Patterico's Pontifications

4/20/2019

Did Mueller Refer Trump for Impeachment?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:23 pm



Remember that I said four days before the Mueller report came out:

I doubt Mueller has made any express “referral” of any of this to Congress, but there will likely be some subtle reference to the notion that the fact that no prosecutions were brought should not preclude Congress from evaluating the material in its oversight capacity. It’s hard for me to imagine the absence of any statement like that, given that Mueller so pointedly refused to exonerate Trump on obstruction. Why make a point of that lack of exoneration if the matter is not to be taken up by Congress in some way?

I was mocked for this by some here, but this was my specific prediction. Indeed, in a comment written ten days before the report came out, I hypothesized as to how such a comment might read:

I’d be surprised if Mueller explicitly referred something to Congress and Barr didn’t mention it — but it’s not impossible. And I would not be at all surprised if Mueller said something like: “This report does not conclude, one way or another, whether the extensive evidence of obstruction of justice laid out above reaches a level that justifies prosecution. Such a pronouncement involves difficult issues of law and fact that the undersigned believes may be more appropriately resolved by Congress. Given that Congress is a co-equal branch with an oversight role that can include sanctions as provided by the Constitution, the undersigned believes that the evidence described above is more appropriately reviewed by Congress to determine whether that body believes that obstruction has occurred — and, if so, what (if any) sanction is appropriate for that obstruction.”

Here is what the report says about impeachment, in relevant part:

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that “the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions” in violation of “the constitutional separation of powers.”1 [Footnote 1 reads as follows: A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222, 222, 260 (2000) (OLC Op.).] Given the role of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the Department of Justice and the framework of the Special Counsel regulations, see 28 U.S.C. § 515; 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(a), this Office accepted OLC’s legal conclusion for the purpose of exercising prosecutorial jurisdiction. And apart from OLC’s constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President’s capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.2 [Footnote 2 reads as follows: See U .S. CONST. Art. I § 2, cl. 5; § 3, cl. 6; cf. OLC Op. at 257-258 (discussing relationship between impeachment and criminal prosecution of a sitting President).]

All bold emphasis is mine.

Omitting all the citations and other legal throat-clearing, Mueller is saying: I accepted the OLC opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted in part because doing so would “potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct” — constitutional processes that include impeachment.

Mueller also took special care to note that, in his view, Congress’s obstruction laws can validly apply to official presidential actions without overstepping Congress’s Article I role or unconstitutionally impinging on the President’s Article II powers:

[W]hen the President’s official actions come into conflict with the prohibitions in the obstruction statutes, any constitutional tension is reconciled through separation-of-powers analysis…. Applying the Court’s framework for analysis, we concluded that Congress can validly regulate the President’s exercise of official duties to prohibit actions motivated by a corrupt intent to obstruct justice. The limited effect on presidential power that results from that restriction would not impermissibly undermine the President’s ability to perform his Article II functions.

(Some journalists have read this incorrectly as saying Congress can criminalize Trump’s behavior specifically, but it’s actually just a general analysis of Congress’s constitutional authority to pass laws that arguably invade the president’s constitutional powers.)

Is any of the above language an explicit impeachment referral? That’s debatable, but I would not waste any energy arguing that it is.

Is it a declaration that Congress is a co-equal branch with an oversight role that can include sanctions as provided by the Constitution, which include impeachment? (In other words, precisely what I predicted?) You bet it is.

Always trust content from Patterico.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

282 Responses to “Did Mueller Refer Trump for Impeachment?”

  1. To me volume II read like a lawyers brief for Impeachment. What’s shocking about it, is the complete lack of investigation. 90% of Volume II, is nothing more than legal analysis, and cut-and-paste of what we already knew aka Trump’s tweets and press statements, Comey’s memos and statements, and a lot of other stuff in the public records. Even McGrath and Sessions interactions with Trump came from documents that Trump ordered to turned over.

    The Democrats won’t impeach, because its bad politics – and the case for obstruction can’t be sold to the American people. Lawyers may believe that obstruction of a non-existent crime by action made IN PUBLIC is a crime, and therefore impeachable, but you’ll never sell average Americans on that. It sounds like legalistic Nit-picks.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  2. So it reads like a DNC press release instead of a legal document from a prosecutor’s office.

    As expected.

    NJRob (f598ea)

  3. About right, considering the 17 Hillary supporters input, the particulars of weissmans notorious record.

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. It has also been argued that the section that contains

    [I]f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    is an impeachment beg, but it is really just a statement that there is suggestive evidence of criminal intent, but not enough to prosecute, particularly because there was no underlying crime* to bring the matter into better focus.

    ————–
    not necessary, but helpful

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  5. And, after Romney’s statement today, I am convinced he should run, at least to give Republicans a clear alternative if he feels so strongly that Trump is such a stain on the Presidency.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  6. Okay, but then why was there no referral for prosecution toward Jared, or Jr, or some of the other implied co-conspirators? ( Or co-collusionists? Is it that conspiracy is a crime while collusion is, apparently, not? )

    Is it like the trial of Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)? There was quid and there was quo but there was no “pro”? So Russian promised Jr something and Jr promised Russia something but Mueller couldn’t figure out why either would be willing make a deal with the other?

    Or is it like Hillary and the secret server? There was a plan to do something, and it was illegal, and it was actually done, but it wasn’t “intended” to be illegally done? But if Hillary didn’t intend to send secrets to Sidney Blumenthal while Sidney Blumenthal did intend to leverage secret information — can Sid be prosecuted for getting a leak Hillary didn’t get prosecuted for leaking?

    I mean, I understand the executive privilege argument but there seem to be other arguments still to be argued about the rest of the investigation coming up, apparently, completely empty and a waste of time.

    Pouncer (df6448)

  7. “Is it a declaration that Congress is a co-equal branch with an oversight role”

    Congress is only as effectively ‘co-equal’ as its funders and lobbyists will allow it to be, being the most democratic of our branches. As a result, it’s naturally full of cowards and opportunists who will sell their own and others’ authority if the price is right. You will never go wrong betting on power to drain away from them, or for various legal and bureaucratic end runs around their statutory authority to be applauded and easily gotten away with.

    “Lawyers may believe that obstruction of a non-existent crime by action made IN PUBLIC is a crime, and therefore impeachable, but you’ll never sell average Americans on that. It sounds like legalistic Nit-picks.”

    Much as global warming boosters have never started a mass selloff of beachfront property: If lawyers don’t actually litigate it on a daily basis, they don’t actually believe it, and they’re just trying to create a favorable media environment for some paid-off judge to make a terrible ruling in their favor.

    They’ll then go right back to holding forth on the necessity of classical criminal procedure when it’s against a target not named Trump. High verbal IQ means never having to say you’re sorry.

    Ryumyaku (65e79d)

  8. Trump orders mueller fired mccann refuses there fore no obstruction. If I tell you to take your gun and shoot somebody and you say no that would be illegal. there is no crime.

    lany (dbd6c7)

  9. ROFLMAOPIP are you frigging kidding??

    “Let’s go to the videotape!” – Warner Wolf :

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

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. ^#9 for #5, Kevin.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Did Mueller Refer Trump For Impeachment?

    It’s essentially the proverbial ‘road map.’ It’s up to the current Congress to decide whether to follow it — or follow their usual ‘yellow brick road.’ Time for a score check:

    Patriot Games

    Rule of Men – 150
    Rule of Law – 0

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. I’d say your prediction nailed it in this respect.

    Nathan (5efffe)

  13. Censure would simply be a badge of honor to Trump as would be an acquittal by the GOP Senate in any impeachment process. If you know the players, you can game it out. [Are you prepared for several months of a President Pence?!]

    But the real question “Republicans” – “conservatives,” etc., or whatever label they call themselves these days should ask is which GOP senator[s] – especially any with presidential aspirations [and remember, every senator sees a ‘president’ in the mirror every morning] would break and go for broke by voting to convict, blow past a temporary Pence and make a grab for the brass ring. For instance, Romney still has the fever; likely count him as one. Cruz? Or Graham? Keep the laughter down to dull roar. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. No conviction in senate as at least 45 republican senators would be primaryed. ask jeff flake about that.

    lany (dbd6c7)

  15. If I tell you to take your gun and shoot somebody and you say no that would be illegal. there is no crime.

    Wrong. That’s solicitation of murder.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  16. I expected that from you Trump dead-enders, DCSCA.

    Or is that a concern troll?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  17. Congress is only as effectively ‘co-equal’ as its funders and lobbyists will allow it to be, being the most democratic of our branches.

    Until about the 20th Century, Congress was the most powerful branch. It started changing with TR.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. Censure would simply be a badge of honor to Trump

    Presidential censures from Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censure_in_the_United_States

    In 1800, Representative Edward Livingston of New York introduced a censure motion against President John Adams.

    Only one U.S. president has been censured by the United States Senate. In 1834, while under Whig control, the Senate censured Democratic President Andrew Jackson for withholding documents relating to his actions in defunding the Bank of the United States. As a partial result of public opposition to the censure itself, the Senate came under control of the Democratic Party in the next election cycle, and the censure was expunged in 1837.

    As one historian has written:

    During the last session of Congress under Jackson, Democrats tried to delete from their record the censure of their hero. The Whigs were just as eager to keep the censure as the Democrats were to get rid of it. The vote on censure was taken after thirteen hours of debate. Twenty-four senators voted to delete it; nineteen voted to retain it. The censure was ringed in black and officially deleted from the minutes.

    In 1842, Whigs attempted to impeach President John Tyler following a long period of hostility with the president. When that action could not get through Congress, a select Senate committee dominated by Whigs censured Tyler instead.[6]

    In 1848, the United States House of Representatives voted to censure President James K. Polk, on the grounds that the Mexican–American War had been “unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States.”

    In 1864, the Senate considered a condemnation of President Abraham Lincoln for allowing an elected member of the House to hold an Army commission; it voted 24–12 to refer the matter to a special committee, but no further action was taken.

    In 1998, resolutions to censure President Bill Clinton for his role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal were introduced and failed. The activist group MoveOn.org originated in 1998, after the group’s founders began a petition urging the Republican-controlled Congress to “censure President Clinton and move on”—i.e., to drop impeachment proceedings, pass a censure of Clinton, and focus on other matters.

    On August 18, 2017, a resolution was introduced in the House to censure President Donald Trump for his comments “that ‘both sides’ were to blame for the violence in” the Unite the Right rally. On January 18, 2018 another motion to censure Trump was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), who is the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, for Trump’s remark, alleged by people in the room, stating “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” According to people in the room at the time, Trump was referring to people from Haiti and African nations coming to the United States of America. The censure motion failed to reach any legislative action. This comment was alleged to have been made on January 11, 2018 in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers regarding immigration.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. It’s worth noting that politics was so terrible in the 1840’s, that Tyler, a Whig president, was censured by Whigs, after their attempt to impeach him failed.

    Polk was censured for winning the US Southwest from Mexico. He is ranked among the better US Presidents and the rest between Van Buren and Lincoln make up the cellar of the rankings.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. To me volume II read like a lawyers brief for Impeachment. What’s shocking about it, is the complete lack of investigation. 90% of Volume II, is nothing more than legal analysis, and cut-and-paste of what we already knew aka Trump’s tweets and press statements, Comey’s memos and statements, and a lot of other stuff in the public records.

    I’m literally laughing out loud at this, rcocean, because one of the things that was already in the public record was the story that Trump ordered Don McGahn to fire Mueller. And what did one rcocean say about that story when it was published?

    Here’s what you said:

    Yeah, how dare anyone be skeptical about another anonymous NYT/WaPo story about Russia-Trump. After all, the NYT and Wapo are so unbiased and objective!

    Trump says its false. And you know its true, because WHY?

    Sorry, I’m not a Trump hater – I don’t swallow everything the liberal MSM puts out.

    And Trump Didn’t fire Mueller. And Trump has no intention of firing Mueller. So this is important why?

    So it looks like the Mueller report was necessary to prove a lot of stuff that was previously reported, but that hacks like you automatically disbelieved because you put your trust in the biggest liar on Earth, Donald Trump, and blinded yourself to the fact that even Fox News was confirming the report.

    Hacks like you are the reason we are in this situation.

    You were wrong wrong wrong about this, but the notion that we’ll see an ounce of contrition is laughable, because hacks like you have no ability for introspection whatsoever.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  21. @15. LOL You bought up Romney, Kevin; that’s ‘trolling’ enough in itself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. It’s worth noting that politics was so terrible in the 1840’s

    Well, it might be more accurate to say “politics was so confused in the 1840’s”. The Whigs started out as a coalition that pretty much only agreed on one thing: opposition to Jackson and his chosen successor Van Buren. One major faction of the Whig party supported an activist role for the government in the economy, including a national bank. Another, minority, faction was states rights types angry at the Jacksonians over nullification. The Whigs put Tyler (a states-righter) on the ticket with Harrison (a progressive) for geographic and ideological balance. Unfortunately, Harrison died a month into his term, making Tyler, whose philosophy was completely at odds with the majority of the party, president. By the end of his term, Tyler (“His Accidency” as the rank-and-file Whigs called him) had completely sold out to the Democrats, and later went on to complete his disgrace by joining the so-called Confederacy.

    Polk was certainly the only effective president between Jackson and Lincoln. But his policies nearly destroyed the country, and like Tyler’s, were unswervingly designed to cater to and expand the slave power.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. Patterico (115b1f) — 4/20/2019 @ 2:34 pm

    Wow. Pwned.

    I actually found this the most jaw-dropping:

    What’s shocking about it, is the complete lack of investigation.

    Volume 2 has over 1000 footnotes, well over half of which cite testimony taken under oath or documentary evidence. IANAL, but isn’t that basically what an investigation is?

    Dave (1bb933)

  24. Just substitute Nixon and assorted sordid names like Haldeman, Dean, Colson, Mitchell, Magruder, Ehrlichman, Liddy, etc., from Watergate times for those named and associated w/t Mueller narrative of now. Will the Congress of today hold hearings, sift through the material and eventually move articles of impeachment as the 93rd did for Watergate? Would you expect Trump to resign? The times are different; the character [or ‘moral tolerances,’ if you will] of the country have obviously shifted, as well. And the party majorities in both bodies certainly aren’t the same as today; if they were, Nixon could have likely survived a Senate trial 45 years ago– and would now. There’s a reason Trump keeps that letter from Nixon hanging in the Oval– he’s lucked out; he’ll beat this rap all the way to the grave. He doesn’t read history so why should he care about it; he lives for the now– what comes after he’s gone doesn’t matter.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. Wow. I’d never been in the comments here before, but I have read and appreciated some of your posts over the years. In fact, I think I’ve seen you at another blog.

    Recently, I’ve also read that you’re losing your marbles, and I’d have to take that under advisement after encountering the yellow comment above. You “literally laugh” at your commenters and call them “hacks”? Trump is “the biggest liar in the world” because he wanted to end what he knew and what we now all know was a witch hunt and get on with his presidency?

    How do you still have a website or any commenters?

    Feel free to moderate this comment, btw.

    Extraneus (9762f4)

  26. This thread is open, at least until the average IQ demonstrated by the comments here descends to the level characterized by the thread I just closed.

    Patterico (c9faae)

  27. YOU ARE ONE PATHETIC WEASEL OF A SO- CALLED CONSERVATIVE. MAY DONALD TRUMP LONG LIVE.

    IT WILL BE AN HONOR FOR YOU TO DELETE THIS COMMENT SO I CAN GET THE BADGE OF HONOR OF TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOTS WHO DO NOT FALL FOR YOU DEMENTED COMMENTS.

    OUTSIDE OF THAT HAVE A BAD DAY.

    Jack Fucking Lillywhite ASSHOLE (5d3989)

  28. I’m only 3/4 of the way through the report, but V2 looks like a defacto referral for impeachment to me.

    However, it isn’t going to happen before the next election. Unless there is a significant change in the political climate on the right in the next few months, Pelosi isn’t going to bring it to the house because it can’t get through the Senate and she isn’t going to risk any dems from conservative districts by forcing them to take a position unless there is some hope of getting it through the Senate. We are also only 19 months out from the next election.

    @6 While they seem to think that what Jr. attempted at the Trump Tower could qualify as conspiracy, they decided it would be too hard to value what the information would have been worth, since it was never provided, and also that Jr. was too stupid to realize what he was doing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  29. Has the LA District Ass lost his marbles? Seems more like LGF every day round here. Stopped posting years ago, but I do drop by occasionally to watch the descent into madness. Between here and PW, the few marbles you had remaining have shriveled like raisins in the sun.

    Just dayum.

    bmeupps (5e2fc3)

  30. So much for impeachment. Trump will not be removed from office and if the temper tantrums continue (and the economy continues in a positive direction) he will easily win re-election.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  31. OK, this post was obviously linked by some high traffic mouthbreather. Who was it?

    I’m going to leave comments open despite my last comment because the influx of insane people is entertaining to me.

    Patterico (c9faae)

  32. Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. So many to choose from. So little time. Just who betrayed you? Only the mouth breathers know.

    bmeupps (5e2fc3)

  34. Exactly what was Trump’s intent when he asked the Russians to find the missing emails on LIVE fucking TV? Come on Pooty poot-erico, you just have to know his intent as IIRC you always insisted it resided in the listener and not the speaker. Come on now… pontificate and show your brillnorance again.

    bmeupps (5e2fc3)

  35. Sometimes life can be so frustrating… http://bitsandpieces.us/2019/04/the-flight-of-the-dachshund-%e2%99%ab-%e2%99%ac/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  36. By the end of his term, Tyler (“His Accidency” as the rank-and-file Whigs called him) had completely sold out to the Democrats

    Yes, I was trying not to write all that stuff. The problem the Whigs had was mainly they could not agree on slavery, when that became the only issue that mattered.

    Tyler was so unloved that at one point he had two Supreme Court seats he could not fill, and he tried real hard.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  37. Patterico, I think it’s a wonderful development that being banned from your blog is now “THE BADGE OF HONOR OF TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOTS WHO DO NOT FALL FOR YOU [sic] DEMENTED COMMENTS.”

    I totally get why people write in all-caps on the internet. They realize that their shouting can’t be heard; they realize they aren’t exactly Thomas Paine when it comes to pointing out common sense themselves. There’s that key on the left which conveniently renders all of one’s typing into upper-case characters; it doesn’t take much prudence to resist, but why restrain oneself WHEN ALL CAPS MAKES ONE FEEL SO MUCH BETTER? TOO BAD THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT HTML TAGS, TOO!!!1!

    But I really, really have a hard time picturing the person on the other side of the keyboard, creating his screen-name so he may leave his first comment here, who goes through the mental dialog of asking himself, “What fake name shall I had my all-caps screed behind that will truly and accurately convey to the readers, all readers, how righteous and worthy of respect I am as a critic of Patterico?” —

    — and he comes up with “Jack Fucking Lillywhite ASSHOLE.”

    That is just so brilliant. It just drips true American patriotism, doesn’t it?

    I’ll bet his real name isn’t even Jack.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  38. Exactly what was Trump’s intent when he asked the Russians to find the missing emails on LIVE fucking TV?

    He still had a crush on Putin before he got a yen for Kim Jong Un?

    nk (dbc370)

  39. Heh. I’m in moderation for quoting a screenname. Worth it, indeed, grateful for it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  40. Exactly what was Trump’s intent when he asked the Russians to find the missing emails on LIVE []ing TV?

    He still had a crush on Putin before he got a yen for Kim Jong Un?

    nk (dbc370)

  41. #MeToo with my non-bowdlerized previous comment, Beldar.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. (My real middle name, right there on my birth certificate, is Jack, by the way. Mr. @sshole (to address him formally, by his surname, edited to get past the filter) gives us real Jacks a bad name.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  43. A smattering of the commentary offered so far on the thread:

    YOU ARE ONE PATHETIC WEASEL OF A SO- CALLED CONSERVATIVE. MAY DONALD TRUMP LONG LIVE.

    IT WILL BE AN HONOR FOR YOU TO DELETE THIS COMMENT SO I CAN GET THE BADGE OF HONOR OF TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOTS WHO DO NOT FALL FOR YOU DEMENTED COMMENTS.

    OUTSIDE OF THAT HAVE A BAD DAY.

    and

    Come on Pooty poot-erico, you just have to know his intent as IIRC you always insisted it resided in the listener and not the speaker.

    Under criminal law, the intent of the defendant is what is relevant.

    I promise I am not posting these comments myself to make Trump defenders look like unhinged mouthbreathers. These are actual comments.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  44. I’m certain Mueller would’ve made a clear referral for impeachment had Weissmann, Rhee and Andres not slammed the brakes on it.

    Munroe (b66045)

  45. No one including the media cared to find out about her emails just like with lois Lerner, whereas they made an micro cellular analysis of Palin’s emails.

    Narciso (d7d813)

  46. LOL You bought up Romney, Kevin; that’s ‘trolling’ enough in itself.

    One of the good things about Trump is that it is going to be terribly difficult for the Democrats to make any GOP candidate seem extreme to the average voter (yes, the Democrat base Socialists see all Republicans as wannabe slave owners, but that’s because they are crazy people).

    Trump needs a challenger who is a credible general election candidate. The people need at least one credible general election candidate.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  47. Mr. @sshole (to address him formally, by his surname, edited to get past the filter) gives us real Jacks a bad name.

    Assholes, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. Judging by the comments, I figure it was Gateway Pundit.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  49. Under criminal law, the intent of the defendant is what is relevant.

    And if the intent was to end what he knew to be a hoax and coup attempt, even though you didn’t, then what’s Mr. Prosecutor’s citation of the relevant criminal statute?

    Extraneus (9762f4)

  50. TRUMP: “If Mitt Romney spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!”

    It is worth noting that Romney got a bigger percentage of the votes (47.15% vs 45.93%) than Trump did.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  51. @34. The same “intent” he had on ‘live fvcking TV’ in… =drum roll=

    Helsinki.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  52. And if the intent was to end what he knew to be a hoax and coup attempt, even though you didn’t, then what’s Mr. Prosecutor’s citation of the relevant criminal statute?

    Then it’s obstruction. His personal opinion that the investigation is illegitimate is not a defense. And unless he had a jury of hacks like you, it would make no difference.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  53. Yes let the ronnie earles and John chisholms get their pound of flesh, the latter still succeeded in putting factotum Evers in power.

    Narciso (d7d813)

  54. Now Schiff defeated James Rogan, in order to punish anyone who deigned to point out Clinton’s illegal acts under color of law.

    Narciso (d7d813)

  55. You certainly called it and everyone should acknowledge that. Take the w

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  56. Thanks for the reply. So you’re a prosecutor, and you’re saying that an innocent man, beset by corrupt prosecutors, who knows he’s innocent, is violating a criminal statute by defending himself.

    Ok. I haven’t been here before as I say, but you seem kind of authoritarian, and it’s actually scary to think that you have power over people’s lives. Please don’t look up my IP address and I’ll be happy to move on from here now.

    Extraneus (9762f4)

  57. @27. ‘MAY DONALD TRUMP LONG LIVE.’

    ‘Jack sh-t’ from an A$$hole; nearly 73 w/a diet of cheeseburgers, ice cream and chocolate cream pie, don’t bet on it.

    “Logical.” – Mr. Spock [Leonard Nimoy] almost any ‘Star Trek’ NBC TV, 1966-69

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. I’ll bet his real name isn’t even Jack.

    Yea, but I wouldn’t bet on at least one of those other ones.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  59. Thanks for the reply. So you’re a prosecutor, and you’re saying that an innocent man, beset by corrupt prosecutors, who knows he’s innocent, is violating a criminal statute by defending himself.

    Nope. That’s not remotely what I said.

    Ok. I haven’t been here before as I say, but you seem kind of authoritarian, and it’s actually scary to think that you have power over people’s lives. Please don’t look up my IP address and I’ll be happy to move on from here now.

    LOL. I already moderated you the second I saw your dishonest first comment. I’m allowing these subsequent ones to appear because you are digging yourself a deeper and deeper hole and revealing yourself to be dishonest.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  60. Thanks for the belittlement over my education.
    Hope it made you feel better

    steveg (e7a56b)

  61. I don’t believe for a second that this guy is not a repeat troll.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  62. Thanks for the belittlement over my education.
    Hope it made you feel better

    I closed comments because I don’t want to see any more comments misstating my analogy. I was not inviting you to come over here and restart it.

    You started the fight between the two of us by misunderstanding my point and pressing your misunderstanding. I know zero about your education. I just know that you’re arguing like someone who hasn’t the slightest basic ability to process an analogy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  63. I definitely got over-agitated because I had like three people making the same dopey non-point again and again.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  64. I believe that Clinton was “exonerated” by the FBI investigation and therefore committed no illegal acts to have pointed out. Also, since she has never ever ever ever been convicted or even indicted for anything, she is angelically innocent. (these are the rules, right?)

    Nic (896fdf)

  65. Hes not, he might lurk as the dsm IV spectacle you’ve become, if you’re saying the same thing that a thousand appsbdages of thud journalist are, then you are longer interesting I suppose when you banned shipwreck mostly for pointing khuzaimis peculiar practices, should have been a clue.

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. @50. ‘It’s worth noting that Romney got a bigger percentage of the votes…’

    And he still lost.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. Hes not, he might lurk as the dsm IV spectacle you’ve become, if you’re saying the same thing that a thousand appsbdages of thud journalist are, then you are longer interesting I suppose when you banned shipwreck mostly for pointing khuzaimis peculiar practices, should have been a clue.

    Then leave.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  68. I don’t find you interesting any longer either, narciso. It’s been real. Bye.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  69. I actually understood you meant that Trump was extreme to you and Stalin was also extreme.
    Thats why I said Trump wasn’t even Teapot Dome. Trump is at worst part Warren Harding and part Andrew Jackson and is not as extreme as Stalin in any way shape or form.
    In my view, your use of Stalin was overwrought hyperbole.
    Hyperbole is often misunderstood by greater minds than mine.

    I’m re-engaging because calling people stupid and belittling their education is an elitist tool, and I don’t think you are an elitist.
    Maybe when you are angry, it is harder to understand you?

    steveg (e7a56b)

  70. I actually understood you meant that Trump was extreme to you and Stalin was also extreme.

    OK, steveg, I left two options at the end of that thread. What I just quoted from you shows me that you have not made it clear which of the two you think I was saying. They are numbered, one and two. Pick one.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  71. Our host wrote:

    OK, this post was obviously linked by some high traffic mouthbreather. Who was it?

    I’m just a low-traffic mouthbreather; ’twasn’t me.

    The low-traffic mouthbreather Dana (1a323b)

  72. I just banned narciso, steveg. The proximate cause was his suggesting that I have a psychological disorder, but there’s a history. He was excessively pigheaded several months ago in making an utterly false accusation against me and refusing to retract it. Since then he has his usual inscrutable self, but he has also been unremittingly unpleasant and insulting. Then he pulled the stunt with my Stalin analogy, and that caused me to wonder if he was too logically challenged to be worth keeping around. I seriously considered banning everyone who couldn’t understand the point.

    You’re in a different boat, and I recognize that my behavior today has been prickly, to put it mildly. But people mistaking analogies for expressions of equivalence really bugs me.

    Here, Stalin is like Trump only in the sense that Stalin is an extreme example of trait x, while Trump is an extreme example of behavior y. The ONLY reason I cite him is as an obvious example of a trait, so that when people try to say: “but everyone has trait x or y!” I have made it clear that such an argument is outlandish and silly as applied to such an extreme example of that trait.

    It is not to say Trump is as corrupt or as murderous as Stalin, and when people suggest that’s what I’m doing, I see red. I get to the point where I don’t care whether it’s because they are incapable of the abstract reasoning needed to process analogies or whether it’s because they are fundamentally dishonest. It’s a pet peeve and it really bugs me.

    I separated the possible interpretations of my analogy into two examples. Someone selecting option one is infuriating to me. Someone selecting option 2 should have no trouble seeing why I picked Stalin, or why I picked a guy driving down my street at 100 mph, as an example.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  73. Don’t understand why the trolls came out of the woodwork to spam this post. Go back to your bridges please and allow the rest of us to discuss the post in peace.

    We are all guests here except for the host.

    NJRob (f598ea)

  74. In my view, your use of Stalin was overwrought hyperbole.

    Quite deliberately.

    The concept I sought to convey was “Trump is an exceedingly extreme example of a dishonest person (x) such that the argument ‘everybody is a liar’ (everybody does x) is silly, because almost nobody lies (does x) as much as Trump.”

    So I looked for an example of someone else who was an exceedingly extreme example of a bad trait.

    I could have said: “It’s like defending Charlie Sheen by saying everyone is a little erratic and bizarre from time to time.”

    I could have said: “It’s like defending Cersei by saying everyone is a little cranky from time to time.”

    It doesn’t mean I think Trump is as erratic as Charlie Sheen (though he is close) or as cranky as Cersei, or as dictatorial as Stalin.

    It means I think Trump is super-dishonest. The End.

    Maybe you don’t. Then we have to agree to very strongly disagree. But the “everyone lies” argument drives me nuts and the “your analogy is no good because the thing you are comparing it to is not exactly the same in exactly the same way” drives me even crazier.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  75. @72. You could make a reasonable analogy to Trump being as ‘murderous’ to the truth as Stalin and be playing in the same ball park. ‘Torturing truth’ might fit a bit as well. 😉

    Patience, Patterico. Their fever may be closer to breaking than they realize. Especially if he has heapin’ helpings of salty ham w/a cheeseburger and ice cream chaser for Easter dinner.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. I picked a bad afternoon to step away from the internet, but I certainly identify with our host’s frustrations. It isn’t the first time in history that politics has driven both Parties to populism and/or extremism, but it is the first time I’ve seen what it can do.

    DRJ (15874d)

  77. What is most troublesome to me is how secular both groups have become, and how both are abandoning religion. This is a timely week to think about that fact. It is hard to care about morality if you don’t care about religion.

    DRJ (15874d)

  78. People from both parties do vote based on religious values, they are just voting on different ones. Its when people forget that the secular values of the parties are not religious ones that things go really haywire.

    Nic (896fdf)

  79. I picked a bad afternoon to step away from the internet, but I certainly identify with our host’s frustrations. It isn’t the first time in history that politics has driven both Parties to populism and/or extremism, but it is the first time I’ve seen what it can do.

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity…”

    Dave (1bb933)

  80. Erg, sometimes this whole American open society and democracy thing is kind of frustrating.

    because he wanted to end what he knew and what we now all know was a witch hunt and get on with his presidency?

    When you keep finding witches, it seems pretty valuable.

    The vindicating report does nothing of the sort. It wordily explains collusion isn’t a crime, but the Trump campaign tried really hard to collude, if they were competent they would have conspired, the crime, but another instance of being too dumb to effectively do it, especially Donnie Jr, chip off the ol’ block.

    As for obstruction, lots of obstruction, if the independent counsel law was still in place Trump would have been in much more jeopardy, at a minimum of having had to testify live, with all the problems that would entail.

    At the end of the day, the NY State AG’s investigations or Trump org pose the most imminent legal threat to Trump. But this report by Mueller is actually devastating and is an absolute page-turner. I spent all Thursday afternoon reading it, and it is so very very bad for Trump world. Although it really shouldn’t be shocking, we all knew he was a liar, a con man, and a scofflaw, but a respected prosecutor just confirmed it.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (110301)

  81. I agree with your sentiment generally. But another way to look at it is as a schism. We’ve certainly got several groups that are acting on different articles of faith and deciding on heresy.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  82. Church membership has declined significantly in the past 20 years. I realize church attendance is not the only way to be religious, but it is relevant.

    DRJ (15874d)

  83. @82 This is a very relevant issue. I don’t think anyone knows what to do about it.

    Most modern Christian denominations are stuck at the wrong end of the horse.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  84. Got it.
    Thats why I threw you Teapot Dome. from: Wikipedia:
    Before the Watergate scandal, Teapot Dome was regarded as the “greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics”.[1] It damaged the reputation of the Harding administration, which was already severely diminished by its controversial handling of the Great Railroad Strike of 1922 and Harding’s veto of the Bonus Bill in 1922.[2] Congress subsequently passed legislation, enduring to this day, giving subpoena power to House and Senate for review of tax records of any US citizen without regard to elected or appointed position, nor subject to White House interference.[3]

    And Jackson: Men like Adams – who came from a Massachusetts family that had fought for Independence and feared for the survival of the republic (particularly his father, John Adams) – saw Jackson as a profane, unprincipled demagogue; a would-be tyrant in the Napoleonic mode; a man with no respect for the checks and balances of the Constitution or the rule of law.

    Did I send that after you closed comments?

    steveg (e7a56b)

  85. I think you’d find the bolded parts of that post relevant, but pardon my education if you don’t get it

    steveg (e7a56b)

  86. “I realize church attendance is not the only way to be religious, but it is relevant.”

    Very relevant. It takes motivation, devotion and commitment to be an active member in one’s church.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. I’ll take that bet, Mr Beldar. With a small rider for artistic license.

    Pinandpuller (55fab4)

  88. Freud might say you mentioned Stalin because your subconscious mind told you to.
    I’d say I don’t know. When you are this angry it is hard for me to discern nuance. The hair on the back of my neck crawls when someone throws out “Stalin” or Hitler” and then accuses someone else of willful misinterpretation. That is why I used former Presidents.
    So count me out of your “either a or b” game. I don’t live in your head and don’t want to.

    steveg (e7a56b)

  89. DRJ
    I don’t know about attendance, but I do know that our society pushes our young people towards higher education and the academy (even so called religious institutions) teach atheism or maybe a teach a God so watered down, inclusive and inoffensive that nobody would want to go to heaven and hang out with such a bore anyway

    steveg (e7a56b)

  90. If a person’s belief can’t survive higher education, it isn’t very strong or someone did them a grave disservice when they were younger.

    Nic (896fdf)

  91. Mr Beldar

    In the 70’s did you ever drive an old Jeep around and karate kick punks who made fun of Native Americans?

    Pinandpuller (55fab4)

  92. @89. You know, steveg, “Stalin” seems quite a reasonable mention given the tenure of our times. Americans been subjected to more mention and banal banter about “Russians” in the past three years than we heard from all of NASA through the depths of the Cold War over the decade they were racing the Reds to the frigging moon.

    The winner of the first fifth of the 21st Century’s ‘Politician of the Century’ award -so far- has got to be ‘Cool Hand Putin.’ Making a fortune off a busted power w/little to offer the world in goods and services beyond regional energy resources, the guy keeps getting dealt a pair of deuces and bluffing his way to scoring big pots. From Crimea to Syria to fondling Trump’s nuts in his chilly palm. Yep, ‘Cool Hand Putin’ is a helluva card player– and not bad at chess, either.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  93. PinandPuller… it’s great to see you back here, my friend!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  94. @ Pin (#92): Surely I’ve told the story here before about me and that movie, no?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  95. @91 There are exceptions but we consistently do a grave disservice to the young. This surviving higher education as you call it is equivalent to going through something like prison or military service unchanged. It used to be that education tended to lock you in, i.e. if you started conservative you tended to be more conservative. This isn’t the case anymore. With the exception of a few fields, higher education is designed to produce a certain worldview.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  96. Mike
    @Doranimated
    They were eager to destroy Kavanaugh for getting angry at being falsely accused of rape, and they’re eager to destroy Trump for getting angry at being falsely accused of collusion. They sic the FBI on you for spurious reasons and then call you guilty if it bothers you.

    Jeffrey Toobin
    @JeffreyToobin
    · Apr 18
    Happy people don’t obstruct justice. Trump’s frustration at leaks and investigation are evidence of guilt, not innocence. But let’s see the report…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. So count me out of your “either a or b” game. I don’t live in your head and don’t want to.

    Translation: “I want to criticize you for something you said while making no genuine attempt to understand what you meant.”

    Patterico (c9faae)

  98. If people don’t care what I mean then I do not care to talk to them.

    Patterico (c9faae)

  99. “With the exception of a few fields, higher education is designed to produce a certain worldview.”

    And these “teachers” may be the end of Western civilization as we know it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  100. On the original issue. D’s should get on with it. If they’re going to impeach there’s no reason to keep waiting. D leadership is saying they aren’t going to but they keep flirting with it as an excuse to not really do anything else.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  101. @96 I will say that I came out of a very conservative Catholic HS angry at the hypocrisy and contradictions of what I was hearing there and went to a relatively liberal Catholic college where I was able reconcile what I knew was going on with the Church and the belief system behind it. My faith in God and the belief system taught by the Church didn’t change, but having someone deal, upfront, with the historical ups and downs of the Church and the complicated issues of modern life, morality, ethics, theology, and politics was a significant relief to me. Learning some of the less well know theology specifically was helpful. My HS not dealing with those issues was a significant disservice.

    Nic (896fdf)

  102. Kavanagh nothing. The only things Mueller didn’t do was to shoot Trump’s dog and have him worked over with rubber hoses.
    How many years?
    How many millions of dollars?
    How many subpoenas?
    How many warrants?
    How many witnesses interviewed?
    How many stories in the media?
    And in the end we found out that Hillary and McCain peddled a fake kompromat dossier; that Obama’s FBI did in fact spy on Trump’s campaign; that highly-placed FBI agents conspired to “stop” Trump; and that there was (GASP!) no collusion.

    nk (dbc370)

  103. @101 They aren’t going to impeach, it would only result in political cost and no victories. And the election is not that far off. They’ll wait it out.

    Nic (896fdf)

  104. Collusion. There’s that word again.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  105. This “We ain’t saying he obstructed justice and we ain’t saying he did, why don’t you folks in Congress take a look-see?” is as weaselly as the Russian collusion smoke and noise that started the investigation in the first place. It’s Mueller doing his buddy Comey a favor and not looking like a waste of time and money his own self, and not much more.

    nk (dbc370)

  106. In my view, there’s no way the Dems are going to impeach.

    Why create an opportunity for the GOP Senate to acquit him (as they surely would) in spite of all the evidence?

    More likely they’ll hold hearings and put Mueller in front of the cameras to repeat and elaborate on the most damning material in the report.

    All the documented lying by the White House may strengthen their hand in getting Trump’s tax returns too. Unlike impeachment, the tax returns look like a win-win scenario for the Dems, in terms of scoring political points.

    Dave (1bb933)

  107. @102 similar story, different details

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  108. @77

    What is most troublesome to me is how secular both groups have become, and how both are abandoning religion. This is a timely week to think about that fact. It is hard to care about morality if you don’t care about religion.

    I’ve always considered myself a pro-Christian atheist. I’d felt that I would love to believe but just didn’t, as I’ve always valued the teachings of Christ.

    Watching so many Christians hold up Trump as a figure to be respected has made me realize I was very wrong about what Christianity meant in this country. Obviously not-all-Christians, etc etc, but I thought surely being a disciple of Christ meant something different than it appears to mean for many. I suspect this presidency will have a lasting impact on Christianity in this country, and that makes me sad.

    Nathan (5efffe)

  109. “More likely they’ll hold hearings and put Mueller in front of the cameras to repeat and elaborate on the most damning material in the report.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/20/2019 @ 8:36 pm

    Good, then he can give us an update on the child-eating pedophiles.

    Munroe (0c363b)

  110. “they keep flirting with it as an excuse to not really do anything else”

    With not only divided government….but with 24/7 hyper-partisanship amplified by partisan media…and obsessive social media…..what is achievable over the next 19 months? We agree on nothing. There is absolutely zero good faith. We are consumed by personality and drama….and endless speculation about drama. What bill passed by the House gets through the Senate and gets Trump’s signature? How about vice versa? What policy initiative is being honestly discussed by the two parties? Immigration, yeah right. Banking reform, crickets. Health care reform, miles apart. Confirmations, as backed up as ever. I can’t think of one thing beyond maybe re-naming a bridge….except after McCain who we have to stay angry at through eternity. We will have 19 months of creme pie fights and eye gouging…..a Three Stooges marathon without any true fun or creativity…..but lots of feigned outrage. So maybe on the eve of Easter, we should talk about religion….and its universal call for us to become better people…..and easier to get a long with. Buy a lib a coffee…..and actually talk with him….about the things that used to bring us together. Life is short….we need to take some of this a lot less seriously….Happy Easter!

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  111. Yes, AJ, that is the spirit to have, but there’s a 50/50 a lib will take a look at the sepulchre image and question the resurrection’s veracity based on how perfectly round the entry Stone is.

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  112. You are doing the same thing to me.
    I’m reading your words and having to interpret them.
    You used hyperbole.
    I asked a question about the hyperbole that ended in “….now?” which could be charitably viewed as a question seeking a little clarification because you were leaving it up to me to discern your intent.
    Then you proceeded to use that as a pretext to insult and demean me. But sure. I’m the bad guy and you’re are just great.

    During the Obama Administration, I was really upset with Obama over certain things. I think he was very dishonest, I felt he hid behind the skirt of his race and used it to bully his way through. I was outraged that he was intentionally making race an issue in a way that has driven us further apart, and I am still upset when I fixate on it.
    Today it seemed to me that maybe today was the day you’d gone that step too far due to your extreme view of Trump juxtaposed against your sense of principle. So I asked, and gave you an example of a level thought Trump wasn’t quite at yet. (Teapot Dome and Harding).
    I thought you’d get the tax return angle and later I brought up Jackson who John Adams seems to have held in the same regard as you hold Trump.

    None of that means anything to you because today you seem to have to build yourself up to be morally, ethically, intellectually my better. Maybe so, but I’m not as bitter as you are today and I’d rather be thought stupid than be bitter. Because a bitter soul is a stupid and stubbornly proud soul.

    I like you, but if you think that means I’m going to take that kind of diminishing shit from you over something as lame as as the drama surrounding Trump, you misunderstand me.

    steveg (e7a56b)

  113. “And unless he had a jury of hacks like you, it would make no difference.”

    In an impeachment, the jury would be the Senate. While at the same time the Senate also gets to set the rules of the trial. While Chief Justice Roberts handles the trial, the Senate, at anytime during the trial, can overrule any of his decisions with a simple majority vote.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  114. PinandPuller… it’s great to see you back here, my friend!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/20/2019 @ 7:55 pm

    How YOU doing? You know, nature abhors a vacuum.

    Pinandpuller (7e060a)

  115. @ Pin (#92): Surely I’ve told the story here before about me and that movie, no?

    Beldar (fa637a) — 4/20/2019 @ 7:56 pm

    I bet you did and that’s why I thought of it lol.

    Pinandpuller (7e060a)

  116. Doing well, thx. And so did my wife, until I bought a Dyson!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  117. The reason the Mueller report can be seen as an impeachment referral is that six of the ten examples of obstruction met all three criteria (link). Mueller is a law-and-order guy. He appropriately deferred this to Congress where it belongs. Barr’s opinion about the report is essentially meaningless since a criminal indictment was never in the cards.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  118. Neither is impeachment.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  119. I promise I am not posting these comments myself to make Trump defenders look like unhinged mouthbreathers. These are actual comments.

    I did wonder that, but not a sec later remembered those fun times with Sock Puppet Glennwald.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  120. Steveg,

    I’m sorry I insulted you. That said, you show no interest in understanding what I am trying to say, so let’s just not talk to each other, since it’s pointless for me to talk to people who have no interest in understanding me.

    Patterico (c9faae)

  121. More want to impeach trump here then on democratic underground.

    lany (07e6fc)

  122. mittens/gruber/2020

    mg (8cbc69)

  123. Are the rooskies here yet?

    mg (8cbc69)

  124. On this holiest of holy days, as we continue to fight amongst ourselves, Muslims once again slaughtered our brothers and sisters in Christ because we dare believe in Him and will not submit to their evil. He is risen. We will not submit.

    God bless you all. Jesus Christ is Lord.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  125. Happy Easter!
    Happy Passover!
    Have A Nice Day!
    (As applicable.)

    Today is Palm Sunday for us and I’m going to see if my daughter wants to go to church. Play nice till I get back.

    nk (dbc370)

  126. You lucked out missing the blizzard last Sunday.

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  127. Maybe the bridge to Pence is almost as reviled as the bridge to Quayle, lany. That and the LGBTQ/ loose women crew would rather ride it out. I was a Pence for 7er as much as I was a Trump wins/Cubs win and Kavanaugh confirmed/Jason Van Dyke behind bars guy.

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  128. nk (dbc370) — 4/21/2019 @ 5:09 am

    Happy Palm Sunday. It is Easter for me, nk Alleluia, He is risen!

    I watched C.B. Demille’s Ten Commandments last night. It still overwhelms me.

    felipe (023cc9)

  129. “The current progressive effort to demonize attorney general William Barr is creepy, but then again not so strange. He came into the office with singular experience and an excellent reputation from past service. As attorney general, he has followed the law to the letter in handling the release, redactions, and dissemination of the Mueller report. His summaries of the report proved factual. They were not contested by Robert Mueller or his team. His decision not to pursue “obstruction” was not just his own, but logically followed from the Mueller report that did not find enough evidence to make such a positive recommendation. His congressional testimony that there was “spying” during the 2016 campaign is, of course, factually undeniable, and Barr added the qualifier of being interested in finding whether such surveillance was warranted or not.

    As for the charge that Barr, a former Bush appointee, is Trump’s “hand-picked” choice –how odd, given that all attorney generals are presidents’ hand-picked selections. How could they not be?

    It is not as if Barr has referenced himself, in Eric Holder’s partisan fashion, as Trump’s “wing-man.” Nor has he ordered surveillance on, for example, a Fox News reporter, or had the communication records of 20 Associated Press journalists seized, as happened during the Obama administration in efforts to stop leaks of unwelcome news stories. Nor has he been held in contempt of Congress for failure to turn over subpoenaed documents under the cover of a presidential order of executive privilege. There is no suggestion that Barr has abused the perquisites of the office, for example, by using a government jet to go to the horse races with his family. He has avoided controversial value judgements about the nature of the American people and polarizing rhetoric.

    So, more likely, the effort to delegitimize the professional Barr is the opening, preemptory salvo in the second and quite different round of investigations.

    Soon Mr. Barr will be tasked with collating and adjudicating criminal referrals and arguments for indictments coming variously from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, possibly special counsel John Huber, Devin Nunes the ranking Republican and former chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and perhaps later even from Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, along with any conclusions arising from federal attorneys within the Justice Department itself.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/progressive-effort-delegitimize-william-barr/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. NJRob (4d595c) — 4/21/2019 @ 4:24 am
    Amen, Jesus is Lord.

    felipe (023cc9)

  131. Happy Easter! Just heard our grandson stirring upstairs, so the day begins…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  132. Watching so many Christians hold up Trump as a figure to be respected has made me realize I was very wrong about what Christianity meant in this country. Obviously not-all-Christians, etc etc, but I thought surely being a disciple of Christ meant something different than it appears to mean for many. I suspect this presidency will have a lasting impact on Christianity in this country, and that makes me sad.

    I personally don’t know any Christians that hold him up as an example to be respected personally. You’ll get people who still believe in respecting the office and you’ll get people willing to forgive and look to the present or future. But I don’t think you’ll get a lot of Christians saying the multiple wives and porn stars is something to respect. This seems to be part of the common analysis. If you don’t condemn him enough you’re really agreeing that he’s good.

    That being said, you can often find two types of people who claim to be Christians. One in front of the church making ostentatious shows of piety and thanking God he’s not the scum in the back and the guy in the back quietly thanking God and asking forgiveness. You’ll also find ones that think being Christian means being perfect and others that know Jesus left the 99 for the 1. Or that still identify with the brother who stayed home even after hearing that story all their lives.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  133. When Nate has a sad, do we not bleed?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  134. @109 Its also important to realize how much Christians identify with, and root for, the underdog. This, of all days, illustrates that. Last Friday was Good Friday and part of that story is about a criminal who was sentenced alongside Christ turning it around at the last minute. There aren’t many stories in the NT about people who were righteous and pure, they lived their life perfectly, the end. Only Jesus gets to do that, and Mary (not trying to pick a fight, don’t throw anything). So, the underdog and the redemption story will, and should, always resonate with Christians.

    What we’re seeing play out on the news couldn’t be better designed to play against what many Christians would identify with if it came out of a Hollywood studio.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  135. Would that we leave our narcissism and worldly possessions behind. And that all good people truly comprehend the need to remove their cranial appendages out of their solid elimination openings, go forth and do good.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  136. Colonel, I hope I live long enough to have grandchildren. Cherish yours!

    Simon Jester (02fa6f)

  137. Happy Easter! One of my favorite days of the year…not only for the religious significance but also because mid-April in the Mother Lode is glorious.

    Everyone celebrates in their own way but using Trump to attack what Christianity means (here or anywhere) is lol wut.

    harkin (ff5774)

  138. Best wishes, Simon. And we have another grandchild on the way.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  139. The argument that voting for execrable Trump was necessary and justified to keep the wicked witch Hillary out of office, which is the rationale pushed by commenters like The intellectually-morally-multiple-personality-challenged Dana and all other small-minded Trumpsters, is fundamentally flawed.

    Suppose Clinton had won the electoral college, which she lost by the slimmest of margins (by 80,000 votes spread out over certain counties in three states). Her 3,000,000 margin in the popular vote, however, did not usher in a “blue wave”–if it had, a lot more Democrats would have won election to Congress, which they did not. Thus, Republicans would have retained roughly the same majorities they held in the House and Senate. In other words, votes for Clinton would be more accurately seen as votes against Trump.

    In that scenario, Clinton would have been an extremely weak president, unable to pass any part of her agenda, because she is incompetent and nobody really likes her; they only voted for her to keep Trump out of office. The Republicans would have voted en masse against all of her policies. Conservatives would have vilified her, increased their majorities in 2018, while liberals complained about her ineffectiveness. Emboldened, conservatives would then have been able to nominate a real Republican, who would have clobbered her in 2020. She would have been thrown out of office as an utter failure, with the consolation prize of being the first elected female president, which was all she ever wanted to be. Then, with overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, and the White House, conservative Republicans would have been able to advance their agenda of limited government, fiscal responsibility and legislative/judicial reform unimpeded.

    Electing Clinton would have completely destroyed the Democratic party and solidified the Republican party for a generation. Instead, look at what has happened. Electing Trump has utterly ruined the Republican party. Other than signing a tax bill and appointing a few judges, he has been an abject failure at everything. Not one inch of wall has been built, immigration is overwhelming border security, North Korea is launching missiles, Russia is expanding its influence over the Baltic and South American states, Saudi Arabia is extending its control over the Middle East, and China is exerting its power across Asia and the Pacific.

    Lies on top of lies, lies about lying, lies, lies, lies all around. And to what result? Spiraling deficits, suffocating national debt, tariffs, trade wars, inept foreign policy, America is now a joke on the global stage, when just a few years ago it was the lead actor. This is not Reality TV, this is reality. Trump is a total fraud, everything about him is lie; he has been revealed to be cravenly unfit for office.

    How is it that Russia, Saudi Arabia and China, not to mention North Korea, are all getting stronger, while America is getting weaker? Well, because Trump owes a lot of money to the former three and has exchanged “love letters” with the latter. They all flattered him.

    Think about that. Meanwhile anyone who exposed or embarrassed him, by speaking the truth, is under fierce attack. By who? Republicans. Or pretend Republicans, professed conservatives, who are neither but instead are reduced to obsequious supplicants, hypocritical evangelicals and corrupt sycophants.

    To what end? Not to the restoration of American greatness, that’s for certain.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  140. I’m going to unban narciso despite his comments calling me crazy, because I was acting very cranky yesterday. But he doesn’t find me interesting any more, so maybe it won’t make a difference.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  141. Happy Easter! I have a post up with Bach’s Easter Oratorio. Worth a listen.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  142. His summaries of the report proved factual.

    His “summaries” weren’t summaries and they were misleading. Three Pinocchios. He wasn’t demonized. He revealed himself to be a partisan hack.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  143. Honestly, Patterico, I cannot understand narciso’s comments quite often. I can’t tell what he thinks. I don’t know if it is a background thing, or a pose. I wish him well, but he shouldn’t call anyone crazy. And he did do that to you.

    We should be able—especially today—to disagree with one another while being decent to one another.

    Simon Jester (02fa6f)

  144. Nathan says:

    I’ve always considered myself a pro-Christian atheist. I’d felt that I would love to believe but just didn’t, as I’ve always valued the teachings of Christ.

    Watching so many Christians hold up Trump as a figure to be respected has made me realize I was very wrong about what Christianity meant in this country. Obviously not-all-Christians, etc etc, but I thought surely being a disciple of Christ meant something different than it appears to mean for many. I suspect this presidency will have a lasting impact on Christianity in this country, and that makes me sad.

    frosty48 says:

    I personally don’t know any Christians that hold him up as an example to be respected personally. You’ll get people who still believe in respecting the office and you’ll get people willing to forgive and look to the present or future. But I don’t think you’ll get a lot of Christians saying the multiple wives and porn stars is something to respect. This seems to be part of the common analysis. If you don’t condemn him enough you’re really agreeing that he’s good.

    That being said, you can often find two types of people who claim to be Christians. One in front of the church making ostentatious shows of piety and thanking God he’s not the scum in the back and the guy in the back quietly thanking God and asking forgiveness. You’ll also find ones that think being Christian means being perfect and others that know Jesus left the 99 for the 1. Or that still identify with the brother who stayed home even after hearing that story all their lives.

    I think frosty48 is correct that the key to Christianity is the forgiveness and redemption that Christ brought through his death on the cross. But I don’t think that redemption comes to the utterly unrepentant sinner, and that is what Trump appears to be. And I think Nathan is correct that many Christians seem to minimize Trump’s sins, including notably most of the “leaders” who go on TV and present to the non-Christian world a rather ugly face of the religion. One common thing I hear from nonbelievers is how utterly casual TV Christian leaders are about Trump’s sins, and how prone to minimizing them they are.

    How often do you see a TV Christian leader say something like this:

    Q How can you support Trump when he does [long list of sins].

    A I do not support any man and I follow nobody but Christ. Donald Trump is accomplishing many policies that are good for the Christian world, and I will accept those policies even though they are accomplishments of a man whose moral behavior is the opposite of what Christ preached. As for that long list of sins you mentioned, I am not going to argue with you. He’s guilty of them and that is no credit to him. All I can say is that Christ died for our sins, and those who truly repent will be forgiven through His grace. I don’t see much evidence that Trump is repentant, but I continue to pray that he, and all other unrepentant sinners, will see the light.

    The answer is: pretty much never. Instead they minimize Trump’s sins, like most Trump superfans do, because Trump watches lots of TV and they want to keep Trump happy. Meanwhile, plenty of potential converts watch and decide that Christianity is not for them. I have a mental image of Jesus grabbing his whip and driving these “leaders” off the TV set, but all I can do is advocate here and in my personal life that what these leaders say is not what the everyday Christian sitting in church favors.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  145. Mr Ghost wrote at 140:

    The argument that voting for execrable Trump was necessary and justified to keep the wicked witch Hillary out of office, which is the rationale pushed by commenters like The intellectually-morally-multiple-personality-challenged Dana and all other small-minded Trumpsters, is fundamentally flawed.

    Suppose Clinton had won the electoral college, which she lost by the slimmest of margins (by 80,000 votes spread out over certain counties in three states). Her 3,000,000 margin in the popular vote, however, did not usher in a “blue wave”–if it had, a lot more Democrats would have won election to Congress, which they did not. Thus, Republicans would have retained roughly the same majorities they held in the House and Senate. In other words, votes for Clinton would be more accurately seen as votes against Trump.

    The flaw with your assessment is based on the fact that no one knew, in advance, that the Republicans would retain control of both Houses of Congress. As late as October 24, 2016, The New York Times published a story on the potential effects of a huge Clinton victory on races for the House of Representatives, and there were other stories noting that a strong Clinton victory could flip the Senate, where the Democrats needed a net gain of only four to take control. The GOP was defending 24 Senate seats in 2016, the Democrats only ten.

    In that scenario, Clinton would have been an extremely weak president, unable to pass any part of her agenda, because she is incompetent and nobody really likes her; they only voted for her to keep Trump out of office. The Republicans would have voted en masse against all of her policies. Conservatives would have vilified her, increased their majorities in 2018, while liberals complained about her ineffectiveness. Emboldened, conservatives would then have been able to nominate a real Republican, who would have clobbered her in 2020. She would have been thrown out of office as an utter failure, with the consolation prize of being the first elected female president, which was all she ever wanted to be. Then, with overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, and the White House, conservative Republicans would have been able to advance their agenda of limited government, fiscal responsibility and legislative/judicial reform unimpeded.

    Since no one knew of that scenario before the election, it’s kind of difficult to think that there would be many people banking on it working. We did know of the Supreme Court vacancy, and that a President Clinton would (probably) have nominated someone who was less a stealth liberal than Merrick Garland, and if the Senate flipped, that nominee would have been confirmed.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to say that a lot of people voted for Mrs Clinton to keep Mr Trump out of the White House, just as a lot of people voted for Mr Trump to keep Mrs Clinton a private citizen. But it’s a stretch to think that a whole lot of people voted for Mrs Clinton and then voted Republican for the Senate and House. Perhaps there is some research on that to which you can point?

    (I did not link Mr Ghost’s comment, as I normally do, because I had two other hyperlinks in the main body, and a third might have sent the comment into moderation.)

    The realistic Dana (1a323b)

  146. His “summaries” weren’t summaries and they were misleading. Three Pinocchios. He wasn’t demonized. He revealed himself to be a partisan hack.

    I’m not gonna cite the WaPo Fact Checker for anything — in fact, I’m not even clicking that link right now — but Barr’s summary was misleading and I agree that he has shown himself to be a hack. I already made that point in at least one post.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  147. Trump needs to be punished for these acts – how anyone can defend this appalling serial liar is a mystery; yes the left is worse but that’s not a defense – but impeachment and (certainly) conviction are blunt instruments that are used in explicit acts of improper behavior. I don’t think Trump’s actions reach that level. For example, I cannot think of a single specific act by him or by his underlings that obstructed the investigation. What needed to be looked into that was stopped or obstructed by his actions? Maybe I am missing it; but where?

    This is not like Nixon approving the dispersal of hush money to buy the silence of the burglars; an act that the House Judiciary Committee cited as one of their articles for impeachment.

    We’re stuck with an awful person as president. An amoral bully that simply is unsuited for the office. But we don’t impeach awful amoral people. So again, how do we punish him – and send a message to the next president that you can’t do these things – without removing him from office? The Framers were brilliant men but a person like Trump would, I think, completely befuddle them.

    SteveMG (40ecb4)

  148. A phenomenal editor once told me that you can’t write clearly without clarity of thought. That’s why I don’t read narciso’s comments. Not worth the time and effort.
    On this still joyful day, deepest sympathies and prayers for those Christians injured and murdered Sri Lanka, along with their families and friends. They were suicide bombings, trademark acts by militant Islamists.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  149. frosty48,

    I think some Christians and Jews suggest God is using Trump as an imperfect, secular vessel to accomplish His goals. Netanyahu even referred to Trump as a modern Cyrus. So, they argue, refusing to follow Trump is refusing to follow God.

    DRJ (15874d)

  150. Immoral Dana, I know I closed the thread where I asked you those questions, but I really would like an answer to the questions I asked you rather than the entirely different reframed versions of the questions you chose to answer. You made it clear that you favor cheating and hypocrisy in support of Trump’s election, but you did not clearly answer whether you favor lying, lawbreaking, fraud, and/or vote fraud, whether by yourself or by Trump.

    I’m not interested in whether you think you’d get caught (assume nobody gets caught) or whether you think it has ever happened. I’m also not interested in a repetition of the oft-articulated reasons you have for supporting immorality in service of electing Trump.

    I am interested in whether you support those immoral actions in principle, in the same way that you have openly and cheerfully admitted that you support cheating, hypocrisy, and interference in our democratic process by a murderous dictator. And part of the price of keeping you as a commenter is that I’d like you to answer those questions.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  151. Perhaps I should not call you Immoral Dana, but “Immorality in Service of Trump Is Good” Dana, or ISTG Dana. After all, I’m sure you believe that the immoral things you advocate are ultimately moral as being in service of the greater good. I violently disagree, but I’ll modify your moniker so as not to be insulting. So ISTG Dana it is.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  152. OK, gotta get dressed for church. Later!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  153. I agree with your analysis in 140, Gawain’s Ghost.

    DRJ (15874d)

  154. Yes, 140 is a great comment.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  155. It well encapsulates the immense frustration I feel, which causes me to behave badly as I did yesterday (for which I apologize to all).

    Patterico (115b1f)

  156. But I don’t think that redemption comes to the utterly unrepentant sinner, and that is what Trump appears to be.

    Dobson, a Trump defender, called him a “baby Christian” but, far as I’m concerned, I’ve never read or heard him say that Christ was his personal savior, so I cannot conclude that he’s as a Christian until I hear him say those words. If I do hear them, I’ll pray that he’s not lying about that.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  157. Since Patrick has re-opened the subject, another question occurred to me, Dana for Whom The Ends Justify Any Means:

    Since you accept and embrace lying, cheating, criminality and intervention of foreign spies to achieve the electoral results *you* desire, do you also accept that Democrats should be allowed the same latitude to lie, cheat, break the law and avail themselves of foreign spies to achieve *their* desired election results?

    Or are “we” the only ones allowed to lie, cheat, break the law and look the other way for foreign spies, because we’re *better* than “them”?

    Seems like a perverse and utterly indefensible position either way.

    Dave (1bb933)

  158. We can’t judge Trump’s (or anyone’s) soul. That is God’s job. We should care about whether someone lives his faith but that is so we can decide who to follow/join in this life, not so we can decide their eternal fate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  159. I’ve never read or heard him say that Christ was his personal savior

    You mean eating the little cracker isn’t enough?

    Dave (1bb933)

  160. It’s slowly dawning on the laggards… even at the NYT… https://hotair.com/archives/2019/04/20/ny-times-say-steele-dossier-appears-false/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  161. “Since you accept and embrace lying, cheating, criminality and intervention of foreign spies to achieve the electoral results *you* desire….”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/21/2019 @ 9:13 am

    I think you meant domestic spies. You were referring to the “insurance policy”, weren’t you? You know, all that good lying, cheating and criminality.

    Munroe (cb6f8b)

  162. 133… thanks for this comment, Frosty… I also note the parents sitting in the back, trying against all odds, to keep their little ones under control with some semblance of reverence. What a struggle… and I remember being in the front lines of those battles… mostly fond remembrances… mostly…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  163. “In that scenario, Clinton would have been an extremely weak president, unable to pass any part of her agenda, because she is incompetent and nobody really likes her; they only voted for her to keep Trump out of office.”

    I think your Magic Eight Ball is on the fritz.

    The first female president with the Deep State/elites/media/academia/Hollywood all willing accomplices is nothing to sniff at. She could do even more damage than Chairman Zero. Plus she would have a strong liberal majority on the Supreme Court.

    Didn’t vote for the clown and won’t next time (I just can’t for anyone I deem unfit for the office) but I still would not swap him out for the crime family matriarch and I have no problem with anyone for the simple act of voting to minimize the damage. The bonus of NOT having a Supreme Court majority looking to dismantle the Constitution for at least another 5-10 years is worth every bit of ridicule thrown at those of us who object to the past, present and coming witch hunts.

    And anyone who thinks Trump is not already being punished is blind. That the punishment may not take the form you desire (partially negating an election) is something you’re probably (hopefully?) going to have to accept. IMO Trump is not even in the top five problems needing addressing in this country (he’s a horrible President but we’ve had those before and we dodged the bullet of an even more horrible one in Nov 2016). The collapse of civil society, decimation of the education system, loss of privacy, spread of Islam in the West, cost of living, homelessness, non-secure borders, Chinese aggression, cultural Marxism etc are bigger fish than Orange Man Bad.

    harkin (ff5774)

  164. Well I’m waitin’ for something to take place
    Something to smack ’em on their hands and face
    Goin’ city to city, town to town
    Runnin’ around in the shoes of a clown
    Just a desperate, no count, desperado

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  165. harkin,

    I did not view GG’s comment as a criticism of how people voted. I view it as an analysis of how politics and government might have played out had Hillary won — instead of Trump, and GG did a good job summarizing how that is going. IMO his analysis is a more realistic and helpful alternative to the short-term simplicity of the binary choice argument.

    DRJ (15874d)

  166. IMO Trump is not even in the top five problems needing addressing in this country (he’s a horrible President but we’ve had those before and we dodged the bullet of an even more horrible one in Nov 2016). The collapse of civil society, decimation of the education system, loss of privacy, spread of Islam in the West, cost of living, homelessness, non-secure borders, Chinese aggression, cultural Marxism etc are bigger fish than Orange Man Bad.

    But Trump is at once a symptom and a factor in making those things worse, and the ability to solve them less attainable (except homelessness, I suppose).

    Kishnevi (682c47)

  167. We can’t judge Trump’s (or anyone’s) soul. That is God’s job.

    I agree, but I haven’t even heard a profession of what is on his soul.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  168. Nathan says:

    I’ve always considered myself a pro-Christian atheist. I’d felt that I would love to believe but just didn’t, as I’ve always valued the teachings of Christ.

    Watching so many Christians hold up Trump as a figure to be respected has made me realize I was very wrong about what Christianity meant in this country. Obviously not-all-Christians, etc etc, but I thought surely being a disciple of Christ meant something different than it appears to mean for many. I suspect this presidency will have a lasting impact on Christianity in this country, and that makes me sad.

    Being a disciple of Christ does mean something different than rationalizing horrible behavior that is nothing representative of the true standard of measure: Christ himself. The people who hold up Trump as some sort of model of Christianity (or one to be respected as such), make a mockery of the blood shed for our sins. Anyway, it’s important to bear in mind that those who call themselves Christians are not the standard of measure for Christianity. That position belongs to Christ alone. He is the standard of measurement for how we are to live our lives. We are merely fallible beings, fallen from grace, and muddling our way through in the gift of divine sacrifice and mercy. People throughout the ages have worshiped those with feet of clay. It seems to appeal to base human nature. With that, I don’t think Trump will have a lasting impact on Christianity in the way that you seem to believe (that being a negative impact). To believe that is to minimize the power of God. If there is a lasting impact on Christianity, I see it more as a separating of the wheat from the chaff. Some people will have their eyes opened, some won’t. I just want to be on the side where the humble Christian walks daily with thankfulness and a quiet steadfast faith that is unwavering – no matter what the circumstances. But then, I’m not looking for an idol. My own feet of clay give away the truth of every other man walking this earth.

    Dana (7d6d05)

  169. As they approached the farm Squealer, who had unaccountably been absent during the fighting, came skipping towards them, whisking his tail and beaming with satisfaction. And the animals heard, from the direction of the farm buildings, the solemn booming of a gun.

    “What is that gun firing for?” said Boxer.

    “To celebrate our victory!” cried Squealer.

    “What victory?” said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost a shoe and split his hoof, and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves in his hind leg.

    “What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our soil–the sacred soil of Animal Farm?”

    “But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it for two years!”

    “What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade, the mighty thing that we have done. The enemy was in occupation of this very ground that we stand upon. And now–thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon–we have won every inch of it back again!”

    “Then we have won back what we had before,” said Boxer.

    “That is our victory,” said Squealer.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  170. “Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

    The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

    OFA, Obama’s official campaign arm in 2016, paid nearly $800,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone, according to FEC records. The first 2016 payments to Perkins Coie, classified only as “Legal Services,” were made April 25-26, 2016, and totaled $98,047. A second batch of payments, also classified as “Legal Services,” were disbursed to the law firm on September 29, 2016, and totaled exactly $700,000. Payments from OFA to Perkins Coie in 2017 totaled $174,725 through August 22, 2017.

    FEC records as well as federal court records show that Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer whom the Washington Post reported was responsible for the payments to Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, also previously served as a counsel for OFA. In Shamblin v. Obama for America, a 2013 case in federal court in Florida, federal court records list Elias as simultaneously serving as lead attorney for both OFA and the DNC.

    OFA, which managed Obama’s successful re-election campaign in 2012, retooled after that campaign to focus on enacting the president’s agenda during his final term in office. The group reorganized again after the 2016 election and planned to use its staff and resources to oppose President Donald Trump. During the entire 2016 campaign cycle, the group spent only $4.5 million, according to FEC records.

    Federal records show that Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016. The DNC paid nearly $5.4 million to the law firm in 2016.

    The timing and nature of the payments to Perkins Coie by Obama’s official campaign arm raise significant questions about whether OFA was funding Fusion GPS, how much Obama and his team knew about the contents and provenance of the dossier long before its contents were made public, and whether the president or his government lieutenants knowingly used a partisan political document to justify official government actions targeting the president’s political opponents named in the dossier. According to the Washington Post, Fusion GPS was first retained by Perkins Coie on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in April of 2016.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2017/10/29/obamas-campaign-gave-972000-law-firm-funneled-money-fusion-gps/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  171. @150 I don’t agree with anyone who says that and I’m less charitable towards the religious leaders our hosts described, both the TV kind and otherwise.

    @145 I don’t see much to disagree with other than to suggest that Jesus comes to the unrepentant just the same. I’m not trying to defend Trump. This is slipping more into a more general comment and might trigger some unintended conflict. But the NT has plenty of stories where Jesus went to the unrepentant who changed their ways after they met Him.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  172. @157 Dobson, a Trump defender, called him a “baby Christian” but, far as I’m concerned, I’ve never read or heard him say that Christ was his personal savior, so I cannot conclude that he’s as a Christian until I hear him say those words. If I do hear them, I’ll pray that he’s not lying about that.

    This idea that you’ve got to sort of get him in the door for some reason is a mistake. You’re right. There’s no reason to conclude Trump is anything until he says he is. This coin has two sides, it’s wrong to go around labeling people non-Christian so you can disown them and it’s wrong to go around labeling them Christian so that you can what, give him some of your credibility or take some for yourself because you’re both in the same group now. Give me a break, [insert our hosts comments about whips and temples]. This is just Dobson seeing a way to use Trump and vice versa, i.e. good old fashion corruption.

    That being said, Constantine was a pagan his whole life. I’m confident he promoted Christianity for his own selfish motives. I’m not sure his deathbed conversion happened and I’m not a fan of the guy who witnessed it. But I’m not going to throw out the Nicene Creed.

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  173. Our honored host wrote:

    Immoral Dana, I know I closed the thread where I asked you those questions, but I really would like an answer to the questions I asked you rather than the entirely different reframed versions of the questions you chose to answer. You made it clear that you favor cheating and hypocrisy in support of Trump’s election, but you did not clearly answer whether you favor lying, lawbreaking, fraud, and/or vote fraud, whether by yourself or by Trump.

    I’m not interested in whether you think you’d get caught (assume nobody gets caught) or whether you think it has ever happened. I’m also not interested in a repetition of the oft-articulated reasons you have for supporting immorality in service of electing Trump.

    I am interested in whether you support those immoral actions in principle, in the same way that you have openly and cheerfully admitted that you support cheating, hypocrisy, and interference in our democratic process by a murderous dictator. And part of the price of keeping you as a commenter is that I’d like you to answer those questions.

    Actually, I just finished, over roughly three hours, a response to your comment at 145, based on the Doctrine of Double Effect. At 1680 words — though the count might include formatting code — and more hyperlinks than could be posted in a comment here, I believed it would be better posted on my own site, here. If you believe that it should be posted as a comment here as well, I will do so later — I have some work to do on the farm — though it will go into moderation and need to be released by you due to those embedded links.

    Furthermore, I will go back to your comment in the previously closed thread, and answer it here, again, after some farm chores have been completed.

    The Catholic Dana (1a323b)

  174. “I view it as an analysis of how politics and government might have played out had Hillary won “

    I feel that I at least partially addressed it as such, mostly disagreeing with the premise of how ineffectual HRC would be. IMO she would have had carte blanche for making most of the things we dislike about growing government power and loss of civility worse.

    harkin (ff5774)

  175. Btw – Happy Easter from our techlords:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4q4KqzW4AAlv3I?format=jpg&name=900×900

    harkin (ff5774)

  176. @140. The ‘Republican Party’ hasn’t been “destroyed” – only the conservative element effectively neutered; a joyous and long overdue adjustment for the tail to cease wagging the dog. Had that element been truly ‘strong’ it wouldn’t have unleashed- what, 16 or so dogs to run in ’16. The Right has been living in an echo chamber, fueled thanks to its radio and TeeVee crankers, since the high watermark days of late ’88 as trickledown repeatedly failed so materialize for so many. So the sucker punch came around- and =smack= thy name is Trump. It’s been 30 years in the making: welcome to the bottom of the deck- and 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  177. I think the link is fine, “Immorality in Service of Trump Is Good” Dana. The post doesn’t really answer my question from the previous thread, so I’m glad you’re working up a new answer. I hope it addresses the questions I actually asked.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  178. Happy Easter, all!

    I’m not particularly disappointed in my group of religious leaders and how they deal with Trump. First, they managed to remember (a group of them having forgotten for several decades) that they were religious leaders and not secular politicians. Second, they remembered and shared that there is no particular political party that lines up with our religion. There are parts of each party that speak to those values and parts of each party where they are “cooperating with material evil” and so nobody should get too comfortable. This was dismaying for some, but I found it comforting. We are a secular country, no religious group should be so enmeshed a political party that they start to feel like they can force their particular brand of religion on the rest of the country. Including my own.

    Nic (896fdf)

  179. Didn’t vote for the clown and won’t next time (I just can’t for anyone I deem unfit for the office) but I still would not swap him out for the crime family matriarch and I have no problem with anyone for the simple act of voting to minimize the damage.

    Agree.

    The bonus of NOT having a Supreme Court majority looking to dismantle the Constitution for at least another 5-10 years is worth every bit of ridicule thrown at those of us who object to the past, present and coming witch hunts.

    Sigh.

    And anyone who thinks Trump is not already being punished is blind. That the punishment may not take the form you desire (partially negating an election) is something you’re probably (hopefully?) going to have to accept. IMO Trump is not even in the top five problems needing addressing in this country (he’s a horrible President but we’ve had those before and we dodged the bullet of an even more horrible one in Nov 2016). The collapse of civil society, decimation of the education system, loss of privacy, spread of Islam in the West, cost of living, homelessness, non-secure borders, Chinese aggression, cultural Marxism etc are bigger fish than Orange Man Bad.

    As kishnevi said, Trump is a contributor to some of these problems, in particular the collapse of civil society.

    Everyone celebrates in their own way but using Trump to attack what Christianity means (here or anywhere) is lol wut.

    I think Nathan was referring to a) what Christianity appears to mean in this country to him, a non-believer, based on the behavior of so-called Christians he sees on TV, rather than b) what it actually means to a Christian who is following Christs’s teachings.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  180. @103. Mueller quilled a road map. Whether Congress follows it or not remains to be seen. Accordingly, score check:

    Patriot Games

    Rule of Men – 190
    Rule of Law – 0

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  181. Today, Ukraine has elected a TV comedian who plays the Ukraine president on TeeVee it’s real president. America elected a faux CEO it’s real CEO.

    Run, Oprah. Run.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  182. @167. It’s disingenuous to lay it all on Trump; he didn’t seize power in a coup; 63 million Americans knew what they were voting for– and though losing the popular vote to HRC’s 66 million, he still won, given the system. Safe bet those 63 million didn’t vote to ‘make things worse’ and accelerate the collapse of “civil society” any more than the voters who re-elected The Big Dick in ’72 – and waved goodbye to him as he choppered off in 1974.

    “The gray, middle America — they’re suckers.” – President Richard Nixon, May 4, 1972

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  183. That being said, you can often find two types of people who claim to be Christians. One in front of the church making ostentatious shows of piety and thanking God he’s not the scum in the back and the guy in the back quietly thanking God and asking forgiveness. You’ll also find ones that think being Christian means being perfect and others that know Jesus left the 99 for the 1. Or that still identify with the brother who stayed home even after hearing that story all their lives.
    frosty48 (750d2c) — 4/21/2019 @ 6:05 am

    Well said! May God bless you. To this I would add that the media love giving a platform to the ostentatious group as they would would never be too religious and who would actually turn people off to Christianity – as is evident with so many I have encountered in my life.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 4/21/2019 @ 8:53 am

    Absolutely right, sir. Your example of a TV Christian leader would be a member of the
    back-of-the-church type, whom the MSM hate to give voice, because “the dogma lives loudly in them.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  184. You were wrong wrong wrong about this, but the notion that we’ll see an ounce of contrition is laughable, because hacks like you have no ability for introspection whatsoever.

    Well, it looks out I was wrong about McGrath and Trump wanting to fire Mueller. But I can’t be too contrite. Yes, I was wrong to doubt the NYT but I always thought Trump SHOULD fire Mueller. Or at least drastically curtail his charter and time limit. My one compliment to Mueller is that he actually ended his Special Counsel investigation in 22 months. And he SEEMS to have not rambled around and expanded his investigation to areas that were outside his original scope. IRC, “Judge Walsh” was still investigating Iran-Contra Six years after it happened. So, Mr. Mueller gets a “Well done”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  185. I have no major qualm with someone holding their nose and voting for Trump over Hillary…as the less of two evils….even though I would argue the damage of having someone serially unqualified….and pathologically intemperate in the office is hard to exactly quantify….so much so that I chose to write-in my choice and sleep a wonderful sleep election night.

    The qualm I do have is why so many political and religious “conservatives” have continued to carry the water…and have become Trump’s Praetorian Guard….willingly abandoning logic and reason simply… it seems….to cheer the enemy of my enemy. Trump’s team (I hesitate to give him too much praise….as he will go with the wind) may have stumbled onto good judicial picks and a general philosophy of reducing business regulations….but these are things any good conservative would do…and that good conservative would likely not have a tenth of the Trump baggage. So why not stay agnostic on Trump and push for a challenge in 2020 (I’m not saying it would be easy considering FNC’s and right-wing-media’s addiction to Trump…but there is a strong case to be made)? Why fluff Trump? Is it habit or have you grown fond of the activity? I apologize for the non-Easterish imagery…

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  186. Patterico (115b1f) — 4/21/2019 @ 8:30 am

    Let all other blog hosts note well, the way to Host a site. This is an example of justice founded on mercy. The way is not easy, and the path is narrow.

    felipe (023cc9)

  187. Honestly, I think people in the midwest just wanted someone to pay attention to their problems. The left and the right had spent so many years arguing about stuff that wasn’t actually relevant to normal people that a lot of them just wanted someone to pay attention so they thought they’d try Trump. Unfortunately he doesn’t really understand what’s important to normal people so he’s yelling about stuff he thinks is important to them, but isn’t and is doing stuff that is actually harming them. Frankly I think Obama won in the steel states because GM survived. That’s it. He’d addressed a need that they had. It’s why Joe Biden is appealing to a lot of them. It’s why Hillary didn’t win, because they didn’t think she did. When things are going well people care about stuff like religious values or progressive politics or whatever, when things are not going well, they care about direct economic factors and things have not been going well in the midwest in a very long time.

    Nic (896fdf)

  188. Since its Easter, let me give my opinion on all these “Trump isn’t a good Christian – so why do Christians support him” comments. And I’m addressing this as a general comment, its directed any particular person.

    Most Christians have figured out that “politics ain’t beanbag” and its a matter of compromise and picking between the lesser of two evils. We’ve never had a perfect Christian as POTUS, and we never will. If you waiting for a Secular Saint to sit in the White House, you’ll be waiting for a very, very, long time. Trump – whatever his personal life – believes in most of things I believe, and supports most of things I support. He’s not appointing anti-Christian, pro-choice, judges. He’s not cheering on the SJW’s, he’s not pushing for Trans-gendered rights. He appointed conservatives like William Barr and Jeff Sessions as AG. He’s kept us out of war, and he’s helped make us prosperous. He’s not a socialist and he’s not a globalist.

    Sorry, Trump’s not the great moralist that George Bush or Obama was. But he’s no worse then Hillary, that’s for certain.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  189. I think you meant domestic spies. You were referring to the “insurance policy”, weren’t you? You know, all that good lying, cheating and criminality.

    If you agree with him that anything either side does to win is fair game, and no cause for complaint, why do you keep complaining about what the other side does?

    Also, I wasn’t aware that expressing a political opinion to one’s paramour is criminal because you work for the government. I guess it depends what the political opinion is, right?

    Dave (1bb933)

  190. @186

    He had only one criticism, he said, to make of Mr. Pilkington’s excellent and neighbourly speech. Mr. Pilkington had referred throughout to “Animal Farm.” He could not of course know–for he, Napoleon, was only now for the first time announcing it–that the name “Animal Farm” had been abolished. Henceforward the farm was to be known as “The Manor Farm”–which, he believed, was its correct and original name.

    “Gentlemen,” concluded Napoleon, “I will give you the same toast as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!”

    frosty48 (750d2c)

  191. Simon Jester (02fa6f) — 4/21/2019 @ 8:45 am

    Simon, Narciso engages in “performance” commenting, not unlike the banned Happyfeet.
    Along with allusion, metaphors and similes, Narciso enjoys constructing original ways to opine an obscure and oblique position, in a run-on, unpunctuated* manner.

    His style has roots in a “response and then call,” a response to, say, a link, is given before one has read it, The same response to which you must refer after you have read the link, with the added trick of identifying which precise idea within the link is the object of the response.

    Believe it or not, we do this in real life in casual conversations with good friends – it can be called an “inside” joke, but more commonly is a shorthand between those who share a common experience of events – so much so, that only a reference is need to convey an entire position. But Narciso is unknown to us at that level.

    That is in contrast to the well known “call and response” where one gives a link and then opines about a hi-lighted idea. This is the preferred method online.

    Sometimes narciso’s style is straightforward, but mostly it is constructed non-syllogisticly. Unless you happen to have the missing step already in mind, the comment is impenetrable. This is where one uses one’s immense store of human experience to fill in the missing step. Once again, unless you have an experience common with narciso, you are out of luck.

    The only thing one should feel in the face of a puzzling narciso comment is, “left out.”

    * UNpunctuated because not all verbal cues can be captured with punctuation. Someday, someone will introduce a symbol that will clear up some of the more uncommon conversational practices. Like accelerando or impressions.

    felipe (023cc9)

  192. @188. Safe on the beach, Joey-Bee’s going to be in for a rude awakening if/when he jumps in the water; you can’t win a race against jet-skis with an inner-tube. He will be 78 in November, 2020.

    Biden was elected to the Senate in November 1972 – five months after some burglars broke into the DNC offices at some place called ‘Watergate.’ Americans were driving Ford Pintos, Billie Jean played Bobby, ‘Hanoi Jane’ was swinging on an AA gun; the Pet Rock and the Sony Betamax were still 3 years in the future– and so much more:

    http://pop-culture.us/Annual/1972.html

    Joey-Bee, long time friend of big banks, was a down-the-list-loser in top spot runs from then on through four decades and only landed the Veep gig by riding in on Obama’s coat tails and nobody’s going to buy his lie that he’d be Obama’s ‘third term’ – after all, he’s a known plagiarist, anyway.

    Look around your 2019 life for anything of practical use for your future- as we move into the 2020’s, aside from a picture frame or two, from 1972. It’s a cinch the America of today won’t add Joey-Bee to that list.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  193. Dennis Miller was my guide in comprehension.

    Narciso (dc5733)

  194. DRJ (15874d) — 4/21/2019 @ 9:16 am

    I am with you, DRJ. To everyone else I say:

    It is not judging to say Trump is a terrible Christian.

    felipe (023cc9)

  195. Oh, I don’t think Biden should run, and I don’t know that he’d win the nomination for the Dems if he did, I’m just saying that I think he appeals to the midwest (and the working class in general) because he speaks the right cultural dialect. His nickname is “Uncle Joe” for a reason. Of the other people on the left, I don’t think anyone else has quite the right touch. The closest is probably Harris (yeah, I know, I know.) probably because she’s worked with a lot of law enforcement.

    Nic (896fdf)

  196. On democracy now glen greenwalt debates david cay johnson who committed more treason trump campaign with russia or clinton campaign with the ujraine. excellent debate. you can watch it on democratic underground right now.

    lany (fb878e)

  197. felipe,

    I am not sure I am right but I was taugh and believe that:

    1. We should not judge peoples’ souls because only God knows what is in our hearts and decides who goes to heaven. This applies to the ostentatious folks in the front pews, the folks in the back, and the folks who aren’t in church at all.

    2. However, we can judge people by their actions on earth. That, I think, is why we care about the differences in humility and how people act. Do they try to live by God’s rules and Christ’s teachings?

    DRJ (15874d)

  198. Before we get too far from the mueller stuff; I still think the standard of proof mueller used for obstruction was bs. He’s using confident DJT didn’t clearly intend to obstruct and it isn’t clear what this means. It sounds like clear and convincing which is a high bar to prove someone did something but he’s using his standard to determine if something wasn’t done. That makes it sound more like the some evidence standard.

    Oh, and I would say that mueller is swamp scum but that minimizes his swampiness and scumminess.

    frosty48 (676a92)

  199. “ Trump is a contributor to some of these problems, in particular the collapse of civil society.”

    Of course he is but even considering the fact he’s POTUS a relatively minor contributor and late to the party. The demonization of everyone from Reagan to Bork to Clarence Thomas etc. etc. etc. started way back when Trump was supporting, partying with and being adored by liberals. Trump didn’t tell liberals that strong, non-PC women (everyone from Ayann Hirsi Ali to Condi Rice to Sarah Palin) must be marginalized at all costs. Add to that what has happened to freedom of speech on college campuses in the last 15 years and corporate/Hollywood/social media shame mobs to deal with (aka getting people fired) for daring to disagree with the Groupthink. People were demanding conservative commencement speakers be disinvited over 20 years ago. This all came about and way more from the Left than the Right without any help from Trump.

    It’s pretty remarkable that the ‘find something, ANYTHING!’ crowd is actually creating some of the defense of Trump which they find so ridiculous and disdain-worthy. Trump is a petulant egoist but the witch hunts, fishing expeditions and perjury traps are making his anger and lack of civility seem at times understandable to more than a few Americans.

    And it was Barack Obama who implied in 2015 that the phrase All Lives Matter was indicative of ignorance while at the same time perpetuating the myth that the real danger to young black men was police officers and not other young black men. IMO this was more destructive than anything yet done by Donald Trump.

    harkin (ff5774)

  200. I’m not sure I understand that, frosty. Can you explain it more, especially this: “He’s using confident DJT didn’t clearly intend to obstruct and it isn’t clear what this means.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  201. Oh, and I would say that mueller is swamp scum but that minimizes his swampiness and scumminess.

    Nice way to slander a man who has served his country faithfully, ably and in some cases heroically, for his entire life.

    Dave (1bb933)

  202. now you’re being like the other son, in the prodigal tale, yes we’re all guilty of it, except the dems actively push to punish people of faith, and republicans even if they had their wild period like prince hal, at least endeavor not to,

    narciso (d1f714)

  203. except the dems actively push to punish people of faith, and republicans even if they had their wild period like prince hal, at least endeavor not to

    I guess calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” was just a youthful indiscretion, eh?

    Dave (1bb933)

  204. @195. “It’s not judging to say Trump is a terrible Christian.”

    Except it is.

    “And the Lord said, gentlemen, ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ ” – Prof. Groeteschele [Walter Matthau] ‘Fail-Safe’ 1964

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  205. “No they did it first.” “No they did!” “No, you!” “No, you!” You want to go back far enough, the founding fathers were saying unkind things to eachother in the continental congress. They were first in US politics, OK? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had unkind differences of opinion at eachother.

    And Sarah Palin is an ignorant attention seeker with no follow through on her responsibilities who gets into brawls and who did a not great job of raising at least the oldest two of her children and who has done nothing to benefit anyone other than maybe herself in the last 10 years. I don’t think noticing that she’s not great makes me against strong women.

    Nic (896fdf)

  206. “He’s using confident DJT didn’t clearly intend to obstruct and it isn’t clear what this means.”

    Must be one of those obscure and oblique positions I’ve been hearing about….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  207. No just ignorant of her son’s service in Diyala and then Helmand province, and the heavy lawfare cost she bore for speaking truth to power,

    Narciso (71ac3f)

  208. “And if the intent was to end what he knew to be a hoax and coup attempt, even though you didn’t, then what’s Mr. Prosecutor’s citation of the relevant criminal statute?

    Then it’s obstruction. His personal opinion that the investigation is illegitimate is not a defense. And unless he had a jury of hacks like you, it would make no difference.”

    Sorry, but there is no such thing as a prosecutor whose power to uncover state and personal secrets rises above the Chief Executive. Whether it is an impeachable offense or not depends entirely upon Congress’s opinion, and the opinion of those who elect that Congress.

    “I think frosty48 is correct that the key to Christianity is the forgiveness and redemption that Christ brought through his death on the cross. But I don’t think that redemption comes to the utterly unrepentant sinner, and that is what Trump appears to be.”

    An utterly unrepentant sinner would not have attempted to hide his affairs. He was more equipped than any many to proudly brazen his way through them, Clinton style. And yet, he did not.

    In any case, this is not your judgment call.

    “And I think Nathan is correct that many Christians seem to minimize Trump’s sins, including notably most of the “leaders” who go on TV and present to the non-Christian world a rather ugly face of the religion. One common thing I hear from nonbelievers is how utterly casual TV Christian leaders are about Trump’s sins, and how prone to minimizing them they are.”

    Most of your liberal friends are consciously protesting too much because they know you’ll fold emotionally when they bring it up.

    Meanwhile McCain and Gingrich’s much more soulless betrayals make Trump’s high-level female commodity trading look quaint. Whatever your opinion of his past actions, he did not, unlike so many others, come to Washington simply for opportunities for sex and money, and in so doing callously ruin and betray the wives of his youth.

    Ryumyaku (839eb2)

  209. Ryumyaku,

    I never understand anything you’re saying. Is English not your native language? I’m not trying to be insulting but you might want to work on your language skills a little bit, because it’s frustrating to try to figure out what you’re talking about.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  210. “Nice way to slander a man who has served his country faithfully, ably and in some cases heroically, for his entire life.”

    The same way he allowed his deputy Weissman to slander Flynn? Keep those crocodile tears over roles you wouldn’t dream of ever holding yourself to a minimum.

    Mueller, much like many soldiers who chose a DC job, took the role of the honorable front line soldier and designated fall guy (just as much as Flynn did.) Unfortunately, the people he chose to front for were much, much, MUCH worse, in both quality and morals, and that’s reflected in his history of being the face of imprisoned innocents and freed pedophiles.

    Ryumyaku (5bc683)

  211. “I never understand anything you’re saying.”

    It’s perfectly understandable for those willing to research basic facts and make perfectly normal comparisons and contrasts between high-level individuals who do and do not get dinged on their infidelities.

    If you still have trouble understanding, try comparing people you talk about to real-life other people that exist in the real world, rather than the most strictly interpreted application of your personal moral code.

    Especially when that moral code seems to never get invoked with the same vehemence and insistence on other Republicans or Democrats.

    Ryumyaku (46924b)

  212. That’s good advice, Ryumyaku. Almost an epiphany. What the f**k was I thinking fighting with Patterico over a piece of garbage like Trump?

    I don’t know if you’re right, Patterico, but I know I was wrong.

    nk (dbc370)

  213. frosty48 (676a92) — 4/21/2019 @ 3:13 pm

    Nothing of the sort. Mueller said that in some instances Trump attempted to obstruct justice, in one instance he clearly did not, and in several others the answer is unclear because it was not possible to decide what Trump’s actual intentions were. But he also said that the main reason he did not seek to prosecute Trump was the OLC view that sitting presidents should not be prosecuted (which btw directly contradicts the statement that Barr made in his summary when he claimed no constitutional doctrine was involved in deciding whether to prosecute Trump.)

    Kishnevi (f358ee)

  214. DRJ (15874d) — 4/21/2019 @ 3:10 pm

    We are in complete agreement, DRJ. We can judge certain things because why else would we have brains, thoughts, opinions, intelligence and wisdom?

    DCSCA, You are mistaken. This is not a difference of opinion. A judgment of character, fashion, opinion, or of distance, is not a judgment of a soul. The first is within our objective power and authority, given mind, memory, and competence. The second is completely outside of our authority and ability.

    felipe (023cc9)

  215. Especially when that moral code seems to never get invoked with the same vehemence and insistence on other Republicans or Democrats.
    Ryumyaku (46924b) — 4/21/2019 @ 5:49 pm

    I, for one, will give you a pass on this mistake. Since it may be that you have either not been paying attention, or are simply unaware of our hosts many demonstrations, on this site, of his moral code.

    felipe (023cc9)

  216. narciso is a man who has very useful information and opinions and he is able to put the dots together and associate current events and people with events of the past that often clarified the where, the why and the how. I’ve learned to read him like I’d read Lewis Carroll in my youth and, more recently, Philip K. Dick. It is almost always worth while to spend the time to decipher.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  217. I agree with you, Colonel. I have found all of that to be true.

    felipe (023cc9)

  218. I suspect I know who Ryumyaku is but

    The Lord hath made all things for Himself, yea, even the wicked for

    the moment you stop and think and ask yourself: For whom do I have a higher regard? Patterico, whose site I have been commenting on since 2005, or some Fifth Avenue orange-skinned pansy who was almost certainly buggered by Roy Cohn and for whom I did not even for?

    nk (dbc370)

  219. even *vote* for

    nk (dbc370)

  220. Let me be the first to admit that, like narciso, I have rubbed other commenters the wrong way, but I have endeavored to make reparations in an earnest and timely manner – a discipline that, sadly, narciso eschews.

    felipe (023cc9)

  221. Narciso dishes it out for sure and I finally figured out the split/serial reference system of his posts (the text summarizes the previous link, new link). He’s also an wasy target for the unimaginative because his name is the longform version of a modern ethnic pejorative.

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  222. Let me ammend my previous comment:

    narciso has actually apologized to me in the past, over a misunderstanding. It was prompt and earnest. Also, he forgave me, after I insulted him in a display of poor judgment. So he does not eschew a most praisworthy discipline, rather, he exercises it rarely.

    felipe (023cc9)

  223. …easy target…

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  224. nk (dbc370) — 4/21/2019 @ 6:45 pm

    Same here. The style is familiar.

    felipe (023cc9)

  225. @215. Except I’m not.

    But excuse and qualify away if it fits your pistol. ‘Tis the day for it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  226. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/21/2019 @ 6:40 pm

    Except that often enough the wrong dots are connected, and a load of other dots that lead to differing conclusions. So he often defends people who should not be defended and accuses people who should not be accused. And his positions often ignore the fact that evil people will do good things when it is in their own interest to do so.

    Nor does it help that deciphering his code requires extensive familiarity with both the history of espionage in the last half century or more, and equally extensive familiarity with espionage fiction and films from the same time span.

    Kishnevi (f358ee)

  227. Except you are, DCSCA – infinity. I will now leave you to argue with my simulacrum .

    felipe (023cc9)

  228. a load of other dots that lead to differing conclusions
    *ignores a lot of other dots that lead to differing conclusions*

    Speaking of obscure style…😶

    Kishnevi (f358ee)

  229. Kishnevi (f358ee) — 4/21/2019 @ 7:06 pm

    Heh!

    felipe (023cc9)

  230. The QWERTY key substitution code has been around for as long as typewriters, kishnevi. It takes a little patience, but even with variations within the same message it is relatively easy to decode. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  231. nk (dbc370) — 4/21/2019 @ 7:13 pm

    Ha! Remeber when narciso typed in his comment sdrawkcab?

    felipe (023cc9)

  232. But just to be clear, I was referring to myself and not obliquely to narciso in my comments 213 and 219 above.

    nk (dbc370)

  233. Axios
    @axios
    WATCH: MSNBC reporter Mike Viqueira confronts Robert Mueller outside of his church on Easter Sunday.
    __ _

    Comfortably Smug
    @ComfortablySmug
    Libs last week: [Wearing “It’s Mueller Time” t-shirt and retweeting a Krassenstein brother] “Mueller is a hero and a patriot!!”

    Libs this week: “Sir, why didn’t you tell congress to impeach are you a Russian asset??!?!”
    __

    harkin (ff5774)

  234. “For whom do I have a higher regard? Patterico, whose site I have been commenting on since 2005, or some Fifth Avenue orange-skinned pansy who was almost certainly buggered by Roy Cohn and for whom I did not even for?”

    Well, as the Orange man says, loyalty is indeed a great virtue and I applaud yours.

    And in the end, the relative relationship-ending seriousness with which the Mueller report should be taken is essentially contained in the first line:

    “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

    Describing Russia’s penny ante “election interference” as “sweeping and systematic” when you are a representative of the most egregiously election-interfering country on the planet is an unfunny joke. Even moreso when you represent the establishment that interferes with elections in its own country, which is really what the Mueller report is: the largest documented effort to interfere in an American election.

    Truly, it’s all a big joke, not something worth getting worked up over. I’ll mock those who take it seriously, of course, but we should never voluntarily end long and fruitful friendships over it!

    Ryumyaku (b97d8a)

  235. Too bad Viqueira didnt become this generation’s Andrew Meyer.

    urbanleftbehind (054ae9)

  236. Well, as the Orange man says, loyalty is indeed a great virtue and I applaud yours.

    You misunderstood me, Rumyaku. Loyalty is besides the point. Inspired by your comment, I compared Patterico to Trump, made a judgment as to who is the better person, and Patterico wins hands down.

    nk (dbc370)

  237. I personally don’t know any Christians that hold him up as an example to be respected personally.

    Ex-House Rep. Michele Bachmann exalts Trump: We will ‘never see a more godly, biblical president’

    The article doesn’t address Trump’s personal scandals, and the support Bachman cites for her encomium is policy oriented. Still, you can’t claim “godly, biblical president” isn’t endorsement of his personal virtue.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  238. @201 Before I start, I’m not trying to argue the merits. I’m pointing out that Mueller isn’t clear about what standard of proof is being used and how it’s being applied. Referring to VII page 2 specifically:

    Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President ‘s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    What standard of proof is this? This quote references ‘the applicable legal standards’. Are we dealing with reasonable doubt? It doesn’t say that. Are we dealing with a clear and convincing standard? If reasonable doubt is what’s being referenced by ‘the applicable legal standards’ why does the first sentence use this confident/clearly formulation?

    How is whatever standard he’s using being applied? Usually, a standard of proof is usually applied like ‘using the standard does the evidence establish a crime was committed’ but here he’s applying it as ‘did not commit’. So, he got to does not conclude … committed because it didn’t exceed the standard? Yea, those double negatives are clear as mud. Especially since we started with trying to determine ‘did not commit’ and we ended up with ‘did not conclude’. Taking out the double negatives do we get ‘does conclude … did not commit because it didn’t exceed the standard’?

    But it doesn’t exonerate based on what standard? Reasonable doubt, clear and convincing, preponderance?

    Again, not trying to argue the substance of the obstruction evidence. I’m just pointing out that this is poor legal writing and I’m not sure it means what everyone wants it to mean. I think a fair reading would be no criminal conduct based on reasonable doubt but doesn’t exonerate because it exceeds the clear and convincing standard. But the ‘did not commit’ looks like he’s inverted the clear and convincing standard. Are we left with not over ‘reasonable doubt’ but over ‘some evidence’?

    frosty48 (b7d025)

  239. I believe that excerpt is clear, frosty.

    The first sentence refers to facts, not legal standards. It says that if the facts had shown Trump was clearly not guilty of obstruction, the report would have said so. But the facts show some evidence of obstruction, so they applied the relevant legal standard for criminal charges — beyond a reasonable doubt. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standard, the report did not conclude Trump is not guilty.

    DRJ (15874d)

  240. @238 Yea, she’s wrong. While I personally don’t know Bachmann I won’t use that as an out. I stand corrected.

    frosty48 (b7d025)

  241. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standard, the report did not conclude Trump is not guilty.

    DRJ (15874d) — 4/21/2019 @ 8:19 pm

    Sorry for the double negative but that is the only way I could figure out to say it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  242. In criminal or civil cases, do we require a showing of intent and a completed act? Or is it be enough to show intent plus an attempt? My gut says we need an act in civil cases but intent in criminal cases.

    For instance, if Trump asked his employees at the Trump Organization to defraud his contractual partners by providing fake invoices, but his employees refused to do those things, should his partners be allowed to treat that as a breach of contract? What about attempted obstruction of justice in his Administration, assuming the prosecution shows intent?

    DRJ (15874d)

  243. Attempt requires specific intent and a substantial step.
    Conspiracy requires specific intent and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    But wait, there’s more. In testing the prosecution’s case in a motion for directed verdict, all the evidence and inferences to be fairly drawn therefrom are viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution. However, for final judgment, that no longer applies. The trier of fact may judge the weight and the credibility of the evidence and draw any inferences as they choose in their best judgment, and the test is whether the totality of the evidence sustains a verdict of guilty.

    nk (dbc370)

  244. Now, specific intent does not mean the defendant must know the law he is about to violate. It means he intends to commit the end result of the crime.

    For example, in attempted murder, the jury instruction is only “intended to kill”; in contrast to a successful murder which is a general intent crime, and includes intent to cause death or great bodily, knowledge that his acts would cause death or great bodily harm, or wantonly and willfully disregarded a strong probability that his acts would cause death or great bodily harm.

    nk (dbc370)

  245. Conspiracy requires specific intent and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    (Sorry, can’t resist.) Or an FBI informant and nine defendants all whose last names end in a vowel.

    nk (dbc370)

  246. @235 Ryumyaku: “what the Mueller report is: the largest documented effort to interfere in an American election.”

    Would that still be your opinion if conspiracy was shown or if the intent to obstruct was more blatant? Are we to seek out your gut on such questions….or investigate and establish evidence? Trump hid his team’s meeting with the Russian national….as he hid his Trump Tower Moscow dealings….there are credible links to Wikileaks….he repeatedly sought out others to fire Mueller….pretending that all of this is a tragic injustice to Trump does disservice to what we know is the truth.

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  247. To conspire to release documents available to everyone, how does this work again?

    Narciso (71ac3f)

  248. This coin has two sides, it’s wrong to go around labeling people non-Christian so you can disown them and it’s wrong to go around labeling them Christian so that you can what, give him some of your credibility or take some for yourself because you’re both in the same group now.

    I remember in 2012 when Romney did proclaim that Christ was his personal savior and, not long after, Harry Reid, douchebag that he is, stated that Romney was a bad Mormon. If a fella states out loud that Christ is his personal savior, I’ll take him at his word because I have no way of knowing otherwise (unless he unleashes some sort of inexcusable evil like bombing churches in Sri Lanka). Harry Reid, though, was in no position to judge what was in Romney’s heart. Any issues with Romney and the LDS church was a matter for LDS leadership, not some political hyperpartisan who already lied about Romney’s tax returns.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  249. @228.: “And the Lord said, gentlemen, ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ ” – Prof. Groeteschele [Walter Matthau] – ‘Fail-Safe’ 1964

    Argue w/”Prof. Groeteschele,” instead, f. And should he respond any differently now than then, that would be a miracle, indeed, so do let us know.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  250. baldilocks
    @JulietteAkinyi
    Today, in the aftermath of Islamist terror attacks on churches in Sri Lanka, it’s notable that prominent Democrats like former President Obama and Hillary Clinton are calling the victims “Easter worshipers” rather than Christians.

    I wonder if these phenomena are related.
    6:58 PM · Apr 21, 2019

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  251. @240 But you apply the legal standards to facts. But the facts show some evidence of obstruction is applying the legal standard of ‘some evidence’, an actual legal standard, to the facts. Are you just agreeing with me that one standard was used for ‘can exonerate’ and another for ‘is guilty’?

    My point was it’s hard to get both statements from one standard.

    Let’s type it out and see how it reads: Based on the facts we did not conclude that Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Ok, that seems clear. Is that an accurate rewording of not conclude … committed a crime?

    We’re still left with this ‘does not exonerate’ clause because ‘reasonable doubt’ isn’t actually attached to that and Mueller isn’t clear what standard he used. He can’t reuse ‘reasonable doubt’ and have it make sense.

    Let’s type that out: Based on the facts we did not not conclude that Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Is that an inaccurate rewording of ‘we did not exonerate’?

    I’m not trying to be obtuse.

    Let’s try: Based on the facts we did not conclude that Trump is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We’ve moved the not around but does it really change anything. The two sentences together then say ‘did not conclude is guilty and did not conclude is not guilty’. That doesn’t seem like an inaccurate reading but then is this section saying anything at all?

    Let’s try the one everyone likes: Based on the facts we did conclude that Trump might be found guilty by Congress. That doesn’t fix the burden of proof problem. That’s just a way to restate the problem with the DOJ guidelines.

    The only way to get from didn’t conclude guilt to did not exonerate, which is just a way to hide the double negative, is by having some daylight between different standards of proof, i.e. there is ‘some evidence’ of a crime but not evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable criticism.

    Maybe Mueller really is saying ‘we’re not saying but we’re also not not saying’.

    frosty48 (b7d025)

  252. 248… don’t ask, narciso, it’s pretzel logic.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  253. Andy Ngo
    @MrAndyNgo
    What better time to take a swipe at Christians than after a series of bombings targeting them on Easter Sunday

    Andy Ngo
    @MrAndyNgo
    What better time to take a swipe at Christians than after a series of bombings targeting them on Easter Sunday

    Andy West
    @AndyWestTV
    There is no excuse for terror attacks against innocent people but as a journalist I saw Western Christian missionaries unscrupulpusly converting Buddhist orphans for food and shelter after the Asian tsunami. Don’t send your prayers. #SriLankaBlasts

    Andy West
    @AndyWestTV
    There is no excuse for terror attacks against innocent people but as a journalist I saw Western Christian missionaries unscrupulpusly converting Buddhist orphans for food and shelter after the Asian tsunami. Don’t send your prayers. #SriLankaBlasts

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  254. If there is no evidence (no facts) that a crime has been committed, then the prosecutor would not pursue charges. That is not a legal question, it is a factual question.

    If there is evidence (facts) that a crime has been committed, then the prosecutor considers whether the evidence (the facts) meet the applicable legal standard of proof in a criminal case — typically proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor files criminal charges if s/he thinks the evidence meets or exceeds the applicable legal standard.

    DRJ (15874d)

  255. in other words, a prosecutor must identify some evidence — some facts — that indicate a crime has occurred before considering the applicable legal standard of proof.

    DRJ (15874d)

  256. In criminal law, the prosecutor looks for facts/evidence regarding the elements of the crime. For example, the elements of a federal obstruction of justice charge regarding witness/jury tampering are:

    Elements of an Obstruction of Justice Charge

    The elements required for a conviction on an obstruction of justice charge differ slightly by code section. For instance, prosecutors must prove the following elements for a conviction under section 1503 of the federal statute (influencing or injuring an officer or juror):

    There was a pending federal judicial proceeding;
    The defendant knew of the proceeding; and
    The defendant had corrupt intent to interfere with or attempted to interfere with the proceeding.
    But regardless of the specific section of federal law (1501 through 1521) cited in a particular case, the prosecution need not prove any actual obstruction — the defendant’s attempt to obstruct is enough. The element of intent, which is central to such cases, is also usually the most difficult to prove; although memos, phone calls, and recorded conversations may be used as evidence to establish this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  257. I am praying Mueller and his 16 angry democrats get sued by the victims of this United States government hoax. These government ingrates deserve a rope and a sturdy oak branch, nothing less.

    mg (8cbc69)

  258. Democrats and the no trumpers will try anything to kill this economy. The heart and soul of America won’t let it happen.

    mg (8cbc69)

  259. So, some evidence means greater than zero and obstruction includes attempt.

    Would a fair reading of ‘not exonerate’ be that there is some evidence of the intent to attempt?

    frosty48 (12cdc0)

  260. Teh Donkey in teh Pile, Part Deux…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  261. I am praying Mueller and his 16 angry democrats get sued by the victims of this United States government hoax. These government ingrates deserve a rope and a sturdy oak branch, nothing less.

    Does this mean Rosenstein should also get sued and then given a death penalty by hanging? I’m assumed that’s the sequence because death-by-hanging and then getting sued makes no sense. But Rosy should get it too because, after all, he’s the one who appointed Mueller and instructed him on scope, no? But what hoax? There was a “sweeping and systematic” effort by Putin to upend an American election, with over 100 contacts between Putin operatives and Trump representatives, all supported by 200 pages of documentation in the Mueller report.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  262. “Inspired by your comment, I compared Patterico to Trump, made a judgment as to who is the better person, and Patterico wins hands down.”

    All people are ultimately made for different purposes in life. I wouldn’t put Trump on the prosecutor’s bench due to lack of procedure familiarity, and I wouldn’t send Pat’s naive and inexperienced self to get eaten alive by the sharks circling around the Presidency. (Imagine thinking that anything in the Mueller report is admissible as evidence in a court of law, much less ‘would stand up to detailed cross-examination from any competent defense attorney with equal access to the material!’)

    Ultimately, it’s a shame to get caught up in the political questions. Keep the friendships and goodwill going!

    Ryumyaku (a3d742)

  263. sweeping, systematic, and upend

    yea, that’s what we’ve got … I’m not sure those words mean what you think they mean.

    maybe we should start with a moratorium on kool-aid. or at least a public service warning.

    frosty48 (2d3bcc)

  264. OK, I will take a wild and crazy guess that Ryumyaku is prolly shipwreckedcrew only because he seems to have a personal issue with our esteemed host.

    What say you, nk?

    felipe (023cc9)

  265. @265 Absolutely there was a “sweeping and systematic” effort by Russia to interfere in the election. It was highly sophisticated and coordinated, years in the formation, involving propaganda bots and live agents. The evidence laid out in Part 1 of the report is extensive, detailed and specific. However, it would have occurred whether Trump ran for office or not. The intent and purpose was sow descension, spread disinformation, create division, and discredit the democratic process.

    It’s not a question of Russia being pro-Trump and anti-Clinton. Had another Republican, say Cruz, won the nomination, the attacks against him would have been far more intense though. Russia favored Trump, because he’s viewed as a useful idiot and may in fact be compromised.

    Anyone who looks at Trump’s business history knows he has long had business dealings with Russia and its corrupt oligarchs. In fact, Donald Junior admitted that most of their financing comes out of Russia. It is no coincidence the Deutsche Bank, Russia’

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  266. So, some evidence means greater than zero and obstruction includes attempt.

    Would a fair reading of ‘not exonerate’ be that there is some evidence of the intent to attempt?

    frosty48 (12cdc0) — 4/22/2019 @ 5:55 am

    I think it would, except I would say “evidence of the intent to obstruct.” People don’t typically “intend to attempt” things. They intend to do things but we call it an attempt when they fail.

    DRJ (15874d)

  267. OK, I will take a wild and crazy guess that Ryumyaku is prolly shipwreckedcrew only because he seems to have a personal issue with our esteemed host.

    Not a chance.

    Whatever his flaws (and I didn’t have any problem with him myself), SWC was literate, erudite and articulate. Ryumyaku’s posts come across as none of the above.

    I also don’t believe SWC would sock puppet.

    Dave (1bb933)

  268. sweeping, systematic, and upend…yea, that’s what we’ve got … I’m not sure those words mean what you think they mean…maybe we should start with a moratorium on kool-aid or at least a public service warning.

    Um, “sweeping and systematic” is a direct quote from the Mueller report. How is that “kool-aid”? Is it not true that Putin was trying to game an election in his favor in unprecedented fashion? But thank you, I do know exactly what those words mean.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  269. OK, I will take a wild and crazy guess that Ryumyaku is prolly shipwreckedcrew only because he seems to have a personal issue with our esteemed host.

    No way, felipe. shipwreckedcrew would never sockpuppet. Also what Dave said. No, Rumyaku is Mr. VPN with as many handles from day to day as he has IP addresses from comment to comment and whom I suspect to have originally graced us with his presence as Christoph.

    nk (dbc370)

  270. @272 The hoax is that anything the Russians did had an impact and that Trump coordinated with the Russians for that impact.

    The report has three basic sections on this correct? The social media, the hacking and dumping, and links and contacts with the campaign.

    Only the first two of those can be said to have had any impact on voters, i.e. to upend an American election. I could probably read the report more carefully but does it say anywhere that the social media or the dnc email release upended the election, or had any impact at all? That seems like an article of faith. We’re just sort of going with we got Trump because of facebook and twitter memes and something in the dnc emails? Ok, hair on fire, check.

    On the other hand, we’ve spent two years trying to remove a President based on that article of faith, some sketchy Russian dirt, and interfering with an investigation which all sort of go in a circle. The dirt is trusted because of the article of faith which triggered the investigation which reinforced the article of faith and cleaned up the dirt, etc. And no big d.

    frosty48 (491023)

  271. He’s Putin’s Smile now.

    nk (dbc370)

  272. The hoax is that anything the Russians did had an impact and that Trump coordinated with the Russians for that impact.

    You and I don’t know the extent of Putin’s impact or whether his influence operation was sufficient to tip the scales. There were multiple factors for why Hillary lost, but it is simply a fact that the Russian dictator directed an effort to upend an American election. It is also fact that the FBI and the DOJ were concerned enough about all the contacts between Trump officials and Putin operatives that they felt compelled to investigate whether or not those contacts involved a conspiracy. Mueller’s conclusion was that he “did not establish” such a conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt, so I’ll take your “hoax” language as hyperbole.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  273. (Pressed the space bar and something happened. The comment posted before I could finish my thoughts. To continue.)

    It is no coincidence that Deutsche Bank, Russia’s preferred bank for money laundering (for which it has been indicted several times and fined millions), is the bank Trump turned to when American and British banks refused to loan him money, after his multiple business failings and four bankruptcies. There is evidence to suggest he has engaged or willingly participated in money laundering himself. For example, by selling a Florida mansion at an overinflated price to a Russian oligarch.

    But it goes further than that. Russians buy Trump condos and properties, which is not illegal, except when it’s at inflated prices with dirty money. Oligarchs frequented his casinos, which are ideal places for money laundering–buy chips with dirty money, cash in chips for clean money–before they all went bankrupt.

    Trump hosted a beauty pageant in Moscow, when he owned the Miss World contest. That might have been when Russian agents took photos or film of him engaging in illicit behavior (he was known to have walked into dressing rooms while the contestants were undressing to ogle them, or worse), and it may have been the source of the infamous tape mentioned in the Steele dossier, which has been discredited but some other tape may exist, being held for the purposes of extortion, but that’s just conjecture.

    The answer to the question of Trump’s fascination with Russia, beyond his indebtedness to oligarchs and Deutsche Bank, is to be found in Michael Cohen’s testimony before the congressional committee. Cohen stated, truthfully I believe, that Trump never thought he would win the nomination or the election, but rather thought of his campaign as a marketing ploy to boost the image of his brand name. That explains a lot. Throughout the campaign and well into the transition, he was in negotiations to build Trump Tower in Moscow. This was to be Trump’s signature achievement, the tallest skyscraper in Europe with a penthouse for Putin at the top, worth hundreds of millions.

    That deal fell apart after Trump improbably won the election. Mainly because the optics of the President of the United States building a luxury tower in Moscow would have been terrible, given Russia’s undeniable attempt to interfere in the election. More likely because Putin cancelled the project–nothing like that gets built in Russia without his explicit approval and considerable kickbacks. I have no doubt Trump would have gone ahead with the project without regard to the optics, had he been able to. Someone who declares he could shoot someone on 5th avenue, commit murder in broad daylight in front of witnesses, without losing the support of his base would not hesitate to defiantly build a skyscraper in the capital of America’s sworn foreign adversary, without losing the support of his base. (He probably would be right about that, because his personality cult worshippers have no shame, moral or patriotic compass.)

    It appears that Trump’s plan all along was to campaign to boost his brand name, lose, build Trump Tower Moscow, launch Trump TV, some sort of “Reality” show where he could pretend to be the loyal opposition to whoever won the nomination or the election, and cater to his cult base. That sounds extreme, but it is perfectly within the range of his dementia. We are talking about a man whose ego and self-love would make Narcissus blush.

    It explains why Trump brought so many people with Russian contacts–Manafort, Flynn, Page–into his campaign, despite being warned they were under federal investigation. It explains why he not only welcomed but encouraged Russian interference against Clinton. It explains why Donald Junior, Kushner and Manafort took the meeting with a Russian operative at Trump Tower. All this nonsense that it was about getting dirt on Clinton (as proposed) but turned out to be about Russian adoptions is ridiculous–it was about easing sanctions on oligarchs. That is what this has been all about from the beginning. It’s why Manafort used his position as campaign manager to alter the Republican platform, with implicit approval by Trump, to weaken support for Ukrainian resistance against further Russian invasion.

    It stinks to high heaven. Over a hundred contacts with Russian operatives throughout the campaign, transition and early administration. Kushner (who is even more corrupt and compromised) trying to set up a secret back channel for communication with Russia. Trump kissing up to Putin at Helsinki, denying or refusing to admit that there was any Russian interference in the election, calling it a hoax, which is a lie. Lies upon lies, lies about lies, lying comes as naturally as breathing to Trump, because everything about him is a lie. He claims that he has been tougher on Russia than any other president before him, which is yet another lie. Congress passed additional sanctions against Russia over his objections. But he claims credit for them to boost his image for his cult base.

    Do I think Trump is some sort of Manchurian candidate, like a kind of double-agent working with the Russians? No, but I do know that he is in some way compromised, whether it be through his financial dealings with Russia and Deutsche–bank, tax and real estate fraud, money laundering (which would explain why he’s suing to prevent the release of his tax returns and financial statements to Congress)–or some salacious evidence of indecent behavior. Either way, nothing else can explain his behavior and attitude toward Putin and Russia, or his continual denial and lying about his associations and dealings with them.

    Trump is a total fraud. I’ve said that from the beginning. Even worse, he’s a pernicious fraud. All he cares about is self-promotion and self-enrichment by whatever means necessary. If that involves screwing investors and contractors, for which he has been sued thousands of times and settled, falsifying financial statements to lending institutions, engaging in discriminatory rent practices (as his father did before him and for which he was charged and fined $1 million), preferentially hiring foreign workers (specifically out of eastern Europe) on H-2B visas over American workers, because the latter demand higher salaries and benefits and because the threat of deportation could held over the latter as intimidation should they complain about wages and work conditions, not only hiring but providing false documents to illegal immigrants (for which he was found guilty and fined), using his “charitable” foundation as front for self-dealing, which resulted it being fined and shut down, and hawking visas to foreign investors–a $500,000 investment in Trump or Kushner properties will get you a fast track to citizenship, which is exactly what Ivanka was promoting to Chinese oligarchs on her speaking tour. (Kushner needs foreign investors, otherwise he’ll go broke, just like Trump.) There is no end to the limit of which this family will not to promote and enrich themselves, blatant violation of the emoluments clause. The reason why Trump’s trade tariffs on China did not include the apparel industry is because his daughter

    Why do you think Trump doubled the price of admission to Mar-a-Lago the moment he won the election? That place is a hot bed for foreign infiltration, as Secret Service has no control over who gains admission. Good Lord, the madam who owned the chain of Asian massage parlors, where Robert Kraft got busted for solicitation, is a member, and she was soliciting contributions from wealthy Chinese businessmen, selling them access to the president at his club–a dues paying member can invite any guest, and the Secret Service has no way of screening them before entry. Give me a freaking break. Just a few weeks ago there was some inept Chinese spy who tried to smuggle a thumb drive with malware into the club. She was intercepted by an attentive hotel employee, not the Secret Service, but that just shows how exposed the site is to infiltration.

    All of this is completely unacceptable. Trump’s sole purpose since gaining office has been to enrich himself, by whatever means necessary, by putting his interests ahead of the country’s. And the Republican party is perfectly willing to go along with that, look the other way, defend and excuse such behavior? Like he’s their liege lord, and they’re all his thralls.

    So he signed a tax bill. It exploded the deficit and added $1 trillion onto the national debt, and that’s just for one year. He appointed a couple of judges recommended by the Federalist Society to the federal bench and the Supreme Court. And that is reason enough to turn a blind eye to his flagrant corruption, self-dealing, lies and deceit? It is for his MAGA! cultists. They’re all either willfully ignorant or unable to admit they’ve been played for fools. But then the mark always praises the con man, even after he has robbed of everything, including his dignity.

    Mueller did his job. He complete the counter-intelligence investigation and found multiple instances of Russian interference which resulted in indictments of 34 individuals and 3 foreign companies who had contact with or were associated with the Trump campaign. Spin that top any way your want, clockwise or counter-clockwise, it will always stop on the fact that something is rotten in the state of Trumpworld.

    The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find any evidence of active participation on the part of Trump or his associates in Russian interference, but it did find multiple instances (over 100) of contacts with Trump associates and Russian operatives. Evidence that Trump was either willfully blind or cognitively ignorant of these contacts, and that he failed to notify federal authorities, then lied about them, and encouraged others to lie about them, afterwards. To this day, he still refuses to admit there was Russian interference, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, and continues to praise Putin. One has to wonder why.

    On obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel stated at the beginning of the report that it was bound by DOJ guidelines, which are that a sitting president cannot be indicted. So Mueller laid out the facts of all the instances of when the president intended or attempted to obstruct, but was foiled by his more ethical staffers and underlings. In his conclusion, Mueller made it clear that this matter was up to the Congress, not the DOJ, to decide.

    Did he call for impeachment? No, but he did make it clearly evident there were grounds for impeachment, should the Congress decide to take that path, which is their right as a coequal branch of government, with oversight authority on the executive branch.

    Should the Democratic House impeach? I don’t think so, because it’s a fool’s errand–the Republican Senate is not going to convict and remove Trump from office. (Only two presidents have every been impeached by the House, Johnson and Clinton, and neither were convicted and removed by the Senate. (Nixon probably would have been the first, but he resigned before the proverbial sh!t hit the fan.)

    So what are we to expect in the coming months and years? Well, if the Democrats play it smart, and I’m not assuming they will, there will be held public, televised hearings under oath of all the participants involved. There will be a public examination of Trump’s financial records and business dealings, and an examination into his associations with corrupt oligarchs involved in money laundering. Lay it all out there, expose him for the corrupt little swindler he is. There is not need to impeach now, but there is a need to lay the groundwork for impeachment later.

    This is a president manifestly unfit for office. Expose him for what he is.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  274. There;s so much here. To pick acomment almost at random:

    frosty48 @239 on 04/21/2019 @ 8:07 pm

    I’m pointing out that Mueller isn’t clear about what standard of proof is being used and how it’s being applied. Referring to VII page 2 specifically

    Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment….

    This quote references ‘the applicable legal standards’. Are we dealing with reasonable doubt? It doesn’t say that.

    This is one of the peculiarities of this kind of writing. It doesn’t state what the ‘legal applicable standards’ but it is not something that is supposed to be a total mystery. The reader is assumed to know it.

    And if you were, like William Barr, an experienced Justice Department attorney, or familiar with the standards used by DOJ for bringing a case, you would know it.

    I think it’s actually explained somewhere. Mostly it means confidence that a prosecutor could get a conviction – which in turn is supposed to mean prove it toother people beyond a reasonable doubt on their part. (not beyond your reasonable foubt, but beyond theirs, and if a jury wold be biased, so much evidence that they’d eb afraid to nullify.)

    The idea is tha the thing to be avoided is prosecution as a form of punishment or harassment. This standard leaves a lot of room for deciding things either way.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  275. 274. frosty48 (491023) — 4/22/2019 @ 9:48 am

    @272 The hoax is that anything the Russians did had an impact and that Trump coordinated with the Russians for that impact.

    No, the hoax is not that anything the Russians did had an net favorable impact in favor of Trump. Brennan et al said they were not competent to assess that. (And there’s good reason to think it hurt Trump moe than it helped him, because Hillary used it against him, and they didn’t reveal anything really new. Obama said no actual votes were affected (although maybe the Russians had begun working on that.)

    The hoax that Trump talks about was a little bit that Trump co-ordinated with the Russians, but it was more all that stuff about him – including that he had moles planted in the DNC!!

    So, in that version it could be the DNC wasn’t hacked, and it maybe wasn’t the Russians who obtained the emails, or anyone sitting on their bed in a bedroom that weighs 400 pounds, but the Trump campaign itself which stole the emails.

    That’s in the Steele dossier (according to the New York Times.)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/us/politics/steele-dossier-mueller-report.html

    Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C.

    I didn’t know this before because I never read the Steele dossier, but just quotes and analysis. I never could find it on the Internet. It might be the idea that Trump had moles in the DNC was not selected for use in the dossier, but the FBI had it.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  276. 278. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 4/22/2019 @ 6:07 pm

    There is evidence to suggest he has engaged or willingly participated in money laundering himself. For example, by selling a Florida mansion at an overinflated price to a Russian oligarch.

    I don’t think thqt meets the legal test of money laundering – for the seller, that is. He sold things for the best price he could get.

    Trump hosted a beauty pageant in Moscow, when he owned the Miss World contest.

    The Miss Universe Pageant

    That might have been when Russian agents took photos or film of him engaging in illicit behavior

    It’s the only occasion in which that notionally could have happened. But Trump knew about bugs.

    Cohen stated, truthfully I believe, that Trump never thought he would win the nomination or the election, but rather thought of his campaign as a marketing ploy to boost the image of his brand name.

    That sounds like an idea Lanny Davis, or some other Democrat, came up with. It doesn’t make sense. Cohen needs to say that because everyone recognizes, that Trump could never think that if he got elected, anything would come of these business negotiations. So to say that Trump was serious, you have to say he didn’t think he would win.

    He claims that he has been tougher on Russia than any other president before him, which is yet another lie.
    Actually, that’s the truth. Now that doesn’t mean he is as tough as Marco Rubio, say, would have been. He;s plenty tough now.
    Congress passed additional sanctions against Russia over his objections.

    But not over his veto.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  277. Dave (1bb933) — 4/22/2019 @ 8:29 am

    nk (dbc370) — 4/22/2019 @ 9:13 am

    Thank you, gentlemen. I thought it was a wild and crazy guess – now I know why.

    I apologize profusely, SWC!

    felipe (023cc9)


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