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Birth Control

Righty: The Good Lord counseled us to “be fruitful and multiply,” and His wisdom is good enough for me. Birth control is an unnatural disruption of the human life cycle. Even worse, I think it’s a symptom of cultural narcissism: snooty urban yuppies don’t want anything as depressingly mundane as babies to keep them from dining out at their fancy restaurants. Look at what’s happening in Western Europe, where the native populations are surrendering their future to the hordes of Muslims who reproduce like fruitflies in their midst. And why? Because Europeans are so enamored of their cushy lifestyles that they’ve balked at the strenuous task of raising offspring. Listen up, America! I see the same pattern emerging here, among our own middle class. Get busy and start reproducing — unless, of course, you’re comfortable with the idea of living in the Estados Unidos thirty years from now. But what do you care? Your children won’t have to live there — because YOU WON’T HAVE ANY!

Lefty: Whoa there, Righty! Your racism is exceeded only by your chronic ignorance. Having children should be a matter of personal choice, and optional birth control is the most effective means to that end. Furthermore, your stance on birth control (and the Catholic Church’s, for that matter) should win some kind of award for environmental irresponsibility. How can you continue to fight birth control when this overcrowded planet will be running out of resources before the end of this century? Forget about white Americans and Europeans versus Muslims and Hispanics. The issue is whether our primitive biological need to create more and more people in our image is going to lead us to a nightmare scenario of famines, global deforestation and mass extinctions. And who’s going to suffer most? Precisely the people you fear and despise, Righty: Hispanics, Muslims and other Third-World peoples whose expanding populations will soon overwhelm the earth’s ability to support them. The Church, especially, deserves to be excommunicated from the human community for its willfully reactionary, disastrous and ultimately evil (yes, evil!) prohibition of simple birth control methods that could save our planet from ruin.

The New Moderate:

Such intense heat emanating from the right and left can mean only one thing: the answer lies in the middle. The New Moderate believes, with Lefty, that the Church has no divine right to prohibit a practice that was never mentioned, let alone condemned, in the Bible. (And don’t quote us the story about Onan and his seed; if you’re going to adhere to the literal dictates of every Bible verse, you’re also required to stone the nearest adulterer and renounce pork forever.) The Church must wake up and see that unlimited human reproduction is going to severely compromise the quality of life on this smallish planet of ours.

That said, we also share Righty’s concern that the middle classes of Europe and America are going to contracept themselves into extinction if they don’t show a little more enthusiasm for procreating. Having a kid is the ultimate life-affirming gesture. The creation and nurturing of a unique little person is one of life’s most richly rewarding pursuits, even if it tends to crowd out the occasional restaurant meal or midnight movie.

The moderate solution, simply stated: poor people around the world need to start using birth control; middle-class people need to use it a little less. Of course our solution sounds racist, classist and all that (go ahead, Lefty; heap your infamy upon us!). But we’re merely attempting to create some needed balance: a little more restraint from those who are currently overpopulating their lands to their own detriment, and a little more lusty abandon on the part of the fading bourgeoisie, whose continued presence is vital to the survival of Western civilization (or what’s left of it).

Summary: Poor people need to practice birth control more; middle class people need to practice it less.

1,128 Comments leave one →
  1. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:10 am

    Race Wars! “The minorities are having more kids they can’t afford to educate so in response I should too” Righty. Too many cooks spoils the broth. Too many people spoil the whole freakin’ world! Just because your religion wants you to make more “Christian Soldiers” doesn’t mean it’s a rational idea. Besides, bad parents can mess up their children. “But controling my right to be stupid is anti-American” then I’m leaving…

  2. Dianne permalink
    November 28, 2010 1:11 pm

    If you want birth control used more, make it free and available. The same problem with spay and neuter of dogs and cats. Where there is free or cheap spay/neuter there are fewer strays and the shelters are not swamped with unwanted animals. Where spay/neuter is expensive there are packs of roving dogs, feral cats and overwhelmed shelters. Sorry to compare people to dogs/cats but the overpopulation issue is the same. People who do not have contraceptives have too many children and those who do have contraceptives do not have too many children. Solution: Give birth control to everyone FREE. Our planet needs the population growth to stop now.

  3. Cindy permalink
    September 1, 2011 9:35 pm

    Guess what. I never wanted kids (and now menopausal thank God). Many of my friends never wanted kids. In fact over 20% of couples aren’t having kids. So you think I’ve missed out on life? Not a bit. Do I hate kids. Not at all. Would I have been a good parent. No way. But I guess I should have raised some miserable children just because you think more middle class babies will solve the problem. Bottom line. Another place it’s none of your business whether people have kids or not. Their choice. I support those who want them and I support those who don’t. I think you are WAY less “centrist” than you think.

    • HenryS permalink
      November 20, 2014 10:51 pm

      Good. You Lefties and Middle-Of-The-Roadies can wipe yourselves out as sacrifices to Mother Gaia (or is it “Gay-a”?) while we multiply ourselves and take over.
      Not for nothing that God blesses those who honor Him with “unprotected” sex with many progeny. We’ll take many “arrows” in our scabbards to your empty ones.

  4. Cindy permalink
    September 1, 2011 9:38 pm

    Oh, and I have made many many more “life affirming gestures” than people I know who didn’t really want kids but had them anyway. Abuse, neglect, rampant sexual abuse….of course not all families are like that…but the healthy ones are the ones who had kids because it was true to who they were. The ones who don’t have kids because it’s true to who they are in spite of a sick culture that thinks it should get to force everyone to have kids are also life affirming. What about the concept of quality, not quantity??

    • HenryS permalink
      June 25, 2015 1:03 am

      SOME people who don’t have any kids of their own abuse other people’s kids.
      SOME people who don’t have any kids of their own rape other people’s kids.
      What’s your point?

  5. September 2, 2011 11:30 pm

    Cindy: You make perfectly reasonable arguments here, believe me. See my response to your comments under “White People,” which covers pretty much the same ground. My concern is about future demographics, not individual choices.

  6. Ami permalink
    November 7, 2011 11:44 am

    Cindy couldn’t have said it better…ditto…ditto…ditto……we have separation of church and state in this country. Simply put…people should curb their god. If they want to have a plethora kids, go ahead as long as THEY can afford to support them. If NOT, DON’T….and don’t expect the rest of us to put them on the government dole. Likewise, I don’t want anyone going around telling me or anybody else to pop one out every other year because that what “God wants”. Since when did God come down and put anyone PERSONALLY on a mission?? As far as anyone “contracepting themselves into extinction”, that’s FINE BY ME. That’s what people are SUPPOSED to do if they are unwilling and/or unable to raise kids. We live, we die and when God or science decides to destroy this planet, that’s what will happen whether we like it or not.

    • HenryS permalink
      December 1, 2014 4:39 pm

      If you don’t like the government dole, surely you take every opportunity to communicate with your elected representatives your opposition, and to vote for those who share your opposition to the dole, and against those who favor the dole.
      Personally, I’ve never taken any government handouts that I can avoid. I do travel on the government roads as I have no choice. I will, though, accept Socialist Security to get back at least part of what has been taken from my pay.

    • HenryS permalink
      June 25, 2015 1:05 am

      What’s your basis for “separation of church and state”?
      How is it relevant?

  7. Surprise permalink
    April 6, 2012 2:19 am

    Wow! Mr. Bayan, have you ever kicked a hornet’s nest.

    I’m a liberal, pro-choice until viability, pro-military (especially the navy), pro-U.S. Constitution, pro-keynesian, pro-environmental stewardship, anti-unfettered capitalism, agnostic woman without children, AND I think it would be very good if those (particularly women) with more resources and education were to have a few more children, and those with less education and less resources were to have a few less. Now, mind you, I completely realize the hypocrisy of a childless educated woman stating that other childless women, and particularly those with resources, should raise more kids. But, it is what it is.

    Right now in our country there is movement that wants to restore full-blown patriarchy to our shores. And not the role restricting, sexist gender structures of the Mad Men series , but the old testament patriarchal system in which men are encouraged to create multi-generational dynasties through having as many children as their wives’ wombs will bear. Women in this lovely set-up are “consecrated” to their homes in their roles as wives and mothers, prohibited from attending college, forbidden birth control, and pledge unconditional submissiveness to first their fathers, and then their husbands. These people have lots of children (the Duggars with nineteen children and counting are representative), and, unlike the Amish, they vote in local, state, and national elections. They’re associated with the Advanced Training Institute/Vision Forum homeschooling and Quiverfull movement. Here’s a link to more info about it:

    Compare that vision to the vision of those on the left, center, or even moderate right: amongst my own family (which is mostly center right to conservative, with a few liberals thrown in), my grandparents had 10 children, my parents had 4, my three sisters had 2-3 children apiece (I had none), and of my 7 nephews and nieces, who are all approaching 30, only 2 are married, and only 1 has a child.

    People of more moderate persuasion, those of the non-patriarchal, multi-generational dynasty bent, whether they be left, right or center, need to be producing more children to offset the profound fecundity of Vision Forum. I’d be on board for a national PR campaign to encourage educated people of means to have at least 3-4 children.

    At the same time, birth control should be available and free or low-cost to people of low-income so they can plan or prevent pregnancies that might impede their careers or earning potential. Of course, as a liberal, I also believe that we need to institute economic policies that allow an average family of 3-4 to survive on a single income.

    • HenryS permalink
      December 1, 2014 4:32 pm

      Just curious: how do you tell when an unborn child is “viable”? What do you mean by “viable”?

  8. Lynn permalink
    October 20, 2013 11:03 am

    I am a strong supporter of birth control and have made alot of enemies in my lifetime because of it. Let me start by saying that I was born on the very day abortion was legalized. Which I was constantly reminded of by my mother who repeatedly said if abortion had been legal I would not be here. Thus I have a split opinion of abortion. However I am a firm supporter of birthcontrol because of it. I believe that access to free and effective birth control is a wonderful way to move our society forward. No child should have to bear the burden of knowing their family is suffering economically because their parents could not afford birth control.
    The spay/neuter programs in our country are a wonderful example of how we can improve lives through controlling the population. I think they should be expanded to cover people. Obviously this is a very controversial topic and where I lose alot of support. However, if a family cannot afford to support itself and relies solely upon the government to care for its daily needs and has more children to increase it’s income from government programs (such is the case in the area where I live) we as a society need to stand up and put a stop to this legacy. I suggest mandatory sterilization of lifetime welfare recipients as a solution. Many people I realize wil have strong opposition to this proposal be it religious or otherwise. My response is simple if you want the freedom to choose take responsibility of yourself and your family and you will have any choice you wish.

    • HenryS permalink
      November 20, 2014 10:56 pm

      Have you had yourself spayed yet?

  9. HenryS permalink
    August 23, 2015 9:16 pm

    Sterilize poor people, brown and black people. Most of them don’t want children, anyway. As long as the sterilization is done in a way that doesn’t interfere with having sex, such as irradiating testicles, they will be able to have all the entertainment sex they want with no risk of procreating.

  10. March 30, 2017 11:18 am

    I hope that sicko HenryS has found other past times other than spewing his racist vitriol on your blog.

    Interesting to come and read this after the election 2016. I’m 53 and I never had kids, along with many of my friends. Much of the reason was that I never got married, and I suspect most people in my age bracket still thought you were supposed to get married then have kids. Also in my age bracket, we are the women who can’t find enough men who could support a family without help us also having full time jobs. The divorce rate skyrocketed. Not a great time to get married and have kids.

  11. June Tavares permalink
    August 4, 2017 12:23 pm

    I’m not arguing the past or the bible. Religion ideals wrap up in government action is another debate. This is just to get the discussion going. If you want support from both sides we need to look at the times and America. I’ll get to rape and medical abortion issues in a minute. I’m am speaking about a healthy adult. The choice, embryo or mother.
    There is so much contraception available now including the morning after pill. No adult, responsible, consenting woman should get pregnant if she didn’t want to. So the right feels all these abortions are unnecessary, a means of birth control and even to non-religious people, excessive and vulgar.
    1. Make birth control free and accessible to anyone who needs it.
    2. People who are irresponsible or “forgot” their birth control should pay according to income (some subsidy here) for the procedure. Early on, a D/C procedure relatively inexpensive. I’m speaking about both parents paying. Maybe a course in social responsibility. I don’t know but Whatever the sanctions there needs be some to deter careless behavior. We need to put the breaks on these “inconvenient” pregnancies.They offend nearly everyone. We’re going to lose the far right but can’t please everyone. Most people, I think, will see it as a move in the right direction.
    3. The right is pro-birth and not pro- life. Once that child is born, they don’t care how that child or mother fares. For women who opt for adoption, we need social catchment for the child. Qualify social services for the child, foster care, adoption, maybe even orphanages but more like group homes or boarding school.
    4. Medical abortions usually infers the mother or parents want the child. That should absolutely be a decision for the family. The public needs to butt out.
    5. Rape. No matter if it is an adult or child, incest, date rape, dark alleyway, your own home no one can know the mental and emotional agony associated with the pregnancy. The women’s life has been forcibly changed. If its a minor, physically her bones are not fully formed and there will be life long issues with her spine and pelvis. These are women who were not responsible for the forced intercourse. Blame the rapist and sanctions should be severe. Mission, stop rape and rape culture in institutions. This must be the women’s decision.
    Ok. Not perfect but what do you think?

  12. Jay permalink
    June 5, 2018 5:43 pm

    The BIRTH CONTROL thread has less than 20 comments
    Move there?

  13. dhlii permalink
    June 6, 2018 4:14 am

    Here is bloomberg on the effect of Trump’s trade machinations.

    I still think it is a BAD idea. I think that Bloomberg is WRONG in that the effect will be larger.

    However, my guess ouija board read observation, is that we are NOT jumping into a full blown trade war and that even if Bloomburg is of by a factor of 2, This is not going to tank the economy.

    That does not mean it is not dangerous.

  14. June 6, 2018 6:29 pm

    Ok, I am responding to dduck over here since word press responds better here.

    dduck, what I am referring to with the VA is not political. It is incompetence and mismanagement. Employees not being fired for years after they were found to be hiding backlogged registration records. Administrators being reassigned from VA facilities that were determinded to be mismanaged instead of being fired for years.Maybe now they’re firing people, but I have not heard of this happening.

    As another example of government not being as efficient as private industry. Our local town has two person garbagebtrucks. One driving and one grabbing the trash cans and dumping the can into the truck. The county has a contract with private waste management companies. They have one person in the truck. The truck is equipped with arms that reach out, grab the can and dumps the trash into the truck. 1/2 the personnel cost doing the same job.

    Can anyone imagine government constructing bridges and roads😂😂😂😂😨??! We would still be driving route 66 from Chicago to LA.

    One does not need to be Libertarian to understand what government does good. And what it should not be involved with.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 12:50 am

      Incentives not only matter – they are the driving force of human improvement.

      When I bought my first apartment building it came with a private trash contract.
      It cost me $300/quarter. For that the hauler stopped at the building went to the back where the trash cans were gathered the cans dumped them and returned them.

      The city found I had bought the building and forced me to cancel the contract – because that was only for grandfathered properties or 5 unit of more commercial ones – I have only 4 units.
      I now have the city – they pick up on the street. The “trash cop” follows the city. If there are any recycles in the regular trash – I get fined. If the trash is in the back not on the street I get fined.

      The city law says I am required to provide trash service but the tenants are required to use it and are responsible for recylcing and taking trash out. Does not matter. The DJ still makes me pay the fine.

      And this all costs me MORE.

      • June 7, 2018 11:22 am

        Interesting. Like a lot, I had not read this anywhere or heard it in the news. Moving in the right direction.

  15. dduck12 permalink
    June 6, 2018 8:45 pm

    It’s all tied together, government, private and politics all driven by money and that equals s—- .

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 12:53 am

      That drive to be better off is also what not merely makes one person rich, it is what makes all of us better off.

      Absolutley we have to figure out the best structure for society, for government to maximize the positive impact of self interest, and to minimize the negative.

      But we WANT people to want to be better off to have a better life to make more money.

  16. Jay permalink
    June 6, 2018 11:24 pm

    Atta Boy Trumpski..
    Keep rocking the boat

    “And the devil will drag you under
    By the sharp lapel of your checkered coat
    Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down
    Sit down you’re rocking the boat”

    “The European Union (EU) is expected to place additional duties on U.S. imports starting in July in response to Trump’s tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, according to Reuters.

    EU members have given support for a plan that would set 25 percent duties on up to $3.3 billion worth of U.S. goods, Reuters reported.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 1:08 am

      US Exports to the EU are 105B/year, US Imports are 159B.
      25% of 3.3B is less that 1B.

      I am absolutely opposes to Trumps protectionism.
      But the current total maximum estimated cost by Wall Street – including retaliation is a 15 basis point increase in inflation. That is %0.15.

      Again this is all a bad idea – the real danger is that it will turn into a “trade war” as the effects of the actual tarrifs currently being imposed are tiny. But if a cycle starts the effects increase exponentially.

      A 25% tax increase on 3% of US exports is a small impact. It will likely drive that portion fo exports down – possibly by as much as 1/2 A reduction of US exports to the EU of 1.5B is tiny.
      A reduction of US exports to the EU of 50B is a big problem – especially if the reduction is beyond just the EU.

      One of the major factors in the Great depression was that US exports pretty much ground to a complete stop in a very short time. The US went from having a massive trade surplus with europe to almost no exports at all. Most US exports at the time were in agriculture. The effect on US farms was catastrophic. Worse the 20’s were a huge period of farm automation – the wide spread adoption of tractors increased production and decreased labor costs. It decreased food prices and increased profits. The entire world was better for it.
      But the collapse of exports left farmers with food but no one to sell it to, and debt from their purchases of tractors and no way to pay it.

      Smoot-Hawley was not solely responsible for this. It is probable that as Europe entered the depression itself that US imports dropped. But Smoot-Hawley did not help. It certainly made things worse.

      There are few if any economists that think that even unilateral free trade is not superior to protectionism.

      The primary disagreement is over the scale of the negative impacts of protectionism.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 1:25 am


      There is an enormous political problem with protectionism.

      That is that it is politically attractive to a large body – particularly of working class voters.
      Trump’s 2016 victory was not the result of Facebook Russians.

      The single largest factor was that Trump moved enough rust belt working class democrats to vote for Trump to win PA, OH. WI, MI and nearly MN.

      While there are alot of factors that drove that, Trumps promises of protectionist trade policies were a big factor. That combined with the fact that democrats not only could not articulate the great value to all americans – even those in the rust belt of free trade, but quite honestly democrats are not free traders. They too are protectionist – they just have chosen protectionist policies that do not favor the rust belt.

      I will absolutely agree with you that Trump’s or anyone else’s protectionism is wrong.

      But it has proven politically very effective for Trump.

      What appears to be the good news – I hope is that what he has done is quite small.
      The response has been quite small. But it has been politically effective. Trump’s trade policies ARE going to have an effect on the 2018 election – some negative, some positive. But probably net positive for Both Trump and republicans.

      Further China is already squirming – they just offered Trump 70B/yr in increased Trade to drop the tarriffs – that is an increase that is almost HALF as large as our Trade with the EU.

      One of the real great dangers here in the Game Trump is playing is that though the US economy is actually strong and growing the world economy is fragile.

      China is absolutely dependent economically on exports to the US The drop as a consequence of the 2008-2009 recession was devestting for china. Worse it produces serious political unrest.

      The good news is that Trump has China, the EU and much of the world over a barrel with respect to Trade. The bad news is that if he is not careful winning is losing. A recession in the EU and/or China would harm the US economy. It probably would NOT do more than bring us back to Obama levels of growth. But Trump will be blamed even if people do not understand how.

      The other news is that If Trump gets concessions from other countries and drops his tarrifs, He gets to have his cake and eat it too. He will look strong to those blue collar democrats in the rust belt – he will look strong to the entire country, and if he does so without tanking the economy Democrats are in trouble.

  17. Jay permalink
    June 6, 2018 11:42 pm

    “”Stand beside her, and guide her, Through the night, with a light from above”…From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam, God Bless America, My home sweet home….”

    Written by Irving Berlin…immigrant.

  18. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 1:15 pm

    What do Graham (R), Ryan (R), Burr (R), Gowdy (R) and Schiff (D) have in common?

    All have seen the classified documents. All now have publicly knocked down the “spygate” conspiracy that Trump and others have pushed for weeks.

    The unproven Trump claim continues to pollute the truth.
    And TRUMPANZEES continue to spout it.

    No one who has seen the docs say they support Trump’s claims. But he keeps making it.

    Fu*k them and the horse they rode in on.

    • June 7, 2018 1:54 pm

      Jay, Jay, Jay…. “Fu*k them and the horse they rode in on.”

      Please, seeing you on that horse would be worse than Trumps sexual misconduct😂😂😂😂😈😈😈!

      Remember, if you lie long enough and continue to lie enough, people will begin to believe the lie.

      A lie is a lie. A politician is a politician. Those are interchangable in my mind. As liars, there are those like Burr, Warner and Manchin, then there are those like Trump and Pelosi. Trump lies about a spy. Pelosi blamed the tax cuts for SS problems. Both are totally meant to mislead the voters and are repeated multiple times to make it true.

      Before you respond, remember I said I would vote for Manchin over Trump. But there is a line I will not cross on the progressive scale. I wont buy the progressive cool aide, nor Trumps. (And remember where the cool aide drinking occurred)

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 3:07 pm

        Sorry Ron but Halper was a SPY. Whatever else Trump has lied about, he has not lied about that.

        The FBI/DOJ guidelines does not use the word SPY anywhere.

        In the context of the FBI “spy” and “informant” mean the same thing.

        In the courts the term used is usually government agent.

      • June 7, 2018 5:31 pm

        Spy, informant OR undercover agent. Whatever you want to call it, all law enforcement agencies have been using these tactics to uncover crime in most all types of companies and government agencies.

        What makes a political campaign suspected of collusion any different. I am not so far Libertarian that I dont believe law enforcement should not be using any constitutionally acceptable way to identify crime. Even SCOTUS plants people in demonstrations to identify problems before they occur.

        Sorry, if Trump did nothing wrong, then he should be telling Americans he did nothing wrong, that law enforcement suspected something, found nothing wrong and if they suspect criminal activity in any company or organuzation, he supports their investigating.

        There are many things I disagree with government, but undercover stings, informants and law enforcement working in businesses like accounting to identify tax fraud or placing informants in medical facilities to identify Medicare fraud are not part of that issue.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 8:25 pm

        You are correct – this is a valid law enforcement technique.

        So is a predawn raid with automatic weapons and bursting down doors.

        But we do not do that on a whim. We have rules, and law and the constitution to guide us.
        The DOJ/FBI guidelines reflect those rules and laws, and the constitution.

        I have noted there is actually far more basis for concluding that the Clinton campaign was colluding with the Russians, with the Ukrainians even arguably the DNC was “colluding” with Pakistan.

        But no spies or informants were used against the DNC or HFA.

        If you can not objectively grasp that the spying on the Trump campaign was improper, then perhaps you can understand it by comparision.

        Manafort has ties to the Russian side of Ukrainian politics – not directly to Russia. But still inarguably ties. He received money from them.
        Manafort was only part of the Trump campaign for about a month

        Podesta has direct ties to Russians directly tied to Putin and he has received money from them.
        Podesta was part of the clinton campaign from the begining.

        Bill Clinton received money directly from influential russians. He and Hillary have every important Russian on speed dial including probably Putin.

        Both campaigns sought dirt on each other from the Russians.

        Carter Page was actually used by FBI to catch atleast 2 russian spies.
        He was interviewed by the FBI about that – not about the Trump campaign in March 2016 BEFORE he joined the Trump campaign.

        The FBI did not suspect him of being a russian agent a few days before joining the Trump campaign – but purportedly did a few days later.

        The FBI did not open a counter intelligence operation against the Clinton campaign.
        It did open one against Trump. It should be crystal clear that they weighed similar evidence – evidence overall more suspicious with respect to Clinton differently.
        They looked at weaker evidence and found reason to proceed and stronger evidence and did not.

        This is not about Trump or the Trump campaign.
        This is about the misuse of the FBI for political purposes.

        The FBI/DOJ did not come close to following its own rules.
        It also did not come close to behaving politically neutrally.

        But we are not done there. The flow of information and direction did NOT as is normal flow from the bottom up. The Clinton foundation investigation that was tanked from the top – started with agents in New York – not DC, it started from agents in the field not at the top of the pyramid. It started from the evidence, not from a desire to “get a political opponent”

        Conversely we know that at the very latest – in March 2016 The Obama administration – Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, possibly Jarret or even Obama himself, Rice, Powers were involved in this.
        There is further evidence this started in later 2015 not early 2016 and again started at the top.

        We further know this administration has had no problems targetting political opponents – that is what Lerhner was doing at the IRS – where she was also involved in leaking the tax returns of political enemies

        We know that CIA under Obama was actually spying on congress – and was caught.
        Even Fienstein was furious.

        We know that the Obama administration was spying on hostile journalists.

        Some of this we can even tie to the whitehouse.

        We have every reason to beleive – both from the facts and from the pattern of conduct that the Obama administration was politically corrupt. .

        The articles of impeachment for Nixon include

        Trying to use the CIA to investigate political opponents.
        Trying to get information from tax returns from the IRS to use for political purposes.
        Trying to use the Secret Service and FBI to investigate political opponents.

        The articles of impeachment against Nixon could be used asis against Obama – except that Obama did not to our knowledge have anything to do with a burglarly – thought there are some questions regarding how the surveilance of Rosen and Attkins were conducted

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 8:37 pm

        The “I did nothing wrong and therefore you are free to investigate out the whazzoo”

        Is not and never has been the standard for investigations in the US.

        We do not investigate our citizens without sufficient cause.
        The right to privacy and specifically the 4th amendment mean we have the right to be left alone – not until something thinks we did something – but until there is evidence that it is more likely than not that we did something.

        This is not about Trump, it is about whether we live in a police state.

        The argument you seem to me making is that innocent people must allow themselves to be investigated. Only the guilty are bothered by invasions of their privacy.

        That is not this country – or it was not supposed to be.

        Suspected of criminal activity has a meaning, while it is not required that be proven to start an investigation, the standard is higher than I think that.

        As an example – “my neighbor is a terrorist” – is not enough to start an investigation.
        “my neighbor has alot of fertilizer stacked up outside his house is – if the FBI can confirm the presence of the fertilizer.
        Vague statements of suspicion are not enough and you would not want them to be.

        After 2 years of investigation – what I have seen of evidence TODAY is barely enough to get a warrant – for SOME people, for SOME things.

        Though actually it is worse than that because increasingly there are a few things that are actually WEAKER now than a few months ago.
        Worse we increasingly know what the FBI knew and when it knew it – and they have never had close to enough to justify what they were doing at the tim.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 8:50 pm

        Trump has been telling people from DAY ONE that he did nothing wrong.

        But no – he should not be saying FBI/DOJ/Mueller can go wherever they please.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 9:03 pm

        Private individuals and organizations have the right to privacy – that should be a tautology.

        The government does not.
        You say Trump should allow the FBI to dig wherever they please.
        In fact he has done close to exactly that. While he has been publicly nasty, Trump has not actually resisted a single request for information from Mueller.

        Whitewater lasted forever because Clinton fought everything – relatively quietly.
        But absolutely everything.

        Trump’s lawyers have noted – that Mueller has the entirety of the transistion teams records – despite the fact that is improper and likely illegal.
        They have the campaigns entire records, they have millions of documents from the whitehouse.

        Nixon fought everything. Reagan fought, Bush I fought, Clinton fought everything like a tiger.
        Trump has not taken a single Manafort request to court yet.
        He has threatened and drawn lines in the sand, but he has not acted.


        DOJ/FBI have fought tooth and nail every request by congress or every FOIA request.
        They have fought and lost. The have fought lost and still resisted. They have redacted almost everything. They have been caught redacting the embarrasing information – such as the cost of McCabes table, rather than things that have any connection to sources and methods.
        They have fought and resisted despite the fact that the President, and the AG, and the FBI director have demanded cooperation.

        Rosenstein has baldly asserted an individual power to determine who gets to see what – a power that neither congress nor the AG, nor the president can overrule and one found nowhere in the constitution.

        If there is any “obstruction of justice” it is by DOJ/FBI.

        BTW while the 18 usc 15xx obstrcution laws do not apply to Trump they do apply to DOJ/FBI.

        Failure to provide congress with infomation they demand as part of a congressional hearing is
        OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE – it meets every element of the law.

        To deprive information to congress, Rosenstein would have to assert an exective priviledge – natonal security is an executive priviledge. But all executive priviledges belong SOLELY to the president.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 9:07 pm

        The government may not target people to investigate them for tax fraud absent a credible allegation or evidence that they are engaged in doing so.

        As an example the FBI can not send an informant into CHUP to find out if they are engaged in medicare fraud.

        But if medicare find evidence of questionable billings, or someone from inside CHUP comes forward, or some other credible evidence of medicare fraud is provided to them – they can.

        If I walk into the FBI and say – I think CHUP is engaged in medicare fraud – that is not enough.

        The same would apply to IRS investigations.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 3:00 pm

      Please read the actual statements and interviews of these people.

      Gowdy was horribly cherry picked – in an interview where he damned Comey and McCabe and said Trump was justifiably angry about what had been done to him, the ONE LINE that the FBI had done nothing wrong became for idiots like you a rejection of every other word Gowdy said.

      Graham has EXPLICITLY called for Rosenstein to recuse.

      Ryan’s statement had LOTS of qualifiers in it that you fail to mention.

      Schiff is without integrity and credibility.

      He claimed more than a year ago that he had seen PROOF of collusion.

      It has been over a year, everything in creation has leaked most of which have proven false.
      That you beleive Schiff about anything challenges your own credibility.

      And again – why are we rehashing all of this.

      You complain about the frequency of my posts, but any time anyone says “argh!Trump” on twitter we get a long series of these

      “see there is someone else saying bad things about trump” posts.

      Guess what we all know that people in politics spin things all the time.
      Get over it.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 7, 2018 3:31 pm

        You’re as full of crap as ever.
        Even Shepherd Smith at Fox just disagreed, again, with your idiotic POV.
        He reported the same list of spygate naysayers, adding at the end that Fox News (not Fox Propaganda) agreed, there was/is no truth in the accusation. Then he shrugged and said, ‘but there are some who still don’t get it.’ And shrugged again in frustration at their stupidity.

        You truly are worthy of those kinds of shrugs, Dave.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 5:37 pm

        The gowdy clip is readily available on Youtube. It is about 7m long. Most of it is a defense of Trump, and attack on the DOJ/FBI handling of Trump.

        You fixate on a single line that purportedly negates the entire rest of the interview.

        Gowdy has repeatedly excorriated Comey, McCabe and others at the top of DOJ/FBI,

        He has also made it clear that he is attacking misconduct by individuals not the institutions.

        Gowdy has also said the Mueller investigation should be allowed to complete but that he expects based on what Mueller has actually made public that Mueller will find nothing.

        Ryan’s actual quited remarks are not nearly what you claim.

        As I noted Graham is calling for Rosenstein to Recuse

        What these people have actually said is readily available.

        Your arguments are completely insane – they are these twisted double hearsay appeals to authority out of context.

        I disagree with Gowdy – I do not think the Mueller investigation is constitutional, and I do not think Mueller is the right person to be heading it.

        Any investigation of Trump or the Trump campaign MUST be conducted by congress or someone under congress.

        Any counter intelligence investigation can be conducted by the normal FBI.

        I also think Gowdy is far too deferential to institutions.

        But I like Gowdy alot, and he is right about an awful lot.

        I would remind you that Gowdy is the ACTUAL author of the “nunes memo’

        You do not get to pretend Gowdy is some non-partisan expert in one breath and then condemn him has highly partisan in another.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 5:48 pm

        With respect to “spying”.

        Go read the DOJ/FBI guidelines. Find the part where the DOJ/FBI talks about “spying”

        You will not find it. Because the word “spy” does not occur.
        The DOJ/FBI describes that as using “informants”.

        You are engaged in a bad semantic game.

        It is especially bad because Halper is a CIA/MI6 asset. Most of us think SPY when we thing CIA/MI6. Almost everyone whose name crops up in the UK anti-Trump operation is a “SPY”.

        Finally the specific word is not particularly important.

        Again go back to the DOJ/FBI manual. Several FBI counter intelligence agents have come forward.

        The DOJ/FBI has rigorous guidlines for every step in the process. Those steps WERE NOT FOLLOWED.

        In Strzok/Pages texts is a long rant related to another case specifically about congress handicapping the DOJ/FBI with rules.

        Strzok wanted to interview someone. but that person had a lawyer. Page suggested getting a “source” outside the FBI to talk to him. Strzok respond that he could not do that as congress had made it illegal. That the FBI was forbidden to do through sources what thy were forbidden to do directly.

        We are about to get IG Horrowitz’s report on the Clinton investigation.

        Many Trump supporters are expecting a damning indictment.
        I will wait for the report.
        But it has already leaked that it is very hard on Comey and McCabe and Lynch.
        and the conduct of the investigation.

        There is ZERO reason to beleive that the Trump investigation was conducted with any less political bias or corruption than the Clinton investigation.

        I am not interested in double standards.

        One law – the same for everyone.

      • Jay permalink
        June 7, 2018 3:33 pm

        That was my comment, hit the send too fast..

  19. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 1:32 pm

    Dave, you have no problem with this, right.?

    Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference. “

    Warren and Gardner, who both represent states with legal recreational pot, introduced the legislation, known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, as a response to the Trump administration’s hard-line stance against the drug.

    • June 7, 2018 2:07 pm

      Jay you ask Dave, but I will also chime in.

      I fully support this, but it does not go far enough unless it fully decriminalizes growing, selling, distributing, transporting, possession and money transactions from that product in any form at the federal level. Yes, let the states control at their level.

      But since compromise is required to even get a small step forward, its a good start.

      Wonder how much cartel money will flow into some do-gooder organization set up by the cartels specifically to address social issues for the sole purpose to keep prohibition on marijuana. Can you image the billions they will lose with all states relaxing the laws?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 3:03 pm

      My problem would be that it does not go far enough.

      I would get rid of drug laws ENTIRELY.
      State and federal.

      But that is not going to happen.
      So this is atleast a first step.

      I hope this passes – but I doubt it.

      There are too many D’s and R’s opposed.

      It is another of those issuess that have both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition.

    • Jay permalink
      June 7, 2018 3:35 pm

      Well well well.. all three of us in agreement!

      • June 7, 2018 5:39 pm

        I am usually consistent in my comments that one can not pick and choose the laws they want to follow. Dont like the law, change it. But when state and federal law conflict, then you can choose and that makes no sense.

    • Jay permalink
      June 7, 2018 3:40 pm

      My wife and I are going up to Eureka, in Northern CA next month.
      Guess what the largest ‘growing’ business is up there?

      Want me to buy you some local Brownies?

      • June 7, 2018 5:42 pm

        What has that done to the illegal growing that was taking place in remote areas up north. I remember a few years ago PBS did a piece on the pot growing on remote areas and how one could get shot being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      • Jay permalink
        June 8, 2018 10:26 pm

        I monitor the local Eureka paper on line.
        Yes, still illegal growers who occasionally are busted.
        I guess their prices are lower than the licensed places, and no prescription or registering is required.

        I don’t imbibe that kinda recreational drug.. I’m Irish Whiskey, with beer chasers.
        But if I learn anything more about the pot trade, I’ll let you know. 😼

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 3:12 am

        Trump has said he will sign the Warren/Corker bill if it gets to him.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 5:53 pm

        You would have to mail them to me and that is a federal crime.
        Further my State PA has only legalized medical use and is being ridiculously anal about it.

        Finally, though I will probably have a brownie when I can do so legally,
        I personally have very little interest in drugs.

        I do not think I have ever been drunk in my life – though I was atleast impaired 3 times.
        I have never used any illegal drug.

        I did get “high” on demerol, when at 25 doctors took a chainsaw to my chest and reomoved a part of my right lung. I still remember the demerol to this day and can understand why people would take opiates – the Demerol was incredible.

        I have also had Morphine for surgery twice in my life – I do not remember it at all.

  20. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 7:53 pm

    This is a Dog and Pony Show.
    The US will get nothing but ‘the check’s in the Mail” concession, which Trump will inflate into Fox News peacock prancing and Dave will parse into Noble Prize rationalizations

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 9:22 pm

      Sorry Jay – but I do not have high expectations for this summit.

      I have high hopes and low expectations.

      Brennan was not ever FBI director, but he is correct that NK could wreak havoc on Seol.

      The first 48 hours of a new korean war would have more casualties than all US engagements from Vietnam to the present – even if it did not go nuclear, and that is the BEST CASE.

      I do not think Trump should get a Peace Prize – though he might get one regardless of my thoughts. I do not think Obama should have gotten one either.

      I think Trump could easily blow this.
      But I give him props for trying.

      I think there is a small possibility of a quick deal that ultimately amounts to the rapid disolution of NK while Min and family walk away very wealthy and protected.
      The odds of that are small and it will not appear that way initially no matter what is agreed to.

      More likely there will be endless talks and at best tiny steps forward.
      But that is better than further nuclear development.

      From what I read NK wants a deal, China wants a deal, Trump wants a deal Japan wants a deal,
      SK wants a deal.

      There are 3 large areas:
      China, SK. NK, and Trump want US forces out of SK.

      China wants to diminish the US role in Asia and enhance its own.
      Trump just wants the troops out.

      The US, SK, China, Japan want the nukes out.
      No one in Asia wants a nuclear NK.

      Kim has what is essentialy one of the poorest countries in the world with one of the most advanced people. He wants his people to join the modern world.
      It is likely if he can not manage that he will lose power one way or another.

  21. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 8:05 pm

    Emanuel Macron today:

    “The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force.”

    What a wonderful role model Trump is for future diplomacy with allies.

    • Jay permalink
      June 7, 2018 8:10 pm

      Trump is like the drunk uncle who shows up to a family dinner and gets abusive with his relatives because he doesn’t like the seating arrangements:

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 9:26 pm

      The economies of the entire G-7 – except the US are fragile and either in or teetering on recession at the moment. While the US economy would be hurt but not likely go into recession as a result of any of this.

      The economic leverage Trump has is enormous.

      Macrone is posturing and the european leaders know it.

  22. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 8:44 pm

    See, my criticism of Dufus Donald is mild…

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 9:28 pm

      I honestly do not know what to say.

      Except maybe that if Kim is 100 times the negotiator Donald is, then he is 10,000 times the negotiator Obama was.

      Trump may blow this.

      Obama could not even get it started.

      • Jay permalink
        June 7, 2018 9:39 pm

        So, pontificate.
        Tell me what positive outcomes you see for the US, and the resulting negatives for what we will give up to make Donnie Popinjay prance

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2018 10:10 pm

        There is plenty of analysis out there that you can read.

        We do not know enough about haw bad things are in NK and how fraught with risk Kim’s position is. Though there hints that NK is in trouble.
        Last time they were in serious trouble a million people died before we knew.

        What we do know is that China wants a deal, and China has incredible leverage with Kim and for the first time has been prepared to use it.

        China wants:

        To both be and be perceived as a huge power in Asia.
        I think a deal require China to publicly get alot of credit – particularly domestically.

        US forces out of Korea completely that is both and actual threat and a symbolic threat to China and its self image in Asia.
        I beleive NK, SK also want that. Trump wants that. Japan does not want that. US State, defense, and intelligence do not want that.
        It will be interesting to see how that resolves.

        Nukes out of Korea.

        What China wants with respect to the Korea’s is complex too.
        Its perfect world solution would unify Korea and have Korea as a powerful chinese ally.

        But a unified Korea is also a threat.
        SK has an economy that is 2T – about 1/8 that of China with a fraction of the population.
        They have a very high economic freedom rank.
        If NK and SK unified and NK raised rapidly to SK standards that would be a 4T economy right next to them. That would be like having TWO Japans (plus Tiawan) right next door.

        That could be good or very bad for china.

        China wants LESS us influence in Asia and more chinese influence.

        So what are YOU prepared to deal ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 8, 2018 5:14 pm

        You avoided answering my question: about US benefits.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2018 8:46 pm

        I can tell you what I think the US benefits of a deal are.

        All benefits are contingent on reaching an agtreement.

        I do not expect that from Singapore.

        Regardless, are you really saying there is nothing that the US COULD want ?

        This could become a bad deal. But it is not yet, because there is no deal.

  23. Jay permalink
    June 7, 2018 8:48 pm

    Can this be true?
    Or totally false?
    (Remember, Trump has appeared in two or three soft core porn movies)

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2018 9:31 pm

      I do not care.
      Nor do I beleive that Brezinsky knows.

  24. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2018 9:10 pm

    This would be sufficient evidence for an investigation.

  25. June 8, 2018 10:55 am

    Jay, heard about new water rules in CA. 55 gallons a day. Do they monitor that daily or is it an average of 55 per day (1600 per month, 4800 per quarter). Are almond growers restricted in the amount they can draw?

    What I find so interesting is some of the taxes in CA impact those that the progressives say they support. Seems like this hits the poorer families since they are the ones with the larger families requiring more water than the rich old farts or those with just a couple kids. Even if the “,fines” are spread, the higher users are still paying more and they are still larger families.
    “Fine” = tax and has Jerry Brown ever seen a tax he doesnt love?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 8, 2018 4:39 pm

      You need to get water into a free market.
      Where you pay for what you use.
      That will encourtage people to conserve – consistent with the cost.
      It will also encourage innovative efforts to produce more water.
      Desalinization is an infinite source of water limited only by current costs.
      Tell people they can profit selling water and they will find a way to reduce the cost.

      The entire purpose of free market is to distribute and eliminate scarcity.
      Nothing is more effective.

      IF CA moved water to the market there would likely be a brief spike in water prices, but over the long run they would decline and the issue would fade from our consciousness.

      Moving water to a free market would also mean that water would be used proportionate to its value. Farmers would use more or less – depending on the value water added to their crops.

      It is possible that CA farming would decline substantially – in favor of bring in produce from places where water was cheaper. It is also possible that CA farming would increase – a high demand for water for farms would drive more innovative ways to get water.

      Putting water into a market would effect watering grass, pools, golf clubs, ….
      It would make all consumers of water scale their consumption relative to the value of that water for their specific use.

  26. Jay permalink
    June 8, 2018 8:30 pm

    • Jay permalink
      June 8, 2018 8:31 pm

      President Konpromat

    • Jay permalink
      June 8, 2018 8:50 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      June 9, 2018 2:53 am

      You really will not let go. Trump authorized US forces in syria to engage russian forces that interfered with US operations. In other words he told US pilots they could KILL Russians if they interfered.

      Does that sound like a Russian puppet ?
      The entirely of Trump Mideast policy is innimical to russian interests.

      Contra the left the US under Obama was actually moving TOWARDS better relations with Russia prior to the election. The punishment of Russia only started AFTER the left lost unexpectedly.

      Who do you think the Uranium One Deal was with ?
      Do you understand that John Podesta alone has more russian ties and investment than the entire Trump campaign ?

      • June 9, 2018 11:05 am

        Forgive me if you addressed this in another subsequent message, but dont forget that Obama let Russia take Crimea and the eastern 1/2 of Ukraine and basically did nothing. The worst was a “now now, bad boy” slap on the hand with sanctions of individuals with substantial resources and influence who provided material support to the Russian leadership and any bank that supported them.

        And before anyone ask, I said many times here that military support short of boots on the ground should have been provided and it was not for the most part.

        But then this is Trump and he will catch holy hell from never-Trumpers while those same individuals gave Obama a pass on Crimea.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 3:20 pm

        Not only did Obama allow Russia to take Crimea, but afterwords he allowed them to buy control of 1/5 of US uranium.

        If anyone was Putin’s puppet Obama was.

        All this “Oh my god Russia” stuff started Nov. 9th.

        It is disengenuous. The only anti-Trump/antu-Russia people who are the slightest genuine are Neo-Conns. Most of ijust drowning in hypocracy over Russia.
        They would forgive Russia anything in a heartbeat EXCEPT their delusion that Russia is responsible for Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        June 9, 2018 4:59 pm

        There ya go again, as full of shit as ever.

        Russia has control of 20% of Uranium that can only be sold INSIDE AMERICAN BORDERS.They can’t even determine the price, that’s determined by the market.

        “Uranium One, which is now wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosatom, sells uranium to civilian power reactors in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. But U.S. owners and operators of commercial nuclear reactors purchase the vast majority of their uranium from foreign sources. Only 11 percent of the 50.6 million pounds purchased in 2016 came from U.S. domestic producers, according to the EIA.”

        And what exactly are you accusing Obama of NOT DOING.?

        Not initiating a military conflict? Even McCain who was critical of the Obama non response admitted that there was no military option that made sense in the Crimea. But Obama did get Russia dumped from the G-8 in punishment.

        Now Putin’s Puppet wants them back in.
        And in exchange for what?
        Is he bargaining for their removal from Crimea?
        Is he bargaining with them to cease interfearing in our future election?
        No. Most. Likely. The. Opposite.
        It’s a payback for past help and future help.
        Anyone with a rational mind (that leaves you out) by now knows Russian has compromising kompromat on Traitorous trump.

        And to remind you what Trump’s initial response was to the Russian invasion, here’s his tweet at the time:

        .@realDonaldTrump: “The people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 6:36 pm

        “Russia has control of 20% of Uranium that can only be sold INSIDE AMERICAN BORDERS.They can’t even determine the price, that’s determined by the market.”

        1), I do not care – how is that not getting deeper in bed with Russia than letting them back in the G7 ?
        The outrage over Russia is fake. Lefties love Russia, except when they are falsely blaming it for ruining their election. And that is the point. If Clinton had won she would be fawning over Russia.

        2). You are correct that the U1 deal lines sales to inside the US. You are incorrect that the deal is being followed.

        3). You completely missunderstand all remarks about the U1 deal.
        I do not actually care about the details of the deal itself. I do not oppose it.

        But I do care about the political corruption associated with the deal.
        I do care about hiding that corruption from congress. I do care about idiot leftists claiming they hate Russia and that Trump is evil for not hating Russia the way they do, when but fo the election of Trump they would be in bed with Russia and as little as 3 years ago they were (and actually still are).

        It is called hypocracy.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 6:49 pm

        Clinton is actually responsible for triggering the coup that resulted in the Russian invasion of Crimea.

        No I did not support war with Russia over the Ukraine – but if you actually follow the history the US – under Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama provided the Ukrainians with an implicit agreement to defend them when we forced Ukraine to turn control of Nukes in Ukraine back to Russia, and force the Ukraine to turn over control of militaty and naval bases and the fleet in Ukraine to Russia at the collapse of the USSR.
        We essentially deprived them of the tools of self defense and deterence and then were surprised when Russia bullied them arround militarily.

        This is true throughout the region – Georgia was being invaded during to 2008 election.

        McCain did say we could not put boots on the ground.
        That is NOT our only choice.
        And McCain did not say – cosey up to Russia like a whore – which is what we did under Obama.

        Yes Obama has rarely taken a few negative actions towards Russia. But so did Neville Chamberlain regarding Germany.

        The point is you can not fault Trump for overall being TOUGHER on Russia than Obama.

        Trump has disembowered Russia in the mideast.
        He has helped the EU reduce their dependence on Russia Natural Gas, in some instanes providing a US guaratee of gas supplies.

        Frankly I think Trump is crassly using Russia and Putin not the otherway arround.
        He grasps that Putin is ambitious and is trying to steer those ambitions in ways that serves Trump.

        Russia re-entering the G8/7 disempowers the EU and makes dealing with individual nations easier. Trump emphasized bilateral rather than multi-laterall negotiations.
        Russia in the EU make it easier for Trump to negotiate direction with the UK. And later Frane and Germany.

        A unified EU has enormous power negotiating with the US.
        Any individual nation is at great disadvantage negotiating with the US.

        It is also far easier to reach bi-lateral than multi-lateral deals

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 6:54 pm

        You claim to know alot that we not only have no evidence of, but is increasingly unlikely each day.

        We KNOW that no matter how you spin it Russia did not collude with Trump via Carter Page Papadoulis, Manafort or Trump Jr. In fact we know that Mueller has not indicted anyone on the Trump campaign for anything actually related to Russia, and that he has thus far found no meaningful ties to Russia.

        While cursory exaniniation of the Clinton campaign finds far more.

        You claim to know something – what you claim to know requires that things that have been diligently searched for but not found are still somehow true.

        What you claim to know is less credible than Grassy Knowl consiracy theories.

  27. Jay permalink
    June 8, 2018 8:44 pm

    #Russia’s state TV:
    Dean of Moscow state University:
    “The EU is coming apart at the seams —thanks to American God & voters, Trump is smashing it with a sledgehammer. That’s why Putin says he isn’t trying to weaken the EU. Why would he bother? Trump is doing all the work for him.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 9, 2018 3:00 am

      The EU is coming apart at the seems.
      But neither Trump nor Russia are significant factors.

      The failure of the EU was predicted widely at its inception, it has been a miracle that it has survived this long.

      The largest problem with the EU is that its financial problems are too large for Germany to fix.

      In the long list of EU problems – Trump does not make the list.

      It should be expected that Trump will be odd man out at the G7 – as nearly all the G7 is headed into Recession while the US has strengthening growth.

      Trump and the rest of the G7 have completely different goals and problems.

      I suspect Trump is aware of this. As much as Trump’s protectionist threats terrify me, Trump holds a huge club – Trump can threaten to screw up global trade and the biggest losers will be everybody else.

      I would expect the G7 to bitch and moan, but I expect that they will give Trump much of what he wants. They have a choices between bad and worse. giving Trump what he wants is the least bad alternative.

  28. Jay permalink
    June 8, 2018 9:37 pm

    “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) excoriated President Trump on Friday for calling on Russia to be invited back to the Group of Seven, blasting the move as the “antithesis” of principled realism and “a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world.”

    He became the third Republican senator to condemn Trump’s statement that the G-7, a group of major industrial powers, should not be meeting this weekend in Quebec without Russia.

    McCain contrasted Trump’s friendly words for Russia to his hard-line negotiating tactics with allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union on trade.

    “The president has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies,” McCain said in a statement.

    “Those nations that share our values and have sacrificed alongside us for decades are being treated with contempt. This is the antithesis of so-called ‘principled realism’ and a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world,” he added.”

    • Jay permalink
      June 8, 2018 9:40 pm

      Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Friday slammed President Trump’s call to reinstate Russia in the G-7, a group of major industrial powers.

      “This is weak. Putin is not our friend and he is not the President’s buddy,” Sasse said in a statement, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Trump said that Russia should participate in the G-7 summit.

      • June 8, 2018 10:16 pm

        We will see just how upset the mainline GOP is with Trump and his foreign policies toward Russia, the EU and trade. That will happen in the fall of 2019 if its going to happen.

        Will the leadership of the GOP unite behind ONE candidate to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination and find a way to keep 10 others off ballots so its Trump v one Republican.

        That candidate can run on a GOP agenda of continued domestic growth with a return of support for European allies. ie sensible foreign policy.

        As for the EU crumbling, Trump has nothing to do with that. They brought that on because Brussels began governing like Washington DC. Shoving policies down countries throats they refused to follow or shoving economic policies they disliked. Britian had Brexit due to immigration and other issues and Italy wants to leave due to economic policies. The nice thing they have is voters can vote and approve leaving the EU. We are stuck with DC shoving dung down our throats and we have no alternative although we have the tenth amendment that is basically impotent today.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 3:11 am

        What will matter is what Trump accomplishes of consequence.

        I do not presume to know Trump’s exact thinking regarding Russia and the G7 – bu my guess is that it is a deliberate effort to weaken the G7.

        Obama was a multilateralist – as were most US leaders since Bush I.

        Trump is a unilateralist. He wants direct 1-1 negotiations with individual nations.

        You can argue the merits of either arrangement, but the US has far more leverage in unilateral negotiations.

        Trump is now talking of scrapping NAFTA for separate agreements with Mexico and Canada.
        That is very Trumpian.

        You can expect that Trump will try to weaken groups like NATO, G7, TPP, …in favor of either unilateral negotiations or multilateral negotiations outside of groups.

      • Jay permalink
        June 9, 2018 12:53 am

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 3:05 am

        Putin is not our friend. In fact no nation in the G7 can be truly said to be out friend.

        Our most friendly relations are the other anglo nations – UK, CA, NZ, AU

    • Jay permalink
      June 8, 2018 10:36 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 3:15 am

        India has a larger economy than Russia and Nukes – though Russia has more nukes than any other country – including the US.

        India has no borders with any G7 countries – Russia does,
        India is connected to England but not the rest of the EU or G7, Russia is.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 4:29 am

        Just to be clear – I do not care about about the G7 or about whether Russia is in or out.

        You want to beleive keeping them out is good – OK, make an argument.
        I think the in argument is better than the out argument,
        but the entire debate is of very low consequence.

      • Jay permalink
        June 9, 2018 7:36 pm

        You don’t care if Russia is in or out because you’re a Dunce.

        This is what one of your heros has to say about it. Imagine him staring you in the face while he’s saying it, the veins in his neck throbbing with contempt for your Dunce delusions:

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 11:49 pm

        “You don’t care if Russia is in or out because you’re a Dunce.”

        I do not care because I do nto think the G7 matters much.

        “This is what one of your heros has to say about it.”
        Nothing McCarthy is saying was not also true at the time Obama inked the U1 deal.

        You seem to think there are only two choices – Russia the ally or Russia our mortal enemy.

        Russia acts in Russia interests, The US acts in the US interests – we hope, that was not true under Obama. Sometimes we agree sometimes we don’t.

        Russia has behaved very badly – Iran has too. So have the Saudi’s. …..

    • dhlii permalink
      June 9, 2018 3:04 am

      The russian economy is inconsequential. Russian Trade is insignificant,
      Why shouldn’t trump want Russia in the G7 ?

      Once you get past your false narative on the election, while Russia should be dealt with carefully Russian interests and US interests sometime align.
      I would further note Russia is a permanant member of the UN Security council – nothing is accomplished without them. Excluding Russia today makes no sense.

      I like McCain, he is still wrong.

      • Jay permalink
        June 9, 2018 7:40 pm

        Yo, boob, whose interests align more?
        Ours with Russia?
        Or ours with the G-7 nations?

        You really are an idiotic jerk off.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 11:52 pm

        “Yo, boob, whose interests align more?”

        Do I care ? Do we only talk to and work with countries whose interests are aligned with ours ?

        We are working with China to reign in NK – btw Russian has some small influence with NK also.

        “Or ours with the G-7 nations?”
        On some issues – we are closer to the G7 on others Russia.

        Most ot the time our interests are ours, and theirs are theirs.

  29. Jay permalink
    June 9, 2018 12:59 am

    I know I’m hypercritical of Trump, but one thing I have to admit, he’s certainly loyal to the country that elected him:

    “Russia orchestrated an attempted assassination with a chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom, our most powerful ally. Shortly thereafter, Trump has labeled Britain a national security threat while calling to reward Russia with renewed international legitimacy.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 9, 2018 3:20 am

      It was not a “chemical weapon” it was a poison.

      While political assassination is fully consistent with Putin the post histeria analysis suggests non-russian sources.

      All this is complex – as with the DNC hacking, because just as even script kiddies through out the world can make a hack look like it came from Russia, Russia can make one look like it did not.

      The same is true of political assassination.

      The primary evidence against Russia is Cui Bono

      • Jay permalink
        June 9, 2018 5:11 pm

        This is among your most STUPIDO comments.
        And is why I find you to be a ridiculous Pedantic Putz, Dave.

        They were ‘poisoned’ by a ‘chemical’ nerve agent.
        And who describes it as a chemical nerve agent poisoning?
        Everyone with a functioning brain, including Vil Mirzayanov, the Russian emigre to the U.S. and chemical weapons specialist who helped develop the poison.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 7:06 pm

        No jay the comment is not stupid – you just do not follow the news past the first splashy headlines.

        The poison used according to Porton Downs was of Russian origen and of unusual purity.
        Russia has demanded a review by interntional experts and denies responsibility.

        Putin absolutely has the motive and the means, and Putin has a history of political assassination and of long memories.

        Those things alone mean it is likely Russia did it.

        But this stuff is far harder to prove than you think.

        There are questions about the poison used and the IK has good reason to blame Russia no matter who did it.

        Further as noted in the DNC hacking conditions today are such that it is impossible to trace these things to a specific country using scientific evidence – because the ability toi fake evidence or run a false flag operation is so ubiquitous that no truly capable expert will tie any act to another nation based on technical evidence – it is far too easy to fake. or setup.

        Further there are experts now claiming the poison did not come from Russia.

        Because of the technical issues there are infinite possibilities.
        The poison might no be russian and russia still might have done it..
        The poison might be russian and still Russia may not have done it.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 7:08 pm

        BTW you do know the chemical weapons attack on Duoma was almost certainly a fraud.
        There are no actual outside eyewitnesses, the video’s are altered and inconsistent with claims,
        The scale was tiny compared to what was claimed.

        This is not being reported, because no one wants to here that Assad mught not have used chemical weapons.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2018 7:10 pm

        You really are clueless as to how hard it truly is to establish responsibility purely from technical evidence when powerful nation states are involved.

        The most compelling evidence is that this is Putin’s style, russia has motive, and no one else does.
        That is really all the evidence that is no easily faked or double faked.

  30. dhlii permalink
    June 9, 2018 3:27 am

    Free markets work – baltic edition.

  31. dhlii permalink
    June 9, 2018 3:33 am

    The rules for college aid disincentivize savings, IRA’s investment, and work in the parents of college students.

  32. Jay permalink
    June 9, 2018 7:55 pm

    This is what the petulant insecure anus-brain President just said:

    “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!”

    That after saying hours earlier that his relationships with Trudeau and the other G-7 members was a ‘10’ …

    That you don’t admit how deleterious to our diplomatic and economic interests this pompous asshole is speaks volumes of your own phlegmatic density.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 9, 2018 8:49 pm

      I hope a flock of Canadian geese drops some of their internal exports on Trump’s head. That my equalize the trade deficit, since we export more to Canada than they do to us.
      “Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $582.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $282.5 billion; goods imports totaled $300.0 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada was $17.5 billion in 2017.”
      Does this guy ever speak the truth?

      • June 9, 2018 10:12 pm

        “Does this guy ever speak the truth? ”

        Yep, at least once.

        If NAFTA is about trade and the F stands for “free”, why the 270% tariff on dairy?
        Free is free! Its not free where I say its free and tariffs to protect my countries farmers.
        If we cant sell our dairy cheaper in Canada, then why should they be able to sell steel in America and destroy our steel industry.

        Free trade IS free trade. We ship a car to Europe, 20% tariff. They ship one here, 2%. Why the difference. Shipped to China, 25%, Buicks produced in China and sold here, 0%. Why the difference?

        I dont support trade wars, but at some point why do we bend over and let them screw our companies with tariffs and we let theirs in free?

        If this were Obama, everyone would think he was wonderful looking out for American companies.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 12:15 am

      Relax, Chill. did you expect something from the G7 ?

      I didn’t.

      I do not expect anything from Singapore either – beyond more talks.

      I doubt that Trump’s relationships with the G7 are a 10.
      Nor do I think that Obama;s better relations with foriegn leades had any value with respect to US interests.

      I am concerned about Trump’s protectionist traits – and I always have been, and I watch it closely.
      I would note that the entire G7 and the entire EU is highly protectionist.

      I linked the financial analysis of Trump’s Tarrif increases already – 0.15% increase in inflation – if they all occurr and theyre is no agreement.

      Looks like China and Trump are going to reach and agreement.

      I expect that Trump and Canada will too.

      One of the reasons I expected nothing from G7 is that is the wrong forum for Trump.
      It is an environment he can get ganged up on.
      One-One the US has far more power.
      I will bet that Trump negotiates deals with Canada, China, the UK. and the rest have to fall in.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 12:17 am

      Trudeau is an idiot, he can go rejoin person kind.
      But in the end he is going to work a deal with Trump. It is in Canada’s interest.

      I do not think Trump cares much about Macron. France is not especially useful to us.
      Merkel and May are more important.

      Ultimately there will be a deal with the UK as well as with Germany.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2018 2:57 am

      According to Larry Kudlow – Trudeau blew things up for his own political gain.
      That the negotiations went very well and Trump’s offer of a completely free trade deal was not something after things blew up, but being actively discussed and close tot he direction that the G7 was headed – Until Trudeau’s Press conference.

      Kidlow says that Trump and everyone was getting along well in private and making great progress.

      Just to be clear – Trudeau is free to say whatever he wants to the press.
      But what you say has consequences.

      Trump was headed directly from the G7 to Singapore.

      Kudlow says that Trump’s response to Trudeau and the G7 was to a large extent driven by the impending NK summit.

      That Trudeau’s press conference left unanswered would leave Trump in a weak position with Kim Un.

      By walking away from the G7 agreement – something Kudlow says (and most agree) will ultimately be resolved anyway, Trump send Kim a message that he will walk away from any deal that he does nto like. That no one has him over a barrel.

      You can disagree with that assessment. And if you get elected President you will get to make the decision.

      I do not think the Kudlow interview was very good. But if you get past the fact that Kudlow is uncomforatable in front of the camera as a government representative rather than as a pundit, he points were good.

  33. dduck12 permalink
    June 9, 2018 7:55 pm

    Russia is an equal opportunity disturber/influencer.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 12:20 am

      You idiots seem to think Russia – a third rate economy, is somehow satan incarnate and able to do what Trump and Clinton are not able to – win lost elections.

      I guess we are going to see much more of this – “oh my godm there are only 3 degress of separation between person X and Putin for a long time to come.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 10, 2018 3:36 pm

        An idiot response from an idiot.

      • Jay permalink
        June 10, 2018 5:11 pm

        It’s useless to try to reason with idiots, ddduck.

        Doubly fruitless when it’s an erudite idiot like Dave: arguing with him is like contesting people like John Hathorne the Salem magistrate-prosecutor who sent witches to death in exquisitely phrased legal rationalizations that now, from our historical perspective, reek of asinine judgement-corrupting assumptions

        Trump is the enemy.
        As are those who back him.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2018 9:32 pm

        Words have meaning.

        Reason is not linking to every tweet by every #nevertrumper on the internet demonstrating that they are still #nevertrumpers.

        It is not frothing at the mouth and taking offense and claiming that absolutely everything Trump does is the end of the world as we know it.

        Reason, logic, facts are immutable They do not change over time.

        Errors in logic and reasoning are demonstrable, they are not questions of faith.

        No Trump is not the enemy. That is an assinine assertion. It is the same garbage of those who push a war on drugs or poverty or this garbage about Russia.

        People use words like Enemy and War when they seek to justify the use force when it would not otherwise be justifiable.

        Trump was elected, without your vote, without mine. He is president.
        You can remove him in 2020, or by appeachment.
        In the meantime he remains president.
        You are free to oppose his policices and actions – and to act legitimately to thwart them.

        But the use of emotionally loaded language is just an effort to justify going beyond the actions you are permitted to do.
        It is also an effort to avoid reason, logic, facts.

        You are no different from the drug warriors. You are no different from Trump allowing the pretense that every immigrant is a criminal and every muslim a terrorist.

        Trudeau, Macron, Merkell, May – government other countries not this one.
        They are at the summit to protect their own countries and address their own problems.
        It is in the US interests and Trumps to cooperate – where cooperation is mutually beneficial.

        It is not in the US or Trump’s interest to cooperate for no reason at all.
        The US is not responsible for and should not interfere in the problems of Germany or France.

        If you wish to argue that Trump should have “cooperated” with the rest of the G7 – WHY ?

        Make an Argument. What is the benefit to the US ?

        You constantly make this argument that Trump’s abrasiveness is destructive of US interests.
        How so ?

        Is your neighbor entitled to your cooperation as a right ?
        If your neighbor wants to borrow your lawn mower – there may be good reason to agree to do so.
        But there is no right or obligation.

        I am not sure that Trump is right about all his choices. But whether he is right or wrong depends on facts, and us interests. Not some bizarre construct of solidarity.

        None of these countries are our friends – no matter what we say. Nor are they are enemies.
        Our interests are often aligned and sometimes not.
        Exactly the same is true of Russia.

        Do make an argument – on based on facts and reason. and logic.

        You are the one with the connection to Hathorne

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2018 9:08 pm

        Do you have an argument ?
        Have you ever had an argument ?

        Have you ever had anything but ad hominem ?

  34. Jay permalink
    June 10, 2018 12:44 am

    Trump is a threat to our security, our livelihoods, our future.
    Anyone with a functioning cerebellum knows it:

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 5:48 am

      “Trump is a threat to our security, our livelihoods, our future.
      Anyone with a functioning cerebellum knows it:”

      And yet, taxes go down, jobs go up the economy is growing.

      It this is “a threat to our security, our livelihoods, our future.”
      Please sir can I have more.

      I am pretty sure a functioning Cerebellum precludes seeking poverty, high taxes and a stagnant economy,

      Asserting something does nto make it true.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 10, 2018 6:01 pm

      For what it’s worth I only see one idiot on this thread. Others with whom I disagree have their views and I respect them, and if I wish, can have a discussion with.
      Talking to a written tower of Babel is not my idea of discourse.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2018 10:57 pm

        Your not interested in any discussion where you are expected to make an argument to support your positions.

        You claim not to be on the left but you have internalized the same post modernist bunk that all arguments are equal – well except those you do not like.

        And cut the crap.oblique insults when everyone knows who and what you are talking about just makes you look cowardly.

        If you have an issue or an opponion – make your best argument for it.

        One of the purposes of free speach and free exchange is to test idea and opinions.
        If you are unwilling to argue your positions, if you are unwilling to subject them to criticism why bother to speak ?

        Or did I stumble into a group therapy session ?

        Discourse, discussion, political or other debate is to determine what ideas, viewpoints positions hold up to scrutiny, to logic, to reason, to facts.

        If you want to express your viewpoint without disent, without debate, without criticism – find a therapist.

        If you think your views have merit you should want them to be subject to relentless criticism to see if they hold up.

  35. Jay permalink
    June 10, 2018 1:00 am

    John McCain just now:

    “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”

    Have you taken your head out of your ass yet Dave?

    When was the last time so major members of the party in power were publically announcing disgust with their president.?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 6:02 am

      “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization”
      I can agree with that.

      “supportive of alliances based on 70 years”:
      George Washington would differ – and infact did, read his fairwell address, I am with Washington.

      “Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”
      False binary, or black and white fallacy.

      “Have you taken your head out of your ass yet Dave?”
      Ad hominem.

      “When was the last time so major members of the party in power were publically announcing disgust with their president.?”
      Bill Clinton – or am I wrong, were democrats so in the tank they supported a perjuring rapist engaged in federal workplace sexual misconduct.

      Regardless, you seem to think there is only one possibility with regard to Trump,
      To beleive that not only is everything he does wrong – but it is all the impending end of the world.

      I am not happy about Trump on Trade.
      But it is not the end of the world.
      It is unlikely that Trump’s mishandling of trade will be as harmfull as say PPACA.
      It is even possible that it will ultimately work towards good.

      Trump asked the G7 to eliminate all tarriffs on everything.
      They balked. In that instance Trump was right and the entire G7 was wrong.

      Given that the G7 refused the right thing, we are no longer arguing about free trade – the G7 removed that from the table.

      We are just arguing about what combination of Tarrifs we are going to have.
      There is no basis for concluding what Trump wants is not supperior to the alternative.

      Trump is also looking for a political win for his base.

      Interestingly Trump’s base is smarter than you.
      US Blue collar workers do not want protectionism.
      The want a “level playing field”.

      Trump would have no problem declaring victory with an agreement with the G7 to eliminate all tarrifs, and US workers would cheer him.

      American workers beleive they will always win a “fair fight”
      It does not matter if that is true – though mostly it is.

      Further Trump’s eliminate all Tarrifs offer was like the churchill story

      “Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
      Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
      Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”

      Trump established that the conflicts are not about a desire for free trade.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 11, 2018 3:22 pm

      Mr. Anti-oblique speaks up. Wow what anger, the only thing you missed saying was “there is a special place in hell for me”.
      LMAO, you (not oblique) are not worth arguing with, I am not a masochist.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 5:47 pm

        With respect to McCain. Trump not only proposed dropping all tarriffs to zero in response to Trudeau, but according to Kudlow had been arguing for that from the start.

        The proponent of Free Trade at the G7 was Trump, its enemy was Trudeau.
        McCain can not seem to tell who is arguing for what.

        I do not Trust Trump and Trade – though I do trust Kudlow.
        Nor do I accept Ron’s fighting fire with fire argument.
        but whether I accept it or not, that is precisely what Trump is doing.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 5:48 pm

        Given the massive amount of energy and time you put into insulting me,
        your claim not to be a masochist and not to wish to waste time arguing with me are false.

  36. Jay permalink
    June 10, 2018 1:18 am

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 6:05 am

      I am not unhappy with Trump’s G7 performance.
      He called their bluff on Free Trade.
      The dishonesty is theirs.

      The G7 meeting was not about free trade, or cooperation. It was about the relative protectionist demands of each nation.

      Trump has been from the begining seeking to end the US subsidy of the rest of the world.

      That is leadership.

      • Jay permalink
        June 11, 2018 3:39 pm

        As usual, you’re full of crap, misrepresenting what happened because you’re too lazy or too predjuduced or just too dumb to report what happened accurately. That’s why you took Crudlow (yeah I know the correct spelling) at his propagandizing word.

        He didn’t call ANY bluff, he petulantly pouted after he left.

        Trump agreed to the G7 communique before leaving the summit and then reversed his position on the plane to Singapore. Because his childish ego was upset at the Trredau press remarks following Trump’s impolite early exit.
        UNDERSTAND? He reversed for no reason other than his easily deflated ego.

        Trump is a SHIT President.
        And his apologists like you and Larry stink from the contamination.
        Trump lies and bullshits, and you rub it on like cologne.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 6:10 pm

        Kudlow has a decades long reputation as a free market advocate and a free trader.

        While I was surprised that Trump asked him to joint his administration, and that he accepted.
        He made clear at the time – he had not changed his views and that Trump shared those.

        The only issue of disagreement among all of us (on trade) – dd, jay, ron, kudlow, even Trump is the means to the desired end of actual free trade.

        But you have no problem with insulting anyone who defends Trump on any issue – even when Trump is right.

        “Trump agreed to the G7 communique before leaving the summit and then reversed his position on the plane to Singapore”

        I believe you are correct. If Trump had agreed to murder puppies and changed his mind on the way to Singapore – would that produce the same ire in you ?

        If Trump had gone through with the Comunique – you would have found something else to be angry about. You were already selling how great Trudeau was and how evil Trump was before this.

        I do not understand not signing off on the comunique as my read of it is innoquous and meaningless.
        My Guess – and pretty much what Kudlow said is that the problem was not the Comunique, but Trudeau’s subsequent public statements that were in effect a repudiation of what had been agreed in private.
        Trump essentially said if Trudeau is not going to agree publicly with what he agreed privately, then neither am I.

        If Trump wa childish – Trudeau was more so.

        What stinks is your desire to find evil motives in Trump no matter what he does, and no matter who you have to slime to do so, nor what evil you have to elevate to make Trump look bad.

      • June 11, 2018 7:16 pm

        So lets all agree that Trump is a “,shit president” when it comes to personal behaviors and then can we move on?

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 12, 2018 7:59 pm

      “Massive amount of energy”? LMAO. It is almost effortless given the wide target you present.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 8:08 pm

        dd you do not even have to read anything I post to create your responses – and there is no evidence you do.

        I have never suggested you put any effort into reading or understanding my arguments – clearly you do not.

        You bombastic ad hominem does not require thought or understanding.

        The work I was refering to i the constant posting of useless insults.

  37. Jay permalink
    June 10, 2018 1:21 am

    John Dean (He’d know!)

    “Trump’s performance at the G7 suggests that Putin owns him.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 6:07 am

      Not even slightly a Dean fan.

      He was fully complicit in Watergate.
      All Dean was, was the crook who grasped he was facing a prizoners dilema and snitched first.
      That is not integrity.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 12, 2018 8:52 pm

      Bombastic I be, but not a masochist enough to wade through your wall of bovine excrement.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 11:42 pm

        Ad hominem is still not argument.

        Free speach is important. It is so important that you have the right to spray the world with insults.

        But value in speech does not come from insult. It is it in ideas, it is in arguments.
        There is no value in insults.
        Bovine excrement has more value.

      • Jay permalink
        June 13, 2018 7:34 pm

        Trump is a FUCKING IDIOT who gets WORSE day by day.
        A sane voice from Fox responds to his bumbling BS

  38. June 10, 2018 11:18 am

    Seems like there IS something that Americans CAN agree on. Looks like Chicken Little has returned. Doesn’t say much when 80% of those polled say the media does a poor job covering important news. When something bad really happens, many will just say “ho hum, more of the same”.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2018 9:07 pm

      The consequence of this is that most people – left or right beleive alot of things that are mostly false, and at the same time do not care.

      The generic ballot jumped back to +7D – I thought that was a reaction to the Mueller leak of Trump’s lawyer’s memo asserting that Trump could not obstruct because he can pardon himself.
      That argument is not actually correct. – it is an extreme form of the The president can not obstruct while excercising constitutional powers – which IS correct.

      Regardless, I thought the generic ballot shift was fallout – except that Trump’s Favorables CLIMBED.

      I think a majority of people beleive Trump/Russia collusion – but they do not care. Despite the fact that that is about as close to impossible as you can get when you have to try to prove a negative.

      Increasingly people beleive the Trump campaign was improperly setup by Obama, but they do not care.

      • June 10, 2018 10:14 pm

        The +7 on the generic ballot for dem’s is interesting. There are 7 democrat senators underwater when matched against “R”, but all that will change come election time. Many races change when you put a name to it. Both parties cant help themselves when it comes to running divisive candidates, so the moderates like Manchin most likely will survive.

        “I think a majority of people beleive Trump/Russia collusion – but they do not care.”(,dduck)

        I wonder if they dont care or if they are like me waiting for whatever report or indictments are to come since we cant do anything until this whole fiasco runs its course. Much of my family and many friends have just tuned out the national news. The ones keeping up are the “wingers” that are most likely MSNBC or Fox News junkies.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2018 11:08 pm

        I do not think the Generic ballot numbers mean alot at this point.

        However their is reason to wonder about the sudden shift.

        Is it an anomally – those do happen.
        Or is it a meaningful response to something that has happened ?

        As I noted I originally thought it was a response to the leak that Trump’s lawyers had argued he could pardon himself.

        While an accurate position, it is not one people wish to hear.
        Speaking of it always makes you look guilty – just as Taking the fifth does.

        But the next day Trump’s numbers had risen too.
        That tends to discount anything related to Trump as the cause.

        So far the “tea leaves” suggest that the election is unlikely to change much.

        Democrats gaining control in the senate is just not in the cards.
        The Senate election is only unfavorable to republicans in one way.
        A significant portion of the democratic seats in play are seats that demographically should be republican. If republicans do not pick up seats that is actually a loss and one that will harm them for years. Predictions for the senate remain relatively stable at GOP +2
        Though apparently Menedez’s NJ seat is now considered in play and Scott is doing well against Nelson in FL.

        The more democratic seats in play the greater democratic financial pressures.

        The CA primaries were not a disaster for D’s, but they were not a victory either.
        There was a serious risk of getting locked out of all the republican seats they are looking to try and pick up. They avoided that, but it was extremely close which is not good for them.

        I would further note that this occured when the Generic ballot was +7D.

        Personally I think the +7D is an anomally,

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2018 11:15 pm

        There are going to be alot of things happening between now and labor day.
        It is highly unlikely that there will be much activity from Mueller or the House/Senate committees after Labor day.

        The IG report on the Clinton investigation is coming out any day and is purportedly damning
        That will help Republicans.

        Mueller just indicted Klimatov. In this entire mess Klimatov might be the one possible real Russian Spy. That said it is unlikely that Manafort knew that or used him as a back channel to the Kremlin. Klimatov appears to have been spying on Manafort and then the Trump campaign for the Russians.

        BTW there is no proof Klimatov is a russian spy, but there is alot of samning circumstantial evidence.

        Regardless, indicting Klimatov will result in lots more speculation and harm trump and help Mueller. Though the Klimatov story will fade. Klimatov is not getting extradicted.
        Further he could harm Manafort, but not Trump. Manafort was only part of the Trump campaign briefly.

  39. dhlii permalink
    June 10, 2018 11:32 pm

    I do not want the US to become Singapore. Though there are many things in which we should be more like Singapore.

    But I would note that Singapore refutes the notion that democracy is the best and least corrupt form of government.

    Singapore has manage to come from nothing to a standard of living higher than the US.
    It has done so via free markets, limited government the most economic freedom in the world.
    But it is also not a very democratic country. Interestingly it is also not a very corrupt country.
    It is a kind of bizarre libertarian totalitarianism. Successful and appealing in all ways save one.

    But aside from using Singapore as a lession to maericans, it is also incredibly appealing to asians.

    China has been actively trying to emulate Singapore since Mao died – and relatively successfully.
    A totalitarian govenrment – but broad economic freedom.

    And yes, I think Trump is sending a message to Kim Un.

    It will take decades but North Korea could be Singapore.
    And that should appear to Kim.

    • June 11, 2018 12:27 am

      “Singapore has manage to come from nothing to a standard of living higher than the US.”

      Thats what happens when you have about an $80 billion dollar trade surplus, which equals about 27% of their GDP. And anything going into Singapore gets hit with a 7% tax while stuff coming to America comes in basically duty free based on the phase out of duties with the SFTA.

      There’s that “f” for free which is not “free”.

      We would have a wonderful economy also if we exported 27% of our goods and charged 7% on everything imported into the USA.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 2:21 am

        What does it take to dispense with the stupid trade surplus argument.
        I do not think there is a single prominent economist that cares about Trade surpluses.

        Trade between nations is one of the few zero sum things in economics.
        Any trade surplus MUST have a matching capital accounts deficit.

        Whatever extra monty Singapore receives from the US, is useless unless spent to aquire wealth.
        US Money must ultimately be spent in the US.
        If Singapore does nto balance its trade then it must invest in the US in amounts equal to the trade imbalance.

        I criticize Trump for this stupidity on Trade – why would I let it pass elesware.

        Tarriffs are a big deal – Singapores BTW are LOW.

        Singapore did not prosper from a trade imbalance but they did prosper from free markets and relatively free trade.

        They have nearly all the halmarks of a libertarian minarchy – they could be smaller still.
        Except that Singapore does not have political freedom.

        I think the political freedom is incredibly important.
        But Hong Kong, Singapore and China have demonstrated that increasing economic freedom brings about increasing prosperity and standard of living – even without political freedom.

        They also demonstrate something else that John Stuart Mill noted almost 200 years ago.

        Democracy may be one of the most intrusive and oppressive forms of government.

        Singaporeans may not have political freedom but they are more free otherwise.
        They have far more limited and less intrusive government.

        A monarch can enforce political obediance – it they otherwise allow significant individual liberty.
        But if a monarch infringes on individual liberty – the blame is focused on a single target – the monarch.
        When a democracy is opressive and intrusive who do you blame ? The People ?
        you are left with despair.
        The monarch must respond if the people become angry about infringements on their rights.
        The infringements must be far larger to develope the anger necescary to motivate change in a democracy.

      • June 11, 2018 10:45 am

        Ok lets say I buy the economist cool aide that trade deficits are good, that Singapore has to invest in assets and the money come back. Likewise China.

        So we buy billions of widgets from country X. It takes them 1 employee to produce 1000 widgets who make a middle class salary. We buy 1,000,000 widgets a year, so 1000 FTE’S earn income. Likewise there are many more companies doing the same generating products that increase the countries GDP.

        Country X has American dollars due to their trade surplus. Country X comes to America and buys office buildings, luxury hotels, shopping centers and buys American bonds of various maturities. They also buy large blocks of American company stocks.

        How does the money that came back help create jobs and generate increases in GDP? Everything they bought already existed.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 11:48 am

        Trade deficits are not “good” they are neutral.

        I have covered this many times.

        If we give the Chineses $700B in greenslips of paper and they give us 700B in goods.
        We are ahead. Because they have lots of slips of green paper.
        They can only buy goods directly or indirectly from us, or buy something else from us with them.
        Typically they invest or buy our debt. The latter is not great, but it is better than no one buying our debt.

        Regardless Trade deficits mean the other party got lots of money. If they do not spend it somehow, and specifically somehow that is spending to get something from the US – then they just gave us goods for free.

        Adam Smith discovered this exploring the relationship between Spain and England from about 1500 forward – Spain collected all the worlds gold and silver (money) england Focused on goods.

        Spain kept getting poorer and poorer even though they had ever more gold and silver.

        Money is not wealth. It is something that you hope you can convert to wealth. If you can not or do not it has no value.

      • June 11, 2018 12:06 pm

        So they put a 25% tariff on a Chevy going into China, basically making a Chevy unaffordable for their population. We produce fewer Chevys. So fewer jobs making Chevy’s. They require any industry in China to be 51% owned by China. GM agrees and begins producing Buicks. Fewer jobs in America producing Buicks. They ship Buicks back to America without Tariffs. Buick sells that car at market price, somewhere around 45K. China has many employed building that Buick and green slips they purchase USA debt with. American has fewer jobs and more debt.

        What the hell am I missing here? How the devil has that increased our GDP, tax base and overall health of our economy?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 12:21 pm

        I said Trade Deficits are not a problem.
        Tarriffs are a problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 11:53 am

        First “everything they bought already existed” is an assumption.
        Though that does not matter.

        Further I would not the objective is not to create jobs in the US – though that often occurs as the means to the objective.
        The objective is to create wealth in the US, to raise our standard of living.

        Lets say in your hypothetical they buy something that already existed.
        Then the owner of that thing now has money to do something else – like build new buildings.

        If you dump money into the US it is going to do something.

      • June 11, 2018 12:10 pm

        “Further I would not the objective is not to create jobs in the US – though that often occurs as the means to the objective.
        The objective is to create wealth in the US, to raise our standard of living.”

        Boy does that fit the GOP narrative of support for the rich and screw the middle class. Lets make the rich richer and eliminate jobs in America so we have more on entitlement programs because the jobs are in the Far East. How far can one raise the standard of living for the rich before that has no impact on the American standard of living as a whole?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 12:22 pm

        Back to Adam Smith again.

        The rich can not get richer without benefitting the rest of us.

      • June 11, 2018 12:21 pm

        “What does it take to dispense with the stupid trade surplus argument.”

        My argument is not trade surplus. My argument is free trade v fair trade. We let your products in “free” and you let our in free. That fair. Not you charge 25% and we bend over and let yours in free!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 12:23 pm

        There is no such thing as fair trade.

        When you start talking Tarriffs you are talking UNFREE trade.

      • June 11, 2018 1:58 pm


        “When you start talking Tarriffs you are talking UNFREE trade.”

        That is what I have been saying since all this trade crap started.
        Now our discussion needs to be how our country gets out from under all the unfair trade we are involved with.

        I support fighting fire with fire. How do you fight unfair trade, ie 270% tariffs on dairy going into Canada.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 5:42 pm

        “I support fighting fire with fire. How do you fight unfair trade,”
        There is no such thing as unfair trade. Unfree and Unfair are not the same.

        Free trade is the means of trade that works best for all.

        Unfair presumes that there is a right where there is not.

        You have a right to attempt to exchange with anyone you wish (or not).
        You do not have a right to buy or sell at the price you want nor even to succeed in buying or selling.

        If Canada wishes to make the sale of US milk in Canada egregiously expensive – that is stupid, but it is not an infringement on our rights. It is an infringement by Canada on the rights of its own people.

        Our retaliating is merely saying that should we should punish Canada for depriving its people of the best price on milk by depriving our people the best price on steel.

  40. Jay permalink
    June 11, 2018 1:04 am

    The inevitable result of a Shit Head President:

    Our national cultural icons speak out!

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2018 2:34 am

      I like DeNiro as an actor.
      If Broadway wants DeNiro to swear at Trump that is fine by me.
      I doubt it will boost views at the awards.

      I do not decide my politics based on those of actors I like.

      I think Michelle Wolfe’s remarks at the WHCD were offensive – more important they were not funny. But no skin off my teeth. If that is what the WHCD wanted – that is up to them.

      I think Roseanne’s tweet about Valeria Jarrett was wierd and a bit offensive.
      I also think the response was wierd.
      Regardless Roseanne has a long history of bizzarre remarks and actions.
      The network should not have been surprised.
      I think her show is excellent and offers something missing in network TV.
      I do not think it should have been canceled, but that is up to networks.

      I think Samantha Bee’s remarks were way out of line.
      We usually leave first ladies alone – particularly if they stay out of politics.
      But again that is up to networks.

      We can find myriads of examples of prominet people behaving badly – alot of them on the left.

      I think Trump’s request of NFL athletes to make suggestions regarding Pardon’s was brilliant.

      Protesting is fine, but he offered them an opportunity to actually DO SOMETHING about a problem. While at the same time asking for them to do something that came with responsibility.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 11, 2018 3:34 pm

      Ron: “The U.S. uses tariffs to protect a variety of industries from a 350% tariff on tobacco to more 160% on shelled peanuts. In other cases, such as sugar, the U.S. has crafted a complex program to protect domestic industry by limiting imports.”
      Plus we had a 292% tariff on Canada’s Bombardier- since rescinded
      All countries have unfair tariffs to protect poor folks like Boeing and such.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2018 5:58 pm

        Regardless of the sniping, support for Free Trade is universal at TNM.

        There is even a strong case that Trump’s objective is free trade – atleast that is what he said at G7 and what Kudlow says the US worked for.

        The open questions is how to acheive it.
        Do we acheive it by “fighting fire with fire” – as Ron and Trump wish.

        By drappong all barriers unilaterally as I recomend,
        Or by the very negotiations that have resulted in the mess we currently have.

        Absolutely . I agree ALL Tarriffs and subsidies are bad, they line the pockets of people who do not need their pockets lined.

        Boeing does not need and should not get protection from foreign competitors at the expense of US citizens.
        Nor are beet farmers, or corn farmers any more entitled to profit from US protectionist policies at the expense of US citizens.

        Note once again that the greed and evil that you wish to blame on private actors, is merely private actors doing what they naturally do – the same as what you and I do, seeking the highest price for what they have to sell – just as we seek the highest price for our labor.

        How is a minimum wage law different from a protectionist Tarriff ?

        The “evil” comes from government – which uses force to pick and choose who gets the protection they want at the expense of others.

      • June 11, 2018 7:13 pm

        I am not going to get into the political crap of why one country has tariffs and why we have tariffs. My point has always been fair v free trade. If some country allows our beef into their country without tariffs and then we slap large tariffs on their sugar to protect our sugar industry, that is not free and it is not fair.

        The more I read about trade and what we pay and what we charge for tariffs, it is about as cloudy as the Russian collusion investigation. About 1/2 of what the media reports is probably true. The other 1/2 is either not reported or untrue.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 12:05 am

        Come facts should be clear:

        All tarriff schemes – ours, theirs, does nto matter:
        Benefit government
        Help some producers
        Harm others.
        Harm consumers.
        Whether the tarriff is protectionist or retaliatory. They still always have those effects.

        Increasing the price of anything without increasing the value – and Tarriffs universally increase prices, makes us less well off. Worse Tarriffs tend to be a regressive tax. They favor the already well off and screw the poor.

        I would further note that the “making us less well off” part is unavoidable.

        Even if a Tarriff temporarily benefits some producers and some jobs.
        It does so at the expense of all of us.

        If the US increases a tarrif on steel – that MIGHT increase domestic steel employment.
        But it will aslo DECREASE domestic use of steel. Demand curves slope downward is one immutable part of the laws of supply and demand.

        So we have more steel production jobs but less consumption of steel AND less jobs in the production of things made from steel.

        Even retaliatory tarrifs harm the nation more than they help it.

      • June 12, 2018 12:29 am

        I agree. And I circle back to many comments earlier. How does one country that has a more open trade environment address protectionist policies of other nations that keep our product out or price them in a manner only a few in those countries can afford.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 5:34 am

        “How does one country that has a more open trade environment address protectionist policies of other nations that keep our product out or price them in a manner only a few in those countries can afford.”

        It doesnt. Tarriff’s and protectionist trade policy does more harm to those imposing them than those they think they are protecting against.

        Protectionism MIGHT save a few jobs in one area- but it costs jubs in others, harms consumers and negatively impacts standard of living.

        If China or Canada wish to do that to themselves – we should not stop them.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 12:13 am

        More information on the Trump Trudeau spat.

        Canada has a complex system of government supply management.
        Even ignoring the US and trade this is just a bad idea.
        Government attempts at matching supply and demand have always ended badly.

        Contra the media – Canada does NOT impose 270% tarriffs on milk.

        The actual tarriff is about 7.5%. The problem is that as production increases Canada’s Tarriffis increase dynamically. They can actually read 331% on milk.

        Trump sought (and got) a committment from Trudeau to end Canada’s supply mamangement scheme in 10 years. And then Trudeau publicly renigged. and Trump walked away from the g7.

        BTE the arguments for Tarriffs are easy – Trudeau has made them Trump makes them.
        They are all still wrong and they inherently pit nations against each other outside the market.
        That is bad because competition at the government level leads to the use of force.
        We want economic competition, not governments competing through force.

        It is easy for us to say – US Steel producers and workers have some right to their jobs or to benefit from what they produce.
        But the very conduct we see good in our own country is bad in that of others.

      • June 12, 2018 12:39 am

        again I agree. So what’s the best way to address these issue.
        1. Do what other administration did, sign has deals?
        2. Give trade lip service and move on?
        3. Make trade an issue and call out other countries that have high tariffs and threaten our own
        4. ignore it and hope the problem disappears on its own?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2018 5:37 am

        “So what’s the best way to address these issue.”

        Lower or eliminate our own tarriffs and subidies and move on.

        Other nations can make good or bad choices on their own.

        Protectionism is a self punishing act.
        There is no need to do anything in response to the protectionism of others.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 11, 2018 3:42 pm

      Trumps a schmuck, and so is DeNiro. Trump leads and others follow to the bottom.

  41. dhlii permalink
    June 11, 2018 1:48 am

    Just recently James Wolfes – Cheif of security for the Senate Intelligence committee been arrested and charged with lying to federal investigators.
    The real crime is leaking. Though as McCarthy notes given the possible 15 year sentence hear, it is possible that DOJ will prosecute the lying and leave the rest alone.
    I would prefer they prosecute the real crime. I do not care much if people lie to investigators. Further Wolfes case resembles Flynn’s in that the agents questioning Wolfe knew the answers to the questions they were asking. In otherwords they were looking to get Wolfe to lie so they could charge him. The courts frown on that and the law usually requires that a lie to law enforcement actually impede an incestigation to be prosecutable.
    I would prefer Wolfe was prosecuted for his actual crimes.

    Regardless, it is very serious when a purportedly non-partisan staffer is leaking private information. It is criminal – even when the information is not classified. This is actually something that can be prosecuted as obstruction of justice as it alerts witnesses – all witnesses to who was called and possibly what was testified so they can conform their own testimoney.

    I have some serious problems with the ethics of the journalist involved. Sleeping with a source should get you fired – but that is up to the NYT.
    Alot is being made about the FBI ‘spying” on journalists – aparently it is spying if journalists are the target, but not if the Trump campaign is.

    I would like more clear answers to questions regarding the FBI’s investigation of the Journalist.
    Most of what has appeared thus far is that the jorunalists were only involved tangentially.
    That the journalists were exposed by material obtained through Warrants for Wolfe’s information.
    If so I have no problem with that.

    I will note that The Obama administration sought and recieved warrants on Journalists – Rosen and Atkins, spied on them and identified them in court as Targets. Based on the available evidence that was WRONG.

    If the journalists in this instance were the targets – without evidence of criminal complicity – that is wrong.

    I would also compare this to Libby. In that instance Fitzgerald hounded – even jailed journalists where BEFORE he was appointed SC – James Comey who appointed him, had already been told by the State Department that Richard Armitage had inadvertently leaked Plames Identity, and CIA had informed Comey that Plame was no longer NOC – i.e. She was on the CIA’s public roster, she was no longer an agent and could not return.

    I would note, that based on the facts we have – Carter Page was an agent of the FBI. Wolfe leaking his name was EXACTLY the same as the Plame affair – except that Page’s roll had NOT been made public and prior to the FBI outing him as a target in the Trump investigation, Page could easily have been a future asset of the FBI. In otherwords leaking page’s name and his roll in the 2013 Russia investigation was a crime.

    I would note that leaking Halpers identity was also a crime. WSJ Strassel made a point of that which is why she and several other less progressive journalists refused to identify Halper even though it was trivial to figure out who the agent was.

    I would separately note that those who were leaking information to NYT about Halper were also committing crimes.

    We have a something very bizzarre going on FBI/DOJ/CIA are actually outing their own agents in order to plant stories in the press revealing their own misconduct with the most favorable possible spin – actions that violate myriads of laws. While being unwilling to provide the same information under subpeona from congress and prancing arround claiming that they are protecting national security.

    Nunes refuses to meet with DOJ/FBI because in past meetings they have briefed him without providing documents, and then leaked the information to the press blaming Nunes.

    Nunes is demanding the documents he subpeonad – NOT more briefings.
    Not more game playing.

  42. dhlii permalink
    June 11, 2018 2:05 am

    Obama records missing from the national archives.

  43. June 12, 2018 5:53 pm

    This is not to get into a yes/no on the ZTE deal. I dont know enough about that issue.
    What is surprising and nice to see is the fact the senate got off their dead McConnell asses and did something that finally stopped a president from acting like a king.

    Maybe now they might do something about DACA.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 12, 2018 8:05 pm

      All of this seems stupid to me.

      If consumers do not wish to buy ZTE phones – that is their choice.

      There are a bunch of complications in this – most of which get the response from me of why is any of this governments business.

      Parts of this are claims that ZTE is engaged in corporate espionage – fine don’t buy a ZTE phone.

      The US is too fixated on IP. Through to the 80’s the US had the weakest IP laws of any developed nation in the world. That is the period of the radia, TV, Transistor IC, microcomputer,

      There is no indication that going from lax IP laws to draconian ones has had any effect.

      Even IBM studied the matter and found its IP works is almost all defensive – protection against lawsuits from others. It has little or nothing to fo with innovation.

      This is not Governments business.

      • June 13, 2018 4:52 pm

        I have no idea what ZTE did or why. Not interested.
        But I am impressed that the senate did something to earn their 6 digit income.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 13, 2018 9:09 pm

        The question of what if anything ZTE may have done is for the courts and consumers.

        Not Trump, Not congress.

        A bill targeting one person or company is unconsitutional.
        It is called a bill of attainder.

      • June 13, 2018 9:36 pm

        “A bill targeting one person or company is unconsitutional.
        It is called a bill of attainder.”

        You might be right, but when did the constitution begin insuring the rights of foreign citizens and companies?

      • Jay permalink
        June 13, 2018 10:01 pm


        Numerous exceptions have been upheld over the years by SCOTUS.

        AND of course recently congress passed and Obama signed The Magnitsky Act, which TARGETS SPECIFIC RUSSIANS.

        More to the point of your idiotic assertion:
        The U.S. Government controls exports of sensitive equipment, software and technology as a means to promote our national security interests and foreign policy objectives. And has for DECADES!

        THATS WHATS HAPPENING.. Perfectly legal, you dunce.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 12:28 am

        No The Magnitsky Act did not target SPECIFIC individuals. It defined acts that were to be punished and empowered the administration to identify those people and punish them,

        There is a gigantic gulf between – congress authorizes the executive to identify those people responsible from heinous acts and to levy the following punishment for those acts,


        Congress fines ZTE $1B or bars ZTE from US sales.

        We have addressed this repeatedly – it is the difference between the rule of law and the rule of man.

        We investigate and punish ACTS, NOT people.

        Sometimes our language is unclear, and sometimes we even violate the rule of law.

        But we do not investigate Trump, ZTE, Al Capone.

        We investigate crimes, and punish whoever we establish is guilty.

        That is a part of the difference between the rule of law, and the rule of man

      • Jay permalink
        June 14, 2018 11:35 am

        No individuals specified?
        You’re either ignorant or a liar.

        The Obama administration made public a list of 18 individuals affected by the Act in April 2013.[17][18][19] The people included on the list are:

        Artem (aka Artyom) Kuznetsov, a tax investigator for the Moscow division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
        Pavel Karpov, a senior investigator for the Moscow division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
        Oleg F. Silchenko, a senior investigator for the Ministry of Internal Affairs
        Olga Stepanova, head of Moscow Tax Office No. 28
        Yelena Stashina (ru), Tverskoy District Court judge who prolonged Magnitsky’s detention
        Andrey Pechegin, deputy head of the investigation supervision division of the general prosecutor’s office
        Aleksey Droganov
        Yelena Khimina, Moscow tax official
        Dmitriy Komnov, head of Butyrka Detention Center
        Aleksey Krivoruchko, Tverskoy District Court judge
        Oleg Logunov (ru)
        Sergei G. Podoprigorov, Tverskoy District Court judge
        Ivan Pavlovitch Prokopenko
        Dmitri M. Tolchinskiy
        Svetlana Ukhnalyova
        Natalya V. Vinogradova
        Kazbek Dukuzov, Chechen acquitted of the murder of Paul Klebnikov
        Lecha Bogatyrov, implicated by Austrian authorities as the murderer of Umar Israilov
        Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic[20]

        You constantly throw out unverified BS.
        JUST like trump.
        Dissembling Peas in a Pod.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 6:55 pm

        Again you can not read.

        The Magnitsky Act did NOT specify individuals – it can not constitutionally.

        As your reference notes, the Obama administration identified the individuals that it felt had violated the act.

        You are clueless about what constitutes the rule of law.

        The entire POINT is that congress and our law defines CRIMES. The executive and law enforcement then investigate those CRIMES and punish the ACTORS.

        What we do not do is punish people looking for or creating the crime that they purportedly committed.

        You continually put the cart before the horse, and you do not even grasp that you are doing it,
        Nor do you grasp that it matters.

        It is immoral, unethical, improper and unconstitutional for government to target PEOPLE.

        The rule of law means we define what ACTS are improper and when those ACTS have occurred we punish the actors.

        Anytime you START with PEOPLE and then try to find the crime – you are immoral, unethical, unconstitutional and you yourself are criminal.

        That is the most egregious possible abuse of power their is.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 7:00 pm

        I would note as a separate and less significant argument that The Magnitsky Act was improper because it is outside the jurisidiction of the US government.

        Our congress, our president do not have global jurisdiction, and if you were wise you would not want it.

        It is not within the power of the US government to police the world.

        It is not the Role of the US government to punish alleged crimes committed to foreign citizens in foreign countries.

        It is not merely hubris to do so – it is dangerous.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 12:35 am

        I am well aware of the US laws regarding the export of technology with national security implications.

        These are ludicrously stupid laws.

        Have you notices that the more laws we have trying to keep our technological advantages from getting out – the weaker the US gets in the technology area.

        One of the areas I deal with in “encryption”. Strong encryption – and the definition of that is anything stronger than a simple substitution cipher like a magic decoder ring, can not be exported from the US.

        But the algorithms are published in scientific and mathematical journals.
        The end result is the US ends up IMPORTING encryption.

        Because you can develop encryption software in the UK, AU, IR, ….
        and import it into the US but you can not develop it in the US and export it.

        Microsoft has most of it encruption research facilities – outside the US,

        You worry about Russian and eastern european hackers – well they have been greatly empowered by our laws. Because the “black hats” are also security experts, and if you can not use americans for a global product – you use poles, and ukrainians, and estonians.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 12:37 am

        You keep making this argument that because something has been done,
        that it is legal. moral, ethical, constitutional.

        Here is a pretty good editorial on one aspect of this.

      • Jay permalink
        June 13, 2018 10:04 pm

        Above ‘nonsense’ remark directed at Dave, re bill of attainder.
        Not to Ron.

  44. dduck12 permalink
    June 12, 2018 7:21 pm

    Congrats to Kim and Trump. A first step or mere publicity. Tune in.

    • June 13, 2018 4:48 pm

      Same could be said for the Geneva Summit in 1985 and Reykjavik in 1986. Can we not wait to see the outcomes before jumping to conclusions? Would you raise your kids to judge the outcome of any issue or debate before the outcome was known? We have one side that NK will become the next Singapore and become the freeist country in the world, and on the other side SK,Japan and all of southeast Asia will be taken over and become part of NK.

      I think I might wait awhile before deciding which is true.

    • June 13, 2018 4:56 pm

      dduck, APOLOGIES!!!!! I misread your message since I was so pissed with Word Press removing auto notifications of comments.

      Yes, could be all publicity with two huge egotistical assholes or a good first step.

  45. dhlii permalink
    June 13, 2018 2:25 am

    In a story out today Rosenstein apparently threatened the HPSCI with obstruction of Justice charges. And threatened to start subpeona’ing them.

    This was NOT part of the investigation into leaks that recently caught Wolfe.
    But a response to the House threat to hold Rosenstein in contempt for refusing to turn over documents.

    Frankly, Rosenstein’s resignation should have been demanded immediately.

    This is also emblematic of the problems in FOJ and with the SC.

    They litterally seek to become a fourth branch – and one without any oversight.
    They seek to be a law unto themselves.

    Alot though not all of this is the consequence of the total lack of cooperation with congress that Obama fostered.
    After 8 years it has become institutionalized.

    Much of the executive thinks they are not answerable to anyone.

    • Jay permalink
      June 13, 2018 10:16 pm


      That’s an outright lie, propagated by Trump lizards.
      The Deputy Attorney General never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation. Stop lying.
      “”The FBI Director, the senior career ethics adviser for the Department, and the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs who were all present at this meeting are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false.
      “The Deputy Attorney General was making the point — after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official added. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so.”
      Another former US official, also present at the meeting, agreed that at no time did Rosenstein threaten any House staff with a criminal investigation.
      Later Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Rosenstein’s defense during an interview with Fox News, saying he was “confident that Deputy Rosenstein, after 28 years in the Department of Justice, did not improperly threaten anyone on that occasion.”

      Rosenstein’s reacted to threats from Nunes & co. To hold him in contempt.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 1:04 am

        It does not matter how you try to spin this.

        Rosenstein has no private right to subpeona congress is he is held in contempt for his public actions. He would have no private ability to issues subpeona’s.

        AS deputy AG, the threat is a threat of criminal investigation and prosecution.

        Likely things got heated and Rosenstein said things he shouldn’t have.
        I would not be surprised if some congressmen did too.

        But he is on the wrong side of this issue.

        Rosenstein can not assert a claim of executive privildge without the support of the whitehouse – and he would likely loose even if he could.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 1:12 am

        I have no doubt that Nunes Threatened Rosenstein with Contempt.
        While Nunes does not individually have the power to do so, the house does.
        Further all it takes from a referal to the house, is a vote of the majority of the majority on the Committee. It would not take all GOP votes, it would not require any democratic votes.

        Frankly Nunes, has been restrained on this.

        The house held Holder in contempt for much less than Rosenstein.

        BTW Nunes has also threatened “Obstruction” – and unlike the Trump claims – Nunes has a real Obstruction charge.

        The house is investigating – there is an open proceeding. It is constitutionally empowered to investigate. The whitehouse has not claimed priviledge – and could not, there are no communications with the president involved – executive priviledge only applies to exchanges with the president. National Security and the other “claims of priviledge” are reasons for the house to be cautious. but they are mere speed bumps if congress insists.

        There is no national security priviledge that bars information from congress.

        Like the president the congress actually has the unilateral power to decided on its own what it thinks is “classified” or not. It rarely excercises that power,
        In fact the power belongs to congressmen as INDIVIDUALS.

        You can not charge or prosecute a congressmen for any statements made on the floor.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 1:13 am

        From all that I have read, Rosenstein is a decent and respected person.

        He is also wrong, and he has placed himself in a very dangerous predicament.

  46. June 13, 2018 4:34 pm

    Well this is going to make heads explode.
    “U.S. President Donald Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reaching an agreement to work toward de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

    Anti-Trumpers as well as Trumps himself.

    Now Obama won for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

    Since they set the bar so low for Obama, wonder how this will play out

    • June 13, 2018 4:38 pm

      I have lost notification to comments made! Screw Word Press it really sucks. Trying different thingsbto get it back

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 13, 2018 6:57 pm

      My hell may come after Trump gets a Nobel Prize, cause then he may start acting erratically.
      I see a wild card in all of this. It is the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama got one and, puerile Trump needs to equal that. I have started to think of him as a childish competitor and he wants to beat Obama at all things, that’s why he seeks to destroy all of Obama’s “accomplishments”. I use quotes, because I was not a fan of the ACA and the way the Iran deal was done, plus other stuff starting out with Obama getting the NPP for doing nothing.
      As I said on another thread, I think our problems have gotten worse when Congress was intentionally, or not, cut out of the governing/policy loop.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 13, 2018 7:08 pm

        South Korea/President
        Moon Jae-in should get the NPP not Trump.

      • June 13, 2018 7:31 pm

        “As I said on another thread, I think our problems have gotten worse when Congress was intentionally, or not, cut out of the governing/policy loop.”

        I think you and I have been consistent in this belief. What is one congresses cake and ice cream is the countries rotten eggs. Congress has allowed individual senators or representatives to either pass legislation or sneak amendments into legislation that has given the president powers they were never intended to have. Until the 30’s, congress had the power to impose taxes and tariffs. Since then, multiple legislative acts have delegated this power to the President. Trump, nor any president, should have that power. They negotiate, they get an agreement, congress signs off. Trump should not be able to impose tariffs under any circumstance. Presidents should not have the power to send any troops into an operation that could result in combat casualities. That belongs to congress. And they could cover special ops like hostage rescue or things like OBL by defining clearly what is combat.

        As for Trump reversing what Obama did, fine. Obama should not have had the power he had to govern by EO’S, so reversing them is fine. What one giveth, another taketh away.

      • John Say permalink
        June 13, 2018 8:45 pm

        While there have been deserving winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
        So many are merely politicians who did what we elected them to and expect them to do.
        Obama did not even have to do that.

        I really do not care if Trump gets a Nobel, it lost any meaning.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 13, 2018 8:50 pm

        “My hell may come after Trump gets a Nobel Prize, cause then he may start acting erratically.”

        How does Trump start doing something you have been saying he was doing for 18 months ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 13, 2018 9:04 pm

        I do not think that Obama cares much about Obama at all – aside from the fact that Obama booby trapped the presidency on exit.

        It is Trump’s BASE that cares about Obama, and Trump is making his base happy.

        I did not vote for Trump – but I am happy about Trump’s return to government of law, not men.
        I am happy about undoing the crap that Obama did that was both wrong and unconstitutional.

        Even where I agree with Obama – atleast somewhat, such as immigration.
        It is still necescary to follow the law and the constitution.

        Get your reps and senators to pass reasonable immigration reform.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 13, 2018 9:06 pm

        What Trump is undoing was done unilaterally. without proper authority, without political support.

        And that is what makes it relatively easy to undo – such as ACA and Iran.

        Obama could not have gotten the Iran deal through the senate – and all treaties require approval by the Senate.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 13, 2018 7:06 pm

      LMAO. The guy nominated for the NP Literature prize ain’t getting it because of sexual misconduct allegations.
      “(CNN)The French photographer at the center of a sexual harassment scandal that forced the postponement of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature has been charged with two counts of rape, Swedish prosecutor Christina Voigt said in a statement Tuesday.”

      Will Trump sail through to the NPP? Stay tuned, liberals can bend into pretzels when they want to.

  47. Jay permalink
    June 13, 2018 7:36 pm

    This was supposed to post here, not above. Another Word Press screw up.

  48. dduck12 permalink
    June 13, 2018 9:25 pm

    “Erratically” was a joke, most people pick up on that.
    And if you think Trump doesn’t care about Obama, you are wrong.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 12:19 am

      This is the internet, irony, sarcasm, satire … are extremely difficult to sense without clues from facial expressions and tone of voice.

      No I do not think Trump cares much about Obama.

      There is very little evidence that Trump holds Grudges.

      One minute he is calling Kim Un the most evil person in the world, the next he is hugging him and calling him a wonderful person beloved by his people.

      Trump cares about Trump. His attacks can be brutal, but he only attackes things things in HIS way.

      Trump only cares about Obama to the extent Obama remains in Trump’s way.

      Reversing “Obama’s Legacy” is NOT about Obama. It is about Trump. It is about the accolades that gets him from his base.

      And you continue to misunderstand both his narrow base and his broader base.

      To the more narrow base – he keeps his promises.

      You keep saying that Trump is a liar – fixating on cherry picked incongruities between one remark and another. Only those who want to be angry are upset by that.

      At the same times his voters see him ticking off campaign promises – like no other politician ever.

      I am impressed. He has kept or vigorously tried to keep those promises that I think he should not have.

      That means when he actually promises to do something – you should take it seriously.

  49. Jay permalink
    June 13, 2018 10:26 pm

    The Pimp Party In Ascendancy

    “The owner of some of the country’s few remaining legal brothels is a step away from claiming a seat in Nevada’s state legislature after he won a Republican primary in a rural district outside Las Vegas on Tuesday.

    Dennis Hof, the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and a handful of other legal brothels and the star of the HBO series “Cathouse,” took 43 percent of the vote on Tuesday. He beat out Assemblyman James Oscarson (R), who claimed 36 percent of the vote, and a third candidate who took 21 percent.

    Hof mounted his second bid for public office after state officials proposed banning brothels from operating in two of the seven counties in which they are still legal.

    He ran against Oscarson in 2016 as a Libertarian candidate. Oscarson won that race with more than 60 percent of the vote.

    This time, Hof cast himself as the “Trump of Pahrump,” his hometown. In April, he campaigned alongside Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime political adviser. He also sent frequent screeds, jammed with different fonts, sizes and colors, to reporters, calling the news updates “The HOFington Post.”

    Republicans… PArty of. Pimp Procurring Legislators and Porn Star Popping Presidents.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 1:17 am

      Given that I think that our laws criminalizing any form of voluntary exchange are wrong and immoral why do you think I care than Mr. Hof runs brothels ?

      My complaint would be that our legislators – particularly Sen Harris has made it their business to shut down the opportunities for women to profit legally without working out of a legal brothel.

      In otherwords the left has enabled and financially rewarded Hof.

  50. Jay permalink
    June 14, 2018 11:39 am

    Happy Birthday Present To You, Despicable Donnie:

    • June 14, 2018 12:53 pm

      Ok maybe tit for tat. Time to charge Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. DOJ can find something.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 14, 2018 12:58 pm

        Absolutely, Ron. Nailing the CF should have been done years ago.

      • June 14, 2018 1:33 pm

        There seems to be an unwritten rule that any previous President or candidate for president is above the law. I thought if it were ever going to change, it would have been Trump changing this so in the future no one could do something knowing they were home free.

        But what the hell, I also thought we would learn the truth from Trump about area 51 and the frozen body some say is held there. 😁 Little I know!!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 7:19 pm

        CF is at worst a bad charity.

        That is not the business of government.

        The issue that matters is that Clinton and her people in state gave favorable treatment to contributions to CF.

        The crime is with Clinton and her people – not CF.

        If you want to contribute to a bad charity – that is your business,
        Whether it is TF or CF

        Nor do we have any business pretending we should control what or how charities behave.
        That is not the business of government.

        How Government behaves is the business of the people.
        Giving government favors to CF contributors is politically corrupt, it is criminal, it is an abuse of power. And it should be severely punished.

        But it is not CF that did something wrong – it is those in government who abused their power.

      • Jay permalink
        June 14, 2018 2:24 pm

        Charge the Clinton Foundation for what?
        For being an actual positive force of help in the 3rd World?

        The Clinton’s didn’t misuse a penny of Foundation money for their own benefit. Not a nickel of it was used to assist Clinton’s campaign, not a dime of the contributions to it resulted in ‘tit for tat’ payoffs political or otherwise to donators.

        On a scale of 1 to 10, the Clinton Foundation gets a 9 for probity.
        Trump’s Foundation, gets a 2.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 7:28 pm

        I have no axe to grind with CF.

        But please lets not spew this garbage that they are a positive force.

        If you think so – donate your own money to them.

        But please do not try to sell me that garbage.

        They are probably not the worst charity in existance – so many charities are so bad.

        And charities in general are horibly ineffective.

        I actually like the Gates foundation ALOT.

        Yet, as Bill Gates has learned – charity is hard and much of gates spending has been wasted.

        Gates efforts in education have taught us some things. BUT what he has done that is successful DOES NOT SCALE.

        You can spend a fortune, bring in the best and brightest teachers, social workers and administrators and you can make the poorest schools in the country into the best.

        But the ‘best and brightest” are a limited resource. There are only so many of them.
        Merely spending lots of money is NOT enough. In fact it may accomplish nothing.

        Gates spend 1B to end malaria in Africa. The results – Malaria actually increased as a result to the actions gates took.

        And I think Gates really truly is trying to do effective Charity.

        The Clinton Foundation is a sham.

        But if you wish to give you money to it – that is your business.

        What is WRONG, what should result in people going to jail is the state departments disparate treatement of CF donors.

        That is political corruption, that is abuse of power, that is criminal and people should go to jail.
        It does not matter whether there is a quid pro quo.

        Government must apply the law blindly. When it does not those in GOVERNMENT are corrupt.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 7:32 pm

        On a scale of 1-10 the CF gets about a 2-3 – and actually did so, until they blackmailed the organizations rating charities.

        But if you wish to beleive that non-sense – that is your business.

        Contribute to CF or don’t, contribute to TF or don’t.

        But it is not your business of mine what other people do with their own money.
        Whether the contribute to TF or CF.

        If TF is a 0 and CF is a 10 – so what ? So long as people are making their own choices – why is it your business ?

        If you wish to contribute to the flat earth society – that is not my business.

        If you wish to contribute to Anti-da or the aryan brotherhood – that is not my business.

        Nor is it the business of government.

      • Jay permalink
        June 14, 2018 2:31 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 8:01 pm

        The CF claims regarding Aides are garbage.

        There is no change in the actual cost of Aides drugs to parients,
        The is no change in the trend of aids deaths or the rate of new aids cases.

        Nothing that CF has done had any actual effect.
        Further for the most part CF was a bit player in actions that predate them.
        They have for the most part taken credit for the actions of others

        Look if you want to beleive otherwise, and you want to contribute to CF – fine.

        Nor do I especially wish to piss on CF – because though they are a bad charity.

        There are no statistically significant effects of charity in undeveloped countries.

        Between charities, NGO’s and government aide we have sunk $1T into africa in aide over the past 40 years, and inarguably it has had NO EFFECT.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 7:14 pm

        There is alot of disreputable conduct in CF – and I would guess TF also.

        But the fundimental issue with CF was that contributions to CF lead to better access to the state department.

        The fault there lies not with CF – but with those within state who provided that improved access.

        The fault is the abuse of power – in this instance trading government power for donations.

        It does not matter to me if the Clinton’s never personally benefited – though I think the case can be made that they did.

        The law must be applied equally to all. Our government may not look more favorably on contributors to CF. That it did requires the punishment of those in GOVERNMENT who did so.
        NOT CF.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 7:10 pm

      I have no idea whether there is any substance to this.

      Though I wonder why the NY AG is not going after the Clinton foundation.

      I would note that the NY AG’s office has had a horrible record over the past couple of decades.

      It has been involved in numerous highy profile political lawsuits – many of which have ended badly.
      Several NY AG’s in a row have left in scandal and often as criminals.

      The NY AG is the poster boy for the mess that results from unchecked power.

      Regardless, if there is something actually wrong with the Trump foundation – go for it.
      Though I will still be wondering why it is that the left wields what power it has only to flog its enemies.

      It is most definitely LAWLESS when the power of government – any government or part of government is used differently with respect to political enemies than with political friends.

      I do not know whether the Trump foundation has acted improperly.
      But if it has I would be surprised if it acted half as egregiously as we know the Clinton foundation has.

      Investigate TF as you wish. But explain to me why you are not investigating CF ?

      Explain to me why you are not horribly politically corrupt for wielding the sword of government power in a hyper partisan manner.

      I am distraught at the moment – because quite clearly the Obama administration did all the things that Nixon wanted to do but could not with respect to using the power of government to punish its enemies. And yet there are no Sen. Baker’s on the left willing to stand up and say

      This is wrong.

      You can not use the awesome power of government for the purpose of protecting your friends and punishing your enemies.

      You do not even understand how wrong this is.

      This is different from Hitler and the Nazi’s only in degree.

      This is litterally evil

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 3:19 am

      After bothering to look into this there is little there, and Trump can (though knowing Trump likely wont) make this go away for 2.8M.

      His legal costs fighting it will exceed that.

      When we talk CF we are talking hundreds of millions.

      BTW the Core claim is that TF was used politically.

      And that claim rests on a novel argument.

      Trump actively featured TF fund raising events at Political events.

      In otherwords candidate Trump used TF and TF publicity to say “look at me, I am a big philanthropists”.

      Just to be clear – TG RAISED MONEY as a result of this.

      The NY AG is not arguing (mostly) that Trump TOOK money from TF,
      But that he RAISED money for TF in a way that benefited him politically.

      The 2nd claim is that the Campaign directed TF spending of money.
      That appears to be correct. They have emails from Corey Lowendowski directing TF to cut 100K checks – to other charities. Again there was a political benefit for Trump
      But the Charity was still engaged in the job of charity.

      I would be surprised to discover that TF is a charity that I would find appealing.

      But if we are going to argue that Trump’s relationhip with TF was improper because he benefitted politically and TF benefitted from Trump’s politics.

      Then TF is a cherry bomb and CF is a hydrogen bomb.

      Essentially the NY AG is saying that politicians she does not like can not engage in charity if they also benefit politically.

  51. Jay permalink
    June 14, 2018 2:40 pm

    Trump on Kim: “He loves his people…He wants to do right by them and we got along really well.”

    A note to evangelical Christians & other Christians who support Trump: NK is listed as the world’s main persecutor of Christians.

    A note to anyone who still defends Trump: Go Robert DiNero Yourself!

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:08 pm

      “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

      ― Winston S. Churchill

      The agreement reached in Singapore could prove meaningless. It is little more than a statement of intentions. It is not binding on anyone.

      But it does set the starting point of negotiations.

      NK has committed to full denuclearization. The US has committed to many other things in return.

      Any actual binding deal might be different, or might not occur, but this is a start.
      It is more than any other president has gotten.

      Yes, Trump is lying about Kim Un.

      Would you rather he told the truth and we got no deal ?

      Was Obama telling the Truth about Iran ?

      I do not think the Iran deal was good enough to have agreed to it.
      But I was not opposed to negotiating with Iran.

      I may not think the NK deal is worth it when we reach an actual deal.
      But I am not opposed to negotiating with NK.

      I do not care if Trump calls Kim Un the Messiah if the end result is to end the NK nuclear threat.

      Do you actually disagree ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:13 pm

      North Korea’s treatment of Chritians is horrible – they are sent to force labor or killed on the spot.
      Of course that is the punishment for everything in NK.

      There are estimated to be 300.000 christians in NK – that is less than 1% of the population.

      Christians used to be the 2nd largest denomimation in the mideast and north africa.
      There were millions.
      That was true through to the 1960’s.

      Since then persecution – including official persecturion has driven nearly all christians out of the mideast.

  52. Jay permalink
    June 14, 2018 3:51 pm

    Bottom line:

    “Justice Dept Inspector General concluded that bias did NOT affect Clinton email investigation, that FBI had PROPER reasons for declining to prosecute her, and that the only improper actions influencing 2016 election were actions that damaged Clinton, not Trump.” @johnharward

    • Jay permalink
      June 14, 2018 3:56 pm

      Even Tea Party Joe agrees:

      • dhlii permalink
        June 14, 2018 8:29 pm

        Are you actually arguing that Clinton’s illegal conduct and mishandling of top secret information should not have had any effect on the election ?

        I guess then Trump’s mysogny should not have had any effect either – that was not even illegal ?

        Get a clue. Clinton was an abysmal candidate.

        I am not yet sure what the IG said. But what he can say is that those in DOJ/FBI behaved properly or improperly.

        What he can not say is what effect it might have had on the election.

        Mass telepathy is outside the IG’s ability and I doubt that he engaged in it.

        BTW the IG report into the Trump investigation is still outstanding.

      • Jay permalink
        June 15, 2018 9:34 am

        “Are you actually arguing that Clinton’s illegal conduct and mishandling of top secret information should not have had any effect on the election ?”

        Only a minor effect.

        As the investigation has verified, it was not determined to be illegal, and the mishandling was unintentional. Nor did Clinton personally email any ‘secret’ info, almost ALL OF WHICH wasn’t labeled top secret at the time, but retroactively labeled that AFTER the fact.

        YOU continue to be an IGNORAMUS unable to distinguish fact from Fox News Fiction.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:04 pm

        “Only a minor effect.”

        So again you presume to judge for voters how they are to react.

        “As the investigation has verified, it was not determined to be illegal”
        Please actually read the IG’s report that is NOT what it found.

        Comey asserted Clinton’s conduct was illegal. He exercised prosecutorial discretion in chosing not to prosecute it. That is the OPPOSITE of what you are asserting.
        The IG report rejects Comey’s authority to make that choice,
        but affirms NOT that the decision is correct, but that it is within the scope of what the AG (not Comey) could have decided.

        ” and the mishandling was unintentional.”
        That is an obvious double error on both the IG Comey.

        The law does not require it to be intentional.
        Republicans throughout the Obama administration worked hard to pass legislation that would restore a default “mens rea” requirement to federal law – democrats rejected that.
        Federal law DOES NOT require intentionality. That is WRONG, but it is the state of the law, and you can blame the left for that.
        Nearly all state laws do require “mes rea”

        That said – even if there was a default requirement of intentionality, a few crimes DO NOT require intentionality. Statutory rape is one example, another is ALL crimes of negligence.
        18 cfr 793(f) is a crime of negligence. Comey explicitly FOUND that clinton was extremely reckless. That is a requirement of the law.

        Last Clinton’s conduct actually met the legal requirement for intentional – as some of her own emails noted, her purpose in seting up her private email server was to thwart federal record keeping and FOIA laws. While those laws had no criminal penalities – they were still laws, and she INTENTIONALLY violated them.

        The “:mens rea requirement” of law DOES NOT require specific intent.

        You do not have to intend to “murder col mustard in the dining room with a candle stick” to be guilty of that murder. The only intent required is to do wrong. If you intentionally do one bad thing and the results end up far worse – you meet the mens rea requirement of the law.

        “Nor did Clinton personally email any ‘secret’ info”
        False and irrelevant – she controlled her email account, it was not used without her direction.
        Her staff had their own email accounts.

        ” almost ALL OF WHICH wasn’t labeled top secret at the time”
        Also irrelevant. the Sec State is an originator of classified information. Most of what Clinton did was BORN CLASSIFIED and not declassified until some authority – including her on occasion determined otherwise. Further any information acquired inside of a SCIF – and most of the Sec States suite is a SCIF is automatically deemed classified.
        That is why inside the SCIF there is no insecure means of communicating.

        In many instances MARKED top secret documents were hand coppied near verbatum from inside the SCIF and walked out to insecure systems and put into emails.

        “but retroactively labeled that AFTER the fact.”
        Both false and irrelevant. You clearly have never had anything to do with classified information.
        Clinton was briefed – just as every single person with a security clearance including her entire staff, that you can not copy, repeat, extract, any information that you acquire inside a SCIF and use it in any form outside that SCIF.

        The procedures for dealing with classified information are thorough, and Clinton was briefed on them every year.

        She was also told that anything that she produced that incorporated classified information was classified whether marked so or not.
        She would have been further informed as an originator – that anything she created was deemed classified at birth – whether marked or not.

        She and her entire staff were made fully familiar with this.
        This is the Secretary of States office nearly EVERYTHING they do is classified. This is nearly a security intense as NSA and CIA. It is MORE security intense than FBI.

        I would further note that the IG’s report reveals what all of us have known for a long time – the vast majority of FBI agents involved in the Clinton investigation beleived that they would have ended up in jail had they done what clinton did.

        “YOU continue to be an IGNORAMUS unable to distinguish fact from Fox News Fiction.”

        Finally, this is not about fox – which I do not watch. My first assertion – that Clinton’s misconduct would have consequences in the election has NOTHING to do with the FBI or IG or even the law.

        It has to do with voters. You seem to think that voters are bound by the determinations of the FBI.

        But only when that serves you. You wish voters to be angry enough to vote against Trump for legal conduct, and then entirely disregard conduct of Clinton’s that most of us would end up in jail for, because Comey chose not to prosecute.

        Horowitz credited the FBI for looking at past prosecution history. But failed to properly look at that history.

        Duetch was prosecuted convicted and had is sentence commuted by Bill Clinton merely for taking a work laptop containing classified information home with him.
        There was no transmission of classified information, no placing that information on the internet.
        It remained on a secure computer than was unable to connect to the internet.
        The only risk was that the laptop would be stolen from his home.

        Pertreaus was convicted from bringing notebooks with classified information to his home.
        Under circumstances were his ghost writer had access to them.

        Clinton’s position as Sec State is somewhat comparable to the CIA director.

        Like the CIA director nearly everything Sec. State does is BORN CLASSIFIED

        Do you honestly beleive that foriegn governments would not want to know what the state department was up to.

        Even things as mundane as the Sec. States calendar are classified – whether marked or not.
        Partly because they relate to her security, partly because just knowing who she meets with when is of value to our enemies.

        Finally the IG’s report confirms something else that Comey REMOVED from his July 5th statement – several foreign power gained access to classified information on Clinton’s server.

        Deutch, Berger, and Petreaus were all convicted for lessor offenses that did not actually compromise security.

        Clinton did and did not care.

        And that last part is actually damning to her and to you.

        You can not escape criminal culpability because you do not care – and that is what you and Comey argued with the lacked intent, claim.

        Clinton did not deliberately compromise security – she DID NOT CARE.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:05 pm

        I am ignorant because you can not read ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:16 pm

      ie. the IG says the report was biased, tainted, failed to follow procedure, made just about every possible mistake.

      And you dwell on the one hint of a conclusion – that you can not actually reach, and that is that despite all the misconduct it reached the right result.

      You can not conclude that when you use arsenic to bake a cake – that the results would have been the same if you did not.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:23 pm

      I have no problem with the conclusion that the Clinton email investigation harmed Clinton politically. Nor that it benefited Trump politically.

      Nor even that certain specific mistakes of Comey’s harmed clinton IMPROPERLY.

      But the investigation occurred because Clintons conduct was WRONG. ILLEGAL.

      The harm of the investigation to Clinton was her OWN fault.

      If you rob a bank, you can expect to be investigated and prosecuted.

      Even if you get off – you can not claim persecution.

      Frankly if the IG concluded that Clinton should not have been prosecuted – the IG was wrong.

      Clinton should have been prosecuted BECAUSE she was Sec State.

      If those at the top of government are not accountable, no one is.

      There is a long list of people prosecuted during Obama’s tenure for LESS egregious violations that Clinton.

      But then the left beleives that the law should be applied differently depending on the person.

      Ask Christian Saucier.

      “The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists … more than all previous administrations combined.”
      — Jake Tapper 2014

      • Jay permalink
        June 15, 2018 4:44 pm

        Yeah, using an unsecured server was wrong, but not significiently wrong, and NOT illegal according to the report, and to common sense, and clear thinking.

        It was no BIG DEAL!
        But politically motivated cultists of the right like you continue to bloviate the story because there isn’t much of anything else significant to distract from the Trump crisis we face now.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 6:08 pm

        First the issue is not really the server – though that has additional complications.

        There are two independent issues.

        The first is using non-governmental accounts to conduct government business.
        That is absolutely illegal. It is NOT criminal.

        The second is the insecure storage and transmission of classified informaiton – that is criminal.

        And both are a big deal.

        One of my problems with Horowitz’s report is that he found – though on a far smaller scale than clinton the use of private email for government busines was pervasive within the DOJ/FBI.
        He specifically found Comey had sent classified information over the internet.

        That should have been the end of the IG’s report. There is no possibility that people who were to a lessor extent breaking the same law as Clinton could possibly objectively investigate her.

        That is like asking embezzlers to investigate bank robbers.

        During the investigation we learned that Colin powell had done the same as Clinton – on something like 30 occasions.

        That seriously disturbed me. While I am not sure the powell example was sufficient to prosecute it was clearly wrong and clearly A BIG DEAL.

        And I greately respect Colin Powell.

        No one in the US government should be using personal email for government business.
        Not in the Obama administration, not in the Trump administration.

        I am aware that some on both parties do it – and they should be disciplined and possibily prosecuted.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 2:26 am

      One of the observations of the IG’s report that I find damning, is that EVERYONE was mishandling classified information, and using personal emails and devices for government work and visa versa.

      It specifically notes that Comey sent atleast on marked secret document through private email.

      How do you expect people who are engaged in the same conduct as clinton – though maybe to a lessor degree to be capable of finding what is essentially their own conduct to be a crime ?

      BTW I addressed this elsewhere but the actual finding by the IG is not as you have reported.

      The IG essentially said that the permissible range of discretion was large enough to include the results the FBI reported.

      Horriwitz PROPERLY noted, that there is a difference between a bad decision, and a biased decision.

      Horrowitz used an extremely narrow standard for bias – not making the distinction between the bias needed to convict an individual, and the bias needed to conclude the investigation was botched.
      Horrowitz essentially said that no one in the FBI demonstrate Bias in a way that would allow them to be successfully prosecuted.

      BTW Horrowitz DID find that Strzok’s prioritizing the Trump investigation over the Clinton investigation in Oct 2016 was CLEAR BIAS.

      Interesting the IG (Mostly) let Comey off the hook. But was damning with respect to the FBI.
      FBI SDNYC reported hundreds of thousands of emails on Wiener’s laptop that were implicated in the Clinton investigation in mid Sept. 2016. There was a flurry of activity within the FBI regarding that through Oct. 4. On or before Oct 4. The FBI determined that a warrant was necescary and that they were required to re-open the investigation.

      But from Oct. 4 through to very late Oct. nothing happened, everything clinton related died.
      No facts changed, the conclusion still was that the FBI needed to get a warrant and look at the emails. Then suddenly in late October the FBI decided that it needed to act.

      Horrowitz Damn’s the FBI for sitting on its ass for almost a month.
      He exhonerates Comey for that, blaming it on McCabe and Strzok
      but then damns Comey for telling congress.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 5:01 pm

      I would strongly suggest that you read the actual report.

      Horrowitz addressed bias many many times.
      He did not find the investigation was without bias.

      He addressed bias in SPECIFIC decisions. the “money quote” that democrats use is the one Horowitz wrote specific to Comey’s decision not to prosecute Clinton.

      Conversely in SEVERAL instances – specifically all involving Strzok Horowitz EXPLICITLY stated that he could not rule out bias as a factor in Strzok’s decisions.

      Horowitz was very concerned about the long delay associated with finding emails on the Wiener laptop and the FBI seeking warrants and Comey reporting the reopening to congress.

      Horowitz found pretty much the entirety of that handled badly and though there were many factors, Horowitz was specifically concerned that Strzok’s anti-trump bias was a factor in his resisting moving from the Trump/Russia investigation back to the Clinton email investigation and that was a major factor in the delay.

      Put more simply Horowitz found plenty of evidence of Bias.
      But he specifically said that some decisions – while possibly made badly did not show evidence of bias.
      Those remarks were specific to individual decisions.

      • Jay permalink
        June 15, 2018 5:44 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 6:11 pm

        Yes, e know, you have found one sound byte and you need not read any further.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 5:05 pm

      “[W]hen one senior FBI official, [Peter] Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, [Lisa] Page, that ‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from being elected—after other extensive text messages between the two disparaging candidate Trump—it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
      IG Horowitz.

      So are you still saying that Horowitz found no evidence of Bias ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 11:30 am

        History has already proved those anti Trump agents heroes.
        Trying to stop a Russian puppet criminal money laundering congenital liar from the Presidency is HEROIC medal deserving behavior, like Paul Revere’s Ride! Calling Trump an ‘idiot’ and a ‘douche’ was certainly an accurate assessment. Plaudits for accurate judgement!

        But what about the anti Hillary agents, like the ones who slipped Nunes information about Weiner’s laptop? And what about all the FBI agents critical of Obama? Forget about them, right?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:15 pm

        So you are endorsing members of the FBI using the power of govenrment to interfere in elections ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:19 pm

        Parsing what you spray is imposible.

        Nunes had nothing to do with Weiner’s laptop.

        Nunes was informed AFTER the election by someone – probably not in the FBI, of the massive unmasking. That person went to a great deal of difficulty to FOLLOW THE RULES.

        In the even you are not aware – congress has legitimate oversight responsibility.

        There is nothing at all wrong with informing the chair of the HPSCI of illegal or improper activity in the executive.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:19 pm

        Active FBI agents leaking to the press should at the minimum be fired.

        Active FBI agents informing congress of misconduct should get medals.

  53. dduck12 permalink
    June 14, 2018 5:04 pm

    Jay, why do you feel you have to defend the CF. Many feel it abused the rules and benefited the Clinton’s and provided paid parking places for HC’s ex staff. Any way if they did good stuff,. good for them, but they still skirted the law. Trump’s Foundation also abused the rules as do many other foundations, that are little more than piggy banks for powerful rich people.
    dhlli spends enormous amounts of time and words rationalizing thieving Trump does, I think that is wrong, and so is defending the Cinton’s just because they happen to be in the Dem Party.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:39 pm

      Though I think the role of govenrment in “investigating” private foundations is much less than you do.

      Otherwise we agree.

      I would care about the behavior of the Trump Foundation – if I donated money to them – I did not.
      I would care about the behavior of the Clinton Foundation – if I donated money to them – I did not.

      Though I beleive the law should be very light with respect to charities – if they violated legitimate law, they they should be prosecuted for those violations – CF/TF the same.

      If they wasted money – that is between them and their donors.

      What I care about is whether those in government provided special treatment to people.

      It does not matter if they got special treatment because they donated to CF or because they were white and rich.

      Given that we mostly agree on this why the ad hominem.

      You say Trump is engaged in “theivery”.

      I am well aware of real demonstrable misconduct regarding Clinton.

      What I am aware of regarding Trump is that he has made lots of enemies who say bad things about him.

      Thus far the “evidence” has been pretty thin.

      Kushner as an example is going to have to refinance his park avenue building,
      The fact that he is trying to do so is not evidence of corruption or theft.
      Someone is eventually loaning him the money.

      It is even likely he will get a good deal – the building is worth nearly 3B and the loans are only about 200M.

      We get these kind of things all over.

      Trump’s family continues to run the assorted Trump businesses.

      Clearly corruption ?

      Actually prove something, and you will get my interest.

      If allegations alone are sufficient – why aren’t the clinton’s and half the DNC and Obama administration in Levenworth ?

      When you have an actual basis for an investigation – do so.
      When that investigation leads somewhere – prosecute.

    • Jay permalink
      June 15, 2018 12:14 pm

      I don’t defend the CF because the Clintin’s are Dems.
      I defend it because it was a positive force for good in the world, until the unfounded lying undermining criticism from the Right sullied it’s reputation.

      Take my word, I examined the controversies for a YEAR on line.

      I read Everything about it available, not only from the left and right here, but from overseas sources as well. And From reputable other charitable organizations who worked with them on projects, like the Bill Gates and the Bush foundations. All the money that was pouring in went to develop infrastructure and networking models to improve lives in the underveloped nations. That model has now been adopted by other foundations as well— the plan to influence corporations and governments to restructure costs and services in ways that help those in need, not by funneling money directly to the needy.

      As to your complaint the Clintons hired former staff for for Foundation management, why is that a problem for you? If they were good political staff workers, wouldnt that recommend them for foundation work as well?

      And check out the Foundation management pay scale, which is low compared to national averages.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:16 pm

        “I defend it because it was a positive force for good in the world.”

        Everyone involved in foreign aide – including aide to Africa which was alot of what CF has taken credit for has concluded that in massive amounts over 40 years it has had no effect.

        The claim that CF was a positive force for good is garbage.

        One of the great dilema’s that I have personally faced as a libertarian who beleives that government may not engage in charity but individuals have a duty to, is that charity on the whole is ineffective. All the private charity from the begining of human existance through to the current moment did far less total good than the post Mao decision of the Chinese leaders to tolerate small amounts of economic freedom at the margins.

        I would strongly encourage reading

        I still pay for and serve about 1000 meals to homeless shelters each year.
        But the evidence is that even Mother Theresa does far less good for the world than those greedy businesses that you deride.

        With respect to CF – an actual review of what they have done – is very little.
        The openly admit that nearly all of what they do is “organizing” for NGO’s.
        That essentially they fund global events where those involved in NGO’s gather and party and talk about all the good they think they are doing.

        CF’s involvment in aides drugs in Africa was peripheral. And frankly ineffective.
        There has been absolutely no effect on aides trends in africa.

        With respect to Haiti given that Haiti is actually worse off for the aide it has received, it is hard not to laugh at any claim that CF was effective their.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:22 pm

        More of this god awful stupid fixation on motives.

        Are you incapable of understanding that so long as you judge people by motives you will ALWAYS be able to come to whatever conclusion you wish.

        CF is good – because you subjectively decide that something that is entirely inside their minds was good – their intentions. Of course people say their intentions were good.
        Even Bernie Maddof claimed his intentions were good and people like you beleived him.

        TF is bad – because you subjectively decide that its intentions were bad.

        Ultimately you are free to beleive whatever you wish.

        What you can not seem to conceive is that you can not impose your beleifs on others by force.
        That you can not migrate your feelings regarding CF vs. TF into government.

        That government is NOT free to make choices based on highly subjective interpretations of the mental state of others.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:28 pm

        If you had actually read the things you claimed you read then you would know that what you write is FALSE.

        No analysis of CF has EVER found it has any consequential involvement in direct aide.
        Their HIGHEST ever direct aide value was 11%, That means 89% of their spending went to some form of administrative expense.

        This was at the core of their spat with the charity assessment organizations and the result that those organizations either changed their criteria or refuse to rate CF.

        That has damaged our ability to properly asses any charity.

        Regardless, CF’s claim is that since much of its work is in sponsering conferences, and training for NGO’s that spending should be counted as “direct aide”.

        You can hold whatever view you want regarding the merits of CF sponsoring conferences and trainings. If find it ludicrously stupid and something only the left would buy to expect an organization that has almost no experience actually helping people to teach others how to help people.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:29 pm

        If you really wish to compare Clinton Foundation to something comparable – compare them to the Carter Foundation.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:52 pm

        Yes, why would we actually wish to help the needy when we can hob knob with the hoi polloi AND get credit for doing good – without actually having to get our hands dirty.

        Effective charity is incredibly difficult ,and extremely rare. In the best charitable organizations in the world the likelyhood is that what they do will accomplish nothing.
        In most they may actually be destructive.

        And you are celebrating that Clinton Foundation has polluted the world of charity such that even more charities are shifting to their model ?

        Here is something 2000 years old to read on this subject Matthew 25:31-46

        We are not judged on the conferences we organize, or the consciousness raising we engage in, we are not judged on our motives, or thoughts.

        We are judged on what we actually DO!.

        Did you cloth me, feed me, heal me ?

        Not did you go to conferences, and mixers and have drinks with your buddies and discuss all my problems with the best of possible intentions.

        There is a reason that prior to CF blackmailing the charity raters that the propertion of direct aide was considered the gold standard for rating a charity.

        Because nothing else matters.

        Because direct aide is highly inefective. What CF does is completely meaningless.

        The Clinton Foundation is NOT the Missionaries of charity – Mother Therressa’s charity – that actually gets their hands dirty.

        Sorry jay but your apologist rationalizing about CF is exactly what is wrong with you.

        You have been sold a bill of goods, and you are deluding yourself.

        Let me ask you a different question – do you give money to charity ?
        If so – do you give it to Clinton Foundation – or other similar charites that do not do any real aide ?

        If you had $1M that you were required to give to a charity – would you give it to CF or to a group like “Missionaries of Charity”, Catholic Charites, the Mennonite Central Committee.

        Giving money to CF is like giving money to a televangelist.
        You are free to do so. But do not expect any good to come of it.

        You are as deluded as the people who gave to James Baker – who is a really good model to compare to the Clinton’s.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 1:57 pm

        Just to be clear – I do not care much if CF is a good charity or a bad charity.

        That is the business of those who contribute to CF.

        I do not care that CF is a sinecure for democratic political operatives.

        Though there is a serious issue with providing tax deductions to those funding the creation of jobs for out of power political operatives.

        But then I beleive taxes should be as low as possible and nothing should be tax deductible – not even charitable giving.

        The only consequential issue I care about regarding CF is that while Clinton was Sec State giving to CF was a way of securing preferential treatment at the state department.

        That is NOT a CF problem – that is a very serious state department problem
        It is political corruption and abuse of power.
        It is irrelevant that CF was a charity or whether they were a good charity or a bad one.

        All that is relevant is that people dealing with State were not being treated equally before the law.

  54. dduck12 permalink
    June 14, 2018 7:09 pm

    Trump goes low and some go lower in the rhetorical/junk talk.
    Frank Bruni has a GREAT column today that explains why that plays right into Trump’s hands.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 8:51 pm

      I have problems with NYT’s paywall – even though I have an account and can not read the article.

      But the premise seems to be that in a war of words Trump is going to win.

      I agree.

      Bill Maher unfortunately got it right – you want to be Trump – you should be praying for a recession. Is that what you want ?

      I had this dilema with Obama and I was fortunate – Obama’s policies failed.
      I did not have to confront the possibility that doing all the things I think were wrong brought about prosperity.

      Though I will tell you – had Obama managed to do as he did AND brought about 5% intial growth, or 3.5% sustained growth I would have been forced to question my core values.

      The war of words with Trump diminishes those attacking him far more than Trump.

      My view of you and Jay has declined substantially as a consequence of your frothing denunciations of Trump.

      There is alot about Trump not to like. But quite honestly he is LESS vile than Bill Clinton and unfortunately Bill Clinton was a good president.

      I did read something interesting about Clinton and the impeachment recently that I found interesting – and democrats should think about.

      Clinton to a very large extent governed much like Reagan. He was very fiscally conservative.

      BUT as the IC investigation proceeded and as impeachment was taken up, Clinton had to buy allies from those on the left that he had offended.

      The result was the later years of the Clinton administration were a shift left from the early ones.

      The more Democrats attack Trump, the more Trump is going to be inclinded to NEED support elsewhere. The more Trump is going to kowtow to religious conservatives or other groups.

      The left does not seem to understand that if you are committed to Trump’s destruction no matter what – then you have no voice with Trump. He has no reason to give you anything.

  55. dduck12 permalink
    June 14, 2018 9:22 pm

    And do so in a vocabulary that’s measured, not hysterical. Enough with “idiot” and “moron” (unless you’re directly quoting an administration official). They’re schoolyard and splenetic.

    Enough with Hitler, too. Has Trump shown fascistic tendencies? Yes. Is he the second coming of the Third Reich? No. Nor are the spineless Republicans who have enabled him Nazi collaborators, not on the evidence of what has and hasn’t happened so far.

    I’m not urging complacency. But when you invoke the darkest historical analogies, you lose many of the very Americans you’re trying to win over. What you’re saying isn’t what they’re seeing. It’s overreach in their eyes.

    And when you make the direst predictions, you needlessly put your credibility on the line. The stock market didn’t go into free fall after Trump’s election. We’re not at war with North Korea. I’m not ignoring the grave flaws and galling giveaways in his tax overhaul, and I’m not minimizing his disregard for diplomatic norms, including his unwarranted verbal attacks on American allies. I’m noting that when you extrapolate too wildly into the future, you sometimes wind up distracting people from what’s happening in the here and now.

    The more noise, the less discernment. The more fury, the less focus. Proportion and triage are in order, and that means an end, please, to the Melania madness. Floating the idea that she’s a victim of domestic abuse merely supports Trump’s contention that his critics are reflexive and unfettered in their contempt for him and that all of their complaints should be viewed through that lens.

    “When they go low, we go high,” said another first lady, Michelle Obama, at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. It’s a fine set of marching orders, disobeyed ever since. It was definitely ignored by those of you in the Manhattan theater where the Tony Awards were held on Sunday. You answered De Niro’s expletives with a standing ovation.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 14, 2018 11:55 pm

      DD – please read my posts – and then your own.

      Given your own posts – which pretty much never make and argument and little more than ad hominem, you counsel me to tone down the rhetoric ?
      Look in the mirror. I do not need to insult you.

      You take insult almost entirely because I characterize specific policies views and ideas.
      If I say faith in government is idiotic – you presume I am calling you an idiot.

      Whether you like it or not – that is not ad hominem.
      The kind of unconstrained faith that the left places in government is idiotic.
      There is plenty of evidence of that.

      But you call specific people idiots and morons – directly – not merely public figures, but anyone HERE who posts what you do not like. In fact your responses amount to very little more than calling others names.

      Do I respect you ? No ! Do I think most of the same things of you as you do me ? Yes.
      But my lack of respect for you is not because your arguments are poor. Or your ideas have no foundation. It is because instead of making your case – with relish and lots of adjectives if you must, you jump right to insults.

      You fixate on the Hitler reference – you do not seem to recall that goodwin’s law does nto apply when you are discussing real Nazi’s.

      Hitler’s germany is the penultimate example of what happens when you shift from the rule of law to the rule of man.

      Would it make you feel better if I used Musollini ? Robespierre ? Pol Pot ? Mao ?

      In your world it is perfectly acceptable for you to do nothing except insults, it is not acceptable for others to make arguments that leave you FEELING insulted.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 15, 2018 2:48 pm

        Whoops, my, 9:14pm, 6/14, comment above was part of the Bruni opinion piece it gets the flavor of the whole piece.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 4:29 pm

        I responded several times very critically, and I apologize.

        Part way through I came to realize that I was confused about what you were saying and who it was directed at. Now I am not even sure that you were saying it.

        I stand by my remarks – but NOT at targeting them at you.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 15, 2018 7:27 pm

        @your 4:29 comment: Bruni said this: “Enough with Hitler, too. Has Trump shown fascistic tendencies? Yes. Is he the second coming of the Third Reich? No. Nor are the spineless Republicans who have enabled him Nazi collaborators, not on the evidence of what has and hasn’t happened so far.”
        He seems to agree with you. Hmmmm.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 6:50 am

        Everything is not black and white.
        I have criticised Jay, and to a lessor extent you for making things black or white.
        Trump is either god or the anti-christ.

        There are LOTS of traits in Trump that DEEPLY concern me and I do actually watch what he does carefully.

        There is a huge differences from undoing much of what Obama has done – often without any legitimate basis for doing so, and actual authoritarianism.

        Obama was much more authoritarian than Trump – atleast thuse far.
        But he was also far more soft spoken about it.
        Trump is brash and forceful and domineering.
        But thus far he has done little that is authoritarian.

        I do not like him as a person.
        I do not like some of his policies.

        I liked Obama as a person – though I am re-assessing that.
        But I did not like his policies even more.

        Regardless, Obama was a mediocre to poor president.

        Trump thus far appears to be Clintonesque.
        Though he does not appear to be quite the mysoginist Clinton was,
        and he is far less personable.

        Regardless, he is well on his way to being a successful president that we all wish we could forget.

        Both Clinton and Trump bother me greatly.

        I beleive that we should pick good people to be president.

        Trump and Clinton are not goof people. But Clinton was a goof president whether I like that or not.
        And Trump may be too.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 12:06 am

      Has Trump acted Fascist ?


      He has done things I do not agree with. But he is LESS fascist than Obama.
      Less fascist than Bush.

      Virtually all the conflict between Trump and the left over government and policy has been Trump undoing the overreach of the prior administration.

      You may honestly and possibly rightly beleive that the prior administrations actions were good – that is fine. But thy either were NOT lawful, or they were at best not permanent.

      Reverting back to the law is ANTI-Fascist.
      Even undoing policies that were legitimately imposed by the prior administration but NOT implimented through law – is less “fascist” than imposing them in the first place.

      If you beleive that Obama could do what he did as president unilaterally – then undoing it is equally legitimate.
      If you do not, then undoing it is ANTI-Fascist.

      Trump says alot of things I do not like.
      I am interested in what he DOES.
      Even god judges us by our actions not our words.

      You can not make the distinction between thinking something is a good idea, and deciding that government must impose it by force. You further can not make the distinction between a president acting one what you think is a good idea, and going through the difficult process to make it law.

      I support allowing the so called “dreamers” remaining in this country.
      But Obama accomplished that at best on his own authority alone, and therefore it can be undone on Trump’s authority alone, or arguably without the legal authority to do so.

      The permanent solutions to our immigration conflicts must come through congress and law.

      Those solutions are not going to be perfect – and I am going to take offense at them.
      And argue against them.

      But atleast they will be the law.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 12:27 am

      Please provide an example of something that Trump has DONE that is fascist, totalitarian ?
      That is outside his constitutional authorities as president interpreted much more narrowly than by Obama ?

      Just to be clear, my question is not really about Trump. It is actually about you and your perception of the world.

      There is alot wrong with Trump. But he has not ACTED as an authoritarian.
      Obama actually ACTED authoritarian. He did so with polish and with words that made it appear that he did what he had to, rather than what he was allowed to.

      But you are incapable of seeing that. You think that because Trump is inarguably a far less “nice” guy than Obama, that makes him the fascist.

      The devil usually approaches you in a nice suit, speaking softly in a soothing and appealing tongue. If the devil came to us as Trump – almost no one would listen.

      On the one hand – you see fascism, authoritarianism where there is nothing but coarse speach,
      and you do not see it where it is.

      There is nothing at all wrong with comparing the lawless approach that the left takes to everything with Hitler and the Nazi’s.
      Because the comparison is correct.

      The Nazi’s are the example of the end result of the arguments and principles the left is offering.
      Or if you prefer the Stalin and the Communists.

      When you decide that you can use the awesome power of government to go after people based on their politics, their ideas, your judgement of whether they are good or bad, their religion, their sexual orientation, their race – you have abandoned the rule of law, and you are no different than the nazi’s and the communists, and myriads of others who persecuted their enemies using the power of government.

  56. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 12:51 am

    Is there anyone on the planet that did not know that Huma Abedin was Clinton’s aide, and that Abedin was married to Anthony Wiener in October of 2016 ?

    Well Comey told the IG that he did not.

  57. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 1:06 am

    I am reading through parts of the OIG report.

    Very early the IG makes Clear that any conclusion that a decision by DOJ/FBI was not improper was not meant to endorse that decision. That the standard the IG used was not was a decision wise, informed, or reasonable, but did the decision fall into the discretion of the person making it, was there evidence of bias or violations of rules, guidelines and procedures.

    AS one example the IG found the text between Strzok and Page completely unacceptable and a strong indication of bias.
    But the OIG essentially determined that that bias had not effected the investigation, as Strzok made very few final decisions, and as Strzok advocated for greater use of a Grand Jury.
    Essentially the IG found that Strzok loathed Trump and adored Clinton, but that Strzok still mostly followed procedures, policies and guidelines and that more so than his superiors advocated for being more aggressive.

    It is also pretty clear even in the first 5 pages that the IG would not likely have made the decisions that DOJ/FBI made. But that the IG understands the difference between a bad decision and an obviously politically corrupt one.

    I think the IG erred in that respect. The conduct of individuals outside of government should be given the widest lattitude. The conduct of those in government – with respect to criminal prosecutions should also be given the widest lattitude.
    But when measured as acts of government those actions should heve the NARROWEST latitude

    When we talk about judges – we talk not of impropriety, but of the appearance of impropriety.
    The benefit of the doubt for an individual accused of a crime belongs to the individual.
    Official actions of government should not receive the benefit of the doubt.

  58. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 2:45 am

    The pittsburg reporter Salena Zito has done excellent work starting during the election analyzing the trump voter and why Trump won.

    Those of you who are so ferverently anti-trump do not appear to get this at all.

    You have spent more than a decade attacking a large portion of the electorate.
    You call them hateful hating haters – you hate them.

    Guess what – they got the message.
    Trump is a symptom of their response to your hatred of them.

    When Trump is attacked – they see themselves as attacked.
    When Trump attacks back – they see him as fighting for them.

    Trump has been uncannily sensitive to this.
    The entire NFL kneeling mess was a huge political victory for him.
    My guess is that Trump voters are dominant among serious sports fans.

    Con tra the left these people do understand free speech.
    They understand that a player kneeling during the anthem is engaged in free speach.
    And they understand that government barring speach is not the same as fans angered by speach.

    Trump took fans that were already angry and inspired many of them to take the next step – boycott the games.

    The NFL was ultimately bound to give the fans what they wanted.

    That result empowered sports fans AND it empowered Trump.
    He helped them get something that was important to them.

    The players then make the mistake of boycotting Trump.

    So Trump throws the ball back in their court.

    He says
    If this is a protest about injustice – bring me people who have been unjustly convicted and
    I will pardon them.

    If players do not respond – it makes their protest look disengenuous.

    Trump is offering them not a way to protest, but a way to correct the problem.

    If players do respond they must:

    Bring forward the names of people that we will all generally accept as victims of injustice.
    Asking for pardons for people where there is not a broad perception of injustice makes you look bad.

    Next they must come to the whitehouse and plead their case with Trump.

    That is a huge oppertunity for Trump.

    I am sure Trump would be absolutely ecstatic to every couple weeks have an NFL player come to the whitehouse with another Alice Johnson to pardon.

  59. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 3:05 am

    Scott Adam’s recently made the most poignant observation about the Singapore Summit.

    It is not who gave up what that matters.

    It is that when Trump was elected the US, and NK, Trump and Kim Un were mortal enemies hurtling towards war.

    When Trump left Singaopre the US and NK, Trump and Kim Un had entirely flipped the situation and are looking to cooperate, to be friends.

    This is not to say that Kin Un has become the great person Trump flattered him as.

    But it is to say that the dynamic is flipped. While Kim can flipp again, it will actually be very hard for him.

    Trump’s flattery of Kim may be more aspirational than real.

    Interestingly Kim Un did what Arafat was unable to do in 1999, he came to negotiate with a mortal enemy and walked away as “friends”

    NK essentially has a US promise of significant aide, and good will – in return for denuclearization and opening up the the rest of the world.

    As others have noted – China was also a big winner in this.
    The US has agreed that if NK denuclearizes, that the US will vastly reduce its military presence in the region. That is a very big deal for China.

    It is also one of the reasons why DoD has never supported a deal like this.

    I would further note that this did NOT happen with Iran.

    Obama did not go to Iran. Two countries that did not trust each other reached a deal that no one liked. Iran did not even promise what we wanted.
    We walked away from the deal as still enemies – who had made a mad deal with each other.

    Trump does not have a formal deal yet.
    But he has changed attitudes – both Kim Un’s and ours.

    If NK does go forward with Denuclearization – do you think that the american people are not going to fully support everything else that Trump promised ?

    There are alot of claims that Kim “won” the negotiation.

    As Adam’s noted in the best deals everyone walks away thinking they won.
    No one walked away from the Iran deal thinking they won.
    Everyone thought they lost.

    If Kim holds up his part of the bargain – both Kim and the NK people are going to benefit greatly
    and so will the rest of us.

    Kim is not likely to walk away – because he got alot. Attitudes towards NK changed.
    But sustaining that change requires NK to change.
    I think Kim knows that.
    If not we will be back to threatening to bomb them into oblivion all to soon.

  60. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 6:20 am

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 6:31 am

      The IG found that not only did the Strzok/Page texts reflect a biased state of mind but also of a willingness to take action.

      I find only one serious issue with the IG report – the IG report essentially uses the criminal conviction standard when evaluating the conduct of those it is investigating.
      That would be appropriate when recomending charges. It is far to high a bar when evaluating the conduct of government and those in government generally as opposed to in a criminal context.

      There is very little that the FBI/DOJ did in the Clinton investigation that would meet the standard necescary for a criminal prosecution.

      At the same time Horowirtz’s conclusion that the investigation was rife with errors, but still reached the right outcome and despite the errors was not overall biased is flawed.

      The standard for the conduct of government as a whole and the agents individually OUTSIDE the criminal context is the APPEARANCE of bias.

      That standard is met 100 times over.

      It will be interesting to see what Horowitz does with the Trump investigation, which is ALSO in his list.

      The differences between the two are extreme.

      There is no conceivable standard of conduct that leaves the actions in both investigations as reasonable.

  61. June 15, 2018 2:27 pm

    Well I need some honest feedback, especially from dduck and Jay. Please no “idiot, moral, stupid, ignorant” or other negative comments. Just honest feedback recognizing individuals may have differing opinions.

    Here is the issue. Kids of illegals being separated from parents while placed under criminal detention awaiting deportation due to illegal crossing. This has become a huge issue since there are about 2000 now impacted. On the other hand, there are over 8 million kids in America who has a parent in jail. I could not find the number separated from their family in government hands, but even 1% would be 80,000.

    So my question due to a heated exchange with my California progressive++ female cousin. Why does this issue become a problem when a small number of individuals are impacted while it is not an issue when it impacts a large number of children who are American citizens. Why is this not something that was identified years ago by interested parties instead of now when illegals broke the law and entered illegally?

    I will make my position known once I hear others thoughts.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 4:19 pm

      The fundimental issue with border separations is that Trump is being more aggressive about enforcement – meaning more people are being picked up.

      The video showing kids being removed from their parents was from 2014 – i.e. When Obama was president.

      Both Obama and Trump followed the law on this.
      You can argue that the law is wrong. Then change it. I would likely support that.

      There is one other related issue – that is Obama was heavily engaged in “catch and release”.
      That meant it took years to resolve each case.

      Trump is not releasing the people caught. By doing so he is able to deport much faster.
      If you catch somebody at the border, and hold them you can generally deport them in 90 days.
      But once you allow them into the rest fo the country the process takes years.
      If you catch them and hold them at the border – there are far fewer legal claims available to them.

      This also effects the “separation” issue.

      Obama would separate too – but then the family would get released in 30 days so nobody cared.
      Now they are being deported in 90 days.

      Regardless, if you do not like the law as it is – change it.

      One of the most fundimental differences between Obama and Trump – one of the reasons this “fascist” crap is just that garbage, is that Trump is following the law closely.

      Obama on immigration and many many other things ignored the law.

      That is authoritarian.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 4:26 pm

      Just to be clear – I do not agree with alot of our immigration law – including separating parents.

      But when I do not like the law – I seek to see it changed – not ignored.

      That goes right to the recent IG’s report.

      18 USC 793(f) is specifically for instances where there is no intent.
      It is hard to conceive of a case that does nto have intent that would be worse than Clinton’s emails.

      18 USV 793(e) is the lowest level mishandling of classified documents that requires intent – and frankly Clinton had sufficient intent to meet (e).

      But if you are not going to enforce the law – get rid of the law.

      Unlike Comey or the IG – I find prosecutorial discretion to be lawless.

      If we are not going to enforce the law – get rid of it.

      The entire premise of prosecutorial discretion means that the law should be applied factoring in the person. That is a violation of the 14th amendment.

      One law, the same law, all people – rich, poor, black, white. All the same.
      If you can not do that you are lawless.

      Part of the way we get rid of bad laws is by the outrage that occurs when we enforce them.

      If you beleive that Clinton’s conduct was acceptable – then you should be trying to change the law.
      If you do not, then you are a hypocrit.

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 7:12 pm

        Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were law.

        So if you were a German then you’d be defending those laws and following the Nazis, until such time that the law was changed, right Dave.

        In your stupid world of inane rationalization Law trumps Morality and Justice.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:22 am

        I am not defending any laws.

        I am opposed to most of our immigration laws.

        These evil laws are YOUR laws – not mine.

        I would have opposed the nurenburg laws.

        BTW, I am also not opposed to civil disobediance.

        If this has you outraged – go to the border and help these people – take them in, hide them.

        I would hope I would have hidden the jews.

        You think the right thing to do with the nuermberg laws was to “ignore them”

        It is OK to have evil laws – if you only enforce them occasionally ?

        It is your world that is stupid – not mine.

        It is your world that has more laws than people can possibly comprehend.

        I want the law enforced 100% all the time – so that you will be OUTRAGED and work to change the law.

        I am already fully on board with changing most of our laws.

        I am not the one “rationalizing” bad laws.
        I oppose them. You are the one with this stupid idea that we should have bad laws, but sometimes ignore them.

    • Jay permalink
      June 15, 2018 4:49 pm

      Ron, here’s what the ABA has to say. It mirrors my views for the most part.

      Click to access ABALetterFamilySeparation%20061218.authcheckdam.pdf

      • June 15, 2018 6:35 pm

        What I find so disturbing is the progressives are so fired up about this issue, but no one says much about kids being removed from a family when parents finally decide the only way to control their child’s daily multiple seizures is through cannabis oil. And then when the state finds out because it is illegal in their state, the child is removed, placed in some other location, taken off the cannabis oil and the seizures return.

        Why the double standard?

    • Jay permalink
      June 15, 2018 5:09 pm

      Ron, as to your statement that American kids are often separated from incarcerated parents you need to put those government responses in context to the nature of the the crimes committed. And of the welfare of the children placed in custody. The children placed in custody in the US are often victims of abuse, or children of drug addicts, or of members of truly dysfunctional families. They generally need to be rescued.

      Crossing the border illegally with children to escape poverty, or starvation, or war – or just for a vastly improved life for you and them is understandable, and in our own historical immigrant traditions thought righteous. Snatching young children from the arms of their mothers and tossed into a foreign bureaucratic system is inhumane.

      I was brought up to believe punishment should fit the crime.
      This accelerated response by the Trump administration is shameful.
      Even more shameful are the biblical rationalizations for doing it-coming from the White House spokespersons.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 6:09 pm

        So change the law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2018 6:10 pm

        I do not are why the WH says they are doing it.

        They are following the law. If you do not like the law – change it.
        That is what the rule of law means.

      • June 15, 2018 8:58 pm

        The problem is a fetter campaign issue than fixing the problem

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 7:16 am

        Absolutely – for both parties.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 11:10 am

        Dear Dummy Dave: what law are you talking about?
        Separating kids from asylum seekers or other illegals at the border is A POLICY DECISION, not a law..

        You do know the difference, right?

      • June 16, 2018 12:31 pm

        Jay Newsflash!
        If you break thenlaw in America and put in jail, they separate you from your kids. What dont you understand about a law( arrested if entering illegally), result of breaking the law ( jail) and kids (placed under the care of the government)

        Do you pick and choose what laws you want to follow and believe if caught you will not be prosecuted?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:14 pm


        You are too trusting of the left and the media.

        The POLICY decision is dropping Catch and release which allows the families to stay together.
        If they are detained they must be separated,

        Obama did this too. Detention was just less frequent.

      • June 15, 2018 8:01 pm

        I would like to be present when a parent who follows progressive logic has a child that has been disciplined by their school for breaking a rule and they ask why they did it. The kid responds ” Its a bad rule and I dont think I should have to follow stupid rules”.

        So they try to explain why the kid needs to follow the schools rules and they respond ” but you say that illegal immigrants should not be arrested as the law is written, but I have to follow bad rules? Why?

        Tribal politics are really screwing our country when it gets to the point of picking and choosing laws to follow. Gerrymandering that has given us Nunez, Pelosi and the rest of the extremes has done us no favor.

      • June 15, 2018 8:55 pm

        Why can’t this get enough support. Dreamer fix, border kids fix, increased border security and other items.

        No one wants the problem fixed. Why isnt Willie Nelson telling everyone compromise is not bad, even though Dave says it is. Why wont Pelosi buy into it and then when they get control, they can update the law?

        I would like to see our laws changed so if you are not a criminal, you agree to learn english , you agree you and your family will not become dependent on any entitlement program designed to support American citizens and you do not get convicted of any felony, then you can stay and work without restrictions. States can determine university cost as they wish.

        Why wont the Democrats call the bluff of Trump and the GOP and give them part of their wants while getting the kid problem fixed. I say because the problem is a better campaign issue than the fix to the problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 7:15 am

        Resolving immigration has been in theory possible since 2013.

        At that time the complexity was that neither party had a coherent position and 60 votes had to be cobbled from both parties.

        Today the parties are not coherent behind a party position.
        And no one is budging.

        Nothing is going to get 60 votes in the senate.

        Further both parties are playing heavily to their base.

        There are very few democrats – mostly those in red states that could survive if they voted for those things that Trump and republicans require.

        Conversely the republican base is pretty adamant about what they want.

        In this particular instance – the real onus is actually on democrats.

        Because very few in the country are not sympathetic to dreamers and to familiy separation.

        But the core issues for the republican base are:

        First they have been lied to repeatedly – by republicans on immigration over and over, and the republican base is going to punish severly any republican that does anything that can be spun as “amnesty” – that is just never going to fly.

        I think for many republican congressmen “the wall” is symbolic.
        But for an awful lot of the GOP base it is real and they beleive it will work.

        Regardless, the core to the republcian base is CONTROL.

        Republicans want an end to uncontrolled immigration.

        And they have the support of most of the country on that.

        There is an obvious compromise – essentially what Ryan is proposing.

        And that has the support of a super majority of americans.

        But there is no possible bill that is either not vigorously opposed by the GOP base or vigorously opposed by the democratic base.

        BOTH parties are actually served by NOT passing any law.

        For BOTH parties that keeps their base happy, donations flowing.

        We should remember that “the base” for each party is much less than 25% of the country
        but it is critical to that party.

      • June 16, 2018 10:25 am

        So in a few words, we both believe they support ” do whats best for the parties and screw the people and country”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:09 pm


        I think it would be Trivial to pass an immigration bill that had the support of 70% of the country.

        Give the GOP everything they want – wall, rules, blah, blah,
        Package in Dreamers, preventing child separation,

        and we are done.

        I would oppose Everify. but it is popular and will likely pass.
        I also oppose some kind of automatic path to citizenship for immigrants.
        I beleive it would be easier to come here, but harder to become a citizen.
        But an easy path to citizenship for dreamers would likely pass.

        There are lots of things like this.

        Something like 80% of the country supports voter ID – but the hard left is violently opposed to it and paints it as “voter supression”

  62. dduck12 permalink
    June 15, 2018 3:07 pm

    @ Ron, 2:27, I’m sorry, but my comment of 9:22, 6/14 was not labelled as part of the Bruni piece. dhlii said he couldn’t get past the paywall, so I provided an excerpt which gets the intent of the piece.
    Per your comment above, it is a shame when any kids get separated from parents/relatives, as long as they are really related.
    As for the rest, ask the media. The border, and not illegals flying in, seem to be sexier news and subjects for politicians.
    I have no answer, though until they figure out how to slow down the exodus from Central America; we can either be hard hearted or callous. with the current political tribal war, it will be difficult.
    Meantime, we farmers and businesses are crying for for more workers, and Trump cut the number of worker visas.
    At some point, I think, that some of his supporters will be impacted negatively by tariffs, immigration, health care. AND, I don’t think he gives a s— for anything but his image.
    Low empathy, as he would say.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 15, 2018 4:40 pm

      My 0.02.

      By accident of place of birth some of us win the lottery of life and are born US citizens. That is a tremendous unearned entitlement.

      Of course some of us are born smart, some handsome, some talented.
      Life is just not fair.

      I am highly sympathetic to anyone who wishes to come here and beleive that to a huge extent we should take those who come – with very few restrictions.

      But I also beleive in the rule of law. And that is not the current law, and changing it as I would like would cause serious problems elsewhere.

      I would like to see near open boarders and an end to the welfare state.
      I am not going to get that.

      I am angry with those on the left because they are hypocrits.
      They claim to want open borders – but not really.

      They are unwilling to abandon the welfare state for open borders,
      They are unwilling to abandon minimum wage laws.
      And they are fully prepared to prosecute businesses for hiring the very immigrants they want to see cross the borders in droves.

      I am opposed to everify. If you are available and I wish to buy your labor and we reach an agreement – that is between you and me.

      If you actually want people to get hired – you do not make that harder.

      I am opposed to separating families period.

      But we do it alot. Ron mentioned prison, but it is worse than that.
      Each states “children and youth” will yank kids from their parents for little reason at all.
      This despite the fact that we KNOW that the state does a far worse job than even abusive parents.

      I favor allowing Dreamers to stay.

      At the same time I want everyone – left and right to agree on a comprehensive policy.
      How many people are we allowing in and then who are they.
      If you give Dreamers green cards – who are you going to take them from.

      If you give green cards to haitians and nigerians, then you are reducing those to chinese and indians.

      I am not interested in the whining of people who will not make tough choices.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 15, 2018 7:59 pm

        “There is no “Democrats’ law” that necessitates separating children from their parents. As people familiar with the rules regarding the handling of young people at the border made clear in interviews on Friday, the separation policy is a function of decisions made by Trump and his team. What’s more, the administration specifically implemented the policy to serve as a deterrent for those thinking about seeking entry to the United States.”

        Trump lied, again: ““I hate the children being taken away,” he said. “The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”

      • June 15, 2018 9:05 pm

        OK, So you break the law, say you lie to the FBI, and you are arrested. You have the means to leave and all indications you will when released because they have insurmountable evidence of guilt, so do they keep you or let you out to return for a court date later?

        Same with illegals. Catch, release, kids stay with parents. Will they show for their hearing where there is a good chance of deportation?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 7:01 am

        DD – there is no “democrats law”
        There is law.

        It should be evident to you from the press cockup – that the original video’s showing kids removed from their parents turned out to be from 2014 that there really is law on this.

        What is true is that policy changes that Trump has made – which conform to laws that have nothing to do with separating parents and children are resulting in an increase in the frequency of separations.

        AS I understand it one of the big deals is the end of “catch and release”.

        If the governnment intercepts someone crossing the border AND continuously detains them, the law is such that it can deport them relatively easily within 90 days.

        If however they are released pending deportation hearings – the process can extend to years.

        Trump has ended releasing those caught crossing the border.

        If they are caught crossing with children – and they are not released – they will be separated.
        That is and has been the law.
        It occurred less frequently under Obama – because those intercepted were not detained.

        BTW this also applies to voluntary “asylum seekers”
        And again this is a policy change.

        Obama allowed anyone claiming asylum into the country pending hearings on asylum – again dragging the process out for years.
        As a consequence the number of people showing up at our borders seeking asylum skyrocketed.

        Trump is not releasing asylum seekers pending hearings.
        Again, they results in far more rapid disposition of their cases.

        The process of deportation is far far simpler if a person is not allowed to enter the country.

        The moment someone trying to enter the country is released from detention pending future hearings, they gain a substantial number of legal rights.

        Essentially there are far more legal rights for a person who is in the country illegally than for a person who was tried to enter the country illegally.

        Regardless, if this bothers you – change the law.

      • Jay permalink
        June 15, 2018 9:49 pm

        Having a despicable person as President is Despicable !

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 7:27 am

        Do we have to keep trading mildly offensive Trump quotes with offensive Obama quotes ?

        Is it possible for you to focus on ACTS not words.

        Trump threatened to rain fire and brimstone on Kim Un and called him every vile thing a president can – and they are probably all true.

        And it appears that and other factors brought Kim Un to the negotiating table.

        Once there Trump is fawning all over him – so long as he is committed to full denuclearization.
        The saccharine remarks by Trump about Kim Un are nauseating

        At the end of the day – which matters to you ?
        What Trump says regarding Kim Un or the possibility of ending a serious nuclear threat.

        I would note – NK is much more dangerous to us than Iran.
        There is no conflict scenario involving NK that does not end up with far more bloodshed than anything involving Iran. Worse still any conflict with NK could reach the US.
        Iran has a long way to go before it can threaten the US.

        Iran is an existential threat to Israel – not the US.
        NK is a threat to the US.

        I hope Trump makes this work.
        If he does I do not give a fig what he says to Kim to accomplish that.

        Trump has purpoertedly promissed the kitchen sink in return for full verifiable denuclearization.

        Further he likely has the chinese heavily on board – because they want US troops out of SK badly.

        So there are many good reasons to beleive Trump might get what we want.

        And if he does not, we get to eat alot of crow.

        I am OK with that.

        You ?

      • Jay permalink
        June 15, 2018 9:53 pm

        Ron: they’re imprisioning parents in one place, and children at another.
        Why not detain them in the same facility?
        And fast track them out together ASAP?

      • June 15, 2018 11:15 pm

        I guess they are separating kids from parents for risking their kids lives for the same reason that they separate parents that give their epileptic children cannabis that reduces seizures. They both are looked at as breaking the law and risking their childs life.

        I have been consistent in my support for immigration reform and cannabis law changes. I have written my useless legislator and my two senators. I am stuck with the do nothing GOP representative or the last two hair brained Pelosi supporting democrats that run on everything that insures the Republican gets over 60% of the vote. There has not been a moderate in this district since the democrats gerrymandered a black district in the early 90’s when they had legislative control of our state government to get a black elected from the state and removed all the left leaning voters from this district. There is not much more I could do to make my positions known.

        This is what happens when the extremes take control of each party. It filters down from the federal level all the way to the local level. And as that happens, both the left and right gerrymander federal and state districts to insure their party controls the most districts. And that insures the furthest left or right candidates are elected, resulting in doing whats best for the party and screw the people and country.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 11:02 am

        “I guess they are separating kids from parents for risking their kids lives for the same reason that they separate parents that give their epileptic children cannabis that reduces seizures. They both are looked at as breaking the law and risking their childs life.”

        A horrible false equivalency Ron.
        Shame on you for making it.

      • June 16, 2018 12:26 pm

        “A horrible false equivalency Ron.
        Shame on you for making it.”

        So like all progressives, it is fine to separate kids from parents when they are American citizens doing what is best for the health of their kids, even though government thinks it know better, but heaven help us when the mean ol’ government separates law breaking non citizens from their kids.

        Give me a break! Its wrong on both counts, but given a choice, I support Americans before foreigners. Those in central America can stop in Mexico or go south into South America.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:47 pm

        Ron, it is not a false equivalence, it is litterally exactly the same thing.

        The reason families are being separated is because Sessions is crimnally prosecuting illegal border crossers immediately

        Because we define unauthorized immigration as a crime, we can arrest those who do it – just like drug dealers.
        If we arrest them – we can not jail their children.

        If we arrest them we can deport them much faster.

      • June 16, 2018 3:52 pm

        Yep, even progressives know that, but that does not make favorable news for them. What they claim is a better campaign issue.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 5:59 pm

        The false equivalency is equating separating kids from parents for breaking illegal entry law from children seperated for the breaking of laws we generally agree deserve children be protected from those parents.

        If you don’t see that, you’re hopeless. And aligned with cult idiots. And in danger of becoming a Trumpster yourself. Look in the bathroom mirror tonight: is your completion taking on an orange tint.? 😼😼😼

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:07 am

        Again no false equivalence.

        Crime – Crime.

        If there is “general agreement” – change the law. That is how we manafest general agreement.

        Otherwise the 14th amendment applies and the law and due process are applied blindly.

        That same principles of equal justice that probhibit us from laws targeting blacks, also prohibit laws favoring desireable groups.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:12 am

        I can see that separating families is emotionally disturbing.

        I can see that I do not like the law as it is, and would like to see it changed.

        I can see that Obama improperly chose not to enforce the law because the outcome troubled him, as it does me.

        But we enforce the law blindly, because among other reasons that is how we find out our law is bad and get it changed.

        I do NOT support “fixing” bad law by ignoring it.

        I will and have argued here repetedly that much of our laws is wrong and needs changed.

        In the meantime it is still law, and government must enforce it.

        The moral obligation to fix that is OURS.

        When you take a job in government you swear to uphold the law.
        If you can not do that – quit and change the law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 2:11 pm

        I am generally opposed to separating children from parents.

        Bad parents tend to be better for kids than the state.

        But Ron’s equivalence is not false.

        Dragging your kids across mexico to the US is dangerous.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 7:32 am

        Change the law.

        Contra DD – this is occuring because the law requires it.

        But there is a policy change involved.

        We need not separate if we do not detain.
        If we do not detain – it takes years to deport.
        If we do it takes 90 days.

        At its core that is what is going on.

        There is also a separate political element that will change this rapidly.

        We had a significant increase in asylum seekers under Obama – because Obama relaxed the handling of asylum seekers and immigrants are not stupid.

        When they grasp that they can come to the border, ask for asylum and end up in the US for a couple of years, with some hope of more, they do so.

        AS Trump cracks down and fasttracks the deportation of unqualified asylum seekers, they number of asylum seekers will drop and the problem will go away.

        There is one other complexity.

        The US economy is strengthening

        Illegal immigration ebbs and flows with the US economy.

  63. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2018 6:55 pm

  64. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 11:44 am

  65. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 12:04 pm

    There is no law. If there is, would someone provide a “quote” from the actual text of that law.
    Much appreciated.

    • June 16, 2018 12:54 pm

      Will this work. There are other sites that have similar info.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2018 2:39 pm

      BZZT, Wrong.

      If you read carefully – even those purportedly debunking this, prove the opposite.

      Sessions “Zero-Tolerance” decision – is purportedly a policy decision.
      Quite arguably that is false.

      The law says people who cross illegally are breaking the law.

      Sessions purported “policy” is that there will be 100% prosecutions AT THE BORDER.

      If you wish to say that is a “policy decision” – so is prosecuting people for speeding.

      Every site I have checked that claims this is a “policy desicision”

      Does so on the basis that if Sessions did not prosecute the families would not have to be separated.

      Trump/Sessions claim is:

      If we enforce the law – i.e. we prosecute those we stop at the border.
      Then families will be separated.

      And that is the actual law.

      The “policy decision” is deciding to enforce the law.

      Absolutely Trump can do as Obama did – and not enforce the law, and end up with less family separations.

      This is actually quite simple and exactly what I have said in repeated posts before.

      If those crossing illegally are detained and prosecuted at the border – which is really what the law requires, and not released then the parents – who are being prosecuted and must be detained, will be separated from their children – who are not being prosecuted.

      This is pretty much exactly the same as if the police arrest the parents of a family for drug dealing – the children are not going to be arrested and they are going to be placed somewhere – not in jail with the parents.

      Trump/Sessions are legitimately enforcing existing law.
      And the result is family separation – just exactly as if parents are arrested for other crimes.

      Trump/Sessions are doing this because:
      1) Its the law.
      2). If illegal immigrants are arrested at the border they can be deported easily and quickly.
      Otherwise it takes forever.

      Absolutely Trump/Sessions doe not have to do this.
      Just as the police can let you off with a warning for speeding,
      or they could issue a citation and hope you show.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2018 2:44 pm

      If two parents are arrested while handling 1 Kilo of Cocaine – do you think they are going to be separated from their kids as they are hauled off to jail ?
      Can you cite a law that says – if you arrest the parents for selling cocaine, you must separate them from their kids ?

      Are you allowed to throw their kids in jail with them ?

      That is what we are dealing with.

      To the extent this is a “policy” decision – the decision is to arrest at the borders.
      after that decision is made the separation is automatic.

      Most of us do not consider deciding to arrest people for breaking the law, a policy decision.

      Look, I do not think we should do this.
      I do not think crossing the border should be a crime.

      But it is, so change the law.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 4:23 pm

        Your cocaine analogy is bullshit false equivalency

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2018 11:58 pm

        “:Your cocaine analogy is bullshit false equivalency”

        Nope! and in some cases it is an exact equivalence.

        In some cases those separated are literally alleged to be involved in cocaine trafficking.

        Bjut regarding the actual situation you are addressing.

        There are approx. 9 different forms of border crossing that are defined as federal crimes.

        The parents who are being separated from their children are being charged with violating those federal CRIMINAL laws.

        Because they are charged with a crime, and because they are either being held without bail or unable to make bail, they are going to JAIL – not detention.
        They are being imprisoned.

        And we do not typically charge minors with crimes (and if we did we would separate them)
        And we do not place uncharged minors in adult jails with their parents.

        Again “change the law”

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 4:42 pm

        Stop distorting the truth.

        Ryan Patrick, the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, on family separation: “It is a policy choice by the president and by the attorney general.”

      • June 16, 2018 5:59 pm

        So its catch and release, never to be seen again other than in welfare and Medicaid lines, or put them in jail for deportation.

        What is wrong with you? Do you not understand the definition of illegal?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:02 am

        The “policy choice” is to prosecute the crime – not to separate the families.
        The separation is a consequence of a politcy choice that should not exist.

        If we define something as a crime, then there should be little choice but to prosecute it.

        There are only limited justifiable reasons for discretion in law enforcement.
        Beyond that you have again the rule of man not law.

        If you do not like the law – change it.

  66. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 1:28 pm

    Nope, there is no law requiring separation. Actual text from actual law will change my opinion.

    • June 16, 2018 2:29 pm

      I can see it now. Liberal headlines. ” Young boys placed in custody with women detained by ICE” Then the story goes on and on about how boys should not be with women in these conditions. How sexual exploitation and other related issues are present.

      The only answer is Obamas catch and release and we are right back to thousands of illegals entering the country.

      Change the immigration laws now.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 16, 2018 4:22 pm

      Is this the “democrats law” Trump cited:
      I don’t the separation clause. Please clip and paste to a comment. Thanks.

      • June 16, 2018 5:53 pm

        Dduck, so it is better to put the parents in jail with their kids than separate them?

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2018 6:09 pm

        If youre housing those kids in Walmart’s you can do the same with the parents – they’re not violent criminals for the most part, and don’t need fortified prison confinement.

        Or they could be kept TOGETHER on military bases. That’s a humane solution. And would not EFFECT the time to prosecute them at all.

      • June 16, 2018 8:01 pm

        One thing for certain Obama was much smarter than Trump. Obama made sure he kept on the good side of Mexico. Trump not so much, so look what he got compared to how Obama handled the issue.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:33 am

        There are many things that you could do.

        So change the law so you can.

        You seem to think that if the law does not work as you wish that you just ignore it and do differently.

        That is not how things works.

        The minors are by law not guilty of any crime – they have a completely different legal status.
        The do not have some rights – because they are minors. The state has some obligations to them – because they are minors.
        The legal status of the adults is different – they are accused criminals, they have different rights and the state has different obligations.

        House them together and those guarding and administering the facility now have tow different classes of people to deal with and two different sets of rights and obligations.

        I am not trying to say that what you want can not be done.

        But the PResident is not legally empowered to do whatever – just because this upsets you.

        Change the law.

        One reason for insisting on that is because there are many possible answers – each with its problems.

        We should consciouly choose, not act just to prove we care.

        One easy thing to do would be to immediately deport – no detention.

        I would be willing to consider allowing children to stay with alleged criminals generally.
        Not just border crossers.

        But that raises many other issues. Quite often in jails there is little distincition or separation between those charged and those convicted.

        I support broad rights and freedoms for those merely charged with a crime – even if we must detain them.

        But that is not how our system works. Those detained prior to trial and those convicted are treated almost identically.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2018 11:46 pm

      Unless you are going to send the children to jail with parents who are charged with crimes, then they must be separated.

      Given that the law generally makes it difficult or impossible to charge chilfren with crimes – and even if it did, whould run them throught a different system.

      When the parents are charged with a crime and jailed they will be separated from their children.

  67. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 3:28 pm

    Ummm,I think if boys were (they are) placed with men, that would be more of a liberal headline. 🙂

  68. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 4:21 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2018 11:52 pm

      If there is evidence of that – then they should have been removed from the case.

      Though I strongly suspect that AG Lynch confuses Agents legitimate disgust that Clinton gets away with Criminal conduct they would not.

      The Deep and Visceral hatred of some FBI agents is caused by Clinton’s lawlessness and priviledge.

      It is the actual duty of law enforcement to try to prove the crimes that are alleged.

  69. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 4:29 pm

    “All Americans—not just your supporters—deserve a President who is honest, ethical, selfless, & substantive. Our country faces daunting domestic & international challenges. If there is a scintilla of decency left in you, you would focus on your responsibilities, not on yourself.”

    Anyone who isn’t LOUDLY speaking out against Trump like this is an Asshole

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2018 11:58 pm

      Quoting Brennan ? Really ?

  70. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 4:39 pm

    Many of those a_______ are fellow Americans that see things from a different angle and viewpoint.

    • Jay permalink
      June 16, 2018 5:22 pm

      I have a lot of friends who, over the years, have been assholes.
      That doesn’t stop me from telling them so.

      The time for friendly persuasion over Trump has passed.
      Now it’s time to forcefully speak out that the moron has to be removed, and yes, those who don’t concur are ASSHOLES,

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:03 am

        Which is precisely what is wrong with you.

        You are fully prepared to use force to accomlish your desires without legitimate justification.

  71. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 5:13 pm

    Lately on Russian State TV: “Krym nash, Trump nash!” Skabeeva declared to the audience, which in English means “Crimea is ours, Trump is ours!”

  72. dduck12 permalink
    June 16, 2018 6:20 pm

    Jay, I get it, but I also agree with Frank Bruni’s article, which said:
    “I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy. Sometimes it’s a trap. When you find yourself spewing four-letter words, you’ve fallen into it. You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning. You think you’re raising your fist when you’re really raising a white flag.

    You’re right that Donald Trump is a dangerous and deeply offensive man, and that restraining and containing him are urgent business. You’re wrong about how to go about doing that, or at least you’re letting your emotions get the better of you.

    When you answer name-calling with name-calling and tantrums with tantrums, you’re not resisting him. You’re mirroring him. You’re not diminishing him. You’re demeaning yourselves. Many voters don’t hear your arguments or the facts, which are on your side. They just wince at the din.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 12:36 am

      So what is it that you want to do with respect to Trump ?

      I am serious. I am prefectly happy to discuss limiting the power of the president.

      I am almost certain to support most any limits – particularly if they are limits on the president – not specifically limits on Trump, and particularly if they disempower government, not merely the president.

      What specifically bothers you regarding Trump and what do you propose to do about it ?

  73. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 7:23 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 12:41 am

      Inarguably the president has the authority to do so.

      Our legal system gives prosecutors of all types broad discretion.

      If you read Comey’s July 5, 2016 statement he does NOT exhonerate Clinton, he finds her guilty,
      and then excercises prosecutorial discretion in not charging her.

      I do not beleive the prseident, or any prosecutor SHOULD have that much discretion.

      The rule of law requires that we enforce the laws we have.
      That would also require that we have far less laws.

      I would further note that Trump has the authority to pardon them all.
      So obviously he has the authority to solve your problem.

      But in only a few ways that we do not find acceptable that actually confirm to the rule of law.

  74. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 9:52 pm

    Another example of the kind of dishonest lying mother fuc*ing shit head that #Trumpanzees elected to the presidency:

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 12:46 am

      This is all much ado about nothing.

      First the Trump foundation is nothing like the Clinton foundation.

      It is tiny comparatively, and it is mostly composed of the Trump family as donors, getting a tax exemption, and then doling out money from the foundation to charities

      I would just eliminate all tax exemptions. and get the government out of the business of deciding was is and is not charity.

      Absent that – this all looks like the business of the IRS and the NY AG.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 17, 2018 6:33 pm

        $7 bucks. WTF is he the cheapest crook since Fagin, or what (note: sarcasm).

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 8:37 pm

        Sliminess is in the Trump Family DNA.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:15 am

        My mother deducted the cost of dog food from her taxes as “security”

        Given that we were robbed many times, and the doggs stopped many crimes. I think that was reasonable.

        “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes and public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
        Helvering v. Gregory (1934),
        Judge Learned Hand

  75. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 10:04 pm

    Fuck anyone who doesn’t speak out against this as Government sponsored Child Abuse:

  76. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 10:16 pm

    Congressman Will Hurd, Republican from Texas, former CIA officer who worked to protect America from external threats:

    “In the land of the free and the home of the brave, we should not be using kids as a deterrent policy.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 12:53 am

      Why not ?

      The alternative is that they become an inducement – which they already are.

      Like many many things we do in government the choices we make have unintended consequences.

      Obama by discretion greately expanded allowed requests for asylum.
      so asylum request skrocketted – including bogus ones.

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 1:08 pm

        Why not.

        Because it’s inhumane.

        This is how we did it for the Cuban Boat exodus:

        “Refugees were processed at camps set up in the greater Miami area, generally at decommissioned missile defense sites. Other sites were established at the Orange Bowl and various churches throughout the area. Some sites were established to segregate the refugees until they could be provided with initial processing at places like the Nike-Hercules sites at Key Largo and Krome Avenue. Once initially processed and documented, the refugees were quickly transferred to larger compounds in the metropolitan area so they could be reunited with relatives already living in the US as well as to allow interaction with various social action agencies like Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross, and others. At these initial processing sites the undesirable elements were identified and segregated from the general population.” (Wikipedia)

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 11:56 pm

        First – you are absolutely correct that presidents in the past have excercised wide discretion in enforcing the laws.

        I absolutely disagree with that.

        I want EVERY law fully enforced as close to 100% of the time as possible.

        I want those like you OUTRAGED at how evil and inhumane the law is.

        And I want to make clear to you that inconsistently applying the law – prosecutorial discretion, is the rule of man not law.

        I want you so OUTRAGED that you work with me to change or eliminate the law.

        The law is almost always “inhumane”.

        As to the boat people. There is a real arguement for asylum for those entering from Cuba.
        Most are facing political persecution, not a poor economy.

        Further I beleive the law was different at the time.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:04 am

        I would also ask you are the cuban refugees the same as those crossing from mexico ?

        Do we treat those fleaing political prosecution who might be killed the same as those who are escaping poverty ?

        I am not answering that – I am asking YOU.

        AS I noted before there are about 750M people ijn the world who would come to the US if they could.

        Either you take them all or you develop “inhumane” laws that specity who and how many of each type you will take.

        I am for nearly open borders – and all the other changes that requires.

        But I do not beleive you are.

        If you are not taking everyone who wishes to come here.

        Then the obligation is YOURS to specify who gets to win the lottery and enter the US and who does not.

        Absent open borders SOMEBODY is getting screwed. SOMEBODY is getting treated inhumanely.

        I am trying to get you out of the emotional and into the rational.

        Any approach – even open boarders requires difficult choices.

        The left wants to pretend that it can have unlimited immigration – without actually having large numbers of people flood the country.

        It is that HYPOCRACY that I find inhumane.

        Somebody is going to get screwed, get treated inhumanely.

        The left is not willing to take responsibility for tought decisions.

        FRankly I do not think you get to opine on them if you are unwilling to make them.

  77. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2018 10:20 pm

    A Baby Jail?

  78. June 17, 2018 1:16 am

    Well I really started a fire storm with the question concerning the separating kids from parents entering illegally. As with the comments here as well as the extremely long debate on Facebook with my cousin and her “,friends”, it is very apparent there are two distinct groups.
    1. Those that way the families should be a!lower to stay together, with most of them favoring allowing the parents to report back for a hearing, much like Obama’s catch and release and
    2, those that way the law is the law, it is a federal crime to enter illegally and they need to be in jail.
    What I find so interesting is the number of people who have decided that we can choose what laws to follow and which ones to ignore. This to me is much more disturbing than the issue at hand.

    How long can we go and how far can we go in choosing which laws to follow? Are we not moving toward more civil unrest when we decide we won’t follow laws? Should we ignore people and let them not follow laws? We did not do that during Viet Nam with the draft. Young men rejected the government’s position, but they either served ( and some died) when called, they fled to Canada to avoid the draft or they went to jail. And a few avoided all of this, but legally.

    We need to remember men died to protect the country and constitution and we have neither without laws.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 2:07 am

      I do not like the law as it is and I beleive we can do better.

      But we do that by changing the law.

      That is important for many reasons.
      Understanding that we must do the work necessary to change laws that do not work as we desire is an incentive to get the law right.

      I beleive Jay has noted – does’nt Trump have the authority to do this differently.

      He does. But he should not, and nether should Obama have.

      It should not be the role of prosecutors or president to dictate that we ignore aspects of our laws that we do not like.

      I want all of our laws to the greatest extent possible implimented and enforced uniformly as written – until we cry uncle and get rid of the bad ones.

      • June 17, 2018 11:57 am

        “I beleive Jay has noted – does’nt Trump have the authority to do this differently.

        He does. But he should not, and nether should Obama have.”

        That IS the problem in this country. NO ONE should have the right to pick and choose which f’in law they want to follow, ESPECIALLY THE PRESIDENT.

        Enough with this crap. Fix the laws if one does not like them!

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 12:54 pm

        What law says asylum seekers have to separated from their children?

        Why not house parents and children on military bases while they’re being processed?
        That’s more humane and less expensive than separation and multiple jails.

      • June 17, 2018 1:06 pm

        Jay, I can continue debating with you until the moon changes to swiss cheese and we will never agree. As long as kids are removed from parents using cannabis to control seizures because it is illegal, then there should be no difference with separating non citizens for breaking the law.

        I dont support either, but if one is OK with society today and is not national news, then the other should not be handled any different. CONSISTENCY, enforce laws equally, not ones that fit your political agenda.

        Congress is setting on its dead ass to frightened to do anything for fear of losing their careers!

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 1:13 pm

        We didn’t take kids away from their parents for DANGEROUSLY transporting them on boats during the Cuban exodus …(see related post to Dave)

      • June 17, 2018 1:58 pm

        Isnt there a difference since Carter opened the USA up to the Cubans and we have had a closed border (with big holes) that make one group invited in and one group ILLEGAL.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:11 am


      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:11 am

        We did not, and we do not have to today.

        But our laws do treat people fleaing opressive political regimes different from economic refugees.

        You are free to try to change that.

        Further our laws have changed.

        In 1980 the US had an open door for Cuban Refugees – the restriction on immigration from Cuban was On the cuban side.
        Castro unlaterally dropped that and over the course of 6 months 125,000 cubans sought asylum in the US – LEGALLY.

        We have subsequently changed our laws.

        you are free to change them again.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 11:46 pm

        The law does not permit incarcerating children for crimes.
        If does not permit incacerating children with their parents when their parents are charged with crimes.

        Their parents are being charged with crimes, and they are not being released pending a hearing.
        That is what is driving separations.

        And that absolutely is the law.

        It is a policy choice to charge the parents with a crime.
        It is also a policy choice not to release them pending a hearing.

        As I disagree with prosecutorial discretion I fully support charging those who have committed a federal crime with that crime all the time 100%.

        But I also support considering whether this specific crime should be a crime and possibly changing the law.

        In the meantime, I expect that law to be enforced.
        Among other reasons because part of the way we get rid of bad laws is to enforce them.

        The decisions to incarcerate pending a hearing or release RoR is more complex.

        Trump is chosing to incarcerate – because that results in deportation within 90 days in nearly all cases. While RoR release takes years and has a far higher cost.

        But again you are free to change the law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 11:48 pm

        I am not opposed to your suggestions. But they are outside of what the law allows.

        These people are being charged with a crime, and they are being held pending a hearing.

        We do not house alleged Marijuana dealers in military bases so that they can be with their kids.

        You keep saying false equivaence – but it is quite litterally the same – exactly the same. It is even the same laws that are implicated.

        So change the law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 11:49 pm

        We are obligated to enforce laws as written – that is “the rule of law”.

        If the law, or the enforcement of the law is inhumane – change the law.

      • Jay permalink
        June 17, 2018 7:23 pm

        Ron. What the hell are you talking about?

        The point was to refute justifying taking kids away because bringing them here was dangerous.

        What part of ‘the punishment doesn’t fit the crime’ isnt registering in your brain?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 12:26 am

        YOUR point and MY point are not the same.

        I do not care how this is being justified, or how that justification is being refuted. ‘

        I care whether the law is being scrupulously followed
        whether it is a constitutional law – on its face
        and as applied.
        And whether it is a good law.

        I do not need to prove my oposition to most US law.

        One of the most effective means of getting rid of bad law is to enforce it.

        If following the law and separating families and deporting a few dreamers will result in democrats negotiating in good faith with republicans and solving this.

        That would make me happy.

  79. Jay permalink
    June 17, 2018 11:18 am

    “To believe the accusations that Trump colluded with Russia, laundered vast amounts of money and/or put American foreign policy on the auction block in return for the enrichment of his family requires an awkward leap of faith. You have to believe this leader is both profoundly corrupt — far more so than Nixon — and staggeringly sloppy — again more so than Nixon.

    This is essentially the portrait that Underwood paints in the detailed accusations against the head of the Trump Foundation: that of a shady huckster who engages in “persistently illegal conduct” and is buffoonishly sloppy along the way. “

    • Jay permalink
      June 17, 2018 11:27 am

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2018 11:38 pm

        The standard for a criminal investigation is NOT the seriousness of the charges – I can allege that you are a peodphile that will not get you investigated.

        It is the credibility of the charges.
        What is increasingly evident as we move forward is that there is not today, and never has been a credible basis even to investigate Trump Russia collusion.

        Much of what has taken us two years to pry out of FBI/DOJ was know to them from the start:

        The Steele Dossier is “salacious and unverified” and remains so.
        There is no credible connection between Trump and Russian that rises to the level needed for an investigation.
        Trump’s campaign involvement with Russia was LESS than Clinton’s.

        The DBI/DOJ knew this from the start.

        The charges are serious – they are also without credibility

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2018 11:34 pm

      The person quoted beleives alot of things that are either impossible or highly improbable.

      As to the TF suite – it is going to fizzle.

      TF is a pretty typical family charitable trust common among wealthy families.
      It has ZERO overhead, it pays no salaries. The Trump family contributes to it and they direct where the money goes.

      You are never going to get criminal conduct – as you can with CF, because its donors are confined to the Trump family – you have no victims.

      The best you can manage is back taxes, penalties and interest if distributions were handled improperly.

      Frankly given the tiny amount that is being challenged the Trump family should just settle and make the thing go away.

      But you are not getting very far with TF, because TF’s total distributions each year are less than the clintons are provided by CF for air travel.

      Rather than the smoking gun, the TF lawsuit is a demonstration of how bad things are for the left.
      They are busy poking and proding in small family foundations – in the hopes of what – finding $7 checks to the boy scouts for Baron Trump’s membership ?

      Yes, that is stupid, but chasing after it makes the left look even stupider.

  80. dduck12 permalink
    June 17, 2018 7:32 pm

    dduck12 • 2 hours ago
    To me, the Trump “policy” is a terrorist one, and as far as I know his worst yet.
    I hope it shakes more voters out of the trees, including all the religious folks.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 12:28 am

      Still not a policy.

      We separate children from their parents when the parents are charged with dealing dope.

      It is the law.

  81. Jay permalink
    June 17, 2018 8:09 pm

    Maybe Donald will take them out for Big Macs later.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 12:31 am

      I would separately note that the entire problem would be solved if these people chose not to come.

      But they do not.
      It is far harder for me to get outraged when people chose to do something knowing what the results will be.

      I would legalize drugs – even heroin, Even if that meant more overdoses.

  82. Jay permalink
    June 17, 2018 8:44 pm

    Devin Nunes just said this week that in September 2016, “good FBI agents” came to him and told him they’d found the Weiner laptop with Huma-Clinton emails.

    Does Trump agree that those agents shouldn’t have leaked?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 12:37 am

      When an agent of the FBI comes to a congressmen – particularly the chair of the HPSCI to report misconduct.

      That is NOT leaking.
      Nunes is BTW a member of the Intelligence “gang of 8”.

      “Title 50 U.S.C. § 3091(a)(1) to “ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity as required by [the] title.” However, under “extraordinary circumstances”, when the President thinks “it is essential to limit access” to information about a covert action, 50 U.S.C. § 3093(c)(2) allows the President to limit reporting to the Gang of Eight.”

      Nunes is essentially precleared BY LAW for ANYTHING.
      The HPSCI is precleared BY LAW for most things.

      This will become more relevant if DOJ/FBI do not comply with the HPSCI subpeona’s

      • Jay permalink
        June 18, 2018 1:25 pm

        Your full of 💩 suggesting ANY FBI agent at their own inclination can reveal whatever the fuck they want at any time to a particular senatorial committee.

        If you don’t understand that’s LEAKING, your brain is LEAKING urine-stained liquids.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 5:00 pm

        “Your full of suggesting ANY FBI agent at their own inclination can reveal whatever the fuck they want at any time to a particular senatorial committee.

        If you don’t understand that’s LEAKING, your brain is LEAKING urine-stained liquids.”

        Nope. It is actually the law.

        What is “stupid” is the implications of the approach you are advocating.

        You are saying that if an FBI (or other member of government) sees something that they beleive (or know) is wrong, that they are obligated to remain silent about it.

        No only are there several laws that say otherwise, the constitution essentially does.

        Congress has total oversight over the executive. Pretty much the only thing that the executive has a right to keep from congress is the private communications of advisors with the president.
        That is it, that is the limits of executive priviledge.

        Beyond that congress has a constitutional right to know whatever it wishes about the executive.

        Separetely there is actual law that REQUIRES the executive to affirmatively notify congress of a variety of different things. Those laws were EXPLICITLY violated during Obama’s administration in numerous ways – one of which was that the Gang of 8 was NOT informed of the Trump/Russia investigation and that was required by 50 U.S.C. § 3093(c)(2). and 50 U.S.C. § 3091(a)(1)

        Finally there are whistleblower laws which protect those in government when they report government misconduct – and that would include reporting it to congressmen.

  83. Jay permalink
    June 17, 2018 8:59 pm

    Why SO MANY coverup lies about Russian meetings?
    Is there a believable explanation?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 12:46 am

      Did you actually read the article you linked ?

      Stone and Caputo met with an AMERICAN who claimed to have dirt on Clinton and demanded money for it.

      Stone and Caputo refused to pay for dirt on Clinton.

      We are still trying to ascertain more about the american – but Stone and Caputo beleive it was an FBI informant known to all but left wing nuts as a SPY.

      While Greenberg purportedly told reporters his is not an FBI informant the fact that Mueller knew more about the meeting than Caputo or Stone strongly suggests that Greenberg WAS an operative.

      The other alternative is that he was a Clinton campaign false flag.

      No one has “lied” about this.

      Do you think Stone and Caputo must disclose every meetting they have ever had with any americans during the 2016 campaign – otherwise they are lying ?

      It is because you use this idiotic definition of “LIE” that you have no credibility when you spout of about lies.

      • Jay permalink
        June 18, 2018 1:53 pm

        Both Stone and Caputo considered him RUSSIAN You rationalizing dweeb. Did you read the fucking emails or not?

        “How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote. Both referred to him as Russian. He speaks and writes with a Russian accent. He lived most of his life in Russia. His associate in the meeting was Russian.

        In order to be able to enter the US he required immigration entry approval:

        ‘He attached to the statement government documents outlining his immigration history. Between 2008 and 2012, the records show, he repeatedly was extended permission to enter the United States under a “significant public benefit parole.”

        Does an American citizen need permission to re-enter the US.

        You are a clannish, clownish, and creepily misinformed Trumpanzee convert.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 5:11 pm

        “Both Stone and Caputo considered him RUSSIAN ”
        No Jay they did not.
        The received the information ABOUT him from a russian business contact.
        They were at one point lead to beleive that the information CAME from Russia.
        They were also lead to believe it came from NSA.

        I would sugest that YOU might wish to learn to read.

        This is really no different from the Steele Dossier – EXCEPT that Stone and Caputo refused to pay for the information.

        Steele received and paid for dirt on Trump from Russians and sold it to the DNC and HFA.

        Stone and Caputo were told by a Russian business contact that Greenburg AN AMERICAN, had dirt from Russia on Clinton. Greenberg wanted $2M and Stone and Caputo said no.

        What I see here is that the Trump campaign was more moral and ethical than the Clintons,

        Regardless there was no contact with any agent of the Russian govenrment.
        Further Stone and Caputo have NEVER had any oblifgation to “report” this

        In fact as THEY have noted, they completely forgot it until the Halper story broke.

        Both Stone and Caputo are deeply and justifiably suspicious that this was EITHER a HFA setup or an FBI setup.

        And I suspect that is true.

        As this is playing out it appears that EVERY alleged contact between the Trump campaign and “russian agents” was a setup either by the FBI/CIA/MI6 or by HFA/FushionGPS

        That is where this is all headed Jay.

        What happens if greenberg is connected to FBI/CIA or to HFA ?

        What happens if the entire Trump/Russia collusion thing turns out to be an FBO/CIA or HFA sting operation that failed ?

        Remember we have Strzok’s later 2015 text about OCUNUS lures – what do you think those were ?-

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2018 5:38 pm

        Sorry, Jay but the problem is yours.

        I will be happy to accept your standard – every peson in a US political campaign must report every contact with a suspected foreign national.

        John Podesta would be in jail for decades.

        Do you think Steele is a US citizen ?

        What of the Ukrainians that HFA was in bed with ?

        I guess everyone on HFA who watched John Oliver must disclose,

        Grow up get a clue.

        While I would prefer limited sane rules, whatever rules you make – they must apply the SAME for everyone – republican. democrat, green.
        Stein had dinner with Putin during the campaign – was the FBI spying on her ?

        Podesta has millions invested in Russia and contacts with Russian businessmen every day – many of whom are kremlin connected – was FBI spying on Podesta/HFA.

        The Clinton email investigation was conducted by almost the exact same people as the Trump/Russia investigation – that alone is troubling. We know that the FBI in NY was barred from investigating CF. We know that it is highly unusual for the FBI to run an investigation from DC. \\

        Regardless we know that the Clinton investigation was in pretty much every possible way conducted radically differently from the Trump investigation.

        About all they have in common is that both leaked like a seive.

        The one was public, the other private.
        The one involved warants and spies and early morning guns drawn raids,
        The other involve immunity deals, entirely voluntary arrangments, even targets serving as lawyers for other targets.
        The one involved stonewalling and destruction of evidence the other involved providing the FBI/DOJ with millions of pages of documents.
        The one involved actual breaches of National Security – we now KNOW the FBI was aware that TWO Hostile foreign powers accessed Clinton’s emails. And that Obama and Clinton communicated over insecure channels about Russia while Clinton was in Russia.
        We know know that the FBI confined the Clinton investigation to Clinton – because the entire State Department under Clitnon was completely clueless about classified information and national security.

  84. Jay permalink
    June 18, 2018 4:57 pm

    @PopeHat sums it up…

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 7:41 pm

      Over 20K children – 8% of fostercare are children who are put into foster care when their parents are arrested.

      This is children being removed from US citizens.

  85. Jay permalink
    June 18, 2018 5:06 pm

    What Trumpanzees believe is shaped by the repetition of Trump’s lies.
    Lies repeated become truth to their minds.

    “The illusory truth effect (also known as the validity effect, truth effect or the reiteration effect) is the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure.[1] This phenomenon was first identified in a 1977 study at Villanova University and Temple University.[2][3] When truth is assessed, people rely on whether the information is in line with their understanding or if it feels familiar. The first condition is logical as people compare new information with what they already know to be true. Repetition makes statements easier to process relative to new, unrepeated, statements, leading people believe that the repeated conclusion is more truthful. The illusory truth effect has also been linked to “hindsight bias”, in which the recollection of confidence is skewed after the truth has been received.”


    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 8:08 pm

      Your Villenove study is just an echo of Goebels statement

      “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.”

      I beleive Goebels said that in 1938 – that is long before 1977.

      I would further note that Goebels intelligently notes that such lies can only be maintained when people can be isolated from the consequences of the lie.

      Or a variation of Lincoln’s – you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

      Big lies endlessly repeated ultimately blow up in the faces of those telling them.
      Because a lie always contradicts the truth – reality, and the lie can only be maintained so long as people can be shielded from confronting that conflict.

      Right now this is FAR MORE damaging to the left then the right.

      The IG just revealed the Clinton email investigation was a sham.

      While the IG was unwilling to go so far as to claim it was sytemically biased or that it reflected a conspiracy – he did not actually rule out either.

      There is a difference between “I did not find evidence of” and “there can not be”.

      Regardless Horowitz dammed the investigation. He dammed key players in it.
      But most importantly he destroyer the claim of both the left and right that the DOJ/FBI was still institutionally sound. They are NOT. They can not be trusted to run ANY serious investigation.

      I would have prefered that the IG found they were too tainted with Bias to do so,
      but it does not matter – he still found their were too dysfunctional to properly conduct a major investigation.

      The lie that we can trust DOJ/FBI has been destroyed and by extension we can not trust Mueller either.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 8:19 pm

      While I generally think that there is something to the Villeneuva study you cite.

      Aside from the fact that you myrsterious seem to want to presume it only aplies to Trump – that the media and the left do not repeat lies to us
      there is the separate problem that as with many of the seminal works in psychology it has come under attack and been severely weakened.

      We have a massive problem with science in general at the moment, but psycholoy (food, medicine and climate science) appear be other major manifestations.

      The actual gold standard of science is reproduceablitly. it is for this reason that we demand all data, all methods all algorithm’s everything necescary to reproduce any study.

      In the past 50 years peer review has become a substitute for reproduceablity.
      As a consequence less and less papers are producing the information needed to reproduce them.

      The result is poorer and poorer science.

      Several years ago the entire area of psychological “priming” was thoroughtly debunked.
      Your Villeneuva study is on the periphery of work on priming and is therefore suspect.

      Regardless, “priming” has proven to be scientific garbage.

      Even flagships of psychology – the Stanford prison experiment and the Milgram study have been demonstrated to involve fraud. While there is still evidence that there is something to be gleaned from that work, the conclusions are not nearly so solid as we presumed.

      Anyway, my point is that your comment is an abuse of science. Even though I think it is likely that repetition makes it easier to accept a lie for a while. that is not the same as having been proven, nor can you jump from that to Trump is successfully indoctrinating people while CNN is not.

  86. dduck12 permalink
    June 18, 2018 7:25 pm

    Trump joins other cruel Americans with his policy. Both slaves and indigenous Indians had their children sold away, or in the case of Indians sent to strict Indian schools where their culture and language were off limits.
    That’s your company Trump.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2018 8:22 pm

      Trump joins the ordinary enforcement of our laws.

      Each year over 20000 children are separated from their parents because their parents are charged with crimes. This is 8% of foster care.

      This is happening to US citizens dozens of times a day.

      What is occuring at the border is not unique. It is the norm when our laws are followed.

      What is unique is that Trump is following the law.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 19, 2018 2:49 pm

        So weak, so off the facts. The slave’s mother committed a crime? No.
        The Indian children’s parents committed a crime defending their freedom and their kids forced into white man schools.
        Trump is not a law follower, he like the slave owners and Indian overseers is acting like a dictator and makes policy.
        Some of you are becoming extreme apologists.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 19, 2018 4:36 pm

        “So weak, so off the facts. The slave’s mother committed a crime? No.
        The Indian children’s parents committed a crime defending their freedom and their kids forced into white man schools.”

        I have no idea what facts you are refering to.

        If you are a US citizen – black, white, whatever, and you commit a crime, and you have children
        You will be separated from them.

        That occurs to 20,000+ children in the US each year. More each day than are being separated at the border, 8% of the US children in foster care.

        In he US slavery ended 150+ years ago.
        I would imaging a tiny portion of those separated in the US are indian.

        Regardless, if you wish to condem what occured in the past – fine.
        Trurmp was not alive then – neither was I.

        “Trump is not a law follower”

        Yes, actually he is. So long as crossing into the US outside of a border control point is a crime, those who do so are criminals, and we do not incarcerate crimninals with their children.

        You are free to change that, by changing that law. But Trump is not actually free to change the law by wishing it was different. I know that is a hard concept for you to grasp as Obama did it all the time. Regardless it is still true.

        “:he like the slave owners and Indian overseers is acting like a dictator and makes policy.
        Some of you are becoming extreme apologists.:”

        Yes, make bizzare nonsensical analogies to slime anyone who disagrees with you.

        Get a clue calling everyone who disagreed with you a hateful, hating hater, is how you got Trump in the first place. Repeating the same mistake will not improve things.

        Regardless it is hypocritical and offensive.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 19, 2018 12:28 am

      DHS Sec. Neilson has confirmed immigrants that come to a border checkpoint and as for assylum are detained AS FAMILIES but not separated.

      Asking for asylum is NOT a crime, whether you qualify or not.
      Asking for asylum and being turned down and deported does NOT negatively impact your changes of getting accepted through any other legal approach.

      Illegally crossing is a crime. If you are caught, you will be criminally prosecuted.
      No where in the US are alleged criminals being held prior to hearings being incarcerated with their children.

      there are separate issues because:

      A strengthening economy is increasing the number of illegal immigrants.
      The broad legalization of pot in the US has driven the mexican cartels to seek other forms of revenue – opoids, and human trafficing. It is now virtually impossible to get to the border without the assistance of the Cartels, Further the cartels are flooding the border with illegal immigrants as a means to occupy the border patrols while they transport drugs.
      Border patrol agenst are aware that while they are dealing with a flood of illegal immigrants, minutes away drugs are being transported accross the border openly.

      The point is simple. The Mexican cartels can read the news.
      They know what provokes americans and they actively seek to take advantage of our press to improve their ability to transport drugs.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 19, 2018 10:53 am

        It is quite common for left wing memes to rest on fakery.

        The separation of children from their families is heart rending.

        But the law is not what feels good.

        I support open borders. I understand the consequences of that.
        I understand that it is not consistent with the welfare state.

        I understand that comes with good and bad, and I accept that..

        I am not especically interested in the rants of those who are arguing their feelings.
        Who have no thought for the consequences of changing whatever offends their feelings.

        Decisions based entirely on feelings tend to carry massive moral hazard.

        If you allow your feelings to drive immigration law – you provide a trivial means for those who want diferent law, or to exploit your feelings to do so.

        The combination of the improving economic conditions in the US and Obama policies regarding things like separation of children, what is the basis for asylum, catch and release. and the legalization of marujuana have all combined to alter radically what occurs on our southern border.

        Today most illegal crossings are managed by cartels, and used to provide cover for cross border transportation of opiates. Those seeking to cross the border have adapted their choices to accomidate the policies of the Obama administration – which is why your heart strings are being plucked. give things time and the changed enforcement will alter the behavior of border crossers.

        In the meantime if you want to change the law – change the law
        but please contemplate the consequences of doing so.

  87. dduck12 permalink
    June 19, 2018 3:06 pm

    “In the meantime if you want to change the law – change the law
    but please contemplate the consequences of doing so.” BS!
    Holler that meme all you want, it is fallacious, and you know the Reps won’t change any laws these days.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 19, 2018 4:48 pm

      There have been numerous efforts by republicans to address immigration law.

      I beleive just about every republican proposal has give democrats what they wanted regarding Dreamers. Newer proposals are addressing the problem of familiy separation.
      There has been a deal on immigration since Trump was elected that 80% of americans can live with.

      But Republicans are not passing another of these mass amnesty bills that we have had each decade. Amnesty now, resolution of the problems that required amnesty later – really never.

      If what the left wants is open borders – I will join you in asking for that.
      But do it openly and not hypocritically.

      If it is true that democrats are not after Open Borders – then what is wrong with what Republicans are asking for in return for addressing dreamers and family separation ?

      I do not agree with everything the republicans want. But I can live with most of it.

      And I am the one who is typically unwilling to compromise.

      But there are no actual issues of principle here – we are not getting open borders, so I want whatever I can get, and I am prepared to live with what Republicans want in return.
      I do not think that the “wall” will have the magical properties Republicans beleive.
      SO WHAT ? It is a waste of money – but as government boondoggles go it is a SMALL waste of money.

      Is there a problem with authorizing more immigration judges and courts ?

      Do you have some principled opposition to that ?

      What part of the most egregious republican demand is so heinous you can not agree to it to get other things you want ?

      We have been fighiting over immigration for nearly a decade.

      There have been easy deals to be made throughout that time.
      Republicans have never been the problem
      Democrats believed when Republicans were in the minority and they only needed a few republican votes – that they should not have to compromise.

      Now they are in the minority – Republicans are still offering compromise.
      Democrats still think they will get everything.

      Sorry DD – Trump is not the problem here – YOU are.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 19, 2018 7:20 pm

        “Sorry DD – Trump is not the problem here – YOU are.”
        You topped yourself with that one.

  88. Jay permalink
    June 19, 2018 4:36 pm

    Money Laundering Makes The World Go Round…

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2018 5:33 am

      So your story is that you are offended because a company that sells realestate
      sold realestate ?

      Why is this even a story ?
      Why do you care. ?

      Every transaction in this article occured before 2010, most over 10 years ago.
      Every transaction was legal.
      Every transaction was before any sanctions.

      I get tired of this “money laundering” garbage.

      If a buyer or seller is also a participant in some actual crime, charge them.

      Otherwise NO ONE should be obligated to pry into the past activities of buyers or sellers in voluntary transactions of any kind.

      Real “Money Laundering” is specific – despite Mueller’s it requires that the money involved is the profits from a US crime.

      But even real money launder laws are improper as they presume that buyers and sellers are required to investigate those they do business with – to become agents of the government.

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2018 5:25 pm

        You do not care if Trump was knowingly involved in money laundering?


      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 8:09 pm

        “You do not care if Trump was knowingly involved in money laundering?


        You blurr so many errors into short sentences it is incredible.

        Have you stopped beating your wife ?

        1). Money laundering is something very specific.
        The article you linked to might have used the worlds money laundering, but it did not report on actual money laundering.

        2). “knowingly” came out of thin air.

        3). US laws that apply to non-US citizens outside the US are constitutionally and otherwise meaningless. The US can not create law based on thee actions of non-US citizens outside the US and somehow apply that indirectly to US citizens.

        4).. I would find all money launder laws unconstitutional.

        5). My above remarks are specific to legality. What “I care about” is entirely different.
        Nothing in the article you linked to bothered me. Rich people buying expensive things from other rich people is not something that drives my to protest.

        6). Some things Trump has done actually do bother me. Sufficient that I did not vote for him.

        But conduct that bothers me and conduct that is ilegal and not inherently the same.

        Nor am I obligated to care about you latest Trump meltdown just because I did care about some other.

  89. Jay permalink
    June 19, 2018 4:41 pm

    Conservative/Republican/Trumpanzee Claims Of Widespread Illegal Votor Fraud Proved Bullshit.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2018 5:46 am

      What nonsense.
      As Kobach indicated before the case – he does nto expect to win with this judge. He expects to win on appeal.

      SCOTUS has already ruled on a variation on this issue. The motor voter act is NOT implicated by states efforts to preclude ineligable voters from voting.

      Further the inability to prove voter fraud – which is NOT a requirement to pass a law or for the law to be legaly and is not even a legitimate issue within the domain of the courts, is made impossible because the left has barred every possible effort to obtain trustworthy data.

      We do know as FACT that at myriads of precincts throughout the country more people vote each election than are registered.

      We actually have massive amounts of data that something is wrong with out voting – while being prohibited from knowing precisely what.

      In NH in just one single area 6500 voters – enough to change the outcome of both the 2016 presidential race AND the 2016 senatorial race, were from first time NH voters claiming to be NH residents who provided no proof of NH residence and whose residence could not be verified 3, 6, 9 months after the election.

      It is HIGHLY likely that most of those are out of date college students.
      Who either chose to vote in NH rather than the state they are residence of or worse still may have voted TWICE.

      I can go on and on. Whether you like it or not there is plenty of evidence of voter fraud

      Worse still we have situations like the 2000 election that were decided by a bit more than 100 votes in FL. Very close elections are becoming increasingly common.

      Elections where our confidence in the outcome is +- 10,000 votes are not acceptable.

      But there is not a state in this country that has voting laws sufficient to determine that the number of inelligible voters are small.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2018 5:52 am

      Why do you and the left even care ?

      Why are you willing to fight to the death over voter ID laws ?

      Not only do the overwhelming majority of americans – 80% support them.
      But the overwhelming majority of minorites – even black 70% support voter ID laws.

      Only the Democratic party and the extreme left of the country oppose voter ID laws.

      Regardless the logic of this court is incredibly STUPID.

      It is a GIVEN that as the law stands it is NOT POSSIBLE to tell the citizenship or voter eligibility of voters.

      If the law precludes you from having the proof that Fraud exists,
      the fact that you can not produce proof of fraud is meaningless.

      There is BTW myriads of evidence that Fraud is possible and easy.
      And there is plenty of evidence that something is seriously wrong with much voting.

      Further the left constantly tells me that the state need not demonstrate a true reason for passing legislation.

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2018 5:01 pm

        I’m in favor of registration laws that are balanced and just.

        I’m not in favor of exaggerated claims of illegal voting that have proved to be bullshit.

        The judge said the evidence provided was WEAK. YOU THINK SHE WAS LYING 🤥.?.?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:12 pm

        “I’m in favor of registration laws that are balanced and just.”
        The model voter ID law is.
        It requires a government photo ID or any of a list of alternatives – usually including student and business ID’s that have:
        A photo
        A SS#
        An expiration date.

        In the event that a voter does NOT have a qualifying ID, it allows them to vote provisionally, if they will sign an affidavit that specifies that the are who they say they are.

        That is pretty much it.

        That is what the nutcases on the left are fighting against.

        That is what idiots like you do not think is balanced and just.

        BTW – what the F does “balanced” even mean in this context ?
        Allows enough invalid votes ?
        What is being “balanced” ?

        “I’m not in favor of exaggerated claims of illegal voting that have proved to be bullshit.”:

        Guess what, the world does not care what you “favor”.

        The actual facts are that no claims have been proved “bullshit:”

        The counter of the left is that most claims of fraud can not be proven.
        That is correct, because there is no means to be able to tell whether any vote is fraudulent or not.
        !00% of votes could be fraudulent. !00% could be legitimate.
        There is absolutely no means to tell.
        In fact absent voter ID laws, anything that you can conceive of to try to determine directly whether votes are fraudulent or not is illegal.

        “he judge said the evidence provided was WEAK. YOU THINK SHE WAS LYING”

        No I think she is an idiot. Given the laws that govern voting it is currently no possible to establish whether there is significant fraud or not.

        Please explain to me any way that would not violate existing voting laws for determining whether there was voter fraud ?

        There is none. The best that we can do is look for anomalies that make no sense.

        Such as more votes than there are registered voters in a precinct – happens with a reasonable frequency.

        Look through voter registrations for people who do not exist or are dead.
        We know that most states voter registration rolls contant large numbers of people who are not legitimate voters. They have died, they are fake names, they have moved,

        Until just this Supreme court Term most states have not even been able to remove the names of voters who have likely moved – unless the voter actually responds to a request from the state saying they moved.

        Jay, you really do not understand how bad our voter registration rolls and how trivial it is to vote illegally.

        It is very nearly impossible to know whether a voter has voted illegally.

        And the left has fought every single effort to try to find out the scale of the problem.

        Trump formed a voting commision to look into voting issues.
        One issue was going to be Russian and other cyber fraud.

        We do not even have decent data on whether our voting machines have been hacked or can be easily hacked.
        The commision was going to look into that.
        It was going to look into hacking the voter registration databases – which purportedly the Russian’s tried in 2016.
        But the commission also was looking into actual voting records.
        They asked each state to provide the commission with the same records that the provide to political parties – many states refused. The commission agreed to pay for the records.
        Many states refused. Remember this is data that the State RNC, or DNC or probably even the libertarian party has no problem getting. But the presidential voting commision had to sue to try to get, and judges like the same idiot you are citing blocked some of their requests.

        Exactly how is it that you can deprive a presidential commission of public data ?

        Anyway after running into a number of brick walls and a complete lack of cooperation from blue states and from democrats on the commission Trump disbanded the commission.

        So our chance to try and find out – shot.

        The left is AFRAID to even look at the problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:22 pm

        BTW there is a legitimate basis for voter ID and other anit=fraud measures – even if there actually is very little fraud.

        And that is to assure voters that the election is “Balanced and just”.

        There does not need to be actual fraud to have a problem.
        There just needs to be enough people who beleive or fear that there was fraud.

        The validity of an election rests on the voters beleif in the “balance and justness” of the election.

        If voters do not beleive the outcome – whether there is actually anything wrong or not we have a serious problem.

        Just look at the mess we have now. Those on the left beleive that the 2016 election does not reflect the true votes of the electorate.

        As a result we have sniping and fighting and all kinds of nonsense.

        The left, right all of us are NOT entitled to the outcome we want.
        But we are entitled to an outcome we can have faith reflects the actual votes of real voters.

        While this idiocy from the left that russian facebook adds changed the election is lunacy – because even if it were true it would be meaningless. you can not demand a different outcome because you have convinced yourself that but for Russian influence your neighbor would have voted differently, and incapable of grasping that even if true that would still be a legitimate outcome.

        Regardless, you see the results of peoples lack of faith in an election.

        It is not important that we get the outcome we want in an election.
        It is absolutely critical that we can beleive that the results reflect real votes cast buy real live people.

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2018 5:23 pm

        And as someone who vocerifously demands legal rulings be obeyed (you’ve been spouting that POV concerning child immigrant separation ((though it turns out Trump indeed CAN ignore whatever imagined law you and he were referring to)) are you going to demand Kobach follow the law as determined by the Judge’s ruling?

        “Two days after a federal judge overturned his documentary proof-of-citizenship law and ordered him to register eligible voters, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is openly defying the court’s order.

        According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Kobach’s elections director instructed county clerks to continue demanding proof-of-citizenship from anyone registering to vote until they receive written instruction otherwise. A spokeswoman for Kobach said his office is still reviewing the 118-page ruling, which clearly finds the law unconstitutional and orders Kobach to attend six hours of legal classes for violating rules of civil procedure.”

        If Kobach refuses to comply on either instruction, will you demand his arrest?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:27 pm

        You continuously MISREPRESENT my positions.

        The rule of law has TWO critical components.

        That the laws be universal, that they are applied to all, and they are applied as written, and when we do not like them we are free to change them.

        That the laws are just and justified. That whatever laws is made it is a legitimate use of force.

        BOTH of those criteria must be met to have the rule of law.

        I absolutley attack many instances where one or the other of those criteria are not met.

        But the fact that in a given conflict I fixate on the fact that the laws must be uniformly applied and enforced. does not mean that they must not ALSO be justified and limited.

        When you fixate on only one of two criteria you misrepresent my views.
        I.E. you lie about them.

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2018 9:16 pm

        You AVOIDED answering the question.
        The Judge ruled.
        The Gov is ignoring the ruling.

        You stubbornly insisted that if we didn’t want children separated at the border we had to get the law changed, but until then it should be enforced. Seems you were full of crap about that; and are flip flopping that assertion here.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2018 3:07 am

        “You AVOIDED answering the question.
        The Judge ruled.
        The Gov is ignoring the ruling.”

        I did not “avoid” answering your question.

        I need to be a bit careful about what I write – because you interpret narrow things broadly.
        Judges can not make law. They can not create crimes.
        Those parts of the Judges ruling that apply individually to kobach and his attorney’s.
        are likely outside of the judges jurisdiction – she can refer the matter to the state bar.

        With respect to what the state voter registration offices must do – they must follow the court’s ruling – though again that may not mean doing what you expect. I would have to read the ruling, and any law that is relevant to it. But likely Kobach must do as directly quite quickly – or get a stay pending appeal – which it is highly likely he will get.

        Do yes, I do expect that any judges orders will be followed – within the legitimate scope of their jurisdiction.
        I also expect that when judges are found to have exceeded their authority they will be disciplined too, and even removed. We have seen numerous instances in the past year where the decisions of individual federal courts have presumed to have national scope, and not merely been egregiously wrong, but the have been knowingly egregiously wrong.

        As an example Trump’s immigration EO’s have been found constitutiional.
        There was never any real doubt of that.
        The contrary decisions of lower courts never should have happened.
        They were knowlingly obstructionist.

        “You stubbornly insisted that if we didn’t want children separated at the border we had to get the law changed, but until then it should be enforced. Seems you were full of crap about that; and are flip flopping that assertion here.”

        I have not change my view on that. Trump has chosen for political reasons to to order a remedy that is outside the law. I understand why he did that. But he is wrong. Just as Obama was weong when he did the same thing.

        One of the ways we get bad laws changed is by enforcing them.

        I have stated repeatedly that only a very limited amount of prosecutorial discretion is justifiable.
        As an example a police officer who is writing a traffic ticket and called to respond to a burglary need not finish the traffic ticket.

        But to the extent possible our law enforcement should enforce all our laws all the time, blind to who they are being applied to.
        Our prosecutors should enforce all our laws all the time.
        Our president should enforce all our laws all the time.

        Again I want to say that is the rule of law. And it is of critical importance.
        Because it is a major part of how we get rid of bad laws.

        What we do not want – is Trump or DHS deciding when and who to enforce the laws against.

        We do not want what we had in 2016 – where the DOJ/FBI made a hash of multiple investigations because they were not following the laws, or the rules.

        We can play games pretending that the IG said that the massive misconduct had no effect.
        That is one of few judgements of the IG that is wrong.
        Regardless, we do not want a repeat of that mess in 2020 or 2024.
        We do not want one party to be able to weild the power of the federal government as a weapon against the other.

        We avoid that by sticking to the rule of law:

        Follow the laws we have – religiously, and precisely.
        Where we do not like the outcome or the way they work – change the law.

        Though this does not produce perfect results. It is the best we can do, and increases the impetus to get rid of bad laws.

        Trump’s EO reduces the pressure on congress to change the law.

        That is a bad thing.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:28 pm

        Trump issued an EO – which is better atleast than Obama did,
        But it is actually still wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:37 pm

        “Two days after a federal judge overturned his documentary proof-of-citizenship law and ordered him to register eligible voters, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is openly defying the court’s order.”

        I have no idea what the judge did – but it is not what you described.
        Judges do not “overturn documentary proof”.

        Nor can I make sense of the rest of your claim.
        If the judge ordered Kobach to “register eligible voters” Kobach can ask voters to demonstrate they are eligible.

        Regardless, your prose is so mangled and so certainly completely disconnected from anything that is going on that trying to answer your comment is impossible.

        Registration and voter ID are DISCTINCT.
        Voter ID laws only apply on election day. Kobach can NOT be defying the court as there is no election at this moment.

        He is almost certainly appealing.
        And given that SCOTUS has already found every voter ID that has come before it constitutional,
        and every effort to clean up voter registration roles constitutuonal – there is little doubt Kobach will prevail.

        As to the Judge – I know nothing about this judge – but since Trump was elected we have had myriads of judges ruling against extablished SCOTUS decisions, and this clearly sounds like one of those. That would make the court, not Kobach lawless.

        That said if Kobach is actually dong something that some judge has ordered him not to, and they order is actually in effect, then I oppose whatever he is doing.
        But I highly doubt that is the actual fact.

      • June 20, 2018 7:46 pm

        Jay, what is your opinion on voter registration and what is required. The constitution did not have anything about voting and left that up to the states. Then amendments were added to allow women, minorities and 18 year old individuals to vote, but it still gives most states the leaway on identifying those that can vote.

        Although NC has had a number of issues about voting, today you register showing a drivers license or give your last 4 digits of your SS number. If you have neither, some other proof of residence such as a utility bill in your name can be used. Nothing requires proof of citizenship and since there are not that many illegals (about 500,000), it does not appear to be an issue with national elections.

        But I wonder in states like CA, what is the requirement to register? Since we have such a divided country and there is so much hatred today, would it be unreasonable to believe a group may be created to get illegals registered and get them to vote in mass?

        I dont think it is happening, but after this election with all the election fraud believed to have occurred, what would stop this from happening? I think it would be very easy to have 10 million illegals registered effecting the national and local elections. I trust the political party organizers about as much as I trust government itself. And Pelosi is on the top of the trust list right there with Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 8:50 pm

        The constitution left voting to state legislatures and congress.
        Not to the states.

        SCOTUS has interpretted the constutitions explicit references to state legislatures to mean the entirety of state government.

        While I would have no problem with the constitution delegating voting to the state as a whole.
        It did not. Read the constitution as it is written,
        Change it if you do not like it.

        But when you pretend one qualification away because you want it to mean something else.
        you damage the entire constitution.

      • June 20, 2018 9:07 pm

        Please excuse my ignorance. When I said the way the constitution was written giving “the states” the responsibility for determining voter eligibility, I was thinking that anything the states came up with had to be approved by the state legislative division. I am not sure how “the states” would do except by a governor EO. Do states even allow that as NC does not. And if you read most historian documents, many also state the constitution left that “up to the states” English syntax was not one of my stronger assets.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2018 2:24 am

        The language in the constitution leaves issues of voting to congress and the state legislatures.

        Elsewhere in the constitution when it means the states – ie. something is delegated to the state as a whole however that state government is constructed the constitution says “state” not ‘state legislature”.

        I do not beleive this issue came before the courts until the 20th century, when SCOTUS decided that “state legislature” in the constitution means “state government”.

        As I have said repeatedly, you must take the text of the constitution as written.

        As an example in this case, by rulling that the constitution really meant “states” not “state legislatures”, SCOTUS has precluded completely the alternative.

        How would you amend the constitution ? Amendment XXX – “No We really mean State Legislature” ?

        When you interpret the words of the law or constitution as they are written – if the meaning is not what we wish – it can always be changed by changing the words in the law or amending the constitution.

        The moment you read the meaning differently from the words as written, you make it impossible to reach some meanings.

        By reading “state legislature” to mean “state” SCOTUS has forever precluded the ability for the constitution to delegate anything solely to the state legislatures.

        While I do not personally take that as a huge deal – I really do not care whether voting rules are the responsibility of the state or the state legislature, there are myriads of other ways the court has done the same and read either more meaning into the text than was there or read meaning out.

        It does not matter whether I like the way SCOTUS decided the constitution should work better.
        But doing so, they have foreclosed completely not merely the possibilty that they are wrong, but even the possibility of correcting that error.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2018 2:45 am

        We are debating different forms of originalism or textualism.

        The objective of statutory of constitutional interpretation is to define rules that will allow any moderately intelligent jurist to reach the same meaning as every other jurist consistently regardless of their personal politics regardless of the issue so long as they follow the rules of interpretation.

        It is NOT actually necescary they the meaning they reach reflect the intentions of the authors.
        What is necescary is that a year after the law/amendment is written or a century later the rules of interpretation produce the same result AND that the rules for interpretation allow the text to be changed to reach any possible result.

        Using the meaning of words as they were at the time the law/amendment was written is the constraint that assures that the interpretation is the same in a decade or a century.

        Refering to the intentions of the authors (rather than the what the words would have meant to them) is an error – because different jurists can divine the intentions of the authors differently, and most laws are crafted by meany people who did not intend the same thing.

        But the narrow form of textualism I have offered (and in fact any scheme of statutory interpretation) does not provide an answer 100% of the time – though narrow textuallism does far more frequiently than anything else. After the plain text and the dictionary prove insufficient, the next layer is the understanding of those that the law would have applied to – the people of the time it was written. That is why the Federalist papers are for more important than the notes of Madison of the framers. The federalist papers (and to a lessor extent the anti-federalist papers) tell us what the constitution was sold to the people of the time as meaning.
        So that is the next layer. And if that does nto give you an answer the next level is natural law – and natural law requires the greatest room for individual liberty and the least power for government.

        The point of all these rules for statutory interpretation is not some fealty to the framers, or to natural law, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the wishes of living constitutionalists or any other group that the constitution mean something different that what following the rules produces.

        The point is to come as close as possible to a clear set of rules that will produce the same results for any given text even if applied by radically different people with entirely different ideologies – so long as they carefully follow the same rules.

        The role of SCOTUS – and Jurists in general with respect to the law, is NOT to decide what the law should mean, or how it should work, or even whether it does work.
        It is to provide a single answer for what it says that is consistent, and is suffiiciently well defined and narrow that when we do not like the result will will not only be able to change the law/constitution but we will know exactly how to change it to get the result we want.

        Any form of statutory interpretation that treats two different expressions as the same, must fail, as it precludes some possible outcome.

        If the constitution says “state legislatures” it must be interpreted to mean exactly that, no more no less, because otherwise it will never be possible to write and part of the constitution to actually mean “state legislatures”.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:49 pm

        Given the poor quality of your remarks I had to actually look this up.

        Kobach is requiring ID to register. Not to vote.
        The Federal Judge found the law unconstitutional.

        This is much like numerous federal courts found Trump’s immigration EO unconstitutional, which it plainly was not, and SCOTUS overruled.

        SCOTUS has not as of yet, ruled on precisely this issue that I know of, though it is actually possible that they may have decades ago.

        If they did with near certainty the approved requests for proof of citizenship.

        The Federal Judges order appears to be based on the Motor Votor law.
        The left has been arguing that some broad language in the Motor Voter law prohibts the states from further regulation of voter registration.
        Just about a week ago SCOTUS called BUNK on that idiocy.
        But this judges decisions still seems to rest on that spurious claim,

        Regardless, Kobach is likely obligated to follow the courts order – until it is stayed – which it almost certainly will be and successfully appealed.

        As noted SCOTUS has found every states Voter ID law constitutional.

        It has just found the specific Motor Votor law this judge cited does not bar the State from regulating voter registrations. Which should have been the end of this case.

        But Kobach is still required to obey this law.

        That said there have been so many lunatic stupid left wing nut judicial rulings since Trump took office we need to impeach a few judges – this one would be a start,

        In the meantime Koback can seek a stay and appeal.
        And he will certainly win.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:51 pm

        And how much legal re-education should the judge in this case have to endure for running afoul of SCOTUS precident that is barely a week or two old ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 7:58 pm

        with few exceptions you do not arrest people for violating court orders.

        The judge can hold Kobach in contempt.
        The judge could fine him.

        That would be an extremely unwise thing to do. As a heavy handed judicial action from a judge that in 99.99% likely to lose on appeal makes the judge look far more stupid than Kobach.

        The decision below is not EXACTLY the same, but it is incredibly close.
        In the recent SCOTUS case the motor votor act was used to try to bad Ohio from purging its voter registrations – removing ineligable voters.
        In this case Kansas is seeking to keep ineligable voters off the rolls.

        The argument that they are violating the Motor Voter laws is the same and fails in the same way.

        Your judge is going to get overturned – likely quickly.

  90. June 19, 2018 5:59 pm

    When the GOP stood for what I believed in. The changes since created something I have no idea how to support. That is why I became a Libertarian.

  91. Jay permalink
    June 19, 2018 8:53 pm

    Civilized Canada Moves Forward with the Times,

    Canada legalises recreational cannabis use

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2018 5:55 am

      Wow! Something from you I can agree with.

      In the US an odd coalitions – Sessions, Trump, Corker and Warren seeks to pass a law that restricts the federal government from enforcing more stringent Federal Marijuana laws on states that have legalized Marijuana in some form.

      Why can’t we get that passed ?

  92. June 20, 2018 10:34 am

    WELL, WELL, WELL, the spokesman for this company must have attended Trump’s school for lying abilities. Really, you dont want laws changed to restrict CBD oil being used? BS x3!! Another example of big pharma screwing people by getting restrictive laws passed, eliminating products with affordable cost and replacing those with products that require parents to make choices between medication and other needed items. Once it happens, then the illegal distribution continues and the crime elements control the distribution and profits.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2018 11:26 am

      Without defending “big pharma”.

      The fundimental problem is still with Government.

      Big Pharma without renting the power of government has no ability to “eliminating products with affordable cost and replacing those with products that require parents to make choices between medication and other needed items.”

      That requires government.

      Instead of being outraged at “big Pharma” why aren’t you outraged at government ?

      • June 20, 2018 1:15 pm

        “Instead of being outraged at “big Pharma” why aren’t you outraged at government ?”

        Because you have much more faith in pharmacy companies than I do. I blame both and dont like government involved to the level it is, but I also do not trust companies to do the right thing all the time when the choice is between profit and safety. How many times have we heard about companies covering up issues until someone stumbles upon the problem and exposes it.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2018 2:30 pm

        I do not “have faith” in them.
        They are just powerless without government.

  93. June 20, 2018 1:07 pm

    I know the progressive left will find excuses, but just add this to the list of mysterious deaths associated with the Clintons.

  94. dduck12 permalink
    June 20, 2018 3:14 pm

    Please alert us when a less biased news organization covers this story.

  95. dhlii permalink
    June 22, 2018 7:12 am

    If anyone actually cares about the actual law r3garding illegal immigration the article below would be helpfull – as well as a 2014 29 page document from Obama’s DHS.

    But somethings to note.

    Zero Tolerance started with Obama in 2014.
    Family separations started with Obama in 2014.

    Contra what I, the media, and posters here has said
    Family separation is NOT policy.
    It is NOT merely a consequence of charging those caught at the border with a crime.
    It is actually written into the law.

    If Course the law is smeared all over and complex – and at the same time as it requites family separation in a number of cases, it simultaneously asserts that DHS shoulr strive to keep families together.

    I would further note that familiy separation increases the odds of a minor being allowed to remain in the US permanently by a factor of 4 – or more.

    When a minor is separated form their parents they are subsequently BY LAW treated as “unaccompanied minors” and that group has by far the highest chance of being allowed to remain in the US permanently – about 20% compared to 2% or less for those crossing illegally, and 5% or less for those requesting asylum at a border checkpoint.

    One other difference between the actual law and what I have represented.

    Is that those crossing outside of border checkpoints can request assylum and will receive and asylum hearing. But they are still treated as criminals (those asking for assylum at a border checkpoint are NOT) and requests for asylum by those crossing illegally are little more than speed bumps to deportation, while those asking for asylum at border crossings have both higher odds and more legal process available to them.

    I would note further that all the rules change depending on whether the illegal immigrant comes from a country with a border contiguous to the US – Canada and Mexico or elsewhere – central america.

    Almost every provision of the law is significantly different depending on that.
    With those from contiguous countries reciving substantial preferential treatment.

  96. June 22, 2018 10:37 am

    Why would any president order the cyber security department to stand down? I ask that because if there is nothing of interest happening, would he even be informed of their activities? If there was something of concern taking place, especially since cyber security experts had warned for sometime about Russian interference in economic and election issues, why would he order a stand down when an election was coming up?

    Drip, drip, drip. Does anyone really care anymore?

      • Jay permalink
        June 22, 2018 3:09 pm

        TheObama Dems were too stupid and too “fearful that any unilateral action by them would feed then candidate Donald Trump’s claims that the election was rigged. “

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:02 am

        The problem with the conduct of the Obama administration during the 2016 election (and before) is that it was nearly entirely driven by politics, not the law.

        One o the IG’s major criticisms of Comey was that he was busing doing politcal calculations regarding how he should do his job.

        While I beleive that Clinton should have been indicted – that there was enough to do so in 2015 and that would have forced the D’s to find a better candidate – whether it is Obama or Lynch or Yates or Comey, the enirety of the Obama administration was running its last few years based on protecting Clinton and preparing for her coming presidency.

        I do not know why you do not understand how WRONG that is.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 22, 2018 3:26 pm

        Thanks for the link Ron.
        Extremely disturbing revelations. Dems are as stupid as Reps with regard to Russia and other bad actors on the cyber front.
        This is the time to STEP UP our defenses and offenses, not to cut back.
        I think like Nuland we need a super agency and perhaps a new cabinet post.
        Are you listening Trump, just don’t appoint one more of your idiot ass kissers to any post.

      • June 22, 2018 6:04 pm

        dduck, Sounds good, but how do you remove politics from any cabinet post? When you have issues like those that took place with the FBI, how do we preclude this from eventually infiltrating all agencies that should be non po!itical? I have no idea, but when we have law enforcement making decisions based on political motivation and we have presidents ordering a stand down on cyber security for political reasons, one can only question how long can a democracy survive.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:24 am

        “but how do you remove politics from any cabinet post?”

        You follow the law as it is, not how you wish it were.
        And when it proves wrong you change the law.

        The only russian actions of consequence during the election – the attacks on voter registration and voting machines, are quite simple to fix.
        They do not need a cabinet position.

        We have way too many of those anyway.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:21 am

        “I think like Nuland we need a super agency and perhaps a new cabinet post.”

        Please no!!!!!!.

        I really do not give a damn about Russia Facebook posts.
        It is no more interesting that the fact that John Oliver has a media platform to opine about our politics.

        It is stupid to try to pretend that we can or should silence some selected set of external voices.

        But government has a relevant – actually critical role in protecting the actual voting process.

        Thus far there is no evidence that Russia actually succeed in hoacking voter registrations, or voting machines. But they did try and we do have a serious need to deal with that.

        But that is not a very big problem to fix. Eliminate computer voting machines.
        There are other voting reforms we should look at. But most of what needs done regarding voting is not hard.

        But democrats fight all efforts to secure voting.

        While it is possible the Obama stand down was to preclude Trump from getting fodder for his “rigged” election claim.

        It is as likely or more so that the D’s do not want scrutiny of our election process.

        It is a very small step from Russians attacked our Voter Registration systems to – I guess we need voter ID.

        Trump just propsed sweeping government reform. Consolidation, and the elimination of cabinet posts.

        While I have problems with some of the specifics.
        The general thought is correct.

        We need less cabinet posts, less agencies, and less duplication.

        Everything associated with food should be in one place.
        Everytbing associated with environmental regulation in another.
        Everything associated with govenrment housing in one place.

        Eliminate as much as possible, and merge the rest

    • dhlii permalink
      June 22, 2018 11:25 am

      Read the IG report – the reasons given for pretty much everything that was done make little or no sense.

      It is my understanding that the Whitehouse – possibly Obama killed all the CyberSecurity stuff to avoid claims by Trump that the election was rigged.

      I do not beleive our election laws should do anything at all to restrict anyone on the planet from speaking in any way regarding elections. We advocate and often speak in the elections of other countries and that is a good thing.

      HOWEVER, attempts to hack our computers – particularly those involved in voter registration and worse still those involved in voting should be taken incrediblyseriously. Thwarted and punished.

      Trump’s presidential election comission was going to look into that along with trying to document as best as we are able the actual prevalnce of voter fraud.

      Democratic states refused to cooperate and democrats walked out of the commission effectively killing it.

      I take governments role in voting extremely seriously.
      My work is with computers and I think that voting should NOT be done by computer.

      Regardless there arew three fundimental principles to elections.

      First it must ALWAYS be possible for independent groups like the press to go back and veryfy the count from the actual ballots – not from data in machines but from actual paper ballots.

      So long as that is possible we need care much less about the integrity of the rest of the voting system. There is no reason to play games with the way votes are counted if it is highly likely you will get caught.

      The next is that every single system of anything has error – and usually a reasonably well understood error rate.

      We should not be fighting in court or any other way over any election whose results are within the margin of error for the system.

      Whenever that occurs we should not be recounting. A recount inside the margin of error is meaningless.
      We should have a runnoff. get fixing close elections out of the hands of politicians and back into the hands of the voters.

      The last absolutely paramount issue is that rational voters must the ability to have confidence in the results.
      They need not agree – but the overwhelming majority of people must atleast grudgingly accept the results.

      I have more recently added “rational voter” because the left’s nonsensical beleif this election was stolen from them is a serious problem – as noted when people do not accept the results of an election there are very serious problems.

      But when people do not accept the results for irrational reasons the problem is not solveable.

      We have a very serious problem at the moment because quite honestly I do not think the left would have accepted any result where they did not win – Russia, Comey, the DNC emails, no matter what there would have been an excuse.

      When you are unhappy with the results of an election you can work to thwart within the law the efforts of those who were elected, But when you challenge the legitimacy of the election that is quite different.

      Government only exists at the consent of the governed.

      Whe sufficient people do not consent we have a problem. that must be addressed.

      When those who do not accept the results do so for irrational reasons, and are incapable of accepting that they lost, we are dancing very near anarchy

      • June 22, 2018 12:43 pm

        “Government only exists at the consent of the governed.”

        I wonder if part of the problem is the inability of those chosen to govern are incapable of doing so. We again saw that yesterday with congress punting the immigration issue.

        Could it be that once those chosen to govern can no longer do so, those giving consent begin taking things into their own hands.

        One can look at Trump from many different angles. I think he could care less if he is a one term president if he can accomplish a few absolutely needed changes. One is the trade issues which I know you do not think exist, but I do. He is forcing other countries to negotiations on trade. Basically he wants open borders for trade. We send a car to you without tariffs and you send us a car without tariffs. None of this no tariffs on a Chinese made Buick Envision sent here, but 15%-25% on cars going into China. Two, the outdated immigration policies that need major overhauls. He is being as hard line on these issues as he can and is forcing congress to do something on immigration (which they are not). Its the art of making a deal. “I bring you my best deal and I can walk away if you do not accept”. And finally his dismantling as many prior regulations by previous administrations as possible. It takes longer to put them into effect that shutting them down. Once he eliminates them, it will take the next president many months to get them back working again.

        We have had a problem with parties accepting elections since 2000. Bush defeats Gore, but many will not accept the fact that many recounts show Bush winning Florida. The Republicans could not accept the fact that a black man with no experience won the election, so they did everything possible to undermine him. And now the same play book is being used on Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 22, 2018 12:55 pm

        With respect to Trade – Trump’s games teriffy me.

        We are dancing ever closer to a Trade war – and everyone will lose.

        The “right” answer is to lower our trade barriers unilaterally.

        All that said – if the end results of Trump’s Trade bullying is lower tarriffs all arround – I can not complain – much.

        According to Kidlow and Navarro – the at the G7 the US negotiated and everyone aggreed to reducing all Tarriffs to 3.5% all arround, and eliminating government subsidies.

        The wheels came off when Truedeau – after progress towards that deal was reached held a press conference where he said the opposite of what he said in negotiations.
        That is when Trump walked out.

        I do not beleive Trump. I do not beleive Navarro. But I do beleive Larry Kudlow and that is what he said happened.

        We see similar things elsewhere, Trump takes whatever anyone thought he starting position was and takes several larges steps away from that.
        Then he negotiates, forcing his opponents to negotiate him towards his initial position.

        In essence Trump negotiates to compromise on getting what he actually wants,
        rather than compromising on something slightly less.

        And he appears to be pretty good at this.

        As much as my fears o a Trade war are.

        Trump is holding the aces.

        The US economy is strengthening.
        That of EU and China is fragile.
        The US can take more hits than China or the EU can.

        There were strong signs that China was looking for a face saving way out.
        but that seems to have passed.

      • June 22, 2018 3:10 pm

        “Trump is holding the aces.”

        Had this occurred back when Ross Perot was talking about the sucking sound of jobs flowing to Mexico, as well as years prior with far east imports, maybe we would not be in a weakened position where a trade war would have such an impact. Now we have an issue where China can screw over our car makers by slapping a huge tariff on them and the only recourse is to bend over( like all previous presidents have done ) or risk a trade war, as Trump has done. How we fix that one issue. Buikd an Envision in America. Who the hell wants a Chinese pieces of junk anyway if they really knew where it was built!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:08 am

        I do not want to try to re-analyze the past.

        The fact is that Manfacturing in the US has increased significantly every years since the 50’s.

        But Manufacturing jobs have declined.

        We actually has something similar in coal mining – I think we are still mining as much coal as ever but we are using a fraction to the people to do so.

        One of the difficult things to grasp is that this is GOOD

        Producing more value with less human effort is REQUIRED to raise standard of living.

        what is necescary is to stay out of the way of putting those who lose their jobs because we increase efficiency back to work.

        All the things we do that make it harder to start new buinesses are a significant impediment to that.

        If you have lost your job to improved efficiency – you are NOT likey getting the same job back
        You are going to have to be employed doing something new.
        And new things require keeping government out of the way.

        Absent interference the free market will always find a use for available human resources.

      • June 23, 2018 10:17 am

        “One of the difficult things to grasp is that this is GOOD”

        So using your philosophy, we have the technology today to develop and make components and software for electronic devices with many hundred thousands employed in America. We sell that technology worldwide, including China. Going forward, China buys it, does analysis on the products, copies that product, begins producing clones of those products, builds plants using profits from trade tariffs to produce these products, sells those products worldwide at the same price or close to the same price as the American product, puts 25% tariffs on our products shipped to China to protect their company and effectively eliminates 10s of thousand of American jobs. And America allows the products using pirated technology imported free of tariffs.

        Do I have that right?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 24, 2018 5:00 am

        Why do you think you can own and idea ? How do you intend to both profit from an idea and keep it secret at the same time ?

        You are fixated on intellectual property. For most of US history the US has had extremely weak Intellectual property laws compared to the rest of Europe.

        We grew and prospered by doing to europe what china is trying to do to us.
        By having our own ideas and by borrowing and improving on the ideas of others.

        We went through this same nonsense with Japan.
        We spent decades claiming they were stealing from us.

        In the end Japan does better than us at many things. In some narrow areas it is even more inventive.

        But by far the worlds most creative country remains the US. The Japanese could not change that. Our fears of the japaneses did not change that.
        The Chinese will not change that.

        It is possible for other countries to eclipse the US – and that may someday happen. But it will not occur because they ripped off our technology. That will occur when some other nation offers its people more freedom that we do for a long enough sustained period.

        I talk often here about how well Singapore does economically – and in many ways it is more free and more prosperous. Further per capita they are the most intelligent people on the planet.

        But even though Singapore is in many ways more free than the US, it is not as politically free, it is not as diverse, it is not as culturally free and as a consequence it is fat less creating that the US.

        My life is in technology. China “ripping off” the US should be a greater harm to me than any other group in this country. But it is not. I am not threatened by China or India or anywhere else in the world.

        If they take our ideas and produce them more cheaply or even improve them – and BTW just as the Japanese did they do improve them. That is life – we are all better off.

        I am very near the top of my profession. The most important project I am working on is a way to radically increase the number of people capable of doing the work that I do.

        We do not and never will have a shortage of ideas. We have a shortage of the people capable of making them happen. Whether that is the people like me who write some of the most difficult code in the world, or whether it is people like Bezos, or Musk or Gates or Jobs who take the ideas of others and make them happen.

        I know Bill Gates, I met him and had dinner with him when Microsoft was much smaller.
        I am not trying to knock him, but he is not that brilliant – he is not as good at what I do as I am – and what he is famous for is littlerally what I do.

        But he is one of the richest men in the world – not because he can write code or come up with new ideas – lost of people can do that. But because he can make them happen.
        It is far far far easier to do that in the US.
        China can “steal” ideas from the US – that assures they will ALWAYS be behind.

        Your arguments presumes that ideas are zero sum. That if someone develops a better mousetrap and someone else takes that idea and makes it better or cheaper, they some theft has occured, that somehow the world is worse off – but it is not, it is better off.

        If the Chinese produce light bulbs that are cheaper and cheaper to operate and last longer and are otherwise better – and that improvement costs a few thousand american jobs – at GE.

        It still makes everyone in the world – including americans otherwise better off.

        In my own profession I am doing things I could not do 10 years ago. I could not afford to, nor did the resources exist.

        Partly that is because I can buy the things I need to do the job for a tiny fraction of what they used to cost. Because I have software tools that are very good and free – from CERN as well as from places in the US,.

        The major project I am working on today is a way to do for software development what things like 3D printers do for hardware manufacture. To expand the number of people who can do the work I do exponentially.

        By your logic I am making myself poor. By mine I am making everyone better off.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 24, 2018 5:07 am

        Creating things in not zero sum. I want China (and India, and …) to produce as much value as possible

        If they do so by “stealing” some of our ideas, so what. There is no shortage of ideas.

        I have cited Julian Simon’s “the Ultimate Resource” many times.

        There is only one form of scarcity we can not trivially overcome.
        That is the limit to the number of ideas that Humans can impliment.

        It is not conceiving of ideas that is the problem. It is not producing them.
        It is going from an idea to something tangible.

        If the chinese take some of our ideas and make them happen – that gives us the ability to bring other ideas to production.

        You are worried about something that is not a problem.

        You are engaged in zero sim thinking about something that is not zero sum.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:11 am

        Tarriff’s do not scre over US car makers – there is no right to sell something anywhere.

        Tarrifs screw over the chinese people – they are essentially a sales tax – paid by consumers.
        The chines people must either pay more for what they want or buy something they do not want.

        Regardless it is the chinese that lose.

        When we raise tarrifs we screw our own people.

      • June 23, 2018 10:31 am

        Dave, you have missed my point of view, so I will put it more clearly.

        Your comment “Tarrifs screw over the chinese people – they are essentially a sales tax – paid by consumers”


        Clear enough????

        I care about the person that does not have a good paying auto manufacturing job because we import the Envision without tariffs, while an American produced car get a huge tariff attached in China.

        Put a tariff on the Envision, increase the price, Americans buy something else, China produces fewer Envisions, Chinese lose jobs, too bad.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 24, 2018 5:20 am


        I do not “miss your point of view” it is just wrong.

        I do not care about the chinese workers – nor all that much about US workers.

        If you were capable of doing well as an autoworker, you are capable of doing well as something else.

        If you do not understand that there is always some other use for your skills or that you can develop new skills of value – then you are in trouble,

        You fixate on Chinese making Envisions.

        How would things be differnet if the same vehicles were built in the US – by robots ?

        The process of raising standard of living will ALWAYS mean fewer people producing the same or greater value.

        The very technology you are so afraid the chinese will steal MUST reduce the number of people producing the same amount of value. If it does not then it has no value.

        If we could change the world to restore the US auto dominance to what is was in the 50’s.
        To force building cars using large amounts of high paid labor in the US

        No matter how many jobs you created – we would be POORER.

        We do not get wealthy by creating more jobs,
        We raise our standard of living bu producing MORE will LESS human resources.
        As a bonus that frees labor to be used for other purposes.

        US unemployment right now is teetering below 4% – that is below the level required for the market to operate efficiently.

        Beleive it or not unemployment going too low causes inflation without producing value.

        We have some headroom – because labor force participation is still lower than it should be.

        But not infinite headroom.

        If you moved massive numbers of jobs miraculouusly from China Howe are you going to find the people to do them ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 22, 2018 1:04 pm

        I will bet money Trump is re-elected in 2020.

        I know everyone here thinks that is not happening.

        but I think that the high decible ranting by the left is making it hard to hear that an awful lot of people are happy and ignoring what is going on in DC.

        I think an attitudes survey came out recently – and everyone except democrats is happier than they have been in a long time.

        Trump is not appealing to democrats, or the people ranting at him.

        His voters and potential voters are people who are not speaking out.

        Trump is never getting the votes of the left.
        He is not even trying.

        I found the recent immigration kerfluffle interesting.

        While Trump caved – and I think he had to – having the facts and the law is not good enough when you lose peoples hearts.

        I can rant all I want that we must make public decisions with our minds not our hearts – but I can not change the fact that sometimes Human behavior is just not consistent with that.

        Anyway there was a serious political danger – both for Trump 2020 and republicans 2018.

        This issue was far more important for women than men.
        And the fortunes of the GOP in 2018 and Trump in 2020 rest on not losing the women’s vote.

        All that said – in the midst of the immigration fight the Generic ballot gap CLOSED, and Trump’s approval rose.

        I am guessing that is lag, or the effects of the IG report.

        Because the separation issue was cutting emotionally hard against.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 22, 2018 1:14 pm

        2000 was a serious threat to government.

        I was begging one of the two to capiitulate, I did not care who.

        I think the logic in the SCOTUS decision was crap, But I think the justices knew this fight had to end.

        After than I disagree. Democrats were not happy, but they accepted Bush as president.

        The same is true of republicans and obama.

        There were some personal attacks on Bush and Obama. And some were nasty. But they were not near as broad and deep as now.
        Further people attacked Obama personally, and they fought him on policy.
        But the challenges to his legitimacy were very small.
        Same with Bush.

        The attacks on Trump are about his person, his legitimacy and his policy.
        And more the former than the latter.

        I would further note, I do not mostly think the anger of the left is about Trump.
        Trump just makes it worse.

        The livid is livid because they lost.
        They did not beleive that was possible.

        The extreme left bought Clinton, not because they liked her,
        but because they were told that Warren and Sanders were not electable.
        And that Clinton would win by 20pts.
        They get rolled into betting on the sure thing – and Clinton chocked.
        And they could not beleive that happened.

        The comey rants, the certainty that Russia did it, are all because they could not accept the outcome.

        Trump surprised me in beating the other GOP candidates.

        But Republicans winning in 2016 I think was a foregone conclusion.

  97. Jay permalink
    June 22, 2018 5:33 pm

    Ron, I’m sure you must have respect for this guy’s opinion.
    My advice:follow his advice.

    • June 22, 2018 6:20 pm

      Jay, what did he say? All I get is a request for money to read. But before you answer if he says to vote for someone other than the GOP based on the title, let me tell you the choice I have. Virginia Foxx, a do nothing, follow the leader, keep your mouth shut, support the president, get reelected Republican. For the Democrats we have Denise Adams, a Winston Salem black council member. Supports one payor health system, supports increasing taxes on those making over $150,000, supports assault rifle ban, supports licensing ALL gun owners (hunting, recreational, protection,etc) and supports requiring all gun owners to undergo certification training yearly to continue qualifying for a gun license. Also supports other gun issues like clips less than 10-15 bullets etc. And there are no others running.

      So can you really believe I could ever vote for someone that is left of Pelosi?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:30 am

        I can not get past the WaPo paywall either.

        I will be happy to vote for D’s when the D’s offer credible candidates.

        I would note that it does not help when D’s run as moderates and centrists, but when elected are steam rolled into toeing the party line.

        While to SOME extent this is true of both parties, the GOP has far more senators and representatives with independent streaks.

        Whether it is McCain or Rand Paul – there are republicans who will vote against they part for what they beleive. Where are the similar democrats.

        Immigration reform would be trivial if either or both parties released their members to vote as they pleased.

        There are more than enough votes for a filibuster proof compromise – if senators could vote what they campaigned aying they beleive.

    • Jay permalink
      June 22, 2018 7:16 pm

      By George F. Will
      Opinion writer
      June 22 at 4:41 PM
      Email the author
      Amid the carnage of Republican misrule in Washington, there is this glimmer of good news: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. Occurring less than 140 days before elections that can reshape Congress, the policy has given independents and temperate Republicans — these are probably expanding and contracting cohorts, respectively — fresh if redundant evidence for the principle by which they should vote.

      The principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them.

      Consider the melancholy example of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), who wagered his dignity on the patently false proposition that it is possible to have sustained transactions with today’s president, this Vesuvius of mendacities, without being degraded. In Robert Bolt’s play “A Man for All Seasons,” Thomas More, having angered Henry VIII, is on trial for his life. When Richard Rich, whom More had once mentored, commits perjury against More in exchange for the office of attorney general for Wales, More says: “Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!” Ryan traded his political soul for . . . a tax cut. He who formerly spoke truths about the accelerating crisis of the entitlement system lost everything in the service of a president pledged to preserve the unsustainable status quo.

      Ryan and many other Republicans have become the president’s poodles, not because James Madison’s system has failed but because today’s abject careerists have failed to be worthy of it. As explained in Federalist 51: “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.” Congressional Republicans (congressional Democrats are equally supine toward Democratic presidents) have no higher ambition than to placate this president. By leaving dormant the powers inherent in their institution, they vitiate the Constitution’s vital principle: the separation of powers.

      Recently Sen. Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who is retiring , became an exception that illuminates the depressing rule. He proposed a measure by which Congress could retrieve a small portion of the policymaking power that it has, over many decades and under both parties, improvidently delegated to presidents. Congress has done this out of sloth and timidity — to duck hard work and risky choices. Corker’s measure would have required Congress to vote to approve any trade restrictions imposed in the name of “national security.” All Senate Republicans worthy of the conservative label that all Senate Republicans flaunt would privately admit that this is conducive to sound governance and true to the Constitution’s structure. But the Senate would not vote on it — would not allow it to become just the second amendment voted on this year .

      This is because the amendment would have peeved the easily peeved president. The Republican-controlled Congress, which waited for Trump to undo by unilateral decree the border folly they could have prevented by actually legislating, is an advertisement for the unimportance of Republican control.

      The Trump whisperer regarding immigration is Stephen Miller, 32, whose ascent to eminence began when he became the Savonarola of Santa Monica High School . Corey Lewandowski, a Trump campaign official who fell from the king’s grace but is crawling back (he works for Mike Pence’s political action committee), recently responded on Fox News to the story of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome taken from her parents at the border. Lewandowski replied: “Wah, wah.” Meaningless noise is this administration’s appropriate libretto because, just as a magnet attracts iron filings, Trump attracts, and is attracted to, louts.

      In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:44 am

        I generally like Will.

        He has actually become more libertarian with age,
        but he is a ferverent emotionally driven anti-trumper.

        I have said here repeatedly that I beleive character matters.
        I can not vote for someone without character.
        Neither of the Clinton’s had character, nor does Trump.

        Unfortunately whether I like it or not Clinton was a good Trump.
        And though there are reasons to worry, Trump appears to be doing the same.

        Bill Clinton may be the worst person to have been President during my lifetime.
        Trump is not as bad as wither Nixon or LBJ, possible not much different from Kennedy.

        Still personal conduct and effective presidency have little to do with each other.

        Obama was a mediocre to poor president. I thought he was a good person, but I increasing am skeptical of that. Regardless his failings were still in political integrity, rather than personal integrity.
        Though like Rishard Rich – he sold his soul for power.

        Trump is oddly the least and most libertarain president ever.

        While I want much much more, he is the most deregulatory president since Carter.
        He is the most law abiding president we have.

        I do not think he should have capitulated on the immigration issue.
        It was one of few rare lawless authoritarian acts on his part.

        Those of you who keep saying this is just policy or that is – are advocating FOR authoritarianism.

        Demand the law be changed.

        At the same time some of Trump’s tactics are very unlibertarian.

        His trade bullying is very unlibertarain, and if we end up in a trade war it could be disasterous.
        But the end he seems to be aiming for is really free trade. .

      • Jay permalink
        June 23, 2018 7:38 pm

        “He is the most law abiding president we have”

        stupidity is not a jailable crime. you’re free to continue spouting it.

        as I’m free to shun you…

        Bye bye…

      • dhlii permalink
        June 24, 2018 5:36 am


        Absolutely Trump is “doing” things that offend many people – or more often NOT doing things and thereby offending lost of people.

        He is not “breaking the law”.

        Ultimately his EO’s have been upheld by SCOTUS – despite ludicrously stupid attacks by leftist lower courts. This is the opposite of Obama who had the worst record with SCOTUS of any president ever. Who had massively more 9-0 losses than any president ever.

        We have debated the law regarding immigration. I have provided links to actual law and to long papers on the law written by the Obama administration.

        I do not like our immigration laws. I want to see them changed.

        But in the meantime, the rule of law, means following the law.

        Trump ultimately capitulated on family separation.
        He went “lawless” – BTW the “zero tolerance” immigration policy started with Obama in 2014.
        Trump did not even create the “policy change” the left is ranting about.

        Throughout the federal government Trump and his people are undoing the things the Obama administration did lawlessly.

        In some instances – such as the dreamers, I would like to see congress pass laws that approximate what Obama did outside the law.

        But in all instances the lawlessness Trump is reversing are things that while haviing some political support for the extreme end of his base, did not have the support necescary to become law.

        If you beleive that elections have consequences – as Obama told us. Then you are compelled to accept what Trump is doing as just as legitimate as what Obama did.

        If you beleive in the rule of law – then Obama is lawless and Trump is strengthening the rule of law.

        The only world in which Obama is more lawful than Trump is the fairy tale world of the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:52 am

        I do not always agree with Ryan, but I think he has been a good speaker, and contra Will, I think he has shown integrity that no modern speaker has.

        Both parties have their problems. The House Freedom caucus, is both powerful and one of the strongest libertarian forces in congress – while they are “right libertarian” they are still very strongly limited government.

        Ryan sits between the Freedom caucus and the larger body of republican moderates.

        About half of republicans must win in congressional districts that are pink or purple – not red,.
        These are much more moderate. But I would note – moderate is NOT the same as correct.
        These republicans are far more willing to compromise and far more willing to support bigger government.

        Withing democrats the “moderates” are disappearing.
        The country divides into Red, pink purple and blue.
        There is less and less purple.

        Moderate democrats are a smaller minority than moderate republicans and tend to be bullied into supporting their very blue brothers.
        That happens less among republicans.

  98. dduck12 permalink
    June 22, 2018 6:16 pm

    George is well George, but I agree with him on Trump.

    • Jay permalink
      June 22, 2018 7:23 pm

      Same with the recently departed Krautheimmer who I had political differences with over the years; he was a severe critic of Trump’s character and mind, both of which he considered sub par and said so in his writing. Amid all the gushing admirations at his death yesterday and today you will notice not one word acknowledging the death from petulant President Prick Head.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2018 12:57 am

        Is there anyone defending Trump’s character ?

        Ranked in order of Misogyny.

        Harvey weinstein
        Clinton Bill
        Roy Moore
        Clinton Hillary
        Joe Biden
        Al Franken
        Donald Trump

        Mysogny is not the only evidence of bad character.
        But it is an important one.

        With respect to Trump’s Mind – I am more with Jordan peterson on Trump.
        Like him, don’t, but people who succeed on multiple domains as Trump has tend to be very smart – a particular kind of smart – not George Will’s kind of smart. But still very smart.

  99. dduck12 permalink
    June 22, 2018 8:29 pm

    Will miss Charles, a true drummer to his own beat.

  100. dhlii permalink
    June 24, 2018 7:48 am

    “One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again. Do we need to keep repeating the same mistakes forever?”
    Thomas Sowell

  101. dduck12 permalink
    June 25, 2018 7:28 pm

    Who had peaceful demonstrators beaten up by his security people in Washington DC, and got away with it?

    And also in NYC:
    Wrong, not Trump, it was this nasty piece of work, Erdogon. He may be worse than Trump.

    • June 25, 2018 8:25 pm

      So when did this take place? I have basically tuned out all national news. Just watch local news that has little other than NC coverage.

      But this should not surprise anyone since I did read on Facebook that owners of Red Hen restaurants not affiliated with the VA Red Hen have been getting death threats. The tribal divide began with Obama and has become a chasm with the current leadership of Trump, Pelosi, McConnell and Shumer. I blame all of them equally since they all say and do things that does nothing but divide us further.

      Where we end up is anyones guess since I dont think we have seen something like this in the past. Even with the Vietnam war protests, the elected officials were not dividing us, it was the war policies and military deaths. The civil war was closer to the divide today since there was hatred involved, much like today. It just happens to be against Hispanic illegal immigrants that the left (north) supports and the conservatives( south) does not. We may not actually become a divided nation, but in reality, that seems to be where we are heading.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 26, 2018 11:51 am

        I do not understand why you think this is different than Vietnam protests ?

        Today and then the divide was atleast partly political.

        The only significant differences is that protests against LBJ and Nixon were focused on the war.

        The attacks on Trump are because he breaths.
        Anything Trump does the left will attack – even If Obama did the same thing.

      • June 26, 2018 12:45 pm

        If you cant tell the difference, then I can not explain it where you will understand as it is very clear to me what the difference is. During the war the protests took place in public forums. The protests were directed toward the policies and toward the government. LBJ and Nixon may have been included, but in California where I grew up and went to college, there was not the hatred between people that were on the different sides of the issue. I dont remember the president staff being refused service. I dont remember the presidents staff being identified by the opposition for service refusal, demonstrations at their homes and personal death threats. I do remember servicemen being singled out and called inhumane, but they also represented then government policies. They were a small group compared to how the left and right hate each other today. Just the fact Clinton called those supporting Trump “,deplorables” supports my thinking. In the past the comment would have been the policies of Trump are deplorable, not the supporters of trump are deplorable.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 26, 2018 12:55 pm

        Obviously there are SOME difference.

        Do they matter ? Are they consequential ?

        I do think some things are coming to a head. But I am not expecting Civil war.
        To few on the left are capable of organized violence.

        Further the left today does not grasp that their own conduct is driving a backlash.

        The polls are WEIRD at the moment.
        The level of Rhetoric ratcheted up over the family separations.
        There was purportedly a credible threat to republicans as some in their base were defecting over family separations.

        At the same time Trump’s approval is rising.
        The generic ballot is narrowing.

        Purportedly more people favor immigration.

        BUT More people favor stronger boarder controls.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 26, 2018 1:05 pm

        Back to Vietnam vs. today.

        V targeted vets – Bad.
        V very policy centric.

        Today – Targets ANYONE that does not toe the leftist line.
        Not only is Trump being attacked, as well as his people, and supporters, and anyone who agrees with him on anything, but even those on the left who are not sufficiently leftist are attacked.
        Today is very personal.

        This is also why what is occuring now MUST fail.

        The level of animosity an the broad targeting assures that over time less and less people will be willing to associate with the left.

        Trump alienates those on the left permanently, but most of the rest of us float in an out.
        We do not loath Trump and everything he stands for we just disagree on specific issues.

        I think that the lefts politics of intolerance is the primary factor in Trump winning.

        Clinton’s deplorables comment was just a reflection of that.

        But since the election the left has gotten MORE intolerant. And it is very personal.

        But that is also why the left must ultimately self-destruct.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 26, 2018 11:35 am

      There is no “may” about it. Erdagon is the authoritarian that the left accuses Trump of being.

      In the US we have not had government sanctioned political violence.

      We have lots of private political violence – mostly from the left – such as the weather underground, the SLA, in the past or AntiFa currently.

      Aside from events such as refusing to seat Sanders – which was not violent and legitimate, we also have private olitical harrassment that is ilegitmate fromt he left – such as silencing speakers, and many instances destroying, burning and beating people up.

      We can argue about whether the “nazi” Groups are right or left, or whether they instigate violence or merely provoke it from others before responding.
      But inarguably they are tiny in comparison to that on the left.

      The protests against Bondi and Sec. DHS have crossed the line – but only barely.

      There is a difference between what happened to Sanders at Red Hen and What happened to Bondi and Nielsen both instances went beyond protesting to disturbing the peace.

      I am also disturbed by protests that target people in their homes.

      Regardless I would encourage the left to protest PEACEFULLY.

      But Peaceful protest is an expression of displeasure it is not legitimate to silence opposing views or to actually disturb people in their private space.

      • June 26, 2018 12:57 pm

        “But Peaceful protest is an expression of displeasure it is not legitimate to silence opposing views or to actually disturb people in their private space.”

        Isn ‘t it interesting that in the late 60’s the right unrestricted speech and the left protested, demonstrated and demanded free speech for everyone. Today the left wants to restrict speech while the right wants to protect this constitutional right.

        Guess if your speech is mybspeech thats fine, otherwise…..

      • June 26, 2018 1:01 pm

        The right “restricted speech”!! Why the hell these computers or Word press posts something not showing in the typed message before clicking “post message” totally confuses me

  102. dduck12 permalink
    June 25, 2018 8:42 pm

    These two incidents took place under Obama. Trump is probably congratulating Erdagon as we speak.
    Both presidents stink when it comes to their handling of this dictator. He has been reelected and is dissolving parliament and controls judiciary nominations.
    I can imagine Trump salivating with admiration.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 26, 2018 11:53 am

      It is not our job to depose every vile tyrant in the world – whether it is Erdogan or Madura.

      Or Putin or Assad, or ………

      You want to bitch and moan about them – fine. I may join you.

      But the people of a nation are responsible for their own leadership we are not.

      • June 26, 2018 1:14 pm

        “But the people of a nation are responsible for their own leadership we are not.”

        I would have agreed with you until this past election. We ended up with two candidates the the people may or may not have wanted. We got Clinton due to the money people and super delegates. We got Trump because of a minority of voters supporting him in early primaries and the money drying up for other candidates.

        We end up with who the rich pick, not who the people want and then the voters have to pick between manure and fertilizer and hope we dont end up with crappy leadership.

        Maybe in the future the use of social sites will take the place of money. Who knows?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 26, 2018 6:08 pm

        “I would have agreed with you until this past election. We ended up with two candidates the the people may or may not have wanted. We got Clinton due to the money people and super delegates. We got Trump because of a minority of voters supporting him in early primaries and the money drying up for other candidates.”

        So change the rules. Or start a third party, or vote libertarian or green or ….

        I do not personally get bent out of shape over money. The left fixates on it. Too many of those on the right do too.

        For many things to a point Money is incredibly valuable as a tool to accomplish things.
        But it is only a tool. We know that throwing money at problems does little or nothing to solve them.
        Sometimes even making them worse.

        I could think about supporting government job training programs except that the data on those is horrible – Federal Job training REDUCES your odds of getting a job.

        Money has diminishing returnes
        The candidate with no money is going to lose to the candidate with a million dollar campaign.

        Yet Trump spent a bit over half what Clinton did and won.
        If 2:1 spending can not assure victory money is less important than we claim.

        Political candidates fixate on money, because getting every more money is one thing they can control. Voters are outside their ability to control.

        “We end up with who the rich pick”

        Oh? The rich picked Clinton. Wall Street picked Clinton, wealthy donors picked Clinton.

        We most definitely did NOT end up with who the “rich” picked.

        While Trump did not run as a “socialist” – stealing from the rich to give to the poor.
        He did run a campaign that was focused incredibly on working class americans.
        He went head on after blue collar democrats.

        He eschewed the wealthy, the educated, the elite.

        While Trump is a rich person. He is also a caricature of a rich person.
        Trump is austentatious He lives and acts like poor people who won the lottery.

        Trump quite litterally is “one of them”, he is very close to what a poor person would be if they became rich.

        A significant portion of the #nevertrumper’s as well as the extreme left,
        loath Trump because he is NOT one of them.

        “not who the people want and then the voters have to pick between manure and fertilizer and hope we dont end up with crappy leadership.”

        Maybe in the future the use of social sites will take the place of money. Who knows?”

        Does it matter ? The use of money, the use of social media, the entirety of political campaigns is about trying to persuade voters either to vote for your candidate or not for the other.

        No one holds a gun to voters heads.

        Mueller just dump his “smoking gun” regarding Russian social media efforts in discovery in the case he has against actual russians.

        2TB of social media adds and posts and … that were placed by Russians during the 2016 campaign by russians.

        That likely is less than a days worth of Twitter political traffic during the election,
        Still 2TB is alot of adds and posts.

        It seems to reject the claim that the russian efforts were inconsequential


        All 2TB is in Russian. Unless you beleive that there is a large block of US voters in the rust belt who read fluent russian, it seems that nearly the entirety of Mueller’s purported russian influence claims, is Russians trying to influence russians to …. do nothing because they can’t vote.

  103. dduck12 permalink
    June 26, 2018 3:48 pm

    ” It is not our job to depose every vile tyrant in the world – whether it is Erdogan or Madura.
    Or Putin or Assad, or ………”

    You are beyond hope if you don’t decry FOREIGN nationals beating up U.S. citizens in broad daylight in NYC and DC, and GETTING AWAY with it.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 26, 2018 6:09 pm

      Anyone beating anyone up in NYC is the business of our government.

      Absent a claim of self defense “why” is irrelevant.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 26, 2018 7:19 pm

        Beyond all hope.

  104. dduck12 permalink
    June 26, 2018 4:16 pm

    I hope Harley and Davidson are proud of their company’s leadership in giving the middle finger to Trump by moving some production to Europe.

    Trump is an out of control bull in the international trade system china shop and Colin Powell was right, “you break it you own it”.
    Yes, there are/were plenty of abuses by other countries, and I’m sure the U.S. also screwed other countries. But it ain’t whatcha do, it’s the way hatcha do it, President bumblenoxious.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 26, 2018 6:14 pm

      I would not presume that we know the reasons for Harley Davidson building motorcylces in Europe.

      But I can guess. It is likely the same reasons that Honda and Mercedes build cars in the US.

      A small part is tarriffs and trade barriers.

      A large part is that it is most efficient to build a product as close to those buying it as is feasible.

      Those companies that have moved the production of good that are being sold to americans outside the US generally only do so when there is a very large cost savings to do so.

      Otherwise is tends to be a very bad idea. And many of them end up moving back.

    • June 26, 2018 11:14 pm

      The skeptic in me decided to look up Harley Davidson info since you are commenting on this. As I was not really informed of their decision to shift production and used the tariffs issue as the reason, further evaluation leads me to a different conclusion. In this article they state “Part of our long-term strategy is to grow our international business to 50 percent of our annual volume by 2027”

      So how do you shift 50% of your production to be international? You build your plants where you are selling your product or where cost are much lower. Why build the damn thing in Thailand to sell in the Asian and EU market if you can build the product here? Because it cost penny’s compared to the costs here.

      I call Harley Davidson announcements BULL SHIT! They do not make decisions like this over night. They are not going to shift 50% of their production to Thailand if they did not already have pans to do that.. When they announced the plan to shift production, they did not say a shift to Europe, they said a “shift overseas”. Thailand is overseas! HD is hemorrhaging money, sales have declined drastically over the past 5 years or so as the baby boomers have begun to stop riding, snowflakes dont ride motor cycles so the USA market is in free fall, stock holders want something to change to stabilize stock prices, so the way to change is to go where labor cost are a fraction of that in the USA and ship cycles from that location to Europe.

      I know, I know, I am defending Trump. No I am not. I am saying Harley Davidson leadership is lying just like Trump lies about most anything. And last didn’t the tax bill exempt foreign profits paid back to the United States from domestic taxation? If that is so, they will pay the 20% rate in thailand, but may avoid the 8% corporate rate for state taxes in Wisconsin.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 27, 2018 7:28 am

      Clinton’s signature foreign policy accomplishments include
      making a mess in Somalia
      making a mess in the Balkans
      allowing a mess in Rwanda,
      and failling to deliver a Palestinian Peace deal.

      Bush’s accomplishments include
      war in afghanistan
      war with Iraq.

      Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments include
      getting the nobel peace prize for being Obama
      Making a mess in Syria
      Making a mess in libya
      Allowing a mess in Egypt,
      Getting nowhere with China
      Playing come here, come here, get away with Russia.
      Making the Mideast even worse than when he was elected.
      A botched deal with Iran.
      Botching our relationship with Saudi Arabia and other mideast countries

      Trump has been president for less than 2 years.
      He has actually accomplished little.
      Some of the things he has accomplished MIGHT have their origens in The Obama administraiton – such as the destruction of ISIS as a force on the ground.
      Though given the actual history of the Obama foreign policy that is a weak claim.

      Regardless, Syrian though still a problem is substantially improved.
      I would have gotten out of Afghanistan and Iraq,
      but thus Far Trump has not made those worse.

      In fact that is a strong theme of his foreign policy thus far.
      Unlike the previous 3 presidents Trump has not yet made anything worse.

      There is the potential for improvement in Iran, North Korea and China.
      Despite the “trade war” rhetoric, china has actually worked with us with regard to NK.
      Further we have restored Open navigation of the Seas in the South China Sea.

      We have improving relationships with much o the mideast.
      There appears to be a peace deal in the works.
      Success may be unlikely, but more has happened since The botched effort during Clinton’s last year.

      I remain very nervous about Trump’s trade war Saber Rattling.
      As do the markets.
      But the apparent goal is NOT higher Tarriffs and a Trade war, but lower Tarriffs and much freer Trade.

      Threatening to make things worse in order to get people to agree to make them better is a Trump signature move. But one that makes me very nervous.
      But it has worked with North Korea thus far.

      Trump is not “out of control”. His decisions appear to be considered and deliberate.
      But they are also beligerant. That is NOT the same as “Out of Control”

      Thus far Trump has no “broken” anything. Mostly these tactics either have been effective or still have the potential to be effective.

      “But it ain’t whatcha do, it’s the way hatcha do it, President bumblenoxious.”

      I have no idea what you mean.

      • June 27, 2018 10:42 am

        You forgot Trumps biggest accomplishment.
        Neal Gorsuch
        Just in the last two days two decisions that solidifies the constitution.
        1. The president has the power to protect the country by limiting travel from terrorist nations. The 4 justices dissenting used comments prior to election as basis for dissent. This is treading on thin ice using campaign speech as basis for legal decision. When do politicians ever say what they believe during a campaign?
        2. People now have to opt in to join a union. This has been way to long coming. If unions were so great, why wouldn’t most everyone want to join?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 8:43 am

        I have only started to read gorsuch’s disent in Carpenter.

        But what I have read is excellent – though I am trying to grasp why it is a “dissent”.

        Gorsuch (And Thomas) want to Significantly diminish the “expectation of Privacy” standard – which they beleive is confusing and close to meaningless and return to a do you have property rights in what is being searched, as a much clearer standard.

        I have not read Thomas’s dissent at all. But in the first 4 pages of Gorsuch’s he is saying that when you have a contract with a third party and they keep records – those are YOUR records – your property. The implication thus far at page 4 is that the government still needs a warrant to search your records when they are held by someone else.

        While he does recognize there is a difference between your records in your home, and your records with AT&T and as this is a disent I am presuming that he somehow found the government did not need a warrant to get YOUR records from the Cell company. I have some concern about how he did that.

        I am actually very happy about reverting to a property rights and contracts analysis rather than the amorpohorus “expectation of privacy” standard.

        One of the things all the dissents in Carpenter noted was that based on the current decision, it is acceptable for law enforcement to find out WHO you are talking to without a warrant, but not where you are. Which is bizarre, as there is more invasion of privacy in knowing who.

      • June 28, 2018 3:14 pm

        “But what I have read is excellent – though I am trying to grasp why it is a “dissent”.”

        From what I can determine, he did not agree with the way this case was presented in that he believed the privacy issue was due to the contract between two parties being private, while the case stemmed on movement privacy.

        I believe he sets a tone for future privacy issues when it comes to new cases being presented, but what I don’t agree with is he is not basing a decision on the merits of the case presented, he is being an activist, much like the liberals when they rule on a case.

        Just s the liberal judges ruled against Trumps travel ban because of comments he made during the campaign which we not part of the actual case, in my mind SCOTUS needs to rule based on the documents presented, not something that may or may not occur or have occurred in some issue in the past.

        I think Gorsuch could have ruled in favor of this case whole also commenting to indicate the same thoughts as he did in the dissenting opinion.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 4:31 pm

        AS I noted I have only read the 1st 4 pages,
        There are atleast 15 more.

        I would not call what I have read “activist”, I would call it the opposite.

        Thomas’s disent is purportedly on fundimentally the same grounds. Though I have not read Thomas at all.

        Regardless, the part of Gorsuch I have read is excellent.

        The “expectation of privacy” standard is substantially narrowed – it has some, but only small basis in the constitution. And it is ultimately an indecipherable standard – why is your location subject to an expectation of privacy, but who you talked to is not ?

        The first 4 pages Gorsuch is arguing that the records of your interactions with a third party – particularly a commercial one are YOUR RECORDS.

        I think that IS a reasonable constitutional understanding.

        The constitution in numerous places limits the governments role in commerce – even if we have subsequently forgotten that.

        I would like more information on the history of the times.
        But that is going to be hard to come by – as we had no such thing as policing for another 50 years or more.

        I do think that we would find that our founders did not beleive that the government can knock on the door of a business and demand all the records of that businesses dealings with customers.

        But Gorsuch’s oppinion is listed as a disent, not a concurrance, so somewhere he must have found the search valid.

        That bother’s me, but I need to find out why – that does actually matter.

        Regardless, the “expecation of privacy” standard for the 4th amendment has been an abject failure. It stops nothing and the 4th amendment damn near does not exist.

        Randy Barnett has an excellent peice on “judicial activism” – I do not have a link, but you can probably google it.

        Regardless, the point is that “judicial activism” is a misnomer.

        The courts are not “passive”.

        This is actually one of the differences between Scalia and Gorsuch.

        Both are textualists, but Scalia falls back to “democracy” when he can not find and answer in the constitution, and Gorsuch falls back to natural rights – which BTW is actually consistent with unenumerated rights.

        This produces radically different results in some instances.

        If Scalia can not explicitly find the constitution denying a power to govenrment,
        he would leave the matter up to the legislators,
        Essentially saying the constitution does not preclude stupid laws.

        This is also a postition that with respect to government tends towards “everything is allowed except that which is denied”. Bork went even farther on this than Scalia.

        But Natural rights textualism gives meaning to many ignored clauses in the constitution.
        It is a return to a govenrment or enumerated powers, while our unjenumerated rights as the default. It means regarding government all is denied except that which is explicitly permitted.

        Anyway the “libertarian” and arguably “federalist” position on the judicary is “activist”.

        But it is NOT creating law where there is none. It is saying NO! when government does not have a proper grant of power in the constitution.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 8:55 am

        Kennedy has just announced his retirement.

        GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!

        Though I often agree with Kennedy on outcome, his reasoning is TOTAL CRAP.

        The court reached approximately the right outcome as an example on Master Cake.

        But Kennedy and therefore the majority oppinion fixated on the comments by one of the members of the Colorado HRC.

        The implication being if the commissioner had merely kept acted on his religious animous rather than expressed it, the result would have been fine.

        This is crap – if that logic was followed on the Immigration EO decision, it would have gone the other way.

        You can not have the legitimacy of actions pivot on what people have said.
        That produces very bizarre results.
        If as an example the court had ruled against Trump on the Immigration EO on the basis of Trumps statements,
        That would have meant that the exact same EO would have been lawful had Obama imposed it.

        It is only the words of the law (and constitution) that matter – not the words of people – with respect to the law.

        If your act is legal, then your words are irrelevant.

        Just to be clear this applies ONLY in the context of GOVERNMENT actions and CRIMINAL actions.

        In a tort claim or other civil claims what you have said may matter.

        Regardless, my point is that Kennedy’s desicsions are horrible.
        They have no basis in any principles at all. Each is what does his “gut” tell him, and then he makes up the reasoning.
        Even when he is right the results are bad.

        I would far prefer a bad outcome than a good result for the wrong reasons.

        It is much easier to fix truly bad decisions than wishy washy garbage with weird logic.

      • June 28, 2018 3:19 pm

        “Kennedy has just announced his retirement.

        GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!”

        Well what the hell do you want. More Kagans, Sotomayors and Gingburgs? That is what you could have had if he had retired when Obama was in office!

        He may have ruled a few times on issues where you did not agree with his comments, but damn, his rulings made a hell of alot more sense than the crap we get from flip flop Roberts and his merry maidens Sotomayor, Gingsburg and Kagan. Had it not been for that ass, Obamacare would have died years ago!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 4:38 pm

        I read an interesting attack on Kennedy from the left – and though I do not agree with the purported effect of his retirement the article alleges, I agree with the substance of the attack.

        Kennedy’s decisions – even those the left celebrates had horrible justifications, and will be easy to dismantle. I disagree with some, but not all of the authors purportedly better alternatives.

        The author fixated on the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment – which is a very powerful hammer against discriminatory behavior by government.

        But too many people including this writer try to make it applicable to private conduct.

        While certain forms of private discrimination are evil, they are not and should not be prohibited for private individuals. Let the owner of Red Hen throw Sanders out, Let Phillips refuse to make cakes for gays. Punish that conduct in the market place.

        BUT Government may not discriminate. That is what the 14th amendment says.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:05 am

        I grew up in a family that was pretty anti-union.

        But ultimately the more I have thought about it and libertarian principles,
        While I think that Unions are likely to fail as we become more affluent – which they have.
        I have no problem with unions.

        What is important is that government takes NO ROLE aside from enforcing agreements and punishing violence.

        With respect to the recent SCOTUS decisions on union dues – that means I actually think it is wrong.

        Though the right decision is different both from what we had and what we have.

        The right decision is that whether non-union workers must pay dues, or whether non-union workers are even allowed, should depend on the agreement between the union and the employer.
        NOT government or the law.

        When an employer and a union come to an agreement that is not a good one – the harm is to the business and to the workers.
        Freedom includes the freedom to get it wrong and to fail.

        We saw what happened in “detroit” as a consequence of decades of bad deals with unions.

        I am fine with companies and unions failing because they have made bad choices.
        In fact I think that is important – that is how we learn.

        The caveat on this would be that I am on one thing with FDR.

        Public sector unions are an anethema.

        Government is the one institution that is not allowed to fail.

        That is one of the many important reasons government must be limited.
        Government should be constitutionally barred from those activities that raise the risk of failure.
        That pretty much means government should not act in the economy.

        But that also means that govenrment can not negotiate with a union.
        Government can not bind all of the people to a contract that could cause government to fail.

        There are many many other reasons why government unions should be barred.

      • June 28, 2018 3:32 pm

        Well your Libertarian opinion and my Libertarian opinion on required dues for government employees is different.

        Number 1, one should have the right to join a union or not. If the unions are doing a good job and gettting pay and benefits for workers that make them stand out, then most employees will pay the dues.

        Number 2. If the union represents government workers, then NONE of the dues or the income resulting in those government dues should be used to negotiate against the government. What people have completed forgotten is the government is the people! So the people are employed by the government. The people are negiotiating against themselves and paying some mob boss running the union some gigantic salary to negotiate against ourselves.

        Number 3. If an employee wants to become part of the union and they do not want any of their dues to go toward political issues, then the unions should be required to maintain two dues levels, one for union activities at the employed company and one for political activities, and have audits available to insure this is happening.

        Number 4. You state “The right decision is that whether non-union workers must pay dues, or whether non-union workers are even allowed, should depend on the agreement between the union and the employer.
        NOT government or the law.”

        In other words you support closed shops. I do not. Again, I believe if the unions do a good job and represent the workers properly, more workers will want to join a union. And when employers begin screwing over employees to the extend they may have back during the early part of the 20th century, you may see a rise in membership.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 4:41 pm

        This is rare but I am with FDR on this.

        “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 4:47 pm


        So long as Union membership is not mandatory, you are wrong.
        A union is a VOLUNTARY group.
        It can have whatever rules it wants.

        And you can choose to join the union and abide by those rules, or work to change the rules, or leave the union.

        What you can not do is demand government change the rules to your liking.

        Your proposal is one way to structure a union – but it is up to the union to decide how it is structured.

        BTW I further do not have a problem with a unions demanding in collective bargaining that all workers must join the union, or that all workers must pay dues, or that all workers must pay even the political parts of the dues.

        BUT Government has no role in that either way, beyond enforcing it.

        These “rules” are part of the contract the union and the employer negotiate.

        Both parties must be free to negotiate as they wish.

        This is also why there can be no public sector unions.
        Public employment is different.

      • June 28, 2018 5:23 pm

        My god you are so trusting. Can I sell you a bridge?

        So you actually believe the mob bosses that run the unions are going to tell their membership what their dues are used for?

        I agree, if there is absolutely no closed shops and everyone is free to join or not join and they are not required to pay ANY dues, the #3 is a moot point.

        If your dumb enough to join and then think nothing goes to fund political issues, the thats the employees problem

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 7:13 am

        No I do not trust the mob bosses.

        I trust free markets.

        A union must maintain the support of its members. If not they leave.
        Disaffected union members can form another union and contact owners demanding that they rather than existing corrupt unions get to represent employees.

        I want voluntary free association – i.e. free from government putting its thumbs on the scales.

        I do not like closed shops, but if Closed shops are truly a bad idea, they will fail sooner or later.

        Private sector unions are nearly dead today.

        Why ? Because unions have failed.
        Absolutely a unions job is to get the best for its members.
        But that requires not destroying the goose that lays the golden egg.

        There is little doubt that Private US Unions destroyed detroit – and themselves.

        My point is that things actually work themselves out in free markets.
        Usually the better ideas prevail immediate, sometimes it takes time.

        No I do not beleive that employees are dumb enough to …..

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 5:03 pm

        #4 – just to be clear – I do not “support” closed shops.

        I think they are a bad idea. But I support the right of employers and unions to negotiate whatever deal they can – including bad deals. and for government to stay out except for preventing violence and enforcing whatever is agreed.

        I have said this time and time again – so let me re-iterrate:

        There is no right to a job from another.

        If an employer and some arbitrary group called a union get together and negotiate a deal, and that deal means you join the union or you do not work for that employer – I think that is stupid, I think it is bad. But it is legal and outside the scope of government.

        One of the most important features of free markets is FAILURE.
        That is how we learn.
        I think that bad union contracts will ultimately die – because the businesses and unions that craft poor ones will fail.

        But government should not decide what a good contract and what a bad one is.

        It has taken me time to reach this position. It is not the “goldwater conservatism” I was raised, nor the liberalism I dabbled in in college and after.

        It is pretty pure libertarian.

        “Given competition among employers and employees,” Friedman wrote, “there seems to be no reason why employers should not be free to offer any terms they want to their employees.” He noted the wide variety of contracts in existence. Some companies provided their workers certain amenities (baseball fields, upgraded rest facilities, etc.) and less cash than other companies that opted for larger cash payouts. This variation did not interfere with individuals’ ability to find employment. Rather, they enabled employers to attract workers with particular preferences and allowed workers to find arrangements that suited their preferences.
        “If in fact some employees would prefer to work in firms that have a closed shop and others in firms that have an open shop, there would develop different forms of employment contracts, some having the one provision, others the other provision,” concluded Friedman.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:11 am

        I do not want politicians or anyone else ever punished by the law for saying anything.
        Again this is ONLY in the context of criminal law, and of government actions.

        I want politicians to say what they beleive.
        I want people to say what they beleive.

        I want all the consequences for what you say to be imposed by the people, not the government.

        I want Red Hen to be able to through Sanders out of their resturant for her political views.
        I want consumers to decide whether they boycott or favor the Red hen as a result.

        I grasp that consumers in peoria and those in DC might make quite different decisions.

        Regardless I want people to feel free to speak without fear o GOVERNMENT.

        At the same time in our speach we should all fear the within the law response of our neighbors.

      • June 28, 2018 3:34 pm

        “I want Red Hen to be able to through Sanders out of their resturant for her political views.
        I want consumers to decide whether they boycott or favor the Red hen as a result.”

        Wave the next time you are at a Maxine Waters rally so we know what you look like !

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 5:12 pm


        You do not seem to understand, the freedom to make choices – even bad choices,
        also comes with exposure for the poor choices you make.

        Given what I have read regarding Red Hen – I am not eating there.

        Further I think the left exposing them selves as intolerant is a good thing.

        I want all of us to know who Maxine Waters really is.

        If the conduct of the left is as truly appalling as you and I beleive it is we do not need laws against it.

        I remember one of the books on raising children that I read when I had young children.

        That book made a big point – it is not the parents job to protect children from the natural consequences of their actions.

        IT is just to constrain conduct and consequences to those that will not have lifelong effects.

        If your child runs accross the room trips and falls and bangs their head – that is GOOD
        it is a way of learning.

        We learn from our Successes and our failures.

        Give the left the freedom to reveal who they really are.

        It is what that book called a “self punishing act”.

        Those are the best kind.
        You need to do nothing. The actor inflicts the punishment on themselves.

        That is why I want the left to be free to discriminate just as I want Mr. Phillips to.

        Just as I am not eating at Red Hen, I am never buying a cake from Master Cake either.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 27, 2018 6:38 pm

        bumblenoxious: being a bumbler while also being obnoxious.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:48 am

        Ad Hominem is not argument.

  105. dduck12 permalink
    June 26, 2018 11:20 pm

    To buy a HD imported from the U.S. would cost $2300 more with the added tariff for a European. Since it is a big market why not avoid that. Smart move HD.

    BTW, businessmen do not lie, ask Trump.

    • June 26, 2018 11:29 pm

      dduck, the average manufacturing wage in Thailand is around $12,500. Harley Davidson pays from $42,000 to 84, 000, not including benefits in America.

      When you are having financial problems and want to cut costs, how best to do it other than cutting your labor costs by 70% to 85% not including the savings for benefits, like health insurance that can add another $20K a year.

      Some time the real truth will come out just like every lie is uncovered.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 27, 2018 7:40 am

        We do nto have the information to evaluate the HD decision.

        There are factors beyond wage differences.
        Many manufacturing operations that have moved out of the US have done badly

        Energy costs, major supply chain issues, major productivity differences can turn what looks good on paper into disaster.

        At the same time mony US manufacturing shifts overseas have ultimately reversed.

        BUT the Job losses are permanent.
        Manufacturing that moved to China is slowly returning to the US.
        But in the US it is returning highly automated.

        HD might move to Thailand for a few years, then move back to the US to plants that are now full of robots.

        Whether this is a good idea or a bad one is not knowable.

        But it is near certain that doing nothing would ultimately result in failure.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 27, 2018 7:35 am

      Why is it our business where HD makes its product ?

      Whether the move is smart will be determined by the future.

      It is possible that HD is destroying US jobs for no reason.
      It is just as likely that the move may save US jobs and the country.

      I am sure Kodak employees and shareholders would have prefered that Kodak had made better decisions rather than go bankrupt.
      That might have might cutting some jobs to save others.

      This was what many misrepresented regarding Romney and Blaine capital in 2012.

      IF you take a failing business and you turn it arround, you can make alot of money.
      But you also SAVE Jobs and you SAVE shareholder value.
      A bankrupt company has no jobs and no value.

      Companies grow or they die. They do not stay the same from year to year.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 27, 2018 7:45 am

      This should be a warning to the Left.

      Relations with Mexico are likely to get far worse fairly quickly.
      And democrats and the left are going to be on the unpopular side of the issue.

      I will bet that before the end of his Presidency Trump gets his wall.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 27, 2018 6:48 pm

        One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. Niccolo Machiavelli
        Read more at:

      • June 27, 2018 7:12 pm

        Again I am enjoying this situation to the fullest. I know karma is a bitch and when your democrat takes office in 2021 I will be in your position like I was with Obama, but damn it feels good to not be the one feeling like they are the ones getting screwed over for just a few months.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:53 am

        Your perceptions are unbelievably shallow.

        Apparently you think I am being deceived – because events that are likely to happen in Mexico will likely have results on immigration and border security that I do not favor.

        Or do you think I want white fortress america ?

        Maybe Obrador will not get elected.
        Maybe he will not be as hostile as his rhetoric.

        Btu are you really saying that if tensions on the border increase and the number of illegal immigrants doubles or tripples – that the left is going to win the political fighte with Trump over immigration ?

        Bad fact patterns tend to drive us to bad decisions.

  106. dduck12 permalink
    June 27, 2018 3:27 pm

    “Relations with Mexico are likely to get far worse fairly quickly.
    And democrats and the left are going to be on the unpopular side of the issue.”
    WTF, how can you be so wrong, so many times.

    • June 27, 2018 4:00 pm

      I dont think we have ever had a good relationship with Mexico going back to the 1835 for the control of the Texan territory and then again in the mid 1840’s when we took the southwest during the Mexican American war.

      Other than armed conflict, can it get much worse?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:44 am

        My prediction (and apparently that of alot of others) is that Obrador is going to win, and our relationship with Mexico is going to get much worse.

        But I do not expect military conflict.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:23 am

      Andrés Manuel López Obrador is widely expected to win the 2018 election in Mexico.

      Aside from being a very left socialist, he is incredibly hostile to the US,
      Further he has said that he move to use illegal immigration as a means of attacking the US – pushing more and more illegal immigrants into the US from Mexico.

      So presume Obrador is elected in 2018 – and the flow of illegals from mexico doubles or triples.
      and border violence rises, and hostility between the US and mexico gets even worse.

      Do you really think that ordinary voters are going o care about “dreamers” or “family separation” ?

      Whether I like it or not, whether you like it or not, if the situation along our southern border worsens that is BAD for the left, and GOOF for Trump.

      Maybe I am wrong and Obrador will not be elected.
      Maybe I am wrong and he will govern differently than he speaks.

      But I am not wrong that worsening issues with illegal immigration will make large numbers of people care far less about most of the issues the left fixates on.

      One of the fundimental differences between my PRINCIPLES, and your (and the lefts) VALUES, is that principles are pretty much immutable. They do not weaken all that much in bad times.

      VALUES are dependent on prosperity.

      I have kept trying to drill that in in some of my regulatory arguments – but it is true generally.

      The man dying of thirst does not care about clean water standards.

      Much of what the left seeks through regulation would have zero support if we were worse off.

      The same is true of immigration – the more precarious things are at our borders the less we are going to care about Dreamers and Family Separation.

      Further if Obrador engages in a war of words (as well as actions) with Trump, that will significantly harm the left.

    • dduck12 permalink
      June 28, 2018 10:06 pm

      Ron, it won’t be my Democrat, only the one that I hope will defeat Trump, just as I who never vote Dem was forced to do so by voting for HC.
      I am still a Rockefeller Rep, if that still exists.

      • June 28, 2018 10:44 pm

        Wow, Rockefeller Republican, a dinosaur. Kind of like “Blug dog Democrats”

        No these dont exist anymore. But now I understand better your accepting voting for Clinton as your alternative. Sorry I could not do that. I thought she was a bitch in 1992 and more so in 2016. So therefore my Libertarian vote

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 7:47 am

        Rockefeller Republicans are very nearly extinct.

        Rockefeller was a 60’s republican progressive – those pretty much do not exist anymore.

        While a “lefty” the entire left right spectrum is entirely different today than in the 60’s.

        The closest equivalents to Rockefueller today would be the Romney’s and Bush’s and maybe a few moderate democrats.

        Blue dog democrats do exist today – they are rapidly becoming republicans.

  107. June 27, 2018 3:41 pm

    Well let the fun begin! And let the senate stay in session!!!!

    Justice Kennedy, the last of the rather non partisan SCOTUS justices has announced his retirement. Now we will hear the Democrats say Trump should not appoint a replacement, that there will be an election and then the replacement should be named. No matter that Trump still has 2 1/2 years left and we need 9 justices, there are about three months before the first monday in October and confirmation could occur before then.

    Trump said he already has a list and knowing the rumors of retirement, he should pull the trigger and submit a name quickly. If he waits and Shumer is majority leader, SCOTUS will be 8 justices until after 2021.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:31 am

      Kennedy is not “non-partisan” he is just an unprincipled idiot, who blows with the wind.

      I would rather have another left wing nut on the court. Bad decisions are easier to reverse than right outcomes for the wrong reasons.

      As to the process – that is politics.
      I do not expect Republicans to wait until January.

      They have the political control to do so.

      There once were some traditions – such as the 60 vote requirement – and they fillibusters were only used for dire circumstances.
      Thomas was narrowly confirmed, but there was no fillibuster.

      If it was 2023 the D’s might have a case that the process should wait until after the election.

      As things are – I expect Republicans to move forward and approve a new justice in a few months – probably before the start of the term in October.

      I would note that politically SCOTUS appointments – and federal judges generally are significantly more important to conservative voters than the those on the left.

      It will likely help Republicans in the 2018 election to move quickly, more than it will help democrats.

  108. dduck12 permalink
    June 27, 2018 3:53 pm

    Hold out Schumer, if you can. Try and emulate the stall tactics the Reps used with Garland.

    This is a helluva mess, with an out of control president, a wimpy congress, and a lopsided judiciary.

    • June 27, 2018 4:23 pm

      Yep, Shumer most likely will be the first to comment and say the new senate needs to approve the nomination. But if McConnell can get off his dead ass, he can have someone confirmed before the new session. And he also has the Reed Rule to fall back on, but that most likely will not be needed. I suspect he could get Heitkamp. Manchin and maybe a couple more moderate democrats running for reelection to vote for the nominee.

      Add to that, Shumer does not have the gestapo control of is members like Pelosi has of hers.

      I do find that I am getting satisfaction out of Trump in one way. The left now understands the feeling the right had with an “out of control president” when Obama was in office. Its just a matter of perspective when it comes to things like immigration, climate treaties, nuclear agreements, trade and taxes. Where one feels at peace with the actions, another finds it “out of control”.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:34 am

      Republicans controlled the Senate when Garland was nominated.

      There is very little that Democrats can do right now.

      Trump’s nominee will be confirmed as quickly as Grassley and McConnell decide they wish to.

      I expect they will take about as much time as Gorsuch – which was not that much.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:43 am

      With very few glaring exceptions Trump’s court appointments have been stellar.

      For reasons I do not understand – because Trump is not much of a legal theorist, Trump has put the right kind of people in charge of court appointments, and is listening to the right people.

      The influence of the federalist society in judicial appointments is massive, A substantial portion of Trump’s appointments are leading lights of the federalist society.

      The impact of this could last for generations.

      This is a major return to the rule of law, to a judiciary that enforces the constitution as written and sees the powers of government as limited.

      Trump’s appointments are not perfect, and I do not agree with any of them 100%.

      Another justice like Gorsuch on the court will substantially alter – not merely decisions but the reasoning for decisions which is much more important.

      The fact that 4 justices bought the nonsense that what Trump said effected the constitutionality of the immigration EO is incredibly disturbing. That is very nearly as lawless as you can get.

      It is only a small step from what is constitutional or lawful or not depends on the person doing it
      not what is done.

      Thought the outcome in Master Cake was appropriate the reasoning was dangerous garbage.

      MC litterally hinged on the remarks of the HR commissioner. That is crap.

      Either the first amendment means something or it does not.

  109. dduck12 permalink
    June 27, 2018 6:34 pm

    Mike Lee, Utah, sounds like a more sane Rep. Here he is on trade. He is no Trump ass kisser.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 27, 2018 8:45 pm

      Wrong, dduck. You only listened to ML on one issue and your dislike of Trump influenced you.
      Looking at his views on other issues on:
      might change your mind, he is no Rockefeller Rep.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:47 am

      Mike Lee is one of the more libertarian members of the Senate.

      I have repeatedly disagreed with Trump and Trump supporters on Trade.

      Protectionism is a stupid and dangerous idea.
      As is starting a trade war.

      You seem to think the world divides into those who kiss Trump’s ass and those who do not.

      You do not seem to understand that it is possible to agree with Trump on somethings and not others.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 28, 2018 9:59 pm

        No, the world is divided into several groups, some clamor to kiss his ass, some do it reluctantly, some kiss one cheek, some throw up after performing one of those and some kiss ass by looking the other way or rationalizing his actions.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 7:39 am

        Exactly the same could be said of the left and Obama’s ass.

  110. June 27, 2018 10:51 pm

    Well here I go again. How in the hell can Epidilex cost $2,500 to $5,000 per month when it is just a derivative from Marijuana, just like CBD oil that costs $100 to $1000 per month?

    Wonder how much of this cost will go toward trying to keep CBD oil illegal in states now illegal and to reverse laws in states that have made it legal.

    There is a special place in hell for those running drug companies!

    • dhlii permalink
      June 28, 2018 9:55 am

      The problem is NOT the drug companies it is the govenrment.

      • June 28, 2018 3:40 pm

        “The problem is NOT the drug companies it is the govenrment.”

        BULL Sh*&!!!!

        The government may pay a role, but did yhou know the three largest drug suppliers have agreements with drug stores that preclude the pharmacist from allowing them to suggest alternatives to the script written. (Hope you can access this)

        In addition, other “gag orders” preclude suggesting $100 generics instead of $1000 name brands.


      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2018 5:16 pm

        I beleive the behavior you are talking about is ultimately self punishing.

        There has been enormous economic research on cartells and corporate collusion since the 50’s.

        The results ?

        None of this works over the lang run without governmnet complicity.

        The biggest issue is that government creates barriers to entry for drug companies and as a result they need not fear competition and are better protected from the consequences of their own misconduct.

  111. dduck12 permalink
    June 28, 2018 9:54 pm

    Ron, you are correct, it is the drug companies, among the largest campaign donors, and they are enabled by weak, and/or, corrupted government employees and policies.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 29, 2018 7:37 am

      Without any doubt the most regulated market in the US and the world is the medical market.
      This is also the worst behaved market. It is where all the problems you bemoan occur.

      Who protests about the Evil McD’s who has a monopoly on McNuggets and has priced something people want and need to to prices no one can afford.

      That does not happen in actual free markets.

      When government says “It will be this way” – then things are that way. If that is a bad way as it usually is it fails.

      Further all the evil acts you attribute to drug companies required government to occur.

      Ron is arguing about US IP rights with respect to chinese trade – but it is ludicrous extensions to IP rights that enable drug monopolies.

      Patents in the US are 17 years from issuance – that should mean that anything developed prior to 2001 can not be covered by a patent.

      I doubt a single drug or medical device we have debated here is newer than 2001.

      Your own regulations create the problem.

      We had this debate over the EpiPen – it is over 40 years old. It is government that has precluded potential competitors from bringing to market a product that has not been patent protected for 20+ years.

      I can cite other big drug monopoloies with high prices for drugs that were developed 70 years ago.

      But government will not allow a competing product on the market.

      • June 29, 2018 11:42 am

        You, dduck and myself are arguing two distinctly different issues and given your position on government and business as well as ours, we will never agree. You have said in many different comments that you do not believe government should be involved with drug manufacturing in any way. I and dduck have been on the other side of the issue. I will also say I suspect that dduck would be somewhat more supportive of government involvement than I, but that is just my thoughts, nothing to prove it.

        While you believe that drug companies should not have any regulation and that if a Chinese drug company put propylene gylcol (anti freeze ingredients) in pills and caused human deaths much like they did with Purina dog food that caused thousands of dog deaths in 2015, your response would be the victims have recourse in the courts and can sue. And the companies would end up going out of business because of faulty products.

        My position is we need government involvement, We need someone separate from the drug manufacturers insuring safety of the products and making sure individuals know the side effects. You need to know that if you take Avodart for an enlarged prostate that your boobs can enlarge, you will need a bra or you will need gynecomastia surgery.

        However, I am not a supporter of the current system. When you used epipen as an example, the drug in epipens has been off patent for 30+ years. It is the device that delivers the drug that has a patent. I also do not support government not negotiating prices that they will pay. I do not support a monopoly on drug distribution (only 3 companies) where they have so much power they can dictate to the druggist what they can and can not tell their customers. Your response will be they dont need to do business with that distributor. However, all three do it! And if they find one that doesn’t, will that distributor have all the drugs on their formulary that the drug store needs to stock?

        Pure capitalism does not exist in an environment where those running the companies are not capitalist, they are opportunist that will do bad things to increase total profits at the cost of mutually beneficial profits. And right now healthcare in this country, run by a handful of drug companies and insurance companies are not operating for the mutually beneficial profits. They could care less if little 2 year old Mary has 200 seizures a day, they drug cost $3000 a month and the family can not afford it, they will stil do everything in their power to make CBD oil illegal to increase their opportunistic profits.

        Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos thinks they can break into this closed business through a service through Amazon. Good luck with that when drug manufacturers have their sweet deals with the three drug distributors. Why would they sell the same amount of drugs to Amazon at a lower price than they can today at a much inflated price? Buffett and bezos need to buy the manufacturers so they cut out the current distributors.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 1:33 pm

        We can quibbe about whether they should be no regulation or little regulation.

        You can paint me as extreme because I want none or very very little.

        But the FACTS are VERY DAMNING.

        The very problems you seek to cure – the places where prices are highest and corporate conduct are worst are the MOST HIGHLY REGULATED.

        This finding is not unique to the US, it is not unique to the medical market.

        IT is about as close as we ever get to a “law” in economics.

        More government means more corruption, higher prices, worse service and less innovation.

        Yes, my ideological view claims that.
        SO DO THE FACTS.

        You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
        Liberal Democrat Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

        You want to debate whether there should be a little regulation rather than absolutely none.

        We can have that debate. I think there is good data for none.
        But there is not even a question that the mess we have now is the consequence of massive over regulation.

        I would note that this problem with regulation predates the modern era.
        Parts of Smith’s Wealth of Nations address all the problems that came with merchantilism.
        I would note that merchantilism was more than just a system of trade barriers, it was also a pretty massive for its time set of regulation regarding employment, apprenticeship and myriads of other ways of restricting who could set what to who.

        And it FAILED MISERABLY.

        As we see socialism rearing its ugly head again many of us are going WTF ?
        How is anyone seriously pushing a system that has not only failed horribly everywhere it has been tried, but that is indisputably responsible for the worst bloodshed in human history

        Well though not quite so evil and bloody the same is true of regulation.

        The real data is pretty compelling.

        Naivete with respect to the edges is excusable.

        How can you look at the medical market – the most highly regulated market everywhere in the world. and the most dysfunctional market everywhere in the world and not grasp that
        It failed, corrupt, and expense BECAUSE it is regulated so heavily.

        The medical market is not even close to the only example. it is just the WORST example.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 1:51 pm

        I am not aware of a chinese company putting propylene glycol in anything.

        They put melamine in dog food and inert ingredients in baby food.

        The propylene glycol story is from the US. It predates the FDA and was used as the basis for regulating Drugs. It was a single pharmacist not a drug company and the effects were tiny.

        Regardless, I am not proposing that unregulated markets are perfect and will not make mistakes

        Of course they will. And in fact regulation DOES NOTHING to change that.

        It is ALWAYS a tort to cause actual harm to others, if it occurs as a part of a market exchange it is also a contract issue, and if the level of negligence is high enough or there is actual malfeasance it is a crime.

        Pretty much every single bad example you can cite would have one or more means of redress, would likely be illegal, in “libertopia” without the need for a single regulation.

        If you put Propylene glycol in medicine – that is a tort. If someone dies you are losing EVERYTHING. It you sell it that is a contract claim – you are losing everything twice over, and if you new that what you were doing could hurt people that is a CRIME, you are losing EVERYTHING including your freedom.

        That is the law in hyper regulated society.
        That is the law in libertopia.

        What is the difference ? Those of you pushing regulation think that making something illegal 4 or more times will stip people from doing it.
        That the threat of jail and losing everthing is not enough to compell good behavior, that you have to threaten it atleast 4 or more times.

        Please explain to me why when poisoning someone is at the least criminally negligent homicide, and still people do it, that adding one more regulation is going to stop them ?

        Regulation has ZERO effect on making us safer.
        It has enormous effects on the cost of everything.

        I would further note that in our hyper regulated world people STILL do the evil things you worry about. Regulation changed nothing.


      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 2:11 pm

        The patents on the epipen have also expired.

        As much of a problem as I have with patents, the fundimental barrier to getting a drug to market is regulation not patents.

        I can provide a long long list of drugs and medical devices that are ridiculously expensive that have no intellectual properly issues.

        Though the issues are complex, the core issue is that the government will require someone who produces a competing product – even an identical one to got through the entire expensive approval process again.

        Though I will note – the details are not important.

        What is CERTAIN is that if you regulate, businesses will use the regulatory process to create barriers to entry for competitors. And they are very very good at that.

        This ALWAYS occurs.

        The core problem is not patents or approvals. It is the very existence of a regulatory framework will be gamed by monied entrenched interests to keep others out of the market and to rise prices.
        exactly how is irrelevant. If you foreclose one way, they will find another.

        I would further note

        We should not expect otherwise. We don’t want otherwise.

        The guy who can figure out how to build a better mousetrap can also figure out how to game the system to profit.

        We want that guy to be as creative as possible. But we want him to be creatively trying to profit by making a better product, not creatively trying to profit by gaming the regulatory state.

        Contra the left – the free market can not actually be gamed.
        Truly free markets respond dynamically and automatically to efforts to game them.

        The “London whale” thought he was smarter than everyone else and tried to game a specific set of markets. He was a huge player with the resources of JP Morgan behind him.
        He succeeded for a bit until some other smart players figured out that things were NOT as they seemed and started betting HEAVILY against him.
        In the end a bunch of hedge fund managers made 100’s of millions and JP Morgan lost billions – because they tried to game the market.

        You can rarely game a free market in the short run.
        You can not do so in the long run.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 2:19 pm

        “Pure capitalism does not exist in an environment where those running the companies are not capitalist, they are opportunist that will do bad things to increase total profits at the cost of mutually beneficial profits. ”

        Complete BUNK!.

        First I do not talk about capitalism – that is not a well defined term.

        Free markets is a meaningful term.

        It is irrelevant whether those running companies are “capitalists” or not.

        In an actual free market there is no means of gaming the system to increase profits aside from delivering value that works.

        Even increasing value is only a TEMPORARY means to higher profits.

        The genius of free markets is that to MAINTAIN profits you must CONSTANTLY innovate.

        If you find a better way to make a product – your competitors will match you soon enough and your profits will decline again.

        In fact ANY way that you find to increase profits – your competitors will match you soon enough.and your profits will decline again.

        The only sustainable way to higher than justifiable profits is to leverage the power of government.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 2:29 pm

        I like Bezos.

        But if you are depending on the altruism of billionaires to solve problems with regulated markets – your F’d.

        Amazon is an incredible business – but they are RUTHLESS competitors.
        Bezos leans libertarian, but that will not stop him or Amazon from profiting as much as possible by whatever means are available.

        Bezos and Buffet MIGHT find some new means of dispatching the dominant incumbants.

        But any benefit is temporary so long as the market remains highly regulated.

        The best possible outcome replaces existing big pharma with Amazon.

        Ultimately the same problem.

        I Think Google was amazing.
        Despite there “don’t be evil” core principle – they are evil today.
        The same with Twitter and Facebook

        But so long as they are relatively free markets the problems will correct themselves.

        Regardless, I will guarantee you, that you will NEVER permanently solve the problems you are complaining about in the medical market without deregulation.
        You MIGHT makes changes with small temporary benefits – until the incumbants find new ways to game the system.

        But you should never bet that the companies that came up with things like Viagra will not figure out how to game govenrment.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2018 2:32 pm

        The “answer” is NEVER a specific new way of doing business.

        Not that those are not beneficial. But those are “todays answer” not “systemic answers”

        Free markets are the mechanism that incentivizes not merely specific innovations, but CONSTANT innovation.

        Any new way of doing things will have a temporary benefit.
        Free markets assure us that each new way will be followed by another new way.

  112. dduck12 permalink
    June 29, 2018 12:35 pm

    I with you Ron. I got this in before the 10,000 word barrage.
    Put some of the more egregious drug company execs in prison to set an example and start to slow down the foxes from the industry that wind up being the guards of the chicken coop.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 29, 2018 2:38 pm

      The “short version”.
      Businesses will successfully game any arrangement that does not AUTOMATICALLY self adjust.
      The very same skills that produce a better mousetrap will produce the best way to profit from regulation.

      The big deal regarding free markets which is not true of anything else is that any form of innovation that results in higher profits is only temporary – a free market will ALWAYS respond to restore profits to baseline.
      Sustained high profits requires static rather than dynamic arrangments – that would be regulatory regimes.

  113. dduck12 permalink
    June 29, 2018 8:22 pm

    Another Trump FU:

    Maybe he can give even more away to the Russians.

    • June 29, 2018 9:08 pm

      dduck, I am not a blind Trump supporter. But are you trying to tell us that Mike Pompeo, the former top spook in the country did not know this wax going on and he did not tell Trump of this fact before the meeting. And are you saying that this spook is in on the FU or he ignored the information just like Trump?

      I think Trump is an ass and is unqualified to be president due to his personal behavior(same with Hillary with mailgate,), but I am sorry, I have to wait for more to come before deciding what the hell he is doing. A good friend of mine was the director of pharmacy at the hospital we worked, and when he wanted to fire someone, he gave them more “,rope” and allowed them more “freedom” until they finally hung themselves. Could be Trump is giving litle rocket man more rope so he can increase ssnctions.

      • dduck12 permalink
        June 29, 2018 10:00 pm

        We shall see, but meantime follow the actions that Un and Satan’s son Putin do.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2018 2:21 pm

        We do not control what Kim Un (or Putin) do.

        We control what we do about what they do.

        What do you suggest that Trump should do about this ?

        What do you suggest that Trump should do about Putin ?

        What DID you suggest that Obama should have done about Putin ?
        What DID you suggest that Obama should have done about Iran ?

        Do not expect anyone to take your views seriously unless they are consistent.

        I am not interested in those who think that anything Obama did was golden and anything Trump does is shit – even when they did the same thing.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2018 2:17 pm

        Assuming the story is correct – which is likely is,

        If is not an FU on anyone’s part YET.

        We do not have a deal.
        We have the begining of discussions.
        We have a framework.

        This is just evidence of bad faith.

        We could have hoped for better, but expecting Kim Un not to “cheat” is pretty naive, just as expecting that Iran would not cheat was.

      • June 30, 2018 2:47 pm

        Dave, that is what I was pointing out, but doing so trying to get dduck to give me some understanding as to how he reached this conclusion other than anything starting with Trump being alive is a FU.

        But as I said a few comments ago, I am getting true pleasure from watching the left go through so much of us went through when Obama was screwing this country.

        And now with a second SCOTUS opening and the possibilities of more with two plus years remaining in his term, this pleasure could reach levels I seldom experience.💛💛💛💛😸😸!!

        And the chickens have come home to roost with the “Reid Rule” now in force for passage in the senate. Some claim this did not include judicial appointments. I say, when you open the door to let 2 of your 4 cats come and go but dont want the other 2 leaving, do you expect the other 2 to not escape when the door has been opened? Making any slight changes in historical procedure s opens the door to major change.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2018 7:22 am

        NK could go to hell. that is always a risk.

        Trump’s switch from Kim Un is evil to best buddies is disconcerting.
        But that is diplomacy and Kim Un can be evil in a few days if need be too.

        The fact that Trump is more coarse and the transistions less silver tongued does not trouble me

        The problem with the Iran deal was not negotiating with Iran. It was the actual deal.

        There is no NK deal yet. There is a framework and discussions.

        NK may have already tanked those,
        Or NK may violate the deal.

        We can not know what the future will bring.

        What we know is the Iran deal was so one sided that unilaterly dropping sanctions against Iran was actually better

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2018 7:31 am

        I am oncernec and hopeful about a SCOTUS nomination.

        Thus far Gorsuch was a home run – though I need to read his complete carpenter decision.

        I want the 4th amendment back.

        The other people on Trump’s short list are good choices. Lets see if we get another excellent one.

        I do not care about “liberal tears”.

        I do care about future court decisions.

        I would note that many of the decisions restricting government and law enforcement came from THE RIGHT. Scalia was the lead on the “confronting your accuser” decisions. On the pointing IR scanners at your house is a SEARCH, On GPS tracking your car is a SEARCH.

        I wish he had been willing to go farther in civil rights. but the left is no friend to civil rights.
        You can pretty much guarantee that is a case is in front of the left members of the court – and there is not an obvious “minority” element, they are ruling for government, for law enforcement.

        One of the next things to go based on the comments in Janus is “Chevron Deference”
        That is the concept that the courts must accept any the executives interpretation of congresses laws.

      • July 1, 2018 12:08 pm

        What I want for SCOTUS is very simple.

        If the law or regulation does no harm to others, then its legal. If it harms others, then it is not legal.
        No more christian laws imposing christian beliefs if those do nothing to control harm on others. No laws based on religious morals at all if no harm to others.
        And I know this is a good position as both the far left and far right would not agree.

        But it will come down to two individuals. Collins and Murkowski. If those two senators will not support the nominee, then no democrat will have to take a stance.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2018 2:31 pm

        “What I want for SCOTUS is very simple.

        If the law or regulation does no harm to others, then its legal. If it harms others, then it is not legal.”
        Bzzt, wrong.

        If a law or regulation is inside the enumated powers of the federal government AND
        does not infringe on individual rights OR
        Infringes only mildly and has a compelling public purpose AND
        Can be implimented in a neutral fashion.

        Then it is constitutional.

        Anything less – the law is unconstitutional.
        Change the constitution if you must.

        With respect to the politics of confirmation – it is way too early to be making guesses.

        I would not bet that Collins or Murkowski are going to vote against a Trump nominee.

        Nor would I bet that a number of democrats might not be under substantial presure to vote for a nominee.

        We would need to know more first.

        There are alot of democratic senators running in Red States right now.
        And republicans in those states VOTE over SCOTUS.

        I highly doubt that any Trump nominee will get the votes of blue state democrats.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2018 2:32 pm

        Of those on Trump’s list, based on what is known now, thought I do have preferences none is “unacceptable”.

        BUT when one is picked they will be publicly vetted more thoroughly and that might change.

      • July 1, 2018 3:26 pm

        Well lets see if I can say this so you dont knit pick my words.

        “BUT when one is picked they will be publicly vetted more thoroughly and that might change”

        Trump has been in office since January 2017, just about 18 months. Shortly after taking office, Gorsuch was nominated from a list of potential candidates for SCOTUS. If the ones on the list today have not been vetted more than a reporter can find over almost 18 months then I would have to consider moving into the Jay/dduck camp thinking about Trump. There is no reason why all these judges should have any surprises showing up.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2018 4:08 pm

        I am not at odds with you.

        Trump’s “list” has proven a brilliant political move, not merely did it help get him elected, but it continues to function as a hammer against the left.

        It is hard for anyone – republicans or democrat to oppose anyone on his list.
        To an extent the 2016 election was about that list.
        It is as if the public voted for those 25 people to be elevated to the supreme court.

        That analogy is a reach, but there is still some truth to it.

        Not only have reporters had 18 months to vet those names – but all of us – including the senators who will confirm the next nomination, have had from significantly before the election.

        The basis for rejecting any nominee from that list has got to be some discovery that distinguishes them negatively from the rest of that list.

        If Collins and Murkowski claim some nonminee is to “extreme” they must be extreme relative to the rest of the lest.

        Those names are essentially a campaign promise. Trump was elected on that list, and Senators voting against a nominee from that list must explain why that person is distinct from the list.

        All that said, I do not preclude ahead of time something arising to torpedo a nominee.

        Andrew Pudzer who would have been a great Sec Labor was tanked because of allegations of spousal abuse – that even his ex-spouse denies to this day.

        It is possible that pudzer and his former spouse are both lying today – but not likely.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 30, 2018 2:14 pm

      Presuming the story is correct – which is a big assumption,
      why is this a Trump FU ?

      Do you think that magically because Trump shook hands with Kim Un that everything is honkey dory ?

      We do not have a deal yet. We have a framework for discussions.
      Both sides have purportedly taken tiny steps to demonstrate good faith.

      If this story is actually correct – that would be bad faith rather than good faith.

      Regardless, it is to be expected that Kim Un is going to try to game this.

      Just as Iran gamed their deal with Obama.

      The question is not whether they will try, but how we will respond.

      At the moment there is no actual deal.
      Little response – beyond increased requirements for verification in any deal that is struck is required.

  114. dduck12 permalink
    June 30, 2018 4:41 pm

    Oh boy. Trump in general is a FU with most of what he says (we can sleep at night now) in his best imitation of Benito M.
    OK, you guys don’t know my earlier views, because I expressed them elsewhere on another blog. You spend time assuming them however.
    So for the record: I thought HC was a crook and Obama was a FU in a much better fitting suit and manner and I disliked HR and NP a lot. On the Rep side, Connely sucks.

    I’m sorry if I appear inconsistent, but I don’t give a rat’s a___ about what you think I think.

    Meantime, Trump and his merry band of appointed sycophants/assistants are worse than all of the aforementioned and are ruining the country. The Congress is already a useless munch (for at least two decades) and The USSC is a potential rubber stamp for a wannabe Erdogan/Putin/Un/Duterte potentially for decades to come.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2018 8:07 am

      If your point is that politicians are not to be trusted – you have my full aggreement.

      That is one of many arguments I make for limited government.

      While there are Trump “true beleivers” there are none here.

      At most – where we differ is whether Trump is worse than the others on your list.

      That depends on your criteria.

      If getting along with the press is top of your list – Trump is a failure.
      If telling lies in silky rather than coarse language is your criteria – Trump is a failure.

      If serious efforts to keep campaign promises matter – Trump is the best president in my life time.
      If judicial appointments matter – Trump is stellar.
      If returning government to conforming to the law matters – Trump is stellar.

      Trump’s highly combative style is disturbing and scary.
      I do not know how close we came to conflict with NK – but it SOUNDED like we came very close.
      I do not know whether that was necescary to get NK to the table.
      I would hope it was not, but decades of experience suggest otherwise.

      The saber rattling regarding Trade is deeply disturbing. But I am going to trust Kidlow for the moment that the objective is actually free trade.

      Immigration is a mess. I do not think Trump is “The good guy”,
      But it is obvious the left is more interested in making immigration a contentious political issue than in solving anything

      I am not a big McConnell fan. As too republicans in general – I am fine with them.

      They can not come up with enough votes to pass many things – the message to the electorate is if you care about these things elect republicans that will vote for them.

      Democrats are unified in opposition to everything – not just Trump.

      I am fine with that too. That is a message to voters and the voters will get to decide.

      I am fine with government accomplishing little or nothing.
      I am fine with government shrinking.

      That is what has occurred with Trump.
      That would not have occured with Clinton.

  115. dduck12 permalink
    July 1, 2018 1:20 pm

    Whoops, McConnell, not Connely.

  116. dduck12 permalink
    July 2, 2018 3:41 pm

    Here’s an interesting idea on health care that may appeal to R/D/L folks:

    • July 2, 2018 4:40 pm

      Pay Wall. Cant get last 1st para.

    • July 2, 2018 5:04 pm

      dduck, although I could not read the article, you are wishing for the impossible if you think R/D/L ‘s are going to agree on anything. Never happen!

      But knowing what I know about healthcare in this country, I am not sure if a fix is possible. Beginning in 1968 and until today, everything the government did may have had a short term benefit, but the long term impact has been devastating. For instance, a few examples.
      1. States and professional organizations have limited the number of pharmacy schools, nursing schools and other medical schools. This insured the graduates had a job waiting when they graduated since the jobs to graduates was about equal. Then demographic changes increased demand for care, there were not enough graduates and salaries skyrocketed. A nurse in the 90’s made in the low $30k. Today a RN makes close to $85 K. Pharmacist have seen a much greater percent increase. So healthcare is 60-75% labor cost and this action helped workers in the short term, but has had extreme impacts on cost for patients.
      2. In 1968, government told providers, spend money, we will cover your actual cost for medicare/ caid patients. Providers said woo hoo, Ill buy all these great machines, pass on 50% of the cost and make a bundle off private pay patients. Worked great until the 80s when government figured out what they did, but they screwed up even more with the newer ways they paid. Now that people demand the latest and greatest and the cost is out of sight, government has finally started reducing their reimbursement, leaving the private pay to cover the cost.
      3. We have talked at lenght about drugs

      The problem is not a new way for individuals to pay, it is controlling rising cost. And when you factor rapidly increading salaries and drug cost, controlling cost is almost impossible.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2018 7:08 am

        In all of history there has only been one effective control on the cost of anything – that is the free choices of free people in a free market.

        The entire concept of top down “control” assures that something will cost more, not less.

        Look around you everything that government is deeply involved in is expensive and has rising real costs. Everything that government is uninvolved in consistently costs less.

        You can even correlate the rate of increase in cost to the degree of govenrment involvment.

        The most expensive things in our society today – healthcare and education, as those most heavily involving government.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2018 7:13 am

        In the 60’s 5% of jobs required a license. Today more than 1/3 do.
        For nearly all – arguably all. Licensing serves no purpose that is not provided by the market.

        Regardless, even the obama administration found that licensing harms the poor and minorities.

        All regulation hires those with the least ability to work arround it.

        We keep debating things like EpiPens and egregious profits.
        I do not understand why few of you get, that is exactly how business is ALWAYS going to respond to regulation – to find the means to exploit it and profit from it.

        The problem is not business. The problem is that regulation redirects the profit incentive away from providing a better cheaper mousetrap into manipulating and taking advantage of regulation to create opertunities for profit.

      • July 3, 2018 10:56 am

        You responded to my comment.

        So you stated “I do not understand why few of you get, that is exactly how business is ALWAYS going to respond to regulation ”

        I get it, so why you said it is unknown to me unless you a referencing my limited support for regulations when proven actions of harm have been created in the past by those that put profit before company product safety.

        As you have said in the past many times, you are willing to eliminate regulations and allow companies to produce products that can lead to death. As you have said, those individuals have recourse through the courts , both monetarily and criminally. I am not willing to eliminate all regulations, but I am willing to eliminate any and all that have not been shown to offer protection for products where harm to others physically could happen and that harm is hidden within the product. ie Food, Drugs, for the most part.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2018 1:57 pm

        If a company is willing to knowingly produce products that may cause harm or death
        something that for atleast 4 centuries has been illegal in multiple ways and more generally is illegal according to hamurabi’s code 3000+ years ago,

        Why is an additional regulation that can say nothing more that – do not do something that is already very very illegal, going to suddenly cause that business to take notice and go “oh know, I guess we should not kill people” ?

        We do not need more laws. We do not need more laws than we have in 1800,
        We need those laws we do have to be enforced. That is all.

        We make this stupid error over and over again.

        Assaulting people has been a crime for 2000 years atleast.
        Why do we need a separate crime of “spousal abuse” ?
        To be clear – if you beat your wife you should be punished.
        But beating people is already a crime.

        ALL Regulations that have any legitimate basis cover conduct that is already either a crime, a tort, a contract breach or all of the above.

        We do not make ourselves any safer by making things illegal 27 different ways.

        All regulation reflects an emotional response to the fact that the world is not perfect,
        that even with our laws bad things still happen – worse some people do bad things,
        and more knee jerk feel good laws will not fix the real problem.

        BTW you have the burden of proof backwards.

        If you are going to further restrict liberty – it is the obligation of those proposing a law or regulation to prove that it will be effective.

        What we have to do PRESUMES that if a new law or regulation is passed that it is both effective and necescary – liberty be damned.

      • July 3, 2018 4:14 pm

        So we had fake online pharmacies operating out of “Somewhere, World”. They sell fake viagra(ED), norplant(contraceptive), Tamiflu (anti flu medication) and other high demand products. You buy it and still cant get’er up, no problem, no harm. Your wife takes their Norplant, she gets pregnant. (Any harm done?). Your kid takes the Tamiflu you bought and dies (Harm?).

        The FDA shut down online pharmacies selling in USA doing just what I described. I prefer them closing down these companies selling sugar pills and claim something different. How would you address the issue without proactive regulation?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2018 8:32 am

        “So we had fake online pharmacies operating out of “Somewhere, World”. They sell fake viagra(ED), norplant(contraceptive), Tamiflu (anti flu medication) and other high demand products. You buy it and still cant get’er up, no problem, no harm. Your wife takes their Norplant, she gets pregnant. (Any harm done?). Your kid takes the Tamiflu you bought and dies (Harm?).”

        First the cases you cite are going to be difficult no matter what – these are typically out of country suppliers.

        Of course sites like Amazon, Ebay, AliExpress and myriads of others have found ways to assure you that when you buy something from someone you have never heard of you still can figure out whether you can trust them

        Do you get that business requires TRUST – that is part of why despite the rants about Trump I think he is far MORE honest than typical politicians. Trump has billions of dollars because people TRUSTED him, and the KEPT trusting him. Everything did not go perfectly all the time and many people lost, but most of the time Trump delivered.

        ALL Business is like that.

        Some here rant about huge fines paid by big businesses.
        Post blowout BP’s value dropped tens of billions of dollars – that dwarfed any government fines it paid. BP could care less about the US government. But it cares deeply about what consumers think. Those losses were very real. they made it more diffiult to borrow, to hire, and to sell their product. They were a reflection of the beleif that post blowout people would drive past the BP station to another down the road – and many did.

        Just to be clear I do not see the market as the ONLY means of addressing misconduct from poorly behaved businesses. But it is and always has been the most important.

        And as we become more globalized it is even more important.

      • July 4, 2018 10:48 am

        As I said earlier, I accept limited regulations while your position is much more restrictive. Yes, these where/are out of country suppliers. In these cases, only the government could shut down access to these.

        As for trust, how does the average citizen know Allscripts is a reputable company, but Americas Pharmacy (operated out of Columbia) is not? (Made up, not a company, but it could be) When people can not afford medications and they go online and read testimonials on the website and see how good the company is (fake testimonials posted by company), how do they know they are fake?

        Yes trust is important, but you should know criminals are geniuses when it comes to fake trust. People, for the most part, check things out, but in criminal operations, finding harm is very difficult.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2018 3:40 pm

        “As for trust, how does the average citizen know Allscripts is a reputable company, but Americas Pharmacy (operated out of Columbia) is not? ”

        Most of the companies I buy from today – I have never dealth with before, and may never deal with again.

        On of the big deals of the internet is the development of reputation systems – either things like yelp, or angies list, or the user rating systems of ebay amazon aliexpress, even open bazar.

        I do not know much about PDQ corp. But I know that they have had 176,456 sales and a 99.8% favorable rating.

        Probably if I buy something from them I will get what I purchased.

        If I do not – I will trash their rating and other people will quit buying from them.

        As to “fake testimonials” – there is little that will stop people who make poor choices from making poor choices.

        Regardless, the ability to know with a very high assurance that a company you are dealing is legitimate is greater today than ever before.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2018 4:03 pm

        So in the world of no regulation – Americas Pharmacy sells you placebo viagra.
        So you sue them, trash their reputation or the government goes after them for fraud.

        How is that different in the world massive regulation ?

        “but you should know criminals are geniuses when it comes to fake trust.”
        Actually no. The crooks are really not very sophisticated.
        They are relatively small in number, they get buy because the number of people who can be easily deceived is high.

        Further, actually free markets are extremely smart.

        Restrict the market – and market participants strive to game the regulations.

        Leave the market free and they actually work to thwart the crooks.

        There are many many many orders of magnitude more honest business people than dishonest.

        The honest are competing with the dishonest.
        It is in THEIR interests to apply their genius to keep customers away from crooks.

        The modern internet reputation systems did not magically appear.

        They came about because vendors knew if they could find ways to demonstrate trust, they would do better, and the crooks would do worse.

        “People, for the most part, check things out”

        increasingly you do not need to “check things out”

        The information you need to decide whether a vendor is trustworthy is right there when you purchase – and it is provided by third parties – who also depend on your trust.

        “but in criminal operations, finding harm is very difficult.”

        If there is no actual harm – then government has no business being involved.

        i would note that long before the internet we had things like UL, GoodHousekeeping, Consumer reports.

        These are essentially private regulatory bodies.

        These have existed atleast since the 1500’s with the earliest fire insurance.

        An insurance company says – will lower your insurance rate – if you build your building so that the risk of fire is lower, or I will give you a better rate if you do not smoke.

        It is pretty hard to buy things that are not UL approved today – because the national electrical code requires it. BUT UL is still a private standards agency. They are not government.

        They test products and approve or not based on the testing.

        Over time they improve the quality of their testing as they learn.
        Further they get and give feedback to vendors.

        A vendor can come to UL and say – this is a better way to do something and UL will listen.
        They will test, and if they verify, they will change their standards.

        Government does not work that way.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2018 8:53 am

        I want the FDA gone.

        You say it “shut down” online pharmacies.
        Well it is also actively interfering with ME.

        You complain about “fake” tamiflu, or Viagra, or ….

        I buy some legal relatively ubiquitous drugs that in the US typically require a perscription – why ? Because it is the US and god forbid people should be allowed to make their own choices about legal products. Anyway mostly I buy anti-biotics. I buy them from reputable vendors – yes, these are people I do not know, but they are people that have made lots and lots of customers happy.

        My cost for these is a fraction of what I would have to pay locally.
        In most instances I have a prescription.

        I also purchase non-persciption drugs online again making reasonable checks of those I buy from.

        If you want to buy from the spam you get in your inbox – go ahead. You are free to make your own decisions, including poor ones.



        With respect to your examples – Tamiflu is NOT a cure. It just reduces symptoms.
        It will not prevent the flu, it will not stop you from dying, if the flu is going to kill you.

        But this is not about details such as that.

        In your examples – these companies defied the very regulations you claim would prevent this – as well as the laws that I refered to that already existed;

        Is there some reason that the world is better off because the FDA shut these people down for violating a regulation ? When they could just as easily have been shutdown for fraud ?

        There is nothing in your hypotheticals that would have been legal but for regulation.
        Further your examples demonstrate that your own regulations do not work.

        If it is necescary to enforce the regulation – then what is wrong with just enforcing torts, fraud, contracts/civil laws and laws against criminal negligence ?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2018 8:59 am

        How is the regulation you claim actually “pro-active” ?
        You are claiming that the FDA shut companies down after they had already done something bad.

        Government is not ever and really can not be “pro-active”.

        The regulations “pretend” to be proactive, but they are ultimately enforrced after the fact – just like the justifiable law I cite.

        BTW this is inherently true.

        We do not have a large enough government to proactively enforce regulations.
        And if we did, we would have more people in government enforcing law and regulation, than engaged in productive efforts.

        The regulatory state is a lie

        The effect of regulations on those who are not going to abide by the law is ZILCH.
        But the harm to people who do abide by existing laws is significant.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 3, 2018 7:02 am

      I can only get to the 1st paragraph.

      Regardless, spending pretax money is a band aid, not a fix.

      Healthcare will continue to be an expensive failure so long as government is so intimately entwined.

      There are other idea/approaches on the horizon that MAY help – subscription and conceirge services among those.

      But healthcare is not going to be truly fixed by one or two good ideas.

      What is required is for government to remove itself sufficiently that lots and lots of ideas can be tried.

      We are not going to fix healthcare by top down collectively determining what ideas to implement.

      Markets work, because they allow thousands of ideas to be tried – and most fail.
      Both the failures and successes are then subject to successive refinement – constant improvement.

      Nothing but free markets works that way.
      And that is the only approach that consistently increases value and lowers cost.

      As I can not read the article, I can not tell what the argument is.
      But I do not think that the IRS or executive has enormous lattitude in deciding what is and is not tax deductible. Nor do I want them too.

      Whenever someone argues that the executive can do make some consequential change without legislation one should be very suspicious. Outside of a few areas the executive impliments rather than creates the law, and we should not want otherwise.

      While I will not specifically oppose making healthcare tax deductible,
      as a general rule – taxes should be small and broad – nothing should be tax exempt.
      That is the road to corruption.

      Healthcare should not be tax exempt, charity should not be tax exempt, hortgages should not be tax exempt.

      Taxes should be as low as possible and government minimal so that we do not waste effort fighting over what is an is not exempt.

  117. dduck12 permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:23 pm

    Regina Herzlinger and

    Joel Klein

    Health care is fast becoming an unsustainable expense for American families. This year the total cost of insurance for the typical family of four eclipsed $28,000, according to the Milliman Medical Index. Rising insurance premiums are also eroding worker compensation, as companies shift increased costs to employees.

    Health care in the U.S. suffers symptoms of what Justice Louis Brandeis once termed the problem of “Other People’s Money.” Often a patient ordering and receiving medical care mistakenly believes he is not the one paying for it. This misconception is due in large part to the employer tax exemption for health insurance, which conceals the true cost of coverage from most workers.

    Companies that buy health insurance on behalf of workers are, in effect, giving them some of their compensation in the form of benefits. But employers get to use pretax dollars when they purchase this insurance. If workers try to buy their own policies, most don’t get the same tax break. This inequity has cemented the dominance of employer-sponsored insurance in the U.S.

    It might seem like a small question, but who is buying makes all the difference. Employer-based coverage subtly drives up health-care costs by enhancing the bargaining power of medical providers. A large company must include nearly all local doctors and hospitals in its health plan’s network, since different workers will need different services. Only 8% of employers even offer a choice of a tighter network, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported last year. This gives major hospital chains that dominate local markets carte blanche to charge high prices.

    The solution is simple: The Internal Revenue Service should give all workers the chance to purchase health insurance with pretax dollars—just as employers do—using Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Companies would give employees a fixed amount of money in these HRAs to go out and buy the best plans for their families on the ObamaCare exchanges. The plans there would be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements on essential health benefits and cost-sharing limits. Employees could use this tax-free money only for the purchase of health insurance, but would pocket any leftover savings as taxable income.

    We have run separate simulations, at Harvard Business School and Oscar Health, to project the implications of this policy, and the conclusions are similar. Giving employees the tax break would result in their buying cheaper, more-tailored policies compared with the employer plans in which they are currently enrolled. After doing so, workers would take home the extra income: $129 billion, after tax, in Oscar Health’s study and $160 billion in the Harvard Business School’s. The federal government, now taxing that additional income, would receive between $46 billion and $65 billion in new tax revenue.

    The benefits would be significant. Increased competition from the influx of new consumers in the individual market would drive down premiums. Workers would have more policy options (today 81% of employers offer a “choice” of only one type of plan, Kaiser reports). Employers would be freed from the hassle of administering health benefits, a fast-growing line item, allowing them to focus on their core businesses.

    If these results sound too good to be true, it’s only because the depth of inefficiency in American health care is worse than you imagine. This proposal would create a more efficient health-care system in three principal ways.

    First, when employees are free to keep the savings after choosing a policy that works for them, most will pick a more-tailored group of providers than is currently on offer. They won’t aim to have every doctor and hospital in their policy’s network, only the ones they need. The insurer then would be empowered to negotiate lower prices with hospitals, which know that exclusive networks can make or break patient volume. On the ObamaCare exchanges, policies with tighter provider networks are at least 18% cheaper without sacrificing hospital quality, according to a McKinsey analysis last year. In its own markets, Oscar Health has observed cost differences of up to 25%.

    Second, this proposal would alter the consumer mindset in health care. Today, when care becomes more efficient, the principal beneficiaries are employers. Thus employees lack a strong financial incentive to seek out cheaper options, such as using a telemedicine service to diagnose pinkeye or having a hip replaced at an ambulatory surgery center instead of a hospital. But if patients start getting to keep the money they save, more will act as dogged consumers. Outpatient care constitutes nearly 60% of all health expenditures for adults with commercial insurance. Since there are many alternative options, giving people an incentive to shop around can bring down costs.

    Third, competition means health-care companies would have to improve to survive. In a Gallup poll last year, only 38% of Americans had a positive view of the health-care industry, which beat only the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government. But if insurers were forced to compete, they would embrace innovations that seem foreign today: free telemedicine, cost transparency, instant appointment scheduling, smartphone health records, and the like. In turn, insurers would demand a better consumer focus from the doctors and hospital chains they work with.

    Gridlock in Washington often relegates proposals like this to the political dustbin. But Congress need not act here, as Duke Law School’s Barak Richman has pointed out. Under current law, the IRS can simply adjust its technical definition of Health Reimbursement Arrangements so that they can be used to pay insurance premiums and to satisfy the ObamaCare employer mandate. Once that is done, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Treasury, could work with enterprising governors and employers to offer these HRAs to workers.

    This is a straightforward proposal, but a powerful one. It would finally begin to address the rising cost of health care, and it isn’t subject to a Senate filibuster. For the sake of millions of American families, the IRS should act—and soon.

    Ms. Herzlinger is a professor at Harvard Business School. Mr. Klein is chief policy and strategy officer at Oscar Health, as well as a member of the News Corp board of directors.

    July 1, 2018 4:41 p.m. ET


    • July 2, 2018 7:28 pm

      OK, the writer did not address:
      1. Hospitals are 24/7/395.
      2. JCAHO requires minimum staffing in certain hospital department, regardless of patients. ie emergency room staffed at 3 am, no patients, but minimum staff required.
      3. Hospital costs almost 65% salaries.
      4. 36 states have CON laws regulating services and limiting competition
      5. Obamacare requires all insurance to cover all services. Not sure what Trump has done with that. How does one buy stripped down cheaper insurance with pretax dollars when it may not be available.
      6. malpractice insurance cost is unreasonable. OB docs can pay up to $200k per year and have to maintain insurance for up to 20 years since birth defects may not appear until years after birth. A doc delivering babies in 1998 and retired since 1999 may still be paying malpractice premiums.
      7. Drug distributors have a monopoly on drug distribution. They also own the benefit management companies. They also contract with the Pharmacies.

      I could bore you with more, but it comes down to competition. More nurses, reduced nurse salary cost. More pharmacist, reduced pharmacist salaries. More hospitals, more competition, more choice for insurance plans and patients, reduced cost. More outpatient facilities, reduced cost. Change in drug patent laws, more competition, reduced drug cost.

      I worked in hospital finance for 30+ years. Never did I consider competition when setting rates. We received departmental budgets, determined what our “excess revenue over expenses” needed to be and rates were set accordingly. Where competition came into play was our human resource manager did everything they could to determine who was paying employees what and then salary cost were budgeted accordingly.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2018 7:34 am

        The most important sentence in your comment was that competition was never a factor in setting prices.

        No business lowers rates for altuistic reasons – no matter what people may beleive.

        Markets control costs – the laws of supply and demand.
        If you do not allow prices, supply and demand to change dynamically,
        the result will always be higher prices, or rationing, or both.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 3, 2018 7:26 am

      Thank you for the article.

      I strongly suspect that the authors analysis and predictions are close to correct.

      Their entire argument is that “free markets work”.

      Their entire proposal is “can we use expanded HRA’s to introduce additional freedom and competition to health care.

      I would note that the recent GOP tax cut effectively does SOME of what is proposed.
      It eliminates deductions and lowers tax rates, and increases the “standard deduction”.

      That is an approach I definitely support.

      Do not tax business AT ALL. But require business to report ALL employee benefits and perqs as income to employees. Then tax individual income at as close to a flat rate as possible.
      Rather than deducting “heatlh care expenses” or any other itemizable expenses, just exclude the some large fixed amount of income from taxes. Essentially say no on is taxed on the first 35K of income. Use that for health care, mortgages, whatever you choose.

      Regardless you do not want either businesses or individuals making spending decisions based on taxes. You want them making those choices based on what is best for themselves, as that is also usually best for the country.

  118. dduck12 permalink
    July 2, 2018 6:35 pm

    BTW, the comments on this idea were generally negative, but being the WSJ, not surprising.

    • July 2, 2018 7:35 pm

      Mine were not negative due to politics or financial reasons, mine are negative since the underlying reason for increasing costs is not sufficiently covered. You cant address cost at the ending payment stage, regardless of source. You have to address cost at the stage costs are generated.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2018 7:39 am

        What is proposed is not a fix for all that ails heathcare