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George W. Bush

Righty: Thank God this courageous man was chosen to lead our country during its most unsettling crisis since the Civil War. Bush had the guts to challenge Islamic terrorists and hunt them down where they live. (Can you imagine if Gore had been president on 9/11? He’d probably have scolded the terrorists for releasing pollutants into the atmosphere over lower Manhattan!) Unlike most politicians, who flip-flop at the merest squeak from their latest focus group, Bush sacrificed his poll ratings to make unpopular decisions in the name of American security. Think about it: while half the Muslim world was plotting to attack the U.S., we went seven years without a single terrorist incident on American soil. Give the man a break. Years from now we’ll be honoring Bush for turning the tide against terror. I just hope he lives long enough to see it happen.

Lefty: From his mangled syntax to his catastrophic war in Iraq, Bush sealed his reputation as incomparably the worst president in American history. Nixon may have been just as villainous, but at least he was a competent villain. Bush was so willfully ignorant, so aggressively stupid that he made Warren G. Harding look like a genius. (If I couldn’t laugh at Bush I would have popped an artery.) With his insane crusade against Saddam Hussein, his establishment of evil American gulags, and his Orwellian penchant for wreaking havoc in the name of “freedom,” he squandered all the international goodwill we enjoyed as a nation after 9/11. Bush was a fundamentalist Christian fanatic who claimed to receive his foreign policy advice from God. What more evidence do we need that the man was unfit to be president of a small-town travel agency, let alone a world power? We have our own Supreme Court justices (bless ‘em) to thank for electing him in 2000. What rankled me even more was the willingness of the American people to submit to Bush and his reign of terror. We should have impeached him for lying to us about Iraq; in fact, we should have been charging the barricades to bring him down.

The New Moderate:

I remember a moment, shortly after 9/11, when it looked as if our unprepossessing Prince Hal was about to transform himself into Shakespeare’s heroic Henry V. As he stood atop the ruins of the World Trade Center, bullhorn in hand, and shouted for retribution, George W. Bush seemed to embody the strength and eloquence of a natural leader who had just discovered his powers. Here he was, tossing aside scripts, prudence and namby-pamby diplomacy for an honest, from-the-gut response to an international outrage. Unfortunately, that was the high-water mark of his presidency.

Nearly everything that followed was disastrous almost without precedent in our history. The natural leader with the middling mind and fiercely patriotic heart made the fatal error of letting his sinister entourage think for him. (Not that his own thinking would have been much of an improvement.) Bush should have dispatched his advisors at the first mention of “hidden WMD” in Iraq. But he was too ignorant and too unsure of himself to prevail over them. Even after it became clear that his policies were leading us toward the brink of catastrophe, he bravely stood his ground — like a deer staring into the headlights of an onrushing car.

Meanwhile, the reputation of the United States lay in tatters. Our misguided war in Iraq alienated half the world and threatened to bring our overextended empire to ruin.

Hard as it may be to believe, Bush’s domestic record rivaled his foreign policy for disastrous implications. His pigheaded stance on the environment was enough to cause mass apoplexy among people who care about this planet. His carefree spending dug a deep budgetary hole that will take decades to remedy. He was too lax on illegal immigration and too eager to curtail civil liberties. His no-child-left-behind education policy turned our public schools into test-prep centers when we desperately needed them to educate. And of course, his love of unfettered capitalism gave our most reckless plutocrats the green light they needed to gamble with the life savings of millions of Americans. The sad result: our most terrifying financial crash in nearly 80 years.

Worse yet (at least from The New Moderate’s centro-centric perspective), Bush polarized the American people like no other president in memory. Under his watch, the republic essentially split, like some great amoeba, into two separate and mutually hostile cultures: the red and the blue, godfearing Middle American conservatives versus “progressive” coastal liberals. As usual, thinking moderates were caught in no-man’s land. At least we can thank Bush for making our moderate movement necessary.

I don’t believe the man was evil; I don’t even believe he was stupid. Shallow, yes. Impulsive, check. Insulated and uninformed, certainly. Beholden to ruling-class interests, mais oui! But more to the point, Bush II was simply beyond his depth in the presidency.

In peaceful times he might have succeeded; the odd combination of his affable down-home personality (grammar snobs be damned) and upper-establishment connections would have served him well. Despite the Katrina relief disaster that was flogged to death in the major media, Bush seemed to have genuine respect for minorities. He didn’t weigh the political advantages of his policies, much to his credit. (He was the opposite of Bill and Hillary in this department.) But Bush will never escape the opprobrium of having led us into a disastrous and totally unnecessary war. That’s his legacy, and unfortunately all of us will have to live with it.

Summary: George W. Bush wasn’t exactly evil; he was more like your average ruling-class mediocrity who bit off more than he could chew. The downside is that all of us Americans will be paying for his mistakes for decades to come.

369 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelangelo Markus permalink
    September 22, 2009 5:05 pm

    I’ve yet to hear it put better.

  2. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:02 am

    just goes to show what too much afermative action for mentally handicapped gets you. A dummy for the right-wing extremism, and a polarizing target for extreme liberals. The National equivalent of a chemical brain imbalance trying to fix itself with schizophrenia. One dangerous conservative persona, one dangerous liberal persona.

  3. joanne permalink
    October 27, 2010 1:43 pm

    What Michelangelo said….I too, agree wholeheartedly.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    September 6, 2011 10:45 am

    “Worse yet (at least from The New Moderate’s centro-centric perspective), Bush polarized the American people like no other president in memory”

    Have you not heard of Comrade Obama?

  5. September 26, 2013 10:50 am

    Hello there Im wondering if I may use this post on one of my blogs if I link back to you? Thanks

  6. Anonymous permalink
    March 2, 2018 2:11 pm

    What do you think an Al Gore presidency would have been like? Would we have fared better than we did with Dubya?

  7. dhlii permalink
    November 21, 2019 2:21 pm

    Sonderland’s testimony is very confusing and self contradictory.

    I am not trying to attack Sonderland. But the self contradictions in his testimony are glaring.

    I am not sure it is worthwhile to try to analyze,

    But I will provide Some observations that I think not merely resolve Sonderland’s testimony – but all the testimony.

    First there were 3 separate things the Ukrainians were after:

    A phone call from Trump,
    A meeting with Trump
    Aid.

    Each of these was its own negotiation with its own requirement.

    Next there were two separate “channels” occuring simulataeously – the “official” Channel, using career or appointed diplomats and the “unofficial” channel which was basically Guiliani.

    The same messages were not being communicated over each channel.

    If you beleive that it is a “high crime or misdemeanon” if Trump or anyone affiliated with him in ANY way communicated to the Ukrianians that Trump would be displeased and it would effect US Ukrainian relationships if the Ukraine did not investigate the misconduct of americans and Ukrainian in Ukraine prior to and during the 2016 election – then Absolutely – Trump should be impeached.

    But the problem is that standard would have required the impeachment of every president in US history.

    As best as I can make sense of Sonderlands testimony:

    He beleived – probably correctly, that Trump was leveraging the aide to get Ukraine to investigate – not specifically Biden – but the entire panopoly of highly suspicious activity that Trump lists in the phone call.

    But what does leveraging mean ?

    Was the aide being leveraged ?
    Was the presidential visit being leveraged ?
    Was the phone call being leveraged ?

    Was the leverage absolute and permanent ?

    What was being tied to what ?

    What I think is clear – is that the answers to the above questions were never clear.

    I do not mean they were “secret” “hidden”, I mean that specific decisions were never made.

    Trump was trying to use pressure to get Zelensky to do exactly what he said in the one Call with Sonderland “the right thing” to “keep his campaign promises”.

    There was no SPECIFIC requirement of Zelensky,
    Nor was there a SPECIFIC consequence.

    At the same time the less that the Ukrainians did the less cooperative Trump was going to be.

    Take the democratic claims and modify them slightly and they are probably true – or truish, because I do not think clear concrete decisions were made.

    I do not think Trump ever intended to deliberately deny aid if the Ukraine did not investigate.
    But I do think that Trump deliberately DELAYED aid to leverage investigation.

    He also leveraged a presidential visit.

    I would refer back to Adam Schiff’s public opening on this. His fake Trump call.

  8. dhlii permalink
    November 21, 2019 2:54 pm

    I am honestly tired of this. I find the entire mess pretty much as stupid as Trump/Russia.

    i.e. The claim that Trump coordinated with russia to interfere int he US election was from the start ludicrously stupid.
    It required beleiving that Trump had a broad conspiracy, that people like Page and Papadulous who were on the fringes of the campaign and inconsequential were truly important players, It required beleiving that they were all so incredibly good at spycraft that NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, MI6 were unable to find any actual evidence of collusion.
    And if required all this massive effort to be done for something from Russia of negligible value.

    I listened to Fiona Hill testify today and instantly said – IYI – intellectual yet idiot.

    Yes, Russia interfered in our election – as they have done in the past and will in the future, as we have done in other elections. And the “big” story is their efforts were miniscule, incredibly badly done and ineffective. Tom Steyer has 1000 times more influence in US elections than Russia.

    Only dedicated cold warriors who think of the entire world as a conflict with Russia can beleive the nonsense she was selling – and she is a senior person in the NSC.

    One of the other conflicts exposed by all this nonsense is a gigantic gulf in view on the US role in the world.

    Mattis’s book is actually significant in this.
    Mattis outlined a view that the US IS the “policmen of the world”
    and that as a nation we should pay the price necescary to be the world’s policemen, and that means us troops deployed through out the world in conflicts permanently.

    Mattis is free to argue that position, and he does so eloquently.

    But it is a policy, a specific world view, a choice we can make as a nation.

    It is not a fact.

    Further it is NOT the world view of most americans.
    But it is becoming incredibly self evident that it IS the world view – both left and right, of the CIA, NSA, DOD, IC, State – a significant portion of the federal government.

    Some US presidents have pushed back against that, some have embraced it.
    Many have campaigned against it, and then governed according to it.

    These hearings make it increasingly self evident that the CIA that Truman feared had moved from providing the President information to dictating policy, is not merely real but that it owns much of government.

    Bush ran for president to END US nation building.
    After 9/11 he became one of the most interventionist presidents we have had.

    Obama ran with the promise of shutting down Guantanamo, and getting us out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and instead got us drawn into ever more foreign conflicts.

    Trump ran on getting the US the frack out of these messes.

    He has failed to do so – but Unlike Bush and Obama he has not ideologically reversed himself. He is STILL trying to deliver on those promises.

    Because Trump has not flipped unlike Bush and Obama – the career CIA, NSA, DOD, State are working incredibly hard to thwart him.

    At this moment this is quasi partisan.

    Democrats and the deep state are allies – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    The “deep state” rightly sees Trump as an existential threat.
    Democrats – for different reasons also see Trump as a threat.

    As a consequence they are working together.

    This is changing both the democrat and republican party.

    Barring some kind of significant shift in the Democratic party – Tulsi Gabbard is not going to be able to remain a democrat.

    Nor probably is Sen. Graham going to be able to remain a republican.
    Though republicans tolerate more diversity of oppinion than democrats.

  9. dhlii permalink
    November 21, 2019 3:10 pm

    Fixating on QPQ was a stupid choice of democrats – and it was a mistake for Republicans to chose that as their line in the sand.

    QPQ is irrelevant.

    Democrats have had three huge problems with this from the start.

    The first is that, they have spent the past 4 years using the power of government to investigate Trump – and found nothing.

    A well understood rule of childern is “turn about is fair play”.

    There is some small possibility that democrats might have managed to generate sufficient moral outrage and authority to impeach Trump – IF they had not spent the past 4 years pushing fully throated to do to Trump exactly what they are arguing he is doing to them.

    That is not a constitutional or legal argument. But it is one that ordinary people understand.

    The next is that democrats do not have the moral authority to impeach Trump.

    I have said over and over that the false accusations and failure of the attacks on Trump through the mueller report damaged the moral authority of democrats.

    Well now that comes home to roost.

    The last issue – the legal issue, but one that even those illinformed voters you chastize understand fully – is that What Trump was asking for is legitimate.

    Ordinary people understand that while great care should be taken when investigating political opponents, doing so is not and can not be forbotten.

    That the core function of the government is to investigate and punish crimes, and that politics can color that, but it can not preclude it.

    Ordinary people understand that without prejudging the results – there is a legitimate basis to investigate Biden.

    None of these problems can be overcome by any revalations from hearings.

    Nothing Schiff can do in these hearings will restore his moral authority.

    Nothing he can do will alter the fact that he is asking to impeach Trump for not just what he and democrats have been doing for years, but litterally what they are doing as they impeach.
    For criminalizing political differences.

    Ordinary people may not understand QPQ, or Bribery or extortion or foreign policy.

    But they do understand – there is a legitimate basis for Trump to ask for investigations.
    And once that is true – using the power of the presidency to accomplish that is not impeachable.

    There was NEVER any possibility that any of the people that Schiff subpeonad were ever going to say anything that altered that.

    This effort was dead before it started.

  10. dhlii permalink
    November 21, 2019 3:18 pm

    Of course QPQ goes on all the time.

    It litterally means “this for that”.

    All free trade is QPQ.
    The term used to mean free exchange.

    SOMETIMES QPQ is corrupt.
    But not most of the time.

    It was a mistake for Democrats to focus on QPQ and a mistakes for Republicans to accept that as the line in the sand.

    Every action in foriegn policy is in either implicit or explicit expectation of something in return.

    I do not think Sonderlands testimony (or anyone else’s) established QPQ.

    But if you choose to disagree – I am OK with that.
    Because QPQ is NOT the relevant standard.

    the only thing relevant is whether the excercise of presidential power was legitimate.

    And the standard for investigations is “reasonable suspicion”.

    And that standard was easily met.

    This is not done yet.

    We will have to see if Democrats can vote out articles of impeachment.

    If they are wise they will not.

    But they are between a rock and a hard place.

    If they do not – they will lose the confidence of their base.
    And that will mean hell to pay in 2020.

    If they do they will alienate the middle.
    And that will mean hell to pay in 2020.

  11. November 21, 2019 5:24 pm

    “Worse yet (at least from The New Moderate’s centro-centric perspective), Bush polarized the American people like no other president in memory. Under his watch, the republic essentially split, like some great amoeba, into two separate and mutually hostile cultures: the red and the blue, godfearing Middle American conservatives versus “progressive” coastal liberals. As usual, thinking moderates were caught in no-man’s land. At least we can thank Bush for making our moderate movement necessary.”

    Almost 10 years ago as far as I can determine, Rick posted this comment. And today just look at how far that polarization has grown to the point many would not even consider Bush polarizing.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 22, 2019 12:07 am

      I just hit the part of Kern Burns “Vietnam” that dealt with the late johnson early Nixon anti-war period and had to remind myself again – how easy it is to presume this moment is the worst that ever was.

      We may not be in the least polarized moment in US history – but this is not the 60’s.

      For all our conflicts – our cities are not burning, the National Guard is not shooting students on college campuses,

      The weathermen are not setting off bombs across the country.

      Presidents and presidential candidates are not being assassinated,

      We are hyping relatively minor things way out of proportion.

      Calm down, take a breath.

      We are not living in the end times.
      We are not in the most racist moment of US history, we are living in the least racist moment.

      Things are not perfect, but they are pretty good.

      If the faux impeachment is the greatest conflict in the US – that is pretty good.
      Trump is not the end of the world. His impeachment and removal will not be the end of the world, His continued presidency and re-election will not be either.

      The country will not only survive – it will thrive.

      It is not perfect – but it is actually quite good.

      If you are outraged by Trump’s actions – fine, but the world is not going to end.
      If you are wrong – the world is not going to end.

      Most of the country has tuned out.

      And they are right. Because nothing happening in washington matters.

  12. dhlii permalink
    November 22, 2019 1:21 am

    Byron York notes a LONG list of ACTUAL efforts by Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election,
    Much of it either in the form of public acts or statements by the Ukrainian govenrment, OR testimony under oath in many of the hearings over the past couple of years.

    So lets not hide the ball. Ukraine openly and covertly tried to influence the 2016 election,
    The democratic party, the Clinton Campaign, as well as members of the Obama administration “colluded” in that interference.

    I WANT AN INVESTIGATION!!

    I am fully prepared to Deny Ukraine military aid until the cooperate fully with efforts to get to the bottom of that.

    If Trump said exactly that to Zelensky – that would be his DUTY, not an impeachable offense.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/analysis-what-if-trump-was-right-about-ukraine

    • dhlii permalink
      November 22, 2019 1:33 am

      I want to note something else. Fiona Hill testified that theories of Ukrianian interference in the 2016 election are false conspiracy theories. Democrats are claiming Republicans are pushing false Ukrainian political interferance theories. The media is laughing at false republican interferance theories.

      “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

      I would say that public Anti-Trump statements by numerous members of the ukrainian government, testimony by Nellie Ohr that several parts of the Steele Dossier were sourced from the ukrainian govenrment, findings by the Ukrainian courts that Ujkraine had interfered in the 2016 election, reports by the MSM on Ukrainian interference during the 2016 pretty much resolve the question of whether this is some laughable conspiracy theory.

      Facts, are facts, This happened. We can debate how effective it was.

      Just as we can argue about how negligable the Russian efforts were.
      But the actions took place – many of them publicly.

      If you are saying otherwise – whether as a witness or as a politician or in the media – you are either poorly informed or lying.

      Fiona Hill is an NSC expert on the Ukraine. There is no possibility that she is unaware of all of this – if she is she should be removed from her job.

    • November 22, 2019 11:59 am

      Dave, I wont post this complete tweet thread, so will try just a link. Dont know if you have twitter or not or you might he like me and use it rarely like I did here.

      I wanted to see what the left was saying about the impeachment hearings, so twitter seemed to be a good source. This link list each step as understood in the issue by McFaul, much like you list issue from your conservative libertarian views.

      Take a look and explain where he is wrong.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/McFaul/status/1197693232542388224

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 1:12 pm

        I have a twitter account. When I want to read otherwise intelligent people spouting complete nonsense – I check out twitter.

        With respect to the thread you linked:

        First, I immediately get turned off by people who blatantly tell me they are doing my thinking for me.

        I did not get very far through your thread before I was reminded of this

        Put simply – the evidence against Trump is not evidence. It is speculation supposition feelings.

        But more than that much of McFaul’s post is

        “In my ‘well informed oppinion that you should trust’ it is clear that this is what Trump thinks’

        It should be crystal clear right now that no one on MSNBC or CNN or …. has a clue what “trump thinks” what at the same time – 63M people who voted for him have a pretty good idea.

        This is also part of why I reject the “ignorant voter” arguments.
        They are pretty much always made by smart people who are certain that voters “got it wrong”
        because they did not chose as they would have done.

        Regardless – actually read McFaul – there are a FEW actual facts connected by large amounts of speculation, assumption, and guesses about Trump and others motives.

        I am not even slightly interested in ANYTHING involving Gulliani.

        If Schiff had video of Gulliani telling Zelensky – “you will not get the aide until you manufacture dirt on Joe Biden” that is NOT impeachable. It is dirty politics, that is all.
        Gulliani is not a member of the federal government, he has nor official authority
        He is the mouthpeice for candidate Trump or client Trump. Not the president of the United States. He is free to say what he pleases – including lying to foreign leaders.

        Just to be clear thus far the EVIDENCE is Gulliani’s conduct would have been acceptable even if it had been officient.

        Next, there has been no ACTUAL testimony of any “bribery”, Extortion, Quid Pro Quo.
        There is lots of assumptions, speculations, … but their is no evidence that Trump expected anything in return for aid.
        There is LOTS of evidence that Trump expected Zelensky to KEEP HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION, and there is plenty of evidence that Trump expected that included INVESTIGATIONS.

        BTW, Zelensky appointed a new Prosecutor General.
        The new PG have cleaned house.

        pretty much all the people involved with investigating Burisma are GONE.

        AFTER cleaning house, the new PG has announced wide ranging and broad anti-corruption investigations. He has SPECIFICALLY targeted Burisma, and is alleging much broaded corruption than previously. He has also specifically cited Hunter Biden – alleging a scale of corruption involving Biden about 10 times what was previously claimed.

        It is alleged that Corruption in the Ukraine involving AMERICANS is on the scale of about $7B. —

      • November 22, 2019 1:38 pm

        Dave “This is also part of why I reject the “ignorant voter” arguments.
        They are pretty much always made by smart people who are certain that voters “got it wrong”
        because they did not chose as they would have done.”

        So are you saying those voters that read McFaul and listen to MSNBC, CNN, Hannity or others are smart informed voters?

        From my perspective, if they were smart, they would not be listening to this tripe, let alone believing it.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 3:41 pm

        I am not interested in making accusations regarding the intelligence of voters.

        I do not even think being “informed” is inherently important – or atleast always important.

        To completely tune out the faux impeachment you must know enough to reach ONE conclusion – there is reasonable suspicion to investigate Joe Biden’s conduct.

        The only information you need beyond that is that Biden while VP threatened Ukraine if they did not fire the prosecutor at a time his son was being investigated by that prosecutor.

        That is the ONLY information that determines whether Trump’s real or even immagined acts were legitimate.

        But if you desparately want alot more FACTS.

        Try this – and compare to your source.

        Solomon does not make assumptions, does not make conjectures, does not talk about motives or feelings.

        He reports THE FACTS – and copiusly documents each linking to original sources.

        Many of the facts he cites are small and might not have much significance – you get to judge that for yourself.

        Many of them are innocuous standing alone. You get to decide that.

        But remember the relevant question is NOT “Are the Biden’s quilty of a crime ?”
        The relevant question is “is there a legitimate basis for investigation ?”

        If you answer that question with YES, then nothing Democrats are investigating matters.
        All the speculation is irrelevant, even if True – Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are ethical, moral, and within his legitimate powers.

        That they might also be politically beneficial is a tangent.

        Your and my guess as to whether politics is Trump’s primary motivation – is not relevant to impeachment. But you can vote on that.

        Regardless – Solomon is engaged in actual reporting.

        Your source is engaged in mind reading.

        https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-ukraine-scandal-timeline-democrats-and-their-media-allies-dont-want-america-to-see/

        I also found it interesting – Andrew McCarthy went after Fiona Hill in an editorial using my argument.

        It is plausible that ordinary people might not know much about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

        It is NOT plausible that a key player in the NSC was ignorant of Ukrainian interference.
        Nor is it plausible that members of the house intelligence committee were ignorant of it either.

        Hill’s testimony attacking house republicans for pushing a faux Ukrainian election meddling theory is not merely disrespectful, it is very nearly perjury.

        It is extremely rare that the conclusions (rather than observations) or a fact witness are either evidence or perjury, We do not generally conclude that bad analysis is evidence of lying.

        But Hill is in the unique position that she could not possibly have not known better, and McCarthy makes a compelling argument that she clearly did.

        Hill was the ranking NSC analyst for the Ukraine while these things occurred.

        Hill – as well as many other State department witnesses attempted to come across as a political, objective career public servants.

        Hill was particularly good at that.

        But there is no possibility that she can not merely be wrong – but be so forcefully wrong absent extreme bias.

        I would note that Hill made challenging the Ukrainian interferance the key focus of her opening statement.

        This is NOT a wrong answer to an unanticipated question.

        This is a deliberate premeditated effort to mislead.

        I did watch bits and peices of all this.

        What I got was “none of these people should be representing the US anywhere”.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 3:49 pm

        I listen to alot of talking heads.

        But I am not interested in their oppinions and conjectures.
        I am interested in the facts that they offer, and I tend to check those out.

        I do not assume something is a fact because a reported claims it.

        I pretty much disregard assumptions, conjectures, appeals to emotions, quesses at what third parties are thinking.

        As an example I get really really peeved at reporters or pundits who report “Trump lied in todays tweet” – without providing the tweet.

        Anymore they do not even bother to provide the offensive remark out of context.

        I have spent 15 minutes trying to find the actual tweet or video of a Trump remark to get the actual remark in context, and it pretty much never is what is reported.

        Over Time I do make evaluations of specific pundits and reporters based on whether I find them accurate or not.

        In the Trump era Fox and many of its reporters are wrong alot.
        But big name people I used to respect have been wrong almost ALWAYS.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 4:04 pm

        I want people to listen to Hannity and Limbaugh and Jones and Cooper and Cuomo and Seltzer and …..

        I want people to “beleive” them, and then I want them to ultimately grasp they have been lied to.

        That is how the power of ideologues is destroyed.

        There alot of #walkaway stories on Youtube – about progressives who came to grasp they were being lied to and that caused them to rethink everything.

        I am not asking people to #walkaway from the left.

        I am asking you to cease trusting anyone who lies to you.

        For a small number of people – realizing that the left (or right) has been lying to them flips their ideology.

        But most people who grasp they have been lied to,
        start to check out what ANYONE tells them.

        Regardless, being burned by someone you trust is the best route to skepticism and improved judgement.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 4:18 pm

        Throughout this holy war on Trump there has always been the danger that Trump’s enemies would find one thing of consequence that Trump had done that was truly WRONG – Criminal.

        Had that occured, or should it occur in the future – Trump is toast.

        But the converse is true. Mueller gave Trump multiple colonsocopies with 4″ sewer pipes and found nothing. We got 500 pages of “damn! Nothing here, but despite the fact that I looked under every rock for dirt, I still beleive I must have missed something”

        BTW the SC investigation WAS what Schiff said Trump wanted from Zelensky.

        “show me the man and I will find you the crime”.

        Mueller did NOT investigate a crime.
        He investigated Trump.

        That is precisely what our government is barred from doing.

        We do not go “digging for dirt” on people.
        We chase down credible allegations of actual crimes.

        Do you honestly think Biden or Warren, or Harris, or …. could survive the cavity search Trump has been through without significant evidence of malfeasance ?

        Reporters, can go after dirt on people, Hired Guns like Mark Elias or Rudy Gulliani can do so.

        Government can not.

        Government must investigate specific allegations of crimes.

        The list of things in Trump’s phone call to Zelensky are all allegations that meet the reasonable suspicion standard and can be investigated.

        The Steele Dossier never met that standard and now we here that a lawyer working for Strzok lied, and forged government documents to make the Steele Dossier and the FISA Warrant application appear more credible than it was.

        We have similar allegations regarding the prosecution of Flynn.

        It is well past time to VACATE everything from Cross-Fire Huricane, and Mueller,
        Papadoulous, Manafort, Flynn, Stone – even Cohen,
        And redo the investigations properly – with the assumption that the evidence is likely contaminated.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 22, 2019 1:34 pm

        Where is McFaul wrong ?

        An act that is legal for one person – is legal for all.

        Presumably we can disregard the several paragraphs of other investigations Trump asked for, i.e. we are all agreed that the ONLY investigation request Trump made that has the potential for difficulty is that of Biden.

        It was self evidence BEFORE this entire mess that “reasonable suspicion” that a crime involving VP Biden occurred.
        Biden’s demand to have Shokin Fired given that his son was being investigated by Shokin is a BLACK AND WHITE ethics violation. It is not even a close call. Biden publicly bragged about an act that was highly unethical.

        I beleive the act was also illegal. that is a reasonable view given the FACTS.

        It is therefore acceptable for Barr to ask for an investigation, for Trump to ask for an investigation, for the US ambassador to ask for an investigation. For …. to ask for an investigation.

        That should have been the end of this.

        We have spent two months trying to prove QPQ – and failed, yet that would have changed nothing.

        I have zero problem with Trump threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Ukraine conducts an investigation where reasonable suspicion that a crime occured exists.

        I do not care if Trump might benefit from that politically.

        that is an idiotic test. We want the president to benefit politically from doing the right thing.
        Investigating where there is evidence – is the right thing.

        This is also what Roberts oddly got right on Gerrymandering and wrong on the Census.

        It is irrelevant whether people excercising government power are doing so for allegedly “bad reasons”, it is only relevant whether they have the power and are excercising it inside the constitution and the law.

        If that produces an outcome we do not like – CHANGE THE LAW.
        What we do not want is Courts trying to weigh the intentions driving policy.

        Courts decide the consitutionality and legalist of policy.,

        Nothing more.

  13. Jay permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:11 pm

    Trump colon search—
    It found toilet fulls of shit.
    A few poops here and there can be excused.
    But plop after plop produces the very kind of shit-flood the founders thought impeachable:

    Hamilton:

    “When a man unprincipled in private life[,] desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper . . . despotic in his ordinary demeanour — known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty — when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.'”

    Hamilton was describing Trump to a “T” – demagogic, vain, untruthfully deceptive; an unholy trinity of excretion.

    That’s the diarrhea you continue to bathe in.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 2:12 am

      I don;t know jay, I think Like Skywalker is a better fit.

      The point – if your going to do an analogy, you actually have to line up the elements of each thing with the other.

      Here you are not ever doing a real analogy – you are comparing a hypothetical of hamilitons – who likely had a real person from the time, who was pretty much NOT Trump like in mind.

      Make actual argument.

      I have been told over and over – by the media, by the left, by you, even by some on the right that Trump has had a disasterous day, week, month.

      Every day – bombshell, bombshell, bombshell.

      Yet, most polls have his popularity rising.
      Support for impeachment has dropped preciptously. Particularly among independents.

      It is a full year before the election and Trump has already pulled ahead of all democrats in the swing states.
      Trump went on Fox and Friends and said “you can not overhear both sides of a cell phone call when it is not on speaker phone”.

      Chris Cuomo felt a compelling need to prove Trump was lying on his show and failed miserably – even on speaker the people sitting right next to him could not hear the other side of the phone call.

      That is just one of the many disasters.

      The reporting I am hearing is that Pelosi is between a rock and a hard place.

      Going forward with impeachment on this pile of schiff is disasterous.

      Trump and many republicans are “begging” for a trial in the Senate.

      I think that is actually posturing. Not because of the evidence – but because a Senate impeachment trial will have the same damning qualities that the Schiff Show did.
      Boring as hell and no substance.

      Trump is better off letting Sen Graham publicly investigate Burisma.

      Regardless, Pelosi has a choice.
      The best one for the democratic party is to let this die.
      Fade into oblivion and deal with the hard knocks Democrats will get next November.
      Proceeding on this will just multiply the damage.

      Not only don’t moderate democrats in the house want to vote on this.
      Democrats in the Senate up for re-election do not want to vote on this either.

      But if Pelosi does not bring this to a vote on the house floor – she will likely loose the speakership.

      Anyway, you had your shot – and you have scored an “own goal”

      Democrats, the left and the media have actually made their post Mueller credibility problems worse.

      You have also given Trump a huge win and amplified a message for his re-election campaign.

      The “deep state” took its shot AND FAILED.

      When you strike the king – you must kill the king.

      I do not think Trump should do anything prior to the election, though he should telegraph way ahead what he is going to do.

      But after the election in 2020, Trump should:
      Pardon everyone in this mess – honestly even Cohen.
      Because as scurilous as Cohen is – the “deep state” has behaved worse.

      One of the things that really did come out of these hearings – though only the tip of it,
      was that all these career public servants in Washington, have been deliberately F’ing over Trump and his people.

      Which brings me to #2.

      CLEAN HOUSE.
      Outside the upper tiers of the executive it is incredibly hard to fire people.
      But they can be derailed, demoted, side tracked, …..

      Put a moratorium on federal hiring.

      Spend the next 4 years shrinking the federal government through retirment.

      Just get rid of people enmasse anyway possible.

      At the top levels – just fire people.

      Aparently Tillerson and Trump had some serious conflicts.

      But one thing Tillerson did that was very good – is just let the State department shrink naturally.

      there are very few places where it is actually critical to have an ambassador.

  14. Jay permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:22 pm

    Conservatives on Impeachment:

    ‘Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano claimed during an interview with Reason‘s Nick Gillespie, Friday, that there is “overwhelming” evidence of impeachable behavior from President Donald Trump…

    “The evidence of his impeachable behavior at this point, in my view, is overwhelming.” Napolitano repeated.

    Trump is guilty, says Peggy Noonan: ‘The case has been so clearly made’ Noonan argued that the evidence from the House impeachment hearings painted an indefensible picture of Trump’s demands from Ukraine in a Wall Street Journal column published Thursday night.

    Noonan acknowledged that the witnesses called by the majority party were “uneven” in favor of the Democratic case, but she claimed that didn’t diminish the evidence presented during the hearings. She noted that no Republicans found it out of the question for Trump to demand a political investigation of the Bidens from Ukraine in return for military aid.

    “In the two months since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry was underway and the two weeks since the Intelligence Committee’s public hearings began, no one, even in the White House, has said anything like, ‘He wouldn’t do that!’ or ‘That would be so unlike him.’ His best friends know he would do it, and it’s exactly like him,” Noonan wrote.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 2:28 am

      One of the consequences of this faux impeachment – is that any constraints on what is impeachable are gone.

      Unless house democrats are obliterated in the 2020 election – political impeachment will become the norm.

      Further the abuse of power by the majority in the house will likely become the norm – even outside of impeachment.

      Napaliton is correct – Trump has done an infinite number of things that are impeachable.

      Brushing your teeth is now impeachable.

      Regardless, why don’t you specifcy clearly – using FACTS, not adjectives, CONDUCT of Trump’s that warrants impeachment.

      And remember that whatever you describe – I am going to be asking why you did not impeach Obama, Biden, …. Why you did not impeach Bill Clinton ?

      How you expect to conduct foriegn policy in the future.

      Another item that has come out.

      NOT ONLY did the legislation PASSED BY DEMOCRATS authorizing the aide to Ukraine, REQUIRE Trump to press the Ukraine to investigate corruption – espeically involving americans.

      But Mulvaney did a press conference where holding the aide was addressed BEFORE the Phone call with Zelensky, at that time he PUBLICLY stated that the aide would not and could not legally be held past the deadline in September.

      Before that the administration was free to do as they pleased.

      Mostly I think Republicans in the house did an excellent job exposing this sham.

      But there are a few things they got wrong.

      It was wrong to fixate on QPQ – though democrats have not proven one.
      and I do not think there was one, IT IS WRONG to establsh a standard that future president can not use leverage against foreign countries.

      The problem with Biden’s demand to have Shokin fired – was the personal conflict of interest that made his participation unethical and probably illegal.

      I also think in this instance Biden demanding Shokin’s termination was politically corrupt – i.e. Biden had bad reasons BESIDES wanting to protect his son.

      But that aside there is not and should not be a general principle that presidents can not leverage foreign countries where there is a political benefit.

      That is a VERY Bad idea.

      Anyway, provide me with a list of actual FACTS – not adjectives that are impeachable conduct according to you.

      I do not want to know the crime you think that Trump committed.
      Please do not respond with bribery or contempt of congress.

      Identify the ACTS that were impeachable.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 2:50 am

      “He absolutely would do that”.

      I have not read Noonan’s editorial – it is behind a paywall.

      But depending on what the defintion of “that” is, I completely agree.

      Trump would:

      Pay porn stars for the righs to their stories – so they did not take them to the tabloids.
      Lots of people would.
      I get atleast one new spam in my inbox each week from someone threatening to out me for watching porn sites if I do not give them a couple of hundred dollars in bitcoin.
      Unfortunately for them – my internet browsing habits are tame, I really do not give a damn if they expose them, and the threat to “out” my pseudonym is actually funny.
      But obviously lots of ordinary people pay money to keep their private life private.

      So long as the transaction is voluntary – it is legal.

      Send Rudy Gulliani to the Ukraine to “get dirt” on democrats and Biden.
      Yup, Trump would do that and did.
      We do not know the tactics Gulliani used. And we are not entitled to know.
      Gulliani is a private citizen and was not breaking any laws.
      What we do know is that what Guiliani got – does not appear to be made up dirt, like the Steele Dossier. Guilliani came back with DOCUMENTS and EVIDENCE.

      And yes, the “deep state” was pissed their turf was being stepped on.

      Hold up military aide to leverage more support from NATO – yup, Trump would do that.

      Hold up military aide in order to get Zelensky to keep his campaign promise to investigate corruption in Ukraine – particularly the PAST corrupt actions of democrats who went after him in 2016, and who triggered a witch hunt that threatened to derail his presidency.

      You he would do that.

      There are many things that Trump did not do, that I suspect he might do.

      But thought crimes, are not real crimes.

  15. Jay permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:34 pm

    Trump, Hannity, & GOP Mutton Heads Continue To Deceive America With Phony Conspiracies.

    “In hearings that closely aligned with Dr. Hill’s testimony, American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election, according to three American officials. The briefing came as Republicans stepped up their defenses of Mr. Trump in the Ukraine affair.

    The revelations demonstrate Russia’s persistence in trying to sow discord among its adversaries — and show that the Kremlin apparently succeeded, as unfounded claims about Ukrainian interference seeped into Republican talking points.“ NYT.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 3:01 am

      Oh, No! the Russia framed the Ukraine claim.

      I will just fold up my tent and go home!!!!

      Jay – anyone who testified to that deserves to be LAUGHED out of the government.

      Several high ranking members of the Ukrainian government PUBLICLY spoke out against Trump in the summer of 2016.
      The Ukrainian ambassador to the US wrote an OP ED criticising Trump in 2016.

      The involvement of Chulupa in framing Manafort is well documented.

      Are you going to tell me that Hunter Biden was NOT on the board of Burisma ?

      BTW The Ukrainian Oligarch that owns much of Burisma is strongly tied to RUSSIA.

      Are you saying the Russians sent him to Ukraine to ensnare the Biden’s in some corrupt scheme.

      You are absolutely correct – Though Hill was poised and testified in that wonderful English accent. BECAUSE she was the NSC’s expert on Ukraine at the time much of this was occuring – she can not possibly have NOT know about it, and therfore she was LYING UNDER OATH.

      Hill incredibly stupidly conflated Russian interferance and Ukrainian interferance – as if they were mutually exclusive. And pretended – as democrats and the press have that Ukrainian interferance is a debunked conspiracy theory.

      Only problem is – not only is it NOT debunked – it can be proven with evidence originating entirely from the US govenrment or public actions.

      But go ahead – keep selling this desparate nonsense.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 11:43 am

        ‘Several high ranking members of the Ukrainian government PUBLICLY spoke out against Trump in the summer of 2016.
        The Ukrainian ambassador to the US wrote an OP ED criticising Trump in 2016.”

        I know you know what the Ukrainians were responding to, but are not forthright enough to mention it… Trump Cult hypocrisy in action.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:08 pm

        I am not hiding the ball on anything.

        BTW all the ukrainian interferance was NOT public – but IS well established.

        Personally, I do not give a crap if members of the Ukrainian government speak out against Trump during an election.

        I am not the one selling the nonsense that we can or should shut down the free speach of foreigners or foreign leaders during an election.

        I am OK with Ukrainian politicians and ministors and ambassadors publicly or privately taking sides in US elections.

        I am OK with Russians doing the same.

        If as you claim the Russians tried to disfavor Clinton in the 2016 election – though the evidence indicates that the interfered about equally, YOU would also know WHY they sought to thwart Clinton.

        You are making an idiotic argument that it is somehow justifiable for a foreign leader to oppose Trump, but not justifiable for them to oppose Clinton.

        That is BUNK.

        Though I do not think that Putin cam down clearing in favor of Clinton, Putin had an obvious love hate relationship with Clinton.

        He had many excellents reasons to hate her and to thwart her.
        And he had many good reasons to love her.

        Regardless, Putin is no more or less entitled to support Clinton or oppose Clinton than Ukrainians are to oppose Trump.

        Whatever the rules are, they are the same for Ukraine as they are for Russia,
        They are the same for Trump as they are for Clinton.

        What is ludicrously hypocritical is this stupid claim that Russia can not put its fingers on the scales of US elections – but Ukraine can.

        Personally, I favor accepting the obvious – it is impossible and a bad idea to attempt to shutdown the free speach of others – even foreigners, even in US elections.

        That we should protect the actual integrity of the voting process, and allow anyone to attempt to persuade voters as they wish.
        To the extent any constraints should be made on persausion – they are those provided by a free press reporting on what they see. That is all.

        But you sold the world this Trump/Russian nonsense.

        If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

        If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

        So Grow Up – Ukraine attempted to influence the 2016 election and the colluded with Clinton to do so. There is actual evidence of this. There is nothing to validate a single claim in the Steele Dossier.

        YOU made foreign influence into an issue.
        Now choke on it.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 11:52 am

        Here’s some things Lindsay Graham said about Trump to the media 1n 2016-17. (Think he may be the whistleblower?)

        A race-baiting, xenophobic bigot
        The Islamic State’s “man of the year”
        A death blow to the GOP’s relationship with women
        The world’s biggest jackass
        A wrecking ball
        A salesman of fear
        A politician whose ideas are gibberish
        A politician who is incapable of representing a mattress company
        A poor representation of a Republican
        A president who is unfit for office

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:15 pm

        So ?

        Someone say that I support Graham ?

        Graham was the biggest hawk in the 2016 election – even more so that Clinton.

        When the recent kerfluffle over Syria came up he was the biggest critic of Trump.

        I am not a Graham fan, but all you are doing is proving that Republicans are NOT in lock step over Trump, that Graham would vote to remove Trump if he found Trump had done something wrong.

        You have effectively proven that Republicans are NOT lockstep blind defenders of Trump.

        I attack Trump where he is wrong proportionate to the error, and the significance of that error.

        I do not share the same disagreements with Trump as Graham does – so all you have is even MORE proof that there is not some monoblock, lock step thoughtless group of “trumpanzees”

        That when Republicans vote unanimously against impeachment it is not because they are Trump thralls, But because even thouhgh each has their own unique and often wrong perspective – they still came tot he same conclusion – NOTHING THERE.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 12:06 pm

      We have more ACTUAL evidence of Ukrainian interference in US politics and the 2016 election than we do of Russia – and that is all from public non-classified sources.

  16. Jay permalink
    November 22, 2019 6:10 pm

    President Lying SOB was at it again today.

    “ Trump makes at least 18 false claims in ranting Fox & Friends interview”

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/22/politics/fact-check-trump-fox-and-friends-november/index.html

    CNN will be running a one-hour @jaketapper special on Trump’s incessant lying, ?All the President’s Lies” Sunday at 9 PM Eastern.

    Unfortunately an hour will only allow time for a tenth of them…

    • Jay permalink
      November 22, 2019 8:00 pm

      Some examples of the bullshit he spouted:

      “No, CrowdStrike isn’t Ukrainian. No, that Texas plant didn’t just open. No, Zelensky wasn’t the one who brought up Yovanovitch. No, Trump hasn’t pulled out of Syria. No, Obama didn’t send Ukraine mere pillows. No, Trump didn’t get Veterans Choice. https://t.co/WMTZP4t3mX’

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:14 am

        Crowdstrike is not Ukrianian – correct Dmitri Alperovitch is Russian
        He is a Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council which receives significant funding from ….. Burisima.

        OOPS !

        You can verify all of this on wikipedia and again from toehr public records including reporting in NYT and WaPo.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 11:37 am

        “ Crowdstrike is not Ukrianian – correct Dmitri Alperovitch is Russian…”

        Alperovitch is a CO-FOUNDER.

        The other CO-FOUNDER IS George Kurtz, the CEO of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike. He was also the chief technology officer of McAfee, the American global computer security software company, in business since the 1990s, and now owned by Intel, part of the Intel Security division.

        The California company, which Trump and some House Republicans have accused without evidence of conspiring with Democrats in the 2016 election, is still helping the National Republican Congressional Committee protect its networks. The committee has no immediate plans to change vendors, a person familiar with the matter told me.

        The NRCC —the House Republicans’ campaign arm still employs Crowdstrike to protect their networks against hacking from Russia and China, et al. If they’re shady, why haven’t they dropped them?

        One has to be a dazed and confused Trump Cultist to accept the deceptive horseshit oozing from idiots who swallow the Russian generated agitprop that Ukraine was responsible for hacking the 2016 election.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 12:31 pm

        “Alperovitch is a CO-FOUNDER.”

        Right,

        You do this “guilt by association” stuff all the time. Yet, you are not very good at it.

        All these “connections” PROVE very little – though they are reasons for suspicion.

        Regardless, your claim was there were no connections – that is FALSE.

        Crowdstrike is a very large security company used by lots of organizations.

        The BIG deal about them is that they are the ONLY company in the security field that claims to be able to positively identify the source of an attack – pretty much all the time.

        That is KEY to the claim that Russia hacked the DNC.
        The ONLY evidence of that was produced by Crowdstrike. The FBI did NOT and can NOT do an independent assessment. The DNC refused to allow the FBI or anyone else access to the systems.

        Crowdstrike has been famously WRONG about attributing hacks to foreign sources – particularly RUSSIA in the past.

        They absolutely disasterously and falsely accused Russia of hacking Ukrianian artillery.

        Further Crowdstrike’s evidence that Russia hacked the DNC is that they found AP66 and AP67 – fancy bear and Cozy Bear on the DNC server.

        Absolutely AP66 and AP67 were developed by the Russians.
        But just like the NSA’s and CIA’s hacking tools are available to other countries, so are Russias. There have been several AP66 and AP67 hacks that were attributed to Russia that were later found to have originated elsewhere.

        The FACT is you can not determine the origen of a hack by the tools used.
        You can not even do it by tracing the hackers on the internet.

        False Flag operations are so easy and common in hacking that it is impossible to tell if the clues you find are real or deliberately misleading.

        VIPS has examined – not the DNC server – but the actual files on Wikileaks and their conclusion is that it is more probable they were leaked than hacked.

        We do know that the DNC has hacked and we do know that Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear were used.

        We have good reason to beleive the hacks occured at two completely different times – about 9 months apart. We have good reason to beleive that each hack was by a DIFFERENT hacker. Anyone who says they can positively identify the source of a hack – short of a confession with lots of supporting evidence, it lying.

        We do NOT know what information was copied with each hack, nor even how much information was copied.

        We also know that Assange knows the source and claims it is NOT the russians and was NOT a hack.

        Could Assange be lying ? Certainly.

        But we know that when Crowdstrike claims to identify the source as Russia – they are lying, they can not know that. Nothing that has ever been published demonstrates otherwise.

        If you accept the Crowdstrike report – or the FBI report that is based on it, or the Intelligence community report which is based on it and the Steele Dossier at face value – then YOU are the one who was naive.

        All Crowdstrikes claims COULD be True. But there is a gigantic gulf between Possible and certain – even probable.

        Contra the left, the press, the democrats, the intelligence community – it is not only possible, it is quite reasonable to beleive that much of what is claimed regarding the DNC emails and Russian interferance in the election is WRONG.

        That does not mean Russia is innocent of interfering. They have always interfered – as has the US.

        But it does mean – like myriads of other things – you take as proven lots of things which have not been proven, many of which will prove false or different.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:35 pm

        “You do this “guilt by association” stuff all the time. Yet, you are not very good at it.“

        I was doing innocence by association, dummy.

        And your tin hat assertions about Crowdsource are loony. As is your ditzy belief the Ukraine would try to hack the DNC. Why would you think they’d want to harm Dems after you claim they were anti-Trump? They would have wanted Trump out, and Hillary in. Duh,

        And the Brits and Danes are misinformed as well when they say Russia continues to cyber attack their elections – are their security agencies relying only on Crowdsource too?

        This is what happens when you developed a cult-brain view of the world. Your mind DEADENS to reality. You selectively ignore the mountain and cherry-pick the molehill.

        Ah, it’s useless to point out the obvious to deranged cultists.

        I leave you with this quote moments ago from Rectitudinous Rudy, passing on a message to his equally honest pal, who has nothing to hide:

        “ I’ve seen things written like ‘he is going to throw me under the bus.’ When they say that, I say ‘he isn’t, but I have insurance.”

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 2:09 pm

        My assertions about CrowdStrike:

        1). The botched the purported Ukrainian artilery hack.
        2). They are the only company in the field that claims to be able to attribute a hack to a source.
        3). They are the only people who examined the DNC servers.

        That is the sum total of my specific allegations about Crowdstrike.

        My remarks regarding Dimitri Aleperov were refutations of your nonsense that there is no links between Crowdstrike and Ukriane of Russia, or Burisima.

        Are those links meaningful – I do not know, neither do you. But they are real. Your claim was none existed – once again you have LIED, that is not the best way to rebuild your credibility.

        I have separately asserted – you can not determine the source of a hack today.

        That is just a fact. No on in the security field EXCEPT crowdstrike will claim otherwise.

        There have been numerous high profile failed attributions over the past couple of decades demonstrating this – including a false attribution of a fancy bear/cozy bear attack on France to Russia, that actually came from the mid east.

        You can check all these things out.

        BTW CrowdStrike is an internet security services firm. Attribution is just one of many services they provide. They likely do an excellent job on the others.
        But attribution is NOT POSSIBLE today.

        Did Russia hack the DNC ?

        That is possible. But anyone who claims to know that for certain is LYING.

        IF the DNC material came from a leak – as VIPS and Assange claim – it is likely that someday we will find that out – though not by getting the DNC server. Trump is fixating on the worng thing when he inquires about the DNC server. It is unlikely there is more evidence to be gleaned from it today. It is probable the FBI could not have done a better job that Crowdstrike had they gotten physical posision of the server.

        The problem is that CrowdStrike made a conclusion that is not possible to make – not that the FBI could do better.

        The VIPS work STRONGLY indicates a leak rather than a hack – but the VIPS work can not be conclusive any more than CrowdStrike can – and for the same reasons – with digital information ANYTHING can be faked – even in real time. It is not possible today to tell the difference between a false flag and an accidental mistake.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 2:21 pm

        Almost no one is claiming Ukraine hacked the DNC.

        You keep debunking something no one claimed as somehow evidence that Republicans are stupid.

        This is almost exactly what Dr. Hill did in here testimony – which is why she is not trustworthy

        There are only two ways you can assert this – either you are incredibly ignorant of facts, or you are deliberately deceptive.

        I can presume the former with you.
        With Hill only the latter is possible.

        The DNC was hacked twice – Once in approx. July of 2015, and once starting in April 2016.
        These were separate hacks, and likely from separate hackers.
        They used specific versions of the Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear hacking tools.
        These tools originated in Russia, but were readily available outside of Russia for years.
        The versions used were not current at the time – adding credance to the possibility that someone other than Russia was using them.

        It is not know what or how much information was retreived from the DNC servers at the time of the hacks – that is something that MIGHT have been determinable by good forensics at the time of the FBI investigation.

        Today there is no means to prove that the DNC emails were obtained via these hacks.

        VIPS worked from the Wikileaks FILES. VIPS demonstrated that they were likely in the US before transmission to Wikileaks and that it is unlikely they were removed from the DNC via overseas internet connections. The required data rates indicated by time stamps on the files can not be obtained through long rang internet connections. They can only occur with very high speed direct connect networks – or USB.

        Everything VIPS is working from CAN BE FAKED.
        Everything Crowdstrike relied on CAN BE FAKED.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 2:24 pm

        Your remarks display an incredible lack of knowledge for something you are so certain of.

        CrowdStrike did not hack anyone.

        To a small extent they harmed the democrats – they were responsible for DNC security BEFORE the hack.

        There primary political role in this is attributing the hack to Russia.

        Doing that HELPED Clinton and HARMED Trump.

        The emails were already out there at the time.
        this is the best they could do.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 2:29 pm

        No one is claiming the Russians did not target our elections – or myriads of other elections.

        As do the Chinese, and the North Koreans and ……

        There is a gigantic gulf between the Russians have been targeting our and many other elections for years, and they were responsible for hacking the DNC – even wether the DNC was hacked is debateable.

        The US also attacks the elections in other nations.

        As a matter of policy – we should secure our elections – that means the voting process.

        The DNC is responsible for securing their own networks.

        And the US Government should have no role in precluding attempts at persuasion by anyone in US elections.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 2:43 pm

        The “cult” problem is yours.

        With issue after issue you make things we do not know and can not know into binaries

        Because we know that the russians interfere in elections – all election interferance must be russian ?

        What about China ? What about North Korea ?
        What about the US ?

        Because you beleive the DNC was hacked – all election interferance is hacking.

        Ukraine interfered both publicly in editorials and public statements you now acknowledge but claim are justified. SO WHAT ? I do not agree that they were justified. But I do agree they were free to do them – as is Russia. Foreign nations are free to try to persuade US voters.

        They are free to write editorials, they are free to post adds on social media. They are free to act openly and publicly and free to act anonymously.

        As voters we can vote based on those influences, our own, and the information we get from the press regarding Russian or Ukrainian participation in our elections.

        You presume that any claim that the DNC was not hacked by Russia is a claim that Ukraine hacked the DNC.

        Only in your addled brain is that false binary possible.
        There are hundreds of countries in the world – and tens of thousands of black hat hackers.
        And that presumes the DNC was hacked.

        The DNC is a gigantic target – we know the RNC was targeted too.
        And in fact information was probably obtained. Just nothing worth using.

        Reality is that on issue after issue – you think you know for certain things that are unknowable.

        You are no different from those who buy that Bush I did not lie about the Vincense being in international waters (it was in Iranian waters and being attacked by Irainian gun boats).

        You are no different from those who beleived that Iraq was within a few months of a nuclear bomb.

        You are no different from those who beleived Vietnam was a fight against communisim or that it was winnable.

        That Richard Jewel was the Olympic bomber or that Steven Hatfill or Bruce Ivens were the anthrax Bomber.

        Or any of myriads of others of these nonsensical claims that our government never misleads us or is just plain WRONG.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 12:38 pm

        Read, the Transcript. Read the VIPS report – hell read the Mueller report which was not able to verify a single substanitive claim in the Steele dossier.

        There is no alternate conspiracy theory here. Those of us who seek a real investigation of the DNC server, Crowdstrike, are not claiming something has been proven.

        What we are claiming is that there has been a rush to judgement and as a result SLOPPY work.

        You fixate on the Intelligence community report – we now know alot of how that was produced and what it was based on – and that is all troubling.

        But even that does not matter.

        Have you heard of the pentagon papers ? The Church Commission ?
        The Fall of the USSR ? The Iraqi Yellow cake ? The Vincense ?

        These are ALL a few of the many many significant and major intelligence community failures in the US.

        There is excellent reason to ALWAYS be suspicious of the assessments provided by Government. To NEVER take them at face value.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 12:47 pm

        Almost no one is claiming that Ukraine hacked the DNC.

        Either you are totally confused or your are deliberately deceptive.

        While Nune’s buys the IC assessment that the DNC was hacked by Russia and I do not think that is close to proven, and on that I disagree with him Nunes devestatingly refuted both YOU, Hill and democrats.

        There is no question Russia interfered in the 2016 election – even if there is great debate over the scale. Almost no one disagrees with that.

        That does not preclude Ukrainian interference.

        No one except LYING LEFT WING NUTS think that we have a binary choice between Russia hacked the DNC and Ukraine did. The most probable source is that the information was leaked to wikipedia. Most Wikipedia information is aquired by LEAKS not hacks.

        There is no evidence Ukraine hacked the DNC and I am not aware of anyone claiming they did.

        There is plenty of evidence that Ukraine interfered int he election.
        And Dr. Hill either knows that or should not have ever had a job in Intelligence.

        And the fact that you are selling this nonsense that anyone beleives that the Ukraine hacked the DNC just proves how deceptive you are.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:22 am

        Read the transcript – the first mention of Yavonovich was by Zelensky.
        Page 4 at the top.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:25 am

        Obama refused to send Ukraine military aid – despite the Congress authorizing it.

        I am sure that he sent things other than Pillows, Blankets and food maybe.

        I beleive the original “pillow” remark came from congress. It predates Trump by years.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:28 am

        From Wikipedia – not a Trump friendly source.

        On April 19, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law extending the act (it was going to expire)

        Failures with the VA Choice program emerged in a 2017 whistleblower case concerning the Manchester VA Medical Center, in which one of the administrators of the VA Choice program, Health Net Federal Services, failed to schedule appointments for New Hampshire veterans, leaving some veterans with life-threatening conditions waiting for over six months just to see a doctor.[28] On April 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13793 (Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs) to help whistleblowers and increase accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 3:04 am

      I bet it will be a “bombshell”.

      Who was right about Trump being spied on – Tapper or Trump ?

      I can go down a long list.

      Why does anyone want to listen to allegations of lying by people who have spread false allegations of lying in the past.

  17. November 23, 2019 12:17 pm

    Todays paper page 1 story. “FBI lawyer suspected of altering document”

    This should scare the crap out of every American. We all know about government creep, where minute changes occur each time government actions take place until one day those minute changes are major. An FBI lawyer out to get a President can grow through insignificant changes to where an authorized individual can prepare documents with little truth that results in anyone being investigated.

    Dont bury your head in your ass. This is going to happen. This lawyer should be disbarred, sentenced to the maximum allowable for lying in court documents and any other law they can dig out of the kitchen sink to throw at the person. Just because 5 people were indicted for unrelatedbcrimes based on an investigation by Mueller resulting from altered documents does not justify this happening.

    • Jay permalink
      November 23, 2019 1:01 pm

      “ Just because 5 people were indicted for unrelatedbcrimes based on an investigation by Mueller resulting from altered documents does not justify this happening.”

      You’re exaggerating what transpired, Ron.

      One low-level FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered ONE email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew a Carter Page wiretap. There were three or four wiretap renewal requests, all approved by 4 Republican appointed judges. The altered email was used in only one of the renewal preparation requests- I think it was removed before submission. The taps on Page (who was not charged by the FBI) HAD ZERO to do with any of the other investigations.

      The FBI self-regulated itself. So I don’t get what you’re beefing about.

      Trump is an inept lump of feces.
      A traitor to our constitutional form of government.
      And certainly, he’s a Russian asset, likely a money launderer for them for decades —

      Donnie, Show UsThose Hidden Taxes!

      • November 23, 2019 1:13 pm

        So the AP story that appeared in our paper was a lie. Damn, now the liberal press is even attacking itself. What next will they attack? And when I checked three sites that evaluate the press, the AP was considered left center with more moderate leaning than other extreme reporting. Can’t believe a word anyone writes.

        Guess every reporter these days are like your anus. Cant trust anyone of them as that fart will escape eventually.

      • November 23, 2019 1:24 pm

        Jay from CNN 12.26, Nov 21, 2019, “The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources.” from following article :

        https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/21/politics/fbi-fisa-russia-investigation/index.html

        When you said these were insignificant changes and had nothing to do with the warrant, what source was providing that info.

        Who the hell can one believe these days and some of my friends wonder why I have basically tuned out.I catch some thing through the headlines in the paper like this one when I am opening it to the sports section and comics.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:40 pm

        It is likely there is some truth to the stores about Clinesmith.

        There are somethings we can know for certain from previous published Horowitz reports.

        But we should be careful about the weight we put in press stories at the moment.

        There are also stories that Horowitz is going to downplay FISA abuse.

        I think that is possible.

        It is highly unlikely that an IG is going to report that the entire FISA process is unconsitutional and rife with abuse.

        But that is the truth.

        Anyway, lets wait for the actual horowitz report before arguing details – some of which are likely to prove false.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 3:41 pm

        This is what conservative Andrew McCarthy in today’s Natl Review Has to say about the lawyer

        “ A low-ranking FBI lawyer altered a document that was somehow related to the Obama Justice Department’s application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for a national-security surveillance warrant. The application, approved by the FISC in October 2016, targeted former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page — an American citizen, former naval intelligence officer, and apparent FBI cooperating witness — as a clandestine agent of Russia. Apparently, the document tampering made at least one of the application’s factual assertions seem more damning than it actually was.”

        Key PHRASES:
        Low ranking
        “Document tampering.. to make FACTUAL ASSERTIONS more damming.”

        The tampering that lawyer did is less disturbing than the document tampering Trump had done to the quid-pro-quo phone transcript.

      • November 23, 2019 3:53 pm

        Interesting. I looked up his article and it begins something like “CNN reports” and he goes on to write his article, quoting CNN numerious times. CNN reports this as a significant issue and McCarthy writes it as a nothing burger.

        So f@(& the news. Write what they think their readers want to read and.not what are the facts.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:16 pm

        Ron, that opening CNN block was editorial click-bait, probably inserted by an editor.

        Like a liberal news writer or editor inserting a “FoxNews reports” lede in to make you think: see even Fox agrees with this slant.

        McCarthy follows up on that angle with his CNN comment further on. His comments there shows he didn’t rely on the CNN report for his own assessment.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 5:03 pm

        First – this is a leaked story on CNN.

        That should be enough to get EVERYONE to wait for the FACTS.

        There is a concurrent leak that Horiwitz will find nothing wrong with the FISA application.

        McCarthy is working from the CNN story – not the Horowitz Report.

        The only thing we KNOW for certain is that Durham is now investigating a crime.

        This MIGHT fit that. It could be something altogether different.

        The FBI is also stalling in McCabe’s wrongful termination lawsuit – they are claiming it is because of the ongoing investigation.

        Again this could be related or not.

        I really do not want to place credance in detaiils in the CNN story – because well “CNN”.

        I have no problem beleiving the story. But that is NOT the same as knowing it is true.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:49 pm

        There is a clip of Preet Behera on CNN saying this.

        But I am trying to reduce Youtube posts
        So I found the quote.

        But it is from Red State – so Jay will of course reject it.

        But if you wish to see it from Preet’s lips on CNN,
        search YouTube.

        https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2019/11/23/preet-bharara-fbi-lawyer-alleged-altered-fisa-document-doesnt-get-much-serious/

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:55 pm

        McCarthy has NOT actually written any analysis of this yet.

        The NRO “article” is not an opp ed, It is more a repeat of what was alleged on CNN without comment, taking it at face value.

        The entire peice is mostly “CNN said”.

        We do not even know if the leak is true.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:02 pm

        We can debate rank till the cows come home.

        Strzok is was one of the highest ranking agents in the FBI, he was the head of counter intelligence. He worked directly for McCabe who worked directly for Comey.
        He Worked in DC.

        Clinesmith Worked for him.

        One of the other really ODD things about ALL of this – from the Clinton investigation through Trump is that this was ALL run out of DC and under Comey directly.

        DC and the director and the directors subordinates DO NOT typically (if ever) run investigations. Those are run from regional offices – the Clinton Foundation Investigation was run from the NY office.

        Few people in DC are “low ranking”.

        There are 9 FBI rankings in Management – with the director at the Top.
        There 6 additional rankings of field agent.

        Strzok was the Deputy Assistance Director of the Counter Intelligence Division.
        That is the 2nd highest rank in that division.

        Strzok LEAD the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections investigation.
        He LEAD the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email.
        He was the ranking FBI member on Mueller’s team.

        Clinesmith worked directly for him.

        I can not get a direct Rank for Clinesmith – it is certainly lower than Baker, Ohr, McCabe, Strzok. But it is likely higher than most field agents.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:14 pm

        I am not sure how it is that you think that altering the facts on a warrant application
        Applications that had to be signed by something like 5 people – including atleast a US Attorney, and more likely a Deputy AG, the Head of the FBI and several other HIGH RANKING members of the FBI is small potatoes.

        Warrants are SWORN – Under OATH.

        My Guess is that Clinesmith was not one of those who had to SWEAR to the facts in the Warrant. But SOMEBODY did, and they were LYING.

        We do not as of this point know that they KNEW they were lying – or that they just relied on Clinesmith.

        Regardless, the warrants were obtained through FRAUD.

        I doubt that the FISA court is going to be happy about that – even if the misrepresentation was small.

        Further, we KNOW that the FISA court REJECTED the application to spy on Carter Page in July 2016. FISA pretty much NEVER rejects warrant requests, so we KNOW that the application was INCREDIBLY weak.

        The 4th amendment is nearly non-existant in this country – so one wonders how really bad the application had to be for the FISA court to reject it.

        In Oct 2016 the FBI tried again – this time they added the Steele Dossier.

        We do not know all of what the FBI did to get an application that the FISA court rejected to the level that the COURT found it acceptable in Oct 2016.

        But given that they were already rejected even SMALL alterations are incredibly significant.

        The Court had already told the FBI – this is just not enough.

        Either the FBI needed more actual evidence – which they did not have.
        Or they had to MAKE SOMETHING UP. To strenghen the warrant application.

        That is called LYING, FRAUD, ABUSE OF POWER.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:25 pm

        Clinesmith did not “tamper” with some random memo. Though pretty much all documents related to an FBI investigation are significant.

        He tampered with the supporting evidence for a FISA Warrant application.

        These are required by the constitution and law to be SWORN – UNDER OATH.

        Further specific to FISA applications atleast 5 highly ranking members of DOJ and FBI must sign off on them.

        That is NOT supposed to be proforma. Those signatures mean “I take responsibility”,
        Atleast one of those signing off is SWEARING to the accuracy of the evidence – because the US CONSTITUTION requires that.

        Lets make this clear – this is WORSE THAN PERJURY.

        A bogus warrant is a violation of the rights of those being searched.
        It is a CRIME all by itself.

        As to the Trump Transcript – Vindman himself testified that he raised concens and those were addressed before the Transcript was made public.

        Approximately 5 people made the notes that were used to create the transcript.
        About a dozen people total heard the phone call, Probably 100 people were involved in producing the transcript.

        If you beleive there is a conspiracy there to alter the transcript – provide evidence of that ?
        Even Vindman ultimately had to back down.

        Regardless, to have an error of substance dozens of people would have to be part of a conspiracy to alter the transcript.

        Just as it is likely that Clinesmith is NOT the only person aware that the FISA warrant had intentional factual misrepresentations.

        But in the end there is a big difference – A warrant application is not a record, it is a sworn request of the the courts for the POWER to violate someone’s rights.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 4:33 pm

        I hate arguing over QPQ – because it would not matter if there was one.
        All that matters is whether there is a basis for an investigation.

        But there is no QPQ in the transcript or the phone call.

        While you have lots of testimony from people – none with direct knowledge that the “beleive”, “think”, “feel” there was a QPQ, every single one of them says they Trump never asked them, for a QPQ, nor is there any record of his asking anyone else.

        I personally think there is evidence – from Mulvaney’s own words that MULVANEY held up the aide for as long as he could – for a variety of reasons, including as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate.

        But that is problematic, because Mulvaney also said – at the same time, that the Aide would be released to Ukraine by the end of September – which it was.

        So what you are really dealing with is a QPQ that you can not find, that involved DELAYING the aide for possibly a few weeks.

        And this is Aide that using the same law – Obama refused to give at all.

        So you want to impeach Trump for delaying something Obama refused to provide ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:33 pm

        Clinesmith was not some low level flunky, He work directly under Strzok, who was cheif of the counter espionage section of the FBI.

        Clinesmith had a significant role in Crossfire Huricane AND the Mueller investigation,
        he was the attorney who Question Papadoulis and who Papadoulis purportedly lied to.

        At the bare minimum the papadoulis conviction should be expunged.

        Separately Clinesmith has independently emailed people that he was deeply concerned that Horowitz was looking at the FISA applications – because Clinesmith was HEAVILY involved in those by his own admission.

        This is not one email on one application that was removed before submission.

        Clinesmith is near certainly Attorney #2 – one of the 5 people Horowitz has previously identified as biased to the point of significantly impacting their work.

        Atleast 3 of the 5 people Horowitz identified as irredeemably biased participated in the Mueller investigation.

        So are you going to say that Strzok was a minor low level FBI agent too ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:36 pm

        No the FBI did not “self regulate”.

        All of these people – Strzok, Page, Clinesmith, … had important roles in both the Clinton investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, and the Mueller investigation.

        None were removed until the IG investigation exposed their deep political biases.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 1:20 pm

      Mueller can not investigate this person. This person was part of the Mueller team – like Page and Strzok.

      BTW there is ample evidence that Page altered the 302’s on Micheal Flynn to implicate Flynn.

      The Patriot act needs repealed.

      The 4th amendment needs restored.

      The constitution requires an OATH to get a warrant – that should be taken seriously.
      Those in law enforcement that swear out a false warrant should face SERIOUS consequences.

      • November 23, 2019 1:28 pm

        “Those in law enforcement that swear out a false warrant should face SERIOUS consequences.”

        like I said, throw the kitchen sink of charges at them.

        You think that will ever happen in with our corrupt government these days, with the patriot act being top 5 in corruption?

        (And don’t give me a lecture if I used corruption in the wrong way. You know what I mean. Unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional….etc)

      • dhlii permalink
        November 23, 2019 1:42 pm

        Where there is no oversight there is corruption.

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        I am not a big fan of our courts either.

  18. Jay permalink
    November 23, 2019 3:50 pm

    Rudy, reverting to his mob heritage background, has this to say today on Fox:

    “Trump is definitely not going to throw me under the bus. But if he did, I have insurance”

    Mumm. Wonder what ‘insurance’ Giuliani is holding over Donnie?

    Suggestions?

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 4:36 pm

      You mean these mob connections – the ones where he prosecuted the Mob as a US attorney and received constant death threats ?

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 8:30 pm

        No, I mean his family connections.

        His father Harold “was convicted of felony assault and robbery, serving time in Sing Sing.[35] After his release he worked as an enforcer for his brother-in-law Leo D’Avanzo, who ran an organized crime operation involved in loan sharking and gambling at a restaurant in Brooklyn.[36] The family lived in East Flatbush, Brooklyn until Harold died of prostate cancer in 1981”. Wikipedia.

        The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

        It’s a familiar theme in literature, and in life, for those who early on aspire to conventional respectability but over time revert to the dark side. Like Michael Corleone in The Godfather series who was a respectable WWII hero leading an honest life, but then drifted into murder and mayhem as a crime boss.

        Rudy fits that mold. Like many other mob related children, he became respectable for a time, then reverted to dubious character behavior: venality, selfishness, deceptiveness. Those traits were evident throughout his early years: even when playing good cop, perp walking innocent people through gauntlets of flashbulbs on trumped up charges and flimsy evidence. He was (like Dewey) a media hog, as he proved on 9/11, grabbing tv time whenever he could.

        Character is destiny. Is it any wonder he and Trump were drawn tighter in bonds of friendship. Like Trump, Rudy was a draft evader; he manipulated his 1-A draft status to avoid Viet Nam selection. Also like buddy Donald he treated his wives like shit. On the first one he slyly had an adulterous affair, and when it became public he chauffeured his mistress around the city using manipulated taxpayer money. He followed the same adulterous pattern of misbehavior with wives two and three, lying to them, and to the public until cornered.

        Again, like Trump, he’s a non-stop liar. If you want to continue embracing them, you will morally be diminished as well, like those who continued to worship Nixon and McCarthy after their character flaws were revealed.

        Character is destiny. What you’re seeing from Trump and Rudy and the GOP confirms their moral deterioration. They are melting back into the ooze. You’re sinking with them.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 7:45 pm

        In the 60’s Gulliani was a democrat. He worked on the Kennedy campaign and voted for McGovern. He graduated with honors from NYU Law School in 1968. He subsequently clerked for a federal Judge in SDNY. In 1975 he switched to independent and became an ADAG under Ford.

        Gulliani was an extremely aggressive prosecutor with similarities to Mueller,
        He successfully prosecuted corrupt politicians and the mafia. MANY Times.
        He was targeted by the Mafia for assassination – even the Sicillian Mafia had a contract out on him.

        Guiliani is many things – some of which I do not like.
        But crooked or corrupt is not one of those.

        Sorry Jay – the apple fell VERY far from the tree.

        Gulliani has lead a “respectable” life his Entire life.
        He does not need to be involved in politics today or even to work.

        I do not care if you like Gulliani. I disagree with him on some issues.
        But once again you can not help but smear anyone you disagree with.

        Absolutely, I have difficulty with some of Gulliani’s tactics.
        And some (though not most) of the people who were targeted by him as a prosecutor were likely innocent. Though unlike Mueller he did not hound the innocent to suicide.

        Sure Gulliani likes to see himself on camera. Name any politician that doesn’t ?

        Absolutely he sought the spot light post 9/11, but he also got the city working again under incredibly difficult conditions. If he wants to hog the spotlight at the same time, I can live with that.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 8:04 pm

        Before pontificating on the bad character of others – you should look after your own.

        We have been through this before, and it is not worth the effort to list your smears and false accusations. But you can not restore some zemblance of integrity by continuing the same bogus character assassinations as before.

        The “faux impeachment” has flopped. We will see if Democrats continue to proceed suicidally, or if they have had enough.

        But the big reason that it failed, the reason Trump was elected, is because those like you, the left, and the media have no credibility.

        No one watched. They did not need to, the expected nothing, because they had no confidence in those running the process.

        Pelosi and Schiff trying to focus group their words tells is all – it is also the story of Jay.

        All to often people are mislead by strong adjectives – for a while, but absent rushing into something stupid, the people as a whole get it right or atleast get close.

        This is where Ron and I are debating right now.
        While I am not a proponent of democracy. People as a whole get things right much of the time, when they must act (as opposed to polls).

        Ordinary people may not have intellectually understood my argument that an investigation is justified, where reasonable suspicion exists even if there is political benefit.

        If that were not true – wouldn’t the impeachment hearings themselves be a crime ?
        Obviously Schiff hoped for some political benefit from those hearings.

        Anyway, my point is that people might not know the law, or the constitution, but they sort of do understand that there was nothing wrong with Trump asking for an investigation of Biden under the circumstances.

        People ignored Schiff – because they KNEW they were not going to hear anything.

        Trump had a string of bad days, one after the other. Every day had really bad news items.
        Yet Trump’s approval rating is up 5 pts from the start. Support for impeachment – particularly among independents has tanked, and is now almost 2:1 against.

        Even Steve Bannon is saying that Adam Schiff might as well be a Republican operative, he gave Trump a huge gift.

        Trump is now chomping at the bit to get to a Senate Trial.

        I expect and hope most of the speculation will prove false.

        Hauling in the Biden’s etc is not going to make better Public TV than the Schiff Show.

        Republicans need to dismiss this mess quickly.

        If Graham wants to investigate Ukraine – do that through normal Senate Processes, not impeachment.

        Trump and Republicans can probably score lots of points in an impeachment trial.
        But they can not make it interesting, and they can not make people watch or care.

        But hopefully it will not come to that and Pelosi will kill this mess before it harms democrats more.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 8:06 pm

        From what I can tell, Gulliani’s draft status was pretty normal.
        He was initially 1-A, but he went to college and that made him 2-A until the government become less friendly to college as a means of defering service – then he was classified as 1-A again, and he drew a very high lottery number so he was not called up.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 8:21 pm

        Have you ever looked at Nixon ? You are old enough to remember him.

        Some of Nixon’s accomplishments

        Closing the gold window, creating massive inflation,
        Gas lines, Odd/Even rationing.
        Created the EPA
        He imposed wage and price controls that tanked the economy and resulted in rationing.
        Devalued the dollar, dramatically raised tarriffs,
        Created a recession in 1974 and probably triggered the one in the early 80’s,
        Stuck us with 55mph for decades.

        Nixon was a RHINO.

        As to McCarthy – why in gods name would you want to bring up someone you and your ilk greatly resemble ?

        It is not Trump and republicans who are calling everyone they do not like Russian agents
        It is not Trump or Republicans that are running show trials and hearings where people can not defend themselves.

        “Are you now or did you ever beleive that Ukraine influenced the 2016 election” ?
        Well to hell with you

    • dhlii permalink
      November 23, 2019 4:42 pm

      “But when a reporter asked Giuliani if he was concerned that Trump could “throw him under a bus,” Giuliani replied cryptically. “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid,” Giuliani quipped.’

      Apparrently you can not understand a JOKE.

      Context matters – “under the bus”, “Hospital Bills”.

      You wonder why I think you are on the left ?

      You have no sense of humor.

      I though it was a good quip.

      I do not want to live in your world were no one can joke for fear of it being misread as evidence of a crime.

      I was willing to give Rosenstein lattitude for a bad joke about wearing a wire – until something like 5 people in the room came forward and said it was not a joke, it was a serious discussion and it made it into their notes of the meeting.

      • Jay permalink
        November 23, 2019 7:22 pm

        Ever hear “the truth often is said in jest?”

        Man up dhlii- you surely know if Rudy told the truth about his dealings with Donnie, they’d both end up sharing a cell in fed prison.

        Humm, would taxpayers have to spend money for adjacent cells for Secret Service protection?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 11:47 pm

        “Ever hear “the truth often is said in jest?””

        So you really want to beleive that Gulliani threatened Trump repeatedly on national TV ?

        Why ? Because getting fired by Trump is the kiss of death ?

        Do you ever think this nonsense you put out through ?

        “Man up dhlii- you surely know if Rudy told the truth about his dealings with Donnie, they’d both end up sharing a cell in fed prison.”

        If anyone had the dirt on Trump – Cohen did. Cohen is in Jail. Trump isn’t.
        Despite being given every possible opportunity, despite clearly blaming Trump for every bad thing that has happened to him. Despite pretty much everyone beleiving Cohen was going to deliver the goods on Trump – what did you get ? Nada.

        Mueller anally probed Trump. Found zip beyond Trump being angry at being investigated, and coming damn close to firing Mueller repeatedly. Still nada.

        Yet, you are desparately sure that the next investigation, the next person strong armed into flipping or brutalized by left wingnut thugs with way too much power will finally give up the goods on Trump.

        Maybe you should consider the possibility that “There is nothing there!”

        Look. I have no doubt that if you sick a pit bull on Trump – and give them carte blanche to go absolutely everywhere unrestrained, that they can find something that they can spin as a crime. You can do that to ANYONE.

        But half way constrained by the rule of law, you have not managed to get anything on Trump.

        Time to consider the possiblity that the lawless one is YOU.

      • November 24, 2019 6:33 pm

        I’d take Rudy and Donnie any day over Gordon and “Republicans must Call Me Lt Colonel” Vindman.

        I’m wondering how Vindman fares after leaking classified information, lyimg about it, and violating the unified military chain of command by testifying in public congressional that the Commander-in-Chief should be removed from office, because he did not take a lt. colonel’s “orders” on how the commander-in-chief should handle foreign affairs. That sort of open insubordination is generally not tolerated in any branch of the military….

        And before you say that it is freedom of speech…no, it’s not. Vindman is active duty military, going so far as to wear his full dress uniform to the hearing, As such, he is not to participate in partisan politics or undercut the official policies of superior officers.

        When Douglas MacArthur publicly questioned the policies of his commander, he was ~ rightfully ~ relieved of duty. The whole concept of civilian control of the military is based on the military not threatening the chain of command, especially not advocating the removal of the civilian commander!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 7:24 pm

        I doubt Lt. Col. Vindman is long for the military.

        There are a number of complaints by superiors and peers from the past that have surfaced.

        And though I think your post exaggerates his Sins, you still do not keep advancing in the military if you have made a spectacle of yourself.

        I do not think there is proof that Vindman has “leaked” at this time.
        But there are lots of indications, Further even if he did NOT leak, it is clear that by his own admission he has violated the protocols for handling classified information.

        I keep trying to remind everyone here – military or civilian, YOU do not get both access to classified information AND the authority to determine who you share it with.

        Access control and information are INDEPENDANT channels.

        If you have a TS/SCI clearance – YOU do not get to decide if someone else has sufficient clearance to receive information AND the “need to know”, that is all done by your FSO.

        Vindman and these other State and DoD employees had BETTER have documentation that they requested and received permission to share the information that they have done with the people they have shared it with.

        Part of what I find disturbing – both in the Clinton Email mess and the congressional testimony is that FBI agents and members of congress KNOW THIS,

        Yet where politically expedient they conduct their “investigations” as if anything short of turning material over to the russians is routine.

        Handling classified information is CUMBERSOME. It is supposed to be.
        Despite having a TS/SCI for several years where possible I did my job WITHOUT accessing classified information. It was easier. There was no need to jump through hoops get multiple people to approve a request, etc.

        The vast majority of what is purportedly classified is readily accessible via Google (in the world I worked in) Because we over classify the crap out of things.

        But transcripts of presidential phone calls are NOT readily available on the internet – even if performance specs for AEGIS often are.

      • November 24, 2019 7:45 pm

        Dave “Further even if he did NOT leak, it is clear that by his own admission he has violated the protocols for handling classified information.”

        Absolutely nothing, civilian or military wise, retirement, negative on future promotion, zilch…should happen to Vindman because the precedent was set when the bitch walked free after she “mishandled” classified material.

        If he did mishandle classified material, he deserves the same outcome as the highest ranked individual in the state department received when she mishandled C.M.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 24, 2019 11:53 pm

        I am not ready to end the rule of law, just because Clinton got a political pass.

        Vindman is in the military – no one in the militiary gets off easy for mishandling classified materials.

        I forget his name, but a Navy Chief got 6 months for taking a picture of the nuclear plant of an antique nuke, and sharing it with other navy chiefs who also have security clearances.

        I keep trying to tell yall – as it applies to pretty much everyone who has testified to sharing classified information.

        It is not enough that the person you are sharing with has the necescary clearance.
        It is not enough that they have a “need to know”.

        You must have the approval of a third party whose job it is to verify both of the above conditions.

        I think it is unlikely that Vindman will get jail. But His career should be over.

      • November 25, 2019 10:54 am

        So we disagree again, but thats fine. We both have one fact, have digested that fact and come to a different conclusion.

        My conclusion is the president, cabinet, appointed officials and congress should be the basis for any actions against private citizens and military “Whats good for the goose is good for the gander”. So if these individuals walk, so should everyone. If Clinton did no harm and mi!itary does the same, so be it. If the president has committed a crime and gets off, so should the military. (The president is the military leader)

        If these people lived under the same laws as 99.99999% of the rest of America, maybe significant improvements would occur in key areas!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2019 1:56 pm

        Differences of opinion or analysis, can be worked out.

        Some things are just opinions – we have to learn to disagree.

        Some things are more than just differences of opinion, and we have to use logic and reason to arrive at sound conclusions – though sometimes things are complex enough and there are enough factors that certainty is not possible.

        But disagreements over facts are a serious problem.

        We can disagree over the importance of specific facts, but not over their existance.

        We must be careful not to make into a fact – something that is not, or to dismiss as false of an opinion something that is true, or not established as false.

        We can disagree over the scale of Russian interference in the 2016 election (it was inconsequential) but it occurred. Those like Schiff and Hill who claim republicans are denying that interferance are LYING.

        A fairly high tolerance for misrepresenting other people is inherent in politics. The consequence for Schiff’s misrepresentations are damage to his credibility.

        But Hill was a member of the NSC. Misrepresenting the positions of others is far more serious for unelected public servants.

        The same is true of Ukrainian interference. We still have not established the scale. Though again it was not really all that consequential. What is more significant about Ukrainian interferance is that there appears to be actual “collusion” with both democrats and the US Government. The former is troubling, the later is crimial.

        Regardless, it is important to be accurate about facts, because if we are not, then we can not hope to reach meaningful conclusions.

        I do not think you and I are disagreeing on the facts regarding the handling of Classified materials. Merely what the consequences should be.

        I think that we vastly over classify. Despite a TS/SCI clearance, I never used that clearance to access documents – the information I needed was always available from public sources.
        The purpose of my clearance was to be able to participate in meetings with other people who might discuss classified information.

        As I have noted the access to and exchange of classified information is tightly controlled.

        A person with a clearance DOES NOT get to decide who they can share with.

        It took weeks to arrange meetings – and the arrangements were made by the FSO’s not the participants in the meetings.

        Who was going to participate, where the meeting would be, validating the clearances and “need to know” of participants was NOT done by the participants themselves.

        This was incredibly cumbersome – it is supposed to be.

        We see a version of this with every movie that has ever showed the process of launching a nuclear missle.

        Every step in that process must be verified by TWO people. Nothing can be done on that authority of a single person. That is how human security worlds.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2019 2:15 pm

        I would distinguish between discipline and law.

        If you are going to prosecute someone – you follow the law to the letter.
        Ambiguity is resolved narrowly – not broadly.
        If after doing so the law is unworkable – congress must change the law.

        At this time absent the uncovery of new crimes (which is actually likely) I would leave Clinton alone. That is not how things should be. Comey FAILED at his job. While I do not think that it would be possible to get a conviction of Clinton by a DC or Virginia Jury – as conversely it was not possible for Stone or Manafort to get a fair trial, and we need to do something about this. We can not have those in government functioning as the judges of their own conduct, and of the conduct of those who are supposed to be the check on their power.

        But that is a different problem.

        But the law is not the only consequence.

        Vindman can be fired, Releived of duty.

        I think that pretty much everyone who testified about there feelings or opinions rather than facts, should not be in government service.

        Even more so those who testified that they were engaged in thwarting policies they did not like.

        If something is actually so wrong you must speak out RESIGN.

        There is a bruhaha in the Navy over Seal Gallagher that Trump pardoned.

        I do not know if Gallagher actually did anything wrong – a Military court found him innocent of all charges except bringing negative attention to the navy.

        Unless I missunderstand I think Trump should have left that alone.

        But he did not. And he IS the commander in Chief. The very same people who are arguing that they need to punish Gallagher to ensure discipline and order are DISOBEYING orders.

        Based on what I understand of the Gallagher case – he was reported by several members of his unit. Under those circumstances, I do not think he is going to be able to remain.
        But that is a problem for those units and their commanders.

        Trump has given his orders and the Navy must follow.

      • November 25, 2019 3:50 pm

        Dave, re: the Eddie Gallager thing…I don’t think that Trump pardoned Gallagher, because he had already been acquitted of all charges except the one, which was considered a relatively minor one.

        I believe that Trump had restored Gallagher’s original rank, which had been busted down a grade, so that he would retire with his full military pension and benefits. After Trump did that, the secretary of the Navy announced that he would hold some kind of hearing that would basically kick Gallagher out of the SEALs. Gallagher objected and said that he was being unfairly targeted, because the Navy was embarrassed and seeking revenge (revenge for what I don’t know ~ the guy was a highly decorated special ops leader, and had been nominated for a silver star). He claimed that the accusations against him had been made by younger members of his SEAL team who couldn’t handle his stern leadership and hated him for it. Who knows?

        In any case, apparently, the Sec’y of the Navy told the WH that, if Trump allowed this hearing to proceed, he (the Sec’y) would make sure that it turned out ok for Gallagher, but if Trump refused, the Sec’y would resign, an make Trump look bad. Trump refused, and the WH informed Mike Esper, the Defense Secretary, who, up until them, knew nothing about the “deal” offered to Trump.

        Esper considered the deal an attempt to blackmail the Commander-in-Chief, plus he said he could no longer trust the Navy Sec’y (whose name I can’t remember), so he asked for his resignation.

        I personally get very uncomfortable at the idea that someone from the Pentagon would try and strongarm the President into changing his decision on something like this, so I think the firing was the absolute right call.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2019 5:16 pm

        There is alot we do not know about Gallagher and the events there.

        But there is enough that we do know to justify Trump’s and Espy’s actions.

        Gallagher’s career is effectively over regardless, he should be allowed out of the military with honor, and everything else can be sorted out in competing books and by historians.

        We may never know the truth.

        But we do know the dep navy sec was insubordinate, and now he is gone.

      • Jay permalink
        November 25, 2019 7:42 pm

        There ya go again, smooching Trump’s ass like you do reflexively.
        Gallagher was acquitted of the murder charge because he didn’t apply the coupe de gras.
        But if he had been charged with 2nd degree murder he would have been found guilty.

        Do you understand the chain of events in the charge, or operating out of blind ignorance once again?

        The victim was a 17 yr old boy who was wounded in an air attack and taken to US med facility. For no reason after treating the wounds, Gallagher unexpectedly plunged a knife into the boy’s chest, under the collar bone. He then recited his military oath of office over the bleeding body. He left the body with Cory Scott, the other med officer treating him. Scott took the blame for killing the boy. He said the patient would have survived the stabbing, but Iraqi forces who captured him would eventually torture him, and disconnected his oxygen tube as an act of mercy.

        “I knew he was going to die anyway, and I wanted to save him from waking up to whatever would happen to him,” Scott said.

        Soon after Gallagher posed next to the body for a photo, which he subsequently text messages to fellow SEALs. In one message the photo caption said, it was a “great story” and that he “got him with my hunting knife.” He got a helpless 17 year old with his knife. And Trump wants to honor him. And you think it OK.

        Witnesses also said that Gallagher, who was then serving in his eighth deployment, recited his reenlistment oath near the body. I bet he would have loved the smell of napalm in the morning during Viet nam, and shot the woman and her baby running toward the copter.

        A Navy jury decided the outcome. Though they only found him guilty of the dead body photo incident, they DIDN’T absolve him of the other charges, finding insufficient evidence to convict.

        And Trump fired the Sec of the navy for wanting Navy Seals to determine if Gallagher deserved shunning or not? And you think that’s OK?

        Turds in the toilet bowl. Flush!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:08 pm

        Jay

        Let me repeat – do to massive past misrepresentations, I have no reason to beleive that assertions that you make are correct.

        If you want me to accept what you claim – you need actual facts from reliable sources.
        Unfortunately anymore that does not include much of the press.

        There were numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct in this case – the prosecutor was removed from the case by the judges – specifically for leaking false stories to the press.

        There is significant conflict in the testimony about the “facts”.
        Corey Scott only testified under an immunity deal, and had lied about the facts repeatedly previously.

        I do not know what Gallagher actually did. Nor do you.

        It is likely only a few people do, and it is certain that some of them are lying.

        Maybe it is Gallagher that is lying. Maybe it is others.

        You can not know, and neither can I.

        But rather than accept uncertainty, you must conclude that Trump’s actions are wrong and evil.

        If Trump had personally intervened to throw Gallagher to the wolves – I have ZERO doubt you would be telling me it is absolutely certain that he was innocent.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:13 pm

        No court in the US of any kind “absolves” people – that is not how courts work.

        All findings of “not guilty” are due to “insufficient evidence”.

        Quite often “insufficient” is the same as NONE.

        If there is no evidence of even a SINGLE required element of a crime – there can be no finding of guilt. A required element means that absent that element the conduct is NOT a crime.

        Think about it, what is the difference between bribery and a gift ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:22 pm

        Espy fired Spencer when he found out that Spencer had gone around his back to the whitehouse. I doubt Trump was involved – but if he was I have no problem with that.

        Spencer’s own letter outlines exactly why he had to be fired.

        Discipline and order and chain of command are critical in the military.

        When you go around your superiors to “negotiate” an order – you are violating all the standards Spencer claimed in his own letter than he held dear.

        If Spencer felt so strongly – rather than violate chain of command and order, he should have VOLUNTARILY resigned and THEN spoken out.

        But by acting as he did he made a farce of the very argument he was making.

        It is not Trump who misunderstood the rules of the military – it was Spencer.
        And Espy did exactly what was necessary.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2019 5:49 pm

        There is little difference between someone at the pentagon saying “no we are not going to follow the lawful orders of the president” and someone from the state department doing the same thing.

        I do not presume that the president is correct, or that his foreign policy is proper.
        The media, the people, congress, are free to disagree as they please, and act with the power they posses.

        But those in the executive branch MAY NOT, While not quite as rigid as the military, they still follow orders.

        They provide information, advice recomendation UP the ladder, and they receive direction DOWN the ladder.

        Alot was made of the “interagency concesnsus” – I am glad various agencies got together and came to an agreement. But ultimately an interagency consensus is a RECOMMENDATION to the president. Policy is decided by the president or those he delegates that power to.

        If the president decides wrongly – the consequences are HIS.

        Those in the executive who do not like the president choices can quit and speak out.

        There was lots of shenanigans in this faux impeachment.

        But for the most part democrats and the house acted inside their power and authority.
        But NOT inside of public expecations and they will pay for that at the voting both as they should.

        There are numerous things related tot he WB that are highly problematic – the IC IG should be fired as an example.

        The WB needs scrutinized by DOJ – because someone leaked classified information to him improperly, and to the press. But though I think the WB was partisan, I do not think he did anything improper. Reporting concerns even hearsay nonsense concerns to the IC IG is perfectly legitimate. The burden of grasping this is nonsense rests with the IC IG. Who failed.

        There is evidence of “collusion” between the WB and Schiff.
        I do not think I have a problem with that – though I think it needs publicly aired.

        Congress has a legitimate role in oversite.
        Schiff excercises that roll in a highly partisan and stupid fashion but the cost for that should be at the polls.

        The house unlike the executive is NOT obligated to follow the presidents policies. It can do everything in its power to thwart them.

        Next, the chambers of congress make their own rules.
        I think there are major issues with Schiff not following the rules that the house approved.
        But that is a house matter.
        Schiff conducted the hearings like an ass – and that is a major part of why their impact has HURT democrats.
        Congress gets to make its own rules – but WE get to judge them.

      • November 26, 2019 9:55 am

        Ah,Jay, it’s so ironic how you consistently accuse me of kissing the president’s ass, when this case had basically nothing to do with Trump, other than the fact that he eventuallycame out in support for Gallagher. You are the one who reflexively takes sides against anyone who may have the president’s support.

        There was testimony in Gallagher’s trial that he was framed by members of his platoon, so that he would not be hoinored with a silver star. There was literally NO forensic evidence that the 17 yr. old ISIS fighter had been stabbed Only testimony, including the admission by the one soldier who said that he had suffocated him. Basically, there had been no investigation of the incident, until long after it had occured, and members of his platoon, who were known to hate him, made the accusations.

        The prosecution was found to have conducted unauthorized surveillance of Gallagher’s defense team, and to have offered immunity to any of the team who testified against him. During his trial, Gallagher was kept in solitiary confinement. His home was raided by NCIS in SWAT gear, who pulled his children out of the house at gunpoint, in their underwear.

        As Dave has said, there is apparently a lot that we don’t know about this case, so we can’t ever know exactly what happened, but there was enough evidence to suggest that Gallagher was framed to have had a 7 member military jury acquit him of all charges, except the photo posing, which apparently almost every member of the platoon did as well.

        Are you claiming that you know that Gallagher is a war criminal because you have studied the case, and know of evidence that proves the accusations, or because you know that his acquittal was a PR win for Trump, who had supported him, and are simply willing to have a warrior spend the rest of his life in prison, so that Trump would not get a win?

      • November 26, 2019 11:35 am

        I try to find (sometimes impossible) articles that dont regurgitate Dave’s unrelenting Trump support or Jay’s contemptible left wing hatred for Trump. This seems to fit that requirement. Written before the trial, it appears the verdict was right.

        https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/04/22/what-motivated-fellow-seals-to-dime-out-eddie-gallagher/

        Seems like there was much dislike for Gallagher before this issue arose. Why some red flag had not been waved earlier would be of interest.

        But I remember way back when ( dark ages) the enlisted men had a saying about justice. It goes ” military justice is to justice what military music is to music. Maybe both have improved, but reading this, I wonder if 1st degree murder would have ever been charged in a civilian trial given the evidence the military had.

        I think he needed to be discharged. Costing him thousands in retirement does not seem right.

        And there are others, like Lt Dorrance, that need reviews.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:52 pm

        Ron.

        You are more aligned with Trump on policy than I am.

        I said towards the start of this Gallagher thread that I do not know the facts.

        Frankly, I doubt that outside a very small circle – atleast some of which are lying, the facts are not knowable.

        Gallagher may be a war criminal, or he may be a hero leading a group of pansy seals.
        Or something in the middle.

        I think there is enough cloudiness to the facts to support Trump’s decision to intervene.

        At the same time I actually think what Spencer was seeking was likely the right outcome.

        But the fact that Spencer’s less than full throated defense of Gallagher post Trump’s pardon might have been the best choice does NOT justify his breach of discipline and the chain of command to go directly to the whitehouse.

        Espy dismissed Spencer for “good cause” – every reason Spencer cited in his letter than was problematic about Trump’s actions was also true about Spencer’s

        Except one. Trump had the authority to act has he did.
        Spencer did not.

        Regadless, I do not have a problem with Gallagher’s “pardon”.

        But I doubt that the truth is so simple that Gallagher is either a hero or a war criminal.

        But unlike Jay, I do not feel compelled to take a specific position solely to oppose Trump.
        Further unlike Jay, I do not spray false accusations all over the place.

        Finally, if I were to be critical of Trump on this, it would be that there are many many many other people equally deserving of pardon’s and commutations, and I think Trump should do so MORE often.

        Thus far some of Trump’s clemcy actions have been political.
        I would not have touched “sherif joe” with a ten foot pole.

        But some have been very good – letting the black grandmother out of jail over a life conviction for a one time drug deal – that was what clemency is supposed to be about, and I would like to see ALOT more of that.

        Thus far none of Trump’s pardon’s stink like pardoning the FNLA terrorist who refused to renounce acts of violence.

        And frankly, though I am not unhappy that Manning is out of prison – that was far more disruptive of military order.

        Manning was in the military. While some of what he released clearly demonstrated egregious criminal conduct by US soldiers – even murder. Alot of it placed peoples lives at risk.
        Some people likely died as a result of the mass data dump of manning.

        While Snowden did much more damage to US prestige and intelligence capabilities.

        Manning put actual people in clear danger.

        But Snowden embarased obama, and manning embarased bush.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 2:02 pm

        Ron,

        I am not at odds with you.

        I do not know a huge amount, and I am not looking to become a Gallagher expert.

        I have read enough that Trump’s actions do not seem unjustifiable,

        Firing Spencer was absolutely a given though.

        Spencer went arround Espy to the whitehouse.

        His own comments in his own letter explain exactly why he had to be fired.

        Thus far I have seen no evidence that Trump fired him. This seems to have understandably come from Espy – who does not need the entirety of the pentagon going arround him to the whitehouse.

        I do not know if Gallagher is a hero or a goat.

        But I do know that pardoning him was reasonable.

        Firing Spencer was clear.

        The rest – does not matter. It is probably not knowable.

        Though if Either Gallagher or his subordinates are correct, clearly something is wrong with the Seals. Either they are a bunch of war criminals or pansy’s

        I strongly suspect neither is true.

      • November 26, 2019 4:48 pm

        Wow, that was a very interesting article, Ron -far more detailed than anything else I’ve read.

        Even if we give Gallagher’s accusers the benefit of the doubt, and say, for the sake of argument, that Gallagher’s 8 deployments had messed with his mental stability, it still seems that there is no proof that he ever committed any of the war crimes that he is accused of.

        He may have, but accusations by angry and frightened subordinates are too unreliable to bring charges, if there’s no physical or photographic evidence to back them up.

        War really is hell.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 5:51 am

        It takes unbeleivable physical and mental endurance to be a Seal, as well as the biggest brass balls on the planet.

        These are the elite of the elite of the elite.

        You do not send Seals on easy missions. They are highly trained killers, who will unleash total mayhem wherever you send them.

        We have entirely different expectations of a Seal than we do of an infantry private.

        Seals are nearly always outnumbered out gunned and surrounded.
        They do not and can not take prisoners.

        Their missions are radically different in nature from the rest of the military.

        They do not have the ability to capture and hold territory. That is what the Army, the marines, or even the rangers are for.

        The Seals are sent to destroy things kill people, and rain fire and brimstone wherever they are sent.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:35 pm

        As always Jay is clairvoyant.

        He knows Gallagher’s mind, as well as that of his team, and the military tribunal and of course Trump’s and yours and mine.

        “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Jay knows!”

      • Jay permalink
        November 26, 2019 1:37 pm

        As usual, you’re distorting the trial evidence. With Trumpian ardor. Smooch. Smooch. Smooch 😚

        Did you conveniently block out the email mentioned above where he ADMITTED stabbing the prisoner, and took credit for his death— at that time he though he was the one who killed the bed-ridden boy.

        He stabbed a helpless prisoner hooked up to an oxygen tank. You’re OK with that? If Hillary as Prez had stood up for Gallagher, would you be making the same PATHETIC rationalization?

        He was charged with murder, not with vicious attempted murder – hence he escaped punishment for that cowardly assault. And if SEAL judges want to decide if that dishonorable behavior alone indicates his Trident pin – signifying fitness to perform honorably and capably- he stripped away, why would you think that inappropriate? Trident Board hearings are common. Navel regulations state that a commanding officer only needs to lose “faith and confidence in the service member’s ability to perform” his duties as a SEAL to pull the pin: offering him a board of SEAL officers to decide was a fairer process.

        Stripping the pin is a frequent occurrence. Since 2011 the command has taken away 154 trident or special warfare pins, for reasons ranging from drug or alcohol use, training or performance issues, loss of confidence in or sound judgment, reliability or personal conduct.
        Have you become so in-objectively dense as to believe posing with a dead detainee shouldn’t suffice to to initiate a hearing by peers to wear the SEAL insignia?

        And there was no evidence short of the usual defense postering that the two other seals wanted to frame him. He was acquitted of the civilian shooting charge because there was no hard evidence aside from their eye-witness testimony. And if their testimony was invented as you claim, why did the commander of Navy special warfare, Rear Adm. Collin Green, call for the Trident review board to determine if Gallagher and three of his supervising officers were fit for duty?

        Try to think that through in non-Trumpian fashion. The Rear Admiral must have had suspicions Gallagher Was involved in other bad acts over time, for which those superiors had not provided proper supervision. Is the Rear Admiral another Never-Trumper acting to defy trump? Was the fired $$Million Dollar Trump contributing Navy Director bitten by vampire like other Never-Trumpers to provide an objective opinion?

        This just announced: “NEW — Trump wants Eddie Gallagher to campaign alongside him in 2020.”

        Will they show the dead body photo on posters too?

      • November 26, 2019 2:17 pm

        Jay, were you in the military?
        Did you ever hear how military justice is conducted?
        Remember? Military justice allows for more lenient rules on evidentiary evidence than civilian courts.

        So you knowing how military justice is carried out with officers and enlisted as the “jury”. So how is it that you know that Gallagher was guilty of his accused crimes, but a courts marshall found him innocent except for posing with the body for a picture?

        From what I know of military justice, he had to be innocent because in the military code of justice, one is guilty until proven innocent( in reality), even though the reverse might be the PC way of describing it in public.

        His being found innocent by a military court is good enough for me since a finding of innocent is much harder than one of guilt. Dont apply OJ Simpson trial requirements.for innocence to the military court.

        And that is why I have no problem with requiring him to retire at rank. He was innocent, but lost his teams respect. He could not lead again, so retirement was required., Why? That most likely will never be proven, but it started years before this issue.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 5:18 am

        Your remarks are all correct,

        But the real question for me – is why does this even matter ?

        Even Jay’s own warped version of the facts, does not alter the fact that presidents have the power to do this, and as presidential pardons go Trump’s actions regarding Gallagher do not warrant this kind of outrage.

        I have more problems with the Pardon of Mark Rich, or Deutch, or the FALN terrorist, or Manning, or Arapio.

        This is just more of the “anything Trump does MUST be absolutely outrageously wrong”.

        I keep saying that we are about to have a Trump landslide in 2020.

        My expectation of that is NOT rooted in current polls – though they are slowly coming my way.

        They are rooted in:

        Democrats have sustained an unsustainable level of outrage since 2016.
        They are burning themselves, their supporters, moderates, centrists, the media out.
        They have also lit fire to their own credibility AND gathered the ashes and burned them again and again.

        Weirdly – this faux impeachment has moved a few more of the republican elite against Trump, But it has moved far larger numbers of the people against Democrats.

        I would further note that BOTH parties – but especially the democrats are ALL IN on Trump.

        Republicans can more SLIGHTLY make the case that they will constrain Trump where necescary.

        Democratic victories in 2018 where centrists who did NOT make Trump the issue.

        2020 is going to be about 3 things
        Trump.
        Trump’s economy
        Progressivism.

        That is 3 losing issues for democrats.

        The collapse of impeachment support is particularly damning.
        It is NOT especially support of Trump. It is driven more by anger at democrats.

        Voters did NOT pay attention to the hearings.
        They decided ahead of time not that Trump’s actions where “perfect”.
        But that they just did not rise to the level of impeachable.

        They had a huge problem because it is a near impossible sell to expect voters to want Trump removed from “blackmailing” Ukraine into investigating Biden, when Biden “blackmailed” ukraine into not investigating his son.

        And if you want to put blinders on an believe the latter is not true,
        unless you are a complete hypocrite, you must accept by teh same standards of proof, the former claim is also not true.

        We have LOTS of evidence that Biden KNEW his sign was swimming in the sewage of corruption in Ukraine, and that Shokin was after him.
        But we can not PROVE and likely never will be able to, that is the reason Biden blackmailed Ukraine.
        But the standard of proof that lets Biden off – also lets Trump off.

        And the great unwashed understand that.

        Elites do not.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 3:15 pm

        “As usual, you’re distorting the trial evidence.”
        From you that is delicious.

        Regadless – no I am not “distorting” the trial evidence.
        I just refuse to take your word for whatever you claim it to be.

        It is indisputable that the Tribinal found in Gallagher’s favor on almost everything.
        That strongly suggests they DID NOT beleive the testimony against him.

        That is really all I need to know.

        It is not my job to 2nd guess the Tribunal.
        But it actually is Trump’s.
        Further his decision seems less of a reversal, than an extension of their decision.

        The Tribunal rejected all the “war crimes” claims, and went with a minor offense of being photographed with a body – something that EVERY member of his unit did.

        Maybe the Tribunal was wrong – but it is YOU that are at odds with its findings, not Trump or I.

        But even if Gallagher’s conduct was actually appalling – it is still within Trump’s authority to Pardon him, and under all circumstances Spencer’s actions warrant firing.

        It is not like Gallagher was the terrorist Obama Pardoned.

        Probably Gallagher should be separated from the Seals – it is unlikely that he can do his job anymore. Probably he should be out of the Military for much the same reason.

        Essentially, I think what Spencer sought was probably appropriate. But that is NOT the issue, he went outside the chain of command. He had to be fired.

        Ultimately that should be Vindman’s fate – based on his own testimony.
        And that has nothing to do with Trump.

        If you can not respect chain of command – DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 3:18 pm

        I beleive Priscilla noted – or I read elsewhere, we do not even know that the 17yr old terrorist was “stabbed”.

        There appears to be enormous doubt about pretty much everything in this story.

        But I can trust you to have no doubt that the only possible facts are those that make Trump look bad.

        If Gallagher was condemning Trump – you would be advocating for Gallagher.

        Is there anyone who doubts that ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 3:29 pm

        Jay, they did not dismiss the murder charge, they dissmissed ALL charges – except the making the navy look bad by being photgraphed with a corpse charge.

        There were ALOT of charges – they clearly did not beleive them.

        Even in civillian courts a JUDGE ultimately decides what goes before a jury.
        They usually respect the wishes of the prosecutor, but you seem to have this ludicrous idea that Gallagher “got off” because the prosecutor failed to charge some lessor offense.

        That is crap. It is especially crap in a military tribunal where the “jury” is also the “judge” and they have near infinite lattitude to do as they please.

        Regardless, you continue to wish to fixate on substituting your oppinion for facts.

        We do not know the facts of this case. We know the testimony, and we know what the military tribunal decided to do. Everything else is specualtion.

        But we do know that a tribunal adjudicating a plethora of charges and with broad authority to find whatever they want, rejected every single claim except the most trivial.

        Unless you wish to argue that the Navy was wrong not to convict, you are already on a sinking ship.

        It is both reasonable and within Trump’s authority to say – if the navy does not beleive you committed war crimes, then I am going to get rid of being photgraphed with a corpse.

        Would I have done the same ? Probably not, though I do not know all the facts, and unlike you I do not pretend to be both omniscient and clairvoyant.

        Do I think what Trump did is egregious ? Nope, not even close.

        I am much more bothered by his pardon of “Sherff Joe”, and more bothered still by pretty much every pardon of Obama (or Clinton)

        But go ahead – go Full TDS over Gallagher.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 26, 2019 3:39 pm

        Absolutely the navy can strip trident pins for most any reason, and possibly for no reason at all.

        And the President can order them restored.

        That is how it works.

        The president is “Commander in Chief”.

        When something did not happen – there is no evidence that it happened.
        There is almost never absolute proof that something did not happen.

        The standard of proof for a military tribunal is LOWER than a criminal court.

        I am not going to get into all the other machinations in the Navy – and whether they were justified or not. I can not know that – and neither can you.

        I am not opposed to Spencer and Green or others seeking some lessor disciplinary measure after the trial. AND I am not opposed to Trump stopping that.

        What is more of a problem is breaking chain of command – as Spencer did – and he was fired, appropriately.

        Finally, I have no idea why this is the hill you seem to wish to die on.

        There is plenty of uncertainty in what is known and knowable.

        I would not have reached the same judgement as Trump.
        But this is not black and white. Though you make everything black and white.

        Everything Trump does that I would have done different – is not a crime.
        It is not even inherently a bad choice.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 4:20 am

        The person we elect as president has the constitutional power to grant a variety of forms of clemency, and is additionally the commander in chief of our military.

        Every person elected president has these powers.
        Past presidents have used this power to free terrorists, traitors, political donors, ….

        I suspect that the history of pardons and commutations includes far more disturbing grants than uplifting ones.

        Thus far Trump’s pardon’s and commutations have ranged from excellent to mildly disturbing.
        However bad you think they might have been, they are not nearly as problematic as hist 3 imediate predecessors.

        This one falls between, neither excellent nor truly disturbing.
        Based on the confusing and conflicting information we have it is possible to beleive that Gallagher is a war criminal or a hero, or both.

        I do not know the answer. His military judges despite your misrepresentations leaned far closer to hero than criminal vacating all the actually criminal charges against him. Trump took it a small step further and vacated what essentially is an offense against order and discipline.
        BTW it is extremely unusual to impose such charges with regard to actions taken during conflict.

        But you know better.

        You can read Trump’s mind, and Gallagher’s mind, and you know the truth with certainty – even though no one else does.

        And everyone here knows that if this were the actions of any other president besides Trump you would be defending rather than attacking.

      • November 26, 2019 2:22 pm

        Jay, for god’s sakes, READ, man.

        There was no investigation, no evidence that the ISIS jihadi was ever stabbed by anyone. His body was long gone before charges were made, so the only evidence was the eyewitness testimony, much of which was given by mutineers, who had also been involved in the prisoner’s death, and who also posed with his dead body. They all got immunity.

        All of the old accusations against Gallagher were also without evidence.

        Maybe he did bad stuff ( I would not be surprised…haven’t you ever seen Full Metal Jacket?) but it’s very difficult to judge through the fog of war and the bias of politics, so without hard evidence, it would be a miscarriage of justice to convict him.

        There was clear and provable prosecutorial misconduct on the Navy’s side, and there was testimony that the accusers were war weary and out for revenge against a 20 year veteran who had served 8 deployments and thought that they were undisciplined cowards.

        You don’t court marshal a SEAL team chief for being a hardass. Discharge him, with his rightful rank and pension, and be done with it.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 5:37 am

        I do not know what the hell is going on with the Seals.

        Gallagher’s version of things is actually truly disturbing.

        The Seals are the elite of the elite of the elite.

        A 20 man seal team is EXPECTED to take on a force 100 times its size for very short periods of time. You do not get to be a Seal is you are a coward.
        You do not get to be a Seal if you are not pretty much the baddest ass their is.
        A Seal is the guy you do not bet against in a bar fight – against the entire bar.

        THIS is what we think of when we think of Seals:

        https://americanmilitarynews.com/2019/07/watch-the-first-medal-of-honor-heroics-ever-captured-on-video/

        No one expects every soldier to be a Seal.

        The Seals are the elite of the elite of the elite.
        What would be called cowardice in a Seal would be normal conduct for an army private.

        We do not expect Seals to be brave, we expect them to be unbelievably aggressive and fearless.

  19. dhlii permalink
    November 25, 2019 2:54 pm

    As is this.

    One thing this article does not address.

    Those within the govenrment are obligated to do to the best of their abilities what they are directed to do by superiors. If that is in conflict with their understanding of the law, or the constitution, they must resign and speak out.

    Sonderland talks about “everybody knew” – but the only person he has for the source of this is Gulliani – Gulliani is NOT a government employee and not anyone’s superior.

    That distinction is important and presidents have used it throughout the history of the country.

    Gulliani does not speak for the president. He can ask for things the president can not, He can say things the president can not, he can negotiate as he wishes. He has broad lattitude to accomplish his goals.

    But he does NOT have US Federal government authority.

    There was also testimony of Yavonovich and others that they disregarded Gulliani – which they were free to do. And that the interfered with Guilliani – which they are free to do IF they are following the law and the policies of the US Government (which they were not).

    Alot is made that there is a difference between Trump and Clinton in that Clinton’s conduct was not government conduct.

    Neither was anything Gulliani did – even if Trump directed it.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/impeachment-sondland-democrats/

    I have said over and over again that the Whole Clinton, HFA, Perkin’s Coi, Fusion GPS, Christoper Steele nonsense was LEGAL.
    But the actions of the FBI were NOT.

    They same standards apply here. Trump as candidate working through Gulliani his lawyer can do all the same things Clinton did LEGALLY.

    Trump as president working though US government employees can not.

    Trump as president can ask that US officials cooperate with and aide Gulliani,
    He can not direct that they MUST do as he asks.

    Sonderland is likely correct – Gulliani was saying there is linkage.
    But it does not matter what Gulliani was saying or wanted, or even what Trump said or wanted through Gulliani.

    • November 25, 2019 5:36 pm

      Priscilla, “I personally get very uncomfortable at the idea that someone from the Pentagon would try and strongarm the President into changing his decision on something like this, so I think the firing was the absolute right call.”

      this is just my opinion, but every president before and after JFK was strong armed by the NSA, FBI, CIA, military or some other alphabet agency until Trump. Why do you think all of the above want him removed so badly. I suspect they cant get the secret service to overlook a crack in security so Trump would end up like JFK. The more I read about JFK, his relation with the intel agencies and J Edgar Hoover, given the bay of pigs and subsequent issues, my thoughts on our Dark groups were responsible. They just cant get to Trump today.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 25, 2019 5:57 pm

        “this is just my opinion, but every president before and after JFK was strong armed by the NSA, FBI, CIA, military or some other alphabet agency”

        Absolutely – Eisenhower warned us of the Military Industrial Complex.
        Truman formed the CIA, and then sought to disband it.

        Regardless, there needs to be ALOT more FIRINGS.

        Mark Twain was bitching about our war mongering foreign policy over a century ago.

        Government is dangerous – not just presidents – who mostly work in the light where we can see what they do, but all of government down to the last file clerk and meter maid.

        Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action

  20. November 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Very interesting. Michael Bloomberg is promoted as the Democrats moderate candidate. He is running to be the mentally capable Joe Biden.

    However, an ad, now running in N.C. and other states, depicts Bloomberg.in a much different light. He is running, not as a moderate, but as a progressive the same as Sanders and Warren. Higher taxes on the rich given to the less fortunate. Government health care insuranc system not much different than the progressive agenda. Taking on the coal industry and proposing strict climate change policies. And most all other progressive positions all in one ad.

    But why should anyone expect something different from a do gooder bleeding heart liberal that does not think people have brains enough with complete mental capacity to know what size drinks to buy. In fact they did, they just bought two.

    Is there no Democrats today, other than Joe Manchin, that believes like the Truman, JFK, Carter democrats of prior years? (Carter failed, but not due to complete “big momma” policies like today)

    I guess we just accept people will be treated like mentally challenged morons unable to decide on their own personal good decisions.

    And whoever invented the mute button, bless their hearts. Works great during elections.

    • November 26, 2019 10:49 am

      Haha, the “mentally capable Joe Biden.” That’s a good one, Ron. I feel kind of sorry for Biden. He could have retired from politics, having made it almost to the top, but somehow he got talked into doddering his way into the 2020 primaries. Now he’s been shown to be a corrupt fool, a fate he could probably have avoided, if he had just said no.

      Liz Warren has accused Bloomberg of trying to buy the election with his billions. True enough, but how is that any wore than her trying to buy the election by promising to raise taxes on everyone who pays them and giving away “free stuff”? She wants to buy the election with other people’s money. I’d take Bloomberg, although he has zero charisma, so I don’t see him getting very far, especially after apologizing for everything he did that made him succesful as mayor of NYC….

    • dhlii permalink
      November 26, 2019 1:31 pm

      Several people have suggested that Bloomberg was an excellent mayor, and that NYC really needs a good mayor right now.

      I do not know how Bloomberg would govern if elected.

      I do know that from almost prior to announcing he started walking back and disowning his own actions as mayor to make him more palatable to the far left.

      Almost every democrat has done that – including Biden.

      Electing any of the current crop of democrats REQUIRES believing they will NOT do as they say they will.

      The good news is – they probably wont.

      But one of the very refreshing things about Trump is that he really is pretty much what he says he is. You know what you are getting – warts and all. There is no doubt. You do not have to wonder which of his promises are lies.

      We constantly here that Trump “lies”. and yet I do not think a president in US history has kept as many campaign promises, or tried as hard to do so.

      I suspect Bloomberg would be a relatively “moderate” president.
      but I have to place a blind bet that he is lying about his promises as a means to appeal to progressives.

      That compounded with the fact that he has spent hundreds of millions to gut gun rights is not a winning combination.

      I also beleive he would be the oldest candidate and the oldest person ever to be president.
      In a very old pool.

      • November 26, 2019 1:59 pm

        Dave, I am not sure what country you live in, but what I see democrats proposing I see them doing. Higher taxes, more spending, lax border security, more government involvement in health care, more gun control, more agreements detrimental to America on climate while allowing the Chinese unlimited regulation, more labor laws………. More, more more!

        What country do you live in?

      • Jay permalink
        November 26, 2019 9:30 pm

        Ron, are you tippling that whiskey in the cupboard again?

        Most of the Dems are only talking about raising taxes on the wealthy, back to where they’ve been for decades.

        Tell me about that huge tax break you got from Trump? Was it enough to buy a set of new tires for your car the last three years?

      • November 27, 2019 1:25 am

        Actually, it was more than a set of tires, but when your buying these low profile 18″ even that would go far. But it was my kids that got a significant impact.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:43 am

        Actually no that is NOT what D’s are talking about doing.

        The current top federal tax rate is only slightly lower than it was during Obama and just barely below the peak of the past 30 years.

        Further the current EFFECTIVE top Tax rate is 36.4%. The PEAK effective tax rate was 45% in 1945

        The current EFFECTIVE tax rate is below the average for the past 100 years.

        From Reagan through the present, even though we have NOT does much to elimiate tax “loopholes” – and if anything we have probably increased them.

        HOWEVER we have brought the effective top rate and the actual top rate closer together.
        In fact we have brought the effective rate and the actual rate together for most everyone.

        Increases in the standard deduction as well as alternative minimum taxes etc. have made it so that even though many people – both wealthy and ordinary have large amounts of tax deductions – they are unable to use most of them.

        Every year I have far more tax deductions that I am allowed to use.

        As a result I do not pay alot of attention to details of deductions.

        If I have over estimated my deductions for some specific type of expense and the IRS audits me and I can not prove the deduction – it will not matter because that will be balanced by the deductions that I was unable to take becoming available to me.

        Put more simply – when the top Tax rate was 50, 70, 90% – no one actually paid 90%.
        The PEAK effective tax rate was 45% at the peak of WWII.

        Taxes are not that much lower for the rich than they ever were.

        Guessing what Democrats want to do is hard.

        There are two possibilities.

        They are looking to go back to very high tax rates with lots of political money coming to politicians to create loopholes.

        Or they actually want to tank the economy which is what will happen if you actually raise the effective tax rate.

        Ask the Swedes.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 4:32 am

        “Higher taxes,”
        Yes, Democrats will do that.
        “more spending”
        Both parties unfortunately will do that.
        “lax border security”
        Yup,
        “more government involvement in health care”
        Absolutely – but will we get M4A ?
        “more gun control”
        I doubt that even democrats can pass gun control that is not more than window dressing.
        They will talk about it.
        Maybe we will get some stupid and ineffectual measure like the AWB.
        But nothing meaningful will happen.
        “more agreements detrimental to America on climate while allowing the Chinese unlimited”
        All the climate agreements have been non-binding.
        Why ? Because the TRUTH is none of these people beleive this nonsense.
        If CAGW was an actual problem – it is way too late, we are F’d. Nothing any warmist proposes would do any consequential good.
        When politicians propose feel good measures rather than something that actually addresses problems – it means they do not beleive in what they are doing.
        BTW that is more the NORM than the exception.
        Much of what govenrment does is stupid “feel good” measures, not effective efforts to solve a problem.
        Much of what it does, does little more than give the government incrementally more control of our lives and incrementally less freedom.
        And it is done because power is the currency of government.
        When government has the power to interfere with your liberty, it can chose not to.
        “special interests” are happy to rent that power – either to make their own lives easier or to make their competitors harder.

        The key problem with our politics is not money, it is the power of govenrment.
        Absent that power, there would be very little money in politics.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 4:59 am

        Will democrats return us to the state of government in late 2016 if elected ?

        Probably – though I do not know for sure.

        I beleive that one of the consequences of Trump’s presidency is that until our memories of the Obama era have substantially faded, democrats can not return to the government by presidential fiat and over regulation of that period.

        We listened to democrats tell us for 8 years – that this time was different, that the normal rules of economics no longer applied. That low growth was the best we could do.

        Trump has not done nearly as well as I beleive is possible.
        But he has increased growth by 50% over Obama and he has continued to reduce unemployment at the same rate as Obama even though that should not be possible.

        If Democrats return to Obama Era policies AND the result is an Obama era economy – just as during Obama’s presidency, they will lose the house, the senate governorships, and state houses and ultimately the presidency.

        The biggest problem with progressivism is that it does not work.

        That said, the more the economy grows, the more of the burdens that democrats like to shackle it with it can endure. Rising standard of living allows us to afford greater socialism, at the cost of less rise in standard of living in the future.

        The financial crisis gave Obama the oportunity to advance progressive govenrment under circumstances where the harms would not be easy to measure.

        Many of us – Including myself, and right here. Constantly proclaimed – this time is NOT different, the normal rules apply. We did not have a market failure, we had a government failure and more government is not the answer.

        We spoke to deaf ears. Trump for all his many flaws, has won that argument – not by debate, but by fact.

        Innarguably SOMETHING changed from 2016 to 2017.
        That changes was NOT normal or evolutionary, it was the consequence of differences in government.

        Almost no one sane beleives we would have done better that 2% growth under Clinton.
        Like it or not Trump’s presidency is proof that the policies of democrats have an economic cost – and that cost is paid by minorities, and poor people in their everyday lives.

        There are numerous current poles claiming that Trump has 38% support among blacks – and slightly greater with other minorities.

        If Trump has HALF that support – he has double the support of any republican since the 60’s.

        We keep getting told demographics is destiny – that Republicans can not win by winning all of the white vote. Democrats can not win if they do not win 90% of the black vote.

        Several poles in the past week now Have Trump beating all or most of the democrats.

        You rant constantly about “low information voters”.

        Yet, somehow Trump is getting elected by those “low information voters”
        who do not know or care about climate change, who are purportedly anti or ignorant of science.

        And yet on issue after issue, the “deplorables” are right – or atleast righter than the highly educated elites.

        And most troubling of all – an actually intelligent person could figure that out.

        I find the “republicans are anti-science” nonsense – idiotic and irksome.

        I consider CAGW to be an IQ test – if you buy it – you buy religion over actual science.
        Having a Phd. in climate does not change that.

        The science is bad and badly done and has been from the start.
        But TODAY – just as Trump’s economy is refuting the economic nonsense offered by Obama progressives The actual climate is refuting CAGW.

        It is some miniscule amount warmer overall today than in 1998 (maybe), or atleast the average from 1998 tot he present is higher than from 1975-1998.
        But the precipitous rise of the late 20th century STOPPED.
        The model predictions have failed.

        In ACTUAL science that is called FALSIFIED.

        Anyway returning to my point.

        On climate and myriads of other issues the “deplorables” are more right (or less wrong) than elites.

        Am I troubled by the nonsense that “low information voters” spout ?
        Absolutely.
        Am I troubled by what purportedly well informed and highly educated voters beleive ?
        Absolutely – and they are more dangerous.

      • Jay permalink
        November 26, 2019 5:34 pm

        Just a few of the many Trump campaign promises unkept: his words included.

        1-eliminate the federal debt in 8 years
        “We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt. … Well, I would say over a period of eight years. And I’ll tell you why.”
        (After nearly 4 years— it’s CLIMBING)

        2-Sue his accusers of sexual misconduct
        “The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
        (HA HA HA!)

        3-Not take vacations
        “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
        (Mega number of Vacations at his own properties)

        4-Release his tax returns after an audit is completed
        “I’m under a routine audit and it’ll be released, and as soon as the audit is finished it will be released.”
        (What’s Donny hiding? Russian money laundering money? Teeny tiny financial assets?)

        5-Remove existing Syrian refugees
        “I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria, as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back.”
        (He’s getting them back from Turkey)

        6-Use U.S. steel for infrastructure projects
        “A Trump Administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure.”
        (The value of US steel imports in YTD 2018 has increased — up 17 percent to $7.4 billion.. it went up in 2017 too).

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:10 am

        “1-eliminate the federal debt in 8 years”
        It has been 3 years.
        Regardless, I agree, thus far Trump has made little progress on that.
        His proposed budgets – are only small steps in the right direction, and stood no chance – even with a republican congress.

        This is a serious problem – Trump owns it, as does every single congressmen of either party.

        Trump fails to keep this promise – as does EVERY SINGLE CONGRESSMEN

        “2-Sue his accusers of sexual misconduct”

        I do not consider that a campaign promise.
        I do not care whether he sues his accusers.
        I would note that Daniels ended up paying Trump’s legal fees.

        “3-Not take vacations”

        Technically presidents NEVER take vacations. they are always on duty 24×7.
        They are just sometimes places other than the whitehouse.

        Reagan spent enormous amounts of time on vacation.

        Regardless, I care what he accomplishes not how he runs his own life.

        “4-Release his tax returns after an audit is completed”

        Don’t care.
        I was not harmed by this.
        You were not harmed by this.

        “5-Remove existing Syrian refugees”

        US immigration – legal and illegal is down to numbers not seen since Reagan was president.

        I have no idea specifically about Syrian Refugees.
        But it is inarguable that immigration is WAY down.

        We can debate whether that is good or bad.

        I personally support BOTH secure borders AND high immigration.

        But claiming Trump did not keep his promise is lunacy.

        “6-Use U.S. steel for infrastructure projects”

        “A Trump Administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure.”

        US Steel production is up 35% since 2016. According to the same source (Trading Economics) US Steel imports are up 16% since 2016

        Trump has been unable to keep his promise on infrastructure – I personally think that is a good thing. We do not need another disasterous and disasterously expensive ARRA which actually NEGATIVELY impacted the economy.

        The credit/blame for not keeping that promise lies with congress – both republicans and democrats.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:14 am

        So how many people voted for him over these particular promises ?

        You do not seem to understand – a campaign promise is something you make in return for votes. If you did not vote for Trump – you have no right to be disappointed.

        It is the assessment of those who voted for him that matters – not YOU.

        Which of these is on the scale of
        “if you like your doctor you can keep them” ?

        Which of these has resulted in actual harm ?

  21. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:16 pm

    Pre Thanksgiving Reminder;

    Dubious Donnie is the first US president elected since Richard Nixon to refuse to release his tax returns.

    Trump Turdsters don’t care.
    Even if his returns show money laundering payments from Russia, the Turdsters won’t care.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 6:19 am

      I do not want ANY politician to release their tax returns.

      That is not the law.
      It should not be the law.
      It is a bad idea.
      It was a mistake for Trump to make that promise.

      The fixation on taxes and personal finances has kept many good people out of public service.

      Actual laws mandating these kinds of disclosure in my state of resulted in purging competent businessmen from near dominance in all elected positions in local and county offices and replacement with incompetent idiots who waste money, have no integrity and are far more corrupt.

      You are advocating for a BAD thing.

      I hope Trump NEVER releases his tax returns.
      I do not give a crap about them.
      It will not reveal what you think it will.
      But Trump’s lack of disclosure might reverse a stupid trend that has kept people with fiscal competence out of public service.

  22. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:19 pm

    Dishonest Donnie just threw Rudy under the bus.

    He said Rudy wasn’t working on his behalf in Ukraine.

    That means Rudy’s conversation there are not protected by presidential immunity.

    Happy Thanksgiving Rudy 🦃

    • Jay permalink
      November 26, 2019 9:33 pm

      ‘I DIDN’T DIRECT HIM’: President Trump said in a new interview that he did not direct his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to do anything in Ukraine, and that you would “have to ask” Giuliani what he was doing on the president’s behalf. @JonKarl reports. abcn.ws/37ERvCp

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:44 am

        Extra Extra Extra, Read all about it Trump says his lawyer works EXACTLY like every other lawyer.

      • November 27, 2019 8:27 am

        Lol.

    • Jay permalink
      November 26, 2019 9:39 pm

      Trump, as predicted, following his ‘fuck my lawyers’ pattern to protect his ass.
      Like he did, pretending he didn’t know his lawyers were paying off Stormy.
      Like he did with his pal lawyer Michael Cohen.

      What a wonderful guy.
      Keep smooching his butt, Trumpanzees.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:50 am

        You clearly do not understand how Lawyers work.

        This does not “throw Gulliani under the bus”.

        Gulliani’s actions in Ukraine were legal.

        Just as Christopher Steele’s were.

        Gulliani’s conversations with Trump are covered by Lawyer/Client priviledge
        Gulliani’s records and actions are covered by work product priviledge.

        The only means of breaking that is very strong proof that the Lawyer’s actions were an illegal conspiracy with the client.

        Nothing Gulliani did was illegal.

        IF Gulliani actually said “Give me dirt on Biden or Trump will stop aide to ukraine” that would be LEGAL. Gulliani does not speak for the Federal Government.
        He can threaten whatever he wants he has no power to deliver on the threat.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 6:54 am

        Cohen was convicted of tax evasion.

        Cohen committed no crime in his representation of Trump.

        It is no more illegal to pay for someone’s silence than to pay for their speech.

        Just because you do not like something. or beleive you are entitled to know everything about everyone else, does not give you that right.

        All you are is a nosy busybody.

        And yes I want Trump to absolutely stop your inquiries into his personal life,
        because your nonsense will not stop with Trump.
        And you are not getting my taxes, nor whatever you want about my personal life.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 6:27 am

      Rudy;s converstation with Trump were NEVER protected by executive priviledge.

      Rudy is Trump’s PERSONAL lawyer. His converstations are ABSOLUTELY protected by lawyer/client priviledge.

      I do not beleive Rudy has said he was working at Trump’s direction.

      He has said he was working for Trump’s INTERESTS as his client.

      In case you do not understand it, your lawyer is NOT obligated to do as you say – unlike federal employees.

      If you do not like what your lawyer is doing – you fire them.

      But as a general rule THEY not you decide their strategy in representing you.

      I have no idea if Trump directed Rudy to look into Ukraine.
      I would be shocked if Trump was unaware(generally) of Rudy’s actions in Ukraine.
      I would be shocked if Trump was not supportive of Rudy’s actions in Ukraine.

      But you keep failing to grasp this important distinction.

      Because Rudy was NOT a part of the federal government, ANYTHING he did is not an abuse of power. Because Rudy exercises no federal power.

      He is much like Hunter Biden. He is a private citizen who is treated differently because of who he knows and whose ear he has.

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2019 9:20 am

        My mistake- I meant to write Attorney-client privilege not in effect.
        Therefore any conversations between Donnie and Rudy pertaining to Ukraine not protected.

        The Dems should subpoena him to testify and grill his ass under oath.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 1:59 pm

        Attorney client privilege is in effect when you talk with your attorney EXCEPT when you conspire to commit a crime.

        It is in effect when you talk about the weather,
        It is in effect when you talk about Ukraine.
        It is in effect when you talk about a crime that you committed.

        Attorney Client privilege is more sacred than executive privilege.

        Further some bad law will make it such that Trump will not wave it and even if he did Gulliani will not accept waiver.

        There is a serious risk that if you wave privilege regarding a specific narrow exchange that the court will consider the privilege waived in its entirety.

        There is not alot Gulliani is free to testify about – even if it would exonerate Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2019 3:20 pm

        There ya go, wrong again.
        Where did you study law, Trump U?

        “The attorney-client privilege protects communications between a client and an attorney when the communication was made for the purpose of the client obtaining legal advice”
        (LINK BELOW)

        Trump just stated Rudy wasn’t acting as his lawyer for Ukraine machinations.

        Therefore anything Trump said to Rudy about the Ukraine is NOT protected.

        That goes double in regard to Congressional investigations.

        “Congressional investigations are distinct from other government investigations in meaningful ways. A key distinguishing factor is the treatment of the attorney-client privilege, a common law privilege that Congress generally does not recognize.”

        “Congress maintains that it is not obligated to recognize common law privileges established by courts, such as the attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine, or other non-constitutional privileges.[10] Congress bases this assertion on (1) the separation of powers, dictating that Congress is not bound by courts’ common law practices and (2) Congress’s inherent legislative right to investigate. Congress has nearly limitless powers to investigate anything within the “legitimate legislative sphere.”[11]”

        (See Eastland v. United States Servicemen’s Fund, 421 U.S. 491 (1975))

        https://businesslawtoday.org/2019/01/attorney-client-privilege-government-congressional-investigations-key-considerations-recent-developments/

      • November 27, 2019 5:04 pm

        Jay, careful using Trumps words to support a position. The question is not what Trump says, it is, it is any documentation that supports who, what and why they were acting on issues in question. Can Rudy/Trump show any document that proves attorney/ client privilage is the friteria, not what Trump says!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 8:21 pm

        You do not have to prove attorney client priviledge – it has to be challenged and disproven by the government in court, and hold up in appeals.

        Frankly the whole issue is moot regardless, as Rudy is not an employee of the federal govenrment so any direction Trump gives Rudy is NOT a presidential act, and not a abuse of power.

        Trump could have told Rudy – go blackmail the Ukrainians, and that would not be illegal.

        Short of directing Rudy to commit a crime – Nixon directed the collection of defense money for the purpose of keeping the watergate burglars quiet to protect John Mitchell.
        That was not an official act of the president, but it was obstruction of justice.

        Today we have go fundme and Nixon would not have had to do a thing.

        Those who claim Clinton did not get impeached because Nixon’s actions were “official” are wrong.

        Nixon “AS President” did nothing illegal. There was no abuse of power.
        But he did act outside of government exactly as Clinton did to obstruct justice.
        Clinton did very nearly exactly the same thing.
        Trump has not.

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 9:34 am

        “ You do not have to prove attorney client priviledge …”

        Correct. Especially when the client says he wasn’t a client in a particular incident. The client proved it himself.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 12:22 pm

        Trump did not say he was not Gulliani’s client.

        He said he did not ask Gulliani specific things.

        Whether that is true or false – privilege still applies.

        Personally, I think if Trump had the legal right (which he does not) to NARROWLY waive priviledge, he should do so.

        There is just not a crime hiding in this.

        Lets take the most egregious possibilty.

        Assume Trump told Gulliani to get dirt on Joe Biden from the Ukrainians and to Tell the Ukrainians they would not get military aide if they did not.

        Not a crime.

        Absent actually being appointed to some position – such as ambassador, Rudy does not speak for the US.

        As I noted before – Carter a FORMER PRESIDENT was sent to NK by President Clinton, and negotiated a nuclear deal with North Korea, and Clinton refused to agree.

        Private parties sent by the president have unlimited latitude to negotiate because they do not officially represent the US.

        What they say and do, what the president says to them are private – in the sense they are NOT government acts.
        They can not be abuse of power – because they are not use of power.

      • Jay permalink
        November 30, 2019 4:07 pm

        Donnie did duff..
        While his businesses/projects did burn…

        Trump Steak
        Trump Airlines
        Trump Vodka
        Trump Magazine
        Trump Mortgage
        GoTrump.com
        Trump: The Game
        Trump University
        Trump Foundation
        Trump Ice
        Tour de Trump
        Trump on the Ocean
        Trump Network
        Trumped!
        Trump Institute

        Trump new book: The Art Of The Failure…

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 8:41 am

        I guess logical consistancy has no meaning for you.

        You are constantly arguing that Trump is profiting from being president.

        Now you are telling me he is failing at his business.

        Which is it ?

        The fact is his net worth has declined by 10% since becoming president.

        This strongly suggests that he is NOT financially benefiting from being president.

        That would be as opposed to Pelosi and Family, Biden and Family, ….
        And yes there are plenty of republicans and their families profiting from public service.

        I would also ask you – you are absolutely desparate to investigate Trump’s finances.
        You want is Taxes thoroughly and publicly probed, You wanted Mueller in his bank accounts everywhere – which he was, and found nothing.

        But were there are absolutely clear indicia of corruption – we can not ask for an investigation of Biden ?

        If Biden is off limits for political reasons – why isn’t Trump ?

        I can not make sense out of your arguments – beyond – there are no rules for going after Trump, and anyone who is challenging Trump gets a free pass for corruption.

        But that is not the way things work.

        Our law is NOT specific to the person. Whatever the law is, it is the same for Trump, Obama, Biden, Clinton.

        If Biden can extort Ukraine for personal gain, then Trump can do so for political benefit.
        If Trump can not do so for political benefit, Biden certainlly can not for personal benefit.

        If Trump can be investigated based on unverified and ultimately false gossip and rumors,
        Than Biden can be investigated based on his own words.
        Based on things we KNOW happened.

        If Flynn and Papadulous can be sent to jail for lies to FBI agents – that no one can figure out what were and were inconsequential regardless, Then McCabe can be sent to jail for lying to Horowitz. If Stone can be jailed for failing to make exculpatory statements to congress, then Clinton, Clapper, Comey should be in jail for outright lies to congress.

        There are many reasons this faux impeachment is not being taken seriously.

        One of the largest being that what is actually alleged is not someone that offends most of us.

        Most of us have no problems with the President delaying aide to get investigations of corruption in foreign countries. We might scrutinize that more thoroughly when the targets are political competitors, or the same people who used the same countries to interfere in the prior election.

        Obama did not delay military aide to Ukraine – he just refused to provide it at all.

        Most of us do not understand how Trump could have compromised national security by stalling something Obama refused to provide.

        Regardless, there is no such thing as meaningful international law that applies to foreign countries. International relations are a near perfect example of a working anarcho capitalist system that has been in place for milenia.

        Nations get what they want from other nations by persuasion and threats – there is no meaningful global police force.

        It is not a crime for the president to use the tools provided to him by the very law he is being accused of violating, to assure what that same law requires – meaningful efforts to reduce corruption. And few of us are deeply disturbed that the president asked a foreign leader to START with the admitted appearance of corruption by a rival, and the efforts to interfere with the 2016 election that harmed him.

        Regardless, you want my support – or that or myriads of others for impeaching Trump.

        Fine, take seriously the same misconduct by others.

        I was just listening to a news clip where a progressive claimed with a straight face that Trump was harming our national security by failing to deliver aide to Ukraine AND he was a worse war monger than Obama.

        So long as you are selling – my crooks are good crooks – I am not buying.

      • November 28, 2019 11:40 am

        So when Trump says he did not have that relationship, cant the opposition use his words as proof it did not exist? And relate that to impeachment, not a court of law.

        Remember, the President and congress operate under different laws than we do. (You and I would have been screwed doing the same as Clinton with classified info)

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 12:37 pm

        Impeachment:
        The enforcement mechanism’s for overreach by the house are the Senate Trial and elections.
        The house can do what it can get away with regarding impeachment.

        The can subpeona Gulliani,

        Whether he can testify is a LEGAL QUESTION – that is not changed by impeachment.
        An attorney can not violate privilege even if they are not under oath.
        They certainly can not testify violating privilege.

        There is enormous amounts of case law on this.

        There are complexities over what is privileged.
        Communications with Trump are privileged and Trump’s remarks in the press are NOT a waiver. Trump can lie to the press – Gulliani still must honor privilge.

        Gulliani’s work on matters related to Trump are privileged. But Gulliani’s interactions with 3rd parties are not privileged.

        Gulliani can be subpeonad by the house and forced to testify to his exchanges with Ukrainians. But he can not testify to why he did something or what Trump did or did not direct.

        He can not testify even if those directions were legal – in fact the presumption is they were legal.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 12:39 pm

        Clinton was not president.
        The actual law was the same.

        But yes, there was special “don’t Fork with the Clinton’s law.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 27, 2019 8:07 pm

        Jay, debating this is pointless.
        If the house wants to supeona Gulliani, he is not going to talk – because absent Trump practicaly blanket waiving priviledge he can not ethically,

        And the courts will sort it out – if democrats even bother to go to court, because they have a losing case.

        I get really tired of these made up facts, and legal opinions.

        I do not always agree with what the law is,
        But that does not mean that some leftist law professor ignoring centuries of precedent is going to sway SCOTUS.

        Trump loses alot at lower courts where plantifs have cherry picked Obama Judges who are clueless, Often these are reversed by appellate courts, which are usually better even when they are made of Obama appointees, but if things get that far, SCOTUS normally finds for Trump. Not because they like him, but because it is the law.
        Often they find for Trump 9-0 – because no matter what some Obama appointed baby judge says – SCOTUS is not going to reverse centuries of law easily.

  23. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:44 pm

    The commander in chief just defined the military justice system as the “deep state”
    In Florida he just said to a rally crowd: “Just this week I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state.”

    The Military is the deep state.

    And morons keep defending this lump of Russian influenced excretion.
    Those who don’t shout out against this traitor are subservient traitors in waiting.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:08 am

      Do we have to keep up this Russia nonsense ?

      If Trump is Russian influenced – Please sire can I have more ?

      I really do not want to run down the list.

      But Trump has done more to make life miserable for Russia by far than Obama.

      Trump has GUARANTEED Europe’s supply of natural gas – allowing them to address the threat Russia poses by cutting off gas to Europe.

      Trump has substantially increased US energy production – turning the US into a net EXPORTER of energy – screwing Russia in the process.

      This has radically shifted balance of power globally.
      It has given Europe a much clearer choice – The US or Russia, one or the other.

      It has diminished the importance of the mideast.

      We have spent the past month fighting because Trump delayed aide to Ukraine that Obama would not provide.

      The entire mess that is Ukraine was mostly caused during the Obama administration.

      Obama tried to snuggle up to Putin TWICE.

      Trump has not sold Russia interests in US Uranium.

      The Trump foundation receives its money from the Trumps – not russian oligarches or mideastern princes.

  24. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:49 pm

    To the dodos who say Biden has mental issues. President slurry in action:

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:18 am

      Both Biden and Trump (and all the democratic lead contenders) are old enough that health, including mental health is a serious concern.

      The Trump whitehouse has ended press conferences, instead Trump takes questions from reporters all the time most everywhere.

      You may not like what he says, but if there was a mental decline it would be evident.
      Trump deals with very long days – all presidents do.
      and he deals with the press the same morning noon and night.

      Biden appears to be sundowning.

      If Trump is slurring his speach at rallies – we should be concerned.

      But no less so than with Warren, Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg.

      Neither Warren nor Sanders are showing any NEW signs of mental incompetence.

      Arguably both of their “plans” are idiotic, But Sanders has been selling the same nonsense for decades.

      Biden has always been gaff prone – that is not new.

      But he IS showing some signs of decline during long days and tough schedules.

      Further with ALL of them – and especially with Trump,

      You will KNOW if there is a problem – before the election.

      Someone in decline is going to get worse over the campaign.

      Finally we are playing russian roulette electing people this old.

      The odds of Trump, Bloomberg, Biden Warren or Sanders completing a 4 year term without a serious health and possibly mental problem are small.

      Neither Trump nor Warren are showing any signs of anything.
      But their age alone puts them at higher than normal risk.

      Sanders and Biden are showing signs of decline.
      Their odds of completing a 4 yr term are low.

  25. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:53 pm

    Wrong again, dhlii:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Public support for impeaching President Donald Trump has tracked steadily higher over the past few weeks while a U.S. House of Representatives committee held a series of televised impeachment hearings, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:33 am

      The RCP average has dropped 2pts since its peak a month ago.
      Gallup, NPR/Marist and Quinipac all show Trump in positive numbers.

      Emerson has Trump beating all democrats except Sanders in the General by popular vote

      Marquette has Trump defeating every Democrat except booker in Wisconsin by 3-14 pts.

      Morning Call has Trump gaining on all democrats in PA.

      The most recent Reuters poll says support is UNCHANGED.
      https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/reuters-ipsos-data-core-political-2019-11-20

      BTW the link above and quote below are from Reuters/Ipsos – not some third party.

      Washington, D.C., November 20, 2019 — The latest Reuters/Ipsos Core Political poll shows no significant change in public support for the impeachment of President Trump, even as the public hearings in the House of Representatives carry into the second week.

  26. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2019 9:58 pm

    “Congress has invited US President Donald Trump to its first impeachment hearing on 4 December.

    Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Mr Trump could either attend or “stop complaining about the process”.
    If he does attend, the president would be able to question witnesses.”

    If he shows will he stand up and prance behind witnesses like he did to Hillary?

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:38 am

      Trump is not going to attend. He is going to send lawyers.

      Regardless – what is Naddler talking about ?

      Have democrats actually shifted from Schiff to Naddler ?

      Naddler did horribly with Mueller, Cohen, Lowendowsky

      Why do you expect him to do better now ?

      Why are democrats intent on continuing this suicide pact ?

      All I can guess is that Pelosi counted votes and there are not enough votes to impeach.

      But all the “bombshell” witnesses have testified.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:44 am

      Naddler’s remarks show that democrats have been damaged by the way they have conducted the process.

      The key problem is NOT the president (or counsels) inability to participate, though that has been traditional, the more important venue for that is the Senate.

      The big issues are Schiff thwarting questioning of witnesses and Schiff depriving republicans of witness subpeona power.

      But I would remind you ALL of these procedural safeguards were in place in all prior impeachments.

      Further there are reasons for them.

      Democrats have compared impeachment to indictment – there are similarities.
      But the differences are important.
      indictment occurs in secret, we do not get to know who the grand jurors are or how they voted or what the evidence is. All that is handled at trial.

      The house inherently conducts it actions in public.

      Procedural safeguards are much more important in public.

  27. dhlii permalink
    November 27, 2019 7:00 am

    Richard V. Spencer is not the military justice system.

    I am not sure he is “the deep state”

    He just seems to be confused about the chain of command and military order and discipline.
    He seems to think it applies to those below him, but not to him.
    And he does not seem to grasp that the president ANY president is the Commander in Chief.

    I expect that the navy Secretary will carry out the directions of the Commander in Chief.

    Whether that is Obama or Trump.

    If he can not do so, then he must resign, and outside of the executive he is free to speak his mind.

    Spencer is “the deep state” only in the sense that he was under the delusion that he had power and authority other than that delegated to him by the president.

    There is no independent power in the executive branch.

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2019 7:59 pm

      Sigh.
      More nonsensical twaddle.

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2019 8:00 pm

      More dunderheaded dopyness

      • Jay permalink
        November 27, 2019 8:04 pm

        Stupidity is never-changing.

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2019 8:01 pm

      Those who defend stupidity..

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2019 8:02 pm

      Are doomed to suffer…

    • Jay permalink
      November 27, 2019 8:02 pm

      Contempt!

  28. Jay permalink
    November 27, 2019 8:13 pm

    There was no rational explanation except usual Trump incompetence for him to meddle in the Gallagher case.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-spencer-i-was-fired-as-navy-secretary-heres-what-ive-learned-because-of-it/2019/11/27/9c2e58bc-1092-11ea-bf62-eadd5d11f559_story.html

    Richard Spencer:

    “The case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was charged with multiple war crimes before being convicted of a single lesser charge earlier this year, was troubling enough before things became even more troubling over the past few weeks. The trail of events that led to me being fired as secretary of the Navy is marked with lessons for me and for the nation.

    It is highly irregular for a secretary to become deeply involved in most personnel matters. Normally, military justice works best when senior leadership stays far away. A system that prevents command influence is what separates our armed forces from others. Our system of military justice has helped build the world’s most powerful navy; good leaders get promoted, bad ones get moved out, and criminals are punished.

    In combat zones, the stakes are even higher. We train our forces to be both disciplined and lethal. We strive to use proportional force, protect civilians and treat detainees fairly. Ethical conduct is what sets our military apart. I have believed that every day since joining the Marine Corps in 1976.

    We are effective overseas not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals. Our troops are held to the highest standards. We expect those who lead our forces to exercise excellent judgment. The soldiers and sailors they lead must be able to count on that.

    Earlier this year, Gallagher was formally charged with more than a dozen criminal acts, including premeditated murder, which occurred during his eighth deployment overseas. He was tried in a military court in San Diego and acquitted in July of all charges, except one count of wrongfully posing for photographs with the body of a dead Islamic State fighter. The jury sentenced him to four months, the maximum possible; because he had served that amount of time waiting for trial, he was released.

    President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.
    After the verdict was delivered, the Navy’s normal process wasn’t finished. Gallagher had voluntarily submitted his request to retire. In his case, there were three questions: Would he be permitted to retire at the rank of chief, which is also known as an E-7? (The jury had said he should be busted to an E-6, a demotion.) The second was: Should he be allowed to leave the service with an “honorable” or “general under honorable” discharge? And a third: Should he be able to keep his Trident pin, the medal all SEALs wear and treasure as members of an elite force?

    On Nov. 14, partly because the president had already contacted me twice, I sent him a note asking him not to get involved in these questions. The next day, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called me and said the president would remain involved. Shortly thereafter, I received a second call from Cipollone, who said the president would order me to restore Gallagher to the rank of chief.

    This was a shocking and unprecedented intervention in a low-level review. It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.
    Given my desire to resolve a festering issue, I tried to find a way that would prevent the president from further involvement while trying all avenues to get Gallagher’s file in front of a peer-review board. Why? The Naval Special Warfare community owns the Trident pin, not the secretary of the Navy, not the defense secretary, not even the president. If the review board concluded that Gallagher deserved to keep it, so be it.
    I also began to work without personally consulting Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on every step. That was, I see in retrospect, a mistake for which I am solely responsible.

    On Nov. 19, I briefed Esper’s chief of staff concerning my plan. I briefed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that evening.
    The next day, the Navy established a review board to decide the status of Gallagher’s Trident pin. According to long-standing procedure, a group of four senior enlisted SEALs would rule on the question. This was critical: It would be Gallagher’s peers managing their own community. The senior enlisted ranks in our services are the foundation of good order and discipline.

    But the question was quickly made moot: On Nov. 21, the president tweeted that Gallagher would be allowed to keep his pin — Trump’s third intervention in the case. I recognized that the tweet revealed the president’s intent. But I did not believe it to be an official order, chiefly because every action taken by the president in the case so far had either been a verbal or written command.

    The rest is history. We must now move on and learn from what has transpired. The public should know that we have extensive screening procedures in place to assess the health and well-being of our forces. But we must keep fine-tuning those procedures to prevent a case such as this one from happening again.

    More importantly, Americans need to know that 99.9 percent of our uniformed members always have, always are and always will make the right decision. Our allies need to know that we remain a force for good, and to please bear with us as we move through this moment in time.”

    • dhlii permalink
      November 28, 2019 9:02 am

      You do understand that Spencer’s letter is damning of his own actions.

      No system is perfect. If you actually think that Justice gets it right 99.9% of time – you are deluded. The LOW estimate for the number of people convicted and incarcerated by civilian justice that are absolutely innocent is 2.5% By Absolutely innocent, I do not mean not guilty as charged, but not guilty of anything. The more likely correct number is about 3 times that.

      If Military justice is 10 times as good – which is highly unlikely – that means almost 1% of its convictions are of actually innocent people.

      Trump has intervened in 3 cases out of thousands – that is far less than the error rate.

      Regardless, the president is the commander in chief. Like it or not he has the legitimate power and authority to act as he did.

      Spencer’s own letter documents his own efforts to thwart and disobey the directions of his superior.

      Should Trump have intervened ? That is a completely independent question.
      Regardless, the President has the power, and authority to do so, and even the duty. Actually acheiving that 99.9% rate – which is NOT reality, is the presidents duty. And doing so requires RARELY correcting errors.

      Spencer seems to beleive – contra the constitution, and contra all the principles he claims are important that it is NEVER legitimate to scrutinize the actions of subordinates.
      That is complete horseshit.

      Earlier Trump commuted the sentence a woman who was convicted of drug dealing and received nearly a life sentence. The courts and prosecutors did their jobs, the law was followed, the woman was guilty as charged. Yet very few of us would question the legitimacy of Trump’s commutation. If anything the question would be why does that occur more often or why doesn’t the law get changed.

      Regardless is a Deputy AG had attempted to thwart the president’s efforts to inquire about the case or to explore whether justice had been done, just because the law had been followed, that Deputy AG would have been FIRED – legitimately.

      And that is precisely what has happened with Spencer.

      Though as I understand the facts here – Spencer was fired by Espy – not Trump, and not at Trump’s direction. Spencer was not fired for attempting to thwart Trump. He was fired for circumventing the chain of command, for bypassing his superiors and attempting to negotiate directly with the whitehouse.

      Interestingly the actual outcome Spencer sought – Gallagher’s separation from service, is likely to occur, and near certain the right one – though one that almost certainly would have occured without Spencer’s actions.

      Spencer was fired for violating the same code of conduct he claims to cherish.

      I would further note that in out system – whether civilian or military the ONLY means of correcting injustice – where the law is scrupulously followed but the outcome is clearly wrong, is through pardon’s and commutations.

      That is a legitimate and important part of the system. It is a NECESCARY feature, not a flaw.

      Our courts are their to correct, if the law is not followed, if constitutional rights are infringed on, if due process is not given.

      The courts – even SCOTUS do not have the power to correct injustice if the law is followed and due process is given.

      Throughout our system Governor’s and the president have that power.
      That is how the system is SUPOSED to work. It is their by design. It is not a flaw.

      Trump has made a few questionable pardons and commutions. This does NOT appear to be one of those.

      Even with Trump’s pardon of Arapio, he still has a record that is far less revolting than most past presidents. The norm for presidential pardon’s has been that they are for political, sometimes even personal benefit.

      If you really want to explore eqregious pardons – I would suggest looking at those of Clinton and Obama.

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 9:29 am

        It’s thanksgiving turkey day.
        Make sure they don’t confuse you with the bird.

        “ You do understand that Spencer’s letter is damning of his own actions.”

        Not of his actions regarding Gallagher.
        But of going outside military protocols to convince Trump directly he was making a mistake.
        Are you really that dense to conflate the two?

        Don’t make any clucking gobble-gobble noises at the table. 🦃 🦃

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 12:12 pm

        Atleast you seem to be accepting that Spencer went outside of channels and that Espy was justified in firing him.

        After that what is left ?

        An essentially ludicrous claim by Spencer that the system is 99.9% perfect and never should be overruled – not even by those with the power authority and duty to do so ?

        Gallagher is going to get to retired with his Trident pin.

        If Trump is wrong, if Gallagher is a war criminal – the world will not end.
        If Trump is right – then justice is served.

        But in the real world – we are never likely to know whether Trump is right or wrong.
        What we do know is that Trump made a decision that he was constitutionally allowed to make, and that you and Spencer do not like that decision. And that is all.

    • November 28, 2019 11:34 am

      Jay, “There was no rational explanation except usual Trump incompetence for him to meddle in the Gallagher case.”

      maybe its to allow someone who has spent years getting shot at keeping YOUR ASS AND MINE safe to retire with full benefits of a CPO.

      I understand when I comment I make too much sense for you to respond to my comments like the one I posted where I pointed out military justice. You only respond when incoherent comments can work, like many with Dave.

      But again I will point out he was guilty before the courts marshall, officers and enlisted personnel were convinced by his defense that he was innocent and that was the verdict. Removal from the service at rank is justified in this case, nothing more!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 12:28 pm

        Ron

        I agree.

        But beyond that.
        The truth in this case may not be knowable.
        Trump – or any president acting as Trump did is legitimate.

        Spencer’s actions were insubordinate.

        I hope that Gallagher deserves the outcome he got.
        But if not – the world will not end.

        This is not the hill Jay should want to die on.
        It is not an anthill.

      • November 28, 2019 2:41 pm

        I could care less about Spencer or anything associated with assholes that sit in mahogany lined offices getting their knickers in a wad over actions of enlisted men in war zones found INNOCENT of crimes through a justice system where you are guilty and you have to prove you ARE innocent. 180% different than civilian courts!

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 2:21 pm

        Ron, Happy Thanksgiving day.

        I both agree and disagree with your comment above.
        But as you probably have eaten your meal (it’s 2 pm there, right) I don’t want to give you indigestion).. 😊

      • David Lynch permalink
        November 28, 2019 2:46 pm

        The overwhelming majority of federal convictions military or otherwise do not involve the president or pardons or commutations.

        It is always unusual when there is a pardon or commutation.

        It is never rational – atleast not in the sense of normal or required

        And yet every president does it.

        I was deeply offended by Obama’s the FALN pardon, By Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich.
        They were still within their authority.

        Trump’s worst pardon – that of Sherrif Joe – should have been a commutation, not a pardon.
        and does not reek 1000th of what Obama or Clinton’s pardons do.

        I hope Trump will issue far MORE pardon’s

      • November 28, 2019 2:50 pm

        Back at cha’. Nope, have not eaten yet. 6:30 pur time, 3:30 yours.

        Now, why do you think a military court would find him innocent in a system of proving innocence is hard unless there is definite documentation supporting innocence.

        No one will ever know what took place to convince officers and enlisted men he was innocent, but in a military court, there had to be significant data to make that happen.

        “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” does not fly in the military system!

    • dhlii permalink
      November 28, 2019 12:02 pm

      Spencer’s letter is interesting.

      It proves the “deep state” interference that many of us complain about.

      Spencer was a Trump appointment,
      There is no evidence that there is a political component to his actions.

      Regardless, the conflict highlights the two competing views of government that are in play.

      The first is that laid out by our constitution – vesting all executive powers of government in the president answerable to the people, congress and the courts.

      The 2nd view is of an administrative state governed by a mostly permanent bureaucratic ruling class, that is presumed infallible and answerable only to itself.

      That 2nd View runs throughout Spencer’s letter – How Dare the president or anyone else interfere with the magical processes of military justice ?

      It has also run through the entire impeachment farce. Trump’s crime ? Believing that as president the final determinations of US Policy are his, not some inter agency consensus position.

      We see this same thing running through the Clinton Email investigation, Crossfire Huricane, the SC Investigation, the assorted prosecutions.

      While there is a political element to this – in that the entire concept of the administrative state is more consistent with democratic and progressive politics, fundimentally the politics are NOT republican democrat – though they are left/right – as the administrative state is inherently a socialist concept.

  29. Jay permalink
    November 28, 2019 11:08 am

    A promise Trump did keep:
    To donate his presidential salary to charity.

    On his present Thanksgiving vacation, Trump’s golf hobby has now cost Americans about $115 million in travel and security expenses ― that’s 287 years of presidential salary.

    Don’t forget to thank Donnie for his generosity

    • dhlii permalink
      November 28, 2019 12:23 pm

      So change the law regarding presidential security details.

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 1:50 pm

        So impeach a president who constantly lies to the citizenry.

        “ Candidate Trump told campaign crowds many, many times that a President Trump would be so busy serving the American people that golf would be out of the question.

        “I’m going to be working for you,” he told a campaign rally crowd in August 2016. “I’m not going to have time to play golf.”

        “I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again,” he said in February 2016, referring to the famous course he owns in Scotland. “I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again,” he added, referring to the famous course he owns in Miami. “I don’t ever think I’d see anything — I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off, make great deals, right? Who’s gonna leave?”

        Read the link to see If he kept any of those assurances he made.

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-donald-trumps-most-casually-broken-promise

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 2:34 pm

        I have no idea what Trump said while campaigning about Golf.

        I doubt you do either.

        If you voted for Trump and you feel you have been lied to – don’t vote for him in 2020.

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 3:16 pm

        WTF is wrong with you?
        Those quotes were directly from Trump.
        There are videos and audios of him making those golf comments.

        Trump is a congenital liar.
        Not to know that by now indicates a serious mental deficiency of perception.
        Knowing it but not admitting it is worse.

        Truth doesn’t change.
        Lies constantly change.
        Remember Trump’s lying inauguration crowd size boasts?
        Even Fox Tucker-Fucker Carlson admitted on air yesterday that wasn’t true.

        Remember Trump’s lies about NOT not knowing Stormy Daniels, not having sex with her, not authorizing Michael Cohen to pay her $130 grand for an NDA? Within days that changed when lawyer Rudy confirmed the payment. Dubious Donnie then admitted the payment, then claimed he didn’t know it until later, but he didn’t have sex, it was an extortion payoff.

        Oh, fuck it.
        You’ll white wash away his lies.
        You’ve invested so much energy defending Donnie Dunce your ego won’t let you admit you’re wrong. It’s hopeless 😩 dealing with cemented cult mentality.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 11:14 pm

        “WTF is wrong with you?
        Those quotes were directly from Trump.”

        As I have said repeatedly – you lost credibility long ago.
        I used to actually fact check your posts – but it is so rarely true that what you claim to have been said was said that it is just not worth the effort.

        Maybe Trump said exactly what you claim.

        Your “quotes” are not promises and if you think they are “lies” you have a very odd defintion of lie.

        Regardless, by constantly claiming that something is a lie or broken promise when it CANT be a lie just undermines YOUR credibility further.

        Statements like
        When I am elected I do not expect to have time to play golf

        Are not lies or broken promises and can not be

        Anymore than “I think it might rain tomorow” can ever be a lie.

        Buy trying to make a huge deal out of trivialities you radically diminish yourself.

        No one here is a “trumpster”. Each and every one of us has our own issues with Trump.

        There is a world of difference between Trump is the best of the past 3 presidents,
        and Trump is a good president.

        But you constantly divide the world into black and white – whatever Trump does or says – black. Anyone who does not piss on Trump over even one thing – their and evil Trumpster.

        Now we have the left media cult like talking about Trump supporters as a cult.

        Yet everyday we can flip from NYT, to CNN, to WaPo, to MSNBC to …

        And here cookie cutter versions of the same talking heads using the same words ubelievably overhyped words to discribe whatever inoccuous thing was said today.

        It has been “Bombshell’ after bombshell non-stop for 3 years.
        It has been the begining of the end.

        I am hearing leaks now of what is in the Horowitz report and I do not beleive them.
        Why – because all the leaks before have been wrong.

        If you listened to CNN you would get one picture of the last 3 years.

        But look out the window and you would get another.

        You talk about Trump lying all the time.

        What about the people who have been lying too us about Trump – and everything else for 3 years ?

        What about you ?

        If you want people to respect you and beleive you – its easy – tell the truth.

        If you listen to those on the left – the world is coming to an end, the rule of law has died, we are at the start of a totalitarian state. Democracy is dying, …..

        And yet in nearly all ways the world, this country are better today than 3 years ago, than 50 years ago.

        I noted before I have been watching Ken Burns Vietnam.

        I needed to be reminded of a time when things were FAR FAR FAR worse, and yet the country did not implode the world did not come to an end.

        There were assassinations, and national guardsmen killing protestors, there were 100 bombings a year and riots and violence.

        And the world did not come to an end.

        Our leaders were knowingly lying to us all the time – Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon,
        Our military, the CIA, DOD all lying

        And the world did not come to an end.

        If Trump were actually as bad as you claim – he still would not be as bad as LBJ
        and we survived that.

        Frankly if Trump were as bad as you claimed he was not be as bad as Obama or Bush.

        And he is not.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 11:35 pm

        That is right “Oh, fuck it.”

        You bitch about the frequency and length of my posts.

        What about the trivial bunk of yours?

        Why are you puking all over the place over how much Trump plays golf or the Gallagher pardon ?

        Even if Trump was totally in the black wrong about those – they are meaningless.

        at worst Gallagher is not even close to as bad a pardon as the FALN terrorist or Marc Rich.
        And at best it is a big deal for Gallagher, but not that big a deal for the country.

        The navy will survive. It will not even hiccup.

        But we have to get reams of your anti-Trump vomit for days

        over something that would not have made the news if Obama had done it.

        The world is not coming to an end.
        You will survive, outside of your ranting, your actual life is likely to be as good or better than ever – and if it is not, that will have nothing to do with Trump.

        I do not need to “Whitewash Trump”.

        All I need to do is see the world as it is. To not pretend everything is going to hell when it is not.

        I am mostly happy democrats took the house – almost nothing is getting done. No laws are passing. No new legislation.

        I have always been a big proponent of gridlock.

        Trump is likely to be re-elected. Probably in a landslide.

        And you will live through it.

        No matter how much you foam and fume – the world will still be here.

        In fact if Trump is actually ruining your life – it is only because you are giving yourself an anuerism.

        Let go, life is not perfect.

        But it is actually pretty good.

        I can make a long list of ways it could be better,
        But I am still happier than I have been in my life.

        Life is pretty damn good.

        Obama left office with our standard of living higher than when he entered.
        That is good. The improvement was not as good as that of reagan or Clinton,
        or even bush. But it was an improvement.

        Trump has improved our standard of living nearly as much in 3 years as Obama did in 8
        That is good too.

        Accept the good. Let go of the ridiculous outrage.

        The very worst things Trump has done are annoying at most.

        I am a strong proponent of real free trade.

        Trump has played all kinds of games that I oppose in the area of Trade.

        But as much as I might disagree with what he has done – he has not “F’d” things up.

        If I can accept the fact that I did not get what I want out of the president on trade and still grasp that he has not sent the country to hell – why can’t you ?

        You are not libertarian. You do not actually share the respect for individual liberty I have.
        You are not a free trader. Yet because Trump has dabbled in Trade sanctions, you have to go full bull goose loon against.

        You can not distinguish between – Trump could have made a better choice, and Trump’s choice was a complete disaster.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 11:42 pm

        Trump is a braggart – we ALL got that.

        He may be the biggest braggart that has ever been president.

        Though Obama and Biden claiming to have had a scandal free presidency is a real hoot.

        But Trump’s bragging is annoying, it is not the end of the world.

        My best friend in the world, is 10 times the braggart Trump is.
        But when I need him – he is there.

        So I put up with the exagerations and stories and ….

        I can not listen to him – I just tune him out.
        Or I agree with him without paying attention.

        But I can count on him when I need him.

        Bragging is a character flaw.

        So is hystronics.

        Believing in progressivism is a huge character flaw – and ACTUAL cult.
        And we have what 8 ? 12 ? 20 ? democrats running for president as progressive ?

        And you want to froth and fume over the Gallagher pardon ? Or 4 year old comments about golf ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 12:12 am

        “Truth does not change”

        But lies do – all the time.

        Whatever Russia did – it had no effect on our election. Nor was it unusual.
        The FBI did peddle a pack of lies to the FISA court to get a warant to spy on someone they did not want to get elected. And that is AFTER they were already spying on him.
        Clinton did ACTUALLY compromise national security with her bathroom email server.
        The Chinese were reading her messages real time.
        Benghazi WAS a planned terrorist attack, that most anyone could have seen has probable.
        Trump did NOT “collude” with Russia.
        Obama did NOT give the Ukraine millitary aide, Trump actually did.
        Obama did NOT get out out of anywhere in 8 years much less the 90 days he promised and in fact we were engaged militarily in more than twice as many conflicts when he left office as when he was elected.

        I can go on and on.
        Real Facts, about real world things.

        Note fuming over ancient remarks about golf games.

        Yeah Trump exagerates his crowd sizes. Is there someone saying otherwise ?

        But even the left wing nut media is unable to hide the fact that Trump rallies typically have as many people on the outside as inside.

        On 2018 Pres. Obama was campaigning in Nevada and could not get a couple of hundred people, on the same day Trump had 18,000.

        Trump probably said he had 25,000.

        The world will end.

        Stormy Daniels ? Really ?

        Why is that your business ? Why was it ever your business ?

        Daniels was paid for her story. She thought it was worth 130K and thats what she got.
        All perfectly legal. She could have tried to find someone who would pay more.
        But I guess there wasn’t anyone.

        Daniels got money she wanted and you didn’t get something you never were entitled to.

        I get spam everyday from people like you – claiming they got my password accessed my web cam and have video of me masturbating they are going to show the world.

        Grow up – other peoples personal lives is NONE of your business.

        You are not entitled to know about my sex life – nor Trumps,
        My Tax return, nor Trump’s.

        In about a year you get to vote against him again.

        In the meantime – learn enough about english to tell the difference between an oppinion about the future and a false statement of fact.

        And if you can not tell the difference – probably you should quit embarrassing yourself by constantly calling things that CAN NOT BE LIES because they are not statements of facts, lies.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 28, 2019 2:36 pm

        The quotes you cite – are not lies.

        You have a very bizzarre idea of what constitutes a lie.

        If I say

        I think it will rain tomorow,

        and it does not rain tomorow – is that a lie ?

        If you think so – you need to go back to and retake middle school english

      • Jay permalink
        November 28, 2019 3:42 pm

        Uh, fuzzy example.
        Dinner’s almost ready- so quickly:

        1-you have no control over the weather; BUT you control if you golf or not.

        2-if over and over and over and over you say it’s going to rain – because you sell umbrellas -and it only rains once or twice, aren’t you lying the other times for imagined gains? But if you’re not lying and BELIEVE it each time what does that say about your competence to predict weather?

        Try and understand: TRUMP SUCKS. He does FAR MORE HARM than good,

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 12:20 am

        “Uh, fuzzy example.”
        Nope

        “1-you have no control over the weather; BUT you control if you golf or not.”
        Does not matter, you can not lie by speculating about the future.

        “2-if over and over and over and over you say it’s going to rain – because you sell umbrellas -and it only rains once or twice, aren’t you lying the other times for imagined gains? But if you’re not lying and BELIEVE it each time what does that say about your competence to predict weather?”

        Do I actually need to waste time explaining how bad an argument that is ?

        “Try and understand: TRUMP SUCKS. He does FAR MORE HARM than good,”
        And your evidence of that is ?

        A growing economy ?
        Rising standards of living ?
        Slowly declining US involvement in global conflicts and wars ?
        Rising US Steel production ?
        Rising employment ?
        Declining illegal immigration ?
        Good Trade deals with Canada and Mexico ?

        As you said “Facts are facts and do not change”

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2019 4:55 pm

        A prognostication is a prediction about the future. Like weather prognostication, the prognosticator has no power to fulfill weather results.

        A promise is a declaration of assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. To accomplish a promise requires volition – the power of ones own will to effectuate it.

        You can’t break a prognostication; you can break a promise.

        There are multiple levels of broken promises. Some promises are not intentionally broken; events outside the control of the promiser prevent them from happening.

        Other promises are broken through self-delusion – the promiser is unable due to incompetence, emotional insecurity, or poor understanding to accomplish the requirements necessary to fulfill them. Trump’s promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it; to bring back water boarding interrogation; about a DOZEN health care promises unkept; to end Birthright Citizenship; to invest $550 billion in an Infrastructure Fund; etc.

        And some promises are made with no real intention of keeping them – outright lies meant to deceive, to con, to hide something unsavory. Trump’s broken promise to reveal his taxes; to cancel all funding to Sanctuary Cities; to keep his business and his presidency separate.

        These are just promises unkept.
        I’ve already noted some of the outright lies he’s told and keeps telling daily.

        That’s your guy.
        Lay down with liars, wake up with moral itch.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 10:28 pm

        “I will build a wall” is a promise.

        “I will be too busy to play golf” is guess concerning the future.

        This is not hard.

        Unless you are making a promise to yourself – “I will quit smoking”.
        all meaningful promises are a commitment to provide a benefit to someone else.

        Promises BTW are not legally enforceable.

        The NEXT step is a contract.

        Most political promises are an (unenforceable) contract.

        I will do X and in return I expect you to vote for me.

        Being wrong about a prediction is pretty inconsequential.
        It might detract from your reputation as someone who can make predictions,
        but it says nothing about your integrity.

        Breaking promises to yourself – is not anyone else’s business.

        Breaking promises to others, is somewhat consequential.
        It damages your reputation.
        But absent an actual “quid pro quo” – absent a contract rather than a mere promise,
        the damage to reputation is rarely consequential.

        Unenforceable contracts
        “vote for me and I will do X”

        Promises where there is a QPQ and the other party HAS delivered their side
        these have significant damage to reputation.

        And finally enforceable contracts.

        breaching an enforceable contract subjects you to legal action, damages, as well as harm to your reputation.

        Finally, whether the contract is enforceable or not,
        it is only meaningful with respect to hose who entered into it.

        No political candidate makes promises to the people who vote against them.

        “Vote for me and I will do X”
        Has absolutely no meaning with respect to a voter who did NOT vote for “me”.

        Contracts are agreements between two parties.
        If you choose not to participate – if you do not vote for the candidate.
        You have no right to expect them to keep their promise.

        Further, even mere promises – are of no consequence unless you relied on them.

        Candidate Obama did not enter into an agreement with me over healthcare – because I did not vote for him.

        At the same time – I and many others relied on his promise that “we could keep our doctors”.
        and many of us were harmed when that proved not to be true.

        You are not harmed because Trump has not released his taxes or because he still finds time to golf.
        Nor am I, nor are those who voted for him – though they atleast have a claim that they voted for him in the possible expectation that he would release his taxes.

        There was no promise not to play golf, only a prediction.

        These are not hard distinctions.

        If you are incapable of making them.
        If you can not tell the difference between a contract, a promise, and speculating about the future, then you are not capable of functioning successfully as an adult.

        I strongly suspect that you do fine as an adult.
        That means you KNOW the difference, and are choosing to ignore it.

        That you are trying to raise a stink where there is none.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 10:35 pm

        Much of what you claim are promises AREN’T.

        Some of what you claim to be a promise – is, but not to you.

        “I expect to be too busy to drive to market tomorow”
        Is NOT a promise.

        I could still choose to drive to market tomorow – even though I am busy, and my earlier remark would not be a lie.
        Or I could discover I am not busy.

        Trump’s remarks about golfing, was not a promise.
        It was not a commitment to do anything.

        If you want something similar that was a promise that he broke – he promised that he would be very “presidential” (whatever that is) as president.
        I do not know how to define presidential – but Trump still clearly is not very presidential.

        That is a broken promise.

        For you it is a gargantuan one.
        For me it is small.
        I never believed him.

        Just as I would not beleive you if you said you would refrain from slurs and insults.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 10:48 pm

        You are really fixated on this tax thing.

        Why do those on the left feel they are entitled to enforce commitments that were made to those Trump voters – not you, that are not something you are entitled to by right, and that cause you no actual harm.

        Absolutely Trump is intentionally concealing his taxes – FROM YOU.

        Look at the past 3 years. It is perfectly understandable.

        I strongly suspect if he could provide his taxes to those who voted for him and ONLY them, and be assured that no one else would see them he would.

        But with certainty if he provides his taxes – you are doing to start frothing about how much he spent on entertainment or airfare.

        Does anyone have the slightest doubt that if Trump’s taxes become public – you and rachel Maddow would spend long nights pouring over them looking for manufactuered sins ?

        Trump is almost certainly audited EVERY YEAR.
        A small army of accountants and lawyers prepare his taxes.
        If there was an actual issue – the IRS or one of those lawyers and accountant would have come up with it long ago.

        Even this stupid holy war the NY AG is engaged in is idiotic.

        First absent PROBABLE CAUSE that a crime has been committed – law enforcement does not get anyone’s taxes. Further based on the law that was enacted in 1916 when the income tax became constitutional by amendment, the Sec. Treasury gets the final word on providing tax returns

        But Trump WAS a resident of NY. He files taxes in NY as well as to the IRS,
        His NY tax return is nearly as detailed as his federal return.

        If the NY AG wants Trump’s tax info – go to the NY department of revenue.

        Finally, whether Trump wins or loses these tax return fights does not matter.

        If the courts ultimately allow congress or the NY AG Trump’s tax returns,
        they will with near certaintly leak – and then someone is likely going to jail.
        And even if not, there will be as large a stink over leaking Trump’s tax returns as anything else.

        Why do you want a handgrenade with the pin removed ?

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:02 pm

        Do you want Trump to bring back water boarding ?

        Which voters do you think are not voting for Trump in 2020 because he failed to bring back water boarding ?

        This of course presumes Trump actually promised to bring back water boarding, rather than made some comment that did not constitute a promise, that you are making into one.

        As I keep noting – you have trashed your own credibility,

        I no longer beleive what you say – even when it sounds likely. Because I KNOW that you make things up.

        You say Trump lies – and no, he has NOT kept all his promises.
        But he has kept alot.
        He has kept the ones his voters care about.

        His goal is NOT to make you happy.
        It is not possible to make you happy.
        You do not want to be happy.

        BTW Trump proposed Tarrifing the crap out of Mexico in 2017 – to pay for the wall.

        Instead he got a Trade deal with Mexico that is very beneficial.

        Which would you rather he did ? Raise tarrifs to pay for the wall, or negotiate a better trade deal – with benefits Mexico, the US and US workers ?

        Next in may 2019 Trump threatened to Tarrif the crap out of mexico if they did not stop illegal immigrants using their country as a highway into ours.

        Trump backed down when Mexico took steps to reduce the flow of illiegal immigrants through mexico.

        Recent illegal immigration numbers are down 500%.

        I think Trump voters got what they were after.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:09 pm

        Do you want birth right citizenship ended ?

        I don’t.

        To the Extent Trump is able to do so unilaterally he has eviscerated PPACA.

        Of course it was going to fail on its own.

        He was unable to repeal it – that requires congress and McCain whimped out.

        He is still looking to fix heatlhcare – but that would require Pelosi to come to the table.

        Most of us understand you can not promise something that requires OTHERS to act.

        Trump tried to cancel funding to sanctuary cities, the courts stopped that.
        I beleive that is still headed to SCOTUS.

        His business and his presidency are separate.

        Unlike the Biden’s. Or Pelosi.

        As to promises unkept – do you think Andrew Yang can deliver on his UBI ?

        Do you think that any of the democrats can deliver M4A ?

        Do you think they can deliver on gun control that will change anything ?

        The democratic debates have been an endless stream of promises that can not be kept.

        And you want to fixate on Trump ?

        Absolutley Trump has not kept ALL of his actual promises.

        But he has done better at that then any president in US history.

        And you want to fixate on things no one cares about ?

      • Jay permalink
        November 29, 2019 6:14 pm

        “A growing economy ?”

        US growth is about 2.6 percent this year; expected to moderate To 1.9 percent in 2020 – about where the rest of the advanced economic countries are now. But sub-Saharan Africa, growth is at about 3.4 percent in 2019, and developing Asia is growing at near 6 percent in 2019. Are you giving Trump credit for their growth too?

        US growth would have been higher if it wasn’t for Trump’s stupid tariff policy. Which brings me to this deceptive item you attributed to Dumb Donnie’s accomplishments:

        ” Rising US Steel production ?”

        Up slightly because because China steel costs more; but US Steelmakers have raised their prices, and other higher priced steel imports have increased substantially to meet the demand: bottom line, US consumers will bear the cost in higher prices, and oh yeah, steel mills continue to close in the US

        “Rising standards of living ?”

        Not rising fast enough. Out of the top 20 advanced nations, US is rated at 19th.
        That’s right, 19th!
        Look it up.
        .
        “Slowly declining US involvement in global conflicts and wars ?”

        Then why is Trump pushing to increase the size of the active military, asking for another 100,000 to increase the size of the Navy and Marine Corps (plus huge expenditures for ships and weaponry, etc)? And why is he increasing the size of our military stationed in foreign nations, a long reversal of reducing them under Bush2 and Obama? I’d provide the links, but your retained ignorance is preferable.

        “Rising employment ?”

        Yes, but Trump has nothing to do with it

        “Declining illegal immigration ?”

        Yes. But at what cost?

        I’m in favor of reducing illegal immigration, and of reducing Spanish speaking immigrants in general; the Spanish bi-lingualization of the US is troublesome to me; I see it permanently dividing the US, driving native English speakers out the southwest, creating duel cultures like French speakers in Canada.

        But look at the evil Trump’s zero tolerance policy has engendered, thousands of children separated from parents at the border, and our government unable to account for hundreds of them. Six or seven months after the court told OIG to report the numbers, but still no firm figures on how many were separated and how many returned. This is going to be an indelible smear on Trump’s legacy; along with many others of course; he’ll be remembered as a president tattooed with shame.

        “Good Trade deals with Canada and Mexico ?”

        The net positive results of the new trade agreement:
        USMCA REPLACES NAFTA – Results: Zero… “these (Trump) celebrated measures largely turn out to be a dud. “

        That’s a quote from Forbes. Don’t bother to read it. You’ll do your usual disparaging routine of writers or editors, and ignore the conclusions

        I’ve enjoyed this exchange; provided me with a pleasant opportunity to digest Thanksgiving food leftovers for lunch. Burp!

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:42 pm

        The FOMC prediction for 2020 is 2% not 1.9, there prediction for 2021 is 1.9%.

        The decline is attributed to two interrelated things.

        The trade war with china and a looming global recession.

        You note 6% growth for China. That is probably a correct official figure – that BTW is WAY DOWN for China, Average growth in China is normally closer to 9%, 6% growth in China will result in increased political unrest.

        Hong Kong is actually in a recession caused by the conflict with China.

        Trump can boost US growth dramatically anytime he wants – back down regarding China.

        I fully expect a deal with China. The conflict with China is hurting the US, but it is hurting the global economy more, and china more still.

        Further the damage to china as this continues is PERMANENT, that to the US is not.
        Bussinesses are rushing out of China. To the US to other asian countries.
        Much of this was inevitable as China’s standard of living rises.

        But it has accellerated.

        No 2% is NOT the average for the developed world.

        Growth in the EU in 2019 is 1.2% and it is projected to be 1.4% in 2020.
        Germany is “booming” at 1.5%.

        The only EU counties with Growth equal or higher to the US are Ireland and former eastern block countries.

        Yes, africa is growing, partly because low cost low skill labor jobs are leaving China.

        Further US economic predications are like our politics extremely divided.

        There are a large number of economist predicting a US Boom in 2020.

        That is highly unlikely without resolving the trade conflict with China.

        I expect a deal with China, but it will take Time, because Trump does not appear to be willing to give much and China is pretending it can hold out until after the election – It CANT.

        I do not know what China’s actual growth rate is, but China recently devalued its currency.
        That is a really bad sign. It is a sign that Trump has them over a barrel,

        That is not something a thriving economy does.

        BTW those developing economies you cite – are all slowing down.

        The entire global economy is losing steam. The decline in the US is pretty much the least in the world.

        Again expect a deal, and expect a deal favorable to Trump.

        While I do not support Trump’s trade wars, there is little doubt that he has gotten into them from a position of strength.

        I would also note with respect to 2020, that it is near certain the UK will be out of the EU by then. That is a very big deal for both the US and UK. There will be enormous impetus on both sides for a US/UK free trade deal that will likely be a huge win-win.

        A major factor related to Brexit is that the UK being confined to trading partners and terms the EU dictates has been a major negative on the British economy.

        Britian is and has always been the worlds premier trading nation.
        They have enormous and growing trade with India, China, and the US – as well as the EU.
        EU rules have artificially depressed their non-EU trade.

        Brexit MIGHT negatively impact their trade with the EU. But it WILL positively impact their trade elsewhere.

        Trade between the US and UK could BIDIRECTIONALLY double over the next couple of years.

        The UK can not end our dependence on China – but it can significantly diminish it.

        This is also a factor in the US negotiations with China.

        It is why Chi can not wait for the US election – because starting in early 2020, Trump will be discussing a Trade deal with the UK.
        That will make it HARDER for China to get a good deal.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:46 pm

        US growth would have been higher but for Trump’s trade war with China.

        Absolutely.

        But it would have been lower under Clinton.

        The post Obama rise is not an accident.

        We saw one or two good quarters during Obama, but nothing sustained.
        Obama’s average with 1.8%,
        Trump’s is close to 3%.

        That is not an accident.

        and that has occured despite Trump’s chaotic trade policies.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:48 pm

        The numbers I gave you on US steel PRODUCTION from Trading economics were a 32% increase in TONS of steel. If Steel prices are up then the $ increase is larger.

        The increase in US PRODUCTION is DOUBLE the figure you cited for increases in imports.

        Regardless, whether imported or domestic the US is consuming WAY more steel.

        No matter where it comes from that is VERY GOOD.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 29, 2019 11:55 pm

        According to Wikipedia the US ranks 10th in GDP/PPP per capita – Standard of Living.

        Below Qatar, Macau, Luxemborg, Singapore, Brunei, Ireland, Norway, UAE, Kuwait, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

        Not a single country with a population as large as NYC.
        Not a single country with significant diversity.

        And only Luxemborg, Ireland and Norway are in Europe and Norway is not in the EU.

        Germany is the first significant country besides the US on the list and its standard of living is 20% BELOW the US. France is more than 30% BELOW the US.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2019 12:01 am

        Trump did not promise to reduce the size of the military.

        I have no idea if your claims are True, but they do not contradict mine even if True.

        Now, I want to shrink the military.

        I have no idea about troop levels – but spending has been on a steep upward slope.
        Under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump.

        I oppose that.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2019 12:07 am

        Unemployment spiked with the 2008 recession.

        Obama did bring it down – though alot of the decline came from declines in the Labor participation rate.

        Under Trump the decline in unemployment rates has continued.
        But more important LFP has been rising – so not only is unemployment down but the percentage of the population that is employable is rising.

        Neither of those were supposed to be possible

        Yes, Trump is responsible for that.

        It would be a hard argument to make that unemployment would have continued to decline if Obama/Clinton was president.

        It is IMPOSSIBLE to argue that LFP would have risen.

        Much of the “trump economy” is the gains that should have occured in 2010 – absent the economic idiocy of the Obama administration. We are getting the post recession recovery 10 years late.

        We are getting it because Obama shackled the economy and Trump has unshackled it a bit.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2019 12:23 am

        I will be happy to have an actual discussion of immigration legal and illegal with you.

        I do not agree with Trump, I do not agree with Pelosi or democrats and I do not agree with Ron or Priscilla on immigration.

        But my POINT was NOT that Trump’s immigration policies were good.
        It is that they are what he promised and large numbers of americans think they are good.

        Separately. Child separation is the consequence of BAD LAW that Trump had nothing to do with.

        Is it really hard to understand that people seeking to come to the US will seek to do so in the way that they are most likely to succeed ?

        Obama changed the policies regarding unaccompanied minors – and the number of unaccompanied minors shot up by a factor of 10 in just a few months.

        Illegal immigrants work to game our system – I would expect them to.

        The number of families with children increased starting with Obama. Prior to that it was mostly single adults, who LATER brought their families.

        The increase in families was because we could detain a single adult for 30-90 days and then return them to their country of origen.

        Trump detained whole families – because if you catch illegal immigrants within 100 miles of the border you can expedite the deportation process down to 30-90 days.
        But you must keep detain them.

        Family separation occured because to detain the immigrants you must charge them with the crime of entering illegally – so technically they are held awaiting trial – though the deportation hearing usually occurs first.

        But you can not hold children in the equivalent of jail.

        Get arrested for dealing drugs and I guarantee you will be separated from your family.

        Congress could solve the “family separation” problem trivially.

        And they have been asked by CBP/ICE to do so for atleast 6 years.

        Trump is enforcing bad law. I expect the president to do that.
        I expect congress to change bad law.

        Regardless the detain and then deport, in combination with the crackdown of Mexico before crossing, and the new deport directly and immediately deals Trump has negotiated (this is what ended Mexican mass immigration many years ago) have been working.

        You see less illegal immigrants because:

        Enforcement is up, deportation is up, and because bringing your family along makes things harder for you not easier.

        Regardless, the point is that if you craft the law to inadvertantly incentivize things like bringing your family – that is what will happen.

        Incentives matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        November 30, 2019 12:32 am

        I do not think that USMCA is the greatest thing to occur.

        I did think NAFTA was a good deal.

        What I want is just “free trade” no tarriffs, no rules, buy what you want from wherever you want. Let the norms of free exchange work. Contracts and torts are the only regulation needed.

        But I am not going to get that.

        I strongly suspect USMCA will prove incrementally better than NAFTA.

        Not the incredible deal Trump promises, and not the crappy deal forbes is reporting – if you are to be beleived.

        But like immigration that is NOT what matters.

        What matters is how these deals are perceived by Trump voters or prospective Trump voters.

        Much of this is a direct appeal to the blue collar democrats Trump won in 2016.
        And they are eating this stuff up.
        And they will determine the 2020 election.

        Can you spell LANDSLIDE ?

        If you want to discuss how trade and immigration should be dealt with – we can have that discussion. But neither the left or the right or Trump who is an altogether didferent thing are going to do what is right.

        BTW Democrats attempt the same things.

        Free education and M4A and Yang’s UBI are all bad ideas that are blatant attempts to buy votes.

        Trump’s immigration and Trade policies are the same.
        Though less bad than free college or M4A.

  30. Jay permalink
    November 30, 2019 4:29 pm

    Another real hero’s opinion of Prez bone spur

    “retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, a Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that took out al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, gave a bleak assessment of President Donald Trump and alleged the commander in chief was gutting the country of the “nation’s principles.”

    From his NYT editorial.

    • November 30, 2019 4:53 pm

      Jay can you stop linking to New York Times editorials and articles as some of us do not want to waste money on their website. I want to read what you wrote about to see the complete article, not just cut and paste sections that you find pertinent.

      Can you find this some other place to link to so i can read it?

      Thanks

      • Jay permalink
        November 30, 2019 7:29 pm

        Ron you can often bypass the NYT paywall, and other news paywalls as well, by downloading other search engines. Usually you get a few free news articles before the paywall kicks in for membership. Try duckduckgo.com , it provides track free searches. You can also download Tor; wiki it to see what it does.

        Here’s the full NYT editorial from McRaven:

        “Last week I attended two memorable events that reminded me why we care so very much about this nation and also why our future may be in peril.

        The first was a change of command ceremony for a storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another. The second event was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation. What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House.

        On the parade field at Fort Bragg, N.C., where tens of thousands of soldiers have marched either preparing to go to war or returning from it, the two generals, highly decorated, impeccably dressed, cleareyed and strong of character, were humbled by the moment.

        They understood the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers’ families. They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives.

        Having served with both officers for the past 20 years, I know that they personified all that is good and decent and honorable about the American military with genuineness of their humility, their uncompromising integrity, their willingness to sacrifice all for a worthy cause, and the pride they had in their soldiers.
        Later that week, at the O.S.S. Society dinner, there were films and testimonials to the valor of the men and women who had fought in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, recognizing those brave Americans and allies who sacrificed so much to fight Nazism and fascism. We were reminded that the Greatest Generation went to war because it believed that we were the good guys — that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism, America would be there. We would be there because freedom mattered. We would be there because the world needed us and if not us, then who?

        Also that evening we recognized the incredible sacrifice of a new generation of Americans: an Army Special Forces warrant officer who had been wounded three times, the most recent injury costing him his left leg above the knee. He was still in uniform and still serving. There was an intelligence officer, who embodied the remarkable traits of those men and women who had served in the O.S.S. And a retired Marine general, whose 40 years of service demonstrated all that was honorable about the Corps and public service.
        But the most poignant recognition that evening was for a young female sailor who had been killed in Syria serving alongside our allies in the fight against ISIS. Her husband, a former Army Green Beret, accepted the award on her behalf. Like so many that came before her, she had answered the nation’s call and willingly put her life in harm’s way.
        For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation’s principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week.

        But beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines. The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.

        These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”

        Those words echoed with me throughout the week. It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.

        But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
        If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?

        President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong. These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.

      • November 30, 2019 9:50 pm

        Jay, thanks.

        This is a very well written piece. It lays out a position held strong for many years by many politicians. But, it is a position I disagree with, and have for many years before Trump was even a reality star.

        It was formed from the actions of Lyndon Johnson that resulted in a wall in Washington D.C. with over 58,300 names on it. It was formed from the fact these 58,000 deaths resulted from lies to the American people who believed that those lies.

        There are ways the Americans can protect our allies. Americans
        41 showed us the right way. Get in, kick ass with overwhelming force, secure the country, get out.
        43 then fed the Americans another line of lies, invaded a country and bogged us down in the longest war this country has ever been involved in. Included in this war is Afghanistan, Syria and other countries because the destabilization that the downfall of Saddam Hussain brought to that region caused these other wars. We have been there almost 20 years.

        So if I had the opportunity to talk to this officer, I would ask him:
        1. How many more years is OK.
        2. How many more lives is acceptable
        3. If the countries cant create a government and military to support themselves in 20 years, how many years should we expect that to happen.
        4. When you are dealing with societies like Afghanistan’s where the tribes are not much different than the tribes in America in the 1800’s, can we really believe we can bring peace short of doing to them what our military did to our tribes to get peace.
        5. There are many places, especially Africa where human rights are violated daily, women are raped daily, young girls sexuality butchered through female circumcision and young men forced into inhuman actions from orders of leaders. How do we justify overlooking Africa, while wasting lives in the middle east since the countries themselves will not take action to change.
        And from those questions, others might develop.

        So my support for removal of troops from the middle east is based on positions I have held for 48+ years. We should not be losing lives like the female sailor lost in Syria. Its time for the rest of the free world to step forward and lose their lives defending the freedoms Americans secured and insured for them for over 100 years.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 9:49 am

        Amen!

        We should value and respect the lives and service of those who do what we ask, who take up arms to do what our leaders claim is in out national interests.

        But it is our political leaders job to decide what is in our national interests – not our military.

        It is our political leaders job NOT to waste the lives of our military.

        And it is OUR job to hold them accountable when they do.

        I lived through Vietnam, and the pentagon papers, All of us lived through GWII and the WMD lies.

        It is always easy for our leaders to get us sucked into fighting, killing and being killed.
        It is damn hard for them to say no, or to get us out.

        Mattis purportedly just penned a book critical of Trump, very critical of Obama and selling a world view of the US as litterally the world’s policemen. With out troops deployed to regions of conflict often for decades.

        That argument should be heard. And if as a nation we choose to go that way – then fine, but not because our military leaders chose that in dark rooms out of sight. We should choose that as a nation with forethought having heard the arguments.

        I do not think that is the right choice. I am with Washington, and Eisenhower, and Truman.

        There are times for using US militiary force. They are very RARE.

        I am also with Mark Twain. In the long history of US military interventions there are very FEW that strike me as moral. Mostly our use of miltiary force as been morally reprehensible.

        Doing so less is not going to make us less safe. It likely will make up more safe.

        The 9/11 and other terrorists who attacked the US did so because we are in their countries killing their people and meddling in their affairs. MAYBE sometimes we are on the side of the least repugnant bad guy. But in none of these instances are we fighting for virtue and freedom or even for our national interests.

        The terrorists who attack us may not be the good guys – but neither are we.
        And they only attack us, because we meddle in their affairs.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 1, 2019 8:45 am

      We have been over McRaven before.
      He is no more consequential today than before.

      Since we are doing popularity contests
      Every single Witness the democrats used in Faux impeachment said that whatever bad things they said about Trump – he was better for foreign policy and national security and containing Russia than Obama.

      I do not think Trump is perfect, or even much more than average.

      But we did not impeach Obama for far more egregious misconduct and maladministration.

      So long as you are running double standards, no one cares.

  31. Jay permalink
    November 30, 2019 4:39 pm

    Lazy Donnie Continues to be active — wasting our taxpayer dollars:

    GOLF UPDATE — as of 30 NOV 2019:

    Trump again is at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. it’s his 60th day at his course.

    Out of 1,045 days in office he’s now spent 225 days on a golf course he owns

    Taxpayer-paid golf tab: $114.9 million.

    (Figures/numbers provided by my barroom pals; prove them substantially wrong and they’ll pay your bar tab for a night)

    • November 30, 2019 4:57 pm

      Sure would be nice if everyone spent as much time monitoring government spending as they did and do with Obama’s vacation costs and Trumps golf outings. I bet we could balance the budget and start reducing the debt if that happened.

    • November 30, 2019 5:09 pm

      I’ll see your $115M and raise you $303M (12 months) $2.2B since 1998

      From the Congressional Pig Book. “$303,500,000 for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, a 427.8 percent increase over the $57.5 million earmarked in FY 2018. COPS, which provide grants, training, and technical assistance to local law enforcement, was targeted for a $96 million reduction by President Trump’s FY 2019 Major Savings and Reforms. The RSC’s budgets from FYs 2018 through 2020 called for the elimination of funding for COPS.

      In FY 2008, COPS received 680 earmarks requested by hundreds of members of Congress costing $245.2 million. In that same year, the Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool awarded the COPS program with a “results not demonstrated” rating, which “indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing,” noting that the COPS program’s “long-term goals have no timelines or specific targets.”

      This subpar characterization of the program corresponded with a significant decline in earmarks. Prior to FY 2018, the COPS program last received earmarked funding in FY 2009, when then-Rep. Luis Fortuno (R-P.R.) added five projects costing $500,000.

      Earmarks for COPS have returned without any evidence that the problems identified in 2008 have been addressed. The FY 2019 earmark represents the third-largest ever allotted for the program, behind the $327.7 million in FY 2004 and $317.6 million in FY 2002. Since FY 1998, legislators have added 2,876 earmarks for COPS, costing taxpayers $2.2 billion.”

      • Jay permalink
        November 30, 2019 7:41 pm

        Ron, I agree, wasteful programs suck.

        But what the present Trump-GOP is doing to the moral fiber of the nation is far worse.

        Hold your nose and vote dem this coming election.
        Hopefully Biden is nominated to make it easier for you.
        And if the Dems win, and get too nuts, I’ll join you to get them out in 2024 – if I’m still on planet earth.

      • November 30, 2019 10:03 pm

        Jay, if I held my nose and voted for a democrat and they got even 20% into effect, I would kick my own ass from here all the way back to California and back. I can truthfully tell you, and more so myself, that I did not vote for Trump and the hellish feelings you are experiencing has nothing to do with my vote.

        No one that leans any degree left can understand my total dislike for government as it now exist. And that is why I will continue to vote Libertarian and have a clear conscience when we end up with Trump or another Obama (or worse).

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 9:33 am

        You keep claiming all these moral problems with Trump – you cite myriads of other people for share your moral condemnation.

        But you rarely if ever identify specific moral misconduct.

        I beleive you do not cite conduct because:

        There is little actual misconduct.
        Much of what there is, is tame in comparison to prior presidents like Obama.

        BTW Trump can not “rot the moral fiber of the nation”.

        One way or another Trump is a symptom not a cause.

        Political lying started hundreds of years before Trump, and by no measure in the world is he especially noteworthy. In fact it is trivial to argue that compared to political norms Trump’s exagerations and misrepresentations, and broken promises are small. Possibly the least of any president ever.

        He is easing us out of miltiary entanglements – FIGHTING arround the world.
        Is he doing it fast enough for me – no. Is he doing expanding our entanglements – like each of the past 4 presidents ? No.

        What is the moral failure you are so upset about ?

        Is he getting blow jobs from interns in the oval office ?

        Has he sicced the IRS on political enemies ?

        Has he lied about terrorist attacks to win an election ?

        Has he lied about Weapons of mass destruction to start a war ?

        BTW, I have consistently said that the claims that Assad was using Chemcial weapons were suspicious and possibly fraudulent – and now reports are coming out that the chemical weapons attacks were frauds.

        Obama used those as justification for getting the US involved in Syria – the shift to attacking ISIS was AFTER. Trump unfortunately used chemical weapons attacks to justify bombing Assad.

        You want to hold Trump morally culpable for that – fine, but you must place even more responsibility on Obama.

        In fact there are very few moral judgements you can make of Trump that do not by the same standards even more deeply damn Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush.

        I would love a president whose moral standards were higher than Trumps.

        But there is absolutely ZERO reason to beleive that is ANY democrat – or even any of the other GOP 2016 contenders.

        It Certainly was not any of the past 4 presidents.

        Tell me which of the Democrats or Republicans is the next Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan ?

        You want to sell me Biden ?

        Trump and his family got rich in the free market. They did so by making people happy.

        It is entirely possible that they had to suck off alot of politicians to do so.

        Biden and his family have gotten rich by getting paid to have others suck them off – they have profited from government service.

        And you want to sell my Biden as virtuous ?

        If Trump and family had to grease 10,000 politicians palms that would never be nearly as bad as one politician ONCE selling the public trust for personal gain.

        But you have this problem all over – in your nonsensical world – people who contribute to politicians or pay for political voices – they are criminals. But those who sell out the public trust – they would be virtuous – but for the evil greedy businesses trying to buy their influence.

        If you want to remove corruption from government – Start (and end) with government.

        George Papadulis was a private citizen. He did not asked to be sucked into this votrex, He did not ask to be threatened and anally probed by Mueller, Even Mueller found that he did nothing wrong beyond getting confused in his statements to FBI interogators.

        But Clinton, Comey, Clapper all lied under oath to congress. Clinton ACTUALLY compromised national sucurity big time – the Chinese read her classified exchanges as Sec. State in real time. Obama, Rice, Powers LIED publicly – and lied about an acto fo terrorism an the murder of a US ambassador to win an election.

        Yet, page was convicted of a crime – page went to jail ?

        I have less problems with that Cohen did than Any of the above.
        Cohen is a sleazy lawyer and Trump’s use of him does leave one to question his judgement.

        But Cohen did not SELL or betray the public Trust – and for all your ranting Trump has not either. But all those (and many more) that I mentioned did.

        I think that an FBI leader who falsely hounds and innocent person, and loses multiple large false prosecution lawsuits should be fired – Mueller did that atleast 3 times – yet he is your hero ? This is your idea of public morality ?

        I do not give a crap whether a public servant is left right politically motivated, or they are driven by personal agrandizement. Abuse of power need not be ideological.

        I have no idea what the Horowitz report will say – but we already know that lost of people in the DOJ/FBI LIED UNDER OATH to the FISA court.

        I have MAJOR moral problems with that – I have yet to hear you admit there was anything wrong there.

        So in your world view – Trump seeking an investigation of someone who has publicly confesssed to extorting a foreign government for personal gain – that you have a problem with ? Investigating the actual crooks you have a problem with ?
        But lying under oath to go after the innocent – that is OK by you ?

        I am very very glad I do not share your moral standards.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 9:00 am

        Radley Balko’s “the rise of the warrior cop” is a long and damning indictment of federal aide and interference in policing. Never has so much money been spent for so long by both parties to make things worse

    • dhlii permalink
      December 1, 2019 8:56 am

      Yep, he stopped by Mar-A-Lago for a round of golf on the way home from spending thanksgiving with the troops in afghanistan.

      • Jay permalink
        December 1, 2019 10:29 am

        Yup, he flew far further to get to Florida from Afghanistan to stay at his own property at taxpayer expense. He then has to fly an additional 1,200 miles from Key West to D.C. at substantial additional cost for AirForce one and other planes and personnel needed for security.

        Glad to hear you’re in favor of burning tax dollars to line the pocket of your alter-ego.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 11:59 am

        Imagine how much it would have cost if he had flown from afghanistan to Chicago or Hawaii.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 12:02 pm

        I will be happy to agree to reduce the presidential security detail anytime.

      • December 1, 2019 12:19 pm

        Do it and Trump will be taken care of like JFK by the alphabet agencies will within 24 hours .

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 5:27 pm

        My greatest fear is that the left will turn to political violence.

        That threatens to escalate the current conflict to levels that mirror the 60s.

        But thus far despite the idiocy of Antifa, we are not facing 100 bombings a year, We are not facing assassinations or assasination attemplts each year, we are not facing riots. And real violent mass protests.

        Despite the ratcheted levels of rhetoric, we have remarkably low levels of violence.

        The only consequential “political violence” today in the US comes from people with mental health issues, whose manifesto’s read as a cross between David Dukes and Karl Marx.

        Further no secret service detail can protect the president against a committed organized effort, or a skilled real assassin.

        The secret service does a shitty job of protecting the president out to 1/4-1/2 mile
        There are a handful of people in the world who can kill you from 2miles away, and halve that and the numbers go up e3xponentially.

        BTW I am not criticising the secret service – it is just impossible to cover a moving radius 1/2 mile from the president. And the problem increases exponentially with distance.

      • December 1, 2019 10:20 pm

        best he be at a golf resort much farther from a attacker than NYC where there are hundreds of points to hide.

      • Jay permalink
        December 1, 2019 12:06 pm

        Points Of Fact.

        During the Bill Clinton Impeachment hullabaloos Clinton hired D.C. lawyer, Emmet T. Flood, to represent him. Trump has hired Emmet T. Flood to represent him.

        Clinton consulted with strategist Mark Penn, who told the president to travel frequently, and focus on photo ops to make him look hard working to the public. Trump likewise has been consulting with Mark Penn. Voila – Trump is on a photo-op binge to make him seem presidential. At a rally in Sunrise, Florida last Tuesday night he told the crowd “I’m working my ass off,” With head shaking conviction.

        Here’s his Wednesday ass working schedule, via ConservativeDailyNews.com

        President Trump’s Itinerary for 11/27/19 – All Times EST
        No public events
        9:47 AM Depart Mar-a-Lago – Motorcade
        9:55 AM Arrive Trump International Golf Club – West Palm Beach
        3:06 PM Depart Trump International Golf Club – Motorcade
        3:16 PM Arrive Mar-a-Lago – West Palm Beach
        White House Briefing Schedule
        None.

        6 hours at his golf club.
        Whew— he must have worked off a lot of extra buttocks flesh for the people during that span!

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 2:17 pm

        Facts:

        Clinton beat an impeachment that should have been a slam dunk.

        Clinton lied under oath – repeatedly
        Subborn perjury,
        and obstructed justice.

        There is not any question about any of these claims.

        The ONLY thing Clinton had going for him was that none of his misconduct involved acts as president.

        BTW technically neither did Nixon’s. Nixon used BB Rebozo to find donors willing to pay the Watergate Burglars legal fees.

        So why is it that you think that Trump should not bring in people who know what they are doing with a proven record of success in a much more clear cut situation ?

        BTW of course Trump is going to do most everything possible to show as much in the way of high profile successes.

        This is a major part of why your “motives” narative is nonsense.

        Human action is driven by many factors. It is rarely clear and almost never driven by a single factor.

        Did Trump want Biden investigated to weaken a politicak rival – sure.
        Did he also want Democrats engaged in 2016 medlling with Ukraine exposed in the lead up of the 2020 election – sure.
        Did he want to pressure Ukraine to seek aide from the EU – sure.
        Was he not altogether happy about aiding Ukraine period – sure.
        Was Ukraine pretty much NOT part of his presidential goals and agenda – sure

        There are a plethora of reasons for Trump’s actions.

        Unless the act itself is a crime, the motives do not matter.

        We do not arrest people for driving 55 in the left lane on of the highway because they wish to piss off other drivers.

        A bad motive does not make an otherwise legitimate act into a crime.

        The relevant question ALWAYS has been “did Trump have sufficient basis to request these investigations” the standard is reasonable suspicion. Trump easily met that standard.

        That is also the standard for the actions of McCabe, Comey, Strzok….

        We have ample evidence that they acted with bad political motives.

        That is NOT the key question.
        The key question is whether they had probable cause as needed to request a warrant.

        The lying the covering up, the forgery and modification of evidence, the hiding of information from the FISA court are all evidence that they did not, AND they KNEW they did not.

        And that is when proceding becomes abuse of power.

      • Jay permalink
        December 1, 2019 3:03 pm

        If you think lying about a blow job is more serious than Trump’s many egregious impeachable insults to the nation once again you’re farting in the wind.

        Keep up the flatulent faux emissions. They odoriferously warn : “Trumpanzee approaching.”

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 5:30 pm

        I think lying under oath about anything is ALWAYS incredibly serious.

        I still have not heard you identify a crime.

        Everyone understands that Trump offends you.

        That is not a crime, offending you is a virtue.

      • Jay permalink
        December 1, 2019 8:08 pm

        Serious crimes trump has committed:

        Obstruction of Justice. He fired Comey to obstruct that investigation. And he admitted that In the Lester Holt interview he said he fired Comey because he thought the Russia investigation into his own behavior was a hoax. “I was going to fire Comey… And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.” That was after Trump tried to get Comey to “go easy” on Flynn – also obstruction.

        Numerous violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause – too many to list.

        The Trump–Ukraine scandal, in which he personally tried to strong-arm a foreign government to dig up dirt to smear a political opponent.

        Through ineptitude and sloppy security practices Trump disclosed classified information to Russian government representatives, by repeatedly mishandling classified intelligence. The classified info that Trump has spilled, intentionally and inadvertently, are far more damaging then any alleged security leaks from Hillary’s home server emails. Some of Trumps security lapses Have been so damaging that intelligence sources quoted in media accounts have stated they threatened the long term national security of the country and violated Trumps oath of office through “gross negligence”. Impeachable!

        And as you seem to have conveniently forgotten/ignored, impeachment doesn’t require an actual criminal violation of a federal or state criminal statute. Impeachable offenses include ineptitude, and lack of moral turpitude – or to state it in more contemporary language: a president can be impeached for being a noxious asshole, demeaning the office, destroying trust in its vital institutions – and for being a noxious divisive shithead.

        He fits those characteristics as snugly as fat feet in tight slippers.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 10:32 pm

        “Obstruction of Justice. He fired Comey to obstruct that investigation. And he admitted that In the Lester Holt interview he said he fired Comey because he thought the Russia investigation into his own behavior was a hoax. “I was going to fire Comey… And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.” That was after Trump tried to get Comey to “go easy” on Flynn – also obstruction.”

        If you can legitimately do something – then having multiple motives or a motive you do not like does not convert an otherwise legal act into a crime.

        Further we now know – and Trump knew at the time that Comey was trying to entrap him, and had tried to black mail him – and BTW we now have comey’s emails.

        You can not obstruct injustive, you can not obstruct the acts of a criminal.

        Once again I do not trust you as a source – but lets say that Trump said to Holt what you claim. That too would NOT be obstruction – even by your bizarre definition.
        Firing Comey because Comey was chasing a hoax – i.e. NOT DOING HIS JOB is a perfectly good reason to fire Comey.

        Further – what you say he told Holt is correct – it is a hoax, it is a made up story.

        Pitt Bull Mueller spent 2 years trying to prove otherwise and failed completely.

        No It is not obstruction to Tell Comey to go easy on Flynn – any more than it was Obstruction for Obama to announce to the world that Clinton was innocent when the email investigation had barely started.

        It would not even be obstruction for Trump to order Comey to not prosecute Flynn.
        Or for Trump to Order Wray to investigate Biden – so long as there is reasonable suspicion to do so.

        This is not Berria’s USSR – “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime”.

        Trump can fire the FBI director for NO REASON.

        BTW Trump could also have fired Mueller. It would have created a firestorm, but it would not be a crime. He could also Pardon Flynn or Pardon himself.

        “Numerous violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause – too many to list.”

        The courts have already tossed all your ludicrous emoluments claims.

        “The Trump–Ukraine scandal, in which he personally tried to strong-arm a foreign government to dig up dirt to smear a political opponent.”

        Spin is not the same as fact – in the most egregious possible version – which is NOT supported by the evidence Trump “strong Armed” a foreign leader to investigate a credible allegation of corruption involving a political rival.

        You can impeach for that – you can impeach for anything. But it is not a crime, It is a perfectly legitimate excercise of presidential power.

        What if Biden had shot and Killed Shokin infront of witnesses ? When does your ludicrously stupid argument that seeking to investigate a political opponent is a crime collapse ?

        The actual answer is when there is “reasonable suspicion”.

        And there clearly is.

        As to actual obstruction – arguably the WB complaint and Schiff’s faux impeachment are ACTUAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. They are a clear effort to derail any investigation into the self evident bad conduct that took place involving americans and the Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.

        The WB is near certain involved in that misconduct, he could easily be a target of the investigation. The WB does not have any constitutional authority with respect to investigations – therefor trying to derail one is “obstruction of Justice” – and much closer to black letter obstruction that your faux arguments.

        “Through ineptitude and sloppy security practices Trump disclosed classified information to Russian government representatives, by repeatedly mishandling classified intelligence. The classified info that Trump has spilled, intentionally and inadvertently, are far more damaging then any alleged security leaks from Hillary’s home server emails. Some of Trumps security lapses Have been so damaging that intelligence sources quoted in media accounts have stated they threatened the long term national security of the country and violated Trumps oath of office through “gross negligence”. Impeachable!”

        Absolutely impeachable – because Congress can impeach for tiddly winks if they want.
        But not a crime.

        The 2016 election was quite interesting – as President of the united states is the only federal job that Hillary is now able to take. There is no possibility on the planet that she could get a security clearance, but the president does not have one or need one. He is by definition cleared for everything, and empowered to release anything to anyone for any reason.

        BTW it is quite common for presidents to provide classified information to foreign adversaries or rivals.

        Regardless, the major “security lapses” in the Trump white house – are the very intelligence sources quoted in the media. The Flynn Transcript was leaked to the media very early in the Trump administration. Any intercepts of foriegn ambassadors – and particulary russians are incredibly highly classifed. Obama sent someone to jail for leaking information about policy about south korea that never should have been classified in the first place – this was far worse.

        Regardless, Congress is free to impeach the president based on their judgement of his handling of national security issues, but you have no crime.
        And no – nothing Trump has provided to the Russians is near as damaging as Clinton’s leaks.
        In fact nothing Trump provided to the Russians was damaging at all.
        It was the leak that was damaging – and that fault lies with the leaker.

        Trump provided information to the Russians regarding terrorists, that he got from the Israeli’s.
        Making that public – caused harm to Our relationship with Israel and gave a heads up to the target making the information worthless. The leaker committed a CLEAR Crime.
        Trump did not.

        “And as you seem to have conveniently forgotten/ignored, impeachment doesn’t require an actual criminal violation of a federal or state criminal statute. Impeachable offenses include ineptitude, and lack of moral turpitude – or to state it in more contemporary language: a president can be impeached for being a noxious asshole, demeaning the office, destroying trust in its vital institutions – and for being a noxious divisive shithead.”

        I did not ask you if Trump can be impeached. I asked you what evidence you had of a crime.
        So far you have produced NADA. Not only do I say so – but so has Mueller and his angry democratic pitt bulls, and So has Barr.

        “He fits those characteristics as snugly as fat feet in tight slippers.”

        The house can impeach for any reason they wish.
        But there are several checks on house impeachment:

        The hope that some democrats will return to sanity.

        Absolutely the House can impeach over horse shoes.
        But it would be both bad precident and likely have horrid consequences for them to do so.

        Voters and particularly independents have turned on them. Schiff’s faux impeachment hearings have caused a 13pt shift in independents in a few weeks.
        Further Trump is now polling ahead of most potential democrats in swings states – that is WAY early for that to happen. Anything is possible in the next year, but the likelyhood is that Trump strengthens relative to democrats rather than weakens.

        Another check is the Senate. I beleive Graham or McConnell have already announced that any senate trial will be conducted according to the federal rules of evidence – Hearsay will not be admissible. Almost nothing testified to thus far would get admitted.

        No actual court cares what a witness thinks someone else’s intentions are. Or what you heard from others. Evidence is what you have observed in the real world first hand.

        Conversely Trump will get to call witnesses, He is itching to call Biden, Hunter, and Schiff.

        I do not think that is going to happen – because I do not think House democrats are bringing this to a vote. It was stupid to start this.

        But you have made your bed, now you must lie in it.

        Could I be wrong about everything – possibly.

        But given the past 3 years – the odds much more heavily favor me than you.

        The left and the media has promised trump’s imminent demise any moment now.
        And yet they failed. They have promised compelling evidence – and failed to deliver.
        Conversely most everything Trump has claimed has proven True.

        Maybe tomorow we will wake up to video of Trump in bed with a 13 year old.
        Oops no, that would be Bill Clinton.

        But short of something from out of nowhere – a successfull hail mary by democrats – your failing. That will make Trump stronger and democrats weaker.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 1, 2019 4:31 pm

        John Maynard Keynes suggested that government could end the depression by employing workers to dig holes and others to fill them in again.

        Keynes suggestion makes the same error your remarks do – confusing labor with the creation of value.

        Reagan famously vacationed and relaxed more than any president, and yet the economy boomed.

        It is not how much time you spend working.
        It is what you accomplish of value that matters.

        I do not care how much time Trump plays golf.
        I did not care how much Time Obama played basketball.

        I care what they accomplished.

        I do not care about Trump’s latest inflamatory tweet.
        Nor BTW does most of the sane portion of the country.

        Those of us with actual triple digit IQ’s care about rising standard of living for all.

        I do not even care about unemployment and labor force participation – except that those normally coincide with rising standard of living.

        Ultimately all production is for humans and all consumption by humans.

        It does not matter whether humans produce what we consume – only that we have what we need and want.

      • December 1, 2019 9:45 pm

        Dave “John Maynard Keynes suggested that government could end the depression by employing workers to dig holes and others to fill them in again.”

        Good lord, if that was proposed today Queen Nancy would run him out of town tarred and feathered. How dare you require someone to work for government support!

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2019 2:00 pm

        Keynes was not proposing that you work for aide.
        He was proposing that government can fix a broken economy by putting people to work – even if it is doing something useless.

        Despite being one of the more brilliant economists of the 20th century this was an incredibly stupid suggestion that missed the FUNDIMENTAL fact that the health of the economy is based on what is PRODUCED – not how much labor is expended.

      • December 2, 2019 2:26 pm

        Dave, once again you miss my point. In the 30’s he said to help people out of poverty, pay them for digging holes and pay someone for filling in those same holes. Was there a liberal outcry about that?

        Today if someone is out of work due to economic dowturns, all hell would break out if you proposed a useless low paying job for someone with a better education. Today, they propose better unemployment benefits, extending them by many months and dont require some to take a lessor menial job.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 2, 2019 5:00 pm

        Keynes, digging and filling holes claim was MY argument.
        I kind of get to decide what the point of my own arguments is.
        And that point was that if you do not produce something of value, labor has no value.

        I do not disagree with YOUR point. I do not “miss” it, it is just tangential to my argument.

        I am not disagreeing with what you said.

  32. Jay permalink
    November 30, 2019 7:49 pm

    Here’s a thoughtful plan to improve Trumpster temperament.
    Donnie has a lot of time on his hands it seems.
    Maybe he should spend some time on his back too..

    https://nypost.com/2019/11/26/perineum-sunning-is-latest-insanity-wellness-influencers-swear-by/?utm_source=email_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

  33. dhlii permalink
    December 1, 2019 8:54 am

    Here is a McRaven editorial from 2016 – i.e. BEFORE Trump was president.

    McRaven takes no prisoners in attacking Congress, and political whistleblowers
    and the Obama administration.

    If you are going to take McRaven as gospel – you have to take the whole McRaven, not only the parts you like

    When I was a young boy my father, a veteran of World War II and Korea, schooled me on the downfall of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, he explained, had overstepped his authority and shown blatant disrespect for the civilian leadership of the country. President Harry Truman relieved him of his command, and MacArthur retired soon thereafter.

    Civilian rule of the military was one of the most fundamental principles of the armed forces. To believe differently was dangerous, my father told me. Dad strongly supported Truman’s action, and he made me understand the value of the civil-military relationship — a lesson I never forgot.

    But over the past decade I have seen a disturbing trend in how politicians abuse and denigrate military leadership, particularly the officer corps, to advance their political agendas. Although this is certainly not a new phenomenon, it seems to be growing in intensity. My concern is that if this trend of disrespect to the military continues it will undermine the strength of the officer corps to the point where good men and women will forgo service — or worse the ones serving will be reluctant to make hard decision for fear their actions, however justified, will be used against them in the political arena.

    Take the recent case of Rear Adm. Brian Losey.

    Adm. Losey is the commander of all Naval Special Warfare forces — the SEALs and Special Boat sailors. I have known Losey for more than 30 years. He is without a doubt one of the finest officers with whom I have ever served. Over the past 15 years no officer I know in the SEAL Teams has given more to this country than Brian. None. As a young officer he was constantly deployed away from his family. After 9/11, he was sent to Afghanistan in the early days to help fight the Taliban. From there, Losey participated in the final march to Baghdad and then stayed in country as a SEAL Task Unit Commander. Afterward he served as the deputy and then the commanding officer of SEAL Team Six during more tough fighting in Afghanistan.
    Later he was posted to the White House in the Office of Combating Terrorism. He made rear admiral in 2009 while at the White House. He was subsequently sent back overseas to Djibouti, Africa, to do a 15-month month isolated tour as the commander of all U.S. forces in the Horn of Africa. As a result of that successful tour, he was given command of Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA).

    SOCAFRICA was a relatively new command, which had been established to address the growing threat in North Africa. Located in the beautiful Swabian city of Stuttgart, Germany, it was initially staffed with military and civilian personnel from another nearby special operations unit. Although most of the men and women were incredibly capable, hard-working staffers, there was a small core who had been living in Europe for years enjoying the comfortable lifestyle in Stuttgart.

    Upon Losey’s arrival in Germany, the situation in North Africa changed dramatically, and the fledgling SOCAFRICA had to quickly get on wartime footing. Brian Losey did just that.

    Losey is a no-nonsense officer who knows what it takes to get results. Combat is hard. Lives are at stake. Being genteel and considerate of everyone’s feelings are not the qualities that will engender success. But although Losey can be a tough taskmaster, he is a “by-the-book” officer. Unfortunately for Losey, along the way to strengthening the command there were those who fought the change and through a series of whistleblower complaints sought to seek his removal.

    At the time, I was the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa. I worked with Gen. Carter Ham, who commanded U.S. Africa Command and had operational control of Adm. Losey, to investigate the complaints.

    The investigation we initiated determined that Losey’s leadership style, while brusque and demanding, did not warrant his removal. The Navy subsequently recommended Losey for two stars, and he was confirmed by the Senate in December 2011.

    Although the Navy inspector general absolved Losey of any wrongdoing, his promotion was put on hold pending DOD inspector general resolution of the complaints. Nevertheless, the secretary of the Navy agreed to reassign Adm. Losey to the premier job in Naval Special Warfare — command of all the SEALs.

    During the past three years as commander of Naval Special Warfare Command (WARCOM), his staff has consistently ranked WARCOM to be one of the best places to work in the Navy. He has passed all Navy IG inspections with flying colors, and the retention statics for his young officers and enlisted is exceptional.

    However, in the course of those three years, the whistleblowers from Stuttgart continued to pursue Losey’s removal and resignation, routinely submitting new complaints to prolong the process and hold up his promotion.

    A series of DOD inspector general investigations were reviewed by the Navy leadership and, once again, Adm. Losey was found not to have violated any law, rule or policy. In fact, it was clear to the Navy that the personnel action taken by Losey against the complainants was not reprisal. He was recommended again for promotion to two stars.

    Despite the Navy’s multiple endorsements, certain members of Congress chose to use Losey’s case to pursue their own political agenda. They held hostage other Navy nominations until Losey’s promotion recommendation was rescinded. The ransom for their congressional support was Brian Losey’s career and, more importantly, his stellar reputation.

    They portrayed Losey’s actions as a case of the big guy seeking retribution on the little guy-whistleblower. In fact, it was a case of a few guys fighting to maintain their comfortable life at a time when others were at war and needed their support.

    However, in today’s environment, when a leader challenges a whistleblower, there is an automatic indictment of the leader’s character. Questioning the whistleblower makes you guilty until proven innocent. And it is clear in this case that certain members of Congress didn’t care about Losey’s innocence. Nor did they seem to care that he has sacrificed more for this country than most members on Capitol Hill — or that the emotional strain of this investigation was devastating to his family. It is clear that all these lawmakers cared about was political leverage.

    The case of Brian Losey is a miscarriage of justice. But the greater concern for America is the continued attack on leadership in the military.

    During my past several years in uniform, I watched in disbelief how lawmakers treated the chairman, the service chiefs, the combatant commanders and other senior officers during Congressional testimony. These officers were men of incredible integrity, and yet some lawmakers showed no respect for their decades of service. I saw the DOD Inspector General’s Office frequently act as judge and jury, apparently accountable to no one, dismissing the recommendations of the services and ruining officer’s careers. I watched time and again how political correctness and pressure from Capitol Hill undermined command authority and good order and discipline.

    Although we in the military understand the absolute necessity to serve and respect our civilian leaders — and every good leader understands and appreciates the value of anonymous complaints to ferret out bad leadership — we also need civilians to understand that a strong military, particularly an all-volunteer one, needs the support of our civilian leaders, not the constant refrain of disrespect that seems so common in today’s political narrative.

    Last month, after the decision to rescind Rear Adm. Brian Losey’s promotion recommendation became public, Losey addressed his junior officers. Instead of being angry and bitter over the outcome, Losey had nothing but praise for the Navy and the nation for which he has served so long. He encouraged the young officers not to get discouraged about the ruling against him, but to recognize that this is the greatest military in the world and we are fortunate to be part of it.

    I would echo Losey’s sentiments. But to keep this the greatest military in the world, to preserve the strong civilian-military relations we have so long enjoyed, we must recognize that respect works both ways. Every time an individual lawmaker’s political agenda undermines the integrity of the men and women in the military, we weaken the fabric of the uniform.

    In light of the challenging times in which we find ourselves, politically and strategically, we cannot afford to have a military that loses respect for its civilian leaders. My father was right. The strength of America always rests with our nation’s civilians. God forbid we should ever see it differently.

    Retired Adm. William H. McRaven is former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

  34. dhlii permalink
    December 1, 2019 10:37 pm

    Aparently the IG has released a necescarily opaque but damning report on the FBI’s horrible handling of human sources.

    In otherwords a critique of the stupidity of relying on Christopher Steele for anything..

    The following article only touches on that report.
    Mostly it is just a rehash of how horrible the CIA has been since its inception and how the FBI became infected.

    The fundimental point being – our CIA and FBI might be made of good people.
    But they are NOT for the most part good at their job.

    They have a very long history of being wrong, and that is because politics has replaced competence – not left right politics, but the politics of covering your ass and beleiving your own nonsense.

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/11/28/fbi-diagnosed-with-cia-disease/

  35. December 3, 2019 8:38 am

    Read this article this morning. Made me think of some of the things that Ron has said here (also Jay, but from the opposite viewpoint):

    “That ominous challenge to constitutionalism was on full display with the recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by retired Admiral William McRaven, in which he brashly warned that unless Trump jumped aboard the Forever War bandwagon, he must be removed, and “the sooner the better.” The U.S. must have a policy, McRaven said, that protects “the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny.”

    “How did we get to the point where a former senior military officer calls for the removal of a duly elected president because he doesn’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Rohingyas?”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/welcome-to-the-potemkin-village-of-washington-power/

    • Jay permalink
      December 3, 2019 9:45 am

      How did we get this way?

      By you electing an inept divisive asshole as president.

      A divisive fool like him was bound to destroy national adhearance.

      Look at the fissures he’s already created with his idiotic blustering and constant lies. Look at the depth of criticism of his ineptness, across the board, from bipartisan Americans of high standing.

      These were prophetic words of warning, not only for the GOP but the nation as well, and for those who now have blindly embraced the disruptive cancer:

      • December 3, 2019 10:27 am

        Funny, it strikes me that the Democrat Party leftists are the divisive and inept ones. All they’ve done is pursue baseless and unceasing efforts to impeach Trump, from Day 1 of his administration. And look at their presidential candidates – as Trump would say, “What a bunch of losers!”

        They obviously know that they can’t win in a fair election.

        By the way, did you read the article? Because you did not address any of the points made. It was just your usual “hate-Trump” rant.

      • December 3, 2019 11:27 am

        Priscilla, responded to your post before reading email with Jays response. Right on que, Jay responded as I thought.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 3, 2019 3:13 pm

        It is crystal clear that half of america lives in an alternate universe with alternate facts and an alternate reality.

        If I listened to the left, the democrats the MSM or jay – I would have to be the delusional one.

        As of yet I have heard no evidence that the Russian’s influenced the 2016 election, that the actions they took were consequential or unusual. That any actions they took involved coordination in any way at all with americans.

        But I am repeatedly told that such evidence exists and that I am blind too it.

        I have seen evidence that it is plausible that Russian’s hacked the DNC and released the DNC emails. I have also seen contradictory evidence.

        I am not at this point convinced either way.
        But I am repeatedly told that the same people who told us Richard Jewel bombed the Atlanta Olmbics, and Steven Hatfill sent the anthrax letters, and then that Bruce Ivers did it, and that the Weavers, the Koresches and the Bundy’s were existential threats to the country, that Sadam was building WMD’s and … those people all agree that the Russian hacked the DNC (and out election)

        But I must be delusional – because I am at odds with the unelected elites that have wasted trillions of dollars on endless war. and sacrificed thousands of our children on the false promise they were fighting for freedom.

        I am a conspiracy monger because:
        I have not rushed to buy that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election – when every single attempt to connect Russian to Trump in any way at all has failed miserably.

        Or because I beleive that when the vice president of the united states threatens to withold billions of dollars in foreign aide if that country does not fire the prosecutor investigating corruption involving his son, that there is at the very least a conflict of interests and reasonable suspicion of criminal misconduct that ought to be investigated ?

        I am told these “thought crimes” of mine are not merely wrong – but quite obviously ludicrously wrong – that I must trust the unsupported assessments of institutions that have been historically wrong about everything, and that the very people telling me I must trust them told me I could not trust them not long ago.

        There are at the moment two irreconcilable views of reality. I am not likely to be correct about everything I think is likely to be true, but I am already proveably correct about much of it.

        There is no unverse where the laws of math, physics and logic apply where The purported facts of those at odds with me, can be true.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 3, 2019 1:05 pm

        You are blaming the medicine for the disease.

        The polarization, political bitterness, political name calling, … all started long before Trump.

        One of the reasons for Trump’s resilient political support, is because Trump’s supports are used to the name calling, and lies – by the left, the media, the democrats.

        Many of them do not honestly care if Trump did not dot his eyes or cross his t’s.
        They do not care if Trump might have gone outside the law.

        Why ? Because the left – inside and outside government has been behaving lawlessly for decades.

        The Horowitz report will be out shortly.
        Current rumors are that it is highly damning, but falls short in one area. Horowitz was unwilling to go so far as to conclude that the entire Trump Russia fallacious investigation was unfounded. That Barr is already at that point and beyond and that the conflict over that conclusion and efforts to persuade Horrowitz that the investigation itself – not merely the conduct of the investigation was criminal.

        Regardless, there is zero doubt that the left lawlessly hounds those it opposes.

        We have Lisa Page (Like Strzok) trying to claim that in context there is nothing improper about their texts and emails.
        Where are the reporters demanding that context ? Asking Page and Strzok why 100’s of texts do not constitute context ?
        These are not “low level” members of the FBI – Strzok was the head of Russian Counter intelligence.
        Page is now implicated in the alteration of the FBI 302’s regarding Micheal Flynn, alterations that revised the interviewing agents observations to manufacture a crime.

        All this BTW occured WHILE Trump was president.

        At what point is it that you grasp that Trump was elected by voters to head an executive branch of the US government that had spent the past year investigating an OBVIOUSLY false allegation, and had been illegally spying on him AND continued to do so AFTER he was elected president.

        If Bush has set the FBI and CIA to spy on Candidate Obama and his links to terrorists and the mideast, if the FBI and CIA continued to investigate these AFTER Obama was inaugurated, if the US government leaked lies about Obama to the press while he was president. If Obama had actually tried to keep the campaign promises that he made to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan – instead of getting into multiple new conflicts like Libya and Syria and had the CIA, NSA, State Department and DoD all actively opposing him.

        Where would you be on that ?

        Draining the swamp is difficult. The alligators bit back.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 3, 2019 1:21 pm

        Graham’s prognostication is NOT about Trump’s style. It is not about his purported divisivness, which is merely shorthand for not kowtowing to the left.

        It is about a clear policy difference between Trump and Graham.

        Mattis Graham and McRaven – as well as many others reflect a specific perspective on US foreign policy.

        Trump, Gabbard, Paul, and Cruz reflect a perspective entirely at odds with that.

        Valid US policy must meet three criteria.

        It must be constitutional.
        It must be within the law.
        It must be directed by the elected leaders of the country.

        The US as the world’s policemen policy that has been the mainstay of US foreign policy since WWII may not meet the first criteria. As of 2016 it definitely does not meet the third.

        Trump’s non-intervention without clear US interests being at stake approach meets ALL THREE criteria.

        It is possible that it will prove disasterous – I doubt that, but US voters have chosen that foreign policy repeatedly since the election of Bill Clinton. Every President since the first Bush has run on a policy of ending nation building, getting the US out of foreign entanglements, opposition to the US as the polcemen of the world.

        Every president prior to Trump on getting elected has succumb to the McRaven’s, Mattis’s, Graham’s the “deep state” and capitulated to an interventionist foreign policy.

        Even Trump gave the deep staters one last chance to make their policies work, and they failed and Trump is now tepidly doing what WE elected him to do.

        Trump’s based stands behind him – because his enemies – YOU have been thwarting them for decades. Because finally they have someone who tries to keep his promises. Who represents them – not the elites that have been sending them and their children off to die in far off countries for centuries.

        Not that long ago the LEFT in the US was ranting and rioting to get the policies that Trump is actually attempting.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 3, 2019 1:37 pm

        Trump is leading to radical changes within the GOP – as well as the DNC.

        Immigration issues did not used to break on party lines – now they do.
        Trade issues did not used to break on party lines – now they do.

        Republicans remain the party of strong defense, but Neo-Cons are self purging from the party. democrats are fast becoming the party of endless war of interventionism or the US as a global policeman. While the GOP is becoming the anti-war party. the non-interventionist party.

        Democrats are becoming the party of the elites, Republicans of the common man.

        Democrats are becoming ever more globalist and socialist.
        Republicans more nationalist.

        We are in the midst of a very large political re-alignment.

        Major parts of that alignment appear to have been inevitable.
        Almost every republic in 2016 ran on very nearly the platform Trump did. Trump was successful because he more clearly articulated and more openly courted that re-alignment.

        I am at odds with parts of Trump’s platform. But it is unreasonable to expect that many of us would be completely behind all of the platform of an political party.

        Graham is going to have to choose between his prefered foreign policy and the rest of Trump’s polices.

        All of us have to make similar choices.

        Your virulent opposition to Trump has by your own choice, whether you like that or not, driven you to own policies you previously opposed and to oppose policies that you previously supported.

        The media, the left, democrats and YOU Jay have made it clear that:

        ANYTHING Trump supports you oppose – no matter what.

        You have made yourself the war party, the globalist party, the socialist party, oddly the free trade party. the elitist party. the open borders party the anarchist party, and the by any means necescary party.

        It should not surprise you that much of the country takes YOU realignment seriously.
        And with great concern, and therefore is supporting Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2019 6:39 pm

        “ driven you to own policies you previously opposed and to oppose policies that you previously supported.”

        Name them…

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:42 am

        “Name them…”

        Name absolutely anything that Trump has done that you actually have supported ?

        Many of the things Trump has done – Obama did too.
        Yet I heard no complaint from you.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2019 7:11 pm

        “ANYTHING Trump supports you oppose – no matter what.”

        Nonsense.

        For policy I oppose his excesses.

        Immigration for instance: as I stated before, frequently: less South American immigration, but not family separation, not an idiotic wall that will prove useless.

        Trump has a Midas Touch; except everything he touches turns to shit.

        How did those tariffs work out? China is unmoved. And isn’t paying farmers to placate them for lost sales – Socialism at work?

        How did his kissy-face with Kim work out? Ask Japan.

        How much did manufacturing production output in the US increase after Trump’s promise to increase it? It’s down.

        How did that Taliban is Dead assertion work out, now that Trump is trying to reopen negotiations with them?

        Trump, the present GOP, Trump apologists like you – are a menace to liberty in America. Let’s hope you don’t prevail in its destruction.

      • December 3, 2019 8:47 pm

        Jay “How did those tariffs work out? China is unmoved. And isn’t paying farmers to placate them for lost sales – Socialism at work?”

        Jay, you might want to listen to Jim Cramer, Mad Money, CNBC. Not a far right Trumpansee. CNBC not far right network. Tonight he was addressing the markets bein down. Trade issues was one of them. He commented the Chinese have been waiting for Trump to blink since they thought he would want a “win” to offset impeachment news. However, the Chinese leadership is now very nervous because of unrest in their country and the impact that has cut their GDP growth by 1/2 .They also see candidates like Sanders who have opposed trade deals that resulted in billions for companies like Apple.

        Please stop looking at the short term pain and look at the long term like the Chinese. They have a sweetheart deal and it will take more time to make trade with them fair.

        (Dave, keep silent! We know you position on my ” fair” thoughts!)

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:35 am

        Trump has gigantic balls.

        Since being elected I have only a few instance where he appeared to Blink.

        He appeared to blink over the shutdown.
        And I think he should have held out.
        But he did not actually blink because he quickly found another way that Pelosi could do nothing about to get what he wanted – the Wall.

        He appeared to Blink with Iran. But ultimately I agree the right choice was NOT massive retaliation over a drone.

        There are further complexities – as Scott Adams noted – Trump’s negotiating style is chaotic and brutal. He kicks you in the teeth and then flatters the crap out of you.
        He appears unpredicatable – except he pretty much always gets what he wants and that means he is TACTICALLY unpredictable – not strategically – the Wall is a perfect example.
        He backed down on the Shutdown. For a few minutes he appeared to have given Pelosi a huge political win. Then he get the money another way.
        Based on his strategy – he won, he got what he wanted.
        He lost the shutdown, but he got the wall.
        His objective was not to win the shutdown.
        It was not to defeat Pelosi.
        It was to get the wall.

        Next Trump almost always makes his ask significantly greater than he actually wants.
        That allows him to “compromise” and get everything he wants.

        I really really hate his “style”.

        It is nerve wracking and chaotic.
        I suspect the Stock Market would be 5000 pts higher on the same economy we have now but for the chaos that is Trump.

        But I can bemoan is chaotic style, he still gets things accomplished.

        I would compare him a bit to Churchill.
        Churchill was NOT liked by the elites,
        but he was liked by the common people.
        (during the war).

        He was a huge gambler. He was disconcerting and chaotic.
        And throughout WWII he lost big gambles – ALOT.
        But strategically he ALWAYS won.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:57 am

        Ignoring the “fair” issue. I otherwise agree with you.

        Trump is in the catbird seat.
        He has Xi by the balls and knows it.
        Further from day one as president he has NEVER taken a short term win, when it would be good for him politically, if he thought he could do better by holding out.

        We keep getting told over and over that the walls are closing in that Trump is getting desparate.

        Absolutely he periodically tweets or says something stupid.
        But he keeps moving. He does not circle the wagons,
        he does not assume defeat.

        There is no evidence he gives a Schiff about impeachment.
        Sometimes he appears to revel in it.

        Watch him deal with the press – he is having fun. They are not.
        Watch him at his rallies. Again he is having fun.

        In negotiations – he is having fun.

        At NATO he pissed all over France and Macron.
        He pissed on him when they got together.
        And then he said that he and Macron were doing fine.
        That minor disagreements would not impede working together.

        insults, flattery, chaos – Trump.

        With respect to China (and the world).

        The US economy is taking a hit from this “trade war”.
        The global economy is taking a bigger hit,
        And China is taking the biggest hit.

        Further the damage to China is LONG TERM.
        The Damage to the US is temporary.

        The US entered this fight in a very strong position.

        The whole China things should be a lesson about Trump.

        Trump could have left China alone – or negotiated whatever deal he could get, declared victory and gone home.

        It would have helped him with impeachment.
        Had he left China alone the economy might be 1/2% stronger right now and he would be a shoe in for re-election.

        The easy decision would be to take an easy win with Xi, or to leave China alone.

        And this is true most everywhere else.
        Trump could have gotten a crappy deal with Kim long ago.
        Any deal with NK will help him politically.
        Any deal with Xi will help him politically.

        Trump did not take the easy deal.
        He plays the long game.
        And he wins.

        I am expecting 2020 to be disasterous for democrats.

        I think faux impeachment slightly disrupted his plans.

        But I think it has screwed over democrats.

        Not only has Trumps base held, it has grown, and it is energized.
        And it is going to stay that way.

        Further Trump is going to be campaigning – not just against Democrats, but “the deep state” and he is going to make the deep state an albatros arround democrats neck.

        These hearings were a disaster for Democrats and a windfall for Trump.

        From the WB to Yavonovitch to Kent, to Taylor, to Vindman,

        This giant collection of elitest wimps have come out of the woodwork as his enemies.
        They did not come off well whatever the democrats think.

        How do you think a Trump supporter who wants us out of endless wars took a bunch of elites telling us all they knew better than the candidate that Trump voters elected.

        2018 and the failure of Mueller left Trump voters with the perception that the FBI and parts of DOJ were out to get their candidate.
        Now State, CIA and DoD can be added to the list.

        It is irrelevant whether democrats saw this people as heros.
        Trump voters – and way too many independents saw these people as insubordinate and bordering on treasonous.

        That is really good for Trump in 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:49 am

        Actually you have not said any of this “frequently”.

        I can not recall you saying any of it ever.

        We all do not like family separation – so change the law.

        As the law stands now – if an illegal immigrant is caught within 100m of the border, they can be charged with crossing illegally, detained 30-90 days for a hearing and returned to their country of origen.

        That started LONG before Trump. I beleive with Clinton.

        Over Time illegal immigrants learned that if they cross with their families – they would not be detained – they would be released and it would take 18-24 months to deport them – or even longer.

        Obama actually started “family separation” Because you can only detain and deport immediately if you charge them with a crime, and you can not hold children in “jails”.

        Obama abandaoned that as a result of public outcry, and illegal immigrants crossing with families spiked and remained very high until just recently.

        Trump vigorously arresting and as necescary holding illegals for 30-90 days – even if that required separating families has resulted in a 500% drop in illegal immigration.

        Incentives matter.

        If you do not like the law – change it.

        This is trivial – allow detaining immigrants for deportation without separating families.
        Congress can do that trivially.
        Trump can not change the law.

        You are blaming the wrong person.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:52 am

        I asked you for evidence that you did not knee jerk oppose anything Trump does.
        Ranting about Tarrifs is not evidence that you give careful thought rather than just knee jerk.

        I oppose Trump’s tarriff’s

        But I am not so blind to the facts as you are.

        The damage though real is small.

        Maybe China will not deal.
        But I predict otherwise.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:59 am

        From 4Q 2016 to late 2018 US MFG output rose 6%. It has subsequently dropped by 4%.
        It is predicted to rise 1.5% in 4Q2019. That prediction is pretty solid as US MFG PMI rose significantly in 3Q2019

        Regardless it is higher than when Trump was elected.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:01 am

        Did Obama accomplish anything with NK ? Did he Try ? Bush ?

        We shall see whether Trump succeeds. I suspect he will. But even if he does not.
        I actually support trying.

        Did Obama get anywhere in Afghanistan ?

        One way or another I think Trump is leaving.
        I would just leave.
        The afghans can figure out how to deal with the Taliban.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:06 am

        I was for getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria – before Trump ran.
        So was Rand Paul, So was Garry Johnson, So was Ted Cruz,
        So were most republicans.

        I am disappointed that it is taking Trump so long.

        On this issue I am with Tulsi Gabbard – we have no business fighting in the mideast.
        Though I would fall short of calling Trump a war monger yet,

        I was and am opposed to tarrifs, But I am not so stupid as to pretend that are the end of the world. They are not. The deals Trump has cut are not as good as he claims but better than Obama did.

        I have repeatedly called Trump a C+ president.

        Everything he touches does NOT turn to gold.
        Nor does it turn to shit.

        Most everything Obama and Bush touched turned to shit – or atleast to dirt.

    • December 3, 2019 11:23 am

      People need to read this from a “neutral” position on presidents, but once he entered “Trump”, that threw up red flags for those like Jay and they wont read the subject matter, they will attack Trump. To be a better article that everyone would read with an open mind, when he entered “Trump” it should have included ” and John Kennedy”. Both resisted the security agencies.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 3, 2019 12:45 pm

      Since the 60’s the left has demanded a president that would stand up to the CIA, NSA, DOD, Intelligence Community and not drag the US into foreign conflicts over ludicrously stupid claims of US interests.

      We finally have a president who is doing so – albeit only tepidly, and the left wants him impeached and is demanding and getting the assistance of the those inside of government that it has claimed to oppose to do so.

      What has been crystal clear from the start of this “faux impeachment” is that Trump has since his election faced tremendous internal opposition.

      Nikki Halley says that Tillerson and Kelley sought her help in organizing the resistance inside the administration. She told them that if they dis-agreed with Trump to do so to his face and openly not behind his back and that if they could not work that disagreement out they had to resign.

      There are rumblings that while the Horowitz report will be incredibly critical of the FBI, that Horowitz refused to go so far as to fund the Trump Russia investigation unfounded. That Horowitz is completely at odds with Barr over that and that efforts to get Horowitz to face the facts are what has delayed the report so long. And that Horowitz’s failure to do so is part of the impetus for the Durham investigation.

      I do not know whether the Russia Collusion investigation was entirely unfounded – “reasonable suspicion” is an incredibly low bar.

      Further the “spying” on the Trump campaign violated laws passed as a consequence of the Church commission. And the FBI spying on various churches and antiwar organizations.

      That law prohibited the all US government agencies from Spying on US persons inside or outside of the country – Except by the FBI. It further required that if the FBI spied on a US person as part of an organization that the leadership of that organization must be informed.

      There are provisions to do so without notification, but they require findings by the president and the Attorney General.

      It is self evident just from what has been made public that the Trump campaign – NOT RUSSIA was the target of the FBI investigation from the begining.

      There remains a great deal of fog regarding sources of information implicating links between Russia and the Trump campaign – these may be cleared up by the Horowitz report.

      Brennan has stated repeatedly that he (illegally) received information from foreign intelligence sources tying Russia and the Trump campaign. We have not see credible evidence that is true. Yet, the purported IC community report (which we now know was the product of Brennan and a few others, not the IC Community, and that even the FBI” did not fully accept it) asserts sources other than the Steele Dossier.

      Nunes investigation and the Nunes report claims that no evidence linking Russia to the Trump campaign came through legitimate foriegn intelligence channels.

      There remain claims that something other than the Steele Dossier was used to bolster the FISA application.

      If Foreign intelligence sources were actually used against the Trump campaign – WE NEED TO KNOW. There are myriads of ways this could have been done illegally, and few if any that they could have been done legally.

      This is essentially the democrats argument for impeachment of Trump – that he attempted to get a foreign country to investigate US persons.

      Forgetting the ludicrously irrelevant quid pro quo arguments.
      Inarguably – the US government – the President can legally AND illegally request foreign governments to investigate US persons.
      Inarguably Trump asked the Ukraine to do so.

      Most of the claims that the FISA warrant has a legitimate basis besides the Steele Dossier involve assertions that investigations by foreign governments provided “probable cause” sufficient for a warrant.

      Either such assertions are True and we need to know just as with Trump whether those requests were done properly, or they are false – in which case the FISA warrant was the consequences of an FBI/DOJ Fraud on the FISA Court.

      Further it is at this point indesputable that the Trump campaign was spied on.
      There is some question as to the extent of that spying, But there is no doubt of the fact.

      If there is no finding by President Obama to justify that, as required by law, that spying was illegal and those involved should be criminally prosecuted.

      If there was the proper finding’s by Obama and the AG – we need to know what those were and what the basis of them was – absent proper evidence – which to this day we do not have, those actions by Obama and Lynch would be a gross abuse of power.

      To be clear I am not claiming that Obama and Lynch were involved.
      Only that based on what we know now that portions of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation were criminally illegal absent the involvement of Lynch and Obama.

  36. Jay permalink
    December 3, 2019 2:13 pm

    Just now: in regard to the Trump/Putin fictitious Ukraine election hacking bs-

    ROMNEY: “I saw no evidence from our intelligence community, nor from the representatives today from the Department of State, that there is *any* evidence of *any* kind that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our elections. We have ample evidence that Russia interfered…”

    • Jay permalink
      December 3, 2019 3:44 pm

      The State Department’s No. 3 official today flatly rejecting Trump & personal lawyer Rudy’s false conspiracy theory that Ukraine systematically interfered in the 2016 election, not Russia:

      Sen. Menendez: “Secretary Hale, did Russia interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump?”

      Undersec. of State Hale: “Yes, the intelligence community assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at our presidential election,”

      Sen. Menendez: “Was the Kremlin’s interference in our 2016 election a hoax?”

      Undersec. of State Hale: “No.”

      Sen. Menendez: “Are you aware of any evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election?”

      Undersec. of State Hale: “I am not.”

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:01 am

        Why do you think the oppinion of someone in the state department trumps facts.

        BTW, note AGAIN the word games and misrepresenations.

        There is plenty of evidence that Ukraine interfered in our elections – particularly if you use the infinitely maleable definition of interferance that YOU and the left keep selling regarding Russia.

        I am not aware of ANYONE claiming “systematic” interference.
        Just as there is not evidence of “systematic” interferance by Russia.

        Next – we have already repeatedly addressed the intelligence community assessment.
        You can chose to beleive it if you please. Just as you can choose to beleive the same IC assessment that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons – or that Assad used Chemical weapons on his own people – something that our IC sold to both Trump and Obama to convince them to attack Assad.

        Believe what you want – but absent actual evidence – I do not give a crap what the highly unusally Brennan dictated Steele Dossier based IC quasi assessment challenged even by Comey and the FBI at the time says.

        We do know that the IRA – a oligarch owned group of about 100 people with a budget of about 10m/year in Russia that dick arround on social media on the internet and spent most of their effort “influencing” Russian elections and public oppinion put – according to Mueller a miniscule amount of effort into the US presidential election – approximately equally behind Bernie, Clinton and Trump. With the goal of disruption, not seeking to favor anyone.

        There remains to this day no evidence of an effort by anyone actually affiliated with the Russian government to connect With the Trump campaign, and no evidence of an effort by the Trump campaign to connect with Russia.
        No one on the Trump campaign has 10’s of millions invested in Russian business – Like Hillaries campaign manager John Podesta. Nor one associated with the Trump campaign has received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from Russian Oligarchs – like the Clinton foundation. No one associated with the Trump campaign has received half a million dollars from Russians for a speach – like Bill Clinton, no one in the Trump campaign has spent tens of millions of dollars buying dirt on their opponent from Russia Like Hillary Clinton.

        We also know that Russia tried unsuccessfully to cyber hack voter registration databases in a handful of states.

        All of this was known prior to the election, but Mueller and the FBI after 3 years of investigation confirmed there was nothing more.

        And none of this was unusual, The Russians do it all the time.
        There is no evidence that it was either systematic of effective.

        Most of us have seen the Russian Social Media adds by now, though I know of no one who saw them before the election.

        Conversely the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US wrote an antiTrump editorial that ran in the WSJ in the summer of 2016. Numerous Ukrainian politicians made PUBLIC AntiTrump remarks that were published in the US. Ukrainian prosecutors provided the US media with almost certainly forged ledgers making false allegations about Manafort that Mueller refused to touch.

        Neither the Ukrainian efforts nor those of Russia were consequntial.
        Neither were systemic.

        We should absolutely do something about securing our voting systems – from any sources.

        The rest of “foreign interference” is the business of the media NOT the US government.
        It it not consequential. Nor is it something that we can possibly do anything about without dramatically curtailing political free speech in the US. Further as of yet no one has explained to me how The expressions of some Oligarch in Russia, or some politician in Ukraine are more criminal that those of John Oliver or the Guardian ?

        Foreign interference is foreign interference.
        Obama took a public position on Brexit. Trump has taken the opposite.
        Most americans hold and have expressed a view – are we all interfering in UK Elections ?
        Should Britian sanction the US for political meddling ?

        Lets stick to FACTS jay – not oppinions.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:13 am

        Here is one of Mueller’s key witnesses – mentioned 100 times in the Mueller report.
        A convicted sex offender who funneled 35M in illegal campaign contributions to …. Hillary Clinton.

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/convicted-sex-offender-and-mueller-witness-george-nader-indicted-for-illegal-contributions-to-boost-hillary-clinton

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:24 am

        I would suggest that Under Sec Hale might be shy on his knowledge of Ukraine.

        The link below is to the Ukrainian embassy to the US, it is an Op-Ed published in “the Hill”
        But the Ukrainian ambassador taking a position against Trump in the US election in Aug. 2016.

        BTW this editorial was also provided to Schiff’s House intelligence committee two weeks ago.

        If you wish to claim that Ukrainian efforts were of small consequence – Fine – so were those of Russia.

        But ANYONE – including Under Sec Hale claiming they do not exist – should not be serving in the state department. They are either biased or stupid.

        Further – why is the oppinion of a State department employee about the oppinion of some non-state commitee “evidence” ?

        That is not even hearsay.

        The IC report speaks for itself – BADLY.

        https://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/publications/4744-posol-ukrajini-vislovlyuvannya-trampa-nadsilajuty-nevirnij-signal-svitu

    • dhlii permalink
      December 3, 2019 4:11 pm

      If evidence does not come from the intelligence community – it is not real ?

      US Editorials posted by numerous ranking members of the ukrainian government attacking Trump in 2016 are indisputable FACTS.

      There are no similar public editorials by Putin or Russians attacking Clinton.

      The efforts of Chalupa are documented.

      The fact that ledger pages documenting payments to manafort were made public by the Ukrainian government during the election and resulted in manaforts departure from the Trump campaign is FACT.

      In fact that is the ONLY documented instance of foreign interference in the election that has a provable consequence – Manaforts termination.

      We have no idea whether some tiny number of really bad Russian facebook adds ever had any effect.

      We know that Russian efforts to have Voting machines when nowhere – or atleast we are told that by that vaunted IC you love.

      The claim that the DNC emails were provided to wikipedia as a consequence of Russian hacking is plausible but NOT proven.

      Further we beleive that it is highly likely that the Manafort Ledgers are forgeries, aside from other evidence to that effect, we KNOW that Mueller did not use them to prosecute Manafort.
      At the very least that means he was unwilling to risk the possibility they were forgeries.

      Further Biden’s efforts to shutdown the Burisma investigation has not merely Personal implications regarding his son – but is potentially political interference in the 2016 election.

      First Biden was a potential competitor to Clinton for the democratic nomination.
      Cleaning up his son’s dirt can be viewed as a political action abusing federal power.

      Further the Billionare oligarch tied to Burisima is also a major contributor to the Clinton Foundation – given your penchant for guilt by association you should immediately conclude that Biden, Clinton, Burisma, and Ukraine were colluding.

      Further Trump’s desire to shift to a less confrontational relationship with Putin and his less than enthusiastic support of Ukraine was NOT any secret. Ukraine had excellent reason to suspect that Trump was NOT THEIR FRIEND, and Clinton was their best candidate.

      There is ample evidence that the Trump/Russia narative STARTED with Ukraine – Ukrainian politicians said so OPENLY

      “A Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy,”
      “important to show not only the corruption aspect” of the mogul, but also that Trump was “a pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopo- litical balance in the world.” That, he added, was why most Ukrainian politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”
      Serhiy Leshchenko – who is BTW close to Biden and NABU.

      I have argued before that the Russian influence narrative is lunatic – because you can not stop foreigners from taking an interest in US elections.

      Regardless, you can not make a gigantic stink over Russian influence while being blind to the efforts of other countries like Ukraine without being blind stupid.

      Personally outside of those activities of US citizens that might be actual crimes, I think we should leave the issue of “foreign influence” to the press.

      The remedy for Russian intrusian into social media or the Wall Street Journal, is sunlight.

      There is nothing that CIA, or FBI can or should do.

      But you have decided that we need criminal investigations – so lets go at it.
      Lets investigate Ukraine.

      Regardless, if you or Romney or the state department of the IC are saying that there is no evidence of Ukrainian interferance – then you are either duplicitous or stupid.

      The evidence in right in your face.

      If you want to claim it was not unusual, or not effective, or even legitimate.
      Probably true – just like that of Russia.

      Regardless you do not get it both ways.

      Ukraine’s interference was on the same scale as Russia – small. Slightly more effective than Russia, and mostly inconsequential – like Russia.

      It warrants exactly the same scrutiny as that of Russia.

      I would say – little more than that of the press.
      But given that we have had a 2 year FBI investigation and a 2 year SC investigation of inconsequential Russian interferenace – I would ask you – what amount of investigation of Ukraine is proportional ?

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2019 5:34 pm

        I see. If foreign intelligence comes from US Intelligence you’re going to ignore it in favor of intelligence from FOX commentators.

        And if doctors from three hospitals report you need immediate attention to save your life, don’t forget to consult with Benny Hinn practitioners

        Atta boy – is it any wonder you’re a fountain of misinformation?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:33 am

        What intelligence from Foreign sources ? The FiveEyes records were subpeoned by the House Intel committee under Nunes – FiveEye confirmed that there was no foriegn intelligence provided to the US about Trump/Russia collusion prior to the 2016 election.

        This directly contradicts what Brennan has said. It also directly contradicts the IC report you keep spouting about – which none of us have yet been able to read, and which we have James Comey emails challenging.

        Finally presuming that FiveEyes is lying and that somehow such intelligence actually does exist – a Presidential finding is required for the FBI to investigate US political (or other) organizations without notifying their leadership, OR to use foreign intelligence services to do so.

        As to ignoring foreign intelligence – WHAT FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ?

        Aside from FiveEyes response to Nunes, There is no evidence anywhere in the Mueller report of any of the purported foreign intelligence sources that bolster the IC community report OR the FISA application.

        We have spent 3 years demanding some kind of proof of this nonsense.
        What we have is HEARSAY about an IC report we have not been provided with and HEARSAY about the FISA warrant we have not been provided with.

        Do you have actual EVIDENCE ? Mueller could not find any.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:36 am

        Did I cite Fox on this ? Where ? When ?

        I have no idea what Fox has said. But you can find reporting on much of this in NYT, WaPo, The Hill, WSJ.

        Or you can read the Mueller report.
        Or you can read what of the FISA warrant is public and not redacted.

        There are myriads of ORIGINAL Sources for most everything I argue.

        Not someone said that someone else said that some report we can not see says something that the sources cited in the report deny.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:39 am

        Are you saying that FiveEyes lied to Nunes ?

        Are you saying that the Web Site of the Ukrainian Embassy page for Chaly’s aug 2016 editorial is fake ?

        What is it that I am “misrepresenting” ?

        I give you original sources.

        You give me “Tripple Hearsay about a secret report whose sources deny they are sources”

        And you think I am a fountain of misinformation ?

    • dhlii permalink
      December 3, 2019 4:15 pm

      Todate the investigation of Ukrainian interference has been done almost entirely by reporters, who have found more than has been found regarding Russia by an FBI investigation and an SC investigation.

      I will be happy to agree that there is nothing requiring US action there regarding Ukraine if you agree that there was never a basis for the FBI or SC to investigate similar but less consequential Russian interferance.

      Regardless, for every speculative claim of Russian interferance you can come up with, I can produce a REAL FACT of similar scale Ukrainian influence.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2019 5:45 pm

        “Todate the investigation of Ukrainian interference has been done almost entirely by reporters”

        Name them.
        Link to them.

        And our intelligence agencies HAVE investigated Russian interference.
        And have CONFIRMED it.
        Multiple confirmations.
        From multiple foreign intelligence allies as well..
        You yourself admitted Russian interference was likely, but had no significant effect.

        To my mind your views on Russian election meddling borders on treasonous negligence.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:46 am
      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:50 am
      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 1:52 am
      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:01 am

        “And our intelligence agencies HAVE investigated Russian interference.
        And have CONFIRMED it.
        Multiple confirmations.
        From multiple foreign intelligence allies as well..”

        Bzzt, wrong.

        We have multiple hearsay claims about what the IC community report concludes.
        We do not have the report.
        We do not have much information at all about the actual sources.
        There are some emails that I beleive JW pulled through FOIA requests that Brennan’s contribution to the IC report was the Steele Dossier and nothing else.

        FiveEyes has catagorically denied that they provided ANY intelligence to the US about Russian interference or collusion with the trump campaign.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:14 am

        We have very few specific confirmable allegations.

        We have the IRA Social Media campaign that was addressed in some of the Mueller indictments – but after Mueller was told to put up or shutup by a federal judge he substantially back pedaled on those in his report.

        Regardless, That is real, it is small, It was done by a Russian Oligarch.
        You get to draw your own conclusions over whether that means Putin or not.

        Just as you can draw conclusions about the oligarch contributions to Clinton.

        I am just hoping that whatever you conclude that you do not try to pretend that only the Trump friendly oligarch is in Putins pocket, not the Clinton friendly ones.

        AS of this moment there is no confirmation of Russian interferance in the US election from foreign intelligence sources. In fact FiveEyes explicitly denies any such intelligence.

        That does not mean that such intelligence does not exist – but it means that it did not go through normal channels. And that poses you more problems not less.

        Austrialian Ambassador Andrew Downer Clinton supporter, provided intelligence to the US state Department on Papadoulis. The problem is that the AU ambassador to the UK contacting the US state department about the actions of a random US citizen in the UK is NOT normal procedure or normal channels. And in fact that is how most of the whole Trump Russia nonsense was done. Completely outside normal channels. In other words it is NOT foreign intelligence, and it was not used in the IC assessment.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:21 am

        In 2002 the IC assessment was that Iraq was within a few months of having Nuclear weapons.

        Much of the actual evidence of that assessment was made available to us at the time. and credible attacks on it were made BEFORE the vote to go to war.

        How well did that assessment work out ?

        What “fact” in that are you prepared to stand behind ?

        The 2016 IC Assessment was NOT done by the actual IC community – it was done by a handful of Brennan picked people who were provided with what Brennan wanted them to have. Todate the only knowledge we have of the information their assessment was based on is some FOIA information that Brennan gave them a copy of the Steele Dossier.

        BTW Brennan has already admitted that much of what he has said about the intelligence leading to “Trump Russia Collusion” was WRONG.

        We have information for other sources about the attacks on voter registration systems – these were known long before the election.

        We know of the tiny social media IRA attack via leaks from the Mueller team that shrunk substantially in scope by the time the report was issued.

        In fact much of the government sourced information we have on Russian interference is from the Mueller Report – and that is REAL THIN.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:28 am

        “To my mind your views on Russian election meddling borders on treasonous negligence.”
        That is what Pres. Bush said about people who questioned the IC assessment of Iraqi nukes.

        “You yourself admitted Russian interference was likely, but had no significant effect.”
        Again misrepresentations.

        Had no significant effect – yes.

        Did “russians” interfere – the IRA social media interference is well established.

        There is about a 50% chance the Wikileaks information came from Russia or more likely russian hackers, there is atleast a 50% chance it did not.

        Trump is fixated on the DNC server, and has this odd view it is in Ukraine.
        It is highly unlikely that it would prove useful if found, or that it is in the Ukraine.

        The most likely means of establishing the actual source of the DNC emails is from Asange.
        Asange has agreed to testify – about most anything, provided he is assured that he is not going to be jailed by the US – we should take him up on that.
        The truth is worth knowing – whatever it is.

  37. Jay permalink
    December 3, 2019 2:25 pm

    We are now closer to securing the tax info needed to show Trump is a crooked Russian money laundering asset. This will get bumped up to SCOTUS with the other two cases.

    “NEW YORK — A federal appeals court has sided with House Democrats seeking to obtain President Trump’s private financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, stating “the public interest favors denial of a preliminary injunction.”
    The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit came in the ongoing legal battle Trump has waged over access to his private business records — including two cases that have already reached the Supreme Court.”

    • dhlii permalink
      December 3, 2019 4:28 pm

      There is no “public interest” standard.

      The relevant legal standard is “probable cause”.

      There must be probable cause that a crime was committed, and probable cause that the information requested with provide useful evidence to prosecute that crime.

      That is the constitutional standard for ALL government searches.

      Whether it is your local police, the FBI. the CIA or congress.

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, 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.”

      Meet that standard and you can get whatever records you want.

      Nowhere in the text of the 4th amendment, or in the constitution itself is there a “public interest” exception.

      You can expect this decision to be overturned.

      Aren’t you tired of that ?

      SCOTUS has already preliminarily stalled the effort of congress to subpeona Trump’s taxes.
      Why do you beleive the consequences of this will be different ?

      Finally, this was already addressed by Mueller. I am not sure whether Mueller subpeonad and reviewed these records, or whether he decided not to.

      Either way “the public interest” was served.

      One way or the other Mueller already determined this was a dead end.

      Or are you claiming that Pitt Bull Mueller was corrupt and bought off by Trump ?

      I do not personally honestly care much about this. You are not going to get what you hope for from these records, in the unlikely event you get them.

      What I would like to know is WHEN is it that this witch hunt embarrasses you ?

      When you have subpeoned Trump’s last colonoscopy pictures and not found any evidence of Russian collusion there – will you “at long last” feel SHAME ?

      There is a reason “hail mary’s” are called that – they are acts of desparation. Long shots with the odds against you.

      I expect the courts will ultimately block this nonsense.
      I would hope that those on lower courts that do not understand that public interest is never a justification for violating the constitution – and in fact the term public interest does not ever belong in a court opinion. That is the kind of nonsense that we heard in soviet star chambers.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 3, 2019 4:31 pm

      The cases that have reached the supreme court had been temporarily been STOPPED by the supreme court.

      I fully expect that if those seeking records – from Trump or ANYONE can meet the standards of the 4th amendement, that they should have them. and if they can not – they should not.

      Just as the FISA court should have said no to the FBI – the steele Dossier does not constitute probable cause, and the constitution does not all “fishing expeditions” – not even if someone thinks they are in “the public interest”.

      • Jay permalink
        December 3, 2019 5:49 pm

        The FISA COURT did not give any weight to the Steele Dossier in making it’s decision. You’re perpetuating false news, like a loyal Trump hand puppet.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:39 am

        “Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information,”

        Further the FBI sought a warrant to surveil Page previously WITHOUT the Steele Dossier – and the FISC which almost never turns down warrant requests said NO!.

        BTW The warrant application is now public – albeit with some redactions. US Attorneys who have examined it say the redacted sections DO NOT contain additional evidence.

        https://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/370598711-House-Intelligence-Committee-Report-On-FISA-Abuses-1.pdf

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 2:40 am

        “The FISA COURT did not give any weight to the Steele Dossier in making it’s decision. You’re perpetuating false news, like a loyal Trump hand puppet.”

        And you have a better source than Andrew McCabe or the redacted copy of the FISA Warrant application ?

      • December 3, 2019 8:09 pm

        Jay, I think you may want to wait until the evidence is in, before you make that assertion.

        I’m not saying that you are wrong, but there is easily as much reason to believe that the Steele Dossier was the only evidence presented to the FISC as to believe that it was not presented at all.

        The main concern is not that the Steele Dossier was completely unsubstantiated, or even that it was completely fabricated by paid Clinton operatives. We know both of those things to be true. It’s that the FBI may have presented it to the FISC knowing that it was.

        If that does turn out to be the case, there should be an equal outcry from both sides of the political spectrum, and outrage that a secret court meant to allow the intelligence community to stop acts of terror, was used for partisan political purposes.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:11 am

        Here is the redacted FISA warrant application.

        We can speculate about what was redacted. There is plenty of good analysis of that.
        Most conclude that there is no consequential EVIDENCE in the redacations.
        There is boiler plate about the process and sources and methods that the FBI does not want made public.

        Regardless, the Steele Dossier makes up all the EVIDENCE.

        There is zero doubt it was used.
        There is zero doubt it was the core of the aplication.

        https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/95-carter-page-fisa-documents-foia-release/full/optimized.pdf

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:14 am

        “It’s that the FBI may have presented it to the FISC knowing that it was.”

        We know that to be true. We have memo’s from the state department telling everyone to run as fast as they can away from the Steele Dossier.

        We have emails and testimony of Bruce Ohr saying that he warned everyone that it was politically sourced unverified and dubious.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 3:23 am

        It would be really really nice if we could eliminate partisan ship from the entire federal government.

        But Lisa Page is SORT OF right – it is her work that matters not her opinions – though expressing them via texts on a government issued phone was idiotic.

        When we can not see obvious political explanations for questionable choices – we give the actor the benefit of the doubt and presume stupidity or incompetence, not political bias.

        Where page is wrong is that we are free to interpret bad acts as motivated by bias rather than incompetence when the context – her texts provide the evidence of bias.

        But the fundimental question regards the ACTS not the motives.

        Was Trump justified in asking for the list of investigations he asked for ?
        If Yes – if the reasonable suspicion standard is met. Motivation is irrelevant.
        If no – then we can presume bias.

        The same is True regarding Comey, McCabe etc.
        Except the standard for a warrant is probable cause – much higher.

        If the warrant application demonstrates probable cause – the political biases of page etc are irrelevant. There is no requirement to allow the guilty to go free because you have a political bias against them.

        But there is an absolute requirement NOT to use govenrment power without proper justification. In this case probable cause.

        When you do so, when you not only act without justification but you defraud the court, that is serious, that is a crime, and your political bias can now be taken into account.

  38. dhlii permalink
    December 4, 2019 1:57 am

    For what it is worth here is an interview of Putin by Oliver Stone in June 2019
    It is certainly interesting.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/must-read-vladimir-putin-discusses-russian-interference-in-us-election-and-the-attempted-coup-detat-with-oliver-stone/

  39. Rick Bayan permalink
    December 4, 2019 12:53 pm

    Ha! — I was wondering why George W. Bush was getting so many hits. (He should be old news by now, right?) Now I know. Is this your way of hinting that I should post a new column more often? 😉

    • December 4, 2019 1:42 pm

      You got that right!

      when one posts a comment and Dave responds with 35, jay responds with 5 to him and both have 1/2 of them with links or videos, it does not take long for over 1000 comments and load time of over 2 minutes each time U want to make a comment and 2 minutes for the comment to post for some internet providers.

      And Word Press was never designed for high volume input it appears.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Ron

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 4:54 pm

        I have problems – but not to the extent you do.

        I beleive that the biggest drag is links to video’s – is that the concensus ?

        Regardless, if we can actually determine that, I would be prepared to agree to not directly linking videos. Especially if we can find a way to link to something – without WP autoloading it.

  40. dhlii permalink
    December 4, 2019 5:25 pm

    I am sorry for the youtube link. Hopefully changing https to http will make it not autoload.
    otherwise I will try something else.

    Regardless, this is Johnathan Turley’s closing remarks today.
    I read his opening last night – which I recomend – especially if you want more detail than this.

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing in his opening or closing that I disagree with.

    The house CAN impeach over anything. That is not what our founders intended, but they put no check on the houses power to impeach.

    The question is not what CAN that house do, but what SHOULD it do.
    This is not something that SHOULD result in impeachment.

    To the extent I disagree with Turley at all – it is his implication that deeper investigation and a fuller record MIGHT get to SHOULD.

    The house should NOT impeach any president for an action that is not a crime by the narrowest understanding of a crime. And the situation with Ukraine will never get there.
    If democrats proved linkage – that would not be a crime.
    To get a crime – to get actual abuse of power there would have to be no legitimate excercise of power. If reasonable suspicion exists law enforcement is free to investigate.
    The executive branch is law enforcement and all executive powers vest in the president.
    The issue of presidents investigating political rivals was addressed two centuries ago, when Thomas Jefferson demanded and got the investigation and prosecution of bitter political and personal rival Burr.

    If a president has sufficient basis to order an investigation, he has sufficient basis to ask a foreign country to investigate. And he has sufficient basis – by the constitution, by treaty and by the very law authorizing aide to Ukraine to demand an investigation.

    If the corrupt nature of Ukraine is a justification for Biden to demand a prosecutor be fired.
    Then the same corrupt nature of Ukraine is a basis for Trump to demand that corruption is investigated.

    • Jay permalink
      December 4, 2019 7:50 pm

      “ The house should NOT impeach any president for an action that is not a crime by the narrowest understanding of a crime.”

      Blah blah blah.
      Keep tuned into Fox to mimic their narrow view.
      Turkey (I mean Turley) – like other paid Fox-ized mopes – seems to have changed his opinion on Impeachment justification 180-degrees.

      “While there’s a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable,” he wrote in a 2014 op-ed for The Washington Post about Clinton’s impeachment.

      And during his 1998 testimony during Clinton’s impeachment hearings he said “If you decide that certain acts do not rise to impeachable offenses, you will expand the space for executive conduct.” Meaning presidents will be allowed to commit worse acts without penalty. He added that Clinton’s actions “didn’t need to break any laws in order to be considered impeachable conduct.”

      Trump is a cancer.
      Those who defend him are now equally toxic to the body politic.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 10:25 pm

        You have this fixation with fox. Do you think that everyone who is not lock step with you is some Fox droid ?

        I am sure someone somewhere on Fox has likely said something like I have said.

        But my comment was most heavily influenced by Prof. Turley – a democrat, liberal, well respected constitutional scholar who voted against Trump and actually thinks Trump’s phone call was disturbing. There are disturbing things Trump has done – crossing the foreign policy establishment is NOT one of those.

        Or the other influence on my remarks – that would be James Madison, I don’t kn ow maybe I need to check – I guess he could be on Fox – if it was arround 250 years ago.

        Our founders did not think that a crime was sufficient to impeach. They specifically wanted a “high crime”. That language was not accidental.

        But all of that. Turley’s remarks, Madison’s our founders are all subordinate to something else.

        THE PEOPLE – get out of your bubble, the longer this continues the WORSE it is playing for democrats. Maybe you bubble boys can not see that you are losing the support of ordinary people – you know the people for make your cars work, produce your food (and your cars) that you claim to care about. But you are losing the support of independents – a 13pt shif as of last weekend.

        I have repeatedly distinguished between what you CAN do – there are no enforceable constitutional constraints. And what you SHOULD do – if you lose the voters you will lose the house, and that is where you are headed.

        I am a huge fan of gridlock. I do not want Republicans to regain control of all of government.
        But that is where you are headed.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 10:37 pm

        You do not have to go to 2014. or his blog – which I do actually follow.
        I am pretty sure you can find the equivalent of your 2014 quote in the clip I provided – or in his opening statement.

        Not one of the constitutional scholars speaking today disagrees over what the house CAN do.

        Nor do I. Nor is that a secret. I have been saying since long before the Ukraine call the House CAN impeach for meatballs. There is no check on the constitutional definition of an impeachable offense. You can not appeal to the supreme court.

        The house CAN do whatever it please – and Turley said EXACTLY that.

        But he also said – as I have said, and as you are completely blind to.

        It would be a big mistake.

        It probably would be a huge political mistake.

        But lets say I am wrong – and house democrats pay no price for faux impeachment.

        If that is the case – impeachment over political angst will become the norm.
        And that is not good either.

        Maybe you will be lucky and democrats will hold the house forever – like they did in 2009.

        Or maybe in 2024 House republicans will impeach and remove newly elected Pres. Warren, or Butigeg on inauguration day – for …. politics.

        How did the senate nuclear option work out for you ?
        How did reducing the votes needed for senate confirmation work for you ?

        The left has been removing checks and balances for over 100 years.
        Most of the time the consequences have been most negative for them.

        But keep it up. Trump was backlash.
        How much worse do you think the backlash will be if you take out Trump ?

        You keep making these “Nazi” claims. Next time you might end up with a real nazi.

        But you are incapable of thinking past the last hearing – you are oblivious to the unintended consequences of your own actions.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 10:39 pm

        “Those who defend him are now equally toxic to the body politic.”

        The body politic needs a potent does of arsenic – it has syphillus, and the problem is NOT Trump, it is you.

    • Jay permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:07 pm

      “ If the corrupt nature of Ukraine is a justification for Biden to demand a prosecutor be fired.
      Then the same corrupt nature of Ukraine is a basis for Trump to demand that corruption is investigated.”

      Bullshit. Biden wasn’t demanding a prosecutor be fired to defeat a political opponent in a national election for highest office. He was carrying out national US policy. And don’t waste my time with more bullshit that he did that to protect his son – there’s zero proof to back up that GOP lying accusation.

      At this point you’re a Trump partisan zombie. Your forebrain has been dissolved from Fox News radiation. Thump. Thump. Thump. The brain destroyed monster keeps walking.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:01 pm

        We do not know precisely why Biden wanted Shokin fired.

        Contra the MSM there is no actual evidence that Shokin was corrupt – in fact there is pretty compelling evidence that the only thing he was, was meticulous.

        Regardless, it is pretty likely that the unsupported corruption claim is a pretext.

        So what is it a prextext for ?

        There are many possibilities – and they could ALL be true.

        It could be Biden’s real reason was to protect his son.
        Just the possibility of that, just the appearance of that is an ethical violation and probably an actual crime.
        But ACTING to protect his son is an actual crime – it is abuse of power.

        You do not seem to gather – political motives are a basis for heightened scrutiny.

        Personal benefit IS a crime.

        BTW at this point we pretty much know that:
        a). Biden is a total complete dolt who does not read the news, or his voice mail or memos to him or anything related to his job or
        b). Biden was aware than Shokin was just about to interview has son when he demanded that Shokin be fired.

        There is not a third option – and B is very nearly certain.

        But a personal motive is NOT the only motive here.

        Burisima is tied to all kinds of things democratic, It is tied to the Atlantic Counsel.
        It is tied to Sorros.

        Your the one who likes these “guilt by association” games – oh and Schiff has now been tied through the atlantic counsel to Burisma too. OOPS.

        This is less well developed – BECAUSE there has been no proper investigation.
        But there is reasonable suspicion that Biden may have been protecting a platoon of democrats and donors by getting Shokin fired.

        Proven ? No. Disproven ? No!. Investigated ? No!

        Then there is the actual political motive.

        The story in NYT outing Hunter was planted by ….. Hillary. Purportedly for the purpose of keeping Biden out of the 2016 election. Getting Shokin fired is then arguably a use of government power for PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFIT – to thwart a rival.
        With Shokin gone, Biden’s options in 2016 were once again open.

        I keep telling you that you can not decide these things based on speculation about motives.

        You can not know the motive of others. You are ALWAYS guessing.
        Even if people say why they did something – there is almost never ONLY ONE reason.

        There is LOTS of very solid evidence that you keep ignoring that Trump WAS trying to leveral Ukraine – to get the EU to contribute more.

        If you are unwilling to accept that was clearly a significant factor in delaying aide – then you are blind.

        Were there other motives – certainly. Was politics a motive – absoltuely.

        AS I have said repeatedly. Trump’s (or anyone else’s) motives do not matter – we judge those in elections. Crimes are based on conduct. Bad Motive does not make a legitimate act illegitimate.

        But if you want to speculate about motives – it seems pretty clear to me that Biden had an excellent political motive for blackmailing Ukraine.

        But that is NOT the standard.

        Reasonable suspricion is the standard Biden’s conduct must meet to justify Trump’s actions – REGARDLESS of your speculation about Tump’s motives.

        Almost certainly Trump had a dozen motives.

        You can not bar someone from otherwise legitimate action because you beleive that one of their many motives is unacceptable.

        All acts of presidents always have a political motive.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:07 pm

        Biden set the policy he was carrying out. Biden worked with the FBI to setup NABU.
        This is a major part of the reason that it is luducrous to claim that Biden did not know Shokin was investigating Hunter.

        And the moment he knew that – he is OBLIGATED to step aside from matters involving Ukraine – or atleast Burisma and his son.

        Regardless, you can not claim to be justified because you were just implimenting policy – policy that YOU crafted. And incase you are clueless Trump has the same claim.

        In fact he has it one better. The legislation funding the aide to the Ukraine provides that Ukraine must engage in rooting out corruption to receive the aide.

        What Trump asked about – was investigations into corruption.
        It is trivial to argue that Trump was following the law – a law passed by the congress that is impeaching him.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:13 pm

        Jay,

        I and others, there are lots of articles on this too, have PROVEN long ago that:

        There is no evidence that Shokin was corrupt. Which is the end of your US policy argument and compelling evidence that the demand to fire was a pretext.

        That Shokin was investigating Hunter Biden – in fact Biden was scheduled to be interviewed by Shokin on Burisma the next day.

        That Biden is either retarded or knew his son was tied up with Burisma.

        That Biden was either retarded or knew that Shokin was investigating his son.

        Those are all things that can be proven – and more.

        But I do not need to.

        The standard to justify Trump’s conduct is that Biden’s conduct met the burden of “reasonable suspicion” – it does. Case closed.

        This is not some republican conspiracy theory.

        While there is an enormous amount of evidence from the Ukraine – you can entirely reject that – after all the Ukraine is corrupt.

        But there is also evidence from the office of the VP, the state department and the FBI, as well as stories in the NYT.

        Are you saying that all these agencies and the NYT are conspiring to frame Biden ?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:16 pm

        I am not the one whose brain has shut down.

        You asked for links about Ukrainian interferance in the 2016 election.

        I provided probably a dozen links – almost all from the MSM – except the link to actual interference still posted on the Ukrainian embasy web site.

        We have clearly different defintions of “zero evidence”.

        Aparently in Jay world – tons is zero.

    • Jay permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:14 pm

      More from Turley’s Wapo article:
      “ While there’s a high bar for what constitutes grounds for impeachment, an offense does not have to be indictable. Serious misconduct or a violation of public trust is enough. Madison saw impeachment as “defending the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief magistrate.” And the founders emphasized that impeachments were about what happened in the political arena: involving “political crimes and misdemeanors” and resulting in “political punishments.”

      Misconduct of public trust is enough.
      60% of Americans don’t trust him.
      That hasn’t changed since 2016.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:26 pm

        RCP’s average has only had impeachment at 50% or above 1 day in the past 6 weeks.
        Currently it is 46% and dropping.

        That is not 60%.

        But worse for democrats – it is dropping precipitously among independents and in swing states – it has dropped 13pts and is below 40% among independents.

        Trump is now winning head to head contests against most or all democrats in swing states.

        There is a long way to go to the election and alot could happen.

        You might catch Trump being felated by a 13yr old in the oval.

        But short of leftists wet dreams – your losing.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:29 pm

        If you honestly beleive you are winning hearts and minds – go for it.

        I have NEVER argued you can not do this – nor has Turley.

        I have argued – and so has Turley – that you SHOULD NOT do this,
        not for the good of the country, not for the good of the democratic party.

        But I would not stop you from committing Sepuku even if I could.

        If you beleive your own arguments GO FOR IT.

        But maybe consider that:

        2016 did not work as expected.
        Mueller did not work as expected.

    • Jay permalink
      December 4, 2019 8:31 pm

      Abuse of power is impeachable.

      Trump trying to bribe a foreign government leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent is abuse of power.

      Trump trying to obstruct justice, firing Comey to interfere in an investigation of his actions, is abuse of power

      Not allowing subpoenaed witnesses to testify in House impeachment hearings is abuse of power.

      Kick his Russian ASSet out!

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:33 pm

        farting is impeachable.

        But actual abuse of power is credibly impeachable.

        But please get the law right – this is not bribery.

        Nor is it abuse of power.

        Nor did Trump demand dirt on a political opponent.

        He asked for an investigation where reasonable suspicion of a crime exists.

        That meets the bar for justified action.

        No one is ever barred from acting legally – just because doing so might have political benefits.

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 1:15 am

        “ He asked for an investigation where reasonable suspicion of a crime exists.”

        If you believe that was his noble intention.
        And he wasn’t trying to dig up dirt on Biden.
        You are more gullible.
        Than a simple minded rube.
        At a patent medicine show.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 3:18 am

        How many times do I have to say over the past several years – presumed bad intentions do not and can not make an otherwise legal act into a crime.

        No human can know another humans intentions – we must guess.
        Even if the actor tells us why they acted – we can not know, they could be lying, and humans never do anything for only one reason.

        Which is part of the point.

        If I absolutely despise my neighbor and I want them dead, and I tell everyone I want to kill my neighbor, and my neighbor breaks into my house in the middle of the night with a gun and I shoot and kill them – did I just murder them ?

        I have publicly stated my intention to murder my neighbor – there is no doubt about my intention.

        But the actual act absent that stated intention is clearly legitimate self defense.

        Does the fact that I have stated that I wish to kill my neighbor mean that I can never defend myself against them ?

        No legal act becomes a crime because you have bad intentions.

        I have absolutely zero doubt that Trump was fully cognizant of the political benefit of ukrainian investigations.

        Just as he is fully cognizant of the political benefits of striking a trade deal with China, or building the wall or ….

        The fact that Trump might politically benefit from an act,
        the fact that he is aware that he might politically benefit.
        The fact that political benefit might have been a significant factor in chosing to act,

        At best is a reason for scrutiny.

        If the act is legal the intentions are irrelevant.

        If you cross a street with murderous rage in your heart – crossing the street is NOT A CRIME.
        Murder is.

        Is investigating Biden a crime ? would it be legal for Barr to ask for it ? For Wray to ask for it ?

        Reasonable suspicion exists. Trump can ask for an investigation. Barr can Wray can.

        You can not determine the legitimacy of Trump’s actions without looking at Biden’s to decide whether based on the available evidence his actions can be investigated.

        Abuse of power is using government power for PERSONAL gain AND/OR outside the scope of what is justifiable.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 3:38 am

        “If you believe that was his noble intention.”

        I do not care.

        “And he wasn’t trying to dig up dirt on Biden.”

        Again abuse of language.

        Schiff’s opening – get me dirt, any dirt, I do not care if it is true – that would be abuse of power.

        If you can prove that is what Trump did – you can not only impeach and remove but you can charge convict and jail him.

        But that is NOT what happened.
        Actual facts, not speculation matter.

        Trump did not even ask Zelensky to investigate Biden. He noted that Biden’s acts seemed fishy and asked Zelensky to cooperate the AG Barr.

        Are you saying that Trump can not as president seek “dirt” – where “dirt” is information regarding a criminal act, on a political rival under any circumstances ?

        The actual facts matter. Playing deceptive word games does not make your case.

        “You are more gullible.
        Than a simple minded rube.
        At a patent medicine show.”

        There is no issue of gulibility.

        I do not care whether Trump’s actions had noble motivations.

        Much of your and my conflict over most everything is centered on this.

        Good intentions do not make bad acts good.
        Bad intentions do not make good acts bad.

        If you do evil – if you murder, if you steal, why you did it is a matter of curiosity nothing else.

        If you do good – I do not care whether your motives were good or bad.

        Every single person in this country wishes to reduce mass shootings.
        If any or all of the gun control proposals offered demonstrably did that, without doing more harm than good – you would have absolutely no opposition for me.
        Even if you merely demonstrated that what you seek to do would actually have the benefit you claim – I would atleast consider what you propose further.

        But the purportedly good intentions of those seeking “common sense” gun control measures does not alter the fact that they are using force without justification. And that is immoral.
        The FIRST but not only requirement for justification is that the proposed infringement on rights produces the outcome promised. If it does not – the act is BAD not GOOD.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:36 pm

        Whether a House Subpeona survives a claim of priviledge is a claim resovled by the COURTS, Not the house.

        Failure to comply with a subpeona is a crime and impeachable AFTER a final determination is made by the courts – that means after the last appeal has been ruled on.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 4, 2019 11:40 pm

        Even Mueller was not prepared to claim firing Comey was obstruction.

        Firing Mueller would not have been obstruction.

        To obstruct Trump would have had to order the investigation stopped – and arguably even that might not be obstruction – though it would be impeachable.

        SCOTUS is never going to find that firing someone who is investigating you is obstruction.

        Because if they did, all investigators would be unterminateable. All they would have to do for permanent job security is to investigate their boss.

    • Jay permalink
      December 5, 2019 12:58 am

      Yes. A straight forward explanation why impeachment is should proceed and Trump be removed from office.

      But the GOP/Fox/Evangelical triumvirate will resist

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 3:03 am

        If Biden murdered Shokin could Trump demand Zelensky investigate – completely cutting off aide until he did ?

        Either you accept that the fact that Biden is a political rival is irrelevant, or you are litterally asserting that when Republicans are in power they can not investigate democrats for ANYTHING and visa versa.

        Once you accept that Trump can in some cases legitimately ask for an investigation of a political rival.

        Then you can start to make rational decisions.

        The relevant issue is not Biden’s status as a political rival. But the strength of the evidence against Biden.

        And the standard strength of evidence that is required to open an investigation is “reasonable suspicion”.

        That is the standard for the local police, for the FBI, for the AG, and For the president.

        This is not a difficult call.

        You want to be outraged – go for it. You have foamed and frothed enough to fill an ocean.

        You want to impeach – be my guest. But do not lie and try to call this a crime.
        it is not. You are just playing stupid Orwellian Newspeak games.

        I would further note that outside the blue bubble and the MSM ordinary people “get this”.

        I doubt they know the details of the law.

        But they understand intuitively that Biden can not be immune from investigation.
        And that Trump’s conduct is only abuse of power if there is not a basis to investigate Biden.

        And they understand that Biden’s blackmail of Ukraine to sack Shokin is something that should be investigated.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 2:53 am

      You want to impeach – impeach.

      But ANY abuse of power claim is nonsense.

      If you may legitimately excercise the power you are purportedly abusing,

      There can be no abuse of power.

      This is simple logic.

      Every single Abuse of power argument regarding Trump I have heard – whether in the context of Ukraine or Comey or Mueller, FAILS,

      It fails because the claim as offered would preclude ANY president under ANY circumstances from the same act.

      If Firing Comey was abuse of power then firing the FBI director is abuse of power.

      If asking, demanding, even extorting a foreign nation into investigating a political rival is abuse of power then no political rival can ever be investigated.

      Any argument that is specific to Trump is inherently flawed.

      We dealt with a version of this with the lunatic early decisions on the “muslim ban” EO’s.

      Trump’s original EO was deliberately patterned after an Obama EO.

      But at lower courts it was argued that Trumps campaign statements were evidence that Trump could not issue this EO.

      Had those rulings stood, you would have the nonsensical situation where Obama could legitimately do something but Trump could not do the exact same thing.

      If Trump seeking to investigate Biden is abuse of power – then Obama investigating Trump is.
      And Schiff and Pelosi investigating Trump is too.

      Just to be clear – the House CAN impeach Trump for seeking an investigation of Biden.
      I think that is complete idiocy, but the constitution does not preclude congress from acting idiotically.

      But no matter how many times you clap your hands and click your heals it is NOT abuse of power, and it is NOT a crime.

      It is a purely political offense.

      This is Turley’s written testimony.

      What we actually have regarding Ukraine – is pretty nearly exactly the situation with Andrew Johnson.

      We have the house and the president at political loggerheads and hating each other.

      And we have a manufactured claim as the basis of a purely political impeachment.

      Arguably Johnson was a horrible president.
      You are entitled to feel the same about Trump.

      You can dislike Johnson or Trump’s conduct.
      But Trump has not violated a law, and johnson did not violate a constitutional law.

      Further in both cases we have what appears to be very close to entrapment.

      In Johnson’s case Congress passed a law specifically for the purpose of getting Johnson to violate so they could impeach him.

      In Trump’s case there is a building case that there is an actual conspiracy involving Schiff Ciarmello and another Schiff staffer – who moved from the whitehouse to Schiff’s staff the day BEFORE the Ukriane phone call, and who is close friends with the WB.
      While not proven, Schiff’s attrocious behavior and over the top efforts to “protect” the WB – WB’s ARE NOT entitled to anonymity, they are merely legally protected from retaliation.
      Much of What Schiff tries to claim about the WB statute is just garbage.
      And BTW atleast one WB under Obama ended up in jail.
      A WB complaint is not a get out of jail card.

      Anyway, it is pretty trivial to test the idiocy of the claim that Trump’s actions constitute Abuse of power.

      If Biden as VP had murdered Shokin – would Trump be allowed to ask Zelensky to investigate ?

      Clearly he would.

      That means that the fact that Biden is a political rival IS NOT dispositive as to whether Trump can ask that he be investigated by a foreign power.

      The relevant question has absolutely nothing to do with politics or foreign policy or a foreign power.

      The only relevant question is whether there is a legitimate basis to investigate Biden.
      That is it. That is the only standard that matters.
      If Biden was NOT a political rival. If he was a republican not running for office, and Trump asked Zelensky to investigate him – that would be abuse of power – if there was no basis to investigate, and it would not be if there was.
      If Trump asked Barr to investigate – the standard would be the same.

      If Barr rather than Trump asked Zelensky – the standard would be the same.

      If James Comey sought to investigate Trump – as he did, the standard is the same.

      And the legal standard is “reasonable suspicion” – that is not some maleable term that Trump or Schiff can mold as they wish. It is a legal term of art. It was ultimately defined by SCOTUS – not Trump or Schiff.

      The house can impeach as they wish.

      But abuse of power is an actual crime. And if we are going to misrepresent legal actions as crimes – we are headed straight for Star Chambers.

      As to the stupidity of this

      All foreign policy is about threats and inducements.
      Presidents “bribe” “extort”, “coerce”, “induce” and engage in myraids of efforts to leverage foreign countries into acting as we wish that none of us could legally do to our neighbor.

      Further all actions of a president – both inside and outside the country are inherently politically beneficial or harmful.

      If Trump may not actin in Ukraine because his actions might have a political benefit or a political motive, then he can not act to secure the border or to seek fair trade or any other action that has a political benefit to him and/or causes political harm to potential opponents.

      Further if Trump can not act as president in his political interests – then neither can representatives of senators.

      Again if investigating Biden is a crime, then the house investigating Trump is a crime, and Obama investigated Trump was a crime.

      The fact that there is a political benefit to an act does not make it a crime.
      Personal benefits ARE different.
      Of all the people invovled in this who are alleged to have committed a crime, the only one who MAY have done so is Biden.

      Again the standard is NOT political gain.

      The only standard is, is the request justified. And it clearly is.

      That MUST be the only standard – because any other option would make it impossible to investigate a political rival under any circumstances.

      https://jonathanturley.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Turley.Testimony.Impeachment.Final_.pdf

  41. Jay permalink
    December 5, 2019 1:23 am

    Finally.. Biden on the offense..

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 3:41 am

      We are talking the Joe Biden who was sucking on his wife’s fingers at a rally a few days ago ?

      We are talking about the Joe Biden whose family profits as a direct result of his public position everywhere he goes ?

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 9:38 am

        Better out of office Biden sucking wife’s fingers than in office Trump sucking Putin’s dick.

        And you really are a joke/hypocrite to complain about Biden’s family profiting from his name and ignore Trump’s family now personally profiting from it daily, and Trump himself stuffing his pockets with TAXPAYER $$$$ from his hotels and golf courses.

        And the link-story is another political headline hit job. 177 firms participated in that TALF programs. And Hunter Biden was a minor player and had nothing to do with negotiating participation in TALF. And doesn’t Hunter Biden’s former ‘company’ continue to get paid to consult for/with the GOP?

        Trump Zombie – clump clump clump.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 12:58 pm

        Still playing this anyone you do not like is a Russian asset. the list of representative and senators that are “russian Assests” keeps growing – and apparently any democrat who did not vote with the majority in the house is a “russian asset”.

        BTW If Trump is a Russian asset – then Obama actually was blowing Putin.

        The list of ways Trump has thwarted Putin is long.

        Even now you want to impeach Trump for stalling aide to Ukraine that Obama refused to provide at all. All the while telling me that Trump’s delay constituted a serious US national security risk. If so than why didn’t you impeach Obama ?

        Did Trump sell Russians the rights to 20% of US urainium ?
        Did Trump foment an idiotic Coup that gave Putin the rationale to invade Crimea ?

        Did Obama guarantee the Gas supply of the EU to thwart Russian efforts to blackmail Europe ?
        Did Obama free up US energy to diminish Putin’s global influence ?

        Russian GDP is significantly below its peak levels under Obama, and even Below its peak under Bush.

        The Russian Economy currently has LOST a decade (the obama decade) or economic growth. It is down 20% from its peak under Obama.

        With friends like Trump – Putin does not need enemies.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 4:44 pm

        You have spent 3 years trying to find an actual instance where the Trump family has profited as a result of Trump’s presidency and failed miserably.

        As Trump Jr. noted Trump Enterprises has significantly reduced its global footprint, it is not doing new foreign deals it is missing out on oportunities it would have had if Trump was not president. Trump’s net worth has DECLINED significantly.

        No one in the Trump family has been bailed out by government.

        Do we have any example of anyone in the Biden family succeeding at anything without Biden ?

        The Trump’s might have been born with a silver spoon – but not one paid for by taxpayers.

        You honestly think renting hotel rooms to people – exchanging value for value, is in some way comparable to direct tax payer bailouts or getting jobs because of your fathers government influence.

        Trump built a family fortune BEFORE getting into government.
        No one in the Trump family has been dispensing tax payer funded favors.
        No one in the Trump family has been selling Access to the president or influence with the president.

        Cohen was Cuttoff by Trump when it was realized that he was trying to sell influence.

        No one in the Biden family seems to have made a $ that was not a consequences of Joe Biden’s position in government – not in 50 years.

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 9:46 pm

        “ You have spent 3 years trying to find an actual instance where the Trump family has profited as a result of Trump’s presidency and failed miserably.‘

        How dumb are you?

        You don’t think trump profits from government payments to his properties when he goes to them?

        From GOP payments for booked events at his properties?

        From foreign government visitations to his properties?

        What about juniors recent book, for which the GOP spent $100,000 for advance copies?

        You have the credibility of a jailhouse snitch/.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:04 am

        I did not ask the Secret Service to follow Trump to Mar-a-lago.
        You are free to change the law – I will support you.

        Are you saying that if we elect someone president – they are not free to play golf periodically ? Tell that to several decades of presidents.

        Or are you saying that when we elect a person president – we get to dictate where they play golf and where they live and everything else they do for 4 years ?

        BTW – I am fine with that – but CHANGE THE LAW.

        Are you really so daft as to be unable to see that the only apparent value any private party got from the Biden familiy in return for money was access to Biden’s government power.

        Mar-a-Lago gets money for hotel rooms, and golf carts.
        What did Burisma get for their money ?

        What did Rosemont Capital give the federal government in return for a cool $100m ?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:05 am

        Last I checked the GOP was a political party. Their money does not come from tax payers and how they spend it is between them and their donors. And is none of your business.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:09 am

        I have seen no evidence that foreign governments get anything but meals and hotel rooms in return for their money. And it is not US tax payer money.

        What did Rosemont Capital give the american people in return for over $100m ?
        What did Burisma buy for a couple of Million from Hunter Biden ?

        If Hunter Biden provided Burisma with cocaine for the money that would be less corrupt.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:11 am

        Wow! Corruption of the century the GOP is spending private money to buy a book!

        How is that like Rosemont Capital getting money taken by government by force from you and I ?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 4:56 pm

        Wow, Hunter Biden was one of 177 other firms ripping off the tax payer.

        That is your defense ?

        I opposed bailing out AIG and Cittibank.
        As did most americans.

        Do you think I support bailing out Rosemont Capital and 177 other firms like it ?

        Was Trump bailed out ?

        If the GOP or DNC or George Sorros, or the Koch’s wish to pay Rosemont Senneca or Trump Tower New York for services – that is not my business at all.

        Rosemont Capital received a tax payer Bailout.
        Rosemont Sennecca received millions from Burisma – and the only value that they could possibly have delivered was influence with VP Biden.

        Only people like you scream foul when private people with actual skills and expertise – sell those skills and expertise OR real products to other private people and organizations.

        Selling influence with GOVERNMENT is quite different from selling a golf package or a hotel room.

        But as always you wish to muddy the meaning of words so that There is some bizzarre equivalence between Trump Jr. selling a guest a hotel room, and Hunter Biden selling Burisima access to the vice president.

        But then you though that RUSSIANS paying HUNDREDS of Millions to the clinton foundation for access to the Sec State was not a problem. But you think renting a Hotel Room in DC is ?

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 9:57 pm

        “Wow, Hunter Biden was one of 177 other firms ripping off the tax payer.”

        Where’s your proof any of the 177 firms ripped off taxpayers?
        The program was enacted by a Republican controlled Senate.
        Where’s your proof the firm Biden worked for ripped off taxpayers?
        Where’s your proof H. Biden profited from that deal?
        How many of those 177 firms donated money to Republicans?
        In fact, didn’t the GOP hire Biden’s firm when he was hired?
        In fact didn’t Biden’s son’s firm donate money to the GOP?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:22 am

        Proof ? Trivial.

        The government gave money taken from tax payers and gave it to others for NOTHING.
        The government was provided no goods, no services.

        So government stole money from you and I and gave it to Biden and others.

        That is pretty self evident.

        Are you actually saying that Hunter got $130M for which he had to do NOTHING and he did not profit ?

        When have I said I was a republican ?

        I opposed Tarp, Talf, Cash for Clunkers, ARRA, PPACA, Medicare D, ……

        Lets get something about corruption straight – as those on the left seem clueless.

        If I as a private person or business wish to give any amount of my own money to someone else – even a politician – that is my business.

        I do not care who donated how much to who.

        If I offer that money in return for some favor from someone in government – even then trading value for value is the core of the free market of private enterprise.

        The actual crime is when those in govenrment trade government power – for anything.

        I have no interest in republican or democratic donors.
        I have great interest in what the politicians they donated to did.
        If they used government power differently in response to contributions – they abused power, and betrayed the public trust.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 3:49 am

      My father had vascular dimensia. I do not wish any form of mental decline on anyone.
      Unfortunately it will happen to everyone of us – if we live long enough.

      Most of the 2020 front runners – including Trump are old enough that mental decline is a concern.

      Trump has shown no sign of mental decline, Warren has shown no sign – I beleive she is the youngest. Sanders has shown physical but not mental issues.

      There are strong hints of problems with Biden.

      I honestly hope that is not the case. I watched my parents and inlaws all die.
      Dimensia is the worst of all ways to go. Worse than cancer.
      But if it is – there are people near him who know it and should get him out of this.
      Further, it is not going to get better. If he has issues – we will likely know before the end of the campaign.

      But there is another possiblity. Biden just no longer has the stamina and endurance for this.

      Regardless, if this faux impeachment goes forward – Joe Biden is going to be Trump witness #1 in the Senate. And he is going to have to answer alot of difficult questions about Ukraine.

      And there are no answers that are going to make that go well.

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 9:42 am

        “Trump has shown no sign of mental decline, ”

        There appears to be a HUGE body of professional psychological observation/opinion strongly in disagreement with your opinion.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 4:59 pm

        We have ALL observed the issues with Biden – I hope that they are wrong.

        The claims regarding Trump are not about Decline, mostly, they are claims that he is unfit, and those shrinks that have made those claims have not examined him as required by their code of professional ethics.

        There is no growing body of evidence that Trump is less mentally able than he was when he was running as a candidate. If anything we see the opposite.

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 8:35 pm

        If you see a idiot setting fires over and over, you don’t have to be an arson investigator to know you’re dealing with a pyromaniac

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 12:39 am

        Replace fires with jellyfish and your analogy would mirror reality.

        It is you and those like you that seek to burn everything down.

        Where is the fire that you are not trying to set ?

        If the Ukrainians investigate all the things Trump asked for – will the world come to an end ?
        If Trump refused to provide the Ukrainians aide until he could certify to congress as the law required that Ukraine was addressing corruption – would the world burn to ash ?

        What has happened in the past 3 years that has the world ablaze ?

        Trump has done things I like and things I do not – like Obama, and Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan.

        I just finished Burn’s Vietnam. Which ends just before Nixon resigns.

        The country survived Nixon – who really and truly abused power.
        And who did some incredibly horrible things economically.

        It is very wierd. Nixon is one of our worst presidents.
        But he also had some incredible accomplishments.

        Nixon went to China.
        Nixon struck the first nuclear treaty with the Russians.
        Nixon ended the vietnam war.

        To the extent possible – he actually brought peace with honor.
        He got Hanoi to the bargaining table. He struck a bad deal – but a far better on than any other president got close to. Further unlike Kennedy and Johnson his actual goal from the start was to get out. He escalated the war – but with the clear purpose of ending it.

        And then there is the long list of bad things about Nixon.

        Regardless, the country did not burn down.

        Obama and Bush were pretty poor presidents. Increasingly I find Nixon’s greatest sins in Obama’s presidency, and no good to counter it.

        The country did not burn to the ground.

        Trump will be re-elected – or Biden – or Warren – or ..
        That will be good and bad

        The country will not burn to the ground.

        You and yours are the only ones lighting a fire.

        As Turley noted yesterday – the only abuse of power that is evident would be the house passing an article of impeachment over the president refusing to cooperate with house impeachment subpeona’s

        Our government has 3 branches not 2, Legal disputes between the legislative and executive branch are arbitrated by the courts.
        When the house refuses to do so – it abuses its power.

        .

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 4:57 am

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

      Mahatma Gandhi

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 11:18 am

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they shun you—
        Mahatma Jay

      • dhlii permalink
        December 5, 2019 5:01 pm

        Absolutely – shun me – do not listen to me, do not interact with me. Do not have anything to do with my life.

        And do not make laws controling what I can say and do.

        If you want out of the lives of people you do not like – actually get OUT of them.

        So long as you think you can shun people while dictating how they live their lives – you are immoral.

      • Jay permalink
        December 5, 2019 8:33 pm

        I will confront the crap you post here; if I knew you socially I’d shun you.
        Your mind set is a Danger to the nation.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 12:20 am

        “I will confront the crap you post here; if I knew you socially I’d shun you.
        Your mind set is a Danger to the nation.”

        Your mind is a strange place.

        You really seem to channel Orwellian distopia.

        Absolutely you should save the world from my “thought crimes”.

        The only danger the nations faces is in acts not thoughts.

        Your not a hero speaking truth to power, your a grumpy old man unhappy that everyone does not agree with you, and that you do not control the world.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 10:17 am

        Are you suggesting that if I find your verbal assertions detrimental to my well being I shouldn’t assault them; if I find they define you as someone I don’t want to associate with socially – it’s just an unwarranted expression of grumpy aged dystopian petulance?

        If during the Civil War you vociferously defended slavery as legal, socially and economically and religiously beneficial, an institution that should be perpetually protected by the South – those offended by it were not forced to own them – as an anti-slavery Southerner wouldn’t I be morally justified shouting you were full of crap, and I was going to shun your idiotic ass at public/social gatherings henceforth?

        “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience…
        -Mahatma Gandhi

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:04 pm

        “Are you suggesting that if I find your verbal assertions detrimental to my well being I shouldn’t assault them; if I find they define you as someone I don’t want to associate with socially – it’s just an unwarranted expression of grumpy aged dystopian petulance?”

        Have you stopped beating your wife ?

        Your response sis so full of fallacies it is difficult to deal with.

        You – no one else, is responsible for your well being.
        You should not ever assault anyone – it is a crime.

        Regardless, your response is pretty typical – actually tame for you and right out of 1984.

        Deliberate word mangling to fallaciously misrepresent reality and silence dissent.

        “If during the Civil War you vociferously defended slavery as legal, socially and economically and religiously beneficial, an institution that should be perpetually protected by the South – those offended by it were not forced to own them – as an anti-slavery Southerner wouldn’t I be morally justified shouting you were full of crap, and I was going to shun your idiotic ass at public/social gatherings henceforth?”

        In your metaphor – you would be defend slavery. You are the proponent of the use of force by an elite particularly government against others without their consent.

        I have been entirely consistent.

        No one may use force against another without justification.

        You have consistently elided the requirement to justify the use of force.

        Pretending that if you can get government to use force to do your bidding that makes the use of force legitimate. That is false. That is immoral. That is slavery. You are the slaver.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 4:45 pm

        “ You should not ever assault anyone – it is a crime.”

        Verbal assault is a crime?

        Is that another charge to add to Trump impeachment?

        And Is shunning quantum-mechanic spooky assault from a distance? If it’s wrong to shun people whose views you find obnoxious, can you openly scowl at them in public, or will that be considered facial emotional assault?

        What the hell does my personal written or spoken assaultive response, or my choice to shun someone, have to do with unjustified government force?

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 5:57 pm

        “verbal assault” is a contradiction in terms – OK for fiction and poetry, never a correct statement of fact. actual assault requires force.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 6:50 pm

        Ignorant pretentious narrow focus pedantic shit.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 6:00 pm

        We should not need to have this discussion.
        You should KNOW that you can not use force against others without justifiaction.

        And you should know that you can speak to or shun socialize or not, listen to or not anyone you wish. And they have the same rights to.

        You can refuse to listen – you can not silence.

        That should be fundamentally knowledge.

        If you do not have that basic understanding – you can not function in a free society.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 6:10 pm

        Why is it that when dealing with wingnuts such as yourself, even the fundimentals of morality, ethics and law have to be spelled out ?

        Why is it that the basics of law and morality have to be explained to you ?

        Why is it that you think they are somehow fungible ?

        That probably has something to do with your blurred use of language.

        When you can not express your position accurately unambiguously and clearly – that reflects your muddled thinking and confuses those you speak to.

        “What the hell does …” ?

        Those basic standards – which everyone is supposed to respect and understand – but you daily make clear you do not, are the minimums.

        They are also all that can be enforced using FORCE.

        Merely not violating the law does not make you fully moral, or ethical.

        But it DOES bar the use of force to make you conform.

        Actually assault someone – and I CAN use force against you – morally and legally.

        Insult someone and I can NOT use force against you, but I can shun you or insult you.

        That does not make shunning or insulting moral, it just means they are legal.

        None of us act morally according to any positive moral code.
        We do not even share the same code of positive morality.

        But we are all obligated to conform to the same negative moral code – the law, “though shalt not”. That requirement for universal conformance and the justifiable use of force to enforce that REQUIRES that the law is CLEAR NARROW, and UNAMBIGUOUS,.

        If you have to mangle words to make something appear illegal – it is not.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 6, 2019 1:15 pm

        In the rare instances it is possible to get you to make an argument rather than just link to some insult offered by another, your arguments are so chock full of misrepresentations from end to end.

        Neither you nor I need justification to speak.
        You are free to spout unjustified immoral garbage as you wish.

        Morality and justification are relevant when force is used.
        You are the one constantly seeking to use force to slowly enslave the rest of us.
        The moral burden is yours. The requirement to justify you actions is yours.

        the burdens of justification and morality are by far the highest on ACTS infringing on the liberty of others.

        I am not seeking to do that. You are – pretty much always.

        BTW your Ghandi quote is absolutely wrong.

        Your personal conscious is never sufficient justification for the use of force to infringe on the liberty of another.

        The courts of justice are not democratic, but they get their moral and legal authority from the consent of the governed.

        The superior court to the courts of justice are the supermajoritarian consensus that the courts of justice erred. Not your personal conscious.

        No man is a law unto himself.

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 5:04 am

      Very odd. You and aparently Biden truly are lefties.

      You can not possibly be an american.

      Do you think that actual americans care what the French or Germans think of us ? Of Trump ?

      This was one of Obama’s big mistakes – kowtowing for the approval of europe.

      Americans do not care what the world thinks of us.

      Being american is about what you DO.
      Not what some elitists think of you ?

      Regardless, if Biden wants to continue to use the oppinion of european leaders of our president as a campaign weapon, he will find himself “hoist on his own petard.”

      Are you honestly so naive about this country to think that images of european leaders laughing at any american president will cause american blue collar workers to turn on him ?
      That is the way to lose their votes not gain them.

      But then again – you keep disparaging these people as deplorables and wonder why they vote against you

    • dhlii permalink
      December 5, 2019 5:13 am

      So 130M in financial crisis bailout money went to Rosemont Capital – Hunter Biden’s investment firm in 2009.

      Keep laughing at Trump Joe.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/hunter-biden-linked-company-received-130m-in-special-federal-loans-while-joe-biden-was-vp

  42. Jay permalink
    December 5, 2019 9:17 pm

    Question for dhlii:
    If you and your family were in serious trouble, and you had one of two choices to ask for help, Trump,or Biden, who would you ask?

    Think it through objectively.
    Be honest (try).

    • dhlii permalink
      December 6, 2019 12:45 am

      There is so much wrong with that question.

      First I would ask neither. I have no relationship with either. I owe nothing to either and neither owes anything to me.

      I have close friends who do come to me when they need help and I to them.

      If I had a choice between asking Mother Theresa for help and Trump – I might pick Mother Theresa. But I would not pick her for president.

      The role of president is not charity, it is to administer the rule of law.
      Charity is exclusively the private domain not the public.
      You can not steal from peter to help paul. It is still stealing.

      As to looking for Charity from one of these. I doubt either is particularly charitable.
      But in your hypothetical, I would gamble on Trump – he is more honest.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 6:52 pm

        “ , I would gamble on Trump – he is more honest.”

        “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”
        -Marcus Tullius Cicero

      • dhlii permalink
        December 7, 2019 12:09 am

        So place your bet on Biden – maybe he will cut you in on some Burisima Swag.

        You asked a question.
        I answered.
        You do not like my answer
        Your problem.

        BTW – I am not sure it is appropriate to classify Trump as a conservative,
        but Generally conservatives are significantly more likely to give their money to charity, to help others, and to volunteer their time to help others.
        They are much more likely – even if you remove churches and other things that are more specifically tied to conservatives.

        So if you need help – you are more likely to get help from a conservative than from someone on the left – statistically.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 8:16 pm

        “images of european leaders laughing at any american president”

        Confused? You think Cañada is in Europe?

        And what percent of American black or Hispanic blue collar workers are for Trump? Not many. And Trump white blue collar workers, along with other core Trump voters, have remained frozen in number since his inauguration. Like Evangelicals voters, nothing short of videos of Trump performing oral sex with Rudy will budge them.

        trump will NOT get a higher vote count in 2020 than in 2016. If the Dems chose unwisely, they could get less in 2020. But if Biden runs, they will exceed 10 million popular votes. And will win the electoral vote too. But then, Trump will contest the election as fraudulent, and refuse to give up power. And you, like other core Trumpanzees, will agree he’s justified in declaring military law with whatever fictitious stories they invent: you’ll be championing the reasons with the same fervent idiocy idiotic you have displayed here, in tedious redundancy post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 7, 2019 1:21 am

        “You think Cañada is in Europe?”

        Americans (as us arrogant US citizens think of ourselves)
        Do not give a shit what Canadian’s mexican’s europeans think of us.

        We care about accomplishments – and we still do better at that than anywhere else in the world.

        “And what percent of American black or Hispanic blue collar workers are for Trump? Not many. ”
        Does not matter what the absolute percentage is. Every poll says the number is rising.
        They disagree on how much. But rising is all that matters.
        Democrats have to replace every single hispanic or black vote they loose,
        And then add more – to have any hope of wining.

        Further the problem is worse in the “swing states”.
        Trump can lose CA and NY by 100%, and still have a landslide.

        “And Trump white blue collar workers, along with other core Trump voters, have remained frozen in number since his inauguration. Like Evangelicals voters, nothing short of videos of Trump performing oral sex with Rudy will budge them.”

        No actually the numbers are growing.
        And evangelicals would probably vote for Trump if there was video of him felating Rudy.
        So long as he delivers a federalist supreme court.

        “trump will NOT get a higher vote count in 2020 than in 2016.”
        So you say. We will see. Regardless, I do not care about his popular vote count.
        I do not care if even more deep blue state democrats hate him.

        There are 4 states that are critical. All are more red today than in 2016.
        And there are possibly a dozen states in play outside those 4. There is one possibly 2 red states that have gone pink or maybe even pink states that have turned purple.

        There are alot of purple states that could go pink in 2020.
        Democrats are going to be on the defensive.

        “If the Dems chose unwisely, they could get less in 2020. But if Biden runs, they will exceed 10 million popular votes.”
        Even polls right now do not show that. And the odds of the Democrats doing better next November than right now would require a recession.

        “And will win the electoral vote too.”
        Beleive what you want. There are an AWFUL LOT of democrats right now that KNOW that without this impeachment gambit – Trump was winning. And this gambit is failing badly.

        “But then, Trump will contest the election as fraudulent, and refuse to give up power.”

        So far the only people I have seen call a recent election “fraudulent” have been those on the left. Even Nancy Pelosi is now echoing nonsense.

        I have zero doubt Trump will leave if he loses.
        Hillary has not yet accepted that she lost.

        What you should worry about is that AG Barr does to the next democrat what Obama, Lynch, Comey, Brennan etc. Did to Trump.

        We have NEVER had anything like that before.

        LBJ beleived Nixon committed Treason – he still did not sic the FBI, CIA, DOJ on him as he took office.

        Schiff just secretly subpeoned the phone records of political rivals and private individuals.
        He did so without review by any court.

        And you want to rant about Trump ?

        No one is going to declare martial law. That is an idiotic dystopian fantasy of yours.

        In the unlikely event this election is close – I expect it will be hotly contested no matter who wins.

        There will absolutely be some close races – and we need to address that – and should have done so after 2000 or 2016.

        There is alot of things that should be done to insure the integrity of our voting.
        Russia social media activism not being one of those.

        But that will not happen.

        We need better processes to deal with close elections – at every office.

        There are plenty of easy fixes. We can not even talk about them.
        After 2000 we made things worse not better.

        It is not so important who wins an election as it is that the overwhelming majority of people accept the result.

        Russia did not alter the outcome of 2016. But far too many people beleive they did and that is very dangerous.

        I badly hope that Trump does not win a close election – we do not need 4 more years of Faux Russia nonsense.

        Regardless most of your nonsense about Trump failing to leave is projection – and stupid projection at that.

        In the first week of January 2021, congress will certify the 2020 vote.
        If it certifies someone other than Trump on Jan. 21, 2021, Trump will no longer be president.
        No one in the military, no one in the executive branch, no one in the government will continue to take orders from him

        Do you honestly beleive that the US military, would prop up ANY former president of ANY party ? Trump could declare anything he wanted. He would not be president.

        Regardless, what you should worry about is not that Trump will not accept the results, but that a significant portion of the people do not.

        We have just had three hellish years where those on the left did not accept the results of an election.

        Do you want that again ?

        Further like with so many things YOU bad behavior has NORMALIZED that.

        What if Biden is narrowly elected under suspicious circumstances and Trump voters behave like democrats have for the past 3 years ?

        What I have “championed” is the law and the constitution.

        It specifies how elections work – follow those rules and I and everyone not a left wing nut will accept the results – including Trump.

        Try to pretend the constitution and law are maleable – and subject to broad interpretation – and I will fight you. Regardless of who wins.

      • Jay permalink
        December 6, 2019 8:49 pm

        Trump is a corrupt joke of dishonesty.

        The real joke is that you really believe he’s not guilty. He asked a favor from a foreign country to fake investigate an American citizen and the only reason he released the funds is he got caught.

        Anyone who thinks that’s not wrong is mistaken.
        Anyone who thinks that’s not was Trump attempting to do is a blithering idiot.
        Anyone who believes both needs cerebral cortex surgery.

      • dhlii permalink
        December 7, 2019 1:32 am

        “The real joke is that you really believe he’s not guilty. He asked a favor from a foreign country to fake investigate an American citizen”

        There is absolutely no evidence of any kind claiming that. Not a single witness has said that.
        The only person who was formally said that is Schiff and even he has said – “just joking”

        Where reasonable suspicion exists:
        The president can ORDER DOJ/FBI to investigate, he can ASK foreign powers to investigate.

        He can ask for investigations of american citizens, and of political rivals.
        He can withhold foreign aide,
        he can demand a quid pro quo.

        And you want that to be the standard – otherwise everything the DOJ/FBI did in 2016 was a crime – whether investigating Clinton’s emails or Trump/Russia.

        And this faux impeachment is the same crime.
        And schiff’s subpeonas are a more egregious crime.

        There is no exemption in the law for political rivals.
        Absolutely the scrutiny should be higher.

        But the standard to start an investigation is reasonable suspicion.
        The standard to conduct a search is probable cause.

        That is both the law and the constitution.
        It is True for Trump, For Comey, for Barr, For Obama, For Schiff.

        “and the only reason he released the funds is he got caught.”

        That is not the evidence, and that is irrelevant.

        “Anyone who thinks that’s not wrong is mistaken.”
        Then the entire Trump/Russia collusion investigation was wrong.

        “Anyone who thinks that’s not was Trump attempting to do is a blithering idiot.”
        The law is not about what you think.
        It is about what you can prove with evidence

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