Patterico's Pontifications

4/18/2019

The Mueller Report: Preliminary Reaction to the Reporting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 pm



I have not read the report. I’ve been working today. I’ve seen some of the discussion about it and seen some quotes from it that seem worth commentary, but until I read it (and who knows when that will be) this is all tentative.

Basic takeaway: if Trump managed not to obstruct justice, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. He tried and tried, but could not get his underlings to monkey with the system as he wanted them to.

As for “collusion”: stop using that word. Mueller did not analyze “collusion.” He found that the investigation did not establish a conspiracy with Russia to interfere with the election. Continued use of the term collusion (given its abuse by both sides, as documented below) serves to obscure rather than enlighten.

Now, the detail:

First, on obstruction: this is just a damning passage:

Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations. The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels. These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General’s recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony. Viewing the acts collectively can help to illuminate their significance. For example, the President’s direction to McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed was followed almost immediately by his direction to Lewandowski to tell the Attorney General to limit the scope of the Russia investigation to prospective election-interference only — a temporal connection that suggests that both acts were taken with a related purpose with respect to the investigation.

The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests. Comey did not end the investigation of Flynn, which ultimately resulted in Flynn’s prosecution and conviction for lying to the FBI. McGahn did not tell the Acting Attorney General that the Special Counsel must be removed, but was instead prepared to resign over the President’s order. Lewandowski and Dearborn did not deliver the President’s message to Sessions that he should confine the Russia investigation to future election meddling only. And McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the President’s direction to have the Special Counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so. Consistent with that pattern, the evidence we obtained would not support potential obstruction charges against the President’s aides and associates beyond those already filed.

By the way, when I first discussed the story about Trump ordering McGahn to fire Mueller, commenters mocked the story. I won’t embarrass anyone by name, but check out the comments to my post about it. I’m just saying: when you defend Trump and attack Big Media, you are choosing one of two unreliable narrators. If you defend either narrator with too much gusto and not enough introspection, you could end up looking foolish. Seriously, read the comments to that thread.

On collusion:

I hate to break it to you, but the Mueller report did not find “no collusion.” It found that the investigation failed to establish a “conspiracy” with Russian electoral interference. Period.

There was no collusion finding. At all. No collusion finding.

In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]” was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation’s scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. In connection with that analysis, we addressed the factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign “coordinat[ed]”-a term that appears in the appointment order-with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, “coordination ” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

I’ve seen dopey analysis of this all day. At the gym, I saw a CNN chyron saying “no collusion.” Nope! The report made no such finding. Similarly, I saw a widely cited former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, tweet about Mueller’s “conclusion regarding ‘collusion'” and claim that Mueller “interpreted [collusion] to require an ‘agreement … with the Russian government on election interference.’”

This is entirely wrong, as shown by simply reading the very passage Mariotti quotes. Mueller made no “conclusion regarding ‘collusion'” because (as just explained) Mueller explicitly disclaimed any attempt to analyze the term “collusion” because it has no place in the relevant federal statutes.

Why does this matter? Well, for one thing, all of a sudden you have both sides gaslighting the other side and moving the goalposts all over the place.

On the right, many folks seem to be saying that literally everyone on Earth has been using the term “collusion” to refer to a criminal conspiracy, and to claim otherwise is just gaslighting and goalpost-shifting, and so: Mueller found no collusion! To those who say that literally everyone said collusion necessarily referred only to criminal activity, I respond: did I dream Rudy Giuliani saying “Collusion is not a crime”? No:

Did I dream Donald Trump tweeting: “Collusion is not a crime?” No:

But the left is doing the same kind of gaslighting and goalpost-shifting. To the extent that folks on the left are claiming “we never said the term collusion referred to criminal activity” they are also full of it, because plenty did. Here is Seth Waxman’s pinned tweet:

Waxman Collusion

And here’s PolitiFact claiming that Trump was factually wrong when he said: “Collusion is not a crime.”

PolitiFact Collusion

As my now pinned tweet says:

It’s the first tweet I have ever pinned to my Twitter profile.

My real concern is not a partisan bickering over the meaning of a term that is not used in the law in the relevant context. It’s that a) the Mueller report clearly says that Mueller did not make a ruling on “collusion” but the Attorney General of the United States this morning repeatedly falsely said that Mueller had:

Indeed, as the report states, “[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.” Put another way, the Special Counsel found no “collusion” by any Americans in the IRA’s illegal activity.

. . . .

But again, the Special Counsel’s report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations. In other words, there was no evidence of Trump campaign “collusion” with the Russian government’s hacking.

. . . .

So that is the bottom line. After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.

After finding no underlying collusion with Russia, the Special Counsel’s report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the President could amount to obstruction of the Special Counsel’s investigation.

. . . .

Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion.

I cannot begin to reconcile these statements with the crystal clear language of Bob Mueller: In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.”

I think Barr’s comments here were disgracefully political, and wholly inaccurate and misleading. Barr repeatedly said that Mueller ruled out “collusion” — something that Mueller said he did not analyze at all.

These comments seriously undercut Barr’s credibility in my eyes — as did his refusal to summarize and/or quote Mueller on obstruction (a topic highly unfavorable to Trump) while saying “no collusion” over and over.

More if and when I read this thing. Don’t hold your breath.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

542 Responses to “The Mueller Report: Preliminary Reaction to the Reporting”

  1. I am shocked, SHOCKED to hear that the media, politicians, businessmenm, lawyers, judges, secretaries, PR agents, and basically anyone who deals with the public on a daily basis have a habit of making their careers in mixing and matching the meaning of words in common usage in order to gain political advantage.

    American Sammy (963471)

  2. And what say you, Captain, sir?!?

    “I won.” – Walter White [Bryan Cranston] ‘Breaking Bad’ AMC TV, 2008-2013

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. “More if and when I read this thing.”

    I think you’ll read it.

    harkin (e15868)

  4. I wish Trump had done more to “Obstruct” this insane, baseless, investigation by his political enemies. We know now, there was no “collusion” – so Trump seems quite correct in wanting to restrict and end it. Too bad, he didn’t fire Mueller, Rosenstein, and Sessions in the summer of 2017, then we wouldn’t be talking about this now.

    Now, after 22 months, Comey’s friend Mueller, has found no criminal case for Russian collusion. Will all those who spent 22 months claiming “The walls were closing in on Trump” and “Trump is Putin’s cockholster” or “Trump is a Russian Agent” now retract? Those with any decency will.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  5. commenters mocked the story. I won’t embarrass anyone by name,

    I did. Still do. While still assuming, as I did then, that it is true:

    Who wouldn’t want a prosecutor who was investigating him to be fired? Come on, raise your hands! It’s a story only because somebody wrote it down.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. I’m still trying to figure out why a POTUS can’t fire a DAG who’s been in office for a month, and on the filmiest of reasons gives a special prosecutor a blank check, unlimited bank account, and no time limit to look into a Presidential crime that hasn’t even been identified.

    If Trump ever “obstructed Justice” it was the most open, above board, and needless obstruction of all time, since there was no crime to “obstruct” and the investigation was never stopped.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  7. Trump did something even more unforgiveable: he obstructed Social Justice.

    American Sammy (cb5d31)

  8. AM 560 The Answer
    @AM560TheAnswer
    MSNBC’s Brian Williams Refers to AG as ‘Baghdad Bill Barr’
    __ _

    Just Karl
    @justkarl
    one of the people in this tweet literally made up war stories about Iraq, and it wasn’t Bill Barr

    _

    harkin (e15868)

  9. When you defend Mueller you defend someone who tried to destroy dr. Hatfills life, his lieutenant weissman did that to a leading accounting firm (the appeals court noted the over reach) the remnants were split between HSBC and accenture.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  10. I know few like Edward Epstein rarely bring it up, and none in the working press except Carl cannon because Mueller will target you.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  11. APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL
    TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE WITH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND RELATED MATTERS
    By virtue of the authority vested in me as Acting Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509, 510, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian govemmenfs efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows:
    (a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed t() serve as Specia] Counsel for the United States
    Department of Justice.
    (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confinned by then-FBI Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
    (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
    (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
    (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

    (c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is
    authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters. (d) Sections 600.4 through 600. l 0 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are
    applicable to the Special Counsel.
    1
    Date ‘
    ORDERNO. 3915-2017

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. Mueller almost didnt have to do any work the times the post and the journal poisoned the waters for two years, ap was so up his six, they didnt need a stethoscope. Any person any where on the world was subject to recall for any reason, every judge that mattered rubber stamped his every move. In short he was the grand inquisitor of dostoyevsky nightmares

    Narciso (5407cd)

  13. Glenn Greenwald seems to agree with the use of ‘conspiracy’ over ‘collusion’:

    “THE TWO-PRONGED CONSPIRACY THEORY that has dominated U.S. political discourse for almost three years – that (1) Trump, his family and his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, and (2) Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin — was not merely rejected today by the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It was obliterated: in an undeniable and definitive manner.

    The key fact is this: Mueller – contrary to weeks of false media claims – did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump’s closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.

    That’s precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence – not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction – that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: “in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event.”

    With regard to Facebook ads and Twitter posts from the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, for example, Mueller could not have been more blunt: “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation” (emphasis added). Note that this exoneration includes not only Trump campaign officials but all Americans….”

    Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/04/18/robert-mueller-did-not-merely-reject-the-trumprussia-conspiracy-theories-he-obliterated-them/

    harkin (e15868)

  14. Unless something changed, that looks like Mueller’s focus included looking for collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign. Am I misreading that?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. If you’ve ever wondered how the European system of Examining Magistrate operates, part prosecutor, part judge, part police supervisor, Mueller’s investigation is a very close simile. (Also High Sheriffs in Robin Hood’s England and in the American Old West.)

    nk (dbc370)

  16. How about all the opportunities that the campaign passed on the coordinate with foreign operatives? That alone says they were wrongly being accused or they were very inept in thier actions.

    Rich (3d9a28)

  17. We use “collusion” because that’s what everyone says. It’s wrong, probably as wrong as saying that Nixon was being impeached over the Watergate break-in (which he did not authorize, or even know about). But I suspect that every talking head tonight will use that, because everyone “knows what it means.”

    I get it that Mueller talked about there being no conspiracy evident (although fringe players on both sides did connect, and one that involved Trump’s son was luckily about something else).

    Since they have no conspiracy case the obstruction case is weaker than otherwise. It’s been said that the SP decided that obstruction would not be charged, but if there had been a provable conspiracy, I suspect that would have been reconsidered (and much easier to prove, as motive would be clear).

    Trump did try to get people fired, investigations weakened or redirected or even stopped. But the motive — to obstruct justice — isn’t clear. He might just be doing it because he’s a flaming assh0le, or pissed off about the distraction or cost to his people, or because his horoscope told him to. Being a blundering fool has certain advantages when it comes to assigning knowledge and motive.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. #14: Greenwald is compromised by the threat of prosecution of his buddy Assange. He knows it can’t hurt to get on Trump’s good side (as if there is one). So he’s as predictable as the WaPo is on the other side (multiple columns suggesting impeachment over obstruction).

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. I think it’s the latter, Comey admits that trump wasnr under investigation ar the time, I guess they were expecting Carter page would crack

    Narciso (5407cd)

  20. As pointed out the charges against Assange are a stretch particularly section 1039 it barely fit with Bradley manning the mental case. With Snowden they’re lucky he fled to moscow.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  21. “Being a blundering fool has certain advantages when it comes to assigning knowledge and motive.”

    ‘Where lawyers rise to rule, riseth also the Fool.’

    American Sammy (fdf07f)

  22. Trump’s accusers have been using the word “collusion” to mean “criminal conspiracy”. In that sense, CNN was accurate when they reported “no collusion”, because there was no criminal conspiracy.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  23. ‘Where lawyers rise to rule, riseth also the Fool.’

    See Dogberry, “Much Ado About Nothing.” Any similarity to Comey is pure coincidence.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  24. Trump’s accusers have been using the word “collusion” to mean “criminal conspiracy”.

    Probably because the focus groups all though it was terriblest.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  25. Regarding obstruction, Mr. Graff:

    The attorney general has implied that Mueller left that choice to Barr. In truth, the report makes clear that Mueller felt constrained by the Justice Department policy that a sitting president could not be indicted. Don’t mistake lack of prosecution, in other words, for absence of wrongdoing. “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president did not obstruct justice, we would so state,” Mueller’s report says. “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
    Mueller then points to Congress, not the attorney general, as the appropriate body to answer the question of obstruction. As Mueller wrote in what seems to be all but a referral for impeachment proceedings, “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  26. Ah graff I was waiting for some zany mad cap humor montagu, I was expecting ‘the earth shattering kaboom’ though.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  27. Here is the federal Obstruction of Justice statute: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title18/part1/chapter73&edition=prelim
    Mueller could not fit anything that Trump did in it.
    But Congress could fashion its own concept of obstruction of justice to fit what Trump did.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. I am saddened that so few people in this conversation have actually read the report. I’m about a third of the way through. Regardless of the Trump stuff (really just ignore the Trump stuff if you need to and read the information about the Russian propaganda efforts), the number of Russian fingers in the American election pie is horrifying.

    Here’s my response to the collusion/conspiracy section that I had posted in the other thread.

    Things I thought were interesting in reading the Mueller report V1 part 4

    1. There were way way too many connections between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian connected people. Way way too many.

    2. Why didn’t someone in the campaign care about this. Like, anyone?

    3. It’s very hard to tell how involved Trump himself was or was not in the Moscow deal. It could be that he expected his people to deal with all the details of things independently and just give him broad overviews. It could be that Cohen was hoping to basically give Trump the done deal as a present. It could be that the Trump organization was trying to use a presidential campaign that they didn’t believe was going anywhere as a lever for a lucrative deal and then dropped it when they realized the campaign was going somewhere. I’m inclined to say that this was not a deal likely to influence the Trump organization at least from their viewpoint.

    4. Why can’t they do proper background checks AND hire competent people?

    5. The Trump campaign was only mostly stupid, not entirely stupid.

    6. It was absolutely correct to prosecute Papadopoulos. Also, he was quite young, why did anyone think he was an expert on anything?

    7. Clovis claiming he couldn’t remember attending the TAG summit is a transparent lie. This leads me to believe he is probably lying about everything else regarding Papadopoulos and Russia.

    8. Papadopoulos is an idiot.

    9. Why the hell couldn’t they have hired some people who did business in the US? Or Italy, or something? Why is everyone they hired in business with Russia? Are they all blacklisted by US banks?

    10. Clovis is definitely someone we should know more about. Why don’t we know more about him. He connects the campaign to both the Page Russia stuff and the Papadopoulos stuff. I bet there’s something hiding in the “grand jury” redactions that would tell us more about what he was doing.

    11. The CNI stuff seems more normal and above board that the rest of the weird things in this section.

    12. It looks like Don jr. intended to conspire at the Trump tower meeting. But he failed at it. He did not quid his pro quo well enough. It also looks like there were some attempts at possible obstruction around this in 2017, but they never went anywhere.

    13. I thought the change to the party platform re Russia and Ukraine was weird and, yep, still weird, but I don’t think you can say it was illegal or anything.

    14. Sessions meeting with Kislyak appears to have basically been appropriate.

    15. Manafort was obviously compromised. Obviously. Why, again, can’t they manage to hire competent people without Russian connections? Why is that so hard?

    16. My conclusion: The Trump campaign was definitely compromised by it’s ties to Russia and none of them should have any part in foreign policy decision making or any kind of security clearance, but I don’t know that the campaign as a whole was criminally compromised, though I think they were criminally negligent. They are all dumb dumb dumb and those that haven’t violated the law seem to have only managed not to quite violate the law by accident and luck (or at least not get caught by luck). However the preponderance of evidence seems to suggest the campaign itself probably violated the law at some point, but that isn’t beyond a reasonable doubt. They are all terrible. And lousy Americans.

    17. This section was very long.

    Nic (896fdf)

  29. Congress couldn’t fashion its way out of a wet paper bag.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. 29… thx, Nic. I’m looking forward to your analysis of the results of the investigation into the shadowy embedded inbreds that started this witch-hunt.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  31. Sone deal that felix sater long time bureau asset had reactivated.

    He was a conservative talk show host in Iowa and political activist, one of the three pigeons set a lure. I forget which.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  32. Who determines if one think tank is more legitimate than another I would ban any American progress affiliate on general principle they have no problem getting a security clearance yet they have clearly anti American sympathies.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  33. Well take Robert Mueller, represented face book and Amazon, (Any conflicts) his firm represented Deutsch bank and Qatar (amy qursrions) he spoke before banamex, which a year later settled 100 million in fees for money laundering

    Narciso (5407cd)

  34. thx, Nic. I’m looking forward to your analysis of the results of the investigation into the shadowy embedded inbreds that started this witch-hunt

    Now, now. I‘m as upset as anyone at Trump and all his shady relatives and compatriots whose questionable and sometimes illegal contacts with Russians caused this manifestly required investigation. But we don’t have to call them inbreds.

    Patterico (105fbe)

  35. Things I thought were interesting in reading the Mueller report V1 part 5 (this is the why did we not prosecute section, otherwise know as part “No collusion, no collusion, vindicated”)

    1. They are relisting all the caveats from the beginning again which basically amounts to: Do we think prosecuting this would be productive or do we think the information could just get Trump impeached or not elected in the next election which is just as good (“…there existed an adequate non-criminal alternative to prosecution.”)

    2. “Did not involve the commission of a FEDERAL crime.” They said at the beginning that they passed on stuff to other jurisdictions, I wonder if there’s anything out there waiting in the wings on a state level?

    3. Charges against Russians on the social media stuff. Yep yep yep. Totally on board with that. Trump campaign not charged because they were totally incompetent at figuring out who they were talking to.

    4. Hacking charges against the GRU. Yep, on board with that one too.

    5. Wow, a lot of redactions here. Can’t even tell what any of this is about. Roger Stone maybe? Or Wikileaks? Either would fit in this category.

    6. Did not charge on Trump tower meeting because Don Jr is too stupid to have figured out what was going on

    7. Potential coordination. I do not personally agree that there were not members of the campaign who did not violate foreign influence laws, but I can see that proving it would be difficult. My personal opinion does not constitute either guilt or innocence or Truth.

    8. Way too many people in the campaign were acting as foreign agents. Way too many. but they seem to have decided that they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the campaign as a whole was. Probably because everyone would have needed to know who they were working for and, again, they were too incompetent to figure out who they were talking to.

    9. apparently in order to charge for the campaign finance violations in the Trump tower meeting, the information would have to have been worth more than $25,000 and since Don Jr. failed to get the info, they couldn’t figure out how much it would have been worth. Also, Don jr. may have been too stupid to realize he was conspiring to violate campaign finance laws.

    10. I think they might be talking about wikileaks in this next redacted section because there is one exposed line about the 1st amendment, but that is total speculation.

    11. Papadopoulos should have had a bigger book thrown at him.

    12. Flynn should have just told the truth and groveled for overstepping is bounds.

    13. Cohen deserved what he got. Also, why is everyone involved in this so stupid?

    14. More Redactions. Roger Stone? He’d fit here.

    15. No prosecuting Sessions was the correct choice IMO. I don’t know if he lied or not, but whatever their discussion might have been it seems to have no results and Sessions recused himself anyway.

    16. My conclusion is that none of this looks very good for the Administration. Most of the things that were not prosecuted were predicated on the idea that the Administration was either too incompetent or stupid to figuring out what was going on. Being too dumb to prosecute isn’t exactly a good look.

    Nic (896fdf)

  36. @31 In my opinion it would be very unwise for Trump to start any investigations to turn over any more rocks. Given what I read in the report, the investigation would be likely to find his own people or his own people’s connections hiding under them. But, should he choose to do so and should they put out a report about it, I would likely read it. I prefer to make my own judgements on things if I can.

    Nic (896fdf)

  37. Like the slurs against Brexit voters thet are too stupid to know their place, conversely the Catalan are obviously sophisticated enough to know their own interests, the socialists do seem to be having a bit of a row depending on them though.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  38. Oh that’s so thoughtful if you, they interrogate everybody in your organization torment your family and they find nothing actionable except from the Sam’s chum feeders that ser this carp in motion.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  39. I think it’s high time to investigate how this breach of the most minimal investigative standards was accomplished following the trail offshore through our supposed allies.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  40. Harsh but fair… https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/328112/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  41. Melania, what’s the score now?

    Patriot Games

    Rule of Men – 99
    Rule of Law – 0

    dahling…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. Its like groundhog day for ‘tater’ stelter, and ‘rizzotto tray’ haberman, they are never wrong,

    Narciso (5407cd)

  43. WtxjvU Well I truly enjoyed reading it. This subject offered by you is very effective for correct planning.

    see pron (1b019d)

  44. Good to see MK Ham carrying the torch! https://twitter.com/Mr_Fastbucks/status/1118976642666262529

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  45. Mueller could not fit anything that Trump did in it.

    I think that’s Barr talking, not Mueller, who actually means what he says.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  46. Silly rabbit he threw every bit of chum to yhr reporter who regurgitated back fitz was the beta model of this which 15 years later is only good for Adam McKay films

    Narciso (5407cd)

  47. Mollie

    @MZHemingway
    This is delusional and sick and sad, obviously, but I retweet so that you will REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE who fed you the fake Russia hoax. Remember them.

    Julia Ioffe

    @juliaioffe
    One of my main conclusions from the #MuellerReport so far is that the vast majority of *reporting* on Trump and Russia was extremely accurate.

    7,104
    12:45 PM – Apr 18, 2019

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. Deserves the breathalyzer to prove she was sober when she wrote that.

    Narciso (5407cd)

  49. French read the report and his conclusion: Trump and his people lied so much that no one should trust anything they have to say.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  50. Mollie Hemingway likes to put her hands on her hips and lecture people about being wrong, but when I caught her saying something wrong and called her out, she ignored it.

    Patterico (105fbe)

  51. It’s official- best line of the day: “Baghdad Barr.” [copyright pending, NBC News]

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  52. Lawyers give hard working tax-payers heartburn.
    I can’t believe my tax money goes to these hacks.

    mg (8cbc69)

  53. They are all dumb dumb dumb…

    Nic (896fdf) — 4/18/2019 @ 9:22 pm

    If it works it’s not dumb.

    Pinandpuller (9146f1)

  54. I’m looking forward to your analysis of the results of the investigation into the shadowy embedded inbreds that started this witch-hunt.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/18/2019 @ 9:28 pm

    Comey does look like he could have a touch of the hemophilia.

    Pinandpuller (9146f1)

  55. Rosenstein looked as if he was ordered to stand there. I think he has already sung a heckuva tune to AG Barr. Let the real investigation begin. Snitches be snitches.

    mg (8cbc69)

  56. No collusion never trumpers! It was jill stein who changed the outcome of the 2016 election in michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin and nearly minnesota. Who is more loathsome clintonistas or never trumpers maybe its a tie.

    lany (77af74)

  57. David French lists all of the Trump lies in the Mueller report and why he thinks they matter, and concludes with “where is the outrage?” quoting Bob Dole from 1996. Except we knew all these lies. We’ve known Trump and his associate have been lying about Russia throughout his whole Presidency. I myself listed most of them here a few days ago, to a collective yawn. Nice job, i guess, Mr. French, but “day late and a dollar short” comes to mind.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  58. And by the way the reason we’ve known Trump lies is because the media covered it and they were right.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  59. I mean do you really need Mueller to tell you your President would rather lie than tell the truth? The time to be outraged was a really long time ago. You flipping moron. (Mr. French I mean).

    JRH (8f59ea)

  60. In that sense, CNN was accurate when they reported “no collusion”, because there was no criminal conspiracy.

    Except there was. The report says the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting had the elements of a criminal conspiracy to violate the campaign finance laws.

    They decided not to prosecute because they would have had difficulty proving that Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort knew it was illegal to enlist Russian intelligence agents to assist the campaign.

    But the report says that they *did*, in fact, enlist Russian intelligence agents to assist the campaign, in violation of the law.

    (Volume 1, pages 183 – 188)

    Dave (1bb933)

  61. Hey Dave, the russians are coming.

    mg (8cbc69)

  62. At our host’s request in this post, I skimmed the comments from his linked post of January 26, 2018, with special attention of course to my own comments and those of commenters who had engaged with me.

    I am reminded how little I miss papertiger. I was reminded how very useful the word “lickspittle” is when describing Trump superfans. And I adhere to everything I wrote there.

    I admire, applaud, and identify with our host’s efforts to try to educate readers who lack our host’s legal training and experience, on this matter as in his blogging more generally. Alas, he’s absolutely right in observing that even other pundits and would-be opinion-shapers are busily spinning the Mueller report in ways that fit their own preconceptions rather than the report itself, which of necessity — given that it deals with complicated questions of criminal and constitutional law, applied to complicated facts (some of which conflict) — is indeed a very complex and subtle document.

    This tale of competing narratives will continue to be told and re-told between now and Election Day 2020, without much ultimate agreement or common understanding as to what the Mueller report actually says.

    Despite all that conflicting spin, however, there is at least one overriding truth which the Muller report conclusively establishes in my opinion — albeit a truth that was already obvious to everyone except the willfully self-blinded — which is:

    The President of the United States is a compulsive liar and a thoroughgoing enemy of the truth, someone who cannot possibly be trusted ever to put the good of the country ahead of the supposed good of Donald Trump, and someone whose solemn word is much less than worthless, because it’s almost always given in service of one or more lies.

    And yeah, so, too was Hillary Clinton, which is why I didn’t vote for her either. ‘Tain’t the point; she ain’t the POTUS.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  63. The comment at #44 from “see pron” is obvious spam.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  64. Despite trump lies he is doing more for working class then anti trump free traders or crooked lying hillary ever did. We want good paying jobs even if its to build relocation camps for never trumpers and clintonistas.

    lany (77af74)

  65. Don’t you mean “because” instead of “despite,” lany?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  66. lany, are you looking for a good-paying job as a guard at a relocation camp for me?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  67. David French: “And the idea that anyone is treating this report as “win” for Trump, given the sheer extent of deceptions exposed (among other things), demonstrates that the bar for his conduct has sunk so low that anything other than outright criminality is too often brushed aside as relatively meaningless.”

    It’s curious….do Trump’s most loyal defenders here believe that the lies serve a higher cause or that there is nothing morally wrong if one brazenly and repeatedly lies in politics….until I understand this, I’ll just skim past all of the tedious calls to investigate the investigators

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  68. And the idea that anyone is treating this report as “win” for Trump, …

    He’s still President, ain’t he?

    nk (dbc370)

  69. 51… yes… well, when they’re wrong they are wrong. It’s always appreciated when people are steadfast in pushing back against the encroaching bullschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. Even the Democrats are slowly realizing that other than hobbling the duly elected president for two years and helping Americans to lose faith in America’s chief law enforcement institutions, they have lost. Wait… the losers would consider that a win.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  71. Oh help him, please doctor, he’s damaged
    There’s a pain where there once was a heart

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  72. 2019: The Year of the Great Fuming.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. Col, its good to see MKH no matter what the circumstance. And since shes a brunette, I dont have to wrestle a pig named George Conway for the digits!

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  74. ὤδινεν ὄρος καὶ ἔτεκεν μῦν — Λουκιανός ο Σαμοσατεύς

    (The Google Translate is funny but wildly inaccurate.)

    nk (dbc370)

  75. There was no collusion finding. At all. No collusion finding.

    literally everyone on Earth has been using the term “collusion” to refer to a criminal conspiracy

    You really shouldn’t make your strawman so obvious.

    I don’t think you’re going to have the same luck with collusion as you had with exoneration. Collusion has been used from the start as a shorthand for illegal activities between Russia and the Trump campaign. The people trying to punch holes in the Russia-gate conspiracy theory have consistently said there wasn’t collusion because there was nothing illegal. Have some people been trying to drive some daylight between the word collusion and criminal activity? Sure. That’s because collusion was, at the time those quotes were made, the generally used term for illegal activities between Russia and the Trump campaign and some people wanted to make a distinction between different activities so that someone in the Trump campaign having a vodka and tonic wasn’t given as evidence of collusion.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  76. @29 1. There were way way too many connections between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian connected people. Way way too many.

    The investigation was into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. By definition, you’re not getting a representative sample of the interactions between the campaign and other groups.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  77. As nk points out above (#69), Trump is still president. And whatever else it does, it’s reasonably clear already that nothing in the Mueller report is going to suddenly move twenty or so GOP senators into the “ready to convict & remove from office after House impeachment”-category.

    Thus the verdict of history on the Mueller report, condensed into a five-word sentence, is likely to be: It left Trump in office.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  78. On page 323 of the report, the special counsel acknowledges that he is aware of the origin of the Russia hoax because he quotes the president’s Aug. 24, 2018, tweet asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI agent Peter Strzok, Justice Department lawyer Lisa Page, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, and Christopher Steele and “his phony and corrupt Dossier.” But somehow neither Sessions, nor Mueller, nor anyone else has been able to put 2 + 2 together and come up with the correct answer.

    Indeed, if you want to gauge the complete inadequacy of the Mueller Report, consider this: President Trump’s tweet is the only mention in the report of Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier. It is the only mention of Strzok. It is the only mention of Page. Considering their central role in framing the president, that is the equivalent of the Warren Report somehow relegating Lee Harvey Oswald to a single footnote……

    ……..The fact that there is no mention of Steele at all in Volume 1 of the report (which covers Russian interference in the 2016 election) is shocking since it was his unverified dossier that promoted the lie that the Russians had control of Trump because they possessed compromising material on the real estate tycoon. Steele’s participation with Russian sources is the most direct evidence of Russian interference in the election, but Mueller showed no interest in it because it implicated Democrats.

    Volume 2 (which covers obstruction) does on page 235 acknowledge Steele’s existence as the source of what even Mueller calls the “unverified allegations” published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. It also notes on pages 239 and 240 that Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on the phony dossier on Jan. 6, 2017, and that the briefing was subsequently leaked to the public.

    Moreover, page 246 acknowledges that the president wanted the FBI to investigate Steele’s allegations on Jan. 27, 2017, but that Comey talked him out of it. If the president had gotten his wish, the entire Mueller investigation would never have taken place at all because it would have been quickly established that Steele was working at the behest of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Oh, yes, and Comey would have kept his job because he was working for the president instead of against him.“

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/04/19/mueller_strzok_out_with_his_whitewash_report__140106.html

    harkin (0e8c36)

  79. The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests. Comey did not end the investigation of Flynn..

    Oh yes, he did, and the failure of the special counsel to discover this or come to this, perhaps surprising conclusion, illustrates how much people are anchored on previous beliefs, and the deficiecies of a special counsel, or maybe, any secret investigation. They were not able to uncover certain messages published on Twitter.

    At 6:25 am February 15, Zero Hedge has this: (that’s Feb 15 in spite of the URL saying Feb 14)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/mike-flynn-may-face-felony-charges-lying-fbi

    But by 10 pm Zero Hedge reports:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-15/fbi-reportedly-will-not-pursue-charges-against-cooperative-and-truthful-mike-flynn

    Things turned on a dime.

    Let;s look at the CNN tweets:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/832013379124486148?p=v

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Breaking: FBI NOT expected to pursue charges against #MichaelFlynn regarding phone calls w/Russian Ambassador, reports @evanperez

    3:45 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    —-

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Replying to @jimsciutto

    More: FBI says Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers

    3:47 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    Comey lied to Congress about what Trup said not affecting the investigation or a prior decison to drop it was being kept close to his vest.

    Comey probably leaked this end to the Flynn investigation to appease Trump, although Trump was not pressing him on this matter.

    I think that saying that that was what the main purpose of Trump’s meeting him privately on Feb 14 2017 is also a lie. It was about a leak to the New York Times that had been published that morning that said his people were eavesdropped on.

    This story:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html

    …was the main topic of that conversation.

    That’s the same news story that Comey said was false and so told members of Congress back then, even claiming he’d double checked.

    Trump tried to scare Comey into thinking his meetings had been taped (remember?) That was obviously in order to discourage Comey from lying about what was said in them. Can you think of any other possible reason for Trump to do that? And that reason means that Trump was more or less telling the truth and Comey was at least distorting what had been said in them.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  80. It’s curious….do Trump’s most loyal defenders here believe that the lies serve a higher cause or that there is nothing morally wrong if one brazenly and repeatedly lies in politics….until I understand this, I’ll just skim past all of the tedious calls to investigate the investigators

    I don’t care to defend Trump. I’ve just grown tired of the lies on lies on lies and Trump isn’t the cause of that disease, he’s just the most recent symptom.

    The fact that we fixate on Trump and treat everything Obama, Hillary, Bush, Brennan, Clapper, etc. did with whataboutism oil is another symptom of that disease.

    The rot we’ve seen at the DOJ, of which this is only the latest example, is more serious than anything we’ve seen from Trump so far. The media intentionally engaging in political propaganda is also very serious. Trump will eventually go away. An out of control DOJ and CIA and a media that is constantly lying won’t.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  81. Well, I’m certainly glad the Mueller report cleared up once and for all that Trump’s mouth was certainly not Putin’s cockholster.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  82. I dont but that’s what brennan and Comey wanted you to focus on, the former let Islamic state and nusra front flourish the latter wanted to let same figures come back into the country what could go wrong.

    Narciso (2f92a6)

  83. Frosty48 at #82 x 1000…which by my math is a score of 3,936,000

    JSkorcher (50f638)

  84. Collusion is the dead parrot.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. Beautiful plumage though, always pining for the fjords.

    Narciso (2f92a6)

  86. “The President of the United States is a compulsive liar and a thoroughgoing enemy of the truth, someone who cannot possibly be trusted ever to put the good of the country ahead of the supposed good of Donald Trump, and someone whose solemn word is much less than worthless, because it’s almost always given in service of one or more lies.”

    YAWN. Goalpoast shifting and sour grapes.

    A standard by which every single politician ever elected to the levers of power would be immediately removed after any greater or lesser investigation, and therefore nothing but a useless pronouncement in the service of a partisan cause, as all high-minded moralizing is. This is naught but pounding the table after your inevitable (and probably long-foreseen) defeat. The only people who colluded to interfere with our election was Team Andrew Weissman, who knew very well the collusion case had broken up long before the midterms but kept the innuendo and suggestions going for the lickspittle media to slurp up. You may thank him for the rise of Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, and many more besides.

    Why not stick to ‘for all have sinned all fall short of the glory of God’ this Holy Week?

    American Sammy (94820e)

  87. Julia ioffe she learned nothing from her slap down in the mail, but maybe she like it iywim.

    Narciso (2f92a6)

  88. I’m not sure what you mean by there was no finding of no collusion–the reports says that the investigation failed to establish conspiracy–are you suggesting that there’s something out there, and they didn’t find it, or that collusion doesn’t equal conspiracy, or what? Failure to find evidence, in my mind, means no action, unless there’s a reason to think there’s something there and 2 years’ worth of investigation didn’t find it.

    Rochf (877dba)

  89. 79. If I may be so bold, Beldar, let me repeat a few things I’ve said since just after the investigation commenced:

    A) Trump will not be indicted

    B) Trump will not be removed from office

    C) Trump will run and win in 2020

    So far I’m two-for-two. The third remains to be seen.

    Gryph (08c844)

  90. 90. “Collusion” is a meaningless term in the context of Muller’s investigation. It’s not a crime unless you’re speaking in terms of certain anti-trust laws. It is indeed nothing more than a term that Trump and the media like to throw around for repetitive value as a talking point.

    Gryph (08c844)

  91. More re: 81. (dropping of the Flynn investigation)

    One problem is that people are never, or almost never, asked to explain leaks that cintradict the official record, that cannot be true, even though they could be the most telling leaks. The leaks are treated as if they never happened, and if the generally reputable reporters who published them had sources they had no business relying on, or just made it all up. Of course one difficulty is that reporters are rarely asked about the sources and certainly of the leak was a lie.

    The Flynn investigation was reopened laetr, and the FBI-302s of the interview with re-written (that’s the way to see it)

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/12/13/federal-judge-overseeing-michael-flynns-sentencing-just-dropped-major-bombshell

    While Flynn’s sentencing memorandum methodically laid out the case for a low-level sentence of one-year probation, footnote 23 dropped a bomb, revealing that the agents’ 302 summary of his interview was dated August 22, 2017. As others have already noted, the August 22, 2017 date is a “striking detail” because that puts the 302 report “nearly seven months after the Flynn interview.” When added to facts already known, this revelation takes on a much greater significance.

    They couldn’t backdate it. The original had probably been renoved from teh files.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/case-michael-flynn-timeline

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  92. I’m bored now kicking a dead horse:

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/04/at-the-noor-trial-13.php

    Narciso (2f92a6)

  93. It is indeed nothing more than a term that Trump and the media like to throw around for repetitive value as a talking point.

    Our host and others here were using the ‘obstruction and collusion’ formulation as recently as the Barr summary thread.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  94. McGahn did not tell the Acting Attorney General that the Special Counsel must be removed, but was instead prepared to resign over the President’s order.

    McGahn did not consider that to be obstruction of justice, but rather as something that would trigger a Nixon fires Cox/Oct 1973/Saturday Night Massacre tyoe situation.

    Rosenstein and his deputies would resignl; Congress would open up an impeachment inquiry; and the investigation would have to be restarted with more animus against Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  95. And McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the President’s direction to have the Special Counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so.

    If Donald Trump understood that as asking McGahn to lie, that would constitute attempted obstruction of justice.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  96. Barr repeatedly said that Mueller ruled out “collusion” — something that Mueller said he did not analyze at all

    Hw ruled out “co-ordination.”

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  97. Who first used the term, “collusion” by the way? I don’t know.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  98. Nic wrote, in the previous thread:

    Why didn’t someone in the campaign care about this ()way too many connections between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian connected people. Like, anyone?

    It’s simple: Donald Trump and his staff were concerned with only one thing: Victory!

    Victory isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. — Vince Lombardi

    The only thing that mattered was whether Mr Trump won the election, an election he was expected to lose, and saving this country from the horror of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

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

    Ask Mitt Romney or John Kerry just how much power they won by their second place finishes. That’s how much power we wanted Mrs Clinton to have.

    If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. — Joe Montana

    So, the Trump campaign didn’t actually break the law, but they ran as close to the edge as they could, exploiting every possible advantage, including negative information offered by the Russians, and released by WikiLeaks. If that’s what winning takes, that’s what winning takes.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, he or the campaign actually broke the law, but if so, they didn’t get caught, and that’s all that matters.

    Would it have been better for Republican voters to have nominated Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush or Carly Fiorina? The only answer to that is, no one knows, because no one knows if Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush or Carly Fiorina would have won the general election. Mr Trump belittled Mr Cruz by calling him “Lyin’ Ted,” and whether that was “fair” or not, it worked. Mr Trump hung “Low Energy Jeb” on Mr Bush, and “Little Marco” on Marco Rubio, who stands 5’9″ tall, about half a foot shorter than Mr Trump. None of that was nice, but it still worked.

    Mr Trump was oh-so-mean to Mrs Clinton, but “Crooked Hillary” still helped her to enjoy some quiet time in Chappaqua, and that’s all that’s important.

    Mr Trump isn’t a nice guy, not by a long shot, but he is a winner. That’s what we want and that’s what we need. Nothing illegal has been proven against Mr Trump, but I’ll say it again: our country is much better off with Donald Trump as President, even if he lied, cheated and broke the law to win the office, than we would have been if Hillary Clinton were President.

    The brutally frank Dana (10ea9e)

  99. 96. …a fact of which I am well aware. But when the media uses the word “collusion,” they mean what Mueller referred to as “conspiracy.” Two completely different legal terms.

    Gryph (08c844)

  100. Frosty48 at #82 x 1000…which by my math is a score of 3,936,000

    JSkorcher (50f638) — 4/19/2019 @ 6:38 am

    Yup. That’s where I’m at to.

    All the pearl clutching over Trump’s lies is definitely overwrought.

    Yes, it’s not good that he lies. Congratulations, that’s du jour for politicians. Should they be embarrassed when called out? Of course.

    But, every flipping POTUS that I can remember (since Reagan) lies (some more blatantly than others)… so, if you’re planting your flag on “Trump lies, so ‘f’ him”… you’ll probably be disappointed in your politicians all the time.

    That’s exhausting man.

    whembly (51f28e)

  101. None of that was nice, but it still worked.

    So if Trump had run on a platform of sending Latinos to gas chambers, you’d have been OK with it as long he won?

    Dave (1bb933)

  102. Frosty nailed it.

    Colonel Haiku (b624c3)

  103. Please! I have been following the #FakeNewsMedia enough for the last two years. They said “collusion” a lot and always with the implication that it was a crime. Now, they’re trying to redefine obstruction of justice, which is a crime defined by statute, into “whatever Trump did”.

    nk (dbc370)

  104. Actually, the Lombardy quote is:

    Winning isn’t everything. The desire to win is. In fact, it’s the only thing.

    Or at least according to the biography about him that I read a few years ago. Though I had heard similar many, many years before.

    JSkorcher (50f638)

  105. Mr Frosty quoted someone:

    It’s curious….do Trump’s most loyal defenders here believe that the lies serve a higher cause or that there is nothing morally wrong if one brazenly and repeatedly lies in politics….until I understand this, I’ll just skim past all of the tedious calls to investigate the investigators

    Do lies serve a higher cause? “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”

    The clear-thinking Dana (10ea9e)

  106. No, those three quarts of ice cream a day make you look fat.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. John Solomon is on the case:
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/439234-ten-post-mueller-questions-that-could-turn-the-tables-on-russia-collusion

    1.) When did the FBI first learn that Steele’s dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party and written by a partisan who, by his own admission, was desperate to defeat Trump? Documents and testimony I reviewed show senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr first told his colleagues about Steele’s bias and connections to Clinton in late summer 2016. Likewise, sources tell me a string of FBI emails — some before the bureau secured its first surveillance warrant — raised concerns about Steele’s motive, employer and credibility.

    2.) How much evidence of innocence did the FBI possess against two of its early targets, Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page? My sources tell me that agents secured evidence of the innocence of both men from informants, intercepts and other techniques that was never disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges in the case. I’m told learning exactly the sort of surveillance used on Page also may surprise some people.

    3.) Why was the Steele dossier used as primary evidence in the FISA warrant against Page when it had not been corroborated? FBI testimony I reviewed shows agents had just begun checking out the dossier when its elements were used as supporting evidence, and that spreadsheets kept by the bureau during the verification process validated only small pieces of the dossier while concluding other parts were false or unprovable. And, of course, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted that, after nine months of investigation, the dossier’s core allegation of Trump-Russia collusion could not be substantiated.

    4.) Why were Steele’s biases and his ties to the Clinton campaign — as well as evidence of innocence and flaws in the FISA evidence — never disclosed to the FISA court, as required by law and court practice?

    5.) Why did FBI and U.S. intelligence officials leak stories about evidence in the emerging Russia probe before they corroborated collusion, and were any of those leaks designed to “create” evidence that could be cited in the courts of law and public opinion to justify the continuation of a flawed investigation?

    6.) Did Comey improperly handle classified information when he distributed memos of his private conversations with Trump to his lawyers and a friend and ordered a leak that he hoped would cause the appointment of a special counsel after his firing as FBI director?

    7.) Did the CIA, FBI or Obama White House engage in activities — such as the activation of intelligence sources or electronic surveillance — before the opening of an official counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016?

    8.) Did U.S. intelligence, the FBI or the Obama administration use or encourage friendly spy agencies in Great Britain, Australia, Ukraine, Italy or elsewhere to gather evidence on the Trump campaign, leak evidence, or get around U.S. restrictions on spying on Americans?

    9.) Did the CIA or Obama intelligence apparatus try to lure or pressure the FBI into opening a Trump collusion probe or acknowledge its existence before the election? Text messages between alleged FBI lovebirds Strzok and Page raised concerns about “pressure” from the White House, the “Agency BS game,” DOJ leaks and the need for an FBI “insurance policy.” And, as Strzok texted at one point in August 2016, quoting a colleague: “The White House is running this.”

    10.) Did any FBI agents, intelligence officials or other key players in the probe provide false testimony to Congress? McCabe already has been singled out by the inspector general for lying about a media leak to an internal DOJ probe, and evidence emerged this year that calls into question Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony about his contacts with Ohr.

    whembly (51f28e)

  108. Can we agree on at least two conclusions that can be drawn from the Mueller report:

    1. The Russian government carried out an extensive effort to influence the outcome of the election, favoring Trump over Clinton.

    2. The Trump campaign welcomed and encouraged tha actions of the Russian government.

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  109. Hw ruled out “co-ordination.”

    He ruled out coordination with the Russian social media and hacking operations.

    But he established that unlawful coordination between Russian agents and the Trump campaign, for purposes of influencing the election, did, in fact, occur: to wit, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

    Mueller decided not to prosecute these crimes because the perpetrators (Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort) could have successfully argued that they were too stupid to know that soliciting campaign contributions from Russian intelligence agents was unlawful.

    Dave (1bb933)

  110. “Baghdad Barr.”

    It’s really funny that Brian Williams would use use that as a pejorative, given his many lies about his experiences in Iraq. For him to call someone else a liar is rich.

    (NBC should have a Joe Izuzu “He’s lying” closed-caption ready to go every time Williams in on the air.)

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  111. John B Boddie (66f464) — 4/19/2019 @ 8:14 am

    3. Donald Trump aggressively and corruptly attempted to cover-up (1.) and (2.).

    Dave (1bb933)

  112. #112

    Hw ruled out “co-ordination.”

    He ruled out coordination with the Russian social media and hacking operations.

    But he established that unlawful coordination between Russian agents and the Trump campaign, for purposes of influencing the election, did, in fact, occur: to wit, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

    Mueller decided not to prosecute these crimes because the perpetrators (Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort) could have successfully argued that they were too stupid to know that soliciting campaign contributions from Russian intelligence agents was unlawful.

    Dave (1bb933) — 4/19/2019 @ 8:17 am

    What was unlawful about the Tower meeting?

    whembly (51f28e)

  113. (NBC should have a Joe Izuzu “He’s lying” closed-caption ready to go every time Williams or anyone working in the White House is on the air.)

    FTFY.

    Dave (1bb933)

  114. If that were the case, Dave @ 104, and we were using the Louis Napoleon standard of Latino, that could get interesting for Dana of the English class grammar trees.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  115. What was unlawful about the Tower meeting?

    The section of the report I cited explains that in detail.

    52 U.S. Code § 30121 – Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

    (a)Prohibition
    It shall be unlawful for—
    (1)a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—

    (A)a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
    (B)a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
    (C )an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

    (2)a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

    Since several persons conspired to violate the law, it was also a violation 18 USC 371:

    18 U.S. Code § 371.Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States

    If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    Dave (1bb933)

  116. And yeah, so, too was Hillary Clinton, which is why I didn’t vote for her either. ‘Tain’t the point; she ain’t the POTUS.

    1) Thank God.
    2) The election of 2016 was utterly despicable.
    3) Both parties utterly failed, and seem likely to fail even worse this time.
    4) Nothing serves Putin better than to show how awful people rise to power in a democratic system.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  117. 1 Dave Code, Section 1: Whatever Trump does is a crime.

    nk (dbc370)

  118. @112 It also says of the June meeting

    At the same time, no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign -finance law. Such an interpretation could have implications beyond the foreign-source ban , see 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a) (imposing monetary limits on campaign contributions), and raise First Amendment questions. Those questions could be especially difficult where the information consisted simply of the recounting of historically accurate facts. It is uncertain how courts would resolve those issues.

    and

    The Office would also encounter difficulty proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised documents and information exceeds the $2,000 threshold for a criminal violation, as well as the $25,000 threshold for felony punishment.

    also

    Even assuming that the promised “documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” constitute a “thing of value” under campaign-finance law, the government would encounter other challenges in seeking to obtain and sustain a conviction. Most significantly, the government has not obtained admissible evidence that is likely to establish the scienter requirement beyond a reasonable doubt.

    It turns out that ignorance of the law is sometimes a defense. It doesn’t help that they can’t prove a law was broken.

    frosty48 (d520a6)

  119. “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

    Slippery Richard (14e837)

  120. 100 Sammy,

    The phrase “Collusion with Russia” was first brought up by the Georgetown University law professor John Podesta, J.D., former White House Chief Counsel and member of the Hillary Clinton campaign, on December 16th, 2016. (Thanks Google Trends).

    Xmas (eafb47)

  121. John Podesta lobbyist for sberbank and uranium one, say it isnt so.

    Narciso (d24470)

  122. Collusion has been used from the start as a shorthand for illegal activities between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    This. Yes, it’s inaccurate and “conspiracy” would be a better term, but that ship sailed long ago. The time to bring this up was 2017. Now, it’s just obfuscating the argument. Everyone on both sides calls the alleged Trump-Russia-Election charge “collusion” and while it isn’t a valid legal term, it is the political term that’s been sued for a couple of years now.

    Of course, since the whatever-it-was is unproven, and the evidence that is there is convincing only to the previously convinced, we are now off to the “obstruction” races. The Dems and their Press are now busily (small-t) trumping-up the charges to a High Crime.

    Today’s WaPo website front page documents this effort.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  123. *sued = used

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  124. Narciso,

    I’m just running with the fact that the term “collusion” came from a law professor.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  125. @118 Yes; this comes up on p.185. Keep reading through the sections to p.188 and you’ll see that The Office ran into a variety of problems with this.

    frosty48 (d520a6)

  126. @112 It also says of the June meeting

    Yes, there is little precedent in case law for certain questions, since this is the first time a presidential campaign has ever been caught soliciting contributions from the Russian intelligence agencies.

    I find the contention that they could not have proven the value of the information met the threshold pretty hard to credit.

    Political opposition research is an industry with advertised prices, and you wouldn’t be able to find out somebody’s middle name for less then $2k…

    Also, the fact that three of the highest-ranking officials in the Trump campaign, including the campaign manager, attended this meeting is pretty clear evidence that they considered the information extremely valuable.

    Dave (1bb933)

  127. Georgetown University law professor John Podesta, J.D.

    Lane Tech alumnus and Greek on his mother’s side, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  128. Dave pretends that the Steele dossier didn’t come from “Russian intelligence agencies.”

    Dave pretends that Ukrainian interference in our election on behalf of Hillary doesn’t exist.

    Because Orange Man Bad.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  129. And everyone is also pretending that the meeting at Trump tower wasn’t a setup cooked up by the same corrupt souls who made the bogus dossier.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  130. I find the contention that they could not have proven the value of the information met the threshold pretty hard to credit.

    “She turned me into a newt!”

    What information would that be? She didn’t have any. What value do you place on a false come-on to get a meeting to talk about the Magnitsky Act?

    nk (dbc370)

  131. Let us reflect on this very Good Friday, gentlemen:

    Most people really don’t understand how deeply, culturally, passive-aggressive Washington is. These people are accustomed to an oblique style of conflict and confrontation, and are also convinced that they are the smartest people who ever lived.

    So imagine you’re Trump. It’s January 2017 and you’re President-elect. You go in to receive an intelligence briefing from the CIA Director, the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI Director. They tell you that there exists some sort of vague “intelligence reports” about you and your people, and about how you personally are under the influence of Vladimir Putin. Comey stays behind to meet one-on-one and tells you that, specifically, these reports say that you hired Russian prosties to pee on the hotel bed that Obama used when he was in Moscow.

    Now imagine looking across at that 7-foot-tall jello-boy James Comey and seeing the serious look on his big dumb face. You might tell him, but you don’t, that you’re Donald J Trump and you have banged more supermodels than James Comey has had hot meals. You live in a penthouse apartment made of gold with your latest supermodel wife. It takes a juvenile and passive-aggressive mind like Comey’s to cook up this story in the first place, let alone to think that Trump would crumble at this allegation.

    And that was the problem. A politician like a Rubio would have crumbled. Official Washington and the media did their best after the election to isolate Trump, and isolation is the worst thing that can happen to a politician. It’s their worst fear. President Rubio would have surrendered or cut a deal. Trump knew instinctively that this was a shakedown and acted accordingly. He’s been through this with mobsters and Teamsters and various corrupt New York officials for decades. Comey never caught on that Trump didn’t follow Washington’s rules.

    Regarding Comey personally, is anyone else just completely amazed and disgusted at how much of a wuss this guy is? It’s brought shame on our nation, frankly. In his memoirs, he talks about being intimidated. Intimidated by this, by that. It’s the perfect example of the cultural disconnect between Washington people and real people.

    If I was 6-foot-8 and the Director of the FBI, I would walk down the hallways in Washington like my balls are too big to fit through the doorway. This sniveling little nancy of a man is the perfect emblem for official Washington. He exemplifies that passive-aggressiveness, that deceitfulness that insists that it is brave. He’s the smirk on Strzok’s face.

    Ryumyaku (690c74)

  132. Yes, there is little precedent in case law for certain questions, since this is the first time a presidential campaign has ever been caught soliciting contributions from the Russian intelligence agencies.

    You mean other than McCain and HRC going through a Brit to get info from the Russians?

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  133. 5) except for the specter of Americans turning on each other and losing respect for some of the nation’s institutions l.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  134. The Russians are coming

    mg (8cbc69)

  135. If I was 6-foot-8 and the Director of the FBI, I would walk down the hallways in Washington like my balls are too big to fit through the doorway. This sniveling little nancy of a man is the perfect emblem for official Washington. He exemplifies that passive-aggressiveness, that deceitfulness that insists that it is brave. He’s the smirk on Strzok’s face.

    Is it me, or does Strzok’s face slowly morph to Pete Buttgigieg’s.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  136. Dave pretends that the Steele dossier didn’t come from “Russian intelligence agencies.”

    Whether it did or not, it was a service provided for compensation, not a contribution under campaign finance law, and therefore not a violation of the law.

    It is not illegal to hire foreigners to work for your campaign, as long as you pay them the value of any service they provide, and (of course) report the expenditure.

    In the case of the Steele dossier, a US law firm was hired for pay by the Clinton campaign.

    That law firm subcontracted a US company (Fusion GPS) for pay.

    That US company sub-sub-contracted a British investigator (Steele) for pay.

    Steele talked to Russians. Whether he paid them is unknown, but irrelevant.

    There is no similarity to the Trump Tower meeting, at all.

    Dave (1bb933)

  137. Regarding Comey personally, is anyone else just completely amazed and disgusted at how much of a wuss this guy is? It’s brought shame on our nation, frankly. In his memoirs, he talks about being intimidated. Intimidated by this, by that. It’s the perfect example of the cultural disconnect between Washington people and real people.

    Thank you. I thought the same thing when we learned about Strozk. This guy was chief of counterespionage? These guys are supposed to be protecting US interests against the Chinese and Russians? We need a serious reboot.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  138. @101 You’ve already stated you are fine with the commission of treason in order to avoid a Democratic president. Several times. And you’re proud of it, bless your heart.

    Nic (896fdf)

  139. That doesn’t fit the preferred narrative, NJ Rob.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  140. “Everyone on both sides calls the alleged Trump-Russia-Election charge “collusion” and while it isn’t a valid legal term, it is the political term that’s been sued for a couple of years now.”

    Not everyone, Kevin.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  141. So if Trump had run on a platform of sending Latinos to gas chambers, you’d have been OK with it as long he won?

    it was a service provided for compensation

    Would it have been ok as long as he paid for it and reported the expenditure correctly?

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  142. diane Feinstein, had a Chinese asset for 20 years as her driver, how did crack counterintel, miss this they learned nothing from wu tai chi’s 33 years, as a company mole,

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273475/real-spies-michael-ledeen

    narciso (d1f714)

  143. You mean other than McCain and HRC going through a Brit to get info from the Russians?

    HRC didn’t “go through a Brit”.

    HRC hired a US law firm.

    The US law firm subcontracted a US company.

    The US company sub-subcontracted a Brit.

    Nothing illegal about any of it.

    If you don’t (or won’t) understand the difference between paying for a service and soliciting a contribution, there is not much point in discussing this further.

    Dave (1bb933)

  144. “There is no similarity to the Trump Tower meeting, at all.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/19/2019 @ 9:12 am

    It lacked the provenance of a DOJ connected spouse.

    Munroe (7ff072)

  145. “HRC didn’t “go through a Brit”.

    HRC hired a US law firm.

    The US law firm subcontracted a US company.

    The US company sub-subcontracted a Brit.

    Nothing illegal about any of it.”

    The fact that you consider this an appropriate response (WE FILED THE RIGHT PAPERWORK FOR *OUR* FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS!) is absolutely appalling.

    The main hypocrisy of the post-Watergate era is that dirty politics has been normalized by partisans (you could say it’s been professionalized, so that it has the appearance of respectability even while it is far more sordid and amoral). What Nixon did pales in comparison to what the establishment has tried to do to Trump, but because it is the entire establishment acting in concert it is not a personal political scandal but a sign of mass corruption. That extends through the media and to the public.

    Trump himself is no angel; some of his business enterprises have been borderline scams, but it’s small potatoes compared to what the monopolies now do. Some idiot who paid to go to Trump University has his own foolish grandiosity to blame; Amazon and Walmart are deliberately harming consumers, employees, and other businesses in a way that is ruining our entire society.

    Ryumyaku (24ced3)

  146. they insulated themselves from scrutiny, through false fronts, much like the Zinoviev telegram,

    narciso (d1f714)

  147. Would it have been ok as long as he paid for it and reported the expenditure correctly?

    If Trump had hired the Russian intelligence agencies to work for his campaign, and reported the expenditure, I think it would have been legal.

    Maybe it would have violated some other law I’m unfamiliar with, but not 52 USC 30121.

    Likewise, if Trump had reported the hush money paid to the prostitutes he committed adultery with, and to the tabloid publisher who paid off others, that would have been legal too.

    Dave (1bb933)

  148. Yes, there is little precedent in case law for certain questions, since this is the first time a presidential campaign has ever been caught soliciting contributions from the Russian intelligence agencies.

    Ted Kennedy, 1984, although he was soliciting for someone else.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  149. you pay steele, who has some middleman like milian, who was as connected to McCain as to Trump, to sort through low rate gossip, not fit for an fsb seminar in elementary dezinforma, like examples I pointed out earlier,

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. Ten post-Mueller questions from John Solomon of The Hill:

    1.) When did the FBI first learn that Steele’s dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party and written by a partisan who, by his own admission, was desperate to defeat Trump? Documents and testimony I reviewed show senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr first told his colleagues about Steele’s bias and connections to Clinton in late summer 2016. Likewise, sources tell me a string of FBI emails — some before the bureau secured its first surveillance warrant — raised concerns about Steele’s motive, employer and credibility.

    2.) How much evidence of innocence did the FBI possess against two of its early targets, Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page? My sources tell me that agents secured evidence of the innocence of both men from informants, intercepts and other techniques that was never disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges in the case. I’m told learning exactly the sort of surveillance used on Page also may surprise some people.

    3.) Why was the Steele dossier used as primary evidence in the FISA warrant against Page when it had not been corroborated? FBI testimony I reviewed shows agents had just begun checking out the dossier when its elements were used as supporting evidence, and that spreadsheets kept by the bureau during the verification process validated only small pieces of the dossier while concluding other parts were false or unprovable. And, of course, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted that, after nine months of investigation, the dossier’s core allegation of Trump-Russia collusion could not be substantiated.

    4.) Why were Steele’s biases and his ties to the Clinton campaign — as well as evidence of innocence and flaws in the FISA evidence — never disclosed to the FISA court, as required by law and court practice?

    5.) Why did FBI and U.S. intelligence officials leak stories about evidence in the emerging Russia probe before they corroborated collusion, and were any of those leaks designed to “create” evidence that could be cited in the courts of law and public opinion to justify the continuation of a flawed investigation?

    6.) Did Comey improperly handle classified information when he distributed memos of his private conversations with Trump to his lawyers and a friend and ordered a leak that he hoped would cause the appointment of a special counsel after his firing as FBI director?

    7.) Did the CIA, FBI or Obama White House engage in activities — such as the activation of intelligence sources or electronic surveillance — before the opening of an official counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016?

    8.) Did U.S. intelligence, the FBI or the Obama administration use or encourage friendly spy agencies in Great Britain, Australia, Ukraine, Italy or elsewhere to gather evidenceon the Trump campaign, leak evidence, or get around U.S. restrictions on spying on Americans?

    9.) Did the CIA or Obama intelligence apparatus try to lure or pressure the FBI into opening a Trump collusion probe or acknowledge its existence before the election? Text messages between alleged FBI lovebirds Strzok and Page raised concerns about “pressure” from the White House, the “Agency BS game,” DOJ leaks and the need for an FBI “insurance policy.” And, as Strzok texted at one point in August 2016, quoting a colleague: “The White House is running this.”

    10.) Did any FBI agents, intelligence officials or other key players in the probe provide false testimony to Congress? McCabe already has been singled out by the inspector general for lying about a media leak to an internal DOJ probe, and evidence emerged this year that calls into question Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony about his contacts with Ohr.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/439234-ten-post-mueller-questions-that-could-turn-the-tables-on-russia-collusion

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  151. The idea that a prosecutor would claim that he bent every effort to declare his subject innocent is ludicrous, and his failure to do so — which is being ballyhooed as an invitation to impeachment — means NOTHING.

    Next, Trump’s lawyer will say that he bent every effort to find Trump guilty, but could not, and THAT is tantamount to exoneration.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  152. The fact that you consider this an appropriate response (WE FILED THE RIGHT PAPERWORK FOR *OUR* FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS!) is absolutely appalling.

    LOL.

    1) If you pay the market price for something, it’s not a contribution.
    2) It’s what the law says.

    Are you suggesting that if there was Mexican national working at one of the hotels where Trump held a campaign event, or for one of the companies who catered it, or for the delivery service hired by the catering company, etc, it made the whole thing illegal?

    Dave (1bb933)

  153. What information worth more than $2,000 anything did Veselnistkaya have that the Trump campaign got for free, Dave?

    nk (dbc370)

  154. If you don’t (or won’t) understand the difference between paying for a service and soliciting a contribution, there is not much point in discussing this further.

    Solicitation of prostitution is a crime involving a person’s agreement to exchange money for sex. Most people don’t call it soliciting though. I think it’s usually called paying for sex and, for some reason, people will say the prostitute services the client.

    Now that you’ve pointed this out I wonder why people talk like that. But are saying if I pay for something it’s ok but if I solicit something in some sort of quid pro quo or non-monetary arrangement it’s not ok? At least with respect to campaign finance law?

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  155. Likewise, if Trump had reported the hush money paid to the prostitutes he committed adultery with, and to the tabloid publisher who paid off others, that would have been legal too.

    Yet Congressman Duncan Hunter has been indicted because his wife used campaign funds for personal expenses that are at least as valid as paying off a prostitute.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  156. You know, never mind. It’s the same as if we were discussing nuclear physics and I was saying that I prefer Milk of Magnesia. IYKWIMAITYD

    nk (dbc370)

  157. “1) If you pay the market price for something, it’s not a contribution.
    2) It’s what the law says.”

    Nice of you to clarify the actual limits of NeverTrumper morality, and as a bonus, why they’re so hated by people who came to their political philosophy by something other than a desire to maximize their financial portfolio.

    Ryumyaku (71b6da)

  158. Ok, now we’re talking! Sex! Anything in the report about Stormy?

    nk (dbc370)

  159. So if the special counsel report leaves open the topic of collusion, can we still say Trump and the Russians stole the election from Hillary?

    AZ Bob (07f1eb)

  160. What information worth more than $2,000 anything did Veselnistkaya have that the Trump campaign got for free, Dave?

    Oh c’mon nk, you know how to read a law.

    It shall be unlawful for […]

    a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make […] a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election

    [or …]

    a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

    [emphasis added]

    Dave (1bb933)

  161. “1) If you pay the market price for something, it’s not a contribution.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/19/2019 @ 9:35 am

    Dave, did taxpayers pay the correct market price for the Ohrs’ family business?

    Munroe (57a73f)

  162. So if the special counsel report leaves open the topic of collusion, can we still say Trump and the Russians stole the election from Hillary?

    Yup. That’s why Bernie Sanders is the lawful President of the United States.
    Hillary and the Democratic National Committee stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie.
    Trump and the Russians stole the election from Hillary.
    Ergo, Bernie is the real President.

    nk (dbc370)

  163. 155… so even the host is running and changing the goalposts?

    Collusion IS the dead parrot.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  164. do Trump’s most loyal defenders here believe that the lies serve a higher cause or that there is nothing morally wrong if one brazenly and repeatedly lies in politics?

    Trump’s defenders, in general, appear to have done a pivot on the matter of lying by politicians. They used to be morally offended over false statements by Obama or H. Clinton, and many hailed Trump as a blunt, unfiltered truth-teller, unhobbled by PC, free from all the sins of “politicians.”

    When they could no longer dispute the fact that Trump routinely peddles obvious falsehoods and doesn’t appear to understand any concept of truth apart from self-interest, many of them shifted to “So what? All politicians lie! Are you really naive enough to believe what a politician tells you?!”

    They tell themselves that Trump’s lies aren’t really consequential, in the way that Obama or Clinton lies are. And of course they are still deeply offended by what they regard as lies about Trump.

    In short: Lying is terrible — unless it’s done by Donald Trump.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  165. Yet Congressman Duncan Hunter has been indicted because his wife used campaign funds for personal expenses that are at least as valid as paying off a prostitute.

    Not sure what your point is, except to deflect.

    Trump illegally made payments to influence the election and fraudulently concealed them from campaign finance authorities.

    Hunter illegally converted campaign funds for personal use and fraudulently reported them as campaign expenses.

    They both broke the law, in opposite ways.

    Could you explain how you think buying video games for their kids is even facially a valid campaign expenditure?

    Dave (1bb933)

  166. they aren’t entitled to that info, and yet it was offered up without a privilege claim

    https://twitter.com/alimhaider/status/1119044570879287297

    a graham era princeling and comey fan renders his logorrhea, it’s as disingenuous as the eulogy for brotherhood operative khashoggi,

    narciso (d1f714)

  167. “In short: Lying is terrible — unless it’s done by Donald Trump.”
    Radegunda (694c3c) — 4/19/2019 @ 9:55 am

    As opposed to: Lying is terrible — unless it’s in a dossier.

    Munroe (9700fc)

  168. you know you to use it, in order to find out whats in it,

    https://twitter.com/ChuckRossDC/status/1119273865589547013

    narciso (d1f714)

  169. Anything in the report about Stormy?

    She may have slept with a Russian.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  170. it’s her account, and her ameneusis avenatti, which is as genuine as a three dollar bill, but it was enough for that charade of an arbitration hearing, for that finsec official to traipse through the tax records of every Michael cohem

    narciso (d1f714)

  171. In short: Lying is terrible — unless it’s done by Donald Trump.

    Or, the parade of liars in the Obama administration, followed by the liar Hillary and her skating on multiple serious national security felonies worth 20-to-life, with barely a whimper from the press or the good-government types, have desensitized us.

    Of course, people like me supported other candidates and would not have had Trump in our top 5. But he won, and so we have to deal with it.

    Considering the horribleness of the Democrat Party right now, it seems like treason to help them in any way. So we tolerate something we’d rather not, and refuse to help the lying Democrats in their hypocritical attacks.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  172. narciso is like an oracle — there’s a lot of truth there, but only after you augur it a bit.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  173. As opposed to: Lying is terrible — unless it’s in a dossier.

    Chris Steele doesn’t work for us and didn’t swear an oath to faithfully execute the laws.

    Also, there is no evidence I’m aware of that Steele knew any of the information he reported was false. Much of it was accurate.

    If somebody hires you and says “Go find out what X says about Y”, and you (truthfully) report back “X says Z about Y”, how does that make you a liar if you have no information that contradicts X (or Z)?

    If, in fact, Z is a lie, you may be an unwitting dupe if you pass it on, but not a liar.

    It is also possible for Z to be untrue without anybody lying.

    Dave (1bb933)

  174. As opposed to: Lying is terrible — unless it’s in a dossier.

    I said nothing that might be construed as justifying lies anywhere.

    The point I am making is that Trump’s defenders evidently believe that Trump’s lies aren’t really bad in the way that other people’s lies are bad. And oddly, they apparently believe that his egregious dishonesty in speech has no connection with how he acts or uses his power.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  175. Could you explain how you think buying video games for their kids is even facially a valid campaign expenditure?

    But paying blackmail is OK? Where does it make that distinction in the law? Oh, right, it doesn’t because it allows prosecutors wide latitude in what they charge.

    As good as “Trump’s payments furthered his campaign” we have “If those video games for the kids gave the Congressman more time to work on his campaign, it’s money well spent.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  176. Another weird thing: Why are so many people so willing to give special ethical indulgence to someone who has boasted about being able to get away with things that others cannot, and who generally holds himself to be singularly great and superior in practically every way? Someone who appears to believe himself intrinsically above any fault or error?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  177. The point I am making is that Trump’s defenders evidently believe that Trump’s lies

    No, what we believe is that Trump’s inherent dishonesty is far less important than the service he does in keeping the Dems out of the WH, filling the courts with Federalist Society types, and mostly moving things more to our liking.

    Is he suboptimum — HELL YES — but he’s tons better than they other choice we had, or any of the choices coming up. Giant income tax hike, triple payroll taxes, national sales tax and for what? So that we can all be forced to get medicine from the government store.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  178. Why are so many people so willing to give special ethical indulgence to someone who has boasted about being able to get away with things that others cannot

    Yes. His opponent showed that it is best to get away with those things, but not to boast about it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  179. That was obviously in order to discourage Comey from lying about what was said in them. Can you think of any other possible reason for Trump to do that? And that reason means that Trump was more or less telling the truth and Comey was at least distorting what had been said in them.
    Bulls**t. Trump was being a bully, issuing an empty threat. Page 256 of the Mueller report: “Despite those denials, substantial evidence corroborates Comey’s account.”

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  180. “President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out. What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.

    Volume I of the Mueller report, which deals with collusion, spends tens of thousands of words describing trivial interactions between Trump officials and various Russians. While it doubtless wasn’t Mr. Mueller’s intention, the sheer quantity and banality of details highlights the degree to which these contacts were random, haphazard and peripheral. By the end of Volume I, the notion that the Trump campaign engaged in some grand plot with Russia is a joke.

    Yet jump to the section where the Mueller team lists its “prosecution and declination” decisions with regards the Russia question. And try not to picture Mueller “pit bull” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann collapsed under mountains of federal statutes after his two-year hunt to find one that applied. . . .

    As for obstruction—Volume II—Attorney General Bill Barr noted Thursday that he disagreed with “some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Maybe he had in mind Mr. Mueller’s proposition that he was entitled to pursue obstruction questions, even though that was not part of his initial mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Or maybe it was Mr. Mueller’s long description of what a prosecution of the sitting president might look like—even though he acknowledged its legal impossibility. Or it could be Mr. Mueller’s theory that while “fairness” dictates that someone accused of crimes get a “speedy and public trial” to “clear his name,” Mr. Trump deserves no such courtesy with regard to the 200 pages of accusations Mr. Mueller lodges against him.

    That was Mr. Mueller’s James Comey moment. Remember the July 2016 press conference in which the FBI director berated Hillary Clinton even as he didn’t bring charges? It was a firing offense. Here’s Mr. Mueller engaging in the same practice—only on a more inappropriate scale. At least this time the attorney general tried to clean up the mess by declaring he would not bring obstruction charges. Mr. Barr noted Thursday that we do not engage in grand-jury proceedings and probes with the purpose of generating innuendo.

    Mr. Mueller may not care. His report suggests the actual goal of the obstruction volume is impeachment: “We concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority.”

    Note as well what isn’t in the report. It makes only passing, bland references to the genesis of so many of the accusations Mr. Mueller probed: the infamous dossier produced by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. How do you exonerate Mr. Page without delving into the scandalous Moscow deeds of which he was falsely accused? How do you narrate an entire section on the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting without noting that Ms. Veselnitskaya was working alongside Fusion? How do you detail every aspect of the Papadopoulos accusations while avoiding any detail of the curious and suspect ways that those accusations came back to the FBI via Australia’s Alexander Downer?

    The report instead mostly reads as a lengthy defense of the FBI.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/muellers-report-speaks-volumes-11555629994?fbclid=IwAR0bjdlp96lHbsqn-sOcglOBZFpk26a9zYXwXcEuLyXsn9Yypee4CPnAf4o

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  181. Dave (1bb933) — 4/19/2019 @ 10:24 am

    Also, there is no evidence I’m aware of that Steele knew any of the information he reported was false.

    Those are the only two choices?

    He could have been told lies, and believed them.

    Much of it was accurate.

    Much of it was Russian disinformation. Whatever was original in it was probably all lies. What was accurate about it?

    If somebody hires you and says “Go find out what X says about Y”, and you (truthfully) report back “X says Z about Y”, how does that make you a liar if you have no information that contradicts X (or Z)?

    No, that wasn’t it. He was told go find out the secret reasons Putin is supporting Trump. So he got told “secrets” that weren’t true, mostly that the Russians had compromat on Trump. If not, would you believe that Trump had been working with the Russian gvernment for years? How about them working together to plan hacking and split future costs, with Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen making a visit to Prague to negotiate this?

    in the meantime, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she didn’t lie when she said countless FBI agents supported the firing of Comey. It wasn’t that high. Using that word, she said, was a slip of the tongue. But they did get some messages of support from people associated with the FBI. which i think was what I thought at the time. Except that I think the choice of the word “countless” was intended to imply an overwhelming majority.

    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/439670-sarah-sanders-addresses-false-statements-detailed-in-mueller-report

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  182. 180. Radegunda (694c3c) — 4/19/2019 @ 10:31 am

    Why are so many people so willing to give special ethical indulgence to someone who has boasted about being able to get away with things that others cannot, and who generally holds himself to be singularly great and superior in practically every way?

    Because the alternative being argued makes the conduct out to be much worse than it is, and is argued by people of public sanding whom you just know, and occasionally see, would not find any fault with any persos they favor.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  183. Things I found interesting in the Mueller report V2 introduction and summary

    1. Oh, lovely, it doesn’t matter what they found, they weren’t going to recommend prosecution no matter what they found. (volume 2 page 1)

    2. “We determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgement that the President committed crimes” How, exactly, does one investigate whether or not the President committed the crime of obstruction without taking an approach that investigates whether or not the President committed the crime of obstruction? “Hello, we are here at Dan’s house to investigate this suspicious death. However, we are definitely not going to investigate any evidence that could lead us to conclude that Dan murdered anyone. Rest assured we are not going to find that we believe tat Dan murdered anyone. No, of course we haven’t seen the body yet.”

    3. Oh, so they would be quite clear if they thought he was NOT involved in obstruction, but never say if they thought he was. That’s nice.

    4. Of course, immediately after that they say that they are not saying that the President was uninvolved in obstruction. Which seems to indicate that they think he was involved in obstruction but since they already predetermined that they weren’t going to talk about that, they can’t come out and state it.

    5. Ah, Roger Stone investigation, I see you behind that HOM redaction.

    6. McFarland did the President a favor by refusing to do him a favor.

    7. I think Sessions made the right choice to recuse himself. Based on reading V1, I don’t think Sessions contacts with Kislyak were particularly inappropriate, but recusing himself makes that even more clear. It was good politics and it would have been good optics for the administration if Trump hadn’t had a fit about it.

    8. The President seems to have a hard time understanding that the White House Counsel and the Attorney General are NOT his personal lawyers.

    9. Looking at the time-line, if Comey truthfully told the president in Jan 2017 that he personally was not under investigation and, if by not answering the question in a congressional hearing in May 2017 he was implying that the President was, I wonder if asking that Trump asking Comey to back off on Flynn might not have caused such a personal investigation to begin, or if something else they found might have done it. But there are a lot of ifs there.

    10. McGahn also did the President a favor by not doing him a favor.

    11. Lewandowski and Dearborn did the President a favor by not doing him a favor.

    12. Sessions did the President a favor by not doing him a favor.

    13. We already knew all the Cohen stuff.

    14. In their summary, it looks like the president thought he might have committed a crime and so was making an effort to obstruct justice based on that.

    15. And then, the kick over to congress to do whatever it wants to do with this non-conclusion making evidence.

    Nic (896fdf)

  184. Nic, have you found an impeachment pony yet?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  185. 80. 184.

    SF: That was obviously in order to discourage Comey from lying about what was said in them. Can you think of any other possible reason for Trump to do that? And that reason means that Trump was more or less telling the truth and Comey was at least distorting what had been said in them.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9) — 4/19/2019 @ 10:33 am

    Bulls**t. Trump was being a bully, issuing an empty threat.

    yes, it was an empty threat, but hwow ould it be threat if Comey was lying?

    If Comey wasn’t misreprsenting what took place in those meetings it would on;y be a threat if tapes would be doctored, something we cannot yet quite do very well, even in the 2010s.

    So you know what Comey said? He said his reaction was that he sure hoped there were tapes. Well, he’s got to say that if he’s trying to say he’s not lying.

    Trump would not reveal for awhile whether or not he ahd tapes (I think it lasted for about amonth) and he had hs epople all refuse tosy whether tapes existed or not also)

    And I think it made Comey more careful.

    Page 256 of the Mueller report: “Despite those denials, substantial evidence corroborates Comey’s account.”

    I guess the same way Mueller “corroborated” the account Comey gave of what happened at the bedside of Atoeney General
    John Ashcroft.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/16/washington/16cnd-inquiries.html

    Mr. Mueller said he went to the hospital after receiving a phone call from Mr. Comey, arriving there at 7:40 p.m; he stayed until 8:20 pm. His notes said that Mr. Comey told him that Mr. Ashcroft, who had undergone gall bladder surgery the previous day, was in “no condition” to receive visitors.

    Mr. Mueller’s notes were turned over to the committee with some of the entries deleted or heavily edited, including virtually all of Mr. Mueller’s notations about his White House meeting with President Bush on March 12, when the F.B.I. Director intervened to head off threatened resignations by himself, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Comey and a number of other Justice Department officials.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  186. Nic (896fdf) — 4/19/2019 @ 10:43 am

    “Hello, we are here at Dan’s house to investigate this suspicious death. However, we are definitely not going to investigate any evidence that could lead us to conclude that Dan murdered anyone.

    You know what that sentence reminds me of?

    That sounds like the investigation of the crash of TWA Flight 800 by the National Transportation Safety Board. They were prevented by President Clinton from considering any criminal cause, even avoidance of regulations. Criminal causes were the exclusive provence of the FBI. So at the end they blamed the central fuel tank, as the most plausible cause that did not involve any wrongdoing. that was a like a death investigation where the medical examiner were precluded form ruling the death a homicide unless the police said so.

    If you don’t know that, it just sows how the media, and even lawyers suing, usually falls down on the job.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  187. @190 You really can’t get to these levels of corruption without years of practice.

    Some people say we’re becoming a banana republic. That’s complete bs. We’re a 5-star casino grade full-service banana Sunday buffet republic.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  188. Nic @ 188

    Yeah, I read the thing yesterday, I didn’t take notes, but the two sections paint a pretty vivid picture.

    1) Collusion isn’t a crime, they did a lot of collusion, a bit wittingly, and a lot unwittingly.
    2) They couldn’t indict based on the DOJ regs, but the President tried really hard to obstruct justice, which is a crime, and most of his employees either told him no, or just ignored him.

    Kevin @ 189

    Yup, the entire thing is surrounded by a blinking neon lights reading “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”

    TL:DR of the report
    Trump, and the campaign, was/is full of idiots. They were just too dumb to pull off an actual conspiracy. Trump thought he was guilty of something, so he attempted to obstruct justice, but most of his staff think he’s an idiot, so just ignored him and hoped that a President wouldn’t get prosecuted, and the Senate Republicans won’t impeach. Seems they were right on both counts.

    The crazy thing is that all of the Trump Org stuff is still ongoing, and he’s so crooked that if he swallowed a nail, he’d spit up a corkscrew.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  189. At this point, narciso, some of these folks should be checked and treated for salmonella. That’s a lot of raw chicken!

    Colonel Haiku (b624c3)

  190. But that is not the case here. They didn’t conceal any facts. They say they conducted athorough factual investigation. They explain what they did. They just did not evaluate whether anythig amounted to obstruction of justice by President Trump, because if they said so, Donald Trump would not have an opportunity to defend himself in court.

    They said if he clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, they would so state. But they can’t. They don’t state the opposite but say that the evidece they obtained about the president’s action and intent present difficult issues.

    3. Oh, so they would be quite clear if they thought he was NOT involved in obstruction, but never say if they thought he was. That’s nice.

    They seem to say it wasn’t clear one way or the other. It musn’t be read as saying they really think he was involved in obstruction but they can’t come out and say it. Why would the issue be difficult, if so?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  191. @189 They aren’t going to impeach, they never were, and I’ve never said they were. I think they’d literally have to find the President in a sexually compromising position with Putin while reading his Daily Intelligence Briefing aloud AND have pictures AND have eye witness testimony from the US council of Catholic Bishops AND Mike Huckabee AND Sean Hannity in order to impeach.

    @191 There are many ridiculous things that happen. Today I am not reading the flight 800 report. Today I am reading the Mueller report.

    Nic (896fdf)

  192. 193. Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 4/19/2019 @ 11:06 am

    Trump thought he was guilty of something, so he attempted to obstruct justice, but most of his staff think he’s an idiot, so just ignored him and hoped that a President wouldn’t get prosecuted, and the Senate Republicans won’t impeach. Seems they were right on both counts.

    How about Trump didn’t expect any investigation to be fair to him, or would make it difficult for him to do things (which latter is not the case)

    Or thinking that the only difference between an indicted politician and an unidcted one is who is doing the investigation.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  193. why is it legitimate, to have begun this investigation in the first place, nic,

    this is the kind of (redacted) that my parents fled, you don’t investigate someone because you don’t like them, treat all of their associates like criminals, well except in Madison Wisconsin, john Chisholm might be Mueller’s younger brother,

    narciso (d1f714)

  194. Yes. His opponent showed that it is best to get away with those things, but not to boast about it.

    In other words: “We prefer to invest power in someone who openly believes himself to be above the ethical limits place on ordinary mortals”? And because he boasts about it, we should be fine with it?

    I still haven’t seen any compelling explanation for why Trump’s egregious dishonesty and self-centered moral code are really okay because Hillary …. She isn’t the president, and her sins are no argument for failing to hold the current president to account.

    Much less have I seen a convincing argument for why people who fulminated over Obama’s and Hillary’s lies chose to throw their zealous, fanatical support behind the most fact-averse GOP candidate in the field, and showed so much hostility to anyone who criticized him.

    Do they think those in power should try to be honest with us, or not?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  195. “1) Collusion isn’t a crime, they did a lot of collusion, a bit wittingly, and a lot unwittingly.
    2) They couldn’t indict based on the DOJ regs, but the President tried really hard to obstruct justice, which is a crime, and most of his employees either told him no, or just ignored him.”

    Nah. “No collusion, no obstruction” is a perfectly good takeaway for those who aren’t beholden to a model that assumes absolute prosecutorial reliability and trustworthiness. And most of the supposed FACTS in the report are second and thirdhand reports of what people said, or what their impressions were, and a large number of those give the whiff of several Sorkinesque rewrites.

    The Weissman report is simply yet another unreliable narrator and must be taken with a large pile of salt.

    Ryumyaku (b2b36c)

  196. @197

    Or thinking that the only difference between an indicted politician and an unidcted one is who is doing the investigation.

    That’s obviously not what I said.

    The difference between an indicted politician and an indicted President is that the President cannot be indicted in office by DOJ policy. That’s what Congress’ job is, See William J. Clinton. If any other politician did the same acts, they’d be indicted at the drop of a hat. See James Watt, Mario Biaggi, and the entire Nixon cabinet.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  197. Nic (896fdf) — 4/19/2019 @ 10:43 am

    9. Looking at the time-line, if Comey truthfully told the president in Jan 2017 that he personally was not under investigation and, if by not answering the question in a congressional hearing in May 2017 he was implying that the President was, I wonder if asking that Trump asking Comey to back off on Flynn might not have caused such a personal investigation to begin, or if something else they found might have done it. But there are a lot of ifs there.

    What started the criminal inestigation was the firing of James Comey. Andrew McCabe started it. He said so on 60 Minutes this year.

    https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-mccabe-trump-fbi-investigation-20190214-story.html

    McCabe says he quickly opened FBI investigation of Trump for fear of being fired

    Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Thursday that he authorized an investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia a day after meeting with him in May 2017 out of fear that he could soon be fired.

    “I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” McCabe told CBS. ..

    …In the clip that aired, McCabe did not address specific evidence that led him to believe Trump should be investigated personally.

    It has been previously reported that the FBI began to explore at that point whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice, in part by firing Comey, and whether he personally was of concern from a counterintelligence perspective.

    McCabe opened the case so quickly that some at the Justice Department were concerned that he might have acted too hastily because of Comey’s removal, people familiar with the matter have said.

    In a statement to CBS, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said McCabe had “opened a completely baseless investigation into the president.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  198. Donna Brazile tried a new one out today on Fox. She’s now claiming that the e-mails the Russian’s released were false. At least it’s new to me. Makes you feel all warm and tingly that she’s being paid a salary as a news contributor for lies and political propaganda.

    How ironic is it that Russia, the master of propaganda and disinformation, broke into the DNC e-mails and released true information.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  199. 196. I am not sure that limitaton was in the TWA Flight 800 report, but it was publicly stated.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  200. brazile just makes stuff up, it started when she was a jesse Jackson protégé who migrated to the Dukakis campaign, and threw that old chestnut about Jennifer fitzgerald that got her fired,

    we can’t ascertain that was Russian malware or even it was fsb issue, it’s just more vaporware like the dossier,

    narciso (d1f714)

  201. Text of the Mueller report put online by the New York Times”

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/18/us/politics/mueller-report-document.html

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  202. A common line among Democrats now is “Republicans have no principles at all. They only care about power.” Too many Trump defenders are fueling that line by saying that Trump’s routine dishonesty doesn’t matter; even his efforts to get underlings to lie for him and do unethical and possibly illegal things for him don’t matter. The whole notion of integrity in governance is out the window: we just want our crook to promote (or appear to promote) some policies we like, and it’s all good. OR: As long as he’s “making liberal heads explode,” it’s all cool.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  203. “brazile just makes stuff up”

    Would you say it’s “not founded on anything?”

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  204. brazile just makes stuff up,

    BAD when they do it.
    When Donald Trump does it? “Who cares?” “You’re just a hater!”

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  205. 197. 201. Or thinking that the only difference between an indicted politician and an unidcted one is who is doing the investigation.

    Colonel Klink (Ret)

    That’s obviously not what I said.

    I didn’t say you did.

    I said that might be what Donald Trump thought – therefore he thought he was ruined because there was an investigation. Three felonies a day and all that. Or that it’s impossible not to break the law, or at least to be accused of it. (Not thinking about any particular provision in law that he might have violated.)

    It’s cynical, but that could be the way Donald Trump was.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  206. Trump probably doesn’t believe there is any such thing as the impartial administration of justice – that that’s not the way things work. That can shed some light on what he did. He’d be fearful of an investigation no matter what. Now that it turned out not to be against him he’s over-celebrating.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  207. Roy Cohn didnt teach him that anything was conducted fairly.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  208. You’re right something susan page drags out thirty years later because she needed a little sorbet, curiously there was no outrage from the bush family,

    narciso (d1f714)

  209. Trump wasn’t honest in his claims in court.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  210. considering what we discovered about what ramzi Yousef had been planning just a year or two earlier, who knows about the findings of that report,

    narciso (d1f714)

  211. Trump probably doesn’t believe there is any such thing as the impartial administration of justice

    Trump shows us in various ways that he takes an “I win, you lose” view of the world. And he probably thinks that’s how everyone else operate.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  212. haven’t we seen enough examples, florida 2000, ahia 2004, Wisconsin 2010, tea party 2012, delay 2006 steven 2008, McDonnell 2012, etc etc etc,

    narciso (d1f714)

  213. Radegunda,

    I mean, that is the point. After 20+ years of their crooks getting away with things, it’s about time our crook gets away with something. I mean, at this point, what difference does it make?

    Xmas (eafb47)

  214. Mr leftbehind wrote:

    Is it me, or does Strzok’s face slowly morph to Pete Buttgigieg’s.

    Well, maybe not into Mr Buttigieg’s face . . . . :)

    The snarky Dana (10ea9e)

  215. oh but you say the courts will correct, you want to stake your livelihood, your freedom on that premise,

    narciso (d1f714)

  216. Nic wrote:

    You’ve already stated you are fine with the commission of treason in order to avoid a Democratic president. Several times. And you’re proud of it, bless your heart.

    Voting for Democrats is treason!

    However, I would note that no one has been charged with treason, nor has treason been alleged, at least not by anyone with any common sense or credibility.

    Treason has a very specific definition. Feel free to look it up.

    The truthful Dana (10ea9e)

  217. The President’s efforts to influence the investigation

    Notice the choice of language.

    They say, “influence” not “obstruct”

    According to Barr whether something is obstruction or not depends upon whether there is a corrupt motive. I guess except for doing things taht are in themselves illegal.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  218. nk wrote:

    So if the special counsel report leaves open the topic of collusion, can we still say Trump and the Russians stole the election from Hillary?

    Yup. That’s why Bernie Sanders is the lawful President of the United States.
    Hillary and the Democratic National Committee stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie.
    Trump and the Russians stole the election from Hillary.
    Ergo, Bernie is the real President.

    Ex’ceptin’ that the Rooskies apparently wanted Bernie to beat Hill’ry in the primaries, so he can’t be the real President either, so who does that leave? Ted Cruz was the last man out of the GOP race, so maybe it’d be him? Gary Johnson came in in third place; maybe he’s the real President?

    The very snarky Dana (10ea9e)

  219. One finding: Ivanka Trump was also supposed to be at the Trump Tower meeting, but arrived late.

    Now what the special counsel was concerned about was whether that violated the ban on political contribtoons by foreoign nationals, especially the offer of documents. (but by that standard that would have been all right had they offered the Russians fair market value)

    I think this is kind of ridiculous.

    Tey didn’t prosecute because were not likely to prove that the violation of law was willful and second they weren’t sure the value of the offered information passed the threshhold for crimial violation. And then there was the question of was it really a campiagn contribution? They try t argue there is precedent.

    They somehow omit the glaring fact that nothing was made available. They don’t even argue that it still conspiracy.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  220. no, they would never pick him, they hate him more than cruz, paul singer largely ran the interference in the early rounds,

    narciso (d1f714)

  221. ” it’s about time our crook gets away with something. I mean, at this point, what difference does it make?”

    Reagan got away with Iran-Contra, and Bush got away with Iraq, so let’s not pretend that prior Republican administrations were scandal free.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  222. Mr M expressed it well:

    The point I am making is that Trump’s defenders evidently believe that Trump’s lies

    No, what we believe is that Trump’s inherent dishonesty is far less important than the service he does in keeping the Dems out of the WH, filling the courts with Federalist Society types, and mostly moving things more to our liking.

    Is he suboptimum — HELL YES — but he’s tons better than they other choice we had, or any of the choices coming up. Giant income tax hike, triple payroll taxes, national sales tax and for what? So that we can all be forced to get medicine from the government store.

    I’m not certain, through so many comments, whom Mr M quoted, but that’s a fairly common theme amongst the opponents, most many of whom believe that people who have supported the President are somehow low-class, low-intelligence riff-raff who really shouldn’t be allowed to vote. The disdain they have for us is off the charts.

    I do try not to show the same disrespect.

    The unfailingly polite Dana (10ea9e)

  223. Mr M asked:

    Nic, have you found an impeachment pony yet?

    The left will be searching far a way to impeach President Trump right up until January 19, 2025.

    The sometimes snarky Dana (10ea9e)

  224. Wait. I don’t know if Putin is smiling. Why do I not know if Putin is smiling? How did we get to comment #227 w/o me knowing about Putin’s current emotional state?

    I blame Trump. Thanks Trump.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  225. “the President are somehow low-class, low-intelligence riff-raff who really shouldn’t be allowed to vote”

    You’re projecting. Disenfranchisement activities are pretty much exclusive to the right.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  226. The man who is frosty even in the lower 48 wrote:

    Donna Brazile tried a new one out today on Fox. She’s now claiming that the e-mails the Russian’s released were false. At least it’s new to me. Makes you feel all warm and tingly that she’s being paid a salary as a news contributor for lies and political propaganda.

    Yet somehow, some way, CNN parted ways with the lovely Miss Brazile after those false emails exposed her disclosure of debate questions to Mrs Clinton in advance.

    How ironic is it that Russia, the master of propaganda and disinformation, broke into the DNC e-mails and released true information.

    When it came to Mrs Clinton, the truth helped set us free!

    That is the widely ignored — at least by the Democrats! — part of all of this: whoever hacked the Clinton campaign and DNC didn’t lie about Mrs Clinton; they exposed the truth about her campaign and her.

    The wryly amused Dana (10ea9e)

  227. Ah squid probably believes in the October surprise as well, and theres a twist tying that event to today.

    Narciso (d24470)

  228. Mr thulhu wrote:

    Disenfranchisement activities are pretty much exclusive to the right.

    Well, it is true that we were better governed when the franchise was restricted to white male property owners.

    The historian Dana (10ea9e)

  229. Trump did not try to hide the truth about what caused the Trump Tower meeting from the special counnsel or Congress but thought it could be kept out of the news.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  230. Davethulhu wrote,

    Reagan got away with Iran-Contra, and Bush got away with Iraq, so let’s not pretend that prior Republican administrations were scandal free.

    God, my math is bad…1992 was 27 years ago…

    I meant 30+ years. I’d put Bush 1 in the ‘their crooks’ category. I’d go so far to say that Trump voters were hoping they were voting for another Reagan.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  231. @ The Dana Who Threw Away His Morals, who wrote (#100; italics omitted):

    Mr Trump was oh-so-mean to Mrs Clinton, but “Crooked Hillary” still helped her to enjoy some quiet time in Chappaqua, and that’s all that’s important.

    Mr Trump isn’t a nice guy, not by a long shot, but he is a winner. That’s what we want and that’s what we need. Nothing illegal has been proven against Mr Trump, but I’ll say it again: our country is much better off with Donald Trump as President, even if he lied, cheated and broke the law to win the office, than we would have been if Hillary Clinton were President.

    There are many reasons I am glad that Hillary Clinton isn’t president. Many of them relate to her and her husband’s fundamental dishonest and contempt for the Rule of Law. In those respects, I see no difference whatsoever from either of them and Trump: They all think that they are completely above the law.

    There are also reasons having to do with broad policy, rather than individual lawlessness and dishonesty and greed, that make me glad she’s not POTUS. On some of them, Trump has different, better policies — or rather, pretends to, because that’s what he perceives as being best for Trump, given that he’s pretending to be a Republican.

    But one of the principal reasons why I regret that Trump won, however, is that it has apparently prompted people like you, whom I previously have respected, and who already were alert to the Clintons’ and their co-partisans’ failings and wouldn’t vote for them, to write things like this, which is as ugly and shortsighted and immoral an argument as I’ve ever seen. Brutally frank, yes. Disgusting too. I cannot tell you how strongly I disagree with your sentiments in this comment.

    Let’s agree to ignore each other forever after, shall we?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  232. Please continue to start your ever-changing screennames always with “The Dana,” so I can use the blocker to avoid you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  233. Actually, I see that’s not your practice. As is, although I don’t accuse you of doing it for this reason, your ever-changing screennames make it difficult to use the screen blocker to block your comments. Although not intended as such, it’s a work-around akin to sockpuppeting. I hope you’ll pick a screenname and stick to it, The Dana Who.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  234. Please continue to start your ever-changing screennames always with “The Dana,” so I can use the blocker to avoid you.

    Just ad “The”

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  235. 235 don’t forget nixon committing treason to win 1968 election by sabotaging peace talks or bill casey making a deal with iran to hold hostages till after 1980 election or maybe you think it was a coincidence that hostage released when reagan took office.

    lany (6e6b89)

  236. Dana pico’s links directly to his site, which is still active, three years later we cant get rid of this horde of Clinton nazguls, have we forgotten the ig report, which is moving along like a Galapagos turtle,

    Narciso (d24470)

  237. Too much of this blog is starting to read like democratic underground. I was part of of the collusion to deneigh hillbot and her lib/dykes power. I voted third party!

    lany (6e6b89)

  238. The 2020 is still a loooooooooooooong way to go.

    I’m 100% convinced that the House Democrats will impeach Trump. Their base will demand it.

    The question has to be asked: Does Trump’s transgressions rise to the level of “High Crimes and Misdemeanor”?? Technically speaking, the democrats can vote to impeach Trump for firing Comey, even though Trump has full authority in doing so for any reason whatsoever.

    Furthermore, the question has to be asked if Democrats would experience any backlash like the GOP did when impeaching Clinton.

    whembly (51f28e)

  239. Probably the only good thing about the Mueller Report is it shows what a bunch weak-kneed weasels poor Ol’Trump had as advisers.

    You got Sessions who couldn’t’ take the heat, and bailed out and let Rosenstein crucify Trump. Jeff was willing to do only two things. Resign and not help Trump. The same is true of McGrath. His primary concerns seems to have been (1) his post Trump employability and (2) protecting Mueller and Rosenstein. Helping Trump get rid of a needless investigation wasn’t on his list. And then we have Rosenstein, the true villain of the piece. What’s chutzpah! The man is DAG for three weeks and out-of-the-blue he appoints Comey’s friend as special counsel, gives him a blank cheque, and then sits back and laughs for 22 months.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  240. Madame chenault reminded Saigon what Whitaker chamber was worried about ‘he had joined the losing side’s we see how Nixon went on to embrace the butcher of Beijing the most bloodthirsty since Hong Quang of the taiping rebellion we got a little taste with dutiful pupil pol pot.

    Narciso (d24470)

  241. BTW, I’ve been reading all this Mueller/Comey stuff for over 2 years now and I STILL don’t know why Rosenstein (Beloved by the Democrats) was appointed as DAG. According to Trump it was Sessions who insisted on him. Which makes sense. But why Sessions selected him, and stood by him for 1.5 years has never been made public.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  242. Clinton committed more crimes and got away with more things than any Republican POTUS has ever dreamed of. Same with Obama. The reason? Partly its Press bias, but mostly its that Democrats have loyal subordinates that will “fall on their Swords” for “THE BIG GUY”. Republicans NEVER have that. Just like only the Republicans have “MAVERICKS” in Congress.

    Its the same with the NEVERTRUMPERS. The idea of a “NeverObama” or “NeverClinton” or “NeverCarter” is unthinkable. Its only the Center-right that is incapable of organizing itself properly and maintaining party discipline. Is it a lack of brains or of Will? You make the call!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  243. Soon we will all know how to play Russian Solitaire.

    mg (8cbc69)

  244. You see the pattern across the pond with the Tories not merely reneging on Brexit but offering a multi billion dollar ransom demand, a Thatcher couldn’t rise out of the leadership today.

    Narciso (d24470)

  245. Trump and republican base are populists/social conservatives. It turned out that free trade pro immigration libertarian conservatives and neo con intelligencia had money but not voters (ask jebbie bush ) Never trumpers here represent the 10% of the party the populist voters kicked out of party with their $$$. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

    lany (6e6b89)

  246. That is the widely ignored — at least by the Democrats! — part of all of this: whoever hacked the Clinton campaign and DNC didn’t lie about Mrs Clinton; they exposed the truth about her campaign and her

    The truth being that the DNC acted like a political party is supposed to operate, by trying to ensure the person with the most potential to win the election (hint: it wasn’t Bernie) was nominated. The back rooms may not be filled with cigar smoke anymore, but they exist.

    Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton has multiple flaws and sins to castigate, but this was not one of them.

    Kishnevi (15a549)

  247. Bush got away with Iraq

    I am sorry to say thus, but that’s the silliest thing I have read today.

    Kishnevi (15a549)

  248. 251 bernie would have lost wisconsin by 22,000 votes like clinton? michigan by 10,000 votes like clinton? pennsylvania by 43,000 votes like clinton? wrong! union members who voted against helot would have voted for bernie. democrat establishment and donor class opposed bernie because they were afraid he would win!

    lany (6e6b89)

  249. The day is still young…

    “The Mueller report states Mr. Cohen was not in Prague. It makes no statement on whether the investigation ever had evidence that Mr. Cohen’s phone pinged in or near Prague, as McClatchy reported,” said Kristin Roberts, McClatchy’s East Region Editor.

    McClatchy’s Dec. 2018 reporting was based on information from five individuals with foreign intelligence connections, who all requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information shared and concerns about sources and methods. Each obtained their information independently from each other. McClatchy stands by the reporting.”

    https://hotair.com/archives/2019/04/19/mcclatchy-mueller-report-says-cohen-wasnt-prague-phone/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  250. Cuz it’s a Secret Agent Phone!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  251. 254 your right bush did not get away with iraq we are still there. afganistan and iraq arabic for vietnam. how long before kabul renamed bin ladin city. here ia another one golan hights=alsace lorraine. look it up.

    lany (6e6b89)

  252. What was accurate about it?

    Steele more or less nailed the campaign’s contacts with Mifsud, and Manafort’s laundering of the truckloads of cash he was receiving from Putin by way of the Ukraine.

    No, that wasn’t it. He was told go find out the secret reasons Putin is supporting Trump. So he got told “secrets” that weren’t true, mostly that the Russians had compromat on Trump. If not, would you believe that Trump had been working with the Russian gvernment for years? How about them working together to plan hacking and split future costs, with Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen making a visit to Prague to negotiate this?

    There was nothing in the dossier which was too outlandish to be plausible. Including the part about Trump consorting with prostitutes, which we know he has done frequently.

    The whole Steele conspiracy theory breaks down for me in a few places:

    1) If the HRC campaign wanted to traffic in false information about Trump, what did they need Steele for? They could have done what Trump himself was doing (and still does): just make sh*t up out of thin air. Steele was a complete unknown to voters, not some reputable source whose imprimatur would have lent credibility to otherwise bogus charges.

    2) The HRC campaign used none of the material developed by Steele. There were a couple obscure references in fringe publications like Mother Jones that didn’t even survive a full news cycle. Everyone, especially the HRC campaign, expected that she was going to win and win big, at which point Steele’s dossier would have been of no interest to anyone.

    3) We don’t know how Steele was paid, but clearly he wasn’t giving his employers anything they felt was worth using. So what was his incentive to generate false information? He was considered a generally reliable source based on past contacts with the IC, and jeopardizing that would have been foolish. As a foreign national, obviously he wasn’t going to be rewarded with a job in the new administration in return for trashing his own professional reputation.

    I think it’s quite possible he was being manipulated by some of his sources, although again the fact that they really gave him nothing much of value to the Clinton campaign makes one wonder if it wasn’t just second or third degree hearsay.

    Dave (792a24)

  253. @ Colonel Klink: That appears to work, so long as there aren’t any other “The” somethings. Thanks.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  254. AND Mike Huckabee AND Sean Hannity in order to impeach.

    I wouldn’t believe either of them on anything.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  255. They mostly used crowdstrike attributions but they were the key to the fisa application and the intelligence estimate, imported from Russian sources we are told, apelbaum has his doubts.

    Narciso (624517)

  256. “I am sorry to say thus, but that’s the silliest thing I have read today.”

    You’ve wounded my feelings, Kishnevi.

    Anecdotally, Bush starting a war under false pretenses is what shifted me from the center (I voted for Bush in 2000 because I was disgusted with Clinton), to the left.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  257. Mifsud with the mi6 Italian and Saudi ties, of they left that out.

    Narciso (624517)

  258. “Anecdotally, Bush starting a war under false pretenses is what shifted me from the center (I voted for Bush in 2000 because I was disgusted with Clinton), to the left.”

    I can only imagine how foolish you felt when so much of the Democrat leadership were right there with GWB based on the same intelligence.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  259. The whole notion of integrity in governance is out the window:

    Yeah, if only we could get back to the righteous days of Bill Clinton and AG Loretta Lynch attempting to have a secret meeting just before she “decided” on whether to charge Hillary Clinton with multiple serious felonies against the national security (spoiler: she did not).

    Or maybe when Bill Clinton perjured himself on live TV.

    Or maybe when Barack Obama blamed a filmmaker (and locked him up!) for his and Hillary’s fecklessness which led to the death of a US Ambassador and several of his defenders, then repeatedly lied about it to America.

    The integrity-in-government ship sailed when GHWB left office.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  260. I can only imagine how foolish you felt when so much of the Democrat leadership were right there with GWB based on the same intelligence.

    But they claimed that W outsmarted them, so they were forgiven.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  261. “2) The HRC campaign used none of the material developed by Steele.“
    Dave (792a24) — 4/19/2019 @ 2:05 pm

    Because having the DOJ/FBI use it instead saved them the effort? Just brainstorming….

    Munroe (f533ee)

  262. The integrity-in-government ship sailed when GHWB left office.

    No it didn’t. We at least had one party who declaimed on the importance of integrity all the way up to July 19, 2016. Now we have a party full of people who proclaim means don’t matter so long as they acheive the desired goal.

    Kishnevi (15a549)

  263. I think Mueller and his report were a job type interview to write op ed b.s. for the N.Y. Times – The bird cage liner of choice.

    mg (8cbc69)

  264. Question to Dana of the many adjectives.

    If it required death squads to keep the Democratic Party out of power, would you advocate for death squads?

    I ask in seriousness because I no longer am sure how you would answer that question.

    Kishnevi (15a549)

  265. 250. Dave (792a24) — 4/19/2019 @ 2:05 pm

    There was nothing in the dossier which was too outlandish to be plausible. Including the part about Trump consorting with prostitutes, which we know he has done frequently. </blockquote. That wasn't a claim that he consorted with rostitutes, which, by the way he didn't do too often, especially at that age (he was afraid of diseases)

    It was a claim that he so hated Obama (which he did not) that he hired two prostitutes (becase who else would do it?) to soil a bed Obama had slept on. Well, had supposedly slept on.

    The whole Steele conspiracy theory breaks down for me in a few places:

    1) If the HRC campaign wanted to traffic in false information about Trump, what did they need Steele for?

    They didn’t want false information. They wanted true information. And for tha reason hired a ex-MI6 spy, reported to have received good information while he was in MI6 – how did they know this by the way? He advertised? They hired a British spy so that Putin would not suspect that the information was wanted by the Democrats.

    Now the thing is, tehy got false inforaton, and proab;y realized it beause they were Americans and not Russian or British.

    Steele was a complete unknown to voters, not some reputable source whose imprimatur would have lent credibility to otherwise bogus charges.

    hey never wanted Steel’s name to become public. What they may have wanted to become public, is that the FBI had opened an investigation nto Donald Trump’s campaign. Harry Reid wanted that.

    2) The HRC campaign used none of the material developed by Steele.

    They had to be very careful. Ad they only wanted aneutral party to take the idea that Trump wouldbe Putin’s puppet.

    3) We don’t know how Steele was paid, but clearly he wasn’t giving his employers anything they felt was worth using. So what was his incentive to generate false information? To get paid. He didn’t want to get false information.

    I think it’s quite possible he was being manipulated by some of his sources, although again the fact that they really gave him nothing much of value to the Clinton campaign makes one wonder if it wasn’t just second or third degree hearsay. </blockquote. It wasn't hearsay, it was disinformation approved at the highest levesl of teh Russian government — who thought it was going to the UK. They didn't want Steele and MI6 to re-evaluate the value of the "information" he;d found out te years before. That was also mostly lies.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  266. Wi and Mi yes, perhaps IA’s 6, but PA is little too white shoe in the Philly burbs and the rest of the state didn’t want to get screwed out of fracking.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  267. They don’t even argue that it still conspiracy.

    Here’s the thing. To convict someone of any specific act, or any number of them, you have to prove it on each individual case. But “conspiracy” might be proven by a whole bunch of incidents, wrt which you only have bits and pieces of evidence all pointing to the same thing

    “Conspiracy to rob banks” might be proven by GPS data showing the defendant was in or near 23 banks when they were robbed, but no one instance of that data would convict him of robbing any particular bank.

    But they don’t even have that. Just some factoids, here and there, that are suggestive of criminality, but don’t work separately or together to convict anyone of anything regarding the 2016 election.

    Even obstruction is a stretch, as determining the reason why Trump does something can be difficult. For all we know, Comey started investigating Trump as job security. He could always threaten Trump with “obstruction” if he tried to fire him. As it turned out, it was less effective than Hoover’s fact file.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  268. “I can only imagine how foolish you felt when so much of the Democrat leadership were right there with GWB based on the same intelligence.”

    It was pretty shameful, and does highlight the gutlessness of a lot of the Dem leadership, but a lot didn’t vote for it either.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  269. 268… let ‘im down easy. You can be a funny man, munroe!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  270. If it required death squads to keep the Democratic Party out of power, would you advocate for death squads?

    We go from the election victory of a scoundrel (but OUR scoundrel!) to death squads. Could you please show your work?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  271. When Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960 and we thought he’d been killed, Dwight Eisenhower took the world stage and deliberately lied about the incident, acknowledging the shoot-down but claiming that it had been a weather plane which had ventured off-course. Ike did so in a fruitless attempt to keep the Soviets and the rest of the world from learning things about the nature and extent of our spying capabilities, things which in fact the Soviets already knew. Because of its origins and motives — because there was absolutely nothing craven about it; Ike never shied from responsibility — one can make a moral case that this lie, in the perceived interests of the nation over which he presided as president, was excusable.

    The mix of motives in the case of Reagan’s misstatements on Iran-Contra was much less favorable, at least as things developed; and those lies remain as the most serious blot on an otherwise exemplary presidency. Not excusable, but forgivable, in context and on balance.

    Trump lies for the same reason he does everything else: He thinks it’s good for Trump.

    When I read arguments from intelligent people defending Trump’s lies, big and small, preposterous and subtle, brazen and hidden, on grounds that he’s “a winner,” then I do indeed feel disdain for those arguments; whatever respect I had for the person or persons making them does indeed tick downward. But those are not my only strong reactions.

    I also feel sorrow and trepidation — not for the proponent of Trump’s lies and lying, but for the proportion of the American public whom I presume to still be moral (including some whom I think are nevertheless profoundly unwise, including my Dem friends).

    When one has moved from excusing, past forgiving, and into the status of active proponent of the liar — so long as he’s a “winner” — then one has indeed embraced the immoral.

    As it happens, I don’t wear pearls. Being accused of clutching them seems to me a particularly juvenile sort of insult, but it’s inevitably thrown my way precisely because I’ve stood on what I believe to be good moral principles. If I had pearls, their willing, even gleeful abandonment by so many Trump fans would be good reason to clutch them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  272. (spoiler: she did not).

    Indeed. She recused herself.

    Or maybe when Bill Clinton perjured himself on live TV.

    Wow, Clinton was placed under oath before his speeches from the Oval Office? Whadda maroon!

    Or maybe when Barack Obama blamed a filmmaker (and locked him up!)

    The film-maker in question was a convicted felon, released from prison on probation subject to the conditions that he not use aliases and not use the internet without approval of his probation officer. He violated those terms by posting his anti-Muslim film to YouTube under an alias. He also subsequently lied to federal investigators about his involvement with the film, and use of the alias, and his probation was revoked by a judge. He pleaded guilty to the additional offenses as part of a plea deal.

    It seems, in this case, you don’t favor keeping criminals behind bars since mischaracterizing what happened can help deflect responsibility from President Trump.

    Dave (1bb933)

  273. Because having the DOJ/FBI use it instead saved them the effort? Just brainstorming….

    Except they commissioned it to help them win the election. Back to the drawing board!

    Dave (1bb933)

  274. Hell with the work, please pass the peyote buttons!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  275. Blearg; let’s try that last sentence from #278 again, with the references cleared up:

    If I had pearls, the willing, and even gleeful abandonment of moral principles by so many Trump fans would be good reason to clutch those pearls.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  276. The truth being that the DNC acted like a political party is supposed to operate

    Yes, but they lied and said different things. Hypocrisy is always a political problem if you are caught at it. No fair saying that lying is what they are supposed to do. Not in this conversation.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  277. 275 sanders and kennady voted NO! kerry, clinton, biden voted yes so republicans couldn’t use their iraq war vote against them when they ran for president. and none will ever be president

    lany (6e6b89)

  278. Am I reading democratic underground and their clintonista lib/dykes jabbering?

    lany (6e6b89)

  279. gleeful abandonment of moral principles

    It is up to the political system to offer something better, not for me to wait until they do.

    I am not so narcissistic that I think that my principles are the country’s principles, and that if they are not, I should refuse to choose the better of two bad directions, and be willing to defend that choice.

    In my life, I still practice the same moral principles. But it is quite clear that our political system abandoned them long ago, and since I cannot deny these people their power over me, I have to pick the lesser harm.

    Show me a better choice, and I will likely choose it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  280. Kishnevi (15a549) — 4/19/2019 @ 2:34 pm

    Indeed, I asked The Dana Who Embraces Russian Sovereignty Over America whether there is any limiting principle to his repudiation of morality, and he has not responded.

    Dave (1bb933)

  281. yes Reagan shouldn’t have follow the big thinkers like graham fuller, re iran, as to support of the Nicaraguan resistance I don’t see the fault in it, of course, lefties like ed boland wanted to give the sandinistas a hand what else was new.

    Of course, if the info had been available from the u2s the missile gap would have been promptly debunked, and kennedy wouldn’t have used it as a cudgel. in retrospect, my late cousin was a fool to trust jfk, but we only have one president at a time,

    narciso (d1f714)

  282. Indeed, I asked The Dana Who Embraces Russian Sovereignty Over America whether there is any limiting principle to his repudiation of morality, and he has not responded.

    A personal attack in defense of morality. I like irony.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  283. … and in other news, today in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Local ABC-123 of the Rotary Phone Dial Makers Union of North America endorsed 76 year old Joe Biden should he drop the nickel and make another try at a presidential run. This on the heels of the Carbon Paper Guild’s endorsement last week- and the week before.

    Turning to sports– the latest scores in the Patriot Games:

    Rule of Men- 125
    Rule of Law- 0

    Melania, with the weather, in sixty seconds….

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  284. A personal attack in defense of morality. I like irony.

    There is nothing immoral about a truthful personal attack. In this case, it is an accurate characterization of his position:

    if it was Russian interference which provided the tipping point which kept Hillary Clinton a private citizen, we owe Vladimir Putin a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.

    Dave (1bb933)

  285. support of the Nicaraguan resistance I don’t see the fault in it, of course

    And for the last 12 years, Daniel Ortega and the FSLN have controlled Nicaragua with an iron hand. Even though their constitution forbids the re-election of a sitting president, Ortega serves in his third consecutive term, having stacked the Supreme Court in his first term to declare that provision of the constitution void. In 2016, election observers were forbidden to participate. No doubt, in 2021 Ortega will do better than his 72% last time.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  286. Fine Dave, I guess you’d call Lincoln “The President who likes drunk generals.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  287. “I also feel sorrow and trepidation — not for the proponent of Trump’s lies and lying, but for the proportion of the American public whom I presume to still be moral (including some whom I think are nevertheless profoundly unwise, including my Dem friends).”

    If ‘unwise’ is the harshest word you can come up with for ‘your Dem friends’, you may yet be the greater fool in the relationship. Project Veritas has found no shortage of active criminals, baby organ sellers, and Soviet-esque petty tyrants among their followers who immediately take the mask off as soon as they figure they’re among allies. Is it truly so far-fetched to believe that they’re lying to you about their true allegiances, too?

    Dave has already sunk into the ‘if the foreign entanglements were legal and the paperwork was filled out and approved by people who totally aren’t beholden to them then there’s no problem’ school of thought, which besides being infuriating to normals is ever-so-convenient for those who already have system expertise but looks a heck of a lot like special pleading to people who don’t live and breathe the Swamp on a daily basis.

    And DCSCA, of course, continually wails about how the rule of men is taking over while simultaneously idolatrizing Putin’s opinion of Trump’s every mood.

    Face it, you never planned on getting out of Sodom in the first place.

    Ryumyaku (62e901)

  288. “Morality” is subjective:

    Some people feed dogs; other people eat them.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  289. On my part, I am not a pragmatist. I do not support an immoral asshole because he gives me the goodies I want.

    The reason I defend Trump when he is unjustly attacked is because it prickles my sense of justice. Unlike “some people” who talk about the Rule of Law, I don’t like the machinery of government being used as a lynch mob, either by bureaucrats or by politicians. And I don’t like it when that lynch mob lies to me about its motives no different than the immoral asshole does.

    nk (dbc370)

  290. PS I don’t like it when cops shoot people’s dogs, either.

    nk (dbc370)

  291. so these are the talking points,

    https://twitter.com/ChuckRossDC/status/1119034576268156929

    W didn’t deign to defend himself against the craziest accusation, because he deemed it was beneath him, how did that turn out, there was a degree of this with bush sr. as well, then October surprise, was resurrected by gary sick, that was the Russian scam of that era,

    narciso (d1f714)

  292. ot, can endgame not capsize from the hype,

    narciso (d1f714)

  293. @296. “I do not support an immoral a$$hole because he gives me the goodies I want.”

    OTOH, bold talk w/a full belly; back in the day Chicago’s Capone was cheered for opening soup kitchens to feed the hungry unemployed and hailed by patrons at baseball games. Try the bean soup… 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  294. Beans 150
    The Rule of Law 0

    nk (dbc370)

  295. “W didn’t deign to defend himself against the craziest accusation, because he deemed it was beneath him, how did that turn out”

    Well, he served 2 terms and wasn’t indicted, so I’d say it turned out ok for him.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  296. @294. Pfft. Face it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSUzRARKb44

    “Hello, Parson, welcome to Hell!” – Ben Rumson [Lee Marvin] ‘Paint Your Wagon’ 1969

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  297. The Beldar who is disappointed in me wrote:

    But one of the principal reasons why I regret that Trump won, however, is that it has apparently prompted people like you, whom I previously have respected, and who already were alert to the Clintons’ and their co-partisans’ failings and wouldn’t vote for them, to write things like this, which is as ugly and shortsighted and immoral an argument as I’ve ever seen. Brutally frank, yes. Disgusting too. I cannot tell you how strongly I disagree with your sentiments in this comment.

    Let’s agree to ignore each other forever after, shall we?

    My ever-changing screen names, to avoid being confused with the much better looking Dana who is a poster here might make it difficult for you to block me, but since I always post from the same computer, you can simply block the six-digit code 10ae9e which our host’s system attaches to users’ urls.

    There are a few frequent commenters here whose respect I am sad to lose, you being among them — nk, our host, DRJ and Mr Finkelman would also be on that list, but while I try to be polite, I do not check my opinions to avoid such.

    The damage that eight years under President Obama did to our country is enormous, and it would only have gotten worse under a Hillary Clinton presidency. We cannot know that, had the Trump campaign been all sweetness and light, that Mrs Clinton would have still lost, but it was essential for freedom and liberty that she did lose. If Mr Trump had to cheat to defeat her, that is less serious, far less serious than the consequences to this country had she won.

    Beyond this comment, I shall endeavor to honor your request.

    The despised-by-Beldar Dana (10ea9e)

  298. The Mexicans never got away with something like this while the black guy was president:

    Armed Mexican troops question American soldiers on US side of border

    “Making America Great Again,” indeed…

    Dave (1bb933)

  299. Mr nevi wrote:

    That is the widely ignored — at least by the Democrats! — part of all of this: whoever hacked the Clinton campaign and DNC didn’t lie about Mrs Clinton; they exposed the truth about her campaign and her

    The truth being that the DNC acted like a political party is supposed to operate, by trying to ensure the person with the most potential to win the election (hint: it wasn’t Bernie) was nominated. The back rooms may not be filled with cigar smoke anymore, but they exist.

    Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton has multiple flaws and sins to castigate, but this was not one of them.

    Actually, I thought the most damning e-mail wasn’t about the nomination campaign, but the one in which it was revealed that she needed to be sobered up at four o’clock in the afternoon.

    At least before November 8th, a lot of people, including myself, believed that the Republican Party had nominated the person with the least chance to win the election. Then, when the grab ’em by the genitals tape emerged, I just knew that Mr Trump was toast.

    But, with no ‘super-delegates’ in the convention, the nomination of Mr Trump was the nomination made by the Republican voters.

    The realistic Dana (10ea9e)

  300. My ever-changing screen names, to avoid being confused with the much better looking Dana who is a poster here might make it difficult for you to block me, but since I always post from the same computer, you can simply block the six-digit code 10ae9e which our host’s system attaches to users’ urls.

    Do you know that you’re just straight up admitting you’re a troll right? You could just have a handle of “Not that Dana”, but you’ve chosen to do the most doodoo headed thing. That you don’t change your IP address or use multiple devices is supposed to impress or excuse?

    Plus, there are the traitorous words themselves.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  301. Lighten up, Francis.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  302. I think the lawyers around Trump did much better than expected.

    They had a difficult client, prone to off the cuff public comments. Some would say that Trump was a nightmare of a client in this investigation. But they got Trump to give the Mueller team access to anyone and everything the Mueller gang wanted but were able to keep them from interviewing Trump… They convinced Trump to not invoke Executive Privilege.

    They must have realized early on in the investigation that Trump,his family, his campaign was not guilty of conspiring with Russians to do anything illegal. With that out of the way, they had to guide Trump through the maze called obstruction. Trump had enough authority and cause to fire Comey, but firing Mueller might have been legal, but it would be unnecessarily prejudicial to his Presidency. Trumps lawyers managed the “brushfire” down to an all smoke no actionable fire fizzle.

    I’m saying this because Trumps lawyers had… according to some here, the worst client in the world and if this was boxing, Yet Trump walked out of the ring with an eked out win.
    There were some on the board who thought Trumps lawyers were emabarrassingly bad, but they won.
    Either the lawyers were better than they looked, or the case against their client was weak.
    My guess is it was a little of both

    steveg (e7a56b)

  303. “Democrats lost an election they rigged, and now Democrats have lost an investigation they rigged.”

    It’s truly the proper shagging they get for the proper rogering they get!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  304. Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  305. Perhaps not, some seem unclear on the subject,

    Narciso (aa2331)

  306. They couldn’t backdate it. The original had probably been renoved from teh files.

    The 302 of the 1/24/2017 interview was in Mueller’s possession, and it was given to Judge Sullivan as part of Flynn’s sentencing hearing process (link).

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  307. Now the just, fitting and timely ending to that story would’ve been the donkey – the symbol of a political party that has made a conscious choice to plumb the depths of moral decay and destructive behaviors – was shot dead on the roadways of Democrat ward political controlled Chicago after an all-nighter meth/MDMA binge with Jussie Smollett.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  308. Michael Avenatti
    @MichaelAvenatti
    If the Dems do not pass impeachment charges under these circumstances and the mountain of evidence described in the report, they deserve to be labeled as “gutless,” “weak,” “pathetic,” and any other similar descriptive word the GOP can come up with. It is time to grow a spine.
    __ _

    Robin Hood iii
    @iiirobinhood
    “It is time to grow some spine” Is that what you told the paraplegic you stole money from?
    __ _

    David Hamner
    @DavidHamner
    Hello Pot, meet your cell mate Kettle.
    __ _

    Angela Jones
    @Arjones0819
    Nancy Pelosi was right to wait and see. We waited. We saw. Time to step up and do what is blatantly the right thing to do.
    __ _

    BeyondBeyond
    @maplebob23
    You mean, grow up, admit the Democrats lost an election, look to the future, and have some sort of platform that Americans might want to vote for? I couldn’t agree more.
    __ _

    David A
    @twentygram
    Replying to
    @MichaelAvenatti
    “Letters from a NY jail” -2019
    __ _

    Christopher Saenz
    @csigns
    Don’t drop the soap

    __

    harkin (0e8c36)

  309. @295: Well, it’s nice to see that someone’s finally waking up to the Chinese menace, and not just flogging yesterday’s Russian talking points because he still speaks the language and he’s too lazy to look where the light of his own knowledge doesn’t already shine.

    @306: Congress and the Democrats never made it their full-time job to obstruct ICE while Obama was President either, though they did slash military readiness, so there’s that.

    But today, my friends, nothing Trump or any left or right troll in this forum has ever said or done can top THIS for chutzpah:

    @MoveOn
    More
    Congress has a job to do. Begin impeachment hearings now.

    Ryumyaku (4ba716)

  310. Mr nevi wrote:

    Question to Dana of the many adjectives.

    If it required death squads to keep the Democratic Party out of power, would you advocate for death squads?

    I ask in seriousness because I no longer am sure how you would answer that question.

    At which point Mr M defended me responded:

    We go from the election victory of a scoundrel (but OUR scoundrel!) to death squads. Could you please show your work?

    It’s a form of the reductio ad absurdum argument, that because I have said, and will repeat, that lying and cheating to win an election to keep the Democrats out of power, that I must carry the logic further, and advocate the use of death squads, or in Nic’s (?) formulation, support Mr Trump even if he advocated the exterminations of Latinos, to keep the left out of power.

    Those reductios are absurd, but I’ll answer them anyway: at the point at which death squads are used, the Republicans become worse than the Democrats.

    The reductio argument is commonly used, because it frequently stymies people; the user assumes that his opponent is incapable of nuance. I’d like to believe that I’m a bit smarter than that.

    Still, one has to point out: it is the Democrats who are the party of death. Rep Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is one of the about two dozen presidential candidates, and his go to issue is gun control: he would ‘ban and buy back’ whatever he defines as ‘assault weapons,’ and then use the police power of the state to confiscate those weapons for anyone who did not comply. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House recently passed two bills designed to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms, and if there’s no danger of those bills becoming law while the GOP holds the Senate and White House — and thus the Democrats might have simply been using the same trick the GOP did, to repeatedly pass bills repealing Obaminablecare as long as President Obama was in office to veto them — it’s a real worry that the Democrats might just mean what they say if they ever do get power.

    The Democrats have already killed legislation to protect infants who survive an abortion attempt, and are clearly the party of death. Now we see at least some of them willing to send the armed gendarmerie to your house to seize your AR-15, and who knows what other weapons.

    The ‘street people’ left have been excoriated on this site for their attacks on the First Amendment, and the former Director of the FBI sees some difference between electronic surveillance and spying.

    These people are not your friends, nor are they the friends of any American.

    If President Trump manages to win the 2020 election, maybe the Democrats will see the futility of going ever leftward, and more reasonable heads will prevail. But we don’t know if that will happen.

    The brutally frank Dana (10ea9e)

  311. The-Hoppin’-Mad-Chocolate-Bunny-Dana:

    White or dark, bittersweet.

    “Eat me!” – ‘K’ [Tommy Lee Jones] ‘Men In Black’ 1997

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  312. Some interesting details about how Mueller was able to determine that it wasn’t “someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” who worked tirelessly to throw the election to Trump:

    How Mueller used Bitcoin to catch Russia

    Dave (1bb933)

  313. The retired Commandant of Stalag 13 wrote:

    My ever-changing screen names, to avoid being confused with the much better looking Dana who is a poster here might make it difficult for you to block me, but since I always post from the same computer, you can simply block the six-digit code 10ae9e which our host’s system attaches to users’ urls.

    Do you know that you’re just straight up admitting you’re a troll right? You could just have a handle of “Not that Dana”, but you’ve chosen to do the most doodoo headed thing. That you don’t change your IP address or use multiple devices is supposed to impress or excuse?

    The multiple adjectives were a humorous way to distinguish myself from the regular article writer Dana, and they have some history behind them. A couple of years ago, our host put forth rules about people using only one screen name, in an effort to avoid sock puppetry, but my quirk, already established, was given a pass. Since I link my site, and do not spoof my e-mail address, there are obviously no sock puppetry attempts. Yes, I have relied on our host’s charity.

    Even the times when I have posted limericks under the name The Limerick Avenger, I’ve been clearly identifiable.

    Plus, there are the traitorous words themselves.

    Traitorous words? Exercising the freedom of speech is now treason? Perhaps you believe I should write in Newspeak?

    The verbose Dana (10ea9e)

  314. Yes Ortega basically ditching Marxism and moving to traditional third world despot with Venezuelan cash got himself a sweet gig.

    Narciso (aa2331)

  315. Socialism is potato truck you take to become Secretary General of Politburo. When you get there, you buy limousine. Rolls Royce. Such is life.

    nk (dbc370)

  316. And then no one has potato, or what is the food staple in Greece again.

    Narciso (aa2331)

  317. I vouch for Adjective Dana’s use of different names. It was always a humorous device to distinguish the male commenter Dana from the female commenter Dana (who is now a guest poster).

    DRJ (15874d)

  318. Such is life.

    nk (dbc370)

  319. What do you think Trump will do now that he knows specifically who tried to block/deflect his orders (on the one hand) and who knowingly and willingly lied for him (on the other)?

    DRJ (15874d)

  320. Frank Dana,

    Why should Trump’s election push the Democrats to the middle? After all, Obama’s Presidency didn’t push the GOP to the middle. It pushed it right, and I expect the Democrats to go even farther left now.

    DRJ (15874d)

  321. Also, will Trump do anything to stop Russian interference in future elections, or will he decide it is no big deal because it helped him?

    DRJ (15874d)

  322. What do you think Trump will do now that he knows specifically who tried to block/deflect his orders (on the one hand) and who knowingly and willingly lied for him (on the other)?

    Trump’s gratitude (it would be risible to say “loyalty” in the same breath as “Trump”) does not extend that far, DRJ. He is strictly a “What have you done for me lately?” guy. His faithful who pleased him fifteen minutes ago could very well join the ones who displeased him under the bus in the next fifteen minutes.

    nk (dbc370)

  323. Ditto DRJ’s #328. The work-around’s fine, and in his case it’s not sock-puppetry, but indeed, part of his expression of opinions.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  324. My reference to sockpuppetry was ill-considered, and I apologize if I led you into a mistaken assumption, Colonel Klink (#308).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  325. Yes will go far left like the British labour party, who comprises their base. Students minorities urban vs working class whites in rural south and midwest that’s not even an argument I dont think they will even get a clue by 2024.

    Narciso (aa2331)

  326. I’m saying this because Trumps lawyers had… according to some here, the worst client in the world and if this was boxing, Yet Trump walked out of the ring with an eked out win.

    No, the Trump lawyers just got lucky. Fortunately for Trump, he not only was innocent of Russian Collusion, Mueller dug through mounds of Trump White Records on his fishing expedition and couldn’t find any evidence of ANOTHER crime. And Trump was too smart (were his lawyers?) to answer any questions except in writing and only those related to Collusion.

    The obstruction charge was bogus from the start. How can the POTUS obstruct an investigation of the executive branch? He’s the Boss of the executive branch, and can fire anyone he wants, anytime he wants. Nixon obstructed Judge Sirca’s and Congresses investigation of Watergate. How could Trump obstruct an investigation started by his own DAG, by firing the DAG? That’s nuts and gives a power to the DAG/FBI/CIA/DOJ etc. that they were never meant to have. Just start an “Invesigation” and no one can fire you, otherwise its “Obstruction”! Nuts.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  327. Likewise even though we are reminded hes a nea Yorker trumps base is in the midwest and the south, although he’ll still push to campaign in the north east and parts of the west.

    Narciso (aa2331)

  328. Those reductios are absurd, but I’ll answer them anyway: at the point at which death squads are used, the Republicans become worse than the Democrats.

    It was not a reductio. You call the Democrats the party of death, and evil. You are the person of rigorous principles who once said that if the choice was between government mandated insurance and people dying in the streets because they couldn’t afford health care, you would choose people dying in the streets–and if people that was a horrible attitude, phooey on them. You imply that it is fine to lie, cheat, and steal to defeat the Democrats..which raises the question of what line you wouldn’t cross to defeat them.

    Having made it clear that there is a line…

    Kishnevi (98ea1b)

  329. The real villain in this Jeff Sessions. Weak as water as the Brits would say. OR a member of the Deep state. Couldn’t do anything except stab Trump in the back or resign. Those were the only two options according to Weak-kneed Jeff.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  330. DRJ asked (#332):

    [W]ill Trump do anything to stop Russian interference in future elections, or will he decide it is no big deal because it helped him?

    I’ll offer a guess.

    I wouldn’t expect combating Russian (or other) election interference to be among his priorities, which of course shift with his mood — although if he pretended that it were, he could add that to his tough-guy rhetoric, in which Trump is simultaneously the toughest foe Putin’s ever had, Putin’s personal friend since that Green Room conversation, and Putin’s would-be business partner.

    But just as his lawyers and advisers managed, for a very long time indeed, to keep Trump from actually forcing through the firing of Mueller, Rosenstein, and whoever the heck else he’d have had to fire, I am cautiously optimistic that Trump won’t go out of his way to block any specific covert steps that have been recommended as a result of this investigation — steps which by their nature I don’t expect to be public knowledge. As for his administration’s diplomacy with Russia in general, one hopes the Secretary of State and his minions can exercise a generally positive influence in moderating Trump’s instincts, which are cartoonish.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  331. We get it kish Republicans are evil because Roy Moore and pat Buchanan, Democrats are just misunderstood despite farrakhan Sharpton little miss Hamas the sweet niece et al, they cheer at the murder of police or stay silent.

    Narciso (aa2331)

  332. They want to tear down industry effectively back to 1830, well that’s one way to stop population growth, they want to disarm the citizen and out their cadres as the guardians

    Narciso (aa2331)

  333. I would hope theres more than a handful of agents with conscience but you see very few speaking out, which doesn’t surprise me:

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/19/daily-caller-fbi-agents-fed-up-comey/?fbclid=IwAR1RO4xRDgLZH4bfb3RRKHH68SiRIJkJaTdE0-c4-N1kN0l-YnnEuQnaLZo

    Narciso (aa2331)

  334. Since we’re at comment 344 … this reminds me of the time, long ago, when I got cited for playing the guitar and singing on the street without an entertainment license. On my court date, I stepped up and told the judge that I did not need an entertainment license. He asked me why not. In response, I played on the guitar and sang for him, right there in the courtroom. He agreed with me. What I was doing was not entertainment.

    nk (dbc370)

  335. What song did you perform in court, nk? 😀

    Beldar (fa637a)

  336. Rim shot, it was probably an 8th amendment violation

    Narciso (aa2331)

  337. It’s a shame to make it this far into a thread w/o a comment about momma, or trains, or getting drunk, or prison.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  338. I miss the logic in any argument that Trump’s post-inauguration lies to the American public are justified because Clinton would have been a bad president.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  339. Would you consider I was bragging, if I said this one, Beldar?

    nk (dbc370)

  340. I guess the same way Mueller “corroborated” the account Comey gave of what happened at the bedside of Atoeney General

    Non-sequitur, Sammy.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  341. Beldar, I don’t think anyone here is saying his lies are justified. I think the view is merely that they need to be tolerated in order to keep conservative policies and judges coming from the White House.

    Kishnevi (98ea1b)

  342. @349 I don’t think I’ve made that exact argument so I might be the wrong audience. My argument is that HRC had already proven herself to be more immoral, in much more significant ways, than anything we had seen from Trump to that point. I’ll go further and say more immoral than we’ve seen from him to date. So, I’ve never said Trump’s actions are justified. I’ve said mine are.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  343. Completely OT…
    Just learned from Facebook there is a sport called pickleball, with pro players and tournaments….
    https://www.usopenpickleballchampionship.com/index.html

    Kishnevi (98ea1b)

  344. @345. But your minky sang a different tune?!

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

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  345. Also, will Trump do anything to stop Russian interference in future elections, or will he decide it is no big deal because it helped him?

    He will continue to deny that happened at all.

    Dave (1bb933)

  346. *that it

    Dave (1bb933)

  347. prosecutorial b.s. and the Rooskies are coming.

    mg (8cbc69)

  348. Ah avenatti in the aftermath of a nuclear war …

    If were going to revisit the usfl and Tim o Biden and every other hot and middle let’s look at the other teams batting average

    Narciso (aa2331)

  349. Starting on page 369 under Overarching Factual Issues, Mueller states that Trump can obstruct justice without there being an underlying crime:

    Second, many obstruction cases involve the attempted or actual cover-up of an underlying
    crime. Personal criminal conduct can furnish strong evidence that the individual had an improper
    obstructive purpose, see, e.g., United States v. Willoughby, 860 F.2d 15, 24 (2d Cir. 1988), or that
    he contemplated an effect on an official proceeding , see, e.g., United States v. Binday, 804 F.3d
    558, 591 (2d Cir . 2015). But proof of such a crime is not an element of an obstruction offense.
    See United States v. Greer, 872 F.3d 790, 798 (6th Cir . 2017) (stating , in applying the obstruction
    sentencing guideline, that "obstruction of a criminal investigation is punishable even if the
    prosecution is ultimately unsuccessful or even if the investigation ultimately reveals no underlying
    crime"). Obstruction of justice can be motivated by a desire to protect non-criminal personal
    interests, to protect against investigations where underlying criminal liability falls into a gray area ,
    or to avoid personal embarrassment. The injury to the integrity of the justice system is the same
    regardless of whether a person committed an underlying wrong.

    Then Mueller addresses "corrupt intent" broadly, recognizing the unique powers the president has.

    Third, many of the President's acts directed at witnesses, including discouragement of
    cooperation with the government and suggestions of possible future pardons , occurred in public
    view. While it may be more difficult to establish that public-facing acts were motivated by a
    corrupt intent, the President's power to influence actions , persons, and events is enhanced by his
    unique ability to attract attention through use of mass communications . And no principle of law
    excludes public acts from the scope of obstruction statutes. If the likely effect of the acts is to
    intimidate witnesses or alter their testimony, the justice system's integrity is equally threatened.

    From there, Mueller establishes the ten incidents where obstruction was investigated, establishing three criteria that would fully establish the charge.

    Each episode includes a detailed set of factual findings and then analyzes how the evidence maps onto the criminal charge of obstruction, which requires (1) an obstructive act; (2) a nexus with an official proceeding; and (3) a corrupt intent.

    Six of the ten cases met all three criteria:

    For present purposes, the critical point is that in six of these episodes, the special counsel’s office suggests that all of the elements of obstruction are satisfied: Trump’s conduct regarding the investigation into Michael Flynn, his firing of Comey, his efforts to remove Mueller and then to curtail Mueller’s investigation, his campaign to have Sessions take back control over the investigation and an order he gave to White House Counsel Don McGahn to both lie to the press about Trump’s past attempt to fire Mueller and create a false record “for our files.”

    Barr can spin a conclusion that there was no obstruction, but that's not what Mueller said in the report.
    Mueller also addressed legal objections from the Trump legal team.

    On the statutory matter, Mueller’s team responds to the suggestion that the statute should be interpreted narrowly, to cover only “acts that would impair the integrity and availability of evidence”; Mueller, rather, adheres to the Justice Department’s view that § 1512(c)(2) “states a broad, independent, and unqualified prohibition on obstruction of justice.”
    More interesting is the report’s constitutional analysis: Pursuant to a separation of powers analysis and contra the president’s lawyers and Barr’s own memo on the subject, Mueller takes the view that presidential actions taken under Article II authority can constitute obstructions of justice.
    The argument is complex, but it is notable that Mueller emphasizes the role of the president’s obligations under the Take Care Clause as effectively harmonizing the corrupt intent requirement under the obstruction statutes with Article II: “the concept of ‘faithful execution’ connotes the use of power in the interest of the public, not in the office holder’s personal interest.” This suggests that “corrupt” activities are incompatible with good-faith adherence to the duties of the presidency such that prohibiting them cannot violate Article II. One interesting, if subtle, implication here is that a violation of the obstruction statute by the president thus necessarily violates the Take Care Clause—which links criminality under the statute to impeachability.

    These really are grounds for impeachment, if folks can get around and past this lapdog AG's spin. Between that and Trump paying hush-money to a porn star in the heat of a campaign, it should be enough for articles of impeachment, especially considering what it took to impeach Clinton. If the Democrats were smart, they'd go to battle on this because they're already in a battle against this person anyway.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  350. Just learned from Facebook there is a sport called pickleball, with pro players and tournaments….

    It was invented on Bainbridge Island, a ferry ride from Seattle. I started playing it in junior high back in the 1970s. It’s pretty darn fun. Most of the sport courts in our neck of the woods have pickleball lines and nets.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  351. The damage that eight years under President Obama did to our country is enormous,

    And one should consider “Trump” in that context. Apparently the other candidates did not seem angry enough for the primary voters. And, given the choice between kicking the same corruption down the road, or choosing Yosemite Sam, the voters were split. And, outside the equally corrupt cities, they voted heavily for Sam.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  352. Paul,

    you and the other nevertrumpers claim that there can be “obstruction” without any underlying crime, but the American public disagrees. Good luck fitting that square peg into yet another round hole. You’ve been trying since Trump shocked the world and won.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  353. Those reductios are absurd, but I’ll answer them anyway: at the point at which death squads are used, the Republicans become worse than the Democrats.

    How so? If you asked a Democrat if they would use death squads to support a woman’s right to abortion, an honest Democrat would respond “But we do that now!”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  354. (Tongue in cheek above)

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  355. The real villain in this Jeff Sessions.

    Indeed. His support of Trump early on was critical for Trump’s rise to the nomination. If he had supported Ted Cruz, we would have a MUCH more effective White House, a clear agenda, and a GOP Congress passing bills.

    But no, so we all have to play rear guard.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  356. I don’t think anyone here is saying his lies are justified. I think the view is merely that they need to be tolerated

    What would be damning to the GOP would be no one of rank in the party is willing to stand as an alternative in 2020. What would be extra damning would be the PARTY preventing a challenge.

    At that point, I don’t know what people do, as the Democrats seem hell-bent on making the State our master. At least Trump lets us be, for the most part, and his lies are mostly petty.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  357. I don’t see a difficulty here, Patterico. Mueller’s report is a legal document, so he had to speak in legal language which means that he translated “collusion” to “conspiracy” for such purposes. People saying that he concluded “no collusion” are merely making use of this translation that Mueller used in his investigation. They are translating back into the language that has been used by everyone throughout this debate. What would you prefer, that everyone use the word “collusion” as a synonym for “conspiracy” all during the investigation, but now that “no conspiracy” is found, they aren’t allowed to say “no collusion” because it’s not the technically correct legal phrase? You would rather have people who have been hearing about “collusion” for two years on the news left confused and unsure whether Trump was vindicated of what he was accused of?

    David Gudeman (fd21bc)

  358. Trump can obstruct justice without there being an underlying crime

    Yes, of course, but it becomes a lot harder to prove intent.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  359. “If the likely effect of the acts is to intimidate witnesses or alter their testimony, the justice system’s integrity is equally threatened.”

    The justice system’s integrity was indeed threatened, and harmed, but witness intimidation and obstruction had nothing to do with it.

    Maybe the report from Horowitz will provide a way forward. If he’s also cast as a “lap dog” by the usual suspects, that would definitely be a good sign.

    Munroe (c86acf)

  360. I don’t see a difficulty here, Patterico. Mueller’s report is a legal document, so he had to speak in legal language which means that he translated “collusion” to “conspiracy” for such purposes. People saying that he concluded “no collusion” are merely making use of this translation that Mueller used in his investigation. They are translating back into the language that has been used by everyone throughout this debate. What would you prefer, that everyone use the word “collusion” as a synonym for “conspiracy” all during the investigation, but now that “no conspiracy” is found, they aren’t allowed to say “no collusion” because it’s not the technically correct legal phrase? You would rather have people who have been hearing about “collusion” for two years on the news left confused and unsure whether Trump was vindicated of what he was accused of?

    What would you prefer, Patterico? You want Barr to say what Mueller said instead of the opposite of what he said? Smh over here, man, you’ve changed!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  361. you and the other nevertrumpers claim that there can be “obstruction” without any underlying crime, but the American public disagrees.

    Federal law agrees.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  362. Sigh. He can also dance Swan Lake without there being an underlying crime. A criminal offense is not what there is not, it is what there is. What acts of Trump are illegal under the federal obstruction of justice statute? Did he beat up a process server? Did he destroy evidence? Did he use violence or threats of a violence against witness? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ?

    nk (dbc370)

  363. Do you know that you’re just straight up admitting you’re a troll right?

    Nah, Dana is cool with the rules here. He has employed the adjectives forever and nobody (except aphrael!) is confused.

    Sorry aphrael, couldn’t resist.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  364. What acts of Trump are illegal under the federal obstruction of justice statute? Did he beat up a process server? Did he destroy evidence? Did he use violence or threats of a violence against witness?

    He threatened an investigation against the relative of a witness.

    He told McGahn to lie about his order to fire Mueller.

    He asked the FBI director to stop investigating a crony.

    There’s more, but these are some of the more salient ones that are perhaps more obstructive than dancing ballet.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  365. People are actually arguing that it’s fair for the AG to say “Mueller found x” when Mueller said “I didn’t address x.” Because reasons.

    If politics did not blind them, they’d be embarrassed.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  366. Question to Dana of the many adjectives.

    If it required death squads to keep the Democratic Party out of power, would you advocate for death squads?

    I ask in seriousness because I no longer am sure how you would answer that question.

    I’ve been wondering similar things. The adjectival Dana says he doesn’t favor death squads, but I assume he favors lying, and perhaps violence short of murder. I bet you could get him to approve murder to elect Trump by tweaking the hypo a little. Just posit that Hillary would have meant even more deaths, and voila, murder is probably OK, I bet. If that offends you, then how about vote fraud. Come on, man, it’s to keep HILLARY out of office!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  367. Oh, I see that the adjectival Dana already applauded the notion of Trump lying, cheating, and stealing to win. I had not seen that, but I am pleased to see that my brutal and nasty assessment of this commenter’s character was accurate.

    So I assume that includes vote fraud, right?

    I identify myself with Beldar’s comments.

    But one of the principal reasons why I regret that Trump won, however, is that it has apparently prompted people like you, whom I previously have respected, and who already were alert to the Clintons’ and their co-partisans’ failings and wouldn’t vote for them, to write things like this, which is as ugly and shortsighted and immoral an argument as I’ve ever seen. Brutally frank, yes. Disgusting too. I cannot tell you how strongly I disagree with your sentiments in this comment.

    It’s odd to see someone so cheerfully cast their credibility into the sewer, but that is what the adjectival Dana has done. There is literally no reason to pay attention to anything he says, because he will lie to you in order to make you more likely to vote for Donald Trump.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  368. Trump lies for the same reason he does everything else: He thinks it’s good for Trump.

    When I read arguments from intelligent people defending Trump’s lies, big and small, preposterous and subtle, brazen and hidden, on grounds that he’s “a winner,” then I do indeed feel disdain for those arguments; whatever respect I had for the person or persons making them does indeed tick downward. But those are not my only strong reactions.

    I also feel sorrow and trepidation — not for the proponent of Trump’s lies and lying, but for the proportion of the American public whom I presume to still be moral (including some whom I think are nevertheless profoundly unwise, including my Dem friends).

    When one has moved from excusing, past forgiving, and into the status of active proponent of the liar — so long as he’s a “winner” — then one has indeed embraced the immoral.

    It takes hard work to avoid becoming cranky when you see people you used to like act like dishonest braying jackasses.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  369. Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    Make the case. I’m not seeing it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  370. ou and the other nevertrumpers claim that there can be “obstruction” without any underlying crime, but the American public disagrees.
    Well, I doubt any polls on the “American public” have come out since the release of the report, but what does it really matter? Do you take the opinion of an expert like Mueller, who has been immersed on the law in this investigation, or some nebulous “American public” that most likely has no real knowledge of the law at hand? The answer seems obvious to me.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  371. The justice system’s integrity was indeed threatened, and harmed, but witness intimidation and obstruction had nothing to do with it.

    Actually, Trump’s intimidation and obstruction had everything to do with it. Page 370:

    In considering the full scope of the conduct we investigated, the President’s actions can
    be divided into two distinct phases reflecting a possible shift in the President’s motives. In the
    first phase, before the President fired Comey, the President had been assured that the FBI had not
    opened an investigation of him personally. The President deemed it critically important to make
    public that he was not under investigation, and he included that information in his termination
    letter to Comey after other efforts to have that information disclosed were unsuccessful.
    Soon after he fired Comey, however, the President became aware that investigators were
    conducting an obstruction-of-justice inquiry into his own conduct. That awareness marked a
    significant change in the President’s conduct and the start of a second phase of action. The
    President launched public attacks on the investigation and individuals involved in it who could
    possess evidence adverse to the President, while in private, the President engaged in a series of
    targeted efforts to control the investigation. For instance, the President attempted to remove the
    Special Counsel; he sought to have Attorney General Sessions unrecuse himself and limit the
    investigation; he sought to prevent public disclosure of information about the June 9, 2016 meeting
    between Russians and campaign officials; and he used public forums to attack potential witnesses
    who might offer adverse information and to praise witnesses who declined to cooperate with the
    government. Judgments about the nature of the President’s motives during each phase would be
    informed by the totality of the evidence.

    These were all acts by Trump to undermine a legitimate investigation and our legal system.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  372. More on obstruction from Alex Whiting at Just Security…

    Four things jump out from an initial read of the obstruction section of the Mueller report. First, Mueller declined to make a call on whether the President committed criminal acts of obstruction solely because of the Justice Department’s current policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted, not because he concluded that such charges could not be supported legally or factually. In fact, he says that they would have stated if they found that he “clearly did not commit obstruction of justice.”
    Second, the report is dismissive of any statutory or constitutional barriers to a criminal obstruction charge against the President. The sole question is whether the evidence would be sufficient to bring a charge. Third, with respect to the question of evidence, the report lays out a pattern of acts by the President to interfere with or end the investigation based on substantial and corroborated evidence.
    Fourth, with respect to the question of the President’s intent, and whether it met the requisite standard that it be “corrupt,” the report acknowledges that one consideration is that the investigation did not find sufficient evidence of underlying criminality, and that this may cut against a finding that the President was acting to obstruct justice. However, the report sets forth numerous reasons why the President saw the Special Counsel investigation as a threat to him and the legitimacy of his presidency and was thus motivated to take the steps he did to interfere with the investigation.

    People (and Congress) are going to have to decide whether to take the actual words from Mueller report, or settle with this PR spin campaign that’s being executed by this White House and lapdog AG.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  373. Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    Make the case. I’m not seeing it.

    He’s a warning to us all.

    “Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  374. 382

    Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    The reason would be a commitment to free speech and open debate. It might not be a sufficient reason but that is a different argument.

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  375. Never trumpers really like mittens, why don’t you have that louse run for president again, nothing would be more entertaining than a debate with Trump. Mittens doesn’t have the sack to enter a presidential race against Trump. All he can do is shoot his mouth off from the cheap seats. Pathetic.

    mg (8cbc69)

  376. @ nk (#350): A very apt choice! I was able to rule out “Blowin’ in the Wind” with some confidence just on the basis of our long acquaintance, but this choice is as inspired as that would have been un-.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  377. @ 388:

    Never trumpers really like mittens

    That’s an awfully broad brush you’re painting with there. Let me trim the bristles a bit.

    As a man, I think that Romney is of generally good character, and from that perspective I would have been happy to see him in the White House. However, other than the clearly unqualified candidates (like Herman Cain), he was literally my last choice for the nomination in 2012. I did not want to see the nomination go to a Republican so moderate that he was able to become governor of Massachusetts. And I also thought his nomination was a tactical mistake; as I said many times through the primary season, if you want to make Obamacare the main issue of the campaign, the worst person you can run is the man most responsible for MassCare. I literally only voted for him because I thought he couldn’t possibly be any worse than Obama…which is not saying much.

    So, does that mean I really like Romney? I don’t think so. I will say this, though. I think he’ll make a pretty decent senator. I think he’ll represent the people of Utah well. He is aligned closely with the dominant political preferences of his constituents (Mormons may be heavily conservative on social issues, but economically, they are really more moderate than most people think). And yes, I admit I do look forward to seeing him be a needle in Trump’s side. It’s good for the president to be reminded that being the chief executive is not the same as being the CEO, and that he does occasionally have to put up with people he doesn’t like and can’t fire. It will build him a little character, which he could desperately use.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  378. I will undertake to make the case for Dana Who’s continuing privileges.

    He is a good writer with a long history here that has included humorous and wise comments. He avoids personal abuse of other commenters, and he’s generally good-humored — moreso than I am, of late, I’d be the first to agree (although that’s a moving set of goalposts because those kids just won’t stay off my lawn). I was and am shocked to see him embrace the notion that Trump’s winning justifies Trump’s lying and cheating; to my way of thinking, that’s an indication of a moral compass gone badly awry as applied specifically to the evaluation of public servants, the POTUS in particular. But that’s not the same as insisting that he (Dana Who) be given a free pass to lie here. And while I think him awfully misguided, I don’t think he’s insincere or dishonest in describing his own views or presenting his arguments.

    Trump critics, including me, have long expressed concern about the number of his supporters who insist that Trump’s status as a “winner” justifies his constant self-preserving and -aggrandizing lies on consequential matters relating directly to his duties in office. “Winner” is a status I don’t dispute when it comes to his electoral college vote in 2016, and before it, his 2016 GOP primary win, and I won’t dispute his success as a TV reality show producer/star (which is akin to saying someone is a “skillful prostitute” in my judgment, a self-limiting bit of praise). But Dana Who seems to be focused, indeed, on the 2016 electoral college vote and, in particular, its exclusion of Hillary Clinton from the presidency, rather than arguing that Trump’s sh!t doesn’t stink in general.

    So here we have a Trump supporter who isn’t hypothetical, nor shy in asserting that exact “he won the electoral college” argument in complete sentences and paragraphs. He’s substantially farther out on the limb than the “Trump is a SOB but he’s our SOB” crowd in arguing that lying and cheating is justified so long as Trump wins. But by taking that argument to its logical extension he’s certainly pressing the envelope of our debate here. And stated so frankly and clearly, perhaps some people who’ve been drawn, vaguely, to the argument about “Trump as winner” will see that it’s actually a surrender of morality which they can’t bring themselves to do, and they’ll draw back from it and begin holding Trump to some standard better than “it’s okay to cheat and lie so long as he wins.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  379. In her collected essays of over 30 years, Provocations, Camille Paglia discusses the 2016 election. A lifelong Democrat, she despised Hillary Clinton and would not vote for her. Comments in earlier essays reveal why, and they are bitingly critical. So she voted for Jill Stein as a protest.

    However, she was resigned to the belief that Clinton would win and made the following observation. If Trump wins, it will destroy the power structure of the Democratic party and of the Republican party.

    Now, I don’t agree with Paglia on everything, for reasons I won’t go into here, but I do admire her knowledge of aesthetics, arts and culture. Her social commentary is always insightful and thought provoking. That observation is the most prescient I’ve seen.

    As to the Mueller report, from the excerpts and analysis I’ve read, it is particularly damning and crippling. The picture it paints of Trump and associates, his campaign, transition team, early and current administration disturbs the mind.

    It’s not just that the report fuels the flames of partisan division, which is growing wider and getting uglier by the day. It’s that the report is out there for all the world to see. Foreign leaders now know what kind of miscreant fraud they’re dealing with. Why would anyone believe anything that comes out of his mouth or that he’s acting in good faith? The same goes for this White House as a whole.

    This is bad, real bad. Both parties are in ruin, as Paglia predicted. Worse, the country is in ruin–a house divided against itself cannot stand–and America’s standing in the world is weakened irrevocably.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  380. If lying and cheating is excusable so long as it keeps the Democrats out of the White House, would it also be excusable if Trump were to simply ignore an electoral college defeat and somehow lie and cheat his way into an unconstitutional coup d’état in which he refuses to hand off the White House and Executive Branch to the electoral college winner?

    A substantial plurality of the Democratic Party believes that’s already his intention and that when he does it, he’ll be backed up by folks like Dana Who. What principled line can be drawn which would allow one to condemn that conduct, while accepting and defending Trump’s conduct in, say, directing Lewindowski to direct Sessions to un-recuse himself so he could shut down Mueller’s investigation? I don’t think there is such a line, but attempts by others to draw it might be illuminating, even if unpersuasive.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  381. Romney having learned no lesson from 2012, goes after Roy Moore serves as a qatari stooge and now a Democrat one:
    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/04/the-week-in-pictures-mueller-encore-edition.php

    Narciso (e6d86c)

  382. The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.

    Even bank robbers aren’t prosecuted to the banks they never robbed.

    Neo (d1c681)

  383. Rooney could have vetoed mass care or at least not hired Jonathan gruber, same for the climates compact and Fina Mccarthy But he didn’t.

    Which foreign leaders macron who has set his country on fire, (before Notre dame) merkel who ruined Germany, may who is the very model of a lord Halifax. Instead the EU threatens to crush independent nations like hungaRy and poland

    narciso (d1f714)

  384. I’m still working my way through the actual document, but from the news coverage so far, the thing which surprises me most is the notion that Corey Lewandowski, as bold and consistent a lickspittle as has ever fluffed for Trump in front of a TV camera, didn’t follow up on the opportunity to carry a secret, out-of-channels message to the Attorney General of the United States ordering him to unrecuse himself and shut down any investigation into Trump. There’s probably some corollary to Hanlon’s Razor about not attributing propriety to actions that can be adequately explained by incompetence, sloth, or indifference. But is is possible that the guy actually does have two working brain cells on at least this one occasion, and used them to try to save Trump from himself?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  385. If lying and cheating is excusable so long as it keeps the Democrats out of the White House, would it also be excusable if Trump were to simply ignore an electoral college defeat and somehow lie and cheat his way into an unconstitutional coup d’état in which he refuses to hand off the White House and Executive Branch to the electoral college winner?

    In order to really get into this hypothetical I’d have to agree that a coup was equivalent to obstruction. Or I’d need to accept that this presidents lies were uniquely awful or equivalent to a coup. I’m not willing to do that. I think the line is easier to see than you seem to imply. Especially in this case.

    Does it really not occur to you how insulting it is to imply that someone is willing to go along with a coup because they aren’t as concerned about lying and cheating as you are? Or because they thought the alternatives, that you approved of, were also liars and cheats?

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  386. After all, if the people who disagree with you are in favor of death squads or coups do you really have to listen to them? Should you expose yourself to ideas that might cause you to reevaluate decisions you’re comfortable with? No, in fact it would be immoral to do so.

    when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  387. @396 Its ironic that Poland might be the only chance Europe has for survival.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  388. Does it really not occur to you how insulting it is to imply that someone is willing to go along with a coup because they aren’t as concerned about lying and cheating as you are?

    The person in question has expressed equanimity with the unlawful disenfranchisement of tens of millions of American citizens by a murderous foreign dictator, and enthusiasm for allowing a foreign intelligence service to render the will of the voters moot.

    In other words, he has already told us openly, multiple times, that he welcomes such an extra-legal coup.

    Dave (1bb933)

  389. Windy, overwrought, overly emotional op-eds for the win this Saturday morning! Too early for popcorn though.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  390. I don’t trust byelorussian Sammy glick, but I dont trust the ktner side either:

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/19/dossier-source-totally-exonerated-mueller/

    narciso (d1f714)

  391. 390- Let me clean that brush with some facts. I voted mittens many times. He gave up against drunk Ted, Did zero to help conservatives while govna of the commonwealth of taxachusetts and introduced us to you know who which led to obamacare, and let Candy Crowley destroy him in a debate. He is a professional grifter with no backbone. He is not a conservative in my hugely bias eyes.

    mg (8cbc69)

  392. Stephen Miller
    @redsteeze
    “This report doesn’t show collusion but it shows Trump to be a temperamental narcissist who thinks the rules don’t apply to him & who has to be constantly reigned in by subordinates.”

    Great work Mcgruff. You needed 450 pg. report to figure that one out?

    __ _

    harkin (0e8c36)

  393. Trump is motivated by his bottom line, but I think Trump cares most about getting even with insults. Hence, his first post-Report action is to get even with Don McCann, whose actions detailed in the Report IMO did the most damage to Trump’s ego.

    DRJ (15874d)

  394. David French: Donald Trump Is Weak and Afraid. The Mueller Report Proves It

    It’s difficult to overestimate the extent to which Trump’s appeal to his core supporters is built around the notion that — regardless of his other flaws — he possesses a core strength, a willingness to “fight” and an ability to strike a degree of fear in the hearts of his opponents. I live in the heart of Trump country in Tennessee, and I have consistently heard the same refrain from his most loyal supporters. Trump, as they say, “kicks ass.” He was the ultimate alpha male, a political version of Tony Soprano, a formidable boss who commands an army of loyal consiglieri. Cross him at your peril.

    But now, thanks to the Mueller report, his “fights” look more like temper tantrums, and those closest to him — including low men like Lewandowski and far-more-noble men like former White House counsel Donald McGahn — understand that his fury is passing and his directives are unreliable, seemingly transitory and easily forgotten or disregarded.

    […]

    President Trump is weak — too weak even to commit the acts of obstruction he desired. As the Mueller report stated, Trump’s attempts to influence the investigation “were mostly unsuccessful,” but it’s “largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” He’s not strong. He’s not wise. He’s not honorable. And sometimes, when his subordinates disregard is orders, he’s not even truly the president. Regardless of his potential criminality, there is nothing revealed in the report that is admirable — or alpha — about Donald Trump.

    And to no one’s surprise, the presidential sippy-cup has taken flight yet again…

    Dave (1bb933)

  395. McGahn. Sorry. Autocorrect is relentless today.

    DRJ (15874d)

  396. I think French is right and that worries me, Dave. In the future, Trump will be aware that his orders are being sidelined and he will not tolerate being reined in. We will see even more erratic talk and actions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  397. Remember the anonymous oo-ed purporting to be from someone within the Administration who said people were reining in Trump? Sounds like that was true. I expect Trump thinks so, too, and he will focus on stopping it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  398. His ignorance, laziness and complete lack of character may be what saves us from him in the end, DRJ.

    Dave (1bb933)

  399. I agree with Patterico’s first instinct:

    Basic takeaway: if Trump managed not to obstruct justice, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. He tried and tried, but could not get his underlings to monkey with the system as he wanted them to.

    This is not intended to be condescending to Patterico, DRJ and Beldar who already know what “colorable” means in the law:

    Colorable Claim. A plausible legal claim. In other words, a claim strong enough to have a reasonable chance of being valid if the legal basis is generally correct and the facts can be proven in court. The claim need not actually result in a win.

    It is my view that merely colorable claims are only permissible to defendants in death penalty cases and plaintiffs in First Amendment cases. Not to the prosecution of Presidents, either in court or by way of impeachment. That’s not who we are.

    nk (dbc370)

  400. There appears to be a lot of hyperventilating going on around the country. I wonder… are the hyperventilaters mentally sound enough to be trusted?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  401. It’s not worth charging or impeaching Trump at this point. He’s merely inept, but that is dangerous, too. We probably won’t know how dangerous until after he leaves office.

    But I confidently predict there will be a lot less note-taking in the Trump White House.

    DRJ (15874d)

  402. Are we talking about a “merely colorable claim” though?

    He attempted to use the power of his office corruptly, directing aides to violate the law.

    At what point should we start to be concerned? If he orders Barr to lock up all the Democratic members of Congress, and Barr refuses, should we shrug our shoulders and say “No blood, no foul”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  403. But… the russians are coming.

    mg (8cbc69)

  404. Is it sunny over there coronello its kind of overcast today, when I took the puppy out for a walk, he didnt even drop a small mueller.

    Narciso (d939cf)

  405. ‘Do you take the opinion of an expert like Mueller, who has been immersed on the law in this investigation, or some nebulous “American public” that most likely has no real knowledge of the law at hand? The answer seems obvious to me.’
    Paul Montagu (7968e9) — 4/20/2019 @ 12:21 am

    Legal experts shall not be ignored!

    Munroe (d79d9a)

  406. 417 -418
    lmao
    thank you, Gents.

    mg (8cbc69)

  407. It’s cloudy and windy out there… oh, you meant the weather, narciso. Blue sky and patchy clouds, we’re supposed to have a high of 71.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  408. 1. “He is a professional grifter”….also describes Trump to a “T” as both a businessman and a political being….he was comfortable as a Democrat, an Independent, and now a Republican. Obviously being a grifter is not that important to you.

    2. “He is not a conservative”…..tariffs, support for $1T in infrastructure spending, expressed support for single-payer and paid family leave, no attention to deficits….again fits Trump to a “T”. Obviously being a true conservative is not that important to you.

    3. “Did zero to help conservatives while govna of the commonwealth of taxachusetts”……Even with a legislature that was 85 percent Democrat, Romney was able to cut taxes 19 times and balanced the budget all four years. He cast over 800 vetoes and cut entire programs. He erased a $3 billion budget shortfall and left office with a $2 billion rainy-day fund….Obviously facts and being fiscally responsible are not that important to you.

    4. “with no backbone”….now we see what is important to you….regardless of how much collateral and self-inflicted damage occurs when one impulsively fires in all directions….he hands it to the libs….let’s admit…to quote Mettalica….nothing else matters….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  409. @ frosty48, who wrote (#398), after quoting something I said earlier (#393):

    Does it really not occur to you how insulting it is to imply that someone is willing to go along with a coup because they aren’t as concerned about lying and cheating as you are? Or because they thought the alternatives, that you approved of, were also liars and cheats?

    You quoted me correctly, but apparently failed to note that what you were quoting was phrased as a question rather than an assertion.

    It wasn’t a rhetorical question. I hope that no Trump supporters would support him in a coup. But then, before reading Dana Who’s comments on this post, I wouldn’t have expected him to support Trump in lying and cheating so long as he’s a winner. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, or rather, how many Trump supporters would extend this “winners” logic to that scenario. You’re certainly correct that it is a distinct and different question. And obviously, if there are any whose answer is, “Yes, I would support Trump in a coup (so long as he won),” then they won’t be insulted by my question, will they?

    If their answer instead is, “No, I’d stop short of supporting Trump in a coup even though I’ve applauded and excused his cheating and lying while running for, and serving as, POTUS,” then they can try to explain what principled basis they think they have for the lines they’re drawing. I don’t think any principled basis exists; I think once one embraces Trump’s lies and cheating, one’s already abandoned every principle except “winning” — in which case the ideal candidate is one who can beat whoever the Dems nominate in a race to the depths of hypocrisy and immorality.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  410. The coup was against trump, in the manner the left think harold Wilson was targeted, and gough Whitlam was deposed.

    Narciso (d939cf)

  411. I also think that Trump is weak and ineffectual. I know, I know, JUDGES!!!1! But that was the Micks, McGahn and McConnel, carrying the ball, not him.

    nk (dbc370)

  412. I don’t think any principled basis exists; I think once one embraces Trump’s lies and cheating, one’s already abandoned every principle except “winning” — in which case the ideal candidate is one who can beat whoever the Dems nominate in a race to the depths of hypocrisy and immorality.

    Or to quote DRJ’s memorable campaign slogan:

    “Trump 2020: Because the worst is the best America can expect”

    :)

    Dave (1bb933)

  413. French: “As the Mueller report stated, Trump’s attempts to influence the investigation “were mostly unsuccessful,” but it’s “largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” ”

    Isn’t this the concern…with the exit of so many good people from positions of influence…including Kelly, Mattis, Cohn, Haley….will we eventually get someone who will bend…and will serve the man rather then the office? At some point doesn’t this become more than just giggling with popcorn….that it’s about responsible governance…and that the GOP can and should do better? Trump’s instincts are mostly wrong and horribly venal….covering for this…through excuses or misdirection….is an unflattering impression

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  414. Six valid charges of obstruction is more than “colorable”. And what’s more, putting Barr’s spin aside, the Attorney General put his stamp of approval on this 448-page document when he released it to the American people. It is now on record in Trump’s very own Department of Justice that this president is a confirmed and provable serial liar.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  415. Legal experts shall not be ignored!

    Yes! Maybe we should just dispense with this justice system we have. Instead of due process and courts with those “experts” who are schooled in the rule of law, let’s just take a Gallup poll to decide a person’s guilt or innocence.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  416. DRJ asked me:

    Why should Trump’s election push the Democrats to the middle? After all, Obama’s Presidency didn’t push the GOP to the middle. It pushed it right, and I expect the Democrats to go even farther left now.

    And added:

    Also, will Trump do anything to stop Russian interference in future elections, or will he decide it is no big deal because it helped him?

    I would hope — I certainly don’t know — that if President Trump wins re-election, it would demonstrate to the Democrats that swinging too far toward socialism is a losing path. We’re already seeing backlash from some less wild-eyed Democrats against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar Hirsi.

    As for future Russian interference, I’d guess that the Russians will, if they can, support Mr Trump’s opponent in 2020, not due to policy, but to increase chaos.

    Still, just what can the United States government do? The Russians (supposedly) were the ones who hacked the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee’s computers, and they didn’t have to be in the United States to do it. They spy on us, we spy on them, everybody spies on everybody; witness our tapping of Angela Merkel’s telephone! The US government, and private organizations can and will try to improve their internet security, but the hackers always seem to be able to defeat such security eventually.

    And the Rooskies also used fake personalities to post things aimed at Hillary Clinton on social media, primarily Twitter and Facebook. Will the United States force Facebook to block any postings from outside of the United States? Even if we tried that, there will be people in the United States who would be willing to post such things about whomever the 2020 candidates are, and the information can always come from them.

    We have a free society, and free societies are vulnerable. We accept that as part of the price of being free.

    The political scientist Dana (1a323b)

  417. “President Trump is weak — too weak even to commit the acts of obstruction he desired. As the Mueller report stated, Trump’s attempts to influence the investigation “were mostly unsuccessful,” but it’s “largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” He’s not strong. He’s not wise. He’s not honorable. And sometimes, when his subordinates disregard is orders, he’s not even truly the president.”

    “Crying out loudly before you’re hurt is weakness!”

    Yeah sure, buddy.

    Really this just sounds like more goalpost moving from the ever-unreliable narrators of Andrew Weissman and David French combined.

    When faced with a manifestly unjust system conducting manifestly unjust actions for the manifest purpose of harrying your administration into executive submission to Deep State policy, kicking and screaming at every possible goad and taking maximum possible advantage is not only permissible, but mandatory if you want to have a chance at keeping yourself alive.

    Trump did, and he won. The position of the #NeverTrumpers-anything that hurts Trump is Good and we must Believe Liberals to that end-has not changed.

    Nor has the position of the pro-Trumpers: that Never-Trumpers are mostly weak and unmanly representatives of the very worst of Republican machine politics who have not a single principle they won’t abandon if it benefits their ever-shrinking club and who should be kept away from power by any means necessary.

    “Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?”

    You keep DCSCA around, don’t you?

    “If it required death squads to keep the Democratic Party out of power, would you advocate for death squads?”

    Not required, as Trump is von Hindenburg. But fail to support him against the rise of the socialist street thugs and their leftists benefactors and you will most certainly be responsible for the next Hitler. And who will serve the role of America in that conflict, I wonder?

    Ryumyaku (a41d1a)

  418. Comedy gold (v2, p 117):

    The President asked also asked McGahn in the meeting why he had told the Special Counsel’s Office investigators that the President had told him to have the Special Counsel removed. McGahn responded that he had to and that his conversations with the President were not protected by attorney-client privilege. The President then asked, “What about these notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.” McGahn responded that he keeps notes because he is a “real lawyer” and explained that notes create a record and are not a bad thing. The President said, “I’ve had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes.”

    LOL.

    Dave (1bb933)

  419. frosty48 wrote:

    I don’t think I’ve made that exact argument so I might be the wrong audience. My argument is that HRC had already proven herself to be more immoral, in much more significant ways, than anything we had seen from Trump to that point. I’ll go further and say more immoral than we’ve seen from him to date. So, I’ve never said Trump’s actions are justified. I’ve said mine are.

    Was Mrs Clinton more immoral, in much more significant ways, than Mr Trump? Personally, I’d say no: she isn’t on husband number three, she hasn’t — that we know of, anyway — cheated on her husband. She’s clearly a liar, and a much more skillful one than the President.

    At least for me, it’s that Mrs Clinton’s policies were much worse than Mr Trump’s. Where President Trump is doing what he can to fight illegal immigration, not only would Mrs Clinton not be fighting it, but she had promised to allow more than 100,000 Middle Eastern refugees into the country. Where Mr Trump has appointed (supposedly) pro-life judges and chipped away at abortion where he can, Mrs Clinton would have done everything she could to allow an unlimited abortion license and, if she could, include the government paying for it. Where President Trump has tried to exclude those so stupid and delusional that they don’t even know what sex they are from the military, Mrs Clinton would have continued with President Obama’s policies on the ‘transgendered.’

    I’m not quite certain that Mrs Clinton would have been as anti-Israeli in her policies as was Mr Obama, I’m fairly certain that she wouldn’t have been as supportive as Mr Trump, nor moved our embassy to Jerusalem.

    Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags, but it is their policies which matter more. In that, Mr Trump is clearly superior.

    The Dana who discerns the difference (1a323b)

  420. Mr M put it better than I have:

    The damage that eight years under President Obama did to our country is enormous,

    And one should consider “Trump” in that context. Apparently the other candidates did not seem angry enough for the primary voters. And, given the choice between kicking the same corruption down the road, or choosing Yosemite Sam, the voters were split. And, outside the equally corrupt cities, they voted heavily for Sam.

    My compliments to Mr M for this!

    The amused Dana (1a323b)

  421. “…to quote Mettalica….nothing else matters…”

    Except the spelling…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  422. but they assured us he was dead, but he’s all better now,

    http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-mueller-inquisition-is-over-all.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  423. Mr M wrote, tongue-in-cheekily:

    How so? If you asked a Democrat if they would use death squads to support a woman’s right to abortion, an honest Democrat would respond “But we do that now!”

    At some point, it has to be asked: do the left really not see abortion as killing someone?

    There arguments are that there’s no living human being killed in abortion, but it’s clear to even the most befuddled: something that was alive before is now dead. They’ve pretty much been left with the position that the alive thing was not a real person.

    Chief Justice Roger Taney could not be reached for comment.

    If I recall correctly, our esteemed host once posed the question that if an artificial womb could be developed, into which unborn children whom their ‘mothers’ did not wish to bear could be transported, would the left still oppose allowing those unborn children to survive. It seemed that many would.

    The amazed Dana (1a323b)

  424. Mr M wrote:

    What would be damning to the GOP would be no one of rank in the party is willing to stand as an alternative in 2020. What would be extra damning would be the PARTY preventing a challenge.

    Well, things can change, but the last Gallup Poll had President Trump enjoying the support of 89% of Republicans.

    I don’t see how the party could prevent a challenge; the states set their standards for getting on the ballot.

    In New Hampshire, a presidential candidate seeking the nomination of a major party must file a declaration of candidacy and pay a $1,000 filing fee in order to have his or her name printed on the primary ballot. To qualify for placement on the general election ballot, an independent presidential candidate must submit a petition containing the signatures of at least 3,000 registered voters and pay a $250 filing fee.

    That’s a pretty low threshold to meet, and former Governor Bill Weld (R-MA), the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, has declared a Republican primary challenge to President Trump.

    The Dana who supports the right of Bill Weld to enter the Republican primaries (1a323b)

  425. What a friend they have in Nadless… the fat and the skinny on this: https://twitter.com/DanScavino/status/1118693733594218501

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  426. Fighting the bad policies of the Dems by backing/electing an ethical black hole like Trump is kinda like fighting ISIS by blowing up civilians in Pakistan. (yeah I know we have done just that under Presidents of both parties). It’s fighting fire with fire, but then you really have no moral standing to criticize the same behavior in the next Dem leader. If you think the world is gonna end before Jan 20, 2021, then Trump makes perfect sense. I know Obama begat Trump but I wonder what Trump is gonna beget. Hopefully someone sane, if there is a merciful God.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  427. At least for me, it’s that Mrs Clinton’s policies were much worse than Mr Trump’s. Where President Trump is doing what he can to fight illegal immigration, not only would Mrs Clinton not be fighting it, but she had promised to allow more than 100,000 Middle Eastern refugees into the country. Where Mr Trump has appointed (supposedly) pro-life judges and chipped away at abortion where he can, Mrs Clinton would have done everything she could to allow an unlimited abortion license and, if she could, include the government paying for it. Where President Trump has tried to exclude those so stupid and delusional that they don’t even know what sex they are from the military, Mrs Clinton would have continued with President Obama’s policies on the ‘transgendered.’

    I’m not quite certain that Mrs Clinton would have been as anti-Israeli in her policies as was Mr Obama, I’m fairly certain that she wouldn’t have been as supportive as Mr Trump, nor moved our embassy to Jerusalem.

    Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags, but it is their policies which matter more. In that, Mr Trump is clearly superior.

    The Dana who discerns the difference (1a323b) — 4/20/2019 @ 9:47 am

    And just imagine where oil, gas and coal prices would be under “insert any leftist.” We would be made to suffer to “save the planet.”

    EPA reigned in versus running in concert with leftist luddites to destroy our nation. More oil and gas and coal operations versus the destruction of such liberty freeing industries. And on and on.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  428. Dave @432
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/20/2019 @ 9:45 am

    Thank you for that excerpt. It is all I needed to convince me that the Mueller Report is a sour-grapes puff piece by Mueller, to exonerate his brother in arms Comey, and to justify the waste of nearly two years, $30 million, and the destruction of a lot of people’s lives.

    It’s not even good pulp fiction. Isn’t there any sex? At least Starr gave us sex after he found nothing on the Clintons regarding Whitewater.

    nk (dbc370)

  429. “…….you will most certainly be responsible for the next Hitler.

    Based on where academia/media/govt. are right now, we are much closer to the next Mao/Stalin than we are the next Adolf.

    harkin (0e8c36)

  430. Our esteemed host wrote:

    The adjectival Dana says he doesn’t favor death squads, but I assume he favors lying, and perhaps violence short of murder. I bet you could get him to approve murder to elect Trump by tweaking the hypo a little. Just posit that Hillary would have meant even more deaths, and voila, murder is probably OK, I bet. If that offends you, then how about vote fraud. Come on, man, it’s to keep HILLARY out of office!

    All candidates lie, to some extent; both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton did so. About the biggest difference is that Mr Trump’s lies were so bold and blatant that they were much more obvious. We knew that Mexico would never pay for the wall, and while most people didn’t seem to see it, I had noted that he never, either before or after the election, made any actual proposal to create that beautiful health care plan that would cover everyone.

    My site is open for all to see; if you can find anywhere in which I have said that vote fraud or killing Mrs Clinton is acceptable, have at it!

    Our host also wrote:

    Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    Make the case. I’m not seeing it.

    You might consider that I have been very truthful here. When I said that if it was Russian interference which was the tipping point which kept Mrs Clinton a private citizen, most people, even if they felt that way, would never say so in public; I did. I have not only been honest, I’ve been blatantly honest, even when I knew it would invite scorn from others.

    You might also note that when I comment, I not only quote people, but I even take the effort to link back to the originals, so that there would never be any question.

    Nevertheless, this site is private property, and if you wish to ban me, that is certainly your prerogative.

    The very truthful Dana (1a323b)

  431. Or should that be “sour grapes puff-piece”?

    nk (dbc370)

  432. Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags, but it is their policies which matter more. In that, Mr Trump is clearly superior.

    The Dana who discerns the difference (1a323b) — 4/20/2019 @ 9:47 am

    This argument is another version of binary choice, but the consequence of this is that we will always have ethical scumbags as President until people wake up and elect … another Jimmy Carter.

    Hillary and the Democrats presented a terrible choice, but so did (and still does) Trump and the Republicans. Looking solely at the short-term binary choice is an option. However, it also ignores the long-term impact and means politics will always be a binary choice of the worst choices.

    DRJ (15874d)

  433. Dave wrote:

    Does it really not occur to you how insulting it is to imply that someone is willing to go along with a coup because they aren’t as concerned about lying and cheating as you are?

    The person in question has expressed equanimity with the unlawful disenfranchisement of tens of millions of American citizens by a murderous foreign dictator, and enthusiasm for allowing a foreign intelligence service to render the will of the voters moot.

    In other words, he has already told us openly, multiple times, that he welcomes such an extra-legal coup.

    How, exactly, did the Russian involvement unlawfully disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans? The Russian Internet Research Agency (supposedly) hacked into John Podesta’s and the DNC’s emails, gave the results to WikiLeaks, which then published them, exposing the truth about Mrs Clinton and her campaign. The Russians supposedly created sock puppet characters to post anti-Clinton messages on social media.

    But, with all of that, it was still the American people who voted. You might argue that, absent whatever level of Russian interference there was, they might have voted differently, but you have no way of knowing that. One thing of which there has been no evidence is any claim that the Russians or anyone else somehow changed the actual ballots cast.

    The Dana who is now 'the person in question' (1a323b)

  434. The day of reckoning approaches and I, for one, am anticipating Clapper, Brennan and several others being held to account.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  435. Perhaps even the Lightbringer, his own damned self.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  436. Using your analysis, why would you ever send your kids to school or have them vaccinated? The choices are clear: Stay home and do things they want that make them happy, or go struggle and suffer at the doctor’s office and school.

    We consider long-term costs in our lives and we should in politics, too. But it is hard to do this, especially after the toll taken on businesses/states during the Obama years. We want immediate relief and Trump promised it, but his bluster isn’t delivering relief. You are right that conservative policies are the answer, Dana, but we need someone who actually knows how to be a conservative.

    DRJ (15874d)

  437. “Conspiracy” as a legal term has a very specific meaning. The elements of the crime are all met, or they’re not. If they are met, the evidence is either strong enough to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, or it’s not. And in this case, apparently it’s not.

    “Collusion,” by contrast, is more of a moral judgment. When you call something collusive, you’re not usually accusing anyone of a crime. Rather, you’re saying that two or more people who are supposed to be adversaries are instead quietly cooperating. Trump supporters who accuse the DNC of “colluding” with the Hillary Clinton campaign make no sense, as helping the presumptive Democrat nominee is precisely what the DNC is supposed to do. By contrast, having a hostile state compromise our democracy to help you win an election is not the kind of cooperation most of us would consider appropriate coming from any American citizen, least of all a President. The Russian bad actors’ intent to help Trump win, the campaign’s eagerness to accept this help, the numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and these bad actors, the efforts to cooperate that never fully materialized, Trump publicly lying about the bad actors while no one in the campaign reported them despite actual knowledge of their criminal activities, etc., all strike me as collusive. Not criminal conspiracy for a criminal court to imprison anyone for. But certainly improper actions and/or inactions every voter should care about.

    Xrlq (45cce8)

  438. “yes it’s very near beer, not really a craft beverage,”

    mmm, some tasty revisionist history first thing in the morning.

    Read Federalist #68. I’m especially a big fan of this paragraph.

    “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: “For forms of government let fools contest That which is best administered is best,” yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.”

    Davethulhu (9847a2)

  439. At some point, it has to be asked: do the left really not see abortion as killing someone?

    I think they are understandably hyper-sensitive and defensive about it.

    I had (and still have) a female friend from college, who eventually married another friend from college. Many years ago, the subject of abortion somehow came up in a conversation among the three of us, and I expressed the view that it involved the taking of a life (I did not use or suggest any more loaded terminology like ‘murder’). She completely lost it, screamed that I was a bigot, and ran out of the room. We had never had a hostile interaction like that before (and never have again). I said I was sorry I had upset her as she was leaving, and none of us ever discussed the incident afterward, since it seemed best to just let it go. She has always been extremely down to earth (she’s a vice-president at the company where she’s worked her entire career, which Forbes lists among the 100 largest private companies in the US), and was never very engaged about political issues, or feminism in particular. It occurred to me afterward that her completely disproportionate reaction would only be explicable if she had had an abortion herself, and was troubled by it.

    Although the legal and moral issues are not identical, I see a lot of parallels between how the left and right think about abortion and guns, respectively. I don’t doubt that on some left-leaning blog somewhere there is a comment to effect of:

    At some point, it has to be asked: do the right really not see that guns kill innocent people?

    Dave (1bb933)

  440. XRLQ: excellent comment.

    DRJ (15874d)

  441. I think it’s at Mike wolff level of authenticity

    https://youtu.be/8oSaCK9sRgk

    Narciso (78e8c2)

  442. 443… truth will blind them even further, harkin. Be extra judicious.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  443. AJ
    The Jonathan Grubbering of America.
    The Big Dig was his issue when campaigning for govna. Ended up with people dying and a fed. audit while he left the people of Ma. for his last 2 years and ran for president. Not only no backbone but a class A quitter. And the folks he hired from Bains cap. sucked. Jonathan Gruber. Jonathan Gruber. Jonathan Gruber. Like your dr. keep your dr. B.S.

    mg (8cbc69)

  444. How, exactly, did the Russian involvement unlawfully disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans?

    I didn’t say it did.

    YOU said you would be grateful if it did:

    I’ll say again what I’ve said many times before: if it was Russian interference which provided the tipping point which kept Hillary Clinton a private citizen, we owe Vladimir Putin a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.

    Dave (1bb933)

  445. Dear Abby, I’m torn between embracing Trump’s lies and cheating, or embracing lies and cheating to bring him down. What’s the morally pure person to do in this False Alternative universe? Looking for guidance…

    Munroe (e31641)

  446. @454. Do y’all know the Graham Parker song “you can’t be too strong.” Excellent anti-abortion song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVeR7VLLQc8

    Made a female friend of mine react similarly to how you describe.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  447. DRJ wrote:

    This argument is another version of binary choice, but the consequence of this is that we will always have ethical scumbags as President until people wake up and elect … another Jimmy Carter.

    And what a great choice that turned out to be! Unlike some readers here, I’m old enough to remember exactly how great a President Mr Carter turned out to be.

    In my last ever vote for a Democratic presidential nominee, I cast my ballot for the former Governor of Georgia in the 1976 presidential campaign, because I believed that President Ford had simply not done a good job; boy, was that a mistake on my part!

    The elderly Dana (1a323b)

  448. Looking solely at the short-term binary choice is an option. However, it also ignores the long-term impact and means politics will always be a binary choice of the worst choices.

    Another long-term impact is how the policies we favor become tightly connected in the public mind with deceit and selfishness and peevishness and all of Trump’s horrible qualities. For that, I blame all the influential people who put their weight behind Trump early in the primaries and insisted that he was our best choice, or only choice, for saving America; and the many who now insist that only Trump could or would have achieved the policy results they like.

    They are implying that their favored policies require a deeply dishonest, self-centered jerk to implement them. By making Donald Trump the face of “real conservatism,” they are confirming the worst stereotypes about what it means to be “conservative” in America.

    Many will say: “Democrats are corrupt and dishonest, and the media are biased, so why be so tough on poor Donald?” Conservatives used to understand that an “R” will always be judged more harshly than a “D,” and therefore we need to do better at trying to keep our side honest. In Trumplandia, that’s out the window, essentially replaced by “Our chronic liar can beat up your crooks and losers!”

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  449. DRJ wrote:

    Using your analysis, why would you ever send your kids to school or have them vaccinated? The choices are clear: Stay home and do things they want that make them happy, or go struggle and suffer at the doctor’s office and school.

    I not only sent my daughters to school, I paid to send them to parochial school. And of course they’re vaccinated; that simply makes sense. (I have nothing but contempt for the anti-vaxxers.)

    We consider long-term costs in our lives and we should in politics, too. But it is hard to do this, especially after the toll taken on businesses/states during the Obama years. We want immediate relief and Trump promised it, but his bluster isn’t delivering relief. You are right that conservative policies are the answer, Dana, but we need someone who actually knows how to be a conservative.

    There is a point at which better becomes the enemy of good. I did not support Mr Trump in the primaries, and I thought that he was the one candidate out of our seventeen who couldn’t beat Mrs Clinton. Fortunately, I guessed wrong on that one.

    We had more reliably conservative candidates in the primaries, but they were all defeated. Just because I always want the Oakland Raiders to win the Super Bowl does not mean that I can’t cheer for the New England Patriots when the Raiders don’t make the playoffs.

    Ted Cruz was the most reliably conservative candidate in the race, though I thought he might not make an effective president; my contributions went to Scott Walker, first, and then Carly Fiorina after Governor Walker dropped out. By the time the Pennsylvania primary rolled around, Messrs Trump and Cruz were the only candidates left — though a few of the dropouts were still on the ballot — and I voted for Mr Cruz; Mr Cruz got absolutely stomped in that primary.

    Still, once in office, Mr Trump has proved to be a better president than I guessed he would be. Would anyone else be fighting illegal immigration the way he has? Would Jeb Bush have taken on the liberal executive orders of President Obama’s that President Trump has reversed?

    Yes, we need someone who knows how to be a conservative, but if Mr Trump is a faux conservative, that’s still better than a president who’s an outright liberal.

    The vaccinated Dana (1a323b)

  450. Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags, but it is their policies which matter more. In that, Mr Trump is clearly superior.

    The Dana who discerns the difference (1a323b) — 4/20/2019 @ 9:47 am

    Do you believe that an individual’s ethics and character are precisely what inform their policies? I don’t believe they can be separated.

    Dana (7d6d05)

  451. Adjective Dana,

    I agree Carter wasn’t a good President. That was my point — that short-term political thinking is what led to his election. When we go along with immoral choices, we end up with someone like that who can win just because he is not immoral.

    I am glad you agree that sacrifices are good to accomplish long-term goals as your family has chosen for your children’s schooling and vaccines. The same is true in political decisions. Sometimes the choices are bad and bad, and what looks best in the short-term is not the best long-term choice.

    DRJ (15874d)

  452. If, as stated in the Report, Russia’s disruptive activities began in 2014, why was the Obama Administration so negligent in doing something to root out or – at the least – counteract these activities?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  453. “Sometimes the choices are bad and bad, and what looks best in the short-term is not the best long-term choice.”

    And yet that choice must be made.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  454. 382. Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    Make the case. I’m not seeing it.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 4/19/2019 @ 11:42 pm

    Absolutely. Instead of banning Adjective Dana, you should ask everyone to say whether they agree with his most extreme views. He is a good barometer for how different the GOP is under Trump, and I would hate to lose someone who will actually say what I suspect others are thinking.

    Also, is it just Trump supporters who feel this way? How far will people go on the left or on hot button topics like abortion?

    DRJ (15874d)

  455. And yet that choice must be made.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/20/2019 @ 11:59 am

    Absolutely, which is why we talk about it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  456. Perhaps “negligent” is not strong enough to adequately describe the inaction.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  457. So if that choice must be made, is it “how to avoid having to make that choice in the future” that should be talked about?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  458. “Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags”

    Which would seem to suggest someone should remain deeply skeptical about their fitness as a leader….and would temper giving them too many accolades. I view Trump as universally acting in self interest…he nominated conservative justices because he would lose his fiercest and most loyal supporters if he didn’t. Do we seriously believe Trump made a genuine and profound late-life conversion to pro-life….or was this just a cynical and necessary marketing move? Cutting taxes…not his money…deficits be damned. Why would you trust or believe someone who is ethically challenged? Why would you trust the security and reputation of the country to someone who is both ethically challenged and under-informed? I think that fundamental question is one that many of us would like to have better answered….and not just wished away by deflection

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  459. The much better-looking Dana asked me:

    Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are personally ethical scumbags, but it is their policies which matter more. In that, Mr Trump is clearly superior.

    Do you believe that an individual’s ethics and character are precisely what inform their policies? I don’t believe they can be separated.

    How do you quantify ethics and character? To say one or the other is ‘more’ ethical is to say, inter alia, that all ethics is the same. We both believe that abortion is morally wrong, but it’s clear that some people do not.

    If an individual’s ethics and character inform their policies, you are still faced with the possibility that people can be unethical in different ways. It seems to me that we can really only judge the observable, not what we may suppose, perhaps incorrectly, are the ethics and character behind it.

    The uglier Dana (1a323b)

  460. Filed under “FFS”, with a copy dropped in the ”How You Get More Trump” file:

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-oregon-county-pay-black-worker-100k-settlement-20190419-s2rehhpf7zdyfg5ao3cixsq3ii-story.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  461. “Why would you trust or believe someone who is ethically challenged? Why would you trust the security and reputation of the country to someone who is both ethically challenged and under-informed?”
    AJ_Liberty (165d19) — 4/20/2019 @ 12:17 pm

    I would sooner trust someone ethically challenged who can be voted out of office, than those ethically challenged who can’t — who then push an ethically challenged investigation with the sole purpose of hamstringing a duly elected administration from day one.

    So, yours are good questions but directed at the wrong people. Perhaps you can answer them.

    Munroe (6a09c8)

  462. I’m convinced by the arguments to let uglier Dana stay, for now, but mostly by the argument that we should explore the depth of his commitment to dishonesty in service of the election of Donald Trump. So uglier Dana, I have some questions for you. Let’s start with this:

    our country is much better off with Donald Trump as President, even if he lied, cheated and broke the law to win the office, than we would have been if Hillary Clinton were President

    I recognize that this is not, in and of itself, support for lying, cheating, and breaking the law, but support for Trump regardless of whether he did. But you have previously, quite cheerfully and forthrightly, acknowledged and even boasted to engaging in knowing hypocrisy in support of Trump. Hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” and when engaged in knowingly and deliberately I consider it to be a form of dishonesty.

    You have also cheerfully praised the interference in our election by a foreign country run by a dictator who almost certainly murdered hundreds of his own citizens in terroristic bombing acts to gain power, and who regularly murders journalists, political opponents, and dissidents. Why cheer on the interference in our democratic process by this monster? Why, because Trump > Hillary!

    So I think it’s fair to ask you, not whether you support Trump regardless of whether he has engaged in certain immoral behavior, but whether you would support the immoral behavior itself if you believed it necessary to accomplish Trump’s election. So let me ask you, quite clearly:

    Do you support, in service of the election of Donald Trump:

    1. Dishonesty or lying?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?
    2. Cheating?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?
    3. Fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?
    4. Vote fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?
    5. The advancement of knowingly hypocritical arguments?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?
    6. Lawbreaking?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    I am well familiar with the arguments you might advance in support of any yes answers — the awful, horrible existential danger posed by Hillary Clinton, the fact (in your view) that Trump is an asshole but we need an asshole to accomplish all the wonderful things he has accomplished in service of smaller government, freedom, and lowering the debt burden on future generations (or whatever the hell you think he has accomplished that a Ted Cruz could not have), etc. If you feel the need to lard up your answers with repetitions of these known arguments, please understand that I am going to skim that part because I have read it all dozens of times now and I’m not interested. I am, however, interested in details for any yes answers (e.g. you support lawbreaking? If so, which laws?) and reasoned discussion as to why you would answer yes here and no there.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  463. And so, the circular firing squad takes aim, the smoke rises and the buckshot flies.

    Love it.

    Run, Oprah. Run.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  464. I also feel bound to say that anyone who says “Trump lies but hey they all lie” is apparently incapable of making distinctions between the extent of wrongdoing by people. It would be like saying of Stalin: sure he abused power but what politician doesn’t? It’s an incredibly stupid argument and labels the person who makes it as someone not worth taking seriously.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  465. One other small confirmation: Erik Prince lied profusely to Congress but probably won’t see jail time because of his proffer agreement with Mueller.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  466. DRJ

    Someone who wanted to could make a case that Trump was talking about Comey and the “notes” that Comey admits were done written after some time had passed that led to the whole circus.

    Someone that wanted to could make a case that citizens of the commonwealth conspired to keep the election from Trump, yet the only entities to be investigated were Russians who wanted Trump to win. The commonwealth entities may have denied Trump the House support he would now needs to avoid impeachment.
    So the question would be: Which entity inflicted the most influence and damage to the American system of governance?
    I’d say it was clearly the latter, additionally one could make a case that all of the commonwealth destruction was at the behest of HRC, the Democrats and probably a sitting President (Obama)

    steveg (e7a56b)

  467. DRJ wrote:

    Absolutely. Instead of banning Adjective Dana, you should ask everyone to say whether they agree with his most extreme views. He is a good barometer for how different the GOP is under Trump, and I would hate to lose someone who will actually say what I suspect others are thinking.

    I have said that it is a good thing that Mr Trump defeated Mrs Clinton, even if he used or was the beneficiary of ‘unfair’ tactics, but that does not mean that my political views are far-right. For example, I am opposed to capital punishment.

    As for “ask(ing) everyone to say whether they agree with his most extreme views,” I don’t believe that I should be the measure by which anyone else should be judged; others will either express agreement or disagreement with me, on their own, or say nothing about my views.

    Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said that he was “sickened” and “appalled” by the Trump campaign’s dealings. OK, fine. Mr Romney ran a nice, clean race in 2012, and he lost a very winnable race against a President with 8% unemployment, while Mr Trump ran as hard a campaign as he could against a candidate against whom he had no chance, and he won.

    If Mr Romney had won in 2012, Obysmalcare could have been repealed, because it hadn’t yet been implemented; no one would have lost his insurance coverage. If Mr Romney had won in 2012, there wouldn’t be any need to kick ‘transgender’ soldiers out of the military, because President Obama’s 2016 order wouldn’t have been issued. If Mr Romney had won in 2012, we wouldn’t have had the anti-Israeli policies that came out of the second half of the Obama Administration, nor the insane environmental rules. If Mr Romney had run a harder, dirtier campaign, maybe, just maybe, we’d have had fewer of the problems that led to Mr Trump being elected in 2016.

    Also, is it just Trump supporters who feel this way? How far will people go on the left or on hot button topics like abortion?

    Well, you already know that the left tried to overturn the election results by trying to persuade Trump electors not to vote for him, and you already know that the Democrats were touting impeachment even before the inauguration.

    As for abortion, we already know that the Democrats have torpedoed legislation which would have required medical care personnel to try to save those babies who had managed to survive abortion.

    You see, my policy views are not particularly extreme. What you find distasteful is that I know that your policies do not matter one bit if you lose elections.

    The brutally frank Dana (1a323b)

  468. @423 I don’t think any principled basis exists; I think once one embraces Trump’s lies and cheating, one’s already abandoned every principle except “winning”

    Unless we’re saying that Trump is uniquely awful this lying and cheating logic would severely restrict the field of candidates. If we applied it retroactively we’d have a lot of Americans who can’t make a principled distinction between embracing campaign promises and supporting a coup.

    I was going to pick an Obama example but whataboutism. So, did the people who embraced Reagan’s promise to shutdown the Dept of Ed surrender all principles except winning? I’m sure we can distinguish that but my point is that we’re just debating a matter of degree or believability.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  469. #479
    So Trump is now Stalin?
    Trump isn’t even Teapot Dome

    steveg (e7a56b)

  470. “It would be like saying of Stalin: sure he abused power but what politician doesn’t?”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 4/20/2019 @ 12:48 pm

    Because Hitler analogies have run their course?

    Had Stalin been a politician, and had his abuse not included the slaughter of millions, it would be a spot on analogy. I’ll give you that.

    Munroe (92b5e3)

  471. @431. “Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows thy will lie to people for political reasons? You keep DCSCA round don’t you?”

    Explain, Ryumyaku; BTW I have no “moral code”–‘but I ain’t yet sunk to horse stealing…’ 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12-fzNQpWfk

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  472. anyone who says “Trump lies but hey they all lie” is apparently incapable of making distinctions between the extent of wrongdoing by people.

    … and unwilling to admit that they (or many of them) insisted over and over that Trump was the antidote to all the evils of “politicians”; the one who told us exactly what he believed; the one who didn’t disguise anything; the one who “couldn’t be bought” and couldn’t conceivably bring any self-interested motives to the job.

    But now? “He’s just acting like any other politician. Were you stupid enough to expect otherwise?”

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  473. Chances are, if Bill Buckley was still around, the likes of The-Fluoride-In-My-Drinking-Water-Dana would have been filtered out and flushed to the edges by now. More’s the pity, for the ‘body-politic’ in general and the conservative movement in particular, that Buckley ‘guard rail’ is gone.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  474. Why are people pro-choice?

    Here are my reasons, if you want to call me a baby-killer, go for it, you certainly won’t be the first.

    1. A pregnant woman is in the midst of an ongoing attempt to save the life of her fetus. There are zero other circumstances in this country in which one person is required to risk anything in order to save the life of another. Even if I am in the middle of pulling someone back over the edge of a cliff (hey, I chose to risk it and try and rescue them, so now I’m stuck, right? No.), if I feel that I am slipping and they won’t let go, I can legally save myself by harming them in a way that results in their death. A pregnancy is always a risk.

    2. There is more than one medical circumstance in which a born-person does not get extreme measures to preserve their lives and life support via another person is a pretty extreme measure.

    3. The lost of a one month pregnancy and a one month baby are NOT the same. In fact they are incredibly not the same. No one, when faced with the idea of rescuing a 5 year old child OR 10,000 frozen embryos, would choose the embryos. A fetus isn’t a person yet. It will be and it’s growing into one, but it isn’t yet (But they have the same DNA! So do an acorn and an oak tree, but an acorn ain’t an oak tree yet). And this is really where the conversation is: At what point does a fetus become a person.

    I have never been in a circumstance where I had to judge what I was or was not willing to risk to carry a pregnancy to term, so I don’t know from an up-close and personal standpoint what that internal conversation looks like, but I believe that each person has the responsibility to make their own decision about how much they are willing to risk. And so I’m pro-choice.

    Nic (896fdf)

  475. sorry, that was meant to answer the question further up, I got distracted in the middle of writing it, so it’s way later than that conversation.

    Nic (896fdf)

  476. So Trump is now Stalin?

    I feel pretty confident that Patrick didn’t mean that.

    Because it’s not what he said.

    Dave (1bb933)

  477. Our esteemed host asked me:

    I think it’s fair to ask you, not whether you support Trump regardless of whether he has engaged in certain immoral behavior, but whether you would support the immoral behavior itself if you believed it necessary to accomplish Trump’s election. So let me ask you, quite clearly:

    Do you support, in service of the election of Donald Trump:

    1. Dishonesty or lying?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    All candidates are dishonest to some extent, Mrs Clinton no less than Mr Trump. That Mr Trump has lied is indistinguishable from Mrs Clinton having lied. But the important part is that I have not lied.

    It ought to be obvious that I haven’t lied to your readers or you; who would expose himself to the slings and arrows I have willingly borne if I was willing to lie?

    2. Cheating?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    I’ve already quoted, with citation, Joe Montana, who, along with many others, have said that if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.

    There is no such thing as a fair fight; you win, or you lose, by trying your damnedest. If I were in a physical fight with you, and you left yourself open to be kicked in the testicles, guess where you’d get kicked. Remember how everybody laughed in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones was being threatened by a guy making all sorts of maneuvers with his sword, and then Mr Jones pulled out his revolver and shot him? Remember how many of us — myself, certainly — had no problem when George Zimmerman was getting his head bashed into the ground then changed the circumstances of the fight by pulling out and using his weapon?

    3. Fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    I see no fraud by Mr Trump. He sought damaging information on Mrs Clinton; if it was accurate, what difference does it make what the source was.

    I haven’t done anything fraudulent concerning any past elections, and have no intention of doing so in any future ones. Then again, I’m small potatoes, and have no such opportunities.

    4. Vote fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    Nothing of the sort has been alleged against Mr Trump, while there have been significant claims of vote fraud by the Democrats. Vote fraud is something I have never supported.

    As for me, I’ve never had the opportunity to commit any vote fraud.

    5. The advancement of knowingly hypocritical arguments?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    All politicians make knowingly hypocritical arguments. As for me, individually, when I did advance a knowingly hypocritical argument, concerning Roy Moore, I specifically stated that it was hypocritical:

    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.

    That, sir, is what I call honesty.

    6. Lawbreaking?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    Fortunately, a special prosecutor assigned to go after Donald Trump did not find sufficient evidence of lawbreaking by Mr Trump to merit indictment, nor did he refer anything to the House of Representatives for impeachment proceedings. And let’s face facts: it’s only lawbreaking if you get caught!

    By me, personally? I break the law all the time, at least as far as speed limits are concerned. I am wise enough, however, to understand that the police have certain tolerances, and aren’t going to stop you for going just a little bit over the speed limit.

    As far as election law is concerned, all that I can say, again, is that I’ve never been put in the position where I could, nor do I foresee ever being put in such a position. And I’m not willing to go to prison for such even if I were in such a position.

    the fact (in your view) that Trump is an asshole but we need an asshole to accomplish all the wonderful things he has accomplished in service of smaller government, freedom, and lowering the debt burden on future generations (or whatever the hell you think he has accomplished that a Ted Cruz could not have), etc.

    As I’ve previously stated, I voted for Ted Cruz in the Pennsylvania primary, though that primary came too late to have any meaningful impact; by then Mr Trump was in a glide path to the nomination. As it happened, Mr Trump won that primary by a wide margin, but even if Mr Cruz had won, it was too late to stop Mr Trump’s nomination.

    You seem to think that Mr Cruz isn’t an asshole; that seems to run contrary to what his Senate colleagues think about him. Would he have been a better President than Mr Trump? No one can know, because he didn’t win the nomination. In the end, if you don’t win, you don’t get the opportunity be a better president.

    The uglier Dana (1a323b)

  478. DCSCA wrote:

    Chances are, if Bill Buckley was still around, the likes of The-Fluoride-In-My-Drinking-Water-Dana would have been filtered out and flushed to the edges by now. More’s the pity, for the ‘body-politic’ in general and the conservative movement in particular, that Buckley ‘guard rail’ is gone.

    “Have you ever heard of a thing called flouridation, Mandrake, flouridation of water?” — General Jack Ripper

    Alas! for DCSCA, for Hillary Clinton, and for the Democrats in general, as a natural born American citizen — April 22, 1953, in Oakland, California — the patricians don’t get to simply filter out and flush out the plebeians.

    The Dana who can quote large parts of Dr Strangelove (1a323b)

  479. @479 Yes. We should start discussing which lies and what corruption is worse.

    For example:

    Is Mexico paying for the wall really an issue? Is it worse than HRC and the DNC coordinating the debate questions with CNN?

    Where does Brennan lying to Congress rate against Trump not releasing his tax returns and saying he won’t because he’s being audited?

    Where does Schiff saying he’s got evidence of collusion rate against Trump trying to hide the payoffs to porn lady?

    Where does the Trump campaign trying, and failing, to get dirt from the Russians rate against HRC and McCain actually getting dirt from the Russians?

    Where does Trump trying, and failing, to get the Russiagate investigation shutdown rate against HRC and Obama actually getting the email server investigation shutdown?

    Is HRC funneling money from foreign donors and various organizations, including China, not as bad, as bad, or worse than whatever DJT is doing that allegedly violates the emoluments clause?

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  480. #479
    So Trump is now Stalin?

    Yes, that is a totally fair interpretation of my comment.

    Do you not understand analogies? Did you graduate high school? What a stupid comment. Don’t make stupid comments like that on my blog.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  481. Mr Liberty wrote:

    Which would seem to suggest someone should remain deeply skeptical about their fitness as a leader….and would temper giving them too many accolades. I view Trump as universally acting in self interest…nominated conservative justices because he would lose his fiercest and most loyal supporters if he didn’t.

    I’m not sure why I should care if President Trump “nominated conservative justices because he would lose his fiercest and most loyal supporters if he didn’t” as opposed to he nominated them because he was a strong conservative himself. The result is all that matters.

    The clear-thinking Dana (1a323b)

  482. Pick at that scab; anybody who calls it a ‘basketball ring’ in Indiana is never going to be President of the United States. End of story.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  483. All candidates are dishonest to some extent, Mrs Clinton no less than Mr Trump. That Mr Trump has lied is indistinguishable from Mrs Clinton having lied. But the important part is that I have not lied.

    It ought to be obvious that I haven’t lied to your readers or you; who would expose himself to the slings and arrows I have willingly borne if I was willing to lie?

    Not an answer.

    I’ve already quoted, with citation, Joe Montana, who, along with many others, have said that if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.

    I’ll take that as a “yes.” Cheating is fine with you.

    I see no fraud by Mr Trump. He sought damaging information on Mrs Clinton; if it was accurate, what difference does it make what the source was.

    I haven’t done anything fraudulent concerning any past elections, and have no intention of doing so in any future ones. Then again, I’m small potatoes, and have no such opportunities.

    Not an answer. Are we both speaking English? I asked in clear English if you support fraud. Not if it happened. The two questions are different. Do you understand the difference between “Do you support x” and “Have you done x?” If you cannot understand the difference, you are not worth talking to. If you can, why do you answer one question when I asked another? To deliberately waste my time?

    Nothing of the sort has been alleged against Mr Trump, while there have been significant claims of vote fraud by the Democrats. Vote fraud is something I have never supported.

    As for me, I’ve never had the opportunity to commit any vote fraud.

    Not an answer. I asked if you support vote fraud. I asked the question in clear English. If you can’t answer questions asked in clear English, I *will* ban you. Do you not realize how thin is the ice you are already on? You get one more chance. One.

    All politicians make knowingly hypocritical arguments. As for me, individually, when I did advance a knowingly hypocritical argument, concerning Roy Moore, I specifically stated that it was hypocritical:

    Yes, this is a question I asked, already knowing your answer. You support knowing hypocrisy. It is one of the reasons I hold you in utter contempt.

    Fortunately, a special prosecutor assigned to go after Donald Trump did not find sufficient evidence of lawbreaking by Mr Trump to merit indictment, nor did he refer anything to the House of Representatives for impeachment proceedings. And let’s face facts: it’s only lawbreaking if you get caught!

    The statement “it’s only lawbreaking if you get caught” is both false and stupid. It is, however, what I would expect from someone as lacking in morals as you cheerfully proclaim yourself to be.

    By me, personally? I break the law all the time, at least as far as speed limits are concerned. I am wise enough, however, to understand that the police have certain tolerances, and aren’t going to stop you for going just a little bit over the speed limit.

    As far as election law is concerned, all that I can say, again, is that I’ve never been put in the position where I could, nor do I foresee ever being put in such a position. And I’m not willing to go to prison for such even if I were in such a position.

    It’s not all you can say. If you could break the law and get away with it to help Donald Trump win, would you, and if so what laws? Would you support Donald Trump breaking laws to get elected if he could get away with it? If so, what laws?

    I ask these questions because I am interested in watching how an utterly amoral cretin answers them.

    But if you waste my time any more, the frustration I feel in you polluting my blog with your rank dishonesty will outweigh any intellectual curiosity in you as a specimen of dishonesty.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  484. I believe in politeness, but not in being polite to those who openly advocate cheating and hypocrisy. I believe in shaming such people, harshly. It’s clear the uglier Dana (let’s call him the “immoral Dana”) has no capacity for shame, but I’ll make the effort nevertheless.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  485. @493. The-Dana-Who-Really-Doesn’t-Get-What’s-Going-On-Here just can’t see the strategy from the bottom of the deck.

    Love it.

    Run, Oprah, run!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  486. “I also feel bound to say that anyone who says “Trump lies but hey they all lie” is apparently incapable of making distinctions between the extent of wrongdoing by people.

    This is what I’d call an ‘extremely bad hill to die on’ from your side.

    “It would be like saying of Stalin: sure he abused power but what politician doesn’t? It’s an incredibly stupid argument and labels the person who makes it as someone not worth taking seriously.”

    Yes, after all, most Trumpers are capable of making distinctions between…what was it…the ‘extent of wrongdoing by people’ when it comes to comparing and contrasting the relative danger of people like Stalin and Putin, or even Putin and literally any Chinese leader.

    “He abused power but what Russian leader doesn’t?” would actually lead to a more fruitful comparison, but making reasonable comparisons is something no one in Russiagate is doing right now.

    “regularly murders journalists, political opponents, and dissidents.”

    …but enough about the popular things populists do! I kid, I kid, America’s journalists, political opponents, and ‘dissidents’ would NEVER murder or call for the murder of other journalists, political opponents, and dissidents! Simply would’t happen! Absolutely implausible!

    We should continue to make these classes of people the primary face of our side as they will never turn on their fellow Americans, and no one in American will ever turn on them!

    Ryumyaku (b4c2e9)

  487. Because Hitler analogies have run their course?

    Had Stalin been a politician, and had his abuse not included the slaughter of millions, it would be a spot on analogy. I’ll give you that.

    I’m sorry that you, Munroe, like narciso, are too dense to comprehend analogies. They are not expressions of equivalence. But they should not be used in arguments with dense people like you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  488. “I also feel bound to say that anyone who says “Trump lies but hey they all lie” is apparently incapable of making distinctions between the extent of wrongdoing by people.

    This is what I’d call an ‘extremely bad hill to die on’ from your side.

    “It would be like saying of Stalin: sure he abused power but what politician doesn’t? It’s an incredibly stupid argument and labels the person who makes it as someone not worth taking seriously.”

    Yes, after all, most Trumpers are capable of making distinctions between…what was it…the ‘extent of wrongdoing by people’ when it comes to comparing and contrasting the relative danger of people like Stalin and Putin, or even Putin and literally any Chinese leader.

    “He abused power but what Russian leader doesn’t?” would actually lead to a more fruitful comparison, but making reasonable comparisons is something no one in Russiagate is doing right now.

    “regularly murders journalists, political opponents, and dissidents.”

    …but enough about the popular things populists do! I kid, I kid, America’s journalists, political opponents, and ‘dissidents’ would NEVER murder or call for the murder of other journalists, political opponents, and dissidents! Simply would’t happen! Absolutely implausible!

    We should continue to make these classes of people the primary face of our side as they will never turn on their fellow Americans, and no one in American will ever turn on them!

    I think I read through these responses three times and I still don’t understand a word you’re saying. Could you try again but in English this time? On second thought, don’t try again. Never mind.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  489. I’m in a pretty bad mood. I’m starting to feel like I’m spending a lot of my limited life on this Earth talking to idiots and morally bad people. I may need to reconsider how I spend my time.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  490. Is there a reason to keep someone as a commenter if their moral code shows that they will lie to people for political reasons?

    Because, in this instance, they are being honest, unlike others who would lie while retaining the same attitude?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  491. Because, in this instance, they are being honest, unlike others who would lie while retaining the same attitude?

    I’ll give the immoral Dana that. He’s honest about the fact that he lacks morality. That gets you only so far, though. If lying about his lack of morality would help Donald Trump get elected, presumably he’d lie, according to the moral code he has articulated. So his “honesty” does not impress me much.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  492. I feel like I could ban everyone who takes an analogy and treats it as an expression of equivalence, and lose nothing but frustration in explaining concepts that middle schoolers should be able to comprehend.

    I’m about ready to shut off comments because the number of idiotic comments is starting to well outweigh those making good points.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  493. 467

    If, as stated in the Report, Russia’s disruptive activities began in 2014, why was the Obama Administration so negligent in doing something to root out or – at the least – counteract these activities?

    Because nobody at the time thought they were a big deal. If Clinton had won as everybody had expected nobody would care about them now. Low level meddling by one country in another country’s internal affairs happens all over the world all the time. Generally no one cares all that much.

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  494. Because nobody at the time thought they were a big deal. If Clinton had won as everybody had expected nobody would care about them now. Low level meddling by one country in another country’s internal affairs happens all over the world all the time. Generally no one cares all that much.

    It’s pretty rare for campaigns to openly welcome that meddling. Could be why people see this situation as unusual.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  495. Had I not understood the difference between an analogy and equivalence, I wouldn’t have specifically referred to it as an analogy in my comment.

    Munroe (c13e53)

  496. As long as we are talking about what is right or wrong, I believe election fraud is always wrong.

    Some liberal heroes, such as JFK or LBJ did not think that. JFK knowingly accepted about a million fraudulent votes from Chicago in an election he won by rather less than that. It was widely known that LBJ won his first election fraudulently, and he may have boasted about it. No one has accused Trump, or Trump supporters of this (or it would be a big deal about now).

    What is cheating in an election, other than electoral fraud? Dumping dirt the day before the election is pretty dirty, like what was done to W in 2000. But recently, whole parties have conspired to change the election rules to their advantage, such as how the Democrats passed a law allowing vote-harvesting in CA, after getting set up to do it. Or how Gore tried to change the rules AFTER the election in 2000. And let’s not even start with gerrymanders, which are actually older than the Constitution.

    I’m not real keen on any of it, but there comes a point where thinking there are rules in a knife fight gets you kicked in the nuts.

    Dishonesty? All Presidents I have known have lied. Read the Pentagon Papers for examples. Some have lied when the truth would serve them better (Clinton, Trump), but all have lied about important things.

    None of this means that *I* should do these things, but on occasion there may be reasons to support a President who has transgressed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  497. It’s pretty rare for campaigns to openly welcome that meddling.

    Both Obama and Trump have openly meddled in Israeli elections. Clinton, too, I think. But I guess you mean not liking getting what they give.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  498. @413 There appears to be a lot of hyperventilating going on around the country. I wonder… are the hyperventilaters mentally sound enough to be trusted?

    We live in mind-shreddingly interesting times. It’s distressing to see people who previously were calm and reasoned, who could actually bring calm and reason to a discussion, lose the ability. The institutions we used to rely on are rotten. Is there any that are trustworthy? Our media? Our government? The church? All rotten and the rot isn’t new. More people are realizing that and starting to suspect we’re in the final scenes of Animal House.

    I tend toward cynicism. I prefer trust but verify. Optimists are going to have a tough time for a while.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  499. Had I not understood the difference between an analogy and equivalence, I wouldn’t have specifically referred to it as an analogy in my comment.

    But you would have pointed out irrelevant differences in a such a way that showed that the point had sailed over your head. And that’s exactly what you did.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  500. Dishonesty? All Presidents I have known have lied.

    Hell, all human beings lie. Ergo there is no reason to take special note of one who lies every time he opens his mouth. This is a fantastic argument. If you wait while I get up from my chair, I’ll give you a standing ovation for it.

    I just saw a car driving down my residential street at 100 miles per hour. He does this five times a day.

    But we all speed.

    Just a great, great argument.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  501. Hell, all human beings lie. Ergo there is no reason to take special note of one who lies every time he opens his mouth. This is a fantastic argument.

    And argument I did not make. And I did say that he lies a lot. If we had a parliamentary system, where you can change the dead of government without serious trauma, supporting Trump would be indefensible. But we have a two-party, first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all system that utterly guarantees that one has to make serious compromises all the time in who you support.

    I have a choice between a man who I would not trust with children, or with my rent money, versus people who would steal me blind to finance my enslavement. God help me, but my choice isn’t even hard.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  502. *head of government. Freudian slip.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  503. @512 Clinton, too, I think. Isn’t her meddling in one of the Russian elections why Putin has it out for her?

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  504. The really scary thing about Trump is that he has greatly exceeded expectations. That’s jaw-dropping, actually. I did not vote for him at any time in 2016, but will consider it in 2020.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  505. Clear Dana: “I’m not sure why I should care if President Trump nominated conservative justices….The result is all that matters.”

    The “why” is important because you (should) want to use past behavior to predict future behavior when it comes to your choice for President in 2020….and my point is that ideology only matters to Trump as far as it benefits him personally. If he gets re-elected and chooses to appoint 3 pro-choice liberal justices because it makes his daughter happy and he no longer needs any of the Dana’s, what can you say? That he fooled you….no, you concede that he is an “ethical scumbag”…and you admittedly don’t care about what his convictions truly are….you could at best say that you preferred to roll the dice with a scumbag….rather than abandon Trump for a true pro-life candidate.

    But ethical “scumbaggery” is only part of the calculus….the other part is whether Trump actually knows what he is doing…or whether we are entirely dependent on random appointees to ensure that our President avoids criminality and incompetence on the world stage. This surprises me because nothing holds you to supporting Trump in 2020….the GOP faithful could go back a draft Ted Cruz to challenge Trump….but Trump has this unexplainable Praetorian guard of conservatives who would rather burn with Trump than ride with Ted. Is it that “scumbaggery” in the end is not that icky?

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  506. Isn’t her meddling in one of the Russian elections why Putin has it out for her?

    He may just not like women leaders, unlike the Saudis who were so enamored of her leadership that they gave her foundation all those millions.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  507. And argument I did not make. And I did say that he lies a lot. If we had a parliamentary system, where you can change the dead of government without serious trauma, supporting Trump would be indefensible. But we have a two-party, first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all system that utterly guarantees that one has to make serious compromises all the time in who you support.

    I have a choice between a man who I would not trust with children, or with my rent money, versus people who would steal me blind to finance my enslavement. God help me, but my choice isn’t even hard.

    I have far less of a problem with people who acknowledge the full extent of Trump’s dishonesty, do not try to minimize it, but make some kind of practical argument about how it’s supposedly necessary to support him anyway. That’s what you do in the quoted language above.

    But sometimes the same people DO positively minimize the extent of dishonesty, and that’s what you did with your utterly ridiculous argument that “everybody lies.” And that sort of absurd argument, which treats the guy speeding through my neighborhood at 100 mph 5 times a day (this isn’t actually happening btw, I made it up as an example) as a shrug-your-shoulders phenomenon because “everybody speeds” — it’s such a moronic and almost dishonest argument that it makes me want to throw my computer across the room when I see smart people like you making it.

    It’s like there is a disease that makes good people make stupid arguments as long as they are on behalf of Trump. And I just watch it and am agog, and it makes me realize I need to step away from the computer and go into the real world where people aren’t saying indefensibly dumb or immoral (like Immoral Dana) things every two seconds.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  508. I think you may want to go back are read that again, like the part where I say that “Trump lies when the truth would serve him better” — the mark of a congenital liar. They all lie though, and some of the other lies were terrible, like the ones (Ike, JFK, LBJ) that got us into VietNam and killed 58,000 sons. Trump has it on quantity, hands down, but he’s still a piker on impact.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  509. “But you would have pointed out irrelevant differences in a such a way that showed that the point had sailed over your head. And that’s exactly what you did.”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 4/20/2019 @ 2:58 pm

    I don’t think someone who fails to categorize Trump’s lies as some kind of outlier among politicians is “incapable of making distinctions between the extent of wrongdoing by people“, nor do I think an analogy to a dictator and serial murderer helps to illustrate the point.

    Trump is directly accountable to the people, in stark contrast to institutions of law enforcement who launched an investigation based on lies — and who’s “extent of wrongdoing”, since they are not directly accountable, is actually the outlier.

    Munroe (7eca0f)

  510. “Because nobody at the time thought they were a big deal. If Clinton had won as everybody had expected nobody would care about them now.“

    I guess this explains Obama’s outright negligence… i.e., why his administration did next to nothing to counteract the Russian attacks on the USA that – per Mueller’s report – began in 2014.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  511. I guess this explains Obama’s outright negligence

    Or perhaps — given the flexible services Obama did for the Russians — he thought that any interference would benefit the Democrats.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  512. Since we are in the sandbox squabbling, “No, you are more stupider”

    Why use Stalin then? You seem smart enough to use another person, but on the subject of Trump you are so ill-tempered its hard to tell.

    steveg (e7a56b)

  513. People are getting too worked up over this. Smell the roses and count your blessings!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  514. he served them in Syria, in Venezuela, in the Ukraine, it’s an odd understanding of an aggressive posture, as for Afghanistan, I don’t have any answers, going on 18 years, this is becoming a foreverish war,

    narciso (d1f714)

  515. If, as stated in the Report, Russia’s disruptive activities began in 2014, why was the Obama Administration so negligent in doing something to root out or – at the least – counteract these activities?
    Because nobody at the time thought they were a big deal. If Clinton had won as everybody had expected nobody would care about them now. Low level meddling by one country in another country’s internal affairs happens all over the world all the time. Generally no one cares all that much.

    For the last day, CNN has had a nakedly partisan right-wing opinion piece linked to its main page:

    Mueller’s report looks bad for Obama

    The author blames the weak (as he describes it) response on Obama’s determination to complete the Iran deal, which required Russian cooperation.

    That isn’t entirely implausible, although I don’t think the scope and import of what the Russians were doing would have been clear until the Spring of 2016, and the Iran deal was finalized in July 2015.

    Another factor is just that Russians exploited the freedom and openness of our society. Do we really want the government scrutinizing every new Facebook and Twitter account?

    As the election neared, I think there was another problem for the administration, since every action had to be weighed against the danger of appearing to interfere in the election. It is characteristically hypocritical of a Trump superfan like Jennings to deride Obama’s inaction when he would have almost certainly been apoplectic at any overt steps taken in the Fall of 2016, and called them election rigging.

    Regardless, the Russians mounted what was possibly the most brilliantly conceived and successful intelligence operation in history, and will be reaping its dividends for decades to come.

    Dave (1bb933)

  516. The lies that Trump tells that bother me seem to bother no one else. Like “we can work with Kim Jong Un.” That IS a lie that could kill tens of thousands. Sadly, though, he is more reasonable on the subject than the Democrats who don’t even plan on talking.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  517. Regardless, the Russians mounted what was possibly the most brilliantly conceived and successful intelligence operation in history, and will be reaping its dividends for decades to come.

    Why? If Hillary had won, they’d just have to tap her home server. Or is this the “Trump is a Secret Russian Agent” conspiracy theory?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  518. @476 Munroe: “I would sooner trust someone ethically challenged who can be voted out of office, than those ethically challenged who can’t — who then push an ethically challenged investigation with the sole purpose of hamstringing a duly elected administration from day one”

    But will you actually vote that ethically challenged person out….or will you defend him vigorously to the end….making excuses all the while? The investigation could only be “ethically challenged” if there were no genuine concerns about conspiracy and obstruction. And there could only be no genuine concerns if the Russians were not implicated in hacking the DNC server, the Trump campaign did not contact the Russians about dirt on Hillary, and that Russians didn’t have some leverage on Trump because of an unreported deal to develop Trump Tower Moscow that conspicuously seemed to be influencing Trump’s rhetoric toward Putin and Russia. But sure….finding and following this evidence and more makes it ethically challenged….do you ever get dizzy from all of the spinning? I’m asking for a friend

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  519. People are getting too worked up over this. Nothing will change. Take time to smell the roses and count your blessings!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  520. if you count them twice
    that would be extremely nice
    even better thrice

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  521. The fastest way to short cut idiocy is at the source. Stop posting idiocy and idiots won’t make analogies off you posts.

    henry (d51f97)

  522. 530…

    Russians exploited
    that damned weak-suck 0bama
    momjeans wearing fool

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  523. AJ_Liberty (165d19) — 4/20/2019 @ 3:35 pm

    And the amazing thing is that you only mention a small number of the red flags:

    A campaign manager receiving sacks of cash from the Kremlin and sending the Russians internal polling data
    Flynn’s financial windfall from Putin
    Trump publicly asking the Russians to illegally obtain and release more damaging emails
    Trump publicly praising the Wikileaks front organization
    A campaign advisor bragging to an Aussie diplomat about the DNC hacking (the Russian cut-out who gave him that information has since changed identities completely)

    And on, and on…

    Dave (1bb933)

  524. All the Russians will need to do to establish their legend is cite some of these effusively fawning posts over their prowess…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  525. The fastest way to short cut idiocy is at the source. Stop posting idiocy and idiots won’t make analogies off you posts.

    The fastest way to short cut idiocy is to ban you

    Bye

    Patterico (c9faae)

  526. I am ending comments on this thread.

    Patterico (c9faae)

  527. I am reopening them to make one more comment. Then I am closing them because I can’t envision being able to deal with the anticipated idiocy of the responses.

    Why use Stalin then? You seem smart enough to use another person, but on the subject of Trump you are so ill-tempered its hard to tell.

    I am ill-tempered on the issue of people unable to process analogies. There are two possibilities for why I used that analogy:

    1. I am saying Trump is like Stalin.
    2. I am saying that Stalin is one of the most extreme examples I can think of, of abuse of power by a politician, just like I am saying Trump is one of the most extreme examples I can think of, of dishonesty y a politician.

    I can no longer interact with people so unable to reason that they would choose 1 (as you, Monroe, narciso, and countless other chuckleheads would apparently choose) when the correct answer, to anyone with a grade school education or higher, is clearly #2.

    Now I am closing comments for real because I can’t put up with this any more today.

    Logic and reason are dead in this country.

    Patterico (c9faae)


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