Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2019

Is Revealing Truth Important No Matter Where the Truth Comes From?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am



It depends! Just ask the Trumpists.

  • Trumpists: it’s fine that the Russians hacked Democrats’ emails because it revealed truth. Revealing truth is always good no matter how the truth gets out. Free Julian Assange!
  • Also Trumpists: A bunch of embarrassing information was released on Trump in the Mueller report to just to hurt him. The people who started the Russia investigation need to go to jail.

The Mueller report is like a Rorschach inkblot. Both sides read it and think someone should go to jail. Trumpists think the people who should be jailed are the investigators. Non-Trumpists think the people who should be jailed are the people who engaged in the criminal behavior described in the report.

But I don’t see how you praise the fact that information was released through hacking, and decry information being released through the proper operation of law enforcement.

The main benefit I see of Trump being President is good judges. But good judges are important only because the rule of law is important. Meanwhile Trump is eroding and attacking the rule of law in any way possible when it comes to anything having to do with him.

The trade-off is not worth it.

UPDATE: In case you think I’m making up the stuff about Trumpists saying the people who started the investigation should go to jail:

Remember, too, that Glenn Reynolds said last year that people from the FBI should go to jail for considering an obstruction investigation. You know, for things like Trump telling the FBI director to stop investigating his crony. The FBI should go to jail. For that.

Like I say, it’s a Rorschach test. Me, I think that attitude is batshit insane. But I hear it all over the place.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

355 Responses to “Is Revealing Truth Important No Matter Where the Truth Comes From?”

  1. I look forward to the thoughtful responses that take the argument of the post seriously.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Trump is not going to be impeached.

    1. The public isn’t behind it, just like the public never really got behind the Clinton impeachment regardless of what Ken Starr found in his investigation.

    2. The Founders, in their wisdom, made removal from office require the votes of 2/3rds of the Senate. That’s not going to happen, either.

    Eric (8e8dbb)

  3. Both sides read it and think someone should go to jail? I’m considered “NeverTrump” by the Trump humpers, and I know enough to realize that Donald Trump has spent his entire adult life (and maybe a good chunk of his youth; who knows?) skirting the law without breaking it, and acting unethically if not illegally. It doesn’t necessarily follow that he belongs in jail (though that may turn out to be true). I still believe, as ever, that he does not belong in the Oval Office.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. 2. The composition of the Senate makes impeachment much less likely with the 17th amendment in place.

    Repeal the 17th!

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. Both sides read it and think someone should go to jail? I’m considered “NeverTrump” by the Trump humpers, and I know enough to realize that Donald Trump has spent his entire adult life (and maybe a good chunk of his youth; who knows?) skirting the law without breaking it, and acting unethically if not illegally. It doesn’t necessarily follow that he belongs in jail (though that may turn out to be true). I still believe, as ever, that he does not belong in the Oval Office.

    You didn’t think Manafort or Cohen should have gone to prison?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. Trump is not going to be impeached.

    1. The public isn’t behind it, just like the public never really got behind the Clinton impeachment regardless of what Ken Starr found in his investigation.

    2. The Founders, in their wisdom, made removal from office require the votes of 2/3rds of the Senate. That’s not going to happen, either.

    OK. What about what I said in the post?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  7. 5. Go easy on me, Pat. I didn’t say anything about Manafort or Cohen. I’d have been immensely pleased if either of those dirtbags had ended up in the slammer, so I guess the answer to your question is yes, they should have. But no, I didn’t think they would end up in prison. That’s how broken our system is.

    Gryph (08c844)

  8. And, as far as “The Russians interfered in our election”, well, who cares? How many times have we interfered in other countries politics, including things like propping up dictators and even supporting coups d’etat, the violent overthrow of one regime by another. I can’t get all moralistic about something that is quite routine on the international scene, usually by larger countries to smaller ones.

    Eric (8e8dbb)

  9. Also has almost nothing to do with my point but OK.

    Patterico (eab07d)

  10. I don’t think that Trump is a particularly nice or moral person. He’s not someone I’d pick to have dinner with. From reading the summaries of the report (I just couldn’t force myself to go through it) I think there was no collusion with the Russians, although it’s clear that the Russians tried hard.

    As for obstruction, I think that’s a closer question. I’ve had clients ask me to do all sorts of stupid and destructive things, and I’ve counseled them that not to do it, or I’m not going to do it; and that generally is the end of the matter. Is it obstruction if you have a client ask to you to do things that you knew wasn’t good or productive, or even legal, and you didn’t; and they didn’t force the issue or acquiesce?

    I think the closer question is the information about Trump asking people to get in touch with Comey, and tell him they’re friends, or part of of the team, or whatever. That bothers me since to me it looks like someone who’s trying to influence an investigation.

    I do agree that Trump won’t be impeached, however. The Democrats have a big problem with the schism in their party, and impeachment is never going to success in the Senate, unless more of the Republicans support Romney’s position.

    Rochf (877dba)

  11. Ugh, a completely false premise.

    What support is there that any substantial portion of Trump supporters believe: “it’s fine that the Russians hacked Democrats’ emails because it revealed truth?” None here.

    From what I can see, Trump supporters think, generally, “It’s bad that the Russian’s hacked the Democrats’ emails (if they did, there’s a bunch who believe it was leaking) – hackers should be punished…. BUT, it’s fine that once that happened, that wikileaks leaked them, because that revealed the Democrats rigging their primaries and other such corruption.”

    And, on the Mueller report, they think – It’s really bad that the past administration utilized the CIA, NSA, DOJ and FBI to abuse FISA and spy on an opposing party campaign – including:

    (1) illegal perjury via lying to court repeatedly by placing unverified opposition research – potentially Russian disinformation – as the supposed “verified” basis for the Warrant;

    (2) the apparent coordination with foreign intelligence assets and governments (Misfud, Halper, Browner) to attempt to entrap Trump campaign aides; and

    (3) with a rabid, partisan bias on the part of the investigators, particularly Andrew Weissman who has a seriously problematic legal-ethics history and was huge anti-Trumper / pro-Hillary person – improper to have him on the Mueller team, much less effectively leading it – a sign that this is just political warfare, not a justice-seeking investigation.

    But apparently Patterico thinks these 3 things are all ok because Orange Man Bad.

    GrantLR (325bd5)

  12. I think it does matter, Patterico. To me, it matters very much. The conservatives I grew up around believed the same way. But I think that, after all the media hypocrisy and personal attacks, there is a groundswell of “I want my comeuppance” without considering the cost to the soul of our belief system.

    Matthew 16:26-28 comes to mind.

    To be sure, the Left has done awful things to the Right. Lies and theft and so much else. To “slap back,” to treat others the same way to “get even” might seem attractive. And I do believe that it is one of the reasons that DJT is popular with some.

    My late father always told me to imagine what I wanted to do in the hands of my bitterest enemies. You know me well by now, and so I you understand that I fight that call to “get even” every day.

    So must we all.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  13. “But I don’t see how you praise the fact that information was released through hacking, and decry information being released through the proper operation of law enforcement.”

    The use of “proper” is where your comparison goes off the rails.

    Hardly anyone would want to reward hacking, by “praising” any information gleaned as a result. Any downside as a result of that pales in comparison (by orders of magnitude) to rewarding abuse of government power under color of law.

    Munroe (1c1251)

  14. The president’s lawyer went on TV yesterday and said it’s perfectly fine to use foreign intelligence services as a resource in your election campaign.

    This a perfect example of how Trump is destroying civil society and the rule of law.

    Anything Trump does must be defended, excused or embraced, whatever the damage or risks to our country.

    Because he and his cultists put America second.

    Dave (1bb933)

  15. Grant,

    First, there are commenters here who approve of getting dirt on Hillary by any means, including using Russian help.

    Second, if your goal is truth and you are willing to use hacked information to get the truth, then why don’t you apply the same logic to Mueller’s report? So, channeling your logic:

    “It’s bad that the Russian’s hacked the Democrats’ emails CIA, NSA, DOJ and FBI to abuse FISA and spy on an opposing party campaign (if they did, there’s a bunch who believe it was leaking justified) – hackers corruption should be punished. BUT, it’s fine that once that happened, that wikileaks leaked them Mueller reported it, because that revealed the Democrats rigging their primaries lies and wrongdoing by Trump’s associates and other such corruption.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. Hardly anyone would want to reward hacking, by “praising” any information gleaned as a result.

    Yeah, “hardly anyone.”

    “WikiLeaks – I love WikiLeaks!” – Donald J. Trump

    LOL

    Dave (1bb933)

  17. “The president’s lawyer went on TV yesterday and said it’s perfectly fine to use foreign intelligence services as a resource in your election campaign.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/22/2019 @ 8:47 am

    To think that the entire basis for the surveillance of Trump’s campaign was based on an attempt to “destroy civil society and the rule of law”! Welcome, Dave.

    Munroe (c0e308)

  18. The main benefit I see of Trump being President is good judges. But good judges are important only because the rule of law is important.

    I don’t think Trump (certainly) or many of his superfans really want “good judges”, though.

    They want result-oriented judges who will rule their way, right down the line.

    Just like the Democrats do.

    If the rule of law gets in the way of that, then so much the worse for the rule of law…

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. A Supreme Court with 6 “progressives” on it would have little use for the Constitution, although I think they’d insist on the Rule of (their) Law.

    Goodbye 2nd Amendment
    Goodbye any reasonable interpretation of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th or 14th Amendments
    Goodbye reading laws as they were written.

    But their Rules would be Law, so there’s that.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. But, yes, facts are facts no matter what hands they have passed through. But something Cohen or Comey or one of Trump’s men cutting a deal a “fact”? In Hillary’s case they dumped stuff the Democrats committed to paper, thinking it was secret. Those things that are similar in Trump’s case are equally reliable, but not everything in the report has that provenance.

    In both cases you also have filters. There are things that helped Hillary that the Russians probably withheld. There are things that helped Trump that might not have made it to the report, given the hostile workforce Mueller employed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  21. “Second, if your goal is truth and you are willing to use hacked information to get the truth, then why don’t you apply the same logic to Mueller’s report?”
    DRJ (15874d) — 4/22/2019 @ 8:52 am

    Because law enforcement acting like mafia dons is a much greater threat to the republic than actual mafia dons.

    Munroe (7bbb94)

  22. They want result-oriented judges who will rule their way, right down the line.

    Well, everyone has wanted that since the Founding. You say it like it’s a recent aberration. And, like everyone else, they usually don’t get it. Except the Democrats seem to have better luck, given the reliably hidebound liberal minority. The GOP has picked 14 of the last 18 justices, and has yet to get a majority for its alleged main goal; there are maybe 3 justices who would vote to return abortion law to the States (and probably just 2).

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. It would’ve been fine if American hackers hacked DNC emails, not Putin operatives following Putin’s agenda to sow discord and tip the scales on the election in Trump’s favor.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  24. Because law enforcement acting like mafia dons is a much greater threat to the republic than actual mafia dons.

    “But if you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you have to fear?”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  25. Anything Trump does must be defended, excused or embraced, whatever the damage or risks to our country.

    This has struck me as very weird for the last 3-plus years: the way that many people are so emotionally invested in defending the person of Donald Trump at all costs; the furious way they try to swat down any criticism of him, however mild or nuanced. I can’t figure out why Trump, of all people, merits all that unconditional, personal loyalty.

    Radegunda (9a5cd5)

  26. Trump would like Wikileaks less if they started dumping his tax returns and documents from his apartment businesses.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  27. No, I don’t think it’s fine that the Russians hacked the Democrats’ emails. Anybody who does should shut up about Hillary’s vulnerable email server.

    And what embarrassing information did Mueller release about Trump that he was not appointed to discover and report? From what I’ve seen it wasn’t worth the money and trouble — a mountain labored and brought forth a mouse — but that’s a different question.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. And Wikileaks should be designated a terrorist organization.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. No collusion. No obstruction. No impeachment. I think much of this is wind in sails at this point. And I’d characterize much of it as frantic.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. DRJ

    It seems that what you are saying is that “If your goal is truth, then our government officials being used to spy on political opponents using illegal means, is ok as long as that information gained is released to the public.”

    Do you hold our prosecutors and intelligence establishment to no higher a standard than you hold wikileaks?

    Meanwhile, I have no issue with the publication of the Mueller report. That said, it’s another false premise to equate the Mueller report with “truth,” where the partisan makeup of the Mueller team, a team littered with folks who have lied in the course of prosecutorial misconduct in their past and broke the law by illegally leaking to the press (while, at the same time, lying about leaking), raises doubts on their work product. Further, it has a bunch of allegations with no defense or real evaluation – In some ways more unfair to Trump than release of a huge set internal documents – akin to if Wikileaks had only cherry picked the documents to release rather than dumping them all…

    GrantLR (325bd5)

  31. But, as nk just said, it’s not acceptable for the Russians to be hacking DNC emails. Obama should’ve done something about it, instead of sitting on his hands. And it should be forcefully countered.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. “it’s fine that the Russians hacked Democrats’ emails because it revealed truth?”

    Oh, I don’t believe that, quite. Not condoning the attackers, I believe that it’s good the Democrats’ servers got hacked as it teaches them valuable lessons about data security. I also believe it’s good that Hillary got raked over the coals for her emails, since 1) a home server is never secure and 2) it exposed her TERRIBLE and FELONIOUS handling of TS material. It probably also gave the Russians the idea that maybe the Democrats’ servers were vulnerable, too.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  33. The ongoing anti-Trumpinista gnashing of teeth, garment-rending and anguished cries are a relaxing soft-jazz background to the Spring of 2019.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. “If your goal is truth, then our government officials being used to spy on political opponents using illegal means, is ok as long as that information gained is released to the public.”

    The only addition to current practice would be the releasing the information to the public. I am convinced that Obama spied on both Romney and Trump, and used the information on several levels. I am also convinced that Romney’s GOTV effort was sabotaged by some of the people he had coding for him, because it failed utterly under load and that’s just inexcusable incompetence on the developer’s part.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  35. Of course, if TRUMP tried to use the intelligence folks to the same purpose, he’d be outed within a week, everyone would be shocked, SHOCKED!, and the impeachment would soon follow.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  36. Giving the President credit for the appointment of conservative judges overlooks the fact that he has been a minor player in this process. It was Senator McConnell who blocked numerous Obama judicial appointments, delayed the Garland nomination, and worked with the Federalist Society to select the current re-stocking of the bench. Had any of the other Republican candidates been nominated and elected, the result would have been the same. Using the argument that getting the judges is worth continuing to support Mr. Trump doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  37. So much left out of the report that may soon come to light. Example: use of one Henry Greenberg a 17-years on the payroll FBI informant, something that – for some reason – was not mentioned.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. Really, the crux of the matter is this. The GOP/Federalist Society have wanted judges who respect the rule of law as opposed to the rule of feelings. So, irony of irony, President Man/Child, who has no respect for law, and is the personification of Id and nothing but Id, is the guy who is entrusted with delivering that for Republicans. And the GOP busily pretends, now, that the rule of as applied to the Presidency, is an Outrage. And that every twitter display of the President’s disordered feelings is a work of genius.

    Yes, the world does seem like a hall of mirrors right now. And the GOP is afraid that breaking any single one of them will bring 7 years bad luck, so we live in a world where stern words are sometimes deployed, but meaningful action isn’t. This seems the fulfillment of some cynical gypsy’s curse. The one where you can only get what you want if you reject every principle you hold dear to get it.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  39. And for some reason, Mueller failed to expose the actual collusion between the Democrats, the Clinton campaign and Russia/Ukraine.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. How many times have we interfered in other countries politics, including things like propping up dictators and even supporting coups d’etat, the violent overthrow of one regime by another.

    False moral equivalency. The scope of what Putin did was unprecedented. Times were different back when there was a Cold War.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  41. “But I don’t see how you praise the fact that information was released through hacking, and decry information being released through the proper operation of law enforcement.”

    I see Pat is auditioning for a part on Andrew Weissman’s comedy hour.

    “The main benefit I see of Trump being President is good judges. But good judges are important only because the rule of law is important.”

    Exactly wrong. Good judges are important because the rule of law is a polite fiction without men you can trust enforcing it dispassionately and thoroughly.

    And good judges, unlike good laws, are still useful if the ‘rule of law’ fails.

    Putin's Smile (a5e8c1)

  42. #39

    Mueller also did not write about Obama’s birth certificate, the Virginia governor’s blackface photo, and who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays. I mean, just because his assignment was kind of limited by his mandate, why Mueller still ignored all these juicy topics, I cannot imagine.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  43. Appalled (d07ae6) — 4/22/2019 @ 9:56 am

    And what about Chappaquiddick?! Hmm?

    Dave (1bb933)

  44. 42… Russian Collusion was his mandate. Fairly simple to understand for most.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  45. 34… yes! Obama’s spying and collusion with BIG TECH/BIG DATA

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. False moral equivalency. The scope of what Putin did was unprecedented. Times were different back when there was a Cold War.

    Have you seen the way we’ve interfered in the last several Israeli elections?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  47. Appalled

    The scope of Mueller inquiry was to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated” with Trump’s campaign, but also to examine “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

    Are you seriously telling me that Cohen’s bank fraud, and Manafort’s tax evasion was fair game – but the obvious elephant in the room was not.

    bendover2 (076acf)

  48. I mean, just because his assignment was kind of limited by his mandate

    An emphasis on “kind of” as he charged people with crimes far afield, such as tax evasion, but no one regarding the focus of his investigation.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  49. #44

    Actually, that’s wrong. The mandate for Mueller was “any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Doanld Trump“,

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3726408-Rosenstein-letter-appointing-Mueller-special.html

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  50. Appalled,

    Once again you conveniently left omitted the (ii) part of the letter:

    (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation …

    bendover2 (076acf)

  51. The president’s lawyer went on TV yesterday and said it’s perfectly fine to use foreign intelligence services as a resource in your election campaign.

    Giuliani was more cagey than that. He said there was nothing wrong with “taking” information from Putin operatives, which is kind of true. The problem is using that information, given to the Trump campaign by a hostile foreign power.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  52. Really, it turns out that Mueller was such an effective investigator and administrator that he hit Trump about as hard as he hit David Asimov or the BCCI bank.

    Okay, maybe a LITTLE harder, but that’s the sort of results you end up with when you put a Designated War Hero out as the bow to tie up your little collection of washed-up party hacks and flacks. And the quality of the report is as expected-very little that actually holds up in court, a lot probably made up wholesale from prosecutor ‘impressions’ and ‘recollections’, much never actually intended to be read publicly so much as accepted on the authoritative girth of its paragraph sizes, the meticulous structure of its footnotes, and the sharp officialness of its fonts.

    Putin's Smile (e6f6da)

  53. Patrick: “But I don’t see how you praise the fact that information was released through hacking, and decry information being released through the proper operation of law enforcement.”

    Does the end justify the means?

    People found guilty of illegal hacking should be punished according to law. Information released through the proper, i.e. lawful, operation of the legal process is consistent with our democratic traditions.

    It is not illegal to publish stolen information so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft. I take it that is the issue in the Assange case.

    Misusing techniques of counter intelligence and national security to falsely depict an opposition political candidate as a tool of a foreign power, a hostile and adversarial power at that, no matter how despicable that candidate may be, is a danger to our democratic republic.

    Stu707 (a0c2d4)

  54. “never actually intended to be read publicly so much as accepted on the authoritative girth of its paragraph sizes, the meticulous structure of its footnotes, and the sharp officialness of its fonts”

    This report is much too professional to be true.

    Davethulhu (9847a2)

  55. #50 —

    An investigation of Manafort and Gates would uncover other evidence of other crimes they committed. So, we get to bank fraud and tax evasion. But how does an investigation of Trump’s campaign figures somehow move over to Hillary’s campaign? I mean, do you think an investigation of Huma would have suddenly lead to Gates and Manafort?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  56. OK, I will take a shot.

    1) Pentagon Papers. Julian Assange kept himself in “lockup” (embassy) by his own choices to avoid rape investigation/charges. Now, the “system” will have its turn (the process is the punishment?). And it was 2010, Obama DOJ that started the criminal investigation but never (as far as I can tell) asked for extradition to the USA. Either Assange broke US law by directly assisting Manning or not and it is up to investigators/prosecutors/judges/juries to decide what happens–What I may or may not want is irrelevant and a waste of my energy.

    2) If the investigators broke the law, they should have their turn in court. Whether they are charged or not, that is a prosecutor’s choice (hopefully) after the investigators have had their turn.

    It appears that most of the “leaked” information was the result of very poor computer (and prior to that photocopier and document) security. The courts have limited the ability of governments to ask for prior restraint of publication.

    Once the data is “in the wild”, there is very little that anyone can do other than choose to read it, or not. Whether “I” praise the release or not–Who would care.

    The only people that the government can “go after” are their officers and employees (and potentially, any citizen of the USA) for the initial access of the documents–And their choice to distribute. But “we” have a history of going after the “little people” and letting the folks responsible for the leaky organizations go scott free.

    James Comey spoke for 15 minutes about Sec. of State Clinton violating the law–Then deballed the AG and said that nobody would charge her–As Comey was busy misstating the content of the law.

    https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/286668-fbis-comey-is-complicit-in-clinton-email-scandal

    When we can have good judges and a loudmouth using twitter is a danger to the USA, but a president that actually taps 20 phone lines of the AP in 2012–And we hear almost nothing from the press–But this is not a problem for the USA. I don’t know what to say.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/05/doj-got-reporter-phone-records/

    THE DEPARTMENT OF Justice secretly obtained phone records for reporters and editors who work for the Associated Press news agency, including records for the home phones and cell phones of individual journalists, according to the AP, in what the agency characterized as “serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”

    The records, covering all of April and May 2012, were seized by the DoJ earlier this year and covered more than 20 separate phone lines. The records listed outgoing calls for both the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, as well as the general phone lines for AP bureaus in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and a main number used by AP reporters in the House of Representatives.

    I am much more concerned about Sanctuary City/County/State laws and government employees doing their own thing. Whether it is undocumented immigrants, or gun laws, or prosecutors deciding to not enforce Federal and other laws…

    https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/dallas-county-da-says-its-still-not-ok-to-steal-11643179

    Last week, Creuzot’s office announced a series of sweeping reforms, including declining to prosecute most low-level marijuana offenses, cases in which someone is found with trace amounts of drugs or thefts of “personal items” valued at less than $750.

    In a public letter released Wednesday, Creuzot clarified that “personal items” doesn’t cover anything you might like to steal as long as it’s valued at $749.99 or less.

    “Personal items are limited to necessary items,” he wrote. “Personal items would include items such as necessary food, diapers and baby formula.”

    Those who steal for economic gain will still be prosecuted, Creuzot wrote. Those who steal lower-value necessary items are most likely doing so out of hunger and poverty, he wrote, while those who steal more expensive merchandise are more likely doing so for economic gain.

    BfC (5517e8)

  57. Manafort was dead center, not only as Trump’s campaign manager but even more so because the money he laundered and evaded taxes on was from Putin’s Ukrainian puppet.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Have you seen the way we’ve interfered in the last several Israeli elections?

    Words like “unprecedented” mean things. Obama interfering in the 2015 Israeli election is a sketchy allegation at best.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  59. Cohen was pursued for tax evasion by SDNY, and it was his idea to worm himself into Mueller’s investigation as a snitch against Trump. Or not?

    nk (dbc370)

  60. “Then deballed the AG and said that nobody would charge her–As Comey was busy misstating the content of the law.”

    Sweet Loretta Lynch? Literally or figuratively? What are you saying here?

    Colonel Haiku (39d859)

  61. To be fair, Lynch was quite happy to have Comey personally step in and white knight her troublesome AG responsibility away while putting himself out there as the primary target for the slings and arrows of outrageous media.

    Putin's Smile (570592)

  62. I’ll play Pat:

    Trumpists: it’s fine that the Russians hacked Democrats’ emails because it revealed truth. Revealing truth is always good no matter how the truth gets out. Free Julian Assange!

    Maybe I don’t fit in the usual “Trumpist” bucket, as I’m a recent transaction Trump support post-Kavanaugh/Covington.

    However, I’ll say this: No. It’s not okay for Russia to hack American political party’s email, irrespective to the fact that when released by wikileak, that it had hurt Democrats. Assange is scum and deserves no empathy from me.

    (side note: this intrigued me so much, that I re-read the Mueller report section he described… I think he’s on to something:
    https://twitter.com/Coder4Liberty/status/1119646086031904769 )

    Also Trumpists: A bunch of embarrassing information was released on Trump in the Mueller report to just to hurt him. The people who started the Russia investigation need to go to jail.

    I don’t know if those who started the investigation need to go to jail… as you can do a lot of unsavory things that do not break penal codes. I certainly hope, that we get full disclosure on the genesis of the investigations and that at the very least, internal policies & procedures is revamped to ensure that the next time something like this happens, the government is on firmer ground.

    However, Pat… do you not see the bias in Mueller’s report? The fact that Andrew Weissman and an attorney for the Clinton Foundation was part if his team is an extremely bright red flag.

    Having said that, I think this does hurt Trump a little bit, but at the end of the day, the needle won’t move much either way. I also think Democrats *will* impeach Trump… their base is demanding it. I don’t know if the moderates (who’ll swing the next election imo) will be enthused or appalled when that happens.

    whembly (51f28e)

  63. — Despite the Mueller report, half the country stillthinks I’m guilty of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice. What are we going to do?
    — We’ll just have to think hard, Mr. President.
    — There’s gotta be an easier way than that.

    nk (dbc370)

  64. Free Julian Assange; well, let’s try him and see if we can prove he was involved in the Manning hack.

    The argument that he’s not a journalist is pure propaganda. As is, that he should be punished for his role in 2016.

    frosty48 (491023)

  65. The Rule of Law has been dead and gone a long time, there’s little Trump can do to damage its rotted corpse. We all know that rules are for the little people and the arrogance and duplicity of the rich and powerful pretending otherwise is how Trump got elected and how socialism is so popular when its so nakedly a paean to the morality – indeed the moral necessity – of theft. “Oh, Trump is a vile monster threatening our most sacred institutions!” cry those who spent the last two years undermining our trust in our elections system and our intelligence agencies, who want to do away with the Electoral College, impose proportional representation in the Senate, repeal the Second Amendment, add a “hate speech” exception to the First, pack the Supreme Court, champion a “fundamental transformation” of America, count as their proudest achievement the imposition of an unelected and unaccountable technocratic agency, and on and on and on, a long list of people who hate America and the values she represents, the values of Western Civilization and those evil old dead white guys who espoused those values. Sure, the rot is all Trump’s fault, it’s not as if Trump is a reaction to the rot.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  66. #67 If the rule of law is dead, what values does America represent?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  67. @2. Suggest you revisit the climate surrounding the Big Dick’s situation; public “opposition” to and “support” for impeachment shifted dramatically over the summer of ’74 along w/preliminary tallies delivered to Nixon by Scott, Rhodes and Goldwater after the ‘smoking gun’ tape was made public.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. @2 I’d be for Trump impeachment if didn’t have so little time left in his term. It’s simply not worth the time and effort, when the voters can remove him at the ballot box. Some people want to impeach on principle. Interestingly I heard Bill Clinton’s ex-lawyer say “we need to rise above our principles” and not impeach. Interesting turn of phrase. I hope the Dems don’t impeach. Just ride it out.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  69. “good judges” — IYO; ‘conservative judges’ aren’t necessarily ‘good.’ Nor those branded ‘liberal’ either. One does hope– and expect- once seated, they endeavor to do what they chose to do in life – the law- w/o the stain of political biases; there are easier paths to sway policy. And when attempted, and goes against the general will of the people, in the long arc of history, it will be nulled out, anyway, and shown to be a waste of time.
    _____

    For those shouting praise and embracing the chaff spewing from the butt end of Rudy-Gee on the TeeVee, you best revisit his status w/t public in NYC on September 10, 2001– and cringe. NYers wanted him out of town PDQ. His place in history sits in quick-drying cement, next to that of “Baghdad Barr” [copyright pending, NBC News].

    As modern history goes, Mueller did good; Assange did good; as did Starr, Cox, Jaworski, Sirica, Ellsberg, the NY Times, the Washington Post and the rest of the free press. This government hides far too many goddamned secrets- more often than not to protect itself, not We The People. We’re a better, stronger society when we know the truth- warts and all- and make decisions accordingly. When events go south, Americans have shown themselves to be a very forgiving people. Had The Big Dick remembered that- and the huge majority he won with in ’72, he’d likely have survived.

    Score check:

    Patriot Games

    Rule of Men – 225
    Rule of Law – 0

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. OT- Happy Earth Day.

    Thank you, Project Apollo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  71. “If the rule of law is dead, what values does America represent?”

    The ‘rule of law’ is ever so tiringly recent and…unexceptional a rallying cry. America is the land of the Protestant work ethic, the pioneering spirit, and the most powerful tools available to enable the first two.

    Putin's Smile (9e8d54)

  72. 68. Oligarchy and plutocracy. Next question?

    Gryph (08c844)

  73. Did 74 and 75 mean to give the same answer?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  74. Interesting turn of phrase.

    Meh. Their best work (“it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”) is long behind them.

    Sort of like George Lucas.

    Dave (f6785a)

  75. I can’t figure out why Trump, of all people merits that personal, unconditional loyalty.

    It’s something I’ve said before: many Trump supporters didn’t want a President. They wanted revenge for 8 years of Obama. Trump was loud enough and skeezy enough to give them that.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  76. “Mueller did good”

    “This government hides far too many go****ed secrets”

    Hmmm, yes, Mueller, whose entire tenure was mostly hiding the extent of CIA and Congressional involvement in various high-profile cases he quietly shuffled off to die without fanfare and with most of the guilty parties getting off scot-free, belongs right up there in the Transparency Hall of Fame with Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg.

    Reality: Leaking, like lying, is a tactic, not a strategy, or (G-d forbid) a legally protected action under the Universal Rights, Privileges, and Processes of Whistleblowers(TM) (some exceptions may apply)

    You do it if you think the particular business you’re involved in is intolerable enough to risk your job and reputation (assuming that your own public resignation wouldn’t make a much bigger splash.) And when doing so, you can trust only those who have proven both trustworthy, competent, and courageous in the face of legal and extralegal threats to their persons.

    Naturally, those who fit that description become the first target of official propaganda campaigns.

    Putin's Smile (f19f5c)

  77. @79. Reality: lying is an excellent strategy- see Gulf of Tonkin, resolution et. al., and resulting neutralization of Barry-Gee by same in 1964 for details. You can count the dead later. Reality check: and it’s no secret, every day you’re getting older– and losing more hair, “Smilin’ Vlad.” Who comes after you- besides the Grim Reaper. Time will tell– likely on it’s cover.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. Both sides hypocrites who knew? by the way the friday democracy now debate between glen greenwalt and david cay johnson on who committed more treason in 2016 trump campaing or clinton campaign may still be up on democratic underground they root for johnson you can root for greenwalt.

    lany (23ddf2)

  79. @68. “If the rule of law is dead, what values does America represent?”

    Golly. Let’s ask Trump’s Fed Chair ‘nominee’ Stephen Moore:

    “Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy. I’m not even a big believer on democracy. I always say democracy can be two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner. Look, I’m in favor of people having the right to vote and all that. But there are a lot of countries that have the right to vote and are still poor. Democracy doesn’t always lead to a good economy or even a good political system.” – Stephen Moore, 2009.

    “Who do you think you’re talking to, errand boy?!” -Doyle Lonnegan [Robert Shaw] ‘The Sting’ 1973

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. DCSCA … yeah, so?

    Is Mr. Moore wrong ?

    bendover2 (076acf)

  81. batter up, he points, we’re not a democracy we’re a republic, the crowd goes wild as the ball leaves the park

    frosty48 (491023)

  82. What exactly do people want to have had them do? You get information that a presidential campaign and presidential candidate is under the influence and possibly conspiring with a foreign nation that, if not an enemy, is less than a friend. They look at the campaign and, indeed, there is at least one person who is in their records as having worked extensively in politics for that nation and, because it’s public record due to some earlier interviews, you know that the candidate owes a heck of a lot of money to that foreign nation. What were they supposed to do with that?

    And all this stuff about how the Mueller team and the FBI in general were pro-Hillary is nonsense. Historically the FBI has been conservative. Comey repeatedly gave information that harmed her campaign, and Mueller is a life-long Republican. Not blatantly pro-Trump does not equal pro-Hillary. I’m going to repeat that. Not blatantly pro-Trump does not equal pro-Hillary. Not blatantly Pro-Trump does not equal pro-Hillary. Not blatantly Pro-Trump does not equal pro-Hillary.

    The Republican party can repeatedly alienate governmental institutions that historically have been supportive of Republican administrations if they want, but I don’t think it’s wise to do that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  83. “Reality: lying is an excellent strategy”

    DCSCA has thus openly given his blessing to all those who proudly admit to being a lying spirit in the mouths of the Philistines and their advisers for the purposes of the LORD.

    Dana of the many names, thou art vindicated, go in peace.

    “Reality check: and it’s no secret, every day you’re getting older– and losing more hair, “Smilin’ Vlad.””

    My soul is prepared. How’s yours?

    Putin's Smile (a11044)

  84. An investigation of Manafort and Gates would uncover other evidence of other crimes they committed. So, we get to bank fraud and tax evasion. But how does an investigation of Trump’s campaign figures somehow move over to Hillary’s campaign? I mean, do you think an investigation of Huma would have suddenly lead to Gates and Manafort?

    Appalled (d07ae6) — 4/22/2019 @ 10:39 am

    But Trump endorsed Hillary for president in 2008, thereby tainting her 2016 campaign.

    Dave (1bb933)

  85. 76. I think I’m due credit for a far more concise answer. 😉

    Gryph (08c844)

  86. Speaking of ‘t’aint…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. @86. Recognition is equated w/blessing to Smilin’ Vlad?!

    Got it. Soul prepared for what– filet frying w/a little lemon or just dinner w/Stalin? ‘Smilin’ Putin’ is commie-born and bred.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  88. mittens should give back the money he took from Trump when running for president.

    mg (8cbc69)

  89. @83. So, yeah; better question: is Fed ‘nominee’ Mr. Moore right– or just Right?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  90. mittens should give back the money he took from Trump when running for president.

    It will be pretty easy, because Trump didn’t donate any money to Romney in 2012.

    Dave (1bb933)

  91. He was much more generous with Hillary four years earlier.

    Dave (1bb933)

  92. If I remember correctly, Trump hilariously gave $2500.00 to mittens in 2012. Give it back. lmao.

    mg (8cbc69)

  93. Patterico, there are three things going on.

    1). Information of public interest was released to the public. This is good. It was good when it was the pentagon papers. It’s good when it’s the Mueller report and it would be good if it were Trumps tax returns.
    2). Something of value was stolen. This is bad. Theft is wrong.
    3). A foreign government, one that is hostile to our interests, committed a crime against our citizens. The motive of this crime was to influence our presidential election in the way they wanted.

    I can’t really work up any moral outrage over #2. I agree that it’s a crime and should be punished at discouraged. But I don’t feel outrage because the victim of this crime was Hillary Clinton. But that doesn’t mean I think it was a good thing.
    Number 3 angers and worries me. Our system works because enough people have faith that the process is fair and that both teams can use the process equally. Cheating to win yields results that people won’t believe in. That’s fatal in a system based on the consent of the governed. Yes there will always be people who are enraged at some flaw or potential exploitation of the system but most people think it works OK. If we create a situation where it’s politically expediate to partner with a foreign power and have them commit crimes on your behalf I don’t know how that faith is maintained.
    Also I’m an American patriot who loves his country and getting F*&d with by another country just pisses me off.
    It appears that in this situation Trump didn’t partner with Russia. It also appears that many of his supporters wouldn’t have cared if he had. Hell some (not all) are so devoted to him they won’t even acknowledge #3 if wrong for fear of given ‘the enemy’ even the slighted rhetorical win.

    This sort of got long, so I’ll try to summarize.

    It can be good to publish information that is obtained illegally and for unethical reasons by a hostile foreign power. I personally support a system that lets the publisher off scott free while fairly punishing the theft and brutally discouraging the foreign power in such a way that no other country dares to interfere again.

    Time123 (797615)

  94. Oh, and if my comment is off topic from the post it’s not for lack of trying on my part. I went back to double check that it was on point.

    Time123 (797615)

  95. @85 What exactly do people want to have had them do? The dossier was crap and people in the FBI doubted it before it was used for the FISA warrants. Both McCain and HRC had tried to float the dossier to the press for months and none of them took it seriously. I would have had them verify it before using it in a FISA warrant. And by verifying I don’t mean unleash the full power of the intelligence community to verify it.

    If the logic is the FBI lowers the bar the higher the importance of the suspect then the Russians don’t need another social media campaign. All they need to do is send in a better dossier next time.

    frosty48 (491023)

  96. They said they verified it. How do you know they didn’t?

    Nic (896fdf)

  97. Speaking of revealing truth, here’s what that bastion of honesty WaPo had to say about the terror attack on Christians in Sri Lanka… https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-22-at-16.18.03-517×600.png

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  98. At least the WaPo called the victims Christians.

    According to Obama and Hillary they were ‘Easter Worshipers’ and made no mention of the perps.

    For the NZ slaughter it was calls to support Muslims and condemnation of islamophobia and white supremists.

    Double standard, nothing to see here, move along.

    harkin (89ebb5)

  99. And yet some will continue to link to these mooks…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  100. @100 Because they said they didn’t.

    Comey himself went on TV and said he didn’t know if the pee stuff was true, but he couldn’t say it wasn’t. That’s not verified and that was long after it was used in the FISA.

    Then there’s a recent article that says it better than I can.

    The FBI reportedly had doubts about one of the Trump dossier author’s top sources after an interview in January 2017. … The first warrant application was submitted in October 2016. … [what for it] … The FBI’s use of the dossier, which was published in full by BuzzFeed in January 2017

    Yes, if you’re playing along at home the FBI started checking the sources after it became public.

    But it gets better

    As recently as August 2018, the dossier continued to frustrate verification efforts. FBI official Jonathan Moffa told House investigators: “We, in an ongoing way, were looking at those facts, and doing that research and analytic work to try to verify, refute, or corroborate.”

    and

    Steele himself described the findings in the dossier as raw intelligence, and in a deposition that was part of a lawsuit against BuzzFeed, he said “yes” when asked if some of the Russia claims could be fake.

    and

    Mueller found the two most dramatic claims in Steele’s dossier likely lacked substance: former Trump attorney Michael Cohen meeting with Kremlin operatives in Prague in the summer of 2016 and the Russians obtaining compromising material on Trump.

    frosty48 (491023)

  101. it sucks when you typo in the snark section

    frosty48 (491023)

  102. If the House committee concludes the evidence is there for, say, OOJ, failure to impeach is an abdication of Congressional oaths and duty. Putting country over party takes guts- and we’ve seen Republicans lack that element of character– [yet another betrayal of their famously faux set of “values” piped out to middle American suckers]– Failure to impeach would make the Dems no better than the GOP; the same lackeys who stalled the Garland nom for a year. These parties are doing Putin’s work for him; dissing this system is getting easier and easier in places like Russia, China and Iran. If Trump’s acquitted in spite of the evidence against him in the Senate, so be it. But at least the process was followed through. And Americans can take down the GOP senators names and decide whether to vote them out accordingly.

    With 20 weenies running and Joey-Bee still teetering w/a fence post up his azz [he changed his ‘announcement’ plans again today,] it’s a safe bet Trump is going to beat any rap no matter what and sail to a second term, anyway. Term Two is on the horizon; but why make it ‘easy’– get the GOP senators on record; use Graham and McConnell’s own words from the Clinton impeachment against them; impeach him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. Colonel H,

    Looks like the post has done a LOT ofreporting on the Sri Lanka bombing.

    But sure, keep feeling persecuted.

    Time123 (1571bd)

  104. 106: It’s so lovely to see DCSCA predictably collapse into a pile of ShareBlu talking points when he senses that the victory of his party is not coming any time soon.

    Ruler Man (7d79cc)

  105. 107…

    “Analysis: Christianity under attack? Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West.” You have to be “far-right” to feel upset and angry about that?

    Compare their (and the NYT’s) coverage of attacks targeting Muslims. If Christians are targeted and killed by the thousands each year – and they are – I suspect that qualifies as being “under attack”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  106. The trade-off is not worth it.

    So what do you want to do about it?

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  107. It’s standard modus operandi. The media’s pets “do something” and the story is the backlash they fear.

    nk (dbc370)

  108. 40

    … The scope of what Putin did was unprecedented. …

    This is false. The Russian effort was small scale and well within the historical range in terms of nations meddling in other nation’s internal affairs. Compare for example US behavior towards Syria. And it is unclear the Russian efforts even helped Trump on balance.

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  109. Nk, that’s not remotely backed up by the coverage.

    Time123 (d54166)

  110. Alan Dershowitz explains an important aspect of the rule of law:

    “Barr takes the view — a view that I have argued for many months — that the act requirement of a crime (actus reus) cannot be satisfied by a constitutionally authorized action of the president, such as firing FBI Director James Comey. Mueller takes the view that a constitutionally authorized act can be turned into a crime if it is improperly motivated.

    “Mueller’s view is extreme and dangerous to civil liberties because it creates pure thought crimes. According to Mueller, the corrupt motive is the crime because surely the constitutionally authorized act cannot be criminal. The implications of this view for all Americans are frightening. They are especially frightening if applied to a president. Do we really want prosecutors or members of Congress to probe the motivations of presidents when they take constitutionally authorized actions?

    “Presidents, like the rest of us, have multiple motivations in virtually everything they do. Some are altruistic, others self-serving. Some are patriotic, some are partisan. A president may be motivated by revenge, friendship, family loyalty or countless other factors. We should judge presidents by what they do, not by why they do it.”

    AZ Bob (885937)

  111. I won’t argue and, in fact, just to show that my heart’s in the right place, here’s some media I like and I think you will too. My daughter played it for me yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUcisIlT7sM

    nk (dbc370)

  112. Speaking as one of your Trumpists (whatever that means), I’d say that you didn’t go far enough in your statement.

    All truth would need to be revealed and given equal weight. Selective revelation can be just as damaging as a falsehood. The language surrounding revelations of truth should be stripped of speculation, bias etc. In other words don’t take 200 pages to sum up something when you could do it in 40 pages. Revelations of truth should be kept simple.

    That’s my grade school take on this. I’m in a hurry and write slowly (I don’t write or formulate arguments for a living, I work with my hands)

    steveg (e7a56b)

  113. 113… time123… many in the media – and Dems, BIRM – are trying to avoid saying the word “Christian” for the same reason they usually don’t name the religion of the attackers: because they believe citizens/readers are mushrooms who should be kept in the dark and fed bullschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  114. But I don’t blame Hillary and Obama for saying “Easter worshippers” instead of “Christians”. They know their followers. “Christians” would get less sympathy.

    nk (dbc370)

  115. We cross-posted, Haiku.

    nk (dbc370)

  116. If I remember correctly, Trump hilariously gave $2500.00 to mittens in 2012. Give it back. lmao.

    You do not remember correctly.

    According to what Trump said a few weeks after the election, he disapproved of Romney’s “mean spirited” immigration policy.

    Dave (1bb933)

  117. Colonel, did you follow the link? It’s pretty clear from the post headlines that this was Muslim terrorism.

    Time123 (d54166)

  118. Oh.
    I forgot.
    I hope you had a blessed and peaceful Easter.
    My personal contribution to your day was staying away :)

    steveg (e7a56b)

  119. Yep, you were much more succinct, nk… and pithy… as always.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  120. Barr takes the view — a view that I have argued for many months — that the act requirement of a crime (actus reus) cannot be satisfied by a constitutionally authorized action of the president, such as firing FBI Director James Comey. Mueller takes the view that a constitutionally authorized act can be turned into a crime if it is improperly motivated.

    According to Dershowitz, if Trump ordered a drone strike on Mueller’s house, it wouldn’t be a crime because the constitution authorizes the president to command the military…

    A perfect example of people advocating for lawlessness to excuse Trump.

    Dave (1bb933)

  121. @104 My understand (and I could be wrong) is that when verifying background information, proving beyond reasonable doubt is not necessary, so if, for example, they got intelligence that someone was soliciting a crime and the other details match, they don’t need a recording of the solicitation itself in order to think its legitimate to investigate it. So, when the FBI was able to verify that Trump was in the right place at the right time and met with various Russian power-brokers, they have verified that the information at least could be true.

    The Manafort stuff in the dossier was already verified because our intelligence agencies already had that information.

    In July 2016 according to the Mueller report, one of our allies shared with us the connections between wikileaks and the Trump campaign, so that part was verified.

    Whether or not Flynn went to Moscow in 2015 also was easily verifiable.

    So quite a bit of the general intelligence from the dossier was verifiable or already verified.

    They were definitely able to verify most of the information in the FISA warrant for Carter Page, because a bunch of it was public information.

    They were also onto the Papadopoulos stuff long before they had access to the dossier and he isn’t mentioned in it at all.

    Nic (896fdf)

  122. @119 A little over the top there, don’t you think? The idea that anyone would think I’m a purist is pretty much laughable.

    Nic (896fdf)

  123. Nk, or Obama figures readers were smart enough to know that Easter worshipers are Christian. Were you somehow confused about who he was talking g to?

    Time123 (d54166)

  124. @108- Best talking points ever: the Hits of 1999– McConnell, Graham, Grassley and Sessions. Deal with it; they’re your scumbags.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  125. Is Revealing The Truth Important No Matter Where The Truth Comes From?

    There is no argument: yes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  126. According to Dershowitz, if Trump ordered a drone strike on Mueller’s house, it wouldn’t be a crime because the constitution authorizes the president to command the military…

    Well, Dershowitz isn’t alone on the drone strike stuff. Amnesty International has pointed out that US policy allows for nearly unlimited drone strikes. If Mueller has a house in Yemen then I think it might be mandatory.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  127. Well … just how smart do you think Obama’s constituency is?

    nk (dbc370)

  128. Didn’t Cruz troll Holder with the same question around the time of Snowden? Whether it would be constitutional for the president to order a drone strike on a suspected terrorist having a coffee at a sidewalk cafe in some U.S. city? (Hint: It’s a rhetorical question.)

    nk (dbc370)

  129. “According to Dershowitz…”
    Dave (1bb933) — 4/22/2019 @ 6:24 pm

    Dershowitz? Wasn’t he one of those nutty academics who pushed the Trump Russia collusion fairy tail, and keeps pushing it? People like that lose all credibility.

    Munroe (ca8120)

  130. @119. That’s a neat trick; voted for him. And regulars know the strategy behind it. You really don’t get what’s going on here. That’s a good thing; the longer those who don’t– who foster rage and nurse befuddlement– the better. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  131. Actually since three hotels were hit, not all the victims were Easter worshippers. It’s also safe to say that some of the victims at the hotels were non Christian Sri Lankans.

    BTW, guess who also failed to call the victims Christians?
    https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119923840161857536

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  132. Is Revealing The Truth Important No Matter Where The Truth Comes From?

    I’m going with: maybe. I like the 4th and 5th. Not ready to dump those yet. I don’t like torture. I’d like there to be a bit of distance between the line and those things actually. It’s got to be a lot of truth to start wandering around in no matter where land.

    Just for the record, also a fan of the 3rd.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  133. “Obama figures readers were smart enough to know that Easter worshipers are Christian.

    Everybody is ignoring the double standard.

    Both Obama and Hillary referred to victims as Easter Worshipers for the Sri Lanka slaughter and failed to mention the Islam ideology of the perps or warning of dangerous Islamic fundamentalism.

    For the NZ slaughter, they stated victims were Muslim, condemned islamaphobia and warned of dangerous white nationalism.

    harkin (89ebb5)

  134. Dershowitz? Wasn’t he one of those nutty academics who pushed the Trump Russia collusion fairy tail, and keeps pushing it? People like that lose all credibility.

    Munroe (ca8120) — 4/22/2019 @ 7:01 pm
    Maybe you have him confused with Tribe? Dershowitz has been doing PR for Trump for a while now. He’s the one who complained that no one would invite him to parties on Martha’s Vineyard.

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  135. No hes been consistent on both Clinton and trump, he disnt go along with the crowd on Sanford either.

    Narciso (a6de9a)

  136. Looks like some folks need a reminder:

    “In the last thirty days, there were 90 Islamic attacks in 20 countries, in which 717 people were killed and 1306 injured.”

    293 of those killed were from the Sri Lanka bombings.

    https://thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/attacks.aspx?Yr=Last30

    Still looking for the pattern of white nationalist killings.

    harkin (89ebb5)

  137. Dershowitz? Wasn’t he one of those nutty academics who pushed the Trump Russia collusion fairy tail, and keeps pushing it?

    Yeah, no.

    People like that lose all credibility.

    Irony alert!

    Dave (1bb933)

  138. Oh well. Sorry, Mr. D!

    Munroe (985fbf)

  139. Our Captain was acting very Queeg today…

    “Nobody disobeys my orders!” – President Donald J. Trump, WH Easter Egg Roll, 4-22-19

    “I will not be made a fool of! Do you hear me?” – Lt. Commander Queeg [Humphrey Bogart] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  140. Well, Dershowitz isn’t alone on the drone strike stuff. Amnesty International has pointed out that US policy allows for nearly unlimited drone strikes. If Mueller has a house in Yemen then I think it might be mandatory.

    Didn’t Cruz troll Holder with the same question around the time of Snowden? Whether it would be constitutional for the president to order a drone strike on a suspected terrorist having a coffee at a sidewalk cafe in some U.S. city?

    It seems clear that the resolution to these faux conundra is that the president’s motives matter.

    The constitution says that the president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That implies that the president’s mental state and the manner of execution of the laws are relevant. Acting with corrupt motives is not acting faithfully.

    Dave (1bb933)

  141. Someone mapped out every report of human schiff on the Streets of San Francisco – a Quinn Martin Production – since 2011 and I think we’ve solved the mystery of Thor’s disappearance from the comments: he may’ve somehow been buried under an avalanche…

    https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/san_francisco_poop_map_4-22-19-1-800×800.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  142. Dave, “faithfully execute” means POTUS enforces the laws Congress passes, and does only what the laws tell him to do.

    IOW, the train left that station long before Trump or any modern president.

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  143. An interesting thing about Easter Worshipers is that it’s so artificial. Maybe HRC got hers from BHO. It’s odd they would independently pick tourists and Eastern worshipers. Can you just imagine HRC sitting around with her assistant(s) gaming out other synonyms for tourists? Out-of-towners … no, sightseers … no, travelers … hmm.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  144. I wonder what offends God more, calling Easter worshippers easter worshippers, or calling Trump a “baby Christian,” when he conducts himself in all manners opposite? headscratcher.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  145. God’s wondering when The Young Pope is going to come back…..and who will win the Iron Throne….I think

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  146. Quiet! quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

    Are there? What are they?

    Do they hurt?

    Tell me, what do you do with witches?

    Burn!

    Burn, burn them up!

    And what do you burn apart from witches?

    More witches!

    Wood!

    So, why do witches burn?

    frosty48 (12cdc0)

  147. Coast Wizard is Steppe Nomad. I’m nuking his insulting, sock-puppeting comment.

    He CAN’T stay away.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  148. 147… Devout Deplorables ?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  149. An interesting thing about Easter Worshipers is that it’s so artificial.

    In fact, it’s an icon of American culture. Easter is for Christians what Yom Kippur is for Jews: the one holy day on which even the most nominal Christian-because-my-parents-said-we-were* attends a worship service.

    *Including POTUS
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/april/trumps-attend-easter-service-at-church-where-they-were-married

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  150. BTW, the only American publicly identified as a victim so far was an American travelling on business, killed at one of the hotels. If the news report I saw was accurate, he was checking into the hotel at the time the bomb went off. So probably a Christian, if only by culture, but not an Easter worshipper.

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  151. @151. Never know; perhaps he’s being ‘paid’ not to ‘stay away’…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  152. UPDATE: In case you think I’m making up the stuff about Trumpists saying the people who started the investigation should go to jail:

    Remember, too, that Glenn Reynolds said last year that people from the FBI should go to jail for considering an obstruction investigation. You know, for things like Trump telling the FBI director to stop investigating his crony. The FBI should go to jail. For that.

    Like I say, it’s a Rorschach test. Me, I think that attitude is batshit insane. But I hear it all over the place.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  153. I can’t believe some people are actually losing their minds over “Easter worshipper.” Just checked over at the resurgent, and yes, yes they most certainly are. I mean, there’s plenty of things to be offended over, but I think some people just want to be offended.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  154. UPDATE: In case you think I’m making up the stuff about Trumpists saying the people who started the investigation should go to jail […]

    Hell, some of them have said it in this very thread.

    Glenn Reynolds’ descent (like so many others) into an apologist for the indefensible is depressing.

    Dave (1bb933)

  155. This is false. The Russian effort was small scale and well within the historical range in terms of nations meddling in other nation’s internal affairs.

    James, your comment is false. Read up on the Gerasimov Doctrine.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  156. It is definitely ridiculous to expect anyone to go to jail for this, no matter what the extent of the wrongdoing. They could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone, or throw an Alaskan Senator’s election, and wouldn’t see a day in prison.

    Munroe (2941ef)

  157. The Washington Post has a firm handle on the meme:

    “The Washington Post
    @washingtonpost
    Analysis: Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West”

    __ _

    Lol that some describe folks pointing out the double standard as “losing their minds”.

    Wonder if they described people who wanted to punch catholic high school kids or those who blamed the NRA for police incompetence as ‘losing their minds’….

    harkin (89ebb5)

  158. I can’t believe some people are actually losing their minds over “Easter worshipper.” Just checked over at the resurgent, and yes, yes they most certainly are. I mean, there’s plenty of things to be offended over, but I think some people just want to be offended.

    I haven’t followed this kerfuffle (I mean the brouhaha over how the attacks are described, not the appalling terrorist attacks) closely, but generically saying somebody killed “Christians” (or “Muslims”, or “Jews”) doesn’t necessarily imply that that those killed were innocent. For instance, they might have been engaged in violent or threatening behavior that somehow justified the use of deadly force in self-defense.

    On the other hand, saying someone was killed while participating in a religious service leaves no doubt that the victim posed no danger to anyone, and was engaged in peaceful (and among the civilized, protected) behavior. IMO, it paints the perpetrators in a worse light, since there’s no doubt in this case that we are talking about cold-blooded murder of the worst kind.

    And saying “Christian Easter worshippers” is redundant and unnecessary. Everyone knows Easter is a Christian holiday.

    Dave (1bb933)

  159. What a stupid made-up “controversy” that is.

    Patterico (9109d4)

  160. “Easter worshippers” is less of a deal compared to what Hillary said about Christchurch:
    1. She was quick to condemn “white supremacist terrorists” for shooting up mosques, but did not condemn militant Islamists for blowing up Christians and civilians in multiple Sri Lankan locales.
    2. She called the Sri Lanka bombings “horrific” but not terrorist attacks.
    3. She called it a “holy weekend for many faiths” when it really all happened on one day, Easter Sunday, a distinctly Christian holiday.
    To sum up, she couldn’t bring herself to say that militant Islamists committed terrorists on Christian and civilian targets. This is exactly the kind of parsing and deception and weaselly language and Islamophobia-phobia that makes Hillary a detestably unlikable person.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  161. Er, terrorist attacks, not terrorists.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  162. Number 3 angers and worries me. Our system works because enough people have faith that the process is fair and that both teams can use the process equally. Cheating to win yields results that people won’t believe in. That’s fatal in a system based on the consent of the governed. Yes there will always be people who are enraged at some flaw or potential exploitation of the system but most people think it works OK. If we create a situation where it’s politically expediate to partner with a foreign power and have them commit crimes on your behalf I don’t know how that faith is maintained.
    Also I’m an American patriot who loves his country and getting F*&d with by another country just pisses me off.
    It appears that in this situation Trump didn’t partner with Russia. It also appears that many of his supporters wouldn’t have cared if he had. Hell some (not all) are so devoted to him they won’t even acknowledge #3 if wrong for fear of given ‘the enemy’ even the slighted rhetorical win.

    This sort of got long, so I’ll try to summarize.

    It can be good to publish information that is obtained illegally and for unethical reasons by a hostile foreign power. I personally support a system that lets the publisher off scott free while fairly punishing the theft and brutally discouraging the foreign power in such a way that no other country dares to interfere again.

    Time123 (797615) — 4/22/2019 @ 3:17 pm

    Did you ever support or vote for Obama?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  163. Nk, or Obama figures readers were smart enough to know that Easter worshipers are Christian. Were you somehow confused about who he was talking g to?

    Time123 (d54166) — 4/22/2019 @ 6:42 pm

    What is an “Easter Worshipper?” Who worships Easter? Inquiring minds want to know.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  164. @164. At the time of her tweet, it was unclear who was responsible. Yes we might have assumed it was Islamists, but we didn’t know. So unreasonable to expect her to call out Islamists when we didn’t know it was Islamists. “Easter worshippers” is a fine phrase: It highlights the point that these people were actively worshipping when they were killed. It was Easter. They were worshipping. I see your point on “holy weekend for many faiths.” That sounds like classic Hillary prevarication and pandering.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  165. @167. An Easter worshipper is someone who worships on Easter. What happened to all the smart lawyer types who know how language works?

    JRH (8f59ea)

  166. @167. An Easter worshipper is someone who worships on Easter. What happened to all the smart lawyer types who know how language works?

    JRH (8f59ea) — 4/22/2019 @ 10:38 pm

    Keep carrying that water. That nonsensical statement didn’t exist till leftist politicians en masse tweeted it because they are afraid of the power of CHRIST in the word CHRISTian.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  167. @164. At the time of her tweet, it was unclear who was responsible. Yes we might have assumed it was Islamists, but we didn’t know. So unreasonable to expect her to call out Islamists when we didn’t know it was Islamists.

    JRH (8f59ea) — 4/22/2019 @ 10:36 pm

    https://memegenerator.net/instance/65533231/south-park-aand-its-gone-lets-not-jump-to-conclu-aaaand-its-muslims

    NJRob (4d595c)

  168. That nonsensical statement didn’t exist till leftist politicians en masse tweeted it because they are afraid of the power of CHRIST in the word CHRISTian.

    https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nation-world/article229498654.html

    “Tourists, Easter worshippers lament closure of Notre Dame”

    https://www.gadsdentimes.com/lifestyle/20160331/church-uses-bell-to-attract-easter-worshippers

    “Church uses bell to attract Easter worshippers”

    It must be exhausting being is a constant state of outrage.

    Davethulhu (9847a2)

  169. “Keep carrying that water. That nonsensical statement didn’t exist till leftist politicians en masse tweeted it because they are afraid of the power of CHRIST in the word CHRISTian.”

    Nope. I found two examples from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 28, 1910.

    “Easter Worshippers Leaving St. Augustine’s Church.” Pg 19.

    “was easter worshipper at Trinity Church,” pg 10

    https://bklyn.newspapers.com/browse/The%20Brooklyn%20Daily%20Eagle_1890/1910/03/28

    Maybe Obama and Hillary went back in time and edited the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for a day to take CHRIST out of the newspaper! diabolical.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  170. Christians. But on your day or reckoning, I pray you will have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Otherwise you will spend eternity in damnation as will the rest of the anti-Christ leftists that hate us.

    Christians.

    Christians.

    Christians.

    Massacred by Muslims.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  171. OT, Hard to believe this is going to be a winning issue for them:

    Sanders says the right to vote should be extended ‘even for terrible people’ like Boston Marathon bomber

    This is Trump-level idiocy right here:

    Sanders started his answer by pointing out the low rate of voter turnout in the United States when compared to other major democracies around the world. He said one of the primary priorities of his campaign is to make the US a “vibrant” democracy with a much higher voter turnout.

    And, Sanders said, enfranchising people like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the US citizen who helped bomb the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three and injuring hundreds of others — is a part of that.

    “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope,” Sanders said when asked by a student if sex offenders, the Boston Marathon bomber, terrorists and murderers should have voting rights.

    Dave (1bb933)

  172. You would know about levels of idiocy, Dave.

    mg (8cbc69)

  173. The legal profession is the enemy of the people.

    mg (8cbc69)

  174. Bernie always has to be the edgiest guy in the room.

    Nic (896fdf)

  175. You would know about levels of idiocy, Dave.

    Thank you for the personal insult.

    Dave (1bb933)

  176. citizens arrest, Dave?

    mg (8cbc69)

  177. 1910? Wow. If DJT has BHO and HRC going pre-new deal, pre wwi even, he really is making America great again.

    frosty48 (a2c73c)

  178. Who worships Easter? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Darwinians?

    nk (dbc370)

  179. Sanders says the right to vote should be extended ‘even for terrible people’ like Boston Marathon bomber

    That is the law in Vermont. Convicted felons vote from prison. How do you think Bernie got elected?

    nk (dbc370)

  180. “Tourist mecca Notre Dame also revered as place of worship”

    —- AP News

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  181. Just some people doing something to Easter worshipers and the far-right pounced…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  182. 166… were 0bama’s inaction and incompetence in dealing with Russian attempts to interfere with the US presidential election merely a belated demonstration of the flexibility he’d promised before the 2012 election?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  183. Is the government of the United States of America allowed — that’s allowed as in permitted, not entitled or have a right — to count the citizens of the United States of America? https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/705210786/a-decade-of-implications-at-stake-supreme-court-hears-census-citizenship-questio

    nk (dbc370)

  184. The gift that keeps on giving…

    “Consistent with this, the report states: “The [Russian Internet Research Agency] conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system.” Thus, they created fake grassroots organizations “(with names such as “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and “Tea Party News”), purported Black social justice groups (“Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and “Don’t Shoot Us”), LGBTQ groups (“LGBT United”), and religious groups (“United Muslims of America”).” The content suggests that Russia created fake grassroots groups (also known as “astroturf”) on either side of the divide to pick at the scabs of festering social controversies. This, in turn, would undermine national unity and the legitimacy of whomever was elected president.

    What could possibly sow discord in the U.S. political system more than suggesting the president broke the law and stole an election by treacherously teaming up with a hostile foreign power? This was the essence of the charge made by former F.B.I. director James Comey, former CIA Director James Brennan, and their subordinates using the scandalous Steele dossier. This incredibly corrosive tale converted what were run-of-the-mill hacking and public relations operations, similar to those undertaken by many other nations—including the United States—into an act of war. Further, the dominant narrative (and even parts of Mueller’s report) obscured the fact that this was done without the consent, coordination, or even purpose of aiding one or another candidate.

    The report also obscures the distinction of individual Russian nationals and the Russian government. Clearly, some of the influence operations originated in the Kremlin. But contacts with Russian nationals who claimed to have dirt on an opposing candidate have been deemed suspicious, in spite of the media and elite’s pretensions of cosmopolitan globalism, and in spite of the fact that these contacts were not coordinated by the Russian government.

    They would never speak ill of such contacts with Chinese, Mexican, or Middle Eastern foreigners this way. Recall, how the media lost its mind over the death of the Qatari asset, Jamal Khashoggi, who was in the United States on a visa. Why was that foreign influence considered so humdrum?

    The Investigation’s Pretext
    Thus, the Russia panic always had an artificial feel. We are not at war with Russia. Our relations would be better, but for the instigation of domestic and European interests hostile to Russia’s traditionalism, Christianity, and nationalism. Yes, there are disputes about Russia’s muscle-flexing on its borders, whether in Georgia or Ukraine. And the intelligence community includes a great many “Sovietologists” who seem eager to go back to relive the 1980s, even while amorphous Islamic terrorist organizations have done the most damage since 1990.

    Worse, many of the left-leaning members of the Intelligence Community have made a huge deal about internal policies in Russia regarding gay rights and the like, none of which has anything to do with foreign policy, and many of which are worse in countries like Saudi Arabia, with whom we are ostensibly allies.

    The Russia hysteria is out of kilter with the times. The Cold War is over. We had a peace dividend. Our nuclear stockpile has shrunk. Americans don’t know much or think much about Russia or foreign policy in general. And we are far more threatened by transnational groups, illegal immigration from Latin America, and an ascendant China. These issues were all prominent during the campaign, and Americans made their choice. It deviated from preferred positions of the politicized Intelligence Community and that was enough to set off an unprecedented series of abuses.

    The other pretext of the Mueller investigation was the firing of FBI Director James Comey. While he and Mueller are good friends, and he admittedly circulated memos revealing the contents of conversations with Trump in order to have Mueller appointed, it’s also the case that he is a real weirdo who few actually respect.

    Whether in the earlier Hillary email investigation or the later Trump collusion investigations, Comey has arrogated power to himself,refused to inform his elected oversight authorities of his activities, and generally acted in a smarmy, self-righteous, and power-hungry way. He has done little since his firing to restore his reputation.

    Even if Comey were someone of sterling character, and not a shady ideologue, he and his supporters have self-interested reasons for augmenting the FBI to keep the elected branches of government, including the president, in check. Unfortunately for them, our Constitution does not contemplate unelected Platonic guardians; it is a government of the people.

    The FBI is an agency of the Department of Justice, governed by the attorney general, who is himself subordinate to the president. Our elected leaders are overseers of the unelected parts of government, which is supposed to be an instrument in the hands of the president. Since the Progressive Era, unelected officials, large bureaucracies, and semi-independent agencies have tried to carve out a space for “scientific” government in the hands of an unelected and mostly unaccountable managerial class, but this program has no support in our Constitution.

    In the 1926 case of United States v. Myers, the Supreme Court held that the President has the power of termination over federal officials. While Senatorial “advice and consent” is required for certain officials’ appointment, the power of termination is unrestricted. The reasons why are obvious, of course. As we know from the private sector, personnel set policy. If they cannot be fired, they can undermine the president’s will, which is supposed to represent the people’s will. James Comey revealed himself to be a liar, schemer, and dangerous out-of-control figure who would undermine the president’s ability to be an effective executive.

    His firing was no obstruction of justice. It was absolutely necessary, predictable, and constitutional.

    Who Controls the Government?
    The tension between Trump and the FBI is part of a broader problem of the power and relations between the president and the administrative state. Do elections matter? Does the president get to set policy within the boundaries of law? Or is the bureaucracy its own class with its own interests and own ideas about how the rubes in flyover country are to be governed? The actions of so many officials suggest that they want to implement a regime that is organized according to the latter understanding.

    The pretext—Russian collusion and the firing Comey—masks that the real ideology was that the president could not tell the intelligence community to do things that the American people wanted if the “professionals” deemed those things to be crude, impolitic, ill-advised, or otherwise bad.

    The investigation itself was problematic. The fact that its conclusions largely exonerated the president is immaterial. It was an expensive, leaky, two-year exercise in partisan harassment. It was used by leftist partisans and the media—but I repeat myself—to box in the president, encourage more aggressive actions towards Russia, discourage talented people from joining the administration, and generally to wreak havoc upon the ordinary process of transferring power. It disunited the country and accomplished little that was worthy.

    The ultimate conclusion—no collusion and no obstruction—was apparently ready before the midterms, but the investigation continued anyway. This was a far more corrosive exercise in election influence than the modest intrusions of Russian Twitter-bots and Facebook ads.

    Consider the purpose of the Russian information operations: sowing chaos and distrust. Investigators routinely ask who benefits from a particular action. Is it not obvious that the chief beneficiaries of Mueller’s investigation were Russia and any other country hostile to the United States?

    After all, executive branch officials were encouraged to “resist” the president. The military itself pushed back against the president’s minimalist foreign policy in Syria. Lawfare tied up his immigration policies from being implemented by rogue judges in the hinterland. All of these efforts were fueled by the vain hope that he would soon be exposed and impeached.

    An essential feature of effective American government is an effective president, whose authority is recognized by subordinate officials, but this was held in abeyance for two years while partisans rooted through his and his associates’ affairs in an open-ended fishing expedition. They came up with nothing related to the ostensible purpose of the investigation, instead concluding that a few associates committed unrelated tax offenses and process crimes. In the case of Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, they crucified an innocent and honorable man.

    The “efficient causes” of the report, Russia and Comey, are secondary. The real story is the utter contempt in which the left-leaning ruling class holds its countrymen. They invented an elaborate and facially ridiculous conspiracy theory and broke numerous rules and customs in order to excuse a lost election and harass an elected President through an interminable investigation.

    The meta-lesson for the country is that they will not allow someone like Trump to be elected again. Even if we win, they will make sure we lose. They will make any president who flirts with nationalism pay the price, and they will make his associates and family pay the price as well.

    The thing that saved Trump, ultimately, was the utter lack of evidence to support this specious fantasy. But Trump’s exoneration in the report hardly matters, because the burden of the investigation was substantial and distracting, benefiting mostly the president’s foreign and domestic enemies. As Trump himself put it, “This is the end of my presidency.” Russia, China, Mexico, and every other hostile power in the world could not have invented a more effective means of undermining America’s institutions and national unity.

    Perhaps it’s time we look into whether Robert Mueller himself was on the Russian payroll. He delivered the very chaos and disunity Russia’s paltry influence operation aimed for. The suggestion that Mueller is a Russian agent, while ridiculous, is no more ridiculous than the suggestion that Donald Trump ever was.”

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/04/22/was-robert-mueller-colluding-with-russia/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  185. Continuing to sow discord and disunity when there has been no finding of collusion or obstruction goes beyond stupid. It is plain idiocy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  186. “The [Russian Internet Research Agency] conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system.” Thus, they created fake grassroots organizations “(with names such as “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and “Tea Party News”), purported Black social justice groups (“Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and “Don’t Shoot Us”), LGBTQ groups (“LGBT United”), and religious groups (“United Muslims of America”)”; and fake commenters at Patterico’s Pontifications such as “Steppe Nomad”, “Ryumyaku”, “Chin-Po”, “American Sammy”, “West Coast Wizard”, “Putin’s Smile”, “Jared”, and many more, sockpuppeting through a VPN, to further make Trump supporters look like Nazis.

    nk (dbc370)

  187. Jay Cost writes… “Despite decades of egregious errors, a group of “leaders” remains steadfastly in place, waiting to take charge again.

    The release of the Mueller report this week was a revelatory moment for me. I realized that, some time ago apparently, I crossed a political Mendoza line, where I am now more disgusted by Donald Trump’s opponents than I am by Trump himself.
    This is no insignificant development for me. Regular readers of mine will recall that, just three years ago, I was calling on the delegates to the Republican National Convention to deny Trump the GOP nomination, arguing not only that it was prudent but also well within their rights. That feels like an eternity ago to me.

    It was not the Mueller report per se that moved me, but rather its organization into two parts­ — the investigation into possible collusion with the Russians and the investigation into obstruction of justice — that was like a light bulb going off in my head.

    Let’s start with the obstruction of justice. I do not think what Trump did was criminal or meriting impeachment. I do think it demonstrates that he is a nincompoop whose tendency to shoot from the hip has done more damage to his public standing than his political opponents ever could.

    Put yourself in Trump’s shoes in January 2017. You know that you did not collude with Russia. You also know that high-level officials in the government think you did, pushing some bogus document in close conjunction with the mainstream press. The obvious inference about these people is either that they are credulous morons who will believe any silly claim or that they’re vicious partisans who want to end your administration before it begins. Either way, your objective must be twofold: Exonerate yourself in a manifestly credible investigation while relentlessly cleaning house at the Department of Justice. Virtually everything Trump did in those early days was counterproductive to those objectives. It made him look guilty and no doubt entrenched anti-Trump sentiment within the Department of Justice and the intelligence community. Ultimately, it forced the president’s lawyers to provide Mueller with virtually unlimited access, which revealed to the world what a boob he had been all along.

    Pretty bad stuff. But the good news is that Trump is running for reelection in 2020 — so the voters can remove him if they so choose. And if he manages to win, there is no getting around the 22nd Amendment. In other words, there will be in relatively short order a date when Trump is no longer in power. And in the meantime, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans will be busy at work filling judicial nominations, to prevent the progressive Left from stealing our rights or enacting through the courts the agenda that cannot succeed at the ballot box.

    Now let’s think about part one of the Mueller report: the finding of no collusion. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. It was all a hoax — paid in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign. And yet . . . and yet! A vast concatenation of journalists, public officials, and public intellectuals have been screeching from the top of their lungs for more than two years about the dire threat to the republic. They even managed to jawbone the tech companies into restricting speech on social-media sites to combat this insidious threat.

    Have they ever been more wrong?

    Why yes! Yes they have!

    The Russia hoax was only the latest in a long chain of grievous errors. In the past 20 years, the number of times that our civic betters have royally screwed up is astounding. They missed 9/11. They wrongly thought Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. They didn’t see that Iraq was sliding into chaos by late 2005. They allowed Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden to steal our secrets. They didn’t see the 2008–09 economic crisis coming until it hit them square in the jaw. They missed how a vast array of government policies and decisions contributed to it. They told us that the stimulus would reduce unemployment. They assured us that if we liked our health care we could keep it. They couldn’t even get a website running. They let Libya and Syria fall into chaos.

    That works out to be about one massive screw-up every 20 or so months. That is insane. The array of mistakes is bipartisan, and it has been committed collectively by journalists, bureaucrats, and public intellectuals. There is one, abiding constant: The people tasked with the day-to-day management and oversight of our government have an arrogance-to-excellence ratio that is shockingly high.

    These people are a testament to the failure of our higher-education system over the last generation, which has produced an untold number of second-raters who are convinced they are first-raters. They are also a shining monument to the virtues of federalism — for all the many problems with returning power to the states, at least these dummies won’t have as much influence. These middlebrow poseurs are a better argument for libertarianism than F. A. Hayek could ever conjure up.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/mueller-report-trump-opponents-governing-class/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  188. Thank you for the Jay Cost piece, Haiku. (No, not really.) I am always looking for unhinged, incoherent, disconnected rants to burn up surplus brain cells with now that I’ve stopped drinking.

    nk (dbc370)

  189. You are most welcome.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  190. Look soon for one from the unhinged Victor Davis Hanson…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  191. On the question of does it matter how we label things, in summary:

    Every single victim doesn’t fit the label you want. Even the Sri Lankans who were Christian probably only showed up for that one day. They weren’t Americans. It’s no big deal. Calling people Christians could imply they deserved it. This is all fake news. This is already being labeled correctly and it’s a historically accurate term.

    Can we get back to how ‘didn’t conclude committed’ and ‘didn’t find evidence of’ is really code for clear grounds for impeachment? This is super-serial stuff, you guys.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  192. That is the law in Vermont. Convicted felons vote from prison. How do you think Bernie got elected?

    But I think the only people serving time for felonies in Vermont are the ones caught putting their recyclables in the wrong trash bin…

    Dave (1bb933)

  193. “Can we get back to how ‘didn’t conclude committed’ and ‘didn’t find evidence of’ is really code for clear grounds for impeachment? This is super-serial stuff, you guys.”

    The Great Unhingement!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  194. Can we get back to how ‘didn’t conclude committed’ and ‘didn’t find evidence of’ is really code for clear grounds for impeachment? This is super-serial stuff, you guys.

    Neither of those is an accurate characterization of what the report says.

    Dave (1bb933)

  195. The Great Triggering!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  196. Put yourself in Trump’s shoes in January 2017. You know that you did not collude with Russia. You also know that high-level officials in the government think you did, pushing some bogus document in close conjunction with the mainstream press. The obvious inference about these people is either that they are credulous morons who will believe any silly claim or that they’re vicious partisans who want to end your administration before it begins. Either way, your objective must be twofold: Exonerate yourself in a manifestly credible investigation while relentlessly cleaning house at the Department of Justice. Virtually everything Trump did in those early days was counterproductive to those objectives. It made him look guilty and no doubt entrenched anti-Trump sentiment within the Department of Justice and the intelligence community. Ultimately, it forced the president’s lawyers to provide Mueller with virtually unlimited access, which revealed to the world what a boob he had been all along.

    Why is it that Trump supporters ignore, over and over again, that there was an actual crime? Russia, the government, not just individuals, committed a crime where they targeted one of our political parties, stole information, and released that information in a way to benefit the candidate of their choice.
    It wasn’t just social media, propaganda, or opposition research. Our laws were broken.

    I wanted that investigated and I want the parties responsible brought to whatever justice can be found in the situation.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  197. Arresting and prosecuting Russians? Get on with it then.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  198. Arresting and prosecuting Russians? Get on with it then.

    Difficult when the chief executive is determined to provide cover for his benefactors.

    Dave (1bb933)

  199. Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the rest of that bunch must be held to account.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  200. And that can’t be overstated, to say the least.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  201. Colonel, are you stupid or did you ignore the last part of my comment? Where is said “whatever justice can be found”?

    Time123 (2c94e5)

  202. @188/189: Helsinki.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  203. Smart enough to not go on and on about something that will lead nowhere.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  204. If two years and $30M didn’t get it done, what will more anguished cries and people losing their schiff because Orange Man Bad buy?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  205. Guess I was “mud wrestling a pig’ there…should have realized it wasn’t worthwhile to treat your comments as meaningful. My bad.

    Time123 (2c94e5)

  206. Who are you to call anyone a pig? Everything seems to confuse you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  207. Wait till after the election. Trump will have more flexibility.

    harkin (89ebb5)

  208. You stated your case, I disagree with you. You won’t convince me, nor I you.

    Have a splendid day.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  209. Up to this point, “whatever justice can be found” has meant “whatever can be linked to Trump”, but we should welcome a broader definition.

    Munroe (6a09c8)

  210. Justice will be done and history will prove that Bernie is the lawful 45th President of the United States, and sooner rather than later. I’d do it myself, but I’m busy.

    nk (dbc370)

  211. Russia’s GRU military intelligence service used fraudulent emails to gain access to large amounts of sensitive emails and documents that were then disseminated via covert GRU websites during the 2016 presidential election campaign influence operation, according to the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Two GRU intelligence units worked together in the spring of 2016 to first identify email servers for Democratic staff member Gmail accounts, and then a special cyber unit sent spearphishing emails that produced the implantation of special software inside Democratic computer networks.

    The Mueller report provided new details of the cyber attacks carried out by two numbered GRU groups: Military Unit 74455, in charge of influence and disinformation operations, and Military Unit 26165, the main cyberattack group.

    “The GRU spearphishing operation enabled it to gain access to numerous email accounts of Clinton campaign employees and volunteers, including campaign chairman John Podesta, junior volunteers assigned to the Clinton campaign’s advance team, informal [Hillary] Clinton campaign advisors, and a DNC employee,” the report said.”

    https://freebeacon.com/national-security/gru-spearphishing-emails-fooled-democrats-clinton-campaign-in-2016/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. colonel, I didn’t mean to call you a pig. The full saying is
    “Never mud wrestle a pig, you both end up muddy but the pig likes it.”

    The meaning is that you shouldn’t argue with someone that just wants to argue.

    Time123 (2c94e5)

  213. @214

    Monroe,
    Happy to try and answer. When people in the US commit crimes they’re given a fair trial, and punished in a way intended to be a just deterrent. At this point I’m pretty convinced Russia is guilty of the accusations. Now we need to move on to the “just deterrent” You can’t put a country in jail but you can
    -seize assets
    -impose sanctions
    -provide assistance to 3rd party countries that will frustrate Russia’s ambitions.
    -take steps to hurt their prestige on the world stage through words and actions

    Lots of options in those broad categories and typically the executive branch would lead on them. It’s really not all about Trump. I know his fans and his opponents want to make it all about him but I really do think it’s bigger than that.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  214. For something completely more fun (if the link works): https://twitter.com/i/status/1118873752031285248

    nk (dbc370)

  215. “It’s really not all about Trump. I know his fans and his opponents want to make it all about him but I really do think it’s bigger than that.”
    Time123 (a7a01b) — 4/23/2019 @ 9:16 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. My comment was meant to welcome the broader meaning of justice that you made clear is your goal. Perhaps altNeverTrump will embrace it, as I do.

    Munroe (13736d)

  216. “Remember, too, that Glenn Reynolds said last year that people from the FBI should go to jail for considering an obstruction investigation. You know, for things like Trump telling the FBI director to stop investigating his crony. The FBI should go to jail. For that.”

    This is what we might charitably call a ‘massive overexaggeration’ and uncharitably call ‘a bald-faced lie told in the service of a malicious sabotage campaign’.

    Acting like “I hope you can see your way to ending the investigation” is DIRECT OBSTRUCTIVE ORDER, much like saying TRUMP SPEAKS IN A SUPER-SECRET CODE THAT ONLY WE (AND MICHAEL COHEN) CAN INTERPRET, is nothing but an invitation to infinite prosecutorial ‘discretion’, infinite police insubordination and the end of all effective Presidential or even executive authority.

    Prison is far too good a punishment for these wreckers.

    GRU Agent 47 (cb5d31)

  217. what does altNeverTrump mean?

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  218. @221 Steppe Nomad, just go away.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  219. Acting like “I hope you can see your way to ending the investigation” is DIRECT OBSTRUCTIVE ORDER, much like saying TRUMP SPEAKS IN A SUPER-SECRET CODE THAT ONLY WE (AND MICHAEL COHEN) CAN INTERPRET, is nothing but an invitation to infinite prosecutorial ‘discretion’, infinite police insubordination and the end of all effective Presidential or even executive authority.

    The other day my boss told me that that “we should think about blah blah blah”
    I told him we should take a look at that.

    On paper it was pretty ambiguous, and he never really told me to do anything and I never agreed to do anything. It wasn’t phrased as a direct order. He’s 100% expecting me to show up at our next meeting an update on that project. We don’t work in a field where we need to worry about breaking the law or public relations. He just likes to phrase things more collaboratively.

    So I don’t really agree with your point.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  220. Time123: “Why is it that Trump supporters ignore, over and over again…”

    These are the same people who were manipulated into enthusiastically voting for him despite all of the craziness coming out of his mouth…..why would you think they wouldn’t be manipulated by the spin targeting the investigation? They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid….this is personal now….once you go binary, you never go back….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  221. Reports are that at least one announced Democrat candidate (Robert Francis O’Rourke) has reached out to Republicans for some opp research on Buttiplug. Is this an attempt to interfere with an election, an attempt at collusion?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  222. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 4/23/2019 @ 10:27 am

    They merely do what’s expected of them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  223. “Is this an attempt to interfere with an election, an attempt at collusion?”

    Are the Republicans in question representatives of an unfriendly foreign power?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  224. Buttiplug

    Keepin’ it classy at all times.

    Dave (1bb933)

  225. 228… better you ask the quimby Democrats, Cthulhu.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  226. 229… pull up your vintage anti-Trump rants, Mr. Hypocrite.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  227. The anti-Trumpinista forces aren’t coherent, so it’s impossible for them to admit defeat and seek reconciliation, so now they’re doubling down with calls for obstruction charges and impeachment.

    They persist in acting as the useful idiot puppets of the Russians. How ironic is that!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  228. Plus the Democrats they’ve all allied with have come out with strong public endorsements for criminals getting voting rights, just the party you’d want to align yourself with when ‘Rule of Law!’ is your watchword.

    GRU Agent 47 (9a4efd)

  229. “He’s 100% expecting me to show up at our next meeting an update on that project. We don’t work in a field where we need to worry about breaking the law or public relations. He just likes to phrase things more collaboratively.”

    So not really a good comparison then.

    Sorry, but in practice, this assumption that ‘all vague directives are ACTUALLY direct orders and should be treated as such’ just extends the sexual harassment ‘it was real if I felt like it was real’ formula into all business interactions. It grants much greater power to malcontents, willful misinterpreters, leftists, and other parasites (but I repeat myself) and offers no solution to people trying to do the right thing.

    It’s exactly the tack I’d expect a hateful #Resistance grifter who wants to destroy Trump no matter the consequences to take, since they tend to resemble the benficiary profile in most respects.

    GRU Agent 47 (7b0b96)

  230. This is off topic:
    I was reading Bernie believes felons should have their voting rights restored. Aside from the obvious problems of felons incarcerated in rural areas swinging the vote for Sheriff, Mayor,
    I don’t know if denying felons the vote is as much a check on felons as it is a check on identity or interest group politics.
    Remembering Hillary go down her list during the campaign checking off all the identity boxes, now we can look forward to adding felons to the list of people pandered to and who are promised goodies in return for their vote.

    steveg (e7a56b)

  231. #235: This is off topic:
    I was reading Bernie believes felons should have their voting rights restored. Aside from the obvious problems of felons incarcerated in rural areas swinging the vote for Sheriff, Mayor,
    I don’t know if denying felons the vote is as much a check on felons as it is a check on identity or interest group politics.
    Remembering Hillary go down her list during the campaign checking off all the identity boxes, now we can look forward to adding felons to the list of people pandered to and who are promised goodies in return for their vote.

    steveg (e7a56b) — 4/23/2019 @ 11:51 am

    I absolutely believe that incarcerated individuals should not vote…and this is some weird pandering.

    However, I must say, that once you pay your debt back to society, your full rights should be restored.

    whembly (51f28e)


  232. Oliver Darcy
    @oliverdarcy
    Trump has tweeted or retweeted more than 50 times in the last 24 hours.
    __ _

    Seth Abramson
    @SethAbramson
    He’s coming unglued, which only means he’s even more dangerous
    __ _

    Alex VanNess
    @thealexvanness
    Replying to
    @SethAbramson
    If 50 tweets in 24 hours is “unglued,” what would you call spending a day writing a 451 tweet thread?

    __

    harkin (89ebb5)

  233. 188.

    The content suggests that Russia created fake grassroots groups (also known as “astroturf”) on either side of the divide to pick at the scabs of festering social controversies
    No, they created sockuppets on both sides of an issue, but I think they wanted one side to prevail. They needed foils. They needed straw men.
    But contacts with Russian nationals who claimed to have dirt on an opposing candidate have been deemed suspicious…in spite of the fact that these contacts were not coordinated by the Russian government.

    Why would anyone (who was honest) say that?

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  234. People in jail, even murderers, even the killer of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, can vote in Israel, but they are among the few categories of people who can vote other than at a regular polling place.

    (the others are soldiers, people outside of Israel who work for the government or a Zionist organization, hospital patients and that’s about it.)

    This policy must have been established pretty early in the history of the government.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  235. It seems like they had a warning in Sri Lanka, but they probably didn’t have a date, and erhas npbpdy involved thought any of theirfrieds might be in danger. They were watching them in some way…. and they let them do it.

    And then they let them try again the next day, but at least that time people were alert, so they noticed what could be a truck bomb.

    And I don’t believe this group would even have existed without some outside help.

    AND I DON’T BELIEVE IT WAS ISIS – which is just a name.

    Some state actor probably did the bombings.

    The next time anything like this happens, the United States State Department should issue a public warning to travelers, unless the lw enfofcement forces of taht government are very very good.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  236. @234
    No, it means that even in an environment we’re there is NO motive to create plausible deniability people may still communicate using ambiguous language and count on context to convey information.

    That clear enough?

    Time123 (73f382)

  237. * and perhaps nobody involved (in the Sri Lankam government’s investigation) thought any of their friends might be in danger.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  238. Trumpists: it’s fine that the Russians hacked Democrats’ emails because it revealed truth. Revealing truth is always good no matter how the truth gets out.

    The true opposite is:

    Anti-Trumpists: It’s good somebody leaked information from Trump’s tax returns in 2016 and that members of Congress want to twist a 1924 law, or create problems for Trump’s re-election if his tax returns remain confidential. Revealing truth is always good no matter how the truth gets out.

    Maybe it depends on what the truth is, and how important the truth is.

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  239. steveg (e7a56b) — 4/23/2019 @ 11:51 am

    Hard to believe the Democrats really want to make terrorist voting rights into a campaign issue. And yet…

    Harris, who is almost certainly a lot more intelligent than Sanders, pandered and waffled without taking a position when confronted with the same question.

    Dave (e914be)

  240. Exactly. That is why Bernie is still a viable candidate. he doesn’t equivocate.

    as for Harris, Ive said before I don’t think she is ready for primetime. She does not think well on her feet.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  241. Sammy (#243)

    As a politician running for President, I have no expectation my tax return will remain private. If I want it to stay private, maybe I should do the next season of The Apprentice instead.

    Now, if I am working in Hillary’s campaign, I do have an expectation of privacy because, you know, confidential communications an all are kind of –well, intended to stay confidential.

    Appalled (c9622b)

  242. Suppose, as the Senate started an Impeachment trial, the Russians — having tapped Trump’s office at Mar-a-lago — released a tape of him scheming to cut the heat off to an old folk’s home in the winter, to justify jacking prices up to “repair the problem”?

    Would those that oppose what the Russians did in 2016 say “This is improperly sourced and the Senate should ignore it!”? Or would they fall back on “But Trump was OK with it before” as their excuse for abandoning their moral high ground?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  243. Appalled @247. So the difference is, the norm is not to keep it secret anyway? So if somebody steals stuff that could be used to misrepresent something further, that’s OK, if that’s in the realm of usual disclosure; but if somebody steals stuff that reveals what somebody is really doing and thinking, that’s not OK?

    I guess like the fact that all emails written by someone that could deal with government business must be preserved, but telephone conversations must never be recorded, or are recorded, onlly athe discetion of one, or many jurisdictions, both of the people in the conversation. I don’t know if that makes sense.

    There are historical reasons for these distinctions.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  244. 137. harkin (89ebb5) — 4/22/2019 @ 7:10 pm

    Both Obama and Hillary referred to victims as Easter Worshipers for the Sri Lanka slaughter and failed to mention the Islam ideology of the perps or warning of dangerous Islamic fundamentalism.

    For the NZ slaughter, they stated victims were Muslim, condemned islamaphobia and warned of dangerous white nationalism.

    There could be a fear, on the part of whoever is advising Obama and company, that the majority of Americans might be tempted to agree with the killer in New Zealand; but there’s no such fear that many Americans will agree with the Islamicist killers of non-muslims.

    They also try to avoid implying that that the ourtrage depends upon agreeing that the victims are following the right religion. So they don’t say “Christians” but say “Easter worshippers” which avoids implying that the religious beliefs they hold are correct. I mean they want Muslims to opppose these murders, too. But they’re a minority, and not the main artarget audience.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  245. Pretty stupid Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene to credit any intelligence that says the attacks “were carried out in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch” because one fo the terrorists began posting posting “extremist content” about the March shootings after they happened.

    Islamist terrorists always use excuses, and thsi was not even an excuse, and most important the attacks would have had to have been the result of months of preparation, including testing the explosives and recruiting the suicide bombers.

    This surroised people in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) because in all their years of terrorism., the Tamil Tigers were never able to pull off anything like thsi – you kow simultaneus attacks.

    Now if I want to come up with a reason, I could say this is China’s method of fighting global warming. (make Sri Lanka poorer and reduce carbon emissions, also possily destabilize the government)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  246. 154. Kishnevi (eb30e0) — 4/22/2019 @ 8:55 pm

    So probably a Christian, if only by culture, but not an Easter worshipper

    They attacked hotels also. The goal was probably to reduce tourism, isolate Sri Lanka from the world, and maybe (secretly) to fight climate change.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  247. Mueller seems to consider the idea of impeding a biased investigation to be a form of obstruction of justice even if there is no underlying crime. It’s OK by him, however, if there is a governmental, as opposed to personal,, purpose, to impeding such an investigation. It’s got to be high minded.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  248. @BillKristol
    Follow Follow @BillKristol
    More
    Just now boarding at Reagan:
    Gate agent laughing: “Does Trump love you yet?”
    Me: “I doubt it.”
    He, turning serious: “The Democrats need to impeach him. He’s dangerous.”
    Me: “Are you a Democrat?”
    Him: “I’m a Reagan Republican. I came here when he was president. A real president.”

    This conversation, like everything recounted in the Mueller Report, totally happened and you can completely trust the source.

    Peaceful Jihadi (cb5d31)

  249. Oh, I could see where that conversation could have happened. But mostly if the TSA agent was lying about being a Republican, let alone a supporter of RR. And BK is just the guy dumb enough to believe he was being for realz.

    JSkorcher (9f9671)

  250. 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!!

    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

    The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump’s opponents with a worst-case account of the president’s conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

    In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

    The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow — which he had not taken up — and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

    Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats, and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network.

    You know what this would mean, if it were true? I mean the moles claim:

    Possibly the DNC wasn’t hacked by Russians, or even by anyone that weighs 400 pounds whio is sitting on their bed in a bedrooms, and it maybe wasn’t even the Russians who obtained the emails, but it was the Trump campaign itself which stole the emails, but not by hacking, and gave them to Wikileaks. And if it was hackers, they were Romanians.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  251. The facts are these. Trump could have fired Mueller and didn’t. And firing Comey didn’t stop the FBI investigation into Russian Collusion and never was intended to.

    So what does “obstruction of Justice” in this case, amount to? Trump asked his FBI director if he could “go easy on Flynn” and then did nothing after Comey told Trump he hadn’t even considered his request. And Trump told McGrath – supposedly – to fire Mueller and when McGrath didn’t, did nothing.

    And why shouldn’t have Trump wanted Mueller fired? The FBI and Congress were ALREADY investigating Russia Collusion. Trump had ALREADY said he was innocent but wanted the FBI to see if any of his “satellites” had been “colluding”. And what does “Colluding” even mean? And why is it Illegal?

    We didn’t need a Special Counsel. We didn’t need a biased man like Mueller. And we didn’t need him to write a 453 page brief for impeachment on Obstruction. Poor Trump. The Guy was betrayed by his selfish – CYA – lawyers and legal “experts” from day 1.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  252. This is wrong:

    The dossier began as part of a conventional opposition research operation by a small Washington firm, Fusion GPS. During the early part of the campaign, Fusion was paid by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication funded by the billionaire Paul Singer, to scrutinize Mr. Trump, with the evident goal of uncovering dirt to help his Republican primary opponents.

    The dossier DID NOT begin with the hiring of Fusioon GPS by the Washington Free Beacon. Fusion GPS and the Democrats involved tried to obfusticate this for a year. The Washington Free Beacon never paid for any private detectives, they say. They were on;y looking for public records. (oit could be some of the earlier, non-Steele, research was incoporated into the dossier)

    Furthermore, the two accounts overlapped in time. Fusion did not turn to a new source of funding: the law firm representing the Clinton campaign, Perkins Coie.

    The NEw York Times explains what motivated the hiring of Christopher Steele

    Noticing in May 2016 the Trump campaign’s unexpected affinity for Russia, Fusion hired Mr. Steele, a veteran of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency, to dig deeper. Mr. Steele has told acquaintances that he did not know the ultimate client was the Clinton campaign.

    And certainly the Russians didn’t either.

    The New York Times gives several explanations for the wrong infromation in the dossier. It could be a game of telephone. Or maybe it was Russian disinformation and the Russians were hedging their bets. No, it was Russian disinformation which they had no idea was going to the Democrats.

    Disinformation to get Steele off on the wrong track. Questions they had to answer in order for Steele (and MI-6) not to re-evaluate what they had “learned” circa 2006. One of which things was that people in the Russian governemnt were very willing to talk to foreigners about Russian secrets without even getting paid.

    Rush Limbaugh thinks Steele just made it all up. But I don’t think so.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  253. I don’t know if Trump was just bad at choosing Legal talent, or Pro-Trump lawyers were just extremely rare but..

    Y’got Sessions who recused himself, got Rosenstein appointed DAG, and then let Trump hang out to dry. He only had two responses: Recuse himself and and not help help trump. Meanwhile, Rosenstein. What chutzpah. The guys a DAG for 3 weeks and he decides out the of blue, without consulting Sessions, to appoint Mueller and give him a blank check. And finally McGrath, who was more concerned with this Legal “reputation” than helping Trump. He was willing to chuck it all, including getting Conservative Judges, just to keep Mueller. Because Mueller was on the verge of finding some great crime? No. Not at all.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  254. rcocean (1a839e) — 4/23/2019 @ 2:31 pm

    Trump asked his FBI director if he could “go easy on Flynn” and then did nothing after Comey told Trump he hadn’t even considered his request.

    Comey never said that to Trump.

    But he did let CNN know the case against Flynn had been dropped.

    The failure of the special counsel to discover this, or to come to this, perhaps surprising, conclusion, illustrates how much people are anchored on previous beliefs, and the deficiencies of a special counsel, or maybe, any secret investigation.

    They were not able to uncover certain messages published on Twitter.

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

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

    But by 10 pm Zero Hedge reports:

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

    Things turned on a dime.

    Let;s look at the CNN tweets:

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

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

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

    3:45 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    —-

    Jim Sciutto @jimsciutto
    Replying to @jimsciutto

    More: FBI says Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers

    3:47 PM – 15 Feb 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now wehn I posted this on another thread, somebody sent me this link, saying the The 302 of the 1/24/2017 interview was in Mueller’s possession, and it was given to Judge Sullivan as part of Flynn’s sentencing hearing process.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/421796-mueller-releases-memo-detailing-2017-fbi-interview-with-flynn

    But that’s the one that was dated August 22, 2017. Of an interview that took place on january 24, 2017. That’s what was released by the judge. The story doesn’t speak of any otehr 302 in Mueller’s possession. It says there were two nearly identical versions, but there were two FBI agents who produced 302s of that interview.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  255. Kevin M @248.

    Suppose, as the Senate started an Impeachment trial, the Russians — having tapped Trump’s office at Mar-a-lago — released a tape of him scheming to cut the heat off to an old folk’s home in the winter, to justify jacking prices up to “repair the problem”?

    Well, something liekthat probably didn’t happen.

    BTW, Chinese intelligence opprobably tried to infect a presidential computer at Mar-a-lago in the way the Stuxnet virus spread, via USB drives.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  256. If I was advising Trump in 2017, I would have told him to fire Comey in Mid-April after Comey told Trump to NOT talk to him but only relay requests through the OLC and the DAG. I would’ve fired Sessions after Rosenstein appointed Mueller. And I would’ve fired Rosenstein too. I would’ve then found a new AG, and told him to rewrite Mueller’s mission, and given him a a narrow scope of review focusing on one thing: Russian Collusion in the Trump Campaign and a six month deadline.

    And when Mueller resigned, I would’ve asked Chuck Schumer to come up with a name.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  257. nk – Will bernie get an absentee ballot for speed bump?

    mg (8cbc69)

  258. According to the Washington Examiner, one of the redacted comments in the Mueller Reports is about CLinton-Lewinsky having phone sex while on Bill was on Airforce ONE. It seems the Russians had a copy of that “conversation”. But that was back in the 90’s when character mattered.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  259. According to the Washington Examiner, one of the redacted comments in the Mueller Reports is about CLinton-Lewinsky having phone sex while on Bill was on Airforce ONE.

    Ask and you shall receive, nk.

    Dave (e914be)

  260. Joey-Bee cares so much about runnin’ and lettin’ the common “folks” know he’s jumpin’ in the pond, he’s tone deaf: plans to “phone it in” on the interweb thingy.

    No chance of gaffs when you can take and re-take a tape, eh Joey? Racin’ them jetskis w/an inner-tube…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  261. Well worth $30 million, Dave.

    nk (dbc370)

  262. Well worth $30 million, Dave.

    After asset forfeiture from Trump’s corrupt henchmen, Mueller covered his own expenses with enough left over for a few presidential golf excursions to Mar-a-Lago.

    Public service at its finest!

    Dave (e914be)

  263. “And when Mueller resigned, I would’ve asked Chuck Schumer to come up with a name.”
    —- rcocean (1a839e)

    But Schumer’s Russian handlers would’ve ordered him to tell Trump to get out of the Dodge and that he has so many balls to ask that.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  264. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton referred to “Easter worshippers add otehrs.

    Obama had it “tourists and Easter worshippers”

    Hillary had it “Easter worshippers and travelers” (Hillary, or her consultants, probably thought tourists was a kind of derogatory word)

    Both spelled worshippers the same way. “Easter worshippers” is cut and paste from somewhere.

    Obama said “we pray.” But Hillary was praying all by herself. Didn’t imply that she joined herself to anyone in prayer. Solitary prayer must poll better. Sounds sincere.

    Obama said the attacks are an attack on humanity. Hillary said we must stand united against hatred and violence.

    Obama said it was a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal. Hillary said it was a holy weekend for many faiths.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/sri-lanka-bombings-anti-christian-terrorism

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  265. “After asset forfeiture from Trump’s corrupt henchmen, Mueller covered his own expenses with enough left over for a few presidential golf excursions to Mar-a-Lago”

    If the federal government really had an interest in retaining revenue, they’d get rid of student loans, which are nothing more than subsidies to academia, especially administrators.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  266. https://ktla.com/2019/04/23/obama-boulevard-l-a-to-officially-rename-rodeo-road-during-may-4-ceremony/

    Electric Avenue Obama Boulevard
    On my TV there is violence
    And even more right after the jump
    Ask who’s to blame you get silence
    But they can’t blame all on teh Trump, oh no

    They gonna take it hard on Obama Boulevard
    And all the peeps are gettin’ higher
    Oh they gonna take it hard on Obama Boulevard
    And all the peeps are gettin’ higher

    They’re talkin’ like they’ll impeach him
    But smarter folks know that dog don’t hunt
    Graspin’ at straws they got nothin’
    And next year they’ll all look like c*nts, good God

    They gonna take it hard on Obama Boulevard
    And all the peeps are gettin’ higher
    Oh they gonna take it hard on Obama Boulevard
    And all the peeps are gettin’ higher

    Oh no
    Oh no
    Oh no
    Oh no

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  267. That’s RODE-e-o, like the thing with cattle. Not ro-DEH-O, like the thing with shops. I guess one of the reasons it was changed is local folks getting tired of other people mispronouncing it.

    It will likely remain Higuera St in Culver City.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  268. *Ro-DEH-o. Some things spell check can’t fix.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  269. Bill hiccup Weld/2020

    mg (8cbc69)

  270. This is, in part, through Baldwin Hills which is a middle- to upper-middle class historically black area of L.A.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  271. You can argue all day about what is, or is not obstruction, but attempting to impeach or indict Trump solely on the basis of obstruction is a blatantly political act.

    I see the NY Times suggests that Nixon* and Clinton were facing impeachment over obstruction, which is true, but there were other matters underlying those charges. In Nixon’s case he was attempting to thwart an investigation into who ordered the Watergate break-in (AG Mitchell and others at CREEP, iirc). In Clinton’s case it was secondary to a Perjury charge, and was in furtherance of a desire to evade a #MeToo suit.

    In Trump’s case the charges stand alone, and are complicated in that some of them relate to his Article II powers. He had a perfect right to fire Comey, and ample reasons to do it without bringing personal motivation into it. Question: If Rosenstein had been ordered to appoint as special prosecutor, and resigned instead, would that be obstruction? At what point do normal rights
    become obstruction?

    Others have argued that Trump may have asked his subordinates to do other things that were clearly obstructive, but they did not do them and nothing was actually obstructed. Are wishes obstruction?

    In any case, this is something that no prosecutor would touch unless they had a political mission. It is as unreasonable to charge Trump as it was unreasonable not to charge Hillary.

    ————
    *Nixon resigned before the impeachment could be voted on

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  272. Josh Kraushaar
    @HotlineJosh
    “I had the craziest dream last night that the Democratic primary for president had devolved into a debate about how best to get an absentee ballot to the Boston Marathon bomber…”

    __

    harkin (a741df)

  273. Well worth $30 million, Dave.

    More like $1.4 million after collecting from Manafort and Trump’s other felonious douchebags. Mueller got a lot of bang for the net cost of a couple of average homes in San Francisco.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  274. Actually, it’s news to me that Clinton and Monica were that much into it. I always thought it was only Oval Office quickies for the relief of unbearable urges. And then, there’s the unavoidable connection with Anthony Weiner, Hillary’s bodywoman’s husband, who was also into phone sex. Weird.

    nk (dbc370)

  275. Republicans who are big fans of confiscation… next, right after the break, on The Jerry Springer Show…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  276. speed bump was voted dead by his brothers driving

    mg (8cbc69)

  277. 280. nk (dbc370) — 4/23/2019 @ 6:00 pm

    I always thought it was only Oval Office quickies for the relief of unbearable urges.

    There was phone sex, but maybe Bill Clinton did that in order to prevent Monica from asking him questions.

    Whether in any of these c+ases Bill Clinton was aboard Air Force One (I don’t seem to recall that in the Starr report) or the Russians tapes anything like that is another story.

    Every single sexual encounter between the two is recounted in the Starr Report.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  278. Every single sexual encounter between the two is recounted in the Starr Report.

    That’s how you spice up a dull whodunit!

    nk (dbc370)

  279. * Sorry 282, not 280.

    The Russians claimed to have plenty things they didn’t have, and I think, sometimes, by coincidence, one of theri lies turned out to be sumilar to the truth. Russians probably connected to the government would hint Russia had emails, meaning to goe the idea they had Hillary’s deleted emails; Mueller seems to have assumed they were talking about the hacked DNC emails, which they really did have.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  280. Republicans who are big fans of confiscation… next, right after the break, on The Jerry Springer Show…

    Yes, the audacity of the federal government confiscating the money that Trump’s boys defrauded from the federal government. The irony is that I’m a Republican and I oppose most forms of civil asset forfeiture but this Trump Department of Justice supports that unjust practice, and this unfit president wants to use those seized funds to build his precious wall.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  281. Starr had to invsti=igate all of it because Bil Clinton was denying everything – the very idea, and then he had to publish it because otherwise there;d be mysteries, and if you read it you can figure out hoe this happpened and judge the importance it had.

    Bill Clinton wanted to keep her loyal, to keep her quiet, so he kept her hopes up and he also endeavored to keep her in government employment even when she said she wanted to move to New York.

    He also kept Linda Tripp employed by the government.

    He made one mistake.

    He put them both in the same office in the Pentagon.

    Linda Tripp was surprised she was fired by Bush II. (she was not Civil Service)

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  282. Linda Tripp was surprised she was fired by Bush II. (she was not Civil Service)

    Many have embraced treachery, no one the traitor.

    nk (dbc370)

  283. Judicial Watch 🔎
    @JudicialWatch
    BREAKING: JW announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President (1/4)

    Judicial Watch 🔎
    @JudicialWatch
    ·
    9h
    Replying to
    @JudicialWatch
    The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner (2/4).

    Judicial Watch 🔎
    @JudicialWatch
    ·
    9h
    Replying to
    @JudicialWatch
    Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama admin senior State Dept officials, lawyers & Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to govt transparency”(3/4).

    Judicial Watch 🔎
    @JudicialWatch
    ·
    9h
    Replying to
    @JudicialWatch
    @TomFitton
    said, “This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people”(4/4).

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  284. In Trump’s case the charges stand alone

    Why do you say this?

    Nixon tried to obstruct the investigation of a felony perpetrated to influence the 1972 presidential election to his advantage. Nixon did not personally order the burglary, nor was he aware of it before the fact.

    Trump tried to obstruct the investigation of multiple felonies perpetrated to influence the 2016 presidential election to his advantage. For the sake of argument, we can stipulate that Trump did not personally order the felonies, nor was he aware of them before the fact.

    Both initially broke the law in an attempt to avoid political embarrassment and not because they themselves had transgressed. But having begun to engage in corrupt behavior, they subsequently “doubled-down”, as it were, to obstruct the investigation of their own crimes.

    Dave (e914be)

  285. Back on topic:
    The 2020 Election Is Going to Make 2016 Look Like a Student Council Election

    Back in February, The Daily Beast asked every presidential campaign running or exploring a run “whether they would commit to not knowingly using or referencing hacked material that appears online on grounds that it may have been obtained illegally.”

    The only campaign that refused to make such a commitment was Donald Trump’s.

    Dave (e914be)

  286. That and around $2 will get you a Tall cup o’joe at Starbucks…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  287. But Hillary Clinton was not indicted, so she’s innocent and vindicated.

    Nic (896fdf)

  288. What we have here is Mueller’s brother in arms Comey.
    Who SWATted Trump with a phony Russian collusion plot.
    He has the defense that he was exercising his lawful discretion as FBI director.
    Mueller set it up so that if Trump tries to use the defense that he was exercising his lawful discretion as President in regard to the obstruction allegations, Comey should get a pass too.
    That’s what it is.
    The Swamp looking after its own.
    Don’t try to look too deep.
    You can’t.
    It’s all mud and slime.

    nk (dbc370)

  289. JW announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President

    To the fainting couches!

    This is a truly “astonishing” revelation, that President Obama’s office corresponded by email with his Secretary of State!

    The purported scandal is that Obama’s office properly preserved emails sent and received, as required by law, right?

    None of this is news, or newsworthy. In TrumpWorld, just seeing the names “Clinton” or “Obama” apparently makes people turn off their brains.

    Just a suggestion: maybe try thinking before you copy/paste.

    Dave (e914be)

  290. ‘Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama admin senior State Dept officials, lawyers & Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to govt transparency”.’

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  291. Addressed to his ghost email address… email from Clinton’s illegal and unsecured private server, which Obama claimed not to have known about.

    Smarten up.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  292. There were email shenanigans going on with the Cheney/Bush administration too. emails handled incorrectly, then “lost” (and magically recovered years later, which is bizarre). Is Hillary a spotless lamb? nope, she’s a prevaricating, self-serving politician, which is to say a politician. but too pretend that she’s particularly dirty or particularly original in her dirtiness is a stretch.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  293. @ Kevin M, who asked (#279):

    Others have argued that Trump may have asked his subordinates to do other things that were clearly obstructive, but they did not do them and nothing was actually obstructed. Are wishes obstruction?

    No. But instructions to subordinates are not just wishes, and they certainly may be obstruction of justice, depending on the subjective intent behind the instruction — regardless of whether the instructions were carried out.

    Your entire comment, Kevin M — like 98% of the online commentary about obstruction of justice — is based on what you kinda sorta think you wish were the law of obstruction of justice. What you think it is, the cases don’t support; what the cases support leaves Trump vulnerable to criminal jeopardy for obstruction of justice. If you, or anyone, wants to know what the actual law is, it’s discussed in considerable detail, including citations to statutes and cases and fact patterns, in the second part of the Mueller report (which I’m still reading).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  294. Lest you think I’m picking on you rather than using your comment to illustrate a broader truth, Kevin M: Among the idiots who’ve been most consistently guilty of commentary on obstruction of justice which is ridiculously wrong — dead solid contrary to unambiguous existing SCOTUS and court of appeals precedents — are Rudy Giuliani, Alan Dershowitz, and, in his memo written as a private citizen (as distinct from his letter to Congress regarding the Mueller report and his actions thereupon), Attorney General Bill Barr.

    You have distinguished company, in other words, but you’re all absolutely wrong in your pronouncements about what “just can’t be” obstruction of justice.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  295. “1. IMPORTANT : FEC release reveals BuzzFeed receiving TWO HUGE 2016 payments from the Democrats ‘Priorities for USA Action’ Super Pac:

    Aug 4 – $1,000,000
    Sept 28 – $500,000

    Reminder : founded in 2011, PFA supported Obama’s 2012 campaign. It was the primary super PAC supporting Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

    So BuzzFeed was being PAID a huge amount to run pro-Clinton propaganda. Also, note the DATES. We need to line them up against the known SpyGate timeline.”

    https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsocial.quodverum.com%2F%40REX%2F101978348471245808%3Ao0RLjQgoGnKJpJbD-LIQwAKloQs&cuid=4235850

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  296. “So BuzzFeed was being PAID a huge amount to run pro-Clinton propaganda.”

    They were being paid to run pro-Clinton ads. If you follow the link within the article you can see that.

    “SpyGate”

    lol

    Davethulhu (9847a2)

  297. “Buzzfeed were paid shills…”

    Apologies, I somehow missed this. What do you think a “Digital Ad Buy” is?

    Davethulhu (9847a2)

  298. ‘Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama admin senior State Dept officials, lawyers & Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to govt transparency”.’

    … five months ago, in a “memorandum opinion” which carries no precedential weight…

    Dave (1bb933)

  299. So BuzzFeed was being PAID a huge amount to run pro-Clinton propaganda. Also, note the DATES. We need to line them up against the known SpyGate timeline.”

    So a website ran paid political ads during an election campaign?

    To the fainting couches!

    A couple questions:

    1) Do you suppose any of the $195M that the Trump campaign spent on advertising during the same period might have gone to websites, or perhaps even TV networks like FoxNews?

    2) Just how gullible *are* you people?

    Dave (1bb933)

  300. Somehow a federal judge may carry more weight than a congressional committee.

    Must be labeled as political ads and not written/run like news stories, which Buzzfeed has been guilty of. Also note that Buzzfeed jump-started the dossier crap… that the Clinton campaign paid for. sure, it may come to nothing, but then again…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  301. Your entire comment, Kevin M — like 98% of the online commentary about obstruction of justice — is based on what you kinda sorta think you wish were the law of obstruction of justice. What you think it is, the cases don’t support; what the cases support leaves Trump vulnerable to criminal jeopardy for obstruction of justice. If you, or anyone, wants to know what the actual law is, it’s discussed in considerable detail, including citations to statutes and cases and fact patterns, in the second part of the Mueller report (which I’m still reading).

    Perhaps, but this is a POLITICAL issue, not a legal one. The popular perception controls, not matter what the lawyers jabber on about.

    Impeachment is not a trial, Senators are not jurors. They answer for their votes in the political sphere, and THERE what I and 98% of the population thinks the law “ought to be” is what the law IS as far as Impeachment is concerned. Which is how Clinton survived, through the “it was about sex” exception to perjury laws.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  302. The actual law, and precedent, leaves Trump absolutely impervious to indictment here. It would take a new and expansive ruling by the US Supreme Court to allow such an indictment, and any penalty would be impossible to enforce as it would interfere with his Article II duties, again barring new revelation from the Courts.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  303. He could be prosecuted after he leaves office.

    Dave (1bb933)

  304. If one of a lawyer’s clients suggestion something that would be obstruction if carried out, but the lawyer refuses to go along, has the client committed an illegal act? Does the attorney have to report this crime? Or does he just chalk it up to frustration and blowing off steam, and not worry too much about it?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  305. Speaking of unprecedented, LOL…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  306. He could be prosecuted after he leaves office.

    Like that would happen. Open season after that.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  307. 312… yes… stranger things have happened… keep digging, you’ll find that pony.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  308. Just how gullible are you, Dave?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  309. This is not a legal issue. It is politics using legalities as a lever. Ignoring the politics, and the reaction of the vast center (neither Trump lovers or haters) is paramount.

    The GOP massively mistook the mood in the country over the Clinton impeachment and paid for it. Not only did they lose House seats (and failed to pick up expected Senate seats) in 1998 due to their focus on impeachment, but they persisted and voted impeachment in a lame-duck session. Not only did it fail in the Senate — not even getting a majority — but the mood turned against the GOP and they lost 4 Senate seats in 2000, and their majority.

    There was a MUCH better case against Bill Clinton than against Trump. Clinton DID commit perjury, and he did obstruct in every way possible, and these did not stop after he was acquitted. Paula Jones was subjected to a line-by-line tax audit during the last part of his term.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  310. Let me try that again,

    “ignoring the politics …. is a blunder.”

    The left hand of the sentence forgot what the right hand was doing.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  311. This is aggravating, Kevin M. If you want to say, “Okay, I’m not talking law, I’m talking politics,” then fine: Congress decides what’s a high crime or misdemeanor and whether to impeach and remove, and it need not follow the law.

    But then you come back in the next comment — #311 — and make an affirmative statement of law:

    The actual law, and precedent, leaves Trump absolutely impervious to indictment here.

    And you’re just dead wrong.

    There is no court precedent because no POTUS has been indicted. There has been no test case to create a precedent. (There are cases that have mentioned the memo and its policy, typically in footnotes, for the purposes of saying, “We’re not making any precedent on the subject that memo addresses.” In other words, it’s been cited for purposes of distinguishing criminal prosecutions from other litigation involving the POTUS.

    What there is, is a Department of Justice policy memorandum. Its terms, its history, its conditional and arguable applicability to Trump in a variety of hypothetical circumstances, is discussed in the Mueller Report. It’s certainly fair to say that Mueller didn’t seek to overturn the policy set forth in the memo, and that Barr’s decision was independent of that policy, and that as a result, its ultimate validity and enforceability will remain untested, as was also true regarding possible criminal charges against Bill Clinton.

    But a departmental policy is not a law, and it’s not a court precedent. It’s just a policy, and policies have exceptions, and sometimes they get rewritten altogether. Any future any Attorney General can, in the legitimate exercise of his authority, say, “I’ve looked at these issues once again, I find the memo unpersuasive, and I decline to be bound by it, so we’re indicting sitting President ____ this morning. He thinks he’s got constitutional or other defenses to that, bring ’em on.”

    There was, in fact, a memo generated by Ken Starr’s team which came to the contrary conclusion — that is, which concluded that Clinton could be indicted while in office. As it turned out, Starr didn’t press the question, and so no Attorney General has had to say: Which memo do I think is correct, the one from the Office of Legal Counsel, or the one written by a prior independent counsel — neither of which has yet been tested in court?

    Trump isn’t going to be indicted by this special counsel. But your categorical statement that he’s “absolutely impervious to indictment” is a guess, and your statement that actual law and precedent compels that conclusion is completely wrong.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  312. Trump is not the cause. Trump is the effect. We got Trump because both parties ignored large segments of the population, and they took the first horse going their direction. If you think that Trump has no business in the WH, consider that it might be your own fracking fault.

    He’s coarse and rude, and a congenital liar, but he’s ironically speaking truth to power and the best place to do that is the bully pulpit.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  313. There is no precedent because no one has wanted to cross that line. Not with Nixon(!), not with Clinton, not with anyone (and those two have not been the only criminals). One of the things that allows a peaceful transfer of power is that we don’t jail ex-presidents, even when they deserve it.

    In the Clinton case, he tried to avoid a suit by claiming presidential immunity. This was NOT laughed out of court; he won at the district court, then lost the next two rounds. The SC decision focused on whether the execution of his duties would be impaired by the civil trial, and they decided not, 9-0. But it wasn’t a slam dunk — they could have let the appeals court decision stand.

    Could a sitting President be tried in criminal court? It’s not clear, no one has tried it, and one would presume that Trump would seek immunity in the Courts. I don’t think he’d get it, but that too would be political.

    Doing this for something that most people understand less than the infield-fly rule? (As I may have demonstrated.) He’d be claiming that this witch-hunt that produced no witches deserved to be obstructed, that it was a waste of time, money and was at its heart a political attack on the election winner. I see an electoral landslide, regardless of what a DC jury says.

    Worse, it would make it impossible for any Republican to challenge him.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  314. So, yes, you are right. Legally impervious was incorrect, although I still believe he’s politically impervious.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  315. Clinton committed perjury on live television. Everyone knew it was perjury. If he had been indicted for perjury, everyone would have understood why he was indicted. Yet he was not, at a time when his political power was waning.

    To prosecute Trump for wanting to kill an investigation that failed to find a crime would be quite a bit more difficult that prosecuting Clinton for perjury (and more, active and successful obstruction btw) would have been.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  316. 291.

    The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner (2/4).

    This is something FBI Diector James Comey lied about (or was gravely misininformed) is his testimony to Congress the Thursday before he was fired. He said the emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop wer set to that laptop by Huma Abedin in order to be printed. This was a very strange bit of testimony and had to be retracted – and the next thing you knew, President Trump had fired James Comey.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/05/09/report-fbi-director-james-comeys-testimony-clinton-aide-inaccurate/101464290

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/comey-clinton-emails-testimony.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/james-comey-fired-fbi.html

    On Capitol Hill they thought that was the reason (or the excuse he’d been waiting for) and was an overreaction.

    But it turned out that Trump had had another plan in the works in the days leading up to that – and he was firing Comey on the grounds that he had violated Justice Department policy in commenting on what Hillary Clinton did wrong with the emails in a case were she was not indicted.

    Nobody believed that was the reason and shortly, Trump confessed to Lester Holt of NBC News that the real reason had to do with Russia.

    Now another thing: The FBI examining the 49,000 emails: The FBI used an automated process in which no human eyes would see what was in any of the emails unless an e-mail came up in a specially tailored search. The FBI was not going to take a risk any unrelated incriminating thing would be found. Although that is perfectly legitimate when something is obtained through a subpoena. They can notice unrelated crimes, as long as the material was legally obtained and within a search warrant or subpoena. They do that all the time.

    It is possible that Hillary put her emails, including many of the deleted ones (I mean, she had to have a record of what promises she had made to people and so on) on that laptop because it wasn’t associated with her or her aides.

    They thought it would therefore be safe from subpoena, while at the same time accessible if needed, because of Huma Abedin’s marriage and Anthony Weiner’s financial dependence on Clinton family help.

    Never thinking that the contents of Anthony Weiner’s laptop could be subpoenaed for a totally different reason!

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  317. I learned about heat mapping less than a year ago but it is useful. It’s immediately understandable and cuts out the bulls**t.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  318. @325 or they knew their search parameters and had better things to do with those man-hours than have them reading 49,000 emails that might or might not have anything to do with anything.

    Nic (896fdf)

  319. 293.

    The Daily Beast asked every presidential campaign running or exploring a run “whether they would commit to not knowingly using or referencing hacked material that appears online on grounds that it may have been obtained illegally.”

    The only campaign that refused to make such a commitment TOLD THE TRUTH was Donald Trump’s.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  320. Dave @297.

    This is a truly “astonishing” revelation, that President Obama’s office corresponded by email with his Secretary of State!

    I didn’t check it but that’s what I would assume that was. The tell is how many emails did they find.

    This is part of a meme that makes Obama guilty of or knowledgable about everything Hillary did in evading record preservation rules. If you know something about the case, but you have to know, you’d know that it all got started when the Benghazi comiittee got some emails from people who were at the other end of the message but not from Hillary.

    Now here’s why the White House is notable: When Hillary turned over some emails, she turned over all those sent to a state.gov address, but she did not turn over any sent to the White House, even though they were clearly almost certainly all official business, on the grounds that she had copied them to a (dummy) state.gov address she never used. * (In order to fool Obama, or anyone paying attention, into thinking she had a state.gov address, because copying it to your official work related email address was what you were supposed to do if for any reason you sent an email message from a more private address.)

    —————-
    * She said the State Department already therefore had a record of them, (if it wasn’t later routinely deleted!) so she didn’t have to supply them. That’s in her first press conference about the emails in March, 2015.

    Now again anyway, people should be suspicious of headlines that don’t seem to fit the facts as you know them. When coming from semi-reputable or better outlets, they often can be technically true, but misleading. I wouldn’t blame too many people. Just correct it. With enough examples, people can learn.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  321. @ Kevin M: Thanks for your gracious replies above.

    As for the infield fly rule, I have no idea why it’s not universally understood. I learned it in law school, as a matter of fact, when I read this much-cited “aside” in the estimable Pennsylvania Law Review: The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule (1975), which begins, memorably (footnotes omitted in this quote but definitely worth your attention throughout):

    The Infield Fly Rule is neither a rule of law nor one of equity; it is a rule of baseball….

    ….

    The Infield Fly Rule is obviously not a core principle of baseball. Unlike the diamond itself or the concepts of “out” and “safe,” the Infield Fly Rule is not necessary to the game. Without the Infield Fly Rule, baseball does not degenerate into bladderball the way the collective bargaining process degenerates into economic warfare when good faith is absent. It is a technical rule, a legislative response to actions that were previously permissible, though contrary to the spirit of the sport.

    Having learnt this glorious history in such detail, I now feel a positive thrill of comprehension and indeed, warm approval whenever I hear a TV announcer say, “The infield fly rule has been invoked ….”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  322. After some thought, I believe the Democrats will impeach Trump for obstruction.

    I think it is a bad idea for them to do this, but their base will insist, much in the same way that the GOP base insisted on Clinton’s impeachment. And so, sometime this summer or fall, they will vote to impeach. Any Democrat that does not vote AYE had better be utterly immune to a primary. IT will pass narrowly.

    And then the Senate will consider it, and vote pretty much on party lines, again with the threat of primaries on both sides, although some Senators won’t care. And it will fail to get a majority, let alone 2/3rds, because the case is incredibly weak politically. Further, it would set a precedent for Presidential behavior that would absolutely handcuff any administration. I suspect some Democrats will vote no.

    But I do not see how Pelosi holds it off. There is enough pressure on the Democrat Caucus that she may have to choose between impeachment of her job. The Progressive base demands it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  323. Jarod Kushner said yesterday that all Russia did was buy a few facebook ads which amounted to nothing. The investigation, according to him, was more damaging than the ads.

    If I were a Democrat Presidential candidate, I would respond…. “Russia, if you’re listening, can you find those Donald Trump tax returns?”

    Oh… and China…. got any Kushner texts or Don Jr. emails? Any RNC hacks underway, North Korea??

    Isn’t this fun?!?

    noel (e07fb0)

  324. Have a foreign country pull off your dirty tricks, then it’s legal? Nixon could have learned a thing or two from Trump.

    noel (e07fb0)

  325. Noel @333

    This is sort of the scenario I’m worried about. In our current politics one side does something new and objectionable. They ‘get away with it’ and the other side responds by taking it further.

    Breaking out laws and interfering in our elections needs to be painful for foreign governments.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  326. Jarod Kushner said yesterday that all Russia did was buy a few facebook ads which amounted to nothing. The investigation, according to him, was more damaging than the ads.

    Former National Security Advisor Kirstjen Nielsen was told not to bring up the subject of Russian meddling in the 2020 election with President Snowflake, because it would make him angry.

    In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.

    President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president.

    […]

    [I]n a meeting this year, Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, made it clear that Mr. Trump still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory. According to one senior administration official, Mr. Mulvaney said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.”

    Even though the Department of Homeland Security has primary responsibility for civilian cyberdefense, Ms. Nielsen eventually gave up on her effort to organize a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect next year’s elections.

    So there you have it – the national security of the United States and the integrity of our democracy placed in jeopardy because Trump’s infantile narcissism prevents senior officials from doing their jobs.

    Dave (1bb933)

  327. Sorry, Nielsen obviously wasn’t National Security Advisor, but Director of DHS, as the quote indicates.

    Dave (1bb933)

  328. This account of Ms. Nielsen’s frustrations was described to The New York Times by three senior Trump administration officials and one former senior administration official, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Ok, then.

    nk (dbc370)

  329. Dave: “because Trump’s infantile narcissism prevents senior officials from doing their jobs.”

    Based on his defenders comments, it will take something tragic happening related to this dysfunction to snap them back to reality. Maybe I’m just more of a worrier….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  330. TEARS OF THE COVFEFE,
    Being An Account Of The Reign Of Emperor Don Jon Trump,
    by Ngang Kang

    And it came to pass that The Minister of Internal Tranquility did express a wish to consult with His Imperial Majesty regarding plots by the Northern Kingdom of Leosiain against the peace and dignity of Migug. Whereupon, Court Chamberlain and Head Palace Eunuch Jak Mul Van Ey did forbid the Minister stating that it would cause the Son Of Heaven distress.

    But three treacherous eunuchs still within the Palace and one who has since left, did go and betray this conversation to the Emperor’s enemies who in turn promulgated it far and wide throughout the land to demean the Imperial Court and create disaffection among the people. This also caused his Imperial Majesty distress and the Court Chamberlain’s effort turned out to have gone for nought.

    nk (dbc370)

  331. “Sorry, Nielsen obviously wasn’t National Security Advisor, but Director of DHS, as the quote indicates.”

    Rock on, professor…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  332. NK,
    Seems like if you want Trump to pay attention to something you need to get it into the press. Could be that Tumps “Best people” are working against him again. Could also be that people in his administration who take this issue seriously are trying to get him to focus on it. Tough to say.

    Did you notice how many time the Mueller showed these anonymous sources were correct and the people calling them ‘fake news’ were wrong?

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  333. All of the above, Time123. I concluded a long time ago that only power hungry lickspittles with nowhere else to go last for long in Trump’s administration, and only as long as they keep him happy.

    nk (dbc370)

  334. 333. noel (e07fb0) — 4/24/2019 @ 5:01 am

    Have a foreign country pull off your dirty tricks, then it’s legal?

    It is, if it’s not your dirty tricks.

    And if you are not colluding or co-ordinating or conspiring with them, it’s not.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  335. Whom Would Judas Kiss? Also from the same Book: “What is truth?”

    nk (dbc370)

  336. Trump invited the help of the Russians during the campaign and is still encouraging their “dirty tricks” by denying their existence and refusing to take action. This is a big problem.

    noel (e07fb0)

  337. The “big problem” is November 8 2016 sad face, which would not be assuaged one iota if Trump devoted every ounce of energy to the issue of Russian interference.

    Munroe (d79d9a)

  338. @346 I’m waiting for the ever-popular, why don’t we drone strike the GRU, question. Although now that I read that back, let’s hope none of the 2020 D candidates think of that as the next campaign promise.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  339. I think a drone strike would be too much of a provocation.

    Instead, the Russian soldiers and spooks who’ve been identified as being involved in the operation should just start turning up dead every morning on the streets of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

    That’s how the Israelis would play it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  340. Grabbing the leaders and smuggling them out of Russia for “enhanced interrogation” somewhere would also a good move.

    Dave (1bb933)

  341. With Russia, Dave? What do you think Putin is? Trump?

    nk (dbc370)

  342. 324.

    Clinton committed perjury on live television

    What he did on live television was not itself perjury but the same basic lie that had falsely sworn to, either in an affidavit or in adeposition or both.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  343. the gru spetznaz doesn’t fool around they threw a grenade under the car of a chechen leader, vandarbichev, (he was referenced in the peacemaker) their gitmo are open pits called filtration points where they detain and kill their subjects, nothing about legal niceties, that’s not including stairova, politskayava, or even klebnikov, the biographer of berezovsky, who himself ended up dead 20 years later in London, among the details that klebnikov turned up was the former’s partnership with the chechen mob, the obshina, Litvinenko was regarded as being too close to that faction, even in fictional depictions like with Gerald Seymour’s tale set in kalingrad,

    narciso (d1f714)

  344. narciso: I’m a little lost here.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  345. See what I wrote about Venezuela and not remembewring the true lesson of the Bay of Pigs.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  346. you better be sure who you’re targeting, sammeh, now the Russians don’t care about collateral damage, basayev (who had been a Russian operative in Tadjik and azeri wars) met with certain siloviki counterparts before the Ryazan events,

    there was an insurgency that continued out of the escambray valley, near the original landing sight Trinidad, for four years, till fidel wrapped up the network going after amlash, Rolando cubela, who desmond fitzgerald, had met in paris on November 22, cubela had made his mark executing colonel blanco rico, of military intelligence, in 1957,

    narciso (d1f714)


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