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Corporations

Righty: Business is what made America great, and the modern corporation is the ultimate expression of American business. Here individualism and team spirit thrive in perfect balance, much as in baseball. Corporations reward smart, energetic, ambitious and adaptable professionals — hard-headed realists and visionaries alike — as they demonstrate their abilities and rise to positions of leadership. You can work for a company that reflects your values and find your true calling there. Or you can simply invest in a company you like and reap the fruits of its success. Corporations create millions of jobs with generous salaries and ample benefits. They provide workers with a cheerful, friendly, sanitary environment in the company of like-minded colleagues who have a vested interest in each other’s success. In fact, I can’t think of anything negative to say about corporations, though I’m sure Lefty will come up with an objection or two.

Lefty: An objection or two? Where do I begin? The corporate world is a vast network of greed and evil (yes, evil — remember Enron?) masquerading as suburban good ol’ boys in tassel loafers. No force on this planet is so relentlessly dedicated to the interests of big money at the expense of little people, the environment and the future. The name of the game is exploitation of resources, both natural and human. In their ruthless pursuit of profits, corporations jettison every noble and moral human impulse. They bribe our elected representatives for secret favors. Their leaders are almost invariably conservative white males, and everyone who doesn’t fit the hierarchical corporate mold is trodden under. CEOs are rewarded with obscene (I’d even say insane) compensation packages, making a mockery out of the earnest efforts of average employees. Most companies now expect their rising stars to put in twelve-to-sixteen hour days, skip lunch, endure grinding stress, and essentially sacrifice their private lives for benefit of the “team.” Yet they can be fired without cause or see their hard-won jobs “outsourced” to India. What a brutal farce! I can hardly wait for the next major stock market crash to wipe out the entire corporate system once and for all — and believe me, it will happen sooner or later.

The New Moderate:

The modern corporation is a strange and unsettling paradox: a miniature totalitarian state that thrives in free societies… a bastion of collectivism that glorifies capitalism. Renegade individualists and thinkers generally come to grief within the corporation, while cooperative comrades thrive. It goes without saying that every comrade must embrace the corporate mission, conform to the team culture and surrender his or her individual interests for the greater good of the state — um, company. Comrades aren’t permitted to choose their leaders or elect representatives. Private life and thought recede into the background. Anyone who fails to produce sufficiently or who otherwise runs afoul of the system is purged. Even loyal and productive comrades can be purged en masse if the higher-ups demand it.

If all this is beginning to remind you a certain defunct Communist empire that lost the Cold War, perhaps we should all be alarmed. Americans have been giving themselves freely and energetically to this weirdly un-American system, probably without pondering the more sinister implications of their devotion. It’s easy to see why they give themselves with such relish: MONEY, and lots of it. Corporations pay exceedingly well, especially for ambitious college graduates with no particular talents or expertise other than a knack for fitting in. These fortunate hirelings become managers. And if they do a good job of resembling their bosses, down to the shoes and eyeglasses, they become executives.

Go ahead and accuse me of cynicism. You’d be right. But I’m genuinely stunned by the eagerness with which so many college-educated young people surrender themselves to this questionable system. Yes, go in there and make the money. But remember who you are, and have enough pride to preserve your essence amid the pressures to produce.

Why should corporate employees toil such long hours for such flimsy psychic rewards? The pressure comes from above, of course: from bosses, department heads, directors, and on up the chain of command. All of them are accountable to their superiors. Even those overpaid, overpampered CEOs are accountable — to the shareholders who can drop a company like a water balloon if profits fall a penny short of expectations. And now you see the real reason that corporate life has become so insanely driven: the companies are completely beholden to the fickle speculators who own them. In fact, it never ceases to amaze me that the entire Western economy is in the hands of gamblers, and that we see nothing wrong with this arrangement.

I’m as guilty as anyone of playing the corporate casino game; so are most middle-class folks. We track our stocks and mutual funds as avidly as we check the baseball standings. It’s all legal, strangely enough. But maybe it’s time to question the sanity of entrusting a company’s fortunes to absentee owners who know and care nothing about the individuals who toil down in the cubicles, warehouses and assembly lines.

I’d rather see a company owned by the people who work for it. Every employee who wants to be a shareholder would eventually become one, with a voice and a choice when it comes to company leadership, missions and policies (including those obscene golden parachutes for toppled CEOs). Imagine: democratically run enterprises in a democratic republic. Is it too much to hope for?

Summary: We need to rethink the nature and ownership of corporations to make them more compatible with democratic American values. It seems ill-advised (and a little absurd) to entrust the fortunes of corporations to speculators.

318 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelangelo Markus permalink
    September 22, 2009 5:32 pm

    Even more disconcerting is the fact that legally a corporation counts as a person. Meaning that if the corporation does something unlawful, with extreme examples such as Coca Cola hiring paramilitary forces to assassinate union leaders in Columbia, you can not hold the people who made that decision accountable, you can sue the company for money, you can’t throw people in jail. Unless of course they commit white collar business crimes against their company/share holders.

    Now how does that make sense with our values? I doubt the vast majority of people in this country thinks that fair, but because the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people we’re stuck with it unless we amend the constitution. When you take in to account the fact that corporations practically own a good number of (dare I say majority?) politicians when you take them all together, it’s almost unfathomable of us getting something as difficult as an amendment passed on this issue. Or even getting it considered.

    Any ideas?

  2. September 27, 2009 1:30 pm

    If our leaders somehow worked up the resolve to outlaw lobbying (or at least payments by lobbyists to legislators), we’d go a long way toward restoring government by the people instead of by the corporate elite. But since the legislators benefit from those lobbyist dollars, good luck getting them to outlaw corporate lobbying! The solution? I think someone like Michael Moore should expose the system in an upcoming documentary. He could create the critical mass of public outrage we need to oust our more lobby-friendly representatives from office. Then, too, the creation of a moderate party peopled by anti-lobby candidates might tip the balance as well.

  3. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 9, 2010 4:30 am

    Corprate Greed needs to to be curtailed without crippling the company, an easy way to do that is pay caps. You can only make X amount of money, and the rest goes to, the government? charity? the company? How about the employees’ bonuses. Add some other very clear, strict guidelines as needed, like we HAD been doing, except this time, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, don’t get rid of them because of your greed!

  4. Andy Tonti permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:44 pm

    Actually, the roots of modern capitalism go back to the beginnings of the 19th century. Sic,robber barons, john jacob astor, the vanderbilts, andrew carnegie. The only US Presidents courageous enough to confront them were Teddy Roosevelt, and I think Woodrow Wilson..
    Every president thereafter has had to concede at various levels to corporate intrusion in national policy-making. They (the corps.) debuted $$$$ into modern politics, and it’s been a downward spiral since.
    .

  5. Ron permalink
    November 15, 2013 10:58 am

    Most companies are started by individuals. Most new companies fail. To start a company, the owner usually has to use his own personal money, must take all the risk, and usually fails. Often times the new business owner puts in long hours and neglects his own family in order to better assure success. When the company is successful, many people are jealous of his/her success.
    On the other hand, why should the owner/CEO/President make $100 million while the workers barely make a subsistence salary. I am thinking that we need to encourage the heads of companies to share the success (this is a developing idea, so don’t be too critical at this point). Perhaps the tax rate that the owner/executive pays is based on how much he shares with employees. What if there were several levels established. For example: first $200,000 is taxable at 30% rate. Next $200,000 taxable at 40% rate, etc.
    But also, the any employee salary plus bonus cannot exceed the lesser of …
    100 times the national minimum wage, 50 times his/her companies average salary,
    ?? percent of total company salary, or $1,000,000. Exceedance would be taxable at 70% income tax rate.
    I made this formula up on the fly … It needs to be scrutinized.
    The point is to encourage sharing the wealth but also allow success.

  6. P. Rottenham permalink
    May 1, 2014 6:05 pm

    Any good idea can be taken to a ridiculous extreme. Capitalism is one example. Runaway corporatism is the result.

    Any conservative will tell you that the corporation owes America nothing. The corporation’s only responsibility is to profit the investors, by any means necessary. On the other hand, if the federal government chooses to hand out corporate tax deductions like every day was Christmas, or to send our troops to fight for oil in foreign lands, what’s the problem with that?

    Even these things are nothing compared to recent Supreme Court decisions, which officially turn America into an oligarchy.

    Once, when the company profited, everyone did so. New jobs were created. Raises came around. Money flowed from the company, through the worker, through Main Street, through the federal government, and back to the company. The circular flow of money was complete. Keynesian economics worked. That was a long time ago, though.

    Now, the money flows not to American workers, but to Asia. Asians grow wealthy while the American middle class withers away. The tax revenue shortfall has made us a debtor nation in 15 years. Yet our corporate tax structure remains as it was in the 30s. We pay them to take our jobs away.

    Rick, I think you’re soft on the corporation. It is America’s worst enemy. Even if we started today, it would take a generation to undo the damage corporatism has done to our country. But if we don’t acknowledge it, we’ll go down for the count.

  7. dduck12 permalink
    April 13, 2019 9:56 pm

    This topic seems right (whoops) since our president when not acting like a king likens himself to a corporate mogul.

    • April 13, 2019 11:26 pm

      Maybe we can keep this one based on our thoughts and comments and not just posting someone elses video or meme. A few is not bad, but when we get so many, it just screws up getting stuff loaded. Links to articles dont mess with downloads, but videos just about stops my computers withso many. And no, I dont have the expensive super fast internet.

      And that is my choice, or maybe force, if you consider my wife saying less expensive is just fine for how we use it.😀

      You can comment about my link concerning DOJ here or back on “collusion”. I will read the email and comment here.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 14, 2019 12:27 am

        Ron, I don’t mind the links, I can maneuver them OK. It is the length and frequency of comments that makes me lose the place in the thread. Comments wind up in the wrong place and sometimes go below the wrong person. Too bad we all can’t be economical with our comments and preserve the efficiency of the thread.
        As far as the DOJ, i guess I agree with the general concept of defending (perhaps not vigorously, for outdated or ill conceived) laws passed by Congress.

      • April 14, 2019 8:25 am

        The DOJ under Obama refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress, under the Clinton administration, because Obama ordered it not to. There were a few Presidents, Eisenhower and Kennedy among them, whose DOJ’s refused to defend separate but equal laws on the books.

        It seems to me that in these cases, the DOJ, which is part of the executive branch, was indicating that it believed that these laws were ill-conceived, and that Congress should repeal or amend them.

        I missed your comment, duck, that started this topic. What is the DOJ doing that you disagree with?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 15, 2019 12:20 am

        DD;

        “Too bad we all can’t be economical with our comments and preserve the efficiency of the thread.”

        Too bad we do not all live in one room flats – none of us really need any more.
        Too bad we do not all drive economy cars – and preserve the efficient use of fossil fuels. Or better still ride bicycles.

        “As far as the DOJ, i guess I agree with the general concept of defending (perhaps not vigorously, for outdated or ill conceived) laws passed by Congress.”

        The separation of powers act made by Civiletti would require CONGRESS to defend the laws it passes.

        The FACT is that it is IMMORAL to require people in the future to DEFEND the constitutionality of passed laws.

        A law is not infinite.
        It is not forever.

        It should require more than the momentary aggreement of congress and the president to bind all of us forever.

        I not only do not want to require Congress or the executive to defend ANY law, but I would require that every law has a sunset clause – that it automatically dies unless congress/executive re=authorizes it ever so often.

        I do not want that for PPACA – I want it for everything.

        Laws do NOT have a life of their own.

        They should continue to exist ONLY so long as they have the same support that was necescary to pass them in the first place.

        DOJ not defending ANY law they do not continue to support reflects that.

        Barr made the claim based on constitutionality.

        That is the trivially easy case – a Federal court has declared PPACA unconstitutional following the same logic that SCOTUS had used when find it constitutional – BECAUSE the required factors that made it constitutional then are now gone.

        But We should go broader – it is important to distinguish between defending and enforcing.

        So long as a law is a law, the executive must enforce it.

        But any law that the executive does not like it can refuse to defend – even one that is consitutional

        And the same should apply whether the law is favored by conservatives or progressives.

  8. April 14, 2019 12:07 pm

    As I responded to Roby about his fears of the future due to Trump, I stated that for every action there is a reaction, and each reachion more extreme than the previous one.

    This article shows that happening.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-04-13/trump-wields-presidential-power-on-pipeline-energy-projects

    We have created loopholes in almost every project corporations are involved with where the EPA and environmental groups can delay those projects for years. In my area, home owners have been unable to sell or improve property in the path of a beltway since the late 90’s that was scheduled for completion before 2015 due to one environmental challenge after another. The state has finally received final approval and the state has begun buying those properties, 20 years later.

    So now Trump grabs power and takes power away from states through this action. If this passes court review, all presidents will have much greater power domestically than ever planned.

    Yes the fear Roby expressed is real. What states rights or individual rights will be the next to disappear?

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 14, 2019 2:47 pm

      The unintended consequences of every political/ideological era may exceed the intended ones Ron. Once the balance shifts after each election a whole new set of chaotic events follow that no one can control.

      I’d much like to see a weaker presidency because the workings of the human brain are chaotic rather than predictably linear. and when the POTUS has too much power whatever thought happens to almost randomly crystalize in their mind then becomes much too powerful.

    • April 14, 2019 6:42 pm

      I’m a little unclear on what this is about, Ron. It appears that it revolves primarily around the interstate nature of the pipeline, and that the new permit is in line with a 1992 SCOTUS decision that said that permits issued through the State Department are non-reviewable by state or district courts.

      So, since the Keystone Pipeline project has been authorized by the State Department, Trump can issue a presidential permit, despite a court ruling that attempted to block it.

      Am I misunderstanding this? It seems that it is the same principle, though in reverse, to Obama’s refusal to let the pipeline go forward.

      • April 14, 2019 8:04 pm

        Priscilla, the founding fathers made sure we had a “weak” president. Most everything was to begin in the House, go to the senate and then signed by the president. If vetoed, the senate could override. based

        But now we have a government based on elections. Congress does not want to be responsible for anything that could be considered detrimental to their election. So over the years they have delegated the authority given to them to the president.

        I do not believe any president should have the power to override states on what happens on their land. I dont think a president should be able to block oil wells if thevstate want to drill. I dont think the president should have the power to tell any state that a pipeline is going through their state. The next step would be to order New York to begin fracking that they have banned.

        How this happened, I dont care. I would just like to see the president with authority closer to the original authority than what it is today.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 15, 2019 12:22 am

      Get rid of the EPA, get rid of eminent domain – or at the very least limit it solely to government acquistion of property to be used by government

  9. dduck12 permalink
    April 14, 2019 3:29 pm

    Priscilla, this was my comment: Barr should be barred from holding any important government office, he is mega shill and makes me wish for the return of Sessions: “William Barr Obliterated the DOJ’s Standard for Defending Laws Because Donald Trump Asked”
    “While serving as President Jimmy Carter’s attorney general, Benjamin Civiletti explained that this policy is rooted in the Constitution’s separation of powers. While the courts are charged with protecting “both the government and the citizenry from unconstitutional action, legislative and Executive [ … ] only the Executive Branch can execute the statutes of the United States,” including by defending them in the courts. Therefore, “if executive officers were to adopt a policy of ignoring or attacking acts of Congress whenever they believed them to be in conflict with the provisions of the constitution, their conduct in office could jeopardize the equilibrium established within our constitutional system.”

    Cute, just defend the laws the king likes; COOL.

    • April 14, 2019 6:56 pm

      I don’t see Barr acting as a shill, duck. I do see that, even before he came out of retirement to serve as Trump’s AG, he expressed his opinion that there was no reason to appoint a special counsel in the first place, because there was no evidence of a crime. Special counsels are not intended to conduct counterintelligence investigations.

      So, in that sense, he is not on board with the Democrats’ view of this, but he is working with Mueller, and, I would assume that if Mueller thought that he was misrepresenting his findings, he could and would object. I also assume that Mueller will be interviewed about this at some point, and, if Barr is lying, we’ll find out.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 14, 2019 7:35 pm

        P. I also hope he is not a shill, it might just be the impression he makes on me. We shall see, but do you think T. asked B. for his personal loyalty?
        BTW, I was not pleased with Lynch or Holder either with regards to protecting the presidents.

      • April 14, 2019 9:16 pm

        “do you think T. asked B. for his personal loyalty?”

        Sheesh, I hope not. He should have learned his lesson with Comey!

      • dhlii permalink
        April 15, 2019 12:26 am

        Mueller and Bar are close friends.

        I would further note – though I have lots of problem with Mueller’s conduct.

        Mueller himself is NOT responsible for his appointment, or the determination of the scope or legitimacy of his investigation.

        Mueller’s scope was overbroad and the appointment of the SC was illegitimate. That responsibility does NOT fall with Mueller,
        In this case it is Rosensteins failure.
        Barr is working to restore the credibility of DOJ/FBI.
        That requires admitting past mistakes.

  10. dduck12 permalink
    April 14, 2019 3:40 pm

    ‘Great news!’: Trump celebrates Fox Business goof that mistakenly added 12% to his approval”
    Dobbs corrects his numbers, Trump does not. (Why ruin a good story)
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/04/11/trump-celebrates-poll-number-fox-business-got-very-wrong/3433834002/

  11. dduck12 permalink
    April 14, 2019 7:55 pm

    Trump knows : “nothing about” about Wikileaks. Another LIE, he said he loves Wikileaks multiple times: “WATCH: Shepard Smith Counters Trump’s ‘I Know Nothing About Wikileaks’ Claim with Devastating Montage”
    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/watch-shepard-smith-counters-trumps-i-know-nothing-about-wikileaks-claim-with-devastating-montage/

    • dhlii permalink
      April 15, 2019 12:30 am

      Vast over simplification.

      There is a significant difference between Trump past support of what Wikileaks is doing and some claim that he is lying when he says he knows “nothing about” wikileaks.

      I am more concerned because this attempted prosecution of Assange is deeply legally flawed and Trump should kill it.

      Whether Trump “knows nothing” about wikileaks, What is occuring is important and he SHOULD know about it.

  12. dduck12 permalink
    April 14, 2019 9:51 pm

    P., that’s where you go wrong, IMHO, Trump does not learn lessons, he just keeps plowing ahead like a bull in a china shop. That is also his main attribute as far as his supporters go. To change or admit mistakes, errors, etc., is a sign of weakness.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 15, 2019 12:32 am

      What lessons has he not learned ?

      Ultimately he seems to pretty much get what he wants.

      The lesson that I see is that “resistance is futile”

      That is not what I beleive, but it is the obvious lesson.

      You are the “Bull in the china shop”.

      You keep selling failure.

  13. dduck12 permalink
    April 15, 2019 12:43 am

    It was nice for a while on this thread without your polluting the discourse. So GFYS.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 15, 2019 3:49 am

      Aren’t you tolerant ?

      Nothing requires you to read my or anyone else’s posts.
      Nothing requires you to post here.

      You are entitled to have your world – that is the space that you own, your way to the extent that you are personally able – nothing more.

      You are not entitled to dictate to anyone else.
      Nor are you entitled to have those parts of the world that are someone else’s space as you want them.

      These are fundimental. Any other structure is inherently authoritarian.

      I know you do not consider yourself a creature of the left.
      But this attitude that you get to dictate how others live is today primarily found in the left.
      The intolerance and vitriol of your posts again is most commonly found on the left.

      I am reminded of a recent speach of Rep. Omar – the one she got in hot water over by saying 9/11 is just something that happened somewhere.

      I thought the rest of the speach was more interesting.

      Omar repeated spoke of how Islam was about love, and about bringing love wherever she came, and then without missing a beat, and not even in a different paragraph she went straight into talking about hating others.

      Lets say that someday you manage to get what you want and your prurient insults actually manage to drive me away.

      Is that actually the person you want to be ?
      It certainly not the person you claim to be.

  14. dduck12 permalink
    April 16, 2019 12:22 am

    I hope McCain doesn’t roll over in his grave: “Evidence Shows Lindsey Graham Received Illegal Campaign Contributions From Russia”
    https://politicalstate.org/evidence-shows-lindsey-graham-received-illegal-campaign-contributions-from-russia/

    • April 16, 2019 12:42 am

      So what has changed in the past 7 months when this was first reported?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 17, 2019 12:08 am

      the very top of the article you link says the contributions are from someone with dual citizenship.

      That is where the article should have ended.

      I would further note that this is more of one party digging up dirt on the other.
      There is no actual investigation going on. It is likely the FEC will snore thought this. If they do not then there will be some small fines.

      I would further note that there were referals to the FEC for something like 80M in “illegal” campaign contributions to the clinton campaign.

      Am I bothered by who Graham is getting his money from ? Sure – just like every other politician. Sen Feinstein has a $40M mansion in CA – she did not get that on a senators salary.

      Are all these people likely crooks – sure. That is just an argument FOR Trump, He has more money than he could ever possibly spend.

      You want to go after Graham ? I am fine with that, but then quit pretending that everything is Kosher with Clinton, Podesta, …..

      Of Course McCain is rolling in his grave, he concocted a stupid unconstitutional law that is trivially circumvented. He should be embarrassed.

      One of the most fundimental differences between you and I, is that I assume not only that government and most of those in it are corrupt, but that it is unavoidable.

      Even if the laws you make if obeyed would solve the problems you claim they will,
      those laws will not be obeyed – whether they are economic laws or political ones, the incentives are just too great. AND you will not be able to enforce them, that would require a totalitarian state. Even in East Germany where 1 in 3 people was a government informer, they still could not get compliance with the law.

      During the 2008 election Obama made it possible to contribute using credit cards.
      There was pretty much no verification of the credit cards – so Obama was receiving millions in contributions from stolen cards, or from the mideast or myriads of other foreign countries.

      McCain made a stink about it – but even his own campaign which did a better job of checking was still receiving money from unsavory sources.

      With few exceptions politicians – particularly running for president do not know where their money is coming from. They presume that because they have a platform they are getting money from people who support that platform.

      How is it “influence” for a politician to advocate for X and then receive contributions from people who want X ?

      I would further note if Graham was receiving money from the russians – he was a bad investment. Graham was the ONLY candidate in 2016 MORE hawkish than Hillary.
      Graham is no friend of Russia.

      But beleive whatever you want.

      If you beleive that Graham is corrupt in the sense that Russia has bought him – you are nuts.

      If you beleive that Graham is not someone who should be given the great power that Senators have – absolutely – along with 99 other people.

      You can not solve the problem that politicians are sketchy people. Politics inherently attracts exactly the people – left and right that you do NOT want as leaders.
      You can not fix that.

      But you can limit the power they have to play with.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 17, 2019 12:10 am

      AOC is far more likely to face serious campaign problems – and even their the odds are low.
      But her financial misconduct was intentional – meaning she personally moved money arround to evade campaign finance laws.

      It is unlikely Graham is aware of where most of his money comes from.

  15. dduck12 permalink
    April 17, 2019 10:10 pm

    Ron, I am an atheist, but hold no ill will towards those that follow most faiths and even admire some of the most devote and dedicated. Many faiths do a lot of good things for folks and that is a good thing.
    I agree the timing of this redacted report and the earlier press conference by Barr looks fishy, and as I have said before I think Barr is a shill.
    I’m posting this comment on “Corporations” as well in the hope we all can move over there where we have a cleaner thread.

    • April 17, 2019 10:49 pm

      Why does Ron think that Barr is a shill? I moved over here 4-5 days ago, so I’m confused as to where the new comments are!

      Anyway, some news report that I read today, said that the redactions were minimal and only what was required by law. And, isn’t Rosenstein going to be at the press conference, as well. Is he now considered a Trump shill, as well?

      I think the over/under on the entire, unredacted report leaking to the press is probably about 2 days, maybe less, so I’m not too worried about shilling. The media shills will do a far better job than Barr could ever do…

      On another topic, Andrew Yang, who I continue to like, despite some major disagreements with a lot of his policy proposals, has proposed what I think is a really good idea. Raise the salary of the president and other top government officials ~ he suggests raising the president’s salary from $400,000 to $4,000,000 ~ but prohibit any ex-president from sitting on corporate boards or from giving speeches for money. Some form of this idea, plus term limits, would be good to impose on the House and Senate.

      Pay these people what they deserve, but prohibit them from reaping windfall profits after they leave public service. Also, if they are blithering idiots, like AOC, the voting public may think twice about sending them back to DC, if they’re making $1M a year….

      • April 17, 2019 11:46 pm

        Priscilla, I agreed with duck about Barr being a shill even though that was not part of my original comment. A shill to me is a hawker, promoter or seller of anothers goods or service. So to me you have to be a shill as any cabinet member has to promote the presidents policies.

        Just as the media is a shill for the democrats, regardless of the story the democrats are trying to sell.

        Whatever the spin, truth is not to be included.

        I just think using Good Friday and Easter weekend to lower the publics attention is pretty bad decision.

      • April 17, 2019 11:57 pm

        Yes, I agree with that, Ron. ( Not that Barr is a shill, but that Holy Week is an awful time to unleash the political firestorm that we’re going to have to suffer through). It’s such an awful shame that religion has been largely replaced with politics. And during this time, when we should be focusing on love and sacrifice, we are surrounded by hate and vengeance… Ugh.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:48 am

        Anyone who is note clear that the hateful hating haters are on the left is blind.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:54 am

        Barr is many things – some of which I do not like.
        But I have seen no evidence he is a shill.

        It is not shilling to present the facts as they are.
        It is not shilling to read the law as it is written.

        Sometimes there are two sides to an issue – and the answer is in the middle.
        Most of the time one side it right – or much more right than the other.

        What is not true is that the side that is right is always the same side.

        We are however reaching a point where very nearly always the same side is wrong – even if the other side is not always right.

        I tripped over an editorial recently by Denis Pragger where he said he knew from the begining all of this was a farce for one simple reason:

        The left ALWAYS lies. He considers that so absolute a litmus test, he does not really need ideology.

        I am not quite where he is. but I am pretty close.

        Many on the right lie. But not nearly so consistently, and certainly not with the faux moral authority as those on the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 2:05 am

        So who do you want for president – a decent person whose policies would be total crap and disasterous ? Or someone “Immoral, deceiptful, repellent” whose policies are mostly very good for the country ?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 2:15 am

        Laws do not make bad people into good people.
        At best they allow us to punish bad people. Though with the myraids of laws we have most scofflaws go unpunished – and that is a good thing. A government capable of enforcing all the laws currently on the books would have all of us in jail.

        No I do not support Yang’s idea of raising the presidents salary.

        I would do the opposite. I would eliminate all salaries for all elected offices – as well as appointed ones.

        Public services is supposed to be service, not a job.

        We need to quit thinking about the presidency or congress or Sec. whatever as a means of earning a living. If you need to be paid to run for office or to accept an appointment – then I already do not trust you.

        Further you can not possibly pay people enough that they can not want more.

        We have many many in congress who are “self made multi-millionaires” who made all their wealth while in office.

        You can not fix the problems of our government by passing laws that restrict the freedom of PEOPLE.
        You MUST restrict the power of government

        There is not another way.

        McCain Feingold was supposed to clean up politics – how well did that work ?

        It didn;t. The central premise was wrong.
        Laws do not make people good.
        They do not even make people law abiding.

    • April 17, 2019 11:32 pm

      dduck, that was why I included the last sentence in my comment because I remembered someones comment about being athiest. I am spiritual, but not religious in the “Sunday is church day” sense. There are too many forks in my lifes path not to believe a power much greater than someones decision other than mine allowed me to have what I have today.

      As for Barr, I believe anyone in the presidents cabinet is a shill. They would not be there unless they supported the president. As for the AG, Holter and Fast and Furious was Obamas and Lynch was Hillary’s. I could go back further and find examples of others to avoid “well Obama did it also” backlash from those with TDS,Bbut willnjust leave it as all presidents have their supporters in the cabinet.

      My original comment was not about Trump, Barr or anyone specific. It was about what we will hear for months going forward. It has nothing to do with the truth no matter what the truth is. It is about the total untruths from both sides for one purpose only. Getting your party in control of the presidency. The truth will be an afterthought and few American voters will have any idea what the truth is when voting.Theywill simply march into the voting booth and vote based on the brainwashing they have heard for almost 4 years.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 17, 2019 11:57 pm

        Ron, I agree on all your points.

      • April 18, 2019 8:15 am

        I suppose that, depending upon how one defines “shill,” you could reasonably say that anyone who works for any president is a shill. On the other hand, believing in a president, and “shilling” for that president are, in my mind, very different things. One implies the loyalty of any administration figure who supports the executive branch and its lawful interests, and one is a person who puts personal fealty to an individual and will do whatever is necessary, including lie to the public and break the law, for that person.

        You seem to be, and duck is definitely, saying that Barr will lie for Trump.

        While that may be the case, I don’t think that we know that yet, and we should wait until the man issues the report and says what he has to say. All along, he stated that he would receive the report, issue his own summary of conclusions, and then release as much of the report as was appropriate under the law and existing DOJ policy. He has so far done exactly as he said he would do, in his confirmation hearings.

        Anyway, until then, I believe that Barr is trying to bring order and control back to a DOJ that has allowed some shockingly illegal behavior. We hear only about the president’s alleged illegal behavior, while several leaders of our federal law enforcement and justice departments have possibly violated their oaths to hold everyone equal before the law. And possibly violated the law themselves.

        Unless those leaders are held to account, in the same way that they are holding Trump, then I will refrain from calling the new AG a shill.

      • April 18, 2019 11:24 am

        Priscilla “You seem to be, and duck is definitely, saying that Barr will lie for Trump.”

        That depends on how one defines ” will lie”. If you believe everyone in Washington tells the truth most of the time and only lies when something big occurs, then, no, I am not saying Barr will lie. But if you believe as I do that the truth is spoken only occasionally, and that only includes important issues like what someone ate for dinner, then yes, Barr will lie for Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 2:41 pm

        If I heard this correctly, I give up to the forces of dimwittedness now in control of our government:

        Barr Says the reason Trump didn’t legally obstruct justice is that he was emotionally upset about being accused of potential crimes and bad media coverage. It wasn’t obstruction; it was ‘acting out!’

        If that’s the actual argument the Attorney General of the United States made, next time I get stopped by a traffic cop, can I punch him in the face and plead ‘overwrought emotion?’

      • April 18, 2019 4:19 pm

        If every time the president has a temper tantrum, they all would be removed from office. Damn, Johnson used every four letter word in the language when things did not go his way.

        However, should you or I get investgated for a crime, the DA gathers information and forwards that to a grand jury. The grand jury then decides if there is evidence enough to charge you or I and then we go to trial.

        So there is little different here. Mueller conducted the investigation, Barr and Rosenstein redacted the report as required by law and sent it to the congress and the media. Two different reports on two different channels stated select members of congress would receive a much less redacted report that is not available to the media due to confidential information required by law to be confidential.

        The House in this comparison thus becomes the “grand jury”. They can decide if there is enough evidence of obstruction and if there is, they should begin impeachment hearings, file the articles (indictment) and send it to the senate for trial.

        It there is not enough evidence to file charges, then we will be just enduring 2 more years of Democrat TDS spin and they will continue to try to convince voters there is something there. And most left wing voters will believe that media spin, even though had there been evidence, then the house should have started impeachment.

        I dont listen to innuendo, talking points and spin. I deal with facts as I know them. Sometime the facts as presented may not be right, but they are right way more times than media spin.

        Just because someone gets pissed off and says he/she is going to do something does not cross the line of illegal. If Comey was incompetent, Trumps firing of Comey would not be obstruction because incompetence is a basis for termination. And there is plenty reported about Comey supporting incompetence.

        But those views come from someone free of TDS.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 7:28 pm

        Yeah BUT Barr himself gave the temper tantrum excuse as a reason for not charging obstruction, and we don’t know what the Grand Jury said, that’s redacted. They may have echoed Mueller’s conclusions, that Trump’s actions were borderline illegal, deserving condemnation.

        Trump IN FACT tried to obstruct the investigation at every opportunity. Numerous times the report indicates his lawyers and/or advisors talked him out of crossing the line and committing a criminal offense. His inclinations to disrupt the Mueller investigation was an abuse against the public trust – which does fall under the category of ‘high crime and misdemeanor.’

        He’s a smear on the presidency. Out out, unbearable stain!

      • April 18, 2019 8:21 pm

        “and we don’t know what the Grand Jury said, that’s redacted.”

        When did Trump’s illegal activities go to a GJ?

        “His inclinations to disrupt the Mueller investigation was an abuse against the public trust – which does fall under the category of ‘high crime and misdemeanor.’”

        Then based on your views of what took place, this REQUIRES the House to impeach if they follow thir oath. ” “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” Few words, but impossible to argue with!!

        It starts with the House Judiciary Committee holding hearing on the evdence provided. If that supports “high crimes and misdemeanors, articles of impeachment are prepared and voted on in the house.

        Pelosi, EITHER IMPEACH OR SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH! I am sick of politics screwing with our constitution.

        Nixon was impeached for obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Jay, Is this any different from your point of view?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:29 am

        Do you have a link to Barr losing his temper ?

        I am unaware of this ?

        He is been one of the most unflappable people I have ever seen in washington.

        The reason his comments about spying were taken with such virulence is because Barr would not say such things without basis.

        If Barr has lost his temper – I can completely understand.

        The shit that is being shoveled at him is unbeleivable.

        I do not like Barr I think he is wrong about many things.
        I think he is too much like Mueller.
        But he is not corrupt.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:43 am

        “Trump IN FACT tried to obstruct the investigation at every opportunity.”
        How so ?

        Obstruction is an ACT!! It is not a thought, or a word.

        Did he refuse a subpeona ?
        Did he perjure himself ?
        Did he fight Mueller’s request using dubious legal tactics ?
        Did he stall ?
        Did he subborn perjury ?

        Every one of this was done by Clinton.
        Not one was done by Trump.

        “Numerous times the report indicates his lawyers and/or advisors talked him out of crossing the line and committing a criminal offense. ”
        No they stopped him from firing Mueller – which based on the evidence we have today should have occured the day he was hired.

        You do not get to make up what constitutes a crime.

        BTW how can you “obstruct justice” by thwarting an investigation that found no crime ?
        How can you “obstruct justice” by vigoruously asserting your innocence – when you are innocent ?

        “His inclinations to disrupt the Mueller investigation was an abuse against the public trust – which does fall under the category of ‘high crime and misdemeanor.’”
        If you can persuade enough congressmen of that – you can impeach
        and guarantee Trump’s re-election and a GOP house.

        You have wasted 3 years of the nations time with all this ranting and TDS,
        You had your investigation – one that clearly never had any foundation beyound “I am afraid”.
        You have demanded that the law be bent into a pretzel.
        If the crap that you have subject Trump too, becomes the new norm – everyone in washinton should be headed for jail.

        I want Barr to investigate the investigation – so we do not do something this dangerous and stupid ever again. So Republicans do not in the future do this to democrats.

        You do not seem to understand. Starr FOUND actual crimes committed by Clinton – many of them – perjury, obstruction of justice, subborning perjury. to name a few.
        Republicans impeached but could not convict – even though they are real crimes.

        Mueller found nothing beyond a bad attitude.

        We do not know whether Clinton’s lawyer’s restrained him from stupid acts,
        because Starr did not get millions of pages of communications from the white house.
        It is unlikely that they did – because they were too busy working with Clinton to thwart Starr.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:58 am

        Where have you heard that Barr and Rosenstein did the redactions ?

        Barr’s testimony was that Meuller’s team was asked to identify the GJ material and anything else that needed to be reducated.

        There is apparently an undercurrent story that Barr is NOT very happy with Mueller’s team.
        That he dumped the redactions on them, because they dumped this load of crap on him.
        And this is despite the fact that Meuller and Barr are buds.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:18 am

        “Barr Says the reason Trump didn’t legally obstruct justice is that he was emotionally upset about being accused of potential crimes and bad media coverage. It wasn’t obstruction; it was ‘acting out!’’

        That is a bad permutation of only ONE of the arguments Barr made.

        “If that’s the actual argument the Attorney General of the United States made, next time I get stopped by a traffic cop, can I punch him in the face and plead ‘overwrought emotion?’”

        Did Trump “punch Mueller in the face” ?

        If you are stopped by a traffic cop and you virulently protest your innocence, that is not obstruction or any other crime.
        It is not a crime even if you are actually guilty.
        It is certainly not if you are innocent.

        If you are going to warp your analogy confusing anger with force, you will be able to make breathing into a crime.

      • April 18, 2019 8:55 pm

        Fair enough, Ron. I think that Barr seems to be a pretty straight shooting guy, who obviously knew what he was getting into when he accepted Trump’s appointment. I have not been able to figure out what he’s lied about, at least so far. His summary of conclusions from the 400 page report was accurate. His press conference today, pre-butting the inevitable accusations that he redacted too much, was clearly stated and reasonable, not too defensive of the president nor accusatory of Mueller’s team. He simply stated the reasons for the redactions, and, more importantly, the reasons that he and Rosenstein decided that there was no legal basis for an obstruction charge.

        Mueller left it up to politics, essentially expecting Trump to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt, and suggesting that Congress could resolve the issue. That was a not-too-subtle suggestion that they could choose to impeach, and he would be fine with that.

        Barr, as the nation’s top prosecutor, stated that there was not sufficient evidence to bring a criminal charge. And there isn’t.

        So, I don’t think that is a lie. And, if the Dems want to impeach, they have enough innuendo to work with.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 18, 2019 11:41 pm

        I do not like Barr at all. I do not think he is a straight shooter.

        I think he interprets the law far too broadly.
        I think he has not seen much government power he does not like.
        He is also a close friend of Mueller’s.

        But he is NOT going to lie for Trump.
        This is nonsense.

        What do the nutjobs think – Trump offered Barr a Billion ?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 18, 2019 11:43 pm

        With respect to “collusion” Barr said the elements of the crime were not met.

        That is not the same as “insufficient evidence”.

        It is saying the act alleged to be a crime IS NOT!

        There is insufficient evidence of Collusion – insufficient meaning ZERO evidence.

        You can always beleive in bagical beans. It is not possible to prove a negative – though honestly Mueller came close.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:20 am

        I do not beleive Barr is a liar.

        I do not beleive Mueller is a liar.

        I beleive Barr is wrong about many things.

        I beleive Mueller is actually criminal – that is what the abuse of power under color of law is a crime. That is what hounding innocent people is.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:28 am

        I am not left with the impression that Barr “beleives in the president”.

        He does beleive in facts, evideence, and law.

        That is what I would expect from any lawyer.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:36 am

        While Trump attacking Mueller played well – and continues to play well with Trump’s base,
        It was a tactical mistake (though possibly strategically brilliant).
        It pretty much guaranteed that Mueller would be incredibly hostile to Trump.
        As he was.
        All the purported negatives in the Meuller report read like a petulant child.

        When Flynn or Manafort, or Stone of Papadoulis did not kowtow to Mueller he destroyed them. He could not do that to Trump, therefore he had to resort to pissy remarks that have no foundation in law or facts.

        At the same time attacking Meuller makes it very very very hard to beleive that there is a “lack of evidence”.

        Is there any doubt that if there was evidence that Meuller would have found it ?

        Democrats are making the same mistake with Barr.

        Why do you want to piss off the person deciding whether to clean house politically, when the people in his sights are all friends of the democrats ?

        Nothing would serve Trump better than indictiments of people in FBI/DOJ between now and the election.

        What better way to get Barr to find improper spying and indict it, than to tell him he is overstating this and out of line.

      • April 18, 2019 8:32 am

        More briefly, I’ll bet that Barr’s and Rosenstein’s press conference will have exactly zero effect on how the press continues to cover Trump. Which is to say, that no facts will get in the way of their feelings.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 18, 2019 10:58 am

        Ron, I am really trying to attain lurker mode and not comment and not participate in the great national food fight. But, I gotta say, yes, yes, and yes to your comments.

        BTW, I am also not atheist, I am not a believer in traditional book based religion founded in the days when people believed that a flat earth was the center of the universe. But there are too many coincidences and wonders to believe that the universe contains no other aspect than quarks, time, and the 4 forces that physics has determined.

        As well, unfortunately, there is too much random pain and suffering, and not just among humans, to believe that some kindly entity is in control. But there is definitely something going on behind the curtains.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:26 am

        For someone who has no interest in philosophy you spend alot of time pondering deep philosophical questions.

        Myriads of “philosophers” have pondered why god lets bad things happen.

        There are many ideas, such as that if god did not then free will would not exist.

        Regardless, you can stumble arround in the dark on your own, or
        you can gain insights from some of the smartest thinkers of history,
        People like Augustine, or Aquinas, or Kierkagard or Kant.

        Learning what philosophers have thought does not obligate you to agree, but it is easy than reinventing the wheel.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 1:59 am

        Jeff Sessions was pretty much NOT a shill for Trump.
        There are several now gone who clearly were not shills for Trump.
        Even now, I think there is a fair amount of dissension in some places.

        I think more so that any other president I can recall Trump put together a strong cabinet of independent thinkers. People who had succeeded on their own – outside of government where success means something.

        At the same time Trump campaigned on some very specific promises.
        If you choose to be part of his cabinet – you had better support those promisess – to the extent they bear on your department.

        That is not shilling, that is expecting that “elections have consequences”

  16. dduck12 permalink
    April 18, 2019 12:25 am

    But, but, but, he is trying to be transparent by helping us understand what is below the redactions- color coding. Brilliant, who would have thought redacting could be so much fun. And you too can practice it at home using any old document, for example any of the hundreds of Trump’s campaign rally speeches, or the Gettysburg Address which you can reduce from 272 words to 17. It’s great family fun, try it.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 18, 2019 10:59 am

      Good one dduck. I would have blown soda out my nose if I had been drinking soda when I read it.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 19, 2019 1:47 am

      “But, but, but, he is trying to be transparent by helping us understand what is below the redactions- color coding. Brilliant, who would have thought redacting could be so much fun. And you too can practice it at home using any old document, for example any of the hundreds of Trump’s campaign rally speeches, or the Gettysburg Address which you can reduce from 272 words to 17. It’s great family fun, try it.”

      No he is not trying to get you to understand what is below the redactions – that would be unethical and criminal.

      You are not allowed access to GJ material no matter how much you want.

      What is redacted for National Secutity reasons should be privately provided to congress, and then they should be prosecuted when they leak it.

  17. Jay permalink
    April 18, 2019 3:14 pm

    Pg 157 of #MuellerReport: “Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations… carried out through one-on-one meetings in which [he] sought to use his official power outside of usual channels”

    • April 18, 2019 4:24 pm

      “Pg 157 of #MuellerReport”

      Then begin impeachment! The House has a duty to uphold the constitution. Stop running your mouths and act! Or is this a better election year issue and damn the constitution?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 19, 2019 1:13 am

      “Pg 157 of #MuellerReport: “Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations… carried out through one-on-one meetings in which [he] sought to use his official power outside of usual channels””

      I have no idea what this even means.

      There is no “usual channels” provision in the law regarding obstruction.

      ALL power of the executive belongs to the president – that is the constitution.
      If something is within the presidents power to do, then it is not a crime to do it differently than you would prefer.

      While I have no idea what Mueller means.

      And as Derschowitz pointed out. So long as the presidents actions are not outside of those the constitution grants to the executive, they are not a crime.
      The president can not as an example “obstruct” an investigation, by ORDERING it ended.
      He has the power to give orders to the DOJ. Further he has the power to pardon those being investigated, thus ending the investigation.

      Obama as an example declared that Clinton was innocent long before FBI decided not to prosecute.

      That was absolutely “outside normal channels”
      it was absolutely improper.

      Military tribunals will as an example acquit a a criminal defendent if ANYONE in the defendants chain of command or that of the tribunal expresses that the defendant is quilty.
      That does not make the actions of the superior into a crime.
      Improper and criminal are not the same thing – not when it is Trump, not when it is Obama.

  18. Jay permalink
    April 18, 2019 3:31 pm

    • April 18, 2019 4:28 pm

      “The team members concluded they had to leave the decision to Congress about how to handle their evidence of Trump engaging in obstruction”

      That how it should be!

      They wont do it as that would mean the GOP would want another candidate to primary Trump, with.impeachment going on it would be reasonable to think a Kasich, Rubio, etc type candidate would win and be much harder for Sanders/ Warren etc to defeat.

      So damn the constitution and damn the country, its all about the election.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 6:46 pm

        For Independents like me who want Trump OUT, the impeachment strategy most likely is an exercise in frustration that will make it more difficult to get rid of him.

        With Republicans controlling the Senate there’s no way to get the two thirds concurrence necessary to remove the asshole. Not before the 2020 election or after it – even if Dems pick up some seats.

        Moreover, if the Democratic House initiates the process, it will even be more difficult for a reputable Republican to challenge Trump for the office, or to form a third party challenge that will siphon away Republican votes to aid the Dem candidate.

        And over the next year, as the New York investigations gear up, and/or Trump’s taxes become public, stronger evidence to remove him from office likely will surface. Unless, of course, he declares war against The State of NY and locks up those investigators.

      • April 18, 2019 7:37 pm

        I agree with this 100%. If they dont do it, then the democrats are worse than Trump. You cant be handed a golden platter like this and ignore it. If you do, the you are not upholding the constitution as you pledged when being sworn in. If they ignore this, they should also be impeached. What the senate might do has nothing to do with what the house is required to do when evidence like this is given to them. I find it hard to believe if the house presents undeniable facts supporting obstruction that some GOP senators would not also support the constitution and the rule of law.

        https://theintercept.com/2019/04/18/dear-democrats-mueller-just-handed-you-a-roadmap-for-impeachment-follow-it/?utm_source=The+Intercept+Newsletter&utm_campaign=bb2e5d004e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_18_mueller&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e00a5122d3-bb2e5d004e-132093713

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:21 am

        What the Senate would do is irrelevant.

        The vast majority of people would think that there was far less of a basis for impeaching Trump than Clinton. If democrats even get serious about hearings – they will guarantee a GOP tidal wave in 2020.

        Pelosi and other key democrats seem to understand that.

        You can get away with political defamation and slander.
        But impeachment is a bridge too far for most people.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:48 am

        TDS is not a sign of independence.

        You are a one trick pony.

        I do not know where you are ideologically, because you have been anti-trump everything for 3 years.

        If Trump favored puppies you would be posting tweets condeming Trump over puppies.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 7:00 pm

        You’re living in a dream world if you think the Republicans will abandon Trump if impeachment is initiated before 2020, Ron. Look how they’re rallying around him today. They’ll find ways to blame the Dems, and continue defending him no matter what implications surface from the redacted report.

        If Republicans other than Trump have a better chance of beating the Dems, as you suggest, why aren’t any Republicans, you included, crying out to dump Trump?

      • April 18, 2019 7:58 pm

        “If Republicans other than Trump have a better chance of beating the Dems, as you suggest, why aren’t any Republicans, you included, crying out to dump Trump?”

        #1, I am NOT a republican. I am Libertarian and will vote that in 2020 given Trump v Socialist Anyone provided by the Democrats. Had Biden not said about PPACA TO Obama ” this is big fucking deal”, I might have voted for him, but not now. Any Libertarian is a better candidate than whats on the horizon.

        #2. I think you ignore what others post here. How many times have I posted the democrats should start impeachment if the evidence supports illegal activities? How best to “dump Trump” than impeaching him? What are the democrats afraid of, they will find the evidence of obstruction is not there and make themselves look like a bunch of bumbling idiots after years of TDS?

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 8:07 pm

        I apologize for describing you as a Republican, Ron – as heinous an insult as calling a scientist a flat-Earther 😊

      • April 18, 2019 8:54 pm

        By the way, if the dems put Manchin on thebtop of the ticket, there would be no thinking twice who I would vote for!

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:16 am

        Democrat is a far worse insult. They beleive in CAGW.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:18 am

        Democrats are free to impeach anytime they want.

        They are not going to. I do not think they will even try.

        They will not do so, because there is no more certain way to assure that Trump is re-elected and the democrats lose the house.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:45 am

        I do not know what “abandon Trump” means.

        Republicans are not going to vote to impeach over garbage 1000 times weaker than against Clinton.

        Republicans are not going to but head with Trump over policies they agree on.

        If anything Trump’s problem with the GOP is that many GOP congressmen are more conservative than he is.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 18, 2019 7:34 pm

        Oh Jay, Ron is not a republican. And, he personally hates trumps character, maybe nearly as much you and I do.

        Ron hardly seems to me to understand where you stand ideologically any better than you understand him. This whole blog posting thing seems to be an exercise in miscommunication and misunderstanding.

        I agree with your statement above that impeaching trump would be an exercise in futility that would likely backfire. And… yes, its completely disheartening that conservatives don’t as a group condemn trumps character and try to pretend that noticing trumps character and caring about it is some form of insanity. The entire trump era has been Very disillusioning and disappointing. <– understatement

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:26 am

        The rest of us do not understand where you, jay and DD stand – because YOU do not seem to understand were you stand.

        Each of you claims not to be a creature of the left, but you make arguments that are not merely leftist, but rest of the core philosophy of progressives.

        You claim not to have any interest in philosophy – which is fine, But you do not get to escape the consequences of the actions you wish to force on the rest of us, merely because you are oblivious to the philosophy that underpins them.

        If you tbone someone else and kill them – you do not escape responsibility because your world view does not include knowledge or interest in brakes.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 7:50 pm

        Sorry… Ron…Roby…
        I thought he said he was a long time Republican. No?

      • April 18, 2019 8:52 pm

        Jay, who is that one for? Me or Roby?

        So I will provide some history just in case.
        First time voted, 1968, Robert Kennedy.CA primary.
        Did not vote 1968 general or 72, was in service. Politics were discouraged where I was.
        for enlisted. They just did not provide much info on how to vote when out of state.
        Frist voted GOP for Reagan then Bush 41.
        Then Clinton
        Then Bush 43
        Then McCain/ Romney
        During all this time, was always leaning Libertarian, but the Libertarians never really provided a creditable candidate qualified until Johnson.
        Clinton/Trump was last straw. Pushed me over to Libertarian ticket.
        Looking back, I would not change any vote. Clinton was good except for NAFTA. We can forgive one mistake. 43 was a total screw up with his middle east policiy that totally destableized the region, but I still could not vote for Kerry.knowing his communist ties and his work with Jane Fonda. Al Gore might have worked out since he was a right of center democrat on most things other than climate.

        But now there is no way I can vote for a Democrat. They have gone off the left deep end and I cant support the green new deal, medicare for all, paid college tuition, and other far left positions.

        And finally, Trump is an ass. One the democrats should.impeach if the evidence is there. If not, I am voting libertarian!

        Got it?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:54 am

        ““The team members concluded they had to leave the decision to Congress about how to handle their evidence of Trump engaging in obstruction”

        That how it should be!”

        WRONG!!!

        Obstruction of justice is a crime. It is not fungible. Criminal questions are the domain of prosecutors.

        Barr is purportedly upset with Muellers team – because Barr – and Mueler’s team know the law and know that there was no obstruction as defined by the law.

        Congress is free to impeach for whatever reason they wish.
        but Mueller is not free to abdicate his responsibility to the law.
        Prosecution is binary. You prosecute or you do not. You make a decision.
        Not making a decision is the same as no obstruction.

        Obstruction is NOT a political question. Barr has zero problems dispatchining it correctly as a matter of law. They required elements are not present. DONE.

        That does not interfere with congress deciding whatever they want reqarding impeachment.
        Or even changing the law regarding obstruction.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 19, 2019 1:04 am

      “Mueller’s team couldn’t rule out that Trump criminally obstructed justice.”

      They went to law school didn’t they ?

      The law is not supposed to be nebulous.

      How are the rest of us supposed to obey the law, when the special counsel is not even sure what the law is ?

      This claim is BUNK and Meuller’s team knows it.

      Barr dispatched the obstuction claims quickly.

      The protestations of innocence of even a guilty person are NOT obstruction.

      Barr found 3-4 elements of the assorted crimes of obstruction that were not present.

      When a required element of a crime is not present – the crime was not committed PERIOD.
      That is NOT lack of evidence. That is NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED.

      DOJ/FBI is going nuts – first we have Comey adding elements that do not exist to 18cfr793(f)
      Then we have Meuller removeing required elements in the hope of finding a crime where there wasn’t one.

  19. Jay permalink
    April 18, 2019 7:48 pm

    Mumm…
    A (soon to be former?) FOX contributor:

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 18, 2019 8:11 pm

      “Fox’s Judge Napolitano: Trump’s Behavior Is ‘Immoral, Deceptive, and Repellent’—But Not Criminal”

      But, don’t be sad, three out of four ain’t bad.

      I’m too busy to write the entire song parody.

      I personally would consider myself satisfied if the GOP nation as a functional unit would just admit the above as regards the Russians and stop calling people like me delusional and we could call it a day and get on with other things.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:15 am

        “Fox’s Judge Napolitano: Trump’s Behavior Is ‘Immoral, Deceptive, and Repellent’—But Not Criminal”

        Actually, Trump is one of the least “deceptive” politicians I recall.
        He is quite upfront about exactly what he thinks and feels – an the nasty parts of the Mueller report are a reflection of Mueller’s anger at Trump’s candor.

        Instead of being a wall flower, Trump did not kowtow to Mueller,
        Though I would note that unlike Clinton, regardless of what Mueller says about lack of cooperation – as if victims are required to cooperate with their peritrators, Trum never went to court ONCE to stop Mueller. Mueller SAYS he did not subpeona Trump because it would have made this take longer. Why are we to beleive that ? Mueller asks us to presume that:
        Trump would not have fought a subpeona – when he did not fight ANYTHING, AND that if he had fought a subpeona that he would have lost.

        “But, don’t be sad, three out of four ain’t bad.”
        It is better than the past 3 presidents.

        “I personally would consider myself satisfied if the GOP nation as a functional unit would just admit the above as regards the Russians and stop calling people like me delusional and we could call it a day and get on with other things.”

        I will be happy to admit that Trump has OPENLY engaged in conduct we are all aware of that is repugnant.
        I wish that none of our leaders did so.
        Our choice was between Trump and Clinton – who inarguably “immorally, deceptively, repellently, and criminally” as well as SECRETLY engaged in worse conduct.
        5 out of 4 is damning.

        You have been bemoaning these fake claims of campaign finance violations – where are they ?

        Yet, we know that Clinton and even AOC did worse ?
        And you are worried about republicans ?
        Aparently there are even serious questions about Sanders campaign financing.

        Is Trump Repellent – absolutely.
        Name one pollitician that is not ?
        Name a current democrat that is as honest ?
        Which one do you think will actually keep any of those socialist campaign promises they are making ?

        Isn’t that deceptive ?

        Isn’t it immoral to promise people something you have no intention of delivering on ?

        Some of Trump’s campaign promises are BAD. But good or bad, he has moved heaven and earth to keep them.

        Please name anyone in washington who has done that ?

        It is unlikely I will be able to vote for Trump in 2020.
        But there is little chance that I am voting for democrats – who even if I liked I could not trust.

        Your problem with Trump is not that he is deceptive – it is that he is NOT!

        If Trump was elected and did not do what he promised, you would be happy with him.

    • Jay permalink
      April 18, 2019 8:32 pm

      More FOX NEWS: Trump is a Dickhead (my adumbration)

      “Shepard Smith opened his Fox News show on Thursday afternoon with a devastating, point-by-point examiniation of the evidence compiled by Robert Mueller that President Trump obstructed justice during the two-year special counsel investigation. If the president was watching his favorite news channel at that time, one imagines there was some White House crockery being shattered against some walls.

      Smith started off by noting three major takeaways from the report. First, that Mueller concluded the Russians did try to interfere with the 2016 election. Second, that members of the Trump campaign did try to get hold of Hillary Clinton’s emails, which they believed had been stolen by hackers who broke into her private server. And third, that the Trump campaign was aware of and expected to benefit from Russian hacking, even if no one specifically colluded with Russia to effect that hacking.”

      https://contemptor.com/2019/04/18/fox-news-shep-smith-muellers-report-does-not-clear-president-trump-on-obstruction/

      • April 18, 2019 8:57 pm

        Shep Smith should be on CNN or MSNBC. He is nor only anti Trump, he is anti GOP. Who ever hired him should be fired the sameday they fire Smith.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2019 9:05 pm

        Why should they fire him?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 18, 2019 11:57 pm

        Smith’s observations are correct. They are also NOT a crime.
        Further everyone one of those is something EVERYONE knew on election day.

        This trying to bend criminal law to fit the facts stuff is immoral.

        Something is not a crime meaning because you do not like it or the person doing it.

        I do not like the fact that Clinton ACTUALLY colluded with Russians and other foreigners, and apparently the Ukraine. I do not like that Clinton used the state department and FBI to go after Trump.

        But absent evidence we do not have – that is not a crime.

        It is repugnant conduct, it is also conduct we did NOT know about on election day.

        Grow up. Mueller dug under every grain of sand. He is pissed as hell at Trump for calling him names practically from day one.

        Most of those names are deserved.
        Mueller could have dispatched this quickly – the “predicates” for an investigation did not exist.
        We are done.
        Trump’s claim this was a witch hunt are TRUE.

        Mueller can bitch and moan, but unverified garbage is NOT the basis for an investigation.

        If Mueller was going to abide by “the rule of law”, he would have ended this 20 months ago.
        All he needed to say was “The Steele dossier is not credible, and there is nothing else, we are done”.

        We do not investigate the crap out of people because we are afraid.

        Well aparently we do.

        God help you if Barr uses the same garbage standards against whoever runs against Trump as you are prepared to use against him.

        Smith is correct about everything EXCEPT the most important part – his conclusion.

        Of COURSE Trump wanted the emails – thought he actual evidence is he wanted the emails from Clinton’s bathroom server, he did not know about the DNC emails until they were published. Regardless, he said he wanted them PUBLICLY.
        If that was a crime he should have been charged in 2016.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 12:00 am

        So?

        There is no crime of “jay and george think Trump is a cancer on the presidency”

        Obama was a far worse president. As was Bush, Bill Clinton MIGHT end up being a better president – that has yet to be seen. But he is a worse person.

  20. dduck12 permalink
    April 18, 2019 9:20 pm

    What Jay said, and what Pelosi keeps saying.
    Don’t waste time trying to climb Mt. Everest in a snow (Rep, support) storm.
    The Dems need pragmatic strategists to win back the country, not whining little bitches (M&F). This is war, and you have to plan to win the war not the battle.
    Sorry Ron, but your libertarian votes could tip a close election.
    I would hope some of you guys/gals would help throw out Trump, although I admire you for sticking up for your ideals.
    Personally, as a lifelong Rep. leaner, I had to vote for Hillary and I am a fiscal conservative and laugh at the prog, Dem’s dreams of exploding the economy.
    But first things first, get rid of Trump.

  21. dduck12 permalink
    April 18, 2019 9:35 pm

    Too bad Rosenstein took cough medicine before the Barr, er, briefing. He could have coughed at Barr’s SNL worthy remarks.
    Oh, the strain, oh the unfair derisive attacks:
    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/279c618c-f236-41b2-b3c4-95783732c9dc

    • dhlii permalink
      April 18, 2019 11:37 pm

      So what does it take for you to grasp you have been on a witch hunt ?

      Your going to slander anyone who refuses to manufacture the case you want ?

      No matter how great his other flaws, Trump has been the victim of a with hunt.

      Only left wing nuts beleive that the victim is obligated to smile and say think you while getting the shaft.

      But hating Trump is not enough for you.
      Now Barr and Rosenstien too ?

      I have serious problems with Rosenstein.
      It is clear he has acted quite improperly.
      But he is atleast not so corrupt as to pretend there was something there when there was not.

  22. dhlii permalink
    April 19, 2019 3:09 am

    On Saturday at 9:10pm my son was driving my wife and daughter home from a family friends. He made a left turn at a stop sign from a back road onto a state highway and was “tboned” by a truck. At 9:40pm I received a call from EMS saying that the rest of my family was headed to the Trauma unit at the local hospital. I am told they were sufficiently concerned about my son that the Ambulance was going 80 down back roads.

    I arrived at the ER shortly after my family did.
    Everyone was alive – thank god.
    Tediously slowly over many hours I recieved additional good news,
    Everyone was probably going to live,
    no one was paralized
    My wife’s ankle was broken – badly, but no permanent injuries.
    Despite the fact that my son was near death when he arrived at the Trauma unit,
    he only has a few stitches and a pretty bad concussion.

    On monday I saw pictures of the car. I do not know how anyone lived.

    Tonight – like every holy thursday for the past 41 years my wife and I – joined by our children had our own passover. Unleavened bread, lamb, while playing John Micheal Talbots “the lords supper” – it is on Youtube, followed by Godspell.

    I have not seen the face of god in my life, but I have been touched by actual evil several times – including last Saturday night.

    I am not as someone here said “of some book”, but I do beleive in some kind of god.
    I beleive in a god that lets us make our own choices, who understands that there is no good without evil. That we can not be free to do good, unless we are also free to do evil.

    Debating Trump, Mueller, Barr, …. is fun and interesting.

    It is inconsequential compared to family.

    If the Trump campaign had actually colluded with Russia – whatever that means, it would not even be close to the worst thing a president had ever done.

    Those of you frothing and foaming over Trump, seem to be praying for bread crumbs in the Mueller report. Something just enough to justify in your own minds your egregious behavior.
    It’s not there – except in your heads.

    Barr’s memo should not have been necescary to dispatch this obstruction nonsense.
    What decent person would prosecute any innocent person no matter what the law might be, for doing almost anything to thwart a witch hunt ?

    Aparently Trump is special to you – he is so repugnant he is not allowed to assert his innocence – even if he is.

    Go home. Hug your family. Let go of this nonsense. Your hatred for Trump is rotting your souls.

    Even if Trump is as evil as you beleive – the country has survived, and even thrived worse presidents. Clinton comes immediately to mind.
    If Trump is not impeached, if as is likely he is re-elected, and finishes 8 years. It will not be the end of the world. In fact the country will be better than it is today.

    • April 19, 2019 8:56 am

      Thanks for that, Dave. I’m very happy to hear that your family is well after such a horrifying crash.

      Really, since the Bush administration, the numbers of Americans who place their political priorities over anything else, are really shocking. First it was “Bush the war criminal,” then it was “Obama the Manchurian candidate,” now it is “Trump the Russian agent.”

      Other than the government semi-takeover of the healthcare system, and the increasing power of the administrative state, both of which concern me, I would say that, other than my lifelong interest in discussing politics, I consider it to be pretty far down on my list of priorities. Of course, the only place I continue to discuss it is on the internet, and even here, I have seen the decline of civility that results from people placing politics too high on their list of things that are important in life. I suppose the relative anonymity of the internet is responsible for some of the entitled and aggressive rudeness that some people exhibit when commenting online, but it is also a result of our new cultural obsession with the presidency. It’s as if, for many Americans, the president has become someone akin to God or the Devil; there is no in-between and everyone must take sides. If you don’t, you are a heretic.

      Again, very glad to hear that your wife and children escaped serious physical harm.

      Must have been Trump… 😉

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 2:07 pm

        Like you I have an interest in politics. I post alot. I enjoy doing so.
        I usually post while doing other things, so I am less focused on this than it appears.
        Further I do not go to much effort to make my posts concise or otherwise optimize the writing.
        TNM is for fun, it is not my life’s work. I wear many hats in the real world and most of them require writing, for those I put the effort into efficient concise prose. I am not paid for posting at TNM.

        But politics is not my life – not even close. In the events of the past week, almost none of it involved government. Locally the hospitals, EMS and Emergency responder system are all private. We have volunteer Fire companies funded donations. Our EMS system is similar, it is private and you will get builded for services unless you pay them an annual donation.
        The hospitals are private, insurance is private. The only public role in this was played by the local police who investigate the accident.

        One of the worst events in my life, has had little nexus with government.

        In the real world government has very little to do with our lives.

        I am reading an interesting article in wired about Canadian CDC responses to the spike in drug overdoses. They have gathered a growing body of data rejecting the current model of dealing with Drugs. What struck me throughout the article was that even the more radical approaches of Dr. Tyndall that appear to be the best we have been able to do, are overly complicated and a trivially simple solution is right infront of us – FULL LEGALIZATION.
        Tyndall goes to enormous efforts to solve problems that markets solve easily everyday.

        We seem to have this incredibly stupid idea that profit is so evil that it can not be in the same room as doing something good.

        Does no one understand that almost everything in their lives that is good comes because other people profit by providing you what you want ?
        Whether it is medical service or transportation or food or ….
        Almost every wonderful thing in your life is provided by someone who is benefiting from giving you what you want.
        In the past 40 years the standard of living of the world has doubled – at the same time as the population has doubled. No one anywhere in the world starves today because we can not produce enough, only because of political problems delivering food.
        In fact no people in the world would be unable to feed themselves – but for government and war and conflict.

        All these gains have occured because of the explosion of free markets throughout the world.
        Because of free market globalization. While there have been bad effects of “globalization” pretty much all of those are the result of government interferance.

        https://www.wired.com/story/one-doctors-answer-to-drug-deaths-opioid-vending-machines/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

        In the past 4 decades we have had many experiments in drug legalization and prostitution legalization throughout the world.

        The results are unequivocal – every single step no matter how small away from first criminalized, and even merely regulated results in less crime and better lives for those involved.

        Whether it is drugs or prostitution – we can not end them. But we can make them much much better than they are, and every step – even small ones towards freedom – warts and all is a net gain.

        While reading of Tyndall, I was thinking about “The Silk Road”.

        Ross Ulbrect(dred pirate roberts) is in jail for the rest of his life for running the Silk Road.
        Prosecuting him has only resulted in more decentralized functioning of the so called dark web. Ulbrect was charged because in the $2B/year drug market of the silk road, 6 people over 5 years died of drug overdoes. Yet according to the Wired article – 300 people a year are dying in Vancouver. It was well know that “the silk road” RADICALLY reduced drug overdoes. Real markets in anything – even illegal markets that are purely about profit not crime provide for things like public health and safety BETTER than government.
        Ulbrecht was not prosecuted because 6 people died. He was prosecuted because he showed that without govenrment 1000’s of people DID NOT die.
        God forbid that we should actually discover that what is essentially anarcho-capitalism actually works BETTER that government regulation.

        Dr. Tyndall is struggling to get public funding and permission to do a tiny part of what The Silk Road did incredibly successfully on a much larger scale and at absolutely zero public cost.

        The vast majority of the problems in our lives – even the very serious ones,
        not only do not need government, but work better without government.

        My one note boring constant retort here is

        Get the F out of my and everyone else’s lives.
        Those of you who want to empower government – are totally clueless – you are clearly making things WORSE for everyone.

        Quit this nonsense that Government can provide free (via increased taxation), what freedom has ultimately ALWAYS provided cheaper, better, and safer in the long run.

        Government is expensive an inefficient, and almost always the stupidest way to solve our problems.

        In fact if working together socially was the best way to solve a problem – and it sometimes is, we would do so naturally on our own – and we do.

        Government is FORCE. If a problem does nto require FORCE, it does not require government.

        People – individually and in voluntary groups are unbelievably good at improving not only their own lives, but those of others – and sometimes profiting at it.

      • April 19, 2019 3:54 pm

        Dave, you state ” We seem to have this incredibly stupid idea that profit is so evil that it can not be in the same room as doing something good. ”

        I agree with many of your positions, but when does profit become too much profit. I am including a link to a source that is not the. MSM. But this summarizes my thinking well.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2017/01/19/why-patent-protection-in-the-drug-industry-is-out-of-control/#60f2c73378ca

        I know you will say I am free to buy or not buy. But if a life depends on a drug and you cant afford to buy the drug, is asking a drug company to reduce their profit margin from 25% to 15% unreasonable. Cant investors function with a 15% ROI?

        If GM nan produce a car and charge $75,000 for it and have a 50% profit margin company wide, more power to them. But drug companies buying a drug that might have been developed through university grants, increasing the price 5-10 times the previous price and causing many to not be able to afford the drug, all while incresding their margin to over 20% cant be in the same room with me!

      • Jay permalink
        April 19, 2019 8:59 pm

        “ when does profit become too much profit. ”

        Like when durg companies charge egregious prices for insulin…

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:33 am

        If insulin can be made at egregious profits – make it yourself, you can sell it at a steep discount and still get rich.

      • Jay permalink
        April 20, 2019 9:06 am

        If your teeth are rotting, pull them out yourself and save the dental surgery cost. Then polish and glue on clips and sell the extracted teeth as cuff links. Right?

        You really are an idiot…

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:26 pm

        Every business is not a monopoly. There are no monopolies without government.

        In a 5 mile trip from my home to downtown there is half a dozen dentists.
        One of which has a flashy sign advertising fixed rate and very low pricing.

        But lets presume that only one dentist exists and they charge exorbitantly.

        500 years ago there were ZERO dentists.

        There is no right to dentistry, just as there is no right to fly to the moon.
        It is a luxury that the free market has turned into an affordable commodity.
        Even impoverished people in shithole countries have access to very basic dentistry today,
        Julius Ceasar had none. Even George Washington had shitty teeth and dentists that were little better than witch doctors.

        But you have decided that you are entitled to FORCE another to give you something you have no right to.

        You are no different from the southerners enslaving Blacks for their own good.

        Black Slaves did not have to work that hard, in most cases the got the same medical care as the plantation owner, they were assured of food, clothing, shelter. What is the loss of a little freedom ?

        Why is your mythical monopoly dentist allowed to more freedom that negro slaves ?
        After all he did not really “build it”, his success is somehow dependent on your munificence.
        Why shouldn’t you have the right to determine what he can charge for his work, his skill, his time.

        Your selling slavery and I am an idiot ?

        You can not imagine how happy I am that I am not you.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 11:12 pm

        “But if a life depends on a drug and you cant afford to buy the drug, is asking a drug company to reduce their profit margin from 25% to 15% unreasonable. Cant investors function with a 15% ROI?”

        Lets assume your hypothesis is correct (it is not).

        Can you FORCE others to save someone else ?

        That is REALLY what you are asking.

        Save the Children tells me that for $.50/month they can save a child in Africa from starving.

        Accepting your argument the government should be allowed to FORCE all of us to pay $.50/month to save a child or 10, or 100.

        There is absolutely no difference. You are not on a slippy slope, you have already slid off the end.

        There is always something that you can claim would be a better use of someone ELSE’s “profits”.

        Now to address your actual premise – that somehow profits are “excessive”.

        In an actual free market that is NEVER the case.

        Profits always correspond to risk. Whenever a profit becomes excessive relative to risk – competitors will enter the market. If the “excess” is very very small, probably they will not.
        Absent government – you can (though it has never happened) have a monopoly, so long as that monopoly never pushes their profits high enough to lure competitors.

        In an actual free market when you mess arround with business profits – the result is destructive.

        If you raise MC’ds cost of labor – so that its profits decline – capital will move from MC’d’s to other investments. For a given level of risk you MUST acheive the investor required profits or your business DIES – and that happens ALL THE TIME.

        If you reduce the profits of drug companies (in a free market), then those drug companies will either fail or make less risky drugs – regardless WE lose.

        There is actually massive amounts of economic literature on this.

        Some economists have studied deliberate efforts by companies to create massive profits – beyond the short term these ALWAYS fail.

        There is only one way to have “excessive” profits – an that is to NOT have a free market.
        When government aka FORCE protects market actors – THEN and only then are “excessive profits possible.

        The epipen is constantly used as an example of “excess” profits.

        There are numerous potential competitors to the epipen.

        You do not see them – because they are “illegal” – meaning they can not get approved.

        An EpiPen is just a means of injecting epinephrine – which is a cheap drug.
        The cost of an EpiPen is FAR less than $10.

        I could personally provide predosed epinepherine syringes and sell 10 for $10 and make money. But I can not get approval to do so.

        There are competing devices – it is near impossible to get approved – but some have.
        So we have laws that require pharmacists to supply an EpiPen – even when there is a generic equivalent. In fact this is the case EVEN if the doctor does nto perscribe an epipen by name.

        So you are never fixing the problem you think.
        You are fixing a problem that was created because we DO NOT have free markets.

        I linked recently to a long article about the efforts of a Canadian CDC doctor to provide safe opiates to at risk addicts.
        The canadian government has agreed to this as a concept – he STILL can not make it happen – why ? Because the method he has chosen disadvantages pharmacists, and unless government cuts them in on the action they will throw up road blocks.

        But the real problem is not the pharmacists. The REAL problem is that any of this is governments business at all.

        I am pretty sure that the opiate vending machine, that Tyndall is pushing is likely a BAD IDEA.

        But the way to find out – is NOT through government forcing the issue.
        It is to allow markets to try to solve a problem – and they will come up with many ways.
        In fact they will NEVER cease trying new ways.

        If Tyndall is right – the opiate vending machine will be the winner.

        But the right choice is NOT for govenrment to force vending machines over pharmacists.

        It is for government to GET OUT of the way.
        The answer to the pharmacists is – find a better way yourselves.

        If you have something that has actually excessive profits – it is because FORCE is being used – and that pretty much always means GOVERNMENT

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 11:23 pm

        You seem to be completely disconnected from the FACT that YOUR decision NOT TO BUY, ultimately changes the SELLOR’s behavior.

        Resturaunts do not exist to make meals. Drug companies do not exist to make drugs.
        Every business exists to make profits – if you are unwilling to buy – the business MUST adapt.
        It must lower its prices or produce something else.

        BTW we have FAR larger problems with drugs that can not even come into existance than with life saving drugs that are too expensive.

        There are myriads of people with “orphan” diseases. Diseses with too few sufferers to produce a cure or propholactic.
        Actually that is not true – there are too few sufferes to do so in the government screwed up market we have.

        I read extensively about a disease where the sufferes muscles slowly turn to bone – particularly if they are injured – even a little. There are about 100,000 sufferes in the US.
        They have on their own funded research. They have potentialy beneficial drugs ready for trial. They are not permitted to test them, themselves, and no drug company will touch them because the cost of testing and bringing the drug to market are just way to low and the risk too high.

        Why can’t someone do that in their garage ? Because it is ILLEGAL.

        You do not get to use FORCE to create the problem in the first place – and then claim you need to use even more FORCE to fix it.

        Get out of the way – if you do I will personally find the cheaper way if absolutely no one else does.

        The problem you are trying to solve does not exist but for government.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 11:43 pm

        One last point – for nearly any given problem if you are allowed infinite resources you can probably solve the problem – or atleast argue that you can.

        All of us are going to die. We are all going to die from something that could be prevented – given that someone was willing to spend enough money.

        Just to be clear – by prevented I mean your life could be extended until some other problem or combination of problems killed you.

        One of the reasons that further increases to life expectancy is so hard is that starting after about 65 we are subject to ever increasing failures.

        My father in law died of a gall bladder attack – something that was imminetly treatable.
        The doctors just “let him die” – why because he was otherwise in sufficiently bad shape that operating would have killed him anyway. Not a one of the problems he had that lead to his death was terminal. But in conjunction – one way or another he was going to die.

        The entire Point of the price system is RESOURCE allocation. Whenever you FORCE the expenditure of resources for one thing, you automatically take those resources away from another.

        You can not FORCE something you think is good without doing harm elsewhere.

        You can not save every person on the planet that came be saved from death or disease – the resources do not exist.

        But the way we increase the number that we can save – is by making doing so profitable.

        Even if the only positive effect of the high price of the epipen is to push others to find new products – that are so valueable to us that they to can command extremely high prices we are STILL ahead.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2019 10:18 am

        “If your teeth are rotting, pull them out yourself and save the dental surgery cost. Then polish and glue on clips and sell the extracted teeth as cuff links.”

        Oh my. Now That is humor. That should be in a novel somewhere. That was Not Nice, but I understand the provocation that inspired it, believe me! Is there a rolling on the floor etc, face I can use here?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 1:30 pm

        It was funny, it was not nice, I can appreciate both.

        But it was also stupid.

        Effective Humor brings us insight into some truth.

        The only insight from this is the delusion of those who think they can enslave others for their own benefit.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 19, 2019 3:21 pm

      Dhlli: Hope everyone heals well.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 19, 2019 4:34 pm

        Thank you.

        This incident as well as Priscilla;s comments make a very important point.

        A major part of why I am libertarian.

        We rant and rave about politics and government here.

        Despite consuming 40-50% of what we produce Government is NOT that important except for a tiny portion of the country.

        Not only did the events of this weekend bring back tot he front of my mind how little anything we debate hear matters, But I and my family were dependent on lots of services from others – almost NONE of which came from govenrment.

        The ER and Trauma cneter – while heavily regulated is private and for profit.
        The local Fire departments are either volunteer or paid for by fund raising and donations.
        The EMS services receives donations, as well has having a subscription service, and after that they bill you and your insurance company pays. The service is essentially free for the poor because they just do not pay.

        Everything I dealt with was either private, charity, for profit, volunteer, or some other permutions of non-government provided service.

        We talk of US healthcare – the Trauma care in the US is completely unequaled anywhere else in the world. Though I do not want to know the bill my family just generated.

        My son is wondering around with a few stitches and except for the fact that his mother has a broken ankle and looks like she was in an MMA bout and lost badly, he otherwise is almost uneffected. When I arrived at the hospital he was in crisis. I think he would have easily died from shock without the fantastic treatments starting with the EMT’s and through the trauma unit. He was not conscious after the accident and only semi conscious when he arrived at the hospital. It is incredibly hard looking at him right now to perceive that just a few days ago he was actually close to death. Despite the fact that the long term impact on my wife is much greater, she never lost consciousness – though she was not particularly coherent.
        She was likely never in danger of losing her life, while at the same time will take much longer to recover. Part of that is the difference between being 20 and being 60. Part of that is the incredible (and expensive) Trauma care we have.

        I have made many posts ranting at You, Jay, Robby regarding the Mueller report.

        I appreciate everyone here’s concern.

        And that is really Priscilla’s point.

        If Trump actually conspired with Russia and that conspiracy actually effected the outcome of the election, of the things in the world that are important – that is NOT SO MUCH.

        Much or what we debate here is NOT IMPORTANT really – atleast not beyond it is very costly and costs us our rights.

        To those crossing the border – immigration is huge. To the 330M people who are NOT recent illegal immigrants – even “open borders” would NOT disrupt our lives.

        While I have supported “the wall” – my baseline position is ACTUAL OPEN BORDERS.
        But fix all the other GOVERNMENT problems that make that impossible.

        56% of americans want landlords to go to jail for renting to illegals.
        70+ % want employers to go to jail for hiring illegals.

        I want government out of renting and hiring. COMPLETELY.

        What business is it of government who I hire, or rent to or how much is paid – so long as the transaction is voluntary.
        Trump’s recent threat to send illegals to sanctuary cities – was probably just rhetoric and a bluff.

        But it made a critical point. It is NOT the federal governments job to engage in the charity that SOME of us want.

        The entire immigration issue becomes moot if “illegal” immigrants have no enforceable demand on our society. If we are not obligated to provide them medical care or good jobs, or welfare or education or social security or …

        I am NOT saying they should not receive those things, but that they should not receive them from government.

        If I want to start a business providing cheap 3rd rate medical care to immigrants (or anyone else) – WHY is anyone trying to stop me ? So long as no one is FORCED to use the crappy but better than nothing service I provide – why do the rest of you care ? If I am providing Honduran immigrants better care than they would get in honduras, but care that most of us would call malpractice – why do you care ?

        If I offer an immigrant a job paying $2.50/hr cleaning septic tanks – and they freely accept it, and can leave whenever they want – why do you care ?

        If I provide illegals or drug uses crappy rat infested apartments with marginally working fascilities at a fraction of the cost of properly maintained apartments but still far better than living on the streets – why do you care ?

        I posted a link to Dr. Tyndall in CA who is trying to provide a reliable safe supply of opiates for serious drug users. good for him. But WHY does this need to be done through government ?

        Why can’t I sell drug users safe oppiates ?

        AS I noted regarding The Silk Road – an on like dark web anarcho-capitalist illegal venture RADICALLY altered “drug dealing”.

        Our government does NOT want safe reliable market solutions to problems like drugs.

        God forbid Silk Road had become almost unstoppable. That would have undermined not only the war on drugs, but an enormous portion of the nonsense that we need government to keep us safe.

        Silk Road provided ebay/amazon like reputation systems.

        Buyers and sellors rated each other. You could by anything from Pot to Fentenyl and have an excellent chance of getting exactly what you paid for – cheaply and safely.
        To some extent it still does – euphamistically, but for many years Craigslist essentially functioned as a safe way to make prostitution work. It empowered women, it disempowered criminals and pimps.

        So we had to destroy that.

        You rant about libertarian aproaches being utopian and impossible.

        That is complete garbage. Libertarains have found and implimented solutions to some of our worst problems. If what we have done appears to work – it must be destroyed.
        God forbid people should EVER see that freedom actually works.

        The pie in the sky utopian stuff that you claim I am selling – ain’t pie in the sky. It is not utopian, and it works extremely well – if you will let it.

        I keep sugesting that people read Coases “how china became capitalist”.

        It is no different from the story of Craigslist or Silk Road.
        EXCEPT the chinese government turned a blind eye to “criminal” free market conduct at the very fringes of chinese society – until it was clear that it was working well.

        China did not have Silk Road or Craigslist. But they had their own criminal flouting of China’s economic laws – and instead of crushing it – the way the US did Silk Road or craigslist.
        China stepped back to see what would happen.
        Not only did it work but very slowly it worked itself in from the edges.

        in 1974 exactly 0% of the chinese economy was privately owned Today it is about 65%.

        Rather that government subsidized and highly regulated opiate vending machines, or supervised injection clinics or govenrment run pot dispensaries.
        LET THE MARKET handle these problems.

        Markets never solve problems perfectly – perfection does not exist.
        But they ALWAYS solve them better than anything else.

        Tell me WHY it should not be legal to sell drugs on silk road or eBay ?

        WE are dealing with entirely voluntary transactions – no force involved.
        It is highly unlikely our drug problems will get worse, in fact it is near certain they will improve.
        But they will no longer be a CRIMINAL problem.,

        And why can’t back page or Craigslist advertise sex for sale ?

        We can not eliminate “vice” but we can make it safer and not a criminal problem.

  23. dhlii permalink
    April 19, 2019 3:41 am

    1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”

    3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”

    4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”

    5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”

    6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”

    7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign]

  24. Jay permalink
    April 19, 2019 5:56 pm

    Republicans dissing Republicans.

    • April 19, 2019 7:25 pm

      Reading this just adds to my belief the Democrats need to start impeachment proceedings. But Queen Pelosi wont let that happen. Undermining the constitution is secondary to getting a Democrat elected in 2020. And I say undermining because the longer this goes unanswered through the complete constitutional process, then we weaken the constitution just a little so the next president looking to pull some crap can get away with it. Maybe the house would send articles to the senate, maybe not. But for the next 18 months, all we will hear is “Mueller Report”. It needs to stop!

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 19, 2019 7:49 pm

        I think I understand your point of view Ron. But just to make sure I am not misinterpreting your words let me ask you a simple question that would put your views perfectly clear. If you were a member of the House, would you vote to begin impeachment of trump?

        If so, why? (OK, two questions, the first simple, the second maybe not simple.

      • April 19, 2019 9:02 pm

        Roby, your second question may be easier to answer than the first. I will probably combine them into one answer.

        First, the bar for investigating for articles of impeachment to me is lower than the bar for indicting someone else for the same crime. In this instance Mueller stated that in his comments about obstruction. He stated that he was leaving that up to congress because he could not definitely say Trump obstructed justice or not. So based on the fact that there is evidence that this may have occurred, if this were you or I, a DA most likely would send this to a grand jury for their review I. The grand jury would have then reviewed the evidence and determined if a trial was to take place or not. Then a trial would have occurred or not. But something final would have taken place and you or I would be cleared.

        In this case, he left the decision up to congress to determine if an investigation was to take place. The constitution is clear. If the president or anyone in a federal position is suspected of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, there should be congressional action in the House to investigate and if they find anything, articles of impeachment should be voted on. That then goes to the senate if approved and a trial ensues. Once the senate votes, that is the final say. The constitutional requirement is completed.

        I have enough confidence in our system that I believe if all the talking points that are being provided by the democrats is not substantiated that there are 17 members in the democrat house that would not vote for impeachment. I call them the Joe Manchin Democrats, I also believe if there is evidence to substantiate the claim Trump obstructed justice that there are republicans that dislike Trump as much as I do (or Romney and other conservatives) and they would vote to impeach. I don’t think it would be 235-199 vote

        If it goes to the senate, that is another situation. I can not see the senate voting to impeach. But if the evidence supports what the democrats are claiming and they file articles of impeachment, that provides two election issues. One, Trump should be removed and the only way left is a democrat being elected, and two, some swing state republican senators like Thom Tillis in NC would have a huge target on their back because it only takes a percent or two in this state and others to swing a few senate seats. But with the impeachment hearings, everything would be public for the most part, as was the Nixon hearings. And that was way before everything in Washington was public like it is today. So most everyone will know the truth after the trial.

        But everything would be final. No more talking points, not more politics for the most part, no more He’s guilty/Fake news crap. Then maybe we could move forward. Right now we are stuck in 2017 and will be until 2021 arguing like we do here for another 18 months with no conclusion.

        And once Trump leaves office, the “good ol boy’s agreement” will kick in where “we won’t charge a previous sitting official if you agree to not charge one of ours when they leave office”.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:40 am

        Mueller did not have the option of leaving the choice up to congress.

        He was part of DOJ – the executive. His report was to the AG – not congress – that is what the law required.

        The independent council act worked differently. Starr essentially worked for congress and his report was supposed to be too congress.

        Mueller was a prosecutor working for DOJ, his job was to indict and prosecute.

        Even the laws requirement that he produce a report to the AG is stupid.
        Prosecutors do not produce report. They speak through prosecutions.

        Yes, the standard for impeachment is different. I would not say it is lower – it is undefined.

        Clinton wads absolutely guilty of two counts of perjury and one count of subborning perjury.
        There is zero doubt of that. Jurries in most of the US would have had no trouble convicted.

        The Senate did not. They may have been right. The standard is not lower or higher. It is different.

        Trump’s conduct is neither as egregious as Clinton’s nor criminal.
        The house is free to impeach. but it would be an unwise choice.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:32 am

        There are actually many different questions embedded in your question.

        In 1998 the house republicans had incontrovertable proof that Bill Clinton lied under oath – twice. That he enticed Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath – ie. that he subborned perjury, and that he obstructed justice by using AK state troopers to intimidate women into not coming forward while governor.

        As a member of the supreme court, I would have delayed the Paula Jones Lawsuit until after Clinton left office.

        As a member of the house of representatives – I would have impeached in a heart beat

        As a member of the Senate I would likely have convicted and sought Clinton’s removal.

        That said I ultimately think the outcome was correct – given the failure of SCOTUS to stop this.

        I personally beleive Clinton acted corrupting in office.
        But that beleif does NOT constitute an impeachable offense.
        My dislike for Bill Clinton is NOT legitimate grounds for impeachment.

        But the House and Senate were NOT asked to impeach based on conduct as president.
        That should NOT be a formal standard. But it should be something the house and senate keep in mind.

        With respect to Trump.

        There has never been sufficient predicate for an investigation – that has not changed through this moment.

        I most certainly hope this is not a country where anyone can be subject to sanctions for defending their own innocence. While an actually innocent person can criminally obstruct a criminal investigation – the standard of proof is inherently much higher if you can not establish the underlying crime. We expect innocent people to be angry and badly behaved.
        If you do not – that problem is with YOU – not Trump, and I hope you are never falsely accused of a crime.

        I think if democrats – as well as those here suffering from TDS were wise – they would let it go. You have already gone much farther outside the norms that Trump has – and using a quiet voice does not make lawless conduct any less lawless.
        But democrats are free to do as they please. They are free to shoot themselves in the foot if they wish.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:16 am

        Every person in this country who does not live under a rock knew BEFORE the election everything Romney claims.

        Is there someone here who did not here the summer 2016 clip of Trump proactically begging Putin to produce Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails ?

        Obama did not have any problems using secret recordings of Romney to destroy his campaign. How is that different from hoping that Putin would carpet bomb the US with the DNC emails ?

        Long before Trump – Wikileaks was publishing DIRT that embarrassed our nation – sometimes republicans – sometimes democrats.

        Bradley Manney and Eric Snowden committed criminal acts – but they also revealed the criminal misconduct of our country.

        We continue to forget that if the DNC email hack cost Clinton the election – it was solely because it re-enforced what most of us already knew – that She (and the DNC) were CORRUPT.

        I wish there were unicorns and that wikileaks farted rainbows.

        I wish that we could expose the misconduct or others – often CRIMINAL misconduct without “hacking” or leaking.

        Neither Romney nor any democrat here has expressed concern about the assorted incredibly damanging leaks regarding Trump that have been going on since the start of his presidency. No one cares that NYT and WaPo have been running stories – that if they had been true would have meant that members of Mueller team were atleast as Corrupt as Comey and were leaking from a criminal investigation.

        The only regret the left has regarding those leaks – it that nearly all have proven to be false.

        Trump did not ask for anything from Putin that almost half the country did not hope for.
        Trump did not ask for anything from Putin that Clinton would not have sacrificed her daughter for. Trump did not ask for anything from Putin that Hillary was not ACTIVELY engaged in trying to get from other Russians and from the Ukraine.

        Romney is WRONG there is nothing immoral about hoping – even expressing the desire to see evil people get their comeupance.

        Clinton’s emails – to this day, are near certainly out there, atleast one foreign power has them, according to Strzok likely several

        The damage has already long ago been done, and the perpitrator is CLINTON.

        When a federal prosecutor trues to turn a drug dealer to rat on other criminals – we do not decide that the prosecutor is a crook because he sought dirt from bad guys on other bad guys.

        While I find many of Mueller’s tactics abhorent.

        What is ultimately offensive – is that he used dirty tactics we turn a blind eye to when used against Crooks – so long as you can prove they are crooks. Mueller failed. That means he used dirty tactics against innocent people. THAT is offensive.

        I am no more bothered that Trump sought dirt from Russia on Clinton, than that Clinton sought dirt from Russia (and other foreign sources) on Trump.

        There is zero difference.

        I am not slightly bothered that the DNC emails exposed to people who were clueless how corrupt Clinton and the Clintonista’s were.

        If Clinton did not want to be exposed – that is easily accomplished – DO NOT BEHAVE REPUGNANTLY.

        We bemoan Trump here daily. But Trump’s flaws are no secret at all.
        Everyone who voted for Trump got what they should have expected.

        The DNC emails revealed that Clinton was NOT what she was selling in public.

        If the emails cost her the election – the fault for that is HER OWN – not Trump’s not Russia’s.

        If you fumble the ball – it is not some moral failure on your opponents part that they pick the ball up and run with it.

        And please tell me where you can find a political candidate that does not secretly wish their oponent steps on their dick in the closing months of the campaign.

        Getting your wish is NOT a crime.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2019 9:48 am

        “I have enough confidence in our system that I believe if all the talking points that are being provided by the democrats is not substantiated that there are 17 members in the democrat house that would not vote for impeachment. I call them the Joe Manchin Democrats, I also believe if there is evidence to substantiate the claim Trump obstructed justice that there are republicans that dislike Trump as much as I do (or Romney and other conservatives) and they would vote to impeach. I don’t think it would be 235-199 vote.”

        A very thoughtful answer, all of it, I hope you are correct.

        I have the idea that a GOP house member who voted to impeach would be in serious physical danger from some deranged cult member for the rest of their life, which would make that a very difficult vote to cast no matter what they might believe privately. That would be a very, very brave and patriotic person who would bring that on themself.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:51 pm

        Why would a GOP house member who cast a vote for impeachment be in any more danger than a democrat who did ?

        The only instance I am aware of ever where “cult” members tried to murder congressmen was a democratic loon trying to kill republicans.

        Why should those – right or left voting NOT to impeach, not fear Antifa – which openly advocates for violence to get its way ?

        In 1998 Ken Starr brought 10 specific provable crimes to the House of representatives.
        5 of those were Obstruction of justice.

        There was no question that each of the allegations was true.

        There were 4 specific lies that Starr identified in Clinton’s grand jury Testimony, and
        7 specific instances of obstruction of justice – by actual witness tampering.

        None of Clinton’s misconduct had anything to do with the excercise of his constitutional powers.

        Throughout the Starr investigation Clinton did everything in his power to thwart Starr,
        claims of executive priviledge went all the way to the supreme court multiple times.

        Despite the fact that Mueller’s investigation greatly exceeded the excessive Scope that Rosenstein granted, and despite the fact that Mueller demanded information that actually violated executive privileged, Trump did not go to court once to constrain Mueller.

        Trump waived priviledge to allow substantial parts of the Mueller report to be provided to congress – every claim that Trump directed someone to fire Mueller or otherwise act and they did not is covered by executive priviledge – Even Mueller was not untitled to the communications between the President and his advisors.

        While Trump does NOT have attorney client priviledge with the Whitehouse lawyers, he does have executive priviledge.

        One of the purposes of executive priviledge is to assure that the president and his advisors can consider any and all options in dealing with an issue, the fundimental principle is that it is not what the president says – but what he does that matters.
        A principle few hear seem to be able to grasp.

  25. April 19, 2019 6:08 pm

    Well I guess we might say “hell has froze over”. I agree with Elizabeth Warren ( or she agrees with me since I said this 5+ times here yesterday).

    EW Quote ““The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” the Massachusetts Democrat added. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”

    However, I believe we want this for different reasons. Mine is to close this forever. I doubt that is her desire.

    • April 19, 2019 8:12 pm

      Hear, hear, Ron. I think it is high time that those in Congress who can’t shut up about how Trump should be impeached, bring articles of impeachment and let’s all find out what these high crimes and misdemeanors are. The Mueller team did its job and provided a nice run down of some bad language, poor judgment, and even some lies by Trump.

      If they won’t impeach for those horrifying crimes, well, then, they are not fit for office!

      • April 19, 2019 9:07 pm

        Amen!

      • Jay permalink
        April 19, 2019 9:12 pm

        “let’s all find out what these high crimes and misdemeanors are.”

        Ha Ha Ha Ha!

      • April 19, 2019 9:42 pm

        Why are you laughing? Do you have information the House will use to determine if the information in the report rises to “high crimes and misdomeanors”, or is that your TDS kicking in that if its Trump, hes guilty before going to trial?

        This is exactly why we need to proceed with impeachment!

      • Jay permalink
        April 19, 2019 9:50 pm

        Come on, Ron. We already know he isn’t fit for office.
        If you were a State Senator you’d be calling for his removal now, correct?

      • April 19, 2019 10:51 pm

        So lets get this straight. I have said probably 8 times since yesterday that the house should begin impeachment hearings.

        Now you say “Come on, Ron. We already know he isn’t fit for office.
        If you were a State Senator you’d be calling for his removal now, correct?”

        So you must know something I dont know because I only know 3 ways to remove a President from office. Through the 25th amendment, impeachment and election. So what is another way you know that does it now as you demand?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 1:48 am

        “Come on, Ron. We already know he isn’t fit for office.
        If you were a State Senator you’d be calling for his removal now, correct?”

        The constitutional requirements for President are
        The president must have been born in the United States (or on American soil abroad).
        He or she must be age 35 upon taking office
        must have spent at least 14 of those years living within the United States

        That is it. Trump meets those requirements.

        The only other requirement is that he must get elected – the VOTERS get their own say on his fitness using whatever criteria they wish.

        You are free to have whatever ones you wish.
        However what we KNOW is that the voters determined that he IS fit for office.
        While Congress and the senate are free to overide the will of the voters – they do so at their peril.

        You continue to think that should democrats manage to impeach – that will work out well for them. It worked out very badly for republicans in 1998 despite having several actual crimes.

        If you wish to destroy the democratic party – go ahead and impeach.

        Pelosi has had a horrible first hundred days, she has been made a foll of repeatedly by Trump, even when she wins she loses, she has little control of her own house and it shows. The most she is able to do is secure her own position – but can not keep democrats in line.

        Between AOC and Omar and others democrats are sewing the seeds of their own destruction.

        26 year old Candace Ownes walked into a Trapped laid by veteran democratic congressment – ancient and purportedly skilled politicians like Nadler and she made them look like FOOLS.

        You want to keep that up another 2 years ? Go ahead.

        In the Mueller report Trump purportedly mused on Mueller’s appointment that it was “the end of his presidency” because presidents have little power while under investigation.

        Yet, Trump is scoring victories all over the place.
        Against all odds he has won the wall fight, and whether you like it or not the polling indicates that on issue after immigration issue the people are on Trump’s side.

        The wall might be his WEAKEST immigration issue.

        People WANT those accused of crime – DEPORTED quickly – with someone like 80% support. They want illegals crossing at the border deported – quickly.
        They want assylum NARROW and resolved quickly.
        The want families kept together AND DEPORTED.

        We are out of Syria, we are winding down in afghanistan.

        Though you keep claiming Trump is a russian toady, Putin is being sliced and diced in ways Obama balked at.

        The economy is growing faster, unemployment continues to decline, wages are finally rising. regulations are being chocked,

        Congress whimped out on Killing PPACA – but Trump is continuing that fight.

        Trump is MOSTLY putting the best judges on the federal bench we may have ever seen.
        While there are a few frogs among the prices, most of these are real federalists and promise to make a major dent in our F’d up judiciary that we have not seen anything close to.

        All of this has been done WHILE under investigation.

        Next, you claim that Trump is unfit and would have f’d up – BUT FOR assorted advisors.

        WHO appointed those people Where is it that McGahn has come from ?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 19, 2019 11:49 pm

      I do not particularly want anything.

      But if Warren and democrats wish to self destruct – they are free to pursue impeachment.

  26. Jay permalink
    April 19, 2019 9:39 pm

    More reasonable assessment to the Mueller report:

    David Brooks: “Donald Trump is a threat to the systems of government we have and a threat to the basic honesty of our system.”

    Brett Stephens: “Conservative critics of Mueller fail to acknowledge that the president’s exoneration didn’t come about because his intentions were innocent but because his aims were thwarted and his methods incompetent.”

    Jacob Levy: “The *defense* Of Donald Trump’s conduct turns out to be that he lacks the emotional maturity to be president and everyone knows this so what in a normally functioning adult would be evidence of corrupt intent is probably just a tantrum.”

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 12:47 am

      “David Brooks: “Donald Trump is a threat to the systems of government we have and a threat to the basic honesty of our system.””

      How so ? Inn what specific ways is Trump a threat ? And where do you get the idea that our system is basicially honest ?

      “Brett Stephens: “Conservative critics of Mueller fail to acknowledge that the president’s exoneration didn’t come about because his intentions were innocent but because his aims were thwarted and his methods incompetent.””

      Trump absolutely positively completely intended to THWART A WITCH HUNT,
      But for others he likely would have made it worse. But the ONLY crime is the WITCH HUNT.

      I have argued that Mueller should have been fired long ago.
      Based on Mueller’s report and what we now know – half the DOJ and FBI and CIA and NSA should have been FIRED day one.

      “Jacob Levy: “The *defense* Of Donald Trump’s conduct turns out to be that he lacks the emotional maturity to be president and everyone knows this so what in a normally functioning adult would be evidence of corrupt intent is probably just a tantrum.””

      I am hard pressed to think of a president that has the emotional maturity to be president.
      Regardless, this is not some revelation of the Mueller report. There is absolutely nothing about Trump’s maturity that was not known on election day.

      He won the election by being “the lessor evil”.

  27. Jay permalink
    April 19, 2019 9:44 pm

    Trump synopsis from Mueller Report:

    Russia favored Trump over Clinton and tried to tilt the election away from Clinton towards Trump.

    Trump knew that they were doing this, and embraced it.

    Trump did’t report it to the FBI.

    Thereafter Trump sided with Russia and kissed Putin’s ass on almost everything.

    And Trumpanzeezs are OK with that.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 1:11 am

      “Trump synopsis from Mueller Report:

      Russia favored Trump over Clinton and tried to tilt the election away from Clinton towards Trump.”

      Russia favored Trump so heavily that:

      They did NOT release the 30K emails that Trump begged for that they either have or knew how to get that not only would have tanked Clinton’s campaign but would have landed her in jail.

      They favored Trump so heavily that they spent 100,000 on crappy internet advertising – split nearly evenly between the candidates.

      BTW even Comey refused to sign on to the claim that Putin favored Trump.

      “Trump knew that they were doing this, and embraced it.”

      Mueller concluded that despite numerous efforts by Russia to connect to the Trump campaign nothing happened.

      “Trump did’t report it to the FBI.”

      Clinton did not report herself to the FBI for actually colluding with MI6, with the GRU, and with the Ukraine.

      The FBI did NOT inform the Trump campaign of Russia efforts, the Gang of Eight or anyone else that they normally inform.

      “Thereafter Trump sided with Russia and kissed Putin’s ass on almost everything.”

      Trump signed a missle defense initiative with Poland that Putin vigorously opposes.
      Which Obama refused to support.
      Trump provided LNG to Poland and has guaranteed Gas to Europe to thwart Putins efforts to use european dependence on Russian NG as a threat.

      Rick Perry, the U.S. secretary of energy, explained that the plan seeks to counter Russian influence. The goal is to provide vulnerable European nations with an “alternative to Russia” so they can no longer be “held hostage.”

      Trump has offered to export American coal to Ukraine, which Russia has long bullied with actual or threatened cuts in natural-gas exports. The other nations at the recent Three Seas Initiative attended by Trump (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria) would like U.S. energy too.

      If Trump were under Putin’s influence, he would surely be doing everything he could to limit American natural-gas production, reject proposed pipelines, curtail fracking, and impose harsh emissions reduction targets.
      Like Obama

      Trump has withdrawn from the Paris agreement, approved the Keystone pipeline and set about repealing roadblocks to fracking on federal lands. In June, for instance, the Bureau of Land Management announced it would auction off 195,732 acres of federal land in Nevada for fossil-fuel development. All fo these are threat to Russia and policies Putin opposes and policies Obama persued.

      In Syria, where the Obama administration ceded a great deal of ground to the Russians, Trump has escalated, upsetting the Russians. The Trump administration has also taken on Iranian-backed rebels in Syria and decisively sided with the Sunni Arab states over Iran, a Russian ally.

      Trump has modestly increased military spending and successfully pressured our NATO allies into increasing their military spending as well. NATO’s “enhanced Forward Presence” program has sent more troops to the Baltic states, where the alliance has also held extensive war games. Finally, Trump has just appointed Kurt Volker, former ambassador to NATO, as special envoy for Ukraine. On Russia, Volker is as tough as it gets. All together, these measures constitute a serious effort to pressure — not appease — an aggressive Russia.

      “And Trumpanzeezs are OK with that.”

      I try to see reality as it is.

      In the real world – when you strongly favor someone and you can deliver a knockout blow to their opponent – you do. You do not split support nearly evenly and spend next to nothing on it.

      In the real world embracing means something quite differnet than in jay world.

      In the real world you do not call the FBI to report that a Russian Lawyer who required SPECIAL state department permission to be in the country at all comes to you with useless dirt on your political enemy and wants to talk about adoption.

      What is it that the Russian purportedly offered Trump that was improper ?
      If Trump was supposed to report fake russian dirt – then why wasn’t clinton ?
      Are you really saying that Trump is supposed to go to the FBI because a Russian lawyer wanted to talk about adoption ?

      In the real world “kissing Putin’s ass” does not mean pissing him off so much he sent Russia’s brand new Baltic Frigate to threaten to US Destroyer’s.
      In the real world “kissing Putin’s ass does not mean giving eastern europe the tools to push back against Putin”/.

      But you live in Jay’s world, and that is a quite different place.

      Jay, assertions are not true just because you make them.

  28. Jay permalink
    April 19, 2019 9:47 pm

    Dumbass Donnie lashes out at aides who told the truth under oath.

    https://apnews.com/cf496df553ea4b15a232c5adaa1a2936

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 1:25 am

      Or you could try reading the article you linked to.

      A major part of Muellers claims that Trump “intended” to obstruct justice, is because of his repeated efforts to Fire Mueller.

      There are many problems with that.

      Firing Mueller would not be obstruction of justice.
      You can not obstruct justice by ending an investigation that never should have started and that ultimately found that there never was anything to investigate.

      Firing Mueller would have unfortunately been pollitically stupid.

      While Nixon Fired Cox to thwart an actual investigation into an indisputably real crime where it was subsequently established that Nixon personally aided in getting payoffs for the silence of the perpitrators. That is pretty classic obstruction of justice.

      From that has arrisen this myth that the president can not fire prosecutors of investigators.
      That is complete bunk.

      On Dec. 24, 1992 GHWB pardoned:
      Weinberger,
      Abrams.
      MacFarlane
      Clarridge,
      George

      all of which were under investigation by a Special prosecutor,
      Bush effectively ended the special prosecution by doing so.

  29. dduck12 permalink
    April 19, 2019 11:54 pm

    Ron, I don’t question your motives on impeachment, But I do question Dems, that I feel are not grounded, that want to take this route and Reps that think it will help elect Trump by energizing his base by portraying Trump as victim of a “witch hunt”.

    If a person thinks Trump is unfit to be be president, then he should want him out. So far the justice system is not close enough to do that. Answer honestly, from what we know now, would the long drawn out and divisive House impeachment process ultimately lead to a Senate vote to remove him. Most people left and right think not. So, voting him out seems like the best way to me, and our energies and resources need to focus on that goal.

    • April 20, 2019 12:16 am

      Well right now I am not sure Trump would lose to Biden or Sanders. What damage will 20 candidates do to each other by March 17, 2020, the day when about 65% of democrat delegates will be committed. All 20 will have fudns to carry themselves to that date.

      When people have to vote, will they vote for the candidate they personally like, regardless of economic policies, or Trump, with an economy operating at a level it is today, even though they cant stand the man personally.

      So I wouldsay ifthe dems want him out, they ned to file impeachment articles which may tip a few voters against the man.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 2:03 am

      If Dem’s move to impeach:

      We will have two more years much like the past two
      EXCEPT – the bar will be higher – Mueller clearly fell far short.
      If Dems keep this up they will be expected to deliver – not just impeachment but some actual proof of malfeasance beyond wishful thinking.

      The IG’s report should be coming out shortly.
      While I do not expect it will be as damning as it should be, it is NOT going to be good for those with TDS.
      I think the investigation of the investigation must go forward no matter what – but it will nearly certainly go forward aggressively if D’s try to impeach.

      Further the next 2 years will be entirely about Trump.
      I do not think that D’s have a message, but in the unlikely event that they have anything to offer in 2020 – it is going to be drown out by Trump.

      Trump has figured out how to accomplish things while being investigated.
      Frankly his presidency has been amazing. He manages to infuriate the press nearly daily, create every possible impediment to getting anything done, and STILL he racks up accomplishments.
      He is only likely to get better at that.

      Further the investigation and its resolution have like it or not thrown democrats and the press back on their heals.
      Like it or not Trump owns the credibility and the narrative for the next two years.
      If you continue to investigate – he gets to claim to be the victim of a witch hunt.
      And if you fall short – you look really really bad.

      Going forward with impeachment is far MORE stupid that Gingrich.
      Only the extreme left Democrat base is going to be happy with it.

      D’s already have a problem – they are being extremely combative in hearing with Trump appointments and though most do not go as badly as Nadler taking on Owens – they do not play well for democrats – atleast not outside their own base.

      I think D’s have a very tough road in 2020 no matter what.

      All this is my read of the tea leaves – you are free to your own.

      But I would suggest people take off the rose colored glasses.
      Mueller has left you very very little.

      Trump did not “kick your ass” – you kicked your own.
      If you want to keep it up – that is your choice.

      While I would like to see more moderate D’s win in 2020, I would actually like to see D’s retain the house. Divided government is the least dangerous.

      But keep this nonsense up and you will stab yourselves in the back.

  30. dduck12 permalink
    April 20, 2019 12:33 am

    I repeat: “Answer honestly, from what we know now, would the long drawn out and divisive House impeachment process ultimately lead to a Senate vote to remove him?”

    • April 20, 2019 8:33 am

      duck, I believe that a long drawn out impeachment, would, in the final analysis, help Trump slightly more that it would hurt him, for the exact reason that you state. And that it would hurt any Democrat candidate, especially Bernie, but Biden, as well, who relies heavily on his “nice guy” persona as a political strength.

      The reason that impeachment would fail, is that Trump has committed no act which could be reasonably defined as a “high crime or misdemeanor.” Certainly, if the Mueller team had found any collusion with Russia, it would be a slam dunk. But there has never been any evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded, so Democrats have moved on to obstruction.

      The obstruction case is pretty lame, at best. In summary, here it is: Trump was angry and frustrated that his presidency was being attacked as illegitimate. He was innocent of collusion, but he saw that the man chosen to prosecute him had conflicts that should have led to recusal, and was assembling a biased team (some of whom were so biased that they needed to be fired). So, he told his WH attorney that Mueller was conflicted and the attorney should tell Mueller to recuse or be fired. Said WH attorney said “no way, I won’t do it, because that will be perceived as a Saturday night massacre.” So, Trump did not pursue that idea any further, and cooperated fully with the investigation against him. He did, allegedly, lie in public , that he had never considered firing Mueller. He never exercised executive privilege, and turn over millions of pages of documents. He persistently called the investigation a hoax and a sham and a witch hunt.

      Compare this to, for example, Hillary Clinton standing over the coffins of 4 dead Americans, who had been killed by terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11, and saying that their deaths were the result of an internet video, which she knew to be untrue. Compare it to the many times that Obama insisted that, under the ACA, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Compare it to Bill Clinton saying ” I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky”

      My point is not to indulge in whataboutism…it’s to say that voters, especially independent voters, are likely to listen to Trump’s accusers and say “This is not such a big deal, Why are Democrats wasting our time and money, when there’s an election coming up, and we can just vote the bastard out?”

      And that is from what we know now, as you say. Perhaps the Democrats will ultimately find something that Trump has done that will turn the GOP against him. But if they do not, this is an exercise in futility that the voters will likely punish them for, just as they punished the GOP for impeaching Clinton, for what was perceived as a personal flaw.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 12:09 pm

        The more democrats investigate and come up short the worse off they are and the stronger Trump is.

      • April 20, 2019 4:31 pm

        That may be true, but what is better for the country in the long run? I think that is what everyone in Washington has lost sight of.

        I think Nadler is handling this properly at the current time. He has asked for the complete report and has now told DOJ they will be in contempt of congress if not given. He is not like Adam Schiff running around making unsubstantiated comments that is driven by Trump hatred. From everything I have heard so far, he wants to see the complete report, do hearings that will be public and based on that information, then make a decision.

        Isn’t that what should happen when so many questions still are being created by the Trump haters on the left (ie,Schiff) and the Trump supporters on the right, both with totally different stories creating more division in the country?

        If this were Schiff handling this issue, I would be totally against it because his mind is made up before the hearing even starts. Right now Nadler appears to be moving in a way that offers some moderation to the “Trump is guilty before the investigation even begins” mode of thinking.

        I just want and end sooner than later. Not doing anything just prolongs this mess well past the election.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 6:13 pm

        What would be better for the country is that if everyone to the left of Manchin did not accuse half the country of being racist, homophobic mysoginists.

        Apparently Buttigieg is now being exposed as a secret racist.
        How can that be – only republicans can be racists ?

        What would have been better for the country is for the left the media and democrats to have accepted that they lost in 2016 – that they did so because THEY did not reach voters.

        The lefts view of “what would be better for the country” is whatever they want.
        There is therefore never any incentive to introspection.

        To the extent I support hearings and impeachment – it is to give the left the oportunity to completely self destruct.

        We are now to beleive that despite being hailed as the savior of the left, that pitt bull Mueller is either a Trump lackey or gave up too soon. We are to beleive that Bill Barr – who regardless of any policy disagreements anyone might have with him – and I am others have many, was generally regarded as a man of integrity has become a trump lackey.

        Cher expressed concerns that LA could not accomodate more illegal immigrants and was almost immediately pummelled by the left.

        You do not have to be pro trump to have the left, the media, democrats, and too many here kick your teeth in, All you have to be is insufficiently anti-trump.

        For all his flaws the problem in our country is not Trump and has nothing to do with Trump.

  31. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    April 20, 2019 10:03 am

    The TDS insult continues to be very casually thrown around here. Seeing trumps character for what it is and believing that his character has consequences for our future is not actually delusional thinking. Some people do take that idea too far, yes, they would believe Anything about trump without any hesitation. There is no one like that here.

    There is also the matter of type II TDS, trump denial syndrome, the inability to see or admit to seeing the extent of the negative consequences of trumps character for America. We have some of that here (Ron, I explicitly am Not talking about you!).

    Both of these forms of TDS are just one of the many lovely consequences of electing DT.

    Now, I have for 11 years here consistently made it clear that I loathe Bill Clinton and that I think his wretched character has had very serious consequences for America, which I came to believe while he was in office, notwithstanding that his political positions were as close to mine as I am probably ever going to find in a POTUS. Most here will also remember my letter to Obama that I posted here colorfully stating my opinion that he did not have the character to be the POTUS.

    Thus, anyone who believes that I have TDS can Kiss my Lily White Irish Ass on both cheeks. And while they are at it, make it a trifecta and give George Romney and and George Conway a big posterioral smooch as well.

    • April 20, 2019 11:45 am

      Roby, from my point of view you are not the one with TDS. Can’t speak for anyone else.You are not the one constantly clipping tweets someone else posted or quoting someone elses words without any personal comment about Trump. You also don’t continually say Trump needs to be removed from office, then when someone else says they support impeachment, the response is “that cant be done” “Dump Trump”.

      You comment, you ask questions, you “debate”. That is what I expect from a site like this.I appreciate your comments and try to be mindful that we are debating issues. Sometimes its hard not to personally comment.

      I will comment concerning your Clinton comment. We will have to disagree on Clinton and his presidency. But before I do, I need to make one other comment. I have never thought that the Russia investigation should have ever taken place. Basing an FBI investigation and getting warrants based on an oppositions campaigns research document seems over the line for me, and in the report, Mueller did not find collusion. So that even strengthens my thinking. Had there been evidence other than the research document, then yes, but with a different investigator. Had that not taken place, there would be no discussion about obstruction. So I compare this investigation to the Clinton/Lewinsky investigation. Who the hell cares if there is sex in the oval office with someone that is not his wife?I don’t think that investigation and “obstruction” etc, etc should have ever led to impeachment. I think Clinton did more good for this country than harm by a long shot. If Clinton ran today based on the same positions he held in the 90’s, I would not hesitate to vote for him. There were some things I did not support that he did, but there were many more I did.

      So even though the person is immoral and of questionable personal conduct, I look more at the outcomes of their administration and the impact that it has on the country.than I do on their personal conduct. I think Bush 43 did far more harm to this country that has had an everlasting impact than Clinton or Trump put together. Just the removal of Sadam Hussian and “finishing daddy’s war” has destabilized the middle east where we will have a presence in that area for years to come and war will be an everlasting situation. That leaders downfall was the first domino that has led to all the other problems.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2019 1:31 pm

        Ron, thank you.

        Clinton was most likely literally a rapist. Not that it has been proven but its consistent with his character and the facts. Call me old fashioned but… I don’t think the POTUS should be that kind of person, the POTUS sets an example, he is our leader, the fruit of our democratic choice.

        When Clinton left office he was popular as a president and in disgrace according to a majority as a person. How one weighs the example a POTUS sets via his character against the consequences of the decisions he makes, well, there is no objective way to do it. By now we can weigh Clinton’s policy legacy, its mixed. Chinese trade, Bin Laden, banking regulation are parts of his legacy just as much as balancing the budget, which was possible most of all because of the work of Reagan and Bush vis a vis the USSR.

        “President Clinton’s tenure was characterized by economic prosperity and financial deregulation, which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years. Among his biggest strokes of free-wheeling capitalism was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a cornerstone of Depression-era regulation. He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation. In 1995 Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods. It is the subject of heated political and scholarly debate whether any of these moves are to blame for our troubles, but they certainly played a role in creating a permissive lending environment.”

        http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877322,00.html

        trumps attitudes towards many things, most especially women, honesty, self restraint, humility, and the political use of divisive statements, among other issues, make him a complete unmitigated disaster on the character front. He has presided over two years of an improved economy, his other important policy consequences are all still in the air and could come up as triumphs or disasters (or something in between.) and we will not be able to judge them for many years. His character we can judge now. It has him 10-15 points underwater for almost his entire presidency in spite of the economy. Somebody must agree with my old fashioned judgments about character, actually a lot of somebodies.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 4:47 pm

        Robby

        A surprising good post.

        Rape was not one of the allegations in the articles of impeachment regarding clinton.
        10 provable crimes were, including 2 counts of perjury and and 2 of suborning perjury.

        Reagan layed a foundation for prosperity. But Clinton could have followed it or rejected it.

        Clinton planted some of the seeds of destruction that obliterated the economy 10 years later, but Bush had the opportunity to change course. Obama inherited a disaster, But he made his own choices. Trump inherited a better economy than Bush gave Obama, but not a particularly good one.

        Presidents do not “control” the economy, but they do have some control at the margins, and the margins are the difference between good and bad.

        I loathe Clinton as a person – more than Jay loathes Trump.
        Clinton is the person Jay thinks Trump is.

        But I would vote for Bill Clinton in a heartbeat over Bush or Obama, and possibly over Trump.
        He was a shitty person, a criminal, but he was MOSTLY a good president.

        Further entitlement reform was Clinton’s thing – whatever Reagan might have wanted Clinton accomplished it. Unfortunately Obama and Bush have undone much of that.

        There are a number of things to be Critical of Clinton as president – and you note many of them. But his accomplishments still dwarf his failures – even if I could dwell on his failures for a long time.

        Trump is neither the repellant person Clinton is, nor does he have the accomplishments Clinton had – yet. Clinton was a B+/A- president. Trump merely looks good compared to Obama and Bush.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:01 pm

        On an actual policy level absolutely ZERO of Clinton’s deregulatory steps had any impact on the “great depression”.

        The Glass-Steagal Trope is lunacy. It barred comercial banks and investment banks from mergers. Few happened, the weak parts of the economy were NOT caused by such mergers.

        To the extent that Clinton bears responsibility for the financial crisis it would be because of the nonsense that Andrew Cuomo at HUD engaged in pushing lenders to write crappier loans to people who could not possibly repay.

        But the actual DATA is that even that was just not that consequential – even though I would love to blame it.

        The primary responsibility for the financial crisis lies with the Federal Reserve.
        The federal reserve substantially mispriced risk – just as it did in the 20’s leading to the great depression. It did so for a LONG time – compounding the problem.

        If the amount of money available to be invested is X. Though different people will invest that money differently, they will all very roughly invest at the same risk/return levels.
        Lower risks will get lower returns higher risks/higher returns.

        IF you increase the amount available to invest to X+1 without changing anything else,
        You will have all the same investment – BUT you will add some new investment where the ratio of risk/reward is slightly less favorable than before.

        The more you increase what is available to invest the more you are going to push some investment into lower quality risk/reward ratios.

        This is inevitable. Underlying factors such as the CRA – made housing more attractive, but the problem was their regardless.

        Further we had clues that things were off long before the financial crisis.
        The tech bubble, the asian bubble, the Russian collapse, all were signs of too much money chasing too poor a quality investment.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:17 pm

        AS much as I would love to blame fiscal policy for all the evils of the world – and there are definitely bad impacts to poor fiscal policy, it is stall ALWAYS monetary policy that causes booms and busts.

        In the 19th century US monetary policy was controlled by congress and that was bad.
        Mispricing gold or silver is responsibile for all the 19th century recessions/depressions.

        The creation of the Federal Reserve was supposed to end that.
        There is no evidence that the Federal reserve has done a better job with monetary policy than congress did before it.

        As to cornerstones of depression era regulation – maybe. But the depression was not caused by any of the things that were regulated.

        Like ALL booms and busts, its cause was monetary.
        In 1929 – we did nothing to address the actual causes of the depression.
        Just as Dodd-Frank did not restore Glass Steagal or fix anything that the left ranted was the cause of the great recession.

        Put simply – whatever the left has said about the great recession on the great depression, democrats do not beleive it, and we know that because their policy changes have nothing at all to do with their arguments.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:24 pm

        Trump’s character is unchanged from election day.

        Even Clinton’s was reasonably well understood by voters.

        You can rant about character all you want, but Trump’s character will not be changed by his next tweet or the next damning tweet about him.

        Either voters on election day did not care about character or determined that his character was less offensive than Clinton’s – probably both.

        Regardless, if you voted for Clinton or Trump, you do not have much ground to stand on regarding character.
        While I think we managed to get by far the lessor evil, my assessment of his character was not sufficient to vote for him. Nothing has revised my judgement since.

        His character thus far has proven less bad than Clinton’s and less bad than the enormous numbers of his detractors, but still not good.
        Nor will it change tomorow.

        His performance as president has thus far been worse than Clinton and better than Bush and Obama

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 4:07 pm

        Ron

        we do not just get to make things up as we go.

        While Robby does not have the worst case of TDS here, he goes beyond debating issues.

        And frankly Robby does not “debate”.

        I would be extremely happy if he did. But he does not.
        He floats naked assertions – rarely, and mostly sprays a large collection of fallacies.
        Appeals to authority, appeals to negative authority, ad hominem, straw men.

        That is not debate.

        Next, Morallity is not infinitely maleable.

        It is rooted in FACTS.

        Trump is not some epitomy of morality.

        At the same time he is actually MORE moral than his detractors – including many here.

        He has been accused by the left, democrats, the media and many here of a large variety of moral and criminal offenses. Nearly all of those are inarguably false, and the few that are not are arguably false.

        If you falsely accuse the scum of the earth of moral offenses, you self rank yourself BELOW them morally.

        There is no free pass for moral accusations.

        I have made some – here, in my life, even in court. I try to be extremely careful when I do so. I worried when I made certain allegations in court because I could only prove them 3 ways. I was releived when I found not only a fourth, but one that was based on evidence provided by the person I was accusing.

        I absolutely never lost focus on the FACT that when I accused someone else of misconduct, that any failure to prove that on my part would destroy my own integrity.

        Trump has not become any better or worse as a result of all of this. He is the same person he always has been.

        But whatever your judgement of him – the moral stature of those who have falsely accused him is LESS.

        We do not get to just slough that off. If you claim the moral high ground – particularly if you do so by making accusations regarding the morality of others – then you had better be right.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 1:26 pm

      TDS is being thrown arround casually ? Cough ! Cough!

      Sorry Robby – though you are not the worst, even you are constantly shilling nonsense.

      This mess has been going on since late 2015. It has been going on publicly since mid 2016.

      You can rant and rave about Trump’s rhetorical style, but in the end all the allegations against him were not merely false, but have NEVER had any substanitive basis.

      The most fundimental take away from Mueller is that Mueller never knew anything more than the press or the rest of us. That he thoroughly investigated every single half assed and stupid rumor and found noting. That there was ZERO basis for the investigation to be started in Dec 2015 – that is 6+ months BEFORE the Steele Dossier, and that when the investigation became substanitive, there was NEVER any basis for it beyond the Steele report.
      We now know that the “intelligence” Brennan claimed to have – was the steele Dossier, that there was nothing produce by FiveEye’s or independently by the CIA or NSA, that the So Called IC community report was based on the Steele Dossier – and nothing else.
      That this has been the Steele Dossier from end to end, that even Christopher Steele does not beleive his own work.

      I have been using $10M as the money Putin (through oligarchs) used to buy FB adds.
      Mueller establised that the actual number was $100,000 – and it was divided equally between the candidates.

      I was also told that Mueller had actually compelling evidence that the DNC was hacked by the Russians – yet we now learn that Mueller had no information that the rest of us did not have, and that the dubious CrowdStrike report remains the basis for the claim that it is the russians.

      Yet, to assure those like you, who are desparate for some reason to beleive that the 2016 election hinged on some actual malfeasance – we have wasted years of our lives

      And you think that claims of TDS are over stated ?

      Please tell me when in US history so many have so breathlessly prayed for the discovery of corruption where there was none ?

      Not merely was there nothing here – there is no more here than there was on day one.

      While I would prefer that Democrats manage to keep the house in 2020, some of my wishes are in conflict. I also hope that Democrats continue this nonsense for the next two years.

      The only way I see to end this kind of delusional thinking, is to let this play out.

      After the Barr memo came out there was a brief moment of sanity, where some – specifically YOU were backing away from your past enthusiasm for this past nonsense. Were there was some hope that many might have seen themselves in the mirror and not liked what they were seeing and started to change. But the lunatic left doubled down and after more and more spin and nonsense we are back amped up as much as before.

      What I have seen of the Mueller report is LESS snarky than I expected.
      But that does not matter, Mueller investigated incredibly thoroughly and found NOTHING.
      If House democrats want to beat a dead horse further – if that is the only way of dispelling this nonsense. Go at it.

      So we have had numerous ACTUAL CRIMES in the prior administration, that have todate not resulted in prosecution and rarely resulted in much of an investigation.

      It is pretty compellingly clear that the DOJ/FBI was politically corrupt in the Obama administration – that Trump is just one example of that corruption, that it was so corrupt that it managed to poison the new administration and drag us all through 2+ years of garbage and nonsense.

      I have listened to you and others here rant about Trump the liar for 2 years.

      Yet, it is self evident that we have all been ACTUALLY lied to in a substanitive way for several years. For that is what this all is – one massive LIE – and you think that complaints of TDS are overstated ?

      That is more idiotic that calling the Korean war a “police action”.

      The consequence for those who have lied, who have made false moral claims about others, is that they should not be beleived in the future.

      So keep going. It is your credibility you are sacrificing.

      Sorry Robby, it is not possible to over state TDS.

      You have told me that Trump is unfit, that he is unusual, that he is outrageous, that he lies.

      Yet in the end all you have come up with is that he was angry about being lied about and repeatedly tried to fire his persecutor. And that you are trying to hype into a crime.

      When you make moral accusations against another any you fail – it is YOUR integrity that is lost.

      Whatever is or is not true of Trump’s character, of his fitness, of his morality, of his integrity, what is self evident is that in each of these ways and more he is better than his detractors.

      You have failed to bring down Trump, but you have succeeded in bringing down yourselves.

  32. April 20, 2019 10:51 am

    Hu

    Roby, who and what are you responding to? Haven’t we been discussing the pro’s and cons of impeachment? Perhaps I’ve missed somewhere when someone accused you of TDS, because I frequently respond via the WordPress app, so I don’t always see the complete chain of comments. But, I thought we were discussing the Mueller report and the likelihood, or lack thereof, of impeachment.

    We’ve discussed ,ad infinitum, our views on Trump and his personal flaws. I know that you have contempt for my position and the reasoning for it.

    • April 20, 2019 10:54 am

      Whoops, hit reply to soon, again. These infernal little phone keyboards!

      My point…can we have a discussion on politics without it becoming a discussion about who loves or hates Trump personally?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 1:46 pm

        “My point…can we have a discussion on politics without it becoming a discussion about who loves or hates Trump personally?”

        NO!

        Isn’t that self evident ?

        Only about half of us have the slightest interest in actually discussing issues.

        The only issue that the other half wish to discuss is Trump’s personality.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 20, 2019 11:01 am

      Use the find function of your browser, search for TDS and you will be able to investigate the question of who is using the term and in what context.

      You will find that there is some use of it directed at a specific individual and some simply general accusations against trump critics. The latter is my beef.

      • April 20, 2019 11:04 am

        I take you at your word, Roby.

        But, I still think that we’ve beaten that poor dead horse enough.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 2:40 pm

        Let them keep beating the horse – it is their funeral.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 2:07 pm

        Are you saying that it is OK with you to falsely impugn others without consequence ?

        That you can falsely accuse someone of lying willy nilly and remain credible ?

        I could give a rats ass about whatever you think google shows.

        If you have made a false accusation regarding another the very least you owe them is an apology. If instead you are doubling down – that is reprehensible.

        What is moral is not determined by google searches.

        Right and wrong are not determined by who you are standing next to.
        Free speach is a right – even if that requires me to defend Nazi’s – or you.

        You, the left, the media, several of the posters here, have been spewing HATE for years.
        You are free to do so, and I will defend your right to do so – just as that of Nazi’s.

        You are free to continue to undermine your own credibilty.

        I think it is pretty telling the extraordinary efforts that Mueller, the left, democrats, … have gone to to continue to spin this nonsense.

        Wow! Mueller found that but for interferance by Trump’s aides, Trump would have fired Mueller.

        OH! MY GOD! What a heinous Crime !!

        Since when is it unacceptable to end a witch hunt ?
        Since when is it a crime to end an investigation that never had sufficient basis to start ?
        Since When is it a crime to end an investigation that is indisputably driven by political animous and rests solely on “salacious and unverified” allegations by a political opponent ?

        If your neighbor accuses you of being a peodophile – should the local DA tear your life entirely appart ? Is there not some point at which we can say this must stop ?

        Is any investigation of anyone for any reason legitimate ?
        Is any investigation that has managed to start impossible to end ?

        You claim that trying to terminate Mueller was obstruction of justice ?

        How so ? What has the Mueller report told us that has not been public knowlege since the start ? What would have been obstructed if Mueller had been fired ? If he have never been appointed ?

        And yet you want to double down more ?
        And you think that the results of some google search provide you with cover ?

        You conduct speaks for itself. You own it, it owns you.

        You can not spin your way out.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 2:26 pm

        This TDS is about much more than Trump.

        You have divided the world into those who hate Trump and beleive every accusation about him and “trumpanzees” Anyone who is not frothingly anti-trump is a trumpanzee, a trump supporter.

        YOU chose to not merely falsely accuse Trump, but you have concurrently falsely accused anyone who was not 100% behind your nonsense.

        You divided the world. You did so based on beleif in accusations that were obviously false at the time and stink no less with age.

        You have been unable to grasp that your accuastions against Trump are also accusations against very large numbers of others.

        I think some of Trump’s policies are bad. I do not think they are inherently racist, homophobic or mysoginist. When you accuse Trump of being racist, mysognist, homophobic because of policies that whether right or wrong are not racist, homophobic or mysoginist, you are accusing not merely anyone else show supports those policies – but even those who oppose but do not see the racism, mysogyny, or homophobia.

        Trump has made you crazy – and you have said vile, hateful and stupid things, Trump is a big boy – he can take that, but you have gone beyond attacking Trump. You have attacked everyone who does not share your fervor.

        Your false accusations and not just defamation of Trump, you have defamed more than half the country.

        And you still think that is OK.

        And you want to continue ?

        Go ahead – knock yourself out.

        “”You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

        The answer is no, you do not.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 2:39 pm

        Are false accusations – just being a “critic” ?

        Is it OK to call someone a “trumpanzee” because you do not like their arguments ?

        Or a “Pig” ?

        What about a “racist”, “Homophobe”, “Mysogynist” ?

        Can you lust lob accusations at others willy nilly and escape responsibility by claiming to be a mere critic ?

        Robby, you are not the worst sufferer of TDS – not even here.

        But you are defending false accusations, and you are turning to accuse the victims for their anger – that is little better than those making those false accusations.

        While I am not a “trump supporter”, I have defended Trump where I thought he was right, and sometimes such as immigration where he was less wrong than the rest of us.
        Still you and others have falsely attacked me. The facts have said you were wrong for a long long time, logic said you were wrong, Barr said you were wrong, now Mueller says you were wrong.

        But according to you – you were merely a critic. Was Joe McCarthy “merely a critic” ?

        But beyond me there are myraids of real Trump supporters.

        If you have not figured it out – not only has Trump been vindicated by Mueller even if through clenched teeth, but so have they.

        You talk about the division in the country – you divided it.

        You divided the world into evil trump supports and the goof guys.

        If you accuse someone of being a racist – you had better be right.
        if you accuse someone of being a homophobe – you had better be right.
        If you accuse someone of being a misogynist – you had better be right.

        While there is little excuse today for being wrong about facts, errors of fact are excusable, they are just errors.

        False accusations are a moral stain.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 1:44 pm

      I have been of two minds of much of this.

      Trey Gowdy is absolutely right – if we are going to follow the law – prosecutors prosecute.
      They do not file defamatory reports full of snark but no crimes and pretend to abdicate their responsibility to others. The law required Mueller to report to Barr. Barr was free to do as he pleased with the report. Had we followed the law the Barr memo would have been the end of this.

      At the same time, the hue and cry to make all this public is self destructive.

      The small harms this report does to Trump are inconsequential in comparison to the self destructive idiocy of those who can not let go.

      If I actually beleived that impeachment was a real possibility – I would vigorously oppose it.

      Right now I fully support those suffering from TDS hanging themselves.

      Trump is the cure for PC on steriods, He is course and uncouth, but he is also the rock against which the PC police are smashing themselves to smithereens.

      I see no reason to stop them if they wish to continue.

      Ron ponders that maybe there are a handful of what he calls Manchin democrats.

      That should be scarry – in the enter Democratic congressional contingent there are only a handful that are not batshit crazy ?

      Robby thinks Accusations of TDS are out of hand – OH ?

      So the garbage those with TDS have drug us through for several years – that is OK ?

      When you make a moral accusation of another, you fail to prove it at the expense of YOUR integrity.

      The Trump detractors here, on the left and in the media should be hailing Trump has the embodiment of perfection – not because he is, but because they have established with certainty that however evil Trump is – they are worse.

      But keep doubling down. It is your integrity you are sacrificing.

  33. Jay permalink
    April 20, 2019 11:12 am

    Ron, you’ve convinced me you’re right.

    The Dems should initiate impeachment proceedings, as you suggested.

    Your point of view is picking up momentum in the media, including among conservative political commentators.

    Impeach Trump Now:

    “All of this is an unprecedented series of impeachable offenses. It is a textbook definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” It is the story of a president assaulting the rule of law, attempting to manipulate the justice system, dangling pardons to induce perjury, and reflexively putting his own personal interests — or simply ego — before any interest of the country as a whole. Mueller openly states that his own investigation was thwarted by the president to the extent that the “the justice system’s integrity [was] threatened.” When a president openly threatens the integrity of the justice system, and says he has unlimited power to do so in the future, he not only can be impeached, he must be impeached.”

    Andrew Sullivan
    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/andrew-sullivan-impeach-trump-now.html

    • Jay permalink
      April 20, 2019 11:24 am

      Liberal commentators agree with you as well, Ron:

      “In a Functional Country, We Would Be on the Road to Impeachment”
      Michelle Goldberg – NYT

      “the report reads like a road map for impeachment, and in a remotely functional country that’s what it would be. Mueller makes it clear that because of the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted, “we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.” Instead, the evidence is laid out for congressional action, or even for prosecutors to indict after Trump leaves office.

      The test for us now is how much evidence still matters. Before the report came out, William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, created a fog of disinformation around it, blatantly misleading the public about what it contained…. To not even try to impeach Trump is to collaborate in the Trumpian fiction that he has done nothing impeachable.

      On Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren took the lead among Democratic presidential candidates in calling for impeachment proceedings to begin. Others should follow her. Mueller has given us the truth of what Trump has done, and in that sense the hokey faith the Resistance put in him was not misplaced. But right now only a political fight can make that truth matter.”

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 3:33 pm

        The report is a roadmap for TDS suffer’s to self immolate, and if you wish to do so – I am not going to get in your way.

        Do you honestly beleive that FBI/DOJ spent one year and Mueller has spent two and that Nadler will be able to uncover something they have not ?

        Mueller has done everything that is possible to prove a negative – and has succeeded to the extent possible. You have unleashed a pit bull on an innocent person and come back with nothing – do you really think flogging this further is going to help you ?

        For two years we have dwelled mostly on this.
        You have gotten nowhere.
        The entire democratic party has been sucked in by this.
        To the small extent democrats have any ideas – they are drowned out by this.
        To the extent any democrat has engaged in introspection to try to figure out why they lost in 2016 – that thought has been lost. Pelosi purportedly came in with the intent of painting a picture to the country of what democrats stood for. That has died in this and conflicts with Trump over the wall.

        If you want to spend another 2 years screwing over your own integrity and credibility – go at it.

    • April 20, 2019 11:32 am

      I agree that the Democrats should initiate impeachment proceedings, asap, Jay. They have been talking about it, literally, since before Trump’s inauguration.

      Despite the fact that we are polar opposites when it comes to the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” I agree that it is high time that the elected leaders of our Congress actually do SOMETHING.

      If they are not going to pass laws or solve problems, they should, at the very least, proceed lawfully with articles of impeachment, and attempt to prove that the President of the United States is unfit to serve.

      But, my money is on the continuation of endless “investigations,” the destruction of constitutional order, and continued partisan divisiveness.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 3:50 pm

        I do not have strong feelings about this.

        I think that further investigations is nearly the stupidest thing democrats can do.
        I think that moving to impeach now is little better.

        Normally I would argue that for the good of the country we should let go.

        But democrats and the left are consumed by this.

        I find it shockingly hillarious that so many – even here have doubled down.

        Wow! Mueller said nasty things about Trump.
        I would have hoped Mueller had more integrity, but I did not expect it.

        Mueller’s obstruction claims take mind reading to an altogether new level.
        It is no longer relevant what Trump’s intentions were, what matters is Mueller made different choices based on his perceptions of Trump’s intentions – and somehow that is a crime ?

        Obstruction of justice requires an act that actually obstructs.

        Firing a gun may or may not be a crime – but it is not murder unless someone dies.
        Mueller and the rest of you are trying to concoct the crime of “attempted obstruction of justice” which does not exist. But worse still given we are talking about Trump acting inside his legitimate powers, you are ultimately left criminalizing the intention to attempt to do something legal.

        And this is the most consequential claim you have.
        Barr dispatched the entire volume two of the Mueller report in two paragraphs.

        It is impossible to distinguish the legitimate acts of frustration of an innocent person over being investigated for something they did not do, for the illegitmate acts of a crook trying to cover their trail. We therefore almost never prosecute for obstruction unless we find an underlying Crime.

        Next, all crimes have elements. Every allegation of Mueller of potential obstuction – is a specific claim of violation of a specific law, and in no instance are all elements of the alleged crime present. A prosecutor will barely get in the door if they can not produce evidence of all elements of the alleged crime. This was not a close call.

        If you do not like the law change it.

        I am resigned to the fact that the democrats and the left seem intent on self destruction.

        Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe after the democrats and left have nuked themselves a more rational party will be able to emerge.

    • April 20, 2019 11:54 am

      Jay, my whole point in this is transparency and closure. Transparency from the house hearings being open and closure being either nothing or impeachment.

      The lasting damage, in my opinion, is not so much what Trump did or did not do. that damage is no where close to what Bush 43 did with middle east destabilization. The lasting damage is the continued arguing between the two sides and the further division of the country. That division will last much longer than anything trump is doing policy wise.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2019 2:04 pm

        “That division will last much longer than anything trump is doing policy wise.”

        That is my point. I don’t know that that is literally true or that there is any objective way to measure it. It looks to me like steady decline, no matter what the economic indicators are.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:29 pm

        Responsiblity for the division and bitterness in the country at this moment lies almost entirely with the left.

        It predates Trump, trump is a backlash against it. The division will continue until the left substantially backs away from the PC politics that rests on the foundations of postmodernism and tenants like intersectionality.

        If you make politics about the oppressed and the oppressor, you will have conflict – increasingly violent conflict. We have nearly 2 centuries of history to teach us that.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 4:22 pm

        Ron.

        this is not about Transparency.

        To the extent we can do so without breaking the law and F’ing up any more than we have – I am for further transparency.

        But there is nothing hidden, nothing new to discover.
        What are we being transparent about ?

        As I noted before – Mueller alleges “attempted” obstruction. Ignoring the law, Mueller never asserts actual obstruction. To the extent Mueller was unable to discover absolutely every breadcrumb, that would be because the past is just not perfectly knowable.
        But to the extent the past is knowable – and far beyond what the law allowed Mueller told us every fact that is knowable. Believing that Jerry Nadler is going to find more is hubristic wishful thinking.

        I am for flogging this for as long as it takes for those who have pushed it to grasp not merely that they are factually wrong – but that they are MORALLY WRONG.

        Your personal views regarding Trump or anyone else’s morality do not permit you to falsely impugn the morality of others without cost.

        Trump has ranted about this investigation for two years. He has slimed and maligned it. He has called it a witch hunt.

        Had he been wrong – the consequences – just the consequences of his attacks on Mueller would be devastating to him.

        But he was not wrong.

        There is not a free ride. If the consequences are not to Trump – then they are to his accusers.

        What we are seeing is the inevitable consequence of post modernism.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 2:48 pm

      “All of this is an unprecedented series of impeachable offenses.”

      Aside from the rhetorical flourish – what would be “unprecedented”

      Starr identified 10 actual crimes that Clinton committed.
      There is not any doubt that Clinton committed any of them.

      Starr was unequivocal – because the facts were unequivocal.

      The articles of impeachment against Nixon were a long time ago, but they still alleged real crimes.

      In both instances, the president attempted to coverup actual criminal conduct.
      Nor is there any doubt of it.

      Nixon actually fired Cox – we can argue whether that is obstruction or not, but he did not merely think about it. He did not tell someone to do it and then ignore it when they did not,
      He fired his AG and several others until he got someone who would do what he wanted.

      Clinton subborned perjury. He did not think about it. He did not talk about it.
      He asked, and Lewinsky complied.

      There is nothing that Mueller has come up with that he can even claim is an actual crime.
      There is certainly nothing that rises to the level of Nixon or Clinton.

      This is “unprecedented” – it is “unprecedentedly weak”

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 3:26 pm

      Actually Mueller does NOT state that his investigation was “thwarted”

      He states that it is HIS beleif that Trump intended to thwart the investigation.
      He does not actually claim that but for Trump he was unable to do something he was legitimately empowered to do.

      There is no requirement to make the life of someone investigating you easier.

      Trump could have actually and legitimately obstructed Mueller far more than he did.

      • Jay permalink
        April 20, 2019 3:53 pm

        Mueller emphasizes that ability “to establish” sufficient evidence was in instances prevented by: invocation of 5th Amendment; false or incomplete interviews/testimony; deletion of relevant documents; or inability to access witnesses/docs abroad (MR, p. 10)

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:57 pm

        Mueller took 675 days.
        Issued 2800 subpeonas
        over 500 search warrants.
        280 orders for document production.
        80 pen registers
        13 requests to foreign government
        interviewed 500 witnesses,
        convened multiple grand juries.
        received 1.2M documents from the whitehouse alone – which Trump waived executive priviledge on.

        The only people I am aware of that took the 5th or threatened to were democrats.
        The only witness I am aware of in hiding is Mifsud who is near certainly an MI6 operative.

        If Mueller did not have evidence that he beleives he needed – then he should not have stopped. If an interview was incomplete – then he should have finished it.
        I am not aware of the courts thwarting him in anything.
        I am not aware of anyone going to court to quash a Mueller Subpeona.
        I am not aware of any instance he did not get the documents he asked for – even numerous instances in which he was not entitled to.

        Mueller has not charged ANYONE with destruction of evidence.

        The cite you make is called “whining”.

        When Mueller took the SC job he knew damn well as did we all that this would be the moment he would be remembered for in history.

        We would like to beleive that SC’s are fair investigators, but I can not recall a single one ever coming back and saying they found nothing. That does not happen.
        It does nto happen because the incentives are against that.
        An SC who comes back with nothing is NOT viewed as a stalwart man who followed the law and facts were they lead and found nothing. He is regarded as a failure.

        If you go out hunting President and you come back with George Papadoulis for 14 days and Cohen – you have FAILED. You will not be remembered well.

        Muellers report is full of whining.

  34. Jay permalink
    April 20, 2019 3:48 pm

    More sense from respectable Republicans.

    John Kasich:

    “.@realDonaldTrump’s behavior described in the #MuellerReport is more than disappointing. It’s unacceptable & not behavior we should expect from our president. It’s worse than I’ve seen in my career observing & working with presidents or public officials. America deserves better.”

    Trump is a cancer on the presidency.
    History will treat him as such.

    • Jay permalink
      April 20, 2019 3:50 pm

      Gary Kasparov:

      “Trump is a corrupt con man, a serial liar, a friend of dictators, and a stain on American democracy. Impeachment is just the beginning of what he deserves.”

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 5:42 pm

        Kasparov should focus his attentions on the actual repugnantant corrupt politician in his own backyard. The one who might actually kill him.

        BTW I though you were opposed to Russian’s meddling in US politics ?

        Jay I think you need to register under FARA now.
        Please report yourself to team Mueller.

        Oh,. God no! The Russians are back on Social Media!

        Re-authorize Mueller NOW!!. That Kasparov’s are coming! the Kasparov’s are coming!

        IF you can not grasp the stupidity of your own Russian interference claims – when you are personally “colluding” with Russians in US politics, what would it take ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 20, 2019 6:58 pm

        For years Kasparov has LOUDLY & FREQUENTLY opposed the policies and administration of Putin.

        As a long time US resident, he has LOUDLY & FREQUENTLY correctly warned about Trump’s dangerous idiocies.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 8:40 pm

        “For years Kasparov has LOUDLY & FREQUENTLY opposed the policies and administration of Putin.”

        Apparently you still can not read. When I said Putin might try to Kill Kasparov – I was not joking. I am very familiar with Kasparov, I beleive he is the only person ever to exceed Bobby Fisher’s FIDE rating. Kasparov was the highest ranked chess player in the world for almost 20 years. Kasparov was a likely opposing candidate to Putin. He claims to have been thwarted by Putin – which is likely true. Regardless, Putin opponents have a bad habit of turning up dead.

        “As a long time US resident, he has LOUDLY & FREQUENTLY correctly warned about Trump’s dangerous idiocies.”

        Kasparov is STILL Russian, and currently holds a Croation Passport.

        He lives in New York, but he is not a citizen – which is my point.

        I have ZERO problem with Russian’s speaking about US politics – Putin, Kasparov, IRA – I do not care.

        YOU are the one who claims that it is somehow a crime for Russians to voice political oppinions in the US.

        So Please explain to me how the purported FB adds that favored Trump (and Clinton and Sanders) are different From Kasparov’s remarks ?

        Why has Mueller indicted some nameless russians when we have one sitting right here in NYC on Twitter actively engaged in US Politics ?

        This is quite simple Jay – you and I both understand there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kasparov speaking out as he does.

        But you incredibly hypocritically pretend that nebulous other Facebook Russians are somehow criminals.

        Even here, you seem to be arguing that Kasparov’s remarks are acceptable – because he hates Trump and Putin.

        Aparently you are completely ignorant of both the constitutional constraints on free speach laws – as well as just plane logic and sanity.

        You can not determine what speach is allowed or criminal based on CONTENT.

        You can not make The political speach of some russians criminal – based on CONTENT, and that of others acceptable because the CONTENT is different.

        All you have done is proven once again that the lynchpin of the Russian Interferance narative is and always has been a Crock.

        I would further note there is zero difference between an american meeting Kasparov and an american meeting Veselnitskaya – you know her ? They are both just russians with permission to be in the US. In fact both received that permission from …. Obama.

      • Jay permalink
        April 20, 2019 8:45 pm

        Your point is that non citizen residents can’t speak out about presidential stupidity?
        Really?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 9:50 pm

        “Your point is that non citizen residents can’t speak out about presidential stupidity?
        Really?”

        Nope, that is YOUR claim. Or are you trying to say “some” russians are allowed to speak politically but others are not ? Kasparov may speak, but Putin may not ?
        Or are you trying to claim that only Russians residing in the US can speak politically ?
        But then why was Butina prosecuted ? or why was there something wrong with the Trump Tower meeting with Veselnitskaya ? Both were legally in the US the same as Kasparov.

        My point is that you are deeply hypocritical. Your idea of what is legal and what is not varies based on the individual speaker and the content.

        That is not how the law works. In the US the law is blind to the actor and to the content of their speach. Either no foriegners may speak about US politics or all may.
        There is not some provision in the law that Oligarch’s affiliated with Putin can’t but Kasparov can. All in, all out. Anything else is hypocrtical or immoral.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 5:37 pm

      Absolutely we deserve better than Trump – or Clinton or Nixon, or LBJ or Obama.

      Kaisich’s claim that it is the worst in his career is absolute total nonsense.

      How do you call someone “respectable” when they spew garbage like that.

      You want to carp on every word Trump speaks and dissect them looking for minute errors – and you can swallow this craps that it is the worst In Kaisich’s Career ?

      No one pretends that Trump is not prone to hyperbole. No one is selling him as some paragon of linguistic precision.

      But when you attack him for dissembling it is more credible if you are not doing so yourself.

      Kaisich is NOT BTW a “respectable” republican. He is just a bland mediocre politiican.

      I am far more influenced by George Will’s criticism of Trump – Will is actually a respectable person.

      Respect is not earned by not offending people.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 20, 2019 9:12 pm

      Hi John, haven’t heard about for a while. I agree with you 100%
      If you have what the apologists call TDS, then I must have it too. Even though it is just a silly little label, I am proud to wear it.
      Witch hunt, harassing the presidency, shilling for the liberals, destroying my credibility, lowering my esteem, looking foolish, BS, BS, bring it on. Considering the source and volume of these remarks and more, I love and accept their sputtering compliments.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 10:10 pm

        TDS is an emotional response to Trump sufficient that it blocks rational thought and divorces your judgement from facts.

        And yes, it fits you fine.

        It is your own choices that cost you your credibility – that would be the consequence of being wrong on facts, and your integrity – that would be the consequence of being wrong about accusations leveled at others.

        I would be happy if you were shilling for liberals – actual liberals prize individual liberty.

        I have no idea what esteem you hold yourself.

        “consider the source” is just another fallacy – the genetic fallacy.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 20, 2019 10:45 pm

      “Please sir, I want some more ….. ” dhlli, you are so enlightening, makes one tingle with anticipation of your next incisive remark. Please do hurry.

  35. Jay permalink
    April 20, 2019 6:48 pm

    Mueller’s investigation was circumscribed: he
    Says so in his report:

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 8:22 pm

      Do you read the tweets you post ?

      All your link says is “I followed the law”.

      • Jay permalink
        April 20, 2019 8:40 pm

        No, dummie – it says he followed the OEC OPINION FINDING stating that a president shouldn’t be prosecuted for federal crimes.

        An opinion finding isn’t a law, ding dong.
        Mueller deferred to the OEC opinion.
        But the depth of HIS actual investigative findings shows that in fact Trump obstructed Justice. Mueller punted the required the next step in response to that obstruction to congress.

        I thought you were smart enough to understand what I sent you to read – apparently not.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 9:22 pm

        “No, dummie – it says he followed the OEC OPINION FINDING stating that a president shouldn’t be prosecuted for federal crimes.”

        On OLC “oppinion” is a regulation governing the DOJ/FBI.
        It has the same binding power as LAW – because it is LAW, what it is NOT is a Statute.
        The only difference between an OLC “oppinion” and a SCOTUS “oppinion” is the former can be appealed – the latter can not.

        “An opinion finding isn’t a law, ding dong.
        Mueller deferred to the OEC opinion.”
        Of course he did – it would be unethical for him to do otherwise.

        I would further note that the only limit the OLC oppinion imposed, was it precluded “indicting” a sitting president. Starr did not “indict” Clinton – he still reported to congress that Clinton had committed 10 actual crimes.
        The OLC oppinion did NOT limit the scope of his investigation.
        Given that he was unwilling to conclude that Trump had committed a crime – not even obstruction – it did not even limit his options for prosecution.
        The OLC oppinion – which dates all the way back to Nixon, in no way limits an investigation, and in no way limits the SC from making reconomedations or making conclusions of fact and of law.

        BTW this was all hashed out over a year ago. You keep rediscovering old things pretending they are new and meaningful.

        Rosenstein ALONE determined Mueller’s scope. Not OLC. Even Judge Elliot who actually opined on the issue ultimately concluded that although Rosenstein had given Mueller and overly broad scope, that he was not empowered to limit Mueller’s scope.

        “But the depth of HIS actual investigative findings shows that in fact Trump obstructed Justice. Mueller punted the required the next step in response to that obstruction to congress”

        BZZT, Wrong – Mueller is perfectly clear on Obstruction. He was unable to conclude that the evidence was present and he punted to Barr. Barr dispatched that trivially – because aparently unlike Mueller – Barr is a real lawyer and can read the actual law with specifies the elements of a crime. If you do not meet the required elements of the crime – then the crime has not been committed. Your done. Barr first noted that absent finding the existance of an underlying crime, obstruction charges are nearly impossible.
        To obstruct justice without the presence of an underlying crime you have to do something that is itself independently a crime – such as suborning perjury.

        “I thought you were smart enough to understand what I sent you to read – apparently not.”

        I had no problem with what you sent – but you clearly did.

        We do not get to make up the law as we please.

        Statues are written by congress – they are laws.
        Regulations are written by agencies in the executive – they are laws.
        I do not personally beleive that congress should have delegated their law making power to executive agencies – and I do not think SCOTUS should have allowed that.
        Regulations are in my view BAD law – unconstitutional law – but they are law none-the-less.

        The oppinion of the OLC, the oppinion of a federal court, the oppinion of the supreme court – these are all LAW.

        They might be BAD Law in some instances, But they are still law.
        Each has different degrees of importance – A statute carries more weight than a regulation.
        The Oppinion of OLC is a regulation, A federal court oppinion has more weight than a statute or regulation, and a Supreme court oppinion has the most weight of all.

        But each of these is LAW.

        Mueller was also further bound by DOJ/FBI guidelines.
        Those have the least weight of all – but they are still LAW.

        Anyone in the FBI/DOJ can be fired for cause for violating them.
        In some cases they can be prosecuted criminally for violating them.

        Most of us understand that you go to jail for violating the LAW.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:02 am

        You’re as full of crap as usual.

        The guideline we’re discussing is an internal DOJ conclusion for determining the scope of prosecutorial jurisdiction. It’s not a law. Mueller could have ignored that guideline and RECOMMENDED prosecution. Barr’s DOJ would have refused to prosecute, under the rule. Mueller wouldn’t have been charged with a crime for that, you idiot. He may have been chastised for ignoring the guideline, but that’s it.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:36 pm

        “The guideline we’re discussing is an internal DOJ conclusion for determining the scope of prosecutorial jurisdiction.”
        Yup.

        “It’s not a law.”
        Wrong.

        “Mueller could have ignored that guideline and RECOMMENDED prosecution.”
        Mueller can ignore the law. It is done all the time. Prosecutors frequently get away with it.
        That does not make it not law

        The 9th circuit ignores the law all the time. That does not make it not the law.

        “Barr’s DOJ would have refused to prosecute, under the rule. Mueller wouldn’t have been charged with a crime for that, you idiot. He may have been chastised for ignoring the guideline, but that’s it.”

        Correct, that does not make it not the law. There are a wide variety of consequences that Mueller might have been subject to – including getting disbarred.
        Probably he would not have.

        Regardless, ultimately Mueller followed the law.
        That I did expect.
        There is alot wrong with Mueller. Bending the law, folding the law. spindling the law, mutilating the law – that I expect.
        Breaking it – no.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:08 am

        “BZZT, Wrong – Mueller is perfectly clear on Obstruction. He was unable to conclude that the evidence was present ”

        BZZZZZZTTTT – WRONG. He was unable to conclude Trump was innocent of the charge. Barr told you that in his jump-the-gun news conference. Did your normal head up your butt reaction block your ears/eyes on that?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:47 pm

        “He was unable to conclude Trump was innocent of the charge. Barr told you that in his jump-the-gun news conference. Did your normal head up your butt reaction block your ears/eyes on that?”

        Not how the law works. Prosecutors, prosecute or they do not. Binary.
        They do not ever try to prove people are innocent.
        They either find sufficient evidence to prosecute – or they do not.

        The standard in our legal system is “innocent until proven guilty”.
        Mueller did not find sufficient basis to recommend an obstruction charge.
        That is the end of it.
        That is how the law works.

        There is actually no room for equivocation. Though Mueller tried to create room.
        Barr was having none of that. And quite trivially dispatched obstruction.

        The easiest thing for most people to understand is NOT absolute.
        We do not prosecute people for obstruction when there is no underlying crime and the conduct in question is not otherwise illegal such as suborning perjury.

        Only left wing nuts will want to prosecute innocent people for railing at their persecutors.

        The more difficult to understand but more absolute is – none of the areas that Mueller thought might be obstruction had all the required elements.

        Lest you think missing elements is inconsequential – they absolutely define the crime.
        Murder as an example can not occur unless someone is killed. That is an element of the crime.

        Barr found each of the areas that Mueller was unable to reach a conclusion were missing several required elements.

        I do not always like the law as it is, but it is still the law.

  36. dhlii permalink
    April 20, 2019 7:21 pm

    The Day Collusion Died

    Two long years ago
    the probe began and many 
thought
    that someday it would make them smile.
    And those who said it had no chance
    were scowled upon and seen askance
    so desperate was the hope to see a trial.

    But February made them shiver
    as it came clear he’d not deliver.
    The news that they desired
    was not to be acquired.

    I know that many people cried
    when they read the news, it hurt their pride,
    so deeply in the pipe dream mired
    the day collusion died.

    So bye, bye to the collusion lie,
    Russian Agents, Putin’s Puppet and a plot to deny.
    From each new event how the conjecture would fly.
    Can they let it go and just let it die?
    Let it go and just let it die.

    We all know that he’s corrupt
    and his list of crimes is building up
    so I’ll just list them down below.
    While emoluments could’ve kicked the goal
    collusion was their chosen roll
    investigating all of it real slow.

    Well, the Media then lost their mind
    as they blundered backward fully blind.
    Collusion became news,
    evidence not vital for clues.

    The other news stories all were then chucked
    while collusion filled every news truck
    But I knew they ran out of luck
    the day collusion died.

    But they kept singing
    Bye, bye he’s a Russian ally
    Putin Puppet, Russian agent and a treasonous spy
    and every day, more wacky theories would fly.
    Time to let it go and just let it to die.
    Let it go and just let it die.

    Now when Mueller issued his report
    the media could not contort it
    to save face though they did try.
    They lost all credibility.
    Embarrassed is what they should be,
    and the damage done they cannot deny.

    They gave victory to the president,
    validation as if heaven sent.
    The courtroom was adjourned,
    no verdict was returned.
    And now when he screams about fake news
    he’ll be correct thanks to their ruse.
    The “Witch Hunt” he’ll rightfully accuse
    the day collusion died.

    ‘cause they were singing
    Bye, bye he’s a Russian ally
    Putin Puppet, Russian agent and a treasonous spy
    And every day, more crazy theories would fly
    time to let it go and just let it to die.
    let it go and just let it die.

    I met a girl who sang the blues.
    She she asked me for some happy news.
    I offered but she just turned away.
    Those who followed actual facts
    instead of “liberal media” hacks
    would know that Mueller knew the only way.

    He farmed out criminal indictments
    to seven districts, there’s excitement,
    all of them pardon-proof,
    not like the collusion spoof.
    So carefully he did anoint
    a prosecution starting point
    the outcome couldn’t disappoint
    the day collusion died.

    Yet they’re still singing
    Bye, bye he’s a Russian ally
    Putin Puppet, Russian agent and a treasonous spy.
    The Russian hysteria was misplaced outcry.
    Time to let it go and just let it die.
    Let it go and just let it die.

    So, bye, bye to the collusion lie,
    Collusion obsession-gave the press a black eye.
    And if they persist the damage will amplify
    Time to let it go and just let it die.

    • Jay permalink
      April 20, 2019 8:42 pm

      Two SHORT years for Special Counsel investigations.
      Do I have to link you the comparison dates?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 20, 2019 9:42 pm

        The entirety of watergate – from the breakin through to Nixon’s resignation was just a few days longer than 2 years. The Iran-Contra investigation – was 20 months.

        Fitzgerald a Crony of Clinton made the trivial Plame affair last 4 years.

        Whitewater – which involved myriads of scandals and was fought by the Clintons tooth and nail each step of the way lasted 4 years.

        Mueller had very little to investigate – there was no basis for an investigation beyond the Steele Dossier – Mueller would have known that immediately.

        We NOW know that even Brennan’s claim of intelligence sources – just refers to the Steele Dossier.

        So Mueller had no credible allegation to investigate – and verifying that the Steele Dossier was garbage should not have taken long at all.

        There is considerable evidence TODAY that Mueller had completely wrapped up the actual russia/collusion investigation in August of 2017.

        That is about how long this whole thing should have taken.

        Mueller made it take longer – by trying to bully witnesses into lying.

        I do not beleive that Papadoulis, Van Der Zandt, Flynn, Manafort and Cohen are so standup that they were unwilling to roll on Trump – and if you do you are nuts.
        They did not roll for the obvious reason – they had nothing to offer. Mueller appears to have beleived that their actually was collusion. but while you can get a witness to lie with enough pressure, you can not get them to lie in a way that will hold up to examination in a case this high a profile. Even Cohen understood that.
        Cohen may have slandered and defamed Trump – but even Cohen was not stupid enough to manufacture collusion – because he would have been found out.

  37. dduck12 permalink
    April 20, 2019 9:44 pm

    “Trumpian storm clouds over Tripoli”
    “n a late-night statement on April 7, Secretary of State Pompeo, discussing the escalation of fighting around Tripoli,
    said: “We have made clear we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital.”
    A WEEK LATER: “Merely a week later, President Trump undermined Pompeo and flipped the United States over the fence onto the side of Haftar’s unilateral military assault. On April 19, 2019, the White House
    confirmed that Trump called Haftar days earlier, on Monday, April 15, and “recognized Field Marshall Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and security Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.” Shamefully, on April 18, the United States joined Russia in blocking any U.N. Security Council action calling for ending the fighting or censoring Haftar’s attempt to pre-empt a political solution with military action.”
    Yea Russia.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 20, 2019 10:03 pm

      I am not going to pretend to know whether Hafta is the problem or the solution, a good guy or a bad one.

      But he has had the support of the US, France, Egypt, the UK, UAE and probably israel – and yes Russia, since the Obama administration.

      Hafta BTW lived int he US for 20 years and is a US citizen.

      If Trump is making Putin happy – then so was Obama.

      Mostly we should take Washington’s advice and not meddle in the internal messes of other nations – even if Russia does.

  38. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2019 9:37 am

    Mafia Don:

    “Over 448 pages, Mueller does not present Trump as a traitor but does portray him as a serial liar willing to abuse power, shred norms and bend the rule of law in a White House rotten to the core. Amid this culture of malfeasance and mendacity, trusted lieutenants are expected to demonstrate absolute loyalty, up to and including obstructing justice to save the president’s skin.

    “He conducts himself like a New Jersey mob boss who is unconcerned about asking the people around him to conduct unethical or legally challenging behaviour,” said Kurt Bardella, former spokesperson and senior adviser for the House oversight and government reform committee. “Truth and accuracy just don’t factor into his thought process at all.

    Instead of the John Gotti family, it’s the Trump family and his solders are the Republican members of Congress
    Kurt Bardella
    “The demands for loyalty and fealty are like an organised crime network. Instead of the John Gotti family, it’s the Trump family and his solders are the Republican members of Congress who protect him.””

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/21/teflon-don-trump-mafia-boss-mueller-report-tony-soprano

    • dhlii permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:04 am

      Still Flogging dead horses.
      “does portray him as a serial liar”
      We have all listened to a massive 3 year long lie about Trump from you.
      Why should anyone pay any attention to you calling anyone a liar ?

      “willing to abuse power,”
      Cite specific examples of “abuse of power” ?

      As has been noted repeatedly before, Obama has more unaimous losses in the supreme court than ALL OTHER PRESIDENTS COMBINED. Trump has no unanimous losses and I beleive only one actual loss – a case started by Obama that it is beleived Trump deliberately sought to lose.

      SCOTUS seems to think Trump’s use of power is well within norms.

      “shred norms”
      A subjective and meaningless assertion.
      Trump is a mild conservative – that pretty much means he is RETURNING to norms.

      “bend the rule of law”

      Not according to SCOTUS.
      And not according to Mueller – despite all the vitriole.
      What politician could have survived the Scrutiny of Mueller and avoided jail ?
      Manafort is headed to jail – and he only got a small taste of Muellers scorn.
      Cohen is headed for jail – and he too received only a little of Mueller.
      Trump got the full Mueller treatment for 2 years – and Zippo, Nada, Nothing but an angry Mueller and vitriole.

      Could your life survive the “full Mueller” ?

      “in a White House rotten to the core.”
      At the moment the obvious rot is with the left and the media.

      Being caught making false accusations and lying about others is pretty rotten.
      You do not seem to get it,
      When you get caught lying about others.
      When you defame someone else’s character and your claims prove false
      It is YOUR character and integrity that are lost.

      Whether Trump is a hero or a goat – his antagonists have been PROVEN to be worse.

      “Amid this culture of malfeasance and mendacity, trusted lieutenants are expected to demonstrate absolute loyalty, up to and including obstructing justice to save the president’s skin.”
      And yet none of this actually happened – and Mueller confirms that.
      According to Mueller (those purportedly given these directions are publicly denying it) Trump on rare occasions got angry and directed that Mueller be fired – something that Trump is legally allowed to do. An act that MIGHT be impeachable, but is NOT criminal. Something that a large number of us would have supported.

      What is obvious today is that the Mueller investigation never should have happened.
      There was no basis – from the start, absolutely nothing was found. Mueller confirmed that the entire nonsense was just rumor and inuendo and we do not live in a police state where you can anally probe people over mere rumors.

      While Trump could not have fired Mueller with creating a political crisis, it is self evident today, that no only should Mueller have been fired – but that he never should have been appointed.

      I would noted that aside from denying that they were directed to fire Mueller – no one actually did, and Trump did not fire those he purportedly asked who failed to carry out his instructions.

      That is pretty much the opposite of the mob boss meme you are selling.

      If John Gotti asked you to take someone out – you took them out, or you would be the next one taken out.

      There are really only two possibilities – Mueller’s report is false in this regard – or it is drawing conclusions that are stronger than the evidence – i.e. that Mueller confused Trump’s justifiable anger with an order.

      Or Trump did order Mueller’s termination, but he was not serious about it.

      “Truth and accuracy just don’t factor into his thought process at all.”

      And yet the TRUTH is that the Mueller investigation was predicated by a LIE.
      The OBVIOUS failures of TRUTH and ACCURACY for the past two years are with the left, the media, and YOU – not Trump.

      “The demands for loyalty and fealty are like an organised crime network. Instead of the John Gotti family, it’s the Trump family and his solders are the Republican members of Congress who protect him.””

      Congressmen owe a duty to their constituents – and to Truth – those republicans who did not buy this nonsense have been proven to be the better judges of Truth.

      Absolutely a president, any leader, your boss, all deserve your loyalty.

      They are entitled to your best advice. But the responsibility to make final decisions rests solely with them. They are entitled to have you impliment their decisions – whether you agree with them or not. And if their decisions offend you sufficiently – resign.

      That is not only how things do work – it is how they MUST work.
      Anything else is anarchy. Neither the President, nor the manager of a McD’s can function if subordinates do as they damn well please.

      Again didn’t you say you had experience in business ?

      The Guardian ? Really ?

  39. April 21, 2019 9:44 am

    What is unfortunate about the Mueller report is that it is now obvious that, all along, it really was a witch hunt, and it has ultimately produced an impeachment referral on the grounds that the President tried to obstruct an investigation into a crime that he never committed, and with which he fully cooperated.

    According to Mueller, the President now needs to prove a negative, which is exactly what our justice system is designed to prevent. Mueller has essentially accused Trump of a thought crime ~ of “wanting” to end an investigation that he never actually ended, despite having the full authority to end it.

    I am not defending Trump personally, either for his language or his behavior. And I’m pretty sure that he believed that the political consequences of firing Mueller were worse than allowing the witch hunt to continue, and that’s the only reason that he didn’t end it. I am defending him based on the double standard on which he is being judged. He believed that the investigation was a witch hunt, he publicly stated it was a witch hunt, he had the full power and authority to impede or end the witch hunt. He discussed ending the witch hunt, and he even asked others around him to help him end it….yet, in the end, he did not end it, or do anything to impede it, such as claiming executive privilege. He obviously knew he was innocent of the core accusation. But, now, his innocence on the core accusation doesn’t matter. The goalposts have been moved, in a way that they would not be moved for another president.

    This thing should be over, but it will never be over, unless the Democrats impeach, which they’re afraid to do. They’ve said incessantly that they would, but they know that an impeachment hearing would bring out all of the facts, most of which would, right now, be exculpatory for Trump.

    There’s a popular quote, “if you aim at the king, you’d best not miss.” That’s what they’re afraid of. They now need more evidence, because what they have is not enough, and they might miss. They’ll wait.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 21, 2019 10:59 am

      Its all directly in front of you clear as day in front of you Priscilla, and your clan. You never are going to open your eyes, not for anything. Its not in you. Very few of you ever will.

      To me every political party is a cult, a very large cult, with true believers who are impervious to persuasion who lack the ability to process or often even acknowledge the existence of facts that do not support their belief. A good example, the bernie movement is a cult, try to tell them about economic or political realities, forget about it. Ouch, my mother has joined it. I gave up trying to reach her. And there is no use trying to reach you or the members of your clan either.

      The hunt was brought onto trump by himself and his associates by their own outrageous actions. The investigation was all fully legal. What Meuller found was what he could find in spite of having some important avenues closed to him. What he found was very close to what I wrote he would find back at the beginning of the investigation and even before it. A direct agreement never happened, that was unnecessary. trump and his associates blundered around like amateurs who followed trumps life long habit of not believing that boundaries are meant for the rich. (And here is the messiah, the swamp drainer of the privileges of the connected and entitled!) They did many unbelievable and repulsive things, as some conservatives who never joined the trump cult have clearly observed. I so appreciate the Georges, Romney and Conway, for holding onto their principles and speaking out.

      You and Dave can face off against Jay dduck and myself and we can all say the same things over and over, forever. We each find the other camp tiresome and ridiculous, just completely lost. We can describe over and over the two very different fact and moral universes we live in regarding trump. И все напросно.

      I’ll leave you with this poll that was published friday. It shows me, upon careful reading, that there has actually been some awakening on the part of some GOP voters. Whether they will fall back under the influence of the trump cult or escape is yet to be seen. Certainly the bernie cult adn its other dem party spin offs will help to inspire the trump cult to hold together.

      Someone like me, I am simply screwed, in my eyes both parties are out of their minds and have lost their previous moorings. Politically, the US is now like a ship that came loose floated away in the night and is now drifting far out to sea with a total mechanical breakdown.

      Anyhow:

      https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-TRUMP-RUSSIA-POLL/010091JB28J/Mueller%20Investigation%20Report%2004%2019%202019%20TRENDED%20PID.pdf

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:23 am

        👍👍👍👍👍👍

        If Trump is stopped from running in 2020 I’ll vote for the most centered, Dem or GOP.
        If he’s the candidate I’ll Vote for whomever the Dems nominate (shudder- even Warren).

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:52 pm

        I happen to know Warren personally (though not well) She taught my wife at UofP.

        While there is alot wrong with her as a politician, she was a good law professor.
        She is far from the worst Democratic presidential candidate.

        You pretend to be rational and centrist, but you seem completely unable to judge individuals as anything but caricatures.

        I could not vote for Warren, but I like her as a person. She is not stupid – even if she is wrong. She makes mistakes – the indian thing was a large one.

        You seem to be unable to disagree with someone without hating them.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 4:02 pm

        She creeps me out; but I said I’d Overcome that creepiness & vote for her – did that escape your attention?

        I liked Obama’s personality, but never voted for him and strongly protested his 2nd term actions.

        I liked Trump before he ran for office, in the way you like a churlish buffoon who makes you shake your head at his outlandish behavior; I grew to despise him as soon as he revealed the depth of his narcissistic untruthful dysfunction when campaigning.

        I shake my head at your outlandish dunderheaded misinterpretations of events too, Dave, but I’d vote for you if you ran for Dogcatcher, and its subsequent proximity to fleas. 🐕

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 10:41 pm

        Jay;

        Every comment is not a personal attack.

        There are many people who are closer to Warren than I am,
        But there are hundreds of millions who are less close.

        I am not claiming Warren expertise.
        Only that she actually was a good Law Professor at UofP.

        I do not know why she “creeps you out”, as she is not creepy.
        But you feel however you feel.

        I liked Obama as a person too.
        Though I did not like his policies.

        But that is past tense.
        I tried to pretend that Fast & Furious and IRSGATE
        and spying on journalists
        and spying on congress
        and …. were just subordinates.
        But what went on with the Clinton and Trump investigations
        was the last straw.
        The fish rots starting at the head.

        I have never “liked” Trump.

        A much younger Trump spoke at my brother’s college graduation.
        He was a pompous ass then.

        His attacks on McCain early in the campaign pissed me off thoroughly.
        I voted against him in the primary and the general.

        But as much as I disliked him – I was still happy when Clinton did not win.

        Subsequently if I do not listen to him, and ignore the chaos that he thrives on and focus on what he accomplishes, I am mostly happy with him.

        As to “misinterpretations”.

        The law is what it is – whether you or I like it or not.
        Further to the greatest extent possible it must be readily understandable to everyone – even people with an 80 IQ – otherwise we are lawless.

        We have spent hundreds of years working that out – through alot of Trial and Error.

      • April 21, 2019 11:49 am

        Ah, Roby, you find it so hard to believe that I am capable of independent thought and understanding. I don’t go by polls, I don’t believe in a cult, or any of that nonsense. To be clear, I am not accusing you of any of that. I understand that you and I have different worldviews, and I think that I understand some of your reasoning, while, at the same time, I am often puzzled that you cannot see what is clear as day, right in front of your eyes.

        I would caution you about accusing me, or anyone who thinks as I do, of being in a different “moral universe,” as if you are somehow more moral than I, or anyone with whom you have political differences. That’s a dangerous road to go down, as I am sure you know.

        Anyway, here is where I agree with a couple of things that you said here:
        “trump and his associates blundered around like amateurs ”

        Yes, absolutely. I don’t know that I agree that it was entirely due to his being a rich (also famous) guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a big part of it. Wealthy celebrities feel very entitled. I’ve heard they even cheat to get their kids into good schools!

        ” They did many unbelievable and repulsive things”

        I think you use inflammatory language, here, because nothing that the Trump campaign did was any more repulsive that your average presidential campaign. Nevertheless, I agree that making jokes about Russia finding Hillary’s emails and saying that Putin was a strong leader was extraordinarily foolish and impolitic. Nothing impeachable, but not wise.

        So, there you go. Happy Easter! I’ll be gone for a few days, but I’ll be back to argue another day!

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:59 pm

        Robby speaks of closed minds – yet it is obvious that Rick, Ron, you and I – do not agree with each other, and hold views that are unique – individual, not reflective of some tribe.

        With few exceptions that can not be said of dd, jay or robby.
        It is hard to say they are lock step in their views. Aside from what they are lock step opposed to – anything trump, it is near impossible to get them to express a clear view of anything.

        But they are absolutely lock step against Trump. If Trump said the sun will rise tomorow they would in unison oppose. They have different styles in their opposition, but they are predictable drones.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 2:17 pm

        I have been pounding, and you are touching the moral drum.

        This is far more important than the polls.

        To a large extent Trump’s reelection was a reflection of popular anger at the immoral use of moral judgement by the left – that is what a backlash against political correctness is.

        The effort to “get Trump” is a doubling down by the left.
        The failure of Mueller to find anything is going to take a long time to have an impact, but I think the impact is going to be very large.
        I think all the nonsense at this moment from the media and the left, the doubling down is a reflection of how how the stakes are.

        Credibility is a reward for accuracy regarding facts.
        Integrity is a reward for accurate moral judgement

        We can dislike Trump as much or more today than yesterday.

        But today it is much harder to evade the fact that he did not lie about the witch hunt.
        and the left did.
        Today it is much harder to evade the fact that those who accused him where lying, and those he accused were liars.

        Robby is back to minimizing the extent of his TDS – probably a recognition that being caught on the wrong side of the facts costs your integrity and credibility.

        I do not actually think – despite the yammering of the moment that democrats are going to go forward with impeachment. If I were to guess they will scale back investigations – quietly.

        They have two years to stand for something besides TDS.

        Eventually it will sink in to people that they have been lied too.

        I do not think Trump is a great president. But I do think his presidency is likely to be an inflection point.

        Trump is the rock against which the left is battering itself to death.

      • April 21, 2019 11:59 am

        By the way, Roby, did you even read my comment? I have never said that the Mueller investigation was illegal. Where the hell that came from, I don’t know.

        And Jay to your point, what Republican would you vote for, if you could choose the candidate? I’m guessing Kasich?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 8:01 pm

        The Mueller investigation was absolutely improper.

        I.E. There was insufficient basis for the investigation.

        This is not Mueller’s ‘fault” though it is Rosensteins.

        This should be obvious to anyone who does not accept that the government can investigate anyone at anytime for any reason.

        It seems to be impossible for most people here to take Trump out of this and imagine themselves as the target of an investigation started using lies.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 12:06 pm

        More Garbage Robby

        I keep calling you out on fallacies.

        Please tell me exactly what credible basis there ever was for any of this ?

        All this fallacious garbage about tribes is just a distraction.

        Every question in the world is not answerable – but many are.
        An awful lot of the time we can know what is true and what is false.
        And even more of the time we can know what is likely true and what is likely false.

        Responding to an argument with – “well your are just following your tribe”, is both non-sense and divisive.

        It is an overt claim that you believe Tribal allegiances – including your own are stronger than facts, evidence, truth, morality.

        IF you are right, tribal divisions are irresolvable – except possibly by genocide.
        Is that really what you mean to say ?

        Unless you believe that we should shift from the war of words to that of weapons, then we must resolve our differences using WORDS – facts, logic reason.

        Might or reason – there is not another way.

        The immorality of all your fallacy is that if we do not reason our way through these conflicts, then we will work them out through force.

        That is not what I want. But your constant reliance on fallacy will ultimately end there.

        The tools of meaningful persuasion are FACTS. LOGIC, REASON.

        Appeals to emotion – are just another fallacy, and the error in fallacy is that it amplifies the tribalism you are ranting about. It moves us towards solving problems by force rather than reason.

        You say that the other tribe can not be reached – not only is that a fallacy, but it is also a false presumption that you are right.

        You are not open to the possiblity that you are wrong.

        Trump has called this all a witch hunt – and you derided him.
        Priscilla is calling this a witch hunt and you are berating her.
        Ultimately Mueller found this a witch hunt – even if he did not use those words – and still you continue.

        It is not Trump that is self evidently disconnected from reality.
        It is not Priscilla,
        It is not Mueller,
        It is not Barr.

        Now the left is attacking Barr – he is purportedly a bought and paid shill.

        FACTS, LOGIC, REASON.

        You do not get to jump to anyone who does not agree with you is a shill or a crook.

        You want to climb onto the moral soap box – but you are not moral. You are just accusatory.

        Maligning others does not make you a good person.

        I do not like Barr, I think he is wrong about many things.
        I do not think he is a shill. I do not think he is evil.
        I do not have to reject absolutely everything about him, because I think he is wrong about SOME things that are important to me.

        But you do this to EVERYONE.

        Contra the left wing nut contingent here – neither Ron, Priscilla, nor I are “Trumpanzees”.
        We do not agree completely – which makes us ordinary people. Just like lots of people who voted for Trump and lots who did not.

        You complain about Tribalism – but you are a member of the most rigid Tribe.
        It is the left that has the greatest difficulty having an oppinion as an individual.

        One of the most important attributes that Prisically, Ron, and I share – is that we think for ourselves.

        Jay delights in finding an assortment of conservatives tweeting negative things about Trump.
        While most are from neocons – why Jay thinks the fact that war mongers antipathy to Trump would be persuasive I can not grasp. Regardless, SOME are from people I respect.

        But I am not obligated to share every single viewpoint with someone else – just because I respect them. I think for myself, as does Ron, and Priscilla.

        I think Rick is a bit further left of center than he perceives, but he still thinks for himself.

        Jay appears incapable of any thought of his own beyond not all that creative insults. Mostly he just sprays tweets from what I guess is his tribe.

        You are incapable of any argument that is not just endless streams of fallacies.

        Think for yourselves.

        If you want to persuade me – that is easy.
        Facts, Logic, reason.

        The problem with that is that you can not persuade me to believe what you believe, you can only persuade me to believe what is supported by facts, logic and reason.

        I have zero doubt that if we can actually debate – using facts, logic and reason, that we will ultimately arrive at or closer to the truth.

        If I am wrong, I can be persuaded by facts, logic, reason.

        But tidal waves of fallacies will get you nowhere – and they should not.

        I am not joining your tribe.

        I am not joining ANY tribe. I am libertarian we are about the least tribal that one can possibly be.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 12:33 pm

        “The hunt was brought onto trump by himself and his associates by their own outrageous actions.”

        How so ? Please lets be specific – and lets get passed Trump.

        What are the criteria for law enforcement to investigate anyone ?

        Are rumors and gossip enough ?

        What are Trump’s “outrageous actions” ?

        Is a real estate tycoon trying to build a hotel an “outrageous action” ?

        What did Trump DO that was outrageous ?

        Little Richard is pretty “outrageous” – can we investigate him ?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 12:36 pm

        “A good example, the bernie movement is a cult, try to tell them about economic or political realities, forget about it. ”

        I try to inform you of economic realities all the time. Things that are incredibly well established – “forget about it”.

        The only distinction I see between you and Bernie Bros is the details of the economic nonsense each of you believes.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 12:48 pm

        “The investigation was all fully legal.”

        Because you say so ?

        WHY was it fully legal ?
        What was the basis for opening the investigation ?
        What was the basis for each escalation ?

        You do not just get to presume what you want to beleive.

        “What Meuller found was what he could find in spite of having some important avenues closed to him. ”

        What Mueller found was NOTHING.

        No important avenues were closed to him. Even in his own report, he CHOSE not to persue certain avenues.

        “What he found was very close to what I wrote he would find back at the beginning of the investigation and even before it.”

        I do not recall your ever saying anything resembling what Mueller found.

        “A direct agreement never happened, that was unnecessary.”
        Word games.

        “trump and his associates blundered around like amateurs who followed trumps life long habit of not believing that boundaries are meant for the rich.”

        There is one law, the same for rich and poor. IF Trump had violated that law – even a little Mueller would have crucified him.

        What Trump and associates beleived is irrelevant.
        Whether he was rich or poor is irrelevant.
        What matters is what was the law broken or not.
        Mueller says NO!

        “They did many unbelievable and repulsive things,”

        Mueller found no laws were broken. That was obvious from the start.
        There never should have been an investigation.

        As to “unbeleivable and repulsive things”
        Be specific,
        Regardless, you get to condemn those with your vote.
        Obviously alot of voters did not think Trump’s conduct was unbeleivable and repulsive.

        “Georges, Romney and Conway, for holding onto their principles”
        Which principles would those be ?
        Those in our constitution – which were clearly violated in this mess ?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:03 pm

        “You and Dave can face off against Jay dduck and myself and we can all say the same things over and over, forever. We each find the other camp tiresome and ridiculous, just completely lost. We can describe over and over the two very different fact and moral universes we live in regarding trump”

        True.

        Ron, Priscilla and I have not made false accusations – not about Trump, not about you.
        We have not accused anyone of crimes they did not commit.
        We have not called people liars when they were not lying.

        You have.

        You have not merely be wrong about the facts.
        You have made false accusations.

        I am not merely glad I do not live in the moral universe where that is acceptable,
        that moral universe is also non-functional

        We do not get to make up what constitutes morality as the mood takes us.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 1:21 pm

        I have no idea what you think your poll shows.

        Nor do I care much.

        Truth is not decided by polls.
        Morality is not decided by polls.

        But specific to the effect of this on peoples views – that will take time to sink in.

        Further as is evident by your own remarks and the nonsense of democrats after their initial shock, those who were actually morally wrong in this, are not apologizing are not sorry and are not backing down.

        That is quite unfortunate. The choices are between facts, logic, reason, and FORCE.
        It is entirely possible that if this turns into a contest of force – the left might win.

        But there is no good outcome that involves force.

        In the meantime doubling down just raises the stakes, and the price.

        If the left chooses to continue this nonsense – they do so from a much weaker position.
        Mueller will be gone shortly. There is not a chance in hell you are getting him or anyone like him back. The only further investigations into Trump will be by the House, and that is a mine field for them. Nadler and Schiff will never have the credibilty that Mueller had – whether he deserved it or not. It will be much easier to thwart them.
        In the unlikely event they succeed they will have taken significant risk to gain the same thing Mueller was supposed to bring them.
        In the more likely event that they fail – the consequences are even greater.

        Further – regardless of the polls, Not just Trump, but everyone not part of this conspiracy to get Trump has just gained significant credibility and everyone part of the conspiracy has lost significant credibility.

        Certainly within your own tribe you are sill held with the same esteem. But that just shows how broken your tribe is.

        Next, the targets of investigation are about to reverse.

        One of the themes of the past two years has been that time and investigation makes the allegations against Trump weaker. Time and investigation makes the allegations against Trump’s enemies stronger.

        The IG’s report will be out soon. The last IG’s report was devastating to the left – though I think it fell short of what was required. I expect no different from this. I have zero doubt Horowitz is going to excoriate the Trump investigation. But I do not think he will make criminal referals as many republicans hope. But he will open the doors to two years of investigations into the Obama administration and the origens of this hoax.

        Further the swamp is slowly being drained.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:14 am

      There is no “impeachment referal”.

      Even Mueller could not get that far.

      Even Mueller’s own claim that he could not come to a conclusion on Obstruction is nonsense.

      Prosecutors charge, or they do not. Their final actions are binary.
      Anything less than a charge is a no.

      While Mueller may not have “exonerated” Trump regarding “obstruction”, he absolutely positively did not reach the bar necescary to charge.

      Barr’s quick dismissal of Obstruction claims was just sorting through Mueller’s angst and getting to the point.

      Think of Mueller as a grand jury – and BTW Mueller could have taken obstruction to a grandjury. The Watergate Grand Jury found that Nixon was an “unindicted co-conspirator”.

      Mueller’s inability to indict did not preclude using a grand jury to determine if obstruction occurred.

      Mueller did not use a grand jury – because the issue was a question of law, not fact, and he did not find obstruction because the facts do not meet the requirements of the law.

      All the hand wringing about Trump/Obstruction is just an argument that the law SHOULD be something different.

      If you really beleive that – change the law.

      But that is not going to happen – because the law is correct as it is.
      What the left really wants. What Mueller danced arround but fortunately was not ultimately corrupt enough to say, was that the law should be different for different people.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:27 am

      What is self evident is that the Mueller investigation AND the FBI investigation that proceeded it NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

      Absolutely Trump could not have ordered the investigation stopped without facing impeachment.

      At the same time it is also absolutely clear that the investigation SHOULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED.

      Long ago we determined that the IC law was unconstitutional – and the SC law was supposed to fix it.

      But it is also clear that the SC law though appearing to be more constitutional is actually LESS.

      The IC was answerable to congress (and the courts). Whether Starr’s investigation continued required constantly proving to some body that was accountable that it was justified.

      The SC proved unaccountable. The president could not fire him. Sessions recused and Rosenstein was up to his neck in this mess from the begining.

      There are now several “leaks” suggesting that Mueller had reached the conclusion that there was no conclusion by August 2017 – or Dec 2017 at the latest. But the investigation continued for more another year to 18 months – WHY ?

      That question rings from the start to the end of this.

      In December 2015 – WHY did the Obama WH task the FBI with investigating Trump ?

      At each escalation along the way – what predicate existed to justify continuing and escalating ?

      It is not just that the Steele Dossier – which did not show up until July 2016 was such an obvious peice of garbage – it is that the claims NEVER made sense.

      Sometimes people commit crimes that make no sense. But we do not start investigating nonsensical claims absent credible evidence.

      Mueller not only established that there was no collusion.
      He established that there was NEVER credible evidence of collusion.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 6:57 pm

        Credible evidence the trump gang was conspiring with Russians

        There never was ‘credible’ evidence that Al Capone was a bootlegger.
        Prosecuting him for tax evasion was therefore wrong. Right?

        Capone thought so. After getting out of prison he tried to get his conviction overturned. The courts gave him the middle finger.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:45 pm

        There was plenty of evidence Capone was a bootlegger.

        It was impossible to get anyone to testify – can you get drug users to testify against drug dealers ?
        Further there was ZERO doubt that a crime was committed – the evidence was all over, the problem was proving that it was Capone.

        Do you really want to live in a world where 4th party hearsay is enough have your life torn apart ?

        Capone was not the best example – do you really support criminalizing alcohol ?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:51 pm

        Elliot Ness did us all a disservice.

        You have picked a near perfect example of the tyranny of the majority.

        In the 20’s the majority was able to pass a constitutional amendment to destroy a right.
        But unable to stop people from excercising that right – even after it was criminalized.
        Even if that required violence. Bad choices by the majority, by experts, by politicians interfered with peoples rights and gave birth to organized crime.
        Laws do not make bad people into good people. They merely make it possible to punish the actual bad people. But bad laws do make good people into bad people.

        Ness’s use of the tax code to prosecute Capone was creative.
        Something we DO NOT want in law enforcement.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2019 7:03 pm

        Who should have stopped it?
        The miscreants under investigation?

        Under the parameters in the constitution for impeachment, Mueller’s findings recommending impeaching his ass.

        Let’s go for it! #ImpeachHisOrangeAss

      • dhlii permalink
        April 22, 2019 12:12 am

        “Who should have stopped it?”

        That is the point, we litterally created a scenario where the only oversight of Mueller was on of the participants in the soft coup.

        “The miscreants under investigation?”

        My argument is that the SC law is bad law. While there were purported problems with the IC law, there is no doubt that we need some kind of independent counsel – possibly even permanent. But you can not have someone in the executive investigating the executive – because then the investigator is politically unsupervisable.

        Just as we are seeing here – Trump had the absolute authority to fire Mueller.
        And someone should have but Trump could not do so politically.

        The Independent counsel needs to be appointed and supervised by either the courts or congress, not the executive.

        It might need a constitutional amendment to do this right, but what we have is wrong.

        “Under the parameters in the constitution for impeachment,”
        The constitution allows impeachment for anything.

        “Mueller’s findings recommending impeaching his ass.”
        I am not going to stop you from trying to impeach Trump.

        I think you are stupid to do so. I think you will guarantee his re-election in a landslide.
        I think that you will guarantee that Dem’s lose the house.

        Not only that you are going to look really really bad.
        There are nearly twice as many people opposed to impeachment as favoring it.
        There was almost as much support for impeaching Obama as there is for impeaching Trump right now.

        And despite what you think – further investigations are NOT going to help you.

        You have an IG’s report coming in a month that at best will be bad for D’s and at worst will be disasterous.

        Mueller is going to be cleared out of the Executive shortly. There will be no new SC appointed, DOJ/FBI are going to shift from investigating Trump to investigating those out to get him. Rosenstein will be gone. There will be no more hiding the evidence from house and senate committees

        If the house decides to dig into collusion they will find nothing different from Mueller,
        Only they will be much weaker – Mueller used the law as a weapon to try to twist arms into false testimony. Congress will not be able to do that. Nadler is unlikely to refer someone for prosecution for inconsequential “process crimes” and Barr will rightly kill those if he does.

        No one should have to go through what Papadoulis, Carter, Flynn and Stone have.
        Even Cohen and Manafort were subject to gestapo tactics – that will end.

        Cohen has already testified. Despite 10 hours of prepping by Shiff, Despite calling Trump every form of dispicable in the book, Cohen testified that Trump had committed no crimes.
        Everyone – Flynn’ Papadoulis, Page, Stone, Manafort has said the same.
        Neither Nadler nor shiff are going to do better than Mueller.

        All you will get is two years of public testimony exhonerating Trump.

        If you really want to many Trump look even more innocent – try to impeach him on what you have now.

        “Let’s go for it! #ImpeachHisOrangeAss”

        “Go Ahead Make My Day”

  40. dhlii permalink
    April 21, 2019 2:23 pm

    The report is appropriately thick, D.C. thick. It takes more than 400 pages to state the obvious: There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to swing the 2016 election. Zip. Nada. Nothing to see here.

    It goes on to tee up a question about obstruction of justice that the special counsel was not asked to investigate — and then doesn’t answer it. Wait. What?

    These are some of the most elite prosecutors in the country, and they went full Hamlet on a legal determination a third-year law student would knock down between Budweisers. This is what we get for $30 million? Make a call; that’s your job as prosecutors.

    It doesn’t seem the special counsel team is fooling anyone. It showed that it would indict a ham sandwich if it could. The obvious answer is that it had no confidence in a criminal obstruction case.

    Instead, it punted to the Trump-appointed attorney general. One gets the sense this may have been by design.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/439840-the-mueller-report-concludes-it-was-not-needed

    • Jay permalink
      April 21, 2019 7:15 pm

      “ There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to swing the 2016 election.”

      No provable Collusion.
      Tons of verifiable circumstantial evidence.

      Like this. Within hours of Trump’s call for the Russians to find and release Clinton’s emails Russian hackers were busy trying to do that. And Trump in return went on a Putin ass kissing binge. They had by then a tacit agreement to collude. You have to be congenitally ignorant not to understand that.

      Defective Donald needs to be removed from office.
      You need a forceful mental enema, injected from bottom to top.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 22, 2019 12:26 am

        “No provable Collusion.
        Tons of verifiable circumstantial evidence.”

        To the extent that it is possible to prove a negative – Mueller did.
        An no there is not any consequential evidence circumstantial or otherwise.

        “Like this. Within hours of Trump’s call for the Russians to find and release Clinton’s emails Russian hackers were busy trying to do that.”
        False – even the Crowdsource report has the first penetration of the DNC in mid 2015 – before Trump announced as a candidate. The 2nd was in March of 2016 – Trump asked Russia for Clinton’s emails in July of 2016. The emails were xfered from the DNC starting in April, and running through early June.

        You get overly caught up in this made up garbage from the media.
        Haven’t you been lied to enough ?
        You can go find and download the Crowdstrike report.
        While I think there CONCLUSIONS are garbage, They are likely accurate about the dates of the cozybear and fancybear infections, as well as the times that they were active.

        What they are likely wrong about is: the who(not Russia) and the what(not the emails).

        “They had by then a tacit agreement to collude.”
        And you have evidence of that ?

        Do you understand that Mueller had access to all NSA records. As well as all phone records and the travel schedules of the entire Trump campaign.
        So how is it that he missed the phone call from Putin to Trump negotiating this ?

        Further from Oct 2016 through Oct 2017 – Everyone within 2 hops of Carter Page was being surveiled by the NSA – that is what the FISA warrant was for. So Mueller and the NSA have records of communications for a full year for probably about 10000 people probably nearly everyone Trump knows.

        “You have to be congenitally ignorant not to understand that.”
        I am not the one unfamiliar with the facts.

        “Defective Donald needs to be removed from office.
        You need a forceful mental enema, injected from bottom to top.”

        I am glad I am not you.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 22, 2019 12:57 am

        Within Hours of Trump imploring the Russians for Clinton’s emails

        The sun rose.

        Is that circumstantial evidence that Trump conspired with the Sun ?

  41. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2019 6:58 pm

    With all the frills upon it…

    • dhlii permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:52 pm

      I thought we weren’t posting videos ?

      • April 22, 2019 10:35 am

        that was the hope

      • dhlii permalink
        April 22, 2019 1:50 pm

        Where I can I prefer posting video’s and articles.
        I would guess that most would prefer to watch a video or read an article by someone else than read what I write.

        But it appears that videos are causing problems with tablets and phones, so I have been avoiding them.

  42. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2019 7:18 pm

    congressionally actionable EVIDENCE for impeachment:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/obstruction-justice-mueller-report-heat-map

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:38 pm

      Jay, good article from lawfare. Thanks

      • dhlii permalink
        April 22, 2019 12:55 am

        Rather than Lawfare – please read Barr’s memo.

        He has the law down far better.

        Lawfare and other wishful thinking leftist lawyers have been trying to sell ludicrous and legally warped defintions of obstruction from the start of this.

        Lawfare is the blog of Benjamin Wittes, he is a journalist. He is no more a lawyer than I am, and his record of accuracy is far lower than mine.

        I am not tooting my own horn. I am pointing out that he is NOT a source for legal information.
        Putting “law” in the name of your blog does nto create expertise.

        Wittes is one of those who daily on Twitter has predicted that hundreds of revelations – most of which proved false were damning.

        When you have been repeatedly wrong about the facts – you have no credibility.
        When you have repeatedly made false accusations – you have no integrity.
        That describes Wittes to a T.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 22, 2019 12:40 am

      Jay, this is simple.

      The political part:

      Either you prove collusion – which Mueller has taken off the table.
      You have to beleive that Mueller missed something big – that is despite having multiple years worth of phone and email records of everyone involved, as well as millions of pages of voluntarily provided documenes.

      You keep telling me how stupid Trump is – yet at the same time you want me to beleive he has managed to conspire with Russia is a way that Mueller could not find a single bread crumb, that NSA completely missed. You want me to beleive that he and his people are more skilled at clandestine activities than the CIA. You want me to beleive that a conspiracy that MUST involve many people in Trump’s circle as well as the Kremlin has left ZERO fingerprints.

      Further you are claiming that it is ongoing – that somehow Putin is deliving instructions to Trump without anyone finding out – even under intense scrutiny.

      Mueller checked out every single stupid rumor and found nothing.

      Is it theoretically possible that Trump has managed to communicate with Russia in a way that leaves no clues at all ? Possible – yes, probable – about a million times less probable than Trump winning in 2016.

      Next this incredible act of spycraft resulted in Putin dumping 100K into the race.

      You keep trying to tie the DNC emails to this. But your timing does NOT even come close to working – despite whatever nutcase you found that never bothered to read the crowdstrike report. And BTW even if it did actually work. Trump publicly begging Putin to dig up Clintons 30K deleted emails and Putin arranging for the DNC to be hacked – EVEN if Putin did that because Trump publicly asked – is still not collusion.

      You can not criminally conspire openly infront of hundreds of millions of people

      Further all conspiracy requires agreement. You do not have that.

      People give money to political candidates all the time.
      They later get favors from those candidates. Often this happens entirely publicly.
      It is sometimes disturbing, but it is not a crime.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 22, 2019 12:43 am

      The only LEGAL way to get obstruction – as opposed to political, is to find Trump tampering with a witness, subborning perjury, or destroying evidence.

      In other words, you will not make legal headway on obstruction without a separate crime besides weak claims to obstruction.

  43. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2019 9:24 pm

    That an outgoing ambassador of an important long time ally of the US would say this shows how deleterious to US interests this worm we have as President has proven to be.

    “The outgoing French ambassador to the US has compared the Trump administration to the court of King Louis XIV, filled with courtiers trying to interpret the caprices of a “whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed” leader.
    Gérard Araud, who retires on Friday after a 37-year career that included some of the top jobs in French diplomacy, said Donald Trump’s unpredictability and his single-minded transactional interpretation of US interests was leaving the administration isolated on the world stage.
    “When they say ‘America first’, it’s America alone,” Araud said in an interview with the Guardian. “Basically, this president and this administration don’t have allies, don’t have friends. It’s really [about] bilateral relationships on the basis of the balance of power and the defence of narrow American interest.””

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/19/whimsical-uninformed-french-ambassadors-parting-verdict-on-trump

    • dhlii permalink
      April 22, 2019 12:49 am

      A French Diplomat and the Guardian. WoW.

      Do you have a fact in this somewhere ?

      How well have the French done diplomatically in the past century ?

  44. dhlii permalink
    April 22, 2019 1:52 pm

    We have listened to people here – in the media, democrats, those on the left, CIA directors, FBI directors, say with a straight face that Trump is a russian Agent, an Manchurian Candidate.

    We have listened to people here ….. say that but for $100K according to Mueller (I thought it was 100 times more and still a pitance) of bad Russian Social Media adds – split evenly between Trump and Clinton, that somehow Clinton would have won.

    We have listened to people here …. say that Trump is lying when he claims there was no collusion and this was all a witch hunt.

    And I can go on and on.

    If there was actual evidence – these could be reasonable things to say.
    But there is no evidence – none, nada, zipo.

    But it is worse than that – these and myriads of other claims about Trump NEVER made any sense.

    While incredibly unlikely it is not impossible that Trump went from inheriting millions to a worth in Billions, succeeding in numerous different vocations, including politics despite being a total moron. But that conclusion runs afoul of Occam’s Razor.

    FROM THE BEGINING all of the assorted nonsensical claims regarding Trump have required concurrently beleiving that he was so stupid as to “collude” with the Russians in return for $100K in crappy campaign advertising, and at the same time so smart and skilled at spy trade craft that he and purportedly a host of co-conspirators manged this ludicrously stupid act while evading leaving any breadcrums for The media, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, DOJ, Mueller and every reporter in the world to follow up on.
    We have spent more than two years watching gossip and rumours get treated not merely as valid news, but as a rational basis for investigation.
    As is evident in the Mueller report – every single stupid baseless claim was thoroughly investigated and came up dry.

    Jussie Smollet sets up his own fake hate crime – gets caught and Michelle Obama calls the prosecutor and charges against Smollet are dropped.

    THAT smells like obstruction of justice.

    Getting angry and wanting to fire an idiot who could not figure out after a few days that this whole mess was a giant pile of garbage – that you think is Obstruction ?

    You want to debate Trump’s policies – Great. I might even agree with you about some of those.

    You want to debate Trump’s fitness – you and I got to vote on that in 2016. We were overruled by the electorate. I would like something quite different as president. But I have not been happy with a president since Reagan, and I am not that sure about him. Trump is not even close to the least fit president we have had. I am not sure he makes the top 3rd of least fit presidents.

    You want to debate Trump’s character – not good, we all got that.
    Someone rational would understand that it is alot less bad than Bill Clinton.
    We can debate whether it is better or worse than Biden’s or Franken’s but I fail to grasp how being slightly better or worse than a popular US Senator and the prior Vice President is a crisis, is the end of the world.

    You tell me you do not have TDS – down below you have gone off on a riff because Trump purportedly reversed Pompeo over Libya.
    I do not know what you are talking about – I am quite skeptical that you do.
    I have no idea who the good guys or the bad guys are in Libya, I doubt you do, I am not particularly convinced that Trump or Pompeo do either.

    What I did not here was that Trump was sending US forces to Libya to get sucked into another mideastern conflict where it is impossible to tell who the good guys and the bad guys are.

    Maybe you are some expert on Libya – and you actually know what you are talking about. Maybe Trump’s shift in policy is an absolute disaster.
    But based on past history – here and with Trump – I highly doubt that.

    My intuition – which I expect you will confirm shortly, is that the only thing you know is that some talking head somewhere has claimed that Trump undercut Pompeo and that you beleive this makes Trump look bad.
    That you do not actually know anything. That you do not actually know that Trump reversed Pompeo, that you do not know whether that is a wise choice or not. You do not even actually know if it makes Trump look bad.
    Nor do you care to know the actual facts.

    That is why it is called Trump Derangement Syndrome – because your expression has nothing to do with actual facts. That given any sequence of events – you are going to see in those events a pattern that makes Trump look bad – no matter how you have to twist those facts to do so, and that if the actual facts are not sufficient – you will make up facts.

  45. dduck12 permalink
    April 22, 2019 10:11 pm

    ” Poll: Trump approval sinks 5 points after Mueller report, tying all-time low”

    Despite the slide to 39 percent, there is little support for using impeachment to remove the president.

    By STEVEN SHEPARD

    04/22/2019 05:22 PM EDT
    Share on Facebook
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    President Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped 5 points, equaling his presidency’s low-water mark, since last week’s release of the special counsel report into the 2016 election, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 3:01 am

      Rassmussen has him at 47.

      Rassmussen had Obama at 47 on 22 apr 2011 – the same place in his presidency.
      Since Mar. 2018 Trump’s approval has been ABOVE Obama’s approval in the same day of his presidency 2/3 of the time.

      You do not have to like Rassmussen – but it is still 10pts ABOVE is low
      Rassmussen may run high – or maybe it is the only poll that is right.
      Regardless it follows the same trends as all the others.

      RCP has Trump at 42.9. That is 5+pts ABOVE is his low.
      In fact for the entire past year Trump has only been below 42 twice for short periods.

      The long term effect of the release of the Mueller report will be substantially positive.

      Derschowitz found the report to be LESS negative than he expected.

      Derschowitz also felt Mueller punted on obstruction because, because he knew if he made a decision it would have to be “no obstruction”.

      I keep getting stories on the media – and here – repeating the same old claims that were rebutted long ago and are NOT in the Mueller report. Or if they are they are in the form of we checked this and it was not true.

      The media has doubled down on stupid – as have several of you here.
      I would prepare for a very disappointing next two years.

      Schiff has been thoroughly discredited – as have several other prominent democrats.

      The lunatic fringe is demanding impeachment.

      If you want to had the GOP the Whitehouse and congress in 2020, the best thing you could do would be try to impeach.

      There will be no more mueller shortly.
      You are not going to get another.

      Trump has just sued Nadler to oppose Nadlers subpeona of business records.
      I expect that Trump will likely lose – but it will take alot of time.
      It is unlikely Trump will win at the current level. But the law suit alleges that Nadler has no legislative oversight purpose, that this is personal.
      If the courts actually beleive that Nadler will lose – so Nadler and democrats are going to have to tone down the personal attacks while the lawsuit is ongoing or they provide the evidence for the lawsuit.

      Regardless Nadler and democrats are going to have to be careful.
      They have a legislative function.
      They have an executive oversight function.
      They do not have a law enforcement function.

      If they look like they are trying to conduct a criminal investgation – they will lose.

      All the things Mueller has ruled out – are likely ruled out for further investigation by the house.
      Not as a matter of law, but because democrats look really bad if they do not accept Muellers findings.

      And the IG’s report will be out in a month or so.
      The best that can be is bad for Democrats.
      But it could be really bad.

      My guess is that Barr already has a very good idea, and that is why he is talking about investigating the investigation.

      • April 23, 2019 10:28 am

        Dave, I have said many times that I was against Mueller doing this investigation as he used a shotgun approach to spread crap and then went after whatever stuck. I was all political, he used this to negatively impact Trump and stretched it out as far as he could. So he had to say he found no Russian collusion, but howdoes one extend the negative.impact for months to come?

        You say you could not positively say there was obstruction, but can not rule it out and congress needs to make that determination. So that opened the door to another 18 months of further MSNBC/CNN headlines and not the truth. And the democrats wont make a decision to imoeaech or not, because Queen Nancy knows there is nothing there, so investigating is the tool to use.

        I look at Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr as both having excellent legal minds and both being individuals that would say Trump is guilty of any crime had one been committed. They did say he went to the line of obstruction, but did not cross that line. And that is what anyone is legally entitled to do!

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 7:52 pm

        The first issue has to do with the legality of the investigation.

        We do not investigate anyone we please for no reason.

        The choice to appoint Mueller was Rosensteins – not Muellers.
        It was wrong.

        Mueller’s scope was decided by Rosenstein not Mueller.

        Counter intelligence investigations should never be done by an SC.
        That is just wrong. There is no need for an SC for a counter intelligence investiation.
        Further the SC law requires a crime.

        Counter intelligence investigations should not be combined with criminal investigations.
        Ever regardless of who does them. The standard protections of civil rights do not exist in a counter intelligence investigation – and that is as it should be.
        It is extremely rare that counter intelligence work leads to criminal prosecutions – it is not supposed to. We do not want other countries arresting US citizens for running afoul of foreign espionage laws, Therefore we should not prosecute their citizens for the same activities that we do all the time. Mueller has thoroughly F’d that up.

        Mueller’s actions have subjected US citizens in foreign countries – whether actual spies, journalists or just ordinary americans speaking their mind in a foriegn counter, to serious danger.

        But few people think about the broader context of this stuff.

        Further way to many do not grasp the incredible danger of expansive use of criminal law.

        This is precisely what Robespierre did, what Lenin did What Beria, and Mao did.

        A crime is anything that offends your politics.

        That is stupid and dangerous. You will not always be in power. Someone else will come along and use your own standards to decide that YOU are the criminal.

        It does not matter whether we are talking Facebook posts, or homosexuality

        In Mueller’s sentencing Memo on Butina – he concedes that non of her actions meet the legal defintion of espoinage. That she did NOT have contact with the US government or lobby politicians. But that still she should be sentenced to 18-24 months – because what she had done – which was working with the US NRA, was somehow a threat to the US.

        How ?

        If we are going to arrest Russian students for engaging with the National Riffle Association, then aren’t we going to be hypocrits when we try to protest Putin Jailing US gay rights activists ?

        The law should not try to distinguish between ideas that we think are right and those we think are wrong.

        Much of what we are sure is wrong today, was considered wrong in the past – homosexuality, womens equality, racial equality.

        It can easily be considered wrong in the future.

        If you are not prepared to protect the freedom of those you hate – Putin, Nazi’s. white supremecists, tomorow it could be the freedom of women, minorities, or americans that is indoubt or even illegal.

        I have a separate problem with Mueller – and that is that he has a long history of bullying the innocent. He is precisely what the left should have wanted. But he is precisely what we should never have as a prosecutor. He should have been gone 40 years ago.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 8:06 pm

        “You say you could not positively say there was obstruction, but can not rule it out and congress needs to make that determination.”

        Absolutely NOT. No I do NOT say that.

        THERE WAS NO OBSTRUCTION!!!!!

        You can not obstruct justice by acting within your legitimate authority – not as president, not a CEO, not as shoe shine boy.

        You can not obstruct justice without committing a separate criminal act.
        Subborning perjury, witness tampering, bribery, …..

        These safeguards are important – both the innocent and the guilty rail against their tormentors. WE should never make railing against the prosecution into a crime.

        Trump or anyone else is allowed to do anything that would be legal if they were not being investigated to thwart an investigation into them. The innocent and guilty alike MUST be perrmitted to rail against their oppressors.

        Impeachment is political. I think it is a desparately stupid choice.
        But if Democrats wish to do so – they may.

        “So that opened the door to another 18 months of further MSNBC/CNN headlines and not the truth. And the democrats wont make a decision to imoeaech or not, because Queen Nancy knows there is nothing there, so investigating is the tool to use.”

        Impeachment is political. The cost will either hit D’s or R’s.
        If the D’;s wish to gamble, I am not stopping them.

        “I look at Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr as both having excellent legal minds and both being individuals that would say Trump is guilty of any crime had one been committed. They did say he went to the line of obstruction, but did not cross that line. And that is what anyone is legally entitled to do!”

        I disagree with them – He did NOT go to the line – thought you are correct that he was entitled to.

        Firing Mueller would not have been obstruction.
        Whether it was impeachable depended on congress.

  46. dduck12 permalink
    April 22, 2019 10:38 pm

    “Mexican police detain hundreds of Central American migrants”
    This may have been a result of Trump’s remarks towards the Mexican government.
    I think Mexico should get some financial help from the U.S. to at least help provide food and shelter along with funds for transportation for these folks.
    It is still a terrible situation, but we can still try and minimize the harm to these people in cooperation with Mexico..
    https://apnews.com/f8985d84861a442c8e3f52f7f157d6a2

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 3:11 am

      Why should mexico “get help” ?

      Isn’t mexico responsible for securing its own borders ?

      Regardless, do you really see the current house of representatives approving aid to mexico to keep people from crossing into the US ?

      67% of voters think illegal immigration is a serious problem
      Only 31% of likely voters think democrats want to slow or stop illegal immigration.
      70% beleive Republicans do.

      47% said it is a very serious problem.

      48% want to halt all aid to mexico and central america until they stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

      And Rep. Omar has just called the “blackhawk Down” mission in somalia – when Clinton set soldiers in to stop Somali warlords from starving their own people, the worst terrorist attack in Somali history – and by the she means – Our soldiers were terrorizing the Somali’s.

      Omar is just the gift that keeps on giving.

      • Jay permalink
        April 23, 2019 4:23 pm

        Omar is an a-Hole.

        Sending US money to Mexico to stop illegals from other South American nations crossing Mexico to get here isn’t a bad idea. Probably way less expensive overall than paying Border Patrol salaries etc. But that won’t stop the continuing flow of Mexican illegal crossings.

      • April 23, 2019 4:39 pm

        Is sending money to corrupt governments wise?

      • Jay permalink
        April 23, 2019 9:34 pm

        Define ‘wise.’

        We’ve been sending $Billions to Egypt for decades to tamp down Islamic agitation. Are they any less corrupt than Mexico? We have a long history of opting for expedience, as far back as bribing Barbary Pirates to cease attacking US sailing vessels. So bribing Mexico to stop caravans from advancing toward our border may be a short term option. I’m not saying it’s a great strategy, but one worth considering.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 10:27 pm

        Lets not have our government give our money to Egypt, or Israel, or anyone.

        “Millions for defense, but not one penny for tribute”
        Attributed to Jefferson 1798 (actually Robert Goodloe Harper, a South Carolina Federalist and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee)

        The Congress funded a navy to fight the Barbary pirates rather than pay tribute.

        Generally the US does NOT pay tribute, though Obama gave billions of month that other people had legitimate claims to, to Iran to seal a bad treaty.

      • April 23, 2019 11:11 pm

        “Wise” to me is being able to evaluate a situation or proposal, determine the outcome and risk involved and weigh that to the cost involved. In mostvall government decisions, that has not been ” wise”.

        And giving Mexico money that would never be used for the purpose it was given is not “wise”

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 9:13 pm

        “Sending US money to Mexico to stop illegals from other South American nations crossing Mexico to get here isn’t a bad idea.”

        So send a check to the mexicans yourself.

        Every good idea is not constitutional.

        “Probably way less expensive overall than paying Border Patrol salaries etc.
        Every more efficient and less expensive idea is not constitutional.

        “But that won’t stop the continuing flow of Mexican illegal crossings.”
        Nothing will stop it.
        But lots of things will slow it down radically.

    • April 23, 2019 10:40 am

      Why should we fund anything a southern government does. They can close there southern border that is only 540 miles long and stop them in Guatamala.

      How about negotiating with Honduras, Guatamala and Mexico to allow NGO’s into the country and provide assistance for them to provide food and meds there. But no money because those corrupt governments will funnel the money to themselves and not the immigrants.

      • April 23, 2019 3:44 pm

        Ron, a “wall” can also. be in Mexico as long as it stops people and discorages others from starting in the first place.
        And it could be cheaper, faster and earlier.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 8:16 pm

        “Ron, a “wall” can also. be in Mexico as long as it stops people and discorages others from starting in the first place.
        And it could be cheaper, faster and earlier.”

        Absolutely – but just because it might be an efficient means to accomplish the desired ends, does not make paying Mexico to build their own southern wall is legitimate.

        We should hold Mexico and other countries accountable for the hordes crossing through their countries illegally to get to ours. We should not reward them from doing the right thing.

      • April 23, 2019 6:58 pm

        Ron, Trump loves doing business with Putin, why not other corrupt countries say SA and Egypt.
        So did all previous presidents.
        If Trump likes the idea, will it be OK then?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 10:20 pm

        “Trump loves doing business with Putin, why not other corrupt countries say SA and Egypt.”

        A free market means you are free to exchange with whoever you please – so long as force is not involved and each party does as they agree.

        While those engaged in free exchange may choose not to trade with whoever they wish for whatever reason they wish,
        the trade is itself morally neutral.

        Selling medicine to criminals is no more vile than selling guns to saints.

        “So did all previous presidents.”
        Most previous presidents were not in business. That has been our loss.
        Government is far more corrupt than business.

        “If Trump likes the idea, will it be OK then?”

        An idea is moral or not, regardless of whether you or Trump like the idea.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 8:08 pm

        The history of the negative impacts of foreign aide are horrible.

        Even private foreign charity works incredibly badly.

        Our government should not provide foriegn aide to anyone.

  47. dhlii permalink
    April 23, 2019 3:22 am

    According to Isakoff and Corn – the actual collusion with Russia during 2016 – was NOT trump, and Not Clinton – it was Obama.

    Rice directed the IC to STAND DOWN when they discovered that Russia was messing with the election.

    The argument is now being made that ONE of the driving forces behind the investigation of Trump was to hide the failures of the Obama Administration.

    • April 23, 2019 10:53 am

      So if Obama did this, where the hell is the totally inept GOP machine that allows this to go without investigation. Where is McConnell, home drunk on Kentucky whiskey? Who is letting this stuff pass without any significant investigation?

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 8:12 pm

        “So if Obama did this, where the hell is the totally inept GOP machine that allows this to go without investigation. Where is McConnell, home drunk on Kentucky whiskey? Who is letting this stuff pass without any significant investigation?”

        The Obama administration was just about the least transparent ever.

        Much of what is coming out, is information that was REQUIRED to be brought to the attention of the “gang of eight” and it was not.

        You can not blame the GOP for not investigating what was hidden from everyone.

        This is why Nunes wants nearly everything related to Carter page declassified.

        He beleives that now that Mueller is shutdown, Trump can and will engage in broad declassification – probably after Horoqitz produces his report.

  48. Jay permalink
    April 23, 2019 4:00 pm

    These people:

    “We are a group of attorneys who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian. We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights, and the necessity of civil discourse. We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power. We believe in “a government of laws, not of men.”

    We believe in the Constitution. We believe in free speech, a free press, separation of powers, and limited government. We have faith in the resiliency of the American experiment. We seek to provide a voice and a network for like-minded attorneys to discuss these ideas, and we hope that they will join with us to stand up for these principles.”

    Say this about the Mueller investigation:

    https://checks-and-balances.org/about/

    • Jay permalink
      April 23, 2019 4:11 pm

      Short conclusion above, for the lazy & simpleminded

      “”We believe the framers of the Constitution would have viewed the totality of this conduct [as described in the Mueller report] as evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

      • April 23, 2019 4:36 pm

        If that is how they view this issue, then they should have gone on to say that it is responsibility of the house to immediately begin impeachment proceedings and stop the political posturing that is going no where except giving MSNBC and CNN programming.

        This is total bull shit that they will not govern as required and everything is a two year election cycle agenda just to get elected.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 9:15 pm

        Jay is mireading the statement.

        While I have zero doubt that SOME of its signers mean what Jay claims.

        They wrote something different.

        It is trivial for me to read that and presume that they want Comey, McCabe, Lynch, …. prosecuted.

        The rule of law means something – not the law I made up today.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 23, 2019 9:11 pm

        ”We believe the framers of the Constitution would have viewed the totality of this conduct [as described in the Mueller report] as evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

        Nothing even close to that is in their at all.

        And anyone familiar with the framers and many of them are would no better.

        The framers REMOVED “maladministration” from the list of impeachable offenses specifically to avoid impeachment on the grounds you are arguing.

        While the constitution provides no enforcement mechanism for any narrow definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and therefore the constitution has given congress a power whose only actual constraint is voters. Still you can read Hamilton on impeachment

        http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_5s9.html

        I would note several things – some of the phrases here that would appeal to you, such as “public trust” and “good of society” meant something quite different to hamilton and the founders than to you.

        Regardless, it should be critically clear reading this that Hamilton considered impeachment quite serious business and intended to to be very hard.
        It is also clear that Hamilton required an actual crime.

        Finally I would note that in 1787 and for nearly a century after there was no federal law enforcement agency. The constitution does not give the federal govenrment a general police power. there is no need or constitutional justification for a federal police.

        You are pretty much always going to fail when you appeal to the authority of our founders, as they were far more conservative than even todays conservatives. Though they were the “liberals” of their day – classical liberals, aka libertarains.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 8:37 pm

      There is nothing on the page you linked that I disagree with in the slightest.

      But the terms used have meaning – and many of those listed use those terms in exactly the way I do.

      The rule of law means – the law as written. Where there is doubt, it must be interpreted NARROWLY. When we make something a crime – we define specifically what the elements of that crime are. Unless each and every element is present – then there is no crime.

      This is what the rule of law means. Any other concept is indistinguishable from the law of Robspierre and the Guilotine, from that of Lenin or Mao, or Hitler.

      Conduct is not criminal merely because it shocks some of us.

      While I think the claim that Trump came right up to the line regarding Obstruction but did not cross – is garbage. Firing Mueller would not have been obstruction.

      BTW Mcghan and Dowd have both state publicly that Trump did NOT direct them to Fire Mueller. They have further stated that Mueller was REPEATEDLY told, Trump and the WH were cooperating fully – their entire strategy was to be as open as possible and get this over QUICKLY, that Mueller betrayed their cooperation by dragging things out, that he knew there was no collusion in Aug or 2017 or Dec. at the latest and should have publicly said so then, that if Mueller thought that any of Trumps remarks even hinted that someone should not cooperate with Mueller – to notify them. That Trump DELIBERATLEY both publicly and privately told others to cooperate fully with Mueller. That Trump ended communications with myriads of people – such as Cohen, Stone and Manafort specifically so that there could be no possible claim that he was “colluding” with them to thwart Mueller. That all contacts with all of those people was subsequently through Trump’s lawyers – NOT directly.
      That Mueller has all the phone records and emails of all of these people and he KNOWS this.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 8:54 pm

      “We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth,”

      “the independence of the criminal justice system”
      I have to disagree with this – it is both false and impossible
      There is no power in government that is not subject to oversight, review – checks and balances.

      In the federal government the judiciary is in a separate branch. They are subject to oversight by the executive and legislative, and provide oversight for the executive and legislative.

      Prosecution is an executive function it is NOT ‘independent” nor can it be.
      Prosecutors are subject to direct oversight by their immediate superiors up through the president, and indirect oversight – checks and balances by the congress and the judiciary.

      The absolute last thing we want is ACTUAL independence anywhere in government.
      Not with the president, not with congress, not with the FBI and not with prosecutors.

      This is also why the SC law is bad law. An SC should never be appointed to do what the DOJ/FBI can do themselves. Mueller NEVER should have been given a Counterintelligence task.

      Muellers counterintelligence conduct is the most offensive part of his investigation.

      His choices to “prosecute” “russians” are “policy” choices, not criminal law choices,
      and will result in harm to americans and journalists accross the world in the future.

      “the imperative of individual rights”
      Absolutely. That includes the presumption of innnocence, and the right to be secure from spying and other investigation absent actual evidence that a crime has been committed and that there is cause to beleive you committed it.

      “and the necessity of civil discourse.”

      Nope. Civil Discourse is a value, not a principle. Elevating it to a principle is what the left does and doing so is a threat to free speach.

      ” We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power. We believe in a government of laws, not of men.”

      Absolutely – when are YOU going to apply the law in the same way whether it is to a republican or a democrat or Trump ?

      The least rights you give those you loath is the least rights those you love are entitled to.

      “We believe in the Constitution.”
      Yup,
      “We believe in free speech,”
      Including bad speach, hate speach and offensive presidential tweets.
      Including Russian’s posting stupid adds on facebook.

      “a free press,”
      The only threat to the free press is itself.
      Trump has not spied on the Press – like Obama.
      He has not attempted to prosecute them.

      A free press does not mean the press is entitled to respect or credibility.
      Those they must earn – every day.

      “separation of powers,”
      Investigations are constitutionally the perview of the executive.
      Congress may NOT target individuals. It may hold hearings with the goal of legislation or oversight. There is no constitutional provision granting congress oversight of private individuals.

      “and limited government.”
      Absolutely!!!

      “We have faith in the resiliency of the American experiment. We seek to provide a voice and a network for like-minded attorneys to discuss these ideas, and we hope that they will join with us to stand up for these principles.”

      To the extent they stand up for these principles – I support them.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 8:55 pm

      Aparently you are reading something besides your link.

      They said NOTHING about the Mueller investigation.

      • Jay permalink
        April 23, 2019 10:05 pm

        This is from their first link in the thread: see the words “on the Mueller Report” ??

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 12:25 am

        The original link you posted here does not say ANYTHING about the Mueller report.

        Aside from the significant error regarding the independence of investigations – there is no such thing and we do not want such a thing.

        No part of government should be “independent”, on of the problems with Mueller is that he was without any meaningful oversight.

        Ken Starr was overseen by congress. For all its flaws that is a better model.

        The SECOND link you posted is missing all the people from the initial page that I hold in high regard.

        Possibly because the entire Mueller mess is an extra constitutional disaster.

        If we were following the actual rule of law:
        Mueller would have been appointed to investigate a crime – not conduct a counter intelligence investigation. There are very very serious problems combining counter intelligence operations – which have no constitutional safegards but CAN NOT target US persons, and Criminal investigations. The entire purpose of the FISA court is to provide a wall between intelligence gathering and criminal investigations.
        One of the great constitutional disasters of this mess is that the Obama administration circumvented that wall and used counter intelligence measures against US citizens without constitutional protections.

        No actual civil libertarian would support that.
        I only know a few of the names on your list – and as I noted the ones of consequence are only on the main page.

        “As attorneys who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law ”
        Prosecutors speak in court through prosecutions – not through reports.

        Actual Constitutional Checks & Balances require that political matters be addressed in congress.

        I have said repeatedly – if the House wants to go after Trump – they can go at it,
        constrained of course by their constitutional authority.
        Congress has oversight on the executive – Trump the president – not candidate Trump, not, Businessman Trump. To the extent that elections are the legitimate domain of government they may “investigate” the election AGAIN.

        I personally expected the Mueller report to be much worse – and STILL not be consequential.

        I did not expect this weak tea argument that an otherwise innocent person can “obstruct justice” without committing any other crime, without meeting the elements of obstruction, and by attempting to do what they are legally allowed to do.

        I get very very tired of stupid legal arguments of the form “But TRUMP can not …..”

        An act is legal or it is not.

        This nonsense that the president can obstruct justice by doing something within his powers was actually raised and shotdown in 1993.

        Just before the election Prosecutor Walsh improperly indicted several members of the Bush administration – possibly changing the outcome of the election.

        After losing the election President Bush pardoned everyone Walsh was prosecuting, essentially ending Walshed prosecution.

        Walsh tried to argue that Bush used his pardon power in a way that obstructed justice.

        Walsh lost.

        If you can pardon all the targets of an investigation to end it,
        you can fire the prosecutor.
        Derschowitz has made this argument before.
        Regardless, it is pretty close to SETTLED LAW.
        As it should be, and it should not be specific to presidents, pardons or firing people.

        An employer should not face charges of obstruction of justice for firing an employee.

        No one should ever face charges for obstruction for doing something they are legally allowed to do.

        But Mueller has constantly bent the law severely.

        Mueller indicted Manafort for “witness tampering”.

        What did Manafort do ?

        He sent a person NOT on Mueller’s witness list, a link to a news article favorable to himself and asked them if they agreed with it. that is it.

        Most normal people would call that trying to find your own witnesses.
        BTW the law actually allows the defendant to contact the prosecutions witnesses.
        It does not allow you to threaten them or coerce them – only prosecutors are allowed to do that – another idiotic quirk of the law.

        It is improper for a LAWYER, to contact an opponents witness, without going through the other parties lawyer. It is NOT improper for the defendent to do so.
        Why ? Because it is not a crime, it is a violation of the rules of professional conduct which only apply to lawyers. Further the rules of professional conduct not only do not apply to clients, they also do not apply to lawyers representing themselves. State Barrs have been prohibited from disciplining lawyers who violated the rules of professional conduct while representing themselves.

        Regardless, the point is we should not be trying to stretch the law.

        You can be offended by Trump’s conduct if you wish.

        I personally do not see any of the conduct Mueller hints might maybe sort of be obstruction as anything other than the ordinary conduct of a person falsely accused of a crime.
        It has been openly stated and reported in many places that Mueller concluded that there was no “collusion” with Russia early – sometime between August 2017 and December 2017. That is over a year ago. Almost all of Mueller’s “investigation” time has been focused on “obstruction”. Also quite early and properly Mueller determined that Trump had not obstructed justice by firing Comey – that decision is particularly problematic as it completely undercuts the entire justification for the appointment of a special counsel.

        What I see is serious misconduct on the part of Mueller.

        Dowd and McGhan early on went to Mueller and gave him complete and total cooperation, they gave him unprecidented access. All of the “evidence” that purportedly is the basis for the obstruction claims, is the subject of executive priviledge – which through Dowd and McGhan Trump waived. Even Mueller is not permitted to interview presidential advisors regarding their communications with the president unless:
        The president waives priviledge
        a court orders them to, and that requires a credible allegation that the president committed a crime. That existed in watergate, it does not exist here.

        Separately Dowd disputes the accuracy of the Mueller report regarding the claim that Trump ordered McGhan to Fire Mueller.

        Dowd says though many things were discussed, firing Mueller was never discussed by Trump seriously, he never ordered anyone to fire Mueller, and had he ordered someone to do so he would no it as He, not McGhan was the liason to the SC office.

        Dowd paints the non-public relationship with Mueller quite differently,
        saying that there was full and unprecidented cooperation from the very begining.
        And we can independently confirm that is likely true – Mueller NEVER went to court to get information from Trump, and yet he got millions of documents from the white house.

        According to Dowd Mueller was told that if they were having difficulty with a witness who somehow beleived that Trump wanted them to not cooperate that he should contact Dowd or McGhan and they would assure the witness they should fully cooperate.

        To the extent Mueller beleives witnesses did not cooperate – it is because they could not provide Mueller with what he wanted – because it was not true.

        Dowd is not happy with Mueller – because Mueller LIED to him.
        Dowd says that Mueller promised to wrap this up quickly if Trump and the WH cooperated – which they did.

        As I said before it is now reported through many sources that the Trump/Collusion investigation ended sometime between August and December 2017.

        This whole mess should have ended THEN – over a year ago.

        If Trump wanted to fire Mueller after he acted in bad faith – all the more reason for doing so.

        You and your purported checks and balances crew have asserted that “checks and balances” are important. That is precisely why there is no such thing as prosecutorial independence.

        No one – not congress, not the president is “indpendent”
        But Mueller obtained a level of independence that has never really existed before.
        The president could not fire him – so he claims, for legal rather than political reasons, which is bullshit. And Rosenstein who has been conflicted from the begining and had a vested interest in the outcome was supervising him.
        Further the Mueller investigation has been used by Rosenstein as the basis for NOT providing congress with information that they subpeoned.

        So what you have is Mueller and Rosenstein thwarting actual checks and balances and oversight.

        Trump had no oversight, Sessions had no oversight,
        Neither the house nor the senate had oversight.

        Mueller was a free agent in a way that never should have been allowed.
        In a way that even Trump is not.

  49. dduck12 permalink
    April 23, 2019 9:44 pm

    “The Mueller Report Was My Tipping Point
    I was a Trump transition staffer, and I’ve seen enough. It’s time for impeachment.
    8:22 AM ET
    J. W. Verret
    Professor of law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School”
    I disagree with him. Sometimes doing the “right” thing is not the best thing to do.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/gop-staffer-advocates-trumps-impeachment/587785/

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 10:41 pm

      Doing the right thing is always the best thing to do.
      I am not even close to agreement with either you or Verret as to what the “right thing” is.

      Contra the left – nothing in the Mueller report regarding Trump troubles me – not even a little.

      I have asserted repeatedly here that Trump should have fired Mueller.
      He has the power to do so, he can do so for whatever reasons he wishes,
      it is not illegal. It does not become illegal because he might have directed someone to do so and they did not.

      We are all agreed – even I at the time I recommended it, that it was a dangerous thing to do.
      It likely would have resulted in impeachment by the house. Though it would not have resulted in conviction by the senate.
      And it would not have resulted in prosecution after he left office – because it is not a crime.

      Wanting Russia to torpedo Clinton – is NOT A CRIME.

      About 1/3 of the country wanted that – and we are not all criminals.
      I wanted that, even though I did not vote for Trump.

      It is unlikely that Russia actually hacked the DNC. If they wanted to damage Clinton leaking a SINGLE classified email from her private server would have accomplished the same purpose – If anyone published a single classified email from Clinton that would have been the end of her candidacy, and she likely would have gone to jail.

      So you either have to beleive that the Russian’s did not have Clinton’s basement server emails which according to Strzok is unlikely, or you have to beleive they had some purpose other than to tank Clinton in hacking the DNC – and that pretty much tanks your Trump/Russia collusion and Russia wanted to defeat Hillary claim.

      Hillary wanted to torpedo Trump so badly that she hired Russian spies to get dirt on Trump.
      That is far more than hoping for help from Russia.

      If you think that actually colluding with Russian’s is a crime – prosecute Clinton.
      If you think that wishing bad luck for your political opponent ought to be a crime – change the law, and send all of congress to jail.

      Something is not “the right thing” just because you assert it is.

      Morality is not decided by you gut.

  50. dduck12 permalink
    April 23, 2019 10:00 pm

    “In a little-noticed court filing on Friday, an expert witness for the government, Robert Anderson Jr., a former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, outlined how the activities of Russian gun-rights activist Mariia Butina during the election contained all the hallmarks of a sophisticated intelligence operation.”
    “Allowing Russia to “bypass formal channels of diplomacy, win concessions, and exert influence within the United States” by entertaining backchannel lines of communication could result in “commensurate harm to the United States, including harm to the integrity of the United States’ political processes and internal government dealings, as well as to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security,” Anderson wrote.”
    ““Russia’s efforts targeting the United States take a myriad of forms — it is, in essence, a numbers game,” he wrote. “Not every intelligence campaign needs to be successful for Russia to have achieved its goals.”
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/23/jared-kushner-fbi-butina-1288769
    And yet, Trump said he “BELIEVES Putin” above our intelligence people.
    Barr said: ““As the special counsel’s report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election.”
    Only Trump is continuing to LIE.
    Not fit to be dog catcher let alone president.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 10:59 pm

      You are right that no one is paying attention to Butina.

      Beyond that this is crap.

      Mueller noted in his sentencing memo that Butina’s conduct was NOT espionage and all but admitted that though she was pleading guilty to violating FARA that it really did not violate FARA.

      Butina was a Russian studying in the US. She had a close relationship to an influential Russian banker, she took an active interest in the NRA in the US.

      Calling this “the hallmarks of a sophisticated intelligence operation”
      is going to get US activists throughout the world jailed and killed – as well as journalists

      This is just another example of the stupidity of Mueller, the left, democrats and you.

      To “get Trump” you are willing to warp and bend the law so badly that the future consequences are going to be horrible.

      What are you going to do when Russia or Iran jails gay rights activists and claims they are engaged in espionage ?

      We are extremely careful when we arrest REAL FOREIGN SPIES.
      We almost never arrest and jail actual foreign spies – even NOC spies.
      We arrest them and immediately deport them.

      The only spies we arrest and Jail are US citizens that aid foreign powers.

      There are really really good reasons for this – specifically we do not want our own people arrested and jailed in foreign countries. that happens – all to often. But it is easier for us to demand our own spies back when we return those of other countries when we catch them.

      Equally important, we do not want our own citizens in foreign countries accused of being spies because they tried to sell bibles in islamic countries, or because they advocated for gay rights in homophobic countries. Or because they advocated for political reform in oppresive countries.

      IF we do not want our own citizens arrested in foreign countries for activism, we can not arrest and jail foreign citizens in the US for doing what our own citizens are free to do here, and what we want our own citizens to be free to do in foreign countries.

      This has nothing at all to do with Trump.

      Butina had nothing to do with Trump. She is not some sophisicated spy – no matter what nonsense some FBI agent may claim – even Mueller is not saying that.

      The difference between Butina and Kaitlin Bennett is that Bennett is a US citizen.
      That is all.

      https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/08/30/kent-state-gun-girl-kaitlin-bennett-not-allowed-campus-open-carry-rally/1142937002/

      This is going to end badly – but you will be oblivious to that.
      Many Many more americans, and probably journalists too are going to get arrested for “espionage” for political activism in foreign countries.

      Though some of Muellers nonsense is even worse.

      The charges against IRA are the US government charging foreign nationals for political activism that took place inside their own country (unless you beleive that cyberspace is the soverign domain of the US)

      So what happens when China, or Russia or NK or Iran indicts americans for political activism in the US ?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 11:06 pm

      Do you remember this guy – Benjamin Franklin – who traveled to England and “bypassed the normal channels of diplomacy” conspiring with all kinds of prominent englishmen to advance the interests of colonists ?

      John Kerry has been “bypassing normal channels of diplomacy” after Trump was elected and negotiating with Iran (clearly in violation of the Logan act).
      Should w arrest him ?

      Lets me be CLEAR!

      I do not care if Russia or any other country anywhere else in the world involves itself in US politics. I do not care if they want Clinton or Trump to be elected. I do not care if they buy infinite social media adds. So long as they are engaged in free speach – I DO NOT CARE!

      In fact I would encourage it. I would drag it out into the open. I would CELEBRATE it.
      And then I would demand that Putin release all the political activists that he has jailed – because he clearly believes in Free Speech in the US.

      What I do not want is our government making life miserable for Russia or Russian’s for doing things we all beleive our own citizens have the right to do anywhere in the world.

      Or don’t you actually beleive in free speech ?

      • April 23, 2019 11:18 pm

        Dave, didnt Kerry meet with North Viet nam during the 70’s, violating laws then. Seems like he has been doing that all his adult life.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 12:56 am

        Didn’t Kerry …..

        You are correct.

        But THE LOGAN ACT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

        It is unconstitutional when applied to Trump, or Flynn, or Sessions, or Manafort, or Podesta, and it is unconstitutional when applied to Kerry.

        We have not had a stupid assertion of “whataboutism” in a long time.

        But my arguments are that even if we can not agree on what the law is,
        We must be able to agree that the same laws apply the same way to democrats and republicans alike.

        I do not want Kerry prosecuted – at least not for that – there does appear to be evidence that he participated in relaying the Steele Dossier from Fusion GPS to the FBI/DOJ.

        That needs much further investigation. Starting with why the hell does Fusion GPS have top floor access to DOJ/FBI/State ? If Exxon had that kind of access the left would be screaming bloody murder.

        Regardless, Trump has a personal style that is completely different from any president we have ever had and possibly any politician.

        I am not happy with his character – atleast with respect to women, but that is different.
        My judgement regarding his character was made when I voted for Johnson.
        I can rant and foam if I want, but my oportunity to forestall his presidency ended on Nov. 8th, absent some actual bad conduct.

        I do not like Trump’s style, but I am starting to grasp that it is effective.
        It got him elected. I will likely get him elected again. Contra the rants here, it has empowered him in negotiations – whether with Democrats or with Kim, Xi, Nato, …..
        He creates a massive cloud of chaos all arround him. He deliberately leaves the impression he is a lose cannon, and that he could do almost anything. He scares people into making concessions – giving him what he wants, because he acts like he will blow up the world if he does not get what he wants.
        He scares the shit out of me sometimes.
        I have taken to not paying much attention to what he says, but only what he does.

        If you just look at what he actually does – he is actually mostly fairly TAME.
        The most egregious and closest to lawless act in his presidency has been declaring a state of emergency and building the wall. And though I think that is a political mistake, it is not a legal mistake.

        Despite all the nonsense floating arround – far from being lawless, or above the law, Trump has been the most law abiding President we have had.

        It is still unlikely I am voting for him in 2020. But I am more likely to do so today than in 2016.

        Given what he has been up against he has been a pretty good president.

        But my point is that contra the left the problem with lawlessness right now is with the left.

        I did not mostly oppose the release of the Mueller report – absent GJ material.
        But Gowdy is actually correct. Mueller must shit or get off the pot.
        It is not his job to slander and defame the people he investigates.
        Prosecute, or don’t.

        While he is not permitted to prosecute Trump – he is free to report that Trump DID commit crimes – if he really beleives the law supports that.

        I am also shocked.

        The Mueller report should be a tidal wave.

        The BIG takeaway is not only was there no “collusion” but there really was never enough evidence for an investigation.

        The BIG takeaway is that there are ALOT of HUGE LIARS out there, LIARS far bigger than Trump.

        And what are we all fixated on ? That someone who is inarguably innocent, was angry and upset and MIGHT have danced really close to a POLITICAL line that was dangerous – firing Mueller. And we are trying to pretend that getting angry about being liar about (and to by Mueller) and wanting to fire Mueller is somehow a crime.

        I do not even agree that it is bad conduct.
        We are back to the same garbage as before.

        We skip the actual facts and toss out assertions as if they are true.

        There are myriads of actually credible people who have confirmed that Barr got the law right.
        Case Closed on obstruction.

        Whether legal conduct is “bad conduct” is a personal judgement.
        You can not get from YOUR oppinion of what is BAD, to illegal, by skipping over the part where it is illegal.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 23, 2019 11:12 pm

      Much of what Russia did in the 2016 election I have no problem with.

      All of what Russia did, the US govenrment has been doing throughtout the world for atleast a century. Should we jail ourselves ?

      Or do you really think the US should have the same repressive laws that the countries we scorn do ?

      Next, Nothing Russia did in 2016 was unusual, they have been doing the same things for 50 years or the same scale.

      Elsewhere today there is more evidence to support old news stories that the Obama administration was well aware of the Russian “inteference” and that Susan Rice directed US agencies to STAND DOWN. To do nothing about it.

      While I do not have a problem with Russia’s conduct – it legitimizes the conduct of our country and our people in Russia and elsewhere.

      You do. As you do, you should be looking for an investigation – not of Trump, but of those who let it happen – the Obama administration. Who not only let it happen, but knew about it and DELIBERATELY allowed it.

  51. dduck12 permalink
    April 23, 2019 10:11 pm

    “After Mueller report, Twitter bots pushed ‘Russiagate hoax’ narrative
    As social media platforms continue to prepare for the 2020 election, efforts to spread disinformation and sow discord remain an ongoing issue.”
    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/after-mueller-report-twitter-bots-pushed-russiagate-hoax-narrative-n997441
    Freakln’ computers are ruining our lives.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 24, 2019 12:30 am

      I have no idea about the posts of your purported bots.

      But I have ZERO problems with ‘Russiagate hoax”

      That is NOT disinformation.
      That is NOT fake news.
      That is REALITY.

      Even Mueller found that.

      So telling people the truth is “sowing discord”.

      BTW is do not give an F about “sowing discord”
      It is called free speech.

      Though “russiagate hoax” is not “disinformation”
      There is absolutely nothing that government is permitted to do about the spread of “disinformation” – as that is a constitutional right, it is called “free speech”

      Do we have to keep making these ludicrously stupid arguments ?

      If it is acceptable for government to halt the spread of disinformation then Trump could have shut the press down in the midst of this – as it is very evident now that most of the stories in the media were total garbage.

      • April 24, 2019 4:35 pm

        LMAO.

      • Jay permalink
        April 24, 2019 5:34 pm

        😀 #MeToo.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 9:20 pm

        Jay;

        It is no secret that you are deep into TDS, that if Trump said the Sun will rise tomorow you would be screaming “liar, liar”

      • Jay permalink
        April 25, 2019 1:27 pm

        It’s no secret you are into DDS – Dave Denial Syndrome.

        If the All Knowing Supreme Being criticized Trump as inept and corrupt, you’d say no, HE got it wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 10:46 pm

        What am I denying ?

        What false accusations have I leveled at anyone ?

        You quoted Dylan about facts eventually being known.

        I learned nothing from Mueller to contradicted any expectations, or made anything I have said false, or made any accusation I have made false.

        You can not truthfully say the same.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 9:18 pm

        “LMAO.”

        Yes, the rest of us are watching alot of that.

        The left, the media, you.

        After a few moments early on when you sort of grasped – “oh my god, you had been snookered, and lied to, and worse repeated lies” now you are back to pretending what is plain as the nose on your face is not true.

        When you are constantly wrong about the facts – you have no credibility
        When you are constantly making false accusations – you have no integrity.

        There is a common theme that most everyone is concerned about the growing divide in the country.

        That divide can not be closed if a significant portion of people are divorced from reality.

        No one has ever doubted that Mueller is not Trump’s best friend, that he would not be friendly to Trump in his report. Frankly Trump asked for that.

        But their mutual animosity does not alter the FACT, that Mueller did NOT significantly mistate the facts, nor his conclusions about those.

        The first FACT is we have spent the past 4 years in a witch hunt – if you do not grasp that – you are out of touch with reality, and disccusion with you is pointless.

        That FACT alone undermines everything else.
        EVERYTHING.

        If that were not true – then despite its lawless use it would be very hard to argue convincingly that the Dossier Clinton constructed with the aide of REAL russians, and sold to State, FBI, DOJ, CIA was itself very serious misconduct.

        Very few of us are capable of grasping that the lawless conduct of those in government matters greatly even when their targets are actual criminals.

        But that is not the case. So Today more than ever before the Steele Dossier stands out a deliberately perpatrated political fraud. One that the Obama Administration bought hook line and sinker, and used to do what Nixon dreamed of doing – marshalling CIA/FBI/DOJ/…. against a political opponent.

        That is REAL misconduct.
        It is not wishful thinking. It is not rude behavior, it is not boorishness,
        It is actually criminal – it is abuse of power under color of law.
        It is very serious.

        It is much more serious that claims of russian collusion – even if they were true.

        And we must assure that it never happens again.

        Not to Republicans, not to democrats.
        That requires it to be investigated, fully understood and prosecuted.

        That is more important than who wins the election in 2020.

        Way too many people – including you and here, are more concerned about whose ox is gored that what is right or wrong.

  52. April 24, 2019 6:23 pm

    dduck, computers (bots)are not ruining our lives! Our gullible, lazy, uninterested citizens are ruing our lives. Our education systems that is indoctrinating our kids to one line of thinking and not encouraging diversification in political thought is ruining our lives. Politicians that have for years pledged ( lied) that they were going to do something about the debt and deficit are ruining our lives. Politicians that send troops to die and destableize the middle east through lies about weapons of mass destruction are ruining our lives. Politicians telling us a wonderful government healthcare system where lies said we could keep our doctor, keep our insurance and be cheaper is ruining.our lives.

    Our government will never be able to control fake news on social media because there is hundred of millions commenting on social media. When the AP lies, its a small fraction of those commenting on social media.

    So everyone, do some research, look at what has happened over the past 50 years and how many were lies. The first in this oeriod will be Viet Nam, the info Johnson spread and the press perpetuated. Campared to today, can the death toll and the injured come close to anything today?

    As long as people belive crap from others on the media, twitter and facebook, we have issues, not becuase of the media, but because of ignorant lazy people.

    • April 24, 2019 7:16 pm

      Oh, and when I see a parent ignoring a kid while he concentrates on his “smart phone”, l will not cringe. Or when I see a table of people at a restaurant, all looking at their phones, or even a couple, waiting for a call with a picture of the other person’s lunch or their cat’s lunch, I will say it is people not computers. And when. Trump tweets and gives driveway interviews, I will not miss real press conferences and written proofread press releases.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 24, 2019 9:27 pm

      Government – republican or democrat, is not particularly good at the vast majority of what it endeavors.

      It should be obvious that we should expect government to do less.

      A video just dropped on Youtube about “socialist Denmark”.

      The takeaway ? Denmark was more socialist than the US for about a decade in the 70’s
      That nearly bankrupted it, and still carries a debt burden that it is taking decades to get out from under, and the cause of egregiously high taxes in Denmark and a standard of living that is 27% lower than americans.

      But TODAY Denmark is much less socialist than the US.
      While they still have a significant and expensive social safety net which they are paring down. They are substantially less regulated and more economically free than the US.
      And that they are working hard on shrinking that social safety net.
      Denmark is about half way through eliminated a public system like Social Security and switching everyone to a private system like 401K’s

  53. Jay permalink
    April 24, 2019 7:26 pm

    • April 24, 2019 7:32 pm

      In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump NYT

      • April 24, 2019 7:37 pm

        WASHINGTON — In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 9:53 pm

        I find that claim extremely dubious.

        Why ? Because it is rare for people to attempt to do the impossible.

        The FACTS are that even the allegations of interference by Mueller are increibly tiny.

        The IRA – that great russian “bot” factory – spent $100K. Clinton spent 60 times that on the steele dossier.

        Butina – that “great” russian spy purportedly slept with a few people at the NRA – no congressmen. Is the great russian danger, that the NRA might be influenced by Russians to – fight gun control ? Do you really beleive that but for Butina the NRA might have joined forces with Feinstein ?

        What is it that you are expecting from DHS ?

        I beleive we really do need to have a serious discussion about our elections.

        I also think that there are SOME things we can and should do.

        But I doubt we are going to agree.

        Because the FACTS are there is nothing Russia did that was significant.
        AND the Russians did nothing that we can or should do anything about.

        Lets presume in some miraculous world it was possible to completely preclude any foreigner’s of any kind from voicing oppinions in US elections – presumably you would accept that americans are equally barred from expressing themselves in foreign elections ?

        Or are you proposing that the US is somehow different – that we can do things we think are crimes when others do them ?

        I am not interesting in your nebulous mutterings.
        I want to know SPECIFICALLY what it is that you think we should do something about,
        and whether you are prepared to accept that whatever we do or attempt to do, we justify tyrants accross the world doing to us and our citizens.

        The price of freedom is not being able to silence voices we do not like – even russians.
        The price of lack of freedom is much higher.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 24, 2019 9:40 pm

        Rather than rant nonsense about Trump – why not actually discuss what CAN be done as well as what SHOULD be done.

        Frankly the assertion you refered to was stupid.
        Election security is almost entirely the states responsibility – not the federal government.

        The constitution does empower congress to SOME regulation of elections. but there is little today in the way of regulation of elections.

        So what is it that you actually want to see done ?

        And whatever it is you would like to see – how are you going to accomplish that ?
        How are you going to do so without large unintended consequences ?

    • dhlii permalink
      April 24, 2019 9:35 pm

      Who is it who has been telling all the lies ?

      Trump is not the one who has tried to sell us all this trump/russia collusion nonsense for 3 years.

      “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.”

      Joseph Geobels.

      Whether it is you or John Carey or whoever.

      If in the face of what is possibly the biggest and boldest and most wide spread political lie in US history – you are still carping about Trump’s integrity – you are hopeless, and you have no credibility or integrity.

      We can carp about Trump if you want. I can even agree with most everything you say.
      That would still be small potatoes.

      Trump did not tell the big lie. Trump did not keep repeating it

      “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

  54. Jay permalink
    April 24, 2019 8:20 pm

    LOCK ‘EM UP!!!

    • dhlii permalink
      April 25, 2019 6:46 am

      When republicans sugested that regarding Louis Lehrner or Eric Holder or ….
      There were viewed as insane.

      One of the most disturbing aspects of all the current political divide is that fir those on the left the legitimacy of any action is dependent only on WHO wishes to act.

      If Republicans propose something – it is nuts.
      When democrats consider it – suddenly it is an idea whose time has come.

      Regardless, you are ducking the issue.

      Trump has chosen not to invoke executive priviledge at all with regard to the Mueller investigation. Much of what is in the Mueller report regarding the white house is subject to executive priviledge and Trump could have precluded making it public if he chose to.

      Probably Trump chose not to invoke priviledge because Mueller with his expansive view of obstruction would have claimed that Trump was obstructing by depriving Mueller of access to
      information that Mueller would not typically have had if Trump were an ordinary person in a criminal investigation – i.e. the ability to question his lawyers.

      At the moment it appears Trump has decided to take the opposite tack regarding Congress.

      That is a political question more than a legal one. It is also one he is likely to prevail on.
      Over the course of the Obama administration, witnesses from the executive were remarkably unforthcoming. This continued into the Trump administration – with Rosenstein near absolutely stonewalling Congress.

      Republicans in congress got almost nowhere in getting information from the Obama administration. There are congressional records subpeona’s of records regarding Fast & Furious that are still outstanding and continue to be ignored. Louis Lehrner waived her 5th amendment rights and then reniged on her waiver. She was refered to DOJ for criminal prosecution – nothing happened.

      The fight of the moment is over the testimony of the Whitehouse office involved in security clearances. The entire fight is ludicrous as the “whistleblower” is making a claim that is beyond the scope of authority of the office she was in. The FBI investigates and approves security Clearances. The assorted security offices in various departments ADMINSTER security. They supply and store classified documents, they arrange for their transport, they arrange the exchange of classified credentials. They DO NOT APPROVE or INVESTIGATE.

      The Whistleblower knows this, Congress knows this.
      But ordinary people do not.

      The permanent whitehouse security staff was activiely engaged in thwarting and slow walking security approvals of Trump appointees. Most notably Kushner, who is the focus of all of this.
      That is not their job. The problem was resolved when Kelley told the FBI to deliver their recomendations to him and he forwarded them to the whitehouse security office.
      That made it impossible for the whitehouse office to continue to pretend that the FBI had raised new issues – when they had not.

      It is near certain that someone ranking in the whitehouse – possibly Trump, but more likely Kelley told the Whitehouse security office to do their ACTUAL job, and not the one they made up for themselves. That exchange is what Trump is asserting priviledge regarding.
      Democrats in congress wish to try to pretend that it is somehow unusual to tell people who are NOT investigators, to quit pretending to be, and to follow the directions of the FBI.

      But hey, play whatever games you want.

      One of the things that Democrats do not seem to grasp is that they have ended any kind of civility. Trump will have shifted the Executive right over the course of his presidency. The permanent washington employment will still be prodominantly democratic, but there will be sufficient republicans to do to the next democratic administration what was done to them.

  55. dduck12 permalink
    April 26, 2019 12:46 am

    Judge Napolitano, on FOX, says it all. Trump obstructed.
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/judge-andrew-napolitano-did-president-trump-obstruct-justice
    125

    • April 26, 2019 10:47 am

      So, have you contacted your elected representatives and demanded that congress begin impeachment of POTUS. If not, why post the Judges comment here?

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 26, 2019 12:52 pm

        In like mode, have you contacted your reps to NOT impeach.
        So, he is incorrect, correct?

      • April 26, 2019 2:35 pm

        dduck, no I have not contacted them to do anything, one way or the other. But I am also not posting anti-trump tweets, links or comments. I am also not posting pro trump tweets, links or comments. The only thing I think I have been consistent in is my disapproval of Mueller and the open ended investigative power he was given and also saying I support Trump policies, but not the man.

        So I could care less if they impeach the man based on what I know, but I also believe.impeachment should occur if there is adequate evidence to support it.

        But I completely disapprove of the current situation where he is accused of a crime, but nothing happens to close the issue. If he did something, impeach. I he did not, move on. But shut the damn political crap of accusal with no action.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 11:03 pm

        Ron.

        There is no “if” left.

        There was no collusion.
        There was no obstruction.

        I have zero problems with the house attempting to impeach.

        If I had any objection at all, it would be that I would prefer that Democrats not self immolate.

        But I am not going to stop them.

        There is little that would assure a GOP house in 2020 more than D’s going forward with impeachment.

        I do not support D’s attempting to impeach because it is a good idea, or because there is a basis for it. but because democrats were given control fo the house.
        They should be judged in 2020 based on what they do with that.

        I argue constantly for freedom – including the freedom of people to behave stupidly.

        I do not think Democrats can succeed in impeaching Trump.
        But they are free to try.

        If it were required that the prove something to impeach – the issue would already be dead.

      • April 26, 2019 2:42 pm

        dduck, to answer your second question, I have no idea if he is correct. I have no legal background at all. He said if someone attepts to do something, but does not succeed, they are still guilty. Others just as renowned, have said if the obstruction never occurred, he is not guilty. And that came from one teaching law.

        So how should I know until it goes to trial or grand jury, which it should to get closure.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 11:11 pm

        With few exceptions Attempting to do something, conspiring to do something and actually doing something are each SEPARATE crimes.

        For an attempt to be a crime – there must be an attempted X statute. For Conspiracy to be a crime there must be a conspiracy statute.

        In many cases there are. But not all. You can claim that was a mistake on the part of the legislature.

        It is arguable – and where such crime does not exist, it is FACT that an attempt or a conspiracy are NOT crimes – unless there is a statute.

        To my knowledge there is no “attempted” obstruction.

        At the same time what is more important is that even if Trump had succeeded at doing what he purportedly attempted – it STILL would not be a crime.

        BTW Dowd (one of Trump’s attorney’s) has asserted flat out the claims there was an attempt to fire Trump are false. That interaction with Mueller was his job, and that had Trump wanted Mueller fired Trump would have asked him, and he did not.

        There are several others claiming that the testimony Mueller attributes to them is inaccurate or being spun. Given that Mueller has ALWAYS had a penchant to try to stretch things farther than they actually go – I suspect that most of Mueller’s claims are exagerations of what actually happened.

      • dhlii permalink
        April 26, 2019 10:57 pm

        Napolitano is incorrect – yes.

        Before Mueller issues his report he made a bad bet, and like so many on the left he is doubling down.

        The facts do not support an obstruction claim.

        I am not calling my rep. I do not need to. I have zero doubt where they stand on this.

    • dhlii permalink
      April 26, 2019 10:55 pm

      If Napolitano is claiming obstruction – then he is having problems with the law.

      Even Mueller could not reach Obstruction. Barr dismissed it easily and correctly.

      We do not get to make up the law to suit us.

      BTW the evidence now coming out strongly suggests that the past 18months have been solely about obstruction.

      That Mueller had already resolved the collusion issue – and had told Trump’s lawyers that there was no collusion in 2017. That everything subsequent was entirely about their inability to accept that their arguments on obstruction were crap.

      Many if not all of Muellers claims of obstruction came AFTER he had already concluded there was no “collusion”.

      That actually creates a problem for Mueller.
      Because that means any claims of obstruction AFTER Mueller informed Dowd/McGhan/Sekolow, that there was no collusion are claims of obstructing an invbestigation he had already concluded. Which is not possible.

      There are SO many reasons that Obstruction is a crock. But the most critical is that crimes are defined by the law. Either the elements of a crime are found – each element must be found beyond a reasonable doubt, or there is no crime.
      If a single element is missing – there is no crime, and most of the required elements for the various crimes of obstruction are missing.

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