Patterico's Pontifications

7/7/2023

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:20 am



[guest post by Dana]

Hello! If any of you are fans of the British show Endeavor and watched the final episode of the series, let me know in the comments. We need too talk.

Let’s go!

First news item

While the White House is expected to announce that the U.S. will “waive U.S. law prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent” and send them to Ukraine, Mike Pence explained to Hugh Hewitt why our military support is vital to Ukraine if we want to keep our troops from entering the fray:

Providing Ukraine with the military support needed to turn back the Russian invasion is crucial if the U.S. wants to avoid going to war against Russia, former vice president and current presidential hopeful Mike Pence says.

Pence, speaking on the Hugh Hewitt Show, said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “is not just warfare. It’s evil,” adding that he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin is facing sharp divisions inside Russia. Pence promised that, if elected, he would ensure Ukraine received whatever aid was required to win.

“I have no doubt that if Vladimir Putin overran Ukraine, it would not be too long, Hugh, before the Russian military crossed a border where we would have to send our fighting men and women to fight against them,” Pence said. He said he was a supporter of Ronald Reagan’s doctrine that “if you’re willing to fight the enemies of the United States on your soil, we’ll give you the means to fight them there so our men and women in uniform don’t have to fight them.

About the cluster bombs, human rights activists have registered concerns about their use. They have been deemed as “inhumane and indiscriminate, in large part because of high failure rates that litter the landscape with unexploded submunitions that endanger both friendly troops and civilians, often for decades after the end of a conflict.” The U.S. is not party to the convention banning their use that 120 nations have signed onto. Neither is Russia, which has allegedly used them against Ukraine in great quantity. This is an eye-opening pushback to the critics of the U.S. sending cluster bombs to Ukraine and why it’s vital that Ukraine be victorious over Russia:

Speaking of all the drama over cluster munitions for Ukraine.

Let’s resume this conversation when all those critics sitting in their comfortable air-conditioned offices somewhere in the West find themselves in a situation:

– when their nations have to fight an existential war against an adversary enjoying overwhelming supremacy in artillery and air power, with a far larger economy and population, with a totalitarian political regime that knows no bounds and is ready to spend any amount of cannon fodder, including suicidal convicts and mercenaries.

– when they see their own hometowns wiped off the earth along with their population and proudly proclaimed as “liberated”

– when their nations have to mobilize way over 1 million men and women to the military and to try and keep their shattered economy at least somewhat afloat while trying to stay as free and democratic as possible

– when they have to wake up in the dead of night due to missile and drone attacks and hope it’s not about their neighborhood and their house right here and now, and when they realize this is not going to end until the war is over

– when they realize the ongoing war has inflicted major damage to their country’s critical infrastructure and that it continues throwing the nation decades back in time

– when their military & political leadership has to spend endless months begging for weapons and assistance for their war effort, paying with the lives of their soldiers for every day in deliberations and risk management. Just to get at least something and go on saving the country.

– when their militaries have to break through one of the hardest systems of ground fortification in modern history, having to use as little as they managed to get, losing soldiers and vehicles due to a dire lack of air support and endless minefields the enemy had so much time to prepare

– when they all realize that their military has come so far against all the odds, but if it ultimately fails, their nations are absolutely done, they will all highly likely find themselves in pits with bullets in the back of their heads.

Now THEN I’d be very interested if they think their militaries need cluster munitions to go on fighting.

And speaking of civilian safety — the Ukrainian military in this war has repeatedly proven to be generally careful and discriminate when it comes to the use of weapons — well, to the extent possible in such a high-intensity war.

Especially in contrast with the bloodbath that Russia commits in this country on a daily basis.

So, dear ladies and gentlemen, I am very curious about why certain organizations overtly accuse Ukraine of putting civilians in war zones in jeopardy with cluster munitions before Ukraine even gets these munitions.

And I’ll just leave this here too:

Second news item

Silly Hilly!:

Since when has standing on anyone’s side been the role of the Supreme Court? Because according to the White House website on the Judicial Branch, taking any party’s side is not their role:

[T]he Court’s task is to interpret the meaning of a law, to decide whether a law is relevant to a particular set of facts, or to rule on how a law should be applied.

Of course Hillary knows this, but why not politicize the Court when you can…

P.S. “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

Third news item

There is so much to be said for love and commitment. Love, with its fierce and fragile breath that fills two beings, meshes two lives, and ultimately begets an unbreakable couple in it for the long haul because, perhaps, even during the inevitable trial and tribulation that challenge most marriages, the thoughts of not being together is unthinkable. Happy anniversary to a couple who has withstood it all, and held to their true north longer than most of us have been alive:

On Friday, July 7, or 7/7, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will reach their 77th wedding anniversary…

On July 7, 1946, when a 21-year-old U.S. Naval Academy graduate married the 18-year-old salutatorian of Plains High School, who could have imagined that it could last that long? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 6% of married couples make it to even 50 years.

The Carters have survived through a Georgia governorship, a presidency, a Nobel Peace Prize, building their Atlanta-based nonprofit Carter Center, eradicating diseases and now their biggest challenge — failing health.

The report notes that “Jimmy Carter, 98, went into home hospice care in February. In May, the family revealed that 95-year-old Rosalynn Carter has dementia.

God bless the Carters.

Fourth news item

Hmm, is Marge in or out of the House Freedom Caucus?:

Nearly two weeks ago, members of the House Freedom Caucus took a vote to oust Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from the ultraconservative group. It’s still unclear whether that vote was successful.

Since the June 23 Freedom Caucus meeting, Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., and Greene have had multiple conversations. But a Republican source familiar with the conversations said Perry has not directly notified Greene that she has been kicked out of the caucus.

Another Republican source, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Perry has not brought up the subject because he wants to sit down and talk to Greene about it in person, which is likely to happen next week.

There were “multiple efforts to text, email, leave voicemail messages to her and her staff, which were not responded to,” the board member said. “And I suspect because she knew she was being dismissed from the Freedom Caucus, and a little bit like someone refusing service from a legal standpoint … if I’m not served, then maybe it doesn’t take effect.”

The lawmaker added: “It is my understanding, yes, that Chairman Perry made multiple efforts after the fact to notify her and she refused to meet with or to speak with Chairman Perry.”

Greene spokesman Nick Dyer said that characterization was inaccurate: “It’s sad that this source is hiding behind a veil of secrecy to tell an inaccurate account of how this all went down. Why not say it on record?”

Fifth news item

Apparently housing in San Francisco is not that desperately needed:

The Board of Supervisors shot down a plan to convert a single-family home in Nob Hill into 10 townhomes because the development would cast too much a shadow on a neighboring playground and community center.

In a 7-4 vote, the board on Tuesday upheld the appeal of neighbors and overturned an exemption from California’s environmental review process previously granted to 1151 Washington St. by The City’s Planning Commission.

“Sunlight and air are extremely important to the users of the recreation center as many of them live in small (single-room occupancy) buildings with no open space and common areas,” a representative from the Chinatown Community Development Center wrote in a letter to The City. The development center is against the townhome project.

Fastcast, a group hired by those fighting the conversion project, found that the four-story townhouse development could add as much as 17% more shadow cover to the playground and community center.

Already, the center is in shadow for 77% of available sunlight hours, the group found.

Ah, I see:

The next day [after the project was shot down], the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that San Francisco would be getting $20 million from a grant program that the Biden administration had allegedly retooled to incentivize zoning reforms and housing production.

That grant, from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, will pay for additional bus lanes, bike lanes, and road widenings in the city’s Bayview neighborhood.

Read the whole thing.

Sixth news item

The beautiful voice of righteous rebellion:

Seventh news item

South Carolina housing development HOA will require homeowners “patriots” to fly flag:

This development, which the company has described as “where freedom lives”, is for homeowners 55 and older. And not just any homeowners: “patriots” who will be required to fly the US flag on their properties, on a pole provided and maintained by the subdivision…When asked how this community will define patriotism, [Brock] Fankhauser [the real estate developer of 1776 Gastonia] responded obliquely that patriotism is a mountain landscape. “We’re in a valley right now, and to the extent that I can have any impact whatsoever on bringing us from a valley towards a peak, it would give me tremendous satisfaction,” he said via phone.

Additionally:

Fankhauser says the 1776 brand is a “movement” and the Gastonia project is “only the beginning”.

“We think that commonality and unification is a critical element in patriotism because it brings us to the broadest denominator of being in America,” Fankhauser told the Guardian. “We will shun any attempts to make this a political movement.” (Fankhauser donated to the Republican party and Donald Trump in 2020 and had previously donated to Republicans in 2003, according to Federal Election Commission records).

As to the legality of requiring homeowners to fly the flag:

1776 Gastonia will use a restrictive covenant that includes the flag stipulation. Restrictive covenants, a norm in residential real estate, allow homeowners associations to enforce rules and consistency in planned communities. Fankhauser defines them as a “pledge of allegiance” to the United States and “promises” among neighbors. He doesn’t anticipate that enforcing the flag provision will be an issue and has not included repercussions in the covenant if anyone refuses to fly the flag. The Guardian obtained the 1776 Gastonia covenant via email, but it had not yet been recorded in a Gaston County, North Carolina public database at the time of publication and is therefore not enforceable.

The implications for freedom of speech are not yet known as the properties have not yet gone on sale.

Eighth news item

Just your weekly reminder that this person is not mentally fit to hold office (in any capacity):

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

527 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Good morning!

    Dana (560c99)

  2. Can it get worst?

    I mean, is this a SNL skit?

    https://amgreatness.com/2023/07/06/cocainegate-update-coke-stash-was-found-in-secure-place-near-the-situation-room-not-accessible-to-average-people/


    According to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the White House is now claiming the cocaine was found “in a much more secure place, limited access place” than originally reported. “It’s down near the Situation Room” and “average people just can’t get in there,” she noted.

    whembly (5f7596)

  3. I’ll go the National Review version also quoting Andrea Mitchell.

    nk (5b8fc6)

  4. Yeah, I think this means it likely wasn’t Hunter Biden’s bag, as I doubt he’d be in the area often.

    So, who on Biden’s staff bring booger sugar to work?

    whembly (5f7596)

  5. Can it get worst?

    I mean, is this a SNL skit?

    Too bad we won’t see it since they are on strike.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. When MTG is Considered Establishment……:

    The House Freedom Caucus voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the pro-Trump group last month, a member confirmed Thursday, indicating that her fight with Rep. Lauren Boebert was part of the group’s reasoning.

    “A vote was taken to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Freedom Caucus for some of the things she’s done,” said Freedom Caucus board member Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.). When asked if she was formally out, he replied: “As far as I know, that is the way it is.”

    It’s the first public confirmation of Greene’s fate within the conservative group. ……..
    ……….
    “I think the way she referred to a fellow member was probably not the way we expect our members to refer to other fellow, especially female, members,” Harris said Thursday. The Maryland Republican declined to say how he voted but called the decision to remove her “an appropriate action.”

    ……….She’s closely allied herself with Speaker Kevin McCarthy this year, lining up against many Freedom Caucus members when she supported both his rocky speakership bid and his debt deal with President Joe Biden. At the same time, the group is working through a post-Trump crossroads, with some fretting the group is at risk of becoming too friendly with the party establishment.

    Asked if her support for McCarthy and the debt deal fed into the decision to remove her from the group, Harris replied: “I think all of that mattered.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. Who was bringing pizzas and more to Bill Clinton in the Oval Office? Which is to say that I suspect an intern.

    With a parent or “godparent” who is enough of a powerhouse in the Democratic Party to have gotten them the gig in the first place, and therefore not someone to alienate now. Which is why I said, in the other thread, that they don’t really want to identify anyone.

    nk (7e2f55)

  8. nk (7e2f55) — 7/7/2023 @ 9:27 am

    Check to see who has the sniffles.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. Endeavor: Yes, the missus and I have. Then we binged the whole thing again. Big fans. Pat can give you my email.

    The short answer to some of the questions is this: The series is a prequel to “Inspector Morse” and some things needed to be reconciled, such as Morse never speaking of his mentor again.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  10. MTG’s problem is that she’s not a team player, not for the HFC or for the Party either. It’s all about pushing her own brand. One of these days her constituents will find that someone else will serve them better.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  11. Which is to say that I suspect an intern.

    If it was in the personal electronics lockers outside the situation room, it would not be an intern. You need cosmic clearances to even get near there.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  12. Check to see who has the sniffles.

    Don’t fire them until you see the dilated pupils of their eyes.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  13. @13: HUAC was right.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  14. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/7/2023 @ 10:34 am

    It’s a good thing for Republicans to focus on so they can avoid real problems.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. The implications for freedom of speech are not yet known as the properties have not yet gone on sale.

    It’s no worse than any other HOA covenant. You don’t have to buy a place there. The state can invalidate a covenant if it has a clear reason (such as racial or religious restrictions of past eras) but they mostly don’t.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  16. It’s a good thing for Republicans to focus on so they can avoid real problems.

    That ship has sailed, if not sunk.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  17. One, Endeavor’s on my list, but my next series’ are Deepspace Nine (I’ve only caught bits and pieces, years ago) and Strange New Worlds.

    Two, regarding cluster munitions, I don’t recall any hue-and-cry when the Russians used them on Ukrainians since 2014, oftentimes in cities, imperiling civilians, probably because their other bombs and artillary also struck civilian targets.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  18. Regarding Ukraine using Cluster bombs.

    1) They’re fighting for their existences in their own country. You’d have to think any and all options are on the table (outside of WMDs).

    2) I don’t give any credence to critics about what weapon systems you should or should not use. IN war, the faster you can resolve the conflict, the better. Using superior tactics and weapon systems to quickly “end” the war, is the most humane end-goal long term.

    This is why I’m irritated with folks advocating for “regime change” and the likes al la Iraq and Afganistan.

    I’m irritated by the current GOPers wanting use to invade Mexican to “take out the cartel”.

    Waging war is the most heinous act humans can do to one another, and it’s inevitable because… humans. If we *must* wage war, then use every strategy and weapon systems to overwhelming ensure victory and conquest at the shortest timeframe possible.

    whembly (5f7596)

  19. The Russians are using cluster weapons already. The US has always intended to used cluster weapons in any major power war. They allow more efficient attacks on small areas than artillery or conventional air strikes.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  20. The important part of Pence’s comment is that he would consider using US troops directly against Russia. I don’t necessarily think he’s wrong, but it is a bit of a Rubicon to cross. I also note that NATO is making noises about admitting Ukraine soon which would amount to the same thing, assuming that Russia did not give up.

    This may all be part of a diplomatic ploy to get Russia (which may be on a cusp) to quit the war.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  21. Speaking of SNL, I just saw this sketch yesterday, and I actually laughed. Also, Weekend Update with the current crew (Jost and Che) is pretty darn good.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  22. The cluster munitions issue is something that I don’t get. It is not a blessing to be on the receiving end of any weapon. Contemporary military weapons fire high velocity projectiles that tumble after penetration creating serious wounds.

    Mark (ed4856)

  23. The cluster munitions issue is something that I don’t get. …..

    Mark (ed4856) — 7/7/2023 @ 12:48 pm

    The concern is that the bomblets will fail to detonate on impact, but will explode later after they are picked up by civilians. They are also brightly colored, and children mistake them for toys.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. Yes, I am an Endeavor fan? What series end doesn’t have a whole set of oddities? I mean, this is a series that assumes the lovely city of Oxford has a murder rate just North of E. St. Louis.

    Appalled (d2a5e1)

  25. Interesting site, @Rip Murdock… as Patterico’s resident poll publisher, I’d add this to your rotation:
    https://www.racetothewh.com/president/polls

    A real-time data-driven election prediction site with a track record of success, as the election stands today Trump loses to Biden 302-234, while DeSantis beats Biden with at least 282 electoral votes.

    Per the site:

    In the polling average, more weight is given to polls:
    1. With larger sample sizes
    2. That are more recent
    3. From pollsters with a good track record.
    Corrections are made for pollsters’ historic bias.

    In 2022, RacetotheWH ranked first in calling the highest percentage of Senate and Governor races correctly and came within one seat of predicting the exact number of seats the GOP would finish within the House.

    whembly (5f7596)

  26. whembly (5f7596) — 7/7/2023 @ 2:10 pm

    Thanks!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. About the cluster bombs, human rights activists have registered concerns about their use. They have been deemed as “inhumane and indiscriminate, in large part because of high failure rates that litter the landscape with unexploded submunitions that endanger both friendly troops and civilians, often for decades after the end of a conflict.

    They’re like unmarked land mines.

    The Biden Administration is doing this because we’re running out of ammunition that isn’t close to a war crime.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511)

  28. Jimmy Carter, like Art Buchwald before him, is not dying so fast.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511)

  29. The cluster bomblets are going to fall on territory thaat Ukraine hopes to get back.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511)

  30. SAD!

    A Washington, D.C.-based bar discipline committee concluded Friday that Rudy Giuliani should be disbarred for “frivolous” and “destructive” efforts to derail the 2020 presidential election in support of former President Donald Trump.
    ……….
    The committee tasked with reviewing Giuliani’s conduct consisted of two D.C. attorneys and one D.C. resident who is not a lawyer. …….

    Giuliani plans to challenge the panel’s findings and recommended sanction in front of a larger bar-discipline board. His ultimate disbarment or other penalty would be decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals.
    ……….
    The D.C. case centered around Giuliani’s role in efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, where he took a leading role in litigating the matter in federal court.

    The disciplinary counsel found that Giuliani’s efforts in Pennsylvania were devoid of any factual merit and sought draconian remedies: throwing out hundreds of thousands of lawful votes in order to boost Trump’s chances of winning the state. Giuliani pressed unsupported claims that third-party observers were improperly denied access to vote counting in some Pennsylvania counties, the panel concluded, suggesting Giuliani violated tenets of Pennsylvania’s rules of professional conduct.

    “His hyperbolic claims of election fraud and the core thesis of the Pennsylvania litigation were utterly false, and recklessly so,” the panel concluded. “Mr. Giuliani’s rash overstatement claiming that the election was stolen had no evidence to support it.”

    “Respondent … commenced litigation without evidence that its core factual claim was true,” the panel added. “The hearing clearly and convincingly disclosed that there was no such evidence: Respondent based the Pennsylvania litigation only on speculation, mistrust, and suspicion.”
    ………
    John Eastman, an architect of Trump’s last-ditch bid to upend the election, is in the midst of protracted disciplinary hearings in California, which have now been postponed to late August.

    After a nine-month delay, Jeff Clark — a former senior Justice Department official who Trump sought to deputize in service of his efforts to remain in power — was ordered to appear for bar discipline hearings this fall despite his continued efforts to stave off the proceedings.
    ………

    Related:

    Rudy Giuliani, a former senior member of former President Trump’s legal team, suggested he be hired to find who left the cocaine that was discovered in the White House earlier this week.

    “Why don’t they appoint me and give me a couple of … lie detector analysts and a couple of forensic experts, and I’ll catch them,” Giuliani said Thursday on Newsmax.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. Prigozhin is not in Belarus, according to Lukashenko and there are false rumors that he went to St.Russia claims not to be interested in where he is,. They staged a raid on his HQ in St Petersberg (maybe some time ago) and broadcast it Wed – showing cash and gold. Prigozhin has claimed that money was to pay his soldiers and surviving family etc.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511)

  32. On the seventh item: I was charmed by the state where the housing development is located — South Carolina, which (along with other states) used to be known as the “cradle of the Confederacy”.

    Times change, and sometimes for the better.

    (As many of you, perhaps most of you, know, Charleston, South Carolina was where the Democratic Party split in 1860: .)

    Jim Miller (3efe7d)

  33. NYT thought it found a major lie by NYC Mayor Eric Adams (that he knew a
    policeman killed in 1987 – he did maintain some contact with the family from time to time) and found a minor one (Eric Adams claimed he carried a picture of him in his wallet all these years, HE said that in Jan of 2022, HE had his aides fake an old picture, NYT suddenly runs this story 1 1/2 years later,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/06/nyregion/mayor-adams-photo-venable-fake.html

    But the weathered photo of Officer Venable had not actually spent decades in the mayor’s wallet. It had been created by employees in the mayor’s office in the days after Mr. Adams claimed to have been carrying it in his wallet.

    The employees were instructed to create a photo of Officer Venable, according to a person familiar with the request. A picture of the officer was found on Google; it was printed in black-and-white and made to look worn as if the mayor had been carrying it for some time, including by splashing some coffee on it, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

    Two former City Hall aides, who asked not to be identified, said they were informed about the manipulated photo last year, not long after it was created.

    Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the mayor, did not dispute that Mr. Adams had shown a photo to The Times and at the police ceremony that had been recently created by a City Hall aide.

    Mr. Levy, however, insisted that Mr. Adams had carried a photo of Officer Venable for decades, and provided the names of several former transit police colleagues who said in interviews that Mr. Adams and Officer Venable had indeed been friends.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511)

  34. The cluster bomblets are going to fall on territory thaat Ukraine hopes to get back.

    Sammy Finkelman (896511) — 7/7/2023 @ 3:30 pm

    I wouldn’t mind them fired on Russian border cities.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  35. If you don’t use cluster bombs against an invader, whom do you use them against?

    nk (8d3cf1)

  36. If you don’t use cluster bombs against an invader, whom do you use them against?

    nk (8d3cf1) — 7/7/2023 @ 4:28 pm

    I doubt we retained cluster munitions to use against an “invader”, since it was unlikely that any enemy would invade the continental US. The US used cluster munitions in the 1960s–1970s in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam; 1991 in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia; in 2001–2002 in Afghanistan; and 2003-2006 in Iraq. And we sold CBUs to a variety of other countries, such as South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. Item 7 whats the big deal? I am sure AOC and the squad+ will fly the american flag though with two new stars for puerto rico and D.C. even over the re-education camps when she becomes president. Has hunters bag with his name on it been returned to hunter yet?

    asset (44bc55)

  38. The cluster bomblets are going to fall on territory thaat Ukraine hopes to get back.

    THey ,ay be hared to sort out from all the Russian cluster bomblets that have been falling since 2014.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  39. It is hard to type with a cat helping.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  40. Okay I’m getting mixed up with weekend open threads. I’ll stick the new one. I meant to post this comment here:

    Re Marge being voted out of the HFC, I’m reading that Rep. Andy Harris said of the vote:

    “I think the way she referred to a fellow member was probably not the way we expect our members to refer to other fellow, especially female members,” the Maryland representative said.

    What the heck? Is he saying that if it had been members who were male nothing would’ve happened because male?

    Dana (560c99)

  41. CNN:

    Ukraine deserves to have NATO membership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Russia said it was closely watching.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  42. Strong article by the WSJ, detailing how Mr. Gershkovich was taken hostage by the Putin regime.

    For years, a small group of American officials watched with mounting concern as a clandestine unit of Russia’s Federal Security Service covertly tracked high-profile Americans in the country, broke into their rooms to plant recording devices, recruited informants from the U.S. Embassy’s clerical staff and sent young women to coax Marines posted to Moscow to spill secrets.

    On March 29, that unit, the Department for Counterintelligence Operations, or DKRO, led the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, according to U.S. and other Western diplomats, intelligence officers and former Russian operatives. DKRO, which is virtually unknown outside a small circle of Russia specialists and intelligence officers, also helped detain two other Americans in Russia, former Marines Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, these people said.

    The secretive group is believed by these officials to be responsible for a string of strange incidents that blurred the lines between spycraft and harassment, including the mysterious death of a U.S. diplomat’s dog, the trailing of an ambassador’s young children and flat tires on embassy vehicles.

    The DKRO’s role in the detention of at least three Americans, which hasn’t been previously reported, shows its importance to Russia under Vladimir Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel who led the Federal Security Service, or FSB, before rising to the presidency. The unit intensified its operations in recent years as the conflict between Moscow and Washington worsened.

    As with most clandestine activity carried out by covert operatives, it is impossible to know for certain whether DKRO is behind every such incident. The unit makes no public statements. But officials from the U.S. and its closest allies said that DKRO frequently wants its targets to know their homes are being monitored and their movements followed, and that its operatives regularly leave a calling card: a burnt cigarette on a toilet seat. They also have left feces in unflushed toilets at diplomats’ homes and in the suitcase of a senior official visiting from Washington, these people said.

    The DKRO is the essence of Vladimir Putin.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  43. Okay I’m getting mixed up with weekend open threads

    Perhaps a date?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  44. President Biden on his decision today to send cluster munitions to Ukraine:

    “It was a very difficult decision on my part. And by the way, I discussed this with our allies, I discussed this with our friends up on the Hill,” Biden said, adding, “The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.”

    “This is a war relating to munitions. And they’re running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it,” Biden said. “And so, what I finally did, I took the recommendation of the Defense Department to – not permanently – but to allow for this transition period, while we get more 155 weapons, these shells, for the Ukrainians.”

    “They’re trying to get through those trenches and stop those tanks from rolling. But it was not an easy decision,” Biden said. “We’re not signatories to that agreement, but it took me a while to be convinced to do it.”

    He added, “But the main thing is they either have the weapons to stop the Russians now – keep them from stopping the Ukrainian offensive through these areas – or they don’t. And I think they needed them.”

    Good for Biden. It’s a shame it’s all taking so long, but still, good for him.

    Dana (560c99)

  45. Presumably we refused to sign the cluster bombs treaty because we believed they might be useful in a future conflict. If Ukraine’s existential defense against an unprovoked genocidal attack by America’s most belligerent enemy isn’t that conflict, what in the world would be? If we won’t let them be used for this, we may as well sign the treaty.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  46. If I’m forced to choose between DeSantis and Trump, it’s still DeSantis. Here’s one reason.

    DeSantis is currently being sued for not allowing CCP members to buy land in Florida while Trump had to pass a taxpayer-funded bailout for farmers just to try to somewhat offset the damage from the reduced exports and prices that resulted from the tariff war he started.

    But if it comes down to DeSantis-Biden in the general (as unlikely that’ll be), it’ll be DeSantis or a protest vote, depending on DeSantis.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  47. Presumably we refused to sign the cluster bombs treaty because we believed they might be useful in a future conflict

    We have used them in every conflict we’re been in, and plan to use them in the next one. Russia has been using them in Ukraine — against civilian targets — since the beginning. The Ukrainians think we’re being a bit prissy.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  48. If we won’t let them be used for this, we may as well sign the treaty.

    The problem is Biden, who cannot make two decisions in the same month.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  49. Did hillary clinton make that statement in her goldman sachs speech?

    asset (377280)

  50. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.

    To me it seems pretty obvious that Russian will ultimately win. The more humane thing to do would be peace negotiations.
    But I understand that this is not the popular opinion.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  51. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.

    That’s okay. We do.

    nk (81141c)

  52. Completely off any of the topics in the header, but important. I think this William Broad piece in the New York Times is worth paying for: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/26/science/3-body-problem-nuclear-china.html (Worth paying for is my highest grade, above even worth studying.)

    Broad argues that the tri-polar nuclear weapons world that is developing is inherently less stable than our current bipolar world. (I agree, and have had similar thoughts for some time, though not nearly as well expressed.)

    We made considerable progress in reducing nuclear weapons, when there were just two nations with large stock piles. Among American leaders, I would give the largest credit for that success to George H. W. Bush. But even Barack Obama, incompetent as he is, was able to achieve some reductions.

    I do not see an obvous diplomatic strategy to follow. But there are some bright commenters here. Perhaps one of them can make some suggestions.

    (Physicists will like his metaphor, even if, like me, they are distressed by his conclusion.)

    Cross posted at Political Betting.

    Jim Miller (e96cbf)

  53. @ nk (81141c) — 7/8/2023 @ 5:33 am

    Ok who is winning?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  54. Ok who is winning?

    Ukraine.

    nk (81141c)

  55. “I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.”

    Brutal, inhumane, unprovoked, unethical, indefensible. We should all care when a notorious country brutally attacks its neighbor without cause. Ukraine, however flawed, was adopting western values, including democracy and capitalism. Russia is an authoritarian failed state, relevant only for its petroleum reserves and vodka.

    We should all want Russia’s war machine broken and destroyed to discourage further adventurism….and encourage new and better leadership. Russia is a villain here. They remain an adversary to the U.S. and a geopolitical threat to European stability. The Ukrainians are willing to fight for their country. I see it as noble that we support them materially.

    AJ_Liberty (3e5304)

  56. CNN reports:

    Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov: “We will not be using cluster munitions in urban areas (cities) to avoid the risks for the civilian populations – these are our people…Cluster munitions will be used only in the fields where there is a concentration of russian military.”

    Dana (560c99)

  57. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.
    Joe (78bd5e)

    If you don’t understand why people would care when a despotic security state attacks a smaller neighbor, tortures its civilians, kidnaps its children, calls its people vermin (on state TV), and generally tries to wipe out its existence as a nation, I would suggest giving it a little more thought.

    If you think it’s humane to tell the people of the smaller country that they have an obligation to submit to the domination of their sadistic attacker, your definition of “humane” might need some rethinking.

    If you don’t see the larger downside to turning a blind eye to brutal conquest by a despotic power whose ruler says its “borders end nowhere,” try thinking about it a little more.

    It seems to be popular in some quarters (in MAGA-land, e.g.) to sneer about the “rules-based international order.” Perhaps that’s because those people don’t care much for rules, and they prefer a world based on raw power and domination — and they expect that they will always have the good luck to be protected by the greatest raw power themselves.

    Radegunda (0e0d7e)

  58. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.
    Joe (78bd5e)

    I do not understand why some people seem to think it’s not particularly wrong for one country to set out to subjugate a smaller one but dishonorable for the smaller one to fight back, and morally wrong for other countries to help the smaller one resist subjugation.

    Radegunda (0e0d7e)

  59. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.

    I don’t know what war that is, Joe. The current one is Putin’s War Against Ukraine.
    How is it “obvious” that Russia will win? I thought you weren’t interested in the subject.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  60. Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov told how Ukraine will use US cluster munitions:

    – ammunition will not be used on the territory of the russian federation – only for the de-occupation of internationally recognized Ukrainian territories;

    – ammunition will be used only in places of concentration of the russian military;

    – Ukraine will keep strict records of the use of these weapons and the local areas where they will be used. After liberation, these areas will be prioritized for demining;

    – Ukraine will report to its partners on the use of these munitions and their effectiveness.

    Dana (560c99)

  61. I do not understand our war fascination with Ukraine-Russo war.

    Aside from all the other good reasons posted above, it is a cost-free (in terms of American lives) opportunity to weaken one of two strategic competitors for international influence; and to show the other competitor (China) what the West’s reaction would be to an attack on Taiwan.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  62. Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

    14 promises Donald Trump has made in his campaign for a second term

    It’s a radical agenda, little of it good.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  63. What the heck? Is he saying that if it had been members who were male nothing would’ve happened because male?

    Dana (560c99) — 7/7/2023 @ 6:42 pm

    I’m sure if a male member of the Freedom Caucus called either Boebert or MTG a “bit*ch” (as MTG called Boebert on the House floor) I hope they would also be booted out.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  64. ammunition will not be used on the territory of the russian federation – only for the de-occupation of internationally recognized Ukrainian territories;

    Russian staging areas should not be exempt. Allowing an invader to have sanctuaries presumes a border that the invader ignores.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  65. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 11:06 am

    It’s more than most of the other candidates have said.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  66. What the heck? Is he saying that if it had been members who were male nothing would’ve happened because male?

    Dana (560c99) — 7/7/2023 @ 6:42 pm

    It’s clear he’s saying that members cannot speak that way about women. Treat them as ladies. I know in this screwed up society some consider that offensive, but to most it’s normal.

    NJRob (c21f2b)

  67. Kevin,

    It’s an aggressive agenda, most of it good. I don’t see him being able to carry it out. Not enough leadership and too chaotic. Someone better will succeed.

    NJRob (c21f2b)

  68. Trump Civil Litigation Watch:

    Judge denies Justice Department request to block Trump deposition in lawsuits by ex-FBI officials


    ……….
    The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington, D.C., is a victory for Strzok’s attorneys, who are seeking Trump’s deposition to determine whether he met with and directly pressured FBI and Justice Department officials to fire Strzok or urged any White House aides to do so.
    ……….
    The Justice Department had argued Wednesday that “newly available evidence” stemming from FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony last week, as well as sworn testimony from other high-level government officials with “direct knowledge” of Trump’s communications regarding Strzok and Page, was grounds for reconsidering a deposition involving Trump.

    “The availability of that evidence to Mr. Strzok means the deposition of former President Trump is not appropriate,” the government attorneys wrote, expanding on their earlier argument in support of what’s known as the apex doctrine, which states that officials are generally not subject to depositions unless they have some personal knowledge of the matter and the information can’t be obtained elsewhere.
    ………..
    “Given the limited nature of the deposition that has been ordered, and the fact that the former President’s schedule appears to be able to accommodate other civil litigation that he has initiated, the outcome of the balancing required by the apex doctrine remains the same for all of the reasons previously stated,” Jackson wrote.

    She also said that while existing testimony didn’t appear to strengthen the argument that Trump played a role in terminating Strzok, he had “publicly boasted” about his involvement in the matter.
    …………..
    Related:

    ……….
    “President Trump questioned whether investigations by the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agencies should be undertaken into Mr. Strzok and/or Ms. Page,” said (John F. Kelly, President Trump’s former chief of staff in the sworn statement). “I do not know of President Trump ordering such an investigation. It appeared, however, that he wanted to see Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page investigated.”

    Mr. Kelly’s assertions were disclosed on Thursday in a statement that was filed in connection with lawsuits brought by Peter Strzok, who was the lead agent in the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation, and Lisa Page, a former lawyer in the bureau, against the Justice Department for violating their privacy rights when the Trump administration made public text messages between them.
    ………
    It is not known whether the I.R.S. investigated Mr. Strzok or Ms. Page. ………
    ………..
    In the sworn statement, Mr. Kelly said that Mr. Trump had discussed having the security clearances of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page revoked, although Mr. Kelly did not take action on the idea. Mr. Kelly said that his notes showed that Mr. Trump discussed the investigations of the two on Feb. 21, 2018.

    “I did not make a note of every instance in which then President Trump made a comment about Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” Mr. Kelly said. “President Trump generally disapproved of note-taking in meetings. He expressed concern that the notes might later be used against him.”
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  69. It’s more than most of the other candidates have said.

    Fools rush in.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  70. It’s an aggressive agenda, most of it good.

    * Blockading Mexican ports? Might as well just declare war.

    * Parents electing principals? The whole idea of school boards is to make these decisions professional. Devolving schools issues to [activist] parents will make it all a cluster-disaster.

    * Removing teacher tenure? Great, teachers in fear of the most whackjob parent in any of several directions.

    * Sending in federal “officers” to restore order (the Constitution denies him this power).

    * Giving Ukraine to Russia. Impeachable.

    * Flying cars. Jeebus, have you seen the way people DRIVE? I’d have to build a MUCH stronger roof.

    * Replacing taxes with tariffs. While I disagree that tariffs are mostly a tax, they are still a tax. They affect trade more, and trade is generally good. Making every import subject to a sin tax (instead of targeting behavior) depresses trade, gets reciprocity and more, and harms the US as much as it does those hated furriners.

    * propose a constitutional amendment for term limits on members of Congress. Bwaaahahaha.

    * US government would pay the same price for pharmaceuticals as other developed countries. Anti-pharma is politically popular these days, but Communism is a bad plan.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  71. My take on some of Trump’s ideas-

    * Blockading Mexican ports? Might as well just declare war.

    Except using the military against/in Mexico is a consensus position among most Republican presidential candidates. But still a bad idea. Mexican citizens would definitely resent the “gringos” invading again, with about as much success. And the cartels would retaliate with bombings, kidnappings, and executions in the US just as they currently do in Mexico.

    * Parents electing principals? The whole idea of school boards is to make these decisions professional. Devolving schools issues to [activist] parents will make it all a cluster-disaster.

    * Removing teacher tenure? Great, teachers in fear of the most whackjob parent in any of several directions.

    State/local government issue. No federal jurisdiction.

    • Sending in federal “officers” to restore order (the Constitution denies him this power).

    If to arrest or prosecute ordinary crime, no Constitutional authority. If to restore order during civil disturbances, the President does have the authority under the Insurrection Act.

    * Giving Ukraine to Russia. Impeachable.

    No, it’s not a “high crime or misdemeanor” to withdraw aid from Ukraine. Bad policy, but not impeachable.
    ……….

    •propose a constitutional amendment for term limits on members of Congress. Bwaaahahaha.

    Good luck.

    <

    •US government would pay the same price for pharmaceuticals as other developed countries. Anti-pharma is politically popular these days, but Communism is a bad plan.

    Why limit it what the government pays? Why not force Big Pharma to charge consumers the same prices as in other countries? /sarc

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 11:54 am

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  72. Sorry for the formatting errors, but you get the idea.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  73. 30 Months Since the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol

    Thursday, July 6, 2023, marks 30 months since the attack on the U.S. Capitol that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of affirming the presidential election results.

    The government continues to investigate losses that resulted from the breach of the Capitol, including damage to the Capitol building and grounds, both inside and outside the building. As of October 14, 2022, the approximate losses suffered as a result of the siege at the Capitol totaled $2,881,360.20. That amount reflects, among other things, damage to the Capitol building and grounds and certain costs borne by the U.S. Capitol Police.

    …………..(T)he investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the attack continues to move forward at an unprecedented speed and scale. The Department of Justice’s resolve to hold accountable those who committed crimes on January 6, 2021, has not, and will not, wane.
    …………
    •More than 1,069 defendants have been charged in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (This includes those charged in both District and Superior Court).

    •Approximately 350 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including approximately 110 individuals who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
    ……………
    •Approximately 11 individuals have been arrested on a series of charges that relate to assaulting a member of the media, or destroying their equipment, on Jan. 6.

    •Approximately 935 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. Of those, 103 defendants have been charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

    •Approximately 61 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property, and approximately 49 defendants have been charged with theft of government property.

    •More than 310 defendants have been charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.

    •Approximately 55 defendants have been charged with conspiracy, either: (a) conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding, (b) conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement during a civil disorder, (c) conspiracy to injure an officer, or (d) some combination of the three.
    …………
    •Approximately 160 have pleaded guilty to felonies. Another 434 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.

    •A total of 68 of those who have pleaded guilty to felonies have pleaded to federal charges of assaulting law enforcement officers.

    •Approximately 36 additional defendants have pleaded guilty to feloniously obstructing, impeding, or interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder. Of these 104 defendants, 76 have now been sentenced to prison terms of up to 150 months.

    •Four of those who have pleaded guilty to felonies have pleaded guilty to the federal charge of seditious conspiracy.

    •98 individuals have been found guilty at contested trials, including 3 who were found guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

    •Another 24 individuals have been convicted following an agreed-upon set of facts. 51 of these 122 defendants were found guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and/or obstructing officers during a civil disorder, which are felony offenses, including one who has been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison.

    •Approximately 561 federal defendants have had their cases adjudicated and received sentences for their criminal activity on Jan. 6. Approximately 335 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration.

    •Approximately 119 defendants have been sentenced to a period of home detention, including approximately 19 who also were sentenced to a period of incarceration.

    •Citizens from around the country have provided invaluable assistance in identifying individuals in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.

    •The FBI continues to seek the public’s help in identifying approximately than 323 individuals believed to have committed violent acts on Capitol grounds.
    ………….

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  74. No, it’s not a “high crime or misdemeanor” to withdraw aid from Ukraine. Bad policy, but not impeachable.

    Eating salad with the wrong fork is impeachable if Congress so decides. There is no actual limitation on impeachment. “Misdemeanor” in the 18th century meant “bad behavior” not some statutory infraction.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  75. @ Rip Murdock (bd5738) — 7/8/2023 @ 11:01 am (et al.)

    About 10 years ago, i was on a day tour of St. Petersburg off of a cruise ship.
    Granted, my view was very limited.

    They are not a threat to the US.
    If they could not even synch the speed of their hand holds on the escalator (long, very long decent) they cannot harm us.

    It seems the only way where we say they have to retreat before we can talk, which is not what happened in Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran.
    No one seems to be calling for peace talks, which i find unprecedented.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  76. Why limit it what the government pays? Why not force Big Pharma to charge consumers the same prices as in other countries?

    Why not force other countries to pay the US prices?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  77. Also as a note…….

    Assuming that Ukraine is a “modern European nation” with similar values to the US, i find it interesting that almost all the military casualties are male.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  78. It seems the only way where we say they have to retreat before we can talk, which is not what happened in Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran.

    That’s odd. We are not at war in Ukraine. Also, when did we go to war in Iran? Did I miss the news?

    But tell me, if Russia invaded Alaska, would you be calling for negotiations on how much of Alaska they could have?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  79. @ Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 1:24 pm

    well I guess that depends if Alaska was shelling Russia.
    Iran Hostage negotiations of the Carter era.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  80. also @Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 1:24 pm

    we negotiated with China with the spy plane incident.
    negotiated with Ireland for the troubles
    negotiated with the branch dividians before we rescued them.

    I am sure that there are other examples.
    I cannot recall another incident where its “retreat now before we talk”
    Are there any other examples of that?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  81. Funny, that Trump claims to want to stop “never-ending wars” but is too ignorant to realize that naval embargoes are acts of war.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  82. @ Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 7/8/2023 @ 1:34 pm

    While i can see them being a tactic of war, but are they acts of war when implemented?
    Example embargo of Cuba during missile crisis, were we in a war with Cuba?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  83. Here’s some fallout from the Prigozhin Putsch: Gerasimov is whereabouts unknown and replaced.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  84. Flying cars. Jeebus, have you seen the way people DRIVE? I’d have to build a MUCH stronger roof.

    “We wanted flying cars but instead we got 140 characters” is a line that Peter Thiel groupies take to express wisdom, but it’s profoundly silly. He must have spent too much time watching “The Jetsons.”

    We all got what was once considered a supercomputer in our pockets. Who would trade it for a flying car?

    I can explore the world by plunking that little Google Earth person down on street view (though I’ve ended up inside the bathroom of a B&B somewhere, such as near a bridge in Rastoke, Croatia). I’ve familiarized myself so thoroughly with foreign cities that I could navigate them without maps or GPS (though I saw other people using the latter method). I could check to see how many minutes I had before my bus was expected to arrive at a stop. Etc.

    It’s not just silly but ungrateful to complain that we don’t have flying cars instead.

    Radegunda (ad5159)

  85. Example embargo of Cuba during missile crisis, were we in a war with Cuba?

    Yes, our naval blockade of Cuba was an act of war and, yes, we were in a Cold War with Cuba’s sponsor, Soviet Russia.

    BTW, Trump clearly meant blockade, not embargo, because an embargo is a trade restriction and doesn’t involve the use of a navy, while blockades do (noted here).

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  86. One alternative to blockading Mexican Pacific Ports would be to relieve both sea and land congestion into and out of LA and Long Beach. Another would be to encourage American competition with the Chinese in the Mexican ports and Latin American ports in general.
    https://www.obela.org/en-analisis/chinese-ports-and-docks-in-latin-america.

    School boards have become party breeding grounds. People interested in climbing the political ladder and people who are the “minor league scouts” on the lowest rung ladder have ruined school boards by financing people who are the loudest parrots of the current narrative. Want to get noticed? Run for school board and then fight for diversity, LTGBQ+ representations as early as possible in elementary school, advocate abortion rights. The other side choses theirs for the opposite of the other party. They fund these people with a few thousand which can be enough to beat the parents who just want good schools.

    Tenure is misused and the voting reminds me of cheerleaders voting for next years cheerleaders in high school, or the Stepford Wives or any “Rich Housewives of…” franchises. The union protections of bad teachers would be an embarrassment if the union was capable of that corrective emotion, but they are not. I understand strong protection, advocacy, due process, I get that the teachers union has no responsibility to the children or their parents, but the way the Union and LA Unified handled teacher Mark Berndt is scary. Mark Berndt with 29 years of teaching and god only knows what else was accused of putting his semen on cookies and feeding them to blindfolded students and of course he took photos.
    The union fought for a deal that paid Berndt $40,000, $4,000 a month for health benefits and his pension left intact. They were able to leverage this settlement because disputed firings can cost $500,000 and take years to resolve. There is another option, send teacher home with full pay until issue is resolved which to me sounds fair.
    When LA teachers union president Warren Fletcher was asked to explain, he blamed the district for its failure to supervise schools.

    Federal officers can be used in actions that facilitate restoration of order. For example, the BATFE could remove people and their explosives, the FBI could remove people who cross state lines to attack Federal property, the Treasury could follow the money.

    Give Ukraine to Russia. I have no words

    Flying cars. I hope to get a self driving one before I get too old to drive my truck. I will sign a waiver allowing me to be shot from the sky if I drive it down through Yosemite Valley
    https://www.foxnews.com/video/6330784025112

    Tariffs. I think rebalancing trade with China was something the team Trump had in place did fairly well in a fairly short window. Taking away a chinese price advantage stimulates US companies to step in. COVID showed us we need to retain capacity to build our own microchips, and our own pharmaceutical precursors. If we are going to hang ourselves, at least enable competitive pricing for us to buy Made in USA rope.

    Propose away. Thanks for thinking big. On the subject of thinking big, I did like the idea of buying Greenland. Never hurts to ask

    I live in a state where the next President of the USA wants to “nationalize”? californicate? Narcan production so we can all buy it cheap because we will all require mind numbing drugs with him as POTUS

    steveg (c16fa7)

  87. No one seems to be calling for peace talks, which i find unprecedented.

    That is literally not true. But the people calling for “peace talks” are essentially all saying that Ukraine has an obligation to allow the aggressor to keep part of its territory and its citizens, and that millions of Ukrainians should acquiesce to being Russians against their will.
    And, by implication, that Russia should be free to come back for more in the future.

    Try checking in on @JuliaDavisNews.She presents regular translations from Russian state TV, and the thinking expressed there is typically belligerent, arrogant, cruel and ghoulish. They are not talking about “peace” but about conquest, domination, and obliterating the independent existence of a neighboring country. They talk about the “need” to slaughter millions of Ukrainians.

    The mouthpieces for the Kremlin offer compelling reasons why Ukrainians should resist being subjugated by Russia.

    The Russians who believe the war on Ukraine to be morally wrong are punished for saying so — in many cases with prison sentences. But some believe so strongly that Ukraine is in the right to defend itself that they have volunteered to fight for Ukraine.

    Radegunda (ad5159)

  88. @ Radegunda (ad5159) — 7/8/2023 @ 1:51 pm

    I would exclude Russians and Ukrainians for people calling for “peace talks”

    This is what I mean, this is from the Red Cross
    https://www.icrc.org/en/document/russia-ukraine-international-armed-conflict-red-cross-red-crescent-response-one-year

    Nothing wrong with it, it does an adequate job describing the humanitarian issues that the Ukrainians are facing. But its not calling for peace talks which I find perplexing. From my experience of watching the news, no one is having protests over supplying our materials to Ukraine, no one is calling for a pause. It seems that everyone is very happy Ukrainians and Russians continuing to kill each other.
    Is there a limit to our support?
    Is there a limit to the bloodshed?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  89. Not sure Trump knows or cares that blockade and embargo are two different things. The real issue is that we have enabled Mexico to be our black market provider of choice and convenience. There is no “How to Strangle a Black Market for Dummies” that can be distilled by a staff person into three words on Truth Social

    steveg (c16fa7)

  90. Kevin,

    you missed a lot:

    1) If elected, Trump said in his November 2022 campaign announcement that he would ask Congress to ensure that drug smugglers and human traffickers can receive the death penalty for their “heinous acts.” The former president also vowed to “take down” drug cartels by imposing naval embargos on cartels, cutting off cartels’ access to global financial systems and using special forces within the Department of Defense to damage the cartels’ leadership.

    Naval embargoes on cartels, not Mexico itself. We do this is many nations going after terrorist groups.

    2)“When I am president, we will put parents back in charge and give them the final say,” Trump said in a January campaign video, speaking about education

    The former president said he would give funding preferences and “favorable treatment” to schools that allow parents to elect principals, abolish teacher tenure for K-12 teachers, use merit pay to incentivize quality teaching and cut the number of school administrators, such as those overseeing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

    Taking power away from the school unions that elect school boards and giving it back to the community that uses them is a plus. Destroying DEI is a necessary function and one you’ve ignored.

    3) “I will revoke every Biden policy promoting the chemical castration and sexual mutilation of our youth and ask Congress to send me a bill prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states,” Trump said at the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference in March.

    You ignored this. Why?

    4)Trump said in two February campaign videos that, if “Marxist” prosecutors refuse to charge crimes and surrender “our cities to violent criminals,” he “will not hesitate to send in federal law enforcement to restore peace and public safety.” Trump added that he would instruct the Department of Justice to open civil rights investigations into “radical left” prosecutors’ offices that engaged in racial enforcement of the law, encourage Congress to use their legal authority over Washington, DC, to restore “law and order” and overhaul federal standards of disciplining minors to address rising crimes like carjackings.

    Addressing policies made in what Trump calls the “Democrats’ war on police,” the former president vowed in a campaign video that he would pass a “record investment” to hire and retrain police, strengthen protections like qualified immunity, increase penalties for assaulting law enforcement officers and deploy the National Guard when local law enforcement “refuses to act.” The former president added that he would require law enforcement agencies that receive money from his funding investment or the Department of Justice to use “proven common sense” measures such as stop-and-frisk.

    If Marxists allow areas to be in a state of insurrection, this is a valid use. Look at CHOP for example. Stop and frisk worked in NY. Now NY has become a violent craphole with it repealed. Requiring law enforcement to be colorblind is a constitutional requirement.

    5) “Shortly after I win the presidency, I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine settled,” Trump said at a New Hampshire campaign event, adding in another speech that it would take him “no longer than one day” to settle the war if elected. Trump offered no details on how he would end the war in Ukraine.

    Doesn’t say he’d give Ukraine to Russia. That’s your hyperbole speaking.

    6) Trump said in multiple campaign videos that he would spearhead an effort to build Freedom Cities to “reopen the frontier, reignite American imagination, and give hundreds of thousands of young people and other people, all hardworking families, a new shot at home ownership and in fact, the American Dream.”

    Silly nonsense just like most Presidents offer on the campaign trail. Big vision mumbo jumbo.

    7) Trump added in multiple campaign releases that he would task the Department of Justice with investigating and prosecuting the online censorship “regime,” ban federal agencies from “colluding” to censor citizens, fire bureaucrats who are believed to engage in federal censorship and suspend federal money to universities participating in “censorship-supporting activities.”

    Government censorship of citizens is antithetical to the American Constitution. Do you have an issue with this?

    7) Under the proposed Trump Reciprocal Trade Act, the former president said if other countries impose tariffs in the US, “we charge THEM – an eye for an eye, a tariff for a tariff, same exact amount.”

    Trump vowed in a campaign video to impose the same tariffs that other countries may impose on the US on those countries. The goal, the former president said, is to get other countries to drop their tariffs.

    Carrot and stick. Done by our nation throughout our history.

    8) Trump said he would repeal Biden’s tax hikes, “immediately tackle” inflation and end what he called Biden’s “war” on American energy production.

    While Trump does exaggerate, he is correct that Biden’s war on energy has harmed America and stifled our economy. Unleashing it would be a boon for American productivity and our economy. Do you disagree?

    9) Trump promised to, “fire the unelected bureaucrats and shadow forces who have weaponized our justice system like it has never been weaponized before…” Trump also said in a campaign video that he would reinstate a 2020 executive order to remove “rogue” bureaucrats and propose a constitutional amendment for term limits on members of Congress.

    Trump also pledged to “appoint US Attorneys who will be the polar opposite of the Soros District Attorneys and others that are being appointed throughout the United States.” The former president added on to this message, vowing to end the “reign” of such investigations and district attorneys and overhaul the Department of Justice and the FBI.

    100% deserving of our support. I don’t think he’d follow through, but any Republican candidate should do so. Do you disagree?

    10) “I will take Biden’s executive order directing the federal government to target the firearms industry, and I will rip it up and throw it out on day one,” Trump said at the 2023 National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action leadership forum in April.

    Another no brainer.

    11) “I will create a special team to rapidly review every action taken by federal agencies under Biden’s ‘equity’ agenda that will need to be reversed. We will reverse almost all of them,”

    Another no brainer. You have a problem with this?

    12) Trump vowed to restrict Chinese ownership of US infrastructure such as energy, technology, telecommunications and natural resources. The former president also said he would force the Chinese to sell current holdings that may put national security at risk. “Economic security is national security,” he said.

    Unlike Biden being in China’s pocket.

    13) Trump vowed in a June campaign video to reinstate his previous executive order that the US government would pay the same price for pharmaceuticals as other developed countries to “end this global freeloading on American consumers for once and for all.”

    Not legal without congressional authority. Not going to happen. Still open to negotiate so we no longer pay for research and development while the rest of the world freeloads off of American innovation.

    So that’s a summary without your misstatements of his positions.

    I don’t see him actually following through with these policies, but they are mostly good policies.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  91. well I guess that depends if Alaska was shelling Russia.

    Or Poland attacked a German border post, eh?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  92. Rip Murdock (bd5738) — 7/8/2023 @ 1:10 pm

    More on those who participated in January 6th insurrection:

    One hundred seventy-four defendants from 37 states who were charged for their participation in the January 6th insurrection have said they were answering Donald Trump’s calls when they traveled to Washington and joined the violent attack on the Capitol…….. considered Trump their leader and believed they were following his lead by joining the insurrection.

    In letters to federal judges, federal court filings, and appeals to the public, these defendants and their legal representatives have made it clear that Trump’s repeated false statements and calls to action drove their actions that day. These findings bolster those of the January 6th Select Committee which found Trump was the “central cause” of the attack on the Capitol.
    ………..
    While many rank-and-file Trump supporters responded to Trump’s rallying cries in the run-up to January 6th as calls to action that ultimately led to the attack, members of at least two hate groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, understood them to be direct orders. ……….

    Both groups have a history of violence and intimidation, and it was apparent that both groups prepared for violence to occur on January 6th. In addition to calling for a violent overthrow of the government, Rhodes shared with Tarrio, Roger Stone, Stop the Steal campaign organizer Ali Alexander and others a “proposal for storming Congress.” ……….

    ………. (M)any who came to the city at Trump’s request were finally convinced to join the attack by his direct appeals to the crowd at his Stop the Steal rally on the morning of January 6th. ……….(O)f the 174 people charged for crimes committed on January 6th who said they were answering Donald Trump’s calls, 94 specifically cited Trump’s remarks as the reason they went to the Capitol. That does not include rally-goers who were incited by Trump and swarmed the Capitol but were not arrested………

    Many of the most violent insurrectionists acknowledged that they were incited by Trump. ………

    Nicholas Languerand, who assaulted officers with a traffic barrier, pepper spray can, and other objects, posted a “#MessageFor45” on Twitter four days after Trump’s “will be wild” tweet, saying “We’re picking up your messages, and we’re listening. We’re ready to do this thing. We’re ready to fight to defend our republic against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” ……….
    This table includes information on all those defendants incited by Trump:
    …………..

    How people reacted to Trump’s tweet and remarks are not evidence of Trump’s intentions. To prosecute him for inciting an insurrection, prosecutors would need to prove Trump knew what he was doing was wrong (mens rea) but went ahead anyway.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  93. I believe Ukraine has conveyed its very reasonable, succinct terms for peace to Russa. GTFO

    steveg (c16fa7)

  94. Let’s say that we blockade Mexican ports. Some say we are not at war, but what happens when Mexico sinks one of our ships with a Chinese-made missile?

    It is a profoundly stupid plan.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  95. The former president also vowed to “take down” drug cartels by imposing naval embargos on cartels…….

    What does a cartel ship look like? The Navy would need to board and search every ship going into a Mexican port; and/or ships entering San Diego and Los Angeles/Long Beach.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  96. prosecutors would need to prove Trump knew what he was doing was wrong (mens rea) but went ahead anyway.

    Merely reckless action with no regard for results isn’t enough? As in “Well, there was always the chance they’d attack the Capitol, but I didn’t tell them to.” Maybe he pleads insanity.

    And I think there will be testimony that he actually engaged with the leadership of Proud Boys and such, so good luck with that defense.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  97. The Navy would need to board and search every ship going into a Mexican port; and/or ships entering San Diego and Los Angeles/Long Beach.

    Well, the Mexican ships would be OK, so long as a blockade is OK. But searching ships coming into US ports would generate a raft of objections. Sure, the Coast Guard can, but it would be enjoined as racist or something.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  98. well I guess that depends if Alaska was shelling Russia.

    And, really, Joe, you need to flesh this out. It’s a risible lie, a lot like Hitler’s excuse for invading Poland.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  99. you missed a lot:

    Too much idiocy to enumerate, it’s true.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  100. If ukraine doesn’t lose it wins. If russia doesn’t win it loses. As the boss sings he’s all gone. their still there. Why would the ukrainians stop fighting? They know what happens when they lose. Putin has less support then the US had in vietnam at least we didn’t have a coup attempt. Remember how happy the russians were at the march to moscow. They refuse to answer why they want russia to win.

    asset (18b970)

  101. ……..deploy the National Guard when local law enforcement “refuses to act.”

    Trump would need to federalize the National Guard to implement his plan, which would be aviolation of the Posse Comitatus Act:

    The Posse Comitatus Act disallows the use of federal troops as a police force unless Congress overrides it, or the use of force is “expressly authorized by the Constitution.” However, the Constitution does not provide for military use as a police force in any capacity, so this phrase has been one that the courts have not been able to answer.

    Congress has, however, authorized the use of the Army in some situations as shown in U.S. Codes Sections 251-255 and 271-284. Although, those codes ensure that the military is not used directly as a police force.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  102. Taking power away from the school unions that elect school boards and giving it back to the community

    The only reason that unions can elect school board members is that the public is too busy bowling to get out and vote. Thet have the power NOW, why should they need to “take it back.”

    “I will revoke every Biden policy promoting the chemical castration and sexual mutilation of our youth and ask Congress to send me a bill prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states”

    I ignored it because it shows that he doesn’t understand what is going on. Believe it or not, girls are not being chemically castrated, and many of the surgeries and drugs are to remove mammaries or prevent them from developing. “Bottom” surgeries are rare to non-existant.

    If “Marxist” prosecutors refuse to charge crimes and surrender “our cities to violent criminals,

    These are local matters and subject to local correction. The best way to deal with this type of thing is to let voters learn from their mistakes. SF, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles will correct things soon enough.

    Trump’s plan would replace local hostility to their “Marxist” overlords with hostility to the military takeover. Never interfere when your enemy is self-destructing.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  103. the public is too busy bowling……

    LOL! You are dating yourself. 🎳 My likely stuck in front of their streaming TV.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  104. Posse Comitatus was a reaction to Reconstruction, after the Republicans traded that away in return for “winning” the 1876 election. Along with the Supreme Court which immediately and repeatedly voted for Jim Crow.

    Not our best move. It’s interesting that a (very accidental) exception to Posse Comitatus allowed Ike to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock.

    The Constitution allows US troops to intervene in civil disorder only if the state asks them to. W wanted to use the military during Katrina, but the Louisiana governor refused him permission. Later, when W tried to change the law, most state governors opposed the plan.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  105. Doesn’t say he’d give Ukraine to Russia.

    That’s the only way Trump could end the war in one day.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  106. That’s the only way Trump could end the war in one day.

    Oh, he could give them only the Sudetenland rump countries that only Russia recognized.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  107. https://nypost.com/2023/07/08/dutch-government-collapses-over-immigration-policy/

    Dutch government collapses because too many want to permit an unlimited stream of invaders while the citizens rebel against this destruction.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  108. That’s the only way Trump could end the war in one day.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738) — 7/8/2023 @ 2:41 pm

    Not in the slightest. But that’s up to those at the table, not your imagination.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  109. It’s interesting that a (very accidental) exception to Posse Comitatus allowed Ike to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock.

    The Constitution allows US troops to intervene in civil disorder only if the state asks them to. W wanted to use the military during Katrina, but the Louisiana governor refused him permission. Later, when W tried to change the law, most state governors opposed the plan.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 2:41 pm

    Eisenhower’s use of troops in Little Rock were not perform policing (therefore not a PCS violation) , but specifically to enforce the desegregation of Little Rock High School under Brown v. Board of Education and a federal district court order. Eisenhower’s Executive Order was based on Title 10 of the US Code, sections 332, 333 and 334 and designed to stop the ongoing obstruction of justice by allowing black students to access Little Rock High.

    Title 10 has also been used to deploy troops since the 1960s during civil unrest.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  110. PCS=PCA

    Rip Murdock (744892)

  111. Rip Murdock (bd5738) — 7/8/2023 @ 3:05 pm

    Title 10 authorities used by Eisenhower during the Little Rock Crisis:

    332. Use of militia and armed forces to enforce Federal authority
    Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.

    §333. Interference with State and Federal law
    The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—

    (1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

    (2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

    §334. Proclamation to disperse
    Whenever the President considers it necessary to use the militia or the armed forces under this chapter, he shall, by proclamation, immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their abodes within a limited time.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  112. §334. Proclamation to disperse
    Whenever the President considers it necessary to use the militia or the armed forces under this chapter, he shall, by proclamation, immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their abodes within a limited time.

    The forefather of that provision is where the expression “read them the riot act” comes from.

    nk (81141c)

  113. Case law indicates that “execution of the law” in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act occurs (a) when the Armed Forces perform tasks assigned to an organ of civil government, or (b) when the Armed Forces perform tasks assigned to them solely for purposes of civilian government.

    Questions concerning the act’s application arise most often in the context of assistance to civilian police. At least in this context, the courts have held that, absent a recognized exception, the Posse Comitatus Act is violated when (1) civilian law enforcement officials make “direct active use” of military investigators; or (2) the use of the military “pervades the activities” of the civilian officials; or (3) the military is used so as to subject “citizens to the exercise of military power which was regulatory, prescriptive, or compulsory in nature.”

    Source . An excellent resource for all things Posse Comitatus. Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  114. Joe.
    Not to pile on even more. This is conversational.

    I’d ask people what gives them confidence that Russia would stick to any peace agreement? The Russian history of broken agreements, treaties is quite lengthy, but lets start with the Budapest Memorandum.
    Budapest Memorandum was between Russia, US, UK and Ukraine and Ukraine agreed to give up the nuclear arsenal it had within its borders, give up all nuclear weapons in return for security assurances. The US and UK are currently honoring their commitments made, Russia is not and has not.

    In 1994, Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. signed the Budapest Memorandum. The other three nations made six commitments to Ukraine: to respect Ukraine’s independence and existing borders, to refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine except for in defense, to refrain from economic coercion to gain advantages from Ukraine, to provide assistance to Ukraine if it becomes victim to an act of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used, to not use their nuclear weapons on Ukraine or other non-nuclear-weapon states and to consult one another in the event these commitments are put into question.
    Ukraine, in return, committed to eliminating “all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time.”
    Additionally the parties agreed to provide security assistance to Ukraine in return for the Nuclear disarmament

    Russia is and has been weaseling around the Memorandum.
    Russia does not respect the borders that were in place when it signed the Memorandum
    Russia has invented wild claims of threats and nazis and called its invasions, incursions, little green men infestations etc defensive in order to justify threats of force and uses of force
    Russia has gone beyond economic threats and has annexed an area that amounts to over 25% of Ukraine GDP and additionally stole a good deal of Ukrainian grain production.
    In 2016, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov falsely claimed the treaty contained only one obligation: Not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine
    Russia has repeatedly claimed that it was indeed providing its security obligations to Ukraine and is protecting Ukraine from internal aggressions ie: nazis

    This agreement bonded the UK, US, Russia to respect and secure the territorial integrity Ukraine as defined at the time of the signing, in return for the Ukrainian denuclearization.
    Russia has violated the agreement and now the US and UK are bound to providing security of the territory per the assurances. Its not an agreement about peace, it is an agreement of assurance regarding security of territorial integrity. UK, US and Russia are bound to the borders of Ukrainian territory when the agreement was signed, so when Russia argues that Donbass region, Crimea etc. are part of Russia, the Russians signed an agreement that stated these territories were part of Ukraine and were territory, and borders, the UK, US and Russia pledged to help Ukraine hold secure. Ukraine is right to argue that peace comes when its territorial integrity is restored and additionally that US are bound to assist Ukraine until that is accomplished.

    Even though I don’t think Israel will give up nuclear weapons for any reason other than obsolescence, you can bet they are watching how the US and UK are handling their “security assurances” given in return for disarmament.

    I also think you can see a lot of US reasoning in not providing weapons that can reach deep into Russia when the agreement is read literally as territorial integrity as defined, delineated by borders agreed upon. The UK has taken a more pragmatic approach and I favor giving Ukraine the ability to strike beyond the border as it tries to restore territorial integrity, because it will be impossible to restore this integrity without coloring outside the lines. My guess is the WH has been favoring the legal advice that tells them that obligations to assurances are limited to a strict interpretation of territory within defined lines while the UK barristers said “bollocks”

    steveg (c16fa7)

  115. Rip Murdock (bd5738) — 7/8/2023 @ 3:16 pm

    It’s a mystery why Trump never invoked these authorities during the 2020 Portland riots.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  116. Dutch government collapses because too many want to permit an unlimited stream of invaders while the citizens rebel against this destruction.

    That’s not what your article says. Not even close. What it says is that the already-severe limitations on immigration need to be tightened, but the coalition partners could not agree on who far to go.

    Nothing suggests there are, or that any coalition partners wanted, “unlimited stream[s]” or that they called them “invaders.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  117. Every time I’ve been evacuated due to brushfire, the CA National Guard MP’s have manned the intersections with Humvees and the Army Corps of Engineers shows up to empty a debris basin. But that is by Governor’s and local requests and no CA governor from this current stable of people overachieving in the wrong direction is ever going to give Trump anything but a lawsuit even if what he tries is absolutely legally sound

    steveg (c16fa7)

  118. It’s a mystery why Trump never invoked these authorities during the 2020 Portland riots.

    Because the actual extent of the Insurrection Acts (passed in the 18th and 19th centuries) is unclear. It is convolved with Posse Comitatus and any number of Jim Crow-era court decisions that have not all been overturned. The Brennan Center says:

    The second part of Section 253 permits the president to deploy troops to suppress “any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy” in a state that “opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.” This provision is so bafflingly broad that it cannot possibly mean what it says, or else it authorizes the president to use the military against any two people conspiring to break federal law.

    No everyone agrees with this, but marginal uses of the Acts are guaranteed to spawn marginal court cases, and Trump kept losing those and did not want to roll the dice with some Portland judge.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  119. But that is by Governor’s and local requests and no CA governor from this current stable of people overachieving in the wrong direction is ever going to give Trump anything but a lawsuit even if what he tries is absolutely legally sound

    W’s problem with Katrina. The Louisiana governor refused, then let Bush get blamed. The press helped.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  120. In 2016, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov falsely claimed the treaty contained only one obligation: Not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine

    This too will be retconned.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  121. It seems that everyone is very happy Ukrainians and Russians continuing to kill each other.
    Is there a limit to our support?
    Is there a limit to the bloodshed?

    The only people I’ve seen who appear to be happy about the killing are Russian elites on TV. I’ve seen them gloating about missile strikes that killed civilians. I’ve seen them say that millions of Ukrainians should be killed, and that children should be killed.

    Russia started the killing. Russia (or Putin more specifically) can stop the killing immediately by withdrawing from Ukraine and abandoning the “Russia’s borders end nowhere” ideology. That wasn’t just a one-off statement by Putin. It was printed on at least one sign posted in eastern Ukraine.

    Russian elites say that “Russia’s identity is imperial” and that “Russia as an empire is naturally in a constant state of war.” Russia’s smaller neighbors know the Russian mindset — which is why most of them support Ukraine’s resistance to Russian subjugation and why they want to be in NATO.

    People with nothing at stake in the matter say that Ukraine is obliged to give up part of itself to the aggressor in return for nothing but a temporary reprieve — and there is no doubt that Russia would be thereby encouraged to come back for more, just as the lack of response to the seizing of Crimea and part of Georgia encouraged the latest empire-building attack. It would also encourage the PRC to go for Taiwan. Etc. In the meantime, there is no reason to expect that Russia would be nice to the Ukrainians who have been forced to be Russian.

    As long as Ukrainians are willing to risk their lives to defend their families and homeland and nation, what moral right do people with nothing at stake have to demand that they submit to the aggressor? People who truly care about the loss of life should be putting pressure on Russia to stop sending its own ordinary citizens into the meat grinder with minimal equipment and little training for the sake of Putin’s empire-building fantasies — i.e., stop sending them into Ukraine in the hope that they will kill Ukrainians.

    Most of the people calling for “peace talks” don’t seem to be faulting Russia for starting the war. They’re only faulting Ukraine for refusing to be easy pickings.

    Radegunda (efd397)

  122. Leftists at Rolling Stone seem to have a real problem with a movie that’s anti-child trafficking. They are attacking the movie from every angle and trying to turn it into a partisan issue. Strange and repulsive.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  123. Coast Guard is very active in the Eastern Pacific in a drug shipment interdiction role. I wonder where the DEA gets its best results. Here in the US or in Asian and Mexican ports?

    steveg (c16fa7)

  124. https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/us-catholic-bishops-issue-sharp-rebuke-pro-abortion-catholic-members-congress

    Burbidge leads the USCCB’s pro-life committee, while Brownsville is chairman of the conference’s Committee on Doctrine.

    “It is wrong and incoherent to claim that the taking of innocent human life at its most vulnerable stage can ever be consistent with the values of supporting the dignity and well-being of those in need,” said the bishops.

    Catholic Archbishop preaching at the podium.
    Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and president of the USCCB issued a sharp rebuke to Catholic Democratic members of Congress who defended abortion rights. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

    The bishops cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that human life should be protected from conception.

    “Abortion violates this with respect to preborn children and brings untold suffering to countless women,” said the bishops.

    The bishops were responding to a June 24 statement by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut.

    In the statement, DeLauro wrote, “We are proud that we are part of the faithful pro-choice Catholic majority — 68% of whom supported the legal protections for abortion access enshrined in Roe and 63% of whom think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  125. “The press helped” Yes they did. There are African American people today who sincerely believe that the press was reporting the facts in evidence that GW Bush does not care about black people. Same press who convinced people Michael Brown had his hands up, no reason to be shot.

    steveg (c16fa7)

  126. I will say the media began to back away from that narrative- after the damage was already done

    steveg (c16fa7)

  127. There have been flying cars for some time, and now there is an electric one:

    The Federal Aviation Administration has certified for testing a vehicle that a California startup describes as a flying car — the first fully electric vehicle that can both fly and travel on roads to receive US government approval.

    Alef Automotive said that its vehicle/aircraft, dubbed the “Model A,” is the first flying vehicle that is drivable on public roads and able to park like a normal car. It also has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. It apparently will be able to carry one or two occupants and will have a road-range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles.

    At an expected price of 300K, they might not fit everyone’s budget, however.

    Jim Miller (dd40b3)

  128. Ocasio-Cortez told the “Pod Save America” podcast Thursday she would support Biden, who faces two long-shot challengers in the 2024 Democratic primary.

    “I believe, given that field, yes,” Ocasio-Cortez said when asked whether she would support the incumbent president in the next election.

    “I think he’s done quite well, given the limitations that we have,” she added of Biden’s first three years in office. “I do think that there are ebbs and flows, as there are in any presidency.”

    Just another DNC establishment hack. Asset hardest hit.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  129. At an expected price of 300K, they might not fit everyone’s budget, however.

    Trump will fix that.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  130. Ocasio-Cortez told the “Pod Save America” podcast

    I knew it was pods.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  131. https://libertyunyielding.com/2023/07/08/ben-jerrys-parent-company-silent-on-whether-it-will-return-stolen-indigenous-land-to-native-tribes/

    Typical leftists. Love to spend other people’s assets, but are suddenly silent when it comes to their own property.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  132. Apropos of nothing in particular, I just heard a Sam Harris podcast from late 2022 that includes the passage below. In my opinion it sums up, as well as anything I’ve heard, the selective blindness by each of our warring tribes underlying so much of our dysfunctional politics, their interplay and relative consequence:

    In my view, there’s a needle you really had to thread over the last half decade or so if you’re going to be politically honest and ethically sane. And not that many people managed it.

    On the one side, you had to recognize how bad Trump was and is. Not just as a person, but as a cultural phenomenon. You had to see how appalling it was that we elected such a person to the presidency. And then you had to be further appalled when we almost did it again, even while he was disavowing and openly violating the most sacred principle of our democracy, a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power. His behavior before, during and after the events of January 6 amounted to a direct attack on the rule of law in this country. This was the first time in our history that a president has sought to hold on to power in this way. It was absolutely obvious at the time, but it has only become more obvious on the basis of subsequent investigations that Trump knew he lost the 2020 election. And he put our democracy at risk by attempting to hold on to power by perpetrating a conscious fraud of election denial, and among other things attempting to force his vice president, Mike Pence, to overturn the results of the election on January 6.

    The real Trump der@ngement syndrome was not to have seen how bad all this was. Indeed, to not have seen how demonic Trumpism was and is in its cultic embrace of one man’s mediocrity and mendacity and narcissism; it is just astounding that a person like Trump got anywhere near the Oval Office. To have missed that and to have thought all the concern about Trump was exaggerated that it was just ordinary partisan politics, that was in my view the greatest political mistake anyone could have made in my lifetime. And if you made that mistake, if you persist in that mistake, even now, well, then everything I’ve said on this subject must seem like some bewildering form of performance art.

    On the other side, you also had to see that [in] many important respects, the left, and therefore the Democratic Party lost its mind and succumbed to an identitarian moral panic. Of course, some of this was in response to Trump, and some of the justification for Trump was a reaction to the hysteria and dishonesty of the left. Each side by being crazy and dishonest seemed to justify, or at least explain, the excesses of the other, but to not have seen, or cared, that our mainstream cultural institutions were being vitiated by woke nonsense and thought policing was to have been blind to the second most important political phenomenon in recent years.

    And the crucial piece, and this really is the crucial piece, is that awareness of one of these problems, however vivid, did not compensate for one’s ignorance of the other. Many many people had half the story, and made a lot of noise about half the story, and by focusing on only half the story, they carried water for the liars and grifters and maniacs on the other side. There are many many people with enormous platforms who have spent years railing against wokeness, appropriately, but they’ve never made the most basic concessions to moral and political sanity in their comments about Trump, and of course there are countless people in the mainstream media who had the opposite problem. The truth is, I remain completely mystified by both sets of people.

    In anticipation of the inevitable attacks on Harris, who, for what it’s worth, is no more beloved by the left than by the right, I’ll just say I’m not here to defend everything he’s ever said. I merely stand by what I quoted above. If you have a criticism of that, by all means bring it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  133. “Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement, I would not have cared,” he said. “There’s nothing, it’s Hunter Biden, it’s not Joe Biden. Whatever the scope of Joe Biden’s corruption is…it is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in. It’s like a firefly to the sun.”

    He said that regardless of the laptop’s content, it would not even be worse than the Trump University scandal, in which Mr Trump oversaw what was effectively a fake university, with even the National Review calling it a “massive scam”.

    “It doesn’t even stack up to Trump University. Trump University, as a story, is worse than anything that could be in Hunter Biden’s laptop, in my view,” he said. “Now that doesn’t answer the people who say ‘it’s still completely unfair to not have looked at the laptop in a timely way and to have shut down the New York Post’s Twitter account. Like that, that’s a left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump.’ Absolutely it was. But I think it was warranted.”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  134. Right on cue.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  135. Lurker,

    My problem with Harris’ quote is not that Trump isn’t everything he says, but that he takes no time at all top understand why it happened. Further, his “evenhanded” words about the Left are pretty much a kind of “I’m sorry I overreacted to your awfulness” apology.

    There was a reason that Trump ate the 2016 GOP candidates alive: they had ignored a popular groundswell and expected to ride it out. First, the Tea Party, which they had pandered to but basically left at the altar, then the post-Tea talkradio populism that basically assumed that government was trying to kill them. They had no idea of the numbers of disaffected voters they were facing.

    And so, Trump starts talking like the midnight callers and the switchboards light up. And the GOP continued to ignore it, and jockeyed for position when Trump failed. So did the Democrats, nominating Ms More of the Same.

    They are still waiting for him to fail today.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  136. Harris is a fraud. So it’s worth showing as much. He’s the proverbial guy who only has a hammer so everything looks like a nail. Instead of moving forward and trying to find solutions, he’s trying to reframe his nonsense as correct.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  137. https://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kevin-tober/2023/06/19/cbs-nbc-ignore-white-powder-sent-trump-thomas-ks-gop

    Just a reminder that when white power was sent by leftists to Republicans, the media didn’t care. And it wasn’t cocaine.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  138. @Kevin@136 I would argue that they created the popular groundswell using issued that they knew were not going anywhere or where making changes would violate the law and then could not act on without violating the law or creating a very unpopular or non-functional policy. And now, having created it but unable to fulfill it, they don’t know what to do.

    Nic (5d4850)

  139. *issues

    Nic (5d4850)

  140. ……..Trump kept losing those and did not want to roll the dice with some Portland judge.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/8/2023 @ 4:17 pm

    I’m sure there was a 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court that would have overruled the Portland judge.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  141. Typical leftists. Love to spend other people’s assets, but are suddenly silent when it comes to their own property.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/8/2023 @ 5:43 pm

    Ben and Jerry are no longer involved in, well, Ben & Jerry’s ownership. The company was sold to Unilever 23 years ago.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  142. My problem with Harris’ quote is not that Trump isn’t everything he says, but that he takes no time at all top understand why it happened.

    You’re right. In this podcast he doesn’t talk about why Trump happened. It’s a different subject. I’m just guessing, but I’d be surprised if he hasn’t discussed it elsewhere. Either way, I don’t see how it’s a criticism of what he did talk about. Like Trumpism and wokeism, every movement has an origin story I might sympathize with. That doesn’t excuse the choice of the movement’s followers to support responses that are evil or dangerous. Nor does it obligate me to talk about the origins every time I talk about what followed. Oppression and suffering under the Czars doesn’t excuse the Bolsheviks, and I don’t have to name-check Batista every time I criticize Castro.

    Further, his “evenhanded” words about the Left are pretty much a kind of “I’m sorry I overreacted to your awfulness” apology.

    I don’t follow. Who’s saying what to whom?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  143. On Sam, distant cousin to Kamala
    Once the primaries were over, the vast bulk of voters were presented with only two viable options. By viable, I mean “capable of surviving or living successfully, especially under particular environmental conditions”. The particular environmental conditions being the two party system and the two survivors thereof, one of whom always wins. We will never know what damage Hillary would have done, but the damage Trump did hasn’t really caused us much more damage than we see in the moral angst the demonic cult expert Harris feels, that is until he declares himself mystified by both sides and thus stakes out the moral high ground for himself. I give Trumpismists credit for having the balls to vote for a Washington DC outsider for a change. I mean exactly that. A change. Didn’t work out. Trump had weaknesses and the DC establishment was underestimated. COVID hurt the US worse than Trump did and here we are chugging along, wheels moving forward. Trump could win again and the main casualties would be people like Sam Harris who will hyperventilate and OD on an 8 ball of hyperbole and self righteousness. True prophets are painfully self aware of their own shortcomings, maybe he just chooses not to share his because it might be bad for business?

    steveg (c16fa7)

  144. White powder*

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  145. When most of the “principled” defenders of free speech against the woke cancel mob began portraying crudity and cruelty as an exemplary and courageous form of honesty — even when the speaker is a habitual liar — and began attacking every clearsighted critic of their (cynical) cultural hero as a treacherous Deep State hack and anti-American to boot, I had to wonder how sincere they ever were about the free and honest exchange of ideas. When some of them turned out to be apologists for Putin and proponents of enforcing religion with state power, it deepened my skepticism.
    On the right as well as the left, there are people for whom freedom of speech actually means “freedom for us, not for them.”

    Radegunda (981891)

  146. @ steveg (c16fa7) — 7/8/2023 @ 3:34 pm

    I would like to thank you for your long response. It was thoughtful and I sincerely appreciate it.
    WRT “Nazis”, it does seem to me that some Ukrainian units do show some stylized versions of old ss units. I would agree that just because they look like an SS unit it does not make them a Nazi, but I can also see Russian paranoia.
    I regret that I was only there to see St. Petersburg for only a day, but the mindset of that place is interesting. It totally changed my viewpoint of the cold war.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  147. Naval embargoes on cartels, not Mexico itself. We do this is many nations going after terrorist groups.

    First of all, there’s no such thing as a naval embargo, but there is such a thing as a naval blockade, which is an act of war if that blockade occurs in the internationally recognized waters of a foreign power.
    If we blockade ports in Mexico to stop cartel activity, that is an act of war against Mexico, which is a dumb move given our trade and diplomatic relationship.
    Like I mentioned to Joe, an embargo is a trade restriction that doesn’t involve the use of a navy. This is why Trump’s proposal is ill-conceived and half-cocked.
    Second, I’m not aware of our blockading other nations in going after terrorist groups. Do you have an example? Israel blockades shipments going into and out of Gaza, but Gaza isn’t a sovereign state and it’s under Israeli control, so it’s not actually an international blockade.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  148. Sam Harris is right when he considers Trump a significant threat. Why? Because there’s something wrong with Trump. Let’s just think about the hoarding of classified documents. Why did he do it? No, not did he or did he not have the power to do it. Why did Trump squirrel away nuclear assessments, analyses of strategic weaknesses, and of course the battle plan for attacking Iran? These aren’t exactly Kim Jong Un love letters or even Crossfire Hurricane smoking guns. This is national security stuff that we collectively should agree must not be warehoused in Mar-a-Lago bathrooms and storage closets.

    Now I find the taped meeting of Trump discussing the Iran War Plan to be fascinating. It doesn’t convey someone who is purposefully using the documents, but someone who really doesn’t even understand the documents. Someone who doesn’t understand why the military creates such plans and why such plans shouldn’t be in his bathroom. He doesn’t get it. Trump’s biggest take away was that he somehow had something over General Mark Milley…and that he was somehow going to even the score. One can only speculate about how exactly….and what other peevish scores remain unsettled.

    So, is Trump dumb or deluded? The same question could be posed about the Ukrainian shakedown, the Georgia election interference, the electoral count mischief, his unwillingness to intervene during the January 6th melee, and some of his ignorant statements about Covid. I don’t know if I care to debate how much is due to ignorance, narcissism, or delusion. The problem is that it’s playing out and people around him can’t control it. Heck, Trump went on TV during his townhall and basically admitted that stars play by different social rules when it comes to sexual assault. Trump has ripped through the good people….and so we see other deluded people operating in the Oval Office. Why were the Pillow Guy and Sidney Powell anywhere near the seat of power peddling conspiracies?

    We are forced to treat the document hoarding as a serious assertion of presidential power, just as we have to treat a Capitol riot as an honest question of who was responsible for security. It’s a waste of oxygen. Harris is correct. The worrisome part is that millions of people can’t grip that this is a serious problem. We call Biden brain-addled and suffering dementia, but even though he’s showing the signs of aging, Biden understands the office and the job. I may disagree with his policies but they are NOT delusional. We battle the cognitive dissonance by inventing conspiracies and elevating Hunter as some sort of super villain, rather than just the sad story that he is.

    Should Harris have applauded the suppression of the Hunter laptop story? No, a well-functioning society should be able to process such things. Are we well functioning? I would argue that 50% of the GOP wanting a likely felon to be President is more than a tad worrisome. We have a broad problem with reality. Harris believes we need to work through it. He ain’t all wrong. Heck, he’s mostly right.

    AJ_Liberty (9c458d)

  149. I agree with AJ_Liberty.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  150. @129 I think premature. I do not ask for perfection. Biden is not as bad as we on the left feared. I wont be supporting biden and hope she does not regret her decision as did bernie also. This will actually make it easier to take over the democrat party as you can ask sean patrick maloney about crossing AOC. The left is only a part of her coalition with young latinx making up an ever increasing part for 2028/2032.

    asset (30b57a)

  151. Well said, AJ.

    I would argue that 50% of the GOP wanting a likely felon to be President is more than a tad worrisome.

    Gosh, yes. It’s not just that he is a likely felon. That’s just part of a culmination of his actions over the past 7 years. We have seen his corruption, authoritarian leanings, snd thirst for power. We can all point to times when we saw and heard the despicable selfishness and corruption of Trump, and yet still, far too many deny this and choose to see him through rose-colored glasses. So if he does end up a felon, it will simply be viewed as proof to MAGAland that Trump was right all along: it was a witch hunt. And that will boost his profile immensely with a large segment of the population. Nothing, not even him shooting someone on 5th Avenue will ever change their minds. For someone to hold that sort of sway/power over so many is indeed very worrisome.

    Dana (560c99)

  152. I’m sure there was a 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court that would have overruled the Portland judge.

    Not in 2019.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  153. Further, his “evenhanded” words about the Left are pretty much a kind of “I’m sorry I overreacted to your awfulness” apology.

    Unless I misread (always an issue) he says that the Left’s reaction to Trump was bad, but you and to consider Trump’s awfulness. It’s a classic non-apology to say “I’m sorry I overreacted to your terrible behavior.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  154. *had to consdier

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  155. @147: I quibble with the word “most”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  156. I would argue that 50% of the GOP wanting a likely felon to be President is more than a tad worrisome.

    This is part and parcel of our division. At times I think that Biden wants move division, so that his side wins bigly. At other times I think that his DoJ will rid us of the problem.

    Or maybe that’s just how he gets a complete break, with being anti-Trump being “us” and the other 30-40% “them.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  157. Vote early and “often” for curley. Won his election while in jail! 4 time mayor and governor. Only in blue states is trump support among republicans below 50% The further south you go in klan territory the higher the % You are the minority in republican party not trump. In az. kart lake told mccain republicans not to vote for her and leave the party and still she barely lost.

    asset (30b57a)

  158. AJ I agree with you on the decisions Trump made to keep the documents, with you on Trump not understanding the military has a plan to do pretty much everything. etc
    I thought “…how demonic Trumpism was and is in its cultic embrace of one man’s mediocrity and mendacity and narcissism” was a bit overblown considering Congress and Washington are overrun with men and women who are mediocre, narcissistic, compulsive liars. Trump ran nationally against two of them. Granted Trump was of a stripe of species not native to the DC area, but much like different species of skunk, they all have warning colors we often decide to ignore, and they all still stink. Skunk Trump didn’t stink exactly like skunk Washington. Washington skunk thinks it doesn’t stink when it actually just smells like expensive cologne over skunk… sort of like the used car salesman that smell like tic tac on top of stale coffee breath. Trump skunk also thinks he doesn’t stink but isn’t sophisticated enough to put on the Washington DC cologne and try to fit in and they wouldn’t sell him the secret clubhouse cologne anyway.
    Harris seems self aware, but somewhat dim witted in the piece to the degree he finds himself mystified, yet places himself firmly seated in the Luxury Classic Style Swivel Armchair by Fratelli Bazzi yours for $21,000, up in the ivory tower perfect for the self righteous reflections. This prophet crying alone in the wilderness of the DC beltway isn’t crying “Prepare the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight” it sounds more like a discount demigod looking down from the bottom rung of the demigod hierarchy, mystified and repelled by the humans one rung below

    steveg (c16fa7)

  159. There are many who have convictions that the Washington insider ruling class and their family tree is protected from felony indictments. That is why the Hunter Biden saga rankles people. The Secret Service would be duty bound to report me for being a drug addict in possession of a firearm that I lied on sworn document about, and they certainly wouldn’t go retrieve it from a trash can for me. They wouldn’t moonlight for my dad bird dogging me and flashing badges to keep me out of trouble all the while turning a blind eye to my illegal activities. If I had USA secret email documents on an unprotected server in my not a Clinton guest bathroom closet and misled federal agents in any way, I’d be a convicted felon. I’ve been a client of the IRS Special Collections Unit for way way less $$ than Hunter, no intent to evade, and in my opinion the only way Hunter gets that no felony deal is his connections. The average American Trump supporter is now firmly convinced there are two standards and two Americas at that level of ruling class vs. the smelly Walmart shopping, revenue producing unit, worker drone class. The wants and needs boil down to: all I want is the same deal as….. Hunter, Hillary get. I’d usually consider the deal Trump normally would be offered as former Washington insider but it is clear he is not accepted as an insider and I think it would be more astute at this time to stick with the Hillary/Hunter insider deal model IF I was insider enough to meet eligibility requirements for protected status (and I am not)

    steveg (c16fa7)

  160. The bag of cocaine found at the white house had property of H. Biden written on it. Sombody thought that was funny ha ha!

    asset (30b57a)

  161. Unless I misread (always an issue) he says that the Left’s reaction to Trump was bad, but you and to consider Trump’s awfulness. It’s a classic non-apology to say “I’m sorry I overreacted to your terrible behavior.”

    As I read it he’s describing the self-defeating nature of normless tribalism, but however you interpret it, it looks pretty evenhanded: “Of course, some of this was in response to Trump, and some of the justification for Trump was a reaction to the hysteria and dishonesty of the left. Each side by being crazy and dishonest seemed to justify, or at least explain, the excesses of the other[.]” He obviously considers Trumpism the greater threat (as do I), but he seems just as obviously to believe that both Trumpism and wokeism are genuinely pernicious (we agree again): “[T]o not have seen, or cared, that our mainstream cultural institutions were being vitiated by woke nonsense and thought policing was to have been blind to the second most important political phenomenon in recent years[.]” If that’s letting the Left off easy, I’m not seeing it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  162. @162 I am a member of the left. You here hate trump far more then I do and some on the left. It wasn’t bernie sanders left wing of the party that went crazy. While crowley railed against trump AOC running against crowley hardly mention trump only crowley’s corruption. It was the clinton establishment wing of the party that had trump derangement syndrome. It was establishment democrats like adam shiff and hillary who were screaming collusion and russia! russia! russia. We on the left are far more interested in dealing with the clinton wing of the party then trump. (he is good for the left. Without trump, AOC and the squad would not have been elected in 2018 by disgusted democrats. If trump had beaten biden (he lost by 43,000 votes in az, ga. and wi.) AOC would have walked into the presidency in 2024.

    asset (30b57a)

  163. “There are many who have convictions that the Washington insider ruling class and their family tree is protected from felony indictments. That is why the Hunter Biden saga rankles people.”

    This is what’s called a narrative. Supposedly everyone does it, but only those not in the protected swamp get indicted. This is why 50% of the GOP can support Trump. Their conclusion: he’s no worse, he just suffers from not being part of the “in-crowd”.

    I’ve talked about what Hillary did and what Hunter did in depth here. It doesn’t matter. We can talk about the facts of each case and what is typically done by prosecutors in those situations. Again, it doesn’t matter, because the narrative is set. It’s just simpler to assume after 5 years, a Trump appointed prosecutor is corrupt and that there is a coverup. It’s just easier. It’s hard to admit being misled…about being gullible.

    Hunter Biden isn’t asking to be the most powerful man in the world. Hunter Biden isn’t pledging retribution. Yes, Hunter Biden had people looking out for him. Yes, he unscrupuously monetized the Biden name. Yes, he was an addict that made poor decisions, especially financial ones. Yes, he had help digging out from some of those decisions. And finally, yes, his actions will draw accusations of corruption against Joe. But thus far, there’s no evidence of massive payoffs, bribes, and influence peddling by Joe Biden. But instead of dealing with reality, we invent facts and theories to rationalize the narrative. Of course it’s true….it has to be true. How many hours have been invested in speculating on the narrative? People are invested…like a TV drama, they want their desired outcome.

    The problem is that all of this distracts the 50% of the GOP from dealing with the Trump problem. Trump is not acting normally. Someone acting normal would have turned over all of the classified documents. Someone normal would have addressed the nation about his decisions on J6 and before. Someone acting normal would stop peddling the stolen election narrative. Someone normal wouldn’t have called up Georgia election officials asking them to allow him to find votes. The fact that 50% of the GOP can’t get over that hump and have to nominate someone who is not acting normally….when other qualified options are available….makes me question the viability of our democracy. If we can’t figure this one out, does it compromise the Right’s other policy prescriptions? I fear it does….

    AJ_Liberty (9c458d)

  164. So policy doesn’t matter to you AJ, but you say others aren’t acting rationally. You are willing to burn the nation down to save it.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  165. steveg,

    The difference is that no one in Washington other than Trump ever tried to mobilize a coup to overturn an election. That is a huge difference that makes his lies and unhinged behavior much more dangerous.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  166. Policy matters, NJRob, but not at the expense of undermining the very foundation of our nation. There are no policies without elections and Trump wants to ignore elections if he loses.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  167. Nonsense.

    It was the left that rewrote the rules and ignored the law in order to “win” elections because they decided they had to win by any means necessary.

    If you care about tge future of our nation, get behind a candidate and support him versus tearing down candidates and hardening people into their choices.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  168. DRJ,

    Al Gore tried to do that. Hillary started a shadow campaign to make Trump’s win the result of Russia Russia Russia.

    How soon you forget.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  169. We’re going to get “freedom cities” and flying cars whether Trump is elected or not, Rob. It’s an empty promise, as empty as his false bravado that he’ll end Putin’s War Against Ukraine in a day.
    How about discussing with some real policy involving serious candidates with realworld prescriptions instead of this fantasyland bullsh-t.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  170. We’re not going to get…

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  171. It was the left that rewrote the rules and ignored the law in order to “win” elections because they decided they had to win by any means necessary.

    Yet the courts failed to overturn “by any means necessary”, 65 out of 66 times. Do you not see your own intellectual contradictions?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  172. There are no policies without elections and Trump wants to ignore elections if he loses.

    Not only that. He has infected most of the GOP with the notion that whatever goes against his wishes or restrains his actions is intrinsically “corrupt.” MAGA thinkers put his profoundly self-serving concept of right and wrong at the heart of a political agenda in which the president (as long as it’s one they like) is essentially a monarch whose will is law and who should never face any penalty for violating actual laws. They are unfazed by Trump’s open admiration and envy of cruel despots –and I doubt that it’s merely because they think he’s joking.

    Radegunda (1db7b7)

  173. “There are many who have convictions that the Washington insider ruling class and their family tree is protected from felony indictments. That is why the Hunter Biden saga rankles people.”

    Yet many of those people are fiercely protective of someone who’s quite open in his belief that nothing he does should ever be considered wrong, and that putting limits on him or even criticizing him is the real evil.

    If people are actually concerned about the ruling class getting away with things, it’s pretty weird to take the position that the conspicuously amoral person they favor should have a comprehensive exemption from legal accountability.

    Radegunda (1db7b7)

  174. He obviously considers Trumpism the greater threat (as do I),

    The greater threat — an existential one — it the division that Trump and Biden both seem intent on driving. Sure, Biden is the straight man and Trump is willing foil, but the dynamic itself is what is dangerous.

    We are othering our countrymen.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  175. Yet the courts failed to overturn “by any means necessary”, 65 out of 66 times. Do you not see your own intellectual contradictions?

    While I agree with the gist of this, most of those cases failed on standing issues and the substance of the claims wasn’t addressed, so it’s a bit disingenuous to say that the claims failed.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  176. It was the left that rewrote the rules and ignored the law in order to “win” elections because they decided they had to win by any means necessary.

    Why can’t Trumpites ever find the massive fraud they claim is unquestionably a fact? Why have the demonstrated instances of fraudulent voting often been committed by Trump voters?
    The usual fallback is: “States changed some voting procedures to accommodate the challenges of Covid. Therefore, those elections were illegitimate, and Trump really won!” Which is nonsense.

    Trumpites ignore the fact that Trump preemptively refused to accept a loss as a legitimate result. The leaked Bannon (“the Leninist”) audio, inter alia, reveals that Trump and his close allies planned in advance to exploit the red mirage and “do some crazy s**t” to keep Trump in power.

    Trumpites refuse to acknowledge that Trump’s malignant narcissism is the driver of his claims that the election was rigged. He is mentally unable to accept that he could ever lose, and he keeps desperately trying to find evidence that he did not. (Now he’s claiming that the Biden administration rigged the 2020 election against him.)

    Trump devotees use his narcissism as the basis of a narrative in which they are constantly being cheated by a corrupt system. On top of that, some Trumpite ideologues have soured on democracy–because the electorate too often goes against their preferences–and look warmly on regimes where the leader actually does rig the system to keep himself in power indefinitely.

    Radegunda (1db7b7)

  177. The basic Trumpian claim is that, by expanding the vote by over 20% in 2020 through largely court-driven balloting changes, the typical electorate was tilted towards Democrats.

    The thing that they ignore, of course, is that by telling his supporters to avoid the new (and easier) balloting options, Trump did much of the tilting himself.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  178. he division that Trump and Biden both seem intent on driving. … We are othering our countrymen.

    There’s a big difference. For Trump and his allies, whoever is not fully loyal to Trump is on the side of evil. Trump himself is emphatic about it. He now says that Fox News is an enemy — because it isn’t 100% uncritical of him.

    MAGA thought leaders built a fantasy in which Trump is uniquely committed to “draining the Swamp.” Therefore, whatever goes against him is part of the Swamp. They view law enforcement as “corrupt” insofar as it holds that even Trump must follow the law.

    They hate Trump-critical conservatives as much as they hate leftists. They’ve been fond of saying that “Trump revealed people for who they are” — by which they mean that their former allies who didn’t jump on the Trump Train and defend Trump at all costs have shown themselves to be corrupt agents or partisans of the Deep State. Trump and his boosters sowed bitter division among people who used to be allies.

    Biden has made a point of distinguishing between “MAGA Republicans” and traditional conservatives who don’t approve of overturning elections by intimidating Congress or fake elector schemes, or threatening violence upon those who displease MAGA-world, etc. I’ve seen nothing like the stark Trumpite division between unwavering loyalists and everyone else.

    Radegunda (1db7b7)

  179. Hey Radegunda,

    who are these magic Trumpites you keep speaking of? It’s boring to battle a strawman and if you are inferring me you keep misstating my position which is a violation of this site.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  180. who are these magic Trumpites you keep speaking of? It’s boring to battle a strawman and if you are inferring me you keep misstating my position which is a violation of this site.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/9/2023 @ 10:27 am

    Your endorsement of Trump’s platform might be a good place to start.

    Rip Murdock (bd5738)

  181. Ron DeSantis at 16% in GOP Presidential Race
    ……….
    The latest Echelon Insights survey of the race, which was conducted between June 26 and June 29, has former President Donald Trump capturing almost a majority of respondents, with 49% backing him.

    DeSantis is 33 points back, at 16%. Meanwhile, third-place Vivek Ramaswamy is just six points behind DeSantis, with a 10% showing that is among his best performances in any national survey.

    Trump’s 49% matches his support in the May iteration of this poll. DeSantis lost three points from the previous month, meanwhile, while Ramaswamy is up two points from May.
    ……….
    Former United Nations envoy Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence are tied at 5%, though Pence has lost four points since May.

    South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s 4% is a modest showing, yet it’s up two points from May.

    Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has 2% support, doubling his 1% from the previous month.
    …………

    Cross tabs.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  182. Blaming the Usual Suspects:

    ………..
    (Florida Governor Ron) DeSantis said during an interview on Fox News on Thursday that “corporate media” are focusing on him because they do not want him to win the nomination.

    “Well, I think if you look at the people like the corporate media, who are they going after?” he said. “Who do they not want to be the nominee? They’re going after me.”
    ………….
    He said his campaign has just started and is in the process of building up its organization, and that his favorability rating is strong and he expects to be able to improve.

    DeSantis also said that he has the “best record of defeating the left” on various issues, and he will make that case to voters in the coming months. He said he is running to win in caucuses and primaries in January and February, not lead in polling now.
    …………..

    The countervailing argument to this claim is that the “corporate media” has been far more opposed to Donald Trump and yet he is crushing the Republican primary field.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  183. Rip,

    You mean these remarks?

    I don’t see him actually following through with these policies, but they are mostly good policies.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/8/2023 @ 2:09 pm

    or these?

    Kevin,

    It’s an aggressive agenda, most of it good. I don’t see him being able to carry it out. Not enough leadership and too chaotic. Someone better will succeed.

    NJRob (c21f2b) — 7/8/2023 @ 11:21 am

    Which is it?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  184. I can separate the man from the policy. Amazing how much freedom that gives. Policy matters. The direction of our nation matters. I notice you don’t offer your support for anyone, but you love to post polls and remarks from leftist sites that are divisive and tear apart the Republican party.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  185. Mike Pence:

    One Step Forward:

    A voter confronted former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday about his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, accusing him of having unfairly handed over the election to Joe Biden.

    “Do you ever second-guess yourself? That was a constitutional right that you had to send those votes back to the states,” the woman said as Pence was taking questions at a crowded Pizza Ranch restaurant here. She said Pence “changed history” by refusing to send the 2020 election results back to the states for a recount.
    …………
    “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s actually what the Constitution says,” Pence told the woman at the Pizza Ranch. “No vice president in American history ever asserted the authority that you have been convinced that I had. But I want to tell you, with all due respect … President Trump was wrong about my authority that day, and he’s still wrong.”
    …………

    Two Steps Back:

    Former Vice President Mike Pence said it would be appropriate to consider pardoning Donald Trump only if the former president were found guilty of a crime.

    Pence, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, was asked by an Iowan at a campaign stop in Sioux City late Wednesday whether he would consider pardoning Trump “like Ford pardoned Nixon.”
    …………
    When the questioner pointed out that President Richard Nixon was never convicted of a crime, Pence joked that “that’s a very good rebuttal. I’m very impressed with that.”
    …………

    Pence previously said (three weeks ago) that any talk of a pardon for Trump was “premature.”

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  186. NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/9/2023 @ 11:20 am

    Polls provide a snapshot of how Republican voters feel about their candidates. If you come across a poll that shows a different result, feel free to post it.

    Even the RNC is using the same national polls to determine who will be on the debate stage in Milwaukee:

    Poll at least 1% in three national polls OR 1% in two national polls and 1% in one early state poll from two separate “carve out” states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) recognized by the RNC. For a poll to be recognized, it must:

    •Survey at least 800 registered likely Republican voters through a mix of live calls, integrated voice response, online panels, and/or text message.

    •Not overly weight responses of any individual cohort beyond the margin of the error of the poll.

    •Ask the question on presidential preference prior to any question which may allow potential bias.

    •Not be a conducted by a polling company affiliated with a candidate or candidate committee.

    •Meet this polling requirement no later than 48 hours prior to the first scheduled debate and must be conducted on or after July 1, 2023.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  187. Link to RNC debate criteria.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  188. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/donald-trump-holds-big-lead-over-joe-biden-in-swing-states-polls-show/ar-AA1dpHrY

    Donald Trump has a significant lead over President Joe Biden in key swing states heading into the 2024 presidential election, according to a poll.

    An Echelon Insights survey of 1,020 likely voters show that 48 percent of those in battleground states said they would definitely or probably vote for the Republican who is the favorite to clinch the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, compared to 41 percent who said they would back Biden.

    Well, here’s a poll you’ll never post.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/poll-shows-desantiss-path-to-beating-trump-and-biden-in-2024-race/ar-AA1dbrna

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2024/president/us/general-election-trump-vs-biden-7383.html#!

    Here’s more.

    If you truly don’t want Trump to win, it’s time to focus on what you do want. The only viable alternative out there is DeSantis, but the left and NeverTrump allows Trump to have all the oxygen in the room. Funny how that works.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  189. DRJ
    Appreciate the kind way you brought me back to earth.
    There has been quite a bit of what we now refer to as narrative… it used to be called BS… regarding Trump and I don’t know if Trump 2016 was a guy who would promote a rebellion of this Jan6 magnitude or if the years 2016-2020 had a further corrosive effect on an already somewhat corroded personality. Like many brash politicians, Trump brought a lot of it onto himself, but the other side of the narrative, partially true was that the DC establishment often chooses to treat brash politicians with a relatively gentle hand, but for Trump they threw that aside and jumped in on Trump hard starting the week after the results were in and the hangovers wore off. (I’m estimating the hangovers took a week to wear off).
    The actions of DC establishment and their tentacles is what brought Trump into the picture as viable and it is what enabled him to be in a position to savage people like Jeb Bush. Nixon used the phrase “the silent majority” to describe the people in the middle and in 2016 a lot of those people felt they not only were not being served by Washington, but that they were being grossly disrespected for having been silent, paying taxes, following the rules out of respect for the office(s) and the laws written even as they disagreed. These people saw the laws being treated differently. People who follow laws were shown that the new way was to ignore laws and rules that you didn’t like. These previously silent people showed up at trump rallies and were punched, kicked, beaten, bloodied so a fight was on. Harris rails away about media people with huge platforms. Platforms is a code word for people who Harris calls cultic; following a demon. That is an outrageous hyperbolic smear on some of America’s salt of the earth people who happen to prefer Tucker Carlson lies and all to Rachel Maddow lies and all. When Harris talks about “platforms” he is rehashing others attacks on Rush Limbaugh circa 1990’s, but he goes further and uses DC level plausible deniability in his smear of Hannity, Carlson viewers. He didn’t have the courage to name them, he called them the “platform”, but he clearly means Fox prime time opinion viewers and I’d like to ask him what percentage of those viewers are “cultists following the demonic” because he seems to be including 100% of them.
    My parents are nearing 100 years old, very conservative, they were the “silent majority” in the time of Nixon people, dad enlisted in WWII to protect his country, took the GI Bill but saw it as an obligation to be returned by deeds, paid taxes, followed all the rules to a “T”. I laughed with my dad when we talked about how the Fox shake up must have gutted their evening TV time, he laughed and said he was sure the new people would do just fine. My sister from the communist wing of the family actually might buy into the folks being cultists in thrall of demon Trump… because her hatred of trump is so deep. She has to call trump racist and all the other -ists to justify her hatred rather than get a little introspective, maybe check under the hood and ask why the engine is running so hot. When I paint a person as demonic and voters as cultists to justify hatred, it says more about me than it does about that person who is focus of my hatred.
    Trump is rude, crude, morally corrupt, narcissistic, a – giant….(I’m checking for polite synonyms)…. “jerk”. A line from Elmore Leonard comes to mind, where his character asks this question about a bad guy. “What kind of [jerk] is he? Are we talking run of the mill [jerk] or heads in a bowling bag?” Trump isn’t “heads in a bowling bag” and 2020 voters were not cultists

    steveg (f1c396)

  190. Team DeSantis Admits the Obvious:

    ………..
    “Right now in national polling we are way behind, I’ll be the first to admit that,” (Steve Cortes, national spokesman for the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down super PAC) said in a Twitter spaces event that was recorded (last) Sunday night. “I believe in being blunt and honest. It’s an uphill battle but clearly Donald Trump is the runaway frontrunner.”

    Calling the DeSantis campaign the “clear underdog,” he added: “In the first four states which matter tremendously, polls are a lot tighter, we are still clearly down. We’re down double digits, we have work to do.”
    ………..
    Cortes said the indictments against the former president, which DeSantis has condemned as political “weaponization,” have given Trump a comfortable lead.

    “In the first four states – which matter tremendously – polls are a lot tighter. We’re clearly still down. We’re down in double digits. We have work to do. We have wood to chop,” Cortes said.

    The group Never Back Down did not take steps to distance itself from Cortes’ remarks on Monday. ……..
    ………….
    “I’m of the belief that once we really get his story out there – and thankfully, we have the resources to do that, he’s campaigning with just frenetic pace already – so I think once we get that out there, my view is that we’re going to close this gap. I’m of the firm view that this is a two-man race,” Cortes said.
    …………

    The most recent Echelon Insights national survey (linked above) has Vivek Ramaswamy within six points of overtaking DeSantis.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  191. NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/9/2023 @ 11:49 am

    Now that wasn’t hard to do, was it?

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  192. For me, after seeing what Trump has done, any American is better than Trump.

    DRJ (8e312c)

  193. but the left and NeverTrump allows Trump to have all the oxygen in the room. Funny how that works.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/9/2023 @ 11:49 am

    Which doesn’t explain Trump’s overwhelming support among Republican voters.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  194. Biden has made a point of distinguishing between “MAGA Republicans”

    In the “good Germans” sense. They’re still Germans. Biden has done nothing to bind people together, instead taking divisive stances that repel non-MAGA folks, and pander to his left.

    That he divides those “others” between near and far doesn’t mean he’s being inclusive.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  195. steveg,

    My parents were Republicans. So was I until Trump. I share the concerns about where liberal Democrats have taken and are taking us, and I have always understood why Trump appealed to people who feel that way.

    But if we want to self govern, we can’t elect a President who wants to be a dictator and acts like he is one. The Rule of Law only works because we agree to make it work. You and NJRob may think the Democrats have given up on the law bit Bush v Gore provrs they haven’t. They hated it but they accepted it. Trump has never accepted that he lost.

    DRJ (8e312c)

  196. Ron DeSantis at 16% in GOP Presidential Race

    Early days still. We still have the DC charges to come (and it’s sounding like seditious conspiracy), and some of the also-rans will be dropping out when they can’t get into the debate.

    (Sent a token donation to Christie)

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  197. Florida GOP will require DeSantis, Trump to sign loyalty pledge to make primary ballot
    ………….
    All GOP candidates will have to pledge their loyalty to the eventual Republican nominee to make the March 19 primary, a contest that could tip the balance of the crowded race since Florida’s contest is a winner-take-all primary.
    …………
    The Republican Party of Florida approved the change at its executive board meeting held in mid-May and included the new provisions in an updated version of its bylaws that it filed with state election officials but have not been widely distributed.

    The new oath, which includes a promise to “endorse” the GOP nominee and requires a candidate to pledge not to run as an independent or third-party candidate, mirrors language adopted by the Republican National Committee for its first debate.
    …………..
    Candidates who want to make the primary ballot have until Nov. 22 to turn in a signed, notarized pledge. The party is required to submit the final list of candidates to state election officials by Nov. 30.
    …………
    Candidates who agree to attend the (Florida Freedom Summit) only have to pay a $25,000 qualifying fee to make the March 19 primary while those who skip the party event will have to pay $100,000. A candidate can avoid paying the fee if they collect signatures from Florida Republicans to make the ballot — but that has been increased from a total of 3,375 signatures in 2015 to a total of 56,000 now.
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  198. If you truly don’t want Trump to win, it’s time to focus on what you do want.

    This. Any Trump critic who has not donated to, or worked for, an alternative is a hypocrite. Sloth will not win the day.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  199. The Rule of Law

    … is an ideal that neither party is all that keen on when it does not favor them. Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton are examples, as is Lois Lerner.

    So is Donald Trump, of course, but he is far from unique.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  200. No defendant likes the Rule of Law but it works better than the alternatives.

    DRJ (8e312c)

  201. who are these magic Trumpites you keep speaking of? It’s boring to battle a strawman and if you are inferring me you keep misstating my position which is a violation of this site.

    I wasn’t referring to you. I didn’t name you are even indirectly imply that I was stating (or “misstating”) your own position. (“Inferring” is what you apparently did in somehow seeing a personal attack.) In all candor, I tend to skip over your comments. Nothing compels you to do “battle” with me.

    I was referring to the glaringly obvious fact that MAGA-land in general has defined good and bad around what aligns with Trump. Trumpites see corruption in every corner of the government that puts up any walls around Trump. I hear people interviewing Trump loyalists who recite the claim that the election was rigged against him; the DOJ is rigged against him; the media are rigged against him, there’s a vast Deep State conspiracy against him and his followers. Higher-level Trump apologists still try to claim that there’s something deeply pernicious in the investigations and indictments of Trump for what bone fide conservatives including Liz Cheney and Judge Michael Luttig recognize as serious violations of law and threats to the constitutional order and national security.

    Why so many people can’t see – or won’t acknowledge — the self-serving pathology of Trump but instead hold him up as a rock-ribbed patriotic hero is mystifying.

    Radegunda (97024a)

  202. We still have the DC charges to come (and it’s sounding like seditious conspiracy)…….

    LOL! It’s more likely to be conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371). There is no public evidence that Trump was involved in a conspiracy to

    to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof…….

    And any future indictments will be worth another 5-10 points in the polls and $10M in contributions.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  203. While I agree with the gist of this, most of those cases failed on standing issues and the substance of the claims wasn’t addressed, so it’s a bit disingenuous to say that the claims failed.

    Kevin, the only reason the claims were made in the first place is because of one single person who didn’t have the character to accept that he lost but instead forced his Big Lie into the legal system, where none of it held water. It’s all about one person and his big fat ego and vanity, nothing else. This is not a person who should be Leader of the Free World, yet Rob is demanding that we just fall in line and accept our orders. Well, I say f-ck that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  204. Any Trump critic who has not donated to, or worked for, an alternative is a hypocrite. Sloth will not win the day.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/9/2023 @ 12:15 pm

    Donations should be more than a token. Alternatives need real money (at least three figures).

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  205. We aren’t talking about a country club golf tournament where some golfer insists he got robbed of the club championship, and refuses to accept he lost. There are people like that — notably Trump, who routinely declares himself the winner at his clubs. It makes a joke of the club golf tournament. Wanting that for our nation is ridiculous.

    DRJ (8e312c)

  206. Donations should be more than a token. Alternatives need real money (at least three figures).

    The “token” is to get him on the debate stage. Any donation is the same for that purpose.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  207. Wanting that for our nation is ridiculous.

    Like Brezhnev’s four Hero of the Soviet Union medals, and 8 Orders of Lenin.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  208. “So policy doesn’t matter to you AJ, but you say others aren’t acting rationally.”

    If a candidate isn’t honest and forthright, why should I trust his policy positions? It all starts with character, then intellect, then experience leading. Trump fails with character. His choices make me also question his intellect. And his leadership style too often entails throwing his advisors under the bus, punching down at civil servants like Fauci, and rarely building consensus. There’s a reason that little substantive legislation moved forward with him in office. He’s ineffective.

    The fact that he already promised to replace Obamacare with the greatest thing ever, retire the debt in a patently absurd timeframe, and build a wall at the border….tells me how to interpret Trump’s plans. Trump is about staying out of prison, and winning next November will likely be the only way to do that. Based on his willingness to do and say anything, I do view a cornered and desperate Trump as a significant threat to our system.

    The GOP field has genuine alternatives. I won’t vote for Ramaswamy because the Presidency is not an entry level position and, frankly, he’s carried water for Trump. I struggle with DeSantis because he’s made missteps. First with his Ukraine “dispute” announcement, then with a strategy that refuses to make his case against Trump. It’s tortuous seeing him avoid saying that Trump is unfit. I’m not a fan of his authoritarian positions because I think it makes it harder for the GOP to win in swing states. Some of his Florida initiatives scare the bejesus out of states that are more moderate. Bullying Disney…his biggest employer in the state….has not aged well.

    Claiming he is the only alternative to Trump as he continues to drop is a weird read of the early part of this election. He’s not especially personal. His positions seem driven by polls, not conviction. I would likely vote for him over Biden…but not enthusiastically. The party needs to chart a different course, but it is what it is….

    AJ_Liberty (1f8fb6)

  209. @205:

    You don’t dispute what I said.

    Sure, Trump is the world’s oldest toddler, but there were issues with the 2020 election. The fact that none of those issues lost Trump the election (he did that himself) does not mean they don’t need fixing.

    Probably the worst issue is validating mail ballots using procedures that were not working all that well before mail ballots became most of the ballots. You can address those issues without backing Trump’s claims.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  210. Bullying Disney…his biggest employer in the state….has not aged well.

    Fraudulently banning abortions while pretending that there is still a legal path is the thing that disturbs me most. This is a close second to his unwillingness to call Trump a criminal, if not a lying sack of crap.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  211. This is a close second to (DeSantis’s) unwillingness to call Trump a criminal, if not a lying sack of crap.

    DeSantis will never do that-if he is nominated (a big if) he will need what Trump supporters don’t vote for a Independent Trump candidacy.

    Most of the hardcore Trump cultists regard DeSantis as a member of the “Deep State” traitor anyway and would never vote for him anyway.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  212. This is a close second to (DeSantis’s) unwillingness to call Trump a criminal, if not a lying sack of crap.

    Outside of Hutchinson and Christie, who has called Trump a criminal and not offered to pardon him?

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  213. Outside of Hutchinson and Christie, who has called Trump a criminal and not offered to pardon him?

    It’s actually a common gripe, but we were talking about DeSantis. I think that they are all wrong for not doing this. If they did, Trump would be more clearly a Party of One. As it stands though, their silence cosigns his lies.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  214. DeSantis will never do that-if he is nominated (a big if) he will need what Trump supporters don’t vote for a Independent Trump candidacy.

    There is a long time to go and it is plenty of time to make Trump the villain, even within MAGA. Making the case that he’s just using them is critical unless they want to be Trump’s lackeys in a loser party.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  215. Both Scott and Haley need to grow a pair. If they cannot break free of Donald Trump they will never ever be President. Even if MAGA likes them. As we know, all it takes, after years of loyal service, is for Trump to nastyTweet and it’s all over.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  216. Both Scott and Haley need to grow a pair. If they cannot break free of Donald Trump they will never ever be President. Even if MAGA likes them.

    LOL! That assumes the two really have a chance at the nomination and are more than flavors of month.

    Wishful thinking.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  217. If Trump or DeSantis win the South Carolina primary (now scheduled for February 24, 2024) it’s game over for both Scott and Darling Nikki. Right now they are trailing Trump and DeSantis (admittedly the polling is not recent). That said, if their own voters prefer someone else than a personally popular former governor and current senator to be President, that should tell you something about their political popularity.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  218. “Wishful thinking.”

    We will see what the power of one or two more indictments is. The New York indictment is misleading because it required a novel read of the law. The others are not. You say it will increase his numbers. I’m not so sure. Debates are coming up. I doubt that Trump will participate. That will be glaring even if he holds a pep rally because the news will be what the other candidates said, not Trump shoveling more unchallenged malarkey.

    I think Trump will be down to 30% by the New Year. Who picks up and who consolidates is to be seen. I agree that Haley and Scott seem to be running for 2028. There is no urgency to outline why the former President should remain a former President. They certainly have no path if their only message is that “we are likable and team players”. Christie has already beaten them to the punch, but the debate will be an opportunity speak to the nation and draw a contrast.

    So far I would vote for Christie or Hutchinson. Both are well qualified, smart, and see the emperor for the fat naked basterd that he is. It’s sad that no one knows Hutchinson…I hope he makes the debate, but fear that that jack*ss Ramaswamy will be there instead. Shame but par for this GOP course.

    AJ_Liberty (1782b8)

  219. A New Poll on the Trump Indictments Has a Surprising Result
    ………..
    Forty-nine percent of respondents (to the new POLITICO/Ipsos survey)— including 25 percent of Republicans — said that they believe Trump is guilty in the pending federal prosecution…………A nearly identical 48 percent of respondents — including 24 percent of Republicans — believe that Trump is guilty in the Manhattan DA’s pending prosecution……..
    …………
    The findings could bolster the position of federal prosecutors, who have been pushing for a trial date as early as this December. ………
    What should happen to Trump if he gets convicted? Forty three percent said he should go to prison, but most were willing to spare him jail time. Nearly a quarter of respondents said that Trump should incur no punishment at all (22 percent), while 18 percent said he should receive probation and another 17 percent said he should face only a financial penalty.

    The results were roughly similar when respondents were asked what the punishment should be if Trump is convicted in Manhattan. ………

    For the DOJ case, 73 percent of Democrats thought Trump should go to prison if convicted, compared to 16 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents. ………
    ………..
    ……….. (Twenty one) percent of GOP respondents said the federal indictment on mishandling classified documents made them more likely to support Trump, 23 percent said it made them less likely; fully 50 percent said it had no impact and 6 percent said they didn’t know. The results were similar for the Manhattan DA’s indictment over the hush money payment.

    Among the broader public, a conviction in either case would be damaging to Trump’s electoral chances. ……….

    A trial date in the Manhattan DA’s case is currently set to begin on March 25, though it is conceivable that, as a practical matter, Trump could have the nomination locked up by then if dynamics in the GOP primary do not change. So far, most of his opponents have struggled to articulate a message that distinguishes themselves from Trump while appealing to a voter base that is largely sticking with him despite his mounting legal problems.

    The public’s preference for a relatively speedy trial date in the federal prosecution against Trump could prove tricky to accommodate. ………
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  220. Gulliver has no incentive to debate the Lilliputians. Why should he volunteer to be a target of their sniping? A Trump-less debate should allow DeSantis to reintroduce himself, though the more he talks the less he is liked. The debate may give the others a chance to break out of the pack, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    I think Trump will be down to 30% by the New Year.

    I’ll take that bet. That assumes he will be indicted for January 6th; I think the chances are 50-50 at best. And any trial would be held next fall. I believe the same about any trial on charges out of Fulton County.

    If anyone can make these lemons into lemonade it would be Trump.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  221. A Trump-less debate should allow DeSantis to reintroduce himself, though the more he talks the less he is liked.

    That’s it, and I don’t think it’s only me. DeSantis is unlikeable. Like Hillary was.

    nk (76e8dc)

  222. The New York indictment is misleading because it required a novel read of the law.

    What we engineers call “ambitious”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  223. I think Trump will be down to 30% by the New Year.

    If Trump is charged with a disqualifying crime in DC, and the charge sheet shows they have the goods, then all bets are off. I don’t em>think that the GOP will nominate someone who might be (or has been) disqualified out of sheer orneriness, but you never know.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  224. That’s it, and I don’t think it’s only me. DeSantis is unlikeable.

    Every woman’s ex-husband.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  225. I’ll take that bet. That assumes he will be indicted for January 6th; I think the chances are 50-50 at best

    I’ll take THAT bet. The only question is whether they will try to prove seditious conspiracy. Trump had better hope that no one at the Proud Boys recorded his phone calls.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  226. Forgot to mention that His Corpulency Vindman remains a self righteous snitch and a Ukrainian honk of substantial backside gravitas. I could not care less what he thinks about geopolitics and/or cluster munitions. There are plenty of other Ukrainian people to quote on cluster munitions who would acknowledge that the older US munitions likely to be used in theater had up to 40% dud rates. I would consider Vindman Ukrainian food recommendations but would divide portion size by 5 in order to leave room for a slice of cucumber

    steveg (f1c396)

  227. Trump had better hope that no one at the Proud Boys recorded his phone calls.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/9/2023 @ 5:07 pm

    If the Proud Boys had any phone calls with Trump, why didn’t they use them in their defense. As I said above, there is public evidence Trump conspired to use force against the authority of the United States, so I highly doubt that seditious conspiracy will be part of any charges.

    Why do you think Trump will be charged with seditious conspiracy?

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  228. Correction:

    As I said above, there is no public evidence Trump conspired to use force……..

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  229. If Trump or DeSantis win the South Carolina primary (now scheduled for February 24, 2024) it’s game over for both Scott and Darling Nikki. Right now they are trailing Trump and DeSantis (admittedly the polling is not recent). That said, if their own voters prefer someone else than a personally popular former governor and current senator to be President, that should tell you something about their political popularity.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8) — 7/9/2023 @ 2:54 pm

    Why the Stop Trump effort all comes down to South Carolina
    …………..
    The state Republican Party’s decision to schedule its election for Feb. 24 means the first-in-the-South primary will potentially take place more than a month after Iowa and New Hampshire. ……..
    …………
    That could turn the state into a make-or-break for favorite son and daughter candidates Sen. Tim Scott and former Gov. Nikki Haley. It also ups the ante for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose campaign celebrated the state GOP’s decision to schedule the primary for a later date than initially expected.

    ………….Two surveys last month from Republican polling firms gave the former president identical 23-point leads over DeSantis. But Trump was also at 41 percent — a lower share than in national and most other early-state polling — thanks mostly to Scott and Haley each pulling around 10 percent of the vote.
    ………..
    “South Carolinians are not going to reward Nikki Haley or Tim Scott just for being from South Carolina,” Alex Stroman, a former executive director of the state GOP, told my colleague Natalie Allison. “They have to prove viability elsewhere.”
    ………..
    ………..(A)nother Trump victory in South Carolina could be a death knell for his rivals, especially given Trump’s strength (and DeSantis’ early struggles) in New Hampshire. Or it could signal — with Super Tuesday looming just nine days later — that the former president has real competition for the nomination. Either way, South Carolina will be pivotal, likely more than ever.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8)

  230. The US cluster munitions that were to be used against Russians invading Europe were seen as defensive and were acknowledged to have a high dud rate, but the US DoD said that we were going to use these weapons when we were on our heels in Germany and the the clean up problem was going to be on Germany. Totally understandable trade off. Cleaning up a ton of unexploded munitions vs being ruled by Russians. But on the other hand our legal obligation is to Ukraine territorial borders. Use of high dud rate munitions outside the territory make Team Vindman’s favorite team, Team Democrat lawyers worried. I am very confident Biden’s handlers would never let Vindman sit in on a call to Ukraine because it is clear where Vindman’s primary allegiance was and is

    steveg (f1c396)

  231. Vindman and Democrat lawyers both have a case of the selective qualms which is a close cousin to the selective hypochondria

    steveg (f1c396)

  232. Correction:

    We’ll see.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  233. Meanwhile, if your sitting down:

    High temperatures midsummer in Phoenix. Homeless hardest hit. It’s amazing the lengths these people will go to to flog the warming dogma. Expect it to ramp up over the next 16 months.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  234. If Trump or DeSantis win the South Carolina primary (now scheduled for February 24, 2024) it’s game over for both Scott and Darling Nikki.

    Trump will have other problems by then.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  235. it is clear where Vindman’s primary allegiance was and is

    Vindman?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  236. @165 Didn’t america try that on a village in vietnam? Desatan now claims its the media’s fault that he has low poll numbers not that he has the personalty of a scorpion!

    asset (2cccc7)

  237. @169 I didn’t see it in the shadows it was right out in the open. When I asked for the evidence of trump colusion with russia I got banned on establishment liberal sites.

    asset (2cccc7)

  238. For your viewing enjoyment.

    (Yes, it’s heavy-handed, but sometimes that’s appropriate.)

    Jim Miller (ca3e99)

  239. @193

    For me, after seeing what Trump has done, any American is better than Trump.

    DRJ (8e312c) — 7/9/2023 @ 12:00 pm

    Right after J6, I used to think that’s true.

    Now? After seeing the Biden administration wreak havoc to this country… No, absolutely not.

    I’d take Trump over this administration and any Democrat. The current Democratic party is infected with a strain of Marxism, and dare I say, anti-Americanism, such that I don’t see how this country survives in our, or our kids lifetime.

    whembly (5f7596)

  240. @194

    Which doesn’t explain Trump’s overwhelming support among Republican voters.

    Rip Murdock (ba07e8) — 7/9/2023 @ 12:02 pm

    Sure it does.

    Folks like you and I are the “tip of the spear” political junkies.

    Vast majority of voters are normie-Norms and normie-Janes who don’t have time to wallow into the “inside baseball” of politics, like we do. They’re just consuming headlines and op-ed from their favored social media sites.

    It’s why the censorious regimes in social media and the liberal/left legacy media has so much power in setting the narratives. Most people don’t have time, nor the desire to vet these stories like we do.

    It’s why partisan tribalism reigns.

    whembly (607028)

  241. @196

    steveg,

    My parents were Republicans. So was I until Trump. I share the concerns about where liberal Democrats have taken and are taking us, and I have always understood why Trump appealed to people who feel that way.

    But if we want to self govern, we can’t elect a President who wants to be a dictator and acts like he is one. The Rule of Law only works because we agree to make it work. You and NJRob may think the Democrats have given up on the law bit Bush v Gore provrs they haven’t. They hated it but they accepted it. Trump has never accepted that he lost.

    DRJ (8e312c) — 7/9/2023 @ 12:10 pm

    Trump is acting exactly like Gore and Democrats in 2000.

    Neither accepted that they lost.

    Trump isn’t unique here.

    whembly (607028)

  242. @199

    If you truly don’t want Trump to win, it’s time to focus on what you do want.

    This. Any Trump critic who has not donated to, or worked for, an alternative is a hypocrite. Sloth will not win the day.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/9/2023 @ 12:15 pm

    Preach.

    In your circles, advocate your family/friends to be more engaged during the primaries. Don’t wait till the general to “care” about the elections.

    whembly (849622)

  243. Gore reluctantly accepted a court decision and did not stage a coup attempt, nor did he encourage his supporters to stage an insurrection. The only thing Gore and Trump have in common is they are both whiners.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  244. And are out of shape.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  245. Trump is acting exactly like Gore and Democrats in 2000.

    Neither accepted that they lost.

    Gore was VP and could have done what Trump demanded that Pence do. He didn’t. So, not exactly the same.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  246. @244

    Gore reluctantly accepted a court decision and did not stage a coup attempt, nor did he encourage his supporters to stage an insurrection. The only thing Gore and Trump have in common is they are both whiners.

    DRJ (92ff85) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:51 am

    I utterly reject the premise that what Trump did was “stage a coup attempt” and that “he encouraged his supporters to stage an insurrection”.

    Words have meaning, and purposely over-inflating these “bad acts” in order to support your world-view puts you on shaky grounds to have good faith discussions.

    That is emphatically hyperbolic derived from your intense dislike of all things Trump.

    This is how polarized partisanship continues to thrive.

    Trump eventually backed down, as Gore did, when he exhausted his legal challenges.

    Gore, later on, whined believing his election was “stolen” by SCOTUS.

    Democrats and legacy media, for F’n years, always have argued that Bush was illegitimate and that SCOTUS stole the election for him.

    Sounds familiar?

    whembly (607028)

  247. @246

    Trump is acting exactly like Gore and Democrats in 2000.

    Neither accepted that they lost.

    Gore was VP and could have done what Trump demanded that Pence do. He didn’t. So, not exactly the same.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:05 am

    I’m saying, they both were behaving in the same manner in that both believed that they didn’t lose.

    whembly (607028)

  248. As Kevin M pointed out, Trump went further than Gore. It is curious you can’t see that.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  249. Trump’s words, actions and behavior after his election loss were appalling. Gore ultimately conceded with geace and good humor.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  250. Grace and good humor.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  251. Trump has never admitted he lost anything, let alone the election.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  252. Trump eventually backed down, as Gore did, when he exhausted his legal challenges.

    Really? Where is Trump’s concession statement?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  253. Go ahead and equate the two so you can justify your support for Trump. It is characteristic of Trump supporters, which you are despite your denials.

    I understand. There are many reasons to want to support Republicans. But Trump is a sad, corrupt man who should never be President again.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  254. Trump is acting exactly like Gore and Democrats in 2000.

    Al Gore was the Vice President who counted the votes in Congress which gave the Shrub the Presidency.

    He filed one suit, not sixty, and when the Supreme Court ruled against him, he accepted the results and went home to Tennessee. He didn’t release no Kraken, and he didn’t incite no mob to storm the Capitol.

    nk (1f6e3f)

  255. I’m saying, they both were behaving in the same manner in that both believed that they didn’t lose.

    whembly (607028) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:19 am

    Really again? Did Gore’s campaign mount multiple specious lawsuits challenging election results? Did Gore himself call, or direct others to call, governors and secretaries of state looking to “find” votes?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  256. “Gore reluctantly accepted a court decision and did not stage a coup attempt, nor did he encourage his supporters to stage an insurrection.”

    Gore pursuing a Florida recount was a reasonable reaction to such a close vote. It was also reasonable for SCOTUS to set an end to vote counting. As you note, Gore did not advance a novel theory of not counting FL electoral votes or substituting an alternative slate of electors. He also did not claim election fraud without evidence. He did ultimately concede and did not proceed to impugn the integrity of our election system for the next 3 years. I’m no fan of Gore, but to say that he and Trump are basically the same stretches credibility.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  257. Did Gore, during the counting of Electoral College votes in 2001, coordinate a campaign among Senators to challenge the results? No, in reality he certified his own defeat on January 6, 2001, slamming down objections by House members.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  258. Whembly,

    Well said. But as you can see, you are attacked and called names for not supporting the narrative.

    NJRob (aefef0)

  259. Trump eventually backed down, as Gore did, when he exhausted his legal challenges.

    Really? Where is Trump’s concession statement?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:46 am

    In case you missed it, here are excerpts from Al Gore’s concession statement:

    Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. And I promised him that I wouldn’t call him back this time. I offered to meet with him as soon as possible so that we can start to heal the divisions of the campaign and the contest through which we’ve just passed.
    ………
    Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new President-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.
    ………
    I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country.
    ………

    Words you will never hear from Donald Trump.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  260. Trump is the tar that is smothering the GOP and its message. Until they get out from under, all anyone can see is the tar.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  261. Gore was VP and could have done what Trump demanded that Pence do. He didn’t. So, not exactly the same.

    To be fair, it would have been interesting to see Gore’s behavior had some senator joined with the House members and allowed the Florida electors to be disputed.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  262. https://twitter.com/i/status/1676215086271156227

    Dave Chapelle on why Trump was so popular

    steveg (4aee03)

  263. No one called Whembly names, NJRob. Please address the points made in response to Whembly, rather than libel us as name-callers.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  264. @253

    Really? Where is Trump’s concession statement?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:46 am

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/07/trump-for-first-time-acknowledges-new-administration-will-take-office-jan-20.html

    You mean that?

    whembly (607028)

  265. To be fair, it would have been interesting to see Gore’s behavior had some senator joined with the House members and allowed the Florida electors to be disputed.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:18 am

    Absent evidence to the contrary, Gore would have followed the procedures of the Electoral Count Act, just as Pence did-the House and Senate would have retired to their separate chambers, debate the challenge, take a vote, and then reconvene.

    Under the federal statute, the vice president’s role is “to preserve order” at the joint meeting. “This authority may be interpreted as encompassing the authority to decide questions of order, but the statute is not explicit on this point,” said the CRS. In past meetings, the vice president has ruled on questions about how the session should be conducted in compliance with federal statutes, which limit motions and almost all debate at the joint session. The vice president is also allowed to call for objections when electoral votes are announced and to state the results of those objections after the House and Senate meet separately to consider them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  266. @254

    Go ahead and equate the two so you can justify your support for Trump. It is characteristic of Trump supporters, which you are despite your denials.

    I understand. There are many reasons to want to support Republicans. But Trump is a sad, corrupt man who should never be President again.

    DRJ (92ff85) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:47 am

    I’m NOT voting Trump in the primary.

    How many time do I have to tell you this?

    My support is really a defensive vote in the General, as I do NOT want, under any circumstances a Democrat to become President.

    I know I’ve told this story before on this site, but the Biden years radicalized me to the point to reflective advocate against any and all Democrats.

    I have many, many issues with Democrats, but one issue its FAR TOO CLOSE TO HOME in that my son’s best friend OD’ed and fentanyl laced weed that was traced to the cartels. I know for a fact, had my son been with him, would’ve taken some with his friend.

    Biden’s border and immigration polices is a redline for me. (I have others).

    But, I also am losing whatever remaining grace for some folks who continuallys uses words like “insurrection” or “coup” describing J6.

    You don’t want Trump to be President, fine. But, don’t tell me it’s raining while pee on my leg.

    whembly (849622)

  267. @265 seems like my post is in moderation?

    I might’ve put too much links in it. My bad. o.O

    whembly (849622)

  268. Really? Where is Trump’s concession statement?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:46 am

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/07/trump-for-first-time-acknowledges-new-administration-will-take-office-jan-20.html

    You mean that?

    whembly (607028) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:32 am

    It’s not much of concession statement (two months after the election) when you won’t say the name of your opponent, and the acknowledgement is 162 words out of a total of 952.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  269. It’s an acknowledgement that he lost, preparing for the transition (much too late, I would agree).

    But to say that he didn’t concede isn’t factual.

    whembly (5f7596)

  270. Words have meaning, and purposely over-inflating these “bad acts” in order to support your world-view puts you on shaky grounds to have good faith discussions.

    Lets look at what Trump said on Jan 6:

    1. Over 20 timese called on his supporters to fight for him. Not protest, not march, not demonstrate. Fight.

    2. “We beat them four years ago. We surprised them. We took them by surprise and this year, they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.”

    3. “We will never concede,” he said. He kept that promise.

    4. “And the only unhappy person in the United States, single most unhappy, is Hillary Clinton because she said, “Why didn’t you do this for me four years ago? Why didn’t you do this for me four years ago? Change the votes! 10,000 in Michigan. You could have changed the whole thing!” But she’s not too happy. You notice you don’t see her anymore. What happened? Where is Hillary? Where is she?”

    5. “And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.
    ***
    So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

    Later reports showed Trump was delighted with the rioters and wanted to join them.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  271. To concede means to “admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it.”

    Trump said Biden would be President. Trump never admitted Biden won the election.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  272. But, I also am losing whatever remaining grace for some folks who continuallys uses words like “insurrection” or “coup” describing J6.

    “A pansy-assed New York sissy-boy throwing a hissy-fit and getting mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, dimwits, halfwits, con men, hornswogglers, buggerers and evangelicals to join in”, okay?

    nk (1f6e3f)

  273. It’s an acknowledgement that he lost, preparing for the transition (much too late, I would agree).

    But to say that he didn’t concede isn’t factual.

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:47 am

    To this day Trump doesn’t believe he lost the election. He may have “acknowledged” he wasn’t President, but he has conceded nothing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  274. @275

    “A pansy-assed New York sissy-boy throwing a hissy-fit and getting mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, dimwits, halfwits, con men, hornswogglers, buggerers and evangelicals to join in”, okay?

    nk (1f6e3f) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:57 am

    Sure, have at it.

    @273

    To concede means to “admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it.”

    Trump said Biden would be President. Trump never admitted Biden won the election.

    DRJ (92ff85) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:57 am

    Are you really going to do this?

    Sure, criticize him for not saying exactly what you’d want. But the fact of the matter, he recognized that he exhausted all his legal options and told the world that Biden is going to be the next President.

    That’s a concession.

    whembly (5f7596)

  275. I completely understand voting Republican in the general election, Whembly. I did that in 2020. But Trump crossed the line to orchestrate a coup. If you still support him, even if only in the general election, you are a Trump supporter.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  276. Yes, I am really doing that because Trump is doing that. He still refuses to say the 2020 election wasn’t rigged.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  277. told the world that Biden is going to be the next President.

    That is not factual.

    As noted above, Trump never mentioned Biden’s name.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  278. Are you really going to do this?

    Whembly, only a true friend is going to tell you something that you may not want to hear. I hope that I am that true friend in this instance.

    I do not understand why you, NJRob and Steve still get involved in these exchanges. Take a break for a few weeks and watch the tribe demolish Kevin whenever he has an independent thought. It is amusing to watch him shape up to get back into the good graces of the favs.

    Patterico has been very fair with my occasional over-the-top comments and I appreciate that. Trying to have an actual conversation, though, proves impossible and I don’t want to be a completely over-the-top commenter so I lurk.

    I suggest anyone with a different take on any event do the same.

    Cheers!

    BuDuh (0b94e9)

  279. To this day Trump doesn’t believe he lost the election. He may have “acknowledged” he wasn’t President, but he has conceded nothing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:58 am

    From the CNN Town Hall transcript:

    Why should Americans put you back in the White House?

    TRUMP: Because we did fantastically. We got 12 million more votes than we had in – as you know, in 2016. I actually say we did far better in that election, got the most that anybody’s ever gotten as a sitting president of the United States.

    I think that, when you look at that result and when you look at what happened during that election, unless you’re a very stupid person, you see what happens.

    A lot of the people – a lot of the people in this audience and perhaps maybe a couple that don’t, but most people understand what happened.

    That was a rigged election, and it’s a shame that we had to go through it. It’s very bad for our country. All over the world, they looked at it, and they saw exactly what everyone else saw. And you look – even if you just look recently with the 51 intelligence agents, that made a 16-point difference.
    ……..
    TRUMP: Now, let me – let me just go on.

    If you look at True the Vote, they found millions of votes on camera, on government cameras, where they were stuffing ballot boxes…….
    ……….
    COLLINS: But what you just said there, Republican officials debunked those claims about fraudulent ballots.

    We want to give you a chance tonight…

    TRUMP: Who? Who?

    COLLINS: Republican officials in Georgia…

    TRUMP: Who?

    COLLINS: … and every single state. There is no – your own election officials, Mr. President.

    So, we wanted to give you a chance…

    TRUMP: Look, people were afraid to take on the issue.

    But we have a big problem in this country. We have elections…

    COLLINS: Well, we wanted to give you a chance to acknowledge the results.

    TRUMP: We have elections that were horrible.

    If you look at what happened in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, if you look at what happened in Detroit, Michigan, if you look at what happened in Atlanta, millions of votes, and all you have to do is take a look at government cameras. You will see them, people going to 28 different voting booths to vote, to put in seven ballots apiece. I mean, and they’re all on camera.
    ………
    COLLINS: I would just say that there’s no evidence of that election fraud.

    You did once tweet…

    TRUMP: I know you’re supposed to say that, but – you know, I’m glad you say that.

    But, look…

    COLLINS: It’s the truth, Mr. President.

    TRUMP: … that was a horrible election.

    TRUMP: That was a horrible election. And unless somebody is very stupid – and I know you very well. You’re not stupid at all. But you perhaps are given an agenda, or you have an agenda.
    ………
    TRUMP: Mike had the right to do it. They convinced him he didn’t, and it was a horrible thing for our country.

    If you would have sent those votes back to Georgia, Pennsylvania, and other states – Wisconsin, which if you look at Wisconsin, they virtually admitted now that the election was rigged.
    ………
    TRUMP: – if this call (to Brad Raffensperger) was bad – I said, you owe me votes because the election was rigged. That election was rigged.

    And if this call was bad, why didn’t him and his lawyers hang up? How dare you say that?

    This was a perfect phone call.

    COLLINS: Well, they were clearly concerned enough they recorded the call.

    And I should note that, of course–

    TRUMP: This was a call that was made to question the results of election.

    And we have – and when we can’t make a call to question election results, then this country ought to just forget about it.

    COLLINS: You weren’t just questioning the election results.

    TRUMP: I was questioning the election.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  280. “who continuallys uses words like “insurrection” or “coup” describing J6”

    Maybe there is no perfect word for it. The goal of the riot…as much as we can ascribe a goal to a riot…was to disrupt the electoral vote count. Was there backchannel coordination between Steve Bannon, the Proud Boys, and Trump? Both Bannon and Trump predicted wild times. Do prosecutors have such evidence? Does it elevate the nature of the event if they do? The lack of urgency that the chief law enforcement officer took in quelling the event…despite urgings from his advisors, family, and closest supporters like Sean Hannity…does suggest some degree of agreement with the attack if not surreptitious sponsorship.

    The riot also had the side “benefit” of trying to pressure Pence into enacting the dubious Electoral Count scheme. Now that scheme would have likely failed spectacularly at the Supreme Court, but thankfully we did not get to see what “pressure” would be used on the Court as well. Again, whatever one might call it, it was ill-conceived and destined to fail, but it’s goal was to create chaos and seed mistrust in the integrity of our election system. With the consequence of that to this point being what exactly?

    One might also think an attempted insurrection or coup has to be bloody to qualify for that title. I’m not sure if that is true. Can there be a bloodless coup? I think Napolean was brought to power in 1799 that way. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Unions are other more recent examples. If the goal is to stay in power beyond the appointed time through extra-legal maneuverings, it does start to smell a bit coup-ish. If not coup, then how would one describe a violent attempt to pressure Congress and the VP to overturn the election results….without cause, evidence, or guiding process (ie what process was Pence supposed to use to count some votes but not others?)? Whatever it was should have ended on J7 with a swift and decisive impeachment and removal (absent some come-to-Jesus national address by Trump coming clean and explaining his actions and inaction which seems about as likely Kari Lake rejecting an offer of the VP nomination).

    But J7 and after showed how thoroughly compromised many were in Congress. Apparently there should be no real consequence to J6. Not impeachment…not censure….not banishment from the party. The party of personal responsibility is reduced to the party of whining about words….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  281. @277

    I completely understand voting Republican in the general election, Whembly. I did that in 2020. But Trump crossed the line to orchestrate a coup. If you still support him, even if only in the general election, you are a Trump supporter.

    DRJ (92ff85) — 7/10/2023 @ 10:04 am

    Okay, fine, if that’s your criterion in labeling me a “Trump supporter“, then I’m going to absolutely blame you for not voting Republicans.

    All the bad things happening under a Democrat governance, you voted for it. You own it.

    whembly (5f7596)

  282. @279

    That is not factual.

    As noted above, Trump never mentioned Biden’s name.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 10:15 am

    Jesus wept, Rip.

    Who else was going to be the President?

    whembly (5f7596)

  283. @281

    Whembly, only a true friend is going to tell you something that you may not want to hear. I hope that I am that true friend in this instance.

    I do not understand why you, NJRob and Steve still get involved in these exchanges. Take a break for a few weeks and watch the tribe demolish Kevin whenever he has an independent thought. It is amusing to watch him shape up to get back into the good graces of the favs.

    Patterico has been very fair with my occasional over-the-top comments and I appreciate that. Trying to have an actual conversation, though, proves impossible and I don’t want to be a completely over-the-top commenter so I lurk.

    I suggest anyone with a different take on any event do the same.

    Cheers!

    BuDuh (0b94e9) — 7/10/2023 @ 10:27 am

    BuDuh… please do continue with this, I want you to know, you’re appreciated.

    Partly the reasons why I’m so animated in this, is that on a different earth, my son would’ve OD on fentanyl. I did my damnest to raise a good kid, but as a parent, I can’t be there 24/7 and he’s going to be tempted.

    I blame the overdose of my son’s best friend primarily on Democrat border/immigration polices.

    In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy. No, this is more than just “policy disagreement” at this point. I’m against you of you don’t work towards that goal. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I’m that radicalized.

    It’s why I’m so adamant about folks being engaged in the primaries to elect a not-Trump. Again, lemme restate to those in the back – I DO NOT WANT TRUMP TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT. But that only goes to the primaries.

    In the general election? If Trump’s the nominee, I’ll fight anyone who tries to prevent me or shame me for voting for Trump. As much as a narcissist, norms-breaking, toddler… Trump 2.0 is far more preferable than the current crops of Democrat policies.

    whembly (5f7596)

  284. This is the wrong venue for that fight, Whembly.

    BuDuh (0b94e9)

  285. Whembly, I understand your passion and have no disagreement with it, even if I don’t share your conclusions that the Democrats are so bad it’s better to support someone to support Trump, But equating Gore’s legal challenges and behavior after they were exhausted with Trump’s undermines your well earned credibility and weakens your arguments on other issues.

    I hope you can see that.

    Time123 (99a9ed)

  286. Fully agree with you about the importance of primaries btw and hope when my state comes around there’s a decadent GOP candidate with a chance of winning.

    Time123 (99a9ed)

  287. @287

    This is the wrong venue for that fight, Whembly.

    BuDuh (0b94e9) — 7/10/2023 @ 11:36 am

    I’m going to politely disagree with you.

    @288

    Whembly, I understand your passion and have no disagreement with it, even if I don’t share your conclusions that the Democrats are so bad it’s better to support someone to support Trump, But equating Gore’s legal challenges and behavior after they were exhausted with Trump’s undermines your well earned credibility and weakens your arguments on other issues.

    I hope you can see that.

    Time123 (99a9ed) — 7/10/2023 @ 11:56 am

    I think the issue between you (and others) and me, is that I can separate J6 from Trump’s legal efforts to challenge the elections.

    I’ll concede that my point doesn’t square with folks who cannot separate J6.

    @289

    Fully agree with you about the importance of primaries btw and hope when my state comes around there’s a decadent GOP candidate with a chance of winning.

    Time123 (99a9ed) — 7/10/2023 @ 12:06 pm

    I’m absolutely animated about this, and I think I’ve gotten folks in my circle to be actively more engaged during their primaries and their online interactions.

    I’m hopeful that DeSantis catches fire if he wins the IA / NH primaries.

    whembly (5f7596)

  288. I’m hoping Desantis flames out so we can get a better candidate.

    Also, it’s not Just Jan 6. Trump is the leader of the GOP and continues to insist, dishonestly, that the 2020 election was stolen/ fraudulent. His continued rhetoric undermines our democracy and weakens our country in a way that similar dishonest conspiracy theories by back benchers does not.

    Time123 (99a9ed)

  289. @291 My support for DeSantis is really based on that there’s only 2 “front-runners” right now.

    If he flames out, and anyone else steps up, I’ll vote for that person as well.

    whembly (5f7596)

  290. In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy.

    I hear you loud and clear. I am your enemy if I don’t vote for Trump in the general election.

    This was your choice. I am officially your enemy.

    DRJ (210034)

  291. It is amusing to watch him shape up to get back into the good graces of the favs.

    I’m not sure how to take that. I have more than one “independent” thought at a time, why does that surprise you?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  292. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I am not leaving. Feel free.

    DRJ (210034)

  293. @283:

    I think that the goal was to create the appearance of a failed election and to throw the election into the House. Hopefully the Army would not have to restore order after that as cities burned.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  294. If you still support him, even if only in the general election, you are a Trump supporter.

    That’s a line too far, DRJ. If I said “if you vote for Biden in the general, you’re a socialist”, you’d see that it is.

    I cannot, today, see myself voting for Trump. But 16 months can bring a lot of changes. The best plan is to run someone else.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  295. Whembly and Buduh,

    Read what you are writing. If that doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.

    We pointed out Trump supported a coup/insurrection. He did. That Trump would not concede. He didn’t. That continuing to support his election makes you a Trump supporter. It does.

    I understand your strong opinions. Vote however you want. Support whoever you want. But those are the facts.

    DRJ (210034)

  296. If I voted for Biden, that would make me a Biden supporter. I will be that if Trump is his opponent.

    DRJ (210034)

  297. If you still support him, even if only in the general election, you are a Trump supporter.

    That’s a line too far, DRJ.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 12:44 pm

    Not even close to being as far as this line:

    I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/10/2023 @ 11:29 am

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  298. Whembly, you have stated yourself that you are a one issue voter. And that’s a choice you have made. However the person you are going to choose to vote for based on that one issue is a terrible person. It seems like you are trying to justify voting for him in your own mind by trying to convince yourself (and us) that he isn’t and wasn’t that terrible and that everyone else is just as terrible. However, that just isn’t the case for those of us who are not so focused on a single issue that nothing else matters. In a democratic country, people who disagree politically still have a right to be part of the country and if you don’t agree with that, how are you valuing our country and system of government?

    Nic (3b6ea1)

  299. Not even close to being as far as this line:

    I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    No, it’s not the same. But that came later.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  300. Who else was going to be the President?

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/10/2023 @ 11:22 am

    In Trump’s mind, himself.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  301. Whembly, you have stated yourself that you are a one issue voter. And that’s a choice you have made. However the person you are going to choose to vote for based on that one issue is a terrible person.

    He actually did not say that he’d choose to vote for Trump. What he said that if the choice offered to him was Biden or Trump, he’d vote for Trump. Not the same thing.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  302. Suppose the choice wasn’t Biden or Trump, But AOC or Trump. AOC is no democrat. Her perversions are different, but she has no more use for the Rule of Law than Trump does.

    Do you vote for AOC because not-Trump?

    Regardless of the choices, simply voting for a blank check because it’s not Donald Trump isn’t voting, it’s surrendering.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  303. I’ve refused to make that choice in the last two elections. To my mind, anyone who voted for EITHER of them has apologies to make.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  304. NATO Chief Says Turkey Has Agreed to Let Sweden Join Alliance

    I posted that 3 days ago.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  305. IOW: “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is no longer a bad guy! Good news!!”

    Proof that it is possible to commend someone whom you otherwise profess is evil incarnate.

    Good luck, Whembly.

    BuDuh out.

    BuDuh (0b94e9)

  306. U.S. Attorney David Weiss says he has not requested special counsel status as part of the years-long investigation into Hunter Biden.
    ………
    “To clarify an apparent misperception and to avoid future confusion, I wish to make one point clear: in this case, I have not requested Special Counsel designation pursuant to” the statue for appointing a special counsel, Weiss wrote in the letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, first obtained by POLITICO.
    ………
    The South Carolina Republican had sent Weiss a letter late last month requesting information about whistleblower allegations that he was denied special counsel status. Graham noted in his letter that whistleblowers had also indicated that Weiss had been prevented from bringing charges in Washington, D.C., and California.
    ………
    “I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary. And this assurance came months before the October 7, 2022, meeting referenced throughout the whistleblowers’ allegations,” Weiss said.

    “In this case, I’ve … never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction,” Weiss added.

    Gary Shapley, one of the IRS whistleblowers, has pointed to an Oct. 7 meeting, where he has said Weiss indicated he was not the person who could ultimately decide if charges were filed in the Hunter Biden investigation. Shaply also told lawmakers that Weiss was denied special counsel status.
    ……….

    It’s all part of the conspiracy!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  307. NATO Chief Says Turkey Has Agreed to Let Sweden Join Alliance

    I posted that 3 days ago.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 1:44 pm

    As speculation or with a link?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  308. If any of you are fans of the British show Endeavor and watched the final episode of the series, let me know in the comments. We need too talk.

    No, I’m watching Star Trek on heroes and Icons TV on WWOR Channel 9-4 in New York.

    https://www.handitv.com/schedule

    If this doesn’t show up right for you, and this is wrong, you can change it by going to:

    https://www.handitv.com/wheretowatch/affiliate/501

    which gives you many different choices.

    Right now they are in 1989 (the middle of the second season the one that had Dr. Katherine Pulaski) for The Next Generation, 1995 (toward the end of the 3rd season) for Deep Space Nine and 1999 (toward the end of the 5h season) for Voyager.

    It usually runs 6 days a week – Sunday through Friday, starting at 8 pmfor the Original Series and ending at 12mdnight for Enterprise.

    Yesterday H&I started running Terminator at 6 pm (which turn out to have shot 31episodess over two seasons in 2008-9) Two episodes only on Sundays) but it’s not very good. No plot twists and turns but just surprisesand lots of shootings.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  309. As speculation or with a link?

    @42 above

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  310. @298

    Whembly and Buduh,

    Read what you are writing. If that doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.

    We pointed out Trump supported a coup/insurrection. He did. That Trump would not concede. He didn’t. That continuing to support his election makes you a Trump supporter. It does.

    I understand your strong opinions. Vote however you want. Support whoever you want. But those are the facts.

    DRJ (210034) — 7/10/2023 @ 12:48 pm

    A “coup/insurrection” isn’t a fact.

    There are A LOT of things we can agree.

    I agree, that Trump’s actions are unacceptable. Hell, I was on this forum advocating for Congress to impeach Trump for, if nothing else, dereliction of duty to protect Congress.

    I agree, that Trump’s supporters on J6 participated in a riot and deserves every book thrown at them. I’m in the camp of FAFO.

    What you and I disagree with, is framing the incidents as a “coup” or “insurrection”, as it connotates something different.

    whembly (5f7596)

  311. If any of you are fans of the British show Endeavor

    As I said above, I’ve watched every episode, including the last one. Your questions?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  312. It’s spelled “Endeavour.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  313. @301

    Whembly, you have stated yourself that you are a one issue voter. And that’s a choice you have made. However the person you are going to choose to vote for based on that one issue is a terrible person.

    I agree, Trump is a terrible person.

    I simply believe (pick any Democrat) is worst. As evidenced by what’s happening now.

    It seems like you are trying to justify voting for him in your own mind by trying to convince yourself (and us) that he isn’t and wasn’t that terrible and that everyone else is just as terrible.

    No. My point isn’t that Trump isn’t terrible. Its that Democrats are much worse.

    However, that just isn’t the case for those of us who are not so focused on a single issue that nothing else matters. In a democratic country, people who disagree politically still have a right to be part of the country and if you don’t agree with that, how are you valuing our country and system of government?

    Nic (3b6ea1) — 7/10/2023 @ 1:32 pm

    The country that we want to live in, will look completely different the longer Democrats are in power.

    whembly (5f7596)

  314. To this day Trump doesn’t believe he lost the election. He may have “acknowledged” he wasn’t President, but he has conceded nothing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:58 am

    Oh, Trump believes he lost the election. He also claims that everybody else believes he won, which he cannot possibly believe; and that he didn’t win by a little but he won by a lot.

    I think that Trump feels trapped by his lie. He cannot suddenly no longer maintain that without losing his credibility among people who believe him..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  315. What you and I disagree with, is framing the incidents as a “coup” or “insurrection”, as it connotates something different.

    The two words themselves connotate different things. I don’t see it as a “coup” as Trump had no means to pull it off. I also don’t see it as a “demonstration” as a number of participants intended violent acts against government officials (although for some individuals, outside holding signs, maybe it was).

    What it was is indeed an “insurrection”: A violent cadre attempted to capture the legislature and, though force, control its behavior.

    Was Trump conspiring with them? If so, he should go to prison forever.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  316. @307

    I’ve refused to make that choice in the last two elections. To my mind, anyone who voted for EITHER of them has apologies to make.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 1:44 pm

    Agreed.

    To those who don’t want Trump at any cost, I struggle to find some of my critics here willing to get behind DeSantis, who’s currently is the only one who’s able to take on Trump. The same DeSantis’ campaign who doubled Trump’s campaign contributions in the last quarter. That’s not nothing.

    If you truly, truly don’t want Trump to win, then you have to CHOOSE someone who can beat him.

    Is there anyone else out there? Because if there is, I’d like to know.

    whembly (5f7596)

  317. @309

    IOW: “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is no longer a bad guy! Good news!!”

    Proof that it is possible to commend someone whom you otherwise profess is evil incarnate.

    Good luck, Whembly.

    BuDuh out.

    BuDuh (0b94e9) — 7/10/2023 @ 1:47 pm

    I’m sorry, what?

    whembly (5f7596)

  318. It’s spelled “Endeavour.”

    Indeed it is. Although not in any American dictionary. I was quoting, so don’t blame me.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  319. As speculation or with a link?

    @42 above

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 1:57 pm

    Post 42 refers to Ukraine, not Sweden:

    Ukraine deserves to have NATO membership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Russia said it was closely watching.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/7/2023 @ 6:45 pm

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  320. @323 I’m curious what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan get in return for giving his blessing for Sweden to join NATO.

    whembly (5f7596)

  321. I currently plan to vote for the No Labels candidate. Some would say I am wasting my vote, but I say any other path is the wasted vote.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  322. Post 42 refers to Ukraine, not Sweden:

    My bad, and apologies.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  323. All heads turn to Hungary.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  324. I was quoting, so don’t blame me.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:06 pm

    I’m not. It started with the Open Thread post. It is the name of the main character (Endeavour Morse) from the series Inspector Morse.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  325. Good luck arguing with the locals, Whembly. I should have put that in a separate post.

    The rest of the comment was for those who praise dictators.

    Back to lurking. Take care.

    BuDuh (0b94e9)

  326. A riot attempting the take over of Congress in order to prevent the election from being certified, with hundreds of pleas and convictions including 4 for seditious conspiracy, is an insurrection.

    DRJ (8e312c)

  327. Turkey’s Parliament would have to ratify Sweden’s membership in order for it to become a full member. The Hungarian government has said it would ratify Sweden’s membership and followed Turkey’s lead after Erdogan approved Finland’s entrance.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  328. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 7/10/2023 @ 10:40 am

    The goal of the riot…as much as we can ascribe a goal to a riot…was to disrupt the electoral vote count.

    But Trump had his own plan for doing that, (objections by members of Congress, with the added hope that Vice President Mike Pence could cause a further delay) and this pretty much put the kibosh on that and Congress got through the proceedings possibly a little bit earlier than if there had been no riot. It also caused Trump to totally give up his attempts to stay in office.

    Was there backchannel coordination between Steve Bannon, the Proud Boys, and Trump?

    Possibly yes, but as far as Trump was concerned, it was going to be peaceful, because he was going to address the crowd – a fact brought out by the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan 6 committee.

    And if it was somehow delayed past January 20 all that would happen would be that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become Acting President.

    The best guess I have about what the people planning the riot wanted was that Trump would use it as an excuse to proclaim martial law -something he had no intention of doing. This had been urged on him, sort of anyway, by Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/12/19/oval-office-meeting-trump-martial-law-powell-flynn-diamond-sot-nr-vpx.cnn

    Trump asked if this was legal. If it wasn’t, and it wasn’t, he knew the only result could be a very short civil war with him ending up in prison or dead.

    This was all possibly at the instigation of Vladimir Putin – something like that had worked for Boris Yeltsin in 1993.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Russian_constitutional_crisis#:~:text=In%20September%20and%20October%201993,presidential%20rule%20by%20decree%20system.

    In September and October 1993, a constitutional crisis arose in the Russian Federation from a conflict between President Boris Yeltsin and Russia’s parliament. President Yeltsin performed a self-coup, dissolving parliament and instituting a presidential rule by decree system. The crisis ended with Yeltsin using military force to attack Moscow’s House of Soviets and arrest the lawmakers. In Russia, the events are known as the October Coup (Russian: Октябрьский путч, romanized: Oktyabr’skiy putch ) or Black October (Russian: Чëрный октябрь, romanized: Chyorniy Oktyabr’).

    But the United States wasn’t Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  329. I will point out that Erdogan also said that the US could stage the invasion of Iraq from bases in Turkey, only to lose a vote in Parliament.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  330. I don’t know. Is it wise to put someone delusional and perhaps guilty of multiple felonies (and incredibly ignorant on crucial issues like NATO and foreign trade) back in the White House…just because he’s not a Democrat? Yikes. I agree that the GOP must mobilize to create other viable options…and time remains to do this….but it’s discouraging to think that 50% of the GOP doesn’t seem to care. I’m at a loss for words. Leaders don’t serially lie, punch down, or surround themselves with goofs and grifters. This shouldn’t be hard, but at this point I struggle with what remains to be said about it. I’ve exhausted myself of adjectives and arguments. It’s not conservative to vote in a guy that has little respect for the Constitution or rule of law….who has single-handedly made the GOP skeptical of the FBI, the DoJ, NIH, and our election system. Conservatism has deflated into only conserving the Trump brand. Yeah, no thanks.

    I prefer a Republican-leaning approach to immigration, though I think the party has drifted away from pragmatism. I find it remarkable that we no longer agree about a path toward legalization for individuals who have been here for 30 years in good behavior. That we believe these individuals have to be made to go back to their country of origin…regardless if they still have ties there or not…..and get back in line for the potential of a return. This strikes me as remarkably impractical and even a bit cruel. Legalization shouldn’t be trivial but it shouldn’t be insurmountable. This is a significant change to Republican orthodoxy of the past two decades. Still, Trump solves little of engrained immigration problem. He over-focused on a wall and offered little creative to address the economic draw that exacerbates the problem.

    I don’t see myself voting for Biden. I will continue to write-in names. I was a reliable GOP vote….but I can’t vote for someone delusional. It’s a pretty low bar.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  331. Both Bannon and Trump predicted wild times. Do prosecutors have such evidence?

    I think Trump used the word “wild” in his tweet without understanding it.

    Does it elevate the nature of the event if they do? The lack of urgency that the chief law enforcement officer took in quelling the event…despite urgings from his advisors, family, and closest supporters like Sean Hannity…does suggest some degree of agreement with the attack if not surreptitious sponsorship.

    Trump hoped the crowd (whose size he greatly exaggerated) could persuade at least Republican members of Congress to vote to reject Electoral votes. He didn’t want to give that up before things played out.

    The scheme would spectacularly fail in Congress but Trump was grasping at straws because he didn’t think he had anything to lose.

    Can there be a bloodless coup?

    Someone can also just not hold elections.

    Whatever it was should have ended on J7 with a swift and decisive impeachment and removal

    The facts upon which the impeachment was based simply didn’t fit the accusation in the impeachment resolution. Trump did not incite the crowd with his words.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to get Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment. But he wrote back that he couldn’t do that either.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  332. #319

    From what I see of DeSantis, I don’t find him at all appealing. Better than Trump. I may vote for him in the GOP primary if he is clearly the only viable alternative. There are aspects to DeSantis (the willingness to take on corporate power) I find intriguing. His hatefulness on immigration and his flirting with the anti-vax crowd, however, repel me.

    So, if it’s DeSantis v Biden, I am my undecided independent self.

    Appalled (a84931)

  333. A riot attempting the take over of Congress in order to prevent the election from being certified, with hundreds of pleas and convictions including 4 for seditious conspiracy, is an insurrection.

    DRJ (8e312c) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:12 pm

    See also this from the Justice Department, summarized at post 74:

    30 Months Since the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol

    Not to nitpick, but the total number of seditious conspiracy convictions is 21. Seven Oath Keepers pled guilty, while nine others (including their leader Stewart Rhodes) were convicted at trial.

    One Proud Boy pleaded guilty, and four others were convicted at trial (including their leader Enrique Tarrio). Source

    It was largest (and most successful) seditious conspiracy prosecution in US history.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  334. I think Trump used the word “wild” in his tweet without understanding it.

    LOL! Comedy Gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  335. There are aspects to DeSantis (the willingness to take on corporate power) I find intriguing.

    LOL! Outside of Disney, what corporations has DeSantis “taken on”?

    Uh-huh:

    Ron DeSantis to attend fundraiser with Wall Street execs, including former Soros firm partner

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  336. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:25 pm

    prefer a Republican-leaning approach to immigration, though I think the party has drifted away from pragmatism. I find it remarkable that we no longer agree about a path toward legalization for individuals who have been here for 30 years in good behavior. That we believe these individuals have to be made to go back to their country of origin…regardless if they still have ties there or not…..and get back in line for the potential of a return. This strikes me as remarkably impractical and even a bit cruel.

    They are, as the phrase goes, stuck on stupid”

    At most they want the next amnesty to be the last amnesty – which they cannot get. They say the 1986 one was supposed to be the last. Otherwise they argue just like now, there is a case for granting amnesty to people to people who have been here for more than 30 years in good behavior, so there will be in the future for those who are yet to come

    They’ve got to get this idea of enforcing the law just for the sake of enforcing the law out of their heads. That was the Republican position of Prohibition; that was the position of the British Parliament when they passed the tax on tea.

    They repealed all the taxes except the tax on tea, just to make the point.

    https://www.loc.gov/collections/continental-congress-and-constitutional-convention-from-1774-to-1789/articles-and-essays/timeline/1770-to-1772/

    1770

    Townshend Acts Cut Back. Because of the reduced profits resulting from the colonial boycott of imported British goods, Parliament withdrew all of the Townshend Act (1767) taxes except for the tax on tea.

    When they try to be abt more serious, the Republicans say they want illegal immigrants to self-deport.

    This is what Governor Ron DeSantis has succeeded in doing in Florida.

    Of course they only went to places acceptable to them, like Indiana and North Carolina.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  337. Thank you for the correction, Rip

    DRJ (210034)

  338. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:34 pm

    LOL! Comedy Gold!

    No, true.

    Does it make any sense in its own terms? He was undoubtedly persuaded to send that tweet right after that meeting with Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell at which he refused to assent to seizing ballot boxes and maybe martial law.

    No where else does he indicate any anticipation of disorder.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  339. The west is losing its moral compass due to immigrtion laws.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  340. No where else does he indicate any anticipation of disorder.

    Pure speculation. Sammy Finkelman, the Trump Whisperer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  341. > That we believe these individuals have to be made to go back to their country of origin…regardless if they still have ties there or not…..and get back in line for the potential of a return.

    The one that I find particularly absurd is the insistence that children who were brought here illegally by their parents, but who have lived their entire conscious lives in the US and have no ties whatsoever to their parents’ home country, must be sent back to their parents’ home country — where they have virtually no social ties, no ability to navigate the system, and no functional understanding of the basics of the way things work.

    This is intolerably cruel to the point of being outright evil.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  342. I prefer a Republican-leaning approach to immigration, though I think the party has drifted away from pragmatism. I find it remarkable that we no longer agree about a path toward legalization for individuals who have been here for 30 years in good behavior. That we believe these individuals have to be made to go back to their country of origin…regardless if they still have ties there or not…..and get back in line for the potential of a return.

    This is cynical. Not only is there no “line” (just a hierarchy of preferences that are subject to a soon-exhausted quota), but people who have been deported are generally not eligible for later admission. Add to this that the typical wait time for high-preference immigrants from CANADA is several (verging on many) years. I have a friend who is a US Government employee trying to get he husband allowed in from Canada. This has been going on for about 5 years now, and there is still no hearing set.

    This strikes me as remarkably impractical and even a bit cruel. Legalization shouldn’t be trivial but it shouldn’t be insurmountable. This is a significant change to Republican orthodoxy of the past two decades. Still, Trump solves little of engrained immigration problem. He over-focused on a wall and offered little creative to address the economic draw that exacerbates the problem.

    It’s a challenge for the next actual Republican president to erase the entire system and start over.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  343. Generally, AJ, Trump is a destructor. Like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. He has neither the interest or ability to build something new.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  344. > In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy. No, this is more than just “policy disagreement” at this point. I’m against you of you don’t work towards that goal. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have now declared me to be your enemy and that you no longer want to share the country with me.

    But I would add — the sentiment you are expressing is a major step down the road to Rwanda.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  345. But I would add — the sentiment you are expressing is a major step down the road to Rwanda.

    The division is not cause by one side. Biden campaigned as someone who wanted to bridge the gap, but immediately turned to the ideologues to his Left. He made fools of those who had crossed over the divide to support him (or oppose Trump).

    Positions harden. Leaders are part of the problem or part of the solution and Biden, like Trump isn’t working towards a solution. I hope we can avoid civil war (or even a national divorce), but the Beast continues to slouch towards Bethlehem.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  346. We need to figure out how to coexist better. Tribalism is not the answer. Both parties need to regenerate their moderate wings. The whole system is based on compromise and we’ve completely devalued it. The inadvertent consequence is authoritarians and populists. Wokeism and Trumpism are both problems but we can’t get consensus on that because we’re stuck in our bubbles. Social media and the transformation of media have given us exactly what we want….to our detriment….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  347. @wembly@316 If it’s completely different, then that’s the choice the majority of Americans will have made. The country we currently live in is completely different than the one the founding fathers lived in. The point of democracy is that the majority of people get to choose, even if/when it changes things.

    @Kevin@348 we each individually choose to harden our position on those who disagree with us or not. The politicians have their rhetoric, but it is up to us, as citizens, to keep our minds open and maintain relationships with those in our lives who don’t always agree with us politically.

    Nic (3b6ea1)

  348. In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy. No, this is more than just “policy disagreement” at this point. I’m against you of you don’t work towards that goal. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I’m that radicalized.

    Those are the words of someone with no loved ones on the other side of the political divide. I find it hard to believe you are one. Do you really not have any close friends or relatives who believe the Democrats are the lesser evil? Do you really consider those loved ones your enemies? Do you really want them to leave the country?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  349. Gore made a concession speech. I don’t see why that’s controversial.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  350. The division is not cause by one side. Biden campaigned as someone who wanted to bridge the gap……

    It’s tough to bridge the gap when the political opposition denies your legitimacy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  351. Florida poll finds Trump well ahead of DeSantis in state

    ……….
    The new Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab poll showed that Trump held a 20-point lead over DeSantis among registered GOP voters when asked whom they would support if the 2024 primary were held today. Half said Trump, while 30 percent said DeSantis and 7 percent said they were undecided.

    Other candidates who trailed behind them include entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at 4 percent; Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) at 3 percent; and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) each at 2 percent. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) followed with 1 percent.
    ……….
    “The poll highlights Donald Trump’s quite durable support. He does especially well with white working-class voters, who have consistently formed a steadfast base for the former President,” FAU political science professor Kevin Wagner said in the poll’s summary. “This persistent support continues to bolster Trump’s strong and steady position within the party.”
    ……….
    The poll also showed DeSantis would beat President Biden in a head-to-head match-up by 13 points, if it were held today: 49 percent would support DeSantis, 36 would support Biden, 11 percent would support “other” and 4 percent were undecided.

    In a match-up between Trump and Biden, on the other hand, Trump would lead by a narrower margin of 10 points: 49 percent would support Trump, 39 percent would support Biden, 10 percent would support “other” and 2 percent were undecided.
    ……….

    Like Darling Nikki and Tim Scott in South Carolina (where they averaged 10% of the vote each in two recent polls), DeSantis, despite a landslide reelection with over 59% of the vote, performs poorly in his home state when facing Trump.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  352. @348

    > In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy. No, this is more than just “policy disagreement” at this point. I’m against you of you don’t work towards that goal. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have now declared me to be your enemy and that you no longer want to share the country with me.

    But I would add — the sentiment you are expressing is a major step down the road to Rwanda.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:57 pm

    Maybe, but having a son’s best friend die of fentanyl poisoning and realizing that could’ve easily been your own son… it’s clarifying.

    Maybe “enemy” is too strong, but Democrats are definitely may “adversary”.

    whembly (5f7596)

  353. @352

    In my mind, anyone who’s not working towards kicking the Democrat out of power is my enemy. No, this is more than just “policy disagreement” at this point. I’m against you of you don’t work towards that goal. I don’t WANT to live with you in the same country.

    I’m that radicalized.

    Those are the words of someone with no loved ones on the other side of the political divide. I find it hard to believe you are one. Do you really not have any close friends or relatives who believe the Democrats are the lesser evil?

    Yes, I do.

    And I told them under no uncertain terms…don’t come to me bitching about how things are going politically. YOU VOTED FOR IT! OWN UP TO IT! .

    Do you really consider those loved ones your enemies?

    Politically? Yes. And now I’m that guy who won’t keep his mouth shut whenever fam or frens bring up the issues that is exacerbated by Democrat policies. Those days are over, and I’m going to really let ’em have it. Right now, most of them don’t bring it up anymore, because THEY almost lost a nephew or grandson.

    It’s a direct reflection on Democrat’s open border policies, and to me, it’s far beyond mere “policy differences”. It’s absolutely impeachment worthy… both the DHS secretary, as well as Biden and Harris.

    Do you really want them to leave the country?

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 7/10/2023 @ 4:44 pm

    This country won’t survive in another generation or so, at it’s current trajectory.

    Where the two radical sides becomes so untentatively polarized, the country will split and may even devolve into Civil War II The Electric Bugaboo.

    No one should want that.

    But something gotta give. I’m not sure what.

    Even if Trump and Biden dies tomorrow, the polarization will continue to exist and will get worse.

    whembly (5f7596)

  354. @354

    It’s tough to bridge the gap when the political opposition denies your legitimacy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 5:40 pm

    But, totes kosher when Democrats and legacy media does it to Trump in 2016…amirite!?

    whembly (5f7596)

  355. having a son’s best friend die of fentanyl poisoning and realizing that could’ve easily been your own son… it’s clarifying.

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:15 pm

    I agree that is very traumatizing, but emotions are not the best basis on which to vote or formulate policy.

    The drug problem goes way beyond Trump or Biden. We’ve been waging the War on Drugs for over 50 years. It’s not working. Has either Trump or Biden proposed legalization (under which drugs would not be laced with fentanyl)? No. All Trump does is talk about how tough he is going to be. Invading Mexico. Blockades, etc. That rhetoric might feel good, but it’s not reasonable.

    America would have to become a police state the likes of which you cannot even imagine to have a significant effect on the illegal drug trade, and even then there would still be a black market, and drugs laced with fentanyl.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  356. @359 norcal (e5b4c8) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:28 pm
    Nevermind the War on Drugs or doing anything too Mexico.

    I absolutely refuse to accept that we cannot secure our borders (not just the southern) and ports.

    Stop incentivizing illegal immigration!

    Hell, I’m onboard with extremely LIBERAL legal immigrations. Bring ’em all in, after a thorough vetting of course.

    But current policies incentivizing illegal immigrations, that’s a boon to actual human trafficking (ie, MODERN SLAVERY!), which create easy opportunities for smugglers to move illicit fentanyl into the states.

    whembly (5f7596)

  357. whembly (5f7596) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:33 pm

    1) Even a police state like North Korea can’t secure its border, and it is much smaller than the U.S.

    2) You are conflating two issues. Even if illegal immigrants were stopped, there would still be drug trafficking across the border, and yes, trying to counter drug trafficking across the border is part of the War on Drugs. As long as there is a black market for drugs, drugs will come in.

    3) Your comment is full of emotion, which is understandable in light of the death of your son’s friend. However, it is not a good basis for policy.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  358. It’s tough to bridge the gap when the political opposition denies your legitimacy.

    People voted for Biden to get rid of Trump. Biden encouraged this and suggested he’d govern from the center. Once elected Biden kicked those people in the teeth. There is a lot of hard feeling.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  359. having a son’s best friend die of fentanyl poisoning and realizing that could’ve easily been your own son… it’s clarifying.

    I had two good friends die of Covid in April 2020. However, I don’t blame Trump for that. Sure, he was an oaf regarding the pandemic, but he had PLENTY of company. Getting a vaccine through the bureaucracy in 8 months was probably his best achievement. Not that it helped my friends, but the President is not God after all.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  360. Comer: “Note to self, scratch this guy off the whistleblower’s list.”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  361. From Paul’s link.

    A “whistleblower” who has repeatedly accused the Bidens of corruption has been charged by the Justice Department with arms trafficking, acting as a foreign agent for China and violating Iran sanctions.

    Gal Luft, who is a citizen of both the United States and Israel, is accused of paying a former adviser to Donald Trump on behalf of principals in China in 2016 without registering as a foreign agent.

    Isn’t it amazing that people who accuse presidents of stuff have legal problems afterwards?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  362. As they say, when Trump or his devotees make accusations, it’s a case of projection or confession.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  363. It’s kind of classic, guy who accuses of Biden of being CHINA JOE actually worked for the Chinese.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  364. Fentanyl deaths have been skyrocketing since 2013, even when Trump was in power and there was a stricter border policy. It’s a multi-billion dollar business where, if what I read is true, does not really pivot on illegals. Cartels are more often using U.S. citizens to move their merchandise. There may be incentives for illegal migration, I’m just not sure if they have much to do with the movement of fentanyl.

    Multi-billion dollar. That means lots of resources to evade inspection and interdiction. One thing we can do is try and cut demand. It’s foolish to use illegal narcotics when there is a possibility that they can be laced with fentanyl. It’s even more foolish to purposefully use fentanyl when so little of it can produce an overdose. People that get hooked need treatment, not incarceration. I agree with Chris Christie on that point.

    The President certainly plays a role with both policing and educating the populace. I doubt that Biden is purposefully reducing policing efforts. And with a son with substance abuse issues, I doubt Biden is indifferent to the harm of narcotics. Some problems are just hard. Should we launch attacks in Mexico and label cartels as terrorists? There is an emotional appeal to both. But is it the smartest plan?

    Nothing stops Congress from developing its own strategy, building bipartisan support, and passing actual legislation that has broad support with the electorate. If ideas are good and smart, people will rally behind them and compel congressional adoption. I fear we’re not there with this. Biden is not showing much leadership here, but let’s not pretend there’s more than bluster from the other side. We will never solve hard problems if we look across the aisle and think….enemy.

    AJ_Liberty (c35a38)

  365. @361 For 50 years democrat party has tried that tactic to get conservatives off the gun issue and vote where we have common interests. It hasn’t worked very well as democrat office holders have been defeated election after election on the gun issue by single issue voting. Kevin I think you will have the same problem with voters agreeing with you on Biden and drag queens/transgenders and still vote out every republican on the ballot over abortion as 80% of voters oppose a ban on abortion.

    asset (d86512)

  366. As they say, when Trump or his devotees make accusations, it’s a case of projection or confession.

    So, Paul, anyone who accuses Biden of a crime is a Trumpist? Not sure I follow this logic.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  367. 80% of voters oppose a ban on abortion.

    A majority also opposes abortions after the first trimester. You seem to ignore that a lot.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  368. @370 What will be on the ballot in 2024 will be do you want a republican elected official to decide if and when a girl or woman can have an abortion or not take the chance and vote out every republican on the ballot. This as I said will be like what anti gun control voters did to pro-gun control democrats for the last 50 years. Most republicans would be primaried if they said first trimester. Look what happened to sen. graham he got attacked by both republicans and democrats!

    asset (d86512)

  369. By and large, government snitches are criminals looking to cut some kind of deal with the government in return for (more often than not false) testimony against someone else.

    They can run the gamut. From Mafia hitmen snitching out the guy who pushed the button, to illegal aliens living in police stations who accuse the police officers of sexual misconduct.

    nk (23a008)

  370. Today’s Wordle in two with a starter word inspired by some of the comments here. Thanks, guys!

    nk (23a008)

  371. Whembly, I understand and respect both your policy preferences and your passion. But I don’t see the GOP offering actual solutions to the problems you and I care about. At best I see them offering rhetoric around it, but when given power the GOP uses it for dumb culture war stuff that garners liberal tears and expands government in ways that will make us less free in the long run.

    I can’t see supporting that trade off.

    Time123 (e2c260)

  372. @361

    1) Even a police state like North Korea can’t secure its border, and it is much smaller than the U.S.

    I’m sorry, but what? They have one of the more secured borders in the world.

    2) You are conflating two issues. Even if illegal immigrants were stopped, there would still be drug trafficking across the border, and yes, trying to counter drug trafficking across the border is part of the War on Drugs. As long as there is a black market for drugs, drugs will come in.

    Nope.

    We can do more than simply hand-wave illegal immgrants at the border.

    We can do more than shrug our shoulders at visa-overstays.

    We’re practically doing nothing and AVOIDING instituting policies to actively discourage illegal migration and smuggling.

    I’m saying we MUST do more.

    3) Your comment is full of emotion, which is understandable in light of the death of your son’s friend. However, it is not a good basis for policy.

    norcal (e5b4c8) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m going to vehemently disagree with you there and I’d appreciate if you weren’t so flippant. Not ONE thing I’m pointing out is bad policy.

    whembly (5f7596)

  373. Whembly, I also want to say I’m very sorry for you loss. No one should have to lose a loved one to poison.

    Time123 (e2c260)

  374. @375

    Whembly, I understand and respect both your policy preferences and your passion. But I don’t see the GOP offering actual solutions to the problems you and I care about. At best I see them offering rhetoric around it, but when given power the GOP uses it for dumb culture war stuff that garners liberal tears and expands government in ways that will make us less free in the long run.

    I can’t see supporting that trade off.

    Time123 (e2c260) — 7/11/2023 @ 6:17 am

    It’s going to be a log slog to advocate for the changes I’d want.

    I’m not expecting, when the Nov election rolls out and the GOP wins, my work is done.

    I realize I need to work inside the system in order to affect change.

    Simply voting isn’t enough. We’d have to be activist to hold our politicians accountable.

    The GOP party is that.

    The Democrat party isn’t for that.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Otherwise, you’re abdicating your civic responsibility all because you may not like the guy personal. Policies is all that matters. Policies create lasting change. There’s a hard end-date on Presidential terms. Policies outlast presidential terms. Perfect example of this is Obamacare.

    whembly (5f7596)

  375. @377

    Whembly, I also want to say I’m very sorry for you loss. No one should have to lose a loved one to poison.

    Time123 (e2c260) — 7/11/2023 @ 6:38 am

    I really appreciate you buddy.

    whembly (5f7596)

  376. @378 Continuing my stream of conscious thought regarding policies is the only thing that matters.

    I think that’s why I’m throwing my support behind DeSantis. I see his effective governance in Florida and the opportunities a President DeSantis would have. He’s not perfect by any stretch, and I do think he goes overboard. But that’s usually mitigated by a legislature and the courts. He’s willing to push the envelope. Which, outside of Kemp and maybe Youngkin, I don’t see any other GOP politician willing to routinely push the envelope. (man I really wished those two would’ve jumped in the race)

    I don’t see Trump would ever, god forbids, be effective if he were to win the Presidency again. The *only* thing Trump would ever be do, imo, is to nominate strong conservative Judges. Outside of that, I sincerely believe his 2nd term would be even more chaotic than his first.

    whembly (5f7596)

  377. So, Paul, anyone who accuses Biden of a crime is a Trumpist? Not sure I follow this logic.

    I don’t see how you could follow that logic, Kevin, because I didn’t say that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  378. Lord knows I’m not a physicist, but if an area of ocean has less gravity, wouldn’t it have sea levels that are higher than surrounding waters? Anyways, interesting story.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  379. Paul, in a handwavy kind of way, I’d think that the effect is due to a gradient effect. The surrounding areas with higher gravity pull the water away from the localized low. The “tide” is always out there.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  380. Today’s Wordle in two

    Three here, because I decided to play it safe and not try for two. As it turned out, there were only two possibles after my starting word, so I might as well have just gone for it.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  381. Yesterday I experience a new oxymoron: Vegan nutritionist.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  382. Heh! I can guess your starting word. It was not what I used. Mine was the main ingredient in two well-known, and uniquely identifiable with their home countries, Mexican and Scottish dishes.

    nk (23a008)

  383. Isn’t it amazing that people who accuse presidents of stuff have legal problems afterwards?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    Seeking leverage.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  384. 3) Your comment is full of emotion, which is understandable in light of the death of your son’s friend. However, it is not a good basis for policy.

    norcal (e5b4c8) — 7/10/2023 @ 7:45 pm

    Now do the emotion of those who seethe with hate towards the former President. I know you can do it.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  385. I had two good friends die of Covid in April 2020. However, I don’t blame Trump for that. Sure, he was an oaf regarding the pandemic, but he had PLENTY of company. Getting a vaccine through the bureaucracy in 8 months was probably his best achievement. Not that it helped my friends, but the President is not God after all.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 8:19 pm

    Maybe you should revisit your posts at the time towards those who doubted the efficacy of the shots and those who doubted what the government was telling us about the virus.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  386. Interesting analysis of who is arrested for fentanyl smuggling and where seizures are made.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  387. DeSantis’s stumbles have GOP mulling other Trump alternatives

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s weaker-than-expected campaign is prompting other Republicans, such as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, to take a new look at running for president, GOP strategists say.
    ……….
    “I think his high point was right after the last election, when he was the brightest spot on an otherwise somewhat disappointing night for Republicans,” said GOP strategist Vin Weber, commenting on the big DeSantis reelection victory for governor in 2022.
    ……….
    Weber argued Trump also looks vulnerable, despite his massive polling lead, because of his mounting legal problems, which could make the race look more attractive to Youngkin and Kemp.

    “The fading of a guy who was never the front-runner is not in and of itself a good reason for someone to take a look at running,” Weber said. “They have to perceive vulnerability in the front-runner. I think those two factors play into it together.”
    ……….
    “He waited too long because I think that he anticipated that people were just waiting on him to be the guy to come out and beat Trump and that is obviously not the case,” added (John Merrill, who served two terms as Alabama’s secretary of state), who hasn’t endorsed a candidate but plans to support Trump.
    ………
    Other Republican strategists say DeSantis simply hasn’t been able to connect with GOP primary voters on a personal level.
    ………
    Former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (R) said it’s not too late for Youngkin or Kemp to enter the race and win the New Hampshire primary, which will take place a week after the Iowa caucuses next year.
    ……..
    Gregg suggested a candidate like Youngkin could enter the race late and still have a chance of beating Trump in New Hampshire for two reasons.

    “New Hampshire is notoriously late deciding. We can be two weeks from a major election, especially the primaries, and we don’t know who’s going to win. Very late-deciding voters,” he said.

    “The second is there isn’t going to be a serious Democratic [presidential primary] race up here … That means we’re going to have a huge independent vote in the Republican Primary, huge. Independents outnumber both the Democrats and Republicans up here,” he said. “So a late entrant, who’s a legitimate, viable person who comes here and takes the time to meet people, I think they’re still viable.”
    ………
    “I think the fact that people are taking a second look at the race speaks more to DeSantis faltering out of the candidate than anything else,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist.
    ………
    Republican strategists who have been in touch with Youngkin’s and Kemp’s advisers say the Virginia governor is more likely to jump into the race but caution it won’t be easy for anyone to position themselves as a viable alternative to Trump, despite DeSantis’s struggles.
    ………
    The strategist said “it’s very likely Youngkin could get in,” adding that he’s “appealing to all stripes of Republicans” and “he’s actually appealing to some of the softer, more moderate elements — if you can call them that — of MAGA.”
    ………
    “The problem for DeSantis, Youngkin or any of the other 13 announced candidates is that Trump owns [many] of the first-tier voters and the second tier is split 13 ways,” (David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University) said. “I don’t think there’s a pathway for anyone else getting in the race.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  388. Isn’t it amazing that people who accuse presidents of stuff have legal problems afterwards?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    Grifters like Hunter Biden and Gal Luft flock together. Not a surprise.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  389. Fentanyl is the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in the US and is clearly dangerous. But it can only be acquired by tightly-controlled prescription (typically end-stage cancer patients) or illegally through fentanyl-laced fake prescriptions. Cartels, not illegal immigrants smuggle fentanyl.

    Drug dealers distribute fentanyl via fake or illegally-obtained prescription drugs they lace with fentanyl. There is no evidence that illegal immigrants are bringing fentanyl with them. If they are smuggling, it is typically marijuana from Mexico.

    There are many reasons to discourage or control illegal immigration. They pose a heavy burden on local schools, food pantries, shelters, etc. They do not have the resources or support to easily assimilate. There are jobs but typically only low wage jobs that make it hard to get ahead when coupled by with limited language skills. Some of them pose criminal or terror threats as cartel members or terrorists. But I don’t see how it impacts the fentanyl problem.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  390. RIP pianist Peter Nero (89).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  391. It would be very hard to lose a child. My sympathies to your friend and his family, Whembly.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  392. Sad Only In That He Survived:

    Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of sexually abusing young athletes under the guise of medical treatment, was assaulted inside a federal prison in Florida, according to two sources familiar with the incident.

    Joe Rojas, president of the local correction officers’ union, told CNN Nassar was stabbed a total of 10 times – twice in the neck, twice in the back, and six times in the chest. Rojas credits corrections officers on the scene with saving Nassar’s life. Rojas says Nassar is in stable condition.
    ………
    According to a statement from the Bureau of Prisons, “on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at approximately 2:35 pm, an inmate was assaulted at the United States Penitentiary (USP) Coleman II, in Sumterville, Florida. Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures. Staff requested Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued.”

    In addition to his federal prison sentence (60 years for possessing child pornography), Nassar was sentenced in a Michigan state court to up to 175 years in prison after more than 150 women and girls said in court he sexually abused them over the past two decades.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  393. @395

    It would be very hard to lose a child. My sympathies to your friend and his family, Whembly.

    DRJ (92ff85) — 7/11/2023 @ 10:40 am

    Thank you DRJ, I appreciate you for saying so.

    whembly (5f7596)

  394. Isn’t it amazing that people who accuse presidents of stuff have legal problems afterwards?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    Luft was indicted in November 2022, and skipped bail in February 2023. Luft has not presented any evidence supporting his allegations against the Bidens (notwithstanding Rep. Comer’s statements that he is “very credible.”)

    It’s amazing that people take at face value any accusations against presidents. The claims against President Biden have as much credibility as the Steele Dossier (which is to say none at all). Self serving statements by “whistleblowers” not backed by documentation are not evidence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  395. If you think that modern conspiracy theories are strange, how about this one that suggests that the Titanic didn’t really sink:

    https://www.amazon.com/Titanic-Ship-That-Never-Sank/dp/0711027773

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  396. Grifters like Hunter Biden and Gal Luft flock together. Not a surprise.

    You pretty much have to be a grifter to get inside the Biden grift.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  397. Maybe you should revisit your posts at the time towards those who doubted the efficacy of the shots and those who doubted what the government was telling us about the virus.

    Or maybe not. They were still wrong. It amazes me that the first thought about the vaccine from some chuckleheads was “It’s a trap!”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  398. I’m not sure about many things, but the efficacy of that vaccine is so well-proven that it’s like saying the sun rotates around the earth to dispute it.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  399. Seeking leverage.

    Yes, but which way. Did Paula Jones accuse Clinton to get out of the tax audit that hit her?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  400. Yes, but which way. Did Paula Jones accuse Clinton to get out of the tax audit that hit her?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/11/2023 @ 11:14 am

    Apples and oranges.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  401. Apples and oranges.

    Indeed. To get inside the Bidens you have to be a grifter. To get inside the Bill Clinton’s you have to be a … oh wait, Paula wouldn’t do that. Others would.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  402. @402

    I’m not sure about many things, but the efficacy of that vaccine is so well-proven that it’s like saying the sun rotates around the earth to dispute it.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/11/2023 @ 11:13 am

    Kevin, I work for one of the largest healthcare provider in Missouri and as such I’m mandated by my employer to take various vaccines (ie, normal flu vac) for my job. They’ve been doing this well over 10 years.

    So, when the covid vaccine was made available, earlier to the public, to healthcare providers (Jan-Mar of ’21), I had to take my first shots.

    I think you’re hung up on the word “efficacy”. What’s the gradient compared to other vaccine is useful.

    Sadly, right now, covid vaccine don’t even match the efficacy of the normal flu. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything. Worse case scenario that it provides the immune system just enough to prevent you from going into the ICU. That’s absolutely not nothing, and great! But, it conclusively doesn’t stop the spread, and I think the issue really stems from the Biden administration outright lying about these things and social media censorship, that poisoned the well of having meaningful debates.

    Back to me, this is anecdotal, my employer has NOT mandated the subsequent covid shots these last two years since my initial shots. It’s interestingly been quietly left off of the mandatory vaccination schedule in order to maintain employment. I asked an immunologist colleague why is that, and he says it’s for two reasons, in his opinion: 1) the covid vax has not met the traditional FDA testing metrics and employers are worried about vaccines injuries 2) The real-world data doesn’t support massed vaccination polices with this vaccine. He still argues that the shot should be reserve to elderly and those immuno-compromised.

    The issue really isn’t about the efficacy, imo. The issue is with all the misinformation and bullying tactics perpetuated by governments and employers.

    The American way, is to simply tell the truth to the public, and let the people decides whether or not to take the vaccine.

    whembly (ea5e48)

  403. So, a Spanish cabinet minister (for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of Spain) arrives at climate conference on bicycle.

    https://twitter.com/DVATW/status/1678693093703385090

    What isn’t shown is that she flew there on a private jet and did not get on the bicycle until her limo had brought her most of the way.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  404. Sadly, right now, covid vaccine don’t even match the efficacy of the normal flu.

    Convince me that those who died, after the vaccine was available, were more likely to be vaccinated than not and I’ll eat my words.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  405. It think it’s obvious that the vaccine resistance was largely political.

    If Trump had been re-elected he would have been pushing his “beautiful” vaccine. — Trump’s supporters would be proudly vaccinated and denouncing all that were not. And RFK, Jr would be the leading Democrat candidate after left-wing #resisters had done their level best to block distribution of the vaccine.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  406. If I, as a patient, caught COVID after being unknowingly exposed to an unvaccinated healthcare worker, I would sue the institution. I would love to hear their folks telling a jury that they had no duty of care. Liability law drives most safety requirements.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  407. The American way, is to simply tell the truth to the public, and let the people decides whether or not to take the vaccine.

    Except that it almost never is done that way. Hundreds of examples. Other than that, it’s common practice.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  408. The American way, is to simply tell the truth to the public, and let the people decides whether or not to take the vaccine.

    whembly (ea5e48) — 7/11/2023 @ 12:09 pm

    I agree.

    I support vaccines. Herd immunity is a real and valuable thing. But IMO the medical community is not honest with the public abput the risks of any vaccines.

    DRJ (1d4331)

  409. @410

    If I, as a patient, caught COVID after being unknowingly exposed to an unvaccinated healthcare worker, I would sue the institution. I would love to hear their folks telling a jury that they had no duty of care. Liability law drives most safety requirements.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/11/2023 @ 12:21 pm

    You would most likely lose I’m sorry to say.

    There’s safety requirements to patients and staff.
    There’s are a whole world of mitigation strategies employed by hospital systems to keep hospital infection as low as possible.

    But, keep in mind, we collate realtime data to distinguish between community acquired infections (patients already infected prior to going to hospital) and hospital acquired infections. This is useful, particularly hospital acquired as it shows there’s a fault somewhere in the workflow that needs to be addressed.

    This will always be an ongoing process.

    Workers (and perceptive colleagues) are responsible when they start seeing symptoms, regardless of vaccine status, to get tested or leave the shift. If worker is truly infected, it’s already too late as that person has already shed enough viral particles during the shift.

    whembly (5f7596)

  410. My understanding of the stats is that there was a much much higher probability of getting Covid and potentially complications of long covid than there was of having adverse reactions to the vaccination. Much higher. Still, we all know people and acquaintances of people who had a negative reaction…possibly not debilitating, but concerning at the time, so much so that they are reluctant to do a vaccination like that again. I hope that the public policy folks, virologists, and public health people have a lot of lessons learned. It’s human nature that people will get sucked into home brew solutions and government conspiracy theories, aptly captured in theh 2011 pandemic movie Contagion. It’s a bit disappointing that we haven’t had a “hot wash” or public hearings, not trying to lay blame or launch into Wuhan politics, but to give people our best analysis of what worked, what didn’t, and what might be tried next pandemic. In a more functional society, such an event should have brought people together. We tended to weaponize it for cheap political points. Shame.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  411. @413

    Workers (and perceptive colleagues) are responsible when they start seeing symptoms, regardless of vaccine status, to get tested or leave the shift. If worker is truly infected, it’s already too late as that person has already shed enough viral particles during the shift.

    Requoting myself here because I’ve noticed a shift with Employers. It used to be that there was this unstated expectation that we’re supposed to “tough it out” and go to work even when we’re a little sick.

    Now? It seems much more acceptable to stay home more often than pre-covid era.

    Have ya’ll seen that?

    whembly (5f7596)

  412. Covid is so 2022.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  413. For me (and my GF), being anti-social finally paid off; to be sure being vaccinated helped. Neither of us ever got sick (with anything).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  414. Actually, Rip, I find it more 2021 than 2022.

    Appalled (360ff0)

  415. whembly (ea5e48) — 7/11/2023 @ 12:09 pm

    Sadly, right now, covid vaccine don’t even match the efficacy of the normal flu.

    Because even the updated vaccine still vaccinates people against the probably extinct Wuhan version of the virus as much as Omicron. On top of that the vaccine is too strong.

    But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything.

    The first few days after vaccination it makes an infection worse.

    But, it conclusively doesn’t stop the spread,

    Something is slowing the spread.

    One thing wrong here is that people are treating exposure like a binary choice – either you were or you were not. (this was so bad that, during the height of the epidemic, they were quarantining people who were exposed together But the dose is the poison.

    and I think the issue really stems from the Biden administration outright lying about these things and social media censorship, that poisoned the well of having meaningful debates.

    The CDC and others wanted to give simple, easy to remember and uncomplicated instructions, and they wanted people to follow their advice. So they lied.

    1) the covid vax has not met the traditional FDA testing metrics

    And it never will because it is not worth it to the pharmaceutical companies to try. You’ve got to step out of the procedures and arrange for quick certification of a changing vaccine to a changing virus.

    We could have an all purpose flu vaccine but we don’t because of stubborn adherence to old established protocols.

    We abandoned Operation Warp Speed and are back to Operation Impulse Power.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  416. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/10/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that people who accuse presidents of stuff have legal problems afterwards?

    I think he had legal problems before, and in fact he skipped bail, but he claimed he got arrested to stop him from testifying to Congress. He’s going to testify anyway, or was supposed to:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/11/us/politics/gal-luft-hunter-biden-indictment-justice-department.html

    He was detained by law enforcement officials in Cyprus in February in connection with the indictment, but fled after being freed on bond while awaiting extradition. If convicted, he faces up to 100 years in prison.

    “He subverted foreign agent registration laws in the United States to seek to promote Chinese policies,” said Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, adding: “He acted as a broker in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil, and he told multiple lies about his crimes to law enforcement.”

    Mr. Luft has denied any wrongdoing, and claims he only became a subject of Justice Department scrutiny after discussing the Hunter Biden investigation with prosecutors who met with him in Belgium in 2019.

    https://nypost.com/2023/07/10/missing-biden-corruption-witness-dr-gal-luft-hit-with-federal-charges

    Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York say Luft, 57, a dual US-Israeli citizen who was arrested in Cyprus this past February and went on the run after being released on bail prior to his extradition, agreed in 2015 to let former Hong Kong official Patrick Ho send $350,000 each year to Luft’s think tank, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.

    In return, the indictment said, Luft agreed to “recruit and ‘educate’” a former high-ranking US official to “make public statements … which were in the interest of China.”

    The official is not named in the indictment, but details about his work correspond to former CIA Director James Woolsey, who briefly worked for former President Donald Trump’s transition team after the 2016 election.

    Ho similarly is not named in the indictment, but details in the court document match up to incidents in Ho’s life — most notably his arrest by US officials in November 2017 on bribery and money-laundering charges.

    Sammy Finkelman (d007a3)

  417. 343.

    No where else does he indicate any anticipation of disorder.

    Pure speculation. Sammy Finkelman, the Trump Whisperer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/10/2023 @ 2:50 pm

    It’s better speculation than the idea that Trump was intentionally leaving a coded dog whistle type message on Twitter.\\BTW now that Musk put limits on viewing Twitter messages (even though high0 and made people join and
    log in to read anything on it, Twitter is rapidly losing users and Meta Threads gaining them.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  418. Wall Street Journal article about El Salvador.

    Since early last year the president has suspended civil liberties, arresting gang members and suspected gang members (family or tattoos) except for the highest up, who apparently have been persuaded to retire, and homicides have dropped by 92% compared with 2015. More than 1% of the population is in jail, and they say they may have to be imprisoned for life. Some 10% of those arrested have been released. Although prisoners are supposed to get food, families have been forced to supply them with food, toilet paper and soap.

    It seems to popular in Guatemala (in their presidential election) and the opposition in Colombia likes it.

    The number of Salvadorans illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has also dropped by 44%. Meanwhile, there’s a gang problem developing in Ecuador where the homicide rate has gone up 4 times from 2019 to 2022

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-country-with-the-highest-murder-rate-now-has-the-highest-incarceration-rate-b5401da7?mod=world_major_2_pos4

    The anti-gang campaign is widely popular in El Salvador, whether in hardscrabble neighborhoods, wealthy enclaves or rural regions….

    ….In the slums that surround the country’s capital, parents now say their children can play outside without asking permission from once-omnipresent street gangs. Middle-class teens gather at the coffee shops of central San Salvador, and restaurants are filled with families having dinner.

    The extortion that shop owners had paid to crime syndicates has fallen sharply, according to a survey by the country’s largest business group.

    In January, a convoy of Pizza Hut delivery men on motorcycles adorned with red balloons resumed service to what had been no-go zones.

    “The gangsters would even take away the little tip money I had on me,” said Samuel Martínez, a 40-year-old food delivery worker who used to turn down orders from dangerous barrios. “Now the city has opened up for us.”

    The article notes that the MS-13 gang originally arose because of deportations from Los Angeles. (probably mostly of people who were brought to the USA as children and became gang members in LA)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  419. Now? It seems much more acceptable to stay home more often than pre-covid era.

    Have ya’ll seen that?

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/11/2023 @ 1:07 pm

    I saw that a lot last year (2022) with the medical community and in the business world. In Texas, that has changed in 2023 . Now people are expected to get back to real life.

    DRJ (92ff85)

  420. > The division is not cause by one side.

    I did not say that it was.

    But each of us as individuals have the moral responsibility to *choose* whether to escalate the rhetoric or to try to contain it, to fan the flames of the division or to help stamp them out and bring us together. And those choices have consequences *which we are responsible for*.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  421. > Policies is all that matters.

    Policies *matter*, but they are not the *only thing* that matters. Personality and character have consequences, too.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  422. GAil Collins gave a much better example than she thought because a hypothetical bit of misinformation she came up with is actually true!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/10/opinion/ron-desantis-doesnt-know-whether-hes-coming-or-going.html

    Gail: … If you’ve got influencers with millions of followers warning that, say, giving milk to babies is dangerous, you’ve got to do something more than issue a press release.

    Bret: I’m pretty sure we could get the word out that milk is generally fine for babies or vaccines are generally safe without setting a precedent that the federal government can work with big tech to censor individual speech.

    Giving (cow’s) milk to babies (before the age of about six months) *is* dangerous.

    It causes juvenile diabetes (years later) in persons with the right immune system and absent being fed cow’s milk before the age of six months Type I diabetes in children is virtually unknown.

    It is for this reason that soy milk is recommended for those who do not breastfed, The juvenile (Type I) diabetes shows up years later, which the immune system get triggered by an infection

    Indeed, should anyone attempt to stop people from warning other people about the truth – that giving (cow’s) milk to babies is (somewhat) dangerous?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  423. > If I, as a patient, caught COVID after being unknowingly exposed to an unvaccinated healthcare worker, I would sue the institution.

    you would lose. given how widespread the virus is and given how difficult it is to trace exposures, you would not be able to demonstrate that the unvaccinated healthcare worker is the reason you caught COVID.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  424. Corruption is just another issue – and it depends on what kind and how much there is.

    The presidency is too important to treat almost anything as a deciding issue.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  425. > Workers (and perceptive colleagues) are responsible when they start seeing symptoms, regardless of vaccine status, to get tested or leave the shift.

    My housemate who is a physicians’ assistant blew her stack yesterday when her medical assistant measured vitals, etc, of a patient who had symptoms consistent with covid-19 *without wearing a mask*

    aphrael (4c4719)

  426. > Now? It seems much more acceptable to stay home more often than pre-covid era.

    Hard for me to say; i have worked from home continuously since Jan 2021.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  427. Russia announced Monday that Vladimir Putin had included Wagner group head Yevgeny Prigozhin and his top lieutenants on June 29 in a meeting of about 35 people to discuss the war. Progozhin also got back his guns in St Petersburg. He was in Belarus on June 27 but left.

    So, what’s going on?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  428. But the only really good mask is an N95.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  429. Actually, Rip, I find it more 2021 than 2022.

    Appalled (360ff0) — 7/11/2023 @ 1:46 pm

    Agree.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  430. BTW, I hate “Prime Day.” I wish I could ignore it, but apparently I cannot.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  431. If worker is truly infected, it’s already too late as that person has already shed enough viral particles during the shift.

    This nailed the coffins shut for many senior living folks.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  432. BTW, I hate “Prime Day.” I wish I could ignore it, but apparently I cannot.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/11/2023 @ 4:58 pm

    I only purchase books from Amazon, rarely anything else (except when I’m too lazy to go to the store to up something).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  433. A part of me is impressed by this performance, but I’m mostly disturbed.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  434. A part of me is impressed by this performance, but I’m mostly disturbed.

    I would have to know a lot more about her parents, her situation, etc, before I was either impressed or disturbed. Particularly regarding her training in gun safety. Without that information, it does seem rather too young and I’m wondering about her ability to actually control those weapons.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  435. Inflation down to only 3%! Double-plus good. No word yet about choco rations.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  436. A part of me is impressed by this performance, but I’m mostly disturbed.

    They’re not real guns.

    nk (a7373e)

  437. The little girl is probably the only thing that’s not movie magic and I’m not even sure about her.

    nk (a7373e)

  438. Now? It seems much more acceptable to stay home more often than pre-covid era.

    Have ya’ll seen that?

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/11/2023 @ 1:07 pm

    All the movie theaters and bookstores I go to are pretty crowded, nearly at pre-pandemic levels.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  439. RIP Czech author and dissident Milan Kundera (94). His most famous work was The Unbearable Lightness of Being, made into a film in 1988 starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Kundera was twice expelled by the Communist Party, the second time in 1970 for supporting the Prague Spring, and he eventually went into exile in 1975. Kundera’s novels were banned from the start of his literary career (1967) and it wasn’t until the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that his first works were available in his home country.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  440. Catfight!!!

    urbanleftbehind (196ca7)

  441. Catfight!!!

    urbanleftbehind (196ca7) — 7/12/2023 @ 11:39 am

    I hope Melania has a vise mounted and ready to go.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  442. I’m thinking Epps is going to have as good a shot at a nice settlement as Dominion. It’s incredible the number of MAGAs who still believe that he instigated the J6 insurrection, thanks to Tucker and the FoxNews crew. I hope he has a prosperous retirement.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  443. Catfight!!!

    urbanleftbehind (196ca7) — 7/12/2023 @ 11:39 am

    No surprise. There have been other stories as well. Kari Lake’s only qualification, really, is that she is a pushy broad.

    But I don’t think Melania has anything to worry about. Kari Lake is the same age she is and nowhere as great a piece of ass.

    nk (e906d4)

  444. Do you think Epps was an insurrectionist, Paul?

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  445. But I don’t think Melania has anything to worry about. Kari Lake is the same age she is and nowhere as great a piece of ass.

    nk (e906d4) — 7/12/2023 @ 4:05 pm

    Don’t you dare start pouring water on the catfight, nk.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  446. Do you think Epps was an insurrectionist, Paul?

    No, because there’s no evidence that he broke the law.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  447. Did he do anything different that this person?

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/case-multi-defendant/file/1371391/download

    I believe the video evidence of that day showed that he did exactly the same thing.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  448. Well, I’ll tell you, norcal, it don’t do a drake no harm to have two ducks chasing after him, as Owen Wister noted in a Virginian story. Maybe if Kari Lake had been around in 2017, Melania would have moved to DC on January 20 along with her husband and not lingered in New York for another six months leaving the White House without a First Lady. If you know what I mean.

    nk (e906d4)

  449. I believe the video evidence of that day showed that he did exactly the same thing.

    BuDuh (eaef9b) — 7/12/2023 @ 4:40 pm

    After arguing with a U.S. Capitol Police Officer, SAMSEL became visibly agitated and aggressively began to push and pull on the barricades. After unsuccessful attempts to tear down the barricade, SAMSEL removed his light blue jacket, revealing a long sleeve white hooded shirt under a black shirt. After removing his jacket, SAMSEL begins leading the crowd in violently pushing and pulling the barricades until the crowd successfully pushed the barricades down. SAMSEL can be seen advancing farther into the U.S. Capitol Grounds, which remained closed to the public. Your affiant later observed GENCO in footage also advancing farther in the U.S. Capitol Grounds, past these barriers.

    Any link to photos or video of Epps doing the same thing?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  450. The fact that Tucker Carlson continues to assassinate the character of Ray Epps should lead anyone to the conclusion that he is innocent of being a fed stooge. Believe the opposite of what Tucker wants you to believe.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  451. I believe the video evidence of that day showed that he did exactly the same thing.

    There’s no evidence Epps crossed the barricades, therefore he remained a protester while Genco broke the law, crossing the line from protester to rioter.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  452. All the movie theaters and bookstores I go to are pretty crowded, nearly at pre-pandemic levels.

    There aren’t that many bookstores left. B&N is the only major one standing, and yes, it is usually well-patronized, but smaller bookstores and even specialty bookstores are evaporating.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  453. You do realize that your quote is a majority of the activities of Samuel and not Genco. And only one line of what Genco did. It is almost as if you think I linked a DOJ complaint against Samuel and want me to compare Epps activities to a strawman. I am shocked!!

    Here is a video that has him “farther in the U.S. Capitol Grounds, past these barriers.” like Genco…

    https://yournews.com/2023/02/22/2520160/new-video-emerges-of-ray-epps-hurling-large-trump-sign/

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  454. Maybe if Kari Lake had been around in 2017, Melania would have moved to DC on January 20 along with her husband and not lingered in New York for another six months leaving the White House without a First Lady. If you know what I mean.

    nk (e906d4) — 7/12/2023 @ 4:46 pm

    That, or Trump would be on wife number four. 😛

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  455. BuDuh (eaef9b) — 7/12/2023 @ 5:00 pm

    LOL! If you look at the other stories it is a pure Trumpist conspiracy site.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  456. BuDuh (eaef9b) — 7/12/2023 @ 5:00 pm

    You would be better off with Infowars.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  457. The fact that Tucker Carlson continues to assassinate the character of Ray Epps should lead anyone to the conclusion that he is innocent of being a fed stooge. Believe the opposite of what Tucker wants you to believe.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/12/2023 @ 4:54 pm

    Carlson is more dangerous than Trump, and he is much younger.

    My friend the Tucker fan hasn’t seen all of Trump’s speeches, but he’s never missed an episode of Tucker. He’s now boycotting Fox News. It’s both funny and sad.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  458. Rip hates videos that prove him wrong.

    Oh well, you are on a mission to defend a TRUMPIST, so it is tough to get a real read on your motivation.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  459. You asked for a video, I asked GOOGLE for a video, now you are having a SAD!!

    I should take the advice I gave to Whembly.

    But hey, keep defending a Jan 6th TRUMPIST.

    LOL. This is a funny place.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  460. Rip hates videos that prove him wrong.

    No, but the image was so blurry you couldn’t see anything. The only thing that identified the person as Epps was the headline.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  461. I believe the video evidence of that day showed that (Epps) did exactly the same thing.

    BuDuh (eaef9b) — 7/12/2023 @ 4:40 pm

    Are there any sworn declarations that describe what Epps did (or did not) do on January 6th?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  462. You are saying that after the 3min and 20 seconds mark on the video it is too blurry for you to make out the person in the red hat that has made it beyond the original barricade that Genco violated?

    It seems you didn’t actually watch the whole video. Again, I am shocked.

    Here is the video with the icky link that google provided:
    https://rumble.com/v1rc618-watch-ray-epps-help-lift-massive-trump-sign-over-heads-of-capitol-police.html

    Please shoot another messenger on your way to exonerating this particular J6 Trumper.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  463. Well, actually, it’s not much of a defense of a Trumpist to say that he was actually a criminal un-American traitor out to overthrow the government of the United States by force or violent means, and not an agent provocateur in the service of the FBI as claimed by other Trumpists.

    nk (3da567)

  464. And only one line of what Genco did.

    It was more than just one line, BuDuh, there was photographic evidence that she trespassed, per your own link.
    I’ve seen that video before of Epps allegedly throwing something, but I couldn’t tell if that was Epps, and I watched it closely.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  465. I think the actual defense of Epps is that he is better than Tucker Carlson. Enemy of my enemy yadda yadda.

    Suddenly no one cares that he is exactly as you described, nk.

    My own opinion of him is that he is more of the overly exuberant stolen-valor type of geezer. His text boasts to his family pretty much make that case. I do not believe that he was a fed or a fed asset.

    I also do not believe that everyone who participated in the J6 riot need to be treated equally and get the slammer or whatever the judge and juries decide. It has been a disservice that a guy who made the FBI into poster doesn’t have whatever DOJ scrutiny he received put in an unredacted open document to end this once and for all.

    My bet is they felt sorry for him, slapped him privately on the wrist, and they don’t want that disparity in treatment to get out into the sunlight.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  466. It does neither Trump nor Tucker any good if the J6 idiots did what they did because of Trump.

    No, there has to be some other explanation.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  467. You are saying that after the 3min and 20 seconds mark on the video it is too blurry for you to make out the person in the red hat that has made it beyond the original barricade that Genco violated?

    It seems you didn’t actually watch the whole video. Again, I am shocked.

    Actually, I have no idea what Ray Epps looks like, so as far as I am concerned, it could have been anybody.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  468. Please watch the end of the video, Paul.

    I also hope my 6:03 is taken for what I believe is possible and is only an opinion.

    Later dudes.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  469. Actually, I have no idea what Ray Epps looks like

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  470. @6:03

    I should be: “I do believe…”

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  471. Please watch the end of the video, Paul.

    Like I said, BuDuh, I’ve seen it. Months ago. More than once.
    It looks like he was there, but it doesn’t look like he crossed the barricades and I couldn’t tell if he or someone else threw something. The FBI hewed to easily verifiable visual evidence and social media for most of the indictments (not counting the seditious conspirators like the Yale eyepatch guy), and I don’t see the same for Epps, which is why I said “no evidence”.

    But I think you’re losing the forest by getting granular on a tree. The larger accusation by Tucker and others was that he instigated the J6 insurrection, and it’s a brazen attempt to blame-shift the instigation from Trump, who held a rabble-rousing speech right before the rioting started (and let’s not forget his Giuliani, Brooks and Eastman warm-up acts) over to some unknown guy said loud things the night before.

    I really don’t know why belaboring this, BuDuh. He testified twice before the J6 Committee, and Michael Cohen will tell you that lying to Congress is a felony that will put you in jail. He sat down with the FBI, and Martha Stewart will tell you that lying to the FBI is a felony that will put you in jail. What’s his motivation? Why would an apparent law-abiding American and self-professed patriot lie about this?

    I saw his segment on 60 Minutes (and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do), and he doesn’t come across as insincere or dishonest. If anything, he looks like a true-believing Trumpist who was there to protest a “stolen” election and he was smart enough and commonsensical enough to know where the line was. Ever since then, he’s been vilified as a fed and traitor and instigator, and his life has been turned upside down as a result, not unlike what happened to Ruby Freeman and her daughter. Instead of continuing to cast suspicions and aspersions, how about trying a little sympathy for him and his family.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  472. I don’t buy any of Tucker’s garbage.

    I don’t believe the footage I provided clearly shows Epps throwing anything and that is why I did not make that claim.

    I have provided a video that clearly shows Epps is in an area past the initial barricade that got Genco in trouble.
    You would have to actually watch the end of the video I provided and not rely on memory of a video of something that I am not claiming.

    We have reached the usual impasse, but I am sincerely grateful that I wasn’t called any names. 🙂

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  473. Instead of continuing to cast suspicions and aspersions, how about trying a little sympathy for him and his family.

    Please re-read my 6:03.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  474. Apologies for linking Redstate but the twitter links are accessible through them.

    It seems that Epps lawyers are claiming that the DOJ is looking into Epps thanks to Fox.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  475. https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1679176559104753664?

    Mentally ill man screams that we are the greatest threat to Gaia as he demands government crush the populace to save the planet.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  476. “He’s now boycotting Fox News. It’s both funny and sad.”

    Yeah FNC stoked and ratcheted the tribalism. It is amusing that Dr Frankenstein must now fight off the monster. It is sad that right wing media sold its soul for a barrel of sheckles. The country needs news channels that aren’t afraid to shoot straight down the middle….and call a spade a spade. It’s amusing to observe how different the world is being portrayed to both sides. It all just needs to break.

    AJ_Liberty (3e5304)

  477. Here’s a thread from Tom Nichols, linking to Dmitri’s account of a sacked Russian commander. Yes, Prigozhin was right about the goddawfulness of the senior Russian military leadership…

    Ivan Popov, commander of the 58th Army of the Russian armed formations, currently in Zaporizhzhia, who was removed from his position earlier today says that Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes are causing significant casualties to the occupiers holding defence.

    Explaining in an audio message, Popov says he delivered a damning report about the state of Russian counter-battery fire directly to Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov which resulted in his immediate dismissal.

    In a four-minute audio message, Popov talks about betrayal from the most senior military leadership, echoing the sentiment expressed by Wagner mercenaries:

    “A difficult situation with the leadership emerged. It was a choice between remaining silent and afraid and saying what they wanted to hear, or calling things for what they are. In your name, in the name of all perished comrades-in-arms, I didn’t have the right to lie. Hence I named all the problems that exist today in the army regarding operations, supply. I pointed the attention to the most important tragedy of the modern war – the lack of counter-battery fire, lack of artillery reconnaissance stations, and mass casualties and injuries of our brothers from enemy artillery.

    I also raised a number of other issues, expressed them to the highest levels, did it openly and very brutally. Due to this, the seniors likely felt some danger in me and instantly, in one day, put together an order to the Minister of Defence and got rid of me.

    As many commanders of regiments and divisions said today, our army was not broken through the front, but our most senior commander hit us in the back, thus treacherously beheading the army in the most difficult period.”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  478. Nailed it, AJ.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  479. Does it really matter?

    Ok, ok, it matters to nebbishes like Epps who have their lives destroyed.

    But to the Darwinian deviation which composes Fox’s viewership? Do they want the truth? Do they deserve the truth? Could they handle the truth? Does their chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

    nk (3da567)

  480. I saw the Epps video again, and my impressions were right the first time. If he’s the guy with the MAGA hat and tan backpack, he was one of many who held up the big Trump sign and he did so for a few moments, then he blended back into the crowd, then he walked up to law enforcement and spoke to them, and he was not breaching police line. That’s not trespassing (unlike Ms. Genco who was photographed on the wrong side of the barricades) and there’s no indication that he hurt or assaulted anyone or vandalized Capitol grounds.
    If there’s a criminal indictment, then we’ll see what the FBI offers for proof of a crime. As it is, I haven’t seen the evidence of it.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  481. then he walked up to law enforcement and spoke to them, and he was not breaching police line.

    Wrong police line.

    The photos in the criminal complaint show a different barricade that Genco crossed. There is a video of Epps at the Genco police line where Samsel did everything described in Rip’s quote of the complaint at 4:47pm

    The video of Epps at the Genco/Samsel line is at this link: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2021/01/11/fbi-capitol-investigation-arizona-trump-supporter/6624406002/

    It is physically impossible for Epps to be in the video at the interior police line you noted, without having first crossed the police line that Genco was charged by the DoJ for crossing.

    I feel it is important to reiterate that I don’t believe Tucker and I have no reason to think Epps was a Fed or a Fed asset. I am only pointing out what appears to be unexplained prosecutorial discretion. And I think the people who were prosecuted deserve to know why.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  482. BuDuh, the caption under Figure 3 on page 5 of the Criminal Complaint reads: GENCO beyond the initial police barriers and on restricted Capitol grounds. Emphasis mine.
    Epps was on the legal side of the police barrier. You’re basically telling me to not believe what my eyes are seeing. This feels like I’m talking to liberals back in my early blogging days.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  483. Image 3 has the same barricades in the background that Epps is standing at in the video you watched. Genco, like Epps, did not cross those barricades.

    The video I just posted shows the initial barricades as described in the complaint:

    This fence line was intended to keep the public away from the Capitol building and the Congressional proceedings underway inside. The fence line was manned by uniformed U.S. Capitol Police Officers and was constructed of metal bike rack barriers, physically linked end to end, and reinforced with dark colored plastic mesh safety fencing affixed behind the metal bike racks. The fence line was clearly marked with large white “AREA CLOSED” signs affixed to the fencing with bold red lettering.

    Epps made it to the other side of the “metal bike rack barriers, physically linked end to end, and reinforced with dark colored plastic mesh safety fencing affixed behind the metal bike racks” to get to the area that has the different barricades seen in image 3.

    The complaint is very detailed about the location of the breached barricades and their location on the “Pennsylvania Ave Walkway.”

    BuDuh (84db84)

  484. Technically, when a group of persons engages in a criminal enterprise — that’s enterprise, not conspiracy, when they actually do criminal things, and not just plan to do them — the act of one is the act of all. They could have charged everybody with what Stewart Rhodes did.

    But like Judge Tobin told Mrs. Morris in Seaseon 3, Episode 7 of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, “I could not possibly allow you to plead guilty to what no jury would convict you of”. People have a sense of justice, proportion, and just plain common sense, and they do not like the Procrustian application of laws. And prosecutors recognize that.

    nk (99cc9c)

  485. BuDuh,

    Let me make a counter suggestion. Read the Epps filing:

    https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/epps-fox-lawsuit/68619a81058ced05/full.pdf

    Epps apparently thinks a January 5 conflict with a character named “Baked Alaska” has brough this misery on himself.

    I am amazed about a world in which a conspiracy theory can be ginned up about a private citizen to such an extent that folks are hawking t-shirts advocating his arrest. Like Paul, I also wonder about your persistence about stuff like this.

    Appalled (8de28c)

  486. Here is the 60min interview with Epps: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QHEEGxQKg20

    At 5min 30 seconds the action begins with the initial barricade as described as “ metal bike rack barriers, physically linked end to end, and reinforced with dark colored plastic mesh safety fencing affixed behind the metal bike racks. The fence line was clearly marked with large white “AREA CLOSED” signs affixed to the fencing with bold red lettering.” Even the interviewer has to concede that Epps did cross that barricade. This is the same barricade Genco crossed. Genco was not charged with any sort of violent behavior, only what amounts to trespassing. So Epps not being violent is irrelevant to what he did similar to Genco.

    Of note, the video shown at 1min 7seconds, of the 60 Minutes interview, is after the initial barricade has been breached and on the way to the second set of barricades that figure 3 of the complaint shows Genco on the outside. The same “outside” that Epps was on when he was talking to the cops after the initial breach he ran through.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  487. Last time we did this, Appalled, you were unable to correctly summarize my position and, instead, went with a fictional caricature’s position that you created from whole cloth. You are doing that again.

    Please summarize my position and if you are close, I will engage you.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  488. Secret Service concludes cocaine investigation, no suspect identified
    ………..
    Secret Service officials combed through visitor logs and surveillance footage of hundreds of individuals who entered the West Wing in the days preceding the discovery and were unable to identify a suspect, one of the sources said.

    Investigators were also unable to identify the particular moment or day when the baggie was left inside the West Wing cubby near the lower level entrance where it was discovered.

    The second source said that the leading theory remains that it was left by one of the hundreds of visitors who entered the West Wing that weekend for tours and were asked to leave their phones inside those cubbies.

    The cubbies where the small bag of cocaine was found is a blind spot for surveillance cameras, according to a source familiar with the investigation. While there’s surveillance around where the bag was found, cameras are not trained directly on the West Wing cubbies near the lower-level entrance where it was discovered, the source said, making it difficult to identify who left the bag behind.
    ……..
    Visitors entering the West Wing for tours are asked to leave their phones in those cubbies, which can also be used by staff who cannot bring their phones into a SCIF, or sensitive compartmented information facility, where classified materials are handled. The cubbies are located near the Situation Room, which has not been used for months due to ongoing renovations.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  489. Investigators were also unable to identify the particular moment or day when the baggie was left inside the West Wing cubby near the lower level entrance where it was discovered.

    Oh? Someone may want to tell the Press Secretary that she her excuse doesn’t fly anymore:

    Q Hi. I’m wondering if you have any comments about recent crime in D.C. It’s raising rates. We’ve lost an SIV applicant from Afghanistan in the most recent killings. Really tragic. Wondering what the White House has to say about that.

    And then, secondly, sorry to bring up cocaine again. (Laughter.) But there was a question yesterday during press gaggle with Andrew Bates that was — I guess — he said that it had — he didn’t — he was avoiding it because of the Hatch Act.

    I’m just asking again: Can you just say once and for all whether or not the cocaine belonged to the Biden family

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay, I hear you. But you’re asking me a question, so I’m answering it for you. And so, that’s why he said the Hatch Act. So I would — I would, you know, have you read the transcript and read the transcript fully so you can see exactly what he was trying to say. So, that’s number one.

    So we’re not avoiding the question; that is not true. We’ve answered this question, litigated this question for the last two days exhaustively.

    You know, there has been some irresponsible reporting about the family, and — and so I got to call that out here. And I have been very clear. I was clear two days ago when talking about this over and over again, as I was being asked a question.

    As you know — and the media outlets reported this — the Biden family was not here. They were not here. They were at Camp David. They were not here Friday. They were not here Saturday. They were not here Sunday. They were not even here Monday.
    They came back on Tuesday. So to ask that question is actually incredibly irresponsible. And — and I’ll just leave it there.

    This is part of why I voted against Biden.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  490. BuDuh:

    Name which argument of yours I have actually misstated in this thread. My understanding of your point is:

    I have no reason to think Epps was a Fed or a Fed asset. I am only pointing out what appears to be unexplained prosecutorial discretion. And I think the people who were prosecuted deserve to know why.

    Paul is addressing the accuracy of your assertions. My own reaction to THAT is why does somebody not charged have to be dragged into somebody else’s crime? Why are you s persistent about it?

    Appalled (8de28c)

  491. You linked my “persistence” to “ginned up” “conspiracy theory” by not separating out your last paragraph. That was you misstatement, Appalled.

    Now that you have apparently read some of my comments, the quote of mine you just provided is a good one. Had you read that earlier you may not have tried the conspiracy theory angle.

    I know that Paul is addressing the accuracy of my assertions and aside from him suggesting that I am reminiscent of liberals from his blogging days, it has been very cordial. I believe that when he fully views all that I provided it will be obvious that Epps crossed the same barricade as Genco and, like Genco, Epps stayed behind a different barricade that was deeper into the restricted area.

    As far as I am concerned, everyone who breached the initial barricades should be charged. This isn’t about dragging an innocent person in as an accessory to another’s crime. Epps did it. He admitted it on 60mins.

    Do you find it odd that a Trump Supprting Oath Keeper that trespassed Capitol grounds during the Jan 6th riot is getting such a rousing defense at Patterico’s? Paul has downplayed Epps involvement in a large sign getting smashed on the cops. He just “touched it” and then went back to the crowd.

    Imagine if that clown MTG just touched the sign that clobbered the police.

    I really don’t get the consistency.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  492. Yeah, I already knew that: First on CNN: Secret Service concludes cocaine investigation, no suspect identified Nobody with access to that area and nobody who authorized them access to that area was going to be embarrassed. No way. Guaranteed. Take it to the bank and borrow money on it.

    nk (99cc9c)

  493. For all we know Epps has been indicted but it hasn’t been released (for example Gal Luft was indicted in November 2022 but it was just released this week). The government’s investigation is continuing, it could be they are building a bigger case against Epps beyond what is seen in the videos.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  494. So they can’t won’t identify the owner of the cocaine bag. Wonder if they’d have any issue with a bag of anthrax?

    NJRob (4461fc)

  495. I think they conducted an “investigation” designed not to identify them. Afraid of whom it might turn up. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

    nk (99cc9c)

  496. From the Epps lawsuit against Fox:

    94 Finally, in May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on January 6,2021 two-and-a-half years later.The relentless attacks by Fox and Mr.Carlson and the resulting political pressure likely resulted inthe criminal charges.

    95 Although it is difficult to believe that the Department of Justice would have pursued this matter if Fox had not focused its lies on Epps,ultimately the criminal charges conclusively demonstrate the falsehood of the story that Mr. Carlson and Fox told about Epps.

    And with that, I am out.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  497. “For all we know Epps has been indicted but it hasn’t been released”

    For what it’s worth, doesn’t Epps’ lawsuit against Carlson state that he’s been told that he will be prosecuted?
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/ray-epps-to-be-criminally-charged-for-events-on-january-6-his-attorney-says

    The question is whether it’s been fair that Epps has gotten all of the additional scrutiny primarily driven by conspiracy theorists with an axe to grind? Hey, if he did the crime and his circumstances are no different than others charged about J6, then he SHOULD be prosecuted. He is also free to continue to launch a civil suit against Carlson et al. Maybe the combination of the two yield some sort of justice. I don’t care enough to examine Epps’ case against Carlson to know how it stands in terms of defamation cases. I do know that I would love for the courts to start reigning in mindless speculation. Epps is far from being a public figure and it’s sleazy to do the equivalent of putting him on the Grassy Knoll.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  498. Wonder if they’d have any issue with a bag of anthrax?

    NJRob (4461fc) — 7/13/2023 @ 10:12 am

    They never identified the perpetrators of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  499. From the Epps lawsuit against Fox:

    94 Finally, in May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on January 6,2021 two-and-a-half years later.The relentless attacks by Fox and Mr.Carlson and the resulting political pressure likely resulted inthe criminal charges.

    95 Although it is difficult to believe that the Department of Justice would have pursued this matter if Fox had not focused its lies on Epps,ultimately the criminal charges conclusively demonstrate the falsehood of the story that Mr. Carlson and Fox told about Epps.

    And with that, I am out.

    BuDuh (84db84) — 7/13/2023 @ 10:21 am

    Doesn’t that belie the claim of unexplained prosecutorial discretion?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  500. #494

    Prosecutorial discretion exists for a reason. (For example, if Epps stepped across a line, it was inadvertant, like he was pushed from behind.) Also, Epps cooperated with authorities immediately. From his legal filing:

    On January 8,2021, brother-in-law informed him that the FBI’s website had posted a photograph of Epps,indicating that it was seeking information about him. Within minutes,Epps was on the phone with the FBI,providing his name and information. Four days later,Epps retained an attorney.In March,the FBI met with Epps and then later also met with Jim. In or around July 2021,the FBI removed Epps’s picture from its website.

    Immediate cooperation with law enforcement is a good way to stay out of jail. (Donald Trump would have one less block of indictments to worry about if he had cooperated.)

    One of the worst things about today’s USA is that it is way too easy to get dragged into the public eye for minor misjudgments and then forevermore be slandered by partisans. I think the speculation about what Epps did falls into that category.

    Appalled (8de28c)

  501. Doesn’t that belie the claim of unexplained prosecutorial discretion?

    No.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  502. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them. — Ecclesiastes 9:12

    nk (99cc9c)

  503. Did Genco not cooperate with the investigators, Appalled?

    BuDuh (84db84)

  504. And I did not see your #499 until after I posted, BuDuh. It looks like all of this is moot.

    Appalled (8de28c)

  505. Do you have it on good authority that Epps, in May of this year, was notified by the DoJ that he is being criminally charged with “ minor misjudgments,” Appalled?

    I guess I should have known better than to take on a J6 Trumper Oath Keeper on this board. You guys put up one hell of a defense for insurrection. Apparently it was an event full of minor misjudgments. LOL.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  506. And I did not see your #499 until after I posted, BuDuh. It looks like all of this is moot.

    With the exception of why it took so long for the DOJ to address Epps.

    Will the J6 committee condemn him? Will 60 Minutes apologize for their softball puff piece?

    I am content waiting to see the charges while hoping another J6 Loon gets equal treatment for participating in the overthrow of a government.

    BuDuh (84db84)

  507. #506

    Epps sought them out (according to his story). Genco did not:

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/case-multi-defendant/file/1371391/download

    Appalled (8de28c)

  508. Was Genco’s photograph on the original FBI website collage, Appalled?

    I don’t see her, but I do see Epps. Maybe I missed it in the images?

    That little heads up to Epps might have prompted him? No?

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  509. Rip,

    Not in the White House.

    NJRob (4461fc)

  510. Hi BuDuh,

    Based on what I see in my reading of the Genco charging statement, Genco was charged after an agent recognized her when picking up another of the 1-6 group. It is a different circumstance than Epps — but I can see the Feds giving her the opportunity to fess up, and she declined to do so. The situations do look different.

    Appalled (8de28c)

  511. but I can see the Feds giving her the opportunity to fess up, and she declined to do so.

    Where did you see that? Will you quote and link, please? Thanks.

    BuDuh (3c38b4)

  512. OK, back to the Genco charging atatement (page 4 of 5):

    As described above, SAMSEL was subsequently charged and arrested for his activities at the Capitol. On January 30, 2021, the FBI executed a residential search warrant at the residence where SAMSEL lives with GENCO and GENCO’s family. During that search, your affiant met both SAMSEL and GENCO (DOB XX/XX/1983) and the person depicted in the photographs above appears to be GENCO. SAMSEL agreed to speak to law enforcement and stated that he and GENCO drove from Pennsylvania to Washington D.C., on the morning of January 6, 2021 in GENCO’s Dodge Charger. Contrary to the footage described above, SAMSEL claimed that GENCO did not pass any barriers.

    This was filed on February 12, 2021. If she had confessed at this point, it would be in the charging statement.

    Appalled (8de28c)

  513. Samsel and Epps were at the police barricade at the same time, and it was Samsel whom Epps was trying to talk out of storming through, but it didn’t take.

    Mr. Epps was also captured speaking outside the Capitol with a Pennsylvania man, Ryan Samsel, just moments before Mr. Samsel pushed through a barricade in one of the first acts of violence that day.

    It is unclear what Mr. Epps may have said to Mr. Samsel, who was ultimately charged with assaulting police officers. Lawyers for Mr. Samsel and others charged with storming the barricade with him have asked the government for information about Mr. Epps; another defendant has asked a federal judge for permission to subpoena testimony from Mr. Epps.

    Samsel confirmed his contact with Epps.
    Ms. Genco’s live-in boyfriend is a piece of work, having been subsequently criminally indicted for assault.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  514. You can now read Twitter and click on links to Twitter without signing in

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  515. 37. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/7/2023 @ 4:48 pm

    I doubt we retained cluster munitions to use against an “invader”, since it was unlikely that any enemy would invade the continental US.

    The biggest reason for retaining them was to use against North Korea if it attempted to invade the south.

    Congress passed soe law about not manufacturing cluster bombs with a dud rate of over 1% – the Pentagon claims 2.34% but that depends on what kind of surface they are thrown on. Russian cluster bombs have a dud rate as high as 40% and Ukraine is using Russian made cluster bombs.

    They are terrible weapons against soldiers, but then there are some others too, and the focus has been on what happens (sometimes long) after combat is over.

    People can be warned about U.S. made cluster bomblets. That’s why victims frequently are children, who don’t know what they look like and not to touch them

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  516. nk @495.

    Nobody with access to that area and nobody who authorized them access to that area was going to be embarrassed. No way. Guaranteed.

    I think that’s all there is to it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  517. There may be no more news of Prigozhin since the Russian government announced on Monday that he, and hs top deputies, had been included in a meeting of around 35 people with Putin a week and half before (June 29) and footae wss shown on TV of his being handed back his guns.

    But nothing (beyond rumors of an arrest) has been heard from his ally, Air Force Commander in Chief Sergey Surovkin (aka as General Armageddon)

    He was apparently a secret member of the Wagner Group.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  518. The situation in Ecuador has deteriorated greatly in the past few years.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/12/world/americas/ecuador-drug-cartels.html

    The violence has traumatized many Ecuadoreans in part because the shift in the country’s fortunes has been so dramatic.

    Between 2005 and 2015, Ecuador witnessed an extraordinary transformation, as millions of people rose out of poverty, riding the wave of an oil boom whose profits the president at the time, Rafael Correa, a leftist, poured into education, health care and other social programs.

    Gangs run the prisons and extort money from their families. “Every person thrown into prison..[becomes] another taxpayer for the criminal groups.

    Criminals have far better technology than the police.

    It’s cocaine not fentanyl that’s driving it, and many gangs export to Europe to avoid competition from Mexican gangs (it doesn;t quite say that in this article)

    It’s exported through regular ports.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  519. Nobody with access to that area and nobody who authorized them access to that area was going to be embarrassed. No way. Guaranteed. Take it to the bank and borrow money on it.

    nk (99cc9c) — 7/13/2023 @ 9:50 am

    I have no problem believing that may be true. It seems intuitively plausible. But it’s also speculative. Take it to the bank? Without actual evidence I’d say that’s premature.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  520. The biggest reason for retaining (cluster bombs) was to use against North Korea if it attempted to invade the south.

    There are better (nuclear) weapons available for that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  521. Congress passed soe law about not manufacturing cluster bombs with a dud rate of over 1% ……

    Incorrect. Congress prohibited the transfer of cluster bombs with a dud rate of over 1%, waivable by the President. The Bush Administration policy stated (in 2008) the military services would “employ cluster munitions containing submunitions that, after arming, do not result in more than 1 % unexploded ordnance (UXO)……..” by 2018, a goal which was not met.

    This policy was reversed by the Trump Administration in 2017.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  522. More troubles for Putin here. If even half the bullet points are true, then Putin is or will be facing increasing internal dissension.

    There are also troubles with his senior military command and his declining cash reserves.

    Biden’s remarks yesterday in Helsinki, that Putin “has already lost the war”, doesn’t have the same power and resonance as “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down these walls”, but I think they were effective, particularly since he said it in Helsinki, five years and a day after Trump prostrated himself before Putin, 100 miles from the Russian shoreline. The Russian people had to have heard that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  523. What Anton Gerashchenko @Gerashchenko_en (passing on Vladimir Osechkin Gulagu.net @Vlad_Osechkin) says sounds reasonable except for the idea that Prigozhin has a body double that could go undetected.

    It’s well known that Very few Wagner group people went to Belarus. The idea that they are being converted into personal guards in Africa would be good news.

    By the way, Twitter now seems open to all to read without signing in or anything.

    I assume that influential people in Russia have been willing to get rid get rid of Putin, or at least strip him of much of is authority, and then negotiate with Ukraine and the West for some time, but it’s another thing to say that is close.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  524. Prigozhin seems to be sidelined. Some members of the Wagner Group at last crossed into Belarus/

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)


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