
      The Law requires that the Post Office can not charge anyone rates that are below its costs.

      USPS is losing money on the Amazon deal – as well as several others.

      The Postmaster has resisted – because there are contracts in place.

      There is actually a compelling argument that USPS should be allowed to sell serivces at below cost. And the Amazon arrangement is actually a good example of why – the USPS apparently loses about 2.6B/year on Amazon’s business – on a strictly cost basis. But the USPS would lose more money each year Without Amazon’s business.

      I had to deal with a version of this in a business I was a part of.
      There were three major “profit centers” to our business.
      One was small and made almost 200K a year. the other was about 1/3 of the business and made about 100K/year, the last was 2/3 of the business and lost over 100K/year.

      But the other two units could not have profited if the money losing part of the business was not covering 2/3 of the total business overhead.

      Trump appears to be right on the law. But he is wrong as a matter of good economics.

      The right solution is to sell the USPS.

      Separately Treasury has been directed to put together a committee to look into postal rates.

      I am not happy about this. I am not happy about what just about all of us recognize as targeting Bezos – even though there is no actual evidence of that.
      At the same time Bezos is a big boy, and can buy the USPS if it ever was offered to the public – or Fedex or UPS if that is what he needs.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 9:48 am

        You lead off with this:

        “If you actually follow the story – Trump urged the Postmaster to raise package rates on numerous companies that are getting good deals from the Post office.”

        And wait till the end of your tedious ‘hear yourself pontificate’ post to contradict yourself and admit this:

        “I am not happy about what just about all of us recognize as targeting Bezos – even though there is no actual evidence of that.”

        If you had placed them together to start, you would have sounded like a reasonable person in accord with my post, and not your annoying tendentious rambling self.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:15 pm

        I have argued – and continue to argue – because it is the truth, the law, and a fact,

        That we may not as a matter of law guess at the intentions of another, and convert a legal act to a crime because of those guesses.

        In this peraticial case, Trump’s intentions are pretty transparent.
        But his actions remain legal.
        If you do not like that change the law.

        Personally I would pitch the USPS from government. Libertarians have been arguing for that since Lysander Spooner in the 19th century. We came close in the late 60’s.

        Regardless, I have asserted MANY times, I am not happy with everything Trump does.

        I did not vote for him specifically because of his attitudes towards women.
        Nothing has changed to improve my view of him in that regard.

        But the fact that I do not like his attitude towards Women does not mean that everything else he does is inherently evil. But that standard few of us would be out of jail.

        I am not happy with this latest USPS incident.
        I am assuming of course that the stories are true – which in the last has too often proven to be wrong.

        But from what I is being reported Trumps actions were legal. But they were not something I approve of.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 12:15 pm

        So now you are insulting me for not making my arguments in the order you would prefer ?

      • May 20, 2018 12:11 pm

        I believe I am correct in this comment.
        The postal service is not losing money from operations, Amazon or other.
        The postal service is losing money from retirement costs and retirement benefits, given to workers by officials with no skin in the game years ago.. The last number I saw 60 billions unfunded liability.
        A change in accounting by congress required the postal service to basically account for cost from a cash basis accounting to accrual accounting. In 2014, the last number I found, operations resulted in a 1.1B income. Coupled with a 5.4B retirement accrual, they lost 4B (rounded).
        Since 90% of my mail is advertising, how about adding a surcharge on that and leave Amazon alone. Amazon has better alternatives than junk mail.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 1:02 pm

        Ron.

        You may be correct, but I do not think you are.

        As this involves government everything is messy.

        As I noted – there are often excellent reasons to engage in business that will lose money.
        The post office should NOT be part of government, so that it can try to make such decisions wisely rather than trying to conform to an attempt to make a business rule subject to judgement into a law.

        The stories on this are claiming that the USPS is losing 2.6B on its business with Amazon.

        I suspect that is true – atleast as true as anything involving government and money.
        I do not beleive those numbers include the pension liabilities.

        BTW that exclusion is stupid. There are good reasons for a business to distingusih between cost of gods sold and total cost including profit and overhead,
        But that should not get incorporated into law,

        This entire issue with USPS points out the stupidity of government running anything.

        We properly have laws like this as an anti-corruption measure.

        But we fail to grasp that what is corrupt when government is involved is not and even sometimes good business in relations between private actors.

        We had a version of this stupidity in the Standard Oil garbage.

        Rockefeller contracted with the railroads. He GUARANTEED specific amounts of cargo (and therefore profits) for specific trains. He supplied his own tanker cars, he dictated the routes and the times and in return he got a guaranteed very low cost – but one that would make those trains profitable. I return Rockefeller demanded that no one else whose cargo was carried on the trains that he arranged for and paid for was to be charged the same low rates he was.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

        But it would be a crime – it the government did it.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 20, 2018 3:48 pm

        http://www.prc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/Financial Report 2014.pdf
        I think this was the one I referenced. Page 7, col 1

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 2:38 am

        Here is what former Pakistan Station Cheif under Bush has to say about Brennan and Mueller.

        Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou: John Brennan and Robert Mueller “Set Out To Ruin People”

        Kiriakou was investigated by Bush and it was determined that he had done nothing wrong.
        Even though nothing changed he was re-investigated At Brennan’s request for “leaking’ in 2009 after Obama became president.

        Like Flynn he was driven to near bankruptcy and ultimately plead.

        He is now hoping for a pardon, and looks like a really good witness for those Mueller is prosecuting.

        https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/05/23/former_cia_officer_john_kiriakau_john_brennan_and_robert_mueller_set_out_to_ruin_people.html

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 1:06 pm

        How about getting the USPS out of government where they can figure our how to best conduct their own business.

        This entire debacle exists because we have politicians trying to decide who should be charged what. Rather than the business trying to figure out what it needs to do to survive and thrive.

        You want to charge advertisers more – how is that different from Trump wanting to charge Amazon more ?

        It is all just a business judgement. The objective is for the post office to make all its clients happy – those who send and those who receive mail, while profiting.

        There is no objectively correct charge for advertising or for packages.

        There should be no law, and the USPS should not be part of government.

      • May 20, 2018 4:00 pm

        I agree completely that it should not be run by the government.

  14. Jay permalink
    May 20, 2018 9:57 am

    “FISA – as you raise – REQUIRES a FISA COURT WARRANT to target US Persons”

    How do you think they get evidence to present to the FISA judge?

    Pay attention: a warrent isn’t necessary to use informants to gather preliminary information to construct a case against a ‘suspect.’

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 12:27 pm

      ““FISA – as you raise – REQUIRES a FISA COURT WARRANT to target US Persons”

      How do you think they get evidence to present to the FISA judge?

      Pay attention: a warrant isn’t necessary to use informants to gather preliminary information to construct a case against a ‘suspect.’”

      Circular reasoning.

      This is quite simple.

      First using the term informant is deliberately misleading.

      Halper was not a passive insider, providing the government information that he encountered through the normal course of his job or life.

      He was more than even a Spy, He was an operative.

      Regardless, he was at the bare minimum an “agent” – in this context an “agent” is a legal term.
      An informant or another acting at the direction of government is an agent.
      An “agent” must meet the same legal requirements as law enforcement.

      i.e. a warrant is required for them to surveil or actively engage a target.

      Further the FISA law requires a warrant for ALL surveilance targetting US Persons.

      There is ZERO doubt that the Trump campaign was the target here.

      You say a warrant is not necescary to “gather preliminary information”

      That depends on what you mean by “gather”.

      There is no warrant requirement for an ACTUAL informant, coming forward voluntarily from inside the Trump campaign.

      With care information gathered about US persons in the course of surveillance of foreigners can also be used – but there are a lot of rules regarding that. You can not as an example pretend to surveil Russians in order to surveil US persons. And just because you think you have something as a result of Surveilance of Russians, does not mean you can automatically use it.

      Your argument ultimately boils down to “because I am suspicious of Trump/Russia” I can run a operation against the Trump campaign.

      No you can not.
      Your way there is absolutely no limit to the surveilance power of the US government.

  15. Jay permalink
    May 20, 2018 11:37 am

    There have 75 contacts and 22 meetings reported between Russia-linked operatives and the Trump campaign.

    Why did Trump administration members (and Trump himself) cover up and/or lie about them?

    If nothing unseemly or illegal was going on, why the extensive cover up?

    Rudy Giuliani now says that Trump shouldn’t talk to Mueller without knowing more about the FBI informant. In an interview Giuliani claims Trump could be “walking into a trap” unless the FBI makes clear whether the person compiled any “incriminating information.”

    “INCRIMINATING INFORMATION.”

    Doesn’t that allow you ‘to recognize’ that Trump did something criminal?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 12:49 pm

      “There have 75 contacts and 22 meetings reported between Russia-linked operatives and the Trump campaign.”

      Reading more Louis Mensch I see.

      We dealt with this “russia linked” garbage with the NRA idiocy.

      I would bet I can find 75 “Russia linked” things in your life – using this defintion of “russia linked” that means – any american who has gone to Russia, or any Russian who lives in america.
      Or anyone once or twice removed from the above.

      I bet I can find thousands of “russia linked oepratives” and myriads of meetings that involve Clinton.

      Almost every single thing about the Steele Dossier – including Steele himself, as well as Glenn Simpson, and Sidney Blumenthal is “russia linked”

      You need to actually be specific.

      “Why did Trump administration members (and Trump himself) cover up and/or lie about them?
      If nothing unseemly or illegal was going on, why the extensive cover up?”

      What cover up ? Because you do not like the answers people have given, you call that a cover up ?

      “Rudy Giuliani now says that Trump shouldn’t talk to Mueller without knowing more about the FBI informant. In an interview Giuliani claims Trump could be “walking into a trap” unless the FBI makes clear whether the person compiled any “incriminating information.””

      No reputable defense attorney would recommend Trump sit for an interview with Mueller.

      Mr. Mueller has thus far charged 3 people with lying in an investigation.

      Two for minor errors in the recall of the time of emails or phone calls they received.
      And one for failing to mention a topic that the other party in a call raised that was NOT discussed.

      To me that sounds like an excellent reason to NOT talk to Mueller.

      Further Mueller has a LONG reputation for persecuting innocent people.

      I have absolutely NEVER thought it was wise to sit down with Mueller.

      I think that Papadoulis, Van der Zwaan, and Flynn wish they had not.

      My advice to you is that if you are pulled over by a police officer that you do NOT answer any questions of facts, you do NOT give them permission to do anything.

      Why would I give Trump different advice than I give you ?

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 5:05 pm

        “Why would I give Trump different advice than I give you ?”

        Think that through and see if you can glimpse the obvious reason.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:46 pm

        ““Why would I give Trump different advice than I give you ?”

        Think that through and see if you can glimpse the obvious reason.”

        I have thought it through – you are the one pushing law that varies with the person.

        That is called the rule of man, not law, or lawlessness for short.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 5:16 pm

        Two questions for you Dave, that require only a yes or no reply. Nothing more. If you answer per my request, I will respond further, and you can reply as volubly as you want,

        1-Did Russia interfere in the last presidential election? Y/N

        2-Is it reasonable to assume they were trying to recruit Trump campaign personnel to provide them access to stregic information? Y/N

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 10:40 pm

        1. Yes – just as they have every election for decades.
        2. Technically no, because you asked the question wrong.

        That said Yes, Russia tries to recruit people – Trump people, Clinton people.

        Russia’s economy and government are quite small compared to ours.
        There 2016 GDP was 1.2T – about 1/15 of the US.
        China is 10x that of Russia.

        Within the constraints of what they have the resources to do, Russia is always going to seek ot “influence” our elections, and to recruit americans.

        As to the specifics –
        There is a reasonable amount of evidence that Putin sought a meeting with Trump.
        That never happened – because the Trump campaign declined.

        There is no evidence that Page was in contact with actual Russian agents after 2013.
        In 2013 the Russians attempted to recruit him, and he reported it to the FBI,
        The FBI tried to use him, but the Russians ultimately decided he was useless.

        There is ZERO reason for the FBI to beleive that the Russians would subsequently try to recruit Page again or that Page would not notify the FBI if they did.

        The Papadoulis story is still muddy and there are conflicting public stories.

        Halper recruited Papadoulis – not the Russians. I am getting conflicting stories about when,
        Regardless, Halper paid Papadoulis to do a “report” on Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and a natural gas field.

        Halper also contacted Page – with a similar deal – paying him to come to rome and write a report.

        Misfud who is purportedly the channel by which Papadoulis was connected to “russians”, and the person who told Papadoulis that the Russians had thousands of Clintons emails in april ?
        Appears to be an MI6 operative.

        It appears likely that Halper Misfud – as well as Dearlove (Former head of MI6) and several others were working together – as well as possibly Downer – feeding Papadoulis, Page, and possibly Gates and Manafort “russia” information, while at the same time reporting their “contacts” to Steele.

        It is increasingly looking like not only was the Trump campaign spied on, it was actually setup.

        As I noted the first time I posted about this – this all seems like a tinfoil hat conspiracy – except that with every day – more and more is confirmed.

        When I first posted – even the spying claim was speculative. But since than DOJ/FBI have been leaking to NYT and WaPo the very information they remain unwilling to give to Congress.

        The Halper identity is just about 99.99% certain at this point. The use of Halper by the CIA/FBI/MI6 is particularly troubling – as Halper has a past record for pretty much exactly this kind of campaign political spying.

        Halper is strongly tied to both Brennan and Dearlove.

        Mifsud is definitely Papadoulis’s contact in Britain, what remains to be established is who he actually is working for.

        He has never made sense as a Russian operative. and there are a number of stories circulating that Mifsud is a cover for an MI-6 agent associated with Dearlove.

        There are still alot of speculative elements in this. The reporting is providing dates for Halper’s contacts with Papadoulis that vary from early 2016 to September 2016.
        It is likely they met several times. Some of the stories seem to confuse Mifsud and Halper.
        The Page contacts are better defined. Halper contacted Page once or twice – likely in early july likely in rome for a conference.

        Assuming that you trust NYT and WaPo – who are doing little beyond confirming Strassel’s WSJ story, there are several things that are increasingly certain.

        CIA and possibly FBI were running an op against the Trump campaign.
        That Op appears to have started Before the FBI investigation, and Before much of the Steele Dossier. How much before is still not established.

        This creates a NEW problem – before you did not have probable cause to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page, but now you need the same probable cause – that is the standard for CIA/NSA/FBI to target a US person in a counter intelligence operation, but you have to do it without the Steele Dossier as it did not exist yet – and certainly CIA/FBI did not have it.

        Fusion GPS was hired to get dirt on Trump during the primary.
        In april 2016 Elias hired Fusion to get dirt on Trump for the Clinton Campaign.
        In June 2016 Steele was hired by Fusion.

        Steele did NOT provide the Dossier to the FBI until weeks before the election.

        So in July of 2016 which is the LATEST the Halper operation could have begun – it more likely started in March, there is no way CIA/FBI had the Steele Dossier.

        While they could have recieved the same information independently – that is what Nunes’s queries of FVEY’s are about. There is no on the record intelligence from any intelligence agency part of FVEY’s that is ca, uk, au, nz, and us regarding the Trump campaign and Russia.
        Put simply that means the ICA is a sham and brennan is lying – or FVEY’s is lying. Take your pick.

        Everything about the DOJ/FBI/CIA “investigation” of Trump was done completely outside of normal channels or procedures. It was all handled by a very small number of people in CIA/FBI/DOJ – and NOT the normal counter intelligence groups.
        As best as can be told Strzok is possibly the lowest ranking member of CIA/FBI that participated in this and Strzok is the only one who is an “agent” and even that is a diminutive description – he was at one time the #2 person in the FBI in counter intelligence.

        The only time that you see things like this being run at the TOP of agencies – is when they are illegal.

  16. Jay permalink
    May 20, 2018 12:24 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 1:09 pm

      And what EVIDENCE would that be ?

      You keep getting the cart before the horse.

      BTW there wre plenty of allegations that Clinton was in secret communications with Russia, the Ukraine, ….
      And many of these were true – yet there was no investigation.

      No the government is not “derelict in its duty” if it does nto chase down every screwball allegation, and run a covert operation against a political campaign based on an allegation.

  17. Jay permalink
    May 20, 2018 12:33 pm

    There have 75 contacts reported and 22 meetings between Russia-linked operatives and the Trump campaign.

    Why did Trump administration members (and Trump himself) cover up and/or lie about them?

    If nothing unseemly or illegal was going on, why the extensive cover up?

    Rudy Giuliani now says that Trump shouldn’t talk to Mueller without knowing more about the FBI informant. In an interview Giuliani claims Trump could be “walking into a trap” unless the FBI makes clear whether the person compiled any “incriminating information.”

    “INCRIMINATING INFORMATION.”

    Doesn’t that allow you ‘to recognize’ that Trump did something criminal?

    Next time you see Rudy Giuliani ask him if when he was a federal prosecutor did he always turn over information on confidential informants to witnesses he was questioning?

  18. Jay permalink
    May 20, 2018 12:51 pm

    Dave/John.

    Explain again why it isn’t illegal for Americans to conspire with foreign nations to interfere in an American election.

    “Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election”

    NYT: “WASHINGTON — Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.

    The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.

    Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.”

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 1:15 pm

      I have addressed your first issue REPEATEDLY.

      You continue to use words badly – what is “influence”.

      So long as “influence” means persuade – then absolutley posititively the US Government has ZERO business involving itself in any way in the efforts to PERSUADE voters.

      That is both a losing game – it is outside of the ability of govenrment to control,
      and a dangerous game. If government is permitted to control PERSUASION than you might as well skip the election entirely and just have the govenrment appoint its own successors.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 3:02 pm

        Dave, you sap, you’re so easy to manipulate into false assumptions that makes your head spin like a wobbly top.

        That Federalist Article is Bullshit propaganda of the most deceptive kind, and you swallowed it like a fish swallows a hook.

        There was ZERO evidence in the article that ANY Obama money went to pay for (the mostly accurate, reliable, prescient) Steele Dossier.

        “Perkins Coie is counsel of record for the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Leadership Council, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Other political clients include nearly all Democratic members of the United States Congress. It has also represented several presidential campaigns, including those of John Kerry,[2] Barack Obama,[3] and Hillary Clinton.[2] ”

        Money CONSTANTLY goes from Democrats to Perkins Coie.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 7:52 pm

        OFA paid Perkins Coi – just as the DNC and HFA did.
        This is in FEC records.

        Perkins Coi paid Fusion GPS – just as DNC and HFA did
        Fusion GPS paid Steele.

        As to the particulars – if I recall Steel only got a couple of under thousand.
        While Fusion got a more than a million and Perkins Coi got 7 or 8 million.

        All this went through Mark Elias – the DNC money, the HFA money and the OFA money.

        Your remarks about Perkins Coi are correct – but they also apply to the money from the DNC and from HFA.

        What is DISTINCT – is that the HFA and OFA money ALL came through Mark Elias,
        and all the money to Fusion GPS went through Mark Elias.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 7:59 pm

        While I find the OFA money interesting – just as HFA paying for the Steele Dossier is not a crime – neither is OFA paying for the Steele Dossier.

        I would note that Perkins Coi is a LAW FIRM and Elias is a LAWYER/Lobbiest.

        Though on a grander scale – there is nothing here different from Cohen.
        Yeu you are absolutely fascinated by the money passing through Cohen.

        How is using Cohen to pay for things that Trump wants different from using Mark Elias and perkins Coi to pay for things Obama, or Clinton or the DNC wans done ?

        You opperate on the assumption that if it involves Trump and Money no matter how remotely it is illegal but if it involves any Democrat it is just the norm.

        I am sure far more money passed through Perkins Coi from Democratic sources than passed through Cohen.

        If paying for an NDA from Daniels is sufficient to raid Cohen – why is paying for the Steele Dossier not sufficient to raid Perkins Coi ?

        The answer is that there is not anything wrong with either.

        The flow of money might be interesting, but it is not a crime.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:01 pm

        Money CONSTANTLY goes from Trump to Cohen

        Same difference.

        You are the one who presumes that anywhere there is money and politics there is a crime.

        Or is that only true if it involves Trump ?

        And that is the point – that is my point, that is really the federalist point.

        When you make thes overly broad legal arguments – you make EVERYONE a criminal.

        Are you prepared to Jail obama to get Cohen ?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 1:29 pm

      With respect to the NYT article and its claims.

      While the press has an absymally bad record of accuracy on all of this.
      Last I heard this particular meeting occurred in the Seychelles, not Trump tower.

      Regardless, I am going to assume – which is highly unlikely, that the story is actually true.

      So your argument is that people MIGHT have been persuaded by Trump’s efforts on Facebook.
      So ?

      Clinton spent almost double what Trump did. Are you saying she spent nothing on Facebook ?

      If so – isn’t that just a political error on her part ?

      All you have is a meeting between a bunch of people you do not like to think about ways to aide the candidate they would like to see win.
      What is wrong with that ?
      Do you think Hillary did not have myriads of such meetings ?

      Clinton purportedly got $20M for her campaign through Downer – the AU diplomat.

      I would further note that aparently Trump was engaged in bringing peace to the mideast – bringing together arabs and jews BEFORE the election.

      BTW Zamel is an Austrilian – like Downer and his company is a US company headquartered in DC.

      Nader BTW is a US Citizen and Mideast policy expert.

      In fact all the people at your meeting share one thing in common – they are all tied to anti-terrorist efforts.

      So why are you presuming this was an election meeting about social media ?

      Not that I care.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 1:45 pm

      One of the problems with all of this election collusion narrative,

      Is that it presumes that something occurred that was so massive it altered the out come of the election, and concurrently so secret that no one knew about it, and left so little evidence that it has taken two whole years to find.

      You are absolutely correct – Hillary lost the election because she failed to PERSUADE voters, and Trump won because he succeeded.

      Both candidates had huge social media efforts.
      Both candidates put massive resources to winning.

      Though AGAIN Clinton had nearly twice those of Trump.

      Anyway – what is it that Trump GOT from this meeting that altered the outcome of the election ?

      Did Trump conspire to WIN the election – I would be shocked if I found he did not.
      Do you think Clinton did not conspire to WIN ?

      You keep bandying about terms like russia linked or influence of collusion or conspire.
      as if the mere use of those words creates an actionalble crime.

      What you are really saying is that Trump was not allowed to win.
      That no republican is allowed to win.

      One of the things I pointed out on this blog a long time ago is that the Russia Collusion narrative is going to fail – because at the end, it is a claim that voters were PERSUADED in a way that you find unacceptable.

      You can toss about collusion and russian linked, and you can cause people to be suspicious for a while.
      But because ultimately this is about PERSUASION, you will never produce the “smoking gun”.

      There is not going to ba a Trump voter who hears your story and says But for the Russians on Social media – or Wikistra or whatever, I would have voted for Clinton.

      The strongest case you were ever going to get was that Trump has something to do with the DNC hack. Even that is weak.

      Your own argument for spying on Trump is an argument supporting the DNC hack.

      Clinton and the DNC WERE actively engaged in improperly disadvantging Sanders.

      Where was the FBI ? Why wasn’t CIA/FBI/DOJ digging into the DNC manipulation of the convention ?

      There was a credible allegation there from near the begining of 2016.

      The point I am trying to make is that you do not get to have government run an operation against anyone – much less a political campaign merely because you think they are doing something you do not like.

      I am not happy with what was going on at DNC. I am sure – using your expansive interpretation of the law, I could call it a crime – Clinton COLLUDED with the DNC to harm Sanders.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 3:29 pm

        The amount of Russian social media meddling WAS MASSIVE.
        Aren’t you following the news reports over that last few months from Google and Twitter?

        All the meddling required to help tip the win to Trump was a tiny percentage shift of the overall vote in 5 States. The media manipulation by Russia (and possibly other foreign actors) may actually be a lot more significient. How else do you explan the HUGE shift in the polls away from Clinton in so short a time frame. In all of those swing states the polls showed Clinton In the lead in the last two weeks of the election.

        The TRUTH is we don’t yet know how successful the Russian interfearace was in the election. Or if yet undiscovered other interfearance was at work. Just as we don’t yet know how serious the new Russian ultrasonic weaponry will be as a threat to our safety.

        If you weren’t a blind partisan with your head firmly ensconced up your butt you’d be concerned about the possibilities that future elections can be manipulated by them, and DEMANDING bipartisan support for investigations into it.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:11 pm

        “The amount of Russian social media meddling WAS MASSIVE.”

        First – I do not actually care.

        Second – no it was not. We already have the records.

        Did you see any of these Pro-Trump adds ?

        I didn’t. Do you know anyone who did ?

        I so far far more Clinton adds than Trump adds – which /makes sense – Clinton spent far more money than Trump.

        And I am in a state Trump won that he was not supposed to.

        We already have the people from Twitter on video noting that they see russian bots everywhere.
        Go look at the video of Twitter engineers talking about how they identify and flag russian bots, and after that tell me that you beleive anything that engieers from Silicon Valley say about politics.

        You have a HUGE problem.

        You are trying to argue that there was an elephant so large that it altered the outcome of the election.

        Though Trump’s victory in those 4 swing states was only by about 70.000 votes The polls had him 2 points down in the closest state and 6 points down in the worst.

        There is an editorial elsewhere warning republicans that though it is possible using the Trump model they could win elections through 2036, that it is unlikely they will get a popular vote victory in the presidential race following that model.

        Trump flipped something like 5M voters in the rust belt.
        But Clinton flipped about the same number in CA, AZ, TX and GA.
        She was going to win CA no matter what, and she was going to lose GA and TX no matter what.

      • Jay permalink
        May 20, 2018 9:42 pm

        “First – I do not actually care.”

        The indifference of a traitor to the nation.
        Dave, GFY.
        DD is right about you.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 10:54 pm

        What has been coming out this past week has all kinds of downstream consequences.

        Just about everyone’s testimony and public comments will have to be re-examined.

        NYT and WaPo are reporting Halper as an FBI operative. But his connections are to Brennan and the CIA, and FBI has not authority to run spies in the UK.

        Regardless, it is likely that all that testimony is going to be scrutinized – because some of these people knew about Halper and and almost certainly lied to the congress about it.

        You have been hoping that Manafort and Flynn and … would flip on Trump.

        Now you have half the upper level of the Obama administration who is going to be seeking to cover their own asses.

        We also know from Strzok’s texts that the WH was briefed 3 times a week on the Trump/Russia investigation starting in July 2016 – again before the FBI had the Steele Dossier – so we have the WH in this now too.

        We already have AG Lynch, Comey and McCabe in a circular firing squad,
        Clapper and Rogers have thrown Brennan under the bus.

        One of the things you have not grasped from the begining – is that it is very hard to roll someone on another person that has done nothing wrong.
        You can make things up to try to save your own skin – but that is a losers game as made up stories do not hold up.

        Put more simply no one is going to roll on Trump unless they actually know something.

        You have assumed from the start that they know something – because it has never crossed your mind that there is nothing to this.

        At the same time – there is going to be no problem for Comey, McCabe, Yates, Powers, Rice, Brennan. Clapper, Rogers and the score of so of others to start rolling on each other.

        The leaks we are getting now are the start of that.
        Just like McCabe leaked a false story to make himself look good, the rest of these are all trying to cover their ass.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:32 pm

        There are only a few ways to win an election – and that is your fundimental problem.

        The first is to actually alter the voting records – find that any you have an issue.
        I am absolutely positively supportive of efforts to secure our voting better.
        The best way is to get rid of computer voting terminals. They are not and really can not be made transparent enough. It does not matter how you count the ballots – so long as the ballots themselves are presserved so that others can count them later. So long as the ability to verify the count exists, the incentive to “hack” the counting does not.

        The second is to get people who are not allowed to vote to vote.
        Voter ID is one means to prevent that. 70-80% of the country supports that – including super majorities of all racial and ethnic minorities. Only the far left does not.

        The next way is to persuade people NOT to vote. This is the primary purpose of negative campaign adds – to reduce the votes of your opponent. None of us like it. But it is still resuasion and it is legal.

        The final way is to persuade people to vote for your candidate. Again – the means is persuasion.
        All forms of persuasion either are or should be legal. And even if they are not – you are not going to subsequently persuade Trump voters that they were improperly persuaded by Russians or Saudis or .

        Democrats are NOT arguing either of the first to. They are argument that Trump “cheated” by getting help with the last two – mostly #4.

        This is not an argument that is ever going to fly. Because you do not have the right to tall ANOTHER Voter – now wait a minute – you are being persuaded by Russian Bots.
        Because it is just persuasion.

        The last fact is that of the last two approaches – both have rapidly diminishing returns.

        If elections were determined by money – Clinton would be president – she nearly doubled Trump.

        Even if Trump got 100M or assistance EACH from the Saudi’s the UAE and Russia – and lets throw Qatar in for good measure – if Money = votes, Clinton would still have won.

        Trump did not win by spending more money.
        As important as the social media effort was – that is not why he won either.

        He won because his message resonated with more voters than Clintons.
        Because more voters were affraid of 4 more years.
        Because Clinton was a poor choice – even worse than Trump.
        Because Trump voters were tired of being told they are hateful, hating haters.

        If you actually find a real crime – great, impeach Trump, I do not care much.
        But I doubt you will.
        Further you are not going to find something that Trump did that was not something Clinton did too.
        And you are not going to find something that changed the outcome.

        In Mid October, Trump made some claims about a “rigged election”.
        Those claims were mostly targeted at the second reason above – and it is near certain that Trump lost NH because of about 6000 non-residents of NH who voted in the NH election rather than in their home state. Most of these were likely college students.
        It is even more certain that Alloyette lost to Hassan for exactly that reason – as Alloyette only lost by 2000 votes and there are over 6000 votes in NH from people who turned out not to be NH residents.

        Regardless Obama responded that everyone knows it is not possible to “rig” a US election.
        Obama was wrong – however it is difficult and it can only be done using the first two approaches
        Obama’s claim that US elections are not rigged rests on the fact that the last two ways to get votes are 99.9% of elections.

        Your entire Trump/Russia argument rests on the claim that YOU get to tell someone that YOU think they were improperly persuaded.

        That is never going to fly.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:40 pm

        With respect to future elections:

        End the FEC – they serve absolutely no purpose.

        Beyond that amount necescary to get broad name recognition money does nto decide the outcome of elections. Trump absolutely proved that.

        Regulating political spending and contributions is an improper infringement on peoples rights.
        Further the actual regulation is corrupting.

        Let go of this nonsense that the US owns the internet, and that other nations and people are not going to express their oppinions on US elections.

        It is ludicrously stupid to pretend that anyone should have the power to silence the efforts of anyone else – even russians at persuasion.
        You can not succeed, you should not try.
        As I repeat over and over – are you going to jail John Oliver for having an oppinion and arguing it publicly ?

        Of course not.

        People you like and people you do not like are going to try (and fail) to influence elections.
        So long as they do so through persuasion – It is not a matter for the law. or government.

        No I am not concerned about the same things you are.

        Ultimately my goals have little to do with who is elected.

        I want government disempowered so that I need not worry who is elected.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:41 pm

        Still lobbing stupid grenades – AGAIN I did not vote for Trump.
        I probably will not in 2020.

        Not pertisan – your the one that claims to be a republican – not me.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:44 pm

        The only investigations I want right now are of Clinton, the FBI/DOJ/CIA and Obama administration.

        I am far more concerned about the abuse of power than meaningless claims that the election was stolen in a way that just means the other person did a better job of persuasion.

        I am always going to be more concerned about the misconduct of those in office than or private citizens – even ones running for office.

  19. dduck12 permalink
    May 20, 2018 5:59 pm

    “So the one you called the lying jester, turns out to be the speaker of Truth.”
    Funniest (probably unintentionally) comment this month.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 20, 2018 10:42 pm

      And yet True – here we are over a year after Trump’s wiretapped and spied on tweets and what do you know – Trump was wiretapped and spied on.

      So who was lying ?

  20. dhlii permalink
    May 20, 2018 11:29 pm

    There will be an IG investigation into the political spying regarding the Trump Campaign.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/rod-rosenstein-asks-doj-inspector-general-to-review-possible-trump-campaign-infiltration

  21. May 20, 2018 11:59 pm

    Dave/Jay, after probably 50+ comments about what Trump is guilty of and what he is not, do you all like the feeling of beating your heads against the wall. Neither of you are going to give an inch in your beliefs, no matter if you all post 1000 messages in a day.

    Is there someway we can get away from this subject until the reports are in and if and when Trump faces impeachment, then some comments can be made. We all know where we all stand and that is why I stopped commenting about Trump and Mueller for the most part. I wont change my mind about waiting and you know what I think of Mueller. So why continue the debate?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 12:57 pm

      Everything is NOT a question of beleifs and all beleifs are not equal.

      I do not expect that Jau will change his mind.

      Jay is going to beleive that anything that touches Trump is evil no matter what.
      He is going to beleive that the same speach of conduct by clinton or others is good – not matter what.

      I really do not overall care that much about Trump.

      I am offended by the recent story regarding the USPS. To this point Trump has tweeted inappropriate threats to retailiate, but he has not acted on them.

      Given the repeated misrepresentations of the Press I would like more confirmation that Trump has actually acted.
      The actions he is claimed to have taken fall into a gray area – USPS is not allowed by law to provide services below cost. Trump appears to have cover in that.

      I have constantly noted that guesses as to peoples motives DO NOT transform a legal act into a crime.

      They do however sometimes make a legal act offensive.
      But that should require a high degree of certainty in assessing motives.
      I think it is no secret that Trump and Bezo’s loath each other.

      I care a great deal about lawlessness.

      We are all patiently awaiting the IG’s report on the Clinton email investigation.
      I am reluctant to bet on rumours and leaks, but the claim is that it is scathing.
      IT should be. Not merely Clinton but myriads of her associates acted with deliberate criminal recklessness. When we whitewash that conduct we can expect to see it repeated.
      I had a TSC for many years. Proper handling of classified material was driiled into us in yearly briefings.

      From both the Clinton email investigation and the Trump investigation – we are learning that classified information system is being badly mis-used that information is over classifed or classified to hide embarrassing information rather than to protect national security.

      That needs to be addressed. But it will be an ongoing temptation, and a hard one to overcome.
      Government actors will ALWAYS over react in favor of security – to our real detriment.
      The same is true of the FDA and even of local building code enforcement.
      That will always be a never ending battle.
      The best solution is to get government out of as much as possible.

      The stonewalling of congressional oversight is more acts of government malfeasance. Nor is this unique to the moment. To some extent it is true in every administration. But it was rampant during Obama and has continued with DOJ/FBI under Trump despite the President and AG demanding cooperation.

      The Clinton Foundation Investigation was ALWAYS Stronger than the Trump Russia collusion claims – it even has hundreds of millions of dollars from Russians in it.
      But the issue is NOT the Clinton Foundation, or the monies paid to it.
      It is the use of the Clinton foundation as a means of getting expedited service from the State department.

      The lying of ranking government officers – whether in this or the past administration – sometimes under oath is huge.

      The pre-Mueller conduct of the Trump/Russia investigation is appalling.

      I would ask Jay if this is acceptable – what is not ?
      I can not find in Jay or other anti-trump zealots any standards, any moral foundations.
      “If it is Trump it is wrong. Trump must be destroyed by any means necescary. ”
      Is not a principle any decent person should hold.

      • May 21, 2018 2:18 pm

        Dave, two comments:
        One, even with all your comments that many I agree with concerning the treatment of Trump, has your repeated comments made a difference in Jay’s thinking or has his hatred kept him from accepting anything you have posted. As my mom would say when alive, “are you just pissing in the wind”?

        Two “The actions he is claimed to have taken fall into a gray area – USPS is not allowed by law to provide services below cost. Trump appears to have cover in that.”
        One has to be careful when analyzing postal service results. They identify their revenues by service category, much like the hospitals identify their revenues by service line. Hospitals also identify service line costs and profit by service line. In 2014, the postal service cost were $74B. In 2017 their costs were $72B. In 2014, they generated$13.7B in package revenues. In 2017 they generated $19.4B in package revenues. So for $2B less, they generated about $6B more in revenues just for packages. That increase coincides with the rapid increase in Amazon sales.

        Doing a search on USPS and Amazon in different ways only results in pages of crap about Trump complaining about Amazon, so I gave up. But there needs to be a much closer look at the numbers because an entity that increases revenues by $6B IN ONE SERVICE LINE over a period where they reduce total cost of $2B and all other revenues stay about constant would indicate to me that the increased revenues would be profitable.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:00 pm

        Trying to effectively analyse any highly regualted business is incredibly difficult – the regulatory effects dwarf everything.

        Trying to analyze a goivernment owned business is worse.

        As I said – just send USPS out into the compettitive world absent the protection and regulation of government.

        I beleive that on the whole Amazon’s business is very good for USPS.

        I also think it is arguable that the USPS loses money on Amazon’s business.

        Both can and likely are true.

        I am more interested in the Trump aspect.

        Presuming the stories are true – and they seem to have died quickly so I am starting to get skeptical, Trump overstepped.

        Unlike Jay I do not have a black and white relationship to Trump.

        If he did this he was WRONG.

        He appears to have sufficient ambiguity that he was not impeachably wrong – in my view, but still wrong.

      • May 21, 2018 4:41 pm

        If you were in power and could privatize USPS, would you give the new company a clean slate to compete with. UPS ,FedEx and others, or would you saddle them with the $60B retirement costs from years past and the federal workers salary contracts and benefit package.

        Makes a huge difference in competitive environment.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:56 pm

        I would sell the USPS.

        Whether I sold them with or without pension obligations is not a question of principle.
        There is not a “right” answer.

        I would try to sell them with Pension obligations, but likely would have to sell them without to get a good price.

        There is already a government insurance program that takes over in the event of pension defaults or similiar situations.

      • May 21, 2018 10:33 pm

        “I would try to sell them with Pension obligations, but likely would have to sell them without to get a good price.

        There is already a government insurance program that takes over in the event of pension defaults or similiar situations.”

        Good answer. Most likely few takers if they came with the liability because it will be almost impossible to make them profitable AND competitive with that governmental boondoggle around its neck. They might be able to live with the current salary contracts and benefits by reducing cost other places, but $60B in just pension liability and unknown health benefit cost (my unknown) makes profitability difficult regardless of the business model.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 22, 2018 12:53 am

        The “principled” part of the answer is Get USPS out of govenrment – and BTW do NOT set them up as a private protected monopoly.

        The other issues such as pensions are a detail. The only principle involved is that we should keep the promises that we make to each other.

        But that one is going down the tubes no matter what.

        We are ultimatley going to have to try to figure out how to keep the promises our government has made – as best as possible, without bankrupting the country and saddling our children with impossible debt.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:58 pm

        The primary effect would be on the price.

        I would further note that not only is it likely that government would have to hold onto past pension obligations, unions would likely demand it.

        If a private company bought USPS with pensions with some legal effort they coudl get out from under them.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:08 pm

      You will find a theme to most of my posts.

      The conduct of those with power – i.e. the ability to use the force of government is more serious and demands much higher scrutiny than all other conduct.

      Demonstrate that Trump actually worked with foreign governments to persuade voters, and I probably would impeach Trump. That is conduct I do not like.
      But it is not conduct that should be illegal. I would never support a prosecution.
      Not even after impeachment.

      I am prepared to jail those you can prove were involved in hacking the DNC.
      Thus far that is no one. You can not even tie the russians to it to a standard of more likely than not.

      With respect to all this assorted financial garbage. I would prefer a greater separation between President Trump and CEO Trump. But the financial actions I see are no more or less troublining that everything involving the Clinton Foundation.

      Find evidence that those doing business with Trump are getting special treatment – and you have my ear.
      The evidence in the CF cases is abundantly clear – employees of the CF were also on Clinton’s staff at state. There is an extensive record of CF asking for favors for donors, and State granting them.

      All such claims regarding Trump involve less evidence and are more indirect.

      But past Trump we get into the conduct of DOJ/FBI during the obama administration and subsequently. And that I find criminal.

      The CIA/FBI/DOJ are far more dangerous than any political canditate.
      They are government, they have actual power, the power of a political candidate is a hope in the future.

      The rule of law requires that the government itself follow the law.

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 9:55 pm

        “You will find a theme to most of my posts.”

        That theme is your SUBJECTIVE opinions are objectively factual.
        But they’re not.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 11:34 pm

        Nope, it is called reality. It is also the entirety of western history.

        And again – subjective or not – oppinion or not, everything is not equal.

        We have tried the other ways – they do not work.

        Regardless, if you think that you get to use force aka government absent actual force or the threat of force – try it. That is what broaught about the American revolution.

        That is also what brought about Trump.

        You keep trying to play this stupid game.

        The system we have is not perfect – it has been poluted far too much by the idiocy you are selling.

        By the nonsense that all oppinions are equal by the garbage that the absence of absolutes means the absence of error.

        But that pollution is not the system as a whole, it is just drek along the edges that we will work to get rid of.

        You do not have the right to impose your will on others by force – that is the obverse of the role of government is to punish the initiation of force.

        They are mirrors. When you use force against another without justification – you have justified their use of force against you.

        You can pretend otherwise all you want, but it is the core to civilization.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:18 pm

      Just to be clear.

      I have FAR more problems with the pre-mueller conduct of the investigation.
      That is just entirely lawless.

      The most majro flaw with the Mueller investigation – has nothing to do with Mueller, it has to do with his appointment, his scope and his oversight, and that problem is with Rosenstein not Mueller.

      There are some issuses specific to Mueller – he was painted as this white knight and he has a more checkered past,

      With respect to the actual Mueller investigation the problems are much smaller.
      He is NOT mostly repeating the errors of the prior investigation.

      I am disturbed by the breadth of his indictments – they are not supportable by any facts we know, and they often involve ridiculously expansive reads of the law.
      I am disturbed by the pre-dawn guns drawn raid of Manafort – who was producing what Mueller requested at the time.

      I am disturbed by the highly partisan nature of the attorney’s appointed.
      While I want pit bulls in an investigation, I do not want people with an axe to grind or who will stretch the law.

      Here is an op ed by Michael B. Mukasey – one of the most honorable AG’s we have had in a long time.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/20/end-robert-mueller-investigation-michael-mukasey-editorials-debates/35157745/

    • Jay permalink
      May 21, 2018 9:57 pm

      Trump sucks.
      Silence to that is complicity to destructiveness.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 11:36 pm

        “Trump sucks.”
        True
        “Silence to that is complicity to destructiveness.”
        False
        Also several fallacies,
        False dilemma,
        Binary fallacy.

        Aslo factual error – Trump as presidents go has not been particularly destructive.

  22. dhlii permalink
    May 21, 2018 12:36 am

    Jay, dduck;

    How long ago was it that you and the left and the MSM were telling us that Obama did not spy on the Trump campaign.

    Now spying is OK ?

  23. dhlii permalink
    May 21, 2018 3:10 am

    Except that the author misses that The Clintons have far more conflicts than Trump, otherwise this is good.

    But this is typical of the left – when we do it , it is OK when anyone else does it, it is wrong.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-hillary-clinton-normalized-trump-2018-5

  24. Jay permalink
    May 21, 2018 9:22 am

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:26 pm

      Halper is not an “informant” he is not even a spy, he is an operative.

      Regardless the law regarding the use of informants, operatives, and spies in counter intelligence operations against US persons imposes the same requirements as for a FISA Warrant – probable cause that a crime has been committed.

      I am sure that informants are used regularly in counter-intelligence – but NOT against US persons.
      Follow the law.
      The 4th amendment does NOT have a counter-intelligence exception.
      And even a preliminary investigation requires a crime.

      I do not care about claims one way or the other about motive.
      Have I not made that crystal clear myriads of times, Nor should you.

      I am first and foremost interested in “the rule of law”, and then the actual law.
      “motive” is useful if it can be demonstrated, but good motive does not make bad conduct good, and bad motive does not make good conduct bad.

      I have some interest in overt bias – Strzok and page have demonstrated that.
      But it is reason to preclude someone from involvement.
      Even the appearance of bias is sufficient in some instances.

      The standard is DELIBERATELY “the appears” – where that applies the standard is not what ARE a persons motives, but is there even the appearance of bias.

      https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:27 pm

        “Regardless the law regarding the use of informants, operatives, and spies in counter intelligence operations against US persons imposes the same requirements as for a FISA Warrant – probable cause that a crime has been committed.”

        Wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:37 pm

        Do I have to find you the actual law ?

        I would suggest checking the quotes I provided from the ACLU web site. Those specifically cite the laws that apply. and specifically stated that the government can not spy on a US person without probable cause.

        Regardless the 4th amendment has applied to spying.

  25. Jay permalink
    May 21, 2018 9:47 am

    Conservative Joe Walsh @WalshFreedom is talking about you too Dave

    “. It’s really wrong that Russia screwed with our election, and it’s really, really wrong that Trump doesn’t give a damn about that.”

    You don’t give a damn about it either.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:35 pm

      I do not care very much at all about efforts to persuade people to vote for or against on candidate or another.

      I do not care if the persuasion is from the left or the right, from the NRA or labor, from the rich or community groups, foreign or domestic.

      I do not care if someone spends a trillion dollars trying to persuade people.

      Attempting to persuade someone should NEVER be illegal.

      Quite often bad people try to persuade people.
      It is still persuasion.

      We are each responsible for what we do.
      We are responsible for our vote.

      No one has yet demonstrated that anyone used force to alter someones vote.

      Your whole russian influence claim ends badly.

      If you accept this stupid claim that some forms of persuasion should be illegal.
      How do you make that work ?

      Are you going to bar russians from the internet during US elections ?

      Are you going to war with Russia ?

      And what of americans expressing their views of foreign elections ?
      Must we all keep our mouths shut about brexit or Venezeula ?

      If we can bar Russians – why not the NRA or the AFL-CIO ?

      Who is going to be allowed to persuade and who is not ?

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:30 pm

        “Attempting to persuade someone should NEVER be illegal.”

        Wrong!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:44 pm

        Because you say so ?

        Please identify a single instance in which is it obviously criminal to do nothing more than attempt to persuade a person to vote for a specific candidate ?

        Is it illegal for communists to attempt to persuade people to vote for a candidate ?
        Is it illegal for minorities, for women, for gays, for union members for rich people, for john Oliver, for the british, for the british government, for russians, for the russian government ?

        And why so and how are you going to enforce that ?

        I would like to further ask you about purported Trump/Russia collusion.

        What collusion with Russian can you establish that was not done far more egregiously by the Clintons.

        Page Talked at a symposium in Russia and got a small speaking fee.
        Bill Clinton got 500K for a short speach in Russia.

        The Clinton foundation received a couple of HUNDRED Million from Russians – out of the goodness of their hearts.

        I guess Trump should argue that about all the money you think he has somehow received from Russia – it was out of the goodness of their hearts.

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 7:25 pm

        1-the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

        2-It’s a federal crime to conspire with anyone, including a foreign government, under US Fraud Laws (18 U.S. Code § 1346) to ‘deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.’ That would include trying to fix a fraudulent election.

        3-Collusion in a federal election with a foreign entity could fall under anti-coercion federal election law:

        4-And of course The Federal Election Campaign Act, which states in unambiguous terms that “any contribution by a foreign national to the campaign of an American candidate for any election, state or national, is illegal. Likewise, anyone who receives, solicits, or accepts these contributions also violates the statute. “

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 8:28 pm

        1) The many parts of McCain Feingold have been found unconstitutional.
        No court has EVER found any government restrictions on political speach legitimate.
        Political persuasion is a subset of political speach – constitutionally protected.

        2). No that is NOT what that means.

        You continue to try this the law is infinitely broad garbage.

        Further by you calim you are literally saying that NO ONE can attempt to persuade anyone else
        The law you cite is note restricted to foreign govenrments.

        Your interpretation would mean that if Joe and I both agree to post messages on facebook supporting Clinton – that we are both criminals – because we have – according to you fraudulently conspired to “fix an election”

        The term “honest services” essentially means what you are entitled to from a contract.
        The law you cite is about interfering with one parties efforts to provide the services they have contracted to.

        Voting and elections are not a natural right. Voting is not even inherently a constitutional right.
        Presidents as an example are elected by the electoral college which is only tied to voing by state laws.

        3). There is no crime of collusion anywhere in the US Code.
        Conspiracy is the actual crime you are looking for.
        A conspiracy requires an underlying crime.
        Any law that tried to criminalise conspiracy or collusion without an underlying crime would be an unconstitutional violation of your right to free association.

        Coercion is the use of threat of the use of force. Persuasion is most emphatically NOT coercion.
        As of yet I have heard no one claim they were forced to vote for Trump. I have heard no one say they were coerced to vote for Trump.

        I have repeated endlessly the requirement that law – particularly criminal law be about the use or threat of force. That is the sole legitimate justification for government, that is the social contract.

        While we have far to many laws – including criminal laws that are removed from the use or threat of the use of force. The overwhelming majority of criminal laws are about the use of force or the threat of the use of force. Those that are not are highly suspect.

        4). So when Obama said on an open mike that he would be more flexible after the election – which can only be understood as a request for russia to accomidate him during the election cycle – he was colluding with Russia by your definition.

        So when Clinton received OPO research from Steele she was colluding with a foreign government ? So when Clinton received information from Downer – she was colluding with a foreign government ? So when Clinton received political donations through Downer – she was colluding with a foreigner or a foreign government ? So whe Clinton received political assistance from the Ukrainian embassy in DC – she was colluding with a foreign government ?
        So when Bill Clinton received 500K from Russian Oligarks during the election – that was collusion with Russians ?

        I can go on for ever. The fact is the law you cite is stupid and improper.
        But regardless of that it is not nearly as broad as you are trying to make it.

        To ensnare Trump for foreign political contributions your interpretation would have to be so broad as to catch Clinton 1000 times over.

        What about the FBI working with MI-6 to investigate Trump during an election – wouldn’t that be collusion of the type you are claiming is illegal ?

        BTW – if you are going to cite statutes – actually state them – the actual words matter, not what someone says they say.

        You bandy words like influence, collusion, interferance – broad words without clear meaning.
        And pretend that these are the words of our laws.

        There are forms of influence that are crimes,. most are not.
        There are forms of collusion that are crimes, most are not.
        There are forms of interference that are crimes, most are not.

        Even conspiracy which has a more precise meaning, is not a crime absent an act in furtherance of the conspiracy AND an underlying crime.

        You can not illegally conspire to do something legal.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:37 pm

      I give a damn about free speach – and persuasion is just a form of free speach.

      Free speach is an actual right – both natural and constitutional.

      Voting is not an actual right.
      Nor is it infringed by free speech.

  26. May 21, 2018 11:26 am

    This is not a Trump issue, although it involves Trump.

    There have been comments made about FBI spying on the Trump campaign, starting way back when he said his campaign was wiretapped. He has demanded in tweets that the DOJ open an investigation and so far nothing happening.

    So the question is…..Does the president (any president) have the authority to direct the DOJ to open investigations when sufficient (key requirement) evidence is present to warrant that investigation.

    Seems to me that there is as much evidence of campaign tampering as their was campaign influence that led to Mueller, but The Weasel is ignoring calls for investigations of domestic spying.

    Please answer based on presidential authority and not support or hatred for Trump!

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:42 pm

      Rosenstein announced that the IG will be investigating the initial investigation of the Trump campaign.

      As to the question you asked.

      The president or AG, or any US Attorney has the power to open an investigation into anything at all.

      There is no evidentiary requirement.

      But the conduct of that investigation is determined by the available evidence.

      Spying, wiretap[ing, surveilling, searching. and an assortment of other investigative acts have evidentiary standards that must be met before they can be used.

      • May 21, 2018 2:23 pm

        If you are correct, and I am in agreement you are, then I do not understand why the hell the Weasel has not directed his AG staff to begin looking into this campaign stuff unless this is the conservative presses form of fake news.

        And I would not put it past them to be as bad as the left with their fake news.

        But my thought of Sessions he needs to be fired by tweet and sent packing back to Alabama!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:08 pm

        The Sessions Recusal has created a mess.

        Rosnestein improperly appointed Mueller, failed to properly constrain him and is providing incredibily poor oversight.

        The result is that Mueller is a “loose cannon” outside of executive, or congressional control, and that is a very bad thing.

        There is a Neil Kaytal interview somewhere – he participated in the administrative review of the IC law that lead to allowing it to sunset and to creating the new SC law.

        One of the points he made was that Starr had inadequate oversight, supervision and constraint.

        What we have now is worse – Starr was atleast answerable to congress.

        Regardless, I do not think that the executive branch can and should investigate the president.

        I also do not think the president can nor should be prosecuted for anything that occured before he was in office.

        I spoke out on specifically that when SCOTUS allowed the Jones case to go forward – I was sympathetic but SCOTUS was wrong. I hated and still do Bill Clinton,
        But that does not make what was going on proper.

        The way to deal with a rogue president is impeachment.
        The oversight of the executive is the role of congress – not the DOJ.

        The SC law was intended to be weaker than the IC law, it is proving to be much worse.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:10 pm

        Trump’s reticence to make demands regarding any of these investigations is driven by the fact that he is essentially a target – atleast politically.

        So long as so many on the left continue to argue that doing his job is obstruction, he can not do his job without risk of giving Mueller more room to dig in.

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 10:03 pm

        Blah fucking blah.

        Trump IS using his office to obstruct the investigation into Trump.
        Are you too dense not to see that?

        He is a cancer on the body politic.
        He needs to be incised or the cancer will destroy the government.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 11:51 pm

        Of course I do NOT see that.

        I see an investigation that was criminal and corrupt from the start.
        I see an subsequent investigation that is both unconstitutional and illegal.

        The only thing stoping Trump from shutting it down entirely is the possible political backlash – because there would be NO constitutional backlash, it is fully inside his powers.

        I see idiots who seem to think that the DOJ/FBI can investigate anyone for anything and that even questioning that is criminal.

        Can you say “police state” ?
        Can you say “Idiot” ?

        Please tell me when EVER the DOJ/FBI have spied on a political candidate ?

        This has never happened before – that alone should give you a clue how WRONG it is.

        It is irrelevant whether you or I like Trump.

        If you want an investigation – do it constitutionally. Do it legally.
        That would be through congress. They are the only body with the constitutional authority to investigate the president.

        If the left wants Mueller to continue – change the law to bring him under Congress. Then let congress determine his scope.

        Right now his investigation is lawless.

        As to your “cancer” references – Trump is not even close to the most offensive president we have ever had.

        I would greatly prefer a president with better character.
        But the electorate spoke otherwise.
        Between elections the constitution, and congress are the constraints on the president.

        I do not think I can vote for someone whose with bad character.
        But we have had lots of presidents with bad character before.
        And contrary to how I beleive the world should be some of those with bad character have actually been good presidents – Bill Clinton comes immediately to mind.

        Whatever is wrong with Trump – is wrong with Bill on steriods.
        But whether I like it or not – and I really don’t, he was actually a good president – not perfect, there is alot that he failed at. But overall pretty good.
        Far better than Obama who unless you manage to tie him personally to this mess, clearly has the best character of any president in a long time.
        Unfortunatly he was still a poor president.

        Trump appears to be very similar to Clinton – bad character, good president.
        Not perfect, plenty to disagree with.
        But not the end of the world, and not as bad for the country as Obama.

        Like I said before – I really want to beleieve that good character and good presidents are traits that go hand in hand. But history tells me that is not true.

        Trump is unfortunately NOT going to destroy the government – though it is doing a pretty good job of destroying itself

      • Jay permalink
        May 21, 2018 10:20 pm

        Could be he hasn’t been fired because he has info that would sodomize Trump’s asshole and Trump knows it.

        trump is a dishonorable shady creep who has collaborated with gangsters, mobs, crooks, thieves his entire business career. Don’t you think an AG would have access to that info?
        Wouldn’t you think he’s had Trump’s hidden taxes evaluated?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 22, 2018 12:37 am

        “Could be he hasn’t been fired because he has info that would sodomize Trump’s asshole and Trump knows it.”

        You really are an idiot.
        Trump can fire Sessions any time he wants.
        And that will not have huge political fallout.
        But it is unlikely that he can get someone better confirmed without a horrible political fight.
        Further it will have a huge cost in time in the Senate.

        “trump is a dishonorable shady creep who has collaborated with gangsters, mobs, crooks, thieves his entire business career. Don’t you think an AG would have access to that info?
        Wouldn’t you think he’s had Trump’s hidden taxes evaluated?”

        No the AG does not have the “dirt” on Trump – it is illegal for the IRS to share tax returns – even with DOJ – well except in the Obama administration where no one seems to know how that happened.

        You really have this entirely warped view of the world.
        If you think Sessions has access tot he information needed to blackmail Trump – then why not Rosenstein ? Why not Comey, McCabe/ Mueller ?

        Why not Lynch during 2016 ?

        Why couldn’t Lynch call up DT and say – we got all your dirty laundry – drop out or through the election ?

        Do you ever think the things you say through before writing them ?

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 1:50 pm

      I think Mueller was a poor choice of SC.
      I think that he has used an overly expansive interpretation of the law,
      and I think that he has been overly agressive in prosecuting where the law and the facts are not there.
      I think he has been overly agressive in techniques.

      And I think he should be honest and report that he has found nothing and close this.

      I have questions about his character, but I would not call him a weasel.

      Mueller did not appoint himself, he did not determine the scope of his investigation.

      I do not think there is a basis for an SC to have been appointed – but that is not Mueller’s fault – that is Rosensteins.

      I think there is a basis for appointing an SC to investigate the misconduct of the intiial investigation.

      I think that Rosensteins, game playing using the IG is wrong as a matter of law.
      That the DOJ/FBI can not investigate themselves.

      But I am not that concerned about it. Thus far Horrowitz – an Obama appointee has proven thorough. Further he has been provided with US ADA Hunt out of Salt Lake City to permitt Grand Jury and Subpeona’s and the investigative and prosecutorial powers that reach beyond an IG
      Thus far they appear to be behaving lawfully.
      We get very little in the way of leaks, and that is mostly coming from the rest of DOJ and from targets – which must review preliminary versions of Horowitz’s reports atleast a month in advance.

    • Jay permalink
      May 21, 2018 3:08 pm

      What youre asking is does a President have the right to interfere in an investigation where he himself is being investigated. Conservative Republican Joe Walsh coincidentally just said that on his Twitter feed:

      “So, here’s the deal: When you cut thru all the bullshit, here’s what Trump is doing: He’s demanding we investigate the people who are investigating him.

      I wish he cared as much about America as he cares about himself, and had demanded an investigation into what Russia did to us.”

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:17 pm

        “What youre asking is does a President have the right to interfere in an investigation ”

        I am not asking – and aparently Hamilton already answered it in Federalist 69.

        A president may excercise any of the powers of the executive branch – within the constraints of the constitution and constitutional laws.

        The only body that can investigate a president is CONGRESS.

        If the president has engaged in unlawful conduct – impeach first, prosecute second.

        The right of the president to direct the DOJ – including “interfering” in investigations, is established atleast as far back as Jefferson.

        Yes, the president can “interfere” in an investigation of himself – so long as that investigation is conducted by the executive branch. Which is why the SC should be under congress not the executive.

        It is also improper to have unchecked authority and power – and that is what we currently have with the SC

        The president is checked by congress, the DOJ is checked by the resident.
        Mueller is checked ONLY by Rosenstein and Rosenstein with respect to the Trump investigation is answerable to no one – not Trump and clearly not congress.

        That is wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:20 pm

        “So, here’s the deal: When you cut thru all the bullshit, here’s what Trump is doing: He’s demanding we investigate the people who are investigating him.”

        While not technically correct – lets assume it is.

        So ? If those investigating him have violated the law, which is pretty apparent at the moment, then they are subject to investigation, arrest and prosecution.

        If you say anything else – then you are saying that a criinally lawless prosecutor needs only to open an investigation of his supperior to be protected from prosecution for his own misconduct.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:25 pm

        “I wish he cared as much about America as he cares about himself, and had demanded an investigation into what Russia did to us.”

        Muellers charge is to investigate that.

        That was a huge mistake – you can not combine a counter-intelligence and criminal investigation.
        That is essentially what FISA is all about and what all these unmaking rules and laws that you keep ignoring.

        Thus far with regard to Russia Mueller has found a tiny amount of money being spent on internet adds and posts

        That is a non-issue.

        While all of us care about “russian interferance” in our election – outside the left this – they dicked with the election using facebook adds meme is not flying. No one cares, even if we do care it is very little and we know there is nothing to be done about it.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 4:32 pm

        As others have noted – everything continues to revolve arround the same relatively small cast of characters.

        With a few additions – the Mueller investigation is the same people who were part of the Comey Investigation of Trump, who were the same people part of the Investigation of the Clinton emails.

        This goes one through to atleast the Scooter Libby investigation – yes, we see the same names in that.

        In fact nearly every botched high profile investigation for decades mostly has the same people.

        Comey had Rosenteins role in the Libby mess, Mueller had Comey’s and Fitzgerald had Mueller’s current role.

        When you say Trump is investigating his investigators – that is solely because despite having 35,000 FBI agents and enough lawyers to populate San Francisco, the same people are part of the Clinton, Comey/Trump and now Mueller/Trump investigations.

        Mueller was perfectly capable of starting fresh with new people, the fact that his own people are being ensnared in a separate investigation of criminal conduct is his problem.

      • May 21, 2018 4:35 pm

        I had to wait awhile before replying or I would have been as insulting as others when finding disagreement. So here is my more calm reply.

        I dont give a fuck who is the president. I dont give a shit what Trump is doing. I ASKED IF A (ANY) PRESIDENT COULD ASK FOR AN INVESTIGATION!!!!! I ASK TO LEAVE TRUMP OUT!!!!

        But your incomprehensible hatred for Trump drove your answer. I really wanted to know since Trump keeps bitching about spying but nothing gets attention from DOJ.

        I can make up my own mind about Trump. I dont need your incessant retweets of other peoples tweets.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:51 pm

        What has just surfaced has never happened before.

        The two closet past approximations are Watergate, and the 1980 Reagan Campaign Helper targeting of Clinton.

        Neither of those were done by FBI or CIA.

        I beleive we MIGHT have some instances in the distant past where the FBI targetted the Communist party – but I do not think specific to an election.

        Nixon wanted to use the FBI in this way. Hoover refused.
        The Plumbers came into being specifically because Nixon could not get the FBI to spy on political enemies.

        BTW there is a perfectly credible claim that someone in the DNC was running a prostitution ring from the Watergate offices. The Plumbers bugged the phone of a secretary – not of any of the key people.

        Nor is this the only time that the Obama administration has used the power of government against political enemies.

        The entire IRS targeting of conservatives is pretty close to the same thing – again no other administration has ever done that before. Again Nixon is the only president that has ever tried.

        Obama == Nixon.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 6:53 pm

        With respect to your question, I would further ask,

        Is a Prosecutor barred from demanding an investigation of a crime committed by people who are also investigating them ?

        If you say no – you are saying that the best way to avoid being prosecuted is to file charges against the person you committed the crime against

  27. Jay permalink
    May 21, 2018 3:12 pm

    This is provocative. Worth contemplating.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/why-do-mass-shootings-happen-best-explanation/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 21, 2018 3:46 pm

      David French is excellent on Free Speech.

      The article is interesting and some of his ideas sound plausible.

      But reality – facts are the test for ideas.

      Mass shootings, school shootings, violence of all kinds are down dramatically since their peak in the 80’s and 90’s.

      School shootings are 1/4 what they were at the time of columbine.

      I think the threshhold/riot thesis is valid – meaning we see that behavior in other events.

      But do not think the evidence backs up the thesis that it is a significant factor.

      Not just with school shootings but with all forms of violence – rates, locally, nationally, and globally are declining. With very few specific exceptions – recent increases in a few US cities, Increases in knife violence in the UK and particularly london.

      What is most different today is that the media are going farther and farther to cover violence.

      The recent shootings in TX and FL probably would have gotten a big mention on one days news 40 years ago. Today they dominate the news for a week.

      Today if a black person gets service they think is poor at Starbucks it is a national news story.
      Blacks had to be killed or beaten severly to garner national attention in the 60’s.

      The US paid almost zero attention to the mideast through to carter – except when the Arabs went to war against Israel. Today if someone is sentenced to a flogging in Saudi Arabia – it makes the news.

      I am not BTW carping at the news – they job is to attract eyeballs.

      It is out job to recognize that even though the news gets ever darker, the world continues to get ever safer.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 21, 2018 7:35 pm

        Two points. I AM NOT A LEFTY. A Rep for over 50 years. Get that straight.
        You are a pompous ass and waste space.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 21, 2018 8:28 pm

        If it quacks like a duck.

  28. dduck12 permalink
    May 21, 2018 9:30 pm

    Rather be a duck than an ass.

  29. Jay permalink
    May 21, 2018 10:12 pm

    I told you evidence would keep accumulating that Russian election interfearance had effect on the outcome. You have to be retarded to believe the Russians are spending so much time money resources for a strategy that doesn’t produce results:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-21/twitter-bots-helped-trump-and-brexit-win-economic-study-says

    • dhlii permalink
      May 22, 2018 12:32 am

      We are back making this stupid argument again.

      First – I greatly tire of the stupid bot argument.

      Have you ever personally received a twitter bot post or add ?

      I haven’t. I have received a few adds – not all that many. They have not changed my mind on anything. My twitter feed is entirely human.

      Regardless, we already know that the idiots at Twitter are clueless and label anything they do not like as a “bot”.

      And that is just the attack on the stupidity about “bots”.

      But lets go one step further – if someone wishes to attempt to persuade humans with messages posted by bots – and they manage to succeed – I am perfectly fine with that.

      No force involved.

      You are still pushing this idiocy that there is some forms of persuasion absent force that you are allowed to constrain – you are not. Get over it.

      I do not personally think that much of what goes on, on twitter or facebook is very effective.

      As Ron just pointed out – I am a real human posting well constructed and well thought out arguments, and I do not stand a chance in hell of persuading you.

      You think that “bots” or even live russians are more effective ?

      As to your last nonsense – no the Russians are NOT spending huge amounts of resources.
      Total Russian spending on elections – that is ALL elections – including their own, is just a bit more than the illegal campaign contributions that the FEC has found to HFA.

      Total Spending on the US election in 2016 was 7B – do you think Russia has that kind of money to spend ? The entire Russian Government spending – military and all is less than 1/3 of the US MILITARY Spending. The US election cost is almost 5% of the entire Russian Government budget, it is almost 1% of Russian GDP.

      It is about what americans spend on nuts last year – the entire government budget of Russia is about what americans spend on snack foods.

      You are bemoaning a paper tiger.

      Get over yourself.

      Why are the russian spending on something that does nto get results ?

      YOU have given Putin results beyond his wildest dreams.

      He spent next to nothing and he hit the jackpot in 2016.
      The entire political left has completely whigged out.

      You cite some study – the mere existance of such a study proves the russian effectiveness – not in effecting the outcome of the election but in buying space in your mind.

      I can not beleive that you buy this kind of garbage.

      Do you understand if it was so easy to persuade people – 5th Avenue would have made puppets of us all.

      Do you honestly think Putin and a bunch of Russian hackers are smarter than the collective wisdom of the US marketting establishment ?

      Or than an army of US political consultants ?

      Do you really beelive that between the Russians and Saudi’s and whatever other mythical creatures you think “influenced” the US election – that they contributed the equivalent of the 500M in spending that separated Clinton from Trump ?

      Were you watching the election – did you see more Trump adds than Clinton ones ?

      There is so much stupidity in your argument it is beyond beleif.

      There is only ONE Germ of truth in it – Trump won the election on the cheap.
      The election did not tipp because of ANYONE’s spending. No matter how large of from where.
      Clinton could have doubled her spending again and not changed the outcome.

      Among other reasons because money beyond in election terms a relatively low threshold does not persuade people – nor to Facebook and twitter adds. Nor television adds.

      People were persuaded by the differences in MESSAGE – and that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the Saudi’s or Russians. To the small extent they russians added their vote to the US election they were completely tone deaf.

      MAGA was absolutely brilliant – it was as good as Reagan’s Morning in America.
      It is what Trump voters wanted to hear.

      Much of Trump’s message is what his voters wanted to hear.

      I do not like some parts of his message – such as the anti=-trade stuff – but it was STILL what voters wanted to hear

      They also WANTED (and still do) someone to bitch slap the MSM.
      The Trump pummelling CNN at a WWE event works for many Trump supporters.

      From the begining of the election Trump TARGETED the Rust belt.
      There was no secret in that. Nearly everything he said was aimed at PA, MN, WI, OH
      Again zero secret in that.

      Trump did not need any Russian help. Hr quite Obviously did this on his own.

      He grasped that a huge body of people – and not just republicans and conservatives were tired of being called hateful, hating haters.

      He used the Lefts own attacks against them.

      And Clinton was a horrid candidate. It would be hard for democrats to come up with a worse choice. But she was the annointed, it was her turn, she was to be the historic first female president.

      Well if she wanted that she should have done a good job at state – more work, less corruption.,
      Maybe accomplish something – like bring the North Koreans or even the chinese to the bargaining table ? Like spend less time lining her pockets and more time doing her job. Like not lying to us about a terrorist attack. Like not violating the law and violating the espionage act to hide her official Emails from FOIA requests – which BTW is the repeatedly admitted reason for the basement server, like not destroying evidence.

      Bernie Sanders was an absolutely abysmal candidate – yet he gave clinton a run – why ?
      Because even democrats do not like Clinton.

      Trump won despite high negatives – because people loath Hillary more – even to this day.

      If Democrats wish to blow any chance they have in 2018 – just keep pushing Hillary

      Cassius:
      “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
      But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
      Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

    • dhlii permalink
      May 22, 2018 12:03 pm

      I beleive I asked you this before, but I am going to try again

      What is it that you think is sufficient basis for the government to take interest in someone ?

      I would not that the principle that is supposed to under pin our law is that government investigates crimes not people. i.e. When there is an allegation of a crime – the government investigates the crime, and looks at those people who are connected to that crime in relation to that crime, until further evidence connects them to other crimes.

      That means that if government is investigating a hit and run murder, where you are a suspect – they are not free to explore your sex life, or your investment history – unless some evidence related to the hit and run connects to sex or investment.

      As noted – we investigate crimes and follow them where they lead. Not people.

      But I am asking YOU – what is it that you think about how things SHOULD be – not how they are.’

      Fundamentally, my question is what rights of privacy do you think people have.

      I ask this because as we debate the Trump investigation – you appear to me to be arguing that Mueller/DOJ/FBI/You are entitled to know whatever you wish to now about another.

      I would assume that you understand that however little privacy you allow Trump or those related to him – that is the most you can assume to have yourself.

      Can the government investigate a person rather than a crime ?

      What is necescary in your view to start an investigation ?

      What activities are permitted when that minimum bar is met to begin an investigation ?

      What is sufficient justification to surveil someone in public ? In private ?

      What is sufficient justification to go beyond surveilance – to engage someone to lead them, to mislead them ?

      From your remarks I have the sense that so long as the target is Trump, you do not think that any justification is necescary at all.

  30. May 21, 2018 10:25 pm

    Well I’ll be danged! Hell must be freezing over because this is written by a Democrat, a former President Clinton pollster and adviser as well as the chief strategist and pollster for Hillary Clinton in 2008. He is a centrist Democrat much like Doug Schoen who thinks the democrats are moving too far left, but they are still Democrats.

    Nice to see that I am not nuts like Jay would want everyone to think based on my thoughts about Mueller. Much of this duplicates my thinking.
    http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/388549-stopping-robert-mueller-to-protect-us-all

    • dhlii permalink
      May 22, 2018 12:50 am

      There are some offitities in the politics of the moment.
      This is not the first editorial by Mark Penn about this.

      Just as there are a number of Republicans attacking Trump there are a number of democrats defending the process.

      Penn is good but Michael Mukasey is better.
      He is responsible for the rules that SC are supposed to follow that Mueller is not.
      And he is calling for an end to this.

      In a prior post I have distinguished between teh Comey phase of theis and the Mueller phase.

      While I have problems with Mueller – he is wrong and he is doing things he should not do,
      The most fundimental problem with the Mueller SC is that it is improperly authorized, and that is not his fault.

      But the pre Mueller investigation is quite obviously corrupt – from start to finish.

      One of the problems with the Halper revelations is that it blows the time line.

      The Steele Dossier did not get to the FBI until October.
      The Downer story about Papadoulis did not get tot he FBI until August.

      At the very latest – Halper started in very early July –

      News of the DNC hack was barely public at that moment.

      In other words the FBI/DOJ/CIA did not even have what was not good enough to get them a warrant 4 months later and yet they deployed a Spy on the Trump campaign.

  31. dhlii permalink
    May 23, 2018 3:02 am

    McCarthy has peiced together a few more bits and has moved the Start of the Obama Administration investigation to “late spring” – probably March.

    And the triggering event is likely Trump’s WaPo interview identifying Carter Page as an advisor.

    There is no Steele Dossier at this time, there is no Page Trips to Moscow, there is no Papadoulis remarks to Downing, In short – there is NOTHING!

    BTW – some of the sources that McCarthy is using are from the House DEMOCRATIC Memo by Schiff.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-obama-administration-origins/

  32. dhlii permalink
    May 23, 2018 2:20 pm

    More Trump Campaign officials are coming forward reporting inappropriate contacts with people claiming to have clinton emails or dirt on clinton that appear to actually be connected with the Obama Intelligence operation against the Trump campaign.

    It is possible these are innocent – as someone said – just cocktail party talk.

    But all the insinuation and buying that the least suggestion of impropriety reflects the truth – works both ways.

    Papadoulis’s conversations with Downer – were at one point claimed to be the basis of the investigation. That is now clearly impossible as they did not reach the FBI until long after the investigation started.

    Regardless, apparently Mueller was told about all these inappropriate contacts with Trump Campaign people – i.e. they reported them to FBI and later to Mueller, and told those trying to provide them with Clinton’s emails to “got through the right channels within the government”
    Mueller’s team never investigated, and never questioned them further.

    Apparently Mueller has no interest in uncovering the fact that the purported “russian influence” in the US Election was being directed by the WhiteHouse.

    Which BTW is where this is leading. There are numerous reports that there may be more than one “spy” now, and that this activity started prior to early July 2016, that it atleast goes into early may, with some stories from april and march now.

    We also now know – I beleive from the Strzok/page texts, that there was a “sensitive matters” committee meeting regularly starting in mid march that includes high ranking members of the administration – Biden, Lynch, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, specifically discussing the Trump campaign.

    I would suggest – specifically that Jay, and other frotheing anti-trumps, think about the fact that you have been selling alot of claims that have little or no evidence, that you have tried to make hay of anything vaguely Trump and anything vaguely russian having even the vaguest nexus.

    If some low level Trump staffer is in a bar, and someone of russian descent orders a drink – it is proof of collusion.

    Now the tables are turning – anyone vaguely related to Trump can report some mysterious contact with someone claiming to have dirt on hillary and many people will immediatly perceive that as absolute gospel evidence that the Obama administration was spying on Trump.

    The case against Trump is based entirely on rumors and speculation. There is nothing that is damning proof, and what few facts exist have reasonable explanations. But the left has been weaving them into a claimed conspiracy.

    But the same works backwards.

    We know actually KNOW that the Obama administration spied on Trump,
    and we KNOW that the Obama administration at the highest levels was fixated on Trump from the beginning of the campaign.

    As I said – now every “rumor” or coincidence will be perceived by large numbers of people to be as credible if not more so that the lefts claims against Trump.

    This is what happens when you divorce yourself from proven facts, When you pretend you can read the minds of others. When your guesses at the intent of other becomes the crime you beleive they have committed. This is why we MUST follow the rule of law.

    BTW what we now KNOW as FACT, regarding Halper and the mid march 2016 “sensitive matter”
    committee, means that a whole Raft of upper level Obama administration members have lied many under oath.

    The Left wishes to prosecute and jail Van der Zwaan, Papadoulis, and Flynn, for failing to recall, precisely meetings, emails or minor details of conversation,

    If that is what we are going to do – fine, we can jail half the Obama administration.

    • May 23, 2018 4:31 pm

      Dave, I have not been following this closely, but from what I know I wonder how some people reconcile a civilian group of individuals associated with Nixon breaking into the Democrat headquarters to find information on the opposing candidate to the intelligence division of the Justice department (FBI) investigating (spying) on a candidate prior to the election without the proper warrants that seem to be required.

      I have little legal knowledge, but if breaking and entering eventually required a president to resign then would the FBI embedding themselves into a campaign without specific reasons be worse?

      No wonder the Justice department (Sessions) is doing everything they can to block congress and maybe the president from getting information that should be available under the articles of the constitution.

      Seems like they have forgotten they are answerable to the people, congress and the administration. Congress should never have to go to court to get permission to have information they have.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 23, 2018 4:58 pm

        Watergate was not exactly “civilian”.

        As in this there was a murky overlapp between govenrment and private.
        all the burglars, their supervisors, etc. were either govenrment employees or government contractors. Right through to AG Mitchell.

        The plumbers only came into existance – because Hoover would NOT do for Nixon what Comey/Brennan did for Obama – spy on a political enemy.

        I would note that the Watergate burglars bugged the phone of a secretary – not anyone highly placed. The unconfirmed story is that she was running a prostitution ring from the DNC offices.

        That is what the burglars were after – if True – we actually have MORE basis for the action.

        Regardless, atleast the Watergate burglars had an actual crime they were dealing with.

        There is yet to be a crime in this mess, and worse it is increasingly apparent that app PURPORTED contact was SETUP.

        Papadoulis’s email story was peddled to him by Misfud – who is NOT a Russian agent, and likely an MI6 aperative.

        Halper told the same story to multiple Trump campaign people, with the objective of getting them to repeat it, Halper appears to have setup the meeting with Papadoulis and Downer,
        There is no way in the world Downer would ordinarily have met with someone at Papadoulis’s level – and the meeting was purportedly “social”.

        Other Trump campaign people have come forward – and apparently LONG AGO told Mueller, they too had been approached by US government contractors with claims of Clinton’s top secret emails from Russia.
        None of them took the bait.

        Natalia is strongly connected to Fusion GPS, her meeting with Trump Jr. Screams SETUP.

        Some of the above is certain. All fo the above is MORE certain than the claims of collusion.

        As I noted in a prior post, when you relax your standards of evidence and spend two years converting salacious rumors into fake truths. You invite your enemies to do the same.

        I think there is ample evidence of Obama administration misconduct.

        But beyond that there is room to speculate – in exactly the way Jay has been doing, and tie 2/3 of the top of the Obama administration to a worse than watergate crime.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 23, 2018 5:08 pm

        Watergate did not hinge on “breaking and entering”.

        Everyone knew that before the election.

        The reason it resulted in threats of impeachment and resignation, was that the President participated in the coverup of spying on his political opponents, that was atleast partly run from within government.

        There are only a few distinctions between this and watergate.

        The most fundimental is that Obama got the FBI to do what Nixon could not.

        I would also put this in context with other Obama administration misconduct.

        The IRS was politically targetting enemies.
        Tax returns of “enemies” were being leaked – probably from Lerhner to DOJ to the press.
        Possibly involving the white house.

        The FBI and possibly the CIA were spying on Journalists.

        With Nixon you have raiding Elsberg’s psychiatrists office and bugging a secretary at the watergate.

        Nixon purportedly Tried to get Hoover and the IRS to help him, but he could not.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 23, 2018 5:19 pm

        The fight between congress and the executive is ages long.

        Nor is it inherently simple.

        Congress does have oversight of the executive. There is almost nothing they can not demand constitutionally.

        There is actual executive priviledge that is recognized – but it
        Has to be raised and is specific to exchanges involving the president.
        It is much like attorney client privildge. The president and his advisors may consider all options without fear of being second guessed. We only get to judge the president on what he DOES.
        Not what he and his advisors talk about.

        National Security is NOT a bar to providing congress information.
        Many members of congress and all members of intelligence committees have security clearances – as well as many of their staff.

        Even information regarding sources and methods is not exempt from their oversight, It is just convention not to provide it, it is rarely needed and the most damaging information that could be leaked.

        Further as we are gathering nearly all “highly classified” information – is stuff you hear on CNN
        Finally if Congress leaks classified information – they too can be prosecuted.

        Rep Nunes made an interesting point over the weekend.

        He and Rep. Gowdy were scheduled to meet with DOJ/FBI last thursday. But they canceled becuase the prior meetng had been unproductive and DOJ/FBI was not offering anything new.

        Then the details of Halper broke in stories in the NYT and WaPo.

        Nunes beleives had the met, they would have been blamed for the leak.
        He believes it is possible the leak was a deliberate attempt to frame him for leaking sources and methods.

        I forgot in my list of Obama malfeasance – that Brennan was caught spying on Congress.

  33. dhlii permalink
    May 23, 2018 2:23 pm

    President Obama on Gun control

  34. dduck12 permalink
    May 23, 2018 7:25 pm

    Michael Cohen gets dirtier and dirtier: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44215656

    • Jay permalink
      May 23, 2018 8:33 pm

      The President of the US’s long time personal lawyer/fixer is a scuzbucket.
      Like lawyer like client.
      Two shady slimy shitheads.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 1:50 am

        The left whigged out over Pruitt’s 44K phone booth.
        And some smaller amount that Carson paid to refurbish his office.

        Strzok’s texts now reveal that McCabe replaced the conference table in his office – for $70K

        Oh, and the message about the conference table was one of the things that DOJ/FBI redacted.

        I presume that is an obvious matter of executive priviledge ? Or did it reveal sources and methods ? Did it leave expose a spy and pose a threat to a spy ?

        Or is it just a corrupt DOJ/FBI hiding the dirt from congressional oversight ?

        Another redaction of the Texts ?

        :Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [Liz’s] quote, “the White House is running this.”

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 1:43 am

      Wow! A whole lot of nothing.

      The Ukrainian president could not get through the State department – so instead he goes through Cohen. Didn;t we have that going on with the Clinton Foundation and The state Department ?

      Didn’t you tell me there was nothing wrong with it ?

      Regardless the reporting claims Trump was unaware of the payment.
      Further your reporters can not make up their mind how much cohen was paid.

      And isn’t Ukraine the people who are litterally FIGHTING with the Russians ?

      So much for Trump Russia Collusion.

      Whoever leaked Treasury information to Avantti is in deep trouble – that is a felony.
      Further Avantti is a lawyer not the press, he too may be in trouble.
      But then Avantti seems to be up to his ears in trouble – he seems to owe people more money in more ways than Hillary has in illegal campaign contributions.

      Regardless as I have said myriads of times before – if you reduce the power of government, you reduce the desire of people to pay for access to that power.
      Nothing else is going to work.

      As best as I can tell you are freaking out because Cohen did not file some paperwork.
      That appears to be all he did that MIGHT be illegal.
      That is the same problem that Tony Podesta has – for the same reason – Manafort paud Podesta to Lobby for the Ukrainians.

      It is not illegal to lobby for anyone.

      I perosnally think the “registration” laws are stupid – why is it relevant ?

      If I call up my Representative or Senator and ask them for help with a government problem, how is that different ? Do we all need to register ?

      Again it is ACTIONS that are what is or should be illegal.

      But if you want to hound Cohen to the end of the earth – go ahead.
      But if you want me to join you with the frothing at the mouth – come up with something important.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 24, 2018 2:50 pm

        “But if you want me to join you with the frothing at the mouth – come up with something important.”
        I wouldn’t want you, or anyone like you, joining sensible people.
        Nope, deep rationalizers, not needed, frothing or not, they belong with Trump’s more extreme partisans (not the moderate kind, which I respect).

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 3:58 pm

        Be as sensitive as you want – in your own life.

        You may not make choices for others based on emotion.

        Being rational is a compliment.

        Guesses as to the motives of other people have no place in law or government.
        But they often are a significant factor in private conduct – I would be careful entering a business deal with Trump. I would not even consider it with most of the Obama people who have lied under oath.

        Provide evidence that Trump or his campaign participated in hacking the DNC or the attempts to access voting machines and voting records – and I am for impeachment and trial.

        My interest in russian “collusion” is curiosity at most. We should no ever criminalize efforts to persuade – not even by foreign countries.
        I just linked to a massive CIA effort to “influence” the French election – should Brennan, Clapper, Obama be prosecuted for that ?’

        Conversely I am very interested in the CONDUCT of government.
        I am interested in Trump’s CONDUCT – his efforts regarding postal package rates are disturbing if true.
        I am interested in the long list of people associated with the Trump/Russia probe who have been lying under oath and abusing their powers.

        I would ask you and anyone else who is defending any of this – if what occured is permissible, what is not ?

        What stops president Trump from spying on his political opponents ?

        Regardless, what is it that you think would be going too far ? Because short of actual violence there is little left that the Obama administration could have done to the Trump Campaign.

  35. Jay permalink
    May 23, 2018 8:34 pm

    • Jay permalink
      May 23, 2018 8:36 pm

      Sorry to rub your nose in Twitter Truth, Ron, but Trump and his people are FUCKING UP AMERICA

      • May 23, 2018 10:27 pm

        Who is Max Boot?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 2:11 am

        A Neo-con never Trumper.

      • Jay permalink
        May 24, 2018 12:03 am

        Boot is a traditional ideologically Conservative, who like so many other ideological conservatives has been shoved out of a Republican Party taken over by a right-wing populist movement that espouses none of the core principles of traditional conservatism.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 2:18 am

        Boot is a Neo-Con – like the Chenney’s.
        He shares SOME values with traditional conservatives.
        But neo-cons are heavily prone to foreign adventurism, and throwing our military weight arround.

        If that is really what you want to hold up as an example of how we should government. – you can make that argument.

        But I am very happy at the diminished role of social conservaitves and neo-conservatives in not only the GOP but politics as a whole.

        Good ridance.

        As I keep saying the CURRENT threat to our country is from the LEFT,
        The most danagerous elements on the right are greatly diminished in power.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 2:03 am

        How so ?

        The Atlanta Fed is predicting 4.1% growth for 2Q 2018
        It is possible that the North Korean deal will fall through – but atleast there is an effort to reign in a serious threat.
        And we are no longer ignoring another serious threat – Iran.
        There is no Islamic state.

        The Saudi’s and Israel are talking.

        Wages are slowly rising again.

        What is wrong with the country at the moment is those on the left are not able to be happy.
        They want to be miserable.
        Worse they want every one to be miserable.

        Trump is not perfect, america is not perfect,
        But we are doing fine.
        And the real problems we have are not the ones that you want to deal with.
        You are busy fixated on fake nonsense.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 1:53 am

      Has Trump sold automatic weapons to drug cartels and then covered it up ?
      Has Trump used the IRS to go after political enemies ?
      Has Trump made the tax returns of his enemies public ?
      Has Trump spied on Senators ?
      Has Trump spied on Journalists ?
      Has Trump Spied on opposing political parties ?
      Has Trump lied to us about health care ?
      Has Trump lied ot us about a terrorist attack ?
      Has Trump used his phone and pen to act beyond his constitutional powers ?
      ……..

      “Our presidency has been debased by a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works.”

      Flake is right – but about the wrong person.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 24, 2018 8:24 pm

      More frothing on the cake from Mr. Mucous.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 10:23 pm

        Badly mixed metaphors ad hominem and zero argument.

  36. Jay permalink
    May 23, 2018 9:13 pm

    Thanks for the tax refund,El Duchebag.
    Where’s the stimulus you promised????

    The only stimulus I’m seeing is for rising costs:
    My auto gas went up.
    My auto insurance just went up $150.
    My health insurance is going up.
    Interest rates are rising.
    My supermarket bills for farm products are rising.

    And US economic Allies are ready to announce billions in increased tariffs in response to Trump’s.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 2:11 am

      Overall inflation is running 2.2% since jan 1, 2017.
      This is only a tiny bit higher than the average for Obama.
      It is much lower than the average for Bush.
      Regardless nothing dramatic is happening with inflation.

      I beleive China just announced that it is going to buy 200B of additional goods from the US to reduce our Trade Deficit. Much of that automobiles.

      I beleive that should make blue collar Trump voters very happy.

      I worry that Trump will start a trade war. I do not like what he says about Trade – at the same time I doubt you would be saying anything sane if it were not that you are unable to agree with Trump on anything – otherwise you would be telling me the same things Trump is about Trade.

      But so far he has avoided a trade war.

      Don’t tell me what might be. Tell me what actually is.

      You do this about everything.

      You conflate your fears with reality.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 25, 2018 4:19 pm

      Mixing metaphors is an art, but it takes a while to appreciate humor- for some (yes, you Mucous).
      Some non political reading for you: https://www.printedmatter.org/catalog/tables/3867/20763

      • dhlii permalink
        May 25, 2018 8:04 pm

        There is a difference between creativity in writing and juvenile hackery.

        I would be embarrassed to have written what you have.

        Isn;t Trump the one famous for giving people monickers ?
        And isn’t that something you find offensive and bullying about him ?

        I would note that one of the reasons that Trump appeals is that he does to you and those on the left what you do to everyone else.

        We are all happy to see the bullies getting bullied.

  37. dhlii permalink
    May 24, 2018 2:27 am

    The Smoking Gun ! Here we have it ! Wikileaks proves …….

    US Interference in French elections.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 24, 2018 2:59 pm

      French monitoring: Disturbing if this is accurate. I wouldn’t mind if the Obama admin people give us a rationale.
      If there is a reasonable reason, I would like to hear it before I say that this act was egregious.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 4:03 pm

        Are the Russians allowed to as you say “monitor” our elections ?

        Are you prepared to wait for the evidence before deciding what you think about the claims regarding Russia, Manafort, ….?

        I would note that the Russian companies came to the US to defend against the Mueller indictment, and are demanding a speedy trial, and Mueller is balking.
        And that almost never happens. The defendants right to a speedy trial is very near absolute.
        I am not finding anyone who recalls an instance where a prosecutor as not forced to proceed if the defense was ready. Mueller had control until he filed charges. The expectation of the courts is that you do not charge people you are not prepared to prosecute.
        He also had the option of a sealed indictment if he was not ready, but that would have deprived him of the publicity of indicting a gaggle of russians he assumed would not try to defend themselves.

      • Jay permalink
        May 24, 2018 7:28 pm

        You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. STFU

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 10:19 pm

        Did you intend to insult dduck ? That is who you replied to.

        Regardless, your response is just ad hominem, no argument.

      • Jay permalink
        May 25, 2018 10:58 am

        No, Dummy, it was in response to your response to him.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 25, 2018 9:29 pm

      “I would be embarrassed to have written what you have.”
      I’m embarrassed that I even respond to a person like you; my error and weakness.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 12:50 am

        More of that ad hominem.

        Trump got elected because the left normalized intolerance and insult over argument, so Trump insulted the left, and many cheered.

  38. dhlii permalink
    May 24, 2018 3:37 am

    One May 18th Republicans actually had a 5pr advantage on the rolling average for the generic ballot, today things are back to even.

    http://polling.reuters.com/#!response/TM1212Y17/type/day/filters/PD1:1/dates/20180101-20180523/collapsed/true

    As I have said before – November is a long way away.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 26, 2018 6:45 pm

      “More of that ad hominem” You earn it every day you jam up the pipeline, and I am proud to serve it up, but only if it bothers you (which will probably mean a 1,000 word BS reply).

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 11:41 pm

        The blog is not a pipeline – nor is the internet.

        Being proud of being bad at insulting, is insulting yourself.

        Whether it bothers me is your test ?

        That is really pretty decrepit. Your pleasure comes from the hope that your insults might have offended someone else ?

        As to my reaction – it is sadness that you waste whatever skill you might have on being offensive rather than advocating for whatever ideas you have – if you even have any.

  39. dduck12 permalink
    May 24, 2018 3:36 pm

    Thanks to Pence and company at FOX, Kim has an excuse to back out of a meeting. He achieved his objective to get in the world’s spot light, maybe with coaching from Dennis Rodman, although a new set of threads would have been nice.
    Lucy (Kim) nicely snatched the football away from Charley Brown (Trump).

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 4:06 pm

      Kim has apparently destroyed his testing center in the north. Though it may only be a small step – it is a step. North and South are talking – as it Kim and the US. That has not happened in 70 years. That is a good sign.

      We all would have liked to have this wrapped up fast. But plenty of people have cautioned about too much optimism or expecting NK to move too fast.

      My guess is that we hit a speed bump, not a cul de sac.

      • Jay permalink
        May 24, 2018 7:22 pm

        It’s political mutual masterbation theater.

        A stupid soap opera, with planned temporary breakups, to keep the audience watching. Plot ploys to keep the ratings up.

        Both these slim bucket leaders want to bask in the spotlight, and this kind of hemming and hawing insures that …

        By next week the meeting will be on again. Wanna bet?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 9:18 pm

        “By next week the meeting will be on again. Wanna bet?”

        Nope,

        Nor am I going to bitch and moan about the Way Trump is handling something that no one else has managed to make any progress on.

        Penn Jillette makes the point in most of his videos on libertarianism – that he does not know how to run his own life, he certainly does not know how to run the lives of others, and that he does not think any of the rest of us are better at dictating to others how they should live than he is.

        The essence of libertarianism is not imposing by force on others what you are not even able to do for yourself.

        Unfortunately dealing with Kim Un IS inside the legitimate role of government.

        I DO find it very scary when Trump tries to DO things.
        I am much happier when he is UNDOING things – that is far less dangerous.
        And he has been DOING alot of UNDOING – and I am happy with that.

        But that still leaves me terrified and hopeful regarding NK at the same time.

      • Jay permalink
        May 24, 2018 7:32 pm

        And Kim destroyed the facility because HE HAD TO. It was declared structurally unsound and unoccupiable (possibly radiation contamination… )there was ZERO concession made toward a disarming treaty.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 24, 2018 10:21 pm

        What – you do not think that in a gulag you can get people to work in contaminated and unsound spaces ?

        Kim does not “have to” do anything.

        While I do beleive the assessment of outside geologists that he was risking disaster.

        I do not beleive Kim Un cares about those assessments

      • Jay permalink
        May 25, 2018 11:07 am

        Have stupid are you?
        The people who worked in that lab were specialists -scientists & engineers able to build nuclear weapons …

        You really are a dumbbell.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 25, 2018 3:09 pm

        “Have stupid are you?
        The people who worked in that lab were specialists -scientists & engineers able to build nuclear weapons …

        You really are a dumbbell.”

        Ad hominem, and not even an on point argument.

        You claimed that Kim had to destroy the facility.

        He clearly did not.

        There is no step that Kim could take that would make the future production of WMD’s impossible.
        But the destruciton of the test facility made it harder.

        I have no idea what you think your remarks about scientists and engineers means.

        Either you are deluded into thinking that in possibly the most totalitarian state in the world they would not work in unsafe conductions – aparently you have never heard of the scientists the Soviets sent to the gulags to die.

        Or you think the destruction of the facilty had no effect on NK’s nuclear efforts.

        The US could wipe out Los Almos and continue to develop nukes,
        But it would result in a significant delay, and make detecting the development of a new facility detectable.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 27, 2018 1:08 pm

        “Being proud of being bad at insulting, is insulting yourself.” Huh. Actually I am good at insulting, another erroneous one of your comments.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 1:19 pm

        “Huh. Actually I am good at insulting, another erroneous one of your comments.”

        Not based on any evidence.

  40. Jay permalink
    May 24, 2018 7:27 pm

    An accurate news summary when smart Americans are commenting

    “former Dir of National Intelligence James Clapper says he’s personally concluded Russians not only influenced but DECIDED outcome of 2016 election: “80 thousand votes in 3 states” @NewsHour tonight”

    “Return of hostages is good, but Kim took 2 of them while Trump was president. Test site is cosmetic. Sanctions already relaxed because China eased up on enforcement. Kim maneuvered Trump into being the bad guy. US-S Korea alliance damaged. …This was amateur hour. @MaxBoot”

    “Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols. ” – @RepAdamSchiff

    “The president of the United States is lying to us over and over and over and over again” hill.cm/QBe8gBx

    “LDems & GOPers were surprised to see POTUS’s WH attorney defending him in the Russia probe, Emmet Flood, attending the start of both briefings on the confidential FBI source, sources tell me.

    Said a GOP congressional staffer: “It’s the craziest shit I ever heard.” @JakeTapper

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 9:22 pm

      Anything that starts with former Dir of National Intelligence James Clapper

      Is likely to be horribly self serving and a lie.

      Why am I to beleive him about ANYTHING. He has been caught lying both under oath and otherwise myriads of times.

      Why do you beleive him ?

      Finally – what is ti that you think makes him knowledgeable ?

      The distinction between his knowledge and that of the rest of us is solely what he was privy to as DNI.

      What is evident is that is precisely what he has been lying about and also repeatedly getting wrong.

      Based on the real world evidence available to the rest of us – the only effect on the election was through the malfeasance and misconduct of our government.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 9:26 pm

      Max Boot is no more credible than Clapper.

      Regardless, even if his assessment is correct, it is still better than any president in 70 years.

      All that we learned today is that this may not be easy.

      Even if he has failed Trump has gotten farther than any other president.

      My guess is that the big factor regarding Kim is the fact that Trump tore up the Iran agreement

      That means two things to Kim – no completely one sided deal,
      and more leverage because the US is now dealing with to rogue nations on the verge of becoming a serious nuclear threat.

      Kim is gambling that we are unable to walk and chew gum

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 10:13 pm

      The quote from Rep Schiff is a pile of Schiff.

      Why do you continue to trust people who have repeatedly lied to you of things of significance.

      We are NOW getting this garbage of – we really were not spying on the Trump Campaign, we were spying on the Russians – well there were no real russians anywhere near any of the Trump people in the UK. No one has ever tied Mifsud to the Russuans but he has heavy ties to MI6 – if he is not an MI6 operative – MI6 has been compromised.

      First the Trump campaign was not wiretapped – then it was justified, first the Trump campaign was not spied on – now it was for their own good.
      And now they were not really spying on the Trump campaign, they were spying on Russians.

      Worse there does not seem to be anything that the Obama Regime can do that you will not find a way to justify.

      What we are seeing is what Nixon WANTED to do but was unable – because Hoover had actual integrity.

      And you are OK with it ?

      Schiff promised over a year ago that he has seen real evidence – where is it ?

      You are quoting Clapper – as if if you have the word of a DNI caught repeatedly lying under oath – you do not need facts.

      When Nixon pulled this crap – ultimately voters and his own party abandoned him.

      Where are democrats willing to say – this is too much ?

      And yes, Trump is right – this is a witch hunt, and you are still hoping for witches,.

      The Mueller leaks are claiming that he is Done with Russia and collusion.

      Kushner has a permanent Top Secret security clearance which has never occured while someone is the target or subject of an investigation – so presumably Mueller cleared him.

      That pretty much means there is nothing on Trump.

      It is certain as this continues will will get ever more about the misconduct in the Obama administration. Grassley and Nunes are eventually going to get everything – unredacted.

      Further as we are finding as somethings get unredacted – the redactions have NOTHING to do with national security – in otherwords AGAIN the FBI/DOJ are lying to cover their ass.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 10:16 pm

      “The president of the United States is lying to us over and over and over and over again”

      So what of substance has Trump lied about over and over ?

      He has been right about this investigation – from the begining.

      What lie has he told that is even equal to “if you like your doctor you can keep them” ?

      Trump speaks differently than Obama. He may be less articulate, but he is actually MORE Truthful – atleast about things that matter.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 10:17 pm

      At this point why would the WH attorney not defend Trump.

      He has been right about all of this.

  41. May 24, 2018 9:28 pm

    Today I read that Jared Kushner has received his security clearance to receive information only a few can see.

    What I find disturbing is much of the article went into explaining why career FBI employees who have conducted background checks and security clearances for years did not find anything in his i formation to preclude him from receiving this info. There were comments from multiple individuals defending their actions and why investigations by Mueller did not impact their decision.

    One can only hope that what has happened this administration will open the eyes of Americans so they demand that politics stays out or our law enforcement agencies from the very top on down. Why should career FBI agents have to defend their actions when nothing is found?.

    I can only image what went down behind closed doors when the career FBI said there was nothing there and the lead political dudes almost stroked out when there was no red meat to give the press.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 24, 2018 10:28 pm

      I do not know the details, but I would be shocked if the FBI would approve Kusner for a permanent clearance without Mueller telling them Kushner was neither a subject nor a target.

      And there is no reason for Mueller to do so unless it is true.

      Kushner could have continued on temporary clearance forever – contra the press that is NOT unusual. I had a temporary TSC for two years before getting a permanent one.

      Further Trump is president can insist that Kushner be allowed to see whatever Trump wishes him to.

      The president is the ultimate power on classifications.

      • Jay permalink
        May 25, 2018 11:02 am

        The FBI didn’t approvethe clearance.

        “The FBI does not grant, deny, or otherwise adjudicate security clearances for individuals on behalf of these clients. As a result, the granting or suspension of Mr. Kushner’s clearance would be the responsibility of the client adjudication entity, in this case, the White House.”

        “Kushner had to update his SF-86 multiple times after failing to disclose connections with foreign officials and entities, including an attempt to set up a back-channel communication with the Kremlin. He has also been fined for repeated failure to file ethics disclosures. “
        @RepDonBeyer

      • May 25, 2018 11:37 am

        “The FBI didn’t approvethe clearance.”
        Really

        “Kushner’s FBI background check was likely complicated by his failure to include more than 100 foreign contacts and ties he had on his original security clearance application. He has amended his list of contacts multiple times since he joined the White House.”
        Source: Business Insider, May 24, 2018

        Maybe the FBI did not technically approve the clearance, but they were the ones doing the background check and they were the ones explaining why they did not find anything to defend themselves from any Mueller fallout.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 25, 2018 3:24 pm

        The FBI is the primary government agency involved in security clearances.

        They are not the SOLE agency.

        However if they recommend against approval, only the President can override that decision.

        Only the president has the plenipotentiary powers of the executive.

        I have actually personally gone through the approval process.
        My SF-86 was relatively short – I think only about 300 pages.
        It still took almost 2 years to get a permanent approval – though I had a temporary approval in a few months.

        Given what Kushner is involved in the FBI is going to be incredibly thorough.

        Even in my case the FBI interviewed friends and relatives.

        Further I have a relative who maintains a “secret” clearance – that is lower than the one I had.
        She has to update her SF-86 every year.

        One of the “foreign contacts” she must list is my children – but particularly my daughter, who was adopted from China.
        Even though she is now a US citizen by law, jy relative must still list her ever year, because she was foreign born in china.
        Failure to do so could cost her her clearance.

        That is how thorough this process is.

        Kushner had only two ways to get permanently cleared – 1). the FBI checking EVERY allegations regarding him and talking to Mueller to be sure they missed nothing or that nothing was pending,

        Or Trump ordering him cleared.

        There are no other choices.

      • May 25, 2018 5:13 pm

        Yep, I knew that from the articles I had read. I just had to find information to prove it to Jay because without documentation, one is only spreading BS and he won’t believe it (unless it is anti-Trump Twitter BS spread by want-a-be journalists who call themselves a journalist because they have an internet Blog and a Twitter site)).

      • dhlii permalink
        May 25, 2018 2:46 pm

        Again you are clueless,

        For every Security Clearance the FBI conducts and investigation – that investigations starts with an SFQ-86 – which is a large document that you compile based on a long long series of questions about your life.

        The FBI verifies most everything in it, and everything that raises concerns.

        The FBI likely will have investigators interview every person menitioned in your SFQ-86.

        In Kushner’s case he would have been required to list that he was interviewed as part of the Mueller investigation, and agents would have talked to Mueller.

        Those agents would have explicitly asked if Kushner was a target or subject,
        And if Mueller had said yes to either,
        The FBI would have recommended against approval.

        No the FBI does not have the final say – it is the executive branch and as you do not seem to grasp in ALL things related tot he executive branch the PRESIDENT has the final say.

        Trump can just say “give Kushner a TSC”

        That said the FBI does “approve” clearances – as if they recomend against clearing someone, they almost never get approved. And the FBI is REQUIRED to make a reccomendation.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 25, 2018 3:01 pm

        Updating an SF-86 is Normal. Generally it takes several attempts to get it right the first time – and more if you have a complex life with many business involvements.
        You are also required to update it every year formally, and informally whenever anything of substance changes.

        But there is no legal authority to “fine” someone, if you improperly fill out your SF-86 the penalty is that you may not get your security clearance or it may not be renewed.

        To get a clearance the FBI would BOTH have had to investigate all of Kushner’s contacts with foreigners – including claimed back channels to Russia AND to have confered with Mueller regarding them.

        If the FBI determined that ANYTHING that Kushner had done was illegal or even merely something that he could be blackmailed for – he would not have received a clearance.

        Rep. Beyer clearly does not know what he is talking about.

        Do you understand that Flynn was fired because he purportedly made a minor misrepresentation of a conversation with Kislyak to VP Pence and if the Russians found that our they could blackmail him.

        Well if Kushner had inappropriate or unauthorized or illegal contact with Russians – he would be blackmailable too. And you do not get a clearance if there is something in your life you can be blackmailed about.

        It used to be that you could not get a security clearance if you were gay – even if that was legal where you lived. Then you could not get one if you were in the closet.

        You and Rep. Beyer know NOTHING about security clearances.

        While you are absolutley right that Kushner can get a clearance merely because Trump orders that he be given a clearance – that is NOT what happened.

        The recent change made under Kelly – is that ALL FBI recomendations for people in the White house come to HIM first, Before being forwarded to WH security dept.
        That is because before the FBI and the WH security staff were delaying an lying about approvals.
        By having FBI recomendations come to Kelley FIRST – neither the FBI no the WH security can lie to him about whether there is a problem and where the problem is.

        Kelley does not approve clearances, But he does oversee those who do.

  42. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 11:11 am

    Looks like I was right about Trump & Kim playing masterbatory media attention games:

    “We’re talking to them now. It was a very nice statement they put out. We’ll see what happens,” President Trump says of North Korea after cancelling summit. “It could even be the 12th.”

    • dhlii permalink
      May 25, 2018 3:14 pm

      Only you and the left are fixated on each tiny step in this process.

      Some of us understand that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

      Trump – unlike his predecessors has Taken the first step.

      It is likely there will be missteps along the way.
      It is possible that the efforts will fail.

      But the first steps have been taken – No President since Truman can say that.

      I hope Trump succeeds.
      I am not holding my breath with respect to the 12th – or any time soon.

      And even if there is a meeting soon – this MIGHT go quickly – East Germany collapsed quickly.
      But it also may take months or years.

      And there may be many more obstacles along the way.

  43. dhlii permalink
    May 25, 2018 3:41 pm

    Just as I am offended by Trump possibly playing games with the post office.
    We have similar issues with Amazon, Google, Youtube, Twitter, etc. disempowering conserbative groups.

    I would note that while Amazon can “do as they please” they are still actually not free to violate contracts with others, nor can they unilaterally revise a contract.

    If you receive a service from Amazon for free – they can do whatever they please regarding you.

    But if you have a contract with amazon – which prime members, affiliates, and lots of institutions do – then you and Amazon are bound to that contract.

    Wherever money is exchanged – there is a contract.

    In some cases a PRIOR contract.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/amazon-demonitizes-conservative-website-us/

  44. dduck12 permalink
    May 25, 2018 7:30 pm

    Fake News: Amazon will be buying the USPS.
    In my neighborhood there are more vans with Amazon packages than the real USPS, UPS and Fed Ex. 🙂

    • May 25, 2018 8:59 pm

      One has to wonder what all the large shopping centers will become in the future. Small retailers will survive just as they have with Walmart, Target and other discount retailers around. But when Sears, Penny’s, Macy’s and other anchor stores close, the smaller stores will follow. Our huge mall has alot of vacancies and the parking lots are almost empty.

      Was watching our local news, consumer report feature and they did some comparative shopping. Many baby items were much cheaper at Walmart than Amazon, same size, same brand. But the convenience of home delivery makes Amazon more attractive. I dont do enough shopping to pay for prime, but even with shipping cost, its better than going to the store.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 12:32 am

        The projections for retail over the next several years are excellent.
        BUT the projections for brick and mortar retail – particularly big old chain stores is bad.

        Mom and pops are actually thriving – mostly moving into space vacated by larger failed operations.

        Walmart, Costco, … are doing OK, Sears, KMart, Macey’s BonTon, … are in trouble,

        Online is booming.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 12:34 am

        Prime is basically $10/month for streaming video and free shipping.

        IF you EITHER buy alot on line OR watch alot of streaming video – Prime is a win.

      • May 26, 2018 9:38 am

        I buy little other than “needed now” items from Lowes or Home Depot.
        I do no streaming. Watch local news, Washington Nationals BB, NASCAR, Carolina Panther FB and few CBS programs. Cant remember the last movie I watched.

        I dont even know what is available from a streaming service.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 8:54 pm

        Wow! We are close to the opposite. My local news is crap – I do not even get th local paper anymore. What little I care about locally is available online.

        Nor do I watch national news. On occaision I view clips from the news as provided in online editorials. That is the closets I get to traditional news. I get news from websites – left, right and moderate. I am very happy with that – today we have access to the writing of the most intelligent people in the country on most any subject – including news. There is absolutely no reason to “trust” some talking head or purported expert when you can review the work and views of dozens of the best and verify the details if you are so inclined.

        I wrestled in was in track and field in Jr. High. In HS I bicycled to school – and everywhere through my senior year – I was a very serious bicycler at the time. I managed the football team from Freshman through Sr. Yr, and was the statistician, /i also ran cross country and managed 3m in 15:45 – which is good, but not great.

        I watched the Bruins and Cowboys with my Father, but mostly lost all interest in sports in college.

        I do not think I have watched a football Game since Landry left the Cowboys.
        As me about Roger Staubach, Golden Richards or Billy Hayes, but after that I am pretty clueless about sports.

        But we subscribe to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Rarely go to the movies, but stream movies and TV several nights a week.

  45. dhlii permalink
    May 25, 2018 8:12 pm

    I do not beleive that anyone said Amazon IS buying USPS – only that if it were sold – Bezos would likely buy it.

  46. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 9:28 pm

    I’ll bet you Trump ass kisserswill rationalize this too

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 12:48 am

      This is “fake news”.

      Trump is following the law – if you do not like the law – change it, I will support you.

      I beleive Obama was actually doing the same thing. One of the things that Glenn Greenwald notes on immigration is that Obama was absolutely HORRIBLE..

      Deportations under Obama were DOUBLE those of bush.
      I beleive they have actually dropped under Trump.

      Further Trump is MUCH more heavily targeting criminals, than Obama did.

      With respect to Tribes assertion – If you come here legitimately seeking asylum – then you should be able to prove the need for asylum, and the threat to you in your country of origen shoudl be so great, that being separated from your children briefly is a small price.

      That the US will separate parents from their children at our borders – is no secret.

      If you are trying to come here – legally or otherwise, it is a factor you should consider.

      No one required these people to come here.

      I support broad immigration. I support changing the law – even the law on this.
      But I also support government following the law – ESPECIALLY laws I think are bad laws.
      That is how we get rid of bad laws. When we see their cost, we should not just ignore them.

      Finally – I support open boarders – that is an unpopular position, and one that requires changes elsewhere – it atleast requires ending entitledments to immigrants by virtue of crossing into our country or we will bankrupt ourselves. Regardless, I understand the assorted costs of my postion and I am not hiding from them.

      I( am not interested in the whining of those who do not support open borders, but want to cry over every inconvenience to any immigrant legal or not.

      Figure out what it is that you think the law ought actually be. Commit to it and work to impliment it.

      But quit pretending you can do whatever “feels good” and pretend it has no cost.

      How many immigrants should the US accept each year – 500K, 1M, 2M, 10M ?

      And of those where should they come from and who should they be ?

      Do not bitch and moan about the plight of asylum seekers – if you are not willing to make tough choices.

      Are you going to accept everyone who claims they need asylum ?
      If so you can expect everyone to demand asylum.

      Are you going to take asylum seekers over haitians ? Nigerians ? Chinese ? …..

      Make the tough choices.

      And if you can’t – quit bitching about those who do.

      I do not agree with Trump on Immigration. I do not agree with the law. But Trump is atleast following the law. That is better than Obama.

      • May 26, 2018 10:14 am

        There are laws in this country that many on the left believe they can choose to follow if they want to or not follow if they dont like the law. Illegal immigrants are breaking the law! If they are held for breaking the law, can anyone imagine the outcry from the left if children were in these jails with the parents?

        The law NEEDS to be changed so immigrants can come legally based on some handful of requirements. Such as your not a felon in your country ( and that can be further definec based on specific crimes) and you have a job or someone sponsoring you and providing support if no job ( no government support for you or your family). Not much more needed.

        But our do nothing congress where the extremist on the right and the Trump opposing Pelosi Democrats on the left will not set down with the “common sense” centrist members and work out a plan to upgrade our immigration laws.

        So Trump originally says in January that congress needs to address DACA, they do nothing, so the laws of the country are being enforced.

        If we want something done, how about sending Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, David Brat and Mark Meadows, along with the rest of the wing nuts in congress packing and replace them with some that will make constructive changes to archaic laws. Every democrat joined a hand full of republicans to oppose the farm bill, not because they opposed the immigration items in the bill, but because they oppose Trump and want him to have -0- to run on.

        But as long as people keep reading want-a-be journalists comments on social media, hate will dominate and nothing gets done.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:17 pm

        Issues regarding the law personally I find quite simple, and do not understand why they provide everyone so much difficulty

        The purpose of govenrment is securing our rights.
        The purpose of law is to serve that end.

        Aside from a small amount of law related to the structure and framework of government itself – there is no basis for law that is not about the protection of individual rights.

        Laws must be few – otherwise by definition they do more harm to individual rights than good.
        Laws must ALWAYS be construed with the greatest individual liberty and the least government power possible – because it is always possible to write the law to explicitly go further when we actually fine that necessary

        Laws must be few – because ALL of us are bound to obey all the laws. We can not obey laws we can not know.

        Laws must reflect the internal sense of right and wrong of atleast 80% of the people –
        Law is about the use of force, and the majority can not use force against minorities where there is only a think majority.

        Any given law must have one and only one meaning, from the moment it was enacted – until it is modified. that is critical – that is the essence of “originalism”.

        While I think there is a specific approach that provides that result that is the right one,
        The details of how to arrive at only one meaning are not critical.
        What is critical is that “the rule of law, not man” requires that the law can not mean many different things to many different people – that is lawless, the rule of man not law.

        It is not necescary for us to LIKE what the law says. It is necescary not only to accept what the law says, but to have a means of determining what the law says that as best as we can acheive produces ONE result.

        Any theory of statutory or constitutional interpretation that has the meaning of the law or constitution changing over time WITHOUT changing the law itself or the constitution – is inherently lawless.

        We can change bad law, we can not fix things if the rule essentially is “there are no rules” the law or constitution change in meaning subject to whimsy.

        Humans change over time – absolutely. But we are capable of changing our laws when we change our values.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the law to be different from what it is,
        but expecting the courts to change the meaning of the law – because people have changed – is lawless. We change the law and the constitution – by changing it.

        I disagree with many many many of our laws.
        I do not disagree with enforcing them.
        Enforcing bad laws is part of the process of getting them changed.

        I do not beleive in much “prosecutorial discretion” If we can not rigorously enforce ALL the laws on the books – get more police or get rid of alot of laws, one or the other.

        Having alot of laws on the books – to be used only when it is convenient to prosecute someone we do not like – that is the rule of man, not law. That is lawless.

        All of the above is legal philosophy. But there is something else important about it,
        it is the only scheme that can actually work. Anything else is ultimately lawless – a concurrent combination of anarchy and totalitarianism. It is the stuff of every dystopia ever written. It is the stuff of every country that has ever failed.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:21 pm

        With regard to congress – “do nothing” is almost always an improvement over their doing something.

        Further while I am not that close to the so called “freedom caucus” on “social issues”.
        I am absolutely with them on fiscal and limited government issues.

        As Barry Goldwater said – “extremism in defense of liberty no vice, and moderation in justice no virtue.

        Or echoed more recently as “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

        But “justice’ is not some made up concept. It is government and law that conforms to that legal philosophy I posted before.

      • May 26, 2018 9:32 pm

        “With regard to congress – “do nothing” is almost always an improvement over their doing something.”

        So doing nothing about our archaic immigration laws and continuing the DACA issue is better than rewriting the law and giving these individuals the ability to stay in the country they have basically only known.

        I know you dont want any immigration laws, but that is not an option. Allowing thousands from Syria and other middle eastern nations is not wise. That is shown to be true given the issues in Europe.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 12:36 pm

        “So doing nothing about our archaic immigration laws and continuing the DACA issue is better than rewriting the law and giving these individuals the ability to stay in the country they have basically only known.”

        That depends on what the “rewrite” is.
        I do not presume any change is better than what we have.

        I am sympathetic to the so called “dreamers”.
        I am also sympathetic to the purported 700M people world wide who would come here if they could. They too are dreamers.

        The benefits that accrue to most of us for being american are accidents of random chance.

        Trying to pretend that any group has some special moral claim is nonsense.

        My daughter was adopted from China, my son from Korea, they have no more or less right to the benefits of being an american than I, or the dreamers, or the kids who did not get adopted.

        To the extent there is a “right” answer here – the only possible one is to allow anyone who wishes to come, but provide no guarantee’s of anything – except the rule of law to any – including those who are citizens.

        But that is not happening.

        What I ask is that given we will not do what is right, that we atleast face the fact that we will have to make tough choices.

        Choices like do Dreamers stay or not. Do we split up families of people claiming asylum ?
        And noting that when we allow people to claim asylum, we should expect many more people to do so.

        Anything except the binary choices – allowing all in, or keeping all out involves making very difficult moral choices – ones that can not be done perfectly – who is more deserving – someone from China or Nigeria ? From Haiti or El Salvador ?

        It will ALWAYS mean saying no to someone deserving.

        I am not interested in emotional arguments – otherwise you should just be honest and let everyone in, and change our entitilements system so that it can work in that arrangement.

        “I know you dont want any immigration laws, but that is not an option. ”
        “open borders” is not no law. I want limited laws and limited restrictions.

        Open borders is not “no borders”. It does not mean we can not prevent criminals and terrorists from entering, or that we have to allow persulane and disease, or that masses of people can cross in where they please. There is a difference between “our default position will be to accept an immigrant” and we are not making any choices at all.

        “Allowing thousands from Syria and other middle eastern nations is not wise. That is shown to be true given the issues in Europe.”

        False! – Steve Jobs was a syrian immigrant.

        Letting just ANYONE from syria in is a problem.

        Europe can not easily be compared tot he US.

        Their entire system of laws and immigration is radically different.

        Today they let large numbers enter.

        At the same time not only don’t immigrants have much in the way of rights in europe – they will not ever, nor will their children or their childrens children.

      • May 27, 2018 1:12 pm

        We most likely will not see immigration reform that most people will find acceptable
        since anything will be designed by the extreme of one party or the other. Our current laws are making “tribes” in America. Assimilation into America i being lost.

        “Allowing thousands from Syria and other middle eastern nations is not wise. That is shown to be true given the issues in Europe.”

        False! – Steve Jobs was a syrian immigrant.

        Steve Jobs assimilated. Most immigrants from the middle east do not. Just look at Dearborn or other areas. Hispanics are no longer assimilating. Bilingual everything.

        My grand parents came from Sweden. Until they died, my grandfather chastised my grandmother for speaking Swedish so others did not understand. “Your in America Anna, speak English!!!!

        Now its, “I’,m in America from XX, you provide me with bilingual communication”

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 1:22 pm

        I have no idea.

        There is a tremendous amount of effort to pass immigration reform.

        There are obvious easy deals to be made, that are not perfect, but will leave everyone able to declare victory.

        But I do not think anything will happen – because both sides gain more from NOT passing reform.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 1:25 pm

        Most immigrants – from the mideast and elsewhere assimilate i their own way.

        ALL do not.

        But despite the few high profile cases – immigrants from the midieast to the US are very near universally contributing, and are not “different” from other groups in the past – such as the irish, jews and italians.

        We should try to sort out the few terrorists,.
        but on net even mideastern immigrants are a benefit.

      • Jay permalink
        May 27, 2018 3:23 pm

        Agree. Most are OK& assimilate. But govt still has to be watchful for terrorists slipping in among them.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 5:45 pm

        Not disagreeing just noting

        I do not care that that “assimilate”.

        Only that they do not come here to seek to change this country into wherever they left.

        If they liked where they were so much they should have stayed.

        I have no problems with their retaining their own culture etc. to the extent they can, while conforming to our law.

      • May 27, 2018 6:17 pm

        “I have no problems with their retaining their own culture etc. to the extent they can, while conforming to our law.”

        But when laws are changed to require bilingual forms, education, employees, etc, they are not conforming to our laws, they are requiring personal needs be met by the masses to conform to the needs of a minority.

        When Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, Italians, etc came to this country, they learned English. Wendid not change America to meet their communication needs.

      • Jay permalink
        May 27, 2018 6:51 pm

        So the three of us are basically in agreement on this.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 7:06 pm

        It appears so.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:26 pm

        People opposed the farm bill for different reasons.

        One of the things that is braking down – mostly a consequence of far greater public scrutiny – it that increasingly log rolling, and pork are not enough to force bad compromises anymore.

        This makes politics more divisive – but it is good.

        BTW our government was deliberately designed to make getting things done hard – and that is a good thing.

        While I would like to get rid of bad law, the next best thing is NOT to make more new bad laws.
        Gridlock is the SECOND best solution to bad government.

  47. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 9:34 pm

    Dave/John
    By now Trump appointees have infiltrated all government agencies, people who cannot but demur to his wishes. We’ve already seen evidence that others with patriotic concerns about the nation governed under this unprincipled lump of garbage have resigned.

    As to the Mueller investigation, here’s some noted Republicans and other high ranking Americans who worked in Republican administrations and think Trump (and you by default) are full of shit:

    Sen. Lindsey Graham .
    Joe Walsh (former Congressman present Radio host)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
    Senate Republican Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
    Senator Jeff Flake
    Senator John McCain
    Senator Cory Gardner (Colorado)
    Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
    Susan Collins (Maine)
    Ben Sasse (Nebraska)
    Thom Tills (North Carolina)
    Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
    Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)
    Bob Corker (Tennessee)
    John Cornyn (Texas)
    Orrin Hatch (Utah)

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:02 am

      Actually Trump is pretty far behind on appointments.
      Partly this is due to the unillingness of McConnel to “go nuclear” which I support, and partly because Trump/Senate have prioritized judicial reform. A decision I also agree with.

      Regardless, the consequence is there remains a very large number of obama holdovers in appointed positions.

      Personally I think that Trump should fire them all and allow “carreer” people to take their place until the positions can be filled.
      Or leave the positions empty as Tillerson did.

      As to some of Trump’s appointments disagreeing with him

      Wonderful! That is what I would hope for. Rathe that Holder as Obama’s “wing man”.

      With respect to your bizzare equivalence – I disagree with most of the people on your list.
      I do not think Most of them are “full of shit” nor would I presume that they think I or anyone who disagrees with them are “full of shit”.

      You are unable to disagree without hating those you disagree with. Without turning political differences into crimes.

      You are precisely why we want the rule of law not man, and what is wrong with what is occuring right now.

      While I have argued that much of what is going on is WRONG – immoral, unethical and criminal.

      Equally important it is UNIQUE – this is NOT what was done with respect to Obama or Clinton.

      The number of credible threats of violence against Obama was miniscule.
      The number of people demanding his impeachment tiny.

      LArge numbers of people stood up against Obama’s POLICIES and attempts to change the law.
      They did not make this about Obama the PERSON, they made it about the law, and the political process – and still they were thwarted – often illegally every step of the way.

      Now – those opposed to the policies of Obama, having won their battle against impossible odds,
      those like you are making YOU LOSS OF POWER personal. You are seeking to bend the law not properly use it, you are looking to go outside the norms, to change the rules of the game, rather than win by following the rules.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:05 am

      Most of those on your list are at odds with Trump over specific policies – and in atleast some instances I agree with them on those policies.

      It is you, the left, the media and a small number of nevertrumpers that make this personal and about feelings.

  48. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 9:37 pm

    The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, the Putin ally who met Don Jr. at the NRA convention, Yahoo reports.

    A top Spanish prosecutor said: “Mr. Trump’s son should be concerned.”

    Lock Em Up!

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:12 am

      So you have wiretaps between two Russians ?

      Clinton should likely be “concerned” too as she has far stronger russian ties than Trump.

      What FACTS are in your story – the FBI has wiretaps between two russians.

      Everything else is innuendo.

      You do understand that the average Russian Bussinessman is tied to Putin – in much the same was as Bezos and Musk are tied to Trump ?

      I have not addressed this enough – though it came up with the Money to Cohen.

      Every person of Russian descent is NOT an agent of the russian government.
      Every person with “ties” to Putin – is not an agent of the Russian Government.

      BTW the very fact this article brings up the NRA discredits it.

      The NRA received a TINY amount of money for DUES, from Russians living in america, and americans living in Russia.

      The rest of the story is garbage.

  49. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 11:08 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:15 am

      No big McConnel Fan.

      Regardless, – you seem to think lawlessness is something we decide by polls ?

      I do not care if 100 senators “support” the mueller investigation.

      Only congress can investigate the president.
      Further only appointed and confirmed officers in the executive can empannel grand juries, issue subpeona’s request warrants and try cases.

      Mueller is neither appointed by the president or confirmed by congress.

  50. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 11:10 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:26 am

      Well James Clapper thinks so – regardless, Plenty of people have PROPERLY addressed this.

      There are basically three catagories people in the field in intelligence can be in.

      Confidential informant. These are people PART of the organization being surveiled who provide information that they legitimately encounter.
      Spies – In the parlance of the intelligence services these too are CALLED Confidential informants, as there is no “spy” category, regardless, generally we conceive of spies as people who STEAL secrets.
      The last catagory is OPERATIVES – these ar the people who ENGAGE targets. They are NOT insiders, though they may try to get inside.

      Halper was NOT an informant. It is unlikely that he “stole” information, but he WAS engaged in surveilance and he was an OPERATIVE – he was active rather than passive and outside rather than inside.

      Beyond that you are engaged in semantics.

      Was what Hoover did to MLK appropriate ? Was it Spying ?

      Whatever LABEL you wish to use – the facts stil are that the Obama administration hired an AGENT for the purpose of surveiling an oponents political campaign.

      Most of us call that spying. You would be calling that spying if it was done to you.
      You would be calling that spying if Trump did it.

      I would remind you that if you allow Obama to get away with it, you are authorizing Trump to do the same – is that OK with you ?

      I do not think it would take Trump 10s to hack together a more credible claim that the DNC was operating under “russian influence” – after all look at the number of Russians tied to the clinton’s ?
      Or Bernie’s praises and ties to Venezuela ?

      Anyway, tired of the word games – are you OK with Trump doing it to his democratic oponent in 2020 with the same flumsy (non-existant) basis as Obama did – YES, or NO ?

      What name you call it does nto matter.

      Engaging in a semantic debate is just stupidity.

      Is the CONDUCT acceptable ? Will it be if Trump has the same done to Democrats ?

  51. Jay permalink
    May 25, 2018 11:15 pm

    “It is now well established. There was no “spy” lodged in Trump’s campaign. Everyone knows this, even the president. Yet he keeps repeating the falsehood. Many object but many numbly shrug. Said over and over it begins to gain acceptance. This is dangerous behavior in a democracy.“ John McLaughlin

    • May 25, 2018 11:28 pm

      “Said over and over it begins to gain acceptance”

      He is the master of manipulation. And he has taken the Democrats playbook and is turning the tables on them. That is one thing the GOP can take lessons on since they are terrible in messaging and they have allowed opposition candidates to frame their agendas for them for years. They now have to defend attacks on them instead of having all the offensive ammunition in their game.

      And don’t ask me what I am talking about with the democrat playbook. If you have not followed Pelosi/Shumer over their careers and all their political minions, then there is no hope in convincing you that the left can do bad things also.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 1:32 am

        This is not a “democratic playbook” thing. It is just a general lefist thing.

        The politics of the left are that so long as you say the right things and give the poor bread and circuses, you can DO whatever you want.

        The differences between republicans and democrats is more one of the greater hypocracy of the left. Not much on substance.

      • May 26, 2018 10:22 am

        “This is not a “democratic playbook” thing. It is just a general lefist thing.”
        Welll I relate all current Democrats to leftist today, so to me its a Democrat thing. The days of the LBJ, Bill Clinton democrats is dead!

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 1:36 am

        It is like this lunatic debate over whether Halper was a “spy”

        Look I think it is stupid to call him anything else – but if you want to be stupid – call him whatever you want.

        That begs the question of whether what he did was legal, moral or ethical.

        The easiest test of that is where would you stand if the shoe was on the other foot.

        If you are prepared to allow Trump to direct the FBI to run cofidential informants trying to ensnare the 2020 democratic candidate in some manufatured claims with no evidence – then fine – Halper is NOT a spy, and Trump can direct the FBI to “NOT SPY” on his 2020 potential poliical rivals tomorow.

      • Jay permalink
        May 26, 2018 11:08 am

        You’re like a guy watching his house burn down before his eyes, not bothering to put it out, complaining about a past fire that burned out another house, while his house is still burning, threatening to spread and burn down the neighborhood.

      • May 26, 2018 12:01 pm

        Everything that happens in politics today is caused by Trump in your mind. You are just like the extreme far right conservatives that anything that happened between 2008 and 2016 was Obama’s fault. WRONG!

        I did not say I agreed with spygate. I did not say I disagreed with spygate. I can say I don’t know much about spygate other than it seems like there was a spy suspected somewhere and because there is a “gate” included, most likely it was in the campaign somehow, somewhere.

        What I did say was Trump has taken the democrats playbook that they have used for years to constantly communicate a position, whether right or wrong, to make people believe that position. I said the GOP has been piss poor at using that tactic and any message they had got lost. Trump is a master at turning the table on people, right or wrong.

        John McLaughlin said “Said over and over it begins to gain acceptance. This is dangerous behavior in a democracy.“ I agree with him 100% because people do not check messages from parties or their media friends, they blindly follow that message. Most people that follow Madow or Hannity have to idea what the true story really is.

        AND THAT IS WHAT IS DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR IN A DEMOCRACY!!
        (and your blind hatred for Trump that won’t allow you to see the true story in any story, regardless of the issue)

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:33 pm

        If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

        Joseph Goebbels

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:28 pm

        And you are in the same situation arguing that we should do ANYTHING – including throw gasoline on the fire to put it out.

      • Jay permalink
        May 27, 2018 9:17 am

        That’s one of your best replies, Dave: Short, Succinct, Funny.
        Keep up the briefness!

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 1:29 am

      McLaughlin is wrong – the vast majority of us would call what was doine “spying” regardless,

      The LABELS are not the issue – WAS THE CONDUCT ACCEPTABLE ?
      Would it be OK if Obama does that to his democratic oponent in 2020 ?

      If you can not answer yes to both – then what was done was WRONG – WORSE THAN WATERGATE!

      • Jay permalink
        May 26, 2018 11:11 am

        Obama’s running in 2020?
        How is he getting around the term limitation law?.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 26, 2018 9:30 pm

        Mistyped meant Trump.

        At the same time – the question remains would it be acceptable if those you hate the most did what those you loved the most have done ?

        If you can not say yes, you are first a hypocrite and 2nd make it clear that you do not actually have any principles, you make decisions purely based on who you like and who you do not.

  52. May 26, 2018 5:57 pm

    This man is driving most everyone crazy, either with hated toward him or total amazement of a non traditional politician being in office making decisions that political pollsters have not reviewed.

    I have an extremely hard time believing Kim had no idea what Trump was about to do. I believe, and most likely anyone reading this will disagree, Trump told Kim “I am going to announce cancellation of this meeting and put Kim Jong Un on the defensive because he really wants this meeting to happen. Makes him have more stature in NK and cancelling defeats this. You act suprised, go forward with your plans and lets see what Rocket Man does”

    Most anyone making deals backs out multiple times before the deal happens.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-and-south-korean-leaders-meet-to-frankly-discuss-how-to-make-trump-kim-summit-a-success-seoul-says/2018/05/26/37a74e9c-60d7-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9f480aa96d93

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 11:37 pm

      i do not have what it takes to negotiate with Kim Un. Obama did not either, nor did Bush or Clinton.

      I do not know that Trump, does. I do know that Hillary did not.

      I know that looking at the process too closely scares the crap out of me.

      But I also know that if I – or most anyone else were negotiating this deal, in order to avoid the scary parts, In a few years we would be dealing with a NK capable of nuking Manhattan or using an EMP weapon to throw 2/3 of the US back to the stone ages.

      So I am not really interested in the ranting about Trump over this.

      I could not do better – and I do not beleive those complaining could either.

      Maybe we will get lucky this time and Trump will manage a deal we can all live with.

      Without making committments, I would also suggest that this could go slow – or it could go very fast.

      The USSR died in says. The end of totalitarian regimes is often sudden and unexpected.

  53. Jay permalink
    May 26, 2018 8:37 pm

    Trump is a fuck up.
    I’m not the only one who thinks that.
    So does the conservative WSJ.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-trade-confusion-1527203643

    • May 26, 2018 9:15 pm

      How does one read WSJ articles without a subscription? Every time I go to read one of their links, it gives me 5-10 sentences and then “,To read more, please subscribe for $Xxx”

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 12:18 pm

        If you go to a huge amount of effort and google the exact title of the article SOMETIMES you can find a direct link that works.

        Articles on the editorial page such as Strassels are NOT usually behind the pay wall.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 11:49 pm

      I do not beleive that there is anyone who thinks that Trump’s positions on Trade – if actually carried out would not result in disaster.

      My GUESS, is that they are not real, they are just more Trump negotiating – thus far he has actually been very effective at that.

      I have some interesting thoughts on his “style” of negotiating.

      In the context of an actual free market – with a real limited government that is capable of enforcing agreements, trump’s negotiating style – atleast with respect to the way he has handled foreign affairs is immoral. Just as Obama was not free to make agreements that were outside of his powers – Trump is not free to tear up agreements that were entered into reasonably and confirmed by the senate on a whim.

      Keeping ones word matters.

      But as I noted before the relationship between nations – is NOT minarchy – it is NOT limited government and free markets.

      It is very close to pure anarcho-capitalism and it has been working for thousands of years.

      There is no world government – and we would not agree to one.
      There is no limited government enforcing agreements, and Trump is playing by the actual rules in that context.

      But I am not an anarcho-capitolist and I am not comfortable with that.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 26, 2018 11:51 pm

      There is a world of difference between “you are wrong on free trade” and “you are a f$%k up”.

      But then everything that Trump souches must be evil in your eyes.

      If Trump died and managed to get into heaven – you would choose to go to hell, just to spite him.

  54. Jay permalink
    May 26, 2018 8:42 pm

    An anonymous aide to a major Conservative politician’s of the cuff remark, overheard at a DC restaurant:

    “Let me get this straight. The President staffed his campaign with 2 indicted tax frauds/money launderers (one pled guilty already), an agent of a foreign power (Page), and an unregistered foreign agent (Flynn), among other things.

    And the scandal is that the FBI was concerned?”

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 12:13 pm

      Do you read what you wrote ?

      You should have stopped with “an anonymous” .

      Regardless, need I list the people associated with the Clintons who went to jail ?

      Need I note that NO ONE was indicted when Trump hired them, no one has pled guilty to money laundering and technically only van der zwaan has actually pled guilty – in the other instances you have plea deals that are not final, and may still fall through.

      No Page was NOT an agent of a foreign power – that is absolutely false, saying it is defamation.
      Page actually went to the FBI in 2013 when the Russians tried to recruit him and 2 OTHER people involved were caught.

      No Flynn was NOT an unregistered foreign agent – more defamation.

      There have been lots of ludicrous claims about Flynn including that he was involved in a kidnapping – that is how tyin foil hat nutcase the left – and YOU are.

      You are so blinded by hatred you will beleive anything.

      Flynn was targeted because he pissed off McCabe a long time ago by standing up for an FBI Agent that McCabe sexually harrased. Combined with his opposition to the IRan deal which cost him his job under Obama, he was a target of Obama cronies from day one.

      I would further note that if Fynn’s involvement with Trump discredits Trump, that his involvement with Obama discredits Obama. Flynn was forced out of the Obama administration purpoertedly over his opposition to the Iran deal – not some malfeasance.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 12:16 pm

      Both Comey and McCabe have lied under oath – so YES, that absolutely concerns me.

      When the director of the FBI and the assistance and at one point acting director of the FBI lie under oath that is deeply concerning. When their self serving perjury is to cover up ther own misconduct – that is disturbing.

      Yes, Lying under oath is much more serious than anything you have alleged regarding Trump associates.

    • Jay permalink
      May 27, 2018 1:01 am

      Ron, I think for what happened to occur you have to give Alexa access to a contact list with phone numbers.

      • May 27, 2018 10:35 am

        OK You keep believing that and maybe Santa Claus will bring you a Mercedes AMG GT R and the Easter Bunny will pay the insurance for as long as you own it😃😃!

        I do not see that in the article and I do see in the last comments where Amazon did not deny this happened. Like I said previously, friends talking about some things resulted in advertisement on the internet. Seems like much the same issue.

        If connected appliances can lead to problems, why not Alixa?

      • Jay permalink
        May 27, 2018 4:13 pm

        In order for Alexa to call or message a mobile device or phone you have to set it up to allow it to access your contacts list:

        “Everything must be set up using the Alexa app, as it needs to verify your number and sync your contacts.” says my user guide.

        And the number reported to have randomly received the message was a business associate of the husband, which indicates Alexa had access to the husband’s contact list.

        You can disconnect the messaging app from Alexa, and still use the other features. It’s an inexpensive (relatively) product, and lots of fun to play around with (I recently asked it to convert a cooking recipe temps from C to F; to multiply the cost of gas to drive to San Francisco; to play Janis Joplin songs over lunch, and to give me the definition of the word ‘anfractuous’).

        If you’re worried about it snooping on your conversations just unplug it when you’re not using it.

        IfTrump isn’t concerned about using an insecure mobile phone I don’t think you have to worry Alexa will compromise your privacy or that the Deep State May be listening.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 27, 2018 5:48 pm

        The NSA constructed a custom Blackberry at Obama’s request – it cost over $1M
        Hillary wanted one – they said no. They “have” to do it for the president – no sec state.

        I think Trump grasps the NSA is not his friend and if he wants a “secure phone” he is better off getting one privately.

  55. May 26, 2018 11:17 pm

    Jay “Obama’s running in 2020?
    How is he getting around the term limitation law?.”

    Just add “s” before “he” in your question and there is no term limitation.
    Some might think this far fetched. I don’t since she has been included in a number of polls and does well. Why shouldn’t she. Black, Woman, Liberal.

    And after Trump. most people will have totally forgotten Obama’s screw ups and remember him for being somewhat presidential which will play much better than Bill’s reputation for Hillary.

    And Michele was not considered a bitch like Hillary!

    given a Trump/Obama choice, i will vote for the third party.

  56. Jay permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:33 am

    Fact Checks On The Liar In Chief

    https://apnews.com/0255ceb218274d04a89a2285fae879e3

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 12:45 pm

      Your article goes off the rails in the first few words –
      “Illegal border crossings, as President Donald Trump measures them”

      How does the reporter know how President Trump measures them ?

      I have never seen any “methodology” expressed in his tweets.

      You can claim that border crossings go up by some specified measure.

      But if you claim that they go up by the measure used by another, you had better be able to sho how that other is doing their measuring.

      Otherwise you are engaged in misrepresentation.

      Border crossings tend to rise and fall based on the economy – and our economy is doing well.

      Though deportations were high under Obama border crossings were not – and in fact there was likely a significant net outflow of illegal immigrants – due to the economy.

      Then there is the separate issue of there is no actual opjective means of meauring border crossings – they are inherenty a subjective estimate.

      Trump is heavily reinforcing the border – it is likely that is driving stops at the border up.

      More enforcement always means higher statistives.

      That does not tell you anything about whether there are actually more crossings.

  57. Jay permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:45 am

    And here are 3 baldfaced lies The Liar In Chief made today: separation of children from parents is required by law; FBI didn’t warn his campaign about Russia; senior WH official in briefing doesn’t exist.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 12:55 pm

      More misrepresentations.

      Trump has publicly criticised the separations.

      The claim it is not required by law is a misrepresentation.
      While the law does nto explicitly require it, the law can not be followed without it occuring most of the time.

      If you do not like that – fix the law.

      Trump was briefed on Aug. 17, 2016 as part of a ROUTINE briefing on Presidential candidates.
      Clinton received exactly the same briefing. The FBI NEVER said “the Trump campaign is being targeted”, or “these people are being targeted”, Further the briefing was 3 weeks AFTER the FBI started an “official” investigation, and Monts AFTER it started a preliminary investigation.

      The FBI TARGETED the Trump campaign – it did not HELP or ASSIST them.
      The OBVIOUS goal was not to stop “russian interferenace” nor even to “catch russians”, it was to “catch Trump”.

      Thus far we have no evidence at all of an FBI investigation into Russian election interference targetting Russians.

      ALL we have is an FBI investigation into Trump staff.

  58. Jay permalink
    May 27, 2018 9:41 am

    Horrible!

    • May 27, 2018 10:42 am

      Jay thanks for that info from Mikel Jollett who ever he is. Checked out the articles concerning this. At least you are being fair and balanced in this subject.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/obama-administration-placed-children-with-human-traffickers-report-says/2016/01/28/39465050-c542-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html?utm_term=.74417ece521a

    • May 27, 2018 10:58 am

      But this is the government the progressive left keeps promoting when they continue to push for more. FDA restricting access to proven drugs, justice department restricting access to seizure control substances, federal control of a deteriorating education system and now we find HHS can not even locate approved foster families to place these children.

      When we have laws, we can not choose the ones to follow. I like driving 80+mph on rural interstate highways, but I cant unless I want a ticket with reckless driving. So illegal immigrants face and should face jail. But their kids deserve the same safety as ours that our social services provides. The government should find churches to protect these kids until their parents are deported and then get them back when that happens.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 1:02 pm

      First I have serious problems with the groups and claims of “human trafficking” particularly in the US.

      Nearly all the claims regarding the US prove bogus when you get below the surface.

      As an example two guys in Seattle started a business providing rooms to South Korean College students.

      These guys found that they were coming to Seattle in large numbers, engaging in prostitution for a year or two and then returning home – with alot of money and continuing their lives.

      This was the free choice of free women.

      But many of them spoke little or no english and were being taken advantage of.

      So these guys figured out how to make conditions better for these women and to profit from it.

      No force was involved, by all accounts the women were better off dealing with these two guys – no one was required to deal with them.

      They went out of their way to make things safe and clean – Asians have a cleanlyness fetish.

      But the FBI raided them in what was claimed to be the biggest “human trafficking” raid in US history with “nationwide” ties.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 1:08 pm

      The treatment of children in the care of government – whether immigrants of otherwise is abysmal.

      It is old now, and it is not about immigrants, but I would suggest reading “Weeping in the play time of others”.

      It is not an intentionally “libertarain” book – it was written atleast partly targeting social workers and social scientists – not a particularly libertarian group.

      But the indictment of government is damning

      A child removed from a parent that is secually abusing them is MORE likely to be further sexually abused in government custody than if they remain with the abusive parent.

      Trump did not create this mess.

      Unfortunately he is not going to fix it either.

      Obama did not create this mess, and he did nothing to fix it.

      If you want to discuss fixing it – I am listening.

      If you just want to pretend this is about Trump – I am not interested.

      I have little interest in those such as yourself who do not really want to solve problems.
      and are just looking to blame their political enemies for problems that have been arround for ever.

      Trump did not make the swamp, and no one actually beleives he is going to drain it.

      But some of us do hope there will be a few less aligators when he is gone.

      • Jay permalink
        May 28, 2018 11:46 am

        “If you just want to pretend this is about Trump – I am not interested.”

        If you want to pretend this isn’t about Trump, now, you’re dumb as dirt.

      • May 28, 2018 12:10 pm

        Jay, does your hatred for Trump make you blind and incapable of responding to anything that does not fit your Trump hate agenda?

        “If you want to pretend this isn’t about Trump, now, you’re dumb as dirt.”

        Did you not read the article I linked that shows this has been going on well before Trump!!!!!??????¿?????

        This IS NOT Trump incompetence, it is government incompetence!!! And when you have 75+% of government workers on the teats of the taxpayer, they are slow to change and will do whatever it takes to protect their job.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 28, 2018 1:53 pm

        “If you want to pretend this isn’t about Trump, ”

        This is not and CAN not be about Trump – that is the entire point of our law.

        Government MAY NOT investigate PEOPLE, it MUST investigate CRIMES.

        Justice, our law, is BLIND to WHO, something is a crime based on the WHAT, not the WHO.

        The rule of law, not man, means the same law for EVERYONE – for TRUMP, for CLINTON, for YOU.

        The moment you cede that government, the FBI, the DOJ etc. can act differently because of the person – you have ceded you are lawless.

        As an individual – as a voter, you can pass judgement on individuals. In your own life you have make choices differently based on people.

        But govenrment may not do so – DOJ, FBI, CIA may not make choices differently based on the WHO rather than the WHAT.

        Unless you are prepared to cede that if Trump did/does the same things Obama did to Kerry, the Clinton’s future political competitors – then you have ceded that what was done to trump was immoral AND illegal.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 28, 2018 2:15 pm

        I will note something further.

        Those “after” trump have incessantly used “drip, drip” as a means of sugguesting this inexorably moves forward and the problems for Trump just grow as it does.

        With very few exceptions that has proven false. The Mueller investigation keeps having to expand its net ever wider – because it finds NOTHING where it is supposed to be looking.

        While there was never a basis for what was done with respect to page, papadoulis, Flynn, Clovis, Manafort – it is quite obvious to ALL now that None of them were russian agents or conduits.

        The actual SPYING makes that even clearer – Halper, nor anyone else has ever found the consequential contact with Putin you are looking for.

        It is evident that Mueller is not getting to Trump – without putting his entire life under a microscope – without investigating the man rather than a crime.

        If you can put the entirety of someone’s life under a microscope you can ultimately find something on everyone. Something that either is an actual crime or can be made to look like a crime, or given the breadth of our law something that is a crime – because there are so many crimes, but no reasonable person would have considered their acts criminal at the time.

        But “drip, drip” works both ways.

        The IG, and Hunt are slowly and quietly digging away, as is Nunes and Grassley.

        The DOJ/FBI has been fighting the release of information – and it will manage to drag it out – but ultimately it is all coming out.

        More sunlight on this is unlikely to make things look better.

        We already know that ranking Obama administration members met in March 2016 regarding Trump We are going to get more and more information about those meetings over time.

        National Security Letters were supposed to be used – even to authorize Halpers activities – those either exist and will come to light – or they do not which would be even more damning.

        It is also pretty clear that the handling of the Trump investigation in the Obama administration was conducted entirely outside of ordinary channels – that too is damning.
        But more and more evidence of that is going to arrise.

        Put simply over time we will learn more and more and it is highly unlikely to be beneficial.

        As one example – there has been speculation for more than a year that Mifsud was MI6,
        That has not been established yet, but it has been established that his contacts with MI6 are high level and extensive – if he is not MI6 – if he really is tied to Russia – as the trump/russia collusion narative requires – then MI6 has been compromised by the Russians.

        But if the opposite is true – if Mifsud is MI6 – then your “spying on the russians” narative goes out the window – unless your claim is that Halper is so stupid that he confused an MI6 operative for a russian.

  59. Jay permalink
    May 27, 2018 6:54 pm

    So, another ‘flaming liberal’ finds Trump’s behavior contemptible …

    • dhlii permalink
      May 27, 2018 7:26 pm

      You bitch and moan about Trump’s tweets and then slather us all with anti-Trump tweets.

      I really do not want to read most of Trump’s tweets – they are not targeted at me anyway.

      I care even less about Joe Walsh’s tweets about Trump and Memorial day.

      The Stupid Russia probe is destroying not only its “targets” but civility in this country.

      That is what happens when one part of the country “targets” the other – particularly when they use the machinery of government to do so.

      The actions of the Obama administration were illegal.
      But far more important they were incredibly immoral.

      Criminalizing political differences is not unique to the left, but it is far more common on the left today that the right.

      It is a tactic that the Nazi’s did badly and that the Soviets and Chinese perfected.

      Unfortunately even our founders on rare occasion were tempted.

      All of us would prefer civil discourse where we differ.
      But sometimes actually protesting is necescary.

      But shouting down a voice you do not wish to hear is the start of a long immoral path.
      And you certainly may not use force to silence those you disagree with.
      Particularly not the force of government.

      The left lost this past election – BECAUSE it alienated large portions of the electorate by calling them hateful hating haters – and then wondering why they were hated.

      You continue to forget that this past administration from the begining has been lawless, and hyper political.

      Fast & Furious was ludicrously stupid and was followed by a massive coverup, and to this day congress has not received what it demanded.

      Subsequently we had the politicization of the IRS,
      As well as the most extensive leaking of tax returns in US history.
      As well as the destruction of evidence, stonewalling, lies and obstruction.

      The Obama administration targeted journalists more than all other presidents combined
      Spying on reporters from Fox and NBC.

      The Obama administration got caught spying on the Senate.

      Adm. Rogers reported a monumentla jump in improper NSA database queries – something like 3500% above norms – that is SPYING.

      Clapper – lied under oath on multiple occasions about domestic SPYING.

      The bad news is that what we are seeing regarding Trump is NOT unusual – for the previous administration.

  60. May 28, 2018 10:28 am

    https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/twitter-donald-trump-court-block/2018/05/23/id/862002/

    Sometimes the courts get a decision right. If it is a personal account for personal social media interaction, then blocking should be allowed. But if it is official business site, then blocking should not occur. Social media today is the colonial day megaphone. You cant stop someone from yelling comments at an open forum with politicians and the same should hold true for social media.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 28, 2018 1:19 pm

      Your comments on the decision are correct, but I think the decision was not.

      No one in government may stifle speach in a government provided public forum.

      The question is whether @realDonaldTrump is a government provided public forum.

      This question was addressed in a prior case.

      I think that Trump danced close to lines he should not have crossed on @realdonaldtrump but not sufficiently to change the nature of the account.

      @realdonaldtrump is a personal account – not a public forum.

      It predates Trump’s presidency and it is not maintained by the government or used to conduct government business.

      Trump sprays his own personal thoughts their – that is the excercise of free speach of Donald Trump, not the policy expression of the president.

      He does not use that account to make policy declarations or diseminate official information.

      As I noted – Trump HAS gotten close to lines he should not cross there.

      I would further note the issue is NOT really about @realdonaldtrump,

      It is about the difference between the president and donald trump.

      it is about the fact that even after getting elected donald trump remains an individual person with the same rights as other individuals.

      It is important that Trump try to keep clean the lines between his personal political expression and his actions as president.

      But it is also important that the courts do not interfere with the rights of Trump the person.

      It is NOT possible to PERFECTLY separate those two.

      • May 28, 2018 2:30 pm

        Most likely SCOTUS case that could be decided well into the next election cycle with Kennedy deciding the 5-4 decision unless he retires, then most likely a 4-4 decision letting this decision stand or sending it back for review.

        Like everyting, there are 4 sides to this issue. The Trump hater side, the Trump is great side, those that claim his use of the sight to communicate information that promoted agenda and positions was government business and those that claim what he communicated was personal and not government business.

        My position: If its person, then it can be blocked. If its government business, 1st amendment applies.

        So who decides if its personal or business? So if he says “Happy bday Malania” thats personal. But if he says “Malania is in XYZ meeting with PM ABC on her birthday, happy bday”, is that business or personal since she is FLOTUS in a foreign country meeting with that leader.

        Beats me! But we will argue about personal/business for years because thats what we do with politics.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 28, 2018 7:03 pm

        I am not sure this goes all the way to SCOTUS – it is not a significant decisions.

        There are only really TWO facets – and any decision that accomplished BOTH is acceptable
        The problem with this decision is that is leave little room for the other.

        The PRESIDENT May not block people on the PRESIDENTS social media accounts.

        Donald Trump may not be prohibited from blocking people on Donald Trump’s twitter account.

        While the decision does properly asset the first, it makes little or no room for the 2nd.

        While I think there are clear ways to distinguish the first from the 2nd, what matters is that
        the courts allow room for BOTH and provide bright lines for the difference between the first and the 2nd.

        It is my OPINION that @realdonaldtrump is a personal account and that though trump has danced close to accidentially converting it into a government account, I think the court should err in favor of calling it personal while specifying where the lines are that would make it government.

        I think the BRIGHT LINE is issuing directions, or providing “official” statements.

        Stating his own VIEWS is the exercise of his INDIVIDUAL first amendment rights.

        Stating what he is GOING to do gets dicy.

        Actually says I am ordering, directing …. X makes it a government account.

        I do not personally care about DT with respect to this.

        I think one way of dealing with it is the create official Social Media accounts for the President.

        And to formally note that @RealDonaldTrump reflect Donald Trump’s personal views NOT those of the President of the United States. And are nto to be taken as directives or orders or the position of the Federal government or the president.

        I know it is hard for most of us to grasp the distinction between the two. But the president and the person are not the same.

        But this distinction does exist in the law – and it exists with respect to offices other than the presidency.

      • Jay permalink
        May 28, 2018 2:45 pm

        “He does not use that account to make policy declarations or diseminate official information.”

        The DOJ doesn’t agree with you.

        “The Court has asked, broadly, about the official status of the President’s tweets … asking the parties to ‘provide insight on … the President’s tweets and what they are, how official they are, are they statements of the White House and the President,’ ” Justice Department attorneys wrote Monday citing a Nov. 2 status conference hearing.
        “In answer to the Court’s question, the government is treating the President’s statements to which plaintiffs point — whether by tweet, speech or interview — as official statements of the President of the United States,” the Justice Department responded.

        https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/14/doj-donald-trump-tweets-are-official-statements-of/

      • May 28, 2018 4:01 pm

        I dont know why it is so hard for government officials to determine “,official business”. Like a SCOTUS justice said something like “I cant define porn, but I know it when I see it” so to should anyone looking at @realdonaldtrump on twitter.

        Yesterday he posted “Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”

        I cant define with 100% surety what is official business, but I also know it when I see it and the above is official communication concerning NK to the American people in my mind.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 2:56 am

        I am not trying to get into the specifics of what is or is not “official business”.

        I am more interested in that rules are established that provide room and clear lines for both the personal and the official.

        I do not think that can be done perfectly. But my objective is not perfection.

        As an example I disagree with you regarding the remarks concerning North Korea.

        The person who is the president is free to express himself to whoever he pleases – including the american people. Twitter is a quasi public forum – it is not a government created public forum.

        I do not think the Trump’s expressions regarding NK are “official”

        A better example would be when he tweeted about Transgendered people and the military.

        Trump essentially made a statement of policy on @realdonaldtrump.

        That was inappropriate,

        HOWEVER Mattis was queried on that and made it clear – that as fae as he was concerned Donald Trump’s tweets were not orders or directives and that things would continue as they were until he was properly directed otherwise.

        Mattis was correct.

        Jay Cited a DOJ lawyer saying that DOJ considered @realdonaldtrump “official”.

        That was a clear misrepresentation or misunderstanding on his part.

        It should be self evident that over the past 18 months no part of the federal government has implimented policy or been directed by Trump’s tweets.
        Otherwise there are alot of things that would have been done, that have not been

        Trump has as an example stated that Sessions should fire Rosenstein, or resign.

        Sessions has done neither. If @realdonaldtrump is official – Sessions would have been required to do both.

        Often tweets on @realdonaldtrump are followed by actual whitehouse directives.
        Those are followed.

        Those are my views.

        But fundimentally it is more important that clear rules are established.

        Nor is this an issue specific to the president. It applies to every elected and appointed official and to some extent every government employee.

        .

      • May 29, 2018 9:23 am

        “But fundimentally it is more important that clear rules are established.”

        And that is why I think this will eventually reach SCOTUS as they have to be the last word on the “clear rules” otherwise there will be courts across the country coming up with different rules based on the judges different views, just as you and I are having a difference of opinion.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 28, 2018 7:33 pm

        DOJ’s remarks were both wrong and inappropriate – as we have already seen from previous tweets – such as ones on immigration and transgendered in the military – DOJ, DHS, DoD are IGNORING #RealDonaldTrump until they are specifically directed to do something by the WhiteHouse.

        I do not actually care about @RealDonaldTrump.
        Nor do I care about this case in the specific context of Trump.

        I do beleive DT has allowed too much confusion to exist and has danced too far into grey areas.

        But the end result – for DT and ALL Presidents, and people in government MUST be:

        They have the ability to have (or not) as they choose a private life and social media presence where they can act in ways anyone else can act.

        You can NOT lose your individual rights are a result of being in government.

        The also may (or may not) have an Official Social media presence – where what is expressed is their expresion specifically as the office holder that they are – and in those accounts the public forum rules apply.

        Again this has NOTHING to do with DT – except that this issue got to the courts with him as president.

        I beleive there is an actual federal case from Georgia about a year ago that reach much the same decision. Except that the “official” use of the account in that case was much more blatant.

        Your noting the DOJ remarks is relevant – the CRITICAL issue is, whether the expressions on the account are policy directives – or government provided information.

        But DOJ’s answer was either wrong, or in the alternative DOJ is taking direction where they should not.

        There are many things Obama has expressed while president – that no one in their right mind would take as the policy directives of the president – such as punch back twice as hard or taking a knife to a gun fight.

        My BIG point again has nothing to do with DT.

        Whatever the rules are – they must apply not only to all presidents – but actually to everyone in government.

        We do BTW already have a model for this outside the internet – and that is why the DOJ attorney was wrong.

        Every expression made by the president is NOT treated as a directive to the executive branch.

        I would also note – though not addressed there is even a third possibility – and ALL possibilities have to be allowed for by the courts.

        That is an “official SM account” where EVERYONE is blocked.

        What is not permitted is to create a public forum – a government created place where views can be publicly exchanged and THEN be selective about who can speak there.

        Government is allowed to have places it tweets ONE WAY.

        The FBI has a twitter account where it posts all new FOIA material.
        You can not comment there.

        It is not actually a public forum.

        Further presidents make personal remarks – to the press all the time,
        those DO NOT create an obligation of government to provide others to respond.

        But once you allow ONE non official comment, you must allow ALL.

        The Judge did not err as a matter of law, in my OPPONION the error was a matter of fact.

        @realdonaldtrump- is NOT the official twitter account of the president of the united states.
        It is the twitter account of DT individual. He can say whatever he wants there, block whoever he wants. But the executive branch should NOT treat any message there as a policy directive.

        And contra your DOJ lawyer we already know they dont.

  61. Jay permalink
    May 28, 2018 11:07 am

    Dear Trump-enabling traitor of truth, regarding repeated assertions that his campaign was imbedded by FBI spies, see if you know which lefty-Progressive-Democratic has come to this contrary conclusion:

    ““What I have seen is evidence that they (the FBI) were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning… It appears that there was an investigation not of the campaign, but of certain individuals who have a history that we should be suspicious of, that predate the presidential campaign of 2015, 2016. And when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that.”

    Oh, sorry.. it wasn’t a Dem, it was Republican Rubio…

    • dhlii permalink
      May 28, 2018 1:45 pm

      When you start an argument by accusing everyone who disagrees with you of treason – you have already have lost.

      With respect to “Rubio’s remarks”.

      Rubio himself is both wrong in his facts, and even as asserted wrong by exactly what he says.

      “(the FBI) were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia”

      That IS SPYING on US Persons and on a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.

      The LAW makes a HUGE distinction between SPYING on foreign nationals.
      and anything that even TOUCHES on a US person.

      That distinction applies EVEN to accidentally encountering US Persons – who subsequently must be MASKED – merely UNMASKING a US Person is spying. The Identity of a US Person caught in SPYING can not easily be revealed beyond those few people IMMEDIATELY involved in the spying.

      And ignoring the law completely the 4th Amendment ALWAYS applies to US persons.
      It applies EVEN when you are spying on russians.

      Regardless – as I have stated REPEATEDLY – are you saying that Trump can make the same unfounded allegations and SPY on his political opponents ?

      Can Trump as an example direct the FBI to now SPY on John Kerry ?

      What about directing them to SPY on Mueller and the Mueller investigation itself ?
      They are obviously “entangled” with Russians, and they have had many meetings with “russians”.

      What of US reporters ? Can Trump direct the FBI to spy on them – because many have met with “russians” ?

      Would it be OK if Obama had ordered Spying on the Clintons ? They have far more entanglements with Russians than Trump does – Bill Litterally and personally received 500K from them.

      It is already established that the TARGETs of this SPYING was the Trump Campaign.

      Strzok’s texts about the March 2016 Meeting of Brennan, Clapper, as well as other Ranking administration and WH people – makes that clear.

      • Jay permalink
        May 28, 2018 3:07 pm

        ““(the FBI) were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia”
        That IS SPYING on US Persons and on a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.”

        By your asinine illogic Americans collaborating with foreign government’s who join a political campaign are exempt from further investigation.

        Thanks for collaborating your apologies for Traitorous Behavior is embedded in your reasonings..

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 2:27 am

        “By your asinine illogic Americans collaborating with foreign government’s who join a political campaign are exempt from further investigation.”

        NOPE.

        You are running afoul of one of the fundimental issues – and why what was done is wrong.

        Counter intelligence investigations and criminal investigations are entirely different.

        They are not to be conducted by the same people in government, among other reasons because counter intelligence rules are much laxer than criminal rules.

        Counter intelligence investigations can be easily opened on anyone NOT a US person.

        But every nexus of a counter intelligence investigation with a US person requires the protection of the identity of that US person – not merely from the public as a whole, but from almost the entire rest of government. That is why the identity of US persons is MASKED.

        SOMETIMES an existing counter intelligence investigation REQUIRES targetting a US person.
        That REQUIRES getting a warrant from the FISA court.

        That did not occur until October 2016. Prior to that the CIA could NOT surveil US persons.

        Next you can not use the product of a counter intelligence investigation in a criminal investigation, doing so violates the persons 4th amendment rights.

        Where counter intelligence investigations find cause to beleive that a crime has been committed by person subject to the CRIMINAL jurisdiction or the US, at THAT POINT, the investigation MUST fork. Intelligence indicating a crime that was gathered without violating the 4th amendment can be forwarded to an INDPENDENT criminal investigation. That investigation CAN NOT communicate with the counter intelligence investigators from the point of divergence.

        The subsequent CRIMINAL investigation MUST follow criminal investigation rules.
        Which are more stringent than counter intelligence rules.

        This elaborate dance is to avoid the government having to choose between the national security needs of the country and the criminal law enforcement obligations of government while respecting the constitution, and the rule of law.

        Thanks for collaborating your apologies for Traitorous Behavior is embedded in your reasonings..

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 2:41 am

        The federal government does NOT have a general police power.

        For most of our history there have been few federal crimes and very very limited federal law enforcement.

        Conversely the federal government has very broad powers with respect to foriegn affairs and national security.

        “By your asinine illogic Americans collaborating with foreign government’s who join a political campaign are exempt from further investigation.”

        That would be true – “collaboration” is not a crime – “collusion” is not a crime.

        As to the point that I think you actually intended:

        the federal government – through its intelligence services is free to “investigate” threats to the national security of the US.

        the federal government – through its law enforcement agencies is free to investigate alleged crimes – using means and methods consistent with the protection of the constitutional rights of those caught up in those investigations.

        Those are unique powers of the federal government. They are each constrained.

        The intelligence apparatus of the US government is severely restricted with respect to the exercise of its powers against US persons.

        The law enforcement agencies conversely do not have the near limitless investigatory powers of the intelligence services.

        All the things that are being discussed – FISA warrants, National Security letters, the masking of the identities of US Persons are the legal framework that we have created to address the fact that on rare occasions there is a nexus between criminal and national security.

  62. Jay permalink
    May 28, 2018 4:04 pm

    To anyone who doesn’t whole heartedly agree with this Memorial Day Column from David French, 👎👎👎

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/the-measure-of-trumps-devotion/561368/

    • May 28, 2018 5:03 pm

      Everyone knew he was an egotistical blowhard that verged on sociopathic tendencies when they voted for him. He made no bones about it and never has. Everyone voting for him voted with their eyes open knowing what they were going to get and that is one reason they voted for him then and most likely would vote for him in the future.

      I knew what he was and that is why I did not vote for him, nor would I vote for him again. Run another Bitch against him and I wont vote for her either! Run a liberal progressive asshole that believes in huge government programs and hates the rich and wants to tax them out of existence, and I won’t vote for them either. I am one person that WILL NOT vote for the lessor of two evils and then have to make excuses when they do crap I don’t like and I can’t say “I did not vote for them”

      Most people let the two party system manipulate them into that situation and then piss and moan when the person they voted for turns out to be what was expected but not as bad as what they expected the other candidate to do.

      This was one election you got what you saw, what you heard and what they tweeted. There was no questions about that and he still was elected and now he is what he was. And what everyone thought he was!!!

      • Jay permalink
        May 28, 2018 6:41 pm

        “Everyone knew he was an egotistical blowhard that verged on sociopathic tendencies when they voted for him. ”

        You and I didn’t know the EXTENT of his ‘tendencies ‘ when the election occurred. The majority of those voting for him certainly didn’t and his base STILL DOESN’T. And once the commitment to vote for him occurred his supporters and apologists ignored all the new evidence piling up day by day of just how fucked up he is as President of the nation. Psychologists know this as commitment response: the tendency to ignore the negative and accentuate the positive relating to the choice you’ve made.

        Do you remember all the rationalizations that Trump’s boorish bullshit and bullying was only a campaign tactic, and if elected the gravity of the office would temper his bullshit… The opposite happened: he has become multitudes WORSE.

        WHAT YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND, , is that it’s not just me describing him as the worst president in our lifetimes, or our parents lifetimes, our grandparents lifetimes – it’s a wide cross section of people of repute from both parties, from historians and commentators left and right, from former high ranking government officials Democratic and Republican, who are WARNING America that Trump is fucking up America. And it’s not a stain that will be bleached away. It’s a scar that will deface our republic for generations.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 3:16 am

        “You and I didn’t know the EXTENT of his ‘tendencies ‘ when the election occurred. ”

        So What ?

        You do not have a right to perfect knowledge.
        Regardless, neither you, not I, nor Ron voted for him.
        What we did or did not know is irrelevant.
        We do not get to vote against him twice – in the same election.

        I have absolutely zero interest in claims that “I would not have voted for Trump – had I only known” from people who did not vote for Trump. That is complete idiocy.

        I would further noted that I did not vote for Clinton.
        I can not think of any circumstances under which I would have voted for Clinton.
        Had someone held a gun to my head in the voting booth and said you MUST vote for Trump or Clinton. I do not know what I would have done – but I know what I would NOT have done.
        I would not have voted for Clinton.

        I think that remains true even today for a large number of people.

        Whatever Trump’s flaws – and there are many.
        Whatever new ones you think you have found.
        However much possibly a large majority of us do not like Trump,
        We were and are STILL not going to vote for Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 3:23 am

        Back to the amatuer psychology again.

        To the extent you are right – it also applies to those who voted against Trump.

        It is self evident to most everyone here that you as an example will find almost anything Trump does offensive.

        The media is making a huge deal about the separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents. They have been showing pictures of kids being torn from their parents. And blaming Trump.

        Pictures that have mostly turned out to be from 2014.

        So where was the media then ? and why are people like you all lathered up about policies and conduct that was acceptable to you – when Obama did it ?

        I do not beleive that we should separate the families of illegal immigrants.
        But that is the law.

        BTW the overwhelming majority of those families SELF-SEPARATE before crossing the border.

        Fathers are more likely to get accross the border without getting caught without their families,
        and children are more likely to be treated better and cared for better by the US government than their parents can. And have a higher chance of getting asylum.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 3:28 am

        I remember Trump saying he would be a very “presidential” president.

        I do not remember anyone – including most of his supporters beleiving that.

        A large part of the conduct you find most offensive about Trump is what his supporters find appealling and why they voted for him.

        I did not vote for him, and I try hard NOT to pay much attention to his war with the press an the left.

        At the same time as much as it bothers me – as far as I am concerned the press and the left deserves the Trump they got.

        They have spent years calling everyone who disagrees with them “hateful, hating haters”.
        Turn about is absolutely fair play.

        As much as I dislike Trump’s conduct, I can not help but occasionally take secret pleasure when he takes down someone who justly deserves it.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 3:37 am

        Sorry, Jay, But Trump is NOT the worst president of our lifetime or anyone else’s.

        He has not raped or sexually assaulted anyone as an example.

        It remains a bit too early to tell, but the evidence is still strong if not yet compelling that he is the best president we have had economically since Clinton.

        I can list numerous disagreements with him on policy – but I can do that with every president in US history.

        He has been the most deregulatory president since Carter – who despite otherwise being an excellent president allowed his emotions to handicap him with regard to Iran and the hostages.

        He has done more to keep his campaign promises than any president ever – that included promises I do not support.

        Further, the number of people who loath Rump are shrinking – not growing. His approval rating is the highest it has been since Comey was fired and is rising.

        Graph his approval fromt he election to now and overlay it on Obama – and it is the same or better than that of Obama.

        In otherwords while DIFFERENT PEOPLE are offended by Trump than by OBAMA,
        As a whole we like Trump no more or less than Obama.

        And that is despite a far more full court relentless attack than Obama was subject to.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 3:43 am

        There are things tearing this country apart. Trump’s election is a SYMPTOM of that.
        But Trump is not the cause.

        The fundimental confrontation is that Trump’s election is a message form the people as a whole to the left – that their control of the country is NOT absolute.

        That the country is still free.

        That is a good thing and not a bad one.

        The last thing we needed was 4 or 8 more years of sanctimonious rule by leftist idiots.

        The left has lost power temporarily atleast. That is something to be celebrated.

        It is good for the country.

        An enormous portion of the Changes Obama imposed have proven temporary.

        Even if Trump’s deregulatory efforts, and reversal of Obama policies itself proves temporary – the reprieve still benefits all of us. For a time atleast we are saved from the oppressions of political correctness, we have atleast a brief opportunity to succeed unfettered.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 3:09 am

      The purpose of government is not “empathy” and infact the role of government requires to the extent possible severly limiting “empathy” from government.

      The limits on government are driven by this requirement that the actions of govenrment preclude to a large extent “empathy”.

      Government is FORCE.
      We do not make choices regarding the use of force based on emotions – empathy.

      The entire concept that empathy has a place in government is an explicit rejection of the rule of law and an embrace of the rule of man.

      When we say justice is blind – that is both an aspiration and a principle.

      It means that justice is the same for black or white, for rich or poor. For deserving or undeserving.

      It is a statement that govenrment can not value one person over another – not because they are rich. NOR because they are poor or in some way deserving of “special treatment”.

      Empathy has an important place in our lives. It is fundimental to what it means to be human.

      But its place is explicitly not with government.

      Socialism is inherently the idiocy that empathy has a place in govenrment. Whether it is driven by class or the new socialism of intersectionality.

      The consequence of bringing empathy into government – is BLOOD.

      Whether it is the french revolution or the gulags, or Mao, or the killing fields.

      Justifying the use of force by emotion results in bloodshed.

      That is why empathy can not be part of government.

      As individuals or in voluntary groups we are free to act on our emotions rather that reason as we choose. But we are NOT free to use emotion to justify the use of force.

  63. dduck12 permalink
    May 28, 2018 6:52 pm

    Ron, I can understand respect you for not voting for the lessor of two evils, but when was there a pure no-evil choice?
    I did vote for the lessor (Hillary), and I would do it again regardless of the party name.

    • May 28, 2018 8:30 pm

      Well if someone put a gun to my head today and said pick one, Trump or Clinton, I would have to pick Trump. I can not see myself voting for that whiny ass overbearing Bitch that believes in every progressive program I am against. Where Jay has a complete blinding hatred for Trump, that is how I feel about Hillary and her holier than thou attitude where she believes hers doesnt stink, accepts a husband that is a proven sexual abuser and stayed married to promote her career, but believes Trump is guilty of the same issues and calls him out for it and broke many laws during the emails scandal and got the government to cover it up. In my mind, everything she did illegally is just as bad as Trump if found to be guilty.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 10:30 am

        While I would have made the same choice, not for the same reasons.

        Jay and the left try to make a case for Trump’s corruption.
        They fail.
        The argument they make is rooted in the premise that business is inherently corrupt – which is false, it is politics that is inherently corrupt, and that being able to juxtapose things is proof of corruption. i.e. Kushner is going to refinance a building in NYC – that MUST be evidence of corruption. Some Diplomats are going to stay at Trump owned properties – that MUST be evidence of corruption.
        While the Clinton’s quite transparently and openly trade on inluence and that is somehow not corruption ?

        I do not beleive Clinton is inherently progressive. I do not think Clinton inherently beleives in anything. But I do beleive that Clinton would govern much as Obama did – only even more corruptly.

        We have had 8 years of that kind of governance. We do not need more.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 10:34 am

        I think that Bill Clintion is WORSE as a person that Trump. “Slick Willie” is more personable, but at the same time more repugnant. His treatment of women makes Trump look like an amateur abuser. Bill Clinton has BAD character, and is not a good person, no matter how personable I think he is.

        That said he was NOT a bad president. In fact he was a pretty good president.

        In many ways he and Trump are comparable.
        Trump is NOT a good person. But he is proving to be a good president.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 3:57 am

      It is rare that we get choices so apparently bad.

      But we are NEVER getting choices where even one candidate is actually good.

      Even you grasp that Hillary was evil – even if I disagree with you as to which was worse.

      I will also suggest to you that though in some form political conflict will continue for ever.
      Many aspects of the current conflict will resolve – or atleast diminish.

      There were small debates here about Kushner’s permanent security clearance.

      I think it is far more significant than is apparent.

      The FBI would not have recomended PERMANENT approval if there was even a shadow over Kushner. It is near certain they consulted Mueller.

      That inherently means Mueller said not only that Kushner is not being prosecuted, but that Mueller has NOTHING that Kishner could be blackmailed or compromised on.

      By extension that means Mueller does not likely have anything on Trump.

      Mueller MIGHT get something from those he is still prosecuting for process crimes.
      But that is mostly wishful thinking.

      The Mueller investigation is going to die. Probably slowly and quietly.

      If the Democrats do not retake the house – and that is increasingly less likely,

      There will be far less of a platform to wage war on Trump all too soon.

      Regardless, the left is burning people out.

      Trump is not going to succeed at everything he does – maybe the NK “deal” will fall through.
      but he is going to succeed at some of it. And every success of Trump’s weakens the war against him.

      The left is increasingly betting on “shooting the moon”.

      Maybe that will occur – but it is extremely unlikely.

      • May 29, 2018 12:56 pm

        Good analysis, Dave.

        “…in some form political conflict will continue for ever.”

        That is, of course, true. The problem with the left is that, failing to secure adequate support for its political agenda, it attempts to shut down all debate.

        I get it. The left cannot win in a fair fight. The 2016 election may be the last fair election that we will see ~ and we now know that, even in that one, the FBI was spying on Trump.

        I have come to believe that, going forward, the political left would prefer a civil war to a Republican president. Unless, of course, it’s a Republican that will stand down and allow the US to become what Western Europe has become…

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 5:16 pm

        I am probably the least “moderate” or people here – or the least committed to “compromise” as a principle rather than as a tool.

        But many of the themes I pound on are quite moderate.

        While I do beleive there are “answers” to most of our political questions.
        Often even “right” answers.
        Much of libertariansim is accepting that humans make mistakes, and government is made of humans, and we want to give mistake prone humans the least oportunity to harm anyone but themselves. We do not want to use government aka force except where necescary.

        That is a philosophically defensible position.
        It is a morally defensible position.
        But it is also a practical position.

        Broad human agreement is rare. That is an important attribute of who we are – it is not only acceptable, it is possitive. We need people going off to the beat of their own drummer.
        Most – but not all the time they fail, but we want that failure to be limited to those who chose to follow their own drummer.

        That inherently means government can not act without very broad concensus.

        If we disagree – we can not collectively act.

        That is a PRINCIPLE that applies whether it is the left or the right seeking to act.

        We should always err on the side of NOT using force – government.

        The right has been known to try to impose its will on others by force, but historicailly that is actually rare. At this moment it is the left that is the greatest danger.

        First because they have spent nearly a decade in power and they are now out of power because they were unable to deliver the prosperity they promised.

        Next, because they are now out of power and unable to beleive that could have happened without something nefarious. The left beleives that their views and values are so clearly right, that the nly way people could disagree is if they are evil, stupid or deceived.
        They are incapable of accepeting that not only could decent intelligent thoughtful people reject their values, but that their values could actually be wrong – even immoral.

        Outside of government we would call that kind of beleif – faith, religion.

        As Prof. Haidt notes – tribalism and the drive to “sanctify” to make religious is a core human value.
        We should not be surprised that if you weaken traditional religious values – something else will take its place in most people.

        Historically the most despicable acts men do to each other come from religion – but that does not have to be formal religion, though it often is. In the modern era by far the most dangerous religion is that of statism – communism, socialism, fascism, progressivism.

        When people are the most sure they are right, is when they are most able to act both violently and cruelly – whether that is terrorists, or nazi’s or those torturing terrorists, or antifa.

        Anyway the left has made politics into religion and that makes them much more dangerous.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 29, 2018 11:25 pm

        At this moment – as well as generally the Left is more dangerous that the right.

        But that does not make the right tame or harmless.

        Nixon, Ford, Reagan Bush, Bush, Trump – are far from ideologically homogenous.

        Carter and Clinton were democrats by by policy they were opponents of big government.

        Bad ideas do not win in a fair fight – regardless of where on the political spectrum those ideas come from.

        I think we are relatively far from a civil war. At the same time the left is both dangerous, wrong and fully prepared to accomplish their goals by any means necescary,

        Jay does not consider himself a leftist, Yet it is quite obvious he would turn a blind eye to any malfeasance that resulted in the end of Trump.

        Anyone who can not grasp that the ends do not justify the means is very dangerous – regardless of orientation. Anyone prepared to use force to impose their will on others is dangerous.

        I would strongly suggest that getting rid of Trump is incredibly dangerous.

        It will do nothing to abate more than temporarily the anger and offenses that brought him to the white house. Even if it temporarily brings an erzatz peace, if you take out Trump in a way that does NOT have near universal support, from those that voter FOR him, the message you send to them is “next time do not fight fair” – and there will be a next time.

        If the left is deluded to think Trump is aithoritarian, they do not want to see what they will get if they destroy him.

        Trump must succeed or fail on his own.

        The left – those like Jay need to do exactly what I did when Obama was elected – pray that they are wrong and he is right, or that he will see the error of his ways and set things right.

        Obama did not change his stripes. Nor did he succeed.

        The only legitimate way for the left to return to power is to allow Trump to succeed or fail on his own merits. Anything else will result in a backlash that will likely be worse than Trump.

  64. Jay permalink
    May 29, 2018 7:17 pm

    There are some voices of sanity at Fox, that are brave enough to tell it like it is:

    • Jay permalink
      May 29, 2018 10:04 pm

      Even this Fox Trump supporter admits the spygate charges are bullshit. But Trump enablers continue to spread the lie to discredit the Mueller investigation.

      Fox News’ Judge Napolitano Calls Trump’s ‘Spygate’ Claims ‘Baseless’: There’s ‘No Evidence Whatsoever’ mediaite.com/a/bswbj (VIDEO)

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:33 am

        If the WaPo and NYT stories are correct, and I do not think anyone is denying them.
        Then the Trump campaign was spied on – almost certainly illegally.

        But we will not know that for certain until the HPSCI and Senate are provide the National Security Letters that authorized Halper’s actions. absent those – the actions of the FBI/CIA are illegal.

        If the National Secutity letters exist – then the findings in them become relevant and we start the same process we went through with the FISA warrant.

        Do the National Security letters cite enough evidence to surveil the Trump campaign.

        Those documents had to have been produced BEFORE the FBI had the Steele Dossier and BEFORE the FBI had the report and Papadoulis’s meeting with Downer.

        So we are going to be zeroing in on the real start of the investigation, and the real basis.

        DOJ/FBI has a further problem – whatever that basis was – it does nto appear that it was subsequently used to get the FISA warrants.

        Separately I have a reasonable amount of respect for Neopalitono – thoung I highly doubt you do, he is very libertarian.

        But in this instance he is not only wrong – he is obviously wrong.

        Regardless the question AGAIN is call this whatever you want to call it – would it be legitimate for Trump to do it to his future politcal opponents ?

        A further question is: If the obama administration had a basis for spying on the trump campaign why were they not ALSO spying on the clinton Campaign ? After all Clinton was coordinating Opo research on Trump with the Ukrainians and Bill recieved 500K from Russian oligarchs “closely tied” to Putin ?

        Jay you have a huge problem
        You have something that has not to our knowledge ever been done before.

        You ahve something that in the event you can actually justify it – you will have to explain why you did it to only one campaign – because there is nothing that Trump did that Clinton did not do more of.

        And finally whether you like it or not – most of us do see this as “spying”

        Not only do most americans think this was spying by a plurality – 47% think that it is likely Obama, or atleas tthe whitehouse was in on it. only 42% think it is unlikely.

        I would further not that Momouth found as of mid march that 57% of americans are worried about the Deep State and government spying on individuals.

        Further these is very little partisan divide – the fear is actually highest among independents and lowest among democrats, but in all cases it is a majority and republicans and democrats are only 1% apart.

        Minorites in the center and left are the most worried followed by NRA members on the right.

        8 in 10 beleive that the federal government spies on ordinary people.
        53% say it is widespread.
        Only 14% beleive it does nto happen at all.

        Only 18% of us beleive it is justified,
        53% beleive it is SOMETIMES justified.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:36 am

        To summarize the “spying” issue – whatever you beleive – the pubic is not goign to have the slightest trouble beleiving that Trump was spied on and that is was not justified.

        Trumps; problem is that the same people beleive that spying is commonplace and likely do not think Trump was “singled out”

        Regardless the argument that Trump was not “spied on” is not only wrong as a point of fact, it is also wrong as a point of general beleive.

        You are trying to sell uphill.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:50 am

        I would suggest reading the IBD/TIPP, Monmouth and Rassmussen polls.

        Rasmussen found that only 42% of people beleive Russia “meddled” in the election, while 35% beleive that the FBI meddled MORE.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:54 am

        Actually what Napalitono said was that he wants to see evidence – that the NYT and WaPo and WSJ stories are not evidence.

        Essentially he is saying that NYT, Wapo and WSJ are not necescarily to be trusted.

        I can accept that.

        Strassle BTW claims she was aware this story was coming for atleast a few months.

        That she did not until recently have enough to run it, but it was rumoured for a long time and the story is not different from the rumours.

        The story is coming out now – via WaPo and NYT – because DOJ/FBI knew that Nunes and Gowdy and Grassley were going to have it shortly and they decided to leak it to friendly sources FIRST, to do damage control.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 11:32 pm

      Sorry, Jay – I am not in thrall of fox,

      I am a person who grasps that when you send a CIA off the books spy to target some – that is called Spying.

      As some FBI and CIA agents have stated – there is no “spy” label in official communications.
      Spies are called “informants”.

      Regardless the labels do not matter – what was done is quite obviously spying to most of us – calling it something else just makes you look like an idiot.

      And yes when people are unable to call a “spade a spade”, then they try to hard to call things different names to obfuscate, that is dishonest, and deceitful.

      Call Halper whatever you want – he use and actions require justification that has thus far not been provided.

      AGAIN would it be OK if Trump did the same thing on the same basis to democrats in 2020 ?

      You know this was wrong, you would be up in arms if it was done to one of your own.

      I have so little tolerance for people whose principles change depending on who is in power.

  65. Jay permalink
    May 29, 2018 8:33 pm

    Despicable Donald Despised

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 11:34 pm

      Again – what are you talking about ?
      Do you even know ?

      You found someone insulting Trump and therefore they are your hero.
      Never mind knowing why.

      • Jay permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:58 am

        Do you know who that ‘someone’ is, or are you spouting from your usual jackass ignoramus self?

        He’s another long time CONSERVATIVE insider.

        I quoted him to refute your constant Bullshit that the Left is responsible for the tidal wave of insults directed at Trump.

        Most of the quotes contradicting shit head donnie I posted here are from REPUBLICANS.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 12:40 pm

        You still are clueless. “quoting” someone you do not identify has zero weight.

        It is much like your guardian story – if could be true, or it could be made up.

        The reason for identifying sources and providing documentation is to distinguish between what is real and what is made up.

        Information purportedly from anonymous somebodies, could be made up by you.
        Could be made up by them, could be just false, or could be the truth – and we have no means of knowing.

        When I say “mark penn” made some claim – you can check who Mark Penn is, and decide whether you think he is credible or might know what he claims to know.

        When you say “some trump insider” that provides no basis for weighing the credibility of what you say.

        Quoting someone you do not identify is indistinguishable from making something up.

  66. dduck12 permalink
    May 29, 2018 8:38 pm

    Hi All,
    ELECTRONIC SPYING Notice:
    In case you haven’t seen this important notice: https://www.nytimes.com/201.

    • Jay permalink
      May 29, 2018 8:43 pm

      Link doesn’t work DD
      (2nd try to post this)

      • Jay permalink
        May 30, 2018 4:56 pm

        Thanks… will reboot the router…

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 6:55 pm

        Here is an excellent article by McCarthy covering why not only was Obama “spying”, but the “spying” was on the Trump campaign not russian.

        The gist of which is that Halper is NOT a confidential informant in any sense except possibly the jargon of the FBI. Halper has been a SPY for decades, Further he is specifically an OPERATIVE – someone ACTIVELY engaging a target.

        McCarthy subsequently notes – which I have said to you – The CIA/FBI may SPY on people,
        but it may not do so indiscriminately – there are laws and regulations that must be followed
        there are standards that must be met to justify spying on a US Person – and those standards

        We have little reason to beleive at this point those standards were met.
        But since some of the justification MIGHT be classified, the HPSCI and Senate Intellegence committee as well as the gang of 8 are all entitled to demand that FBI/DOJ/CIA produce their justification of that spying. If they can not do so to the satisfaction of that oversight, then the action was by definition improper. Depending on how poor the actual justification was it may be illegal.

        SEPARATELY AFTER Clinton’s loss, the administration and the left started this Russian narrative. It was not until Clinton lost that anyone on the left or in the administration was threatened by Russia. Since GHWB every US president and administration has FAWNED over Russia – and Putin, We have pressured Georgia, the Ukraine and other nations in the former USSR to make innumerable concessions to Russia with promises of our protection. We have promised that there would be no Russian aggression, and when Putin has made those promises false we have done nothing. Fawning has been the official US policy of each of the past 4 presidents. The Obama administration not only continued the prexisting policies of willful blindness to russia, but amplified it. Obama needed Putin for the Iran deal so he turned a blind eye to Putin’s misconduct.

        We have argued here in inumerable posts over the Uranium One deal.
        You can try to paint it however you wish. You can not in any possible way paint it as the action of a US government that considered Putin and Russia to be a serious threat to the US.

        That is a deal between “friendly powers” or atleast a favorable deal to a power the US is treating as Friendly.

        Russia was never so friendly to the US as the last 4 presidents have portrayed, NOR so hostile as the left suddenly decided starting immediately after the election.

        The Steele Dossier and the FBI investigation were NOT investigations of Russia – they were investigations of Trump. It is impossible to take seriously the claim that either Obama or Clinton were investigating Putin and the very Russian Oligarchs they were in bed with.

        Russia is neither the friend that the left and each of the past 4 administrations made them nor the enemy they became in the mind of the left on Nov. 9 2016 when the annointed one unexpectedly lost.

        It is not credible to pretend that the Obama administration was investigating Russia anything.

        That would be the same Obama FBI that had actively supressed prior investigations of Russian Corruption.

        That would be the same Obama administration that chastised Candidate Romney for taking a moderate rather than fawning position on Russia.

        The claim that Halper was spying on Russia does not pass the laugh test.

        The claim that the Obama administration was investigating Russia – does nto pass the laugh test.

        We KNOW that Clinton and the clinton campaign have numerous ties to Russia.

        John Podesta litterally has financial holdings in Kremlin funded companies. and they in his compaines. There is more than $35M in Podesta’s wealth tied DIRECTLY to the Kremlin.

        Not only is there no member of the Trump campaign with a large financial entaglements with Russia, the entire Trump campaign does not have ties a fraction that large in agregate.

        And that ignores the 500K payment to Bill Clinton – that is 5 times larger than all Russian spending on the US election, and 50 times larger than the Trump specific adds.

        So WHY wasn’t the Obama administration SPYING on the Clinton campaign.

        Why do you investigate a guppy when there is a whale in front of you ?

        If John Podesta wanted to “collude” with Russia – he could do so, so trivially no one would know.
        He most certainly had more meetings and calls from Russians in 2016 (and before) than the entire Trump campaign – including all the fake ones.

        Get a clue – it is OBVIOUS the Obama administration was engaged in political targetting.

        It is obvious that the Halper/Strzok investigation was “Andy’s insurance policy”
        The purpose was political and had everything to do with Trump and nothing to do with Russia.

        There are not even that many real russians in any of this.

        https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-obama-administration-spying-hypocritical/

  67. Jay permalink
    May 29, 2018 8:46 pm

    More evidence Douche Donnie is Obstructing.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 11:55 pm

      Nope, Jay – your beliefs about someone’s motives do not make their legitimate actions into a crime.

      On fact your entire argument is self refuting.

      What we have now is Rosenstein and Mueller – neither of whom were appointed by Trump,
      and neither of whom are answerable to anyone off on their own doing as they please.

      I think that Sessions properly recused himself.
      But for more significant reasons Rosenstein should long ago have recused himself.
      And Mueller should have refused to job or resigned over the conflicts atleast as great as those of Seessions.

      The standard is “the appearance of impropriety”

      Rosenstiend is up to his neck in various aspects of this. He signed off on several o the FISA warrants – that at a minimum poses a problem.

      He is dancing perilously close to defying a presidential directive to turn over material to congress.

      That directive should not have been needed. Any claim of priviledge regarding information not to be given to congress ultimately rests with the president.
      There is no national security priviledge with respect to “the gang of 8” or the HPSCI or the Senate Intelligence committee, and only the president can assert executive priviledge and only narrowly.

      Of Rosenstein continues to stall, he may get held in contempt, and he may get impeached.

      Regardless the fundimental problem at the moment is that you have a slice of the executive branch that has gone rogue.

      It is immune from BOTH executive and congressional oversight.

      That is unconstitutional.

      It is also a reflection of the problem that the WSJ law editorial I provided some time ago noted.

      The current state of constutional law does not permit the direct excercise of executive power by an “inferior” member of the executive.

      That includes prosecuting cases convening grand juries, asking for subpeonas and search warrants.

      Mueller was not appointed by the president or confirmed by congress – anyone who is not is an inferior officer.

      There is constitutional law on this – right up to Corday and the CFPB.

      Cordray resigned to avoid being fired – because even though Congress made the CFPB independent and its head unfirable by the president, SCOTUS ruled that the head of the CFPB was NOT an inferior position – and therefore was directly fireable by the president – regardless of the law.

      There is a whole raft of cases on this – inferior members of the executive how no actual power.
      They can not authorize government actions.

      This is why not only must the agents involved sign for FISA Warrants – by either the AG, dir FBI or their immediate deputies who were ALSO apporinted by the president and confirmed by congress must

      Frankly Trump should have fired Rosenstien long ago. and appointed someone who would constrain Mueller to investigating a specific crime, and only those things directly arrise from the investigation of that crime.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 29, 2018 11:57 pm

      Yes, we all know Sciff is forthing at the mouth. He is now accusing Gowdy, Nunes, and a whole plethora of others of obstruction of justice.

      The level of trust between Schiff and the rest o the HPSCI has gotten so bad that several including Nunes will not meet privately with Schiff without witnesses.

      What a peice of Schiff!

  68. Jay permalink
    May 29, 2018 9:39 pm

    Scum sucking Donnie Keeps Lying About Spying.
    But even Republican Insiders Know He’s Lying.

    “A senior House Republican who was part of a highly classified Justice Department briefing last week said on Tuesday that the FBI acted properly when it deployed an informant to gather information from advisers to President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said last week’s briefing, convened by the Justice Department under pressure from Trump, convinced him even further that the FBI’s information-gathering steps were appropriate.”

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 12:12 am

      Did you bother to read the entire Gowdy interview.

      Gowdy is one of the key people – possibly more important than Nunes driving the HPSCI investigation of the FBI handling of the investigation into Trump.

      Gowdy has been on the record for a LONG time supporting the Mueller investigation, while at the same time noting that Mueller has found nothing thus far and that Mueller’s assertion that Trump is not a target pretty effectively clears Trump.

      Gowdy is also a strong supporter of Wray and slightly less so of Rosenstein – he has been personally extremely frustrated by the failure of Rosenstein to provide requested and subpeoned documents.

      At the same Time Gowdy is a bitter critic of Schiff – who he properly denounces for claiming that he has seen evidence that demonstrates Trump colluded – when Schiff has seen nothing that the rest of the HPSCI has not seen and that is now mostly made public – and there is nothing there.

      Gowdy has also severaly critisized Brennan and Clapper and is not particularly happy with Comey.

      If you read the entire inverview the gist of it is Trump should calm down and let Mueller do his job and the house and senate do theirs and they will get to the bottom of things.

      He DID Not actually exhonerate what was done.

      Gowdy BTW is the actual lead author of the so called Nunes Memo.
      It is Gowdy who actually is going to DOJ/FBI and reviewing most of the information.

      You started a big rant that Nunes had not seen most of the classifed material reported in the “nunes memo” – that was correct – Nunes has been avoiding meetings with Schiff – as well as avoiding directly handling classified information – because FBI/DOJ/Schiff have accused him of leaking it.

      It is likely that the NYT/WaPo “spying” stories were efforts to leak a friendly version of a bad story, as well as to setup Nunes and Gowdy with claims they were the sources of the leak.

      That fell through when Gowdy and Nunes canceled their meeting with DOJ/FBI at the last minute and the material had already been provided to the press.

      Do not mistake any of Gowdy’s remarks for happiness with the way the DOJ/FBI have behaved.

      Gowdy is incredibly frustrated. He is just a former AG and still a bit too trusting of prosecutors.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 1:04 am

      Here is the actual Gowdy interview – rather that an misquote out of context.

      While Gowdy tells a different story than Trump – he is also telling a radically different story than you.

      • Jay permalink
        May 30, 2018 6:15 pm

        You’re full of sh^t.

        He confirmed that the FBI was doing what it was supposed to do.

        ““It looks to me like the FBI was doing what President Trump said: ‘I want you to do, find it out,’” Gowdy said. He added: “President Trump himself in the Comey memos said, ‘If anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.’ Sounds to me like that was exactly what the FBI did.”

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 7:14 pm

        I read and watched the entire interview.

        BTW it has now separately been confirmed that no documents were provided to Gowdy or the HPSCI at the WH meeting last week or for almost two weeks prior or too date.

        Therefore it is impossible for Gowdy to actually know that the FBI was doing what it was supposed to.

        I am not attacking Gowdy, I am attacking you and the press for putting WAY too much meaning on remarks that are not that significant.

        I Like Gowdy – ALOT. He is probably the lead in going after the Obama administration for misconduct in this. But he is a former Federal prosecutor, and he is being very careful about not offending the FBI.

        He has been unctious towards the FBI generally, and Wray, Rosenstein and Mueller, specifically.

        I have far less trust of the FBI as a whole than he does, Though I do not beleive that AS A WHOLE it is POLITOCALLY Corrupt. It is still far less competent and far more corrupt than most of us treat it.

        I expect that Wray will be a good FBI director. He had no role in this mess and is mostly caught in the middle. I do not think he is doing what he needs to to clean this up – but not out of malice or political bias.

        I am more concerned about Rosenstien. I do not beleive he is corrupt or political.
        But he is way too intrinsically tied into this mess and should have recused himself – he has far more and far larger conflicts than Sessions.

        I do not think that Mueller is corrupt or politically biased.
        But he has been given an unconstitutional role, and further I think his past track record demonstrates he is NOT the right person for the job. He does not seem to be able to figure out when he is headed in the wrong direction.

        Another Richard Jewel or Antrax Fiasco is NOT in this countries interest.

        If there is an actual basis for an investigation. We need someone who will do it right and provide answers that can be trusted – Mueller is NOT that person.

        With respect to Gowdy’s Trump quote – it is out of context in accurate, and a b it dishonest for Gowdy. We have no record of Trump saying that, that I recall. We have Comey saying that to Trump, and Trump not contradicting him.
        Further it is a variation on the “are you still beating your wife” query.

        The correct answer is NO! – Absent a legitimate foundation you may not investigate anyone.

        No one was working with Russia – therefore there was no reason to investigate,
        and NO we do not investigate to find out if someone MIGHT be working with Russia.
        We must have cause that is the case to BEGIN.

        Can the FBI investigate Jay for colluding with the Russians ?

      • Jay permalink
        May 31, 2018 9:13 am

        “Can the FBI investigate Jay for colluding with the Russians ?”

        If I’m associated with Russians who are known associates of Putin’s government who are funneling me large sums of money and I’m working in the campaign of a presidential candidate, you bet your dumb ass they can & should be investigating me.

        Do you not understand how MORONIC your rationalizations are on this?

      • dhlii permalink
        May 31, 2018 10:37 am

        “If I’m associated with Russians who are known associates of Putin’s government”
        True of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Glenn Simpson,.

        Not True of Carter Page, Papadoulis, Sam Clovis

        These are the people Halper “spied” on.
        “who are funneling me large sums of money”
        True of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Glenn Simpson,.
        Not true of anyone in the Trump campaign.

        There as of today is ZERO dollars from any foreign source that has been tied to anyone in the Trump campaign during the campaign.
        There IS Money from the FBI to Page and Papadoulis.

        Only Gates and Manafort received money from foreign sources – the Ukraine in 2014.

        “I’m working in the campaign of a presidential candidate”
        True of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Glenn Simpson,.

        “you bet your dumb ass they can & should be investigating me.”

        So based on YOUR criteria there are 4 OBVIOUS people who meet every element who should have been “spied” on who were not.

        And 3 people who were spied on with only meeting the criteria that the worked on a presidential campaign.

        “Do you not understand how MORONIC your rationalizations are on this?”
        Look in the mirror.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 4, 2018 5:19 pm

        “If I’m associated with Russians who are known associates of Putin’s government who are funneling me large sums of money and I’m working in the campaign of a presidential candidate, you bet your dumb ass they can & should be investigating me.”

        What is “associated” ? There are no Russians that Page has met with repeatedly. There are none that he is friends with. As a fact we know that he met with one russian in /july 2016. to deliver a speach to the New economic school in Russia. After that speech he “met” breifly and individually with several russians associated with the school – these were public “meet and greets” of a few minutes each. Page was also in Russia in December AFTER the election. and one “official” he had met at the New Economic school, stopped briefly at his dinner table while he was eating to say hello.

        Page paid for both trips himself. While the trip to Rome where he met Halper was paid for by Halper.

        Page informed the Trump campaign of the trips and was told he was not representing the Trump campaign during the trips.

        In 2004 Page worked as an energy consultant for Merril lynch and was posted to Moscow.
        At that time he consulted for Gazprom, where he developed an actual relationship with Baronov.
        Baranov later joined Rosneft – the company associated with the U! deal

        At one time Page owned a small amount of GazProm stock – he sold this in 2016 after becoming a Trump advisor.

        There are no “large sums of money”,

        The above is primarily from Page’s testimony. If the FBI had any reason to beleive that it was inaccurate in the most minor way Page would have joined Papadoulis, and company and have been indicted by Mueller.

        Page is a minor actor looking to advance his own interests from his association with the Trump campaign – who you and your ilk have destroyed for your own amusement.

        If there is a basis for an investigation here – then there is a basis to investigate Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta – they have far more extensive contacts to Russia and actual real associations with actual members of the Russian government. and they have actually received large sums of money.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 30, 2018 7:41 pm

      I too watched the interview and agree with Gowdy, that what the FBI did was appropriate.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 9:59 pm

        Again – I am pretty certain at this point that Gowdy has not yet seen the National Security letters or anything the FBI/DOJ used to unleash Halper on the Trump campaign – it is therefore quite premature for Gowdy to state the FBI handled that correctly – no one has seen the evidence yet.

        But I understand that Gowdy has been trying to protect the FBI and DOJ while exposing the “conspirators” and has been very careful not to go to war against the FBI

        At the same time – if you are going to take a one liner of Gowdy out of context – does that means you are prepared to accept the rest of what Gowdy said in the interview ?

        Or are we back to playing one line gotcha – where you get to pick and choose a tiny part of all of the things that everyone who disagrees with you says and weave those into a narrative even though no signle person thinks that your narative is worth crap ?

  69. Jay permalink
    May 30, 2018 12:34 am

    “The counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump was kicked off by not one, not two, but multiple SIGINT reports which set off alarm bells inside our Intelligence Community. This has been publicly known, in a general way, for some time. A little over a year ago, the Guardian reported, based on multiple intelligence sources, that the lead was taken by Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ – Britain’s NSA), which “first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the U.S. as part of a routine exchange of information.”

    http://observer.com/2018/05/what-did-the-fbi-do-in-2016-about-russian-connections-to-donald-trump/

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 12:06 pm

      Jay, There have been Multiple “stories” of what kicked off the investigation..

      Including “official stories” – i.e. claims evidenced by the testimony of various people before the house and senate or evidenced by the documents provided to the house and senate.

      This NEW “Story” is not one of those.

      I have noted before that FVEY’s has already confirmed that they did NOT provide information to the US government regarding Trump/Russia – that DIRECTLY Contradicts the Guardian story.

      I actually suspect the Guardian story is true. But it is NOT the “official story” that was used in the applications for FIAS Warrants or any documentation provided to the house or senate thus far.

      Equally important, this GCHQ information did NOT come through the proper intelligence channels that the governments of the UK, US, AU, NZ, and CA use to share intelligence.
      NOTHING came through those channels – nothing regarding the Downer/papadoulis exchange, nothing regarding the purported GCHQ intercepts, nothing regarding any interaction between Trump and Russia.

      While we do not YET have the full story, we know that ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING related to this was handled outside of normal channels and improperly.

      Though I actually beleive this story – meaning I beleive that someone near the top of British inteligence secretly and directly contacted probably Brennan and made the claim from this story,

      We have no actual evidence that it is true. We have no evidence that there were these intercepts.
      BTW if GCHQ intercepted this material – then NSA did also – and we have no evidence of that either. NSA is orders of magnitude larger than GCHQ.

      Further this story actually makes things worse – because it confirms another “story” – and that was that Obama was working with foreign intelligence services to have them spy on US citizens and circumvent US laws limiting government surveilance of US persons.

      So your Guardian “story” instead of “getting Trump” may well provide part of the proof of MORE misconduct on the part of the Obama administration.

      Regardless, todate the Guardian “story” is just that – a story. There is no corroboration.
      Evidence to support it does not as of yet exist in the records that DOJ/FBI provided to congress – and they actually went looking for specifically that corroboration.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 12:22 pm

      Finally this “story” – because it is only a press story – and not documentary evidence, is meaningless – we have had multiple false press stories regarding the origens of the investigation.

      The press is unfortunately NOT the record, not evidence. And I want actual evidence, official records. proof of who exchanged what information with whom when and how.

      That is the ONLY means by which it is possible to determine whether the actions taken by our government were done so legitimately or criminally.

      “Trust us” is NOT an acceptable answer – these people have all lied repeatedly under oath, they are not trustworthy.

      My suspicion is that the story will ultimately prove “partly true, and partly false”, we already know that nothing from the foreign intelligence community was used for the FISA warrants.
      We also know that the FBI applied for FISA warrants – and was rejected twice – a very rare occurance. The FISA court rejects about 6 DOJ/FBI requests a year – out of thousands.

      If the alleged information from GCHQ in the guardian story was available – why was it not used in the FISA applications ?

      There are only two possible explanations:

      First – the story is absolutely false.

      2nd – the story is true but the information provided was either false or valueless.

      Just to be clear – I want as much official confirmation of this as possible.

      I want it because we already know that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and many many others near the top of the Obama administration have been lying, both publicly and under oath.

      While there is limited wiggle room for public lying about intelligence information,
      There is no wiggle room for lying to the house and senate under oath in closed door hearings.

      I want as much information as possible to be provided to HPSCI and the Senate Intelligence committees.

      I want it because even if true – that would just prove that many of these people have been lying to the house and senate – and if false then it is just more “fake news”.

      BTW there are atleast 3 different “origens” stories that the press has run.
      They are all mutually exclusive.

      That inherently means that all stores EXCEPT whatever is true are “fake news”.

      They are stories that the press has run with from sources that were lying to them.
      Sources that they continue to use.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 12:31 pm

      And just to be clear we ABSOLUTELY know that one part of the Guardian story is WRONG.

      We already know – HPSCI – Nunes and separately I beleive Grassley have confirmed that no intelligence from CA, AU, NZ, or UK was passed to the US trough “routine intelligence channels”.

      That has already been absolutely established – in fact NOTHING about this has been doine following ROUTINE.

      That itself is BTW damning. The more effort that was made to conceal what was going on, to do things OUTSIDE routine processes and procedures the more damning this is.
      It is what is called evidence of consciousness of guilt.

      Just to be clear – given the nature of what we are talking about – the “routine channels, and routine procedures” of intelligence work, are all secure and secret – the US and UK exchange intelligence all the time – without leaking it, or exposing it.

      The failure to use routine channels is not to keep it secret from the public, but to keep the knowledge of improper conduct confined to the conspirators.

      Interestingly there appears to be evidence that Comey was actually kept out of the loop for very large parts of this – that within the Obama administration and within the small circle of people dealing with this Comey was considered unreliable and a flake. and likely to accidentally expose them.

      • Jay permalink
        May 30, 2018 6:35 pm

        Look. You’re refusing to examine the evidence objectively.
        Russia INTERFERED in the election.
        The MAJORITY of Russian contacts was with people involved in Trump’s campaign.
        Those people KNOWINGLY LIED when questioned about those associations.

        That you constantly rationalize away that kind of compromising behavior shows what an idiot you are.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 9:17 pm

        Jumping up spitting and frothing and saying Tusia, Russia, Russia is not objective evidence.
        Claiming there is evidence without providing it is NOT objective evidence.

        As I noted the TOTAL Russian spending on the US election is 1/5 of what Bill Clinton was paid by Russia for a one day speach.

        That is your idea of interferance ?

        The “subjective” garbage from Twitter and facebook – who we already know are incapable of objective determinations and see bots everywhere are NOT evidence.

        We KNOW what the Russians spent. We KNOW the size of their operation.

        Hell! Putin did not spend as much on his own re-election as Roy Moore did running for the Senate, and Putin spent orders of magnitude more on himself than on the US.

        Finally what is “interfered”

        I have already told you REPEATEDLY – I do not give a damn about claims that Russia or unicorns “persuaded” voters.

        While most of the country does not CONSCIOUSLY respond the same, they actually DO intuitively.

        No one in the country beleives they were “persuaded” to vote improperly. They all beleive SOMEONE ELSE was persuaded improperly.

        You are barking up the wrong tree.

        So let me make it even clearer. I do not want the federal government “interfering : with the efforts of any human or group on the planet to persuade others or using it as a basis for criminal or counter intelligence operations.

        If the KKK or the Nazi’s or the communists, or the Russians or the Chinese or John Oliver wish to try to persuade US voters – they are free to do so.

        Again the rest of the country does not LITTERALLY share that view – but you have FAILED to rile them up over it.

        If I recall a majority think that Russia interfered, but most are just not frothing as you are over it.
        The only people it is important to are those on the left who pretend it is the reason they lost.

        It is NOT!! If you do not understand that you are just stupid.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 9:48 pm

        “:The MAJORITY of Russian contacts was with people involved in Trump’s campaign.”:

        Totally false. I have Sero doubt that John podesta personally talked to more russians during the campaign than the entire Trump campaign.

        Page had a SINGLE Trip to Russia, where he met a single russian who was a banker in the oil industry that was the purpose of Page’s trip.

        Page is the ONLY Trump campaign member that we know ever met a real russian.

        Papadoulis met mostly with Misfud – who is purportedly Maltan – who Claimed to have contacts with Russia, but almost certainly did not, and was almost certainly actually working fr MI6.

        There are some stories that Papadoulis MAY have met with some russian emigres in the UK,
        There is no public confirmation of that.

        Manafort and Gates contacts were with Ukrainians and prior to the election.
        Manafort actually gave directions to the campaign to NOT talk with Russians.

        No one has been charged much less convicted of ANY contact with Russians. Much less lying about it.

        Most noteably Page who is the only one we know actually met a real russian and who was surveiled for a full year, has testified many times and not be charged with anything. He has repeatedly been called an idiot – by most everyone, but he has never been called a liar, and those calling him a a “russian agent” were CLEARLY lying.

        The other “russian” contact – was the Trump tower Natalia meeting.

        I would specifically note that Natalia met Glenn Simpson BEFORE and AFTER meeting Trump Jr.
        So if you say there is 1 Trump meeting with a Russian – that would be TWO Clinton meetings as Fusion GPS was on the HFA and DNC payrolls.

        While brings us to Steele and his Russian contacts.
        Like it or not Steele was PAID FOR by the DNC and HFA, that makes him a campaign surogate,
        That means ever single contact he made with a russian to find dirt on Trump is a contact with the Russians.

        Sorry Jay but you are completely wrong on this.

        Objective evidence is not naked assertions (you usually do not even manage that) or innuendo.

        BTW your argument is also loaded. Every single Russian is not a representative of Russia.

        I do not actually beleive that John Podesta “conspired with the Russians” because he certainly talked myriads of times with lots of russian businessmen all of which were “tied” to Putin.
        Just as I do not beleive that Carter Page whose job is in the international energy sector met with a Russian Energy banker to discuss “interfering with the election”

        Grow up – learn what any evidence – much less “objective evidence” is.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 9:54 pm

        You were spraying Gowdy at me as if he was god earlier.

        Well Gowdy and the HPSCI has already investigated and it has concluded there was NO collusion with Russia and no Russian interferance in the Election.

        The Grasely Senate intelligence committee concluded the same thing.
        I beleive there is another senator that is suggesting his committee will confirm the ICA assessment, Which is garbage, but still no collusion.

        In point of fact what we have evidence for is the OPPOSITE of what you claim.

        We have no evidence for anything. A big nothing burger.

        It would be far easier to play your inuendo game with Clinton.

        BTW The Clinton campaign had ACTIVE contact with the Ukrainians during the election.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 31, 2018 12:00 am

        Here is a letter from Sen. Grassley to Sen. Coons that does a pretty good job of explaining the difference between actual evidence and much of what you argue.

        Whether they are pro-trump or anti-Trump media stories are NOT evidence.
        They MIGHT point us to evidence, they MIGHT provide lines of inquiry.

        Grassley compared and contrasted Glenn Simpson’s testimony with that or Donald Trump Jr.

        Trump Jr.’s testimony is consistent with know facts, and with any other testimony he has given.
        However it is NOT consistent with news stories and it might not be perfectly consistent with remarks made to the press.

        Glenn Simpson’s testified that Trump was spied on and then publicly retracted that. When the SIC asked if he stood by his testimony he said that he did. And his testimony has proven correct.

        Glenn Simpson also testified that he has not worked on the Steele Dossier nor received further funding regarding the Steele Dossier since the election.
        But records from the FBI show that not only is Simpson still working on it, that he has been paid $50M and that he has discussed that with the FBI.

        Simpson’s testimony and his statements to the FBI both require truthfulness.
        Yet they are in contradiction – both can not be true.

        That is what actual evidence is.

        https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-05-29%20CEG%20to%20Coons%20(Trump%20Jr%20Interview).pdf

  70. Jay permalink
    May 30, 2018 6:23 pm

    Yo, Trump Apologists, prove any of this is not factual:

    As a candidate, Trump promised his policies would generate sustained 4% annual economic growth; after he became president, his White House promised 3%; today, his administration reported 1st quarter 2018 growth of 2.2%

    Facts: Job growth, wage growth, stock market growth have all SLOWED since Obama’s last year in office.

    Hate crimes and hate groups have increased since Trump became president. Illegal crossings at the Mexican border are UP. US life expectancy is DOWN.

    • dduck12 permalink
      May 30, 2018 7:49 pm

      Whoa Jay, pulling your hair out because of Trump has been proven to decrease your life expectancy (yet), And the stock market does not just follow any presidents wishes.
      Promises of 4% are just that, just like some politicians are now promising a pot in every anti-biotic chicken.
      That being said, extreme rationalizers still spew BS with their thousand word ego trip posts.

      • dhlii permalink
        May 30, 2018 10:07 pm

        More stupid ad hominem rather than argument.

        Do you think you are being cute by making your insults oblique ?

        The actual statistics on the economy are readily available.

        You are correct that presidents do not have magic wands and the economy does not do as they command.

        But the economy DOES react to government changes – though not always as politicians hope. ‘

        Trump’s promises were deliverable – 4% growth is possible and I beleive the Atlanta Fed is still predicting it.

        But I do not think Trump’s actions thus far have been sufficient for 4% growth.
        But they have been sufficient for 3% growth.

        I have further been very careful about my remarks on the economy.

        As noted in another post – things way outside the presidents control have huge effects on the economy.

        There are clouds in europe and South america and china, and if any of them become storms that will limit anything that can be accomplished in the US.

        And as I have REPEATEDLY noted Trump threats and actions on Trade are dangerous.
        The economy HATES uncertainty – it hates that even worse than bad policy and Trump thrives on Chaos.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 9:06 pm

      At this point the economy is underperforming Trump’s “promises”.

      Based on the past 16 months – which is a short period to generalize on it is OUTPERFORMING Obama’s economy.

      Further prior to the election we were headed into a recession.
      From 2Q 2016 through 4Q 2016 growth was tanking.
      Buy december after Trump’s election a rebound started.

      That means the direction of growth trends has REVERSED that is HUGE.

      I beleive the atlanta Fed is still projecting 4% for 2Q 2018.

      We can fight about numbers – there is no one that does not revognize that the economy is doing better.

      BTW the 8 year Obama average was 1.8%

      The average for the past 4Q is 3% that is 1.2% higher that is about 80% higher.

      I am reluctant to make strong future projections – there are alot of variables to an economy – some not all are in the control of government, so are the consequences of past mistakes,

      Further Trump continues to play games with trade and that is very economically dangerous.
      You want me to piss over Trump – it is STUPID to play games with trade.
      It is also STUPID to create uncertainty in a significant area of the economy.

      A further risk is that the rest of the world economy is very weak right now.
      A serious recession outside of the US will harm the US – even if it harms us far less.

      If Europe, South America, have a recession or Asian growth flags, the US will be negatively impacted. Whether Trump is president or Obama.
      Thought the effect on a Trump economy will be greater – because a strong economy has farther to fall.
      Most job growth under Obama was in government, large corporations and regulator compliance – those are non-productive – they do not contribute to the economy.
      Most job growth under Trump has been in small and medium business, and that is a big reason why there is optimism – because big business growth is NOT a leading economic indicator, but small business growth is.

      By the end of the Obama administration we were close to UI numbers that economists consider “full employment”. EXCEPT that Obama labor force participation was low.

      Job Growth remains about 50K/month above “neutral” – that should have stopped as we approached full employment. It has not. That means there is a large body of people outside the workforce who are slowly rejoining.

      From BLS
      U-1 us down .6 from Obama. U-2 is down .6,
      U-3 – the “unemployment rate” is down 1.2%
      U-4 is down 1.5
      U-5 is down 1.2%
      U-6 is down 1.9%

      I am not even slightly interested in SPLC crap about hate crimes – the vast majority of hate crime claims that have gained public attention have proven FALSE.

      SPLC thinks that anyone who disagrees with them on anything is a hate group.

      Illegal crossings are up – NOW. They actually tanked after the election.

      There are THREE reasons for that:

      1). Border crossings INVERSELY corellate to enforcement.
      They expectation was that enforcement would be more rigorous post Trump and that drove numbers down temporarily.
      But the failure to address Trump’s requests for better enforcement and the limits of Trump’s ability to unilaterally increase enforcement means that eventually they figured it out and went back to crossing.

      2). Trump has MOVED more enforcement to the borders so picking up people when they cross has risen because that aspect of enforcement has increased. ‘
      Our estimnates of the number of crossings are based on the number aprehended while crossing.

      3) Border crossings directly correspond to the state of the economy – a stronger economy means more crossings.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 30, 2018 11:39 pm

      Even accounting for the fact that 2018 has been weak, Sorry Jay the DJIA trendline is STILL much steeper under Trump than Obama

      https://www.advfn.com/stock-market/DOWI/DJI/chart

  71. dhlii permalink
    May 30, 2018 10:49 pm

    “In 2011, John Podesta joins the board of this very small energy company called Joule Energy based out of Massachusetts,About two months after he joins the board, a Russian entity called Rusnano puts a billion rubles — which is about 35 million dollars — into John Podesta’s company. Now, what is Rusnano? Rusnano is not a private company. It is a fund directly funded by the Kremlin. In fact, the Russian science minister called Rusnano Putin’s child. So you have the Russian government investing in one of John Podesta’s businesses in 2011, while he is an advisor to Hillary Clinton at the State Department.”
    “Does anyone in Trump’s circle rise to the level where there’s this kind of money involved?”
    “So then in 2013, he goes to the White House, to be a special counselor to Barack Obama, and that requires that you have financial disclosures every year,In his financial disclosure form in 2013, he not only fails to disclose these 75,000 shares of stock that he has in Joule Energy, which is funded in part by the Russian government. He also fails to disclose that he is on one of the three corporate boards that this entity has. It’s got this very complex ownership structure. He discloses he is on the company in Massachusetts, that is he on the board of a company in the Netherlands, but he fails to disclose that he is also on the executive board of the holding company. That’s a clear violation of the disclosure rules that I think needs to be looked at.”

    Unlike the revelations so far concerning Russian ties in the Trump camp, the Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars and enormous favors that benefitted Russian interests.
    Bill and Hillary Clinton received large sums of money directly and indirectly from Russian officials while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 (well above his normal fee) for a speech in Moscow in 2010. Who footed the bill? An investment firm in Moscow called Renaissance Capital, which boasts deep ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation itself took money from Russian officials and Putin-connected oligarchs. They also took donations from:

    Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin confidant who gave through his company, Renova Group

    WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THAT NAME BEFORE !!!!!!!

    Andrey Vavilov, a former Russian government official who was Chairman of SuperOx, a research company that was part of the “nuclear Cluster” at the Russian government’s Skolkovo research facility

    Elena Baturina, the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, who apparently gave them money through JSC Inteco, an entity that she controls
    Then there is the glaring fact that the Clinton Foundation also scored $145 million in donations from nine shareholders in a Canadian uranium company called Uranium One that was sold to the Russian government in 2010. The deal required the approval of several federal government agencies, including Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The deal allowed Rosatom, the Russian State Nuclear Agency, to buy assets that amounted to 20 percent of American uranium. Rosatom, by the way controls the Russian nuclear arsenal.

    Equally troubling: some of those donations were hidden and not disclosed by the Clintons. President Obama required the Clinton Foundation to disclose all contributions as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State. But that did not happen. The only reason the hidden donations ever came to light is because we uncovered them by combing through Canadian tax records.

  72. dhlii permalink
    May 30, 2018 11:08 pm

    48M no bid grant to a company with no experience rushed through in the last days of the Obama administration.

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/48m-no-bid-state-department-grant-isis-bomb-removal-faces-scrutiny-pompeo/

  73. dhlii permalink
    May 31, 2018 12:17 am

    Here is a view of the FBI/DOJ pursuit of Trump from the former law clerk of a federal judge whose job was to determine if dubiously issued warrants would invalidate the subsequent investigations.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/23/time-admit-russia-investigation-illegitimate-start/

  74. dduck12 permalink
    May 31, 2018 12:50 pm

    Trump is a derp and so are you Mr. Mucous. (I know, more insults.)
    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=A%20Derp

    A person who can be so incredibly annoying and doesn’t quite understand. Not always annoying, but just one of those “captain obvious” people.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 1:46 pm

      Insults are not arguments.

      The absence of credible arguments is fundamental.

      It does not matter what the issue is – whether it is I or Ron, or Priscilla – or those in the broader world arguing similar to us. We may not be completely in agreement on everything Ron and I are certainly NOT “Trump supporters” but we are making good solid arguments – even when we do not agree.

      The vast majority of what those who significantly disagree with us “argue” – is just ad hominem – nothing more.

      You can insult me to your hearts content. It just makes you look stupid, and alienates people – not just me, but anyone who reads your posts.
      The same is true of those in the media and the left engaged in the same practice.

      The left did not invent Ad Hominem and it is not alone in practicing it.
      One of the reasons that Trump was elected is because he returned insult with insult.
      That appealed strongly to a significant segment of voters who are tired of the left chanting “hateful, hating, hater” as their response to any argument.

      Trump’s remarks are offensive – so are those made against him.

      Roseanne was dumped by ABC yesterday for offensive remarks directed at Sorros, Jarret, and Chelsea Clinton. Roseanne is a comic and comics are “offensive”.
      I criticised Michelle Wolfe’s WHCD schtick – not because it was offensive but because it was not funny. ABC cancelled a show that appealed to 10’s of millions of people over Roseanne’s remarks. Even though Roseanne appologized.. They are perfectly free to do so.
      Though I think that they OWE continuing their show to their VIEWERS – not Roseanne.
      But that will get worked out in the market.
      There was no difference between Roseanne’s remarks and those made by Bill Mahr regarding Trump. Myriads of those on the left have compared him to an ape.
      Trump is a public figure – being lampooned, even lied about comes with the turf – as it does for Valerie Jarrett and Chelsea Clinton.

      I am glad that Chelsea Clinton has become more politicially active – but she is not so kindly or correctly criticising – even insulting others, and quite frankly she lives in a huge glass house.
      She should not be throwing stones at Ivanka – who is purportedly a friend for supporting her farther – when Chelsea has done the same for her father and mother.

      I am not looking to defend Barr, or attack Jarret or Clinton or Wolf or Mahr,

      But Trump’s response that he is not gotten an appology for ABC though inaccurate, in that he is not really entitled to one, is clearly pointing out the huge double standard and hypocracy of the left.

      Several of those who lost their jobs as a result of sexual harrasment – are now “rehabilitated” and getting them back More doubles standards and hypocracy from the left.

      The point is the left is fine with dishing our insults, but it is completely intolerant about getting them back in return. There is nothing anyone on the left can say that is so offensive they have to appologize, much less lose their job. There is little they can DO that can not ultimately be forgiven.

      IF you are not on the left – no remark no act is ever forgivable.

      Insults are the stock and trade of the left today.
      They are a substitute for argument.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 2:44 pm

      Past insults – where are the arguments ?

      It really does not matter what the issue is. You, and the left – whether you are part of it or not not only make crappy arguments – but contradict yourself CONSTANTLY.

      For over a Year were told there was no wiretapping of Trump or the Trump campaign.
      Flynn, Manafort, and Page had Wiretap orders. There was a wiretap of Trump Towers.
      The FISA/NSA wiretapp rules not only allow tapping the target of the warrant but anyone within two hops, That is the entire Trump campaign and Trump himself.

      But when Trump said he was Wiretap – he was batshit crazy and paranoid, and LYING.

      What is true is that he was being LIED TO, and that you CONTINUE to beleive the liars.

      For more than a year we were told Trump and the Trump campaign were not spied on.
      Now when a SPY emerges it was NOT the Trump Campaign being spied on, but some Trump advisors inadvertently caught up in a operation against Russia.

      Halper targeted Papadoulis, Page, Cloves, Gates, Manafort – nto Russia. There does not appear to be a real russian in sight of Halper. Mifsud is almost certainly going to turn out to be MI6.
      If he does not – then MI6 has a huge problem because Mifsud is real close to several key people.
      Regardless Mifsud is Maltese not Russian. Malta was a british colony, is a british common wealth state. It is not a Russian vasal.

      Regardless as noted from Comey’s memo’s and testimony – the DOJ/FBI were TARGETTING the Trump campaign, and as even Comey noted, that inherently means targetting Trump.

      We can play word salad games, and argue over what “spy” means.

      But there is no debate that What Comey said that the DOJ/FBI was doing and what DOJ/FBI and the media have now backpedaled and are now denying that what occured is what Comey Said was occuring at the time.

      You can resolve this by accepting that Comey is a dishonorable liar.
      But that too poses enormous problems – your ludicrously stupid arguments that Trump’s actions with Comey constitute obstruction rest on Comey’s credibility.
      Aside from being caught lying under oath, Comey has either lied in his testimony and memo’s or the Press/DOJ/FBI/The left are lying.

      When things contradict both can not be true.

      You can not be both targeting the Trump campaign and not targetting the trump campaign concurrently.

      Not lying is called integrity.

      Gowdy CORRECTLY notes that Trump is frustrated because Brennan, Clapper, Comey,McCabe lied too him and have lied about him.
      That is INARGUABLY True.
      But more important is that they have been LYING to EVERYONE.

      Purportedly the basis for “spying” – according to the story of the day – came from GCHQ.

      Fine – WHY did that information not pass through FVEY – the institution responsible for exchanging intelligence between the US, UK, AU, NZ, CA.
      We already know NOTHING regarding Trump/Russia passed through FVEY.

      So how did this purported GCHG chatter get to FBI ?

      The Exact same thing is true of the Downer/Papadoulis report.
      Did not pass through FVEY – even though Australia is part of FVEY.

      We NOW know that Downers information reached FBI through Glenn Simpson, Blumenthal, Shearer into back channels in the state department.

      Every single aspect of this went out of its way to HIDE what was being done – not merely from Trump, but from MOST of the normal parts of government that would ordinarily be involved in an investigation of Russia.

      Next, the Gang of Eight was not told of any of this at any time – not while Obama was president not when Trump was president.

      We have an investigation wiretaping, spying of an opposing campaign that was kept secret from most of the government that normally would have been informed, that was kept secret from FVEY’s that was kept secret from those in the house/senate that was kept secret from Trump as well as the rest of his administration both before and after his election.
      Yet, the Clinton campaign, and Fusion GPS were both aware of and participated in this.

      Grassley’s recent letter regarding Simpson’s testimony both notes that Simpson lied publicly and appears to have lied under oath, but it also reveals that Simpson knew things about the investigation that he could not have know except through the FBI.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 2:51 pm

      This is only going to get worse with time.

      Several people have noted that Rosenstein and DOJ can stonewall for a while longer, but ultimately everything is getting out.

      BTW I would further note that as a result of the Halper spying revalations several other Trump campaign representatives have come forward stating that, they were contacted – either by Halper or by nefarious others – some of whom were americans. They were told that the Missing Clinton emails – i.e. the ones from her basement server, were in someone’s possession – NSA. Russia,. …. and that they could be acquired. These contacts were reported to the FBI and later to Mueller.
      Some were questioned by Mueller. Thus far NOTHING has been done about this.

      If there are real russians claiming to have Clinton’s missing emails – why isn’t Mueller chasing that down ? How is that not part of his investigation ?

      If there were NSA contractors willing to provide top secret emails to Trump campaign staff – why is Mueller not investigating that ?

      I would suggest there is a storng possibility that like the Natalia Trump tower Meeting that these fold back on Glenn Simpson and the Clinton campaign.

      How well is it going to play of Clinton had NSA contractors trying to entrap the Trump campaign ?

  75. dhlii permalink
    May 31, 2018 1:09 pm

    “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. . . .”
    Testimony of James Comey.

    With respect to remarks of ANYONE – Rubio, Gowdy, Clapper, …..

    The FBI was investigating the TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

    This was not a benign effort targetting a few individuals.

    We have gotten sufficiently close to the bottom of this that it is clear to almost everyone that there never was sufficient basis for an investigation.

    So Clapper, Brennan & Company with the aide of the media are painting this as
    No, No, we were not improperly spying on the Trump campaign and trying to SMEAR it.
    We were just running a small counter intelligence operation against the russians, that happened to ONLY Spy on members of the Trump campaign.
    Nor did we Manufacture connections with the Russians to justify what we were doing.

    Mifsud is almost certainly MI6 – do you understand what that means if that is established ?

    It means that Every purported contact between the Trump campaign and Russia was either orchestrated by the CIA/FBI or by the Clinton campaign.

    FURTHER – not only wasn’t Trump or the Trump campaign notified – because CONTRARY to current claims, the CAMPAIGN was being investigated.
    But Comey has testified that:

    The Gang of Eight was not notified – which is required.
    That he considered notifying the Trump campaign and was turned down.

    Further we have Rice on Jan 8, 2017 writing a CYA memo that essentially suggests that DOJ/FBI might not need to notify the incoming President and his staff and appointees of the DOJ/FBI/CIA investigation of them.

    Rice was both advising the DOJ/FBI/CIA to keep their investigation of the Trump campaign by the prior opposing administration secret AND to continue it.

    “One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we’re looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump’s campaign, this person’s view was, inevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump’s] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.”
    From one of Comey’s memo’s.

    Please note this CONTRADICATS Gowdy’s and Rubio’s remarks.

    The Investigation was from the begining an investigation of the Trump Campaign.
    The FBI was well aware from the begining that it inevitably was also an investigation of Trump.

    I like Gowdy – alot. I think that MOST of what he said in the recent interview the left and media has cherry picked is true and it damning – of the left, and the FBI.

    But Gowdy has from the begining tried to protect Mueller, the Mueller investigation, and the FBI and institutions as a whole while trying to confine his wrath to “a few bad apples”.

    While it is true that much of the current mess is the responsibility of a small number of people at the top of the obama administration. Rosenstein in particular continues to run interference for them. Regardless, the failures are more than failures of individuals they are institutional failures.

    Finally Gowdy’s claim that Trump “endorsed” all of this because – again from a Comey Memo, Trump aquiesced to the FBI continuing to determine if Trump sattelites had conspired with Russia.
    Presumes that:
    The memo is accurate – Comey has already lied under oath.
    That Trump knew that the FBI had ALREADY been spying on his campaign for 9 months, and was agreeing to CONTINUE it.
    That Trump knew that the FBI was investigating the Trump Campaign and that inherently meant it was investigating Trump.

    In other words rather than support, Comey’s memo actually makes things worse.
    The memo wreaks of trying to get Trump to both forward AND retro actively authorize misconduct. It makes CLEAR that Comey concealed from Trump the fact that the FBI/CIA had been spying on those “satelites” for 9 months and found nothing, Further Comey remark to the president that he was not a subject was a LIE. Again Comey’s own mamo’s make it clear that all of those involved KNEW they were investigating the Trump Campaign, and Investigating Trump.
    That those were inextricably connected.

    This BTW implicates more than Comey. This implicates most of the top leadership of the Obama administration and the FBI,

    Rice’s memo becomes direction to the Obama holdovers in place at the time, to continue investigating the incoming president AND to keep that investigation secret.

    You can play whatever games you want, you can not reach a place where it is legitimate for one administration to authorize ANYTHING after the end of their term.

    What is increasingly obvious is not only did the prior administration start an improper and probably illegal investigation of an opposition political campaign, but that it directed administration holdovers to continue and keep that investigation secret.

    On Jan 6., 2017 The Obama administration DOJ/FBI were obligated to EITHER go public with their investigation, and probably seek an SC at that time – at a time when they DID not have any basis to do so, or alternatively inform the incoming administration of the ENTIRETY of the existing investigation accepting the possibility that the incoming president or AG would order than investigation HALTED.

    Neither you nor the left seem to grasp that investigations do not have a life of their own.
    They are not self authorizing.

    Investigators are not only required to provide a proper justification for STARTING an investigation, but they are obligated to continually provide justification for CONTINUING it.

    On Jan. 7. 2017 The FBI had been investigating for 6 months. They had wiretaps for several months. They had at the time (and even to this day) found NOTHING to support their investigation.

    It would have been trivial and legitimate for Sessions or Trump to order the investigation ended on the spot.

    What is NOW evident is the only reason that did not occur – is because DOJ/FBI/CIA were LYING to Trump about what they had done, when they had done it, and what they had found (or not found) and what they were doing.

    As this procedes it is increasingly evident that Comey has no integrity.

    While you and I likely disagree on his handling of the Clinton investigation. – absolutely no one thinks he handled it properly. He has openly admitted that he was blackmailing Lynch and that he made many of his choices based on political calculus.

  76. dhlii permalink
    May 31, 2018 3:02 pm

    Victor David Hanson on why this is not going to end well fo the left.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/05/31/the_carnivores_of_civil_liberties_137155.html

  77. Jay permalink
    May 31, 2018 4:26 pm

    Trump, alerting those under investigation by Mueller that he will pardon their asses if they don’t implicate him or his family, uses that pardon power to pardon another asshole.

    “New York interim Attorney General Barbara Underwood said on Thursday that President Trump’s pardoning of conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza shows his willingness to thwart justice and adds urgency to the state’s double jeopardy loophole.

    “President Trump’s latest pardon makes crystal clear his willingness to use his pardon power to thwart the cause of justice, rather than advance it,” Underwood said in a statement.

    “By pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump is undermining the rule of law by pardoning a political supporter who is an unapologetic convicted felon. First, it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Then it was Scooter Libby. Now it’s Dinesh D’Souza,” she continued.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 5:45 pm

      “Trump, alerting those under investigation by Mueller that he will pardon their asses if they don’t implicate him or his family, uses that pardon power to pardon another asshole.”

      Yup, and perfectly legal. You can impeach him for it, but that is it.
      BTW, he has not actually done that.

      Except Arapio there appears to be a pattern in All Trumps pardon’s or considered pardon’s.

      They are all an explicity thumb in the eye of the “comey gang”.

      DiSousa – was an obviously political prosecution by PreetBahara – who lost very nearly the same prosecution against someone else.

      Blogovitch made ZERO sense to me – Blogovitch is tied to Obama and Vallerie Jarret, why would Trump want to commute someone who was strongly tied to Obama and Jarret ?
      Then I discovered that Fitzgerald – the same person Comey appointed as SC to prosecute Libby, who is on Comey’s “legal team” who is one of those given a copy of the Comey memo’s.

      Martha Stewart – prosecuted by Comey, further her prosecution is much like that of Flynn,

      She gave a voluntary statement to the SEC without a lawyer and was subsequently prosecuted for minor errors in the statement. I remember the case. Stewart based on the actual evidence moved heaven and earth to engage in insider trading – and failed.
      But there is no “failed attempt at insider trading” crime.

      Regardless, these are more messages to The Comey brigade than to the people Mueller is prosecuting.

      And I would expect more pardon’s and commutations.
      I would expect that Trump has someone looking at ever case of Comey, Fitzgerald and Bahara, and he is going to look for more cases where he can do something about them.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 5:53 pm

      “New York interim Attorney General Barbara Underwood said on Thursday that President Trump’s pardoning of conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza shows his willingness to thwart justice and adds urgency to the state’s double jeopardy loophole.”

      Mark Rich.
      Susan McDougal
      Henry Cisneros
      John Deutch
      https://www.justice.gov/opa/president-clintons-pardons-january-2001

      Richard Nixon

      Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, National Security Adviser Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane and Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger.

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 6:57 pm

      Or maybe you should try reading someone with a clue.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/dinesh-dsouza-pardon-just/

      D’Souza was virulent critic of Obama. He is very articulate, incredibly smart but nearly as far tot he right as Alex Jones. He was a thorn in the side of Obama from day one.

      His prosecution was pure spite. Something New york’s courts would never get.

      I would note that the Clinton campaign according to SEC records received 54M in donations from maxed out donors. Where are the prosecutions of that ?

      54M – 2OK what matters more ?

      I do not support D’Souza – I disagree with him on many things.
      But he should not have been prosecuted.

      Further as this entire Trump Russia garbage demonstrates – the entirety of campaign finance law is an unconstitutional farce.

      Government can not legitimately constrain political contributions.

      To do so is to say – each person is entitled to this much persuasion and no more.

      The left continues to fixate on the deletorious effects of money on politics.

      Maybe, but it is my money and I can do with it as I damn well please.
      In my case there is no way I am giving a penny to a politician.

      But I have no right to tell those who do, that they can not.

      What I can demand is that politicians conduct themselves according to the highest standards regardless of who contributes what to them.

      But that will never happen. Politics attracts the corrupt – study public choice theory.

      The only means to thwart corruption is to limit the power of government.

      Not peoples ability to persuade others, just because you do not like their persuasion.

  78. Jay permalink
    May 31, 2018 4:48 pm

    President Shit For Brains Gives Middle Finger To Our Neighbors & They Respond.

    “The government of Mexico announced on Thursday it would implement new duties on various U.S. products in response to President Trump’s decision to levy steel and aluminum tariffs on the country.

    “Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the government said in a statement.

    “In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products like flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation.”

    AND

    “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took aim at President Trump on Thursday over his implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and other nations.

    At a press conference Thursday, the Canadian leader issued some of his strongest remarks against the Trump administration’s trade policies to date.

    “Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable,” Trudeau said. “Canadians have served alongside Americans in two world wars and in Korea. From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together.”

    Noting that Canada purchases more U.S. steel than any other nation, Trudeau lambasted the Trump administration for initiating the tariffs under the guise of confronting a threat to national security. … Trudeau’s comments came alongside a report from Bloomberg News stating that Canada’s trade officials had announced retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum, which the country says will stay in place as long as the U.S. policies remain.“

    • dhlii permalink
      May 31, 2018 6:00 pm

      I have said REPEATEDLY that dicking with Trade is a HUGE mistake.

      While I am not in a rush to scream “the sky is falling” as Trump says and blusters lots of things he does not do, or does things mostly as a negotiating tactic.

      It is disconcerting, but thus far effective.

      This game is high risk and little reward and has the potential for tanking the economy and the stock market.

      Trump still will not be the first president to have made dumb choices.
      He will not even be the first president to make dumb moves on Trade.

      But again – what is your point ?
      I think this is a mistake.
      I wish he would not do it.
      But it is actually a campaign promise he made.
      No one should be surprised that he is doing it.
      It will play well with parts of his base.

      And prior to Clinton Democrats were the protectionists.

  79. dhlii permalink
    May 31, 2018 7:18 pm

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

  80. dhlii permalink
    May 31, 2018 7:31 pm

    Every policy choice – whether Tarrifs, or Obamacare will almost always create some winners – even if almost all government polices are on net negative.

    I will continue to decry trade restrictions and tarrifs, but those joining me should remember that they are no different from myriads of leftist policies – there are clear winners.
    There are people who will definitely benefit.

    It is very important to be able to understand that just because some policy choice benefits people – does not make it good, nor does a choice that harms people mean it is bad.

    We must look at the seen and unseen effects.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/31/donald-trump-aluminum-steel-mill-tariffs-trade-jobs-manufacturing-column/659254002/

    • June 1, 2018 12:24 am

      “We must look at the seen and unseen effects.”

      From the article it sounds like all positives. But once DJT leaves office, a progressive is elected to the presidency, the democrats take control of congress , the tax reforms are repealed and tariffs removed, what happens to these plants and jobs? If they could not produce these products profitably before the reforms, how can they do it when everything is repealed?

      Companies make business decisions based on long term strategic plans, not on the remaining 2 years of a presidential term. Something else is driving the corporate decisions quoted by Navarro because no competent CEO would base it on Trump policies.

      He is giving Trump all the credit, when credit is not due, just as the progressive media is finding Trump guilty of multiple things where guilt has not been proven.

      I wont say this is fake news but how about Fantasy News! The outcomes are real. The reasons given is fantasy.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 3:45 am

        So the Tarrifs result is higher prices for aluminum and steel, with a competitive advantage to US producers – that is the positive, though as you note it is temporary.

        At the same time higher prices for aluminum and steel effect everyone who uses things made out of aluminum and steel. Higher prices either mean less aluminum and steel purchases – and less jobs for the people producing things in the “US from aluminum and steel, or consumers pay more for aluminum and steel products and therefore have less to spend on something else.

        Remember Standard of living increases when more value is created for less human effort.

        NEVER the other way arround. When you increase prices you LOWER standard of living.
        In return for making a few much better off, you make everyone a little worse off.

        If you say create 1000 jobs at 40K a year but increase the costs to ALL consumers by 100M that sounds like it might be a good trade off. It is wasteful – but still 1000 jobs ?

        But if you increase costs to all consumers by 100M – that means a job loss elsewhere of about 2500 jobs. In reality it is likely much more. But they will be spread accoss the entire economy and hard to see.

        And yes, then at some later data some president who is not an economic idiot comes in and eliminates the tarrifs and the 1000 jobs die.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 4:00 am

        “Companies make business decisions based on long term strategic plans, not on the remaining 2 years of a presidential term”

        This is a difficult concept for people to get.

        We can know with a fairly high degree of certainty what 100M people will do confronted by some choice. We can know what percent will do X and what percent will do Y. and each of 100 possible choices.

        But we can not know AT ALL what any specific individual will do.

        This is true of people. It is true of companies. It applies to all predictable human decision making.

        The ability to with reasonable accuracy predict what people will do as a group is the root of all the laws of economics. And many of those are immutable – they are absolutely rock solid certain.

        While we STILL can not predict what an individual will do.

        I have no idea why Navvarro is doing as they are.
        They make be making decisions strategically, or in the short run, or totally stupidly.

        The ODDS heavily favor making decisions on the same basis as most corporations – in their long term best interests. Though there is a function that weigh both long and short term interest and I can assure you that the weight of short term is ALWAYS higher than the long term – and it should be. The short term is more predictable.

        Do you bet on a 10% increase in 2 years with an 80% probability or a 200% increase in 10 years with a 50% probability ?

        The actual answer is that all 4 of those numbers are variable and the “correct” answer varies.
        But overall the short term weighs more heavily than the long time – because short term probabilities are always higher.

        But again – everyone does not make the same decision with the same data.

        That is actually important – as we saw with the housing crisis, the worst economic damage occurs when nearly everyone is doing the same thing.

        Even when that appears to be a good thing – it will turn out bad if continued long enough.

        Back to the subject – if Trump or government in any way changes the incentives – the market will respond.

        If Trump makes creating Steel in the US more profitable – there will be more steel created in the US. But NO MATTER WHAT when government drives anything away from what would happen naturally, no matter what the positive efffects – the negatives will be greater.

        That is not merely a law of economics it is actually a law of physics. Changing incentives itself always has a cost, so even if the results of a government nudge are otherwise net neutral,
        the government cost of creating the nudge makes they result net negative.

        It is not possible for government to beat the economy on its own, all of the time, most of the time,
        honestly not even some of the time. At best some interventions are less bad than others.
        None are good – even those with readily aparent good effects and hard to find bad ones are still net bad.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 4:02 am

        “He is giving Trump all the credit, when credit is not due,”

        What you think that CEO’s engage in politics and stroking the ego’s of politicians for their own benefit ?

        Regardless, Trump’s actions might well benefit Navvarro. They will not net benefit all of us.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 4:05 am

        “I wont say this is fake news but how about Fantasy News! The outcomes are real. The reasons given is fantasy.”

        The outcomes can be real. the reasons can be real.
        But they are only partial. They are the seen results, not the net results.

        An increase in the price of anything has ripple effects throughtout the economy.

        In a free market a naturally driven price increase – say the result of a drought, CAUSES the very factors that will eventually lower the prices.

        When prices are driven up artificially – that effect does not happen – but a reaction MUST happen elewhere in the economy – usually we buy less of something else.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 4:09 am

        There is ONE zero sum game in the economy.

        Everything we consume MUST be paid for by what we produce.

        We can not on an agregate level actually have a deficit.

        This is partly why we also can not ever have a real trade defficit.

        If we buy more goods than we sell to a county – they have more money and they ultimately MUST buy more of something from us – real estate, debt, stocks.

        If there is a deficit in the balance of trade there MUST be a matching surplus in the capital account.

        So as an example our trade deficit finances our public debt (that is not inherently a good thing as it encourages public debt)

  81. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2018 1:53 am

    Here is what is known about Joseph Misfud from his business associates, people close to him and internet research.

    1). He has ZERO non-accademic connections with Russia.
    2). The few academic connections he has, have ZERO links to the russian government.
    3). He has decades long and massive connections with the UK government, the EU, MI6, FBI, and CIA.
    4). He actually teaches classes for people who are in various intelligence services.
    5). He denies is is a Russian Spy.
    6). He denies having provided anything at all on Clinton or Russia to Papadoulis.
    7). He beleives Papadoulis was lying and trying to set him up.
    8). He beleives his life is in danger.
    9). IF he is a Russian spy his contacts with western intelligence mean that just about every western intelligence agency would need to do massive vetting and housecleaning of key people.
    10). Papadoulis is about the least significant people he has any ties with.
    11). He is a self proclaimed Clintonista. He claims to be a “member” ot the Clinton foundation.
    12) Western intelligence agencies are NOT currently in a panic.
    That means they KNOW Mifsud is not a Russian Spy – which mostly likely means he is a wester spy. That is about the only way they could be certain.

    You can draw your own conclusions – but the probability that there is any truth at all to Papadoulis making conncetions to the Russian Government through Mifsud is pretty close to zero.

    While the probability of Mifsud being used to setup Popadoulis by either Western intelligence or the Clintons is HIGH.

    Finally Papadoulis pled to lying to the FBI about the significance of his contact with Mifsud.
    Yet, BOTH Mifsud and Papadoulis tell the same story there – they had very little contact with each other. Mifsud was detained at a US airport in 2017 and interviewed by the FBI and released.
    There are no warrants for him, no indictments of him.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/05/26/the_maltese_phantom_of_russiagate_.html

  82. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2018 2:00 am

    I would further note on the Papadoulis Page, …. Claims.

    There are no indictments to date against Page and he has testified extensively.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely at this time that Mueller thinks Page has meaningful connections to Russia.
    Put simply Page either was not “colluding” with the Russians or is the worlds best liar – so much so that Mueller has caught him in nothing.
    Given that many people – including the russians have called him an idiot.
    That is highly unlikely.

    All of Papadoulis’s “contacts” are known. None of those are connections to the Russian government. It even appears that Mueller’s force plea of Papadoulis is itself egregious as he purportedly lied about the significance of his contact with Mifsud, except the evidence is that Mifsud is not a significant contact or source – UNLESS he is with the Clinton’s or Western Intelligence.

    So what do you have left ?

  83. Jay permalink
    June 1, 2018 3:42 pm

    Dave by now you should know how much smarter I am than you – WAY SMARTER in intuitively understanding how things work in the real world.

    This evident once again with Trump’s announcement just now that his summit meeting with Kim is back on. I told you here when he cancelled it that it was a game he was playing, and predicted in would be on again IN A WEEK. And it is.

    it is obvious neither leader cares about denuclearization or easing tensions on Korean peninsula; both preening prickheads care more deeply about theatrics and pageantry. And now DingleBrainDonnie will be able to deflect the news focus away from the shit flow of negative revelations about his perfidy oozing out daily. And you’ll wax enthusiastic about whatever comes out daily in your role as Presidential Butt Kisser.

    Keep puckering… it will keep your lips flexible even if your brain isn’t …

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:09 pm

      Jay, what I know about you is that you have a twitter account, and have followed every half baked nevertrump conspiracy theorist there is.

      That each new tweet has you frothing at the mouth.

      This woman voted for Trump and I did not.
      But otherwise she pretty much nails it – and you.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:14 pm

      With respect to NK,

      I recall saying what you claim you said.
      I do not recall you saying it.

      Understanding that each statement of Trump is not an end of the world outrage is not your pattern at all.

      But if you claim to have for once in your life grasped that it was just negotiating and not an outrage – kudos. Maybe you are learning.

      I beleive that much of the posturing over Trade is the same efforts at negotiating a better deal.
      I hope that is the case, because any serious imposisition of Tarrifs is a big mistake.

      This is a bit more focused on IP that trade, but it makes a similar point.

      even allowing other nations to be “bad actors” in trade is better than trying to punish them or “level the playing field” – in fact that is usually true generally.

      https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/06/01/china_has_taken_space_inside_the_rights_head_and_thats_too_bad_103283.html

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:19 pm

      Does being “smarter than I am” mean having the arrogance to presume you know what other people are thinking ?

      I do not know what either Trump or Kim Un are thinking or what Kim Un wants.

      I do think it is a bit different from pagents.

      I do not disagree that Trump wants a good deal and good press to stroke his ega and boost his standing. So ?
      Do you think Obama didn’t ?

      I have no idea what the outcome will be.

      I am actually hopeful.
      There is some reason to think that Kim Un actually wants something that we can actually give, and is willing to give up something we want him to give up.

      But no one can be sure what will happen or how quickly

      • Jay permalink
        June 1, 2018 6:59 pm

        “There is some reason to think that Kim Un actually wants something that we can actually give, and is willing to give up something we want him to give up.”

        What? Give up his hair style?

        Any deal Dufus makes with No Korea will be worse, more costly, and far less certifiable than Obama’s deal with Iran.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 11:25 pm

        I guess we will have to wait and see.

        Regardless, he has engaged in this dance with Trump, he has something he wants.

        I do not know how to compare a deal that does not exist to Iran.

        I did not oppose Obama negotiating with Iran – though I think that Iran has always been less dangerous than North Korea. I opposed the “deal” specifically because doing nothing was better in the case of Iran.

        Further Iran and North Korea are radically different – about all they share is the aspiration to join the nuclear club.

        There is one other thing that we should to – that has nothing and everything to do with both Iran and North Korea.

        We need a spaced based ABM system capable of taking out small numbers of ICBM’s.
        The two ground based systems we have are a start but we need more to live in a world where nations like NK or Iran have nuclear ICBM’s

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:20 pm

      By bad news – I guess you mean the latest jobs numbers ?

  84. Jay permalink
    June 1, 2018 3:58 pm

    Really, he’s a pathological liar.

    Trump

    2:43 — “This was a meeting where a letter was given to me by Kim Jong-Un, and that letter was a very nice letter. Oh would you like to see what was in that letter.”

    2:51– “I haven’t seen the letter yet. I purposely haven’t opened it… I haven’t opened it.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:22 pm

      You can keep your doctor if you want to.

      • Jay permalink
        June 1, 2018 7:05 pm

        Clinton’s denial that a blow job is ‘sexual relations ‘ is equivalent to Trump’s claim his ‘pussy grabbing’ was only locker talk.

        If you think Clinton was a worse president than Trump is, you’re an idiot. Oh, right, we’ve already established you have the judgemental subtility of an on-off light switch.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2018 11:30 pm

        Clinton was mostly a good president. He was a bad person.
        It is too soon to judge Trump’s presidency – but my expectation is that Trump will prove a good president and a bad person.

        Obama and Bush were bad presidents. Bush was a good person. I am not sure about Obama.
        Obama comes off as a good person, but contrary to his claims, he had the most scandalous presidency in history. But none of his scandlas could be connected to him.
        But the fish rots from the head.

        The ad hominem just makes you look bad.

      • Jay permalink
        June 2, 2018 1:30 pm

        “The ad hominem just makes you look bad.”

        But makes me feel good !

        BTW, DingDong, didn’t you recently say No Korea’s destruction of their nuke tunnels showed good faith? Duh:

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2018 9:36 pm

        News, at 11 rogue government cheats ? Who would have thought it ?

        Of course it was a gesture of good will. You do not seem to grasp that people can both try to show good will and cheat at the same time.

        I would note that Trump canceled the summit immediately after.
        I do not think we know why – but this might be it.

        I would read further in the article, the concensus appears to be that Kim Un will destroy his nuclear program for a deal. He will NOT takes steps to make it impossible to reconstitute it in the future.

        We can play games about precisely what that means – but ultimately it is impossible for us to prevent Kim from restarting his nuclear program in the future.
        Are we going to require that he execute all of his scientists ?

        Whatever Kim has accomplished today, he will be able to do again in the future 10 times faster.

        But he will not be able to do it instantly.

        The CORE of any deal is going to be, what does Kim want and what can we give that is worth it to NK to not restart their nuke program.
        In return all we are going to get is a longer period of time in which to react before he has restored himself to his current nuclear status should Kim feel the US is not meeting his needs.

        We do not know what is going on in NK.
        We are talking about a relatively advance country that is also in abject poverty.

        It is entirely possible that the NK regime is quite close to collapse.
        That is speculation, but it is something that has been expected for decades, and will eventually happen.

        Kim’s endgame might well be to NOT be the next Eric Honecker or Gorbechov.

        To allow him and his family and those at the top to walk away with the wealth they have stolen from their people, while Korea is re-unified.

        Maybe that is just hope – though I think it is inevitable.

        Whatever the conditions in NK, Trump did not create them – Kim Un did.
        At MOST Trump moved NK the last few steps to collapse faster than would have happened otherwise.

  85. dduck12 permalink
    June 1, 2018 7:44 pm

    Big mouths sink ships but boost capital gains sometime.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:32 pm

      Did Trump secretly provide government data to friends who coupld profit from it because they knew before anyone else ?

      Or did he tweet it to the world ?

      I am concerned about the former not the later.

  86. dduck12 permalink
    June 1, 2018 7:51 pm

    “All employees of the executive branch who receive prerelease distribution of information and data estimates as authorized above are responsible for assuring that there is no release prior to the official release time,” the regulation states. “Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the executive branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.”

    Yes he is an employee:
    “The wording of the Constitution is clear: Article 2, Section 1, Clause 7, also known as the Compensation Clause, dictates that the president must receive a fixed salary during his time in office, which cannot be changed, eliminated, or refused during the duration of his presidency.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:37 pm

      He is also the president – ALL executive power constitutionally vests with him.
      There is a reason he is the “commanded in Cheif” as well as the head of every single department.

      Give it a rest. If he actually broke protocol for a nefarious purpose – that would be a big deal.
      If his donors got BLS data hours before it was made public – that would be a big deal.

      If the public gets it hours before BLS releases it there is no harm.

      Regardless, Trump has the authotity to release it as he pleases.

      Just as he can release any classified information to anyone – including the Russians at his own discretion.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 2, 2018 4:28 pm

        BS.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2018 9:54 pm

        Nope, the US constitution.

        Article 2, Clause 1

        The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

        That is ALL of it.

        That is fully embraced by SCOTUS.
        The only difference between “strong unitary executive” posistions and “weak unitary executive” positions is the extent to which congress is free to regulate intra executive functions,

        The “weak unitary executive” allows congress to impose rules on the president regarding hiring and firing – so long as those do not run afoul of the rest of the constitution.

        But even congressional rules would not preclude the president from firing anyone “for cause” and cause would include failing to follow a presidential directive.

        “the executive power” is ALL powers of the executive branch. That is all powers of the federal government EXCEPT those of Congress and the judiciary.

        That does not allow Trump to act outside of the constitution. If a power is not an executive power – Trump does not have it.
        If Congress has not passed a law enabling the excercise of some power and it is not the presidents within the constitution – Trump does not have it.

        But Trump may direct those inside the executive – and that include Mueller, to do pretty much whatever he wants, and they must do it.
        If they beleive it is unconstitutional or lawless, they can resign, and the courts can intervene if they choose. But the decision as to whether Trump;s acts are constitutional or lawful rests SOLELY with the courts.

        Congress can intervene – either by passing a law – that the courts find constitutional – and without the presidents signature they would need to be able to override a veto, or by impeaching.
        That is it.

        Sally Yates or Robert Mueller can say “you can not do that” but they have no power to enforce that, only the courts and to a lessor extent congress can.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:38 pm

      Being paid does not make you an employee.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 2, 2018 4:29 pm

        More BS.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2018 9:56 pm

        My tenants pay me – I am not their employer.

        I work as a consultant for many companies – they do not employ me.

        Our law was stupid to make any distinctions regarding employment quite a long time ago.

        Exchange is exchange. Trade labor for money, trade money for hamburgers, all the same.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 3, 2018 12:45 pm

        1. salary
        “a fixed regular payment, typically paid on a monthly or biweekly basis but often expressed as an annual sum, made by an employer to an employee, especially a professional or white-collar worker.”
        -EMPLOYEE-
        “Stupid law” WTF
        And we can ask to see his W-2, which is not a 1099, etc.
        Give in Mucous you are way off, for a change.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:34 pm

        What has your spraying the definition of various words that have little or nothing to do with this discussion have to do with anything. ?

        You took issue with my remark

        “Being paid does not make you an employee.”

        I said nothing of salaries or W2’s or 1099’s. And I would note that I receive neither a 1099 or a W2 for much of my income.

        Worse still you have this bizarre conception that the government slathering you with rules and paperwork actually alters reality.

        In both the broadest and most narrow senses

        “Being paid does not make you an employee.”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:35 pm

        And no you may not ask to see another persons W2 or 1099 or …. just because you want to.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:39 pm

        Article 2, Section 1, Clause 7

        The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

        The word “salary” is not used.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:40 pm

        “Stupid law” WTF

        Are you arguing that all law is inherently good ?
        AND that all law is inherently well written ?

      • June 3, 2018 2:56 pm

        IRS definition of who is an employee: Internal Revenue Code section 3401(c) indicates that an “officer, employee, or elected official” of government is an employee for income tax withholding purposes. However, in some special cases the law or a Section 218 Agreement may specify otherwise.

        The courts generally define “public official” and “public officer” to mean anyone who exercises significant authority pursuant to public laws. This includes any official who administers or enforces public laws whether the public elected the individual or an office appointed them.
        Examples of public officers include:

        President and the vice president
        Governor or mayor
        Secretary of state
        A member of a legislative body such as a state legislature, county commission, city council, school board, utility or hospital district
        A judge, a justice of the peace, a county or city attorney, a marshal, a sheriff, a constable and a registrar of deeds
        Tax collectors and assessors
        Members of advisory boards and committees like boards of education, water boards and other boards and commissions

        Now given how government is so screwed up, there are probably 10 other definitions and they all probably conflict.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:09 pm

        My Point was that Jay made the assumption that anyone who is compensated for what they do is an employee.

        Our laws must be read precisely and NARROWLY.
        More specifically they should be interpreted to leave the most freedom possible to individuals and the least power to government.

        as an example if a homeless person sleeping on a park bench is poked and proded to consciousness by the police, and responds by flailing at one with a pen – is that “assault with a deadly weapon” ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 4, 2018 5:41 pm

        I don’t remember making ANY statements about employees.
        Am I forgetful, or are you having persecutory delusions again?

  87. Jay permalink
    June 1, 2018 8:21 pm

    Right, I’m just a lone loony Lefty speaking out against President Lard Head. And, again since it doesn’t sink into the tangled wire of your thinking processes, most of the Twitter accounts I quote from, or the people quoted in them, are Conservatives and/or long time Republicans.

    Here’s a partial list of ‘half baked’ critics of Trump I have monitored, with opinions of his incompetency matching mine:

    Let’s start with politicians:John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Bob Corker, Ben Sasse, Joe Scarborough, John Kasich, Christine Todd Whitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnie’s comment today about Trump’s stupid coal protection tax is a beaut).

    Then there’s a massive number of AntiTrump Conservative pundits, here’s just a few: Max Boot, David Brooks, Mona Charen, Ross Douthat, Erick Erickson, Jonah Goldberg, Stephen Hayes, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Dana Loesch, Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro, John Podhoretz, Karl Rove, Jennifer Rubin (one of my favorites!) Steve Schmidt (today he alerted: “We are entering the consequences stage of this imbecilic administration. There has been great suffering and death in Puerto Rico but soon the suffering will spread to every corner of this country because of Trumps ignorance and venality”), Bret Stephens, Charlie Sykes, Nicole Wallace,  and George Will!

    And then there’s Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom, one of the first NeverTrumpers, whose conservative views in his book THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE I’m guessing you agree with. Like me, he thinks Trump’s an asshole, but expresses the sentiment more elegantly. And like me, he says the Republican Party needs to be fumigated.

    You should Model your views and exhortations after his, and not be ass kissing a fool like Trump.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/12/im-still-republican-but-party-needs-fumigated-tom-nichols-column/327327002

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:46 pm

      You do not need to follow my thinking.

      All you have to tell me is that on any issue – you would react the same if Obama or Clinton did what Trump did or conversely if Trump did what Obama or Clinton did.

      If your Ideology applies differently to the same circumstances but different people – you are a hypocrit, and lawless.

      Graham has just asked Rosenstein to explain why he has not recused himself.

      You seem to confuse disagreeing on issues with hating someone.

      Rand Paul is at odds with Trump on nearly every issue – but Paul talks with Trump regularly and they have worked together on some things.

      the world does not divide neatly Trump/NeverTrump.

      Regardless, your argument is a fallacy

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:51 pm

      Most of the people you cite are not the foaming at the mouth anti Trumper that you are.

      They disagree with Trump on some things and not others. Like myself they did not vote for him.
      Most are NOT looking to impeach him, or convict him of non-existant crimes.

      But ultimately it does not matter – the presidency IS a popularity contest of sorts, on decided Nov 8 2016
      No president has received 100% support.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:54 pm

      I am neither a republican nor a conservative – the GOP does need fumigated – though I have more problems with Arpio, Moore, Santorum – even McConnelly.

      And there are a long long list of democrats we could do with out.

      In fact I would have no problem saying anyone currently holdijng public office or having ever done so in the past is permanently barred from doing so in the future – just clean house.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2018 11:54 pm

      I do not model myself after anyone.
      I am my own person.

      • June 3, 2018 8:01 am

        Jay will never accept that you are your own person, Dave. He is part of the Trump-hating collectivist left, and he cannot/will not acknowledge any arguments that you make, no matter how reasonable. Progressives recognize only “approved thinking:” abortion is good, guns are bad, illegal immigration is good… and the government exists to control society, stamp out unwanted ideas, and make everything “fair.” Fair, that is, according to progressive ideas of fairness. If you don’t believe those ideas, if your own thoughts and ideas don’t line up with progressive beliefs, then you are simply an obstacle to him, not worthy of respect. Progressives don’t debate, because they only recognize their own truth.

        Jay thinks that he’s a moderate, because he occasionally expresses agreement with someone who actually IS moderate…but that agreement is almost always with an anti-Trump political position that aligns with what he already believes. So, for example, someone like Lindsey Graham is “good” when he opposes Trump on an issue, and Jay can agree with him. When Graham praises or supports Trump, Jay simply ignores him. See how that works?

        Of course, it’s easy to ignore Lindsey Graham, because Graham doesn’t comment here, and can’t make his own argument. You, Dave, on the other hand, often refute Jay’s orthodoxy, and refuse to cave, even a little bit, to his one-sided, fact-free rants. It drives him nuts. 🤯

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:03 pm

        The fundimental problem – which is not unique to progressives though again today they most strongly reflect it, is that whatever their view on an issue, that view is obviously correct and debating it is silly. Anyone who would argue otherwise is by definition repugnant.
        Therefore there should be no effort to understand, examine, consider, or even counter opposing arguments. All that is necessary is to insult those who make them.

        This is part of the problem with the “common sense” argument that Ron (not Jay) made.

        Common sense is a variation of Potter Stewart’s – “I can not define obscenity, but I know it when I see it”

        We do not persuade others and should not persuade ourself with assertions that something feels like the truth.

        We are free to run our own lives as we please, but when we start intruding into the lives of others if we are permitted to do so at all, we must do so with compelling arguments, not “feelings”, not “common sense”.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:18 pm

        You and I do not agree on several of these issues. But when we discus them we do not do so by insulting each other.

        My view regarding abortion is that a women has the absolute right to the control of her body.
        But the “fetus” is not “her body”. She has the right to have that fetus removed from her body – even if that results in the fetus’s death. But she has no right to require its death, or remove the fetus in a fashion that ensures its death. And that once removed the state can require heroic efforts to save the life of the fetus.

        That is not a view shared by either the right or the left. It is not a “perfect” view, there are some flaws, But it is less flawed that the standard pro-life and pro-choice positions. while concurrently adopting a consideral portion of the core principles to each.

        I am not specifically trying to argue abortion.
        I am trying to point out that there is or should be room for debate.
        That the claims of those who are pro-life that a fetus is a human that we should not murder should be taken seriously. That one can disagree, without asserting that those who differ are so stupid as to be not worth debating.
        Conversely the claims of those who are pro-choice that people – including women, are soverign over their own bodies should also be taken seriously that again you can disagree without resorting to character assassination.

        The left is right on some issues – though increasing fewer because intrinsic to the modern left is the destruction fo individual rights and the construction of group rights particularly the social rights of the agreived. The left has taken the principle that government must be blind to our differences made it into a fetish and extended it such that one is actively allowed to forcibly discriminate against others, if you have accumulated enough fetish points by virtue of membership in enough agreived groups, and your victim has substantially lower victim membership points.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:25 pm

        I do not actually think Jay is progressive – though he has adopted progressive arguments and may be becoming one.

        I do not think that Jay has core principles. He has values that are not anchored in principles.

        One of the differnces between principles and values is that principles are immutable.

        We both want and can only have a few principles – because our principles can not be in conflict with each other.

        Values derive from principles and other sources. Values are not immutable. Values can conflict and we can chose one value over another without being hypocritical.

        Jay is so offended by Trump – he has switched tribes.

      • June 3, 2018 8:28 pm

        You might be right about that.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 2:27 pm

        I really do not like Graham.

        At the same time while Jay has made Graham a hero – Graham is currently calling for Rosenstein to resign.

        I do not know whether that is sincere – that Graham actually has some principles, or it is because the winds have shifted and the wind is clearly blowing Trump’s direction and Graham is looking to avoid being swept away by the wind.

  88. June 1, 2018 11:59 pm

    Everyone knows the government knows best as to how to treat kids medically that suffers from seizures.

    http://www.yahoo.com/gma/parents-teenage-boy-face-prison-fines-treating-seizures-230203517–abc-news-topstories.html

  89. June 2, 2018 10:37 am

    Jay, somewhere in this ton of comments you thanked Trump for high gas prices. I was remembering that comment each time I had to pay $2.55- $2.65 in Virginia on my visit this week. Maybe they will come back down some since oil has dropped the last few days.

    • Jay permalink
      June 2, 2018 1:34 pm

      $2.65?
      Damn, I wish we were paying that:

      “The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Los Angeles County was $4.30 Wednesday, up 17 cents from a week ago and up 26 cents from a month ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. California’s average price for regular was $4.19 a gallon Wednesday, topped only by Hawaii’s average price of $4.32 a gallon.”

      • June 2, 2018 2:14 pm

        Damn, I could understand 30 cents more due to CA’s requirement for cleaner burning gas and another 15 cents for your 38 cent gas tax, VA’s is 23 cents and NC’S is 34 cents, but $2.00 per gallon more is hard to understand. The only thing I can think of is transportation cost since everything on the east coast comes up from the gulf via the colonial pipeline, but even the you have the pipeline from the gulf up all the way to San Fran.

        All of the southest is $2.50 to $2.80 depending on state and tourism. NC beach areas are higher than inland. So someone in CA is making a crap load more on a gallon of gas than they are in other places.

        Maybe Trump owns a chain of gas stations in CA😂!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2018 9:40 pm

        E15 and E85 are Cheaper, here. But my older cars will not safely run them.

        I would be happier about the price of E15 and E85 if government were not subsidizing it and it was not driving food prices up.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2018 9:38 pm

        My price is 2.89.

        This is part of the cost of living in the Peoples Republic.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2018 9:10 pm

      The real price (inflation adjusted) of gasoline has fluctuated between $2 and $4.68 from 1961 to the present.
      It was 3.88 in 1981, 4.68 in 2008
      From 2004 to 2016 is was HIGHER than today – except a short period in 2009.

  90. dduck12 permalink
    June 3, 2018 12:59 pm

    Wow, that was quite an attack on Jay, and a defense of dhlii. Jay is just the more angry- which may be hate- face of a mountain of people, including me, that disagree with Trump and the overall thrust of the current Rep party. We, as do Dems, range from haters to disagreeing folks. I certainly don’t hate Trump, I have had a negative opinion and a view that he is a con man for over twenty years. New Yorkers have been exposed and witnessed him close up for a long time and had that advantage, while the folks that Hillary called deplorables have seen mostly the flash of a phony savior from the government that they feel doesn’t care about them and bends over backwards to give minorities more of their concern and “help”. It’s an image he projects very well and HC became part of the act.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 3, 2018 3:04 pm

      “Wow, that was quite an attack on Jay, and a defense of dhlii. Jay is just the more angry- which may be hate- face of a mountain of people, including me, ”

      True – but it is ALSO True of Trump and his supporters.
      And you and Jay and the rest of your “mountain of people” are quite litterally headed for a civil war, which you might initially have some success, but ultimately you are doomed to fail at.

      Because you are wrong.

      Trump exists BECAUSE OF YOU!.
      Trump is the spokesperson for the deplorables.
      You have not merely alienated, you have maligned, and slimed, and discriminated against so much of the country you have created an enormous opposition.

      You have successfully united people ranging from Richard Spensor to Alan derschowitz.

      You have managed that by being a greater danger than the things you oppose.

      There is alot wrong with Trump – but YOU and your mountain of people are MORE dangerous.

      You assert that the “deplorables” mau ultimately find Trump faithless.

      That may well be true. But that is irrelvant. If you destroy Trump – eventually they will find another spokesperson. Maybe the next will be less flawed. But it is more likely that he will be more flawed.

      There is a fundimental conflict – one that is NOT about Trump and his flaws or about Trump/Russia collusion.

      The 2016 election asserted the strength of the anger of a large portion of the country to the poisonous tactics of the left.

      It should be irrelevant that Trump won. That he was competitive alone should have been enough to grasp that the left has a very serious problem.

      The left has become the perecutors, rather than the chanmpion of the persecuted. And you are in political and moral trouble.

      But worse – losing in 2016 should have been a wakeup call. It should have forced a re-assessment, self examination.

      Instead it prompted this insane rationalization that Trump did not win because “the left sucks” but because and oligarch or two in russia paid for a handful of bad political adds for BOTH candidates.

      Political campaigns do stupid, illegal and sometimes criminal things.
      Sic a special counsel on the Clinton campaign and indictments will flow like water.

      If you actually want a broad effort to punish political corruption – I am fully supportive.

      But what you and your Mountain of people fail to get is that a far larger mountain of angrier people understands the difference between a justified investigation into political corruption and an investigation that is itself an example of serious political corruption.

      Trump is president because the left has become offensive, vile, unappealing and persecutory.

      All of Triumps flaws do not change that.
      Get rid of Trump and the problems remain.

      And finally Trumps supporters – and many like me who are not, actually grasp that you do not have to be Sir Galahad to fight evil.

      Trump is deeply flawed – but the left is worse and more dangerous.

    • June 3, 2018 3:16 pm

      Well first of all, the liberal left has not given a flying f#@& about white middle class America other than for the taxes we pay. Their whole emphasis is minority and poor voters, illegal immigrants and special interest groups like the LGBT group, planned parenthood, etc. Trump tapped into the disgust that had developed and is stirring the pot, keeping that disgust alive. Hillary Clinton called the white middle class “deplorables” and it cost her bigtime.

      The difference between Jay and his hate and me and my dislike for Trump’s personal behavior is I can see the good some of his policies are doing, but I also do not defend Trump when proven immoral acts are mentioned. Jay trolls the internet looking for anything he can find written by anyone regardless of being an expert or not and post that daily on this site. Trump could pull off the impossible and negotiate a verifiable peace treaty that eliminates nukes in NK and Jay would never give him credit.

      Dave has facts that back up his positions. I have occasionally checked, and when I do I find reputable sites that verify what he has said. And Dave has never said he likes Trump. He has only said he likes some if his policies and dislikes others.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:17 pm

        Your remarks about various minority groups expose the major problem with the left.

        I have and will continue to fight for the actual rights of every one – every minority.

        But the left has gone far past equal rights and is well into the pretence that a claim of oppression entitles one to superior rights and status to others.

        If you are black you can force someone to hire you.
        If you are gay you can force people to bake wedding cakes for you
        If you are a women you can force nuns to pay for your abortions.

        The right to make your own choices is NOT the right to force others to provide you with those choices.

      • June 3, 2018 6:58 pm

        “The right to make your own choices is NOT the right to force others to provide you with those choices.”

        But that is not how Democrats get elected. If they did not cater to everyone except the rich and white middle class individuals, those people might begin looking to other alternatives as their elected officials.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:25 pm

        Ron,

        I am glad you have checked some of what I have argued and found it well supported.

        Even though that is important, the problem with the left today is not about whether their opponents are credible or not. It is that it is crystal clear that the left given the power to do so would criminalize arguments that they do not like.

        Jay and dd are not claiming my arguments are weak, wrong or unsupported.

        They are claiming that any argument in support of
        trump in any way is not to be allowed.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2018 6:38 pm

        Ron, I very nearly feel about Bill Clinton the way Jay and DD feel about Trump.

        As a person he is more repugnant than Trump.

        As a senator I would have voted for removal for lying under oath.

        But as a Supreme court Justive I would have voted that the Jones case had to be defered until after Clinton left office.

        I think Clintons handling of the balkans, Rwanda, and Somalia were despicable.

        But he domestic actions were superior.

        The result is that as much as I loath him – he was a good president.

        I think Bush II was a good person. I used to think Obama was too.
        But both were poor presidents.

        In the short time Trump has been president his performance has so far proven superior to clinton.
        and has the potential for being superior to Reagan.
        I disagree with him on foreign policy – but my disagreements are MUCH SMALLER – than any president since Reagan.

        I am disturbed by his posturing on Trade. If that posturing moves from words to serious actions and a real trade war,
        We will have to see how far he pushes his mistakes.

        The atlanta Fed is now predicting 4.8% growth in 2Q 2018.
        Given the downward revisions of 1Q 2018 I find that prediction insane.
        I do not think there is any chance of 4.8% growth.

        At the same time it is highly likely that growth is strengthening.

        That should be something we all want.

  91. dhlii permalink
    June 3, 2018 6:02 pm

    The Trump Russia collusion narrative continues to weaken and the investigation itself comes under ever more scrutiny.

    All the information we have is not equal – some comes from highly speculative outlets and anonymous sources.

    Some from reputable outlets and unidentified sources,

    Some from public statments from identified people,
    and some from testimony under oath.

    These do not have the same weight.

    Andrew Downer has publicly stated that Papadoulis did not mention emails in their conversation, that he did not mention dirt, that he only said that information might be made public that might harm Clinton.

    On atleast one of the FBI Investigation origens story – this extremely ambiguous remark is the justification for starting an investigation of the Trump Campaign.

    Both the Trump and the Clinton investigations were run entirely from Washington – ranking former FBI arw confirming this is never done. ;The left has made constant reference to the purported tradition of independence with respect tot he FBI, that tradition extends through to field offices.
    The FBI rarely – possibly NEVER runs an investigation from Washington. Various FBI field offices run their own investigations independently. This tradition of independence is for exactly the same reason as the claimed independence of the FBI from the whitehouse – to protect investigations from the politics of washington.

    Another observer has noted – that not merely the sudden centralization of politically sensitive FBI investigations – but the Obama administration centralized handling of most all matters is unique.

    That we should expect (and we are already seeing) that as more is learned that we will find that instead of spreading deeper into the FBI this is going to spread out into other parts of the administration – but only at the very top of those agencies, and that the whitehouse, Obama as well as communications people will be involved.

    The GCHQ story has been arround for a long time – as have been rumours that other EU intelligence agencies provided information regarding Trump/Russia “chatter”.

    Recent stories sugest that information was exchanged in late 2015 and possibly earlier, and there are stories of whitehouse involvement from the start.

    At the same time despite all the rumours about foreign intelligence sources providing Trump/Russia chatter – there is todate no evidence that any such information came through normal intelligence channels.
    Even the Downer report regarding the meeting with Papadoulis went through private parties and backdoors into the state department and from there to the FBI. It did not come through AU intelligence, or the Australian embasy or anything approaching normal channels.

    There are now stories that Halper was feeding information to the press. That is absolutely forbidden – for FBI agents, for confidential informants and for spies. There are many reasons for this but Steele’s leaks to the press and the subsequent FISA warrant use the Yahoo nes story as confirmation of the Steele Dossier – when the Yahoo news story was sourced by Steele is just one of many reasons for this prohibition.

    There are several reporters that have provided investigation timelines in great detail. it is increasingly evident that many things we have been told by DOJ/FBI about this investigation are lies. That what the FBI has said is at offs with the time line.

    The Papadoulis plea may also be coming apart. Andrew McCarthy did and excellent story on this noting that Papdoulis did not plead to false statements about what he did, or false statements about what he said, but essentially false statements about what he beleived. (falsely)
    That from the growing information we have it is increasingly apparent that the statement Papadoulis made to the FBI was factually correct. This is a tangled mess – but that is precisely the whole you dig yourself into when you start fixating on what was in the minds of others.

    What occured with Papadoulis is also the reason why no one should be answering questions – not from Mueller, not from the FBI.

    There is a reason that 18 USC 1001 is a broken hammer. Overreaching prosecutions for lying to the FBI discourage people from being honest or talking at all with the FBI.

    Flynn may or may not be pleading – for failing to remember that Sislyak raised sanctions as one part of a longer call, once among several instances he reported on the conversation. And under cercumstances where the FBI agents involved and James Comey beleived he was being truthful, in an interview that had no purpose except to elivit perjury on the part of Flynn and whose purpose was misrepresented

    Papadoulis is pleading because in his statement to the FBI he dismissed his communications with Mifsud as insignificant when his own communications revealed that he beleived when they occured that they were significant. That said in reality they have proven to be insignificant.

    Aparently now lying to the FBI includes misrepresenting your own subjective mental state.

    This ludicrously broad assertion that something is false is harmful to the persuit of justice.

  92. Jay permalink
    June 4, 2018 5:48 pm

    Why lie about it in the first place?
    Lying about something as frequently as Trump & Pals did, was it for fun? Or a manifestation of guilty conscience…

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2018 11:49 pm

      Trumps reputation for accuracy leaves something to be desired.
      Though I would note “If you like your doctor you can keep them” as well as several thousand similar misstatements that others are tracking on the web.

      If you wish to hyperventalate over the fact that one politicians idea of the truth is distant from what most of us accept, you are going to pass out and have a stroke – they all do.

      They do not all do so prolifically on twitter.

      I would note that Twitter brings out the worst in alot of people.

      Several respected legal scholars are prolific and horrible on Twitter.

      Even Ken White who I greatly admire and MOSTLY is reasonable on twitter once in a while posts nuts nonsense.

      We all know of Roseanne tweets. I can parse her tweet and defend it – Jarret is of Iranian descent – I do not think most iranians self identify as black. I do not think most people think of Iranians as black. Steve Jobs was syrian, no one called him black.

      And Samantha Bees on the air rant was as bad.

      But defending Roseanne’s tweet is pointless – Roseann has posted thousands of offensive things.
      Like Samantha Bee and Kathy Grifith and Michelle Wolf sh is a comic, her job is to offend.

      The only issue regarding Roseann is whether hollywood in particular and the left generally has a double standard. Which clearly they do.
      I do not think Roseann’s show should have been canned – it is a great show.
      But the show comes with Roseann and her tweets and Roseann is going to periodically make a complete ass of herself. That she supports Trump is sort of weird as she has never been “republican”.

      Regardless, my point is not about Roseann. it is partly about Twitter and partly about the what when and were of integrity in speach.

      Whatever standards you are going to use to judge Trump’s remarks – if you do not want me accusing you of hypocracy, you must use the same standards for all.

      As to the Trump Jr. release – I honestly do not care.
      The original statement was accurate.
      Had Trump Jr. testified exactly like that in court – it would not have been perjury.

      At the same time we all KNOW that whatever Trump Jr. GOT from Natalia, he wanted dirt on Clinton.

      Unlike you I am not whigged out over that.

      So Trump Sr. was consulted in writing Trump Jr.’s statement and downplayed his role.

      That is just not got me whigged our.

      • Jay permalink
        June 6, 2018 2:53 pm

        “Trumps reputation for accuracy leaves something to be desired.”

        Substitute ‘lying’ for ‘accuracy.’

        I’ll do that for this:

        “So Trump Sr. was consulted in writing Trump Jr.’s statement and downplayed his role”

        Dear Dunderhead Dubious Dave: Trump DICTATED the full memo! Are you Dumb or Daft or Deluded?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:58 pm

        While we do not know the facts – though Trump Jr. likely testified to them.

        Lets make some assumptions.

        Trump Jr. calls Trump says I need to make a statement (or Trump calls JR asn says you need to make a statement).

        Trump, Trump Jr. and Trumps lawyer – we are told a lawyer was involved all discuss this.
        They agree and Trump reads – aka “dictates”” the statement to Trump Jr. who writes it down

        I have worked with groups of others to write something that ONE of us was going to say.
        Quite oftern I had the largest input, and yet I did not type a single word.

        Put simply – as usual you are – placing far too much meaning on the word dictate in a memo written by Trump’s lawyers – not Trump.

        I find it quite intereesting – you want the law interpretedd as broadly as possible.
        But you want speach and writing construed as narrowly as possible.

        Dictate has to be taken to mean only one thing – Trump wrote the statement in its entirety and then repeated it word for word until his son wrote it down.

        And all this narrow hyper precision – which is always what you do with Trump, to pretend you have caught him in a lie.

        Worse still one no one cares about.

        So what If Trump actually called Trump Jr. and said JR here is what you are going to say.

        Does the world end ?

        Or are we now trying to apply 18 US 1001 to statements to the press ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 7, 2018 8:59 am

        We do know the facts concerning this memo dictation.
        It’s been confirmed Trump dictated the memo.
        And lied about it from the start.
        If it’s as innocuous as you describe, why did they all LIE ABOUT IT?

        Why did Trump invent the lie THAT the meeting’s purpose was about adoption?
        WHY LIE LIKE THAT!

        What the $#&@ is WRONG with Trump?
        What the $#&@ is WRONG with you, rationalizing this kind of bullshit!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 2:15 pm

        “We do know the facts concerning this memo dictation.
        It’s been confirmed Trump dictated the memo.
        And lied about it from the start.
        If it’s as innocuous as you describe, why did they all LIE ABOUT IT?”

        No you do not. You know what was leaked abot the memo that Trump’s legal team wrote”

        Further you are doing as you constantly do and construing the law broadly but Trumps words narrowly.

        Trump Jr. has testified on this. That is the only thing you can call evidence.
        As I recall his testimony was that he, his father and a lawyer crafted the memo together.

        That is all we know. “Dictated” can mean as little as having worked out TOGETHER what they were going to say – Trump read the final draft to Trump Jr. so that he could release it.
        My understanding is this was done over the phone.

        You also make a big deal that the press release says the meeting was about adoption.
        Well everyone at the meeting has testified that the meeting was about adoption.

        The only “lie” was from Natalia – as she promised dirt on Clinton and failed to deliver.

        No one has “lied” – except those who wish to make more of this than there is.

        “What the $#&@ is WRONG with you”

        I would ask you to further think about the meaning of this meeting.

        First – there is nothing wrong with the Trump campaign trying to get dirt on Clinton from Natalia.
        If there was – Clinton would already be in jail.

        So your real argument here is that Trump “lied” by not SPINNING the meeting as you would have prefered. Whoop di do.

        But the meeting actually means much more.

        Natalia met with Glenn Simpson – Immediately BEFORE, and ommediately AFTER meeting with Trump Jr. Natalia is very strongly tied to Fusion GPS and the CLINTON campaign.
        This increasingly looks like a SETUP, In fact nearly every contact between the Trump Campaign and anything “russian” looks to have been SETUP.

        Further Natalia has worked with Simpson on the Magnivinsky ACT(russian adoption) before

        Natalia has stronger ties to Fusion GPS than the Kremlin.

        Next let us pretend that Trump really had a back channel to Russia and was plotting the demise of the western world. Then what reason could he possibly have for meeting Natalia ?
        If the Trump campaign has this super secret link to Russia that no one has yet been able to uncover, why openly meet with another Russian to get hypothetical dirt from Russia, when ask through this back channel that your entire Trump Collusion narrative depends on for all the dirt on Clinton ?

        The Natalia meeting is not only a nothing, it is actually proof that Russian collusion did not exist.
        There is no reason to meet with Natalia if you already have a good secret backchannel to Russia.

        But critical thinking is beyond the frothing mouthed left.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 2:48 pm

        Why do we have to keep rehashing the same stupid arguments by you that has been dispatched before.

        The Natalia story HARMS the Collusion narative.

        It is back in the news because the NYT has reported based on a purported leak from Mueller that some lawyer of Trumps purportedly used the word “dictate” regarding the memo.

        We do not have the memo, nor does NYT. If they do – then unless Trump leaked the Memo a crime has been committed. So you wish to make a huge deal about what is I think 4th party hearsay and meaningless if true ?

        I honestly do not care if trump ACTUALLY dictated the memo.

        Nor do I have a problem with Trump Jr. saying that a meeting that was SUPPOSED to be about Dirt on Clinton, but turned out to be about Russian adoption was about russian adoption.

        I do have a problem with this constant garbage of trying to micro parse every word that that anyone associated with Trump says to find some hidden meeting 27 levels deep.

        People do not talk, or write with the absolute precision you are requiring of them.

        If Trump Jr. said under oath exactly what he said in his public statement, if Trump said under oath what he has said publicly, and if the word “dictated” from the memo ACTUALLY means Trump told Trump Jr EXACTLY what he was going to say – I still have no problem and it would not be a “lie” much less perjury.

        You are playing the same game you played with Flynn and it is WRONG.
        I do not presume that Flynn LIED to the FBI when he failed to recall that Kislyak has said a few words about Sanctions in a much longer call.

        You are demanding that to be truthful someone must use only the words that you would have said.
        Actually not even that, you are demanding that they use only the words that you would have after hours of though.

        That is not how life works.

        “If you like your doctor, you can keep them” – that is an actual lie of consequence about something meaningful.

        But it is not a crime, and it is not perjury.

        In october 2015 Obama told 60 min that he learned about Clinton’s private email server like everyone else throught the news, that it was a mistake, not a crime and that it did not endanger national security.

        As Strzok’s text’s reveal – that was ALL a lie. and by YOUR arguments “obstruction of justice”.

        Obama Emailed Clinton several times – using his OWN secret non-government email account. He did so While Clinton was in Russia – that is years before. He discusses classifed information, and it is near certain the Russians intercepted Everything between Clinton and Obama over the internet while Clinton was in Russia – just as we have Flynn’s call to Kislyak.

        There is not a single statement by Trump that is more like obstruction of justice than Obama’s 60 minutes remarks. There is not a single statement of Trump’s on anything that is more a lie from end to end. There is not a single statement of Trump’s that is a lie about and issue of as much importance.

        We know that though Strzok thought the fix was in from the begining on the Clinton investigation, that it was openly discussed after that interview that the FBI could not find Clinton guilty of anything after that – because it would implicate Obama

        So can we stop this garbage that everything Obama says means something different than it clearly does and must be interpretted in the way that is most innocuous, and everything Trump says is sinister and ladden with hidden meanings and a massive effort to obstruct justice.

        All that you are really saying is that you find the TRUTH to be obstruction of justice.

        The TRUTH is the meeting was about adoption.
        That is not what Trump Jr wanted or what he was promissed, but it is what the meeting was actually about.

        The TRUTH is that Comey was fired because he was a horrible FBI director.

        The IG’s report is purportedly relentlessly damning of Comey.

        I beleive it is limited to the Clinton investigation – I think there is a separate IG report on the Trump investigation under Comey coming much later.

        But purportedly he states that it was corruptly run from the start.

        If the Clinton investigation was handled badly and corruptly – then why should we beleive the Trump investigation – that substantialy overlapped was conducted properly ?

  93. Jay permalink
    June 4, 2018 5:58 pm

    This thread now too congested for me to navigate to particular comments.

    This re Dave:

    “But the “fetus” is not “her body”. She has the right to have that fetus removed from her body – even if that results in the fetus’s death. But she has no right to require its death, or remove the fetus in a fashion that ensures its death. And that once removed the state can require heroic efforts to save the life of the fetus.”

    How are you suggesting that a 6-week fetus
    be removed in a fashion that doesn’t ensure its death? Forced surgery of the womb? Is it going to be kept alive in a petri jar?Who is going to pay to keep watch, and tend to it as it grows? Is the mother going to be responsible for the costs, and responsible for its upkeep should it be born?

    Multiply that by a million abortions a decade. Who is going to pay for warehousing? Will the artificially born fetus babies be adopted? Or placed In Orphanages? As you so insistently complain about government growth, are you going to organize the private sector to fund/run the Fetal Growth Initiative?

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 4, 2018 7:22 pm

      Jay, I’m shocked, shocked that you can’t find or navigate around this site/thread. Why compared to the fatburger in the London sewer and the Spain sized ball of plastic that is floating in the Pacific between Hawaii and California, there can’t be a reason, or can there.

      You have the “freedom to search and freedom to go elsewhere” we have been told by the principal fouler of Rick’s TNM site. We the commenters can’t self police by voluntarily limiting the length and volume of our comments since that would be forcing someone to do something they don’t want. Bad, bad, only Rick can do that. We have liberties and don’t need boundaries on our freedoms.
      So suck it up until Rick gets back.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 12:18 am

        You have converted your own pet theory into a fact.

        The most likely issue with the site is the type of posts, not the number.
        But beleive what you want.

        For a whole I avoided links and videos, but no one else did.
        So I stopped.

        The plastic in the Pacific will be gone in a few years – an entrepeneur has found a way to clean the oceans of floating plastic AND profit from it. This is already being deployed.

        Isn;t the london sewer problem a GOVERNMENT failure ?
        Regardless it will get solved too.

        Elenor Olstrom won a Nobel on the falacy of “tragedy of the commons” problems.
        They sort themselves out over time.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 12:24 am

        Of course we can “self police” but you do not seem to understand how voluntary cooperation works. You are not free to use force. Agreement must be unanimous (absent dictates from an actual owner). sometimes compromise is involved – but any individual is free to be unwilling to compromise. Regardless, voluntary cooperation with regard to a purported limited commons,. can not be accomplished by force. That means even if everyone agrees to majority rules – that agreement must be unanimous.

        As things are – the world is not ending.

        Personally I have only rarely experienced the problems you have.

        My guess is whatever the core of the problem it is agrevated by choices you make – such as what device you use.

        You are free to use whatever device you want.
        I am free to post as much as I want.

        Same freedom.

        Your inability to make your choices work does NOT impose a duty on me to limit my choices so that you do not have to suffer the consequences of yours.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:00 am

      “How are you suggesting that a 6-week fetus
      be removed in a fashion that doesn’t ensure its death?”

      I am not. I do not need to provide the answers. There do not have to be answers.

      If there is no means to remove a fetus that does not consequentially increase the risk to the woman that will give the fetus a chance to live – so be it.

      I am not Pro-Life. I am pro-rights.

      I would note 3 further things about my argument.

      It is consistent with centuries of common law.
      It does not fail as technology changes – Rowe is failing because its trimester concept was rooted in 80’s medical technology.
      It does not try to answer problems that are outside the scope of the law – such as your question.
      The law should not care about the question you asked or need to answer it.

      If we are a match for kidney’s and you are going to die without my kidney, and I agree to give you mine, and just as we head into the OR change my mind – I can renege.
      That is the law.

      Even a human can not lay claim to demand the use of another human to sustain their lives.

      If I back out of giving you one of my kidneys – that is a serious moral failure on my part.
      Should you die I am MORALLY culpable. But I am not LEGALLY culpable.

      Both the right and the left need to quit trying to impose their morality through law.

      That is not to say that law does not have a moral component.
      The morality of law rests on securing individual rights, not forcing duties on us.

      The law sends you to jail – not to hell. Moral duties are between you and your god.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:03 am

      “Who is going to pay to keep watch, and tend to it as it grows? Is the mother going to be responsible for the costs, and responsible for its upkeep should it be born?”

      We actually have laws regarding that already.
      What you are doing is restoring equal rights to the law regarding child support.

      A woman is now free to evict a child from her body – even if that results in death to the child,

      but if the child lives – the woman – just like the biological father is responsible for it.

      If you do not like that – change the law.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 5, 2018 8:38 pm

        You are a rationalizing pig.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 11:10 pm

        “You are a rationalizing pig.”

        That is your response ?

        What part of my argument is a “rationalization” ?
        What part is “offensive” ?

        You will not even identify what you disagree with

  94. Jay permalink
    June 4, 2018 9:48 pm

    So, in the last 24 hours of the Trump Presidency, we’ve learned how lucky we are to be governed under the umbrella of his rectitude

    His former campaign manager is accused of attempting to witness tamper.
    Trump’s statement about not dictating his son’s reply to meeting at Trump Tower has turned out to be a flagrant lie.
    Trump claimed the ‘absolute ‘ power to pardon himself.

    He’s antagnozied our Canadian neighbors.
    He’s antagnogized our French allies.
    He uninvited the Philadelphia Eagles Football Team to the White House because not all of them wanted to come. If they all don’t love him, then fuck them all.

    Makes you proud to be governed by a man of such leadership stature.

    • June 4, 2018 10:49 pm

      Well we are now at the multiple tries to get stuff posted. Word Press really sucks!

      “He uninvited the Philadelphia Eagles Football Team to the White House because not all of them wanted to come. If they all don’t love him, then fuck them all

      So you are now moving this ill thought out demonstration started by a Fidel Castro sympathizer using the American Flag that thousands died for to promote a non flag issue to one of a personal Trump ego issue?

      Your hatred for this man has REALLY warped your thinking.

      The news I read was only a small contingency of players were going to be there because the others did not support Trumps position to respect the flag. The visit was to congratulate the team! Most of the team was not going to attend. So if the team did not want to attend as a team and wanted to make this another demonstration against America, then why continue???!!!😤😤

      When you have an issue with America, there are many ways to make your disgust for injustice impacting any group without using one of the few symbols of America that men and women have died for. Had they not fought and died, these NFL overpaid spoiled assholes could be living under a Castro like government. Could they kneel then?

      Even in California, this should be understandable.

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 5:30 pm

        I was against Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem. And against the sympathetic response of other players (mostly black) to continue the kneeling. It offended my patriotic sensibility: I come from a family of Silver Star and Purple Heart recipients. I said (correctly) that it was a divisive gesture, which would lead to more divisiveness and under Trump’s destructive boorishness that’s what has happened. Once he got involved, it became one more nail in the coffin of national disunity.

        What part of that don’t you understand Ron?
        Trump is a wedge, further separating the people.
        A president with brains, guts, compassion to reconcile and heal the nation, would have kept his fucking miserable mouth under control. But of course he exacerbated the situation with his Mussolini blustering …

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 6:30 pm

        So your argument is

        Kaepernick is wrong, therefore Trump is evil ?

        Kaepernick can stand, kneel, dance naked.
        He can also be fired.

        I support his right to protest.
        I support the owners right to fire him.
        I support the fans right to be upset.
        I support Trumps right to raise the issue.

        Freedom is messy. Get over it.

        I watched an episode of Blackish last night.
        Andre took his son to Howard University.

        His son saw black students protesting black students. and recognized that was a GOOD thing.

        Our differences our disagreements make us better – so long as we do not resort to violence or silencing each other by force.

        The left is wrong because its ideas do not work.
        But more importantly it is wrong because it beleives it is entitled to silence disagreement by force.
        And does not understand what is force and what is not.

        If you want to understand Free Speech start here.

        https://heterodoxacademy.org/mill/

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 6:43 pm

        US Political polarization has been arround for a long time.

        From 1996 through 2004 according to Pew The right slowly moved left. Making the middle much stronger.

        Starting in 2004 the left started shifting left hollowing out the middle.

        The country was highly polarized before Trump.
        Trump is a reflection of that polarization, not a cause.

        You see the president as magical. It is not the presidents job to “heel the nation”.

        That task is our own. While greater tolerance is needed all arround, the primary font of intolerance today is from the left.

        Look at your own posts here.
        I would be ashamed to be associated with them.

        You are frothing, knee jerk and intolerant.

        You just attacked me on a position on abortion that I do not hold – because you make assumptions and do not read, or listen.

        I would love to discover I have misjudged you, that we have more common ground than I see,
        But no matter how hard I look I find none.
        You want greater conflict.

      • June 5, 2018 11:09 pm

        “From 1996 through 2004 according to Pew The right slowly moved left. Making the middle much stronger.”

        You kidding right? The right moved to the middle? Really? Tea party formed, more conservative than ever legislators in office, more conservative legislation passed.

        I said before I can usually find documentation on your claims, but this one you need to document. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, 41 and 43 can not be said to be more conservative than the current GOP. Trump is not a Republican! Trump is a populist. He flip flops between Democrat and Republican to serve his needs. Until 2000 or sometime around then, he was a Democrat. Independent idiotic voters choose him from 14 other candidates and had there just been a couple, he would have withered after the first couple primaries because he did not get much more than 30% of the vote when people were determining who they would vote for. People don’t choose the third place guy after 3-4 primaries.

        Tea party, freedom caucus, etc all since 2004. All more conseravitve.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:17 am

        No I am not kidding. The move of the right towards the middle started in 2004, it ended by 2009,
        BUT the right did NOT shift back right very much after 2009.

        With respect to the TP – that is NOT a right shift of the GOP.

        I have been arguing this for a long time.

        The TP is two things:
        A giant FU to the left’s shift further left – as in Obama.
        That is NOT the same as a shift right.

        It is also the political resorting after the demise of social conservatives.

        The TP is not the party of Romney, but it is also not the Party of Pat Robertson.

        Go watch Bill Whittle on You tube – that is the TP.

        Limited government.
        Fiscal conservative.
        Limited immigration.
        Protectionist,
        Free markets.
        Anti-regulation.

        They are wrong on somethings – and much like Trump.

        But they are the end of the “culture war”.
        Abortion was radically reduced in significance as an issue.
        All but the most extreme know that Rowe V. Wade is never getting overturned
        However in much of the country abortion after 20 weeks will likely become nearly impossible.
        That shift on abortion made them LESS threatening to the center.
        Something like 80% of the country wants abortion after 20 weeks to be illegal.

        The TP is ALMOST a libertarian shift in the GOP.
        But for protectionism and limited imigration they would be libertarians.

        I would also note this point corresponded the demise of social issues – the culture wars issues.

        The right went from opposing Gay marraige and numerous other culture war issues to seeking protection for religion – such as we are getting in Master Cake.
        That decision had a large majority but a narrow ruling.
        But I do not think that there would have been any diffulty getting a 5-4 decision that flat out said you can not force someone to follow a public accomidation law if that violates their religion.

        In fact skimming the oppions you might have been able to get 5-4 just on free expression,

        I did not expect the court to completely invalidate public accomodation laws – though they should have, they inherently run afoul of one right or another.

        Goldwater was a driving force behind the Civil Rights act – and ended up voting against it because of the small provision barring private discrimination which should have been found unconstitutional.

        Anyway the Data is from Pew – not me. My remarks are my explanation.

        Even if I am wrong the pattern is still there.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:39 am

        Nixon was never a conservative neither were the Bushs.

        Reagan was probably more liberatarian than conservative, though he did not say that much.
        He was a darling of social conservatives but gave them NOTHING but speeches.

        But remember in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s oral roberts, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, had political power in the GOP..

        We do not have Gay rights today because the left forced it down everyones throats, we have them because MOST of the right moved away from the issue.
        Remember in 2004 even Hillary and Obama were not for gay marraige.
        Few republicans today care about gay marraige.
        They care about being forced to make cakes or pay for abortions.

        That is a HUGE shift left. for republicans. And it happened FAST.

        I would also note that the Neocons have gone back to the Democratic Party.

        While the flip of the Republicans on protectionism and a stronger position on immigration have moved blue collar democrats to the GOP.

        In 2008 democrats were saying that Republicans are dead because you can not win an election on only white votes. But Democrats have lost the house and the senate and the whitehouse because Republicans have stolen a large portion of blue collar white democrats.

        Democrats are also doing their damnest to alienate Jews. Who despite almost a century of being reliably democratic are shifting republican.

        Republicans are never going to get a majority of black votes, But Trump won more black votes that Romney and will likely do better still in 2020.

        Democrats are a huge coalition with core that is rapidly becoming too extreme for most democrats.

        It is democrats that have the demographic problems now –
        Baby Boomers have shifted right slowly as they aged – +2R since 2008
        Gen X has shifted +8R over the same period and is now +2R
        Gen Y has shifted +13R but is -13R relative to the nation.
        I do not have the numbers for Millenials.
        They are a very odd group.
        On the one hand they have by far the largest number of people who think positively of socialism.
        On the other they are the most anti-welfare cohort as they first reach voting age ever.

        While they are heavily democrat at the moment – as has been every generation as it reaches voting age, They have the weakest support for democrats of any prior cohort on reaching voting age. In otherwords if they shift right at the same rate as BB, GenX and GenY – they will be +R far sooner than any prior generation.

        They have really weird attitudes These are the people who went from voting for Sanders to voting for Trump.

      • June 5, 2018 10:43 pm

        Jay,
        1) My comment was in response to your comment about Trump cancelling the celebration. Your comment did not include anything about your family and I did not comment on anything other than the cancellation and how it started by a communist sympathizing millionaire that wore shirts with Castros face with an inscription “Like minds think alike” during an interview in Miami.
        2) I do not support any president getting involved with anything that occurs outside government. I did not support Obama getting involved with Henry (whatever his last name is) in Mass. when the cops were called out when he was trying to enter his house, I did not support Obama getting involved with the Trevon Martin case nor the cop shooting in St Louis.
        3) However, when someone uses the flag of this country as a tool to demonstrate against this country, then it becomes an issue I believe the president is obligated to get involved with. Men and women died for those rights guaranteed by the 1st amendment and the flag is a symbol of that right. I do not support anyone using the flag for any purpose other than what it is intended and I have held that position since the 70’s and early 80’s when flag burning was ruled legal by SCOTUS. If the president can not defend the flag, what should he defend?
        4) Had this celebration been held, it would not have been about the Eagles attending the White House to be recognized for their achievement, it would have been about the small number of players there and the large number refusing to attend because they did no agree with Trumps position in defending the flag and him being a racist. It would have been justs as divisive as what happened today.
        5) Finally, there are other ways to demonstrate. How about refusing to play in a game. How about taking some of MLK’s tactics and using them to get your point across? How about getting all the black players on a team to appear before the police precinct of each NFL city on their day off (usually Mondays) and holding a demonstrations every off day until the police and city officials are willing to meet with them concerning their issues with the police in those cities?

        Anyone following Kaeparneck and his love for Castro is doing nothing to promote the elimination of black human rights violations, in fact it most likely is generating more problems. And other than kneeling, what the hell have they actually done other than during those 3 minutes before the games?

        In my opinion, you kneel or stay in the locker room, you would not play, period.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:37 am

      From what I can tell Mueller is overreaching.

      There is actually nothing wrong with contacting witnesses.

      Witness tampering generally requires trying to alter the testmoney of a witness by inducements or threats. It also generally requires getting them to give false testimony.

      In Andersen vs. the US SCOTUS severely narrowed what constitutes tampering.

      Contact is NOT enough.

      Lawyers generally advise clients in criminal cases NOT to contact witnesses,
      but it is not illegal.

      Further it happens constantly in civil cases.
      I have personally contacted a witness of another party in a case I was involved in, then deposed them to get their testimony on the record and then had them change their testimony in court.
      and had the court bar me from introducing the deposition testimony that demonstrated they had changed their story.

      This is just more Mueller overreach. And creative interpretation of the law.

      If there was “real” witness tampering Mueller could charge Manafort for that.

      As he did not, this is just Mueller “marking his turf”
      Which is a very Mueller thing to do.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:39 am

      “Trump’s statement about not dictating his son’s reply to meeting at Trump Tower has turned out to be a flagrant lie.”

      Do I really need to parse this for you ?

      I do not have time to look up precisely what Trump said.
      So lets assume your remarks are correct.

      Trump did NOT “dictate” Trump Jr.’s statement.
      The two of them and one of Trump’s lawyers worked it out jointly.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:42 am

      “Trump claimed the ‘absolute ‘ power to pardon himself.”

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/06/04/donald-trump-self-pardon-constitutional-impeachment-column/667751002/

      There are many other constitutional scholars that agree.
      And there are numerous past examples where that has occcurred.

      Out side of brain dead left leaning constitutional scholars most constitutional scholars find that the pardon power is absolute – just as the constitution says.
      And the only remedy for a bad pardon is impeachment.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:44 am

      “He’s antagnozied our Canadian neighbors.”
      Sometimes they antagonize us.

      “He’s antagnogized our French allies.”
      Most people think being hated by the french is a sign of virtue.

      “He uninvited the Philadelphia Eagles Football Team to the White House because not all of them wanted to come.”
      Do I care ?

  95. Jay permalink
    June 4, 2018 9:54 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 12:50 am

      “I can hear Manafort and his lawyers.
      Lawyers: WE TOLD YOU NOT TO TALK TO ANYONE
      Manafort: BUT IT WAS IN COOODE, WITH AN AAAAAAPPPP
      Lawyers: Yeah, you’re going to need to increase your fee deposit
      Manafort: How much?
      Lawyers: Write zeroes asshole. We’ll tell you when to stop.”

      You do understand that ACTUAL Witness tampering is a crime – one narrowly defined and recently even more narrowly defined by SCOTUS.

      If Mueller could have charged it – he would have.
      Mueller is just trying to upset the Judge.

      This will likely have consequences for Manafort – similar though not so significant as you claim.
      But those are CIVIL consequences – not criminal ones.
      Because neither Mueller nor the judge are going to beleive Manafort committed a crime.

      The reason that Lawyers VIGOROUSLY advise not contacting potential witnesses, is two fold – they want total control, and while witness tampering is hard to prove, it is also hard to disprove.

      The communication was not in code. It was encrypted.
      The party on the other end would have had to have a prior agreement with Manafort to send/receive encryted messages.

      Even teens are sending encyrpted messages anymore.
      Many businesses are.

      In about 5 years all messages will be encrypted.

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 10:48 am

        “This will likely have consequences for Manafort – similar though not so significant as you claim.”

        I didn’t claim anything. Why don’t you take it up with. @popehat Ken White, and the other lawyers who are commenting there thusly:

        “1) Manafort’s associates gave him up to the FBI.
        2) The FBI was still conducting fresh searches – with judicial authorization – of Manafort’s electronic records after he was indicted.”

        “One of the people Manfort contacted told the FBI he understood that it was an effort to “suborn perjury.” That person provided Manafort’s encrypted messages to the FBI.”

        And if Trump pardons Manafort I’m sure you will come up with a slew of rationalizations in approval, based on some technicality you dredged up from your vast legal expertise … in fact, you should share that with them.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 2:13 pm

        Hearsay is not fact.

        Virtually all lawyers advise their clients not to communicate with witness for exactly the reasons that arrise here – you can not be accused of witness tampering if you have not contacted the witness. That does not make contacting a witness a crime. Nor does it make discussing their testimony a crime. Nor does it make trying to get them to testify truthfully in the way most favorable to you a crime.

        I hear and read alot of smoke, but no fire.

        You say Mananfort’s associates “turned him in” and provided the encrypted messages to Mueller.
        Then we have the messages and we know what Manafort asked.
        I have not seen them. I could be wrong, but I think the FACT that we have not seen them means they do not prove “tampering” all they prove is contact – which is legal.

        You make a big deal about the emotional or uniformed conclusions of people in the story.

        If you read a story about a fire, and the media quoted a witness as saying they beleived the fire was caused by dpace alien peodophiles, you would not place any credibility in that conclusion.
        But that would not make them not a witness.

        BTW Lawyers contact witnesses all the time. That is NOT witness tampering. In fact the prosecution is required to provide the defense lawyers with access to witnesses.

        Manaforts actions are unwise – specifically because they open him up to claims of witness tampering or suborning perjury.

        I would fully expect Ken White to excoriate Manafort for contacting witnesses directly rather than through his lawyers. But it is not illegal. In fact in the real world it is often absolutely necescary.
        A criminal investigation significantly interferes with a person’s life. It consumes huge amounts of their time. It interferes with their relationships with others, it interferes with continuing ones life. But the prosecutor is not free to say for the duration of the criminal investigation you must live as a monk. You may not talk to anyone, you may not continue your life or your business. you may not talk about your case.

        If Meuller has Manafort’s messages – and they constitute real evidence of witness tampering or suborning perjury – then he would not be asking for Mueller to be restricted further. He would be adding a substantive new charge. Actual witness tampering is a much more serious crime than anything else Mueller has alleged. It alone has a sentence that is an effective life sentence for Manafort. The fact that Mueller has not filed further charges and that the messages have not been made public strong suggests this is much ado about nothing. And that is typical of Mueller and unfortunately typical of modern prosecutions. 97% of criminal cases result in a plea.

        Maybe you should look at the facts of the Recent D’Souza pardon.
        D’Souza made contributions to a lousing candidate of 20K – that is 4 times what is allowed.
        That has NEVER resulted in jail before. It typically results in a fine. Rosie O’Donnel did exactly the same thing and no one even charged her. It is actually a quite common crime. But D’Souza made the mistake of producing a film about Obama that offended him. So D’Souza was not merely charged with the finance law violation, but with enticing others to file false paperwork. A crime that has a 20 year sentence. It is also a crime that MUST occur any time anyone donates too much money to a political campaign – in otherwords O’Donnel did the same thing.
        While I agree with D’Souza that his prosecution was politically motivated – quite blatantly, over charging is incredibly common. It is the way that prosecutors get deals. Flynn was threatened with everything but the kitchen sink – including prosecuting his son.

        You presume that all these people plead to sweetheart deals. You never consider that they may have been innocent and plead just to avoid being destroyed.

      • Ron P permalink
        June 5, 2018 2:33 pm

        If Jay or one of his friends get accused of a crime, his position is they are innocent until they are found guilty in a court of law. If Trump or one of his friends are accused of a crime, they are guilty until found innocent in a court of law.

        I would not bet money on any politician or self made millionaire being found innocent if they are charged because to get to that level, some law probably has been broken. Especially one from the Northeast.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 5:56 pm

        Everyone who has money has chosen to fight Mueller – Manafort, Trump, The Russian companies he indicted.

        Everyone who does not have serious money – Papadoulis, Flynn, … has plead.

        Coincidence – I think not.

        Mueller is being particularly agressive with Manafort.

        Manafort is by far the least sympathetic.
        Manafort is old enough that any conviction is likely a death sentence.

        At the same time Manafort has the money to fight – though not what Trump has.

        Mueller has egregiously overcharged with Manafort – because Manafort is so unsympathetic merely charging him is practically the same as convicting him in the eyes of most jurors and the public. And it puts enormous preasure on Manafort.

        This too is one of the things Jay does not grasp or care about.

        Being investigated for a crime is incredibly stressfull. It can kill you.
        The only people who are not incredibly stressed by it are career criminals.

        Prosecutors and police know that and deliberately elevate stress levels. People do stupid things when they are stressed. Either they plead to escape the stress or they actually commit crimes trying to escape the investigation.

        Even you Ron seem to beleive that people can not succeed without committing crimes.

        That beleif is unbeleivably destructive.

        It prevents people from even trying to succeed. And it has that effect whether it is true or not.

        Our standard of living is reduced by that beleif.

        If your beleif is true – which it is not, then we need to fix that.

        Freedom is not perfect. People make mistakes. SOME people who do well do so corruptly.

        Sometimes succeeding corresponds to personality types that many of us find offensive – and find it easy to believe they are corrupt.

      • June 5, 2018 10:54 pm

        “Everyone who has money has chosen to fight Mueller – Manafort, Trump, The Russian companies he indicted.

        Everyone who does not have serious money – Papadoulis, Flynn, … has plead.”

        Trump has made comments about pardoning Stewart and Blagojevich. I understand Stewart somewhat, but I could not understand a pardon for one of the Chicago machine.

        Except its a hidden message for anyone under investigation. Keep quite, get convicted, your pardoned. I think that’s the same message he is sending when he talks of pardoning himself.

        Trump has played the game for 50+ years and he knows how to play it well.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 2:45 am

        Rod Blagojevich was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald.

        Mueller Fitzgerald and Comey are all buds,

        Stewart was prosecuted by Comey,
        Libby was prosecuted by Fitzgerald.
        Fitzgerald is one of Comey’s lawyers.

        Trump is sending a message to Mueller, Comey and Fitzgerald.

      • Jay permalink
        June 6, 2018 1:28 pm

        Trump is saying Fuck You to the American justice system.
        He’s willing to subvert deserved jail sentences for petty nose thumbing.
        Like the petty little shit he is.

        Payback for him is going to be a bitch.future prosecutors in State & Federal domains will be looking at every transaction he’s involved in, and rip him multiple new assholes. He’ll need them if they are successful enough to lock him in cells with Bubbas looking for pay back receptacles for their anger. Bend over Donald will be the prison mantra.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:49 pm

        Any pardon is an FU to our justice system.

        Trump is saying FU to Comey, Fitzgerald, Mueller and Behara.

        I think Blagovich is a mistake. But not a huge one.

        I would expect Stewart first – as that was a Comey prosecution.

        Thoughts of “payback” are part of what is wrong with you.

        First you argue for justice, the next second revenge.

        I argued – here, that Clinton and cronies should be pardoned either by Obama on his way out, or Trump on his way in.

        I still think Clinton should be pardoned to end PART of that mess.

        But I now think it is critical that we dig back into the past and assure that it can not be repeated, and that includes prosecutions.

        But I am more interested in the malfeasance that lead to this Trump Russia rot, than Clinton’s email server.

        With respect to the email server – I think we need clear criminal laws regarding the use of private email systems for government, as well as sending classified information unsecurely.

        At the same time we need to strengthen the process for getting things declassied.
        We have several orders of magnitude too much classified information.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 2:54 am

        I think Arpia was a huge mistake.
        I think Rod Blagojevich would be a mistake.

        But the hidden message is not to Manafort Cohen …
        It is to Mueller, Comey and Fitzgerald.
        If you look into these further you get things like Mueller appointed Comey to …
        Or Mueller apointed Fitzgerald to …
        Or Comey appointed Mueller to …

        Trump is taking out the signature prosecutions of their carreers.

        This is a pretty naked FU to them.

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 7:45 pm

        Yes, politicians at high levels of office are guilty until proven innocent before assuming office of charges that show them unworthy of governing us.

        I’d think you’d agree with that.
        Shouldn’t they be held to a higher standard ?

        And business people often do skirt the line to remain in business. But they don’t get a pass if those dealings are criminal. If Trump is indeed guilty of money laundering, for mob interests or other foreign entities hostile to US interests, and Mueller uncovers those arrangements, that kind of prior conduct, hidden from the electorate, should be reason for impeachment and removal.

        Do you disagree with that.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 10:46 pm

        “Yes, politicians at high levels of office are guilty until proven innocent before assuming office of charges that show them unworthy of governing us.”

        That sentence is a word salad that I am not sure I can parse.

        There is no reason for us to Trust government. Absolutely. Presidents, senators, FBI Directors, EPA heads right down to the lowest clerks at DMV.

        Distrust is not the same as criminal guilt. It is particularly not the same when the allegations are being made by other equally scurilous people.

        Why am I supposed to Trust Comey rather than Trump ?

        I can accept that both have lied.
        Comey has either lied under oath or Trump is correct about numerous things.
        Further Comey either lied under oath of lied to the press.
        Finally Comey has either lied under oath or other members of FBI/DOJ have lied under oath (or both).
        As of yet there are no criminal referals for Trump – there are a raft regarding his “accusers”.

        Given the candidates in 2016 we were going to get a president who was not trustworthy regardless – though don’t we always ?

        If you wish to propose how in the future we only get honorable people as president – I am interested in hearing the answer.
        I do not beleive that is possible, hence I want to disempower government so the crooks can do the least possible harm.

        Regardless, distrust of government does not resolve which disreputable person to beleive.

        Of course those in govenrment should be held to a higher standard.
        Again suggestions ?

        But please do not come to me with this stale garbage that we can make politicians more honest by restricting the freedom of others.

        If you want more “public integirty laws” – I am with you. Laws that impose sanctions on those in government for their misconduct. In some cases – criminal sanctions.

        I think it should be far easier to fire public servants – from the bottom to the top.

        There are infinite possible examples, but lets just address law enforcement for the moment.

        We have had a national debate over the Trump campaign FISA warrants.

        It is pretty clear at this point that:
        The FBI DOJ did not verify the Steele Dossier before the used it to get a FISA warrant – Comey testified in May 2017 that it was salacious and unverified. Comey and McCabe later testified that the FISA warrants would not have been granted without it.

        A warrant applicaiton requires SWEARING that evidence provided is reliable and constitutes probable cause. The FISA warrant applications were actually crimes – False Swearing.
        But I will settle for firing anyone in law enforcement who files a warrant application with a significant misrepresentation, or that has not been verified.

        We have had a number of police shootings that are pretty sketchy. BLM is a response to that. I do not think that there is a significant racism demonstrated by police shootings.
        And I am happy that they are actually on the decline.
        But many of them are sufficiently dubious that even if I am not sending the officer to jail. I want him fired.

        As it is said, it only takes a few rotten apples to spoil the bunch. Until we are willing to root out the bad apples we corrupt them all.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 10:55 pm

        There are literally billions of transactions that occur each day. Only a tiny tiny fraction of those are dubious. Free markets would fail if even 1% of transactions were fraudulent.

        We here quite often about corruption in business. Just like we hear about shark sightings and school shooting. These are all highly unusual events.

        Yet I provided you with 3 specific examples where Mueller hounded an innocent man – one to the point of committing suicide. If you bother to check Muellers background there is plenty more.
        He is bullheaded and very frequently wrong. And this is purportedly a highly respected Former FBI director.

        Is business perfect ? Nope, there are Maddoff’s out there (though the SEC actually enabled him).
        There are Angelo Mozilo’s – again interestingly in bed with government.

        But corruption in business is not a tiny fraction of government.
        How many people are killed by poisoned McD’s burgers each day ?
        How many people are killer by poisoned burgers at the worst burger joints in the country each day ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 11:08 pm

        “If Trump is indeed guilty of money laundering, for mob interests or other foreign entities hostile to US interests, and Mueller uncovers those arrangements, that kind of prior conduct, hidden from the electorate, should be reason for impeachment and removal.”

        If pigs could fly …..

        Hidden from the electorate is not a crime. You cantinue to think you are entitled to know whatever you want about whoever you want – though you are not all that inquisitive about democrats.

        You can impeach on anything you can get 51% of the house to approve.
        You can remove for anything you can get 2/3 o the senate to approve.

        I would actually support more frequent impeachment efforts.

        The IRS director should have been impeached, Holder should have been impeached. Clinton should have been impeached, Rosenstein should be impeached.
        If you wish to add names of your own – fine.
        I think congress should be much more liberal with impeachment. Almost any appointed officer in the federal government can be impeached. I think Congress should impeach judges that push extremely novel judicial theories.

        AGAIN Money laundering is the process of converting illegally earned money into legal money.

        Banks “launder” billions of dollars every day.

        Personally I think money laundering laws are unconstitutional.

        If you can actually prove sufficient knowledge on the part of the “money launderer” then they are a co-conspirator in the crime and that is what you should charge them with.
        If not, there is not crime.
        We are not required to investigate the source or money of every person we do business with.

        So no, I am not really interested in money laundering claims.
        Particularly when you are not even alleging the money was earned as a result of a crime.

        Given that Mueller has a reputation for hounding innocent people to the point of committing suicide and has lost several large lawsuits for false prosecutions.
        Mueller is not high on my list of trustworthy.

        Move the investigation over to the congress – that even gives democrats a campaign issue for nov. “Give us the house so we can dig deeply into Trump”.
        I would hope Republicans hold the house – so that some things can get done.
        But I would have no problem with a free ranging investigation by congressional democrats.

        I think the public would properly weigh that with respect to the evidence delivered.

      • June 5, 2018 11:21 pm

        Jay, I was trying to copy what I wanted to reply to, but it is all you said or ask.
        1. Yes, I believe politicians should be held to a higher standard than a citizen because they are “suppose” to be representing us. That is why I did not support Clinton nor Trump. They are both crooks, both equal in the crimes in my mind because if you or I did what they have done, we would be convicted of a felony. That is why I voted for Johnson because even though his crime was smoking pot, many states had decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot and that is no where near what the other two were said to have done.
        2. Yes, ” If Trump is indeed guilty of money laundering, for mob interests or other foreign entities hostile to US interests, and Mueller uncovers those arrangements” he should be impeached. I support that 100%. But the key word that you even used was “guilty”.

        While I am waiting to see what happens, ( even though I think Mueller is using this as a political assassination of the GOP to support a democrat congress in 2019-2021), you have already determined guilt and want him impeached now. When was guilt determined?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 2:33 pm

        I would have no problem with Trump pardoning Manafort right now.

        While like most people I loath political consultants, and Manafort is amoung the least appealing, and I have little doubt that somewhere along the line Manafort did something deserving of criminal prosecution, in this case Manafort is being prosecuted partly to get him to roll on Trump and partly as a message to other targets of Mueller to make it clear to them that he will destroy them.

        And both of those are improper.

        Obviously that could change, but from what I see thus far Mueller has radically oversharged, and I think that overcharging by prosecutors ought to be a serious violation of the code of ethics (actually it is, but it is never enforced), nor do I find Mueller’s claimed evidence compelling.

        Mueller has not asserted an underlying crime – therefore all the money laundering charges should have been dissmissed outright. Manafort resolved his tax problems with the IRS in 2014. Absent proof that Manafort lied to the IRS – and Mueller did NOT charge that, then this is essentially double jeophardy. The reason the Tax charges were not in the original indictment is that the FBI refused to sign off – because they had a negotiated settlement with Manafort in 2014.

        What seems apparent to me is that Mueller engaged in “witness tampering” and “persuaded” the IRS to change their mind.

        You fail to realize the tremdous power that prosecutors have trying to get witnesses to testify as they want them to.

        Do you understand that every single person on the “exhonerated list” – that is the list of people who were convicted – usually of rape and murder, that the innocence project subsequently proved were INNOCENT. The innocence project will not take a case unless they beleive the defendant is innocent, and they will not argue anything but innocence. The innocence project does nothing but wrongful convictions of innocent people.

        But EVERY SINGLE innocence project case has a defendant that confessed.
        And in each of these cases it has been PROVEN that the defendant did not commit the crime.
        In most cases it has been proven that someone else did.

        I would suggest reading John Grishom’s “The Innocent Man” – this is the story of what happened to just one of them. But the story is actually pretty typical. Botched evidence, lying police prosecutors, unsympathetic courts. Lying snitches, prosecutors deals with other criminals to get false testimony to convict. An unaccountable judicial system.

        Need I remind you that Mueller already has a track record.
        He has hounded two innocent people in very high profile cases for YEARS until they managed to prove their own innocence – and Mueller has never apologized and admits no error.

        In a third case he near certainly did the same thing – but he ultimately drove the defendant to commit suicide.

        So No I do not have a favorable opinion of Mueller.

        And I think you need to be the target of a criminal investigation so that you have some clue as to what actually goes on.

        Mueller has raised no evidence thus far that is compelling. Most of his claims should be barred for one reason or another. Mueller’s purpose is political.
        I would have zero problem with Trump pardoning Manafort.

        But that should not have to happen. Mueller should have dropped charges that are over reaches or otherwise barred, if there is anything left of his case – that he can prosecute.

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 11:56 am

        We will see if your assessment of a nothingburger charge is valid, Dave:

        “A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for June 15 to discuss Mueller’s motion to revoke or revise Manafort’s bail.

        The FBI agent who filed the declaration regarding calls and messages from Manafort is ordered to be in court and be available to testify.”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 3:04 pm

        Why the FBI agent – why not the witness that was purportedly tampered with ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 5:45 pm

        Ask the judge

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 10:12 pm

        The Judge does not decide what evidence Mueller offers – Mueller does.
        Double hearsay is not admissible.
        Do not make the mistake of beleiving because Mueller has presented something to the court that it has been admitted as evidence.

        As I noted before – If Mueller had the evidence of witness tampering he would modify the charges.

  96. Jay permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:01 pm

    Tea Party Joe Wants to Know:

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 1:04 am

      I know the media is all over this.

      But you are all microparsing. You seem to think that the exact same words must be used in ever context everytime – otherwise one is “lying”.

      Your own remarks would NEVER stand up to that kind of scrutiny.

      My recollection of that has been said by Trump with respect to this is that Trump was on AF1.
      Trump Jr. called to talk about his statement.
      Trump, Trump Jr. and the lawyer worked out a short statement.

      My reading of “dictated” is that AFTER they had all worked the statement out.
      Trump read the final version over the phone to Trump Jr.

      That is NOT inconsistent with anything that has been said.

      Further we do not actually know that even that is true.

      As has also been exposed this week – though we see it EVERY week.

      Lawyers speak for their clients. The “leaked” WH memo to Mueller was written by Trump’s LAWYER not Trump.

      Lawyers constantly state what their clients did or said.
      That is done deliberately and Trump’s lawyers I am sure wish he would shutup.

      Your lawyers statements about your words and actions can not be used against you in court.
      But YOURS can.

      Lawyers tend therefore to be less careful – they do not need to be.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 1:14 am

      As you are fixated on things we have learned.
      We have learned that Comey told the House and Senate in March just before getting fired that Flynn would not be prosecuted and that the entire investigation was winding down.
      We also learned that the WH KNEW what Comey had testified to.

      That Trump almost certainly deliberately timed the firing of Comey to be AFTER he beleived the investigation was over.
      Hence No Obstruction. BTW this is based on DOZENS of documents the WH provided to Mueller months and months ago

      That pretty much kills the firing Comey was obstruction argument.

      We learned that the Trump Campaign investigation may have started in Late 2015.

      We learned that neither Mifsud, nor Page, nor Papadoulis had REAL contact with anyone actually know to be a Putin or Rusian intelligence surogate. That Mifsud and papdoulis contacts were with academics well divorced from the krimlin. That Pages; were in the Gas industry.
      That at most they “shook hands and said hello” to some Russian ministers – in otherwords they had less significant contact than Sessions.

      We learned that whether you like it or not Trump CAN actually pardon himself – and everyone involved – and it has been done before – recently Bush I did it.

      And as Trump’s lawyers have argued – if you can completely take the air out of an investigation by pardoning everyone – then you can not obstruct justice.
      You can not obstruct an investigation you can legitimately halt.

      There were many more things.

      • Jay permalink
        June 5, 2018 9:05 pm

        Dave you’re as full of shit as ever, spouting as fact reports based only on hearsay. There is no conformation of what Comey told Capitol Hill Lawmakers – that hearsay tale is from an article by Byron York in the Washington Examiner “According to two sources familiar with the meetings,”

        And even if Comey said he thought Flynn didn’t lie, the FBI wasn’t responsible for charging him.the DOJ did that. And you have no idea what they knew, or heard in the intercepted conversations between Flynn and the Russians. Nor do you know what ‘lies’ he’s accused of telling – or do you have an advanced copy of the charges?

        And if you had a functioning brain that understood the nature of plea agreements you’d know that Flynn wouldn’t plead guilty to that kind of weak charge if he wasn’t leveraged by some more serious illegal problem resolved by his guilty plead.

        But you don’t give a rat’s ass about knowing what really happened and letting the investigation play out the way it’s supposed to. Your asinine statement about Manafort deserving a Trump pardon now ample proof of your screw loose disregard of knowing the full story.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 11:43 pm

        What ? I can not trust stories in WaPo ot NYT ?
        I can not trust quotes from transcripts of testimony ?
        I can not trust the reports of various house and senate committees ?
        I can not trust the actual transcripts of testimony ?

        Significant portions of the Kislyak transcript have been leaked.
        That was actually a crime.

        You cite York as the source of a story about Comey’s testimony.
        The same information is in the NYT story about the Trump Legal Memo to Mueller.
        It has also been confirmed by statements by several senators and representatives.
        It is even possible the transcripts have been made public. Regardless, ultimately they will.

        Further the Public portions of the first IG report confirm that McCabe has lied multiple times, some under oath.

        Flynn was charged by Mueller – who DID NOT hear Flynn’s statement.
        And yes we do not exactly what the charge is because a charging statement is required as part of the plea agreement – I am sure that google will find it for you – I read it a long time ago.
        Strzok who DID said that Flynn did not lie.
        If this case went to trial Mueller would lose.

        If the agent who heard the statement says even ONCE, and even not under oath that he did not beleive that Flynn thought he was lying – the case is over.
        There are numerous other reasons you could never get an 18 USC 1001 conviction.

        BTW McCarthy does an excellent job of Shredding the basis for the Papdoulis Plea.

        Papadoulis did not actually plead to misrepresenting the FACTS in his prior statements,
        He plead to misrepresenting his beleif in the importance of the facts.
        BTW you can get that by reading the plea agreement.
        McCarthy notes that based on what we know have – which is Downer’s statements of what Papadoulis ACTUALLY told him, as well as MifSud’s public statements.
        Not only was Papdoulis statement FACTUALLY correct, but it was actually correct with respect to the importance of the facts.

        Mueller just looks like a bully – and that is he reputation, getting 28 year olds to plead to avoid having him ruin their lives, and bankrupt them.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 11:56 pm

        Innocent people plead guilty or confess – all the time.
        There is a 3 part youtube video series produced by a former Police officer called “don’t talk to cops” that ecplains in great detail how he can trick you into implicating you in almost anything whether you did it or not.

        Regardless, it is already well documented that Mueller was financially bleeding Flynn dry. That very shortly he would have run through his life savings. He had already mortgaged his home. And Mueller was threatening to go after his son.

        Yes, that is pretty good incentive top plead.

        I have also told you repeatedly the GOJ guidelines with Mueller has stated bind him and that he is following REQUIRE a plea deal to be to the HIGHEST proveable crime.
        There are very important reasons for that. Among other things it endures cooperation.

        How many times do I have to repeat to you that once a plea deal is accepted – double jeopardy applies, and the defendant has waived their 5th amendment rights in return for the deal.
        Once the government receive ANY benefit from the deal – such as the defendant’s cooperation,
        If the defendant ceases cooperating, the defendant can not be prosecuted for the OTHER crimes that were dropped. That is why the deal has to be for the highest prosecutable crime.
        The prosecutors leverage is in sentencing. the 5th amendment and double jeophardy are not implicated in sentencing recomendations.
        So if Flynn fails to cooperate Mueller can rescind his sentencing recommendation, but not the plea agreement.

        All the details of the dance of a plea agreement have been worked out over decades of experience. Flynn’s lawyers know how this works, Mueller knows how this works.
        I am sure that Andrew McCarthy and Byron York do to. You clearly do not.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 12:14 am

        If the investigation had played out as it was supposed to – it never would have started.

        I am not sure I linked it, but there is another excellent article out there with a NAMED former FBI agent as the source. He specifically cites to the FBI/DOJ guidlines on counter intelligence investigations and specifically the portions that have to do with US Persons.

        There is a multistep process that is required to get to each higher level.

        Merely to open an investigation you MUST have a credible allegation – and there are hoops you have to go through to establish that. While the standard for a credibble allegation is low, it is not ANY allegation. The article gives examples of what is an is not.
        Further the rules REQUIRE taking the least intrusive steps at each level.
        Much is made about the fact that the FBI did not “warn” the Trump campaign – that is actually a big deal. The FBI is not premitted to use a Confidential informant – if there is a less intrusive approach – such as interviewing the people involved.
        Carter Page as an example had previously come to the FBI when the Russians tried to recruit him in 2013 – that resulted in the conviction of atleast 2 Russian spies. That fact alone would have required the FBI to interview page, rather than try to wiretap him or spy on him.
        And we have not yet gotten to the next level up which is a preliminary investigation.
        That is the FIRST level at which you can use spies or CI’s and that has specific requirements to reach, the next step is a full investigation – and that has the toughest requirements.

        There are going to be records of the Trump Investigation going through each of those steps.
        The FBI/DOJ has extensive documentation.
        We do not have it yet.

        But we actually no alot about it because of the FISA Warrants.
        DOJ/FBI would have included everything they had to get a FISA Warrant – we know they were turned down once, so we know that the 2nd time they knew they had to make the strongest possible case.

        We know when the FBI/DOJ learned everything on the FISA Warrants – and it was all AFTER the start of the Formal Investigation.
        That leaves NOTHING for the PI or for opening the investigation.
        If the FBI/DOJ had some smoking gun or some really strong information. It would have used it for the FISA warrant.
        So we already know that DOJ/FBI did not have sufficient basis to open an investigation or to advance to a preliminary investigation.

        There is a very small possibility I am wrong. That requires the FBI to have received a credible allegation prior to March 2016 (or possibly Dec 2015) that was proven to be FALSE by the time of the FISA warrant. But even that poses a problem because it is more reason they should have verified the FISA information which we know they did not.

        The current claim is that it was GCHQ information that started the investigation.

        That MIGHT be true – but we KNOW it did not go through FVEYs the official channel.
        And that causes problems.

        There are already enormous avenues for investigators to dig, and the certainty that the answers are not going to look good for DOJ/FBI.

        You are right we can not know what DOJ/FBI had in March 2016.
        But we do know what they had for the FISA warrant, and we know when they had that, and we know they had nothing else.

  97. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2018 12:13 am

    “Multiply that by a million abortions a decade. Who is going to pay for warehousing? Will the artificially born fetus babies be adopted? Or placed In Orphanages? As you so insistently complain about government growth, are you going to organize the private sector to fund/run the Fetal Growth Initiative?”

    Do not care about your questions.

    I said the state is free to insist that if a fetus can survive (without increasing risks to the woman), that the state CAN demand that the fetus be preserved.

    I did not say it had to. That is up to the citizens of each state.

    Who is going to pay for ….
    Consult your existing laws.
    If you do not like the answer
    Change them.

    Will these children be adopted ?
    Probably I am not current, my kids were adopted in the late 90’s.
    At that time there were something like 50’00 international adoptions from the US alone each year.
    There were an order of magnitude more domestically.
    There are far more couples looking for kinds than adoptable kids.

    Regardless, if a state can not manage the consequences of laws that require preserving the life of the fetus – change the laws.

    And no, I do not think that government inherently is required to deal with this problem.
    I do not think orphanages, and adoption and charity are the business of government.

    Further there is fairly compelling evidence that if you change the rules pregnant women will adapt.

    States that permit late abortions have more late abortions.
    They do not have more abortions overall.
    In states where late abortions are hard – women get them earlier.

    Regardless, I am not mostly interested in your questions. They have nothing to do with rights.

    I would fully legalize all drugs – including Heroine – even if more people would die (the evidence says otherwise). Because freedom is more important than bad cost benefit analysis.

    Not that I will not use cost benefit failures against the left.

    • Jay permalink
      June 5, 2018 11:24 am

      The idiotic pomposity of your views amaze me.
      Less than 1% of abortions occur in 3rd Trimester, and a smaller percent of those when medical science says the fetus is viable.

      Under your cockamamie plan women would have to remain pregnant until then, because earlier termination would insure the fetus was killed. And that forced continuation of pregnancy would violate your own admission that a woman has control over her body.

      Dave, you’re a reincarnation of Dr. Strangelove analytics:

      Strangelove: (on repopulating the earth after nuclear Holocaust):Well, that would not be necessary, Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male…
      Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?
      Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious…service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 3:02 pm

        Can you read ?

        You seem to deliberately try to misconstrue what I say. Your entire response is just batchit crazy and a typical example that you are completely disconnected from the world.
        You are off beating a bizarre straw man to death.

        A woman has the right to have the fetus removed from her body AT ANY TIME – from conception through birth.

        She does NOT have control over is the fetus itself – that is NOT part of her body.
        She can insist that it is removed. She can insist that it is removed with the least possible risk to herself. But she can not insist that the process must kill it.

        Separately She does not have the right to compel others to provide the abortion.
        No right obligates others to provide it.

        That is ALL.

        BTW I did not “admit” something – a persons control of their own body is a natural right. One government is obligated to secure. Law prohibiting assault are reflections of the right to control ones own body.

        Outside the area of abortion what I describe is the STATE OF THE LAW.
        One person can not be compelled to use their body to keep another person alive.

        Getting rid of the ludicrously stupid Rowe that was guaranteed to fail as science advances and replacing it with the proper law on control of ones body that is the sate of law in all other similar areas would get the courts out of the mess they have created.

        As a practical matter the change would have very little effect.
        Women would still get abortions. States would still be barred from prohibiting that.
        Few would require that extraordinary efforts be made to “save” the fetus.
        The right would probably lobby for such laws, and in some states they would get them.
        But the practical problems of dealing with a living fetus that was aborted would scare most states away from such laws.

  98. June 5, 2018 12:50 pm

    This is what is wrong with this country and no one is willing to do one damn thing about it. We had two crooks running for president and one got elected. They had not been convicted of anything, but I believe few would risk their family assets betting on either one of them withstanding a trial on issues that are in the news or have been in the news.

    So now we have an egotistical lying jerk in the White House that democrats and the liberal press are going ballistic over, and the Democrats are pulling this crap.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/06/04/democrats-set-to-re-nominate-sen-bob-menendez-after-preventing-challengers-showing-how-calcified-the-party-is/

    Is there not someone in New Jersey that is not a crook that they could get to run? I would place this guy in the Roy Moore category of “unqualified to serve”, but he most likely will get elected and we will be stuck with him like we are with the president.

    And I doubt in the remainder of my lifetime that we will see any change for the better. No wonder they say democracies normally do not last much longer than 200 years.

  99. Jay permalink
    June 5, 2018 3:14 pm

    Dave, Frugal Pruitt seems to be worthy of your support against the mounting criticism of his misuse of office staff and funds for personal matters. Rescue him, pal!

    -Pruitt had aide look into Chick-fil-A franchise opportunity for his wife.
    -Pruitt had aide look into buying a used mattress from Trump Towers.
    -Pruitt spent $1560 of EPA money on 12 ink pens.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 6:12 pm

      That is not how recusal works.

      Pruitt is a huge target of the left and of the EPA has a whole. As far as most of the people who work for him are concerned Satan has been appointed to run the EPA.
      I have no doubt his staff is at war with him. He did not fire enough people at the top at the begining and now they are out to get him.

      With the possible exception of DeVos Pruitt is the most threatened member of Trump’s cabinet – more than Trump himself.

      The environmental left has thoroughly whigged out.

      I have almost zero interest in the claimed scandals regarding him.
      He is the director of an agency that is openly hostile to him.
      Frankly the EPA should just be put down.
      Then he will be out of a job and the problem will be solved.

      Pruitt paid 42K for a secure phone booth – too much.
      McCabe – not even a cabinet member paid 70K for a table in his office. Far more of a problem.
      We already have leaks of Pruitts [hone calls – I think it is reasonsble to beleive Pruitt needed a secure phone booth in his office.
      The other big claim is over his 24×7 security – fine – it if the left would quit sending him death threats.
      Many of the complaints are about things that he “looked into” rather than actually did.

      The EPA’s total spending under Pruitt has gone down. Interestingly they are doing MORE about their real job. More progress has been made on superfund sites and disaster cleanup than in the past 8 years – probably longer. Money is being spent to accomplish things that improve the environment rather than to chase political goals. Conflicts of interest are being purged from the EPA. Pruitt has dictated that you can not receive grants from the EPA AND sit on the advisory boards that among other things award grants.
      That is so reasonable you wonder how it ever was otherwise.

      EPA’s spending on adminsitration and on the director is DOWN.

      DeVos is having less trouble than Pruitt because she is very wealthy. She pays her own way. She provides her own jet and does not charge the government and provides her own security. Pruitt can not manage that. Nor can he get private groups to pay for him.

      This is typical left slime tactics. Maybe it works on you – not on me.
      The climate cabal slanders, ,aligns and slimes anyone who disagrees with them.
      And they loath Pruitt more than anyone on the planet.
      During the Obama administration he brought numerous lawsuits against the EPA and won.

      We shall see what happens, but I do not think Trump is going to throw Pruitt under the bus.

      The EPA is one of the most economically damaging agencies in the country.
      Even the hint of revival of Obama era polices could put the economy into a tailspin.

      It is unfortunate we did not also get Andrew Pudzer as DOL.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 6:20 pm

      Pruitts aide said those tasks were on her own time. And given that people in these positions are usually on duty 60+ hours a week that is obviously true.

      Should we ask Huma Abedin if she did personal tasks for Clinton ?
      Of course not, it is on the record.

      Half the 7th floor ar foggy bottom was working on the side for the Clinton foundation.

      If you want to clean up government – actually do something.
      Reign in the EPA – or just eliminate it.

      But cut the crap that Priutt or republicans are somehow more profligate than democrats.

      Some are big spenders. Most aren’t. Few come close to democrats.

      If you are concened about Pruitt’s spending – slash the EPA’s budget.

      In fact lets slash the management budgets for every agency.

    • June 5, 2018 7:29 pm

      Dave does not need to rescue him, just eliminate the federal EPA completely and that will take care of his total waste of money. Let the states handle what ever needs to be handled in environmental protection since they could not do much worse than the federal government.

      Some things like protection of species like the bald eagles can be handled by the interior department with the current staff they have. Otherwise, getting the feds out of protecting farmland as wetlands that has pools of water when it rains would go far to get the feds off peoples lives while still protecting that which needs protection.

      Anything the EPA is doing can and should be transferred to interior, commerce, the states or eliminated with no increase in staffing in those federal departments absorbing those regulations. Many states already have regulations much more restrictive than the fed. regulations, so those would stay in place.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2018 10:21 pm

        Endangered Species is not part of EPA.

        Air and Water are pretty much all that is under EPA.

        There has never been a time that Bald eagles were actually endangered,

        At their worst there were almost 5000 mating pairs in Alaska, and more in Canada.
        Bald eagles were nearly driven out of the lower 48 states.
        There are now nearly as many in the Lower 48 as Alaska.
        The recovery of the Bald Eagle is entirely due to private stewardship, and has been actively hindered by the federal government.

        “WetLands” are the places that mosquito’s and other life threatening pests breed.
        The elimination of Wetlands in the US is the primary factor eliminating Malaria – which used to range atleast as far as Ohio which used to be one giant wetlands. Holland is almost entirely a giant marsh that has been separated from the sea and dried out so that it is now habitable.

      • June 5, 2018 11:30 pm

        In the 1800’s there were over 250,000 bald eagles. Some estimates are closer to 500,000 just in the lower 48 states. In the 50’s there were under 500 nesting pairs, 1000 birds.

        That to me is “endangered”

        Yes you are right, the EPA is not involved. It is US wildlife and fisheries department. Another reason to dismantle EPA since I thought they did something they don’t.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:51 am

        The 500-1000 number was in the lower 48. There were always atleast 5000 just in alaska.

        There are alot of things we do not understand.

        Starting sometime long before DDT came into regular use the eggs of all raptors started thinning.
        And this appears to have resulted in declining populations.

        There have been many studies trying to correlate DDT to thining shells and no controlled study has ever replicated a link.

        At the same time though not immediately, but sometime after DDT was banned raptor shells started thickening again.

        I would further note that the trends with respect to Bald eagles are reflected in other preditors and other mamals. too.

        Wild predators and mammals reached a nadir in the US in the 50’s.

        I grew up in the country. I rarely saw deer, not alot of groundhogs, no hawks, no foxes. no owls, no wood peckers.
        I live in the suburbs now I see dozens of deer all the time, coming right up to my house, O have groundhogs all over, atleast two red tailed hawks nearby, I never saw a fox before I moved tot he suburbs, The owls go crazy at night and the wood peckers start on my house at first light.

        PA and NH purportedly have 5 times more bears than when the pilgrims landed.

        A large part of what has happened – including with the Bald Eagles, is they were driven away from humans for centuries, but ultimately they had to adapt or die, and they are all learing how to live in close proximity with humans. Sometimes that means getting very good at hiding – we do not see bears, but experts claim their numbers are way up. Sometimes that means learning to live in new habitates – like NYC.

  100. Jay permalink
    June 5, 2018 5:37 pm

    Can he or can’t he Pardon Himself?
    Some Yesses and No’s —

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/smorgasbord-views-self-pardoning

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 6:56 pm

      If you get anyone on lawfare saying yes, the answer is yes.

      The language in the constitution is clear.
      The history of the use of pardon power is clear – it has been used twice for self pardons, and multiple times to end investigations that could lead to the president.

      The political reality is that Trump would not likely survive.

      The legal reality is that the constitution places no limits on the pardon power.

      If you do not like this – change the constitution.

      Cut the crap about trying to argue that it does not mean what is plainly says.

      Like myriads of crap from the left, you seem to think that because you can concoct an argument to support the outcome you want, that there is real controversy.

      There is not. The constitution means what it says FULL STOP.
      Arguing otherwise is stupid, divisive and destructive.

      If you wish to argue that the pardon power SHOULD be limited – I am listening.
      Persuade me and I will vote for an amendment.

      But do not lie to me and tell me that the constitution says something different than it plainly does.

      Article II Section II clause 1
      “he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

      Trump may not negate his own or anyone else’s impeachment.
      He may not merely Pardon, and commute but essentially do ANYTHING that alters the prosecution or outcome of an “offense against the united states”

      In otherwords he can pardon, he can commute, he can tell Mueller – you are done, you may not prosecute. He can terminate any aspect of any allegation regarding an “offense against the united states” Except impeachment, and he may do so at any stage.
      That is what repreive means.

      • Jay permalink
        June 6, 2018 11:10 am

        There you go again, disregarding those with just as strong contrary opinions.
        And you wonder why I think you’re a persnickety Putz?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 12:22 pm

        When you can find Marx asserting that private property is a necescity for a working economy – there is nothing left to debate.

        When you get anyone on lawfare agreeing that self pardons are legitimate – there is nothing left to debate.

        Someones oppinion is not strong by assertion, or because it is contrary.
        Individual liberty guarantees your right to express yourself. It does not mean you have anything worthwhile to say, or that anyone must listen.

        There is no equality of ideas.
        While it is absolutely essential that any idea or oppinion can be freely expressed, that is it.

        The constitution places no limit on the presidents pardon power.
        If you or lawfare wish to argue their SHOULD be one – fine. I will listen – but there isn’t.
        When we think things SHOULD be different than they are we change the law or the constitution as necessary. We do not play stupid word games and try to pretend that the law or constitution says something different than it plainly does.

        There is no “argh! Trump!” clause in the constitution.

        I am amenable to the argument that pardon power SHOULD NOT include the power to pardon oneself. That does not mean I agree, only that I think there is a basis for debate.
        But the constitution has no such limit and even if you persuaded me that it should – all you have done is persuaded me to amend the constitution.

        Frankly I do not think this is a consequential issue.
        If a president self pardons is a circumstance that is truly offensive, they will with near certainty be impeached.

        Further, Guliani is wrong that the president could have shot Comey in the Oval office and pardoned himself.

        Our founders did not give the federal government a general police power.
        Though that is still the case we have substantially erroded that.
        The framers never debated presidents pardoning themselves for murder, because they did not imagine murder as a federal crime.

        We should return to that – in fact we are constitutionally obligated to return to that. But who listens to the constitution. Federal crimes should be limited to those few areas uniquely inside of the scope of the federal government. Drug laws as an example are the business of the state.
        Even the “crossing state lines” argument that has leveraged the federal govenment into almost everything, should be almost entirely restricted to providing assistance

        Regardless, if the president shot Comey in the oval, he could not pardon himself from DC laws baring murder. And yes, I know that DC is unique, but it istill has a legitimate distinct local government with its own laws regarding murder that are not federal laws.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 12:24 pm

        Or why your an alliterative asshole ?

        Your “argument” regarding lawfare is “see someone disagrees”.
        I am sure I am at odds with Richard spenser over issues of race.
        Does the fact that disagreement exist require me to give his views any weight. ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 6:58 pm

      I would note that the Memo provided to Mueller was not a threat to pardon himself or others.

      The pardon claim was made specifically as part of ONE of several arguments that Trump can not obstruct justice by firing Comey.

    • June 5, 2018 10:46 pm

      Can he or can’t he. Well if he tried, much of his weak support in congress would evaporate and many who “dont care” right now would become anti-Trump. I do’t really think he is really that stupid.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 2:40 am

        Ron – nearly everyone is saying the same thing you are.
        I believe even Guilini said there is no way he would pardon himself as he would be imediately impeached.

        The fact that something is political suicide, does not make it legally improper.

        This came up because it was in the Trump Memo that Mueller leaked.

        But the news is not properly understanding the argument.

        The entire point was that Trump can not obstruct justice (by excercising his constitutional powers) because he can pardon himself and everyone else.

        The point is that trying to claim that some small legal act Trump can do is obstruction because of corrupt motive, when even with horribly corrupt motive Trump can bring the entire investigation to an end, is just legally stupid.

        Nor is this argument hypothetical.

        Bush I did exactly this, he issued a blanket pardon and totally ended an investigation.

        If Trump woke up tomorow and pardoned, Flynn, Papadoulis, Manafort, Gates, Van Der Zwaan, Cohen, …

        Mueller would be DONE.

        I actually suspect Trump would survive – so long as he did not pardon himself.

        But the GOP would be obliterated in November – particularly in the House.

        Regardless the argument was being made by Trump’s lawyers to Mueller and the argument wasnt Trump is going to do this.

        The argument was if he can pardon the investigation out of existance regardless of his motives, just as Bush has already done, then you can not claim obstruction for some less offensive act.

        It is like saying if I can legally shoot you in the head defending myself, you can not charge me with assualt if I shoot you in the foot.

  101. Jay permalink
    June 5, 2018 5:47 pm

    Ron:
    The BIRTH CONTROL thread has less than 20 comments
    Move there?

  102. Jay permalink
    June 5, 2018 6:05 pm

    Ha Ha Ha!
    The Patriotic Putz President doesn’t know the words ..

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2018 10:14 pm

      Do you know the words ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 6, 2018 10:47 am

        I bet Obama knows them. And Bush. And Clinton.
        Keep defending the Buffoon .
        It solidifies your reputation for profound irrevalance …

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 12:36 pm

        There were stories of Obama mumbing the national anthem or not singing or not saluting or …
        There was a big stew over his failure to where a US flag lapel pin.

        Michelle actually muffed it atleast once on camera – she was caught lip syncing not singing and then did the wrong verse.

        I really do not care about any of this.
        Why do you ?

        Probably it is a good idea for politicians to know the national anthem and God Bless america,
        but there is lots of youtube video to demonstrate they don’t.
        There is plenty of video of Hillary not singing at all.
        That is probably a better idea than botching it.

      • Jay permalink
        June 6, 2018 11:21 am

        The NY TIMES headlines it thusly: “Trump Stumbles Through ‘God Bless America’

        That sums up his stumbling presidency… a Bumbling Stumbler…

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 12:25 pm

        Do you know the words ?

  103. June 5, 2018 11:52 pm

    Talk about using those that defended and protected us for political reasons. This is the most despicable actions I think I have seen in congress in years.

    According to Politico “Democratic leaders sent a letter to rank-and-file members Tuesday urging them to block the three-bill spending bundle, H.R. 5895 (115) — which would mean rejecting funding for popular programs like Veterans Affairs and the Army Corps of Engineers — to gain leverage in future funding fights…..The move surprised even some Republicans, who believed Democrats would be hard-pressed to vote against funding for veterans’ health care or Capitol Police.”

    I can not even imagine someone being so callus to defund veterans care after they have given so much. BASTARDS!!!

    • Jay permalink
      June 6, 2018 11:07 am

      Cool it Ron. That’s not gonna happen. Just like Trump’s 2018 budget proposal calls to cut benefits to highly disabled veterans never happened. Under that Trump proposal, disabled veterans who were old enough to receive Social Security, could have seen their annual disability benefits fall from around $35,000 to around $13,000.

      Were you among those who cried out in complaint, and did you call Trump and Republicans BASTARDS?

      Vet orgs certainly spoke out loudly, charging that 225,000 vets over 65 would be effected. The outcry caused the proposal to be shelved.

      • June 6, 2018 11:39 am

        Well Jay, since I tuned out to most everything posted about Trump, I was unaware of this. Usually I dont read anything about Pelosi or Shumer either. Somehow this caught my eye when I was scanning Yahoo after reading emails.

        Since you pointed this out, went back and read budget news, but the majority concerning this subject comes up under Pelosi and how the democrats saved veterans funding. That is most likely why I was unaware.

        Yes, I would have said the same had I known Trump proposed that. In my mind, veterans affairs is untouchable, much like many think SS and Medicare are untouchable.

        Once again, I am not a Trumper. Give me any other republican, including Cruz, and I will vote for them. Give me a Manchin type democrat and I most likely would vote for them against Trump. However, I also support the constitution and the steps toward impeachment in a morally acceptable manner. That is the key word in my dislike for Mueller!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 11:50 am

        If the vets disability is a consequence of their service – then it is the obligation of our government to take care of them. If not that is what social security is for.

        We do have a special obligation to people who serve this country – but that obligation is based on that service not emotions.

        If you do not wish to be called progressive – do not act like one.

        Our government is not there to meet everyones every need. We already know that does not work.

        Even scandanavians have learned that expanded government benefits destroy growth and erode standard of living.

        I absolutely beleive that we should provide our forces a decent living, decent retirement, and particularly treatment for the special medical harms that arise from service.

        I am not entirely sure the VA is the best way to do that – despite phenomenal increases in spending under Bush the VA is pretty much the worst public health system in the world.

        Worse still the VA model is precisely where the left wants to take the country.
        But I am willing to debate whether the VA is the best means of providing for the unqiue needs of veterans.

        What is certain though is it is NOT the best way to provide for the ordinary needs of veterans (or anyone else).

        Service related disability is unique in that it derives from our obligations related to government as an employer. Anyone experience disability as a unique consequence of their service to our country is reasonably entitled to compensation. There is a form of contract present.

      • June 6, 2018 12:41 pm

        Dave, I fully agree that the VA system is totally screwed up. The responsibility of the government should be funding the care through the private providers. And that funding should be the full cost of the service, not some 25% to 50% of cost like the Medicare and Medicaid programs pay that shifts costs to the private employers/subcribers.

        Government IS the reason for most of the health cost increasing. Patents on drugs for years keeps out competition. State certificate of need laws limits services so the one provider of CT Scans, MRI’s, Heart Surgery, etc can charge whatever they want. Increase the number of companies providing services in all parts of the country decreases the price through competition. Medicare and Medicaid do not even cover cost. Make those required to cover costs plus a small add-on for profit and the 40% of the rest of the market could end up paying much less.

        People will never understand because no one wants them to understand.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2018 3:41 pm

        The world is not perfect – not even the Libertarian world.

        Veteran’s issues are going to devolve to a mess no matter what.

        If you serve in the military – particularly if you are drafted, the government bears responsibility for harms to you as a consequence of your service.

        There is a good argument that SOME things that happen to Vets are sufficiently unique to vets and war, that the government needs to specially support a private area of expertise in those areas – i.e. there is some justification for a VA.
        I would still probably prefer that expertise be private rather than public, but it is going to be public funded no matter what, and that alone means it is going to be a mess.

        We can not eliminate ALL messes in government.
        We can not eliminate all messes.

        We can just make reasonable efforts to reduce them.

        Where possible that means removing things from the domain of government.
        That does nto make them work perfectly just better.

        I can immagine getting government out of schools

        I can cont immagine a functional private army, police, courts, or prisons.

      • June 6, 2018 5:17 pm

        Dave, please, there is NO VA health provider that is better treating vets than a private hospital could do in any of the 50 states that make up this country! My son-,in-law was in the air force and was discharged with partial disability due to back injury. Salt Lake City has a large VA facility. He went there and had back surgery, and after they handed out opiods to him like candy. He said he could have supported all the addicts in the area with the number they distributed. Somehow he got Tricare to pay for another operation at the University hospital in SLC and now he only takes tylenol for the most part,(but could still get opiods if he needed a second income😈).

        I say the government sucks at anything they try to do until it is proven they do it better. An Armed Forces is one. So lets begin. What else do they do better than private enterprise?

        Jay, dduck please comment. At least it is not Trump crap! What does gov do good???

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 12:24 am

        Sorry about your son.

        I was not arguing that the VA is better at those services that ordinary hospitals provide.

        My ONLY argument is that I will consider the possibility that the VA might be better at dealing with problems unique to or nearly unique to veterans – such as PTSD or long term issues from injuries do to IED’s.

        I am perfectly willing to accept that they may not be better at even that.

      • June 7, 2018 10:41 am

        “My ONLY argument is that I will consider the possibility that the VA might be better at dealing with problems unique to or nearly unique to veterans – such as PTSD or long term issues from injuries do to IED’s.”

        Well I am not a gambler, but I think I would wager a large bet that the better mental health and orthopedic medical providers are not working at the VA. Those orthopedic docs and psychiatric physicians most likely have there own practices making much more than the VA will offer.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 2:52 pm

        Again, mostly I would tend to agree and would likely err on the side of getting rid of the VA.

        However – until recently some of the most significant advances in prosthetics, and dealing with gun trauma and damage from explosions have come through the VA.

        The proethtics are starting to change – as it is increasingly possible for people to do this work in their own garage. And more and more advances are coming as the consequence of injured atheletes.

  104. dduck12 permalink
    June 6, 2018 5:52 pm

    Ron, I don’t like to comment here very much as long as dhlli hogs and jumbles the thread. But I respect you, although I don’t agree with you much, that the government sometimes means well. It is so hard to have bureaucracies, especially large ones like the VA, that function as intended or at peak efficiency. I’m sure there are some that work well, but since we have corrupt politicians, they often degenerate and become error and corruption/fraud prone- for instance Medicaid and Medicare. As long as there are dishonest politicians and people gaming the system, we are are screwed. Of course the private sector has more than enough crooks to screw us further (think Facebook) and the entire medical industry, from pill pushers to seminar speaking doctors to hospitals gouging, to people faking disabilities. They then feed into the distorted over burdened, less than vigilant government systems, and around it goes.
    Anyway I can’t name any specific gov stuff that does good, but I am sure there are some that do and they are probably smaller ones.
    No, I am not a Libertarian, I just think that smaller gov would be better if it could work efficiently and honestly.

    • June 6, 2018 6:30 pm

      Responded under Birth Control

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 12:25 am

      I have no ability to alter what you say or to preclude you from saying anything.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 12:42 am

      Is there any time any where that politicians have not been corrupt ?

      Socialism is an appealing scheme. It has never worked – because power corrupts, because no matter how corrupt you beleive people are outside of government they will be more so inside.

      If you say that something would work if politicians were not corrupt, you are admitting it can never be made to work.

      Yes, people are “corrupt” in the private sector – though I will note that much conduct that is acceptable int he private sector is NOT in government.
      Regardless the consequences of human corruption in government are inherently worse in government – government is the use of force.

      I would further note that much “private” corruption is actually public corruption.

      When medical companies lobby for and get laws that allow them to profit egregiously – that is public, not private corruption. if government were limited those laws would not be possible.

      If you want a system that works – it must work with real humans as they actually are. That means corrupt.

      I accept that any government will have some corruption. I seek to limit government to limit that corruption. I accept that I will constantly have to fight to keep limiting that government – because the forces of human nature will act to expand government and expand corruption.

      I accept that there will be private corruption. And that that too will require constant effort to reign in.
      Government is a part of that – punishing those who use force. Compelling people to keep their agreements, and compelling people to make whole those they harm.
      Those are all legitimate uses of force and therefore legitimate uses of government.
      But I accept that even those will be performed corruptly and require constant oversight.

      My remarks appear to paint a dim view of humans but I would note two overlapping things.

      First that whatever the failings of humans the the arc of human history is towards improvement.
      Second that as greatly as I respect charity and positive moral action – that the improvement of mankind has almost entirely been brought about by people perduing their own self interests.

      It is the very same drive in humans that brings about corruption that also brings about improvement. That absent the ability to use force that drive to improve ones own position inevitably improves that of others.

  105. June 14, 2018 8:47 pm

    Now I know the employees of government have lost their minds completely. New rules by THE HHS department division CMS for FY19 will require hospitals to publish their standard charges for public review. This will need to be readable on the internet or by machine readable format that can be downloaded. This action is taken to improve pricing transparency so patients can determine the cost of services.

    Great! Right? WRONG!!!!! Hospital charge masters can be 5000+ different charges divided into 25+ departments. Patients who have IP services can use any number of these services that will appear on their bill. For instance a normal delivery may use anywhere from 20 to 50 of these charges due to patient condition and physicians providing the service. Likewise, an open heart procedure for one patient may have 30 of the charges appear on the bill, while another patient with complications may have 75 or more if these appear.

    How the hell is a patient going to know what they will be charged for?

    Now you ask, why not just charge for the service and not individual charge codes, ie normal delivery $xxx.xx? Thats how most insurance pays anyway, right? Your right!!!

    But the same CMS that wants everyone to know what it will cost before receiving services is the same fool that requires hospitals to charge based on items used, not services. If they controlled car invoices, you would see charges for every nut, bolt,screw,wheel,etc that made up that car.

    I would love to be back for one day in hospital finance when the first patient looks up an operation and tries to figure out the cost.😈

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 11:41 pm

      Your complaint points out the problem – with both the Government and the hospital.

      I pay a fixed fee – for my internet service and my cell service.

      Are my needs and use exactly the same as the next customer – no!.

      I pay a fixed fee because that is what the market has determined is best.

      Because it actually costs money for the cell and internet providers to bill differently and because consumers like flat fees.

      This is also why consumers like insurance – pay $X per month and whatever happens it is covered.

      Your rant focusses on a tiny part of the problem.

      The real problem is that government rules have made healthcare ridiculously complex.

      No one wants to know each of the 20 charges that go into a delivery.

      We want to know that we will pay $X for problem Y.

      Do things have to be that way ? No. But it is how we want it – mostly.

      When we go to McD’s we have many choices – and they do not all cost the same – though the costs are quite similar.

      But even when we pick something – we still make more choices – we do not get charged extra for the pickle and lettuce – or extra to remove it.

      I am not trying to dictate how hospitals should price.

      What I am saying is that government should get entirely out of it and prices should be worked out by the market.

      I can assure you that if they were – there would not be 20 different charges for addressing one problem.

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