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Righty: Euphemisms? They’re not for me. Like all hardworking, God-fearing, pro-life Christians who support family values and the Patriot Act, I favor unvarnished language that tells it straight.

Lefty: Euphemisms? A truly diverse, gender-neutral, pro-choice, humanist society (like the kind we advocate) has no need to hide its progressive values behind deceptive terminology.

The New Moderate:

Euphemisms are elaborate verbal disguises for ideas that your opponents might find unpalatable. They conceal your political agenda behind soft-focus phrases and hazy idealism. Who among us could be opposed to “family values,” “diversity” or “affirmative action”? Would anyone other than a suicide bomber object to a “pro-life” philosophy? Or “pro-choice,” for that matter?

By using euphemisms instead of hot-potato terminology, ideologues like to think they can sneak their controversial ideas past their opponents’ radar. Why talk about reverse discrimination when you can say “affirmative action”? Why use ugly terms like “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion” when “pro-choice” and “pro-life” sound so much sweeter? Nearly everyone hates atheists, but who would deny the renaissance appeal of “humanists”?

The problem with euphemisms is, of course, their fundamental dishonesty. No enlightened moderate should tolerate such wanton abuse of the language in the service of extremist agendas (or even moderate agendas). Before you know it, the government will start referring to unprovoked wars as exercises in “spreading freedom.” They could even pass a bill to curtail our civil liberties and call it “the Patriot Act” or some such nonsense. Keep your eyes open for clever euphemisms and treat them as a deadly menace.

Summary: Euphemisms are calculated to conceal potentially unpopular extremist political agendas. They’re fundamentally dishonest and should be sniffed out by all thinking moderates.

883 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2009 6:47 pm

    Wrong. Properly used, and not to merely obfuscate, euphemisms can ease the reader into a subject less jarringly and without causing instant animosity.
    For instance, I could have replied this way to your viewpoint instead of the strident “Wrong”, above: “While I agree with your main points I ……… , blah, blah”. Telling you in a nicer way that you are an idiot and trying to score points. In football its called a misdirection play .

  2. October 9, 2009 12:25 am

    I know what you mean, but I’m not sure those are real euphemisms; they’re simply tactful linguistic sweeteners, comparable to the way a well-bred Southern woman might address you as “honey” or “dearie” when she actually has a bone to pick with you. A real euphemism is an invented word or phrase designed to slip an unpalatable concept past the opposition to further an agenda. To me, that’s what euphemisms are all about: promoting agendas on the sly.

  3. October 9, 2009 10:33 am

    I agree.

  4. October 9, 2009 5:19 pm

    President Barack Obama said Friday that he was humbled by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Humbled: embarrassed and pissed.

  5. October 12, 2009 9:57 am

    You know, I have to backtrack a little on my definition of euphemisms. Some euphemisms are simply polite verbal evasions of a harder truth, like saying that Uncle Ned “passed away” or that your unmarried sister is “in the family way.” No real agendas here; just the understandable need to soften the news. But the agenda-driven euphemisms (“affirmative action,” “pro-choice,” “pro-life,” “Patriot Act,” etc.) are my pet peeve. Orwell was on to them when he wrote “1984.”

  6. October 12, 2009 10:12 am

    Is carefully studying, reevaluating our position, politician speak for I changed my mind and how do I get out of this? Example: Obama’s possible flip flop on the Afghanistan war. Also, they are not taxes, they are mandates.

  7. October 12, 2009 10:35 am

    Yeah, those are good examples, too. I guess they fall somewhere in the middle of the euphemism offensiveness scale: not as harmless as “passed away,” and not quite as awful (at least to me) as “affirmative action.” Like all euphemisms, they’re a form of positive spin.

  8. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:04 am

    Euphemisms, for people without the Testicles to take stuff as is!!!

  9. January 7, 2010 7:44 pm

    Focus: We hope the government doesn’t do it too much to us.

  10. August 28, 2012 7:19 pm

    Many of these carry negative implications, and their own negative counterparts. “Pro-life” assumes everyone else is pro-death, that being in favour of abortions means you actively want to kill foetuses; “pro-choice” has the connotation that anti-abortionists want to limit freedom, never mind that the foetus has no choice. Or how about “freethinkers” (used by anti-religionists to show that people of faith are somehow incapable of thinking for themselves, just blindly following tradition). “Progressive” is used to show that any idea the left-wingers don’t agree with is backward and stupid.

    Then there’s the outright negative ones- “hate” doesn’t mean “malicious intent” anymore, it means “against a certain protected class” or “does not agree with the views of minority interest group” (especially when said interest group is the gay activist one). Likewise, any socio-economic view left of the Tea Party ideal is “socialist”.

    Can we suppose that any use of abstracts like “freedom”, “equality”, “justice” to further a given agenda are likewise euphemisms? Or “rights” when all it means is extra privileges? Or “free speech” that is not ideas expressed in words? Or “free markets” which are freee only for big corporations?

    Then there’s “intellectual property” which really refers to a usually time-limited temporary monopoly/rights package?

    And, in the UK, “National Insurance” is not a tax, nor is the “TV license”, no sir.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    August 28, 2012 7:48 pm

    I like your fog clearing (another one), or anti-BS in some circles.

  12. April 24, 2013 10:04 am

    EVOLVED. Ain’t that a great one, especially from the great orator when he is “speaking from behind”, another new one if you change speaking to leading. Lest we forget Republicans, how about all those no voes on Background Checks which evolved from yeses to nos.

  13. Jay permalink
    April 8, 2018 5:06 pm

    The Right Wing Trump Media Is #&*@&*!

    • April 9, 2018 6:59 am

      Have you ever noticed that ALL the media seems to be reading from the same talking points ?

      Have you noticed that ALL the media seems to have a problem with mysogyny ?

      Xenophobia is the fear of that which is foreign and strange.

      The left. the media and you are “xenophobic” with respect to Trump.

  14. Jay permalink
    April 8, 2018 5:34 pm

    Why the NYFD thinks Trump is an Asshole.

    There was a fire at Trump Tower Saturday that left one man dead and five fire fighters injured. Not only weren’t the residential floors of the building retro fitted with safety sprinklers, but on arriving the firemen weren’t sure what floor was on fire.

    The four alarm fire was reported to be on the ‘50th floor,’ and though the tower was built with 58 floors, Trump renumbered the top residential floor (where he resides) as the 68th, and all other residential floors lowered accordingly. The first 19 commercial floors are numbered correctly, but then there’s a 10 floor gap: the 11th floor is numbered the 21st Floor.

    DunceTrump took the fire as an opportunity to boast that the structure was ‘well built.’ He omitted mentioning he was too cheap to install sprinklers. Or offer condolences to the man killed, or the injured fire fighters.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 8, 2018 8:56 pm

      All of NYC has known Trump is an a——– for at least 20 years now. That is why I, a registered Rep., voted against him and for Hillary who I abhor (my first Dem vote in many years)
      I hope the rest of the country wises up before he makes the Washington Monument into the Trump Tower Phallic Tower.

      A good read on the gun culture:

      • April 9, 2018 7:09 am

        Lets see those on the left identify something as a “culture” so that they can protect it from discrimination.
        Then they identify it as a culture so that they can discriminate against it ?

        So if you do not like “gun culture” you can regulate the crap out of it ?
        What if you do not like the mysoginistic, homophobic Islamic culture ?

        Can we regulate the crap out of that ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:46 am

        What if you don’t like pedophile culture?
        You shouldn’t legislate against that?

      • April 9, 2018 4:55 pm

        Peodophiles use force to violate the rights of others.

        Your fake analogies are pretty bad.

        You do not seem to be able to distinguish between you are free to do whatever you wish with your own person, or that of someone else who has voluntarily agreed and you are free to impose your will on others by force.

        The social contract is about government punishing the initiation of force – violating rights, of another.

    • April 9, 2018 7:06 am

      I would be surprised if Trump was personally involved in the decisions you cite.

      Regardless, the building either conforms to code or the owner gets cited.

      I suspect you will find there were no code violations.

      Sprinkler requirements for tall building are minimal.

      Most people suffer delusions that sprinklers are an effective means of combating fires.
      They aren’t.

      They add substantial cost – and for large buildings substantial mass, which as you should have observed in the WTC is a serious problem. They have a very narrow window of effectiveness.

      In the event of a fire they introduce steam. A human can endure dry temperatures of up to 500F for very short periods of time while escaping a fire. Steam will scald you to death and is impassable.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 8:59 am

        “I would be surprised if Trump was personally involved in the decisions you cite.”

        I would be SHOCKED if you didn’t reflexively robot-like kiss Trump’s butt. As usual, you speak from your anus.

        Contrary to your buttocks smooching, Trump retro-installed sprinklers in his building near the UN and bragged that it was safer. And he PERSONALLY lobbied against the law making them mandatory.

      • April 9, 2018 9:26 am

        I speak from real world experience.

        As I recall you have had some of the same and forgotten

        I was in the upper management of a 50+ business.
        In fact it was an architectural practice – so even the issue of sprinkler’s arose.

        We designed and built building with sprinkler’s and without.
        We went to a fair amount of trouble to avoid them. They are expensive, costly to maintain, rarely actually work as intended, and they have a very small window in which they are effective – and that is if they work.

        In most small fires – sprinklers cause more damage than they prevent.

        If they fail they introduce water which in the event of a fire becomes steam which is orders of magnitude more lethal than dry air at the same temperature.

        Sprinklers have so many problems that building codes rarely require them.
        But insurance companies actually like them – because they protect BUILDINGS.

        When people die in fires it is pretty much always because they could not get out.
        Good egress and warning are by far the most important factors in saving lives.
        This BTW also applies to school shootings and is part fo the reason they have become more “deadly”. Much older schools had doors to the outside from nearly every classroom as well as operable windows. Modern schools have far tighter control of egress and inoperable windows.

        Sprinklers were an issue in nearly every building we designed and created.
        Avoiding them was an important task.
        Owners do not want sprinklers.
        But insurance companies do.
        Further some ill informed code enforcement officers also do.
        The codes rarely demand them.
        But code officials often demand things that are not required by code.
        Quite frequently code officials are given whatever they demand because delays in a project or bad relations with code enforcement are more costly than feeding some code officials ego.

        My business was once actually sued by a client for failing to design in a sprinkler system that was not required by code, and which the client in writing told us to avoid.

        Regardless, I rarely participated in sprinkler decisions. These were made by the designers and architects who worked for me, in conjunction with the staff of the facility being built.

        The likelyhood of Trump or any other owner participating in design decisions regarding sprinklers is extremely low. If they become involved at all it is only when things go wrong.

        In my own business I have almost never participated in the decision to include a sprinkler system.
        But I have been a part of every single instance where there was a later conflict over sprinklers.

      • April 9, 2018 9:34 am

        If Trump retro installed Sprinklers – the most likely REAL reason was insurance savings.

        Retro-active building codes are unconstitutional.

        Bragging that he installed sprinklers to make the building safer does not surprise me.

        Nor does it make it true.

        Nor does lobbying against laws requiring sprinklers.

        You see conflicts that are not there.

        With very few exceptions buildings are sprinklered because of insurance companies not codes or customer demand.

        But once the decision is made to include them, any wise business will try to make them into a feature.

        At the same time any wise business will continue to oppose stupid laws.

        You do not seem to understand business.

        Businesses profit by providing customers the greatest possible value at the lowest possible cost.

        A huge part of this is giving customers what they want.
        But sometimes it involves persuading customers to want what you can give.
        It always involves resisting doing what customers do not wish to pay for.

        To the extent there are any contradictions – those are in the wants of customers – not the businesses that serve them.

      • April 9, 2018 9:37 am

        Just to be clear nothing in anything you have provided says that Trump was personally involved in decisions regarding installing sprinklers in specific building.

        Just a I was never involved in the decision to include (or exclude) sprinklers in any buildings my firm designed, While I was ALWAYS involved if the issue arose LATER.

        The people who work to solve problems are almost never the ones who created them.

  15. Jay permalink
    April 8, 2018 7:32 pm

    London stabbings: 300 extra police deployed on streets to tackle spike in knife crime

    “Hundreds of additional police officers have been deployed on the streets of London this weekend in areas of the capital worst affected by the spike in violent crime.

    The rising wave of knife crime saw six stabbings in 90 minutes in the capital on Thursday, with a 13-year-old left fighting for his life after an attack in Newham, east London. Three teenage boys, a 13-year-old and two 16-year-olds, have been charged over the incident.
    The spate of knife crime has meant the number of suspected murders in London in March was higher than that of New York.”

    • Ron P permalink
      April 8, 2018 8:10 pm

      Very interesting in light of the fact that it is illegal to carry anything but a small pocket knife in the UK. Anyone caught carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3″ or does not fold is guilty of a felony subject to 4 years in prison and unlimited fines.

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2018 8:26 pm

        Many US States have similar laws that exclude knives of various descriptions; and I believe there’s a Federal knife law that prohibits switch blade knives.

        And making lethal knives illegal to carry, with more stop and frisk as they’re about to initiate with more cops on the beat in England, will reduce the number of those knives carried by the young Britons who seem to be using them against each other.

        Dave’s argument that disarming will make rape victims more vulnerable is nonsense; the opposite is likely; many rape victims are threatened by knife carrying rapists; those potential rapists will be more wary of carrying them.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 8, 2018 11:41 pm

        Sory, this libertarian does not accept “stop and frisk” just because your WWB. But the UK does not have our rights, so it is much harder for them to prove there was no evidence to conduct a personal search.

        I guess if one supports actions that are contradictory to the constitution when it comes to guns, then one would also support illegal personal searches.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 12:22 am

        I accept stop and search under certain situations.
        Don’t you?

        If the situations under which a stop and search are executed are reasonable, and police follow the guidelines fairly, I don’t see that as unconstitutional. Do you?

        Yes, the idea of probing cop searches is creepy, but occasionally necessary, don’t you agree? We go through stop and search at airports routinely.

      • April 9, 2018 1:12 am

        There have been many discussions about stop and frisk. And most of them are negative and have been shown to be racist and not effective. One black police officer in the UK was testifying to the fact that he had been stopped multiple times when he was out by himself, out with family and in fact coming from work. The same has been shown to be fact in cities like NYC and others in the USA.

        When people see a group of teenage black boys standing in a public area, the thoughts of those around them are completely different than if those same boys would be white. In stop and frisk situations, many times they would be stopped, while the white kids would be ignored.

        If you have reasonable suspicions that something illegal has or may happen, then police have the right to investigate that individual.

        But in many cases, reasonable suspicion is being black or Hispanic. That to me is a violation of ones rights to privacy.

      • April 9, 2018 7:17 am

        There are no federal laws on the possession of knives.
        There are federal laws prohibiting mailing or transporting accross state lines some types of knives.

        State laws concenring knives are falling to 2A challenges. Most states now have no or few laws regarding knives.

        There is no spike in knife related crime in states that have repealed their knife laws.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 11:33 am

        “There are no federal laws on the possession of knives. ”
        I believe you are wrong on this and if you check, you will find the UK does restrict the type and size of knives.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 12:42 pm

        “The ability to purchase or carry switchblades or automatic knives continues to be heavily restricted or prohibited throughout much of Europe, with some notable exceptions. In Britain, the folding type of switchblade is commonly referred to as a flick knife. In the UK, knives with an automated opening system are nearly impossible to acquire or carry legally; although they can legally be owned, it is illegal to manufacture, sell, hire, give, lend, or import such knives. This definition would nominally restrict lawful ownership to ‘grandfathered’ automatic knives already in possession by their owner prior to the enactment of the applicable law in 1959. Even when such a knife is legally owned, carrying it in public without good reason or lawful authority is also illegal under current UK laws.”

        “In the USA, switchblades remain illegal to import from abroad or to purchase through interstate commerce since 1958 under the Switchblade Knife Act (15 U.S.C. §§1241-1245). However, a 2009 amendment (Amendment 1447) to 15 U.S.C. §1244 provides that the Act shall not apply to spring-assist or assisted-opening knives (i.e. knives with closure-biased springs that require physical force applied to the blade to assist in opening the knife).[27]”

        From Wikipedia

      • April 9, 2018 4:56 pm

        Not talking about the UK.
        Clearly the IK has some squirrelly laws.

        Federal knife laws are all about selling or transporting them accross state lines.

    • April 9, 2018 7:12 am

      So first the left constantly tells us that we must get rid of guns to end violent crime.
      That does not work, now we must get rid of knives.

      I would note that London has had another violent crime spike – a 20% increase in rapes in 1 year.

      So you have already barred women from a gun for their own protection.

      Is your goal just to make them easy prey ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:03 am

        Rapists frequently threaten and intimidate their victims with knives.
        You want to make it easier for rapists to carry knives. Why is that?

      • April 9, 2018 9:46 am

        By definition a criminal is one who does not obey the laws.
        If a rapist wants a knife – no law will stop them.
        If they can not get a knife, they will use broken bottles, or other makeshift weapons, or a gun.
        Rape is rarely a spur of the moment crime.

        Nothing provides a guarantee against rape – or any other violent crime.
        But many many things reduce the probability of rape or the likelyhood of successfully defending one’s self.

  16. dduck12 permalink
    April 8, 2018 8:46 pm

    Guns added to the London murder rate: “Unusually for the U.K., where gun-control laws are strict, seven of the dead so far this year were shot. There were only 10 fatal shootings in all of 2017.”
    When given the option, gang bangers prefer to use a gun. Makes sense to me.

    • Ron P permalink
      April 8, 2018 11:42 pm

      How do they get a gun? They are illegal!

      • April 9, 2018 7:18 am

        Gun Control idiots do not grasp that laws have near zero effect on criminals.

        All gun control laws mean is that only criminals will have guns.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 11:36 am

        “All gun control laws mean is that only criminals will have guns.”

        I KNOW THAT!!! YOU KNOW THAT!!! I was trying to get those proposing gun control to answer.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 12:52 pm

        ““All gun control laws mean is that only criminals will have guns.”

        Do I have to point out how dumb, stupid, incorrect that statement is? Or can you amend it yourselves?

      • April 9, 2018 2:06 pm

        Jay, as I have said many times before and I will say one more time. Once the left gets its hands on anything, most everything associated with that will be come illegal. One only needs to look at Europe or Australia to see where ‘controls” end up. Thats just my view.

        You believe in government. You trust government. You accept that when government makes a decision, that is where that decision is to stop. I accept your believing this way.

        i, on the other hand, I do not believe in government. I do not trust government. I believe once government gets the door cracked, that the barn door will eventually be removed and anything protected will no longer exist. I also believe that this has become much more likely in the last 10-15 years than anytime before since we are much more divided today and the extremes of both parties have taken control, thus eliminating the moderates that tempered any extreme legislation.

        So where you believe that the current government will do not harm, I believe that the current government is harm in many instances, especially when addressing rights. One only needs to look at the surveillance legislation and the intrusion into privacy that has taken place with that one. I believe once they ban a certain rifle, then a certain handgun will be banned if that is used in a criminal manner. And it will continue as other crimes are committed.

        we will never agree and i accept that. But please refrain from using terms like moron and stupid when debating a subject because neither of us has been proven to be right or wrong. It is just what we believe at this time. Once a decision has been made and an outcome is known, then one of us will be dumb and stupid for supporting or not supporting a certain position and the other will be smart and intelligent.

      • April 9, 2018 2:14 pm

        While the hypocratic oath starts “first do no harm”.

        Government actions MUST on net produce good.

        Outside of a narrow scope of things like courts, that is not evident.

        Being neutral or negative is not sufficient.

        Even having an actual positive benefit – which rarely is true, is not sufficient to use force.

        Does jay believe that 51 of 100 of us can compell the other 49 or some subset to give some or all of their property to be burned ?

        What each of us beleive is irrelevant.

        The use of force must demonstrably produce a net benefit.
        The use of force must not infringe on rights.
        The use of force must be justified – it must be in response to an actual harm that has already occured.

        No other reasons are sufficient.

      • April 9, 2018 5:15 pm

        “““All gun control laws mean is that only criminals will have guns.”

        Do I have to point out how dumb, stupid, incorrect that statement is? Or can you amend it yourselves?”

        The only Dumb aspect – is that you do not understand that it is true.

        By definition criminals do not abide by laws.

        I have noted that my wife is a public defender.

        An extremely common case that she gets is a “person’s not to posses” case.

        That means someone who may not legally be in possession of a gun has one.

        This is incredibly common.

        Put simply if the laws that make it criminal for criminals to have guns do not work,
        why do you think that a law that makes it criminal for everyone not to have guns will mean that criminals who obviously already do not care about such laws are going to wake up one day and say – Oh no, before going out to rape someone or rob a bank – I should get rid of my gun ?

        Not only are you making an obvious stupid logic error.
        But reality proves you are wrong.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:05 am

        Gun control proponents want to make it MORE DIFFICULT for criminals to have guns.

        Morons want to make it easier.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 11:44 am

        Morons are the ones thinking laws make something difficult for criminals. Smart people understand that laws only make difficulties for law abiding citizens because they are the only ones following the law.

        For instance, you try getting a controlled drug, you go to the doctor, you have to convince them you need a pain control, then you go to the drug store and wait for up to 1/2 a day before the pharmacist fills the script. On the other hand, Joe Illegal high school kid walks to the corner and buys all he wants when he wants them.

      • April 9, 2018 2:32 pm

        So you actually think that as Joe Doe proceeds to play to Rape Jill Smith that he will think
        “But I should not use a gun or knife because those are illegal” ?

        And you are calling others Morons ?

        In the early 90’s a study found that armed victims thwarted about 650 rapes a day.

        The latest survey’s of self reporting by prisoners estimate that the number today is closer to 3600 a day.

        Maybe those numbers are high. I do not know. But lets assume they are off by a factor of 100
        That is still more rapes prevented in a single year than all deaths from mass shootings in a decade.

        And what are the odds that these reports are off by a factor of 100.

        The CDC under Obama did a literature survey – a survey of credible published studies and found that the crime prevented by gun ownership is likely an order of magnitude or more larger than all gun crime in the US.

        Again maybe the results from the CDC are wrong – but they are unlikely to be grater than an order of magnitude wrong.

        There have been myriads of studies of the effects of imposing or repealing gun control laws.

        Thus far no one anywhere has EVER found statistically significant evidence of an actual effect.

        Prior to imposing its draconian gun laws, gun deaths in Austrailia as well as violent crime were trending down. After they continued to trend down with no noticeable change in trends.

        Comparisons to New Zealand which did not impose gun laws and otherwise has near identical cultures, demographics rates of gun ownership and crime demonstrated no post gun confiscation change in anything compared to NZ.

        The left likes to make much of the higher rates of Violence in the US than Europe – but white violence in the US and white violence in Europe is about the same. European rates of violence are increasing as their numbers of immigrants are increasing – even if you eliminate acts of terror.

        Rapes are rising rapidly in European countries.

        The US has the highest rates of gun ownership of any nation in the world.
        Our current rates are very nearly identical to those of our founders.

        Yet even accounting for europe we are among the least violent countries in the world.

        The fact is that there is no actual evidence that gun laws anywhere have ever reduced violence.

        There is some evidence that the absence of gun laws has reduced violence.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 3:54 pm

        The IDEA is to reduce the number of knives carried by EVERYONE. That includes potential rapists. But if you’re so sure it will make potential victims more vulnerable, back up that assertion, show me the statistics for would-be rape victims fighting off rapists with their own knives.

      • April 10, 2018 11:35 am

        “The IDEA is to reduce the number of knives carried by EVERYONE”

        Everyone gets that.

        Most of us actually grasp how stupid that is.

        “That includes potential rapists.”

        Most of us understand that is what you expect.
        Most of us grasp that is NOT what will occur.

        You still do not understand that those who would do serious violence – rape, murder, mass killings, obvious do not give a damn about the law.

        No Rapist says: “I guess I should not take a knife with me, because that would be a crime”.

        AS I noted, the myriads of “person’s not to possess” cases that go through our justice system every day may it clear that criminals do not care about gun laws.

        Why is it so hard for you to understand that short of a police state, only those who are not predisposed to criminality obey the law ?

        We are tap dancing arround a fundimental core flaw in progressivism and all statism.

        If you pass a law, and people do not naturally obey it – on their own, without threat of enforcement, then that law makes the government larger, more totalitarian. It shifts society a tiny bit from producing to enforcing. As you do this more and more – the country shifts slowly from producing and rising standards of living to gradually increasing totalitarianism.

        Put more simply, any law that is not rigorously enforced is meaningless. Passing it is just a stupid feel good act.

        Laws against knives will not stop rapists from using knives – unless you have a state where everyone is constantly stopped and frisked. But such laws will stop most of us from carrying knives. Absent vigorous enforcement – which has a very high cost in inumerable ways, such laws increase the danger to most of us rather than decreasing it.

      • April 10, 2018 11:38 am

        I gave you the CDC data on the use of guns to prevent crimes.

        Why do you think that if Gun laws actually make us less safe, that knive laws would work better ?

        I would further note that contra to worldwide downward trends, Rapes in London are rising precipitously.

      • April 10, 2018 11:40 am

        Oh, and you are the one seeking to restrict freedom, impose your will by force.

        The obligation to statistically demonstrate that your laws are effective falls on you – not me.

        The default is freedom. Infringing requires justification – not the other way arround.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:11 am

        Even this sludge head thinks your complaint over knife control is bollocks:

      • April 9, 2018 2:34 pm

        Your citing Piers Morgan ?

        Why not just cite Hitler ? Stalin ? Mao ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 3:17 pm

        Guess you didn’t notice my ‘sludge head’ qualification.

        BTW, Morgan, like you, is fixated on kissing Trump’s ass.
        Like you, he says he doesn’t agree with everything Trump says/does, but overall sucks up to him, like you.

        Now that I think of it, he reminds me of you: the same opinionated pompous ass syndrome.

      • April 10, 2018 11:18 am

        Yes, Jay we know anyone who can not see “666” tattooed under Trumps toupee is a Trump sycophant.

        Not declaring that we are in the end times because Trump has been elected is not ass kissing.

        I have attacked Trump where he has been wrong.

        You think that everything that Trump does is wrong because “argh! Trump”.

        You have discredited yourself – badly.
        No one else has done it to you.

  17. Jay permalink
    April 8, 2018 9:55 pm

    Ron says: “Jay for many Libertarian leaning individuals and others that believe in the meaning of the words of the constitution when it was written, it is not if one can carry a knife or own a gun. it is based on the right to bear arms. Period. If you want to change the rights as defined in the bill of rights, start a movement to amend the constitution. Use some of your unparalleled hatred for Trump and channel that energy into something many would find a positive movement.”

    But I and MANY others believe the 2nd STRONGLY regulates the right to own weapons by the opening phrase “a Well Regulated Militia.” The constitution doesn’t regulate those ‘regulations.’ It’s implicit that the militias set up those regulations. Nor does the constitution provide the right for all citizens to join a militia. Right?

    • Ron P permalink
      April 9, 2018 12:09 am

      This has been debated many times here, but I will provide the definition of “militia” as defined in 1776. Around the time of the Revolutionary War, male citizens were required to own firearms for fighting against the British forces. Many states included the right to bear arms even before the federal constitution. PA declared in theirs “the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

      In 1879,,,SCOTUS ruled ” “It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States,” and “states cannot … prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms.”

      In 2010 SCOTUS ruled the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states on the issue of possession of certain firearms for self-protection. In that decision they struck down the hand gun ban that existed in Chicago.

      So the wording debate will continue as to what the founders meant in the 2nd amendment and how the 14th amendment meshes with the 2nd. When liberal SCOTUS happens, then gun control will happen through legislation. Not what the separation of powers were meant to do as politics were not meant to be in SCOTUS, but thats how it is now.

    • April 9, 2018 7:34 am

      You can beleive whatever you want – but the FACT is that is not what the text means.

      The 2nd clause says “the right of the people”. It does NOT say “the right of millitias”

      One of the reasons for Heller was that significant examination of exactly what our founders and the people of the time meant was explored.

      The 2A was publicly debated as part of the ratification process, I am sure you have read myriads of quotes from Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, …… myriads of others. .

      The iceing on the “2A” cake was that the 14th ammendment was passed SPECIFICALLY to give freed black slaves the right to own weapons to protect themselves from their former owners.

      We all get that you want the 2A to means something different.
      You are perfectly entitled to want that.

      This also reflects why the words in the constitution (and all laws) must mean what those who ratified them would have understood.

      The meaning of words change over time. As does circumstances. conditions and technology.
      To the greatest extent possible we hope the language of the constitution is timeless, but if it is not then we are free to change it. If we do so then our changes will mean what the new words mean to US. In 5 generations that meaning should not change because the common use of our words changes.

      This is the only means of statutory interpratation that results in the rule of law.

      We all constantly bemoan the “partisan” nature of the courts or SCOTUS.

      The courts should NEVER be using politics or ideology to inform their decisions.
      Any means of statutory construction that does not start from the meaning of the words to those who enacted them will inherently result in radically increasing partisanship in the courts.

      You are litterally arguing for the rule of man, not law.

    • April 9, 2018 7:52 am

      “The Militia” at the time of the Constitution was every able bodied man over the age of 17.

      The constitution (Art 2, Sect 8) has separate clauses for Militia’s and Armies.
      Armies are raised by congress when needed
      The militia just exists, it is called up when needed. The concept of a posse that we see in western films comes from the constitution. The purpose of the millitia of the people was not merely to fight wars, it was to enforce any laws.

      At the founding there was no such thing as a police force – policing had not been invented yet.
      When the government needed man power to catch or arrest a criminal or criminals, it basically asked for volunteers or conscripted people as necescary.

      18th century laws REQUIRED adult males to own firearms.

      There are two issues here.

      The first is what did the 2A mean as written ?
      And you absolutely lose on that.

      The 2nd is what should our law be today ?
      The answer to that is that you are free to change it.
      Repeal of replace the 2A. You have as much power to do so, as our founders did to enact it.

      Every generation has had exactly the same power to modify the constitution.

      The problem is that those like you have spent the past 70 years trying to change the meaning of the constitution without going through the difficult process of modifying it.

      I will be happy to agree that circumstances today are NOT the same as those in 1787.
      Those changes in circumstances are an excellent reason to contemplate what the private right to arms should be today.

      Personally I do not think the changes in circumstances warrant changing the constitution.
      But I completely respect your right to feel differently.
      I do not agree with your arguments.
      Though I absolutely agree that the circumstances have changed and your arguments are worthy of consideration.

      But until you are able to persuade sufficient people to repeal the 2A it remains as written. Not as you wish it was written. Not as some jurists mental gymnastics attempt to modify it to suit their political idea of today.

      If it needs adapting – it gets adapted by amendment, not by re-interpretation.

      The constitution did not give 9 old foggies the power to rewrite the constitution.

  18. Jay permalink
    April 8, 2018 10:24 pm

    Ron, remember all those Trump supporters warning us how big the Federal Debt would be if we elected Hillary?

    Hold on to your seat. Have oxygen handy, the CBO’s long-term projections are due MONDAY!

    Have your thesaurus handy for synonyms for MASSIVE!

    • Ron P permalink
      April 9, 2018 12:16 am

      Jay, please read.

      Specifically Article 1

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 12:26 am

        I read it. Twice. And….?

      • April 9, 2018 1:18 am

        Trump is not king. Congress proposed and passed the spending bill. He could piss and moan about it and he has veto power, but it is congresses responsibility and they were the ones who passed that crap. And I have little doubt that the same deficit position would have occurred had the democrats proposed it, just the spending would have gone on in different agancies. Look at the past 20 years. And 40 if you disregard the Clinton years where that dirty word “compromise” led to actions that resulted in balanced or surplus budgets. Congress took care of that in early 2000’s along with Bush’s war. Congress has and always will be responsible for the debt and deficits.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:07 am

        As you said, the president has the power to veto it.

    • April 9, 2018 7:57 am

      I opposed the current budget. Trump briefly made noise about not signing it.

      Bloated budgets are the consequence of the lefts willingness to shutdown government if they do not get what they want.

      Just to be clear – though I beleive that the rules need changed – the constitution clearly intended to make it hard to spend money, raise taxes, and make laws, NOT reduce spending. lower taxes, and repeal laws.
      Regardless the rules are as they are. Republicans used them in the minority to try to bring spending under control and to try to repeal PPACA.
      Democrats are free to use those rules to advance their goals.

      That said just as the republicans get the credit/blame for their efforts to reign in spending during the Obama administraiton. the Democrats get the credit/blame for they efforts to bloat spending.

  19. April 9, 2018 9:05 am

    Here is an excellent article. While it starts as a intellectual critique of social construction, it confronts post-modernism.

    I have some minor problems with its essentially binary position on objectivity.

    The fact that social construction, and post modernism fail, does not prove that there is some such thing as absolute objectivity.

    Put differently post-modernists are correct in that we can imagine anything, and atleast for some time live within that imagined world. But we can not sustainably do so unless atleast some of us live in a world were they are productive.

    We can not know what objective reality is.
    We can however reject post modern imagined schemes that do not work.

    I have noted before – the absence of absolute truth does not preclude absolute falsity.

    This entire discussion though seeming intellectual, etheral and disconected from the real world, is incredibly important to the real world at the moment.

    Social construction and post modernism have completely taken over the humanities, academia, and the politics of the left.

    Post Modernism is an expanded form of Marxism. Marx fixated on class oppression, post modernists have expanded Marxism to all forms of oppression – racial, sexual, class, ….

    Post modernism incorporates social construction as a means of expanding the scope of oppression and as a means of refuting any justification for any distinctions.

    Gender as an example is a social construct – despite obvious physical and genetic differences.
    Therefor all distinctions based on gender constitute oppression.

  20. Jay permalink
    April 9, 2018 3:48 pm

    What’s another $1.9 Trillion. trumps tax cut will pay for it. Or is that Mexico will pay for it. Er, wait, that was another fantasy.

    • April 10, 2018 11:23 am

      I oppose the recently passed budget.
      I oppose not only the increased military spending, but all the lard slathered on to get other democrats and republicans to vote for this pork fest.

      I wish Trump had veto’d it as he said he would.

      Our debt is a long term rather than short term threat, but it is the largest long term threat facing us.

      Trump’s deficits are on track to average about 80% of Obama;s.
      Adjusted for inflation – that would be 1/2 of Obama’s.

      That is a real problem.

      I will be happy to criticise Trump and all republicans for this.

      But please do not try to persuade me that this would not be worse under Clinton.

  21. Jay permalink
    April 9, 2018 4:09 pm

    Which recent administrations were better at controlling the national debt?
    Democrats or Republicans?

    Clinton got a surplus.
    GW Bush ran the deficit through the roof!
    Obama cut the deficit in half.
    Trump and the GOP are doubling it again.

    Is there a lesion to be learned here?

  22. Jay permalink
    April 9, 2018 4:14 pm


    FBI RaidsTrump’s Long Tume Lawyer’s Office!

    • Jay permalink
      April 9, 2018 4:18 pm


      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 4:34 pm

        And what does this have to do with Russian collusion?

        This guy is everything this country was never suppose to stand for. Mueller needs to go! He is going to get Trump on something regardless. He answers to no one, is a power all to himself and will make sure the next election is fixed ( like the fix is in)

      • April 10, 2018 12:06 pm

        I want to be careful about jumping to conclusions here.
        There are conflicting stories.

        But this appears to be an unbeleiveably stupid move on the part of Mueller.

        I am honestly surprised he was able to get a warrant – but this took place in New York where the rule of law is wishful thinking.

        Regardless, I noted before that Mueller past history as a prosecutor was evidenced by beligerance, unwillingness to cede any weakness and boneheaded stupid moves when things were not going his way.

        This will subject Mueller to incredible scrutiny.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 10, 2018 2:36 pm

        Mueller did not do this. He gave something to the NYC office of the FBI and they proceeded with the warrant.

    • Jay permalink
      April 9, 2018 4:20 pm

      “The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances.”

      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 4:38 pm

        Mueller could care less. He will skirt the law in someway to get what he wants. This guy is a flesh eating bacteria on democracy in America.

        My dislike for Muller far exceeds Jays dislike for Trump. It promotes anger in me for him and his actions. So it can be said “I hate Mueller”

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 4:47 pm

        My hate is WAY MORE justified than yours, Ron.

        Mueller already has STRONG evidence to either have Trump impeached, or arrested. He wouldn’t be making a bold move like this if he hadn’t set up the mechanisms to indict Trump, even if he’s fired.

        If IN FACT Trump is guilty of indictable crimes why in th world wouldn’t you want those crimes revealed? Don’t you want that CANCER cut from the body politic?

      • Ron P permalink
        April 9, 2018 6:30 pm

        “Don’t you want that CANCER cut from the body politic?”

        I’ll wait before convicting. This is about Stormy Daniels, not Russia!!!!

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 8:23 pm

        And Mueller isn’t prosecuting.
        Mueller, apparently, discovered evidence of a crime, and notified the proper agencies.
        As he is supposed to do, per his instructions to investigate.

        Read this:

      • April 10, 2018 1:25 pm

        Popehat appears to be down.

        There still is too much rumor and too little information regarding this.

        With respect to your post.

        To my knowledge EVERYTHING related to Cohen is completely tangential to Mueller’s investigation.
        There is not even a good basis to accept that Mueller could have discovered something to refer.

        Next, the “reports” claim this is an FBI raid.

        Any investigation of Cohen of any kind by the FBI that had any relation to Trump would require an SC.
        there is another SC appointed
        Mueller is investigating Cohen.
        This does nto actually involve the FBI
        or Cohen in not being investigated for anything related to Trump.

        I would also note that the norm for a warrant is that it must be narrow and specific.

        Law enforcement can not just carte blanch grab whatever it wants wherever it wants.
        Though often law enforcement gets away with more than it should, it is likely that scrutiny of a search of a lawyer will be incredibly high.

        From what I understand a separate team with no ties to whoever is actually investigating – as we do not appear to know that, will have to review what is recovered, assess whether it has anything to do with the basis of the warrant and only turn over what does.

        Further absent evidence of a breach of priviledge – which must come from OUTSIDE the documents being searched, anything priviledged – even if it was evidence of a crime is completely inadmissible.

        Put simply you can not search a lawyers communication for evidence that they were compolicit in a crime or that they broke priviledge and then attempt to get things admitted.

        You have to prove that priviledge was broken or that the lawyer was complicit in criminal conduct in order to get anything you find in their papers admitted at all.
        If as an example the product of this search demonstrated Cohen and Trump plotted somebodies murder, to be able to use that:

        You would have to have evidence of that crime OUTSIDE of the papers searched.

      • April 10, 2018 12:59 pm

        If the Cohen warrant is about Danial’s there are myriads of problems.

        It is not a federal issue.
        There is no crime.
        It is outside Mueller’s investigative scope.

        Cohen appears to be a pretty bad attorney.
        But there does not appear to be anything that he has done that is criminal.

      • April 10, 2018 12:25 pm

        “Mueller already has STRONG evidence to either have Trump impeached, or arrested. ”

        He does ?

        What evidence would that be ?

        There is nothing even hinted at thus far that Trump or his campaign actually committed a crime.

        Every single plea or indictment of Mueller’s thus far is either a process violation during the investigation, or unrelated to the campaign.

        Not only is there no credible allegation regarding Trump.
        There is not even a credible allegation regarding the campaign.

        Increasingly it is self evident that the FBI did not have a basis for a warrant on carter page.

        That means everyone who signed any of the page warrant applications violated criminal laws.
        Warrants are based on Oath’s.

        Mueller is prosecuting people right and left for false statements NOT under oath to the FBI.
        McCabe lost his job and may well be prosecuted for false statements under Oath,
        Comey is atleast going to be investigated.

        There is a long list of others. Rosenstein signed atleast one of the Carter Page warrant applications – can you explain to me why he has not recused himself ?

        Thus far we have nothing more than we had when the FBI sought a warrant for Page.

        If the FISA warrant was improvidently granted – nothing has made anything better since.

        I would note that not only was the FBI unable to get anything on page after a year of surveilane – but nothing on anyone he communicated with.

      • April 10, 2018 12:17 pm

        Why does everything have to be about emotion.

        I do not “hate” Mueller, but the evidence – and I have said this BEFORE, is that he is bullheaded, arrogant and tends to double down when things are not going his way.

        My “guess” here is that this is related to Daniels.

        But there is no credible crime associated with Daniels, and nothing tying Cohen/Daniels to Muller’s investigation.

        Absent a tie back to Trump/Russia this either is a serious problem for Mueller or possiby one for Rosenstein – as there are stories that Rosenstein secretly expanded Mueller’s mandate.

        We do not do star chamber’s Muller’s mandate must be public by law.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 5:05 pm

        Your Mueller rants are irrational.

        For them to be valid you have to believe Mueller went into the investigation TO GET Trump at any cost, and that he somehow managed to assemble a large staff of experienced lawyers/prosecutors with reputations for professionalism and honesty at the start – more of them Republican than Democrat – with the same devious intent; and that his superiors at the FBI and DoJ colluded to allow him and them to proceed with nefarious intent.

        You hear the nuttiness in that assumption?

      • April 10, 2018 12:35 pm

        “For them to be valid you have to believe Mueller went into the investigation TO GET Trump at any cost, and that he somehow managed to assemble a large staff of experienced lawyers/prosecutors with reputations for professionalism and honesty at the star”

        So many errors.

        First no prosecutor takes on any investigation without the intention to “get someone”.
        Except that they are supposed to confine themselves to the law, I have no problem with that.

        While there is a pretense that special investigations are somehow less about “getting someone” the fact is any SC that does not come home with a scalp will likely be thought of as a failure.

        Further as I have noted previously, Mueller actually has a reputation of being arrogant, stubborn, on track and to head boldly in the wrong direction often disasterously.

        Mueller’s staff has long ago been criticised. Several share the same stupid bullheaded tendency he does.
        No they do not have a reputation for proffesioalism and honesty. They have a reputation as high powered successful DC Lawyers.

        One attack I heard on Mueller’s choices noted – this is DC – Mueller could not swing a cat without hitting dozens of lawyers as qualified as those he picked – none of whom would have the obvious partisan issues that those he hired do.

        The standard with respect to legal ethics is the “appearance of impropriety”.
        One need not prove actual bias, only the appearance of it.
        That is why Sessions recused himself.
        That is why Rosenstein should have and Mueller should never have taken this, and definitely why he should have assembled a team with less readily apparent political taint.

      • April 10, 2018 12:36 pm

        “more of them Republican than Democrat” – False.

        “An examination of the voter registration records of the 16 publicly confirmed lawyers on Mueller’s team found that 13 of them are registered Democrats. Not a single one is a registered Republican. Three have no party affiliation.”

      • April 10, 2018 12:44 pm

        My assumption – one that is quite obvious is that:

        Republican democrat or whatever, when you accept the position as SC, that it is the pinacle of your carreer and you know that if you do not end with serious scalps it will reflect badly on you.

        That is how it is. I do not have a problem with that. But it is a reason for being far more cautious rather than aggressive.

        I would further note that significant parts of this investigation are incredibly incestuous.

        Mueller was close to Comey who has lied under oath.
        He was involved in the U1 coverup.

        Rosenstien was involved in the early investigation of Trump as well as the FISA warrants.

        Sessions recused himself on far less problems than these guys have.

        Nor have we addressed the wider connections linking all these people – including mccabe, Ohr, and numerous others.

        There is more evidence of a conspiracy involving DOJ and FBI that started prior tot he Clinton email investigation.

        One of the things that is increasingly self evident regarding McCabe is that not only did he have an axe to grind with Flynn, but that his investigations were coverups of his own misconduct.

      • April 10, 2018 12:45 pm

        I have openly stated my “assumptions”.
        You need not inaccurately make them up for me.

        Again you seem to think you can read minds.

      • April 10, 2018 11:55 am

        I am reluctant to comment as there are some conflicting stories.

        But this is NOT good for Mueller or his investigation.

    • Jay permalink
      April 9, 2018 4:28 pm

      • April 10, 2018 12:01 pm

        And every bit of that is going to be subject to the same kind of intense scrutiny that the FISA warrant was.

        Further, though details are still sketchy there appears to be no meaningful connection between this and the Trump/Russia investigation.

        And if Mueller does not have that – then there is a huge problem.

        IF Mueller does nto have sufficient justification for this – and the standard for that is incredibly high.
        There are very very serious implications.

        Mueller has just given every single defendant in every case he has a basis for attacking Mueller for bias. He has provided a basis for the House and Senate to investigate the Mueller investigation. He may have provided Hunt/IG with the basis for investigating Mueller.

        He may have subjected himself to disciplinary measures.

        Further if he comes up short here, he is toast.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 4:32 pm

        Do you now realize how off base your comments are in this post?
        Are you on mind numbing medication ?

      • April 10, 2018 5:01 pm

        “Do you now realize how off base your comments are in this post?
        Are you on mind numbing medication ?”

        What facts have I presented that are in error ?

        Your response to pretty much everything seems to be

        “Your stupid, because I disagree”
        That is not a valid argument.
        But it is evidence that you are incapable of intelligent discussion and think ad hominem is argument.

    • Jay permalink
      April 9, 2018 4:33 pm

    • Jay permalink
      April 9, 2018 4:37 pm

      Advice: Buy US military stocks related to HUGE bombing raids in Syria!

      (The smart money is predicting Trump will have to deflect from his lawyer’s records raid big time!

      • April 10, 2018 12:11 pm

        I know that you see every bit of news as somehow favoring your Argh! Trump! meme.

        I do not know enough here – but by surface appearance this blows up in Mueller’s face.

        As Ken White noted a search warrant for a lawyer is a very very big deal.
        I would not presume that Mueller actually went through all the right hoops.

        Regardless, everything he did with regard to this warrant will be fully discoverable.

        Mueller has subject himself to intense scrutiny. He has given every single person he has charge thus far new grounds for counter attack.

        Mueller has radically upped the ante, and he MUST produce, and it better not be another of this 18 USC 1001 farces.

    • April 10, 2018 11:52 am

      I do not know enough details here, but this appears to be an unbelievably stupid and desparate move on the part of Mueller.


  23. dduck12 permalink
    April 9, 2018 7:49 pm

    It was nice while it lasted, but pollution will always win.
    JS: Why are you now bloviating on two threads when you said the Diversity one was OK with you. Diversity is a nice echo chamber for you so enjoy it.
    One trough should be enough for any pig.

    • April 10, 2018 1:09 pm

      Why aren’t you capable of making reasoned arguments for your positions ?

      Why is it that everything you post is ad hominem, fallacy, emotion, and pseudo omniscience ?

      Again what I told you is there there exist real echo chambers you can go to that will be happy to accept your garbage without criticism.

      That said you are not entitled to speak publicly without criticism.
      You are not entitled to silence criticism.

  24. dduck12 permalink
    April 9, 2018 8:23 pm

    On the surface, and not having an explanation for the raid on Cohen’s office, I’d say it stinks.
    I hope this is not primarily about the Stormy Daniels mole hill.

    • Ron P permalink
      April 9, 2018 9:19 pm

      The information that I read was Mueller had some information from his investigation concerning the Stormy Daniels payoff and confidentiality agreement. He turned that over to the NYC FBI office which obtained the search warrant. The files seized where about her, which also included client/attorney communications between Trump and Cohen. How the courts view the FBI reviewing those communications can have a lasting and devastating impact on attorney relations with clients. If they break that confidentially protected communications, then you can expect Priest/sinner and doctor/,patient confidentiality to fall next.

      But we do have those that find that acceptable as long as they find the crime and prosecute that.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 11:37 pm

        Why are you assuming whatever they found wasnt serious enough to warrent the warrant?

        Did you see my post below describing the Southern Districk lawyer who asked for the warrant and is in charge of the case? In addition to his ‘Republican’ credentials noted there, he donated money to the Trump campaign. Don’t you think you’re being unreasonable (blockheaded is closer to my assessment) dismissing the possibility that something real creepy was discovered?

      • April 10, 2018 12:03 am

        I will wait and see. There is plenty of time between now and the election to have something come before the court and let jurors decide guilt or innocence.

        But when people see that attorney/client conversations are not confidential, that is going to change the relationship drastically. If a client charged with murder is asked by his attorney, did you kill that person to determine a course of action (going to trial, negotiating a reduced sentence, etc), will the clients really tell the truth knowing the government can obtain a search warrant.

        But this should make people understand what I have understood all my career in business. NEVER,EVER put in writing anything you do not want anyone else to discover regardless of the person you are conversing with. And make damn sure the other person is not documenting that conversation in writing or other discoverable ways.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 12:18 am

        Ron there are well established crime-fraud exceptions to the confidentiality rule.

        “Whether the crime-fraud exception applies depends on the content and context of the communication. The exception covers communications about a variety of crimes and frauds, including (to name just a few):
        “suborning perjury” (asking an attorney to present testimony she knows is false)
        destroying or concealing evidence
        witness tampering, and
        concealing income or assets.”

      • Ron P permalink
        April 10, 2018 11:58 am

        I’ll wait to see the outcome if I live long enough. Should know something by late 2019, early 2020.

        I suspect Cohen paid off the Ho in CA and told Mueller one thing and he found something different, thus “lying to the FBI to obstruct justice”.

        Kind of like the Flynn and Manafort issues. When were they charged and what’s the outcome?

        Best campaign strategy ever!

      • April 10, 2018 2:30 pm

        “I suspect Cohen paid off the Ho in CA and told Mueller one thing and he found something different, thus “lying to the FBI to obstruct justice”.

        That would not be enough for a warrant that would breach priviledge.

        Further, Daniels is completely outside Mueller’s scope.

        I can not find evidence that Mueller interviewed Cohen.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 4:13 pm

        I don’t think its just caught in a lie.
        To evoke breaching lawyer-client confidentiality, most legal experts are saying it has to be something more serious.

        Did you read Ken White’s link below?

      • Ron P permalink
        April 10, 2018 4:33 pm

        Jay, I have basically checked out on Trump, Russia, Mueller, Clinton and everyone else associated with this investigation. So, no, I did not read the link. I will wait a couple years to see what the final outcome is. The only thing that I may follow is a headline, like this one that caught my eye, or something that I might hear on a local news cast like the issue being conducted by the NYC FBI.

        So its wait and see 2020.

      • April 10, 2018 4:45 pm

        We are short on facts.

        Much of what I am reading in NYT is suggesting that there was no issue with Priviledge regarding this warrant, because they only sought Cohen’s financial records regarding Daniels.

        There is no reason to presume that evidence exists to justify breaching privilege when there may not be a breach of privilege.

        My expectation based on past Trump garbage press is this is much ado about nothing.

        The only thing I can think of that might constitute a “crime” in the context being addressed is Daniels claim that someone approached her at some time and said something to the effect that if she talked she would be sorry. It is a reach but that MIGHT make probable cause that crime was committed – though you would have to presume there was a threat of physical violence.
        As I said it is a reach.
        Then you need to tie that to Cohen.

        Otherwise the only crime here is bad lawyering.

      • April 10, 2018 2:00 pm

        There are several ways in which attorney client priviledge can be broken.

        But these must be proven BEFORE the warrant can be granted.

        If on review it is determined that the judge or magistrate issuing the warrant was not presented with proof that priviledge was violated, then everything will be thrown out.

        Further everyone associated with the warrant will be tainted.

      • April 10, 2018 2:19 pm

        You really need to consult the law and a good attorney.

        This is far more complicated and narrow than you are representing.
        Subborning perjury is “inducing someone to lie under oath” just knowing someone will lie under oath is not a crime, it is an ethics violation.

        “concealing assets” as more of that made up garbage of yours.
        It is only a crime not to disclose something or even to actively hide something when you have an affirmative duty to reveal it. You constantly assume the right to privacy does not exist.

        First the loss of privilege MUST be proven just to get the warrant.

        That is one of the big deals here. There really are only two choices
        The warrant is bad, or there is very good proof of something.
        Further that “something” can not be just anything.

        Trump could have confessed to Cohen – that would not get a warrant.

        Cohen could have done something illegal with Daniels – that would get a warrant – but would not allow a search of anything privileged.
        IF Cohen did something illegal and told Trump about it after the fact – it is probably still priviledged.

        I would note that Attorney Client Priviledge belongs to the client – not the attorney.

        What you are calling the “crime fraud” exception requires the lawyer and the client to be jointly involved in a criminal conspiracy.

        After the fact knowledge by either is not sufficient.
        Even being told of a crime before it occurs is not sufficient.

        There are many things that an attorney must disclose as a result of ethics rules,
        But the attorney is STILL barred from breaking priviledge.

        As an example if an attorney is plausibly told by a client “I did X”,
        The attorney can not preclude the client from testifying – unless the client actually tells the attorney “I am going to testify, I did not do X”
        Further if the client testifies falsely, the attorney has an ethical duty to inform the court but they are still not permitted to break priviledge – it gets extremely messy.

        An attorney can not even break privildge to provide evidence that a client is lying about them.

        This happens extremely often in appeals.

        A defendant will say I want you to put witness X on,
        and the attorney puts on Wintess X and withness X’s testimony is highly damaging to the client.

        Very often on appeal the client will claim that the attorney never should have put witness X on.
        But the attorney can not testify, but the client told me to.

        The above is about witnesses, but the conflict occurs more often about strategy.

      • April 10, 2018 1:57 pm

        “But this should make people understand what I have understood all my career in business. NEVER,EVER put in writing anything you do not want anyone else to discover regardless of the person you are conversing with. And make damn sure the other person is not documenting that conversation in writing or other discoverable ways.”

        First, we should be secure in our person, papers, home, property.

        I absolutely reject the thesis that if you do not have something to hide you should not care who digs into your life.

        At the same time I have been involved in many “legal” conflicts.

        My rule is to write EVERYTHING, to be careful about how and what you right – to assume others are going to read it.
        At the same time assume that the truth will work in my favor, and that if it does not then that is how it should be.

        The problem I tend to encounter is cherry picking.

        You can always pick a handful of messages out of 20,000 and paint a picture that is completely at odds with the truth.

        People do not express themselves perfectly every time.

        This is why lawyers advise you to tell your story ONCE and then not to repeat it to anyone.

      • April 10, 2018 1:50 pm

        “Why are you assuming whatever they found wasnt serious enough to warrent the warrant?”

        First because it is increasingly evident that the FISA warrant on Carter Page never should have been granted.

        Next, because warrants that never should have been granted are all the time.
        Courts constantly find warrants invalid.
        Unfortunately that rarely prevents evidence obtained from getting in anyway.

      • April 10, 2018 1:51 pm

        The standard is no “something creepy”.

      • April 10, 2018 1:43 pm

        Assuming your facts:

        No court should have granted a warrant without:
        Proof of a crime,
        Proof that the lawyer was complicit.
        Proof that privilege was broken.

        And the standard for that will be high. This is far from an ordinary warrant.

        Finally, this makes little sense. It is near impossible to beleive that Mueller’s investigations tripped over anything related to Daniels. That is so far from his domain it is just nuts.

        Based on what we publicly know regarding Daniels – it is reasonable to beleive that there is some public lying gone on.

        But that is not a crime.

        Aside from being badly written the Daniels NDA is not evidence of any crime.
        You can pay people to speak. You can pay people to be silent.
        You just can not pay them to cover up a crime.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 10, 2018 1:59 pm

        “No court should have granted a warrant without:
        Proof of a crime,
        Proof that the lawyer was complicit.
        Proof that privilege was broken.

        And the standard for that will be high. This is far from an ordinary warrant.”

        How DENSE are you??
        That the court granted the warrant indicates proof of that kind of evidence WAS presented, you nitwit.


        Trump is a devious unprincipled sneak. The lawyer is a fixer for the sneak. If they broke the law, they should pay for it. Right!

        Or don’t you believe in the rule of law? Or only when it suits you?

      • April 10, 2018 4:23 pm

        How dense are you ? Bad warrants are issued all the time ?

        It is nearly self evident at this point that the Carter Page FISA warrant never should have been issued – and yet about a dozen people SWORE that there was probable cause of a specific crime, and that the warrant would provide additional evidence of that crime.

        That is a sworn falsification AND a bad warrant.

        Why is it so hard for you to beleive we do not have another ?

        Rosenstein personally signed off on this – which was highly unusual.
        What that likely meant is that no one lower was willing to.

        That said – it is increasingly likely there is no issue of privilege because privileged information was NOT requested in the warrant.

      • April 10, 2018 4:26 pm

        “Trump is a devious unprincipled sneak. The lawyer is a fixer for the sneak.”

        Whether true or false – these are assertions about character. They are not allegations of a crime.

        “If they broke the law, they should pay for it. Right!”
        Actually no. We do not get to just guess about these things.

        If there is no probable cause that a crime has been committed then the warrant itself is sworn falsification and a crime.

        Speaking of crimes – what crime are you alleging regarding Trump/Cohen ?

        There is absolutely nothing I have heard regarding these allegations that is criminal.

      • April 10, 2018 4:31 pm

        “Or don’t you believe in the rule of law? Or only when it suits you?”

        The rule of law starts HERE:

        “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[2]”

        Probable cause requires”
        an actual crime to be alleged – what crime is that ?
        The allegation to have evidence supporting it.
        The warrant to clearly state what is being searched for and that there is probable cause that it will be found.

        If all of those elements are not true – the warrant itself is specious and likely is a sworn falsification – itself a crime.

        I am far more concerned about the FBI engaging in witch hunts, than in NDA’s involving porn stars.

      • April 10, 2018 4:32 pm

        What Crime ?

      • April 10, 2018 1:45 pm

        You can not get a warrant to look for a crime.

        You have to allege probable cause that a specific crime has been committed, as well as probable cause that you will find MORE evidence of that crime in what you are searching.

    • April 10, 2018 1:10 pm

      wow, we agree.

  25. Jay permalink
    April 9, 2018 8:54 pm

    Re the President’s Shyster :

    For aFederal Judge to sign off on a Warrent this serious indicates the government presented him with convincing evidence of a crime or crimes committed.

    Those who have monitored this guy for the last month already know he’s a sneaky worm.
    Like lawyer, like client.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 9, 2018 9:08 pm

      Sorry, I’ll wait a while.

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2018 9:18 pm


        “The Michael Cohen search warrants came out of the Southern District of NY, led by US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, a former law partner of Rudy Giuliani & Trump appointee.”

        Something’s going on there…
        But we may never know what..
        It’s a Federal investigation, and Trump could pardon the lawyer tomorrow.
        Wonder what would happen then?

      • April 10, 2018 1:36 pm

        Pardon’s do not inherently stop investigations.

        That would also be highly unlikely.

    • April 10, 2018 1:29 pm

      We already know that the FISA warrants were improperly granted,

      Bad warrants are issued all the time.

      Being a sneaky worm is not sufficient basis for a warrant.

      “Like lawyer, like client.”
      Because ?

      I have hired lawyers many times. I hire entirely different types and personalities of lawyers depending on the issue.

      I have hired some of the most skilled and ethical lawyers I know.
      I have tried to avoid hiring those with poor skill or ethics.
      But often I have had to make do.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 2:05 pm

        “We already know that the FISA warrants were improperly granted,”


      • April 10, 2018 4:34 pm

        ““We already know that the FISA warrants were improperly granted,”


        Even the Schiff memo inadvertently confirms that.
        McCabe testified that without the Steele dossier there would have been no warrant.
        The Steele dossier is not sufficient for a warrant.

        End of story.

        Again What Crime ?

    • April 10, 2018 1:34 pm

      While you seem to be attempting some commutative property of slime with respect to Cohen/Trump.

      That is both a false and meaningless argument.

      No one is going to alter their assessment of Trump’s character based on Cohen.
      Trump’s character is well known.

  26. dduck12 permalink
    April 9, 2018 11:45 pm

    Still a puzzle to me.

  27. Jay permalink
    April 10, 2018 9:48 am

    Trump – just an ordinary Republican Presidency:

    “The searches open a new front for the Justice Department in its scrutiny of Mr. Trump and his associates: His longtime lawyer is being investigated in Manhattan; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn; his former campaign chairman is under indictment; his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying; and a pair of former campaign aides are cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller, meanwhile, wants to interview Mr. Trump about possible obstruction of justice.”

    • Jay permalink
      April 10, 2018 11:28 am

      This is what happens when you elect a disorganized Dumbell to the presidency: chaos.

      “Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert’s departure comes one day after John Bolton started at NSC. In 2018, Trump has changed his Secretary of State, top economic adviser, comms director, VA secretary, CIA head, national security adviser, top Russia lawyer.”

      Welcome to the Chapter 11 White House

      • April 10, 2018 2:27 pm

        Turnover in the Trump administration is actually pretty normal.

        What is different is that the Press breathlessly reports every under-under secretary that leaves.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 4:24 pm

        “Turnover in the Trump administration is actually pretty normal.”

        Incorrect. Stop fabricating false info.

        “The flurry of changes at the White House and cabinet level so early in a president’s administration is “unprecedented,” according to Max Stier, the president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization that specializes in federal government management issues.

        “The disruption is highly consequential,” Mr. Stier said. “When you lose a leader, it has a cascade effect throughout the organization.”

        A New York Times analysis of 21 top White House and cabinet positions back to President Bill Clinton’s first term shows how unusual the upheaval is through the first 14 months of a presidency. Nine of these positions have turned over at least once during the Trump administration, compared with three at the same point of the Clinton administration, two under President Barack Obama and one under President George W. Bush.”

      • April 10, 2018 4:59 pm

        So the subjective observations of someone from an NGO are a substitute for facts ?

        With respect to your NYT article:

        It is statistically trivial to say – this particular combination of events has never happened before.
        It is also meaningless.

        Apparently you do not recall the start of the Clinton Presidency – I do. I think Clinton had two different AG nominees withdrawal – and that is before anyone was appointed.

        I also find both yours and Stier’s claim bizzarre.

        Let’s say that “turnover” has the effect Stier claims – isn’t that what the left wants ?

        You are trying to make getting what you want into a crime ?

        You have not presented evidence of anything unusual.
        Equally important you have not presented evidence of anything meaningful.

        Is the Trump administration unable to advance its policy agenda ?

        There are numerous balls in the air right now – progress seems to be being made on all.
        There is no evidence there is a “crisis”.

        Further, Trump was elected to drain the swamp, and because we expected he would be demanding.

        I never watched the apprentice – but as I understand it nearly everyone gets fired.
        That is what we expected.

        It is also how free market structures work. It is called creative destruction.

        Do your job or be gone.

        We could use that permeating the entire government.

    • April 10, 2018 2:25 pm

      Lois Lehner – lied under Oath.
      AG Holder – held in contempt of congress for failure to produce subpoenaed documents.
      AG Lynch lied about a highy unethical meeting with Bill Clinton and then conducted an investigation to find who leaked the truth.
      Rice and Powers – unmasked – aka spied on hundreds of americans without warrants.
      Rice repeatedly publicly lied about Benghazi
      Hillary lied under oath and in discovery regarding her private email server.
      Clinton Aides – almost certainly lied and were involved in the destruction of evidence
      McCabe lied under oath repeatedly

      And I can go on and on and on.,

      My question si why aren’t the above facing prosecution ?

      Why is it that you only care about the relatively inconsequential misconduct of republicans.

  28. Jay permalink
    April 10, 2018 1:27 pm


    • April 10, 2018 4:19 pm

      As more details of this are coming out, this is less and less of an outrage and less and less of an issue.

      What is currently being reported is that this “investigation” started with Mueller, but that he dumped it back to Rosenstein who threw it to the NYC USADA as being outside Muellers scope.

      That is a good sign. It suggests that Mueller has some concept he is not empowered to investigate whatever he finds interesting..
      It also suggests that much of Muellers existing prosecutions are likely to be farmed out, as they have nothing to do with his scope.

      The next question is what did Mueller refer and what is the NYC USADA investigating, and what was subpeonad.

      What I am reading thus far suggests this is about Cohen/daniels and also about the spiked Nat Enq story.

      Two factors to note:
      1). If the Mueller thought the Cohen/Daniels or the Net Enquire spiking were Trump campaign related – they might arguably remain in his scope. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that these are NOT being explored as campaign related. That is a big deal as it disposes of most left wing nut egregiously broad interpretations of campaign laws.

      2). Cohen appears to be the target – Not Trump. Cohen has repeatedly asserted he has acted entirely on his own. If Mueller and the NYC USADA accepted that – there is no issue of Attorney client priviledge at all.
      This is part of why we need to get the facts. If this is an investigation of Cohen and Nat Enq. Purely, then there is no issue of priviledge AND The NYC USADA may not access any communications of Cohen and Trump.

      Alan Derschowitz is going off about violations of attorney client priviledge – and he is absolutely right – if that is occurring.
      But so long as this is NOT about Cohen-Trump and only about Cohen, there is no problem.

      I have been thoroughly unimpressed by Cohen as an attorney.
      I think there are numerous stupid things he did here.

      But there is nothing I have heard about Cohen or this mess so far that constitutes a crime.

      Absent some fact we do not know there was no basis for a warrant – even if as appears to be the case that warrant is limited to Cohen’s payments to Daniels.

      BTW that means all this nonsense about AC priviledge is a pointless digression.

      Cohen acting on his own is not privileged.
      I still think the warrant is unjustified – there is no crime here – unless bad lawyering is a crime.

      • Jay permalink
        April 10, 2018 4:52 pm

        “I still think the warrant is unjustified – there is no crime here – unless bad lawyering is a crime.”

        Statements like this are why I consider you a Bloviating Fool.
        You don’t know the nature of the charges. But you disparage them anyway?

        Dave, really, what the f*&# is wrong with you?

      • April 10, 2018 5:26 pm

        “Statements like this are why I consider you a Bloviating Fool.
        You don’t know the nature of the charges. But you disparage them anyway?

        Dave, really, what the f*&# is wrong with you?”

        So you can identify a crime ?

        There are no charges – that is the point.

        Do you understand that secret investigations of secret crimes is the stuff of “star chambers” ?

        Warrants in the US are normally a matter of public record.
        It is highly unusually when they are not.

        So tell me – what Crime was alleged ?

        We do not grant warrants to investigate whimsy.
        We investigate crimes.

        BTW what was the crime being investigated when Carter Page was being surveilled ?
        Apparently despite US law making warrants public record, even congress is not allowed to know.

        If the NYC USADA is unable to articulate in public the crime he is investigating, then what we have is a start chamber.
        The same with Mueller.

        Every once in a while you mumble something about the rule of law, yet you are clueless.

        We are entitled to know that our law enforcement is not on a snipe hunt.

  29. April 10, 2018 5:19 pm

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 10, 2018 7:20 pm

      Jay, you are a masochist. 🙂

      • April 10, 2018 7:43 pm

        Zuckerburg just testified before the senate. I did not watch all of his testimony, but there was an excellent exchange with Senator Cruz.

        Though honestly Cruz deliberatly did not go far enough.

        Cruz pointed out that DMCA section 230 protections against government and other liability require that one is a “neutral public forum”..

        It was self evident from Zuckerburg’s testimony that Facebook is NOT a neutral publive forum.
        Zeckerburg testified about a number of spcific things that Facebook actively sensors.
        The choices he made were deliberately to avoid conflict with Sen. Cruz – I mean who can oppose Facebook censoring terrorists, self harm, or nudity, or “hate speach”. foreign election interference.
        But in fact censoring any of those precludes one from being a neutral public forum.

        I do not care whether Facebook is neutral or not.
        But we should quite pretending otherwise.

        Most of us at this point grasp that the media is by and large heavily left leaning.
        Outlets like Fox and Brietbart exist because of that heavy tilt left.
        And that is entirely OK.

        Regardless, Facebook has a choice – it can be neutral or it can censor and if so be open about that censorship.

        Pretending to be neutral while concurrently censoring – and particularly in a non-transparent way, is a form of fraud. It is telling people they are getting one thing when they are getting another.

        I would suggest that Zuckerburg and the rest of you might want to read or reread
        John Stuart Mill “On Liberty”/

        Click to access liberty.pdf

        Declare any point of view as so heinous that it can not be expressed deprives all of us, and actually destroys our ability to understand why that view is heinous.

        We can not know our own position if we are not exposed to those views we disagree with.

        We are actually served by the presence of those views that offend us, rather than harmed by them.

  30. April 10, 2018 7:55 pm

    Heterodox Accademy and Prof. Haidt have just published “All Minus One”
    This is a free rewrite of John Stuart Mill’s Chapter 2 in “On Liberty” updated to modern language and revised to eliminate obscure historical references.

  31. April 10, 2018 8:00 pm

    The FBI was told a 19 year old psychopath was going to murder children at school, they did nothing!

    A pornstar says she had an affair with the President, and they raided the President’s attorney’s office. What’s wrong with this picture?

    • Jay permalink
      April 10, 2018 8:49 pm

      What’s wrong is you moronically conflating the two.

      • April 10, 2018 11:03 pm

        “What’s wrong is you moronically conflating the two.”

        I thought that was a very good question. Why do you not think they are not comparable situations? I do not see where Dave conflated (mixed, blended, fused, united, or integrated) the two. He compared the two situations and said “The FBI was told a 19 year old psychopath was going to murder children at school, they did nothing! A pornstar says she had an affair with the President, and they raided the President’s attorney’s office. What’s wrong with this picture?” He compared the two situations and wanted to know how the one that they had information on being a possible mass murder taking place was ignored and the other is about the president screwing a ho in CA and the FBI sends multiple agents to confiscate records.

        Is that keeping us safe and out of harms way?

        On second thought Jay, let everyone else answer that. With your extreme dislike for Trump, anything they can do to him keeps us safe in your mind.

      • April 11, 2018 12:47 am

        With the latter – we still have no basis to grasp that there was a crime involved.

        One of the disturbing aspects of the entire Government investigations into Trump is that it is not even rooted in actual allegations of criminal conduct.

        I would have to re-read the Steele Dossier allegations – but I am not even sure any of those are actual allegations of a crime.

        The left remains under the delusion that they are free to use government to dig into whatever they do not like.

        The investigation of Clinton was a criminal investigation. All of us knew what crime was being investigated – both in the sense of being able to look up the specific crime and in the general sense of knowing that the alleged conduct was a crime.

        With respect to Trump – not only do we not know if Trump committed a crime, we do not even know what underlying crime he is alleged to have committed.

        As many have noted – there is no crime of collusion.

        Again I would refer to Leventia Berria “Show me the man, I will show you the crime”.

        I would note AGAIN that it is the left that has repeatedly and historically converted ideological differences into crimes.

        And that is precisely what is going on.

        Not merely with the Trump investigation, but more generally.

        Concepts like micro-agressions, no-platforming, the entire tirade of the left, is an effort to demonize and where possible criminalize any differences.

        You may not even think differently without being relentlessly pummeled and labeled as a “hateful, hating hater”.

      • April 11, 2018 12:14 am

        “What’s wrong is you moronically conflating the two.”

        The statement was not mine.

        Nor is there anything moronic about it

        It is inherently obvious to most anyone that the attention of the FBI, the left AND YOU is on voluntary agreements with pornstar’s not the lives and safety of children.

  32. April 10, 2018 8:26 pm

    Good story about critical thinking, media bias and “fake news”

    I would expand further – most journalists provide information regarding their sources.
    The more specific the source information is the more likely it is to be credible.

    A source says
    A former administration source says
    A state department source says
    and the state department press secretary says

    are each increasing credibility.

    Multiple independent sources add to credibility.

    It should also never be forgotten that sources have their own axes to grind and bias’s.

    Under critical analysis much of what is floating about Pruitt is much ado about nothing.

    Given the effort that landlord went to get her key back from Pruitt any assertion that there was some quid pro quo going on is ludicrous. The landlord has successfully angered Pruitt, that is not a recipe for political corruption.

    IT should not be surprising that the leak originated from an X whitehouse staffer with an axe to grind.

    One should also try to separate the spin from the facts.

    There have been myriads of Mueller is about to drop the atomic bomb stories.
    A significant portion of these have in some ways been true.
    But absolutely zero have ever lived up to the hype.

    We are farther away from impeaching Trump or truly getting into his inner circle than ever.
    Thus far Mueller while adopting broad interpretations of money laundering, has generally not bought the incredibly expansive interpretations of other laws the left is constantly selling.

  33. Jay permalink
    April 10, 2018 8:53 pm

    Dave, this is accurate, correct?

    NY Times Editors:

    “Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. “

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 10, 2018 10:53 pm

      And he is a lousy dresser with baggy pants and boring ties. I think he is also stupid, but his craftiness obscures that.

      • April 11, 2018 12:35 am

        “And he is a lousy dresser with baggy pants and boring ties.”

        Views regarding his attire are opinions. but I tend to agree with yours.

        “I think he is also stupid, but his craftiness obscures that.”
        An obviously self contradictory statement.

        What you call “craftiness” does not obscure intelligence, it demonstrates it.
        It is clearly not accidental.

        I think Trump is less intelligent than he thinks, but obviously more intelligent than you think.

        Trump has succeeded in multiple endeavors in radically different areas,
        real estate, Beauty Pageants, Television, and politics.
        That is the hallmark of a highly intelligent person.

        Many of the people you likely consider to be brilliant have not succeeded in multiple different areas.

    • April 11, 2018 12:30 am

      It is a statement primarily of opinion not fact, and near certainly atleast partly false.

      Who Trump has spent his carreer in the company of is of consequence with respect to deciding how to vote. It is not otherwise evidence of anything.

      The “grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks” that he purportedly associates with are the very same people litterally that the Clinton’s do. Includes people like Oprah, Epstein, Weinstein.

      As a question of fact it is NOT a reasonable inference that any voluntary exchange involves
      “cutting corners, lying, and cheating” absent an actual court finding against Trump to that effect.
      And even that would only speak to a single instance.
      The only legitimate inference that can be made from a voluntary exchange is that the participants were BOTH satisfied, otherwise it would not have happened.

      People often brag about things that are false. Further again EVERY voluntary exchange REQUIRES both parties to believe they got the better deal – otherwise it would not happen.

      Even the simple exchange of $1 for a hamburger will not occur unless the buyer values the hamburger at more than $1 and the seller values $1 more than the hamburger.

      Trump like just about every wealthy person is intensely litigated against.
      He has chosen to use threats of litigation and counter litigation as a means of protecting what he believes are his rights.

      I have no idea what “hush money” is.
      NDA’s are perfectly legal. I sign several every year, I think most people in in business where information has value do.
      It is generally illegal to pay or threaten people to preclude exposing a crime. Otherwise there is nothing wrong with inducements in return for silence.

      Trump certainly has lots of bravado.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 11, 2018 7:33 pm

        Stupid is as stupid says and does.
        craftiness – shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception. cunning, foxiness, guile, slyness, wiliness, craft. astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness – intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)
        They can and are separate in Trump’s case.

      • April 11, 2018 9:48 pm

        I would sugest looking into some of the information on the study of personality, and particularly intelligence.

        All the items on your lists are really mixtures of other key elements of personality.

        Whether Trump is crafty, shrewd, deceptive, cunning, foxy, guiling, sly. astute, ….
        is a valid open question

        Whether skill at these requires intelligence is a closed question.

        You want to claim that Trump is both stupid and darkly intelligent at the same time.
        That is not possible.

        Intelligence can manifest itself in positive or negative fashion, but it is still intelligence.

        I think you will find it tends to manifest more commonly in a positive fashion – though not necescarily your idea of positive, because you do not grasp that self interest is POSITVE not negative, so long as one does not mix self interest with fraud or force.

        Regardless, “altruism” is not the most positive construction of intelligence.
        The greatest benefit for the greatest numbers does not come from self sacrifice, but from self interest.
        Altruism is the maximum positive incarnation of emotion – not intellect, and in the real world while still good significantly underperforms self interest.

        Put more simply China’s small increases in individual liberty have benefited more of mankind in the past 40 years than all altruism in human history.
        Mother Theresa is not a blip in comparison.

        And China’s gains are not the consequence of alruism, or even of good people.

        The greatest good does not come from self sacrifice.

  34. April 11, 2018 12:03 am

    Well it appears we are stuck with Mueller for awhile.Code of Federal Regulations governing how and who can fire a special counsel states:
    “The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.”

    Nixon could not remove the SC during Watergate, so he fired his AG and his staff becasue the AG would not fire the SC.

    So everyone demanding Mueller be fired may need to take a step back. Unless Trump gets pissed off enough and then fires Sessions and Rosenstein and hires someone willing to fire Mueller.

    I would not cry a tear if Sessions was fired, but if Trump did that so he could get rid of Mueller, that would damage Trump more (IMO) than leaving him to investigate.

    • April 11, 2018 12:51 am

      I do not think that Mueller is going to be removed.

      But the law you cite is not actually relevant, it did not apply during watergate, nor would that have mattered.

      The entire power of the executive vests SOLELY with the president.
      That is the constitution.

      Removing Mueller not only would be legal, but actually barring it would be unconstitutional.

      Trump could and likely would be impeached for it – but impeachment is a political not legal process.

  35. April 11, 2018 12:29 pm

    Watching 20th century congressmen/women question Marc Zuckerberg in congressional hearings is like watching a Swedish heart surgeon explain heart transplants to an all English speaking audience. They haven’t a clue how social media works and they are the ones that will write 20th century legislation to oversee 21’st technology. Most times congressional incompetence is overshadowed by the fact many people do not have a clue as to what they are talking about, but in this case, many people understand what Zuckerberg is saying and it is flying 10 ft over the members head. They as a incoherent question, he answers with a coherent answer and they follow up with a incoherent question.

    • Jay permalink
      April 11, 2018 1:20 pm

      I found it even more bizarre than you did.
      Notably with Zuckerberg propped upon a thick cushion so it wouldn’t look like a precocious kid explaining physics to a panel of doddering octogenarians

      • April 11, 2018 1:47 pm

        After I posted tat comment I thought the senators should have their interns asking the questions. At least they would know how to followup with a clarifying question.

      • April 11, 2018 9:25 pm

        Zuckerburg was facing some significant danger, and I think he made some potentially dangerous mistakes.

        Several times “Neutral Public Platform” came up and Zuckerburg avoided that.

        NPP has significance according to the law. If FB is an NPP then it has section 230 protection from a huge amount of liability. But if it is no NPP it can be both sued and held accountable by government for its content.

        Zuckerburgs comments that really separated FB from NPP create significant legal liability for FB.

    • April 11, 2018 9:21 pm

      While I found some of it interesting – it was also stupid

      Congress does not know what to do, and hopefully is smart enough to do nothing.

      But Zuckerburg is not much better.

      He is talking about being able to supress “hate speach” before it is posted in several years – as if that is a good thing.

      It is NEVER a good idea for someone to have that kind of power over the expression of others.
      There is no way that it is not abused.

      There is already alot of flack because most social media is more tightly censoring the right than the left.

      ZuckerBurg talks about curating hate speach and terrorists, and pornography as if that is inherently good. That may be a hard sell but censorship is never a good thing.
      We need the bad so that we know what is bad, and so that we can still tell that it is bad, and so that we can compare the really really bad to other things and tell whehter they are moving toward good or evil. We also need it to know who we are, and who we arent;.

      We will not get better as people overall by having offensive views censored, will will near certainly get worse not better.

      • April 11, 2018 11:20 pm

        “It is NEVER a good idea for someone to have that kind of power over the expression of others.
        There is no way that it is not abused.”

        This is a publically owned company and they have the right to accept or deny whatever they want showing on their platform. If people do not like Facebook monitoring, censoring, selling or handling information in the way they are or will handle it, they do not need to use Facebook. No one will ever convince me that newspapers years ago and today, or the MSM do not “censor” information that they report. And those are actually “free press”. facebook is not a news outlet from my understanding. And if investors do not like what the leadership is doing, they can either vote in new directors or sell their investments.

      • April 12, 2018 8:16 am


        We are not disagreeing.

        I am not asking FB to be regulated. I am begging as hard as I can to avoid that.
        i would eliminate what regulation exists.

        The worst possible outcome would be for FB to have the capability Zuckerburg is expecting to have, AND to be compelled to use it in some particular way (ANY particular way) by covernment regulation.

        You note things like the displeasure of users and shareholders as constraints on FB – and I fully agree. But those constraints are actually weakened by regulations.

        When Government says you must do X – you do X. Shareholders do not revolt – because it is pointless, FB must do X. users may grumble – but they can not go elsewhere, because everyone must do X.

        Only anarcho-capitalists beleive the free markets capacity for self regulation is sufficient to constrain the initiation of force without government. But it is ultimately capable of constraining everything all other undesirable conduct – atleast better than any other arrangement.

        The addition of regulations does nto make the market work better, it makes them work worse.
        Regulation weakens distorts and often destroys market self regulation.

        Markets inherently seek to optimize – looking for loopholes and means to subvert regulation – whether self regulation or that of government.
        But self regulation is dynamic – if the response of the market to self regulation is negative, market self regulation will adjust pushing the market towards the wants and needs of users.

        Government regulation is static, if the market response is negative, it can take decades – if ever to correct.

        Further government regulation works differently. Self regulation is inherently utilitarian. Seeking the greatest good for the greatest number. Government regulation seeks the best outcome for some small group on a single criteria. It seeks the optimum for some favored group, not for all.

        Contra the left – it is government rather than markets that are far more likely to favor the big and the rich.

  36. April 11, 2018 1:45 pm

    This seems to codify what Dave said was not already present from a previous posts I shared. Nice to see that legislators can work together every few years. I guess ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend” holds true in this case.

    My only objection is the comment that this will provide the SC to “have the independence they need to conduct fair and impartial investigations. I would like to see wording in this bill that solidifies as to how “impartial” is defined.

    • April 11, 2018 9:36 pm

      This is a mistake.

      The fundimental problem with the SC – is that it is part of the executive.
      There were problems with the IC act that was used with Clinton, but this is worse.

      This bill reads as horribly unconstitutional to me.

      The president is constitutuionally the head of the exectutive,
      Congress can not make laws regarding the powers of the president – not without rewriting the constitution.

      The SC must be answerable to someone. There are only 3 possible choices:

      The PResident – in which case the president can fire the person investigating him.

      I would ask what is the enforcement mechanism for this law ?
      Trump fires Mueller now – what happens ? Probably impeachment.
      This law passes, and Trump fires Mueller – what happens ? Probably impeachment.

      You want to protect the SC – make them part of the judiciary or the legislature.

      One of the problems with Mueller is that he is LESS accountable than Ken Starr.

      Star had to get congressional approval for every scope change.
      While there was an element of partisanship, we knew what he was investigating and what crime he was alleging.

      Mueller is answerable to Rosenstein – though not really, and Rosenstein is answerable to no one.
      Worse Rosenstein has more reason to recuse than Sessions.
      Rosenstein signed the FISA warrant. He can not participate in an investigation that has a polluted source that he is part of.

      I actually think that Trump would be doing better with an IC and a democratic congress supervising them.

      The IC would be accountable to congress and congress would be answerable to the people.

      Mueller should not be subject to firing by Trump.
      But he should be answerable to someone.

      This law makes what is wrong worse, not better.

  37. dduck12 permalink
    April 11, 2018 10:52 pm

    Nonsense, my craftiness list is from a dictionary, I would not be so kind if I described his craftiness. Despite your b——–, he is still stupid.

    • April 12, 2018 7:58 am

      Where your list comes from is irrelevant.

      You still can not have an atom without protons.
      All the attributes you assert for “crafitness” require intelligence.

      “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”

      The above is only true in the real world, you can create hypothetical worlds where the rules of logic do not exist and contradictions abound.

      But we do not inhabit any of those worlds, and I am interested in the real world.
      Where you will find if you work to purge contradictions you can get rid of alot of garbage that precludes you from seeing the world as it is.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 12, 2018 2:35 pm

        More BS, Mr.Mucus. Stupid is as stupid bloviates applies to Trump and you.

      • April 12, 2018 4:37 pm

        More ad hominem as a substitute for argument.

  38. April 12, 2018 1:12 pm

    “In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm—in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies.”
    Robert Jackson – FDR’s AG and future Supreme Court Justice.

    This is fundimentally what is wrong right now.
    It is what is wrong with Mueller, it is what was wrong with what Started under Obama, it is what is wrong with many posters here.

    We investigate Crimes not people.

    We do not ever want the power of law enforcement targeting an individual rather than investigating a crime.

    We do not want that from the local beat cop,
    We do not want that from a DOJ/FBI investigation of the president.

    Andrew McCarthy has another intesting editorial a few days ago.

    His editorial of almost a year ago criticizing the Rosenstein authorization Memo for Mueller resulted in Rosenstein crafting a much more thorough memo in August.
    But that Memo was (and remains) classified, however a very heavily redacted versiojn of it has been released.

    McCarthy’s review of that notes:

    First that Rosenstein appear to deliberately write this memo to address the legal concern’s McCarthy had raised month’s earlier.
    And that it had actually made things WORSE rather than better.

    Much is difficult to tell – because of heavy redacting.
    But though more detail exists – fundimentally confirming that this is an improper counter-intelligence investigation, and not a criminal investigation, much is still difficult to tell.
    Maybe hidden in the redaction is something that actually justifies this.
    But it gets increasingly unlikely.

    One thing that McCarthy notes is that the Steele Dossier REMAINS a significant part of the justification. And that is deeply disturbing and problematic.

    We not only have an investigation that started over salacious allegations that remain to this date unverfied, but those same allegations remain central

    Many people are advising Trump to do many many things.

    Most of that advice is bad. But McCarthy to me appears to have good advise.

    McCarthy notes that the president has the power not merely to fire Mueller but to give direction to the Justice department.

    Just recently – because the House threatened to impeach Wray and Rosenstein, and AG Sessions directed compliance, Nunes and Gowdy were permitted to view an ALMOST unredacted version of the FISA Warrant applications. Any basis for the warrants aside from the Steele Dossier exists only in the tiny redacted portions. It is increasingly likely that the SOLE basis for the Warrants was the Steele Dossier.

    It is well past Time for Trump to ORDER the DOJ/FBI to comply with legislative oversight requests that they have been actively thwarting.

    Overtime more and more is coming to light, and yet nothing coming to the surface justifies the DOJ/FBI digging in.

    It looks increasingly like the FBI/DOJ failure to cooperate with congress is rooted in self protection rather than genuine security issues.

    I beleive it is Byron York who noted that any legitimate national security interest that DOJ/FBI are protecting is dwarfed by the need of congress and the public to know whether there is a legitimate basis for anything that is occurring.

    If there is and was a valid basis for this investigation then all the investigation fo the investigation should cease.
    If there is not – then the investigation itself should cease and the investigation into how the hell we got into this should be magnified.

    DOJ/FBI are actively running interferance for Mueller, as if there is a conspiracy – the hope that Mueller will find something sufficiently damaging to retro-actively justify the investigation, before the corrption of the roots of the investigation are exposed.

    I would further note this failure of the executive to cooperate with congressional oversight was a hallmark of the Obama administration, and has somehow continued into the Trump administration.

    We know many things historicially.

    The government classifies many times what it should.
    That the executive leaks like a seive.
    Partly as a quasi official means to back channel things to the press is a deniable means,
    Partly as a consequence of Whistle Blowers,
    Partly as a part of political conflicts in the executive. Pruitts current ethics issues are aparently the direct response to Portman’s axe grinding over his termination.

    Regardless, the executive leaks.

    Congress leaks too – for many of the same reasons.

    All of the above do not alter the fact that oversight of the executive is the responsibility of the congress, and the executive should have very limited ability to bar congress from the information needed for oversight.

    • April 12, 2018 1:31 pm

      That we investigate the person to find the crime is being accepted by too many and ignored by many others. Those that do not have a clue about the constitution, rights and previous rulings by courts do not understand a crime needs to be the basis of any investigation. Once there is no evidence that a crime has not been committed or that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a charge, the investigation needs to be terminated.

      But once politics enters into the realm of the investigation and the sole purpose of the investigation is to prolong the investigation so the news of the day is the next small fish that gets caught in the net, it is no longer a legal matter, but it is a campaign matter where negative news is being generated to promote one party or the other.

      Right now it is get matter what. Much like the GOP did with Obama even though they had nothing to hang him with, they investigated in congress on many different issues. Make sure Trump has a house that will begin impeachment proceedings, even though they have no leg to stand on, but will make good news for them for the 2020 election.

      Who the hell is stupid enough to want to be the leader of this country when you have to put up with the crap Obama and Trump have had to put up with? And one could go back years and find other examples, but nothing to the degree we have had since 2008. And it will only get worse since social media and the 24/7 non stop news has so much more today to work with than ever before. I don’t think the Pope would be clean enough to be able to run this country and not have someone dig up some dirt somewhere to make an issue for 4+ years.

      • April 12, 2018 1:53 pm


        Congressional investigations and congressional oversight are DIFFERENT,

        Though I would prefer congress did not investigate a person, And I think that the constitutional prohibition on bills of attainder reflects that,

        Congresses oversight power is broad. It is not constrained as a criminal investigation is.
        AND Congress can not prosecute someone criminally.

        There are sometimes revolting aspects of politicians trying to “get each other” but there is nothing wrong with it.

        There is everything wrong with using the criminal machinery of government to conduct a political investigation.

        The problem with the Steele Dossier is NOT that Clinton “paid” for it,
        It is that without verification the FBI used it as the foundation of an investigation.

        If congress wishes to engage in these types of political games – they are answerable tot he voters.

        But they have no place in the DOJ/FBI.

        I do not care that those on the left wish to “Get Trump”.
        I think that is politically unwise, and likely to backfire, but they are free to do so.

        But DOJ/FBI are NOT a political tool – not for Nixon, Not for Obama, Not for Trump.

        Here is a good Cato podcast

      • April 12, 2018 2:14 pm

        Well I did not say what I meant clear enough. I could care less what congress does from a political issue. That’s what they do.

        I was addressing Mueller specifically as I truly believe this is a political snipe hunt that is leading no where, he knows it is leading no where and he is doing anything and everything to prolong this investigation so he finds the next “fish” to fry and see if that fish will lead to some more guppies, all while trying to keep this in the mainstream media until the election.

        I also expect many of his little fish charges will come to trial or will be settled with fan fare around October 2018 so that is the major news just before the election to give the democrats the best environment for taking back the house and the senate.

        And then congress can go off on their tangent and begin impeachment proceedings. That will energize the left base and provide the democrats with the best chances of sweeping all three legs of government. (I include SCOTUS as Warren/Brown/Biden will insure a far far left court once they are in office and nominate candidates a far left senate will ratify.)

      • April 12, 2018 4:20 pm

        Cato as well as many others point out that we have so many laws – and the left is interpretting them all so broadly, that it would actually be surprising if they do not eventually find something.

        That is a part of what is wrong with investigating the man rather than the crime.

        If you follow Prof. Tribe – someone I used to respect and whom I have debated, and attended his speaking events, you can get bat shit crazy broad interpretations of the law to nail trump.

        No one has ever before tried to claim that a president or prosecutor obstructed justice by their otherwise legal choices as part of their role.

        Prosecutors constantly choose not to prosecute someone – it is called prosecutorial discretion and Comey EXPLICITLY did that with Clinton.
        Plenty of people cried foul. No one called Comey a Criminal or claimed he obstructed justice.

        The President is the “chief prosecutor” just as he is the commander in cheif.
        He is free to direct Comey not to prosecute Flynn.

        But Mueller is still investigating that for possible obstruction of justice.
        BTW Obama publicly exhonerated Clinton in the middle of the Clinton email investigation.

        It is bad for a President to weigh in. It is especially bad for a president to weigh in publicly.
        It is NOT a crime. But we are still chasing that.

        With the latest Cohen nonsense, as I understand it one of the claims is that if Cohen paid Daniels not to speak during the election, that is somehow an illegal campaign contribution.

        Personally I think out campaign finance laws all need to go. They are unconstitutional.

        But ignoring that, any interpretation of Cohen’s actions that make them a campaign contribution would criminalize virtually anything you might do that benefited a candidate.
        Put up a sign in your front yard – illegal campaign contribution.
        Drive people to vote – illegal campaign contribution.

        I would note that the Daniels thing is MORE tangential than my example.
        i.e. Trump likely benefited from Daniels silence, but the benefit was pretty indirect.

        A sign in your yard is litterally a clear contribtion to a specific candidate.
        Driving people to vote is clearly an election activity.

        While it is probable that paying for someones silence during a campaign is intended to influence that campaign, it is still indirect.

        Settling an embarrasing lawsuit – Trump did that, could be an illegal campaign contribution.

        The more attentuated things become the more clear it is that this is not about the law, it is about getting someone you do not like.

        There is also the claim that Trump or Cohen may be lying about who paid who.
        So What ?
        Lying about something that is not a crime, is not a crime.

        This claim that scurilous actions are also crimes pervades this.

        Anytime you can say Trump and Russia in the same sentence those on the left hear clear Crime.
        Yet, saying Clinton and Russia together does not produce the same reaction.

        Trump is associated with some pretty scuirlous dudes. But lest we forget most everyone associated with Trump is also associated with Clinton.
        One of Clinton’s moneymen/lobiests is a Company A figure in Mueller’s indictment of Manafort.
        Basically Manafort was paying a clinton lobbying firm to perform the lobbying that Mueller claims Manafort was illegally doing. Talk about selective prosecution.

        Regardless, Manafort was paid by Ukrainians for lots of things.
        Most of us hold our noses. This stinks. But it is still not a crime.

        Nor is putting your payments into foreign bank accounts.
        And in fact the money does not actually become taxable until it enters the US.

        MAYBE Manafort engaged in tax evasion when he used foreign funds to buy properties and then mortgaged the properties to get cash. It sure looks that way. But it is NOT money laundering.
        Nor is keeping money in secret foreign bank accounts – BTW all bank accounts are “secret”.
        You do not report your bank accounts on your tax return. You report income, not assets. You do not have to tell the IRS where that income currently is, only that you made it.

        Regardless, Mueller seems to like Money Launder claims. You would think that such a high profile attorney would actually know what money laundering is.

        The Cato podcast also points out that assuming that muellers or other prosecutors actions are legitimate because they are subject to scrutiny is ludicrously stupid.
        Prosecutors and FBI agents have lied under oath, manufactured evidence in numerous cases – including some Mueller was part of, and the worst that has ever happened is a lateral transfer.
        McCabe getting fired is HIGHLY unusual.

        In prior posts I noted that Mueller past has numerous instances of over zealousness, arrogance and bad prosecutions. But aparently I was not aware of all of them – as more are coming out.
        Aparently a high profile mess in Boston according to Dershowitz.

        Anyway, I do not care if politicians go after each other.

        But when the powers of government are used to criminalize politics we are going to hell.

      • April 12, 2018 4:35 pm

        I would further note.

        I want investigations of politicians – for their actions as public servants.
        I want lots of that. I want people in government to lose their jobs for misconduct.

        Mostly I do not want them to go to jail though some cases are special.

        McCabe is noted for using his power to “get” others. He is a key figure in “getting” Flynn, and has an axe to grind with Flynn.
        I am less generous about abuse of power by law enforcement, and I am less generous about letting people off who had no problems persecuting others.

        I would be perfectly happy with a permanent “special counsel” actively (and quietly) seeking criminal misconduct throughout government. That said – I do NOT want broad and creative interpretations of the law to “get” someone.

        I am finding some of the Pruitt news hilarious. Purportedly Pruitt got a sweetheart deal on daily rental of a condo in Georgetown. Of course several others are renting the same condo at the same rates. But the condo owner’s husband is someone who MIGHT be part of a business the EPA regulates – the EPA regulates pretty much every business.
        Anyway apparently Pruitt quit paying the rent and kept using the condo despite demand letters – until the landlord changed the locks on him. No as a landlord – that is something I have a problem with. Regardless, if this is some kind of a political deal – why would you piss off the head of the EPA by changing the locks on them ?

        Those on the left think all business relationships are really back scratching and criminally corrupt.
        In the real world most people do not make business deals with friends. It is really really dangerous.
        In the real world when you are actually paying somebody off politically – you do not change the locks on them.

        Regardless, put Pruitt under the microscope. But be real at the same time.
        You do not need an ethics committee to know that a financial entanglement that ended with locks being changed was not quid pro quo bribery. Move on to something productive.

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2018 4:10 pm

        …“Once there is no evidence that a crime has not been committed or that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a charge, the investigation needs to be terminated.”

        Well then, you agree that the Whitewater investigation
        by independent counsel Kenneth Starr who determined the Clintons didn’t do anything criminal relating to it, shouldn’t have investigated the Monica blow job story.

      • April 12, 2018 4:53 pm

        Well, was Monica forced to suck his junk? Was Monica under age? What was the crime? Or was it that Clinton lied about something that was not illegal happening?

        I did not support the GOP effort to impeach him when the real rapes or attempted rapes went without question for the most part.

        So you make my point. Starr couldnt hang any crime on Clinton, so he kept digging until he had enough dirt to make his existence seem like the money spent was worth it.

      • April 12, 2018 6:16 pm

        In a deposition in a sexual harrasment case, Bill Clinton testified that he had not had sex with Lewinsky.

        That was a lie – under oath.

        THAT is what Starr was investigating.

        Having Sex with Lewinsky was not illegal.
        BUT it was relevant to a sexual harrasment lawsuit, and Clinton lied about something germain to that lawsuit UNDER OATH.

        That is far more serious than anything Mueller has charged thus far.

        I opposed and still do allowing the sexual harrasment suit to procede while Clinton was president.

        Conversely Starr was accountable to congress, and did seek and receive authorization for each shift in the investigation AND closed down investigations that did not lead to Clinton.

        Further Starr did little to prosecute “the little people” though he did leave Susan McDougal in jail half of forever in contempt because she refused to testify.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 12, 2018 6:27 pm

        The difference between Starr kept digging to come up with the blow job lying and Mueller-vrs-Trump is as follows:
        Mueller didn’t have to do much digging. Obstruction of Justice was almost immediately apparent, a Siamese twin charge from the get go.

        The Clinton’s INDIVIDUALLY (Bill & Hill) were the primary political target of the Whitewater Special Prosecutor(s). The charge was based on suspicion of their illegal self enrichment. Hillary willingly testified before a Grand Jury. B. Clinton didn’t threaten to get rid of prosecutor. He didn’t threaten to get rid of the head of the DOJ. HE DIDNT CLAIM THE FBI was out to get him.

        Mueller’s charge was BROADER. To investigate Russia election tampering in the election and for possible collusion with the Trump CAMPAIGN. And to report on any other irregularities that became apparent DURING the investigation.

        Here’s the original letter to Mueller. Read the language. Particularly the “any matters” that may arise from the investigation. And show me where Mueller has deviated from his authority.

      • April 13, 2018 8:35 am

        Mueller has noted that Trump is a subject. As you are an idiot that is proof that there is no obstruction. The moment Mueller decides that anything Trump has done MIGHT constitute obstruction he must not merely treat Trump as a target, but he must tell him so.

        This however should not be surprising, the obstruction matter has been beaten to death.
        The federal law on obstruction does not support the claim – not even if Trump was not president and had no power to direct Comey.

        The FACT that he was president and had the constitutional power to direct Comey absolutely means there can not be any obstruction.

        The left constantly makes this mistake regarding Trump.
        Any action that another president would be constitutionally authorized to do, and would be legal if he did, must also be legal for trump.

        By asserting obstruction – you prove conclusively that you are deeply biased, live in a bubble and lawless. The law must be the same for all of us, or we are lawless.

        Pres. Obama publicly stated early in the Clinton Email investigation that she had not committed a crime. That was a stupid remark, but it was not obstruction.
        There is ZERO difference between that remark and the remark regarding Flynn.

        Firing Comey was not obstruction – the president can fire whoever he wants. Comey acknowledged that. Firing Comey did not stop the investigation – and Trump knew that before hand. Nor would it have been obstruction if he did.

        Further as we now know – through Comey’s firing, the FBI had pretty much nothing EXCEPT the “unverified and salacious” (quote from Comey’s May 2017 testimony) Steele Dossier.,
        There is increasingly little we do not know about the FISA Warrant, and it is increasingly self evident that it was the sole or nearly sole source for several warrants. That the FBI has even todate been able to verify little of it. Comey now makes a big deal out of Trump purportedly asking Comey to investigate the “Russian Prostitute Pee story” vigorously telling Comey it was a lie and to go out and investigate and publicly state the results of that investigation.

        Comey spin’s this as an effort the President sought to use the FBI as his private investigative service. But isn’t the real question why was the FBI using a source whose reliability it did not know to seek a warrant ? Instead of burning Trump, Comey burns himself.

        You do not seem to grasp that Law Enforcement does not just go to a judge and say “we want a warrant”. The 4th amendment requires that the officer SWEAR that probable cause – that is information from reliable sources, exists, not merely that a specific crime was committed, but that the search being conducted will provide FURTHER evidence of that. ‘
        If as an example a drug informant has been 70% reliable in the past – that is NOT sufficient to get a warrant.

        From Comey’s book we now know that he leaked to NYT the story that Trump was not being “spied on” – both a lie and a criminal leak about an ongoing investigation – and you think this man should not have been fired ?

        Whether you like it or not, what is increasing evident is that this investigation was corrupt and criminal from the begining.

        Trump’s mistake was not in firing Comey – but everyone associated with it – and particularly the Steele Dossier, form the begining.

        You complain that Trump is Tyranical and authoritarian. But as numerous people have pointed out as President Trump has NOT acted nearly as aggressively as he should have.
        Rather than Talk to Comey about investigating the “Pee” claim. He should have ordered that DOJ/FBI individually attempt to verify each claim in the Steele Dossier and publicly report on them.

        Even now he should ORDER DOJ/FBI to cooperate with congress.

        Rosenstein, Wray, McCabe, Strzok, Comey, and numerous others have had access to the unredacted FISA warrant application from day one. Rep’s Nune’s and Gowdy of the HPSCI are not permitted to see the entire unredacted application. Each of the above people have sworn to uphold the constittution. Each has a top Secret Security clearance.
        There are a few recognized priviledges that allow the executive to bar the release of information to congress. National Security can only be used to prevent those with no need to know and no security clearance from access to information. DOJ/FBI are not allowed to decide what their congressional overseers “need to know” and they have clearances.

        Except that this digging of heels in and failing to provide congress with subpeona’s information was the pattern during the Obama administration – by mostly the same people. it would be highly unusual. As more and more has gotten out, it is evident that FBI/DOJ are not protecting the country, they are protecting themselves. FBI/DOJ are not even under the control of their own leaders. Sessions has repeatedly ordered that the requested materials be turned over to congress and that redations be minimized. Wray has doubled the staff dealing with the release of infomation, and promised Congress that materials would be turned over quickly – and yet over 3 months, with something like 100 people working on producing for congress only about 1000 pages have been turned over – that is something like 10 man days per page.

        There is definitely obstruction of justice – but it is not Trump

      • April 13, 2018 8:45 am

        Hillary was never the Target of Starr’s investigations.

        Starr has written that he had more than enough evidence to indict Hillary on multiple issues that he was investigating.

        Starr has made clear that congress authorized him to investigate the president.
        That his actions with others were solely in furtherance of investigating the president.
        That unrelated crimes, or crimes that did not involve the president were not his business.

        Actually Clinton did try to get Rid of Starr – the case went to SCOTUS.
        I would note that SCALIA in one of his most famous dissents felt the IC was unconstitutional.
        Regardless SCOTUS prevented Clinton from getting rid of Starr.
        Hillary was subpoened to testify – she did not do so willingly.

        Starr was appointed by and under the control of Congress – No one but Congress had the power to remove him.

        The IC law and the SC law are completely different.

        Part of what I am recommending is that the IC law be revived – because for all the IC law flaws the SC law is proving worse. Instead of having congress responsible and accountable for whatever the IC is authorized, we have a single person – Rosenstein, who is accountable to no one, effectively can not be fired, near certainly will lose his job the moment this is over – so he has ever reason to draw this out forever, and his himself heavily involved in highly questionable and probably criminal actions at the start of this.

      • April 13, 2018 9:02 am

        No one disagrees that Mueller’s charge was board.

        Please read the SC Law – Mueller’s charge was overly broad.

        The SC Law is SOLELY about investigating Crimes where DOJ/FBI have a serious conflict.

        Mueller’s charge does not identify any crime – despite the law clearly requiring that the SC be appointed to investigate a Crime.

        Muellers charge is fundimentally a counter intelligence investigation.
        There is not and can never be a conflict of interests in a counter-intelligence investigation.
        Further there is a constitutionally required wall between counter-intelligence and criminal investigations in the FBI. No one is permitted to do both. Counter-intelligence has completely different and much more relaxed rules. Warrants as an example are ONLY needed when those being searched or surveiled as US persons.

        You continuously fixate on irrelevant points that no one is arguing.

        An investigation that uncovers another crime does nto ever just ignore that other crime.

        If that other crime is germain to the main thrust of the investigation, then they seek authorization to pursue it. If not it is turned over to others to pursue.

        Starr was assigned by congress additional areas of inquiry – most often because CONGRESS added those to his responsibilities, but occasionally because he uncovered something and asked congress for further authority.

        The Papadoulis investigation is the only thing involving both the campaign and Russia (albeit “fake russians”). And it has no conflict and should have been returned to DOJ

        There is no conflict Regarding Flynn and it has nothing to do with the campaign it should have been returned to DOJ.

        The IRA investigation does nto involve the Trump campaign and has not conflict, further it is really a counter intelligence investigation. It should have been turned over to others.

        There is no conflict Regarding Manefort/Gates and it has nothing to do with either the campaign, or Russia. it should be turned over to DOJ.

        It appears that whatever Mueller seems to think there is with respect to Cohen, he has properly turned it over to DOJ where is it being handled by SDNYC.

        While there are serious questions here – there is no crime and no justification for violating priviledge, atleast it is only marginally tainted by Mueller.

      • April 13, 2018 9:03 am

        Read the SC law, you can not by memo create authority exceeding that authorized by the law.

      • April 12, 2018 5:39 pm

        Whitewater is a generic name for a series of investigation by Congressionally Appointed independent Council Ken Starr.

        First- the IC was under and supervised by congress.
        The probes of Clinton demonstrated alot of problems with the IC act and it was not removed.
        What we are now finding is that the SC law is worse and even more prone to abuse.

        With respect to Starr – he was authorized by congress to engage in specific investigations.
        Either when he encountered or congress dictated a different topic of investigation, there was specific request to congress, a review of the basis and congressional authorization to persue a new area.

        We have absolutely nothing like that with Mueller. We learn that he has chased off in a new direction when he indicts someone or raids someone.

        At best he is secretly accountable to one man – Rosenstein, who is atleast a potential witness and arguably a potential target as he signed off on atleast one FISA warrant and that warrant appears to present a fraud to the court.

        Inarguably Rosenstein has an interest in the outcome of the investigation now.

        As I noted Starr was answerable to congress, and congress was answerable to voters.
        Voters put Republicans back in control of the house 3 times during the Starr investigation.

        Next Congressional investigations have more breadth than criminal investigations.

        Next – actually yes, Starr closed investigations when he found nothing – in fact he also dropped investigations when he found guilt, as long as it was not the President. He viewed the role of the IC as investigating misconduct by the President – not the first lady or everyone near the president.
        Starr has noted several times that there was plenty of evidence to convict Hillary in several of his investigations. He just did not think it was appropriate to indict the First lady.

        The investigation regarding Lewinsky was to determine if Clinton had lied under oath in a deposition in the Paula Jones case.
        That has been pretty firmly established as true. Clinton ultimately paid large fines, and surrendered his bar license as a consequence of lying.
        It was the primary reason he was impeached.

        Yes, I think the president lying under oath is a very big deal.

        HOWEVER, I think that the SCOTUS decision allowing the Jones case to proceed while Clinton was president was WRONG.

        AND I said that at the time.

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2018 4:27 pm

        “In ‘real life,’ investigations are closed only when their original predication is disproved or when they’ve reached an investigative dead end and can go no further” — important read at:

      • April 12, 2018 5:03 pm

        I want this investigation to come to a conclusion. After 15+ months, there should be something that ties him to Russian collusion. Even the college shoe bribery investigation has produced charges against coaches that allegedly took bribes. If he has not found anything to do with collusion, how long should we pay him to look for other things that have no relationship to collusion.

        Mueller was appointed to investigate collusion. The FBI investigates other crimes. Why are we paying Mueller to investigate sex payoffs and other issues when he cant find collusion? TO INSURE A DEMOCRAT HOUSE IN 2018!

      • April 12, 2018 6:23 pm

        I am less concerned about “concluding” this than establishing a justification for it.

        Mueller needs to be assigned a clear specific crime to investigate, and he has to justify expanding the investigation by asserting that he has uncovered another clear specific crime, and seeking approval to proceed on that.
        That approval needs to come from people who are not conflicted, and ideally expansions should be done publicly as with Starr.

        There is a valid basis for investigating Russian actions during the election.
        But that is counter intelligence investigation, and should be done by DOJ/FBI.
        The purpose of that is not to identify crimes but to identify what Russia was up to and what if anything should be done.

        As best as I can tell all the campaign related stuff has dead ended.

        One of the reasons that real oversite needs to occur is because this can not be a “get Trump by whatever means necescary” investigation.

        Those authorizing expanding the investigation need to be answerable to someone.
        They are not.
        Congress is answerable to the public.
        Move this to congress.

      • April 12, 2018 6:00 pm

        Firing Rosenstein is not about “saving Trump”

        It is about getting rid of somebody who has growing ethical problems and should have recused himself.

        I think McCarthy has recently noted that Sessions far too broadly recused himself and should partially rescind that recusal.

        Conversely given that the Steele Dossier is the foundation of this and that the conduct of the DOJ/FBI regarding the Steele Dossier is dubious and possibly criminal and that Rosenstein is strongly tied to the handling of the Steele Dossier, he has much more significant grounds to recuse than Sessions ever had.
        Failure to recuse is a justification for termination

        The recent raid on Cohen raises a number of questions.
        Maybe we will get some answers soon, but it is hard to tell.

        We do not have the warrant – so we do not know the crime alleged or what was searched for – or at best we have rumours.

        There is lots of screathing about attroney client priviledge and Crime Fraud exceptions.
        These questions need answered.

        Knowing what Crime was alleged and what was being searched for would greatly help.

        As batty as Cohen seems to be, there is no self evident crime in what is known publicly about his conduct.

        The Daniels and enquirer stories are news, they are not crimes.

        IF another non-crime is being chased – then this is entirely out of control.

        Further it appears that Mueller is only tangentially involved – but there are rumors otherwise.
        the SDNYC US attorney has recused himself because of a very attentuated connection to Cohen – Rosenstein should take note and remove himself from all of this.

        We do not actually know that the SDNYC is seeking to breach attorney client privilege.
        I am highly suspicious that they have not.
        Regardless the normal “taint team” is not sufficient in this instance. A judge should be appointed to determine what seized material the SDNYC is provided from Cohen.

        I would note that according to Polls Trump received a several point positive bump from this, and public opinion of the Mueller investigation has shifted negative by something like 14 points with a majority now questioning Mueller’s integrity.

        I am surprised by this.

        Congress was debating legislation to protect Mueller and Rosenstein from firing.
        That is a mistake. They are not getting fired absent stronger evidence of misconduct than we have now.

        Further though I did not read your atlantic article, firing either will not end this. It will make it take longer.

        If Congress wishes to do something they should enact a new version of the IC act and appoint Mueller as IC. That eliminates the problem and moves him to were their will be meaningful supervision by people whose political interests are in getting this right.
        Even if Democrats end up in control of the House in Nov.

  39. Jay permalink
    April 12, 2018 1:27 pm

    More Proof The Stupid SOB Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing:

    • Jay permalink
      April 12, 2018 1:31 pm

      “President Trump has instructed top administration officials to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact he pulled the U.S. out of last year.

      Speaking after a trade meeting with Trump, Republican senators said the president told National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into re-joining the negotiations.”

      • April 12, 2018 1:35 pm

        Jay, my 1:34 comment was meant for your two postings.

    • April 12, 2018 1:34 pm

      So whats wrong with that? Didn’t like the original treaty, dropped out, now tells his staff, go back and see if we can negotiate something better that will help the country.

      Have you never gone to a car dealer, had them give you one price, you say no, you leave, only to have them call and you meet again and reach a deal? Or were you the one that took the crappy deal to begin with?

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2018 3:07 pm

        No, Ron, I don’t think your car analogy works.
        What changed in Trump’s dumb decision to walk away from TPP was the his equally dumb China tariff move, which blew up in his face with China’s counter threat on US farm products – reopening TPP is to assuage the anger coming at him from his farmer base after he told them they might have to bear some pain for the clumsy tariff move.

        This fool doesn’t have a clue how to oversee the economy.

    • April 12, 2018 1:42 pm

      How does this demonstrate what you claim it does ?

      Trump is historically famous for walking away from deals and returning to them later – when he can use them to strike and even better deal.

      We do not actually know what happened – Frum is reporting hearsay. Sasse is capable of confirming what was said.
      But what does it matter ?

      I think Trump was wise to walk away from TPP.

      Further Trump has been prone to negotiate bilateral rather than mulilatteral deals – and there are very good reasons that is a batter approach.

      But is there some reason to whig out because Trump is now willing to talk about TPP again ?

      Is there some reason you think he is just going to dig the same deal he railed about ?

      Or do you think maybe he is going to negotiate a TPP that he likes better ?

      You constantly fixate on labels rather than substance.

      You do this with anything with “russia” in it too.

      What is done matters, not what is said, or what it is called.

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2018 3:37 pm

        “Trump is historically famous for walking away from deals and returning to them later – when he can use them to strike and even better deal.”

        Yeah, like his walk away from his NJ Casino deals, leaving investors and union workers to suffer the outcome of those bankruptcies. But you’re right, he did get a better deal – for himself.

        He walked away from his NYC to DC Shuttle Airline business too, after defaulting on that loan,, which forced him to sell off his $29 million yacht in partial restitution.

        And how did the Trump Travel business deals work out for him, Dave? And Trump Vodka? Did he walk away from those for better deals later? And what about that $25 million Trump U settlement payoff this week? Is he going to hold off on that for a better deal?

        He’s a notorious bad fuck up investment for anyone involved with his business. The thief con artist does OK for himself, the participants get screwed. That’s what’s gonna happen with the tariff threats (which probably won’t be finalized) – The Trump family will be buying back depressed stocks at low prices, and profit from the bounce backs.

      • April 12, 2018 4:49 pm

        With respect to the assorted business deals you listed.

        So What ?

        Are you going to invest with Trump ? I am not.
        Did you vote for him ? I did not.

        Businesses fail – that is how life works. They fail more often than they succeed.

        There is good reason to be less trusting of people who have failed before.
        At the same time Trump has failed spectaculorly and succeeded spectacularly.

        Those in business with him are supposed to do their due diligence.

        Find me an instance were Trump created a business with the intention of causing it to fail and to profit from its bankruptcy – and I am interested – that is fraud.

        But trying failing, doing the best you can in failure, and moving on is not a crime.

        Overall, Trump started with a 35M silver spoon. He subseqnetly inhereted another 100M – but not until after he had turned the 35M into several 100M, and today he is worth about 4B according to Forbes.

        Lots of spectacular failures – but a NET of 4B.
        That is doing pretty good.

        Trump’s businesses are not for the feint of heart. They are not for me. they are not for you.

        As to Trump U, first you tell me during the election he is ripping people off.
        Now you are telling me they are getting 25M from him.

        You are telling me that he went bankrupt and had to sell his Yacht.
        Yup – that is what happens when you go bankrupt.

      • April 12, 2018 4:54 pm

        “He’s a notorious bad fuck up investment for anyone involved with his business. The thief con artist does OK for himself, the participants get screwed. ”

        Trump was very wealthy (and arrogant) in the early 80’s the first time I encountered him.
        That was a long time ago.

        Since then he has made good and bad deals and the sum of the good and the bad puts him 4B ahead.

        Those who invest with him are not poor people, and they are not stupid people.
        They know or should know what they are getting into.

        Many of them get significantly richer.
        Some of them lose there investment.
        That is how high risk high reward investing works.

        It is not conning someone to sell them on a risky investment.

        It is self evident that if Trump did not succeed much more than he failed he would not be president.

  40. Jay permalink
    April 12, 2018 5:07 pm

    First hand impression of Mueller’s professionalism and integrity… and persistence

    • April 12, 2018 6:36 pm

      What one man thinks is beside the point. The issue is “When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Bob Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian election interference”.

      WHF has he found so far? Are you telling me that after 21 months they don’t have enough to hang Trump for Russian collusion? How long does it go on? Why do they need a SC to find 30+ instances where Manaford and Gates laundered money? Is that not what the FBI is for and if they believe Manaford had laundered millions, would they not have investigated? Is sex with a Hollywood bimbo a crime? Is paying them to be quiet a crime if no other crimes were committed, like Cosby’s rapes?

      Give me something after 21 months of the FBI (July 2016) and later Mueller (May 2017) investigating this issue that has been found to indicate Russian Collusion. That is the issue. That is what they are being paid for. That is what they charged to find. Period!

      Even the FBI did not use these tactics on Capone to finally lock him away. It was the Treasury department in a completely separate government investigation that got him for tax evasion. But it was the actual department doing it, not some special investigator that thought he was god and everyone bowed to his demands.

      This is political, will not stop until the elections so the House flips and then impeachment begins. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2018 8:09 pm

        Trump isn’t the only possible target of collusion with the Russians.

        There has been lots of informed speculation that other members of the Trump team (his son in law for example) may be charged. Nor do we know if Flynn agreed to testify about election collusion for reduced charges of only lying.are you suggesting he doesn’t have authority to follow leads to other members of the Trump administration?

        And of course Mueller HAS indicted 13 Russians for trolling social media to sow discord among the American electorate, and is investigating other Russians: charges could include violations of laws on conspiracy, election law and Computer Fraud.
        You want him to forget about that too?

        I thought you wanted Trump out of the presidency. You prefer Dunce Donnie over Pence?

      • April 12, 2018 8:41 pm

        “I thought you wanted Trump out of the presidency. You prefer Dunce Donnie over Pence?”

        What I want is what is best for the country. What I dont want is this to be drawn out to the election so the democrats take control and then Mueller announces he is finished and although, as everyone knew before he started due to congressional investigations , the Russians did interfere with our election, but there is no evidence Trump was involved. Then the House spends the next 18 months in impeachment investigations to insure a left of Obama candidate is elected president.

        That insures more PPACA’s, more government regulations, more unbalanced climate accords like Paris that put us at a disadvantage, while allowing China to grow its CO2, output even though they are the largest polluter and SCOTUS decisions that infringes on rights of the majority for excessive rights for the minorities (ie bakers refusing to decorate cakes for gays).

        So we will see what happens. Something soon or something around the election.

      • April 13, 2018 9:34 am

        “Informed speculation” – no just speculation.

        We are 21 months in and there is NOTHING tying the Trump campaign to Russia.
        Each of the few tiny leads as fizzled.

        There are more and cleared connections between the Clinton’s and Russia than Trump or his family.

        The speculation on Flynn is that he may be backing out of the plea deal because there was prosecutorial misconduct.

        You can find some talking head somewhere that claims to have some source that speculates some nonsense.

        There is a reason that in the real world we deal with facts, evidence, law, logic, reason – not rampant stupid speculation.

        BTW McCarthy and York have done an excellent job regarding the assorted pleas.

        DOJ guidelines REQUIRE a prosecutor – especially with a cooperating witness to plead to the highest charge they beleive they can prove. The “deal” is with regard to sentencing.

        There are very very significant reasons for this. Among others that pleading down creates an expectation in others and radically dimminishes the impetus for cooperation.

        In the real world it is very hard for a prosecutor to successfully re-instate and prosecute more significant charges after a plea deal.
        Among other reasons because there are massive fifth amendment and double jeophardy problems.

        If as an example Flynn is “cooperating” and has provided Mueller with additional evidence of crimes that Flynn committed – then Mueller will not be able to use that evidence and probably can no longer prosecute that crime.

        Rather than shows of strength. Muellers significant reduction in plea agreements show the weakness in his case and his desire to get a notch – any notch on his belt.

        You can continue to dream that there is massive cooperation with Mueller – that of course requires that these people actually have something to tell.

        You fail to grasp that your entire – Mueller has stuff we do not know presupposes that a crime was actually committed and that the evidence just has not been uncovered.

        What is increasingly evident to most, is that there is no evidence because there never was a crime.

        Trump Jr. would not have met Natalia if there was already a back channel to Russia.

        The facts that we actually know are NOT consistent with Trump/Russia collusion.

        Most people are starting to grasp that.

      • April 13, 2018 9:45 am

        Contra Mueller “Trolling social media” is not a crime – not even if you are russian.
        Nor is “sowing discord among the american electorate” – left wing nuts do that all the time.

        There is no standalone “conspiracy” crime.

        Conspiracy is ALWAYS conspircy to commit a different crime.
        Just as money laundering is ALWAYS concealing the source of the proceeds of another crime.

        Most of what you are hoping for is impossible.

        One of the things Brinley – one of the people who designed the backend of the NSA surveilance system noted was that NSA has all the data necescary to prove – if they are provable all the claims the left is making.

        The NSA has atleast the metadata on Anyone in this country – not just the trump campaign communicating with Russians in anyway.

        Normally the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

        While at the NSA Brinley analysed the NSA captured data on 9/11 AFTER the attacks occured,
        and found plenty of evidence of the entire conspiracy – not only that bur numerous other failed efforts that were part of the same plan – all that within 2 months of 9/11.

        He was forced into retirement because of that and his work burried. Because it made NSA look incompetent.

        Regardless, he notes that if Trump conspired with Russia, the NSA can conclusively prove it.
        Despite Brennan’s musing, that proof has never materialize – because it does nto exist.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 8:52 am

        Ron: “as everyone knew before he started due to congressional investigations , the Russians did interfere with our election, but there is no evidence Trump was involved. Then the House spends the next 18 months in impeachment investigation…”

        But other clear evidence that he deserves to be impeached.
        Does he resign? Does Pense pardon him? Who runs for Republican Prez after that? Do we get a reasonable candidate from either party?

      • April 13, 2018 10:02 am

        “But other clear evidence that he deserves to be impeached.”

        Only to those on the left.

        As this procedes what I see is more and more evidence that the FBI. DOJ, NSA, CIA, ….
        All need house cleaned.
        That a significant number of people at the top of government for years need jailed.
        And that Obama probably should have been impeached.

        I do not like Trump. But I see no reason to impeach him.

        I do not think dems will retake the house,
        but if they do, I will bet you they do not impeach.

        And No I do not want president Pence – not at all.

      • April 13, 2018 10:03 am

        “Do we get a reasonable candidate from either party?”


        We got the candidates people voted for.

      • April 13, 2018 11:14 am

        1 No
        2. No
        3. Probably a far right conservative that will promote controlling individual’s social issue personal decisions.
        4. April 1 has passed. Anyone who believes that is a fool.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 12, 2018 6:46 pm

      Thanks, Jay. Good article about a good guy
      The quibbillers will now expend 10000 words knocking him. They like their heroes crooked and loud.

      • April 13, 2018 9:12 am

        Mueller has been deeply involved in almost every botched FBI investigation since the early 80’s.

        That is your idea of a good guy ?

        At the very time the author of the NYT peice was briefing Mueller, Mueller was (mis) leading the post 9/11 anthrax investigation. The FBI hounded TWO different INNOCENT americans for years – one to suicide.

        The NAS investigation – which Mueller personally burried, found that the FBI botch the science on the Anthrax erroneously concluding it came from Fort Dietrich when it is near certain the Antrax letters were an Al Qeda operation.

        Nor is this the only botched Mueller investigation.

        The FBI has been sued and lost 10’s of millions in judgements for investigations run by Mueller.

        The Richard Jewel cockup was Mueller,
        The Whitey Bulgar coverup was Mueller.

        Many of these also involve Comey.
        The Bulgar coverup involved Weinstein.

        It is now suspected that the FBI (Mueller) was actually protecting Bulgar – despite listing him on the most wanted list for decades.

        This is your idea of a good and competent man ?

        What passes for integrity to those on the left is very troubling.

        By these standards, Trump should be Pope.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 1:51 pm

        Mortem Tyranni

      • April 13, 2018 2:29 pm

        So you want Mueller dead ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 2:56 pm

        Your problem: you’re blind to who is good and who is bad.
        You need a seeing eye dog, because history is about to crash down on your head.

      • April 13, 2018 3:27 pm

        “Your problem: you’re blind to who is good and who is bad.
        You need a seeing eye dog, because history is about to crash down on your head.”

        You make my point.

        It is irrelevant who you or I think is good,

        As keeps getting noted government investigates crimes – ACTS, not people.

        You are a criminal and subject to government sanctions because you have commited a violent ACT, It is irrelevant whether you are a “good person”

        You can make choices about who is good or bad with your vote.

        You may not use force to sanction people because you think they are “bad”.

        There is plenty of evidence that purportedly “bad people” are quite good for the world – given they are properly constrained.

        Government constrains their tendency to violence.

        There is massive economic evidence that so long as you are obligated to abide by the coire of the law – constrained from violence, obligated to keep agreements and required to make whole any you harm that you will ultimately be unable to do bad things – and that efforts to do so will result in good rather than harm.

        I think Trump is a bad person.
        I also think that Comey and Mueller are different kinds of bad person. I think McCabe is a third kind of bad person.
        I think Manafort is a bad person.

        I think that Flynn is likely a good person.

        But those assessments do not matter in the context of law and government.

        What does matter is what they have done.

        It is self evident that the investigation of Trump was criminally and politically corrupt.
        Those involved are criminals – whether they are good people or not.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 6:49 pm

        “It is self evident that the investigation of Trump was criminally and politically corrupt.”

        Your Haloperidol dosage out of whack again?

      • April 13, 2018 7:50 pm

        If the government receives and allegation of criminal conduct, I expect it to investigate.

        But that investigation is severely constitutionally limited – until law enforcement establishes that there is probable cause that a specific crime has been committed AND is barred from searches and seizures until law enforcement is prepare to SWEAR that such probable cause exists.

        I believe I noted that an informant that is right 70% of the time is NOT for the purposes of a warrant reliable.
        Nor is information that is true only in the broadest sense – as an example there as specific allegations against Carter Page in the Steele Dossier. As specific allegations each is false.
        The fact that Carter page did travel to Russia and did meet a Russian does not make specific claims that are wrong credible as general claims.

        Further general claims are NOT sufficient for a warrant.

        All of the above is pretty standard constitutional law.

        The claims in the Steele Dossier have not to this date been verified – regardless of the claims of some on the left otherwise. Further Comey specifically testified in May 2017 that the Steele Dossier was salacious and unverified – at the time of his testimony it was the core to at least 3 and possibly significantly more FISA warrants against Carter Page – and apparently now we find against Manafort.
        Subsequently McCabe has testified that without the Steele Dossier their would have been no warrants. That is also the fining of the Nunes memo.

        Accepting that Comey did not lie to the Senate, that McCabe did not lie to the Senate and House, the ONLY alternative is that everyone who SWORE out the FISA Warrants was knowingly swearing falsely.

        That is a criminal abuse of power.

        I would remind you that Mueller is prosecuting Zander, Papadoulis, and Flynn for UNSWORN mis-statements to FBI investigators

        SWEARING that the information in a Warrant is verified and credible when you know or should know and are required to know that you are wrong is a significantly more serious crime.

        It is quite literally what Nixon tried to do – Use the IRS and FBI against political enemies.

        You can not lock that, but it is still true – self evident.

        Every fact above is true – and most come from the sworn testimony of the people that SWORE the FISA Warrant.
        In otherwords they not I have implicated themselves –

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 8:44 pm

        Many of the claims in the Steele Dossier have been verified. Why do you keep distorting the truth?

        The dossier claimed Carter Page held secret meetings in Moscow with Igor Sechin, a Putin ally who is the head of Rosneft. Page vehemently denied it but in November the House Intelligence Committee released a transcript of Page’s congressional testimony, revealing he had in fact met with other Rosneft officials, including Sechin’s subordinate.

        The dossier said the Russians targeted educated and swing voters with fake news to cultivate anger againstHillary Clinton, also substantiated by congressional investigations into Russia’s misinformation campaigns during the election.

        Now this! Steele’s Dossier said Trump’s lawyer Cohen worked as an intermediary between Trump and Russia, and specifically that he traveled to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin associates. Cohen denied it with passport photos to show he had never traveled to meet with Russian officials – Trump defenders use this as proof the Dossier is nonsense. But today the news media is reporting this:

        “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, around the time a British spy says Cohen met with a Kremlin official there to discuss Russian interference in the U.S. election, sources have told McClatchy. Cohen, pictured on April 11, 2018, has vehemently denied ever visiting Prague.” (Mary Altaffer AP)

        Even the salacious pee pee charge (which Steele noted as unlikely) now seems more probable, after the Stormy SpankMe revelation, and denial by Trump he wasn’t at the hotel that night (also proved a false denial from testimony by his bodyguards).

        What’s going to convince you? Seized Cohen tapes of Trump describing the urine dripping prostitutes? Probably not – you’ll dismiss it as more locker talk.

      • April 14, 2018 11:15 am

        You are absolutely correct that Page has denied every meeting from the Steele Dossier.
        He has done so under oath – repeatedly.

        Mueller has indicted and prosecuted people for minor errors of timing in interviews with the FBI.
        Why do you beleive that evidence exists that Page lied under oath and yet Mueller is completely ignoring it ?

        No the Daniels story does nto confirm the dossier pee story – if anything it refutes it

        If Trump is into spanking that is a strong indicator he is NOT unit uralognia.

        What will convince me is actual evidence – not rumours, unnamed sources.

        I would not the IG report on McCabe was just release.

        There we have absolute proof of lying under oath.
        Further McCabe is no publicly accusing Comey of lying.

      • April 13, 2018 7:54 pm

        I take no prescription medication of any kind.

        I have had friends or people I helped that were actual psychotics. I am not, nor even close.

        Yes, I know you are joking – but it is a stupid joke that reflects badly on you.

        Further as noted before – what is true, is true, regardles of whether uttered by Hitler or Mao, or a psychotic or ….

        Focus on the facts and logic, not your poor skills at amateur over the internet psychiatry.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2018 9:39 pm

        You should consider trying Haloperidol. It’s helpful for treating a symptom you need to control. Involuntary vocalization.

      • April 14, 2018 11:20 am

        You should try checking your facts before posting.

    • April 12, 2018 6:52 pm

      You are aware that Mueller chased the Anthrax investigation down a rabit hole at precisely the time frame this person is saying how much integrity and attention to detail Mueller was paying.

      It was painfully obvious to many of us that the FBI almost certainly had the wrong person fairly early on. There were too many details that did not fit.

      But Mueller’s (and Comey) FBI relentlessly hounded two different innocent men and as I recall drove one to suicide. The NAS actually investigated the FBI investigation and found that it was deeply flawed.

      Further Both Mueller and Comey were involved in the disasterous hounding of Richard Jewell, who not only turned out to be innocent but actually a hero.

      Mueller was heavily involved in the post 9/11 illegal roundup and detention (and in some cases torture) of US muslims

      There are court findings that Mueller was personally involved in the Bush Torture operation

      Mueller was involved in the Whitey Bulgar Mob Boss case from very early in his career with the FBI. Bulgar was only aprehened just as Mueller was leaving the FBI despite being one of the most wanted fugatives in the US for over a decade.

      After leaving Boston Mueller botched the Hell’s Angel’s case in San Francisco – twice.

      There are allegations that the FBI and specifically Mueller were secretly protecting Bulger – who died before spilling his guts.

      BTW Andrew Weisman is tied to some of this.

      Mueller was director during the infamous FBI frameup of Ted Stevens – where despite lying under oath, fabricating evidence and hiding exculpatory evidence resulted in no negative consequences for anyone in the FBI – Except Agent Chad Joy the one who came forward to report the misconduct.

  41. Anonymous permalink
    April 12, 2018 7:38 pm

    “Since then he has made good and bad deals and the sum of the good and the bad puts him 4B ahead.“

    Numerous economists have calculated that he would have more than that amount if he simply invested his original inheritance in index funds.

    • April 13, 2018 9:17 am

      You do not seem to grasp that an economist and say an MBA are radically different fields.

      Like the difference between an astronomer and a structural engineer.

      Economists examine the performance of systems. They do not examine the performance of individuals or companies.

      You can BTW perform the same analysis of most anyone wealthy.

      Another factor you completely miss is that

      The stock market rises BECAUSE people engage in risky productive behavior.

      Absent the Trump’s Gates, Oprah’s Buffet’s etc – the stock market does not go up.

  42. dduck12 permalink
    April 12, 2018 10:36 pm

    Nah, if he invested in index funds, he would not have had all the tax evasion strategies, business “expenses”, depreciation, like property exchanges, etc., that RE speculation affords. Especially good for a bald faced conniver, with no moral ethics. Plus he got to have fun. You can’t get that with an index fund.
    Face it, the tax code favors “wise” guys and their lawyers and RE is the best.
    Well, except when you can sell 87 million people’s private info. And that is just FB.
    Google probably knows when I had my last b—- movement and sold (ah, the small print allows it) the info to the toilet paper advertisers.

    • Jay permalink
      April 13, 2018 8:39 am


    • April 13, 2018 9:58 am

      Pass a flat tax with ZERO deductions.

      I tire of this garbage.

      No one gets rich from tax evasion – you have to make wealth to commit tax evasion.

      It is possible for a very small portion of people to become rich by “cheating”
      But only a very small portion.
      Because wealth is created, and if no one is creating wealth there is nothing to steal.
      Standard of living rises because we produce more value.
      You can not make standard of living rise by cheating. or re-arranging.

      The tax code can play favorites all you want – that will not increase the actual wealth or standard of living of the country.
      And no one can get rich gaming the tax code.

      With respect to FB – you gave them your info. You agreed to let them sell it.
      FB knows nothing about you that you did not tell them.

      I would further note that neither CA nor anyone else is interested in your information UNLESS you are likely to care about something they offer.

      I am not aware of any claim by any of the 10’s of millions of people that as a result of FB information sales they were FORCED to vote for Obama or Trump.

      Do you think that Obama gathered up information on millions of Romney voters ?
      The Obama people claimed that as a result of their Social Media savy they felt confident they had personal information on every single person who voted for Obama.

      CA gathered information of people likely to vote for Trump.

      None of the people after personal data care about the data of people who will not buy from them.
      They go to a great deal of effort to try to NOT pay for useless infromation.

      No one is buying all the FB data on everyone.

      You are free to quit using FB or google – I no longer use Google, and I have never used FB as more than a user ID validation system for other blogs.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 13, 2018 5:43 pm

        I “am free to quit FB”. Well you pious putz, I never used them at all.

      • April 13, 2018 7:31 pm

        “I “am free to quit FB”. Well you pious putz, I never used them at all.”

        Good for you.

        BTW make up your mind – I can not be both arrogant and pious.

        Given that you do not use FB, can I presume that you are not going to demand that government step in and impose your will on existing FB users ?

  43. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2018 9:27 am

    • April 13, 2018 10:52 am

      An interesting and good explanation of how we got Trump/

      “Because if Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney and people like this are the worst politicians, then you deserve Trump.”

      The fact is you are not rational.

      You claim to want Pence right now – Bunk!

      If Pence or Bush, or Rubio, or Paul, or …. had been elected – you would still be calling them the worst humans who ever walked the face of the earth.

      Your specific words would be different.

      When you paint everyone as an extremists no one is – except you.

    • April 13, 2018 12:33 pm

      There is much media discusson of this.

      It is very hard to tell if it is fake news or real.

      Nothing through normal channels suggests that a Libby pardon is in the offing.
      But Trump does not always act through normal channels.

      Personally, I think that Trump should Pardon Libby.
      There is little to distinguish Libby from Flynn.
      Libby made an inaccurate remark to the FBI.
      Libby had nothing to do with what was being investigated.
      The sole purpose of prosecuting Libby was to leverage him to turn on Chenney.
      Despite the fact that Chenney was not the “leak”, and the fact that the leak was not a crime
      Plame was no longer an NOC – i.e. her PAST as an agent was not known. but in the present she was PUBLICLY CIA – she was never going NOC again. The law was not actually violated.

  44. April 13, 2018 11:22 am

    Stories on Sinclair result in a very unusual apologize to Sinclair

  45. April 13, 2018 12:27 pm

    This is an excellent Ken White Podcast on the first amendment.
    It follows a specific case – Stevens vs. the US – a recent free speach landmark case.

    I would note several things:
    First there is significant discussion about how laws are interpreted – narrowly or broadly and why the broad interpretations that the left seeks regarding Trump all the time are both nonsense and horribly dangerous.

    The second is that in Steven’s SCOTUS threw down the Gauntlet on speach.
    It openly said – we have a limited number of traditionally recognized exceptions to the near absolute right of free speach and we are NOT going to recognize more.

    Campaign laws that impact speach are NOT among those recognized exceptions.

    Even with precedent it hard to predict what SCOTUS will do – in issues involving Children and sex SCOTUS has often completely abandoned rock solid principles in other matters.

    There is no traditional exception to the first amendment that would cover campaign finance laws.
    It is entirely possible that SCOTUS will rule “Argh! Russia!” as it has with child sex cases.
    But if it consistently followed its own first amendment precedent, laws that would in effect bar the speach of russians on Facebook in a political campaign would be unconstitutional – for innuerable reasons.

    The US does not have global jurisdiction.
    While the US government is not obligated to defend the rights of others elsewhere in the world, most rights are NOT restricted to citizens. Free speach is a natural right – even Russians have it.
    Attempting to bar the speach of Russians even if legitimate can not avoid barring speach that is legitimate. As an example – the annonymous speach of americans is protected by the first amendment. It is not possible to distinguish between anonymous russians and anonymous americans without infringing on annymous speach.

    Though I do not think “russian influence” was significant in this election,
    it is still not something I like.

    But rights are the constraint against the govenrment and the people from criminalizing things merely because they do not like them.

    This is an incredibly important point and goes well beyond free speach.

    Jay’s arguments – an that of the left, and the efforts to broadly apply the law all fall under
    “I do not like this conduct, and therefore it must be illegal”
    That is false. Tolerance – that thing the left claims to value, means accepting that people will do and say things you do not like, and much of the time there is nothing that you can do, beyond speak out.

    I am “picking” on Jay – but that is primarily because at the moment his expression here epitomizes exactly what I am talking about. He is by far not the greatest offender, and though at the moment the left is, this problem is not unique to the left.

    My point is our law, our government can not be about what we like and do not like.
    Government must be far more constrained.

    • Jay permalink
      April 13, 2018 4:19 pm

      Coincidentally I listened to that podcast this morning.
      Ken White is brilliant and reasonable— and succinct ..
      Too bad you’re so much his opposite.

      • April 13, 2018 7:24 pm

        There is nothing White says I would disagree with.

        I would further note there is nothing in White’s podcast that is at odds with any of the things I have said that you disagree with.

        Whatever differences you might have between White and I regarding the issues of this podcast are of style rather than substance.

        As noted before Russian FB and Twitter posts are NOT among the existing exceptions to First amendment strict scrutiny.

        Anything is possible should a case actually come before SCOTUS – which is actually unlikely,
        as I noted SCOTUS looses all sense of principles whenever kids and sex are involved.
        Maybe they would back away from principles if Russians were involved.
        But if we assume they would not – laws barring “Russian influence” in our elections would be/are unconstitutional – so long as “influence” means speach or the necescities of speach.

        But I would further call your attention to Whites long discussion on statutory interpretation.
        That applies whether we are talking about the first amendment, obstruction of justice, money laundering, Federal election laws, …..

        Law is interpreted NARROWLY. If a law captures everything from erotic animal abuse fetishes to hunting videos or meat processing videos – then the law is overly broad and unconstitutional

        Just about every time someone on the left says – Trump broke some criminal law, that claim requires the very same lidicrously broad understanding of the law as the stevens case.

        If the law actually is that broad – it is unconstitutional, and if it is not – then it does nto criminalize Trump’s conduct.

        I would further point out that the broad applications of assorted laws used to try to claim Trump is a criminal ALWAYS also capture the conduct of Clinton or Obama.

        There are actual crimes Clinton committed, and some actions of Obama that require significantly greater scrutiny.

        That said Clinton’s procurement of the Steele Dossier was not a crime.
        Nor were the similar smaller, and failed efforts of Trump.

      • April 13, 2018 7:28 pm

        I am glad you like White.

        My guess is that his credibility with you is helped because he is often Critical of Trump.

        So am I though you never notice.

        White is one of the better legal bloggers on First Amendment issues.

        I was unfamiliar with Stevens. It is a great case.

        Frankly the – we are not going to keep expanding government exceptions to rights, is a position that SCOTUS should have taken more broadly possibly a century ago

        ALL Rights should be subject to strict scrutiny – with at most a small number of narrowly carved out exceptions.

  46. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2018 4:15 pm

    The Trump Kakistocracy. Priceless!

    “Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey. As the greatest Nation history has known, we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those you have so tragically deceived.”

    John O. Brennan

    • April 13, 2018 7:08 pm

      You do know that Brennan and particularly this post has become a twitter meme of the right ?

      Pretty much everyone is using it to poke fun at the left and Brennan .

  47. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2018 7:28 pm

    More Dossier Confirmation…
    “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, around the time a British spy says Cohen met with a Kremlin official there to discuss Russian interference in the U.S. election, sources have told McClatchy. Cohen, pictured on April 11, 2018, has vehemently denied ever visiting Prague.” AP

    • April 13, 2018 10:46 pm

      This appears to be promising. Guess we will get more around Feb 2019.

      • April 14, 2018 11:33 am

        When someone has a named source with actual evidence that would prove more interesting.

        This story is a retread.

        As is Jay’s Carter Page garbage.

        Carter Page has done everything possible to paint a gigantic bullseye on his back if he is lying. He is even suing the media for defamation for printing unconfirmed stories.

        Until you see Mueller actually indict Page, you should presume anything that you hear of him that conflicts with his own testimony is false.

        I would note Page is a Naval Acadamy Grad – they take the honor code very seriously.

        Alot is made of Page’s 2013 contacts with Russians.
        They approached him. He notified the FBI and worked with the FBI to investigate the Russians.

        Anything is possible, but the likelyhood of Carter Page working as a russian spy is incredibly low.

        I would further note, the people involved in this – Page, Cohen. Manafort, Trump,

        Are not “professional spies” – they would have to be incredibly lucky to have done what the Steele Dossier claims while leaving no trace.

        Jay has been watching too much TV, ordinary people even the wealthy (possibly especially the wealthy) do not have and can not easily get the stuff needed to travel without leaving a trace.

        International travel is very carefully monitored – through records are kept

        And finally ad Brinley formerly of NSA noted – the NSA has the data on exactly where all these people were, who they called, who they emailed.
        If the proof of the Steele dossier actually existed – the FBI had it long before Mueller was appointed.

      • April 14, 2018 3:06 pm

        Now why would I say “This appears to be promising. Guess we will get more around Feb 2019.” Because , like you say, there is nothing there or as Jay believes , Trump will be impeached. Whatever the outcome, it will be delayed well past the elections and promises to benefit the democrats so Pelosi can begin impeachment for ” I dont like Trump”.

      • April 14, 2018 4:08 pm

        Several legal scholars – but particularly Derschowitz have made the point that once the prosecutor targets the person rather then the crime – the outcome is a forgone conclusion.

        A lot of legal scholars are making a big deal of this SDNYC thing.

        But the argument is circular – first that the SDNYC USADA would not have done this but for a serious crime.

        Jay cites McCarthy, who pretty clearly says technical violations of campaign finances laws would NOT justify a breach of Attorney Client privilege.

        But there is some fairly strong evidence that this is exactly that – a claim that payments ot these women constitute a campaign contribution.

        The other argument advanced by the left AND others, is that once the prosecutor has access to Cohen’s records he will be able to run wild and must be able to find something.

        But that is NOT the law, and the SDNYC USADA is claiming that their search will guarantee that the actual investigators see nothing that is outside the scope of the warrant.

        i.e. If Cohen confesses to murder in some email, but the search is for monies going to Daniels that the SDNYC USADA will never see the confession to murder.

        I would be shocked if Cohen does not get charged with something.

      • April 14, 2018 4:13 pm

        I would also note that though the left and some here try to deflect on “whataboutism”.

        Most of the comparisons I make are to note that something is NOT a crime.

        But the left is playing with fire.

        Lets says that somehow they manage to get enough on Trump to impeach him.

        But whatever they come up with is less significant that Clinton’s misshandling of classified emails.

        What the right is going to see is that if you are on the left – the DOJ/FBI will break the rules and bend over backward to get you off.
        But if you are on the right, they break the rules and bend over backward to find that you did something small wrong.

        That is a VERY DANGEROUS conclusion to have nearly half the country reach.

        That is a conclusion that our government can not be trusted.

        That is essentially the same conclusion our founders reached that resulted in the american revolution.

    • April 14, 2018 11:06 am

      What you have as an anonymous source saying this. Thus far those leaks have mostly been wrong.

      Mueller is NOT saying this, someone “leaking” to the press is.

      If you follow further – not only is there no known evidence that Cohen went to Praugue which he vehmently denies, but no know evidence that the Person he purportedly met did either.

      There are no visa’s, no passport stamps, none of them are registered on commercial flights, none of them have chartered private flights, in fact there are no private flights that correspond.

      Nor is this a new story – some democratic staffers associated with the HPSCI investigation leaked this long ago.

      Belief is not proof. Cohen has been forthright about his trips to Europe – they are all documented. Flights, passports, the works.

      Expect this to die – just like all the other Louise Mensch crap.

      I have some grassy knoll stories for you too.

    • April 14, 2018 1:48 pm

      I finally found the McClatchy Story.

      That story is not particularly clear, places the trip in late august or Septemper 2016, which means it can not have anything to do with the central thesis – that Trump conspired with Russia regarding the DNC emails, as that occured BEFORE this alleged meeting.

      In fact almost everything alleged in the Steele Dossier took place AFTER the DNC email leak.

    • May 3, 2018 12:37 am

      More recently we have found that Democrats have raised 50M to continue developing the Steele Dossier – it did not stink enough first time arround.

      The Mueller has proof that Cohen was in Prauge – is Steele II Dossier Material. i.e. Fusion GPS repackaged much the same garbage as before, delivered it to Mueller and then leaked that Mueller had it to the media – to make sure the story played.

      Sending garbage to Mueller – means nothing.

      I would note that much of the Mueller garbage has gone this way.

      While I am not at all a fan of Mueller,
      at the same time many many of the so called Mueller leaks have been fizzles – never living up to their billing.

      This is likely because Simpson, Fusion GPS and th Democratic party aparatus are STILL trying to feed this garbage to Mueller.

      We have a serious problem when one political party is using the Justice department to investigate its opponents. Particularly when it is feeding them garbage.

  48. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2018 9:28 pm

    If it turned out to be true, that Trump did indeed watch prostitutes urinating, would that qualify for removal from office?

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 13, 2018 11:38 pm

      You are free to presume whatever you want, I don’t care what you assume.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 13, 2018 11:49 pm

      I don’t think Trump wanted to witness this alleged activity, I think he is too prissy. And if he did, so what, only the chambermaid was harmed by the extra work needed cleaning up. I also see no harm in him asking Comey to look into the matter.
      Come on guys, we need a criminal act not salacious stuff fit for the The Enquirer.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2018 11:16 am

        Here’s what appears to be criminal acts under investigation … if McCarthy saysTrump should worry about it, where is Tourette Dave’s response?

      • April 14, 2018 11:56 am

        Give McCarthy time, he has yet to figure out that in all of what he has described as having possibly happened – there is no crime.

        It is not a crime to buy and bury a story – it rarely works very well, but the Clinton’s did it in 1992.

        It does not matter whether Cohen acted alone, or whether he worked with Trump.

        A conspiracy to do something legal is still legal.

        The closest thing to a “crime” is the alleged threat of implied harm to Daniels daughter.
        We do not know that actually occurred, we do not know who did it if it did.
        We do not know that what is claimed to have been said is what was actually said – and the difference between protected speach and criminal threat depends heavily on the precise words used.

        All the rest is pointless.

        At the start McCarthy notes – that if the prosecutor is trying to stretch some claims of campaign finance violations into a crime, the problem lies with the prosecutor.

        We do not as of yet know exactly what crime was alleged.

        There is a battle of Briefs with Cohen and the SDNYC over this, so clues leak out – the actual crime is redacted unfortunately.

        But the indications are that the allegation is with respect to Cohen alone – not Trump or clients.

        I do not actually trust the prosecutors to NOT do something improper. Not because they are prosecuting Trump, but unlike MCarthy I do not have inherently high regard for the ethics and integrity of prosecutors and law enforcement.

        That said if SDNYC is actually following the procedures outlined in their response to Cohen’s demand that all seized materials be turned over to his attorney or to a specially appointed master, then it looks strongly like they are after Cohen and only Cohen, and they are seeking to protect Priviledge. There is very little – if anything in their response about Crime Fraud exceptions.

      • April 14, 2018 11:39 am

        I have no memorized everything regarding this particular incident.

        I beleive that Trump actually was in Moscow at the time.

        I beleive that the ACTUAL story – one that has ACTUALLY been confirmed, is that some prominent Russian made an offer of a room and prostitutes to one of Trump’s security people and they declined. Trump was not told the offer, and never went to that hotel.

    • April 14, 2018 11:19 am

      “If it turned out to be true, that Trump did indeed watch prostitutes urinating, would that qualify for removal from office?”

      Congress can impeach for any reason they please.

      It would not however significantly effect my view of Trump.
      Though it probably would effect that of others.

      Urolagnia is a fetish, that is all.
      Just as erotic spankings,.
      Cross Dressing,

      It would likely undercut his support on the right.

      But if the left were not hypocritical out the wahzoo it would increase his support amoung them.

      Or do you think that some fetish’s are dissgusting and others are not ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2018 3:48 pm

        Of course I think some fetishes are more disgusting than others.
        Don’t you?
        Or do you equate rubbing peanut butter all over your body with rubbing feces all over it?

      • April 14, 2018 4:31 pm

        I am neither into feces or peanut butter.

        It is my understanding that those who are into feces are not into peanut butter.

        If Trump is into spanking, he is not likely into peeing.

        Contra your argument, Daniels makes it LESS likely that the pee story is true

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2018 4:35 pm

        It doesn’t make it less likely that he peed on someone… a power move consistent with groping

      • April 14, 2018 5:12 pm

        “It doesn’t make it less likely that he peed on someone… a power move consistent with groping”

        Because you are an expert on fetishes ?

        Of those who would be catogorized as into kink – itself only a small portion of people.

        Spanking is by far the most common kink – reported by 93% of those into kink.
        While “urine play” is one of the least frequent kinks.

        Being spanked is a submissive act.
        It is common for powerful men to be into submissive sexual roles.

        It is unlikely that Trump is a “switch”.

        Regardless my point is that the Daniels references to spanking would either not correlate at all or negatively correlate to the water sports described.

        Daniels is to my knowledge the only credible report of Trump being into Kink at all.

        Trump’s alpha male sexuality is NOT the same as dominance in BDSM, and actually inconsistent with Daniels story of spanking him.

  49. Jay permalink
    April 14, 2018 3:46 pm

    The Syria bombings..
    Even Trumpster ass smooches are giving him the raspberry.
    But silence from Dave, and Ron – both advocates for restricting presidential authority of this kind.

    • April 14, 2018 4:24 pm

      I posted something on Syria on the 10th – some time ago.

      I do not have the answers.

      I do not think Trump’s actions were justified – even if Assad used WMD’s on his own people.
      But that is not likely to be a commonly held view.
      Further though I still think we should not have acted,
      I completely understand those who do.

      More significantly there is some doubt about what actually happened,
      There is doubt about the Chemical attack a year ago.
      There is apparently now doubt about the poisoning attack on the Russian in the UK.

      As I read what is purportedly known – I can not tell what the truth is.

      My weighing of the evidence suggests that it is more likely that the Russians were responsible for the poisoning, that Assad did use WMD’s.
      But not so convinced that I would kill people over it.

      And I am well aware our government has gotten things like this wrong – many many times.

      Watching people speak, this issue does not divide along partisan

      I am watching D’s simultaneously accusing Trump of Wagging the Dog and of not striking hard enough or soon enough.

      I would note that if you think Putin has something on Trump – it was self evident from Trump’s announcement, that he does not think so or does not care.
      Trump specifically identified Russia and Iran as responsible for this, repeatedly.

      I do not know what the truth is.

      But I do know this does not fit with the left meme’s.

    • April 14, 2018 4:27 pm

      I beleive that the constitution authorizes the President to take actions such as this – but requires a finding that the US national security is threatened.

      In this instance I do not beleive that was the case.

      That said while I can criticise Trump for this, I can his actions more offensive than every president since Reagan.

    • April 14, 2018 5:48 pm

      I already commented on a couple other sights. Maybe also

      But for you, here are my thoughts. Trump announces days before the missiles are coming. Assad moves anything of importance. Missiles launched and hit noting of significance, although the DOD will say it was effective. NOW WHAT? Just because Trump “clintonized” Syria by lobbing a few missiles, what good did it do? Did no good year ago in Afghanistan or a few months ago in Syria.

      Time to let the moderate middle eastern countries worry with this crap. Seal the borders to southern European countries and force refugees into Saudia Arabia and others. Maybe the they will stop expecting the USA to bail their asses out if a jamb.

      • April 14, 2018 6:42 pm

        I do not think forewarning Assad matter’s much

        Any knowledge we have of Assad’s weapons is likely by Drone of satellite survailance.
        If Assad moved something – we followed.

        The question is whether we actually know where Assads WMD’s are.
        The other question is whether the use of WMD’s was really Assad.

        I think it is likely – but that is not good enough for me.

        I would recommend listening to Trump’s announcement of the attack.

        It was pretty good. If I beleived for certain the WMD use was Assad’s I would have fully supported him.

        Trump said several other things:

        The US is not the policeman of the world.
        The other mideastern nations need to step up their role,
        We are not going into Syria like Lebanon, Afghanistan, ….
        We did not act unilaterally.

        He squarely Blamed Putin for NOT securing the Syrian WMD’s as he had promised.
        He made it clear that Putin/Russia was a significant part of the problem, not the solution and their conduct would not be accepted.
        He also went after Iran – but that was to be expected.

    • April 14, 2018 7:16 pm

      I think you will find neo-cons whether D or R are supporting this.
      While noninterventionists are opposed.



  50. Jay permalink
    April 14, 2018 3:59 pm

    Trump WAS at that hotel that night Dave. Arrival and departure times have been confirmed.

    What I had in mind for impeachment reasoning would be Trump’s blatant lying about witnessing the ‘golden shower.’ with visual evidence to the contrary blaring after a week of massive MSM blitz split screen images of Trump’s denials alongside disgusting proof of his lying, don’t you think that would signal the end of his support in Congress and large numbers of his faithful enablers would then abandon him?

    If that evidence surfaces, are you saying you wouldn’t be demanding his removal from office?

    • April 14, 2018 4:37 pm

      No Trump was in A hotel that night.

      20 years ago I would say that if the purported “pee tape” was real and surfaced, Trump would resign of be impeached and removed.

      Post Clinton ? That is not likely sufficient.

      Thus far Trump has not lied under oath.
      Clinton lied under oath.

      All this is of course in the world of unicorns.
      Because the odds of the event happening are near zero.

      More left wing nut wishful thinking.

      I would go further and say that if Trump was into this peeing stuff – there would be LOTS of stories.

      All the stories about Trump are pretty consistent that he is a pretty standard oversexed alpha male.
      Daniels is the only story I am aware of where he demonstrated any fetish.

      People do not suddenly develop one time only fetishes.

  51. April 14, 2018 6:58 pm

  52. April 15, 2018 11:56 am

    A few days ago a Law School Professor Josh Blackman was invited to CUNY Law School to speak at a Federalist Society sponsored event on the topic of Free Speech Law and the first amendment. He was shouted down by protestors, and called many things including racist and nazi.

    This was at a LAW SCHOOL.

    This is what is wrong with the left today.

    Blackman BTW is a libertarian.

    One of the protestors said that if someone is doing something that does not harm others they should be free to do so – and was shocked when Blackman said – Absolutely, I agree. Now lets work together to change the law to match that.

    • Jay permalink
      April 15, 2018 12:34 pm

      We agree this was a stupid attempt to stifle speech.

      But the disrupters (few in number) were FAR left.

      The majority of well behaved ‘lefties’ there didn’t disrupt anyone but the disrupters, who were booed and given the middle finger.

      • April 15, 2018 4:01 pm

        Apparently you watched different video. There were about 200 protesters, about 30 of which went into the classroom Blackman spoke in. after about 15 minutes of disruption someone for the university directed that protesters to stop disrupting or leave – most left.
        Approximately 15 people remained – about half were protesters, who were subsequently respectful – asking questions respectfully.

        The total CUNY law school student body is less than 400

        Law School Students BTW tend to be left of center, but significantly right of the rest of college students.

        These students were not “far left”. They were pretty typical of college students.

        Blackman is actually a first amendment law expert – a very appropriate guest speaker for a law school. and someone you would expect that any serious law school student would wish to hear.

        After normal order was restored – though most of the questions of Blackman were pretty stupid – particularly from students at a law school, Blackman answered them politely even enthusiastically. I would have been quite annoyed if I had been asked to speak on Significant current issues of first amendment law, and had to waste alot of time addressing very basic general law questions that should have been covered in any 1L course.

  53. April 15, 2018 12:01 pm

    The Facebook Hearings – as seen by Reason

  54. April 15, 2018 12:06 pm

    “Now conservatives have become civil libertarians, and liberals have become strong supporters of law enforcement, the Justice Department and the FBI,”
    Allan Deschowitz.

    Derschowitz id WRONG – conservatives and progressives fall over themselves to see who can do more damage to our liberties.

  55. April 15, 2018 12:10 pm

    • April 15, 2018 2:06 pm

      “Gardner had been using senatorial privilege to place holds on various administration nominees until he received assurances that the Trump administration would work to allow the untroubled legalization of pot in states that decide to do so.”

      This situation will be used by many to say how enlightened those that support this are. I think it show how F’ed up this government is. One senator has to block legislative appointment s that have a negative impact on everyone even though the majority of states have legalized or relaxed marijuana laws.

      Just another example of congress abdicating their responsibilities. The president should not be making decisions not to enforce federal law, be it immigration or drugs. Congress needs to de-schedule marijuana and do their jobs.

      Too many investigations, to little actions they were sent to DC to do.

      • April 15, 2018 4:07 pm

        The authority to deschedule drugs has apparently been granted the executive – so Trump can do this unilaterally.

        However I would absolutely support getting the Federal government mostly out of the drug enforcement business.

        My sugestion is let the Federal government have whatever drug laws it pleases, BUT they apply SOLELY to drugs crossing borders.

        i.e. the DEA can continue to interdict whatever it wants at the borders,
        It can also address ACTUAL interstate commerce in drugs, but within a states boarders the Fed’s have no authority except with respect to interstate transactions.

      • April 15, 2018 8:58 pm

        The issue is not drug enforcement! Even if they did something about crossing borders, then growers in California would still face the feds by selling to Oregon or Washington. Both legal states. And growers and sellers still have banking problems. What to do with thousands in sales revenues? Bitcoin?

        The damn issue is congress not doing their job. They need to remove marijuana from schedule 1 drugs instead of giving Trump authority to ignore the law. How many times has the GOP bitched about Obama not enforcing immigration laws?

      • April 16, 2018 7:03 am

        I was not claiming that constraining the Feds to what is supposed to be their legitimate jurisdiction would solve all problems.

        But it would substantially removed the Fed’s from enough to solve the biggest problems.

        Yes, CA growers would still face problems selling into OR

        I think you would find the banking problems diminish if the Fed’s role diminished.

        Though frankly our money laundering laws need to go.

        The Feds have jailed people running bitcoin exchanges because they knew that some of their exchanges were facilitating drug trade. Not in the sense that they knew a specific transaction was to get BTC for drugs, but just “knew” in the generic way, and made the mistake of publicly saying so.

        Well ALL bankers “know” that they are involved in drug sales, so why aren;t they all in jail ?

        But I digress.

        Further, if you can not transform your thousands in profits from BTC to $ – so what. Buy things in BTC.

        It may take more time than I expected by Crypto Currencies are going to eventually dominate.
        They have far too many advantages,

        But they will likely grow from the bottom – from underdeveloped countries with poor monetary regimes.

        A friend traveled to Africa recently and told me that Cell Service there was as good and cheap as here – but that standard phones pretty much did not exist.

        Congress should act on Drugs – but removing MJ from Schedule 1 only requires the DEA to act – and Trump would NOT be ignoring the law.
        The scheduling of drugs is an executive function not a legislative one according to existing law.

      • April 16, 2018 11:34 am

        Someone gave the administration, DEA and FDA authority to place MJ on a schedule as they saw fit.

        Since this is a national issue where almost 60% of the population says it should be legalized, and more states than not have legalized or removed most enforcement, then this needs to be a states right issue. The same group that decided it easier to make the executive department responsible should take action now and say this regulation is archaic and no further fed involvement is needed except for border enforcement keeping cartels from sending their product.

      • April 16, 2018 11:40 am

        “Someone gave the administration, DEA and FDA authority to place MJ on a schedule as they saw fit.”

        The Drug laws we passed empowered the DEA etc to decide what drugs to schedule how.

        We can and should change the law.

        But in the meantime Trump actually does as I understand it have the authority to deschedule MJ.

        Obama did NOT have the legal authority to exempt Dreamers from enforcement actions.

      • April 16, 2018 11:43 am

        I do not think government local, state or federal has any business deciding what people can buy and sell – not even if 80% of the country thinks otherwise.
        Rights are what protect you from 80%.

        But we are not going to see what I want anytime soon.

        What we can have – probably without changing any laws, is our federal law enforcing removing itself from all drug law matters that do not cross borders.

      • April 16, 2018 12:41 pm

        “Rights are what protect you from 80%.”

        Unfortunately, too many individuals accept the power of government controlling their lives and that is why we are now a country of people controlled by government instead of a country where people control the government. Exact opposite from what inspired the Declaration of Independence.

      • April 15, 2018 4:10 pm

        The senate has a long tradition of blue slips for the approval of appointments to positions within a state.

        The senate is free to change its rules. But this is not a rule I have a problem with.

        Because it is being used more frequently and more politically Grassley has noted that it is an advisory rule, and is moving some appointments through even when blue slips are not returned.

        Regardless I think the process as it stands is appropriate.

      • April 15, 2018 9:07 pm

        Its a cop out because the senate does not want anyone recording a vote for marijuana legalization.

        Just another in a long list of authorities the congress has abdicated to the president that the constitution never granted. When the president swears to uphold the laws of the country, it means all laws, not just the ones they or congress chooses to enforce.

  56. April 15, 2018 4:47 pm

    Tulsi Gabbard Democrat from HI interoducing legislation requiring a paper audit trail for every vote.

    Myriads of people who understand electronic voting have understood how important this is since before 2000 and the HAV act.

    How you fill out your vote – machine, pen, punch cards, computer does not matter.

    Two things do. Your ability to visually verify an inatlerable copy of your vote before confirming your vote, and preserving an inatlerable copy of your vote after you have confirmed it.

    While there are “technological” means of accomplishing this, the means that will engender the greatest public confidence is to use paper ballots as an audit mechanism.
    It does not matter what method you use to vote – so long as you are provided a paper record, that you can review and that will be preserved.

    It is far more difficult to commit undetectable voter fraud.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 15, 2018 7:42 pm

      Love Tulsi.

      • Jay permalink
        April 15, 2018 7:52 pm

        Me too 😍
        (Except for the endorsing Bernie part)

  57. April 15, 2018 4:52 pm

    Trump is a big advocate of Eminent domain and one of its beneficiaries.

    This is a significant area I am far from Trump.

    • April 15, 2018 9:21 pm

      We have somewhat the same issue. I40 bypass, master road planning maps drawn up early 90’s. Shortly after, residents were notified they could not make changes to property. Resident could not sell property. Property in estates in limbo. In 2016, state supreme court finally ruled anyone in map plans were entitled to reimbursement at fair market value. That has again been appealed, so no one is getting paid until construction begins and houses demolished.

      What we have lost is government is people, but now government is a small group of people that run roughshod over the majority.

      • April 16, 2018 7:08 am

        Where government actually uses Eminent Domain for a legitimate government purpose,
        it must have a compelling need and must pay fair market value.

        In all other cases eminent domain may not be used.

        Kelo was the use of Eminent Domain for a private purpose that the local government did little more than make up a reason was a public good.

        This should NEVER happen.

        DAPL was constructed almost entirely without using eminent domain.

        We have small pipeline fights all over here. They occur in two areas – approvals, and eminent domain.

        I would eliminate both. I can see no need for government to approve a pipeline, and no justification for it to use eminent domain for a private pipeline owner.

  58. Jay permalink
    April 16, 2018 3:17 pm

    This is for real!

    • Jay permalink
      April 16, 2018 3:20 pm


      Did Sean pay off a Playboy Bunny to get an abortion too?

      • April 16, 2018 4:32 pm

        So with all the news – that is what you think is important ?

        “Classified information came into the possession of the US intelligence community in the early part of 2016 that indicated there was material out there that raised the question of whether [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch was controlling me and the FBI and keeping the Clinton campaign informed about our investigation.”

        Comey says polls influenced his choices in the Clinton investigation ?

        Papadoulis was unknown to the FBI until AFTER the first FISA warrant.

        “If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done.”
        “Cause I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.”

        “And even though I did not intend to jam Donald Trump with this, my thinking was, given his approach to the world, he may think I’m pulling a J. Edgar Hoover and assume that I’m trying to dangle this over him to get leverage on him.”
        Because you were.

      • Jay permalink
        April 16, 2018 5:16 pm

        Guess what, Dave. What I think important seems to have influenced the entire social and news network: the Hannity story has gone viral!

        That you so quickly dismiss the importance of this revelation speaks volumes of your lack of grasp of the issues.

        Maybe over time you’ll figure it out.
        Or not.

      • April 17, 2018 7:06 am

        Cat video’s go viral – so what ?

        Gerry Spencer represented Terry Nichol’s

        I do not like Hannity, I do not like Cohen, I do not like Trump.
        None of that has any meaning with respect to facts, or law, or logic.

  59. Jay permalink
    April 16, 2018 4:36 pm

    Everyone on the Trumpster Right is poo pooing Comey’s remark that he couldn’t rule out Putin has something on Trump. Pointing out how tough Trump has been on Russia lately.

    Oh yeah?

    ..Trump today put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador Haley. And last week he erupted in anger when he learned the US had expelled 60 Russian diplomats, far more than England or France. He was “furious” that the US was being portrayed as “tough on Russia.”

    Donnie and Vladdie – assholes embracing

    • April 16, 2018 4:41 pm

      I guess bombing the shit out of Russian Allie Syria is not enough fo you.

      You and Comey probably think the only proof that Trump is not in Putin’s pocket would be a nuclear war.

      Get a Clue. Trump doesn’t seem to give much a a damn about Putin.

      If he is Putin’s bitch – Trump is the top.

    • April 16, 2018 4:43 pm

      I am not “pooh poohing” Comey’s remarks.

      I think everyone should read them.
      They tell you alot about ….. James Comey, and it is not a good story.

      • Jay permalink
        April 16, 2018 5:27 pm

        Some good, some bad.
        But is he lying?
        Who comes off worse, Comey or Trump.
        Time will tell, and I’m CERTAIN history will see Trump in retrospect as a far larger lump of shit than any other US President in history.

      • April 17, 2018 7:26 am

        Sorry, Jay there is no question that Comey is lying. He has done so under oath.
        His own statements and actions are irreconcilable.

        What We do not know is when he is lying

        Past that many of his remarks are most damaging to him – if True.

        Comey has admitted that the calculus of the elections impacted his choices regarding prosecuting Clinton. That is a violation of his oath to uphold the law and constitution.

        In the book he tries to distinguish Clinton from Petreaus – and honestly fails.
        He makes a broad claim that no one was ever prosecuted for a federal crime without specific intent. That is garbage and he knows better – it likely happens several times a day.
        The vast majority of Federal crimes do not require intent and people are prosecuted under them who had no intent all the time.
        Further people are prosecuted for violating 18 cfr 793(f) without intent.
        While the Clinton Case was being investigated a sailor was prosecuted for sending other sailors cell phone pictures of his duty station – unfortunately for him, his duty station was classified.

        Comey himself provided classified memo’s to a friend to be leaked to the media.

        I would further note that Comey makes the same “Kompromat” charge that is made against Trump – against AG Lynch.

        Comey is interesting – because over the course of the past 2 years he has been villified by the right AND the left. That either means you are good, or very very bad.

        BTW, How Trump comes off in a book that is self serving and lacking credibility is unimportant.

        Regardless, The Comey interviews and quotes are great.

        James Comey is coming off badly.

        Possibly more importantly – we now have Comey, McCabe, and Lynch implicating each other.
        That does not end well, and near certainly will drag others in.

        I find it interesting. I do not like Trump, Cohen or Hannity, but I do not jump to some idiotic claim that they are engaged in some conspiracy without evidence.

        You like Lynch. Comey, McCabe – but are incapable of grasping that at best 2 of the 3 are liars and criminals – by their own words. More likely they all are.

        Trump, Hannity, Cohen do nto tell exactly the same story, but their stories are consistent with none of them being guilty of anything beyond being dislikeable.

        Lynch, McCabe, and Comey tell stories that can not possibly all be true and each’s story requires the other two to be corrupt.

        Yet, you are blind to this, and want to treat each as credible – when they attack someone else you do not like.

        People who lie – sometimes tell the truth, but it is very hard to tell when.
        Comey, McCabe, and Lynch lack credibility.

    • dduck12 permalink
      April 16, 2018 6:30 pm

      Disagree, Jay, Trump has been tough on Russia/Putin lately and I applaud him for that for as long as it lasts.
      As far as Comey is concerned, he is taller than Trump, but Trump is a better liar.
      Too bad Comey, as intelligent as he may be, didn’t get a better writer for his book and a good P.R. person to handle him.
      Anyway, he will make plenty on his book. 🙂

      • April 17, 2018 7:37 am

        Comey does not come off as that intelligent – maybe top 20%.

        He comes off as self righteous – but without actually understanding what integrity is.

        He does not seem to grasp that every single time he notes all the other factors he took into account in making a choice, that fundimentally was a legal or ethical choice, he is openly asserting that his ethics are maleable – situational. That he is not the righteous warrior he claims to be.

        It might be possible to be a “good person” without principles.
        But absent principles, that you adhere to, self righteousness is just sacharine smug hypocracy – and that is how Comey comes off.

    • April 18, 2018 6:45 am

      Wow! Trump will not do every stupid pointless little thing to Russia that you think he ought to- therefore he must be a Putin puppet ?

      Reports from a Swiss lab are that the Poison used in the UK murder were of US not Russian origen. It is still likely that Putin had this guy killed. As I have noted regarding the DNC hacking, These people are smart – Hackers, Russia, Putin – if the trail points back at them, either they wanted it too, or it is WRONG.
      Regardless though I beleive that Russia was responsible – not sufficiently to go to war, and honestly not sufficiently to impose sanctions.
      When you can not be certain “who done it” – guess what – they get away with it.

      We have a similar situation in Syria. I actually listened to Trump’s remarks before the bombing. I thought they were excellent. He pointedly held Putin and Russia responsible.
      At the same time there is some doubt about the Chemical Weapons attacks.
      Several Sources link the one a year ago to the Rebels. It is now known for certain that the Rebels have chemical weapons. Many of the experts now list the source of the 2017 attack as uncertain.
      The recent attack used Chlorine – anyone can make Chlorine – you can do it in your kitchen.
      Again there is significant dispute over the actual source of the attack.
      I watched a “debate” between Tucker Carlson and someone from an NGO.
      I thought the guy from the NGO was more knowledgeable, and more persuasive.
      I think Syria did this. But my level of doubt is pretty high. High enough that I am with Carlson – I am not going to war. I am not attacking another country.

      But Trump did. He has alternatives if he wanted to avoid angering Putin – and make no mistake Putin is angry. Putin sent Warships to the Med. There was a serious risk of Military confrontation.
      Trump could have easily dumped this on congress.

      But he did not.

      Trump does not do everything he possibly can to piss on Russian and Putin.
      Nor does he do everything he possibly can to favor and protect them.

      I do not agree with his choices regarding Russia, but they are clearly not the choices of a Russian puppet.

      Your bleating is actually dangerous. Ranting that Trump is not tough enough on Russia, may actually drive Trump to be tougher on Russia than he should.
      That increases our risk of serious conflict with Russia.
      Your garbage risks the loss of lives – ours and others, and it risks direct conflict with a nation that is consequential on the world stage in only ONE way – they have as many nuclear weapons as we do.

  60. April 16, 2018 4:39 pm

    “One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans—anything except reason.”
    Thomas Sowell

  61. Jay permalink
    April 16, 2018 5:32 pm

    “So Sean Hannity has been using his perch at Fox News to rail against the investigation into someone who he didn’t disclose was his own lawyer.”
    -My pal @ChrisMegerian

    • Jay permalink
      April 16, 2018 6:36 pm

      • April 17, 2018 7:41 am

        I have no problem firing Hannity – but I would have done that decades ago.

        I do not have much respect for the ethics of journalists – Maddow as an example can not possibly have acquired the tiny part of Trump’s tax return legally.

        Piss all over Hannity if you want – I do not care much.
        But pretting he is much different from the rest is laughable.

    • Jay permalink
      April 16, 2018 6:41 pm

      There’s about fifty more like this, but you get the idea, Hannity withholding this info was improper. Should he be fired? Suspended? Forced to spend a month polishing Hillary’s shoes 👠?

      • April 17, 2018 7:43 am

        50 more tweets – wow ?

        There are 500M tweets every day.

        How about something significant.

        Trump’s approval is up another 2 pts.

        The generic ballot is closing further.

        I would say the Blue wave is dying but the election is months away.

      • Jay permalink
        April 17, 2018 7:08 pm

        Trump’s Dissaproval is strong.

        NBC/Wall Street and Gallup still have him unchanged at 39% Approval and in mid 54%-56% Disapproval.

        The recent Gallup Voter Enthusiasm poll shows Democrats with a 9 point lead; Republicans had a significant advantage on this enthusiasm measure in October 1994 before the election in which they gained 53 seats.

        There is a WAVE of Republicans who are leaving or have already left The House – double that of Democrats.

        Reports in the news yesterday suggest that ALL 5 NJ Republican seats for the midterm elections are vulnerable – these are in traditionally strong Red districts, but Tump’s unfavorability numbers have climbed significantly.

        The Woman and Young People vote is decidedly anti Trump. If these voters come out in numbers, the Democrats will dominate.

        Trump won’t be the candidate in 2020.
        Nikki Haley will be the first female US President.

      • April 17, 2018 8:48 pm

        After Trump, changing demographics and other voting changes, Nicki Hailey will be long forgotten before we have another GOP president.

      • April 18, 2018 7:11 am

        “Don’t stop beleiving.”

        Most every source you cite has ever poll number you cite closing.

        I do expect that if D;s field “moderate” democrats for seats in pink teritory they will pick up some seats.

        In those special elections they have done so – they have won.
        When they have not – they have lost.

        But there appears to be a great deal of internal tension over that, and the extremists have the upper hand.

    • April 17, 2018 7:29 am

      “So Sean Hannity has been using his perch at Fox News to rail against the investigation into someone who he didn’t disclose was his own lawyer.”

      So ?

      Again I do not like Hannity, I never have. I have not listened to him in years.

      But sharing a lawyer is NOT a conflict.

      Cohen is barred from sharing information about Hannity with Trump and about Trump with Hannity.

      If he has violated that, then he has violated Attonrey Client provilidge and is in very very deep ethical trouble.

      • Jay permalink
        April 17, 2018 6:29 pm

        You don’t think it’s a problem for him to be criticizing the seizure of that lawyer’s files without alerting his listeners his files may likely be included?

        Well, you’re in line with Fox management; they have no problem with it either.

        You deserve an invitation to appear on Hannity’s show to lend your support to that conclusion. Here’s your hashmark for follow ups:#MeToo4Hannity

      • April 18, 2018 7:04 am

        “You don’t think it’s a problem for him to be criticizing the seizure of that lawyer’s files without alerting his listeners his files may likely be included?”

        I think that is a matter for Fox and Fox viewers. I did not think you were one of those.
        I am certainly not.

        I do not think any of these talking heads are credible.

        I really do not like Hannity, and have almost never listened to him.

        At the same time the court erred in making his name public.

        The FBI and SDNYC are not permitted access to any of Cohen’s files that are priviledged.

        The warrant issued had to specify the crime being investigated and what was being searched for.
        If it was seeking to break priviledge it had to be specific about what priviledged material would be subject to the warrant.

        Any communications between Cohen and his clients, and any work product for his clients would be by default priviledged.

        Therefore unless the warrant explicitly noted that specific things were not priviledged and exactly why, they remain priviledged and outside the scope of the SDNYC.

        Unless SDNYC PROVED a crime fraud exception that applied to Hannity, his name can not be made public and his records can not be accessed by SDNYC.

        The same applies to Cohen’s other clients – including Trump.

        My guess is that SDNYC did NOT make a crime fraud exception claim – and that Trump related material remains priviledged.

        The brief filed by SDNYC has redcations covering the alleged crime, and those are quite short.
        It is highly unlikely there is a crime fraud exception claim hiding in the redactions.

        More likely SDNYC is taking Cohen at his word when he says that he acted on his own with respect to Daniels.

        Though I would note that is a very dangerous approach. If Cohen lied – the priviledge still applies.

        To be clear – attorney client priviledge belongs to the CLIENT.
        To breach priviledge you have to PROVE that BOTH the client and the attorney engaged in a criminal conspiracy. If either acted alone – priviledge still applies.
        If the client confided Criminal acts to the attorney – priviledge still applies.

      • April 18, 2018 7:06 am

        I do not support Hannity.
        I do not support Fox.

        The government may not make public the names of an attorney’s clients merely because they have searched his private records.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2018 9:14 am

        “The government may not make public the names of an attorney’s clients merely because they have searched his private records.l

        That is correct.
        But you have your head up your ass on the word ‘merely.’

        Obviously once again you’re pontificating from ignorance.
        Haven’t you ignored the LEGAL exception to lawyer-client privledge .?. Seems like that is your mode of argument: ignore and distort.

        Once again I suggest you read @PopeHat’s discussion Concerning the ‘government’s’ right to confiscate a lawyer’s files; and the LEGAL reason the Judge can demand the name(s) of his client.

        Dave, you are a pomposity.
        Or to paraphrase Forest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does.

      • April 18, 2018 1:49 pm

        It has not been established that SDNYC has sought to breach priviledge.
        I have read the redacted SDNYC’s reply brief to the court and Cohen – the redactions are small.

        My guess based on that brief and the information that is publicly available is that SDNYC is NOT seeking to breach priviledge.

        It appears that SDNYC is SOLELY after Cohen – for acts related to payments to Daniels etc. and things related to his Taxicab business.

        Further as I noted before the priviledge belongs to the CLIENT.

        It does nto matter what Crimes Cohen has committed – the SDNYC can not get to his priviledged communications unless it can prove the CLIENT conspired with Cohen to break the law.

        Further breaching priviledge on one client does nto breach it on all.

        Nor does breaching it on one matter breach it on all.

        This is why SDNYC setup a special Taint team to go through Cohen’s records,
        and why Trump, Cohen and others are demanding a special master.

        Regardless of how it is done, a separate group – not the people involved in any investigations will go through the collected records.

        They will make a CURSORY check to see if a record meets the search warrant criteria and is NOT priviledged.

        If both of those things are not true, that record is not examined further.

        Thus far in court proceedings or filings I have not heard a peep about violating priviledge.

        Just so you are clear – to breach priviledge the SDNYC has to have compelling evidence – more than probable cause BEFORE the search that priviledge has been waived.

        Further waiver is ALWAYS going to be as narrow as possible.

        Unless there is a compelling allegation with some proof that Hannity conspired with Cohen

        SDNYC is not going to get at communications involving Hannity at all.

      • April 18, 2018 1:50 pm

        Of course they can demand the names of other clients.

        Only Cohen communications with clients is priviledged.
        The taint team has to know what they CAN NOT look at.

        Demanding is not the same as making public.

      • April 18, 2018 1:51 pm

        I have not read Ken White on this – but Ken is a 1A lawyer.

        Derschowitz, and McCarthy would be better on this matter.

      • April 18, 2018 2:06 pm

        The law is to be read narrowly, individuals rights are to be interpreted broadly.

        SCOTUS just ruled that a congressional law permitting the easy deportation of people convicted of “Crimes of Violence”. does not mean people convicted of burglary – even though just about every state explicitly identifies burglary as a “crime of violence”

        In case you do not understand the distinction is between “what is” and “what could be”

        SCOTUS said it does not matter what the states have said. Nor does it matter what other federal laws might say – ordinary people are may not understand “Crime of violence” as “what could be”, but they will understand it as “what is”

      • April 18, 2018 2:06 pm

        More insult rather than argument.

      • April 18, 2018 12:08 pm

        Dave, dont you understand if you dont support Hillary, to a liberal you support Trump.
        And if you dont support Trump, to a conservative you support Hillary.
        To these folks you have an either/or choice. No exceptions!

  62. Jay permalink
    April 16, 2018 7:46 pm

    Dave, hear anything recently about those missing millions of dollars of Trump campaign money? I wonder where it went?

    • April 17, 2018 8:32 am

      Money in Trump’s campaign is between Trump and his donors.
      I did not donate to TFA so I do not care – did you ?
      If not then it is not really your business either.
      Regardless, Trump is free to spend that in 2020.

      I am more concerned about the Trillions missing at DOD – as that is my money.

      • Jay permalink
        April 17, 2018 6:04 pm

        You’re right. What was I thinking!
        I should mind my own business.
        They are after all Trump supporters – why should I do anything to alert them they may be getting ripped off.
        Even if they’re people I know, or family members, I should keep quiet about it, and let them get screwed in peace. It’s their money, not mine!

        Thanks for that reasonable wake up call.
        I know I can depend on you for sensible advice like this in the future…

      • April 17, 2018 8:39 pm

        Jay, I understand your concern for a few million dollars, especially since the committee that raised this money has not accounted for all of it. Most was spent on administrative expenses and the those in control have done some “creative” accounting. And lets not forget the 26M that went to an advisor for the first lady.

        But why the concern for pocket change and money from donors. Today is tax day, the day Americans tell the government how much it can rob from the citizens to waste. Waste by both federal and state agencies on overpriced defense weapons, defense weapons the DOD does not want, healthcare subsidies to insurance companies that already screw clients and make billions, support programs for illegal aliens, substandard educational programs and too many other projects that provide no benefit other than the employment of hundreds administering these programs. These programs have billions spent that is basically unaccounted for.

        Where is your outrage for that. That is our money. Your, mine, our kids, our friends and everyone else you see daily. We had no say in how those funds went to the government. Those dumb enough to pay for an outrageously overpriced party deserve what they get.

        Why do some get so pissed about the rich wasting money, but few are upset about the taxes wasted?

      • April 18, 2018 6:49 am

        Last I checked we had a courts system and it worked.

        If someone takes your money and does not do what they promised that is a contract violation.

        Sue them.

        I am sure the media will pick up the story.

        BTW, your echoing tweets here is not “informing” anyone of anything.
        Do you think Twitter is secret.

      • Jay permalink
        April 18, 2018 9:19 am

        Ron: I agree with you, all the instances you note are valid focuses of criticism. But smaller stupidities are also worthy of comment as well. I’m sure you agree.

      • April 18, 2018 12:15 pm

        ” But smaller stupidities are also worthy of comment as well. I’m sure you agree. ”

        I cant be concerned with stupid decisions rich people make. Someone wasting $100,000 and as a percentage of net worth is like me wasting $100, its not important. There are too many other things that need my attention.

      • April 18, 2018 2:10 pm

        A general rule of law is that if you are not specifically harmed – you do not have standing to make a claim against someone else.

        I have no problem with Trump contributors going after the campaign for missing monies.

        Nor do I have a problem with them refering things to law enforcement IF they find evidence that laws have been broken.

        Thus far we do not have that.

  63. April 18, 2018 11:58 am

    Sorry to distract from the Trump discussion, but I believe this is noteworthy. Cannabis oil is about $76.00 per. milliter. There are 1000 or so milligrams in a ML. Dosage for seizure control is about 25mg twice daily. Total cost per day about $4.00 (If I Calculated right)

    Now a drug company “develops” a drug based on cannabis oil and is asking for USA approval. Now I understand why Trump has directed his DOJ to back off federal enforcement of cannabis and marijuana. Federal government bought by big pharma.

    And anyone who thinks a FDA approved drug will only cost $4.00 a day are the same people who think a jack ass is a small horse.

    • April 18, 2018 2:12 pm

      Why can’t anyone consume anythng that they think might be helpful for them ?

      • April 18, 2018 5:33 pm

        “Why can’t anyone consume anythng that they think might be helpful for them ?”

        Dave are you pulling my chain? Because some f ‘en do gooder that thought they knew what was good for others got a drug made illegal. Then big pharma developed all these opiods that they could charge an arm and leg. Then to protect their excessive prices, they bought off elected officials to make sure that nothing competed with those drugs. Once states began relaxing their laws, the feds made it a point of attention to make cannabis revenues harder to
        bank. And someone helped insure the little weasel became AG so the feds cracked down on cannabis products. (,Many more issue to protect drug companies, but this is an overview)

        Someone needs to insure when Happy Jack Drug Company develops a drug to control conjestive heart failure and they pay sales personnel to promote the drug to doctors that the drug does what claimed and it is not nothing more than sugar pill. People will die if it is not proven and tested. Who needs to do the review can be debated.

      • April 18, 2018 7:38 pm

        Opioids are cheap.

        We can chase the politicized self serving criminalization of Pot back to the 30’s if we want.

        What is important is that it is time to end this.

        BTW just a significant relaxation in drug laws would have among other effects, a serious reduction in the employment of police officers and prison guards.

        There are billions tied up in drug laws in myriads of ways.

        The Feds feed police forces more than a Billion in toys each year.
        Asset forfeiture delivers even more to the police
        all this is over the drug war.

  64. April 18, 2018 12:18 pm

    Its time for Nikki Haley to resign. When you get undercut like she did with Russian sanctions, saving a reputation is more important than getting thrown under the Trump bus.

    • April 18, 2018 2:14 pm

      That choice is up to her.

      I would not work for Trump.
      But I understand that others would and do.

      Haley has to decide whether continuing is in her interests.
      You and I can not do that for her.

      • April 18, 2018 5:37 pm

        Dave “Haley has to decide whether continuing is in her interests.
        You and I can not do that for her.”

        Can we not make comments about what we think others should do and not have it interpreted as making a decision for them. Have you never commented you think ===== should do ———-?

      • April 18, 2018 7:42 pm

        I am not suggesting you can not have or voice an oppinion just trying to assure that you(or really others) understand it is an oppinion.

        Too many seem to think that their personal judgment must be a legal obligation.

        Mill covers that in “On liberty”m
        it is one of the reasons that democracy is actually the most oppresive form of government.

        There are serious limits to what a king or tyrant can impose on the people – without creating a backlash. There are few limits to what we can impose on our neighbors without backlash.

  65. April 18, 2018 7:57 pm

    Again – a long long time until November – but that Blue wave seems to be getting caught in an undertoe

  66. April 18, 2018 8:35 pm

    More on CUNY and free speach (or not)

  67. dduck12 permalink
    April 18, 2018 9:07 pm

    RonP @ 5:33. Yup, certain big pharma are criminals, just as big Tobacco was/is.

    • April 19, 2018 7:00 am

      What is “criminal” is that government has used its power to protect an assortment of businesses from the markets.

      The tobacco companies were being addressed by tort filings.

      Government stepped in forced a mass settlement – depriving individuals and classes of their rights to make further claims and in return the tobacco companies paid the STATES (not those harmed) massive amounts of money – which in many cases actually ended up back in the hands of tobacco companies.

      That is a crime to me.

      Our system of Drug regulation is to the benefit of drug companies and to the detriment of consumers.

      You want to claim that some drug company is criminal – because they charge $600 for an “epi-pen”. – yet it is government regulations and the decisions of regulators that have determined that cost. There are myriads of companies that have tried to compete with the Epi-Pen.
      The FDA has barred those products from the market. You will find nearly exactly the same thing every single time some product seems egregiously expensive.

      The laws of supply and demand are immutable. Restrict the supply of a product in demand and the price will go up – often exponentially.

      Regulation functions as both a restriction on supply and a barrier to entry.

      We want businesses to creatively seek means to increase their profits – because that is how we get more, better, cheaper products.

      The error here is not that businesses seek advantage through government.
      It is that government delivers that advantage.
      It is the government that is corrupt and criminal, not the business.

      Who commits the great sin when you pay a government official to process your permit faster ?
      You for paying to get permission from government to do what you have a right to ?
      Or the official who is doing his job in a biased way ?

      Get a clue – the criminals, and the corruption are in government.
      Big ### just takes advantage of the corruption that already exists.

      Some like to say the US government is no so corrupt as tin pot 3rd world dictatorships.
      Bunk!!! Our corruption is just institutionalized – we call it the FDA or the USDA or the congress.
      We have a formal legal process with the patina of law painted over our corruption.

      It is still corruption.

      • April 19, 2018 10:46 am

        Dave, for discussion. To begin with, there seems to be two issues concerning the current drug company charges and protection.
        1. Competition is eliminated due to patent protections,ie Epi-pen (in this case it is not the drug, it is the delivery system).
        2. Millions are spent developing new drugs, with many never coming to market.

        How do we reconcile these two issues without some sort of protection for scientific advancements? Would you spend millions to develop a product, only to find that I will duplicate your product and sell it for 25% of your price. Any financial model showing this happening would put you in a loss situation for 10+ years.

        I dont know the answer. IMO I dont think drug companies would risk large amounts without multiple rewards in return for their investment. I also think drug companies get way to many protections such as cannabis being illegal at the federal level. And I believe our regulations keep drugs off the market that have been used in Europe, Japan and other developed countries without harm to others.

        Free markets v intellectual protections. Low cost v profits.

      • April 19, 2018 12:09 pm

        The patent is NOT the issue regarding the epi-pen.
        Patents do not last for ever and I am pretty sure the epi-pens expired.
        Regardless it is not that hard to come up with a similar solution that does nto infringe on patents.

        There real issues are:

        The name “epi-pen” is trademarked and if a doctor “perscribes” an epi-pen the pharmacist can not substitute – oddly the opposite is true of drugs rather than devices.

        The 2nd issue is that the “epi-pen” is approved – actually it is old enough it was never approved, it is just grandfathered.
        Any new similar device must go through a very expensive approval process that is cost prohibitive at the volume that epi-pens sell at.

        This problem exists throughout medicine.

        I know that “premarin” has much the same issue. It was never really approved, it is so old that it is grandfathered. Creating a decent even better product is simple, but now it would require an expensive approval process.

        The epinepharine in an epi-pen costs less than $1.

        One company tried to sell a collection of pre-dosed epinepharine syringes – but the FDA shot it down – i.e. required them to go through the full approval process.

        There has been a holy war going on over nitroglycerine tablets.

        There is absolutely nothing special about them.
        But the FDA will not approve a generic substitute even though we are talking about a chemical that is centuries old – there are no patents, but because somebody made a nitroglycerine pill long enough ago that the FDA did not have to approve it they are grandfathered.
        But anyone else trying to make the same thing – must get a new approval.

        AGAIN – the problem is GOVERNMENT.

        Have these companies fought to get these types of stupid protections ?
        Sure. But the protections are still from GOVERNMENT.

      • April 19, 2018 5:54 pm

        Dave, Mylan does not have a patent on the drug. That expired years ago. A quote from 9/9/2016 when the Epi-Pen issue was a hot topic. “Mylan has patent protection that lasts through 2025. Epinephrine, as a drug, was first synthesized more than a century ago. It’s been used for various medical applications since then, and was first packaged in an auto-injector (to protect soldiers against chemical warfare) back in the 1970s. But Mylan has a lock on the particular EpiPen design that millions of patients, parents, and school nurses have come to trust.The company’s main innovation has been a bright orange cap that covers the needle, but releases automatically when a patient pushes an EpiPen against her thigh, so there’s no need to stop and unscrew the cover in the midst of an allergy attack.”

        the issue is the patent covers the way the drug is delivered and any new device has to be different enough to not be a patent infringement. Many have tried, but they have either failed to come up with a product that will deliver the drug accurately OR their device is too mucjh like the Epi-pen and they can not get around the device patent.

        As for your syringes, is this really an alternative to walk around with a syringe in your pocket. Too many issues. Needle breaking, needle bending, container breaking, user (kid) does not get all the drug out of the needle into themselves. The syringes are made for individual over 66 lbs, not for children. Epi-pen auto injector can be used by anyone, syringes should have some form of basic training to insure complete and proper injection since they need to be in a large muscle, unlike Epi-pen.

        And by the way, the new syringe delivery system available at the end of this year to deliver that $1.00 worth of drug is projected to cost over $100.00 per dose. And add to the the buck or so for the syringe and they are making $98.00 on a $2.00 item.

      • April 20, 2018 10:51 am


        I was not trying to get into the technical details – and honestly they are NOT relevant.

        The BIG EpiPen protection is the NAME.
        If a Doctor perscribes an EpiPen – then the pharmacist MUST provide the branded product.
        This is true of all medical devices and it is the oposite of drugs.

        The NEXT issue is that the EpiPen is a grandfathered product. It did not have to get through the current medical device review process, it was approved long ago and will never need an expensive re-approval.

        But ANYTHING trying to replace the EpiPen Must get through a very expensive approval process. The cost of the process and the size of the market sets the price. And thus far the process is expensive enough and the market size small such that the price of a new device will be high. Further though EpiPens are ridiculously expensive – their manufactured costs are so low that any potential competitor knows they will be bankrupted if they enter the market.

        Essentially regulation makes the markets work backwords.
        Without regulation a monopoly product must still keep the price low enough to discourage others from entering the market.

        But with a large regulatory barrier the price can be as high as the market will bear – because if a competitor enter the market you drop the price until they go bankrupt – because they had to absorb a huge approval cost.

        The patents are NOT an issue – it is not hard to design arround them – there are real competitors – and some are being used in Europe.

        This is a case of pure regulatory monopoly.

        The syringe solution was just an effort to break the monopoly. The company that put it forward knew it was inferior – but it was cheap, and the hope was by NOT using new technology and a new design they could avoid the expensive approval costs.

        I would also note that the objections you raised can all be solved.
        A predosed syringe would never be as conveinient as an EpiPen,
        But they were talking $15 for a 6 pack.

        If I had a choice between a $600 EpiPen and a $2.50/dose syringe that was less convenient – I would pick the syringe and save money.

        BTW their are syringes now that fit into a container the size of a chapstick.
        A single does could be smaller and more convenient than an EpiPen.

        But it would still require removing a cap and pushing a plunger.

      • April 20, 2018 10:54 am


        Again designing arround the patent is trivial.

        The problem is that the approval costs and the market size dictate a minimum cost.
        While that cost is FAR lower than the PRICE of EpiPen, it is FAR higher than the COST of EpiPen.

        If you get into the market the Price of EpiPen will be dropped until you are bankrupt.

        Further the perscription rules for medical devices mean that it will be harder to grow market share against EpiPen.

      • April 19, 2018 12:23 pm

        With respect to #2.

        The first issue is that we must as a country accept that there is no one single process that is right before marketing a drug.

        Assuming that you think government should be involved at all – and I do bot.

        It is still reasonable to say that drugs for terminally ill people require little testing.
        Drugs for generally healthy children require rigorous testing.

        With a wide wide range of possibilities in between.

        That is an arrangement that government is horribly bad at.

        Government is abysmal at dealing with the fact that different people have different wants and needs.

        I worked on a library addition to a very wealthy persons home, the addition cost $1.5M
        I spent less than $60K to add the same space to my home.
        But I did not build for centuries out of marble and oak and steel.

        One size does NOT fit all.
        Building codes make buildings better – but they make them more expensive and they make them more and more alike.

        They make it so that poorer people can not afford a home.

        We could make a car today for 2-3 thousand dollars. It would not meet current standards.
        Though it would be superior to say a Model A.
        If you were poor and your choices was a $2000 car that you could afford, that might only last 5 years, and might be less safe in an accident and be powered by something little more than a lawnmower engine – might you buy it rather than walk ?

        Laws and regulation preclude things. They preclude bad things. but they also preclude good things. And worse they preclude things that are less good than what we have, but of more value to someone. A car is better than no car.

        A less well tested drug is often far better than no drug.

      • April 19, 2018 12:27 pm

        Do not get me wrong – I am not at all opposed to scientific advances,

        But the fact is that the protections scheme we have impedes advances, it does not protect them.

        I get thoroughtly ticked that we bitch and moan about China’s IP protection.

        Today it is generally almost as good as what our founders created.

        It is our IP regime that is broken – not theirs.

        IBMK did a study of patents about 2 decades ago and found that completely eliminating our patent system entirely would probably have a positive impact on innovation.

        Even for small inventors. It is always easier for the big players to buy rather than steal.

      • April 19, 2018 12:37 pm

        I am heavily involved in the open source world.

        I have met and worked briefly with Richard Stallman – who essentially invented Open Source.

        He is almost ideologically communist.

        But if you know much about how Open Source and particularly the GPL works it is extremely capitolistic.

        What it does – and quite effectively is make explicit the rewards for working together.

        I am currenlty involved in work on a new CPU called the RISC-V.

        This is a totally open CPU.

        It is getting support from Nvidia, Micron. WD – lots and lots of major players.
        They are all working together to improve it.

        Why ? Because doing it themselves has proven expensive – Nvidai, and WD as an example spend 100M’s a year supporting their own proprietary processors that are burried in their devices.
        The alternative is to spend 100M’s on licenses to intell, AMD, Arm, ….

        Or today they can use RISC-V. RISC-V is fairly comparable head to head with ARM
        But ARM is expensive to license and RISC-V is free,

        Equally important RISC-V is now broadly enough accepted that WD Nvidia can hire engineers who are already familiar with it. While if they develop their own they must support development and training to new people.

        I can go on, but the point is that opensource is creating a world where there are benefits to everyone for sharing, and you can still do your proprietary secret sauce stuff – in narrow areas were you seek to distinguish your products.

  68. dduck12 permalink
    April 19, 2018 6:58 pm

    It ain’t criminal cause Mr. Mucus says so. RonP talks about opioids and big pharma at 5:33 and Mucus throws out epi-pens in response. Twists and turns to distort discussions, par for the course.
    And, before you give me permission to not read/read your comments, I don’t care what you think, it is meaningless.

    • April 20, 2018 11:01 am

      Aparently you can not read.

      The POINT of the EpiPen exploration was that Regulation is a MAJOR – the MAJOR factor in drug and medical device costs today.

      When you see a ridiculously priced Drug that ALWAYS means:

      The approval cost is high, the market is small, and there is a single entrenched producer with LOW production cost who will be able to bankrupt anyone trying to enter their market BECAUSE of the high approval costs.

      If you want affordable medicine – get rid of the FDA, they do FAR more damage than good.

    • April 20, 2018 11:03 am

      I am very glad I am not you.

      I would not want to be the person who writes the things you write.

      I try hard not to presume to know what is in the minds of others.
      But it is hard not to expect that it is very dark inside yours.

  69. April 20, 2018 11:53 am

    Excellent editorial that really captures the entirety of this mess

  70. dduck12 permalink
    April 20, 2018 7:18 pm

    Apparently you can read, but selectively. Perhaps you need a special kind of support animal to keep you on POINT.
    RonP and I talk about opioids and you talk about e-pens. This is your corkscrew way of discussing all subjects. Sad, because you seem intelligent and informed.

    • April 21, 2018 6:36 pm

      Please read the thread.

      Epi-Pens came up as a result of Ron’s remarks about the greedy ways of big pharma.

      Ron understood my response.

      You are clueless as always.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 21, 2018 9:25 pm

        I retract my last sentence. As always you twist to your own drummer.

      • April 21, 2018 11:42 pm

        Facts, logic, reason.

  71. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2018 9:19 am

    Even the most rational among us have lost patience with President Asshole:

    • April 21, 2018 6:41 pm

      Again, I am seriously interested in Ken White’s comments about the law – particularly the first amendment.

      But I have found that Twitter is a good test of people.

      Some – like Glenn Greenwald or Alan Derschowitz manage to stick to the principles regardless of who is president, regardless of who they like or dislike.

      Others such as Lawrence Tribe – a highly respected constitutional law professor who leans left, completely lose they principles and objectivity.

      When ones view of the law changes with who you are applying it to, ( am sorry for you.

  72. April 21, 2018 10:30 am

    Some believe government should have a large amount of control over all aspects of life, such as a government run one payer health reimbursement system, EPA regulations controlling individual property owners rights to plow fields and restrictions on size of sugary drinks.

    Others believe there should be few regulations, that government is the problem, that all business is free to do what they want and due to tort liabilities, they will always do the right thing.

    Neither position is logical!

    Southwest Airlines and others ignored manufacturer and FAA recommendations. The result, one dead. Yes, she had a choice, to fly on this type plane or not. Free marketers will say she should have researched FAA recommended maintenance, researched the companies maintenance of those planes and decided to fly on a different flight on a different plane. She did not do that.

    On the other hand, the FDA is withholding a drug that kills the flu virus within 24 hours that has been used in Japan safely. Might be approved in a couple years . While they are testing a proven safe drug, maybe a couple hundred people will die from the flu that might not had the drug been available.

    The answer. Maybe adding some “common sense” to regulation. If you see a threat (potential harm, ie Airline engines) issue a recall. If you see no threat ( drugs used safely in foreign countries) allow usage under limited situations until some limited tested in the USA has been conducted.

    • Jay permalink
      April 21, 2018 11:30 am

      I agree with you, in principal.
      Some want as little government as possible; others want a lot more.
      And as usual the extremes bollox it up.

      But as life becomes more complex, balancing the two pulls is excruciating 😖.

      Ten Congressmen came to the Hill
      Each one of them proposed a new Bill
      Although half the bills were Silly
      All were approved Willy Nilly
      In the government Dance Quadrille

      • April 21, 2018 1:25 pm

        Is it the complexity of life or the thinking of people that most people can not make decisions for themselves. For example, there are 1,458 words in the Declaration of Indepenence. There are 4,548 words in the Constitution. There are 11,588,500 words in Obamacare legislation.

        One created our country
        One created the government we live by
        One created a program to control one business model.

        One created freedoms
        One insured those freedoms
        One infringed on freedoms.

        How many billions of words would be needed today to create our constitution if written today.

      • Jay permalink
        April 21, 2018 2:23 pm

        One who?
        I don’t get your meaning?

      • April 21, 2018 7:05 pm

        Different problems have different solutions.

        Some things behave linerarly, some behave asymptotically,
        Some follow some form of bell like curve.

        Only those problems that follow a bell like curve are best addressed by moderation.

        And even those for those problems the objective is usually to approach as close as possible to some maximum. That is still not an argument for “moderation”, it is an argument for finding the facts, determining the nature of the curve and moving toward the optimum.

        I have noted REPEATEDLY, that we KNOW that the rate of increase of standard of living declines as the size of government increases – for all government sizes larger than 20% of GDP.

        This data is extremely robust – over time, over different countries accross the world.

        The exact same correlation exists with economic freedom – greater freedom always means faster increases in standard of living for all.

        Everything that most of us – right or left want.
        A cleaner safer world, longer better lives.
        Less conflict, less racism, less violence of all kinds, less descrimination of all kinds.
        All declines as standard of living rises.

        It is not government or regulation that causes the improvements in our lives.
        Those improvements are the consequence of rising standard of living.

        Not only does the evidence show that. But so does logic and human nature.

        The man dying of thirst has little concern for whether the water he drinks might have a risk of giving him cholera.

        Everything the left wants – everything any of us wants with respect to life will not occur – until we have a high enough standard of living to afford it.

        No amount of regulation will solve the problems the left demands solutions to – until we are able to afford to impliment those demands.

        Further if we want something – and the fact that we create regulations suggests that many of us want something, when were are able to we will pay to get that thing.

        That is the history of humanity.

    • April 21, 2018 6:49 pm

      Southwest started the process of inspecting the engines for all similar aircraft practically before the jet touched down.

      The world is not perfect.
      It is not perfect with regulation.
      It is not perfect without it.
      Only those pushing regulation operate under the delusion that the world can be made perfect.

      The recent incident is the first of its kind in the US in years.

      It has been years since a US airline passenger has been killed in a airline accident.
      Even globally air safety is WAY up.

      Air Travel is far safer than it was when it was highly regulated.

      Southwests own quick response should demonstrate to you that the FAA’s actions are redundant.

      Left on their own – free markets will make mistake – but they will learn from those mistake – not merely from fear of torts, look at the efforts Zuckerburg has gone to to repair Facebooks reputation ? FB lost 50B in shareholder value over the announcement that CA got alot of peoples data. No crime, no misconduct, just something users and shareholders did not like.
      No regulation in the world could get Zuckerburg’s attention quite so well.

      • April 22, 2018 12:53 am

        Dave “Left on their own – free markets will make mistake – but they will learn from those mistake”

        Well they made a huge one on this one. And I will not use “common sense” again since what most people think is common sense is not what you and some others would call common sense.

        I will use making decisions in the best interest of others to avoid harm. Harm to others and harm to yourself. We have a proven situation where previous engines have been identified as having metal fatigue. The FAA recommended inspection within a certain time period. The manufacturer went further and sent out red flag messages that this is too long, the inspection period needs to be shorter to get all the engines inspected faster due to the chances of something bad happening was real. Southwest and others refused to inspect the engines due to cost and downtime of the largest type of planes in their fleet which would have caused flight interruptions.

        So “Left on their own – free markets will make mistake – but they will learn from those mistake”. Tell that to the family of the woman partially sucked out of the plane and killed. Her family will feel better knowing they learned from her death.

        But had the decision been made to avoid harm to someone else or themselves, the planes would have been inspected when the people who built the plane engines and know the workings as well as anyone made that recommendation. Instead they continued flights due to cost and loss of profits that harm no one other than a few cents on a quarterly dividend.

        And by the way, doing the recommended maintenance. That is what I CALL COMMON SENSE!

      • April 22, 2018 9:56 am

        “Well they made a huge one on this one”

        How so ?

        In the real world things fail – even things made by humans fail.
        We strive for perfection. The safety record of airlines has improved phenomenally since deregulation.

        I beleive it has been a decade since the last airline death as a result of equipment failure.

        Look – hold the people involved responsible – I fully expect that.
        But highly regulated systems do no better.

        You noted the FAA demanded inspections AFTER the airlines and Boeing had already started doing exactly that.

        In the real world we do not get perfection, but we do get better and better.

        Do you understand that your odds of dying during air travel are far far far less than a car trip to the grocery store ? Or being struck by lightning ?

        From what I see the airlines are doing incredibly well.

      • April 22, 2018 10:14 am

        Anything made from metal and subject to stress will eventually fail from metal fatigue.

        The claim that there was a failure from metal fatigue is pretty much a given.

        Other engines experienced metal fatigue ? Of course they did ALL engines experience metal fatigue.

        You can not prevent metal fatigue, or failure.

        Nor is it an instantaneous phenomena.
        Metals under stress gradually get weaker and weaker – that is metal fatigue.

        Eventually they become weak enough to fail.

        You can not prevent them from experiencing fatigue.

        Nor is their a single objective.

        We could inspect every single engine thoroughly before every flight.
        Travel costs would skyrockets – deaths from other causes would increase,
        but we might reduce a once a decade failure to once every two decades.

        Do you check the presure in your tires everytime you drive – the fluids ?
        Why do you expect airlines to behave differently than you ?

        Perfect safety is not acheiveable.

        The standard for industry today is 6 sigma
        that is 3.4 failures per million over the long term.
        Airlines carry 809M passengers/year.

        Airline fatalities as 0.07 fatalities per billion passenger miles:
        While auto fatalities are 1.17 per hundred million passenger miles.
        And the most dangerous more of transportation is walking.

      • April 22, 2018 10:34 am

        Just to be clear – it is trivial for a regulator to recomend – you should do X things would be safer.

        It is always possible to make anything safer – atleast by direct measures.

        Lets look from a PURELY safety perspective at this situation.

        Lets say we double the frequency of engine inspections and the result is a decrease by a factor of 4 in the lives lost – so now we are down to 0.02 deaths per billion passenger miles.

        First the FAA is still going to be able to correctly note – that you could inspect even more and reduce deaths further.

        But lest say that increased inspections result in either 10% fewer flights or 10% higher cost and therefore 10% fewer passengers.
        Lets assume that 50% of the reduction is replaced by car or rail travel.

        You will ultimately end up with MORE total deaths.

        What you – and the FAA fail to realize – and another part of why “common sense” is crap, is that everything is part of a system.

        I beleive I talked about the way that farm equipment manufacturers test axles.

        They test them to failure. Then they redesign the decrease the likelyhood of failure at the point of failure.

        But they have to be careful with this process – because ultimately if you just keep testing to failure and strengthening the point of failure all that happens is that eventually your lightest axle becomes your heaviest.

        The objective is NOT to eliminate failure.
        It is to radically reduce it under the 1% most likely worst conditions.
        It is always possible to fail something.
        Making one part of an axle incredibly strong – just moves the failure elsewhere.

        Increasing the safety of a system that is orders of magnitude safer than other systems at the cost of even a small shift to other less safe systems on net makes us LESS safe, not more.

        Even the FAA knows this – but you never get fired for saying – make something safer, even if that actually makes us all less safe.

        What I am addressing is the phenomena that Bastiat wrote about 200 years ago in “that which is seen and that which is unseen”.

        You as well as most people are confused about how prices work.

        You think that prices are merely about making a buck.

        Prices also encourage or discourage different activities.

        Low prices for airtravel ENCOURGE the use of the safest form of transportation we have.
        Higher prices DISCOURAGE the use of the safest form and move people to LESS SAFE forms.

        Prices are a message to people – “choose me”.
        If you want people to chose the safest option – that option needs to be the cheapest option too.
        Even if small amounts of safety must be sacrificed to make that means more attractive.

      • April 22, 2018 10:46 am

        Just to be clear.

        The safest possible outcome is NOT the recomendation of the FAA.
        It is not the recommendation of the engine manufacturer.

        I do not know that Southwest and the other airlines actually got it right, but I strongly suspect they did.

        The safest result is the arrangement that results in the fewest deaths in the entire system.
        Not the fewest airtravel deaths.

        If Airtravel has 10 times the current death rates – but prices that resulted in doubling airtravel and reducing other forms of travel the result would be STRONGLY net positive.

        This is a permutation of the same fallacy we get into with gun control.

        Austrailia’s tough gun laws have actually virtually eliminated mass shootings.

        But they have had no effect on the treds of mass killings – or other overall death rates.

        What is your objective – to reduce gun deaths – or to reduce deaths ?

        What is your objective – to reduce airtravel deaths or to reduce travel deaths ?

        I do not have quite enough information to do the math.
        But the safety of airtravel is so radically greater than other forms of travel, that ANY proposed measure increasing flight safety would have to have near zero cost to not be net negative.

    • April 21, 2018 6:51 pm

      Please quit trying to sell common sense.

      It is like “fair” a meaningless term.

      Jay thinks Gun regulations are “common sense” – despite the fact that there is ZERO evidence to support them.

      It is easy for people to say something, even argue that it is reasonable.
      Most everything van be made to sound reasonable with half the facts.

  73. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2018 12:35 pm

    I got this really good deal on beef shanks at the grocery store.
    Three of them, big and juicy.
    So, should I pressure cook or slow cook them?
    Or just simmer them overnight on the stove?

    The butcher at the market, who gave me the great deal, is a Portuguese American who frequently shares his recipes and other cooking advice. He said he’s searing his in hot oil, and then braising them in the oven for 6 Hour. But first he’s gonna name them, so he can cheer them on as they sizzle: he says he always chooses names of those who annoy him whose asses he’d like to see fried.

    My three shanks – Trumpie, Paulie, and Jared – are cooling in the refrig now. For desert I’m thinking pie ala Stormy, with whipped cream and a 🍓

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 21, 2018 3:17 pm

      A fried ice cream Cohen.

      • April 21, 2018 4:01 pm

        Y’all need a food recall. Your getting food poisoning from that dinner.

    • April 21, 2018 3:47 pm

      Are you really going to eat the rotten Trumpie? Your butcher saw a sucker coming when he was able to unload Trumpie, Paulie and Jared.

  74. April 21, 2018 3:59 pm

    Sorry, guess I understood myself. What I was trying to say is everything people in government do today is way too involved and complicated. And what they do is too intrusive.

    So I used three documents as examples. The one which declared are freedom and independence, one that created the government that was designed to insure those freedoms and one which infringed on individual freedoms.

    Why did it only take 4500 words to create this government, but 11M to create Obamacare?

    You commented about complexity today to my issue with common sense. 4500 words is using common sense. 11M is creating complexity.

  75. Jay permalink
    April 21, 2018 9:38 pm

    Dave, do you understand how fucked up this is?
    That the family of a former Republican President doesn’t want the present Republican President to attend a family funeral ?

    Don’t you yet understand how detrimental this idiot is to the nation?
    Why aren’t you out there calling for his removal?

    • April 22, 2018 12:12 am

      Your idea of the nation seems to be thoroughly emotional.

      The Bush’s should have whoever they want at Barbara Bush’s funeral.

      The nation is not harmed by any of the crap you seem to think harms it.

      But it was harmed greatly by eight years of sub 2% growth.

      I am still ambivalent about Trump.
      There is alot to like.
      There is alot to hate.

      But with each passing day it be becomes more and more certain – he is a much better president than either of the past two.

      It is interesting – Bush II was a good man. I think Obama was a good man. Bush I was a great man. None of them were particularly good presidents.

      Bill Clinton was a bad person. He was a good president.
      Trump is not such a hot person, he is on the way to being a good president.

      Things may change

      Further I wish that we could have a president that was both a good person and a good president.

      I will continue to vote for character.

      But I am not going to whig out over stupid things as you are.

      No Trump is not bad for the nation.
      Nor is he an idiot – though the fact that you think he is bad for the nation and an idiot raises alot of questions about you.

      Why am I not calling for his removal ? Because his ACTIONS as president are pretty good.

      He judicial nominees have been the best in my lifetime.
      He is putting almost 50% federalists on the courts – federalists are about the closest you can get to being libertarain and still be republican.
      He is choicking the regulatory state in a way that has not been done since Carter.
      Even some very deeply nevertrump libertarians are noticing.
      His cabinet may be the best in my lifetime – regardless, most are proving very effective – though some more quietly than others.
      I think he has made some foreign policy mistakes. We should be leaving afghanistan, and I do not think we should have attacked Syria recently. But mostly he is doing very well in foreign policy.
      I really do not like what he says about Trade. But in the end what he does does is not what he says.
      He is making difficult risky choices – such as trying to resolve things with North Korea.
      That appears to be going good. But even if it goes horribly – no one else tried.

      These are things that matter to me.

      I can also list things I am not happy with – but pretty much every one, was true with Obama too, and Bush, and would have been with Hillary.

      I could be alot happier. I am not happy with Trump,
      But he is not Bush, he is not Obama, and he is not Hillary – and that is very good.
      Nor do I think that any of the other republicans who ran in 2016 would have accomplished what he has.

      I think he is occasionally wrong, but I think there is actually an important difference between Trump and all the rest of the candidates. He is not a republican, he is not a democrat.
      He is his own person – sometimes wrong, but not beholden to anyone.

      I do not know that he beleives in all his own policies.
      But I do think he beleives in the intrinsic greatness of this country.

      And honestly – the media, the left, you, Obama, and even Bush do not really.

      American is not great because we are polite or cooperative, or couth, but because we accomplish things – sometimes with some breakage along the way.

    • April 22, 2018 12:19 am

      “Don’t you yet understand how detrimental this idiot is to the nation?
      Why aren’t you out there calling for his removal?”

      Jay one can dislike the current president for every bit of dislike they can gather and there is still only four ways for a president to leave office. One is to die, one is the 25th amendment, one is by impeachment and one is to be removed by the electorate.

      Each one of us has one way to make it happen. through the election process. We only have say in the last two by electing someone else or electing representatives that will begin the impeachment process. But right now, being an asshole, incompetent moron is not an impeachable offense.

      So I will asked you again as I have in the past. What good would it do for Dave or myself to write on this blog daily and retweet every negative thing about Trump that shows on the internet? Not a damn thing in my estimation.

      • April 22, 2018 9:49 am

        It is not likely I will vote for Trump in 2020.
        It is less likely I will vote for someone the democrats run – but I can hope. There are democrats I could vote for, just not ones with a chance.

        It is unlikely that Trump will be impeached – and absent something I have not seen yet – I would not support impeachment.

        I can complain about Trump – there is alot to complain about, but by the measures that are important to me – and I think most people, he is so far the best president of the 21st century.

        That does not mean he is good, or that he does not annoy me.

        Further I do not think President Pence would be an improvement.
        While he likely would be more dignified, and that would be appreciated, there is no good reason to beleive he would be more effective.

        I( do not support everything Trump has done.

        But I do support the return of the rule of law to the presidency.
        Trump has undone the extra constitutional excesses of Obama and has thus far been completely disinclined to rule by the “pen and the phone”

        I do support his strongy federalist judicial nominations.

        I do support his efforts to slash federal regulation, which thus far are working far better than predicted.

        I do support tax reform.

        I has some disagreements on Foreign Policy – we should be leaving afghanistan, we should not have bombed Assad, and if ISIS is truly defeated we should be getting out of Syria.
        But otherwise he is doing surprisingly well in foreign policy

        I do not support his blustering with respect to Trade, but MOSTLY thus far it has been bluster,
        He has not started a trade war.

        I do not support anyone on immigration, but he is no worse than the left.

        Overall, I am happier with Trump than any libertarian can rightfully expect out of a major party candidate. That is far from happy. But certainly Bush III, Waren, Clinton or Sanders would have been worse.

    • April 22, 2018 12:33 am

      Jay Michael Cohen is full of BULL SHIT!

      According to USA Today, a much more reliable source of news than Twitter Crap, they say:
      “Trump’s absence isn’t unusual for a sitting president. The last president to attend a first lady’s funeral was John F. Kennedy, who went to Eleanor Roosevelt’s service in 1962.

      Former president Barack Obama did not attend Nancy Reagan’s funeral in 2016 or Betty Ford’s in 2011, and Bill Clinton did not attend the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.”

      So start doing some research before retweeting someones moronic comments that are unsubstantiated. Even the fact checking sites like Snopes can not substantiate the comments Michael Cohen picked up from Facebook. It only took me about 1 minute to find 5-6 sites that gave the reason Trump did not attend and none said he was ordered to not attend.

  76. April 23, 2018 11:06 am

    Interesting how we argue about a subject, it becomes a center piece of our elections, it is top news for months, our steel producers are going to get a huge impact and then nothing. And the fact that nothing is happening just shows how we, as a society, are so manipulated by politicians and special interest groups for their own personal advancement.

    • Jay permalink
      April 23, 2018 6:34 pm

      America was once naive enough to produce a high percentage of leadership people with integrity

      • April 23, 2018 6:42 pm

        I am not so sure that is so.

        Past elections were far more bitter than today.

        Burr killed Hamilton.
        At times our founders sought to jail each other.

        And lest we forget a signifcant portion of our founders OWNED other men.

        I think what they accomplished is incredible.

        But I am less sure they were exceptional men.

      • April 23, 2018 10:53 pm

        “I think what they accomplished is incredible.”
        Yes, but I think the difference today is most decisions made benefited the masses then and now most decisions benefit a minority, special interest and personal well being.

        Not saying all decisions they made were good, but today the decisions made for minorities, but conservative and liberal minority groups have divided this country into two distinctive groups. In the past, other than during the civil war periid, it seems the country was much more united.

        And my definition of minority in this comment is any special interest that does not have the majority of Americans support or interest as top priority.

      • April 24, 2018 12:12 am

        Their decisions were no better than today.
        The scandals and profiting at the government trough were if anything worse than today.

        The most noteable differences is that the constitution was interpreted more narrowly so there was less trouble that they could get into.

        The country was more strongly divided then than now. Ultimately resulting in a civil war.

        Government is not supposed o be advancing anyones interests. Minority of majority.

      • April 24, 2018 10:23 am

        “Government is not supposed o be advancing anyones interests. Minority of majority”

        So I need to do a better job explaining, but I try to limit my words as anything over 100-150 gets deleted and not read by most accounts.

        Advancing a majorities interest. Example, equal rights amendment where it is illegal to discriminate on a number of issues. Just one segment, women, is the majority of America.

        Advancing a minorities interest. Forcing a baker to decorate a wedding cake in a gay design when the baker refused due to religious reasons. From reports, they did not refuse to sell the cake, they refused to use their artistic abilities to decorate in a manner objectionable to them.

        Yes, elected officials have always been corrupt. That is how they achieved power and took control of the machines that moved them through the electorial system. Maybe 20% are not, the rest I would not trust.

      • April 24, 2018 1:21 pm

        The equal rights clause in the 14th amendment bars discrimination by GOVERNMENT.

        The constitution does not empower government to bar private discrimination – it can not.

        Who a baker(or anyone) chooses to sell to is not the business of government.

      • April 24, 2018 1:33 pm

        “Who a baker(or anyone) chooses to sell to is not the business of government.”


      • Jay permalink
        April 24, 2018 3:03 pm

        He can’t help but overstate.
        He was wrong on the baker.
        And obviously on ‘anyone.’
        (Pornography to children, etc).

        I’m having problems posting via my iPad. Pasting and back spacing are a problem… WordPress sucks,

      • April 25, 2018 9:53 am

        “He can’t help but overstate.”

        I am stating principles.

        If you wish to try to state the current law – go ahead. There are 50 states and it is different in each state. Not only is it different – but the exact same law – most states have passed the RFRA is interpretted radically differently by that states courts.

        Further there is a federal RFRA – which the federal courts interpret essentially as the First amendment means what it says and Public Accomidations laws are inferior to religious freedom.

        But SCOTUS in one of its most odd decisions ever has found that while the first amendment and RFRA must be applied strictly to the federal government and federal law, that states are free to apply it as they please. A very bizzarre decsion – because the meaning of a right is something that Government – not any government can infringe on.

        But then you are clueless as to the harm that is caused by this
        Play it be ear, the law means what I FEEL it means, Rights are what I am in the mood for today leftist garbage brings.

        One of the reasons for principles is because you can guide your life, society and government by principles. Everyone can understand and follow a principle whether they agree or not.
        When government is constrained by principles, and those principles are kept narrow and few,
        Everyone knows what conduct will subject them to force.
        All other constraints on your conduct are then rooted on personal principles or your need to live with others.

        No one may be forced to do what another wishes – that is a principle.
        It is why rape is illegal. It is also why the baker is free to choose their own customers.

        We are all still free to express out displeasure at the choices that others make.
        The baker who refuses to bake cakes for the weddings of gay couples,
        can not force others to buy from him, or be silent about their displeasure at his choices.

        Not only is that the right principle. It is the only principle that will not make a disasterous mess of society.

        “He was wrong on the baker.”

        How so ? I stated a principle – just a permutation of Kant’s catagorical imperative or the NAP

        “And obviously on ‘anyone.’
        (Pornography to children, etc).”

        Only in your head. First children and the incapacitated are universally treated differently.
        You must have the ability to enter into an agreement to be able to do so.

        You want to pretend to be opposed to principles – and yet at the same time offer the equivalent of principles.

        You want providing pornography to children universally barred – WHY ?
        What fundimental value is offended ?

        I am not disagreeing with you, I am merely pointing out to you that you accept broad principles.
        You presume – probably correctly that the law regarding giving pornography to children is the same in every state. Well the law regarding who you may refuse to sell a cake to is not even close to the same.

        Yet the issue is very close to the same – the rights and responsibilities of adults for their choices.

        The freedom to contract requires that all parties are freely able to contract.
        You may not contract with a pig, or a tree. You can only contract with humans.
        And only those who have the capacity to form a contract.

      • April 25, 2018 1:44 am

        Article I, section 10, clause 1.

        No State shall …. pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.

        For much of US history that precluded precisely the garbage you refer to in CO.

        Regardless Ron, I make arguments rotted in facts, logic, reason and principles.

        Quite often the law conforms to facts, logic, reason and those principles – sometimes however our laws are quite stupid.

        There is a twitter feed that will deliver to you each and every day a new example of a totally stupid federal crime. They will never run out.

        I seem to recall one recently that made it a crime to sell meat that smells – unless the smell is not too bad.

        Seriously, I am not joking. Garbage like that passes for law.

        I am not interested in an argument that something is illegal.

        Breathing is illegal in some state.

      • April 25, 2018 10:53 am

        I can’t remember exactly what we were addressing in these comments and I refuse to try to find the original comment once it gets this long, so will follow your comment with this.

        In both extremes of the political environment, which now is more the rule than the exception, the desire is to insure rights for those in a minority while infringing on rights by controlling individual actions of the majority.

      • April 25, 2018 10:52 pm

        Rights belong to individuals not groups.

        No right infringes on the rights of others – except the right of individuals to initiate violence.

        The conflict is between powers of govenrment and rights of individuals.
        In all or very nearly all cases individual rights should prevail.

        Left right – it should not matter.

      • April 26, 2018 12:23 am

        Dave “Rights belong to individuals not groups”

        You have told me this many times and many times I reply I understand that completely.

        “The conflict is between powers of govenrment and rights of individuals.
        In all or very nearly all cases individual rights should prevail.”

        But the issue today is too few people understand that fact. Today people truly believe that their rights are provided by the government. The second amendment does not give the individual the right to bear arms, it prevents the government from taking that individual right away. The first amendment does not give people the right to free speech, it is there to keep the government from silencing people if it does not like what they are saying. All of the rights in the bill of rights keeps government from taking something away, it does not give anyone anything.

        But go into most any school today and if they are teaching history or government, most all teachers will present that document as one that gives the rights to people and not that it prevents government from taking that inherent right away. Many universities will have the same slant on the subject. That is why they have moved so much closer to how universities controlled speech on campus before the free speech movement of ht late 60’s and early 70’s. Today most conservative personalities are prevented from speaking because the students do not want anyone hearing what that person has to say.

        We are now at the point that health care is a right. That is how most people that supported the PPACA see health care. And I could list too many other “rights” that are not “rights” that people think are guaranteed.

  77. April 23, 2018 5:00 pm

    This country is heading for much more than political sniping. We have a state that refuses to enforce federal laws, but cities and counties within the state are refusing to follow state laws. Now we have counties refusing to enforced state laws when it comes to gun control.

    Maybe I am wrong when I say people do not know enough about the constitution. Maybe they are beginning to understand government does get its power from the people and people are beginning to rescind the powers government has achieved in the past.

    I say “power to the people”. Heading in the right direction!

  78. Jay permalink
    April 23, 2018 6:45 pm

    This is worth watching, a time most citizens believed in American exceptionalism, because then America was exceptional.

    • April 24, 2018 12:08 am

      look at how much has changed and is still changing.
      America remains exceptional.

      I would also note that you are looking at NYC during the Tammney hall era.

      Nostalgia makes us see the past as better than it was.

  79. Grumpy old fart permalink
    April 24, 2018 8:56 am

    I read almost no news, just a quick glance at the headlines on odd days. But I have an interest in people like Bush 41, so I did read this one.


    How we have changed, and not in a good way. Of course this truly qualified man was rejected by his own party after one term, a party that was not nearly so wacko as it is today, but was already setting off on its great downward journey.

    At least there are still 55% of us who can tell shit from shinola. The fact that 40% can’t see what is wrong with their party and its leader will never cease to boggle my mind. Anyone who cannot compare Bush 41 with trump and comprehend the terrible fall in integrity, intelligence, honour, guts, everything, is truly a lost soul. Anything he does that they can use as an excuse to accept him in spite of his hideous character will be reversed at some point and all they will be left with is “I sold my soul to trump and the trumpies and all I got was this lousy bumper sticker”

    It is not hard to find similar stories about John McCain, another truly heroic republican who has been left behind by his party as it heads into its nihilistic future.

    I don’t have any illusions that the GOP used to be some wonderful thing, but it had a sizable component of people I could respect and relate to. That component is dwindling and on the run.

    Perhaps a maracle will occur and someday they will get so sick of their FUBAR party that they find a way to unite with the remains of the sensible dem party. Once can dream, right?

    Common sense and common decency have rarely been so far away from politics in my lifetime.

    • April 24, 2018 11:00 am

      “Common sense and common decency have rarely been so far away from politics in my lifetime.”

      Grumpy, careful, we cant use “common sense”. Seems like that does not exist.

      My only reply to your comment is the fact you left out two important facts. One, did “real” republicans nominate Trump, or did he bring together disgruntled independents, democrats, republicans and others who felt left out and combine untraditional voters to gain the nomination. . Two, can we not say the same about the democrats and their far left BS.

      There are not 55% that can tell shit from shinola. Its just the type of shit because the left supports moronic programs, while others support a moronic president. Moronic in either situations is unacceptable. I think only 30%-35% can tell the difference.

      We need to remember JFK’s words about “Ask not what your country can do for you……”

      • Grumpy old fart permalink
        April 24, 2018 12:42 pm

        I was not careful enough with words, you got me. My meaning was that 55% of us can tell that trump is a completely rotten tomato. But yes, of those 55% many of them would swallow Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz, or Sheriff Arpaio, or Micheal Moore or that lefty senator lady from Mass. or Rob Ford, if he were alive and practising politics in the USA. Probably 80% of the country’s voters can tell shit from shinola some part of the time. Some of course think anything is shit if it comes from the other team and everything is filet mignon if it comes from their own team. I have no use for these people, the blinded partisans.

        I wonder what percentage of the country would meet my definition of being able to reliably avoid falling into right or left (or other) bullshit, moonbeams and nonsense? Some days I think it might be 40%, some days it think it might be 10%.

        People seem to becoming more gullible and yet more cynical at one and the same time. Is that possible?

        As a complete non sequiter I was completely shocked and dumbfounded that Comey would write a book at this point in time. His role in the events of teh recent past and therefor in the unfolding of future events is in my opinion much too large for him to be cashing in and spinning his side of the story in book form. He should have been absolutely private in his views unless called to testify in some venue. That really disturbs me, nothing is sacred to anyone, no dignity or decorum is left to us from the POTUS, Congress, former officials, its all for sale like a cheap whore on main street. (Not meaning to bring up libertarian views on legalized prostitution but I just will never accept that the president and the recent FBI director at the center of the storm are prostituting themselves shamelessly. Ugg, Ugg to it all.

      • April 24, 2018 1:29 pm

        My major point of departure from “Moderate” as TNMers tend to think of it. is that though I do not think the right has all of the answers or the left has all of the answers, I do think each side has SOME of the answers.

        Sometimes the middle way – the way of compromise is the best answer.
        But quite often one side or the other is either right or far closer to right than the other.

        The problem with our parties is not that they are not right some of the time, but that they are not right all fo the time.

        I share far more values with those on the left.

        While I constantly defend the right of a baker to refuse to make a cake for a gay couple, I still think he is an ass and would boycott his store.

        I agree with the left regarding how we should treat others.
        I do not agree that we should make it law.

        The right tends to be right on fiscal matters – probably because they steal their economics from libertarians. Though often they say the right things while doing something different.
        Hence this budget disaster.

      • April 24, 2018 1:29 pm

        Well Grumpy, I was going to say I was going to be like Dave and comment that I think Trump is a moron based on his personal actions, but I agree with many of his political decisions. And to support that, I looked at the internet for information that would substantiate some of my comments, but the same problem exist there as exist everywhere in society today. I could either find a large number of articles about how bad actions by the Trump administration are for the environment, financial well being of the people or for the country at large. Then there are sites that praise the Trump administration for striking down hundreds of regulations, unleashing the power of the people and business to allow the natural economic forces to generate substantial growth and economic well being. On both issues, its all BS for the most part and the truth lies somewhere in the middle..

        So when I say I think Trump is a moron and I would not want him at my family dinner, I would prefer the drunk uncle instead, I will say I accept the actions he has taken much more than I would like to see another Sotomayor or Hagan that Clinton would have put on SCOTUS or the massive regulations she would have imposed based on history of the Democrat party.

        As for your question about people falling into one category or the other, Rasmussen reports “the latest (Presidential Polling )figures include 32% who Strongly Approve of the way the president is performing and 41% who Strongly Disapprove. So in my mind, I would say 27% of the people are smart enough to not buy the cool-aid sold by either side.

    • April 24, 2018 1:18 pm

      GHWB was a great man. I would absolutely agree.

      But he was not a great president.

      Trump is not a great man.
      But he is atleast a good president and might be a great one.

      Bill Clinton by all accounts is a worse person than Trump.
      He was a very good president.

      I really wish that decency, integrity, honesty were the critical measures that determined greatness.

      I want to beleive that.

      But the real world tells me that is not true.

  80. Jay permalink
    April 24, 2018 3:43 pm

    Are you fucking kidding?

    • April 24, 2018 4:20 pm

      Jay, what he said was “We’re having very, very good discussions,” Trump said during a bilateral meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France in the White House Cabinet Room. “Kim Jong Un was — he really has been very open. I think very honorable, from everything we’re seeing.”

      Did he say he was honorable on anything but the current negotiations to talk? Good God, start listening to what he says in the context of how it fits into the discussion. Stop using Twitter and the twisted reports from individual with an agenda for your news.

      Do you call someone a madman, maniac, psycho or anything else when you are trying to actually negotiate something positive. No, you play the game and pump up the other psycho to think he is being accepted as an equal. There is plenty of time for Trump to go back to “Little Rocket Man” when this breaks down.

      Jimmy Carter recently wrote “Over more than 20 years, I have spent many hours in discussions with top North Korean officials and private citizens during visits to Pyongyang and to the countryside. I found Kim Il Sung (their “Great Leader”), Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and other leaders to be both completely rational and dedicated to the preservation of their regime.” Is this much different than Trumps comments about Un?

      Most people that report on this issue say the odds of anything positive occurring is slight, even Carter says denuclearization will not happen, but this is a first in the history of two Korea’s to have both leaders actually planning to talk.

      So ask yourself, if you were negotiating a peace treaty between the Hatfields and McCoys and there was progress to end that feud and then one or the other “called the other adirty rotten bastard”, what would happen to that feud?

      And ask yourself also, if anyone but Trump said this, would you be having that cow now?

      • April 25, 2018 12:27 pm

        He is trying to get the guy to give up his nukes – and by all appearances just might succeed.

        I do not care if he calls him mother Thereasa, if that is what it takes.

      • April 25, 2018 2:24 pm

        “I do not care if he calls him mother Thereasa, if that is what it takes.”

        Yep, and that is what I tried explaining. I think Jay would vote for Crumbs Pelosi to get rid of Trump since he is so apoplectic about Trump being in office if she ran.

    • April 25, 2018 12:14 pm

      Do we have to keep playing this stupid game ?

      Obama praising Putin
      “I am aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people in your previous role as prime minis-, uh, as president, but in your current role as prime minister,”

      Clinton praised Assad while building support to go after Ghadaffi

      FDR said that Musollini was “admirable” and was “deeply impressed” by what he has “accomplished”.

      FDR adviser Rexford Guy Tugwell said of Italian fascism: “It’s the cleanest, neatest, most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen. It makes me envious,” adding that, “I find Italy doing many of the things which seem to me necessary … Mussolini certainly has the same people opposed to him as FDR has.”

      NAACP co-founder W. E. B. DuBois viewed the Nazi rise positively, saying that Hitler’s dictatorship had been “absolutely necessary to get the state in order.” In 1937, DuBois stated: “there is today, in some respects, more democracy in Germany than there has been in years past.”

  81. Jay permalink
    April 24, 2018 4:02 pm


    “Even if there is a surge in turnout, a majority of America will not vote in November,”  said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “It’s a chilling story to tell. These people don’t vote. They could hate Trump, but they could still not vote because they hate political parties, they hate Democrats, they hate the bureaucracy, they hate the infighting, the negativity, all of that.”

    When asked for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they heard the name Donald Trump, one in four respondents gave positive answers, including “favorable/like him” (9%) and “doing a good job/trying his best” (5%), while others were critical, calling him “idiot/jerk/ass” (11%) or “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb” (6%).

    Most respondents identified themselves as moderate (36%), followed by conservative (21%) and liberal (11%).

    • April 24, 2018 4:22 pm

      I think I have called him both the 11% and the 6%, but I am still voting for anyone but the democrat.

      • Jay permalink
        April 24, 2018 5:45 pm

        If Trump runs again, you’re voting for him no matter the Democrat?
        Not going to sit it out if Trump runs, no matter the Democrat?

      • April 24, 2018 6:29 pm

        My comment about voting was for 2018. North Carolina has no third party candidates on the Libertarian ticket for local and House seats to speak of. And the democrats are usually ones to appeal to the minorities, which are way too liberal.

        2020 is a different animal. Most likely Libertarian, then I would have a hard time voting for a democrat since almost any democrat that will run is going to be way too liberal.

    • April 25, 2018 12:24 pm

      It is a good thing that most people do not vote.

      Historically the higher the rate of voting the more unstable the government.

      Low rates of voting mean that however voters feel – about the left, about the right about whatever – they do not feel strongly.

      Government should be innocuous.

      We would not care much if the government was made of the most evil people in the country – so long as they were powerless.

      One of the important things your article points out – though not consciously is that values are not binary.

      This is why markets are far better places for people to express their values than elections and government and regulation.

      Whether the local restaurant offers escargot is a function of how many people will buy escargot at the price that restaurant offers and what other restaurants are offering.

      All restaurants do not have escargot on the menu.

      But voting is essentially Trinary.

      Yes, no, or don’t vote – we do not have gradient means of expressing values that are not yes, no.

      Nearly every program of the left gets broad support – until people are told that they will have to pay for it.

      But that is precisely how we decide what we will do in our private lives.
      Something is truly important when we are prepared to pay for it.

      Government is the same – but the fact that we must pay for things is sufficiently well hidden that people make decisions withoug considering the costs.

      • April 25, 2018 2:19 pm

        Dave, Historically it may have been better when there was low turnout, but that was when there was not the extreme differences between parties. Blue dog democrats, Rockefeller republicans, etc made the legislative bodies much more centrist. Now that does not exist, so when there is a low turnout for one party or the other, we get stuck with very extreme political positions.

        We do not need anymore PPACA’s or abortion laws. We need what I call constitutionalist that will limit infringement into rights.

      • April 25, 2018 10:37 pm

        The data on turnout is not just about the US – it is global data.

        All countries with high voter turnout tend to be politically unstable.

        Yes, it is because those countries tend to be polarized – that is what motivates large numbers to vote and that is BAD.

        I know that the left and the media freak out about “right wing extremism”.

        But I am sorry the modern american right has shifted dramatically to the center.

        Or put differently both the right and left have shifted left – alot.

        The shift of the right is very positive.
        Social conservatism is dramatically reduced in power.

        While we are still fighitng over abortion – we are fighting in a narrow window caused by the stupid reliance of Rowe Vs. Wade on science.

        Viability is now almost to 20 weeks. that is where the right is fighting – and they actually have the majority of people supporting that.

        The other fights of the right are almost entirely th consequence of left victories on minority rights.

        We are not fighting over whether gay people can exist. We are not fighting over whether they can marry. we are fighting over whether religious bakers must bake them wedding cakes.

        We are fighting over whether nuns can be forced to pay for abortificants.

        A large number of the left right extreme conflicts are ones the left should LOSE.

        I fought FOR the individual rights of gay people.
        That does not mean I fought FOR their power to force others to do as they wish.

        To be clear – respect is not a right – it is something people must earn.

        The left keeps manufacturing fake rights all over. Calling something desireable a right does not make it one, and makes it less likely to occur.

      • April 26, 2018 12:06 am

        I am with you most all the way on rights and forcing people to do something they do not wish to do.

        that is the difference between someone that follows the right or lefts agenda. If more people understood what Libertarians stand for and Libertarians were not considered “pot heads” with their only agenda being legalized drugs, maybe more people would buy into that line of thinking.

        There are few like Ron Paul that can be respected for his knowledge as well as his positions.

  82. Jay permalink
    April 25, 2018 2:19 pm

    When you’re a dope, you’re a dope all the way:

    “North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump tweeted earlier in April.

    “A North Korean nuclear test site recently shuttered by Pyongyang is unusable and will cause a catastrophe if another test occurs, according to a new report.

    Chinese scientists studying the damage at the Punggye-ri facility estimate that another test at the facility will lead to “environmental catastrophe,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Scientists say North Korea’s most recent test caused a partial collapse of a cavity inside the mountain facility, which would be further exacerbated by another blast, the newspaper added.

    “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests,” reads an abstract for the study published by the University of Science and Technology of China, according to the Journal.”

    • Jay permalink
      April 25, 2018 3:37 pm

      North Korea ISN’T going to give-up it’s Nukes.
      You have to be brain dead & deluded to believe that.

      It’s a shell game. A Distraction from #TrumpRussia bought and paid for by Kim’s Russian allies. To give Dishonest Donnie some breathing room in the news cycle. So he can further dilute the Russian sanctions (like this: “Fortunately for Moscow, it now appears that the sanctions against Rusal Aluminum Company may never actually take effect. On Monday, the Treasury Department extended the sanctions’ “wind down” period — a window in which U.S. and foreign entities could complete their unfinished business with Rusal without facing any penalty — by six months, while expressing openness to lifting the sanctions entirely.”)

      You have to be stupider than stupid to think anything’s going to come from this but posturing from both weasels.

      • April 25, 2018 4:08 pm

        “You have to be stupider than stupid to think anything’s going to come from this but posturing from both weasels.”

        Depends on the posturing. Could be when talks collapse, then we further the sanctions. No one knows until it happens.

        I just find it amazing how rabbit you are about anything Trump does, but where was this same outrage with fast and furious where our border guard lost life.

      • Jay permalink
        April 25, 2018 5:45 pm

        Ron, I wasn’t on this blog in 2010.
        What makes you think I wasn’t critical of fast & furious?
        And what does that have to do with NK talks?

        And where were you on the Iran nuke deal?
        I was against it… I believe Iran already had (and still has) nukes.
        NK isn’t going to disarm or give up its nukes. They’re willing to ‘stop testing’ because they already have deliverable nukes.

      • April 25, 2018 8:35 pm

        We both were not here. in 2010. The investigation wax sometime after that.

        What it has to do with NK talks is the same thing that many double standards have to do with Obama, Clinton and Trump. While issues with Obama and Clinton are passed over, Trump gets total attention.

        I am against any deal where the friendly countries in the region are against them. Why should we agree to something 5000 mikes away when our allies in the region who have to live with the deal is against it. And then there is the money issues, etc.

        As for NK giving up nucs, I doubt they will. So what happens next? Nothing or does the Trump administration use this to racket up more sanctions? One analyst interview replayed on our local station said one of the reasons this may be happening has something to do with banking and China not being able to gets funds to NK. NK does not have money to buy stuff to support the regime. They are only doing this to get sanctions stopped, much like all past negotiations.

        So like being guilty before the trial begins, I will wait for the outcome, just like I am waiting and waiting and………. on the Mueller investigation before making a decision.

      • April 25, 2018 10:18 pm

        I opposed the Iran Nuke deal.

        I do/did not oppose talking with Iran.

        If there is some deal with NK – I will form an opoinion as I learn about that deal.
        I am not at all opposed to talking.

        Most of the sources I read beleive NK is substantially beyond what we are publicly acknowledging – but not quite where they claim to be.

        It is near certain they have a 2nd Gen and possibly a 3rd Gen atomic bomb.
        They do not have a hydrogen bomb. But they are close.
        That is a very big deal as MOST of their tests are of Hiroshima Class weapons – and as bad as that sounds actual 2nd, 3rd and hyrdogen bombs are far worse.

        They likely have the capability of developing an EMP weapon – that is also a big deal.

        Targetting is a known problem for NK, an EMP weapon fired at high in the atmosphere in approximately the center of the country – not a hard targe to hit, would likely destroy nearly all electronics in about 1/2 the country.

        That means no power, no cars, no water, no lights, nothing that has the slightest dependence on electronics.
        While almost no one would be killed immediately millions would be at risk in the weeks and months after. There is no possibility of recovering from that much camage rapidly enough to avoid massive loss of life. Half of the US would be kicked back to the 17th century for months while we the undamaged parts of the country tried to rush to produce replacements for what was destroyed before people started dying. Further the rest of the world could essentially hold us for ransome. The prices of everything electronic would skyrocket for probably a year.

        But it is likely that NK would require further testing to be able to sucessfully use and EMP weapon.

        At the moment it is likely that NK can reach Guam. But the technology to go from Guam to NYC is not significant. But again likely would require testing they have not done – and that if they tried would almost certainly produce a response from us.

        I would also note that NK has had nukes for probably 30 years. They are WAY ahead of Iran.

        Iran probably has nukes. Iran has IRBM’s – not real ICBM’s They might be able to reach southern europe, they can reach israel. they are not reaching the US anytime soon.
        NK is far ahead of Iran there.

        But anything NK has – Iran will ultimately get.

        Finally, I have no idea what is in our military budget expansion – but hopefully one of the things we are spending on is satelite based ICBM interceptors. It has been rumored for a long time that we have these and they are deployed already.
        If not – we badly need these. We have two forms of ground based interceptors.
        Both of these have small success windows. It is many many times easier to knock out an ICBM from space.

        Put differenty we need to stall NK for a few years.
        It will not matter what type of Weapon NK has – if we have the capability of reliably intercepting it.

        We will never have the capacity to face a Russian First strike without massive losses.
        But we can stay ahead of NK and Iran. Probably for about the cost of “they wall”.

      • April 25, 2018 10:23 pm

        “North Korea ISN’T going to give-up it’s Nukes.
        You have to be brain dead & deluded to believe that.”

        Probably not – there are still lots of reasons to talk.

        I would not support a deal as bad as the Iran deal just because it was Trump’s rather than Irans.

        Fundimenatlly my view is we need to stall NK testing for a couple of years to improve our ABM capabilities – particularly space based.

        After that neither Iran nor NK pose much of a threat to anyone.

        Instead of the MASD situation we have with Russia, we would end up with Launch and die without much chance of harming your target.

      • April 25, 2018 10:25 pm

        Still fixated on Russia I see.

        Just wondering why Russia suddenly matters to you – even Clapper and Brennan testified that Russian “interferance” in 2016 was not different from 2012 or 2008.

        You seem to have different rules for Trump.

      • April 26, 2018 12:44 am

        Looks like it may not happen anyway. Appears we have an issue about as stupid as the shape of the table at the Vietnam peace talks. And this is between our allies.

    • April 25, 2018 10:50 pm

      The USSR thoroughly Trashed the environment. No ideology has been worse for the environoment than socialism.

      So why isn’t it a good thing that NK agreed to not do something stupid ?

      You do not think that Kim Un is capable of wrecking the environment in pursuit of Nukes ?
      Stalin had no problems doing so.

      Again I will weigh in on an actual deal when there is an actual deal to weigh in on.

      BTW I do not presume that Kim Un is unwilling to give up Nukes.
      That might be true, but unlike Iran was actually have far more leverage with NK.

      NK is a 3rd world nation just steps away from ICBM’s and Hbombs.

      Iran is a bottom of the 1st world nation that does not have real ICBM’s and at best has primative nukes.

      NK is seriously threatened and highly dependent on a China that sees NK as a massive liability today.

      Purportedly talks are now going on to actually end the Korean war – it never really ended.
      That is large.

      NK purportedly wants US troops out of SK – in return for abandoning nukes.

      There is only one real reason US troops are in SK.

      That is to die int he even NK invades.

      Whatever we promissed it is not certain the US would aide SK without american casualties.
      But the moment NK kills a few americans the public will support war against NK.

      Virtually all Korean War games are just sped up versions of the original Korean War.

      NK advances rapidly – until US forces arrive en masse, and then the US drives NK to whatever point we decide will not provoke the chinese.

      It is entirely possible that in the event of a new Korean War that NK will cease to exist – that it will end up being divided between SK and China.

  83. Jay permalink
    April 25, 2018 3:39 pm

    trump’s denial to Comey that he wasn’t in the Russian Hotel the night of the alleged Pee-Pee incident now contradicted by numerous sources, including flight records, hotel check out records, the beauty pageant director, his bodyguard.

    • April 25, 2018 9:40 pm

      Again you are confusing facts with hearsay.

      Trump has repeatedly asserted that he did not say to Comey many of the things Comey says he said to Comey.

      Given that Trump has not said the things Comey says he said to anyone else. Comey is not credible.

      With respect to the facts:

      The Steele Dossier is less specific about the details of the incident than you claim – the Steele Dossier is very rarely specific about anything that is actually possible to verify.

      That said – it is known that Trump was in Russia for the paegent at time that was not completely inconsistent with the Steele Dossier claim regarding the Pee incident.

      And absolutely that is confirmed by his bodygard – this is all very old news – this was all known at approximately this time last year.

      As I recall Trump’s bodyguard confirmed that Some Russian Oligarch offered a room and prostituted to Trump – indirectly through the bodyguard, and the bodyguard declined – Trump was not even told about the offer. Further the offer was in a Different Hotel.

      Actual verification requires more than generally consistent.

      Need I remind you that Trump’s presence at the Paegent was Not Secret – you did not need to confirm it with any of the people you claim it was confirmed with. It was openly reported on the News. Trump has never claimed he was NOT at the Moscow Paegent. That would be lidicrously stupid.

      Further you can not confirm the veracity of the Steele Dossier by confirming easily know publicly available facts.
      Trump was in Russia for the Paegent in 2013. The Steele Dossier was not written until mid 2016.

      If you want to confirm something from the Steele Dossier you have to have a verifiable fact that could not have been known by someone making up the story. A fact that is confirmable that would require knowledge that only an actual witness could have.

      As an example if I claim Obama diddled kiddies in Kenya in the summer of 2015.

      I can not then breathlessly link to a story in NYT that on July 22, 2015 Obama was in Kenya and say – “see Proof”

      Again there is nothing in the Steele Dossier that has been “verified”.

      That does not mean there is not a single fact that is actually true.
      It means that none of the things that are true constitute knowledge that someone with access to the internet could not have put together after the fact.

      When law enforcement says that a source is reliable that means that source has provided them information that is not generally known that has been tested and proven true.

      It does not mean the source knows hot to read the newspaper.

      • Jay permalink
        April 26, 2018 9:35 am

        “Trump has repeatedly asserted that he did not say to Comey many of the things Comey says he said to Comey.”

        Show me where Trump specifically cited a particular falsehood.

      • April 27, 2018 1:26 am

        Show me where Trump specifically cited a particular falsehood.

        There are Plenty, but that is irrelevant.
        Comey’s memo’s or testimony are hearsay – they are difficult to impossible to use as evidence.
        Specifically for this reason. The burden is actually on Comey (and you) to prove what Comey says is true.

        Nothing is true just because someone says it is .

        I would also suggest watching many of the recent Comey interviews – he is not doing very well.

        Comey was the top law enforcement person in the country – yet he does not know the difference between a leak and a felony.
        This is quite odd as the Obama Administration FBI under Comey prosecuted leaks more agressively than all other presidents before combined.

        Regardless, there are a wide variety of leaks that are crimes – just about any leak about an ongoing criminal investigation is a crime. Anything involving classified material is a crime.
        Nor does the material need to be marked. As Comey notes he is an original source.
        He tries to use that to claim that it was reasonable for him to beleive the items were not classified – because he decided they were not. When you are the origniator – the burden is the opposite – you are supposed to err on the side of classified. Further just about all exchanges with the president are presumed classified until determined otherwise.
        So Comey has lied under oath about leaking – and as Trey Gowdy noted – James Comey is the only person in washington who thinks that providing his memo’s about conversations with the president regarding what Comey identifies as criminal and counter intelligence investigations is not leaking.

        Comey seems to be incredibly ignorant – as well as stubborn about established facts.

        He is convinced that the Freebeacon started the Steele Dossier. We know know – from testimony under oath before congress that Steele was not hired until the Clinton campaign started working with Fusion GPS.

        Comey claims to still not know that the Dossier was paid for by Clinton.

        Lets assume that he does nto know – that just means he committed a crime when he signed off on the Page warrants.
        Regardless, it was his job to know. Again as Gowdy noted – prosecutors can and should start an investigation on an allegation. But they can not get a warrant without probable cause – and if you do not know that the information you are using was bought and paid for – then you are incompetent.

        In May 2017 Comey testified that the Steele Dossier was salacious and unverified.
        Again either he lied to congress or he lied to the FISA court.

        When you request a warrant you must SWEAR that the information is reliable.
        Unverified is not reliable.

        Next Comey says that the Steele Dossier was only part of the warrant application, that other information had come in from the intelligence agencies and from the state department.

        We now know the information from the state department was the Stuff from Downer, and the Shearer Dossier – which is Sidney Blumenthal’s version of the Steele Dossier that predates it.
        Many of Steeles most salacious claims asctually come from the Shearer Dossier.
        Regardless both the Downer and Shearer information were provided to the State department by Clinton surogates.

        Gowdy has noted that the FISA application had 3 separate parts – the Steele Dossier being the first and largest. Unless Comey is lying in his interviews the other two are the Shearer Dossier and the Downer information on Papadoulis. That makes EVERYTHING used for the FISA application trace back to the Clinton Campaigh.

        We also now know ABSOLUTELY that the Downer information did NOT come through intelligence channels. The FVEY committee has confirmed to congress that they NEVER had not passed on information regarding the Trump campaign and Russia – not the Papadoulis story not anything in the Steele Dossier.
        That makes the only possible source of the allegations regarding Papadoulis the Clinton campaign’s channel through State.

        Comey confirmed that some information came from State.
        But he lied when he asserted some came from the IC.

        Comey separately confirmed – presuming that he was telling the truth that the FBI did not open any investigation until July. That State might have had something earlier – but it did not reach FBI until July.

        Comey was also playing bizarre games regarding the Clinton investigation.
        He claimed to be unaware of any of McCabes misconduct – including that he was slow walking the Weiner investigation.

        Comey claimed that Lynch was conflicted and could not make the Decisions regarding Clinton – but that she never authorized him to. And again completely ignored the actual law.

        If DOJ is conflicted – a special prosecutor must be appointed.
        There is no legal provision for the FBI director gets to make the final decision regarding prosecution. He explicitly stated that Lynch never authorized him to.

        One can go on and on about Comey, but he has pretty much wrecked himself as a witness.
        Any decent lawyer will have a field day tearing him apart.

        And this is the person you trust ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 27, 2018 9:37 am

        “There are Plenty, but that is irrelevant.“


      • April 27, 2018 10:12 am

        “There are Plenty, but that is irrelevant.“

        Whatever you can not show – just assert vaguely.
        Then slather on the ad hominem.

        You are actually worse than you claim Trump is.

        Trump is actually dealing with a hostile press.
        You are not dealijng with people who hate you.

        Trump is responding – you are proposing.

        I would further note – that when you argue from emotion rather than logic, the argument will always end up hostile whenever you encounter someone who disagrees.

        That is automatic with appeals to emotion.

        I know you claim not to be a leftist – but you parrot the arguments of the left, in the style of the left.
        There is a reason that left regimes are responsible for such massive bloodshed.

        Because when insult does nto work as a means of refuting an argument, the next step is violence. ‘

      • Jay permalink
        April 26, 2018 9:45 am

        “Trump has repeatedly asserted that he did not say to Comey many of the things Comey says he said to Comey.
        Given that Trump has not said the things Comey says he said to anyone else. Comey is not credible.”

        Another prime example of your block headed dumbness.
        Why would you take Trump’s word that he didn’t say anything?? A known LIAR like Trump? Just because he said it? Without any proof to back it up?

        You’re a dumb bunny. With a head up your ass POV. SHOW ME THE QUOTE FROM trump where he denied he Told Comey he wasn’t in the hotel the night of the pee pee accusation. Monkey sees monkey nods. Pathetic.

      • April 27, 2018 1:31 am

        “Another prime example of your block headed dumbness.
        Why would you take Trump’s word that he didn’t say anything?? A known LIAR like Trump? Just because he said it? Without any proof to back it up?:”

        I do not “take trumps word”. I expect that when YOU claim that Trump has said something AND that it is a lie, that YOU can prove what you are claiming.

        Trump has tweeted like crazy. It should be trivial to find the tweet that proves what you claim.

        “You’re a dumb bunny. With a head up your ass POV. SHOW ME THE QUOTE FROM trump where he denied he Told Comey he wasn’t in the hotel the night of the pee pee accusation. Monkey sees monkey nods. Pathetic.”
        You do understand how convolutedly stupid your request is. ?

        This works the other way – PROVE that Trump has said unequivocally that he was not in that hotel on that night ? The burden is on you – you are making the accusation.
        Or it is on Comey if you are relying on him.

    • April 25, 2018 9:57 pm

      Just to be clear – you can not use hearsay to establish proof,
      To the limited extent that you can use hearsay to discredit a witness – the purpose is to discredit the witness not to prove the truth of what was said.

      In other words if What Comey says Trump said to him is admissible at all, it is admissible to prove that Trump lied, not to prove the event actually occurred.

      Any you are going to have horrible problems with Comey as a witness.
      To a very large extent his memo’s actually confirm Trump’s version of events.
      There are very few discrepancies between what Trump has said in other contexts and what Comey says Trump said to him in private.

      The glaring exception being that Comey says Trump said go easy on Flynn. I am pretty sure Trump is denying having said that.

      I do not know who I beleive. Even if Comey is telling the truth about what Trump said, it is a reasonable communication and not obstruction. Even using the left’s bizzarre argument, it is not obstruction. Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn over an allegation that have nothing to do with Trump or the campaign. At that time Comey’s interest in Flynn – atleast so far as Trump knew was confined to his communications with Kislyak in early Jan. 2017.
      Even presuming that Comey was engaged in a wider investigation of Flynn he did not tell Trump that. Trump can not obstruct something he does not know about.
      More broadly Comey repeatedly – according to his own memo’s and testimoney told Trump that he was not investigating Trump – so again even by the left’s broad theory obstruction is not possible.

      You have to take obstruction so broadly that no president can ever opine on what should happen in any investigation.
      Given that Obama publicly stated Clinton committed no crime long before a decisions was made by DOJ or the FBI – that would be clear obstruction by that standard.

      Further we have numerous historical instances where presidents have intervened in investigations – either to compel prosecution or to halt it.

      More specifically we have GHWB pardoning a raft of people in an investigation that near certainly would have lead to him.

      SCOTUS is addressing a permutation of this as it looks at Trump Travel Ban III.

      It apears that a majority of justices – perhaps as many as 7 are not prepared to accept the argument that Trump may not do something that Obama or any other president could do.

      An act is either wrong no matter who does it, or it is not wrong.

  84. Jay permalink
    April 26, 2018 12:24 am

    Never before in the history of the US has the President’s lawyer taken the 5th in a case involving the President. Keep defending scum and it rubs off on you.

    • April 26, 2018 12:35 am

      This is a civil lawsuit brought by Stormy Daniels in her suit against Cohen and Trump. Cohen is also under investigation in a criminal matter.

      So it they were to asked him a question and he answered that question, that answer could be used in the criminal charges that may be brought up against him.

      If you hit someone with your car and they brought a civil suit against you, while at the same time the state was investigating that accident as potentially involuntary manslaughter, would you answer any question in the civil suit that could be used in the criminal court?

      You might, but I have the right to remain silent and that is exactly what I would do and then I have the right to testify or not in my behalf at the trial.

      • dduck12 permalink
        April 26, 2018 12:58 am

        Agree, RonP.

      • Jay permalink
        April 26, 2018 9:29 am

        I agree. When you’re guilty of a crime it’s savvy to take the Fifth. As it is if your truthful answers will implicate the other party involved (Lying Donald).

        The optics are unsavory for Trump, and by default the presidency. His long time personal lawyer has already been shown as an unsavory shyster, involved in payoffs to quash adulterous affairs. If it turns out he’s been involved in fraudulent business activities as well during his tenure as Trump Fixer In Chief (or better, reveals Trump’s involvement in those schemes) that further tarnishes the Presidency.

        Unfortunately for Cohen, the civil matter isn’t Federal, and if criminal charges flow out of it, if convicted no pardon will be forth-coming.

      • April 27, 2018 12:40 am

        You follow Ken Whites Tweets.
        He has just unequivocally stated if you are a TARGET – you take the 5th.
        PERIOD. Guilt has nothing to do with it.

      • April 27, 2018 12:51 am

        “Unfortunately for Cohen, the civil matter isn’t Federal, and if criminal charges flow out of it, if convicted no pardon will be forth-coming.”

        Assumes alot not in evidence..

        It is irrelevant whether the civil matter is state or federal.
        ALL that matters is whether any criminal charges that MIGHT arise from it – which is highly unlikely, are federal or not.

        Daniels is suing to get the NDA tossed. Frankly the risk to her at the moment is greater than to Cohen. She has already breached and if she does not win Cohen could easily be awarded $2M in liquidated damages. Daniels claim that the agreement is not valid because Trump did not sign it is ludicrously stupid. The contract is between her and Cohen.

        If I hire you to dance for a freinds bachelor party – the contract is between you and me.
        You can not sue my friend, he can not sue you.

        The fact that the performance of the contract requires Daniels to be silent about Trump does not make him a party.

        Her stronger cases is the contract is badly written.

    • April 26, 2018 8:56 am

      This is so laughable it is not even worth the trouble to respond.

      The 5th is quite commonly taken int he political context.
      Lehrner took it.
      AG Holder just refused to testify – essentially the same thing and was held in contempt.

      Typically when someone takes the 5th the LEFT and civil libertarains go to the trouble to explain what it actually means.
      Among other things, it does not mean you committed a crime, it merely means you think you testimony might be construed as an admission to a crime.
      Further typically when you take the fifth – you must take it with respect to EVERYTHING.
      You can not testify even about things you do not think incriminate you

  85. Jay permalink
    April 26, 2018 10:27 am

    “SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced on Tuesday that when the purported “pee tape” becomes available it will be offered free to all Amazon Prime members.”

    Yay. I’m a Prime member!
    (Watch Bosch -best cop drama series this decade)

    • April 27, 2018 1:33 am

      I am a prime customer.

      I have no qualms about Bezos going head to head with Trump.

      I do not ever expect to see the mythical “pee tape”.

      I like Bosch too.

  86. Jay permalink
    April 26, 2018 10:36 am

    Is he lying about lying about it Dave, you gullible twit?

    “JUST IN: Trump admits Cohen represented him in Stormy Daniels deal after claiming he had no knowledge of it”

    • Jay permalink
      April 26, 2018 11:24 am

      To refresh your memory what kind of lying scumbag you keep defending, Dave, a few weeks ago Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he had “NO KNOWLEDGE” of Cohen’s work and payment to silence Stormy Daniels. And the White House flatly denied the affair.

      We have a president and White House that systematically LIES to the people.

      Do you not understand how FATAL that is to our democracy?
      You can’t trust ANYTHING they say… unless you’re a FOOL. Or are you suggesting you have some special talent for distilling truth from lies from Trump?

      • April 27, 2018 1:52 am

        First – though I continue to challenge both you and the press to actually make your case when you claim Trump lies – because the vast majority of the time you are wrong, at the same time no one is claiming Trump is perfectly accurate.

        When refering to generalities – rather than specifics – where you must prove your claims,

        Trumps credibility is about the same as that of the media attacking him.

        There is a sight with a long list of Obama list – several thousand I beleive.
        But most of us know the whoppers.

        Lying and politicians go together.
        Lying and the press are not supposed to. Yet clearly they do.
        Lying and FBI director are not supposed to Yet clearly they do.

        Regardless, I am getting really tired of this crap from you.
        I have been incredibly patient – trying to carefully explain to you that the vast majority of your
        “Trump lies” garbage are nothing close to clear lies. That you are holding Trump to a standard of precision and perfection in speach that you do not hold the press to, that you do not hold Comey to, that you do not hold Clinton to, and that you do not hold Obama to.

        That is called Hypocracy – that is WORSE than what you accuse Trump of.

      • April 27, 2018 2:02 am

        This country is not a democracy.

        In the actual event that you ever manage to come up with a real lie of substance with respect to Trump, then the answer becomes – no that is not fatal to the country.

        Do I have to list the long long list of very serious lies that presidents have told ?

        Remember the Maine ? Remember the Golf of Tonkin ?
        Remember the Assassination of Diem ? Remember I did not have sex with that woman ?
        Remember If you like your doctor you can keep them ?
        Remember Benghazi was a spontaneous protest over an internet video ?
        Remember …..

        If Trump has actually lied in every way you claimed – he has still not lied over anything of near the substance you are claiming.

        Have we gone to war over a Trump lie ?

        If you want to be upset about something – form what I understand the chemical attack in Syria was almost certainly “fake”. The story is not holding up as experts are looking into it further.

        People died over that. The US military committed and act of war.
        That kind of thing bothers me.

        Not this Daniels garbage.

        I think we are all agreed that Trump should shutup alot more.
        So should Comey.

        So should all of those who have so little life that all they can do is try to find small inconsistancies in Trump statements.

        Get a life. It is what Trump DOES that matters.

      • April 27, 2018 2:12 am

        “Or are you suggesting you have some special talent for distilling truth from lies from Trump?”

        No what I am suggesting is that you, the media and the left do not have that special talent.

        All apparent inconsistencies are not inconsistencies/
        All inconsistancies are not lies.
        All words spoken by anyone related to Trump are not Trump’s.

        I have spent much of the past 5 years dealing with a collection of people who lie – alot.
        I know what a real lie is.
        I have one close relative that will never tell the truth if a good lie will work, who tells crazy lies – and is beleived – because no one would tell a lie that crazy.
        I am dealing with another who shades everything, who tells “half truths” constantly.
        And another who has a self righteous streak many times wider than mine, and does not have the brains to grasp that when you step onto a moral soapbox, you had better be damn sure you are right.
        And that is just the family members – there is a small army of lawyers – several of which make Cohen look like a Einstein.

        Anyway, so know what real lies – under oath in the real world are.

    • April 27, 2018 1:43 am

      Please read the article you linked – it does not say what you think it says.

      As Comey did point out with respect to a statement that Lynch made, and one that Comey made that appeared to conflict – it is actually possible for both statements to be True.

      As an example Trump can BOTH not know the source of the money AND know it did not come from the campaign. As hard is ir may be for you to grasp that.

      I would also note that “the Whitehouse says”, “Trumps lawyer says” and “Trump says” are not at all the same thing.

      There is a reason that people have lawyers and press secretaries – to be able to deny or assert things and then walk back from them.

      There is a reason people do not beleive lawyers and press secretaries.

  87. April 27, 2018 12:16 am

    Jay. if this is true, then this can be a big deal for anyone this attorney had dealings with including Trump. One has to wonder what treasure trove of information is included on those phones. Wait and see like all the other investigations that are taking to damn long and doing nothing but dividing this country further.

    And how f’in stupid is it for an attorney to keep stuff like this lying around. I must be totally illiterate because I was told years ago to never put in writing anything you did not want discovered by anyone else years later. Now we have attorneys that think phone messages are going to be secure. Now when dealing with any attorney , the first question should be how the conversation will be documented and before anything is filed approval needs to be made so nothing that could come back to bite someone in the future is not there. And no phone messages at all!!!

    Even the big wigs that did not deal with Cohen are probably calling their attorneys and asking what is on their phones, how far back does it go and what other incriminating business dealings could be discovered.

    One thing for certain, our legal system is getting as screwed up as our healthcare system. And that not a good thing.

    • April 27, 2018 2:20 am


      We have had nearly two years of
      “this latest thing that Trump said is the end of the world”

      Trump often makes things more complicated for himself.

      There is a real risk – that as Derschowitz notes that if you pressure someone enough they will make a stupid mistake.

      Though I would note that works both ways and the evidence thus far is that the actually stupid mistakes are being made by the Argh!Trump crowd.

      I would note that in the article Cited Judge Woods appointed a special master.
      That is a slap int he face of the US ADA SDNYC.
      They wanted just a taint team.

      A special master means that Woods beleives there are serious issues of priviledge involved – that is a LOSS for the SDNYC which has been claiming this does not involve clients or priviledge.

    • April 27, 2018 2:30 am

      I personally hate record keeping.

      But I have had it drilled into me throughout my life – by my mother – dead more than a decade ago.

      I only have verbal communications over matters of importance with people I trust strongly.
      I conduct most of my business and anything with people I do not complete trust in writing – usually by email.

      If I have screwed up somehow – then I should be held accountable.
      Conversely if others have then I want the records to hold them accountable.

      I would be very angry if some search warrant was serveed and all my computers were confiscated. – not because I do not want law enforcement to see what I have written.
      But because I do not want them to be able to deprive me of the records I need to defend myself.

      I would remind you that much of the hysteria regarding each new move by prosecutors or whoever, it primarily wishful thinking and ir never pans out.

      A criminal investigation is dangerous even if you are innocent – as Flynn or Papadoulis or Van Der Zwaan.
      But all this is dangerous for the left too.

      If the left does not “get Trump” their credibility is shot.

      • April 27, 2018 10:47 am

        “I only have verbal communications over matters of importance with people I trust strongly.
        I conduct most of my business and anything with people I do not complete trust in writing – usually by email”

        Maybe I left something out of my comment when I said putting things in writing. What I know I have said previously is “Do not put anything in writing that you do not want others to see that can come back to bite you years later!”

        That is completely different than your putting things in writing with people you do not trust. What you are documenting is words you want seen in the future when needed.

      • April 27, 2018 2:14 pm

        I am not disagreeing with you on some issue of principle.

        I have been advised repeatly by lawyers to keep less records, and put less in writing.

        But I have been involved in way too much lititgation in my life – too much of business goes to litigation today.

        In those instances both I am my lawyers have found that the thorough documentation buttressed our arguments and our story.

        My personal view is to document everything – Even in friendly relations, because sometimes even friends disagree.

        On very rare occasions that documentation has proven I was wrong – that my recollection was faulty. In those instances, I was able to graciously concede and move on without converting a conflict with a good relationship into a bad one. That is a good result. When you are wrong it is GOOD to discover that you are wrong – particularly from your own sources.
        It is also humbling and makes one more careful in the future.

        Like James Comey I have a very strong “self righteous” streak. I have learned that is a dangerous trait. It can be powerful and effective roaring like Moses come own from the mountains. But you can not be wrong – EVER. Regardless, of how I may come off. I try extremely hard not to jump onto a moral soap box if I am not absolutely certain of the ground I am standing on.

        On occasion I have had to make serious allegations of misconduct by others. I have lost alot of sleep over it. I have double, and tripple checked. I have worried that I messed something.
        If you make a serious allegation against someone else – you better be right. PERFECTLY right.

        Again all that means document the crap out of everything.

        I hate documenting. It is not part of my personality. I wish the world did not require it.
        But it does, and I have found that extensive documentation makes conflicts go away, or resolves them quicker or less painfully, or improves the odds of the right outcome.

        With respect to current events, this also effects my perceptions.

        Most of the left is absolutely certain that if they can just stick their noses into everything, that they will ultimately find some great sin of Trumps.

        There are alot of problems with that.

        At the start, there is a presumption without evidence that those they do not like are guilty of something.

        Even you make this assumption whenever we talk about regulation.
        You presume that absent regulation that most people or atleast enough will behave badly that things will go to hell.
        In the real world:

        People make mistakes – regulation will not ever prevent that. Sometimes those mistakes result in harm. Again regulation changes nothing, and we have a perfectly good tort system to deal with that.

        Some small portion fo people will lie cheat steal, whatever it takes to gain advantage.
        Again that occurs with or without regulation, and with our without regulation we have the means to punish if not curb that.

        What is important is that rgulation does not change anything.
        It does not reduce the probability that people make mistakes.
        It does not make bad people good.

        But the vast majority of people are good – not bad.

        But that is not the presumption of the left – nor even of you when you start arguing for regulation.

        So back to Trump.

        If you start with the presumption that Trump etc. have done nothing of consequence wrong,
        then all further snooping is going to do it:
        Expose more minor garbage,.
        further discredit those attacking Trump
        create a number of additional process crimes where someone who is fundimentally innocent gets caught in a mistake.

    • April 27, 2018 2:34 pm

      You seem to beleive that because a lawyer has argued something you like that make it the law.

      I would remind you there was a move to hold Lois Lehner in contempt because the read an opening statement and then took the fifth and refused to testify.

      Contra the claims of the brief you cited the general caselaw on taking the fifth is that you can not do so selectively – on a case by case or question by question basis.

      There are myriads of reasons for this. One of which is that once you testify to something – you can no long take the fifth regarding what you have testified to – or sometimes things related to what you have testified to.

      You essentially end up with a mess where it requires hours of analysis to determine whether you can answer each question, and how to answer it. We do not allow that in court.

      I would further note the Fifth amendment is not the right to not incriminate yourself.
      It is the right to not be compelled to be a witness against yourself.

      Even if you are innocent of any wrong doing – you can not be compelled to testify to things that might suggest wrong doing that you are innocent of.

      I do not know all the details of this case, but my guess is that Cohen will get his stay.
      It is the least harmful choice.

      Daniels signed an NDA – the burden of proof is on her to demonstrate that it is invalid.
      The harm to her from delay in being released is small, and even if the NDA is invalid, it can not be doubted that when agreement was reached and when she took the 130K there was an understanding that she not disclose.

      While the potential Harm to Cohen is great.

      I would note that Judge wood appointed a special master in NY.
      That is what Cohen and Trump asked for.
      That was opposed by SDNYC.

      A taint team i the normal approach.
      Wood approved the unusual approach.
      The one that better protects rights from government intrusion.

      The most important part of a special master, is that it means that the FBI/SDNYC are only going to see the information that is responsive to their warrant and not priviledged.

      The special master is not going to be looking for new crimes or violations of priviledge. or reasons to expand the scope of what the FBI can see.

      The warrant alleges specific crimes and asserts a search for specific evidence – that is likely all that FBI/SDNYC will see.

      If Trump confessed to Cohen about killing Jimmy Hoffa and where he burried the body – the FBI will not see that.

  88. April 28, 2018 5:42 pm

    Credit where credit is due

    • April 28, 2018 6:07 pm

      As with the Mueller investigation, I will wait and see just what this brings. Everything could blow up tomorrow. One thing I would not expect is a bad deal like the Iran nuc deal. So I will give credit when credit is due, not before. Just because SK and NK shake hands and play nice in the sand box means nothing.?

      • April 29, 2018 6:21 am

        “As with the Mueller investigation, I will wait and see just what this brings. Everything could blow up tomorrow. ”

        Everyone hopes for a good outcome. Judgement of the final result rests on that outcome.

        But Trump deserves credit – which he will not mostly get, for the effort to bring Kim Un to negotiations. He is not SOLELY responsible, but he is substantially responsible.

        The last administration to make any significant effort was Clinton and he failed.
        I am critical of Clinton for that failure – but not for trying.
        There is no evidence that Obama or Bush Tried.

        I also give Obama credit for Trying with Iran.
        Overall I think Iran is far less dangerous, they are significantly less advanced and as unstable as they are less unstable than NK.

        I do not like the Iran deal.
        I have been critical of Obama with respect to the deal. He still gets credit for the effort.

        I may not like the NK deal.

        I would further note regarding Korea that an awful lot of the resolution of this is a NK-SK thing.

        The agreement to end the Korean War is a big deal. It may not seem to be one – but it is.

        For a long time there was some discussion of a East Germany/West Germany resolution.
        As with East Germany – that will only occur if NK completely fails.
        But one of the impediments was that SK watched what happened with Germany and in the past did not want that. Ultimately German reunification has proved good for both east and west
        but in the short run it wreaked havoc on west germany’s economy and standard of living.
        Incorporating 10’s of millions of impoverished people suddenly into one of the most advanced first world countries was damaging and difficult.
        SK would face the same thing – possibly on an even larger scale, the economic disparity is even greater, and the sizes of the countries are more equal.

        It appears that SK better understands under Trump that the US, China, Japan want the issue of NK resolved. and ultimately that means an implicit commitment from SK to be the backstop if NK fails.

        Regardless, SK has a large role in this and that role is more reluctant than is perceived.

      • Grumpy old fart permalink
        April 30, 2018 9:02 am

        “One thing I would not expect is a bad deal like the Iran nuc deal. ”

        I DO expect a bad agreement, or no agreement. So far we won that they shut down a test site they had already destroyed. Its Not the nukes and their testing that are the issue now, its the delivery systems! I expect NK and lil Kim to come out of this meeting more dangerous than ever and more determined and in a better position to eventually swallow SK.

        NK has been dying to have a formal meeting with the US forever, we have always refused for reasons that are above my paygrade to be able to sort out, but that has been the pillar of US foreign policy towards NK. Now NK has their nukes and their delivery system and is working on subs that can launch a nuke, has been flying missiles over Japan or that actually fall on Japanese territory and they will get their meeting. Time will tell if the new approach is genius or junk. I’m guessing junk, but like any sane person, I hope its genius, that it lowers the danger. If so, I will give trump his due.

        It will take many years to see what the true impact of any agreement really is. But people will score the agreement immediately, from both predictable partisan sides, as if all the implications come to pass at the stroke of a pen. Any substantial formal agreement between the US, NK and SK Will mark a turning point, but only the future will know whether the turning point was positive. I will NOT read the news following any agreement to hear the talking heads tell me statements so full of the word “may” (This May be the beginning…) that they have no meaning at all. The talking heads won’t know the future and the analysis will be purely along partisan lines, the usual BS.

        We all know already here that the conservative media will love any agreement, even if only a naive liberal could actually love it based on its details, because of the voting implications of convincing Americans that trump is a great negotiator, and the liberal media will hate it, even if by some miracle it is actually a positive agreement, in order to try to deny the trump any popularity increase and the GOP any voting momentum. With an election coming up I expect all of the media, right and left to go into a nuclear powered frenzy of spin following the meeting. Political Theater.

        Somebody please describe to me what a Good outcome would look like, so we can hold whatever comes out of this up to that standard. NK disarms or scraps development of delivery systems and goes agrees to live peacefully and respect that SK is a separate country? Ha.

        Ha, here is what my crystal ball sees: Lil Kim gets a huge boost in status, does nothing substantial or releases one foolish American adventurer who decided to go for a hike in NK, and machine guns a few relatives to celebrate the meeting.

        I will be much more proud of the trump administration if they go to the meeting and come back with the statement that NK offered nothing worthwhile, so they signed nothing. But they still will have raised Lil Kim’s status by having the meeting face to face.

        I have read precisely No news analysis to come up with my opinion, I have read not one single opinion piece. The above is my own opinion based on history pure and simple.

      • Jay permalink
        April 30, 2018 9:49 am

        How Can I link to this on Twitter?
        (You nailed it!)

      • April 30, 2018 6:16 pm

        I figure I should agree with you where I can.

        I do not know what I expect. Though I do not expect that some miracle will occur and NK will never be a problem again.

        I am completely shocked by what I am hearing – particularly from Kim Un. and wondering what he is smoking or whether he is a sociopathic liar trying to suck us all in to some global suicide trick.
        I do not beleive what I hear.

        I oppose – and continue to oppose the Iran deal.

        But I do not oppose negotiating with Iran.
        I do not oppose negotiating with NK.

        I do think lobbing ICBM’s is less likely if we are talking.

        I also think that NK is more dangerous to the US than Iran.


        While I do not think the outcome of this will be rainbows and butterflies, I do not actually think it can get worse.

        There is only one way NK swallows SK.
        That is if we let them.

        That is highly unlikely.

        NK has had the conventional cabability to repeat the start of the Korean war for decades.

        Anything that turns hot likely has SK and US troops pushed back to Busan (Pusan from the Korean war), in a few weeks. But once US forces are mobilized everything reverses rapidly.
        Without China ACTIVELY joining NK, US, SK, and JP as well as UK, AU, NZ forces will clear the airspace over the korean penisula of NK aircraft and nothing North Korean will be able to move on the ground.

        That does not mean it will not be bloody. Low estimates for casuatlies dwarf anything we have seen since vietnam, and are likely far worse than that.

        NK has 15,000 artilery peices in range of Soul. It will take a long time to take them all out.

        The low estimate for soul casualties are 100K in the first few hours.

        If VX gas is used – many more.
        Millions of dead in a very short time are possible – even without going nuclear.

        And if this goes nuclear everything goes to hell.
        NK still loses.

        The only scenario they win is using nukes to threaten the US etc, and forcing us to stay out of the conflict.


        The other huge deal is a NK collapes – even without war.
        There would be a need for a massive rush of humanitiarian aide.
        Both the US, SK, and China would be rushing in.

        That effort could be unpredictable – aide and invasion look the same when APC’s are moving in.
        It could easily turn into both a humanitarian crisis and a military conflict.

        American military forces and Chinese military forces would be closer together than they have been since 1955.

        That will be stressful.

        Further China is not going to be tolerant of a US military presence on their border.
        Aide or no Aide we will have to get out fast.

        In much of the past 30 years SK has quietly been opposed to reunification.

        NK is a thirdworld nation with nukes.
        SK is near the top of the first world.
        This would be far more disruptive to SK than the unification of Germany.
        And West Germans paid a heavy price for reunification.


        We do not know that much about what is going on in NK.

        Off and on there has been frequent bouts of mass starvation.
        It is probable that there have been some episodes with more than 1M dying of starvation.
        That could be happening now.

        China has taken a far far more agressive stance since Trump was elected.

        I do not understand how, but Trump has practically made China his bitch.

        The conflict in the South China sea has flipped – the US is running Military vessels through SCS as if it is our pond.

        China has purportedly been strangling NK economically – and China is their only ally.

        Most importantly China has purportedly completely locked down their access to hard currency.

        That alone may well have completely choked their nuclear program.

        NK is more advanced in technology than Iran, but they are actually far more isolated and more impoversihed.
        While Iran was subject to sanctions – most to the world was cheating.
        That is not the case with NK.

        Further I think China knows that they need Kin Un reigned in.
        China does not want the US military on its border.
        It does not want a Nuclear NK either.
        There is no good outcome of a military conflict involving NK or any form for China.

      • Jay permalink
        April 30, 2018 6:51 pm

        I agree with your assessment, Dave.
        But I’m still betting Trump will find a way to screw things up worse.

      • May 1, 2018 1:54 am

        “I agree with your assessment, Dave.
        But I’m still betting Trump will find a way to screw things up worse.”

        I do not know the answers.

        One of the things that scares me is that those claiming that only Trump can pull this off may be right.

        Because if that is true, what they are saying is that only a president who is willing to take us to the brink of nuclear war could succeed in negotiating with Kim Un.

        While that does speak badly of Trump, it speaks worse of Kim and worse still of the world.

        I would like to believe that we can move to peace without having to threaten nuclear war first.
        But that may not be true.

        Obama failed at this.
        Maybe the time was not right.
        Maybe Obama did not care enough.
        Maybe It was just out of Obama’s abilities.

        Or maybe it was outside of Obama’s nature.

        Some comparisons are being made of Nixon going to china.
        But this is differnet.

        Nixon thawed the ice and possibly only Nixon could.

        But I think we have reached this point because Trump and Kim Un went nose to nose and Kim Un blinked.

        While I am glad that Kin Un blinked. I am not comforted that the only reason this may have come about is because Trump was not bluffing.

      • April 30, 2018 7:26 pm

        Good article. Most everyone is wondering what is happening with Kim like you comment.

        I also was against the Iran deal, but most of what I found objectionable was known after the fact. One main issue was the immediate release of frozen assets which Iran promptly used to help fund the fighters in the region. And I have to wonder just how we manage covert activity that it was designed to prevent when it came to nucs.

        As for China, could be they believe Trump a lose cannon who would do whatever it took to reunify Korea and that is the last thing they want, so they are convincing Kim its in their best interest to begin talking.

      • May 1, 2018 2:00 am

        The confrontation between Kim Un and Trump scared the shit out of me.

        Everything I read about NK said that the key problem is NOT that they are suicidal – they are not.
        It is that they really are so isolated and delusional they actually believed they could win a nuclear contest.

        So if you beleive that Kin Un was that deluded – Then Trump facing him down is both more impressive and Terrifying.

        I can understand it when the left says – this is not how things should be done.

        that is fine, but the problem is whatever it should be, this is how it is.
        I was too young to remember thr Cuban Missle Crisis, but it was very similar in that it was a nose to nose confrontation to see who would blink.

      • May 1, 2018 2:18 am

        While I think that Trump scares China a bit.

        I do not think that is the major factor regarding China.

        China is NOT NK. They are NOT Crazy. They play to win, but they are not going to war.
        Not even a trade war. They have far too much to lose.

        They are a modern first world country today, and they MUST continue to deliver rising standards of living to their people. This is not Mao’s china.

        They will bully their neighbors, but they will not bully us – unless we let them.

        I think that Obama was clueless at handling China, just as LBJ was clueless with respect to Vietnam.

        Obama saw diplomacy as a social game. It is not. Ultimately it is about power.

        Obama mostly acted multilaterally.
        Trump goes to the partners he wants, says “this is what we are doing, join us or not”.

        Obama never challenged China in the South China Sea.

        Trump did from day one.
        Not only did he, but he did so WHILE concurrently confronting NK.

        In the first 6 months of Trump we had two Aegis Cruisers damaged – almost certainly as a result of getting more agressive with China in the South China Sea. Something Obama refused to do.

        Think about this. Aegis is the system that would get the first shot/best at taking out NK missles

        Trump’s agressive actions with China cost him TWO Aegis cruisers for 9-18 months.

        In this Trump reminds me of Churchill – who on becoming prime minister went on the OFFENSIVE against Hitler. Churchill was constantly gambling British resources against making life as difficult as possible for Hitler.

        Everyone is atleast loosely familiar with the Battle for Britain.
        But less know than the air battle, was that Churchill gambled that the airforce and navy could protect england and stripped britain of its military to send to fight Germany elsewhere.

        Churchills strategy was to fight the air battle to a draw, and use the Royal Navy to destroy Hirlers forces crossing the channel.
        Had the RAF lost the air battle, the Navy could not have safely entered the channel and the germans would have faced no opposition in england.

        Regardless the Chinese are no match for Trump.
        they need us more than we need them and Trump knows it and the Chinese know it,
        and Trump is not affraid to push on that.


      • May 1, 2018 2:23 am

        I do not think China cares about a re-unified Korea – so long as the US does not have forces in the north.

        My guess for a deal:

        The Korean war is formally ended.
        NK agrees to some form of denuclarization.
        NK and SK significantly reduce their conventional threat to each other.
        Long term negotiations for some kind of unification occur.
        And the US military leaves SK.

        The US would likely be happy with that China would be happy with that,
        SK would be happy with that
        Japan would be happy with that.

        The question is whether NK will agree, and whether they will live up to an agreement.

        So we shall see how good my xtal ball is

      • Grumpy old fart permalink
        April 30, 2018 10:17 am

        “How Can I link to this on Twitter?
        (You nailed it!)”

        I don’t know from twitter, not my world.

        But I looked up the meeting on Wikipedia, mostly because I wanted to know When it is going to happen and the info there on the meeting was actually interesting. One the face of it, NK claims to be willing to remove its nukes based on 5 conditions, and the conditions themselves are not on their face absurd.

        “On April 11, in a recent North Korea-USA contact, North Korea presented the five entreaties on Trump-Kim summit talks as a condition for the dismissal of the North Korean ICBM nuclear weapons. (1) Ensuring the US and South Korea not locate nuclear weapons strategic assets within the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula[37] (2) Ceasing development or operation of nuclear strategic assets during USFK–ROK combined military training (3) Ensuring the USA will not attack North Korea with conventional weapon or nuclear weapons (4) Converting the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement into a peace treaty on Korean peninsula (5) Official Diplomatic ties between North Korea and the United States. Although, in general, North Korea had expected to request the withdrawal of United States Forces Korea (USFK) from South Korea in the past, North Korea publicized they would embrace the continuous deployment of 25,000 USFK in South Korea as long as the security of North Korea is guaranteed.[38]”

        So, In theory something major Could actually happen. Of course I hope it does. But I doubt it, cynic that I am.

        In such meetings, all of the major details are supposed to have been settled first and Then the meeting takes place. So, if the trump team actually follows that process, then holding the meeting at all would indicate that they have something to sign.

        If so, I will give the devil is due.

      • May 1, 2018 1:32 am

        I would not presume that the process is the same for Trump.

        I would also note that strange things happen.

        Reagan and Gorbachev went for a walk on their own at Resevejick and very nearly agreed to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.

        When they returned and started to try to work towards what they had discussed their staffs freaked. No one had come prepared for anything like that.
        The big deal fell through – primarily because no one but Reagan and Gorbachov were ready to act.

        Beyond that:

        We should all hope and pray for a good outcome, and prepare for much less.

        I think Trump deserves enormous credit for getting to this point.
        But I am not with the right pundits who are already handing out nobel peace prizes and dancing to celebrate a deal that is somehow in their heads already done.

  89. April 29, 2018 6:54 pm

    Interesting read. And about 3/4ths down the page, another article showing costs for this therapy and how government is way behind on technology.

    The moral question. Do you make your money on a few therapies and cure the patient, or do you make drugs to treat the symptoms and keep them sick.

    • Jay permalink
      April 29, 2018 8:36 pm

      The savior drug they need is the one that keeps us alive indefinitely, as long as we take the med once a week, indefinitely.

    • April 30, 2018 8:49 am

      “The moral question. Do you make your money on a few therapies and cure the patient, or do you make drugs to treat the symptoms and keep them sick.”

      Absent government interferance it does not matter.

      You do not seem to understand that the natural working of the market rooted in human behavior and incentives will always drive cost down and value up.

      So long as the market is free – no participants may use force, and govenrment is not using force except to preclude force, if 10 big companies choose the revenue optimizing maximum, and a cost/value optimizing maximum exists someone will do it.

      You do not need Pharma to operate “morally” – though I would suggest considering that this is NOT a moral question – there is no moral obligation to pursue the greatest good.
      The greatest good is not even inherently knowable.

      Regardless, all you need is freedom so that people can look at what IS and say – I think there is a better way. A better way always means a way that delivers more value for less cost – that is the way you think is more moral.

    • April 30, 2018 8:54 am

      With respect to Genetic therapies, anyone can buy the tools to start experimenting with CRISPER, for about $150. There are quite litterally people engaged in genetic experiments in their garages. Currently these are explicitly targeting animals – because the FDA tightly regulates experiments on humans. But most of us do not have serious ethical problems with a pet owner experimenting to cure cancer in their dog. And many efforts that work will also work for humans.

      Further USDA (where FDA is situated) has redefined genetic manipulation removing alot of it from regulatory review.

  90. Jay permalink
    April 30, 2018 3:31 pm

    Good News!
    Even more Republican Campaign funds making Trump-Related lawyers wealthier.

    • Jay permalink
      April 30, 2018 3:40 pm

      And MORE Trump $$$$ Heading to his lawyer’s pockets!


      “WASHINGTON (AP) — The porn actress alleging a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump is escalating her legal fight, suing the president for defamation.

      Stormy Daniels filed the complaint in federal court in New York on Monday. At issue is a tweet Trump made in which he dismissed a composite sketch that Daniels says depicted a man who threatened her in 2011 to stay quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump.

      In the tweet earlier in April, Trump said: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

      The filing says the tweet was “false and defamatory,” arguing that Trump was speaking about Daniels and that he “knew that his false, disparaging statement would be read by people around the world, as well as widely reported.” It also says Daniels has been “exposed to death threats and other threats of physical violence.”

      • May 1, 2018 1:44 am

        I do not think the Trump statement that Daniels is suing over constitutes defamation.
        It is a characterization of the lawsuit, not the person.

        Next, I think Daniels was arguabley a public figure before and has certainly made herself one.
        Further Defamation requires harm. Danuels is proffiting from this.

        All that said – far as I am concerned – she should go for it.

        This has blasted new life into her career.

        Aparently she is doing strip shows again and getting $45 for each attendee, and $20 for each picture and …

        More power too her. She should cash in.

        Interestingly most of those coming to see her are Trump supporters – often with MAGA hats and all are getting along fine.

    • May 1, 2018 1:38 am

      Lets see there is $84M is improper contributions to the Clinton campaign and your fixating on this ?

      Did you read the article ? This is in 2017 and 2018.

      In 2016 Clinton paid millions to Perkins Coi – for the Steele Dossier – is that a valide campaign related expense ?

  91. Priscilla permalink
    April 30, 2018 6:19 pm

    Just a quick update ~ Rick is still having trouble getting into his WordPress account. But the good news is that he has not abandoned the site, so, at some point, he’ll be back with a new column. He did say that he has been enjoying his respite from writing about politics, though.

    So, the host of TNM will be back 🙂 In the meantime, carry on.

  92. Jay permalink
    May 1, 2018 6:20 pm


    They made him take down the photo too?
    Is that intimidation or what!

    “According to Bornstein, the men took the original and only copy of Trump’s medical charts, including lab reports filed under Trump’s name, as well as pseudonyms. Bornstein said the men also demanded he take down a photo of himself and Trump that was hanging in the office waiting room.

    Bornstein said that during the incident he never received a HIPAA release form signed by the president, which would have authorized the release of his medical records. Without one, the incident could constitute as a violation of patient privacy law. One source told NBC Bornstein did receive a letter from then-White House doctor Ronny Jackson, though it was unclear if a release form was attached to it.”

    Is it standard practice to use your real name AND aliases as well?

    • Jay permalink
      May 1, 2018 8:25 pm

      Yes, I know- why did the Doctor go along with the deception in the first place?
      But don’t you agree that trump is a slime bag lying mother-#7+’et- to deceive the American people about his health?

      “Breaking: President Trump dictated 2015 letter his doctor wrote declaring him the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” says letter’s author Dr. Harold Bornstein. “He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN’s @MarquardtA”

      • May 1, 2018 8:56 pm

        Again, we have someone with an ethical and legal obligation to confidentiality, talking to the press.

        He was free to not sign the letter.
        He was not free to talk about it without permission.

        I have needed letters from my doctor and “dictated” what they must say.
        My doctor then told me whether he would sign that or not.

        This is not unusual.

        When I adopted my daughter from China I was subject to a lot of requirements from China where documents had to be exactly as they wanted.

        I was required to provide a CPA certified financial statement that was technically improper according to the rules for CPA’s. My Accountant contacted his professional organization and they said this was normal for China and he signed it.

        As a professional you make the choice what you will or will not do for your client.

        But you are bound by confidentiality regardless.

      • Jay permalink
        May 1, 2018 11:32 pm

        So why are you only focusing on the Doctor, and not Trump intentionally deceiving the people with a cotton candy physical evaluation?

        The tone of the interview suggests he was ORDERED to take down the picture. By what legal authority did they demand that?

        What about the alias? Is that meant to hide certain medical facts from scrutiny? If so, why some but not all his medical records under pseudonyms ?

      • May 2, 2018 11:17 am

        “So why are you only focusing on the Doctor, and not Trump intentionally deceiving the people with a cotton candy physical evaluation?”

        As Joe Friday would say – “Just the facts”
        No adjectives, no mind reading.

        This doctor voluntarily signed a physical evaluation of Trump that absent spin said he was in good health for his age and had no serious health problems.
        Trump has been subsequently evaluated by military doctors who have said the same thing.
        No one was lied to.
        The doctor was not obligated to provide the evaluation.
        He signed the evaluation.
        If there were errors on that evaluation, that would be an ethics violation and possibly a crime.

        The doctor provided information about Trump’s medical history to the press without permission.
        That is an ethics violation and a possible crime.

        People – purportedly from Trump provided a written demand from Trump for the return of his records. There is no law that says you can only have what is yours if you request in on Form 535B in 5 parts. The doctor voluntarily returned Trump’s record.

        A picture in the doctors office purportedly on the wall before, was subsequently on the desk.
        The office belongs to the doctor. He is free to hang picture up or not as he pleases.

        Throughout this no one has claimed that an actual law was violated.
        That any threat – beyond a threat to have actual law enforced was made.
        No actual force has been alleged,
        No actual rights were violated.

        The only potential violations of the law or ethics would be those of the doctor.

        You seem to think that the addition of adjectives changes facts. It does not.

        “The tone of the interview suggests he was ORDERED to take down the picture.”
        Tone is not a fact. If the Doctor was threatened – that might be a crime – has he alleged an actual threat ? regardless you can not be ordered to take down a picture in your own office.

        “By what legal authority did they demand that?”
        None, there is no actual evidence that any oder was given.
        If the Doctor was threatened he should file a police report.

        “What about the alias? Is that meant to hide certain medical facts from scrutiny? If so, why some but not all his medical records under pseudonyms ?”

        We do celebrities conceal their identities ?

        You constantly spin, fixating on adjectives and speculation.
        Stick to the facts, you are less likely to be deceived.

        All we have here is an unethical doctor.
        That Trump chose him MIGHT reflect badly on Trump’s judgement, but to get there you would have to let go of your “Doctor as hero” meme.

    • May 1, 2018 8:50 pm

      I beleive he took down the photo according to the article.

      Further he provided information to the media regarding his care of a patient.
      He should feel lucky he still has a medical license.

      He wants a Hippa release – did he have one when he talked to the press ?

      Sorry, this guy asked for trouble, and he got it.

      • Jay permalink
        May 1, 2018 10:07 pm

        Isn’t this true?

      • May 1, 2018 11:05 pm

        The major hit to Clinton came when she stumbled and had to be drug to the Van.

        With respect to the statement from Trump’s doctor – he signed it.

        It is is not True – atleast in the medical sense absent the hyperbolee – then the Doctor has an ethical problem.

        But we already know that.

    • Jay permalink
      May 1, 2018 9:32 pm

      If a product is sold to you under false claims, Amazon let’s you return it, full refund, no other questions asked.

      So Trump promised to release his tax returns and didn’t, and he released a false medical assessment while running for president.

      Shouldn’t we be able to return him to oblivion?

      • May 1, 2018 11:03 pm

        Did you vote for him ?

        If not, then you did not buy him, and you have no right of return, atleast not by your argument

        Trump did not promise you anything. He promised his voters something.

        Further promises are not binding – contracts are.
        A contract is a mutual promise
        If you do X I will do Y

        If Trump got nothing from you, you have no claim against him.

      • Jay permalink
        May 2, 2018 12:00 am

        You need to widen your perspective.
        Look at the election like a collective purchase.
        The membership of a club wants to hire (buy) a new CEO.
        There are two candidates for the position. It’s a high paying job.
        Both present their accomplishments and qualifications.
        A vote is taken, and one candidate squeaks past the other and is hired.
        Subsequently, however, it turns out that candidate misrepresented his qualifications and bloated his accomplishments.
        Are you saying those who didn’t vote for him can’t demand his removal?

      • May 2, 2018 11:41 am

        “You need to widen your perspective.
        Look at the election like a collective purchase.”
        There is no such thing.

        “The membership of a club wants to hire (buy) a new CEO.”
        We are not members of a voluntary organization.

        “There are two candidates for the position. It’s a high paying job.
        Both present their accomplishments and qualifications.
        A vote is taken, and one candidate squeaks past the other and is hired.
        Subsequently, however, it turns out that candidate misrepresented his qualifications and bloated his accomplishments.”
        Again the only people “deceived” are those who voted for him.

        “Are you saying those who didn’t vote for him can’t demand his removal?”

        If the organization is truly volunatary – you are free to leave it. That is the actual remedy you are entitled to.
        Beyond that the organization can hold new elections – in conformance to its bylaws.
        In the case of the country – that is in 2020.

        What you do not get to do is make things up as you go along.

        Your distaste for the outcome is not a “cause of action”.

        If you beleive Trump has done something impeachable – impeach him.
        That is your only remedy until 2020.

        Quit trying to game the system.

    • May 2, 2018 12:23 pm

      Great minds think alike.
      Turley’s column mirrors what I have said – with some additional facts that make the doctor look even worse and Trump even better.

      But we both agree on one thing.
      The actual harm to Trump, is that Borenstein was his choice of doctor.

      • Jay permalink
        May 2, 2018 7:20 pm

        I agree the Doctor is a slimebucket.
        I criticized him as a phony when his released medical account of Trump grotesquely fudged his weight and height.

        But of the two, who’s the greater danger to the nation?
        A Sappy Sawbones?
        Or a Lying Irrational Idiotic Unqualified Nitwit President?
        Whose staff Conspired with Russia to defeat his opponent?
        Who Obstructed Justice to obscure their involvement?
        Whose presence demeans the office and the nation hourly?

        Take your time. Weigh the two individuals. Think hard!
        Who’s is the worse slimebucket?

      • May 2, 2018 10:44 pm

        Who is the better person is not the question.

        And the fact that you ask that all the time demonstrates the problem.

        It is who is in the current dispute following the rules.

        Military physicians have confirmed that Trump is in good health.
        The only problem with Bornstein’s letter purporterly dictated by Trump is it is overloaded with adjectives. That does not alter the facts.

        I know that constantly causes problems for you but no amount of adjectives changes the facts.

        In the event Bornstein lied on the letter – that would be his ethical problem.

        Bornstein revealed the presidents medication to the press.
        That is a major ethics issue. Possible a criminal one.

        Trump sent people to retreive his records.

        A legitimate action – even if Trump was evil.

        So this whole saga is about an unethical doctor.

        The part that reflect badly on Trump is that he had an unethical doctor.
        That is all.

        All the rest of your personal comparisons are irrelevant.

        You do not get 1 free murder – if the person you kill is worse than you.

      • May 2, 2018 10:47 pm

        I did what I can do legitimately and weighed their actions – and Bornstein came up short.

        Even god does not judge using your criteria.

        In this instance Bornstein acted unethically and possibly illegally.
        Trump’s error was having an unethical physician.

  93. Jay permalink
    May 1, 2018 11:35 pm

    the Mueller Questions under sharp scrutiny.

    • May 2, 2018 11:28 am

      Both the media and you are concurrently running the contradictory claims that:

      The questions are accurate and from Mueller,
      Inaccurate and from Trump,
      or various combinations of the above,
      and that despite not knowing where they came from they constitute obstruction of justice.

      It would be nice if you could get your story straight.

      Lets try some facts.

      The government has an ethical and legal obligation to remain silent about ongoing investigations – because speaking is a violation of the rights of those being investigated.

      There is no obligation for witnesses, 3rd parties, targets or subjects to keep silent.
      SOMETIMES courts ORDER attorney’s to keep silent during proceedings, they can not before proceedings, and ONLY attorney’s are subject to the direction of the courts.

      ANY leaks by Mueller are an ethics violation and possibly a crime.
      Because most purported Mueller leaks have been inaccurate – we do not actually know if Mueller has leaked. We do know that alot of half truths about the investigation have made the press.

      A third party NOT part of the investigation is free to talk to the press or anyone else.
      It is not a leak to speculate, and the press calling someone a source does not make what they say a leak.

      Trump, his lawyers, witnesses, other subjects, targets, those pleading, those indicted, …
      are all free to speak or keep silent as they choose.

      Obama told the media early in the Clinton investigation that she was reckless but had committed no crime.

      That was unethical. It was not illegal, it was not obstruction.

      • Jay permalink
        May 2, 2018 7:32 pm

        May 2, 2018 11:28 am
        Both the media and you are concurrently running the contradictory claims that:”

        That what?
        There are contradictory claims?
        Aren’t there contradictory claims?

        What the hell are you babbling about?
        Did you read the link?
        Did it confuse you?
        We’re you blinded by the writer’s brilliance?
        We’re you stupefied by the elegance of his writing?
        You do understand your brain lacks some requisite balancing mechanism to keep perspective on these issues?

        Maybe alter your diet.
        Are you a Veggie by day, but sneaking those Cheeseburgers on the side?

      • May 2, 2018 10:34 pm

        Can you read ?

        Never mind. I know better,. You do not read anything that contradicts your delusions.

        My point – which applies to much of this mess.

        Is you can not have things both ways.

        You can not have the questions be fake and real concurrently.

        I provide the best analysis thus far.
        From former US ADA McCarthy – if these are real – they damn Mueller – not Trump.

        This is over. Mueller should not be allowed to ask those questions of anyone – without actually asserting a crime first, and it is quite obvious from the questions – he does not have a crime, and the questions are a fishing expedition in the hopes of manufacturing one from this ludicrously stupid – legal act + bad intent = crime garbage.

    • May 2, 2018 11:36 am

      I am strongly suspicious that the questions did not come from Mueller.

      Primarily because Trump need not answer most of them and would not be advised by any lawyer to do so.

      You can asked someone about facts – what they said or what they did.

      There are about a bazillion reasons why you can not get Trump to testify to what others said.

      Both sides of conversations with the president as president are priviledged.
      Questions regarding Trump’s thoughts or intentions, are not going to get asked,
      You can seek to demonstrate intentions through actions only.

      There are an infinite number of possibilities here. Pretty much none of which lead to, these are the actual questions Mueller expected to ask.

      These questions are part of someone’s extra legal strategy – either Trump’s lawyers, or Muellers, or some third party.

      But the only “crime” that they could represent – is if they came from Mueller.

  94. May 2, 2018 10:48 am

    interesting questions. Not sure what the majority of them have to do with collusion. A couple at the end could. Most look like obstruction leading questions. Either he answers here or probably get subpoenaed. Seems like lawyers could prepare him to answer in vanilla ways to avoid any charges from his answers. ,Answer here and non followup quetions. Subpoena and grand jury can ask anything.

    These look more like gotcha than anything substantial.

    • May 2, 2018 11:44 am

      Most of the questions are not getting answered – and probably will not get asked.

      Everyone seems to think you can compel someone to testify and make them answer anything you wish to ask. You can not.

      • May 2, 2018 3:45 pm

        OK I will admit I dont know our justice system well. I thought in a trial you had two alternatives if you were the one charged. Testify to whatever the court ask you if not objected to or dont testify at all. If called as a witness, testify to the truth or take the 5th.

        So explain what is different in a grand jury summons?

      • May 2, 2018 4:33 pm

        A witness must do as you ask.

        But the law has rules for what questions can be asked.

        The purpose of Testimony is to elicit relevant facts – there are only rare condictions under which thoughts, oppinions, or what someone else said is admissible.

        From what I have looked at most of these questions will not get past objections.

        Of course different judges are differing – but error on what testimony is permitted is an error of law, it is subject to appeal and rigorously scrutinized.

        Most of us do not understand – you are not entitled in court to have the facts accurately represented. Fact based appeals have the lowest possibility of succeeding.

        I beleive Scalia once said – it does not matter if the appeals attorney proves with absolute certainty their client is innocent. All the courts do is verify that the legal process was strictly followed.

      • May 2, 2018 6:34 pm

        The issue with the grand jury is the target of the investigation is not represented by an attorney in the room. If a question is made, the witness can ask to consult the attorney to see how to answer. The grand jury members can asked their own questions, so no one knows what they will ask as long as it is associated with the investigation. Having the “,Mueller” question, they know what is being asked and can prepare. Can you prepare for evefy possible GJ question?

      • May 2, 2018 9:32 pm

        Dowd purportedly left because he did not want and sees no reason for Trump to testify in any form, and Trump purportedly wants to testify.

        I think McCarthy makes an excellent case that Mueller has no basis to insist on Trump’s testimony.

        Tribe, a very left constitutional lawyer I used to respect who now makes the most extreme case thinks that the courts will force Trump to testify.
        I think the past precidents do not work.

        As McCarthy notes – there is no crime alleged.
        Prior presidential subpeona’s are for documents.

        I beleive that Clinton is the only president ever to testify.

        I beleive he volunteered for the GJ – regardless, Starr had him on perjury.

        Mueller has no crime. Trump is a subject not a target.

        There is no reason for Trump to testify, and he should not.

      • May 2, 2018 4:52 pm

        Grand Juries are weird, they are supposed to follow the same rules, but you can not take a lawyer into a grand jury. At the same time. I am not sure what the prosecutor can do if you refuse to answer – there is no judge either.

        The prosecutor can get away with asking whatever he wants and the witness can not answer.

      • May 2, 2018 8:53 pm

        Thanks, but this is different from Trump being summoned to court. This is “You have zero interest in testifying; you are fearful of retaliation, worried of looking like a snitch, and you just don’t want to get involved.” That means the example is not a person of interest, but a witness.

        Trump is the person of interest. If he pleads the fifth, the media will jump all over that like smell on cat poop. If he testifies and the GJ can ask anything of interest to them related to the investigation, they can lead Trumps ego right into a huge “lying under oath” or some other trap that can further Muellers investigation.

        If he answers the 49 questions after hours of prep and there are no followup questions, is he not in a better position?

      • May 2, 2018 10:09 pm

        As McCarthy noted – if the 49 questions are what is left of Mueller’s investigation of Trump – it is over.

        There is not one he should answer, and not one he has to answer.

        There is not one that even alleges a crime.

      • May 2, 2018 10:18 pm

        Wrong perspective.

        Most of us do not have the resources or the basis to challenge a GJ subpeona.

        To be compelled to testify ANYWHERE,
        Whoever is calling you must demonstrate that you have testimony that you can provide.
        For a grand jury – it must be testimony about a crime.
        Mueller would have to identify an actual crime that Trump has knowledge of to get anywhere with a court. I do not think he can meet that bar.
        But McCarthy is calling on Rosenstein to do his job and Tell Mueller NO! – then this does not even go to a court.

        Further unlike ordinary people – where a priviledge applies – and the executive priviledge is the strongest their is, Mueller has to demonstrate that what he wants from trump is necescary and can not be gotten from anyone else.

        Most if not all of Mueller’s questions involve Why trump did something.

        That is the end of the discussion.
        That means Mueller is buying this ludicrous legal theory that a legal act is a crime if you have bad intent. It might take SCOTUS to end that – but I doubt it.
        But that theory is DOA.

        And democrats would be extremely unwise to push it.
        If the left won – it would unleash hell. Sessions could prosecute Obama for obstruction.

        Do you think that Republicans would not immediately adopt that theory if the courts were stupid enough to bless it ?

      • Jay permalink
        May 2, 2018 9:10 pm

        “Trump is the person of interest. If he pleads the fifth, the media will jump all over that like smell on cat poop. “

        Can you imagine a time in your life where you’d believe a president of the US would take the 5th without universal condemnation?

      • May 2, 2018 9:26 pm

        “Can you imagine a time in your life where you’d believe a president of the US would take the 5th without universal condemnation? ”

        No but I can not recall a time in my lifetime that a president has faced the “guilty of whatever the liberals make up” agenda that is driven by the hate they have for Trump and our electoral system.. Even Nixon and Clinton did not face the driven agenda of one political position or the other like Trump.

        So no other president would have to face the possibility of a GJ subpoena.

        You mention many times the damage Trump is doing. But I believe the lasting damage will not be Trumps policies or his reputation, I believe that this will only be the beginning of character assassinations in the future and they will only get worse, the most qualified will never mention running for that office and future political parties will be even more divided, thus alienating the 45% in the middle who will just not vote.

      • May 2, 2018 9:52 pm

        Clinton testified – I beleive voluntarily.
        BUT, he had committed perjury the courts would have compelled him.

        Yes, something everyone should consider is this is the new normal.

        The left may think they own the federal government so this can not happen to them.
        But many on the left celebrated when Cohen was searched – because if they find a state crime Trump can not pardon himself or anyone else.

        They should consider there are something like 35 Republican AG’s.

      • Jay permalink
        May 2, 2018 10:15 pm

        Oh please. Take your head out of your butt.
        Trump is a defective president. And a defective human.
        He is the one responsible for the legal scrutiny. Through his unscrupulous behavior.
        This is what happens in a democracy when a candidate is not only unqualified for 5he position, but morally unfit for the office as well.
        The system responds as the body responds to poisonous infiltration.
        Trump is a thief, a liar, a collaborator with the Russian government and the Russian Mob. The arbiter of treasonous behavior has always been government watchdogs like the CIA and FBI. who have always been of a conservative nature.
        It’s their job to protect the body politic from invidious invasion.
        Trump is cancer; the investigative agencies are antibodies.

      • May 2, 2018 10:28 pm

        “Oh please. Take your head out of your butt.
        Trump is a defective president. And a defective human.
        He is the one responsible for the legal scrutiny. Through his unscrupulous behavior.
        This is what happens in a democracy when a candidate is not only unqualified for 5he position, but morally unfit for the office as well.
        The system responds as the body responds to poisonous infiltration.
        Trump is a thief, a liar, a collaborator with the Russian government and the Russian Mob. The arbiter of treasonous behavior has always been government watchdogs like the CIA and FBI. who have always been of a conservative nature.
        It’s their job to protect the body politic from invidious invasion.
        Trump is cancer; the investigative agencies are antibodies.”

        You aptly demonstrate exactly what is wrong

        Trump was elected – that is the process for passing judgement on the presidents qualifications.
        Beyond that – you are entitled to try to impeach him.

        You are not entitled to manufacture fake crimes.

        I would note that it is not merely Trump who you are in danger of losing here.
        It is all these other indictiments etc.

        It is increasing clear that there was no basis for this investigation from the start.
        That it has been criminally politically corrupt from day one.

        That those involved have manipulated the system to escalate an investigation that has no basis.

        Trump is a defective human being – sure, so are you.
        Trump is responsible for his legal scrutiny ?

        Why ? Thus far the only ludicrously stupid allegation against Trump you have is a bogus charge of obstructing an investigation that he should have just BLUNTLY pulled the plug on.
        That was corrupt from the start.

        You toss adjectives like ‘unscrupulous” – You do not appear to have any scrupples to me.
        Clinton clearly doesn’t, neither does Comey, McCabe or Lynch, or Brannan, or Clapper or ….

        Regardless, that is not the standard for a criminal investigation.

        Trump was born in the US is over 40, and can fog glass. Those ate the qualifications for president.
        Everything else is up to the voters – and they decided.
        The same with moral fitness.

        Frankly Trump is more Moral than either of the Clinton’s and more “scrupulous.

        No this is not how the system responds.

        Any investigation of the president must be conducted by congress.

        What we have is cancer – and the cancer is not Trump.

      • May 2, 2018 10:02 pm

        Can I imagine – yes – I imagined it with Clinton.
        Instead he lied.

        Trump is not taking the 5th unless his lawyers gag and chain him.

        Trump has alot of experience testifying.
        I still think it would be a huge mistake for him to testify.
        I do not think he is going to.

        But I think he badly wants to.

        Dowd purportedly left because he does not beleie Trump should or has to testify.
        McCarthy made an excellent case as to why it is very stupid idea – not just for Trump but for the presidency as a whole.

        purportedly Guiliani is negotiating now.
        My guess is that he gets what he wants.
        Mueller has a horribly weak hand.

        If the 49 questions are real – there is no crime alleged, so no means to drag Trump in.

    • Jay permalink
      May 2, 2018 9:01 pm

      TheOrange County Register Editorial comment?
      Those Conservative editors supported Rep. Dana Rohrabacher last election, and will support that traitorous Dickhead no matter who the Democratic challenger is.

      I lived in Orange County when I first came to California, and I’m well aware of their slanted rightward opinion. The long time Californians I paled around with then – mostly hard working small contractors and home builders and fisherman who worked out of Dana Point Harbor and San Clemente Pier – called it the Orange County Regergitator.

      • May 2, 2018 10:07 pm

        Are you capable of reading what people say and thinking about it rather than dividing the world into left/right and making your decisions without listening ?

        Yes, they are right of center.

        That is irelevant. The relevant question is whether their argument is valid.
        It is.

      • May 2, 2018 10:21 pm

        It is unacceptable for the media to support conservative positions, but it is expected that everyone will accept the liberal crap distributed by the left leaning media. That is the position of the left and the propaganda being used to indoctrinate the future generations that will vote and govern.

  95. May 2, 2018 3:21 pm

    I would suggest seriously considering this.

    First note, Trump won the election.
    May whatever arguments you want – 65M people voted for him.

    Van Jones claimed the election was “blacklash” , or whilelash. It was not. But it was backlash.

    In the privacy of the voting booth people can vote what they beleive.
    They need not hide or continue to kowtow in obescance to the left.

    I particularly note Prager’s last remark.

    I am a liberal – a real liberal, someone who values liberty.
    The left is the greatest threat to me and that liberty today.

  96. May 2, 2018 8:45 pm

    Andrew Mccarthy – excellent as ever.

    The Gist – if The 49 questions are all Mueller has – it is time to end this.

    This is not the basis to subpeona ANYONE.

    There must be a crime alleged,
    There must be a reaonable basis to beleive that the person being subpeona’d can provide useful evidence.

    Where there is the slightest privilidge – and with respect to Trump there is the highest priviledge, it is also necescary to demonstrate there is no other way to obtain the information.

  97. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2018 10:27 pm

    More Assholeness from Trumpworld

    • May 2, 2018 10:38 pm

      Are you stupid – that helps Trump/Cohen rather than hurts them.

      It makes Trump’s involvement AFTER THE FACT.
      Which means all the things you claim were lies are true.

      The NDA was badly done – but still legal.

  98. Jay permalink
    May 2, 2018 10:37 pm

    Rudy just confirmed Trump obstructed the FBI Investigation:

    #BREAKING: Giuliani: Trump fired Comey because he wouldn’t say Trump wasn’t target of Russia probe

    • May 2, 2018 10:50 pm

      So you are saying that it is a crime for the president to demand that the FBI directory tell the truth ?

      That the FBI director say in public what he has said to the president in private ?

      You do understand that Comey’s memo’s say that he told Trump he was not the target of the investigation. Though May 2017 Comey testified that Trump was not the target.

      You are saying it is obstruction to ask the FBI director to tell congress and the public what he is telling you ?

  99. Jay permalink
    May 3, 2018 11:09 am

    Dear DDD (Dubious Doubter Dave)

    RudyGiuliani describing an in-kind campaign donation:

    He literally said Cohen made the payment to avoid having the affair come up in the middle of the last presidential debate.

    Explaining why Cohen paid the hush money to Stormy Daniels, #RudyGiuliani says:

    “Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”

    So… yea, he just tied the payment directly to the campaign.

    Trump lied to the American people, on camera, from Air Force One. Repeat: LIED about the payment. LIED about ALL of it. Over and over.

    Because in your world the ENDS JUSTIFY THE SLIME!

    • May 3, 2018 12:05 pm

      “Dear DDD (Dubious Doubter Dave)”

      Insult is always a good way to make friends influence people and winn arguments.

      “RudyGiuliani describing an in-kind campaign donation:”
      No,. he said Trump repaid Cohen.

      “He literally said Cohen made the payment to avoid having the affair come up in the middle of the last presidential debate.”

      By your definition of in kind campaign contributions hillaries participation in the Clinton fund, and her speaking fees, and her entire life would be an inkind campaign contribution.

      Get a grip – everything that could effect a campaign is not a campaign contribution.

      Trump also settled some law suits – I am certain he did so to get them out of the news to aid in winning the election. They are not in kind campaign contribitions.

      These ridiculously broad interpretaitons of the law criminalize breathing, and will come back to bite you fast.

      “Explaining why Cohen paid the hush money to Stormy Daniels, #RudyGiuliani says:

      “Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.””

      “So… yea, he just tied the payment directly to the campaign.”

      So what ?

      First the law is stupid. This entire idiocy that the government can control campaigns by excercising control of money is just plain idiotic.

      Next, though I do not wish to get into the arcanities of campaign law, Most of the FEC laws are not criminal. No one has ever been successfully prosecuted for something similar to thise.
      Most of the FEC laws do not apply – because they would be unconstitutional if they did, UNLESS you take federal matching funds – John McCain is the last candidate to do so in the general election. Finally people are allowed to make unlimited contributions to their own campaigns.

      You are trying to claim that Trump violated the law by repaying Cohen ?

      Just claiming that something is campaign related in some way does not get you anywhere near where you want.

      What you do not grasp is that even if you succeed – if you apply the law broadly and take down Trump.

      All you will do is assure that Republicans will use exactly the same laws in the same overly broad way to shred the democrats.

      “Trump lied to the American people, on camera, from Air Force One. Repeat: LIED about the payment. LIED about ALL of it. Over and over.”

      I am not looking to parse Trump’s remarks. Trump has lied on occasion. More frequently the left attacks are just demands for unrealist recollection and precission.

      But if Polliticians lying is a basis for impeachment or criminal prosecution – why isn’t Obama in leavenworth.

      Because in your world the ENDS JUSTIFY THE SLIME!”

      I am OK with following the actual law and the constitution.

      I do not have any ends in mind. I am solely interested in the means.

      The left and you are engaged in a lawless coup. You are playing the “ends justify the means game”.

      It is increasingly self evident that FBI/DOJ never had any basis for this.

      If as Brennan said the Intelligence community had all this information about the Trump campaign and Russian – then why is it that what the FBI used for a warrant all stuff that came from outside the IC through improper channels and all sourced in the Clinton campaign.

      Everything that has been used to form the basis for this investigation came from the clinton campaign – not the NSA, Not CIA, Not FVEY, Not the FBI.

      The Sheerer Dossier was carried by Clinton surrogates through State to the FBI.
      The Downer/Papadoulis nonsense came from a clinton affiliated foreign diplomat – not through the IC or through State directly, but through Clinton Surogates too state and then the FBI

      And then we have the Steele Dossier.

      Now we have democrats raising 50 M to continue the Steele Dossier and we have this retread claim that Cohen was in Prauge in Aug/Sept 2016 coming AGAIN from the same folks that brought us the Steele dossier.

      What we have is political operatives, feeding garbage to the investigation, and then leaking that to the press as if somehow that make the garbage more credible.

      This is all a stupid game the left has played to put lipstick on a pig.

      • Jay permalink
        May 3, 2018 7:26 pm

        “First the law is stupid”

        Now there’s a brilliant legal assessment.
        Donnie: “judge, the law is stupid. I refuse to be convicted of it!”

      • May 4, 2018 3:54 am

        There is an actual federal law that makes it a felony to say something “obscene” on a wine label.

        Do you think that law is stupid ?

        All the campaign finance laws are stupid.

        Short of using actual force – how I spend my money is NOT the governments business.

        There is very limited grants of power in the constitution to regulate federal elections.

        You seem under the delusion that just because a law exists – it is a good idea,
        or just because you want a law about something, that your demand is not stupid.

      • May 4, 2018 4:02 am

        And yes, we are racing towards a whole series of constitutional crisises.

        The house is demanding information from DOJ that DOJ is refusing.
        They have been doing that for a year and a half.

        A we have pried that information from DOJ what we keep learning is that the entire Trump investigation wa pollitically corrupt from the start.

        Now, some of those participating in the corruption are telling us they will not be extorted or blackmailed into doing their job.

        Constitutionally the only body that can investigate the president is congress.
        Constitutionally the oversight of the exective is the responsibility of congress.

        Frequently both democrats and republicans have botched that and leaked things they should not.
        But it is still their job, and a Deputy AG does not get to decide what the House or senate gets to see.

        We had lots of this crap during the Obama administration, and it resulted in AG holder being held in contempt.

        What all you all so afraid in in the material that Rosenstein will not turn over ?

        We already know that Mueller is getting fed information from Fusion GPS, and that democrats are paying 50M to continue to fund the steele dossier work.

        That is where the crap about Cohen being in Prague in Augest came from – and it is no more reliable than the rest of the dossier.

        Ultimately this is all coming out.
        And when it does there is going to be hell to pay – and it is not going to be Trump paying.

  100. Jay permalink
    May 3, 2018 11:15 am

    Also, if Trump failed to disclose the loan from Cohen on his federal presidential financial disclosure (18 USC 1001.) he broke the law, under penalty for false statements.

    • May 3, 2018 12:10 pm

      “Also, if Trump failed to disclose the loan from Cohen on his federal presidential financial disclosure (18 USC 1001.) he broke the law, under penalty for false statements”

      Absolutely Trump has violated the “I made that up” law.

      18 USC 1001 does not apply.

      You have so many problems.
      Reimbursements are not loans.
      The payment whether from Trump or Cohen is not a campaign contribution no matter how much you wish to pretend.
      Trump can actually spend as much as he wants of his own money on his campaign.

      And if you are going to fixate on campaign finance – Clinton, using FEC records received 84M in contributions that were above the actual donor limits.

      You are just going to end up with a police state and everyone in jail with this ridiculous – the law is whatever it takes to get those I do not like game.

  101. Jay permalink
    May 3, 2018 11:18 am


    (I bet there’s a lot of abstenance in that household)

  102. Jay permalink
    May 3, 2018 11:20 am


    The head of top U.S. food company Bunge Ltd. revealed that China has essentially stopped purchasing soybeans from the U.S. and has instead turned to countries such as Canada and Brazil amid trade tensions.
    “Whatever they’re buying is non-U.S.,” Bunge Ltd. CEO Soren Schroder told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “They’re buying beans in Canada, in Brazil, mostly Brazil, but very deliberately not buying anything from the U.S.”

    Didn’t dumbass Donnie say trade wars were easy to win?
    He didn’t mention which side would win easily.

    • May 3, 2018 12:15 pm

      I have been critical of government interferance in Trade in anyway.
      Long before Trump.

      I think Trump fomenting a trade war with China is a stupid idea.
      I think US farmers have already voiced that.

      But I would note that stupidity on Trade is not unfortunately partisan.
      Both parties are clueless.

      • May 3, 2018 2:16 pm

        The more I research the trade issues, the less I support what Trump is doing. It is not that I do not support trade where both parties benefit equally, but is the fact America is in no position to dictate trade policies to China. We import way more than we export. China owns $1.1T in American debt. America only accounts for 10% of China’s imports, while almost 25% of American imports originate in China. China imports heavy equipment and minerals, while America imports many more consumer goods, meaning China putting tariffs on those products do not harm the consumer as it does in America. China has programs that restrict American business, such as huge tariffs on products unless the companies team with China counterparts to produce a product. This allows trade secrets to be shared with China who then begin reproducing those items in other companies and exporting those as their own. Past trade deals have accepted this practice and now due to the imbalance, it is economically impossible to change now.

        I also do not understand people being so upset over the cost of trade, but they find illegal immigration perfectly fine. It cost almost $120B per year to support illegals.Just in California alone, it cost $30B or 18%,of their state budget.

        I have no problem with open borders, but dont expect me to support programs that support immigrants that cant support themselves.

        I support trade deals that help both parties, but also understand once you are in a position of weakness, the only alternatives are to bite the bullet and feel the pain for a few years until the imbalance is corrected or live with the bad deals in place.

      • May 3, 2018 2:38 pm

        I do not support trade deals at all.

        I do not think it is magically possible to look at trade and even if you were a somehow unbiased expert cenceive of the correct framework for trade.

        It is certainly stupid to have politicians make those decisions.

        BTW Trade MUST be very near perfectly balanced – or it would not occur.

        If the Chinese send goods to the US and the US sends green slips of paper – unless those green slips of paper all return and are redeemed for something, the chinese get screwed.

        Any money paid to china ultimately much be spent in the US for something.

      • May 3, 2018 5:27 pm

        OK,, so I will stop worrying and commenting about trade. When a company develops a product and the Chinese steel the technology and sell it back to us at 25% of the USA production cost and thousands loose their jobs, thats a goid thing because the 25% we paid will come back and take the place of the 100% that did not occur.

        By the way, I have two light bulbs that lasted 2 months when the company said they would last 12months under normal use. And I use the less than “normal”. So I get to replace these cheap chinese shitty bulbs 4-5 times a year because they ran the american producers out of business, but thats a good thing. I get to pay more than I would have for american made, but the money will come back, so thats a good thing.

        DAVE, THAT IS TOTAL BS!!!! I have light bulbs American made that I installed in 1986 and they are still working. I replace chinese shit 4-5 times a year. That is not a good thing!!!!!!

      • Jay permalink
        May 3, 2018 6:37 pm

        Yup, those fucking Chinese lightbulbs suck!
        Just replaced two that lasted less than 6 months indoors with casual use.
        Same short life on coffee makers, damn timers failing in a year.

        Our American made O’Keefe & Merritt stove, in the house when we moved in, made in 1940s, still working great!

      • May 4, 2018 3:11 am

        First actual things can be owned – ideas can not.

        Is anyone paying royalties to the inventor of the wheel ?

        The USSR stole our technology for decades – they remained permanently behind.

        There is only so far you can get by stealing ideas. Ultimately you must conceive of them.
        More important than that you must have the people who can conceive of they.
        The real value is not the ideas, but those people who came up with those ideas.

        When the chinese “steal” our ideas and produce them for us at 25% the cost (actual current differences are 85% or the cost not including shipping)., they make us better off.

        Standard of living rises when more value is produced for less human cost.

        BTW not only MUST what we paid come back – but so must the goods we bought.

        Free exchanges is neatly always a win-win.

        We are actually much better off in the US because china has moved to the bottom of the first world.

        Current estimates are that the cost reductions that have occured as a result of china have saved each american family about 4000/year.

        BTW rising standards of living ALWAYS mean some people MUST lose the jobs they have and must get others.

        It does not matter whether it is the chinese, illegal aliens, or robots.

        Standard of living rises when we produce more value with less human effort.

      • May 4, 2018 3:32 am

        The shift in light bulbs was caused – or atleast accelerated by our government.
        Coupled with the failure of US business to compete.

        The failures you have experienced are being resolved and are the result of Government rushing us into something before it was ready.

        CFL’s are dying out rapidly – they are expensive to produce, If done well only last somewhat longer than Incandescents and only offer a 2-1 power saving advantage.

        LED’s which are coming out now offer a 10:1 power savings, and are simpler and cheaper to produce.

        The failure issue – which exists with both CFL’s and LED’s is because they are more complex than incandescent bulbs – particularly if you want them to be dimable on standard US circuits – it is actually trivial to Dim an LED – but not in a way that works with AC dimmers.

        The simplest LED bulb is mad of 20 4v LED’s in series – there are no other parts,
        But they are not dimmable and a single LED or connection failure and the bulb dies.

        CFL’s and dimmable bulbs require far more complex circuits – ultimately we will make those both dirt cheap and reliable, but only idiots would expect that out of the first couple of generations whether made in China or the US.

        But in the end we are getting LED bulbs today for the price of incandescents.
        They are using 1/10 the power to produce the same light. They generate less heat,
        they are now dimmanble, and they are growing more reliable all the time.
        Theoretically they could reach a life time of 50,000 hours. But they are already well past the 700-2500 life time of incandescents.

      • May 4, 2018 3:46 am

        BTW I do not know where you are getting your bulbs, but I replaced my Incandescents with CFL’s as they burned out. I have few Incandescents left.
        I replaced my CFL’s with LED’s as they burned out – that took about twice as long as Incandescents. I have burned out 3 LED’s in 4-5 years. I have broken more – by thwacking them, and LEDs take more thwacking than incandescents.

  103. dduck12 permalink
    May 3, 2018 7:23 pm

    The Cohen fiasco continues with a new alleged money flow to Cohen and his legal kitty.

    • Jay permalink
      May 3, 2018 7:32 pm

      That story came out a couple of days ago…
      Do you think that may have had something to do with Rudy saying Trump paid off Cohen with his own money?

      • May 4, 2018 1:43 pm

        “That story came out a couple of days ago…
        Do you think that may have had something to do with Rudy saying Trump paid off Cohen with his own money?”

        Honestly, I do not believe any of it, or better put, I do not know what to believe.

        First there has been massive amounts of self serving and false or partly false leaks in everything having to do with Trump from the start.

        What appears to be true of the Cohen Prague story is that it is a product of Steele II, that this claim was provided to Mueller by the Steele II people, and then leaked to the press.
        There is no reason to believe that there actually is meaningful new evidence, or that whatever there is, is any better than or more verified than the original Steel Dossier.
        There is no reason to believe Mueller is taking is seriously.

        Recently Mueller’s 49 Questions was leaked. There are competing claims regarding where they came from and whether the leaked questions are actually Mueller’s questions.
        There is weak evidence that the questions were leaked by Trump’s team, and that the questions Might be altered or invented.

        The switch regarding Cohen’s payments to Daniels occurred after Guiliani came on board.
        We have no real facts to confirm anything about where the money to pay Daniels came from.
        I can think of some very good reasons why Gulliani may have constructed this new version of the story.

        Throughout this there is very very little of what makes it too the press that we can know is true.

        The only things we can rely on are well established facts.

        With respect to what we know regarding Daniels.

        We know that Cohen and Daniels signed an NDA, and that Daniels was paid 130K.
        There is nothing illegal about that.

        There are few allegations I have heard that MIGHT be illegal.

        The claim by Daniels that someone “threatened” her.
        As reported by Daniels the threat is ominous but not actually illegal.
        The threat can be understood as “keep your agreement”
        Purportedly she can identify the person making the threat, but as of yet that person has not been identified and is not Cohen Trump or anyone associated with them.

        What is very troubling about the SDNYC raid of Cohen is that we have seen nothing publicly that constitutes probable cause of any crime.

        Normally we Trust law enforcement regarding Probable cause.

        But we know that the top law enforcement officials in this country sought a warrant on Carter Page and Paul Manafort without probable cause.
        I know you do not grasp how important that is. But that is a big deal. It means the DOJ/FBI are acting outside and above the law.
        Sharyl Attkinson herself a target of Obama surveilance noted that warrants against Journalists and politicians without meeting incredibly high standards of proof – super probable cause, to get a warrant is highly unusual and new starting with the Obama administration.

        We have Rosentein stalling over providing the scope memo for the Mueller investigation to congress – tanting that he will not be extorted.

        Rosenstein signed off on the Carter Page warrant – his judgement over what constitutes probable cause is already suspect.

        There have been myriads of critiques that the Mueller investigation does not meet the statutory requirements.

        The left is constantly engaged in these flights of fancy regarding what constitutes a violation of various laws – like obstruction of Justice or Money Laundering or Campaign Finance matters.
        and trying to criminalize legal conduct.
        Those who live by the law – die by the law.

        It is near certain at this point that there was nothing approaching probable cause for the Manafort and Page warrants.
        You still do not grasp how huge a deal that is. I keep telling you “worse that watergate” but you have ideological blinders on.
        Nixon Tried to get the IRS and FBI to investigate enemies and political rivals.
        Everything associated with Watergate was because he FAILED.

        Aside from undermining the entire investigation, it also raises legitimate concerns that the same failure to follow the law permeats the investigation.

        Purportedly Mueller is investigationg the Daniels NDA – there is nothing there to investigate.

        While the Campaign Finance law violation is a red herring, even if a broad version was accepted, violations are not typically Crimes.

        BTW seeking NDA’s from people who might have damaging things to say about a candidate is fairly common. It occured many many times with Clinton.
        Broderick who alleges that Clinton raped her, recanted that claim in writing at the clintons request in return for a promise to be left alone by them.

        If we stick to actually known facts, and real crimes – Mueller should never have been appointed.

        And we have more than enough to fire large numbers of people.

        At this point the only reason that Rosenstein actually remains at DOJ is that Sessions recusal makes him unfireable.

        He should be terminates solely for signing off on the FISA warrants.
        That is actually a crime – though one rarely prosecuted. Something that should change.

      • May 4, 2018 2:11 pm

        Strassle makes excellent points – the FBI/DOJ is continuing to resist providing documents that impact current investigations in only one way – confirming or discrediting the the legitimacy of the investigation itself.

        As an example – almost no one understands the Flynn plea to lying to the FBI.
        It is a text book case of entrappement, and Flynn’s “lie” is merely an inaccurate recollection of a tiny part of a conversation that he was not given an oportuntiy to refresh his memory prior to the ambush interview. The agents in question purportedly stated that Flynn did not lie, Comay purportedly testified that the agents reported that to him. DOJ has redacted that portion of the HPSCI’s report. There is nothing classified here. The only issue is the credibility of Comey vs. the HPSCI and the legitimacy of Mueller’s handling of Flynn.

        My guess is the DOJ fear here is that if Comey’s testimony is made public, Trump could legimately either pardon Flynn or order his prosecution terminated.

        That would be a bitch slap in the face of Mueller and would seriously undermine his credibility.

        As things go forward we learn ever more. The Libbty pardon was likely a bitch slap at Rosenstein, Comey, Fitzgerald, and Mueller – who are all freinds and all involved.
        Comey was in Rosensteins position and appointed Fitzgerald, Mueller was head of the FBI at the time. BEFORE fitzgerald was appointed, everything about the investigation was known.
        Armitage at state had already confirmed he had inadvertantly leaked Plames identity, Novak had confirmed with Armitage’s pemission, and CIA had confirmed that Plame was no longer NOC and therefore her name was no longer protected – there was no violation of the law.

        So we have the same cabal creating their own unrevieable fiefdom to conduct an unconstrained investigation of a non-crime – sound familiar ?

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 4, 2018 3:07 pm

        Jay, I think someone woke up and said: we can lie to the press and the public, but it would be stupid to think they wouldn’t find out that Cohen got money put into a “hush fund” account. I don’t find that as wrong, only lying and hiding the fact. Cohen did his job, covering up always ends badly.

      • May 5, 2018 12:52 am

        With respect to Trump purportedly Reimbursing Cohen.

        I do not think we have any clue what the truth is and probably never will.

        My personal opinion is Giuliani’s remarks despite conflicting with Trump’s prior public statements (as well as Cohen’s) were made because Giuliani determined that it was better legally for Cohen to be actually working for Trump.

        Also because Trump has made it clear he doesn’t believe that Cohen is ever flippling on him.
        Giuliani does not believe that is the case. By “reconstructing” this as something Cohen was paid for, it falls back under attorney Client.

        I would note that tracing the payments is not going to be nearly so easy as you think.

        Trump paid Cohen directly for things, and The campaign paid cohen for things.

        Attorney’s bills are never very clear on what they were for.

        Guiliani, Cohen, Trump, Mueller can all say different things at different times and it will never be possible to know what is true.

        Absent actually finding an invoice labeled “reimbursement for Daniels NDA” anyone can say anything they please.

        Finally, NDA’s are perfectly legal – even when you call them “hush money” As Bill Clinton.

        It has received only small press but Trump’s doorman received 30K to quit telling the story that Trump had a child with his maid.

        A story that is near certainly false.
        See you can even get paid off to keep quiet about something that is not true.

      • May 5, 2018 12:53 am

        “Cohen did his job, covering up always ends badly.”

        It does ? I have signed dozens of NDA’s none of them have ended badly.

        It is covering up crimes that always ends badly.
        There is no crime here.

    • May 4, 2018 3:51 am

      Sorry, DD – but this is just boring.

      They are not on shaky ground. If they were Clinton would be in jail for hundreds of years.

      Do you have to keep trying to make everything you do not like into the crime of the century.

      This is really simple – I do not care how broadly you interpret the law. But however you do, with respect to Trump – you are required to do the same with everyone else.

      We can jail the entire federal government and try again.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 4, 2018 2:58 pm

        Sorry- Mr. Mucous- but your posts are boring and convoluted.
        Do you have to personalize everything negatively.

      • May 5, 2018 12:42 am

        “Sorry- Mr. Mucous- but your posts are boring and convoluted.
        Do you have to personalize everything negatively.”

        Do you even read what you write ?

        I attacked – not personalized – the piece you linked to.

        Do you always take personally valid criticism of others ?

        Do you always fill your false critiques of the “personalization” of the arguments of others with ad hominem ?

        Are you this totally un self aware ?

    • Jay permalink
      May 4, 2018 5:15 pm

      Keep in mind RCP is owned and operated by Conservatives. Though they do publish news and commentary from both sides, overall they’re more Right than left.

      Ownership philosophy:

      “McIntyre described the philosophy behind the Web site as based on “freedom” and “common-sense values”. Said Bevan, “We think debate on the issues is a very important thing. We post a variety of opinions”. He further stated, “we have a frustration all conservatives have”, which is “the bias in media against conservatives, religious conservatives, [and] Christian conservatives”.[4]

      • May 5, 2018 1:04 am

        RCP is a highly respected news and polling aggregator.

        Deliberately trying to be unbiased unlike the rest of the media is not being biased.

        Regardless, actually read RCP’s critiques of other Fact Checkers – RCP is NOT BTW atleast at this time in the business of “fact checking”.
        What they are doing is providing methodological criticism of the fact checkers.
        And their work on that is excellent.

        They have posted several articles providing careful informed critque – not of specific facts checks – though they do use examples, but of the process.

        I know you think that anything that challenges your views is inherently biased, while anything that conforms to them is unbiased, but you really should read more.

        I have found that RCP does an excellent job of finding the best articles on various topics from each side of an issue, and that they generally stray away from the political “red meat” journalism.

        I think this is a company looking to build a brand – not with conservatives or progressives, but with ordinary people, for providing the best quality views on any subject representing the best put forth by each side, and not that which appleas the most to a particular base.

  104. May 4, 2018 2:47 pm

    This is also significant.

    Jordan Peterson recently commented that ignoring the legal and political aspects,
    the left should seriously consider the serious harm they will do themselves if they manage to win this – without earning the agreement of most of those on the right.

    Trump won this election. Those who voted for him have a large personal stake in that outcome.
    They were sending a massage loud and clear to washington.

    Of you deprive them of the legitimate fruits of their victory you drive them towards less legitimate means to achieve their goals. This is particularly true if you thwart them in a way they perceive as illegitimate.

    At the moment by far the greatest threat of violence is from the left.
    But that need not remain so. It is not neo-nazi’s that need be feared. it is the increasing anger of ordinary Trump supporters and their increasing perception that they will not be permitted to accomplish their goals through legitimate means.

    The linked article references polls. As the partisan divide increases the majority position becomes less relevant. What matters is not Trump’s overall support, or Muellers overall support, but their support among republican voters and independent voters.

    Trump appears to be doing well will both. Mueller appears to be doing badly.

    Further myriads of polls have indicated that the Blue wave is fizzling.
    Trump’s shuft to Guilliani and the Clinton impeachment lawyer seems to ba a shift to becoming more confrontational with Mueller. I would note that alot of people want that.

    Trump can directly order Rosenstein to comply with the congressional document requests.
    Trump’s prior legal team had been trying as hard as possible to avoid Trump acting in any way that could be painted with ludicrously broad brushes as obstruction.
    I think that period is over. I doubt Trump will fire Rosenstein or Mueller.
    But I strongly suspect the gloves are off, and things will get more confrontational.

    That favors Trump. It is not going to drive supporters away, it is only going to anger people who are already angry.

    • Jay permalink
      May 4, 2018 5:22 pm

      But there are already twice as many Anti Trumpers who are angry.
      And even Fox News is losing patience with Trump.

      • May 5, 2018 1:18 am

        Jay, Trump’s favorability from inaguration through the present is within a few points at any time of Obama’s. Currently several polls have it over 50% – so no there are not twice as many people who hate Trump as love him – except in your head space.

        Further if I were polled I would get Trump somewhat favorable feedback on performance,
        But not on character.

        Yet, it should be crystal clear that though I did not vote for Trump, I am far more offended by the worse than watergate corruption in CIA, DNI, FBI. DOJ at the start of this.

        And not only do I absolutely agree with Trump that this is a witch hunt.
        But I probably find it more vile than he does.

        To be clear – as much as I dislike Clinton, Clinton and the DNC funding the Steele Dossier, as well as trying to feed it as well as other things to DOJ/FBI anyway they could does not offend me.
        That is politics. Just as Trump trying to get dirt on Clinton.

        The crime is that the Executive Branch of the US government allowed itself to be used for political purposes.

        I really am close to supporting Criminal charges against anyone who signed off on the FISA warrant or any other Warrant using unverified and politically sourced claims.

        And I have zero problem with prosecuting anyone in DOJ or FBI who lies under oath.

        I have a major problem with the Flynn plea. I hope it tanks.
        If you have something real on Flynn – charge that.

        I think that Manafort is being seriously overcharged – but he is likely guilty of tax evasion.
        The rest is garbage. My guess is Mueller will likely convict – probably on about half of what he has charged, and apeals courts will whittle away at that quietly over years until there is nothing left. Manafort will spend millions staying out of jail but he will succeed.

        Unless they have something on his Taxi business, Mueller is getting nowhere with Cohen.

  105. dduck12 permalink
    May 4, 2018 6:25 pm

    Yes, Jay, and thank you Cavuto.
    “You are right to say some of them are out to get you. But oftentimes they’re using your own words to bat you,” Cavuto said. “You probably might not care. But you should. I guess you’ve been too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you’re creating. That’s your doing. That’s your stink. Mr. President, that’s your swamp.”

    I wish more people would get after the rationalizers that enable Trump’s being LIC (liar In Chief).

    • May 5, 2018 1:24 am

      I do not follow Fox, and I do not know Cavoto – but based on the quotes he is wrong.

      While it is wise to get things perfect when others are lying about you – it is not a requirement.
      When the media and the left are out to get you – which they clearly are, You owe them no respect.

      I think you will find that most – nearly all of the people who voted for trump are still with him.

      I would note that Roseanne is getting top ratings, and The Last Man Standing is likely being brought back.

      I may not know alot about Fox, but I do know that they reflect a specific flavor of conservatism.
      It is not and never was Trump.

      Trump may have some defenders at Fox, but he is not fox’s kind of people.
      Nor is Roseanne or Tim Allen’s audience.

    • May 5, 2018 1:33 am

      You should remove “rationalizer” from your vocabulary.

      It is not a partilulary useful word if used properly – and you do not.

      Rather than attacking people whose views you do not share – you should listen to more of them.
      Because you are clearly unfamiliar.

      What is there to be upset about regarding Trump ?

      That he is aggressive and imprecise in his tweets ?
      That he spins less eloquently than Obama ?

      What actual crime has he committed ?

      Nixon authorized the payment of money to criminals for their silence – text book obstruction of justice.

      You do not have anything like that here.
      Even Mueller could not connect the Trump campaign to Russia.

      At that point this investigation should have died.

      Yet as this goes on we learn more and more of real crimes committed by members of DOJ/FBI

      The most serious crime alleged in this entire investigation that has any proof at all – is lying under oath – and it is Comey. McCabe and Clapper that incontrovertably did that and may face charges.

      Do you beleive that law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us ?

      I do.

      I beleive that whether Trump is the president or Obama is.

      the “rationalizers” are those continuing to hope against hope, that something is coming down the pike, when over and over there is nothing.

      • dduck12 permalink
        May 5, 2018 1:02 pm

        “Noun. rationalizer (plural rationalizers) One who rationalizes.”
        Simple, but over an obtuse person’s head.

      • May 6, 2018 1:17 pm

        to bring into accord with reason such as : to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of rationalize a myth
        to free (a mathematical expression) from irrational parts rationalize a denominator
        to apply the principles of scientific management to (something, such as an industry or its operations) for a desired result (such as increased efficiency)

  106. Jay permalink
    May 4, 2018 10:01 pm

    Non Political Question.

    Anyone have experience with Airtable?
    It looks like it might be useful.
    I’m thinking of downloading it.

  107. May 5, 2018 12:40 pm

    The Federal Judge hearing the case against Manafort in VA, has given Mueller a very hard time.

    He has accused Mueller of lying to him.
    He has demanded proof from Mueller that he has the authority to prosecute Manafort for matters unrelated to Russia or the Trump Campaign.
    He has demanded an unredacted copy of Mueller’s memo of authorization.

    He has further noted that most of the charges are poorly founded and look more like an effort to extort Manafort into rolling on Trump.

    He is suggesting he is strongly inclined to dismiss, and let the appropriate US ADA refile if they believe they can make a case.

    The point – which those on the left are unable to grasp is that the government may use the actual crimes that real criminals have committed as leverage to get them to roll on others.

    But the government may NOT manufacture crimes or severely over charge for the purpose of creating the leverage to do so. The latter is actually extortion and it is a crime.

    I am surprised at this judges remarks. Not because they are false.
    But because it is normal that only the highly privilidged and clearly innocent can get this kind of justice from the courts.

    Manaforts primary problem in defending himself is that he is perceived as scurrilous.

    In theory the courts are not supposed to allow the government to extort even a previously convicted murderer who never-the-less is facing Trumped up charges.
    In practice Manafort is not the defendant for whom the system tends to work.

    • Jay permalink
      May 5, 2018 2:15 pm

      Absolutely, the judges assessment is accurate, Mueller is trying to flip Manafort to get higher ups, hopefully trump.

      “The operative question here is whether Manafort committed the crimes he’s accused of and whether Mueller had the authority to charge them,” said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department. “Whether prosecutors brought the case to flip Manafort is entirely irrelevant.”

      If Mueller provided evidence of crimes committed that are prosecutable, the judge will order Manafort to be prosecuted.

      Alex Whiting, a former federal prosecutor from Boston and Washington, DC, said as much.

      “It is well-established that it is beyond a judge’s authority to inquire into, or second-guess, a prosecutor’s exercise of charging discretion unless there is some evidence that the prosecutor based the decision on improper factors,” Whiting said.

      He is charged with tax fraud, bank fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts in Virginia. In Washington he is charged with money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and lying to investigators.

      Both indictments center largely around Manafort’s lobbying work for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian interests.

      If he’s guilty of those charges, I’m sure as a citizen who believes in punishment for criminal activity you believe he should be punished. If innocent, released from the charges.

      • May 6, 2018 2:06 pm

        I would suggest reading what the Judge said more carefully before agreeing with it.

        The Judge said that:

        The charges appeared to him to be outside Muellers mandate – as Mueller provided to the court.
        That means that Mueller does not have the authority to prosecure them at all – and as with the Cohen investigation, they must be turned over to the US ADA for that region.

        That the charges do not appear to have much in the way of evidence to support them,

        The Judge is saying CORRECTLY, that you may not prosecute an innocent person for the purpose of attempting to flip them on someone you believe is guilty.

        Think about that twice – this judge is saying that in the evidence Mueller has put before the court, they judge does not beleive that the prosecutor met the burden necescary to bring charges.

        Your quote:
        “The operative question here is whether Manafort committed the crimes he’s accused of and whether Mueller had the authority to charge them,”
        And what the Judge is saying is that based on what he has seen thus far:
        Mueller has NOT demonstrated to the very low standard necescary to bring charges that Manafort is quilty,
        Mueller has NOT demonstrated that he has the authority to charge Manafort.

        The difference between blackmail, extortion and acceptable action rests with the legitimacy of the threat you are making, as well as your own conformance to the rule of law.

        If Mueller acts beyond what the law actually allows – he is merely a criminal engaged in blackmail and extortion – the fact that you think the end might be noble is irrelevant.

        If Manafort is innocent – and I have raised this repeatedly here, Manafort is a scurlous character, he is hard to have sympathy for, but all the evidence we have thus far is that all money in the transactions Mueller has targeted was legally acquired – that means all charges of money laundering are bogus. It also means that all charges of money laundering are evidence of MISCONDUCT on the part of the prosecutor. .

        My read of the facts from Muellers indictments is that there MIGHT be a credible case of tax evasions. From facts outside the Mueller indictment, it is my understanding that Mueller did not initially charge tax evasion because in 2014 Manafort and the IRS resolved the issue of his taxes.
        Any charge would be double jeophardy.

        Those are my arguments – we do not know what the Judge is thinking – except that we do know based on his remarks that he does nto at this point beleive that Mueller has either the authority or the evidence to bring these charges.

        I would further note that Manafort is being prosecuted in Both DC and VA, and the current remarks are from the VA judge. The DC judge has also been highly critical of Mueller, she has just not gone quite so far as to suggest that Mueller is lying.

        Regardless, you have two federal judges who are BOTH dubious of the charges against Manafort for much the same reasons.

        And Manafort is the easiest conviction you are likely to be able to get.

        “It is well-established that it is beyond a judge’s authority to inquire into, or second-guess, a prosecutor’s exercise of charging discretion unless there is some evidence that the prosecutor based the decision on improper factors,” Whiting said.