Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2019

Trump Would Be Impeached If …

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:11 am



1) He had said only privately many of the things he has said publicly;

2) He were otherwise normal and not famously erratic; and

3) He didn’t already lie so constantly that everyone is numb to the lies.

Let’s look at a short and incomplete list of his relevant transgressions.

  • He admitted that he fired the FBI director in part, at least, out of anger over an investigation into his contacts with a hostile power (“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…'”).
  • He constantly berated (and ultimately fired) his loyalist Attorney General for appropriately recusing himself from that Russia investigation.
  • He tried to fire the Special Counsel investigating that Russia connection, and relented only when his lawyers threatened to quit.
  • He ordered a felonious payoff of a porn star to keep silent about her affair with him, for the purpose of benefiting his campaign.
  • He threatened the father in law of the man who made that payoff, who was at that point a major witness against him, just before that witness testified to Congress.
  • He had his lawyer dangle pardons in front of potential witnesses against him.
  • He asked the FBI director to “let go” an investigation into his national security advisor, who discussed lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador (probably at his behest) before lying about it to the FBI (“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…”).
  • He personally drafted a false statement about the nature of a meeting between a woman with ties to the Kremlin and his Kremlin-connected campaign manager, son, and son in law.

These are the types of things that are going to show up in the Mueller report, once we finally get it. Together, they paint a damning picture of someone manifestly unfit for office. But we already know about most of them, because hell, he said much of it in public. And the fact that he has obviously lied about a lot of it (the Veselnitskaya meeting, the porn star payoffs, etc.) doesn’t land because, hey, the guy lies constantly. And saying any of the things that he has said that would be shocking for most people … they just aren’t that shocking for him, because he is a giant obese walking bag of inappropriateness and impropriety.

These are the reasons he likely won’t be impeached. Because of (not in spite of) the fact that he is bizarre, ridiculous, and chronically dishonest — and he is these things openly and without shame.

Be proud, America. Pop open some beers, because it’s Vindication Time.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

373 Responses to “Trump Would Be Impeached If …”

  1. It’s really important, if you support Trump, to accept the facts you cite, Patterico.

    I remember how the Left was about Clinton. Lying didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, so long as he postured for the political bumper stickers of the day.

    Then we got Obama, and that sentiment got jacked up on steroids.

    So, as non-progressives, we have to made certain we do not do the things we abhor in others. Or so I think.

    This is why all the name calling, snottiness, and overfocus work against us early. We need better candidates, period, and we will get them not not acting like progressives early on.

    All that said, it’s important for Trump supporters to state what they like about him and his Presidency, in counterpoint to those of us who aren’t humongous supporters of the gentleman.

    In other words: what should we look for in a President?

    Simon Jester (7fa93e)

  2. Indeed, he is unfit. But strangely he’s doing a pretty good job. Obama set the bar of qualifications pretty low. Trump lowered it further. How low can we go?

    Rick Wahler (bec1ce)

  3. Appoint a special counsel to investigate the genesis of this horseschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Lying under oath re matters pertaining to qn employee under his authority, did we forget about distinctions or does only narrative matter. I think his first failure was firing general Flynn apres le deluge.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  5. Mr Wahler wrote:

    Indeed, he is unfit. But strangely he’s doing a pretty good job.

    How is he unfit?

    Oh, he’s certainly not a nice guy, but so what? Maybe he’s secretly the raaaaacist the left say he is, maybe he hates Mexicans and homosexuals, maybe he’s a thoroughly sexist pig, but so what? Being those things isn’t illegal, and some (not all) of his supporters are those things as well. But, why should I care about his personality; I’ve never met him or any other President, and the odds that I ever will are vanishingly small. His policies are (mostly) the correct ones, and that’s what is important.

    Barack Hussein Obama was, according to the (fawning) media reports, a nice guy, but he was the worst president in my lifetime . . . and my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    The inquisitive Dana (7e0972)

  6. Seeing how avenatti (a hero in this biard) fir at least a few months) tried to extort Nike,

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  7. He admitted that he fired the FBI director in part, at least, out of anger over an investigation into his contacts with a hostile power (“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…’”).

    How is this a transgression? He has authority to fire the FBI. Yes, he initially said that he was using Rosenstein’s memo initially, but Trump was absolutely in the right to be angry at Comey when he was privately telling him on multiple times that he wasn’t under investigation, and yet at the same time Comey signaled publicly that Trump was in fact under investigation.

    He constantly berated (and ultimately fired) his loyalist Attorney General for appropriately recusing himself from that Russia investigation.

    And? Sure it’s definitely “norm breaking” and unbecoming of the Presidency. But impeachment worthy?

    He tried to fire the Special Counsel investigating that Russia connection, and relented only when his lawyers threatened to quit.

    And? Its totally in his prerogative to fire Mueller as Trump is the superior officer in the DOJ chain-of-command. That fact that he actually listened to his lawyers was a good thing. Yes, had he fired Mueller, Congress can try to impeach him (has they define what is impeachable). But, it wouldn’t constitute a criminal offense.

    He ordered a felonious payoff of a porn star to keep silent about her affair with him, for the purpose of benefiting his campaign.

    He does have seriously liability here… but, if the feds couldn’t get a conviction on John Freaking Edwards, they’re going to have a hard time here. Simply because of the fact that Trump has paid of nuisance suits/threats prior to becoming POTUS.

    He threatened the father in law of the man who made that payoff, who was at that point a major witness against him, just before that witness testified to Congress.

    That’s really bad, and honestly a legit point that Democrats can initiate impeachment. Yeah, it’s probably only him on Twitter, but there are THINGS THAT YOU DON’T DO! (seriously I think he needs to stop tweeting).

    He had his lawyer dangle pardons in front of potential witnesses against him.

    Did that really happen? Because that definitely Nixonian… keep in mind that there were so many rumors and innuendo that ended up being far from the truth. Honestly, that’s one thing I do blame Trump for, is that because of his actions…it makes it easier for people to give more credence to those ‘rumors and innuendo’ that otherwise wouldn’t work on a traditional politician.

    He asked the FBI director to “let go” an investigation into his national security advisor, who discussed lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador (probably at his behest) before lying about it to the FBI (“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…”).

    Lying to the FBI is bad…cannot be excused. But, in the aftermath of the election, the hysteria of Trump becoming POTUS was literally DEFCON 1 in the political sphere, and I’ve always believed that Flynn thought he *had* to lie to the FBI to provide some cover to the administration in light of the RUSSIAN COLLUSION hysteria in those early days. Flynn really didn’t need to lie…which is the most ironic thing about it as he was performing a legitimate function of his incoming position. Furthermore, it’s troubling that Sally Yates/McCabe used the predicate of The Logan Act to interview Flynn is really troubling as well. Now to Trump asking Comey to go easy on Flynn… again, he’s the POTUS. He can direct his subordinate to drop it for any reason. That’s a legit authority. That’s different than if he had suborn perjury or tampered with potential witnesses of course. (ie, threaten his lawyer’s dad).

    He personally drafted a false statement about the nature of a meeting between a woman with ties to the Kremlin and his Kremlin-connected campaign manager, son, and son in law.

    Getting dirt on your political opponent is a very scummy thing to do. By not being forthright as the predicate of that meeting with Congress is scummy. But, in a way, I kinda understand the rationale for the subterfuge. So, again, another example of giving easy fodder to his opponents.

    But I’m not sure it rises to the level of impeachment.

    I know you think I’m a Trumper or trying to rationalize Trump bad deeds.

    In a way, I am.

    But, I do give myself solace that it’s Trump in the Whitehouse, and not Clinton as we were given two very bad choices in 2016. Frankly, I’m pleasantly surprised as how Trump has done thus far (as net positive)…because we have absolutely ZERO clue how Trump would actually operate policy-wise.

    whembly (b9d411)

  8. The House of Reps will not impeach and the Senate will not remove Trump from office. The most credible thing that has emerged from these last 2 years is the charge that the media promotes and propagates fake news.

    The voters will have their say in 2020.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. Dana,

    Trump is not unfit of you believe any American can be President. Trump is unfit if you acknowledge (for example) his pathetic values, his complete lack of discipline, and his lackluster knowledge and inability to articulate how the American government and economy works. Have other Presidents had similar qualities? Not any modern Republican Presidents that I recall.

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. 9. Just as an aside, I believe Ronald Wilson Reagan was, in fact, the last fundamentally decent person to occupy the Oval Office as President of the United States of America. It’s been nothing but downhill since then.

    Gryph (08c844)

  11. Then you don’the know the Bushes.

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. I disagree with many things they did as President but if you think they weren’t decent people, you don’t know them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. 11. Or maybe I know them better than the public image the media paints of them.

    Gryph (08c844)

  14. 12. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree there. Might I remind you however, that George H.W. Bush spoke out quite vociferously against Reagan, including slandering his future running mate with the term “Voodoo Economics.” That doesn’t sound like something a fundamentally decent person would say about his future running mate. But what do I know?

    Gryph (08c844)

  15. 14… all is fair in love and politics, unless Trump…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. 15. This is neither a suitable time or forum for me to list all the ways in which Donald J. Trump has slandered people. Whether or not the Bush family was full of blue-blood narcissists is debatable, but I don’t think anyone can *seriously* argue that the Trump family isn’t.

    Gryph (08c844)

  17. Bush 41 also ran the Willie Horton ads orchestrated by Lee Atwater, who also ran Reagan’s dirty tricks campaign against Ferraro. Who says only Democrats play tough?

    DRJ (15874d)

  18. 17. There’s tough, and then there’s slanderous. Those Willie Horton ads were vetted for truthfulness down to the last word. The public’s distaste for them was strictly emotional. I’ll grant you that. That does not change my opinion of the Bush family as a bunch of nose-in-the-air blue bloods.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. W isn’t that much, but are you saying blue bloods can’t be decent?

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. 19. I guess that depends on how you define “blue bloods.” I stand by my earlier assertion that Ronald Wilson Reagan was the last *fundamentally decent* individual to occupy the Oval Office as President of the United States of America.

    Gryph (08c844)

  21. “slandering his future running mate with the term “Voodoo Economics.” ”

    It’s not slander if it’s true.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  22. Reagan, Nancy, Atwater, and Ferraro.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. I like Reagan. He was a very decent man. But if political dirty tricks disqualify someone from decency, he is disqualified.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. So maybe you are saying he was a real person with real values, not someone who feels entitled?

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. Willie Horton was a helluva baseball player. One of my favorite Detroit Tigers!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. Whom Would Caesar Marry? But Trump is no Pompeia. He’s a Messalina or an Agrippinila.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. Simon,

    During the election cycle, Trump tapped into an internationally-growing vein of populism by focusing on illegal immigration from the south and legal immigration from Middle and Far East. With 4 to 8% of the current US population consisting of illegal immigrants and Republican leadership appearing to capitulate on amnesty over enforcement, voters were willing to overlook flaws that would normally sink a candidate. Add to that, the tragic decision by the news media to chase ratings and advertising dollars by latching on to a circus-sideshow candidate and the worst of his fans in order to present a narrative of how terrible the Republican party had become. While they were successful at demoralizing some Republicans, they accidentally fed a growing nationalist fervor among the politically-uncommitted working class. At the end of the day, it appeared that the media had propped up the opponent for Hillary Clinton that, in a saner world, would lose in the biggest way possible. However, Hillary Clinton is in actuality the worst candidate for President ever**, Trump ends up winning.

    But here we are now, and for 2020, what will likely win things for Trump:

    For Trump Supporters:
    Gorsuch
    Kavanaugh
    SALT deduction reforms
    Actual enforcement of immigration laws as written
    $1 billion being spent on border control improvements
    Democratic Party in shambles after going all-in for Hillary

    For small government folks:
    Instead of a hypothetical “crazy man” in our “What if some crazy man is elected President and you’ve allowed the Federal Government the power to…”, we can now say “What if someone worse than Trump…”
    It’s likely the Democrats are going to put forward someone worse than Trump.

    For the Republican Party:
    Hey, maybe saying one thing to your base and doing the exact opposite once you are elected actually has consequences.
    Trump is willing to listen to Senators and House members and is flexible on most policies.

    **Nevermind her policies or political stances. Read ‘Shattered’ and ‘Hacked’ and look at accounts of the 2008 Democratic Primary. She runs things in a Stalinesque style, using in-fighting and her favor to sink or lift the members of her campaign staff.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  28. And if his doting supporters (present company excepted), by implication, are Claudiuses who married a erohw, that’s how the mushroom floats.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. 16… no argument there… narcissism often runs hand in hand with wealth, celebrity, politics, and employment in the federal government.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. This notion of fit seems to be rather fluid. I don’t see that his crude behavior is fundamentally different from LBJ who was also a ruthless politician. It’s possible LBJ was worse. Carter was a decent person who was ‘fit’ but who really argues that he was a good president. Before BHO was elected was there any real basis to think he was ‘fit’ other than his ability to give a speech? JFK was a horrible person and president, I would argue his drug dependency by itself made him ‘unfit’, but we’ve mythologized him into the picture that should be in the encyclopedia. Both Bush Jr. and Sr. were ‘fit’ by most definitions but in retrospect, it really seems like both of them helped us all make some bad choices.

    Does anyone think we can talk about issues like adults or are personal attacks the going forward expectation?

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  31. shouldn’t that be an erohw, nk?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. @27 Trump is a great argument for small government and I think this point needs to be made more often.

    This is clear with the newest threat to Obamacare and the demand that DJT needs to have something to replace it if it’s struck down. No, it’s enough that he douse it in kerosene and strike the match.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  33. Ryan Saavedra
    @RealSaavedra
    All 9 Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee demand Democrat Chairman Adam Schiff resign: “we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. DRJ wrote:

    Trump is not unfit of you believe any American can be President. Trump is unfit if you acknowledge (for example) his pathetic values, his complete lack of discipline, and his lackluster knowledge and inability to articulate how the American government and economy works.

    Yet, strangely enough, despite all of those claims against him, he has managed to be a pretty good President so far. I am less concerned with how he does things than the fact he gets them done.

    His pathetic values? Yup, he’s an adulterer, and hardly practices what he preaches, but his family values policies have been as spot on as he can make them. Why should I care about him being a personal lech if he’s appointing pro-life officials and judges?

    ObysmalCare remains the law in this country because a very nice, very qualified Republican President appointed John Roberts to the Supreme Court, not because of anything President Trump did. At least President Trump’s Department of Justice is taking the initiative in trying to get it thrown out.

    Homosexual “marriage” is the law of the land not because of Mr Trump, but because the family values President, Ronald Reagan, appointed Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court; Affirmative Action remains legal because Mr Reagan appointed Sandra O’Connor.

    How did President Reagan handle the problem of illegal immigration? He proposed an amnesty for the ones already here, but said no more, which wound up laughable. President Trump is trying to get them rounded up and sent back home!

    So, yeah, I’ll accept his “pathetic values, his complete lack of discipline, and his lackluster knowledge and inability to articulate how the American government and economy works,” in exchange for his ability to get things done.

    The Dana in Kentucky (7e0972)

  35. “That’s just Trump being Trump.” Which means: Anything that Trump does is, by definition, acceptable or even praiseworthy, since Trump is always being Trump. (If other people do similar things, that’s an entirely different story.)

    Every Trump defender has, to one degree or another, adopted Trump’s own belief that he is a law unto himself, and that criticizing him or holding him to any external standards is contrary to the moral doctrine of Supreme Trumpian Greatness.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  36. He admitted that he fired the FBI director in part, at least, out of anger over an investigation into his contacts with a hostile power (“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…’”).

    Here, the issue is that he might have been telling the truth!

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  37. Yup we already knew Trump was a sleaze and a literal crook before he was elected. We knew what we were getting. And I see his election as a collective failure. The people who didn’t vote for him are hardly less to blame for him than the people who did. Trump delights in deviating from norms and while most of that is negative I see some of it as positive.

    One of my main problems with Republicans is an unctuous pandering to protestant Christians (see Marco Rubio tweeting Bible verses). Trump panders to them too, but he does it with a winking unseriousness. No one actually cares whther he has a serious faith or not; they only care about his policies. I think Trump has perhaps paved the way for Presidents not to have to pretend to be Christians anymore to be elected. This I think will be better for the Church and the State.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  38. He had his lawyer dangle pardons in front of potential witnesses against him.

    Did that really happen? Because that definitely Nixonian… keep in mind that there were so many rumors and innuendo that ended up being far from the truth. Honestly, that’s one thing I do blame Trump for, is that because of his actions…it makes it easier for people to give more credence to those ‘rumors and innuendo’ that otherwise wouldn’t work on a traditional politician.

    He asked the FBI director to “let go” an investigation into his national security advisor, who discussed lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador (probably at his behest) before lying about it to the FBI (“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…”).

    Lying to the FBI is bad…cannot be excused. But, in the aftermath of the election, the hysteria of Trump becoming POTUS was literally DEFCON 1 in the political sphere, and I’ve always believed that Flynn thought he *had* to lie to the FBI to provide some cover to the administration in light of the RUSSIAN COLLUSION hysteria in those early days. Flynn really didn’t need to lie…which is the most ironic thing about it as he was performing a legitimate function of his incoming position. Furthermore, it’s troubling that Sally Yates/McCabe used the predicate of The Logan Act to interview Flynn is really troubling as well. Now to Trump asking Comey to go easy on Flynn… again, he’s the POTUS. He can direct his subordinate to drop it for any reason. That’s a legit authority. That’s different than if he had suborn perjury or tampered with potential witnesses of course. (ie, threaten his lawyer’s dad).

    He personally drafted a false statement about the nature of a meeting between a woman with ties to the Kremlin and his Kremlin-connected campaign manager, son, and son in law.

    Getting dirt on your political opponent is a very scummy thing to do. By not being forthright as the predicate of that meeting with Congress is scummy. But, in a way, I kinda understand the rationale for the subterfuge. So, again, another example of giving easy fodder to his opponents.

    But I’m not sure it rises to the level of impeachment.

    I know you think I’m a Trumper or trying to rationalize Trump bad deeds.

    In a way, I am.

    But, I do give myself solace that it’s Trump in the Whitehouse, and not Clinton as we were given two very bad choices in 2016. Frankly, I’m pleasantly surprised as how Trump has done thus far (as net positive)…because we have absolutely ZERO clue how Trump would actually operate policy-wise.

    whembly (b9d411) — 3/28/2019 @ 7:54 am

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  39. Things to reflect on:

    1. We knew what he was and still elected him over his more repulsive opponent. Why? Because he at least knew what the issues we cared about were. Most of the GOP and all of the Dems were clueless about how middle America felt. Why did our 2 parties serve us so poorly?

    2. Read the Pentagon Papers if you want to see real lying from respectable presidents (Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ) — lying that got 10s of thousands killed — and compare that to Trump’s pettiness. I would rather have a senile old fool as president than a brilliant and urbane megalomaniac.

    3. Impeachment is a political act, not a legal one. Andrew Johnson was charged with violating an unconstitutional law, so he should have been acquitted for the legalities but convicted for his politics, the errors of which persist to the present day. Clinton was acquitted for political reasons despite being obviously guilty of perjury.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  40. He had his lawyer dangle pardons in front of potential witnesses against him.

    That would be really stupid, as it prevents the witnesses for taking the “5th.” Once pardoned, they can be compelled to testify, under oath.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  41. That got sent accidentally.

    I was going to say that whembly said @7 dangling pardons is definitely Nixonian.

    Nixon didn’t do that!

    John Dean lied about that, but Nixon had the tapes, and the tapes proved that John Dean was lying. Believe it or not!

    He asked the FBI director to “let go” an investigation into his national security advisor, who discussed lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador (probably at his behest) before lying about it to the FBI (“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…”).

    The discussion was not at Trump;s behest, but because Flynn was careful not to exceed his authority, it didn’t even come close to violating the Logan Act, and Trump decided there wasn’t anything bad about what Flynn did; his being questioned was a sting operation, and it would really be going too far to drop the charges, and then, within hours, the FBI did let him go, contrary to what Comey testified, because they leaked to CNN that Flynn had been honest, contradicting the leak of the previous day.

    Flynn eventually pleaded guilty bith because he had indeed lied and not mis-remembered, and to avoid charges on other matters, and for his son maybe.

    Flynn lied because he’d previously lied to the public, and to Mike Pence, back in January.

    The false statement Trump drafted was in fact half true, as Donald Trump Jr. never got any dirt on Hillary Clinton, and the discussion did involve adoptions from Russia, and it was corrected within a day or two. Trump lied about not being involved in the drafting.

    Trump has acted policy wise more or less as he said he would. In some things he didn’t say anything but it’s in line with strong conservatives.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  42. The Democrats say that Hillary was a bad candidate, but not that she ethical problems and problems with honesty.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  43. The Dana in Kentucky (7e0972) — 3/28/2019 @ 10:09 am

    How did President Reagan handle the problem of illegal immigration? He proposed an amnesty for the ones already here, but said no more, which wound up laughable.

    They made it illegal to hire someone not legally in his country, or not legally allowed to work (just where does Congress get that power, by the way?) and required proof efore anyone could be hired. This was suppposed to eleiminate illegal immigation, but in the real world, it wouldn’t, and nothing sort of totalitarian methods, will.

    President Trump is trying to get them rounded up and sent back home!

    No he isn’t. He wants to reduce legal immigration – or maybe the people he put in charge of polcy advice, do – and prevent any more illegal immigration, but he can’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  44. 30. Jimym Carter was, and is, a tremendous liar.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  45. The Logan Act. Passed in 1799. Only two people have ever been charged under it, and neither was convicted. Can we repeal this yet? Or at least stop mentioning it as if it was really a law?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  46. The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to provide a working process for legal immigration that recognizes that you will have many more immigrants from nearby countries than other places.

    Right now the immigration law is like a traffic light stuck on red. Eventually people stop waiting.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  47. =sigh= GOP operatives Manafort, Stone, Atwater were partners-in-scum back in the day. That party’s well has been poisoned for decades. And now it’s in its death throes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  48. Presidents must be SOBs, surround themselves w/ba$tards and cultivate an affable veneer for the TeeVee.

    The “descent” or the “nice” need not apply.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. Trumplicans simply do not care that Trump lies routinely (while huffing about other people’s “dishonesty”). For example, the responses to a piece demonstrating that Trump brazenly lied about his assets, for his own benefit, is met by Trumplican responses ranging from “So what?” to “GFY.”

    The Trumplican response is pretty much the same when anyone points to Trump’s demonstrated lies to the American public bearing on issues of national concern: “So what?” and “You’re just a hater and a bitter NeverTrumper!”

    It’s really quite astonishing.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  50. The “decent” or the “nice” need not apply.

    Nor those who try to be honest, or who have some reasonable understanding of “true” vs. “false.” Only RINO cuck losers still care about that.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  51. What price, SCOTUS?!

    Unfortunately, for the rigidly ideological, devoted Constitutionist crowd, Donald J. Trump is quite qualified for the POTUS gig.

    Try to impeach or censure our Captain, he’ll beat the rap and wear it as a badge of honor at every rally; there are no patriots in Congress– particularly in the GOP-led Senate. So unless Mueller has hard evidence that Trump slipped the missile codes to Vlad on a thumb drive, he’s galloping to Term Two.

    Peruse the field; the only person who can beat him– is himself.

    And, of course, Oprah.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  52. 52, 53… Still waiting for a denunciation of the funding and use of an entirely false dossier and the resultant FISA activity, the illegal (and possibly criminal) activities of the Obama administration, the IC, the leadership of the DOJ, the FBI that forms the foundation of this attempt to overturn the November 2016 election.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  53. 50… simply an old Marxist’s dream…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. @36. How did President Reagan handle the problem of Iran-Contra? ‘I don’t recall…’ 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. @56. Wake up.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. I’m loving the hate, can’t stop laughing. Cheers

    mg (8cbc69)

  57. Others have addressed some of the specifics, so I won’t.

    Bottom line: better a narcissistic scum-bag, than an honest socialist that will lead us to Venezuela.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  58. trump and republican base hate the same people. the enemy of my enemy is my friend. when will you establishment corporate conservative/libertarian free traders realize the base doesn’t care what you anti trumpeters think. the republican party is now a populist party and neo-con free traders are not welcome. don’t let the door hit you on the way out. bye bye!

    lany (2dae53)

  59. @61. It’s more like the tail is no longer wagging the dog; after decades in ‘control’ the “ideologues” are suddenly on the bottom of the deck. Again. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. Our Captain’s ‘chopper talk’ on the WH lawn today heading to Michigan is simply priceless TeeVee.

    “I’m back in the saddle again…” – Gene Autry

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  61. Regarding Trump’s campaign promises:

    One problem with Trump is he is always redefining and, frankly, changing his promises so it makes it easy to argue he “kept” his promises. Has he kept some of them like TPP, conservative SCOTUS Justices, and reducing regulations? Yes, kudos to him, but making things easier for business doesn’t mean he gets credit for the entire economy, the stock market, or the oil industry. It doesn’t mean that fighting ObamaCare in court is the same as repealing and replacing it, or that fighting Congress for funding for a Wall is the same as building a Wall that Mexico will pay for.

    Virtually everyone here hated when the GOPe promised things but did not keep their promises. they had no values that we could trust. Trump has the same values as the worst of the GOPe but he has convinced too many voters that he is the best we can do.

    DRJ (15874d)

  62. Bottom line: better a narcissistic scum-bag, than an honest socialist that will lead us to Venezuela.

    It will always be a binary election to some people. Trump is depending on it. He might as well make his campaign slogan, “TRUMP: The worst is the best America can hope for.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  63. I want Clinton in the crow bar hotel.

    mg (8cbc69)

  64. @59. Can’t stop laughing either,— because you really don’t see the strategy in what’s truly going on.

    It’s ‘maga-nificent!’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. It will always be a binary election to some people.

    Do you seriously contend otherwise? In 2016, the winner was either going to be Trump or Clinton. In 2020, the winner will either be Trump or whoever is the Democratic nominee.

    These are not guesses, they are certainties.

    So the question one must answer is, who will be net better for the country. Not who will be more morally upright. (Not that Clinton was moral, far from it.)

    The nation will be harmed far more if, say, Kamala Harris or Bernie Sanders is president than if Donald Trump is president. That at least is my assessment.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  66. This is not 2016 and it isn’t about who the Democrats pick, it is about who the Republicans pick.

    DRJ (15874d)

  67. don’t keep telling me how awful DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS have been or will be. Duh. No wonder we have such poor leadership if that is the standard.

    DRJ (15874d)

  68. 43. I wrote:

    whembly said @7 dangling pardons is definitely Nixonian.

    Nixon didn’t do that!

    John Dean lied about that, but Nixon had the tapes, and the tapes proved that John Dean was lying. Believe it or not!

    Here it is: (I remembered this was in Caulfield’s New York Times obituary among other places, but couldn’t find it byy searching Google. The key search terms I needed to use are clemency, but not pardon, and transcript, but not tape.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/us/jack-caulfield-bearer-of-a-watergate-message-dies-at-83.html

    By all accounts, in January 1973, Mr. Caulfield met with James McCord Jr., a former C.I.A. officer and one of the burglars in the Watergate break-in, to tell him that the White House was prepared to grant him clemency, money and a job in return for not testifying against members of the administration and accepting a prison sentence.

    Mr. Caulfield further told Mr. McCord that the president knew about their meeting and that its outcome would be transmitted to him.

    Testifying before the Senate Watergate committee in 1973, Mr. McCord said he was told that the clemency offer had come from “the highest levels of the White House.” Mr. Caulfield also appeared before the panel.

    The account appeared to link Nixon directly to efforts to cover up the White House’s involvement in the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972, the event that would lead to Nixon’s downfall.

    But Nixon denied the allegation, and transcripts of White House tapes did not show that he had been behind the offer. John W. Dean III, the White House counsel, told investigators that it was he who had authorized Mr. Caulfield to broach the matter with Mr. McCord, though Mr. Dean insisted that he had done so with the president’s knowledge.

    No doubt I can find other things that show that the White House tapes prove that John Dean lied about pardons.

    Nixon did discuss pardons in other cases. His famous statement that “it would be wrong” involves him agreeing with Dean that he can’t do it, Nixon saying that Dean’s point was he coudn’t do it even after the 1974 elections.

    John Caulfield also prompted at least two IRS tax audits or investigations: of a reporter who had written an article that Nixon disliked (by sending an anonymous letter) and of the Brookings Institution, his obituary doesn’t say how but I think he was working for the IRS at the time.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  69. “TRUMP: The worst is the best America can hope for.”

    *gigglesnort*

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. 69. We can hope for an independent third party candidacy (probably only billionaires need apply) but very little for an alternative Republican nominee, and so far it’s looking like the Great Centrist Hope for the Democratic nomination is Joe Biden.

    It looks too much that to get ahead in politics, someone needs to be either a fool or a knave (because of the perceived need to sign on to one bad thing or another.

    The next question is: What happens in 2024? When can we actually hope to have a good president?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  71. lany and DCSCA are starting to converge

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  72. JRH wrote:

    One of my main problems with Republicans is an unctuous pandering to protestant Christians (see Marco Rubio tweeting Bible verses).

    Mr Rubio is Catholic.

    The Catholic Dana (7e0972)

  73. 68. Bored Lawyer (998177) — 3/28/2019 @ 2:46 pm

    The nation will be harmed far more if, say, Kamala Harris or Bernie Sanders is president than if Donald Trump is president. That at least is my assessment.

    You also need to consider the effect that who is president will have on the choices in 2024.

    The choices in 2024 have a much greater chance to be better if Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020 than if he is not. But that’s not good (unless he improves a great deal. He’s improving slightly.)

    And are we reduced to that? Waiting for 2024/5?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  74. 75. He used to be Mormon for awhile.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  75. 65. DRJ (15874d) — 3/28/2019 @ 2:28 pm

    He might as well make his campaign slogan, “TRUMP: The worst is the best America can hope for.”

    No, like Putin:

    “TRUMP: Second worst is the best America can hope for.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  76. 67 – not your best, step it up and make me laugh.

    mg (8cbc69)

  77. DCSCA wrote:

    Unfortunately, for the rigidly ideological, devoted Constitutionist crowd, Donald J. Trump is quite qualified for the POTUS gig.

    Yup!

    Had Mr Trump lost, we’d have lost the seat previously held by Antonin Scalia to some whacko leftist who’d rule that the ‘transgendered’ are the sex they say they are, not the sex human biology says they are, we’d have ‘transgendered’ people joining the military, only to be non-deployable, just so Uncle Sugar would pay for their mutilations ‘transitions,’ we’d have no limitations on abortion, we’d be welcoming caravans of illegal immigrants, we’d have Title IX continuing to be used to subvert due process, all sorts of things that no one of any common sense wants to see.

    The Dana who can at least tell the difference between males and females (7e0972)

  78. @69… for 2024.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  79. •He had his lawyer dangle pardons in front of potential witnesses against him.

    That’s in dispute, and one side is or was anonymous sources.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/us/politics/trump-pardon-michael-flynn-paul-manafort-john-dowd.html

    Precisely one year ago, today

    WASHINGTON — A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump’s pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

    The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, who resigned last week, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation….

    ….It is unclear whether Mr. Dowd discussed the pardons with Mr. Trump before bringing them up with the other lawyers….He denied on Wednesday that he discussed pardons with lawyers for the president’s former advisers.

    “There were no discussions. Period,” Mr. Dowd said. “As far as I know, no discussions.”

    A followup article, dated August 23, 2018 is:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/us/politics/donald-trump-pardons.html

    Amid a series of high-profile pardons and commutations by President Trump in recent months, his personal lawyers cautioned against even considering clemency for former aides under investigation by the special counsel until the inquiry was over, one of the lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said on Thursday.

    Mr. Trump agreed with their advice, Mr. Giuliani said. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is investigating possible pardon offers to former aides, and Mr. Trump’s current lawyers were privately concerned that debating clemency could open him to accusations of trying to interfere with the investigation, according to two people briefed on the matter.

    Mr. Giuliani said that he discussed the issue with Mr. Trump in June shortly after he commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, 63, who was serving a life sentence in prison for a nonviolent drug conviction….“I went to see him and I said, ‘I have all these questions in the press about pardons. What I’d like to say is, “Nobody is going to get pardoned during the investigation,”’” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he reassured the president that his power to pardon was not in jeopardy. ..

    …Last year, John Dowd, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, broached the possibility of pardons with lawyers for Mr. Manafort and for Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser. At the time, the special counsel was building cases against both men, and Mr. Dowd’s discussions with their lawyers raised the prospect that he was trying to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate with investigators.

    Mr. Dowd has denied having those conversations….

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  80. DRJ wrote:

    This is not 2016 and it isn’t about who the Democrats pick, it is about who the Republicans pick.

    And the Republicans will pick Donald J Trump.

    If Mr Trump could come from being a disregarded clown to becoming the Republican nominee when he wasn’t the incumbent, the only way he loses the nomination as an incumbent is if he simply drops dead.

    The realistic Dana (7e0972)

  81. A Donald Trump defeat would make the process a little more open for the Republicaans in 2024, but it would make the nomination virtually certain for the Democrats in 2024.

    I think one reason George HW Bush lost in 1992, was to get off the train that had Dan Quayle becoming president after 1996.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  82. 83. No, Trump could have a YUGE policy failure, or blunder, but we probably wouldn’t want to see that.

    Example: North Korea drops an atomic bomb on, or near, Guam. I can think of others.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  83. @80. Scalia was sort of an outlier; you get them on occasion; for the most part, believe most of these judges, once plugged safely into a lifetime government gig, w/job security, bennies and free of influence from the list makers who pushed them long, want to practice what they got into the field to do in the first place– the law. Just as pilots want to fly, doctors want to heal and ball players want to play. At heart, they ain’t in it for a special agenda or the money. There are easier paths to riches or influence policy and promote a POV in an ever-changing society.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. Trump actually will have difficulty being re-elected.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  85. @8. Yes, Comrade Haiku gets it.

    …and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. Is there one person here who would have supported Reagan when he challenged Ford? I doubt it based on everything I’ve read.

    DRJ (15874d)

  87. Not me. One Irishman in the White House was already one too many in the history of the United States. Not to mention that he was divorced and an actor.

    nk (dbc370)

  88. @90. Not to mention, he knocked up Nancy w/Patti. Scandalous–Hollywood family values!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. Touche’. On the other hand, Reagan stood for something. He was pro-life when it was unpopular.

    DRJ (15874d)

  90. oh without a doubt, because ford stood for a weak law enforcement posture at home, and a weaker posture abroad, both thinking the radicals, and the soviet bloc, would give him credit,

    in the Americas, he pursued this foolish détente with the castro regime, actually the approach with the soviets (the Poland gambit) was equally shortsided, Rumsfeld was pretty solid but he was often undercut by the declinist view of Kissinger,

    narciso (d1f714)

  91. Trump said he plans to release all the FISA documents. That is something I would like to see because it could help us understand what happened, who was behind it, and what to change to avoid abuse in the future. But Trump is doing it for revenge against or to expose Brennan/Obama. His zeal to get even makes it more likely he will risk exposing national security information.

    Transparency to fix things is good policy. Getting even is risky and not good policy. We may not know for years what happens behind the scenes to keep bad things from happening, or to fix bad things that happen because Trump is so erratic and unpredictable.

    DRJ (15874d)

  92. meanwhile the machine is going after our best and most courageous,

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/03/27/war-crimes-case-expands-to-seal-team-6/

    narciso (d1f714)

  93. 89. Well, I didn’t support Trump, so there is that. But I was only 10 years old when Reagan left office. So there is that too.

    Gryph (08c844)

  94. @91 today that’s considered “Having Game”, just like Tom Brady knocking up Bridget Moynihan during breakup proceedings

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  95. right and when devin nunes, was trying to get to the bottom of this actual abuse of power, what was the attitude here,

    could we not start citing kitty Kelley as gospel, I know that’s how dowd got her op ed column but seriously,

    narciso (d1f714)

  96. I was in my 20s and liked Reagan far more than Ford. Reagan understood, supported, and could articulate American conservatism then: free markets, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government. Trump knows popular triggers. Those are not the same things.

    DRJ (15874d)

  97. Now Trump wants a few GOP Senators to come up with a plan to replace ObamaCare. Any bets he will call it TrumpCare?

    DRJ (15874d)

  98. this was what general Flynn was trying to forestall, obamas last kick at Israel,

    http://jewishinsider.com/16094/obama-aide-reveals-u-s-was-behind-u-n-2334/

    narciso (d1f714)

  99. 99. If only they believed in science; they coulda cloned him 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. @100. Better still, any bets they’ll come up w/a plan?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. He’s going wobbly…he also reversed Betsey DeVos’ defunding of Special Olymapics.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  102. well it was thus in the w years, before al gore sold out,

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/28/railing-against-islamophobia-and-anti-trump-too/

    narciso (d1f714)

  103. what exactly was the point of that,

    https://twitter.com/cornellsun/status/1111334641015808000

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. @96… and he stuck you w/t bill. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  105. Betsey DeVos’ defunding of Special Olymapics.

    What the blankety-blank was that about? How dumb is this rich b!tch?

    nk (dbc370)

  106. Trump probably saved her from a ass-kicking from Sarah Palin.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. @104. Daffy DeVos went out on a limb and Bugsy-Trumpy sawed it off.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  108. i have a special ed child and the government doesn’t need to fund Special Olympics. It should be private with families, churches, communities, etc. But today looking like you don’t care is more important than caring if there is enough money to feed, house, and care for these kids in 20 or 30 years.

    DRJ (15874d)

  109. 89… yes, I would and I did.

    Colonel Haiku (ef4f0e)

  110. If you really care about these kids, care about their futures, not a feel-good program by people who want to do something once a year.

    DRJ (15874d)

  111. We seem to be the only ones, Haiku.

    DRJ (15874d)

  112. The republicans will never help the American tax-payer in reducing Health Care costs. Trump is delirious in thinking so.

    mg (8cbc69)

  113. This Michigan Trump rally airing now [unfiltered on CSPAN] is certainly crowd-pleasing for some if not orgasmic for many; the women are screaming four-more-years!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  114. 88… yer traveling alone, fella. Don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper, that’s what I’ve heard.

    Colonel Haiku (ef4f0e)

  115. According to Mr. Google, 90% of the Special Olympics funding is from private sources, DRJ. The roughly $18 million from the federal government is about 10% of its entire revenue. It’s a small enough token to demonstrate that America is not Iceland.

    nk (dbc370)

  116. 18M is chump change now? Great. Give it to me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  117. For you, DRJ, in a minute, if I had it. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  118. DeVos was right. The government should fund special ed and it does with $32B in funds. That is government’s function, not making everyone feel good about how much they care.

    DRJ (15874d)

  119. @117. Keep listening–he’s talkin’ to ‘ya from Michigan right now, Comrade.

    “Never a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.” – Larsen E. Whipsnade [W.C. Fields] ‘You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man’ 1939

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  120. I voted for R.R. in that primary because he had been winning the fight against the welfare state in California.

    mg (8cbc69)

  121. mg,

    It was a worthwhile effort because it made 1980 possible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  122. @121. In an era of $14 billion aircraft carriers, $18 million for special Olympics kids does seem extravagant, doesn’t it.

    So “right” her Captain says she was wrong. Playing the role of Acme parachute tester Wyle E. Coyote in today’s cartoon: Betsy DeVos.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  123. Those were the days, DRJ.

    mg (8cbc69)

  124. It sounds like a David stockman level mistake, like when he cut va funds in Reagan first budget.

    Narciso (9fd7e1)

  125. @125. Swooning for Reagan.

    Quaint.

    Bet your old LaSalle ran great… those were the days.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  126. ^128 4 126.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  127. When you acknowledge the forces aligned and deployed against Trump, a rational, right of center person will choose to avoid those forces. When you hear Mueller or any of the people who were a part of the investigation come out and say, hey wait a minute, Barr is mistaken, we did find some evidence of collusion and/or obstruction, then you can believe these rancid Democrats or anybody else who is still entertaining these fantasies.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  128. The fundamental problem is the schools dont impart the basics rotten core has made it worse, and was largely a Bush initiative in the last decade but constructivism has been a long time thing

    Narciso (9fd7e1)

  129. @124. And began the spiral down to 2016; ‘they that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  130. Our Windy City barrister wrote:

    According to Mr. Google, 90% of the Special Olympics funding is from private sources, DRJ. The roughly $18 million from the federal government is about 10% of its entire revenue. It’s a small enough token to demonstrate that America is not Iceland.

    Why should the federal government fund or subsidize any private organization?

    The FY2018 budget deficit was $776 billion, and the projected deficit for FY 2019 is $895 billion. Why should we be giving a single penny to any private organizations? If they are worthwhile, they’ll be able to raise the money privately; if they can’t raise the money privately, then they deserve to fail.

    The libertarian Dana (7e0972)

  131. Because next election, those kids’ relatives, friends and people who just plain like them, might vote for people who will raise Betsy DeVos’s taxes to at least as much as her footman’s?

    nk (dbc370)

  132. @133. Why should the federal government fund or subsidize any private organization?

    Presenting: SpaceX.

    “Meet the future.” – Butch Cassidy [Paul Newman] ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ 1969

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  133. If you really want to go there, why should the federal government subsidize Trump’s failed business ventures to the tune of nearly $1 billion (that’s $1,000,000,000 with nine zeros rounded to the nearest dollar). Because that is the “Net Operating Loss” he has been writing off from his tax obligations for his money-making ventures.

    nk (dbc370)

  134. These appear to be some facts regarding funding of Special Olympics. Commenters might want to familiarize themselves with them before railing against any thought of funding cuts for our special citizens. Just because programs have been funded in the past, does that always suggest that reducing that expenditure is taboo?

    “The Special Olympics’ 2017 annual report, the latest available on its website, says the organization received a total of $148 million in funding that year, including $15.5 million from federal grants.
    More than three-quarters of the organization’s budget comes from individual and corporate contributions and other fundraising efforts.
    DeVos’ budget places the Special Olympics funding among 29 programs up for elimination in 2020, arguing that they have achieved their purpose or are ineffective, don’t meet national needs or are better funded from other sources.
    The proposal separately calls for $13.2 billion in federal grants awarded to states for special education, the same amount that was given this year.
    In her statement, DeVos said it was “shameful” that the media and members of Congress “spun up falsehoods and fully misrepresented the facts.” She drew attention to the $13.2 billion in state grants, along with an additional $226 million for grants supporting teacher training and research to help students with disabilities.
    http://www.espn.com/specialolympics/story/_/id/26373911/devos-defends-plan-cut-special-olympics-funds

    How much is enough? If people will criticize Trump’s administration for increased deficits & taking on additional debt, then they’ll also have to acknowledge that federal spending has to decrease in some areas – which ones are untouchable? Someone has to make those difficult decisions.

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  135. Tax loopholes should be closed but some tax policies are incentives we want. The point is to set policies that aren’t political payoffs but policies that have rational reasons applied in a neutral/even-handed way. If Trump benefited from policies like that, so be it. I don’t know enough about real estate tax policies to say.

    DRJ (15874d)

  136. Betsey DeVos’ defunding of Special Olymapics.

    108. nk (dbc370) — 3/28/2019 @ 4:55 pm

    What the blankety-blank was that about?

    Finding a place to cut the budget, without doing any real harm. She was under orders to cut the Deartment of Education budget.

    The argument was the Special Olympics, unlike other things the Department of Education funds, raises alot of moey privately. So they could replace that money by working a little harder at fundraising and maybe cutting the salaries of the top people there. It only makes up about 10% of the budget of the Special Olympics.

    The argument was the same argument used for eliminating funding for PBS. They raise their own money.

    How dumb is this rich b!tch?

    Politically tone deaf perhaps, but not dumb at all. Something else worthy, but obscure, may be eliminated instead now.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  137. Now he’s berating pencil-necks… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74sR3C4G-xE

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  138. “…why should the federal government subsidize Trump’s failed business ventures to the tune of nearly $1 billion (that’s $1,000,000,000 with nine zeros rounded to the nearest dollar). Because that is the “Net Operating Loss” he has been writing off from his tax obligations for his money-making ventures.”
    Allowing Trump’s businesses the same tax avoidance measures that are permitted to similar ventures is not subsidizing them. It’s treating similar situations similarly. Do you really want the feds to choose that this guy over here gets to enjoy a tax avoidance provision, but that one over there does not? Get real.

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  139. This website reads like daily Kos but with less content. Now make sure you peruse the comments like you normally do and make a big show of banning or suspending people. Dissent must be crushed! Orange man bad! No one can say different!

    Bye bye jackass.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  140. @136. “From Television City in Hollywood:” ‘… and you knew who you were then… girls were girls and men were men…’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  141. 137. nk (dbc370) — 3/28/2019 @ 6:09 pm

    why should the federal government subsidize Trump’s failed business ventures to the tune of nearly $1 billion (that’s $1,000,000,000 with nine zeros rounded to the nearest dollar). Because that is the “Net Operating Loss” he has been writing off from his tax obligations for his money-making ventures.

    And it wasn’t even his loss, but that of his creditors! We don’t exactly know that, but that’s the impressiomn people get from glimpses of fragments of some of his tax returns, and the known public record. I think the law that allowed that was finally changed enough to prevent that around 2004.

    Now if it had been, and stayed, his loss, of course, it would be because someone pays taxes on income and if he had less income, well, less taxes. The government does “subsidize,” in this sense, business mistakes, but there;s a very plauaible argument that it should.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  142. @139. You could get arguments both ways on subsidizing both SpaceX and Boeing but chances are Senator Tedtoo, who is on the Senate space committee, is please the funding got to SpaceX for facilities in Texas.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  143. When you hear Mueller or any of the people who were a part of the investigation come out and say, hey wait a minute, Barr is mistaken, we did find some evidence of collusion and/or obstruction

    Barr did not claim they didn’t find that evidence, so he would not have to be “mistaken” for someone to claim Mueller did find such evidence. You and Kevin M keep pushing this “Mueller found no evidence” line that is NOT what Barr’s letter said. I know it’s what conservative talking heads keep saying — you know, the same ones saying Big Media got the story all wrong — but it’s NOT what the Barr letter says, so you should stop pretending otherwise if you want people to take you seriously.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  144. Well we were subsidizing Tesla, one of his other projects because clean energy or sonething.

    Narciso (9fd7e1)

  145. Donald Trump mmay not have paid any federal income taxes to speak of, for almost 20 years, but Harry Reid did not make that accusation because it wasn’t false.

    False charges never need to be backed up; never require any explanation as to how the information, if solid, was obtained; and the person attacked does not have a prepared line of defense. That’s why the Democrats like to make false charges, but shy away from true ones.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  146. I’m sure he is, as are many Texans. The Space Center is something Texans are proud of, like Fort Hood and Big Bend. We are also proud Texas doesn’t have much federal land. Less than 2% of Texas land is federal.)

    DRJ (15874d)

  147. @147. Precisely.

    The fire would go out if the AG just quit playing these news cycle games and release the frigging report; all points of the compass seems to want that. The longer the delay, the more diminished this AG appears; he’ll soon out-score Pompeo and Graham on brown nosing points.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  148. I see SpaceX as the successor to NASA, but you may not.

    DRJ (15874d)

  149. Or competitor.

    DRJ (15874d)

  150. 147… I’m still waiting for a denunciation of the funding and use of an entirely false dossier and the resultant FISA activity, the illegal (and possibly criminal) activities of the Obama administration, the IC, the leadership of the DOJ, the FBI that forms the foundation of this attempt to overturn the November 2016 election.

    IF you want to be taken seriously by more of your readers.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  151. You seem to be fully convinced that everything about this has been above board and wholly credible. I just don’t see it that way.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  152. Tell Trump. He’s the one who can order people to investigate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  153. 147… I’m still waiting for a denunciation of the funding and use of an entirely false dossier and the resultant FISA activity, the illegal (and possibly criminal) activities of the Obama administration, the IC, the leadership of the DOJ, the FBI that forms the foundation of this attempt to overturn the November 2016 election.

    IF you want to be taken seriously by more of your readers.

    I don’t care if people like you take me seriously. I no longer care what knee-jerk partisans think at all.

    The FBI had no choice but to investigate, given the absolutely bizarre behavior documented in the post. No choice.

    Spin all you like; I don’t care. Where I step in and say you don’t deserve to be taken seriously is when you get FACTS wrong, like saying that Barr’s letter claims Mueller found no evidence of collusion or obstruction. I don’t care how many times partisans repeat that. It is not true.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  154. So stop trying to mislead my readers.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  155. So you don’t care either, DRJ? Say what you will about Trump, this has been one giant F-YOU to the voters who elected him. It has been based on lies, deception, criminal activity and has run fundamentally counter to what America and Americans value.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  156. Stop trying to mislead your readers! You’ve got a lot of nerve.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  157. @155. Trump brought this all on himself by cracking BS wise, ‘off the cuff’ -which is his way by habit for decades, and which, in all likelihood I personally suspect, may be what “saved him” by masking the investigating team’s capacity to discern definitively there was “intent.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  158. It has been based on lies, deception, criminal activity

    Correct. The investigation was begun due to Trump’s lies, deception, and potential criminal activity.

    I still think he’s a criminal; the fact that he never got prosecuted for the blatant tax evasion documented in that NYT story notwithstanding (again: the lesson of Smollett: non-prosecution does not equal innocence).

    Patterico (115b1f)

  159. @158. Precisely. They had to investigate it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  160. Stop trying to mislead your readers! You’ve got a lot of nerve.

    Stop saying Mueller found no evidence of obstruction or collusion. That’s not what Barr said. I don’t care if you think I have a lot of nerve. Facts don’t care about your feelings.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  161. You keep holding on to what will not happen. It’s a fantasy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  162. The fact is Trump will remain president at least until January 2021. That is a fact.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  163. Does anybody seriously believe Trump, a fella squeamish at the sight of blood no less, would actually shoot some one on Fifth Avenue?

    Sifting truth from fiction w/this guy is like gathering quicksilver.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  164. mg,

    What I liked about Reagan was his position on abortion. I was young and pro-choice then, and he was pro-life. Being pro-life was not a winning issue in the GOP then but Reagan stood by his beliefs and that resonated with me, because I thought it meant he would also stick to his other promises I cared about.

    DRJ (15874d)

  165. The fact is Trump will remain president at least until January 2021. That is a fact.

    No, it’s not. You have no idea what will happen. He could drop dead tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, you keep avoiding the fact that you have misstated what Barr said Mueller found in the way of evidence. You’re getting ahead of yourself. In fact, it’s pretty clear Mueller found substantial evidence of obstruction — else he would have had an easier time reaching a conclusion.

    I don’t know what you think I’m “holding on” to but I do see — as does everyone else here — how you are tapdancing to avoid addressing the fact that I have called you out on an issue of fact, and either you know you’re wrong but won’t admit it, or you’re not being honest with yourself, us, or maybe both.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  166. So you don’t care either, DRJ?

    I welcome investigations. Trump is the only person I know can order them. Why doesn’t he? Why hasn’t he for the past 2+ years?

    DRJ (15874d)

  167. Let’s get to the bottom of the whole swamp, but most of the GOP swamp works for Trump. Sometimes they do things we like and sometimes they don’t. Sound familiar? At this point, I am just hoping for a little more Wall in Texas, primarily because Trump thinks pushing for it will get him re-elected. Texas is getting overrun by migrants.

    DRJ (15874d)

  168. I can’t tap dance, but I think you’re doing a tango with Adam Schiff. And I think you are willfully disregarding what a great many people have learned about what went on that started this investigation and the malfeasance that runs through it. How many law enforcement officials must be relieved of duty and still may be subject to prosecution?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  169. 171… yes, I hope he does. I can only imagine the cacophony that would’ve erupted if he had done it earlier.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  170. @152. No way; the private firms- SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, etc., will get contracts to do what is now the routine- servicing LEO ops, which frees up NASA to press on w/BEO ops given the more or less flat budget constraints. Arthur C. Clarke essentially predicted this track back in ’69 and it’s the basis of planning Armstrong was advocating before he passed and NASA has re-focused on. Perfecting methods and procedures for cislunar ops [a la Gemini was for Apollo] w/a return to the moon, more open architecture as the technology progresses and then press on out to Mars. Radiation exposure is a problem yet to solve. But it’s pretty much how it’s going to be for the next 50-plus years. We’re just lucky to have been alive to experience the ‘beginning’ from the start. All the more reason to celebrate the accomplishments of Apollo at 50.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  171. SCOTUS granted a stay in the execution of the Texas death row inmate who asked for a Buddhist spiritual adviser to be present.

    DRJ (15874d)

  172. @170 ‘He could drop dead tomorrow’…

    A 71-plus year old overweight man living on a diet of cheeseburgers, German chocolate cake and two scoops of Dolly Madison vanilla???

    And strawberries???

    Naaaaaaah. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  173. I can’t tap dance, but I think you’re doing a tango with Adam Schiff. And I think you are willfully disregarding what a great many people have learned about what went on that started this investigation and the malfeasance that runs through it. How many law enforcement officials must be relieved of duty and still may be subject to prosecution?

    I read this twice and couldn’t find the bit where you admit that when you said this:

    When you hear Mueller or any of the people who were a part of the investigation come out and say, hey wait a minute, Barr is mistaken, we did find some evidence of collusion and/or obstruction, then you can believe these rancid Democrats or anybody else who is still entertaining these fantasies.

    you falsely implied that Barr said Mueller found no evidence of collusion or obstruction.

    Everything else you say is blah blah blah. You can’t admit when you get something wrong, which makes you no better than Dan Rather or the other lefty media types you pretend to be better than.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  174. 171… yes, I hope he does [order investigations]. I can only imagine the cacophony that would’ve erupted if he had done it earlier.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 3/28/2019 @ 7:16 pm

    After he was elected, Trump specifically said he doesn’t want to investigate Hillary. I linked it above. Why talk like his decision not to investigate was because of fear of the media or political fallout? Isn’t Trump’s big selling point that he doesn’t fear anyone?

    DRJ (15874d)

  175. I’m going to make it a point to re-read Barr’s summary letter to see if I can find where Barr specifically states that there was evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice found by Mueller. Given your level of confidence, it must be there.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  176. It’s there, isn’t it?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  177. It’s there.

    DRJ (15874d)

  178. I’m going to make it a point to re-read Barr’s summary letter to see if I can find where Barr specifically states that there was evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice found by Mueller. Given your level of confidence, it must be there

    Symbolic logic is your friend if you can’t follow the logical structure of a senegebdd without symbols.

    “B said M said there was evidence.”

    “B never said M said there was no evidence.”

    The sentences are not logically equivalent but you just implied they are.

    Patterico (03f629)

  179. No it isn’t. And Barr says neither he nor Rosenstein based their decision on the “can’t indict a sitting president”. That’s the way I read it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  180. “Let me redefine your claim as something non-equivalent and then attack it”
    Is an SWC move.

    Patterico (03f629)

  181. @160. The man is a scumbag, Haiku, both as a person and as a businessman. Get over it.

    And don’t feel too bad–he suckered lots of other voters nationally, who only knew him from ‘The Apprentice’, just as he did to citizens and businesses locally in metro NYC for years. I’m pleased he won solely for longer term strategic reasons, but in terms of day to day policy and planning, he’s a disaster, winging it news cycle to news cycle.

    Helsinki is completely and totally unforgivable.

    Trump’s a transient; a bridge to some where or a bridge to no where. So far, for GOP droids like Graham, and azzkissers like Tedtoo, Lee and Turtle McConnell, etc., who are timidly following him, it sure seems like it’s going no where, fast– but down.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  182. Now answer the actual question. Did Barr day Mueller said there was no evidence? Is that there in the letter? Re-read it for THAT. Is it there?

    No it isn’t.

    Patterico (03f629)

  183. “Did not establish” is not “there was no evidence.”

    “Did not decide it was criminal but did not exonerate” is also not “there was no evidence.”

    You’re not fooling anyone.

    Patterico (03f629)

  184. You finish your re-reading?

    Patterico (03f629)

  185. From Barr’s letter:

    “Obstruction of Justice.
    The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  186. @190. So what’s your educated call on ‘intent’??

    Nixon’s personality and ‘intent’ was there in the tapes. But Trump’s habitual hyping of every turn of phrase makes culling out genuine ‘intent’ from his blustering BS seem all the more difficult given his decades at it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  187. I’m not sure but it is possible that Mueller declined to make a prosecutorial decision because, while there were several actions that constitute obstruction, he did not want to make a determination regarding intent.

    DRJ (15874d)

  188. I can’t tap dance, but I think you’re doing a tango with Adam Schiff. And I think you are willfully disregarding what a great many people have learned about what went on that started this investigation and the malfeasance that runs through it. How many law enforcement officials must be relieved of duty and still may be subject to prosecution?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 3/28/2019 @ 7:14 pm

    And you are disregarding all of Trump’s entanglements with various Russians tied to Putin, of which there is public record, not a little of that record being statements by Trump himself, and none of which are connected to Steele’s dossier, but all of which mean the investigation was proper and appropriate.

    It’s like Trump firing Comey. Trump may have had corrupt intent, but the firing was entirely justified despite that. Various FBI agents may have had corrupt intent (btw, there is not any actual evidence they did, despite what the Federalist may tell you), but the investigation was justified.

    Kishnevi (37d538)

  189. Stop saying Mueller found no evidence of obstruction or collusion.

    Well, Trump himself says he’s “the most innocent human being,” just as he’s “the least racist person you ever met”; he reads the Bible more than anyone else; he’s never done anything that would call for forgiveness; etc. How could anyone ever doubt or mistrust such a perfect being?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  190. I think there was an intent to obstruct. Trump views the law as something to manipulate as much as he can, not something designed to protect competing interests and parties.

    DRJ (15874d)

  191. This investigation began with the Obama administration using dubiously sources documentation from a private party of equally dubious allegiance (who does fusion GPS ultimately answer to) same with haklyut and Alex downer, converting said skuttlebut into official govt documents, hiding the provenance s of same this has been born out by the depositions of ohe attzok etc,

    Narciso (01c02f)

  192. I’m not sure but it is possible that Mueller declined to make a prosecutorial decision because, while there were several actions that constitute obstruction, he did not want to make a determination regarding intent.

    Perhaps something more basic: he thought a prosecutable case for obstruction existed, but also knew that Barr disagreed, or would not allow it for political reasons. He also did not want to add fuel to the fire which would break out if it became known Barr overtly blocked a prosecution. Hence this maneuver, which allowed Barr to block a prosecution but do so in a way that maintains the facade of collegiality.

    Kishnevi (37d538)

  193. I agree there are other plausible reasons but DCSCA specifically raised the intent issue so I was speculating about that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  194. Stop saying Mueller found no evidence of obstruction or collusion.

    I’ve read the summary and regarding collusion it describes two situations and concludes, respectively:

    Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts

    And

    the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts

    Does this prove a negative? Does it prove there absolutely was no collusion? No. But I also don’t see a way to interpret this as Mueller saying he found evidence of collusion but decided not to prosecute it? Given the time and resources put into the investigation it’s not unreasonable to conclude there wasn’t any collusion.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  195. @192. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my guess, too. Sifting hyped BS- a routine he has had down for decades- from genuine ‘intent’ was something he decided to leave to others– for every 100 pieces of hype, there may be one or two w/intent–and trying to decipher which was which is, IMO, what may have ‘saved him.’

    @195. Agreed. After all, he’s a “businessman.” It’s a tool to use if to favor a position and an obstacle to skirt when on the fly. There’s likely a nugget or two of real gold amongst the pan full of fool’s gold. But Barr’s position on OOJ from his ‘job interview memo’ is known.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  196. That would be reasonable recall Mueller had unlimited mandate no official in Any country was immune to his inquiry, in the latter half he seemed to focused on the gulf states and Israel, and only tangentially about russia.

    Narciso (01c02f)

  197. But I also don’t see a way to interpret this as Mueller saying he found evidence of collusion but decided not to prosecute it? Given the time and resources put into the investigation it’s not unreasonable to conclude there wasn’t any collusion.

    Maybe this is a distinction lawyers focus on and non-lawyers don’t but “found no evidence of x” is way different from “did not find x occurred” or “concluded x did not happen.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  198. Nixon’s personality and ‘intent’ was there in the tapes. But Trump’s habitual hyping of every turn of phrase makes culling out genuine ‘intent’ from his blustering BS seem all the more difficult given his decades at it.

    Put another way:

    Trump Would Be Impeached If …

    2) He were otherwise normal and not famously erratic

    Patterico (115b1f)

  199. Consider this, frosty:

    Myth No. 1: Mueller found no evidence of collusion. (Wrong, wrong, wrong.)

    Regrettably, “[a]ll three major news networks were consistent in saying that the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.” Both CNN and MSNBC heralded that “TRUMP CLAIMS ‘COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION’” on Russia. Fox claimed “MUELLER PROBE FINDS NO PROOF OF COLLUSION.” This is wrong as a matter of law and as a matter of fact.

    Barr did not say there was no evidence of collusion. Quoting Mueller himself, Barr reported that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election” (emphasis added). What this means is that Mueller collected lots of evidence, but what his team found was not enough for a slam-dunk criminal conviction of anyone else.

    I say “of anyone else” because Mueller already found sufficient evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Russians conspired to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Those conspiracies are set forth in painstaking detail in two existing indictments from the Mueller grand jury. (I encourage you to read them both.)

    More at the link.

    DRJ (15874d)

  200. The joke was how the Republicans fell for the dems trick to overturn an election, considering everything we saw occur for the next 40 years. One might have an argument with economic policy or some administrative xhoices.

    Narciso (01c02f)

  201. Barr used words that made it sound to laymen like Trump was innocent, but that lawyers read as leaving open different meanings.

    DRJ (15874d)

  202. iPhone is not performing well, but
    Pertinent excerpts…
    “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

    The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

    Obstruction of Justice.
    The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.
    The Special Counsel states that “while this report does no
    t conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
    2
    In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.
    Status of the Department’s Review
    The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  203. The last part above, I could not highlight. Here it is…

    After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
    2
    In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  204. “…, in our judgment, … “

    DRJ (15874d)

  205. Was that worth $20,000,000plus? You be the judge.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  206. @203. Yeah, but ‘famously erratic’ leaves open the door to visit more that mere eccentricity and leads to 25th Amendment, ‘who-ate-the-strawberries,’ mental illness stuff. From what we’ve been told, he’s not definitively off his rocker, but the world keeps watching him repeatedly steam over his own tow line.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  207. “The evidence is not sufficient” means there is evidence, but not enough to meet the standard of “procul dubio rationabiliter”. It does not mean “there is no evidence”.

    Kishnevi (37d538)

  208. More importantly, was it worth tearing the country even further apart? Worth the damage done to our institutions and faith and trust in the law and the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies? And yes, Trump had a hand in that.

    I think it’s hard to argue it was.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  209. @210. We will, when ‘We The People’ read the full report- as much as we can get of it- and not a political appointees filtering memo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  210. “The evidence does not establish”… “the absence of such evidence…”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  211. “In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct,”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. They had to burn down the village to save it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  213. @209. ‘…in our judgment…’

    Helsinki, Helsinki, Helsinki; his judgment: unforgivably, unequivocally, unforgettably, bad.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  214. Maybe this is a distinction lawyers focus on and non-lawyers don’t but “found no evidence of x” is way different from “did not find x occurred” or “concluded x did not happen.”

    Requiring your opponent to prove a negative is unfair, one of the reasons that juries return “not guilty” rather than “innocent.”

    Many of the things that are wrong with our culture can be laid to the notion that you can (and ought to) prove a negative. “Vaccines cause autism” or “cell phone towers cause cancer” or nearly anything involving glutens, corn syrup or MSG. Nuclear power cannot be proven safe, but is demonstrably safer historically than ANY other form of energy, and produces no greenhouse gases. Yet it is forbidden, largely on the strength of propaganda that fossilized long before Chernobyl or Fukushima.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  215. Trump is only impeachable if the opposition party controls Congress
    Your facts and evidence don’t matter

    Paul K (4dd398)

  216. “The evidence is not sufficient” means there is evidence but that it is not sufficient.

    Period.

    Let’s put it another way: Looking at Patterico’s caricature on the side, I conclude there is evidence that Patterico is a space alien here to seal our wimmen. It’s not very good evidence, but I discern some. A little bit, anyway. So, now I challenge Patterico to prove he is NOT a space alien here to steal our wimmen.

    This may sound like nonsense, but so does a lot of the above.

    (And no fair saying that I can’t prove I’m not a space alien either!)

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  217. Some sanity:

    Some have characterized the failed Russian collusion charges as an attempted coup. If so it was a very particular American type of coup involving only the law and vindicating the law because it failed for lack of evidence.

    Any counterstroke must at least be similarly restricted . It must use only the law, advance only through investigation. It must be restricted to individuals, and like Mueller’s stand or fall on the evidence.

    The damage of the last two years was real but it’s important to realize that it was limited by the fire curtains of the law and the constitution. It kept people sane where the flames of madness was all about. Far from being a hundred year old document nobody reads any more the constitution saved the ship.

    https://wretchard.com/fire-curtains/

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  218. I think we’re conflating the collusion and obstruction issues. On collusion the phrase “did not find” and “did not establish” don’t paint a picture of a prosecutor that carefully weighed his evidence and found that he was 0.1% below the reasonable doubt threshold. This isn’t the “dropped charges” language from the Smollett case or the “no prosecutor would prosecute” language from the Comey/Clinton email situation.

    If, as we’ve been told for as long as my short attention span can track, the evidence is clear and apparent how exactly did this much time and money get us “did not find”? That doesn’t shake anyone’s faith in the collusion narrative?

    If, as we’re saying here, “did not find” is lawyer code for “found but can’t prove” why use this formulation? Why not use the “not sufficient to establish” language that we see with the obstruction issue?

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  219. “In fact, it’s pretty clear Mueller found substantial evidence of obstruction — else he would have had an easier time reaching a conclusion.”

    the defendant was found standing over the dead body, while holding a smoking handgun. The prosecution was therefore terminated due to a substantial amount of… wait… what?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  220. I know you posted this quite a long time ago, but I wanted you to know that this is exactly what I was just looking for.
    It’s perfect. I thought I was going to have to carve little holes in my cigar boxes,
    and then I saw your idea of using plastic canvas instead.furniture Nz
    I have a lot of leftover plastic canvas from when my mother used to do needlepoint tissue box covers.
    So, cheap and easy! Thanks!

    jynx (73e9af)

  221. Off topic: U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bid to block Trump’s gun ‘bump stock’ ban:

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed President Donald Trump a victory by rejecting for the second time in three days a bid by gun rights activists to block his new ban on “bump stock” attachments that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly.

    ….

    The court in a brief order refused to grant a temporary stay sought by the group Gun Owners of America and others in a lawsuit filed in Michigan challenging the ban while litigation continues. Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday rejected a similar bid to block the policy in a separate legal challenge brought in Washington by individual gun owners and gun rights groups including the Firearms Policy Foundation and Florida Carry Inc.

    Michael Hammond, Gun Owners of America’s legislative counsel, said many owners of the estimated 500,000 bump stocks in the United States would refuse to turn them in despite the ban and related criminal penalties. People caught in possession of bump stocks could face up to 10 years in prison under the policy.

    This is consistent with the predictions I made in comments here some months ago. Note well: The NRA supports the regulation — which technically isn’t a “ban,” but might as well be given the impossibility of complying with the registration and other requirements for private ownership of “machine guns” (i.e., fully automatic weapons), which a bump-stock equipped semi-automatic rifle is deemed to be.

    I expect the circuits will all end up agreeing with one another — and with the 2009 precedent from the Eleventh Circuit, Akins v. United States — that the regulation is lawful, and that the SCOTUS will refuse to take up any of these cases.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  222. 2020 beto if he loses to trump 2024 aoc. that is your future.

    lany (1f0242)

  223. DRJ – Something about R.R. made one believe him and feel good about his vision.

    mg (8cbc69)

  224. watching Trump at his rallies I’m not sure that dude can lose. whatever he has. He has it. The Dems are going to need all the luck in the world and even that may not be enough.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  225. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    Finding a place to cut the budget, without doing any real harm. She was under orders to cut the Deartment of Education budget.

    The argument was the Special Olympics, unlike other things the Department of Education funds, raises alot of moey privately. So they could replace that money by working a little harder at fundraising and maybe cutting the salaries of the top people there. It only makes up about 10% of the budget of the Special Olympics.

    The argument was the same argument used for eliminating funding for PBS. They raise their own money.

    The problem isn’t cutting grants to private organizations — although such grants should all be cut to zero — but that a federal Department of Education exists in the first place. Public education had always been a state and local government function, and that’s to where it should be returned. Now, we have idiots like the junior senatrix from California proposing to use federal money to raise local teachers’ pay.

    The Department of Education should be eliminated, and federal taxes cut by that amount, leaving states and localities the room to raise taxes — if they wish — to fund their own schools.

    The federalization of everything is how we got Title IX trying to suspend due process for accused male students and orders for schools to let males in the girls’ locker rooms if they ‘identified’ as girls.

    The very libertarian Dana (7e0972)

  226. DCSCA wrote:

    @136. “From Television City in Hollywood:” ‘… and you knew who you were then… girls were girls and men were men…’

    And today, we have a Democratic Party who thinks that Lola was a wise social engineering goal:

    Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world
    Except for Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

    The deaf Dana who can still remember music (7e0972)

  227. DRJ wrote:

    SCOTUS granted a stay in the execution of the Texas death row inmate who asked for a Buddhist spiritual adviser to be present.

    Which the great state of Texas could have avoided by simply going along with his request. It’s not like this is the first time this has happened: Alabama did the same thing just a month and a half ago.

    Alabama got away with denying a condemned man a Muslim imam, when the Supreme Court lifted the stay, but it still cost the state money to go through legal maneuvering that was wholly unnecessary.

    Now Texas has seen an execution delayed, and had to spend more of the taxpayers’ dollars, because no one had the common sense to simply go along with a reasonable request by a man about to be hastened on his way to his eternal reward.

    The Catholic Dana (7e0972)

  228. DCSCA engages in wishful thinking:

    A 71-plus year old overweight man living on a diet of cheeseburgers, German chocolate cake and two scoops of Dolly Madison vanilla???

    And strawberries???

    Naaaaaaah. 😉

    But, but, but, we were told that it was just plain uncivil to speculate negatively about the health of the 69-year-old Democratic presidential nominee when she collapsed on September 11, 2016, when she took off the month of August to rest, and subsequent to the election, she keeps falling down the stairs.

    If you make it to 65, you have a 50% probability of living until 85, so it’s quite probable that Mr Trump will be hale and hearty when he leaves office on January 20, 2025. :)

    The snarky Dana (7e0972)

  229. 230, yes this. If one campaigns on eliminating departments,…eliminate the department (or consolidate logical groupings into some very pointy pyramids – less high salaries). Note how under this present administration,it has been the heads of the more “disposable” departments that have generated headache inducing headlines (Carson excepted, although there’s that furniturebill).

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  230. Beldar @226. Don’t you love it how The Major Media, across the board, are calling it “Trump’s bump-stock ban”? Giving him credit where credit is due with those fair-minded persons who only want sensible gun control; and most certainly not trying to create a wedge between him and gun owners as though they had all gotten a memo from the Democratic National Committee by way of Journolist?

    nk (dbc370)

  231. The Texas Department of Corrections probably hemmed and hawed on the Buddhist adviser because it reminded them of the ol’ “I would like to meet my maker” move.

    urbanleftbehind (6bbe67)

  232. Our esteemed host wrote:

    Maybe this is a distinction lawyers focus on and non-lawyers don’t but “found no evidence of x” is way different from “did not find x occurred” or “concluded x did not happen.”

    Yes, perhaps lawyers do think that way, but those of us who’ve heard that one is innocent until proven guilty tend to see things differently. The Independent Counsel could have found some piece of evidence or other, but apparently did not find sufficient evidence that he believed charges against the President could be proved in a court of law. Innocent until proven guilty.

    Mr Mueller had two years, a large staff of primarily anti-Trump attorneys, subpoena power, and a host of FBI agents to assist him, and he still couldn’t find enough evidence to indict.

    Our host once quoted Jonathan Chait, who wrote:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry.

    Yet Mr Mueller apparently didn’t think he had even that much evidence.

    You know, I could have committed felonies in the past, but I’ve never been charged with one. I can say that about myself, and not insult anyone else, but here we have a whole commentariat full of complaints that Donald Trump has gotten away with crimes, when he has been charged with nothing and is entitled to the presumption of innocence. With that mentality, how can any of us have any confidence that anyone else here isn’t a bad guy, just one who hasn’t yet gotten caught? If after a two-year-long investigation, Mr Trump hasn’t been charged with anything, yet people like DSCSA and others assume he’s guilty of something, why shouldn’t we just assume that everyone here who has not been investigated is guilty, guilty, guilty, but just lucky enough to not have been caught?

    The Dana who isn't an attorney (7e0972)

  233. Nk, to be fair, could it be it that the perfectionist-conservative commentariat on this blog that give the lamestream press and its left-wing fellow travelers the false hope of a grand anti-Trump coalition?

    urbanleftbehind (6bbe67)

  234. Dana,

    I agree it is reasonable and appropriate to let the condemned have spiritual advice of their choice. My feeling is the authorities believe there will be creative requests by some inmates that will cause delays and problems, so I understand their reluctance.

    DRJ (15874d)

  235. I think that Mr. Justice Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh will continue to pleasantly surprise Mr. Justice Reagan appointee Anthony Kennedy fans. I can’t wait until he votes to overturn the ban on trannies in the military.

    You guys all do know that the reason Reagan appointed Kennedy to the Supreme Court at the height of the AIDS scare was to make sure that Rock Hudson, Liberace, and the rest of his Hollywood good buddies would not be quarantined or have their bathhouses shut down, right?

    nk (dbc370)

  236. Nk, to be fair, could it be it that the perfectionist-conservative commentariat on this blog that give the lamestream press and its left-wing fellow travelers the false hope of a grand anti-Trump coalition?

    I can’t say whether it’s fair, but it is certainly flattering.

    nk (dbc370)

  237. Requiring your opponent to prove a negative is unfair

    Kevin M,

    I require my opponent to prove a negative when they claim a negative. You and Haiku have been claiming that there is “no evidence” of collusion or obstruction per Mueller, and that claim of your is not supported by Barr’s letter. As to obstruction it is positively refuted by Barr’s letter.

    Your space aliens example shows you have yet to come to terms with the fact that Mueller clearly found substantial evidence of obstruction. Your overreach will be apparent when all that evidence is released in a few weeks.

    Patterico (699618)

  238. Obstruction charges have an intent element but the person charged rarely says to someone, “I intend to obstruct justice” or similar words. My thought is that, even though there is evidence Trump acted in ways that obstruct justice and intended to obstruct justice, it is too important to our nation for a prosecutor to make that judgment about a President. Everyday people can get fair trials but charges against a President will be politicized, so Congress should make that call. I feel this way because I think Mueller is a fair, reasonable lawyer who cares about respect for the Rule of Law, even though Trump doesn’t.

    DRJ (15874d)

  239. Mr Behind wrote:

    Nk, to be fair, could it be it that the perfectionist-conservative commentariat on this blog that give the lamestream press and its left-wing fellow travelers the false hope of a grand anti-Trump coalition?

    This blog? It’s certainly widely read, though there are enough voices here that shouldn’t give them that impression. It’s more people like Bill Kristol, who is so thoroughly eaten up with #TrumpDerangementSyndrome that he both killed The Weekly Standard and tweets the most ridiculous bovine feces, that the ‘elites’ of the credentialed media who get erections reading his stuff might just give them that false hope.

    The Dana who'd like to think the left aren't THAT dumb (7e0972)

  240. And it is important to acknowledge Mueller said there is evidence against Trump because, if we don’t, the next step is (as we see here repeatedly): People will claim Trump is innocent.

    Presumed innocence is a LEGAL PRESUMPTION that applies in courts, not a rule that society must ignore evidence even though a court did not convict. Does anyone here think Smollett is innocent? We don’t ignore evidence in our lives and we shouldn’t do it for Presidents.

    DRJ (15874d)

  241. Well the dossier is about the standards of Susan pages latest dog droppings. Disco tracks all sort of night soil from kitty Kelley from Dan moldeas investigation which helped harry Reid victory over Paul laxalt.

    Narciso (123c38)

  242. Obstruction charges have an intent element but the person charged rarely says to someone, “I intend to obstruct justice” or similar words.

    That’s why it’s such a great nugget to have a statement like this: “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…’”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  243. True.

    DRJ (15874d)

  244. You know, all of this derives from one simple fact: DJT is as his history would suggest. Ick. Venal. Oversensitive. Lack of self control. Bullying. Not particularly trustworthy.

    It’s possible to say that that doesn’t matter; only results in the Oval Office.

    Then you must defend those results and not move goalposts about those results. And less pleasantly, never ever complain about the same categories of actions and history by politicians with whom you don’t have common cause.

    It’s possible to say that DJT’s history and personality do matter.

    Then you must admit it when DJT does things of which you approve.

    The middle ground is exactly that: weighing the pros and cons of each of the concepts above. No matter which “side” you take, it alters your world view and preconceived notions. And everyone gets upset with that.

    Me? I’m in the second category: I think DJT acts like Mr. Haney from “Green Acres,” but far less pleasant.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb84z7vp7Js

    And I never want another person with those characteristics in office again.

    Simon Jester (7fa93e)

  245. My thought is that, even though there is evidence Trump acted in ways that obstruct justice and intended to obstruct justice, it is too important to our nation for a prosecutor to make that judgment about a President. Everyday people can get fair trials but charges against a President will be politicized, so Congress should make that call.

    That’s probably Mueller’s thought too.

    I doubt he said it explicitly, but when his report is released and all that evidence of obstruction is detailed (the stuff Haiku and Kevin M doesn’t exist even though we have already seen much of it with our own eyes and I have detailed it in bullet points in this post), I think it will be evident that Mueller wanted Congress to make that call.

    Whether that message will be able to penetrate after all this ball-spiking (and the ball-spiking is deliberate and designed to create a phony consensus and forestall any real discussion of obstruction once the report comes out) is doubtful.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  246. It’s possible to say that DJT’s history and personality do matter.

    History and personality matter when the candidate or president is a Democrat. They are irrelevant when the candidate or president is a Republican. You can tell these are firm principles because of how consistently they are applied.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  247. Is obstruction of justice an inchoate crime? Looking at the totality of the circumstances, did Trump actually put any obstruction in the path of the juggernaut that made one wee bit of difference, regardless of how much he may have wanted to or how hard he tried?

    nk (dbc370)

  248. Patterico, I really do think it matters. I cringe remembering how many Republicans were concerned with WJC’s personality and ethos. I do not know, but I would wager serious coin that some of your commenters used to believe in this fashion. Suddenly, those things don’t matter so much.

    I think they should. Saying so gets me called names, just like middle school. Ace certainly is in that camp.

    Simon Jester (7fa93e)

  249. It is an intent crime so it shouldn’t matter if he was successful in obstructing, only that it was his intent. P!us, some of his statements were about pardons so that might have influenced some people to keep quiet and that would make a difference.

    DRJ (15874d)

  250. Remembering the late Phil Hartman:

    https://youtu.be/eYt0khR_ej0

    Simon Jester (7fa93e)

  251. What I get from here, is most here don’t care about the illegal and certainly unethical origin and proceedings of this investigation because trump, the damage it caused relationships from Kiev to Tokyo and everywhere in between. And what was the result.

    narciso (d1f714)

  252. What I get from here, is most here don’t care about the illegal and certainly unethical origin and proceedings of this investigation because trump

    I don’t care about it because I believe the evidence of that claim is overstated, to put it very mildly.

    The FBI had an obligation to investigate. I’m very glad they did. It would have been malpractice not to.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  253. No, narciso. I have repeatedly said I want Trump to investigate all of this. Trump is the one who doesn’t care, except to use it for political purposes. He doesn’t want to investigate and fix it, just use it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  254. I think there is a problem with FISA.

    DRJ (15874d)

  255. @242 This is jumping out of sequence. No one jumped up and proclaimed “Trump didn’t collude with Russia” out of a clear sky.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  256. @242 This is jumping out of sequence. No one jumped up and proclaimed “Trump didn’t collude with Russia” out of a clear sky.

    They claimed Barr said Mueller said there was no evidence of that, which is false.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  257. Note to Gryph: You were right about 41.

    DRJ (15874d)

  258. #242

    Requiring your opponent to prove a negative is unfair

    Kevin M,

    I require my opponent to prove a negative when they claim a negative. You and Haiku have been claiming that there is “no evidence” of collusion or obstruction per Mueller, and that claim of your is not supported by Barr’s letter. As to obstruction it is positively refuted by Barr’s letter.

    Your space aliens example shows you have yet to come to terms with the fact that Mueller clearly found substantial evidence of obstruction. Your overreach will be apparent when all that evidence is released in a few weeks.

    Patterico (699618) — 3/29/2019 @ 6:23 am

    This here, is why I really think the Mueller report ought to be released. There may be redaction and stuff regarding the Russian Collusion…but, I can’t imagine much redaction on the obstruction of justice and I’d be curious to see what the special council think is obstruction.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  259. @245 Are we honestly arguing over a turn of phrase? I think everyone knows “not guilty” isn’t the same as “innocent” even though they may not know “not guilty” has a legal meaning and “innocent” does not. No one needs this hectoring by our betters. But arguing that “not guilty” doesn’t mean “innocent” as a legal matter and going on to argue that on practical terms it actually means “not innocent” isn’t a sound argument. Just agree to disagree over what the evidence actually establishes.

    Everyone wants to establish what everyone else must knowledge. How about this; with regards to collusion, the best we can do is acknowledge that we are still arguing a point of faith. The atheists are arguing no proof means innocent and the theists are arguing that something deep in their soul tells them he is guilty beyond all doubt. Given what we know about the Mueller report I think right now the best choice might be to remain agnostic.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  260. Seems like you are the one arguing over a phrase.

    DRJ (15874d)

  261. In Re: Ronald Reagan and popular support for him among today’s conservative voters:

    If indeed it is true that most Republican voters today would not have supported Ronald Reagan against Gerald Ford, that says just as much or more about today’s Republican voters than it says about the late Ronald Reagan. Besides, we have Trump now. If that’s not a damning indictment of the American electorate writ-large, I don’t know what is.

    Gryph (08c844)

  262. Gryph, see comment 262.

    DRJ (15874d)

  263. 267. Elaborate for me? In what way was I right about 41?

    Gryph (08c844)

  264. All I want is for people to be accurate about what the letter does and does not say. Period. No need to read anything else into anything I say.

    Patterico (699618)

  265. Bush 41 was not decent. Maybe a good neighbor but not a good man.

    DRJ (15874d)

  266. I dont get why justice can delayed yet again in the death penalty case, the subject should have dispatched long ago.

    Narciso (123c38)

  267. In Re: Trump and the Mueller Report:

    Failure to indict does not mean an absence of evidence. It means that the relevant authority believed there was not enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial. Strictly speaking, absent a public release of the report, we really don’t know any more about Trump’s connections with Russia than we did before this investigation started. And that’s enough for me to believe that Trump is among the most corrupt bastards to ever sit in the Oval Office in my lifetime.

    FYI: “In my lifetime” is from 1978-present, so yes, I was alive to see Slick Willie and Barry Soetoro.

    Gryph (08c844)

  268. 270. My opinion of Bush 41 changed significantly after learning about how he handled himself during the 1980 election. So much so that it led me to believe that putting him in the Vice Presidency may have been one of the larger mistakes of Reagan’s administration.

    Gryph (08c844)

  269. What the October surprise snipehunt, there was probably as much to that as with this affair.

    Narciso (123c38)

  270. I understood W because I am a Texan and he acts like men I know. His father didn’t, but he came to Texas as an adult. His Connecticut neighbors say he never stopped being one of them. I think they are right.

    DRJ (15874d)

  271. Heh! Who says there is no Justice in our society? It all evens out, believe you me! This man will serve the maximum Jussie Smollett would have with good behavior.

    nk (dbc370)

  272. I wouldn’t mind having any of the Bushes as neighbors, though, including 41 and Barbara, so they are decent in that way. I’m not sure I can say that about most politicians.

    DRJ (15874d)

  273. That case is sad, nk. I hope they can help him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  274. 275. When you look at what’s going on in Houston and San Antonio these days, it seems to me like Texas-friendly and fundamentally decent are two completely different concepts. Texas, as a state, certainly isn’t immune to the same cultural rot infecting the rest of the country; the same cultural rot even Ronald Reagan was ultimately powerless to stop.

    Gryph (08c844)

  275. They threw this whole garbage truck at them, when they were alive, and they do subsequently, and yet we let the scorpions get in our heads.

    Narciso (123c38)

  276. 154, DCSCA (797bc0) — 3/28/2019 @ 6:44 pm

    The fire would go out if the AG just quit playing these news cycle games and release the frigging report; all points of the compass seems to want that.

    But some people are making themselves deliberately ignorant of what the problem is. There is a way around it, but you have to know there is a problem and what the problem is, .

    Barr can’t release the report, as is. Barr is legally barred from doing so because some of what he reports derives only from grand jury information and Barr is asking Mueller to please point out what does.

    In particular, the report apparently names some Americans, none of whom were associated in any way with Donald Trump, (although some people associated with him were approached with (possibly insincere) offers of emails or dirt), who helped disseminate the results of the Russian hacking in a manner calculated to conceal their source, which they knew.

    And maybe even actively lied about where it came from.

    And also possibly people who spread disinformation, knowing it was false, about how the emails wre obtained (like the Seth Rich story.)

    But their names are confidential because that was not a crime, or they testified to the grand jury under a grant of immunity from prosecution and never repeated this in any other way.

    Or else they would have been indicted. They were only enlisted by the Russian government to do this after each of the hacks was over, so I don’t think they could be guilty of conspiracy to hack.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  277. San Antonio where the city council went after chick a fil with the zeal of our erstwhile Antarctic guest.

    Narciso (123c38)

  278. “why shouldn’t we just assume that everyone here who has not been investigated is guilty, guilty, guilty, but just lucky enough to not have been caught?”

    This is where the axes meet the grindstone…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  279. @266

    Besides, we have Trump now. If that’s not a damning indictment of the American electorate writ-large, I don’t know what is.

    During the last election, we had a choice between Clinton and Trump and both of them had gone through the primaries. I think we’ve got a damning indictment of a lot more than the American electorate. But picking 2016 is just shortsighted. In 2000 our choice was between another Bush and the guy who invented the internet. We elected WJC twice. For that matter, we elected Nixon twice. We elected Bush Jr. twice simply because our other choice was Kerry. We elected Obama because our choices both times were basically Obama or the white Obama.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  280. Gryph,

    Texans and Texas isn’t special, let alone better, but we are blessed with oil and gas that people want so we have jobs. That makes all the difference. People need to work.

    DRJ (15874d)

  281. IMO the big Texas cities are succumbing to the rot that comes from not working, not from transplants.

    DRJ (15874d)

  282. Everyone makes mistakes. But when mistakes are made, the goal should be to learn from them.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  283. The splc before reveling itself as a dumpsterfire has poisoned the well so has media matters,

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  284. “why shouldn’t we just assume that everyone here who has not been investigated is guilty, guilty, guilty, but just lucky enough to not have been caught?”

    That would be just as bad as thinking they are innocent based on what Bar wrote. We need to see Mueller’s full report to make a better judgment, but we may never know for sure. The Russian evidence is probably out of reach forever.

    DRJ (15874d)

  285. I thought skippy Kennedy was like wendy Davis, but someone forgot to get the hook, when doesn’t Allen funt show up.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  286. Does Allen funt show up, I know hes Norwegian blue, but still.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  287. 289…

    “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”

    “The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  288. # 257 The FBI had an obligation to investigate. I’m very glad they did. It would have been malpractice not to.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 3/29/2019 @ 7:11 am

    I’m going to try again…

    How do you know that?

    What was the predicate to open the investigation on Mike Flynn? on George Papadopoulos? on Carter Page?

    Are we sure, that these weren’t initiated with political animus?

    Or… lemme flip this around and ask you simply this on an entirely different event?
    Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whom was initially blamed for the Benghazi attack because he produced an anti-islam youtube, was found to have broken his plea bargain over producing that video. It’s widely accepted that his parole violation wouldn’t have been discovered. Yet, he was caught in a politically charged environment and the full weight of the federal government came bearing down on him.

    Was Nakoula an idiot for breaking his parole? Yup.

    Was Flynn and Papadopoulos an idiot for lying to the FBI and plead out? Yup.

    I thin Flynn’s case is even more outrageous as the predicate was that Sally Yates thought he violated the Logan Act and that he initially didn’t initially know that it was an adversarial interview. (further supports Popehat’s mantra of “DON’T TALK TO THE FBI!”)

    So…ask you self this: without the political animus of these events, would charges still be filed in a non-charged political environment?

    My over-arching concern is the alleged weaponization of the government against political opponents.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  289. And since frosty has accused me of hectoring people, I will get on my soapbox with this comment: West Texas needs a wall because we cannot survive as an economy or a culture with all the migrants flooding into our area. Our churches and government will try but it is too many, too fast. And unlike in the past when most migrants were Mexicans who did want to work so they could send money home to family, these migrants are from Central America. They don’t want to go back home and they will quickly forget any family they have there because they csn’t go visit them every year like the Mexicans do. They will settle down and expect to live our lives. I fear the crime that will come if they can’t find jobs that pay enough.

    DRJ (15874d)

  290. *ugh…sorry for misspellings…need moar caffeine!

    whembly (b9d411)

  291. 284. And yet somehow, we soldier on pretending as if our votes actually matter. The American Revolution was fought over so much less…

    Gryph (08c844)

  292. 293.

    My over-arching concern is the alleged weaponization of the government against political opponents.

    And I think it ought to be obvious as all-get-out by now that Democrats don’t have a monopoly on such weaponization. In fact, in the hands of Trump, such weaponization should scare us at least as much as it did in Democratic hands.

    Gryph (08c844)

  293. Why the FBI’s Investigation Into the President Was Unavoidable.

    Patterico wrote about it, too, so I recommend starting with that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  294. @294 You’re missing the true problem; Texas needs a ban on people from California just like Georgia needs a ban on people from New York and New Jersey.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  295. “Look at his neck! He’s got the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. The man is not a long ball hitter.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  296. 298 Why the FBI’s Investigation Into the President Was Unavoidable.

    Patterico wrote about it, too, so I recommend starting with that.

    DRJ (15874d) — 3/29/2019 @ 8:39 am

    I’m not saying the FBI shouldn’t have initially looked into it…

    I’m saying that it should’ve been quickly handled and quietly dropped if it wasn’t warranted. Instead, it was allowed to fester and grow that casted a huge shadow over the administration.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  297. [T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”

    As others have told you, “did not establish” does not mean there is no evidence. In laymen’s terms, it is nonlegal words chosen by Barr to make people think nothing happened. We kniw from Barr’s letter there is some evidence but:

    (1) It may not be enough for a prosecutor to believe someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, ** or
    (2) Mueller may have decided to put the evidence in Congress’ hands, or
    (3) Mueller may think he can’t indict a sitting President, or
    (4) Something else.

    ** Remember Patterico’s post about O.J.? That O.J. was not criminally convicted based on the reasonable doubt standard, but he was civilly liable based on the preponderance of the evidence standard? Some believe O.J. should be able to claim he is innocent. Do you?

    DRJ (15874d)

  298. 297

    293.

    My over-arching concern is the alleged weaponization of the government against political opponents.

    And I think it ought to be obvious as all-get-out by now that Democrats don’t have a monopoly on such weaponization. In fact, in the hands of Trump, such weaponization should scare us at least as much as it did in Democratic hands.

    Gryph (08c844) — 3/29/2019 @ 8:38 am

    Absolutely! That scare’s be bejeebus out of me.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  299. I welcome all Americans and migrants (who are here legally) who want to work to Texas, frosty.

    DRJ (15874d)

  300. 302…

    “But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  301. I’m saying that it should’ve been quickly handled and quietly dropped if it wasn’t warranted.

    Mueller found some evidence on these issues and put it in his report. Until we read it, how do you know the investigation wasn’t warranted? Doesn’t the fact there is some evidence of wrongdoing mean the investigation was warranted?

    DRJ (15874d)

  302. No… OJ was not innocent. But mistake’s may have been made by Garcetti’s personnel.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  303. … despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

    So you accept that Mueller learned everything there is to know about Russian interference and Trump, or could it be Mueller had other investigations he was unable to complete because Russian sources (and possibly some Trump sources like Manafort) did not cooperate?

    DRJ (15874d)

  304. Under your theory, shouldn’t O. J. be able to claim innocence? He didn’t just have an investigation, he had a trial.

    DRJ (15874d)

  305. Pateruci @170,

    In fact, it’s pretty clear Mueller found substantial evidence of obstruction — else he would have had an easier time reaching a conclusion.

    Most of that he didn’t “find.” They took place in public view.

    What Mueller did here is he evaluated certain actions, or purported actions, by Donald Trump and others.

    He made a “thorough factual investigation” (Mueller’s words, as quoted by Barr.) In some cases some key facts remained unresolved (that might principally be the case with the possible pardon offers.)

    Mueller did not make any prosecution decision, but listed arguments, both pro and con, about unresolved legal and factual issues.

    As to one factual issue, Mueller wrote that “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference” and he apparently also said that while the absence of evidence of an underlying crime he participated in was not determinative of whether he committed an obstruction of justice offense, it did go a long way toward the question of his intent. (I am not sure if this only means to exclude a knowledge or strong suspicion of some underlying crime by somebody else.)

    There may also be a diffference between someone who is a boss of the investigator, even if it is not custoomary for such a high level boss to get involved in investigative decisions, and someone who is not, because in so doing the boss is not stepping outside of his legal role. Maybe a boss requires intent to cover up an underlying crime, but for someone else to arange to stop an investigation does not. Except that lawyers arguing not to prosecute someone are never considered to have corrupt intent when they do so.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 3/29/2019 @ 6:51 am

    “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…’”

    If, to the best of Donald Trump’s knowledge, it was a made up story, and the dossier seems to have been, then there was no corrupt intent, even if the firing of JAmes Comey was done to prevent an investigation. Prevent not stop, because remember Trump wrote that Comey had told him he was not under investigation, which Comey and othersrs have acknowledged was a fact.

    (A criminal investigation into the allegations made in the dossier was only started after Comey was fired. The dossier was used as general support for the FISA warrant on Carter Page in 2016, but was not necessary – it was only used as support for the notion that Russia was taking sides in the election. It had also been used to start a counterintelligence investigation, but that investigation was not into Donald Trump, per se.)

    Rosenstein and Muller made a decision without considering any claim that a president could not be prosecuted (if that ahd been determinative, it would mean they shold shold forward an impeachmentreferal to the House of Representatives)

    They did say:

    the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding.

    In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.

    So every action that could be construed as onstruction of justice was missing at least one of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  306. It was an opportunity to overturn the results of the election. And they made the most of it. It was a win-win for them. If they couldn’t remove him from office, they could do their best to cripple him and embolden the Democrat operatives in the MSM.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  307. OJ did claim innocence.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  308. 308… grasping at straws now?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  309. I agree, but that means you understand and believe that people can have public motives/goals and private motives/goals. That is also true of Trump. If you want to look behind what Democrats do and seek their private motives and goals, do it to Trump, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  310. I asked you if O. J. should be able to claim innocence, not whether he did.

    Also, I am talking to you in good faith. Please don’t characterize my comments as “grasping at straws.” Refutethem, agree with them, agree to disagree, or ignore me but please don’t insult me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  311. My 314 was in response to your 311.

    DRJ (15874d)

  312. @297 Is there any evidence that Trump can weaponize the government against his opponents? I don’t think he can.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  313. Here is what this comes down to…

    The House of Representatives will not impeach and the Senate will not remove Trump from office. The voters will have their say in 2020.

    To me, the most credible thing that has emerged from these last 2 years is the charge that the media promotes and propagates fake news and have pretty much abdicated its responsibility.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  314. DRJ wrote:

    I agree it is reasonable and appropriate to let the condemned have spiritual advice of their choice. My feeling is the authorities believe there will be creative requests by some inmates that will cause delays and problems, so I understand their reluctance.

    That’s easy enough to get around; it would be a reasonable accommodation to put a time limit on such requests, such as “You have up until seven days prior to the needle to put in such requests.” Given that the Supreme Court allowed the execution in Alabama to occur, it seems probable that the Court would accept such limitations to eliminate ‘creative’ requests.

    The conciliatory Dana (7e0972)

  315. “It will take weeks for the elite pundit class to unravel all the possible implications and subtexts embedded in Robert Mueller’s final report on the charge that Donald Trump and his team colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 election. The right claims that the report exonerates Trump fully, while the left contends there are lots of nuggets in the full text of the final report that may point to obstruction of justice, if not collusion.

    But here’s all you need to know about the special counsel probe:

    First, after nearly two years, the special counsel found no credible evidence of collusion. It found no credible evidence of a plot to obstruct justice, to hide evidence of collusion. The entire collusion theory, which has formed the center of elite political discourse for over two years now, has been publicly and definitely proclaimed to be a hoax by the very person on whom news organizations and their chosen “experts” and “high-level sources” had so loudly and insistently pinned their daily, even hourly, hopes of redemption.

    Mueller should have filed his report on May 18, 2017—the day after the special counsel started and he learned the FBI had opened an investigation on the sitting president of the United States because senior officials at the world’s premier law enforcement agency thought Trump was a Russian spy. Based on what evidence? A dossier compiled by a former British spy, relying on second- and third-hand sources, paid for by the Clinton campaign
    .

    Instead, the special counsel lasted 674 days, during which millions of people who believed Mueller was going to turn up conclusive evidence of Trump’s devious conspiracies with the Kremlin have become wrapped up in a collective hallucination that has destroyed the remaining credibility of the American press and the D.C. expert class whose authority they promote.

    Mueller knew that he wasn’t ever going to find “collusion” or anything like it because all the intercepts were right there on his desk. As it turned out, two of his prosecutors, including Mueller’s so-called “pit bull,” Andrew Weissman, had been briefed on the Steele dossier prior to the 2016 election and were told that it came from the Clintons, and was likely a biased political document.

    Weissman left, or was pushed out of, his employment with the special counsel a few weeks ago, after the arrival of a new attorney general, William Barr, who had deep experience in government, including stints at the Justice Department and the CIA. Knowing what we know now, here’s what seems most likely to have just happened: Barr looked at the underlying documents on which Mueller’s investigation was based. First, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s May 17, 2017, memo appointing the former FBI director to take supervision of the FBI’s investigation of Trump. And more importantly, the Aug. 2, 2017, memo from Rosenstein outlining the scope of the investigation.

    Among the scope memo’s few unredacted lines are allegations regarding Paul Manafort’s “colluding with Russian government officials … to interfere with the 2016 elections.” The only known source for those allegations is the Steele dossier. What that strongly suggests is that under those redactions are other fabricated allegations that were also drawn from the Clinton-funded smear campaign—a dirty-tricks operation that was led by Fusion GPS founder and conspiracy theorist Glenn Simpson.

    And now, after all the Saturday Night Live skits, the obscenity-riddled Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert routines, the half a million news stories and tens of millions of tweets all foretelling the end of Trump, the comedians and the adult authority figures are exposed as hoaxsters, or worse, based on evidence that was always transparently phony.”

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/282448/system-fail

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  316. Our honorable host wrote:

    History and personality matter when the candidate or president is a Democrat. They are irrelevant when the candidate or president is a Republican. You can tell these are firm principles because of how consistently they are applied.

    I have never, ever, met a President of the United States, and I would bet that the vast majority of people in this country have either never met a President or seen him only in the most cursory sense. That Donald Trump copulated with a porn star while his wife was pregnant doesn’t impact me at all; that he may be a personal scumbag doesn’t affect my life in the slightest.

    The President’s policies, on the other hand, do affect every person in our country, and a whole lot of people abroad. If it turned out that the Democratic nominee in 2020 was as pure as the wind-driven snow, but would raise our taxes, impose some ridiculous ‘green new deal’ on our citizens, order ICE not to enforce our immigration laws at all, and try to get ‘Medicare for All’ — something wanted only by those who have never been on Medicare! — should we vote for the Democrat just because he’s a nicer guy than President Trump?

    The very old Dana (7e0972)

  317. DRJ wrote:

    Under your theory, shouldn’t O. J. be able to claim innocence? He didn’t just have an investigation, he had a trial.

    He did claim innocence; that’s what acquitted people do.

    As for me, look, he won the Heisman Trophy and rushed for over 2,000 yards in a single season; a guy like that deserves a break! :)

    The football fan Dana (7e0972)

  318. despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

    Many of these actually may have been insincere, even if Mueller or others assumed otherwise (but we know some of them definitely were insincere) and this may be the biggest reason that no one in the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, was found by the special counsel to have conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which means the neither the sockpuppeting, nor the hacking, nor the leaking.

    308. DRJ (15874d) — 3/29/2019 @ 8:58 am

    So you accept that Mueller learned everything there is to know about Russian interference and Trump, or could it be Mueller had other investigations he was unable to complete because Russian sources (and possibly some Trump sources like Manafort) did not cooperate?

    Of course he didn’t learn everything there was to know about what Russia did. For instance, what did Putin know and when did he know it?

    But he found out a lot about what people associated with the Trump campaign did. He got quite a number of contacts. And he never could find that they worked together with Russia in anything that was designed to influence the electon, which would be a federal crime. (maybe somebody was lobbied about the Republican platform.)

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  319. 322. The very old Dana (7e0972) — 3/29/2019 @ 9:35 am

    That Donald Trump copulated with a porn star while his wife was pregnant doesn’t impact me at all;

    No, no.

    Donald Trump did not copulate with a porn star while his wife was pregnant That was the story being fed to several news outlets in the fall of 2016, and it was false, although it might be considered more understandable than the truth, which was that Donald Trump copulated with a porn star some time after his wife gave birth.

    that he may be a personal scumbag doesn’t affect my life in the slightest.

    The President’s policies, on the other hand, do affect every person in our country, and a whole lot of people abroad. If it turned out that the Democratic nominee in 2020 was as pure as the wind-driven snow, but would raise our taxes, impose some ridiculous ‘green new deal’ on our citizens, order ICE not to enforce our immigration laws at all, and try to get ‘Medicare for All’ — something wanted only by those who have never been on Medicare! — should we vote for the Democrat just because he’s a nicer guy than President Trump?

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  320. You mean, assuming you disagreed with those policies.

    I think that both when it coems to character, amd when it comes to policies, you evakuate a potential president on the basis of what he is likely to do, and policies may outweigh corruption, especially if it is limited. I mean how many people would reject a president just simply because he steals furniture from the White House? Corruption is just another issue. The presidency is just too impotant to let it be decided by minor matters.

    Now if the corruption is great, if the venaliy if great, if it extends to serious crime, and perversion of justice, it becomes more important. It all boils down to what is the president likely to do, and everything gets weighed in the mix.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  321. @326 I suspect there are very few. In 2016 somewhere near 50% didn’t have a problem voting for a candidate who took a variety of items from the White House. If there is anyone who cares about something so trivial they are buried someplace in the other 50%.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  322. @#233:

    See #170, take it up w/our it host…. and check the tow line, Archie.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  323. that he may be a personal scumbag doesn’t affect my life in the slightest

    Is it of no consequence that the most powerful person in the land routinely lies to the public, and defines good vs. bad in an overtly self-serving way, and appears to care more about getting credit than getting results, and boasts of being able to get away with things that others cannot, and holds himself to be above reproach while he zealously accuses others of sins and crimes, and has a history of taking advantage of the less powerful (a.k.a. “losers”) for his own profit?

    It used to be that all those visible signs of dishonesty and selfish narcissism were taken as a warning of how someone would exercise power, in ways that might not be immediately apparent. But now, “that’s just Trump being Trump” — i.e. Trump is a law unto himself.

    At the least, Trump taints any good policy he promotes by tying it to the image of selfish arrogance and dishonesty and vindictiveness. Many voters are influenced by that image. The primaries gave us other candidates who would have been comparable on policy, without the ugliness, but the Trump fanatics even then were hurling epithets at those on the right who dared suggest that Trump wasn’t the only patriotic choice.

    Today, a very vocal part of the GOP base has essentially taken the position that criticizing the president’s conduct in office is evil, and that defending the person of Donald Trump is the highest moral duty. It’s quite bizarre.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  324. @300. That’ll look quaint etched in mob cement on his statue erected at Happydale.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  325. @329 Very little of this is new and I’m consistently puzzled by the number of people who only now find these things bizarre or only find it bizarre within the context of Trump.

    After an election where a vocal part of Clinton’s supporters labeled any criticism sexism, 8 years of Obama’s supporters calling any criticism racists, and before that Chimp Hitler is it really that bizarre that those tactics would show up somewhere else?

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  326. Radegunda asked me:

    Is it of no consequence that the most powerful person in the land routinely lies to the public, and defines good vs. bad in an overtly self-serving way, and appears to care more about getting credit than getting results, and boasts of being able to get away with things that others cannot, and holds himself to be above reproach while he zealously accuses others of sins and crimes, and has a history of taking advantage of the less powerful (a.k.a. “losers”) for his own profit?

    Well the public did vote for Bill Clinton, didn’t they? :)

    Every politician is arrogant; it takes arrogance to stand up and say that you and your judgement are better than that of other people, and thus you should be given governing power.

    If President Trump “defines good vs. bad in an overtly self-serving way,” but he still gets the good vs bad argument on the right side, so what? If Mr Trump defines illegal immigration as bad, and his motivation is that he hates Mexicans, is he not still creating a policy which is designed to keep out people who cannot support themselves and are nothing but a drain on our public school and welfare systems? If President Trump excludes the ‘transgendered’ from the armed forces because he thinks that they’re all mentally ill and perverted, is he not still creating a policy which keeps largely undeployable people who would burden the military with unreasonable medical expenses out of of the armed forces?

    You have made the argument that the left make: Mr Trump is raaaaacist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and xenophobic, and therefore all of his policies are invalid, because they are invalidly motivated. I do not accept that argument as valid; if the policies are the rights ones, the motivation behind them — frequently the speculation of those who think they are mind readers — does not matter.

    The thoroughly practical Dana (7e0972)

  327. Radegunda asked me:

    Is it of no consequence that the most powerful person in the land routinely lies to the public, and defines good vs. bad in an overtly self-serving way, and appears to care more about getting credit than getting results, and boasts of being able to get away with things that others cannot, and holds himself to be above reproach while he zealously accuses others of sins and crimes, and has a history of taking advantage of the less powerful (a.k.a. “losers”) for his own profit?

    From my perspective, policies which cut welfare are good ones; people who will not work should not be supported.

    President Clinton supported welfare reform in 1996 because he was concerned about winning re-election. President Trump has authorized policies which allow the states to limit Medicaid to those who will not work; if it’s really because he believes all poor people are black, and he hates blacks, it’s still a good policy.

    The extremely practical Dana (7e0972)

  328. About a million years ago in internet time I read a comment on some lefty blog (tbogg?) that basically said once you start areguing specifics with paterico you’re screwed because he doesn’t get that stuff wrong. This thread is a great pc of proof.

    Time123 (89b85f)

  329. @255. Slightly OT but remembering Phil Hartman still gives me the ‘willies’– pun intended.

    True story: was attending a Hollywood business function when several of Tom Hanks’ cronies showed up for the event. The couple who shined most in memory was this nice, friendly fella named Phil Hartman who had this stunning blonde on his arm– his wife, Brie. They appeared happy, chatty, cheerful and w/o a care in the world, beaming ear to ear.

    Literally 30 days later, she blew his brains out and killed herself. It remains a chilling memory.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  330. that he may be a personal scumbag doesn’t affect my life in the slightest

    It does, because scumbags in power abuse power.

    It’s good to know that I will find no record of your ever having criticized any Democrat for personal shortcomings. Because if you did, that would make you a giant hypocrite, and you’re not a giant hypocrite, are you?

    Patterico (699618)

  331. I asked you if O. J. should be able to claim innocence, not whether he did.

    Also, I am talking to you in good faith. Please don’t characterize my comments as “grasping at straws.” Refutethem, agree with them, agree to disagree, or ignore me but please don’t insult me.

    I echo that. I think he insults you because he can’t respond to your actual points. I have found no benefit in conversing with Haiku; I merely correct him so others are not taken in by his false statements.

    Patterico (699618)

  332. very few people didn’t really think oj didn’t do it, but they didn’t care, their lives hadn’t been given value then, why should they care about one blonde woman, and her boyfriend,

    narciso (d1f714)

  333. Breaking- CNN reports DOJ to release Mueller Report by mid-April, if not sooner.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  334. which may or may not be true:

    https://www.38north.org/2019/03/mrichey032919/

    narciso (d1f714)

  335. ???

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  336. we must believe in the mutant stargoat,

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/schiff-and-the-media-11553710482?mod=e2two

    narciso (d1f714)

  337. Our esteemed host asked me:

    It’s good to know that I will find no record of your ever having criticized any Democrat for personal shortcomings. Because if you did, that would make you a giant hypocrite, and you’re not a giant hypocrite, are you?

    Of course I am!

    And that is what this election has become. Many of the defenders of (Roy) Moore see the allegations as untrue, but there are a lot of allegations, and his own admission that he was dating teenagers when he was in his early thirties lends credibility to those claims. I believe that many of them are true, despite one being pushed by the odious Gloria Allred, and thus there is some hypocrisy on my part in preferring a Moore win over losing the seat to Democrat Doug Jones. I hope, that if Mr Moore wins, the charges are investigated, and if there is merit behind them, he is expelled by the Senate, so that the Republican governor of Alabama can appoint another Republican to fill that seat.

    That isn’t a comfortable position to take, but it’s one which has to be taken, for the good of the country. We cannot ignore the already slim Republican majority in the Senate, currently 52-48; if Mr Jones is elected, that drops to 51-49. That’s one fewer vote the GOP has to get things done, and I have speculated before that, if that became the case, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John McCain (R-AZ) might switch to the Democrats, to give them the majority, just because they hate President Trump so much. That would mean no more judicial nominations pass, and nothing would get done without the Democrats’ consent.

    So, yes, I’m being a hypocrite here, but it is hypocrisy born of necessity.

    I will use any personal allegations against the left that I find necessary, to keep them from power, because the policies of the left are so odious and harmful.

    Sure, I’d be happier of the President were a nicer guy . . . as long as he was effective in getting things done. But if the Democratic nominee in 2020 is as pure as the wind driven snow and is running against Donald Trump, I will vote for Mr Trump.

    The extremely honest Dana (7e0972)

  338. @343 So far you can rely on the 2020 candidates to be corrupt, dishonest, or incompetent. Our choices are not improving.

    As we get closer I’m sure there will be many explanations about how it’s not a binary choice and that’s it’s better to get both bad policies and bad people instead of holding your nose and voting for policies you like. At least then no one can accuse you of being a hypocrite.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  339. DCSCA @339:

    CNN reports DOJ to release Mueller Report by mid-April, if not sooner.

    This will be aredacted version.

    It will not contain any information about open investigations elsewhere (mainly or only in the Southern District of New York, i.e. nothing about the alleged campaign finance law violations, or anything else Mueller farmed out that is still ongoing) and will not contain any assertions reliant solely on grand jury testimony by Americans who were granted immunity for conspiring or co-ordinating with Russia in election interference activities. This probably involved disseminating the results of the hacking in a way calculated to not implicate Russia in gathering the information.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  340. It’s nice if you add “the” to the filter.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  341. Dana: so, in summary, we should ignore anything you say about *any politician*’s personal shortcomings, because it’s not really about the shortcomings for you, it’s about the party? And when you criticize Democrats for their shortcomings, it’s not because the shortcomings actually bother you, it’s because you see it as a convincing way to attack people you dislike for other, unrelated reasons?

    I mean, that may be an overstatement, but it’s very hard not to read what you’re saying that way.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  342. aphrael wrote:

    Dana: so, in summary, we should ignore anything you say about *any politician*’s personal shortcomings, because it’s not really about the shortcomings for you, it’s about the party? And when you criticize Democrats for their shortcomings, it’s not because the shortcomings actually bother you, it’s because you see it as a convincing way to attack people you dislike for other, unrelated reasons?

    Not quite, but close.

    The individual shortcomings may bother me, which is why I voted for Gary Johnson instead of Donald Trump — I believed, as did so many others, that Mr Trump had no chance, and anyway, the last Republican to carry Pennsylvania was the elder George Bush in 1988 — but, let’s face it, Hillary Clinton’s personal shortcomings are at least as bad as Mr Trump’s.

    That said, those personal shortcomings pale in comparison to policy.

    If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. — Winston Churchill

    We made common cause with the Soviet Union, to defeat the more immediate and (perceived to be) worse threat. When it comes to defeating the evil of leftist policies, we should shirk no weapon in doing so.

    Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. — Vince Lombardi

    Gentlemen, this school is about combat. There are no points for second place. — “Viper” in Top Gun

    In politics, there are no moral victories, there is only victory or defeat.

    When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. — Cersei Lannister

    The brutally frank Dana (7e0972)

  343. I believe the Gospels are add odds with the winning or dying bit, no offense to George RR Martin.

    “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

    sorry to go all Marco Rubio on you there. But really. Treating half of the country like mortal enemies is just. .. I’d love to see that idea played out, as in passe. On both sides.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  344. oh that’s John 12: 24-25 , NIV

    JRH (8f59ea)

  345. If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. — Winston Churchill

    That’s a character (and intentions) issue.

    The thing is liek this: Character matters only to the extent it has an impact on public policy, it is just another thing to factor in. That should apply to mayors, also.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  346. JRH wrote:

    sorry to go all Marco Rubio on you there. But really. Treating half of the country like mortal enemies is just. .. I’d love to see that idea played out, as in passe. On both sides.

    Dude, half of the country are our mortal enemies!

    That wasn’t always the case, but it is now. Half of the country vote for politicians who couldn’t even support a law requiring aborted babies who survive the procedure to be saved. Half of the country vote for politicians who would take away your First and Second Amendment rights. Half of the country vote for politicians who support favoritism of one race over another. Half of the country vote for politicians who cannot even tell the difference between males and females. And half of the country vote for politicians who would impose socialism.

    How are they not our enemies?

    The totally frank Dana (7e0972)

  347. Barr says:

    Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts

    tat refers ONLY to the sock-puppeting

    And

    The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts

    That refers BOTH to the sock-puppeting and to the hacking and leaking.

    Therefore, we can deduce, that one or more U.S. persons,who,however, were not in the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in the hacing orleaking.

    And that is probably only the leaking. Putin would not take any americans into hisconfidence. he is not crazy.

    This is a false syllogism. But is reasonable because Muller and Barr are honest,but trying to avoid saying something. This is tricky, but valid.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  348. Dana,

    Even though O.J. claims to be innocent, some people still believe he committed murder. In fact, we know that is true because a civil jury found him liable, and some people who watched his criminal trial decided he was guilty based on the evidence.

    Meanwhile, Trump claims to be innocent based on a selective summary of Mueller’s Report (written by the AG Trump appointed) that stated there was evidence “on both sides” of obstruction, and said collusion was “not established.” As a lawyer, “not established” has no precise legal meaning. It sounds like lawyer-speak for there is evidence of collusion but collusion was not proven.

    The O.J. proceedings and evidence were public. We haven’t even seen the Mueller Report. Why the rush to judgment? It’s about getting even for Trump because he told us that is what motivates him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  349. #347

    we should ignore anything you say about *any politician*’s personal shortcomings, because it’s not really about the shortcomings for you, it’s about the party? And when you criticize Democrats for their shortcomings, it’s not because the shortcomings actually bother you, it’s because you see it as a convincing way to attack people you dislike for other, unrelated reasons?

    A version of this is basically the rule that at least some of Trump’s supporters learned from the Clinton and Obama supporters. Why is everyone surprised that at least some Trump supporters can learn such a simple idea? I’m surprised it took so long. God help us all if more of them realize they can apply this to themselves and just ignore being called racists, sexists, or homophobes.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  350. @352. I reject that. that those who disagree with me are my enemies. And it doesnt reflect my life. I have Trump supporting friends and AOC-loving friends and I think they’re both completely bonkers (for not dissimilar reasons), but neither are my enemies.

    I think there are a bunch of people in the middle who are being completely ignored by people that want to gin up the crazies on the fringes.

    I’m ready for moderate not to be a bad word anymore and I don’t think I’m alone.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  351. Never mind, Dana. I read your other comments.

    DRJ (15874d)

  352. > How are they not our enemies?

    We are your fellow citizens, members of the same tribe, who disagree on political issues, but that does not make us enemies. It makes us brothers, and neighbors, and friends, who disagree.

    I am disappointed to learn that you do not see it this way.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  353. Ditto what JRH said.

    DRJ (15874d)

  354. And aphrael.

    DRJ (15874d)

  355. @345. Brings to mind the Big Dick’s ‘I won’t release-the-tapes-but give you-a-redacted-‘expletive-deleted’-set-of-transcripts-in-pretty-blue-binders-with-the-presidential-seal.’

    History rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  356. @358 I’m not trying to make a statement either way on the enemies issue but

    We are your fellow citizens, members of the same tribe, who disagree on political issues, but that does not make us enemies. It makes us brothers, and neighbors, and friends, who disagree.

    is something that could have been said by a number of people in groups throughout history who did some pretty horrible things to their fellow citizens. At least it could have been said right up until the horrible things started.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  357. 356. The problem with being “moderate” is that you can only sit on the fence for so long before you get a fencepost up your anus.

    Gryph (08c844)

  358. The O.J. proceedings and evidence were public. We haven’t even seen the Mueller Report. Why the rush to judgment? It’s about getting even for Trump because he told us that is what motivates him.
    DRJ (15874d) — 3/29/2019 @ 2:45 pm

    Thank you, DRJ. You said what I have been thinking. Also, Well said, Aphrael.

    felipe (023cc9)

  359. is something that could have been said by a number of people in groups throughout history who did some pretty horrible things to their fellow citizens. At least it could have been said right up until the horrible things started.
    frosty48 (6226c1) — 3/29/2019 @ 3:01 pm

    You have it backwards:

    is something that could have been said by a number of people in groups throughout history who got some pretty horrible things done to them by their fellow citizens. At least it could have been said right up until the horrible things started.

    Is much closer to reality.

    felipe (023cc9)

  360. No more twittering Mr. President until you reduce the gosh darn debt. And deliver a gall darn budget. Imagine the gubmint having a budget? It is insane we have no budget.

    mg (8cbc69)

  361. @365 Both formulations are equally true. Many Germans would have said all of these things until it came time to load the trains and some of them might have had the self-awareness to remove the tribe and brothers right at the end. But they were more than happy to round up brothers and tribe members whose only difference was a physical or mental handicap. Russians and Chinese wouldn’t have needed to change a word. Neither would have Guevara.

    My formulation is fairly consistent across marxist and fascist movements.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  362. 315… DRJ, my comment “grasping at straws” was unduly harsh, please accept my apology for that. We’ll agree to disagree if that’s okay with you.

    Colonel Haiku (b209d4)

  363. We aren’t the ones who push to deplatfirm to fore firings to delay promotions, who summon minions to attack not only their targets but even their families, that why I think this misguided to humor the lefts crusades are Illconsidered.

    narciso (d1f714)

  364. Wading in really late. Barr’s summary of the Mueller report explicitly stated that “…the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question…” and that the report “…also does not exonerate him.” Those two quotes are more than reason enough for the full report to go to Congress, which is the body that will decide whether Trump’s offenses are indictable.
    At this point, without being able to see the report, we’re unable to see or test Barr’s reasoning. He concludes there was no corrupt intent but, at this point, all we’re offered is “because Barr said so.” To me, not good enough. I paid for this report (along with Manafort) and it should see the light of day the sooner the better. Ultimately, it’s not up to Barr to decide corrupt intent, it’s up to the House. They’re the ones who decide whether or not Trump committed high crimes or misdemeanors, not the DOJ.

    Paul Montagu (d49d0a)

  365. The same people who made Mueller into a saint are trying to make Bill Barr into a sinner.

    What may soon be of interest will be the legal exposure of Clapper, Brennan and Comey after documents surface that will be impossible to reconcile with their testimony.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  366. Barr doesn’t need any help; he made himself into one w/his ‘no OOJ job interview’ memo. Pompeo and Graham are jealous.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  367. 370. Paul Montagu (d49d0a) — 3/29/2019 @ 6:33 pm

    At this point, without being able to see the report, we’re unable to see or test Barr’s reasoning.

    We do have alittle piercxe of it, but without that we don’t know much. I am interested in what was Mueller’s reasoning because it might be really bad (very expansive as to what might constitute obstructive of justice)

    Barr did say that he and Rosenstein based it in part on Mueller’s saying that the evidence did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference . But Mueller seemingly did not hold that that was determinative. What did he mean? That trump thought he could be protecting somebody else? Or halting a wild goose chase is obstruction of justice. Or Trump feared aprolonged investigation would uncover something else he did?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  368. An idea of what some Democrats are hoping is in the Mueller report (here assumed to be 380 pages long)

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/mueller-report-cold-open/3931591

    It has some things we knw it doesn’t have.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  369. Oh, how America would be so much better with Hillary, said no non-leftist ever.

    D. Mordozdeg (f57d6b)


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