Patterico's Pontifications

1/13/2020

Stating the Obvious: U.S. Press Does Not Face Same Dangers and Risk As Their Iranian Counterparts

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:06 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Yet again demonstrating the insular bubble of delusional preciousness in which some professional journalists cocoon themselves:

Haberman, who presumably is allowed to continue to roam free in order to work, is unfortunately representative of so many Big Media outlet writers who perceive themselves as society’s desperately needed intellectual saviors of the unwashed, ignorant masses. Thus the compulsion to equate their struggle with Trump, who does not hold the press in any regard (unless they say nice things about him), as on a par with the struggle Iranian journalists face with their government if they report accurately about the anti-government sentiment happening on the ground.

Haberman seems to assume that because Trump blathers on about the American press being an “enemy of the people,” that he obviously wants to see it abolished. The thing is, while Trump has certainly attacked the press here for actual and perceived slights, honest and dishonest assessments, and accurate and inaccurate reporting, the media has, unarguably, made inaccurate claims and reports about the President. The President’s relationship with the American press has been defined by a palpable, mutual loathing and tension that has only increased during his tenure. Who struck the first blow? Well, as I am disgusted with both the press and its history of anti-conservatism, and Trump and his corruption and dishonesty, I’ll point you to this great analysis by Charles C.W. Cooke:

Our national press is a national joke. Vain, languid, excitable, morbid, duplicitous, cheap, insular, mawkish, and possessed of a chronic self-obsession that would have made Dorian Gray blush, it rambles around the United States in neon pants, demanding congratulation for its travails. Not since Florence Foster Jenkins have Americans been treated to such an excruciating example of self-delusion. The most vocal among the press corps’ ranks cast themselves openly as “firefighters” when, at worst, they are pyromaniacs and, at best, they are obsequious asbestos salesmen. “You never get it right, do you?” Sybil Fawlty told Basil in Fawlty Towers. “You’re either crawling all over them licking their boots or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder.” There is a great deal of space between apologist and bête noire. In the newsrooms of America, that space is empty.

It’s getting worse. Despite presenting an opportunity for sobriety and excellence, the election of President Donald Trump has been an unmitigated disaster for the political media, which have never reckoned with their role in Trump’s elevation and eventual selection, and which have subsequently treated his presidency as a rolling opportunity for high-octane drama, smug self-aggrandizement, and habitual sloth. I did not go to journalism school, but I find it hard to believe that even the least prestigious among those institutions teaches that the correct way to respond to explosive, unsourced reports that just happen to match your political priors is to shout “Boom” or “Bombshell” or “Big if true” and then to set about spreading those reports around the world without so much as a cursory investigation into the details. And yet, in the Trump era, this has become the modus operandi of all but the hardest-nosed scribblers.

[…]

The greatest service that Donald Trump has rendered these United States is to have exposed the many ailments of which he is a symptom but not a cause. We had political division and cultural alienation before him. We had overbearing government and an imperial executive branch before him. We had media that were arrogant, parochial, and impenitent before him, too. Alas, they have grown yet worse since he arrived.

Anyway, that Trump can be hostile toward the American press is simply not the same as wanting to shut down the press altogether, or to use the heavy hand of government to imprison, torture, or have non-compliant reporters killed.

And it’s just ridiculous to have to say this, but quite clearly, American journalists are not under a remotely similar yoke of oppression or facing the same mortal danger as are their Iranian counterparts. Not by any stretch of an overactive imagination.

President Rouhani threatens Iranian journalists:

In a tweet on Thursday Hesameddin Ashena who is President Hassan Rouhani’s media advisor warned “the Iranian agents of Persian-language media [abroad] not to participate in the psychological warfare regarding the Ukrainian airliner [crash] and stop cooperating with those who are at war with Iran”.

The long arm of persecution:

The Iranian intelligence has threatened to kidnap journalists working for the London-based Iran International TV and take them back to Iran. It has also pressured their families back in Iran to persuade their relatives to leave the channel, it was revealed on Monday.

“Since about a month ago, after the unrest in Iran and our extensive coverage of it, they started calling several high-profile journalists, mostly anchors. They phoned them repeatedly and threatened to snatch them off the streets of London unless they quit working here”, an Iran International journalist told Radio Farda.

“Some families have also been contacted and summoned in Iran, threatened about their own safety and ordered to persuade the journalists to stop working for Iran International,” he added.

The State controlled media response to recent gas protests:

While Iran is still reeling from the recent protests that have left scores injured, more than a hundred dead, and thousands arrested, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that two main government ministries have silenced the domestic media by issuing directives dictating coverage of the unrest, in a blatant violation of freedom of the press. Intelligence ministry officials have also threatened journalists that they will be charged with “crimes” if their reporting of events does not hew to the official narrative of events.

[…]

Another journalist who spoke to CHRI added that during the last week, after the start of protests on Friday, November 15 and the shut down of the internet on the 16th to prevent the sharing of images and information, at least eight journalists had been summoned to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence for questioning and that the Ministry of the Culture and Islamic Guidance contacted a number of journalists to warn them about the consequences of their articles and social media posts.

He said some journalists have been forced to sign a pledge that they would not report on the internet blackout, the people’s protests or the increase in the price of gasoline on social media.

“They have also been told not to write about these things in their media outlets and warned that any negative reporting will be seen as aiding the enemy and will be considered a crime,” said the source.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

128 Responses to “Stating the Obvious: U.S. Press Does Not Face Same Dangers and Risk As Their Iranian Counterparts”

  1. Oh brother. How many members of the press has the Iranian government imprisoned, tortured or murdered v. how many has Trump had imprisoned, tortured or murdered.

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. We’re better than the Iranian Regime in every way.
    But the Fake News mantra Trump has been spewing has been used to justify terrible acts by worse people. There’s no downside in highlighting this. None of this is Trumps fault. It’s the fault of the people that do it. But his weakness in this area contributes to it and makes it harder to stop.

    • In June, the Belarusian legislature amended its media laws to allow the government to prosecute anyone suspected of spreading false information online.

    • In April, authorities in Kazakhstan raided the offices of the Kazakh Forbes Magazine and news website Ratel.kz, citing concerns about libel. According to Reporters Without Borders, as part of the raids, Kazakh authorities also blocked Ratel.kz and briefly detained four journalists.

    • Russia, long known known for its crackdowns on the press, added another tool to its belt in April, passing a law that allows the government to block websites that publish defamatory information against public figures, like President Vladimir Putin, as reported by The Moscow Times. A week ago, Russian lawmakers proposed a law that would hold social media networks responsible for the accuracy of user comments.

    • In late March, Malaysia passed a law outlawing fake news, punishable by up to six years of jail time. A month later, a Danish citizen was convicted of inaccurately criticizing the government on Twitter.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  3. Had the press reported honestly, and good faith on Trump… I’d argue he’d be in worse shape than he is now.

    I didn’t think the whole #FakeNews would have legs early in the Trump era… but… Ho.Lee.Hell was I wrong. The press bears much of the responsibility as to why their credibility is in the Abyss. And Trump is quick to take advantage.

    whembly (c30c83)

  4. I would hope that if federal security agencies were killing off reporters that the President (and several others) would be impeached, convicted, sentenced and hanged*.

    ———-
    * not a fan of lethal injection.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  5. Had the press reported honestly, and good faith on Trump… I’d argue he’d be in worse shape than he is now.

    In the Trumpian sense that the truth would serve them better than transparent lies?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  6. Reporters, lawyers, Congressmen and drug dealers all wonder why their professions score so low. At least the drug dealers don’t try to pretend otherwise.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  7. Dana do you ever get tired of being one of the guest posters here? I mean Patterico has been bat crazy trump hating since 2016 and stopped writing about anything that isn’t negative Trump so that leaves you to take up the slack. I could be wrong but I do not think I have seen him write anything that isn’t negative about trump for 6 months, to include ignoring the FISA abuse and anything else that you would figure a professional lawyer would be interested in. Do you guys ever discuss maybe you writing the negative Trump news for a month or two and he could maybe come out of his cave and write about something other than that?

    Just asking not trying to be rude. I really am curious how the interplay is here with the guest posters. In order to not be a 100% anti-trump MSNBC knock off I would figure that would be apart of the conversation.

    Kevin Nash (2c386c)

  8. Kevin Nash reminded me I forgot something.

    Dana, thank you for putting up the post. I appreciate the time you and the others put into keeping this place going. I don’t always agree with you but I almost always enjoy reading your work. Please keep posting whatever you feel like writing.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  9. @3 I think he’d attack any publication that wasn’t 100% acting as his publicist. Even if it was 99% he’d attack the last hold out that accurately reported something bad about him. I’ll retract that if anyone can find an example of him admitting a negative story was ‘fair’ or something similar.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  10. I imagine the Iranian government, for all its faults, respects what Trump has to say about as much as it respects a donkey braying for its evening oats. Now, a sneak attack from 100s of miles away, that they do worry about.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. @7 While I wished Patterico voiced more concern over potential abuses from the previous administration, its obvious that his personal bias against Trump (and Trumpalo) is strong. It’s not without reasons: He lost his RedState contributorship presumably because of his principled NeverTrump positions, which frankly is a bit outrageous and that during the 2016 elections Trumpalos were brutal towards GOP voters who refused to vote for Trump. (I know, as I was one of them… I voted for the stoner).

    Having said that, this is his damn blog… he can post whatever he damn wants. 😉

    Also…Dana, JVW and others are great contributors.

    whembly (c30c83)

  12. @9

    @3 I think he’d attack any publication that wasn’t 100% acting as his publicist. Even if it was 99% he’d attack the last hold out that accurately reported something bad about him. I’ll retract that if anyone can find an example of him admitting a negative story was ‘fair’ or something similar.

    Time123 (66d88c) — 1/13/2020 @ 4:11 pm

    That’s my point. Had the press acted in good faith, his obnoxious relationship to the press would beh the story.

    Instead, #FakeNews dominates and resonates with the public.

    whembly (c30c83)

  13. @2 Belarus was rated worst in press freedom in 2014. However, Kazakhstan and Russia have been well known bastions of human rights and free speech, only recently cracking down citing changes in the US as the example they’re following.

    frosty (03b324)

  14. @13 sorry. They were rated worst in Europe. Not worst overall. Mistyped.

    frosty (03b324)

  15. @13. Great job understanding my clearly states point and replying to it directly.

    Time123 (1d8597)

  16. The clueless media have had trouble discerning the USA from actual totalitarian regimes before:

    The Daily Beast
    @thedailybeast
    Even though #HandmaidsTale was written in 1985, it seems disturbingly of the moment in these United States of Trump

    June 2017_

    This is why no one believes them, they are not just clueless, when confronted w fact they just put on their TDS tinfoil hats.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  17. Mr. Trump the President who is totally not a Russian asset who was almost certainly buggered by Roy Cohn only objects to the #FakeNewsMedia publishing stuff like this:

    As an adviser to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, Nader met several times with officials and associates of President Trump during the early days of the administration. He helped set up a January 2017 meeting between Trump associate Erik Prince [that’s Betsy DeVos’s brother] and a Russian official close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin that was closely scrutinized by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/george-nader-key-witness-in-mueller-probe-pleads-guilty-to-child-sex-charges/2020/01/13/a6824422-f67a-11e9-8cf0-4cc99f74d127_story.html

    And let’s not forget, either, how often the #FakeNewsMedia tried to to tie to convicted foreign agent and international money launderer Paul Manafort for no other reason than that Manafort was his campaign manager.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. *tried to to tie Trump to*

    The tutu is a private, personal matter and who are we to judge?

    nk (dbc370)

  19. @15

    But his weakness in this area contributes to it and makes it harder to stop.

    You cited examples from 3 countries with a horrible history of press freedom dating back long before Trump. Looking up Malaysian history on this doesn’t seem worth it. Trump doesn’t contribute to repression in Belarus, Russia, or Kazakhstan in any meaningful way. This is an imaginary point. In fact the point you’re attempting to make is a variation on the point this post undermines.

    frosty (03b324)

  20. It’s not new that certain countries are lousy on press freedom. It is new that they can claim the President of the United States agrees with them.

    Kishnevi (4b61f0)

  21. Haberman seems to assume that because Trump blathers on about the American press being an “enemy of the people,” that he obviously wants to see it abolished.

    Do you really doubt that, if he had the ability to do so (as his idol Putin or his love interest Kim do), he would eliminate all unfavorable news coverage?

    Trump muses openly about executing whistleblowers who bring his misdeeds to light, and locking up legislators for doing their jobs by opposing him.

    It’s not that Trump is more noble and enlightened than the mullahs, but that our system is more resistant to people like him (and them). But taking that happy state of affairs for granted is the last thing we should do.

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. Lest you need reminded, Charlie, young Master Cooke, was born in Britain in 1984- not long after news ceased being a loss leader for media firms and more a profit center for the corporations that bought them, particularly in the U.S. Cooke was raised and weaned amidst the muck and mire of Fleet Street-clap-trap-show-em-your-titties-on-Page-Three-News-Of-The-World-type-tabloids peddled by the likes of conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The gold standard in his universe was the not-for-profit BBC.

    Speaking from personal experience, having lived there a decade before Cooke was birthed, the state of the British press was and remains shockingly low and coarse compared to that in the United States, the fear being the likes of Murdoch and similar mogul cronies would managed to poison for profit. Alas, they have. Witness the T&A lip gloss and leglights ofFox News.

    Cooke only immigrated to the United States in 2011 and became a naturalized US citizen in 2018.
    You got a lot learn about American media, Charlie. Start with getting a gig away from a dying opinion journal, learn something about Hearst, Paley, Sarnoff and Turner– even Barnum- watch ‘Citizen Kane’ — or better still, ‘Network’–and take the prescient satire–and Sybil the Soothsayer- seriously. You might learn something, Chuck.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  23. U.S. Press Does Not Face Same Dangers and Risk As Their Iranian Counterparts

    Jamal Khashoggi was unavailable for comment.

    Dave (1bb933)

  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_the_United_States

    Charlie can do his own search for jounalists in peril- or zappe, internationally. Have a good friend– a journalist– who literally had her life threatened reporting on a story. Damaged her personally–and professionally- for years.

    Cooke is truly an ass.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. Frosty, all of those countries suck goats and have for a long time. No argument there. I explicitly said the rulers there were responsible for the bad things they did.

    But the strongmen that rule them pay price to keep people in line. Having the US President rhetorically support them lowers that price.

    Time123 (1d8597)

  26. Lesson One, Chuck:

    Maggie Haberman is a journalist; Christian Amanpour is a journalist; Ainsley Earhardt is not a journalist; Laura Ingraham is not a journalist– and Charlie, neither are you.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. “Maggie Haberman is a journalist;”
    DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/13/2020 @ 6:09 pm

    Oooooooh — that Maggie Haberman.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/10/09/exclusive-new-email-leak-reveals-clinton-campaigns-cozy-press-relationship/

    Munroe (3f1823)

  28. From the link @27:

    That strategy document plotted how Clinton aides could induce Haberman to write a story on the thoroughness and profound introspection involved in Clinton’s decision-making process.

    The profound introspection involved in Clinton’s decision-making as to whether or not to run for president, was, of course, all a pack of lies.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  29. Do you really doubt that, if he had the ability to do so (as his idol Putin or his love interest Kim do), he would eliminate all unfavorable news coverage?

    In the sense that you mean, yes. I doubt that he would “eliminate” all unfavorable news coverage. I don’t think he’s a tyrant or dictator wannabe. The breathless pearl clutching would be more compelling if he did more in the past 3 years than use it to fire up his supporters and avoid ridiculous questions at pressers, e.g. if he arrested some or started tapping their phones, etc.

    This seems to be the biggest problem with the tyrant narrative generally. In the primaries and general this was something that was more plausible. But 3 years in he’s done nothing even tyrant adjacent. Assuming the worst, which I don’t, he’s been corrupt.

    I explicitly said the rulers there were responsible for the bad things they did.

    No, you did “but Trump”. So those rulers are responsible but Trump “contributes” to it, which is a different way of saying “has some responsibility” for it. That’s what contribute means; help to cause or bring about is literally one of the definitions. Claiming that you aren’t saying something and then saying something synonymous doesn’t make the first statement a lie. It just turns it into a statement about word choice.

    frosty (f27e97)

  30. @27. ROFLMAO Ohhhhhh- that Maggie Haberman:

    Maggie Haberman: The New York Times reporter Trump can’t quit

    https://www.money.cnn.com/2017/04/07/media/maggie-haberman-trump/index.html

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. @6. At least the drug dealers don’t try to pretend otherwise.

    Unless they’re chemistry teachers ‘Breaking Bad.’ 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. Iran has the 170th freest press, out of 180 nations evaluated. The US is 48th freest, and we’re ranked as poorly as we are because RSF doesn’t like the US all that much.
    There’s no comparison or equivalency between the two states when it comes to press freedom, even when Trump makes idiot comments about our media being an “enemy of the people”. His words are wind. He hasn’t actually curtailed press freedoms, not that I’ve seen. He’s reduced press access to his administration and lessened transparency, but that’s a different issue.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  33. ‘There may be no reporter Trump respects, and fears, more than Haberman. He may bash and beat up on the Times, and her, but he inevitably returns to her to share his thinking and participate in interviews. He does so because, in addition to having known her for so long, he knows that she matters, that she will not treat him with kid gloves but not be unfair either, that she commands the respect of the political communities in both Washington and New York.’

    Guess you just don’t matter w/POTUS, eh, Charlie.

    https://www.money.cnn.com/2017/04/07/media/maggie-haberman-trump/index.html

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  34. He hasn’t actually curtailed press freedoms, not that I’ve seen. He’s reduced press access to his administration and lessened transparency, but that’s a different issue.

    So ‘curtailing press freedoms’ and ‘reduced press access to his [actually, it’s ours] administration’ are different.

    No. They’re not. But this is a land where dreams can come true- and perception is reality TeeVee.

    Dream on.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. It takes a few seconds to see that RSF thing is worthless. I know the freedom of the press laws of France, England, and Canada. The U.S. is much freer.

    A little Googling and you can understand why RSF listed them the way it has. It’s based in Paris, France and it wouldn’t dare do otherwise.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. @20 Are you suggesting he go the Bush II route and play the straight man? Agree with every premise in every loaded question? And he should do this in the hope that regimes with long histories of repression will see the light?

    Personally, I think we’re getting into the weeds. These repressive regimes don’t need Trump as an excuse and I’d much prefer aggressive confrontation between the press and all politicians.

    frosty (f27e97)

  37. @35. Dead is dead.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. @35. It’s based in Paris, France and it wouldn’t dare do otherwise.

    You mean where Charlie Hebdo’s offices are located. ‘Kay…

    Charlie Hebdo shooting-

    https://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  39. Well, in the UK they think that the proper way to deal with pre-trial publicity is to ban any press coverage before or during the trial.

    Kishnevi (4b61f0)

  40. Our obscenity laws/First Amendment allow anything I’ve seen from Charlie Hebdo. Moreover, our press would not face jail and a fine for revealing that Hollande had a second mistress (besides the one he was parading around), or for not observing the “right to be forgotten” i.e. deleting archived content about someone.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. @39. They do their elections in 60 days, too.

    Refreshing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. @40. Again, dead is dead.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. If you don’t like RSF, there’s also Freedom House. The results aren’t that terribly different.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  44. 43. Yes, they are, looking at the map. At least they put us at par.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. It wasn’t the French government that shot up Charlie Hebdo. It was a couple of Muslims.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. Well, in the UK they think that the proper way to deal with pre-trial publicity is to ban any press coverage before or during the trial.

    Canada, too. They did that to cover up a political scandal by slowly trying some little fish and suing those trials to muzzle the press about the overall scandal (the government was laundering public funds to ruling party campaign supporters).

    Kevin M (19357e)

  47. Well, in the UK they think that the proper way to deal with pre-trial publicity is to ban any press coverage before or during the trial.

    There’s the famous D-Notice, too. No Pentagon Papers Case happened over there.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. the government was laundering public funds to ruling party campaign supporters

    How is that illegal? Don’t they have an Article II in Canada?

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. No. They’re not. But this is a land where dreams can come true- and perception is reality TeeVee.
    Dream on.

    Obama has done his share of non-cooperation and refusing access so, except for Trump having a press secretary who doesn’t do press conferences, the differences from one administration to the next aren’t that vast.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  50. Of course, RSF being French, it probably includes explicit pornography and advertisements for prostitutes in its criteria. Maybe that’s the difference.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. BTW, DCSCA, what makes Charlie Hebdo journalists and Charlie C.W. Cooke not a journalist?

    nk (dbc370)

  52. @49. Vast enough tohave daily press bashing But-whadda-bout-Obama don’t count: Lincoln suppressed the press back in the day, too.

    You were talking Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. Lincoln was a great President, but his abuse of habeas corpus (and the lack of it) is one of the reasins he was not a good President.

    Kishnevi (4b61f0)

  54. @51.‘Charlie Hebdo (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁli ɛbdo]; French for Charlie Weekly) is a French satirical weekly magazine, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes.’

    Cooke neither reports nor has a sense of humor. But Chuck does opine, as do Charlie, and is a joke.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. It’s not so much about “whatabout” as precedent, DCSCA.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  56. @55. This seems important to you: ‘curtailing press freedoms’ = ‘reduced press access to his administration.’

    They ain’t different. 1+1=2. Not 11.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. 54
    le pot appelle la bouilloire noire

    Kishnevi (4b61f0)

  58. @51/@57 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Gazette_shooting

    Whatever fits your- or Cooke’s pistol– or shotgun:

    ‘On June 28, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at the offices of The Capital, a newspaper serving Annapolis, Maryland. The gunman, Jarrod Ramos, shot and killed five employees with a shotgun. Two others were injured while trying to escape.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Dana do you ever get tired of being one of the guest posters here? I mean Patterico has been bat crazy trump hating since 2016 and stopped writing about anything that isn’t negative Trump so that leaves you to take up the slack. I could be wrong but I do not think I have seen him write anything that isn’t negative about trump for 6 months, to include ignoring the FISA abuse and anything else that you would figure a professional lawyer would be interested in. Do you guys ever discuss maybe you writing the negative Trump news for a month or two and he could maybe come out of his cave and write about something other than that?

    Just asking not trying to be rude. I really am curious how the interplay is here with the guest posters. In order to not be a 100% anti-trump MSNBC knock off I would figure that would be apart of the conversation.

    Kevin Nash,

    You say:

    “I could be wrong but I do not think I have seen him write anything that isn’t negative about trump for 6 months, to include ignoring the FISA abuse”

    ICYMI (well obviously you did):

    http://patterico.com/2019/12/09/reactions-to-the-ig-report-released-today/

    I predicted long ago that the IG would find the investigation was properly predicated. I also predicted that it would find mistakes by the FBI, because (as I said) an IG always finds mistakes. But I admit to being surprised and dismayed at the extent of the FBI’s failures to disclose important information in the Page FISA applications.

    … For the IG report, the real story should be an incredibly slipshod and unprofessional handling of a critical FISA application — and that description is being very charitable.

    Trump has spent three years undermining the rule of law. If the IG is to be believed, the FBI just contributed its own heaping helping of reasons to worry about the rule of law.

    Well. You did say you could be wrong.

    Are you planning to apologize to me for your inaccuracy?

    Are you planning to apologize to Dana for your condescension?

    I am just asking, not trying to be rude!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  60. @45. The Big Dick didn’t directly order the Watergate break-in; bur he created the climate for the criminal actions of lesser zealots. It’s the same way w/Trump and attacking journalists at rallies and so forth. He outta read the Constitution he’s taken an oath to preserve and defend- including the 1st Amendment.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  61. “ Christian Amanpour is a journalist”

    A journalist who celebrates terrorism.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UO9BBsXaZQ4/TkFiXp3E7nI/AAAAAAAAA6U/_Z_Q6knX0w4/s1600/Christiane-Amanpour-apartment.jpg

    harkin (d6cfee)

  62. If the Political Left and the Media wanted to assert that Trump had a lot in common with the likes of Huey Long, I might have some sympathy with them. Instead they carry on comparing him with The Despicable Austrian, apparently blithely unaware that if there was much truth in that comparison they would either be too scared to make it, or would have disappeared between two days.

    C. S. P. Schofield (757b7b)

  63. I think my point still stands when even in the post you just clipped you throw in “trumps undermined the law for three years!” In what was a topic that shouldn’t have had anything to do with anything negative or positive about him at all. You just had to scream that you hated him yet again. The FBI forged documents they sent to the FISA court and lied multiple times to them. Why? Do you not have a legal take on that at all? Why bother just write some slur about Trump.

    Kevin Nash (cef076)

  64. @62. =yawn= Huey Long was elected in 1928 and launched a major road-building program that laid 5,000 miles of new paved and gravel roads by 1932. -source: https://www.hueylong.com/programs/roads.php

    Adolf Hitler built the Autobahn.

    Three-plus years in, Trump still has not built his frigging wall.

    If Huey was The Kingfish, then Trump is most certainly The Flounder, “…and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. @61. It’s good! Or perhaps you’re more the immature crayon and finger paint type. Feel free to peruse the Gallery, though an original Eric Forster may be priced out of your league:

    https://fineartamerica.com/art/paintings/september+11

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. The FBI forged documents they sent to the FISA court and lied multiple times to them.

    Neither of these characterizations is even remotely truthful.

    There was one (1) annotation added to one (1) document that wasn’t properly distinguished from the original text of the document. Neither the annotation nor the document itself were essential to the warrant application.

    And nobody lied to any FISA court.

    Dave (1bb933)

  67. I have no problem with the media attacking trump that is their job. I do have problem with media ignoring sanders and down playing joe biden’s iraq war vote hoping to prevent anti-war democrats from doing to joe biden what they did to kerry and clinton who voted for iraq war too! Jill stein not trump beat hillary clinton in michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin.

    asset (e9b64a)

  68. So changing and email from saying someone worked for the cia to saying he didn’t isn’t straight forgery? Ok bro

    Kevin Nash (cef076)

  69. So changing and email from saying someone worked for the cia to saying he didn’t isn’t straight forgery?

    That’s not an accurate description, “bro”.

    The annotation that was added incorrectly said he didn’t work with the CIA *as a source*.

    The annotation did not remove the statement in the original email that he worked with the CIA.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. You do not alter evidence you present to a court in any way. Not even by a single period or comma. If you obtain a document that someone had swatted a fly with, you leave the fly stuck where it is. If you have a problem with what the evidence shows, you address it separately. With other evidence or argument. And that goes double in a secret, ex parte proceeding where the court only has your integrity to rely on.

    If you violate that rule, you are no longer an officer of the court or an officer of the law. You are no better than a “climatologist” submitting a hockey stick for peer review.

    nk (dbc370)

  71. The other thing you don’t do is get caught and embarrass an unconstitutional and un-American Star Chamber which is already very well aware that it should not exist in the first place but was put into place as lipstick on the surveillance state pig.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. 70. nk (dbc370) — 1/14/2020 @ 5:30 am

    If you violate that rule, you are no longer an officer of the court or an officer of the law.

    He isn’t. He is no loner even with the FBI. But he might be a fall guy.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  73. Nice piece on how US Lefty Media portrayed Trump as ‘unifying’ the people of Iran behind govt. after taking out terrorist:

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/media-eager-to-wrongly-say-iran-unified-after-soleimanis-death/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    There were a few Never Trumpers too.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  74. I think my point still stands when even in the post you just clipped you throw in “trumps undermined the law for three years!” In what was a topic that shouldn’t have had anything to do with anything negative or positive about him at all. You just had to scream that you hated him yet again. The FBI forged documents they sent to the FISA court and lied multiple times to them. Why? Do you not have a legal take on that at all? Why bother just write some slur about Trump.

    I offered my take on it. Perhaps you didn’t manage to read it because you were so upset that I had criticized Trump. Scroll back up to my previous comment to you to read it.

    If you don’t like my site, sir, you’re cordially invited to find another. There are plenty of them who find all kinds of reasons to praise Donald Trump, and that seems to be what you crave. Go forth and find them.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  75. You do not alter evidence you present to a court in any way. Not even by a single period or comma. If you obtain a document that someone had swatted a fly with, you leave the fly stuck where it is. If you have a problem with what the evidence shows, you address it separately. With other evidence or argument. And that goes double in a secret, ex parte proceeding where the court only has your integrity to rely on.

    If you violate that rule, you are no longer an officer of the court or an officer of the law. You are no better than a “climatologist” submitting a hockey stick for peer review.

    The altered email in question was not itself part of any evidence presented to any court. It was forwarded to the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) who had to sign off on the court submission (the affiant), to address a concern the SSA raised about Page’s past relationship with the CIA, before agreeing to sign off.

    The whole incident originated because the FBI official responsible for signing the warrant renewal went out of his way to check whether additional information (adverse to the application) about Page’s past relationship with the CIA needed to be included. In the process, he was misinformed by the attorney from the Office of General Counsel who was tasked with gathering the information he requested.

    Note I am not defending the mistake made by the OGC attorney in (mis-)annotating the email, but because almost nobody has bothered to actually read the relevant part of the IG report, it is regularly mischaracterized as something it was not.

    Dave (1bb933)

  76. This seems important to you: ‘curtailing press freedoms’ = ‘reduced press access to his administration.’
    They ain’t different. 1+1=2. Not 11.

    This has to be the silliest argument I’ve seen in a while. There is a vast difference between curtailing press freedoms and limiting access to the administration.

    EVERY administration tries to do the latter, some more than others, and often not successfully.

    There is no Constitutional or legal obligation to provide “access” to anything – any administration can give as many interviews or press conferences as it deems fit. Curtailing the press, OTOH, is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

    The press has shown itself biased and hostile to one party and ideology. This administration, unlike past ones, has acknowledged that and treated the press accordingly, as its adversary.
    To compare that to jailing of journalists or shooting protestors that takes places in some other countries is simply obscene.

    The press has written many things that are openly hostile to Trump, his administration and his party. And have suffered nothing for it, other than criticism, which is how the 1st Amendment works. The 1st Amendment is not a shield from criticism, even harsh and unfair criticism.

    The press has the same 1st Amendment rights as anyone else. Now they see they have to live with it, and are not some anointed king or pope. Too bad.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  77. BTW, since we are deciding who is an who is not a journalist, query. Is Katie Couric a journalist?

    Is that the case even after her doctoring of a video to make gun supporters looks foolish?

    https://thefederalist.com/2016/05/26/katie-couric-decried-edited-planned-parenthood-footage-then-doctored-a-gun-owner-interview/

    Now she got off a defamation claim because of some quirks of Virginia defamation law. But it appears undisputed that she and her team willfully edited the tapes to make their subjects look foolish and convey a false impression that they were dumbells.

    Now the question is — what negative affects did she suffer for doing that? Did her employer reprimand her? Do her fellow journalists still honor her?

    And if the answers are No, then why should we give any respect or credence to the profession of “journalists?” (Not saying to curtail their rights, just saying, in the marketplace of ideas, to coin a phrase, their credibility is low.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  78. ”Note I am not defending the mistake made by the OGC attorney in (mis-)annotating the email”
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/14/2020 @ 8:28 am

    Viva le Sugar Coat.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  79. Note I am not defending the mistake made by the OGC attorney in (mis-)annotating the email, but because almost nobody has bothered to actually read the relevant part of the IG report, it is regularly mischaracterized as something it was not.

    Dave (1bb933) — 1/14/2020 @ 8:28 am

    Well the FISA Court read the IGC report, and had a much more negative view of the matter than you do.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/fisa-court-order-response-inspector-general-report

    Read the whole thing. They view it as “serious misconduct.”

    And I tend to give more credence to the views of Article III judges who are involved in the matter than some commenters on a blog.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  80. I have literally seen a judge get so red in the face with rage that I was afraid he would pop a blood vessel when the attorney standing before the bench, told him, “We didn’t do it, it was “X (person associated in some way)”. He practically screamed: “YOU did it! YOU did it!” I want to say that he pounded the bench with the palm of his hand as he was saying it, but it was a long time ago.

    nk (dbc370)

  81. @76. There is a vast difference between curtailing press freedoms and limiting access to the administration.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Shorter: No. There’s not.

    End of story.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  82. Dave, I don’t disagree with you much, but Clinesmith committed an offense that will likely get him disbarred at least and convicted of a felony at most. Horowitz referred the case to federal prosecutors, meaning that the IG believed that the guy committed a federal crime, for altering the email and perhaps for lying to investigators.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  83. @76. Why don’t you spend some electrons defining what the definition of ‘is’ is.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. Shorter: No. There’s not.

    End of story.

    Ah, the Greta Thunberg school of reasoning and debate.

    Which we used to call, “I WANT MY MAYPO!”

    Look up the term “ipse dixit.” You might learn something.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  85. @84. There is no debate.

    No. 35 years in media. Look up common sense. You will learn mothing.

    End of story.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. ^something

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. There is no Constitutional or legal obligation to provide “access” to anything…

    Exactly. Every administration plays the game of pretending to be transparent and accessible, and then take steps limit access and transparency. Trump is just more brazen about it, but free press rights haven’t been infringed.
    Besides access and transparency, there is one aspect where this administration has placed more of a chilling effect on press freedoms, and that’s where partisans have threatened and killed journalists for the “crime” of doing their jobs. It has created a more hostile environment. Caesar Sayoc sent pipe bombs to politicians and journalists, for example, who were “disloyal” to Trump. David French was stalked at his house. These threats and violence aren’t just restricted to one party, but it’s out there. From what I see, more than ever.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  88. Caesar Sayoc, that well known cabinet official in the Trump administration. LOL, Montagu.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  89. Everybody wants their job to be easy. It does not make it a right. “Fifty years ago, reporters would climb over a wall to get a scoop. Now, they climb over a wall to get a press release.” Not mine, I read it in some paperback … fifty years ago.

    Personally, as a firm believer in the Second Amendment, I am offended that the government restricts my right to keep and bear arms by not providing me with a selective fire assault rifle and the ammunition to practice with on weekends like they do in Switzerland and Israel. But it is what it is.

    nk (dbc370)

  90. @89. Ya shudda seem them ‘climbing’ and chasing the tail of the tale the day the Lewinsky story broke.

    It. Was. Surreal.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  91. David French was stalked at his house. These threats and violence aren’t just restricted to one party, but it’s out there. From what I see, more than ever.

    David French?? Pfft. See #24.

    “Threats” are a routine part of a reporter’s gig—you just don’t hear about them. Little point in Haberman or any of her colleagues publicizing/revealing the number of threats they deal w/per month that come in over the transom– and if they dwell on it, they couldn’t do their jobs.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  92. Caesar Sayoc, that well known cabinet official in the Trump administration. LOL, Montagu.

    When the most powerful human being on the planet declares a class of innocent American citizens “enemies”, then idiot true-believers may just take him at his word.
    The irony is that Trump won’t call Putin an “Enemy of the People” despite the fact that the little guy conducted a “sweeping and systematic” cyber/propaganda attack on our election. Trump would rather put on a beret and role-play Bill and Monica with the Russian dictator.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  93. I offered my take on it. Perhaps you didn’t manage to read it because you were so upset that I had criticized Trump. Scroll back up to my previous comment to you to read it.

    If you don’t like my site, sir, you’re cordially invited to find another. There are plenty of them who find all kinds of reasons to praise Donald Trump, and that seems to be what you crave. Go forth and find them.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/14/2020 @ 7:29 am

    Well I liked your site and your opinions on things. I take them as words from someone who actually has working hands on knowledge of legal matters. I enjoyed them. Lately you’ve just been a one note somba of “I hate Trump”. I get it a lot of people hate him. There is entire pages and tv shows dedicated to it. Rachel Maddow has made a living off of it lately.

    I’m just saying it gets old, especially for a right wing site. Maybe I’m wrong tho, like to see a poll of other commenters here. Do you want more of Patterico’s hot takes on how he thinks Trump sucks? I could be the only one that is tired of it and thinks it bleeds over into your opinions on other topics. Shrug

    Kevin Nash (e0f3ce)

  94. Btw I want to make clear I don’t care that you dislike Trump. I am not trying to change your mind on that or stop you. I am not upset that you do it. Continue by all means I am just saying “there are other topics and issues that are relevant”. He’s our president whether we voted for him or not, we change nothing by hating on him 24/7 other than our blood pressure

    Kevin Nash (e0f3ce)

  95. @92. Keep in mind, Putin has actually had reporters killed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. @92

    Caesar Sayoc, that well known cabinet official in the Trump administration. LOL, Montagu.

    When the most powerful human being on the planet declares a class of innocent American citizens “enemies”, then idiot true-believers may just take him at his word.
    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/14/2020 @ 11:54 am

    Trump still doesn’t bear any responsibility.

    Nor does Bernie Sanders bear any responsibility of James T. Hodgkinson’s murderous attempts of numerous GOPers on a softball field.

    Hodgkinson and Sayoc has full agency of their own actions.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  97. I’m trying to find a way to express myself here. I am not a wordsmith. I would compare this to marketing which is my field to hopefully get my point across better.

    I am a consumer, your website is a product. Your content went from reliably center right, with occasional jabs at hypocrisy of republicans as anyone who isn’t a blind partisan should notice…to all the time left of center “trump is a jackass” commentary. That is ok, but you have to realize the consumers of that product are not going to be “right wing” or center right. You have to admit that is not what those people want to hear and consume. Even if they did that market is over saturated. I can turn on any cable news network and get that. I on my own found your website, consumed its product pre 2016. That product was a lawyer dispationatly commenting on the news from a leaning right point of view and offering up legit opinions that I did not read on other sites. I liked that product. Now it is passionate I hate Trump zingers…..constantly even on days when something on the “left” side needs those slurs. That product I do not like. You told me I could find other websites, I don’t want to. I just want my old product back.

    Does that make sense?

    Kevin Nash (e0f3ce)

  98. 97. You don’t have to be left of center to believe that Donald J. Trump is fundamentally unfit for the presidency.

    Gryph (08c844)

  99. Kevin Nash (e0f3ce) — 1/14/2020 @ 12:21 pm

    It does but sadly it’s not really your product. This is where the analogy breaks down. I think it’s fair to express a demand and see if our host wants to get back in that business. But I don’t think he does. I’m going out on a limb here but I don’t think he ever considered himself right wing so you might get some “feedback” on that.

    The space between the NeverTrump and Trump groups isn’t very large since both sides try to enforce ideological purity. NeverTrump is also still going through and identity crisis and pretending that they’re just anti-Trump and that things will return to normal when he’s gone. The Trump groups have similar problems. Time moves on and things change. This might be the best you’ll get. I’m considering returning to my scotch hobby.

    frosty (f27e97)

  100. Hodgkinson and Sayoc has full agency of their own actions.

    That’s certainly true as a legal matter.

    As a moral matter, one can argue that one should discourage your political followers from resorting to violence, particularly when you see that some of them are engaging in that.

    It would not hurt Trump or Sanders to say, “Support me with a ballot, not with a bullet.”

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  101. 100

    Hodgkinson and Sayoc has full agency of their own actions.

    That’s certainly true as a legal matter.

    As a moral matter, one can argue that one should discourage your political followers from resorting to violence, particularly when you see that some of them are engaging in that.

    It would not hurt Trump or Sanders to say, “Support me with a ballot, not with a bullet.”

    Bored Lawyer (998177) — 1/14/2020 @ 12:49 pm

    Morally, it shouldn’t take politicians to say “Support me with a ballot, not with a bullet”. In fact, personally I don’t want our politicians to be the moral gatekeepers.

    I see any blaming on political rhetoric for other people’s disgusting actions as nothing more as a means to bludgeon your political opponent.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  102. @ Kevin Nash:

    Dana do you ever get tired of being one of the guest posters here? I mean Patterico has been bat crazy trump hating since 2016 and stopped writing about anything that isn’t negative Trump so that leaves you to take up the slack. I could be wrong but I do not think I have seen him write anything that isn’t negative about trump for 6 months, to include ignoring the FISA abuse and anything else that you would figure a professional lawyer would be interested in. Do you guys ever discuss maybe you writing the negative Trump news for a month or two and he could maybe come out of his cave and write about something other than that?

    Just asking not trying to be rude. I really am curious how the interplay is here with the guest posters. In order to not be a 100% anti-trump MSNBC knock off I would figure that would be apart of the conversation.

    Since I see that Patterico has responded to you regarding inaccurate claims about him, let me just clarify this for you: I am not picking up the slack, by any stretch of the imagination. If you knew what went into the writing of a post – the time, energy, thought and discipline, you would know better than to say something so foolish.

    Further, to suggest that I should write the negative Trump news for a month or two to allow Patterico to write about something other than Trump critiques reveals your ignorance and lack of awareness. Our host is expansive in his generosity to both JVW and myself, as we are able to write about anything that interests us. Moreover, our host will write about any damn thing he pleases, given that this is his site. That the reality of Trump doesn’t interest you is just something you’ll have to deal with.

    That our views regarding Trump closely line up only speaks to the fact that we are both fully capable of reading, listening, observing, processing and drawing our own conclusions about what is as plain as the nose on your face.

    Moreover, to believe that we run a risk of being an “anti-Trump MSNBC knockoff” is laughable because who the hell cares what anyone thinks? It also reveals that you assume criticism of Trump puts one on a par with the dolts at MSNBC, who are obligated to hate him. Critical thinking and reading is apparently not your strong suit.

    With that, please feel free to skip my posts if the Trump criticism leaves you feeling blue.

    Dana (643cd6)

  103. @98. Except he is:

    “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” -source, Constitution of the United States of America

    He could speak ‘authentic frontier jibberish’ a la Blazing Saddles’ Gabby Johnson [Jack Starrett] and be qualified and fundamentally fit for the gig.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  104. Does that make sense?

    No, it doesn’t, Kevin, because criticizing Trump’s many words and acts ≠ “all the time left of center”, not even close. There are many criticisms of Trump from a right-of-center viewpoint, from trade to fiscal conservatism to bailing on allies to supporting the rule of law and so forth.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  105. Kevin Nash (e0f3ce) — 1/14/2020 @ 12:21 pm

    Your content went from reliably center right, with occasional jabs at hypocrisy of republicans…to all the time left of center “trump is a jackass” commentary.

    “trump is a jackass” is not the same thing as left of center, and it’s not all Trump all the time. Perhaps he keeps on making that point in a number of different ways, but each one is something different, and worth discussing. What Trump does in the news simply interests him. Not all the people who comment agree on all points, and its with the comments that you get the blog.

    It doesn’t matter to me that he agrees too much with some of the familiar criticisms of Trump. He’s busy. So he didn’t study it. The whole theory on which the impeachment case is based is totally wrong, although perhaps probably it would make more sense than what did happen.

    What’s really amazing is that he now said he likes Trump where he is worst, on the issue that is probably quietly driving Trump hatred: immigration. It’s what it is on trade, and on human rights, cubed.

    You told me I could find other websites, I don’t want to. I just want my old product back.

    Does that make sense?

    Try bringing up subjects on the open threads.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  106. Trump still doesn’t bear any responsibility.

    I think he does, because Trump’s words are the official pronouncements of the Office of the President. We don’t have the luxury of deciding which of his statements are serious, which are spouting off, and which are talking out of his a$$. They’re all serious, because they’re coming the Leader of the Free World.
    Trump called an undefined number of Americans to be enemies of the United States of America, just short of accusing them of treason, and he is tacitly inviting his supporters to intimidate and threaten those Americans at the very least, all because they write and broadcast things he doesn’t like. To me, the person who’s being unpatriotic and un-American is Trump for pulling that crap.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  107. 103. There’s a difference between legally qualified and fit.

    But Trump is worst on immigration, and he was cynical there too.

    He found something on which nobody dared to disagree with him – while nobody wanted to agree with him either. In case Ted Cruz was tempted. Trump included some nonsense and well as evil.

    Trimp keeps on doing the same thing hate groups do, except against other people

    One official did the same thing – only he had to withdraw it probably because he had violaetd the Privacy Act:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/us/politics/cuccinelli-monsey-stabbing.html

    Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said the suspect in the Monsey, N.Y., stabbings was the son of an undocumented immigrant who received amnesty under a 1986 immigration law

    …“Apparently, American values did not take hold among this entire family, at least this one violent, and apparently bigoted, son,” Mr. Cuccinelli wrote in a tweet that was deleted shortly after its posting.

    So you see that proves immigration is bad and dangerous. Or at least illegal immigration is.

    And we should abolish birthright citizenship.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  108. Dave, I don’t disagree with you much, but Clinesmith committed an offense that will likely get him disbarred at least and convicted of a felony at most. Horowitz referred the case to federal prosecutors, meaning that the IG believed that the guy committed a federal crime, for altering the email and perhaps for lying to investigators.

    My impression is that there are innocent explanations, but it’s also certainly possible the guy had malicious intent. If they can prove it to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, I will cheer, just as I do any other time a criminal is held accountable.

    Dave (fee39f)

  109. He could speak ‘authentic frontier jibberish’ a la Blazing Saddles’ Gabby Johnson [Jack Starrett] and be qualified and fundamentally fit for the gig.

    That line in the Constitution speaks to a person’s qualifications for office, not fitness. The voters and Congress and the Cabinet are vested with the authority to decide on a president’s fitness for office.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  110. The voters and Congress and the Cabinet are vested with the authority to decide on a president’s fitness for office.

    Whoa there, Nelly. The standards for each of those are very different. Voting against someone is very different from removing him from office under the 25th Amendment or impeachment and removal. The meaning of “fit” in each are quite different.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  111. @97. KN, Trump has effectively neutered the modern ideological conservative movement– and that’s a good thing; the trade off has been judges– a reasonably fair price to pay to clean house.

    But every move he makes is about what it can do to benefit him, not the country.

    Helsinki.

    Wholly indefensible. Beyond our borders he is operating outside the area of his competence. And now he is getting people killed. But hey, that’s showbiz.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. @109. Rubbish.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  113. is laughable because who the hell cares what anyone thinks?

    The tone of your comment belies this. More generally, is there some other reason you put the effort into the posts besides having some influence on how people think?

    frosty (f27e97)

  114. Words like “eligible” in the Constitution mean things, DCSCA.

    “qualified to participate or be chosen”

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 is silent as to fitness.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  115. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/14/2020 @ 1:24 pm

    All valid points. It’s also true that NeverTrump is still trying to thread the needle. Every time a D puts out a talking point and there’s no daylight between it and the NeverTrump position the harder it is to tell them apart. This Iran thing being the latest example.

    frosty (f27e97)

  116. @97. If you wanna whine over Trump, blame the Congressional Dems and members of the GOP. Censure proceedings should have been initiated on the twit to establish guard rails the day after Helsinki.

    But no.

    The single common thread throughout Trump’s life– from the childhood NYC days of Dead Daddy Fred through military school, real estate, Wall St., and big bank deals, business bankruptcies, TeeVee network execs, three wives and several mistresses, into his presidency is his rebellious, contrarian personality, his Roy Cohn-to-the-mattresses-mindset and complete failure to ever be disciplined.

    Nancy had the goods in hand on this guy w/t Mueller Report last year, balked and did nothing. Now it’s too late. Which is why “impeachment” this year is a costly joke and will only end up helping to cheapen the cache of impeachment begun 20 years ago by Newtie.

    Trump will wear impeachment and acquittal as a badge of honor all the way to re-election. An he has a long, pull-the-wings-off-of-flies, vindictive memory.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  117. 106

    Trump still doesn’t bear any responsibility.

    I think he does, because Trump’s words are the official pronouncements of the Office of the President. We don’t have the luxury of deciding which of his statements are serious, which are spouting off, and which are talking out of his a$$. They’re all serious, because they’re coming the Leader of the Free World.
    Trump called an undefined number of Americans to be enemies of the United States of America, just short of accusing them of treason, and he is tacitly inviting his supporters to intimidate and threaten those Americans at the very least, all because they write and broadcast things he doesn’t like. To me, the person who’s being unpatriotic and un-American is Trump for pulling that crap.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/14/2020 @ 1:33 pm

    Trump can be criticized for the crap he has pulled.

    Trump’s bad acts doesn’t justify, or give cover for other folks acting out with violence. It’s the same rationale why we have had riots post-elections. Which is full on bullcaca.

    Just like Bernie shouldn’t bear responsibility for some of his staff for spouting this crap…if/when Trump is reelected and the Bernie Bros burns Milwaukee:

    BREAKING: @BernieSanders “free education” policies to “teach you how to not be a f**king nazi.”; ‘There is a reason Stalin had Gulags'; ‘Expect violent reaction’ for speech. If Bernie doesn’t get nomination “Milwaukee will burn”

    Stay tuned: https://t.co/BFGnoCeJE7#Expose2020 pic.twitter.com/Koh6UTibbe

    — James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 14, 2020

    I mean… wowza.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  118. Just like Bernie shouldn’t bear responsibility for some of his staff for spouting this crap…if/when Trump is reelected and the Bernie Bros burns Milwaukee:

    No, but it gives you some indication of the kinds of policies we will get if Bernie is elected. The man is a radical socialist, and he attracts that kind.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  119. @114. You’re splitting hairs- as lawyers like to do- make a living on it; but the bottom line is he’s qualified and fit.

    Work on that definition of what ‘is’ is.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  120. Patterico fro along time has sometimes focused on a politician. In June, 2011, just about every post was something else about what was going on with Anthony Weiner (the problem there was discussion went from thread to thread)

    He left one thread going that started on about June 30 and it had 3,000 plus comments. I think it gave some people technical problems

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  121. This Iran thing being the latest example.

    I can think of at least three conservatives–Patterico, David French and me–who didn’t vote for Trump and probably never will, all of whom agree that taking out Suleimani was legally and militarily justified. I can also think of pro-Trumpers–Tucker Carlson and Rand Paul come to mind–who joined the Democrats in opposing the drone strike on the general.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  122. A bad act was boooosh getting thousands of American soldiers killed and injured.

    mg (8cbc69)

  123. ‘Legal justification’ is separate from the ‘consequences’ of acting– which clearly weren’t gamed out very well in an administration with a severe credibility gap. Alleged justifications shift virtually hourly. He could have been taken out any time for years. But the consequences of killing him, in our name, at this time led to 176 innocent civilians getting shot out of the sky and numerous Iranians trampled in funeral mobs. They might as well have crashed on Fifth Avenue.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  124. to all the time left of center “trump is a jackass” commentary.

    Is government more accountable? Is the budget closer to balanced? Does our leader set an example of moral character or family values? Do we live in a society where all are equal before the law, or are we seeing a class of people who are treated above the law, and flouting the law? Does the USA seem to be winning the cold war against Russia?

    In no way is criticism of Trump left of center. The lie is that the GOP is right of center. Honest Republicans and conservatives should be thrilled to find at least a couple of outlets willing to speak honestly about it. That most of the conservative blogosphere turned out to not actually be conservative when money is on the line is truly unfortunate.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  125. 103. “Qualified,” which I agree Trump is, is not the same thing as fundamentally fit. The constitution does not speak of moral or ethical fitness for the office — nor do I believe it should. By the strictest letter of the constitution, *I* am qualified to run as well. That doesn’t mean that I should, or that I am fit to assume the office out of hand.

    Gryph (279fd7)

  126. 119. Yes, he’s qualified. Yes, he’s fundamentally unfit. The two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. I also believed (and still do) that Bill Clinton was fundamentally unfit for office. Enough voters disagreed with me at the time that he was successful in his bid anyhow. And here we are.

    Gryph (279fd7)

  127. 75. Dave (1bb933) — 1/14/2020 @ 8:28 am

    The whole incident originated because the FBI official responsible for signing the warrant renewal went out of his way to check whether additional information (adverse to the application) about Page’s past relationship with the CIA needed to be included.

    They said he had met with 3 Russians. Page had denied meeting two of them and, as for the other, he said he was a source.

    Now what happened may have been an arrangement.

    In any case the person preparing the application asked Kevin Clinesmith to check with the CIA. The CIA said yes – Clinesmith misreported that as no.

    I don’t know if you are right and he dd not forward the email.

    This negative answer apparently enabled Page’s claim to be totally omitted from he FISA application. If they had put in the claim and reported a denial by the CIA (making Page into a blatant liar) the FISA cuurt would have been even more badly misinformed so perhaps they knew what they were doing. And were trying to be a bit careful

    In the process, he was misinformed by the attorney from the Office of General Counsel who was tasked with gathering the information he requested.

    Note I am not defending the mistake made by the OGC attorney in (mis-)annotating the email, but because almost nobody has bothered to actually read the relevant part of the IG report, it is regularly mischaracterized as something it was not.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)


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