Patterico's Pontifications

4/24/2019

Trump Not Too Excited About Preventing Future Russian Interference

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:06 am



The Mueller report paints a picture of a President who repeatedly engaged in actions that would keep the average person from getting a security clearance. He wanted to win, and he was fine with accepting Russia’s help.

Well, it’s not the first time Putin has interfered and it won’t be the last. All 2016 represented was the first time that a candidacy openly welcomed that interference.

What implications does this have going forward? A story in the New York Times answers that question.

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.

Ms. Nielsen left the Department of Homeland Security early this month after a tumultuous 16-month tenure and tensions with the White House. Officials said she had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the United States during and after the 2018 midterm elections — ranging from its search for new techniques to divide Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to rerouting internet traffic and infiltrating power grids.

But in 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.”

It’s not just that these issues are kept under his level, though. The administration is doing little as a whole, and in places is actually weakening protections. The story notes that John Bolton “eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator at the White House last year.” Yeah, because cybersecurity is pretty much a small threat, and getting smaller all the time, amirite? Also:

Ms. Nielsen grew so frustrated with White House reluctance to convene top-level officials to come up with a governmentwide strategy that she twice pulled together her own meetings of cabinet secretaries and agency heads. They included top Justice Department, F.B.I. and intelligence officials to chart a path forward, many of whom later periodically issued public warnings about indicators that Russia was both looking for new ways to interfere and experimenting with techniques in Ukraine and Europe.

One senior official described homeland security officials as adamant that the United States government needed to significantly step up its efforts to urge the American public and companies to block foreign influence campaigns. But the department was stymied by the White House’s refusal to discuss it, the official said.

Trump’s refusal to act on interference, and his positive weakening of protections against cyber interference, makes perfect sense — not from the perspective of national security, of course, but from the perspective of amoral hardball politics. If Trump welcomed Putin’s interference as a citizen candidate — and he did — why wouldn’t he again welcome it as the incumbent? And many of his superfans — including people at this very blog — will cheer him on. Yes, there are Republicans who are so happy that Trump won and Hillary lost, that they positively applaud Vladimir Putin’s actions interfering with the election. To quote one particularly cynical Trump superfan who posts here: “if it was Russian interference which provided the tipping point which kept Hillary Clinton a private citizen, we owe Vladimir Putin a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.”

Anything to keep Trump in power (within reason, for now). Whatever it takes. It’s a hardball world, and as that same commenter says: “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” (He thinks this sentiment is OK, apparently, because Joe Montana said it about the Patriots.)

After all, if we don’t cheat, lie, accept the help of murderous dictators with alacrity and glee, and break the law, then we won’t get to keep appointing judges who will help us, um, maintain the rule of law.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

119 Responses to “Trump Not Too Excited About Preventing Future Russian Interference”

  1. Hooray.

    Hey adjectival Dana, it’s been three days since the last time I asked. Are you going to answer my questions or not?

    Do you support, in service of the election of Donald Trump:

    1. Dishonesty or lying?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    [You already answered that you support cheating, answering #2.]

    3. Fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    4. Vote fraud?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    [You already said you support the advancement of knowingly hypocritical arguments, answering #5.]

    6. Lawbreaking?
    a. By Trump?
    b. By you?

    I’m totally uninterested in your opinion about whether these have occurred, or whether you would go to jail for engaging in them, or whether you have the opportunity to do them. Those are evasions. I am mostly uninterested in your oft-advanced reasons for doing any of them (except insofar as you explain why you answer yes to one and no to another). I want you to assume that any hypothetical action will be effective and that the person committing it will get away with it.

    I’d really like to see the answers to these questions.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. It really frustrates me that so many people who had called themselves “law and order conservatives” don’t care about this type of crime. It also frustrates me that the same people who say a strong country needs strong borders don’t think we need fair and open elections.

    If Trump weren’t such a weak and insecure man he could do something to improve the situation. But he is weak and insecure so he won’t.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  3. There’s a long and extensive track record of concern about Russian interference in elections that isn’t reflexively linked to Trump’s victory.

    Actually, no there isn’t.

    Munroe (cb6f8b)

  4. I predict that the Dana-who-is-unethical will not answer your questions plainly.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  5. Monroe, are you trying to say Russia wanted to help trump because they wanted him to win? or are you trying to say that it’s not possible to separate the two things?

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  6. “Officials said…” “According to one senior administration official…”

    “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.”

    “…but only after it became increasingly clear that she had fallen out of Mr. Trump’s favor for not taking a harder line against immigration.”

    “President Barack Obama gave a private warning to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at a meeting in China in September 2016”

    “But former Obama administration officials said Mr. Trump’s aversion to even discussing the looming threat remains a concern.”

    Maggie Haberman… NYT…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. There was a long and extensive track record of concern about atomic bombs falling on Japanese cities. Actually, no, there wasn’t.

    Times change. Enemy governments change. Enemy tactics change. Enemies discover new weapons.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Hear, hear to the post and comments 1 and 2.

    If you discount Russian social media efforts because you don’t think posts/comments on the Internet can make a difference, look at the Trump supporting commenters on this blog. They think their comments make a difference or they wouldn’t write them. (The guy posting comments under different names definitely thinks his Trump support makes a difference.)

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. These are long-game concerns directed at short-game thinkers.

    This also applies to Trump’s incompetence and intemperance….people here assume since cabinet/staff members have covered for these deficiencies….they will always be in place to cover for them.

    Character of our leaders matter…it’s funny that that needs to be written

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  10. Now that the Mueller report has made it clear that who on his staff was blocking Trump’s orders, he will clean house even more until he has only people who will do his bidding. So I expect Trump’s future actions will be even more chaotic and inconsistent.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. 10… it’s probably not unusual for a president to expect his staff will “do his bidding”, aka, do as directed, aka do their jobs.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. In fact, the preceding President was not too concerned either
    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html
    But to those who take Dana’s attitude, what do you say to the possibility that Russian meddling in 2024 is aimed at keeping an actual conservative from being elected POTUS? Or aimed in 2020 at helping the Democratic candidate?

    Kishnevi (dfdff5)

  13. What was that Obama said to the commie – about talking to Vlad after the election?

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. 10… it’s probably not unusual for a president to expect his staff will “do his bidding”, aka, do as directed, aka do their jobs.

    That’s for his staff at Mar al Lago. Not for the people we need to run the country but are scared that he will throw his sippy cup at them if they tell him something he doesn’t want to hear.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. paging ted kennedy to the white courtesy phone, Michael straight was an actual soviet agent who owned the new republic, which argued for the kremlin’s candidate henry Wallace, in fact the soviets had an operative in alger hiss, who might well have been on track to become secretary of state, that was some 12 years, thereabout, the dulles brothers had helped him get a sinecure at the Carnegie endowment, which came out as awkward, afterwards

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. it took the assassination of general walter krivitsky, he had defected in 1937, to prompt whittaker chambers to come clean about alger hiss, who had been recruited by the gru, then there was the amerasia spy ring, William Remington at commerce, Duncan lee at the oss, years later there was james kronthal at the fledgling company,

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. 14… on the contrary, nk, if the WH staff ever feel the need to back away from fulfilling their job responsibilities, it’s appropriate to resign. That’s the proper course of action.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. seriously after the state leaks, then the puzzle palace, they had no two factor encryption, no compartmentalized data access

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Great comment at #1, Patterico. It all comes down to: what do you believe in, and what values do you have?

    Thinking that the “other guy” is so awful that it is okay to do…anything…to bring them down, or support…anything…their opponent says, remains a central issue to me.

    It’s the attitude that the Left has had for decades.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  20. I was crazy to think that the wanton slaughter of nearly 400 innocents on easter, might have risen to warrant a thread, boy I way off,

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. If Trump welcomed Putin’s interference as a citizen candidate — and he did — why wouldn’t he again welcome it as the incumbent?

    They might not be on his side mext time. Of course the chances that it would reverse itself by the time of the 2020 election are small, but then Putin tried to take away his Electoral Colle victory when Trump was toying with appointing Mitt Romney as Secretary of State (Jill Stein might be more or less Putin’s puppet) ad she started demanding recounts.)

    Also, Trump cannot expect much help is possible from Russia. The hacking of the DNC and Podesta was a one-time thing – there’s nobody to hack, and people aren’t that careless. The sock-puppeting and ads never were very useful. The whole thing was also counter-productive.

    So I don’t think that not wanting to eliminate help from Russia could be a reason for Trump neglecting this whole issue. It’s more probably that he feels worrying about Russia implies there was something wrong with what he did in 2016. He’s very uncomfortable with the notion of the “Russian threat.”

    But they’re taking care of it at lower levels.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  22. “A Response to Checks & Balances’ Press Release on the Mueller Report

    Checks & Balances issued a press release: New Statement from Checks and Balances on the Mueller Report (Apr. 23 2019), . The Press Release stated: “The Special Counsel’s investigation was conducted lawfully, and under longstanding Attorney General guidelines.” I think a more prudent approach might have been for the Press Release’s signatories to await a review of the process that launched the Special Counsel’s investigation before describing its conduct as “lawful.” My understanding is that such a review is expected in the near future from the Inspector General’s office, and it appears that Attorney General Barr will authorize a review of the Department of Justice’s conduct.

    The Press Release also states: “The facts contained in the report reveal that the President engaged in persistent conduct intended to derail, undermine and obstruct ongoing federal investigations.” It is unclear what specific allegations within the report the Press Release is relying on. Whether those allegations are, in reality, “facts” or not has not been established by anything like an unbiased or independent decision-maker—like an Article III judge—after both parties have had notice and an opportunity to be heard. By contrast, the Special Counsel’s report is merely a prosecutors office’s memorandum which attempts to marshal one side of the evidence, where the object of the investigation has had no opportunity to respond. As far as I know, the Special Counsel’s report is not even sworn to, as one would swear (or affirm) to any ordinary affidavit or declaration offered into evidence. Yet the Press Release relies on this report in arriving at far-reaching conclusions about the President’s conduct. Checks & Balances’ care free attitude in regard to fair play (a/k/a due process) is somewhat odd for an organization named “Checks & Balances.”

    Finally, the Press Release speaks to “the President’s violations of his oath, including but not limited to [1] his denigration of the free press, [2] verbal attacks on members of the judiciary, [3] encouragement of law enforcement officers to violate the law, and [4] incessant lying to the American people.” Examples of [1], [2], and [4] are not specified. Absent some specific examples, I will posit that the Press Release’s signatories (which includes several legal academics) are merely characterizing lawfully protected free speech as constitutional violations by the President. Likewise, no example in regard to [3] is specified—if it refers to the President’s exercise of his pardon power, then the critique amounts to just a mundane political disagreement in regard to who should be the object of the President’s bounty—a matter entirely committed to the President’s discretion. All the allegations, mentioned above, from the Press Release amount to [1] constitutionally protected free speech; [2] internal Executive Branch deliberations (and legal advice) about policy during policy formation; and, [3] normal politics—being recharacterized as a constitutional wrong, tort, or crime. Indeed, the Press Release concludes by supporting an investigation of the President based upon his having had engaged in First Amendment protected free speech and his exercise of the pardon power (which remains lawful even when exercised to achieve contested or political purposes). If this is not the criminalization of democratic politics, it is too close for comfort.

    But I guess some people long to bring back the Sedition Act of 1798.”

    — Seth Barrett Tillman

    https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2019/04/a-response-to-checks-balances-press.html

    Sent from my iPad

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. 20… they were brown Christians, narciso, they don’t fit the narrative.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. 20. narciso (d1f714) — 4/24/2019 @ 10:03 am

    was crazy to think that the wanton slaughter of nearly 400 innocents on easter, might have risen to warrant a thread, boy I way off,

    We’re having feer threads and maybe Neither Patterrico nor Dana nor JVW felt they had anything special to say. It took awhile to get aNotre Dame thread started,

    So anyway, we know it is “ISIS”, or the news agency that pretends it is ISIS, because they posted apicture of aMooslem imam with people who had faces covered up. Local Moslems say they tipped off teh Sri Lanka government 3 years ago about him – but that’s too long ago before they must have started olanning this.

    There were 8 men who were suicide bobers and 1 woman.

    The Sri Lankan goverernment got tips from the United States and from India – which really points to Pakistan as the sponsor. The last tip from India came 10 minutes before the first blast.

    Neither the president nor the Prime Minister, who are feuding with each other, say they heard any of this intelligence. The PM has been cut out of all kinds of security briefings.

    The possibility exists the Sri Lankan polce were watching the terrorists at least a little…and then let this happen!

    I suspect the foreign intelligence and warnings may have:

    1) Not given a date, or given a date well in the future.

    2) Contained background disinformation – I mean this would be one way the sponsors would protect themselevs – give foreign powers intelligence that they will only really pay attention to after the fact – after which they will believe it all.

    3) contained some target disinformation.

    If they had real, non-double-agent actionable information, they fell down on the job. And that includes the USA.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  25. #20

    I ave always wondered about the idea that a guy working for free is under some obligation to write about the tragedy of the day. I mean, what do you say about Sri Lanka (or Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas, or Columbine, or Boston Marathon?) There are evil people out to do evil. They have miscellaneous excuses, but, really, they just want to do spectacular evil and be famous. What can you do? Mourn. Pray. Understand that not every plot is thwarted.

    So, what do you say in a post? What new can be said? What’s the point of whatever just add water and stir outrage that gets attached to any such post?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  26. To repeat, this time with typos corrected:

    We’re having fewer threads, and maybe neither Patterrico nor Dana with no “the” nor JVW felt they had anything special to say. It took awhile to get a Notre Dame thread started.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  27. I was crazy to think that the wanton slaughter of nearly 400 innocents on easter, might have risen to warrant a thread, boy I way off,

    Here you go, narciso.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. According to one senior administration official, Mr. Mulvaney said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.”

    I have a suspicion that there’s a very thick document somewhere with a heading of “Issues Which Should Be Kept Below The President’s Level”. Possibly a multi-volume set of documents.

    But as far as Trump being ostentatiously and obnoxiously obnoxious – well, that’s the stereotypical New Yorker, isn’t it. Rude, crude, vulgar, loud, ignorant, thin-skinned braggarts, the inhabitants of the most parochial city on Earth who boast of how cosmopolitan their city is, unaware of how everybody else sees the filth and the crime and the corruption and the onerous taxes and regulation that makes NYC one of the sh*t-holiest sh*t-holes this side of San Francisco. And you’re surprised that a NYC real-estate developer has a rather casual relationship with the rule of law? You try doing business in NYC (or most any big city for that matter) without a Sherpa to guide you on which palms to grease, which backs to scratch, which backsides to kiss, which logs to roll, which beaks to wet. As Trump said when explaining his campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton, “it’s just how business gets done”. It’s a dirty business and nobody’s hands are clean, it’s just that Trump is too crude to know you’re not supposed to say the crude things out loud – like Obama on a live mic promising Putin he’d have more flexibility after the election. It’s much nicer, more tasteful, to pretend that sort of splashing in the sewage pit doesn’t happen.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  29. It’s much nicer, more tasteful, to pretend that sort of splashing in the sewage pit doesn’t happen.

    That might be a good summary of the difference between nevertrump and the willing to tolerate crowd. It’s getting laughable to see people who’ve most likely voted for the last two, if not the last 3, presidents get wrapped up over people voting for a liar who lies a lot.

    frosty48 (6621fe)

  30. “Officials said she had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the United States during and after the 2018 midterm elections — ranging from its search for new techniques to divide Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to rerouting internet traffic and infiltrating power grids.”

    Now there’s someone who watches too much TV.

    1. Is Russia’s ‘interference’ a greater or lesser priority than the interference of a country that shares a border, economy, and a large number of transnationals with the USA?

    2. Have Russia’s agents, lobbyists, and operatives spent more or less money on bribing local oficials, fomenting rebellion and building an electoral fifth column than Russia? How about China?

    3. Is it more or less dangerous to be a journalist in Russia than Narcotopia?

    4. Would agents of the Mexican government find it easier or harder to avoid media scrutiny for operations like drug smuggling, gun-running, or public official bribing?

    5. Is it easier or harder for Russians agents to infiltrate, operate, and flee when necessary than it is for Mexican/cartel agents?

    6. If your DHS secretary answered ‘RUSSIA’! to all of the above like a low-information voter who got all of his information from the hair people on TV, would you be more or less likely to fire her in favor of someone who focused on the true threat?

    (The answer to the ‘Dana questions’ is, of course, “Yes to all if the other side is getting away with it freely and not likely to stop getting away with it anytime soon.” Eric Swalwell’s attitudes towards righteous men exercising their Constitutional rights are held widely enough among that crowd to require all options be kept on the table.)

    Ethical Drug Mule (96d935)

  31. @32
    A)Don’t you find it tiresome changing your name every day?

    B)You don’t have to hold Russia’s water unless you are being patriotic to your motherland, or your Russian for pay. Russia did the thing, we know they did the thing, even you know it because you’re trying so hard to avoid it, it’s the Russian shaped shadow in all of your arguments.

    C)Don’t look at Russia because…China and/or Mexico may have done a thing. Two, or 2 billion, things can be true at once, and a government should be able to do more than one thing. Stopping foreign interference in an election with better cybersecurity kind of works against any country, not just one.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  32. “Don’t look at Russia because…China and/or Mexico may have done a thing.”

    7. Are people who carry China and Mexico’s water while talking confident nonsense about how all the White House needs is a ‘cybersecurity coordinator’ to stop Russia from posting easily-replicated generalized propaganda on the public internet more or less likely to abuse their position for political gain while collecting a government paycheck?

    8. Is increasing your country’s participation in the torrent of generalized overseas propaganda more or less of a threat than large numbers of public officials on committee seats and law enforcement appointees financially tied or related by blood to narco-states like Mexico and Somalia?

    Ethical Drug Mule (dda442)

  33. “Liberal, 2002: “REEE!! ENDLESS WAR!!!”

    Me, 2002: “Nice bumper sticker, idiot. Gonna be done by next Christmas.”

    Me, 16 years later: “Haha, boy do I have to eat crow now. You were right all this–”

    Liberal: “SKREEE! ENDING THE WAR PLAYS RIGHT INTO PUTIN’S HANDS!!!”

    Ethical Drug Mule (597f68)

  34. “Conservative media throughout 2015-2016 learned a painful lesson. If your approach is based on telling people what they want to hear, audiences might like it at first. They might gobble it up for decades. But you’ll have quietly lost their respect during that time, and in a key moment, they’ll tune you out.

    For this reason, it’s shocking to see national media voices after the release of Robert Mueller’s report patting each other on the back, congratulating themselves for a three-year faceplant they must know will haunt the whole business for a long time.
    “Fake news? Mueller isn’t buying it,” writes David Bauder of the Associated Press. He noted that with a “few exceptions,” Mueller’s investigation “repeatedly supports news reporting that was done on the Russia probe over the last two years.”
    Bauder added the report showed “several instances where the president and his team sought to mislead the public.” He congratulated the New York Times and Washington Post for correctly reporting that White House counsel Don McGahn had been ordered to find a way to fire Mueller.

    Trump, Bauder noted, had called this “fake news, folks, fake news.” It wasn’t. And neither were some other stories.
    So, yay journalism! You were more truthful than Donald Trump, at times. This is like being proud of beating a fish at Boggle.
    We’re not trying to be right more often than Trump — we’re trying to not be wrong, ever. It’s a standard, not a competition.
    You know what was fake news? Most of the Russiagate story. There was no Trump-Russia conspiracy, that thing we just spent three yearschasing. The Mueller Report is crystal clear on this.

    He didn’t just “fail to establish” evidence of crime. His report is full of incredibly damning passages, like one about Russian officialdom’s efforts to reach the Trump campaign after the election: “They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect.”
    Not only was there no “collusion,” the two camps didn’t even have each others’ phone numbers!
    In March of 2017, in one of the first of what would become a mountain of mafia-hierarchy-style “Trump-Russia contacts” graphics in major newspapers, the Washington Post described an email Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sent to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. They called it “the most direct interaction yet of a top Trump aide and a senior member of Putin’s government.”

    The report shows the whole episode was a joke. In order to further the Trump Tower project-that-never-was, Cohen literally cold-emailed the Kremlin. More than that, he entered the email incorrectly, so the letter initially didn’t even arrive. When he finally fixed the mistake, Peskov didn’t answer back.

    That was “the most direct interaction yet of a top Trump aide and a senior member of Putin’s government”!
    As outlined in his initial mandate, Mueller explored “any links” between the Russian government and the campaign of Donald Trump. His conclusion spoke directly to the question of whether there was any kind of quid pro quo between the two sides: “The investigation examined whether these contacts involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future.”

    In other words, all those fancy org charts were meaningless. Because there was no conspiracy, all those “walls are closing in” reports — and there were a ton of them — were wrong. We were told we’d hit “turning point” after “turning point” leading to the “the beginning of the end,” with Trump certain, soon, to either resign in shame, Nixon-style, or be impeached.
    The “RNC platform” change story was a canard, according to Mueller. The exchanges Trump figures had with ambassador Sergei Kislyak were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” The conversations Jeff Sessions had with Kislyak at the convention didn’t “include any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” Mueller added “investigators did not establish that [Carter] Page conspired with the Russian government.”

    There was no blackmail, no secret bribe from Rosneft, no five-year cultivation plan, no evidence of any kind of any relationship that ever existed between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Michael Cohen “never traveled to Prague.”
    The whole Steele dossier appears to have been bunk, with even Bob Woodward now saying the “highly questionable” document “needs to be investigated.” The Times similarly is reporting, two-plus years late, that “people familiar” with Steele’s work began to have “misgivings about [the report’s] reliability arose not long after the document became public.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/russiagate-fiasco-taibbi-news-media-826246/amp/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. Read it all, NeverTrumpinista folks… and then may the gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and anguished mincing begin!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  36. It is to laugh over… to say the least.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  37. Trump’s idiotic tariffs even more disastrous than predicted:

    Trump’s washing-machine tariffs cost U.S. consumers $815,000 for every job created

    In other words, had the Trump administration simply left washing machines alone and raised taxes on American consumers by $1.5 billion, it could have poured that money into a federally funded initiative creating nearly 50,000 jobs, or about 27 times the number created by the washing-machine tariffs.

    Dave (4f2c7a)

  38. Speaking of corruption the trace has come out with an investigation of n.r.a. corruption. Wayne lapierre and the rest of the leadership has been pocketing members contributions with double dealing with venders and other self enrichment scams. Nra gunners read the trace article if you dare. also try to decipher the n.r.a.’s non denial denial.

    lany (47b339)

  39. According to Rudy Giuliani in his defense of Trump “It doesn’t matter if you receive information from a foreign government.” But then they turn around and condemn Hillary for receiving help. But then anyone in the Trump organization is seldom troubled by ethics nor double standards. (sarc)

    The Conservative Curmudgeon (c118b3)

  40. when they only give us half the story,

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/meet-americas-siloviki-11556058809

    there was a consideration to engage in cyberwar per this supposed Russian incursion, anyone imagine how this could go wrong?

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. “After all if we don’t cheat, lie, accept the help of murderous dictators with alacrity and glee, and break the law, then we won’t get to keep appointing judges who will help us, um, maintain the rule of law.”

    IOW,’…we must burn the village in order to save it…’ yup, that worked well winning hearts and minds, didn’t it. =sarc=

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

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. The Times similarly is reporting, two-plus years late, that “people familiar” with Steele’s work began to have “misgivings about [the report’s] reliability arose not long after the document became public.”

    Only then? In January 2017? Five months after a lawyer for Perkins Coie (probably) gave it to the FBI? I don’t believe that.

    The thing is, in Janaury 2017 they told (or Comey told) President-Elect Trump that it was unverified, so they can’t place the timing of their doubts any later than that.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  43. @36. Helsinki. =mike drop=

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. Americans at all points of the compass are certain of one thing through all this: Donald Trump is much more entertaining than Dick Nixon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. Vienna, 1961 drop, that led to the berlin crisis and kruschev’s deployment of missiles in cuba,

    narciso (d1f714)

  46. narciso and Haiku,

    Are you trying to change the subject or are you criticizing the host and his guest posters? Or both?

    DRJ (15874d)

  47. Edward Epstein showed how pitifully open the puzzle palaces entire network was, and the vault 7 showed the company wasnt anymore secure, actually we haven’t learned a darn thing since Christopher boyce in 1975.

    Narciso (2cee46)

  48. Been at work and only now saw this blog post. All I can say is wow. So far down the rabbit hole that you are referring the NYT as authoritative voice. Recommend getting a grip and stop clinging to a standard of behavior that :

    1)Does not now exist in either Left or Right and more importantly,
    2) has not existed on the Left since at least before I entered elementary school (1968)

    More and more people will tune you out as noise with nothing useful to add to the conversation.

    Rick (dbcaa8)

  49. Stephen McIntyre
    @ClimateAudit
    THREAD: the Mueller Report contains important new details on the drafting of the letter dismissing Comey, which, to everyone’s surprise, cited the Hillary Clinton investigation and which, even to Trump supporters, seemed disingenuous and “pretextual”. It turns out that Trump had

    2/ personally (with assistance of Stephen Miller) drafted a logical and non-pretextual letter, which relied on Comey’s refusal to declare publicly what he had told Trump privately on multiple occasions: that Trump was not personally under investigation. Trump had a valid reason…

    Read it all:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ClimateAudit/status/1120755701859545088

    harkin (a741df)

  50. Not to mention confidential financial info, is for the taking and disseminating same with the FISA warrants (and the leakers get a slap on the wrist)

    Narciso (2cee46)

  51. If one uses “the other side is bad!” as one’s justification for deliberately being bad oneself — as I believe Rick has done in #51 above — one becomes worse than the other side.

    If one has the moral and ethical compass sufficient to recognize that the other side is bad, and then deliberately abandons that moral and ethical compass — and indeed tries to undermine the moral and ethical compasses of others — then one has become more bad than the other side, many of whom can plausibly claim never to have had any sort of moral and ethical compass to begin with.

    That’s what’s so jaw-dropping to me — I mean that quite literally, that was my exact physical reaction — to reading Adjectival Dana’s recent arguments. Those arguments are magnificently unpersuasive. They are pathetic, meaning they generate pathos, meaning that I feel sorrow and regret upon hearing them from someone I previously respected as having a mature, responsible moral and ethical compass.

    If one accepts the “we get to do these bad things because the other guys do these bad things,” then we’re in a framework where it no longer makes sense to talk about “good guys” and “bad guys”: There is no one but bad guys on the playing field. The equation comes down to “us bad guys” versus “them bad guys,” or (simplifying the equation) “us versus them.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  52. It becomes a race to the bottom, Beldar, with each side claiming victory…as we all lose.

    Simon Jester (ecf583)

  53. @19. Routine ivory tower pablum; actually, it the ingrained ‘attitude’ of the Right which sparks from time to time when the insulation of rationality is rubbed raw– from the Fluoride Fanatics to ‘Barry’s Boys’ to the warm and cuddly crew running The Big Dick’s White House. And those who learned nothing from that era still echo — like Dick Cheney, who famously said the lesson was: “Don’t get caught.”

    “You will be better advised to watch what we do, not what we say.” – John N. Mitchell, 1969 – Nixon Attorney General & 1975 convicted, imprisoned Watergate felon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  54. The lesson being you dont contract ex intelligence operatives for opposition research, well that seems to have not been observed.

    Narciso (2cee46)

  55. 52… That was a good read, harkin. Thanks for posting that link.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  56. Good grief! Comey told the truth? He was fired because he wouldn’t tell the world that Trump was a good little boy who ate all his vegetables and said his prayers before he went to bed at night?

    nk (dbc370)

  57. The buck stops at WH lawyers McGahn, Dhillon, and Sessions, Rosenstein and Priebus. Snorfle.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Been at work and only now saw this blog post. All I can say is wow. So far down the rabbit hole that you are referring the NYT as authoritative voice. Recommend getting a grip and stop clinging to a standard of behavior that :

    1)Does not now exist in either Left or Right and more importantly,
    2) has not existed on the Left since at least before I entered elementary school (1968)

    More and more people will tune you out as noise with nothing useful to add to the conversation.

    Goodbye, Rick.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  59. I was crazy to think that the wanton slaughter of nearly 400 innocents on easter, might have risen to warrant a thread, boy I way off,

    I didn’t really have anything useful to say about the slaughter of the Easter worshippers. I think nk had a good suggestion for how you could cure the problem of my not posting about things you want me to post about.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  60. Speaking of……..

    “The pregnant wife of a Sri Lanka bomber detonated a suicide vest when police raided the affluent family’s home in the wake of the terror attacks, killing herself, her own children and three police officers.”

    Death toll now up to 359.

    Don’t know if this post is ‘useful’ but it’s good to know how deep the buggers will go.

    harkin (a741df)

  61. Beldar (fa637a) — 4/24/2019 @ 6:18 pm

    That is not quite fair to Dana από τα πολλά επιθέματα, who is willing to abandon morality not simply because the consequences of the other side winning are in Dana’s opinion so bad.
    .

    Kishnevi (6a5d3c)

  62. Don’t know if this post is ‘useful’ but it’s good to know how deep the buggers will go.

    if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying

    Dave (1bb933)

  63. 4

    I predict that the Dana-who-is-unethical will not answer your questions plainly.

    The questions are pointless. You can justify practically any action by coming up with a hypothetical situation where that action is the lesser evil. So the fact that someone would do something which would ordinarily be considered wrong in extreme circumstances (stealing bread to feed your starving children) says little about their moral standards.

    Patterico apparently would prefer a different President. But he offers no plan to achieve this.

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  64. με τα πολλά επίθετα or, better, των πολλών επιθέτων

    nk (dbc370)

  65. Maybe I should read the report. It may not be as dull as I thought.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. @61. And the buck ‘starts’ as rubles washed into euros then spin dried into dollars via Deutache Bank. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. 8

    If you discount Russian social media efforts because you don’t think posts/comments on the Internet can make a difference, look at the Trump supporting commenters on this blog. They think their comments make a difference or they wouldn’t write them. (The guy posting comments under different names definitely thinks his Trump support makes a difference.)

    People comment for all kinds of reasons, because they are lonely or bored or enjoy debating politics that don’t involve the delusion that they are likely to change many minds. If I recall correctly, Patterico has said in the past that he doesn’t expect to change anybody’s mind, he just enjoys insulting Trump supporters.

    James B. Shearer (a9baea)

  68. βλέπετε το αποτέλεσμα της χρήσης της Google για μετάφραση

    Kishnevi (6a5d3c)

  69. Is that like one of those high semi-colonics?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. I have to confess, DCSCA, I finally appreciated your Caine Mutiny trope. “It was those disloyal officers!”

    nk (dbc370)

  71. No, ultimately it’s Trump’s call. Being ill-served by lawyers and AG Snoozy McSnoozerson, all his choices, is not an excuse. Being surprised when the snakes you hand-picked bite you is on you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  72. The questions are pointless. You can justify practically any action by coming up with a hypothetical situation where that action is the lesser evil. So the fact that someone would do something which would ordinarily be considered wrong in extreme circumstances (stealing bread to feed your starving children) says little about their moral standards.

    But I’m not asking Adjectival Dana to judge whether these usually immoral actions would be justified a) to feed his starving children, or b) in any situation that he or James B. Shearer might dream up. I asked him to judge whether they would be justified to elect Donald Trump.

    If you think the questions are pointless, then kindly bow out of the discussion and leave the discussion to people who see the point to it. Saying the host’s concerns are pointless is equivalent to throwing tomatoes from the audience. It’s distracting and, well, pointless. If you don’t like the discussions here, go elsewhere. I don’t how to say it any more plainly. You don’t seem to like anything I say here. So leave.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  73. @76…

    Fake News… “I don’t know what lies have been sworn to in this court…”

    But then, “he’s understandably agitated…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLUZ0Nv7UH4

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. @77. Trump, surprised by a snake, Colonel??? ROFLMAO

    Let’s go to the videotape:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ndhdZtLXiU

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. The Mueller report paints a picture of a President who repeatedly engaged in actions that would keep the average person from getting a security clearance.

    Perhaps. Any credible report on Hillary’s “carelessness” with TS and TS:SCI material, would show that she engaged in activities that would put the average person in a federal penitentiary for a decent stretch. The issue of a security clearance would never come up. Yet she walks. Nothing is said about obstruction, or lying, or the seriousness of the underlying charges (which were provable).

    But Trump, well, we need to get him on something and this is all we got.

    If I had to try to figure out a way to get most every right-of-center voter on Trump’s side, this is how I’d go about it. It is going to make any primary challenge to Trump impossible.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  76. Looks like I lost my bet w/myself; cough it up, DCSCA: because it’s “Biden Time” … Joey-Bee enters race w/somber, gaff-free filmed message… well, sorta: vows to essentially ‘whip them Nazis.’

    Seriously. Who’d he plagiarize that pitch from– Winnie or Franklin-Dee?

    You’re already out of it before you’re really in it, Joey-Bee: Charlottesville wasn’t Nuremberg.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. The Summer of Cognitive Dissonance is coming…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  78. 84. Coming? I thought it came back in 2016 when a shyster-real estate developer with deep ties to the Democrat party became the Republican presidential front runner. You must define “cognitive dissonance” a little differently than I do.

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. 86. Then the dissonance runs both ways. Trump humpers seem to have an equally difficult time accepting that I didn’t vote for him then, and won’t vote for him in 2020.

    Gryph (08c844)

  80. 87… I suspect he can forego any Kristol fellator votes…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying

    If you’re not killing your kids and a few cops, what’s the point?

    harkin (a741df)

  82. 89. Yup. I suspect he’ll win in 2020. I’m under no illusions. He’ll do so without my help.

    Gryph (08c844)

  83. Trump’s lack of perfection continues to be an unlanced boil to those who know–they just know!–that his lack of perfection ends any discussion. If only he was perfect –like Mittens!

    Surely it is Trump that has interrupted the prior administration’s dedicated efforts to stop Russian meddling, and foreign data base penetrations. We all remember those efforts.

    And of course, Trump must be judged against Hill- the Most Qualified Candidate Ever to run–who every Never Trumper knows, would have made it a priority. A priority!!

    Well, almost: after ending fracking and mining, stocking Texas with those 100,000+ refugees she wanted annually, adding Liz Warren to the Supreme Court, supporting welfare for all, higher taxes and absorbing the state debt of California and Illinois.

    Then on day 2, we’d have data security! “Huma, cancel my yoga lesson and lets deal with data security!”

    Hill would have been as tough on Russia as she was when …well, her Foundation absorbed Russian related money–around the time Uranium One’s sale was up for approval at the Dept of State.

    But hey-let’s wave those aside: the ongoing govt’l incompetence in data security is obviously the fault of the White House. DHS and other agencies are helpless–helpless! –to take actions to prevent data base hacking, using decent passwords, check on what today’s Chelsea Manning’s are doing, etc. They need “permission” to take effective actions.

    Some people, being led from Egypt thru the parted Red Sea, would complain that the ground was damp underfoot.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  84. Trump’s lack of perfection continues to be ….

    Dracula’s bad table manners continue to be ….

    nk (dbc370)

  85. “willing to abandon morality not simply because the consequences of the other side winning are in Dana’s opinion so bad.”

    People who did not believe in the better Dana’s position immediately post-2016 will absolutely and certainly believe it after two years of a lawless, reckless, and destructive Special counsel abandoning the pretense of ‘attorney-client privilege’ (unless your name is Fusion GPS) the ACLU abandoning free speech representation for Second Amendment believes (unless their name is the ‘John Brown gun club) and the various tech companies abandoning any sense of even-handedness in treating conservatives (unless that ‘conservative’ is named Evan McMullin.)

    Morality is a two-way street and requires a minimum level of reasonably expected reciprocity.

    No reciprocity, no morality, you’re in a state of war and you do whatever maximizes your advantage in that war.

    Insisting on following the laws of peace when the Left is very obviously in a state of open lawlessness and warfare wherever they can get away with it is going to do nothing but get you quickly declared an enemy to one side and an ally to another.

    And who exactly are your allies in this war? Baby killers, race hustlers, and their corporate fences and accountants?

    HELSINKI!!! (f6cf90)

  86. People who did not believe in the better Dana’s position immediately post-2016 will absolutely and certainly believe it after two years of a lawless, reckless, and destructive

    Well, from that start, I didn’t expect that twist ending.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  87. Aside from his fawning affection for strongman dictators, the only reasonable conclusion to draw from Trump’s abject refusal to admit Russian interference occurred, or to criticize Putin in any forum, rather only lavish him with praise, is that he is compromised in some way, most likely financially.

    That Trump seems to think the mere mention of Russian interference casts doubt on his legitimacy as president does not explain his behavior. By all accounts, no ballot boxes were infiltrated and no votes were changed, despite how pervasive the attack was. (The Russians did hack into voter registration files in some areas.) Propaganda, disinformation and social media bots may have influenced how some swing voters cast their ballots, but not enough to change the outcome. Trump very narrowly won the electoral college, because Clinton mistakenly assumed the “blue wall” would hold, thus she neglected crucial districts in certain states, thinking she could sail to victory. And she almost did, but that was stupid. She was a terrible candidate who ran a flawed campaign, it’s as simple as that. Entitlement will get you nowhere in politics.

    Trump won and was duly elected, so why not call out the Russians for endeavoring to interfere and take a stance against further meddling? It is a dereliction of duty to not do so, and that is a high crime and misdemeanor, far more serious than conduct unbecoming, slightly below abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

    Is Trump inviting Russian interference to help him win again? I doubt it. He’s far too stupid, inept and incompetent to be that Machiavellian. Instead, I think he’s afraid the Russians might turn on him this time around. Putin is not his friend and has no love for America. His intention is to sow discord, and what better way to do that than by exposing Trump? It would drive the MAGA cult insane. Russia has some sort of compromising material, and Trump fears the release of that more than he fears questions as to the legitimacy of his election.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  88. 87: Well, if we’re going to bring vampires into it–which permits no balancing of “electable good” versus “pious and unelected (Romney)”–he’s closer to the martini-sipping dismissal of good despite “Churchill’s self indulgent rotundity,” “dreadful cigars,” and “instability.”

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  89. Interesting, GG 90.

    DRJ (15874d)

  90. I don’t get this argument:
    Well, if we’re going to bring vampires into it–which permits no balancing of “electable good” versus “pious and unelected (Romney)”
    Everyone claims Romney was unelectable – but he ran against Obama, not Clinton, so it’s nowhere near apples to apples. It’s a sight of hand, at best.
    You really think Romney would have lost to Clinton had he run for the first time in 2016?
    In 2008, Obama was almost unbeatable by anyone.

    So to keep harping on Romney as a weak-kneed loser that would have lost to Hillary is disingenuous.
    He might have won even after losing to Obama, she was that bad of a candidate.
    That’s what you Trump fanatics don’t ever acknowledge – and reasonable people keep saying it: almost anyone could have beat Hillary and almost anyone would have gotten more stuff done with republicans holding all three houses of government.
    Unless – you want to burn it all down.
    Is that what you want?
    Or more importantly, is that what you wanted in 2016?

    Tom M (954e56)

  91. November 8 2016 sad face has demands, and Trump ignores them at his peril. They can go full John Brennan at any time.

    Munroe (af1999)

  92. Tom M:

    Yes, I think Romney would have been eviscerated by Hillary. You thought referring to Seamus on top of a car was bad?

    More critically, he would not have drawn the votes Trump did, from people who would have seen Romney as he was seen in 2012. Nice, but uninspiring. Thurston Howel IV. Younger and more fashionable but the same banker’s blood. He couldn’t even fend off Candy Crowley. We know Trump would not have done that. Mitt would rather lose gracefully, without upsetting his friends back at the Bush wood Golf club.

    Romney would not have raised the issues the media politely exclude from their front pages, but to which voters gravitated: immigration being one.

    I liked Romney in 2012: but it was clear that he could not fight, and frankly, it is not clear that he had the same convictions Trump does. I doubt Romney would have nominated the judges T did. Or pulled from the Paris Agreement.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  93. Oh sorry-I never thought that anyone could beat Hillary. She was The Candidate of the bankers, Foreign Policy set, etc. Her media was so adoring, so uncritical and the polls so in the tank as trying not to report opinion but sway it, it was unbelievable.

    I wanted a fair election. I wanted a defense of what I believe is fair and right. I had no interest in signing on to the National Review Cruise to 2020 (“We’ll try harder in 2020″) and letting another four years pass.

    Some people were so sensitive, or perhaps too sensitive: they felt the A bomb was uncivilized, and we should have waited longer to use it, even if more US troops died. It depended on what you saw at risk. Some see NAFTA as a good thing, and the Paris agreement as a great thing. Some in Britain in 1939 felt that Britain’s ownership of India was so terrible, that it precluded any Briton from condemning the Nazis. They thought Britain needed “moral rearmament” first. I see the arguments against Trump as similar to all of these: they would rather lose gracefully, even if others lose their jobs, are taxed out existence, driven offshore or lose the first amendment under assault from leftists. No thanks.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  94. More critically, he would not have drawn the votes Trump did, from people who would have seen Romney as he was seen in 2012.

    But any nonTrump GOP candidate would have gotten the votes of all those people who voted for Hillary because she wasn’t Trump, or who voted third party.

    . I see the arguments against Trump as similar to all of these: they would rather lose gracefully

    No, NeverTrump stands for something more fundamental: integrity. Without it politics descends to the level of merely arguing which side gets to beat up the other side.

    Kishnevi (8f5d8c)

  95. 97:

    I respect your views, and believe in your integrity, but respectfully disagree that “any” of the bland and fungible GOP candidate would have inspired the same enthusiasm, and hence the voter turn out, as Trump did.

    Nor do I see any evidence of that. Go back and look at the rallies-his versus everyone elses'; his were massive; the contributions made by blue collar people to a billionaire for heaven’s sake. The view of Trump was that he was a relief-a godsend–to make their vote worthwhile. Not a dutifully cast, losing vote for a Pious Romney knock off.

    Jeb! seemed fine with unlimited immigration–it was “an act of love.” But Jeb! stood for nothing except the presumed “right” of the next in line Bush rich kid expecting to his turn. A kind of political right of the first night.”

    Ted? I like him, but he’s a sharkish man, a cold fish–and he blew it when he condemned Trump for leftist instigated violence at Trump rallies (“words have consequences,” he pontificated, implicitly approving heckler vetoes and violence. There went his bona fides as a principled man. You belive HE woud have drawn the blue collar Dems in Wisconsin? Please: he barely carried his own state against empty bag “Beto,” and foolishly condemned “NY Values” (great tin ear-alienate voters).

    If you think the enthusiasm for Trump was transferable, the feeling that he at last was a GOP man that meant what he said, you do not, with respect, yet grasp the 2016 election.

    NeverTrump has also been characterized as a suicide pact by academics, akin to Cato delivering speeches as Caesar marched. Those Brit intellectuals demanding that Britain “cleanse itself of imperialism,” before daring to criticize Germany in 1939. Or hey-the GOP never bothering to use Special prosecutors against democrats, while allowing their own to be lacerated year after year in the 80’s and 90’s. Only when the GOP finally used some to chase Clinton appointees, did the democrats agree to let the special counsel law expire.

    And as for arguing who gets to beat the other up, that’s already happening–has happened. Not suggesting we reciprocate: but am suggesting that someone dealing with the crabgrass-not just talking about-was way over due.

    Respectfully, HFM

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  96. 84. It’s what comes after two years of mass hysteria afflicting people who can’t accept the results of a presidential election pe+ers out in a face-palm report.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/25/2019 @ 6:44 am Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Colonel Haiku (951ecf)

  97. You belive HE woud have drawn the blue collar Dems in Wisconsin?

    Data suggests in a Cruz v Clinton election, those blue collar Democrats would not have voted, or voted for Cruz.
    Plus Cruz would get the votes of all those who, faced in 2016 with Corrupt Arrogant Woman vs Corrupt Arrogant Man either stayed home or voted third party. He would also have gotten votes from people who in the real election voted for Clinton because Trump was so bad.
    the feeling that he at last was a GOP man that meant what he said
    Trump and the phrase Meant What He Said are like matter and anti-matter.

    But the real point is this: if you give up the appearance of integrity, you are agreeing to fight the Left on its terms and by its rules. Meaning whatever you hoped to gain, you will be sure to lose.

    Kishnevi (82cec7)

  98. You belive HE woud have drawn the blue collar Dems in Wisconsin?

    Reality check: Cruz destroyed Trump in the Wisconsin primary, almost winning an outright majority in a 3-way race (48-35).

    Dave (1bb933)

  99. To be fair Wisconsin was icing, it would have turned on PA and it might have been uphill for Ted unless someone like Lou Barletta (local and mini-Trump on immigration) were the running mate.

    urbanleftbehind (29c1c0)

  100. All else being equal, HRC could have won both MI and PA, and the Republican would have still had 270 electoral votes.

    Dave (1bb933)

  101. NeverTrump stands for something more fundamental: integrity

    That doesn’t sound right

    if you give up the appearance of integrity

    There it is.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  102. 104. So because I will not vote for Trump, I have no integrity. Or have at least given up the appearance of such…? GFY Trump humper.

    Gryph (08c844)

  103. 103. Dave (1bb933) — 4/26/2019 @ 7:33 pm

    103.All else being equal, HRC could have won both MI and PA, and the Republican would have still had 270 electoral votes.

    Sort of true. The Republican had 306 Electoral votes (before defections) and HRC had 232 (before defections) and Pennsylvania had 20 Electoral votes and Michigan had 16.

    So it would have split 270 to 268 and we would be watching every single Elector, and a defecting Trump elector could give the House of Representatives a third choice…unless some Dem electors decided to have somebody else comes in third..

    But Wisconsin was carried by a much smaller margin than Michigan. So, rather than Michigan (16) and Pennsylvania (20), switch Michigan (16) and Wisconsin (10) which would have made it 280-258.

    The Keystone state is Pennsylvania and Joe Biden thinks he used to be Pennsylvania’s third Senator.

    Meanwhile’s Trump’s IT campaigner is collecting lists of possible Trump voters everywhere who might get personalied messages and he says they are going afer Minnesota (which they barely lost, and maybe only because people couldn’t take back their early votes – my parehthetical comment) as well as Nevada (where HRC banked early votes) and maybe New Mexico and even Colorado and I think he maybe mentioned one more state on Face the Nation today.

    The Democrats also have some hopes of switching other states that went for Trump other than Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. All this assumes a relatively close race because if it is not close nationally, this doesn’t matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  104. frosty 104,

    You are twisting kishnevi’s words. He was talking about Trump supporters when he said giving up the “appearance of integrity.” I know you think it is clever but it is not clever to selectively quote other people’s words in ways that incorrectly state their opinions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  105. I didn’t mention it, but New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has thrown his support (and his fund raising connections) behind Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  106. GFY Trump humper

    Wow! Touched a nerve.

    @107 Gryph is basically doing the same thing at @105 and also engaging in a direct personal comment.

    I think I’ve been fairly consistent in saying that consistently choosing the worst possible interpretation of something to support your position while claiming you’re being rational and objective, accusing others of having no integrity or being shills based on straw men, or holding up people like McCain, Mueller, etc. and making common cause with Clapper and Brennan is not integrity. It is the appearance of integrity. It is kicking up a little mound of dirt and then claiming the moral high ground.

    And the funny thing is I don’t really like Trump that much. I just don’t hate him and I point at all of the neverTrump hysteria and call it what it is.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  107. Also

    I know you think it is clever but it is not clever to selectively quote other people’s words in ways that incorrectly state their opinions.

    Is basically the “fine people” hoax. Which is quickly becoming neverTrump 101.

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  108. 109. I don’t hate Trump either. I just believe that he is unfit to occupy the office of the presidency. And there exists decades worth of evidence to support my opinion.

    Gryph (08c844)

  109. I understand your view, frosty, but I think you crossed the line. Ditto your 110.

    DRJ (15874d)

  110. You are aiming to goad people, not to discuss things. There are plenty of other places where that is welcome.

    DRJ (15874d)

  111. For example, your comment 109:

    I think I’ve been fairly consistent in saying that consistently choosing the worst possible interpretation of something to support your position while claiming you’re being rational and objective, accusing others of having no integrity or being shills based on straw men, or holding up people like McCain, Mueller, etc. and making common cause with Clapper and Brennan is not integrity. It is the appearance of integrity. It is kicking up a little mound of dirt and then claiming the moral high ground.

    This comment does exactly what you claim you object to in other comments — it uses the worst possible interpretation of comments you disagree with to support your position.

    DRJ (15874d)

  112. @113 The options for getting some people here to discuss that maybe they should dial back from 11 are limited. The statement that some of this stuff is even at 11 seems to be triggering.

    @114 What’s a better articulation? I understand that a lot of people are committed to a position that was always close to the top but that lately has tipped over a bit. Will pointing out inconsistencies help? Maybe, I don’t know. But sagely nodding my head in agreement at some of this stuff certainly won’t.

    Our host has stated on several occasions that he’s trolling Trump supporters. Are my responses really that over line in that context?

    frosty48 (c141b1)

  113. holding up people like McCain, Mueller, etc. and making common cause with Clapper and Brennan is not integrity. It is the appearance of integrity.

    I disapprove of Gryph’s calling you a “Trump humper” and ask him to refrain from such comments, but frosty48, it’s starting with you and your insistence on characterizing kishnevi as supporting the “appearance of integrity” rather than actual integrity. This seems like a personal attack rather than an argument over issues, and it is now causing the thread to devolve where I have to step in.

    This is a subtle but important point:

    I don’t think Clapper or Mueller have integrity.

    vs.

    By supporting Clapper or Mueller you are supporting the appearance of integrity.

    Is more of a personal attack. You’re making it about kishnevi rather than what he is arguing. There are times when the two seem to naturally overlap, but that’s when I ask you to be especially sensitive to phrase things as not being a personal attack.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  114. @113 The options for getting some people here to discuss that maybe they should dial back from 11 are limited. The statement that some of this stuff is even at 11 seems to be triggering.

    @114 What’s a better articulation? I understand that a lot of people are committed to a position that was always close to the top but that lately has tipped over a bit. Will pointing out inconsistencies help? Maybe, I don’t know. But sagely nodding my head in agreement at some of this stuff certainly won’t.

    Our host has stated on several occasions that he’s trolling Trump supporters. Are my responses really that over line in that context?

    I don’t think that’s accurate; I have tended to reserve my disdain for Trump superfans rather than mere supporters. In any event, I’m working towards the adoption of a modified worldview, about which more in a coming post, which focuses on the facts that our differences are differences of means rather than ends, thus recognizing more commonality. To the extent that I have “trolled” anyone, even if it’s only rabid Trump superfans, it’s not my proudest moment and I don’t want people using it as a model for their comments. Again, I’ll write more about all of this soon.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  115. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to write my Sunday post. It’s overdue.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  116. 102. urbanleftbehind (29c1c0) — 4/26/2019 @ 7:19 p

    To be fair Wisconsin was icing,

    I had trouble figuring that out, thinking maybe you were talking about some bad weather in northern Wisconsin on Election Day 2016 – but I didn’t remember anything like that – tll I read further and realized you meant “icing on the cake”

    For that matter so was Michigan: 306 – 10 = 296 – 16 = 280. Still a good enough margin.

    So this whole business about Hillary not paying avisit to Wisconsin – it still wouldn’t have matered.

    And the Trump people think they could have gotten – or might get next time – Minnesota (also 10 Electoral votes, like Wisconsin.)

    it would have turned on PA

    The election would have turned on Pennsylvania. For a second I was wondering if you were talking about a storm.

    and it might have been uphill for Ted unless someone like Lou Barletta (local and mini-Trump on immigration) were the running mate. </blockquote) Immigration only helped Trump in the primary where he took a position that nobody else would take, yet nobdoy would make aprincipled arguments against his positions. Talk radio listeners had been bombarded for 42 years with anti-illegal-immigration propaganda – that's why they cared about it. This was an intellectual argument, not one based on experience. Trump won primaries in states with small Republican parties and closed primaries where Republicans always lost general elections.

    These areas are supposed to have been hurt by trade and automation (and really, fewer banks.)

    One thing about Ted Cruz. I heard somebody say on one of the Sunday interview programs today that Joe Biden is maybe the only candidate for the Democratic nomination who is running this time only because the incumbent is Donald Trump. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would be running if the preident was Ted Cruz or (somebody else) but not Joe Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)


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